25 May 2016

Pear, Passion Fruit and Kale Smoothie Recipe

Doesn't that look good?

I just love green smoothies. I know you've heard me say this 100 times before, but I still love them and this one is super tasty. It's so, so fruity.

This time I paired, or maybe I should say peared, kale with red apples, pears and passion fruit. For some extra nutrients and because I can never keep it simple, I added cucumber and baobab powder.

You MUST try this one, it's one of the best smoothies I've made in a while. They are all pretty good, but this one stood out as something really special.

22 May 2016

Sundried Tomato Bread (Bread Maker recipe)

As well as National Vegetarian Week this is Real Bread Week. A time to promote homemade bread made with love and no hidden nasties.

I've not made homemade bread for such a long time. I've had bread makers in the past and I've gone through periods of making bread by hand too, but I got out of the habit. I think the last time I made dough by hand was probably pizza dough.

I do love the process of making bread by hand, but I can never seem to make the time. Between my job, my blog, the websites and magazines I write for, my family and housework, it's really hard to fit it all in, hence no bread making.

21 May 2016

Sticky Toffee Pudding Raw Energy Balls

Raw energy balls are made from flax seeds, almonds, dates, baobab powder, cinnamon and cacao. A powerhouse of nutrients and very, very tasty with a flavour of sticky toffee pudding.

Cancer Research is my charity of choice. For years now I’ve had a direct debit set up to send them what I can each month. They do such good work developing treatments to help beat cancer and the sooner they can beat it the better for all of us.

Each year Cancer Research UK (CRUK) hold Race for Life events, which are woman-only events to help raise money for research into as many as 200 types of cancer.

Since 2012 ScottishPower have been working with CRUK to help raise funds, through various initiatives, including sponsorship of Race for Life and have so far raised over £9 million.

Four years ago ScottishPower developed the High 5 campaign to help with the fundraising. The idea is a high five is a symbol of achievement and celebrating.

ScottishPower would like us all to raise our energy and awareness by taking part in the High Five campaign. Why not take a selfie at one of the Race for Life events running across the country or take a selfie of yourself giving a high five in support and let’s help ScottishPower & CRUK reach their £10 million target.

Get involved with the campaign with the hashtag #high5for10

To show support and give a much needed boost of energy to the runners in this year’s Race for Life Events, I've created some raw energy balls, that can help increase energy and fight fatigue during a race.

Raw energy balls are made from flax seeds, almonds, dates, baobab powder, cinnamon and cacao. A powerhouse of nutrients and very, very tasty with a flavour of sticky toffee pudding.

My raw energy balls are made from dates, flax seeds, almonds, coconut oil, baobab powder, freshly grated cinnamon (from Cinnamon Hill) and cacao.

A powerhouse of nutrients, they taste quite like sticky toffee pudding. I'm hooked!

A word to the wise before you make these. If you don't have a power blender like mine, go easy when making these. If your blender shows any sign of distress turn it off immediately and give up on the idea. I made mine in my Optimum G2.1 blender which is very powerful. I made them gently on the grind setting which first turned the nuts and seeds into flour, then blended in the other ingredients, stopping and giving it a stir.

19 May 2016

Crispy Battered Quorn Sausage Bites Recipe for National Vegetarian Week

Crispy Battered Quorn Sausages Bites from @tinnedtoms in a spiced battered made super light and crispy with sparkling water. A great starter or party food. www.tinnedtomatoes.com

There's nothing more satisfying than biting into a light crispy batter. The crunch, the taste and the comfort.

Inside these crispy parcels are little bites of vegetarian sausages from Quorn™. These frozen Quorn Sausages are useful to have in your freezer for dishes like this that can be made last minute as a starter or a nibble to hand round at parties.

The batter is light and crispy, almost a tempura batter. It's an easy batter made from just a few simple ingredients. Self-raising flour, spices and sparkling water.

18 May 2016

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe for National Vegetarian Week

Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

I've been meaning to make these for such a long time and when Kate over at The Veg Space made Chilli Peanut Vietnamese Rolls last year, I drooled over them a lot, then thought I really must try making those.

Fast forward one year and I've finally gotten around to making them. Maybe without the finesse of Kate, but I was rather pleased with them.

Fresh, simple bundles of spring vegetables with a good crunch, fresh coriander and salted cashews in a fine transparent wrap. I served them with my Smutty Sweet Chilli Jam. If you haven't tried it before you really must. It's so easy to make and really delicious!

16 May 2016

7 Glorious Soups for National Vegetarian Week

Soup is a great dish to enjoy all year round, as a lunch or dinner, don't you think?

It's a great way of getting your five-a-day and it's fabulous if you're trying to watch your weight. It's also an easy and filling meal if you have a wee one to feed. Forget chicken nuggets and all the other rubbish that's targeted a kids.

I make a lot of homemade soup, but during the week I'm always short on time and often home late. I try to avoid ready meals as they contain so much sugar and fat, not to mention preservatives and I don't find them that appetising, so I often turn to soup.

It's ok if I've already made some, but when I've not you'll often find me wandering the supermarket aisles thinking I have half an hour before I have to start Cooper's bedtime routine, what the heck am I going to make?

Meat Free Mondays opens National Vegetarian Week

It's National Vegetarian Week. A week to celebrate all that's good about a vegetarian lifestyle from the delicious food to the health benefits.

I never preach about my vegetarian lifestyle. I prefer to share delicious and easy recipes and show how easy and tasty a veggie life can be and with that in mind I bring you this week's Meat Free Mondays. Another seven delicious veggie recipes to help you plan your week ahead, as well as a few sneaky bonus recipes. 

Extended to 29 May 2016


Maison Cupcake


Gluten Free, SCD & Veggie


Sneaky Veg


Tinned Tomatoes


Thinly Spread


The Taste Space


Veggie Desserts

Bonus recipes:

Chipotle Black Bean Huevos Rancheros - Big Cook Tiny Kitchen
Spicy Veggie Tacos - Tinned Tomatoes
Vegetarian Mason Jar Salads - The Baking Explorer
Quinoa Cheese Tartlets - Caroline Makes
Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms - We Don't Eat Anything With A Face

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

14 May 2016

5 Rocking Ryvita Stacks for Weekday Lunches

Are you ready to rock some Ryvita?

I go through cycles of eating Ryvita Crispbreads. I eat them for a while at work, then I turn back to sandwiches. I tend to eat them more often when I'm trying to eat lighter or I'm back on the 5:2 diet, but I only realised when Ryvita challenged me, how poorly I've been treating them.

So what have I been dressing my Ryvita in?

Half a light Laughing Cow triangle. Yes, you may well laugh! 

In my defence it's low calorie, but I forgot that salad and vegetables can be light toppings too and way more interesting.

Ryvita used to be a pretty standard crispbread too, but just look at all the flavours you can choose from now!

You may not realise that rye is the main ingredient in Ryvita cripsbreads and that rye is packed with nutritional benefits. The crispbreads simply made with water, salt and rye, then extra goodies like seeds are added.

They are:
  • High in Vitamin B, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid and Vitamin B6
  • Rich in Magnesium (strong muscles)
  • Rich in Zinc (healthy bones, hair nails and skin)
  • Rich in Wholegrain and Dietary Fibre

 So are you ready to see how my week of Ryvita looks? No more Laughing Cow!

#MyVita Work Week


Sweet Onion Ryvita

A Sweet Onion Ryvita Crispbread, topped with slices of creamy, ripe avocado, tossed in a little lemon juice so they don't discolour. Topped with slices of radish and cucumber for crunch and finished with some finely grated lemon peel for a little kick of citrus. Heavenly healthy!


Dark Rye Ryvita

A dark rye crispbread topped with dairy free pesto, fresh basil, two layers of ripe red tomato slices, milky baby mozzarella balls, more fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for that Italian classic, Caprese Salad.


Sesame Ryvita

A slice of sesame crispbread, heaped high with hummus, topped with slices of crunchy cucumber, spiralzsed carrot (if you don't have a spiralizer, Tesco sell tubs of spiralized vegetables) and finished with a sprinkle of sesame seeds to echo the flavour of the crispbread. Simple, but a delight.


Pumpkin Seeds and Oats Ryvita

This one was amazingly flavourful. A pumpkin seed and oat crispbread topped with dairy free pesto, salad leaves, sundried tomatoes, ripe baby plum tomatoes and baby pickled beets. My mouth is watering just remembering this one.


Currants, Seeds and Oats Ryvita

We had to finish on a high with something a bit naughty. Friday is the beginning of the weekend after all. This one is luxurious, but still includes one of your five-a-day. A currant, seed and oat crispbread topped with Philadelphia cream cheese mixed with a little icing sugar and lemon juice and a dollop of soft set raspberry jam swirled through, then topped with fresh tart raspberries and finely grated lemon peel. You'll do a Meg Ryan and moan out loud when you bite into this one and everyone will want what you are having!

So do you think you can come up with your own crispbread creation?

Enter the #MyVita competition today 
for the chance to create the ultimate lunch

One lucky winner will receive £1,000 worth of John Lewis vouchers and 
10 runners up will receive a hamper full of Ryvita goodies. 
Just head to the website and enter your details for a chance to win.

For fun, why not share your creation and follow the conversation on social 
media with the hashtag #MyVita. I can't wait to see your creations!

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

12 May 2016

15 Dishwasher Hacks and Saving Energy for a Week

I seem to be doing a lot of challenges this week. I must learn to say no. I think Graham would like me to learn to say no. He looks happy enough in this photo, but believe me he isn't impressed.

MoneySuperMarket asked me to take part in their One Week Energy Challenge. I haven't done any kind of challenge like this for years, but somehow I ended up saying yes. They wanted me to give up something for a week to save energy and money. 

I decided to sacrifice the dishwasher.

Graham is not happy!

Graham does the dishes.

I use a lot of dishes.

11 May 2016

Easy Mediterranean Tart Recipe

An Easy Mediterranean Tart from @tinnedtoms that will feed a family of four for less than £7 (with wedges and mini corn on the cobs too). It's so simple to make and tastes delicious. The whole family will love this vegan friendly dinner. www.tinnedtomatoes.com

Don't my tarts look good? 

Well I think they do and they're so simple to make and packed with flavour.

The surprising part is it's all made from frozen (apart from the tomato puree), so it's an easy and convenient weekday meal. I bought all my ingredients from Iceland, who have such a great range of products in their freezers. You must go and have a look. I'm continually surprised.

09 May 2016

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (8 May 2016)

Happy Monday everyone!

Have you had a good week? Mine was busy. I had held my first Social Media Surgery of the season on Thursday night after work and had a brilliant night talking blogs and blogging with Scottish travel blogger Lisa from LisaLovesSunLife. I think her head must have been spinning by the end of it and all the suggestions I gave her.

The week went by quickly and so did the weekend. It was a weekend of long walks (6 miles on Saturday), tidying the garden, housework and rolling into bed exhausted.

It's Monday again, so it's time for Meat Free Mondays and another seven awesome veggie and vegan recipes as well as a few bonus recipes.

04 May 2016

Fight a Cold Smoothie

Fight a Cold Smoothie - A healthy smoothie full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to help fight the common cold. A delicious fruity drink with a bit of a kick from the ginger and turmeric.

My husband Graham has been suffering from man flu this week. Really, really bad man flu.  To be fair he's been suffering with a really bad cold, but to him it was much worse.

I couldn't stand it any longer! I had to do something about it, so I started with this smoothie. I made him drink two glasses of it as soon as I whizzed it up, then I made chilli for dinner and after dinner I made him drink water, take his vitamins, drink more smoothie and eat some fresh pineapple.

The result? He got up the next day and was feeling much better. It wasn't gone, but a vast improvement. I put it down to the combination of fresh cold-fighting ingredients in the smoothie, the spice in the chilli, the vitamins and keeping himself hydrated.  That last point is so important, people don't drink enough water.

02 May 2016

Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (2 May 2016)

It's Monday again! How does it roll round so quickly? But don't despair because that means it's time for another seven awesome veggie and vegan recipes to help you plan your meals for the week ahead.

So what have we been up to this week? Not much. The last week has been all about the weather. We've had sunshine, snow, hail and rain. You name it we've had it. It's been a rather boring week of work, school and housework. Nothing more than that. Hopefully this next week will be more fun.

01 May 2016

15 Veggie Soups and Salads to Try This Week

photo: The Garden Grazer

It's time for No Croutons Required and a roundup of delicious soup and salad recipes for you to try this week.

The weather in Scotland has been changeable. In the last week we've had hot sunny days, torrential rain and snow. It doesn't seem to know what to do from one day to the next and we've no idea what's going on. So a variety of weather and a variety of soups and salads that will match any weather.

Thanks to everyone who shared a recipe