Berry and coconut cream pancakes, by Holly White
A meatless Monday or an occasional dairy-free latte, there isn’t a rule book for going vegan - it’s your choice, writes Holly White whose debut cookery book has been a huge success.
Berry and coconut cream pancakes
I avoided pancakes for a while after a disastrous and expensive Pancake Tuesday when I tried several recipes and only ended up with a crumbly, greasy mess. These are gorgeous, but it's the toppings that make them special. The combination of the coconut cream and the sharp berries is heavenly, but you could go for something simpler like maple syrup and lemon as well. Makes 12
180g spelt flour or ground rolled oats (see the tip, below)
1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp chia seeds or flaxseeds
1 tsp baking powder or arrowroot powder
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Coconut oil, for cooking
For the berry compote:
100g frozen mixed berries
125ml filtered water
1 dsp chia seeds
1 dsp lemon juice
1 tbsp agave syrup
1 batch of vanilla coconut cream (see recipe above)
1. Preheat the oven to 80°C.
2. To make the pancake batter, simply put all the ingredients except the coconut oil in a blender and blitz to combine. It's best if you can leave it to rest for 10 minutes or so. Use this time to make the berry compote, put the plates in the oven to warm and brew the coffee.
3. To make the berry compote, put the berries and water in a small saucepan set over a medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes. When the berries are starting to soften, add the chia seeds, lemon juice and agave syrup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use a hand-held blender or pour it into a NutriBullet and blend to a creamy consistency.
4. Have a plate warming up in the oven to put your pancakes on as they cook to keep them hot.
5. Melt a little coconut oil in a hot pan, then pour a tablespoon of the pancake batter into the centre of the pan. You want each pancake to be about 10cm in diameter, so tilt the pan slightly to ensure the batter spreads evenly across the base. Cook for 1 minute, until bubbles start to form on the surface. Flip the pancake over and cook until the bottom is golden brown. Transfer to the hot plate in the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the pancakes.
6. To serve, stack up the pancakes on warmed plates, alternating with a layer of the berry compote and the vanilla coconut cream. Top with fresh berries and drizzle with maple syrup if you want a little extra sweetness.
The pancake batter will keep in the fridge overnight if you don't use it all or you want to make it ahead of time. If you don't have spelt flour, you can blitz rolled oats in a food processor until they're a fine powder and use that instead. I use frozen mixed berries, but you can of course use fresh berries or just one type of berry if you like.
The creamiest hot chocolate
This hot chocolate would easily rival the traditional variety and is a brilliant way to convince non-vegans that you're not completely crazy for eating this way!
250ml plant-based milk (or just fill the mug you'll be using with milk and use that as your measure)
1 dsp spoon agave syrup, plus extra to taste
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp lucuma powder (optional)
A spoonful of vanilla coconut cream (see recipe below)
1. Blend the milk, agave syrup, almond butter, cacao powder and lucuma powder together. It will likely need more sweetener, so taste it, add a little more agave and blend again, adding more if needed.
2. Transfer to a small saucepan set over a medium-low heat. Stir gently and ensure it doesn't boil or overheat. It will thicken up, like custard.
3. Serve in a warmed mug with a little vanilla coconut cream on top (if using).
The lucuma powder is optional, but it adds a nice caramel taste. To make this even more decadent you could melt some vegan chocolate over it and add cacao nibs for a little texture. You could also skip heating the milk, add a shot of espresso and pour it over ice for an iced mocha.
Don't throw out the coconut water after you've scooped out the cream - save it for adding to smoothies, soups, casseroles or desserts. I use light agave, which keeps the cream a pale colour. Dark agave or a date or maple syrup will still taste delicious, but the colour will be a little yellow.
Beetroot, chickpea and miso burgers
These hearty, filling and super tasty burgers also have the appearance of rare beef mince! You can serve them in a bun but I find that to be almost too filling, so I usually just serve them with a spoonful of garlic mayo.
Makes 6 burgers
200g sweet potato
Olive oil, for frying
200g beetroot, peeled and grated
1 small onion (approx 80g), finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
40g walnuts, chopped
20g jumbo oats
1 dsp spoon tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos
3 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp miso paste
1 tsp fine sea salt
A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
6 burger buns, toasted (optional)
1-2 ripe avocados, peeled, stoned and sliced
1-2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Scrub your sweet potato clean and prick a few times with a fork so that it doesn't explode while cooking. Put on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside to cool.
3. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat. Add the beetroot, onion and garlic and lightly fry for 10 minutes, until the beetroot is cooked and the onion is starting to go transparent.
4. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then mash until the chickpeas are broken up. You could also put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the cooked beetroot, onion and garlic and stir to combine.
5. Cut the sweet potato along the skin and it should pop straight out. Discard the skin and stir the potato into the mixture in the bowl.
6. It's best to go in with your hands at this stage to give everything a final mix. Divide the mixture in half and form each half into three burgers to make six burgers in total. Ideally you'll put these on a plate or baking tray and leave them in the fridge for at least 1 hour or, even better, overnight to allow the burgers to firm up and the flavours to combine, but you can cook them straight away too.
7. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat. Add the burgers to the hot oil and fry for about 8 minutes on each side, until crisp and cooked through. If you're cooking them straight from the fridge allow a little more time, as they are very dense.
8. Serve with or without a toasted bun and some avocado, tomato, pickles and garlic mayonnaise.
If you're cooking these on a barbecue, put an oiled square of tin foil underneath the burgers to better support them on the grill.
I don't like to cook every night so I usually pick a day of the week and batch cook some roasted veggies, rice, hummus, grilled tofu, curry paste and some energy balls and I am set for a few days and can throw a meal together in minutes.
* Recipes extracted from Vegan-ish, A Gentle Introduction To A Plant-Based Diet by Holly White, with photography by Leo Byrne, published by Gill Books at €22.99