Top 15 Veggie & Vegan Recipes of 2015 - Readers Choice


Another year is closing and we're looking forward to exciting new possibilities and new challenges in the year ahead, but before we do I thought it would be fun to have a look at my readers favourite recipes in 2015.  

Top 15 Veggie & Vegan Recipes of 2015

Mushroom and Lentil Sliders and Chocolate Chip Raisins

15  In at number fifteen is Mushroom and Lentil Sliders. These miniature burgers are super easy to make and very tasty. I layered them in mini burger buns with salad and hummus. Load them with your favourite toppings. These cute little burgers had 2,926 views. (VEGAN)

14   At number fourteen we have a death-defying tower of  Scotch Pancakes with Chocolate Chips and Raisins. These are our favourite pancakes. Cooper loves to help me make them on Sunday mornings, although he's gone off the raisins recently. I won't give away my secret and tell you I kept them stacked neatly like that with the aid of toothpicks.  This yummy breakfast had 3,176 views.

Green Goddess Farfalle and Paprika Spiced Potato Fries

13   Number thirteen is a cheeky little pasta dish I call Green Goddess Farfalle. The pasta is coated in homemade dairy free pesto and mixed with broccoli, peas and spinach.  This pasta dish had 3,490 views. (VEGAN)

12   Whenever I'm eating out and there's the option of upgrading fries to sweet potato fries, I take it like a flash. I love them. My Paprika Spiced Sweet Potato Fries are my favourite homemade version. I like to serve them with homemade vegan mayo (glorious!) or sweet chilli jam. These have had 3,551 views. (VEGAN)


11   In at number eleven is Chocolate Oreo Tiffin. Yes my friends, the most chocolatey no-bake treat you can imagine. Filled with chunks of Oreos and raisins. YUM! This calorific treat had 3,796 views. (VEGAN)

Vegan Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine with Bulgur Wheat

10   Number ten is this sumptuous Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Tagine. I made this in a casserole dish, but it has the spices and rich flavours of a traditionally made tagine. I roasted butternut squash, courgette, red pepper and beetroot for the base of this dish. Comfort food at it's best and healthy too. This tagine had 3,845 views. (VEGAN)

Vegan Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Mousse made with Chickpea Water (Aquafaba)

9   In a number nine is is my Chocolate Chip Mousse with Peanut Butter. This was an experiment with aquafaba. Aquafaba is the water in a can of chickpeas, It's tasteless, but whips up like egg white and can replace them in recipes, which is great news for vegans. It worked really well and you would never notice the difference. This mousse had 3,955 views. (VEGAN)

Roast Vegetable & Sausage Bake and Mexican Puy Lentil Mole

8   Number eight is one of my favourite throw-it-in-the-oven-and-walk-away dinners. Roasted Vegetable, Veggie Sausage and Chickpea Bake. It's a really good winter dish with lots of flavour. I like serving it with mashed potato. This one had 4,374 views. (VEGAN)

7   Another family favourite is this Mexican Sweet Potato and Puy Lentil Mole with lots of spices and good quality dark cocoa. I top it with grated carrot and natural vegan yogurt or sometimes Cooper and I have it topped with grated cheese and sour cream. Serve it with rice and guacamole. This mole had 4,463 views. (VEGAN)

No-Bake Deep Bounty Cheesecake

6   In at number six is my Deep No-Bake Cheesecake. I love cheesecake and I've lately fallen for deep cheesecakes instead of the more traditional one layer. This one is rather good with layers of coconutty cheesecake, melted chocolate and slices of bounty on top. This cheesecake had 4,705 views.

Spicy Black Bean Pate and The Best Summer Pasta Salad

5   Number five is the easiest Spicy Black Bean Pate. Made one evening when I realised I didn't have anything interesting to spread on a sandwich for Graham.  He loves it on oatcakes and toasted crusted bread too. It's seriously the simplest pate to make. It's had 4,985 views. (VEGAN)

4   At number four we have the Best Summer Pasta Salad. Seriously good, packed with flavour, but fresh too. Pasta shells coated in homemade pesto and paired with soft sunblush tomatoes, sweetcorn and crunchy slices of cucumber. Just the best! My readers agree, it's had 5,197 views. (VEGAN)

3   In at number three is this chunky Winter Vegetable Soup. Soups are always super or should I say souper popular, which I'm always rather bemused by as they're so simple, but I suppose people like to try new recipes. This is a really delicious soup. The key ingredients are carrots, parsnips and butternut squash. This soup had 5,882 views. (VEGAN)

Deep Oreo and Caramel Cheesecake

2   At number two we have my Deep Oreo and Caramel Cheesecake. I created this one for my cake club and it was a great success and I was really pleased with it. It has a bourbon biscuit base (chocolate cookie sandwich with a creamy chocolate layer, a bit like Oreos) Oreos crumbled through it and topped with caramel sauce, more Oreos and golden honeycomb balls. This rather special dessert had 6,264 views.

Jamie Oliver's Happiness Pasta

* No. 1 *

And at number one is Jamie Oliver's Happiness Pasta from his recent TV show and new cookbook Everyday Super Food.  A rich and healthy sauce of aubergine, tomatoes, chillies, pine nuts and basil, topped with crumbled ricotta cheese and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Everyone wanted this recipe and quite rightly so. It had 7,321 views.

I hope you all have a fabulous Hogmanay. 
Roll on a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016.

Vegan Beer Battered Haggis Bites

An easy starter or canape using shop-bought vegetarian haggis, tinned black beans and spices coated in a lightly spiced beer batter. Serve as a starter or canape with sweet chilli jam.

Beer Battered Haggis Balls on a plate with salad and dip

Vegan Beer Battered Haggis Bites

I want to beer batter everything!

Seriously. I loved these beer battered haggis bites and the batter is so good and so easy to make.

What can I beer batter next? Any suggestions?

No Scottish stereotypes please. I shan't be battering Mars Bars anytime soon. Something savoury would be better. I'm thinking spiced onions or garlic mushrooms, but I'd love some other ideas from my readers.

I created these haggis bites for Debenhams Christmas Found It campaign.

You may have received a little magazine full of recipes and ideas including my haggis bites if you made an online order before Christmas.  I'd originally called these haggis balls, but have since decided that sounds a bit rude.

 beer battered veggie haggis bites, also known as veggie haggis bonbons

Haggis Bites

My haggis bites are a combination of veggie haggis, black beans and spices with some spicing in the batter too.

They were lightly spiced so my wee boy would enjoy them, but you can make them as spicy as you like. Just in case you are wondering Graham and the boy both loved them and have asked for them a few times since, which is always an 'air punch' moment.

I used shop-bought vegetarian haggis for my haggis bites, which can be found beside the meaty version in supermarkets (if you can bring yourself to walk down that aisle) and tinned black beans, but you can make your own veggie haggis and soak beans overnight.

You'll find a good recipe for Homemade Veggie Haggis over at Green Gourmet Giraffe.



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Vegan Beer Battered Haggis Bites. An easy Christmas starter or canape using shop-bought vegetarian haggis. #christmasstarter #veganchristmas #haggisrecipe #vegetarianhaggisrecipes #veganhaggisrecipes #haggis #beerbatter

What is vegetarian haggis?

Just in case you are clueless about haggis and in particular veggie haggis, it is like a savoury mince that can be used straight out of it's plastic sausage casing.

It's a delicious mixture of oats, finely chopped root vegetables, pulses, spices and seeds.

Do not confuse it with Haggis, which is made from a sheep's stomach. Do make sure you are buying the vegetarian version.

How to use vegetarian haggis as an ingredient

Veggie haggis is a super ingredient. I add it to pasties with mashed potatoes and baked beans, in the past I have made vegetarian scotch eggs with it, I have made savoury puffs for bonfire night, Bedfordshire clangers, haggis and mustard pasties, the most amazing instant vegan burgers and a more traditional haggis and lentil nut loaf which I serve with neeps, tatties and a creamy whisky sauce for Burns Night.

Serve Haggis Bites With

Do give these a try. They'd be perfect at Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) as a starter or why not make slightly smaller bites and serve them as a canape? Serve with my Sweet Chilli Jam.

Yield: 4-6 as a generous starter

Vegan Beer Battered Haggis Bites

An easy starter or canape using shop-bought vegetarian haggis, tinned black beans and spices coated in a lightly spiced beer batter. Serve as a starter or canape with sweet chilli jam.
prep time: 15 MINScook time: 15 MINStotal time: 30 mins


  • 495g vegetarian haggis
  • 400g tin black beans
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • a good grinding of black pepper
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tsp chilli powder
  • 330ml beer
  • enough rapeseed oil to fry the balls, about as deep as they are


  1. Drain the beans from the can and rinse them well,
    then mash them in a bowl with a potato masher.
  2. Crumble the veggie haggis over the beans, add the top three listed spices and season with black pepper, then mix well.
  3. Roll into balls, ping pong ball size as a starter (the batter adds bulk) or smaller for bite-sized canapes.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan (I like using a wok) roughly the depth of the balls. 
  5. Now make the batter. In a large bowl mix paprika and chilli powder into the flour, then whisk in the beer. You may not need the whole bottle. You're looking for the consistency of double cream or just a little thicker.
  6. Dip the balls into the batter and gently lower them into the hot oil and fry for a couple of minutes, turn them and cook the other side. Fry in small batches.
  7. Enjoy!
Created using The Recipes Generator

Savoury Party Recipes for Hogmanay

Savoury recipes for Hogmanay. Canapes and dips from #canapes #newyear #recipe

  1. Mushroom and Lentil Sliders (vegan)
  2. Spiced Sweet Potato Fries (vegan)
  3. Paprika Roast Cauliflower with 4 Cheese Dip
  4. Turkish Zucchini Fritters   
  5. Red Bean Falafel (vegan)  
  6. Spiced Moroccan Pate (vegan)  
  7. Spicy 3 Bean Sausage Rolls (vegan) 
  8. Easy Pizza Dip
  9. Mini Puff Pizza Pies with Pesto 

    Sweet Party Recipes for Hogmanay

    Sweet recipes for Hogmanay. Dessert and traybakes from #canapes #newyear #recipe

    1. Individual Banoffee Trifles
    2. Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Mousse (vegan) 
    3. Oreo Chocolate Tiffin (vegan) 

    A guid New Year to ane an' a' and mony may ye see!

    Disclosure: I create this recipe for Debenham's magazine. I was not expected to share a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

    Build the Ultimate Cheeseboard for Christmas or New Year

    I love cheese but I only make a cheeseboard at Christmas, I usually eat cheese alone and it's really a sharing platter isn't it?

    I'm the only one who appreciates cheese in this house so if I fancy some I cut a few slithers of a cheese and pile them onto a plate with oatcakes and if I'm being good to myself, a few pickled onions and some apple wedges.

    Christmas and New Year are the perfect occasions to build a really excellent cheeseboard to share with friends and family and this year I'll have my in-laws here from Cyprus, so the perfect excuse.

    Just before Christmas I'll be popping down to my local cheese shop in Dundee, a lovely little shop called The Cheesery, and stocking up. I've been testing a few of their cheeses with different biscuits and chutneys to see what works and to decide what I'll include on my cheeseboard.

    It's a dangerous shop to visit as they have some gorgeous rustic potter from Butter Wynd Pottery, a local pottery that uses local clay. The last time I was there I spent a fortune, but they did manage to persuade me to try olives which I usually hate. I think they may have turned me. They wash them and marinate them in olive oil, fresh basil and lemon peel. I think I may like olives now!

    So how do you build the ultimate cheeseboard?

    1. Start off with a hard cheese, a soft cheese and a blue cheese, once you have these you can add other favourites. I wouldn't have more than five cheeses on a cheeseboard. 
    2. Store the cheese in greaseproof paper in an airtight box in the fridge, but take them out and let them come to room temperature at least half an hour before you want to serve them. The flavours and textures will be at their best by then.
    3.  Labelling your cheeses is a nice touch, but I'll just be describing them and letting everyone tuck in. Do keep a note of the names so you can at least tell your guest that much and remember not all cheese is suitable for vegetarians.  
    4. Add a selection of biscuits, try to go for different textures, some plain, some sweet and some salty. 
    5. Chutneys and pickles are a must, they're a great contrast to the cheese and really make a cheeseboard exciting. 
    6. Fruit and salad are great on a cheeseboard too. They can refresh the palate between cheese and also provide a nice contrast. Don't go crazy though, a couple of items are enough.
    7.  Think of the drinks you will be serving too. Red wine, port and sherry are the best matches, but some people don't like red wine or they may not be drinking alcohol, so do provide a good white and a sparkling grape juice. 
    8. Remember your cheese knives. They fit much better on a board than a standard knife and lift cheese as well as cutting. It's worth investing in a set. 
    9. Finally you need to display your cheese. Slate is classic and cheese looks great on it, you can buy this at a tile store or if you don't have slate a wooden board is good too. A wooden chopping board will also work.  

    Scroll down for my picks


    Isle of Mull Cheddar - A tasty unpasteurised cheddar with a real farmhouse flavour and texture with some blue veining. It's quite mellow, but has a good flavour. Also try Godminster Cheddar. Moonpig are selling a nice pack with chutney.

    Dunsyre Blue - Made with unpasteurised Ayrshire cows' milk. Named after a small village near Lanark in the Clyde Valley. A creamy blue with a bit of a kick, but not too strong or overpowering.

    Staffordshire Oak Smoked  - Once this Staffordshire Cheese hits two months it's sent to their award winning smokehouse, where each Cheese is gently smoked over a blend of oak and beech chippings. Quite a dry smoke flavour. 

    Green Thunder  - Green Thunder is the perfect balance of garlic and herbs in a smooth cheddar. My favourite cheese at the moment. Very easy to eat with oatcakes.

    Clerkland Crowdie -  A rich soft cheese rolled in oatmeal although I do believe they sell Crowdie rolled in black pepper too. It may be a soft cheese but it's not bland, it has a bit of a tang.



    Poachers' Pickle - This tomato, apple and raisin chutney is super rich and fruity. It works so well with cheese in a sandwich or on a cheeseboard.

    Honey for Strong Cheese - Honey tastes great with blue cheese. Most honey will work well with it, but this one works particularly well with strong cheeses.

    Pickled Onion Charcuteriment - I'm following pickled onions with this charcuteriment. A gently spiced relish made with crunchy pickled onions, a chilli and mustard.

    Sweet Tomato & Chilli Chutney - I love The English Provender Company chutneys and this one is my favourite! You must stock up on this one and add it to wraps, sandwiches or just scooped onto a lump of cheese.
    Orchard Fruit Chutney - Branston have a new range of chutney, just as nice as some more expensive brands but at a better price. I like this fruity chutney.


    Milton's Garlic and Herb Crackers - These crumbly crackers are made with a combination of olive oil and grains. They are small batch cooked for the perfect biscuit.

    Digestives - Don't overlook the plain digestive biscuit. It's sweetness is great with blue cheese.

    Sourdough Crispbreads - These delicate crispbreads are from Peter's Yard. I love their range of crispbreads.

    Extra Baked Rye Crispbread -These huge crispbreads are made with sourdough, but are thinner than traditional crispbread. A great centre piece and conversation starter.

    Spelt and Fig Crispbreads - More award-winning crispbreads from Peter's Yard. I can happily munch through a box of these plain, but they are great with cheese too.


    Choose your own favourites, I like this selection, but cucumber, radishes and crisp white grapes are good too.


    Signature by Harveys - Sherry is a great option for a cheeseboard and this one is aged for 12 years, so it has a rich flavour that's sweet and spicy.

    Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Reserve Port - Lots of people love port with cheese. I like a small glass, but I find it makes me tiddly. This one is organic, suitable for vegetarians. It's smooth, fruity and reduced to £14.39 in Waitrose right now.

    Ursa Maior Rioja Reserva - A Spanish red that works well with mature cheddar. Deep fruity flavours, a lovely rich wine. 

    Californian Cabernet Sauvignon - Premier Estates do some great box deals, either a single wine like this rather fresh Cabernet Sauvignon or mixed boxes. They have their boxes of 6 high quality wines on for the special price of £30 just now with free delivery. A great deal.

    Chilean Reserva Sauvignon Blanc - Crisp with an appley flavour and only £5.5o at the moment from Spar. Well worth stocking up on this one. I know most people think of red wine with cheese, but a crisp chilled white wine can be good too.

    For those not drinking or who want a light drink try White Grape Shloer or Eisberg Sauvignon Blanc which is alcohol free.


    Slate Rectangle Board - This board has small cork mats underneath so that it won't scratch your table. It's designed, quarried, crafted, wrapped and packaged in the heart of the Lake District.  Marbletree £15

    Olive Wood Cheese Board - The other way to display a cheeseboard is on a beautiful wooden board like this one from Nisbets. They are finished with a protective finish that can easily be preserved by occasional oiling with olive oil. £13.99

    Personalised 5 Piece Slate Cheeseboard Set - Cheese looks great displayed on slate. This slate board is stored in a personalised stand and comes with two cheese knives and a cheese fork. £29.99 from Get Personal.

    Slate Cheese Knife - A slate handled cheese knife that can be personalised with a name or word.  The handle is crafted from Cumbrian Slate and the blade is made in Sheffield by a family firm. £24

    Milk & White Chocolate Cheese Board - I had to include this. Isn't that amazing? It's all made from Belgian chocolate. I think I may try to fool my guests with it!

    Wrendale Countryside Collection Quackers Tin - The perfect size and shaped tin to keep crackers fresh with a country style duck design. Presents for Men £8.99

    I hope I've inspired you to pimp up your cheeseboard this Christmas and New Year. Do leave your cheeseboard suggestions below as I bet you have some regional favourites too.

    Check out my Ultimate Veggie Christmas Guide with all the recipes and tips you could need for a vegetarian or vegan Christmas.

    Have a happy Christmas and New Year!

    Disclosure: Some of the items in my list were sent to me to try over the last few months and some I have discovered myself. I only included my favourites. As ever I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

    Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (14 December 2015)

    It's Monday again and time for another Meat Free Monday. We are getting very close to Christmas and people have less and less time, so perfect timing for some recipe inspiration.

    UPDATE: Open until Sunday 3 January 2016


    A Virtual Vegan


    Toaster Oven Love 


    Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Broccoli and Pumpkin 3 Ways
    Tin and Thyme


    Smoky Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad
    Green Gourmet Giraffe


    Stuffed Vegetarian Roulades
    Thinly Spread


    Roasted Pear, Stilton and Walnut Salad
    Easy Peasy Foodie


    Root Vegetable Casserole with Parsley Dumplings
    The Tofu Diaries

    And a few bonus recipes:

    Brusssels Sprouts and Cranberry Pasta Bake - Foodie Quine
    Giant Yorkshire Puddings - Only Crumbs Remain 
    Yeasted Pancakes - Wheat-Free Meat-Free
    Smoked Tofu Tikka Masala Curry - Stephanie Jane
    Pomegranate Pecan Rice - Easy Cooking with Molly 
    Tumeric Cream New Potatoes - Allotment 2 Kitchen
    Jamie's Happiness Pasta - Tinned Tomatoes

    Thanks to everyone who created a recipe for us and your continued loyalty.

    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.


    Green Apple Margarita with Appletiser

    Have you filled your drinks cupboard yet?

    It's time to think about it with the party season just around the corner. I stocked up each time I saw a special offer.  This Christmas and New Year (or Hogmanay, as we call it here in Scotland) l'll have friends and family visiting so it pays to plan ahead.

    I already have Tequila, Vodka, Cointreau, Gin and Rum Chata (a white Rum version of Baileys) in my drinks cupboard. I've added Wine, Champagne and Bucks Fizz.

    For mixers and soft drinks I've gone for Appletiser. lemonade and cola. All refreshing drinks over ice, but great as mixers too. I'll also buy fresh juice nearer the time and make sure I have plenty of ice cubes in my freezer.

    For my first cocktail of the season I've created a Green Apple Margarita with Appletiser, which has an incredibly fresh flavour. I decided that salt around the rim would overpower the flavours, so didn't add any, but do add it if you wish. I made a single cocktail for me, slurp, but you may scale it up for a party or family gathering.

    Slice your green apple ahead of time and toss it in a little lemon juice to keep it fresh and prevent discolouring. It will happily keep in the fridge until the evening.

    To create your cocktails there's no need for a fancy cocktail shaker either when a jam jar or tupperware beaker with a lid will do. Fill your glasses with ice, shake your Tequila and Cointreau together in your jam jar, pour over the ice and top up with chilled Appletiser and a slice of fresh apple, then serve.

    Need more cocktail inspiration? 

    print recipe

    Green Apple Margarita
    A fresh green apple cocktail made with Tequila, Cointreau and Appletiser over ice. Delicious!
    • 30 ml Tequila
    • 20 ml Cointreau
    • 40 ml Appletiser
    • 2 slices of green apple tossed in a little lemon juice
    • a generous handful ice cubes
    1. Slice the apple and toss in a little lemon juice to prevent discolouring. This can be done ahead. 2. Fill your glass with ice cubes.3. Shake your Tequila and Cointreau together in a jam jar and pour over the ice.4. Top up with Appletiser and a slice of apple. A second slice may also be used for decoration on the glass.5. Enjoy! Hic!notes: it's easy to make enough for a group, just scale up the quantities and make the same way.
    Total time:
    Yield: Serves 1

    Follow the conversation at #‎CrownTheMoment‬ and why not try to create a new cocktail yourself this festive season?

    Disclosure: This cocktail was created for Appletiser. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.


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

    This week has been all about spring winter cleaning, Christmas shopping and putting up Christmas decorations. Because we've been so busy, meals have been simple. Pasta dishes and soup were the main dishes of the week, but that's ok. Luckily I have some great inspiration for the week ahead.


    A Virtual Vegan 


    Thinly Spread


    The Taste Space


    Veggie Desserts


    Wheat-Free Meat-Free


    Veggie Inspired


    The Vegan Year

    And a few bonus recipes:
    Warm Christmas Rice Salad - Easy Peasy Foodie

    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.
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