Cakes, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Dorset Apple Cake.

A lovely moist fruity cake, close to my heart.  The sort of cake my grandmother used to make…and with origins not so very far from where I live… the apple orchards of England.

For a vegan version… I just replaced the eggs with ground soaked chia seeds + a little extra baking powder/soda …and I also added cinnamon and nutmeg (not sure I can cook anything without spices 🙂 )   …plus a few raisins.

I think I just need cake in the light of this chilly UK spring… that’s my excuse anyway…   ……hailstones clattering at my window as I write…

It’s delicious served warm, and equally good cold, possibly with a cup of cinnamon tea?  It’s great for me, as I need to get to the allotment, finish building the polytunnnel as soon as… and get planting… and that’s the sort of activity that requires cake!  So I need cake for all manner of reasons….  there are a few more…I forget… hey ho…

…so here’s how it goes…


Should be 10-12 servings….?

Ingredients: Continue reading “Dorset Apple Cake.”

Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Quick Suppers

Chickpea and Mushroom Curry with a Roasted Pepper and Tomato Sauce.

It’s always interesting to see how many ways there are to use the same ingredients to create different dishes.

The other day I made a roasted pepper chickpea hummus…..

(click image for hummus recipe link)

……and here’s another great way to use chickpeas and peppers: in a quick wok curry…..


The heat in this curry comes from the roasted pepper…but feel free to add a teaspoon or two of chilli powder if you like a hotter spicy curry….

…hope you like this quick and easy supper…


chickpea and mushroom curry


Serves 4

Ingredients: Continue reading “Chickpea and Mushroom Curry with a Roasted Pepper and Tomato Sauce.”

Burgers and Patties, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Little Russian Potato and Lentil Pancakes + a Salad of Sprouted Pulses and Seeds.


The star of this show for me, is the glorious salad of mixed sprouted pulses and seeds …so moreish ..I just eat them like candy.

sprouted pulse and seed salad


I decided on these little Russian Pancakes as a perfect foil for this crisp nutty, earthy salad.

I also made a simple lemony creamy dressing …laced with mustard..

A meal that’s quick, unfussy and economical..and full of lovely complementary flavours.

potato and lentil pancakes + sprouted seed and pulse salad

To sprout pulses, buy organic.  If you mix different ones, you will increase the variety of essential amino acids you get in one serving…

various lentils, mung beans, chickpeas, adzuki beans and sunflower seeds

Wash the seeds and pulses thoroughly.  You can buy special kit to sprout seeds.  I do it the old fashioned way.

I use a glass kilner jar without the lid.  Place the seeds and pulses in the jar and cover with filtered water for about 24 hours.

Strain, rinse, and then add more water.  Cover the top of the jar with a piece of unbleached muslin, secured tightly with an elastic band,  and then tip away just about all the water.

Then place the jar on a dish, so that it’s tilted down toward the muslin end, allowing excess water to drain slowly away.

sprouting seeds and pulses
sprouting seeds and pulses

Leave in a cool place, out of direct sunlight. Rinse the sprouting legumes twice daily.

The sprouts should be ready within 5 days…..

…they will keep fresh in the fridge for a few days….if they last that long 🙂



Makes 8

Ingredients: Continue reading “Little Russian Potato and Lentil Pancakes + a Salad of Sprouted Pulses and Seeds.”

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

Monggo + Oat-Milk Bread Rolls.

Monggo is a traditional Filipino Mung Bean Stew. It has very few ingredients, which is just one of the things I love about it.

monggo – garnished with coconut cream and fresh coriander

Less is more… so often…  as this dish proves… it’s mellow, comforting and quite delicious.  I decided to accompany it with some fresh, white, oat-milk bread rolls, which has turned out to be a lovely combination.

I love beans, and I’m discovering so many beautiful recipes from around the world….

When it comes to beans, they need a long soak and a slow cook.  Every time.  In the scheme of things, mung beans are small, and therefore very amenable… they only need a 12 hour soak, and will easily cook through in an hour and a half.

mung beans

The bread rolls require just the minimum of effort, and, in total about 90 minutes somewhere warm to prove….

Ideally, Monggo needs Malunggay leaves – also known as leaves of the Moringa Tree, but here in the UK I’ve been unable to find them, and a common alternative is baby leaf spinach.

Traditionally the recipe may or may not contain meat, but I’m interested in a plant-based version of course.  I’ve used carrots and celery to add an extra depth to the stock.

I hope you enjoy….

monggo and bread rolls



Serves 4

Cook’s note: if you begin both the Monggo … (having soaked the beans for 12 hours) ..and the bread rolls at roughly the same time… they will be ready at the same time!  Takes about 2 hours or so, but far less ‘active’ time …(tip: get the bread going first)…

Ingredients: Continue reading “Monggo + Oat-Milk Bread Rolls.”

Vegan, Vegan Snacks

Roasted Red Pepper and Lime Hummus.

You can’t beat home-made hummus.  I know hummus is readily available in the shops, but to me it always seems to have a rough sharp taste about it that annihilates the taste buds.  And I love hummus, it’s a great go-to snack/lunch/starter etc. and it helps to assuage my cheese cravings.

Cheese cravings…?  Yes…I own …while being a positive and happy vegan, I still miss cheese.  I’ve been reading lately that cheese has addictive qualities, and for me, I think that might be true.

But hummus hits the spot, pretty much, and what’s great is, that if you make it, you can add so many lovely things into it…

Here’s another idea :

Spinach Hummus  (click image for link)


Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus




Ingredients: Continue reading “Roasted Red Pepper and Lime Hummus.”

Smoothies, Vegan

Cucumber Mint Grape Banana + Coconut Milk Smoothie



cucumber mint grape banana smoothie

Cucumbers are wonderful.  They are a perfect smoothie addition.  With a mild but distinctive flavour and excellent hydrating properties, as well as containing a variety of vitamins, including several B vits. I think they provide a great base ingredient for a ‘first thing in the morning’ smoothie.

Remember to buy organic, as otherwise the skins may  be waxed…

…and moreover, mint will calm a nervous stomach…amongst other things…

….so what better match for an early morning ‘conquer stress and face the day calmly’ sort of smoothie…. 🌸



Ingredients:  Continue reading “Cucumber Mint Grape Banana + Coconut Milk Smoothie”

Cakes, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Lebanese Sfouf 2 (and a cup of green tea)

It’s my hundredth post …so I thought I’d bake a cake 🙂 …and what better… than another sfouf …sweetened this time with molasses and date syrup…. light and moist …and not overly sweet …with complex flavours: anise…molasses…dates…turmeric … cocoa  powder… roasted almonds and sesame…



A Lebanese semolina cake.

Sweetened with Molasses and Date Syrup

Ingredients: Continue reading “Lebanese Sfouf 2 (and a cup of green tea)”

Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Indonesian Tofu Potato and Green Bean Curry.

Here is a great recipe for a really quick supper for 2.

Easily adaptable to other vegetables such as carrots, sweet potato and peas (cooking times may vary)…and also tempeh instead of tofu….

A key ingredient is Galangal…and according to Wikipedia:

‘Galangal /ɡəˈlæŋɡəl/is a rhizome of plants in the ginger family Zingiberaceae, with culinary and medicinal uses originating in Indonesia. The rhizomes are used in various Asian cuisines (for example in Thai and Lao tom yum and tom kha gai soups, Vietnamese Huế cuisine (tré) and throughout Indonesian cuisine, for example, in soto). Galangal is related to and resembles ginger. While ginger tastes a little like galangal, most cooks who use both rhizomes would never substitute one for the other and expect the same flavor.

In their raw form, galangals do not taste the same as common ginger. They are available as a whole rhizome, cut or powdered. The whole fresh rhizome is very hard, and slicing it requires a sharp knife. A mixture of galangal and lime juice is used as a tonic in parts of Southeast Asia. In the Indonesian language, the greater galangal and lesser galangal are both called lengkuas or laos, while Kaempferia galanga is known as kencur. It is also known as galanggal, and somewhat confusingly galingale, which is also the name for several plants of the unrelated Cyperus genus of sedges (also with aromatic rhizomes). In Thai language, greater galangal is called “ข่า” (kha) or “ข่าใหญ่” (kha yai), while lesser galangal is called “ข่าตาแดง” (kha ta daeng). In Vietnamese, greater galangal is called riềng nếp and lesser galangal is called riềng thuốc.’

I bought a jar of Galangal paste from the Thai section at the supermarket, but it can be tracked down fresh in some Asian stores ….


indonesian tofu curry


Ample for 2 – 3

Ingredients: Continue reading “Indonesian Tofu Potato and Green Bean Curry.”

Cook's Tales, Gluten-Free, Mediterranean Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Moussaka. Deliciously vegan…and with a gluten-free Bechamel…

I love Greece.  I have spent many glorious times there.  Exploring the islands…. walking the hills … savouring the food…. soaking up the atmosphere…. and all the while; time seeming to stand still… sigh…

Before I get on to the recipe … which worked out exceptionally well btw.,  I thought I’d share just a few of my sketches from my old greek diaries… I remember so well hot summer afternoons, (when sensible people were having a siesta lol) ….wandering around finding shady places to sit, with a view to sketch….

The only place that provided no shade whatsoever, was the paralysingly hot bus station….where we were obliged to wait.  No movement…. no sound…. just us….in the hot sun…waiting…. hoping…

 Finally, out of nowhere a driver would appear and a bus would rattle noisily to life.  Everyone piled on, and we took off over the hills, windows open….and the scent of thyme and rosemary coming in with the breeze…. heady days…. Continue reading “Moussaka. Deliciously vegan…and with a gluten-free Bechamel…”

Quick Suppers For Two, Salads, Vegan, Vegan Quick Suppers

Swiss Rosti + Chicory Orange Salad with a Mustard Dressing

 Rosti is a Swiss dish, (definitely germanic swiss rather than latin swiss…)  and is a crispy potato pancake which is often eaten for breakfast.  It’s a very simple recipe, but I think there’s an art to getting it just right: golden and crispy on the outside, and soft and melty in the middle.

I’ve served it here with a salad of chicory and orange with a strong mustard dressing  … bitter, tangy and sharp flavours cutting through the mellow oily warmth of the pancake..

I hope you enjoy this lovely mix of contrasting flavours.

potato rosti and orange and chicory salad



for 2

Ingredients: Continue reading “Swiss Rosti + Chicory Orange Salad with a Mustard Dressing”