lemon-drizzle-blackberry-cupcakes

Recipe: Lemon Drizzle & Blackberry Cupcakes (Vegan)

Hands up if you’ve been blackberrying recently? We’ve found a top-secret spot with the biggest, juiciest berries you can imagine, and have been picking, baking, smoothie-making and freezing them for a few weeks now.

Inspired by week 1 of the Great British Bake Off, (I know, I”m a bit slow off the mark on this one), here are some tart and juicy Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes, served with a swirl of lemon buttercream and topped with blackberries.  (Oh, and they’re vegan too, not that you would guess from tasting them!).

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roasted-tomato-arrabbiata-sauce

Recipe: Roasted Tomato Arrabbiata Sauce

Hello again! Its been quite a while since my last post, apologies – but its for a very exciting reason that I can’t share with you just yet, (but will spill the beans soon, I promise).

What a lovely, sunny summer it has been, (though I type in the middle of a thunderstorm and torrential rain!).  All that sunshine has infused home-grown tomatoes with the sweetest of flavours this year, reminding us what tomatoes are supposed to taste like, (rather than the plastic-wrapped excuses for tomatoes we buy in supermarkets in December).

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Fig & Strawberry Jam

Recipe: Fig & Strawberry Jam

One of the great things about fruit and veg ‘glut’ seasons is that even if you don’t have a garden or allotment of your own, you can often take advantage of the abundant crops via the overflowing bargain aisles at your local supermarket.

I don’t usually shop on a Sunday but popped to our local Co-op for a few essentials, and found these gorgeous looking strawberries and figs reduced for quick sale to under a pound a punnet.  Too good to miss, and I was in need of jam for some Wimbledon-watching scones.

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Broad Bean & Fennel Pilaff

Recipe: Broad Bean, Fennel & Baby Carrot Pilaf

20 Min Meals | Vegetarian & VeganThis is one of those ‘what have I got in the fridge’ recipes which turned out far better than I expected.  I thought it would be simply a filling and quick vehicle for some great seasonal vegetables, on the table in fifteen minutes with leftovers for lunch.

But in fact it was better than that – fairly garlicky, (adjust if you have an important meeting / first date the following day), with lovely flavour from the fennel without being too ‘anniseedy’, (I’m not always a huge fennel fan but love it in this dish), and unexpected crunch from al-dente carrots and walnuts, with a zing of lemon juice and parsley to really finish it off.

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Tenderstem & Cucumber Soba Noodle Salad

Recipe: Tenderstem & Cucumber Soba Noodle Salad

20 Min Meals | Vegetarian & VeganIsn’t it funny how some things we usually eat hot also work really well cold, but others don’t?  Like cold pasta, (eg. fusilli or penne), in a salad is delicious, but somehow cold tagliatelle seems really wrong.  And cold tomato soup is gorgeous as gazpacho, but cold cauliflower soup sounds revolting.  Cold waxy potatoes in salad are wonderful, but cold chips are less so!

My point is that whilst I usually prefer my noodles hot, these gorgeous soba noodles work really, really well cold – they retain their bite and nutty flavour and are great for soaking up the flavours of punchy dressings, like this creamy and crunchy peanut and sesame one.

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Smoky Mexican Quinoa Soup

Recipe: Smoky Mexican Quinoa Soup

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Here’s a quick weeknight supper which is smoky, spicy, packed with flavour and very filling.  (Oh and it’s really good for you too – bonus!).  Your taste buds will be transported to Mexico with every spoonful, thanks to the chipotle and smoked paprika, coriander, lime and spring onions.

The star of the show here is black quinoa, with its earthy, sweet flavour.  It is classed as a ‘complete protein’ containing 8 essential amino acids, and its delicious flavour and soft texture make it a perfect alternative to rice, pasta and cous-cous.  It really bulks out this soup into a meal in itself – perfect for a speedy and satisfying dinner.

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Olive BBQ Flatbreads with Artichokes

Recipe: Olive BBQ Flatbreads with Marinated Artichokes

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The never-ending debate is re-surfacing again for the summer…. what on earth do vegetarians & vegans want to eat at BBQs?  Fake sausages just dry out and turn to cardboard, and I’m getting a bit bored of halloumi.

So, here’s an idea which is deceptively easy and a sure-fire crowd pleaser at any BBQ… garlicky, olive-y flatbreads cooked quickly over the coals, topped with marinated artichokes and cherry tomatoes.  Totally delicious, and great served with hummus, baba ganoush or other middle-eastern style bits and pieces.

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Wild Rice & Watercress Salad

Recipe: Wild Rice & Watercress Salad

20 Min Meals | Vegetarian & VeganHere’s one of those ‘bung it all in and see what happens’ sort of suppers – supposedly celebrating all the fabulous produce that early British summertime brings, (though I fear that summer might in fact have been and gone…. oh well, it was fun whilst it lasted).

If you’re a regular reader you’ll have noticed that I’m not much of a salad fan…. I rarely find a salad filling and satisfying enough to count as a main meal in its own right, but adding grains like giant cous cous (here), bulgur wheat (here), or rice (here) transforms a collection of vegetables (ie. a side dish), into a proper stand-alone main course.

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