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In Vogue to be Vegan - What is a Vegan?

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2:03pm 25th June 2015

So what is a Vegan?...

A Vegan is someone who doesn't eat or use animal products. This includes meat, eggs, dairy products or household products like leather, wool or fur. Vegans very often avoid anything that has been tested on animals like perfumes, aftershave and makeup.

So why do people turn Vegan? More and more people are doing it for the health benefits - feeling more fit and healthy and incresed energy are just a few of the reasons. Other reasons include doing it for the welfare on animals, for the enviroment and contributing to making a more sustainable planet.

If you're thinking that Vegan food is tasteless and boring then stop right there- below are 3 mouth watering Vegan friendly recipes for you to try and be wowed!

Fig, Cream Cheese and Mint Tart

 

Ingredients:
  • 1 quantity of home made pastry shortcrust pastry (see recipe) or 500g shop-bought shortcrust pastry
  • Plan flour, for dusting
  • 260ml whipping cream
  • 165g cream cheese
  • 3 big squidges of honey
  • 1 tbsp marsala
  • 12-16 figs, each cut into 6 pieces
  • Handful of green shelled pistachios, walnuts of pecans, halved
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint, ripped or roughly torn
Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4.
2. Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface to the thickness of half a £1 coin and use it to carefully line a 20 x 30cm rectangular fluted tin.
3. Homemade pastry is short and so will be quite crumbly. Don't be alarmed by this, you can patch it together in the tin.
4. Take a small ball of the pastry (the size of a £1 coin) and use it to gently ease the dough down into the tin.
5. Press the handle of a wooden spoon against the pastry all round the edges to coax it into the fluted grooves.
6. Trim off the excess around the top and run a thin knife between the pastry and the edge of the tin to loosen.
7. Put in the fridge for about 15 minutes, or until firm.
8. Remove the tart from the fridge. Take a piece of baking paper slightly larger than the tin and scrunch it up, then un-scrunch it and line the tin with it.
9. Fill it with baking beans or dried beans and 'blind bake' in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry feels sandy to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside.
For the filling:
1. Put the cream in a bowl and whip until it begins to thicken, then fold it into the cream cheese and mix with the honey and Marsala, if using.
2. Put the filling in the tart case, then arrange the figs on top and scatter over the nuts and mint. Serve with a sweet wine such as Asti.
3. Figs and mint are delicious so sprinkling some torn mint leaves overt the tart works really well. This tart is best eaten on the day it is made.
This recipe is thanks to foodnetwork.co.uk

 

Beet Bourgignon

 

Ingredients:
  • extra-virgin olive oil 4 tbsp
  • brown onion 1, chopped
  • garlic cloves 4, finely chopped
  • small beetroot 8, peeled and quartered
  • carrots 6, sliced into large pieces
  • bay leaves 3
  • thyme 2 sprigs
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • tomato purée 2 tbsp
  • red wine (use vegan wine if you like) 250ml
  • vegetable stock 500ml
  • puy lentils 400g
  • portobello mushrooms 2-3, sliced
  • crimini mushrooms 10
  • pearl onions 10, peeled
  • arrowroot 2 tsp, dissolved in 2 tbsp water
  • thyme a few sprigs, to garnish
Method:
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic and sauté until soft. Toss the beetroot, carrots, bay leaves, thyme and salt and pepper into the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the tomato purée, red wine and stock and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse the lentils under running water. Bring 1 litre of water and the lentils to the boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. When almost cooked, add a pinch of salt. Drain off any excess water, cover and set aside.
Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large frying pan, lower the heat and sear the mushrooms and pearl onions, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden. Season to taste and set aside.
Taste the stew and add more wine, stock or herbs if you like. Add the arrowroot mixture. Stir gently until thickened and clear. Add the mushrooms and onions and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, spoon the stew and lentils into four bowls, and sprinkle with the fresh thyme.
This recipe is thanks to theguardian.com

 

Raspberry Chocolate Cake

 

Ingredients:
  • Vegan margarine, for greasing
  • 300g / 10 1/2 oz plain flour
  • 50g / 1 3/4 oz cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 300g / 10 1/2 oz granulated sugar
  • 375 ml/13 fl oz soya milk
  • 125 ml/4 fl oz rapeseed oil
  • 7 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
For the icing
  • 40ml / 1 1/2 fl oz soya milk
  • 85g / 3 oz vegan dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 60g / 2 1/4 oz icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Fresh raspberries, to decorate
Method:
1.Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 23cm/9 inch cake tin and line with baking paper.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir in the salt and sugar. Pour the soya milk into a medium saucepan and add the oil, raspberry jam and vanilla extract. Place over a medium heat and whisk to combine. Stir into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
3. Transfer to the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
4. To make the icing, heat the soya milk in a small saucepan until boiling, then stir in the chocolate until melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the icing sugar and maple syrup. Set aside to cool before icing the cake. Top with a few fresh raspberries.
This recipe is thanks to vegansociety.com

 

 

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