Category: Dinners

I’m a big fan of jackfruit. I’ve made BBQ pulled pork and a jackfruit pot pie. The stringy texture of the young, green jackfruit lends itself well to a meat like texture. I wanted to try and use it as a chicken substitute without shredding it like I did in my pot pie recipe.

The blog turned two the other day! I remember last year I said I was going to remember..well I didn’t! I only realised because Facebook gave me one of those “two years ago today” reminders. I’m a bad blog mum clearly. Anyway, thanks for sticking around and reading this blog for the past couple of years!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can Young Green Jackfruit in Brine – NEVER IN SYRUP
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup soya milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the breading

Dry mix

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried dill

Wet mix

  • Reserved 1 cup of soya buttermilk marinade
  • 1/2 cup flour







  1. Mix the soya milk with the apple cider vinegar in a small cup or jug. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse the jackfruit thoroughly. Using a sharp knife cut away the small spongy triangle piece on each of the jackfruit. If you wish, use the knife to carefully pop out the round seeds.
  3. Add the jackfruit to a bowl and add the spices and garlic. Mix well with a spoon.
  4. Pour the soya milk and vinegar mixture over the jackfruit. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.
  5. Carefully drain the jackfruit, reserving the buttermilk mixture.
  6. Prepare two bowls. In one bowl add the reserved buttermilk mixture and whisk in the 1/2 cup of flour. In the another bowl add the flour, spices and herbs. Whisk well to combine.
  7. On a medium heat, heat about 1/2 inch vegetable oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan or cast iron skillet. When a little flour flicked into the oil starts fizzing immediately the oil is ready.
  8. Working in stages dip the jackfruit into the flour mixture, shake off the excess then dip into the batter mixture then finally back into the flour before frying each side for 3-4 minutes or until crispy and golden.
  9. Repeat for all the remaining pieces of jackfruit. Serve hot with your favourite vegan mayonnaise or ranch dressing.



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This year at home we had a completely vegan Christmas dinner! We made a plethora of delicious dishes – pan roasted brussel sprouts with toasted pinenuts, roasted potatoes and parsnips, mashed carrots and swede. I made Bon Appetit’s vegan chocolate tart for dessert.
All the food was AMAZING. Then the next day I went to family and ate even more delicious vegan food. Christmas without cruelty.

Cooking so much food and also being able to enjoy the day itself means I elected to make some portions of the dinner a day or two before. You can make the filling for this wellington 1 or 2 days before you plan to eat it. The longer you leave the filling, the longer the flavours will develop.

You may have some filling leftover – this can be frozen in a freezer bag and used for something else later on!

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g chesnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 125g oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 125g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g coquina (or sub butternut) squash, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 125g whole cooked chestnuts, cut into rough chunks
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • 150g dry bread crumbs
  • 20g fresh sage leaves, cut into small strips.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 500g puff pastry (defrosted if frozen)
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

  1. If cooking the roast on the same day preheat the oven to 180c/350f and prepare a baking tray.
  2. In a large saucepan add 1 tbsp of olive oil, heat on a medium heat. Add the diced shallot. Cook for 3 minutes, until the shallots begin to soften. Add the minced garlic, cook for another minute.
  3. Add the chopped butternut squash. Cook for 7-10 minutes until it takes on some colour.
  4. Add the sliced mushrooms, stir well, cooking for 5 minutes until the liquid is released. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the mustard.
  5. Once the mushrooms are softened, add the chestnuts and breadcrumbs. Stir well until the breadcrumbs soften in the mushroom liquid.
  6. In another small pan, add the other tablespoon of olive oil. Heat on a medium heat, once hot, add the sage, frying lightly for about 1 minute until crispy and fragrant.
  7. Stir the sage into the mushrooms. At this point, you can transfer the mixture to a container and once cooled, store it covered in the fridge until needed.
  8. If cooking on the same day, lightly flour a work surface and roll out the puff pastry to less than 1cm thick. A thinner pastry will yield a crispier roast.
  9. Carefully transfer the pastry to the baking tray. Down the middle of the pastry, spoon the filling, making sure not to take too much of the liquid. Pile up the filling into a large log shape, pressing it down with the spoon. Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling, a bit like you are swaddling a baby. I had some spare pastry so I cut out some shapes to cover the folded seam but this is purely cosmetic!
  10. Brush the top of the pastry with melted vegan butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut 3 small slashes in the top of the pastry with a sharp knife.
  11. Bake the roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top.
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One of the things I love about Twitter is it’s vegan community. More often than not it helps me to discover new vegan products, restaurants and all sorts of interesting things.

One of these things is Sgaia’s Mheat! Sgaia’s mheat is a seitan product, something I haven’t really seen marketed on a mass scale over here in the UK. The US has the brilliant Upton’s Naturals, it was about time we got some! Seitan is one of my absolute favourite vegan substitutes. In my opinion it has a meaty texture and deep flavour that surpasses any of the others!

So obviously I inquired about where I could get my hands on some. Hillary at Sgaia was kind enough to offer to send me some to try!

I’m happy to say it’s damn delicious. It has a really good firm texture and slices very well!

You can find Sgaia online here and on Twitter here.

I’ve always wanted to make a stroganoff and I thought the mheat would be a perfect replacement for the usual meat component! I served mine with pasta, feel free to use whatever accompaniment you like. If you can’t find any mheat, feel free to sub with any seitan your choice! If you eat gluten-free you could try subbing with firm tofu.

INGREDIENTS

For the the seitan and vegetables

  • 150g of mheat
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 50ml white wine
  • Salt and pepper

For the cashew cream

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 3/4-1 cup water

  1. Heat a cast iron skillet over a medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add bay leaf and the red onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until turning translucent.
  2. Cut the mheat into chunks and add to the pan. Brown the mheat for 3-4 minutes then reduce the heat to low.
  3. Make the cashew cream – drain and rinse the cashews. Add them to a blender with 3/4 cup of water. Blend on high until smooth, adding the other 1/4 cup of water if it needs thinning out. Set aside.
  4. Crumble the vegetable stock cube into the seitan, add the garlic and the mushrooms. Cook for another 4 minutes until the mushrooms begin to soften.
  5. Add the white wine and oregano. Add the cashew cream and stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
  6. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper. Serve over pasta, rice or grain of your choice. Optional: garnish with nutritional yeast (the yellow powder!)

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We tend to have a lot of cooked beets in knocking around in the fridge. Last night I was thinking about what to eat for dinner and rustled up this beauty.

The beets will turn the cauliflower pink! So it’s like a totally pink bowl. It’s so pretty.

If you don’t have any leftover beets, you can boil them in water for 45 minutes until fork tender.

INGREDIENTS

For the vegetables:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, cut into strips
  • 200g cauliflower, cut into thin slices
  • 2 cooked small beets, peeled and cut into slices
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 3 tsp capers (or sub chopped green olives)
  • Salt & pepper

For the millet:

  • 1 cup millet
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 bay leaf

To serve:

  • 1 tsp hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp olive oil

  1. In a cast iron skillet add the 1 tablespoon of oil and heat on a medium heat. Add the sliced onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the onions soften.
  2. Start the millet, in a saucepan add the millet, water, stock cube and bay leaf. Heat the pan on a high heat until the water begins to boil. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to low and cover. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the sliced cauliflower to the skillet and cook for 4 minutes until the cauliflower takes on some colour.
  4. Add the spinach. Stir until the spinach is wilted.
  5. Add the capers and stir well. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Once the millet has cooked, fluff it with a fork. Discard the bay leaf.
  7. Add the millet to a bowl, top with the cauliflower and beets. Drizzle with the teaspoon of olive oil and top with the hemp seeds.

 

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I had a whole bunch of pumpkin puree leftover from making my cinnamon rolls and didn’t want to let it go to waste. This was my dinner. It tasted so delicious I decided I had to share it with you guys!

I’ve eaten this with toasted bread and rice and both taste equally as good!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or diced
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 165ml/5.5fl oz  full fat coconut milk
  • 165ml/5.5fl oz water
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 400g can of chickpeas, drained
  • 100g cauliflower, cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and diced
  • 200g spinach
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  1. Add the olive oil to a large pan and heat on medium until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the onions, cook for 3 minutes until beginning to turn translucent then add the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes then add the spices.
  2. Cook for 2 minutes then add the cauliflower and peppers, stirring well to make sure the spices are well incorporated. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the cauliflower takes on some colour. Add the chickpeas.
  3. Next add the pumpkin puree, water, ketchup and coconut milk. Stir well until everything is combined. Increase the heat to high until the curry begins to boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer.
  4. Simmer for 15-25 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Add the spinach and stir in until wilted.
  5. Serve with the grain of your choice and a little coconut yogurt on the side.

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One of my co-workers recently picked me up two cans of jackfruit at a shop near her house. The first can I immediately made into Minimalist Baker’s BBQ pulled jackfruit. Later on when I was discussing it with my husband I was wondering about other applications for jackfruit as a mock meat.

And so the jackfruit pot pie was born!

INGREDIENTS

For the filling:

  • 1 can of Young Green Jackfruit in Brine
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, divided
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g potatoes, diced into small chunks
  • 150g carrots, cut into rings
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

For the roux:

  • 40g plain flour
  • 40g vegan butter
  • Reserved almond milk from the cooked down mixture + excess to make up half a pint of liquid.

To assemble:

  • 50g puff pastry – I use Jus Rol
  • 1 tsp vegan butter, melted







  1. Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Cut inner fibrous core away and discard.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat and add the jackfruit and onion. Fry for 3-4 minutes or until the onions take on some colour.
  3. Add the garlic, bay leaves, rosemary and 2 cups of almond milk. Turn the heat down to low and cover.
  4. Simmer for 25 minutes until the jackfruit has softened. Using two forks shred the jackfruit. Add the last half a cup of almond milk.
  5. Add the carrots, potatoes and peas. Turn the heat up to medium and simmer for another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are softened. Discard the bay leaves and rosemary.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and using a slotted spoon scoop the vegetables and jackfruit into a large bowl. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a large jug. Reserve the infused almond milk. If the reserved milk doesn’t make up 1/2 pint of liquid add extra almond milk.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375f.
  8. Wipe the pan clean and heat the butter on a low heat. Once it’s all melted, stir in the flour.
  9. Using a whisk, whisk the flour and butter together until it forms a paste that moves away from the sides of the pan.
  10. Cook for another 2 minutes to cook off any raw flour taste.
  11. Pour in half of the almond milk and allow the mixture to boil. After 2 minutes of boiling, reduce the heat to low and then whisk thoroughly until the roux starts to thicken.
  12. Once all the lumps are gone add the other half of the almond milk. Whisk again thoroughly until smooth.
  13. Remove from the heat and stir in the vegetables.
  14. Pour the mixture into a deep bottomed casserole dish. Mine was 3 inches deep and 6 inches across. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the puff pastry into a thin disk, around 7 inches. 
  15. Lay the puff pastry over the dish and press down the sides with a fork.
  16. Brush the top of the pastry with a bit of melted butter. Cut two little slits in the pastry.
  17. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.



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Afternoon tea is a British institution and Fortnums does it extremely well. Imagine my delight when they did a vegan selection! They also do dairy and gluten free, gluten free and a bunch of other special diet options. It’s always great to see vegans and other special diets represented in main stream places.

I went to Fortnums with a very good friend of mine who had the classic version so you will see some of her food in the photos as well.

Dikom Golden Butterfly

I’m a bit of a tea snob and the tea menu at Fortnums is fantastically long. I went for a Single Estate Assam called Dikom Golden Butterfly. It was beautifully smooth tasting with a slight hint of caramel. I ended up drinking two teapots worth during our time in the restaurant.

Obviously, eating afternoon tea at somewhere like Fortnums is not going to be cheap (£40 for their own classic blends and £44 for a single estate tea like mine) But I’m happy to report that they will refresh any of the plates for you as many times as you like. We had extra sandwiches and scones and left feeling completely stuffed!

The Vegan afternoon tea menu

The sandwiches

 

I started with my sandwiches. The char grilled pepper with salsa verdi was easily my favourite and asked for a refresh! I’m not a huge fan of cucumber but I actually enjoyed the sandwich very much. The bread was light and fluffy and not at all dry – previously when I’ve had afternoon tea you could tell the sandwiches were not fresh due to the bread being dry.

The scones with dairy-free butter

Next the scones! Slightly warm and pillow-y soft. I’m completely aware that many people are scared of vegan baking and I was so happy to see I got scones! A lot of the time vegan baking can be dense and cake-y but these scones were super light. The dairy-free butter was great as well. I had some of the scones with Fortnums strawberry jam – which you can’t really go wrong on!

The final tier – seasonal fruits

I know many people would be unhappy with a fruit salad to top off their afternoon tea but for me it was lovely. After eating all the carbs during the rest of the tea it was great to have something light to finish on.  There was also a lot of fruit I’d never tried before like starfruit and dragon fruit. I’m not a big fan of melon usually but I really enjoyed it here and made my husband proud!

Enjoying our tea!

At the end of our tea we were offered more cake – sadly none of it was vegan but I took a slice of Victoria sandwich home for my mum. We also got to take home the jam and lemon curd.

The service throughout was impeccable, we were offered numerous refreshes on our tea and food. The only thing that bothered us was the tea room was FREEZING so we had to keep our cardigans on the whole time! I would definitely come back!

You can book afternoon tea at Fortnums online here and follow them online on Twitter @fortnums

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If you’re also a vegan or even just someone with special dietary needs going out to a high street chain restaurant can be a total pain in the back side.

One thing I’m always on the look out for is whether dishes can be veganised at restaurants. I’m always reading those nutritional info PDFs. A lot of the time there’s only one thing to eat and it’s usually chips or potatoes. Sometimes restaurants can totally surprise me and  have a special separate menu for vegans!

Carluccio’s was one of those restaurants! (They also have a separate gluten-free menu)

The vegan menu. I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were multiple starters and side dishes available. Obviously there’s only one main course – the spaghetti – however, in a restaurant that’s basically a homage to the cheese, meat rich Italian cuisine I wasn’t too surprised.

For my starter I had Caponata, a Sicilian sweet and sour aubergine stew served with grilled focaccia. The stew had an incredibly rich tomato taste, dotted with pine nuts. Sometimes aubergine can be tough and chewy but this was melt in the mouth soft. I loved this dish!

For my main I had the only main dish available – the Spaghetti Al Pomodoro e Basilico. Spaghetti with tomato and basil for us non-Italians. This dish was inoffensive but there’s not too much you can say about pasta with tomato sauce. After I was brought this dish the waitress offered me parmesan cheese, assuring me it was “vegetarian!” which I politely declined. Slightly awkward.

For my side dish I had Verdura Fritta which was courgette, peppers and aubergine in a crispy batter. Think Italian tempura. I really liked the fritta, it was crispy and salty.

Overall my experience was positive. I only have one vegan friend and frequently go out with people who don’t have dietary requirements. Having a mainstream restaurant where everyone can eat what they want is great!

You can find Carluccio’s online here and on Twitter here

I visited the Muswell Hill branch. 

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Ever since Rowena served us up the cauliflower rice in that amazing Italian food she made I was thinking all about it! Who knew it was so easy?

I whipped up this recipe when I was tasked with dinner whilst my mum made a pilgrimage to the supermarket! It’s a room temp salad but if you wanted to you could also eat it cold.

Also how great is it that I can come home after work, make and shoot a dish without it looking like I shot the photos in a dungeon! Yay, summer!

INGREDIENTS

For the cauliflower rice salad

  • 400g cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Pinch of brown sugar
  • 100g oil packed sundried tomatoes, excess oil drained off
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 50g slivered almonds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Green tahini dressing

  • 3 tsp brown tahini
  • 3 tsp vegan green pesto, either homemade or store bought
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 400f. Chop the cauliflower into florets, discarding any excess hard stems.  Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor for 1 minute until it resembles a small grained rice.
  2. In a bowl mix the pulsed cauliflower, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking tray and bake for 12 minutes. Stirring half way through.
  3. Whilst the cauliflower is roasting prepare the onions, halve and slice the onion then in a small frying pan lightly saute on a low heat for 5-10 minutes until the onions turn translucent. Add the pinch of brown sugar and cook for a further 5 minutes until completely soft.
  4. Make the green tahini dressing. In the food processor, pulse together all the ingredients. Pour into a jug and set aside.
  5. Once the cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven and add it to a large salad bowl. Using scissors, chop the sundried tomatoes into small bite size pieces and add them to the bowl. Add the dried basil and salt and pepper and the onions.
  6. On a smaller tray, add the slivered almonds and roast for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and toss with the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Drizzle the green tahini dressing over the salad and serve with a few shredded basil leaves .

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I’m a bit slow on the vegan hype sometimes. I’ve been hearing about how great gram flour is for about the last 6 months but never actually got around to buying any.



Finally I had a chance to make something with it! Quiche was always a huge thing in my house – my mum is a quiche wizard so this was a logical step for me. Next step: frittata!

INGREDIENTS

For the vegetable filling

  • 1/2 courgette, cut into thin rounds
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Small bunch of dill, stems removed and chopped (about 2 tbsp chopped)
  • Olive oil to fry

For the quiche fillling

  • 1 1/2 cup gram flour
  • 1 tsp of The Vegg or 1 tsp Kala Namak
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
  • 1 cup of water

To assemble the quiche

  • 50g puff pastry – I use Jus Rol
  • 8 inch baking dish
  • Baking beans




  1. Preheat the oven to 350f. In a pan, add some olive oil and then the onion. Cook on a low heat until beginning to turn translucent. Add the minced garlic and the bay leaf.
  2. Add the courgette and peppers, increasing the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Add the chopped dill. Discard the bay leaf and set aside.
  3. In a blender or food processor, add the quiche filling ingredients and blend on high until very smooth and fully combined. It should resemble a thick pancake batter. Set aside.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and then using a rolling pin roll  out the puff pastry thinly into a 9 inch circle shape.
  5. Lay the pastry carefully over the baking dish letting the excess hang over the sides. Press the pastry into the sides of the dish then cut the excess away using a sharp knife. Prick the bottom of the pastry case with a fork.
  6. Line the pastry with parchment paper and pour in your baking beans. Spread them evenly. Cook the pastry shell in the oven for 15 minutes. Then remove the parchment and beans and cook for another 5 minutes until the base is crispy and golden.
  7. Add one layer of vegetables, then pour over half of the quiche filling, add the second layer and pour over the remainder of the quiche filling.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the quiche is solid and slightly cracked on top. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.



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