12 Days of Christmas: Cozonac (nut-free)


Welcome to 12 Days of Christmas. Starting from today, every day, at 11am GMT, we will be sharing a new recipe with you to help you prepare for this festive period. In this series, we will be featuring breakfast ideas, snacks, appetisers, main meals and desserts from various cultures in order to introduce you to new dishes as well as to give you a variety of options or plant-based meals you can make for yourself or your vegan/vegetarian loved ones. Some of the recipes will also be alcohol-free, nut-free and gluten-free for those with particular dietary requirements or preferences.

To kick this off, here’s our first recipe – a nut-free cozonac.

Cozonac is a Romanian sweet bread which is usually eaten during Christmas and Easter. Traditionally, it is made with eggs, milk and butter which enrich the dough. However, for this recipe, we have substituted those ingredients with suitable and affordable plant-based alternatives. We suggest that you do not substitute those alternatives with other alternatives such as flax eggs instead of aquafaba as that will change the texture and density of the bread.

The shape and shininess of this bread are so attractive and foretell the delicious taste experience offered by the bread. However, they hide the surprise inside the loaf which is the curving effect of bands of raisins and chocolate toasted oats, which is what we have used to replace the chocolate walnuts found in traditional cozonac in order to keep this bread nut-free whilst not compromising on a nutty flavour and texture.

Without further ado, here’s our nut-free cozonac recipe.

Poftă Bună!

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Garlic-Onion Infused Brazilian Cheese Bread


Pão de Queijo, Brazilian cheese bread, is an addictively delicious food. Traditionally, it is made using eggs, dairy cheese and milk. However, as we are keeping this recipe completely plant-based those ingredients were omitted. Nonetheless, these pães de queijo taste extremely cheesy and have a chewy centre enclosed in a thin pastry-like case.

For this recipe, we were inspired to use potatoes for several reasons. We retained the traditional tapioca starch used in making pão de queijo. However, as we were excluding three important ingredients, we needed an ingredient which could act as a binder that also would not make the final product too firm. We also needed an ingredient containing more starch for the chewy texture and the ability for the pão de queijo to still have a soft stretchy cheese-like interior when warm or hot. Finally, our decision to use potatoes, in particular, was because we knew it would serve the purposes we need it for based on research. From reading through the recipes of others such as a translated version of this pão de queijo de batata recipe, stretchy vegan cheese recipes and Japanese imomochi recipes, we realised that potatoes were our best option for experimenting to develop this recipe.

This recipe also includes an infusion of garlic and onions. Although these were flavour profiles we wanted to introduce. They ended up just contributing to the cheesy flavour of our pães de queijo making them even more addictive.

Without further ado, here is or vegan pão de quijo recipe!

Bom Apetite!

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Pad Thai Ramen Soup by Plantifully Based


This Pad Thai Ramen Soup recipe is a featured recipe developed by Francesca of Plantifully Based and PlantifullyBasedBlog.com.

This soup is a fusion dish that plays off the flavours of Pad Thai. Traditionally, Pad Thai contains fish sauce. As this dish is vegan, in its place, soy sauce is used in order to provide a nice umami flavour. However, you can always substitute that with a vegan fish sauce.

In relation to heat levels, authentically, Thai chillies would be used. However, for this recipe, sriracha was used to make the process of cooking and controlling the heat level this easier.

As for common allergens, in order to make this dish soy-free, replace the soy sauce with coconut aminos and exclude the tofu. To make the dish gluten-free, substitute the soy sauce for tamari or coconut aminos and use gluten-free ramen. With regards to making the dish nut-free, just leave out the peanuts.

Without further ado, here’s Francesca’s Pad Thai Soup recipe!

Bon Appétit!

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Veganising Gordon Ramsay – Meatballs


Gordon Ramsay is the chef vegans love to hate. Actually, he’s more like the chef vegans love to laugh at. Why? Well, he’s an incredible chef who is great at what he does, but he’s also not a fan of vegans. Due to this….abhorrence of vegans, he publically makes some….interesting remarks mocking vegans or vegan dishes without even tasting them, but then…..BUT THEN, he goes on to add a vegan roast to his Bread St. Kitchen menu and tells the ever-outspoken vegan-hating Piers Morgan to “get with the times,” with some cussing, of course, when Mr. Morgan described the look of his new roast as utterly revolting.

ANYWAY, we are digressing. This post is to share a vegan version of Gordon Ramsay’s meatballs with you. We are just replacing the non-vegan ingredients in his meatballs with vegan substitutes (which we will suggest or provide recipes for). As we’re not actually using meat, the taste of the final product will be a bit different. However, it’s still really delicious, soft and full of texture. As you will notice when making these meatballs, the binder will be the breadcrumbs mixed with milk as opposed to a traditional egg binder or more common vegan flax/chia “egg” binder. This allows for a lighter meatball that still holds its shape.

‘Veganising Gordon Ramsay’ is be a series in which we will veganise a number of Gordon Ramsay’s recipes so those who enjoy(ed) watching him cook could try out his recipes without non-vegan ingredients or, if they haven’t completely eliminated animal (by-)products from their diet, in a way that that they feel more comfortable occasionally eating it.

So, without further ado, here’s our vegan version of Gordon’s Meatballs!

Bon appétit!

p.s He says they’re freezable and he defrosts them to cook with! His words, not ours. He’s promoting freezer-use for meals. There’s video evidence!

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Julienned Aubergines (Eggplants)


This is an absolutely delicious and versatile dish. It also is extremely easy to make! Therefore, it can be your go-to for a healthy delicious meal any day and at any time.

We are aware that the term “julienne” is unfamiliar to a lot of home cooks. Some people think it is related to the name, Julian, and that confused them even more! Julienning is a method of cutting by which you slice fruits or vegetables into short thin strips. It takes a lot of practice to do this quickly. However, once you master it, it’s a skill you will love to show off!

To julienne aubergines, first, you will cut the top and bottom of an aubergine then slice it in half, lay the cut side on your chopping board and slice down the length of the aubergine to create thin strips. Next, you will lay the slices on their side with each slice overlapping the one next to it and you will make slices again to ake matchstick-like pieces. If the aubergine’s really tall, just cut the pieces in half while they’re stacked together.

Aubergines are very nutrient-dense. They contain good amounts of protein, fibre, vitamin A, pyridoxamine (vitamin B6), folate (vitamin B9), vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium as well as other nutrients such as thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin E, choline, copper, phosphorus and zinc. Therefore, although so simple, this dish is really healthy. You can find more about the roles of the nutrients mentioned in our Nutrient Index.

Without further ado, here’s our Julienned Aubergine Recipe.

Bon Appétit!

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Vegan Challah Bread


Challah bread is a beautiful, shiny, delicious and slightly sweet Jewish braided bread. Traditionally, this bread is made with enriched dough. This means that the dough contains eggs, and for Israeli challah, oil, which add to its taste, texture and appearance. Therefore, conventionally made challah bread is not vegan (to the dismay of those who have tried it before) although unlike European enriched doughs, it is parve (it does not contain dairy).

Today, we are going to share our tried and tested delicious challah bread recipe with you. It is beautiful, delectable, flavoursome and will be the perfect addition to your dining table at any time of the day. This is the one bread recipe that will have your friends and family thinking you are a pro-baker and asking for you to make bread especially for them.

We will not keep you away from this recipe much longer. So, here’s our vegan challah bread recipe.

Bon Appétit!

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Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce


This recipe focuses on the tomato sauces. It is quick and easy to make and perfect for tired or lazy days when you would prefer not to order in. Although it is so easy to make, it does not compromise on flavour as it remains as delicious. All ingredients are affordable and easy to source yet making it a great go-to recipe. The source also freezes well and can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days making it a good make-ahead sauce for rice, pasta and anything you would serve tomato sauce with.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe.

Bon Appétit!

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Ladies’ Finger Tomato Sauce


Ladies’ finger tomato sauce is a delicious, easy to make and nutritious sauce which you can serve alongside rice, over potatoes or even with pasta! This dish is not slimy like okra  (ladies’ finger) dishes can tend to be. This is due to the acidity of the tomatoes added to the dish, which naturally reduce the amount of slime the okra releases. The dish is also very minimally agitated using utensils in order to not promote the release of a lot of slime from the okra.

Okra is a pod which is high is a great source of nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. It also contains some protein, vitamin A, thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin (vitamin B-2), niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), folate (vitamin B-9), vitamin E, choline, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, a little omega-6 fatty acid, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. The other ingredients in this recipe further enhance the nutritional value of the final dish making it nutritious while still offering a tasty experience. You can find more about the roles of the aforementioned nutrients in our Nutrient Index.

Without further ado, here’s our Ladies’ Finger Tomato Sauce recipe.

Bon Appétit!

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Serving the Masses: Greens, Red Aubergines and Mushrooms


Have you ever had to serve a lot of people, but not known where to start with the recipe or what you can make without having to stress yourself out while still serving a variety of foods?

If so, our series, “Serving the Masses,” will provide you with delicious, yet healthy, meals you can make. These recipes will feature easy-to-source ingredients, few ingredients and ingredients that usually do not cost a lot of money. These recipes will be written in a different format from our usual recipes as we are publishing the recipe in the same way we suggest it should be cooked – in the way that takes the least time. Therefore, there will be points when you have multiple dishes or your main and sides cooking at the same time.

These recipes are filled with vitamins, minerals and a range of other beneficial nutrients. These recipes will also be great for meal preps as they can all also be eaten with other foods such as rice, pasta, lentils, beans and more.

Without further ado, here are our recipes for this Serving the Masses set meal.

Bon Appétit!

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Vegan Tteokbokki


Tteokbokki is a delicious Korean rice cake dish. Traditionally, it contains an anchovy stock and fish sauce. However, for this recipe, we will be using vegetable stock with the optional seaweed stock which provides a slight fishy/oceany taste. Additional non-vegan ingredient traditionally, but not always, found in tteokbokki are fish cakes and boiled eggs. For obvious reasons, we will not be including these ingredients. In place of them, we suggest serving the dish with some kimchi and/or spring (green) onions/scallions.

Unlike our other recipes, for this recipe, you might be unable to find every ingredient in your local supermarket. Some of the ingredients would require you to go an East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Japanese….) supermarket or to order the ingredients from Amazon. By clicking on the hyperlinked (coloured) ingredients, you will be directed straight to an Amazon page for the exact ingredients we used in making this dish.

This dish is on the spicier side. So, if you can’t handle spicy food, this might not be the tteokbokki recipe for you. If you can handle spicy food or you still want to give this dish a try, it’s extremely easy to prepare, results in very little to clean up, it takes less than 15mins to cook and it’s absolutely delicious.

Without further ado, here’s our recipe!

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