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Recently I’ve been replacing the flour in so many recipes with spelt. It adds a whole new dimension to a dish, giving it more texture and a rich, nutty flavour. And this quiche is no exception. The tangy stilton and sweet potato balance the flavours perfectly, making it a substantial meal with just a side of fresh salad.
I’ve kept this quiche in the fridge for a week of dinners, taken it as a packed lunch and also served it at dinner parties where it’s disappeared within minutes. It’s just as delicious cold as it is straight from the oven.
Christmas is coming round so quickly and I can’t believe it was a whole year ago I was releasing a recipe a day throughout December for my Advent Calendar (you can still find all of these recipes on my site). Unfortunately my time and creativity didn’t stretch to another 24 recipes this year, but I have added a few special festive treats that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I am!
My favourite way to eat winter vegetables is honey roasted… a huge plate of them. They’re perfect and so warming at this time of year and full of goodness to balance out all of the festive treats! I truly believe that the more you add to a salad, the better it becomes. With the right flavour and texture combinations, a salad can be the most delicious and filling meal. I love the soft, sweet squash and sprouts in this salad that contrast with a tangy goats cheese and crunchy pomegranate seeds.
Roast Brussels Sprout, Squash and Goat's Cheese Salad
Cut the sprouts in half and the squash into cubes and spread out on a baking tray
Drizzle with 1tbsp of the olive oil, honey, salt, pepper and thyme and roast for approx. 25 minutes until soft and golden
Meanwhile, place the kale and remaining olive oil in a large bowl and massage for about 5 minutes to soften
Towards the end of the squash and sprouts cooking, turn off the oven, spread the kale onto another tray and place in the oven for the last 5 minutes so that it softens and crisps at the edges (keep watching to ensure it doesn't burn!)
Remove from the oven and place the kale in bowls, then top with the roast squash and sprouts
Remove the seeds from the pomegranate and sprinkle over the salads and crumble the goats cheese on top
This is the kind of salad that my friend Ruby would describe as “one of those salads with too much in” but this is my favourite kind! I love a wholesome, nutritious salad that is a meal in itself.
Every element of this salad contributes to the overall flavour, without overpowering it. The tangy pomegranate seeds contrast with the creamy yoghurt and feta and the mint keeps it really fresh. I like to cook my broccoli al denté so that it maintains its bite.
I really hope you like this salad as much as I do, it makes the perfect meal or side at any time of the day!
Moroccan food isn’t something I make often, but when I made this stew I promised myself it would become a more regular thing. This one-pot vegetarian dish is full of goodness and high in protein, making it the perfect dish to cook up and divide into portions which can be kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen for when you need a quick, nourishing meal. If you have a sweet tooth like I do, this dish is so satisfying as the apricots and cinnamon give it a really sweet, comforting taste which is a great contrast to the spicy chilli. However, if you have a more savoury palette the apricots can easily be omitted and the cinnamon reduced and it’s a win win situation! Similarly, you can reduce the amount of chilli if you aren’t a fan of hot food, or use a coconut or soya yoghurt for a vegan version.
Salads are great in the summer, especially when it’s so warm you don’t feel like eating much. But sometimes you just need something light and fresh that still feels like a substantial meal. This dish is the perfect meal for a quick and easy summer evening, but also special enough for a dinner party or guests. They would never believe it only took you 10 minutes to make!
Miso soup is a really quick and easy dish, and something I don’t make often enough. Hopefully that will change now! I was really craving miso soup for a few days, and when I finally got round to making it, I just kind of threw in a few extras and voilà! This soup recipe was born! I have always been a fan of spicy, tangy, comforting Asian soups but have never quite managed to recreate one myself until now.
What I love about this dish is the simplicity and versatility. I have given you my exact ingredients below so that you can recreate my soup, but you can actually just use the base of this and add whatever you like, or whatever you need to use up! The dish is completely vegan excluding the prawns, and you could always add some tofu for some extra protein, or even some meat if you wish! It really is a dish for everyone. And although it may look super fancy and impressive, it actually only takes 10-15 minutes to whip up, making it perfect for a healthy, comforting evening meal.
Flash back to three years ago when I was living in Leicester as a student, this dish was a relatively staple part of my diet. Described by many as the UK’s curry capital, Leicester is a vegetarian’s dream. I lived on a road with three vegetarian Indian restaurants serving an array of authentic Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes, all of which you could go to and pick up a takeaway or have thali for less than £5. Since leaving Leicester and moving to London, I have never found a Saag Paneer dish quite as good. Once restaurant even served me some wilted spinach topped with melted cheddar!!
So, I made it my mission to create a Saag Paneer as similar to my favourite takeaway as I could. And I think this is a very successful attempt. What’s more, this dish is full of spices and immune-boosting fresh ingredients, and I have used yoghurt to add a creaminess rather than a thick cream. I have even added a vegan and dairy-free option where you can replace the paneer and yoghurt. People often see Indian food as fattening and very rich, whilst forgetting the amazing healing benefits of Indian spices. This recipe proves that you can still create an authentic, indulgent dish from scratch that can be enjoyed by everyone, completely guilt-free!
I hope you love this dish as much as I do and enjoy cooking it for families and friends. But perhaps not dates, because as my friends pointed out, they did leave my small kitchen with their hair nicely infused with a curry aroma! If you are cooking this recipe in a small or enclosed space without an extractor fan, you could cook down the curry paste in advance!
Or for a vegan version (saag aloo)- three large potatoes and soya or coconut yoghurt
Finely chop the onion, garlic, chilli and one of the tomatoes and add to a food processor
Grate the ginger and add
Add the garam masala, cumin and turmeric to the food processor
Blend until a relatively smooth paste forms
In a large pan or wok, heat the oil on a medium heat
Add the curry paste along with the bay leaves and cook for 20 minutes, constantly stirring to release the aromas and cook the onion and garlic
Preheat the grill to 200 degrees celsius
Meanwhile, place the spinach in a steamer and wilt (you may have to slowly add more as it cooks down)
Once wilted, add the spinach to the food processor and blitz until it is puréed
Chop the paneer into cubes and spread on baking paper or foil on a large baking tray
Grill the paneer for approximately 15 minutes until the edges are golden
Once the curry paste has cooked for 20 minutes, add the spinach and mix until completely combined
Add the salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown rice syrup and the other tomato, roughly chopped
Cook for a further 10 minutes and taste, adding more salt if needed
Add the cooked paneer cubes to the curry and stir in until coated
Add the cup of water gradually and cook for 10 more minutes so that all of the flavours combine and soak into the paneer
Turn off the heat and stir in the yoghurt and serve immediately with rice
For the vegan version, omit the paneer and dairy yoghurt- peel and cube and parboil the potatoes. Toss in oil and bake in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes until the edges are slightly crisp. Add the potatoes to the curry at the same time you would the paneer, and stir in vegan yoghurt in place of dairy yoghurt at the end.
This is such a simple and delicious dish that is great eaten either hot or cold, making it the perfect light main course, side dish for a dinner party or packed lunch! Lebanese flavour combinations are some of my favourite and there is so much experimenting you can do. This recipe combines a spicy quinoa and kale mix with the delicate, soft aubergine . The tahini-yoghurt dressing cools down the chilli and the pomegranates add a crunchy sweetness.
I have given the ingredients for one medium-large aubergine but you could increase the quantities to feed the family or serve at a dinner party!
Prick the aubergine with a sharp knife and place on a baking tray, roasting whole for about 25 minutes until the middle of the aubergine is soft when tested with a knife. Once soft, remove from the oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa and kale in the stock for about 12 minutes on a low heat
Remove from the heat and drain well, then replace into the pan
Mix the spices, salt and parsley into the quinoa
Gently cut the aubergine in half lengthways and scoop out most of the flesh, adding this to the quinoa mix
Using a fork or potato masher, mash the aubergine into the quinoa until well combined
Place this mix back into the aubergine halves and place back into the oven for about 10 minutes to crisp up slightly
Meanwhile, mix the yoghurt, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil in a jug until combined
Remove the aubergines from the oven and put into a dish or straight onto plates
Drizzle the yoghurt dressing over the aubergines and sprinkle with pomegranates
Serve immediately or leave to cool and store in the fridge
Sometimes making soup can seem like quite a lot of effort, waiting for all of the vegetables to soften to the point where you can blend them. This is the ideal soup to quickly whip up on a weekday evening or any time you want a speedy, delicious dinner as you do not need to wait for anything to cook other than the onion and garlic. I like to always keep some good quality sourdough or gluten free bread on hand so that I can make a quick, satisfying dinner! Although this soup isn’t particularly thick, it is surprisingly filling and provides you with such a good boost of essential minerals, such as iron. For a thicker soup you can reduce the amount of stock or increase the amount of spinach to make it go further. The coconut compliments the spinach really well and adds a sweetness. Once again, you can reduce the amount of coconut to taste. I hope you all find this as easy to make and tasty as I do!
This is a recipe that I have developed over time to the point of perfection. The fragrant asian spices, the texture of the kale and lentils, the softness of the aubergine and the sweetness of the coconut all come together in this dish to create something so spectacular. If you need some healthy January inspiration but you can’t face cold salads in this weather, then this is the one! The fresh spices provide some excellent immune-boosting properties which are perfect for fighting off Winter colds, and the kale gives you that iron and B-vitamin boost your body might so desperately be needing right now! Aubergine has always been one of my favourite vegetables, and adding it to this dish was such a good move as it acts like a sponge, soaking up the coconut milk along with so much flavour from the tomato, spices and coriander.
Now January has begun I feel so ready to get back into a routine, eat lots of warming and nourishing foods and get fit and strong! Although this dish is so full of goodness, it also feels like the ultimate treat so you will not feel at all deprived! The recipe makes enough for four people, so why not nourish the whole family? Or alternatively be greedy and keep it all for yourself so that you have a delicious dinner to come home to every evening 😉 What are your New Year’s resolutions?
It is always difficult to be creative after Christmas with your recipes, especially when you have spent so long building up to the big day. And there is always lots of food to use up that you have no idea what to do with! This is one of my favourite, easy meals that is delicious and nutritious and uses all ingredients that you will already have in your cupboard! The nutty flavour of the rich sauce compliments the sweetness of the parsnips and the bitterness of the sprouts perfectly in my dish, but you could use any vegetables you have. And for me, the more topping the better as it really makes this feel like a substantial meal. Alternatively, if you are stuck for side dish ideas and you have guests, this would be a great option! Serves two-three as a main or four as a side!
This one is a delicious but simple side dish. It is important to pay attention to the vegetables that will accompany your main meal and ensure that they are really tasty and nourishing. For a completely vegan version, you can replace the honey here with brown rice syrup. I love the sweetness that the honey or syrup brings to this side, it balances out the slight bitterness of the sprouts perfectly and slightly caramelises the vegetables. A small amount of thyme makes a meal taste so festive and flavoursome. Don’t forget to season the vegetables well with a good amount of high quality salt (I use himalayan) and pepper. This recipe serves 4 as a side!
These are honestly the best roast potatoes I have ever made. Roast potatoes can still be a healthy treat and don’t have to be covered in animal fat! If, like me, you won’t be having meat with your Christmas dinner and want to make your side dishes a bit more interesting, this is the perfect thing. The flavours are not too overwhelming, and the coconut oil gives the potatoes such a crispy finish with a fluffy centre when you bite into them. If you don’t like smokey flavours, I would recommend substituting the smoked paprika for regular paprika, or a pinch of cayenne if you like a kick! I use Biona Cuisine coconut oil for things like this as it is steamed so it doesn’t hold such a coconut flavour. This is recommended if you don’t want to taint your potatoes. This recipe serves 4 as a side.
Smoked Paprika and Rosemary Coconut Roast Potatoes
I can’t really take complete credit for this recipe. I first tried it when my lovely friend Claire made it as a vegetarian option for her Thanksgiving dinner. And since then, I have adapted it and eaten it as my main dish for Christmas dinner. The rest of my family eat it as a side along with their meat. It is the perfect balance of moist yet crispy, and the hazelnuts provide such a lovely texture. The real flavour comes from the thyme, the mushrooms and the leak. It is not a strong flavour, although the thyme is most prominent, making for a real Christmassy treat. I tend to use good quality, rustic sourdough as the base, but you could use a bread of your choice, especially if you avoid gluten. The stuffing reheats perfectly in the oven, and therefore it is great for Boxing Day too!
This is a recipe that I have made every Christmas for the last few years, and has become a family favourite. It is quite simple and doesn’t require too much attention (other than ensuring nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan) and therefore is an easy dish for multitasking whilst you focus on the rest of your Christmas dinner. This makes for a great side dish no matter what the rest of your Christmas dinner involves, and is a bit more interesting than just boiled vegetables, which is especially welcome if you are vegetarian or vegan! This recipe will serve 4 as a side.
There is something so festive about Christmas markets and I have visited quite a few in the past couple of years. The crisp, winter air and the smell of mulled spices and log fires, there is nothing better to get you in the mood for all the festivities. I love the idea of all of the snacks that are served, even though not many are particularly healthy! Candied and chocolate nuts and fruit have become such a tradition, especially in Berlin where I visited last year, and are so addictive. This year I decided to create my own perfect snacking food, incorporating almonds, one of my favourite nuts, and one of my best recipes for raw chocolate. Adding coconut cream to this raw chocolate gives it a rich, satisfying milk chocolate texture, but in a dairy free way. I love the idea of dusting the chocolate with a festive spice, but you can adjust this part to your own tastebuds!
This recipe has both a vegan and non-vegan version. I know a lot of you don’t eat cheese, and I don’t eat it often but as I am not intolerant I do indulge from time to time, especially when it’s Christmas! Having said that, this recipe is equally as delicious without cheese, and why not add some cashew cheese instead?! The salad is full of flavour from the thyme, onion and other seasonings, and is so warming that it feels like proper comfort food. This would make the perfect salad to share with guests or family, and also the perfect break from all that heavy christmas food! The ingredients below serve two as a main dish or four as a side.
I love how versatile this dish is. It is perfectly delicious on its own, or served as a side with roast veg, fish or meat. It also makes a great stuffing. Why not try it stuffed into a large flat mushroom or a winter squash? It wouldn’t even be out of place as a meat substitute on your Christmas dinner plate. Full of protein from the quinoa and walnuts, this is a really satisfying meal or side. And I am currently obsessed with the complimentary tang that apples can bring to a lot of savoury dishes! (Did you see my parsnip and apple soup?!)
One of the best things about experimenting in the kitchen is discovering unusual combinations that work really well! Sage is a herb that I have never used much in the past, but has become a real favourite of mine this winter. It compliments winter vegetables so well and works perfectly in stews and risotto. Sage has a really hearty, comforting flavour which makes it a great addition to any vegetarian dish, especially if you are using the dish as a meat substitute! I really hope you all find this recipe as versatile as I do, and I would love to see how you decide to use it!
This soup has always been one of my favourite Autumn recipes, it is warming and comforting with something a bit special. The apple adds just enough flavour to compliment the parsnip and balance the sweetness. The parsnip creates a smooth, creamy and substantial dish that makes a satisfying meal. If I have some extra parsnips, I love to top this dish with some honey-roast parsnip crisps. The crunch of these compliments the soft soup perfectly. I will also be posting the crisp recipe very soon so stay tuned!
Making a family batch of soup on Christmas Eve has become a tradition in our household before we all head out for a Christmas drink and some carols. I usually return home during the day, so the Christmas Eve meal is something special as it is our first meal together in quite a while! We serve the soup alongside a baked camembert and some homemade bread and it is the perfect dinner. Warming and comforting for the night ahead, and not too filling before the big event the next day!
If you’ve travelled to India or visited restaurants such as Dishoom, you will be familiar with the popular street food ‘Bhel Puri’. Traditionally this dish contains puffed rice and lots of Indian textures and spices. I had wanted to try massaged kale for a while, and after visiting Dishoom, I decided that the flavours and textures of Bhel would perfectly compliment this. I took the key elements of this dish and the peanuts, pomegranate, red onion and tomato add so many different textures and natural flavours that only a little seasoning is actually needed. The coriander is perhaps the most essential ingredient as this is where much of the flavour comes from, providing a traditional, indian twist to the dish.
The crunch in this salad means that you eat it slowly and really digest all of the nutrients, and it is also surprisingly filling, making for a great dinner or packed lunch! The recipe makes two portions and when left overnight, the kale becomes even softer as its structure is further broken down. I hope you all enjoy this dish as much as I do!
This is one of my favourite dinner party dishes to serve recently as it is hearty, filling and warming, and can be made in large quantities relatively easily and inexpensively. I have served this dish to a few friends and, vegetarian or not, they have loved this meal. The wholesome grains combine with the feta and squash to create a creamy, satisfying texture that is not too unusual to friends who are not quite accustomed to my particular diet!
This is the perfect time of year to make warming, one-pot meals in bulk that will last the week, whilst the markets are brimming with an array of squashes. This recipe generally makes enough for 3-4 people, or the perfect meal for two with enough leftovers for the next day!
This recipe is one of my go-to soups for Autumn. It is so warming and hearty, and feels like a really substantial meal. I used to make it all the time when I was at University as it is cheap and easy and makes about 3-4 portions. It can also be frozen so that you have it on hand for emergencies when you need a healthy meal and have no time!
The honey or rice syrup infuses into the vegetables as they cook, which I find really brings out the flavour of the soup, but it would taste just as good without as the basil adds so much taste as well. Nutritional yeast is also a great addition, particularly for vegans, as it adds essential minerals and gives extra flavour. I always add this right at the end to add the maximum amount of flavour and to avoid killing any of the goodness. I recently have this new found love of adding seeds to everything, thanks to the wonderful Punchfoods who provide these in easily transportable packs! Sprinkling seeds onto soup is a great way of adding texture, protein and some essential fats!
This is my favourite salad at the moment. it feels so seasonal and fresh, whilst giving me a much needed boost of raw fruit and veg and healthy fats. The combination of the sweet figs and tangy tomatoes works really well with the light dressing, and the colours are just stunning. It is also really filling so it makes for a great lunch or dinner, or for an impressive side at a dinner party! Make the most of the delicious, sweet figs whilst they’re in season!
I have been meaning to post this recipe for a while as it is something I have made quite a few times, even for carnivorous friends who have given it the seal of approval. It makes for a great hearty, comforting dish in the winter but is also delicious as a light dinner alongside salad in the summer. The dish is the perfect plant based alternative to a lasagne and tastes similar to vegetable lasagnes I have made in the past. I often go to my local farmers market on a sunday morning and stock up on fresh, local and organic vegetables (so much cheaper than the supermarkets!). So there is plenty of room with this dish to experiment with different vegetables that are in season at the time. I would love to hear which vegetables you are adding!
This is one of my go-to quick and easy salads when I’m stuck on what to make for packed lunches. It is really simple but so delicious and I never get bored of it. I have always loved lebanese flavours and since travelling to the Middle East I have become even more obsessed. The spices and herbs used to flavour the salad provide the perfect balance so that you don’t need to add any fatty, oily, sugary dressings! I have given the basic quantities for this recipe, but you could add whatever you have to hand. I particularly like adding some feta or halloumi for a non-vegan option. The portions of this recipe should make enough for three days packed lunches, perfect when you can just take it out of the fridge and go!
This curry is the ultimate immune boost if you’re feeling under the weather. It is packed full of goodness and has so much flavour. Over the course of a few years I have served this dish in some form to many friends and family members, but I think this is my final recipe if followed exactly! I was really excited to finally find some fresh turmeric in London recently, which I grated into this curry. It gave it such a deep colour and flavour and has great anti-inflammatory properties which can help with so many minor and seasonal illnesses. If you can’t find the fresh variety, ground turmeric is still a really beneficial addition to your meal. The smell of the fresh onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and turmeric cooking in coconut oil is so heavenly that you can sense how much goodness is going into this one dish. I have given exact measurements of ingredients in this dish but you could easily experiment or adapt the curry to whatever you need to use up from your fridge! If you wanted to add some extra protein then chickpeas, tofu or chicken would make the perfect addition depending on your diet. A big bowl of this curry is the perfect meal on its own, but it is equally as delicious served with organic brown rice or toasted sourdough bread and yoghurt, great for sharing with the whole family!
Having just returned from the hot, hot heat of Dubai, I’m feeling a little chilly (ha!) and in need of some warming, hearty food. This is the perfect time to share my vegan chilli recipe with you. This is such an easy, cheap and filling meal which is perfect for feeding friends and family. I made up double this recipe to feed my flatmates and friends at a dinner party a couple of weeks ago and it went down a treat! I made it up the night before and then baked it in the oven the next evening. I often find dishes like this taste even better the next day as the flavours have time to develop and intensify.
The other great thing about this recipe is that you can serve it with so many different sides, meaning you can make up a batch for the week and not get bored! We had ours with some organic sour cream and grilled plantains, but I would strongly recommend trying it with baked sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa or avocado too. I’d love to hear if you have any other ideas for great chilli accompaniments! Enjoy 🙂
One of my favourite comfort foods is a generous, hearty bowl of pasta. A creamy sauce is an added bonus. There are so many varieties of pasta around now that make dishes like this enjoyable and guilt free. For this particular one I used buckwheat pasta as I love the nutty, wholesome flavour it gives.
A recent obsession of mine has been to use a creamy, cashew ‘bechamel’ sauce as a base for so many recipes. It works so well every time and is s great alternative to dairy. The creamy sauce in this dish has so many hidden nutritional benefits and adds an impressive colour to the meal! The recipe is simple, quick and does not create much washing up! It mainly uses (healthy) cupboard staples so you don’t have to go out and buy loads of special ingredients.
This meal is great eaten hot or cold, so you could make extra and take it for lunch the next day! You could even add in some other vegetables to bulk up the meal and add even more nutritional value. The sauce should also keep in an airtight jar for up to a week for a quick, stir-in one pot meal in the evening. It is preparation like this that saves me so much time!
This is such a quick, easy and versatile dish that creates an instant, nourishing supper. Perfect after a long day! Although I’ve included a list of ingredients, pretty much anything goes with this dish and it’s such a good way to use up any left over fresh ingredients that you have to hand.
This recipe quickly became my signature dish because it is so versatile and a winner with friends and family, vegetarian or not! Once you get the hang of the method it’s really quick to make! I always make up two or three bases along with a big batch of the tomato sauce and I freeze the leftovers. That way I can take them out to defrost before work and I have a healthy, unprocessed ready meal waiting for me at home!
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and once mixed make a hole in the centre
Break in the egg and beat into the mix along with the honey or brown rice syrup and then slowly add the milk until combined
Line a baking tray with baking paper and splash a generous tablespoon of olive oil onto the baking paper
Put 2-3 tablespoons of mixture onto the baking paper (depending on desired size) and use a spatula to spread the mixture into a circle or square shape, approximately 0.5cm thick (the texture will be a bit like cake mix but the oil will help it to spread)
Bake for approximately 10 minutes until very light golden brown (the mixture should be cooked but still quite spongey and not crisp)
Meanwhile make the topping by heating the coconut oil in a wok or frying pan
Chop the onion and garlic finely and frying on a low heat until soft
Add the passata and simmer on a low heat, and add the seasoning to taste
Once the sauce has slightly reduced, remove from heat and add the basil
Spread 2-3 tablespoons of the topping over the cooked base
Top with desired toppings (I'd recommend slightly roasting hard vegetables first) and cook for approximately 7-10 minutes until golden brown at the edges.