Vegetable Stir-Fry with Ginger & Cashews

Here’s my quick and easy go-to stir-fry recipe full of lots of vegetables, colour and flavour. I love how quick and healthy stir-fries are, and every one that I make is always different. Sometimes I like to whip up a satay sauce to drizzle over – I’ll share the recipe for that soon!

This recipe is great for a light lunch or dinner. The citric lime with the sweet peppers and salty soy sauce marry really well then the garlic and ginger introduce themselves shortly after. You can use your favourite vegetables and what’s in season for this recipe.

Find how I make it below to try for yourself, let me know what you think if you make it!

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Serves 2

Ingredients

1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 chopped garlic clove, a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger chopped into matchsticks, 1 sliced red onion, 1 cup of shredded red cabbage, 1 sliced yellow pepper, 1 carrot peeled into ribbons, half a packet of bean sprouts, your favourite noodles,

For the topping

1 green chilli sliced, 1 lime cut into wedges, a handful of cashew nuts, a handful of seeds, a pinch of chilli flakes, light soy sauce, 1 table spoon of maple syrup

Method

1/ Toast the nuts and seeds in a small pan over a medium heat and set aside.

2/ Heat the oil in a large wok, add the ginger and garlic until soft and aromas are filling the air. Throw in all of your vegetables and stir fry over a medium-high heat. Meanwhile prepare your noodles following the packet instructions.

3/ Fill your bowls with enough noodles then top with a bundle of stir fried vegetables, drizzle over light soy sauce and a teaspoon of maple syrup, squeeze a wedge of lime, sprinkle some chilli flakes, seeds & nuts. Season with freshly ground pepper and finish with a few slices of fresh chilli.

Enjoy!

 

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Moroccan Squash Stew with Herb & Nut Topping

This recipe is my version of a Moroccan tagine from a book I was given as a birthday gift last year called Vegan Recipes From The Middle East. It’s a plant based cook book that’s been split into areas of the Middle East and their cuisine. I’ve used the Butternut Squash Tagine recipe then just added and replaced a few things according to what I had in already and it worked pretty well. I had the idea of adding crispy chickpeas and a herb topping from a soup with similar flavours I had made from Persiana, another great cookbook. Boasting plenty of rich flavours, a mix of textures and its subtle heat from the fresh chilli this recipe is a good go-to anytime of the year, the leftovers are even better then next day… if there are any!

To try it yourself the recipe is underneath the photos, let me know if you try making it – I’d love to hear what you think.

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Moroccan Squash Stew with Herb & Nut Topping

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 cup of finely chopped shallots, 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery, 2 cloves of garlic chopped, 2 heaped tsp finely grated ginger, a small pinch of saffron, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tbsp crushed coriander seeds, 3 tsp ground cumin seeds, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 1 tbsp tomato puree, 1/2 can of chopped tomatoes blended, 1 heaped cup of peeled butternut squash cut into large 2cm chunks, 1 tsp maple syrup, 500 ml water, salt & pepper, 1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed, 1 fresh chilli sliced

For the herb & nut topping

1/2 a bunch of parsley (I used a 25g bunch) roughly chopped including the stalks, 1/8 cup of pistachios,2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of plain soya yoghurt

Method

1/ Preheat the oven to 200C

2/ Heat the oil in a pan and sweat the shallots and celery until soft.

3/ Add the garlic, ginger, saffron, ground cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and fry with the onion for 2 minutes until the spices are fragrant.

4/ Add the tomatoes and puree’, squash, maple syrup and water, season with salt and pepper and cook everything on a medium heat for around 30 minutes. Add more water if it starts to look too dry.

5/ Meanwhile, pour the drained chickpeas onto a baking tray, season with salt & pepper and give a light sprinkling of smoked paprika. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden and crispy.

6/ For the herb & nut topping, add the fresh parsley, pistachios, olive oil and lemon juice with a good grind of pepper to a blender and whizz it up until a paste is formed.

7/ Once the stew has been simmering for 30 minutes and the squash is tender, remove from the heat and check the chickpeas are crispy.

8/ Ladle the stew into a bowl then dollop a couple of teaspoons of soya yoghurt and dot the topping over the top, sprinkle over the crispy chickpeas and garnish with fresh parsley and chilli.

9/ Serve and enjoy!

Lemon Cake with Coconut Yoghurt Topping

When I first tried this cake I loved it so much I thought I’d make one with a few tweaks. It’s from Nigella Lawson’s most recent cook book ‘At My Table’, here’s the link for the original recipe: Lemon Tendercake

I decided to make Nigella’s tender lemon cake with fresh blueberries for the topping and I made some candied lemon peel to add a crunch. The cake is moist and tangy and the coconut yoghurt adds a nice creaminess. It’s an easy bake that can be topped with your favourite fruit, perfect for any occasion! 

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Ingredients

225g plain flour, 1½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, 150ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing, 150g caster sugar, 275ml coconut milk, 1 lemon, zest and juice, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 250 g Alpro coconut yoghurt, 150 g fresh blueberries, 3 tbsp of ground pistachios

For the candied zest

The skin of 1 lemon, peeled, 50g of caster sugar

Method

1. Preheat the oven to160C. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate in a bowl.

3. Whisk together the oil, sugar and coconut milk in a jug until thoroughly combined then add the lemon zest, 4 tablespoons of juice and vanilla extract.

4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and whisk until a smooth batter is formed, pour into the baking tin and place in the middle of the over for 30 minutes. When the top is golden, check the cake is cooked by piercing the centre of the cake with a knife and it should come out clear. Leave the cake in the tin while it cools on a wire rack.

5. Meanwhile, slice the lemon peel into thin sticks then boil for one minute in a small saucepan with a little hot water and 25g of sugar. Drain the lemon peel, pat it dry and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the peel and bake on a low heat (100C) for 20 minutes. The peel will turn gold and crispen up.

6. When the cake has thoroughly cooled, it might come away from the sides of the tin and sink slightly. Place the cooled cake onto a plate for serving. Spread the yoghurt over the top, pile on the blueberries, sprinkle with the ground pistachios and finish with the crunchy lemon peel.

Enjoy!

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Chilli Mac with Spinach & Avocado

I discovered this recipe from the Thug Kitchen 101 cook book which, in case you haven’t heard of it, is a great vegan cook book with plenty of speedy recipes, perfect for weekday dinners. I also had half a bag of macaroni that I wanted to use and ‘chilli mac’ seemed like an interesting alternative to mac & cheese, plus I had most of the ingredients already in which was a bonus! As I didn’t actually have all of the ingredients to hand and really wanted to make it, I created something of a similar ilk to the recipe in the Thug Kitchen book. I’ve shared my interpretation of the recipe below the photos if you want to give it a go, although there are a few tips and tweaks I would make next time I serve this meal.

Firstly it was quick and easy to make which was great, but my version of it needed some more flavour because I didn’t add any beans which the recipe called for along with the tomato sauce (which I replaced with chopped tomatoes). So I would add garlic next time, use less macaroni so it’s more saucey and add make the sauce richer. The beer I used (which was lager) didn’t add a lot so I think a stout would work better for a richer flavour. If you want to give the official recipe a try (which I’m sure won’t need any tweaks!) there’s a link to the books website: Thug Kitchen 101 or you can get a little creative and use the recipe below as a starting point 🙂

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Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil, 1 onion chopped, 1 carrot chopped, 1 red pepper chopped, 6 jalepeno slices chopped finely, 2 tbsp chilli powder, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 1 cup of beer, 3 cups vegetable stock, 3 cups macaroni pasta, 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp lime juice

Optional: 2 handfuls of spinach, one avocado, tbsp red onion, 1 tsp lime juice, a handful of parsley

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook until golden and soft. Add the carrot, pepper and jalepenos and cook for 2 minutes, stir through the dry spices and tomato puree and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add the chopped tomatoes, beer and stock, bring to a boil then turn then stir through the pasta, cover and turn the heat down and reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally until the pasta is tender for around 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, chop the avocado into cubes, dice the red onion and stir through 1 tsp of lime juice, season to taste.

4. Give the mac a taste to check it’s cooked then add the nutritional yeast, maple syrup and lime juice. Serve on a bed of spinach, top with the avocado mix and garnish with parsley.

Creamy porridge with a cranberry topping

Once you’ve made porridge like this you won’t make it any other way, trust me! It’s creamy, wholesome and keeps you nice and full until lunch time. It’s packed with plenty of protein and vitamins, it’s also so easy to make plus you can prepare it in bulk so you’re sorted for the next couple of days in the mornings._DSC3575I found out about this way of preparing porridge from Jamie Oliver’s Everyday Superfood cook book where you simply take your oats and some nuts, whizz them in the blender to a powder then use this powder blend to make your porridge. When you cook it with plant milk such as almond or coconut, you get a really creamy bowl of comforting porridge. You can add flavours whilst it’s cooking such as dried fruit to sweeten it up, or I’ve added cocoa powder before to make a breakfast treat which I topped with sliced banana._DSC3577For this post I’m sharing my recipe for a cranberry compote I made with a punnet of cranberries I had bought over the Christmas period. I simply stewed the cranberries with a dash of water, a light dusting of sugar along with a stick of cinnamon and star anise to spice it up a bit. The compote is slightly on the tart side, so you might want to add a little more sweetness to it, perhaps throwing in a few sultanas would do the trick. But I don’t like overly sweet things so once I drizzled on some maple syrup when I was serving it up, this was just right for me.

If you fancy giving it a go, check out the simple recipe below 🙂

_DSC3580Creamy Porridge with Cranberry Compote Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cups of fresh cranberries, 1/4 cup of water,  1 cinnamon stick,  1 star anise,  2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp corn flour, 1 cup of oats, 1/2 a cup of ground almonds, 3 cups of plant milk, 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. For the cranberry compote, combine the cranberries, water, cinnamon, star anise, brown sugar and corn flour in a saucepan over a medium heat. Place the lid on the pan, bring it up to a boil then let it simmer for around 5 minutes, check it’s sweet enough for your taste, if not add a little more sugar or some dried fruit.
  2. For the porridge, whizz the oats and ground almonds in the blender then pour the powder into a saucepan. Stir through the milk and vanilla extract over a medium heat, place the lid on the saucepan and let it simmer for around 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure to stir it occasionally so it doesn’t stick.
  3. You might want to add a little more milk or let it simmer for a couple more minutes depending on how you like the consistency of your porridge.
  4. Spoon the porridge into bowls and top with the warm cranberry compote, drizzle with maple syrup or sprinkle with sugar. I added a few crushed pistachios for a little crunch!

Autumn mushroom & chickpea pies

It’s World Vegan Month so I’m sharing a recent recipe I contributed to the organic fashion brand, Thought Clothing. It’s a comforting Autumnal puff pastry pie filled with mushrooms, chickpeas and plenty of vegetables, I’ve added a twist to this recipe and used miso to flavour the sauce which works really well! These pies are big enough to eat on their own or if you’re feeling really hungry you could serve them with green beans or you favourite side.

To make this yourself, find the recipe here: www.wearethought.com

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