VEGAN MERINGUES

Good evening beautiful souls,

If you follow me on Instagram (@simplycarinaxo) you will already know that I made vegan meringues the other day!!

If you’re a meringue fan but are like myself a vegan and can’t eat eggs or are allergic to eggs or even just fancy trying something new, then this recipe is for you.

I’ll warn you in advance, although easy it takes almost 3hs to make these meringues, but they are super tasty and so it’s totally worth it!

Now you might be wondering how on earth you can make vegan meringues when one of the main ingredients is egg white. Well I’d heard ages ago that chickpea brine could apparently be used as an egg white replacement and so when I stumbled across this recipe I was eager to test it.

I was a bit skeptic at first but apart from turning out somewhat hollow and crisp rather than chewy, they were very tasty!!

If you’re not drooling already at the thought of a meringue dessert then here’s the recipe for you to test yourself :

Makes 6-8 meringues

  • 400 g can of chickpeas which should yield
  • 100g of aquafaba (brine)
  • 110g of caster sugar
  • Vanilla seeds

Whisk the aquafaba at high speed until stiff white peaks are formed; this will take about 15-20 minutes.

Mix the vanilla seeds into the sugar before adding the mixture to the aquafaba a couple of spoonfuls at a time, making sure the sugar is whisked in properly before adding the next few spoonfuls.

When all the sugar is mixed in and the meringue is thick and glossy, it is ready.

Preheat the oven at 130 degrees centigrade and line two baking trays with grease proof paper.

Spoon the mixture (I’d say a large heaped tbsp) onto the baking tray well apart as the will grow quite a bit.

Now bake for 1 3/4 – 2 hours until the meringues are fairly firm unto and on the base. Take out of oven and leave to cool completely.

Once cool, you can enjoy this delicious treat however you like. I suggest some vegan vanilla ice cream and a fruit compote or fresh berries!

Now enjoy!

If you give these a go do let me know how they turn out!!

Love Carina xo

WHAT I EAT IN A DAY

Good evening beautiful souls,

The other day I had the most delightful food and thus wanted to share what I ate with you!

I started my day with a beautiful smoothie bowl filled with lots of vitamins and sprinkled with goodness including chia seeds, cocoa nibs, nuts, goji berries and fruit. It was the first time I’d tried a dragon fruit and I was so excited but then sadly disappointed when I discovered that there was nothing too it, no flavour. However I must admit it does look cool!!

For lunch I made Jessica and myself some tofu scramble on toast. I added tomatoes and kidney beans which gave it that something extra and it wasn’t bad at all, but what really made it for me was the delicious asparagus tips we topped it with – mmmm… I will definitely be making this again soon!!

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For dinner I invited Anna over and made a vegan bolognese from scratch. This has to be one of my favourite meals at the moment it is just soooo good! I’ll definitely be sharing the recipe with you at some point!

Well the you have it lovelies, what I eat in a day!! Hope you enjoyed reading this post and if there’s ever any recipes you’d like, do let me know!

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SAYING GOODBYE

Good evening beautiful souls,

This week although amazing has also been very busy and exhausting. Anthony and Tom, two good friends of Jessica and myself were in Durham this week for their Masters Graduation. As Anthony is from Lebanon and Tom from down south, we won’t get to see much of them especially Anthony, so we made the most we of the short time we had with them. I worked long days Thursday through till Monday and then spent the evenings relaxing with them eating good food, playing games, watching Once Upon A Time and Black mirror and of course enjoying some drinks.

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On Sunday Anthony and Tom cooked a feast for us which was scrumptious and included plenty of Vegan options for me including Ratatouille, a Lebanese aubergine salad, deep fried cauliflower, beetroot risotto and deep fried beetroot risotto balls – mmm… It was all soo tasty! It was nice to be able to relax with the guys and catch up with them fo a couple of days. We played lots of games including our favourite, Settlers of Catan (which I won to Anthony’s annoyance and my delight as even though he kept blocking my every move I still managed to best him hehe) and a new favourite Cluedo.

Last night after a lovely full last day together we settled down to our latest night yet playing another round of Cluedo before binge watching Black Mirror until 3am!

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This morning it was time to say goodbye to Anthony. I hate it when good friends have to leave and who knows when I’ll see them next! I really hope they both receive PhD placements near Durham so that visiting each other won’t be so difficult! I’m really going to miss these too, but thank god for the Internet and Skype, at least keeping in contact won’t be too difficult!

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So after a busy week with very late nights I am now settling down to a quiet evening and some self care time. A bath, an early night and some much needed sleep are in order I believe!

Love Carina xo

MATE DATE AT THE BOHEMIAN

Good evening beautiful souls,

On Wednesday I went to Newcastle to catch up with an old friend from uni. My friend Rachel was doing dry January and so we decided to meet up over lunch in Newcastle instead of over drinks as we usually would. I was excited to see what Newcastle had on offer regarding food because with my biggest new years resolution being to eat a vegan  diet this was a great opportunity to try out a new restaurant I wouldn’t previously have given much thought. After some browsing I decided on The Bohemian which had great reviews. It took us a couple of minutes to find (google maps aren’t always helpful aha), but once we found it I realised I’d walked past it many times before as it was just past one of my favourite pubs in Newcastle, The Fourth. It has a cute vibe and is a mix of restaurant, bar and record shop. I didn’t look at the records this time round but will definitely have a browse next time I go!

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Once in and seated we were lucky to discover that The Bohemian was participating in the Newcastle restaurant week and so we got a special three course menu for £15, not a bad deal at all. After some deliberating (I’m actually glad we had a restricted menu as all the choices sounded so good) I went for the Shredded Peking Jackfruit, with hoi sin sauce, pancakes, spring onion and cucumber for starters, The ‘Greek’ Pizza for mains and the Cointreau and chocolate tart for dessert. Wow it felt like I was splashing out, I mean I never order three courses when I go out!

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I really loved the starters, the peking jackfruit was ok on it’s own but wrapped up in the pancake with the spring onion and cucumber and dipped into the hoi sin sauce was an amazing combination!

The Greek pizza was also scrumptious; on what seemed like a homemade stone baked pizza base the vegan cheese was perfectly melted and flavours fantastic. Now I’ll admit vegan cheese can definitely taste different and isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the vegan mozzarella on the pizza tasted fab to me and I really enjoyed the pizza as it had been a while since I had a freshly made stone baked pizza.

After starters and mains I really was rather full, however I still managed to polish of my dessert! The chocolate tart served with a fruity sorbet was the perfect combination of light and tart with creamy and heavy chocolate – heaven.

So if  you haven’t been able to guess – I would highly recommend The Bohemian in Newcastle. If you ever try out this restaurant do let me know what you think – I’d love to know!

Love Carina xo