Tag Archives: Vegan

Whether you follow a vegan diet or you are just trying to eat more plant based food, here you will find delicious vegan recipes that will become firm favourites. 

Potato & Thyme Stacks

Tasty little stacks of potato flavoured with thyme. These Potato & Thyme Stacks will add a special touch to any meal. 
   

Who doesn’t love a potato?

Potatoes are so versatile and absolutely delicious. But this isn’t news to you I am sure! For Christmas, I got a Microplane Slicer (not an affiliate link). I have always been a bit scared of mandolines so thought this was a better place to start! Since getting the slicer I knew I wanted to use it to make a potato stack dish. 

What if you don’t have a slicer or mandoline?

Don’t panic, if you don’t have a slicer of mandoline you can still make these Potato & Thyme Stacks! If you have a food processor, you may have a slicer attachment. Otherwise, you can just use a knife. This will obviously take some time but it can definitely be done. Try to slice the potatoes as evenly as you can. You can always cut the potatoes slightly thicker and cook them for a bit longer. Just make sure they are completely cooked before serving. 

A side dish that is a little bit special 

These Potato & Thyme Stacks do take a little bit more time than mash for example, but they are worth the extra effort. They are a really simple idea, but look a bit fancier which is always nice! 

What to serve these Potato & Thyme Stacks with

You can serve these with so many different meals. I like to have them with one of my all time favourite meals; pork loin, Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic and Roasted Parmesan Tenderstem Broccoli. But the combinations are endless. I think these would make a great alternative potato side for a roast. They would also be a great option if you were hosting a dinner party. 

5 from 5 votes
Print

Potato & Thyme Stacks

Tasty little stacks of potato flavoured with thyme. These Potato & Thyme Stacks will add a special touch to any meal. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine British
Keyword Potato, Thyme, Side dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 150 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 2 large potatoes (approx 600g)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • sprinkle garlic powder
  • spray oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted or 200ºC non fan assisted)

  2. Using a mandolin or food processor, slice the potatoes into slices 2-3mm thick  

  3. Spray a muffin tin with oil. Cut the sliced potatoes into half or quarters so they fit into the muffin tin 

  4. Layer the potato slices into the muffin tin over lapping them to make sure there are no gaps. Every few layers, sprinkle some salt and thyme leaves 

  5. When you have reached the top of the muffin tin, spray with oil and sprinkle with a few more thyme leaves, salt and garlic powder 

  6. Bake in the middle shelf of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Check the potatoes are cooked through by poking a sharp knife into the middle 

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Potato & Thyme Stacks
Amount Per Serving
Calories 150
% Daily Value*
Sodium 163mg7%
Potassium 761mg22%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 35IU1%
Vitamin C 22.3mg27%
Calcium 58mg6%
Iron 6.1mg34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin for later

Linking to 

Cook Blog Share

Easy Vegan Bolognese

Easy Vegan Bolognese is simple, healthy and really tasty! It is such an easy recipe to make and packed with nutrients it is definitely worth trying. 

If you are a regular to my blog, you’ll know that one of my aims this year was to eat less meat. So far I have made Vegan Lentil Chilli, Roasted Halloumi & Za’atar Tray Bake and Sweetcorn & Cavolo Nero Quesadillas. These have been popular which has lead me to come up with more veggie recipes.

Why not use Quorn?

Adapting a bolognese seemed like an obvious choice for me. As I have said previously, I’m not too keen on using meat replacements like Quorn. I know a lot of people use and love Quorn, but not using it lets me come up with more creative ways than swapping the mince for Quorn. Also I’m sure there are quite a few lovely recipes already out there using Quorn for bolognese. 

Using lentils instead of meat

As in my Vegan Lentil Chilli and Vegetarian Lentil Curry, I have used lentils in this Easy Vegan Bolognese. I am new to using lentils but have been really loving them! They help bulk out a dish and make it more filling. I think they also create a slightly meaty texture which helps if you are feeding non vegetarians!

In previous recipes I’ve used red split lentils which worked really well. This was my first recipe using green lentils. I wanted to use the green lentils for this Easy Vegan Bolognese because they hold their shape better than red lentils. 

Can I cook this in a slow cooker?

Yes this Easy Vegan Bolognese would work really well in a slow cooker. I haven’t tested it yet, but I would add all of the ingredients apart from the lentils. I’d cook it for 2 hours on high before adding the lentils and cooking for a further 2-3 hours. I would also reduce the amount of water to 200ml. 

Is this Easy Vegan Bolognese healthy?

The good news is yes! I didn’t set out to make this recipe, vegan or super healthy. But I am pleased that it ended up that way! Lentils contain lots of protein as well as fibre and other nutrients you can’t find in meat. On top of that, this Easy Vegan Bolognese is really low in calories too! 

4.88 from 8 votes
Print

Easy Vegan Bolognese

Easy Vegan Bolognese is simple, healthy and really tasty! It is such an easy recipe to make and packed with nutrients it is definitely worth trying. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword Vegetarian, Vegan, Bolognaise
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 126 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • ½ tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 2 sticks of celery diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • tbsp tomato puree
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • tsp Bouillon powder
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 390g tin green lentils
  • 300 ml water

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the diced onions, carrot, celery, garlic and tomato puree and allow to soften for 10 minutes 

  2. Add the tinned tomatoes, dried herbs, mustard powder, salt, pepper, Bouillon powder and bay leaves. Stir to mix through completely 

  3. Add 200ml of water and stir through. Leave to cook partially covered with a lid for 30 mins on a low heat, stirring occasionally 

  4. Drain and rinse the lentils in cold water before adding them to the pan

  5. Add another 100ml water before partially covering with a lid and leaving to cook on a low heat for another hour. Stir every so often and add a little more water if needed 

Recipe Notes

When using tinned tomatoes, I like to fill the empty tin with water to add to the recipe. It catches the last of the tomato juice. 

If at any point it starts looking too dry, add a splash more water.

If it looks too watery towards the end of the cooking time, remove the lid and turn up the heat slightly. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only. 

Nutrition Facts
Easy Vegan Bolognese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 126 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 770mg33%
Potassium 1332mg38%
Carbohydrates 71g24%
Fiber 32g133%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 27g54%
Vitamin A 7830IU157%
Vitamin C 19.5mg24%
Calcium 110mg11%
Iron 8.7mg48%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin for later

Linking to

Cook Blog Share

Vegan Lentil Chilli

Delicious and comforting with a touch of spice. This Vegan Lentil Chilli is such an easy slow cooker meal that is packed full of flavour. You definitely won’t miss the meat!

Over the past few months, I have been making a conscious effort to step up what I am doing to help the environment.  I’ve always been an enthusiastic re-cycler (that phrase might catch on!) but I’ve been finding ways to do that bit more. As well as recycling I am trying to reduce the amount of plastic I use; especially single use plastic. 

Aside from recycling, Mr Curly and I have also decided to try and eat less meat. This will be a pretty big change, especially for Mr Curly. Up until very recently he would consider a meal to be missing something without meat. This meant that for lunch and dinner each day, there would be some kind of meat involved. I wasn’t sure how long he would last with wanting to eat less meat but so far we’re doing really well! 

We’re not going too crazy, but trying to have vegetarian lunches and at least two vegetarian meals a week. So I had to come up with some really tasty vegetarian meals that wouldn’t make us miss the meat. I have never been a fan of Quorn so meat replacement products were not going to be my go-to.

One of the first dishes that come to mind was a chilli which is how my Vegan Lentil Chilli came about! My intention was to make a vegetarian dish, but once I was finished I realised it was vegan too which was an added bonus! I thought it wouldn’t be vegan because I was going to add dark chocolate. But when I was talking about this on Instagram, my sister and another blogger friend pointed out that dark chocolate is actually vegan. And if that wasn’t good enough, it is also gluten free too! 

I was slightly apprehensive about this Vegan Lentil Chilli because I’m not very experienced with vegetarian food. It passed my taste test which meant it was the onto Mr Curly. I served it up for him and when he’d eaten it I asked him what he thought. He told me he really liked it, but I confused him when I asked him if he missed the meat. His response of ‘there was no meat in that?’ gave the Vegan Lenil Chilli a big tick! If someone that was a massive meat fan can’t tell its meat free then that’s a huge plus. 

The final taste tester was my vegetarian friend Katie that I work with. Before the recipes had even finished cooking she was messaging me saying she thought she needed to taste test! So I took her some of this Vegan Lentil Chilli along with my tweaked Vegetarian Curry recipe. I am pleased to say she was a huge fan of both of them and has been hassling me to get the recipe written up ASAP. I think what she liked most about this was it has a bit of heat to it. 

If food is packed full of flavour, you definitely won’t miss the meat in my opinion.  I have used my favourite chilli powders for this Vegan Lentil Chilli as well as some chipotles in adobo sauce. You might have to look in a few of the bigger supermarkets to get these, but it really is worth seeking them out. And don’t worry you can use them in plenty of recipes already on my blog!

4.92 from 12 votes
Print

Vegan Lentil Chilli

Delicious and comforting with a touch of spice. This Vegan Lentil Chilli is such an easy slow cooker meal that is packed full of flavour. You definitely won't miss the meat!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, International
Keyword Chilli, Vegetarian, Vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 217 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 1 onion diced
  • 400g tin kidney beans in chilli sauce
  • 400g tin black beans (rinsed)
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 peppers diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 tsp chipotles in adobo sauce (optional)
  • ½ tsp chipotle chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ancho chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ancho chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 red chilli sliced
  • 200 g red split lentils rinsed in cold water
  • 300 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 30 g dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients apart from the dark chocolate to the slow cooker. Stir thoroughly. 

  2. Cook on high for 6 hours. Break the dark chocolate into chunks and add it to the slow cooker. Stir through and allow to cook for another 30 minutes to 1 hour until the lentils are completely cooked

  3. Serve with boiled rice 

Recipe Notes

I use a 3.5L slow cooker. 

If the chilli starts looking dry, add a splash more water. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Lentil Chilli
Amount Per Serving
Calories 217 Calories from Fat 828
% Daily Value*
Fat 92g142%
Saturated Fat 24g150%
Sodium 757mg33%
Potassium 59271mg1693%
Carbohydrates 3957g1319%
Fiber 1451g6046%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 1477g2954%
Vitamin A 1190IU24%
Vitamin C 12.9mg16%
Calcium 4511mg451%
Iron 350.8mg1949%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin for later

LInking to

Cook Blog Share
 

Vegan Vanilla & Raspberry Jam Cupcakes

Fluffy vanilla cupcakes with a raspberry jam centre covered in vanilla bean frosting. You will find these Vegan Vanilla & Raspberry Jam Cupcakes tasty regardless whether you are dairy free or not!

Every year someone at work organises a bake sale for Autism Awareness and it is something I always like to participate in. If you want to, you can enter the competition to win a prize for the office’s best cake. However I tend to make a load of cupcakes instead in an attempt to help raise as much money as possible. 

This year amongst other things, I wanted to make some vegan cupcakes as I know a few people in the office are vegan. I don’t like the idea of people not being able to have cake because of their diets. Mind you having said that it was only on the day that I realised I should have made them gluten free too! 

For this recipe, I adapted Veggie Dessert’s Best Vegan Cake recipe which I have tweaked before for my Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes and Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake recipes.  

These cupcakes have a double vanilla hit – vanilla extract in the sponge and vanilla bean paste in the frosting. You could use the same type of vanilla in both the cake and the frosting if you would prefer. I just like the look of the flecks of the vanilla in the icing because people can clearly see there is real vanilla in it. 

Although vanilla cupcakes are very tasty, I wanted to make these a little bit more exciting.. Raspberry goes really nicely with vanilla in my opinion so I thought adding the raspberry jam in the middle would work really well. If you do not have an apple corer to cut out the hole in the middle, use a small sharp knife. 

I don’t know about you, but because people know I like to bake I am often given cupcake cases. Now i don’t want to sound ungrateful at all because it is a really nice thought, but people tend to buy the smaller cupcake cases rather than the large cupcake cases I prefer. For this recipe, I used some of the pretty smaller cupcake cases because I was going for a pink theme. As the cases were slightly smaller than usual, they cakes cooked in roughly 12-14 minutes. But if you are using the larger cupcake cases, use the timings below. 

These Vegan Vanilla & Raspberry Jam Cupcakes went down really well and helped raised money for a great cause. I also doubt people could even tell they were vegan! 

 Makes 10 cupcakes 

For the cupcakes 
170ml soy milk
75g non dairy spread
2 tbsp golden syrup
160g plain flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
90g caster sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract 

For the frosting
75g non dairy spread
250g icing sugar
1 tbsp soy milk
¼ tsp vanilla bean paste
3-4 tbsp raspberry jam
Sprinkles to decorate 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 160ºC fan assisted. Line a cupcake tin with 10 cases 
  2. In a pan over a medium heat, gently melt the margarine and golden syrup. Once melted take off the heat and allow to cool slightly

  1. Sift the flour, sugar and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl before adding the milk and melted margarine. Stir well until the batter is smooth, don’t worry it is quite a wet batter 

  1. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases roughly 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 14-18 minutes minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean 

  1. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely 

  1. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, make the frosting
  2. Add the margarine and icing sugar to the mixer and beat until combined
  3. Add the soy milk and vanilla and beat until smooth and fluffy
  4. Using an apple corer, remove the centre of each cupcake making sure you only remove a centimetre or so

  1. Spoon a small amount of raspberry jam into each hole you have created 
  2. Pipe the frosting on top and sprinkle with any decorations  
Casa Costello
CookBlogShare
 
Link up your recipe of the week

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

These Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes could quite possibly be the best chocolate cupcakes I have ever made. They are so light and fluffy with the most delicious chocolate and hazelnut flavours that you will find yourself craving another! 

The idea for these Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes came when my friend Katie showed me she’d bought some hazelnut milk. When I see hazelnuts I instantly think of Nutella, but the dairy free milk brought me back to a vegan train of thought. I decided to adapt my Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes to make them taste as close to Nutella as I could but still keeping them vegan.

As I have mentioned before, I used to naively think that all cakes needed eggs to actually taste nice. Oh how wrong I was. These cupcakes are as light and fluffy as any I have eaten using eggs and I would definitely make these even if there is no need for vegan cake. 

To help enhance the hazelnut flavour in the cupcakes and the frosting, I have used a sweet chocolate and hazelnut natural flavouring. The brand I use is by Foodie Flavours and it lasts a long time because you don’t use much of it at a time. I have provided approximate quantities below in the recipe but it is quite hard to judge as the drops can come out quite quickly! I would always recommend to add fewer drops, then taste it and you can always add more. The great thing about this recipe is you can taste the cake batter without worrying about raw eggs because there aren’t any eggs!

I used standard plain flour in these which helps make the most deliciously moist cupcake. You absolutely can make these gluten free by using gluten free flour and ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum. The xanthan gum helps act as a binding agent to stop the cupcakes crumbling. The only thing worth mentioning is that if you do make these gluten free, then they really do need to be eaten the day you bake them or the next day. 

I took these cupcake into work because I think Katie may have never spoken to me again if I didn’t let her try one…or two. These cupcakes went down amazingly. The praise I got for these was so lovely. Many people were saying it was the best cupcake I have ever made. I think this is because even though they are vegan, they are so chocolatey and fudgy that they taste so decadent and utterly delicious. 

The roasted hazelnuts really add to the flavour so I would definitely recommend adding these. They’re simple to do and roasting them does enhance their flavour and make them extra tasty. They also add a lovely crunch to the cupcakes. 

Whether you’re vegan or not, you really should try these Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes. 

Makes 10 cupcakes 

For the cupcakes
170ml hazelnut milk
75g non dairy margarine
1½ tbsp golden syrup
½ tsp coffee granules
140g plain flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
90g caster sugar 
2 tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Approximately 10 drops of hazelnut & chocolate flavouring

For the frosting
75g non dairy margarine
200g icing sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp hazelnut milk 
Approximately 15 drops of hazelnut & chocolate flavouring
2 tbsp roasted hazelnuts to decorate 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 160ºC fan assisted. Line a cupcake tin with 10 cases 
  2. In a pan over a medium heat, gently melt the margarine, coffee and golden syrup. Once melted take off the heat and allow to cool slightly
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl before adding the milk and margarine mix. Stir well until the batter is smooth 

  1. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean 

  1. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely 
  2. Scatter the hazelnuts onto a baking sheet and add to the oven to allow to roast for approximately 10 minutes. Allow to cool before crushing 
  3. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, make the frosting
  4. Add the margarine and icing sugar to the mixer and beat until combined
  5. Add the hazelnut milk and hazelnut and chocolate flavouring and beat until smooth and fluffy. Test and add more flavouring if you want a stronger flavour

  1. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with a nozzle and pipe onto each cupcake
  2. Sprinkle with the crushed hazelnuts 

Pin for later

Linking to

Casa Costello
 
Link up your recipe of the week
Hijacked By Twins
 

Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Light and fluffy cupcakes with amazingly smooth and decadent chocolate orange frosting. All of this plus they’re Gluten Free AND Vegan!

Following the success of my Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake, I decided to expand my vegan baking repertoire. I went back to the recipe by Kate from Veggie Desserts for my inspiration and from there decided to attempt to make Gluten Free and Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes. 

I say attempt because that really was what it was. I had attempted to make gluten free cupcakes before and they hadn’t turned out exactly as I wanted. The texture was too crumbly and the taste was different to the original recipe. So when I decided to adapt this recipe to be gluten free, I wasn’t holding out too much hope. 

Experimenting in the kitchen isn’t always going to be a success. I think having a failure every so often makes each success even more exciting! So when these cupcakes turned out perfectly the after the first attempt, I was so chuffed. 

Where I had gone wrong with my previous gluten free cupcakes attempt was that I had simply swapped the normal flour for gluten free flour. It was my coeliac friend, Zoe who recommended adding some xanthan gum which acts as a binding agent which the gluten free flour lacks. It worked perfectly and the result was a gluten free and vegan cupcake that had the texture of any other cupcake I have eaten – success!

My favourite part of these cupcakes is the frosting. I am not usually a fan of buttercream because to me I can taste the butter. Chocolate buttercream is usually my preferred buttercream but I have never tasted buttercream as good as this! It is so smooth and creamy which I think has to be down to the dairy free margarine. It also had such an appealing glossy shine to it which I loved. 

Before I rave on about how great I think these cupcakes are, there is one downside. As with other gluten free cake, these are really best eaten on the day they have been baked. You can eat them the day after too, but you will notice even only one day later they will have lost some of their fluffiness. A trick Zoe has learnt over the years is to keep some cupcakes unfrosted and when you’re ready to eat them give them a few seconds in the microwave to freshen them up before allowing to cool and frosting. You could also freeze the cupcakes before they are frosted as a way to prolong them a little longer if you don’t think you’ll manage eating all ten in two days. 

Makes 10 cupcakes

For the cupcakes
140ml soy milk
75g non dairy margarine
1½ tbsp golden syrup
½ tsp coffee granules
140g plain flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
90g caster sugar 
2 tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
¼ tsp xanthan gum

For the frosting
75g non dairy margarine
200g icing sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp soy milk 
1 tbsp orange juice 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 160ºC fan assisted. Line a cupcake tin with 10 cases 
  2. Zest the orange before juicing it . Whisk the orange juice and soy milk together and set aside 
  3. In a pan over a medium heat, gently melt the margarine, coffee and golden syrup. Once melted take off the heat and allow to cool slightly
  4. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and xatham gum together in a bowl before adding the milk and margarine mixtures. Stir well until the batter is smooth 

  1. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean when poked into a cake

  1. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely 
  2. Once completely cooled, make the frosting
  3. Add the margarine and icing sugar to the mixer and beat until combined
  4. Add the soy milk and orange juice and beat until smooth and fluffy

  1. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with a nozzle and pipe onto each cupcake
  2. Decorate however you like 

Pin for later

Linking to

 
 
Casa Costello
 
 
Cook Blog Share

Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

Super light, fluffy and deliciously moist, no one will believe you that this Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf cake is actually vegan!

This is the first vegan cake I have made and probably first vegan dish I have ever made. Like a lot of people I know, I was a little skeptical about vegan baking. I thought it would use weird and wonderful ingredients as substitutes for the more usual baking ingredients which I would need to go to some specialist or heath food shop to buy. I also thought that vegan cakes wouldn’t taste as nice as the cake I was used to because they were lacking integral cake ingredients. I was wrong. 

The decision to make a vegan cake wasn’t because I am vegan or thinking about becoming vegan, but I did have a few reasons for making a vegan cake. The initial reason was that my friend has decided to be vegan for a month to see if it makes a difference to her health. Another reason was because November is World Vegan month so what better time to try out a vegan recipe? My last reason was that I didn’t like the idea that I didn’t have a recipe to cater for everyone. And hey presto, the idea for this recipe was born. 

Obviously I needed some help and that came in the form of Kate from Veggie Desserts. If anyone refers to a cake as The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake, you know it has to be great. So I took this as my base recipe and gave it a few tweaks to make it into my version which is Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake. I went through my list of flavours that I like to pair with chocolate and I wasn’t confident that they would be vegan so I decided on orange. Plus orange is one of my favourite flavours to pair with chocolate and is obviously vegan! 

I needn’t have worried about having to buy weird ingredients because the only things I needed to buy specifically different was soy milk and non dairy margarine. These items are widely found in the vast majority of supermarkets so this wasn’t an issue at all.

I was dubious about the texture of the cake and whether it would be different with it being vegan, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really don’t think anyone would be able to tell this cake is vegan unless you tell them. It is so light, fluffy and moist with a delicious chocolate flavour which is enhanced by the coffee that’s added. Don’t panic, your cake will not taste like coffee but instead it helps to bring out the flavour of the chocolate and make it more chocolatey. 

One of my least favourite baking tasks is sifting ingredients. I don’t really know why because it isn’t hard and doesn’t take very long, but for some reason it really isn’t for me. Because of this, I do try to avoid sieving as much as possible but please do make sure you sieve the flour and cocoa powder for this cake. If you don’t you do run the risk of little lumps of the ingredients finding their way into your finished cake. While this isn’t a disaster, it doesn’t look the best in the finished cake. So bite the bullet and get your sieve out! 

Initially I was planning to frost the cake, but after tasting it and realising how moist it was, the cake really didn’t need any frosting. I quite liked the crack in the top of the cake because it made it look homemade which is quite nice so it seemed like a shame to cover it up. Obviously please feel free to add your own frosting if you want to! 

280ml soy milk (or any non-dairy milk such as almond)
4 tbsp orange juice
150g non-dairy margarine
3 tbsp golden syrup 
1 tsp instant coffee granules
275g self raising flour
175g caster sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 160ºC fan assisted and line a 2lb loaf tin
  2. Zest the orange before juicing it . Whisk the orange juice and soy milk together and set aside 

  1. In a pan over a medium heat, gently melt the margarine, coffee and golden syrup. Once melted take off the heat and allow to cool slightly

  1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl before adding the milk and margarine mixtures. Stir well until the batter is smooth 

  1. Add the mixture to the loaf tin and level it out. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean when poked into the cake

  1. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely 

Pin for later

Linking to 

Hosted by Tin & Thyme 

Casa Costello
 
Hijacked By Twins

Guacamole

Healthy, fresh and a great accompaniment to so many things. This is my sister’s favourite guacamole recipe that is really quick and packed with great flavours.

2016-03-05 18.35.10

My sister, Ally, is definitely a fan of avocado. She had this tasty guacamole when she went to Wahaca in London and raved about it. She then ‘Mexican Food Made Simple’ by Thomasina Miers so she could make the guacamole herself as well as other tasty recipes.

Ally made this recipe for our Mexican Feast we cooked our Mum for Mother’s Day (I’ve been meaning to blog this recipe for a while as you can see!). The guacamole went perfectly with the nachos, chilli con carne and quesadillas we made as part of the feast.

Avocados are packed with healthy fats, vitamins and fibre which makes guacamole a perfect healthy snack.

1 – 2 green chillies, finely chopped
½ red onion, very finely chopped
1 small garlic clove
1 – 2 tsp sea salt
3 ripe Hass avocados (the dark green bumpy skinned ones)
juice of 1 – 2 limes
small handful of coriander, chopped
1 ripe tomato, de-seeded and diced 
freshly ground black pepper 

  1. Test the heat of your chillies by biting the tip off one. If they’re quite hot you may want to use less or remove the seeds
  2. Put a quarter of the onion, the garlic, half the chili and salt into a both and mush with a fork
  3. Remove the stones from the avocados and scoop out the flesh and add to the bowl with the roughly mashed ingredients. Mash the avocados adding half of the lime juice as you go. When you have a good rough texture, add in the rest of the onion, lime juice and chillies along with the coriander and tomato
  4. Season with plenty of black pepper. Taste the guacamole and add more lime juice, salt and coriander if needed

2016-03-05 18.35.03

Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry

What this Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry lacks in beauty it makes up for in taste! Deliciously comforting curry packed with loads of vegetables makes this a tasty and healthy all in one dinner.

This recipe is so flexible and really lends itself to being adapted to what vegetables you like and how spicy you like it. It is a perfect meal to make when you have a few vegetables left over in your fridge that may not be at their peak freshness but you want to use them in a dish. You can use whatever vegetables you like, but for me the staples are potatoes, courgettes and cauliflower. My Mum used to make this for us and those were the vegetables she always used.

Although these are the staple vegetables for me, you can add any number of other vegetables that you like. Peppers and green beans are vegetables I almost always have in the house so I like to add these. I’ve also added in fresh tomatoes just because I have had them to hand. You could add sweet potato if you fancy it or spinach right at the end of cooking. It really is so flexible not only with the vegetables you can use, but also because the quantities of each are also really flexible. 

The first time I made this curry for Mr Curly I wasn’t completely sure how it would go down. He very much likes his meat so a vegetarian meal was almost unheard of to him! He said he really liked it but chicken would make it that little bit better. If you are cooking this Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry for meat lovers, you can easily add some diced chicken in after you have added the vegetables. 

Mr Curly and I are now trying to eat less meat so I won’t be adding chicken to this going forward! Instead, I updated this recipe by adding some split red lentils. Lentils are not something I have eaten or cooked with previously. So they were an ingredient I wanted to use more this year. They work so well in this curry because not only do they help bulk out the dish and make it more filling; they also help thicken the curry too! 

This Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry is not only vegetarian but vegan and gluten free too! I love dishes like this that naturally cater to a lot of people’s diets. Just make sure that you check your curry paste to check it meets your dietary needs first. 

Another great thing about this recipe is you make a big batch and freeze it. I freeze it in dinner sized portions for a quick week night dinner; but also individual lunch sized portions which are perfect for me to defrost and take in to heat at work.

I always serve this Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry with mango chutney because I think it is one of the most delicious condiments ever made! As you have the potatoes, you don’t necessarily need rice. I do like to serve it with some poppadoms to dip into the delicious and comforting  soft vegetables in the curry.

Updated January 2019

5 from 4 votes
Print

Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry

What this Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry lacks in beauty it makes up for in taste! Deliciously comforting curry packed with loads of vegetables makes this a tasty and healthy all in one dinner.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, British
Keyword Vegetarian, Vegetable Curry, Lentils
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 296 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 4 tbsp curry paste
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 500 g potates peeled and cut into chunks
  • 400 g courgette sliced
  • 1 cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1 large pepper cut into chunks
  • 250 g green beans
  • 2 x 400 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 800 ml vegetable stock
  • 250 g split red lentils rinsed in cold water
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • chopped fresh coriander

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to a large pan over a medium heat. Once the oil has warmed, add the onion and garlic and allow to sweat for a couple of minutes stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn
  2. Add the curry paste and stir to coat the onions

  3. Add all of the vegetables and stir again to coat them in the curry paste. Add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, vegetable stock, lentils, salt and pepper

  4. Let the stock come to the boil and then reduce the temperature to medium and allow to gently bubble away covered with a lid

  5. Stir the soup every 20 minutes or so to make sure the curry isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan.  If it is sticking or becoming too thick before the vegetables and lentils are cooked, add some water

  6. Cook for around 2 hours or until  all of the vegetables and lentils are soft and the stock has reduced and thickened

  7. Serve sprinkled with coriander

Recipe Notes

Add up to 500ml more water throughout the cooking process if needed.

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 296 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1384mg60%
Potassium 723mg21%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 2750IU55%
Vitamin C 79.9mg97%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin for later

Linking to

Cook Blog Share

Roasted New Potatoes

Crispy skinned new potatoes which are fluffy inside flavoured with herbs make the perfect side dish for any meal.

2015-07-12 19.28.41

New potatoes have always been my least favourite type of potato because to be honest I find them a bit boring. We used to have them quite a lot , especially in the summer, when I was a child and although they are nice for a change, it felt like we had them for every meal (I may be exaggerating slightly).

My preferred way of eating new potatoes is to roast them with herbs as the skin turns nice and crispy but they’re still fluffy inside. I almost feel a little bit cheeky calling this a recipe because it is so simple, it is more like assembling rather than an actual recipe! This way gives them a lot more flavour in my opinion than just boiling them in salted water. They are really simple to prepare this way, but I think it makes them look like you’ve put a bit more effort in.

I was lucky enough to be given these potatoes by Rien’s Nan who had grown them in her garden. She was so excited when I said I’d like them because I don’t think the rest of the family tend to use them. I think things like vegetables are always that little bit tastier when they have been home grown for some reason.

You can use whatever herbs you would like. I like to use a combination of thyme and rosemary because these are two of my favourite herbs, but often just use one of the other depending what I have. There is no need to pick the leaves off the stalks as during cooking, the leaves seem to fall off themselves. This then makes it really easy to just pick out the stems once the potatoes are finished cooking.

The below amount should be enough for four people as a side dish.

500g new potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp sea salt
A few sprigs of the herbs of your choice

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Thoroughly wash the potatoes and remove any black bits

2015-07-12 17.57.59

  1. Drizzle some of the olive oil into a roasting tin. Add the potatoes, cutting any large ones in half to make the potatoes roughly the same size
  2. Drizzle over the rest of the olive oil before sprinkling over the salt and adding the herbs

2015-07-12 18.13.20

  1. Roast in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, turning the potatoes half way through the time, until the potatoes are crispy on the outside but cooked through; I check this by poking them with a sharp knife. Remove the herb stalks and serve