Creamy Mushroom, ‘Bacon’ & Broccoli Spaghetti

I have really been craving this kind of dish lately, is it just me or don’t you just love the strong flavour of mushrooms, and in a sauce that’s creamy without the dairy is AMAZING! My taste buds are tingling at the thought, I just LOVE mushrooms. Below is a simple recipe you can totally use and thank me later…

Ingredients:

500g brown rice spaghetti

1 tin coconut milk

1 tsp Oregano

3 tbsp vegan butter

1 tsp Dijon mustard

3 rashers vegan bacon (I used Finnebrogue)

1 head broccoli

500g mushrooms, I used chestnut

80ml veg stock

4 tbsp GF flour

1 crushed garlic clove

1 diced onion

Salt and Pepper

Method

  1. Prepare all your veg by chopping, dicing as needed and boil a full kettle of water so that you are prepared.
  2. To a pan add your broccoli, allow to boil/steam for around 8 minutes or until tender but so it still has a crunch!
  3. Whilst the broccoli is boiling, add oil of choice to a pan and when hot, add your ‘bacon’. Fry on high for around 5 minutes turning halfway through. You want it slightly crispy.
  4. Once the broccoli is drained and bacon is finished, sit them to one side. Now heat another larger frying pan with your vegan butter and add the onion.
  5. After the onion has turned brown, add your sliced mushrooms and garlic, allow them to soften. Then add in your oregano and stir. Whilst this is happening, add your boiled water and spaghetti to a pan and cook accordingly.
  6. Then, add your flour and continuously stir for a minute. Add your coconut milk and vegetable stock, dijon mustard and stir well. This should thicken up slightly after a few minutes while simmering.
  7. Lastly you want to season with salt and pepper, add your broccoli and ‘bacon’. Mix in well then add your drained spaghetti.
  8. Enjoy the creaminess!

SUBWAY REVIEW

As we all know, the majority of food places and supermarkets are taking part in ‘Veganuary’ which means there’s lots of new products on the market with a lot to try! I wish I could make my way through absolutely all of the places I love so I can taste and review them, but during these times especially; I don’t have a big enough bank account 😀

Anyway here is a quick review on the new Sub T.L.C (Tastes Like Chicken) at Subway.

I had to get a footlong as you know, greedy guts here! I believe the ‘chicken’ substitute is a soy protein, it really did have a tender and alike taste to chicken which worked great alongside all thaaa salad you like, and I had ketchup for some random reason (I kind of panicked when they asked what sauce I wanted). I also chose the seeded sub as I love texture in my food.

Okay, so it was YUM, not amazing but it was satisfying. I overall give it a 7/10 taking into consideration price too. Texture was there and flavour but it wasn’t gourmet, however Subway is a fast food chain so can’t really complain!

I did have to also try the Vegan Double Choc Cookie! I rate that a 9/10 I could 100% eat like 10 of these. Check your local Subway store for how they are operating and what’s on their menu! https://www.subway.com/en-GB

THE BOTANIST, MARLOW (REVIEW)

Heya guys, I’m back with a new review, so much going on this year it is super hard to stay consistent with content, but I’m happy to post again! This review is super exciting to write, it is already making me want to go back here as it was exceptional!

This stunning resteraunt in the heart of Marlow (but has many other restaurants in other regions) is so botanical (hense the name), with its beautiful dishes and amazing cocktails your in for a treat if you visit here. I have visited several times and NEVER have I been disappointed once, the vegan options are varied which always is a good start to me. So I think it’s time I actually review them as the service is ace and the workers are so friendly from door to table.

On this occasion I opted for the Moving Mountains burger, as I know this brand of vegan burger is a winner, I had it served with sweet chilli fries. Ok, so I cannot explain to you how insane this dinner was, the burger was deliciously flavoured and is by far THE ABSOLUTE BEST vegan burger I have tasted so far (it beat the actual vegan place I last reviewed). Funny story, as I started eating the burger I honestly thought it was accidently meat 😀 this was because it also had pulled jackfruit on top which wasn’t mentioned in the menu and it all tasted like pulled pork and beef, my boyfriend started to get worried and I nearly just nearly had him try it…damn! (he’s not vegan at all). After asking the waiter she reassured me there was no meat whatsoever and that it’s just that good! I was astonished, so yes it was the perfect burger and those sweet chilli fries topped it off so well as they were sticky and slightly sweet. Now you are probably drooling and wondering what this looks like so the best image I got is below….

Here is a summary of this place:

Price: Looking around £15-£20 per head depending if you have 2 courses, could be more like £30 if your having cocktails/drinks etc. I think higher price end but happy to pay as you get what you pay for here!

Service: Outstanding, friendly staff who are super happy all the time!

Cleanliness: Super important right now during COVID but anyway it is always clean and never found or seen anything in food

Food: Delicious, cater for all diet types, such a variety of food and presented so nice. They use a lot of garden accessories for dishes which is super different and cool.

Atmosphere: Nice lighting, plenty of seating and it’s comfortable. I would say it is always slightly chilly whenever I have been but bearable!

REVIEW: BLACK GOO BREAKFAST

I am back with another review, yes another for BLACK GOO! As you know their cakes are insane, but how about brunch/breakfast? They have you covered. It is delicious, filling and not underwhelming at all I promise especially for us vegans:) So I had this one over at the Berkhamsted café but this is available at Tring too.

Now for me, I know how hard it can be to get a satisfying vegan breakfast without it tasting or looking gross, I can confidently tell you that this is now the 2nd BEST one I have had (Wild Strawberry Café does come first at the moment!)

Here we have it…. the Vegan Goo^^ in all it’s glory! What can you not love? Bubble n squeak, beans, hash brown, shrooms, tomato, toast, avocado and falafel; all alongside a cup of tea. Atmosphere here is great, awesome music in the background and it’s at the top of an antique shop which is a good workout for the legs;) Hopefully if in need of bfast/brunch places, then head here!

REVIEW: VEGAN SPARTAN

EPICLY TASTY AND ENTIRELY VEGAN!

Honestly so excited to share this review on this resteraunt. It’s based in Hemel Hempstead town centre, to which I never knew it even existed. Better late than never right? Also got an awesome deal as we ate there on a Monday during the 50% off scheme 😀

Price range: £20-30 per head depending whether you get dessert and nice drinks.

Atmosphere: Super spacious, enough room between each table, really clean and smart inside, friendly staff. Quite a few families here which I was surprised but also so happy kids were eating plant based foods!

Service: Everything was presented well however service was really slow especially on our desserts, I understand it may be because of the whole Covid scenario atm though. I liked they bring you water without you even having to ask!

Food (important part): I first had a Black Velvet milkshake which was divine! It tasted similar to red velvet, I thought it would actually be black but as you can see from the image it was almost the usual red colourish, yummy though! I then just had to go for one of there burgers; the BBQ Jackfruit and pineapple burger with potato wedges. Those wedges were proper, they are honestly the best wedges I have had, super chunky and taste perfect with there ketchup! The burger was sweet and satisfying, I do want to go back to try a more metier patty type burger, however this one is good if you are after a less meaty texture. Lastly I did have an ‘After Eight’ dessert, it was a soft similar to mouse like texture and super minty and chocolate heaven. It was presented beautifully and it was rich which is how I like my dessert.

So, just to also mention I took my non-vegan boyfriend with me and even he enjoyed the food, and he is super fussy. I would definitely return and try some more items!

DOUBLE CHOC HAZELNUT COOKIES

THESEEE are a winner, scrumptiously addicting and completely flour free! They are delicious as a snack, breakfast or any time of the day and I promise they will be gone very quickly. Even my absolute non-vegan boyfriend loved them!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup oat flour (blitz oats)

1 cup ground almonds

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup coconut sugar

Pinch vanilla powder

1 Lindt dark chocolate bar 70% or more

Handful hazelnuts

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp coconut oil melted

1/2 cup unsweetened oat milk

Method

  1. First of all preheat your oven to 160 fan / 180 conventional and line a large baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Next add all dry ingredients to your bowl apart from the chocolate and nuts. Stir this until fully incorporated the cocoa powder well.
  3. Now mix in all wet ingredients and the mixture forms a dough that comes together. Add in the hazelnuts and break up your chocolate and add in too. Save a little chocolate if you want to do a drizzle once the cookies are baked!
  4. After that, using a tablespoon plop large spoonful’s of the mixture onto your baking sheet making cookie shapes but do not flatten entirely.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before doing a drizzle. I find that they seem to taste even more amazing and sweet when left overnight and eat the next day!

CHOCOLATE BANANA LOAF

Ingredients

2 cups GF oats

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/4 cup GF all purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

2 ripe bananas

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup coconut sugar

 2 tbsp melted coconut oil

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Pinch vanilla powder

Pinch cinnamon

1 flax egg

Optional: Lindt dark chocolate with orange pieces (as much of the bar as you like)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees fan/180 conventional and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
  2. To a bowl mash your bananas and add your flax egg and milk, mix well.
  3. Add everything else except the Lindt chocolate if using, and mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into your lined tin then if using the chocolate break as much up as you want and put into the mixture (or if you want it to be more inside then do this in the bowl before you pour into your tin)
  5. Bake in the centre of your oven for 45 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before slicing and enjoy!

BLACK BEAN BURGER

These patties are perfectly seasoned and not dry or overly mushy! I had a big plate for lunch with a mixture of things so this is the best photo I got…therefore you must try them yourself 😉 All you need is your food processor and a frying pan, plenty of olive oil and your ready for some easy vegan burgers!

Makes 4-5

Ingredients

1 can black beans drained, rinsed and blotted with paper towel so soak up moisture

1 red pepper

Clove of garlic

1 large spring onion

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp rosemary

1tsp thyme

Few tablespoons of GF plain flour or gram flour (this is just to help make them more pliable)

Salt and pepper

Dash of paprika

1 flax egg

Olive oil for frying

Method

  1. First you want to roughly chop your veg and ensure all black beans are pretty dried out to prevent extra moisture. Also prepare your flax egg and let it gel together.
  2. Next place everything into your food processor and blitz until it starts to come together, not to much though as you still want a chunky texture!
  3. Now heat up some oil in your pan, use a tablespoon to scoop some mixture in the pan and only press slightly to form burger shapes and fry for a couple minutes each side. The tip is not to keep pushing it down when its frying as this actually causes the mixture to separate or your burger to burn!
  4. Finally when all are cooked you can plate up or store them in your fridge/freezer! Perfect meal prep idea.

GOOEY CHOCOLATE CAKE

ATTENTION! TO ALL CHOCOHOLICS and cake lovers 😀 This is the PERFECT cake for you, it’s easy, refined sugar free, flour free, gluten free and of course vegan!!! Also only 1 bowl needed (we be loving these 1 bowl recipes right?) 

This recipe is slightly adapted from LIVIAS as I am oat intolerant so I use millet as a replacement for this. I must say I am so happy with how well I can use this substitute in my goods, it would be good to know if you guys have any other suggestions too! The cake is still oozing with gooeyness and absolutely delicious, no stodge like you get with regular floury cakes so this is a bonus. I admit I could fully eat the entire thing NO SHAME here…

Ingredients

CAKE BASE:

125g millet flakes

280g cashew butter

185ml maple syrup

250ml almond milk unsweetened

150g ground almonds

35g cacoa powder

Pinch of sea salt

FROSTING:

135g almond butter

125ml maple syrup

15g cacoa powder

PUFFED RICE TOPPING (optional):

2tsp coconut oil

2tbsp maple syrup

1/2 cup puffed rice

Method

  1.  Firstly preheat that oven to 160 degrees fan / 180 degrees conventional. Line a 8″ cake tin with parchment and set aside.
  2.  Whisk in a bowl, cashew butter, maple, almond milk and cacoa powder until smooth.
  3. Next add in the ground almonds, millet flakes and salt and use a spoon to stir until batter is formed.
  4. Pour this into your cake tin and bake in the oven for 30 minutes!
  5. Whilst the cake is baking you can make your topping if you are adding the puffed rice. Boil the coconut oil and maple until bubbling then add in your puffed rice stir well. Allow them to caramelise (takes about 2 minutes) but stir every now and again to avoid completely burning. Pour them onto a plate and flatten slightly allowing to cool.
  6.  Once cake is done, allow to cool completely before making the frosting. To do this just mix all the frosting ingredients together, then smother on top of your cake!
  7. Lastly break up your puffed rice, they would have clustered together and sprinkle on top. Serve immediately or keep covered for a few days (I can guarantee this will be eaten day 1!) Happy baking guys!

 

CHERRY POLENTA CAKE

Who would have thought polenta could make a cake ay? It can and it worked out pretty awesome. I will recreate this recipe again and amend however it is a good first try, the cake held together nicely, wasn’t dry but it is not sweet enough I think! You could play around with different sugars to see if this creates a sweeter cake. Cherries are one of my faveee fruits and they are in season so I figured why not pair them?! The cake is naturally gluten free too.

Ingredients

250g polenta

1/2 cup ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup maple syrup

200g cherries

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 flax eggs

Method

  1.  Preheat your oven to 160 fan/ 350 Fahrenheit and line a spring back cake tin with baking paper.
  2.  Make you flax eggs and let sit for 5 minutes/ In a bowl, mix your ground almonds, baking powder and polenta.
  3. Next melt your coconut oil and once your flax eggs are set add along with the rest of the wet ingredients to dry. Incorporate well.
  4. Stir in your cherries that are chopped ensuring no pips are left!
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing. Perfect served with dairy free custard or oat/soya cream!