Pizza, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Quick Suppers

Tarte Provençale

French cooking can excel in its simplicity.

Such as Tarte Provençale  : onions… pastry and onions.

I love onions.  I can have had the worst day, but chopping a few onions and dropping them into hot olive oil, and inhaling the fragrance that ensues, just makes the whole day go away.

For this recipe, the onions are cooked very slowly in oil.  So they soften without colouring.

Add garlic, with maybe a few olives, salt and pepper, and here I’ve added roasted yellow pepper.   And that’s it.  Simple.  Very.   And all the better for it.

tarte provencale

This tart is great hot or cold, lunch to go, and nice for a picnic.




INGREDIENTS: Continue reading “Tarte Provençale”

Cakes, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Cacao, Almond, Date and Coconut Cream Tarts. Without Sugar.

Little tartlets – filled with a vegan sugar-free chocolate ganache in puff pastry cases.

They definitely hit that sweet spot!

cacao, date and almond tarts – sugar free

Alternatively, this mix would be great for a large flan – although I would recommend blind-baking the pastry for 10 minutes first….

To avoid sugar, I used Cacao Paste, which looks just like dark chocolate …but has no sugar.

For sweetener I used dates, and for texture and depth of flavour, freshly ground toasted almonds.

Coconut cream gives it a consistency of a thick fudgy ganache….

cacao date and almond tart

A nice combination …mellow and sweet….

The case is puff pastry, and formed like those little Portuguese custard tarts, but very thin…. (vegan custard tarts for another blog…)

vegan chocolate ganache tarts – sugar free



Make 12:  6-7cm. in diameter

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Cacao, Almond, Date and Coconut Cream Tarts. Without Sugar.”

All About Beans, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Black Bean and Seitan Stir-Fry.


Seitan isn’t something I use very often, primarily because I really don’t miss meat at all, and there’s no doubt that Seitan resembles meat in terms of texture.

However, every now and then, there’s a recipe that could and should be really enhanced by the use of Seitan, and this, in mho, is one such recipe.

According to Wikipedia:

“Wheat gluten is an alternative to soybean-based foods such as tofu, which are sometimes used as meat substitutes. Some types of wheat gluten have a chewy or stringy texture that resembles meat more than other substitutes. Wheat gluten is often used instead of meat in Asian, vegetarian, Buddhist, and macrobiotic cuisines. Mock duck is a common use for wheat gluten.

Wheat gluten has been documented in China since the 6th century.[2] It was widely consumed by the Chinese as a substitute for meat, especially among adherents of Buddhism.[3] The oldest reference to wheat gluten appears in the Qimin Yaoshu, a Chinese agricultural encyclopedia written by Jia Sixie in 535. The encyclopedia mentions noodles prepared from wheat gluten called bo duo.[2] Wheat gluten was known as mian jin by the Song dynasty (960–1279). Wheat gluten arrived in the West by the 18th century.”

seitan pieces- from a jar…hmmm…


This stir-fry has all the kick and oomf of a kung fu fighter lol…big tastes, big flavours and big textures.

Of course the Seitan could be substituted with tofu or tempeh…or just left out altogether, but the texture really helps this high-kicking stir-fry along the way!

Regarding Black Bean Sauce, it’s one of the few store-bought chinese sauces that’s vegan.  You can make your own if you can track down fermented salted black beans.

Here’s list of basic ingredients  they can vary…) ….google it…. 😉

Vegetable Oil, Fermented Salted Black Beans, Garlic, Vegetable Stock, Dark Soy Sauce, Rice Wine, Onions, Red Pepper.

In the end though, the key to this dish is a couple of really good quality, good-sized, juicy, tangy tomatoes…. which can be a hard-ask, given that some super-market tomatoes taste of very little….

So good luck…hope this works for you! 🙂

black bean and stir-fry for 2 ++



ample for 3 ..or 4

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Black Bean and Seitan Stir-Fry.”

Curries, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Cauliflower Curry – Two Ways: Pakora and Bharta.

It’s obvious really, but still surprising how you can cook the same vegetable in two different ways and end up with totally different flavours and character!

Here’s a fab. way to use a cauliflower to create two different curries that complement each other deliciously.

cauliflower curry: pakora and bharta


Pakora are small vegetable pieces dipped in a thick ice-cold batter and quickly fried.

Bharta is pureed vegetables, cooked gently and infused with spices.



Amply serves 2

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Cauliflower Curry – Two Ways: Pakora and Bharta.”

Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring, Vegan Snacks

Indian Spiced Lentil + Spinach Patties.

Great little patties : eat them hot or cold: food to go:

or make a meal of them…they deserve it ! 🙂

spiced lentil patties

Perfect, delicate, spicy, little patties….

… and here’s how:


Makes 16-18 patties    Continue reading “Indian Spiced Lentil + Spinach Patties.”

Bread, Vegan

Portuguese-Style Semolina Bread.

A soft, moist rustic bread, ideal to accompany soup.

Lovely served warm.

Easy to do…can be ready in time for lunch!

Try it with Caldo Verde, a Portuguese Cabbage and Potato Broth, which is quite delicious:

Caldo Verde

(click image for recipe link)



Ingredients:   Continue reading “Portuguese-Style Semolina Bread.”

Soups, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Portuguese Caldo Verde.

Like so many, this is a dish born of necessity: when the cupboard is bare, cook something wonderful with whatever you’ve got.  In this case, cabbage and potatoes.

And in so doing, make something that transcends all expectations.

There are recipes that just live on and on.  Passed down through the generations.  They are changed, adapted, and personalised as they go.  But essentially, they remain the same.

Caldo Verde’ translates as ‘green broth’.  It is in origin, Portuguese, although I’m sure other versions will be found, wherever you can grow cabbage and potatoes.

The traditional Portuguese dish is often flavoured with chorizo sausage  and/or chicken stock….. which is obviously outside my remit.

So this is my cruelty-free recipe for Caldo Verde with an entirely optional extra of marinaded hot-spice fried tempeh.

It’s my third attempt to get this dish ‘right’ for me, and I have done a fair amount of investigation of the history of it too.

The first one I used the wrong greens….and the second one was too thin.  Along the way I learnt that the flavours should be simple and straightforward.  There should be no messing with the simplicity of this dish.

I also read an interesting article about the type of cabbage that would be used.  A lot of recipes use Kale.  This one said use a hard green cabbage.  I followed this suggestion as it seemed to come from an authentic source.

( I did try it with Kale, but I far prefer the hard green cabbage….)

To flavour the dish I’ve used vegetable stock, with the addition of sticks of peppery celery.  I used Bay Leaves….Olive Oil…good quality Salt …and ground Black Pepper.

As is so often the case, less is more.


On a good day, Caldo Verde might be  supplemented with a few slices of fried Chorizo, so I have added, as a completely  optional extra, a few chunks of harissa/chipotle marinaded sautéed tempeh.

But, to be honest…Caldo Verde doesn’t need the distraction..

It’s too good as it is….


For 4

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Portuguese Caldo Verde.”

Curries, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Mushroom and Sweet Potato Curry. Khumbi Ki Shakarkand.

A deliciously hot, sweet, sharp, sour curry.

Cooked gently with a double lid to retain moisture and flavour.

It’s really nice.

Serve with fluffy white steamed rice…..

Khumbi ki Shakarkand



for 2-3

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Mushroom and Sweet Potato Curry. Khumbi Ki Shakarkand.”

Breakfast, Desserts, Vegan

Seed Cream with Fresh Fruit….

Seeds, nuts and beans, are, by their very nature, indigestible.

It is their raison d’être to remain that way.

Unlocking the goodness isn’t difficult … it comes down to soaking and cooking gently, soaking and sprouting, or else, grinding and soaking.

Here’s a lovely simple seed cream.

seed cream with fresh fruit

Chia, Nigella, Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds, ground to fine powder and soaked overnight in non-dairy milk and yogurt.

Served with fresh fruit.

Choose your seeds….choose your fruit.

Add whatever you feel like.

Using a sharp yogurt, this cream could easily be adapted to dress a salad or accompany vegetables in a stuffed pancake….    Continue reading “Seed Cream with Fresh Fruit….”

All About Beans, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Kenyan Beans and Soft Maize Meal (Polenta)

This is the daily food of Marathon Runners …no… Marathon Winners!

I listened to a radio programme the other day about a UK athlete who went to train with the Kenyans.  He couldn’t believe the diet they trained on: Maize (polenta) and Beans.  And Tea.

He said he used to pop into town and buy jars of peanut butter to supplement his own diet, because he couldn’t cope!

I found this story very inspiring, so I concocted a recipe (based on traditional Kenyan recipes), of Spicy Red Beans and Soft Polenta.

spicy red beans with soft maize meal

The simple fact is, that what we, in the West, have come to call “Vegan Food’, is, most of the globe over, just food.  Simple ordinary sustaining, nutritious food.

I love beans, there are so many varieties and they are so versatile.  Slowly, as this blog progresses, I am discovering that there are bean dishes from nearly every country across the planet. And I intend to find them all!

Spicy Red Beans and Soft Maize Meal



Spicy Red Beans and Soft Maize Meal.

Ample for 2

Ingredients:   Continue reading “Kenyan Beans and Soft Maize Meal (Polenta)”