While the weather in Bangkok continues to be in the 30s, it feels like everywhere else in the world is starting to get their 'hygge' on and the blogosphere is turning to warming soups, stews and of course pumpkin season is upon us. This soup, while not made of pumpkin is still delicious, creamy and warming. Better yet, it's pretty cheap to make requiring only canned tomatoes, not fresh. This soup would make a great first course for a dinner party or even for thanksgiving or another festive occasion. It freezes well too! There's a video below so make sure you check that out.
Serves 4 as starter
⅓ cup cashew nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 stalk celery finely chopped
2 tbsp flour
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh basil chiffonade for garnish
Grilled cheese (will make 2 sandwiches)
4 slices of bread
vegan cheese shreds
1 tbsp of vegan butter for frying divided
In a large saucepan add the olive oil and head to medium high. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook for 7 minutes stirring frequently until the onions are translucent.
Add the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds. Add the flour and stir frequently for 2 minutes until the flour has a nutty colour. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, cashews and stock, bring to the boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
While the soup of cooking, assemble the sandwich. Heat a large frying pan and add half of the vegan butter. When melted, carefully place the sandwiches into the pan. Turn the heat down to medium low. Cook for 5 minutes until the base of the sandwich is golden brown. Spread the rest of the butter on top of the sandwiches and flip them. Cook slowly until the cheese is melted and the other side is also golden.
Back to the soup. Remove the bayleaf and blend soup until completely smooth. For an extra smooth consistency, sieve the soup. Place in a bowl and garnish with chiffonade basil and serve with a grilled vegan cheese sandwich.
On the way back from our long Summer trip, we had 36 hours in Tokyo. I'd never been to Japan and had heard great things, not only about the city, but also the vegan food.
Despite my partner not being big in to Japanese food (he lived there for 2 years) we managed to get a few good meals in.
Tokyo has 73 vegan restaurants listed on Happy Cow so we barely scratched the surface.
Here's a little video showing some of what we did and what we ate in Tokyo!
I was thrilled to be asked by Mychael from One Minute Vegan to create a video that explains in one minute why I am vegan. It's hard to condense a huge concept as veganism in to just one minute. This was my attempt! What SHOULD I have said! Leave a message in the comments below.
I love my Instant Pot. I have to say that it is now perhaps my second favourite appliance, next to the Vitamix of course. I love the fact that it does so many things. It's a slow cooker, yogurt maker, a pressure cooker and just a regular saucepan. I use the IP more often than the stove these days and the reason I do, may or may not be because I can see the TV when cooking. 😇
This recipe is a total winner. I found a non-vegan recipe for split pea and ham soup and basically just veganised it by substituting the ham and ham bone for liquid smoke and really making sure there is a lot of flavour with spices and stock. I have made it 4 times in one week and Seb loves it. There are some recipe notes at the bottom, so make sure you check them out to save even more time. No Instant Pot? No worries. Regular stove top instructions available.
1 large onion chopped
3 large carrots diced
3 stalks of celery chopped
2 cups of split peas
4 cloves garlic
6 cups of water or vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
1 tsp liquid smoke
Add the carrot, celery and onion, stock, split peas, garlic and bay leaves to the Instant Pot. Using the manual setting, set at high pressure for 5 minutes. It doesn't matter if you use a quick release or natural release. Take out any bay leaves. Stir in the nutritional yeast and the liquid smoke. Serve as is or add some sour cream and herbs on top.
I am super pumped to share with you another interview with one of my dearest friends here in Bangkok.
So, this week's video is interviewing Nina, a two year vegan who is joyfully navigating a vegan lifestyle as a mum of two, a full time elementary teacher which would keep her busy enough, however, because Nina loves a challenge she also works out nearly everyday, runs half marathons and is also studying as well.
I was lucky enough to witness her vegan 'transformation' and she is just testament to how change is possible if you are willing to be changed and find out more.
Some themes we will touch on in this interview are: change, negotiation, relationships, education, self-awareness, family, community, friends and communication.
I hope you will enjoy this video and please give Nina lots of love and support in the comments!
One of the reasons I have not made lots of quiches ever, is that they are a bit of a hassle. Usually involves a frypan and a oven pan and if you do the pastry part there will likely be flour everywhere. This recipe was inspired by Chloe Coscorelli's Frittarta but I think I made it a bit easier and (importantly) bigger so you can have it for lunches throughout the week. I sprinkled some kala namek salt just before serving. If you don't know what it is, it's a salt that has a very sulfurous eggy flavour. I add it just before serving because the flavour seems to dissipate if you heat it. If you give it a try, let me know if it resembles chicken egg quiche!
1 russet potato cubed
1 onion, chopped finely
1 zucchini cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
500 grams soft silken tofu
¼ cup vegan butter
5 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp teaspoon turmeric
1 tsp teaspoon onion powder
1 tsp teaspoon garlic powder
1 tomato sliced
Fresh basil leaves (optional)
Kala Namek (Black Himalayan Sea Salt)
Preheat oven to 200 Degrees. Add the potato, onion and zucchini to 20 cm x 20 cm pan with the oil and stir to cover. Place in the oven and cooked for 20 minutes stirring once. While the vegetables are cooking, in to a blender add the tofu, butter, nutritional yeast, baking powder, salt, pepper, turmeric, onion powder and garlic powder and blend it up.
When the veggies are cooked, bring them out and using a spatular, make sure all the vegetables are free and not stuck to the bottom of the pan. Pour the quiche in to the pan and gently mix the vegetables and quiche mixture together and smooth it out.
Arrange the tomato slices on top of the quiche and place in to oven for 20 minutes.
To check that the quiche is cooked, press gently the middle of the quiche. If it bounces back, it's ready.
Leave the quiche to set for about 20 minutes as it will make it easier to slice.
Garnish with basil leaves and some of the sulfurous salt before serving.
I have just come back from a beautiful trip to Germany hiking in the Westweg trail in the Black Forest. Over 6 days we hiked 130 km through rolling forest hills, sometimes with incredible views, sometimes in pine forest. I'll release a video of some footage of the trail, but on the way I met Seb in Strasbourg. France in the Springtime is pretty amazing and wouldn't you know there are some pretty delicious all vegan restaurants in Strasbourg. I hope you enjoy the video.
This no-oil curry is filled with ingredients that are filled with nutrition. There's are some nutritional superstars in this stew. Kale, a green leafy vegetable packed with fibre, protein and folate, you've got red lentils, also high in protein, fibre and are quick cooking and you've got turmeric, a spice which will not only stain your white shirt yellow, but evidence is also mounting about how effective it is at preventing and treating cancer and reversing inflammation in the body. This dish needs very little preparation, it cooks in one pot and has a lot of inactive time.
2 onions chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
3 cm fresh ginger minced
4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 vegetable stock cube
1 litre water (4 cups)
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cup red lentils
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp tumeric
2 tsp sugar (optional)
6 cups shredded kale
1 cup coriander plus a little extra for garnish
In a large pan, add the onions, garlic, ginger, butternut squash, stock cube, water and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat and bring down to a simmer. Add lentils, curry powder, tumeric and sugar and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Make sure it doesn't catch. Add a little more water if it is looking dry. After the lentils are cooked through, everything should be very soft. Add the kale and coriander and stir until wilted. Serve 4 as a main dish.
When I was a kid, one of my favorite ice-creams was a Cornetto, mint-choc chip flavour to be 100% exact, indeed, it was actually my favourite ice-cream flavour with or without cone. Now, even though you can now get vegan Cornettos in many parts of the world (seriously, just google that), you can make a homemade version of it in 5 minutes, that's MUCH healthier.
3 ripe bananas
1/2 tsp mint extract (or a couple of drops of food grade mint essential oil)
2 tbsp nondairy milk
1 cup fresh baby spinach
2 ripe bananas
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp nondairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
To make the mint ice-cream place all the ingredients in to a high speed blender or food processor. If you are using a food processor, you might been to break the bananas in to pieces. If using a blender, you will probably need to use the tamper.
To the same thing with the chocolate ice-cream ingredients.
Place in to serving bowls. I layered the ice cream a little bit and sprinkled the toppings over the ice-cream.
You can either eat it straightaway or place it in the freezer. Take out your ice-cream out of the freezer 10 minutes before you would like to serve it.
Serves 2-3 depending on how big you want your dessert to be.
Obviously this recipe is very versatile. Swap up the toppings, swirl through chocolate chips to make it a mint choc-chip ice-cream or add some spiralina instead of the spinach.
.IHerb is a company that has been so helpful for me as a vegan who does not leave in a vegan mecca like New York or Berlin. They ship all over the world with a very good value shipping rate, they have 35,000 products in their line, their website is incredibly user friendly and the amount of information for each product is huge. The prices are also very reasonable, certainly a lot less than the more upmarket grocery stores (Whole Foods, I'm talkin' 'bout you), and you save money when you buy in bulk.
This video shows a typical order I make and why I make it. Iherb really makes it easy to be vegan no matter where you live.
If you like this video and would like to see more videos like this, please like, comment and subscribe to my You Tube Channel!
I had, what I call, my awakening thanks to Brighde Reed. I never felt good about eating meat, but I continued to do so because "it's part of the natural food chain", or "we need protein"... things so ingrained in many of our heads since childhood. A few inquisitive questions to Brighde, quite simply, changed everything. She helped me see that we humans can actually live a healthier life on a plant based diet. I had no more excuses. What made changing my ways so easy, though, was how Brighde opened my eyes to the fact that a Vegan diet isn't so much about the things you can't eat, but more about the things you can! I've never had so much fun in the kitchen, making and creating things I thought I'd have to give up, impressing people with delicious food that's, *gasp*... vegan!