Chickpea Spinach Pasta – VeganMoFo Day 7

Yesterday, I posted a recipe for cheesy sausage rolls, which are pretty obviously imitating a non-vegan counterpart. They are really delicious, as are a lot of vegan cheese and meat substitutes, but sometimes it’s nice to step away from that and make something that is tasty of its own accord, not because it’s imitating something else. That’s what today’s VeganMoFo prompt is about – making an original vegan meal, something that isn’t replicating a non-vegan food, but is great as it is.


This dish is possibly my husband’s favourite meal. It’s one he always requests, which is great because it is so simple. Fry off onion and garlic, add some chickpeas, vegetable stock, and spinach, and cook it all down a little, then stir through hot cooked pasta! And that’s it.

This recipe also gives me a great opportunity to lament about how much spinach shrinks. Look at this!:

It’s the same amount of spinach in both pictures – just uncooked and then cooked!

Chickpea Spinach Pasta


  • Cooked pasta (enough for 2)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 150g fresh spinach
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Begin by frying the onion and garlic in the oil until softened and translucent.
  2. Add the chickpeas, and fry for a few minutes more.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and the spinach, stir, and cook until the spinach has wilted.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Stir through cooked pasta, and serve!




Cheesy Sausage Rolls – VeganMoFo Day 6

Cheese! Second to “but I could never give up bacon”, cheese is given as the main reason people won’t go vegan (not a scientific fact, but near enough). I’ve heard plenty of times “I would go vegan, but…. cheese”. I’ve never quite understood why not being able to give up cheese means you have to eat all the other animal products too, but that’s a different story. The upshot is, not being able to have cheese is pretty difficult for new vegans.

Thankfully, things have been changing in the vegan cheese world. Ten years ago, vegan cheese was not so good. It didn’t melt, it just sat there and got warm, and tasted slightly of old socks. Nutritional yeast, lovely as it is, didn’t quite fit that cheese craving. These days, most supermarkets in the UK sell vegan cheese – Violife is the main one, which I’ve used in this recipe, but Tesco and Sainsbury’s both have their own brand!


So, to showcase what vegan cheese can do, I decided to make cheesy sausage rolls. These were inspired by sausage rolls you can get at Sneinton Vegan Market, a monthly vegan market in Nottingham near me. I thought I’d have a go at making my own. I served them of course with mushy peas!

To fill these sausage rolls, I used granose sausage mix, which I bought from Morrisons, but you could use any sausage mix or vegan sausages themselves, just cut them to fit. I used jus-rol puff pastry as it’s vegan and cut it into six pieces.

Vegan Cheesy Sausage Rolls


  • 1 packet sausage mix, made up as directed
  • 1 puff pastry sheet, cut into six rectangles, as pictured above
  • 1 packet vegan cheese, sliced
  • olive oil for brushing


    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
  1. Get a rectangle of the puff pastry, and place it on your baking sheet.
  2. Top with a spoonful of the sausage mix, spread so you can easily fold the puff pastry over.
  3. Place a slice of cheese on top of the sausage mix.
  4. Fold the puff pastry over the filling, and using a little water, seal tight (see photos above).
  5. Repeat until all the pastry is used up.
  6. Brush the unbaked sausage rolls with a little olive oil, then place them in the preheated oven.
  7. Cook for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.


Vegan Rocky Road Bars – VeganMoFo Day 5

People have some weird ideas about vegan foods. If you’ve been following VeganMoFo participants’ posts the last few days, you’ll be familiar with all sorts of strange foods we’ve been fed. Boring, unimaginative, or just odd, it’s all there. So, in making food for non-vegans, I like to prove their perceptions wrong – show them that vegan food can be really good.


These are super decadent and delicious. Full of chocolate, biscuits, and marshmallows, they make the perfect gift, cut into bars (you can cut them whatever size you like!) and offered to people who aren’t sure about vegan sweets. “Are you sure these are vegan?” they’ll ask, whilst they reach for another helping…


For this recipe, I used Freedom Marshmallows, which you can get from Holland & Barrett here in the UK, but any vegan marshmallow would work – if they’re large, chop them into pieces first! The rice crispies I used came from Lidl, as they’re vegan there, but whatever vegan version you can find will be great! I also used Oreos as my biscuit as I think they’re really tasty, but any vegan biscuit would be lovely.


Make these and show off how great being vegan can be!

Rocky Road Bars

  • Servings: makes 28 bars
  • Print


  • 300g vegan chocolate
  • 100g vegan butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 150g oreos (or other vegan biscuit), chopped up
  • 60g rice crispy cereal
  • 50g vegan marshmallows (chopped if necessary)
  • For the topping

  • 300g vegan chocolate
  • 50g oreos, chopped
  • 40g vegan marshmallows


  1. Begin by melting the 300g dark chocolate and the butter together, either over a double boiler or in the microwave.
  2. Next, sift in the icing sugar, and stir until combined.
  3. Stir in the oreos, rice crispies, and marshmallows.
  4. Press the mixture into a lined tin, making sure to pack it down into the corners!
  5. Next, make the topping. Melt the remaining 300g of chocolate and spread it over the rocky road mixture.
  6. Sprinkle over the chopped oreos and marshmallows.
  7. Place the tin in the fridge to fully set before slicing into bars!


Roasted Vegetable Lasagne – VeganMoFo Day 4

Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is all about the worst catered meal you’ve ever had.  When you’re vegan, often it seems that chefs just go “umm?” and throw a vegetable at a plate. In general, I prefer to eat out at places that specify vegan options – or even better, vegan only places – but that’s not always possible. Sometimes, you just have to grin and bear it.

I can’t seem to find a picture of what, in my opinion, was the worst catered meal I’ve had, but I’ll describe it to you. As you may have gathered from the title of this post, it was a lasagne. Lasagnes are usually great, right? Pasta with a nice creamy sauce…mmm. Except this lasagne had no pasta. In place of pasta, it had sheets of celeriac. I really don’t like celery, or celeriac and, yeah, it wasn’t ideal.


So, I decided to make my own version. A better version. I kept with the theme of vegetables – including lots of vegetables roasted for this lasagne, but used actual pasta, and a version of my cheese sauce to go with it. As you can probably tell, I didn’t have the best luck with the photos for this post – the light was dark (oh, autumn…) and lasagne unfortunately just isn’t that pretty. It was tasty, though!


The roasted veggies that go inside are pretty good looking though, don’t you think? I had a hard time not just eating them fresh out of the oven. They get roasted first, then cooked into a tomatoey sauce, which is used as the lasagne sauce. Then, you make the cheese sauce, arrange it all in a pan, and bake it in the oven!

Roasted Vegetable Lasagne


    For the vegetable sauce
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 large courgettes
  • 2 peppers (whichever colour you like!)
  • 250g cherry or baby plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • For the cheese sauce
  • 1 pack (350g) silken tofu
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 350ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 40g cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Also

  • 1 box lasagne sheets


    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
  1. Begin by chopping all your vegetables (up to and including the cherry tomatoes) into bitesize pieces. Don’t worry too much about making them even – just make sure they’re roughly similar sizes.
  2. Place the vegetables on baking sheets (you’ll probably need two) and mix through the oregano, thyme, salt and pepper, and olive oil.
  3. Put the baking trays in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, stirring midway through, until all the vegetables are cooked. Leave the oven on.
  4. Once the vegetables are cooked, add them to a saucepan along with the 250ml stock, the tomato puree, and the chopped tomato tin. Stir, and heat through gently.
  5. Next, make the cheese sauce. In a saucepan, fry the minced garlic until it just starts to brown – keep an eye on it as it happens quickly!
  6. Remove from the heat, and add the remaining ingredients.
  7. Using either a stick blender, or a countertop blender, blend until smooth.
  8. Place the saucepan back on a low heat, and whisk until the sauce starts to thicken.
  9. Next, assemble the lasagne. Put a bit of the vegetable sauce on the bottom of your dish, followed by lasagne sheets, followed by cheese sauce. Repeat until you reach the top of your dish – making sure to end with cheese sauce.
  10. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, until the lasagne sheets are cooked (you can test this easily with a fork).

VeganMoFo Day 3 – The Magic of Seitan

“But where do you get your protein?” you cry, and then you hear the collective sound of thousands of vegans rolling their eyes.

Okay, maybe not quite, but it’s a very common question. People have it drilled into them that meat=protein, and so if you don’t eat meat, you will lose all your muscles and wither away. Which isn’t actually true, you know. There are many, many vegan protein sources -more than you imagine! For instance – your regular green peas, a common side dish, have 8g in just one serving. This post, however, is going to be about one of the best vegan protein sources – Seitan.

Tomato & Basil Seitan Sausages

Seitan. Perhaps awkwardly named for the anglophone, the food itself has been around in China for fifteen hundred years, and the name has its origins in Japanese. It’s made from vital wheat gluten – which is basically wheat flour with all the starches removed, leaving just the protein behind. You can buy it ready made in health food shops, or make it yourself – the flour is sold on amazon or in a lot of vegan shops too. It’s very high in protein – with 75g protein per 100g of flour – and excellent for vegans or non-vegans alike!

Best Ever Burgers

I’ve got many recipes on my blog that use vital wheat gluten – and around the internet are even more! Isa’s chickpea cutlets are an essential vegan meal – quick, delicious, and easy to make (I like them baked over fried). This vegan “bacon” recipe is made from seitan and is so very good. Here is a great basic seitan recipe, too. And back to Isa – this chicken style seitan works great in everything from pasta to sandwiches to curries!


Pizza Sausages

Overall, seitan is a great source of protein for vegans. If you’ve got any questions about it, feel free to ask and I’ll try to help you get started in the world of seitan!

Seitan Wellington


Chili Nachos with Cheesy Sauce – VeganMoFo Day 2

How is everyone enjoying VeganMoFo so far? It’s only day two, but I’m already loving seeing what everyone is coming up with. Keep up the good work!

Today’s prompt is Junk Food Forever! which is awesome, because anyone who knows me knows I am most definitely a junk food vegan. Oh, I’ll eat my fruit and vegetables, sure, but I think junk food is usually the best food!


Honestly, I could very easily have published something sweet and perhaps chocolatey for this prompt, but I actually have quite a lot of sweet things planned already for this month, so I wanted to challenge myself to something savoury. Savoury junk food often calls to mind fast food, but the vegan fast food options aren’t that super here, especially when it comes to this option – nachos! So, homemade it is.


I also used this as an opportunity to purchase these “cheese flavour nachos”, which are actually cheese-flavoured tortilla chips, sold in Tesco, a supermarket here, and they actually do taste cheesy! It’s uncanny! This made my junk food meal extra junk food-y, rather than just using plain tortilla chips – though you can totally use those.


The “cheese” on top of these nachos is based on my tofu cheese sauce recipe that I use for pizza, only with jalapenos and paprika added, which help flavour it more appropriate (and give it more colour!). I also topped mine with some nice chopped ripe avocado, which is kinda like healthy junk food really.


Chili Nachos with Cheese

  • Servings: Serves 2-3
  • Print


    For the Beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 5 slices jalapeno, chopped (or however many you want for your spice level)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 200ml water
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • For the Cheese
  • 350g silken tofu
  • 110ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno slices, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 40g cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Other
  • Tortilla chips
  • Avocado (optional)


  1. Begin by frying the onion and garlic in the oil until translucent, then add the sliced jalapeno.
  2. Add the cumin, salt, oregano, and smoked paprika, and cook for thirty seconds.
  3. Add the tomato puree and black beans, and stir.
  4. Using a fork, or a potato masher, mash the beans until pretty thoroughly mashed.
  5. Add the water and red pepper, and cook for 10 minutes, until you get a thick sauce.
  6. Meanwhile, make the cheese. In a large saucepan, fry the minced garlic and jalapeno in the oil for about a minute – don’t let it burn!
  7. Remove from the heat, and add the tofu, vegetable stock, salt, cornstarch, lemon juice, paprika, tomato puree and nutritional yeast.
  8. Using a stick blender (or transfer to a stand blender) blend the mixture until smooth.
  9. Return the saucepan to a low heat, and whisk continually until the mixture has thickened.
  10. Once thickened, continue to whisk for a further minute, before removing from the heat.
  11. Serve by placing beans on top of tortilla chips, followed by the cheese, and finally some sliced avocado.


It’s VeganMoFo time! And, Nut Roast Balls


It’s time for VeganMoFo 2017! Can you believe it’s been a year since last time yet? That’s because it hasn’t – last year it was in November, this year it is in October. Here’s hoping for more daylight to take photos in, right?

For those new to the concept, VeganMoFo, or the Vegan Month of Food, has been going for ten years now (wow!) and is a month each year where vegans from around the world challenge themselves to post about food every day, or almost every day, for the whole month. There’s a bit more to it, as you can find out by visiting the website linked above, but it’s really fun! For the past few years, we’ve had daily prompts to inspire our creations, which I’ll try to keep to.

Today’s prompt is: Re-inventing the veggie option. You know how usually what you get given to eat is pretty predictable? Tomato pasta, nut roast, salad, etc? Well, it’s time to make that tasty. And so, I made nut roast balls. Yes, nut balls, go on, have a giggle.


I was first inspired to make this recipe when I went on holiday to the Lake District earlier this year, and ate out at the Zeffirelli’s restaurant, where I had a “nut roast salad” which came with little balls of nut roast which were absolutely delicious. I had to recreate them myself!


For this recipe, I used general “mixed nuts”, which you can often buy cheaply unseasoned and work nicely to get a variety of flavour. I also added walnuts and ground almonds, and a little peanut butter to help them bind. They’re baked, but if you wanted to fry them that would work too. I served them with a salad, but they’d also be lovely in a sandwich!

Nut Roast Balls

  • Servings: Makes 16 balls
  • Print


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 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
  • 150g 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 food processor, blitz the walnuts and mixed nuts until they are finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Into the nuts, add the cooked onion and garlic, and the remaining ingredients, and stir until completely combined.
  4. Form the mixture into walnut sized balls and place on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, turning halfway.

Jammy Devils

This month’s MiniMoFo theme is “Literary Inspiration”. If you know my reading habits, you’ll know I am a huge Discworld fan. I’ve even used the series in a previous VeganMoFo post! If you’ve not read Discworld – what are you waiting for? Terry Pratchett’s writing is astounding in its ability to be both fun and serious at the same time, to involve so much detail and yet be enjoyable to read, and to ultimately make you feel at home in his world.

Ankh-Morpork, the central city in the Discworld books, may remind you slightly of London, or perhaps some other city in which you grew up, just with magic and trolls. This recipe hails from there, adapted from Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook (yes, there is a Discworld cookbook) where it is described as “hot, sweet, and cheap. Just the thing for a snack in the middle of a night shift”. Now, I don’t know about night shifts – but I do know these are great for that warm, cosy feeling you get as the nights are drawing in and winter is looming in the background. There’s something about jammy desserts that gives off a relaxing vibe.


Now, I used a few different sorts of jam for these cookies, because I always have jam around and I thought it’d be fun to try several flavours, but you could just use one flavour if you like. I love how these look like kind of jewels on the plate!


One thing to be aware of when making these biscuits is – don’t put too much jam on them! You want enough that you can taste it, but if you put a giant dollop on, then it’ll pour over the edge of the biscuit and burn in the oven – and burnt jam is not very nice. Just make a little dip in the middle of the biscuit, and fill that with jam, and then you’ll have lovely not-burnt biscuits!

Jammy Devils

  • Servings: 20 biscuits
  • Print


  • 150g vegan butter
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp vegan milk
  • approx 4-5 tbsp jam


    Preheat the oven to 180C/355F/Gas Mark 4
  1. Begin by creaming the butter and sugar together until smooth and well mixed.
  2. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Sift in the flour and cornflour and mix to form a soft dough, adding the milk a tablespoon at a time if necessary.
  4. Place tablespoon sized balls of dough on a lined baking tray, evenly spaced.
  5. Using your finger, or the back of a small spoon, make an indentation in the middle of each biscuit.
  6. Add a small amount of jam to each divot – not so much that it overflows, just enough to fill the dip.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are turning golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool on the baking tray.



Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is there much better than a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie? Not really. Cookies are perfect to just eat as they are, or to bake up and take to an event. That’s where these cookies come in – and this month’s MiniMoFo too! These cookies are great to pack up and eat outdoors, I took them to a family do and everyone enjoyed them.


I’ve spent years perfecting my chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’ve cycled through many variations – ones that are soft and cakey, ones that are crispy, ones that are all brown sugar, ones that are all white….and so on. All of which are good, but they’re not this recipe. My husband even declared this to be his favourite, which is quite a compliment!


The idea for these cookies actually came from Reddit, of all places, where I saw a recipe that used a mixture of baking powder, water, and oil as an egg replacer. They mixed it all together and then poured it into the dough, but I found it worked just as well – if not better – put straight into the mixture.


These cookies are perfectly crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the middle. When you first take them out of the oven, they look a little puffed up and underbaked – but don’t worry! Leave them on the tray for five minutes and they turn into the delicious cookies you can see in the pictures.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: makes 30 cookies
  • Print


  • 175g vegan butter
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 150g white sugar
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 350g flour
  • 200g chocolate chips


    Preheat the oven to 170C/340F
  1. Begin by creaming the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the baking powder, oil, and water, and stir until well combined.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and bicarbonate of soda.
  4. Stir through the flour until you get a stiff dough.
  5. Fold through the chocolate chips until well distributed through the cookie dough.
  6. Place walnut size balls of dough on baking trays, leaving space for them to expand.
  7. Put in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool on the trays for at least 5 minutes.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Strawberry White Chocolate Bars

I am absolutely loving the amount of fresh fruit that is in season right now. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries… all sorts of delicious little morsels to snack on. Which is why it’s exciting that this month’s MiniMoFo theme  is fruit. Fruit is something that can sometimes seem a little uninspiring and “healthy”, but it can also sometimes seem exciting and fresh and tasty!

I’ll start off by saying, if you’re looking for a super-healthy fruit recipe… this is not your place. But I imagine most of you know that by now. This recipe is sweet and tasty, stuffed full of lots of strawberries (it’s a great recipe to use any you haven’t got round to eating yet) and topped with a gorgeous white chocolate crumble.


If you’re in the UK, you can get vegan white chocolate fairly cheaply from Tesco or Sainsbury’s, and the Co-Op do white chocolate buttons in their free-from section too. Or you can splurge and buy the wonderful iChoc white chocolate which is absolutely delicious.

The way I “crumble” the chocolate actually was born out of my laziness. I like to make chocolate chip cookies but sometimes I have difficulty finding vegan chocolate chips, so I often use a bar of chocolate chopped up for chunks. In my laziness, however, this sometimes translates to me bunging the bar of chocolate in the food processor and blending a few seconds to chop it up. Once, I blended a few seconds too long and ended up with crumbled chocolate…and it works perfectly in this recipe.


The crumbled chocolate gets mixed with flour, (vegan) butter, sugar, and oats to make a crumbly topping for the strawberry bars. You bake the shortbread first, then top with the strawberries, then the crumble, and finally bake again until it’s nice and golden brown.


The strawberry topping is made by chopping strawberries, mixing with a little vanilla and sugar, and leaving them aside to macerate for half an hour. This allows some of the juices to drain so they’re not too soggy for your bars. Then you drain the juice (keep it – it’s tasty!) and put the strawberries on top of the cooked shortbread.

These bars should be kept in the fridge because of the fresh fruit, and they’re delicious on a warm sunny day, such as the one we’re strangely having right now in the UK!

Strawberry White Chocolate Bars


    For the Shortbread
  • 150g vegan butter
  • 80g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g plain flour
  • 35g cornflour (cornstarch in the US)
  • pinch salt
  • For the Strawberry Filling

  • 500g strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • For the Crumble

  • 150g vegan white chocolate, blitzed in a food processor to a crumbly texture
  • 50g vegan butter
  • 25g oats
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 100g plain flour


    Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
  1. First, make the shortbread. Cream together the butter and sugar until well mixed, then mix in the vanilla.
  2. Add the flour, salt, and cornflour to the butter/sugar mix and combine. The mix will be quite dry and crumbly – use your hands to bring it together into a dough.
  3. Press the dough into a baking tin – mine is 9×13 inch – and squash it down to make it level.
  4. Bake the shortbread in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  5. While the shortbread is baking, prepare the strawberries. In a large bowl, mix together the chopped strawberries, the sugar, and vanilla. Set aside for 30 minutes, and then drain the liquid off.
  6. Next, make the crumble topping. In a bowl, add all the crumble ingredients and rub together with your fingers until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to use.
  7. Once the shortbread is baked, spread the drained strawberries on top of it, making sure to cover the biscuit evenly.
  8. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the strawberries, again covering it evenly.
  9. Place back in the oven for a further 30 minutes until the crumble is golden brown.
  10. Cool in the tin, then slice and serve! Store in the fridge.