Meatball & Sauerkraut Goulash

Going back to work has been a bit of a shock to the system and I’ve found myself really struggling to prepare decent meals. I was excited to be heading back to Logan’s for a few days this week, mostly to see Logan but also because I knew my beloved Pressure Cooker was there and I could whip up something warm, comforting and packed full of veg.

I came across a recipe for a pressure cooked Hungarian Goulash and decided to do something a little similar with some ingredients we already had in the cupboards. It did not disappoint and really hit the spot.

Meatball & Sauerkraut Goulash

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of frozen meatballs (I used an entire bag of the vegan meatballs found at Farm Foods, there were around 20 balls in total)
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 large jar of sauerkraut (approximately 350g)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (shop bought, homemade or sub for oatcream)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil

Method:

  • First off, heat the oil up in the pressure cooker and saute the onions, garlic and carrots for 3-5 minutes until soft.
  • Add the smoked paprika and black pepper and fry off for another minute or so
  • Add the vegetable broth, tinned tomatoes and the meatballs. Stir through until mixed and then cook under pressure for 10 minutes
  • Quick release, add the maple syrup, sauerkraut, sour cream and salt, stir through and cook without the lid until everything has warmed through

Serves 6 very big portions

I served mine with coconut rice, which is super easy to make in the pressure cooker. Just add 2 cups white rice to 1 tin of coconut milk, 1 cup of water and 1 tsp salt. Cook under pressure for 3 minutes. Slow release and leave to heat through for a further 10 minutes. Stir before serving.

This was really hearty delicious food and I was so happy that the pressure cooker allowed me to have such a quick meal with so much flavour in it. I really loved the sauerkraut in this and the meatballs absorbed all the flavour from the smokey sauce. I loved having this with the coconut rice so much, I love coconut rice!

Of course you could make this on the hob or in the slow cooker, you’ll just need to adjust the times. I would probably simmer the sauce for a good 40-60 minutes on the hob before adding the kraut and sour cream and such.

I was stuffed and satisfied after hoovering this up but I did manage to make room for a little dessert. I’d bought some of the Frozen Chocolate Filled Churros from Aldi which are suitable for vegans, served them up with some ice cream and Mini Donuts that lovely Vegan Bear made and passed on to me.

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It was a good food day and I curled up in bed a very happy man. Perfect food now that the evenings are darker and the weather is colder.

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Vegan Mofo 2017 #31: Chocolate Black Bean Brownies with Pumpkin Pie Swirl

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A Vegan Experience of Surgery & Recovery: I had chest reconstruction surgery on August 22nd 2017. For Vegan Mofo 2017, I will be writing about my experience preparing for surgery and my ongoing recovery.

I can’t believe it, we’re on the final day of Vegan Mofo 2017! I don’t really care about Halloween but it’s a good excuse to use pumpkin even more than usual, so I made a sweet treat to finish off Mofo.

I came back from work on Sunday super tired but determined to prep loads of food. I didn’t manage to do much, but I did manage to cook a ridiculous amount of black beans in my slow cooker. I’m not sure what I was thinking I would make with them all, I have LOADS in the fridge ready to use.

I’ve always been scared of black bean brownies but thought this was the perfect time to give them a go because why would I want to use all those beans for savoury dishes when I can add chocolate and sugar to them?

I also had a pumpkin in the kitchen that was just begging to be used for this…so here we go Chocolate Black Bean Brownies with Pumpkin Pie Swirl

Chocolate Black Bean Brownies with Pumpkin Pie Swirl

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Ingredients for the Brownies:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup non dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence (if using an extract over flavouring, reduce by 1/2)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • handful of chocolate chips

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Swirl:

  • 1/2 small pumpkin, seeds removed, roasted
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbsp sweetener (I used rice syrup)
  • 1/2 tbsp arrowroot/cornstarch

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 180C and line a tin with baking parchment
  2. Put all of the ingredients for the brownies except the chocolate chips into a food processor and blend until smooth
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth off the top
  4. Add all the ingredients for the pumpkin mix to the food processor and blend until smooth. Taste to check it’s sweet/spiced enough for your liking
  5. Spoon the pumpkin mix on top of the brownies and then use a toothpick or knife to swirl into the brownie batter. Scatter the chocolate chips on top
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until you can place a toothpick in the centre and it comes out clean

These were so simple to make, I couldn’t believe it! I also couldn’t believe how rich, chocolatey and delicious they were. They are so fudgey and moist, I love them! I think I might be converted to these gluten free bean brownie things. That’s something I never thought I’d say

But anyway, there you go. Short and sweet today. Thank you all for this amazing month of blogging, I’ve loved it! I’ll probably take a short break but I have a huge list of places to review, especially in Edinburgh, so may do a special Vegan Edinburgh week to power through them all.

Watch this space!

Vegan Mofo 2017 #24: Loaded Potatoes

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A Vegan Experience of Surgery & Recovery: I had chest reconstruction surgery on August 22nd 2017. For Vegan Mofo 2017, I will be writing about my experience preparing for surgery and my ongoing recovery.

I’m due to head back home to Manchester tomorrow in preparation for my first week back at work. I’m really sad to be leaving Edinburgh, I love it here and of course being with my partner has been wonderful. I do have a cat I’ve been apart from for 2 months who I am desperate to see and I think it’s about time for me to get some routine back in my life.

While I’ve been staying here I’ve managed to fill Logan’s fridge and cupboards with far too much food, so I’ve been on a mission to get through as many leftovers as possible before returning home.

I had some BBQ jackfruit that needed using up, some leftover potatoes, a carrot and a pepper that was starting to get soft. This all looked perfect for nachos but I figured why not use the bag of new potatoes instead of tortilla chips? And that’s how these Loaded Potatoes were born.

Loaded Potatoes

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small bag of new potatoes, parboiled and halved
  • 1 pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 a large tin of sweetcorn
  • 1 pack of Upton’s BBQ Jackfruit (of course if you have leftovers or jackfruit and BBQ sauce then sub for this)
  • 2 handfuls of greens, torn

For the Nacho Sauce:

  • 1 large potato, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 4 jalapenos slices
  • 3-4 tbsp pickle brine (or lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup non dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp tapioca starch

Extra Toppings:

  • salsa
  • sour cream

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 200 C and grease a large baking dish.
  2. Scatter the halved potatoes on the dish and spray with oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for around 30 minutes
  3. Boil the carrot and potato for the nacho sauce for around 15 minutes, until soft.
  4. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the onion until soft. Add the pepper, jackfruit & sweetcorn. Add a little water and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Then add the greens and leave to sit with a lid on top to keep warm and cook the greens.
  5. Once the carrot and potato is cooked, drain and place back into the pot. Blend with the rest of the sauce ingredients until smooth. Return to the heat and cook through stirring until it thickens
  6. Remove the potatoes from the oven and plate! Top the potatoes with the BBQ jackfruit mixture, lots of nacho cheese and then extra salsa and sour cream

This was so good, all of these toppings worked so well together and it was a really comforting and filling meal.

Definitely not something to make during the beginning of recovery, there are quite a few elements to it with all the parboiling and making the nacho sauce. I pottered about all day making these bits individually rather than in one go. I now have plenty of leftover nacho sauce though so I’ll be freezing that and making this again when I’m next visiting.

This would also work well with black beans and sweetcorn instead of jackfruit and of course if you can’t be bothered to parboil potatoes then just slice and roast a little longer in the oven.

Vegan Mofo 2017 #21: Savoury Filled Croissants

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A Vegan Experience of Surgery & Recovery: I had chest reconstruction surgery on August 22nd 2017. For Vegan Mofo 2017, I will be writing about my experience preparing for surgery and my ongoing recovery.

Right back at the beginning of Mofo, I mentioned that I did some pretty filthy things with some of the Jus Roll products we have here in the UK. Jus Rol is a pastry brand that does vegan friendly puff and short crust pastries, but most important of all are their Croissant, Cinnamon Roll and Pain Au Chocolat doughs. These tins of delight are crammed full of sweet, buttery, vegan goodness that just needs rolling up and put in the oven for fresh pastries.

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I love these things. They’re really tasty and super convenient. Also, they’re usually on sale, 2  for £3, which is a bargain. I have eaten a LOT of these over the course of my recovery because they take minimal effort to put together and the taste is just so rewarding.

I came up with the idea to stuff my croissant dough with tasty treats. Well duh, I hear you say. Who hasn’t stuffed chocolate bars, chocolate spread and marshmallows into these?

But what about savoury?

I’ve had an amazing toasted croissant sandwich at Chaos Theorie in Berlin, so I was super excited to try filling this dough with a variety of savoury fillings. My boyfriend put together the first lot for me. He did a really good job, giving me three different filled croissants; Salsa & Smoked Cheese, Vegan Haggis and Pesto & Smoked Cheese

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Oh my. These were SO good. They don’t look particularly pretty but they taste frigging amazing. The salsa one was my favourite but vegan haggis was also a genius idea. The sweetness from the pastry actually worked really well with the fillings and I was left wanting more.

Since then we have tried numerous different fillings that were all a huge success. Vegan meatballs with pesto was SO GOOD and Mac n Cheese was of course, wonderful. If you can get hold of this dough…try it! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

In fact, between writing this draft post last night and publishing it this morning, I’ve just made Satay Coconut Jackfruit & Pesto Italian Sausage croissants to take along to roller derby. They smell SO good.

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What would you fill yours with? Have you tried this before, if so, what did you think?

Vegan Mofo 2017 #19: Quick & Easy Pain Au Chocolat Loaf

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A Vegan Experience of Surgery & Recovery: I had chest reconstruction surgery on August 22nd 2017. For Vegan Mofo 2017, I will be writing about my experience preparing for surgery and my ongoing recovery.

Is anyone else obsessed with watching short vegan food videos on Facebook? I spent so much time teasing myself watching these when I was laid up in bed, not able to move much. They were great for entertaining me post surgery because they’re short, have nice punchy music and gave me a bit of an appetite.

One of my favourite pages for these videos are Bosh, they do a lot fun recipes and they’ve given me a few ideas in the kitchen. A particular video that caught my eye was this one, for Pain Au Chococake

Looks good amirite?! What a frigging good idea to put Jus Rol Pain Au Chocolat in cake batter!

Of course when I was well enough to whip this up, I gave it a go. Now, I changed the batter recipe a bit because the amount of cocoa called for is A LOT and I don’t quite trust Bosh when it comes to cake because they insist on mixing cake batter in a food processor. NO. DO. NOT. DO. THIS. Number 1 rule of vegan baking, don’t overmix!

Anyway, rant over, here’s my version

Pain Au Chocolat Loaf

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of Jus Rol Pain Au Chocolat
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (I used 1/3 and it was too rich for me, I recommend 1/4)
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup non dairy milk

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 180 C and line a loaf tin with parchment
  2. Pour the milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla into a jug and set aside
  3. Roll up the Pain Au Chocolat and line up in a row down the middle of the loaf tin
  4. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, bicarb and salt until mixed
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and  stir until just mixed
  6. Carefully pour the batter down each side of the pastries, tap on the counter to even out the mixture and then pop into the oven.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes

And that’s it! This was a really simple recipe to get together and it was absolutely delicious! I loved it! And because it has pastries in, it’s basically a breakfast food too! Yay, cake for breakfast!

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I urge everyone to go out and try this, I had it all together and in the oven within 10 minutes

 

Vegan Mofo 2017 #4: Cooking Ahead Recipe Share

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A Vegan Experience of Surgery & Recovery: I had chest reconstruction surgery on August 22nd 2017. For Vegan Mofo 2017, I will be writing about my experience preparing for surgery and my ongoing recovery.

Just a quick one from me today because I’m wiped. Although I said that I didn’t get very far in preparing meals for the freezer, there were a few batches of things I cooked up as well as some ideas that would have worked great if I had the time.

I thought I’d share some recipe suggestions and links with you

 

Isa’s Chickpea Cutlets

I’m sure most of you cookbook fanatics have heard of this recipe, taken from the cookbook Veganomicon and also available on Isa’s website, these cutlets are delicious and relatively straightforward to make. I double batched this double batch recipe and filled my freezer with these. Delicious in sandwiches or wraps, or alongside potatoes, veggies and tons of gravy.

If you haven’t tried these, go for it!

The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester

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This cookbook is pretty great for a variety of recipes but my particular favourites are the slow cooked Seitan meats and the Cheater Chili. I have a 10L slow cooker so I made a few batches of the Chicken Seitan and froze it in strips, breasts and nuggets. I didn’t get round to the Chili sadly, but it’s a really simple recipe that just involves opening tins of beans, tomatoes and adding spices.

Speaking of slow cookers, if you usually cook dried beans from scratch or are wanting to save on some cash, it’s super easy to cook dried beans this way. You don’t even need to soak beforehand, just cover with enough water and cook on high for 4-6 hours

Mac n Cheese

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New Farm Mac topped with “Pulled Pork” and BBQ Sauce

Now, I don’t know about you but I always need access to Mac n Cheese. It’s a dish that never fails to make me feel good. My favourite recipe isn’t exactly healthy, in fact it’s downright obscene….but it’s really delicious and a really quick sauce to whip together. It’s from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook and luckily for you all, a quick Google will bring you the recipe.

It’s essentially oil, flour, nooch and spices and you won’t be able to move after eating. but it will definitely make you feel good. I made up a big batch of this sauce to freeze and also made sure a copy was written out and stuck to my boyfriends kitchen cupboard for emergencies. He’s been amazing and has made it for me so many times. True love.

Vegan Richa’s Turmeric, Spinach Lentil Dal

You probably all have a favourite dal recipe, this is one that I really enjoy. Sometimes I mix up the spices a bit and add some coconut milk. Sadly I never got round to filling my freezer with delicious dal, but it was my original plan.

Whether you need to bulk cook or not, definitely give this recipe a whirl!

Waffles

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Chocolate Hazelnut Cookie Waffles

Waffles are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks…so why not fill your freezer with some for when the waffle craving hits? I found this pretty easy to do as I love making waffles and as I usually end up eating them alone, I had plenty leftover. I have a variety of waffles stashed away in my freezer, sweet and savoury.

I made and blogged about these amazing Chocolate Hazelnut Cookie Waffles for my boyfriend post surgery. But, as it’s Mofo and waffles were my theme a few years ago, I thought I’d share links to a few of my favourite Mofo Waffle Creations

White Chocolate Raspberry Waffles

Lemon, Blueberry Cheesecake Waffles

Potato & Sausage Waffles with Sauerkraut

Corn Buttermilk Waffles

So there you go folks! That’s the end of my recipe share. Have any of you got suggestions for quick and easy meals to fill your freezer with?

 

Coping With Life…and Waffles!

I can’t believe that I’ve not posted since February, the last 5 months have gone by super fast and the only excuse I have is that I’ve been busy and overwhelmed with life stuff.

Since my last post I’ve had so many things going on. Transition wise I’ve had a lot of appointments with my NHS Gender Clinic and a private appointment with GenderCare to get a referral for top surgery. This led to a consultation with my surgeon of choice, an amazing response to my GoFundMe page that helped me get enough money together to pay for my surgery and now I’m only 23 days away from having the first operation of my life and officially starting to freak out that it’s actually frigging happening.

I ended a 5 year relationship in January, which I never told you all about at the time because it was too soon and too hard to open up about but things are looking up. I’m still living with my ex but it’s going a lot smoother now and I’m in a new relationship that is the best ever and making me feel all kinds of love and happy.

On top of that I’ve been going to therapy to work through various things. It’s been helpful but also difficult, so a lot of time has been spent under my duvet to process it all. Overall I’m in a better place but I’m still cautious of slipping back to where I was before Christmas. I’m trying to practice this self care stuff, which definitely doesn’t involve yoga, exercise, ‘clean eating’ or just smiling more, but lots of sleep, cuddles and a hell of a lot of mac n cheese.

I’ve been wanting to post an update over the last month or so but I always feel I have to accompany these sorts of posts with a recipe and whilst I’ve been eating A LOT of food out and about, I haven’t been too exciting with my own cooking at home. But, I finally made something pretty spectacular yesterday that I wanted to share with you.

My boyfriend has just had surgery and is recovering at my place, so while he’s all weak and vulnerable, I’ve been feeding him ALL the tasty foods. Yesterday I decided to make him some surprise breakfast waffles, just some simple chocolate waffles I thought…until I came across some bourbon biscuits, Biscoff Spread, White Chocolate and Soya Cream…which led to the most spectacular breakfast I’ve ever made

Chocolate, Hazelnut Cookie Waffles

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Ingredients:

For the waffles:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 bourbon biscuits, crushed
  • 1 1/4 cups non dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp hazelnut butter

For the Sauce:

  • 1 bar of iChoc White Chocolate
  • 3 tsp Biscoff Spread
  • 2 tsp coconut oil

Extra Toppings:

  • Whipped non dairy cream
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • Extra Bourbons
  • Lots of Biscoff Spread
  1. First off, mix together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and salt
  2. Then whisk together the milk, oil and hazelnut butter
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined. Fold in the crushed bourbon biscuits
  4. Heat and oil up the waffle iron and cook 1/3 of a cup of batter each time.
  5. While the waffles are cooking, melt the chocolate, coconut oil and biscoff together.
  6. Assemble by layering waffles with plenty of Biscoff Spread inbetween, lashings of sauce, top with whipped cream, chocolate syrup and an extra bourbon.

I think these are the best waffles I’ve ever made, and that’s saying a lot considering I did a whole month of waffles a few Mofo’s ago. The look on Logan’s face when I brought these through to him was amazing.

We both felt pretty sick after breakfast and then slept most of the day, only waking up to eat huge amounts of vegan pizza from a new takeout that has opened down the road (I’m blogging about that soon, I promise!)

But yeah, that’s pretty much all that’s been going on over the last 5 months or so. I’ll have plenty of time to myself after surgery so hope to post more around then and I have lots of new places to review too, so I will be back in the very near future!

Until then folks!