Spiced Pumpkin & Barley Soup – VeganMoFo Day 31

It’s the last day of VeganMoFo 2017!! Can you believe it?! It’s always a challenge – I’ve posted 28 days this month which is more than I posted all year (!) and it’s not always easy coming up with ideas to fill the whole month. But so many people have done it, and it just shows how much creativity there is out there. You can check out roundups of this year’s participants on the VeganMoFo website – the final one will be up soon!

Today’s final VeganMoFo day coincides with Halloween, so that was our prompt for the day. I don’t do Halloween, but I decided to make something using an ingredient you may have plenty of…


Pumpkin! This recipe will be great for all those pumpkins that will go on sale after Halloween. It’s the one you saw in my roasted chickpea recipe – they really do go very well together.

It’s got all lovely wintery spices in – cinnamon and paprika and cloves – and the addition of pearl barley makes it hearty and warming for the cold days (like today! where has this cold front come from?!).

Spiced Pumpkin & Barley Soup


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Pinch ground cloves (be careful – these are strong!)
  • Half a medium sized pumpkin, diced
  • 100g pearl barley
  • 1 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 700ml vegetable stock


  1. Begin by heating the oil in a saucepan, and frying the onion and garlic until translucent.
  2. Add the cinnamon, paprika, and cloves, and cook for thirty seconds.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients, stir well, bring to the boil, and lower the heat and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. The soup is done when the barley is tender, and the pumpkin is melting away to create a nice thick soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Nut Roast Burgers – VeganMoFo Day 30

Today, the penultimate VeganMoFo 2017 day, is about doing a practice run for an upcoming holiday. Well, I’m a Brit, so I don’t celebrate thanksgiving. It’s my birthday in November, but I’m secretly hoping someone else will take care of that. And Christmas? Uhh…I kinda haven’t thought at all about what I’m going to eat for Christmas yet, except some cranberry marzipan cookies which are the best thing about the season. So, I went with something familiar, but Christmassy enough.


These are nut roast burgers! Side note: how difficult is it to take good photos of burgers?! I like making burgers but it’s really hard to post recipes, because I can never get good photos… Anyway, I made these nut roast balls earlier in the month, and they were so tasty that I thought I’d make them into burgers. They’re almost the same recipe as the balls, except they also have beans in, to make them more burger-y. They’d be really great for a casual kind of Christmas meal!


These are baked in the oven, which means you don’t have the hassle of frying them, and I bet they’d work really well served with more seasonal flavours like brussels, cranberry sauce, and so on!


Nut Roast Burgers

  • Servings: Makes 6 burgers
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  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can white beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g mixed nuts
  • 50g walnuts
  • 50g ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 2 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 200g breadcrumbs


    Preheat the oven to 180C/355F
  1. Begin by frying the onion and garlic in the olive oil, until translucent.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mash the beans until thoroughly mashed.
  3. In a food processor, blitz the walnuts and mixed nuts until they are finely chopped. Transfer to the bowl with the beans.
  4. Into the nuts and beans, add the cooked onion and garlic, and the remaining ingredients, and stir until completely combined.
  5. Form the mixture into six burger shaped patties, and place on a baking tray.
  6. Put the burgers in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, turning once half way.

Cumin Roasted Chickpeas – VeganMoFo Day 2

Are you a fricti ciceris emptor? Sorry, what now? For today’s VeganMoFo, we’re taking a long leap back in time to visit Horace in the 1st Century BC, and find out what exactly he meant by this (and why he was perhaps so very wrong).


fricti ciceris emptor was a buyer of roasted (or toasted) chickpeas. Horace, in his Ars Poetica, descripes chickpea eaters as paupers, and uses them in an illustration as people who crude drama appeals to, rather than the more desired wealthy audience.

Chickpeas were not an uncommon food in Roman times, and in the Apicius collection of recipes (compiled a few hundred years after Horace, but still in Roman times) several recipes using legumes and nuts, including chickpeas, are published. So for today’s historical prompt, I decided I would join the plebeians and make a Roman inspired snack.


Cumin was a very popular spice in Roman times – it’s actually a very ancient spice, and is even mentioned in the Bible! So pairing chickpeas with cumin for this recipe seemed a good idea. Perhaps you could buy something like this before going to watch sports in Rome – who knows? These are certainly very more-ish, you won’t be able to resist snacking on them! I used some as croutons on top of soup, too – the recipe will be coming later to the blog!

Cumin Roasted Chickpeas


  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
  1. Begin by placing all the ingredients in a large bowl, and mixing thoroughly till all the chickpeas are coated.
  2. Tip the coated chickpeas onto a baking tray, and place in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, until crisp, stirring halfway.
  3. That’s it! They’re done!


Falafel Scramble – VeganMoFo Day 28

I think I mentioned earlier in the month that I’m not really a breakfast person. I just don’t really switch on til later in the day. I technically “wake up”…but then I actually wake up several hours later. This makes today’s prompt, brunch, perfect for me, because I just can’t do early morning breakfast, so why not combine it with lunch?


Tofu scramble is a classic vegan brunch option. You’ll probably see it on vegan brunch menus all over the world, and I’m sure I’m not the only VeganMoFoer to use it today. I wanted to do a different take on it though, and so I made it into a falafel scramble!


This scramble has your tofu scramble ingredients, plus your traditional falafel ingredients…so it’s two great foods combined into one! I actually considered making this for the Deconstructed prompt earlier in the month, because how much more deconstructed can you get than scrambled? But I decided it’d work even better for brunch.

Falafel Scramble

  • Servings: 2 as a main course
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  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 block tofu (approx 400g)
  • Handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • 100g chopped cherry tomatoes (optional)


  1. Begin by heating the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, roughly mash the chickpeas with the cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne, and lemon juice. Don’t mash them completely – leave several chickpeas still mostly whole!
  3. Once the onion and garlic are cooked, add the chickpea mixture, and crumble in the tofu.
  4. Scramble on a high heat for 5 minutes, then add the parsley and cherry tomatoes for a further minute.
  5. Serve!

Bolognese Fries – VeganMoFo Day 27

Day 27 of VeganMoFo already, wow! Today is about feeding the “young (at heart)” – which really could mean many things! I decided to go for a meal that would make a kid’s heart sing – it’s tasty, a little messy, and contains both chips and cheese!


This is a recipe for “bolognese fries” – or chips, if you prefer. Even better – the chips are homemade, and oil free too! To be honest, I usually make my chips the usual way with oil, but I found out that you can make them without oil quite easily (you just chop them up and pop them in the oven!) and that way works really well for this recipe, they aren’t as heavy tasting with all the bolognese and cheese on top too.


For the cheese on top, I used Tesco’s free from grated mozzarella. It’s a version of Sheese, if you can get that. It melts really well, as you can see. A cheese that melts is something you want for this dish, as it adds a nice creamy element!


I also used Tesco’s frozen vegan mince (I promise I’m not a Tesco ad!) for the bolognese but you could use whatever you have handy, or even rehydrated TVP if that’s all you have access to.

Bolognese Fries


  • 800g potatoes, cut into chips
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp marmite
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 250g frozen mince
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Grated cheese to top


    Preheat your oven to 200C/400F
  1. Place your potato chips on a baking tray in one layer (you may need two trays for this). Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and place in your preheated oven for 35 minutes, until golden. Leave the oven on afterwards!
  2. Meanwhile, make the bolognese sauce. In a large frying pan, fry the onion and garlic in the oil until softened.
  3. Add the oregano, basil, and rosemary, and fry for thirty seconds.
  4. Add the remaining bolognese ingredients (everything else except the cheese) and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste and season.
  5. Once the chips and bolognese are done, place the chips in a roasting tin.
  6. Top the chips with the bolognese sauce, and then generously grate cheese on top.
  7. Place the roasting tin in the still hot oven for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese melts.
  8. Serve immediately.


Baked Doughnuts Four Ways! – VeganMoFo Day 25

For today, we need to impress Paul Hollywood and make a showstopper dessert. Ah…you guys know me, I really am not one for pretty food. I have trouble enough taking good photos for this blog (having a good camera helps!). Paul Hollywood would really not be impressed by anything I make, I’m afraid. But I do my best!


So, for my showstopper, I decided to make baked doughnuts, four ways! I have a mini doughnut tin, a bit like this one, which I actually got from a charity shop, and it makes the cutest small doughnuts! This recipe starts with making one base mix, then splitting it into four and adding ingredients to make the different flavours. You end up with six mini doughnuts of each flavour.

Clockwise from top left: Bakewell Tart doughnuts, Lemon Drizzle doughnuts, Double Chocolate doughnuts, and Apple Cinnamon doughnuts.

I actually did a little vote on my instagram to choose the final flavour. I knew I wanted to do chocolate, apple, and bakewell, but I couldn’t decide between coffee and lemon. Sorry to all the coffee voters – but lemon came out tops! So lemon doughnuts it is! Maybe one day I’ll treat you to a coffee doughnut recipe.

If you wanted to make just one flavour of doughnuts, just multiply the “add in” ingredients to fit!

Base Doughnut Mix

  • Servings: 24 doughnuts
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  • 300g flour
  • 150g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 50g vegan butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 400ml nondairy milk


    Preheat your oven to 175C/350F
  1. Begin by placing the flour, sugar, bicarb, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and mixing to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, cider vinegar, and melted butter.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly.
  4. Split the batter into four bowls.

Apple & Cinnamon Doughnuts

  • Servings: 6 doughnuts
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  • 100g apple, grated (approximately 1 small)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 25g oats
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-4 tbsp cold water
  • cinnamon, for shaking


  1. In one of the bowls of doughnut batter, stir through the apple, the cinnamon, and the oats.
  2. Pour into your prepared doughnut tray, and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Leave to cool in the tray.
  3. Once cooled, tip out onto a rack and prepare your icing.
  4. Mix together the icing sugar and vanilla, and enough water to make a smooth icing.
  5. Dip each doughnut in the icing until covered. Whilst the icing is wet, shake cinnamon over the top. Leave to set.

Bakewell Doughnuts

  • Servings: 6 doughnuts
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  • 50g glace cherries, chopped
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 50ml nondairy milk
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3-4 tbsp cold water
  • flaked almonds, to top


  1. Into one of the bowls of doughnut batter, add the cherries, ground almonds, almond extract, and milk. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Pour into your prepared doughnut tray, and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Leave to cool in the tray.
  3. Once cooled, tip out onto a rack and prepare your icing.
  4. Mix the icing sugar with the almond extract and enough water to form a smooth icing.
  5. Dip each doughnut in the icing until covered. Whilst the icing is wet, sprinkle flaked almonds over the top to decorate. Leave to set.

Lemon Drizzle Doughnuts

  • Servings: 6 doughnuts
  • Print


  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Into one of the bowls of doughnut batter, add the juice and zest of your lemon. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Pour into your prepared doughnut tray, and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Leave to cool in the tray.
  3. Once cooled, tip out onto a rack and prepare your icing.
  4. Mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice to form a smooth icing.
  5. Dip each doughnut in the icing until covered. Leave to set.

Double Chocolate Doughnuts

  • Servings: 6 doughnuts
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  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 50ml nondairy milk
  • 50g chocolate chips
  • 50g white chocolate
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp nondairy milk
  • chocolate to grate on top


  1. Into one of the bowls of doughnut batter, stir through the cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and nondairy milk.
  2. Pour into your prepared doughnut tray, and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, until firm. Leave to cool in the tray.
  3. Once cooled, tip out onto a rack and prepare your icing.
  4. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large bowl.
  5. Add the icing sugar and milk, and stir to combine into a smooth icing.
  6. Dip each doughnut in the icing until covered. Whilst the icing is wet, grate some chocolate on top for decoration. Leave to set.

Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms – VeganMoFo Day 25

Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is to “cook for your best friend”. I’m going to be super cheesy here and say, my best friend is my husband. And because of that cheese, I’m giving you a recipe involving vegan cheese!


Portobello mushrooms may be a very stereotypical “vegan” food – usually served unseasoned and slightly soggy at a barbecue – but they are also one of my husband’s favourite food, so I wanted to make a super tasty mushroom meal. These have a crunchy cheesy filling, and are topped with even more vegan cheese.


So, this meal is also really simple to make as it uses a lot of “convenience” foods. Breadcrumbs – which I just make from blitzing up crackers and keep a bag in the freezer – flavoured cream cheese (I used Sainsbury’s Free From) and cheese shreds for topping. If you can’t find flavoured cream cheese, mix a little garlic and mixed herbs into your regular cream cheese. This might not be the cheapest vegan meal, but who cheaps out for their best friend?


Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms

  • Servings: 4 mushrooms
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  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 4 tbsp vegan garlic and herb cream cheese
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g vegan cheese shreds


    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
  1. Begin by placing the breadcrumbs, cream cheese, and olive oil in a bowl, and mixing until they are all combined.
  2. Split the breadcrumb mixture into four even parts, and stuff each part into one of your mushrooms.
  3. Sprinkle your cheese shreds evenly on top of the mushrooms.
  4. Place them all on a baking tray, and then into your preheated oven for 20 minutes, until the stuffing is golden.
  5. Serve warm!



Polenta Chips! – VeganMoFo Day 24

We’re into a new week in VeganMoFo! This week is Entertaining Week, and today is about party food. Now, I think for parties you can totally get away with buying loads of crisps and making some hummus, but sometimes you want something slightly more homemade. That’s where these come in. They’re really simple to make, but a bit fancier than just buying crisps or frozen oven chips.


These are baked polenta chips. Chips being like what Americans call fries, not what Brits call crisps. They’re made using pre-packaged polenta – here in the UK you can get a pack from the supermarket for about 75p – and just tossed with seasoning and popped in the oven.


I use the polenta in the image above. You can make your own – make polenta as you usually would, only with a little less water, put it in a greased tin, and refrigerate until cold. Then just cut into chip shaped slices.

These work great with dips and anything party-like. You can use different spices if you like – add in some smoked paprika and cayenne for spice, or some garam masala for an Indian feel…whatever you fancy.


Polenta Chips


  • 1 package pre-made polenta (500g)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • several grinds black pepper


    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
  1. Begin by slicing your polenta into chip/fry sized pieces. Try to keep them roughly evenly sized.
  2. Place the polenta slices on a lined baking tray, and toss (gently!) with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Put it all in the oven for 45 minutes, until the polenta is golden and crispy.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Roasted Tomato & Garlic Pearl Barley Risotto

Sorry about missing a day of VeganMoFo yesterday – I had a recipe planned but it didn’t turn out the way I wanted and so I didn’t want to post it! I’m back today now though, with a recipe that definitely did work well and I enjoyed making and eating!

Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is to use “unconventional grains” – grains that we don’t use very often. I chose pearl barley, although it’s not particularly unusual – and it’s certainly cheaper than a lot of unusual grains – it’s not one I seem to use very often. I don’t know why, because it’s delicious!


The great thing about making a risotto with pearl barley is that you don’t have to stir it as much as a regular risotto. You still stir, but then you go and sit down for a little bit before stirring again. It’s nice! Pearl barley also has a lovely hearty texture which is just great for wintery months.

The garlic and tomatoes in this recipe are roasted in the oven first – I find that in winter, it’s great to roast tomatoes, because it brings out the flavour that they lose a little due to not having as much sun. Try not to eat all the roasted tomatoes straight out of the oven though – tasty as they are…

Roasted Tomato & Garlic Pearl Barley Risotto


  • 500g baby plum tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp salt
  • several grinds black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 250g pearl barley
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • handful fresh basil, chopped


    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
  1. Toss the tomatoes and garlic with the salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil and arrange on a baking tray.
  2. Place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then set aside.
  3. Once your tomatoes are roasted, begin on the risotto. Fry the onion in the remaining olive oil in a large pan until softened.
  4. Add the roasted tomatoes and tomato puree and stir.
  5. Stir through the pearl barley and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.
  6. Simmer, stirring regularly, for 40 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the pearl barley is tender.
  7. Finally, stir through the basil. Taste and adjust seasoning, and serve!


Samosa Wraps – VeganMoFo Day 20

Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is “deconstructed”, which is one of the more challenging ones I was talking about earlier in the week. It took me a while to come up with something, but eventually I came up with this tasty recipe! Ok, it isn’t exactly deconstructed, more like constructed-in-a-different-way, but still…that’s something?


These are samosa wraps! I already have a recipe for samosas on this blog, and the filling in this recipe is pretty similar – with the addition of kidney beans – but putting it all in a wrap takes away the pesky pastry making and deep frying steps. Samosas themselves are very tasty, but sometimes you just don’t have the patience to make the whole lot!

Samosa Wraps

  • Servings: Enough for 8 wraps (you can freeze them!)
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  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 500g potatoes, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 100g peas
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut milk
  • Salt & Pepper 
  • 8 wraps


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, and add the cumin seeds. Fry for less than a minute, until toasted and fragrant.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and chilli to the seeds. Fry until the onion is softened.
  3. Add the turmeric, salt and pepper, garam masala and cumin powder, and mix.
  4. Stir through the peas, kidney beans, and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Cover the pan, and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Add the coconut milk, and stir through.
  7. Using a potato masher or a fork, roughly mash the mixture, leaving quite a few large pieces in.
  8. Lay out your wraps. Place a small amount of the filling in each, and wrap it securely (use your prefferred wrapping method!).
  9. Serve and eat!