I remember when a meringue was still the holy grail of vegan kitchen experiments, before aquafaba was discovered (almost simultaneously, in different kitchens) 🧁 Since then, it’s become a must-have in vegan kitchens everywhere—and thank goodness it’s so accessible! Just a can of chickpeas (or other beans) will give you the gift of this magical bean water.
Vegan Malva Pudding
You know that feeling you get when you tuck into a familiar childhood favourite? Mmmm that is what malva pudding gives me, every time!
Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara
If you love a good Italian pasta, try this vegan carbonara. It’s not my recipe: it’s all Marco’s doing – he almost outcompetes my Italian friends in his love of pasta, and he knows how to cook!
Chocolate Sourdough Pancakes
Over the last few months I’ve been trying my hand at making my own sourdough – first in Cape Town with great success, and more recently in Berlin with mixed success (I used rye, which totally changes the bread obviously, something I need to get used to). Anyway: the one thing about homemade sourdough is the darn sourdough discard that just goes to waste unless you get creative!
Vegan German Cheesecake (Käsekuchen)
One of the most elusive culinary achievements in my vegan kitchen has been a baked cheesecake. I’d only ever tried a frozen cheesecake, which is super easy to make (using cashews) but very pricey and a different thing entirely.
Mac ‘n cheese was a big favourite of mine as a kid, when I lived in Canada: the Kraft kind, from a box. Of course my parents never bought that stuff, I’d get it as a treat once in a while when I visited my best friend next door. And a few months after I moved back to South Africa, I received a big parcel in the post with a dozen boxes of Kraft mac ‘n cheese – best surprise ever!
When in Berlin, have a Berliner? Or make a vegan one? Yep, I’ll take the bait. I’ve just moved to Berlin for who-knows-how-long, and I thought I’d celebrate the occasion by trying my hand at veganising the city’s traditional pastry. It’s very similar to a doughnut: a light, sweet dough that’s fried until it puffs up, then filled with jam and covered with sugar.
I grew up enjoying pain perdu (French for ‘lost bread) as a weekend treat: crusty day-old bread, soaked in a milk-and-egg mixture, fried, and served up with syrup and fruit. You might also know it as eggy bread (the British take), but it’s a classic dish known and enjoyed in different parts of Europe for ages: the earliest-known recipe dates back 1,600 years! Serve it as a sweet treat with syrup and berries, or as a savoury breakfast with ketchup and vegan sausage 🙂
Easy Pesto with Beans
Pesto fans, rejoice! Here’s an easy blender-friendly recipe! It’s vegan, but packed with flavour and a cheesy tang. It’s quick and easy, and you can use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand: I used parsley, basil and coriander. No cheese necessary, because nutritional yeast packs a cheesy flavour punch.
Vanilla Ice Cream
I’ve been making this ice cream for years, ever since I bought my little Krups ice cream maker. The recipe works like a charm, as long as you follow the directions: freeze the bowl properly (the colder the better), make sure the custard thickens nicely, and cool it enough before making the ice cream.
You could fool many an egg-lover with a couple blocks of tofu, a some turmeric, and kala namak (black salt from volcanic rock, with a sulphurous taste). I’ve made variations of this scramble so many times over the years, for vegans and meat-eaters alike, and it’s always a hit. Depending on the type of tofu you use and what you add to it, you can really get a very eggy scramble going: but without the cholesterol and saturated fat.
I had a bunch of fun in the kitchen trying out different ways to make crêpes (i.e. thin, delicate pancakes, in the French style). Flapjacks (the thicker version, what Americans call pancakes) are super easy to veganise and they’ve been my go-to for years, but somehow I was always intimidated at the thought of trying vegan crêpes, since I’d always thought that eggs were an essential ingredient, and making it work without them would be near-impossible.
Vegan Mushroom Risotto
If you’re looking for a bit of wintery decadence, try this. For mushroom lovers only, though: I did not hold back on the mushrooms in this one!
Simple Banana Bread
There are many ways to make banana bread, but here’s a super simple one. Feel free to use this as a base, and add some fancy stuff like chopped walnuts, choc chips, or a long slice of banana on top to please the eye.
This cake has been a feature at pretty much every one of my birthdays: it’s a recipe that my mom got from Mrs Lillie, my godmother’s grandmother who used to live on a farm near Groblersdal. I’ve always loved this cake: my mom makes a vegan version for me pretty much every year (except now I like making it too!).
Homemade Soy Yoghurt
Yoghurt wasn’t something I missed that much when I stopped eating dairy: I had enjoyed it, but it definitely wasn’t a daily feature. As a result, I never made much of an effort to recreate the yoghurt experience—that is until recently, when I found vegan yoghurt in the supermarket and realised I could make my own using the store-bought one as a starter. Before then, to make strictly-vegan yoghurt, I’d have had to find a probiotic supplement—and honestly, since I don’t use probiotics, they’re expensive, and I don’t desperately need yoghurt in my life, I couldn’t be bothered.
Vegan Blueberry Yoghurt Muffins
I’ve been getting into a rhythm of making my own homemade soy yoghurt every other week or so, which my flatmate and I have been absolutely loving. And then the other day I remembered that as a child, I used to help my mom bake muffins with buttermilk or yoghurt (dairy of course, since I barely knew what vegan meant then). So, since I had a full two litres of soy yoghurt on hand, I figured I’d try my hand at some blueberry yoghurt muffins. These are a bit indulgent, with both sugar and oil, so maybe keep these as a weekend treat! I made a batch and froze most of them to limit the temptation!