Smoked mushroom and red pepper tartlets - raw and vegan

Smoked mushroom and red pepper tartlets – raw and vegan

Smoked mushroom and red pepper tartlet

We made these tarts while on the  Taste course but they were rather a class effort as they are quite labour intensive.

I now wanted to make the whole dish myself.

We used predominantly walnut…

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Does Vegetarian = Healthy?

Living with Karen, my vegetarian wife, I have learned a lot!
The first is probably that to be a committed vegetarian and get ones required daily nutritional intake is hard work.

So, is being vegetarian necesarily healthy? Quite possibly not.

If one simply drops meat out of one’s diet, one is likel…

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Chickpea Cinnamon Blondies

Who would have thought of using beans in a dessert? Seems like lots of people. Anyway – it was a first for me, and turned out really well.
I am busy doing an on line cooking course and needed to make two completely diffenrent dishes using the same type of bean. I made a savoury chickpea and coriander pate for the one, and then these blondies!
I found quite a few similar but different recipes on the web, each with it’s own twist. I ended up using my version of one from “veggieinspired”.

I also had to adapt it for quantities to the size of my baking tin which is a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm ).

My ingredients:

2 C cooked and drained chickpeas (or canned chickpeas)
2/3 C peanut butter (or any nut butter)
1/3 C oats
3/4 C organic unrefined brown sugar
1/3 C agave and maple syrup (I go half half due to cost of maple syrup)
2 T ground cinnamon
1 1/3 t vanilla extract
2/3 t baking powder
1/3 t baking soda
1/3 t salt

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
Line a 9 x 9 baking tin with parchment paper.
Put all ingredients into food processor nad blend till a smooth paste.
Transfer the batter into the baking tin and spread out evenly.
Bake for 30 mins (top should be firm, and sides just starting to pull away from the tin)
Remove from oven and allow to cool a while. They will firm up a bit more while cooling.
You can sprinkle with a mix of sugar and cinnamon – which I did.
Remove from tin and cut into 16 squares.

Bon Apetit.

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Chickpea cinnamon blondies

Vegetarian in Amsterdam 2 - De Vliegende Schotel

Amsterdam – De Vliegende Schotel – Dutch stamppot

This is the second of the vegetarian restaurants we tried in Amsterdam.See my last post about Bolhoed.
De Vliegende Schotel is a bit more off the beaten track, (right up the end of Nieuwe Leliestraat), and not particularly inviting from the o…

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Pears poached in red wine - organic and vegan

Pears poached in red wine – organic and vegan

Pears poached in red wine – organic!

As part of our drive to eat healthily, we go for organic wherever possible.

A few days ago, on our boating travels, Karen spotted a pear tree next to a lock. Of course she picked a few.

They were a still bit …

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Secret pleasures of being vegetarian!

Pumpkin fritters, gem squash and salad

NO! Whatever you are thinking – it isn’t that.

Something much more basic and down to earth:

Simply – NO GREASE!
Which means –
No greasy oven to clean.
No smelly kitchen waste bin.
The washing up is a doddle…. and…..

…….we save a fortune on washi…

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Raw vegan ice-creem and chocolate sauce

Raw vegan ice-creem and chocolate sauce

The dessert for our second raw dinner party was raw vegan ice-creem and chocolate sauce. Served up with a small slice of classic cheezecake from the first evening.

When we attended the Raw Food Seminar (see this post), we received a set of DVDs in which P…

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Smoked Tempeh Bacon

Smoked Tempeh Bacon

Smoked Tempeh ‘Bacon’

Last week I used smoked tempeh ‘bacon’ in the stir fry recipe, and here is the promised tempeh smoking recipe.

But before I do that, there is one aspect I must touch on –

Carnivores often ask why us vegetarian/vegans keep making ‘meat look-alike’ dishes.

On the one hand, they are right and it is pointless.

Tempeh rounds, sliced

On the other hand, we eat with our eyes and minds as well as our mouths,
and also what better way to convince carnivores that it is not necessary to use animal products to create tasty and healthy meals.

Having got that off my chest, on to smoked tempeh.

By the way, tempeh is basically fermented, cooked soy beans.

You can make your own tempeh, but it is much more readily available at health shops these days.
I used 2 store bought rounds of tempeh.

Ingredients for smoking

So, ingredients:

2 rounds tempeh
1 T maple syrup
1 T tamari
1 t apple cider vinegar
large pinch smoked paprika
pinch smoked salt

and method:

1 – Slice the tempeh as in the picture
2 – Mix all other ingredients to make a marinade in a large bowl
3 – Put the tempeh slices in the marinade, ensure all pieces are well coated, and leave to marinade  for several hours, or overnight.
4 – Remove the slices and smoke in either hot or cold smoker. (I use the cold smoking gun – see this post on using the smoking gun

Serve up however you want – in a stir fry, in a salad, in a burger, etc etc….

Final product – smoked tempeh

One big word of caution – re the salt. In this batch, I was a bit too heavy handed with the smoked salt. I was concentrating on the smokey aspect, and rather forgot the saltiness. And remember, tamari is pretty salty on its own.
Rather use more smoked paprika, or cold smoke for longer.

The above ingredients a rather a guideline, and you can adapt to your taste.
For example if you want a sweeter result, up the maple syrup a bit.

Anyway – enjoy experimenting, and the result.
Bon apetit.

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Raw vegan chocolate ganache with superfood crust

Raw vegan chocolate ganache

A few things happened that got me going on the raw vegan desserts again.

– Peter and Beryn’s new book, the Magic of Superfoods was launched, and naturally we bought a copy.

– We have started a round of entertaining again.

– And the other raw desserts that I made, p…

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BLT - Vegan Version

BLT – Vegan Version

Vegan BLT sandwich

Back at home in our wonderful kitchen at last!

We have had a wonderful time travelling but making healthy food and blogging has not been
easy, and I must apologize for not posting for a while.

On our travels we were fortunate enough to attend the London Vegfest.

So encouraging to see the number of new vegan products available.


Veganlife mags

While there we discovered a new magazine – VeganLife –

Full of excellent recipes and interesting articles.

One of the articles was about avocados, and included a BLT sandwich.

I had to try this.

Of course the interesting bit is the bacon:

Very simple in concept, but it does need a few hours marinading and dehydrating.


Layering the BLT sandwich

The result was delicious.


1 C coconut flakes
1 T maple syrup
1 T tamari
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T liquid smoke

Next layer


Marinade the coconut flakes in a bowl in a mixture of the other ingredients for a couple of hours.

Spread the marinaded flakes out on a solid dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for about 8 hours till crispy. (or you could dry them in an oven at very low temperature)

While running the dehydrator, we dried some halved cherry tomatoes. This really intensified the flavours.

To assemble the BLT –

Use your favourite vegan bread.
Spread some vegan mayo on the slices.
Layer the lettuce (or kale), tomatoes, avo slices and sprinkle on the ‘bacon’ bits.
Add a twist of black pepper, close the sandwich and enjoy!

Note – The ‘bacon’ flavour was really good, but next time I will add some tomato paste into the marinade to give a more pink colour to the ‘bacon’

Bon apetit.

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Ratatouille – French and Vegan

Ratatouille – French and Vegan

Still on the French mission - to veganize traditional French recipes. And Ratatouille is a pretty easy one, which I made using lovely fresh produce from the local markets we encountered. Ingredients: 2 large courgettes (or 5 or 6 small ones) 2 aubergines 4 onions 4...

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Mushroom Bourguignon

As usual I start with apologizing for not posting in a while. But I would like to think I post when I have something useful to say, rather than just posting for the sake of it. My excuse for not posting is we are travelling again - aboard our boat in France! Which is...

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Indonesian Pumpkin Cakes

Indonesian Pumpkin Cakes

We are on a bit of an Indonesian fling at the moment, as you might have gathered. See my last post to find out how this came about. One of the desserts at our Indonesian pop-up dining event was these tiny pumpkin cakes. They are surprisingly tasty - just sweet enough...

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Sweetcorn Fritters

Sweetcorn Fritters

We love these tasty Thai or Indonesian bites. We have attempted to make these sweetcorn fritters numerous times, always without success. Aiming to keep things healthy, we have tried to avoid deep frying, and have used all sorts of different ingredients to make the...

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Lentil and Nut Roast

Lentil and Nut Roast

A Nut Roast is one of the go-to vegetarian main course dishes. For our recent pop-up vegan dining event (Check out our Green and Vegan FB page), we decided to do a vegan version. Over there years we have made several nut roasts but have never found a really great...

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Chocolate and Coconut Log

Chocolate and Coconut Log

There is something about chocolate! Chocolate desserts are always a hit, and this Chocolate and Coconut Log was absolutely scrumptious! We served it up with fresh raspberries at our last vegan pop-up dining event. (Check out our Green and Vegan FB page) The...

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Vegan Sushi

Vegan Sushi

Vegan sushi is something I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would make! But I did, and it worked very well. We served it as a starter at on of our pop-up dining events (check out our Green and Vegan FB page) a while back. A couple of people commented that it was...

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Chocolate mousse – vegan version

Chocolate mousse – vegan version

You can't say vegan chocolate mousse anymore without mentioning aquafaba, the new vegan egg-white replacement. Well I suppose it is not that new - been around a while, but I have only recently started working with it. Just in case you have'nt heard of it, aquafaba -...

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Coconut-Banana Vegan Ice-creem

Coconut-Banana Vegan Ice-creem

As promised, here is my recipe for coconut-banana vegan ice-creem. I would love to call it a fool-proof recipe, but I have tried out many so-called fool-proof ones that actually don't work. So I will just say it is the first successful vegan ice-creem I've managed to...

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Mini Apple Tarts – Vegan of course

Mini Apple Tarts – Vegan of course

Since getting into raw foods, and going vegan, I have not done any baking at all. Not sure why this is, but probably linked to the idea of a low-carb diet being healthy. We're not so now sure that is the case, and carbs have stated creeping back into our foods. Add to...

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