Thursday, 13 November 2014

SWEET POTATO AND FAVA BEAN SOUP (HODMEDOD REVIEW)

Hodmedod's Big Vegan Box is packed full of wonderful beans, peas and quinoa. As soon as I opened my box, I was blown away by the variety and vibrancy of the products in front of me. In it were canned fava beans, baked beans and vaal dhal, as well as four cartons of dried beans and peas, a pack of quinoa, and a selection of roasted beans and peas. A million and one things popped into my head in terms of how I could turn these ingredients into delicious meals. To me, this box is a winner during the cold season as the beans, peas and quinoa provide the perfect base for a range of hot soups, curries and veggie casseroles. I've never cooked with fava beans before and so I was super excited to expand my culinary repertoire. Such is the nature of following a vegan diet; I find that I am now more likely to try new plant-based ingredients that I never would have given a second glance before. 

I highly recommend this box to anyone who is keen to support local, sustainable food in the UK. Hodmedod was founded by Nick Saltmarsh, Josiah Meldrum and William Hudson in 2012 with the aim of promoting and supplying indigenous and less well-known grains and pulses in Britain. If your curiosity is even a little bit piqued, then you should definitely check them out and try a box!

Show Hodmedod some love by following them on Facebook and Twitter. You can also find out more about their product range on their official website.



In this recipe, I've gone ahead and made use of the tin of fava beans and the pack of lightly salted roasted fava beans. Forget regular croutons, the roasted fava beans give a deliciously crunchy element to the soup and complements the flavour of the fava beans infused in the soup. By blending half a can of the beans with the sweet potatoes, I was able to achieve a rich, creamy consistency. This soup is comfort food at its best, chock full of nutrients and vitamins from top quality whole foods - no hidden nasties here! It's also oil-free and gluten-free, nudging it high up there on the healthy, clean eating scale.

Ingredients
(serves 2)
- 2-3 medium sized sweet potatoes 
- 1 clove garlic (crushed)
- 1 tin of Hodmedod's British Fava Beans
- Handful of Hodmedod's British Roasted Fava Beans (lightly sea salted)
- Pinch crushed chilli flakes
- Pinch dried thyme
- Pinch curry powder
- Salt to taste
- Chopped fresh herbs

Wash and dice the sweet potatoes into small pieces. I chose to leave the skin on as it is packed full of nutrients, but you can peel the skin off if you prefer. Place in a large saucepan with the crushed garlic and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes completely. Boil for 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft.

Allow to cool slightly, then place the potatoes and garlic in a food processor, along with the liquid broth it was cooked in and half a can of fava beans. Blend on a low-medium setting for 1-2 minutes or until you are satisfied with the consistency.

Pour the soup back into the large saucepan and return to the heat. Season with a pinch of crushed chilli flakes, dried thyme, curry powder and salt to taste. Add the other half of the tin of fava beans.
Heat the soup for no longer than 5 minutes.

Serve hot and garnish with a handful of lightly salted roasted fava beans and a sprinkling of fresh herbs (I used parsley).






Wednesday, 12 November 2014

CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE (GUEST POST)

Here is a guest post from my lovely friend, Nemi. Who else is super excited to try out this mouthwatering recipe?!

You can follow Nemi on Facebook and check out her blog at www.anemistyle.com.

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A few months ago, Tomi (VeganNigerian.com) and I created a vegan challenge where people had to create a sweet and savoury dish with the secret ingredient 'Beans'. We decided to do the challenges ourselves and for me it was a fun and exciting culinary journey. After lots of failed experiments, I tried this chocolate fudge cake and it was delicious! I seriously could not believe it was so tasty and there was no hint of beans whatsoever.

I decided to test this recipe on an unsuspecting member of the public (Le Husband). After work one evening, I told him I fancied dessert after dinner and asked if he would be interested. Of course he said yes, so I went into the kitchen and secretly performed the beanie magic and voila! Chocolate fudge cake - crispy on top and gooey inside.  After devouring the 'creation', I asked him if anything felt different and he couldn't find anything other than the cake tasting a bit gluten-free....ha!

I later revealed the secret ingredient, leaving him feeling hoodwinked lol!

This black bean chocolate fudge cake is a gluten-free and healthier alternative to the usual chocolate cake. It is especially great for women during PMS and pregnancy because it is chock full of so many good-for-you nutrients like:

Folate - Great for women's reproductive health
Fibre - Keeps you fuller for longer
Protein - Building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin
Copper - Balances cholesterol and an antioxidant
Manganese - Strong bones, smooth skin and controls blood sugar
Iron Supply oxygen to blood, brain health and sustained energy

Here is what you will need:

1.     1 can of 400g black beans- washed and drained
2.     1.5  teaspoon of baking powder
3.     3-5 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
4.    Half a cup of sugar (can be substituted with sweetener)
5.    1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
6.    3 tablespoons of coconut oil
7.    Pinch of sea salt
8. 1 flax egg (2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed and 6 tablespoons of water, leave to soak for 15 min)



Step 1


Preheat oven at 170 degrees Celsius and grease muffin tin or cake pan.

Step 2

Prepare the flax egg by mixing 2 tablespoons of grounded flaxseed and 6 tablespoons of water.

Step 3

Put all the ingredients (from the ingredient list) in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.



Step 4


Scoop mixture into a greased muffin tin or cake tin.


Step 5

Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean or the top dries up.



Tuesday, 4 November 2014

VEGAN GUIDE TO NANOWRIMO SNACKING

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is upon us again and thousands of people across the world will be picking up their pens (or opening up their laptops) to try and reach a target of 50,000 words by 12 midnight November 30th. I took the plunge last year and will be attempting it again this year (gulp!)

If you're anything like me, then you probably know that smart snacking can go a long way to helping you get through any colossal task (how do you think I got through my essays at university??).

So, for those late nights you'll spend trying to get up to date with your word count; for the moments when you hit a brick-wall and your plot starts to unravel; for the times when you lose inspiration and come down with a severe case of writer's block, you know you can refresh and replenish yourself with a few of these useful suggestions:

1. Juices and Smoothies

It's quick, it's nutritious and your brain cells will thank you for it. Pack in your favourite fruits (and veg) and sip away as your novel comes to life. Some of my favourite combinations include mango & orange, banana & strawberries, apple & carrot. 













2. Popcorn

As you pause to allow imagined scenes and plot twists to play out your head, why not have a bowl of popcorn sitting near by. Your own personal movie (sort of!) - that will soon be transformed into glittering prose - requires popcorn too ;) Try my curry and thyme flavoured popcorn for something a lil' different.















3. Home-made bars

These take a bit more planning and prep time but once you have a stash of them, you can nibble to your heart's content. The best part? You get to decide what goes into it. Have a go at my oat bar recipe or modify it to include even more super brain-food ingredients such as flax seeds, chia seeds or brazil nuts.















4. Chin chin

This sweet, crunchy Nigerian snack is ideal for boosting your mood as you power through your main character's dilemma. My baked chin chin recipe also ensures that you are not packing in unnecessary calories as you would with the fried version.
















5. Crackers

What is a snack guide without crackers? These hot saltine crackers can be enjoyed on their own or with your favourite vegan spread lashed on.
















6. Hummus, carrot sticks, flat bread

You could run out to the shop to pick up a tub of hummus OR you could make some yourself and take out any writing frustrations by crushing little chickpeas to a pulp. (Hopefully you have very few frustrations and more joyful, inspired moments...but just in case). This chunky hummus recipe is delicious, filling and comforting. Perfect with vegetable batons or soft flat bread.















7. Fresh fruit 

Last but certainly not least, a good stash of fresh fruit is the way to go. High-carb fruits like bananas and mango will give you the energy to keep going, providing your brain with a healthy source of glucose that won't see you crashing with a sugar low just when you're getting to the juicy part of your chapter. Nature's fast food also requires little to no preparation so you won't be wasting valuable time procrastinating but actually getting that novel done!






If you're a fellow writer, I want to hear from you: which snacks keep YOU going when you're trying to get through a piece of writing? And if this post doesn't quite apply to you, share it with the aspiring Chinua Achebe's and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's in your close circle.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

PANTILES FOOD FESTIVAL 2014 (PICTURES)

Just in case you don't follow my social media, here is a picture update of what turned out to be a successful event. The two-day Pantiles Harvest Food Festival took place in Tunbridge Wells back in September (20th and 21st). It was successful for a number of reasons:

1. I learnt a lot about the vegan/health food market. (It's not enough to just be plant-based; there is a massive gap in the market for gluten-free and sugar-free options too)

2. I met some lovely, encouraging people who made me think that perhaps my passion for [vegan] food and cooking - and wanting to base a career around it - is not all that crazy.

3. On a more practical level, I nearly sold out and made a profit. The late nights and colossal shopping trip for baking ingredients paid off!

4. I got non-vegans to admit that vegan cakes are actually pretty awesome.











Sunday, 5 October 2014

BEANS AND PLANTAIN RAVIOLI

In the spirit of the last vegan recipe challenge, I put together this ravioli dish. Freshly made pasta filled with a lightly spiced mixture of beans and plantain, topped with sautéed red pepper and garlic. Another great idea would be to include sweetcorn in the topping - yum! It's easy to make this look fancy by garnishing with fresh herbs and small mounds of julienned cucumber. The only real effort is getting the pasta dough just right. 

I made the mistake of blending the filling for too long in the blender and I ended up with a filling that was smoother than I would have liked, so I've adjusted the instructions below. Enjoy!























Ingredients
For the pasta:
- 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil

For the filling:
- 1/2 cup cooked beans
- 1/2 boiled plantain
- pinch of chili powder
- pinch of paprika
- salt and pepper to taste

For the topping:
- 1/2 red bell pepper (finely chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1/4 scotch bonnet pepper (finely chopped)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste

Start by making the filling. Place the cooked beans, boiled plantain and spices in a bowl and mash with a fork until you have a chunky mixture. Set aside.

To make the pasta, combine all the pasta ingredients in a large bowl using a fork to bring the mixture together. With floured hands, bring the mixture into a dough. If it feels too dry, add a little bit more water. If it's too wet, add a bit more flour. Knead for about 10 minutes on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and pliable. Leave the dough to rest for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your topping by sautéing the chopped red pepper, garlic and scotch bonnet in some olive oil (medium heat), until the pepper is nice and soft. Season with salt and pepper.

Back to the pasta. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and roll each one out into a square/rectangular shape, as flat you can get it. Both pasta sheets should be roughly the same size and shape.

Spoon the beans/plantain mixture in small mounds across one of the pasta sheets, making sure to leave enough space between each one and around the edges. Cover the whole thing with the second pasta sheet and press down lightly around the edges and between the mounds. Use a sharp knife to cut out your individual ravioli squares. Trim any irregular edges.

Fill a large pot with salted water and a drop of olive oil, and bring to a boil. Add your ravioli squares to the hot water in small batches and cook for no longer than 5 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon.

Place as many as you want on a plate, spoon over the pepper/garlic topping, and garnish with fresh herbs and julienned cucumber.

Phew!


Monday, 15 September 2014

VEGAN RECIPE CONTEST (CLOSED)

Calling all creative foodies!

This month, The Vegan Nigerian and Anemistyle are teaming up to bring you our very first Vegan Recipe Contest. The rules are simple and fantastic prizes are up for grabs. We want to see the unusual and we want to see the innovative. The most creative interpretations will get the most points. Whether you’re familiar with vegan cooking or not, we want to hear from you. Simply take the key ingredient – BEANS – and rustle us two dishes: one sweet and one savoury. Send us the pictures and recipes, along with your name and country. We’ll pick a winner on the 30th September and ship a bundle of goodies to your doorstep!

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to flaunt your culinary skills! ;)


Key ingredient
BEANS! Brown, black-eyed, kidney beans…. Use your favourite, use what you have!

The rules
1. Create a sweet and savoury dish with the key ingredient. Email the photos and recipes to vegannigerian@gmail.com or anemistyle@gmail.com

2. Meals entered MUST be vegan (no meat, eggs or dairy)

3. Like Anemistyle and The Vegan Nigerian on Facebook

Prizes
A selection of yummy vegan snacks
Your recipes featured on our websites
Exclusive access to 10 vegan ice cream recipes, as seen in Nice Cream: 25 Delicious, Dairy-free Recipes

Winner will be selected on: 30th September 2014

Get cooking!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

CARROT CAKE

I've just come back from a local farmers' market where I got to showcase a few vegan bakes I knocked together yesterday. I figure the best way to find out if your food is really any good is to take it out there, have people try stuff and give their honest feedback. Also a great way to meet people, make connections and fill up an otherwise lazy Saturday morning. 

One of my creations was this mouth-watering beauty. Succulent carrot cake that filled the house with the smell of cinnamon and warm spices; drizzled with silky dark chocolate and garnished with freshly grated carrot. 

If you like the look of it or plan to make it yourself, share this post with your nearest and dearest. They won't believe it's vegan!


Ingredients
(serves 6-8)
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup sunflower oil
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (e.g. coconut, almond, etc)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon 
- 2 tsp mixed spice

For the glaze
- 1 cup dark chocolate (broken into small pieces)
- 1 tsp coconut oil

Sift the self-raising flour and corn starch into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice. Add the grated carrot and mix until it is completely coated with the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, whisk the sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar and non-dairy milk together.
Add this to the dry ingredients and mix well to form a cake bater.

Lightly grease a round cake tin and dust with a little flour. Pour in the cake batter and bake in a pre-heated oven, gas mark 6, for 30 minutes.

Leave to cool completely before taking it out of the tin.

To make the chocolate glaze, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together. I put mine in the microwave for 20-30 seconds then stirred with a spoon to speed up the melting process. Be careful not to microwave it for too long or you could end up with burnt/stodgy chocolate!

Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cake when it has cooled down. (You can pour from a small jug to make the drizzle neat.) Garnish with a handful of freshly grated carrot. Enjoy!


Friday, 12 September 2014

INTERVIEW: ESOSA E (Raw Girl in a Toxic World)






This is my first feature interview on the blog and what a treat it is! You might recognise Esosa from the hit web series An African City. Keep reading to find out more about the talented actress/writer/model, and her raw vegan lifestyle! 

Hi Esosa, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure. I am Nigerian American and my family hails from Edo State, 5’10 tall, I act, I write in a range of forms including creative storytelling and informational health articles etc., I make movies, sometimes design clothing and model. The thing I am most passionate about is living into my purpose. What drives me is the fear that I will not utilize all of the talents God gifted me with. Every day I try to push myself to be a better version of me, and to do work that resonates with why I believe I am on the planet.

How long have you been a vegan, and what motivated you to take the extra step towards raw veganism?
I believe I was around thirteen when I gave up meat, so now it’s been over ten years that I have been vegan. After being vegan for a long while, in college I started to get sick a lot because of improper diet coupled with stress. I learned about the raw way of living from a cousin I went to visit and the idea stuck with me because she was a raw foodist and was so incredibly youthful, energetic, and passionate about life. It wasn’t until a year later, when I was consistently feeling fatigued and had a stubborn case of acne, that I finally went raw.

For those who might be sceptical about the benefits of adopting a plant-based lifestyle, can you share some of the positive changes you’ve experienced throughout your vegan journey?
There are so many but some of the primary benefits include: clear skin, increased energy, sleeping less hours and still feeling rejuvenated, maintaining health and avoiding sickness, mental clarity, and an increased inclination to explore spirituality.

What would you say are the major challenges of being a raw vegan?
Raw veganism can be really difficult to sustain, especially if you are rigid and focused on staying 100% raw in any situation life throws you in. I have never been a fan of rigidity and everything changed for me when I learned to go with the flow of life and eat the best food available to me at a given time. I love eating as much raw as I can, but if I am in Africa, travelling extensively or even if I just feel like my body needs it, I will eat cooked food that is vegan. It’s really important that you find what works for your body. No diet is meant to be for everyone; we are all too genetically unique to conform to fad diets for the sake of doing so. If you listen to your body, you cannot go wrong.  I do however believe that all of us should work to completely eliminate processed franken-foods, GMO’s, and toxins from our diets as much as possible. If you are already dealing with a serious condition, it has been proven scientifically that adopting a plant-based diet can heal numerous diseases without invasive procedures or heavy medications.

Your blog and YouTube channel contain some mouth-watering raw recipes such as Raw Tacos and Coconut Macaroons. What does a typical day look like for a raw vegan (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)?
It really depends on the day for me. I’m up very early around 5:30 most days and usually writing by 6 or 7 am. I generally don’t like to eat a heavy breakfast and I don’t eat until a little later in the morning, but I will drink a lot of water to get the day started. Some things that are great for breakfast that are raw: raw oatmeal w/ nut milk, green juice, fruit smoothies, green smoothies, fruit alone, chia pudding, and coconut water. I always try to get in something fresh and green, whether it is a green juice or a really large salad with tons of veggies. You can check my blog for inspiration on meals you can prepare for lunch and dinner, but if you are a busy body like me, you will learn quickly to keep it simple. Fruit is fast food, salads are quick, smoothies are even quicker and great because you can pack them with superfood supplements. Those are my staples, and everything else is for when I have additional time and creativity. I also love to go out and try gourmet raw restaurants. I also always have go-to desserts that are really fast to prepare like coconut macaroons or raw chocolate mousse if I am having a craving for sweets. Remember, if you are experimenting with plain vegan (cooked) dishes, you can pretty much make anything you would make normally minus the meat or dairy. For example, there’s a great recipe for banana french toast on my blog, completely egg-free and delicious.

Can you share a raw vegan recipe inspired by a traditional Nigerian dish with us?
I have yet to create a raw recipe inspired by a Nigerian dish; although I have thought about it. It’s a little difficult because of the ingredients we use and how heavy we cook our food! But I have made a vegan version of Egussi that is delicious. I have to save that recipe in my arsenal because I have plans for it. Akara is technically vegan, and it’s easy to make a version that is much healthier if you fry them in coconut oil.

You must have such a busy schedule as an actress/filmmaker. How do you stay fit and what is your favourite exercise?
I generally try to mix in weight training, cardio, and yoga. Sometimes one aspect falls to the way side. For instance at the moment I’ve been in super yogi mode and practicing hot yoga two to three times a week. In the near future I want to do more pilates.

One of the things I love about An African City is the fact that your character, Ngozi, is a vegetarian. Did you have a hand in deciding this aspect of her character?
No, I didn’t. I was at lunch with the brilliant creator of the show, Nicole Amarteifio—she’s like a sponge, you have to be careful what you say around her at all times because it could end up in a script. I was ordering my meal (in typically Ngozi fashion) and she just had the idea right then to make her a plant-eater. The raw food thing was way too extreme for Africans to grasp, so I think she was smart to go with vegetarian.

Do you think that the concept of vegetarianism/veganism needs to become more widespread in Africa? Why/why not?
I think it would be great if it did, mostly to bring awareness and knowledge of healthier food options and the ability to cure many common ailments with diet. As more fast food options and genetically modified crops are finding their way into African countries, there will be more people contracting diseases like diabetes and cancer. Africans have some of the most potent healing herbs and plants on the planet and we should be using them. Many of us also eat way too much white sugar, white rice, white flour, and foods heavily fried in unhealthy oils. I believe that the health of a nation determines its destiny; the more educated we become as a people about health, the better Africa and its countries will become.

You have a new e-book Thrive on Veg! coming out soon, which will outline the ins and outs of embarking on a plant-based lifestyle. Tell us more about it!

Thrive on Veg! is the resource that I wish I had when I was embarking on a plant-based lifestyle. The goal of the book is to give a simple overview of the many variations of a plant-based diet, discuss the health benefits going VEG can offer, key nutrients needed to stay optimal, tips and tools for transitioning, how to set up your plant based kitchen, and recipes so that you can begin your journey immediately. My most recent draft of Thrive on VEG! is currently 75 pages, but I anticipate the final draft may end up being somewhere around 100 pages packed full of great information, delicious vegan and raw recipes (will be printable), and inspiring insights for anyone interested or curious about a plant-based lifestyle. The book is now available for pre-order on my health blog and will be released on October 15th.

Finally, do you have any other projects coming up? Any new roles to look out for?
We will be back with a second season of An African City, so stay tuned to the Facebook page, Twitter etc. for updates and look out for more Ngozi! I have also been cast in a few additional projects, two feature films, and a TV series currently in development. For updates on my progress you can find me on Facebook.

Thank you very much, Esosa.
Thank you!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

OGI / AKAMU / PAP

As a Yoruba girl, I call it ogi. The igbos call it akamu. Some call it pap. It goes great with akara, moin moin, fried plantain, or even puff puff. If you're not familiar with it, then the best way to describe it is as a custard/porridge made using the raw, fermented starch from ground white or yellow maize. The maize is soaked for a few days, ground to a paste and sieved to remove husks. The (raw) ogi is then left to ferment for a few more days, giving it a distinct sour taste.                                                                                                                                                         These days, you can buy raw solid ogi in batches, making it easier to have your glossy, custard-like meal in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is add hot boiling water.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   If you're a fan of ogi, I'd love to know what you like to eat with it. Let me know in the comments below!
Ingredients
- 1 cup raw solid ogi
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 4-6 cups boiling water
- brown sugar to taste

Grab a large mixing bowl and start by dissolving the raw ogi with the cold water to form a smooth paste.

Add the hot water a little at the time, stirring the ogi simultaneously. The mixture should start to thicken and it's up to you to decide how thick you would like it. Once you've got the consistency you want, stop adding water.

[Another technique is to combine all the ingredients in a saucepan, stirring continuously on a low heat until the mixture thickens.]

Serve hot with a light sprinkling of sugar. Alternatively, you can sweeten it with dates/any other natural sweetener of your choice.


Saturday, 6 September 2014

FOOD, FESTIVALS, FUN

Get your calendars out! There are a few cool festivals coming up in the next couple of months, some I will be attending, some that you might be able to attend. Check them out:

1. Pantiles Food Festival

When: 20th and 21st September 2014
Where: Tunbridge Wells, Kent
More info: Pantiles Food Festival
I will be selling on both days, 10am - 5pm, in the Lower Walk area. Vegan cakes, bakes, treats...come say hello if you can!














2. London Veg Fest

When: 27th and 28th September 2014
Where: Olympia West, London
More info: London Veg Fest
I will be attending the Saturday event, most likely strolling about and sampling everything on sight :)

















3. Lagos Veg Fest

When: 10-12 October 2014
Where: Freedom Park, Lagos Island
More info: Lagos Veg Fest
If all goes to plan, I will be doing an online broadcast on Saturday afternoon. I will give a short talk, perhaps followed by some Q & A. If you're in Lagos, you have no excuse not to go ;)


Saturday, 30 August 2014

EXTRA SPICY WATERMELON SALAD (OIL-FREE)

Watermelon never tasted so good with this sweet and explosive salad recipe.

In response to one of my Facebook posts, Natural Nigerian mentioned that she likes to add watermelon to her salads. I got inspired, happened to have some watermelon at home, and decided to knock this beauty together. I love how my brain immediately goes to unexpected food combinations. Watermelon...scotch bonnet pepper...

The next time you crack open a giant watermelon, remember this recipe and give it a shot. You won't regret it.



Ingredients
(serves 2 or one very hungry individual)
- 1/4 watermelon (chopped)
- crispy lettuce (shredded)
- 1/2 apple (chopped)
- 1/4 cucumber (chopped)
- 1 tomato (chopped)
- 1-2 stalks spring onion (finely chopped)
- almonds/peanuts (optional)
- juice of 1 lemon
- fresh ginger
- 1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
- cayenne pepper
- ground black pepper
- pinch of salt

To make the dressing, grind the ginger and scotch bonnet pepper in a pestle and mortar. Add the juice of one lemon and allow to infuse.

Throw/arrange the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon/drizzle the dressing over it, making sure to avoid adding large clumps of the ground ginger and scotch bonnet (unless you're extremely fearless with your hot food!)

Sprinkle on some cayenne pepper, black pepper and a pinch of salt.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

YAM BURGERS

So I've given you the recipes for the home-made ketchup and bread rolls. All that's left is to share the actual veggie burger recipe that pulls the whole thing together. 

I wanted something a little different from the brown bean burgers I made over a year ago in my very first blog post (!) and if I had to compare the two, I think this yam burger wins hands down. I particularly like the way it crisps up on the outside and holds its shape perfectly. There's nothing worse than a veggie burger that falls apart on you, turning the process of eating into an embarrassing struggle and unintentional workout, not to mention the gloopy mess it creates. Anyway. I hope you give this recipe a try and that you enjoy it as much as I did. I won't always have the time or energy to make my own ketchup and bread rolls from scratch, but the actual burger is so easy and straightforward that it just might become a staple.

(If the plating looks rushed, it's because I was in a hurry to eat the thing... Aside from a burger that falls apart on you, nothing's more annoying than a cold burger.)

Ingredients
(makes about 6)
- 2 cups cooked yam (chopped into small pieces)
- 1 cup toasted breadcrumbs
- 1/2 red bell pepper (finely chopped)
- 1 large carrot (grated)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Spices (cayenne pepper/garlic powder/Cajun spice...)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Sunflower oil

Throw the cooked yam, breadcrumbs, red pepper and spices into a food processor and blend until you have a soft dough consistency. Scoop out the mixture into a bowl and mix in the grated carrots and seasoning. 

With lightly floured hands, shape the mixture into 6 burger patties.

Heat a little sunflower oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers on medium heat for about 6-8 minutes, turning over to brown on both sides. The aim is to allow the burgers to heat up all the way through.

Serve in a burger bun with a slice of fresh tomato, crispy lettuce, fried onions and ketchup. Enjoy!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

BREAD ROLLS

These turn out perfect every time and is a great way to get your whole house smelling like a bakery! I used these for my yam burgers and the texture was perfect. It held together well and was easy to cut through.
Give it a try and let me know what you think!


Ingredients
(makes 6-8)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp dry active yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup plain flour
- 2 cups wholegrain flour
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp salt
- melted vegan margarine or coconut oil (to glaze)
- sesame seeds (optional)

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and leave to sit for about five minutes. 

In a large mixing bowl, add the plain flour, wholegrain flour, dissolved yeast mixture, coconut milk and salt. 

Knead for 10-15 mins on a floured surface until you have a smooth dough. 

Place in a bowl, cover and leave to rise for 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 6-8 buns and arrange on a baking sheet. Cover and leave to rise for a further 40 mins.

Brush with some melted vegan margarine or coconut oil (sprinkle some sesame seeds on top, if you want) and bake in a pre-heated oven, gas mark 6, for 15-20 mins until golden brown on top.
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