Food&Drink Writer Sarah Cayless tries out three of MOB Kitchen’s vegan recipes, to see whether she will be re-using any of them after Veganuary comes to a close

Written by Sarah Cayless
Images by Sarah Cayless

MOB kitchen produce recipes and content designed to encourage young adults to get cooking. Aside
from having four books out, their recipes can be found on their social media channels and website. I
decided to check out three of their vegan recipes – here is how I got on with them.

Sesame Tofu Toast (vegan prawn toast)

This recipe was far easier than I thought it would be. In fact, I would say the most time-consuming part was washing up the blender afterwards.

Did it taste anything like prawn toast? No. Could it satisfy your craving for prawn toast? Also no. However, it was a lovely dish in its own right, so do not slight it simply because you are hoping it will be something it is not.

The texture was nice, and more refreshing than prawn toast which can often be quite stodgy. The ingredients blend into a thick paste, which is smooth but with enough texture to still feel like adult food. Added to the fried bread, it becomes very moreish indeed. They were light to eat, so would make an ideal starter or side dish, as you would definitely not be at risk of filling yourself up. Similarly, if you are going to depend on them as a large component of your meal, I would advise increasing the quantities.

The spring onions, garlic and ginger were moderated by the bland tofu, meaning no single ingredient was too overpowering. The overarching flavour came from the wonder of serious frying. With greasy bread as your base, it is incredibly hard to go wrong.

Raspberry, Chocolate and Macadamia Flapjacks

Before I get into this one, I have a confession to make. It transpires that you cannot hear my oven pinger from upstairs in my bedroom, and especially not when I also have my headphones on. Therefore, what I am actually reviewing here is what little I could salvage from the charred remains of what should have been fancy flapjacks.

On first taste, I thought these flapjacks tasted very bitter, and more than a bit like some average berry granola. However, upon reflection I think the bitterness could be attributed to the ashes of my former raspberries. After the flapjacks had cooled and congealed, they took on a completely different form. Decadent, syrupy, lavish – everything you could ask from a flapjack. And certainly nothing like healthy cereal.

The raspberries cut through the sweetness, preventing them from being cloying, and the chopped nuts gave them a heartier texture. I do not think I need to explain the appeal of chocolate and oats, so altogether, as long as you keep an eye on your oven, I think this recipe is hard to fault.

Aglio E Olio

This is a very simple dinner, made complete when paired with some broccoli or green beans. Except for the parsley, you are likely to have all of the ingredients knocking about, making it perfect for when you are wanting to quickly rustle something up.

Sometimes cooking can feel like alchemy, in which the magic of heat and time can transform a few basic ingredients into a completely new dish, with revolutionary flavours. This is not one such meal. In fact, I would say that the outcome is exactly the sum of its parts. Fortunately, the individual components are nice enough to warrant making it again.

It may simply be a result of my own ineptitude, but when I added the pasta water to the olive oil, it did not magically become this creamy sauce which they described. It was rather more as you would imagine – watery oil. However, when mixed together with the spaghetti, it did produce a satisfyingly silky finish. The parsley and the lemon juice definitely take this dish to a higher level, so do not scrimp on them. Otherwise, it would be bordering very closely on feeling like faffier spaghetti and butter.

Finally, a reminder for those as feeble as me: it is always easier to reduce the quantity of chilli flakes than it is to tame a flaming mouth.

Not satisfied your craving yet? Check out more from Food&Drink:

Recipe: Tasty Vegetarian Trifle

Recipe: A Christmas Nut Roast

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