Tuesday 31 July 2018

Teacup Cakes | Easy Vegan Mug Cakes - Vanilla Confetti Cake, Lemon Drizzle, Chilli Chocolate

Light and fluffy. Ready in one minute. Almost too good to be true.

Mug cakes are nothing new, but it's taken me a while to try them out myself. In this case, I used my set of teacups, and how cute do they look!

I've tried out three different flavours: 'chilli chocolate', 'emon drizzle' and 'vanilla confetti'.

If you own a microwave then you're just a few steps away from having these delectable treats.  Adjust the quantities below in proportion to the mug/teacup size. Enjoy!

Confetti Cake
- 2 heap tbsp self-raising flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- pinch baking powder
- 6 tbsp vegan milk (coconut/almond/soya/cashew/oat...etc)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp sprinkles (vegan sprinkles are available to buy here)
- 1 tbsp syrup (maple/rice...etc)

Mix all the dry ingredients together first. Make a well in the middle and add all the wet ingredients. Combine to form a smooth batter. Microwave for 1 minute. Drizzle some syrup over the top and throw some more sprinkles on.

Lemon Drizzle
- 2 heap tbsp self-raising flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- pinch baking powder
- pinch grated lemon zest
- 5 tbsp vegan milk (coconut/almond/soya/cashew/oat...etc)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp oil

For the drizzle:
- icing sugar
- lemon juice
- candied lemon peel (to garnish)

Mix all the dry ingredients together first. Make a well in the middle and add all the wet ingredients. Combine to form a smooth batter. Microwave for 1 minute. Create a lemon glaze by combining equal parts lemon juice and icing sugar. Garnish with candied lemon peel.

Chilli Chocolate
- 2 heap tbsp self-raising flour
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- pinch baking powder
- pinch crushed chilli flakes (plus extra for garnish)
- 8 tbsp vegan milk (coconut/almond/soya/cashew/oat...etc)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp syrup (maple/rice...etc)

Mix all the dry ingredients together first. Make a well in the middle and add all the wet ingredients. Combine to form a smooth batter. Microwave for 1 minute. Drizzle some syrup over the top and throw some more chilli flakes on for an extra kick.

Watch the video below:

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Vegan Food at Southbank Centre Food Market

London has been experiencing an intense heatwave of late, and as much as I've moaned and groaned about it (why are we never satisfied with the weather?) I can't deny that summer is my favourite time of the year. The city is more alive than ever, moods are lifted, even food seems brighter, tastier and more indulgent.

If you're after a fix of bright, tasty and indulgent vegan food, head over to the Southbank Centre food market and you will not be disappointed. I arrived hungry on a sunny Friday afternoon and I'm not ashamed to admit that I was on the verge of eating my way through the entire market...Thankfully, as the old saying goes, my eyes were much bigger than my stomach. Still managed to try a fair bit though, including an insanely delicious burger from Big V London, corn on the cob (freshly roasted and sprinkled with five-spice...yum!) and the most delectable slice of salted caramel cake by Choco Fruit. If you go and you've got room for more, you'll maybe want to pick up some sweet or savoury vegan crepes, vegan Thai or Indian food, or maybe a plate of injera with veggie sides from vegan Ethiopian food vendor Ethiopiques.

If you're up for exploring more markets around London, be inspired by my vegan-centric posts on Brick Lane market, Hackney Downs Vegan Market and Portobello Road (see below).

Tuesday 10 July 2018

Detoxifying Green Smoothie for Flawless Skin

My relationship with make-up is one of indifference. It wasn't always that way. I remember being in my early teens and eagerly looking forward to the day I could start experimenting with lipstick, eye shadow and all other face-painting rituals that have been adopted since the dawn of time. Then the years rolled on, I became old enough to start wearing the stuff, and lo-and-behold I found that I just didn't care. I'm not anti-make-up though because once in a while, if I'm in the mood or if a fancy occasion calls for it, I'll dab on a little lipstick or throw on some mascara. Otherwise, I go about my business bare-faced and au naturel. The decision to wear or not wear make-up should always be a woman's choice and there certainly shouldn't be any judgement on either side of the fence.

To relate this little spiel to the recipe at hand, the strange irony is that ever since I went vegan, I've received more questions about my 'beauty-product-secrets' than ever before. From what kind of foundation I'm wearing to which concealers I use to achieve a smooth finish. The look of surprise each time I say that I'm not wearing anything is somewhat amusing. In those moments, I want to say: 'Go vegan and your skin will thank you for it!' and depending on who I'm talking to, sometimes I say just that. 

It would be irresponsible of me to claim that all vegans automatically have great skin after giving up animal products - I can only speak for myself and share my personal experience - but you sure do give yourself a fighting chance when you go down the plant-based route. Your fruit and veg intake inevitably spikes and pore-clogging dairy is eliminated. If that isn't a recipe for getting that glow from the inside out, I don't know what is.

This smoothie recipe, like many other vitamin-rich fruit and veg combos, is a good option if you're looking to start eating and drinking for your skin and general well-being. Great as a healthy snack or a quick breakfast when you're in a hurry. Especially great when you want to give your digestive system a breather after days of glorious indulgence in rich foods.

You'll need: green apple, cucumber, fresh lemon juice and filtered water. If you have access to organic produce, even better.

Simply blend all the ingredients on high speed and enjoy!

Tuesday 3 July 2018

Vegan Peppered Snail (Mushrooms)

What's that?

A take on a Nigerian favourite without any actual slime or the chopping up of little creatures who just want to mind their business as they chomp through leaves and crawl around in mud?


The Vegan Nigerian: saving one snail at a time. Lol.

Peppered snail is a well-known delicacy in Nigerian cuisine, usually served at parties as appetisers or prepared at home just cos. As a kid, I could never comprehend why anyone would want to eat a snail; the thought of it even now makes me gag a little. But that's just me. Tons of people love the stuff. And so I say, why not consider a version that gives you the same flavour and chewiness but without the grossness? Mushrooms can be earthy and robust and can soak up a ton of seasoning. If you think you'll miss the distinct 'muddy' taste of actual snails though, feel free to chuck in a handful of wet earth into the pan.

I'm joking. And gosh, I probably sound quite snide. Sorry.

For this recipe, I cheated and used the fiery hot chilli sauce by Marie's Little Jar. Although it's not entirely cheating is it, seeing as it contains natural, healthy ingredients. Still, if you want to make your own peppery sauce, it's simple: blend some scotch bonnet peppers with onions and tomatoes to make a thick sauce. Fry in some sunflower oil and allow the sauce to reduce. Season with salt and a vegetable stock cube, and you're good to go.

Re-hydrated dried mushrooms work great in this dish because you get that chewy, rubbery taste. But you can also use fresh mushrooms like shiitake and oyster mushrooms. Yum!

You'll need:
- Dried mushrooms (I used shiitake) or fresh mushrooms (oyster or shiitake) 
- Sunflower oil
- Red chilli sauce (read above for a quick way to make your own at home)
- Fresh mixed herbs (I used thyme, rosemary and tarragon - use what you have/your favourites)
- Salt, to taste

Soak the dried mushroom in water until soft. (Top tip: quicken the softening process by popping it into the microwave for 5 minutes). Drain, rinse and squeeze out any excess water.

Chop some fresh herbs and set aside.

Heat some sunflower oil in a pan and add the mushroom. Fry until brown and a bit crispy on the outside.  Season with salt.

Add a generous helping of peppery chilli sauce to coat the mushrooms. Throw in a handful of chopped fresh herbs. Serve hot or warm.