There is more to vegetables than simply boiling them! Don’t get me wrong, boiled veg has it’s place on a plate sometimes, but this Cashew and Sesame Purple Sprouting Broccoli is one of those dishes that showcases just how an ordinary vegetable can become the star of the show. This makes an ideal side dish or serve with noodles and eat as a main meal.
Cashew Sesame Purple Sprouting Broccoli
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
50g cashew nuts
Thumb sized piece of ginger (grated)
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp sesame seeds
- In a wok or frying pan, heat the sesame oil on a medium heat.
- Chop the leek and add to the pan along with the garlic and cashew nuts, and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the broccoli, grated ginger, tamari and chilli and cook for 10 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and stir through.
For as long as I can remember Lasagna has been my favourite dish. I love a good vegetable lasagna packed full of whatever the season has to offer, but lentils provide this beaut more of a meaty texture. This dish is packed full of flavour, and a tofu topping means you don’t need to faff about with a bechamel and worry about lumpy sauce = win!
Vegan Lasagna with lentils and kale
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
200g puy lentils (soaked overnight if possible)
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp thyme
1 tspn ground cinnamon
2 tbsp tomato puree
400ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
6 – 8 lasagne sheets (depending on the size of your dish)
For the topping:
1 block of firm tofu (drained)
3 tbsp pine nuts (keep an extra few to sprinkle on top)
80g spinach (washed and dried)
Salt and pepper
A few cherry tomatoes
A few basil leaves
- In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil on a medium heat.
- Chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan and cook for five minutes.
- Rinse the lentils and add to the pan, along with the chopped tomatoes, oregano, thyme, cinnamon and tomato puree. Cook for five minutes.
- Gradually add the vegetable stock, along with the kale, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. Cook for about 25 minutes until the lentils are cooks. Season with plenty of pepper and a little salt.
- Meanwhile in food processor, add the drained block of tofu, the pine nuts and spinach and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large oven-proof dish add half of the lentil and kale filling and spread evenly. Lay the lasagne sheets covering the filling.
- Spoon half the tofu mixture and spread evenly across the pasta sheet.
- Spread the remaining lentil mix over and top with more pasta sheets and the rest of the tofu mixture.
- Top with sliced cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and a few basil leaves.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for thirty minutes.
- Serve with some tasty salad leaves.
I love pancakes, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE pancake day. These vegan pancakes are so easy to make and you definitely don’t need any eggs to make them! Just make sure you’ve got your favourite plantbased milk and flour in the cupboard and you’re all set to get flipping!
When I was growing up we pretty much saved our pancake eating to once a year. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see that pancakes are more of a weekly thing in my house now, I tend to mix the toppings up a bit depending what I’ve got in the house. But sometimes you can’t beat a traditional crepe style, doused in lemon and sugar. If you’re looking for more of an american style thick pancake recipe then this, this or this might be up your street. I’ve got your pancake needs covered this year don’t you worry!
Pancakes with lemon and sugar
200g plain flour
400ml plantbased milk (I used oat milk)
A pinch of salt
1 tspn vanilla extract (optional)
25g vegan margarine
2 tbsp caster sugar
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and milk and whisk using a balloon whisk until you’ve got a smooth batter.
- Add the salt and vanilla extract and stir through. Leave to sit for thirty minutes but only if you’ve got time.
- Meanwhile, heat your frying pan on a medium heat and melt a little (not all) of the margarine.
- When the pan is hot, ladle the batter into the pan and cook for a few minutes, flip the pancake to cook the other side. Add a little extra margarine before each pancake.
- Serve with plenty of lemon juice and caster sugar.
Or you could even melt some dark chocolate, and serve with coconut yoghurt. Or cook some apples and sprinkle with cinnamon. The list is pretty much endless when it comes to pancakes!
Pretty much everyday I get hungry around 11am, depending on what I’ve had for breakfast. I always need some kind of mid-morning snack that’s going to keep me going until lunchtime and this banana and chocolate bread has currently won me over in the snackosphere.
I’ve not been shy on the chocolate chunks, if something is going to have chocolate in the title then I’m going to want to get a massive hit of chocolateyness, and this doesn’t disappoint. I even took a little jar of nut butter into work and smothered it on a slice – I was winning in life at that point. Later in the day I definitely wasn’t. It turned out I’d not put the lid back on that blommin’ jar properly and got home to discover I was half a jar down and one tote bag was totally ruined. I would definitely put this catastrophe into a middle class problem type meme.
Banana and Chocolate Bread
3 ripe bananas
1tbsp maple syrup
1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax seed, 3 tbsp water mixed together)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tspn vanilla extract
100ml plant based milk
200g spelt flour
50g self-raising flour
1 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
125g dark chocolate
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C, grease and line an 2lb loaf tin (mediumish size).
- In a glass, mix together the flax seed and water and set aside for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, mash up the bananas. Add all the wet ingredients – maple syrup, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, plant milk and the flax seed egg. Stir together.
- Add the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and stir until all mixed together.
- Chop the chocolate – I like mine quite chunky so don’t over chop, stir into the mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the loaf tin, and pop in the oven for 45 – 50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when you insert it.
- Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack. I like to cut a slice and eat it whilst it is still warm, after all that’s when the chocolate is at its best!
If there is one thing we’ve learnt from this….screw those lids on people!
I’ve got the February blues and I feel grumpy. I’m in desperate need of Spring, but it’s grey, cold and miserable, and the promise of warmer days seem still too distant for my liking. This carrot and swede soup definitely brings a little sunshine to my bowl, so until Spring finally springs I’ll be staring into this bowl of goodness.
Carrot and Swede Soup with Smoky Pumpkin Seed Croutons
Makes 4 servings
For the soup:
1 tspn coconut oil
2 garlic cloves
4 medium carrots
1/2 medium swede
1 litre of vegetable stock
1 tspn smoked paprika
1/2 tspn cinnamon
A handful of fresh coriander
For the pumpkin seeds:
25g pumpkin seeds
1 tspn smoked paprika
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
Salt and pepper
- In a large saucepan melt the coconut oil.
- Finely chop the onions and add to the pan and cook for a few minutes until they’ve softened.
- Peel the garlic cloves and finely chop and add to the pan.
- Peel and dice the carrots and swede and add to the pan along with the vegetable stock.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for thirty minutes on a low heat.
- Add the paprika and cinnamon and stir through.
- Remove from the heat, and using a stick blender blitz until the soup is smooth.
For the pumpkin seed croutons:
- Line a baking tray with some greaseproof paper, spread the pumpkin seeds across the tray.
- Sprinkle the seeds with the smoked paprika, chilli flakes, pinch of salt and pepper and make sure they’re coated well.
- Toast in the oven for five to ten minutes until they start splitting and puffing up.
- Sprinkle on top of the soup and serve with the fresh coriander and a little more smoked paprika.
I’ve definitely become a breakfast convert. Don’t get me wrong, I never skipped it, I can’t miss meals….I mean, food, hello!! I just wasn’t ever that adventurous. Back in the day, I used to just eat very sugary cereal or a couple of slices of toast and jam. Pretty standard, pretty dull. Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes do just eat toast and jam, and have a pretty standard weekday breakfast of porridge, dang good porridge, but at the weekend I try to create a delicious more complex breakfast, after all it’s the most important meal of the day, right?
I used to really enjoy eggs for breakfast, so if you’re new to veganism or looking for alternative and are missing that eggy texture to go with your breakfast then you really need to try tofu scramble. Tofu is pretty bland on it’s own but once you’ve added some spices you’ve got yourself a flavoursome dish.
Tofu scramble with cavolo nero
1 block of firm tofu
4 stalks of cavolo nero
1 tbps coconut oil
1 small onion
1 tspn turmeric
1/2 tspn cumin
A pinch of ground coriander
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
Salt and pepper
- Empty the tofu out of the pack and drain any liquid. Pop the tofu block on a plate, and place another plate and a heavy object on top of it and leave for half an hour to drain any excess liquid.
- Melt the coconut oil on a medium heat in a frying pan.
- Finely chop the onion and add to the frying pan, fry for five minutes until softened.
- Add the tofu and using a wooden spoon gently break it up.
- Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli flakes and stir into the tofu.
- De-stalk the cavolo nero and finely chop, add to the tofu.
- Leave to cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the pan.
- Season with salt and pepper.
I’ve been following with interest the backlash on the ‘clean eating’ and wellness industry. I for one am guilty of using the term ‘clean’ in past blog posts and labelling ‘healthier’ cake recipes as ‘guilt-free’. We absolutely shouldn’t be feeling guilty if we’re eating a doughnut or some cake. I mean, who am I to tell you what you should feel guilty about. (I mean, hello, the Co-op have vegan doughnuts that scream my name, I can easily demolish a pack of Oreos, and I’ll happily grab a sandwich from M&S – woohoo, they’ve got a new vegan range). For me, I know that my tummy doesn’t take kindly to me feeding it too much of this type of food and when I gave up sugar completely I felt amazing. For me, it’s not about losing weight, it’s about enjoying my life and I can’t if I feel bloated and crappy. But, I also can’t quite turn down a glass or three of wine, or some oreos because that’s another way I enjoy life, and I’ll not be feeling guilty about it.
I know if I don’t feed myself foods that are packed full of ingredients I can’t pronounce then I won’t be writhing around in pain. But, I also know that I can’t quite say no to that doughnut and that is absolutely okay. After all, the best people to tell us what to eat are ourselves, we know our bodies the best.
So, here’s to these bliss balls that are naturally sweet and won’t make my belly feel bad, but let’s stop feeling guilty over food choices and listen to our own bodies.
Pistachio and Cacao Bliss Balls
200g medjool dates (or soaked dried dates)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp cacao powder
- Remove the pistachios from their shells and place in a food processor.
- Blitz the pistachios until they’re finely chopped.
- Add the dates and blend with the nuts.
- Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan and add to the food processor along with the cacao powder.
- Blend for ten seconds and then take small spoonfuls of the mixture rolling them into balls in your hand.
- The mixture should make about ten balls.
- Keep in the refrigerator.
Pancakes have become one of my favourite things about weekends. As I’ve been making more I think I’ve perfected their density and fluffiness, and this flavour combo is definitely a winner. These are pretty thick american styleee and the batter makes about four but you could probably make six at a push. The maple syrup takes the edge off the sharpness of the cranberries, and you’ve basically got Christmas morning done and dusted. Thank me later. 😉
Cranberry Maple Pecan Pancakes
Makes 4-6 pancakes
For the pancakes:
50g Rice flour
50g Buckwheat flour
1 tspn Xantham gum
1 tspn Baking Powder
1/2 tspn Ground cinnamon
250ml Oat milk
1 tbsp Coconut oil
For the topping:
50g Pecans (roughly chopped)
2 tbsp Maple syrup
1 tbsp Water
- In a mixing bowl, add the flours, baking powder, xantham gum and cinnamon. Whisk in the milk, until a batter has formed.
- In a frying pan, melt the coconut oil on a medium heat.
- Once melted, add spoonfuls of the batter and allow to cook for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the cranberries to a saucepan with a tablespoon of water. Bring to the boil, and then allow to gently soften. Add the pecans, along with the maple syrup. It will become quite sticky, add a little more water if desired.
- Turn the pancakes over to allow them to cook on the other side. They will take about ten minutes in total.
- Serve the pancakes along with the cranberries and pecans along with a little extra maple syrup. I often add some cashew butter or almond butter for some added yum.
Perfect for Christmas morning! x
Just because we’re well and truly into soup weather doesn’t mean we have to totally give up on salad, plus I’m totally not lying when I say this is the pumpkin and kale salad is nothing but delicious…it’s ALL about the dressing!
I’ve been swamped with work recently and just when I needed to be on my A game, BAM along comes a cold to laugh in my face, and one that I’m still battling the remnants of. So, I’m loading on vitamin packed foods and this will definitely ensure you’re packing in the nutrients needed to fight any germs that are always lurking at this time of year.
Squash and Kale Salad
Serves 2 people
5 stalks of red kale (de-stalk)
1/2 medium pumpkin/squash
1 red onion
8 cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
Handful of coriander
For the dressing:
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tspn peanut butter
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tspn dried chilli flakes
- Halve and de-seed the pumpkin or squash and roast in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil for half an hour or until soft.
- Wash and de-stalk the kale and chop into fairly small pieces. In a large mixing bowl drizzle the kale with the olive oil and massage the oil into the leaves with your fingertips. Leave to soften for 15 minutes.
- Toast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan on a medium heat for 5 minutes until slightly browned.
- Slice the red onion and add to the bowl, along with the cherry tomatoes, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
- Finely chop the coriander leaves and stir through.
- In a small bowl, add the sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter and maple syrup along with the chilli flakes and stir until smooth.
- Once the pumpkin is soft, add it into the salad and pour the dressing all over it and stir to coat it all.
Enjoy and keep well!
I’ve out done myself! These Apple Cinnamon Scones are too good not to share. I’m a big fan of a scone….and yes, I say scone as in s-cone not s-con, that may make me a bit posh, but it’s how it’s said..alright?!
I have mixed feelings about the recent clocks going back. I love the extra hour to catch up on some serious zzzzs….I mean, I’m not going to complain about that! I also love the cosy dark nights, curling up under a blanket on the sofa and Netflixing my way through autumn/winter (currently obsessing over Bloodline). But, I don’t like coming home from work in the dark, or battling the low light to take photos of recipes, such like the one below at 2pm!
I served these with some delicious strawberry jam and some coconut yoghurt – a perfect vegan alternative to cream. These also are so full of cinnamon apple flavours they taste pretty darn good on their own too!
Apple Cinnamon Scones
Makes about 9
50g dairy free margarine
100g self raising flour
150g spelt flour
25g caster sugar
1 tspn cinnamon
100g stewed apples (I used normal eating apples, so they held their shape once cooked)
150ml oat milk (alternative plant based milk)
- In a mixing bowl, rub the margarine into the flours using your fingertips, until breadcrumb-like
- Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir through
- Add the stewed apples, along with the milk
- Combine until a dough has formed (you may need to add a little more four of the mixture is quite wet, depending on your apples)
- On a floured surface, gently work the dough so you can cut out the scones using a cutter (the trick here is not to handle the dough too much and to keep it quite thick so you have nice sizeable scones)
- Cut out the scones, and place on a greased baking tray, brush with milk and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top
- Place in the oven for 15 minutes at 210C
- Leave to cool on a wire rack