I love food and I love to cook. I love making food for my family and the challenge of cooking vegan food for myself. My food page will cover the recipes, I create for myself and my family. I am sharing what I love to do, cook, with my new found love of photography.
Callaloo Soup 20161123
I didn’t really like West Indian food as a child. I hated Corn Meal Porridge and could not stand the oil slick they called ‘Hot Chocolate’ 😷 So here I am, years later making Callaloo soup…..Calla who!!! Callaloo! similar to spinach, full of vitamins and minerals, this soup made with coconut milk will surprise and delight you. Adapted from Enid Donaldson’s The Real Taste of Jamaica cookbook.
Veg Stock 20161123
To have great soup you need great stock. The stock is so easy to make, a few ingredients a little time (do your domestics, watch TV, write a food blog article while you wait for your perfect stock to be made. but it does take time so don’t leave it. Want to have a go? The recipe is below.
2 stalks of celery
10 allspice grains (i think that’s what they are called) optional
3 sprigs of time (or more as you like)
2 Bay leaves
6 cups of water
Jars or containers to put your stock in.
Any of your leftover veg and herbs. You know the stuff in your fridge that is just about to stuff it and end up in the bin, yep that stuff, I had used broccoli, kale, bell peppers. You can always use veg scraps that you would usually bin, ends of onions, onion skins. Yep, all that stuff is great in stock.
1. Chop your veg, don’t peel the skins off and make it all nice, just chop, big chunks and add them to your pan. Most of the flavour of veg are in the skin or just under the skin.
2. Add your water. I say six cups are fine, but you may want to add more water or less.
3. Bring the veg and herbs to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
4. Simmer for 3 – 4 hours.
5. Go do something nice. Have me time, chill with the kids, complete your domestics, what ever, just leave it alone for 3 – 4 hours.
6. When the time is up, let your stock cool.
7. When cool strain your stock.
8. Jar your stock and put in the fridge. if you want you can add the stock to ice trays, freeze them, and when frozen, put them in ziplock bags so they are ready to use when you are.
I don’t usually add salt because I always add salt to taste when I use the stock, but feel free to add salt to your stock, make the recipe easy for you to use and to your taste. That is the fun of cooking.
Mushroom Soup (ala Jessbeautician Youtube recipe) 20161122
When I was younger I was always sick, not sure why maybe because I hated school. My mum would make me either bold eggs with the soldier, Heinz Chicken Soup or Heinz Mushroom soup as my comfort food. I’d be nestled on the settee with a pillow and the ‘sick blanket’ The sick blanket only came out when you were ill or as a bed cover when people came to stay overnight, it was the special blanket. I always remember feeling spoilt and made to feel like there was only me and mum in the world. Mushroom soup is still one of my favs today and this recipe adapted from @Jessbeautician’s ‘What I eat in a Day #VegNovember 1’ on Youtube is a must. Warm, creamy and comforting, it brings back memories of feeling safe, loved and cared for when I eat it. If you want to see the original recipe check out @
If you want to see the original recipe check out @Jessbeautician’s Youtube channel, it is really amazing especially if you are just starting out as a vegan, simple recipes, just right when you are dipping your toe into the ‘Vegan pool’.
Warm and filling Coconut, lentil and Chickpea soup. 20161121
Growing up in a West Indian household in the 70’s there were certain, routines and conventions that were followed to the letter, or wow betide the tongue lashing (or actual beats) you would get. For example, if you did not get up and clean your house on a Saturday morning. You would get told that you were lazy and Mrs so and so from down de so would tell the people you know that you are nasty when after her visit later that afternoon. Or shopping must be done on a Friday evening after your parents finished work or Saturday morning after the domestic chores were complete. None of this ordering ‘online’ and definitely no mid-week shopping. You would shoppe once for the week and that was it.
I now understand the conventions and routines were to ensure we were clean, the house was clean and that we had food to eat. I still keep some of those conventions to this day, even though it is a little tougher because there are so much more things to do (like starting a food blog) but I think a little routine is good for the soul.
One of my favourite West Indian routines is the ‘Saturday soup’. Oh man, when that could weather comes on, and you’ve finished your domestics…that smell of West Indian soup…there is nothing like it.
Usually made with pork, beef or chicken, yam, green banana, chow chow, soup mix and dumplings as the base (yes i know there are other versions, but I’ve not got the time to go through them all 🙂 ) The Saturday soup served between 3pm and 6pm would fill your belly to the point that you would want to fall into a full belly sleep/comma. You know that Saturday sleep, that is so deep and warm and Mmmmm!!! I get that feeling from this spicy Coconut, lentil and Chickpea soup. Warm comforting and spicy. It will leave you feeling like you need that Saturday sleep after you eat it. I dare you to not love it!
Recipe adapted from – Scaling back blogs recipe.
2 cups red split lentils, uncooked
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of curry paste (red Thai curry paste is best)
- 1 red bell pepper cut into ½ inch dice
- 1 fresh jalapeno or serrano chilli, finely chopped, including seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh peeled and minced ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon curry powder or 1 tablespoon Thai curry paste
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ⅓ cup tomato paste
- 7 cups water
- 1 can unsweetened light coconut milk
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- fresh cilantro and the lime wedge for serving
Comforting Homemade Tomato and Basil Soup 20161121
As a child growing up in the north of the UK, I remember the weather was warm and beautiful in the summer with rolling green hills and fields that seemed to go on forever (as the child in me remembers). Contrasted with cold and atmospheric scenes in the winter. Drawing on my memories of the Moores, foggy damp and dank, hot comforting food in the winter was a must. Stews, soups and hearty fair were a must!!!
I moved to the south of the UK while at Junior school, and I remember thinking when walking through the first housing estate I had ever seen, where do the children play? won’t they hurt themselves there is so much concrete? I could not believe that any child could live like that lol…
I was the only child in a single-parent family. We moved in with an aunt and her family for a couple of years until mum could get herself on her feet. Even though it was hard and we were eventually housed by the council in a flat in a high-rise block.
The summers in the south were warm but the winters were warmer than the winters ‘up north’.
We (my mum and me) moved into our first home ‘down south’ on a cold, slushy winters day. And the first thing my mother cooked for me was Heinz chicken soup. Not tomato soup, I hated tomato soup. I thought tomato soup was yucky, sweet and bleurgh! Chicken soup it was for me.
Now many years later, and as a vegan, I would not dream of eating Chicken soup. It was time to try something new, and so I made my first bowl of Tomato and Basil soup. Warm comforting, savoury with a hint of sweetness, this soup reminded me of cold days up north, in front of the fire.
The original recipe is from Jessbeautians Youtube channel, go…have a look, she is amazing!!!
4 large ripe tomatoes
3 Basil leaves
2 cups of veg stock (i make my own)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, cutting out the stem at the top of the tomato
2. Add the tomatoes to a pan with the basil leaves and the two cups of veg stock.
3. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer until the tomatoes are cooked. 4. When the tomatoes have cooked, take the contents of the pan and add to a food processor or if you don’t have one, but the stick end of a hand blender into the pan (off the heat) and blend.
5. Blend until the soup is smooth, you may have to blend in short bursts if you are using a blender as the hot liquid may cause a vacuum in the blender and could cause it to splatter hot soup over you when you open the top of the blender!!!
6. Return the blended soup back to the pan, and bring to a simmer.
7. When the soup has reduced by approx 1/5 or is at the consistency that you like, add salt and pepper to taste and spoon into your fav bowl.
8. Enjoy on its own or with some crusty bread, yum!
Dhal and Rice
Not really a curry or a stew, but it is wonderful all the same. Another easy dish full of spice and warmth, what more do you need on a cold night.
This dish is quick to make and even quicker to eat.
Green lentil shepherds pie!
When I first made this dish, I did not think a vegan version of shepherd’s pie would work. But boy was I wrong, this dish was everything plus!!! Comforting and warm it is like getting a hug from your dinner. A really easy recipe, you’ll definitely make again…and again… and again!!!
Chickpea, lentil and coconut curry…..yum!!!
This curry will warm your hearts and your pockets as it is the Chickpea, lentil and coconut soup eaten with quinoa, or rice. So one dish stretches to make two meals…a soup and a curry. Happy days.
Look at my Winter soups tab and you see my recipe for this lovely stew.
Potato and Chickpea Curry
Sometimes when I just want potatoes mashed, fried or boiled it does not matter how just give me potatoes. Then sometimes I want chickpeas, creamy rich and filling they are so comforting on a cold night. Then sometimes I want both. Below is a result of a curry that contained both potatoes and chickpeas and it is such a beautiful curry, I just wanted to share it. Inspired by Vegan Heaven .
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 2 small potatoes, cut into small pieces (new potatoes are delish)
- 1 large carrot, cut into slices
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon red curry paste (optional) adjust according to taste
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth (see my homemade veggie broth)
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas
- 1 spring onion (optional for decoration)
- 1 red pepper
- black pepper
- cashews (optional)
- fresh coriander (optional)
1 In a large pan, heat some oil and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes. Then add the potatoes and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in the red curry paste and the curry and cook for another minute.
2 Add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, carrot and chickpeas and cook for about 20 minutes.
3 Season with salt and pepper and serve with slices of red chilli, spring onion and cilantro.
Vegan Naan bread
- ½ cup warm water
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 4+ cups bread flour or plain white flour
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ cup organic sunflower, rapeseed oil or coconut oil
- ¾ cup plain non-dairy yoghurt, unsweetened or lightly sweetened, at room temperature for plain naan, Or use ¾ cup well mashed very ripe Avocado for avocado Naan
- 1 to 2 Tbsp sunflower or coconut oil for cooking
- Nigella seeds (black seed) for garnish (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl, pour warm water and stir in the sugar. Sprinkle yeast on the water and let sit for 10 minutes or until frothy.
- In another bowl, combine the flour with salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- Add 3.5 cups of the flour mixture, 3 Tbsp oil and ¾ cup yoghurt to the yeast bowl. Mix well to combine. Add more flour a few Tablespoons at a time to make a soft smooth dough. Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface for 3 to 4 minutes. (For Avocado Naan, start with 3 cups of flour. If your avocado was not ripe or moist enough, you might need some water while kneading.).
- Place the dough in the bowl. Drizzle a Tbsp of oil on the dough. Roll the dough to coat in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or heavy kitchen towel and let sit to rise for 1.5 hours or until it doubles.
- Punch the dough down and use a Tbsp or more flour if needed to work for half a minute. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll the dough balls lightly in flour and place on parchment. Cover with a towel or another parchment and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Take each piece of dough, and roll/shape into 8 to 9-inch oval shape. roll and handle lightly to keep the dough airy. Dust lightly with flour to help with the rolling.
- Spritz the top of the Naan with water. Sprinkle Nigella seeds. Then brush or spray oil.
To Cook the Naan
- Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a pizza stone in the oven and let heat for half an hour.
- Place as many pieces of bread as the stone can accommodate.
- Bake 2-3 minutes till the pieces of bread puffs and top gets golden. Broil for half a minute to crisp/char.
- Use any cast iron girdle/skillet/grill pan, which can withstand high heat. Heat it on medium high until heated evenly.
- Place the naan on the bottom of the pan.
- Cover with a lid and let cook on medium high till it starts to puff. 2 to 3 minutes
- Flip and cook for another minute.
- To get charred Naan, hold the Naan directly over the gas flame with tongs for a few seconds to cook and char some spots.
- Serve hot, topped with vegan butter or canola oil, with any Indian curry, Daal and veggies. To store for a short time, wrap in a clean kitchen towel. To store for longer, cool completely and place in an airtight bag. Keep on the counter for up to 2 days and in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
inspired by Vegan Richa
Vegan Bakewell Tart
Vegan Bakewell Tart
When I was in high school, I used to make all sorts of jam tarts, cakes, biscuits triple decker sandwiches whatever for me and my cuz’s. We’d come straight home from school and make some concoction and eat it while talking about what our lives would be like when we got older.
Well 30 odd years later, here I am, adulting, and living a life nothing like our day-dreams. What I do remember though is the jam tarts we made with the lattice top. It’s a wonder we still have our teeth the amount of sugar we put in the pastry and the Jam!!! I was looking for a vegan recipe that would give me that same feeling and I found it. A vegan Bakewell tart. I cheat…I buy the short crust pastry, however, the simple cake topping is just as I remember it. I dare you to try it without reminiscing about school dinners or Sunday evening puddings.
Vegan Bakewell Tart
Makes on big or 3 – 5 small ones
1 packet of Short Crust Pastry
170g of self-raising flour
170g of ground almonds
170g of caster sugar
Half a teaspoon of baking powder
One teaspoon of almond extract
150ml of vegetable oil
200ml of water
Also, strawberry or cherry jam, icing sugar and flaked almonds to decorate (optional)
Inspired by Emily cooks vegan’s recipe.