Breakfast, Cooking for One, Vegan

Blueberry Porridge

On a gloomy, rainy day (like today) there’s nothing better than a bowl of perfectly cooked porridge.

Traditionally porridge is flavoured with a good pinch of salt, and drizzled with a little cream if it’s particularly cold outside!  Salted porridge is worth trying, and surprisingly good!

I’ve added some blueberries to the mix, simmered for a few minutes, so they get just hot enough to pop juicily in the mouth 🙂

Add extra fruit, a little vegan cream (optional), and a drizzle of your favourite sweetener.

Delicious!

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BLUEBERRY PORRIDGE

for 1

Ingredients:    Continue reading “Blueberry Porridge”

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Breakfast, Preserving, Vegan

Whisky Marmalade

I thought I’d add a link today for the seville orange marmalade I blogged this time last year.  For a brief time, here in the UK, organic seville oranges are available in the shops.  Don’t miss out !  (Whenever they appear wherever you are!  🙂 )

(click image below for marmalade post link)

making marmalade

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It has to be said, there’s nothing quite like home-made marmalade …. it really is worth the effort!

My next few blogs will have a Scottish twist as Burn’s Night is coming up soon, so today I thought I’d start with a classic, by adding a small dram of fine Scottish Whisky to a few of jars of home-made marmalade.

It’s very easy:  when you transfer the hot marmalade to the jars, add about 15ml. of whisky to each 500gm. jar that you want to convert, and stir in briefly with a sterilised teaspoon, while the marmalade is still piping hot and liquid.   Cover with a waxed disc, apply lid and allow to cool and set as usual.  The hot marmalade will allow the whisky to diffuse throughout.   Continue reading “Whisky Marmalade”

Breakfast, Cakes, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Spiced Banana Breakfast Loaf

Vegan, gluten-free, sugar free and very delicious!

Firstly, I would like to wish everyone a very happy new year.  Here in the UK the skies are decidedly grey and the air is damp and chill.  And everyone’s got the January blues.  No better reasons are needed to make a cake.  A wholesome comforting moreish sort of cake.

There were a few over ripe bananas sitting forlornly in the fruit bowl, so I thought: this is the moment to make a cake that’s good for breakfast.

Cake for breakfast: way to go 🙂 💕

It’s not too sweet, it’s very moist, it’s full of good things, and is fab. just plain with coffee, or vegan-buttered…or if you want to go sweeter then you can’t go wrong with oodles of strawberry jam.

For sweetener I’ve used a new ingredient (for me) : coconut sugar.  It’s not as sweet as sugar and it has a flavour to it that’s slightly musty.  For that reason, I wouldn’t use it as my absolute go-to sweetener, but in this cake it blends very well with the spices and the banana.  It’s now available in some UK supermarkets, which is why I’ve included it today.

I’ve also included another ingredient that makes gluten-free cooking easier: self-raising gluten-free flour.  Again, it’s available in some supermarkets and it certainly helped to give this loaf a nice rise.

Enjoy! 💚

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SPICED BANANA BREAKFAST LOAF

Ingredients: Continue reading “Spiced Banana Breakfast Loaf”

All About Beans, Breakfast, Condiments, Growing things, Preserving, Vegan

Jam…. Pickle… Passata…. it’s that time of year again ….

Izzy wizzy let’s get bizzy 🐝 ✨

Greetings from a busy kitchen 💐 💕

I’ve been singularly failing to keep my blog going lately…and that’s because I’ve been madly busy harvesting and storing, preserving and pickling some of my homegrown fruit and vegetables. So cooking dinner has been taking a bit of a back seat!  Baked potatoes all round 😏

Here’s a taster of what’s been happening in my household lately… raspberry jam, cucumber pickle, roasted tomato and garlic passata and an almond vegan cheese made in honour of my delicious Italian tomatoes…… and some of the beans are air-drying for the winter …..

So. Where to start?

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ROASTED TOMATO AND GARLIC PASSATA

Ingredients: Continue reading “Jam…. Pickle… Passata…. it’s that time of year again ….”

Breakfast, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Growing things, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Strawberry + Pimm’s Fool

It’s been Wimbledon fortnight.  And now it’s over I’m in a brief period of mourning.  Being a tennis addict, this always happens.  I should be used to it by now.  But I can’t help it 😦  I  put as much aside as I can … all forms of cleaning, hoovering, shopping, and frankly, cooking.  It’s just so hard.  Sigh.  🙂

I call it ‘the beans on toast + daily avocado syndrome’.  I get it every single year.

So I haven’t blogged much…done much… been out much.  I’ve just watched tennis.

With a notable exception.

I made a strawberry fool….and I added Pimm’s No. 1 🙂

What better way to while away an afternoon, than watching my all-time favourite tennis player eventually demolish his extremely resilient opponent in a tense five-setter …… …..than with strawberries blended in an alcoholic coconut cream.

(The boozy bit in this recipe is entirely optional … but I’ll get to that later).

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Federer finally begins to inch ahead in the quarter finals! 

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It’s the last shout for my strawberry patch …and we’ve had strawberry tart, strawberry jam, strawberry smoothies and just plain strawberries………and I mourn them when they’re over too.  In fact, is life worth living without strawberries and Wimbledon?  I have to wonder….

But nature moves on, the raspberries and blueberries are coming next…and there’s tennis at the Olympics I believe …!

So.  Back to the fool:

I used Pimm’s No. 1 and maple syrup for this…which combined, give it a lovely, tawny, dusky flavour, but you could go another way by using a light sweetener (white sugar or light agave) and fresh mint and lemon juice… details below.

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STRAWBERRY FOOL

FOR 6

Ingredients: Continue reading “Strawberry + Pimm’s Fool”

Breakfast, Japanese Inspired Dishes, Pizza, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring, Vegan Quick Suppers

Okonomiyaki. Japanese Pizza.

I had been wondering what to do with the cabbage in my veggie basket.  I was thinking of stuffed cabbage leaves… because prior to that I’d been considering the grape vine that is now leaping into life over my garden shed and thinking that it would be nice to try stuffed vine leaves from scratch when the leaves get bigger….and that was but a short jump to cabbage leaves 😉  ….idle lateral thinking really…

Then I found a few recipes for stuffed cabbage leaves and they all looked a bit mid-winterish… and not what I fancied…so I carried on searching.  Until I came across Okonomiyaki.  I gather that Okonomi means ‘as you like it’ and Yaki means cooked.

You can put all sorts of things into it but one of the favoured ingredients is cabbage.

Now I think cabbage is a pretty under-rated vegetable.  For many of us, that probably dates back to the days when a pile of wet, limp, soggy, yellowy-green leaves appeared on our plate accompanied by the instruction to ‘eat your greens’.  Over-cooked boiled cabbage is rarely attractive…..

But there are lots of great recipes that put cabbages in a very different light. From curries to ribbons of lightly-steamed spring greens drizzled with vegan-butter and a pinch of salt, and from crunchy coleslaw to crispy kale, there’s a myriad of ways to make cabbage shine.  And here’s another one.  Because cabbage is a beautiful thing.

Okonomiyaki, also known as Japanese Pizza or Japanese Pancake is really more of a frittata.  Traditionally, it includes eggs, so I’ve taken a bit of liberty to veganise it: using chickpea flour, chia seeds and black salt.

There is also a special Okonomiyaki Flour that includes milled yam.  I’ve used chickpea flour and mashed sweet potato……

But I’m pleased with the results.  I shall be returning to Okonomiyaki again and again….

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OKONOMIYAKI

for 4

Ingredients: Continue reading “Okonomiyaki. Japanese Pizza.”

Bread, Breakfast, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Chinese Steamed Buns, filled with Sweet Adzuki Bean Paste.

A  recipe for a sweet comforting breakfast.  These buns are definitely best eaten straight away, while still warm …but I have discovered that they revive when lightly toasted.  🙂

A simple enough recipe, a bit of faff involved …particularly if you make your own adzuki bean paste (which is worth it I think…).

You can buy adzuki bean paste in a good oriental store…. but this recipe for Yokan includes the ingredients and method for adzuki bean paste if you want to try it out.

(click image for link)

There are many variations, plain sweet buns….or you could try using jam or a fruit compote instead of adzuki bean paste…. or else savoury buns (leaving out the sugar in the dough recipe and adding more salt), stuffed with something like a mushroom tapenade or crumbled tofu flavoured with miso…

But the adzuki bean paste has a lovely distinctive taste with a gentle sweetness….

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CHINESE STEAMED BUNS FILLED WITH SWEET ADZUKI BEAN PASTE

makes 8-10

Ingredients: Continue reading “Chinese Steamed Buns, filled with Sweet Adzuki Bean Paste.”

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….”

Bread, Breakfast, Vegan

Breakfast. Hot Spiced Grapefruit and Savoury Croissants.

Grapefruit reminds me of my grandad.  He loved it.

He used to have a special curved knife for slicing the fruit away from the peel.  I wonder if they still exist?   Probably…..

Somehow grapefruit seem to be out of favour, but here’s a nice way of spicing them up….

hot ruby grapefruit – with maple syrup, cinnamon and ginger

…and ‘Jus-Rol’ Croisssants … a gift for vegans…and they are really nice.

freshly baked croissant – as they are… or savoury cheese and onion – vegan

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croissant and grapefruit

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How to to do it:

Hot Spiced Grapefruit.

Continue reading “Breakfast. Hot Spiced Grapefruit and Savoury Croissants.”

Breakfast, Vegan, Vegan Ingredients, Vegan Snacks

TBLT…tempeh ‘baken’, lettuce and tomato sandwich…the future is vegan….

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“The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.”~
The Buddha
Mahaparinirvana Sutra

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Amidst the recent furore about the possible carcinogenic aspects of bacon, accompanied by all sorts of vitriol, I though I’d put in my own word for pigs….and for tempeh.

Pigs are intelligent, sociable, funny, friendly, and clever…and billions of them are suffering everyday because of the insatiable demand for bacon.

Intensive farming, which is how over half the pigs on the planet are now farmed, causes untold suffering.

In the name of compassion, why can’t we just leave pigs alone?

On a different note, I can honestly say that in the last few years before I made the break and became vegan, I stopped eating bacon anyway, simply because it wasn’t nice.   Chewy, watery, and tasteless.  So what’s all the fuss about?

Meanwhile, the future is vegan.

I personally think that marinaded, fried tempeh makes a splendid vegan alternative to bacon. It’s robust, textural and easy to use.

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TEMPEH ‘BAKEN’ SARNIES WITH TRIMMINGS

So here’s how to do it:   Continue reading “TBLT…tempeh ‘baken’, lettuce and tomato sandwich…the future is vegan….”