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My Name Is Spice

Strawberry and Chia Smoothie

Imogen Taylor - Tuesday, February 04, 2020
I was never a fan of breakfast; morning just seemed too early to be putting food in my body. But a vegan's choice of breakfast is kind of like dessert-time! Between the beautiful and nutritious Acai Bowl, the gut-stabilising Chia Parfait, home-made granola, and the vitamin packed smoothie - the Vegan Breakfast has really come into its own.

I have made today's smoothie with strawberries, white chia seed (soaked in almond milk, with vanilla extract and honey), goji berries, banana, agave syrup, 1 tsp maca per person, and a pinch of Celtic sea salt.
Blitz everything but the soaking chia seeds together in a high speed blender with some more almond milk, till well amalgamated. then combine this mixture with the chia mixture.
This is so nutritious; the goji berries are dense with vitamin C and amino acids, and the chia seeds are a good source of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and fatty acids..

N.B. Please excuse the oversized photos; I havent used this blog for some time and I've forgotten how to scale them!!!

@thegastronomicalworkshop


Vegan pizza UNCOOKED

Imogen Taylor - Tuesday, February 04, 2020
Get out your dehydrator!! There's no healthier way of eating than this; all ingredients are in their pure form..

Sweet potato with a vegan citrus cream and Gremolata

Imogen Taylor - Tuesday, January 21, 2020

This is roasted sweet potato served with a sour lemon, vegan crème fraiche; and a pistachio, mint and coriander gremolata. Soooo yummm! 🌱


For the crème fraiche; soak one cup of cashews in water for two hours before rinsing and draining.

Blitz the cashews combined with half a cup of filtered water and one pro-biotic capsule till the mixture is smooth. Leave to ferment for a couple of hours.

Then add lemon juice, nutritional yeast, a squirt of maple syrup and a pinch of salt and blitz again in a high speed blender. This makes a tangy, super tasty vegan citrus cream (or crème fraiche).

Serve with roasted vegetables or spread on good quality toasted bread etc..



Fluffy buckwheat and banana pancakes

Imogen Taylor - Friday, January 10, 2020
I have made these simple and easy vegan pancakes with buckwheat flour, mashed banana, maple syrup, baking soda, almond milk, maca and chia seeds.

   
I have glazed some fresh apricots in maple syrup to serve with the pancakes, along with stewed cherries (left over from Christmas), and nutritious hemp seeds.


@thegastronomicalworkshop



Vegan Sweet potato and Cauliflower Soup

Imogen Taylor - Wednesday, January 01, 2020
This is a kumera and cauliflower puréed soup, spiced liberally with my Mexican Spice Blend. If you don't have access to the Aji Spice range; look for a recipe on the Web or pick up a Spice blend from a specialty store. I start all soups and most sauces with seared or caramelised onions and garlic; don't underestimate the contribution these ingredients make to "depth of flavour"!!

   
The spices need to go into the pan once the onion and garlic is cooked; so that they too can open up and release their full flavour..


Raw vegan pizza bases with random toppings

Imogen Taylor - Sunday, December 01, 2019

Im getting back into the habit of keeping some homemade raw pizza bases in the pantry; makes a last minute meal so easy; just slap on some hummus, add avocado, tomatoes, rocket, Sicilian olives, dukkah and microgreens and you have a ready-to-go meal. I also had a cashew spread in the fridge which i made with activated cashews, loads of fresh herbs and a tonne of garlic, lemon juice, cider vinegar and some nutritional yeast flakes which i piped on 🌱🍃😍 Use whatever you have in the fridge - scatter on some cooked lentils or steamed broccoli... The raw base is gluten free, and made with soaked, activated buckwheat groats, red capsicum, red onion, sundried tomatoes and ground almonds..



Roast Sweet Potato stuffed with chickpeas and cashew sour cream

Imogen Taylor - Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Sometimes when I've been eating out alot (like when on holiday), I long for wholesome home cooking made with love and extra care; anticipating those who will share in the meal, and the pleasure this will bring.

      
I have roasted some sweet potatoes while preparing the burghul wheat (cooked in vegetable stock), sautéeing the leeks and garlic, cooking the chickpeas and toasting the pumpkin seeds. I made the sour cream a couple of days ago (always good to have this vegan dairy-free cheese in the fridge).

It's a little fiddly but if you love cooking; it's like therapy really!!

What are you having for dinner?
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Vindaloo Curry cooked in Clay Pot

Imogen Taylor - Friday, August 25, 2017
I wanted to try cooking this vegan curry in a clay pot; to keep all the vegetables intact, enhance the flavour, and so I wouldn't have to stir it!!!

     

This is a Vindaloo curry in nature, with cauliflower, carrots, courgettes, eggplant, chillis, onion, garlic, ginger, and a generous whack of Vindaloo paste; plus fresh tomatoes and a tin of coconut cream.

    

Serve with whole grain rice and a lemon or lime wedge. Super yummmmy!
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Sweet potato patties with nectarine salsa

Imogen Taylor - Thursday, February 02, 2017
                 
I have made these patties with cooked millet, roasted kumera (sweet potato), spices plus cooked chickpeas. Blitz till well combines in a food processor.

They are vegan; the millet is very binding so no need for egg! The salsa incorporates nectarine, cucumber, apricot, cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs and is the perfect accompaniment to the delicious millet patties.


Comfort food at its best!

      
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Raw Four Layer Cake. Or Dairy free Torte

Imogen Taylor - Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Once you get the hang of working with these raw ingredients; it is easy to improvise, and to interchange one idea with another.

This 4 layer cake comprises a nut and date base; a caramel layer, a jaffa mousse layer, and then a dark chocolate ganache.

Recently, I made individual desserts of similar composition; only instead of the caramel layer, I did a carrot/coconut layer. You can make it up as you go along...

This dessert was a labour of love; made for a close friend who enjoys sweet treats. Left to my own devices, I would probably never go to such lengths!
But I loved the process. And am always keen to explore new techniques.
To follow are my findings...

   

Ingredients
for the base
1 cup cashew nuts, soaked
1 tbsp whole linseed
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 cup dates soaked
1 heaped tbsp coconut oil
Blitz all ingredients in a food processor and pour into a springform pan with removable base. Put in the fridge to set while you make your next layers.

CARAMEL
1 cup dates
1 ½ tbsp almond butter
1/3 cup pure organic maple syrup (or to personal taste)    
1 cup raw cashews (covered and soaked in water for an hour and then drained)
½ cup coconut oil, melted

Melt the coconut oil in a bowl over hot water; let it cool before adding to the other blitzed ingredients otherwise the mixture will split. Put into the fridge to set.

Jaffa Layer
2/3 cup raw cashew nuts, soaked overnight then drained
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp orange rind
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup cacao powder
100g coconut oil, melted

Put the cashew nuts,orange juice and rind, maple syrup and pure cocoa powder in a food processor and blitz thoroughly. Wait for the melted coconut oil to cool a little, then add to the other ingredients and blend till smooth. Pour on top of the caramel layer

Chocolate Ganache

Use good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa content); melted into a small quantity of coconut oil. Once you have gently stirred these together, pour over the jaffa layer which has set in the fridge.

Voila!


 

ALTERNATIVE IDEAS:
Cashew Nut Caramel layer
Option 1. (using tahini). This has a slightly bitter flavour which not everyone is going to love! If you are doubtful, I would skip this and go to the Cashew Caramel layer (see option 2)
    
½ cup tahini
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
a pinch Himalayan salt

Option 2. this is a standard raw cashew caramel recipe.

12 fresh dates, pitted
half cup almond butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt (use a mineral rich salt if you please)?
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