Tag Archives: vegan

Recipe of the Week – 26th February 2018 – Simple Moroccan Roasted Vegetables

For me this time of the year is all about comfort food – it has to be warm and filling, but that doesn’t mean that winter food has to be plain and stodgy. This recipe is a good example of something that is easy to prepare and will provide a great meal that will keep the cold out and fill you up at the same time. It’s also great for using up any root vegetables that you may have left over, so can be different every time!

Serves 4


500g baby potatoes, halved

1 large aubergine, diced

2 red peppers, sliced

1 large courgette, diced

2 small fresh beetroot, peeled and diced

1 large carrot, sliced

1 x 400g tin good quality chopped tomatoes

1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

5 tbs olive oil

5 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 tbs Ras-el-Hanout

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Salt and pepper to taste

Large handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Place all of the vegetables (not the chickpeas yet!) on a large baking tray. Drizzle the oil over, sprinkle with the spices, season then mix well to coat.

3. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring well halfway through.

4. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas, stir well again, and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.

5. Serve immediately, with rice, couscous or flatbreads, garnished generously with the chopped coriander.


Recipe of the Week – 22nd January 2018 – Bombay Potato Stuffed Aubergines

This is a variation on a recipe that I have posted before, but I make no apologies as it’s one of my favourites (and one of the most popular Specials in my cafe!). I have modified the spice blend and reduced the oil to make it a bit healthier and slightly spicier, but it is still very satisfying and my go-to comfort food when it’s cold outside!

Serves 6


6 large aubergines, halved and scored inside in a cross pattern

50 ml sunflower oil

3 large onions, sliced

150g baby potatoes, quartered

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp turmeric

1 tbs medium curry powder

2 x 400g tins of good quality chopped tomatoes

Small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped


1. Place the aubergine halves in a large colander, sprinkle generously with salt and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and set aside to drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, add half of the oil and saute the onions, garlic and spices on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and tomatoes, and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Season to taste.

3. Preheat the oven to 190C.

4. Pour the remaining oil in a griddle pan or large frying pan, the batch fry the aubergines until light brown. Repeat until all of the halves are done.

5. Arrange the aubergines open side up in a large baking tray. Pour the potato mixture over the top, ensuring that the aubergines are covered.

6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

7. Serve immediately with rice or a green salad.

Recipe of the Week – 7th January 2018 – Broccoli and Leek Spelt Risotto

Since the New Year I have started to look at new ways of cooking familiar foods, particularly trying to find healthier alternatives. This is my twist on a recipe for ‘Speltoto’ by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, using a ‘Superfoods’ mix of Spelt, Red Quinoa and Freekah, but any grain would work well and provides a more textured and less stodgy alternative to Risotto. Don’t worry I’m sure I’ll get back to stodgy recipes once the Christmas guilt has subsided!

Serves 4


3 medium leeks, trimmed and sliced

1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

300g dried Spelt or grain mix (I used M&S Superfoods mix)

4 tbs olive oil

1200ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

1 tsp dried Herbes de Provence

50g vegetarian Parmesan, grated plus a few slivers to finish. (Can be easily substituted with a dairy-free hard cheese to make it vegan.)

Salt and pepper to season


1. Heat half of the oil in a large saucepan and gently sauté the onion and garlic for about 7 minutes until soft. Stir in the herbs.

2. Add the Spelt, stir well to combine and cook for a further minute before adding the stock a little at a time.

3. Continue adding the stock a ladleful at a time until it is all absorbed (this should take approx. 20 minutes)

4. Meanwhile in a separate pan add the remaining oil and gently sauté the leeks and broccoli until soft.

5. Combine the contents of the two pans then stir in the grated cheese and season.

6. Serve immediately with toast, a further drizzle of oil and a few slivers of cheese.

Recipe of the Week – 25th December 2017 – Quick Christmas Vegan Roast!

If you’re stuck for an idea for a vegan main course to go with all the trimmings on Christmas Day, or just for Sunday lunch, here’s a recipe which is quick and easy and provides an alternative to the tried and tested (and somewhat over-used) nut roast recipes. As well as being suitable for people on nut, gluten or dairy-free diets, it’s very tasty, filling, and easy to make. What more do you need when the festive kitchen is chaotic and you just want some good food? Have a good Christmas everyone!

Serves 4


2 large aubergines, thinly sliced

500g red split lentils

6 tbs sunflower oil

1 large onion, finely sliced

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

800ml good quality stock from bouillon


1. Place the aubergines slices in a large bowl, sprinkle generously with salt and leave for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C.

3. Meanwhile, add the lentils, tomatoes, spices and stock to a large saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes until the stock is absorbed.

4. In a smaller pan add 2 tbs of the oil and gently simmer the onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Set aside.

5. Rinse and drain the aubergine slices then batch fry in the remaining oil in a large frying pan, turning once until both sides are golden brown.

6. In a large greased loaf tin add a layer of the aubergine slices, then a layer of the onion mixture, followed by a layer of the lentils. Repeat until full then place in the oven for 20 minutes.

7. Take out of the tin, cut into thick slices and serve immediately.

Recipe of the Week – 20th November 2017 – Simple Veggie Brunch

On the rare occasions when I get time to start the weekend at a relaxing pace, I often try to fit in an additional meal, because; a) I like cooking and experimenting with food, and, b) I like eating! Brunch is a great excuse to try something light but tasty, and whilst I often veer towards the toast, beans, sausages direction, I thought I would try something a bit more nutritious for a change. This recipe is loosely based on a Kenyan staple, and turned out to be very tasty. It would also work well on toast, but that may be taking brunch a bit too far!

Serves 4


1 tbs vegetable oil

1/2 small white cabbage, finely chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced

100g frozen peas

2 small onions, finely sliced

1 tbs vegetable bouillon

Freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (I used a wok which worked really well)

2. Add the onions and carrots and gently sauté, covered for 5 minutes.

3. Add the peas then cover and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes.

4. Add the cabbage and bouillon. Stir well, cover and continue cooking for a final 5 minutes, until the cabbage starts to soften, but still has some crunch.

5. Add plenty of black pepper and serve immediately.

Recipe of the Week – 23rd October 2017 – Aubergine Tagine

Anyone that has read my blog will soon realise that I do a lot of aubergine recipes (they are versatile, filling and very tasty, so what’s not to like?!) I also really enjoy making Middle Eastern and North African dishes, so this recipe was a bit of a revelation to me. Previously I have only made Tagines with some of the more sturdy root vegetables, such as butternut squash or sweet potato, but this dish is based upon one that uses baby aubergines, which I couldn’t get hold of at the time, although the quartered  whole ones give it a really nice, silky texture. The perfect comfort food!

Serves 6


6 medium aubergines, quartered lengthways

4 large onions, halved then finely sliced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

4 tbs olive oil

2 red chillis, deseeded and finely sliced

3 tsp cumin seeds

3 tsp coriander seeds

4 tsp sugar

3 x 400g tins of good quality chopped tomatoes

Small handful each of fresh mint and coriander, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Place the aubergine quarters in a large colander, sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

2. Meanwhile, place the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat then add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.

3. Put the cumin and coriander seeds in a small frying pan and dry toast gently for 1 minute before crushing in a pestle and mortar.

4. Add the crushed seeds, chilli and sugar, fry for a further minute then add the aubergines and stir to coat thoroughly.  Add the tomatoes, cover and simmer for 40 minutes. 

5. Season to taste, stir in the fresh herbs and serve with couscous or fłatbreads.

Recipe of the Week – 16th October 2017 – Roasted Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup

This recipe feels about as autumnal as you can get – it’s very simple to make but the result is really rich and satisfying, not to mention incredibly filling!

Serves 4 to 6


1 large cauliflower, cut into florets

3 medium parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tbs cumin seeds

200g red split lentils

2 tbs sunflower oil

1 litre vegetable stock from good quality bouillon 

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated nutmeg


1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Place the cauliflower and parsnip pieces on a large baking tray, drizzle with the oil, season and place in the oven for 25 minutes, until beginning to brown.

3. Put the cumin seeds in a large saucepan and carefully dry fry over a medium heat for one minute then add the roasted vegetables and the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Blend the soup until thick and smooth and serve with toasted croutons and grated nutmeg to finish.