Chocolate and Walnut Banana Bread

When life hands you close-to-black bananas (or when you clearly haven’t been eating your fruit), make banana bread.

Wet ingredients

3 overripe bananas

1 tsp vanilla essence

75 ml flavourless oil (I use rice bran oil)

60 g almond butter

60 g coconut sugar

3 tbsp plant milk

Dry ingredients

110 g plain flour

90 g wholemeal flour

25 g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

2 tsp baking powder

generous pinch of salt

70 g walnuts, roughly chopped

100 g dark chocolate (check if vegan), chopped

Preparation

– Preheat oven to 180 C.

– Cover a regular-sized loaf cake tin with baking parchment (if you’re lazy like me, just ball up the parchment and unscrunch it, then use it to cover the tin).

– Put peeled bananas in a wide bowl and mash them up.

– Add all ingredients under ‘wet ingredients’ and mix well.

– Put everything listed under ‘dry ingredients’ in another mixing bowl. Mix very well.

– Add wet to dry ingredients and mix until combined.

– Put the batter in the prepared baking tin, smoothing the top.

– Bake for 40/45 minutes until a wooden skewer comes out clean.

– Let cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before turning out on a cooling rack.

Okey Dokey Artichokey Sauce with Mushrooms and Pasta

Not a looker, but this vegetable sauce has kick and flavour. Serve like this, with any vegetable, chickpeas or lentils and pasta, or as a dip.

Ingredients

Olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 red chilli pepper, seeds left in, chopped

390 g tin (240 g drained weight) artichoke hearts in brine, drained, each artichoke heart squeezed well

125 ml plant milk

125 ml vegetable stock

1/4 cup (15 g) nutritional yeast

Salt, to taste

150 g vegan dried pasta (like spaghetti)

500 g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

Preparation

-Heat small glug of olive oil in a small skillet

-Sauté onion until soft and starting to brown

-Add garlic and chilli and sauté for another 2/3 minutes. Take off the heat and put aside.

-Blitz the contents of the pan together with the artichoke hearts, plant milk, stock, nutritional yeast and salt, using a food processor or (stick) blender.

-Boil the pasta according to packet instructions.

-Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in a large skillet in a bit of olive oil.

-When the mushrooms are almost cooked to your liking, add the artichoke sauce to the mushrooms and heat through until piping hot. Taste and add salt if necessary.

-Serve the artichoke and mushroom sauce with the pasta.

Pumpkin and Peanut Risotto with a Kick (Instant Pot)

Pumpkin is nice but bland. It needs jazzing up. So that’s what I did.

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 heaped tbsp red curry paste (check if it’s vegan)

1 tbsp tomato purée

145 g risotto rice

Generous glug saké or white wine

350 g pumpkin, peeled and finely cubed (peeled weight)

400 ml vegetable stock

Soy sauce, to taste

Lime juice, to taste

40 g dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Small bunch coriander, chopped

Preparation

-Heat up Instant Pot (IP) without oil.

-Add oil to pot and let heat up.

-Add onion and sauté for a few minutes.

-Stir in garlic, sauté for a minute.

-Put in curry paste and tomato purée and fry, stirring, for a few minutes.

-Add rice, stir to coat, then add saké or wine.

-Sauté for a minute or two to let alcohol evaporate.

-Hit ‘Cancel’ on IP, then add pumpkin and stock.

-Clamp on lid, cook (High Pressure) for 5 minutes, then do a Quick Release.

-Let risotto stand, lid off, for a few minutes. It will get less wet.

-Add lime juice and soy sauce to taste (you’ll be adding salty peanuts, so go easy on the soy sauce).

-Sprinkle over coriander and peanuts.