Aubergine and Pomegranate are up there with my favourite ingredient combinations, and this salad pairs the two particularly well, even if I do say so myself!
When aubergine is roasted to perfection, it melts in your mouth, not cooked enough and we all know the rubbery crunchy texture you have to endure, thinking if only we’d been a little more patient! Throw in some pomegranate to a mouthful of well-cooked aubergine and you’ve got yourself a pretty darn good mouthful of food!
This looks like one of those dishes that is far too faffy to make, but this middle-eastern inspired salad really is so simple to make and you’ll impress people with this dish fo sho!
Aubergine and Pomegranate Salad
1 aubergine (cut in half)
Half a pomegranate
1 tspn smoked paprika
1/4 tspn ground cinnamon
1/4 tspn cumin
1 tspn maple syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
Handful of parsley
Handful of coriander
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
- Cut the aubergine in half and score the flesh diagonally with a sharp knife. Pop on a baking tray and drizzle with half the olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt.
- Place in a pre-heated oven at 180C and roast for half an hour.
- Meanwhile, cook the couscous; cover with boiling water, add the juice of half a lemon and leave the couscous to soak up the water, fluff with a fork after a few minutes. Massage the kale with with your fingertips using half a tablespoon of olive oil (this softens the leaves and makes it easier to eat raw).
- Chop the parsley and coriander and add to the couscous, along with the kale, and the pomegranate seeds (save some to sprinkle on top when serving).
- In a small bowl, add the smoked paprika, cinnamon, cumin and maple syrup and stir until it makes a paste. Once the aubergine has cooked for half an hour, remove from the oven and brush the flesh of the aubergine with the paprika paste and return to the oven for another fifteen minutes.
- In a mug, add the tahini, apple cider vinegar, the other half of the lemon juice and four tablespoons of water and mix until smooth. (Stirring thoroughly is the key with a good tahini dressing and you’ll go through a range of textures until it is ready!)
- Serve the aubergine on top of the couscous kale salad, along with the tahini dressing and extra pomegranate seeds.
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!
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.
Is it me or is Christmas getting earlier each year? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, but just not in November. I’m about to contradict myself majorly because this loaf cake is PERFECT for Christmas, and technically we’re not quite in December territory yet…my bad!
I’m not a massive fan of dense fruit cakes, although I’ve got a great Christmas cake recipe if that’s what you’re looking for, but I think this is perfect if you’re looking for a lighter alternative! This recipe is pretty low in sugar, just using dates, a little maple syrup and a tad of caster sugar for your orange drizzle. That’s right, it’s got an orange drizzle running through it to make it super (apologies for using this word) moist!
Cranberry and Orange Loaf
100g rice flour
100g buckwheat flour
50g spelt flour
150g fresh cranberries
Zest of two oranges
1 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking powder
125ml vegetable oil
300ml oat milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
50g caster sugar
Juice of two oranges
- Grease a 2lb loaf tin with margarine or oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flours along with the xantham gum and baking powder
- Add the fresh cranberries and coat in the flour, along with the zest of the oranges
- Finely chop the dates and stir through. Gradually add the vegetable oil, oat milk and maple syrup and mix thoroughly until everything is mixed together
- Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and spread evenly
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean
- Pierce with a skewer all over
- In a bowl mix the caster sugar with the juice of the oranges, pour over the cake and leave to cool in the tin
- Once cooled, store in an air tight container
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
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.
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.
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