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.

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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.


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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)

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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*


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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

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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


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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.

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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*

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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.

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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.

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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.

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