End of Vegan MoFo – Butternut Squash and Halloween Jellies

The month of food has come to a close and not without a hiccup at the final hurdle.  I’d already missed a few days over the second half of the month and then ended up unwell right at the very end! I’m glad to be feeling back to normal again (well a normal as a ‘kook’ can feel! 🙂 )

With it being in season I bought a butternut squash, not knowing quite what to do with it.  Luckily amidst my families Halloween preparations my parents came round to entertain the nippers and I quickly sidetracked my dad into cooking duties.

He came up with a fabulous flavoursome dish that was ready within 30 minutes.


1 Butternut squash (peeled & diced)

2 Onions (we used white although my Dad would’ve preferred red – it was yummy with white though)

1 Cup Fresh Orange Juice

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp hemp (shelled)

1 tsp garlic and chilli flakes

1 Cup Spelt

1 Tomato

1 Cup Broccoli florets

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Place the butternut squash and onions into a tray and cover with olive oil, a dusting of sea salt and a grind of black pepper.

Roast in a hot oven at 180 ˚C for 25 mins or until soft.

Put the spelt and broccoli on to simmer for 20 minutes in boiling water.

Meanwhile stir the orange juice, brown sugar, hemp, garlic and chilli in a pan with a little water to create a glaze.  When the vegetables are roasted pour the hot glaze over them toss and pop them back in for 5 mins. Grill the tomato whilst they cook then chop and add to the drained spelt.

Serve the roasted spicy butternut squash next to a bed of the spelt mixture.

Delicious Halloween dinner!

The puddings were spooky ‘pumpkin’ jellies – scoop out some oranges, dissolve the vegetarian jelly and fill the skins. When set carve away!

Happy Halloween!!!!


The Kind Diet, Evil Sugar and Fabulous Nutritious Oatmeal

Last night I fell asleep with the resolve that I would remove white sugar from my diet as much as possible (best timing just as the holidays approach hey! – whats life without a little challenge?)

I’ve been reading ‘The Kind Diet’ by Alicia Silverstone and love it 🙂

She writes in such a lovely down to earth tone, bringing you the facts you need to make better choices without feeling like shes pushing her viewpoint down your throat.  Sugar is something she discusses as one of her four ‘nasty foods’.  I’ve always known sugar isn’t particularly good for me but she explains how it uses our body’s vitamin and mineral resources to break it down.  So not only does it not contribute anything to our health it actually takes what is already there!

I typically don’t use sugar much throughout the day unless I’m baking or my brain didn’t get the memo that says I don’t want to have carbonated drinks anymore.  It frequently loses said memo, then blames the husband for putting the pepsi max in the fridge! What’s a girl to do?!

Today’s liquid consumption is water and herbal tea’s only.  I always have a lemon and ginger tea in the morning to help revive me, it’s delicious.

To start the day off with a bang I opted to try the ‘Quick Date-Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal’ instead of my usual peanut butter on toast.  I need to get more energy in my step especially now the temperatures are set to welcome Jack Frost back at any moment.

It was amazing, its the first time I’ve made porridge without any form of milk and honestly with all the other flavours I didn’t even notice. It was so simple, just mix oats, maple syrup, walnuts, apple (I used it all rather than just a 1/3 like it states), dates, cinnamon. Add boiling water until the oats are covered and add some flaxseed oil if you have it.                 (I did not 😦 )

I was out of dates so I swapped them with a nut and berry mix I had in and added a dessert spoon of the flaxseed mix I got last week.

What I would say if you’re anything like me, 1 cup of oats was too much so I’d half it next time with the same amount of fruit.

I’d definitely recommend this book, the recipes look wonderful, it captures you visually and its all printed in eco-friendly recycled paper and soy inks! As if we’d expect anything less from Alicia.


Gastro delights at the Globe

Halloween preparations are underway and apparently that leaves little space in my brain banks to allow energy reserves for blogging of an evening.

Seriously tiredness has hit a new level and I’m sure I’ve not even been as busy as I should have been!

My birthday meal the other night was fabulous. We went to the Globe in Glossop, our local vegan pub.  It was the first time I’d been in and the food was great.  Nothing fancy, just as you would expect in any pub, but wonderful filling vegan pub grub.

I had the ‘steak’ and mushroom stew with rice, which to my meat-free palate tasted as I remembered a steak stew to taste.  My non-vegan family said they could tell it wasn’t steak but that didn’t take away from the great flavours and texture.

Everyone enjoyed their dishes, in fact it was my parents who recommended we go as they’d been before and enjoy some of the curries on offer.

As I’m a pudding person and it was my birthday we ordered 3 desserts to share between us: chocolate cake and cream, maple and walnut ice-cream and chocomint ice-cream.  They produce their own non-dairy ice-cream on site.  The maple walnut was gorgeous, definitely my favourite pud of the night.

We’ll be frequenting the Globe on a regular basis from now on I’m sure 🙂

Guacamole breakfast and the Liebster award

This morning I arose to a house without bread, my beloved cheerios and very little fresh fruit. The weekly shop must be imminent!

In the mean time I was faced with an avocado, a couple of lemons and some beautifully juicy tomatoes. There was nothing else for it – guacamole for breakfast it was.  My Dad had actually made some wonderfully smooth, flavoursome guacamole when I last visited and upon asking for the recipe I was told it was purely avocado, lemon juice, dried chilli flakes and a little salt and pepper!

Sounds simple enough and I had everything I needed – easy peasy….

…it was not to be – the avocado, which was from a packet that said perfectly ripe and was only purchased a few days ago, was still hard in places when I tried to scoop out the flesh.  Fail number one!

I added the juice of one small lemon – Fail number two! Half would have been fine, if that.

After mixing in a tsp of chilli and the s & p i proceeded to try and mash it all together with a fork as I have done in the past – and Strike 3! It was too hard to pulp together properly!

Refusing to give in, my inner tum was getting impatient by this point, I decided to pulverise it with the food processor.

Miraculously it turned out to be not too shabby! I’d definitely would have used less lemon and a properly ripe avocado… remind me to not try and be too creative in the kitchen at stupid o’clock in the morning, it doesn’t bode well!  As I know how good it tastes when it works there will be a next time, just at a more reasonable hour 🙂  Or maybe I should just stick to my desserts instead!

Liebster Award:
While I’m here writing about my least successful dish of the month I’d like to thank the lovely Richa at Hobby and More for choosing my little blog as one of her picks for the Liebster award 🙂
“Liebster” is German and means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’ but it can also mean ‘favorite’. The idea behind this award is to bring attention to bloggers who have less than 200 followers and show your support during Vegan Mofo!
The rules of winning this award are as follows:
1. Show your thanks to those who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal 5 of your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the big wide web!
Here are some of the blogs I’ve been enjoying this month – I pass the award on to:
Enjoy reading 🙂 – ps If anyone knows how to make these blog names into actual links please let me know (my technophobe side is showing, oh the shame!) Hurrah – all done!

Creamy Cottage Pie

Cottage pie has always been one of my all time favourite comfort foods, perfect as these colder nights keep creeping up on us.

Ingredients (for 6-8 servings)


454g vegan mince

2 large onions (diced)

1 tbsp olive oil

450g mushrooms (sliced)

400g chopped tomatoes

250g frozen peas

*Cheat alert * – 1  packet colmans shepherds pie mix

salt and pepper to taste


600g potatoes (peeled and quartered)

75g vegan butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes for 25-30 minutes to soften. Meanwhile…

Saute the onions and mushrooms in oil until soft.  Throw in the mince and stir regularly for 15 minutes (or as directed on the packet.)

Pour the mix into heat-proof bowl. Add chopped tomatoes, peas and dissolved colmans shepherds pie mix (as per instructions on sachet.)

Mash potatoes with the butter and seasoning.

Spread on top of the filling and pop it all in the oven for 30 minutes at 180˚C or until golden.

Place a large dollap of red cabbage along the side and enjoy!

I know it says ‘creamy’ in the title but honestly this mash was some of the best I’ve tasted (and I’m rather the connoisseur don’t you know! haha.) We used vitalite which made it taste incredible, even though it was so simple, and it crisped on top beautifully.

This was concocted by the omnivore and he loved it – even if he does say so himself! 🙂

Cheats Chow Mein – Vegan Mofo

As always in my house time flew by this morning and by lunch a sandwich just wasn’t going to hit the spot. With my two young boys eager to have their tummies filled I gathered  together some already prepared ingredients, along with a few fresh pieces, to speed the process up.

The chow mein sauce, pre-marinated tofu, a couple of tablespoons of pre-chopped onions in olive oil and freshly chopped mushrooms were tossed together in a pan and heated for a few minutes before adding a large handful of frozen peas. I left it to simmer for 10 minutes and cooked a couple of packets of dried noodles in a separate pan.

After a dash of salt and pepper we were ready to go.

Lovely warm meal for a crisp autumn day!

Raw food adventures

Just a quick one today about my accidental foray into raw food whilst visiting my folks house yesterday.  I was rummaging through their fridge to see what I could see and the fresh veggies looked wonderful so I whipped up this fabulous little salad.

Apple, red cabbage, celery, carrots, tomatoes, hummus and flaxseed.  It was delicious and it was only after I made it I realised it was all raw food and therefore even more super-duper healthy.

That was it I was inspired and ventured off to find an equally healthy pud….

(please excuse the awful nail varnish faux pas in this pic – chipped much :/ )

….anyhoo I ended up using soya milk whizzed up with one banana, a tbsp each of peanut butter, coarse oatmeal and flaxseed, tsp spirulina and a tsp icing sugar (the only sweetener I could find – my parents are on a major health kick by the looks of it – woohoo!)

The final result was wonderful and kind of like a yogurt rather than a smoothie (could have added more milk but it was tasty as it was.)

So there you have it my induction into raw food. I couldn’t do it all the time I need my mashed potatoes and pasta! I’ll definitely be introducing more raw aspects into my day to day life though since it was so quick and easy to put together as well as being nutritious to boot 🙂

Any raw food tips for a newbie?


I’ve been beyond excited to whip up some of the fabulous looking treats from babycakes since I picked up the  book a few months ago.

The book itself is wonderfully inspiring with glorious pictures and anecdotes from celebrity customers.  A wide variety of ideas for vegan, mostly gluten-free and mostly sugar-free recipes.

It gives three simple rules for baking when using the book:

  1. Read the recipe all the way through
  2. Identify and prepare all necessary ingredients
  3. Be precise. Follow directions as closely as possible.

We choose to try the meyer lemon and cherry cupcakes and the first thing I noticed was the vast amount of agave required, 400ml! That’ll make up for the lack of sugar then 🙂

Acquiring the ingredients required for the recipe we choose was something of a feat in itself, and a relatively pricey one at that, particularly the soy milk powder required for the icing at nearly £10!  I don’t know if it’s just because we’re on the other side of the pond or if these items are obscure in general but the local health food shop even had to order some things in for us.

They were also out of coconut oil when we went in and me being an eager beaver decided to ask my old pal google for alternatives (rule two broken!)  It said that butter would substitute so we went ahead with what we had (and rule three broken – eek.)

I wish we had waited as the result looked and smelled delicious but ended up being a tad dry, I wonder if the oil would have improved the texture.  Also as the icing also required coconut oil we had to hold off making that as well, which would have definitely added another element to the overall taste.

So as the old adage goes ‘fools rush in!’

I’ll do an update when they’re topped with icing – Coconut oil is being procured as I type 🙂

(I’m aware that I said this would be posted yesterday – I had a temporal time lapse occur in which I fell asleep at the same time as my children – bad times when you have work coming out of your ears and the evening when you have the peace to do it! Ah well catch up day it is 🙂 )

A Vegan challenge and an English breakfast

Another day has bypassed so quickly without the chance to fit in everything I wanted to do. Baking was once again pushed to the back-burner, postponed until tomorrow when my husband and two year old are going to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in to the ‘Meyer Lemon and Black Cherry Cupcakes’ from the Babycakes recipe book. Can’t wait to try them although I have to admit I’m a little sad I won’t be able to join in the fun.

Full review will be up tomorrow, it will, it WILL! 🙂

In other news we’re preparing the meal plans for the next week as Mr Omnivore himself (my hubbie) has signed up to do a 30 day vegan challenge! I was more than a little shocked when he told me.  He has admitted to being rather trepidatious about the change but he’s fabulous in the kitchen so I’m eager to see what he comes up with over the next month.

He’s already thinking about making a good old english breakfast when we have friends over to stay soon.

English breakfast

Simple tofu scramble – Fry together in small amount of oil: scrambled firm tofu, small chopped onion, 1 tsp each of cumin, dried parsley, turmeric, paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2 pieces fake bacon



Toast with vegan butter

Another healthy recipe from me hey!?  I think next week I’ll have to concentrate on my normal day to day savoury meals to balance out all the sugary ingredients I’ve been sharing this week!

Strawberry and Peach Crumble

The peaches were near the end of their reign on top of the fruit bowl and half a punnet of strawberries remained in the fridge. There was only one thing to do…concoct a crumble!

It’s a great simple, but messy, recipe to get the kids involved with. My four year helped to chop up the fruit, create the crumble and construct it all beautifully in its little dish.



3 fresh peaches

100g strawberries

2tbsp fruit syrup (or other sweetener)

1 vanilla pod

1tsp cinnamon

3tbsp water

Crumble mix:

100g/4oz Flour

50g/2oz Vitalite margarine

50g/2oz Sugar

What to do:

Chop fruit and place in ceramic dish.

Rub sifted flour and butter together until it becomes like breadcrumbs then stir in the sugar.

Mix the syrup and vanilla together then add to the fruit and stir together.

Add the water to the bowl used for the syrup to help bring any excess into the dish and pour over the fruit.

Top with the crumble.

Cook for 25-30 mins at 180˚C. Serve with vegan cream.

Soooo good!!!!

It’s best eaten on the day it’s made but that didn’t stop us eating the slightly soggier leftover version the next day 🙂