Creamy Mushroom Soup (Vegan & dairy free)

This delicious creamy soup is simple to make and really flavoursome – you can enjoy if you’re vegan or not & wouldn’t guess it’s dairy free!

It tastes so much better than tinned soup & doesn’t take much longer to make yourself from scratch with fresh ingredients.

Mushrooms
Mushrooms

Ingredients

  1. 90g Vegan butter/ margarine
  2. 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  3. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  4. 500g mushrooms, finely chopped (chestnut or button mushrooms work well)
  5. 2 tbsp plain flour
  6. 1l Vegetable stock
  7. 4 tbsp vegan cream ( I used alpro single soya cream)
  8. Fresh Parsley chopped or dried herbs.

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and cook the onions and garlic until soft but not browned, about 8-10 mins. 
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook over a high heat for another 3 mins until softened.
  3. Sprinkle over the flour and stir to combine.
  4. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring the mixture to the boil, and simmer for 10 mins.
  5. Remove the mushroom mixture from the heat and blitz using a hand blender until smooth. 
  6. Gently reheat the soup and stir through the cream.
  7. Scatter over the parsley, and serve.
Creamy Mushroom Soup
Creamy Mushroom Soup

Flapjacks

A very easy recipe indeed which makes a yummy snack (Vegan & Dairy – Free)

The perfect quarantine recipe that needs very few ingredients. If you’ve got some porridge & syrup in the cupboard you’re sorted!

Ingredients

    250g porridge oats
    125g vegan butter/ margarine
    125g light brown sugar (or any sugar)
    3 tbsp golden syrup

(You can adapt the flapjacks & add dried fruit, nuts or melted chocolate on top but I kept it simple)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium pan over a low heat. Add the golden syrup and sugar to the butter and gently heat.
  3. When the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the porridge oats.
  4. Pack the mixture into a greased baking tin and squash down.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Once cooked, remove from the oven, leave to cool for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a chopping board and cut into squares.

These can be enjoyed if you are vegan or not like all of my recipes! In fact I only managed 1 photo as they disappeared very fast!

Flapjack
Flapjack

Creamy Homemade Coleslaw (vegan)

This recipe for Creamy, crunchy, tangy coleslaw you’d never guess it’s dairy free! It’s easy to make and a perfect side dish for a barbecue; we had one yesterday as the weather was nice & luckily we have a garden.

Yes vegan’s can enjoy a bbq – there are a good range of Vegan burgers & sausages – homemade Chips & Coleslaw was the perfect accompaniment.

Vegan burgers & sausages
Vegan burgers & sausages

Vegan mayonaise is a game changer! It tastes as good as a dairy mayonnaise. You can purchase in most major supermarkets. We only use vegan mayo now.

Ingredients

• White and/ or red cabbage. 1/2 of each

• 4x Carrots – adds more color and crunch.

• 1x Onion (you can also use spring onion)

• 1 x Cup Vegan Mayonnaise

• Salt & pepper

• You can add Parsley, garlic, mustard or lemon if you like but I kept it simple.

Instructions

  1. Wash & drain the vegetables.
  2. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage.
  3. Thinly shred the cabbage you can do this by hand with a sharp knife or use a food processor.
  4. Dice the onion
  5. Shred the carrots with a grater.
  6. Drain the carrots well as otherwise they make the dressing quite watery.
  7. Assemble the coleslaw: Add the cabbage carrots & onion to a large mixing bowl, pour the dressing on top and mix together. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.
Homemade Creamy Coleslaw (Vegan)
Homemade Creamy Coleslaw (Vegan)

Easter Nests – Chocolate Cornflake or Rice Krispy Cakes

These simple yet delicious Easter nests are quick & easy to make! Childs play!! I learnt to make them when I was in primary school. They’re a classic favourite any time of year! Easter is just another excuse to make a chocolate treat. Also fab if you don’t have a lot of ingredients to hand or can’t be bothered to bake a cake.

Happy Easter
Happy Easter

This version like all my recipes is dairy-free, plant-based & vegan. My teenage son enjoys snacks & sweet treats which can be hard to find in the shops. I enjoy adapting recipes for him – in fact we all scoff them!

Ingredients:

• 50g vegan butter/ margarine

• 100g dark chocolate broken into chunks

• 3 tbsp golden syrup

• 100g Rice Krispies or Cornflakes

(I made half Cornflakes & half Rice Krispies)

Instructions

1. Add the butter, chocolate and syrup to a bowl and melt in short bursts in the microwave (stir often so the chocolate doesn’t burn) or in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. 

2. Mix the Rice Krispies or cornflakes into the chocolate mix and spoon into cupcake cases.

3. Refrigerate until set, if you can wait that long!

(We didn’t have the patience so we put them in the freezer lol)

(If I could source some vegan mini eggs they would go in the middle but maybe next year?!)

Easter nests - Cornflake Cakes
Easter Nests – Cornflake Cakes

Creamy Leek & Potato Soup (surprisingly dairy free &amvegan 😋)

This soup is so easy to make with very few ingredients it’s a simple but hearty recipe – so fresh & tasty a bowl of comfort!!

Leek & potato soup ingredients
Leek & potoato soup ingredients
INGREDIENTS
    4 Leeks
    1 onion
    3 potatoes
    1 litre Vegetable Stock (I used 2 stock cubes)
    150 ml plant milk
    1/2 carton of alpro Soy Cream (vegan) or any vegan cream alternative.
    50 G dairy free vegetable spread
    Salt & pepper to season
    Parsley – fresh or dried if you have

(If you don’t have vegan cream you could try with coconut milk)

(You can use olive oil if you don’t have vegetable spread)

Method

    Chop the onions, leeks & fry for 2/3 minutes in a pan with the vegetable spread.
    Chop the potatoes into small pieces.
    Add the potatoes to the pan – simmer very gently on a low heat to soften (sweat) all the vegetables.
    Add the stock & milk & simmer for 20 minutes.
    Blend the soup to preferred consistency- I used a small hand held blender – you can even use a potato masher.
    Add the vegan cream & gently heat before serving.
Creamy Leek & Potato soup
Creamy Leek & Potato Soup

This soup was amazing you wouldn’t guess it was dairy free it tasted perfect. The soy cream amazing! We had it with part baked baguette – I will definitely make it again & attempt to bake my own bread. 😊

Rock Cakes…

I have happy memories of making Rock Cakes with my grandad Salway when I was a child. It was one of the first things I learnt to bake. They are so easy to make & simply delicious.

Rock cakes were promoted during the Second World War by the ministry of food as they needed less eggs & sugar than other cakes so it was crucial during times of rationing. This recipe as it’s vegan (dairy free) needs no eggs whatsoever.

This corona virus pandemic is being compared to war-times which our grandparents endured so i think it’s a very apt recipe.

Particularly watching the queens speech last night re the Corona Virus when she said :

“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again” resonant of the famous Vera Lynn wartime song “We’ll meet again”.

Queens Speech during Coronavirus Pandemic 2020
Coronavirus Pandemic 2020 The Queen’s Speech

I’m capable of making anything I bake look like rocks lol so these are perfect for me to make 😂

Ingredients

225g self raising flour

1 tsp mixed spice (or cinnamon if you don’t have mixed spice)

1 tsp baking powder ( or cream of tartar or bicarbonate of soda)

100g vegetable spread

75g caster sugar

100g dried fruit

3 Tbsps Plant based milk

Method

Heat oven to 200c / gas mark 4 / 400f

Add in the flour, and vegetable spread & blend together with mixed spice and dried fruit and stir together.

Gradually add milk the dough is thick & lumpy if more liquid is required add more milk.

Dollop mixture onto baking tray (makes about 10 dollops)

Bake for 15-20 minutes

Enjoy!!

Rock Cakes
Rock Cakes

Simple Roasted Broccoli Tray Bake

I’ve always found Broccoli to be a Boring b*****d of a vegetable, usually end up sighing and sticking it in the steamer or boiling it and over cooking so it’s too soft.

This recipe and style of cooking just jazzes it up and is really delicious yet healthy. I’ve never tried roasting it before and was pleased with the results; crispy, tender & tasty.

1x Broccoli cut into florets

1x Onion (I used red onion) cut into quarters

1 Pepper ( Orange, yellow or red) sliced

3 cloves Garlic (crushed)

3/ 4 Tomatoes – quartered

3 tablespoons Olive oil

1 tsp Salt & pepper

Mixed herbs

Roasted Broccoli Tray Bake

Roasted Broccoli tray bake

Preheat oven to 180c

Toss the broccoli florets with the olive oil, & other ingredients garlic on a baking sheet. Spread them out and then roast, without stirring, until the edges are crispy and the stems are crisp tender, about 20 min.

Roasted Broccoli Tray Bake
Roasted Broccoli Tray Bake

Apple Crumble (Quarantine Crumble)

This is such an easy recipe to make and it only needs 4 ingredients!! Funnily enough this was popular during World War 2 due to rationing & limited ingredients. A thing we can relate to a bit more now due to the corona virus with lockdown measures & social isolation – limited shopping trips & people relying on deliveries.

Apple crumble is a timeless british classic and you’re getting one of your 5 a day! Cooking can be sentimental and go back full circle in a way – I have early memories of my grandmother Nanny Harrington making the best Rhubarb & Apple crumble. It’s a real comfort food.

That’s the thing I enjoy about preparing vegan food it’s mostly just traditional old school cooking with a twist – butter is easily replaced with vegan spread; I used Flora for this one.

Apple crumble
Apple crumble

Also you can use any stewed fruit if you don’t have apples.

The filling

575g Cooking apples (3 medium apples), peeled, cored and sliced.

2 tbsp golden caster sugar (I ran out of caster sugar so used Demerara sugar – brown sugar)

The topping

175g plain flour. (I replaced 50g flour with porridge oats for a more crumbly topping, this is optional)

110g golden caster sugar

110g Vegetable/ vegan spread

Method

• Heat the oven to 190C/170 fan/gas 5.

• Toss 575g peeled, cored and sliced Bramley apples with 2 tbsp golden caster sugar and put in a baking dish.

• Put the Apple mixture in the oven to pre-bake/ soften for 10 mins.

Sliced apples
Sliced apples

• Put 175g plain flour and 110g golden caster sugar in a bowl with a good pinch of salt.

• Slice in 110g vegan spread and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like moist breadcrumbs.

• Pour the crumb mix evenly over the part-cooked apples.

• Set on a baking tray and put in the preheated oven for 30/35 minutes until the top is golden and the apples feel very soft when you insert a small, sharp knife. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

• Delicious served with vegan ice cream or custard.

My boys polished off the whole crumble!!

Apple crumble
Apple crumble

Cauliflower Hot Wings Recipe

The humble cauliflower a bland seeming vegetable; can be made exciting & flavoursome.

When my boys were young vegetable hating toddlers I used to sneak cauliflower into my mashed potato & they were non the wiser!!

My go-to recipe for cauliflower was always cauliflower cheese but now with a vegan in the family who doesn’t eat dairy I’m experimenting and find it goes so well with spices.

During this time of quarantine there’s an opportunity to experiment with food with limiting shopping trips & less stocked shelves more home-cooking – trying to make do with what you have and any spices in your cupboard this is an ideal recipe.

In fact this is my first ever proper healthy vegan recipe!

This recipe is very easy and it is a nice side dish or sharing starter. It’s nice and crunchy on the outside with a soft centre & really flavoursome.

• 1 head of cauliflower

• 3/4 cup of flour

• 1/2 cup plant based milk

• 1/2 cup water

• garlic powder

• paprika powder

• Cumin powder

• salt and pepper

• 1 tbsp Vegan Spread

• Siracha sauce or sweet chilli or you can use vegan bbq or buffalo sauce. We had sweet chilli as it’s a family favourite.

** You can use any spices you like or replace with what’s in your cupboard**

STEP 1: Carefully cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets

STEP 2: In a large bowl, combine the flour, plant-based milk, the water, the garlic power, the paprika powder, spices, the salt, and the black pepper. Stir until well combined

Spicy Cauliflower Wings batter
Spicy cauliflower wings batter

STEP 3: Dip the florets into the batter, so they’re completely coated. Be sure to drain the batter off the cauliflower so it doesn’t stick together when you bake it.

STEP 4: Line a baking sheet with baking paper and lay the cauliflower florets on the baking sheet spaced out.

Bake for 15/20 minutes at 180 c.

Baking spicy cauliflower wings
Baking spicy cauliflower wings

STEP 5: When the cauliflower has cooked for 20 minutes, remove it and coat the part-baked cauliflower wings with the vegetable spread & your favourite sauce and return to bake for another 20 minutes or until it’s crispy. 

Spicy Cauliflower Wings
Spicy Cauliflower Wings

STEP 6: Serve immediately, with a delicious dipping sauce.

We used A dairy free Garlic Aoli & Nando Vegan Perinaise which is delicious!!

Vegan dipping sauces
Vegan dipping sauces

Simple vanilla sponge with strawberries 🍓 for Mother’s Day (vegan)

A challenging Mother’s Day today for many who sadly can’t see their mum today, due to the corona virus & social isolating & quarantine. Or in my case my mum lives overseas. I guess 1 Mother’s Day without your mum is worth it if it means you still get to give her a big hug next Mother’s Day.

I’m fortunate that I live with my sons & I know a lot of mothers that are key workers would have been out working today, keeping the country going and am so grateful for that too.

We are staying in as much as possible practicing social distancing. Also I could’nt face the thought of a food shop today. Luckily I usually have a cake mix somewhere in the cupboard for a rainy day.

These cake mixes are also a great Vegan cheat, simple, effective – easy to make. You need to check the packaging but a lot of them do not contain any dairy so are suitable for vegans.

This cake is handy as there is a currently an egg shortage in the shops.

I never thought you could bake a cake without eggs but these simple tips really work – the cake still rises & nobody can taste the difference.

I used a Betty Crocker vanilla loaf cake mix. – literally mix in a bowl with 4 tbsps vegetable oil, 125 ml (instead of water I added soya milk you can use any plant, nut or oat milk.

To replace the Eggs – I added 1 tsp Baking Powder, and the secret ingredient – 2 tbsps of Fizzy Drink!! I had some lilt in the fridge but you can use lemonade, tango or sparkling water.

Line a greased cake tin – pour the mix in.

Bake for 35 mins (180 c Gas Mark 4)

I then quickly mixed a couple of tablespoons of Vitalite (you can use any vegetable spread) with approx 4-6 tablespoons Icing sugar to a thick creamy consistency- add 1 or 2 teaspoons of plant based milk.

When the cake cools down – spread the creamed icing mix and then put chopped strawberries on top. (You can add any topping or fruit you like)

Heat a few tablespoons of strawberry jam & then brush over the strawberries to glaze.

This cake took less than 20 mins to prepare & everyone loved it. It was a real treat + the strawberries are one of your Five a Day lol. Try it and see!