Recipe: Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic Pies

Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic Pies

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Who needs a pork pie when you could have a pretty little curly kale pesto pie instead?  Not me!!  I know, picnic season seems such a long way off, but I love serving picnic-style finger-food when we have friends for lunch, even in the depths of winter.  I made these before realising that it’s British Pie Week too, a happy coincidence!

You may not have guessed that the ingredients for these pies are almost all from the freezer cabinet – yes, even the curly kale and parsley.  I was challenged by Iceland to create a recipe from their range of frozen ingredients for their #PowerOfFrozen campaign, and took a trip to my nearest store, which I hadn’t visited before.  Continue reading “Recipe: Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic Pies”

Recipe: Ultimate Vegetarian Pad Thai (& EZ Tofu Press Giveaway RRP £35)

Ultimate Vegetarian Pad Thai

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Confession time… I’m a vegetarian (almost vegan) food blogger who’s really not that into tofu.  I’ve never seen the appeal – it doesn’t taste of much, slightly odd texture, a faff to cook.  Why bother?  That is, until I tried tofu cooked ‘properly’ at Thai restaurants and then at Wagamama – suddenly the texture was beautiful, a really crispy coating with the spongy insides, literally soaking up all the flavours of the dish.

I needed to re-create this incredible tofu at home, and read that the way to achieve this amazing texture was to press all the liquid out of it.  But oh, what a faff – the common method seemed to be squashing the tofu Continue reading “Recipe: Ultimate Vegetarian Pad Thai (& EZ Tofu Press Giveaway RRP £35)”

Recipe: Omega Boost Beetroot & Blackcurrant Energy Bars

Omega Boost Beetroot & Blackcurrant Energy Bars

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Getting enough of all the right vitamins and minerals in a vegetarian or vegan diet is probably one of the first arguments veggie-sceptics will put to me when challenging my dietary choices.  There have been certain points when people seemed particularly concerned for me, such as when I was pregnant, (“are you sure it’s safe to be vegetarian? Perhaps just an occasional steak?”), or when I’ve gone vegan for January for the last three years, (“but how do you get any calcium/protein/B12 etc.?”).

Its not something that’s ever worried me as I’m fairly sure my diet is varied and fresh enough to be getting plenty of just about everything I need, plus I’ve been taking a bog-standard multivitamin tablet daily for years.

Continue reading “Recipe: Omega Boost Beetroot & Blackcurrant Energy Bars”

Recipe: English Garden Cocktail

English Garden Cocktail

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I mentioned last week that making bread is a simple pleasure that I don’t get around to nearly often enough, and making really good cocktails falls into the same category.  Digging out the cocktail shaker, measuring the ingredients carefully, shaking over ice, straining into beautiful glasses, and going a bit overboard on the ‘garnish art’…. cocktail making is fun, and I really should do it more often. is a brilliant website full of really excellent cocktail recipes to suit every taste and budget.  You can search by what’s in your cupboard, lower-calorie cocktails, one-unit cocktails and even alcohol-free ‘mocktails’.  Continue reading “Recipe: English Garden Cocktail”

Recipe: Spicy Sesame & Edamame Noodles with Black Bean Tenderstem

30 Minute Takeaway Challenge

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Here’s a challenge for you…. I bet you can get these two gorgeous dishes on the table from scratch in less time than it takes to order a Chinese takeaway and have it delivered.

Yes, I know its not exactly the same as ordering a takeaway, in that you have to actually do some work in the kitchen.  But I can guarantee these two dishes will be piping hot, cooked from scratch with super-fresh ingredients, less greasy, less salty and significantly cheaper than most takeaways I’ve had recently.  (You can treat yourself to a very nice bottle of wine with the savings!).  So what’s on the menu?  Continue reading “Recipe: Spicy Sesame & Edamame Noodles with Black Bean Tenderstem”

Recipe: Crusty Cider & Onion Loaf (and a Thermapen Thermometer Giveaway!)

Crusty Cider & Onion Loaf

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Breadmaking is one of life’s simple pleasures that I don’t get around to nearly often enough.  The process is a brilliant combination of art and science – art in deciding on flavourings, toppings, loaf shape, and the skill of kneading and shaping.  But the science-y bit really brings out my inner geek…. yeast activation, gluten development, proving times and temperatures.  Continue reading “Recipe: Crusty Cider & Onion Loaf (and a Thermapen Thermometer Giveaway!)”

Recipe: Lemony Sweet Potato & Olive Tagine (& my Cranks Supperclub!)

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I’ve raved about Cranks before when I partnered with them on my Homity Pie re-vamp, Swiss-Style Homity Pie, so when they got in touch to ask if I would be interested in hosting a Cranks Supperclub to celebrate the launch of the new Winter Menu down at the Cranks Kitchen in Totnes, Devon, I jumped at the chance!

Hosting a supperclub sounded like a lot of fun, (a supperclub is basically a pop-up restaurant in your own home).  Well-established and regular supperclubs can do really well, and be great fun for both hosts and guests.  Take a look at this Guardian article for tips on starting your own!  However, rather than unleashing my food on the unsuspecting general public, I opted for the slightly safer option of inviting some lovely friends for a Cranks supper instead.  Continue reading “Recipe: Lemony Sweet Potato & Olive Tagine (& my Cranks Supperclub!)”

Recipe: Pistachio & Cranberry Biscotti

Pistachio & Cranberry Biscotti

When I posted my (ludicrously early)  Figgy Christmas Chutney recipe back in October, I promised lots more ideas for homemade, edible Christmas gifts over the next few weeks.  So here’s number two… some deliciously festive Pistachio & Cranberry Biscotti, dipped in white chocolate.

Biscotti are supposed to be dunked—traditionally in Vin Santo—but I love mine with a nice cup of tea, or even better at this time of year, a glass of mulled wine!

Continue reading “Recipe: Pistachio & Cranberry Biscotti”

Recipe: Chipotle-Chocolate Beany Burritos

Chipotle-Chocolate Beany Burritos

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I love cooking ‘from scratch’ and try to do it as much as possible for all sorts of reasons, but in today’s hectic world most of us are on the lookout for time-saving opportunities. I have no shame at all in using shortcuts, ‘cheat’ ingredients and ready-made elements to a home cooked dish, to make feeding the family as quick and simple as possible whilst keeping dinners both nutritious and delicious.

Veetee rice is one of those shortcuts that I use a lot, simply because it tastes great, is so simple to pop in the microwave, and there’s no washing up or stressing about sticky, overcooked rice, (which happens to me all too often!).  There are all sorts of flavours to accompany different veggie dishes Continue reading “Recipe: Chipotle-Chocolate Beany Burritos”