Veggie Sausage, Mushroom and Bean Stew Recipe

A rich tomato based stew filled with veggie sausages, mushrooms and cannellini beans. Full of the sweet flavour of tomatoes and a warmth and kick of spice from ground cumin and smoked paprika, served on a bed of creamy mashed potato with your choice of vegetables on the side. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans and loved by the whole family.

It's the perfect time of year for rich stews, You really feel like you've had a good meal when you sit down to stew, It's tasty, filling and utterly comforting. My latest stew is this veggie sausage, mushroom and bean stew which was fabulous.

Sometimes I make stew in my slow cooker, but I'm not always organised enough to use my slow cooker and have a meal on the table in time for dinner. I always have 101 things to do and rarely think about dinner until the afternoon or on the way home from work in the evening, so I usually make stews and casseroles on the cooker top in a cast iron casserole.

Go on, tell me I need to be more organised. I know it, I just don't seem to be able to do anything about it. I am always so busy. If you have any tips for getting organised in the new year, do share them with me.
A rich tomato based stew filled with veggie sausages, mushrooms and cannellini beans. Full of the sweet flavour of tomatoes and a warmth and kick of spice from ground cumin and smoked paprika, served on a bed of creamy mashed potato with your choice of vegetables on the side. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans and loved by the whole family.


Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

A bowl of Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

I think I'm pretty organised for Christmas. The decorations are up and the presents are bought. I've decided what we're having for Christmas dinner and now I just have to do a food shop and wrap those presents while watching a Christmas movie. Then I can just sit back and enjoy the holiday. 

I still need to decide which soup I'll be serving as our starter, so  I decided to try out a new recipe.

This soup has some of the best winter vegetables, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and carrots. A lot of sweetness and depth of flavour paired with some warmth from spice. To give it that luxurious finish I added coconut milk at the end and blended it, but not until it was completely smooth. I always think you need a bit of texture in a soup, don't you?
Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup #soup #vegansoup #vegan #butternutsquash #sweetpotato #carrots


Vegan Banoffee Pie Cheesecake (no-bake recipe)

Photo of a luxurious vegan banoffee pie on a cake stand with caramel oozing down the side, topped with slices of banana and grated chocolate.

I have another indulgent dessert for you to make this Christmas. A luxurious banoffee pie cheesecake. Doesn't that look da bomb?

It may look super fancy, but it's actually easy to make.  Make it the day before Christmas, pop it in the fridge and top it with caramel, slices of banana and grated chocolate just before you serve it.

I made this one vegan, but it's basically my standard cheesecake recipe substituting coconut cream for whipped cream and vegan cream cheese (the coconut kind too) for the cream cheese. Simples.

I really can't be faffed with all this soaking of nuts overnight to make a cheesecake nonsense.  I like to stick as close as possible to the original recipe in ingredients, flavour and texture and this is spot on. It's a little softer than the original, but tastes fabulous.
A luxurious no-bake vegan cheesecake with the flavours of banoffee pie. No need to soak nuts for this cheesecake as it's made the traditional way but with dairy-free cream cheese and whipped coconut. This cheesecake can be used as a base for lots of different toppings from fruit puree and fresh fruit to chocolate.


A Very Veggie Christmas with M&S

This is not just any Christmas, this is an veggie M&S Christmas.

I used to cook everything from scratch for Christmas breakfast, lunch and dinner. And how did that go? Well I spent the whole day in the kitchen and missed all the fun and my wee boy's excitement. Now I make a few things, but I buy a few things in too. Just to make life easier and that's where M&S come in. 

We've missed the date for Christmas Food to Order, but there's plenty of choice in store and actually this gives your more options to suit everyone, including children and your gluten free or vegan guests.

48 Easy Winter Vegan Meals

Brrrrr! It's freezing out there. Every morning for the last week I've looked outside to a world coating white with a layer of frost and boy is it chilly. I think we've gotten used to mild winters the last few years, but this year is definitely going to be a cold one.

It's time to wrap up and dress in layers, but it's also time to change our diets too. While I'm the first to say that salads are great all year round, it's definitely time to start making soups, stews and savoury bakes. As well as being the best kind of comfort food, they're a great way to make sure we're getting all the nutrients we need to fend off all the nasty colds and viruses floating about at this time of year as well as helping us to get our five-a-day.

Although did you know that scientists now say we should actually be eating 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day? And the great news is a healthy vegan diet is rich in fruit and vegetables so we're already ahead of the game.

With that in mind, I wanted to share 48 winter vegan meals that are easy to make and will take you through the winter without getting bored.

Recipes run from left to right.
48 easy winter vegan meals including chilli and tagine recipes


Indulgent Vegan Chocolate Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream

An indulgent vegan chocolate cake that's perfect for special occasions like Birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and family gatherings. 

It's easy to make with simple ingredients and turns out perfectly every time. 

An indulgent chocolate cake filled with chocolate buttercream and topped with whipped coconut cream and raspberries. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Winter is the time for indulgence and this vegan chocolate cake definitely hits the mark. It is my go-to chocolate cake recipe you may have seen Cooper baking as his first day of school chocolate cake. The only difference is I've veganised it. It's about time, I hear my husband mutter.


It's vegan but you would never know it. This cake is rich with a heavy hit of chocolate helped out by a shot of coffee that really helps boost that chocolatey flavour.

It's easy to make, anyone can make it and everyone loves it. I recently made if for a leaving do at work and it was a big hit. Two people told me it was the best chocolate cake they had ever tasted. Now that is high praise.

Use flax eggs

I made my vegan version with flax eggs (tips below) instead of eggs and dairy free spread, instead of butter. Apart from that it's my standard chocolate cake and tastes exactly the same.  It looks quite dark, but it's not burnt, it's just really dark and rich.

Cheat with shop bought buttercream

I filled it with chocolate buttercream and I have to admit to using Betty Crocker buttercream and icing, which are accidentally vegan and totally lush. I topped my cake with whipped coconut milk (tips below) and raspberries. I did mean to add a grating of good dark chocolate but totally forgot.


Christmas Gift Guide & a Giveaway Spectacular worth over £800

Christmas is fast approaching and it's time to start thinking about gifts, if you haven't already. I have done most of my shopping already. I really didn't want to leave it until the last minute. Saying that, I will probably end up wrapping at the last minute and that really is hell. The trouble is my house is quite wee so I just don't have room to wrap and store presents. A spare room would be a wonderful thing.

So this is a gift guide, but a gift guide like no other. Everything in this Christmas Gift Guide will be won by one lucky reader. Yes you read that right, one lucky reader will win everything in this guide. How exciting is that. It's like having a second Christmas. 

So let's get this thing started!

Giveaway info below.


Spiced Chickpea and Carrot Sandwich Filler Recipe

A spicy chickpea and carrot sandwich filler whizzed up in seconds for a really satisfying lunchtime sandwich.

Sandwich filled with Spiced Chickpea and Carrot Sandwich Filler and salad, stacked on greaseproof paper

Spiced Chickpea and Carrot Sandwich Filler

Don't you just love tucking into a well endowed sandwich?

A sandwich on soft brown bread just layered up with lots of fillings like this one. Yes, I hear you cry, well me too.

Today I decided to make my own filling and as I have lots of tins of chickpeas in my store cupboard it seemed like a good place to start, but it needed some spice too. I wasn't planning on making hummus.

Although don't get me wrong I love hummus, but I wanted a more substantial filling for my sandwich, something I could really bite into.


Layer up that sandwich!

Once I had made my chickpea and carrot sandwich filler, I got to work stacking that sandwich up.

I started with a soft brown bread and spread one slice generously with dairy free pesto. I topped the pesto with baby spinach leaves, a generous layer of my chickpea filler, some grated carrot, slices of tomato and topped it with the other slice of bread which had a good layer or mango chutney spread all over it.


That is all I can say.

I am too busy devouring that sandwich!

pin it for later

A spicy chickpea and carrot sandwich filler whizzed up in seconds for a really satisfying lunchtime sandwich. #sandwichfiller #chickpeasandwich #vegansandwich #vegansandwiches #veganlunch #veganlunchbox #sandwiches #vegetariansandwiches #vegetariansandwichfiller #chickpeapate #chickpeas #carrots

Reader's Favourite

One of my reader's Joost just made this sandwich filler and shared it on Facebook. He has kindly allowed me to share his photo and comment. He said:

"Made it for lunch (or mid-afternoon snack, I suppose). I went with just the filling and vegan pesto and it was gorgeous. Keeper!"

Blending the sandwich filler

Optimum Nutri Force Extractor

I made my sandwich filler in my new nutri force blender. It's the latest blender from Froothie and just a baby compared to my big beast blender the Optimum 9400.

It's a travel blender but also great for small kitchens or making fresh smoothies at work.

It comes with a 1 litre and a 450ml jug, an extractor blade and a grinder blade. You can choose the size of jug to blend in and which type of blade you need. It also comes with a flip top lid and two travel lids so you can blend and go.
Optimum Nutriforce Extractor

I took this little chap on holiday in the October holidays when we were staying in a cottage in the Scottish Borders. It was a fine size to pop in a bag and take with us and handy for morning smoothies.

Since then I've made smoothies, milkshakes and hummus as well as grinding flax seeds to make flax eggs for a spot of dairy free baking.

I had a horrible moment when I thought it wasn't working, but it turned out I just hadn't screwed the jug in properly. Silly fool!

Can a small blender like this do much?

Heck yes!

It makes fruit smoothies, green smoothies, grinds nuts and grains, crushes ice, makes nut butter (from just nuts, no need to add anything else, makes nut milks, makes ice cream from frozen fruit (try frozen banana with a little cocoa powder), fresh fruit juice, cocktails and dips and spreads.

    Special Offer

    If you're interested in a small blender like this for yourself or as a Christmas gift (I'm giving one to my dad, don't worry he never reads my blog, I know shocking isn't it?), it's on sale now from £179 to £89.

    I can also offer you free delivery, just follow this link and add  FREE DELIVERY 1405 to the comment box when you are at the checkout and your delivery charge will be credited back to your card.

    To make my sandwich filler, I just chucked all the ingredients into my blender jug, popped the lid on screwed it in place and pulsed for a few seconds. I didn't pulse it for two long as I wanted to keep some texture and not end up with a smooth hummus.

    I mixed my grated carrot in after I blended the chickpeas and spices, but next time I think I'll add the grated carrot it and pulse it with the rest.

    That sandwich was delicious!

    My quantities make enough for two generously filled sandwiches, but do feel free to make more as the flavour improves after it's had a bit of time to settle. You can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days.

    The sandwich filling is high in protein, has 17% of your recommended daily amount of iron, 9 % of potassium and 6% of calcium. Who said you could only get calcium from dairy? Pah!

    Yield: enough for 2 generously filled sandwiches

    Spiced Chickpea and Carrot Sandwich Filler

    A spicy chickpea and carrot sandwich filler that's perfect for a lunchtime meal, stacked high with salad. It's nutritious, almost fat free and vegan.
    prep time: 5 MINScook time: total time: 5 mins


    • 400g tin chickpeas
    • 4 tbsp aquafaba (chickpea water)
    • ½ small clove garlic, crushed
    • small handful fresh coriander
    • ½ tsp ground cumin
    • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 small to medium carrot, grated
    • a good grinding of salt and pepper


    1.  Drain the chickpeas into a bowl so you can save the aquafaba (chickpea water). You add some in this recipe.
    2. Add all the ingredients to a blender and pulse for a few seconds until starting to come together in a thick paste but still with texture.
    3. Taste for seasoning, then layer up your sandwich. I spread pesto on the bottom slice of bread, a layer of spinach leaves, chickpea filler, grated carrot, sliced tomato and a top slice of bread spread with mango chutney.
    4. Enjoy!


    If you don't have a blender or food processor you could use a potato masher to mash the filling.
    fat (grams)
    sat. fat (grams)
    sugar (grams)
    carbs (grams)
    protein (grams)
    Created using The Recipes Generator

    The Ultimate Vegetarian and Vegan Sandwich Guide

    If you're looking for more sandwich inspiration check out my Ultimate Sandwich Guide with 50 vegetarian and vegan sandwich ideas. You will never be bored with your lunch again.

    Disclosure: Froothie sent me this blender to review, I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

    Stellar Rocking Pans Giveaway

    Stellar Rocking Non-Stick Pans Review with Giveaway.

    I have a fabulous giveaway for you from pan specialist Stellar. I don't do many giveaways, but if I'm offered a product I really love I like to give my readers a chance to try the product too.

    This time it's a new collection of high quality non-stick pans from Stellar. They call them rocking, because they're rock hard. They have a new titanium based non-stick formula which has a scratch resistant finish that is much more durable than standard pans.

    They can be used on all hob types as they are made from thick aluminium with an induction base which means you get even heat when you are cooking.

    They have a lifetime guarantee and prices start from £30, so they are a good investment and perfect if you need to replace your old pans before Christmas.

    You can follow Stellar on Twitter for deals, tips and information. Giveaway info below.


    Best Ever Vegan Sloppy Joes Recipe

    An easy recipe for vegan sloppy joes studded with red pepper and spiced up with paprika and cumin. Serve on a toasted bun with cream cheese and grated cheddar (vegan or veggie, it's up to you).

    I've seen and heard people talking about sloppy joes for years. I've always planned to make them, but I never got around to it. I was stuck in that eternal loop. Don't those look good? I have to try them! Then nothing. I know, I know I should just get on with it.

    I made them.

    ....and the crowd cheers!

    And........ THEY. ARE. AWESOME!

    They were easy to make and so tasty! It was such a treat.

    I toasted my rolls and spread them generously with cream cheese (Violife of course darling!), filled them with lots of the savoury mince and topped it with some dairy-free cheddar. Mmmmmm! Of course if you are vegetarian feel free to use standard cream cheese and cheddar.


    Vegan Sausage Birra - a Crock-Pot recipe for slow cooking

    Vegan Sausage Birra - a Crock-Pot recipe for slow cooking

    What is a birra?

    You may be asking what a birra is. I did. In fact I had to Google it to find out what a birra is and it turns out it's just a recipe containing beer. So it definitely sounds much fancier than it is.

    What we have here is a sort of sausage stew. The sausages and onions are slow cooked in a spicy tomato beer sauce. It's actually really tasty.

    I took a quick photo of it as you can see, before I lost the light. It gets dark so quickly at this time of year, doesn't it? It's the bane of food bloggers lives. Photos taken in artificial light are just awful (unless you have a properly equipped photography studio with expensive lights), so we always take our photos in daylight and there's just not enough of it in Scotland in November.

    Once I'd finished taking my photos I popped the birra back in the slow cooker to keep warm while I cooked some potatoes and peas.

    Well I say potatoes and peas, but I was too busy looking at my photos and left Graham to see to the potatoes. I totally forgot to remind him about the peas, so we just ate this sausage stew with mash. It was still comforting and very tasty, even without the veg.




    Vegan Beetroot and Vanilla Sorbet Recipe

    Vegan Beetroot and Vanilla Sorbet Recipe

    Looks good doesn't it?

    I love sorbet, don't you? It's a great vegan option and usually lower in calories than ice cream while still giving you that velvety iced treat. I quite like to serve a scoop of fruity sorbet with a dark chocolate ice cream although I'm also happy to eat the sorbet solo and often order it in restaurants. It's a refreshing end to a meal.


    Veggie Haggis & Apple Bedfordshire Clangers

    Veggie haggis & apple Bedfordshire clangers cut into to how the savoury and sweet fillings

    Bedfordshire Clangers

    Have you heard of them ? 

    No? I'd never heard of them before last week. I've been following the Great British Bake Off  (did you see my roast vegetable, pasta and cream cheese pizza for Italian week and my dark chocolate magic pudding for pudding week?) and they tie in with this week's theme.

    At the end of each week the next week's challenge is previewed. This week the theme is forgotten bakes or shall we say old fashioned bakes. like these Bedfordshire clangers.


    Vegan Roast Vegetable, Pesto and Cream Cheese Pizza Recipe

    I usually make my own pizza dough when I'm making a pizza from scratch, but I noticed my local supermarket have a fresh ready rolled pizza dough in their chilled section beside the pastry and decided to give it a go. 

    Now I'm not saying I only ever make pizza from scratch, do any of us? 

    Maybe if I was a stay at home mum. Nope, probably not even then. Each time I make pizza dough I think I should always make it fresh, but then reality kicks in.

    I mostly buy chilled or frozen pizza for quick midweek meals and just pile them high with extra vegetables before cooking them and actually they are pretty good. Sometimes I make pizzas with puff pastry too. Not quite as good as this freshly roasted vegetable, pesto and cream cheese pizza, but pretty good for a quick meal. 


    Aubergine and Onion Masala (a vegan eggplant crock-pot curry recipe)

    Aubergine and Onion Masala (a vegan eggplant crock-pot curry recipe)

    I don't make many curries. Well actually that's not true, I make dal nearly every week, but I don't often make any other curries or Indian side dishes. We used to eat a lot more Indian food, but Cooper isn't keen (although he loves dal) and Graham never seems to be in the mood for curry. Today I made this Aubergine and Onion Masala and it must have been the smell as Graham was tempted by it and thought it tasted great. Cooper had a snack before heading out to Boys Brigade so he hasn't tried it yet, but I have some dal at the ready just in case.

    You can't win them all.




    Rich Mushroom and Lentil Ragu Recipe

    Rich Mushroom and Lentil Ragu Recipe

    I told you this was pasta week

    Oh did you miss my last post? I realised I was posting three pasta recipes this week. A roasted vegetable pea pasta bake, a creamy spinach and basil pasta and this rich ragu which I served with tagliatelle.

    Don't worry we have eaten other meals in between. 

    We haven't just lived on pasta this week. 

    We've had carrot, lentil and spinach soup, vegetable packed pizza and an aubergine dish with potatoes and asparagus.

    One night it all went to pot and we gave up and ate chips (fries my American friends) in paper from the local chip shop with quickly heated baked beans. Yes, even food bloggers have nights like that. And everyone needs a 'chippie' now and again!



    Creamy Spinach and Basil Penne Recipe

    Creamy Spinach and Basil Penne Recipe

    It's pasta week!

    Well actually that's not true, but it's going to feel like pasta week because this is my second pasta of the week and I still have another one planned. My first pasta dish this week was roasted vegetable pea pasta bake, but today I wanted something creamy. I wanted a creamy sauce but one that would be quick and easy too. Well you know how I am.

    This time you may see a wee bit of orange shining throw the sauce. That's the colour of the pasta. For tonight's meal I used Napolina's Red Lentil Penne which like the green pea pasta is also gluten free.


    Roasted Vegetable Pea Pasta Bake - gluten-free & vegan

    Roasted Vegetable Pea Pasta Bake - gluten-free & vegan

    I love a good pasta bake, but this isn't like most of my pasta bakes. They're usually really rich with a thick sauce, but this one is lighter. It's more about the roast vegetables with just a hint of light tomato sauce. I also wanted the flavour of the pasta to shine through. Why? Because it's Green Pea Pasta.

    Green pea pasta, I hear you say!

    Why yes, green pea pasta.


    Dark Chocolate Magic Pudding (a self-saucing vegan dessert recipe)

    Dark Chocolate Magic Pudding (a self-saucing vegan dessert recipe)

    I've had self-saucing pudding at the back of my mind for years now. I always look them and think I have to make one of these magic puddings, but never get around to making one.

    The time has come! Trex has challenged me to bake to the theme of the bakes on The Great British Bake Off and this week is pudding week. There was no information beyond it being pudding week, so I took that as fate and just the nudge I needed to make a dark chocolate magic pudding.
    Dark Chocolate Magic Pudding (a self-saucing vegan dessert recipe)


    Meat Free Mondays (week beginning 25 September 2017)

    Happy Monday! 

    How was the start to your week? I was off today and busy developing a dark chocolate magic pudding. All I can say is it's divine and coming soon, so watch this space. The last week has been a busy one for me, even though I had a couple of days off work. At the weekend we travelled down to the Scottish Borders and stayed in the Tinto Hotel. It was great to get away for a couple of days. To get out and explore, away from our phones and computers, just lots of fresh air and fun. 

    It's Monday again, so I'm planning my meals for the week ahead and that's when Meat Free Mondays come in handy. Each week there are so many new tasty recipes to try. If you're veggie or trying to eat veggie once a week or more it's worth tuning in every Monday.

    *update at end of post*


    Tortellini Minestrone Soup

    Tortellini Minestrone Soup

    It's soup time of year. The nights are drawing in and it's definitely getting colder. I've been fighting the temptation to put the heating on when it's only September, but I've had to give in a couple of times and put it on for a wee while, just to take the edge of the chill. So here we have a big pot of Tortellini Minestrone Soup to combat the cold nights and for a spot of comfort.

    This is very similar to a simple minestrone I make, but this time I added tortellini for a more substantial meal rather than usual baby pasta or broken spaghetti strands I often add.
    Tortellini Minestrone Recipe using #essentialWaitrose ingredients @waitrose


    Easy Cheesy Vegetable Potato Cakes

    Easy Cheesy Vegetable Potato Cakes

    These cheesy vegetable potato cakes were our dinner for tonight. I always cook simple food and share easy recipes, but these are definitely made with Cooper in mind. They are real nursery food or should I say comfort food? 

    Not only are these potato cakes comfort food, but they're a sneaky way of getting more vegetables into Cooper's day. If you have children or a husband like mine who is reluctant to eat vegetables you will appreciate what I'm talking about.
    Easy Cheesy Vegetable Potato Cakes with @waitrose #essentialWaitrose #ad


    Meat Free Mondays (week beginning 18 September 2017)

    tomatoes and basil

    Happy Monday my friends.

    It's come around again hasn't it? It must be a sign of getting older that the week whizzes by, no make that the year!

    I don't have any family tales to share with you this week. It was a pretty busy but average week. Cooper stayed with his grandparents at the weekend and I was working on Saturday. I did go out to the pub after work with friends for some dinner and a few drinks before heading home to watch a couple of DVDs (Graham was in Edinburgh at a gig so I was home alone). La La Land was one of the DVD's I rented and I knew within the first couple of minutes I was going to hate it. I do enjoy musicals, but this one just annoyed me. It was very beautiful and cinematic, but I couldn't stand any of the characters. Anyway enough of that, let's do some meal planning.


    Aubergine, Sweet Potato and Metis Tagine

    Aubergine, Sweet Potato and Metis Tagine

    Let's get fruity!

    My tagine I mean, no funny business. Aubergine, sweet potato and Metis® are the base of this spiced Moroccan stew, which is served on a base of fluffy couscous.

    A feast for a king or at least an everyday mum, dad and small boy. And talking about that small boy. He was hanging about while I took photos desperate to get stuck in. He loved it! This is a day to remember. He didn't flinch when I said it had aubergine in it and he didn't poke at it suspiciously as he often does when I present him with a new dish. He ate it and said it was yummy! He ate it all!

    *dances round the room whooping*


    Meat Free Monday - 11 September 2017

    Happy Monday!

    How are you? Have you had a good week? Monday rolls round quickly doesn't it?

    I'm not sure I have much to share with you this week. How about a Cooper update? His class are studying James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, so he is doing lots of peach related activities. His teacher misguidedly asked the children to draw a face on a peach and look after it. Unfortunately she seems to have forgotten how young children can get attached to things. Cooper gave it a name and personality and as it started to get squishy and past it's best he got really upset. Honestly you couldn't make this stuff up. Tears over a peach, or his wee friend Peachy as he named it. Sigh!

    Apart from that we didn't get up to much. We had a lovely day in St Andrews on Saturday, well it would have been a more fun if we had realised it was the weekend when the students and their parents arrive. It was mobbed, still we had fun at the park in the morning and pizza before we headed home.

    Enough of all that. It's time to think about the week ahead and plan some meals. So without further ado I give you this week's Meat Free Mondays and another seven gorgeous recipes for you to try.


    Vegan Sausage, Red Pepper and Brown Rice Casserole Recipe

    Vegan Sausage, Red Pepper and Brown Rice Casserole Recipe

    I'm drooling just thinking about this casserole and how good it was. I was planning on serving it with veg, but we ended up just serving it with crusty bread to mop up the juices. It was delicious and really filling. I'm looking forward to trying this again very soon.

    I was inspired to make this rice dish after a trip to Milan and a visit to Riso Gallo, the rice people. Riso Gallo are a family name in Italy, with a reputation for superior quality rice. They are the brand that chefs and anyone who really enjoys cooking look for. They're famous for their risotto rice, but they actually have a huge range of products including mixed grain products such as spelt, barley and quinoa. They also sell a pronto range for quick midweek meals. A good selection of their range is available from Ocado. Other supermarkets stock their products, but you won't find such a big range. Try your favourite online supermarket, type Gallo into the search box and add some to your basket to try.


    Meat Free Mondays #108

    olive oil

    Happy Monday!

    How has your week been? Mine has been a bit sucky as Graham was made redundant, so he's busy looking for a new job, but there's nothing great to apply for at the moment. We're trying to stay positive. I'm sure it will all work out. You may have noticed I now have ads on my blog after 10 years ad-free and you can probably guess why. So do stick with me. I'll be posting lots of recipe inspiration on Mondays and recipes during the week as usual.

    Now we've got that out of the way lets drool over some new veggie recipes. I hope you get lots of inspiration this week.


    Back to School Gooey Chocolate Cake

    Our family tradition is to bake a gooey chocolate back to school chocolate cake on the first day of school as a treat, to make the day special. We hope you enjoy this easy recipe.

    Back to School Gooey Chocolate Cake

    Family Traditions

    We have a tradition in our house. I started it when Cooper started school and we continue on with it each year.

    On Cooper's first day back at school we make chocolate cake together. Not not in the morning! You're having a laugh. Do you know how mad the first day of school is?

    Of course English schools break up later and the children are starting back next week, so I'm hoping when I share Cooper's Gooey Chocolate Cake it might start a tradition in another home.

    Last year we walked into town after school and spent way too long in Waterstones book shop, in the cafe and then looking at books so we didn't have time to make chocolate cake.

    We made Malteser Fudge Brownies instead and boy were they yummy, but more importantly they were quick. This year we came home so we have plenty of time for a full sized chocolate creation.


    Falafel and Apple Salad Sandwich Recipe

    A delicious vegan sandwich. Sweet crunchy apple with lightly spiced falafel, creamy hummus and fresh salad on soft brown bread with a sweet bit of heat from some mango chutney. Plus 15 family sandwich ideas.

    I don't share many sandwich recipes, but I seem to make plenty of them and I'm always looking for new ideas, so I figured you might enjoy some new sandwich recipes too.

    I often add falafel to sandwiches and wraps and this falafel and apple salad recipe went down really well. Graham and I both really enjoyed it. Needless to say Cooper would never eat this. He's funny with it comes to sandwiches. He likes them plain. 

    He will eat a sandwich with peanut butter and jam, peanut butter and Nutella, butter and jam, Oh and he will eat falafel on a wrap with some cream cheese, but that's as exciting as it gets. 

    Salad on a sandwich? You have to be joking! It's so odd that he likes cheese and crunchy salad vegetables but won't accept them on a sandwich. I really hope his tastes change and develop as he gets older. Thank goodness he loves homemade soup!


    Cornish Cup Punch Recipe - Wot No Pimms?

    We all love a glass of Pimms in the summer, but there's a new kid on the block. Curio Cornish Cup. It's inspired by a traditional punch drunk by the British Navy in the 17th Century and can be made up exactly like Pimms or served over ice with ginger beer.

    The base is a Mullion Dry Gin blended with botanicals and Chai tea. The flavours include rich malty Assam tea, cardamom pods and cinnamon. 

    It's absolutely delicious served both ways, as a punch or with ginger beer. The punch is definitely a great one to sip while sitting in the garden and mixing it with ginger beer is a great one to serve at BBQs. Try it both ways and see which you like best.


    Chip Shop Battered Tofu Recipe

    Chip Shop Battered Tofu

    There's nothing better in the summer than walking along a beach or sitting in a harbour watching the boats and eating a bag of hot fluffy chips with lashings of salt and vinegar.

    Going to a chip shop as a vegetarian can be a bit like playing Russian roulette. First you have to do a bit of detective work and find out what oil they use (many use beef dripping) and then there's that moment when you optimistically or if you've done this before pessimistically look at the menu hoping there might be something exciting to order. That bag of chips is great when you are walking along the beach, but it's not a very filling or satisfying evening meal.

    Chip shop battered tofu. Serve with chips, peas and a wedge of lemon. Suitable vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free diets.


    Honey Badger Cocktail Recipe

    A refreshing cocktail made with light and crisp beer, honey and basil.

    Honey Badger Cocktail in a pint glass with lots of ice and mint

    Honey Badger Cocktail

    Looks good doesn't it? 

    This cocktail is really refreshing. Honey Badger is a long cool cocktail made with Golden Champion Beer, honey, basil and bitters. 

    Golden Champion Beer is a crisp and fruity floral summer beer, which is the perfect beer to serve ice cold at a BBQ or made into this cocktail.

    If you are a strict vegan you could replace the honey with agave nectar in this recipe. Golden Champion Beer is vegan as are all the bottled beers from Hall & Woodhouse.

    I just realised my cocktails this week are all very woodland creature. The last one was purple stag and this one is honey badger, maybe I need to start a series.

    pin it for later

    Honey Badger Cocktail is a refreshing cocktail made with light and crisp beer, honey and basil. Perfect for summer BBQs and picnics. #cocktail #beercocktail #honey #basil #beer #picnicrecipes #BBQrecipes #picnicdrinks #BBQdrinks

    7 Fun Beer Facts

    1. Beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic drink around the world.
    2. It's the third most popular drink after water and tea. 
    3. Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass, yes it is actually a thing!
    4. Alledgedly the ancient egyptians were tipsy when constructing the pyramids. They were each given 4 litres a day.
    5. Oktoberfest originally a festival celebrating the 1810 marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig.
    6. A Buddhist temple in the Thailand was built with over one million recycled beer bottles.
    7. Vikings believed in heaven (Valhalla), there was a giant goat whose udders provided unlimited supply of beer.

    Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Drinks

    This post is one of several I'm sharing this week on the topic of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. I realised I mostly share meals and rather neglect drinks, with the exception of smoothies.

    Check out my other drinks articles

    Yield: 1

    Honey Badger Cocktail

    prep time: 5 MINScook time: total time: 5 mins
    A long cool cocktail made with Golden Champion Beer, honey (or agave nectar), basil and bitters


    • 6 fresh basil leaves
    • 10ml honey or agave nectar
    • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
    • 250ml Golden Champion Beer
    • a tall glass full of ice


    1. Fill a tall glass with the basil, honey and bitters, then top with half the beer and
    2. Fill the glass with ice and add the rest of the beer.
    3. Garnish with a basil leaf.
    4. Enjoy!.
    5.      Don't drink too many!
    Created using The Recipes Generator

    Beer Recommendations

    1. Golden Champion (vegan)

    Golden Champion is a crisp and fruity floral brew, perfect for a summer evening.  It's an easy drinking beer that goes well with light dishes like salads.

    £1.99 from your local supermarket

    2. Crabbies Scottish Raspberry Alcoholic Ginger Beer 

    A ginger beer, not a standard beer, but I couldn't resist adding it. I love ginger beer and it's nice to see them coming a flavoured edition. This Crabbies alcoholic ginger beer is flavoured with Scottish raspberries and is gorgeous over ice.

    £1.80 from your local supermarket

    3. Organic Celia Lager (vegan)

    CELIA Organic is a light, gluten free, vegan beer. It is made from only 3 ingredients it has a crisp and refreshing taste with citrus notes, the perfect summer beer. Such an fresh and easy beer. 

    £2.49 from Tesco, Waitrose, Oddbins and online at Ocado

    Disclosure: I was sent some samples to review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

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