Romanesco, Chickpea & Cashew Curry

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Serves 4

Ingredients

1 romanesco cauliflower cut in to florets

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tin of chickpeas

1 tin of coconut milk

1 cup of cashew nuts

2 tbsps of cooking oil

1 tbsp of dried curry leaves

1 tsp of chilli flakes

1 tbsp of cumin seeds

1 tbsp of coriander seeds

1/2 tsp of ground black pepper

1 tsp of turmeric powder

Water

Salt

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Method

In a blender, blend the coconut milk, curry leaves and 3/4 of the cashew nuts.

In a pan, gently fry the onion in oil for around 2 minutes until it starts to become transparent.

Add the garlic, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, pepper, turmeric and chilli.

Add a little water and fry the spices with the onions making sure that they don’t dry and burn.

Add the blended coconut milk, curry leaves and cashews as well as the romanesco florets, chickpeas, the remaining cashew nuts, pepper and a little salt to taste.

Bring to the boil and then turn heat down and simmer with the lid on the pan for 40 minutes.

Serve with Rice (I served with sultana basmati)

Say Cheese

When I first made the vegan transition, the thing I thought I’d struggle the most with was cheese.

These days though, there are so many vegan cheese brands on the market, you’re really spoiled for choice.

Of course some are better than others and they’re not always cheap but then saying that, neither is normal cheese.

With cheeses made from coconut milk, cashew, macadamia and all other kinds of dairy free alternatives, there’s so much variety out there, from supermarket own brands to more artisan brands, going vegan doesn’t mean you have to go without!

In no particular order, theses are my top 5 vegan cheese brands.

Violife

A little plasticy in texture although I’m a fan of that, if you liked the texture of cheese strings then you’ll love this. The only problem for me is I can quite easily made my way through the block just by cutting slices off and nibbling . .  .

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Also with a Greek style cheese, perfect for crumbling over salads, a grateable Italian style hard cheese and mozzarella as just some of their range, Violife is one of my favourite brands.

 

Tyne Chease

A little more expensive, this artisan brand have 100% gotten it right!

Lots of variety and creamy textures, Tyne Chease is perfect for an after dinner party cheese board.

 

Personally, I love the pink peppercorn and mustard cheeses but you can get everything from Ethiopian spiced for an exotic flavour to macadamia truffle and sundried tomato cheeses.

www.tynechese.com

Bute Island

Long established brand Bute Island not only produce their famed range Sheese but have also teamed up with some of the UK’s leading supermarkets to make their own brands too.

 

The slightly crumbly texture of real cheese is there although the flavours tend not to be as strong. I find these work better when melted or in a sauce rather than on their own.

 

 

Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda’s ranges in conjunction with Bute Island all differ slightly in flavour with jalapeno chilli, smoked, blue and Wensleydale style cheeses as some of their offerings.

You can certainly make up a cheese board with them.

My absolute favourite of the supermarket own dairy free cheeses though is by far Tesco’s soft cheese with peppercorns. Pass me the table water biscuits right now!

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VBites 

Founded by Heather Mills, I’m a big fan of a slice of the pepperjack thrown in a bun with a meat free burger and the mozzarella is lovely sliced in a salad. 

 

The edam doesn’t quite have the texture of the real Dutch cheese but is flavoursome and at least you don’t have to peel off the wax!

Follow Your Heart

Maybe a little harder to find in a normal supermarket, this brand is up and coming and if like me, you love already sliced cheeses for sandwiches or to go in a bun with meat free burgers then there are lots of flavours to chose from and this brand get it right.

 

 

Spicy Coconut Cream & Sweetcorn Soup

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 large can of sweetcorn

200ml tin of organic coconut milk

1 red onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 red chilli, chopped

1 large potato, peeled and cubed 

1 tsp of tumeric

1 tsp of lemongrass paste

1 tsp of ginger paste

Juice of 1 lemon.

Salt

Pepper

Water

Method

Fry the onion and garlic in a little water for around 5 minutes or until the onion starts to become transparent.

Add the coconut milk and stir in the ginger. lemongrass, lemon juice, chilli and tumeric.

Add the potato and sweetcorn and salt and pepper to taste and boil.

Turn heat down and simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes or until the potato is soft.

Leave to cool before blending.

Reheat to Serve