Quorn – Vegan Fishless Fingers

Recently, when strapped for time, we’ve come to rely on a few really good pre-packaged, vegan friendly products. These, when thrown together with some well cooked veggies, mean we’re still able to get a balanced meal in at dinner time, without spending hours preparing it. 

Pre-vegetarian & vegan, we used to enjoy eating fish regularly; which is why we were excited to try Quorn’s new(ish) Fishless Fingers.

I have to warn you, if you’re vegan & you’ve given up meat or fish because you don’t like the flavour, these perhaps, aren’t for you… they really do smell & taste like the original product they’re emulating.

Like most Quorn products, these are made using Mycoprotein™, a completely meat-free form of high quality protein and a good source of dietary fibre, made by adding oxygen, nitrogen, glucose and minerals to a fungus called Fusarium venenatum.

Described by Quorn as fish free savoury flavour fingers, made with , coated in a crispy crumb, we paired these with mashed potatoes & peas, much as you would a regular fish finger.

The verdict? I liked them, but the boy wasn’t keen. Give them a go if you miss a good old fish finger buttie, but perhaps not for everyone.

  • Suitable for vegans
  • Vegetarian Society approved

Peanut Butter & Banana “Cheesecake” – vegan friendly

Who doesn’t love a good cheesecake? Creamy, rich, indulgent… And you’d have thought that being vegan means giving up on decadent treats such as these, but you’d be wrong.

I love finding a dairy-free, vegan friendly alternative to some of my old favourites, and this one is sure to impress even your non-vegan friends.

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The perfect combination of deliciously crunchy base, created from homemade Dark Chocolate Digestive Biscuits, and creamy smooth “cheesecake” topping of blended, protein-rich cashews and peanut butter.

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The banana element gives this cheesecake a hint of Banoffee Pie, which let’s face it, is never a bad thing!

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PEANUT BUTTER + BANANA “CHEESECAKE” WITH DARK CHOCOLATE DIGESTIVE BASE

Now obviously you could buy the biscuits for the base, and choose practically any type you want (Oreos – vegan friendly – work great!), but these digestives are so easy to make, and I like knowing I’ve created something entirely from scratch.

Author: My Vegan Kitchen

Recipe Type: Dessert

Cuisine: Vegan

Serves: 8 – 12

Ingredients

BASE (makes 10 so you have some leftover for eating)

  • 170g wholemeal flour
  • 170g medium oatmeal
  • 150g cold vegan butter, diced
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 55g dark muscovado sugar
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 2-3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 150g vegan dark chocolate (optional)

FILLING

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup (or your choice of liquid sweetener)
  • ¾ cup peanut butter (your preference of smooth or crunchy)

CHOCOLATE GANACHE TOPPING

  • ¾ cup vegan dark chocolate
  • 50ml coconut milk

 

Instructions

For the biscuits (if making):

  1. Preheat your oven to 170C degrees and in a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and oatmeal. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (best to get dirty and use your hands for this bit).
  2. Mix in the bicarb, sugar and salt, adding just a little almond milk to bring it all together to a dough-like consistency. Flatten in to a disk, wrap in clingfilm chill for at least 30 minutes (like pastry, this makes it easier to roll out and cut in to biscuit shapes).
  3. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper and set aside. Roll out your biscuit “dough” between 2 sheets of clingfilm, to around 4-5mm thick, then cut out your biscuits. Arrange on your baking trays, leaving a small gap in between each, prick each one several times with a fork and bake for between 12-15 minutes. Baking time will depend on you oven and whether you prefer your biscuits to be soft or crisp (crisp is probably better for the purpose of your cheesecake base).
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, whilst you melt your chocolate (if using) over a saucepan of simmering water. Remember this step is optional, you may only want to coat the biscuits you won’t be using for the cheesecake base, but I did them all so my base would have little chunks of chocolate!
  5. To coat biscuits, dunk one side in to the melted chocolate, repeating to build up layers, set aside to cool.

For the base:

  1. If not still on, preheat your oven to 180C degrees and, using either a food processor or a good, old fashioned rolling pin, crush up 140g of your biscuit choice. Add 5 tbsp of melted coconut oil and mix together.
  2. Lightly grease a 20cm cake tin, either spring form or one with a removable base is best. Fill the bottom of cake tin with your crushed biscuit mixture, and use either the back of a spoon or a small cup to pack it down tightly and as evenly as possible.
  3. Bake for 5 minutes, remove and set aside to cool.
  4. Add you bananas, cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup and peanut butter to a blend a blend together until very smooth. This will take around 4 – 5 minutes and you’ll probably need to stop the blender and scrape down the sides to mix back together a couple of times.
  5. If your peanut butter doesn’t already contain salt, you may want to season with a pinch at this point. Also, if your mixture is too thick, you can add a little more coconut milk to loosen.
  6. Pour evenly over your cool biscuit base and set aside. At this point you can either put in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours – although overnight is best – or you can whip up whatever toppings and decorations you want to add. For example:

For the chocolate ganache:

  1. Heat 50ml of coconut milk over a low heat, bringing it to a simmer. Meanwhile break up ¾ cup of vegan dark chocolate (I like Green & Blacks) in a small heat proof mixing bowl and, once the coconut milk is bubbling, pour it over the chocolate. Then just leave it for 3 – 4 minutes, before stirring and mixing together. Have a taste at this point, as you may want to sweeten with a little maple syrup. I however I like mine a little bitter, to combat the richness of the cheesecake.
  2. Spoon your ganache over the top of your cheesecake, in whatever pattern takes your fancy. Go wild, be as creative as you like! Once you’ve exhausted your creativity, pop your cheesecake in the fridge to set, as stated above, for at least 3 hours.
  3. Once set, remove your cheesecake from its tin and serve! I like to serve mine with a bit of salted caramel sauce, veganised from this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s website, and any leftover ganache.

Pizzaria Volare, North London

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love pizza. Pre-veggie/veganism, the boy and I were partial to the occasional (weekly) Domino’s 2 For Tuesday deal.
Switching over to our current veggie and vegan lifestyles, our new go to became Papa Johns, whose original crusts are vegan friendly (and so delicious, even the pups are fans)!
Now, after both experiencing real Italian thin crust pizzas in Italy, our tastes have refined somewhat. And as much as I do love a good Franco Manca or a Pizza Pilgrim, these aren’t local to us in North London, so we have been on the hunt for an authentic and local restaurant to frequent.
And then we found Pizzaria Volare, Bowes Road. We’ve often walked past on our way to other places, but this time we headed there specifically, and we weren’t disappointed.
Here’s what we ordered:
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A deliciously fresh Tricolore Salad – rocket, avocado, tomato & mozzarella (on the side).
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A side order of Patatas Bravas with a spicy tomato sauce (again, on the side – a theme may be occurring).
And then my absolute favourite (and often cheapest!) pizza of all time…
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Pizza Marinara – tomato pizza sauce, garlic (and lots of it), oregano & fresh basil.
All washed down with a complimentary shot of limoncello and a rather good value bill.
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Oh and did you know that Peroni is vegan friendly? Rude not to, really.
A great little vegetarian & vegan friendly meal in a lovely authentic Pizzaria; a must if you find yourself in our neck of the woods. Attentive staff, only too happy to make slight adjustments to their plentiful menu, delicious food and reasonably priced.
Pizzaria Volare
167 Bowes Road
N11 2JA
020 3105 2662

Gosh!

New vegan friendly brand on sale at selected Tesco stores.

Have you heard of Gosh! and their range of burgers, bakes and bites, made using 100% natural ingredients, “as nature intended”?

Naturally free from the top 14 allergens, including cereals containing gluten, eggs, milk, soya, nuts, peanuts, celery, mustard, sesame seeds, lupin, sulphur dioxide, crustaceans, fish & molluscs.


So far I’ve tried their Mushroom, Puy Lentil & Butter Bean Bugers and can honestly say they are very tasty and quite impressive. Baked in the oven for 15-20 mins, they are full of flavour and held together much better than most other vegan burger brands.


Each 125g burger is only 200kcals and contains 7.7g protein and only 2.3g sugar.

I’ve also just purchased the Mixed Seed, Quinoa, Carrot & Coriander Bakes with a Minted Pea Centre am hope these will be equally as tasty.


The whole range has been approved by both the Vegetarian & Vegan Societies.

Check out the whole range on sale online at Tesco or to find out more, including where you can purchase, check out their Facebook page or website.

Ben & Jerry’s – non-dairy range

I’m sure by now most of you will have heard about Ben & Jerry’s new range of non-dairy frozen desserts.

You dared us to go dairyless — and we did! Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy flavor creations are made with almond milk & so boldly loaded with chunks & swirls that you’ll get Ben & Jerry’s euphoria in every bite.

 

Made with almond milk and certified vegan, using new vegan friendly brownies from New York’s Greystone Bakery, and only fairtrade cocoa, sugar, bananas, coffee and vanilla, I am sad to announce that Ben & Jerry’s do not plan to release these frozen desserts in the UK… sob sob sob

 

“Hello from Ben & Jerry’s

 

In response to your enquiry, we have no current plans to introduce the Dairy free range of ice creams in the UK. We appreciate this is obvously disappointing news for you but I would advise to check our Ben & Jerry’s website for any updates in future in regards to our range of ice creams.”

 

Our friends across the Atlantic however, will be able to enjoy these amazing looking frozen desserts:

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Chunky Monkey: Banana non-dairy frozen dessert with fudge chunks & walnuts

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Chocolate Fudge Brownie: Chocolate non-dairy frozen dessert with fudge brownies

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Coffee Caramel Fudge: Coffee non-dairy frozen dessert with fudge chunks & a caramel swirl

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P.B. & Cookies: Vanilla non-dairy frozen dessert with chocolate sandwich cookies & crunchy peanut butter swirls

I’m hoping Ben & Jerry’s will change their mind, I had heard rumours of a June release so keep your ears open and I will report back if I hear anything different.

Anyone been lucky enough to try one of these yet? Let me know what you think!

Updated 22 Feb 2016: Bright spark, Benjamin Dunkley, has started a petition at Change.org, imploring Ben & Jerry’s to bring their vegan line of ice creams to the UK. Sign it & let’s make this happen!

Tredwell’s, London – vegan friendly

Being a big fan of UK Masterchef (regular, professional and even celebrity), I have been pleased to see the odd vegetarian round popping up over the past couple of years.

Masterchef: The Professionals judge and one time Junior Masterchef contestant (1985), Marcus Wareing’s latest casual dining restaurant, Tredwell’s (opened September 2014), is even more reason for celebration, as he has gone one step further and added vegan friendly options to his menu.

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Described by The Evening Standard Magazine’s Grace Dent, as “comfort food heaven”, located in the heart of London, Tredwell’s aims to bring modern London cooking to the West End’s Seven Dials, and though I’m yet to dine there, the menu is certainly appealing.

Starters (Vegan)

  • Nocellara del Belice olives (Ve) £2
  • Harissa glazed aubergine, peanuts, coriander and chilli (Ve) £6.50

Starters (Vegetarian)

  • Pumpkin soup, cep toast, toasted seeds (V) £7
  • Buffalo ricotta, beetroot, pine nut better (V) £7
  • Burrate, olive, caramalised shallot, balsamic, rocket (V) £10

Mains (Vegan)

  • Butternut Squash and sage dumplings, kale, hazelnut sauce (Ve) £14

Sides (Vegan)

  • Skinny Fries (Ve) £3
  • Wilted greens, roasted garlic (Ve) £3.50
  • Green salad (Ve) £4
  • Sweet potato chunks (Ve) £4
  • Green beans, olive oil and tarrgon (Ve) £4
  • Kale, sugarsnap and rocket salad (Ve) £4

Sides (Vegetarian)

  • Parsnip & horseraddish slaw (V) £4
  • Blue cheese croquettes (V) £ 4.50
  • Grilled broccoli, almond butter and capers (V) £5

Puddings (Vegan)

  • Coconut mousse, pineapple, mint, lime (Ve) £5
  • The virtuous chocolate brownie, coconut yogurt (Ve) £5

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Though there is but one vegan/vegetarian main on the menu, it is definitely one I would pick. With such a vast range of vegan friendly side dishes on offer, I could happily order a bunch of these, along with a couple of starters to create my own tapas style meal, rounded off with a vegan chocolate brownie, obviously!

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There is also a prix-fixe menu available at specific dining times: 2 courses for £21 or 3 for £25. Available Monday to Wednesday 12pm – 2pm, 5pm – 6:30pm, 9pm – 10pm and Thursday & Friday 12pm – 2pm, 5pm – 6:30pm, 9:45pm – 11pm, Saturday 4pm – 6:30pm, 9:45 – 11pm, the sample menu on the website doesn’t specify any vegan or vegetarian options. However, after some investigation, Tredwell’s confirmed they be only too happy to swap some of the options for something more suitable for our vegan dietary requirements, which I thought was great news! However please note, you can pick 2 or 3 vegan and vegetarian courses from the regular menu for around the same price, if not less, so make sure your options on the prix-fixe menu are something a little bit special.

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As previously mentioned, I am yet to dine at Tredwell’s, but hope to soon, so will let you know if it’s worth giving it a go. Have any of you been already? I’d love to know what you think of a “celebrity” chef venturing in to vegan friendly cuisine.

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Something that also appeals to me and is a further reason to visit, Tredwell’s host live Jazz nights every Friday & Saturday evening from 8pm.

Tredwell’s

4A Upper St Martin’s Lane
London, WC2H 9NY
0203 764 0840

Opening hours:

Monday to Thursday: 12pm – 2pm and 5pm – 10pm
Friday: 12pm – 3pm and 5pm – 11pm
Saturday: 12pm – 11pm
Sunday: 12pm – 4pm

For enquiries email hello@tredwells7dials.com

For more info follow @tredwells on twitter.

 

Protein – the vegan way

January is a time of new beginnings. New Year’s resolutions made, but not so often kept. Two of the most popular being an overhaul of our diets, health and fitness. If, like many others, you have decided to go vegan for Veganuary, you might also have signed up to a brand spanking new gym membership, you’ll be wanting to get the most of your vegan diet.

Most of the time, when someone finds out I’m vegan, they suddenly become concerned that I get enough protein from my diet. No one seems to worry about your protein intake before you become a veggie or vegan!

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And I must admit, pre-veganism, I also thought the best types of protein was in lean meats & eggs. So to help out all you new vegans, I’ve pulled together what I hope is a helpful list of specific types of vegan protein, and what they are good for. Eat away…

 

pumpkin seeds

 

Pumpkin Seeds are a great source of healthy fats, fiber and protein to keep you feeling full, whilst the magnesium, phosphorus and zinc contained in them provide additional energy, great as a pre-workout snack.

 

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Tempeh is less likely than tofu to add on the lbs as it is made from soy beans, rather than soy milk. This makes it more of a whole food and retains more protein, around 50% more than tofu!

 

 

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Spinach wasn’t Popeye’s favourite for nothing! Not only a great source of protein, but also high in vitamins A and C, antioxidants and calsium. Strangely enough spinach is one of the veggies that is best served steamed rather than raw, as it becomes easier for you body to digest and absord the calcium. And did you know that there is almost as much protein in one cup of spinach, as there is in a hard-boiled egg?! Superfood or what?

 

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Guava was an odd one to stumble upon for me, but it is the highest-protein fruit, whilst also containing 600% of your daily vitamin C requirement per cup.

 

 

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Chia Seeds are great for vegans and veggies; not only are they protein rich, but they also contain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, something we can often be lacking while others can easily get it from eating oily fish.

 

 

spirulina-in-tablet-and-powder-formSpirulina is not a favourite of mine, I find it leaves a chalky residue in anything I had it to, but its protein content can’t be denied. Made up of 60% protein, like Quinoa it’s complete which means our bodies can directly convert it to muscle! It also contains 50% of your daily vitamin B12 requirement, something some veggies and vegans find themself deficient in when they stop consuming red meat.

 

what-is-the-health-benefits-of-cacao-96451269645126Dubbed the ‘food of the Gods’ in America, cacao is full of antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, minerals like calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, iron, zinc, potassium and Vitamins E and B. Full of fiber to help digestion and keep you fuller for the longer, this really is a superfood, the benefits of which have been rounded up very nicely here by The SuperFoods.

 

imagePeanut Butter is an absolute favourite of mine, and a teaspoon of a 100% nut butter, with no added salt, sugar or oil, is great as an after dinner treat, when you’re craving something naughty. Watch out though as it is high in calories, but 2 tablespoons added to a post workout smoothie, provide a great dose of muscle-building protein and healthy fats. Peanuts are also good for your heart, and studies have shown they can prevent both cardivasular and coronary atery disease.

 

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Another nut packing a healthy dose of protein is the almond. Consume before your workout and studies have shown that these little nuts can actually help you burn more fat and carbs.

 

 

Avocado-Recipes

 

A superfood high up on my list of protein packed favourites, is the avocado. Full of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, more potasium than a banana, loads of fiber, vitamins & minerals in abundance, a regular sized avocado will contain around 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats.

 

 

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Popular with those trying to lose weight, mushrooms contain very little carbs or fat. The protein in mushrooms is only small, but is unique and it’s been thought to have anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

 

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1 cup of chickpeas contains 12g of protein, around 24% of your daily requirement. The protein in chickpeas is not complete, so combine with wholegrains such as wholegrain cous cous, or make up a batch of hummus and enjoy it on wholegrain bread or toast to get a complete protein.

 

beans

Not only are beans high in fiber and antioxidants, they aid with weight loss, and in turn disease prevention too! Comparable to meat when it comes to calories, beans are full of fiber and water, helping you to feel fuller for longer; meaning you should be able to cut calories, without feeling deprived. By losing weight you decrease your chances of developing serious conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. So nutritious are these little legumes in fact, that it’s recommended we tripple our weekly intake from 1 to 3 cups.

 

black-riceBlack Rice, also known as Forbidden Rice, has similar nutrient levels to brown rice, but with higher quanities of antioxidants. It is also a great source of fiber and minerals, including iron. A 100g serving of black rice has 8.5g of protein, 3.5mg of iron and 4.9g of fiber. Compared to white, brown and red rices, black rice has the highest amount of protein and double the fiber of brown rice.

 

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Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie nuts, at only 4kcal per average sized nut, you can enjoy around 40 of these delicious nuts for a healthy 160 kcal snack – I also find the process of cracking & eating quite theraputic! They are great sources of protein (around 20g for every 100g consumed), healthy fats, antoixidants, vitamins and minerals; a great all rounder and easy to carry in your bag for an on the go energy source.

 

So there you have it, a thorough but not exhaustive list of veggie and vegan proteins to help you get the most out of your month of Veganuary! Now off to the gym…

 

All images courtesy of Getty Images.

Homeslice is Coming to Shoreditch

Pizza and red wine are my 2 greatest food loves. Those of you that know me, know that not many a week goes by that I don’t partake in the consumption of at least one of these delicious indulgences.

So I was excited to find out this morning that one of my Covent Garden favourites, Homeslice, is opening up a new branch in Shoreditch. Not only that but if you visit today or tomorrow (03 / 04 December ’16) between 12 – 11pm during their soft launch, you’ll receive 50% off pizzas + 100 slices to go for free!

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Homeslice began life in 2011 with a mobile wood-fired oven hand built by Ry Jessup.  We launched Homeslice with an event at London Fields Brewery and sold out within hours. We gained real momentum serving up slices at markets and festivals with Kerb, Street Feast and Frieze, which culminated in our residency at Kings Cross Filling Station in 2012.

It was through Ry’s connection with Mark Wogan that the idea of moving to bricks and mortar came about. Through his background in the restaurant industry and his passion for simple food done well, Mark dovetailed with what Homeslice were trying to achieve.

So, with Mark’s brother Alan looking after the business side of things, Mark and Ry began work establishing their first restaurant at 13 Neal’s Yard in the early part of 2013.  With a shared vision of retaining Homeslice’s original simplicity, the aim was to balance tradition with innovation, offering people our take on the classics alongside more unique flavour combinations. The result was a simple menu of pizza, beer and wine with quality, seasonal produce at its heart, served in a relaxed, friendly space.

One of the great things about Homeslice is they aim to use only the best fresh, seasonal and local produce available. Everything they serve is made in house, including their dough which is aged for at least 24 hours before being cooked at 500 degrees celcius for only 60-90 seconds in their custom built wood fired oven, that gives their pizzas that delicious and authentic smokey, slight char flavour.

A whole 20″ pizzas costs £20, or you can grab just a slice for £4; a whole pizza will generously feed 2-3 people and they’re happy to split toppings 50/50. Although there isn’t a vegan option on the menu, I have been lucky enough to enjoy a freshly made Marinara pizza at the Covent Garden branch, but I think you’d struggle to get something cheese-free by the slice.

You can also choose to wash it down with locally sourced beers, wine by the magnum, frizzante prosecco on tap, plus a seasonal cocktail menu.

There’s something for everyone here, be it vegan or carnivore. Pop along and let me know what you think…

​​Homeslice, Old Street:
​374-378 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC1V 9LT
oldstreet@homeslicepizza.co.uk / 0203 151 1121
​Mon – Sat: 12pm – 11pm, Sun: 12pm-10pm.

homeslice shoreditch

Wild Food Cafe | Covent Garden, London

Tucked away in a beautiful London corner is Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, and it’s here that you’ll find the self proclaimed “raw-centric vegan / vegetarian eatery”, Wild Food Cafe.

Run by raw foodies Joel and Aiste, this hidden gem uses only locally sourced and organic produce where possible, to prepare nutrient packed plant-based food, “served with love”.

I recently dined here with my non-vegan, but open-minded friend, Kate. This being our first visit, we both chose a dish from each course and then shared, wanting to sample as many of the delicacies on offer as possible.

Seating is set up canteen style, so we found a spot with our backs to the wall so we could people watch, then set about to ordering…

Although there is wine and organic beer + cider on offer, the smoothies had been recommended to me so that’s what we started with…

  

I chose the Incredible Green Smoothie (above), whilst Kate went for the Vibrant Green Juice.

  • Incredible Green Smoothie (V, R): Apple, celery, cucumber, kale, nettle, dates, avocado, banana, lime, green powder
  • Vibrant Green Juice (V, R): Apple, celery, cucumber, parsley, lemon, ginger

Both were delicious, but while Kate’s juice was light and refreshing, my smoothie was quite dense and thick, almost a meal in itself, and I couldn’t quite finish it.

Next up we shared a starter of Hummus & Raw Crackers.

  

  • Hummus & Raw Crackers (V, N, R): In-house hummus with raw crackers, veggie sticks + extra virgin olive oil

If I’m honest, I’m yet to be convinced by raw (rehydrated) crackers. I’ve had them in a couple of places now (to be featured in an upcoming review of Tanya’s), and they just don’t do it for me, though I can see the appeal. The hummus however was delicious and we couldn’t get enough of it with the vegetable crudités.

We then shared a couple of main dishes between us and I’d be hard pushed to pick a favourite.

  

  • Wild Pizza Special (V, N, R): Dehydrated almond + butternut squash base, topped with marinara, wild sea purslane pesto and a daily selection of toppings

  

  • The Wild Burger (V, N, R, G): Olive + shiitake burger, with cultured Wild Sauce, salsa verde, smokey baba-ganoush, a side of sweet potato wedges (not raw) served in our in-house grain-free seed bread

You’ll probably have noticed that the mains are quite small in size, however when dishes are this nutrient dense, you get filled up quite quickly; plus we’d ordered a lot of food, so the smaller the portions, the better.

And finally, though we were stuffed, we ordered 2 desserts, knowing we could take the leftovers home – which we did, to be devoured with a cup of Earl Grey tea later that evening.

  

  • White Chocolate Tart with Caramel Brittle (V, N, R): Cacao butter, maple syrup and cashew cheesecake topped with cacao nibs and salted caramel pecans on a walnut + date base

  

  • Sweet Potato + Cacao Brownie (V, N): Special of the day served with caramel brittle sauce + a berry coulis

Both desserts were absolutely delicious, and while I have made many a sweet potato brownie myself (much to the boyfriend’s distaste), the vegan “cheesecake” is something I particularly enjoyed, and is something I am yet to attempt in my own kitchen. I do however have a peanut butter recipe in mind, but I’ll share with you at a later date.

  

The whole bill came to £66.83, for 2 drinks, 1 starter, 2 mains and 2 desserts, including service charge. This could be considered quite pricey when you consider no alcohol was consumed, however all ingredients are organic and mostly sourced locally, and you have to appreciate the ingenuity that goes in to designing healthy and raw dishes such as these. 

I would thoroughly recommend the Wild Food Cafe to anyone looking to experience raw cuisine at its very best. Having visited a couple of similar establishments more recently, this place is by far my favourite and at the top of my list for a revisit.

Much has been said recently of the benefits to following a raw diet. Raw fruits and vegetables tend to have a higher water content than when they are cooked, and so fill us up more quickly, stopping us from over eating and aiding in weight loss. However it is believed that heating food also destroys it’s nutrients and natural enzymes, and it is these enzymes that boost our digestion and help to fight chronic diseases. Recently I have read conflicting reports that there are some vegetables that can actually be damaging to us when eaten raw, tomatoes for example, which should only ever be consumer cooked…

I believe in balance, and that eating a wide and varied diet, containing as many colourful ingredients (raw and cooked) as possible is what’s best. We’re all different though, and what works for one, may not work for another. I will continue to enjoy visiting raw and experimental restaurants, and I will always continue my vegan, plant-based lifestyle, however a fully raw lifestyle isn’t for me; not yet anyway.

Follow me on Instagram @my_vegan_kitchen for more vegan reviews and recipes, and make sure to come back soon for reviews on both Mildred’s and Tanya’s vegan / vegetarian cafes in London.
Key:

(V) – vegan, dairy-free

(N) – contains nuts /seeds

(R) – some or all of the dish is prepared below 42C to preserve enzymes, nutrients and flavour


Oil- free Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Yesterday I dedicated a whole, rather lengthy, post to the wonder that is the humble sweet potato.
  
Today I am sharing with you my first attempt at baking Oil-free Spicy Sweet Potato Fries. Having seen many an Instagram post of other people’s delicious looking oil-free fries, I wanted to give it a go myself, so here goes…

Ingredients

  • 1 x medium sweet potato per person, washed, sliced and chopped in to chunky fries, skin left on
  • Spices of choice – I used smoked paprika + cayenne pepper
  • Seasoning of freshly ground black peppercorns + pink Himalayan sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Put sweet potatoe fries in a mixing bowl and add seasoning + spices. The amount of each will be determined by the size of your sweet potato & how many portions you are making. You want to have a good covering on all sides.
  3. Put fries on a baking tray, in 1 layer and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until they have started to brown.
  4. Remove tray from oven, turn over or toss fries and replace in oven for another 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove when golden on all sides and serve.

  
Cooking times will vary depending on how many fries you’re making and the power of your oven, so best to keep an eye on them.

And that’s it. I served mine with a delicious homemade guacamole; made with 1/2 avocado, chopped baby plum tomatoes, diced red onion + lashing of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

  
Anyone else have any oil-free recipes or tip they’d like to share? Let me know!