Category Archives: Vegan

Spinach, herb and bulgur salad…

This salad is packed full of flavour and goodness…to make this I chopped fresh spinach and coriander in a blender, added fresh garlic, spices, pomegranate molasses and olive oil. I think stirred it through freshly cooked bulgur wheat, cooked my way.

This was great eaten with some roasted tomatoes and some of my white bean, buttermilk and tahini sauce from my previous post 💚

Roasted cashew and marmite nut butter..

Having recently fallen in love with marmite peanut butter and used it in some recipes, I decided to see what I could create of my own version.

Please note: Making nut butters requires a sturdy food processor as it can take some time for the nuts to ‘give’ and become a paste. It’s easy for motors to get burnt out!

For this concoction, I roasted some cashew nuts myself, then kept a portion back to be able to add them later and keep some crunch in the mixture. I also needed to add some oil to loosen the mix so I used a relatively flavourless rapeseed oil.

Be warned if you do make this, it’s very tasty!!! And very easy to eat 😄😄😄😄

Ingredients

400g roasted cashew nuts

Marmite

Rapeseed oil

Method

In a blender, start blending 300g of the nuts. It will take quite a while before it starts to become a paste, 5-10 minutes. Add 2-3 teaspoons of marmite once then nuts do become a paste, the amount will depend on your tastes.

You may find that the added marmite stiffens the mixture, so this is when to drizzle in some oil to loosen it again.

Next add the remaining nuts and blend briefly to create a crunchy finish.

If you prefer a smooth paste, add all of the nuts at the beginning.

Use as you would marmite peanut butter, or any nut butter or spread.

I did the same with some roasted hazelnuts…which worked equally well!

Enjoy!

Lunch in the pan…

This was one of those creations that was driven by what I had in the fridge, and the desire for a big lunch packed with fresh vegetables…

This is my typical meal: a pan, a splash of olive oil, and lots of vegetables!

This one includes lots of chopped up courgette/zucchini, garlic, spinach, and aubergine, with a couple of spoon fulls of my homemade harissa sauce stirred through it.

Over the top I drizzled tahini and a few handfuls of toasted pumpkin seeds for the added protein, good oils and crunch! A whole huge pan of goodness!

Lunch is served!

Aubergine, coconut milk and marmite peanut butter ‘curry’…

This dish was one of those creations that starts off in one direction then takes on another, which is why I probably can’t really call it a ‘curry’, although that was the base. The addition of the marmite peanut butter (yes it’s a thing, and it’s SOOOOOO GOOD!) added a perfect extra flavour and texture to the dish at the end of cooking. If you don’t have access to this product, use standard peanut butter and add some marmite or an alternative umami flavouring that you like, or just the peanut butter.

I pre cooked the aubergines to ensure that they were fully cooked and as meltingly soft as they should be – in my view, very few things are worse than uncooked chunks of aubergine in a dish!

Ingredients

3 small aubergines, roasted whole (below)

12 baby plum tomatoes

1 small red onion peeled and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons of tomato purée

200-300ml thin coconut milk

2-3 heaped tablespoons marmite peanut butter

2 tsp brown mustard seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp chilli powder

Option: I also added some leftover whole roasted garlic cloves that I had previously roasted.

Method

To roast the aubergines, prick the skins in several places, place them on an oven tray and roast at 200C/400F until they soften and collapse. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In a large pan, heat some oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and mustard seeds to the pan and cook until the onion softens. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, add the cumin seeds and chilli powder and cook briefly.

Add the tomato purée and coconut milk. Stir well and cook for a few minutes.

Roughly chop the aubergines and add them and the whole tomatoes to the pan, add the peanut butter and keep stirring as the heat allows it to soften and spread through the mixture. This is when the sauce will thicken up and the real flavour will develop.

Turn the heat down and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve immediately with rice or grains, or allow it to sit for several hours or days to develop flavour.

Roasted cauliflower curry…

This dish was a result of opening my spice cupboards, breathing in the aromas, and going with my instincts to create a dish I knew I would enjoy. It’s been a while since I played with my Spice Kitchen masala dabba spice tin, and it was a joy to revisit it..

Ingredients

Small/medium cauliflower, cut into even florets

500g passata/sieved tomatoes

Medium red onion, peeled and chopped

3 fat garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato purée

2 healed tablespoons of ground almonds/almond flour

2 tsp brown mustard seeds

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground roasted cumin seeds

2 tsp Garam masala spice mix

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground chilli powder or to taste

Options: add vegetables of your choice, chunks of boiled potatoes can add some substance if necessary

Method

Heat your oven to 200C/400F, spread the cauliflower florets on a large oven tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until browned and softened without cooked so much that it’s falling apart. Keep to one side until needed.

In a large pan over a medium heat, warm some rapeseed oil, or oil of your choice, briefly. Add the mustard seeds, when they start to pop, add the chopped red onion. Cook for a few minutes until it starts to soften.

Add the chopped garlic, cook for a 1-2 minutes.

Add all of the spices except the the Garam masala and cook together for 1-2 minutes without burning the spices. Add the passata and tomato purée and stir well. Swish out the passata container with 100-200ml of water and add that to the pan. Stir it all well.

Turn the heat down, cover to save on splattering, and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the Garam masala and stir through, then add the ground almonds, stir through and cook for a further 5-10 minutes to thicken. Cook for longer for a thicker sauce, less for thinner.

Add the cauliflower florets and cover them all with the sauce and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Turn the heat off, cover the pan and allow the flavours to develop for several hours, or a couple of days even, before heating and serving.

Eat on it’s own as a complete dish, or with rice, grains or lovely flatbreads.

Protein balls…

These little moreish balls of protein packed goodness were made from a collection of things from my cupboard to provide some quick nutritious snacks for my sportsmen…

I’m afraid I didn’t weigh anything but as a guide the greatest quantity was made up of oats, followed by milled flaxseeds, chopped roasted hazelnuts, roasted mixed seeds and cacao nibs, with a good portion of honey and lots of peanut butter.

I mixed it all up as thoroughly as possible in the biggest bowl I have, then place it in the fridge for an hour.

After the hour it was all firmer and starting to stick together; I rolled small handfuls of it into little balls, pushing them together as firmly as possible.

If it felt some of the mix was a bit dry, I added in some more peanut butter and kept making little rounds.

They’re so tasty, very moreish in fact! And great snacks for before or after sport. They need to stay in the fridge to hold their shape.

Throw in whatever you fancy and get rolling 🙂

Happy snacking!

Going green…

Once again, I put another random mix of ingredients in the blender to see what it would create!

This was raw courgette, spinach, fresh flat leaf parsley, fresh coriander, wild garlic leaves and garlic cloves, olive oil, peas, preserved lemons, ground cumin, coriander and caraway seeds, paprika powder, salt and pepper.

It was good as a dip, and even better when mixed with some leftover cooked grains later in the week. And then I took them and added some to some sourdough dough and baked it into a filled roll. Leftovers are the best!

For the sourdough details visit my site, otherwise have fun blending up whatever greenery you find.

Happy weekend!

My spinach dip of joy…

This is something I’ve been whizzing up weekly recently, it’s tasty, and healthy, and wonderfully simple to make! I eat it as a dip, as a topping over cooked grains, on bread alongside freshly made homous (as above), or just by the spoonful!

All I do is blend up a couple of peeled garlic cloves, with lots and lots and lots of baby spinach leaves, and I mean lots!

I then add olive oil, ground toasted cumin, salt and pepper, and pomegranate molasses.

I also throw in different things on occasion depending on what I’ve got in the fridge: sometimes I add spring onions, sometimes wild garlic leaves, sometimes flat leaf parsley. And sometimes I add Aleppo chilli flakes.

It takes several refills of my small bowl blender to get through all of the spinach, but it’s worth it. Plus it keeps in the fridge all week, if it lasts that long!

Enjoy!

Happy New Year!!!

I have sadly neglected my lovely blog, but I have been cooking as much as I ever, I just need to get back to posting my dishes!

Our Christmas meal was a feast of my favourite Middle Eastern inspired dishes, below, including my most favourite cauliflower and chickpea dish and lots of dips!!! It was so good! Served with roasted vegetables and crunchy roast potatoes….very happy tummies!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and wishing you all wonderful New Year 🙂

I did plan to have some leftovers but I ate SOOOOO much of the cauliflower and chickpeas there wasn’t much left at all…

Sourdough breadsticks…

Over on my sourdough blog today…sourdough breadsticks…pop over if you fancy checking them out…

I’ll be sharing these at this week’s Fiesta Friday and hope there’s enough to go round…