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

Cuban Black Bean Stew

Anyone who has been following this blog, however idly, has probably picked up the fact that I do love beans.

So much so that I am travelling the globe…via the internet mainly…sadly :/ … in search of bean recipes.

In fact, I’ve opened a new blog category… in honour of¬†beans … ūüôā

This stew¬†is an absolute classic, with, inevitably many variations. ¬†I’ve pulled this recipe together from several of the variations I’ve found, and¬†as far as I can gather, a¬†vegan version is traditional….even though many recipes include meat.

The flavours are simple and well-balanced: I’ve said it before but I’ll say it¬†again … less is so often more.

One of the many marvellous things about this dish is its beautiful inky colour…. it’s hopelessly moreish and meltingly mellow….

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do….


Cuban Black Bean Stew – Food For Peace


for 4

the beans need soaking for at least 24-36 hours prior to cooking – the longer the better

and the stew needs about 4 hours to cook…but it’s worth it !

Ingredients: ¬† Continue reading “Cuban Black Bean Stew”

Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring

Spiced Leek stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes

Leek and Potato is a classic combination, and this is a recipe that gives them a new twist.

All my recipes are tried and tested, but equally, what I hope is that they offer ideas. This is just one way to make a tasty economical meal using the idea of stuffing baked potatoes…. I’ve used a particular selection of vegetables and flavourings, but there are many more out there…just waiting to be tried.

So here¬†is a ¬†great, cosy, mid-week supper, using whatever you might have around (in this¬†case I’ve got plenty of homegrown leeks, the last of my homegrown garlic ūüė¶ …¬†and a definite liking for indian spices…..)


stuffed twice-baked potatoes


for 4-6

Ingredients: ¬† Continue reading “Spiced Leek stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes”

Bread, Soups, Vegan, Vegan on a Shoestring

Brotch√°n Roy and Traditional Irish Soda Bread.

Two old and traditional recipes rooted deep in Irish History. My simple¬†offerings on St Patrick’s Day.

Both of these recipes have few ingredients. ¬†I’m always in love with the simple recipes. ¬†The ones based on local produce, local climate and the time of year. ¬†The ones without fuss or fiddle. Leeks overwinter even in frost and snow. ¬†And now, at the very end of winter in the¬†northern hemisphere,¬†there they are when there’s not much else left.


My father was born on St. Patrick’s Day. ¬†I didn’t really expect a food blog to get personal, but today it has. ¬†Despite the fact that it was his last name, he was always known as Pat.

He had a little bit of Irish in him too, so I guess that means that I do too!  I miss him.

Food for peace on St. Patrick’s Day…. hope you like … ūüėČ


Brotch√°n Roy + Soda Bread

Brotch√°n Roy + Traditional Irish Soda Bread

For 4


Irish Soda Bread

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

This bread only has 4 ingredients. ¬† Continue reading “Brotch√°n Roy and Traditional Irish Soda Bread.”

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

Pasta with a Watercress and Tofu Sauce + Saut√©ed Mushrooms.

Went to the local market last weekend and bought bunches of fresh watercress, some beautiful mustard greens and a selection of fresh mushrooms.

Simple good quality ingredients need simple cooking.  Which is how this dish came about.


pasta with a tofu and watercress sauce + sautéed mushrooms



for 2

Continue reading “Pasta with a Watercress and Tofu Sauce + Saut√©ed Mushrooms.”

Cakes, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Jamaican Ginger Cake.

I like sweet things to have more about them than just¬†sweetness. ¬†¬†Just a¬†little bit of complexity and depth of flavour. ¬†Either a citrusy ¬†tang, or a spicy warmth. ¬†A fruity sharpness or flavours that contrast in some way…and accompanied by a¬†fragrant aroma.

Not too much too ask, surely ?

This is a cake that’s spicy, warming, moist, and with a wonderful tang that you only get with blackstrap molasses.

Now blackstrap molasses is good stuff. ¬†Bizarrely, it’s what’s left after they’ve made refined sugar… it’s the bit that contains the vitamins and minerals, particularly magnesium, and iron (which is why some suggest it’s good for PMS).

So what more excuses are needed to make this easy, simple, sweet treat recipe?

Well, ….this cake stores very well, gets stickier over time, and, for one of those¬†particularly decadent moments, is great warm, with a dollop of cream: either whipped coconut cream or pourable oat-cream or soy-cream.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get on with it ūüôā


jamaican ginger cake – good with spiced tea, chai or coffee…


Ingredients: ¬† Continue reading “Jamaican Ginger Cake.”

Bread, Vegan, Vegan Snacks

Spelt, Oatmeal and Black Seed Savoury Biscuits.

Black Seed, also known as Nigella Sativa are quite possibly little gems of goodness.

…try googling it…it’s surprising what you find…

Thought I’d try using them in these simple spelt and oatmeal biscuits, which are a good, robust, little biscuit to go¬†with vegan cheeses and sharp fruity chutneys and jellies.

Simple enough to make, and they store very well in an airtight container.

spelt and oatmeal savoury biscuits


makes 24-30

Ingredients: ¬†¬† Continue reading “Spelt, Oatmeal and Black Seed Savoury Biscuits.”

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 ! ūüôā

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.”

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)”