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Plant Based Kale Pesto with Cashew Parmesan.

I fell in love with Kale a few years ago. As soon as I realised that there was so much more to be done with it than just boiling it up with potatoes and making bubble and squeak. Kale doesn't even need to be cooked just massaged with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt then marinated and paired with an equally strong flavour. It's been a firm favorite on many of my menus for a few years now. This Kale Pesto recipe is one of my favourite recipes at the moment. It sits easily for a week in the fridge, it gets better as it sits, its beautifully strong with a really gutsy flavour. Kale & Cashew Parmesan Pesto 75gr of Calvo Nero 2 cloves of smashed garlic 2 large Tablespoons of Tansyskitchen Cashew parmesan 60 mls of extra virgin olive oil. Remove the hard stalks from the kale. (this is so much easier if you get Kale in bunches not pre chopped ) Chop or shred the kale. add 2 teaspoons of sea salt add 2 large tablespoons of Tansyskitchen plant based parmesan Massage in the Oil. Store in a jar in the fridge. Leave for a couple of hours before you serve to give the oil time to soften the kale .   How to use. Try it in a toastie with melting vegan cheese and smashed sweet potato. Use it as a topping for  Scrambled Tofu. Stir a little into your favourite vegan soup for a flavour boost Stir through your favourite pasta or spiralized veg. Top with coconut bacon .

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What is Jackfruit and is it a good meat substitute?

Grown in south East Asia and parts of Brazil, the jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. Jackfruit has a hard green skin covered in a spiky raised pebble-like structure. A small jackfruit can weigh five to seven kilos, the largest can reach up to thirty-five kilos. It is a strange looking fruit; the kind of fruit you imagine the “Star Trek” crew encountered while stranded on a new planet. Ripe jackfruit has an unpleasant aroma, yet once opened, it smells like a combination of banana and pineapple. Some people even think it smells like bubble gum or sweets. The fruit seeds are enclosed in large bulbs of yellow flesh. Single jackfruit can have anywhere from one hundred to five hundred of these bulbs.The sweet ripe jackfruit is used in ice creams and deserts, while the green or unripe jackfruit is perfect for savoury dishes. It is the green jackfruit that has gained notoriety as a meat substitute, a surge in popularity fueled by increased interest in vegan, and plant food diets. In the U.K Food outlets like "Club Mexican" and “Spice Box” sell their own version of Jackfruit dishes, while the plant-based frozen meal company “Allplants” delivers a jackfruit meal as one of their selections. “Essential Foods”, the Bristol-based ethical food co-op that supplies many of the UK’s health food shops sell their own brand of tinned organic green jackfruit. Ethnic shops have been selling both the green and ripe jackfruit in tins for years along with fresh and sometimes frozen versions. When it comes to taste the green jackfruit has very little flavour. This means it is remarkably easy to re-create your favourite meat dishes as the jackfruit takes on the flavour of the seasonings that are added to it. Slow cooked jackfruit has a texture similar to shredded meat; it is this texture and appearance that make it such a popular meat substitute and gives it the “wow” factor. Pulled jackfruit instead of pulled pork has become a vegan Instagram star. Here is some I cooked earlier   http://tansyskitchen.co.uk/uncategorized/vegan-bbq-jack-fruit/   Nutritionally Jackfruit is a powerhouse, rich in potassium, zinc and fibre. It also contains vitamin C and is one of the few fruits that contain B vitamins. It has very few calories and has no saturated fat or cholesterol. Jackfruit is a perfect meat substitute except that it has very little protein. One hundred grams of jackfruit contains only 1.7 grams of protein compared to quorn, which provide 14.5 grams per 100 grams or black beans that contain a massive 21 grams per 100 grams.  This doesn’t mean jackfruit isn’t a great food choice and as a meat substitute. It passes on flavour, texture, and versatility not to mention the fact that it’s really insta-photogenic but as a protein source it scores low. Serving another protein source with your jackfruit easily solves this.

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Coconut Bacon and How to Use It

Coconut bacon is made with unsweetened coconut chips and spices. I don't suppose you could fool a bacon fan into believing that it is actually real bacon, especially if you serve it on a plate beside a couple of eggs , but if you want bacon flavour, coconut bacon works perfectly.  Coconut bacon is salty,smoky and crisp. It is also veggie, vegan and gluten free.  I first made coconut bacon in a coffee shop. Like  many  coffee shops, it had limited,storage and cooking space. The food we prepared needed to be both casual and easy to take away.  Coconut bacon fits this criteria  perfectly, not only does it look and taste great  but it doesn't take up fridge space. Once baked, it can be stored in a sealed jar. It is a versatile vegan option that can be used to create eclectic  and indie style dishes. Coconut bacon is just as versatile for the home cook. More of an ingredient than a spice but with all the convenience of a spice. Try it on top of vegan french toast, salads or add it to your pasta dishes. If you want to make your own coconut bacon there are lots of recipes on the Internet. Most of them use just three or four ingredients, and a  combination of soya sauce, liquid smoke and coconut chips.It's easy to play around with these to create different flavours. if you don't fancy making your own coconut bacon you can order some from me here http://tansyskitchen.co.uk/product/coconut-bacon-70g/ Five Ways To Use Coconut Bacon 1. Make your own Hipster avocado on toast. 2. Have an Aussie Style BLAT. 3. Try it in a Breakfast Taco with scrambled tofu. 4. Top a Caesar salad 5. Try it with Vegan MacNcheese

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Breakfast Tacos with coconut Bacon.

Proper corn tacos are gluten free,making them the perfect choice for a vegan and gluten free breakfast. You can fry them crisp and layer your toppings tostada style You can warm them slightly in a microwave or on a flat grill or pan. This means you can roll your fillings and serve them soft taco style. To make breakfast tacos. 1. Assemble your fillings I like to serve breakfast tacos with guacomole, scrambled tofu,coconut bacon and black beans. 2 Warm your tacos and let everyone help themselves and wrap and roll

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Coconut Bacon for Breakfast

How to make Avocado toast look lovely! First toast your bread. Mash the greenest ripest avocados you can find. Add a squeeze of  lime and a pinch of sea -salt Top with coconut bacon. Add flowers,dukkah,chili seeds,whatever you have to brighten your toast. If you want to serve the bacon warm you can put in under the grill for a second or between parchment paper on a pannini press.        

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Chocolate Vegan Cookies & Ice Cream

Chocolate- Espresso Cookie Sandwich The chocolate almond cookies in this vegan ice cream sandwich are made with spelt flour, which is gluten- friendly; they are sweetened with maple syrup and agave syrup rather than white sugar. Layered with vegan Ice cream, this is a delicious and indulgent desert. For the cookies Ingredients. 375ml whole spelt flour ¾ cup white spelt flour 1tsp baking powder 1tsp baking soda ½ teaspoon of salt ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar ¼ cup of cocoa powder ½ cup canola oil ½ cup maple syrup ¼ cup of agave syrup 1 tsp apple cider vinegar 1tsp vanilla extract 1tsp of almond extract 2tsp espresso powder 1cup of vegan dark chocolate chips of chunks ½ cup almonds coarsely chopped. In a mixing bowl combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar cocoa and espresso powder. In a separate bowl mix the oil, syrup, vinegar and almond extract, whisk until combined. Mix into the dry ingredients and stir them together. Add the almonds and chocolate chips. Drop small spoonfuls onto a lined baking sheet. Bake at 175 degrees Celsius for 12 minutes. To serve layer with your favourite dairy free ice cream.and garnish with grated dark chocolate or a few crushed cacao nibs.

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Brunch

    When I moved from Vancouver to Poole in 1993, Sunday dining was about the carvery, and the pub.I was never a fan of the carvery. I always longed for a place to have a lovely late brunch.I think it was culture shock.I had recently left Vancouver you expected to queue at least twenty minutes for a good brunch. If a place did not have a twenty minute wait it was not worth going to. Of course people would get there super-early and get the first tables but that first sitting of brunch never had the same buzz as the second one. The queue was part of the experience, Servers came around with tiny samples of hot coffee, juice, and the tiniest pancakes. Brunch was always gorgeous with  flowers in drinks and garnishes that said this meal is special, it's not porridge or a quick bowl of cereal . It's the weekend.    A few things that I know about Brunch.    Brunch has got to be gorgeous it can't be breakfast at the little chef on the way to the airport. Brunch has got to have some Pancakes,Waffles, French- Toast or sweet stuff. Brunch is not street food. it needs to be eaten from a plate while sitting down. Brunch Pancakes have to be fluffy  like clouds or pillows they are not crepes. Brunch Pancakes need  Maple Syrup not Golden Syrup or lemon and sugar. Brunch is a perfect excuse to a drink at noon  (we have special brunch cocktails ) In England you must have some baked beans  in some form somewhere on the brunch menu Brunch involves poached eggs - nobody knows how to make perfect poached eggs its luck As Homer Simpson said "It's not quite breakfast, it's not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end. You don't exactly get what you would at breakfast, but you get a good meal."  For the last four Sundays I served a  pop-up brunch at Jalarra the new cafe, bar in the triangle. It was a lot of fun and I loved working with Phyllida Swift, Kiall Douglas Wheatley and Marie, my enthusiastic and exceptionally good helpers. Thanks to Tony and Lisa Perkins for having me. Here are some pictures of the dishes.Thanks to the lovely Phyllida Swift for the pictures We call them Hoovers! Short for Hueveros Ranchers. Poached Egg, Cheese, black beans on a tostada. Served with avocado and fresh fruit salsa   French Toast with homemade  blueberry Bourbon Syrup   Haloumi and Mushroom Sandwich with chili jam & Asian apple slaw.   We don't need no Eggs and Bacon ! with Tofu Chic Pea Scramble, Black Beans, Avocado, Guacamole, Asian slaw  and Tortillas for dipping.   Green Eggs and Jam. Vine tomatoes, Flat mushrooms, Poached Eggs+ Haloumi. Served with Chilli Jam and Basil Pesto.   Prickly Pear Vegan Nanna bread with Blueberry Apple Compote & Coconut cream.   I will be taking the next few Sundays off then looking for a new place to Pop up.  If you are looking for great brunch locally.Cafe Boscanova  http://boscanova.com/  is amazing  for fluffy pancakes, awesome coffee as well as more traditional but completely lush breakfasts. Camden Ashley and Westbourne will also give you a pancake fix  http://www.camdenbar.co.uk//   I am  also so very much in love with  https://www.facebook.com/soulshinecafe?fref=ts  Soulshine Cafe in Bridport. They import their own Canadian Maple syrup, make their own sourdough bread and serve amazing juices.

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Pecan and Apple Stacks

I have been serving brunch locally for ten years. Last year on Pancake day  I even  had a little interview on Radio Solent about " Pancakes Without" for people who prefer, pancakes without Gluten or Pancakes without Dairy. you can find the recipes here  http://tansyskitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/gluten-free-pancake-day.html This year I work at  "Rockets and Rascals" a bike cafe in Lilliput. We have this gluten free version of pancakes on our menu. Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of carbohydrates for the cyclists. They are high in carbohydrates, but have a relatively low glycemic index which means a slower burn. They are also an excellent source of vitamin A and C, magnesium, potassium, and beta-carotene. Pecan and Apple stacks (Cooking these pancakes in coconut oil gives a slightly tropical taste.) 1 large sweet Potato roasted in its skin until mashed 2 banana's mashed (these replace the eggs and bind the mix) 2tsp wheat free- baking powder 2 cups of almond/soya/ or milk replacement 400 gr doves farm gluten free flour 1-2 tbs of coconut oil 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp vanilla essence Remove the skin from the sweet potato and bananas and mash together . Add the flour, baking powder / cinnamon and vanilla essence Mix in the milk replacement of your choice and stir to make a fairly thick batter Leave to rest for for ten minutes then melt the coconut  oil in a pan and drop   spoonfuls of mix into the pan to make pancake. cook a few minutes on each side . Layer with baked apples,sliced banana and pecans and drizzle with maple syrup or vegan salted caramel. in honour of pancake day we will also be selling Canadian style blue angels with blueberry and bananas. Don't worry if you cant make it in for pancake day. Both styles of  pancakes will be on the menu until Sunday.  

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Vegan BBQ Jack fruit

                                                     Toronto is where I first worked as a cook and where I got inspiration for multicultural and eclectic casual food. Luckily through social networking I still keep in touch with the Toronto food scene. This place came up on my twitter feed  last week  /http://porterhouseto.com/ It's a new vegan pub in Toronto. The menu looks amazing.  What really caught my eye was a shredded jackfruit sandwich. Here is how it is sold at the Porterhouse.     BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich  shredded jackfruit, slaw, horseradish mayo on a burger bun with fries.I had never actually come across jack fruit. After a short browse on the Internet and on my bookshelf, I found lots of information on Jack Fruit. Apparently you can use it to make Reuben sandwiches, tuna melts, and pulled pork. Vegans and Veggies have known about it for years! To use Jack-fruit as a meat substitute you need the unripe green fruit, not the ripened fruit.You can buy whole jack fruit at ethnic shops at certain times of the year. Once ripe it supposedly smells quite strong. A few blogs gave instructions on how to remove the flesh- these included putting down newspaper and oiling your hands so you don't get covered in the sticky sap. It seemed as complicated as operating on an alien species, so I was relieved to find that tinned jack fruit works just as well.If you live in Poole or Bournemouth, Makkah on Ashley Rd Parkstone sells tinned green young jackfruit. Make sure you buy it in brine - at this stage it doesn't smell strong at all.                                                                   My recipe for  BBQ Shredded Jackfruit                                                                                 Drain the brine. There are a few bits in the flesh that are a little harder(I think it's  kind of like the core of a pineapple- get rid of those.)There are also a few seeds they look almost like a baked bean .(I took those out as well although from what I understand they are perfectly edible.) Fry  two sliced onions in a 1 tbs of coconut oil - (you can use any oil but I like coconut oil - it has a slightly tropical taste.) Add the jackfruit, a big clove of crushed garlic and 2 tbs of smoked  paprika.                                                       Add 200 ml of water and  simmer till it had reduced.At this point I left it overnight in the fridge. It just happened that I wasn't serving it until the next day. Leaving overnight is good because it infuses the  flavours into the flesh. Jack-fruit is like tofu; it hasn't got a lot of flavour so its up to the cook to add it. The next day, I made  BBQ sauce.You can use shop bought or your own favorite homemade BBQ sauce. To serve,mix the sauce into the jack fruit and heat under the grill until its hot and the BBQ sauce has browned the flesh a little.Use the shredded jack fruit for Enchilada, Tostadas, or serve it on a bun with a side of  sweet potato fries.I served mine on gluten free tostadas with tofu garlic-cream and black beans.            

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So much more than results.

Raven and her Dad.   I am so proud of my daughter Raven . She once said to me that she had no room in her life for racism, homophobia and sexism. She is non-judgmental. She thinks about other people’s point of view and cares deeply about her friends. I believe she is a good friend. As a daughter she has taught me that I am not always as open minded as I think I am. She constantly checks me when I am being a little old and judgmental. Like many other young people Raven has battled with issues like self-harm, panic attacks, and low self-esteem. She has found her way though it by working hard with C.A.H.M.S and attending  counseling meetings. She has learned how to look at herself and care for herself and at the same time gained a deeper insight and empathy for others. I am so proud of her because she alone could make the decision whether to have surgery for scoliosis on her back. She made the decision at 14 had the surgery at 16 and recovered well. I am proud of Raven and in awe of her when I think of the way that she has dealt with tragedy,especially visiting her father in hospital, two years ago today. She saw him just before he died from cirrhosis of the liver. I love how she keeps a tin in her room that still smells of his stale tobacco and how she kept the £10.00 cheque that he sent her once for her birthday. She didn't cash it because she knew he wouldn’t have the money. I love her long legs because that remind me of her very tall father. I am so thankful for our child. I love her beautiful hands and her long fingers. The fingers that we call guitar players fingers, even though she never learned to play a guitar. I love it when she reads me her stories and poems and reads me parts of the books she is reading. I love when we watch a drama on TV together and drink tea . I am so proud of the way Raven and her friends joined together recently to support each other and try to cope with the tragic death of a much loved  friend. I am proud of what she has done so far in the world and who she has become. I hope she always manages to keep her beautiful open mind and her big kind heart.  Today was A.S and A level results day and yes I am proud that Raven did well. But my daughter and all  of our children are so much more than their school results.

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