baby aubergine curry with coconut

I love trying new ways of cooking tasty vegan food, and I particularly love aubergines. Because the aubergines are babies they cook differently to large aubergines, they are tender but at the same time they stay firm. I adapted this recipe from an Indian cookbook called 50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi.
I have cooked this for dinner parties with basmati rice, salad and papadums and it is always a huge hit. It looks impressive and it’s tasty, sweet and savoury and has all the lovely flavours of delicious Indian spices. I sometimes serve it with a dollop of dairy free yogurt or kefir too.

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bellini sorbet

There’s nothing like a cocktail and dessert in one. Inspired by the Bellini cocktail, which was invented in around 1934 by Giuseppe Cipriani of Harry’s Bar in Venice, and still served there to this day. This sorbet is really refreshing and delicious. It’s also really easy to make and if you like Bellinis and you like sorbet, then you have hit the jackpot with this recipe. It is perfect on Valentine’s Day at the end of the meal. It’s light and a bit boozy, so your not too stuffed for your romantic shenanigans ahead. I would also serve this on a special occasion like Christmas Eve or New Years Eve.

Serves 2.

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love cookies

These shortcakes are very chocolatey, fun and vegan. Anyone can make them. All you do is mix the ingredients, bake them, dip in warm chocolate and leave to cool. They taste amazingly buttery even though there’s no butter in them and are perfect as a gift for your loved ones (…or loved ones),  in a cellophane bag or a small box with a red ribbon because I think a homemade present is really thoughtful. I’ve tried these out on friends who can’t tell they are dairy free, in fact they even preferred them to normal biscuits made with butter!

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moqueca

Moqueca is a super easy traditional Brazilian fish stew which is creamy and tangy all at once because it has the brilliant combo of lime juice, coconut milk and chilli. It will warm your cockles even on an autumn evening and take you to somewhere a little bit more exotic if you are not there already. You can also use fresh squid, sea bream, haddock, clams, mussels, scallops,  crab or whatever is available or whatever you fancy in it. It’s up to you. Its really delicious with basmati rice or crusty bread if you are not low carbing it. Perfect for a dinner party or just a dinner for two.

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chocolate dipped spiced cookies

As I’ve said before, its challenging converting a tasty recipe to vegan as the flavours and textures can be very different from the standard ingredients that are usually used. I think vegan recipes also need to be more fun, so I am trying to come up with fun recipes on this blog that are not only vegan but look and taste as good if not better than the original with animal products in them. I’m trying these cookies out at a dinner party and will get back to you with their verdict.
Result! They wanted the recipe and they think they’re perfect for Christmas and as a homemade Christmas gifts!

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creamy pineapple pachardi

This is the ultimate Indian sweet and sour dish and I like the idea of fruit being used as if they were vegetables. This quick and easy recipe would be fab served with other Indian dishes, like tandoori chicken or any meat dish or just with basmati rice and a salad. I converted it to vegan, by replacing the curd in the traditional recipe with creamy coconut milk and I think it tastes just as good. About to get my friends Louise and Nicola to test try it for dinner tonight and will get back to you with their verdict.
They loved it and couldn’t get enough of it. I served it with plain boiled basmati rice, poppadums, garlicky raita, homemade onion bhajis (recipe coming soon) and salad.

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creamy bean hummus

Beans make a smoother paler paste than chick peas, and I sometimes like that. I know versions of humus are everywhere. And bean humus can be served as an alternative to hummus and is a great healthy store cupboard standby. It’s also perfect if you are dairy free and want an alternative to butter that is healthy. They are now saying that margarines and damaged fats are really bad for you, so things like hummus are a much better and tasty alternative. I like to serve it with bread drizzled in a little olive oil, see my scorched bread recipe in the index, and dry fried in a frying pan till it’s got a slightly overdone crunchy chargrilled flavour with a nice thick layer of the bean humus and with salad and pine nuts on top. Its great with roast veg on it too or its fab with crudités or tortilla chips as a dip.

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gnocchi

Little pillows of gorgeousness, these are much nicer than shop bought gnocchi. I put them with my sugo recipe with lots of Parmesan and basil and you have a brilliant vegetarian dinner.

Makes enough for a starter for 6 or a main for 4 people.

recipe

Ingredients:

350g of plain flour or potato flour
1kg of large floury potatoes (i.e. Desiree or Maris Piper)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
2 small beaten eggs

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