Luscious Lemon Mousse (egg, dairy and gelatine free)

dairy-free, egg-free vegan lemon mousse
Whilst you can’t beat chocolate mousse, there’s something so light and refreshing about lemon mousse that makes me crave this cloudy zesty dessert every now and then.

I’ve been veggie for all my adult life, so I haven’t eaten a traditional lemon mousse for a long long time, but I still occasionally think back to those treat lemon mousse pots from M&S in my childhood! Since Big S is a huge citrus fan I knew it would appeal to her too, but it has been a difficult recipe to develop – the lemon juice almost ‘curdles’ any dairy-free cream and most attempts have led to a thick and over-creamy top above some watery lemon soup at the bottom. Which is not nice.
This recipe on the other hand gives you a billowy, cloud-like lemon mousse which is every bit as aerated as an egg, milk and gelatine based original. Using the the same process as my strawberry soufflé, the aquafaba meringue gives it a light mousse-like texture, the dairy-free cream creates rich creaminess and the lemon gel adds some zingy lemon flavour. It is best eaten on the day it’s made, or the next day (after any longer it will want to separate) but there is no need to hang around before eating it.

As you can see from the following two pictures the texture firms up over time. In the first photo the mousse is about 1 hour post creation and has a light fluffy texture, with the texture of a citrus foam. The second picture shows the mousse the following day and you can see the texture is firmer and more creamy, with a more traditional mousse consistency.

vegan lemon mousse day it's made

vegan lemon mousse, day 2

Luscious Lemon Mousse

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

egg-free nut-free lemon mousse

serves 4 – 6

zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 2 lemons

1g carragennan kappa or the veggie gelatine equivalent of 2 leaves of gelatine

1/3 cup aquafaba

Pinch of cream of tartar

4 tbsp icing sugar

300ml whipped dairy-free cream

 

  1. Bring the lemon juice and zest and carragennan kappa to a boil, stir and simmer for one minute. Set aside to cool and set
  2. Whisk together the aquafaba and cream of tartar until light and fluffy. Best in the sugar 1 tbsp at a time to make a thick, smooth, glossy meringue. Set aside.
  3. Whip the cream to form soft peaks.
  4. Break up the lemon jelly and whisk into the cream, adding food colour if desired.
  5. Stir in 1 tbsp of the meringue, then gently fold in the rest until the mix is evenly combined.
  6. Spoon into the prepared ramekins and place in the fridge to chill.

dairy-free lemon mousse

Bahn Mi Salad

 

vegan bahn mi salad bowl

I’ve had this idea of turning Classic Bahn Mi baguette filling flavours into a salad for quite a while, and now the weather has turned super hot (albeit briefly!) it’s the perfect opportunity for exciting salad eating.

In my day job, I work in two different locations, so I spend rather too much time walking the streets of the City or sitting on London buses. It does give a lot of looking out the window and contemplating opportunities, and time to draw inspiration for my recipes. Just off one of my regular bus route there are two Bahn Mi shops within meters of each other (crazy, huh!), hence my thoughts turned to recreating the classic Vietnamese hot spicy, pickled, herby flavours of  a Bahn Mi baguette into a salad.

free-from vietnamese salad, no milk, no nuts, no eggs

In this salad bowl I have marinated noodles which are topped with Sriracha roasted beans, quick pickled red cabbage, cucumber and carrot ribbons, tomatoes and plenty of coriander. It makes for a delicious and very moreish bowlful. The noodles are best prepared in advance and cope very nicely with a couple of days in the fridge if need be. Same with the red cabbage. Just make sure you put all the topping on at the last minute to retain freshness and crunch.

Bahn Mi Salad

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free vietnamese noodle salad

serves at least 4 (multiple the veg for more people as there will be plenty of noodles and cabbage)

 For the quick pickled red cabbage:

1/4 red cabbage

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp vinegar

2 tbsp water

1/2 tbsp salt

  1. Massage the cabbage with the 1tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside for at least half an hour. Pour away any juice which have seeped out.
  2. Combine the water, vinegar and rest of the salt. Pour over the cabbage. Cover and leave to pickle for at least half an hour.

For the Sriracha roasted beans:

1/2 tin white beans or chickpeas

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp olive oil

A few good squirts of Sriracha

  1. Toss the beans in the paprika,oil and chilli sauce and roast in a medium oven (180 degrees) for 15-20 minutes.

For the marinated noodles:

4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

5 tbsps soy sauce

3 tbsps balsamic vinegar

3 tbsps sugar

1 tsp salt

1 pack of wheat noodles (250g) or equal amount of spaghetti

6 spring onions, finely sliced

  1. Mix together the oil, balsamic, soy sauce, sugar and salt until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside
  2. Cook the noodles or spaghetti according to the pack instructions. Make sure they are slightly undercooked and then drain and run under cold water to halt the cooking process.
  3. Mix the noodles into the marinade. Add the spring onions and set aside. Marinate for as long as possible for really tasty noodles.

For the veg:

2 spring onions, sliced

1 carrot, shaved into ribbons

1/2 cucumber, shaved into ribbons

1/2 red pepper, finely sliced

Large handful cherry tomatoes, halved

Coriander

To assemble:

  1. In a bowl, cover the bottom of the dish with a layer of marinated noodles
  2. Top with strips of pickled cabbage, roasted Sriracha beans and veg
  3. Add carrot and cucumber ribbons around the edge
  4. Top with a scattering of coriander and a few squirts of Sriracha
  5. Eat straight away

vegetarian noodle salad, Bahn Mi style

Cheats Easy Danish pastries

cheats danish pastries, dairy-free

I’m always looking for exciting new breakfast options, and if they can be made in a flash then all the better! Our go to treat breakfast is pancakes, but variety is the spice of life and someone’s you need something extra special. These cheats Danish pastries are total genius; incredibly simple to make but also drop dead gorgeous to look at and devour. Besides there are multiple  varieties at your fingertips. Here I’ll show you oozy chocolate bear paws, sweet jammy windmills.

making easy egg-free danish pastries

Whilst it would be preferable to make the Danish dough, sometimes life gets in the way and the only way is the cheats way. This recipe using shop bought dairy-free puff pastry gives a great approximation of labour intensive laminated, yeast risen Danish dough. The fillings are simplicity itself – one single ingredient of choice, wrapped in the dough in a traditional shape, brushed with dairy-free milk and sprinkled with sugar. The only other adornment is a possible drizzle of icing , but only if you want to!

easy dairy-free danish pastry

Cheats Danish Pastries

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan chocolate danish

1/2 block shop bought, dairy-free puff pastry

dairy-free milk for brushing

caster sugar for sprinkling

for the fillings:

dairy-free dark chocolate, roughly chopped

jam

for decoration:

icing made from icing sugar and water

Add cocoa powder for chocolate pastries 

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees centigrade/gas mark 7
  2. Roll out the pastry.
  3. For chocolate bear paws: cut into rectangles, fill with a line of chopped dairy-free chocolate and then fold over and seal all edges. Cut indentations into the sealed edge. Fan out.
  4. For the jam pinwheels. Cut a square, then cut diagonally in from each corner, fold up one of each side the the triangles and press down to form a windmill shape. Dollop on a tsp of jam.
  5. Brush the pastries with dairy-free milk and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and risen.
  7. Cool on a wire rack and then decorate with melted chocolate or icing.

vegan easy pain au chocolat

Coronation Rice Salad

dairy-free, egg-free coronation rice salad

I don’t know about you, but for us June and early July heralds peak picnic and barbecue season. It’s a quick succession of one outdoor event after another, fingers crossed for good weather (always the bane of outdoor plans in England) for Sport’s day this Friday which would be unusual for this summer!

So, I’m on a mission to perk up our picnics with some exciting additions, as I find picnics can be particularly challenging with a restricted diet. There’s none of that ‘oh I just pop into M&S and get a whole picnic spread to take to sports day!’ it’s more a case of what can I cobble together at 7am with minimal fuss and which will happily sit around in a sweaty picnic basket until lunch time – quite a tall order there!

Salads are obviously a good way of pepping up your picnic, but clearly it has to be robust and not based on delicate and easily wiltable leaves. This rather moreish coronation rice salad is based upon one I learnt at Le Cordon Bleu but with all the excessive calories and cream transformed into a light but creamy spiced dairy-free rice salad. Call it a rice based riff on the classic and ever popular coronation chicken salad.

Feel free to add in suitable extras to make more of a meal of it – blanched almonds work really well if you can tolerate them, and I particularly like mini raw cauliflower florets for an added bit of interest. If you eat chicken, some freshly shredded roast chicken would work extremely well with the rice and curry flavours.

vegan curried rice salad

Coronation Rice Salad

(Dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

egg-free, dairy-free curried rice salad

serves 4

1/3 cup egg-free mayo such as Veganaise or mayola

1/4 cup mango chutney

1 tsp mild curry powder

squeeze of lemon juice

seasoning, to taste

1 cup cooked basmati rice

1/4 cup raisins

2 spring onions, finely sliced

1/2 cup frozen peas, cooked through and then cooled

1/4 cup blanched almonds [optional]

handful of parsley, finely chopped

  1. Mix together the mayo, mango chutney, curry powder and lemon juice. Taste and season as desired.
  2. Stir in the other ingredients and garnish with the parsley.
  3. Serve.

vegan coronation rice salad

 

Egg-free Strawberry Soufflé 

egg-free souffle

Egg-free soufflé you say? Impossible! How on earth could you make a soufflé without any eggs? It’s another one of those dishes that seems out of reach.

As you should know by now, my mission is to recreate dishes so that no-one misses out, so that everyone can say, ‘oh yes I’ve tried a soufflé and I loved it’, or even just ‘yes, I’ve eaten a soufflé but I’m not that bothered about having another one’. So have always wanted to tackle the soufflé, it is after-all one of those stand out [get it?] ‘wow’ dishes!

It’s another recipe that I’ve been scheming and planning for years. As we know, the use of aquafaba has been a revelation in replacing eggs, surely that might help with the light soufflé texture? The hard truth is that baking it doesn’t really work. I tried. No soufflé-like rising was happening.

shuffle with no eggs or dairy

So, this is a no bake soufflé, so you could say it’s a bit of a cheat, but it has the light, fluffy aerated rise that you want, and is egg and dairy-free.

I’ve given it its height by chilling it in a risen soufflé shape. Despite not being baked, the texture is spot on, it’s delicate but with ‘holding power’.

There are a fair few stages to this recipe, but none of them difficult, so with a little bit of time, it’s easy to achieve. This particular recipe is a strawberry soufflé as we’re in prime strawberry season in the UK, and you’d be crazy not to use that in season produce. I’ve already got plans for other variations…. I’m dreaming of chocolate, lemon ….

dairy-free egg-free vegan souffle

So, there are a few steps to go through, but don’t be put off, it’s easy.

Step 1 is to make the jelly, I used a strawberry puree set with carraghenane kappa to ensure the finished soufflé had hold. There’s no point to a soufflé that flops instantly!

Step 2 is to make the meringue

Step 3 is to whip the cream and combine with the strawberry jelly

Step 4 is to fold in the meringue and set in the molds. Easy peasy!

Egg-free Strawberry Soufflé 

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan strawberry souffle

100ml strawberry puree

1g carragennan kappa or the veggie gelatine equivalent of 2 leaves of gelatine

1/3 cup aquafaba

Pinch of cream of tartar

4 tbsp icing sugar (I used Sugar and Crumbs strawberry flavour)

300ml whipped dairy-free cream

Strawberry essence, a few drops

A few drops of pink food colour

  1. Prepare the ramekins by tying or taping a collar of parchment around the tops so they can be filled above the rim. Set aside.ramekins for souffles
  2. Bring the strawberry puree and carragennan kappa to a boil, stir and simmer for one minute. Set aside to cool and set
  3. Whisk together the aquafaba and cream of tartar until light and fluffy. Best in the sugar 1 tbsp at a time to make a thick, smooth, glossy meringue. Set aside.
  4. Whip the cream to form soft peaks. Break up the strawberry jelly and whisk into the cream, adding strawberry essence and food colour if desired.

making a vegan souffle5. Gently fold in the meringue until the mix is evenly combined.folding meringue into a souffle

6. Spoon into the prepared ramekins and level off so the top of the soufflé is 1 or 2 cm above the rim.no bake vegan souffle

7. Place in the freezer for half an hour to an hour to set. Then transfer to the fridge.

egg-free strawberry souffle

Egg-free Savoury Pancakes

egg-free savoury Dutch style pancakes

Pancakes – such a great staple recipe. We often have sweet pancakes for breakfast and whilst I’ve yet to create a family friendly egg-free and dairy-free savoury crepe filling, I’ve always wanted a savoury brunch/lunch style pancake in our repertoire.
These lovely flat Dutch style pancakes are inspired by our trip to the Pancake House at Center Parcs, which for us was a total revelation. Never before (or again) have we had the opportunity of eating egg and dairy free pancakes in a restaurant!

These Dutch style pancakes are basically a fluffy pancake batter topped with savoury morsels of choice; I used a combination of veggie sausage, sautéed onion and mushroom, and fresh tomato to give a Full English Breakfast effect. Little S had normal sausage and sweet corn as Dee’s brand veggie sausages and burgers may contain nuts and she HATES mushrooms and onions! Served with a side a baked beans, these fluffy but also crisp around the edges savoury pancakes make a truly delightful lunch or brunch.

Dee’s Wholefoods kindly contacted me and asked me to review their products and perhaps produce a recipe for them. I’d say their savoury leek and onion sausages make a fantastic addition to these egg and dairy-free savoury pancakes. Their herby, aromatic flavour and pleasing texture make them a great addition to a recipe or delicious eaten alongside some wonderful roasted ratatouille and mashed potato, as shown below.

Dee's vegetarian sausages with roasted ratatouille and mash

Dee’s Wholefoods is a brand worth championing. With fully vegan credentials they produce some thoroughly delicious and interesting vegan ready meals and products. Their veg pots are particularly tasty and a great quick meal in the office or before heading out for my evening yoga class. The Thai veg pot is rich with lentils and squash and packs a real punch of flavour and (be warned!) spice! It’s a rare thing of a ready produced meal where you feel quite healthy having eaten it! Well done Dee’s you fill a space in the market with some truly tasty and inspired products, just a pity of the blanket nut warning on all.

Dee's vegan Thai veg pots

Savoury Pancakes

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan savoury pancakes

serves 4

250g self-raising flour, sieved

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp aquafaba (Water from a tin of beans or chickpeas)

450 ml dairy-free milk, I used Oatly

  1. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl
  2. Whisk in the aquafaba and milk to make a smooth batter with the consistency of single cream.
  3. Set aside for at least half an hour
  4. Heat a frying pan to medium hot, add a drizzle of oil and pour in a ladleful of batter. Swirl around to coat the pan.
  5. Scatter topping ingredients* on top, drizzle over a little more batter and when the pancake is starting to look dry and crisping around the edges either carefully flip and continue to cook for about 30 seconds before flipping to serve. Or briefly place under a hot grill to finish cooking the top.
  6. Keep warm on a lightly oiled baking sheet whilst cooking the rest.
  7. *I used pieces of Dee’s veggie sausages, sautéed mushrooms and onions and fresh tomato for a full English brunch vibe.

cooking egg-free savoury Dutch pancakes

Coffee Shop Style Giant Chocolate Chip Muffins

dairy-free coffee shop style muffins

Sometimes something more than toast and cereal is needed for breakfast, sometimes it needs to be something a little more fancy, indulgent and desirable. Since making pain au chocolat a couple of times, little S often requests them, but they’re not exactly a whip it up first thing in the morning whilst still wearing a dressing gown type of pastry! On this occasion I needed a luxurious breakfast which could be made in moments, popped in the oven whilst I was in the shower and then served warm to the waking family. Muffins are the way to go, especially chocolate chip ones where the chocolate pieces were still oozy from the oven – a perfect special breakfast if ever there was one!

I have plenty of muffin recipes on my blog, but this is the first time I’ve used aquafaba as an egg substitute and it gave some wonderfully light and fluffy results, just perfect for these giant coffee shop style muffins.

Coffee Shop Style Giant Chocolate Chip Muffins

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

egg-free giant chocolate chip muffins

makes 6 giant muffins, 9 normal

1 and 1/2 cups plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

pinch of cinnamon

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

3 tbsp aquafaba (water from a tin of beans or chickpeas)

1/2 cup dairy-free milk

1/4 cup oil, I use sunflower

1 tsp vanilla extract

granulated sugar for sprinkling, about 1 tbsp

  1. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees centigrade. Line a muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips and make sure they’re coated with flier as this will help them stop sinking in the batter
  4. Pour in the aquafaba, milk, oil and vanilla. Gently stir until just combined (looks a bit lumpy but no raw flour patches remain)
  5. 2/3rds fill the muffin cases and bake for 5 minutes at 210 degrees Centigrade, then lower the temperature to 190 degrees and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.
  6. Cool on a wire rack.

vegan coffee shop style muffins

Five Ingredient Vegetarian Caprese ‘meatballs’

vegan, dairy-free pasta and meatballs

 

Meatballs on spaghetti are a perennially popular dish – children always seem to wolf them down. This vegetarian version works really well with spaghetti in a spicy tomato sauce, and adds a good dose of beany protein to an otherwise carb heavy dish.

I had a tin of canellini beans lurking around – as D jokingly calls it ‘the by product from my use of Aquafaba!!’, and I thought I’d experiment with white bean based ‘meatballs’. Although necessarily softer than a meaty version, they do get a nice crisp exterior whilst baking in the oven and the bean and breadcrumb mix is the perfect carrier of robust flavours – on this occasion sundried tomato, basil and garlic as a nod to a classic caprese salad. Besides, a recipe of five healthy ingredients which can be whipped up in minutes, you can’t complain at that!

bean balls for pasta

Vegetarian Caprese Meatballs

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

serves 4

vegetarian spagetti and meatballs, egg-free

Makes 12 which serves 4

3/4 tin of canellini beans plus 2tbsp of the liquid in the tin (the aquafaba)

5 sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 slice of bread made into breadcrumbs

1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped

Small bunch basil, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Whizz together all the ingredients in a food processor
  2. Using wet hands, form into balls and place on a foil lined baking sheet which has been lightly oiled
  3. Bake for 15 minutes at 190 degrees centigrade until golden
  4. Serve on spaghetti and spicy tomato sauce

dairy-free veggie meatballs

Mini Blueberry Swirl Cheesecakes

mini blueberry swirl cheesecakes, dairy-free

Well, Hello June! I think it’s time to get light, fresh and summery!

Everyone in this house loves cheesecakes and they’re probably my most asked for pudding. I tend to either use Tofutti ‘Better than cream cheese’ or occasionally tofu when making a chocolate cheesecake. However it’s all about soaked cashews in vegan cheesecakes these days and since little S can have cashews these days, I thought I’d try one out. All I can say is no no no, cashews do not make a nice ‘cheesecake’ – maybe it’s because I don’t have a high speed blender or maybe I didn’t soak the cashews for long enough, but the resulting mixture was a sweet, grainy, nutty paste which tasted just that. I knew there was no way that was going to be popular in this household! If anyone has tips, please let me know, everyone is so positive about cashew cheesecake that i must have been making some fatal mistakes…

vegan blueberry cheesecake
So back to my popular tofutti based cheesecake and my, am I pleased I did. I changed up my usual recipe to make mini blueberry swirl cheesecakes on a plain biscuit base.

Don’t they look cute, popped out of muffin trays to look like proper mini versions of a family sized dessert? Well it’s as easy as anything, simply lie two strips of baking parchment in a cross at the base of each cake dip and assemble the cheesecake on top. After a quick half hour in the freezer they’re ready to pop out and devour!

Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan) NB Contains soya

blueberry drizzle egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free cheesecakes

 makes 8 mini cheesecakes

small handful blueberries

1 tbsp caster sugar

1/2 tsp cornflour

100g plain biscuits, crushed

1 tbsp dairy-free spread, melted

1 pack soya cream cheese

2-3 tbsps soya yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2-3 tbsps icing sugar

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, caster sugar and cornflour. Simmer until the blueberries pop and the mixture becomes ‘jammy’. Sieve or leave as a more chunky texture. Set aside to cool.
  2. Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted spread. Press into the bottom of the cupcake pan. Place in the fridge to set.
  3. Whisk together the other ingredients until they are smooth. Taste and add more vanilla or icing sugar according to own taste.
  4. Spoon onto the biscuit base, and level off the top.dairy-free cheesecakes
  5. Swirl a dollop of blueberry puree onto the top of each cheesecake.
  6. Place in the freezer to set for at least a half an hour. Then transfer to the fridge.
  7. Remove the cheesecakes for the tin prior to serving and garnish with any left over puree on the plate.

nut-free mini cheesecakes

Rainbow cupcakes

dairy-free rainbow cupcakes

I think it’s time for a lovely, pretty, frivolous recipe – sometimes nothing fits the bill more than a bit of colourful magic and sparkles! I’m thinking of glitter, sprinkles, rainbows, unicorns and magic, surely no-one can resist that combination.

Little S and I spied some gorgeous stunning rainbow cupcakes on Pinterest – the kind of pretty, decorated cupcakes that you know will be irresistible to children. Little S was VERY keen that we recreate them, they’d certainly make a wonderful Friday class treat. I’m thinking that they’ll also be perfect for the next school bake sale – who could resist such a pretty temptation even if it’s free from milk, eggs, nuts and soya? I think these free-from beauties may be the first ones flying out the stall!

dairy-free, egg-free rainbow cupcakes

Funfetti Rainbow Cupcakes

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

egg-free rainbow cupcakes

makes 24

400g self-raising flour

200g caster sugar

pinch of salt

200ml sunflower oil

300ml oat milk

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup sprinkles

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 5. Place liners in a cupcake tray
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Stir in the sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the oat milk, bicarb, lemon, vanilla and oil.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix, until well combines. Stir in the sprinkles
  5. 2/3rds fill the liners and bake for 18-20 minutes, until lightly golden and a knife comes out clean.

vanilla funfetti cupcakes

vegan nut-free rainbow cupcakes

To assemble you will need:

Funfetti cupcakes

Icing sugar

Water

Blue food colouring

Fluffy white buttercream, 1/4 recipe

Rainbow fizzy belts (these from Tesco are vegetarian and allergen free)

  1. Really very easy to create, these magical rainbow cupcakes are made on a light vanilla funfetti sponge, recipe above.
  2. A thick blue water icing is spread in top and let dry
  3. Next you pipe some clouds out of a white buttercream and then insert the rainbow.making rainbow cupcakes
  4. They’re best decorated as near serving as possible as the rainbows have a tendency to droop and look sad over time – and no-one wants a sad rainbow!

vegan rainbow cupcakes