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.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Smoky Butter Bean Burger with 'Pulled Pork' and Beer Braised Onions

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a BBQ last weekend and this is the beast of a burger I had. With a home made butter bean and smoked cheese burger, vegan pulled pork made from jack fruit and beer braised onions. It's not pretty, but it tasted blooming good and like they say, it's what's on the inside (of the buns) that counts. I've made vegan pulled pork before (the recipe is here) and this time I put a lot more love and a lot less ingredients in it and it was even better the second time around. If you want something that's a bit more (wo)man vs food rather than a tiny fake meat burger, this is for you. 

Makes 2 burgers

For the pulled pork:

1 can of jackfruit (I buy mine from a local asian shop)
1 bottle of vegetarian BBQ marinade
Yep that's really it

For the butter bean burgers:

1 large can of butter beans
1/2 a small white onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
25g smoked vegetarian cheddar, grated
1/2 a slice of bread turned in to breadcrumbs
A bun to serve it in

For the beer braised onions:

A large knob of butter
1 small white onion sliced
300ml vegetarian beer
  1. Start by preparing your jackfruit, chop off all of the hard bits and the seedy bits and discard, then pop the stringy bits in to an ovenproof dish, coat in the BBQ sauce and pop in to fridge overnight to marinade.  
  2. When you get up in the morning, pop your jackfruit either in to a slow cooker, or in to an actual cooker (covered in foil) for around 6 hours.
  3. At around the 5 hour mark you can start making your burgers, basically just put all of the ingredients in to a bowl and mash with a fork until well combined. 
  4. Use your hands to shape in to a burger shape, then put on to a lightly greased baking tray and pop them in to the oven for 20-30 minutes. 
  5. While the burgers are cooking, make the onions by melting the butter in a frying pan, stick the onions in and fry them on a low heat until softened. 
  6. Then cover the onions in beer and leave to simmer for around 20 minutes, until all of the beer has been absorbed. 
  7. All of your burger components should be ready, so assemble any way you wish and enjoy! 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Quinoa Stuffed Courgette

This recipe came about because I was feeling way too lazy to go to the shops after work, so it's pretty much made out of ingredients I happened to have in a fridge and cupboard at the time. My fridge is usually full of random odds and ends of vegetables and my cupboard is literally brimming with about 20 different types of rice, pastas and grains. So I stuck the odds and ends together, mixed them with some quinoa and stuffed it in to a courgette I had left over from my veg box, which actually made a really lovely hearty dinner. Perfect for a hot summer (lazy) day. 

Serves 2:

25g quinoa
500ml water
1/2 tsp vegetable bullion
2 medium courgettes
A glug of olive oil
1 small white onion chopped
1 clove of garlic minced
1/2 a green pepper chopped in to little bits
1/2 a tomato chopped in to little bits
25g grated vegetarian cheddar (I used smoked cheddar because I had some left over from my bean burgers)

  1. Boil the water in a sauce pan and add the bullion and the quiona and boil for 20 minutes. 
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, slice the courgettes in half lengthways, scoop out the soft insides and pop on to a baking tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle a bit of salt over them and pop them in to a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes. 
  3. Stick the onion and garlic in to a frying pan with a little oil and cook on a low heat until softened, then add the pepper and tomato and fry for around 10 minutes. 
  4. Remove the courgettes from the oven and pop to one side. 
  5. Drain the quinoa and add it to the vegetables and mix up well. 
  6. Spoon the mixture in to the courgettes, then top with the grated cheddar and pop in to the oven for 20 minutes. 
  7. When they're lovely and golden brown and bubbling on top, remove from the oven, serve them up with some season veg on the side and enjoy! 


Sometimes its hard being a vegetarian at a BBQ, I always feel like a bit of a burden and am usually faced with the 'but it's okay if I put your totally meat free burger on the BBQ and cover it with meat juices isn't it?' dilemma. Well, this week I had a BBQ at my house and I (hopefully) wasn't a burden to anyone but myself. And I was only a burden to myself because I have really poor time management skills and spent too much time playing with dogs and not enough time making food. Anyway, in the time I did spend making food I made smoky butter bean burgers, with vegan pulled pork and beer braised onions, halloumi kebabs, minted, honey and mustard potato salad and a ginger and cranberry cocktail. 

The burger was immense. I've made vegan pulled pork before, but this time I put a lot more love and care in to it an it turned out great. I will post the recipe for it sometime this week (hopefully, again my time management is pretty poor).

These halloumi kebabs have been a BBQ staple made by my mum ever since I turned vegetarian, it wouldn't feel right without them! I brought some handmade halloumi which I'm pretty sure I brought from Ashridge Delicious, you literally just stick it on a skewer with some vegetables of your choice, grill and eat.

A BBQ wouldn't be a BBQ without a potato salad, so I whipped up this one with the new potatoes from my Able and Cole veg box and also used their recipe for minted honey mustard potato salad. I love it, probably because mustard is one of my favourite things ever (especially when eaten straight from the jar!)

And last but not least a cocktail. I probably drink alcohol around once a month, maybe even less, but I am a sucker for a yummy cocktail every now and again. I was sent some Kings Ginger Liqueur along with this recipe, so I had to try it out. It's super yummy, refreshing and perfect for the summer.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Chilli and Garlic Bubble and Squeak Cakes

This week I got cabbage in my veg box, I really like cabbage, but it's not very inspiring. So I couldn't really decide what to do with it. I asked a few people at work and the results were to put it in mashed potato or stir fry it with chili and garlic. I really wanted both of these things, so I decided to combine them together and make bubble and squeak cakes with chilli and garlic. My brother was hanging around the kitchen while I was making them, telling me how disgusting they sounded, (this is the usual reaction to whatever I'm cooking) but then decided that he actually wanted some too after smelling them cooking. So we both had them on a bed of wilted spinach, topped with hollandaise sauce and a poached egg. This is my new favourite dinner. I've had it twice this week and already want to make it again!

Serves 2:

300g new potatoes
A small knob of butter
100g cabbage, shredded
1 small chili
1 small clove of garlic
A little bit of flour for dusting
Spinach, a poached egg and hollandaise to serve

  1. Wash your new potatoes, them pop them in to a pan with boiling water and leave to boil for 20 minutes. 
  2. Melt the butter in a separate pan, then add the cabbage, chili and garlic and stir fry on a medium heat for around 10 minutes.
  3. When the potatoes are lovely and soft, drain off all of the water and mash up the potatoes, add the cooked cabbage mixture and mix up well. 
  4. Leave the mixture to cool, until its cool enough to handle then mold them in to 4 burger shapes and pop on to a floured plate. 
  5. You can now either pop them in to the oven on a low heat while you prepare your toppings, or stick them straight in to a frying pan with hot oil and fry until golden brown on each side. 
  6. Serve with spinach, poached egg and hollandaise sauce, or whatever else you fancy.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Vegan Cherry Bakewell Tarts

Last week one of my recipes was in the Guardian. I was very, very excited about it. So excited that I got up ridiculously early and was quite possibly the first person in the shop in the morning to buy it. Not only was it super awesome that my recipe was in it, but it also had loads of other awesome vegan recipes in it. Including this recipe for vanilla cupcakes, which I was dying to try out. There's a few vegans at work and I wanted to make them something yummy, but we also have a nut free girl at work so I decided to make almond and dairy free cherry bakewell tarts. The sponge recipe is incredible and especially yummy with proper cherry jam and pastry. They went down well with vegans and non vegans alike and are perfect for a little summer treat!

For 24 you will need:

A little bit of vegan marg
All of the ingredients for the vanilla cupcakes
1 pack of vegan shortcrust pastry
a jar of cherry jam
100g icing sugar
12 glace cherries chopped in half

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and prepare 2 cupcake tins by greasing them with vegan margarine.
  2. Roll out the pastry and use a cutter a little bigger than the cake tin holes to cut out 24 circles, then press them in to the cake tin holes.  
  3. Put a teaspoon of cherry jam in to each case and pop to one side.
  4. Make up the vanilla cupcake mixture, then pop 1-2 teaspoons for the mixture on top of the jam in the pastry cases. 
  5. Pop them in to the oven for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown and springy to the touch, then remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. 
  6. Once cool, add a little water to the icing sugar and ice all of the tarts, topping them all with half a cherry. 
  7. And enjoy! 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Summer Baking

I swear the weather is never nice on my days off, it will be sunny all week and then when I have a day off, bam, it's raining. It's just not fair! This week was no exception! I am forever optimistic, so even though it was pouring down on the Tuesday, I still managed to fit in some summer baking in anticipation of a beautiful summer picnic on the Wednesday. I checked out some delicious picnic recipes and decided to make some caramelised onion and feta tarts (what's more summery than a lovely tart!) and some good old scones, I made some simple buttermilk scones and there are more scone recipes at bakingmad.com

Unfortunately Wednesday wasn't as optimistic as me and the weather didn't turn out too well. None the less, I decided not to let it dampen my spirits and enjoy my picnic from the comfort of my own home, with my glamourous assistant mike. A homemade picnic is the best kind of picnic and I can't wait to have a day off in the sun and bake even more picnic goodies! 

If you're feeling bad for my lack of sunshine, don't worry too much, the weather was nice enough for me to take Monty (my mum's friends tiny baby pug) out for a walk.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

High Tea, The Bedruthan Steps Hotel

The worst part of a holiday is having to leave, after a week of relaxing, body boarding, cliff walking and a lot of sleeping, returning to reality seriously sucks. So to make the most of the last day of our holiday, Mr Hef and I didn't actually go home (we went to Devon to see his family instead) and went for an epic walk along the cliffs to Bedruthan Steps and then back to Mawgan Porth for a High Tea at the Bedruthan Steps Hotel.

It really was the perfect end to a perfect holiday, Bedruthan Steps is absolutely breath taking and absolutely worth nearly getting blown off the top of a cliff to see. And the high tea at the Bedruthan Steps Hotel was incredible, you get a selection of sandwiches (both Mr hef and I went for Davistowe cheddar and Red Stuff chutney) and cakes (Mr Hef had a fruit tart and I had a lemon meringue tart as well as some kind of yummy fruit and pistachio sponge) and of course a fresh warm scone with clotted cream and jam. It was just beautiful!

If you're ever in this area of Cornwall, I highly recommend checking out both of them!

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