Cheats mince pies

Cheats Mince pies

mince pieThis is a recipe I made a few years ago when some unexpected guests arrived one Christmas and I needed to make some mince pies pronto! And your guests will never guess the ‘cheat’ or that they are vegan!

I have pimped up shop bought mincemeat but you can just open a jar and get cracking

So the cheat is to use wholemeal bread instead of pastry.  Its so simple, quick and easy and you can make as many or as few as you need.  I also keep a few frozen slices of wholemeal bread in freezer bags for those surprise visitors.  And 15-20 minutes later they are settled with a homemade mince pie and a cuppa (or something stronger)

One slice will make 2 circles and 2 star tops i.e. 2 complete mince pies.

vegan cookery classes

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My cookery class guests have made these mince pies today along with chocolate truffles and ginger men biscuits.  If you’d like to come to any of my vegan classes then please contact e for more details

 

 

 

So what are you waiting for get rolling!

Makes 6 mince pies

3 slices of wholemeal bread

6 teaspoons (120g) shop bought or homemade mince meat

2 tsps of your favourite tipple (brandy, rum, sherry etc) – Optional

1 cooking or eating apple washed, cored but not peeled

1 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice

2 tsps oil

large pinch of sugar

extra cinnamon, mixed spice or nutmeg for dustingpastry cutter for mince pie

1 pastry cutter 3″ or 78mm wide

1 star cutter

1 rolling pin

bun tin

 

Pre-heat the oven 220C/200C fan/gas 7.  Grease the bun tin using a small amount of oil and some kitchen roll

Using the rolling pin roll out and flatten each slice of bread.  Make it large enough so that you can cut out two circles and two stars*

 

Place the circles in the bun tins and press down so they line the tins.

Chop the apple in to small cubes or grate on a course grater

img_9116In a bowl add 120g of mincemeat, chopped/grated apple, cinnamon or mixed spice and alcohol (if using).  Mix together and spoon in to the bread cases

Using a pastry brush, brush the remaining oil carefully over the stars.  Place a star on top of the filled pies sprinkle with extra cinnamon and a few grains of sugar

img_9122Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-12 minutes until the tops look nice and toasted.  Eat hot or cold, either by themselves or with some soya cream or custard

They should be stored in an airtight container and will keep for 4 days

*The left over bread can be used to make bread sauce, homemade stuffing, make a shop bought stuffing go further or frozen until you decide what you want to do with it!

 

 

christmas Merry Christmas! 

 

 

 

Quick Cauliflower and chickpea biryani

Quick Cauliflower and chickpea biryani

A biryani that is perfect for meat free Monday

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_4476This is a very quick and easy vegan cauliflower  biryani recipe. It uses some store cupboard standbys, like microwaveable rice and some chutneys

By adding chickpeas you are seriously upping the protein and fibre content. The cauliflower adds more fibre and plenty of immune supporting antioxidants

Adjust the level of spice to suit your taste buds

 

Serves 2, 480 calories per portion

 

500g Cauliflower, cut in to florets, include the stalks for extra fibre

1 large onion (150g) – chopped

2 tsp oil

IMG_44741 x 400g tin of chickpeas –

1 garlic clove  and 1 nub of fresh ginger – sliced

or 1 tsp garlic and ginger paste

2 -3 heaped tsp curry powder

1 tsp each of turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli flakes

splash of lemon juice

handful parsley and/or mint leaves – chopped

1 packet express wholegrain rice

 

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The calories have been calculated using the Nutracheck App

 

IMG_4472Start by heating the oil on a medium flame in a large frying pan and add the chopped onions and cauliflower. Cook until the onions start to colour. If it starts to stick and burn, resist adding more oil and add a splash of hot water instead.

Add the garlic and ginger (or the paste) and stir. After about two minutes add all the spices and using a metal spoon (the turmeric will stain a wooden one) coat theIMG_4473 vegetables. Cook until the spices start to smell fragrant. Add the chickpeas and their juice. Turn the heat down and cook until the cauliflower is soft – about 10-15 minutes. You may need to add more water

 

When your veg is nearly cooked, open the rice and add to the pan, mixing in thoroughly and cook for 2 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Add more water if its sticking to the base of the pan. Finish with a splash of lemon juice and the fresh herbs

 

IMG_4475Divide between two warmed bowls. And add a spoonful of mango chutney and lime pickle, for even more heat!

 

You can of course make this even quicker by using cooked left over veggies. The cooking time will reduce by 10 minutes. You can also add some lovely protein and omega 3 packed cashew nuts

November is world vegan month

November is World vegan month

Does Nottingham cater for vegans?

A number of high profile celebrities like Beyonce, Lewis Hamilton, Ellie Golding and Liam Hemsworth to name but a few have all decided to follow a vegan diet.  And they are not the only ones, it is estimated that over ½ million UK adults are now vegan; that’s a 360% increase over the last decade.

Concern for animals, taking better care of the earth’s resources and the environment or the health advantages of a plant-based diet are just some of the reasons for becoming vegan.

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For some people it’s none of the above but they have allergies to dairy products or are lactose intolerant, hence the increased popularity and availability of non-dairy alternatives

But generally being a vegan is more of a lifestyle choice and a philosophy than a diet.

You can now buy ethical clothing, shoes, toiletries and makeup. But for ‘World vegan month’ I’d like to focus on the food aspect of being vegan.

Baresca

In Nottingham over the last couple of years I have seen more vegan options in shops, supermarkets and eateries, an increase in wheat/gluten/dairy free cakes and goodies and special vegan events to raise awareness.

vegan food Nottingham

Did you know there is a vegan market in Sneinton on the first Saturday of every month?

vegan market

 

I regularly write veggie food reviews for the Nottingham Post and the West Bridgford Wire, sometimes it’s a 100% vegan/vegetarian eatery like cafe Roya in Beeston or the Peacock Pub on Mansfield Road, Nottingham which has a 100% vegan kitchen.

front-menu-peacock

Or a regular restaurant that has a good selection of vegan options like Zizzi, Chocks Away (at Nottingham City Airport),  Baresca, The Angel microbrewery, Annies burger shack, Oscar and Rosies, Suda (Wollaton), Horse and Plough (Bingham), wagamama, Alchelmilla; the list just keeps on growing

fav vegan restaurant?

 

 

courtesy of TeenVGN (Twitter)

courtesy of TeenVGN (Twitter)

Not to be outdone the main supermarkets have also increased their range of vegan options.  You can now buy vegan ready meals, Christmas selection boxes, non-dairy milk, yoghurt, ice-cream and cheese, pesto etc.  And the cheaper supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl also have some great choices too

In Nottingham we are also lucky to have a number of Asian and world food supermarkets and shops that have a plethora of vegan goodies like tofu, spices, noodles, lentils, nuts, Asian greens, sauerkraut, fresh herbs and pulses

 

 

For some the transition to being vegan is a staged process; they cut down on red meat and processed meat, then only eat fish, consider following the ‘Meat Free Monday’ campaign,  progress to becoming vegetarian then decide to take the plunge and go for a 100% plant-based diet.

vegan classes

If you are considering eating a more plant based diet but are concerned about nutrition then why not come to my vegan cookery classes.  More information can be obtained by following this link http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/vegan-cookery-class-7nov/

cookery feedbackYou can make sweet potato falafels, tofu rice rolls, beetroot risotto, lasagne, tacos and much much more. Contact me for more details 07946 301338

For more advice about adopting a vegan diet visit the vegan society website

Beetroot risotto

Beetroot risotto with pearl barley and quinoa

Serves 2, 320 calories per serving

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_4244This risotto has been inspired by Jack Monroe’s risotto recipe in the Royal Marsden cancer cookbook

 

 

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And is the perfect recipe for my Vegan cookery class to make this week!

The use of beetroot not only adds colour and a wonderful earthy taste but bags of fibre, antioxidants, potassium and iron. The pearl barley makes a healthy nutritional change to arborio rice: Its high in fibre, calcium and protein, but low in fat and calories. By adding quinoa the protein content really increases, making this a very filling and nutritious vegetarian and vegan dish

 

IMG_4276250g fresh beetroot, peeled and diced (or use the pre-cooked vacuum packs)

500 ml vegetable stock – either leftover stock from cooking some veggies or hot water and 1 teaspoon veg bouillon powder

2 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

1 fat garlic clove – crushed

1 small leek (80g) finely sliced

large pinch dried chilli flakes

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Pearl barley

100g pearl barley or buckwheat (which you need to pre soak overnight) and 25g of quinoa

50ml red or white wine (or water)

100g frozen peas (or broad beans)

2 tbls chopped mint and parsley

salt and ground black pepper

 

IMG_4296flavoured drizzle oil (optional)

zest and juice of half a lemon (equivalent to 2 tsp)

1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

½ tsp horseradish

If you are not using the oil you can substitute the horseradish for the chilli flakes in the main risotto

 
horseradish

To make the drizzle vegan please use either fresh horseradish or a jar without cream

If you are using fresh beetroot put it in a pan and cover with some of the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until tender.

If you are using the vacuum packed variety, miss out this stage and simply open the packet*

 

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*A word of warning! which ever type of beetroot you use, be aware that it stains everything! So your chopping boards, spoons and hands will all be a lovely pink colour by the end of this. You can minimize the pink by wearing rubber gloves to handle the beetroot, cook with a metal spoon (never wooden for beetroot), or use a plastic chopping board

 

Meantime on a medium flame heat the oil in a large IMG_4281shallow pan and add the leeks and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the leeks are soft.   Add the pearl barley and coat with in the oil. Then tip in the wine and allow it to bubble away for a few minutes.

 

Blitz the beetroot in a blender (a nutribullet does a great IMG_4287job), add the stock and chilli (or horseradish) and add a ladleful at a time to the grains. Keep adding a ladleful as soon as it is absorbed. This should take about 30-40 minutes

 

After 15 minutes add the quinoa (this takes less time to cook) and mix in. once the pearl barley and quinoa are soft and fluffy stir in the peas and 1 tablespoon of the chopped herbs. Taste and season with salt and lots of pepper

 

Serve into 2 warmed bowls

 

Lemon horseradish oil

Mix all the ingredients together and drizzle over the risotto

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Finally scatter over the remaining tablespoon of chopped herbs

 

 

 

risotto

 

And here’s how the finish dish looks when its made by my vegan cookery guests

 

 

 

 

 

 

BCAMThis is a great recipe to support breast cancer awareness month.  So why not make a larger amount (its easy to double or triple the ingredients) and invite your friends over.  They can make a donation to your favourite cancer charity like Maggie’s (the cancer support centre inside the grounds of the Nottingham City hospital)

 

#MeatFreeMonday

#MeatFreeMonday

Launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, Meat Free Monday is a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of eating meat, and to encourage people to help slow climate change, preserve precious natural resources, consider animal welfare and improve their own health by having at least one meat free day each week.

imagesI regularly share meat free Monday recipes, in fact if you look to the right you will see a meat free Monday category

But being vegan, every day is meat free for me.

Here are just a few of my recent meals to show you how varied, colourful and easy it is to go meat free

Meat Free Monday

 

Many more restaurants and cafes now have meat free options.  I visited one a few days ago called Chocks Away, at Nottingham City airport in Tollerton.  The owner and chef Alison just happens to be vegan so the meat free options are expanding.

With a bit of imagination and some store cupboard staples it’s relatively easy to rustle up some delicious and quick meals

Quick recipe 

vegan rice salad

This was a very quick veggie rice salad, using a packet of microwaveable rice.  Just open the packet (no need to heat up)  tip into a large bowl, add a tin of drained mixed beans for protein (any tinned beans will do; chickpeas, cannellini, butter beans etc), bulk out with your favourite salad veg, I used cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, olives and celery. But you could add beetroot, avocado, peas and sweetcorn, radishes etc.  I finished with a simple dressing of 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or apple cider/balsamic vinegar) and a good handful of fresh chopped herbs like mint, parsley or coriander. It will make enough for 4 very hungry people, or 6 as side dish

Some of last weeks meals included

 

 

I hope some of my ideas have inspired you to try being meat free for one day at least

vegan classes septIf you need more convincing then why not come to my vegan cookery classes in West Bridgford

Banana and peanut butter Bread

Vegan Banana and peanut butter Bread –12 slices

This is a great way to use up ripe bananas that might otherwise end up in the bin or composter.  You can also defrost and use any ripe bananas that you have in the freezer.  An extra addition could be 1 tbsp cacao powder, but you will need to add 1 tbsp water to keep the same consistency

I baked this very cake for the visitors at Maggie’s cancer support centre, in Nottingham.  A very kind person sent me this message

“Just been to Maggie’s Susan and had some of your lovely banana cake. X”

 

vegan

225g Plain flour (or use Self-raising flour and no baking powder)

2 tsp of Baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water – mixed together

100g Brown/coconut sugar or 75g agave/maple syrup/golden syrup/date syrup

2 tsp Cinnamon or Mixed spice

1 tbsp cacao powder and 1 tbsp water (optional)

4 large very ripe bananas, mashed

75g (80ml) Vegetable or Sunflower oil

120g wholenut peanut butter

2lb loaf tin and grease proof paper or liners

  • Pre-heat oven to 200C/180Fan/400F/ gas 6
  • Mash the peeled bananas with a fork. Mix well with oil, peanut butter, vanilla extract and sugar (and 1 tbsp water if adding cacao powder)
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and cinnamon/mixed spice (and cacao powder if using) together then add to the banana mix and combine well.

This short video shows the cakes consistency and how easy it is to prepare the loaf tin when using a paper liner

  • Pour in to a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin and place in the oven for 20 minutes, before checking. Cover with foil, if the loaf cake is browning. Bake for another 40 minutes (approximately).

vegan cake

  • Allow to cool a little before slicing. It’s delicious freshly baked but even yummier when it goes squidgy the next day!

vegan cakeDo let me know how you get on, and if you make any alterations or additions to the recipe

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Vegan cookery classes

Vegan cookery classes – Simply veg!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

My next set of vegan cookery classes are starting this week!

 

vegan classes sept

The benefits of a plant based diet are regularly reported in the media.  But what does a plant based diet actually look like, and if you were thinking of adding more veg and less meat, fish, eggs and dairy to your diet what do you cook?

I may very well have the answer!  I deliver vegan cookery classes in West Bridgford, Nottingham that will introduce you to the wonders of tofu, the delights of vegan sushi and the occasional but oh so tasty dessert.  The classes take place every Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 11 – 12.15pm, Tuesday from 12.15 – 1.30pm and Tuesday evening from 5.30 – 6.45pm - although the times could be flexible.

 

So what’s in it for you if you sign up?

I will provide all the ingredients, equipment and recipes; you will prepare and cook your very own vegan meal, which you can take home for the family to eat and enjoy

 

vegan cookery testimonial J Pemberton

This is ideal for all you veggie virgins who want to eat less meat but don’t know where to start.  Its also great for would be students who are about to embark on independent living; after all we all know how cheap seasonal veg can be.

Maybe you have a vegan or vegetarian member of the family and you’re struggling to know what healthy and nutritious meals to cook them

Or you want to lose some weight, change your diet, feel fitter, then coming to my ‘simply veg’ class could be just what you’re looking for

The vegan kitchen 

As a lifelong vegetarian, recent convert to veganism and trained chef I will share my knowledge, tips and experience and help you to get that veggie vibe.  I have advised clients for a number of years about how to make small but permanent changes to their diet , so the meals are going to be balanced and nutritious.

5 star

Each class will have a maximum of 4 guests, and rest assured my kitchen is up to scratch having recently been award a 5 star hygiene rating.  I am also the proud owner of a H.O.T award (healthy options takeaway)

 

All this for £25 a session, or if you block book all six you only pay for five i.e. £125

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Susan Hart, nutrition coach

So what are you waiting for?

 

Contact details

07946 301338

susan@nutrition-coach.co.uk

 

Pulled jackfruit wrap

PULLED JACKFRUIT WRAP (Its best if you can make this the day before ) serves 3 – 4 people

There are a lot of ingredients here, but the taste and texture is so worth it!  You can make large batches of the pulled jackfruit.  When it’s cooled,  portion it up in to freezer bags and freeze for when you need to eat in a hurry.

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I found the tinned jackfruit and liquid smoke at V Spot, a completely vegan shop in Sherwood, Nottingham  http://www.v-spot.co.uk

 

2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil

1 small red onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

½ tsp ground cumin, coriander and smoked paprika

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1 pinch ground cloves or star anise, optional

½ – 1 tsp chilli paste/flakes or powder – I used Gochujang

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tin of jackfruit in water

1 ½ tbsp soy sauce or tamari

1 tbsp. maple syrup or 2 squares of dark chocolate

½ tsp black pepper

1 tsp liquid smoke**

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

4-5 wholemeal wraps

lots of crunchy salad

avocado salsa – optional 1 avocado, mashed, large pinch chili flakes or ½ fresh chilli, 1-2 tsp lime juice, 1 tomato chopped, 1 spring onion finely sliced, pick of rock/sea salt.

**If you don’t have liquid smoke, you could increase the amount of smoked paprika instead

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  • Heat the oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed, pan. Fry the diced red onion until soft and golden. Add chopped garlic and fry for a few minutes.
  • While that is cooking drain the jackfruit and set aside.

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  • Add the spices to the onions: cumin, smoked paprika, coriander, cinnamon and cloves. Fry for a minute or two, to release the flavours.
  • Mix in the tomato & chilli paste or fresh chilli and again fry for a minute, using a spoon/spatula to keep it from sticking.
  • Add in the jackfruit along with soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke and apple cider vinegar. Mix everything really well. Squash the jackfruit pieces with your spoon or fork so that the individual fibres separate. Season with pepper. Simmer the mixture gently for another 10-15 minutes and then allow it to cool down. Place in the fridge overnight to intensify the flavour. If that’s not possible a couple of hours will do
  • Just before you are ready to assemble the wraps, set the oven to 200° C/ Gas 6 Spread the jackfruit pieces on a baking paper-lined baking tray, pull apart any large pieces and bake for about 20 minutes, until they are browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and let it cool
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baked jackfruit

 

  • Make the salsa if you are having it – Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Check the seasoning. Done!

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  • Finally, fill your wrap with salad spread the pulled jackfruit on top and add a dollop of salsa (if using). Wrap up and enjoy.  2 wraps per person

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Meat Free Monday

Meat Free Monday

In some circles Monday has been deemed ‘Meat Free'; with bloggers and recipe writers like myself posting meat free or vegan dishes, and promoting the idea to be meat free at least one day a week (and hopefully more!).

Meat Free Monday

If you are looking for inspiration then check out my recipes on the right of this post

Or maybe you need more confidence to try Meat free; if that’s the case then why not come to my vegan cookery classes in West Bridgford, Nottingham?

They are for a maximum of four people and occur on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 11 – 12.15pm, Tuesday from 12.15 – 1.30pm and Tuesday evening from 5.30 – 6.45pm – although the times could be flexible.

vegan classes

It costs £25 a session (includes ingredients, equipment and recipes), or if you block book all six you only pay for five i.e. £125

If you are thinking about going meat free you may feel you need some nutritional support to make sure your meals contain all the elements for a healthy balanced diet.  I offer one to one tailored nutritional sessions that will help you to achieve that balance.  A 50 minute session costs £40 or 3 sessions for £100

testimonial anna

Contact me for more details or to book your place on my cookery classes 07946 301338

 

 

Thai vegetarian curry

Thai vegetarian curry – serves 6

I often get inspiration for my recipes from magazines, so a few weeks ago I was at the dentist and came across a back edition of Woman’s Weekly and in it was a Thai vegetarian curry, Perfect!  Unfortunately although it clearly stated it was vegetarian one of the ingredients was Thai fish sauce!!

My advice to you is please read the ingredients carefully for erroneous inclusions and Women’s Weekly please if you have clearly described something as vegetarian then make sure it is!

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So this is their recipe, however I have replaced the fish sauce with soy or tamari (gluten free), and adjusted other elements.  Another potential non veggie ingredient is the curry paste, as it often contains shrimp.  I have found the Aroy-D brand to be shrimp free

Thai vegetarian and vegan curry

2 tbls rapeseed oil

1 butternut squash peeled deseeded and cut in to chunks, (or the equivalent weight of sweet potato)

400ml reduced fat coconut milk

20136709_10154818955526903_104768442_n3 tbls red or green curry paste* see note above

1 tbls  each of soy sauce or tamarin and sugar or agave

juice of 4 limes ( or 8 tbls of bottled lime juice)

4 kaffir lime leaves or the zest of 2 limes

300g fine beans

400g baby corn

200g frozen peas

handful of chopped coriander

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the chunks of butternut squash for 5-10 minutes to get some colour.  Add the paste and fry for a minute before adding the coconut milk, soy sauce, lime juice and leaves/zest.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes

Add about 5tbls water, the beans, baby corn and peas.  Cook for a further 5 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.

Serve in warmed bowls with the coriander leaves scattered on top