Recipe of the Week – 18th September 2017 – Vegan Sushi with Noodle Salad

This recipe has been a family favourite in our house for a while, however I don’t seem to get around to making it that often as I always assume that it is fiddly and time-consuming, which it isn’t! As you can see from the photo I had a couple of helpers this time, and actually it provided great child entertainment for an hour on a rainy Saturday!

Serves 4 to 6


For the Sushi

5 sheets of Sushi Nori

400g Sushi rice

4 tbs Sushi wine vinegar

1 large red pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cucumber, finely diced

3 spring onions, finely chopped

20g plum paste or miso paste

Soy sauce to taste

Chopped pickled ginger 

For the Noodle Salad

300g dried wholewheat noodles

1 large courgette, grated

1 small red pepper, finely diced

2 spring onions, finely chopped

Soy sauce to taste


1. Place the sushi rice in a large saucepan, rinse thoroughly and drain. Add salted boiling water, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes until soft. Rinse with cold water, add the wine vinegar, and set aside to cool.

2. Place the Sushi Nori on a rolling mat, shiny side down. Add a serving of the rice, ensuring a 2 cm boundary is left at the top. Create two channels within the rice, and add a combination of either the spring onions, cucumber or peppers. Also add a line of the plum or miso paste. Carefully roll up the Sushi and carve into six pieces with a wet serrated knife. Repeat with the next sheet. Serve with a drop of soy sauce and the pickled ginger.

3. Add the noodles to a large pan of boiling water, and bring to the boil for 5 minutes until soft. Rinse and drain before placing in a large mixing bowl. Add the other salad ingredients and a generous helping of soy sauce then mix well.

4. Serve on a large platter, and that’s it!


Recipe of the Week – 28th August 2017 – Masala Potatoes

This is a new recipe to me – I tried something very similar at a festival last weekend as a dosa filling, and it was delicious. Unfortunately my attempts at making dosas were disasterous, possibly due to not being able to source any gram flour, and thus ending up with very soggy pancakes! Not to be defeated I carried on with the filling, which turned out to be a very nice curry in itself!

Serves 4


400g baby potatoes, halved

A large bunch of spring onions, roughly chopped

4 tbs vegetable oil

1 red chilli, finely chopped

2 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp chilli powder

1 x 400ml can of good quality coconut milk

50g desiccated coconut

500ml water



1. Place the oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat then add the mustard seeds and chillis. Fry for 2 minutes then add the chopped onions and fry for a further 2 minutes.

2. Add the potato pieces and mix well before adding the water and bringing the mixture to the boil, covered.

3. Boil for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and simmer for a further 5 minutes to soften the potatoes.

4. Add the turmeric, garam masala, chilli powder and 1 tsp of salt and mix well.

5. Add the coconut milk and desiccated coconut, mix well and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes.

6. Serve immediately with rice and chutneys.

Recipe of the Week – 14th August 2017 – Vietnamese Potato and Aubergine Curry

This recipe provides a nice twist on what for me is a regular curry staple in our house. The use of some slightly different additional herbs and spices provides more depth and complexity to the overall taste which gives each mouthful a slightly different flavour. The fried onions and the addition of chutneys also makes this feel like much more than a standard evening meal.

Serves 4


500g baby potatoes, halved 

2 large aubergines, cut into 2 cm dice

1 large onion, chopped

1 stalk of lemongrass, inner core chopped 

1 stick of dried cinnamon 

1 star anise

1 small green chilli, finely chopped

2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

4 tbs vegetable oil

2 tbs medium curry powder

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 x 400ml can of coconut milk

1 tsp dried basil

1 small handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to season

For the onion relish

2 large onions, finely sliced

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala


1. Place the diced aubergine cubes in a colander, sprinkle generously with salt and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse the set aside.

2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the potatoes and par boil for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. In another large saucepan add the oil and gently sauté the chopped onions, ginger, garlic and chilli for 10 minutes. Add the lemongrass, cinnamon, star anise and dried spices and mix well. 

4. Add the potatoes and aubergines to the pan, mix to coat well then add 100ml of water. Bring to the boil then allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Remove the whole spices then add the dried and fresh herbs and coconut milk. Season, cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

6. Meanwhile in a separate small pan add the remaining oil and fry the sliced onions, garam masala and chilli powder for 10 minutes until crispy.

7. Serve the curry with the onions, together with plain boiled rice and a selection of chutneys.

Recipe of the Week – 31st July 2017 – Quick Aubergine and Potato Brunch

This is a really simple recipe that I played around with last week when looking for a quick but satisfying light lunch. It’s a bit like a gratin, but also a bit like sautéed potatoes. I was very pleased (and a bit surprised!) with the results, and my children want me to do it again, so something must have gone ok!

Serves 4


500g baby potatoes, halved

2 large aubergines, diced

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

100g frozen peas

2 tsp Herbes de Provence

50g grated mature cheddar cheese (optional if vegan)

Salt and pepper


1. Place the diced aubergine in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes then rinse thoroughly and drain.

2. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water, and parboil for 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. In a large frying pan (I used a wok), heat the oil and add the aubergines and potatoes. Stir well to cover with the oil, add the herbs and cover the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes until the potatoes are soft. 

4. Add the peas and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

5. Season and stir well. Stir in the cheese if using.

6. Serve immediately with a salad or some fresh bread.

Recipe of the Week – 10th July 2017 – Moroccan Aubergine and Potato Rice

I’m not sure where I got the inspiration for this recipe from – I think it was equal parts my love of aubergines and Moroccan spices, and what was available in the fridge at the time! Hopefully the end result is more than the sum of its parts though. I personally found it very satisfying and filling and will probably be making it again very soon!

Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side


3 large aubergines, cut into 1cm thick slices, then halved

100g baby potatoes, cut into wedges

2 onions, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, sliced

5 tbs olive oil

2 tbs Ras-el-hanout

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp cumin seeds

200g long grain or basmati rice, rinsed

1 x 400ml tin on coconut milk

50g sultanas

Handful of fresh pistachios 


1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. In a large bowl, add the aubergine slices, potato wedges, onion, garlic and spices. Drizzle the oil over and mix well. Place on a large baking tray and put in the oven for 25 minutes until brown.

3. Meanwhile, cook the rice in a large saucepan of slightly salted boiling water until soft (approx. 12 minutes). Drain, rinse and return to the pan. Stir in the coconut milk and sultanas, season, and simmer gently for 5 minutes until sticky.

4. When cooked, add the vegetables to the rice, stir well, sprinkle the pistachios over and serve immediately.

Recipe of the Week – 26th June 2017 – Butternut Squash Noodle Salad

When the weather is warm (as it has been, unusually, here in the North of England), I often struggle to find inspiration to create new salad combinations. This recipe is based upon one I have tried before, as a Japanese Noodle Salad to eat as a side dish with veggie sushi. The roasted butternut squash cubes become even sweeter when cooled and really compliment the ginger and the noodles to give a filling yet refreshing salad which works as a side or as a main meal.

Serves 4 as a main meal


1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes

1 large pack of dried noodles (egg or rice)

4 large spring onions, finely sliced

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

100g raw cashew nuts

5 tbs sunflower oil

1 small piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 green chilli, finely chopped

5 tbs soy sauce

Salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Place the butternut squash cubes on a large baking tray, sprinkle with the oil, season and roast for 25 minutes until soft.

2. Meanwhile, place the noodles in a large pan of boiling water and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then rinse, drain and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, chopped ginger, chilli and garlic and season well. 

4. Toss together the noodles, butternut squash cubes and all the remaining ingredients and mix well.

5. Chill for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe of the Week – 12th June 2017 – Baked Tofu Mushrooms with Salsa Verde

This recipe is for something a bit different for a light evening meal. I think that mushrooms are often used merely as an ingredient, rather than being given a chance to be the centrepiece. This is a variation on a Spanish recipe using feta cheese, but I have ‘veganised’ it using marinated tofu – both work as well, and I recommend also experimenting with adding nuts such as crushed toasted cashews or walnuts. The salsa keeps well by the way and can be used as a dressing on lots of other things, such as fresh pasta or salads.

Serves 4


4 large field mushrooms, wiped clean and stalks removed

1 pack plain tofu, diced

6 tbs extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

Juice of a lemon

100g fresh baby spinach leaves

Small each handful of fresh parsley and coriander

Salt and pepper 


1. Marinade the diced tofu overnight in a dressing of 2 tbs olive oil and the juice of half the lemon.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C.

3. In a small cup, mix together half of the crushed garlic and 2 tbs olive oil. Brush the mixture to the underside of the mushrooms and place on a baking tray.

4. Add the tofu to each mushroom and place in the oven for 15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, add the spinach, herbs, remaining garlic, oil and lemon juice to a food processor. Season and pulse until smooth.

6. When the mushrooms are lightly brown, place a generous helping of the salsa on top, and serve with spicy wedges and a green salad.