Marzipan & Mincemeat Chelsea Buns (Vegan)

Recipe: Marzipan & Mincemeat Chelsea Buns (Vegan)

In collaboration with Thermapen

What do you have for breakfast on Christmas morning?  It is a meal I often forget about, with so much thought and preparation going into the plans for the rest of the day, but a bowl of soggy cereal seems so very underwhelming for the first meal of such a special day.

So this year I’m going to make a batch of these beautiful buns in advance, freeze them, then warm through in the oven just before serving, (possibly with a glass of Bucks Fizz….)!  Just perfect.

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Slow Cooker Butternut Dhal | Vegan

Recipe: Slow Cooker Butternut Dhal

In collaboration with Redmond Multicookers

What a gift it is when you discover a food that’s a) deeply satisfying winter comfort-food, b) incredibly easy to make, and c) low-fat, high-protein and very good for you, all at the same time.  Not possible? Meet Dhal!  This is one of my favourite suppers, and my kids love it too, (even the baby, who scoops it up with his fingers – you can imagine the mess!!), so it comes up often on our weekly meal plan, with rice and/or naan bread.

It is perfectly suited to slow-cooking, so you can get this prepped in the morning then leave it to do its thing for the rest of the day, just in time for dinner.  It keeps well in the fridge for a few days, and also freezes well, so if you’re looking to expand your repertoire of vegan batch-cooking for the freezer, dhal is your friend!

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Ultimate Vegan Christmas Pudding

Recipe: The Ultimate Vegan Christmas Pudding

What better way to round off a gut-bustingly enormous (vegan) roast dinner with all the trimmings, than a huge slice of boozy steamed fruit pudding with lashings of custard or and brandy ‘butter’?  Why do we do it?!  Well, because it’s a great British tradition of course, and Christmas dinner just wouldn’t be the same without it.

‘Stir Up Sunday’ is fast approaching, and if this is your first vegan Christmas and you thought you might miss out on all the fun – no need! This vegan pudding is every bit as rich, moist and Christmassy as the non-vegan original version – I bet you won’t be able to tell the difference.

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Bangers & Borlotti Beans | Vegan Stew

Recipe: Bangers & Borlotti Bean Stew

20 Min Meals | Vegetarian & VeganConfession time: this recipe was going to be a ‘Bonfire Night’ Bangers ‘n’ Borlotti Bean Stew, posted in the week before 5th November, in time for you to shop for ingredients then enjoy with a backdrop of fireworks.  But life happened, and here it is a couple of weeks late…. oops!  It is just as tasty, and perfect for coming home to after a chilly autumn walk.

Vegan sausages, baby carrots and borlotti beans in a thick, tomatoey gravy – this is a speedy 20 minute meal, helped out by one of my favourite ‘cheat’ ingredients, instant gravy granules.  They thicken the sauce, and give it a deep, savoury flavour at the same time – just check they are vegan, (most are).

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Vegan Sticky Toffee Apple Cake

Recipe: Sticky Toffee Apple Cake (Vegan)

Sticky Toffee Pudding…. good.  Toffee apples…. good.  Mix them together and what do you get?  You guessed it – this Sticky Toffee Apple Cake is just too scrummy.  It is such a ‘November’ cake: warm and sticky, dark and treacle-y, with cinnamon and cloves, huge chunks of apple and chopped walnuts.

I made two of these over the weekend, one for our little fireworks party and the other for Sunday afternoon choir practice, (which always involves tea and cake – yum!).  They both went down a treat, (with a pleasing number of “are you sure its vegan?!” comments – I’m sure people still think we eat nothing but salad!), so I thought you might like the recipe too.

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Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke & Parsnip Soup

Recipe: Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke & Parsnip Soup

What alchemy happens when you cook a Jerusalem artichoke? How can something so ugly, gnarled and knobbly transform into such a silky and luxurious soup?

It is such a shame that it seems impossible to find these tasty tubers in supermarkets these days – I wonder why? They are so easy to grow, incredibly tasty and cheap.  Perhaps their unconventional looks or lack of uniformity doesn’t suit being plastic-wrapped into neat little trays. Perhaps they can’t compete for our attention with pretty rainbow carrots or purple potatoes. Or could it be that their windy side-effects are just a bit embarrassing, (they are affectionately known as Jerusalem fartichokes in our house…!)? Continue reading “Recipe: Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke & Parsnip Soup”

Vegan Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

Recipe: Ultimate Vegan Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

The most memorable hot chocolate I’ve ever had was in Zürich a few years ago.  Part of the reason it was so memorable was its price tag, at 14,50 CHF (that’s over £11!!) for a fairly small cup.  But in fact it was worth every penny (or swiss franc).  Incredibly rich, creamy, intensely chocolatey, with a pinch of salt and sprinkle of cinnamon – it could have poured straight out of the page of Joanne Harris’ Chocolat.  

It doesn’t sound very vegan does it.  But here’s my dairy-free version which is every bit as decadent, using hazelnut milk and dark chocolate.

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Vegan Cherry Bakewell Tarts

Recipe: Vegan Cherry Bakewell Tarts

What do you think of when I say Cherry Bakewell?  The factory-made treats with a neat circle of fondant icing and sticky, bright red glacé cherry on top?  Or the proper Derbyshire Bakewell Tart, a sweet pastry case filled with jam and almond frangipane? These are very much the latter, with a lovely vegan almond sponge on top of fresh cherries and cherry jam.

These pretty little tarts are surprisingly easy to make, and are as good served hot with a dollop of soya custard or vegan ice cream for a crowd-pleasing dessert as they are cold for a cake sale or to take into the office.

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Moroccan Stuffed Romano Peppers | Vegan

Recipe: Moroccan Stuffed Romano Peppers

Sweet, roasted romano peppers, lemony giant couscous and harissa-braised chickpeas… this is a surprisingly simple supper that looks great and tastes even better.  Romano peppers are the long, pointy ones now quite widely available in supermarkets.  They work well here because their flesh is quite a bit thinner than a standard pepper, so they can be roasted quickly without turning soggy, but hold their shape.  But of course you could use standard peppers if that’s what you have to hand, just roast them for a little longer than the recipe suggests.

Harissa is one of those ingredients that immediately transports my tastebuds for a mooch around Marrakesh.  I actually used Rose Harissa* which is even better, fragrant and exotic, but the ‘normal’ stuff is fab too, so do use whatever is lurking in your cupboard.

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