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Easy & Delicious Vegan Christmas Dinner

Vegan christmas meal idea

Whether you're vegan, your mate is vegan, your in law is vegan, here are some gorgeous festive recipes to put your mind at ease.



butternut and chestnut tart christmas
roasted acorn squash recipe
tesco everyones welcome christmas

No 1. The Show Stopper

This roasted spiced butternut tart with homemade rosemary shortcrust will knock the socks off your guests.

It'll be the perfect centrepiece with the pomegranate jewels and brussels sprouts topping.

The tart crust doesn't need to be homemade, but I am slightly biased with this gorgeous creation flavoured with fresh rosemary - the ultimate Christmas herb.

Find the recipe just here.

No 2. Maple Roasted Carrots

The best thing about Christmas food in my opinion is the abundance of seasonal veg. The humble carrot can be turned into a sumptuous side, roasted in maple syrup and topped with

Find the recipe just here.

No 3. Rosemary & Garlic Hasselbacks

The roast potato is sacred when it comes to Christmas dinner, so this year why not try the hasselback....


Find the recipe just here.

easy vegan christmas wreath recipe

No 4. Butternut & Brussels Pastry Wreath

This pastry wreath is a showstopper for sure. Packed with flavour, it's incredibly easy to create the filling. The pastry wreath is also easy, you just need two circles to cut around to create the wreath, then freestyle the toppings.


Find the recipe just here.

No 5. 'Pancetta' and 'Cream Cheese' Pinwheels

Your guests don't even need to know that these are in fact vegan! Simply pop them on the table and let everyone enjoy!


Find the recipe just here.

lifestyle Recipe

Easiest Vegan Banana Bread Recipes – 4 Ways

banana bread 4 ways

Banana bread has become an absolute staple in our home. Each week I find myself buying twice as many bananas so I'll have an excuse to bake. 

It's great to have some at the ready for any unexpected guests or to take in a pack up to work. I've popped together 4 ways to enjoy my banana bread, with a few changes to each recipe to hopefully cater for each of your cupboards. 

-the classic

-Gluten free option

-no added sugar option

-the holy grail of heavenly banana bread


peanut butter and chocolate banana bread

No. 1 The Classic

Dry ingredients

1 ½ cup plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ cup sugar

100g / ½ cup chocolate chips

Pinch salt

Wet ingredients

3 overripe bananas (+1 more for topping)

4 tbsp / 80ml coconut oil

3 tbsp runny peanut butter (pip n nut or aldi smooth)

*save a handful of chocolate chips and a tsp of peanut butter for the topping*




Pour the flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips into a large bowl and mix together

Mash the bananas in a bowl then add the melted coconut oil and peanut butter and mix together

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined

Pour the banana mix into a greased loaf tin then sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top

Drizzle the last tsp of peanut butter and 1 chopped overripe banana on top and pop in the oven

Bake at 180ºC for 25 minutes

Take out of the oven and loosely in tin foil then bake for a further 30-35 minutes


gluten free banana bread

No. 2 Gluten Free Walnut & Chocolate 

Dry ingredients

1/2 cup GF plain flour

1 cup almond flour

2 tsp GF baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

¼ cup demerara sugar

50g / ½ cup chocolate chips

80g / 3/4 cup walnuts

Pinch salt

Wet ingredients

3 overripe bananas (+1 more for topping)

3 tbsp runny peanut butter 

*save a handful of chocolate chips and a tsp of peanut butter for the topping*




Pour the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir together *leave a few chocolate chips and nuts for the topping*

In a shallow bowl, mash the bananas together to form a paste, then add the peanut butter and mix 

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined

Pour the banana mix into a greased loaf tin then sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and nuts on top

Bake at 160ºC for 35 minutes *stick a knife in the centre and make sure it comes out clean, if not add a further 5-10 minutes 

*tip, to stop the chocolate chips or nuts burning on top, loosely place tin foil over the top for the final 10 minutes of baking


biscoff banana bread

No. 3. The ultimate indulgent banana bread

Dry ingredients

1 cup plain flour

1\2 cup almond flour / oat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp dried ginger 

¼ cup demerara sugar

50g / ½ cup chocolate chips

4 lotus biscuits

Pinch salt

Wet ingredients

3 overripe bananas (+1 more for topping)

3 tbsp biscoff spread

*save a handful of chocolate chips and a tsp of peanut butter for the topping*




Pour the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir together *leave a few chocolate chips and the biscuits for the topping*

In a shallow bowl, mash the bananas together to form a paste, then mix together with the biscoff spread

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined

Pour the banana mix into a greased loaf tin then sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and lotus biscuits on top

Bake at 160ºC for 35 minutes *stick a knife in the centre and make sure it comes out clean, if not add a further 5-10 minutes 

*tip, to stop the top from burning, loosely place tin foil over the top after 25 minutes of baking 


No. 4 Banana Bread Muffins (No Added Sugar)

Dry ingredients

1 cup plain flour

1\2 cup almond flour / oat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla essence

½ cup low sugar chocolate chips

Pinch salt

*save a handful of chocolate chips and a tsp of peanut butter for the topping*

Wet ingredients

3 overripe bananas (+1 more for topping)





preheat the oven to 180°C

mash the bananas in a bowl and add the vanilla essence

in a large bowl, add all of the dry ingredients and mix together

combine the wet and dry, then pour into a greased non-stock muffin tray

bake on the middle shelf of your oven for 20 minutes until you can pop a knife in and it comes out dry

enjoy with a delicious cup of coffee



The 3 Best Grilled Cheese / Toasty Recipes

3 best toastie recipes

Let's talk toasties....

There isn't a situation where a toastie or grilled cheese won't improve your life in some way, so without further ado let's get grillin', toastin' and munchin' on these delightful carb filled feasts. 


No. 1 Kimchi Grilled Cheese

There's a reason this beautiful beast is number one, because it is inevitably the best toastie I have ever made - yes I'm being that bold. I think I've possibly peaked with my toastie abilities. So here we have it...

kimchi grilled cheese vegan recipe


2 slices seeded sourdough 

3 tbsp kimchi (I use Biona Kimchi, Clearspring Sourkraut or Barrel & Bone Kimchi)

2 tbsp homemade pesto *recipe here*

50g Violife Pizza Cheese (this melts the best)

pinch salt 


I use a toastie grill to get the deep lines however you could do this with a skillet, a simply frying pan with a little oil, or under the grill

Add the slices of sourdough to the grill to toast on the inside first

Once toasted, load it up with the kimchi, followed by the slices of 'cheese' then layer the other slice with homemade pesto and pop on top (pinch of salt & pepper optional)

Place the loaded sandwich into a toastie grill, pan or under the oven grill to toast the outside and melt the cheese

Enjoy. Every. Mouthful.

No. 2, Pesto & Cream Cheese Toasted Sarnie

vegan toastie recipe


3 slices sourdough bread
3 tbsp pesto
3 tbsp  vg cream cheese
handful of baby spinach leaves
1 red pepper


Using a toastie machine or grill, heat the sliced pepper through until charred
Lightly toast each slice of bread till lightly golden
Layer the cream cheese with the spinach, pesto and charred peppers then place back in the toastie machine / grill until heated through

No. 3 Chilli Chickpea & Sriracha Toastie

vegan toastie recipe


2 slices thick wholemeal bread

The Sauce

1/4 tin drained chickpeas (you can bake them first if you have time)

1/2 tsp mustard optional

2 tbsp vegan mayo 

2 tbsp sriracha 

squeeze lemon 1/2 lemon

pinch of salt

The crunch

1/2 small red onion 

2 radishes diced

3 slices cucumber diced

handful of spinach



Chop and slice whatever veggies you want to add and pop into a small bowl

Add all of the sauces into a small bowl and mix together the pour over the chopped veg

Using a toastie machine, toast the bread slightly before adding the mix

Load up the slice with the chickpea stuffing and toast until crispy

Stack them and pack them if taking to work / school, otherwise grab a plate and enjoy! 


lifestyle Recipe travel

Lessons From Japan – Is Japanese Cuisine Healthier?

lessons from japan

Is Japanese Cuisine Healthier?

Earlier this year I had an amazing opportunity to travel to Japan with the Panasonic team. A hop to Amsterdam, a skip to Seoul and a jump to Osaka, we finally arrived in Japan. Over the few days we had cooking workshops, presentations and demos to really grasp the concept of experiencing fresh and traditional food.

Experience Fresh

On our first day we had a live cooking demo whilst in the Panasonic HQ, showing ways in which water is used to cook food instead of oil, and how the techniques of knives comes into play when preparing vegetables.

One of the key messages I took from our time over there, was the importance of technique whether it’s from the way you prepare the food or the way you cook it to really preserve flavour and keep the nutritional value.

japanese cooking demo

Some of the most common ways to cook food in Japan:

  • Steaming
  • Simmering
  • Poaching
  • Grilling

So by using heat and water, the produce can retain a lot more flavour than for example coating it in oil and frying it. These  techniques have been practiced to centuries and are still practiced today. What was interesting was learning how the team at Panasonic had worked this into their Microwaves, Bread Makers and Juicers.

Demo Time

We had a live demo to show the difference between a non-panasonic microwave steaming feature vs. the Panasonic brand, where we were asked if we could taste the difference, and we did.

Panasonic Croustina Bread Maker

Another example is from the slow juicer, demonstrating the separation of liquid and pulp when using non-panasonic products vs. their own. Again, we were impressed to see the richness of colour, flavour and smell from the Panasonic brand, which had been developed to slowly squeeze a high quality, nutrient- packed juice from the tomatoes.

Then for the bread (my favourite part) which isn’t traditionally a staple ingredient within Japanese cooking, however looking to the masters of bread making they developed the Croustina to produce the ultimate hard crust. We had a try of a pumpkin and nut crusty slice which was pure heaven after only having a tofu broth for breakfast hours earlier.

Ohhhhmami, that tastes good

‘Umami’ is the illusive word every cook looks to achieve in their cooking. It’s the thing that you can’t quite put your finger on, but keeps you going back for spoonful after spoonful of food - basically it’s the perfect balance of sweet, sour, saltiness and bitterness.


As a vegetarian I was also listening out for how to get the ‘umami’ taste when cooking. One of the two ingredients were shiitake mushrooms and tomatoes, due to the levels of glutamate. A backbone of many Japanese dishes is called Dashi and it a delicious stock that requires umami. The theory is if you have a really good stock dashi you needn’t over flavour your produce.

Recipe Time

miso soup vegan


Here is a recipe I created, trying to envelop the learnings from the trip.



  • 3 spring onions
  • 3cm fresh ginger
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 150g  of Shimeji mushrooms
  • 2 bay leaves


  • 140g firm or silken tofu cubed
  • 150g udon noodles
  • 1 sachet brown rice miso paste(I used ClearSpring miso)
  • 1.5l of veg stock


For dressing

  • ½ finely sliced red chilli
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds




  • Prepare the vegetables first, finely chopping the shallots, chilli and garlic, then add the chopped shallots to a pot with a dash of water and allow to cook for around 5 minutes


  • Add the chopped chilli, fry for a few minutes followed by the garlic, then grate the ginger into the pot and fry for a minute or two


  • Add the stock, miso, bay leaves and tamari to the pot and allow to simmer for around 5 minutes


  • Add the shimeji mushrooms, udon noodles and cubed tofu to the pot and allow to boil in the stock for 6-7 minutes


  • Taste test, adding seasoning if needed, test if the mushrooms and noodles are cooked then serve up into bowls


  • Top with freshly chopped chilli, finely chopped celery and sesame seeds


  • *Note, if you want a crispy tofu, cube the blog then add to a small frying pan with 1 tsp sesame oil and press to crispen under the heat, add sesame seeds for a final 2 minutes of frying for a toasted crust

Vegan pho



Take a peek at what we got up to in Japan day by day


Simple Week Night Soup Recipe


Dried Spices:
2 tsp smoked paprika 
1 tsp chipotle flakes 
1 tsp chilli flakes 
1:2 tsp cinnamon 
1 bay leaf 
1 tsp sage 
Large pinch salt
2 cloves garlic minced 
1 white onion diced 
Red pepper diced 
Yellow pepper diced 
1 tin tomatoes, 400g
Fill the tin with water x 2
450g cooked pulses & beans 
1 tin coconut milk 

chunky soup recipe


-Using a deep pot add 1tbsp olive oil to a pan and gently fry the chopped onion for around 5 minutes, followed by the chopped peppers for a further 3, then add the minced garlic and allow to cook

-Add the tinned tomatoes, filling the empty tin with water (twice) and add to the pot  followed by all the dried spices and salt and allow to simmer for around 15 minutes

-Add the cooked beans and pulses* (I used a frozen bag of chickpeas and beans which only require 5 minutes of cooking) 

-In the final few minutes, add the tin of coconut milk and heat through, giving the soup a taste test, adding a little more  seasoning if needed 

-Serve up with freshly chopped tomatoes on top, a drizzle of olive oil and a final sprinkling of salt on each bowl


*If not already cooked, add the beans and pulses in with the tinned tomatoes and allow to simmer for around 30-40 minutes until cooked through 


4 Ingredient Breakfast Bars

4 ingredient breakfast bar recipe

4 Ingredient Breakfast Bars

These breakfast bars are so easy to whip up in a big batch, then pop in the fridge for those moments when you need a pick-me-up.


4 ingredient breakfast bar recipe

You can get as creative as you like with these bars depending on what you have in your cupboards.


Sometimes I like to add:

-1/4 cup nuts

-if you don't have the musli mix, use a mix of jumbo and super fast oats

You can store these bars in the fridge for those mid morning cravings or 3pm pick-me-ups.

These are freezable also, and will just need taking out 30 minutes before eating to soften slightly. These are a great lunch box idea as they are relatively cheap to make, super simple and packed with slow releasing energy.




3 cups IKEA Musli

3/4 cup coconut blossom (or honey if you're not vegan)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 tsp sea salt



1/4 cup pistachios



Simply mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until a sticky texture has formed

Pour the ingredients into a baking tin (lined with grease proof paper) and flatten down with a spatula to make it compact

Pop the bars into the fridge to firm slightly, then take out to cut into bite size pieces

You can store these bites in the fridge, or even the freezer



3 Easy Pesto Recipes

3 easy pesto recipes

Making my own pesto was always something I thought of a task, especially when I could buy a range of options in jars cutting cost and time... however I have since come to realise this is all incorrect!

Nothing beats the taste or smell of fresh pesto whipped up in your kitchen. In terms of time and cost, it takes minutes to prepare and can be far cheaper when making in batches. 

I've popped together some of my absolute favourite and no-fuss recipes for you to try at home. Whether you're dipping your carrots, coating your veggies or twirling it in your tagliatelle, you need to give these a go. 

Method of cooking:

All these pestos can be eaten raw, slow roasted or added to your pasta dish in the last 5 minutes. It all depends how you like it.

avocado pesto recipe

Avocado & Pine Nut Pesto 


1 Avocado (I used a gem avocado)
2 cloves garlic
1 cup basil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4, cup olive oil
Pinch of olive oil


spinach pesto vegan recipe

Creamy Spinach Pesto


1 cup baby spinach 

1 cup fresh basil 

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup cashew nuts (soaked or raw)

1/2 lemon squeezed 

1/4 cup olive oil

large pinch salt

1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)


easy pine nut pesto recipe

Classic Pine Nut


1/4 cup pine nuts

1 cup fresh basil 

1/4 cup good quality olive oil

1/2 squeezed fresh lemon 

1 large clove smoked garlic

Large pinch salt

2 tbsp nutritional yeast 



As always, I love seeing your recreations on social media, so please be sure to tag me in any photos to take of your food! 

Maybe you have a favourite pesto recipe, or a top tip to share... let me know in the comments! 





Everyone’s Welcome This Christmas

tesco everyones welcome

Everyone’s Welcome

This is a paid advertorial with Tesco

Celebration with abundance

Christmas platters are such a great way to celebrate lots of different food at once. From pates to dips paired with crackers and crunchy veg - they're my favourite thing to put together. There’s something about everyone’s hands dashing over the table to grab a cracker or to scoop up the last mince pie.

Tesco gave the challenge to recreate one of their Christmas recipes (you can find a range on their website) to share a gorgeous abundance of festive food for the #EveryonesWelcome campaign! The star of the show (yet very humbly sat in the middle) is a mushroom pate made with porcini and shiitake paired with fresh thyme.

On the platter

I've surrounded it with Tesco rosemary crackers, fresh grapes, crunchy veg as well as panettone and mince pies from their free from section. I should also touch on the Free From Christmas range which this year seems to be bigger than ever. It’s always a good idea to have gluten free or dairy free options on the table to make sure everyone is catered for.

tesco everyones welcome christmas

I like to have a selection of sweet, savoury, healthy and indulgent on my table at Christmas to make sure there is a little something for everyone, really tying into the Everyone’s Welcome idea surrounding this season.

tesco free from mince pies

As mentioned before, you can find all of their festive recipes just here, **

You can find the free from selection here, Mince Pies -

Panettone -




Hearty Autumn Stew – Potato & Chickpea

hearty lentil stew


This is in Advertisement with Birdseye


I’ve teamed up with Birds Eye to show off their range of frozen pulse and bean mixes to

create a delicious autumnal recipe. The aim is to show off how quickly they cook (max of four 4 minutes from frozen) so are the perfect addition to your winter bowls. The recipe for this delicious potato, chickpea & spinach stew is just below.


I used to attach a stigma with frozen veg and thought it wasn’t as healthy as fresh, however freezing locks in all the goodness and fab stuff such as fibre and protein - making sure you’re getting one of your 5 a day. They’re a great way to bulk out meals (especially those who are new to veggie meals) keeping you full through the autumn evenings.


I’m all about quick and easy recipes so having a bag of frozen pulses means I can have everything ready in rapid time! Curries, stews and hot pots carry a stigma that they take hours to prepare, whereas in fact this can be ready in 20 minutes (especially if you’re using parboiled potatoes).

Best Types of Meals

I’ve used the Birds Eye Chickpea and Spinach Mix in a stew however there are loads of ways you could incorporate them into recipes such as:



Stir Frys



potato and chickpea stew


There are three different variations including Chickpea and Spinach Mix, Italian 3 Bean Mix and Mexican Bean which are great to have in your freezer for those evenings where you’re looking for a quick meal to prepare.


You can buy the Birds Eye Pulse Mixes for £2 in Tesco, Asda and Ocado (I’ve popped a link just below).




250g Birds Eye Spinach & Chickpea Mix

1 red onion

3 cloves garlic

4 small potatoes (cubed)

2 chargrilled peppers

1l vegetable stock

½ cup passata (can use tinned chopped tomatoes also)

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp cumin

1 heaped tsp smoked paprika

For the harissa:


½ cup olive oil

1 tsp chilli flakes

2 tsp cumin

½ tsp coriander seeds

2 tsp smoked paprika

4 cloves garlic

1 small roasted red pepper (I used ½ cup of jarred)

For the toasted seed topping

1 tsp black sesame seeds

1 tsp white sesame seeds

2 tbsp cashew nuts



  1. Finely chop the red onion and fry off in a drizzle of olive oil until softened, then add the
  2. minced garlic for an extra 60 seconds
  3. Add the chopped peppers, and chopped potatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes on the
  4. hob
  5. Then add the stock and all the spices and bubble for 15 minutes
  6. Add the 250 Birds Eye Spinach and Chickpea mix and cook for a further 4 minutes
  7. Serve up in a bowl and top with a dollop of DF yogurt, drizzle of harissa and the toasted seeds

harissa recipe


For the harissa

  1. Simply blend all the ingredients together in a food processor



Do Good Quality Pans Make a Difference?

vegan sticky bao buns

Sticky Sesame & Black Bean Tofu with Bao Buns

This is a paid collaboration with Circulon

sticky vegan bao bun

Sticky and crispy -  two of my favourite textures for an asian inspired dish of tofu stuffed bao buns. Before we get to the recipe let’s talk about the importance of GOOD pots and pans!


I’ve teamed up with Circulon to share the importance of investing in a few good pots and pans, especially non stick and oven proof to make use of all your recipes.


I wanted to make the stickiest dish I’ve created that needs to be fried and then finished off in the oven….. Queue this delicious recipe!


How many of you have had to add a gallon of oil just to stop your onions sticking to the bottom of a pan, or had to scrape off slightly burnt sauce at the bottom of your pasta pot?

vegan recipe ingredients

The Right Tools

I’m a real advocate for having a few essential kitchen tools such as sharp knives and good pans. You don’t need to buy loads, which is why this pan works a treat.

I’ve got the Circulon Momentum Frying Pan to be exact and whether you’re frying or toasting in the oven / grille it can work for every scenario as the handles can handle the heat - up to 220ºC without any heat spots-  I know as I stupidly grabbed the handle with my bare hands (ouch).


250g firm tofu cubed into 4cm thick blocks

3 cloves garlic peeled & minced

1 red onion finely chopped

1 red chilli

150g shitaake mushrooms chopped


4 tbsp black bean sauce

2 tbsp tamari

1 tbsp tamarind paste

1 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Generous pinch salt


4 bao buns

2 pak choi

1 tbsp sesame seeds

Coriander to garnish

Sriracha sauce (optional)




Preheat the oven to 200ºC


In your Circulon pan add ½ tsp oil and gently fry off the red onion until softened, then add the chilli and  minced garlic cloves and fry for an additional 1 minute


Add the mushrooms and cubed tofu then the black bean, tamarind, honey and tamari and fry for around 10 minutes


Top with ½ tbsp sesame seeds and pop in the oven for 8 minutes to crisp


In a bamboo steamer bring a flat pan of shallow water to simmer then steam the bao buns and pak choi for around 5-8 minutes


Using and oven glove (don’t forget like I did) and take the pan out of the oven and give a stir


Assemble the bao buns with the sticky filling, steamed pak choi and top with sesame seeds, fresh coriander and additional chilli if you like it spicy!


I served mine with a hot sriracha sauce too!

vegan sticky bao bun

A few more details

Better yet it’s dishwasher safe, and going from handwashing everything in my tiny flat, to owning a dishwasher this is pure heaven. I’m quite a lazy cook and even lazier when it comes to the dishes so having pots and pans that you can bung in the dishwasher is amazing.

Circulon offer a pretty impressive lifetime guarantee, showing their confidence in the product.

If you fancy getting yourself one of these, you can find them here,

bao bun recipe vegan