Vegan Cooking

Vbites Vegan Food and Cookbook

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Vegan food has had a bit of a bad reputation in the past. When people think of vegan food, they only think of salads and tasteless fake meats, but bland vegan food is a thing of the past. Due to the bountiful health and environmental benefits of veganism, we here at The Amazing Blog have put a lot of thought into the idea of starting a vegan diet. When we learned the story behind Vbites founder, Heather Mills, we were inspired to try out veganism for ourselves. After enduring a devastating motorcycle accident, Heather discovered that the best way to heal her body was from the inside out. Which meant using a holistic approach rooted in a vegan diet. This story helps to explain why she was determined to create delicious foods that satisfy every craving, while nourishing the body. After learning her story, we were even more thrilled to receive a sampling of the Meat-Free products from this pioneering and award-winning plant-based brand at Vbites.  


Eating less meat or cutting it out completely can be daunting for many individuals, which is why Vbites products are perfect for anyone who needs a little help getting their foot in the door when it comes to becoming a vegan. Vbites offers a wide array of vegan products including meat-free, dairy-free, and fish-free products. To help with meal preparations, we would suggest using The LoveBites recipe book. This cookbook from Vbites comes with each of their Plant-Based Kits, which offers 60 new easy-to-follow recipes to try out and fall in love with. You can whip up delicious alternatives to some of your favourite meals like shepherd’s pie or asparagus quiche that are all completely vegan. From starters to soups, salads and main dishes, these recipes have definitely inspired us to cook more hearty meals that make us feel good from the inside out.

Our personal favourite of the Vbites selection that we tried was the Meat-Free Duck Hoisin (£2.99 for 150g). We added it to a veggie stir-fry and were licking our plates clean. We had some friends over to it try out and they were amazed to learn what they thought was a duck hoisin stir fry was in fact 100% vegan! Coming in a close second was the Meat-Free Lincolnshire Style Sausages (£2.69 for 295g) which we plated up as Bangers 'n Mash for a quick Sunday night supper (with a dollop of baked beans). They truly did taste like savoury sausages and certainly satisfied one very hungry male guest! 


So whether you are already practising a vegan lifestyle or you are considering starting, these Vbites will help you to incorporate some seriously tasty and healthy meals into your diet. You can check out the wide array of Vbites vegan products on their website here

Friday Favourites - Latest Cookbooks

We love nothing more than making a home cooked meal at The Amazing Blog. We find the process of cooking to be an incredibly therapeutic one, as well as being one of the best ways to make small and easy changes in your life. We’ve always thought that mixing things up in the kitchen is an excellent, if not the best, way to lift yourself from a slump. In fact, many of the best evenings we’ve had, have been sitting around a table with friends sharing a bottle of wine and a delicious and carefully prepared home cooked meal. As such, we are always looking for new cookbooks with exciting, delicious and new recipes for us to try! So here is a review of five of our favourites to help you add a bit of extra spice to the kitchen; from five-star restaurant cuisine to Jewish home cooking,  game day favourites and kitchen hacks! We've even included a special book for all you chocoholics out there!


First on our list is The Mountain Café Cookbook: A Kiwi in the Cairngorms, which was written by the brilliant chef at the Mountain Café in Scotland, Kirsten Gilmour. One of the main reasons we love this book is its inclusivity! In the introduction, Gilmour talks about taking a trip with a coeliac friend and realising how hard it was for her friend to eat food and stay healthy. Despite being told food was safe for her it often wasn’t, and she would suffer the horrible effects later. As such, Gilmore vowed to make food that was reliable for everyone. Her book is filled with mouth-wateringly good recipes and using a key, she takes the care and time to let you know which recipes are gluten-free, vegan, egg free, wheat free and dairy free! It can be a daunting task finding a recipe that is safe or reliable when cooking for a friend with dietary restrictions,  and in our experience has led to less than desirable meals, but with this book in your kitchen those days will be a thing of the past. Having this key takes the pressure off, and you know that everyone will be happy and leave the table feeling safe and looked after.


The book is full of exciting flavours including your favourite classic dishes with restaurant quality twists; such as beef, chorizo and mushroom stew, lamb kofta kebabs and sweet potato, spinach and caramelised onion quiche. The salads in the book were definitely among our favourite recipes, and were so much more than your everyday garden variety salad; our two favourites were the seared lamb, halloumi, orange, roasted carrot and almond salad and the sweet potato, red pepper, pine nut and feta salad. These are delicious as light summer dinners as well as healthy lunches to take with you to work.


You can purchase these wonderful recipes and much more here from £20.00

Diana Falk’s cookbook, The Hungry Fan's Game Day Cookbook: 103 Recipes for Fangating, Eating, Drinking & Watching Sports, is the perfect book for those days when everyone comes over to watch a big game or race. The food is not only fun but delicious, and each recipe is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser!

The book is a mixture of healthy and decadent ideas, that will all help with the festivity and excitement of your next sports event. From Bacon, Cheddar Spud Nachos to panko and coconut crusted prawns to lentil salad – there is a delicious recipe in here for every sports lover you know. What we think is fabulous about these recipes is that, whether your guests know everything there is to know about sports, or are completely uninterested, both will have a fun time – even if your team loses!


You can purchase this cookbook here for £18.22 and be the MVP of the day!

 

We cannot think of a more appropriate title for a cookbook, as in Yiddish the word Fress means “to eat copiously and without restraint.” This is exactly what you’ll want to do as you peruse the recipes in this book. Emma Spritz was a finalist on BBC1 Masterchef, and her cookbook brings together a melting pot of Middle-Eastern and Eastern European tastes to create big flavours that are happy and sociable dishes to feed to friends and family. 

We love how unfussy Emma’s style is, her food is all about extracting maximum flavour from the simplest ingredients in the easiest way.  Embracing recipes from Poland, Russia, Israel, North Africa and Algeria, there is bound to be a delicious recipe for you in here. Whether the recipe brings back a homely familiarity or an exotic new flavour you cannot go wrong with these meals and are sure to wow your friends. 

you can purchase Fress: Bold, Fresh Flavours from a Jewish Kitchen here for £17.00 to start cooking these delicious Jewish flavours at home

Next, on our list is Mastering Chocolate: Recipes, Tips and Techniques from a Master Chocolatier - we would be monsters if we didn’t give you at least one indulgent dessert-centric cookbook! If you want to wow your chocoholic friends and be revered as the master of all chocolate, then this book is for you. With twenty recipes from simple truffles to awe-inspiring tiered cakes, this book explains the essential equipment and provides complete step-by-step photos of each stage of every recipe to help you make the most perfect desserts possible.


The book was written by award-winning pastry chef and chocolatier Mark Tilling.  In case you don’t know who he is, he is the twice UK chocolate master and winner of the first series of BBC2’s Bake-off: Crème de la Crème. These recipes have been tried, and tested and are easy enough to tempt beginners while having the perfect range and creativity for professional chefs! We are still on the lookout for another excuse to make the utterly divine chocolate berry tart!


If you fancy becoming a master chocolatier, then you can purchase Tilling’s cookbook here for £20.00.

Now, while this final book is not technically a cookbook, we simply had to share it with you as Kitchen Hacks: Uncommon Solution to Common Problems is a definite must have! The book teaches you brilliant and easy ‘kitchen hacks’ such as how to professionally hull of a strawberry using only a straw, how to easily peel a hard boiled egg, and how to preserve herbs by freezing them in oil for easy and quick use the next time you need them. What we loved about this book is how it has completely revolutionised the way we move around in our kitchen and how we prepare the food we make. It’s taught us new, better and more time efficient techniques. So now when we have a dinner party, it’s an effortless occasion, and we get to spend time with our guests! We cannot imagine our lives without this handy book being within reach.

You can purchase your very own kitchen helper here for £7.99

So what are you waiting for? Anyone of these books will spice up your everyday cooking or impress at your next dinner party or family lunch. So whether you are trying to get out of a slump or looking to dazzle someone, you'll be able to do it with these in your kitchen.