Squash and chestnut bake

image

1/2 butternut squash, cubed
1 onion, sliced
Coconut or other oil
1 garlic clove
Chestnuts, sliced
1 can chickpeas
Fresh herbs and seasoning – I used thyme and oregano
Soya cream, optional
Veggie sausages (i used Linda McCartney)

image

Slice the onion and peel and cube the squash.  Roast them together in oil in a large dish at 200 degrees for at least half an hour or until the squash is tender, adding the garlic halfway and stirring or giving the dish a shake now and then.
Cook the sausages according to packet instructions. When cooked cut them into bite sized pieces.

image

Add the chickpeas and sausages to the roasting dish and cook for a few minutes further.  Stir through the cream, if using, and scatter with herbs to serve.

image

Squash and chestnut bake

Apple and Blueberry Cake

Apple and Blueberry Cake

cake 3

I have to credit my Sister, Lisa for this recipe.  I remember her bringing this delicious cake round when I was just leaving the fog of first trimester pregnancy sickness and it tasted wonderful!

cake 2

Ingredients

4 eating apples

300g blueberries (fresh or frozen)

175g caster sugar

175g unsalted vegan margarine (I used vitalite)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 egg equivalent (I used Ogran No Egg)

175 self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

cake 1

Preheat oven to 180

Peel and slice the apples and add to an ovenproof dish

Add the berries and 2tbsp of the sugar.

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until pale and creamy.

Mix in the egg replacer gradually.  Add the flour and baking powder.

If the mixture is a little stiff add a splash of dairy free milk.

Spoon the batter over the fruit.

Bake for around 30 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean.cake

Serve with squirty cream!  I bought this beautifully – named schlagfix on a recent visit to the den at 23 so it was the perfect day to bake this cake.

cake6

Its worth noting that this needs to be served on some sort of plate and eaten with a fork or spoon, it’s too messy with all the fruit at the bottom to pick up. If the fruit is mixed into the batter or placed on top of the batter it might become a ‘cut up and pick up with fingers’ type cake.

Apple and Blueberry Cake

Vegan Lentil Chowder

This dish was invented on one of those evenings when you’ve run out of almost everything and you have to get creative with what’s at the back of the store cupboard.  Dan loved it and suggested I wrote it down quickly before I forgot what I put in it.  Now we have this regularly and call it ‘lentil chowder’ just because it’s creamy.

In these photos I’m making double the recipe then freezing half of it to eat on another night which works really well with this meal.

prepp

Ingredients

  • 200g red lentils
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 diced carrots
  • Tin mixed beans  (in this pic I’m using what I had open in my fridge, so sweetcorn, chickpeas and a tin of kidney beans)
  • Vegetable stock
  • 100ml Soya cream (or more if you like)
  • Coconut oil
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Lemon zest
  • Finely chopped fresh rosemary

chowder

Fry onion and carrot in oil to soften.  Add garlic and chilli and fry for a couple more minutes.

Add lentils and enough stock to comfortably cover them.

Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 mins.  Skim off any scum from the surface.

Add the beans and cream and simmer for another 15 mins.

Garnish with lots of lemon zest and herbs and a drizzle of cream.

garnish

Serve with rice and bread.

Vegan Lentil Chowder

Indulgent overnight oats

Mornings are always a rush with a toddler so I end up making toast every day, not very inspiring.  Overnight oats seemed like the perfect way to prepare ahead and get some variety into breakfast.

image

I wasn’t that impressed by my first attempt so this time I used indulgent ingredients to make sure it was really tasty – success!

Ingredients
4tbsp rolled oats
almond milk
1tsp cashew nut butter
agave nectar
fresh strawberries, sliced
pecans, broken
dark chocolate, chopped

Method

image

Put oats in a jar with a lid. I used an  empty peanut butter jar as I don’t have a fancy Mason jar. Add almond milk to cover the oats and the nut butter and give it a shake.
Leave in fridge overnight.
Add more milk if needed to get your desired consistency. Pour into bowl and top with pecans, strawberries and chocolate. Finish with a drizzle of agave nectar.

Indulgent overnight oats

Colchester town gets a vegan cafe

Moving home has kept me busy this last few weeks and we are still decorating and unpacking. I’m still trying to figure out how anyone gets anything done after having children.. I did find time to visit Colchester’s first vegan cafe (woohoo!) a couple of times.  I had high expectations that were more than met and would recommend anyone visits, vegan or not, The Den at 23. image image I’ll admit I was a little excited not to have to remember to request soya milk, and to have the choice of anything on the menu. And guess what? The food was awesome! image A tofu omelette is something I’ve been too lazy to make myself – it was delicious in a sausage bagel. And today I had what I’ve been dreaming about, a freshly made waffle with maple syrup. Lyra recommends the toast. She’s not the most adventurous toddler but the lovely soft bread kept her happy, as did the interesting surroundings, the decor is great. image I wish Jen and Rob of The Den at 23 all the success in the world in their vegan venture.

Colchester town gets a vegan cafe

A Very Vegan Birthday

I haven’t made many three course meals since our Daughter arrived 18 months ago – there is never enough time! So for my Husband’s birthday I decided to make the effort.  All the recipes were chosen with limited time in mind, and the fact that I might be summoned upstairs by a sleepy toddler wanting a cuddle at any point. To start I made spring rolls for the first time ever.  They took way longer than I anticipated to put together, even though I had prepped the veg earlier.  However, they were totally worth it as we both loved them and will definitely make use of the stack of rice paper wrapper I have leftover. Spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce Spring rolls recipe from the lovely blog the curvy carrot:  http://www.thecurvycarrot.com/2014/03/13/thai-fresh-spring-rolls-with-peanut-dipping-sauce-and-a-giveaway/ Next up was citrus baked tofu from ‘The Vegan Zombie – Cook and Survive’ cookbook.  A great recipe that I wasn’t sure I would like but really did.  I thought the sauce sounded a little sweet for my taste but the flavours were really well balanced.  I served it with some blanched then fried broccoli, asparagus and spring onion.

citrus baked tofu       the vegan zombie - cook and survive

Dessert was made ahead – some lovely little shortbread biscuits served with Almond Dream ice cream from Waitrose.  I went for the Salted Caramel after agonising for some time over the options in the ice cream aisle.   My only worry about the shortbread was if they would ‘veganise’ well because their butter content is so high – they did!

shortbread  almond dream

Shortbread recipe adapted from a millionaire’s shortbread on the veggie blog: https://theveggieblog.co.uk/2012/06/03/the-vegan-millionaires-shortbread/

A Very Vegan Birthday