Thursday, 17 March 2016

Banana Bread Review 3 - Crossroads

I got this book for Christmas and have always loved the recipes from Tal Ronnen so I was really exited to try this recipe.

Taste = 1.5/3
The banana bread tasted OK however it was flavoured with banana, cinnamon and vanilla so it should have tasted great but didn't - it was just a basic banana bread. Nice but not special

Texture = 1.5/2
The bread had a strange texture, kind of claggy. It wasn't bad just unusual

Ease of Preparation  = 1/2
I was quite impressed on how quick this was to make, it needed flax eggs but was still oven ready in about 35 minutes

Freezes Well = 1/1
Froze and defrosted really well

Cost = 0.5/1
This didn't use any really weird ingredients but did need flax seeds which I didn't have

Healthy? 1/1
I have given this full marks from a health point of view as although it contained quite a bit of oil it didn't use much sugar

Total Score 6.5/10
Overall this was a basic banana bread. Could have been so much better

Monday, 8 February 2016

Banana Bread Review 2 - Thug Kitchen

This is a cookbook that I have never cooked from so I had no idea if this would be good or not. This I what I thought:

Taste = 2/3
The recipe at first didn’t taste like much, I think I was expecting it to be sweet and jam packed with flavour which it isn’t, however after having a few pieces it really grew on me. The only sweetness in the recipe is from banana and maple syrup, there is no added sugar so it wasn’t very sweet, it was almost savoury which makes it perfect if you want to pair it with something like chocolate spread or peanut butter. It was a refreshing change to make a banana bread that was more like bread than cake, I think however it could have been improved with a bit more cinnamon

Texture = 2/2
The texture of this bread is outstanding, it has the consistency of a good quality bread. It was perfect

Ease of Preparation = 2/2
This recipe calls for oat flour, even though you can buy it the recipes stated it can be made by throwing oats in a food processor which I did. Even spending time doing this I still managed to get it in the oven in 30 minutes

Freezes Well = 1/1
The texture and taste was the same after freezing as it was before

Cost = 1/1
All the ingredients needed were in the cupboard, including the oats so full marks

Healthy? 1/1
With no added sugar, oats, whole-wheat flour and very little oil this recipe ticks the healthy box as well

Total 9/10
This recipe was almost perfect, the texture was brilliant, the taste was quite good, its healthy, cheap and easy to make.
If all the recipes in Thug kitchen are like this it going to make a massive fan out of me

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Banana Bread Review 1 - Happy Herbivore

I have made this recipe several times in the past and have always liked it, its a simple recipe and I remember at some point changing some of the flour for cocoa powder to make chocolate banana bread which worked really well. Some of my non vegan family also enjoyed this so I decided this would be the first recipe to review

Taste = 2/3
The recipe uses a good combination of banana, maple syrup, some sugar (recipe called for raw but I used demerara), vanilla and spices. It was sweet but not too sweet and really hit the spot

Texture = 1/2
It had the texture of rubber. However I still gave the recipe 1 point because when I made this in the past the texture was much better, I think the issue this time was that the bananas I used were slightly bigger which made the recipe too moist. The recipe is normally moist anyway because its covered when baking, so this time it ended up being gummy but it was still enjoyable, tasty and I've had success with it in the past

Ease of Preparation  = 2/2
This was quick and simple, in the oven in less than 30 minutes

Freezes Well = 1/1
Every time I have made this it freezes brilliantly and tastes the same as it did fresh

Cost = 1/1
I had all the ingredients for this in the house, maple syrup is pretty expensive but other than that this was very cheap to make

Healthy? 1/1
The recipe used banana, maple syrup and sugar but not huge amounts of any, it didn't taste too sweet, didn't have lots of salt, had no added fat and used wholewheat flour.

Total Score 8/10

This is a really good recipe, very adaptable, cheap, easy and freezes well. A good all rounder!

Welcome to the Chronicles of Banania!

Its been a long time since I have used this blog but I have decided this year to rename it and my cooking aim this year/next year is to cook every banana bread recipe from every vegan cookbook I own.

I'm going to be giving each recipe a score based on the following categories

Taste - up to 3 points
0 points = terrible
1 point = OK
2 points = good
3 points = excellent

Texture - up to 2 points
0 points = terrible
1 point = good
2 points = outstanding

Ease/preparation time (not including cooking time)  - up to 2 points
0 points = over an hour
1 point = 30 minutes to 1 hour
2 points = less than 30 mins

Freezes well
0 points = No
1 point = Yes

0 points if I had to buy weird/expensive ingredients
1 point if I didn't

Healthy. This is a weird one to categorize, but basically if it has a lot of added sugar/salt/fat (by fat I mean bucket loads because a of bit fat is good for us) then 0 points, 1 point if it doesn't

First recipe up is going to be the banana bread from Happy Herbivore

Sunday, 15 March 2015

The Vegan Slow Cooker Week 1

I've cooked from this before and enjoyed it more than Kathy's other book (Vegan Slow Cooking For 2 Or Just For You), I will be revisiting some old favourites and trying out some new recipes. This week I have made 3 recipes. Here's what I thought:

Creamy Potato Soup
This is a new recipe for me and it was OK, it had a nice flavour and was quite filling. It reminded me of a much thinner mash potato. It was good, but not something I would make again

Soy Chorizo Black Bean Stew
I made this last time and forgot how good it was, I used the same ingredients as last time (Wheaty Space Bar Chorizo for the Chorizo etc) and really enjoyed it, it was full of flavour and warmth but without too much fire. Great recipe (it doesn't look good, but you can always eat it with your eyes closed):

Meatless Sausage and Mushroom Ragout
This was my favourite recipe of the week, I wasn't sure if I would like it but when I arrived home it smelled delicious and tasted great. I used Linda McCartney Red Onion & Rosemary sausage for the sausages and they worked brilliantly. As with the Chorizo Stew I will be making this again:

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Vegan Slow Cooking For 2 Or Just For You Last Week

This is the last week that I am cooking from this book, I have made three final recipes and come to the end of the list of 24 things I wanted to make.
This week I have made

Eggplant Tapenade:
This was quite tasty, I had to substitute green bell pepper for the olives (I like olives about as much as quinoa). It was quite filling, I don't think I will make it again but it was nice:

Indian Mashed Veggies:
I made this last time I used the book, this time I didn't mash - just used it as a sort of curry. It was really good, much better than the "Clean out the fridge curry". I served it with rice for a warming, filling midweek dinner:

Black Pepper Portobello:
This was the surprise of the week, I'm not a fan of using mushrooms as an actual main course (serving a whole mushroom as a burger etc), but this was surprisingly good. The flavours were excellent. I really enjoyed this

Overall I have enjoyed cooking from this book, there were a few disappointments and tasteless recipes but some have blown me away and I will be making them again in future. I think I prefer the other slow cooker book by this author which I will be cooking from again so we'll see!
I have listed my favourites below, those underlined are the ones I will make again without a shadow of a doubt:

Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce
Bold Lemon Pear Spread
Small Batch Brownies
Creamy Tomato Basil Bisque
Italian Seitan (Tempeh) Stew
Pumpkin Caramel Breakfast Barley
Spicy Southern Chickpeas
Potato, Green and Chickpea Curry
Italian Seitan Coins with Mashed Cauliflower and Gravy
New England Tofu Rolls
Italian Seitan Coins
Lentil Quinoa Taco Filler
Black Pepper Portobello

I'm now having a week off from cooking so I will be posting again in a few weeks...

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Vegan Slow Cooking For 2 Or Just For You Week 4

This week I have made another 6 recipes from the book, here are my thoughts:

Mushroom Tempeh over Potatoes and Carrots
This was bloody awful. Tasteless. I poured over a homemade mushroom gravy to make it passable but I will never be making this again

Chocolate Pumpkin Brownie Breakfast Quinoa:
I subbed the quinoa for oats as I hate quinoa, the recipe was still not great, very bitter. I added a shed load of sweetner which improved it somewhat, but not a meal I want again

Lentil Quinoa Taco Filler:
As stated I hate quinoa, but I actually left it in this recipe with hope that all the flavours would drown out the terrible quinoa, it turned out really well. It was full of flavour and very filling. I served it in lettuce tacos with salad & potatoes on the side

Italian Seitan and Pepper Stew:
I have made this before using seitan and it was great, this time I used tempeh and it was even better. The texture was more meaty and it was really delicious

Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce:
I have never tried pumpkin before, but had a taste before making this. It tasted like butternut squash and I really couldn't see how it would work in a sweet recipe. Nevertheless the Breakfast Barley recipe called for it so I ploughed on. I was very very wrong. This sauce is the outstandingly good, one of the best recipes in the book it tasted like lotus biscuit spread but in a more runny (lower calorie) format. I have used it several times this week, on the following recipe, with plain soygurt, in chocolate puddings, with nakd bars dipped in, on ice cream, straight out the slow cooker with a spoon, baked into a chocolate tart and on my Thursday night almond porridge. Fantastic recipe.

Pumpkin Caramel Breakfast Barley
Another great recipe, really simple (although I used sweetened almond milk instead of unsweetened), I made a half batch and my slow cooker had this done in 90 minutes on high. I had it as a lunch on Sunday with the required Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce and I really loved it.

Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce served with almond milk porridge & chocolate chips