Tag: Recipes

Spicy Pumpkin and Parsnip Soup [vegan]

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.

Pumpkin

 

Pumpkin-and-parsnip-soup

 

400g pumpkin
2 parsnips
2 onions
1 leek
vegetable stock
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.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

Lemon Meringue Pie [vegan]

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-vegan

Lemon-meringue-pie-vegan

Lemon Meringue Pie
For the pastry:
200g plain flour
70g caster sugar
100g margarine
70ml oat milk (or any dairy free milk)

For the lemon filling:
Juice and zest of 3 lemons
500ml oat milk
50g sugar
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!

Veronica x

Watermelon and Lime Ice Lollies [vegan]

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 lolliesWatermelon and lime ice lollies

Watermelon and Lime Ice Lollies

800g watermelon
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.

Veronica x

Blueberry and Nectarine Upside Down Cake [vegan]

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 cake blueberry upside down cake vegan blueberry and nectarine upside down cake

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.

🙂

Veronica x

Courgette Fritters with Thai Peanut Sauce [vegan and gluten-free]

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!

DSC_0464courgette fritters

Courgette Fritters with Thai Peanut Sauce
750g courgettes
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
40ml water

  • 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
Veronica x

Basil Pesto Carrot Gnocchi [vegan and gluten-free]

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!

Vegan pesto gnocchi

Vegan pesto gnocchi

Basil Pesto Carrot Gnocchi
Serves 4

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
400g potatoes
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 🙂

Veronica x

Strawberry Ice Cream

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_creamVegan_ice_cream vegan_ice_cream

Strawberry ice cream
600g strawberries
800ml (2 tins) coconut milk
100g xylitol
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 🙂

Veronica x

Apple & Parsnip Soup

I love this time of year – the lighter evenings and the sunnier days. Yes, spring has sprung and I for one am glad! Despite the sunnier days I still haven’t turned my back on some warming foods, after all there is still a chill in the air. In fact, I was on a run the other day and all the weather was thrown at me during those three and a half hours (Yep – that’s my longest run for the marathon done). I came home and was frozen, soup was the only thing that warmed me through.

We’re still in the hungry gap right now so whilst spring is bringing lots of fresh new greens, we’re still relying on the last of winter’s crops until new season produce is ready. But there are still some parsnips and apples knocking around and they happen to make the tastiest soup I’ve ever made. Yes, a bold claim indeed, but seriously this is a winning combination. And the coconut yoghurt makes this soooo good. You could always swap this with some canned coconut milk if you’ve not got any to hand. I bought it in our local health food shop.

Apple-and-Parsnip-Soup

Apple and Parsnip Soup
Serves 4-5 

1 onion
3 parsnips
2 apples
2 sticks of celery
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp coconut yoghurt
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

  • In a large pan heat the olive oil on a medium heat
  • Chop the onion and soften in the pan for 3-4 minutes
  • Peel and chop the apples and parsnips and add to the pan along with the chopped celery
  • Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, simmer for 30 minutes
  • When the vegetables have softened add the cumin and cinnamon. Blend using a stick blender until all smooth
  • Stir through the coconut yoghurt and season with salt and pepper

V x

Beetroot & Black Bean Burgers

We love eating by the seasons and seeing how the passing of the year brings a whole different array of food to our tables. Living in the heart of a city I particularly love the connection my local veg box gives me to the changing seasons, weather and produce. There’s nothing like a wet, muddy carrot to spark the connection between the weather we’re having to the food that’s growing, or maybe that’s just me… vegetable romantic?

At this time of year, when the winter veg starts running out and the new season crops haven’t quite kicked in, it can seem like there isn’t that much exciting produce around. For sure there are plenty of greens to be had but when it’s still decidedly wintery outside, it can be hard to get excited about salad and I actually LOVE salad. But I don’t see this as the down-side to eating by the seasons. I see it as the fun, challenging side. How can I make the most delicious, satisfying, yummy meal out of a cabbage…. uh hello Winter Veg Stir-fry!

In fact I’ve actually had people say to me, oh yeah it seemed good getting a local veg box at first but then we just ended up getting loads of beetroot and just didn’t really know what to do with it. Well it just so happens that we bloody love beetroot (is that some kind of beetroot joke there, blood… who knows) and we don’t want beetroot putting anyone off eating seasonally!

We really do love it, just check out these recipes…

Chocolate Beetroot Cake
Roasted Beetroot & Raw Green Salad
Roasted Beetroot Rissotto
Celeriac & Marinated Beetroot Salad
Vegetable Crisps

So I wanted to share a really exciting, super delicious, hearty recipe to inspire those who might think eating seasonally is boring and restrictive and show that it is exciting and most importantly delicious! 

Beetroot-and-black-bean-burgers Vegan-beetroot-burgers

Beetroot & Black Bean Burgers
Makes 8 burgers

3 large beetroot (approx. 650g)
1 cup uncooked black beans
150g oats
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dill

Serving options:
bread rolls
salad leaves
alfafa sprouts
fried onions
fried chestnut mushrooms 

  • Soak the black beans overnight in double their volume of water. (I often don’t plan ahead to do organised stuff like this so just cook them for double the amount of time).
  • Rinse and drain the beans and place them with fresh water in a saucepan. Cook on a medium heat, covered for 1 hour until tender and soft.
  • Once your beans have started cooking, pre-heat the oven to 180C before peeling and chopping the beetroot. Place in a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil, sprinkle with the dill and season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and cover with foil, roast for 45 minutes then set aside to cool slightly. 
  • When the beans are cooked drain them and run under cold water to cool. Add them to a food processor with the beetroot, oats and spices. Pulse for a couple of minutes, scraping down the sides regularly until you have a fairly smooth consistency.
  • Shape into burgers and place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes which help gives them a firmer consistency. You can skip this step if you don’t mind them a little squishy, or are really hungry.
  • Bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 180C, flipping hallway through. Serve in bun with toppings of your choice and a large side salad. Or skip the gluten and serve with sweet potato wedges.

Amy x 

Kohlrabi, Kale & Black Rice Salad

January is a funny old month. We’re trying to break old habits and exercise more, eat better, sleep longer… But it’s a cold, dark month and maybe sleeping more is really the best suited resolution for January!!!

Last week I wrote not about a new year’s resolution as such but about setting a positive intension for the year which included to nourish myself. Cue healthy salad recipe… ha! But I don’t just mean with food, obviously that’s part of it. But also to nourish my mind and body, maybe by spending less time on social media and more time meditating. More time strengthening and practising yoga. More time traveling and experiencing new things. Those kind of nourishing things.

We’re one month into the new year and it’s been going fairly well so far. I’ve been receiving treatment for an ongoing bad back and a niggling knee injury that brought any of last years cycling ambitions to a complete end. I’m doing daily strengthening exercise to rebalance and realign my posture which has been the cause of both injuries. I’ve practised mindfulness daily and I’m still struggling with the social media bit…. but I’m not going to be too hard on myself : )

Food-wise I’ve been eating pretty well for the last year or so. I’ve cut down heavily on refined sugar, wheat, alcohol and any processed foods. I eat a balanced diet, jam-packed with local, seasonal vegetables! What’s more I really feel the difference. The feeling after eating a fresh, flavour-packed, filling meal to a processed meal or snack laden with sugar of wheat is unbelievable. Light and energised or heavy and sluggish, this is what has helped me easily sustain a healthy balanced diet.

The great thing about having transitioned to a healthy, nourishing diet is that I don’t feel guilty about having the odd, not-so-nourishing meal or snack. I know that for 80-90% of the week my body is thanking me for eating well with energy and concentration levels to suit. So if time gets the best of my healthy, advanced food preparation or I’m in a situation where being vegan means my only option is chips, its ok and I don’t have to feel bad, I can just move on knowing the next thing I eat will probably be much more nourishing. 

We got there in the end… cue healthy salad recipe, for the 80-90% of the week when you want something fresh, flavour-packed and filling to leave you feeling light and energised. This salad will definitely not disappoint!
Kohlrabi kale and black rice saladvegan winter salad

Kohlrabi-and-kale-salad copy

Kohlrabi was one of those strange vegetables I have never encountered until I signed up for a weekly, local and organic veg bag. I was like, kohl-you-what-now!? So I did the usual thing I do with unknown vegetables, roast them and hope for the best… and it was ok. It wasn’t until I discovered this recipe using raw kohlrabi from Love and Lemons that I realised kohlrabi is totally amazing! 

I have made many a meal inspired by the spicy kohlrabi noodles from Love and Lemons, depending on what other vegetables are to hand. I wanted to share this version (my new favourite) before the kohlrabi season comes to an end. They should be back by around mid-late summer, so not too long to wait if you do miss this season.

Kohlrabi, Kale & Black Rice Salad
Serves 2-3

100g Black rice
1/2 Large kohlrabi
Large handful of cavolo nero or kale
1 Carrot
Handful of tender stem broccoli 
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1tbsp rapeseed oil
Red chilli to taste
Handful of fresh coriander 
2 tsp sesame seeds

For the kohlrabi marinade:
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp rice mirin
Juice of 1 lime
A few slices of red chilli, to taste
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1cm piece of ginger, grated

  • Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a large mixing bowl. Peel and finely slice the kohlrabi into thin match sticks and add it to the marinade, and mix thoroughly. Place in the fridge whilst you prepare the rest of the dish.
  • Place the rice in a saucepan and pour over roughly double the amount of boiling water. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 40 minutes until tender. (Check the rice now and then to make sure it doesn’t boil dry, adding a little water when necessary.)
  • Wash the cavolo nero or kale and slice down wither side of the tough stem and discard. Roughly chop the remaining leaves and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the rice vinegar and rapeseed oil and massage into the leaves until they start to soften then set aside.
  • Wash the broccoli and steam over the rice or over a pan of boiling water for 10-15 minutes until just tender. Rinse immediately under cold water to stop it cooking any further.
  • Wash and peel the carrot then, peel into ribbons.
  • Once the rice is cooked, rinse through cold water to cool. 
  • Remove the kohlrabi from the fridge and add the kale, carrot, chopped coriander and rice, and mix together. Spoon into a large serving bowl. Arrange the broccoli pieces on top, pour over the remaining marinade, sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced chilli and serve.

Amy x