Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Festive Cauliflower Patties (Vegisterkaker)

Hello!

I hope your week is going well so far!

When I was a child back home in Norway, I was never really into the Olympics... Then, I sat down the other night when I couldn't sleep and watched some... and guys - the Olympics fanatic in me has awoken! I have been watching quiiiite a lot of it, and the snowboarding especially has been fantastic!

Anyways, I thought I would give you a vegan twist to a Norwegian favourite - particularly over christmas, but I never had them for christmas as usually each part of Norway has a different christmas dinner tradition. So when I had these, I thought: I could genuinely have these a lot more often!

And the recipe is easy! You just need a little bit of patience. Instead of fancy rice flour, we are using cooked rice as an actual binder! I made them bigger than the original, but the recipe should make about 30-35 mini patties, I think I got about 12.

Just remember that they should be eaten within 2-3 days, and re-heat properly since there is rice in these patties. I had them mainly on their own with some sweet chilli sauce or ketchup, you can make a fancy sandwich for lunch, OR have as a side to a main meal, or as a starter.

Festive Cauliflower Patties (Vegisterkaker)
(Makes 30 small ones, or about 12 big ones)


Ingredients
200ml white rice + 400ml water + 1 tsp salt
1 large cauliflower, cut into small florets
200ml fast-cook oats
1-2 vegan vegetable stock cubes (or 1-2 topped tsp stock powder)
1 tsp ground ginger
About 1 tsp ground nutmeg
Pepper and salt to taste
Oil for frying

- Start by cooking the rice with the salt and water, until soft, which should take about 20 minutes.

- Boil the cauliflower for a few minutes and the drain off the water.

- Have the cooked rice, cauliflower, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl, and use a stick blender to whizz to a rough paste.

- Shape into small patties, and fry in oil on medium heat until golden on both sides.



Et voila! Simple as that *smiles*

Original recipe can be found here.

Have you been watching the Olympics or tried these patties before?

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day! I'm heading to the docs afterwards (fun, fun, fun!), but then I have badminton, and the last two episodes of Fargo Season 3 ahead of me... And probably some more Olympics, ha!

Take it easy!

xox J

Sunday, 11 February 2018

My Trip To Prague

Behold! This might be a little bit of a long post, but bear with me!

I decided not to cut it up into three parts, so that those of you who enjoying reading travel pieces can get the whole shebang here, OR if not - scroll quickly past it! Either way, there will be food blogs in the coming.... I have just been away for a few days :)

My wanting to visit Prague, was mostly after having discovered the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, the main character having a flat in Prague (we actually walked past the place several times on our way to Elsewhere!), also the little side novel called Night of Cake and Puppets all take place mostly within the Old Town - my favourite scenes being by the Devil's Stream!


Day 1
So on day one, we were just trying to navigate our way through the city.... Kev has been here once before, but it was a few years ago, so we needed a little bit of time to put the place into context!

In the DoSaB series, there are several seraphim (angel warriors) as well as chimaera - you can only imagine my delight when one of the first things I saw was two angels guarding a bridge....! Then we walked up to the giant metronome on top of a hill to get a good view!

Theeeeen, we found the Charles Bridge along with locks of lovers attached to various pieces on and around the bridge!

A Chimaera!

I was determined to only eat vegan - as at home I find it quite easy, so on the first day I was quiiiiiite hungry... But we found a little cafe, and later on a schweeet restaurant!

We found the Cat Cafe Prague in the early evening, and got our cat cuddles on (already missing Alphonse like crazy!)

Lo and behold! It turned out there was a really lovely vegetarian/vegan place right on the street where Kev had stayed on his previous trip here, only a few minutes walk from the cat cafe, yarr! I had the Pannang Curry - which was delightful ^ ^

Day 2
On the second day, we had learnt from our mistake the following day about finding food... And you know what? It turns out that a few minutes down from Hotel Astoria (where we stayed), there was a FOOD quarter! And it had a place called My Raw Cafe - amongst other eateries!
Kev got the savoury stuffed pancakes, and I got kelp carbonara! We both decided mine was a little bit tastier, and kelp was a really interesting and tasty texture!


Later in the day on the Charles Bridge, three statues were talking amongst themselves: "You've got to read this here book! T's called the Daughter of Smoke and Bone!"

Fancy fluffy pigeons on the bridge....

And we found this lovely magical place hidden out of sight on the other side of the bridge, right next to the main road that was packed of tourists! Dvur Umeni - an art cafe, where the woman who runs is was welcoming us warmly... brewing me a special mixture of a herby tea leaves "Oh, I just put a little bit of this and a little bit of that in..." and it was delicious! They also had light snacks and some pastries as well... AND she had built a small beach - Kiwi Beach, to be exact, and we got to choose if we wanted to have our tea and hot chocolate there, but afraid to somehow ruin it - we sat by a table, later on she insisted we sit in the beach and she snapped a photo of us! It was 25C degrees in there, and close to -5C outside!

If you ever find yourself in Prague, I'd check this place out - it is magic!

Sea shell sand and banana trees! It was ashame we had to leave, but the rest of Prague was awaiting!
Outside the air smelled of sugar and cinnamon, wafting down the hill and across the river - because on almost every corner they sold Trdelník.

Every night when we got back to the hotel, my hair and clothes smelled like smoke! Not in an unpleasant way.... just unusual - part of the Prague magic I guess!

Day 3
I had stocked up on bread rolls just in case... because... vegan! But on our last full day here, we had some left and they were so dryyyy! So I decided we could feed the pigeons on the Charles Bridge. But first a little pitstop to My Raw Cafe to eat cake!

Banana and chocolate cheesecake - yum!

Me feeding pigeons, and a man playing the didgeridoo! When I flung 50cr into his bag, he started singing, and later on when we passed, he played the recorder with his nose (for real!).

The Devil's Stream <3

I don't know the story behind this... Perhaps John L himself stopped by for a pint?

Nearby, this busker man was playing Beatles covers!

Since this was the last evening, we decided to splurge, and upon suggestion we booked a table at Kampa Park. It was stunning! And we were practically sitting on the river - the Charles Bridge right in the background and boats ticking by every so often....

Every day we wandered around, we found new nooks and crannies with hidden treasures! And I definitely want to come back some day... Perhaps when the weather is a little warmer, but regardless - I know a place with a beach, and there is always hot wine being served, so we're good *smiles*


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

The BEST Vegan Brownies

.....yup - or the best ever brownies I have ever made anyway! And to quote Kev "Why did you do this to me, woman?!" when he tried a slice and reached for another one as soon as the first one had disappeared, hehe!

Cut them into small pieces as these are moreish - but rich! Also... a good excuse to have two slices ^ ^ The original recipe can be found here

In the meantime, give this a go - you wont regret it!

The BEST Vegan Brownies (Makes 1 square pan)


Ingredients
1 + 1 cups of flour (I used 1 cup plain and 1 cup self-raising)
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar (I substituted this for coconut sugar)
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup neutral oil (I used sunflower)
1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips (I used Moo-Free)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

- In a medium sized pan, have a cup of water and 1 cup of the flour on low heat. Stir constantly until you have a gluey sort of paste, take it off the heat and let it cool. This only took me about 3-5 minutes.

- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

- Now, in a bowl, mix all your dry ingredients apart from the flour and chocolate chips, and stir well to combine. Make a well in the middle and tip in your water-flour mixture, oil, and vanilla extract. THEN add the second cup of flour Stir until you have a really thick dough like consistency - this takes a bit of muscle, but it's worth it!

- Now, fold in the chocolate chips (and nuts, if using), make sure they are evenly distributed - then, line a square baking pan, and tip in the dough. Pat down firmly with your hands (I found this the easiest!) and place in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Leave to cool slightly, before cutting into ooey-gooey pieces of chocolate goodness!

So today, Kev and I are travelling to Prague! I have been wanting to go ever since I read the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series - which takes place in Prague, amongst other magical places!
So yesterday, when I was doing up the bed in the guest bedroom (my sister is a champion and is going to look after Alphonse and house sit ^ ^ ), new sheets and everything - this little rascal quickly claimed it as his own.

Just look at that smug lil' face!

Anyway, I hope you are having a lovely week so far! I'll be taking some photos whilst we're away that I miiiiight just share with you once we return!

Until then - eat cake, and be merry!

xox J

Monday, 29 January 2018

Olive & VioLife Samboussa

Hi!

I hope you are having a lovely start to your week! I seem to always update my blog after badminton... But today I was also at a job assessment! Fingers crossed I get a wee phone call at the end of the week.

Some time ago, when my friend came back from Australia, she told me about this lovely little Moroccan place, called the Moroccan Soup Bar, that she had been to - and she had brought me a copy back.... ALL the way from the other side of the world! It was even signed and everything *smiles*

The recipes are earthy and humble, but packs a punch in flavour! My boyfriend Kev doesn't even like olives, but I caught him sneaking a second one when they were fresh from the oven - I take that as a good sign!

Originally these were made with feta as well, but I just changed that to plain, vegan meltable cheese; it's delicious!

Instead of cutting out rounds and making smaller samboussas, I used a ready rolled short crust pastry (check ingredients to ensure it's vegan as some use butter instead) - and I cut it into six rectangles and folded over and sealed with fork prints around the edges.

Olive & VioLife Samboussa
(Makes 6)


Ingredients
1 pack of ready rolled short-crust pastry

Filling:
15 pitted black olives, finely chopped
100-200g (vegan) cheese, chopped into small dice
1/2 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Few sprigs of thyme, or 2/3 tsp dried thyme
A few mint leaves finely chopped or 1/2 tsp dried mint
2 tsp sumac (I LOOOOOOOVE this spice!)
2 tsp pomegranate syrup (I used agave)
2 tsp olive oil

(Instead of the chilli and oil - I used 1 tbsp red pepper paste as that is what I had on hand)

Dipping sauce:
1 tsp pomegranate or agave syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 chilli finely chopped and deseeded or a good pinch chilli flakes
A good pinch of thyme
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

- Take out the short crust pastry from the fridge to soften (about 20 minutes)

- In the mean time, mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl - and set aside.

- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

- Now mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl - set aside.

- Roll out the pastry on a baking paper-clad tray, cut into six rectangles, and put 1 tbsp of the filling in the corner of each piece. Fold over and press down the edges, before sealing with fork prints all the way around it.

- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce whilst they are still fresh out of the oven. And enjoy!


Have you been up to much? I hope you have a great evening!

xox J

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Vegan Choco-Banana Iced Latte

Good evening and happy Saturday!

Today has been busy busy and I have made some vegan sushi, as well as a vegan spread - both recipes from a Norwegian (or Norvegan should I say :P) vegan website, where you see the pictures and you just want to make everything all at once!

However, I decided to share a quick and delicious pick-me-up coffee recipe, I came up with this myself when I wanted to experiment. Do you remember those foamy chocolate covered banana sweets you get? I lived right next to a chocolate factory as a child, and the days they were making these chocolate bananas the air just smelt..... amazing!! Anywhoooo - now that I am trying to go vegan (and even as a vegetarian) I haven't come across any vegan chocobananas, sigh... BUT somehow adding a banana to my iced latte magically, despite not adding chocolate, tastes JUST like those sweets! When I discovered this I was in awe, and slightly proud one of my experiments actually turned out decent! I have many strange failures in the kitchen behind me, and probably more to come.

Without any further ado.... here you are!

Vegan Choco-Banana Iced Latte


(PS, I have gone over to using re-usable straws now!)

Ingredients
1 espresso shot (usually I use about 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee + 3 tbsp boiling water)
3-4 ice cubes
1 banana, torn into pieces
250ml vanilla soy milk

- Make the espresso first, transfer to a mixer and then tip in the ice cubes to allow it to cool whilst you get the milk. Add the banana and then fill up with milk - Wroom, wroom - and there you have it! It's really that simple!

Please try it and let me know what you think! I still ponder how the chocolate flavour gets in there... It will forever remain a mystery, ha!

The other day, my sister and I checked out a charity shop at random - and they had a painting that we had a copy of in the dining room as children! My mum actually still has it. I nearly ended up buying it, but at the moment I'm still waiting to start my job - so I saved the £15 and just use it as a background on my mobile phone instead....

Turkish Cafe - August Macke, I just love these vibrant colours - makes me feel like I am on holiday!

And here are the things I made today!


Roast Aubergine and plum sushi, and I added some cucumber to some of them as well - SO tasty!


And this is "mockerel" in tomato sauce! I'm trying to find other things rather than hummous to have on my toast in the morning, over the past three years there has been a lot of hummous... and I just want to mix it up!

I also tried tempeh that I got from the health shop today - but that really wasn't to my taste.... But that's OK, I still have a full tray of sushi that needs polished off! Yarr!

Have you had any culinary adventures this week?

I hope you have a fandabbydosey weekend!

xox J

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Turkish Kisir

I thought I would share a little colourful number, courtesy of Yotam Ottolenghi! My cousin gave me this book one christmas, and every. single. recipe. I have tried have been amazing!

Ready? Let's do this!

Turkish Kisir (Serves 4 as a starter, or serve as part of a mezze)


Ingredients

2 onions, finely chopped
100ml olive oil
2 tbsp tomato purée
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
125ml water
400g bulghur wheat, dry
1 1/2 tsp pomegranate syrup (or use agave)
1 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp chopped parsley
3 Spring onions, finely chopped (+ extra to serve)
2 green chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
Seeds from 1 medium pomegranate
A handful of chopped mint leaves
Salt and black pepper


- In a medium size casserole, heat up the oil and add the onions. Sauté on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Then add your tomato purée, and stir for about 2 minutes. Now, you can tip in your tomatoes, and cook for a further 4 minutes. Add the water and leave to boil - then turn off the heat and stir in the bulghur.

- Now, add your syrup, lemon juice, parsley, Spring onion, chilli, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper.

- Plate up, and scatter the pomegranate seeds across, along with a drizzle of oil and some extra mint and Spring onions.

I hope you love this as much as I did! It's fantastic to bring to work for lunch as well, and it is packed full of flavour! I even had this for breakfast to be honest ^ ^

This week has been pretty slow, but good... I have played badminton twice, hung out with Kev and lil fluffy Alphonse, as well as having my sister over - staying up all night chatting and watching rubbish TV. Today she and I even braved the weather and went for a long walk - it was refreshing!

And guys - the weekend is just around the corner!

Have you got plans? I only know Kev and I are going to this nifty little place to eat, and then? Improvise!

I hope you have a good one!

xox J


Monday, 15 January 2018

5 Ingredient Vegan Fluffy Pancakes

Good evening!

I'm just back from badminton this fine evening - and I had a blast! And because I will be slightly hyped up for the next hour or two, I thought I'd pop by here and share a little sweet treat with you!

My sister was over earlier, and so I thought I'd rattle up something a little extra - and it was a success!

It's probably the easiest pancakes I have ever made to be fair....

5 Ingredient Vegan Fluffy Pancakes (Makes about 8 medium or 4 large ones)


Ingredients

1 cup plain or self-raising flour (use wholemeal if you prefer)
1 cup yogurt (I used plain Alpro Soy)
1 cup plant milk of choice (Soy Vanilla is what I used)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp coconut oil for frying

To serve: Anything you want! We had layers of redcurrant jelly (a childhood favourite as my grandmother used to make home made redcurrant jelly and diluted juice when we were children!) along with a dollop of the yogurt, and frozen berries. But really just serve them with lemon juice and sugar, any jam, or syrup!

- Start by mixing the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add in the milk and yogurt and stir well to combine. Let it sit for ten minutes, before heating coconut oil in a non stick frying pan. Dollop half-ladlefuls of the mixture and allow to cook a few minutes on each side until golden. They will start bubbling on the surface when they are ready to turn. Repeat (without adding more coconut oil) until the batter is used up.

Serve with your favourite toppings, and tuck in!

This was originally a Pinterest recipe but it is very easy to adapt and I just wanted to share with you what I made of it *smiles*

I hope you have had an amazing day despite it apparently being Blue Monday!

xox J