Brussels & “Bacon” Pasta – VeganMoFo Day 26

Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is about holidays, so I chose a holiday I love to make food for – Christmas! Now, it’s a bit early for me to be making mince pies or Christmas pudding truffles, so I chose to use the flavours of Christmas to make an everyday meal.

Brussels sprouts are an integral part of Christmas dinner, and if you cook them right (roast or fry – don’t just boil!) they are delicious. I often have a bag of frozen brussels in my freezer which I use year round. For this meal, I used those (defrosted first), but you could use leftover ones from Christmas too!

I used vegan bacon in this recipe too – yes, two days running with vegan bacon, but the recipe I use for seitan bacon makes enough for more than one lot, so I use the rest! It’s a great recipe and one I make regularly. Saves having to buy premade stuff (plus you get more to snack on here!)

Brussels & Bacon Pasta


  • Enough pasta for two
  • 400g frozen brussels, defrosted and chopped up (or use leftovers)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pack vegan bacon, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper


  1. Begin by frying the onion and garlic in the oil until translucent.
  2. Add the brussels, bacon, and seasoning, and fry over a medium heat until the brussels begin to caramelise and go brown.
  3. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if necessary.
  4. Serve with your cooked pasta!

Sausage & Tomato Pasta – VeganMoFo Day 19

Today’s VeganMoFo post continues on from yesterday’s post…yep, we’re using leftovers! Presuming you didn’t eat all eleven of the sausages you made at once (no judgement, they’re good!) you can use them in this recipe. You could use shop bought sausages too, but for frugality purposes I used my own.

This recipe is pretty simple, but it’s one of our go-to recipes for a quick and easy meal! If you don’t have leftover sausages, I’ve used beans, or different types of fake meat too – burgers can be chopped up and used!

I actually used fresh basil in mine – I have a basil plant on my kitchen windowsill, I bought one of the cheap “living” pots you can get in the supermarket and repotted it, they’re usually still living but need a much bigger pot than they came in! However, dried basil also works find and is what I use when I don’t have fresh basil!

Sausage & Tomato Pasta


  • Leftover sausages, sliced
  • Enough cooked pasta for two!
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped,
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • handful fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 cup vegetable stock


  1. Begin by frying your onion and garlic in a pan until turning translucent.
  2. Add the sliced sausages and fry for a few more minutes until they begin to brown.
  3. Stir through the tomato puree, and dried basil if you’re using.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Stir through the fresh basil if you’re using it, and finally the cooked pasta.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Spicy Pasta Soup – VeganMoFo Day 16

It’s the beginning of Week 3 of VeganMoFo 2018, and this week is Budget Week – where we aim to create meals that are both delicious, and budget friendly. A common criticism against veganism is that it’s expensive – and it’s true, if you’re constantly buying artisan vegan foods and treats, it can get expensive. But I’m of the opinion that the same is true of a non-vegan diet too – you could easily spend a lot of money on fancy food there as well! Veganism itself can be affordable and still tasty, and this week will aim to show that!


For the first day of this week, the prompt is “Storecupboard Meal” – making a meal with ingredients commonly found in your cupboards, without having to go to the shops to buy things. I made this spicy bean soup – it’s similar to my borlotti bean soup recipe, but with kidney beans and spices. The addition of pasta in the soup makes it a nice hearty meal and gorgeously warming on cold evenings! If you want it more soupy, just add more water, but I prefer my soups to be really thick.

Spicy Bean and Pasta Soup


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoky paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp stock powder
  • 180g dry pasta
  • boiling water


  1. Begin by frying the onion and garlic in a little oil until fragrant and translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the spices, and cook for a minute.
  3. Stir through the tomato puree, stock powder, and kidney beans.
  4. Using a fork, mash the kidney beans a little until broken up.
  5. Add the pasta, and pour over the boiling water until it covers the pasta by about an inch.
  6. Bring to a simmer, and cook for approximately 10 minutes, until the pasta is done.
  7. Serve and eat!


Balsamic Tomato Pasta – VeganMoFo Day 14

Today’s VeganMoFo prompt stumped me for a minute – it asks us to make a meal full of flavour, but low in salt – and as someone who has never had to cut down on salt I had to think a bit. It’s important though, I think, to learn how to cook for different requirements, so I gave it a go!

I made pasta with a herby balsamic tomato and white bean sauce. The balsamic vinegar and herbs bring strong flavours which mean the salt isn’t so necessary, and roasting the tomatoes really emphasises their savoury flavour.

I posted roasted chickpeas yesterday, but white beans (or canellini) are another bean that is really good roasted. I often put them in with vegetables to roast as they taste so good!

Balsamic Tomato Pasta


– enough pasta for two, cooked
– 400g cherry tomatoes, halved
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– handful of fresh rosemary and thyme, roughly chopped
– 1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
– 3-4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
– 1 tbsp oil


Preheat the oven to 180C/355F
1. Place the tomatoes, cut side down, on a lined baking tray.
2. Spread the beans, garlic, and herbs over the tomatoes.
4. Drizzle over the oil and balsamic vinegar, making sure to cover evenly.
5. Place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
6. Stir through the cooked pasta and enjoy! Great hot, or cold as a pasta salad.

Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese – VeganMoFo Day 9

We’re onto week 2 of VeganMoFo 2018! This week is about Dietary Restrictions…which sounds slightly boring but isn’t actually, it’s a good challenge to think about things people can and can’t eat and learn to cook for them. After all, we’re vegans and there are things we can’t eat – shouldn’t we try to be inclusive too?

Today’s prompt is “creamy without nuts”  – a lot of vegan cream/cheese is cashew based, making it unsuitable for those with nut allergies. But there’s an easy way around that – tofu! Using tofu as a cream base is a little old school, but I based it off my gooey cheese sauce which is honestly really good, and has no nuts!


Of course, if you’re cooking for someone with allergies you must be very diligent about what ingredients you use. This recipe has breadcrumbs in – make sure your breadcrumbs are nut free. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to allergies.

I make up the sauce for this pasta, combine it with cooked pasta, top with breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for a crispy topping. It’s so creamy and moreish!


You could use whatever pasta you want for this – shells would work well – but I used macaroni for the pictures!


Creamy Mac & Cheese


  • 250g macaroni pasta, cooked
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 350g silken tofu
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 40g cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt


    Preheat the oven to 180C/355F
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and add the minced garlic, cook until beginning to brown (keep an eye on it as it turns quickly!).
  2. Remove from the heat, and add the tofu, nutritional yeast, salt, cornstarch, and vegetable stock.
  3. Using a stick blender (or transfer to a stand blender) blend the mixture until smooth.
  4. Return the saucepan to a low heat, and whisk continually until the mixture has thickened.
  5. Once thickened, continue to whisk for a further minute, before removing from the heat.
  6. Mix in the cooked pasta, and pour into a baking dish.
  7. Top with the breadcrumbs, and place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until browning on top.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Creamy Courgette Turmeric Pasta – VeganMoFo Day 15

It’s Day 15 of VeganMoFo 2017, which means we’re pretty much halfway through (already!). Today is the last day of “behind the scenes” week and it’s all about spices. What spices do we use, and do we have any favourites? Well, I like to use a huge variety of spices. I would take a photo of my spice cupboard, but to be honest it is not very organised and probably isn’t very interesting! So we’ll talk about one of my favourite spices instead: turmeric.


Turmeric is actually really good for you. It’s not just “that yellow powder that dyes your counter when you spill it” (though it is that too). It contains curcumin, which is what makes it so yellow, and has anti-inflammatory effects, similar to those found in NSAIDs like ibuprofen, only without the whole stomach upset those can cause (BBC). It’s been shown to be useful in treating pain and swelling in people with arthritis too, and there are trials ongoing with regards to other conditions!

It also looks pretty cool. I feel like Delia Smith could easily serve this at a Norwich City club meal and nobody would bat an eyelid. Look at that bright yellow!


You don’t want turmeric to be too raw as it can have a kind of powdery taste. So, when you put it into the mixture, you let it cook for thirty seconds before doing the next step. This cooks the turmeric and gives this dish a delicious savoury flavour!

I also have white beans in this pasta which add to the creaminess, and give a nice protein boost – making this really very good for you!

Courgette Turmeric Pasta


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 medium courgettes, sliced into half moons
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter (or 1 tbsp oil)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tin white kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 500ml unsweetened milk of choice
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Cooked pasta


  1. Begin by melting the vegan butter in a large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, and fry until translucent.
  2. Add the courgette slices and fry for 5-10 minutes, until turning translucent.
  3. Add in the tin of beans, and stir.
  4. Next, add the flour and turmeric, and stir over a high heat for thirty seconds.
  5. Gradually add the milk, constantly stirring, until the sauce thickens.
  6. Stir in the mustard and lemon juice, taste and adjust seasoning.
  7. Stir through the cooked pasta, and serve!

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!



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).

Thanksgiving Pasta – VeganMoFo Day 24

Happy thanksgiving to all the Americans out there! I’m not American, so I had to think a little when it came to finding a thanksgiving inspired meal for today’s VeganMoFo prompt.

It seems that many of the ingredients used in American thanksgiving meals are similar to what we Brits use in Christmas dinners. With a few exceptions like sweet potatoes (and marshmallows?), and nuts like pecans.

I decided to go with what I know – brussels sprouts and cranberries – and add in some American elements – sweet potatoes and pecans. I’m afraid I wasn’t quite brave enough to put marshmallows in my meal.


Rather than doing a big roast, I made pasta! It may not be a traditional thanksgiving meal, but then as a Brit I am not a traditional thanksgiving celebrator. It tasted really good!


The meal itself is pretty simple – just roast the veg, toast the pecans, and cook the pasta. Then stir together the vegetables and pasta, and top with the toasted pecans. So much easier than a full roast dinner!


I also topped my pasta with some of the Sainsbury’s vegan Wensleydale & Cranberries, feeling that this was an appropriate usage of a cheese I wasn’t really sure what to do with. It worked well – so if you have any cheese like this, give it a go.

Thanksgiving Pasta with Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Cranberries and Pecans


  • 3 sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 250g brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 30g cranberries
  • 250g dried pasta
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 60g pecans, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper


    Preheat your oven to 200C/400F
  1. Toss the sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts in the salt and pepper and olive oil, and place on a baking tray (or two if needed).
  2. Place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, add the cranberries, stir, and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta.
  5. Next, in a frying pan, melt the vegan butter, and add the chopped pecans.
  6. Fry until the pecans are fragrant and crisp – 5-10 minutes.
  7. Once the pasta and vegetables are done, drain the pasta and return to the saucepan.
  8. Stir through the roasted vegetables until well mixed.
  9. Serve topped with the toasted pecans!

Chickpea Tahini Pasta – VeganMoFo Day 17

Okay, I cheated a little on this prompt. The prompt is to make food in “a colour you rarely eat” and I just couldn’t think of anything. So I flipped the prompt on its head and decided to go with a colour I always eat – beige. Beige food has a reputation. Fried, carby, bland food is often beige food and this means that beige food has a reputation for not being particularly good. Not so with this meal! It may be beige but it is healthy, packed with protein from the chickpeas, and tastes delicious!


With the addition of tahini giving this dish a nice sharp flavour – tahini pairs so well with chickpeas (see: hummus) and parsley stirred though at the end to lighten it up, this is one of my favourite pasta dishes!


Seen above served with my homemade garlic bread, this meal is so warming and comforting and creamy!

Chickpea Tahini Pasta


  • 180g pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 15g parsley, chopped
  • salt + pepper


  1. Begin by frying the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the cumin, and cook for thirty seconds, stirring constantly.
  3. Next, add three quarters of the chickpeas (leave the rest aside for now), the nutritional yeast, tahini, vegetable stock, and lemon juice.
  4. Stir well, and simmer for ten minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta to your specifications!
  6. Either use a stick blender, or transfer the mixture to a stand-alone blender, and blend until smooth.
  7. Next, add the rest of the chickpeas and the parsley, and cook for a further five minutes.
  8. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, then stir through the pasta and serve!