It’s the last day of VeganMoFo 2017!! Can you believe it?! It’s always a challenge – I’ve posted 28 days this month which is more than I posted all year (!) and it’s not always easy coming up with ideas to fill the whole month. But so many people have done it, and it just shows how much creativity there is out there. You can check out roundups of this year’s participants on the VeganMoFo website – the final one will be up soon!
Today’s final VeganMoFo day coincides with Halloween, so that was our prompt for the day. I don’t do Halloween, but I decided to make something using an ingredient you may have plenty of…
Pumpkin! This recipe will be great for all those pumpkins that will go on sale after Halloween. It’s the one you saw in my roasted chickpea recipe – they really do go very well together.
It’s got all lovely wintery spices in – cinnamon and paprika and cloves – and the addition of pearl barley makes it hearty and warming for the cold days (like today! where has this cold front come from?!).
Today, the penultimate VeganMoFo 2017 day, is about doing a practice run for an upcoming holiday. Well, I’m a Brit, so I don’t celebrate thanksgiving. It’s my birthday in November, but I’m secretly hoping someone else will take care of that. And Christmas? Uhh…I kinda haven’t thought at all about what I’m going to eat for Christmas yet, except some cranberry marzipan cookies which are the best thing about the season. So, I went with something familiar, but Christmassy enough.
These are nut roast burgers! Side note: how difficult is it to take good photos of burgers?! I like making burgers but it’s really hard to post recipes, because I can never get good photos… Anyway, I made these nut roast balls earlier in the month, and they were so tasty that I thought I’d make them into burgers. They’re almost the same recipe as the balls, except they also have beans in, to make them more burger-y. They’d be really great for a casual kind of Christmas meal!
These are baked in the oven, which means you don’t have the hassle of frying them, and I bet they’d work really well served with more seasonal flavours like brussels, cranberry sauce, and so on!
Are you a fricti ciceris emptor? Sorry, what now? For today’s VeganMoFo, we’re taking a long leap back in time to visit Horace in the 1st Century BC, and find out what exactly he meant by this (and why he was perhaps so very wrong).
A fricti ciceris emptor was a buyer of roasted (or toasted) chickpeas. Horace, in his Ars Poetica, descripes chickpea eaters as paupers, and uses them in an illustration as people who crude drama appeals to, rather than the more desired wealthy audience.
Chickpeas were not an uncommon food in Roman times, and in the Apicius collection of recipes (compiled a few hundred years after Horace, but still in Roman times) several recipes using legumes and nuts, including chickpeas, are published. So for today’s historical prompt, I decided I would join the plebeians and make a Roman inspired snack.
Cumin was a very popular spice in Roman times – it’s actually a very ancient spice, and is even mentioned in the Bible! So pairing chickpeas with cumin for this recipe seemed a good idea. Perhaps you could buy something like this before going to watch sports in Rome – who knows? These are certainly very more-ish, you won’t be able to resist snacking on them! I used some as croutons on top of soup, too – the recipe will be coming later to the blog!
Day 27 of VeganMoFo already, wow! Today is about feeding the “young (at heart)” – which really could mean many things! I decided to go for a meal that would make a kid’s heart sing – it’s tasty, a little messy, and contains both chips and cheese!
This is a recipe for “bolognese fries” – or chips, if you prefer. Even better – the chips are homemade, and oil free too! To be honest, I usually make my chips the usual way with oil, but I found out that you can make them without oil quite easily (you just chop them up and pop them in the oven!) and that way works really well for this recipe, they aren’t as heavy tasting with all the bolognese and cheese on top too.
For the cheese on top, I used Tesco’s free from grated mozzarella. It’s a version of Sheese, if you can get that. It melts really well, as you can see. A cheese that melts is something you want for this dish, as it adds a nice creamy element!
I also used Tesco’s frozen vegan mince (I promise I’m not a Tesco ad!) for the bolognese but you could use whatever you have handy, or even rehydrated TVP if that’s all you have access to.
Place your potato chips on a baking tray in one layer (you may need two trays for this). Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and place in your preheated oven for 35 minutes, until golden. Leave the oven on afterwards!
Meanwhile, make the bolognese sauce. In a large frying pan, fry the onion and garlic in the oil until softened.
Add the oregano, basil, and rosemary, and fry for thirty seconds.
Add the remaining bolognese ingredients (everything else except the cheese) and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste and season.
Once the chips and bolognese are done, place the chips in a roasting tin.
Top the chips with the bolognese sauce, and then generously grate cheese on top.
Place the roasting tin in the still hot oven for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese melts.
For today, we need to impress Paul Hollywood and make a showstopper dessert. Ah…you guys know me, I really am not one for pretty food. I have trouble enough taking good photos for this blog (having a good camera helps!). Paul Hollywood would really not be impressed by anything I make, I’m afraid. But I do my best!
So, for my showstopper, I decided to make baked doughnuts, four ways! I have a mini doughnut tin, a bit like this one, which I actually got from a charity shop, and it makes the cutest small doughnuts! This recipe starts with making one base mix, then splitting it into four and adding ingredients to make the different flavours. You end up with six mini doughnuts of each flavour.
Clockwise from top left: Bakewell Tart doughnuts, Lemon Drizzle doughnuts, Double Chocolate doughnuts, and Apple Cinnamon doughnuts.
I actually did a little vote on my instagram to choose the final flavour. I knew I wanted to do chocolate, apple, and bakewell, but I couldn’t decide between coffee and lemon. Sorry to all the coffee voters – but lemon came out tops! So lemon doughnuts it is! Maybe one day I’ll treat you to a coffee doughnut recipe.
If you wanted to make just one flavour of doughnuts, just multiply the “add in” ingredients to fit!
Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is to “cook for your best friend”. I’m going to be super cheesy here and say, my best friend is my husband. And because of that cheese, I’m giving you a recipe involving vegan cheese!
Portobello mushrooms may be a very stereotypical “vegan” food – usually served unseasoned and slightly soggy at a barbecue – but they are also one of my husband’s favourite food, so I wanted to make a super tasty mushroom meal. These have a crunchy cheesy filling, and are topped with even more vegan cheese.
So, this meal is also really simple to make as it uses a lot of “convenience” foods. Breadcrumbs – which I just make from blitzing up crackers and keep a bag in the freezer – flavoured cream cheese (I used Sainsbury’s Free From) and cheese shreds for topping. If you can’t find flavoured cream cheese, mix a little garlic and mixed herbs into your regular cream cheese. This might not be the cheapest vegan meal, but who cheaps out for their best friend?
We’re into a new week in VeganMoFo! This week is Entertaining Week, and today is about party food. Now, I think for parties you can totally get away with buying loads of crisps and making some hummus, but sometimes you want something slightly more homemade. That’s where these come in. They’re really simple to make, but a bit fancier than just buying crisps or frozen oven chips.
These are baked polenta chips. Chips being like what Americans call fries, not what Brits call crisps. They’re made using pre-packaged polenta – here in the UK you can get a pack from the supermarket for about 75p – and just tossed with seasoning and popped in the oven.
I use the polenta in the image above. You can make your own – make polenta as you usually would, only with a little less water, put it in a greased tin, and refrigerate until cold. Then just cut into chip shaped slices.
These work great with dips and anything party-like. You can use different spices if you like – add in some smoked paprika and cayenne for spice, or some garam masala for an Indian feel…whatever you fancy.
Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is “deconstructed”, which is one of the more challenging ones I was talking about earlier in the week. It took me a while to come up with something, but eventually I came up with this tasty recipe! Ok, it isn’t exactly deconstructed, more like constructed-in-a-different-way, but still…that’s something?
These are samosa wraps! I already have a recipe for samosas on this blog, and the filling in this recipe is pretty similar – with the addition of kidney beans – but putting it all in a wrap takes away the pesky pastry making and deep frying steps. Samosas themselves are very tasty, but sometimes you just don’t have the patience to make the whole lot!
Servings: Enough for 8 wraps (you can freeze them!)
What can you make with five ingredients or less? Something simple like pasta? Or even just toast, perhaps? I decided, for today’s VeganMoFo prompt, to make it a little trickier and do some baking. I’ve been wanting to make some cinnamon biscuits for a while – I’m in a bit of a cinnamon kick at the moment – and this seemed like the perfect excuse.
These biscuits are crispy and crunchy, spiced with plenty of cinnamon and packed with oats – which I think go really well with the cinnamon flavour. They’re rolled in sugar before baking which helps get that crunch through them.
Hands up if you like chocolate? Yep? I bet I’m seeing everyone’s hands raised (except my mum’s, but that’s ok because we’ll eat her chocolate instead). Everyone knows I am a huge chocolate fan. I mean, this is my second chocolate post in a row (have you checked out my chocolate truffles yet?). As a kid, people would say they knew my dad and I were related, because we both were such chocolate addicts…and nothing has changed since!
Chocolate is an odd one, being vegan. You hear “…wait, you can eat chocolate?” a lot. Or people who refuse to even try vegan chocolate, thinking it tastes gross. And, OK, there are some vegan chocolates that I’m not a fan of…but I know there are some non-vegan chocolates that also aren’t that tasty. We live in a day and age where veganism is booming, and this means that there are more vegan chocolate options available than ever! I’ve attempted to put together a little guide featuring my favourite chocolates, both cheap and not-so-cheap. Note – I am in the UK and so the chocolate featured in this guide will reflect that. You might be able to get it in a different country, but please check the ingredients first as sometimes sneaky companies change the ingredients for different markets!
Let’s start with the basics – plain vegan chocolate. This is the one I use most of all. It’s Lidl’s own brand – “Fin Carré” – and sells for 30p per 100g bar, which is a really good deal! It tastes lovely too. I use it mostly for baking with – if you see a recipe on here that has chocolate as an ingredient, chances are it’s this one I use. Sainsbury’s also has a similar bar in their “basics” range that sells for 50p/100g, and Morrisons has one for a similar price too.
My ultimate favourite chocolate bar is Cadbury’s Bournville. I don’t think I’d ever tried it before I was vegan, because I assumed it being dark chocolate meant I wouldn’t like it – but it’s actually quite low cocoa percentage (35%) which means it’s sweeter and not so bitter. It also has that classic “cadbury” flavour to it! You can buy this in most supermarkets. Sometimes you can buy miniature bars of Bournville, but I often have trouble finding those.
The final “plain chocolate” I’m featuring is this “Smooth” dark chocolate from Poundland of all places. I never expected to find vegan chocolate there, but here you have it. It won’t win any gourmet chocolate awards, but for £1 for a large bar, it’s tasty and good!
Now let’s take a look at vegan milk chocolate alternatives. One of the best out there is the Moo Free brand of chocolate, which actually has several different flavours (we’ll come back to that later) but does a lovely creamy milk chocolate bar. You can buy this in some supermarkets, Holland & Barrett, and many other “health food” or vegan stores.
This photo is not the best, I’m afraid (it’s so awkward taking photos in supermarkets!) but many supermarkets have come out with their own range of dairy free milk chocolate now! Pictured above is Tesco’s range, including milk and white chocolate bars, and milk and white chocolate buttons. You can buy milk chocolate bars at Asda and Sainsbury’s too!
That leads us nicely onto our next topic of white chocolate! As mentioned above, Tesco do small white chocolate bars and buttons, and now Sainsbury’s do large white chocolate bars! They’re actually very nice, and only £1 per bar, which is cheap for vegan white chocolate.
This one is possibly the best vegan white chocolate out there. It’s rich, has a strong vanilla taste, and really, just tastes pretty luxurious. It’s not the cheapest out there, but if you’re wanting some special white chocolate, I’d go for this one. You can often find it in vegan and health food shops, and you can buy it online too.
Finally on the white chocolate front, we have “Organica” white chocolate. This might be familiar if you’ve been vegan a while – it was one of the first vegan white chocolates I tried! It’s sweet and creamy – just what you want in a white chocolate. This can be bought in most of the same places as the above iChoc bar – health food shops, and online.
Let’s move onto flavoured chocolate! The picture above is not very good I know, of course I had to put my thumb over the brand… (I told you I am not good at taking photos in supermarkets!) but it is Moo Free chocolate once again! They do many flavours including orange, bunnycomb (which has bits like a non-vegan crunchie bar), hazelnut, banana, and fruit and nut. These two mini bars are sold in Morrison’s, but you can find them in the same places as other Moo Free bars (as above).
This is another familiar brand – iChoc again! I think this is my husband’s favourite bar. It’s chocolate cookie flavoured – the cookies being kind of like oreos. The chocolate is milk chocolate flavoured (it’s made with rice milk) and it has lovely little crunchy bits of cookies in! You can buy this in health food, vegan shops, and online. iChoc also do a range of other flavoured bars, including white nougat, almond orange, and super nut flavours.
The Vego bar has taken the vegan world by storm in the last few years. It’s been touted as the best vegan chocolate bar out there by many, and I’ve seen people say it’s a great alternative to milk chocolate. Well, I disagree that it tastes like milk chocolate, but it’s certainly very tasty. Did you ever have nutella before you were vegan? It tastes like that, only in chocolate bar form. It’s delicious! These are now sold at Holland and Barrett.
Go Max Go bars are the go to vegan snack bars. They make imitations of many popular non-vegan bars, such as bounty, snickers, mars bars, and reeses cups. They are not cheap, unfortunately, but they are certainly very tasty. Check out veganoo’s review to see what they look like inside! These are sold in vegan shops, and online too.
Fry’s Chocolate Cream bars are a lovely cheap vegan chocolate option! You’ll notice this is the only mint chocolate I have in this guide, I’m sorry, I just really don’t like mint chocolate so it’s not something I try! But the box was next to the regular Fry’s so I thought I’d include it in my photo. These are dark chocolate bars with a creamy fondant filling – imagine the inside of a creme egg. They’re often sold in newsagents in single bars, or in multipacks in supermarkets and budget shops (this photo was taken in B&M Bargains).
Raspberry Ruffles are also vegan, and another great budget option! These are kind of like raspberry flavoured bounty bars. They have a coconut raspberry filling and a chocolate coating. You can buy them in bars, as pictured, and also in little bags of mini chocolates too. Once again, these are often sold in budget stores, and some supermarkets too.
I didn’t know whether to include these or not, because they’re not exactly chocolate bars, but they’re chocolatey and I think they’re tasty so there you go. They’re “rice cake bars” covered in orange chocolate, which doesn’t necessarily sound the best, but they are actually really good and would work wonderfully as a quick snack. You can buy them from Aldi for less than £1!
Now, I’ll talk about chocolate boxes and gifts. The first one, which is pretty widely available, is Choices Caramels. These are little caramel flavoured truffle type things that come in a box. You can buy them in the Free From aisle of many supermarkets, and Tesco themselves have their own branded version of them!
Chocolate cremes are often vegan! They’re sold more often around Christmas time (if you can call October Christmas…) – Beech’s are the main official brand, but this year Aldi are doing their own version. Whittakers do lovely coffee cremes, and mint ones too (if you like). We even found vegan fruit cremes in the Lake District!
These rum truffles are a cheap and cheerful gift! I found these in B&M Bargains but they’re also sold in The Range too. They’re flavoured with rum extract and coated in little chocolate sprinkles. They’re pretty small inside, but there are lots of them, and it’s only a pound for a box.
From cheaper options to very expensive ones – Booja Booja are the luxury brand in vegan chocolates! They have many, many flavours – check them out here and see them all! These are often sold in vegan shops, health food shops, and sometimes Holland & Barrett. These are really a bit too expensive for me, but they are still nice!
Onto miscellaneous chocolate items! Chocolate is not all about bars! My favourite chocolate milk here is Oatly chocolate milk. The Oatly brand is really lovely and all vegan, and the chocolate milk is extremely creamy and has a wonderful chocolate taste. Have it cold or heated up and you’ll love it! Sold in most supermarket.
How about some ice cream? Swedish Glace are a famous ice cream brand – their vanilla ice cream is the most widely sold vegan ice cream in the UK – and they now have chocolate! It’s a little more difficult to find – I’ve had most luck in Sainsbury’s – but it’s still lovely.
Hot chocolate, anyone? Yes, Cadbury’s drinking chocolate is vegan! Make sure you get the “drinking chocolate” – the one you add hot milk to – rather than the “instant chocolate” as the latter isn’t vegan. This is sold pretty much everywhere and is lovely. You can even buy vegan marshmallows to have it with!
And finally, some chocolate spread! There are a few varieties of vegan chocolate spread out there actually, including a lovely Plamil version which you can buy from Holland & Barrett, and some chocolate and hazelnut versions which you can buy in supermarket free from sections. Morrisons also do a dark chocolate spread which is vegan too!
So there you have it, my huge round up of vegan chocolate. I’m sure I have missed out quite a lot, but I hope I’ve given you enough to go along with. What’s your favourite vegan chocolate? Are there any you can get where you are that I’m missing out on? Make me jealous!