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Monthly Archives: January 2017
  • Posted on January 26, 2017

    Vegan Friendly, Dim Sum Dumplings for Chinese New Year

    Our last Veganuary inspiration recipe is also a nod to the Chinese New Year celebrations that will be going on this weekend. Dim Sum are tiny dishes, found in Chinese restaurants around the world. In this recipe the dumplings are filled with sun-kissed mediterranean ingredients, resulting in a delicious clash of cultures. The strong tang of sundried tomatoes and olives are cooled by the mellow tofu. Pan-frying to get a crispy bottom is a nice finishing touch.

    Vegan friendly Tofu, Sundried Tomato and Olive Dumplings

    MAKES 16

    To make the Wheat dough:

    150 g/1 cup + 2 tablespooons Asian white wheat flour

    80 ml/scant 1⁄3 cup water

    Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and combine with the water to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 20–25 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

    Separate and roll into two equal cylinders about 2.5 cm/ 1 inch in diameter. Cover with a damp kitchen cloth and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

    To prepare the skins, use a sharp knife to slice the dough cylinders into 16 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, flatten each piece with a rolling pin until it has a round shape and a diameter of around 7.5 cm/3 inches.

    To make the Dumplings:

    1 batch Wheat Dough,

    200 g/7 oz. firm tofu, drained and sliced into small cubes

    a pinch of salt

    1 leek, thinly sliced

    60 g/ ½ cup sundried tomatoes, finely chopped

    50 g/scant ½ cup black pitted olives, finely chopped

    2 button mushrooms, finely chopped

    2 Chinese chive stalks, white parts removed and finely chopped

    a handful of fresh Chinese parsley, finely chopped

    1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper

    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    2 tablespoons vegan stir-fry sauce

    2 tablespoons sesame oil

    Dipping sauce

    1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    a red shallot, finely chopped

    a handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

     

    Sprinkle a little salt over the tofu slices and set them aside for 30 minutes before squeezing out the excess water.

    Prepare the wheat dough (see above). While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.

    In a bowl combine the tofu with the chopped vegetables, parsley, seasonings, vegan stir-fry sauce and sesame oil. Mix well and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

    Roll out the skins, continuing to follow the recipe on page 8. Put a large teaspoon of filling into the centre of a skin. Dip your fingertips in a small dish of water and slightly moisten the edge of half the skin. Fold in half and pinch the edges together to form a simple cresent shape. Fold the two ends of the dumpling together and overlap to create a Chinese ingot shape. Seal with another dab of water if needed. Repeat until all the mixture and skins have been used.

    Gently lower the dumplings into a pan of boiling water and cover with a lid. As soon as the dumplings start to float they should be ready. Alternatively, you can lightly pan-fry the boiled dumplings to make the bottoms crispy and golden.

    To make the dipping sauce, mix the ingredients together in a small bowl.

    Serve the dumplings hot with the dipping sauce on the side.

     

    This recipe was taken from Modern Dim Sum by Loretta Liu, available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Recipes, Recipes, UK, What's new, What's new and was tagged with january, vegan, chinese new year, savoury, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, dim sum, tofu

  • Posted on January 25, 2017

    Win a gluten-free baking bundle!

    We’re completely thrilled to be publishing a beautiful gluten-free baking book by Victoria Hall at the end of this month and are celebrating the release with a bundle giveaway in partnership with Real Foods!

    Simply answer the baking question below for your chance to win This is Gluten-Free by Victoria Hall and a selection of Real Foods ingredients needed for making Victoria’s delicious gluten-free Florentines.

    Gluten free baking bundle giveaway prize

    Selling a huge selection of naturally healthy and ethically sourced ingredients, Real Foods are one of Victoria’s favourite websites for buying gluten-free flours and other baking ingredients, such as nuts, seeds, chocolate, dried fruit and more. This brilliant baking prize bundle includes Doves Farm all-purpose gluten-free flour, Equal Exchange dark chocolate and If You Care baking parchment; as well as light brown sugar, flaked almonds, chopped walnuts, mixed peel, glacé cherries and a re-usable cotton organic bag from Real Foods with beautiful artwork by Edinburgh Sketcher.

    The competition closes on Tuesday 31st January and there will be one lucky winner. Good luck!

    Florentines

    Florentines are not quite a traditional cookie, more a suspension of nuts and fruit in a crisp but ever-so-slightly chewy caramel. Swathe the underside of these discs in dark chocolate and you have yourself a very elegant addition to your cup of tea. As robust as they are pretty-looking (thanks to being set with both caramel and chocolate), once completely cooled, they can be easily packaged up in a cellophane bag, decorated with a ribbon and given as a gift. My mum, in particular, would thank you for them.

    From start to serve: 1 hour l Prep: 10 minutes l Bake: 6–8 minutes

    Florentines

    30 g/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    75 g/ ⅓ cup soft light brown sugar

    30 g/2½ tablespoons plain/all-purpose gluten-free flour

    50 g/3 tablespoons double/heavy cream

    75 g/¾ cup flaked/slivered almonds

    25 g/3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts

    50 g/3 tablespoons mixed peel, chopped

    75 g/¾cup glacé cherries, chopped

    200 g/6½ oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate

    2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment or silicone baking sheets

    MAKES 12

     

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    In a saucepan set over a low heat, melt together the butter, sugar and flour. Add the cream to the pan, a little at a time, stirring after each addition. The mixture should be smooth and caramel in colour when you remove it from the heat.

    Stir in the almonds, chopped nuts, mixed peel and cherries until evenly distributed and everything is coated in the caramel.

    Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes; this will allow it to cool slightly and prevent over-spreading in the oven.

    Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, spaced well apart – they will spread to about 10 cm/4 inches in diameter. Flatten each mound slightly, then bake in the preheated oven for 6–8 minutes until golden all over and the edges begin to darken.

    Remove from the oven. Using the tip of a spoon, gently push the lacy edges of the Florentines towards the centre to create a more circular shape. Be very careful not to touch them at this stage, as the sugar will be extremely hot.

    Allow to cool completely on the baking sheets.

    Once cool, melt the chocolate in a jug/pitcher in the microwave, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir to combine until molten and smooth and then coat the underside of each Florentine with a good layer of chocolate, setting upside down on a wire rack to cool.

    As the chocolate begins to set, use a fork to create the traditional wavy pattern on the underside of each Florentine and then allow to harden completely before serving. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

     

    This is Gluten Free by Victoria Hall

    This recipe is taken from This is Gluten-Free by Victoria Hall. Available now to pre-order.


    This post was posted in Competitions, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with baking, chocolate, 2017

  • Posted on January 19, 2017

    Vegan Paella

    Our next Veganuary inspiration is a one-pot, vegan take on a classic Spanish paella. Colourful, delicious and quick to make, it's bursting with fresh vegetables and enhanced with the subtle flavour of saffron, perfect for brightening up gloomy winter evenings.

    Vegan Paella

    a large pinch of saffron threads

    80 ml olive oil

    200 g red or yellow cherry tomatoes

    100 g green beans

    4 baby courgettes, halved

    80 g frozen peas, thawed

    2 garlic cloves, chopped

    2 fresh rosemary sprigs

    320g paella rice

    800 ml vegetable stock

    30g flaked almonds, lightly toasted

    serves 4

    Put the saffron in a bowl with 65 ml hot water and set aside to infuse. Heat half of the oil in a heavy-based frying pan set over high heat and add the tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes, shaking the pan so that the tomatoes soften and start to split. Remove the tomatoes from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the beans, courgettes and peas and stir-fry over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Set aside with the tomatoes.

    Add the remaining oil to the pan with the garlic and rosemary, and cook gently for 1 minute to flavour the oil. Add the stock and saffron water to the pan, then stir in the rice. Cook over high heat until bubbling fiercely, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 20 minutes until almost all the stock has been absorbed.

    Scatter the cooked tomatoes, beans, courgettes and peas over the rice, cover lightly with some foil and cook over low heat for 5 minutes so that the vegetables are just heated through. Sprinkle the almonds on top to serve.

    This recipe has been taken from easy one-pot, available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Recipes, Recipes, UK, What's new, What's new

  • Posted on January 12, 2017

    Vegan and Paleo friendly Vegetable Stir-Fry

    This fabulous vegetable stir-fry is a great, versatile dish, as you can easily mix and match your ingredients to suit everyone’s tastes. Packed full of colourful veg and served with a sweet and spicy sauce, this recipe is Vegan and Paleo friendly, but you could add king prawns or nuts for extra protein, or serve with noodles or rice on the side…it’s totally up to you!

    Vegetable Stir-Fry

    1 red and 1 green (bell) pepper, sliced into strips

    3 carrots, cut into ribbons

    150 g/5 oz. green beans, sliced

    100 g/5 oz. baby corn, roughly chopped (optional, omit if following strict Paleo diet)

    2 pak choi/bok choy, sliced lengthways

    coconut oil, for frying (optional)

    black sesame seeds, to garnish

    sesame oil, to drizzle

    stir-fry sauce

    ½ –1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger, to taste

    ½ –1 green chilli/chile, thinly sliced, to taste

    ½ red chilli/chile, thinly sliced

    1 garlic clove, finely chopped

    a small handful of jarred pea aubergines/eggplants, roughly chopped

    2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

    2 tablespoons liquid coconut aminos

    freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime

    SERVES 4

    First prepare the stir-fry sauce. Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside until ready to cook.

    The hard work in this dish is in the slicing of the vegetables. Prepare the ingredients as indicated, ensuring everything is sliced or chopped in a similar way to allow the ingredients to cook at the same time.

    Set a large wok or frying pan/skillet over high heat and add a little coconut oil or water. Add the vegetables and cook for 1–2 minutes until you have the desired crunch – I like my vegetables to be al dente but you can cook them for a little longer if you prefer.

    Tip half of the stir-fry sauce into the pan and toss to coat. Continue to cook for 1–2 minutes longer to release the flavours of the sauce into the dish, then remove the pan from the heat.

    Top the dish with black sesame seeds and drizzle with a little sesame oil. Serve immediately with the remaining stir-fry sauce on the side to pour over to taste.

    This recipe is from 'Perfectly Paleo' by Rosa Rigby, available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, Recipes, Recipes, UK, What's new, What's new and was tagged with january, vegan, savoury, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, paleo, healthy

  • Posted on January 10, 2017

    What is your perfect one-pot dinner?

    We love to choose recipes from our cookbooks to share with you but this time, we have decided to let you choose your own! Answer these quick questions to discover your perfect one-pot dish and reveal a deliciously simple recipe to cook at home...



    This post was posted in Featured, Recipes, UK and was tagged with savoury, recipe, quiz, 2017

  • Posted on January 5, 2017

    Chickpea and Vegetable Curry for Veganuary

    If you're trying out Veganuary this year (going Vegan for January!) and you need some inspiration then look no further! This curry is very simple to make and you can change any of the vegetables to suit availability. As with all curries this one can be made in advance and left overnight for the flavours to deepen and intensify. Perfect for warming up those cold January evenings.

    Chickpea and Vegetable Curry

    3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    2 red onions, chopped

    4cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

    1 tablespoon curry powder

    2 teaspoons ground coriander

    ½ teaspoon fenugreek

    ½ teaspoon crushed dried chillies

    410g canned chopped tomatoes

    800g potatoes, cut into 2.5cm pieces

    1 cauliflower, cut into florets

    800g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

    500g spinach, chopped

    250g okra, halved lengthways

    SERVES 12

    Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic, onion and ginger and cook over low heat for 10 minutes until softened. Add the curry powder, coriander, fenugreek and dried chillies, mix well and cook for a further 4 minutes.

    Add the tomatoes and 100ml of water, then add the potatoes cauliflower and chickpeas. Mix well and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Add the spinach and okra, mix well and simmer for a further 5 minutes. You  may need a little extra water at this final stage.

    This recipe is taken from Easy Vegetarian, available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, What's new and was tagged with january, vegan, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, healthy, curry

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