Libby Ballard Ceramics Photoshoot

Last month I had the pleasure of photographing the new range of ceramics made by Libby Ballard. Her ceramics are all hand thrown on the potters wheel so each one is unique and her glazes are inspired by the coast, which you can really see in the colours and textures. I’ve been shooting Libby’s ceramics for a few years and I always enjoy photographing them, it’s combining three of my passions; ceramics, food & photography. The travel mugs have been made in collaboration with crochet designer Emma Bassey from Stitching Me Softly. Libby’s ceramics can be found across the country in various independent shops, you can take a look at her whole range over on her website here:


Seasonal Hazelnut, Courgette & Carrot Bread

This Seasonal Hazelnut, Courgette & Carrot Bread is the easiest thing ever to whip up, especially as it involves no kneading or proofing whatsoever. It’s inspired by a recipe in the book Keep It Vegan by Aine Carlin.  It’s a good thing to make at the beginning of the week so you can use it for breakfast, lunches, soup-dipping, or snacking on throughout the week.

It’s moist, crunchy and tastes great when it’s still warm from the oven. You can toast it or eat it as it is – I like smothering a good lashing of my favourite humous with some sliced fresh tomatoes, spinach and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for a quick go-to snack or lunch (pictured below).

I’ve written up the recipe below so you can try it for yourself. I think this recipe will be fairly lenient for swapping ingredients, so next time I’m thinking a Mediterranean theme with olives, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts with some basil running through it.

I’ll be writing up a blog post giving you some vegan sandwich filling ideas which would pair very well with this bread, so keep an eye out.

I’d love to hear how you get on with the recipe if you try it – either comment below or through my Instagram @emmaharrelphotography



300g plain white flour plus extra for dusting,  1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp bicarb of soda, 1 tsp dried mixed herbs, 1 grated carrot (liquid squeezed out), 1 grated courgette (liquid squeezed out), 175ml plant milk, 50g hazelnuts, 50g mixed seeds with a spare extra for the top


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl then stir in the carrot and courgette until everything’s mixed well.
  3. Make a hole in the middle of your dry ingredients and pour the milk, seeds & nuts then stir until everything’s combined.
  4. Dust a clean surface with flour and shape your dough into a rough oval shape around 30cm wide. Then transfer onto a flour dusted baking sheet.
  5. Score the top and sprinkle with seeds, dried herbs, salt and a dust of flour then bake for 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.
  6. Once it’s cooked through leave to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes then tuck in!


Mini Autumnal Carrot & Walnut Cake

Autumn is settling in fast and what better excuse than to bake a delicious autumnal carrot cake packed with walnuts, fruit, and a fragrant spice of cinnamon and ginger, topped off with a cinnamon frost. I love a good carrot cake, especially with a cup of coffee, and this one isn’t overly sweet like some cakes can be. I found the recipe in Aine Carlin’s The New Vegan cookbook which I’ve adapted and baked with one of my mini cake tins to create a miniature cake. This would be a lovely gift to surprise someone with a sweet treat… or, of course, devoured by yourself!




For the cake

230g plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 110g light brown sugar, 150g grated carrot, 120g apple puree, juice of 1/2 an orange, 100 ml plant milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 60 ml vegetable oil, 50g chopped walnuts – plus extra to decorate, 50g raisins

For the buttercream

100g vegan margarine, 300g icing sugar, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, zest of 1 orange


  1. Preheat the oven to 190 C and grease or line two 5″ cake tins.
  2. Squeeze out the carrot juice, you can use a clean tea towel or push through a fine sieve.
  3. Put all of the dry cake ingredients except the nuts & raisins into a large bowl and stir.
  4. Whisk together the wet ingredients into a separate bowl then fold into the dry ingredients. Stir through the raisins and nuts.
  5.  Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until your skewer comes our clear. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool in the tins for a few minutes before turning the sponges out onto the wire rack.
  6. Whilst the cakes are cooling you can make the buttercream by whisking together all of the ingredients together until you have a smooth buttercream
  7. When the cakes are completely cool, cut each cake in half and layer up your cake with the buttercream.
  8. Top your miniature autumnal carrot cake with a layer of buttercream and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts.
  9. Enjoy!


Fig & Caramelised Onion Pizzettes with Microgreens

Have you heard of microgreens yet? Whether you have or not, you’re in the right place to be culinarily inspired!

These delicious little greens are super healthy & tasty. They’re the seedlings that grow before turning into a fully grown vegetable or herb. These seedlings are microgreens and are saturated with nutrients – compared to their adult vegetable counterparts they can actually contain, pound for pound, up to 40 times the nutrients!

Not only are they delicious and good for you, we’ve been growing them at home 100% organically. I can’t actually remember the last time I’ve had to buy any salad! They’re a fantastic ingredient to use as a salad, sneak into smoothies, top your soups with, or make tasty pizzettes like this recipe I’m sharing.

We’re growing three varieties of microgreens: radishes, sunflowers and pea shoots, they seriously taste like their adult vegetables too. I’ve used all three varieties topping my seasonal pizzettes where I’ve made my own dough and I’ve cooked up some (processed sugar free) caramelised onions for the base. September boasts figs and tomatoes for their flavour and everything marries so well with the fresh microgreens that I’ve generously decorated the tops with. You can find my recipe and more photos below or over on the sustainable clothing brand’s website here: Thought Clothing

Look out for my future blog posts where I’ll be sharing more delicious vegan recipe with our home grown microgreens and a recipe for my favourite celebration cake!



Makes 8 flatbreads


Flat Breads

– 300g self raising flour (extra for dusting), 2 pinches of salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 300g Alpro coconut yoghurt, 3 tbsp olive oil

Caramelised Onions

-600g red onions sliced, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp maple syrup


150g Cherry tomatoes halved, 8 figs sliced, 100g Sainsbury’s dairy free feta (optional), 50g sunflower microgreens, 50g radish microgreens, 50g peashoot microgreens



Preheat the oven to 180c

  1. Start by prepping the dough for the flatbreads, mix all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl then stir through the yoghurt until the dough forms into a ball.
  2. Lightly dust a clean work top with flour then gently knead for 8 minutes. This starts off to be quite wet and sticky so keep lightly dusting the side and your hands whilst kneading.
  3. Once you’ve kneaded the dough, place it back in your mixing bowl and cover with a damp tea towel then leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime you can start on your caramelised onions. Heat the oil in a large pan then add the salt and sliced onions cooking them over a medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally and if the onions start to stick too much turn the heat down.
  5. Once the onions are soft, golden and starting to caramelise in their juices add the vinegar and maple syrup then cook for a further 5 minutes. Give it a taste to check if you need any more maple syrup, vinegar or salt to your preference.
  6. Once the flatbreads have rested, divide the dough into 8 pieces then dust the side with flour and either with your hands or a rolling pin, roll a piece of the dough out into a rough circle about 1cm thick.
  7. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil into a frying pan big enough for your rolled out dough, turn your extraction fan on and open your windows, this can get a little smoky. Once the oil is hot carefully place your rolled out dough into the frying pan and cook each side for 2 minutes. You should see bubbles form and it rise slightly. I started rolling my next flatbread out whilst one was cooking. Repeat this process for all 8.
  8. Once they’re all cooked, dollop 2 tbsp of caramelised onions onto the flatbreads and spread evenly over the surface. Decorate them with the cherry tomato halves and fig slices, crumble over 50g of the dairy free feta then place in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes, until he tomatoes and cheese have softened slightly. (I placed tinfoil on the wire racks in my oven then placed 4 flatbreads on each shelf)
  9. Remove from the oven and serve with a bundle of mixed microgreens adorning the top, crumble the rest of the feta and give a good grinding of freshly ground pepper.
  10. Enjoy!

Coconut & Courgette Summer Soup

Hello! It’s been a while since my last upload and I’m sharing a well overdue recipe. I thought it seemed a good time to share the recipe for this tasty soup after the refreshing downpour of rain we had today. We’ve been enjoying a beautiful spell of sun recently – I think I heard it didn’t rain in Brighton for getting on for 60 days, that’s a record since I’ve been living here, so the rain was very much welcomed! This summer soup is made with coconut milk and plenty of vegetables including courgettes, it’s the perfect time of year for courgettes too, which, if you know anybody growing courgettes, I’m sure you’re aware of their generous fruitful harvests in the summer._DSC4376I stumbled across this recipe whilst browsing through my latest cookbook purchase, The Modern Cook’s Year by Anna Jones – I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for some creative inspiration, be that from the delicious recipes or stunning food photography & styling, it’s been my go-to book since I bought it! The recipe caught my eye with it’s vibrant colour and when I looked at the ingredients I had most of them in since it calls for pretty basic ingredients. With a few swaps and tweaks according to what I had in my kitchen I’m now sharing my interpretation of the fresh and seasonal Anna Jones recipe below for you to try for yourself. Let me know if you give it a go, I’d love to hear what you thought and what your versions of it are like! You can comment on this post below or head over to my Instagram @emmaharrelphotography_DSC4411_DSC4384_DSC4368

Coconut & Courgette Summer Soup

Serves 2-4

1 courgette chopped, 1 green pepper chopped, 1 leek thinly sliced, 1 cup of fresh spinach, 1 cup of green peas, 1 can of coconut milk, 500 ml vegetable stock, 1 tbsp coconut oil, zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon


1 can of Chickpeas, Sunflower seeds


1/ Pre-heat the oven to 200 C. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the leek and cook until soft before adding the courgette and peppers. Let the vegetables cook for a few minutes then add the stock and coconut milk. Let this simmer for 10 minutes then add the spinach for one minute then blend the soup with a hand blender.

2/ Add the peas and place back over the heat for a few minutes until the peas have cooked squeeze the lemon and give it a stir.

3/  Drain the chickpeas and pour onto a baking sheet with the zest of half a lemon and a generous seasoning of salt and freshly ground pepper. Place in the pre-heated oven at 200 C for 10 minutes or so until golden brown, add the sunflower seeds to the baking sheet for the last 5 minutes for them to toast and turn colour slightly.

4/ Spoon your soup into bowls, sprinkle with the baked chickpeas and seeds then throw on few chilli flakes if you have them to hand.


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!


Serves 2


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


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.



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


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


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!