Pumpkin Flower Arrangement/ Pumpkin Vase

Pumpkin flower arrangement

Pumpkin flower arrangement

I’ve been working & experimenting with pumpkin 🎃 recipes (soon to be shared on here!) & we always carve one to put out the front of the house for Halloween trick or treaters.

Pumpkins are very cheap and have multiple uses! I thought I would do something a bit different & creative so I made a pumpkin floral centre-piece. I’ve gifted some to friends who loved them, something a bit different! A very colourful eye-catching display.

Really simple to make. You just need:

• Fresh pumpkin

• Marker pen

• Knife

• Spoon or scoop

• Diluted bleach

• Clear plastic cellophane/ bubble wrap

• Wet oasis floral foam

• Fresh Flowers, leaves, berries,

• Scissors

1. Use a marker pen & draw a lid around the top of the pumpkin.

2. Use a long sharp knife and cut the top off around the line you’ve drawn.

3. Scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin – I used an ice cream scoop.

4. Wash the inside of the pumpkin with some washing up liquid or some diluted bleach with water.

5. Wait for pumpkin to dry out

6. Line the inside with cellophane & bubble wrap.

7. Push in some floral oasis – you can cut pieces to fit (make sure you soak it first)

8. Cut your flowers to your preferred lengths & insert into the foam.

Pumpkin vase
Pumpkin vase

This can be done on a budget with a bunch of supermarket flowers. The pumpkins from ALDI at £1 – the oasis & cellophane from the Range.

Get creative! It’s very relaxing & rewarding in these turbulent times and something a bit different leading up to Halloween.

Breakfast Fry Up with Eggy Tofu Scramble – dairy free & Vegan

My son always enjoyed a full English Breakfast Fry up before he decided to go vegan; there’s no reason why he still can’t enjoy it with a vegan (plant-based) version which I also love to eat.

Vegan breakfast fry up
Vegan breakfast fry up / Tofu Scramble

A great start to the day especially with the colder weather now. & it’s much healthier and less greasy than a traditional breakfast.

Vegan Breakfast Fry up
Vegan breakfast fry up

I was amazed to discover that Tofu makes a fantastic scrambled egg replacement, it tastes & looks identical and very easy to make.

There’s some great vegan sausages our favourite are the Richmond or Naked Glory. We also use Vivera Bacon replacement.

Vegan English Breakfast/ Tofu Scramble
Vegan English Breakfast/ Tofu Scramble

Add some toast , beans, hash browns , fried tomatoes & mushrooms and breakfast fit for a king ! Or Vegan Queen! 👸😊

Ingredients

  1. Half a pack of Firm Tofu
  2. Salt & pepper for seasoning
  3. Teaspoon of turmeric (gives it the yellow colour)
  4. Spoon of olive oil or vegan spread,

Instructions

    Gently heat the oil or spread in a pan.
    Crumble the tofu with a fork & add to pan
    Season & add the turmeric
    Heat for a few minutes, stirring continuously.

Enjoy!!’

Vegan / plant based fry up with tofu scramble
Vegan plant based fry up with tofu scramble

Vegan Fruit homemade Scones dairy-free Cream tea

These Scones are so light, delicious, they look and taste really impressive yet are so easy to make!! In fact the trick to good scones is not working the pastry a lot at all just roll it & cut out the shapes.

I made them for a family birthday party in the garden earlier in the summer and everyone enjoyed them vegan or not!

Vegan cream tea / homemade scones
Vegan cream tea / home made scones

So tasty and you wouldn’t believe they’re vegan they are such a treat!

Ingredients (8-10 scones)

• 350g self-raising flour , extra for dusting

• ¼ tsp salt

• 1 tsp baking powder

• 3 tbsp caster sugar

• 95g vegan vegetable spread

• 100g sultana’s (optional)

• 150ml non – dairy milk , plus extra to glaze

• jam , to serve

• vegan cream alternative, e.g. oat-based crème fraîche, or Alpro Double cream (whipped) to serve

Instructions

    • Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Rub in the vegetable spread until you have fine breadcrumbs.

    • Slowly stir the milk into the flour mixture until you have a smooth dough. 

    • dust your surface lightly with flour and gently roll out the scone dough until 2cm thick.

    • Transfer onto a baking tray lined with parchment and put it in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up.

    • Remove the dough from the fridge and using a round cutter (you can improvise with a jam jar lid if you don’t have a cutter, cut out the scones. (When you cut the scones out, press the cutter straight down, don’t twist it. Flour the cutter first to make it easier to remove the scones.)

    • Put them, top side down, onto another baking sheet lined with paper, leaving a 2cm gap between each one. This gives the scones an even top.

    • Brush with the extra milk, making sure that it doesn’t drip onto the sides (otherwise they will rise unevenly)

    • Put the scones in the freezer for 15 mins. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7
    Remove from the freezer and bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Serve with jam and vegan cream, if you like.

Vegan scones / dairy free cream tea
Vegan scones / cream tea

Broccoli, Mushroom & Vegan non Chickn Stir fry

Mushroom broccoli & Vegan non Chickn Stir fry

A fresh easy & delicious stir fry. It’s loaded with mushrooms and fresh broccoli and you can add fake chicken (Seitan) or Tofu according to your preference. You can make this in under 20 minutes easily.

Ingredients

  • 200g No Chicken – chicken substitute- tofu, Seitan or we used Linda Mcartney Frozen pulled chicken
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 lb broccoli cut into florets (about 5 cups)
  • 1 small onion sliced into strips
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms thickly sliced
  • 2/3 cup vegetable stock
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp corn flour (mixed with 1 Tbsp water into a paste)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp garlic (2 small cloves) grated
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper to season
  • Rice or noodles to serve.

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a pan
  2. Add the onions, garlic & ginger and gently fry for couple of minutes.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables and the vegan chicn, tofu or Seitan. Stir fry for 3/4 minutes.
  4. Add the sauce ingredients, stock, sugar etc and heat for 4/5 minutes.
  5. You can thin the sauce by adding more water if you like. (The cornflour paste thickens the sauce)
  6. Serve with noodles or rice & enjoy!!

Lemon Posset (Plant-based, Dairy-Free, Vegan) & Lemon Shortbread

This recipe is easy peasy lemon squeezy!! Its unbelievably simple and uses just 3 ingredients!Lemon Possett - Dairy Free, Plant Based, Vegan

Lemon possett Dairy free, vegan, plant based

Lemon posset is an impressive, delicious and elegant dessert. With a delightfully citrus creamy flavour – a tangy refreshing dessert that’s nice and light. You wouldn’t know it’s dairy free! As usual it’s a vegan plant based alternative all the family can enjoy as a sweet treat!

Ingredients

  1. 1 Lemon – juiced
  2. Plant based Double Cream ((300ml))(We used Elmlea)
  3. 75 Caster Sugar ((75g)

Instructions

  • Put the sugar & cream in a pan.
  • Add the juice of the lemon
  • Gently heat for 3 minutes (do not over boil) stir constantly
  • Turn the heat off and let the mixture cool down.
  • Put the mixture into ramekins.
  • Freeze for a few hours!

You can add fresh fruit or fruit coulis on top as well (optional)

A simple summery dessert!

I also made some simple lemon shortbread to accompany the lemon posset (optional) the crunch of the biscuit compliments the creamy mixture.

Shortbread biscuit

• 200g dairy-free butter

• 125g icing sugar

• 310g plain flour

• 1 tbsp corn flour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water

• 2 tsp vanilla extract

• 1 tbsp dairy-free milk.

Ingredients

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.

2. Mix the dairy-free butter and icing sugar together in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the dairy-free milk.

3. If the mixture is too stiff, add the dairy-free milk to help thin it out until you have a soft but firm mixture.

4. Transfer to a piping bag with a large star nozzle. Pipe the mixture into small circular spirals. Starting from the outside, working your way in.Try and keep them all the same size.

6. Bake for approx 15 minutes until lightly golden. Leave to cool completely.

(I didn’t have a piping bag so I just used a couple of teaspoons)

Delicious light lemony & crunchy!

Lemon Possett Dairy Free, Vegan, Plant Based
Lemon Possett, Dairy Free, Vegan, Plant Based

Fast & easy Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara (dairy free) (No Eggs)

This recipe was a real winner & so simple to make, tasted delicious. My son really likes it when I veganise a tradional recipe that’s one of his favourites. (Also one of the least vegan dishes you could think of!) The sauce was creamy & cheesey and perfect with the salty smoky chewy bites.

Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara (Dairy Free, no egg)
Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara (Dairy Free No Egg)

You can adapt and do with or without the mushrooms & the peas are something I like to add as they compliment the smoky ‘bacon’. Also I used to try to sneak vegetables into recipes – my son pointed out that I shouldn’t have to do that now as everything he eats is plant based anyway 😂

Ingredients

    200 g mushrooms (optional)
    50 g frozen peas (optional)
    1 tbsp olive oil
    150 g Vegan ‘bacon’ (we used Vivera plant bacon pieces)
    2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
    1 garlic clove crushed
    1 tsp Garlic Salt
    Salt & pepper to season
    200 ml Vegan Double Cream (we used Elmlea)
    Chopped Parsley
    Handful of Grated Vegan cheese (we used Violife)
    200 g / 7 oz spaghetti

Vegan Plant Bacon
Vegan Plant Bacon

Directions

    Cook the spaghetti- according to pack instructions.
    Heat the oil in a big frying pan.
    Add the crushed garlic & garlic salt. Stir and fry for a minute.
    Add the vegan bacon & sauté for 3 minutes.
    Add the frozen peas & fry for 2/3 minutes.
    Stir in the nutritional yeast flakes (this gives it the slightly eggy flavour.
    Add the plant vegan double cream & simmer & stir well for 2 / 3 minutes until it’s a consistency not too thin.
    Serve immediately over the spaghetti.
    Top with chopped Parsley & the grated vegan cheese. (We like the Violife as seems to melt better than other vegan cheese we’ve tried.

Violife Vegan Cheese
Violife Vegan Cheese

Vegan Spaghetti Cabonara (Dairy-Free, Plant-based, no eggs)
Cabonara (Dairy-Free, Plant-based, no eggs)

Enjoy!!

Easy Cherry Almond Cake (dairy free, Vegan)

This was the best cake I ever made according to my boys.

It’s like a Bakewell tart but in a cake format. Really easy to make and nobody would guess its vegan. It’s everything good about cake – soft, fruity, moist, crumbly and deliciously nutty.

Cherry Almond cake (Vegan & Dairy Free)
Cherry Almond Cake (dairy-free & vegan)

The ingredients are quite simple as all measure 150!

I made a couple of mistakes – we’d run out of baking paper, I was determined to make the cake anyway & was not gonna queue up at the shop! So I just greased the bottom of the tin with the veg spread. Then we were so excited about the cake I forgot to remove the bottom of the tin lol 😂 anyway the cake was still amazing it can’t not taste good!

Cake Ingredients

    150g vegetable spread
    150g caster sugar
    150g flour
    1tsp Baking powder
    150g ground almonds
    1tsp vanilla essence
    150 ml warmed soy milk
    1 /2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
    2 tablespoons 7 up or sprite
    3 tablespoons black cherry jam
    150g fresh cherries, pitted and halved
    100g flaked almonds
    For the icing
    50 g icing sugar
    Juice 1/4 lemon

Method

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.
    Base line a 23 cm (8½-9½in) spring clip cake tin with baking parchment.
    Beat the vegan butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, baking powder lemonade & vanilla extract together.
    Mix the warm milk in a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda, then add the apple cider vinegar. Beat all the ingredients together quickly. – The mixture becomes frothy & bubbly (will help the cake rise in place of eggs)
    Fold the milk mixture into the batter.
    Spoon half of the batter into the lined cake tin and smooth it over.
    Dot the jam, a teaspoon at a time over the batter.
    Scatter fresh cherries on top.
    Drop spoonfuls of the remaining batter over the cherries to cover it.
    Scatter the flaked almonds over the top and bake for 45-50 minutes until well-risen and golden brown.
Cherry almond cake bake (vegan dairy-free)

Cherry almond cake bake (vegan dairy-free)

    Leave to stand for five minutes in the tin then remove by running a knife around, unclip and slide the cake onto a wire
    For the icing, mix the icing sugar and lemon in a bowl stirring until smooth and thick.
    Drizzle over the cooked cake.

Cherry almond cake (vegan & dairy free)
Cherry almond cake (vegan & dairy-free)

We had this whilst it was still warm with some vegan Whipped spray cream. It was equally nice chilled the next day with a nice cup of tea!

Vegan Crispy Ginger ‘Beef’

There’s some really good vegan plant based meat replacements. I wanted to do something a bit different as we often make spaghetti bolognese or lasagne & my boys have never like shepherds pie – in fact my son labelled my attempt as ‘Shepherds Cry!’

This was a nice alternative; crispy, sweet & savoury dish like a Chinese takeaway. Just Marinade the plant beef with the ginger & spices before frying.

Crispy Ginger Vegan ‘Beef’
Crispy Ginger Vegan ‘Beef’

Ingredients

  • 200 g Plant based Minced Beef (there are lots of brands for this particular one we used Viv era)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dry chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice
  • Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 x Spring onion chopped
  • 200 G – of your preferred Fresh Veg chopped (Peppers, Beansprouts, Baby Corn , carrots are nice )
  • Fresh Coriander
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Rice or noodles to serve

Instructions

    Mix the garlic, ginger, chilli flakes, Chinese five spice, soy sauce & lime with the plant beef and refrigerate for at least an hour.
    Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan.
    Add the beef mixture and fry, stirring regularly until it gets very brown and crispy.
    Add the spring onions & stir fry for a minute.
    Add the fresh vegetables & fry for 3/4 minutes. Stir fry vegetables
Stir fry vegetables
  • You may need to add some more tablespoons of soy sauce and water (it is meant to be crispy & not much sauce but you don’t want the mixture to be too dry.
    Add a sprinkle of the coriander.

Serve with noodles or steamed rice. This would also be nice sprinkled over a salad.

Plant mince - crispy ginger beef
Plant mince – crispy ginger beef

Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe (Dairy Free & Vegan)

I made these chocolate chip cookies in honour of National Biscuit Day yesterday -29th May with a donation to The National Guide Dogs for the blind – Virtual Tea-party.

Chocolate Chip Cookies- Vegan & dairy Free
Chocolate Chip Cookies – Vegan & dairy free

These delicious cookies are so easy to bake & can be enjoyed by vegans & non vegans alike.

(Makes around 20)

Ingredients

    250 G Flour
    200g Margarine or vegan butter
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    100 g Brown sugar
    100 g granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 tbsp Non-dairy milk
    150 g Dark chocolate chips

Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and line two baking trays with baking paper.
    Tip the dairy-free margarine, sugars and vanilla extract into a mixing bowl Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt into the bowl and beat everything until thoroughly combined and almost smooth.
    Add the and soya milk and mix again.
    Mix in the chocolate chips.
    Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours (or the freezer if you can’t wait that long lol)
    Use an ice cream scoop or two dessertspoons to drop neat mounds of dough onto the lined baking trays allowing plenty of space between the cookies as they spread during cooking.
    Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
    Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking trays.

These cook quickly – they will look underdone and liquidy but when they cool down they firm up.

Perfect with a nice cup of tea!

Sweet & Sour Vegan Chicken Recipe

This is a really nice recipe my son was impressed he said he fancied a Chinese takeaway but no need as i cooked it myself from scratch and took less than 30 mins. The perfect ‘Fakeaway’! It was everything you expect from this classic Chinese dish; crispy, tangy and sweet!

Sweet & sour Vegan Chicken Recipe
Sweet & Sour Vegan Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pack vegan chicken nuggets – Quorn or we used Linda McCartney Southern fried vegetarian chicken.
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable oil.
  • 1 large onion – peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 1 red pepper – chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 yellow or green pepper – chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic – peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp minced or grated ginger
  • 227 Can pineapple pieces – cut into chunks
  • (You can add additional vegetables if you like – I put in some chopped leek & Chinese cabbage – this is optional)
  • ** optional sesame seeds**
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • Cooked white rice, to serve

Sweet & sour sauce

  • 2 tbsp dark soy
  • 3 tbsp vinegar (malt, white wine or apple cider vinegar are all ok)
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp water, to thicken

Instructions

  • Cook the Vegan ‘chicken’ according to instructions.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan until very hot.
  • Add the onions, cook for 3 minutes, stirring until they start to soften.
  • Add the peppers and cook for another 2 minutes.
    Onions & Peppers
    Onions & Peppers
  • Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.
  • Add the soy sauce, Vinegar, ketchup, sugar & pineapple including some of the juice.
  • Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and leave it on a low temperature so it’s just simmering.
  • Add the cornflour & water mixture this will thicken your sauce and give it a nice gloss, simmer for 2 minutes stirring through.
  • Transfer the cooked vegan chicken to the pan with the sauce and toss to coat. (I cut my vegan chicken into smaller pieces first)
  • If you have the sesame seeds (we didn’t) sprinkle over
  • Serve with rice.

Sweet & Sour Vegan Chicken
Sweet & Sour Vegan Chicken

Enjoy!