Meat Free Mondays - 7 Spectacular Veggie Recipes

Happy Monday! How are you?

I've had a good week. I was at work Monday and Tuesday then I had the rest of the week off with Cooper. It was great to spend some proper time with him. We spent time in our favourite book shop, went out for lunch, visited a museum, played board games, made pizza from scratch and did some eye bombing. It was great fun and over way too quickly. I'm back at work today and feeling quite sad about that. Why do holidays whizz by so quickly?

I'm back into the daily routine now and that means less time to think about cooking and lots of rushed meals in the evenings so planning is a must and that brings me nicely to this week's Meat Free Mondays and another fabulous collection of recipes for you to try. 

I hope you'll join me with some veggie meals this week.


Cheesy Cauliflower and Potato Bake with Spinach (Veggie & Vegan Recipes)

A comforting cauliflower cheese bake with a difference. Cauliflower and waxy baby potatoes in a cheese and spinach sauce topped with mozzarella and baked until golden. Veggie and vegan recipe.

Did I have you at potatoes or was it the cheese?

Think cauliflower cheese with baby potatoes but in a creamy cheese and spinach sauce topped with golden melted mozzarella. Vegan? Don't worry I made a dairy and vegan version of this dish for you.

There really is nothing like a cheesy bake on a dreich, wet day.


Meat Free Mondays - 7 Vegetarian Recipes to Inspire (24 July 2017)

Happy Monday! How are you?

It's been pretty quiet here, well when I say pretty quiet we have been busy with work and our busy home life like usual. My blog has been quiet, but I do have a couple of rather good recipes to share with you this week. Before I do, I have some more delicious vegetarian recipes to share with you. I hope they encourage you to go meat free for some of the week or even just inspire you to try something new.



Happy Monday!

How are you? You may have noticed I took a wee break. We were up in the Scottish Highlands for a week staying in a gorgeous converted granary in Ballindalloch. It was just what we needed. Lots of walks up hills and by lochs, not to forget the beaches and castles. So relaxing, although I did cook nearly every night, but for a change I had a huge open-plan kitchen to cook in, so that was a joy after my poky wee kitchen.

It's Monday again and I've been back at work today. I'm home after a trip to the pub for dinner with friends after work and it's time to share some recipes with you to inspire you for the week ahead.


Old-Fashioned Strawberry and Vanilla Fairy Cakes with Sprinkles

A simple recipe for old-fashioned strawberry and vanilla fairy cakes.

Old-Fashioned Strawberry and Vanilla Fairy Cakes with Sprinkles served with strawberry milkshake with bowl of strawberries in the background

Old-Fashioned Strawberry and Vanilla Fairy Cakes with Sprinkles

It's strawberry season and today I'm bringing you these old-fashioned strawberry and vanilla fairy cakes with sprinkles. 

This is an old recipe that my mum would make for me as a child. She has no idea where it came from. It's scribbled in her trusty cookbook that's filled with lots of magazine and newspaper cuttings as well as handwritten recipes from family and friends. I had to convert it from pounds and ounces.

What are fairy cakes, basically cupcakes before they got posh. A simple old-fashioned recipe our mothers and grandmothers made. These are topped with a generous amount of strawberry jam, whipped cream, sprinkles and a strawberry.

What are fairy cakes?

Fairy cakes are an old-fashioned bake. They are basically what a cupcake was before it got fancy.

The type of simple little cake our mothers and grandmothers made us topped with a little white icing and little else. If we were lucky they would let us help bake and decorate them and if they were feeling extravagant the would make them into butterfly cakes. 

Butterfly cakes

Butterfly cakes are fairy cakes with the top sliced off. Then they are topped with whipped cream and the remaining slice is cut in half and stuck in the cream to look like wings.

There was none of this nonsense with rainbow frosting, 101 fillings and sprinkles in a variety of colours and shapes. Hundreds and thousands were as close as we got to fancy back then.

Try - Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes (vegetarian and vegan recipes)

Close up of Old-Fashioned Strawberry and Vanilla Fairy Cake on a pale blue plate

Vegan Fairy Cakes

I haven't tried these with a vegan mix for my dairy-free readers yet but I do have a vegan vanilla sponge cake that I think would work rather well. I usually make it if I am making a dairy-free trifle. Alternatively you could try this recipe with dairy-free spread, nut milk and flax eggs.

If you were making these dairy free, I would recommend topping them with vanilla flavoured whipped coconut cream.


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A simple recipe for old-fashioned strawberry and vanilla fairy cakes. Retro cakes like grandma made. #fairycakes #retrocakes #oldfashionedcakes #easyfairycakes #cupcakes #strawberryjam #strawberries

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Instead of filling the fairy cake and topping it with frosting like you would with a cupcake, I topped it with a generous serving of my homemade strawberry jam, then topped it with freshly whipped cream and finished it with some sprinkles.

You can also use shop-bought strawberry jam, which would be just as nice on a fairy cake.

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Old-Fashioned Strawberry and Vanilla Fairy Cakes with Sprinkles
Old-Fashioned Strawberry and Vanilla Fairy Cakes with Sprinkles
Everyone is cupcake crazy, but less face it they are just posh fairy cakes. I've turned the cupcake on their head. Instead of filling them, I've topped them with jam, vanilla whipped cream and a strawberry. They're lush!


250g/2 cups self-raising flour
125g/1 stick soft butter
150g/⅔ cup caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml/scant ½ cup milk
300ml/ 1 ¼ cup double (heavy) or whipping cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 strawberries
3 tsp sprinkles to decorate
    1. Heat the oven to 180c/160c fan/350f /gas mark 4.
    2. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases.
    3. Sieve the flour into a bowl, then add the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk with a whisk or an electric hand blender until light and fluffy, then fold in the milk.
    4. Spoon into the cups, they should be just over half full.
    5. Bake for 20 minutes. Test with a skewer or tooth pick just before that, if it comes out clean they are ready.
    6. Cool for a few minutes in the tray, then remove and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
    7. One the cake are cool, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla bean paste until stiff, then pipe onto the cakes.
    8. Finish off the cakes with half a strawberry and a dusting of sprinkles.
    9. Enjoy!
    Total prep time: not including cooling time

    Nutrition per fairy cake with topping:

    248 calories
    8.1 grams fat

    Yield: Makes 12 fairy cakes


    Strawberry and Vanilla Float with Sprinkles in a small bottle with a stripy red and white paper straw

    Strawberry and Vanilla Float with Sprinkles

    A fresh strawberry float with ice cream and cream soda. A fabulous drink from childhood using the last of the season's strawberries and topped with sprinkles.


    5:2 Diet - Grilled Vegetable Couscous Salad

    I often make couscous salad for lunch. Well to be exact I make it the night before and pop it in the fridge. I love that I don't have to use any pots. I just pour my couscous into a measuring jug and cover it with boiling water, then let it do it's think while I finely chop some carrot, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Then I fluff the rice up with a fork and mix it with the chopped salad.

    Adding flavour to couscous

    For extra flavour I crumble half a vegetable stock cube into the measuring jug with the couscous before adding the boiling water, then I give it all a good stir.

    Do you flavour your couscous or leave it plain?


    Savoury Cheese Log with Parsley & Pistachios (veggie & vegan)

    An easy recipe for the retro party favourite a cheese log (sometimes a cheese ball). Just a few ingredients makes a great veggie centrepiece to share with friends.

    A retro canape from the 1970s. The cheese log could regularly be seen on buffet tables alongside sausage rolls, devilled eggs and vol au vents. It's easy to make but needs to chill in the fridge overnight before it's coated in herbs and nuts. This recipe can be veggie, vegan or dairy-free. Serve with oatcakes or crusty bread.

    Do you remember these cheese logs from the 70s or perhaps you remember them as a cheese ball? If you're too young to remember them, read on.
    A retro canape from the 1970s. The cheese log could regularly be seen on buffet tables alongside sausage rolls, devilled eggs and vol au vents. It's easy to make but needs to chill in the fridge overnight before it's coated in herbs and nuts. This recipe can be veggie, vegan or dairy-free. Serve with oatcakes or crusty bread.

    1970s Fashion

    The 70s were a time of living rooms full of wood and lots of earthy tones, Think mustard and brown and purple, with heavy fabrics and big swirly patterns. We were wearing the same kind of colours too, but adding in lots of denim. We wore maxi dresses, mini skirts and mini dresses, flared jeans, cords, polo neck jumpers and shirts with big collars. Yes it was rather crazy.


    Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (3 July 2017)

    Happy Monday everyone! How are you?

    Now I'm saying Happy Monday, but it may be Tuesday by the time I post this. We are as I speak making a mercy dash to Glasgow as some idiot took Elizabeth's (from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary) case from the train in Dundee thinking it was his own and dumped it there. Not only did he dump it there, but took a train back to Glasgow to get his own case not bothering in the least about Elizabeth's which he could have taken with him. Some people are just so selfish and vile.

    Luckily I have a rather wonderful husband, who offered to make the hour and a half trip through to Glasgow so Elizabeth's holiday with her family wouldn't be ruined. He is a star! Hopefully the good karma fairy will reward him for his kindness at some point in the future.


    But back to the recipes.


    Ultimate 4th of July Vegan BBQ Guide

    I have a lot of American friends, but I tend to ignore their special holidays like 4th of July and Thanksgiving. My bad! I should really be more inclusive shouldn't I? Especially as I share our traditional Scottish holidays like Bonfire Night, Burns Night and Hogmannay with them.

    So this year I'm making an effort and getting into the spirit of Independence Day with my Ultimate 4th of July Vegan BBQ Guide with burgers, salads, dips and desserts. Oh I do love a good BBQ.

    The Ultimate 4th of July Vegan BBQ Guide - 45 vegan BBQ recipes including burgers, sauces, fries, pasta salad, potato salad, skewers, kebabs, ice cream and  dessert

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