Thursday, 14 March 2013

Essential Vegan is on a website format now. All the yummy recipes you’re used with and much more can now be found at

Visit us today and see the new recipes we prepared especially for you.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Shimeji Gyoza

Ok I know this recipe sounds a bit complicate but it’s actually not, just time consuming. The dumplings are soooooo tasty that it totally worth the time you’ll spend in the kitchen. The dough is light and easy to prepare and the sesame oil makes the whole difference. So give it a go, you’ll thank me later!

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 150g shimeji
  • 1/2 onions chopped
  • 3 sticks spring onions chopped
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 4 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp parsley and lemon seasoning
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

  1. Mix the water and the flour into a dough.
  2. Put a wet towel over the dough, and let it stand for several minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 18 pieces of 1 x 1.5cm.
  4. Fry the onions until tender, add the rest of the ingredients and only 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil. Stir for about 10 minutes.
  5. Using a rolling pin open the dough pieces as round as possible.
  6. Divide the shimeji mixture into the pastry circles placing about 1 tbsp of the mixture in the middle of each circle.
  7. Fold wrappers in half over filling and pinch it in the center.
  8. Holding the wrapper in that middle spot that you just pinched with your left hand, make a pleat in the top part of the wrapper, pinching it against the flat edge of the wrapper at the back.
  9. Holding the filled half-circle in the left hand, pleat the top of the wrapper from the middle out, pressing it to the flat edge of the wrapper at the back. Proceed to make two or three more pleats to the right of the first pleat.
  10. Steam cook the pillows until they all reach the surface of the water. It’s like cooking regular pasta
  11. Using the rest of the sesame oil fry the dumplings, 2 minutes each side or until golden brown and serve it with soya sauce.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Albinas’ Calzone

Albina is my lovely grandmother who is an amazing cook. This family recipe was passed from my grandmother to my mother and now it’s my turn, expect that mine is a vegan version of it. You’ll be glad to know that I’ve done good and kept the family tradition (rs). Joke aside this calzone is perfect, you can have it as main, starter or slice it into a snack. Give it a go, I guarantee you’ll love it.

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp grounded flaxseed
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 30g biological yeast
  • 2 tbsp spread
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 66g baby leaf spinach
  • 110g green olives
  • 10g pine nuts
  • 10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yest
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

  1. Mix the water and flaxseed and let it rest for 15 minutes or until it gets gooey.
  2. Mix the sugar and the biological yeast, stir for a few minutes until it gets liquid.
  3. In a large bowl mix the flaxssed mixture and biological yeast liquid the to the rest of the ingredients and bring into a dough.
  4. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 1:30 hours.
  5. In a small pan fry the onion until tender.
  6. Add the spinach, olives, pine nuts, tomatoes, nutritional yeast, seasoning and stir for 10 minutes
  7. On a floured surface open the dough, you can make one big calzone or two medium size ones.
  8. Spread the mixture in the middle of the dough and close it.
  9. Brush the calzone with olive oil and bake it for 25 minutes at 200c.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Baked Potato with Cream

This recipe is lovely, the ultimate comfort food!! The combination potato plus cream is perfect. Try it with rice and salad, you'll love it.

700g potatoes sliced
1 red onions chopped
500ml vegan single cream
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
4 sticks spring onions chopped
1 cube vegetable stock
20g vegan cheese grated (optional)
Black pepper

1 - Cook the potatoes in salted water for 15 minutes.
2 - Fry the onions in vegetable oil until tender.
3 - Add the spring onions, vegetable cube, nutritional yeast, vegan cheese and black pepper and stir for 5 minutes.
4 - Pour the vegan single cream and stir for 2 minutes.
5 - Transfer the potatoes to a baking tray and pour the cream on top of it.
6 - Bake it for 30 minutes on a pre-heated oven at 180c.


Monday, 25 February 2013

Brazilian "Cheese" Bread

These Brazilian "cheese" breads are heavenly and exactly like the real ones. Pao-de-queijo as we called them in Portuguese is very popular in Brazil and one thing I thought I was never going to eat again but luckely for me and you, we now have the perfect vegan recipe.
You can keep the dough in the fridge for 2 days or freeze dough balls before baking for up to 3 months.

455g potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/3 cups water plus water to boil the potatoes
2 cups tapioca flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Vegusto No-Moo Piquant (you can use any vegan cheese you like)
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 - In a small saucepan boil the water and cook the potatoes until tender, drain and mash.
2 - Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
3 - In a small bowl mix the tapioca flour, nutritional yeast, salt and baking powder.
4 - In a large bowl mix the cheese, 1/3 cup water and oil. Add mashed potatoes, mix together.
5 - Combine wet and dry ingredients to make a soft, smooth dough.
6 - Make small balls using your hands and transfer to the baking sheet. Bake the balls for 20 minutes or until puffed up and lightly golden.

Serve while hot! Enjoy!!

Source - Veg News

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Aubergines Balls

Aubergines are very low in calories and fats but rich in soluble fiber content. It contains good amounts of many essential B-complex groups of vitamins and is an also good source of minerals like manganese, copper, iron and potassium and lets not forget to say that is delicious. These balls are perfect with rice, beans and salad and also with pasta. Give it a try!

2 aubergines
1 onions chopped
5g chives chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
Black pepper

1 - Slice the aubergines and boil in salted water it for 15 minutes.
2 - Pre-heat the oven at 180C.
3 - Drain the aubergines and mix it with the rest of the ingredients. Use a fork to smash things together.
4 - Cover a baking tray with baking sheet.
5 - Make small ball from the aubergines mixture and bake it for 30 minutes at 180C.


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Chocolate and Hazelnuts Bonbons

How can I describe this recipe? Sweet but not too sweet, nutty, chocolaty and fruity, a real treat. Indulge yourself and impress your friends!! :)

Ingredients for the dough
2 cups hazelnuts
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup golden syrup

Ingredients for the filling
1 medium avocado
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
Sliced almonds for garnish

1 - Soak the hazelnuts for 1 hour before start preparing the bonbons.
2 - Dry the soaked hazelnuts and pulse it in a food processor until finely ground into a flour.
3 - Add in the rest of the dough ingredients and process until it forms into a thick dough that sticks together.
4 - Lay the dough out between two sheets of baking sheet and roll to about 3/4-inch thickness.
5 - With a sharp knife, cut the dough into small squares, about 30. If there’s excess dough you can form it into a ball, roll it out, and cut again.
6 - Make the filling by blending together the ingredients until it’s uniform in colour and texture. Taste it and adjust the sweetness if need be.
7 – Roll the squares until small balls and using your fingers make a cavity in the middle of it. Spread about 1 tsp of the filling into the cavity and garnish with the sliced almonds.


Inspired by Veganana

Friday, 8 February 2013

Chocolate Tart

These tart is ultra easy to prepare and takes no time at all. Perfect for those days when you want something rich and yummy or for when you have guests and wants to impress. This is sheer heaven!

250ml single cream (I normally use Alpro)
200g dark chocolate
10 digestive biscuit
1/2 cup spread
3 tbsp whisky

1 - Break the biscuits on the multiprocessor.
2 - Melt the spread and mix it with the biscuit on a greased pie baking tray pressing with you fingers so the mixture sticks to the base and sides of the tray.
3 - Melt the chocolate on the microwave or in bain-marie.
4 - Mix the melted chocolate with the single cream and the whisky.
5 - Pour the mixture into the pie tray and take it to the fridge for 1 hour before serve.


Thursday, 10 January 2013

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello mushroom it's delicious and ultra nutritional. They are a good source of nutrients, such as copper, folate, niacin and has as much potassium as a banana which is essential to a healthy heart. On top of that they are also source of calcium.
This recipe is delicious, you can serve it as an appetiser or as a side dish, anyway you prefer it's heavenly good.

400g mini portobello mushroom
1/2 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic
5g chives chopped
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil
Black pepper

1 - Separate 2/3 of the mushrooms, spread a bit of salt in it and set aside. Slice the rest of them.
2 - Saute the onions and garlic on a little of vegetable oil.
3 - Add the sliced mushrooms, chives, salt and pepper and cook it for 15 minutes in low fire.
4 - Turn the fire off, add the nutritional yeast and breadcrumbs.
5 - On a non sticky frying pan, fry the portobello mushrooms (no need for oil) you separated at the beginning for 2 minutes at each side.
6 - When ready stuff the fried mushroom with the cooked mixture and serve straight it away.


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Pasta al Pomodoro

I love pasta and although we all have to use the ready made tomato sauce sometimes, it's undeniable that the homemade sauce is the best. This is a easy and quick recipe and it's perfect for when you want a comfort and light dinner. Indulge yourself!!

300g linguine
650g plum tomatoes cut in half
1 red onion chopped
1 onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic
10g chives chopped
Handful basil
1 vegetable cube
Black pepper
1 tbsp spread

1 - Fry the garlic and onions on a low fire for 5 minutes
2 - Add the chives and stir for about 5 minutes
3 - Add the tomatoes, black pepper, basil and vegetable cube and cook it low fire for 20 minutes.
4 - In the meantime cook the pasta in salted water as per the package instructions
5 - When the pasta is ready add the spread and mix it with the sauce.

Serve it straight away and enjoy!!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Strawberries Mille-feuille

How can I describe this recipe? The word that comes to my mind is perfection!! It's light, sweet but not too sweet, the whipped cream/strawberry mixture it's to die for and the whole "cake" is a bliss!! You simple have to try it and believe me, you'll thank me later!!! :)

1 sheet of vegan puff pastry
400g strawberries cut in slices
4 tbsp light brown sugar
Icing sugar for dusting

Whipped cream ingredients:
2 cups cashew nut
6 tbsp golden syrup
1/4 cup spread (I use Pure Sunflower)
6 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 - Open the pastry and cut into small squares. I used a small plastic food container upside down.
2 - Using a back of a small spoon or a wooden spoon lightly press the centre of the squares (but not the borders) and bake it at 180c for 25 minutes.
3 - In the meantime mix all the ingredients of the whipped cream in a food processor and beat it for a minimum of 5 minutes or until the mixture smooth, creamy, and slightly fluffy.
4 - Mix the strawberries with the sugar and set aside.
5 - When the pastry is swollen and golden brown, remove it from the oven and using a knife cut the middle of it to open the shells. You will see that there will be a line on the side and that only by pressing the knife you will be able to easily open it.
6 - You will need three pieces of pastry to make one mille-feuile. Spread 2 tbsp of the whipped cream on the base of the shells, spread 2 tbsp of the strawberries mixture on top, put one shell of the pastry on top and repeat the process. Close it with another piece of pastry pressing it lightly
7 - Dust a little of icing sugar on top and serve it straight away.


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

"Cheese" Crackers

This recipe was inspired by a non vegan one that my sister-in-law does it for years and I decided to veganise. The crackers are light, tasty and perfect as snack or for a party. The only problem is to stop eating them! Enjoy!!

300g flour
200g spread (I used Pure Sunflower spread)
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
2 tbsp water
1 tsp salt
100g Vegusto No-Moo Mild Aromatic
50g Vegusto No-Moo Classic
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 - In a small pot mix the flaxseed and the water and let it rest a bit until it gets gooey.
2 - In a big bowl mix all the ingredients together. You'll need to use your hands at some point.
3 - Let it rest in the fridge for 30-40 minutes.
4 - Using a dough roller open the dough and cut it using a small round cookie cutter.
5 - Bake it at 180C for 15 minutes or until golden brown.