Soups and lunches · Week Night Winners

Lemon Pasta

Ingredients

  • 200g dried pasta
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 4tbsp grated Violife Prosociano Wedge (or vegan Parmesan) (a little extra for presentation)
  • 1.5tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms sliced
  • 200g tender stem broccoli chopped into 1 inch chunks

Method

  • Boil the kettle.
  • Place the dried pasta in a large pan with a pinch of salt and cover with boiling water. Cook until tender or as packet suggests.
  • In a frying pan fry off the mushrooms then remove from the stoves. In the same pan add the broccoli and fry for a few minutes. Then add in a cup of boiling water and pop on a lid. Cook for a further 3 minutes until just cooked.
  • Drain the broccoli and put with the mushrooms on one side.
  • Meanwhile in a large jar add all of the other ingredients with 1 cup of the water the pasta was cooked in.
  • Pop the lid on the jar and give it a good shake!
  • Drain the pasta and return to the pan, add in the veggies and the contents of the jam jar.
  • Heat for a few minutes to bring it all up to temperature and then serve with a little more cheese on top and some nice crunchy salad.

Tips and cheats

I love this dish it is so light and its actually even better the next day cold for lunch like a pasta salad! You can add in any veggies you like but in this house mushrooms and broccoli rule. Its also a great dish in our camper van as it can be cooked on 2 gas hobs with limited pans!

Cake · Little treats · Sweets

Dandelion Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 200g dairy free spread (I use Vitalite)
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 30g dandelion honey (if you haven’t made the honey then just use 30g more of sugar)
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 300g plain flour
  • 20 dandelions – you just want the yellow petals.

Method

  • In a bowl cream together the butter, vanilla, dandelion honey and sugar.
  • Then add in the flour and dandelion petals.
  • Stir it together, you might need to get your hands in! Until it forms a soft dough.
  • Pop in to a covered dish in the fridge for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 / 200c.
  • Take the dough from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface roll out until is is 5mm thick.
  • Cut our your biscuits, we like them small but you can make larger ones!
  • Pop on to a baking sheet and into the oven for 8-10 minutes until they start to turn a light brown.
  • Take them from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack until cool.
  • Store in an air tight container.

Tips and cheats

My children love to make these. They love to pull out the yellow petals into the bowl. They love to dip them into the dandelion honey to eat them too! (Sugar overload!). They keep for a few days but are best fresh and they are just so buttery and light. They look so pretty on the plate too.

Cake · Recipes · Sweets

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 220g self raising flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 70ml vegetable oil
  • 200ml oat milk (or any dairy free milk)
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp white or cider vinegar

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/180c
  • Put all of the ingredients in to a large bowl and beat to a smooth batter. I always do this by hand.
  • If making cupcakes place 12 paper cases into a cupcake tin.
  • Split the mixture equally between the 12 cases.
  • Pop into the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool before topping with chocolate buttercream!

Tips and Cheats

If you don’t fancy cute cupcakes you can split the mix between two 7inch cake tins and cook at the same temperature for 25 minutes. or you can pop in to a tray for a tray bake and cook for 40 minutes. It is so versatile! I like to chuck in cherries sometimes or nuts or even dark chocolate chips! As with all cake it is best served fresh!

Week Night Winners

Alison’s Curry (Saag Aloo)

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml water
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 small sweet potatoes peeled and chopped in to 1cm chunks
  • 2 baking potatoes peeled and chopped in to 2cm chunks
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 ½ tbsp dandelion honey/agave syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Frozen spinach, I used 6 pieces

Method

  • Heat the oil in a pan and add in the cumin seeds, onion and garlic. Sauté on a medium heat until they are starting to go translucent.
  • Add in all of the ground spices and fry off for a minute or two to release the flavour.
  • Add in the coconut milk, tomatoes, water, potatoes, tomato puree, dandelion honey and salt.
  • Stir well.
  • Pop on a lid and cook on a low heat for 45 minutes until the sweet potato has turned almost to mush and the baking potato is soft but not mushy! (You don’t want a bowl of curried mash potato!)
  • Add in the spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Serve with rice!

Tips and Cheats

My dearest friend Alison cooked this for me and my children and there were empty plates. I have honestly craved it ever since! The children even ask for it! It helps that my son is Popeye and loves spinach and curry. This isn’t a spicy dish more flavourful but if you wanted heat by all means add in some cayenne pepper to suit or even some fresh chili. I like to make homemade flat breads with this dish and serve it with nice fluffy rice. It is great the next day to and freezes well. If you do not have frozen spinach you can add in a small bag of fresh spinach (I much prefer this!). Enjoy!

Recipes · Week Night Winners

Hot Rice Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 2 blocks of frozen garlic or 6 large cloves
  • 2 large tomatoes diced (or a handful of cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 tin of drained chickpeas (or any bean I actually prefer black beans!)
  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 2 Tbsp. Peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp of mustard (any but I like Dijon!)
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice (the bottled stuff is mighty fine)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Spring onions and fresh herbs to garnish if you are feeling fancy

Method

  • In a large pan with a little oil soften the garlic and onion for 5 minutes.
  • Then add in the tomatoes and chickpeas or beans and cook on a medium heat stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
  • Add in the rice and spinach for a further 5 minutes until the spinach wilts.
  • In a small bowl mix the peanut butter, lemon juice and mustard to a paste and then stir it in to the main pan.
  • Finally season to taste and when serving sprinkle on some spring onions and maybe fresh parsley.

Tips and cheats

I love this dish hot or cold but hot it makes a great accompaniment to a vegan burger and gherkins or even just on its own in a big bowl. Rice and beans together make a great protein source and with the added veggies you have some vital vitamins too. Who knew comfort food could be so good for you?!

Recipes · Week Night Winners

Veggie Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped onion (I use frozen!)
  • 1 block of frozen garlic (Again I buy it frozen but a couple of fresh cloves will work too)
  • 2 medium potatoes diced into 2cm cubes
  • 2 medium carrots diced in to 2cm cubes
  • 300g mushrooms chopped in to chunks
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn drained
  • 1 pint of gravy (I like the Sainsburys vegetable one)
  • 1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry. (Most are vegan but do check, I use Jus Roll or Aldi)

Method

  • Pre heat the oven to hot! About gas mark 8/220c
  • Place some oil in a large pan and gentle soften the onion, garlic, potato and carrot. Stir so it does not burn for 5 min.
  • Add in the gravy and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat
  • Stir in the rest of the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove from the heat and spoon the mix into a pie dish.
  • Top with the ready rolled pastry and press down on the edges of the dish to make a seal. You can brush with melted vegan butter for a touch of luxury but I don’t usually!
  • Place in the oven for about 12-15 minutes until the pie is a lovely golden brown.
  • I like to serve it with mashed potato and tender stem broccoli.

Tips and Cheats

You can pretty much add anything you want into this pie! My kids love it and we always get empty plates. If you have left over roast veggies you can use those and just chuck into hot gravy and place in the pie dish. You might have gathered that most of my cooking is chuck it in and hope for the best type of cooking and it really is. I hate waste and generally try to use up what is left in the fridge. I would however avoid cabbage inside the pie and opt for it as a side dish!

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!

Cake · Recipes · Sweets

Scones

Scones with Jam and Cream

Ingredients

  • 500g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 80g caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 80g dairy free butter (I like the Pure sunflower or Vitalite for these)
  • 240 ml dairy free milk (Oat works like a dream)
  • Strawberry jam and vegan cream to serve (Food Heaven squirty or Elmlea plant based double. )

Method

  • Pre- heat the oven to GM 6 or 200c
  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl or food processor and mix into a dough.
  • Flour your hands and the work surface
  • Tip out the dough and bring it together to a smooth dough
  • Using a cutter cut out your scones.
  • Put on to a lined baking sheet and pop in the oven for 12 minutes.
  • Eat warm straight from the oven or allow to cool if you have the patience!

Tips and Cheats

If you want an even rise on your scones don’t twist the cutter as you cut them out. You can add sultanas to the mix, about 100g for fruit scones too, or cranberries, apricots, dates etc what ever takes your fancy! If you don’t eat them all at once the scones will keep for about 3 days in an air tight container, although I wouldn’t know because they never last that long!