RAW VEGAN CHEESECAKE // Recipes

Base:

180g Biscuits of choice (Hobnobs, Lotus, Oreos are some of the best vegan options)

60g vegan spread, melted

Filling:

200g Vegan cream cheese

349g Silken tofu

Flavourings of choice, I used:

3 bananas

4 tbsp cocoa powder

Mixed Berries

Crushed vegan honeycomb (to decorate)

Method:

Place the biscuits in a food bag and smash with a rolling pin, you may have to do this in two parts (or blitz in a food processor).

Transfer to a bowl, gradually add in the melted spread and stir until it takes a wet sand consistency. Then oil your tin of choice with spread or vegetable oil (I used one with 12 individual circles but you can use a more traditional large one, just make sure it has a pop up bottom). Divide the biscuit mix and push it down with the back of a spoon, then leave it in the fridge while you make the filling.

Blitz the tofu and cream cheese in a food processor, then taste and add any flavourings you desire. Other ideas can involve; lemon/lime zest, berries, grated ginger and melted white chocolate, mint essence, orange zest and cocoa, Dulce de Luce (banoffee!)

When your happy with the flavour, scoop the mix into the tins and leave again to set for around 4 hours in the fridge (or 1 hour in the freezer if your low on time). When you’re ready to serve, push the removal bottom of the tin up, use a palette knife to etch the biscuit base away, and plate up with whatever decoration you desire! I also presented one of mine in an individual drink glass, which I think looked even prettier as you can see all the colours layered up.

BRICK PIZZA NORWICH // Out

Brick pizza is renowned for being one of, if not THE best place for pizza in Norwich; and it isn’t hard to see why. They do pizzas, just pizzas, and they do them properly. The place itself is tiny, seating no more than 24 people with a rustic vibe yet incredibly clean and bright, they have ingredients splayed everything, with massive tones of tomatoes almost as decoration, and a chilled vibe that is a pleasure to eat in.

The vegan pizza (£10) comes with violife cheese, roasted vegetables (courgettes, aubergine, peppers) and basil on a tomato base. As someone who is used to ordering pizzas without the cheese for the last year, I find the vegan cheese almost too cheesy, but for someone who loves pizza like that (which is probably most) it’s absolutely perfect. I also loved the variation of vegetables, which were soft but still had a good texture from the courgette edges and few bits of celery (don’t let that put you off if you are not a huge celery fan, it was hardly any). If anything, I could have done with more basil but again that’s personal preference. They also do a plain pizza with tomato and oregano which I’ve also had and loved (but I would say is less filling than the others, as you would probably expect). The bases are all thin, crispy, but still have amazing texture. Because of this, they also take hardly any time to cook and we were served within 15 minutes.

They do also do a small amount of side dishes; dough bowls (as above), side salad, and olives. The dough balls were AMAZING. They come with garlic butter or Nutella, but omit this and they are thick, fluffy, vegan bites of heaven. I also think it’s nice to have these as the pizzas are so thin, and sometimes you just want that chunk of carbs. For £5 they are definitely great value for money, better than pizza express (yep I said it) and we shared between 4 – although I could probably eat a whole one to myself.

Undoubtedly this is becoming one of my favourite places to eat in the city.

MY FAVOURITE ‘NORMAL’ VEGAN INSTAGRAMS //

Vegans, especially on social media, have a reputation for living off green smoothies with maca powder, avocado roses on organism five seed rye bread and using only pink salt from the valleys of Himalayan. These sort of things are expensive, time consuming and makes eating healthy or meat free unappealing (and unrealistic) to a lot of people. So this is a quick collection of my favourite ‘normal’, every day vegan Instagram accounts that are worth a follow.

VEGAN ZIZZIS // Eating Out

Zizzis has long been known as one of the best chain restaurants for vegans. They’ve always been really accomadating to change their dishes, it recently they’ve added even more vegan dishes to their menu, and if you ask they will give you a seperate menu with just vegan option. I find this so much easier to look at rather than searching for the ‘V’ sign next to everything! They also have loads of options that they don’t mention on their main menu; vegan garlic bread; bruschetta; lentil ragu side; 2 proper desserts (not just fruit salad and sorbet!) and much more.

 

Starter of bruschetta with super green pesto, cherry tomatoes and basil. The pesto is the best vegan pesto I’ve had, and I love adding some extra chilli oil which they have on every table to add even more flavour.
Edit

The new vegan pizza just for January – vegan cheese, avocado slices, beetroot falafel things, sundried tomatoes, spinach and chilli flakes.

They also have three other vegan pizzas, and an array of toppings (my favourites are olives and grilled peppers) so you can create your perfect pizza! They same goes for their pasta; starting with a basic spaghetti, tomato sauces, basil and fresh cherry tomatoes (which is delicious all in itself btw), you can then add anything else you wish.

This is the ‘super Zucca salad’ that isn’t actually on the vegan menu (as it contains goats cheese), but we swapped this for the vegan cheese. INot every restaurant may be as accommodating to do this as the cheese is frozen, but we adding field mushrooms (from the pasta add ons) which are cooked, so the cheese melted slightly with that and it was just perfect. The salad itself consists of courgette, roast butternut squash, a tiny hint of mint, green lentils and mixed leaves which I’ve had before so know I love. It also normally comes with a white balsamic dressing, which they swapped for balsamic.

Zizzis also offered another vegan salad, with broccoli, cannelloni beans, purple basil and pesto.

The lentil ragu which normally comes with pasta, but I switched to fried potatoes cause I was on a bit of potato obsession at the time. The ragu has a really rich flavour and cooked perfectly, not to ‘mushy’ which I find often puts people off these legumes (which are a fab source of protein as well!)


One of the highlights of eating vegan at Zizzis has to be the sweet stuff; dessert calzone filled with banana, blueberries, and topped with a coconut chocolate ripple ice cream. If like me you just love anything bread and carby, this will be a winner.  I also loved getting some of the warm banana and adding it to the chocolate torte as chocolate banana isnsuch a good combo. We also ordered a chocolate torte with vegan honeycomb (!!) and topped with ice cream. The coconut flavour really came through in the ice cream, and it was perfect with the torte as it was incredibly rich (imagine a creamy, thick ganache which I have no idea how they made taste so good without lashings of cream).

Going halves on two dishes is my favourite way to eat, so you get to try a bit of everything!

Zizzis also does an amazing 40% off student discount! Starters are around £5, mains just over a tenner, and desserts about £6. In my opinion, the only thing that stops this place being absolutely perfect is the drinks; I;ve tried the ‘bramble g&t’ which for over £6 barely tasted of gin, and the white wine I had this visit was okay, but slightly underwhelming at nearly £5 for 175ml.

Overall, Zizzis is still one of, if not my absolute favourite places to eat out (with other vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike).

VEGAN CHICKEN PASTA SALAD // Recipe

   
80g uncooked pasta

100g vegan chicken style pieces

1/2 medium pepper

2inch chunk cucumber

7 cherry/plum tomatoes 

2tbsp pine nuts or cashews

8 basil leaves 

1tsp lemon zest (around 1/2 a lemon)

OR 

This was inspired by Co-op vegan pasta dish, which you can easily buy, add some extra ‘chicken’ or chickpeas into for protein,  and bam easy lunch done.

 
Boil the pasta for 15 minutes (or however long the packet says) and while waiting, chop up your vegetables into small chunks.

Cook the vegan chicken if necessary (I use Quorn in the microwave covered in water for 4 minutes). Then set aside and leave to cool.

When ready, drain the pasta, run under cold water to cool it, and add the veg, chicken, pine nuts, and lemon zest.

Chop the basil finely, and scatter all over just before serving.

This is perfect to take along to a summer barbecue, or you could even pack it up to take to work with you as it lasts up to 5 days in the fridge.