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.


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.


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.


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

Happy Monday everyone! I'm so happy to be back. My knee is slowly improving and I'm back in the kitchen again.

I'm mainly making soups at the moment, which I'm craving and you'll see that reflected below, as we're having lots of midweek soup suggestions. Saying that, Cooper has requested Chilli Wraps for dinner tomorrow night and his wish is my command. That boy loves chilli on a wrap with sour cream and grated cheddar. I've yet to convince him that they're great filled with lots of salad leaves, but I'm sure that day will come.

In the meantime, I'm sharing with you lots of inspiration for the week ahead, starting with our featured photo from Kate over at The Veg Space.


Spiced Carrot, Lentil & Kale Soup

Time for a spot of soup!

You may be wondering where I've been? It's unusual for me to be away for my blog for more than a few days. 

I twisted my knee and it's been rather painful, so I've had to rest it a lot. There's not been much time spent online or in the kitchen. Graham, bless him has done his best, but now my knee is a bit better it's time for me to get back to the cooker and cook us something a bit more nutritious.

It's definitely cooler here in Scotland. Winter is making itself known and the temperatures are dropping and I'm craving soup.

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