Jams and jars · Recipes

Dandelion Honey

Ingredients

  • 100g of dandelion heads (see note at the bottom)
  • 50 ml of lemon juice
  • 2 apples cut in to 1/4
  • 1 litre of water
  • 3.5 cups of sugar

Method

  • Give the dandelions a good shake, we like to give them a little spin in the salad spinner to remove all the bugs.
  • Add to a large pan with the water, apples and lemon juice. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Make sure the flowers are covered with the water – you may need a little more it depends on the pan and size of the flowers!
  • Strain the flower liquid keeping the liquid, press as mush out as you can. You can discard the flowers and apples the goodness has gone now.
  • Pour the liquid back into a clean pan and add the sugar. The ration is 3.5 cups to 1 litre of liquid so you can adjust accordingly.
  • You can stir the minute once and then don’t stir it otherwise it will crystallise. slowly bring the mixture to the boil then turn to a low heat and let it simmer very very gently.
  • You don’t want the sugar to burn but you also want the liquid to evaporate by about 1/3. The move liquid you evaporate the thicker the honey will be.
  • Once you are happy with the consistency you can pour in to sterile jars and put the lids on.
  • Allow to cool completely before serving.

Tips and Cheats

When picking dandelions it is best to pick them on a sunny day. Later in the day is best but not too late as you want to pick them when they are open. Always leave plenty for the bees. We say pick 1/10 flowers that way there is plenty left. You only need the head of the flower, you can keep the green bit on as if you remove it you’ll remove some of the nectar and this is the bit we want. You can use the stems to make trumpets!

If you give them a little shake the thunder bugs should pop out, we spin them in the salad spinner bit not to hard otherwise the good stuff will come out!

Watch the hot sugar liquid it is super hot and I wouldn’t want you to burn yourselves. Let the children pick the dandelions but adults should do the honey making!

You can also use the flower petals on a salad and even the leaves! Always try to pick from a field where you’re less likely to have dogs and also away from busy roads. They honey is lovely straight from the jar, on hot toast, used as a replacement in baking for honey or maple syrup or in a hot honey and lemon tea.

Little treats · Recipes

Chocolate Chickpea Cookies

Chocolate Chickpea Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of chickpeas drained
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 160 g peanut butter
  • 80 ml male syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pack of dark chocolate chips (several own brands are vegan)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/180c.
  • Put everything except the chocolate in to a blender and blend! You want it to be fairly smooth.
  • Add in the chocolate and stir through.
  • Scoop out small table spoon sized balls and place on a lined tray. Flatten slightly with a fork.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Eat warm!

Tips and Cheats

These little bites are so yummy warm from the oven. They go a bit stodgy when cold so I like to heat them back up before eating. They freeze really well but freeze the mix rather than the cookies! You can use crunchy or smooth peanut butter and if you can’t have peanuts then you can use almond butter or another nut butter as a substitute.

Recipes · Uncategorized · Week Night Winners

Cowboy Casserole

Cowboy Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 onions sliced
  • 1 tin baked beans
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin butter beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tin kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tin cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp brown sauce
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 vegetable stock cube and 300ml water

Method

  • Saute the onions in a pan until they are soft (about 10 minutes).
  • Add in all the other ingredients and stir well.
  • Cook on a low heat for 1 hour stirring frequently so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  • Serve with fluffy mash potato or crusty bread or even some shroomdogs!

Tips and Cheats

I made this in my food technology exam at 16, back then I finished it off with some grilled fresh tomatoes but it really doesn’t need them. If you don’t have Dijon you can use English or American mustard just alter the quantity to taste as it is often stronger. The dish does make quite a lot but it is easy to freeze.

Recipes · Soups and lunches

Leek and Potato Soup

Leak and potato soup with homemade soda bread

Ingredients

  • 2 leeks sliced
  • 2 potatoes in chopped in to chunks
  • 700 ml veg stock

Method

  • Put all the ingredients in to a large pan and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer on a low heat for 45 minutes until the potato is soft
  • Blend until smooth
  • Enjoy!

Tips and Cheats

Quite possibly the easiest meal I can cook. It is so lazy and easy but always tastes good. You don’t even have to peal the potatoes! If you have a little vegan cream you can drizzle some on at the end. You will need a good sprinkle of salt too again I do this to taste as I don’t add it to the children’s soup.

Recipes · Soups and lunches

‘Egg’ Sandwich

Delicious ‘egg’ sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of chickpeas drained
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • Bread of choice
  • Iceberg lettuce

Method

  • In a bowl mash the chickpeas, I like to leave a few chunky bits
  • Add in the mustard, mayonnaise and some salt to taste
  • Slice your bread (or use sliced) and layer up the chickpea mix and the lettuce
  • Enjoy!

Tips and Cheats

I could eat an entire tins worth of this although the mix should easily serve 2. You can spice it up with some spring onions or even use spinach, cucumber and tomato in the sandwich as well. I love the crunch of iceberg but you can use whatever you like.

Recipes · Soups and lunches · Waste Not Want Not

Carrot Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 onions sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 5 cups carrots sliced
  • Handful fresh parsley
  • Small handful of fresh thyme (or tablespoon of dried thyme)
  • 700ml vegetable stock

Method

  • Put the onion in a pan and saute it off for 5 minutes in a little oil.
  • Chuck in the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer for an hour on a low heat.
  • Blend the soup and serve!

Tips and Cheats

This soup is so easy. It really is a chuck in the pan and cook one! If you haven’t got fresh herbs add in some dried. You can swap out the thyme and parsley for some coriander. If using dried coriander add it in with the pinions and cook it off a little. It is a lovely sweet soup so does need salt. I don’t add salt and pepper to my recipes as I loathe black pepper and don’t use much salt as I have children.

Sweets

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 150g sugar
  • 70ml vegetable oil
  • 210ml dairy free milk
  • Rind of 2 lemons
  • 5 tsp lemon juice (I use the bottled stuff)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 100g icing sugar

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5/ 180c
  • Put the flour, sugar, oil, milk, lemon rind and 5 tsp of lemon juice into a mix bowl and beat to a smooth batter.
  • Pour in to a lined and greased round tin, I use a 7 inch loose bottomed tin but to be honest any tin will do!
  • Put the cake into the oven for 50 minutes. (If you use a bigger tin cook for less time) when you prick with a knife the knife should come out clean.
  • Whilst the cake cooks mix the juice of the two lemons with the icing sugar.
  • Once the cake comes out of the oven pour over half of the lemon and sugar mix. Wait five minutes then pour on the other half.
  • Allow it to cool in the tin.

Tips and Cheats

Don’t worry if you have no lemons and just a bottle of juice. You can omit the rind! I like the flavour and texture it gives but it works without it. You can make it as cupcakes (cook for 15 minutes) or you can cook as a tray bake (30 minutes). It is lovely warm with some plant based cream on top too!

Breakfasts · Recipes

Fluffy Pancakes

Fluffy Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 300ml dairy free milk

Method

  • Whisk all the ingredients together until they make a smooth batter
  • Heat some oil in a frying pan
  • Spoon a good dollop of the mixture in to the pan and watch it fluff up. It works best on a medium heat
  • Flip the pancake and brown off the other side.
  • Serve hot with your favourite toppings.
  • The mix makes about 16-20 depending on the size!

Tips and Cheats

You can go to town with these pancakes! Serve them with maple syrup and banana or with sugar and lemon juice or even chocolate spread! If you want them extra special throw in a cup of blueberries before you cook them. A perfect weekend breakfast.

Recipes · Sweets

Poached Pear Tart

Poached Pear Tart

Ingredients

  • 3 large conference pears
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 6 Vegan Caramel/toffee sweets
  • 1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry

Method

  • Pre heat the oven to Gm 6 or 200c
  • Peel the pears and slice them in half. scoop out the core leaving enough room for the caramel.
  • Pop the pears in to a pan with the maple syrup and cover with boiling water.
  • Cook the pears until they just start to soften, this should take less than 5 minutes but will vary depending on how ripe the pears are.
  • Remove from the heat and drain from the liquid.
  • Roll out the pastry and lay the pears on top leaving enough room to cut them out.
  • Cut around each pear leaving a 1cm edge.
  • Pop the caramel in the hole where the core was.
  • Lay the pastry pears on a baking tray
  • With the scraps of pastry cut out leaf shapes and adore the pears (get as fancy as you like!)
  • Place into the hot oven for 12-15 minutes until the pastry is puffy and golden.
  • Serve warm with either vegan cream or vegan ice cream!

Tips and Cheats

If you can’t get hold of vegan caramels you can either make your own caramel sauce and spoon that in (Just melted brown sugar, vanilla and coconut cream!) or you can swap out for a spoon of vegan chocolate spread or lotus biscoff! My mum made me these as a child after seeing the recipe in a mother and baby magazine and they are still a firm favourite with my own children! They look so fancy yet are so easy to make. If you have ripe pears you don’t need to poach them first!

Recipes · Sweets

Lemon Cheese Cake

Lemon Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pack of plain hobnob biscuits (I use Aldi ones)
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter
  • 2 packs of vegan cream cheese at room temperature (I use Sainsbury’s which is 170g each pack)
  • 2/3 cup of icing sugar (check it is vegan!)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 bag of frozen forest fruits – defrosted (Aldi)
  • 7 inch tin – ideally spring form or with a pop out bottom

Method

  • Crush the biscuits in a food processor and add the melted butter
  • Use this to line your tin, a spring form tin is best as it makes getting it out a the end easier. work the mix up the sides pressing hard.
  • Put it in the fridge to set.
  • In a clean food processor add the cream cheese, icing sugar and coconut oil and blend until smooth.
  • Slowly add in the lemon juice.
  • Pour the batter into the tin with the base in it and leave it for 5 hours in the fridge to set.
  • Once it is set drain the defrosted fruit and adorn the top. Serve immediately.

Tips and Cheats

I used to make this dish when I wasn’t vegan and it was always a winner. If you can’t get forest or frozen fruit you can use fresh raspberries or any soft fruit. I like the tartness of the fruit against the richness of the cheese cake. You can swap the lemon juice for lime too if you want a key lime pie type flavour!