Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad – VeganMoFo Day 8

Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is all about salad. Yeah, the thing that we as vegans apparently eat a whole ton of. Just leaves, right? What else can we eat? (I hope I don’t have to answer that, if you’ve been reading this blog!) But salad can actually be nice. If I’m honest, most of the salad I eat is in sandwiches or burgers, but sometimes I fancy making a salad for dinner. I tend to make it nice and hearty though.


This butternut squash and chickpea salad is perfect for this time of year. It’s served warm, with the squash and chickpeas roasted in the oven, and the pepperiness of the rocket – also, I learnt, called arugula in the US – compliments the sweet tinge of the squash in a wonderful way.


If you’ve never tried roasting chickpeas, please give this a go! Roasting them brings out their nutty flavour and gives a nice crispness to them.

I’ll also explain how I make my salad dressing. I use an old mustard jar, washed clean, but you could mix it in a bowl with a fork/whisk, or use any clean jar you have. Put the dressing ingredients in, and just shake it! Shake it hard (with the lid on, of course), until it all emulsifies and forms a lovely dressing.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad


  • 1 butternut squash, cut into bitesize chunks
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • few grinds black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Rocket/arurgula, to serve
  • 1 tsp mustard (the hot stuff)
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt + pepper


    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
  1. Begin by placing the cubed squash on a baking tray with the chickpeas. Stir in the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and olive oil.
  2. Place the tray in the oven for forty minutes, giving it all a stir once halfway.
  3. Meanwhile make the dressing. In a jar, add the mustard, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt & pepper, and shake until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. To serve, place rocket on a plate, top with the chickpea butternut squash mixture, and drizzle over salad dressing.

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
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    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.