Recipe of the Week – 27th July 2015 – Vegan Peanut Butter Flapjacks

This is a fantistacally simple recipe, which would also be great to do with children, as it’s quite hard to get wrong but very easy to get messy! I’ve been trying to perfect a straightforward vegan flapjack recipe for a while, and this seems to hit the spot!

Makes 12


250g large porridge oats

3 tbs golden syrup

3 tbs chunky peanut butter

100ml water

1 large banana, mashed

A pinch of salt


1. Preheat the oven to 160C.

2. Mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly in a large bowl and place in a lined baking dish.

3. Place in the oven for 50 minutes.

4. Allow to cool slightly, carve into pieces and that’s it!

Recipe of the Week – 20th July 2015 – Moroccan Vegetable and Bulgur Wheat Bake

This recipe makes for a perfect satisfying evening meal particularly after a hard day’s work when you need something filling but relatively simple. This really is the baking equivalent of one-pot cooking, but the result feels much more sophisticated!

Serves 4


3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm dice

1 large onion, roughly chopped

1 aubergine, cut into 2cm dice

2 courgettes, roughly chopped

1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 tbs olive oil

300g bulgur wheat, rinsed

2 tbs Ras-el-hanout 

2 tsp ground cinnamon 

500 ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

4 large free range eggs, poached (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Place all of the vegetables in a large baking tray, add the oil, spices and bulgur wheat and mix well. 

3. Pour over the stock, mix well again, then cover with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes.

4. Serve immediately with a poached egg and some flatbread.

Recipe of the Week – 13th July 2015 – Warm Aubergine and Quinoa Salad


I really enjoyed making this very simple and yet satisfying salad – the nuttiness of the quinoa compliments the sweetness of the roasted vegetables perfectly. I also found that no further herbs or spices beyond stock and thyme were needed as the delicate flavours of the quinoa really add to the dish.

Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side


250g quinoa

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 litre of good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

2 large aubergines, cut lengthways then into quarters

1 red or yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

200 g (7 oz) cherry tomatoes (Preferably of the vine for easy roasting)

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Put the quinoa in a sieve and rinse thoroughly before placing in a saucepan with the thyme sprigs and stock, and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes until tender.

2. Meanwhile, brush the aubergines, onion and pepper with the oil, and batch fry on a griddle pan until brown. Then add the whole tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes until charred, turning once. 

3. Place the cooked quinoa, griddles vegetables and garlic into an ovenproof dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste and fold together gently.

4. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Serve warm with a side salad.

Recipe of the Week – 6th July 2015 – Kisir


This Turkish salad recipe is really versatile, and goes very well with other salads, wraps, or even as a side with an omelette. The bulgur wheat gives it a great texture with a nutty flavour, and was soon gobbled up by my two small veggie tasters!

Serves 4


300g dried bulgur wheat 

2 red onions, finely chopped 

2 tbs olive oil

4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped

250ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon 

3 tbs tomato purée

4 spring onions, finely chopped

4 roasted red peppers, finely chopped

2 tbs lemon juice

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tbs ground cumin 

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste 

Handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped


1. Add the olive oil to a large frying pan on a medium heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes until soft. Add the tomato purée and chopped tomatoes before stir-frying for a further 5 minutes.

2. Add the stock and bulgur wheat then take off the heat.

3. Stir in the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the mint, cover and leave for 15 minutes.

4. Stir in the mint and serve immediately.


Recipe of the Week – 22nd June 2015 – Lemon and Lime Dhal

This recipe is a nice variation on the standard red lentil dhal, with the citrussy (is that a word?) flavours of the lemon and lime giving this a fresh taste when combined with the coriander. I could (and have) eat loads of this!

Serves 4


300g red split lentils

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 tbs sunflower oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tsp salt

1 tbs ground turmeric 

1 fresh chilli, sliced thinly 

1200ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon 

1 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped

2 limes, zest and juice

1 lemon, zest and juice

Small handful of fresh spinach, roughly chopped

Small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan then add the onion and saute gently for 10 minutes. Add the salt, spices and garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.

2. Add the lentils and stock then simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in the mint and the lemon and lime juice and zest.

4. Finally stir in the chopped spinach and coriander and serve immediately with rice or naan bread.


Recipe of the Week – 15th June 2015 – Italian Style Halloumi Wraps

 It’s local festival season in Derbyshire at the moment, and we at Pulse Cafe are lucky to be in a town (New Mills) where there is a lot going on (a carnival and two festivals in the next three weeks alone!). As such, I thought that I would make some simple but filling snacks for people to eat whilst out and about. I made the pesto myself, as unfortunately it’s still very hard to buy a ready-made veggie version. This was a bit of an experiment, but the flavours worked really well. Even I had trouble eating more than one!

Makes 6


6 wheat tortilla wraps

3 packs of Halloumi

2 red onions, peeled and finely diced

1 large pack of fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped

3 large tomatoes, diced

For the Pesto;

100g raw cashew nuts

50g vegetarian Parmesan, grated

Small bunch of fresh basil, chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

30ml olive oil

Salt and pepper


1. Place all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth (I actually prefer it slightly lumpy!)

2. Cut the Halloumi into 10mm thick slices and chargrill on a dry griddle pan until brown, turning once.

3. Spread 1/6 of the pesto on a wrap, then add the Halloumi and remaining ingredients. Fold to form a wrap sealed at both ends and cut in half. Repeat to make six.

Recipe of the Week – 1st June 2015 – Carrot and Celery Risotto

I enjoyed experimentIng with the basic risotto recipe to provide something a little more interesting, and slightly more healthy. The combination of carrot and celery works well together, and is similar to one of my previous pilaf recipes, but this is much more filling! I added vegetarian Parmesan to this at the end originally, but it is just as good if you omit it to make it vegan.

Serves 6


4 tbs olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 litre of good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

500g Arborio risotto rice

½ head celery, finely chopped

3 large carrots, peeled and grated

1 tsp dried tarragon

Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large frying pan add the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic very gently for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the chopped celery and sauté for a further 3 minutes.

2. Add the rice to the pan, ensuring all of the grains are coated in the oil. Fry for a further 2 minutes.

3. Add the tarragon then half the stock, a ladle full at a time, stirring until each is absorbed. Add the remaining stock, cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Season to taste.

4. Add the grated carrot, and stir to combine.

5. Serve immediately with toasted bread and grilled asparagus, if desired.