Five Vegan Salad Recipes for Lunch

Avocado and Mango Salad with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette
(Bon Appetite, photo – Leo Gong)
As soon as I read the words, ‘passion fruit vinaigrette’ I was hooked! Combine that with avocado, mango and a thoroughly pleasing dose of Dijon mustard and Sherry wine vinegar and you have yourself a salad worth smiling about!
See recipe at Epicurious

bulgur-salad-with-cherriesBulgur Salad with Cherries (Body + Soul)
This salad will look and taste amazing with the ruby red cherries scattered amongst the walnuts, bulgur wheat and herbs. As the recipe suggests, combine this with a green leaf salad for a healthy and nourishing meal.

See recipe at Whole Living

dagmars-detox-saladDagmar’s Detox Salad (Good Food Magazine)
Who doesn’t feel the need to do a little detox now and then? If that time is now for you, why not try this incredible salad of carrots, cabbage, apples, radishes and seeds? The dressing is equally nutritious and ‘body beneficial’ with fresh ginger, honey*, olive oil and lemon (*you can substitute honey with a vegan sweetener of your choice).
See recipe at BBC Good Food.

soba-salad-with-miso-vinaigretteSoba Salad with Miso Vinaigrette
I do enjoy a good soba salad for a delicious and satisfying lunch. I love the idea of the unusual vinaigrette in this recipe made with white miso paste and pickled ginger.
See recipe at Vegetarian Times



strawberry-fennel-and-orange-saladStrawberry, Fennel and Orange Salad
(Body + Soul)
Make use of the seasons best organic strawberries by using them in this superb summer salad which is light, juicy and crispy!
See recipe at Whole Living

Vegan Dinner Ideas – Seven New, Quick and Easy Pasta Recipes

perciatelli-with-roasted-tomatoes-and-eggplantPerciatelli with Roasted Tomatoes and Eggplant
(Martha Stewart Living)
Perciatelli is similar to spaghetti, which you could also use in this recipe. This is a robust and flavour packed pasta with red and yellow peppers, basil, cayenne pepper and lots of tomatoes.
See recipe at Whole Living

ditalini-with-pesto-beans-and-broccoli-rabeDitalini with Pesto, Beans and Broccoli Rabe
(Bon Appetit, image:Susan Gentry McWhinney)
Ditalini or ‘other short tube-shaped pasta’ is the way to go with this dish containing cannellini beans and broccoli rabe. This recipe calls for store bought pesto so UK or European peeps may like to try Zest pesto (vegan or vegetarian options) which is my favourite.
See recipe at Epicurious

Eggplant Pasta Salad
(Sara Quessenberreggplant-pasta-salady, photo: Anna Williams)
This tasty pasta can be enjoyed hot or cold and would be a popular dish to take to a picnic or BBQ. The capers, white wine vinegar and pine nuts elevate this pasta from ‘blah’ to ‘can I have some more mama?’
See recipe at Real Simple.

spaghetti-with-olive-and-pine-nut-salsaSpaghetti with Olive and Pine Nut Salsa
(Gourmet, image: Romulo Yanes)
This recipe has a short list of ingredients and is super easy to prepare. The capers and dried hot red-pepper flakes add extra oomph also.
See recipe at Epicurious.

Pasta with Beet Greens
(Melissa Roberts, Image: Stephanie Foley)
Pepper your penne with some new ingredients such as beet greens (spinach or silver beet), black olives, pine nuts and golden raisins.
See recipe at Gourmet

beany-pasta-pot
Beany Pasta Pot (Good Food Magazine)

Here is a highly nutritious and filling pasta made with red pesto, borlotti beans and even an apple!
See recipe at BBC Good Food.

Courgette ‘Pasta’ with Cashew Mint Cream
Any raw food enthusiasts or those looking for a new twist on pasta will enjoy this healthy and flavoursome dish! I’d love to know what you think of this courgette pseudo pasta.
See recipe at Waitrose.

Nine Vegetarian Bruschetta Recipes

avocado-bruschetta-with-green-sauceAvocado Bruschetta with Green Sauce
– Martha Stewart Living
Herb up with this flavour packed bruschetta recipe! Basil and parsley leaves create a divine green sauce that tastes delicious with avocado.
View recipe at Martha Stewart

Crushed Broad Bean and Mint Bruschetta
– Olive Magazine
So simple yet so utterly delectable! This recipe makes eating greens a pleasure with its use of broad beans and mint. The inclusion of parmesan could be optional.
View recipe at BBC Good Food

chickpeas-and-balsamic-vinegar-bruschettaChickpeas and Balsamic Vinegar Bruschetta
– Real Simple (image by Mark Lund)
Toast toppings have never been so flavourful or filling! The humble chickpea is elevated to new gourmet realms in this recipe thanks to a dash of balsamic vinegar.
View recipe at Real Simple

Polenta Bruschetta with Tapenade
– Good Food Magazine
If you’re puzzled when it comes to creating new and delicious polenta recipes, why not try this bruschetta recipe? With an olive tapenade and sun blushed tomatoes, this appetizer will be a sure-fire hit amongst friends or family!
View recipe at BBC Good Food

bruschetta-with-fava-beans-greens-and-blood-orangesBruschetta with Fava Beans, Greens and Blood Oranges
– Bon Appetit (by Joanne Weir, image: Kana Okada)
With an earthy smothering of fava beans, crispy green salad topping and the surprise burst of citrus, these bruschette will surely delight anyone who takes a bite!
View recipe at Epicurious

Bruschetta with Eggplant and Olive Topping

– Australian Women’s Weekly (image by Brett Stevens)
Honour the origin of bruschetta with this Italian rich recipe which also features capers, pine nuts and basil on a slice of ciabatta.
View recipe at Australian Women’s Weekly

cranberry-bruschetta
Cranberry Bruschetta

– Natural Health Magazine
Put a twist on the usual bruschetta with this unique recipe using sweet potato, rosemary, hazelnuts and cranberries.
View recipe at Natural Health Magazine


Bruschette Recipe, Baby Artichoke

– Jamie Oliver (image by David Loftus)
Artichokes, garlic, lemon and mint combine to make a truly tasty bruschetta in this Jamie recipe.
View recipe at Jamie Oliver

bruschette-with-chickpea-puree-and-arugulaBruschette with Chickpea Puree and Arugula
– Gourmet (image by Andrea Fazzari)
The pairing of chickpeas and arugula (rocket) would be quite sublime on a thick, toasted slice of country loaf!
View recipe at Epicurious

Homemade Organic Granola Recipe

There is something very satisfying and comforting about having a homemade breakfast cereal in the house. Once you whip up a batch of this delicious and healthy granola, you’ll probably never opt for the store bought stuff again. Enjoy this granola with either dairy free milk or yogurt and sprinkle lavishly with ruby red and luscious blue seasonal berries. Oats are great too for releasing energy slowly and they will keep you going until lunch without needing to snack. But if you do get the munchies later on in the day, this makes a great nutritious snack that will stave off any hunger pangs. It’s so tasty and has just the right amount of sweetness, nuttiness and fruitiness. I think I need to go and grab another bowl now!

Ingredients

  • 500g bag of organic jumbo oats
  • 1/2 cup of organic shredded coconut
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of your favourite organic dried fruits (cranberries, apricots, figs)
  • 1/2 cup of organic nuts such as almonds, pecans and walnuts
  • Organic sunflower oil
  • Organic honey

homemade-organic-granola-recipe-2

How to make

  • Spread the rolled oats into a roasting dish, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and the coconut and mix together.
  • Combine the sunflower oil and honey in a cup to measure just less than 1/2 cup. Pour this over the oats and use a fork to ensure all the oats are well covered.
  • Place in a 200 degree (celsius) oven until golden brown (approximately 20 minutes). Be sure to watch the oats carefully and stir them often as they can cook fairly quickly.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool while you prepare the dried fruit and nuts in a separate bowl.
  • Use some kitchen scissors to easily cut the dried fruit into smaller pieces. Add the fruit and nuts to the oats and mix well.
  • I store my granola in an airtight glass jar and the mixture keeps well for 3 weeks or longer.
Enjoy!

Vegan Ice Cream – Booja Booja’s ‘Stuff in a Tub’

You had me at Booja Booja. Yes, I’ve fallen in love with a tub of ice cream. The slight caveman-esque name, ‘Booja Booja’ was part of the appeal but it was the amazing taste and pure ingredients that really did it for me. The gourmet cupid got me good!

For a dessert to contain a mere 4 ingredients and to be free from so much (dairy, soya, gluten, cholesterol, emulsifiers and stabilisers) you may start thinking this poor tub must be lacking in confidence and flavour. Not so. Amazingly, it tastes exactly like ice cream! I tried the Coconut Hullabaloo which is lusciously creamy and heavenly but with a much cleaner and lighter taste than any ice cream I’ve tried.

coconut-hullabalooOne spoonful of the Coconut Hullabaloo and I knew this was the ice cream brand for me. I may have even blackled what other flavours were available whilst eating the Coconut tub in front of me! I really should Tolle up, stayed more in the present moment and savoured the tub I had but it tasted so good that I had to find out what other exciting flavours I could try next!

Other Stuff in a Tub flavours include the quirkily named Keep Smiling Vanilla M’Gorilla, Hunky Punky Chocolate, Feisty Winjin Ginger and Pompompous Maple Pecan. With this great selection of flavours it is little surprise that ‘Stuff in a Tub’ won Best New Organic Food Product in 2007.

Purchase online at Goodness Direct for £5.99 or find Booja Booja’s Stuff in a Tub at health food stores (Booja Booja do not stock in supermarkets as they prefer to support the independent retail sector – now I love them even more!).

By the way the 4 ingredients in the Coconut Hullabaloo are water, agave, cashews and coconuts. So simple yet so scrumptious!

Delicious Dairy-free Smoothie Recipes

There is something about a well made, delicious, dance on your taste buds kind of smoothie that appeals to so many people, especially during summer. When the weather is too hot outside, just step inside, say hello to your blender and then create one of the following icy cold, non-dairy wonders. These are so good and you will not be able to avoid making those slurpy straw noises at the end as you try to capture the last sips of sheer loveliness.

Smoothie Cubes
(Sara Buenfeld from Good Food Magazine)
Before I get to the recipes, I thought these incredible looking fruit smoothie cubes deserved a mention as they will come in handy for any smoothie occasion. Such a great idea for busy people on the go that still want ultra healthy drinks. You just need to puree your favourite fruits or the best organic fruits in season and then freeze them in an ice tray. This recipe suggests adding them to your smoothie with a banana and some dairy devils, but you could just switch them for your favourite almond, soy or oat milk and yogurt.
See recipe at BBC Good Food

cherry-berry-tea-smoothieCherry-Berry Tea Smoothie (from Martha Stewart Living)
The picture and ingredients in this smoothie look and sound divine! Frozen sweet cherries, grapes, blueberries, silken tofu and rooibos tea (available at most supermarkets or health food stores). This drink is so good for you that you will be positively glowing after one glass!
See recipe at Whole Living

Banana Mocha Non Milk Shake (by Eat Healthy)
Coffee lovers or just anyone after a shake with attitude will lap this one up! There’s espresso, cacao nibs, ground cinnamon and frozen bananas. Creamy, thick and bursting with flavour.
See recipe at The Healthy Eating Site

Strawberry-Banana Tofu Shake – Body + Soul
Another tremendously healthy shake that can be stored up to three days in the fridge. You can also mix and match the fruit ingredients depending on what is in season or what you have in the house.
See recipe at Whole Living

jamie-fruit-smoothie-by-jamie-oliver
Jamie Fruit Smoothie
(Jamie Oliver)
I was pleasantly surprised to see Jamie Oliver had this exciting and unusual dairy free smoothie. Along with the fruit there is coconut milk, lime and cardamom. Sounds a little Thai and definitely worth a try!
See recipe at Jamie Oliver

Low Fat Green Tea, Honey and Nutmeg Smoothies
(David Lieberman)
You just need to substitute the vanilla frozen yogurt here for your favourite non-dairy brand and then all you need is two more things: green tea and honey!
See recipe at the Food Network

Strawberry Almond Smoothie
(by Adina Niemerow, photograph – Ellie Miller)
A pretty pink smoothie containing figs, frozen strawberries, almonds and coconut water.
See recipe at Food and Wine

avocado-smoothiesAvocado Pear Smoothie – from Martha Stewart Living
I know some people are surprised to think of using an avocado in their drinks but try it out before you diss it. After all, avocado is technically a fruit and it will make your smoothie ever so creamy and exotic. The pear juice, honey and vanilla really compliment the other ingredients.

Two of my Tried and Tested Favorites
Firstly, if you haven’t tried smoothies with frozen bananas then ‘oh, my goodness’ you need to stock up on some organic, fair trade ‘nanas now because your smoothies are about to get creamy and turn it upside down kinda thick! Just peel the banana, break into small pieces and freeze in whatever container you have. Always try and keep a stash in your freezer (with frozen berries).

Banana Berry Heaven
I have been sipping on this for years and years. You can use either orange juice or apple juice (about 250ml) and then just toss into a blender as many frozen berries and frozen banana pieces as you desire. It is pure health and happiness in a glass.

Banana Thick Shake
This one is so simple but so satisfying. Just use 250ml of your favourite dairy free milk (or homemade almond milk) and add lots of frozen banana pieces and a dollop of honey (or agave syrup) to sweeten. Next, decide whether to enjoy with a straw or spoon!

raw-chocolate-smoothieCafe Gratitude – I Am Luscious – Raw Chocolate Smoothie
I stumbled across this smoothie from Cafe Gratitude’s menu and it sounded so delicious that I had to mention it here! Unfortunately, I can’t make it to their cafe today in San Francisco but I will try and replicate a similar glass of heaven here at home. Their drink has: hazelnut milk, figs, dates, raw cacao & vanilla.
Visit Cafe Gratitude

Need a Glass Straw with your Smoothie?
I just got my glass straws last week from GlassDharma and they are magnificent. The coloured ones are so pretty and you can tell they have been made with such great care. Protect your health and teeth by avoiding icky and disposable plastic straws and try using these glass straws if you can. Here is some more info on the straws if you are interested.