One of the things that I was reluctant to give up when going plantbased was feta cheese. I used to have serious cravings for it. There are some vegan alternatives to be found, but I have to say that the best substitute is one that I’ve made myself. Enter – tofu feta!
It’s basically extra firm tofu that has been pressed and then marinated for a day to get that distinctive flavour. It’s not as creamy (and obviously not as fat) but the taste is definitely there. The recipe is inspired by @fridasvegobak
With this tofu feta, I’ve made a lovely colourful raw salad. Carrots, cucumber, red cabbage, fennel, basil and pomegranate, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.
1 block extra firm tofu, pressed 2 tbsp nutritional yeast 1 tsp salt 2 cloves of garlic, sliced 1/4 tsp black pepper 1 tbsp dried oregano 1 dl canola oil 1 dl cold water 1 lemon, zest and juice
Combine all the ingredients to the marinade. Cut the tofu in cubes, 1×1 cm. Put in a clear glass jar and pour the marinade over the tofu. Make sure all the tofu is covered. Close the lid tightly and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or even better overnight. Lasts about 5 days.
Going into the autumn season inevitably means colds and runny noses. That’s life with kids. I try to keep the germs at bay with lemon and ginger, and this time I tried it in the shape of a smoothie bowl. Love that tangy flavour and how it soothes a sore throat!
In the smoothie: frozen banana, frozen mango, fresh ginger, freshly squeezed lemon juice and a splash of oat milk. Toppings: lemon slices, frozen blackberries, roasted coconut flakes and puffed quinoa.
A flavourful green salad that stands for itself or as a side to oven roasted veggies.
Slice four leaves of kale and remove the hard stems. Massage the kale for a few minutes with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a large pinch of salt. Add steamed haricot verts, roasted hazelnuts and halved Cape gooseberries (also called physalis). For the dressing: Add 2 tbsp tahini with 0,5 tsp agave syrup, a pinch of salt and 1 tsp lemon juice to a mug. Stir with plant milk to a runny dressing.
Sometimes my projects in the kitchen grow out of proportion. This time literally. I tried a recipe for vegan cinnamon buns from @fridasvegobak, and decided to make half of the dough into a braid. The filling was totally improvised – vegan butter, shredded coconut, lemon juice and zest and a fair it of sugar, and when I made the braid it looked so promising. A little long maybe, but hey – more to go round! Then it started to rise. And rise and rise. By the time I put it in the oven it was almost falling over the edges of the oven tray.
Well, you can’t succeed every time. It got a little burnt and stuck to the walls of the oven. But there certainly wasn’t anything wrong with the taste. Next time I’ll use less dough and even more of this sweet filling!
Today marks the start of autumn, with the older kids going back to school. But I refuse to think that salads are only for summer evenings, so here’s a salad that smoothly eases you towards darker nights and lower temperatures.
In this salad is whole bulghur cooked in vegetable stock, green lentils, sliced baby tomatoes and roasted chickpeas. The kale is cut in pieces and massages for a few minutes with olive oil, salt and lemon juice. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and top with pickled red onion and roasted sunflower seeds. Drizzle with an easy vinaigrette with oil, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, agave syrup and lots of flat leaf parsley.
A quick pasta dish with Mediterranean flavours. Garlic and onions, sliced mushrooms and zucchini, white cabbage, baby spinach leaves and green olives. Then I added some ajvar relish, fresh rosemary, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Served it with pasta (shaped as wild animals – the kids’ choice and the only animals we eat!), topped it with more olives, flat-leaf parsley and a spoonful of ajvar. Easy peasy!
I got this idea in my mind to make a cake with tea flavour, and improvised with Earl Grey and lavender. It was a really interesting taste, not sweet but flowery and mature. It takes a bit of work, but it’s quite the show-off once it’s finished. I used a recipe from @aspoonfulofhealthde and made some adjustments. I love the rooibos Earl Grey from @ticktocktea.
Base In a food processor, blend 1 dl almond flour and 2 dl dates. When it gets sticky, add 1 dl of whole almonds and a pinch of salt. Blend again, but keep some crunch from the almonds. Press the dough into a round spring form or a deep, square tray (20×30 cm) lined with parchment paper. Place in the freezer while doing the filling.
Filling 3 dl natural cashews, soaked overnight in water 0,75 dl plant milk 1 bag of Earl Grey tea 10 fresh lavender flowers 0,5 tsp agar agar powder 3 tbsp coconut oil 2-3 tbsp agave syrup 1 tsp lemon juice handful of blueberries for colour . Infuse the plant milk with Earl Grey tea and lavender for at least 30 minutes. Blend cashews with coconut oil, agave syrup and lemon juice until smooth. Take out the teabag and the flowers from the plant milk. Carefully heat the milk while stirring in the agar agar powder. When it thickens, add it to the cashew cream and mix thoroughly. Add a couple of blueberries at a time until you have a nice purple tint. Spread the cream on top of the base and let it set in the fridge for at least an hour. Decorate with lavender flowers and cut in squares when serving.
I’ve been dreaming of creamy, delicious caesar dressing for a while. And there it was! I mixed to recipes from @nora_cooks_vegan and @thehiddenveggies. I don’t like the sharp taste of raw garlic, so I sautéed them gently before mixing. I served the dressing (yes – the dressing is the star here!) with Romaine lettuce, fried mushrooms, bread croutons and carrot “bacon”. (I’ll get back with a recipe for that. Fake bacon is great for us like pigs to be kept alive – check out the hashtag #gillagris – hijacked by vegans in an initiative from the great @javligtgott). . Dressing 2 dl soaked cashews 3 cloves of garlic, sauteed 1 tsp soy sauce 3 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp capers, drained 1 dl water 1/4 nori sheet . Mix all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until very smooth and creamy. Add generously to your Caesar salad. Store any leftovers in a jar in the fridge and use within 2-3 days.
You can’t go wrong with a breakfast smoothie bowl. This one is made with frozen banana, mango, lemon and oat milk. I poured 3/4 of in a bowl, then whizzed the remaining smoothie with some raspberries. I added it slowly and tried to make a little swirl. It was good enough to impress the kids, at least. I topped the bowl with fresh strawberries, hemp seeds and cacao nibs.
I’m always trying out new combos. Even though the pancakes were great last time, I need to change something. So this time I added zest and juice from half a lemon and one teaspoon of freshly ground cardamom seeds to the batter. I also had a deciliter of large white beans in the fridge, so a threw them in the mix as well for extra protein. None of the kids had any complaints, so they were well concealed. And they loved the cardamom! It was perfect as a light lunch, served with peaches, strawberries, a spoonful of coconut cream and sprinkled with cacao nibs and hemp seeds.