Recipe: Speedy & Spicy Chilli Bean Burritos

Speedy & Spicy Chilli Bean Burritos | Vegan & Vegetarian

20 Min Meals | Vegetarian & VeganThese vegan beany burritos are lip-smackingly good, with a filling that is somehow creamy, fresh and spicy, all at the same time.  A perfect weeknight supper for those signed up for ‘Veganuary‘ this year, (or anyone else for that matter!).

If you’re one of those people who can’t eat a fajita without most of it ending up in your lap, the burrito is your friend. ‘Toasting’ the outer wrap until crisp in a dry frying pan acts like a glue to stick it all together and keeps the fillings neatly tucked inside.

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Christmas Dinner Recipe: Porcini & Chestnut Mini Wreath Roasts

Porcini & Chestnut Wreath Roasts

Vegetarian & Vegan Christmas Dinner RecipesI’ve yet to meet anyone who actually wants to spend their whole Christmas morning faffing about in the kitchen, so to take the stress out of festive cooking, I’ve put together an easy, prep-ahead Christmas Dinner menu which is both vegetarian and vegan, and will be posting it over the course of this week.

To kick things off, these pretty Porcini & Chestnut Mini Wreath Roasts make a lovely centrepiece for the Christmas table, served with Creamy Porcini & Parsley Gravy (for which the recipe is also below – make sure you scroll right down to the bottom of the post for both recipes!).

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Recipe: Wild Mushroom & Sherry Risotto

Wild Mushroom & Sherry Risotto | Vegan

There’s something about combining the deep, earthy flavour of dried porcini mushrooms with a festive splash of sherry that works really well.  My Porcini & Sherry Soup recipe was super-popular, so here I’ve used the same idea to turn a quick, everyday mushroom risotto into something extra-special.

Whilst I get exceedingly fed up with mushroom risotto being the only veggie option on the menu at 93% of pubs and restaurants in the UK, (I exaggerate, but you get my point!), there is something incredibly good about a luscious homemade risotto made with really good mushrooms, and served the minute the rice has cooked through.

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Recipe: Grönsaksbullar (Swedish Vegan Meatballs)

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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Recipe: Broad Bean, Fennel & Baby Carrot Pilaf

Broad Bean & Fennel Pilaff

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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Recipe: Tenderstem & Cucumber Soba Noodle Salad

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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Recipe: Mushroom & Merlot Posh Pasties

Mushroom & Merlot Posh Pasties

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In preparation for National Vegetarian Week (16th – 22nd May), Cranks challenged me to come up with a recipe suitable for Sunday Lunch – something comforting, tasty and filling, which could be served alongside roast potatoes, lots of veggies and lashings of gravy.

For me, a vegetarian option for Sunday Lunch should be big, bold, tasty, and enough of a ‘showstopper’ to make the meat-eaters insanely jealous.  Let’s just say that I’ve never found a nut roast recipe which has ticked all of those boxes.  So instead, here are my ‘posh pasties’ – posh in that they contain merlot, flat-cap mushrooms, puy lentils and thyme, all wrapped in a layer of fabulous, (hopefully homemade), pastry.

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Recipe: Porcini & Polenta Sausages

Porcini & Polenta Sausages

I was asked recently for a magazine article how I would describe the food on my blog.  It’s a tricky one, but eventually I decided to go with ‘comfort food for vegetarians and vegans’.  This is far from a health food blog, (not a green smoothie in sight), and is more about the sort of food we eat at home every day, hoping to give others some ideas if they are looking to reduce the amount of meat in their diet either a little or a lot.

And when it comes to comfort food, I’m not sure you can get much better than a great big bowl of bangers & mash, slathered in red onion gravy.

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Recipe: Cider & Barley Stuffed Tomatoes

Cider & Barley Stuffed Tomatoes

These great big, juicy beef tomatoes were just crying out to be stuffed with something delicious, and as we’re firmly in April shower season rather than bright and sunny springtime, I went for a comforting and slightly boozy combination of dry cider and plump pearl barley, with a parsley & pine nut crust.

The recipe is similar to my Kale & Squash Pearl Barley Risotto, but stuffing it into oversized tomatoes then topping with crunchy parsley and pine nut breadcrumbs makes this into a bit more of a ‘showstopper’ main course for friends and family.

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