Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: recipe

Lemon Drizzle Cake Veganised

I really only have one cake recipe that I love and that I have made over the years. It uses fresh lemon and is the perfect combo of tart and sweet. Big Friendly nags for it and it is the one thing I miss as a vegan. The non vegan recipe relies heavily on butter and eggs, so I always imagined it would be a challenge to veganise, but it is very easy, and doesn’t need anything fancier than egg replacer.

Here is the vegan recipe, which is pretty easy to follow. The only thing that is vital is that you allow it the full baking time. Don’t test it with a prick because it will look done and might not be cooked all the way through.

Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients

1 cup coconut oil

2 cups white sugar

2 cups flour

egg replacer to replace 4 whole eggs

vanilla extract or even just essence

100 ml lemon juice

2 tsp baking powder

salt

icing sugar and more lemon juice

What to do

Pre heat your over to 180. Grease and line a round or loaf baking tin. In your mixer, beat up the coconut oil and sugar until the granules have disappeared. Then add the vanilla essence and the egg replacer mixture. In another bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder and slowly add to the wet mix along with the lemon juice. It ends up being quite a stiff mix. Scoop it into the tin and bake for 50 minutes. Don’t be tempted to take it out of the oven when it looks magnificent. Let it bake. When you do take it out, let it cool as you mix the icing sugar with lemon juice to a runny consistency. I like mine very tart. Then literally drizzle it over the cake and allow it to fall over the edges. Yum.

 

Vegan Lasagna Supreme

I spent the day cooking – a rare occurrence, but very successful. I made vegan kneidlach (matzo balls) in non-chicken soup, and then I made my first ever and definitely the best vegan lasagna. I scoured vegan lasagna recipes online and loved parts of them, but not the whole ones, and so I took the bits I liked from the recipes, adapted them, and combined them, and it was a total success.

I am going to try and write up the whole thing, and all the parts.

The parts

Italian tomato sauce, made from scratch, mushroom and spinach filling, cashew ‘cheese’, bechamel, lasagna sheets

  1. Tomato sauce

Ingredients – half onion chopped, clove of garlic, 1 fresh chilli, olive oil, dried thyme, sweet basil, oregano, 1 tin tomato puree, a small tub of tomato paste, water, a handful of fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, salt, black pepper

Fry the onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil, adding the dried herbs and chilli. Then add the tomato paste and stir before adding the tin of tomato puree (you can use a tin of whole tomatoes too), balsamic vinegar, half a tin of water, salt, pepper to taste. Cook on a medium heat until the sauce thickens slightly and bubbles. Then add chopped fresh basil and mix in.

2.  Mushroom and spinach filling

Ingredients – half a punnet of button mushrooms, a bunch (or packet) of spinach – washed, de-stemmed and shredded, half an onion, Italian dried herbs, clove of garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Fry the onion, garlic and herbs. Add the finely chopped mushrooms, and when golden, add the spinach, salt, pepper and lemon juice.

3. Cashew cheese

Ingredients  – 1 cup pre-soaked cashews, clove of garlic mashed, 3 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, 6 tbsp water and 3 tbsp nutritional yeast.

Blitz everything in a food processor until smooth.

4. Bechamel

Ingredients – 1.5 cups soya milk, 2 tbsp flour, 3 tbsp olive oil, salt pepper

Heat the olive oil and add the flour, whisking fast until smooth. Add the milk slowly, whisking all the time, over a medium heat. Stir until sauce thickens, adding salt and pepper to taste. When sauce is thick take it off the heat.

Build the lasagna by putting dry lasagna sheets down first, then layering mushroom and spinach, tomato sauce, bechamel and blobs of cashew cheese. Do this three times in this order, ending up with a béchamel and cheese top.

Bang into a preheated (180°) oven. I used a casserole dish with a lid, and I baked it for 40 minutes.

I have made myself a bit sick. I have eaten half that dish. So good. So amazingly good.

 

 

The Best Vegan Cottage Cheese

I can’t help myself. I am so busy getting ready to go and visit my bestie in NYC, but I had to stop and write this post because every vegan and wanna be vegan I know will delight in this unbelievably easy vegan cottage cheese recipe.

Aside from the soaking of the cashews, it also took about 4 minutes to make, including picking the basil leaves.

I will share exactly what I did, making it up depending on what I had.

Ingredients

1/2 cup soaked cashews (mine soaked for so long they may have fermented slightly;good for cheese)

1 handful fresh sweet basil

1 stem flat leaf parsley

1 clove garlic

salt

1 heaped tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

dash of olive oil

Method

Blitz all ingredients, except for oil, in mini food processor. I like mine a little grainy, so I didn’t blitz until it was a paste. Add oil and blitz again. Put in container and refrigerate, if you can stop yourself from eating it all.

 

 

 

Vegan French Toast

  • a recipe without pictures because I ate too fast

I love vegan french toast much more than I ever loved egg french toast because I never liked the egginess of french toast. With vegan french toast you can get it 100% right and it is delicious.

Ingredients

2 slices of thick white bread

2 tbs chickpea flour

1/2 cup non dairy milk (I used soy milk because it’s what I had)

Turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt (as much or as little as you like)

mild oil for cooking

maple syrup

sliced banana

Whisk the flour, milk, spices in a shallow bowl. Soak bread in mix while oil is heating in the pan. Fry until golden. Cover with maple syrup and banana. Try to savour each bite. Mine was gone in a second.

Opening A Can of Beans – Considering Veganism

img_5647-2I have wanted to become a vegan for many years but haven’t been able to bring myself to the point of actually doing it. It has mostly been about laziness; I kept on imagining that it would take considerable effort, and time and work. I have been a pescetarian/vegetarian for most of my adult life, and then, when I went on the Dukan diet I had to eat protein, so I ate fish, eggs and cheese a lot. In the back (and slowly moving to the middle) of my mind was the knowledge that vegan was really what I wanted to be.

I decided that becoming a vegan was going to be a new year’s resolution, and so I have been gradually preparing for it. I have been buying some stuff to have in the cupboard, I have made the switch to milk alternative in my coffee (delicious) and I have been reading ingredients labels with dedication (and fury; who knew that had egg in it?). I have also been listening, deeply, to Big friendly’s concerns. Becoming a vegan when you are married to a food fussy omnivore is problematic and challenging.

I have a few concerns about my lazy nature, my propensity for weight gain, and my tendency to overindulge. I could become a bread ball in a matter of weeks. But I am going to try and be as conscious and committed as I can. It most definitely looks like Cape Town is perfect vegan country, with restaurants, shops and even delis dedicated to providing for the fast growing vegan community, so there won’t be any stress there.

Where there is stress is on Twitter. Wow. In preparation for my transition I have read a lot on the internet; checked out recipes, blogs, science, pseudoscience, and deeply personal tips from vegans worldwide. I also decided to follow some vegan related people/things on Twitter. Bad idea. I got a DM from someone demanding I stop the killing NOW! I replied that that was why I was starting my journey, and promptly unfollowed them. Somebody else screamed at somebody else that dairy-free was NOT vegan and they need a disclaimer in their one line bio. And then there were the links that led to nothing but clickbait and ads. So, being a #twittervegan is not going to work for me.

I am going to have to tread carefully. A friend told me about how his sister who is a vegan gets abused and challenged by flesh eaters every day. Why? Shouldn’t it be the other way around actually? But, that is not who or what I want to become. I have already done that with smoking. Over half a lifetime of smoking and then 14 years of having quit made me into one of those rabid anti-smokers for a while, and it was hard work. Nah, I am too, too lazy for that.

But. I am going to need help. And suggestions. And great ideas. And encouragement. So if you have any or all of those, I am open, like a vegan recipe book.

 

 

Cauliflower, potato and fish soup

Big Friendly has been nagging me to write down my soup recipes when I make them up, because many a brilliant inspiration is never repeated or remembered, but I never do. Today’s creation though deserves a write up, and I guess, since this is my blog, I can do it right here. So here goes. It was delicious, hearty and so moreish.

Ingredients

1 bunch leeks
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic
tablespoon unsalted butter
olive oil
4 to 5 smallish, yellowish potatoes
1 cauliflower
1 smoked kipper
1 sachet Ina Paarman’s veg stock
water
chilli flakes, salt, pepper, smoked paprika
cream
creamy blue cheese

Clean and slice the leeks, chop the shallots and garlic. Peel and dice the potatoes and chop up the cauliflower. Heat butter and a splash of olive oil in a pot and throw in the leeks, shallots and garlic. Add salt, pepper, smoked paprika and chilli flakes. Cook for a few minutes before throwing in the potatoes. Give it a few good stirs and then cover potatoes with water. Add the sachet of stock, bring to the boil and cook for a bit before adding the cauliflower. Then let it cook away for about twenty minutes. When the potatoes are very soft liquidise until the soup is quite smooth. Put the pot back onto the heat and cut the kipper into small chunks and toss them into the soup. Let it cook on a low heat for another ten minutes. Season again if you need to, pour in cream, and crumble some creamy blue cheese in. Stir, serve, eat. Yum.

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