Real vegetarian food, served in an imaginary world...

Tuesday, 1 August 2023


 2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
1 red onion, chopped
100g cheddar cheese, grated
4 vegetarian bacon slices
oil for frying

Serves 2

Place the potatoes in a pan of boiling water.
Bring back to the boil and simmer until soft. Then drain.
Heat a little oil and fry the vegetarian bacon. 
Remove it from the pan and cut it onto small pieces.
Fry the onion in the same pan, adding a little more oil if needed.
Place a third of the potato in the bottom of the dish. Top with half the onion, half the ‘bacon’ and one-third of the cheese.
Finish with a final layer of potato and season well.
Top with the remaining cheese.
Cook at Gas 7, 220˚ C 425˚ F for about 30 minutes until the cheese has started to brown and bubble.

Sunday, 25 June 2023

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - GEORGE MICHAEL

25th June, 1963. Sixty years ago. The birth of Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in East Finchley.  
The world would later come to know him (and Zelda would come to love him) as George Michael, first as half of the duo Wham! and later as a solo artist. He died on Christmas Day in 2016. 

George was a beautiful soul who found it hard to cope with fame, fortune and the pressures they brought. After his death, many charities revealed how much he had privately supported them for years.

His song Careless Whisper is one of the greatest ever written.

When Zelda has George for a meal, she will be serving this (with thanks to Dr Spooner) as a happy memory of one of the best summers of her youth. 

Here is Wham Rap:

And here is: 'HAM' WRAP

1 egg, beaten
4tbsp self-raising flour
200ml milk
2 wholemeal wraps
30g cheddar, grated
4 slices vegetarian ‘ham’
2tbsp onion chutney
spray oil
fresh coriander leaves to serve

Serves 2

Place each wrap on a plate and coat with the onion chutney.
Whisk the egg, flour and milk to make a batter.
Spray a non-stick pan and heat.
Pour half the batter into the pan and tip so that all the base is coated.
Cook until the batter bubbles and the base is firm.
Turn the pancake and cook the other side.
Keep warm while you repeat to make the second pancake.
Place the pancakes on top of the wraps.
Cover with the ‘ham’ and cheese.
Roll from one side and place on the plate sealed side down.
Top with a few coriander leaves.

Wednesday, 7 June 2023


8 little gem leaves
1 carrot, chopped into matchsticks
1tbsp caster sugar
1tbsp white wine vinegar
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp chilli powder
1tsp light soy sauce
2tbsp honey
1 onion, finely chopped
2tsp crushed garlic
150g quorn mince
1tsp Marmite
100ml vegetable stock
oil for cooking
2 tsp sesame seeds

Place the carrots in a small bowl with the caster sugar and white wine vinegar. Set aside.
Make the sauce by combining the ginger, chilli powder, soy sauce and honey. Set aside.
Heat a little oil and cook the onion until almost soft.
Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
Add the mince, stock and Marmite and simmer to allow the liquid to absorb.
Pour in the sauce and reduce until everything is sticky. 
Place in a bowl.
Drain the carrots and place back in the small bowl. Top with the sesame seeds.
Serve with the lettuce leaves.

Tuesday, 6 June 2023

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - MIKE FISHER

Mike Fisher is the landlord of the 'Nag's Head' in Peckham. This is the pub in so many memorable scenes from Only Fools and Horses.
Every time Zelda goes into a pub of that name, she thinks of Rodney falling through the bar. 
Mike was played by Kenneth MacDonald and is part of a long list of pub landlords from the golden age of the TV sitcom. In the below episode, he is keen to promote his pub food. The Mushroom and Tarragon Pie is a current pub classic which Zelda has recreated for him.


1tbsp olive oil
20g butter
1 large onion, chopped
1tsp chopped garlic
150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
150ml vegetarian gravy (easy to make with 1tsp Bisto)
1tbsp crème fraiche
1½ tsp chopped tarragon
1½tsp chopped parsley
½ sheet pre-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Serves 2

Heat the oil and butter in a pan and cook the onion for a few minutes. Then add the garlic and the mushrooms.
Cook through so that the mushrooms have softened.
Pour in the gravy and allow to reduce.
Let this cool a little and then add the crème fraiche and the herbs.
Place in the pie dish and top with the pastry and crimp.
Glaze with the beaten egg and cook at Gas 6/ 200˚C for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden.

Lovely jubbly!
Great served with Air Fryer Chips and Baked Beans 

Monday, 13 February 2023

A Meal For...A Romantic Evening

A lovely warming dish to share for a romantic night in.


4 ‘meaty’ vegetarian sausages, defrosted if frozen
1 can chopped tomatoes
50g split red lentils
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large red onion, peeled and chopped
1 eating apple, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2tsp dried herbs
1tbsp tomato puree
200ml vegetable stock
1tbsp olive oil
115g self raising flour
25g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
60g cheese, grated
1 small egg, lightly beaten
75ml milk

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the sausages until just browned. 
Remove and set aside. When cool enough to touch, cut each into three slices.
Meanwhile, cook the onions in the same pan until just changing colour. 
Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
Pour in the chopped tomatoes and add the parsnip, carrot and apple.
Add the tomato puree, the stock, herbs, the sausage pieces and the lentils and mix all together well. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer gently for a few minutes.
Transfer to an ovenproof dish and cover. (A tight foil lid works well.)
Cook at 180˚C/ Gas 4 for about an hour, checking half way through and adding a bit more stock if necessary.
Make the cobbler topping by mixing the butter with the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Mix the egg with the milk and pour enough of this into the flour to make a dough. Reserve the rest.
Bring it all together with your hands and then roll out on a floured surface to be about the thickness of a pound coin.
Cut the hearts out using a cutter. (Use circles if you prefer.)
Remove the dish from the oven and check that the veg is fairly soft.
Then place the topping around the sides.
Brush with the remaining milk mixture and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
Place back into the oven and cook at 200˚C/ Gas 6 for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve in the dish with some herbs if you like.
Or make into individual portions.

Monday, 26 December 2022

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - SYLVIA PLATH

Sylvia Plath, literary icon of the 1960s, is Zelda's latest dinner guest. 

She only lived to be 30, but her short stories, poems and exceptional novel, The Bell Jar, ensured her place as one of the most respected writers of the 20th Century. 

Mushrooms, one of her most famous poems, is an extended metaphor for the struggle she - and other women - had to be heard and taken seriously.

Overnight, very
Whitely, discreetly,
Very quietly

Our toes, our noses
Take hold on the loam,
Acquire the air.

Nobody sees us,
Stops us, betrays us;
The small grains make room.

Soft fists insist on
Heaving the needles,
The leafy bedding,

Even the paving.
Our hammers, our rams,
Earless and eyeless,

Perfectly voiceless,
Widen the crannies,
Shoulder through holes. We

Diet on water,
On crumbs of shadow,
Bland-mannered, asking

Little or nothing.
So many of us!
So many of us!

We are shelves, we are
Tables, we are meek,
We are edible,

Nudgers and shovers
In spite of ourselves.
Our kind multiplies:

We shall by morning
Inherit the earth.
Our foot's in the door.


Serves 2 - 4 

4 quorn fillets
600ml vegetable stock
2 leeks, cleaned, split in half and roughly chopped
6 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2tbsp olive oil
25g butter
1tbsp plain flour
150g low-fat soft cheese
4tbsp double cream

Heat the stock in a saucepan and poach the quorn fillets for about ten minutes.
Remove the fillets and set aside, keeping the stock warm.
Meanwhile, place the leeks and mushrooms in a large pan with the butter and oil.
Cook over a low heat until softened.
Add the flour and stir well to coat. 
Then add enough of the stock to make a gravy which just covers the vegetables.
Stir in the soft cheese and add the double cream. 
Replace the fillets and heat through, allowing the sauce to thicken a little.
Serve with rice, potatoes or additional vegetables of your choice.

Saturday, 24 December 2022


 Serves 2 (can be multiplied)

4 Quorn fillets
1 red onion, peeled and chopped finely
1tbsp oil
2tbsp soft cheese
5tsp cranberry sauce
vegetable stock

Heat the stock and add the quorn fillets. Poach for about 10 minutes.
Remove and dry.
Cook the onion gently in the oil until soft.
Transfer to a bowl and mix with the soft cheese and the cranberry sauce.
Cut 2 squares of cooking foil. Lay one on the table and place one of the fillets in the middle. 
Top with half of the cranberry mixture.
Place another fillet on top and roll up lengthways. Pinch and twist the ends to make a cracker shape. 
Repeat and then place both on a baking tray.
Cook at Gas 7/ 220˚C for about 20 minutes.
Place on plate to serve if accompanying with veg and trimmings. 
Or, unwrap in advance and serve with a mix another 2tsp of cranberry sauce with some hot water.