Gluten-Free, Mediterranean Dishes, Pasta, Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Pasta in an Avocado Sauce.

Pasta lends itself to simple ideas, and here’s one that’s so simple I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before 🙂

This superfoody dish takes minutes to prepare and, like all these sauces, is adaptable according to taste.

Try leaving out the spring onions and adding a chopped sweet green pepper.  Add herbs such as basil and parsley to the mix. Add more chillies for a real chilli hit….

pasta with an avocado sauce

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Avo Sauce for Pasta

For 2

Ingredients:    Continue reading “Pasta in an Avocado Sauce.”

Mediterranean Dishes, Pasta, Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan Quick Suppers

Pasta in a cream pea sauce.

This is one of the quickest and simplest recipes anyone could wish for.

I often think that any meal, vegan or otherwise, is all about the sauce.

So here’s a recipe for a vegan pasta sauce that is very versatile and supremely adaptable.

I’ve used frozen peas, but try steamed broccoli, or sautéed mushrooms, carrots cooked in vegan butter or blanched spinach.  Just replace the peas with about 200 gms. of another vegetable, cooked appropriately, and blended with the cream.

Flavourings may vary too: basil… paprika…nutmeg …to name but a few.

You could also use something else instead of the mushrooms…e.g. steamed asparagus, baby broad beans or just a handful of pitted olives.

It really is that easy… use what you have to hand. Italian style.

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Today I’ve used some fancy, gluten-free and very delicious, red lentil pasta that I happened upon, but any pasta will do, particularly penne or fusilli …..

I’m also in love with ‘Oatly’ at the moment : cream, crême frâiche and of course, milk.

All available in some UK supermarkets now.  Which is fab.

For this recipe I use the oat cream, but unsweetened soy cream will do just as well.

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PASTA IN A CREAM PEA SAUCE

with sautéed mushrooms

Serves 2

Ingredients:    Continue reading “Pasta in a cream pea sauce.”

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, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Carroty Cottage Pie

Well.  It’s been ages.  My life seems to have taken a bit of a U-turn lately, away from blogging.  And I’ve really missed it, and all my blogging friends too.  I take my hat off (respect 🙂 ) to everyone who keeps their blog ticking over, because I can see how easy it is to let it slip.

Even so.  I’m still vegan….and I still think it’s the most important thing I do.   Christmas is coming, and I shudder to think of all the animals that will be killed to ‘celebrate’ the event…. so I’ve been thinking up a few  cruelty-free christmas dishes which will be coming soon…….

……and in the meantime, here’s my take on a winter-warming classic.  Cottage/shepherd’s pie.  Deliciously veganised.

My guess is everyone has some sort of recipe for this homely comforting dish: it’s versatile, adaptable to whatever you have in the veggie basket, and so easy to make vegan, gluten-free and very nutritious.  Here I use lots of carrots, spiced with all those flavourings that carrots love: ginger, garlic, coriander and cumin.  And, of course, a little bit of chilli.  The carrots are grated and combined with sliced sautéed mushrooms, amongst other things, which all in all, gives this pie some lovely textures.

Incidentally, for the mashed potato topping, I have included my latest favourite ingredient: oat crème frâiche.  I love it.

It’s now available in many UK supermarkets, and it gives the potato in this recipe a lovely, creamy, tang…. but you can always add non-dairy cream or milk instead.

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Hope you enjoy.

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VEGAN COTTAGE PIE

Serves 6

Ingredients: Continue reading “Carroty Cottage Pie”

Celebration Dishes, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Quinoa, Almond and Mushroom Loaf

A lovely celebratory dish, loaded with flavour and goodness.  I’m very pleased with this one, and so were all the non-vegans I served it to last weekend.  My mother’s birthday falls at this time of year, which is great, because I got to cook a great vegan Sunday roast with all the trimmings….including a red wine sauce;  that doubled as a test run for a trial recipe for a delicious Christmas loaf that anyone can enjoy.  Unfortunately, I was so busy cooking and entertaining I forgot to take photos……ooops 🙃….. until the next day when I had a leftover slice with mash and peas and a miso gravy …… and I know this loaf would also be delicious served with rice, steamed broccoli and a lightly spiced tomato sauce.

So.  Take your pick of accompaniments!

 A very adaptable, delicious, flavoursome, nutritious, vegan dish.  Who could ask for more! 💚

You can make it in advance, and leave it in the refrigerator overnight, and when it comes to baking, it’s very versatile.  It will cook long and slow at the bottom of a hot oven, or quicker at the top of a cooler oven.  I had potatoes roasting at Gas. Mk. 7 /220C and this dish sat on the bottom shelf for over an hour, covered in silver foil until the last 15 minutes.  You just need to make sure it comes out golden on the top and that it doesn’t dry out.   It also holds together perfectly when sliced, so the whole thing could be cooked in advance, sliced and frozen (each piece wrapped individually) …and individual slices then re-heated as wanted.

And as I think I already mentioned, you couldn’t pack more serious goodness into it if you tried!  🍃

It’s a dish that requires a little organisation, but it fits very nicely into several easy stages.

Hope you enjoy! 💕 💕

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QUINOA, ALMOND AND MUSHROOM LOAF

Serves 8

Stage 1: cook the perfect quinoa! Continue reading “Quinoa, Almond and Mushroom 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 ….”

Gluten-Free, Japanese Inspired Dishes, Soups, Vegan

Miso Ginger Broth with Soba.

This is vegan miso broth soul food.  Packed with goodness…and full of the flavours of Japan.   Give your immune system a boost … with this ninja-karate-kicking bowl of wonder 🙂

A traditional miso broth is unlikely to be vegan, so I’ve made a base stock with fresh vegetables, ginger and seaweed to enrich the depth of flavour.

The ginger in this recipe really sings, and I’ve used a dark hearty miso to match it.

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There are some more unusual ingredients included here today – particularly Kombu and Wakame seaweed and also Mirin; Japanese sweet rice cooking wine. Seaweed is just such a good addition to a varied vegan diet, full of minerals and trace elements. Some types are more readily available than others, but a decent whole-food store should have them.  Or else on-line…. chase them down, you won’t regret it 🙂

Any signs of a cough or a cold this winter, and I’ll be making this…. well any excuse actually, it’s just so good.

Hope you enjoy! 🙂

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MISO GINGER BROTH WITH SOBA

serves 3-4

Cook’s note: 100% buckwheat noodles, certified gluten-free tamari and brown rice miso will make this dish gluten-free 

Ingredients: Continue reading “Miso Ginger Broth with Soba.”

All About Beans, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Mexican Bean Stew

I’ve been crazy busy lately, and I’ve been needing serious sustenance… so what better than just another bowl of beans 😉 💚 There’s a recipe for a bowl of beans from just about every country in the world… along with endless regional variations and generational differences.  This is a Mexican recipe that uses gorgeous Ancho Chillies.  They’re not hot, but they’re fruity, mellow and warm.

I made a vat of this, because it’s delicious…and gets deliciouser and deliciouser with re-heating. ❤️

Everyone loves avocados these days, and I realise that here in the UK we’re just a little conservative about how we use them.  That could be because they’re expensive… and we can only imagine the joy of going into the backyard and picking a couple…. and then serving them with everything.  How good must that be💕

So I served this stew with a tomato salsa, white rice, and beautifully ripe avocados.

And it’s good.

Hope you enjoy ! 🌺

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MEXICAN BEAN STEW

for 6

Ingredients: Continue reading “Mexican Bean Stew”

Curries, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Tofu and Mushroom Molee

Molee is a light, fresh curry sauce, from the Keralan region of India,  consisting of a delicately flavoured coconut sauce.

It’s quick and simple, shouldn’t be cooked for too long, and is open to all sorts of variations.  I’ve used tofu and mushroom here, but I think it would be fantastic with all sorts of vegetables, such as finely sliced carrots, peas, baby broad beans or a traditional Indian vegetable such as okra.

Hope you enjoy 🙂

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TOFU AND MUSHROOM MOLEE

Serves 3-4

Ingredients: Continue reading “Tofu and Mushroom Molee”

Vegan, Vegan Cheese, Vegan Snacks

Cashew and Tofu Cream Cheese

The vegan cheese thing is a thing.  It’s a big thing.  And there are many amazing artisan vegan cooks out there striving to make vegan cheese like cheese.    And I have huge respect for all of them!

I even came across a recipe for blue vegan cheese the other day …. it looked fabulous!

I missed cheese for a long, long time when I became vegan. I didn’t feel so bad when I read some of those articles about how cheese is highly addictive.  I just thought, OK, I have an addiction I need to kick.   It’s taking a while I have to say 🙂  And it’s still not done ! 😉

In the meantime, I’ve attempted various recipes I’ve come across, but sadly without much success, although I was inspired by many of the ideas.

I did once make a delicious Vegan Brie ….but can I find the recipe again?  Absolutely not 💚

If I could afford it, I’m sure I would be regularly buying artisan vegan cheeses from some of those amazing on-line suppliers.  Because so far, most store-bought vegan cheeses are mainly, truly, deeply mediocre.

Slowly, over time, I’ve forgotten about cheese. However, if there’s one thing that revives my desire to try again, it’s home-grown tomatoes.  There’s nothing quite so delicious as homegrown tomatoes.  And because I’ve got some, with more ripening as I write .. I suddenly want cheese….I want pizza…. I want feta salad… and all that kind of stuff… 💕💕

So in honour of my home-grown tomatoes, I’ve started by concocting this fairly simple recipe for a tofu and cashew cream cheese, which is light, creamy…and seems to hit the spot.  One of them anyway 🙂   It’s definitely inspired by Miyoko Schinner, but I’ve left out the thickeners, changed some of the ingredients, and gently baked it instead.

It works for me! 💚  That’s all I can say!

I’ve made three individual cheeses, and coated them with three different coatings: black pepper, paprika and herb.  The coatings make a wonderful difference, and if you can bear to leave the cheeses in the fridge for a day or two before sampling, the flavours really start to seep into the cheese.  And they’re good !

Hope you enjoy!

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TOFU AND CASHEW CREAM CHEESE

makes 3 individual ramekins approx. 8 cm. diameter

Ingredients: Continue reading “Cashew and Tofu Cream Cheese”