This isn’t a meal you have to prepare in advance, but I do love to have coriander (cilantro) on hand in the freezer at all times. Whilst it’s available frozen in some big and speciality supermarkets, it’s very costly. You can grow your own coriander, […]
Tomato Vegetable Sauce The versatility of this tomato sauce is phenomenal. You can use it as the base of any tomato based dish like curry, ratatouille, bolognese sauce or as a pizza or bruschetta topping. You can add whatever vegetables you like, the ones in […]
Open Falafel Wrap
During my student days in City of Bristol College my favourite treat for lunch was a trip to the falafel van outside the Hippodrome, by the fountains. It was so exotic to me and I’d have a hot styrofoam cup of strong black coffee. Falafels have the best crunch and squishines if they’re done right and I’ve spent years chasing the flavour. The secret, in my opinion, is making sure they’re well-cooked without getting burnt – nothing worse than undercooked chickpeas (or maybe that’s just me).
No Meat Substitutes
I’ll post a falafel recipe soon but for this wrap you can just use four small pre-cooked snack falafels, or frozen ones. Watch out because some of the frozen falafels have breadcrumbs. This video shows you how to make fresh falafel easily from scratch using tinned chickpeas, so they’re very affordable.
However you get them, make sure they’re nice and hot when you’re assembling and try to get a crispy coating.
Lidl do packs of small wholemeal wraps, which is what I used. I’m being tested for gestational diabetes so trying to keep my carbs low and this recipe kept my blood sugars down, even with the wrap, hummus and falafel. To refresh stale/dried out wraps, you can just rinse them in water, rub with a little oil and fry in a large frying pan.
Use a tin of chickpeas or homecooked chickpeas to make hummus (recipes coming soon!) or just buy it pre-packaged, it’s also spelt houmous. I quite like the tinned hummus that you can get in some corner shops. It lasts forever on the shelf so if you want some all of a sudden but can’t be bothered to blend them and make some fresh, it’s there when you need it. The magic ingredient in hummus is tahini which gives it a strong nutty, almost caramelised flavour.
Open Falafel Wrap
First step is to cook down your veggies. You can use any vegetables you like, my favourites are courgette and frozen mixed peppers because this works out inexpensive and I love the flavours and minimum prep time. You could also use a frozen chargrilled veg mix, aubergine, chopped cauliflower or even kale. I use a little olive oil but you could use water if you’re oil-free, plus some salt, garlic and chilli flakes (totally up to you on the chilli, I like everything with a kick!)
When the veggies are cooked down to your liking, put them aside whilst you cook your falafel, heat up your wrap and and grate the carrot. I like to use a julienne peeler (click here) to get long thin strips but you can just as easily grate it, or really finely slice the carrots.
Open Falafel Wrap
Tasty and easy recipe that looks like a real treat and contains so many strong flavours and different textures
By: Nikki Kamminga
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- half a courgette
- handful frozen sliced mixed peppers
- chilli flakes
- half a carrot, shredded
- lemon juice
- fresh mint and coriander (to taste)
- four small falafel balls
- 1 small wholewheat or gluten free tortilla wrap
- tablespoon hummus
- 2tsp vegan unsweetened yogurt
- Step 1 1. Fry the veggies in olive oil and seasoning to taste, with as many chilli flakes (red pepper flakes) as you like.
- Step 2 2. Shred the carrots, add salt and lemon juice and some of the herbs and set aside to soften
- Step 3 3. Reheat or cook the falafel balls according to the instructions then cut each in half
- Step 4 4. Heat the tortilla wrap in a dry frying pan, rubbing with a little olive oil first if you like
- Step 5 5. To serve, spread the hummus on the hot tortilla then pile on the cooked veggies, falafels, yogurt and the remaining herbs. Drizzle with olive oil if you like extra richness
- Step 6 6. Serve next to the carrot slaw (I like to pile it on top before eating)
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Gluten-free vegan omelette which can eat to your heart’s content with this super easy recipe. I’ve been meaning to write out this recipe for ages now because it’s such a staple in my kitchen, it’s vegan, it’s budget friendly and it’s super quick to whip up. I find it very comforting to eat and I count it as free on Slimming World… I have no idea if it is or not but it’s an egg substitute that’s high in protein and fat-free, made of chickpeas (which are free) and it’s not a flour as it’s grain-free. When I seriously follow Slimming World I eat this several times a week and lose weight, and I’m happy to eat it as free when it has fewer calories than animal eggs.
You can buy egg replacers and omelette mixes in health food shops but I find them a bit over-priced for what’s essentially just gram flour and seasonings. If you like, make the dry mix up in advance then just add a few tablespoons to some sauteed veggies whenever the mood for omelette takes you! Although not typically a paleo ingredient, the Paleo Veganista says:
The chickpea is, however, considered a vegan staple–and chickpea flour is nutrient-dense and low in carbohydrates compared to wheat, rice, corn, and other grain flours
The dry mixture for the gluten-free vegan omelette can be as unique as you are. If you love oregano then put some dried oregano into the mix. If you’re not keen on onion and garlic powder, or don’t eat those for religious reasons (or you’ve run out!) then leave them out or substitute for asafoetida. I tend to put in all three because I like my vegan eggs really flavourful.
You can leave out the salt completely but the eggy flavour comes from kala namak (black salt). Perhaps add a little stock powder or pink salt too, depending on your tastes.
Spanish Gluten-Free Vegan Omelette
You can turn this into a Spanish gluten-free vegan omelette by par-boiling some peeled and roughly diced potatoes. Let them dry out in a colander then saute with sliced Spanish onions and slices of garlic in lots of good quality olive oil. Only when the mixture is going golden and the potatoes are fully cooked should you add the egg-free dry mixture
Gluten-free vegan omelette
Super easy and inexpensive gluten-free vegan omelette which ticks so many boxes and takes just minutes to make
By: Nikki Kamminga
- chickpea flour (gram/besan)
- onion and garlic powder (optional)
- asafoetida (optional)
- stock powder (optional)
- black salt
- ground black pepper
- Step 1 Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and store until needed. Use your own judgement to gauge the quantities, add as little or as much of anything as you like
- Step 2 When you’re ready to cook, you can saute some veggies such as courgette (zucchini), mushrooms, peppers, kale, anything you like.
- Step 3 Use a non-stick pan and a wooden spatula. Add a few tablespoons of your powdered mixture and mix well. Don’t worry about lumps.
- Step 4 Get a mug of cold water beside you and add a little at a time, stirring well. It will go from being a powder to a thick dough, then as you add more water, it will turn into a something resembling a thick paste
- Step 5 Stop and spread the mixture over the base of the pan and cook for a few minutes, being careful not to burn
- Step 6 Put the pan under a grill (broiler) for a few minutes until the top turns golden. Leave to set for a few minutes then you can slice and serve
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After seeing a post on a vegan Facebook group for ideas for a nice smokey chilli for someone’s omni hubby, I posted the list of ingredients we use in the Smokiest Chilli Ever recipe. My hubby is the infamous Viking from this video. The one […]
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This super thick greek style cashew yogurt has just two ingredients, is raw vegan, gluten-free, nut-free*, high in protein and low in carbohydrates and low GI. It’s thick and creamy without being super full of fat, plus you can rest assured the fat you’re getting is really good for you.
I know there are concerns about cashew pickers in India being paid a fair wage and sensationalist articles that will have you feeling guilty no matter what you eat (avocados being the latest in the firing line). When I was 19 I went to Goa in India where cashew trees were imported by the Portuguese in the 1560’s. where a big portion of their income comes from growing cashews. What I loved was that the outside of the cashew, the fruit, is used to make all sorts of things even though it doesn’t taste that great on its own and it can burn the hands of the workers. So by buying fairtrade you’re making sure the people are paid a fair wage. The rain there is enough to grow these gorgeous fruits, but each one only produces one cashew which is why they’re a little more expensive than peanuts, for example. But for taste, versatility and texture they win out for me as the best dairy replacement.
If you can get fairtrade cashews for under £20/kg you’ve got a good deal, standard ones are about £12/kg.
For this recipe you’ll need a stick blender and jug or a bullet blender and some warm water. As for the magic ingredient, it’s all down to the probiotics. You can, if you prefer, use a tablespoon of any other live yogurt such as coconut yogurt or even dairy, as a starter. If you’re a new vegan and are still using up the last of your diary you don’t need to go out and buy plant-based yogurt. It’s really expensive and that’s why I make it!
The most economical way to start any yogurt though is with a probiotic capsule. Once you’ve made it once you can keep back a tablespoon each time for your next batch (I have a little jar in my fridge for it and hubby is very good at not feeding it to the kids. You can get these capsules in most chemists and health food shops but many of them come in gelatin capsules, made from animal products. So be careful to get vegan ones to make sure they’re cruelty-free.
I like the Veganicity ones that are reasonably priced and say they’re made up of “1.25 Billion Beneficial Bacteria Vegan Megadophilus, which naturally helps us digest our food, plays a vital role in our immune system and impacts on our general health. Beneficial bacteria not only help to digest food, but also have a role to play in immune system function and the production of B vitamins and fatty acids“.
You need to keep yogurt warm for it to work and you can buy special yogurt makers but a cool box or insulated food container will work perfectly too and use zero electricity! We’re going to be using this method to make fresh vegan yogurt in Tanzania because everyone uses these ingenious containers. It means you can cook an entire meal on one charcoal burner and keep each dish hot while you make the rest.
1. Soak the cashews overnight in cold water and they’ll more than double in size. Drain and just cover with hot but not boiling water. Blend really well until you have a fine consistency. No need to strain
2. Add the probiotic or yogurt starter while it’s still warm. You can put in a pinch of salt and a squeeze of agave syrup for flavour if you like, which helps the flavour taste more “yogurty”.
3.Put your mixture in a yogurt maker or in a container floating in warm water in the cool box. The water should be slightly warmer than body temperature. Leave it for 4-6 hours and if necessary change the water so it’s still warm. Body temperature is perfect. You’ll notice it’s bubbling already and slightly sour.
4. After at least 8 hours or overnight (I’ve forgotton them for days and they’re still good) you can refridgerate the cashew yogurt. I like to strain it gently in muslin to thicken it and amplify the flavour.
We love this cashew yogurt in pudding bowls,
*cashews really aren’t nuts, but if you have a severe allergy check the may-contains as some will be packaged with peanuts. Give them a good check after soaking too
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This literally couldn’t be easier and for the microwave-owning vegans out there this basmati rice hack will save you so much time and washing up. You simply get a microwavable glass dish like this Pyrex casserole dish, it doesn’t need a lid but they’re handy […]