Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (30 November 2015)

It's been another busy week here. Cooper was poorly over the weekend, but he is on the mend now and should be back at school on Wednesday.

I had a great week, my new column is out in the December issue of Vegan Life Magazine and I've had a recipe featured in the current edition of At Home Magazine, so do look out for me.

Have you had a good week? 

Now it's time for some more Meat Free Monday recipes to inspire you for the week ahead. Thanks to everyone who contributed.


Only Crumbs Remain


The Vegan Year


Easy Peasy Foodie


Lisa's Kitchen


Tinned Tomatoes


Green Gourmet Giraffe


The Veg Space


The Veg Space

Self-Sufficient Cafe

Allotment 2 Kitchen

If you're a blogger and would like to be featured next week. Link up your veggie or vegan (main course) recipe to this post 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.


Easy Spicy Black Bean Pâté (dairy free & vegan)

I came up with the recipe for this spicy bean pâté a couple of years ago. I was stuck for something to put on a sandwich for Graham that wasn't hummus. He started eating vast amounts of hummus when he became vegan. Now I am not saying hummus isn't tasty stuff, but he was eating a heck of a lot of it.

We eat a mostly vegan diet, but Cooper and I fall back on cheese if I'm stuck for ideas as we're still vegetarian. It can be hard work sometimes thinking up a vegan alternative for Graham. Most of the time it's a breeze, but sometimes when I'm super tired it's a challenge.

Bean pate made in a blender

This pâté can be whizzed up in a food processor or blender in seconds. I have a power blender which is just the thing for whipping up a quick batch of hummus or pate.

This quick blender pate is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin B1, folate and iron as well as lots of other goodies. Oh and it tastes pretty wonderful. A thick, velvety texture and a rich spicy flavour. Graham loves it!

Which power blender?

If you are interested, I use the Optimum 9400 from Froothie, which wet and dry blends in one jug (unlike the Vitamix), it is also more powerful and cheaper than the Vitamix. It's super easy to clean too, just a few drops of washing liquid and some hot water, hit blender and watch it clean itself in seconds.

Black bean pate - calories and nutrition

This spicy black bean pate has no oil, so it's super healthy and low calorie. Divide this pate into 4 very generous servings and you are looking at only 111 calories. It is a good source of dietary fibre and iron and also contains calcium and potassium.

Serve it on toast, generously spread in a sandwich or wrap and topped with salad or serve it the Scottish way with oatcakes.

This pate is perfect if you are watching your weight, cutting down on fat or counting your calories. It's the perfect recipe for the 5:2 diet, (UPDATE) which now allows 800 calories a day. You can read more about the new 5:2 diet in my post the The New 5:2 Diet Explained.

Yield: 1 generous tub of pâté

Easy Spicy Black Bean Pâté

A rich velvety pâté made with black beans. Made in minutes, but it will sit happily in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container and the flavour gets better and better. Great for the festive season, served on oat cakes or thick slices of bread toasted and rubbed with a cut clove of garlic.
prep time: 5 MINScook time: total time: 5 mins


  • 1 x 400g tin black beans, rinsed well
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ - 1 tsp chilli powder (more if you like things spicy)
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tbsp porridge oats
  • a good grinding of black pepper


  1. Drain and rinse the black beans.
  2. Juice the lemon.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and whizz until you have a fairly smooth pate.
  4. Serve and enjoy!


Calories are for 4 generous servings.
fat (grams)
carbs (grams)
protein (grams)
sugar (grams)
Created using The Recipes Generator

For more ideas like this follow my Pinterest board Dressings, Dips and Sauces. For more sandwich ideas check out my ultimate sandwich guide, which has 50 vegetarian and vegan sandwich ideas for you to try. Lunchtime will never be boring again.

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Disclosure: I work for Froothie because I love the blenders so much. I am not expected to write a positive review. When I promote them I include an affiliate link. I receive a small commission on any bought through my link, which goes towards the running cots of this blog.

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (23 November 2015)

Hi everyone, it's Monday again so time for another round of Meat Free Monday and I have seven droolworthy recipes to see you through the week as well as a few bonus recipes.

I don't have much to tell you about my week.

I've been feeling pretty exhausted after having the flu, but I've been thinking about Christmas and trying to get the house back in order.

Our front door lock broke on Thursday, we thought we might have needed a new door as it's double glazed. The locksmith actually groaned when he saw it, but he managed to fix it.  We are now £70 lighter, but it could have been much worse.

Oh and we had snow on Saturday night, but it's all gone now.

That's it another exciting week in the Meldrum household.

So on to the recipes. Do stop by and say hi to some of the bloggers who have shared their tasty recipes with us this week.


Veggie Desserts


Cheesey Spinach, Mushroom and Potato Crust Pie
Foodie Quine


Warm Butternut Squash, Harissa and Halloumi Salad
Easy Peasy Foodie


Vegetable Stew with Mushroom Dumplings
Tin and Thyme


Vegan Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine
Tinned Tomatoes


Whisky Portobello Mushrooms Burgers
The Tofu Diaries

Bonus recipes:

Cauliflower Cheese Soup - Thinly Spread
Vegetarian Croque Madame Muffins - Only Crumbs Remain
Warm Spicy Soba Noodles - Easy Cooking with Molly
Easy Asian Style Broccoli - A Virtual Vegan

Thanks to everyone who contributed a recipe.


Vegan Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine with Bulgur Wheat

Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine with Bulgur Wheat (vegan)

I love a bake and this tagine fits the bill nicely. It's easy to make, packed with flavour and really satisfying.

I roasted the vegetables first and then added the chickpeas, tomatoes and spices. I made my Veggie Sausage and Chickpea Bake the same way and it was super tasty.. I changed my vegetables up this time and used what I had from my veg box. Butternut squash, red onion, courgette, red peppers and beetroot, which all taste great roasted. I changed my spices this time too and went for a simple combination of paprika and chilli powder.

Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine with Bulgur Wheat

Veggie Sausage, Lentil & Red Pepper Bake
Have I convinced you to try a bake yet?

They are so easy, the oven does all the work.

You can serve them with:
  1. bulgur wheat
  2. couscous
  3. rice
  4. baked potatoes
  5. mashed potato
  6. crusty bread

print recipe
Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine with Bulgur Wheat
Vegan Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine
An easy, richly flavoured bake of roasted vegetables and chickpeas spiced with paprika and chilli powder. I serve this with bulgur wheat, but it's great with couscous, rice or mashed potatoes.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions
  • ½ butternut squash
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 beetroot (uncooked)
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed
  • 5 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1-2 tsp paprika
  • ½ - 1 tsp chilli powder (more if you like things spicy)
  • a good grinding of salt and pepper
  • 150ml vegetable stock (2 cubes)
1. Preheat the oven to 220c/200c fan/425f/Gas 7. 2. Prepare the vegetables. Slice the onion into thin wedges, cut the butternut squash into chunks, cut the peppers into halves, then quartered, cut the courgette into fairly thick slices and the beetroot into small wedges.3. Toss the vegetables in the olive oil and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once, until soft and charred. Try to keep them in a single layer.4. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato puree, stock and spices to the pan with the vegetables and mix through. Be careful not to burn yourself, it's easily done.5. Bake for another 20-25 minutes until the sauce has thickened.6. Serve with freshly cooked bulgur wheat and I topped mine with a dollop of dairy free plain yoghurt, but you could add a dollop of sour cream if you aren't going dairy free.7. Enjoy!
Total time:
Yield: Serves 4-6


Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (15 November 2015)

Chipotle Chocolate Beany Burritos

Happy Meat Free Monday everyone!

You may wonder where I've been? Last week I was struck down with flu. The day before I was due my flu jab. Yes, that's how my life rolls. I felt like I was hit by a bus and I'm still pretty exhausted and not feeling great, but I couldn't possibly leave you another week without a delicious roundup of meat free recipes to help you plan your week.

My featured photo comes from the lovely Kate from The Veg Space, who I was delighted to meet at Food Blogger Connect. Scroll down for a link to her recipe.


Chipotle Chocolate Beany Burritos

The Veg Space


Comforting Chickpea and Lentil Soup

The Vegan Year


Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Sambar

Lisa's Kitchen


Veganlicious Quiche

The Taste Space


Quick Beany Chilli

Easy Peasy Foodie


Mushrooms on Toast with Garlic and Thyme

Veggie Desserts


Pumpkin, Quinoa and Almond Soup

Green Gourmet Giraffe

And because you're worth it, some bonus recipes:

Thai Spiced Eggy Bread Dippers with Coconut

Thai Spiced Eggy Bread Dippers with Coconut

It's soup time of year and on nights when I'm short for time I'm loving Glorious Fresh Soups. A much healthier and cheaper decision than a takeaway.

I first tried these soups when I was down at Food Blogger Connect in London and was impressed by just how fresh they tasted and the fact they spice their soups. So many fresh soups are bland.

They have 9 veggies soups in their range and 5 of them are vegan.
    glorious fresh soup
  1. New England Butternut Squash
  2. Singapore Crushed Tomato (vegan)
  3. Bangalore Lentil Daal (vegan)
  4. Cuban Creamed Corn
  5. Fragrant Thai Carrot (vegan)
  6. Sicilian Tomato & Balsamic
  7. Mexican Tomato & Fire Roasted Pepper (vegan)
  8. Mumbai Lentil and Chickpea (vegan)
  9. Goan Tomato and Lentil

You'll notice a distinct travel theme to all those soup. Glorious are on a mission to take you around the world by flavouring their soups with authentic spices and herbs from each area. My Fragrant Thai Carrot is flavoured with coconut, lime leaves and lemongrass and has a wonderfully warming flavour of spices but still with the sweetness of carrot.

Thai Spiced Eggy Bread Dippers with Coconut

I decided to pair my soup with some homemade spiced eggy bread dippers with coconut or in other words fancy french toast fingers. Graham enjoyed his soup with naked bread. Eggy bread's not really great for vegans.

I spiced my eggy fingers with the flavour of Thailand too.

Freshly grated nutmeg, freshly grated cinnamon and a good pinch of chilli powder. I finished them off with a coating of coconut. Of course you could use ground spices, if you like.

So were they a success, oh yes, they worked really well with the soup and so satisfying. Much more interesting than plain bread.

Blogger Alert!

photo: Glorious Soupa
 Glorious have an amazing blogger competition running right now and what a prize!  

A trip to Mumbai, staying in India's first beach front hotel Sun n Sand on Juhu Beach. The trip includes a four hour evening tasting tour with a local guide in a small group of 6 food lovers.

Check out the guidelines and write a post around one of the soups and the country it represents and you could win this stunning prize, but enter soon as it closes on the 30th November 2015. 

print recipe
Thai Spiced Eggy Bread Dippers with Coconut
Thai Spiced Eggy Bread Dippers with Coconut
French toast dippers coated in Thai spices and coconut, a luxurious dipper for soup. Made in minutes, but very comforting and filling.
  • 4 slices crusty bread, sliced thickly and cut into fingers
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • a generous pinch fresh nutmeg (or a good pinch of ground nutmeg)
  • a generous pinch fresh cinnamon (or a good pinch of ground cinnamon)
  • a pinch of hot chilli powder
  • a good grinding of black pepper
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
1. Heat a non-stick pan. Hot but not too hot, you don't want to burn your dipper.2. Cut your bread into dippers. I left some of the crusts on, this can be wise if the bread is really soft, as it can fall apart easily when you are coating it.3. Whisk the eggs with the spices and pour it onto a plate.4. Pour the coconut onto a second plate.5. Dip the bread in the egg mixture and then roll in the coconut until covered.6. Fry in batches of 3 or 4 depending on the size of your frying pan. Turn on each side for 10-20 seconds until golden. It really doesn't take long.7. Serve while warm with your Glorious soup and enjoy!
Total time:
Yield: Makes 12 eggy dippers

I'll leave you with some fun facts about Thailand. 
  1. Thailand is the world’s 20th most populated country, with close to 67 million people. 
  2. Kitti's hog-nosed bat – thought to be the world’s smallest mammal – is found in Thailand. It weights just two grams.
  3. Buddhism is the country's main religion – it is practised by 95 per cent of the population.  
  4. Elephant polo is a popular pastime. The King’s Cup is one of the key events in the sport’s calendar.
  5. It is strictly against the law to criticise the monarchy.  

Here are a few more great recipes to 
serve with your Glorious Soups: 

Fuss Free Flavours

Cook Sister

Potato and Vegetable Masala Stuffed Dosa
Franglais Kitchen

Hungry Healthy Happy

30 Minute Soda Bread
Maison Cupcake

Follow the fun at #gloriousadventures

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Glorious. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

Barcelona for Vegetarians

Central Barcelona. The view from the Catalonia Barcelona Plaza Hotel

I've always wanted to go to Bareclona. My longing started in my art student days when I studied Gaudi and fell in love with his colourful and sensual buildings. Years went by and I never fitted in a trip.

I'm pleased to say I can now tick Barcelona off my to-do list.

I visited a few weeks ago with my friend Sarah who blogs over at Maison Cupcake. We booked through Travel Supermarket (check out everything they have to offer for a trip to Barcelona) and flew in from Stansted. The trip from the airport was easy and reasonably priced on the Aerobus (which runs from both terminals, there are ticket machines beside the bus stances). It took us straight into the heart of the city in no time.

Catalonia Hotel Barcelona

We arrived at Hotel Vueling, which looked pretty cool inside with an airline theme. Unfortunately we didn't get further than reception as they didn't have our booking, but they were very kind and helpful and we were happily upgraded to the four star Catalonia Barcelona Plaza Hotel on Plaza de España square right in the centre of Barcelona.

The Catalonia Barcelona Plaza Hotel

We enjoyed a complimentary Prosecco on the roof terrace while we waiting for our rooms. What view of the city. Just stunning.

The rooms were really swish too. Lots of storage, big wardrobe, plenty of mirrors, some nice quality toiletries in the bathroom and a stunning view across the plaza. Just don't do what I did and forget you need a European adapter. I've been going to North Cyprus for too long and forgot in other countries you need an adapter to plug in your gadgets and GHDs. Luckily Sarah came prepared and had a spare.

There was plenty of variety for breakfast, but I missed my baked beans and tattie scones.

Breakfast at the Catalonia Hotel in Barcelona

So what did we do during our weekend in Barcelona?

We walked, we ate and we marvelled at the city coming alive at night and how it was full of families and how friendly it was.

The Castle Experience

On the Saturday morning we did the Castle Experience and learned a lot about Catalan history on the way to Montserrat Abbey.  The Abbey was stunning, unfortunately the thick fog meant we missed what should have been spectacular views.

After Montserrat we headed to Oller del Mas Cellar to find out a bit more about winemaking in this ancient castle winery. We learned about the vines, production and storage, then we had a wine tasting with tapas. They asked in advance if there were any dietary requirements, so I had some veggie tapas waiting for me. We had a great morning, we packed a lot in and our guide was charming and we learned so much.

Sagrada Familia

We were back in the city by 3 pm, so we took the tube to Sagrada Familia to see some Gaudi. The tube was easy to use, although Sarah was admittedly a dab hand at it. The tube in Barcelona is cheaper than buses are in Dundee and they have a special ticket that two people can share the journeys on.

A tip for visiting the Sagrada Familia. It's very busy but don't be put off, it's a must. Just queue for a ticket and you'll get a time to come back for entry, then just go for a wander or a coffee. When you step inside you'll be stunned. I just stood there with my mouth open, absolutely speechless. I took lots of photos but they don't give an idea of how vast it is, the echoing sound of the choir, the dazzling rainbow of colours or the feel of the place. You must visit!

Sarah kindly ate vegetarian with me over the weekend.

We ate out in veggie restaurants on both nights and stumbled across vegan cafes and bakeries too, which was pretty cool.

So many veggie restaurants, so much choice!

I have a list of places I want to try next time, I've added them to the bottom of the post.

tofu and shitake mushroom patties with salad and a tahini dip. Mine worked out at about £5.50 and Sarah's was £4.20. You may noticed we enjoyed some Prosecco too.


This is a very old fashioned style of veggie restaurant. Cheap and cheerful. The food I picked looks very yellow (they don't go into for fancy flourished of herbs on top), but boy it was good. I started with a really tasty dal, then moved on to goats cheese an spinach cannelloni, which was all garlicky and moreish, then I finished with mango ice cream. 

While we were eating a Catalan parade passed the restaurant. Fireworks, drummers and singing, I swear this city is alive!

The 3 courses and drink (I had apple juice) in Amaltea came to just over £10. I'm returning to this one.

On the Saturday night Sarah and I could hear music coming from the street so we headed out of the hotel and found a street festival around the corner from our hotel with stalls, music and dancing. We settled in at a table to drink and take in the atmosphere. Let's just say we didn't get to bed until 2am and everyone was still in high spirits.

I hope you enjoyed my weekend guide to Barcelona. There's so much more to do, discover and eat, but we'll leave that for my next visit, and the next...........

Do you have any great tips or restaurant recommendations for Barcelona? 

If you do leave me a comment below.

Here are two veggie restaurants on my list for next time:

Juicy Jones

A vegan restaurant that has a European and Indian menu as well as juices and smoothies, salads and filled baguettes for lunchtime.
Hospital, 74, El Raval, Barcelona, 08001 
Telephone: +34 934 43 90 82

Daily noon-5pm, 8pm-11.30pm

Cat Bar

Bar restaurant serving vegan food who do a special burger every lunchtime, but have an extensive list of them and they are supposed to be amazing. They like their beers too and stock Scottish Brew Dog craft beers on tap. Apparently it has a punky attitude and cats (not real ones)!

Carrer de la Bòria, 17, 08003 Barcelona
Telephone: +34693584700

Mon-Sat 6:30pm-11.30pm for food, but later for drinks. Closed Sunday.

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