Saturday, 30 November 2013

Product Review - Udi's Gluten Free Strawberry Flavoured Breakfast Bars

These are a breakfast bar from Gluten free company Udi's. I was a bit sceptical at first because some gluten free products I have tried in the past have not been great, but these are wonderful.
They are quite similar to the Kellogg's Nutri Grain cereals bars, the pastry (for lack of a better word) is tasty and not chewy or dry at all and there is a good amount of strawberry filling which is delicious. These would be great warmed up for a quick winter desert with some custard.
I came across these bars in my local Tesco which appear vegan but I couldn't be sure so I emailed the company who confirmed they are.  They also come in blueberry which I will be trying next week
They cost £3.00 per packet (doesn't seem cheap but there is 6 so its only 50 pence each) and are 151 calories each.
I will definitely be buying them again:

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Cookbook Challenge Week 49 - Vegan Yum Yum

This week I have been cooking from Vegan Yum Yum by Lauren Ulm:
I bought this book a few years ago and after initially trying one of the recipes that was a disaster I put it back on the shelf and haven't used it since, however I decided to dust it off and give it another whirl. I am glad I did:

Spicy Tomato Chickpea Soup - This recipe is delicious, full of flavour (tomato, spice, nutritional yeast) and filling as well. I ate this after coming home from work late and it was lovely & warming:

Creamy Tomato Barley Risotto - This is another excellent recipe, I liked the fact that as with the mushroom risotto in Happy Herbivore Around the World, the rice in the recipe is replaced with barley which is a texture I prefer. As with the soup this recipe is bursting with flavour, the only deviation I had to make to the recipe was adding lots more water as it almost boiled dry a few times:

Creamy Broccoli Mushroom Bake - This was my favourite recipe, the sauce is made from cashews (with lots of other ingredients like tahini) and had a slight caramel taste to it, added to rice (I forgot to buy Orzo), topped with breadcrumbs & paprika it was brilliant, very filling and a lovely Sunday night meal. I will be making this again:

Overall these 3 recipes have really changed my opinion of the book. They all worked perfectly and tasted great, I will definitely be using the book again as some friends have recommended other recipes from it which are equally good.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Cookbook Challenge Week 48 - Bake and Destroy

This week I have been cooking from Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater, I have had this book a few weeks and have been looking forward to cooking from it, some of the recipes sound delightful (Honky Tonk French Toast, Caramel Sauce, German's Choclolate Cookies just to name a few). I wasn't disappointed.

Mashed Potato Bowl - OK this is basically a bowl made from mash with your own choice of filling, its not the most complex or impressive recipe in the world but it was a tasty recipe for mash and an interesting way to eat it. I will be making the mash again as it really was tasty:

The Early Bird Special - These are supposed to be pancake flavoured doughnuts, I didn't have a doughnut tin so just made one big one and it was delicious, full of banana, cinnamon & maple syrup flavours & topped with facon. Definitely a great dish for cold winter mornings - please excuse the awful photography I was in a rush to eat this:

Mac 'n' Yeast & Chee-Zee Sauce - These 2 recipes have been clumped together as its the Chee-Zee Sauce thats used in the Mac. Firstly the sauce was good, full of cheesy flavour but could have been improved a bit with some vegan cheese mixed into it, secondly the Mac was brilliant, if it had just been sauce & pasta it would have been a little lack lustre but the breadcrumbs & paprika added an extra depth to the recipe and made it utterly delicious:

Green Bean Casserole Pizza - One thing that this book has is some great pizza recipes, this pizza had a creamy garlic & mushroom sauce (made with soy yoghurt) topped with green beans and fried onion pieces. It was full of flavour and utterly delicious:

Breakfast Pizza - This was my favourite recipe from the book, the sauce is a delicious white gravy filled with onion, garlic & sage flavours topped with scrambled tofu & vegetables. It tasted fantastic:

Overall I loved this book, the recipes are inventive and full to the brim with flavour. I will definitely be making the pizzas again and will be using other recipes from the book as well

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Cookbook Challenge Week 47 - Essential Vegan Cookbook

This week I have been cooking from the Essential Vegan Cookbook from Vanessa Almeida:

I bought this book after seeing it on the Vegan Cross website, with the book having been written by a Brazillian a few of the recipes are a little unusual (such as Brazillian "Honey" cake) but its definitely worth buying as they all look and sound amazing, I made 4 things:

Crispy Tofu Pillows - These were delicious, seasoned and marinated tofu wrapped in crispy filo pastry. I have never tried anything like these before and loved them. The only thing I didn't like was dealing with filo pasty, in future I made just use a tortilla wrap instead:

Tofu & Mushroom Stroganoff - I loved this, it was full of flavour, very filling and extremely quick/easy to make - definitely worth making again:

Tofu Minced Meat - This was excellent, the tofu is fried with herbs & spices, tomatoes & pineapple until you get a delicious and filling meal. The texture and taste of the tofu really reminded me of soya mince which is something we are sorely missing in the UK at the moment. The pineapple added an extra dimension and it was just scrummy, this recipe is definitely worth making:

Macadamia Cheese - The best way to describe this is that it had "potential". The cheese was so salty and sharp that it almost burnt my lips (it was a little reminiscent of  salt & vinegar crisps) but the flavour & texture underneath was excellent. I think if the lemon juice and salt were halved or even quartered this recipe would be truly excellent. I will be making it again with some adjustments:

Overall I really liked this cookbook, its full of delicious recipes, some of which are unusual or inventive and I'm looking forward to using it in future. There is a Prestigio "Bounty" cake that I am have particularly exited about!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Cookbook Challenge Week 46 - Vegan for the Holidays

This week I have been cooking from Vegan for the Holidays by Zel Allen:

I bought this book last year and was impressed with it as soon as I got it, there are recipes for New Year, Hanukkah, Christmas & Thanksgiving all of which look mouthwatering, I made 4 of the recipes....

Winter Almond Chowder - I found this a little boring, it had flavour but it just didn't hit the mark:

Old World Goulash - Goulash (especially the recipe from Another Dinner is Possible) is one of my favourite meals, this was OK but again I found it slightly lacking. It was filling and very wholesome (pearl barley, buckwheat & potato see to that) and I did like it but again it was a bit boring:

Mushroom Barley Cholent - This tasted quite good (it had a very strong garlic flavour) and but didn't stand up to other Cholents I have made (thanks to Veganomicon for that):

Groundnut Stew - I really enjoyed this, it has great flavour with an undercurrent of peanut, it was very filling and great on a cold autumn night, that notwithstanding its still not as good as the West African Peanut Stew from Nut Butter Universe:

Overall I was a bit disappointed with these recipes, they look really appetising but when made turn out to be quite healthy & wholesome meals which is something that I really don't want when I think of holiday food.
What I want is high calorie, high fat cellulite forming comfort food and these really didn't hit the mark.