Thug Kitchen’s Peanut Butter and Banana Nut Muffins (Makes 12)

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Thug Kitchen’s Peanut Butter and Banana Nut Muffins made by The Fat Foodie

A while ago, one lazy Sunday morning I fancied something sweet for breakfast and had recently bought Thug Kitchen’s first cookbook so I made their peanut butter and banana nut muffins. In general I’m not a massive fan of the American ‘cup method’ of baking, but in this instance it works brilliantly, allowing you to pretty much chuck all of your ingredients into your mixing bowl and just whisk it all together. It’s certainly a very quick and easy way to produce a delicious bake!

They also don’t take very long to cook at all, so if you make a snap decision one morning to have them for breakfast (or a snack) you’ll only need to wait half an hour or so until you can get stuck into them. I expected the peanut butter and banana nut muffins to be very sweet, but they weren’t overly so and in actual fact they paired really well with a little bit of vegan butter and jam on the side. I’ll bet they’d be divine with some vegan caramel spread on top of them too.

I think you could really take some liberties with the ingredients of these muffins, if you wanted to. For instance, you could substitute the peanut butter for any other nut butter you had in your kitchen. Likewise, I think the walnuts could be swapped with pecans to great effect. And I dare say that the addition of half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the mix would be welcomed.

These muffins do have quite a dense texture, probably due to the inclusion of the heavy peanut butter and banana, which results in an almost ‘bready’ crumb, but they’re really tasty and made for a wonderfully easy and luxurious Sunday morning breakfast in bed. Needless to say, they’re firmly on my go-to breakfast muffin list now.

Ingredients:

2 cups of self-raising flour

1 tbsp. of baking powder

1/2 tsp. of salt

1/2 a cup of peanut butter

1/2 a cup of brown sugar

3/4 cup of non-dairy milk (or normal milk if you’re not a vegan)

1 & 1/2 cups of mashed ripe banana

1 tsp. of vanilla extract

1/2 a cup of chopped walnuts

Method:

Preheat your oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F/Gas mark 5 and lay out at least 12 large muffin cases in a muffin tin.

Put all of your wet ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk together.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and whisk.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases ensuring a roughly equal amount in each of them.

Bake for 18 to 22 mins or until a skewer poked into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Leave to cool slightly and then enjoy either plain or with butter/vegan butter, and jam or vegan caramel.

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Thug Kitchen’s Peanut Butter and Banana Nut Muffins made by The Fat Foodie

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Thug Kitchen’s Peanut Butter and Banana Nut Muffins made by The Fat Foodie

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Vegan Scotch Broth

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Vegan Scotch Broth by The Fat Foodie

Scotch broth is a Scottish soup that is traditionally made using a meaty stock made of mutton or lamb and is packed full of pearl barley, yellow split peas, green split peas and red lentils. I my opinion though, the dried pulses are hearty enough on their own that it’s not necessary to include meat in the soup.

When I make scotch broth I always make a big pot of it because it means that I can take portions of it as packed lunches to work for a few days and I can freeze whatever I’m not going to use that week in separate containers to defrost the night before I need them. This vegan scotch broth has to be one of the cheapest and easiest meals you can make (I estimate it cost under £3.00 to make) and you can feed loads of people with it (I’d say at least 10 adults), especially if you serve it with a big, fresh, crusty loaf.

One of the benefits of making a big pot of soup is that you can add any vegetables that need to be used up in your fridge. I’ve made this before with parsnips instead of carrots and onions instead of leeks and the result are always excellent. To be honest, when it comes to soup, its tastiness mainly comes down to how well it’s seasoned. It might seem extensive to add six Oxo cubes to your stockpot, but the pulses are pretty bland and they soak up the seasoning like little sponges.

I’d always recommend that you don’t add any salt until the vegetables and pulses have all been cooked until they’re soft and the soup is ready to eat. It’s at that point that you should have a taste of your soup and decide whether to add more seasoning or not. And remember, what’s under-seasoned to some may taste over-seasoned to others so err on the safe side and be conservative with the salt pot because people can always add more at the dining table if they so wish. I love to season my soup bowl with a lot of freshly ground black pepper, but my partner added a dollop of HP Sauce to theirs and said it was delicious. To each their own.

Serve your soup piping hot with thickly cut chunks of fresh crusty bread that’s spread with good butter (or vegan butter) and enjoy!

Ingredients:

500g bag of Scotch Broth Mix

1/2 a turnip

3 large carrots

2 leeks

6 vegetable Oxo cubes

3 litres of boiling water

Method:

Put a large stockpot containing around 3 litres of boiling water on a medium high heat.

Grate (or chop up) all of the vegetables (I peeled them all, then cut them into pieces and chucked them into my food processor) and add them to the boiling water along with the Oxo cubes and broth mix.

Boil steadily, stirring regularly, for at least an hour or until the broth mix is soft when you test it. (Add more water if you think it’s getting too thick.)

Taste and add more stock cubes or seasoning if required.

Serve with good crusty bread spread with lots of butter (or vegan butter).

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Vegan Scotch Broth by The Fat Foodie

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Vegan Pancakes

Vegan Pancakes by The Fat Foodie

Vegan Pancakes by The Fat Foodie with Lemon and Golden Syrup

When I was a kid I loved pancake day because it was a day in which you were legitimately allowed to eat dessert for dinner. Dad was always the designated pancake maker and, apart from the first one which is always a dud anyway, they were consistently outstanding. We’d wait patiently (or impatiently) to receive each individually made pancake from the frying pan and eat them piping hot, sprinkled with Jif lemon juice and drizzled with a generous coating of Tate and Lyle’s golden syrup. Delicious!

Although nowadays my adult palate baulks at the idea of solely eating sweet pancakes for dinner on Shrove Tuesday, I do insist on following tradition and I tend to make them after a small sensible dinner as a tasty dessert. The topping choices seem endless in today’s day and age, but the first pancake on my plate is always decorated with lemon juice and golden syrup. Any other topping just seems out of place until I’ve had my citrus-laden, tart, but sweet one.

I was a bit apprehensive about trying to create a recipe for vegan pancakes because I was unsure whether an eggless, milk-free pancake mix would yield the same results as a standard pancake mix would, but I have to say, vegan pancakes taste exactly the same as ‘normal’ pancakes. I’ve never liked really thick, dense pancakes (unless they’re fluffy little Scotch pancakes) and have always preferred a thin, crispy crêpe. Thankfully, this vegan pancake recipe makes lovely light crêpes that have just the right tasty crispiness to fold around your chosen fillings.

On the subject of pancake fillings, the list of possibilities is endless: lemon juice; golden syrup; maple syrup; honey; nuts; whipped cream or coconut cream; melted chocolate; or fresh fruit. Another option is to leave the sugar out of the mix which would allow you to use the crêpes with savoury fillings, such as cream cheese (or vegan alternatives), cooked meats, grated cheddar, crispy bacon, roasted vegetables, or sundried tomatoes and pesto.

Whether you want to make pancakes to celebrate Shrove Tuesday or simply to worship the joy that is the humble pancake, give these a go. You won’t be disappointed.

Ingredients for the vegan pancakes:

200g plain flour (or gluten-free flour)

2 tbsps of sugar

400ml of hazelnut milk (or normal milk)

2 tbsps of sunflower oil (or 1 egg, if non-vegan) (plus more oil for frying)

Toppings can include: Lemon juice; Golden Syrup; Maple syrup; Jam; fresh fruit; Nutella (or vegan alt.); Nuts; Honey, etc.

Method:

Put all of your pancake ingredients (without the toppings, obviously!) in a jug and whisk together until it is smooth.

Put a non-stick pancake pan or frying pan on a medium heat with a little sunflower oil (around 1 tsp).

Once the oil is hot, slowly pour some of the pancake mix into the centre of the pancake pan, tilting the pan as you pour so the mixture spreads into a thin disc. (They don’t have to be perfect, so don’t stress if they’re weird shapes. Trust me, they’ll still taste amazing.)

Let the pancake cook on one side until it’s crispy and golden brown when you lift the edge up with a fish slice.

Flip the pancake over and cook the other side until it’s also crisp and brown.

Remove from the pancake pan and place on a baking tray. Keep the pancakes warm in the oven until you’re ready to serve them and carry on making more until all of the mix is used up.

Adorn your pancakes with your chosen toppings and serve.

Vegan Pancakes by The Fat Foodie

Freshly Made Vegan Pancakes by The Fat Foodie

Vegan Pancakes by The Fat Foodie

Vegan Pancakes by The Fat Foodie Drizzled with Melted Chocolate

Vegan Pancakes by The Fat Foodie

Vegan Pancakes by The Fat Foodie

Vegan Pancakes by The Fat Foodie with Lemon and Golden Syrup

Vegan Pancakes by The Fat Foodie with Lemon and Golden Syrup

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Potato and Cauliflower Curry (serves 4)

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Potato and Cauliflower Curry by The Fat Foodie

The other day I was looking for dinner inspiration in the fridge and I saw that we still had quite a lot of the cashew cream that I had made to go with refried bean quesadillas the other day. I figured I’d try to use it up in a recipe and was in the mood for a vegetable curry, so I decided to use the cashew cream as the base for a korma-esque potato and cauliflower curry.

This is a really tasty curry that’s rich and creamy due to the use of the cashew cream. The fact that it’s a vegetarian curry comprised of hearty chunks of potato, cauliflower florets and little sweet petit pois means that it’s not a heavy curry, as it would potentially be if it were made with meat in it. Really, you can make this curry with whatever vegetables you have on hand in your fridge, but I’d always tend towards using potatoes as your base vegetable because they are brilliant at absorbing the flavours of spices.

If you don’t fancy making the cashew cream to use in the potato and cauliflower curry, I’d advise using a tin of coconut milk instead. Equally, if you love cream and you’re not bothered about your cholesterol levels then you could be a devil and use single cream!

I often think that vegetable curries, particularly ones that are potato based, don’t really need rice to accompany them, but they are very nice to eat scooped up with some soft naan bread or crisp, crunchy poppadums. This makes quite a generous amount of curry so I took the leftovers in to work for lunch with some peshwari naan bread and all of my colleagues commented on how delicious it smelled. I’ll definitely be making this little gem of a curry again.

Ingredients:

4 large potatoes (cut into equal-sized pieces)

2 onions (diced)

1/2 a cauliflower (cut into small florets)

A large (thumb-sized) piece of fresh ginger (minced)

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

200g petit pois

200ml of non-dairy cream or cashew cream

1 tbsp turmeric

1 tbsp garam masala

1/2 tsp salt

Fresh coriander

Method:

Put the pieces of potato into a large pan of salted boiling water and boil. When the potato is almost cooked add the cauliflower.

Once the potato and cauliflower are soft, drain and leave to one side.

In a frying pan melt the coconut oil and add the onion. Fry until soft.

Add the garlic, ginger and spices and fry for 3 mins.

Add the potato, cauliflower and petit pois and coat in the spice mixture before adding the chopped tomatoes and non-dairy cream/cashew cream. Stir well and simmer for 15 mins.

Taste and check for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary. Serve with naan breads or poppadums and fresh coriander.

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Potato and Cauliflower Curry by The Fat Foodie

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Refried Bean Quesadillas with Cashew Cream

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Refried Bean Quesadillas with Cashew Cream Made by The Fat Foodie

As much as I love tortilla wraps I really think they come into their own when they’re stuffed with a filling and then folded and fried to be turned into a quesadilla. I think that a crispy tortilla is particularly complemented when it’s filled with soft fillings, such as Deliciously Ella’s refried beans.

These refried bean quesadillas with cashew cream are very easy to make and require very little preparation, apart from pre-soaking the cashew nuts (assuming you want to make a non-dairy cashew nut cream instead of just using sour cream). Ella’s recipe calls for black beans, but I just used two tins of black-eyed beans that I had in the kitchen and they were lovely.

I was quite sceptical about the cashew cream and couldn’t really envision how blended cashews could possibly taste anything remotely like a cream, but I must admit I really enjoyed it. Soaking the cashews and then blending them produces a very smooth and yes, creamy, sauce which nicely complements the refried bean quesadillas. Ella adds chopped chives to her cashew cream, but I didn’t have any so I just left them out. To be honest, I don’t think it’d make a massive difference to the overall taste, but feel free to add them in if you like.

The refried beans have a lovely subtle Mexican spice flavouring from the ground coriander and smoked paprika and go wonderfully with sliced avocado or guacamole. Mexican foods, such as these refried bean quesadillas with cashew cream, have become a bit of a staple in my house because it’s a cuisine that tends to be naturally pretty dairy-free, but there are so many variants to Mexican food that I doubt I’ll be getting bored with it any time soon.

I know it seems like a bit of extra work to fry your tortilla to turn it into a quesadilla instead of just eating it like a fajita, but it really adds a lovely crunchy, toasted dimension to the flavour of the tortilla and enhances the smokiness of the refried beans. It’s well worth the couple of extra minutes it’ll take before eating your tortillas.

Ingredients for the refried beans:

Olive oil

4 cloves of garlic (minced)

salt and pepper

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

2 tins of black beans (drained and rinsed)

1 green pepper (cut into bite-sized pieces)

The juice of 1 lime

For the cashew sour cream:

120g cashew nuts

The juice of 1 1/2 lemons

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar

3 spring onions

Method:

To make the sour cream: Cover the cashews in boiling water and soak them for at least half an hour.

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Soaked Cashews

Drain the cashews and then blend all of the sour cream ingredients together in a Nutribullet until smooth.

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Cashew Sour Cream Made by The Fat Foodie

To make the refried beans: Put the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the minced garlic. Fry for 5 mins.

Add the beans, spices, salt and pepper, and lime juice and cook for 10-15 mins until the beans are soft. Put the bean mixture into a bowl and wash your frying pan.

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Refried Beans by The Fat Foodie

To make the quesadillas place your tortilla on a flat surface and put 3-4 tbsps of refried beans in the middle. Fold the left and right sides of the tortilla over the beans and then the top and bottom sections until it forms a square parcel.

Put the frying pan over a medium heat and place your quesadilla in the pan. Fry on both sides until golden brown. (I just fry mine in a dry frying pan, but feel free to add some sunflower oil if you like.)

Serve with the cashew sour cream, jalapeños and sliced avocado.

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Refried Bean Quesadillas with Cashew Cream Made by The Fat Foodie

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