Danielle’s Smashing Pumpkins

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This is a post that I now revive at this time every year. Now with added recipe card first spotted and used by our featured blogger Hannah of Moving Scouse. If you haven’t tried this recipe yet, you are missing out.

Pumpkins are not just for Hallowe’en you know. As well as carving them out to make some scary lanterns, you can save the insides and make things with it.

My wife Danielle likes to make muffins and is always on the lookout for interesting recipes. With all All Hallows Eve approaching Danielle found a receipe for pumpkin muffins, but for some reason decided to add chocolate chips. Thus was born what I now call her Smashing Pumpkins.

Seriously you’ve got to try them. Muffins are usually cake-like and can be a bit dry, but with the pumpkin in there they become moist and I can’t stop eating them !

Below is a recipe I’ve adapted for some Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins in time for Hallowe’en and for World Vegan Day on November 1st.

 [yumprint-recipe id=’1′]

Recipe: Blind Scouse

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There is a very well known local dish called Scouse, which is a type of lamb or beef stew. But there’s also a vegetarian (and better) version.

For anyone who hasn’t seen or tried this yet, here is the recipe via the Vegetarian Society:

Blind Scouse

Blind Scouse
Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes



  • 1 leek, washed well and cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
  • 3 medium (500g) potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
  • 3- 4 (300g) carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1-2 handfuls pearl barley (soaked overnight in cold water or soaked in boiling water for an hour)
  • 1ltr vegetable stock
  • 1x 410g can butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • to taste salt and pepper

To serve:

– Herb dumplings
– Pickled red cabbage, or chopped pickled beetroot (optional)


1. For the Scouse: Put all ingredients except the butter beans in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Add the butter beans, return to the boil then add the dumplings (if using). Replace lid and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Serve in soup plates.

Dumplings (optional)
(Makes about 16)

  • 125g self raising flour
  • 50g vegetable suet
  • 1tbs onion, peeled and very finely chopped
  • 2tsp dried mixed herbs
  • to taste salt and pepper
  • 100ml very cold water

Mix all dry ingredients. Just before adding to the Scouse, mix in enough cold water to make a rather sticky dough. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls into the boiling soup and continue as point 2.

This recipe © The Vegetarian Society

Recipe: Sticky Toffee Pudding

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A yummy dessert that you might want to make this festive season: Sticky Toffee Pudding !
Sticky Toffee Pudding
This can be served with ice cream or a non dairy option.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Serves: 8
Oven Temperature: 180°C/350°F/Gas 4

Cooking Time: 30 minutes


  • 175g (7 oz) soft brown sugar
  • 50g (2 oz) margarine (or Vitalite)
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp soya milk
  • 175g (7 oz) finely chopped dates
  • 225g (9 oz) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp baking powder
  • 275ml (1/2 pint) boiling water
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking powder is fine if you don’t have any)
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • For the sauce:

  • 50g (2 oz) margarine (or Vitalite)
  • 75g (3 oz) soft brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp soya cream


1. Cream together margarine and sugar. (This is a fairly low fat recipe so the mixture will be crumbly at first rather than creamy!)
2. In a cup, whisk the vegetable oil and soya milk with a fork. Stir it into the margarine and sugar mixture.
3. Put the chopped dates in a medium sized bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the self raising flour, the bicarbonate of soda and the vanilla essence. Pour on the boiling water – it will fizz up!
4. Fold the flour and baking powder into the margarine mixture. If the mixture becomes too dry, add some of the liquid from the dates.
5. Finally add the dates and all of the liquid. Blend it together and pour into a greased/lined 7″x11″ baking tray.
6. Cook for about 30 – 35 minutes at 180°C/350°F until cooked.

7. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Melt the margarine over a low heat and then add the sugar. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Stir in the vegan cream and pour the toffee sauce over the cake when it comes out of the oven. Put the cake under the grill for a couple of minutes until the sauce bubbles.
8. Serve with vegan cream or ice cream.

Recipe originally posted on & © www.parsleysoup.co.uk

Niki’s Recipes from Come Dine With Me

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Reposted again: The recipes that Niki used for her vegan menu on Come Dine With Me:

Come Dine with Niki

» Baked Avocado On A Bed Of Aparagus With Vegan Bacon In A Cream Sauce

Serves 5


  • 2½ ripe avocados
  • 1 carton of soya cream
  • 1 pack of redwood’s vegan bacon
  • a medium sized bunch of asparagus


Set oven to its lowest setting.
Cut each avocado in half lengthways and remove the stone, place on a baking tray and gently warm the avocado in a low oven. While they are warming cut the vegan bacon into strips and gently fry it in a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Once the bacon is slightly crispy remove from pan and drain on kitchen paper.

Gently warm the soya cream in a pan and add the vegan bacon and mix well. Set to one side and lightly steam the asparagus until it’s cooked. It’s good to leave it fairly crunchy.

Once the asparagus is cooked, gently re-heat the soya cream and bacon mixture, take the avocados from the oven and place on a starter plate.
Fan the asparagus out over to one side of the plate and pour the soya cream mixture into each avocado.

Pics of Niki's menu

» Mashed Aubergine And Spinach Curry Served With Lemon Quinoa And Chapatti Bread

Serves 5


For the curry

  • 4 large aubergines
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large bag of spinach
  • 3 tins of chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic


  • 2 tsp of ginger powder
  • 2 tsp of cumin powder
  • 2 tsp of garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp of tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp of chilli power
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds


Preheat oven to 200°c (390°F)
Gently fry the chopped onions in four tablespoons of oil, add the spices and stir well. Once the onions have softened, set the pan to one side.

Put some oil on a piece of kitchen paper and rub the aubergines all over, then prick them about three times with a fork, place on a baking tray and put in the oven on a high heat for about 30 mins. Check them after about 10 mins and turn them over until they’re slightly charred on the outside.

Take the aubergines from the oven and cut them down one side and take the tops off. Open them up and carefully scoop the flesh out and place in a bowl. Mash the flesh with a fork.
Now put the spice and onion mixture back on the hob and heat gently, add the mashed aubergine and stir well.

Wash the spinach, break it up into small pieces and add to the pan. Stir well then add your chopped tomatoes.
Leave for about 10 mins on a low heat then add your crushed garlic and coriander, stir well and gently heat for another 15 mins.

If possible leave the curry for a couple of hours to stand and reheat just before serving.

For the Quinoa


  • 1 pack of quinoa (a handful of quinoa per person plus one for good luck!)
  • 1 fresh lemon


Put the quinoa in a pan and add just enough boiling water to cover the grains.
Boil until translucent and simmer gently with the pan covered for about 5 mins.

Remove from the heat and leave the pan covered.
Add the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon and keep covered until serving time.

Once ready to serve scoop out with a drainer spoon to remove any excess water and serve immediately.

For the Chapatis

Remove chapati’s from the packet and gently heat each side over a gas flame. Keep turning them over until they slightly bubble, serve immediately.

» Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Serves 5


  • 2 packs of silken tofu
  • 2 bars of vegan plain chocolate
  • Tia Maria (couple of lidfuls)


Empty the tofu into a large bowl, blend down with a hand blender and set to one side.
Gently melt the chocolate over the hob and then mix the melted chocolate into the tofu and carry on blending. Add your Tia Maria and blend in once more.

Once fully blended put in a bowl and leave to stand in the fridge for about an hour.

These recipes © copyright Niki O’Leary/Channel 4.

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Recipe: Two Potato Vindaloo

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Here’s one that I know our Niki will like. Found via the Guardian.

Two potato vindaloo

Two Potato Vindaloo


  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large shallots (about 150g each)
  • ½ tsp brown mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp fenugreek
  • 25 curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 50ml cider vinegar
  • 400ml water
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • Salt
  • 400g (net weight) waxy potato, peeled and cut into 2.5cm dice
  • 2 small red peppers, cored and cut into 2cm dice
  • 400g (net weight) sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2.5cm dice
  • Mint or coriander leaves, to serve


Dry-roast the cumin, coriander and cardamom in a small frying pan until they begin to pop. Transfer to a mortar, add the cloves and work with a pestle to a fine powder, discarding the cardamom skins once the seeds are released. Add the turmeric, paprika and cinnamon, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pot. Add the shallots, mustard seeds and fenugreek, and sauté on high heat for eight minutes, or until the shallots brown. Stir in the curry leaves, ginger, chilli and ground spices, and cook for another three minutes.

Add the tomatoes, vinegar, water, sugar and some salt, bring to a boil and leave to simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and peppers, and simmer for another 20 minutes. Now add the sweet potatoes, make sure all the vegetables are just immersed in the sauce (add more water if needed) and continue cooking, covered, for about 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove the lid and leave to bubble away for about 10 minutes, to reduce and thicken the sauce.

Serve hot with plain rice and garnished with the herb leaves.

A Pizza for November Vegan Month

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November is Vegan Month and Tony over at World Vegetarian and Vegan News has details of a Vegan Pizza recipe:

Vegan Pizza

Recipe for a ‘Healthy Vegan Pizzaz Pizza’ with 64 ingredients is a Recipe for Success for Restaurant Trade Say Foods for Life

To celebrate 65 years of veganism (65 years since Donald Watson founded The Vegan Society and created the word ‘Vegan’) Foods for Life Nutrition has devised a special birthday healthy vegan ‘Pizzaz Pizza’ recipe.

Inspired by The Paul McCartney song lyrics, ‘Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64’, The ‘Foods for Life Pizzaz Pizza’ encompasses all the core values and fundamental elements that 64 years of veganism stand for. These include compassion for the environment, people, health and animals.

The pizza recipe has 64 ingredients, an ingredient to mark every year of The Vegan Society’s 64 year history in which they have encouraged people to eat more fruit and vegetables and plant based protein.

Celebrity Foods for Life TV Nutritionist Yvonne Bishop-Weston says “Over 88% of us still don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables. It’s estimated 12% of the UK don’t eat any fruit and vegetables at all! As one of the most ubiquitous fast foods and probably the least healthy we decided to target the humble mass produced Pizza and give it a gourmet, optimum nutrition makeover”

Yvonne’s vegan husband Tony, author of a new vegan cookbook by Lorenz called ‘The Complete Book of Vegan Cooking’ says “We thought it would be a good way to mark World Vegan Day on November 1st and Veganism’s 64th birthday with a vegan pizza recipe with 64 nutritious ingredients”

“Our pizza recipe is not only a delicious feast but is veggie-liciously packed with vegetables, complex carbohydrates, protein, essential fats, vitamins, minerals – rich in the basic nutrients you need to move towards a healthier lifestyle” says Yvonne.

At around 730 calories a typical pepperoni pizza has nearly as much fat, even more carbohydrates and less protein than a McDonalds double Quarter pounder with cheese.

A 6 slice medium pan Pizza Hut Pepperoni Pizza has 2112 Kcals, 117g of fat, 164g of carbohydrates, 10g of salt and 101g of protein.

Foods for Life are committed to encouraging a healthier choice on restaurant menus.

» Click to view the recipe

All We Are Saying… Is Give Peas A Chance…

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Alright…stop throwing those peas, you’ll need them for a recipe…


I was browsing the messages on the ScouseVeg Mailing/Discussion list [sign up here] when I saw a forwarded newsletter from the Peas website. Yes there is a website. Yes they have a newsletter. I myself love mushy peas but was also interested on what else you could do with the humble pea.

On the pea website they have a big selection of vegetarian pea recipes and I’ve chosen one which you could make for – if you are having one – a New Years Eve party:

Pea Guacamole

Pea Guacamole
Time taken: 10 mins/Serves: 4


  • 450g/1lb bag frozen peas
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • tabasco


Cook peas for 3-4 minutes in lightly salted boiling water or until tender. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Put the peas into a food processor with all the remaining ingredients (apart from a sprinkling of the chopped chilli). Pulse until mixture is crushed but not completely smooth.

Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a few drops of Tabasco as required. For a spicier Guacamole add more Tabasco. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining chopped chilli. Ideal as a dip or to serve as a starter with blinis and vegan sour cream.

This recipe © peas.org.

Beetroot and Avocado Salad

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This is via The Guardian > Life & Style > The new vegetarian series.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s beetroot & avocado salad

Yotam Ottolenghi is chef/patron of Ottolenghi in London.

Beetroot and Avocado Salad - pic by Colin Campbell for the Guardian

“This nourishing creation can probably be dubbed a superfood salad, a term I try not to use much, mainly because I am not sure what it actually means. Still, there is so much good stuff in here that it makes you feel very healthy and conscientious indeed. Served as it is, it can be a very substantial meal – just scatter a few roasted hazelnuts and/or chunks of creamy goat’s cheese over the top, and you need nothing else. Serves four to six.”


  • 4 medium raw beetroots (around 350g in total)
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra to finish
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 1-3 tsp savoury chilli sauce or paste (Tabasco or Mexican Cholula hot sauce, for instance)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium avocados, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 10g coriander leaves
  • 10g mint leaves
  • 20g pea shoots (or, failing that, lamb’s lettuce)
  • 150g broad beans, blanched, refreshed and skinned (or frozen soya beans, quickly blanched and refreshed)


Peel the beetroots and slice them very thinly, around 2-3mm thick – if you have one, use a mandolin. (If your beets are large, halve them after peeling, then cut into slices.) Put the beetroot in a pot with plenty of boiling water and simmer for three to five minutes, until semi-cooked; it should still be crunchy. Drain and put in a large bowl.

Add the red onion, vinegar, oil, sugar, chilli sauce, salt and pepper to the beetroot bowl and toss everything together gently – your hands are the best tool for this. Leave to one side for 10-15 minutes, then taste and see if you want to add more sugar, salt or vinegar – it needs to be sharp and sweetish.

When you’re ready to serve, spread half the beetroot mixture on a large platter or in a shallow bowl. Top with half the avocado, coriander, mint, pea shoots and broad beans. Add the rest of the beetroot and arrange the remaining ingredients on top. Drizzle with a little oil and serve.

» Link to article

Take Two Chefs

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I know, not a very original title…

Wanted to get this out before last week but time got away from me, so here now is a feature on two American chefs who specialize in vegetarian and vegan recipes. No meat, just veg.

They have both managed to become famous via a couple of celebrity daytime chat shows and on these programmes they promote and cook healthy – but especially vegan & vegetarian recipes.

Roberto Martin

Roberto MartinOriginally he never expected to be a chef, when he was growing up he was always around food. Roberto comes from a huge Mexican family and was the youngest of 15 kids. He would watch his mother cook for all his brothers, sisters, friends and family.

Roberto went to school at Cal State Fullerton as a Political Science major, and to pay for school went to work as a waiter. Eventually he got a job at a higher quality restaurant and soon convinced them to let him work in the kitchen.

After studying at the Culinary Institute of America, someone suggested that Roberto should become a personal chef and eventually found himself cooking for celebrities.

One of the families he worked for had a child with juvenile diabetes, and that is when he started focusing more on nutrition and health. Roberto revamped most of what he had learned in school and this acted as a platform for his vegan cooking.

He is now a personal chef for Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.

» Read more

– Here is a clip of him on the EllenDeGeneres Show making a vegan pot pie:

The next chef is a favourite of the big Ope and has a cook book out.

Tal Ronnen

Tal RonnenTal Ronnen started the nonprofit education organization Veg Advantage in 2004 to help food-service operators integrate vegetarian options into their menus. Tal is a graduate of New York City’s Natural Gourmet Institute and has many years of experience working with food-service manufacturers, distributors and operators.

Tal has performed cooking demonstrations on numerous television shows including Oprah Winfrey, and often works with hotels, including Hyatt and Hilton; schools, including New York University; and corporate dining halls, including America Online’s headquarters and Yahoo!, to assist with vegetarian menu options.

In 2007, Tal assisted Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders in opening her restaurant, VegiTerranean in Akron, Ohio

» Read more

In this clip below Tal is seen on an entertainment show talking about vegan food.

As mentioned Tal has a recipe book out: The Conscious Cook – Which you can buy via Amazon

Additional Notes:

Both chefs above use a product called Gardein in their recipes.
(Gardein is a line of plant-based foods with a meaty texture. It is made from a blend of soy, wheat and pea proteins, vegetables and ancient grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet, and kamut). Gardein is free of cholesterol, trans fats and saturated fat; the majority of gardein foods are low fat, too. gardein products are vegan-friendly.) Wiki.

Sadly this product is only on sale in the USA and Canada, but there is
Grassingtons who produce a range of vegan foods with gardein ingredients.

Another Note:
I found the info about these two chefs via Vegetarian Star, a great website for all your vegetarian celebrity news. I embedded alternative video clips on here because the clips mentioned in the following stories might be blocked in the UK:

Roberto Martin
Tal Ronnen

Happy Veggie de Mayo !

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(Showing a bit of love to the Mexicans who are going though a hell of a time right now)

Today is Cinco de Mayo and in Mexico, which is an annual holiday.

And to celebrate this Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) here are some Veggie & Vegan Mexican recipes found via About.com:

30 Second Chili “Cheese” Dip

With just two pre-made ingredients, this recipe is super easy and super yummy, which are two of my favorite qualities in a recipe! Serve with in bowl with a plateful of corn tortilla chips for a quick, though not exactly authentic, appetizer.

Basic Vegan Guacamole Recipe

Guacamole doesn’t have to be fancy to taste great! This recipe is simple enough for anyone to make, but tastes absolutely great. Make sure you are using a good quality avocado, because guacamole is all about the flavor of the avocado. Serve in a bowl next to your chili “cheese” dip and chips!

Webbie's Note: This is my particular favourite. Love avocado. Love Guacamole.

Easy Mushroom Fajitas

These mushrooms fajitas have just a few simple ingredients and a few Mexican spices, so they are quick and easy to prepare. Serve wrapped in a flour tortilla and topped with a spoonful of sour cream.

Sweet Mexican Tortilla Chips

These are a sweet treat that kids and adults alike will love, and they take just a few minutes to prepare. Serve as a dessert, or as an appetizer with fresh fruit salsa.

Mexican Chocolate Cake

Inspired by Mexican Hot Chocolate, made famous by the movie “Chocolat”, this vegan recipe uses both cinnamon and cayenne to get a spicy chocolate flavor. Yum!

» See all the recipes