Guacamole with Tortilla Chips

I’m often tempted to buy those bargain nets of avocados from the supermarket which always ripen at the same time. This is a great, easy recipe for using them up! I used a large vine tomato and a red onion I had in the fridge, but I’ve also made it before with a handful of cherry tomatoes and a few sliced spring onions. Just use what you have!

You will need:

2 ripe avocados

Juice of 1 lime

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 large vine tomato, chopped

Half a teaspoon chilli flakes

Salt and pepper

2 corn tortillas (or wraps)

Cut the avocados in half and remove the stones. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Place in a bowl with the lime juice and mash with a fork.

Stir in the chopped onion, garlic and tomato and combine.

Add salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste.

To make the tortilla chips, cut the tortillas or wraps into triangles. Place on baking tray and sprinkle with a little salt. 

Bake at 180C/Gas 4 for about 12 mins until golden and crispy. Turn halfway through cooking.

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Simple Vegan Cake

I’ve been a bit tied up getting my new book out ( In A Nutshell ) so it’s great to get back into the kitchen! Ive been trying to adapt my old sandwich cake recipe and so far this is my best attempt! 

You will need:

  • 350g self raising flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 200ml almond milk
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 1 table spoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and beat well with a wooden spoon or use an electric mixer.

Pour batter into two greased and lined 20cm loose-bottom cake tins.

Bake at 170C for 25mins or until risen and browned.

To make the butter icing, whisk together 200g of icing sugar, 100g vegan margarine and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Use half to sandwich cakes together and the rest to cover the top. Decorate with fresh fruit.

Spicy Roast Cauli and Sweet Potato Cakes with Chickpeas and Spinach

This recipe came about during the recent snowy weather. I fancied cooking a curry but didnt want to put on my wellies and trudge to the shops, so used what I had in the fridge. A good way of using leftovers! 

FOR THE ROAST CAULI:

1 cauliflower, broken into florets

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 teaspoons garam masala

FOR THE SWEET POTATO CAKES:

750g sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon garlic granules

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

 Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons flour

FOR THE SAUCE:

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Can chopped tomatoes

200g baby spinach leaves

Can chickpeas, drained

Heat oven to 200C/Gas 5

First make the sweet potato cakes. Boil the sweet potato for about 15 mins or until soft. Drain, then add ground coriander, ground cumin, garlic granules, chilli flakes, lemon juice and flour and mash well.

Form into small rounds and place on an oiled oven tray. Set aside.

Mix the coconut oil with the garam masala in a bowl. Toss the cauliflower in the oil and spice mixture until coated. Put the cauliflower on a baking tray.

Place the two trays in the oven, potato cakes on the shelf above the cauli and roast for about 30 mins until cauli is cooked and potato cakes are crisp on top.

Meanwhile make the sauce. Cook the onion in a little oil for 2 mins then add the coriander and cumin and cook for a further 2 mins.

Add the tomatoes with a half a can of water. Bring to the boil then turn down heat.

 Add spinach leaves and drained chickpeas and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and spinach has wilted. 

Keep warm until the cauli and sweet potato cakes are cooked. Serve with rice and nan bread.

Easy Vegan Brownies

This is a quick and easy recipe for when you need a sweet, chocolatey treat. I used pecans but you could use up any leftover chopped nuts, or vegan chocolate chips.

Ingredients:

175g self raising flour

175g caster sugar

60g cacao powder

Pinch of salt

200ml almond milk

100ml sunflower oil

Teaspoon vanilla extract

75g pecans, chopped
Heat oven to 180C. Grease and line an 18cm x 24cm brownie tin.

Put the flour, sugar, cacao powder and salt into a bowl and mix.

Put the almond milk, sunflower oil and vanilla extract into a jug and mix.

Pour the liquid into the bowl and mix well. Pour into the prepared tin and sprinkle the nuts on top.

Bake for 25 minutes. Leave to cool before turning out and cutting into squares.

Serve hot or cold with coconut ice cream.

Happy cooking ūüėä

Supergreen Soup

I love this soup, especially when I’ve been eating junky stuff and need a blast of green goodness!
INGREDIENTS:

350g broccoli, chopped (including stems)

5 spring onions, chopped

1 medium potato, peeled and diced

50g kale, washed and chopped

750ml hot vegetable stock

100g frozen peas, defrosted

Black pepper

1 teaspoon wheatgrass powder (optional)

Put the broccoli, spring onions, potato and kale into a large pan and pour in the hot vegetable stock.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 15mins.

Add the peas and cook for a further 5mins until the vegetables are cooked.

Blend until as smooth as you like.

Sprinkle in the wheatgrass powder and add pepper to taste.

Happy cooking!

Chilli Tofu with Vegetables

Tofu can be a bit of an aquired taste, a lot depends on how it is cooked!  It has a creamy texture and mild flavour but absorbs flavours well making it ideal for both savoury dishes and desserts.
This recipe uses firm tofu and I used smoked to add flavour. I added dried chillies and paprika to give the sauce a kick but you could add your choice of spices.

INGREDIENTS:

1 red onion

1 leek

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

Two handfuls spinach leaves

10 closed cup mushrooms

225 smoked tofu

FOR THE SAUCE:

Can of chopped tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon tomato puree

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon dried chillies

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Chop the peppers, onion, leek and mushrooms into bite-sized pieces and place in an ovenproof dish.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together and pour over the vegetables.

Drain the tofu and chop into cubes.

Add to the vegetables with the spinach and carefully stir in.

Bake at 190C/Gas 5 for approx 40 mins. Every ten minutes or so, stir vegetables to ensure even cooking.

Serve with rice.

Halloween Stuffed Peppers

I love roasted peppers! These are filled with rice and vegetables but you could use other grains such as bulgur wheat. Cutting ‘pumpkin’ faces into the peppers gives them a Halloween twist.

Ingredients

4 red peppers, washed

4 tablespoons olive oil

150g long grain rice

3 spring onions, sliced,

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 small mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoon frozen peas, defrosted

1 tablespoon frozen sweet corn, defrosted

500ml hot vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

Heat oven to 200C/Gas 6

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan and add the garlic, spring onions, mushrooms, peas, sweet corn and herbs. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil then simmer for about 15 minutes until the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

Meanwhile prepare the peppers. Carefully slices of the tops to make lids and scoop out the seeds and membrane. You may need to cut a slice from the bases to enable them to stand. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut a face into the front of each pepper. Place on an oiled baking sheet.

Fill the peppers with the rice mixture and place the lids on top. Brush the peppers with the remaining oil and bake for 20 mins until the peppers are tender and begin to change colour. Serve the peppers with any leftover rice mixture.

Halloween Butternut and Sweet Potato Soup with Garlic Ghost Toasts

This is a lovely soup for a chilly evening. Roasting the vegetables first really brings out the flavour. The addition of curry powder gives it a warming kick, and the garlic toast is like a big delicious garlicky crouton!

Ingredients:

For the soup –

1 medium butternut, peeled and chopped

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large white onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons curry powder

900ml hot vegetable stock (I used Vecon)

For the toasts –

4 slices ciabatta

2 tablespoons vegan butter

2 garlic cloves, chopped garlic

1 teaspoon dried parsley

Set the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Put the butternut squash and sweet potato onto a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast for 15 – 20 mins or until cooked through.

Heat the remaining oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and stir in the curry powder. Cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the roast butternut squash and sweet potato and stir in the stock. Allow to cool a little then blend. Check the seasoning – add salt and pepper to taste.

To make the toasts, first mix the garlic and parsley into the butter. Cut the slices of bread into ghost shapes with a sharp knife or cookie cutter. Spread with the butter and toast under a hot grill until golden.

Serve the soup with the toasts.

Halloween Mummy Sausage Rolls

Sos-mix is great for making sausage rolls. (I buy mine from¬†www.alternativestores.com) It freezes well so it’s a good idea to make a batch to have on hand for impromptu parties. These are supposed to look like mummies! I’m sure you could do better – send me a pic if you make them.

You will need:

200g plain flour

Pinch salt

100g vegan margarine

Approx 50ml water

150g Sos-mix

250g cold water

Pieces of green or red pepper for eyes

Soya milk for brushing

Heat oven to 200C/ Gas

Prepare the Sosmix – put the dried Sosmix into a bowl. Add 250g cold water, mix well then leave for ten mins.

Meanwhile make the pastry – Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the salt then rub in the margarine. Add approx 50ml water, stir in with a knife then flour your hands and knead the mixture gently to make a dough. (You can use ready made pastry if you prefer)

Roll out half of the pastry into a long rectangle. Form a long sausage from half of the Sos-mix and place in the centre of the pastry. Use a sharp knife to make slits down both sides of the pastry.  Brush with soya milk and fold up the strips at each side to look like bandages.

Cut the sausage roll into smaller pieces, brush with soya milk and press two small pieces of red or green pepper into each for eyes.

Repeat with the remaining pastry and Sosmix.

Place the finished rolls on an oiled baking sheet and cook for 20-25 mins or until golden brown.

Nutty Cookies!

As I live with a family of biscuit guzzlers I often make these cookies.  Nuts are full of minerals and healthy oils, oats are a good source of fibre and are believed to protect against heart disease. We all have a different favourite so I make a batch of each then freeze half.

APRICOT, HAZELNUT AND SPICE COOKIES

Ingredients:

100g plain flour

60g rolled (porridge) oats

75g ready-to-eat dried apricots

50g hazelnuts

1 teaspoon mixed spice

125g sunflower margarine

2 tablespoons maple syrup (or you can use golden syrup if you prefer)

Put the flour, oats and spice into a mixing bowl.

Chop the apricots – I used kitchen scissors to this – and add to the bowl.

Carefully chop the hazelnuts with a sharp knife. You can use a processor to do thia but don’t over-grind them. Add the chopped nuts to the bowl and mix well.

In a small pan, gently heat the margarine and syrup until melted then pour onto the dry ingredients. Mix well.

Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto two greased baking sheets leaving plenty of space between them. You should be able to make about 10 cookies.
Bake at 180C/Gas 4 for 12 – 15 mins until golden.

CHERRY, ALMOND AND CINNAMON COOKIES

Omit the apricots, hazelnuts and mixed spice. Add 75g glace cherries (halved), 50g ground almonds and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

RAISIN, WALNUT AND GINGER COOKIES

Omit the apricots, hazelnuts and mixed spice. Add 75g raisins, 50g chopped walnuts and 1 teaspoon ground ginger.

Happy cooking!