Coffee crusted ribz

I did a lot of testing for Grills Gone Vegan¬†and now it’s finally here I decided to revisit one of my favourites. In case you don’t know, all the testing and planning of Grills was done quite a long time ago and it got a bit held up at the publishers, hence this book being released so soon after Whole Grain Vegan Baking, which was co-authored with Celine Steen. I did a review of some of the fabulous recipes I tested almost 2 years ago!

There’s loads to love about this book, and even as I sit staring out of my window in the middle of May into cloudy skies and endless rain, I know there are some recipes I’ll turn to again and again. One of them is the Coffee Crusted Ribs. They were the first recipe I decided to remake, partly because I loved them, and partly because I finally got my hands on another jar of instant espresso when I was in the US recently. The recipe is in two parts – you make the ribs first and then there a number of sauces and rubs that you can use on them. They are a little bit fussy but they make a lot and they freeze brilliantly. They’re a great dense texture and you probably wouldn’t guess there was coffee in the rub, just a deep flavour that adds a low note to the ribs.

I served them alongside some macaroni cheese with spinach in. I generally make my own cheese sauces but while in Chicago, Matthew really enjoyed the macaroni cheese side dish in Chicago Diner, which uses Teese. I had only tried cooking with the mozarella Teese and wasn’t hugely impressed with it, but when I saw that they sold a cheese sauce I brought some back to try. For a bought product we both enjoyed it; it certainly made for a very quick pasta dish and if it was available here I might well keep a tube of it around for emergencies. Apparently it keeps for a month in the fridge once opened so I’ll be trying the leftovers in something else.

I can’t wait to revisit some of my other old favourites from Grills Gone Vegan and I’ll be sure to keep you posted here when I do!

It’s a Goodlife


When the people from Goodlife asked if I’d like to review some of their products, I didn’t hesitate for a second. I had heard of the company but struggled to find many of their products near to me, so it seemed like an excellent way to finally try some.

All of their products are vegan (and vegan society approved), and some of them are gluten free. They’re all made with vegetables and they don’t try to imitate meat so I think they’re all soya free. I love gluten, and soya, and imitation meats, but I know plenty of people don’t or have allergies so these products would be useful for them too.

I’ve only tried one thing so far but I wanted to do the reviews individually rather than wait until I’ve tried them all as that might take a while. The first thing I tried was the Spicy Lentil and Vegetable Wedge (not gluten free). I had it for lunch with a few chips but you could have it as a starter like you might have a samosa, or as part of an Indian meal, or as per the box suggestion you could let it go cold and pack it for lunch with salad. I would actually have one for breakfast with a chapatti, but that’s not for everyone!

The first thing to mention is that I have every single ingredient in these wedges in my kitchen cupboards or freezer and use them all regularly. At a time when people are (finally) becoming more concerned about the contents of their food, I didn’t have to look up any of the ingredients – anyone would have heard of them. Lots of them are spices.

I really enjoyed this lunch. The wedges looked on the box like they might be a bit dry but that wasn’t the case at all. They were lovely and moist with a nice light level of spice and a good coating which is flecked with nigella seeds. If the wedges were available near me I would definitely buy them to keep in the freezer for a quick lunch or meal. I’m looking forward to trying the rest!