Recipe | Sweet and Spicy Marinated Aubergine

I haven’t posted a recipe for a while; I’ve been on holiday, and also generally eating out a lot 😁 but I’m back in the swing of cooking at home and here is my first invention; spicy marinated aubergine.

Its super easy and delicious; smoky, sweet and a bit spicy, its perfect with couscous, salad or as a side dish with a main meal. The marinade also works well on oven baked tofu.

Preparation time: approx 5 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 aubergine, sliced into 1cm slices lengthways (approx 4 slices)

Marinade:

  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 1tsp harissa paste
  • 1tbsp golden syrup
  • 1tsp soy sauce
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped / 0.5tsp pre-chopped garlic

Recipe:

  • Score the aubergine slices on one side – cut into to make shallow cuts, but don’t go all the way through
  • Place the aubergine on a lightly oiled tray

  • In a bowl, mix all of the marinade ingredients until well combined
  • With a pastry brush (or back of a spoon) spread half the marinade on the top of the aubergine slices

  • Cook for 10mins at 200C
  • Turn the slices over, spread the rest of the marinade on this side of the aubergine, and cook again for 10 mins

  • Turn the aubergine slices again to the first side, and finish off by cooking for a final 10 mins

Enjoy 😊

Recipe | Spicy papaya salsa

Disclaimer: papaya can cause an allergic reaction in people allergic to latex

This recipe is a delicious fruity alternative to a mango or pineapple salsa. Papaya is not too sweet so its perfect for a savoury, spicy salsa.

This recipe is so easy and so quick but very tasty; I love it with fajitas or nachos!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large tomato
  • Half a papaya, with skin and seeds removed
  • 0.5 tsp chopped garlic / 1 small chopped clove
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger (I used pre-crushed from a jar)
  • 0.5tsp chilli flakes
  • A quarter of a small red onion
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Pepper to taste

Recipe:

  • Finely chop the tomato, papaya and onion and add to a bowl

  • Add the garlic, ginger, chilli and lime and black pepper to taste
  • Stir well and leave to stand for at least 30mins before serving

  • Stir occasionally
  • Its that easy!! Serve with nachos, fajitas, chilli, or your favourite spicy dish

Recipe | Spicy roast okra

Prep time 10mins

Cook time 20-25 mins

Okra is a tasty vegetable (technically a fruit) which is delicious in curries and stews, but its also great as as side dish when roasted. This is how I have them, and its such an easy recipe to prepare and cook

I found a tip in an online forum once that if you soak them in cold water an df lime juice they lose some of the sliminess so i do that. I’m not sure if it works but if not you get some lime flavour on the okra. I assume lemon would work fine too

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack okra
  • 1 lime
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp black onion seeds (nigella seeds)
  • 1tsp chopped garlic
  • 0.25tsp chilli flakes
  • 0.5tsp salt flakes
  • 0.25 onion, chopped into chunks
  • Spray oil to coat

Recipe:

  • Chop the tops off the okra and place in a dish or bowl
  • Squeeze the lime juice over them and cover with cold water. You may have to put a spoon on them as they float quite successfully

  • Leave for 10 mins, then drain
  • Transfer to a baking tray
  • Sprinkle over the cumin, onion seeds, garlic and chilli, and chopped onion

  • Spray to coat with oil (or drizzle with oil), sprinkle with salt, and place in 200C oven
  • Cook for 20-25 mins or until the onions and okra are looking crisp
  • Serve on the side of your favourite curry

Recipe | Nut and Mushroom Roast – vegan meatloaf

This is a really easy recipe for a nut roast/vegan meatloaf. The photos are not flattering as lets be honest, its a brown square, but it tastes lovely, and has a nice soft texture.

You will need a food processor to chop up the ingredients

Cooking time is 1hr but prep time is only about 20mins or less

I have used 3 different types of nuts, as they all have different flavours and nutrients. Hazelnuts are a good source of vitamin E and manganese. Brazil nuts are a good source of magnesium. Cashew nuts are a good source of copper and zinc.

In this recipe you will need Granovita mushroom pate . I got mine in Co-op, but I have also bought it in tescos before, and I think I’ve seen it in Asda. It’s worth seeking out, not just for this recipe. It’s delicious on toast!!

Ingredients

  • 160g cooked mushrooms or tinned mushrooms
  • 1 tin beans of your choice (I used black beans)
  • Quarter of onion
  • 3 small or 2 large garlic cloves
  • 30g cashews, 30g hazelnuts and 40g Brazil nuts (or 100g nuts of your choice)
  • 1tin Granovita mushroom pate
  • 1tbsp mixed herbs
  • 1tbsp stock powder or 2 crumbled stock cubes
  • 1.5tbsp savoury yeast flakes
  • 4tbsp chickpea flour

Recipe

  • In a food processor chop the mushrooms, nuts, onion, garlic and beans into a fine mince like mixture
  • Put the mix in a large bowl

  • Add the herbs, stock powder, yeast flakes, some black pepper and the whole tin of mushroom pate. Mix together well
  • Add the 4tbsp chickpea flour and mix in well
  • Add the mix to a loaf tin lined with non stick baking parchment

  • Cook at 170C for 1hr
  • Serve with your favourite veg and mash or roast potatoes and gravy

Recipe | Mint and harissa mushroom and almond burgers

These mushroom burgers were a little experiment that worked out well. They are minty and spicy and really good with cous cous. Plus they are really easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 500g chestnut mushrooms, washed and chopped
  • 20g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 sundried tomatoes (dried or in oil is fine)
  • 120g unsalted almonds
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped or mashed
  • 1.5 tsp harissa spices
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • 1tsp veg stock / 1 crumbled stock cube

Recipe:

  • In a bowl, put the dried mushrooms (rinse them first ti get rid of any grit) and the sundried tomatoes if you are using dried ones. Add boiling water, just enough to cover them
  • Cover the bowl with a lid or plate and leave to rehydrate

  • In a hot pan, add a tsp oil and the chestnut mushrooms. Fry them until all their water has come out and then evaporated again and they are cooked. Put to one side.
  • Add the almonds to a food mixer and blend until you have a mix of finely chopped and some chunks for texture. Put in a large bowl

  • Put the fried chestnut mushrooms in the blender and blend until you have a finely chopped mushroom mix. (Some larger chunks are fine if you want some for tecture in the burgers) Add it to the bowl with the almonds.
  • Next, fish out the rehydrated mushrooms (and tomatoes if you had them), leaving the water behind and put them in the blender. If you are using sundried tomatoes from a jar, add these to the blender. Blend to a finely chopped mix. Add to the bowl with the almonds and mushrooms
  • Add the paprika, harissa, garlic, mint and stock to the bowl and mix really well until its combined

(This photo does not look the most appetizing but trust me it smells delicious)

  • Wet your hands with cold water so the mixture sticks less to them, and shape into 8 small burgers

  • Cook at 200C for 20 mins, and serve alongside couscous, rice, salad, or in a bun.

Recipe | Spicy bean and lentil chilli

Chilli is a classic dish, which is quick and easy to whip up. This is my interpretation.

When eating vegan it is important to eat a range of protein sources across the day to get as many different amino acids as possible. In this recipe there are 3 different types of pulses and I served it with brown rice, which are all sources of protein.

Getting iron is also something important to think about and you will absorb more iron from your food if you eat it alongside vitamin C. Lentils and beans are good sources of iron, and the tomatoes, peppers and lemon in the recipe will help maximise absorption.

This recipe can also be served with tacos, in tortillas, with nachos, with salad or veg…so it is versatile

It’s particularly delicious topped with coconut yoghurt and jalapenos

Ingredients:

  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cinammon stick
  • 1tsp medium spice dried chilli flakes (or equivalent amount of fresh chilli – add more if u like extra spice)
  • 1tsp mashed/chopped garlic
  • 2tsp mashed/chopped ginger
  • 3tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1.5tsp ground cumin
  • 2tsp mixed herbs
  • 2tsp stock powder/2 stock cubes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml passata
  • 2 peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 200g mushroom, sliced
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 4 tbsp dried red lentils
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 tin of other bean of your choice. (I used black beans)

Recipe

  • Add a tbsp or so of oil to a pan and turn on the heat. Add the cinammon, cumin seeds, chilli, garlic and ginger, and fry for 30 seconds

  • Add the onion, pepper and mushrooms and stirfry for a further 4-5 minutes until the onions and peppers start to soften
  • Add the other spices (ground cumin, paprika, smoked paprika, mixed herbs) and stock and mix into veg

  • Add the lentils and beans, 1tbsp tomato puree, tin of tomatoes, 200ml of passata and 300ml of water and stir well

  • Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer with the lid on for 25-30 minutes. Stir every few minutes to make sure the lentils don’t stick to the bottom. If it becomes too dry, add more water
  • After 30 mins, or when the lentils ate cooked, add the lemon juice, some ground pepper and a pinch of salt.
  • Serve with rice and with toppings of your choice

Recipe | Zingy pickled fennel

This recipe is so simple but makes a very tasty coleslaw-esque side dish.

It is crunchy and zingy, and with a mild aniseedy flavour. Perfect alongside a potato salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 0.5tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed or mashed / 0.5 tsp if from a jar
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt

Recipe;

  • Slice the fennel as thinly as you can
  • Put in a large, flat bottomed container, like a lunchbox, so the fennel will get maximum exposure to the lemon juice and flavours
  • Add juice of 3 lemons, the fennel seeds, garlic, ground black pepper and 2 pinches of sea salt

  • Stir, cover and refrigerate
  • Stir occasionally
  • It will be ok to eat within 30minutes but the flavour is best if left overnight to pickle and so the flavours can infuse.

Its that simple; enjoy! 😊

Vegan brocolli and “blue cheese” soup

Being vegan does not mean having to miss out on your favourites; this is my take on the old classic, brocolli and blue cheese soup.

There are many good tasting vegan cheeses out there. I used the blue style cheese by Mouses Favourite – “CamBlue” which is cashew based.

There are many vegan blue cheeses out there. Mozzarisella, Nutcrafter, Vegusto, are my favourite that do blue cheese varieties, but theres many out there and some available from most mainstream supermarkets these days

(Always check the ingredients as many are made from nuts, coconut or soya or other allergens)

Ingredients:

  • 7/8 large brocolli florets, chopped into small pieces – keep the little green bits that fall off; they are tasty and add colour
  • 150g potato, peeled and chopped into small chunks, approx 1cm across
  • 1pint veg stock
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp savoury yeast flakes (I use Engevita with added B12)
  • 30g blue cheese alternative, chopped or grated

Method:

  • Add the onion and garlic to a oan with a small amount of oil and fry for a couple of minutes, just to soften slightly
  • Add the brocolli and potato
  • Fry again for 2minutes or so
  • Add the stock, yeast flakes and herbs and season with pepper to your own taste

  • Simmer for approximately 30mins until the soup has thickened and the potato and brocolli have broken down to smaller pieces and softened
  • Add extra water if it is needed while it cooks – the amount you will need will vary depending how fast you simmer as this will have an effect on how much evaporates
  • Add the cheese, stir until its melted
  • Serve with some nice crusty bread 😋

Easy tomato soup

Tomato soup is such a satisfying and simple dish, especially in the cold winter months… here’s how I make mine

Its not too rich, and the flavours are fresh and subtle

This recipe will make 3-5 bowls, depending how hungry you are 😉

Ingredients

  • 1000g vine tomatoes/ approx 10-12 tomatoes
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 onion, chopped into quarters
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinammon stick
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp crushed ginger
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes or equivalent
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • 3 tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 150ml tomato passata
  • 2tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 large/heaped tsp chopped rosemary

You will need:

  • A blender

Method:

  • Wash the tomatoes and put them in a large saucepan- no need to chop them as the soup will be blended
  • In a separate frying pan, dry fry the cinammon stick and star anise for 30secs to 1 min to release the aromas
  • Add these to the pan with the tomatoes and add the garlic clove, onion, ginger, mustard seeds and herbs

  • Add water, freshly boiled, to a level which almost covers the tomatoes
  • Add the stock cubes, orange juice and simmer for 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, remove (but save) the star anise and cinnamon stick and blend the soup to a smooth consistency
  • Return to the pan
  • Add back the star anise and cinnamon stick
  • Add the 3tsp Apple cider vinegar, 150ml passata, 2tbsp tomato puree, 1tsp rosemary and some black pepper.
  • Simmer again for about 30 minutes
  • Take out the cinammon stick and star anise
  • Its now ready to serve!
  • I like my tomato soup a bit runny. If you like it thicker, gradually add cornflour mixed with cold water until its the consistency you like