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

Thursday, 19 December 2019


Serves 2

2 medium eggs
1tbsp milk
2 slices bread
20g butter

Whisk the eggs and milk in a bowl.

Soak each slice of bread on both sides until saturated.
Heat 10g butter at a time until it froths.
Cook on both sides until lovely and brown.
Cut in half to serve
Lovely with a veggie brunch of vegetarian sausages and beans

Tuesday, 17 December 2019


2 medium onions
4 – 5 carrots
1 large sweet potato
3 medium potatoes
3 parsnips
1 medium swede
1tbsp oil
½tsp curry powder
3 litres vegetable stock
50g suet
100g self raising flour
pinch of salt

First make the stew
Peel all the vegetables and chop into similar sized pieces.
Place potato pieces in a bowl of water and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan with a lid.
Fry the onion gently. Then add the curry powder and fry for a minute more.
Pour in the stock. Then add all the vegetables apart from the potato.
Bring to the boil.
Place on a low heat and simmer, covered for about half an hour.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings
Mix the suet, flour and salt.
Stir in about 5tbsp water to make a firm dough.
Cut into 8 pieces.
With lightly floured hands, roll each into a ball.

About 25 minutes before serving, add the drained potato pieces and bring back to the boil.
Place the dumplings on the top.
Replace the lid and simmer for about 20 minutes until stew is fully cooked and dumplings are light and fluffy.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019


250g button mushrooms
2 eggs, beaten
100g panko breadcrumbs (other types will do, but these are really crunchy)
100g plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
sunflower oil for frying
Wash the mushrooms, rather than brush them, as the extra moisture will help the coating to stick. 

Set out three bowls or plates for the eggs, flour and breadcrumbs. 
Place each in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. 
Heat the oil, then cook the mushrooms, in batches if necessary. 
Turn as necessary and remove when crispy and golden.
Can be served with a dip of choice.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019


2 onions, finely sliced
½tsp baking powder
½tsp chilli powder
½tsp turmeric
100g gram flour
oil for frying

Makes 4

Soak the onions in a bowl of water while you prepare the batter.
Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl.
Mix in the rest with about 100ml of cold water.
Drain the onions and add them to the mixture.

Heat the oil. You need it to be a couple of centimetres deep.
Place spoonfuls of the mixture in the oil and fry both sides until golden brown and crispy. Fry in batches.
Drain on absorbent paper.
Serve with coriander and a mint sauce.

Monday, 2 December 2019


How sad, last week, to hear of the untimely death of Gary Rhodes. He made cooking seem fun and accessible, and he also did a great deal to elevate British cuisine and give it back its pride.
This is his recipe for what he called 'Vegetarian Sausage Rolls'. I have re-named it as it is a fantastic alternative, not a substitute, and deserves acclaim in its own right.

As Gary, himself, said: "If you're wondering what a vegetarian sausage roll is: simple, fantastic; that's what it is."

I have to say, these little beauties are absolutely delicious. They conform to Gary's own standards, by taking a British classic and giving it a 'twist', in this case the cayenne pepper. 

Indulgent and spicy, these will definitely be making these again (and again). 

I have re-ordered the instructions slightly to make it easier to have everything ready when needed. I have also added conversions for amounts and cooking temperatures. The rest is all Gary's. 


To make the pastry: 
175g self raising flour
75g vegetable suet
pinch of salt 
about 6-8 tbsp water

To make the filling:
175g strong cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1tsp cayenne pepper

You will also need: 
1 egg, beaten
knob of butter for greasing

Start by preparing the filling.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. 
Set aside until needed.

Make the pastry.
Mix all the ingredients together until you have a pliable dough.
Place it on a floured surface and work it to mix in the suet and give it a smooth texture.
Make it into a roll and cut it in half.
Dust the surface and roll out the first half until you have a rectangle of about 10" by 4" (25cm by 10cm).
Brush water around the border.
Place half the filling inside and press down.
Roll it up from the long side.
Dust again and lightly roll through the flour to seal the base.
Cut into 5.
Repeat with the other half of pastry and filling.
Place all on a buttered baking tray. 
Brush the egg wash over the top of each.
Cook at 220°C Gas 7/ 428°F for 15-20 minutes or, until as Gary says they: "Go all squishy and the juices run. They might not look the most shapely in the world, but they are the most flavoursome."
Allow to cool on rack.
Serve as part of a picnic, or as part of a meal. 

Monday, 25 November 2019


This is hot in both senses of the word. Make it even hotter with extra chilli powder.

1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
100g red lentils
500ml vegetable stock
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1tsp hot chilli powder
1tbsp olive oil
2tsp dried, mixed herbs

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and peppers until they begin to soften.

Add the chilli powder and cook for a minute more.
Pour in the stock and the tomatoes.
Add the herbs and lentils and season.
Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for about twenty minutes.
Blend, then return to the pan.
Adjust the seasoning and reheat when needed.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Fantasy Veggie Dinner Guest - ELSIE WRIGHT

What a lovely idea! We all want to believe in fairies. My Mum and I even added a 'secret door' to a tree stump in the garden once.

In 1917, Elsie Wright, along with her cousin Frances Griffiths, produced a series of pictures which seemed to prove that these little creatures really did exist. Even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was convinced. 

So, these are for Elsie:


For the buns
125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
150g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder

For the topping
About 6tbsp strawberry jam
100g butter, softened
200g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1tbsp milk
Sugar strands

Line a 12 hole cake tray with paper cases.
Cream the butter in a bowl until soft. (Use an electric mixer, if you  like, as I did, to make it easier.)
Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, then mix in the flour and baking powder.
Spoon into the cases.
Cook for 8-10 minutes at 190°C/ 375°F/ Gas 5 for about 10 minutes until springy and golden.
Allow to cool for a while, then place on a rack to finish cooling, the cut the tops off each bun. (You can enjoy eating them).
Spread the jam over each bun.
Make the buttercream by combining the softened butter with the icing sugar, then mixing in the vanilla extract and loosening with the milk. 
Place on top of the jam.
Decorate with the sugar strands.