Dinosaur Kale Mac and Cheese

Because dinosaurs are cool.

Chili and Lime Black Bean Burger

The perfect vegan burger!

Beer Battered Halloumi

Nom, nom, nom.

Ginger and Chili Tofu

Crispy delicious tofu that's easy to make... say what?

Chocolate Cake Balls

Cakes, but not as you know them.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Cheese and Mustard Pretzels with Cider Dip

After seeing the soft pretzel recipe on Flourtraders blog, I was struck down with food envy. It reminded me of having massive cheese pretzels in America and I suddenly had a craving for them. Carrying on my love of mustard, I couldn't resist the addition to the savory pretzel and thought it would be perfect with cheese as well. I also really wanted to somehow get cider in there, but decided it might end in disaster so came up with the cheese and cider dip. This was one of those recipes where you just add some ingredients that you think might work and hope for the best, luckily they came out soft, doughy and tasty! 

Cheesy pretzel with cider dip 

For 8 pretzels:

450g plain white flour
150g wholemeal flour
100g butter
150g grated cheese
2 tbsp mustard
A cup of water
100 sugar
1 tsp sugar
1tsp salt
beaten egg
extra grated cheese for topping

For cheese and cider dip:

100ml vegetarian dry cider 
100g cheddar cheese
1 tbsp flour

Pretzel dough awaiting the oven (and cheese)

  1. Start by combining the yeast with a tsp of sugar and 3 tbsp of warm water and leaving for ten minutes.
  2. Cream together the butter, mustard and cheese.
  3. Mix the flours, sugar, salt, and butter mixture together with your finger tips to make bread crumbs.
  4. Make a well and pout the yeast mixture in, then mix together. Keep adding small amounts of water and mixing until it forms a firm dough.
  5. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, then put in an oiled bowl covered in cling film to rise in a warm place for an hour.
  6. When risen, chop into 8 equal pieces and roll in to very long thin pieces.
  7. Fold them into a pretzel shapes, brush with egg, top with cheese and bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes.
  8. Make up the dip by boiling the cider for 3 minutes, then mixing in the cheese and flour until it forms a smooth dip.
  9. Serve the pretzels straight from the oven with the warm dip.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Leek and Mustard Toad in the Hole

The first meal my boyfriend and I ever cooked together was toad in the hole (aww) and it's been our go to meal ever since. This time I thought I'd try something a bit different and as I am a full on mustard addict, I had to fit in in somewhere. So I ended up with this, the leeks and mustard go really well together and bring something a bit more exciting to the good old toad in the hole.

For 4 you'll need:
Olive oil
8 vegetarian sausages (I use cauldron)
2 leeks chopped
1 egg
100g flour
250ml milk
2 tsp whole grain mustard
Some veg to serve (and mash if you can handle it)

Like so...
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Get a large dish (big enough for 8 sausages) or a few small ones and pour enough olive oil in to cover the bottom, then scatter the chopped leeks over. 
  2. Pop the sausages on top and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  3. While they're roasting, make the batter by mixing the flour, egg, milk and mustard together in a large bowl.
  4. After 20 minutes, pour the batter around the sausages and return to the oven.
  5. Cook for 40 minutes, until lovely and crisp on top. 
  6. Serve with vegetables of your choice and enjoy! 

I Shouldn't be allowed to serve food, it ends up looking like this.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Ultimate S'more

I love a good BBQ (weather permitting) but there's been something missing recently. The toasted marshmallows. Fire somehow makes them about 100% better, the crisp caramelised shell containing a hot gooey mess. Delicious! 
When I brought a pack of sweet vegan marshmallows, they only had to fulfill one criteria, to toast well. So what better recipe to try it out with than the s'more! I've had them on my brain ever since the marshmallows came through the post and so I finally put them to the test. My verdict? Perfect, they crisped up so well on the outside and brought back lovely BBQ memories.

What you need:
Cookies - you can make these with the cookie dough recipe here (just leave out the oreo unless you want a really indulgent s'more!) or buy them if you're feeling lazy!
4 vegetarian marshmallows
4 chunks of your favourite chocolate
Maybe some strawberries if you feel like adding a tiny health factor (I didn't)

  1. Place your one of your cookies so the top is facing down.
  2. Toast your marshmallows on the BBQ, a gas ring on a cooker or campfire and place them on top of your cookie.
  3. Fill the gaps with chocolate chunks (and strawberries if you want) then sandwich with another cookie.
  4. Pop in the microwave for 10 seconds to melt the chocolate a bit.
  5. Fatty on down

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Pad Thai Noodles

I said in the tofu thai green curry post that you may have some paste left over, well this is the perfect recipe to use it with (especially if you also have tofu left over). I first found it in Cook Vegetarian magazine, and luckily it's now been posted online. It is definitely my favourite recipe of theirs, it's so easy to make and full of flavour. It was also the first recipe I made with tofu that actually worked, so it holds a special place in my heart. So here it is, I promise it is the best stir fry you will ever try!

P.s I did take a picture of my pad thai noodles, but it pales in comparison to Cook Vegetarian's so I couldn't bare to put it on!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Victoria Sponge Cake Balls

After the lovely Delicious Magazine posted this competition to see what we could do with their world beating Victoria sponge recipe, I decided to get my thinking cap on. I'm a huge fan of a good old sponge, but I thought I'd try something new and came up with these. Victoria sponge cake balls filled with raspberry jam, they're quite simple to make and make a change from the classic cake! Why not give them a try:

Follow the world beating Victoria sponge recipe to make your sponges, once cooled break the cake up into a bowl and crumble up into a bread crumb consistency (I find it easier to do with my hands).

Yummy cake crumbs
Then make up some butter cream icing by creaming together 100g butter, 200g icing sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract, spoon it in to the cakey bread crumbs and mix it in really well (again, I like to do this with my hands). Then pick up a small amount of mixture and roll it in to a ball, make a little hole in the middle and fill with raspberry jam. Take some more mixture to cover the hole and then keep cupping the cake until it forms a ball.

Fill the cake ball like so...

Place the balls on a grease proof lined tray and place in the fridge for a few hours to set. When ready roll the balls in icing sugar and enjoy!

Wish me luck :)

Monday, 15 August 2011

Goody Good Stuff Review & Giveaway

I can’t say enough good words about Goody Good Stuff! The all-natural sweet company has brought out 8 delicious sweet varieties that have the lovely gummy texture with out the nasty gelatine. Not only do they only use natural flavours and colours they are also meat, egg, fat, nut and gluten free so they are suitable for loads of different diets. You can currently buy them online and in most Holland and Barrett stores and two of the vegan varieties, Sour Fruit Salad and Summer Peaches are going to be available in Waitrose from 28th August.

Sour fruit salad:

The sour fruit salad does what its says on the tin, deliciously sour with an intense burst of fruit. You can really taste the natural flavours coming through. My favourites in the pack have to be the lemon ones, they taste like chewy lemon sherbets :) 

Summer Peaches:

These are so soft and sweet with the soft sugary coating, they are the prefect summery treat. The peachy taste really takes me back to my childhood and I have to say out of all the Goody Good Stuff range, these have to be my favourite!

You can find more info here: www.GoodyGoodStuff.com

(Vegetarian varieties: Strawberry Cream, Cheery Cherries, Tropical Fruit, Koala Gummy Bears. Vegan Varieties: Cola BreezeSummer Peaches, Sour Mix & Match, Sour Fruit Salad)

If you’re not already convinced, Goody Good Stuff have sent me two lovely hampers to give away (one veggie, one vegan), so why not enter for the chance to to win one of them!

To enter all you need to do is subscribe to my blog by e-mail, which can be done by clicking on the link on the top right of this page. Then leave a comment underneath this post to say that you’ve done so, along with your twitter username or full name so that I can contact you if you win!

For a second chance to win, you can also like my Facebook page and leave a comment underneath this post letting me know with your twitter username or full name again!

Please also put if you’d like to enter for the vegan hamper or the vegetarian one!

The competition will end on 28th August 2011 at midnight and the winners will be announced on Tuesday 30th August 2011.

The winner will be chosen by random.org. It’s only open to people in the UK I’m afraid!

Good Luck :)

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Blackberry and Pear Crumble

At the start of this week my dad gave me tones of pears and then today we went out blackberry picking, so I thought it would only be right to make a good old fashioned British crumble. There are so many blackberries at the moment and I swear they just pop up everywhere, so get yourself foraging! The pecans in the crumble mixture make it lovely and crunchy and with the sharp blackberries and subtle pears it makes a perfectly summery crumble! 

Makes a lot of crumble:

800g pears pealed and chopped into large chunks
1 medium cooking apple pealed and chopped into large chunks
100g caster sugar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon 
300g blackberries
125g butter
250g flour
125g light brown sugar 
85g pecans (blitzed in a food processor, or smashed with a rolling pin)

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Pop the apple and pear chunks into a pan and cover with the lemon juice and sugar, cook on a low heat for around 10 mins until the juices have been extracted.
  3. Add the blackberries and bring to the boil for a few mins until everything has turned a lovely purple colour.
  4. Pour the fruit in to a large dish or a few small ones.
  5. Make the crumble by rubbing the butter and flour between your fingers to make a breadcrumb texture, then fold in the sugar and pecans.
  6. Spread the crumble mixture over the fruit and then bake in the oven for around 20 minutes if making small ones and up to 40 minutes if you're making one large one (either way, until it's golden brown on top).
  7. Serve with custard, cream or ice cream and enjoy!
To make a vegan version substitute butter with vegan margarine (such as pure) and serve with some lovely vegan custard. 

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Pink Olive - Milton Keynes

So, I'm 22 years of age and obsessed with food, but would you believe that a few weeks ago was the first time I had ever eaten at a Thai resturant! I know!? As I said before Milton Keynes doesn’t exactly get your foodies juices flowing, but there are a few good restaurants out there and this week I discovered there's one about 5 minutes away from my house!
Oxley Park may not seem like the most happening place in MK, but The Pink Olive (formerly known as Papaya) seems to be doing extremely well there. We found this out when we arrived without a booking to find that it was pretty much fully booked. They still managed to fit us in though, which isn’t surprising as the staff went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect.

We started off with a plate of mixed starters and as I’m veggie, I got one to myself (hoorah), which consisted spring rolls and sweet corn fritters. With 3 plates between 5 of us the portions were very generous and the sweet corn fritters made a perfectly light (and not to mention delicious) start to the meal.

For the main I had green tofu thai green curry, which again was a very generous portion! I’m a big fan of tofu, and I love having it cooked for me because it’s always so much better than when I try myself. This was no exception, it was lovely and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside while soaking up the spicy flavours of the coconut sauce.

All in all I would recommend it to everyone, my family enjoyed the meat dishes and I was surprised to see so many vegetarian dished on the menu rather than the standard 3 or 4 (usually containing mushrooms). You can find the menu here

I loved the tofu curry so much; I’ve decided to attempt one myself tonight! The post should be up some time next week.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Chocolate Shortbread Sandwiches

As promised here’s the recipe for the chocolate shortbread sandwiches that I took to Vegan Pot Luck IV. My first attempt at making chocolate spread/hazelnut praline failed miserably! I tried roasting my own hazelnuts which came out burnt and ruined the whole thing, so on the second attempt I brought ready roasted which worked a lot better! These are great little vegan treats because the praline is so smooth and chocolately you would never know it was dairy free!

Makes 26 mini shortbread

Chocolate spread/praline:
100g chopped and roasted hazelnuts
70g icing sugar
20g cocoa powder
a few drops of vanilla essence

Chocolate shortbread:
200g flour
10g cocoa powder
150g vegan spread (I used Pure soya)
70g unrefined caster sugar

Make the chocolate spread first so it has time to set in the fridge. Put the nuts into a food processor and blend until it becomes a liquidy consistency, it does take some time but just keep going as the heat from the blades with help to melt the nut butter. When it looks spreadable (remember it will become less fluid once it cools) add the cocoa powder, icing sugar and vanilla essence and blend again until well mixed. Pour the mixture in to a tupperware container and leave in the fridge to cool.

Then make the short bread by creaming together the butter and sugar until soft, add the flour and cocoa powder and mix well to form a dough (I like to do this with my hands! It’s much easier). Roll out on to a floured surface and cut out with a mini cookie cutter or small cup and bake in the oven for 10 minutes then leave to cool on a wire rack.

Once cooled, spread the shortbread with the chocolate spread and sandwich together! Sprinkle with some more sugar and enjoy! 

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Emma's Raw Apple Pie

The time has come for my first ever guest post! My lovely vegan friend Emma made a raw apple pie for this months vegan pot luck and I thought it would only be fair to share it with you. I'd heard a lot about how amazing this pie was so I was very excited to try it! It lived up to all my expectations, the flavours are better than any non vegan and cooked apple pies I've tried! Over to Emma:

This apple pie is great as it contains no sugar and is really healthy, as well as being a real treat.After reading so many different recipes online I decided to just make it up myself. I have discovered it is very popular with everyone, vegan, raw or carnivore!

Raw Apple Pie! 

Serves 4-6

350g dates
100g almonds, ground.
100g brazil nuts
8 apples
1 lemon


Put 250g of dates, brazil nuts (you can use any nuts) and almost all of your almonds into a food processor and blend.
The mixture should become a ball and not be too sticky, just add more almonds if it is.
Sprinkle the rest of the almonds thinly in your pie dish to stop the crust sticking.
Press the mixture into the dish tightly and evenly.
Put into the fridge while you prepare the filing.

Lovely Crust!


Peel and core 2 apples and slice thinly.
Place in the juice of 1/2 a lemon and set aside.


Start by peeling, coring and chopping 4 of the apples and placing them in a food processor along with the rest of your dates.
Originally I was only going to use dates in the crust but I wanted my filling to be thicker.
Add the juice of 1/2 lemon and a generous teaspoon of cinnamon.
Blend thoroughly.
Peel, core and chop 2 more of your apples and blend until chopped into small pieces, do not overdo it.
Mix the two together.
Spread the filling evenly over your crust.

Decorate with the sliced apple and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Put in the fridge for an hour to set.


Friday, 5 August 2011

Vegan Pot Luck IV

After the success of last months pot luck there was no question that Emma and I wanted to go again to sample some more vegan delights. It was held in the Ms.Cupcake shop again, which means you can also browse their amazing range of cupcakes and other goodies. I really wanted to make something savoury this time, but the baking impulse in me took over and I ended up making chocolate shortbread sandwiches and Emma made a raw apple pie (I will post them both soon!). We were only twenty minutes late this time and it's lucky we were because the food went a lot quicker! Again, there was loads on offer including vegan pizza, corn dogs, banana bread, brownies and the wheaty dish from SSOV. Obviously I'm not vegan, but I do make a lot of vegan dishes and I find the potluck is great for inspiration for dishes without dairy. And of course I'd recommend it to any vegans in London who want to try new food and meet other like-minded people. Here are some (not very good quality, sorry) pictures :) 

lovely savoury dishes 
A bad picture of the sweet table, sorry! 
My dish at the potluck

You can read more about it and see better pictures on Fat Gay Vegan's blog here! Unfortunately he was on holiday this month so wasn't hosting the pot luck, but the ladies in charge did a fabulous job in his absence! 

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Veggie Percy Pigs

As I've said before, in the last 7 years of my vegetarianism I have been on a quest to find nice veggie sweets! When Goody Good Stuff launched their range I was finally satisfied and gave up the search. But this week Marks and Spencers launched the geletine free Veggie Percy Pig, and obviously I was dying to try them.

The appearance is exactly the same, except for the green ear, which is great as it gives you peace of mind that a non veggie one hasn't slipped in to the pack. From what I can remember of Percy Pigs (I probably haven't had them in at least 10 years) they taste the same, and the texture is the perfectly chewy for a sweet with out geletine. Overall I am very impressed and the fact that they are so readily available is amazing! Hopefully they bring out more in the future (I'm looking at you Colin the Caterpillar).

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Gourmet 'Meatball' Sandwich

I was flicking through Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals book the other day looking for something veggie for my boyfriend to cook me (he promised about 6 months ago!) and came across something very unveggie, but something I really wanted. Yes, the mighty meatball sandwich was calling my name and it became ingrained in my thoughts, until I finally made it this week. I still had some Redwood's gourmet meatballs left and decided it would have to have marinara sauce, cheese and jalapenos and to top it all off  it had to be contained in Tesco's salt and pepper baguette i.e BEST BREAD EVER! So here it is:

Serves 1:

3 meat free meatballs
Olive oil
1/2 a small onion chopped
1 small garlic clove crushed
1/2 tin tomatoes
A pinch of sugar and salt
a few handfuls of basil
1/4 salt and pepper baguette from Tesco
a few slices of emmental
some jalapenos (optional)

Start by cooking the meat balls according to the instructions on the pack (10 mins in the oven). While they're cooking make the sauce by softening the onions and garlic in a pan on a medium heat, then pop all the other ingredients in to a food processor (if you don't have you you can have it chunky) and leave to simmer and reduce. Remove the meatballs, chop in half and add to the sauce for a few minutes. Slice the baguette length ways, put the sauce and meatballs in and top with the cheese and jalapenos. Pop in to the oven for 5 minutes so the cheese is lovely and melty, plate up and enjoy!

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