Peanut Butter Brownies (fool-proof)

1504460343597Last year I baked alongside GBBO each week and posted the recipe here, creating something for the majority of the time the show was airing. This year I’ve decided to completely ignore whatever everyone else is doing, and just give you some random baking that I personally like eating each week. Starting with these fool-proof brownies topped with peanut butter.

The basic recipe is the recipe my brother and I would make with my mum when we were small. Very little batter was actually baked. I think the recipe came from a Blue Peter episode years ago (and I mean years ago, because I was never a Blue Peter fan, so it must’ve come from when my mum was young). But how do you make a good thing better? You add nut butter, that’s how… Continue reading

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PB & J Veggie Burger

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As I said over on Instagram (if you haven’t visited my account, then check it out here), I keep seeing PB&J burgers at every restaurant I pass  which exclusively serves burgers. Unfortunately, they are never a vegetarian burger for some reason.

I think the reason this combo is rarely a restaurant option is because most burger joins have burgers made from actual veg, instead of ones using mycoprotein or TVP. Sometimes you want something that’s more of a blank canvas though, and I think an actual veg burger would make this combination a little too stodgy.  So instead of waiting for my perfect burger, I decided to assemble one for myself (if only you could do that with other things). It happened to go really well… Continue reading

Easy Avocado Pasta Sauce (Avocado, chilli, basil & balsamic vinegar)

IMG_20170821_123410_482I’m having a bit of a love affair with pasta at the moment. I don’t know where it has come from, all I know is that if it contains pasta, I shall eat it. You know what goes really well with pasta? Fresh herbs. And chilli. And balsamic vinegar. And, surprisingly, avocado.

I usually opt for a spicy tomato, pesto, or even butter-based sauce, and am generally not a fan of creamy concoctions coating my fusilli. Avocado is just the right kind of creamy though. Its also a great substitute if you’re a vegan who misses creamy sauces, but obviously isn’t going to be pouring carbonara sauce over your pasta any time soon.

You can always add extra vegetables or some quorn, chicken, meat substitute, or fish into this pasta dish- but try it as it is at least once, because sometimes keeping it simple is best… Continue reading

Raspberry & Vanilla “Cheesecakes” (Vegan-Friendly & Easy!)

1498728094582For so long I have wanted to have a go at making a vegan cheesecake. The only thing that has prompted me to do so is moving home to Bradford, where these kind of desserts are pretty much unheard of. Which means I have to try and perfect making my own.

What has always put me off it the super-long list of ingredients for these cheesecakes. Admittedly, this list is longer than my usual recipes, but you actually only need 10 ingredients in total. All of them can be bought in a supermarket, or if you have a small “Express Supermarket” between that and Holland & Barratt’s (I got my cashews from the H&B’s fruit and nut ‘Pick N Mix’ section as it worked out slightly cheaper). These cheesecakes also don’t take that long to make, and are not difficult in the slightest. The longest thing you have to do is wait for your nuts to soak, and then chill everything.

Ingredients (makes 10 cheesecake cups)

For the base

  • 8 dates, soaked for 10 minutes in freshly boiled water
  • 1 cup oats
  • Pinch of salt
  • OPTIONAL: pinch of cinnamon

Continue reading

Egg, Asparagus, Broccoli & Pepper Couscous (fast, easy, and healthy!)

IMG_20170516_212211_450The past few weeks have been a bit busy for me, what with my final essays for third year being handed in tomorrow, and completing my poetry portfolio to hand in a couple of weeks ago- something I’ve spent nearly a year working on and had to be pried away from me. I know that this time of year us students tend to just pick up food as we go, and though I am always ready to indulge my love of food, it can become a little bit expensive. It can become a LOT expensive. And since I’ve been spending a lot of time in a local cake shop recently, and I would rather spend my money on cake (its really good cake), this was becoming a bit of a problem. This is the kind of lunch that provides a solution: its fast, its pretty no-brain-power-required, it tastes great, and it will make you feel good. You can also then spend more money on cake.

Swap in whatever veggies you want/have. Here I’ve used broccoli (I always have that in), pepper (I was finishing up a three pack), and asparagus (on offer in the market, and coincidentally one of my favourite vegetables, so I was using up a massive bunch of the stuff). The idea is to keep this cheap, so don’t go buy mega-expensive ingredients. Couscous is something I feel like every student should have in, as are eggs. Both are things you can make multiple meals out of, and so are invaluable.

Continue reading

Raspberry-Apple Cashew Butter Pancakes

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Lately I have been fancying pancakes. When I was little we made pancakes pretty much every weekend- Scotch drop scones are actually what we made. My mum was often the one who made them with us, and as that’s the pancake recipe she prefers, my brother and I grew up feeling these were proper pancakes. They’re small, fluffy, and much more “stackable” than crepes. These remind me a lot of those pancake-driven mornings.

This was the first time ever that I’ve ever used the flour in a recipe, and I actually quite like it (I’ve used the Seven Hills one here). There’s a subtle coconut-y taste and texture. Not as fluffy as regular pancakes, but really delicious. If you want mega-fluffy pancakes then I’d say use self-raising flour and omit 2-3tbsp of the milk (coconut flour has a higher fibre content, which mean you need more milk to form a batter).

This is a really satisfying breakfast, and the apple adds the height that guarantees a decent stack. The cashew butter is amazing when it melts into them. My top tip is this: stack them, adding cashew butter, then microwave for up to 1 minute. If you’re anything like me, then you’re quite slow at making pancakes and the first has gone stone-cold by the time the last is ready, so the microwave is your best friend. I also highly recommend adding a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt, or even a scoop of ice-cream if you’re pushing the boat out. Continue reading

Mustard- Balsamic Bean & Veggie Couscous (cheap & quick)

wp-1487931517876.jpgThis has been one of my favourite lunches for a while now. Last year my flatmate would make massive couscous, pesto, and veggie salads, and then divide them up, store them in tubs in the fridge- and have lunch ready for a couple of days. With practically no effort. You can see where the inspiration for this meal comes from.

Since I’ve been at uni I’ve gotten into the habit of always having a big bag of couscous in my cupboard- just the plain kind, so that I can add my own flavours. Currently, wholegrain mustard and balsamic vinegar is my go-to combination to flavour my couscous salads. The veg I add changes depending on how well-stocked my shelf in the fridge is, and whether I want to add in Quorn, tuna, tofu, mackerel, or kidney beans for my protein source. That’s the basic formula you want here: couscous + protein source + seasonings + vegetables. And you’re good to go. The great thing about this dish is that you can change up what you put in it according to what’s in the fridge- though the combination I’m showing you today is vegan and veggie suitable.

The ingredients I’ve given below then are just an example; use what you like and let me know what you add down in the comments. You can also easily double this, and then keep a second portion in the fridge for up to two days.

Ingredients

  • 50g dry couscous, left to soak for 5 minutes in 70ml freshly boiled water
  • 1/2-1 can kidney beans (depending how hungry you are), drained, and well rinsed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 handful close cup mushrooms, sliced and then microwaved for 1 minute (or have them raw- they’re equally delicious)
  • Cherry tomatoes, however many you want really, each chopped in half
  • 1/2 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large handful spinach (again, you can wilt this or leave it raw- completely up to you, and how much time you have)
  • Balsamic vinegar, to taste (I use 1-2tbsp)
  • Wholegrain mustard, to taste (I use 2-3tsp)

 

Method

Whilst the couscous is soaking, simply place all of your veggies and beans into a large mixing bowl. Once the couscous has absorbed all of the water then throw that in too, followed by balsamic vinegar and mustard, to taste. Stir everything up together, and then dig in straight away, or transfer into a tub, allow to cool, and store in the fridge.