Vegan Recipe Diaries #2

I've been testing out SO much food recently and completely falling in love with following recipes and giving new meals a whirl. Let's kickstart this next instalment of the vegan recipe diaries with something savoury and delicious.

James actually spotted these over on Ela's Instagram and it didn't take long for me to screenshot the recipe and fetch the ingredients. Most of it we had anyway, like flours and spices due to our collection expanding by the week pretty much whilst following all of these amazing recipes. Which is another plus about cooking from scratch; once you have a lot of the ingredients already in your cupboard they usually aren't too expensive to make. These bad boys were cheap as chips! I made ours a little too large and I blame the husband who has eyes bigger than his belly. These kind of spread out a little more whilst cooking too and because of their sheer size I found I couldn't crisp them up as much as I wanted but that didn't stop them from being insanely good. They were seriously tasty and James took 3 to work the next day. Yes you heard me correctly, 3 of these enormous potato cakes. We'll absolutely be making these again, thanks Ela!

Turns out I like a challenge. I also like cinnamon. A lot. So when I spotted an easy recipe for vegan cinnamon rolls you bet your ass I was on it quicker than well, something that likes cinnamon. Cinnamon rolls are notoriously tricky to master but this recipe is supposed to be a condensed down version and fool proof. I haven't any experience with making rolls to compare that too, however after making this recipe once I have definitely worked out a few things I can get better at next time. The sizing for example, what is it with me and making things too bloody large?! My first crack at cinnamon rolls were still delicious but I want to tidy up the presentation and also make a slightly more manageable dough next time; mine was too loose now looking back and rather sticky. This recipe however, good lord it was fun to follow and full of tips. I'll definitely be returning to it for another go!

Creamy Pasta Sauce - A tip from the Woolley household
Not a recipe as such, but as we were trying to choose a pasta sauce in Tesco the other night I had a sudden brainwave and I'm not even sure if people do this anyway but up until this week we didn't think to try it. If you like a creamier tomato based sauce with your pasta, try adding a dollop or two of the Oatly Creme Fraiche and WOW it makes the sauce taste sooooo much better! We usually use just a standard Tesco's own pasta sauce and it's yummy anyway but adding the creme fraiche adds a whole other level of taste. Not entirely sure how we ever coped without it!

Do you remember last week I was raving about my love for cookies? Well I went back to Holly's blog and found another cookie recipe to try. Ohhh my goodness. THIS. We actually had some left over white chocolate from Christmas in our pantry and it was left because I don't particularly like it but I thought I'd chuck it into some cookies and I'd never know. I also whacked in one small bar of Tesco's free from milk chocolate and had the best of both worlds and golly, these cookies are way too nice. The cookie dough recipe alone was crazy good (yes I always taste it first...yum!) and I'll be bookmarking this one as an all time favourite.

So that completes another round of all the new vegan recipes I've been trying lately and I've found so much love in cooking and spending time in my kitchen, I'm always looking out for new things to try. Any recommendations?

Thanks for reading!

Vegan Recipe Diaries #1

I'm no professional chef or recipe creator but I sure do like food. I noticed recently I've been scouting out more and more recipes to try and rather than let them sit and fester on my Pinterest board without a further thought, I've been making the time at weekends to actually create the recipes I've been finding.

Being self employed as an illustrator, I find that weekends have been something I've had to work on a little in order to create a healthier work life balance. I work from home and if I'm not careful, I end up feeling consumed by my work and before you know it, you've got a massive slap of artists block on your hands or even impostor syndrome. Taking a step back and switching off is important, so cooking and baking for me really is something I love to do to wind down, relax, do something fun and get a finished product that's hopefully delicious at the end of it!

The idea of these new recipe diaries is I share what I've been trying and from my average Joe kitchen to my average Joe skill set, I'll be telling you how I found them in terms of making the food, was it hard, was it simple, was it expensive, was it even nice after all of that effort? I'll be linking to the recipes I find and use so you can try anything you fancy out for yourselves and overall, I thought it was a great way to capture all of the yummy meals and treats I hope to make this year.

vegan sausage roll, the little blog of vegan, vegan sausage

Now I've tried one or two of the fake meats and even the kits you can get to make your own vegan sausage and to be honest I don't think they're great. Plus a lot of it is processed rubbish which we're aiming to consume way less of this year. These little bites of deliciousness though are on a whole other level of yum. Their main ingredient is chickpeas to achieve the 'sausage' along with some herbs, spices, soy sauce, nuts and a couple of other things but they were SO EASY to make that I'm dying to make another batch. Very cheap, very simple, the recipe makes a very good sized batch and my whole family loved them. I'll also add that I'm slightly allergic to walnuts so I switched them for cashews and the recipe worked out perfect. They're fab for snacks and I put some in the husbands lunch box too, he think's they're amazing.

There's nothing we love more than a noodle soup dish so when I found this recipe I just had to give it a go. I did switch the dried shiitake mushrooms to fresh ones because they're a lot cheaper and I just chopped and dumped the whole pack in and it still turns out super tasty. I also leave out the ginger because I can't stand the stuff and as the recipe advises, leave it simmering for at least at hour to let the flavours deepen. There's only two of us eating so this broth recipe usually leaves me enough to drain, pop into a jar once cooled and then fridge or freeze it for next time. We make some teriyaki tofu to chuck on top and use vermicelli noodles along with gem lettuce, grated carrot, some chopped spring onions and anything else we fancy. You can switch the toppings up to whatever you enjoy and again it's a really cheap meal, with enough broth left over for another meal next time.

vegan broth, vegan ramen broth, vegan food, vegan food blog, vegan japanese food

Finishing nicely with a sweet treat, I'll try out any new vegan friendly cookie recipe I can find so when I spotted these whilst visiting Holly's blog (same time I saw the sausage roll recipe!) I had to save it to try them that same weekend. These again were very simple to make, cheap (although I had to fork out for expensive cocoa powder when Tesco's own brand was sold out when I shopped for ingredients, boo!) and you could easily switch up the chocolate to include some vegan friendly white chocolate chunks or drizzle too.

vegan cookies

We really liked the finished cookies but they were very cakey and more on the spongey side than a chewy and crunchy cookie, but that's probably down to the fact they were a 'brownie cookie' and not a regular style, plus it didn't stop them from being delicious!

vegan cookies

So that's it for my first set of recipes that I tried throughout January and I already have a couple ready and tested for the February post! Let's just say, cinnamon rolls and amaretto biscuits? I must find something savoury to have a crack at as well!

Thanks for reading!

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