Chickpea Salad with Tomato Sauce and Wakame Seaweed

Chickpea Salad with Tomato Sauce and Wakame Seaweed

Chickpeas are just great, It doesn't matter if they come out of a tin or are soaked over night and cooked. They're always rather wonderful.

Mind you if you are buying tinned, look in the world food aisle of your local supermarket, you'll find the chickpeas there are cheaper and better quality. I like East End Chickpeas. They're big and creamy, just as they should be. I can eat them like sweeties.

This chickpea salad with tomato sauce and wakame seaweed is a great lunchtime salad served cold or you could serve it warm as a side dish. It's packed with protein and lots of hidden veggies, so it's super healthy too.


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

Happy Monday my friends. I hope you enjoyed the Easter weekend and didn't overindulge too much. We were quite restrained. We just gave Cooper a Smarties Easter egg and didn't bother giving one to each other. 

Cooper hadn't mentioned his egg by the time afternoon came around, so I asked him if he'd like it. He said yes, opened it, had a little bit, offered some to me and wrapped it up again and put it away. I have a very restrained child. He was much more excited by the game he was given by my friend Andrew and the cuddly toy we gave him.


Lightly Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

Lightly Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

I've been raving about salads recently. I've been eating a lot of them and telling you to forget about soups and embrace salads with me, I even had the most gorgeous salad in Pizza Express on Sunday night instead of pizza.

I know, I know. Now I'm telling you to eat soup.

The trouble with salads are Cooper doesn't like them. He likes cucumber, carrots, sweetcorn and red pepper, but that's it. If I put down an exciting mixed dressed salad with avocado, beetroot and asparagus in front of him he just wouldn't eat it and I need him to have have a variety of veg in his diet. I still add vegetables to his smoothies and the salad he does like into packed lunch with some falafel or veggie sausages, but he needs something different in the evening. So soup it is.


Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (21 March 2016)

Happy Monday! 

I hope you've all had a good week. I've had a busy one as usual but we did slow down and have a fun day out on Sunday. We headed over the Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh where we met up with my Australian friend Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe and her family. I've been lucky enough to meet up with Johanna before and it's always a pleasure. I've made so many wonderful friends through blogging.

We spent a happy day wandering around the Botanic Gardens and chatting. Once the giraffe family had left Cooper and I headed to the cafe to enjoy a hot chocolate before meeting up with Graham and the dogs  who had been walking up Arthur's Seat (dogs aren't allowed into the Botanic Gardens).

We had a walk around Leith and then some dinner at Pizza Express before heading home.

However Monday is here again, we've had a busy day at work, or school in Cooper's case, but now it's time to start getting organised and planning for the week ahead. As usual there are some super tasty recipes for you to try.


White Onion and Colliers Cheddar Risotto Cake

White Onion and Colliers Cheddar Risotto Cakes with Grilled Bitter Leaves

This white onion and cheddar risotto cake comes from Chef Stephen Terry at The Hardwick in Abergavenny. I had a great stay there last week and the food was fabulous, some great veggie dishes.

I was invited down by the nice folks at Collier's Welsh Cheddar for a little bit of background on the company, a tour around the mine and a masterclass with Chef Stephen Terry. You can read more about it in my last post where I shared the Cheesey Polenta Stephen taught us to make in the masterclass.

The Hardwick, Abergavenny, Wales

Stephen calls it a restaurant with rooms, but it's very luxurious with lots of nice details. Classic FM was playing softly when I entered my room. The furnishings were expensive but comfortable, with plenty of plug points and a well stocked fridge with drinks and snacks,  They even have a fitted drawer with mason jars full of different teas, coffees and cookies.

The bathroom was very stylish too with delicious smelling botanical toiletries and a waterfall shower. The room smelled delicious the whole time I was there. I'm slightly regretting not buying some to bring home with me.

The Hardwick, Abergavenny, Wales

Stephen and his team made us very welcome. The whole place had a very relaxed feel and our masterclass was a very informal affair too.

Stephen is obviously passionate about food, but his food isn't overly fussy, just lots of good seasonal produce with great flavour. One of the thing he does do a lot of  is grilling bitter salad leaves to add to salads, which is something I haven't done so far, but I'll definitely be trying. I had a great roasted salt beet salad with winter leaves and goats cheese sauce, which was mouth-wateringly good.

Salt Roast Mixed Beets on Grilled Winter Leaves with local Abergavenny Goats Cheese Sauce,Pine Nuts & Balsamic

Another one of the veggie dishes on the menu was the White Onion and Colliers Cheddar Risotto Cake with a radicchio and chicory salad with honey.




risotto, risotto cakes, risotto patties, risotto burgers, cheese risotto cakes, cheese risotto, patties, burgers, vegetarian pate
Main course
Mediterranean, Vegetarian
Yield: 6-8 risotto cakes

White Onion and Colliers Cheddar Risotto Cake

A crispy breaded risotto cakes flavoured with powerful Welsh Colliers cheddar. An elegant vegetarian main course.
prep time: 15 minscook time: 35 minstotal time: 50 mins


  • 100ml rapeseed oil
  • 2 white onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • a small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 180g arborio rice
  • 550 ml vegetable stock
  • 175g Collier's Welsh Cheddar
  • a good grinding of salt
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan and gently saute the
    onion, garlic and parsley until the onion is soft.
  2. Add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes before adding the stock. Cook the rice until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice is firm to the bite but not raw in the middle of the grain.
  3. Add the cheddar, combine and season, then pour into a shallow cling filmed tray approximately 2 cm in depth. Cover with cling film and allow to fully cool in the fridge. 
  4. Preheat your oven to 180c/160c fan/350f/gas mark 4.
  5. Pour the breadcrumbs, flour and beaten egg into three separate bowls. Divide the risotto mixture into 6 - 8 cakes and coat in the flour, egg and then breadcrumbs, ensuring each time that they are completely covered before the next tray. 
  6. Heat the rapeseed oil in a shallow frying pan and fry the risotto cakes on all sides until they are golden brown in colour.
  7. Place the golden brown risotto cakes into an oven at 180 ̊C for 4-5 minutes. 
  8. Enjoy!


Nutritional values and calories are for 8 risotto cakes.
fat (grams)
sat. fat (grams)
carbs (grams)
protein (grams)
sugar (grams)
Created using The Recipes Generator


Related - Field Mushroom and Artichoke Risotto


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Vegetarian White Onion and Colliers Cheddar Risotto Cakes with Grilled Bitter Leaves and a herby dressing

What should I serve risotto cakes with?

You can serve the risotto cakes simply with some grilled bitter salad leaves drizzled with a herby green sauce as Stephen did or you could serve them with potato wedges and salad.

Paprika Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges

Disclosure: Colliers invited me down to Wales for a visit and provided my travel and accomodation while I was there. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

Collier’s Cheddar Polenta with Oyster Mushrooms

Collier’s Cheddar Polenta with Grilled Lettuce & Salsa Verde

Last week I headed down to Wales. Abergavenny to be precise. I was invited down by Collier's (Powerful Welsh Cheddar) and Chef Stephen Terry at The Hardwick.

I've got lots to share but I'll start with a a little bit about Colliers and this recipe for cheesey polenta, which was absolutely amazing.

Collier’s Cheddar Polenta with Grilled Lettuce & Salsa Verde

I'm ashamed as a vegetarian to say I've never cooked polenta before. I do have it sitting in my kitchen in a tub, but I only use it to sit my freshly made pizza bases on before they're popped into the oven to bake. A shameful under-use of this wonderful grain.

Stephen made us polenta fingers with lots of Collier's cheddar and wilted cavolo nero. He served these tasty crisp bites on a bed of grilled lettuce with a drizzle of salsa verde and some sauteed oyster mushrooms. It was heavenly and I was instantly converted. I couldn't believe how easy it was either.


Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (14 March 2016)

What a great week I've had. It didn't start well as we had a burst pipe and had to move to a hotel Sunday night as we had no heat or water, but it was all fixed by Monday morning and not as pricey as we thought.

Cooper had a fashion show at school where he had to dress up in his fanciest duds. He assures me he was the smartest boy there. What can I say?

On Wednesday I headed down to Wales for a visit to Abergavenny with my friend Kevin (The Crafty Larder). We were lucky enough to stay at The Hardwich (Chef Stephen Terry's hotel or restaurant and rooms as he likes to call it). We were down to learn the history of Colliers Welsh Cheddar and to visit the Big Pit as well as having a masterclass with Stephen. We had a blast.

It's a new week and time for another 7 droolworthy recipes to inspire you for the week ahead. Thanks as always to everyone who contributed.  Such wonderful recipes. As ever I can only feature seven but you'll fins some more bonus recipes below.


Apple, Beet and Pecan Salad

I know we haven't quite reached spring yet, but I'm still craving salads. It's so bright and sunny outside and the daylight is around much longer. I feel I can finally throw off winter.

On a sunny day, it's actually quite warm up here in Scotland. I went without my coat one lunchtime this week. Of course those of you further south in, let's say London, will be reaching for thick scarves and gloves and chittering a little, but we're a hardy bunch up here in bonnie Scotland.


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

Happy Meat Free Monday!

Have you had a great week? Mine was fine until Sunday when we discovered a burst pipe, so we moved to a hotel for the night, but luckily we managed to get plumber to sort it out this morning. Having no heating or running water isn't fun.

So I'm behind with my planning, but this list of yummy recipes should help me plan the week ahead.


Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (vegan)

An easy recipe for chocolate chip banana bread with just a few ingredients. Deliciously moist bread studded with chunks of dark chocolate. Vegan, veggie and dairy free.

Banana bread!

I usually get through my bananas easily. I often take them to work or use them in smoothies. Cooper has gone off eating them fresh, so I don't add them to his school packed lunches and I don't remember the last time I saw Graham pick up a banana.

I woefully glared at the last five nearly black bananas. I could add one to a smoothie, but what to do with the rest?

I remembered I had an old recipe scribbled down from my mum, but it was in cup measures and had eggs in it. I really couldn't be faffed making flax eggs. We were going to head out for a walk with the dogs, so I didn't want to take longer than I had to. Graham was cleaning the hall and the dogs cage so I had enough time for a quick recipe.


9 So-Nearly-Spring Soups and Salads

We're in that funny place where winter still holds us but we look towards spring with great hope. The winter seems to last so long. When the weather brightens and the days get longer we can't help feel cheered and long for the next season to begin.

It's still cold though, so while we long for spring and start to think of salads, it's still the weather for a comforting bowl of soup and that's where No Croutons Required (my monthly soup and salad challenge I co-host with my good friend Lisa) comes in.

Our first and featured image is a comforting bowl of Rustic White Bean Soup with Cabbage from NCR veteran Janet who writes at The Taste Space.

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