How to make classic homemade salsa

Bowl of classic homemade salsa

A classic salsa is a simple side or dip, but it may be something you've never made at home before.

It's hard to explain how much the flavours in a fresh tomato salsa zing compared to the ones you buy in a supermarket, which can be good but are often overwhelmed with a tomato sauce or a really sugary flavour.

Salsa should zing with the fresh flavours of tomatoes, red onion and garlic, a tang from the lime and a subtle hint or a real hit of heat from chilli, depending on how you like it.

cherry tomatoes

Good quality tomatoes

To make a good salsa with lots of flavour you need ripe, good quality tomatoes. Like many other recipes, the better the ingredients, the better the final dish.

With something like a stew or soup you can get away with using cheap ingredients that may not be the best quality, but for a fresh dish like salsa, you really want to buy the best tomatoes. It will really improve the flavour.

You can use little cherry tomatoes or larger salad tomatoes to a make salsa, just make sure they are ripe and full of flavour.

Tomatoes are the one thing I don't mind paying more to buy organic as the difference in flavour can be amazing.

Ever been passed a warm, ripe tomato straight from a greenhouse vine? If you have, you know the flavour that I'm talking about.

Tomato tip

Tomatoes can lose a lot of flavour if they're kept in the fridge.

Salad tomatoes and beef tomatoes or any larger style tomato are best kept in a bowl on your kitchen windowsill, where they'll continue to ripen and develop a fuller, richer flavour.

Small tomatoes like cherry tomatoes are best kept in the fridge as they have a shorter shelf life and are likely to go mouldy quite quickly if they're left out in a bowl. 

To get the best flavour from cherry tomatoes and other mini varieties, keep them in the fridge, then bring them out ahead of eating them to let them lose the chill and come to room temperature



close up of classic homemade salsa

How to serve salsa

Salsa makes a fabulous dip for nachos, but there's so much more you can do with it.

  1. Top bean burgers
  2. Top hot dogs
  3. Use as a dip for potato wedges
  4. Serve on bruschetta
  5. Serve over grated cheese (veggie or vegan) in a baked potato
  6. Mix with plain yoghurt (veggie or vegan) and use as a baked potato filling
  7. Serve in a grilled cheese sandwich
  8. Bake a pepper with a savoury rice mix, then load with salsa before serving
  9. Serve in a taco bowl - cooked rice topped with beans or chilli, then topped with salsa and slices of ripe avocado
  10. Sprinkle over tomato soup before serving instead of croutons
  11. Spoon over quesadillas and enchiladas before serving
  12. Top spaghetti bolognese with a generous heap of salsa instead of cheese
  13. Mix it through freshly made couscous or bulgur wheat for a tasty lunch
  14. Serve in a wrap with salad and grated cheese or cream cheese
  15. Top veggie chilli with salsa for a fresh finish

The Mexican Hot Dog - vegetarian hot dog served topped with fresh salsa, corn & coriander, beside a bowl of nachos and a glass of water with a slice of fresh lime in the rim

M&S Meat-Free BBQ

The Mexican Hot Dog

I recently created some recipes for the Marks and Spence lifestyle pages in a post about hosting a meat-free barbecue.

I created tandoori potatoes, pizza stuffed mushrooms, which you will have seen on my blog this week and a selection of three pimped hot dogs. The Mexican Dog, the Chipotle & Blue Cheese Dog and the New York Deli Dog. They are all vegetarian and can be easily made vegan (except for the blue cheese, skip that).

For the Mexican Dog, I spread hot hot buns with mayo (you can use my recipe for vegan mayo), topped them with a veggie sausage, them piled them high with fresh salsa a sprinkling of sweetcorn and finished them off with some crumbled feta (Violife do a good vegan version of Greek cheese) and some sprigs of fresh coriander. 

So, so good. I urge you to try these. Making your own salsa first of course.



homemade salsa in a white bowl

Low calorie dip

You can add a glug of olive oil to your salsa for a more luxurious feel, but I decided to cut down on the calories and fat and keep it fresh, letting the flavours sing.

One portion (a quarter of this recipe) has just 27 calories and no saturated fat, so it is perfect if you are watching your weight as I am or if you are following a calorie controlled diet like the 5:2 diet.

For more 5:2 diet or lower calorie ideas and recipes, check out my 5:2 diet page which also contains information on the updated 5:2 diet which allows more calories than the original diet.

Also follow my Pinterest board 5:2 Diet - Veggie & Vegan.
calorie and nutrition in classic homemade salsa - 27 calorie per portion, 4 servings in recipe

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How to make classic homemade salsa with nutrition and calories, a free printable recipe and 15 awesome ideas for serving salsa. #salsa #salsarecipe #classicsalsa #homemadesalsa #dip #vegandip #diprecipe #salad #tomatoes #redonion #coriander #cilantro #glutenfree #paleo

salsa, dip, burger topping, classic salsa, tomato salsa, homemade salsa, oil-free salsa, fat-free salsa, vegan salsa, salad
Yield: 4
classic homemade salsa

Homemade classic salsa

A simple homemade salsa which zings with fresh flavours and can be used as a dip or to perk up so many dishes.
prep time: 7 minscook time: total time: 7 mins


  • 3 large ripe salad tomatoes
  • ½ large red onion
  • ½ green chilli (more if you would like it hotter)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of half a large lime or 1 small lime
  • A handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • A pinch of salt


  1.         Cut the tomatoes in half. Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard, then chop the tomatoes finely and place in a large bowl. 
  2.       Finely chop the red onion, chilli and fresh coriander and add to the bowl.       
  3.      Crush the garlic and add it to the other ingredients with the lime juice and salt, then mix well.
  4. Cover and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
  5. Enjoy!
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Created using The Recipes Generator


Mexican Sweet Potato and Puy Lentil Mole

Mexican Sweet Potato and Puy Lentil Mole

If you like my fresh homemade salsa, you may also like another of my Mexican dishes. My Mexican Sweet Potato and Puy Lentil Mole. A Mexican style chilli made with sweet potatoes, carrots, puy lentils and a rich sauce deepened with dark chocolate.

BBQ Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms

A close up of BBQ Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms

Don't they look gorgeous? These little beauties are grilled, stuffed mushrooms. You're going to love them. They're juicy and full of flavour, a little bit of heaven for mushroom-lovers.

Each mushroom is fully pizza stuffed and cooked on the BBQ (or in the oven) until succulent, a little smoky and ready to be eaten while warm and melty with groans of pleasure.

I don't exaggerate! They are totally lush.


6 Piece Addis Lunchbox Giveaway

Children in Scotland head back to school this week and their friends down in England head back in a few weeks too, so it's time to think about packed lunches and what to put in your lunch box. It's time to plan!

Of course packed lunches aren't just for children and adults too need some inspiration too.


Grilled Tandoori Tofu Skewers

Ready to grill rainbow tofu skewers, tofu and a rainbow of vegetables

These rainbow tandoori tofu skewers can be grilled or cooked on a BBQ and isn't it fabulous we've had such good weather for eating outdoors this year?

Summer in Scotland can often be a wet affair, with the occasional sunny day, but this year we've had nearly four months of sunshine with lots of heat too. We're all completely shocked. None of us can believe it. We've not had a summer like this in decades.

Sunny Scotland = BBQ


Homemade Tandoori Paste Recipe

Bowl of Homemade Tandoori Paste Recipe

Tandoori paste is a really popular Indian marinade. It is mostly commonly used in a chicken dish, but of course it's the perfect marinade for veggie dishes too.

Vegetarians could coat halloumi in it before crisping it on the BBQ and vegans can use it to marinade tofu before grilling it. You could also use it to marinade onions wedges and cook those on the BBQ.


Sassy Students Cooking Guide & Survival Kit Giveaway

It's that time again when students head back to University or set off for University for the first time.

I remember it well. The nerves and excitement of packing up all my things ready to start a new life away from home. My mum was great at getting me everything I needed and sharing what she could spare from the kitchen and linen cupboard.

Before I left home, she taught me how to make a cheese sauce from scratch using the roux method and how to make a fruit loaf cake, then set me off on my way to explore the world.

I have to admit like many students I had to learn everything as I went including how to cook, and what I needed to get me through the term.

Today I have a great Student Survival Kit from Kitcentric to give away and a student cooking kit guide to share with you, but first I'll give you a laugh and share a photo of my matriculation card with you.

I've covered up the year. Sharing a photo of me with all the curly hair (before hair straighteners were popular), is enough embarrassment for one day.


45 Tips for Camping with Kids

We really enjoy holidays in the UK, especially holidays in Scotland. You're never far from hills, mountains, lochs, castles, parks or beaches. It's simply the best place to visit for spectacular views and spending time outdoors.

We usually have a couple of cottage breaks in Scotland, where we do a lot of exploring and lots of walking.

This year Cooper is talking about camping and as I've not been camping for years, it was time for me to do some planning before we venture out into the great outdoors.

I'd done my research and gathered some great advice, then Halfords (who love encouraging us to get outdoors and enjoy the world around us) got in touch about their camping guide and I thought this would be a good companion piece, so I'm sharing my top tips with you as well as theirs so you'll have the benefit of them all when you take your kids camping.


Strawberry & Vanilla Chia Seed Jam Recipe

Strawberry & Vanilla Chia Seed Jam

Have you heard of chia seed jam? I'm sure you have, it's been popular for a couple of years now, but have you made any?

I've been meaning to try some of this simple strawberry jam for such a long time. I used to make a lot of different traditional jams. Strawberry and peach jam, Scottish raspberry jam, caramelised nectarine and apricot jam, which is a personal favourite and mango and orange peel jam to name a few.

Traditional Jam vs Chia Seed Jam

The trouble with traditional jam is that it has a lot of sugar. That doesn't trouble me too much because we don't eat a huge amount of jam, but I think the sugar can sometimes overpower the flavour of the fruit a bit. Have you noticed that?

Actually now I think about it Cooper does eat quite a lot of jam. Graham and I, not so much.

Chia seed jam has a lot less sugar and tastes much more fruity.


Oaty Chocolate and Banana Cookies

Oaty Chocolate and Banana Cookies

Just look at those bad boys. Oaty chocolate and banana cookies.

To be honest they are more like a flapjack in a cookie form. In fact they are very similar to my chocolate and banana flapjacks but no butter or dairy free spread is added, so they are a bit kinder to our waistlines. There are no eggs in these cookies either, but you know I try to avoid eggs in my recipes.

Flapjacks or Cookies?

Just to clarify, these cookies are chewy and full of oats like a Scottish flapjack, which is a chewy oat bar. They are nothing to do with what my American friends class as flapjacks, which are called pancakes here.  I never like to leave anyone scratching their heads in confusion. We are talking about chewy, oaty cookies today.

Never let anyone tell you a flapjack should be crisp, that is just wrong! They have obviously cooked the flapjacks too long if they are crisp!


Back to School Vegan & Vegetarian Lunchbox Ideas

vegan kids lunchbox including hummus and carrot sandwiches, blueberries, breadsticks and cucumber and cherry tomatoes

How do you build up a veggie lunchbox for kids that they will enjoy, but has enough of the good stuff like fruit and vegetables in it?

Planning. That's the key. Trying to scramble something together the night before or in the morning before you leave will just lead to stress and a lunchbox that comes home barely touched

Follow my lunchbox plan for a stress-free term and scroll down for a list of ideas and recipes.


Mini Margherita Puff Pizza Pies

Mini Margherita Puff Pizza Pies

My wee boy is staying with his grandparents in Cyprus just now and I'm missing him like crazy. It's lovely to see how much fun he is having, but it's still hard.

In his honour, I thought I'd share one of his favourite recipes with you. Simple Margherita puff pizza pies.

He asks for these little pizza pies a lot and they are super simple to make. In fact they are easy enough for him to make himself.


Creamy Mushroom and Leek Risotto

Creamy Mushroom and Leek Risotto

A well cooked risotto is a thing of beauty. An over or under cooked risotto is a tragedy on a plate. Believe me, I've been served both when I've ordered them in restaurants. I don't order them now as I really don't want to be disappointed.

What makes a good risotto?

A risotto should be creamy and rich, but cream should never be added to achieve this. The rice should be soft, but have a bit of firmness or bite to it. A bit like what you look for when you cook pasta. That al dente finish. You don't want the rice too soft or you'll end up with a mushy mess that no-one will enjoy.


Scottish Raspberry & Mint Cider Cooler

A tall glass of Scottish Raspberry & Mint Cider Cooler

We've had a wonderful summer here in Scotland and that's a rare thing. We've had sunshine all through May and June and it looks like it's going to last through July too.

Typically a Scottish summer is a dreich affair with lots of rain and the occasional sunny day. So this year we can't believe our luck and we're all outside as much as possible.

We've even hit some of our highest temperatures in June for 23 years, with the waterproof coating of the Glasgow Science Centre melting into black gloop that ran down the sides in the 31 degree heat.


Kale and Cashew Pesto Spaghetti

Kale and Cashew Pesto Spaghetti in a pink bowl

We eat our way through jars and jars of pesto each month  but I sometimes like to make my own. It tastes completely different, depending on which leaves and nuts you use, so you can vary it each time you make it. To make this spaghetti pesto sauce I used kale, basil and cashew nuts as my main flavours and it was really good.

Which Cheese?

I used vegan Parmesan (Violife of course) in the pesto and to finish off the pasta before serving, but you could use standard or vegetarian Parmesan in your pesto and to serve. You can also make this pesto with no cheese, but it definitely adds to the flavour and texture.


Summer Root Vegetable Soup

Summer Root Vegetable Soup

Calling this a summer root vegetable soup may be a misnomer. Are these summer root vegetables? 

Well no, but they are pretty much year round crops in Scotland. They are grown or available in the summer, this is the summer and it is such a colourful cheerful soup. Yep I'm sticking with it being a summer soup.

Do you eat soup in summer?

We do. We eat a lot more salads and light meals in the summer, but we still crave soup, so I have to make a pot fairly regularly.


Puff Pastry Tomato, Onion & Vegan Feta Tart

Puff Pastry Tomato, Onion & Feta Tart served with baby potatoes, carrots and tenderstem broccoli

I love a puff pastry tart. This tomato, onion and feta tart is my latest and it's definitely a keeper.

I call this a tart, but would you call this a pie? 

We wouldn't call this a pie here in the UK as a pie has pastry all round, a pastry lid or at least some depth to the filling. I have a feeling it might be a pie elsewhere in the world. 

What would you call it?


Smoky Red Pepper & Cheese Bean Burgers (vegan recipe)

A smoky red pepper and cheese bean burger in hands

Looks good doesn't it?

Well I hope you said yes. Graham gave these homemade smoky red pepper and cheese bean burgers a big thumbs up. He thought they were really yummy and ate two stacked burgers. Cooper said they were good, but not his favourite of my homemade burgers. When he saw my face he backed that up with, much nicer than supermarket burgers though. I suppose I'll have to settle for that.

I thought they were excellent. Beany and cheesey with a good smoky flavour from the cheese and spices.


Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Banana Bread

A sliced chocolate banana bread

Yes, you guessed it, leftover bananas gone brown and a bit soft. 

I just couldn't throw them out. My first thought was smoothie or banana bread? I had to do something with them or Graham would have lobbed them in the bin. He has no patience with brown bananas. He feels they have no place in our kitchen or any kitchen.

Do you have a husband, wife or partner like that?

He is so short-sighted when it comes to bananas, but you can be sure he is always really happy to be offered a deliciously sweet green smoothie or a slice of banana bread which he loves to eat spread with a generous layer of dairy-free spread.

As I it's my day off, I decided to take the time to make banana bread. I say take the time, but it's really quick to make in one bowl, then once it's in the oven you can get on with other things.


Green Power Lunch Wrap

Green Power Lunch Wrap. A lush green lunchtime wrap featuring spinach and creamy avocado with a tangy dressing. Delicious! Includes calories, nutrition and a free printable recipe.

Yeah, I know. Yet another wrap. What can I say? I'm on a roll (excuse the pun). 

I just keep thinking up new ideas like these green power lunch wraps. 

We all like a bit of variety in our lunches, but we all too often eat the same lunch over and over. It seems to have become my mission to change that with lots of new sandwiches and wraps. I'll keep them coming as long as I have new ideas and until you say stop!


Blueberry and Lemon Oaty Breakfast Bars

A stack of blueberry and lemon oaty bars on a wooden board with blueberries and lemon halves.

You've probably heard me say this before. I'm not the person who eats breakfast every morning. I know I should but I'm just not ready for anything until mid morning. It's fine eating breakfast late on days off, but on mornings where I'm heading to work I'm just not ready to eat before I leave the house. That's where a portable snack like these blueberry and lemon oaty breakfast bars come in. 

I can enjoy these later in the morning with a cuppa and I'm content until lunchtime rolls around, even if it's a late lunch.

Now apart from the oats and the blueberries, these aren't claiming to be health bars. They have a fair amount of sugar and are more of an energy boost bar. If you have one slice, then you'll be fine. Everything in moderation. 


Hamlyns Great Big Oat Giveaway

Hamlyn's Great Big Oat Giveaway Bundle including oats, a woven shopping bad, a wooden spurtle and a few items by Scottish designer Gillian Kyle. Two cereal bowls, two mugs, a teatowel and an apron.

I have a fabulous oaty bundle to giveaway to one lucky reader from the purveyors of fine oats, Hamlyns of Scotland.

What's in the hamper?

The breakfast hamper includes oats, a porridge spurtle and the new range of oaty homeware by Scottish designer Gillian Kyle. There are two breakfast bowls, two mugs a teatowel and an apron. As you can expect from Gillian, the designs are fun with a retro vibe.


Carrot and Spinach Crunch Lunch Wrap

A Carrot and Spinach Crunch Lunch Wrap cut in half and served on a spotty napkin with an apple and crisps

Carrot and spinach crunch lunch wrap, it's a bit of a tongue twister isn't it?  A tongue twister but oh so tasty! In fact it's my husband's favourite lunchtime wrap.

He doesn't always love my experiments at lunch time. You can just tell. He'll eat the wrap or sandwich I've just set down before him, but when asked he'll shake his head from side to side and say well it's ok! That's means he really isn't keen at all, Thankfully that doesn't happen often and he loves this wrap.

I have to say I rather like it too. The flavours work so well together and I love the crunch from the nuts.

I really must try adding nuts to some other sandwiches and wraps, it works so well. Do you ever add nuts to your sandwich or wrap fillings? If you do leave me a comment and tell me what your crunch filling is.


Recipes (and posts) by email and GDPR

Many of you receive my posts and recipes in particular by email. If you don't use this service and would like to, scroll to the bottom of the this page and you will see a sign up form just below my row of Instagram photos.

Recipes (and posts) by email

Pop your email into the form at the bottom of this page and click submit. Every time I publish a recipe, giveaway or guide (any post), it will be delivered to your email. You can choose which you read, but you'll never miss one again. Just make sure it doesn't end up in your spam folder. You can unsubscribe at anytime.


You can also subscribe to my newsletter by hitting the link on the sidebar. I usually send out a newsletter about once a month and share recipes by topic or just new recipes. Again you can unsubscribe at any time.

GDPR and what it means

You may have heard the term GDPR a lot recently. It's basically the new data protection law in Europe and yes we are included in this. It protects your data (information about you), how it is collected, what it is used for, the fact it is kept securely and you can withdraw your data at any time.

Your privacy is important to me and I never pass your information on. I do use some third party sites like Feedburner (owned by Google) who send out my posts by email to you, but they also have to protect your data and can't pass it on. They must store it securely and only use it for the purpose you signed up for. Google are updating their policy on 25 May 2018 when the law comes into effect.

Posts by email

If you signed up for my posts by email, I will never contact you personally. My posts will be pulled from my site by Feedburner and emailed straight to you, you will never receive anything else by email from me and this is the only way your details will be used.


If you signed you signed up for my newsletter, you will receive emails in newsletter format from me, I will not contact you personally unless you choose to email me. I am happy to respond to direct emails from my readers. I will never pass your email address on unless you have won a competition and I have asked your permission to pass it on to the company supplying the prize.

I hope that all helps and makes sense. If you have any questions, email me ( and I will try to help. The new laws are very new and I am doing my best to understand them and to help protect your privacy. Read my privacy policy for more info.


60 Awesome 4th of July Vegan Picnic Recipes

4th of July Vegan Picnic Recipe banner with pineapple in shade on American flag.

Nothing says summer like a picnic and as my American friends will be celebrating the 4th of July soon, I thought it might be nice to pull together some tasty picnic recipes. From sandwiches, wraps and pies, to salads, sweet treats and drinks.

We've had some beautiful weather here in Scotland this month, so I'm quietly optimistic that we will have some picnic weather in June too. Even though most of us don't celebrate the 4th of July hear in Scotland, we will be celebrating the sunshine and getting out and about as much as we can.

Our diets have changed with the sunshine and are much lighter with lots of salads, mezze, wraps and toasties, rather than the heavier food of the winter months. 

I hope you will find plenty of inspiration for your 4th of July picnic or just some new ideas for lighter summer meals. Thanks to all the wonderful bloggers who contributed recipes.


Mini Spinach & Cream Cheese Puff Parcels Recipe

Mini Spinach & Cream Cheese Puff Parcels in a green lunchbox.

How cute are these mini spinach and cream cheese parcels?

In honour of National Vegetarian Week, M&S (Marks and Spencer) asked me to create three new picnic recipes for their home and lifestyle page of their website. It's called inspire me and there is indeed lots of constantly updated inspiration for food, home and fashion.

I created sandwich and fruit skewers, mini no-bake strawberry cheesecakes and mini cheese and bean parcels. They are all easy to make and enjoyed by children and adults. The parcels were so good I made a second batch with a spinach and cream cheese version which I'm sharing here today.

The recipes I created for M&S are vegetarian, but scroll down for tips on making each of the recipes vegan.


National Vegetarian Week Recipes and Ideas for Beginners

Tomorrow marks the start of National Vegetarian Week. A week long celebration of exciting vegetarian food and the sharing of information about a vegetarian diet.

I've been a vegetarian for nearly 28 years now, but I still remember how daunting it was at first. It wasn't the food I found daunting,  just figuring out what to eat so I had plenty of choices. Of course back then, and I'm showing my age here, it was harder to find veggie options in the supermarkets, but now there is so much to choose from.

Vegetarian Ready Meals

Ready meals can be convenient, but not great for a healthy lifestyle. You need a basic set of recipes so you can make tasty vegetarian meals at home without all the additives or excess sugar and salt.  Buying a ready meal now and again is fine and don't beat yourself up over it, but home-cooked meals are much fresher, tastier and usually cheaper too.

Easy Ideas and Recipes

To make it easy for you to get started, I will share some recipes, meal ideas and tips for different times of day. Recipes that both adults and children will enjoy.


Veggie Sausage and White Bean Casserole

Veggie Sausage and White Bean Casserole

We've been eating a lot lighter, with more salads, baked potatoes, toasties and pasta salads in place of all the soup, dal and savoury bakes I was cooking over the winter. We're enjoying the new summery meals, but sometimes we still want something a bit more substantial so on Sunday I made us this veggie sausage and white bean casserole. 

I would normally call it a stew, but I read something recently that said if it's mostly cooked on the cooker top it is a stew and if it is cooked in the oven it's a casserole.

What would you call this type of dish? 

A stew, a casserole or a bake? 
Leave me a comment and let me know.


Summer Greek Pasta Salad (vegan recipe)

Summer Greek Pasta Salad

Greek pasta salad.

We've all enjoyed a really good Greek salad, especially if we've been on holiday in Greece or Cyprus. The flavours go so well together and just scream summer.  Ripe tomatoes, crunchy cucumber, thinly sliced red  onion, olives, salty feta and parsley.

I had the idea to change this into a pasta salad, as my family are big fans of pasta salad. We usually toss our cold pasta with pesto, sweetcorn, cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and basil, so this was a nice change.


Spicy Bean Lunch Wrap (copycat vegan recipe)

a Spicy Bean Lunch Wrap on a spotty napkin with a bowl of salsa

Spicy bean wraps, mmmmmmm! Don't they look good? Believe me, you're going to love these.

I do like a wrap as a change from sandwiches. From falafel wraps to veggie sausage wraps

This wrap is a copycat recipe or fakeaway (homemade copy of takeaway food) as they are sometimes called. It's my version of a Tesco wrap that I'm rather addicted to.

You may know I've shared vegan recipes for the last few years, but my son and I are still vegetarian. My husband is vegan, so we mostly eat vegan. It's just easier isn't it and so delicious.


Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Vegan Pasta Sauce

Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Vegan Pasta Sauce

Pasta is the ultimate comfort food. There are so many types of pasta and so many different sauces, it never gets boring. Today I'm sharing a rich tomato and roasted red pepper pasta sauce which is vegan.

I have a favourite tomato sauce we eat regularly. It's easy to make and has a rich sweet tomato flavour. We all love it, but it was time to change it up.

This time I wanted to make a tomato sauce with roasted red peppers and roasted red onions, but I didn't want the sauce to be dominated by the roast vegetable flavour, so I decided to make my fresh tomato sauce first and then add the roast vegetables at the end, so you get a burst of that smoky roast vegetable flavour in pockets as you eat the pasta, but you still have that rich sweet tomato flavour.


Eat Your Veg (what's in season & cooking tips for April)

rhubarb growing in a garden

Some of you may know I had a monthly column in Vegan Life Magazine, which later became Cook Vegan for a couple of years. I gave the column up at the end of last year when the magazine changed to Plant Based. I felt I had been writing the column long enough.


My column was called Veg on Wheels and I talked about seasonal fruit and vegetables and what to do with them each month. 

I had the idea after many conversations about veg boxes and how you end up making the same recipes every month (often soup) or have no idea what to make at all. 

I had a veg box delivery myself so I knew what they meant. I really had to make an effort. Anyway, I pitched the idea to Vegan Life Magazine, they loved it and gave me a monthly column.


Living on the Veg: A kids' guide to life without meat - review and giveaway

Front cover of Living on the Veg: A kids' guide to life without meat

YAY! My book is finally out! 

I say my book, but it was co-authored with Clive Gifford, who shared all the interesting facts and tips, while I created the recipes. 

I'm really pleased with it. It's bright and colourful and really easy for children (and adults) to follow and understand a vegetarian diet in an interesting way and it's packed with facts.


Scottish Potato Scones and How to Cook a Full Vegan Breakfast

Scottish Potato Scones

Do you take the time to make a special breakfast on a Sunday morning? 

Perhaps you make a full cooked breakfast? 

We have a very relaxed start to the day on a Sunday. We wake up a little later than usual (if we 're lucky), then we take our time to get ready for the day. 

I like to cook us something a bit more special for breakfast on a Sunday as during the week it's a very rushed affair, with only Cooper eating a proper breakfast (usually porridge), while we rush around getting ready.

Sometimes Cooper and I will make pancakes at the weekend or we might just have (baked) beans on toast. However our favourite Sunday breakfast is a full cooked breakfast.

There are so many things you can include in a cooked breakfast, but one of our favourite parts of a cooked breakfast are potato scones or as we call them here in Scotland tattie scones. We sometimes just pick a packet up at the supermarket, but if we have potatoes in the fridge we  often make our own as they are so easy and quick to make..

Let me show you my step-by-step guide of how to make them, then I'll take you through some options for a full vegan cooked breakfast. The full recipe with measurements and printable recipe is further down.


Roasted Vegetable and Tofu Sandwiches

Roasted Vegetable and Tofu Sandwiches

One of my Facebook page readers recently called me the Queen of Sandwiches. I suppose she may be onto something. I have shared rather a lot of sandwiches and wraps on my blog.

There isn't a great deal of inspiration out there and it all seems rather similar. For vegetarians there's lots of cheese and pickle or egg mayo and for vegans there are endless recipes for salad sandwiches or sandwiches filled with chickpea spread. 

I hold my hands up, I've made a chickpea sandwich spread and it was rather good, but lets try something else.

It's so easy to become bored with our regular lunchtime sandwiches.


Buttery Scottish Teatime Scones - vegan recipe

Buttery Scottish Teatime Scones - vegan recipe

Don't you just love a fluffy, buttery scone?

They are so associated with afternoon tea here in Scotland (and in England too), that it just wouldn't be the same without them.

I just love them, especially when they're still warm from the oven.

Scottish High Tea

Light and fluffy Scottish scones with a good rise made to a vegan recipe. Perfect for a teatime treat with dairy free spread and jam. Free printable recipe. #scones #scottishscones #veganscones #veganbaking #scottish #vegan

Scottish High Tea

Scones are offered in Scotland as part of a high tea. Have you heard of high tea?

High tea is an early evening meal, where you're served a selection of small cakes, including scones after your main meal with a pot of tea. Toast is often served too. It's all included in the price of the meal.

Many hotels and pubs offer high teas in Scotland, but you better be prepared to dine early between 4:30pm and 6:00pm.

Oh and they are pronounced scone which rhymes with gone.


Very Veggie Easter at M&S

It's nearly Easter and time to buy some Easter goodies.

This year Marks and Spencer have a great range of veggie treats for Easter from adult and kids Easter eggs to Easter gifts for the little ones, eggs to set up your own Easter egg hunt and of course hot cross buns.

They are all vegetarian and two of the Easter eggs are dairy free, so they are suitable for vegans.

Lets get on and see what's new at M&S this Easter.


Creamy Garlic Mushroom & Fresh Herb Gnocchi (vegan recipe)

Creamy Garlic Mushroom & Herb Gnocchi

Gnocchi is a handy ingredient to have in your fridge. Yes you can make your own, but if like me you haven't managed to get that recipe quite right yet (yes it was a disaster), then shop bought gnocchi is the next best thing.

I usually use gnocchi to make a filling bake, you may have seen my Tomato and Aubergine Gnocchi Bake (vegetarian) , my Tomato and Basil Gnocchi Bake (vegetarian) or my Tomato Gnocchi Bake with Cheesy Oat Crumble (vegan). The two vegetarian gnocchi bakes can be easily adapted for a vegan diet, just use vegan mozzarella.

This time I decided to make gnocchi dish with a freshly made creamy garlic mushroom and herb sauce. I make a simpler version of this sauce to pour over pasta, so I thought it would be great poured over gnocchi too and boy was I right.
Golden gnocchi in a fresh and creamy garlic mushroom and fresh herb sauce. Finished off with more fresh herbs. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans. #gnocchi #mushrooms #creamsauce #freshherbs #vegan #essentialWaitrose #ad


GIVEAWAY - Hotel Chocolat Extra Thick Champagne Easter Egg

I have the perfect treat for an Easter Giveaway. An Extra Thick Champagne Easter Egg from Hotel Chocolat. Just one of their fabulous selection of Easter treats.

Hotel Chocolat are the home of superior quality chocolate here in the UK and they don't let us down with this egg. 


Green Edamame & Pea Falafel with a Yoghurt, Cucumber & Mint Dip (vegan recipe)

Green Edamame & Pea Falafel with a Yoghurt, Cucumber & Mint Dip (vegan recipe)

You're just like me aren't you? You eat lots of falafel. 

They're a great go-to snack, but they are also good on a BBQ kebab skewer, in salads or in a wrap or sandwich with lots of salad and hummus.  In fact they are the perfect quick bite for both vegetarian and vegans.

Sometimes I add them to my yumbox, which is a bento box with lots of little compartments. I load my lunchbox with falafel, some hummus (dips don't leak in a yumbox), crunchy veg and pickled baby beets. It's one of my favourite lunches and my wee boy loves the same lunch.
Crisp green falafel made with edamame beans, peas and coriander and served with a yoghurt, cucumber and mint dip. This recipe is easy to make at home and suitable for vegetarians or vegans. #essentialWaitrose #vegan #falafel #ad

Homemade falafel

I tend to buy ready-made falafel from the supermarket. I bet you do too. Falafel are just so quick and convenient to pick up when you're shopping aren't they?

Today that changes! I made my own crispy falafel. I pimped them and swapped the usual chickpeas for edamame beans and petit pois (you could use bog standard frozen peas).

Now don't get me wrong, let's be realistic here. When I go shopping next week I'll definitely pick up ready-made falafel to use in lunches during the week, but now and again I'm going to take them time to make fresh falafel.

These green edamame and pea falafel have a crisp exterior and soft tasty filling. Shop bought falafel never really have the same crisp bite. 

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