Vegan sausage stew

Monday, 23 October 2017
Vegan sausage stew recipe

It's been a pretty long time since I last posted a recipe on here. That's the thing about having a blog, sometimes you're absolutely full of motivation and are banging out post after post, and other times you just aren't. Recently, I've been on an extended phase of the latter. As much as I love my blog, I also love being outdoors and exploring new places, seeing friends and family, and reading, so while I've been making more time for those things, this little space has been a bit neglected. I really wanted to share this recipe with you today, though, because it's such a comforting and hearty meal, which is exactly what we need at this time of year. Coming home to this after a long walk out in the cold is just wonderful. 

Vegan sausage stew recipe

You will need (serves 4-5) 
1/2 a butternut squash (or one small one)
1 carrot
1 courgette
1 onion
1 leek
2 handfuls spinach
2 cloves garlic
4 vegan sausages (I use Linda McCartney's vegetarian sausages)
400g tin chopped tomatoes
400g tin mixed pulses or beans
1/4 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock (I made this using 1 teaspoon of Marigold vegan bouillon powder)
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 tablespoon vegan worcester sauce
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Method: 
- Finely chop the onion and garlic and chop the squash, carrot, courgette, and leek into small chunks.
- In a large pot, add a little water and fry the onion, garlic, carrot, and leek for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the herbs, spices, and sugar and fry everything for a further 1-2 minutes.
- Add the stock, squash, courgette, lentils, and beans along with the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, and worcester sauce.
- Put a lid on the pot and leave to simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes.
- While the stew is cooking, cook the sausages according to packet instructions so they are ready at the same time as the stew.
- Chop the sausages into chunks and add to the pot along with the spinach and cook everything together for a further 10 minutes.
- Serve with mashed potato or rice.

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Vegan sausage stew recipe

Spicy tomato beans

Monday, 12 June 2017
Spicy tomato beans recipe

This spicy bean dish has become a regular occurrence in my kitchen over the past few weeks and I think it will continue to be for a long time. I love it with black beans the most and I've also used pinto beans with the same delicious result, but you could really use any beans you have and I am sure it would turn out wonderfully because the flavours from the sauce and other ingredients are just so good. I think the secret is the tomatoes - definitely use piccolo ones if you can find them, they totally bring this dish to the next level, along with my new found love of jalapenos. 

Spicy tomato black beans recipe

You will need (serves 2):
1 pack (220g) piccolo cherry tomatoes
1 400g tin black or pinto beans
2 finely chopped sundried tomatoes 
4-5 finely chopped slices of jalapeno 
1 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules 
1/2 teaspoon onion granules 
1/4 teaspoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons tomato puree
a pinch of salt and black pepper 

Method:
- Chop up the cherry tomatoes into quarters and drain and rinse the beans. 
- Add the tomatoes to a frying pan with a little hot water and cook for 4-5 minutes over a medium heat.  
- Add the tomato puree, paprika, garlic, onion, sugar, salt and black pepper to the pan with a little more hot water to make a paste. Stir in the sundried tomatoes and jalapeno slices and cook everything together for a further minute. 
- Finally, add in the beans and 1/2 cup of water. Using a fork, mash up about a third of the beans into the mixture and then leave to simmer for 20 minutes over a low heat. 
- Serve with rice and veggies or add to a wrap with salad.

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Spicy tomato Mexican beans recipe


Banana and blueberry bread

Monday, 1 May 2017
Vegan banana and blueberry bread recipe

It takes a lot of effort for me to be able to make banana bread; not because it is difficult or time consuming, but because I never have enough ripe bananas to make it. Ripe bananas in my house tend to be used up in smoothies or in porridge long before banana bread crosses my mind. So, if I do want to bake a banana loaf I tend to have to buy extra bananas and put them aside especially for the occasion, resisting all temptation to eat them sooner when I've run out of beautifully ripe ones. It's always absolutely worth it though as banana bread is definitely one of my favourites.

Vegan banana and blueberry bread recipe

You will need: 
dry ingredients 
2 cups plain flour
1 cup golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

wet ingredients 
3 super ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/2 cup almond (or other plant) milk

1 cup frozen blueberries

Method: 
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix well.
- In another large bowl, mash up the bananas using a fork and then add in the vanilla, coconut oil and milk. Mix well until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently fold to combine.
- Mix through the frozen blueberries.
- Transfer the mixture into a lined and greased loaf tin and bake in the oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour.

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Vegan banana and blueberry bread recipe

Tuscan bean and lentil soup

Monday, 3 April 2017
Vegan Tuscan bean and lentil soup recipe

Whatever the weather, soup is always one of my favourite dishes to eat. Call me crazy but even on a really warm summers day I can still enjoy a big bowl of soup with crusty bread. It's just one of those meals that always makes me feel wonderful so I tend to always have some stored away in my freezer for when the soup cravings hit. This recipe is one I am really into at the moment and (as usual) I've made it a lot of times in the past few weeks. It's adapted and veganised from The Soup Book by Sophie Grigson, a book that I used to use a lot but which is rather lacking when it comes to vegan recipes. The original recipe uses chicken stock and cheese, and no lentils so I've changed it up a bit but it's still pretty similar to the soup I used to make a few years ago. I love having this one for lunch because the beans and lentils keep me full up for ages, and it's full of veggies so packs in quite a few of your 5/7 a day. Serve with lots of warm crusty bread (optional but totally recommended!).

Vegan Tuscan bean and lentil soup recipe

You will need (serves 4): 
1 onion 
3 carrots 
1 leek 
2 cloves garlic
400g tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1/3 cup red lentils 
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock (made with 2 stock cubes)
200g spinach 
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
ground pepper

Method: 
- Chop up the onion, carrot and leek into small chunks. 
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over a low/medium heat and add the veggies. Fry for 10 minutes to soften. 
- Very finely chop up the garlic cloves, add these to the pot and fry for a minute. 
- Mash up half the beans with a fork and add these to the pot along with the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, vegetable stock, and lentils. Season with black pepper to your taste. Bring to the boil and then simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes. 
- Add the rest of the beans, spinach and nutritional yeast to the pot and simmer for a further 15 minutes. 

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Vegan Tuscan bean and lentil soup recipe

Creamy coconut and vanilla rice pudding

Monday, 20 March 2017
Creamy vegan coconut and vanilla rice pudding recipe

Ever since I visited All Bar One back in January to try out their special Veganuary menu, I've been dreaming about their coconut and vanilla rice pudding. The obvious answer would be to go back and get more, and I wish I could, but the delicious dessert was only there for Veganuary and is now gone from the menu. With cravings that could only be solved by creamy rice pudding, I had a bash at creating my own and I am so happy with how it turned out. I love having this as a lazy Sunday super indulgent breakfast or as a dessert. The coconut and vanilla go so perfectly together and it's just so creamy. Topped with a sweet blueberry compote and some coconut and pumpkin seeds, it makes the perfect bowl of deliciousness. 

Creamy vegan coconut and vanilla rice pudding recipe

You will need (serves 3-4):
for the rice pudding 
3/4 cup pudding rice
1 cup tinned coconut milk
2 1/2 cups soya milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons caster sugar

for the blueberry compote 
1 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons water

Method:
- Add all the ingredients for the rice pudding into a pot and mix well. 
- Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat right down and simmer for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
- 10 minutes before the rice pudding is ready, add the blueberries, sugar and two tablespoons of water to another pot and leave this to simmer over a low heat for 6-7 minutes to make a compote.
- Top the rice pudding with the blueberry compote and some pumpkin seeds and desiccated coconut.

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Creamy vegan coconut and vanilla rice pudding recipe

Roasted vegetable couscous

Monday, 6 March 2017
Roasted vegetable couscous lunch recipe

This is one of my go-to lunch recipes. Roasted vegetables are such a simple pleasure and this is a recipe I've been making for a while now, and one of my favourites to make in advance to take to work. Make a big batch on a Sunday and you're set for a few days, which is my favourite because ain't nobody got time for prepping lunches every night. If you fancy something a little different this also works really well as a filling for a wrap (I am so into wraps right now), or on the side of a main dish.

Roasted vegetable couscous lunch recipe

You will need (serves 2): 
for the roasted veg 
1 large sweet potato 
1 carrot 
1 courgette 
1 red onion 
2 sweet peppers
mixed herbs 
olive oil 
salt and pepper 

for the couscous 
1/2 cup whole wheat couscous 
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon mixed herbs 
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules 
1/2 teaspoon paprika 
1/4 teaspoon dried chillies
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast 
10 cherry tomatoes 
3 sundried tomatoes
the juice of a thick slice of lemon  

Method: 
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. 
- Peel and chop the sweet potato and carrot into small chunks and put onto a baking tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and mixed herbs and pop into the oven to bake for 40 minutes. 
- Chop up the onion, peppers, and courgette into small chunks and put onto another baking tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and mixed herbs. Put into the oven to bake for 25 minutes. 
- Once the veggies have all roasted, transfer them into a large bowl. 
- To make the couscous, add the 1/2 cup couscous to a pot with 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Bring this to the boil for 4-5 minutes and then remove from the heat and leave to sit for a few minutes. 
- Add the tomato puree, mixed herbs, garlic granules, paprika, dried chillies, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice to the couscous and stir through with a fork. 
- Chop up the cherry and sundried tomatoes and add these to the large bowl along with the couscous. Mix everything together well.

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Roasted vegetable couscous lunch recipe

Blueberry pancakes

Monday, 27 February 2017
Vegan blueberry pancakes breakfast recipe

Another Pancake Day, another pancake recipe. My banana and cinnamon pancakes recipe from last year was one of my most popular on here for ages so I'm glad you all seem to love pancakes as much as I do. Perfect for a lazy weekend morning snuggled under a blanket with a cup of tea, pancakes will always be one of my most favourite breakfasts. Blueberry pancakes tend to be my first choice when I decide I want a little something special to start my day and these ones taste just like a blueberry muffin, lovely and sweet with little pockets of blueberries bursting with flavour. I just love them, especially when topped with a lemony blueberry compote and lots of maple syrup. 

Vegan blueberry pancakes breakfast recipe

You will need (serves 1):
1/3 cup plain flour 
1/3 cup oats 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 ripe banana 
1/2 cup soya milk (or other plant milk)
1/2 cup blueberries 

Method:
- Put all the ingredients, except for the blueberries, into a blender and blend the mixture until smooth. 
- Transfer the mixture into a jug and stir in the blueberries. 
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Pour the mixture into the pan to make the pancakes. I can usually make two at once but this will depend on the size of your pan. Cook each pancake for 2-3 minutes on each side. You'll know the pancake is ready to flip when lots of little air bubbles appear on the surface. 
- Serve with your choice of toppings and syrup. I like to make a simple blueberry compote to pour over mine - just add a handful of blueberries to a bowl along with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle of caster sugar and pop in the microwave for a minute. You could also make it in a pot on the stove if you don't have a microwave.

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Vegan blueberry pancakes breakfast recipe

Sneaky ingredients to look out for as a vegan

Monday, 30 January 2017

I found out recently that the M&S veggie Percy Pigs aren't vegan and, I'm not gonna lie, it broke my heart a little. I'd always thought they were vegan and they taste so bloody good. Turns out they contain a sneaky E number, (E901, aka beeswax), disguising their non-veganness in the ingredients. I'm totally not up to speed on all the E's so definitely wouldn't have noticed this on my own (thank you Twitter), so I wanted to write a post with all the ingredients that can sneak into things under names that you wouldn't immediately recognise as being animal products.

We all have slip ups as vegans and that's okay. Don't beat yourself up about it. The thing is, once you make a mistake you know you won't make it again. I might never be able to have those delicious Percy's again but I'm okay with that because I'm not contributing to animal suffering by doing so. I feel like I've said this a million times on here but being vegan is about causing the least amount of harm possible, it's not about being perfect.

Gelatin - derived from animal products and never vegan. Commonly used in gummy sweeties. 

Lactose - a type of sugar found in milk. 

Rennet - this one caught me out back when I was vegetarian as Parmesan and Grana Padano cheeses are produced using rennet, which comes from the stomachs of animals. 

Honey/Beeswax - made by bees, for bees. 

Propolis - also known as bee glue. Contains beeswax and is made by bees. 

Whey - is kind of the leftovers of milk once it's been curdled and strained (gross). 

Casein - a protein that comes from milk. 

Vitamin D3 - often derived from animal products. The only vegan source of D3 is vitashine so unless this is specified then avoid the product. 

Lanolin - also known as wool wax or wool fat, a wax that is found on wool-bearing animals that is used to protect their wool. 

Isinglass - comes from the dried swim bladders of fish, often used for filtering beer and wine.  

Shellac - a resin produced by female lac bugs.  

Cod Liver Oil - it's in the name, comes from the liver of a cod fish. 

Cochineal - a scale insect that is crushed to used to create red dye. 

Bone Char - a material that is produced by charring animal bones. Can be used in sugar production, although this is less common now, and also as a black pigment in paint and ink. 

Pepsin - an enzyme produced in the stomachs of humans and animals. 

Tallow - a form of animal fat. 

Lard - pig fat. 

Down - goose or duck feathers used for insulating purposes, commonly found in jackets, duvets, and pillows. 

And a shit tonne of E's - the main ones to look out for that are never vegan are E120, E542, E901 and E904 but there are lots more that can be derived from animal products. Check out The Vegan Society for more info on these. 

I hope you guys found this post useful! I will try to keep it updated as and when I discover other sneaky ingredients that are not okay for vegans. Let me know in the comments if you've come across any others that I have missed. 

Creamy banana porridge

Monday, 9 January 2017
Vegan porridge recipe

This is the porridge I make almost every morning. It's the one that never fails me and the one that is a really good base for pretty much any toppings. I do love a fancy flavoured porridge every now and again, but this is the simple and pleasing one that I always come back to because it is so good. Turns out, cooking the banana into the oats is a total game changer, trust me.

Vegan porridge recipe

You will need (serves 1):
1/2 cup oats 
1/2 cup plant milk of your choice (oat milk is my favourite!)
1 ripe banana 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

Method:
- Add the oats to a pot along with the plant milk, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and 1/2 a cup of water. Chop the banana into chunks and add this to the pot too. 
- Simmer over a low-medium heat for 6-7 minutes until thickened. I usually need to add a little more water as it cooks but this depends on how you like your porridge.
- Serve with lots of toppings of your choice. My favourites are peanut butter, berries, banana, maple syrup, almond butter, jam, yoghurt, and granola.

Download this recipe

Looking to fancy up your porridge a bit? You might also like these:
Mango, Banana and Coconut Porridge
Apple, Blueberry and Cinnamon Porridge 

Vegan porridge recipe