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Being the only vegan at a party

Being the only vegan at a party

Being the only vegan at a party

I don’t know if it has happened to you before but I sometimes feel like I am the only vegan in the village. Eating a vegan diet does make you the minority, although the number of us are on the increase, so there are things you need to accept.

  • people don’t always understand you
  • people think you only eat lettuce and carrots
  • you may be weird to some people
  • some people assume you are judging them OR that they’re making you feel uncomfortable eating meat near you
  • some genuinely don’t know how to cater for you
  • don’t expect to be catered for at parties and don’t take offence!!

As a result of this you have to be confident in what you’re doing, happy with what you’re doing and always be prepared.

Here are some quick tips to help you feel comfortable in party situations:

  • eat before you go: you wont offend anyone at the party because chances are there’s not much substantial you will be able to eat there. Eating before hand ensures you wont be hungry there so you wont get “hangry” and want to leave. You want to be happy and comfortable there so make sure you’re well fed before hand.
  • take something with you:  super easy tip. Take food with you! Share you’re food with others, it will make you blend in and people will appreciate the gift 🙂
  • don’t make comments about there being no vegan food available: in a room full of numerous “normal” eating people, you can’t expect that on top of catering for all them people that they’re going to go that extra mile for you. They have spent a lot of time and effort into preparing the party so don’t mention you’re vegan and there’s nothing to eat, simply say you’re not hungry or “no thank you” to non-vegan offerings.
  • find any vegan food you can and take it before it goes: there’s a chance that there will be a cheese board with fresh or dried fruits. Take some and pop them on your plate before they all go. Bread is normally available and if you’re lucky some salads or veggie sticks. More times than none there will be vegan options but get them on your plate at the beginning of the party, just incase they run out by the time you’re hungry.
  • don’t worry about it: at the end of the day you’re not there for the food, you’re there for the party. Enjoy the party and be social. Social environments don’t always have to revolve around food and if they do just make sure you’re prepared.

I hope these few, quick tips help you for when you feel like the only vegan in the village 🙂

 

 

Vegan “Mac and Cheese”

Vegan “Mac and Cheese”

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Here is a healthy take on a Mac and Cheese Recipe which is easy to make, versatile and satisfying.

Coconut milk is a great substitute from cows milk and is super high in fibre, B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium and magnesium. Not to be confused with coconut water! Coconut water is fresh from a coconut itself and is clear in colour. Coconut milk, which here in the UK comes in a can, undergoes a straining process and is white in colour and much thicker and creamier. Great for using in curries and soup to give a creamy consistency.

Lets get into the recipe (serves 2 – large portions):

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 200g Coconut Milk (canned, full-fat type)
  • 1/2 Vegetable Stock Cube
  • 1 tsp English Mustard
  • 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon (optional)
  • Ground Pepper (to your taste – I like lots!)
  • 300g Pasta of your choice

METHOD:

  1. Start by slicing the Butternut Squash into two halves, deseed and place face down on a baking tray with a little water (approx. 100ml)
  2. Bake in the oven on Gas 6 for 1 hour
  3. Once cooked take out Butternut Squash and set aside while you cook your pasta
  4. Cook pasta for 10 minutes (or as packet instructions suggest) and while cooking you can scoop the flesh from the Butternut Squash and add it into a blender with the stock cube, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, pepper and lemon.
  5. Once pasta is cooked, drain pasta and return to the pan with the “cheese” sauce you’ve just blended up and cook for a further 5 minutes or so until it heats back up and gets creamy.
  6. Season to your taste and serve with vegetables or whatever you fancy 🙂

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Simple Oat Cookie with Chocolate Chips and Coconut

Simple Oat Cookie with Chocolate Chips and Coconut

Ever get stuck for on the go snacks for work? I know I do, and I always want something sweet and that’s easily transferable! These cookies are just that. They’re not as sweet as the Sticky Chocolate Oat Cookies, but are a Simple Oat Cookie with a slight chocolatey taste to still keep you satisfied at times of need 🙂 They are ready in just 15 minutes and you can walk away and leave them whilst they’re in the oven and then when you get back, they are all done. Easy 🙂

They’re oil free, for anyone concerned about oil, and will keep for about 3 days in the fridge. I take 2 to work each day so works out well as they make about 7 cookies, if you’re smarter than me you could make 6 out of the mix and then it will last you three days !! 😉

INGREDIENTS:

  •  1 1/2 Cup Oats
  • 2 Medium Bananas
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Cacao Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs
  • 1 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut
  • Dash of Cinnamon

METHOD:

  1. Pre-heat oven to Gas 4 (180 degrees)
  2. Blend oats to make a flour and then set aside
  3. Blend together bananas, maple syrup, coconut, cacao and cinnamon
  4. Add in flour to mix and blend again
  5. Stir through cacao nibs
  6. Make into about 7 cookies (recommend using a tbsp as the mix is quite sticky!)
  7. Back on middle shelf for 10 minutes
  8. Leave to cool before refrigerating, and enjoy!!

 

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies

Ok so I got a little carried away with these babies, and what started off as a simple cinnamon and oat cookie turned into chocolate and peanut butter cookies with some other added bits! Avoid all the chia seeds and extra coconut on top unless you want to but to keep it more simple, just follow the recipe 🙂 Sometimes simple is best, right?

I never liked cinnamon until living in America for a year. During Fall and Christmas time it was everywhere and soon enough I came to love the superfood! The smell of it gives good memories and I cant get enough of it. This is the first time I’ve used it in baking and its a beautiful little addition isn’t it?! It’s also great in oats and who doesn’t like a cinnamon latte?

Cinnamon has many health benefits, best of all it helps reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. So when you can add a dash to your bakes or oats!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 5 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Raw Cacao
  • 1 + 1/4 Cup Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Desiccated coconut
  • Dash of Cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. On low heat, mix almond milk, PB, maple syrup, cinnamon and cacao.
  2. Turn of heat and add in coconut and oats.
  3. Form into 8 cookies and place on a lined baking tray.

TIPS:

Leave to set and cool in the fridge before eating. You do not have to keep them in the fridge once they have set, it is entirely personal preference. I chop and change between the two, it doesn’t make much difference I don’t think.

Protein Cookies

Protein Cookies

Peanut butter and Chocolate, the perfect combo and high in protein too! If you are a peanut butter addict like myself you will love these Protein Cookies.

Not your normal protein cookie snack but these you can easily make yourself and save yourself some money!! No added sugars or oils like standard protein snacks, all ingredients are whole and natural so you can enjoy them without consuming the rubbish of an overpriced store brought version.

I recommend using 100% natural peanut butter because most store bought butters contain added oil and sugar which isn’t necessary, especially when most of the time it’s eaten with some thing sweet anyway.

Almond butter is a healthier alternative to Peanut butter as it contains high levels of Vitamin E, an antioxidant which rid the body of toxins! Almond butter is however more expensive so for using in large quantities either shop around or stick to peanut.

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Originally a Tone It Up – Karina and Katrina recipe but I’ve adapted it slightly.

Enjoy 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

(Makes 15)

  • 2.5 Cups Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Desiccated Coconut
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup (honey if not vegan)
  • 4 tbsp Raw Cacao (or unsweetened cocoa)
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein

DIRECTIONS:

  1. On a low heat, combine almond milk, peanut butter, honey and cacao.
  2. Turn of heat and immediately add in oats, coconut and protein, stirring and combining all together.
  3. Line baking tray with parchment paper.
  4. Using your hands take small pieces of the mixture, form into little balls and then flatten into cookie shapes on the tray (be careful it might be a bit hot!).
  5. Refrigerate and enjoy whenever you like!
Fully Raw Chocolate Cheesecake!

Fully Raw Chocolate Cheesecake!

Before I become lactose intolerant, and then changing to a fully vegan diet, my biggest love was Cheesecake. I love a fruity cheesecake but sometimes we just crave a really chocolatey dessert and that’s when I would venture to a Fully Raw Chocolate Cheesecake! A great alternative to a dairy cheesecake is a fully raw vegan cheesecake, simply made with plant based whole foods. You can eat it with joy and not worry about feeling guilty or going to the gym for an extra hour. You will need time to make this and have patience as you need to let it sit in the freezer but once its set and you try it you wont be disappointed.

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INGREDIENTS:

CRUST

  • 1 cup Pitted Dates
  • 1/2 cup Almonds

FILLING

  • 1 cup Cashews (soaked overnight!)
  • 4 Frozen Bananas (Sliced to help blend)
  • 1/4 cup Almond Milk (to help with blending if you need it)
  • 3 tbsp Raw cacao
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup

TOP LAYER

  • 2 tbsp Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup Melted Coconut Oil
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup

FINISH

  • Top with raspberries and dessicated coconut

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Blend nuts and dates until sticky consistency, and press into the base of a 15cm wide cake tin (one with a quick release or push out base).
  2. Drain and wash off the cashews then add them to the blender with the cocoa , bananas and honey. Also at this stage if you need some fluid to help it blend then add the 1/4 cup almond milk.
  3.  Layer on to the crust and then freeze!!
  4. Once that layer has frozen solid you can make the peanut butter topping (I waited overnight however it should take about 4 hours).
  5. Melt peanut butter, coconut oil and honey in a saucepan over a very low heat then pour onto the cheesecake once combined.
  6. Add raspberries onto the cheesecake and sprinkle with dessicated coconut
  7. Freeze again, and then enjoy!!

NOTES

  • Wet your hands slightly before pressing in the base of the cheesecake to stop it sticking to your fingers!
  • When ready to eat, let the cheesecake sit out of the freezer for about 10 minutes before devouring. It is worth the wait 😉
  • Serving sizes are completely up to you! I serve 2 raspberries per slice 🙂