Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Vegan TUNA fish! (Made from jackfruit)

Ah! I am so excited! Fake fish! When I was 7 I decided to stop eating meat but it was another year before I gave up fish because it's so freaking tasty. I wish it wasn't a dead animal but there you go. That is why I am SO HAPPY to have found a way to make delicious fake tuna!


So I have only recently read about this amazing dream meat substitute called jackfruit and I couldn't wait to try it! I went straight down to the amazing Indian supermarket near my house and lo and behold I found it. Of course I bought 5 cans straight away (I was certain I would like it) and set to work messing about with it. So here is my recipe for FAKE TUNA. Sorry for all the capitals but I am HAPPY. 


I must apologise for my low quality pictures, I was too impatient to take good pictures and I wanted to eat the damn food. 

Yum yum here is my avocado and tuna salad sandwich:

Oh... I forgot to take any pictures of preparation as well, so it will just be the ingredients/ method this time. Many many more apologies. 


If these ingredients look daunting to you, don't fear! Many of them you can miss out. I will explain below.

1 can young jackfruit in brine
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
1- 2 tbsp dried seaweed
A couple of dried mushrooms
1/2 tsp black salt
Lemon juice
Cucumber relish
1- 2 tbsp vegan mayo

I would say the most important ingredients from this list are the jackfruit, salt, mayo, lemon juice and seaweed. 

All of the others you can miss out if you don't have them. The salt can be normal table salt, I used black salt (kala namak) for it's sulphur taste, it helps it taste more fishy. I used dried mushrooms as they add a savoury taste and a slightly meaty texture, but no worries if you don't have any. The paprika gives a tasty flavour but importantly gives it a pink tinge which makes it look more like tuna! The cucumber relish is something my mumma made and so I just added it because I had it, it adds a really nice flavour and so if pickle is your thing, add whatever you wish. Anyway, enough of the babbling, here is the method:


First: finely chop the seaweed up. Use whatever seaweed you like, I used a sheet of sushi nori. The amount you use depends on how fishy you want it to taste, 1 to 2 tbsps of seaweed flakes should do it. Add the finely chopped seaweed to a saucepan and add a little boiled water, just enough to cover! Next, take a few dried mushrooms and finely chop them too. Also add them to the pan. Bring to the boil and add water when it starts to look dry. Simmer for about five minutes.

You can now add your paprika, black salt and olive oil to the pan and take it off the heat!

Next step is to prepare the jackfruit! Drain the can and just give it a rough chop on a chopping board. It doesn't have to be too small. Add the jackfruit to the pan of seaweed and flavourings and take a potato masher and give it a good ol' mash.

Now you can add the final ingredients! The mixture shouldn't be hot, but if it is, wait for it to cool down before you add the mayo or it will melt. Add in the juice of half a lemon, or more to taste, freshly ground pepper and mayonnaise of your choice (recipe here). I used this lemongrass flavour one: 

Optional extras are sweetcorn and cucumber pickle. Give it a good stir, leave to chill and then you are good to eat! I served it in a toasted sandwich with avocado. So yum!

 I think it passed the fish test as my cat decided she wanted some. (Yeah I added capers, addicted to them)

The avocado is ready...

Just eat it all.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Vegan Cottage Cheese with Chives

I was chatting to my older sister online when she mentioned a craving- cottage cheese and marmite on toast. When we were little we used to eat that snack ALL the time. Some people may find either of those toppings repulsive but if you have the same tastes as us, you can understand how delicious it is.

Since my sister has adopted the vegan diet for lent we were discussing vegan cottage cheese alternatives. I started researching different methods of making cottage cheese and decided to try one using soy milk. Soy milk curds are essentially tofu but it all depends of the consistency and the flavourings you add so that the curds turn out the way you want. And the result? Extremely tasty and extremely authentic tasting vegan cottage cheese! Tadah!

Loads of recipes called for different methods and amounts and so I just experimented with what I thought would work, and it did! The thing that amazed me most about this was how simple and quick it was!  I thought there would be hours of curdling and straining involved. But I went from soy milk to cheese in about 20 minutes. Amazing.

Right- to the recipe!


1 litre sweetened soy milk
4 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
Good quality olive oil 
Fresh chives


Pour the soy milk into a pan, and gently bring it to the boil whilst stirring.

When it starts to boil, take it off the heat. Add in the lemon juice or vinegar spoon by spoon, mixing as you go. It should start to curdle!

Stir it well, then you can strain it! I used a muslin cloth but don't fret if you don't have one, you can use a clean pair of tights, or even a tea towel. Transfer to the cloth and squeeze out the liquid over a bowl.

Squeeze out the whey (liquid) but save it, as you may want to add some back in. You dont' want the cottage cheese to be too dry. 

Next, take it out of the cloth and you have the cottage cheese! 

Have a try- is the taste of lemon or vinegar off putting? I love lemon normally but I thought it tasted a bit weird in this. If you agree- don't fear! Just put the cheese back in a bowl with some fresh, cold water and strain it again. This way it cools it down as well so you can eat it immediately :P

Now you have your cottage cheese you can add flavour! I added 2 tsp of olive oil which I highly recommend, it makes it creamier and richer. You can leave this out if you would like it low fat. I also added fresh chives, a pinch of pink salt and pepper.

The finished result is soooo good and SO QUICK. Will definitely be making this all the time! 
Considering a litre of value soy milk is 60p, you are basically making a pot of cottage cheese in 20 minutes for 60p. Happy days!

Eaten on a toasted English muffin with margarine and marmite.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Vegan Coleslaw!

This takes a few ingredients to make but by golly is it worth it! Nothing like a good old batch of fresh vegan coleslaw.

One tbsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Two tbsp agave/ rice syrup (or honey if you eat that)
70ml soy milk

400ml vegetable oil- it is important it isn't oxidised which means it can't have been sitting with the lid off for ages. It's fine if the bottle has already been opened previously though. I don't know why this is important but the chef said it was ;)

Three tbsp apple cider vinegar


Blend the first set of ingredients- the mustard, salt, pepper, sweetener and soy milk.

While the blender is going, sloowwwlly stream in the oil. By this I mean- the oil needs to basically trickle in, nearly drop by drop. Add the oil too fast and it won't emulsify! So a very thin stream of oil going in. The slower the better!

When this is all in, while blending, add in the vinegar, spoon by spoon.

It is important to do it in that exact order: first set of ingredients, then oil, then vinegar. It should emulsify and be delicious!
You can blend in anything else that you want like garlic or herbs. 

Coleslaw ingredients:
  • One red cabbage (you can use a white cabbage but red is so much more flavoursome! Also you end up with pink coleslaw)
  • One white onion
  • Three carrots

If you have a blender with a grating setting, you can grate them all together straight into the mayo. If you are grating by hand it is best to just grate the carrots and finely slice the cabbage and the onion with a knife as they don't enjoy being grated. Basically make your veg small and then mix it in!

Serving suggestion: straight into your mouth a la Carly.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Vegan Mini Puff Pastry Parcels (Mushroom, pine nuts, sundried tomatoes and rosemary)

Ok I made these at Christmas but just found the pics! So I thought I'd put them up in case anyone wanted to make some tasty summer comfort pies ;)

They are actually super easy but really delicious and moreish. So don't say I didn't warn you, when 20 pies later you are lying on the floor in a pie coma. I warned you, but I don't blame you.

As usual, feel free to chop and change the ingredients as you please.


  • Pre-made puff pastry (most of it is vegan, just check the ingredients. I used Just Roll)
  • Rosemary
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Pine nuts
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Oil 
  • Mushrooms
  • Vegetable stock power or salt

You will also need a mini muffin silicone tray but feel free to improvise or just make bigger pies.

Firstly pre- heat the oven to about 200c or follow the guidelines on the puff pastry package.

Next, finely chop the onion and fry on a medium heat. While this is frying, chop up the sundried tomatoes, rosemary, garlic and mushrooms, also small. Add to the pan and cook through for about 5 minutes. 

While everything is frying, roll out the dough to about 0.5cm thick. Cut out squares that are bigger than the holes of the muffin tray. Place the squares in the muffin cases and push them to the bottom, the corners should be sticking out the top.

Stir the salt/ stock into the mixture and spoon it into the pastry. Put it in the oven and cook until the pastry is beautiful and puffed and golden. Will take around 20 minutes.


Thursday, 25 April 2013

Nutty Salad

I'm ADDICTED to the "nutty salad" from M&S. Any vegans from the UK should be aware that M&S do an amazing range of salads and loads of them are vegan! Not like other supermarkets which all have either cheese or mayo in.

So I decided to try and recreate this beauty of a dish myself. I didn't have all the same ingredients that they had so I substituted some things but it worked out fine. There are a lot of ingredients in this so feel free to substitute as well, if you wish.


Cooked quinoa and bulgar wheat (about four tsbsp when uncooked)

Half a head of finely chopped broccoli
Two medium finely chopped carrots
Half a finely chopped aubergine (eggplant)
One- two tbsp sweetcorn
Finely chopped onion

Pistachios or other nuts
Mixed seeds

One tbsp sweet chili sauce
One tbsp soy sauce
One- two tbsp olive oil
Black pepper
One tbsp lemon or lime juice
One tsp minced ginger
One- two cloves crushed of garlic
Fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped

Firstly, chop up the carrots and broccoli really finely. Put into a Tupperware box with the sweetcorn.

Next, dump all the dressing ingredients on top. 

Put the lid on the box and give it a really good shake so that all the dressing mixes and covers the veg. Put the box in the fridge- it will need to marinate for a couple of hours.

Now, chop the aubergine up really little. Fry it on a low heat in a little oil. I used chopped nuts because I didn't have pistachios which don't taste great raw, so I roasted them as well with the seeds. I left the almonds raw though.

When the veg has been sitting for a few hours, you can finish the dish off, yay!
In a big bowl, put the quinoa, the aubergine/ nut mix, the finely chopped onion, almonds and the marinated veg with all it's dressing. 

Serve it up, and enjoy :)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Nettle Soup

The best things in life are freeee!

I just went out and collected loads of nettles for the first time! I have always wanted to forage but have never really been successful and when I tried before it was too late for nettles. They need to be picked between March and April before they turn bitter and flower, and so I'm glad I remembered before it was too late. 

I am really proud of the fact I didn't get stung once :)

Go pick some nettles! NOW! 

Put on some thick gloves and long sleeved top. Take some scissors and find the younger, smaller plants. Only cut the first 5 inches down or so. 

Next, thoroughly wash the nettles. The best way to do this is fill a sink with water and put them in there, let the dirt sink to the bottom. I picked mine by the sea so I washed them about four times because I didn't want sandy soup.

(Sorry for awful pictures! My camera screen is broken and so I can't see what I'm photographing...)

Now make your soup! I fried and onion and some garlic in oil. Look how massive my garlic cloves were!
Then I added water, stock, herbs and the nettles! Boiled for a while then blended. It definitely needs a potato though, I just didn't have any.

SO GOOD! If you don't believe me, go pick some and try it out ;)

I also picked some dandelion flowers and made tea, it is tasty! 

Monday, 8 April 2013

Lentil Burgers with Homemade Aioli (Garlic Mayo)

I swear that lentils are classically synonymous with veganism. Like people think of vegan food, they think of lentils. Lentils or couscous. I can't tell you the amount of times I've asked for a vegan dish at a restaurant and they bring me peppers stuffed with couscous. I don't even really like couscous- it's boring! I barely ever use lentils either. But today I became the stereotype and made a glorious lentil based meal! May have to use them more often :)

So I bring to you: lentil, sweetcorn and carrot burger with garlic mayo! 

Burger Recipe:


Two handfuls uncooked red lentils
Two tbsp sweetcorn
One grated carrot 
One small onion
One tsp garam masala (or whatever spice you wish to use)
Pinch of salt
One tsp vegetable stock powder
Dried herbs
One tbsp cornflour


Preheat the oven to 200c.

Firstly boil the lentils until they are a bit mushy. I just microwaved them in boiling water for 6 mins. 

Chop the onion finely and fry in the oil until soft. Add in everything else, including the lentils but not the cornflour, and cook for a further 5 mins. Turn off the heat and stir in the cornflour thoroughly.

Blob onto oiled baking parchment and shape into patties using a spoon or your hands.

Put in the oven for 15 mins, flip em over and then give them another 15 mins.

While they are cooking, make this garlic mayo!

This was mine: (mm what an attractive pic...)

I served with mixed veg, mushrooms (chucked them in with the burgers in the last 5 mins), fresh tomato, coriander, pickled peppers, aioli and my mothers DELICIOUS home made chutney :) 

So in other words, "can I have my veggie burgers with some veg, a bit more veg and some more veg please?"

Mother's chutney:
Fresh out the oven:
Yum yum!