Showing posts with label vegan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegan. Show all posts

Monday, December 30, 2013

Savage Kale, Coriander, Lentil and Vegetable Soup

My small vegetable patch which I filled with homegrown vegetables over the Summer is still delivering the goods. With kale at it's post autumny peak and carrots still good in the ground, I decided to throw them all into a soup. With that, I also have some thin coriander plants growing left over from the Summer too. Although thin and barely resembling the coriander herb, they seriously pack a pungent coriander punch!
Kale growing in my garden.

Weedy but powerful coriander, 
So here is a recipe I put together with a base of vegetables and greens fresh from my garden; a kale, coriander, carrot, sweet potato, butternut squash and lentil soup! Or more simply put a Kale and Vegetable soup.
This soup is packed with good stuff, really easy to make and of course super tasty!

  • 1 White Onion
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • Half a Butternut Squash
  • 1 Carrot
  • 3/4 Kale Leaves
  • Bunch of Coriander (or as much as you want)
  • 2 Handfuls of Puy Lentils
  • 2 Handfuls of Red Lentils
  • Vegetable Stock
  • 4 Pints of Water
1. Chop all of the vegetables into to small chunks and put aside.
2. Throw your chopped onion into a pot and sauté until soft.
3. Throw in the rest of the vegetables and sauté for about 10 mins.
4. Add your stock and water and add the lentils.
5. Cook until the vegetables are soft. 
6. Add the chopped Kale and coriander and cook for another 10 mins or until the kale is cooked. 

And some pretty sick looking but tasty soup!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vegan lentil meatballs

An easy vegan lentil meatball recipe!

I can't believe the thought of making vegan meatballs had ever crossed my mind. It hadn't until I came across the following recipe for 'Spaghetti and Vegan Meatballs' over on the Wholefoods Market Blog a couple of weeks ago. The recipe was so simple so I though I'd have a go at making my own meatballs. I didn't stick to Wholefoods's recipe as it called for a few ingredients I don't own. So my attempt at making meatballs, like most meals I cook was a 'bit of this and maybe a bit of that' type procedure. Therefore, I don't have an exact recipe with measurements to share but only the ingredients to easily make some vegan lentil meatballs!
Vegan and vegetarian lentil  spaghetti and meatballs
Vegan lentil meatballs served with spaghetti and tomato sauce - Spaghetti and vegan meatballs.
You can enjoy the lentil meatballs in a spaghetti dish or as a sandwich filler. Both work extremely well. The meatballs are extremely filling and packed with energy filled lentils so they make for a great meal at home or on the go. These meatballs do make for a healthy recipe as they are baked not fried and filled with lentils. However, there this recipe calls for  breadcrumbs. 

Vegan and vegetarian lentil   meatball recipe

Gather these ingredients for the meatballs:
Puy (green lentils)
Stock Cube
White onion
Courgette (optional)
Dried chilli, basil (any herb to your tasting)
Fresh coriander
Nutritional yeast/flax seeds (optional)

How to make the vegan lentil meatballs:

1. Preheat your oven.

2. Boil about 2 cups of puy lentils in stock until as much moisture is gone from them (without burning the pan)

3. Finely chop an onion,  chop half a courgette, a good handful of mushrooms into small chunks. Fry the onion until getting soft and then add the chopped courgette and mushrooms along with chopped garlic until the vegetables are cooked.

4. When the lentils are cooked and the vegetables are also cooked - transfer to a food processer or blender (or mash by hand) add your fresh coriander, chilli, dried herbs, seasoning and blend until the mixture is incorporated ( I like to leave a bit of chunk it). Add the mix to a bowl and add a couple of hand fulls of breadcrumbs and mix. Add breadcrumbs until the mixture is no longer wet and is thick enough to form balls.

5. Roll your mixture into small meatball size balls and place on a baking tray and bake for around 20 minutes or until crispy on the outside.

If you are going to add the vegan lentil meatballs to complete a 'spaghetti and meatball' dish, have your sauce and spaghetti ready to go when your meatballs are cooked.
Vegan and vegetarian lentil   meatball recipe

Monday, July 1, 2013

Vegan Package Swap - All about Vegan food

Glauce, a long time vegan, blogger, Mom and owner of All About Vegan Food set up the amazing worldwide Vegan Package Swap earlier on this year. The worldwide project which has nearly 500 subscribers allows vegans to send and receive vegan goodies from across the world every month! Sounds great right?

 Here are the rules as set by Vegan Package Swap:
The rules:
1. The Vegan Package Swap is open to everyone in the world. You don't need to be vegan to be part of it but all goodies in the packages MUST be vegan.
2. You need to register to the website and JOIN the Swap to take part (just once). We'll send monthly emails or newsletters to confirm your participation within 72 hours between the 3rd and the 5th of each month. If you DO NOT get the email, please go come to this page, login and click JOIN between the 3rd and 5th of each month (even if you did it before you'll be asked to do it again).
3. On the 8th of each month, you'll receive an email with the details of your match for that month.
4. Packages should have goodies up to the limit of $20 (or 15 Euro or equivalent in other currency). This value reference does not include the shipping value (it will vary from country to country).
5. The shipping deadline will be on the 15th of each month.
6. In the last week of each month you will receive an email to evaluate the package you received and the user (to help us to keep the quality of the project). - See more at:

A package from Dublin to Germany and from Germany to Dublin

I finally took part in the swap last month. I chose to swap within Europe and got paired up with a lovely girl from Germany! You can contact your partner to find out what they like and how they found the package when they receive it!

My Irish package -> Germany

I tried to include as many Irish products as possible but struggled. I did however include The Happy Pear's sun dried tomato pesto because it's an all time favourite of mine. There was a buy one get one half price sale on in Holland and Barrett at the time so I took advantage of that and included lots of goodies! It cost me just over 7 euro to ship this to Germany

My German package -> Ireland

I received an amazing package full of German products I had never had before. It included some seriously addictive (gone within 5 minutes) Roc & Roll's crisps, chocolate spread, almond tofu, a pudding mix, jellies, soap, a cream and 2 pates! Such a good mix. I've finished nearly all of the products but most of them didn't last more than a few hours!

I hope this post influences you to take part in this amazing vegan project! If you are like me are love waiting for packages, this package is seriously exciting to wait for because you have no idea what you are getting.

For more information see:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The best vegi breakfast in Dublin...?

If you’re looking for a great vegetarian or vegan breakfast while in Dublin, Cornucopia on Wicklow street ( just off Grafton st) is the place to go.

They do an array of options including their homemade baked beans and sausages, crepes, scrambled tofu, eggs, pancakes and more.

Served from 8.30 am to 12 pm.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Possibly the tastiest pesto covered roast veg pasta bake..

So I've named this (extremely addictive) dish 'Possibly the tastiest pesto covered roast veg past bake'. And it certainly lives up to it's name. I can shamefully admit to eating entire dishes of this to my self in one or two sittings. Please don't judge, I can explain why.  You have the pasta and who doesn't love carby pasta? You've got really sweet, soft and flavoursome roasted veg. You've got homemade subtle yet just the perfect amount of pesto and then you've got the baked bread crumbs. Who couldn't say not to that?
So there's a few steps to this heavenly dish: the homemade or (store bought) pesto, the roasting of the veg and the pasta. Here is what to do:

1. Making the Vegan Pesto

I make my own because it's impossibe to find vegan basil pesto in Dublin. It's really really easy to make and here is how I make it:

  •  2 standard packets of fresh basil ( as much as you would like really)
  • A good handful of pine nuts
  • Nutritional Yeast flakes (as much as you want to taste)
  • A good old glug of olive oil
  • A clove of garlic
  • Chilli (optional)
  • & Salt and Pepper
Throw all of that in a blender and there you have vegan basil pesto!
Pesto tip: Pesto is pretty pricey to make but you can get 2 packets of fresh basil in Tesco for 2 euro. Pine nuts are also majorly expensive BUT you can pick up packets for 1 euro in Tiger stores which are found around Dublin.

2. Making the Roasted Vegetables

This is the best part and the sweeter the veg, the better. Chop whatever vegetables you desire into small bite size pieces. The smaller they are, the quicker they cook and the quicker they cook, the quicker you get to tuck into some amazing pasta bake. So season them up and roast until they're soft and juicy.
I like to use peppers, garlic, courgette, mushrooms and butternut squash but anything goes. I do strongly recommend courgette though, you'll understand why if you go with it.

3. Boiling the boring, soon to be exciting Pasta!

I prefere to use wholegrain pasta but feel free to use normal. I don't have exact measurements for how much to cook but just go with how much you need to fill your dish of choice. Keep in mind that the more pasta you cook you less concentrated the pesto will get. 

4. The final steps towards a pesto pasta party

So once you're pasta is boiled and your veg is roasted and oozing flavour, throw it all in a bowl with the pesto and mix it around until you've got a nice even spread.

For a topping I mixed nutritional yeast and breadcrumbs and a small bit of oil! I also chop cherry tomatos into small pieces, squeeze all the moisture out of them and place on top of the pasta bake so they become crispy when being baked.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vegan Muffins on Rachel Allen's Cake Diarys

A vegan baking recipe made it onto an Irish cooking show! I was pretty surprised when Rachel Allen, Baking extraordinaire featured a vegan recipe on her RTE Cake Diarys show. I was told by a few people about this being on so I watched it and got the recipe on line. I recommend the recipe a lot. The muffins were really easy to make and came out great.

The recipe called for raspberries. I used a mixture of the few remaining raspberries growing in my garden along with some blackberries I picked in the park behind my house. So resourceful and cheap!

Vegan Raspberry Muffins Recipe

The Ingredients

  • 225 g (8oz) plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 75 g (3oz) caster sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 150 g (5oz) fresh (or frozen and defrosted) raspberries
  • 225 ml (8fl oz) soya or rice milk
  • 50 ml (2fl oz) sunflower oil
  • 1 tblsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12-cup muffin tray and 10 muffin cases
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4), and line the muffin tray with the paper cases.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl, then mix in the sugar and orange zest. Carefully fold in the raspberries and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, then add these to the flour mixture, folding in to combine. Divide the batter between the muffin cases, filling each three-quarters full, then bake for 15–20 minutes or until golden on top and springy to the touch.

4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tray for 5 minutes, then take the muffins out of the tray and place on a wire rack to cool down completely.
If anyone has any other great muffin recipes, pass them on to me! I want to try make really big ones and ones to have for college breakfasts. 

Friday, September 28, 2012


There isn't a dish more Irish and more suited to this time of year than Collcannon! For those of haven't heard of it before, Collcannon consists of mashed potato, ground up Kale and Onion with loads of butter. Seriously yum, satisfying for cold days and most importantly nutritious. Any vegan doesn't really need to be told of the nutritional benefits of Kale. Here is some information anyway:

If you have a food processor, blend the kale up with white onion and mash into mashed potatoes with loads of butter(I use Pure Sun Flower) , salt and pepper and you're done. Taste's great on buttered bread too.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Vegan Carrot Cake Cookies

I love cookies and when you come across a vegan cookbook packed full of cookie recipes, you get pretty excited. I picked up this great book:Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar over Christmas and only really have started using it! All the measurements were in cups, but I got my hands on a cup measurement jug so I could bake to my hearts content after that. The book itself is really great and has so many amazing recipes in it.

The best (and kind of worst) thing is that they are all so quick and simple to make. I've been known to whip up a batch within minutes of having a cookie/chocolate craving!

I checked out a couple of the recipes but the Carrot Cake Cookies have got to be my favourite. It's a genius idea combining two amazing types of cake! So I had some homegrown pretty deformed looking carrots growing in my garden. So I thought, why not use them in this recipe and turn their ugly appearance into something delicious.

If you're digging this genius carrot cake and cookie combination so far, here is the recipe!
Carrot Raisin Spice Chews

1/3 cup non dairy milk
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds ( I didn't add these)
1/2 cup vegetable oil or peanut oil
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 1/2 tea spoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnut (optional really)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degree farenheit and grease or line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl, beat together the milk, flak seeds, oil, brown sugar, sugar, orange zest and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and spices. Stir to moisten ingredients and then fold in carrots, coconut, raisins and walnuts. Dough will be sticky and moist.

3. Drop generous table spoons of the dough onto cookies sheets, leaving about 2 inches between them. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes until the edges brown and the tops are firm. Leave to cool and then enjoy!!

My Tips:
They're very sweet so maybe hold off on some of the sugar. Make a lemon glaze to go on top and go all out and make an amazing ice cream sandwich out of 2 cookies. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Apple and Blackberry pie

I always look forward to blackberry season in Ireland. I live in Killiney,  an area where there is no shortage of blackberry bushes scattered throughout parks and country like lanes that surround my house. The best spots are well know so you need to ensure you get there before another blackberry enthusiast gets there and cleans the best bushes of their juiciest and most ripe berries. 

Mullins Hill is one place in Killiney that covered in overgrown blackberry bushes and where the BEST are found. During the summer the hill becomes some what of a sun trap so the berries benefit from the heat slowly sweetening them up for Autumn. 
Apples are another fruit widely found on road sides and you can successfully grow apple trees in your back garden in Ireland.
So this time of year has come again. I went on my annual blackberry scavenge and I got my hands on a bag of Irish apples freshly picked from a friend's garden. 

I made a crumble pie using blackberries I collected along with some cooking apples. I followed the same crumble recipe I've used before here. I just used blackberries and applies instead of raspberries and blueberries. I made a vegan shortcrust pastry base which was very easy to make as well. 

And here is the end result! So yummy and perfect for this time of year. I was a big fan of it. 

Vegan in Budapest

I went to the beautiful Budapest with my mum for a few days in August. It is an amazing city and has plenty of vegan and vegetarian restaurants and cafes.

I got a map of Budapest and marked out on the map where all the vegi/vegan restaurants were. I did this with the help of searching 'Vegan' into google maps and of course with This is a very handy way of knowing what restaurants are near by. There was always options nearby the major attractions!

Breakfast was the only tricky part. I'm not much of a breakfast person as well. So breakfast consisted of bread, Starbucks and some fruit. Eden Vegan restaurant on Buda Hill do a vegan breakfast, but we didn't make it over for breakfast.

I stayed in the amazing Corinthia Grand Royal Hotel, Which was amazing! I never get to stay in very luxury places but we got a good deal so why not! The room service menu and the various bar/restaurant menus were very accommodating to those with allergies. Each dish stated if it contained eggs, diary etc. This was great to see. I had pasta on the first night.

Now down to the food. We were luckily located a few blocks away from Napfényes Étterem vegan restaurant. I had a great experience here and the food was great. The menu is available online so we were able to have a little look before. They have loads of vegan pizzas but I had a horrible cheesless pizza that day that was enough to put me off pizza for a while. I wasn't that hungry but I over ate anyway! Don't think I had ever eaten in  100% vegan place before. I went for the ''Fried Pancakes Filled with Vegetable Cream served with Mashed Potatoes and Onions (spelt wheat pancakes filled with spicy vegetable cream served with fried, mashed potatoes and savory tomato sauce)'' and finished it off with some sugar free choccy cake!   

Located at the foot on Buda hill is Edeni Vegan Restaurant.
The location is quite great, it's located right beside the Batthyany Terace metro stop which is on the red line. It is also located at the bottom of buda hill which is home to many many attractions. It's about a 10 minute walk up to the hill. So very convenient, you can grab a vegan breakfast before setting off to Buda castle or you can enjoy lunch after a morning of exploring. Down to the food, I'll be honest in saying that I can't really remember what I had but there was a great selection to choose from, including desserts and smoothies.

We ate at Hummus Bar  few times. There are a few located around the city and 2 of which are fully vegi. We never made it to one of 100%vegi ones! But we ate a couple of times at the other locations. They have a wide range of food to offer and lots of vegan falafel options. Seriously handy and very cheap. Also great if you're travelling along with non vegi friends! Each purchase comes with a shot of delicious lemonade which makes you want to buy a whole glass! We opted for the falafel wraps the few times we were there. There is one restaurant located around the corner from St. Stephen's Basillica and also on the same street as the Jewish synagogue. So close to the major tourist attractions, if you're visiting them!

Lastly we took a trip a Govindas. There are a few in Budapest. Govindas tends to guarantee delicious and filling food. We went to one located near St. Stephen's Bascillica. 

If you're travelling to Budapest as a Vegan, I hope you found this blog post helpful!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

I was itching to make these for a few days for some reason. While attempting to do work in the library I packed my bags and went to the shops and picked up some flour and yeast to go make these. After finding a simple enough recipe the day previous, I was set to go. I followed this recipe here. It's from a vegan blog called Vegan Yum Yum! These buns are so soft, sugary and of course cinnamony. I put way much more cinnamon than the recipe intended. I just kept pouring! The more the better. What I find about some cinnamon buns is that they are quite bready and dry, these aren't though. As they are made with plain flour, opposed to strong white flour(used in bread making), they are soft and doughy.

The recipe was very simple so make sure to check it out here! I used pure soya butter for the dough and stork margarine for the filling. I also used a mixture of caster and brown sugar for the filling with LOADS of cinnamon, yum yum yum!

They were a hit with everyone and SO ADDICTIVE. I pretty much ate them all :(

Friday, August 3, 2012

Oat, coconut, raspberry, chocolate bars recipe

I posted about these bars a few months back and promised I would add up the recipe. I finally have! I made these as a thank you present when I left work. They went down a treat and people have asked for the recipe so here it is.

They’re a coconutty, oaty, raspberry and chocolate all rolled into one bar of delicious goodness. So here’s the recipe! They’re a recipe from the book ‘Sweet Vegan’ by Emily Mainquist.

Oat, coconut, raspberry, chocolate bars recipe

-195g plain flour
-160g soft dark brown sugar (I just use caster sugar if I don’t have any brown sugar)
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-225g stork margarine
-120g porridge oats
-45g desiccated coconut
-350g raspberry jam (I just use a whole jar or near about. I don’t measure it)
-90g chocolate chips/chunks (just chop up a chocolate bar.

1. Preheat oven to 180oC.
2. Get a baking sheet or tin and line it with baking paper or heavily grease with butter/margarine.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder and whisk together until well combined.
4. Using an electric beater start beating in small chunks gradually to the flour mixture. Beat until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Make sure there are no large margarine chunks.
5. Add the coconut and oats and mix again until well combined.
6. Press about 1/3 of the dough onto the baking sheet. Make sure it’s quite equal levelled. I sometimes use a rolling pin to flatten and spread it out. (Remember there’s baking powder in the recipe so it will rise slightly.)
7. Then spread the jam on top on the dough. And then place the remaining dough on top of the jam. I break up little chunks of the dough and spread it around the top. Then sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.
8. Bake for 20-25 mins until bubbly and golden brown. Cool in the tin on a wire rack.

An Eco Dublin Guide

I just finished up a 6 month internship with the Visit Dublin team in Failte Ireland. I was working on the website, which is the official tourism site for Dublin. Just before I left, the newly designed and updated Insider Guides went up. One of which is an Eco Dublin Guide which features lots of tips for  vegetarian/Vegan dining in Dublin. I was happy to see such a useful resource being implemented.
You can download the handy guide here. And check out the rest of the guides too, they're great.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Being a Vegan while holidaying in Spain.

I took a trip to Pals in Catalonia, Spain for a week with my friend Naomi. Her parents have an apartment there and while her Dad was over for 3 weeks, we decided to head over for a week.
The area itself is beautiful and is surrounded by acres of farms with sunflowers and other various fruit and vegetables. I've been to the area many times before but I think I only apreicated how nice it was this time.

I was kind of worried about eating while there. I don't think vegetarianism is generally common in the country side. However, it turned out to be just fine! I packed a packet of falafels and some nakd bars to keep for going for a couple days. I bought fresh bread daily in the bakery around the corner, Heinz baked beans, fresh vegetables and fruit and LOTS of dark chocolate and fruit. I used to spend my time eating fresh chocolate croissants from the bakery, they were sorely missed this time.

Eating out is where it became a little bit tricky.  I enjoyed some fresh vegetables prepared in different ways, Catalonia bread, pizza sans cheese and mainly.

 I came across a ice cream shop that did vegan ice cream!

 Chargrilled vegetables with Basil Oil. Was very very good!

  I found this fairly funny. The chef knew I was coming (he is friends with my friends dad) and he made me some slightly stir fried veg. Fairly unimaginative.

 Catalan Bread. Bread coated in oil, garlic and tomatoes.

 The best pizza I've ever had! This was unbelievably tasty. The sauce was perfect and I got onions on top. This was enjoyed on the beach!
And sorbet to finish!