Thursday, 1 November 2012

Vegan chocolate tart!

My number 1 weakness...chocolate. I love it. Any shape, size, colour. Gimme. I cannot seem to get enough.
This tart is so easy you won't believe it, the only hard part is waiting for it to cool in the fridge so you can eat it!! It's rich, creamy and oh so chocolatey. Addictive.

Serves: 12          Prep time: 1hr 15 mins plus cooling time        Cooking time: 10 mins


175g digestive biscuits
85g butter, melted
300g plain chocolate, broken into chunks (make sure to read the label and check it is vegan- most cooking chocolate is vegan!)
600ml tub of soya cream (I used alpro soya)
25g icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Line a 20cm round loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment and line the sides with a long strip.
2. Crush biscuits in a bag with the end of a rolling pin (great anger management therapy!!)
3. Melt the butter and stir the biscuits into the melted mixture. Press the butter and biscuits mixture into the bottom of the cake tin and chill in fridge for 10 mins.
4. Whilst chilling melt the chocolate (you can melt however you choose but the obvious way is in bowl over pan of boiling water)
5. Take pan off heat but leave over warm water and add cream until you get a smooth and thick chocolate sauce.
6. Sift in the icing sugar and stir in the vanilla extract. Take off warm water and leave to cool for 10 mins.
7. Take tin out of fridge and pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the chilled biscuit base. Then return to fridge to chill for at least 5 hrs until firm and set.
8. Remove from fridge, take out of the tin and peel of paper. Move to plate and serve!

Of course if you are pushed for time, this keeps well for a few days in the fridge so can easily be prepared a couple of days beforehand!

Serve with cream or ice cream for a super indulgent taste!

If you are a chocolate addict, this is a must. It would be great decorated as a Christmas pudding or just as a general treat!


L xo

Vegan Red Dragon Pie

Growing up in a english boarding school, Shepherds pie has always been a staple dish and to be quite honest, not one of my favourites. However, this vegan take on Shepherds pie has captured by british heart! It is not a quick recipe but if you are prepared and have plenty of time, it is a great one!

Serves: 4            Prep time: overnight + about 2hrs on the day            Cooking time: 35-40 mins


110g aduki beans
50g wheat grains or rice
1.1 litres water for soaking, another 1.1 litres water for boiling
1 tbsp oil (we used coconut oil)
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
225g carrots, scrubbed and diced
1-2 tbsp soy sauce 
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp mixed herbs
275ml aduki bean stock (the water the beans were boiled in)
Salt and pepper to season
450g peeled potatoes
25g dairy-free butter


1. Wash the aduki beans and the grains or rice, depending on which you are using, and soak in water overnight.
2. Set oven to gas mark 4/ 350 F/ 180 C.
3. Next day, drain the beans and bring them to boil in fresh water. Cook for 50 mins until fairly soft. 
4. Drain again, reserving the water which they were boiled in for later (called stock).
5. Heat oil in saucepan and fry chopped onions for 5 mins. Add carrots and cook for a further 2-3 mins. Then add the cooked beans and grains/rice.
6. Mix the soy sauce, tomato puree, herbs and stock together. Pour this mixture into vegetable and bean mixture. 
7. Bring this new mixture to boil and then allow to simmer for 20-30 mins until moist.
8. Whilst waiting boil potatoes until soft and mash with the butter. Then season.
9. Take the vegetable/ bean mixture of the heat and transfer to a greased casserole dish.
10. Spread the mashed potato over the top of the bean/ vegetable mixture in the dish.
11. Bake for 30-40 mins until top of mash is crisp and brownish.

Serve with hot veggies like broccoli, runner beans or peas. 

Enjoy your hearty british meal!

L xo

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Every week we have a curry night at home and because chick peas are so cheap and full of protein, they make for great curry ingredients! This is a particularly tasty chick pea curry recipe.

Serves: 4      Prep time: 10 mins    Cook time: 45 mins


1tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2cm root ginger, chopped
3 tbsp tikka masala paste (you can use any paste you like according to flavours you want!)
400g can chopped tomatoes
100g red split lentils
250g spinach
400g can chick peas
4 tbsp plain soya yogurt (if want it to be slightly milder)


1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir occasionally for 3-5 minutes until soft.
2. Add chosen curry paste to pan and cook for 3-4 minutes (can add splash of water if worried about spices burning!)
3. Add tomatoes, lentils and 300ml water and allow to simmer for 30mins.
4. Stir in handfuls of spinach and allow to wilt.
5. Add chick peas and yogurt if you wish.

Serve with rice/ quinoa/ yogurt and coriander/ poppadoms...

Have a great curry night!

Tasty Treacle Tart

There is something so comforting about pastry-anything when the weather outside is windy and cold! Firstly, my thoughts are with anyone affected by Hurricane 'Sandy'. I have been closely watching the news and have heard NYC might be without power for up to a week. Stay safe everyone-remember day to day jobs can wait, your safety is the most important right now!

We had a pastry party the other day and a messy kitchen and treacle tart were the outcomes! This recipe only requires four ingredients and, whilst it is not the healthiest, it is very tasty and a lovely treat for these coming chilly months!

Serves: 4      Prep time: 10 minutes      Cooking time: 20 minutes


100g pastry (you could either make your own or buy some but make sure to read the labels very carefully to check for all-vegan England Be-Ro Short Pastry is vegan)
100g golden syrup
25g Soft white breadcrumbs
1/2 lemon (grated- to create rind-and juiced)


1.Warm the syrup
2. Mix the syrup with the breadcrumbs, lemon juice and rind.
3. Line mini flan/quiche cases with your pastry.
4. Pour the mixture into the pastry lined flan case & decorate top with spare pastry trimmings if you have leftovers!

Bake for 20 mins at 200C, gas mark 6

Then enjoy! Best served warm with a scoop of vegan ice cream.

Friday, 26 October 2012

A taste of autumn...

Vegan pumpkin scones, glazed & decorated. A little bit of my English routes mixed with my love for the oh-so-American halloween festivities.

Relatively quick, pretty simple, very tasty.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole grain spelt flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 8 tbsp. dairy-free butter
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (tastiest fresh but can be canned)
  • 3 tbsp. almond milk (other dairy-free milks will work if there is a nut allergy)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp. ground flax + 4 tbsp water)

  • Glaze (flavour as desired, a simple melted chocolate glaze would be lovely but I used a variation of spices):
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp. almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 tsp. cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg- I used this version and it was fab!)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with non-stick parchment.
  2. In a small bowl mix the flax egg and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger).
  4. Mix the cold dairy-free butter butter into dry ingredients until crumbly.
  5. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin, flax egg, and almond milk.
  6. Add wet to dry ingredients and mix until a ball forms (easiest done with your hands!)
  7. On a flour surface place the ball of dough and kneed a few times with your hands.
  8. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough and then cut into 8 triangles (like pizza!).
  9. Bake for approx 15 minutes (will differ from oven to oven).
  10. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  11. While cooling, make your glaze by mixing 1 cup icing sugar with milk and choice spices/flavouring until smooth.
  12. When scones are cool, decorate with glaze and any other toppings (I used roasted pumpkin seeds & chocolate chips as final touches!)

These were really delicious and my harshest critic (fussy little brother) even enjoyed them. They are easily adapted to taste and can be made sweeter/ spicier/ more savoury or chocolatey with little trouble.

The leaves are floating off the trees, the hedgehogs snuggling up. Hot chocolates are brewing and warm fires are smoking. The children are getting ready to brave the spooks of October 31st. Autumn is upon us, my favourite season. So grab a blanket, a piping hot drink & a tasty pumpkin scone; enjoy the season, it's a good one :)

Happy Halloween!

L xo

{Recipe adapted from the wonderful 'Oh She Glows' blog, do please go and check out her fab recipes.}

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Last flavours of summer...

Summer is ending, school is beginning and this salad is begging to be placed on the table. Perfect for a end-of-summer-BBQ or just a casual meal with friends. Healthy, tasty and vegan.

Sweetcorn & squash salad:

Serves: 4    Prep: 10 mins     Cook: 30 mins


1kg Butternut squash, peeled and deseeded, cut into 2cm pieces
50g pumpkin seeds
4tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
Zest and juice of a lemon
2 corn on the cobs (or the equivalent in tinned sweetcorn) 
1 tbsp Agave
140g of rocket and spinach 

 1) Preheat oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Place squash and pumpkin seeds on a baking tray, season and toss with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Roast for 30 mins.
2) Meanwhile, mix 1 tbsp live oil with cajun seasoning and half the lemon juice and brush over the sweetcorn. Cook for 15 mins, turning occasionally. Allow to cool slightly before cutting corn of the cob and then stirring into the roasted squash.
3) Mix the remaining oil with lemon zest, remaining juice and agave. Toss into salad leaves. Add butternut squash mixture and serve.

Enjoy the last few glimpses of the sun! 

Laura xoxo

Cookies. Cookies. Cookies.

I cannot get enough of these babies lately. They are so quick, easy and delicious!

Recently one of my best friends went through a break-up and these were our life savers. I would get a call saying 'I need you. Bring tissues. And those cookies, damn bring two lots of the cookies.' They are great.

(Recipe credit to: 'Vegan cookies invade your cookie jar' by Isa Chandra Moskowitz with a few of my own alterations.)


110g brown sugar
50g white sugar
120ml veg/canola oil
60 ml non-dairy milk
1 tbsp tapioca flour (can sub with two tbsp normal, plain flour)
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain flour (190g)
As many chocolate chips as desired!


1) Combine sugars, oil, milk, tapioca flour- MIX until consistency of smooth caramel.
2) Add vanilla extract, flou, baking powder & salt- MIX.
3) Add chocolate chips (NB: the dough may be stiff, if it's too runny then add more flour and if it's too hard, add more milk)

Spoon mixture on to baking tray (about 8 per tray) and cook for around 8-9 mins at 350F. Leave to cool for 5 mins before moving.

They will mend a broken heart, they really are THAT good. (For best results: eat in cosy winter pjs in the company of a great friend.) Enjoy!

Laura xoxo