05 December 2016

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (5 December 2016)

Happy Monday! How are you? I'm tired after a busy day at work, but I'm sitting down now and gazing through some gorgeous recipes this week.

So what have I been doing since last week? Well apart from the usual work and housework, I've been Christmas shopping and last night we put our Christmas tree up and decorated it while listening to Christmas crooners. The boys have been out for walks with the dogs, but my knee isn't quite right yet, so I've been missing out on all the fresh air and beautiful views.

So back to today and another 7 stunning veggie and vegan dishes to tempt you for the week ahead as well as a few bonus recipes. I hope you leave inspired!


Green Gourmet Giraffe



Loaded Taco Fries with Lime Crema
A Virtual Vegan


Cranberry, Feta and Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash
Easy Peasy Foodie


Lentil Puff Pastry Pockets


Green Thai Tofu Bowl
Tinned Tomatoes


Wholewheat Ratatouille Pizza
A Hedgehog in the Kitchen

photo: Everyday Healthy Recipes


Hearty Mushroom & Barley Soup - Lisa's Kitchen
Carrot, Leek & Mustard Seed Soup - Tinned Tomatoes
Puff Pizza Pie with Pesto - Tinned Tomatoes
Early Bird Scrambled Tofu - The Taste Space
Low Fat Spinach Macaroni Cheese - Everyday Healthy Recipes

Thanks to everyone who created a recipe for us this week.

If you're a blogger and would like to be featured next time. Link your veggie or vegan (main course) recipe to this post mentioning you are submitting your recipe with a link back and add your post to the linky below (one per blog).

If you're a reader, tune in next Monday for another seven delicious veggie and vegan recipes to help you plan your week.

03 December 2016

20 Minute Thai Green Tofu Bowl

I don't cook with tofu often enough. It's all the pressing and marinating. It takes too long and when I come home from work at night I just don't have time for all that business. However there's a new tofu brand on the block who've done all the work for me.


Tofoo is made to a traditional Japanese recipe in small batches by hand in Yorkshire. It's organic, non-GM, gluten, wheat, yeast and dairy free and it's certified by the Soil Association.

It comes in naked, smoked, oriental spiced and Indian spiced. I used the Indian spiced for my tofu or should I say tofoo bowl.

I know, I know I used Indian spiced for a Thai dish. It all just developed that way from the flavours I wanted to include. Lets call it a world tofu bowl and not think about it too closely!

It was just so easy to toss it in the pan and cook it at the same time as the mushrooms and you know how much I like easy.

I whizzed up a green sauce in my Froothie blender, then topped it with rice, wilted spinach, mushrooms, tofu, fine green beans and spring onions. I didn't display my bowl very well. The rice is totally hidden, but it's wholegrain and it's in there.

I did like this way of serving the dish up. I know bowl food has been a trend for a while, but I've totally ignored it. I'm not too bothered about trends and what's in fashion. I just want to serve and eat tasty food that's easy to make. Nothing pretentious or fancy, just good flavours.

print recipe

Thai Green Tofu Bowl

A comforting bowl of spiced tofu, mushrooms, spinach and fine green beans served on wholegrain rice and a Thai green curry sauce and topped with a sprinkle of finely chopped spring onions. Suitable for vegans.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 160g Indian spiced Tofoo (or pressed and marinated tofu)
  • 8 chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 120g fine green beans
  • 100g spinach
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 250g wholegrain rice (I used 2 minute microwave rice)
  • 200ml coconut milk (give it a good mix as it separates in the tin)
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
  • 1 lime (finely grated zest & 2 tbsp of juice)
  • a good dash of soy sauce
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • a good grinding of black pepper
  • a handful fresh coriander
1. In a large frying pan, saute the tofu and mushrooms in the olive oil. The tofu will take a bit longer, so add it a few minutes ahead of the mushrooms, Cook until the mushrooms are juicy and the tofu is hot, golden and a little crisp on the outside.2. While this is cooking pop the fine beans in a pan on boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender but with a bit of crispness.3. Microwave the rice.4. Place the spinach in a colander in the sink and rinse, then pour a kettle full of boiling water over it to wilt it. Refresh with cold water, then squeeze out as much water as you can and chop.5. Finely slice the spring onions.6. Next blend your curry sauce. Add all the remaining ingredients to a blender and whizz until smooth. My power blender can cook a sauce gently, but if you have a standard blender you may want to heat the sauce in a pan before adding to the bowl.7. Spoon sauce into two bowls, then top with rice. Next add tofu, mushrooms, spinach and green beans. Finish with a sprinkle of spring onions8. Enjoy!
Total time:
Yield: Serves 2

Tofoo is available from Tesco and Ocado.

On a side note, as I was talking about my blender. If you are thinking of buying a power blender like my Optimum 9400, enter '1405 free ambassador delivery' in the comment box while ordering and the delivery charge will be credited back onto your card. There's also £100 off just now in their Christmas sale.

If you like an easy curry, try my Potato, Aubergine (Eggplant) and Mushroom Curry.

Disclosure: This recipe was developed for Tofoo. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

30 November 2016

Christmas Gift Guide for Vegetarians

Christmas shopping.

Love it or hate it, it has to be done. I usually know what I'm getting my friends and family pretty early on. Not this year. I have a few presents, but need to get my thinking hat on quickly. I find men the hardest to buy for.

My gift guide is for everyone, not just men, although there will be some gifts that will suit them. Some of the things in my gift guide I have tried or own and others I'm just lusting after. Everything of course is veggie friendly.


Estelle Stemless Wine Glass - Anthropologie  £10
These are definitely on my wish list. They are just gorgeous!

Pastroral Napkin Set - Anthropologie  £26 (set of 4)
Cotton napkins with a watercolour design on them will perk up the dinner table. They'd look particularly good on a white tablecloth.

Moonlit Forest Dessert Plate - Anthropology  £16
Choose from owl, dear or bunny illustrations on these original dessert plates.


Perez Cruz - Virgin Wines was £19.99 now  £12.99
A full bodied Chilean red wine that's very easy to drink and works well with heavy winter meals.

Hope Springs - Virgin Wines  £8.99
This viognier is a dry white wine but it has a fresh citrussy flavour. Perfect to serve while chatting to friends.

Ca'Marina Prosecco -Virgin Wines was £12.99 now  £10.99
I couldn't leave out a Prosecco. I much prefer it to Champagne. This one is light and fruity and perfect to serve on Christmas day.

Small Gadgets

Spiralizing has been such a big trend, but most spiralizers are huge things that take up a lot of counter room, this one is small and hand-held.

Garlic Grater Set - Ginger & Garlic Grater Ltd  £12
Still one of my favourite bits of kitchen kit and this is where I bought mine after breaking the first one which was a gift. You wet the plate, rub the clove over it and it literally dissolves into a paste, which you brush into the pot with the brush, then pop everything in the dishwasher.

Diablo Toasted Snack Maker - Amazon  £16.95
I saw a picture of one of these which reminded me we had one somewhere. We use it to make little pizza pockets, like little toasties on top of the cooker, but you can use it on the BBQ too. It makes fun little snacks for kids and big kids.


These gorgeous condiment pots could be used for mayo, mustard or jam, but they would actually be great for individual desserts and bircher muesli. You will see these appearing on my blog!

Fox Pot Stand - Baking Time Club  £12
A lot more fun than your average trivet. A wooden fox that will look great beside the cooker.

Millie Marotta Dipping Bowls - MeldHome  £22
I love the designs on this set of three china bowls. They are very retro with a modern twist.  They are 11 cm in diameter and are dishwasher friendly.

Large Gadgets

No-Mess Waffle Maker - Sage £99.95
Waffles are great for breakfast, but the whole process can be messy, this one has a channel around the edge to catch any drips or excess batter. You can waffle so many different things. Go on google it!

Optimum 9400 Power Blender - Froothie  £299 (was £399)
This is the one thing I couldn't live without. I use it nearly every day to make smoothies, soups, pesto, hummus, burger mix, dips, curd, crushing ice and cocktails. 

Froothie have given me a good to use for free delivery on their products, just add AMBASSADOR FREE DELIVERY 1405 to the comment box. The amount will be credited back to your card.

Custom Loaf Pro - Sage  £249.95
I love this bread maker. It releases goodies into the dough as it is worked and the paddle withdraws during the process so you don't have a huge hole in the bottom. It's easy to use with the digital panel too. This is one I haven't packed away and forgotten about.


British Cassis - White Heron Drinks 500ml  £20 (200ml £12.50 & 50ml £5)
This stuff is glorious. It's a liqueur made from blackcurrants. Serve it over ice, in vodka, in prosecco or champagne. I'll be serving it with prosecco at Christmas.

Rhubarb Vodka - Craved 375ml  £16
Over ice, that's all it needs. Yes you can add it to a cocktail or serve it with lemonade, but I say over ice! Oh how I love rhubarb.

Edinburgh Raspberry Gin - Amazon 50cl  £18
I'm not keen on normal gin, the flavoured ones are more to my liking served plain with soda. This one is made from Scottish juniper berries and raspberries. Possibly the best raspberries in the world.


Advent Calendar for Two - Hotel Chocolat  £26
I love this idea. Cooper and I are sharing this one, it will be fun once we've established a side. Go on there's still time & if you buy it a few days late, all the more chocolate each.

Ronnie Reindeer - Thorntons  £6
Thorntons always do good Christmas figures for kids and this year they have Ronnie.

A Dozen Portly Penguins - Hotel Chocolat  £7.50
I may have already opened these and tucked in. Whoops! ps very nice!

I hope you leave inspired with some fresh ideas. Happy Shopping!

Disclosure: I was sent some of these items to try. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

28 November 2016

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (28 November 2016)

Happy Monday everyone!

I'm sure you are wondering where I was last week? Well don't hate me but I was in Provence visiting olive groves and watching olive oil being made with French co-operative Olivence. I know, lucky me.

Provence was beautiful and our hosts were fun to spend time with. I'm now completely won over by French olives. What a difference when olives are cared for and left to ripen naturally on the tree. I'll tell you about that another day.......

So I forgot I wasn't going to get back until really, really late Monday night, so MMM had to have a wee break.

Thanks for coming back, I think you'll be impressed by the recipes this week and hopefully you'll leave inspired. Do click on the links for the recipes and say hi to the bloggers who are kind enough to take part each week.

24 November 2016

Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Pineapple Frosting

Stir up Sunday has passed but it's not to late to do some festive baking. I wanted to make something Graham could enjoy this year, so it had to be egg and dairy free. I decided on gingerbread as that says Christmas to me with all the warming spices and deep flavours. I could have made a gingerbread loaf, but cupcakes just seemed so much more appealing.

They had to have frosting and as I'd just taken delivery of a box of Emily Fruit Crisps, I was eyeing up the pineapple and thinking they would go well with gingerbread.

The crisps aren't traditional crisps but pieces of fruit dried in a vacuum. There are no added preservatives, additives or sugar, just fruit. Just in case you thought I was adding oil laden crisps to my cupcakes.

I was glad there were a few bags of pineapple, as once I had started nibbling ..............

This was my trial recipe but they came out well. I sat with some paper and wrote down a few vegan and standard cupcake recipes, had a look at my gingerbread recipe and worked out a recipe that I thought would work. I was fully prepared to have to tweak it a few times, but they were pretty good first try. A fact reinforced when the boys came home and started eating them with big smiles on their faces.

16 November 2016

Creamy Rice Pudding with Toffee Bananas

Winter is all about comfort food. I know November is supposed to be autumn but it really feels like winter and all I want is filling shepherds pie, homemade soups, stews, bakes and puddings. It's funny how our body wants food like this when it starts to get chilly outside. It's warm indoors, but it doesn't stop those cravings.

One of my favourite puddings (apart from anything with custard) is rice pudding. My mum always made rice pudding when I was growing up and there's nothing like homemade rice pudding. 

It has to be made in a pot or in the microwave and not baked. Skin on a rice pudding is a big no-no. Rice pudding should always be rich and creamy and never have a skin.

I usually make it quite simply with a bit of sugar and lots of freshly ground nutmeg, but today I'm bringing you something altogether more luxurious. I made the rice the same way as usual, but added some ginger instead of nutmeg and topped the rice with soft slices of banana in a hot toffee sauce. Just glorious.

I made this dish with whole milk for Cooper as he really needs the calories (he is growing so quickly and runs everywhere), but I use coconut or nut milk for Graham's. It's rather fab too, just not as rich.