Yes, now I can make soups for lunches! In the summer I’m all about salads, but now I’m all about staying warm, and soup is what I’m craving on these chillier autumnal days.
I’ve massively got into pumpkins and squashes over the last few years, especially with the different varieties you can now get in the shops and in your veg boxes. The one thing that I can simply not deal with is how difficult they are to cut up! I’ve got a good knife, and still I nearly give myself a hernia dealing with this nemesis veg! If you’ve not got a sharp knife, you seriously need to invest in one, because squash prepping life was definitely MUCH harder with a blunter cutting implement.
This is soup is filled with flavour; the perfect amount of sweetness and spiciness to warm your cockles.
1 tspn cumin
1 tspn dried chilli flakes
A bunch of fresh coriander
- Cut the pumpkin and parsnip into smallish cubes. Pop into a roasting dish with a drizzle of olive oil, roast in the oven for 25 minutes at 180C.
- In a large saucepan, gently soften the onions and leek. Add the roasted pumpkin and squash.
- Sprinkle the cumin and chilli flakes and coat the vegetables.
- Add the vegetable stock.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add the coriander, and then blend until smooth using a stick blender.
- Season with salt and pepper.
I know this is totally not seasonal and I’m not sure if anyone other than me is looking to make a lemon meringue pie at the moment but what can I say, I got inspired by the Bake Off! I was watching it the other week, and knowing the awesomeness that is Aquafaba (chickpea water), I just had to work out a way of getting the chickpea water into a meringuey gooey pie of dreams. And I did! And it was super easy! It didn’t quite crisp up as you’d expect an egg-based meringue too, but it delivered a sweet marshmallowey texture and with the contrast of the sharp tangy lemon it did the job!
Lemon Meringue Pie
For the pastry:
200g plain flour
70g caster sugar
70ml oat milk (or any dairy free milk)
For the lemon filling:
Juice and zest of 3 lemons
500ml oat milk
1 tbsp vegeset (vegetable gelatin)
For the meringue:
1 tin of chickpea water
100g caster sugar
1 tspn xantham gum
1 tspn lemon juice
You’ll need to make the pastry and filling the day before to allow it to set.
- In a mixing bowl, sieve the flour and rub the margarine into fine breadcrumbs with you fingers. Stir through the caster sugar and then add the oat milk until a dough comes together. Leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface with a rolling pin until 5mm thin, and carefully transfer to your flan tin, patching up any holes. I used an approx 20cm tin.
- Blind bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes. Trim off an Leave to cool.
- In a saucepan, add the lemon juice, zest, oat milk, sugar and vegeset and bring to the boil slowly, stirring constantly. Your mixture should start to thicken, leave to cool slightly and then pour it onto the pastry and ensure it is evenly spread. Leave to set overnight.
- Drain the chickpea water and using a hand whisk mix together, it should start to froth up, gradually add the sugar and continue whisking. Once all the sugar is added it should be thickening up, add the xantham gum and lemon juice, and it should form stiff peaks.
- Spread over the lemon filling and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown at 180C.
I think this tastes better a day or two later, so don’t feel you need to eat it all in one go!
Now, I promise I’ll get into Autumn mode soon!
Apologies for my long time absence. Things have been hectic over here mainly because I’ve been moving house. But, now things are starting to bear a semblance of normality, and I’m getting my butt back into blogging. How’s things with you guys, what have I missed?
Looking back at my last post, we were well and truly in summer, but those days definitely feel over so I’m going to embrace these more autumnal days. The other weekend I went out and picked some blackberries and if you’re quick you can still get some too! My parents have an awesome apple tree and they’re so tart…so apple and blackberries scream pie or galette (posh sounding easier to make pie)!
Blackberry and Apple Galette [vegan]
170g spelt flour
75g xylitol or sugar
70ml cold water
1 tspn ground cinnamon
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour and margarine and rub together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, add 25g xylitol or sugar.
- Add the cold water (the colder the better)and stir until it comes together to form a dough.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface, until about 5mm thin.
- Grease a baking tray, and transfer the rolled out pastry onto the tray.
- Peel and thinly cut the apple and lay onto the pastry along with the blackberries and coat with the remaining xylitol or sugar.
- Fold the pastry edges into the edge of the filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- I served with dairy free ice cream.
You may have noticed some changes over these sides – if anyone does read these ramblings! Amy has taken a step back from the blog, she is no longer fully vegan (due to some health reasons) and felt the time was right to step away. You can read more about it here. So, now you’ve just got me and I hope we can get to know each other a bit better!
When I made these ice lollies we were in the midst of a sunny spell. These sunny spells don’t last long in good old Blighty and it’s definitely not the weather for these refreshing ice lollies.
I bought myself some the ice lolly moulds for the summertime and then they took about two months to arrive, just in time for Autumn, that’ll teach me for resorting to Amazon! Anyway, if the warmer weather does make a reappearance get your melons out and try these bad boys!
Watermelon and Lime Ice Lollies
1 lime juice
1 tbsp agave syrup
- Slice and de-skin the watermelon, then in a food processor blitz until smooth.
- Add the lime juice and agave syrup and blend together.
- In your ice lolly moulds pour the liquid and freeze overnight.
- Makes 6 ice lollies.
A super speedy recipe to liven up your houmous. You can’t beet some roasted beetroot AND garlic, and this makes a really sweet flavour combination. Forget your pickled beetroot THIS is where you can truly appreciate the awesomeness of beetroot.
Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Houmous
240g (1 tin) chickpeas
2 tbsp tahini
3 cloves garlic
1/2 juice of lemon
Handful of fresh coriander
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp water
- Peel the beetroot and chop into small chunks. In a baking tray, roast the beetroot and garlic cloves in the oven for 35 minutes with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Meanwhile, blend the chickpeas in a food processor along with the tahini. Add the lemon juice.
- Once the beetroot is cooked, add it to the chickpea mix. Peel the skin of the garlic cloves and pop in the mixture, and drain any excess olive oil into the processor too.
- Blend until smooth, this may take awhile depending on the power of your blender.
- Add the coriander and season with salt and pepper.
I’m not sure if this is best described as a cake, it is probably more of a pudding. Whether you’ve got peaches or nectarines to hand, this tasty upside down cake is so fruity, plus the lemon zest gives the sponge an extra zing! I think it is definitely best eaten whilst warm from the oven, but you can always add some custard to warm a cold slice up.
We are in the midst of the british blueberry season, so make sure you grab a couple of punnets and stock up your freezers.
Blueberry and Nectarine Upside Down Cake
120g spelt flour
120g self-raising flour
60g caster sugar
1 tspn baking powder
200ml oat milk
70ml vegetable oil
2 x nectarines
2 x handful blueberries
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Line the bottom of a 7 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper and oil the sides of the tin. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- Slice the nectarines and lay them and a handful of blueberries in the bottom of the tin.
- In a mixing bowl – add the flours, sugar and baking powder. Stir in the oat milk and oil and add the juice and zest of the lemon, plus another handful of blueberries. Once mixed together pour over the nectarine and blueberries.
- Bake for 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
I promise I’m not lying when I say these courgette fritters may just be my best creation so far! When I had my allotment my kitchen was overrun with courgettes. It turned out planting five courgette plants meant you had about 50 courgettes to consume, and if you didn’t tend to your plants regularly they would look more like marrows. So, 50 marrow sized courgettes meant we were eating a heck of a lot of the vegetable! We had to get inventive with our mealtimes. I made this delightful courgette loaf that used some up. We used to have these fritters at least once a week, but now i’ve upped the fritter game with this peanut sauce AND it’s definitely a game changer. So if you’ve found yourself in a courgette predicament right now, or you’re wondering what else can you do with courgette other than slicing them and boiling them, THIS recipe has definitely got your name on!
Courgette Fritters with Thai Peanut Sauce
1 red onion
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
100g rice flour (or alternate flour)
1 tspn ground coriander
1 tspn cumin
1 chilli (finely chopped)
180ml oat milk
1 tbsp flax seed
Handful of fresh coriander (chopped)
1 juice of lime
Salt and pepper
For the peanut sauce:
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tspn dried chilli flakes (or fresh chilli)
1/2 lime juice
1 spring onion
- Grate the courgette and onion. Leave to drain for 10 minutes in a sieve and then squeeze and remaining water out of the mixture -the drier the better.
- In a pan, melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil and sauté the courgette, onion and garlic cloves for 5 – 10 minutes,
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, ground coriander and cumin and stir the spices through.
- Once the courgette mix has cooled slightly, add to the flour mix, along with the chilli, milk, flax seed, lime juice and coriander. Season with salt and pepper.
- Melt the other tablespoon of coconut oil and spoon the mixture into patties and cook on a medium high heat. Turn over once they have crisped up on the bottom. They will take about 10 – 15 minutes to cook through.
- Meanwhile, to make the peanut sauce – add the peanut butter to a bowl, along with the soy sauce, sesame oil and maple sauce – stir until creamy and smooth.
- Add the dried chilli flakes, lime juice and finely chopped spring onion, along with the water to make a runnier sauce, add more or less water depending on how thick you prefer the sauce.
- I served it with courgette ribbons and the peanut sauce drizzled all over them – super tasty!
Peace and love
What’s going on with this heat? Last week we were moaning that it felt like winter, now we’re in the midst of a bloomin’ heatwave! I’m definitely NOT complaining. I love the heat. I love having all the doors and windows open. Love the amazing sunsets. And love actually wearing my summery clothes. When the weather reaches these dizzy heights I cling onto my childhood memories, when I’m sure summer holidays were definitely sunnier than they appear to be these days. Perhaps I have a rose tinted view of those idealistic days, when the only care was what time the ice cream van was rocking up, or which tree we’d be climbing. But, summer memories definitely involve summer berries that’s for sure. And what better way to enjoy the raspberries you’ll be a picking than in this super tasty Raspberry Cheesecake.
For the base:
150g medjool dates
50g coconut oil (melted)
For the filling:
1 block firm tofu
50g coconut oil
1 tbsp rice/fruit/agave syrup
- In a food processor, blend the dates, almonds and oats until thoroughly chopped. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan on a low heat and blend with the nut mixture, it should combine slightly.
- Add to your tin (I used mini tart tins), press down firmly using your hands and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.
- Drain the tofu, and blend in the processor until smooth. Add the raspberries, and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Melt the coconut oil and add along with the syrup and blend once more until combined.
- Spread evenly over the base and leave in the fridge for another few hours until firm.
- Top with fresh fruit.
Get picking those raspberries 🙂
This basil pesto carrot gnocchi may just be my favourite thing EVER! I mean, I’m not going to lie, this is not a weekday dinner – making your own gnocchi is a faff that’s for sure. This is definitely more of a weekend meal, one to take your time and not stress over. I promise, it is worth the effort though, for sure!
But, this delicious pesto you could make any day of the week. Mix it through some pasta for a quick simple weekday dinner, or stir it through some courgette ribbons and add it to your lunchtime salad. You’ll never want to buy another jar of pesto once you’ve made your own!
Basil Pesto Carrot Gnocchi
For the pesto:
120g pine nuts
1 1/2 tubs of basil (the pots you can buy in the supermarket)
70ml olive oil
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper
- On a medium heat, toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for five minutes.
- In a food processor, blitz the garlic clove and basil. Add the toasted pine nuts and olive oil and blend together until it’s as fine as you want it to be.
- Season with salt and pepper.
For the gnocchi:
6 medium carrots
180g rice flour
Salt and pepper
- Peel and boil the potatoes until cooked. In a separate saucepan, peel and boil the carrots until cooked.
- Once they are both cooked, in a food processor, blend the cooked carrot until smooth, add the potatoes and mix until both are combined and no longer lumpy (use a potato masher if you don’t have a food processor).
- Add the rice flour and season with plenty of salt and pepper and blend together until a doughy consistency is formed.
- Shape into small balls using extra flour (this bit gets quite messy) and lay out on greaseproof. I used a fork to flatten them out a little and to give them an even shape.
- In a pan of salted boiling water, lower to a simmer, then place the gnocchi into the water (you may need to cook half at a time so it doesn’t clump together).
- The gnocchi will take two – four minutes to cook, once it has risen to the surface it is ready. Using a slotted spoon strain the excess water and place on a plate.
- Heat the pesto in a pan on a medium heat, and add the cooked, strained gnocchi. Stir the pesto thoroughly through the gnocchi. Serve straight away.
Happy gnocchi days 🙂
Despite the weather being
a bit very crappy during June it looks like Summer has started to arrive. Wimbledon marks the start of Strawberry season for me, and hopefully all the rain won’t ruin crops this year, because we’ve got A LOT of strawberries to eat!
This creamy strawberry ice cream is the perfect dessert to cool down on a hot summer’s evening especially with some more strawberries PLUS it’s so easy to make. I always thought of ice cream as being a pain in the butt to make, but this is super simple. Just make sure you’re not rushing out so you can keep going back to the freezer for the first few hours to whip it up and ensure you have a creamy ice cream.
Strawberry ice cream
800ml (2 tins) coconut milk
2 tbsp agave syrup
1 tspn vanilla extract
- Wash and de-stalk the strawberries.
- In a food processor, empty the coconut cream and mix until smooth.
- Add the strawberries and mix together with the coconut cream until thoroughly combined.
- Add the xylitol, agave syrup and vanilla extract and blend through.
- Empty into a suitable tub/tin that will survive in the freezer and pop in the freezer.
- Every 30 minutes, stir through to stop large crystals forming, you’ll need to do this four or five times, basically the more times the better – you’ll get a smoother creamier texture and thank yourself when eating it.
Happy summertime 🙂