Brown rice goes nicely with green lentils….both have a nutty taste and as brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice, they cook well together. You could of course use Puy lentils or brown lentils instead. This is a one pot rice which can be eaten on its own or as I did, serve with fried aubergine and a nice salad (I made do with red onions).
200 grams Basmati or long grain brown rice
100 grams green lentils
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced
3 sticks celery, sliced
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped (or dill, up to you)
1 large cup frozen peas (defrosted – just add some hot water to the peas to defrost if in a hurry)
1 tablespoon soya sauce
Half teaspoon salt
Vegetables fried and ready for rice and lentils to go in!
All in and ready to go!
- Fry onions and cinnamon in oil until onion is a nice golden brown (always use a large pan for rice)
- Add celery, carrots and garlic and fry for a few minutes
- Add parsley and fry for another 2 minutes
- Add lentils, rice, soya sauce, salt and 700ml water
- Bring to boil, lower heat, cover the pan and let the rice and lentils cook for about 20 minutes
- Add defrosted peas, give a stir and cook for a further 2 minutes
- Make sure you stir the rice intermittently. If you need to add a little more water, always use hot water
Slice the aubergine thinly. Fry in hot oil until a dark golden brown.
This recipe originates from a Persian dish my grandmother made for special occasions. She used aubergines but I have substituted this with sweet potato and it works beautifully. Sweet potatoes are of course sweet as the name rightly suggests with a nutty, fruity taste. I always feel any vegetable with so much to give is best dressed with duly subtle spices and herbs, so that the taste of the vegetable is enhanced and not drowned with an overdose of spice and herb.
Here we will use simply turmeric and cinnamon for spice, ground walnuts to complement the nuttiness of the sweet potato and pomegranate molasses to add a hint of tang to balance the sweetness. Pomegranate molasses is a wonderful, fragrant reduction of pomegranate juice which is used to add a sweet, tangy and slightly molasses-like flavour to food and it is well worth adding to your larder.
Very easy and quick to prepare as usual. Try sweet potatoes in tangy walnut sauce with rice, quinoa or cous cous.
1 large sweet potato, about 400-450 grams, peel and cut into large chunks
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil (not your best)
2 inch stick of cinnamon
½ teaspoon turmeric
Half cup ground walnuts
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses/syrup (see link)
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Salt to taste
Sunflower seeds for garnish
- Fry onion and cinnamon stick in oil until onions are golden brown (they need to be a golden brown and not just translucent!)
- Add turmeric, ground walnuts, tomato puree and fry for 2-3 minutes with small splash of water
- Add sweet potatoes, prunes, pomegranate molasses, salt and 150ml of water
- Cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes until sweet potatoes are cooked but not mushy – keep checking
- Sprinkle with sunflower seeds or some more walnuts
- Serve with rice or quinoa
Mash Bash! was born of a mad, insatiable craving for mash and gravy….but not ordinary gravy, not just gravy, but gravy with bits! And what better than a handful of mushrooms and peas to crown this glorious pile of scrumptious tatties? So here we have a quick and nourishing meal for cold winter evenings and as we know there is no better comfort food than a good mash! As a last minute thought, I quickly fried some tofu to go with it but you can have it with vegan sausages or burgers or whatever is available in the freezer.
For flavouring I have used what I have in my cupboard – Bragg’s Liquid Amino, an all time favourite, a dash of Geo Watkin’s Mushroom Ketchup, also very good for pepping up the flavours. I ran out of Biona Worcester sauce, but this is also one of those indispensable ingredients which can save the day! All of these are available at large supermarkets, Wholefoods or As Nature Intended and as only a very small quantities are required for any recipe, they are worth investing in.
I’ve just set out the recipe for one serving so just increase the quantities for more.
2 potatoes, floury sort like King Edward’s or Maris Piper
1 teaspoon vegan butter
1-2 tablespoon plant-based milk
1 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast
Salt to taste
Mushrooms & peas
Handful of mushrooms roughly chopped, mixed variety preferably
2-3 tablespoons frozen peas (as much as you like really!)
1 clove garlic sliced (optional)
Dash of each Bragg’s Liquid Amino and Mushroom Ketchup (Tamari, soya sauce and Biona Worcester sauce are also good for flavour)
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cornflour mixed with a little water
1 tablespoon olive oil
- Boil potatoes and mash with all the other ingredients and set aside
- Fry mushrooms and garlic, if using, in the oil for a few minutes
- Add peas and fry for a further 2 minutes
- Add all other ingredients (except cornflour) and 100ml of water. Cook gently for a further 2-3 minutes and add cornflour paste to thicken sauce
- Pour over Mash Bash! and enjoy!
- Slice tofu and drizzle with a little soya sauce. Set aside for 15 minutes (add any other flavouring to marinade you wish)
- Coat slices in flour first and then dip in cornmeal and fry till golden brown – you can use just flour if you wish
Note: this is a quick fry tofu but if you wish to marinade it for longer for a more chewy tofu see here!
Vegans are always on the look out for new and exciting recipes for healthy and tasty burgers! I definitely try my hand with just about every suitable ingredient, throw in a few herbs and flavouring, shape into burgers and shallow fry. Generally the recipes come together really well and these blackeyed beans & tofu burgers served with roast chips are one of the many burger variations I am sure you will love and the roast chips by far use less oil and are every bit as delicious as traditional fried chips and so much simpler to prepare.
I’ve noticed that many burger recipes, specially veggie burgers in restaurants, are curry flavoured! I suspect it is easy to just bung in a teaspoon of curry powder and eliminate the need to experiment with other, more subtle flavourings like herbs and nutritional yeast. I simply can’t come to grips with curry flavoured burgers! Curry flavoured kebabs yes, but burgers no; for me a burger means a blend of herbs, beans, lentils, vegetables, nutritional yeast, and a zillion other flavourings to choose from, combined to complement each other and produce a flavoursome burger not overwhelmed with curry powder – curry powder serves me very well with curries and I use it often, but for burgers I choose to give it a miss.
This is a very simple and easy recipe and despite the short list of ingredients, tastes beautiful; just how burgers should taste with some roast shallots and chips to keep them company! If you are pushed for time, use tinned blackeyed beans although blackeyed beans are one of the easiest to cook.
Makes about 4-5 burgers depending on size
100 grams uncooked blackeyed beans (cooked weight 250 grams or use tinned beans)
200 gram firm tofu (I used half a pack of Cauldron)
2 tablespoons oats
2 teaspoons Nutritional Yeast (I use Bob’s Red Mill and although it is a tad expensive it is worth it. Marigold are cheaper and can be found in most health food shops)
1 teaspoon onion salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 heaped teaspoon Herbes de Provence or mixed herbs
Salt and black pepper to taste
Oil for frying
- Cook the blackeyed beans which takes about 40 minutes (these don’t require pre-soaking) or use equivalent amount from a tin
- Drain the beans and roughly mash with a potato masher or fork
- Pat the tofu dry on kitchen paper and blend until smooth
- Mix all the ingredients and stir thoroughly
- Put in fridge for 30 minutes to allow the mixture to firm up
- Form into burgers using plenty of flour to keep it from sticking – flour will also help to coat the burgers and fry well
- Shallow fry for 5 minutes on each side on low heat
- Serve with roast chips – recipe below!
Roast chips & shallots
- Pre-heat oven to 200C, 400F or gas mark 6
- Use roasting potatoes like Kind Edward’s and not waxy potatoes
- Peel and slice into thick chips
- Bring to boil in salted water and boil for 4 minutes (time from the moment the water comes to the boil)
- Peel and half a few shallots or onions if you don’t have shallots
- In the meanwhile pour enough oil to cover the base of the roasting pan and pop in the oven to heat
- Put the chips and shallots in the hot oil and roast for approximately 40 minutes, turning the chips once half way through the cooking process
Lately I’ve bought loads of gorgeous, fragrant apples from our local farmer’s market every Saturday and done justice to each and every beauty. Best apples I have ever eaten, dripping with juice and so fragrant, every single variety distinct and each one a winner. But I have also used them for an apple & date crumble, apple pie, Tarte Tatin and now this ever so easy apple cake with olive oil! I readily admit that I am not a cake or dessert expert and am always surprised when I take the cake out of the oven and it actually looks and tastes like a cake! Whopeeee a success! Calls for a jig around the kitchen table and the cats look on. whiskers askance, ears perked, baffled by this uncharacteristic behaviour…….. humans, what next?!?!
Keep going I tell myself, next project is to try different fruits, something with pineapple perhaps or even soft fruit….hmmmm, that one might be tricky but will definitely have a go – only way to learn I believe is to get your hands in the flour and add a large pinch of courage and away we go. I hope you will do the same and pop an apple cake in the oven soon!
By the way, this is the first time I used flax to replace egg – I had flax seeds which I put through the coffee grinder. 1 tablespoon flax powder + 3 tablespoons water = 1 egg and it works beautifully, no problem at all and I think I will stick with flax as a substitute for egg in the future. The other thing I learnt was that adding something slightly coarse like cornmeal to the cake mix enhances the texture and gives it a very slight crunch – scrumpilitious!
3 small or 2 large eating apples (I used Russets, but Cox’s or Braeburns are good too; any apple with a bit of tart)
100 grams plain white flour
50 grams cornmeal (medium ground)
100 grams light brown sugar
Grated rind of half lemon
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon flax powder dissolved in 3 tablespoons cold water (takes about 10 minutes to get a gel-like consistency)
50ml olive oil (about 4 level tablespoons)
50ml orange juice (about 4 level tablespoons)
50ml coconut or soya milk (about 4 level tablespoons)
Couple of tablespoons of sugar for sprinkling on cake
- Peel, core and cut the apples into small pieces
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl
- Add apples and wet ingredients and mix thoroughly
- Pour into small cake tin (mine is a 6 inch round tin), oiled and lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar
- Bake in pre-heated oven at 190C, 375F or gas mark 5 for about 70-80 minutes (adjust temperature for fan-assisted oven).
- For the last 15 minutes cover the cake loosely with a sheet of baking paper to keep it from going too brown.
- Stick a skewer in the cake and if it comes out clean, which it should, the cake is ready!
Tip: This is a beautiful apple-rich moist cake and it can be eaten warm with vegan cream or ice cream too
I have copied and pasted the items on the PETA list of vegan snacks for convenience and ease of reference! I mean to print this and carry it with me every time I go shopping – never knew I could eat Ritz crackers with impunity! Yaaaay
44 Accidentally Vegan Snack Foods – PETA Snack list!
Going vegan doesn’t mean completely abandoning the foods you enjoyed before making the transition. Many products on store shelves are unintentionally vegan. Check out some of our favourite “accidentally vegan” snacks.
Note: Please always be sure to double-check the ingredients before purchasing anything on this list, as manufacturers are at liberty to change their ingredients at any time.
Sweets and Chocolates
- Haribo – Rainbow Twists, Sour Rainbow Strips, Sour Rainbow Twists
- Flying Saucers
- Love Hearts
- Polo Fruits
- Sherbet Fountain
- Strawberry Laces
- Cadbury Bournville Plain Chocolate
- Green & Blacks – Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut & Currant, Ginger, Maya Gold, Espresso, Spiced Chilli, Lemon, Mint
- Elizabeth Shaw Mint Crisp Dark Chocolates
- Ritter Sport Marzipan
- Walkers – Salt & Vinegar, Ready Salted, Prawn Cocktail, Worcester Sauce, Crinkles Simply Sea Salted, Chipsticks Salt ‘n’ Vinegar Flavour
- Walkers Sensations – Thai Sweet Chilli, Lime & Coriander Chutney Poppadoms, Balsamic Vinegar & Caramalised Onion
- McCoy’s – Salt & Malt Vinegar, Ultimate Sea Salt & Black Pepper, Ultimate Sizzling BBQ Chicken, Ultimate Chargrilled Steak & Peri Peri
- Skips Tingly Prawn Cocktail
- Sunbites – Sweet Chilli, Original
- Pringles – Original, BBQ, Paprika, Chicken, Smokey Bacon
- Kettle Chips – Lightly Salted, Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar, Sea Salt & Crushed Black Peppercorns, Smoky Barbecue
- Kettle Tortilla Chips – Sweet Chili Salsa, Sea Salt
- Doritos – Lightly Salted, Chili Heatwave
- Lotus Original Caramelised Biscuits
- Mr Kipling Jam Tarts
- Fox’s Party Rings
- Jammie Dodgers
- Hobnob’s Choc Chip
- Bourbon Biscuits
- Oreo cookies
- Nairn’s Biscuits – Dark Chocolate Chip Oat, Stem Ginger Oat, Mixed Berries Oat, Fruit & Spice Wheat Free
- Crawford’s Pink Wafers
- McVitie’s – Ginger Nuts, Fruit Shortcake
- Duncan’s of Deeside Scottish Oatcakes – Family, Olive Oil, Wheat Free
- Ritz Crackers
- Nairn’s – Rough Oatcakes, Fine Milled Oatcakes, Organic Oatcakes, Cracked Black Pepper Oatcakes, Gluten Free Oatcakes, Organic Herb Oatcakes, Mini Oatcakes, Gluten Free Herb & Seed Oatcakes
Spreads and Toppings
- Lotus Smooth Caramelised Biscuit Spread
- Sun-Pat Choc-a-Nut Peanut Spread
- Hershey’s Reese’s Shell topping
- Marmite Yeast Extract
Snack and Protein Bars
- Clif Builder’s 20g Protein Bar – Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Naked – Cocoa Delight, Cocoa Orange, Cocoa Loco Bar, Cocoa Crunch
- Trek – Peanut Power, Berry Burst, Original Oat Flapjack, Cocoa Chaos, Cocoa Coconut Flapjack
- 9bar Peanut
43. Betty Crocker Cake Mix – Super Moist, Devil’s Food, Vanilla, Chocolate Swirl, Carrot Cake
44. Jus-Rol Bake-It-Fresh Pain au chocolate (Most Jus-Rol pastries are vegan – just be sure to check the label.)
Winter’s still with us and the prospect of snow on the doorstep for some of us ….. some have already got their snow shoes out or out adding the finishing touches to their snowman. Hot, hearty, comfort foods are on the menu and pies with potatoes and greens are top of my list. I served mine with roast potatoes, sweet potatoes and garlic with steamed greens…..yum!
For this mushroom and ale pie I used a mix of mushrooms, oysters being particularly good for this pie, but almost any vegetable, cooked in an appropriate but simple sauce, covered with puff pastry is very welcome. So treat yourself and the family with this simple and delicious pie for Sunday lunch and they will come back for more, every time.
1 sheet of ready rolled frozen puff pastry
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Approximately 350 grams mixed mushroom (I used button mushrooms and oysters)
1 pack of VegiDeli beef style pieces – see here (or any other substitute)
300ml light ale or similar
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sage
1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Amino – see here (or Tamari soya sauce – see here)
1 tablespoon Mushroom Ketchup (optional, but very good for flavouring, available in most large supermarkets – see here)
1 level tablespoon cornflour mixed with a little water
- Fry onions and garlic in the oil on low heat for about 5 minutes – don’t brown
- Add mushrooms and fry for a further 5 minutes
- Add all the other ingredients except cornflour
- Cook for 5 minutes, check for taste, you shouldn’t need to add salt
- Mix cornflour with a little water and add to mushrooms to thicken the sauce – simmer for 2-3 minutes
- Pour into ovenproof dish and cover with sheet of pastry. Cut a cross in the middle of the pie to let the steam out
- Bake in pre-heated oven at 200C, 400F, gas mark 6 for 30-35 minutes
Serve with roast potatoes, sweet potatoes & garlic and some steamed greens….
Asian and Persian rice dishes almost always use white rice – in countries where rice is a staple, white, polished rice is the preferred choice. The better the quality of rice, the longer the grain with a wonderful aroma – you can smell rice boiling in the kitchen throughout the house. Most people wouldn’t dream of replacing this long grain white Basmati with brown…despite the health advantages and I will admit I am one of those. One reason for this is that you get the best result with superior quality white Basmati if you are cooking pilau rice or biryani – the grains are long and fluffy and, cooked properly, stay separate.
However, brown rice has a lovely nutty flavour and texture and, moreover, is better for you – with that in mind, for this tomato rice I have opted for gorgeous, long grain, brown Basmati cooked in a simple fresh tomato sauce and served with simple roast vegetables and braised tofu…. perfect for the family or a simple dish to treat your friends to! The tomato sauce is quite plain with just a little turmeric and flavoured with cinnamon; in contrast, the veggies are roasted with a sprinkling of spices. Feel free to use whatever combination of herbs and spices for the veggies – no rules for this one!
Please don’t let the long list of ingredients intimidate you! I’ve just listed all the veggies I used but in fact it is a very simple recipe. Basically a tomato sauce with rice and veggies popped into the oven! Voila, feast ready to go!
3 level cups, about 300 grams, brown Basmati rice
1 medium onion, sliced or chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil (not your best olive oil!)
3 large tomatoes (about 450-500 grams), chopped (you could use a tin of chopped tomatoes)
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 inch cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh coriander for garnish
Roast vegetables & braised tofu – these are the veggies I used – you can take your pick or add any other
Half large aubergine
1 large courgette
1 small red pepper
1 small yellow pepper
1 small sweet potato
About 10-12 button mushrooms
1 tin Marigold Braised Tofu (available from Holland & Barrett in tins – see here)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
Sea salt to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
- Fry the onion in olive oil until golden
- Add turmeric, tomatoes, cinnamon stick and salt
100ml water added to tomatoes – always use a large, wide pan to cook rice
- Add 100ml water, cover and cook tomatoes for 20 minutes until soft
- Rinse rice and add to tomatoes with 400ml water
- Bring to boil, lower heat to lowest, cover and cook for about 22-25 minutes, gently stir the rice intermittently to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan
- During this time the rice should be cooked and the liquid absorbed – if not, uncover and let it dry off
- Roast the vegetables and tofu as below and serve with tomato rice, sprinkled with a little chopped fresh coriander
Veggies coated with spices and oil, ready to go in the oven
- Cut all the vegetables into bite size pieces and coat with olive oil, spices and a little salt (save a small amount of spices for the tofu!)
- Put in roasting tin and roast on 200C, 400F or gas mark 6 for about 25-30 minutes, turning the vegetables once during cooking time
- Drain the liquid in the tin, cut braised tofu into bite size pieces and drizzle with a little olive oil (I didn’t use any spices for the tofu but please sprinkle a little if you wish). Roast in a separate dish for the same time as the vegetables, turning the tofu at least once during cooking time (the tofu may need a few minutes less in the oven)
Come winter we crave warm, hearty, comfort food and that applies to desserts as well as savoury. Good quality berries and soft fruit are hard to come by, but on the bright side, we are blessed with the most fragrant and juicy English apples. I always try and get my apples from our local farmer’s market on Saturday – for one, I often find varieties you would never see in the supermarket (take a look at this link and feast your eyes on these beauties) and as you would expect, they are juicier and far more flavoursome than those available in the shops. This Saturday we came home with Cox’s, Braeburns and some beautiful Egremont Russets. In this recipe I have used a mix of Cox’s and Braeburns although Cox’s in my opinion are usually the best for pies provided they don’t cost the earth!
Apple & Date Crumble as the name suggests has the added sweetness of dates and dark unrefined molasses sugar with a little coconut to add a bit of crunch to the crumble. You can use a lighter sugar if you prefer, but I love the richness of the molasses. Served with Oatley cream, nothing beats an apple crumble for simplicity and taste.
4 large apples (mine weighed about 700 grams) – use slightly tart eating apples like Cox’s or Braeburns
10-12 dates, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon natural unrefined cane sugar (about 30 grams) (I used Billington’s molasses sugar)
Juice of ½ lemon
1 small stick cinnamon
5 heaped tablespoons wholemeal flour (about 120 grams)
3 tablespoons desiccated coconut (about 20 grams)
3 tablespoons light brown sugar (about 50 grams)
3 tablespoons vegan butter
- Peel and roughly chop apples. Coat in lemon juice and set aside
- Mix the sugar with 4 tablespoons of water and gently dissolve on low heat
Dark, syrupy, unrefined cane sugar
- Add apples, dates and cinnamon stick, cover and cook for about 15 minutes until apples are cooked – dry off excess liquid if any
- For the crumble, mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and add butter
- Rub with tips of fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs
- Put apples in an ovenproof dish, remember to remove the cinnamon stick, and cover with crumble
Cooked apples and dates in dish
- Cook in pre-heated oven on 180C, 350F or gas mark 4 for 35 minutes (adjust temperature for fan-assisted oven)
- Serve with cream or ice cream – warm is best!
Like most of my recipes, I try to keep things simple. This is because I cook every day, one nice, hot, home-cooked meal, cooked with love for added flavour, for my hubby and myself (the cats don’t like my cooking!).
So tonight we are having chickpeas with spinach served with rice – a delicious combination of chickpeas and spinach cooked with simple curry spices! Chickpeas are full of vitamins and minerals (check link) as for spinach, well, we all know how Popeye got his muscles in shape; he ate tons of spinach! However, for those in doubt, here’s a link with some spinach facts!
2 good servings (with rice or pitta/flat bread)
1 tin chickpeas (400 grams), drained and rinsed
100 grams fresh or frozen spinach (couple of large handfuls!)
1 medium onion, sliced
3 tablespoons oil
2 medium tomatoes OR 1 good tablespoon tomato puree (more like 1½ tblsp!)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1½ inch piece ginger, chopped
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons curry powder (I use mild)
1 teaspoon dried fenugreek (Kasuri methi, optional – you can but it in Asian stores or online)
- Fry the onion in oil until golden
- Add all the spices and tomato or tomato puree and fry spices for a couple of minutes
- Add a small splash of water, cover and let spices cook for 10 minutes
- Add chickpeas and spinach, a little water (about 30ml), cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes
- The sauce should be reduced and thickish – how much sauce you end up with is entirely up to your taste and preference!