Monday, 25 February 2013

Herby Popcorn

I saw a recipe online for herby popcorn and thought I would give it a try.  I cooked my popcorn as usual and then added some garlic granules and some Italian seasoning from Julian Graves (this contains sesame seeds and salt as well as herbs). You can still purchase this in Holland and Barrett now Julian Graves has shut down.  It tasted great and certainly didn't last long!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Hotel Chocolat


Decided to treat us all today and went into our local branch of Hotel Chocolat to see what they had on sale. Managed to get a lovely big bar of chocolate with crystalised ginger pieces at half price and buy one get one free. A real delicious bargain. Now just have to stop myself eating it all at once!

They don't have it on their website, but they do have a good selection of vegan chocolate items:

Next time I think I might be trying these, especially as I know the mint ones are delicious!

70% Dark with Ginger Puddles

Thursday, 21 February 2013

RECIPE: Orange Lentil Dahl

Put then lentils in a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Bring back to the boil and simmer until soft, topping up the water when necessary to prevent it from sticking to the pan.

Meanwhile finely chop a small onion, a clove of garlic and 3 small mushrooms.  Fry these gently in a wok with vegetable oil.  Add some mixed herbs, salt and curry powder.  When the lentils are cooked add these to the wok and mix together well then serve.

RECIPE: Mushroom Risotto

Melt some vegan margarine in a saucepan and then add finely chopped onion, garlic and mushrooms and fry gently. Add some stock powder and some precooked rice. I used brown rice but white would work too. Mix well and make sure it is thoroughly warmed through. Then add some grated soya cheese. Mine was a mild cheddar style that is orange in colour hence the golden coloured rice in the photo.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

My favourite Stir Fry

My favourite stir fry is very quick to make but I love how tasty it is.  I simply add chopped onion, garlic, chestnut mushrooms and brocolli (blanched) to a wok and fry in vegetable oil until it starts to brown. 

You can also add cashew nuts for some crunch and protein.

Marinated, deep fried tofu

Start by draining the tofu and cutting into chunks.


 Then create a marinade.  I use a mix of soya sauce, paprika, mixed herbs and garlic powder.

 Put the marinade into a box with a lid. Add the tofu chunks and shake up until the chunks are covered with the marinade. Then put some vegetable oil into a saucepans and heat up.  One it is boiling add the chunks of tofu.

Leave to cook until they are golden brown (I took the ones below out a bit too early as I was short of time, but you get the idea!).

 They are now ready to serve as a side dish or put into your stir fry, thai curry or whatever else you are eating.

RECIPE : baked sweet potato

Take one medium sweet potato and microwave for between 5-10 minutes depending on the size and how powerful your microwave is.  Take it out and remove the skin and mash with margarine and black pepper.  Put into the bottom of a dish and cover with grated soya cheese. Put back in the microwave to melt the cheese then top with spring onions and a bit more cheese. Delicious!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

'What's for Tea Mum, I'm Starving?'

I got this call today when I was in the middle of sorting out all the toys and clothes in my daughters bedroom so wasn't really in a position to cook something exotic.  However, I did know that whatever I cooked it needed to be quick.

In ten minutes I managed to fry some beanburgers while preparing sugar snap peas, red pepper, cucumber slices and sweetcorn to go with them.  The kids loved dipping the veg into soya mayo and the meal was eaten so quickly it didn't keep me long so I could get back to the great tidying job. Fortunately it is finished now!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Friends for Lunch

I had friends over for lunch today and suddenly realised I hadn't planned what we were going to eat so had to improvise based on what I had in the cupboards.

I made two salads - one was a simple salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, yellow pepper and spring onion and the other was sliced apple with soya cheese and walnuts.  With them I served some crackers with cream soya cheese and some oatcakes.  Then I had side dishes of smoked almonds, gherkins and sun dried tomatoes.  The meal seemed to go down well with my non- vegan friends, but next time I hope to be more prepared and give them something a bit more interesting!

Low Carb Vegan Cookbook

I have complied a selection of recipes from that are low in carbohydrates into one handy ebook.  If you are interested in getting a copy of this book they are currently available for the bargain price of £1.99.  Just send a paypal payment to (ensuring you specify what it is for at the bottom of the page) and you will recieve a pdf of the recipe book which contains a short write up of general information on a low carb vegan diet and 40 example recipes including breakfasts, soups, salads, side dishes, mains and sweet treats.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Carrot and Lentil Soup with Coriander

Soup is much quicker and easier to make than most people think, and tastes far better than anything you buy.  Today I had coriander to use up so decided to mix it with carrot as it is one of my favourite combinations.

Take 4 heaped spoonfuls of dried lentils and put into a saucepan with a chopped medium onion and 2 medium sized carrots.  Add stock powder and cover with boiling water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 30 mins until the lentils are soft.  I then added garlic powder and chopped coriander and blended with a hand blender until smooth.

Saturday, 16 February 2013


I love Okra but only have a couple of ways that I know how to cook it,  If anyone has any suggestions I would be very grateful.

Vegetable Gumbo is the one way I cook it and the other is just frying it and adding salt and pepper.

Friday, 15 February 2013


Tonight the girls decided they wanted chilli so I made the recipe they both love.

Chop a medium onion and fry in vegetable oil, add a clove of garlic, 1tsp paprika, 1 tsp mixed herbs, pinch salt and enough chilli for your taste.  The add chopped mushrooms and peppers and cook until nice and soft.  Then add frozen tvp and cook until it has defrosted. Then add a drained tin of red kidney beans, a tin of tomatoes and some tomato paste.  I sometimes add sweetcorn at this point too. Leave to simmer until all the ingredients are warmed up and taste to see if you need more salt.

Serve either with rice or in wraps.  When making it with wraps I add various other fillings including some of these: soya mayo, soya cheese, avocado, salsa, finely chopped lettuce and other salad.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Happy Valentines Day

As it is nearly valentines day I will take this opportunity to wish you all a nice day and hope you enjoy cooking for your loved one.  It doesn't really matter what you are making, as if you are cooking with love they will appreciate it and enjoy whatever you make.  If you aren't sure what to make you can never go wrong with chocolate. For a selection of recipes with chocolate go to and search for chocolate.  A good choice is one of my favourites, chocolate muffins.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


As I am an atheist, I don't celebrate pancake day, but for those of you who do here are some recipes:

Blueberry Pancakes
Chick Pea Pancakes
Chicken Style Pancakes
Pancake Pizzas

 Of course you can always just make them with lemon and sugar!


Monday, 11 February 2013

Chocolatey Nutty Oat Bar

This is a real nice mix of ingredients that help to get rid of my chocolate cravings and make me feel full up at the same time.

Firstly I met some margarine in a plastic bowl and add a generous helping of oats.  Mix together with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 teaspoon of strawberry jam, 1 tablespoon of mixed seeds, 1 tablespoon of sultanas and lots of cocoa powder (I like it really chocolatey).

Put into a greased oven proof dish and bake for 20 mins at 180 degrees and spoon out the soft, sticky, scrummy mixture.  If you leave to cool you can cut into bars but it rarely lasts that long.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Valentines Recipes

With valentines day just around the corner here are some ideas for valentines recipes that you might like to cook:


 Breakfast Pancake Hearts
 I Love U Toast


Couscous Heart
Hearts and Kisses Salad
Herby Hearts
Romaine Heart Sandwich
Tomato Soup with Garlic Croutons
Vol Au Vont Hearts

Asparagus in Ginger and Satsuma Sauce with Heart Crisps
Red Heart Pizza


Chocolate Heart Cake
Praline Cookies and Ice Cream
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Creamy Strawberry Cups
Fruit Stack 

Jam and Cream Pastry
Strawberries and Cream
Strawberry Tart 

If you have any valentines recipe ideas please share them with us.

Eating out for lunch

Was out in town today and needed to get lunch. As usual the choices were limited to a bag of salad leaves and some homous, or a  veggie pasty from Holland and Barrett.  However, we went into Marks and Spencers first and found some really nice prepacked salads that were vegan. There is a whole range of delicious flavours and just enough for 1. We sampled one with rice and aubergine and one with green soya beans, sugar snap peas and corriander.  Very nice indeed.  The names of them are rice, lentil and aubergine side salad and oriental style edamame soya bean salad with chilli and corriander dressing.  These are well worth a try.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Cheaper Seed Mix

It can be expensive to buy a good cheap mix of seeds to sprinkle on breakfasts, salads and desserts, so I make my own.  I buy large good value bags of pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and linseed and put them in a jar:

You can vary the quantities according to how many of each seed you prefer. Then I simply shake them up before use to get an even amount of each to use.

The smaller seeds tend to work their way to the bottom of the jar so I shake before every use.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Banana Porridge

I fancied something warm for breakfast this morning and had a banana that needed using up. So I layered my bowl with porridge, banana, porridge and then sultanas and then warmed up in the microwave and poured over soya cream. Yummy!

The picture was before it was warmed up and cream added.  You will need to make the porridge quite runny so it stays a nice consistency when you reheat.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Sunshine Breakfast

Today we have a thin layer of snow and it feels very cold outside due to the strong wind, so I wanted a nice filling breakfast.

 I toasted some oats in vegetable oil and added pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, linseeds and sunflower seeds.  Mixed in well then poured into a bowl which had been layered with sliced banana.  I then poured a small amount of soya cream on the top.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Simple Stew

Tonight I didn't have time to spend ages preparing a complex meal so decided to put together a simple stew.  Here is the recipe I used which served 2 adults and 2 children:

2 medium onions
2 medium mushrooms
1/4 large savoy cabbage
4 small carrots
1 medium red pepper
4tbs dried orange lentils
1 tin cannelloni beans
1/2 medium sweet potato

2 vegetable stock cubes
1tbs marmite
1tsp garlic powder
1tsp mixed herbs

Chop all the veg finely and put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and cover with boiling water.  Bring back to the boil and simmer for about 30 mins.

Obviously you can add a whole range of other fruit and vegetables to this stew, and to add more flavour you could fry the onion and mushrooms in vegetable before you start.  I also add lots of freshly ground pepper afterwards. 

If you want a thicker gravy you can add potatoes to the ingredients, or just have some bread on the side to mop it up.

Sorry about the lack of photo but my 9 month old baby got his fingers trapped in a chair just as I was about to dish up and take the pictures, so was rather busy dealing with him (but he was fine soon after!).