Tag: Seasonal produce

Lemon Artichoke Hearts and Asparagus

I love artichokes. Artichoke Globes that is, not those pesky Jerusalem ones, they’re gross and they make you pass a serious amount of gas…true story! I’ve never actually cooked the Globe ones from scratch before, I have just bought them covered in oil in a jar. Don’t get me wrong, jar ones absolutely have their place, but now Globe Artichokes are in season I came across them at my local market, they looked so pretty and were so cheap, I just had to grab myself a load and figured I would figure it out! Turns out they’re not too difficult to prepare, fiddly sure, but not so hard. I also grabbed a bunch of Asparagus because hello Asparagus is in season too…man Spring is the best!

This would make a great side dish, perhaps to a risotto or a pie of some sort, your side veggies definitely don’t just have to be boiled!


Artichoke Hearts and Asparagus
Serves 2

5-6 baby globe artichokes (or regular sized ones)
Bunch of asparagus
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves 
Olive oil

  • Rinse the artichokes in cold water.
  • Peel off the outer leaves until you reach the paler leaves. Trim the tops and the stem.
  • Slice them into quarters, and then place them in a bowl of cold water with 1/2 of the lemon juice, whilst you prepare the rest of them. If you’re using regular sized artichokes you need to make sure you scoop out the furry middle, you don’t need to worry about this with the baby ones, they’re just babies.
  • Steam the artichokes using the lemon water for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus by snapping off the lower part of the stalk and discard.
  • In a baking tray, place the asparagus along with the steamed artichokes. 
  • Drizzle with olive oil, the remaining lemon juice and the garlic cloves, I threw in the juiced lemon too.
  • Place under the grill for 10 minutes on a medium heat.
  • Season with salt and pepper. 

Enjoy!

Veronica x

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

Apple Bakewell Tart

DSC_0169Whoop whoop it’s apple season and I’m celebrating with this hearty vegan and gluten-free Apple Bakewell Tart. 

I’ve just returned from my holiday from a sunnier, warmer land (now I’m back wearing socks – boo!) and I definitely feel like Autumn has gotten into full swing. The difference within the week is quite dramatic, the leaves have turned more, they’re dropping daily AND it’s meant more apples have dropped from our apple tree. We never used to do anything with the windfall apples, they’d lie on the grass and go rotten – what a waste! Well things have changed around here, and I’m picking up these apples, picking out the bad bits and slicing up these bad boys, because these are too good to waste.DSC_0143 DSC_0133

Apple Bakewell Tart 

For the pastry:
4 oz ground almonds
4 oz buckwheat flour
1 oz xylitol
4 oz margarine
A couple of spoonfuls of non dairy milk of your choice

For the filling:
4 oz buckwheat flour
4 oz ground almond
4 oz margarine
1 oz xylitol
3 tbsp oat milk
1 tspn agave syrup
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
2 tspn almond extract
1 cup of apple sauce
2 apples sliced thinly
Toasted flaked almonds
3 tbsp strawberry jam – I use one with no added sugar

  • In a mixing bowl, rub the margarine together with the ground almond and buckwheat flour. Stir the xylitol through and then add a couple of spoonfuls of non dairy milk until it comes together to make a dough. Leave it in the bowl and pop it in the fridge for an hour or so.
  • Once chilled, roll the pastry out onto a floured surface, you have to be quite careful as it is quite a fragile pastry so it may break up quite easily. Line your tart tin with the pastry, prick the pastry with a fork all over and then line with greaseproof paper and baking beads (I use scrunched up foil balls). Blind bake for 10-15 minutes at 190C. Leave to cool for a while then spread the jam over the pastry.
  •  In another bowl, mix together the xylitol and margarine then stir through the other ingredients. Pour over the jam and cover with the mixture, add the sliced apples (I left them with the skin on) and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 160C until golden and a skewer comes out clean when you insert it.

This is best served with custard or soya cream or soya ice cream.

With a little effort, these fallen apples can make a delicious pud, perfect to enjoy on these chillier days.

Laters!

Veronica x

Squash Gnocchi

Squash

Autumn is all about those golden tones. Browning leaves, warm golden afternoon sunlight and a host of yellows and oranges that equals squash season. Yes, October is here and it’s time to think of a million and one uses for all the squash that is coming our way.

Squash-gnocchi

Squash gnocchiHang on a minute, October?? Is it just me that is freaking out at how quickly this year is going? It seems like everytime I sit down to write a post I’m like ‘Oh my god, where the hell is the year going!’ Well I’m doing it again…. argh!!

Keeping focused on the exciting things that October brings rather than the fact that it will be Christmas the next time you blink, this recipe is awesome! It has simple, subtle flavours and brings those golden colours of the season right onto your table.gnocchi recipe

Over the years of squash inundation that comes with getting a seasonal veg box, we’ve made stews, burgers and tagines. This recipe however, is one of my favourites. It’s not the first thing that springs to mind when you think of squash but it’s oh so delicious. Especially as I’m a massive gnocchi fan! This recipe has all the comforting goodness of gnocchi but with extra flavour and without the stodge.

It’s a simple recipe to make, although rolling out and shaping the gnocchi is a bit of a faff. However, it can easily be made in advance, simply store the uncooked pieces in the fridge for a few hours or even freeze them for a few months.gnocci

Squash Gnocchi

Serves 3

450g Squash (Harlequin, Crown Prince or any that you can find)
175g Brown Rice Flour
1 tbsp Flax Seeds
3 tbsp Water
1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
10 Cherry Tomatoes
2 Large Handfuls of Spinach
1 Clove of Garlic
Olive Oil

  • Begin by chopping the squash into smallish chunks and cutting or peeling off the skin.
  • Place the squash on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season. Roast for around 30mins at 180C until soft when you cut with a knife.
  • Set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile make the flax egg by grinding the flax seeds in a spice grinder or food processor and whisk together in a cup with the water. Leave for around 5 minutes until it becomes gelatinous.
  • Put the squash into a large mixing bowl and mash until only a few lumps remain.
    Add in the flax egg and combine, the slowly add in the flour and bring together.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed gently adding a little more flour if necessary to form a smooth dough that isn’t too sticky.
  • Divide into 4 and roll each piece out with your hands to a form long, thin sausage.
  • Cut into 2cm pieces. Pinch the ends together with your fingers to create a slight crescent shape and imprint with the back of a fork.
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to boil, add in the gnocchi and simmer for 2-3 mins. When they rise to the top and float, they are done.
  • Whilst the gnocchi is cooking, wash and chop the spinach and tomatoes. Gently cook together in a frying pan with the garlic until the spinach wilts.
  • Spoon the gnocchi onto a warm serving dish using a slotted spoon and gently mix in the spinach and tomatoes.

Enjoy the changing colours of Autumn and all the delicious produce the season has to offer. No doubt we’ll be bringing you at least one more squash recipe between now and spring! : )

Amy x

Spiced Plum Muffins

Well we’re currently basking in the glory of being crowned the winners of Peta’s Great Vegan Bake-Off, which is all very exciting, and slightly overwhelming. Thank you to everyone that voted for us – we’re proper chuffed.

We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than with another seasonal cakey, tasty treat! Soft fruits can be a bit of a pain, because no sooner have you bought them, they’re going off. So why not put your slightly squishy plums to good use with these spiced plum muffins, which are ideal for an 11 o’clock snack or make a tasty pud (especially while still warm from the oven). They’re also super easy.

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Spiced Plum Muffins

150g Spelt flour
150g Ground almonds
2 tsps Ground ginger
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
50g Xylitol
50g Agave syrup
115g Vegetable oil
250ml Soya yoghurt (preferably organic)
150g Plums (stoned and chopped into small pieces)
A sprinkle of toasted chopped almonds

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C. In a mixing bowl, add the flour, ground almonds, ginger, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda  and xylitol and stir through.
  • Add the agave syrup, vegetable oil and soya yoghurt and mix – but not to thoroughly because you don’t want to overwork the mixture. Stir through the chopped plums.
  • In a muffin tray, place 12 muffin cases and spoon the mixture to evenly fill the cases.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Pop a skewer through one of the muffins and if it comes out clean, they’re cooked.

We really are grateful to everyone who voted for us and we absolutely LOVE seeing you make our recipes.

I hope you enjoy these tasty muffins – do share your pictures with us on all the social medias!

Veronica x

Roasted Beetroot & Raw Green Salad

This week is all about beetroot – you may have seen this tasty looking Chocolate Beetroot Cake Amy made last year…

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Well the recipe has made it into the final of PETA’s Great Vegan Bake-Off with this delicious cake and we are alongside some tasty looking creations, so we need your vote, because winning would be amazing! Voting is open until the 18th September, so please click through and place your vote (for us incase that wasn’t clear!)

GVBO-Finalist-Button

Thanks!! 🙂

So back down to business, the thing with beetroot is it’s underrated. I’m ashamed to admit that it wasn’t that long ago until I didn’t realise the only way to eat it wasn’t out of a jar full of vinegar ready sliced or out of those plastic trays. We didn’t buy fresh beetroot, why bother when it’s already been cooked for you?! How wrong I was!

I have grown my own and now we get bundles delivered in our veg box. It can be delicious just simply grated in a salad like this, or indeed made into a cake. But, in my humble opinion roasting this vegetable brings out the sweetness and takes out the more earthy taste that can put some people off it – not me though I love this vegetable no matter what way it is cooked, plus the leaves make a great addition to this super tasty salad.

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Roasted beetroot and raw green salad with garlic tahini dressing

(Serves 2)

A handful of kale
A handful of beetroot leaves
A handful of spinach
Olive oil
2 medium sized beetroots
Garlic clove
Thyme
1/2  tin of chick peas
A handful of pumpkin and sunflower seeds

For the dressing
3 tbsp tahini
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
75ml water
Salt & pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180C , in a roasting pan drizzle some olive oil and heat for 5 minutes. Slices the beetroot into chunks then add to the roasting pan along with the garlic clove, chick peas and sprinkle some dried thyme over the top, roast for 50 minutes.
2. In a bowl mix together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and water.  Stir until the dressing is mixed together and smooth, then season with salt and pepper.
3. Wash and dry the kale, spinach and beetroot leaves then drizzle with olive oil then massage into the leaves – this ensures the kale isn’t as tough to eat.
4. In a pan toast the pumpkin and sunflower seeds for a few minutes.
5. Once the beetroot is cooked, mix together with the leaves then drizzle with the tahini dressing. Sprinkle the seeds over the top.

Ok, yes it is a little more work than opening a jar of beetroot but give a little time and a little effort and this nutrient filled vegetable can be something truly scrumptious.

Veronica x

 

Apple & Blackberry Cobbler

I was a little eager with my blackberries this year. I spotted a few on the way to the car park at work and declared to my work buddies that we, “MUST go blackberry picking during our lunch break the next day!” (I work in the countryside). We walked to the field where we had picked them last year, and were bitterly disappointed with the lack of blackberries ripe for picking. We managed to gather a few and I declared a cobbler was in order. It is around now that you should start to find plenty to forage and use to make this delicious apple and blackberry cobbler.

vegan fruit cobbler

There is something much more satisfying about eating your pud when you have picked your own berries, got scratched by the brambles, stung by a couple of nettles and have washed any potential creepy crawlies away! I promise I’m not lying!

I’ve not made a cobbler before and didn’t really know the difference compared to a crumble. My version probably isn’t a traditional cobbler, from what I gather they usually are a bit more scone-like, but I think I prefer this to crumble!

cobbler

vegan apple and blackberry cobbler

Apple & Blackberry Cobbler
400g blackberries
2 apples (I used granny smiths)
A splash of water
1 tbsp xylitol

For the topping
170g spelt flour
60g rice flour
60g oats
115g vegan margarine
60g xylitol
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
70ml oat milk (or any other non dairy milk)
A drizzle of maple syrup

1) In a saucepan stew the apples and blackberries with a splash of water and the xylitol – this will take about 10-15 minutes (until soft). I drained a lot of the liquid to use as juice once served.
2) Whilst the fruit is stewing, in a mixing bowl add the flours, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, xylitol and mix the margarine in (I used my fingers). Add the milk and stir in to create a scone like mixture.
3) In an oven proof dish spoon the stewed fruit and evenly distribute it. Add the cobbler topping and ensure all the fruit is covered. I drizzled a little maple syrup over the top of the cobbler but that is totally optional.
4) Bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 180C until golden brown. Serve with the extra juice from the stewed fruit and some vegan ice cream.

So, keep your eyes peeled and some tupperware handy because you never know where you might find an abundance of blackberries.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

Mallorcan Tumbet

We seem to be racing through August, yes it is August… You may have indeed forgotten it is actually Summer with all these cloudy grey days and rain. But luckily for us the crops are still managing to realise what season we’re in!

So yes, hello August, hello Mediterranean vegetables!

Summer-vegetables

There’s tomatoes, courgettes, peppers, aubergine galore. If you get a seasonal veg bag no doubt you’ve already had plenty of British grown med veg : ) If you don’t, get yourself down to your local farmers market and taste the delights, it’s a world away from the stuff you buy in a supermarket in the middle of winter imported from who knows where!

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Now the Mediterranean isn’t normally associated with vegan cuisine but I discovered a traditional vegan dish in Mallorca when on holiday there earlier in the year.

With all these wonderful Medeterrean vegetables in season in the UK, I can now finally recreate it at home. Wohoo!

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This dish is wonderfully simple but oh so delicious!!

Mallorcan Tumbet

1 aubergine
2 courgettes
1 onion
2 potatoes
6 medium sized tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
3 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
Olive oil
Good quality salt
Black pepper to taste

  • Begin by making the tomato sauce. Crush the garlic and gently fry in a large saucepan with a little olive oil for a minute or two.
  • Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the pan, also add the bay leaves and tomato puree. Stir and leave on a low/medium heat with a lid askew. Leave to cook gently whilst you prepare the vegetables, checking and stirring occasionally.
  • Heat a large frying pan to a medium/high heat. Thinly slice the potatoes and fry them off until cooked and starting to brown.
  • Layer the potatoes in the base of an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with a little salt. Thinly slice the remaining vegetables.
  • Add a little more love oil to the frying pan before frying the onions until soft and starting to brown. Then layer on top of the potatoes and sprinkle with a little salt.
  • Repeat with the courgettes and then the aubergine, layering each in turn.
  • Return to the tomato sauce, season and pour over the layered vegetables. Press down with the back of a spoon to ensure the sauce soaks through all the layers.
  • Bake at 180C in a pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes and serve with a side of wilted chard.

It’s pretty easy to forget that produce like courgettes and tomatoes only grow in a fairly narrow window in this country when we can buy them all year round in supermarkets. By eating locally grown food we can connect with our own region and climate, and truly value the variety and seasonality of local produce. Not only does home grown, local produce taste better, it makes you value the ingredients all the more and can inspire you to make something that extra special : )

Amy x

Vegan Rhubarb & Ginger Cheesecake

Tis the season for rhubarb. Yes, rhubarb is starting to sprout it’s beautiful pink stalks from the ground and we can now enjoy, what I believe, is one of our most underestimated fruits. Let’s celebrate all things rhubarb!

It’s only in recent years that I have come to appreciate this delicious fruit, it was one of those things that I turned my nose up at all my childhood and avoided at all costs. That is until I actually tried it.

We had to move our rhubarb plant when we got our chickens, it now resides in our front garden and has taken a couple of years to reestablish itself, but this year it looks like we may have a bumper crop. I love the sharpness of rhubarb, and the contrast it brings to a sweet dessert.

I don’t know if you’ve seen Amy’s delicious Elderflower cheesecake? I didn’t get a chance to taste her creation, but I have adapted it and it is easily versatile to whatever works seasonally. So here is my rhubarb version and what goes perfectly with rhubarb? Ginger – obvs!

Rhubarb-&-Ginger-Cheesecake

Rhubarb-Vegan-Cheesecake

Rhubarb-Ginger-Cheesecake

Rhubarb & Ginger Cheesecake

For the crust:
50g almonds (soaked for 30 mins)
150g hazelnuts
150g dates
2 tspn ground ginger

For the filling:
350g cashews (soaked overnight, or for at least 4 hours)
85 ml coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tspn vanilla extract
Juice of half a lemon

For the topping:
5 stalks of rhubarb
A thumb sized piece of ginger (grated)
2 tbsp xylitol
3 tbsp water

  • Begin by making the base. In a large, dry frying pan gently toast the hazelnuts on a medium-high heat, for around 5-10mins until the skins begin to darken and peel away. Shake the pan from time to time to prevent burning.
  • Wrap the hazelnuts in a clean cloth and rub vigorously to remove most of the skins.
  • Rinse the soaked almonds in fresh water and combine in a blender with the hazelnuts, dates and ginger. The mixture should start to come together in firm, sticky clumps.
  • Press the base mixture firmly down into a non-stick 20cm springform cake tin.
  • Set in the fridge whilst you prepare the topping.
  • Melt the coconut oil in a pan. Rinse the cashews and put in a high-speed blender along with the coconut oil and remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Spoon the mixture onto the base and spread out evenly.
  • Set in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  • Gently release the springform pan and ease the cheesecake away from the base.
  • Rinse the rhubarb stalks and chop into pieces, add to a pan along with the xylitol, water and grated ginger. Cook on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes until very soft. Stir thoroughly and leave to cool. Once cooled spread evenly over the cheesecake.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

Squash Stew & Dumplings

Squash stew

I’ve got a treat for you this week in the shape of Squash stew and dumplings! This time of year we are surrounded by choice. So many of my favourite fruits and vegetables are in season; apples, pears, kale, cabbages, broccoli and pumpkins. Yes, we are now spoilt for choice with comforting, hearty foods that will warm us up on these cold rainy days. Soups, curries, and stews are my staples of the moment.

There are so many  varieties of squashes and pumpkin available, I used to just stick to butternut squash and not get too adventurous, but despite the troublesome cutting of them, they all are quite different but all tasty. This squash stew and dumplings is the perfect way to eat more of this delicious vegetable! I had a Butternut Squash in my store cupboard, but you can definitely mix it up in your variety.

 

 

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Squash stew and dumplings
Serves 4
Cooking time: 1hr 15mins

1 butternut squash or other variety
2 carrots
1 cartoon of chopped tomatoes
1 cartoon of black beans
1 bulb of garlic
2 tspn sage
salt & pepper

For the dumplings
125g plain flour
60g vegetable suet
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn mixed herbs
salt & pepper

1) Peel and cube the squash. In a oven proof dish drizzle a little olive oil and heat for 5 minutes at 200C. Throw in the squash and start roasting it for 15 minutes.
2) Peel the carrots and dice into cubes. Add to the squash, along with the tomatoes, beans, the bulb of garlic cut in half, sage and salt and pepper. Stir together and roast for an hour.
3) Whilst the stew is cooking, in a bowl weigh out the flour, vegetable suet, baking powder, herbs along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together and add enough water to bring the mixture together as a dough. Roll into balls and set aside. When the stew has 20 minutes left in the oven, pop the dumplings on to the top and return to the oven.
4) Serve with some greens, I had some purple sprouting broccoli.

Enjoy!

Veronica x