Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (29 May 2017)



*UPDATE* at end of post

Happy Monday everyone. How are you and how was the start of your week?

Last week we were hitting between 26 and 28 degrees Celsius here in Scotland. The sun was splitting the pavements as we like to say, but now we're back to more familiar Scottish weather for May. Yup! It's raining and a little chilly.

I'm sitting in my conservatory typing this up. We just have a wee house so our conservatory which leads out from the kitchen and overlooks the garden is our dining room. 

It's my favourite room in the house at the moment. In the winter it can be a bit chilly unless the door to the main house is open all day with the heating on, so it becomes a bit of a clothes drying area and is less used for dining. 

It's now had a spring clean and we've replaced our dining table (the old one was too big) and hung floral bunting and fairy lights around the windows. It's looking very bonnie indeed. I'm sitting in the glow of the pink fairy lights listening to the pitter patter of the rain, but enough of all that. You'll be expecting some new recipes to tempt you for the week ahead and I aim to please.


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Vegan Lentil and Mushroom Burgers

These are proper vegan burger with a rich and earthy taste. Unlike the frozen versions you find in supermarkets, these have no additives or weird ingredients. They can also be shaped into falafel-sized balls and baked in the oven.

I hoped to share this vegan lentil and mushroom burger last week during National Vegetarian Week, but I shared so much and just didn't have the time. It really took over my week.

I do love a homemade veggie burger though, so I had to share it with you.

This lentil and mushroom burger comes from the new cookbook Green Kitchen at Home.




In case you haven't stumbled across it, Green Kitchen Stories is a vegetarian blog from Stockholm, where David and Luise blog share a little about their lives and healthy vegetarian recipes. This isn't their first cookbook. Check out the other titles, Green Kitchen Smoothies; The Green Kitchen;  Green Kitchen Travels and Vegetarian Everyday.

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Meat Free Mondays - 22 May 2017


Happy Monday my friends.

I usually give you a wee snapshot into my week on a Monday before I share the Meat Free Mondays recipes with you, but this week I thought I'd show you where I work. Doesn't it look lovely and colourful?

I work in a children's library. I've worked here for 20 years now and I can't tell you how much fun it is spending time with all the kids from babies to teenagers. I have a blast all week helping kids find just the right book, singing songs at Bookbug (rhyme time), telling stories to toddlers and doing crafts and activities with the kids in the holidays. I also have a knitting club for kids each week and a code club, where kids can learning computer coding.

All that and I get to decorate the library and paint murals on the windows. Yes, they pay me for this! I used to work full-time, but I cut my hours when I had Cooper and then again when I got so busy with my blog, but I'm still there a few days a week having fun.

So now I've told you a bit about my week, it's time to share some recipes with you. As usual they are awesome and a big thank you goes out to all the bloggers who contribute each week. I hope you leave inspired and go veggie at least one day this week.


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Vegan BBQ 'Shroom Buns

Vegan BBQ 'Shroom Buns


Don't they look good?

These BBQ 'Shroom Buns are from Food Love Stories brought to you by Tesco. You must have seen the billboards, recipes in store or videos in your Facebook stream? I've rather enjoyed them. They're much more appealing than the run-of-the-mill supermarket campaigns and it's great they have recipe cards for their customers to try, which consider different dietary needs.

I have a Tesco in walking distance from my house, which is handy, although we've always bought our groceries there because they've always been a good supermarket for veggies to shop in. I can get everything I need in the one shop. Now I'm cooking vegan meals and they're helping me out with that too. I'm seeing more and more vegan products in-store every week.


Tesco Food Love Stories Banner

Vegan BBQ 'Shroom Buns


There's a huge selection of dairy-free products including vegan milk, cheese, cream, yoghurt and creme fraiche and the freezer aisle is filling up with lots of savoury and sweet products, including a new chocolate ice cream from Alpro, which is blooming delicious!

Then there's all the fresh produce, the free-from section, the superfoods and lots of other vegan products dotted around the store. It's making life much easier for us, they're really supporting the vegan community. A vegan diet really can be quick, affordable and tasty.

Check out my post Best 60 Vegan & Dairy Free Products (UK) to see some of my favourite vegan products from Tesco.


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Roast Vegetable, Veggie Sausage & Halloumi Wraps - National Vegetarian Week


Hands up who loves halloumi?

It's rather moreish, isn't it? I love it in a salad, on a toastie, on top of a burger or in a wrap. Today I bring you a wrap that would be fabulous for lunch or add a salad and it would make a substantial dinner. A roast vegetable, veggie sausage and halloumi wrap to be precise.

That smokiness from the roast vegetables, some garlicky green pesto, peppery salad leaves, some cooked veggie sausages and freshly cooked halloumi, all crisp and golden on the outside and chewy in the middle. Yum!

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Three-Tin Tomato, Turmeric & Coconut Dahl - National Vegetarian Week

Three-Tin Tomato, Turmeric & Coconut Dahl - National Vegetarian Week


We love dahl in this house, although I usually spell it dal. It can also be spelled daal or dhal and it's really hard to find a definitive answer, but as this isn't my recipe, I shall stick to calling this tomato, turmeric and coconut dahl.

My favourite dal or dahl, is made with spinach and coconut and I love it so much I never try making variations of it, but this one looked so good. I was won over.

This recipe comes from The FODMAP Friendly Kitchen by Emma Hatcher.  

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One Year's Subscription to Readly Giveaway - National Vegetarian Week


Imagine reading all these magazines each month. It would cost a fortune wouldn't it? 


Not with Readly. Readly is an online magazine reader service. Unlimited access to thousands of magazines for only £7.99 a month. You couldn't even buy two magazines for that. Even better you can share it with your family as you can load Readly on to 5 different devices and you can download the mags to read while you are offline.

Sounds amazing doesn't it?

I've been trying it out and I've found it really easy to use. It can be used on iOS or android, so you can load it on to phones, tablets and PCs. You just sign up, then download the app from your app store and start reading as soon as you're ready.

Here are my favourite magazines so far:

  • Jamie
  • Veggie
  • Olive
  • Thrive
  • Healthy
  • BBC Good Food
  • National Geographic Kids
  • Beano
  • Good Housekeeping (yes I've hit that age)
  • PC Advisor
  • Tech Advisor


Would you like to win one year's subscription to Readly worth nearly £100? 

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Quick Blender Broccoli and Stilton Soup - National Vegetarian Week



Cheese doesn't make an appearance in my soup very often. Most soups I make are vegan anyway, which suits everyone and means less cooking for me. This broccoli and Stilton soup is an exception.

I had a craving!!!

It was all Helen's fault. 

I work with Helen and she caught me at a hungry moment. She started telling me that she was going to make broccoli and Stilton soup that night. I could think of nothing else for days.


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Meat Free Mondays - National Vegetarian Week 2017



It's National Vegetarian Week and I'll be bringing you veggie news every day this week. Recipes, giveaways and cookbook reviews. Today I'll start with Meat Free Mondays.

For those of you unfamiliar with Meat Free Mondays, it's a social movement, where people promote a vegetarian diet and encouraging everyone to try and eat vegetarian at least once a week. Every Monday throughout the year I bring you seven new featured recipes for the week ahead and let you decided how many days you want to go veggie. There's always plenty of inspiration.

So without further ado and in line with veggie week, let's get stuck in!

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Best 60 Vegan & Dairy Free Products (UK)


When Graham first decided to become vegan we really struggled with it. A lot of the veggie dishes I cooked were vegan anyway, but there wasn't really any good alternatives for the things that make vegan living easier and no quick bites to grab on the go.

10 years on and Graham tried again, this time it was a lot easier. I was more aware of vegan options when I was cooking and there were more and more products available. He's now been vegan for 5 years and we mostly eat vegan now, although Cooper and I are still vegetarian. Graham of course always eats vegan and maybe one day Cooper and I will complete the move across too.

Today I'd like to share with you our favourite vegan products. Dairy alternatives, dairy free ingredients as well as treats such as crisps, sweets and chocolate. 

Just remember that a vegan diet should start with fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, seeds and pulses. These are the building blocks of a healthy diet. Other items should be a smaller part of your diet. Check out my recipe index for lots of easy and healthy vegan recipes.

I mostly shop at Tesco as it's close to me and I can find everything I need, but most supermarkets have a good range of vegan products or are starting to improve.

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Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Peanut butter and chocolate chip banana bread - vegan recipe from tinnedtomatoes.com


I've made another vegan banana bread. I don't know what it is, but there always seems to be leftover and rapidly browning bananas in my house. I add bananas to smoothies and I take them to work to snack on, yet there are always leftover bananas. Never mind, that means Graham gets some scrummy banana bread quite regularly.

Chocolate Chips


I added chocolate chips as usual. Let's face it everything is improved with a spot of chocolate. I also added peanut butter this time and a swirl of caramel on top.

The caramel is completely optional. I know caramel isn't usually vegan, but this one is coconut based. Isn't everything these days? I got it in M&S. It's rather pricey, but it's actually lasted a while. I've added it to a few things and there's still plenty left.

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Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (8 May 2017)


Happy Monday!


How are you?

Have you had a good week? Does it feel like the weeks go by quicker and quicker or is that just me?

My week went by in a flash. I was pretty tired after our weekend in London and then I was plunged straight back into the working week. At the weekend I caught up on housework, did a spot of baking and got out for a nice long dog walk on Sunday.


Here are the mutts in question, oh and the child. It was great to get some fresh air and to feel the sun on my face again.

Now it's Monday and I've had a long day at work. I'm struggling to stay awake to share this week's Meat Free Monday recipes with you, but I wouldn't let you down. I hope these recipes inspire you to eat vegetarian for some or all of this week.


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Rich Tomato & Roast Vegetable Pasta Bake

Rich Tomato & Roast Vegetable Pasta Bake

I've made this tomato and roast vegetable pasta bake a few times recently. I had no idea if it would work. I roasted the vegetables in a roasting pan, then added the tomatoes, tomato puree, stock and seasoning, then I mixed in the uncooked pasta and popped it in the oven?

The first time, I had major doubts while it was cooking. I was thinking "Oh shoot maybe I should have cooked the pasta first!". There are lots of one-pot pasta dishes online, but they are made in a pot. Would it really work in the oven?

A rich pasta bake that is so easy to make. The whole dish is made in a roasting pan.Only 336 calories per portion for the most delicious pasta bake that everyone will love. Suitable for vegans and great for the 5:2 diet.


It worked!

Soft, but firm pasta in a rich sauce with so much flavour and a great boost to our vegetable intake for the day.

Graham and I loved it. Cooper said he loved it, but examining his bowl, there was a suspicious amount of veg left. Still he'll have eaten some of the vegetables and spinach never seems to worry him in a pasta dish, so it's still a win.

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Soup or Salad Season? No Croutons Required



Soup or salad season? That's my question!


Just when the sunshine comes out and we bask in it's glow and think this is it, the weather changes and the temperature drops. I've never known a year like this. 

Scotland is notorious for changeable weather, but is ridiculous. It's been going on since March. 

Sunshine out, coats off, temperature drops, coats and gloves back on, sunshine back, no coats today, hey this is lasting a few days, spring is here, then you wake up in late April to snow. We don't know what we're getting from day to day. I start craving fresh salads, then the temperature drops again and I'm back to soups.

In the May editions of No Croutons Required I would normally expect to see a lot of salads, but the roundup is really reflecting the changeable weather.


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Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (1 May 2017)


Happy Meat Free Monday!


How are you?

I had a fine long weekend in London. Well, it started out that way. I was heading down for a conference and set off a day early with Graham and Cooper so we could spend time together before the conference then they'd have boy time while I worked.

The first day we spent at the Science Museum having fun in the Wonder Lab which I completely recommend. Lots of hands-on science experiments that will keep you amused for hours. We then headed out to meet friends at The Diner where I had a rather fabulous veggie hot dog.

The second day I attended my conference, but by evening Graham was ill and had to go to A&E. Not quite how we expected to spend our weekend. It wasn't as bad as we feared and he was able to take it easy on Sunday and had today off for the public holiday. All being well, he'll be fine in a few days.

I'm home again and making my list for the week and deciding what we shall eat this week. Of course we eat meat-free every day, but not everyone does. I hope by sharing new inspiring veggie dishes every week that I will encourage more people to do so.


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