Friday, 26 June 2009

Crunchy Peanuts and Sunflower Seeds

This is a lovely topping to almost any stir-fry. The crunchiness of it complements the texture of rice or noodles very well.


  • 75g plain peanuts (not dry roasted)

  • 75g sunflower seeds (sesame seeds work just as well)

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp oil (sesame oil is best, but sunflower is fine)



  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until everything is nicely coated.

  2. Spread out on a baking tray and place under a medium-hot grill.

  3. Check on them every couple of minutes and stir them around to ensure they get cooked evenly.

  4. It's very easy to burn or set alight to this mixture, as soon as they are nicely toasted remove them.

  5. Place in a bowl and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

  6. Serve as a garnish to a stir-fry.

Serves 6.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Leek Crumble



  • 5 leeks, washed with the roots and dark green ends removed, thinly sliced

  • 150ml single cream

  • 600ml vegetable stock

  • 200g flour

  • 120g butter

  • 100g porridge oats

  • 5 to 10g for finely chopped parsley



  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

  2. Put the leeks, cream and stock in a pan and heat on a medium heat.

  3. Keep stiring the leeks every few minutes and cook until they start to go soft. This will be about 10 minutes.

  4. Mix the butter, flour and oats in a bowl. If the butter is from the fridge then first of all heat it in the microwave to make it softer.

  5. When the leeks are soft, stir in the parsley.

  6. Pour the leek and parsley mix into a buttered and oven proof dish.

  7. Sprinkle the oat and flour mix over the top of the leaks and gently press down.

  8. Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

  9. Remove from the oven and serve when the topping starts to brown.


Serves 4 for a main course or 6 for a starter.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Blue Cheese on Toast

This is a nice simple addition to the normal cheese on toast.


  • 75g blue cheese, such as stilton or danish blue

  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

  • 75g Mascarpone cheese

  • 2 slices of bread



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.

  2. Mix the two cheeses and garlic in a bowl.

  3. Spread the cheese mix thickly over the slices of bread.

  4. Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.


Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Spaghetti Carbonara

This is a really simple but nice recipe.


  • 250g spaghetti

  • 4 slices of bacon or 100g of vegetarian bacon bits

  • 50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

  • 3 eggs



  1. Put a big pot of salty water on to boil.

  2. Once boiling place the spaghetti in the water and cook for 12 minutes.

  3. Chop the bacon into small squares and fry on a gentle heat for 10 minutes.

  4. Mix the eggs and cheese together in a jug using fork.

  5. Once the pasta is done, drain it and very quickly return it to the pan it was boiling in.

  6. Without pausing pour in the egg and cheese mix and stir well. Don't heat it on the hob at all, just let the heat stored in the pasta cook the egg.

  7. Serve immediately with cherry tomatoes.

Serves 2.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Butternut Squash Stuffed Pancakes



  • 2 butternut squashes, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into 2cm cubes

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 courgettes, thinly sliced with both ends removed

  • 1 tin of tomatoes

  • 100g flour

  • 250ml milk

  • 1 egg

  • 25g butter



  1. Put the squash, oil, courgettes and tomatoes in a big frying pan or wok and heat over a gentle heat.

  2. Stir the squash mix frequently while making the pancakes. It should take about 30 minutes to cook fully, which is about how long the pancake making will take.

  3. Mix the flour and egg with half of the milk until you get a smooth paste.

  4. Add the rest of the milk and mix well.

  5. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat.

  6. Add a small amount of the butter to the pan and move it around so the pan is coated in melted butter.

  7. Ladle in a spoon of batter and tilt the pan to make sure it goes all around the pan.

  8. Leave to cook for a minute and then run a knife around the edge to make flipping it easier.

  9. Flip the pancake with a quick wrist action or by using a fish slice.

  10. Cook for another minute.

  11. Place on a plate and repeat these steps until all the batter is used up.

  12. Place a spoon of the butternut squash mixture in the center of each pancake and then fold over.


Serves 3 to 4.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Sage and Nut Roast

As a long term vegetarian I have a love/hate relationship with nut roasts. I've had some really good nut roasts in my life, but I've also had some really dry and tasteless ones. This recipe is for one of the former ones.


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 15g butter

  • 6 slices of bread, made into bread crumbs in a blender

  • 90g cashew nuts, crushed (you can use a blender for this, but make sure you don't blend for to long and powder them)

  • 90g walnuts, crushed

  • 2 springs of rosemary

  • 1 tbsp dried sage

  • 2 eggs



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees.

  2. Fry the onion in the butter until soft.

  3. Mix in the bread crumbs, nuts, rosemary and sage together with the onion.

  4. Break the 2 eggs into the bread crumb and nut mix and mix well.

  5. Press the mixture into a pre-greased oven proof dish.

  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

  7. Serve with roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings.


Serves 4.
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Friday, 5 June 2009

Apple Pudding

This is a wonderful traditional British pudding. It's solid, stodgy and delightful. Ideal served with lashings of Bird's instant custard.


  • 250g self-raising flour

  • 125g vegetarian suet

  • 160ml cold water

  • 6 cooking apples, peeled and sliced into small chunks

  • 70g granulated sugar

  • 4 cloves

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Mix the flour, suet and cold water in a bowl with a knife. Once it starts to go into a dough, kneed it with your hands.

  2. Roll out 3/4 of the pastry into a big circle and then use it to line a large (and greased) pudding basin or bowl.

  3. Mix the apples, sugar, cloves and cinnamon in a large bowl and then place inside the pastry.

  4. Roll out the remaining pastry to use as a lid. Damp the edges of the pastry in the pudding basin by dipping your fingers in a cup of water.

  5. Place the lid on top and then use your fingers to press the edges together to get a good seal. Cut off any excess pastry.

  6. Wrap foil over the top.

  7. Place carefully in a big pan of boiling water or in a steamer with a lid over it and steam for 1 hour. Make sure it doesn't boil dry or roll over into the water.

  8. Leave to stand for 5 minutes and then serve.


Serves 4 to 6.
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Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Leek and Dumpling Stew



  • 3 large leeks, washed and finely sliced (remove the dark green end and cut off the roots as well)

  • 20g butter

  • 800ml vegetable stock

  • 125g vegetarian suet

  • 250g self-raising flour

  • 4 tablespoons of water (more if necessary)



  1. Put the leeks and butter into a deep pan and heat on a medium heat for 10 minutes.

  2. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.

  3. While simmering, mix the suet, flour and water with a knife until a dough starts to form.

  4. Kneed the dough with your hands and then roll into 6 equal sized balls.

  5. Place the dough balls in the stew and simmer for another 15 minutes.

  6. Serve immediately.


Serves 2.
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