Creamy Potato Bake (Scalloped Potatoes)

With the cooler weather sneaking up on us, it only seems fair that I share one of my favourite comfort foods with you. Mum used to make this with dairy cream and Vegeta for us when we were kids and I seriously loved it. I always ate seconds.

All the vegan versions I’ve found use soy milk or soy cream. I have one word to say about this: Gross. Please don’t do that. Soy doesn’t do dairy any justice in the flavour substitute department and it’s really not that good for you anyway. Plus – it’ll make you REALLY gassy. So unless you’re entering a disgusting-food-farting-contest later that evening, I suggest you skip the soy.

Creamy potato Bake 1

My recipe uses my cashew béchamel as the base, so it’s gloriously rich and hearty. You’ll be able to cut this and serve it in neat lasagne-like slices rather than be forced to slop an ugly, runny mess onto a plate. Continue reading

Cashew Béchamel Sauce (White Sauce) – V2.0

When I came up with my own vegetable stock concentrate, I knew I needed to update an old recipe that’s very near and dear to me – my cashew béchamel sauce. This version is made from scratch, with no pre-packaged/processed ingredients. No more powdered vegetable stock; no more margarine.

The taste variation between this and the original recipe is VERY subtle; the only really noticable difference is that this one has a pale yellow tinge from my vegetable stock concentrate. The two recipes/variations are interchangable – your choice depends on how much effort you want to put into your food and how much you care about eating pre-packaged/processed ingredients. I’m not going to judge you either way!

Just like the original, there’s a number of ways you can use this very versatile sauce, so please don’t feel limited by my suggestions. My favourite way to have it is baked on nachos (instead of cheese), but it’s also good with lasagne, enchiladas & moussaka. It’s a great creamy pasta sauce base and works well on cauliflower & broccoli. I’m currently refining a creamy potato bake recipe that utilises it – so stay tuned!

Cashew Bechamel V2.0
Makes 3 & 1/4 cups

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Food Wank: Episode I

I’m normally too impatient to create artwork on a plate, but the thing is… I’m capable of it. And so are you. It’s not practical for every day eating, but for special occassions, why not treat yourself (and others) to a fun, frivolous meal?

I’ve decided that a few times a year, I’m going to go all-out and create something special like this for you guys – something that looks incredibly fancy, but is really easy to put together, given some organisation and patience.

Food Wank: Episode I

There’s a few elements that you should consider making the night before: the polenta, orange balsamic reduction & salted mango cream. The latter two don’t need to be made well in advance, but it’ll make your life easier when assembling the dish. The polenta, however, will need at least 8 hours to set in the fridge. Continue reading

Recent Smoothies

You won’t find many breakfast recipes on this blog because when it comes to getting a good start to the day, I’m a complete smoothie fiend. I always keep a full drawer of chopped fruit in my freezer and if I’m running low, I quietly start to panic. Here are some of last week’s concoctions:

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Banana, spinach and orange blended with water. Always remove the peel and pith from your oranges or they’ll be really bitter and you might find some stringy bits in your drink. Eew.

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This one was after a couple of dog walks – banana, orange, raspberry, AtV cashew sour cream, cinnamon and agave blended with water.

If you click that link, it’ll take you to the recipe for the cashew sour cream. I always keep some on hand – it’s a staple in my kitchen, just like my cashew béchamel. The best part about these two creamy wonders is that they’re both freezer friendly! You can use a regular ice tray to freeze them, but I only have funny shaped ones (whose novelty have worn off), so I use a silicone mini cupcake tray for freezing. When they’re done, I pop them all out of the tray and store them in a container or zip lock bag in the freezer. Continue reading

Another Raw Lunch!

Yet another recipe from Addicted to Veggies – this is the Loaded Creamy “No Pasta” Salad. I made a half batch, marinated my broccoli for 4 hours in the zip lock bag and skipped the optional pickle relish. The tenderising technique Sarahfaé has come up with is brilliant – I thought the broccoli seemed very lightly blanched. If you like cooked broccoli, don’t be afraid to leave this in the fridge overnight.

Loaded Creamy No Pasta Salad

I don’t know if you can really call healthy food “badass”, but I’m going there. This meal kicks butt.

Even half a batch of the original recipe was pretty huge – I’d say about a third of the full recipe would be one serve for me. Towards the end, I was at that point of knowing if I kept eating I was going to feel sick, but it just tasted so damn good that I couldn’t help myself! Yep. I finished it. Deeeeelicious. This might end up being a semi-regular lunch for me. Not only is broccoli my favourite vegetable EVER, but it really wasn’t that hard to prepare this. I already had some AtV sour cream on hand; the rest of the work was just chopping and storing ingredients in separate layers of my tiffin, ready for a quick assembly at lunch time.

Mustard Tofu

Here’s the third recipe, using my cashew béchamel, as promised! This is a vegan version of the “mustard chicken” recipe from Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals. Please excuse my dodgy night time photos – the lighting in my kitchen isn’t that great and I don’t have a very schmick camera.

Mustard Tofu Finished1
Serves 4

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Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Tangy Chive Oil

Today’s recipe is another one that will require my cashew béchamel sauce. Soup may not seem that exciting, but to get a soup this rich and creamy and vegan (and soy free!) is quite an accomplishment. Brace yourselves, chefs and other dairy enthusiasts – because this concept will knock your socks off.

Cream of Cauli Soup2
Yields approx 2.8L

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Vegetable Tart with Cashew Bechamel

Hi Everyone!

Apologies for my unexpected hiatus.

During my absence, I enjoyed an intimate afternoon tea at my house to celebrate my birthday. I, shamelessly enjoyed several “vagina” cupcakes from Mr. Nice Guy and home made strawberry daiquiris with Polish vodka! Whoever says being vegan isn’t fun clearly hasn’t tried it.

I’ve also been sewing up a storm for a close friend who will be launching a new range of skirts this Friday, the 1st of June – please show your support by visiting the Betty Le Bonbon web page and/or web store later this week and checking out what’s on offer!

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Now – today’s recipe. I wanted to show you all some ways in which you can use my cashew béchamel sauce – so the next few posts are going to involve it. One batch should cover all three recipes. This vegetable tart is made with store bought puff pastry, which is a quick and easy option. I left mine to defrost on the bench tonight while prepping the other ingredients, lighting a fire, washing some dishes and bathing my two stinky dogs. You don’t need to waste the “inactive” time of any recipe.

At some point, I’ll re-visit this for all my celiac readers with a gluten free, polenta based crust option. I just haven’t had the time to work on that yet – but rest assured, it’s on the horizon.

Vegetable Tart
Serves 4 – I recommend serving with a side salad of leafy greens such as rocket and parsley, massaged with my dijon dressing

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Coconut-Cashew Vanilla Ice-Cream

I’ve been in the mood for a sweet treat this week and banana soft serve simply wasn’t cutting it. I wanted something creamier, richer and fattier. Thus, I’ve come up with a coconut-cashew vanilla ice-cream recipe for you! It’s quick to throw together, but you’ll need to devote about 6 hours to being close to your freezer unless you use an ice-cream maker (don’t worry, most of it is inactive, so you can go about your business doing whatever you need to get done at home). The texture of this is smooth and creamy. Many cashew based ice-creams use water and this causes them to form icicles as they begin to freeze – you won’t have that problem here.

Coconut Ice-Cream
Yields approx 750ml

2 C Coconut Milk (use a good quality one without preservatives if possible)
1 1/2 C Raw Unsalted Cashews
1/4 – 1/2 C Agave Nectar (to your taste – 1/2 C will be VERY sweet)
2 t Vanilla Extract

  • Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender until smooth. I normally give it about a minute.
  • Pour into a 1 litre air tight, freezer friendly container and place in the freezer with lid on.
  • Stir/mix/agitate every 2 hours for 6 hours with a miniature whisk. You could also use a fork if need be.
  • Leave in the freezer overnight/8 hours, then dig in when you’re ready! Serve with some dessicated coconut if you’re feeling fancy.

Recipe Notes
If you don’t have a high speed blender, you can use a food processor – but only a top notch food processor will work. I would make the following recommendations to make sure your ice-cream isn’t grainy:

  • Soak the cashews in the coconut milk for an hour or two before doing any blending.
  • Start by grinding only the cashews in the food processor, then slowly adding in the wet ingredients. This will encourage your food processor to create a smooth paste and will avoid grainy bits.
  • Follow the remainder of the instructions as written above. You may need to process a few more times as it starts to freeze.