Mulled Blackberry Wine

Recipe: Bonfire Night Mulled Blackberry Wine

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Mulled wine is too good to save just for Christmas, and Bonfire Night, when you’re waiting around in the cold for the fireworks to start, is surely the perfect night to make your first batch of the year.  The lovely thing about starting early with mulled wine is that there are still (just!) a few blackberries around, so my recipe below starts with a blackberry and apple syrup infused with cinnamon, cloves and vanilla, to which you add a bottle of red wine and gently heat it through for a wonderful warming tipple.

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Grönsaksbullar Swedish Vegan Meatballs

Recipe: Grönsaksbullar (Swedish Vegan Meatballs)

Those clever people at my favourite Swedish flat-packed furniture chain are so good at knowing just what you will fancy after a few stressful hours measuring up wardrobes and working out how much you can actually fit in (or balance on) your car.  Last year they got huge kudos for launching vegan ‘meatballs’ onto their menu, and jolly nice they are too.

Since first trying them I’ve been trying to make my own at home, and this chickpea-based version is definitely my favourite: moist, packed with vegetables and slathered in a mustardy sauce.  Perfect served with some oven chips or rice.

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Roasted Squash & Creamy Pesto Vegan Lasagne

Recipe: ‘Make & Freeze’ Roasted Squash & Creamy Pesto Lasagne (Vegan)

I’ve lamented in previous posts that lasagne can be a bit of a faff to make, and whilst it is one of my top five all-time-favourite meals, I can’t always muster up the energy to make it.  But now and again I have a burst of enthusiasm and make a batch of individual lasagne for the freezer, ready to pop in the oven when I haven’t got the time or inclination to cook.

Here’s a recipe for just that sort of lasagne – this Roasted Squash & Creamy Pesto Lasagne freezes really well, and is a fun cooking project for a rainy Saturday afternoon, making you 8 individual dinners for cold winter nights to come.  Layers of sweet roasted butternut squash, a creamy (and vegan) pesto béchamel, and roasted cherry tomatoes pack this with flavour between the sheets, and a breadcrumb and pine nut topping give it a lovely crunchy top without the need for cheese.

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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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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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