spambulance asked: Do you have a recipe for the cold-pressed fruit bars we talked about at Christmas? I had one on a plane and liked it, but they're about 80p each and you said you made you own... x

Yes!

Our top tip would be to check out the ingredients listed on the back of “Nakd” bars as they list the percentage of each thing. You can use the ratio of stuff as a base to make your own adding any extras you fancy.

It’s a good idea to grind the nuts up first too, or they can be a bit chunky if you bang it all in the mixer at once.

Chocolate orange pie

I have made PPK’s Chocolate Pudding a couple of times but played around to achieve a thicker texture and a richer chocolateynss (read: added a ton extra chocolate). Not that I want to degrade Isa’s demigod status, this is just more of a tortey style than pudding. I added the orange for a lil sumthin different, haven’t seen much chocolate orange bobbing around the vegan-sphere which is a shame, such a tastey combo. I took the pie to Cake Liberation Front today (hence the little sign) where it was received very well.

For the base

  • 200g ginger nut biscuits (one pack of Tesco’s value, which are vegan)
  • 50g hazelnuts
  • 10 dates
  • 2 tbsp marge or coconut butter
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

For the filling

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 1/3 cup demerara sugar
  • 3 cups non-dairy milk (I use half almond / half soy, unsweetened)
  • 1/3 cup corn flour
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Juice and zest of one orange
  • 3 (additional) tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tsp orange essence
  • 1 tsp salt

Method

  • Melt the marge (microwave in a mug 30 sec) and, unless your blender is a real quality piece of kit, break the biscuits before adding to a blender with the rest of the base ingredients and whizz until uniform
  • Spread in a pie dish and bake blind for 10 mins @ 180C. Leave to cool on the side while creating the filling
  • Sift the corn flour and cocoa into a metal-bottom pan. Add the milk (maybe just half of it first depending how big the pan is) and whisk until dissolved. Use a sauce whisk or a fork
  • Heat the mixture on high, whisking consistently. As it warms it will thicken (yes it’s a chocolate white sauce). When it reaches a syrupy consistency (3-5 mins) remove from the heat
  • Leave to one side but keep an eye out and whisk if a skin starts forming
  • Break chocolate into squares and microwave for 2 min, stirring half way. Gloopy squares are needed i.e. no need to melt completely. Go bain marie if you’re old skool and like wasting time.
  • Add the chocolate to the sauce with the rest of the ingredients, whisk until uniform. Pour it into the cooled pie crust.
  • Leave on counter top until the filling stops steaming then pop in the fridge, ideally overnight but for at least 4 hours. Serve on its own or with fresh fruit.

Asparagus and sun-dried tomato fritatta

This is pretty much straight out of Vegan with a Vengeance.

I’m not sure if we messed up the first time we did this or there’s a misprint in our book, we put way too much turmeric in and it didn’t taste great. Second time (with 1/2 tsp) was much better.

Most of the ingredients below can be varied to taste, if you want more basil, add more basil, less tomato, that’s cool too. Next time I’d like to add some mushrooms and other veggies and a pinch or two of smoked paprika for extra goodness.

Ingredients

  • 1 regular block extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut into 1-2cm chunks
  • 1 bundle asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 4-5 sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

Method

  • Preheat over to 200 C
  • Crumble the tofu into a bowl until it’s fairly small. Stir through the soy sauce, mustard and nutritional yeast.
  • The recipe says to use an “8-inch oven-proof skillet” as you can bake the fritatta in it afterwards, we don’t have one and used a frying pan and then a cake tin for the baking part.
  • In your pan, sauté the onions in olive oil until soft. Add asparagus and tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and turmeric and sauté for another minute. Squeeze in the lemon juice to deglaze the pan and take it off the heat.
  • Add the tofu mixture and basil leaves in the pan and mix everything together.
  • Press down the mixture in your skillet or baking tin. Place it in oven and cook for 20 minutes. If you want to brown it up a bit on top, grill it for 2-3 minutes at the end, be careful it doesn’t burn!
  • If you’re not super hungry at this point, Isa suggest you leave it to stand for 10 minutes prior to serving… Good luck with that!

Raw Chocolate Fudge Bars*

*Not actually a chocolate bar: no added or refined sugars and no oil (just what’s in the nuts), so is much lower fat than a chocolate bar.  Also contains fibre, so good for filling you up on the move or before exercise.  70% fruit.  Gluten-free if using gf oats.  Most importantly: tastes like Fruit & Nut without spending £2.50 for dairy-free snack.  Don’t let the fact it looks like a cornturd put you off.

Ingredients

  • 200g pitted dates
  • 70g sultanas
  • 50g almonds
  • 50g cashews
  • 75g oates (rolled or ground, whatever’s available)
  • 25g cocoa
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Up to 1/8 cup warm water

Method

  • Blend nuts to an almost powder, blend in cocoa (no need to seive) and set to one side in a bowl
  • Blend dates, sultanas and orange juice at high speed.  May take a while if your blender is cheap and knackered like mine,  I had to keep stopping to prevent the thing from overheating.  Blend to a fairly uniform consistency
  • Add the dry mix slowly, with splashes of warm water to dissolve the cocoa and aid mixing.   Keep blending until a maleable consistency of stiff plastacine is achieved.  Any wetter and it won’t set nice (but will taste the same, can always add more oats to thicken)
  • Plonk the finished product into a lined loaf tin (or cup cake cases, ramekins, flan tin, not really important) and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.  Cut it into fingers and wrap in foil to keep until eating

Ginger-Sesame-Broccoli-Fried-Rice
Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 150g brown rice
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 4 spring onions, chopped into 1cm chunks (on the diagonal if you want it looking fancy, like me)
  • 2 chillis, chopped (deseed if you like)
  • Knob of ginger, around 50g, grated
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil (or other oil for high-heat cooking)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 block firm tofu, squeezed
  • Black pepper
  • Turmeric

Method

  • Cook the rice whilst preparing the vegetables, steam the broccoli for three minutes
  • Drain the brocc and add ginger, soy, sesame oil and chillis to the pan.  Cover, shake and leave to one side
  • Heat the groundnut oil in a wok/large frying pan until smoking, crumble the tofu in, add black pepper and a sprinkle of turmeric (to make it yellow and look like egg).  Fry for about 5 minutes on high until crispy
  • Add the cooked rice, infused broccoli and other veg to the pan.  Stir until hot

Veganchiladas
Serves 2

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes, drained through a colander
  • One red onion, chopped finely
  • 2 chillis, chopped (seeds removed if you want)
  • Juice 1/2 lime
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 bunch coriander, picked and chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup sweetcorn
  • 4 roasted peppers (from a jar’s fine)
  • 1 bag fresh babyleaf spinach

For the topping

  • Veganomicon’s cheezy sauce, with only 3/4 cup stock + 2 tsp corn flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy
  • Vegan mozzarella (optional) 
  • 4 tortilla wraps

Method

  • Make the topping – follow the link above or if you are sensible enough to own a copy of Veganmonicon it’s page 214.  I’d dissolve the corn flour into the stock before you add the plain flour.  Always sieve the flour.
  • As soon as you add this to the garlic pan it will thicken to a paste.  Take it off the heat and beat out the lumps, leave to one side.
  • Mix all the filling ingredients together except for the pepper and spinach.  Dry off the beans, coriander, sweetcorn etc. a little first because you don’t want it to be too runny.
  • Oil a suitable cooking dish and prepare tortillas: spread about 1tbsp of the cheezy sauce on the bottom, top with a chunky slither of red pepper then add about 3 tbsp salsa and handful of spinach.  Roll up and tuck into the dish, repeat four times.
  • Add the soy to the cheezy sauce to make it runny (consistency of nacho cheese), beat it in, pour it onto the tortillas.  Top with remaining salsa and vegan mozz, if using.
  • Bake @ 180 degrees for 30 mins.

Banana Loaf

I’m going to pretend that a slice of this is one of my 5 a day

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white flour, sifted
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 1/3 cup vegan marge
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/8 cup sultanas
  • 1/8 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries

Method

  • Mix the dry ingredients, beat in the wet.  Fold the walnuts and fruit in
  • Bake in a loaf tin (mine is 12x22cm but I don’t think they differ much) @ 180 degrees for 40 minutes, let it cool fully inside the tin
  • It’s quite moist so can be eaten with your fingers just tearing bits off.  Personally I like it sliced with some salty marge

Jerk Tofu with Coconut Rice
Serves 4 

Get ready for tastesplosion.  This tofu is quick and simple, the spicy glaze tastes awesome with creamy rice.  Unfortunately the rice is kind of laborious (if you don’t like making risotto then sack it off now) but so, so worth it.  I’ve made it a couple of times, would like to make a mad amount next time and just freeze individual portions - tastes great on its own, could be microwaved with a bit of raw veg for a quick eat.

Ingredients

For the tofu

  • 1 pack extra-firm tofu, pressed
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp any brand jerk seasoning
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce 

For the rice

  • 250g uncooked brown rice
  • 1 can coconut milk (always remember the ‘World Foods’ isle but for once don’t buy the cheapest, it’ll be watery.  Chaokoh is mid-priced and super creamy, and is imported by Double Happiness Wholesale which is really cute)
  • 2 cups veg stock
  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 or 4 medium red chillis, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 spring onions, chopped, to serve (optional) 

Method

For the rice 

  • Fry onion and chillis in oil in over medium-high heat for 3 minutes
  • Add the rice and stir to coat, then add the peas, coconut milk and veg stock
  • Cook the rice, covered, for about 40 minutes.  Quick-cook will be… quicker.  The rice will sink to the bottom and require stirring to prevent from burning, every 3 mins or so.  Add extra water if it starts to get dry
  • When the rice is almost ready (like I said, 40 mins or just read the packet), turn heat up and fry uncovered for a further 3-5 mins, stirring, to rid some of the sloppiness

For the tofu (make 10 mins before rice is ready)

  • Cut tofu into desired shape (slabs are photogenic but I prefer triangles to eat) and dry fry on high for five mins, tossing (lol) so browned on all sides
  • Add soy, fry for one min then add jerk spice, fry for another min
  • Turn the heat off and add the sweet chilli sauce, stir to glaze the tofu and leave it where it is cooling while the rice finishes off

Serve together with chopped scallion, if you are so inclined

Greenie Calzones Makes 12 minis
Lunch or snack, hot or cold.  Personally I like them cold.
Ingredients
1 large pizza dough (my recipe makes 2 but use the whole thing for this)
10 blocks frozen spinach
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large white onion, finely chopped
210g can of chickpeas, or half a 400g (regular) can (math!!), drained and rinsed
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tbsp olive oil
Seasoning
Method
Thaw the spinach (use a microwave if necessary) then squeeze as much water out as possible.  I push it out through a colander with the back of a spoon
Dry fry spinach on high heat to evaporate even more water.  Add some salf and fry for about 5 mins, not so it’s crispy or anything, just less sodden
Put spinach to one side, wipe pan out with some kitchen towel and turn the heat down to medium.  Add oil, onion and spices; fry for five mins until translucent
Add garlic, fry further 2 mins
Add chickpeas and give them a stir for 1 min to burn off some of the water
Turn off the heat and add spinach.  May be useful to chop it a bit in the pan with some scissors depending on brand of spinach used (some of it comes ready chopped almost to a puree).  Mix it all up and squeeze your lemon over.   Season well.
Roll out your pizza dough thin but not super-thin – these are floury and soft, not crispy
Cut the dough around an upside down cereal bowl like you would a biscuit dump a bit of spinach mixture on one side (recommend just using your hands) leaving 1cm dough to the edge.  Fold over and crimp the edge with a fork
Bake @ 220 degrees for 8 mins.  Cool on a rack.  Store in an air-tight container or freeze.

Greenie Calzones
Makes 12 minis

Lunch or snack, hot or cold.  Personally I like them cold.

Ingredients

  • 1 large pizza dough (my recipe makes 2 but use the whole thing for this)
  • 10 blocks frozen spinach
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 210g can of chickpeas, or half a 400g (regular) can (math!!), drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Seasoning

Method

  • Thaw the spinach (use a microwave if necessary) then squeeze as much water out as possible.  I push it out through a colander with the back of a spoon
  • Dry fry spinach on high heat to evaporate even more water.  Add some salf and fry for about 5 mins, not so it’s crispy or anything, just less sodden
  • Put spinach to one side, wipe pan out with some kitchen towel and turn the heat down to medium.  Add oil, onion and spices; fry for five mins until translucent
  • Add garlic, fry further 2 mins
  • Add chickpeas and give them a stir for 1 min to burn off some of the water
  • Turn off the heat and add spinach.  May be useful to chop it a bit in the pan with some scissors depending on brand of spinach used (some of it comes ready chopped almost to a puree).  Mix it all up and squeeze your lemon over.   Season well.
  • Roll out your pizza dough thin but not super-thin – these are floury and soft, not crispy
  • Cut the dough around an upside down cereal bowl like you would a biscuit dump a bit of spinach mixture on one side (recommend just using your hands) leaving 1cm dough to the edge.  Fold over and crimp the edge with a fork
  • Bake @ 220 degrees for 8 mins.  Cool on a rack.  Store in an air-tight container or freeze.

Pizza Dough

OK I’m camp #BurritoPunx but just like Britney Spears said on teen pop rival Christina Aguilera - there’s no reason you can’t like both.  This recipe makes one thick crust or two thin crust pizzas and is suitable for freezing.

Ingredients

  • 340g plain white flour, can substitute 100g for wholemeal but it will make a denser base
  • 200ml warm water.  Personally I’m funny about eating something that’s been sat around in my boiler all day so usually use some recently boiled, mixed with cold.  Bear in mind you can weigh it too as water weighs 1ml to 1g
  • 1 pack yeast (most are 7g, don’t think it matters)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 

Method

  • Mix together water, yeast and sugar, set to one side
  • Sift flour into your largest mixing bowl and stir through salt.  After 5-10 mins the water mixture should be bubbly.  Make a well and pour it in, add the oil
  • Mix with hands or spoon then knead in the bowl - that’s why it needs to be big - I have never kneaded on my counter top, personally I think it’s completely unnecessary and am not inclined to clean up unnecessary shit
  • Knead for 5 mins until lumps have gone, use the dough to dab off excess flour from bowl sides.  Add a couple of tbsp cold water if it’s a bit dry or more flour if it’s too wet (absorbent properties vary depending on flour brand)
  • Most recipes will now tell you to transfer into a clean bowl: not necessary.  Just dab it with a bit of olive oil and cover with cling film or a plate (reduce wastage!!) and leave it in a warm place.  If your kitchen’s cold try the airing cupboard or if you’re using a plate put it in the oven, heat it for 5 mins at 50 degrees then turn it off (keeping dough inside, obvz)
  • Leave for 1 hr.  Knead lightly again and leave for another hour.  Now it’s ready to, optimus prime voice… roll out