Tag Archives: Food

Natto soba: Buddhist food in Kamakura, Japan

My lunch on a day trip to Kamakura.





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Baked spiced pears with raspberry, cocoa and pistachio quark

A decadent tasting yet fairly ‘good for you’ protein and vitamin filled dessert.


  • 2 medium pears (peeled, halved and cored)
  • Seeds of 10 cardamom pods (crushed)
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine
  • 125g raspberries
  • 225g Quark or vegan soft cheese (if making the dish vegan)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 15g pistachios (chopped)


1. Prepare all of the ingredients and set aside.

2. Place the vegan margarine, cardamom, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla extract in a large ceramic dish and warm in an oven for around 5 minutes until the ingredients are melted, remove from the oven, ensure the ingredients are mixed and then coat the pears in the mixture.

3. Set the pears aside and place the ceramic dish in the oven for another 5 minutes until the spice mixture bubbles.

4. Place the pears in the ceramic dish and ensure the pears are coated with the spice mixture.

5. Place the ceramic dish in an oven at 175C and allow to bake for around 30 minutes.

6. Whilst the pears are baking, place the raspberries, quark/vegan cream cheese and cocoa in a bowl and ensure thoroughly mixed together.

7. Set the quark/vegan cream cheese aside and, around 3 minutes before the pears are baked, toast the chopped pistachios in a pan.

8. Remove the pears from the oven, spoon the quark/vegan cream cheese onto the plate and sprinkle the entire dish with the warmed chopped pistachios.

9. Serve and enjoy!



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Rustic roasted ratatouille with homemade wholemeal garlic, rosemary and black olive focaccia

A fresh, tasty and rustic vegan dish packed with vitamins together being filling and satisfying. The secret of t

Roasted ratatouille

  • 1 aubergine (chunks)
  • 2 courgettes (chunky quarters)
  • 1 red onion (chunks)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 peppers (deseeded and sliced)
  • 1/2 butternut squash (deseeded and cut into chunks)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • Black pepper (to taste)
Wholemeal garlic, rosemary and black olive focaccia
  • 450g wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 7g sachet fast action yeast
  • 300ml warm water (not hot)
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 50g black olives (finely chopped or sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 and 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Recipe for roasted ratatouille

1. Prepare all of the ingredients and set aside.
2. Place all of the ingredients in a large roasting tin and ensure all of the vegetables are coated in the oil, garlic and herbs (best way is to get your hands amongst the ingredients and cover them by hand).
3. Cook the ingredients at 200C for around 45 minutes ensuring that you give them a stir two or three times during cooking.
4. When the ingredients are softened and a little charred then they are ready to serve.

5. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe for wholemeal garlic, rosemary and black olive focaccia

1. Put the flour, table salt, yeast and 1 and 1/2 tbsp dried rosemary into a large mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed.
2. Ensure there is a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the water, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic and 40g black olives making sure to thoroughly mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon. It should end up like a sticky dough at this point.
3. Flour a clean surface together with preparing a baking tray which should be covered with greaseproof paper that has a little olive oil on it to ensure the bread doesn’t stick during cooking.
4. Turn the dough onto the floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes.
5. After the 10 minutes bundle the dough into a ball and throw down onto the baking tray.
6. Shape the dough into the shape of the focaccia (remember it is a flat bread so around 2 to 3cm thick is fine), cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for around 45 minutes to rise.
7. Ensure the oven is pre heated to 230c and, after 45 minutes, uncover the bread. Get a cup of warm water, dip your finger in the water and poke deep holes in the dough in several places making sure to dip your finger in the water after every poke.
8. Drizzle or brush the remaining extra virgin olive oil over the top of the dough and sprinkle the remaining dried rosemary, black olives, sea salt and garlic evenly over the top of the dough.
9. Bake the dough for around 15 minutes until the top of the bread is golden then remove the bread from the oven, cover with the clean tea towel and allow to cool for around 20 minutes.
10. Once cooled slice as much bread as you require and keep the remainder in a airtight container.
11. Serve and enjoy!



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Spiced chocolate, raspberry and pistachio pots






A simple and surprisingly low calorie dessert with plenty of protein and a mixture of great textures.


  • 50g dairy free/dark chocolate or carob
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • Pinch of cardamom (ground)
  • Pinch of cinammon (ground)
  • 125g raspberries
  • 15g pistachios (chopped)


1. Prepare all of the ingredients and set aside. At this stage, if you are using cardamom pods, ensure you extract the seeds and finely crush them.

2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering hot water and leave to cool slightly.

3. Whisk the egg whites (with an electric whisk unless you have strong arms and patience!) until stiff and then whisk in the sugar, cardamom and cinammon.

4. Fold in the chocolate and chopped pistachios.

5. Divide the raspberries and place them at the bottom of 4 ramekins.

6. Pour the chocolate mixture over the raspberries in the 4 ramekins.

7. Chill in the fridge.

8. Serve and enjoy!



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For anyone who likes rustic Italian food…

There will be a new post of a cheap, vegan and incredibly tasty meal this week.

Make sure you subscribe and check back for new recipes!



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Leek and pea risotto with a balsamic reduction







A slightly time consuming but delicious and creamy vegan risotto…good things come to those that wait.


  • 750ml vegetable stock (dissolved)
  • 100g Arborio rice
  • 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 leek (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp vegan Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 125g peas
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp black olives (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)


1. Prepare all of the ingredients and set aside. The balsamic reduction is made by placing the balsamic vinegar in a hot pan and whisking until the amount of liquid is reduced by around half and is thick and syrupy.

2. Heat the oil and place the onion, leek and garlic in the pan. Cook for around 3 minutes until softening.

3. Add the rice and ensure it is all completed coated with the oil and onion mix.

4. Add the stock one ladle at a time and keep adding when each ladle-full is absorbed. Ensure you stir constantly for the first 5 to 10 minutes.

5. After around 20 minutes of the rice soaking up the stock (when you are getting towards the end of the stock) add the parsley, oregano, vegan Parmesan, lemon juice, peas and olives.

6. Cook the mixture until creamy (all of the stock should now have been absorbed).

7. Place the risotto on plates and top with a little chopped fresh parsley and lemon zest before drizzling with a balsamic reduction.

8. Serve and enjoy!




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Spanish stew with chargrilled red peppers, butter beans and black olives






Vegan version






Vegetarian version

A seasonal, fresh yet hearty Spanish stew with a lot of protein and an amazing smoky flavour.


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 pinch brown sugar
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • Handful fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 400g tomatoes (either tinned or fresh)
  • 1/2 red onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 225g butter beans
  • 1 red pepper (sliced and chargrilled)
  • 50g black olives (roughly chopped)
  • Wholemeal pitta breads (grilled)
Optional/To Taste
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 50g manchego cheese (vegetarian – leave out if making dish vegan)
  • 1 egg  (vegetarian – leave out if making dish vegan)
  • 3 tbsp vegan chorizo (diced)


1. Prepare all of the ingredients and set aside. If you are using fresh tomatoes then ‘x’ the end with a knife, put in boiling water then cold water, peel and smash. Also at this stage, quarter the red pepper, chargrill, allow to cool and slice. Also at this stage, rub a small amount of olive oil and sea salt into the wholemeal pitta breads.

2. Heat the olive oil and place the red onion and garlic in the pan for around 3 minutes until softening.

3. Place the paprika, oregano, brown sugar, cayenne (if using), sea salt (to taste), black pepper (to taste), saffron and heat for a further minute.

4. Put the red pepper, black olives and butter beans in the pan and warm for 5 minutes.

5. Put the tomatoes, 3/4 of the parsley, 35g manchego (if using) and cook on a low/medium heat for around 12 minutes.

6. Around 3 minutes from the end of the cooking of the tomato base, fry the vegan chorizo and egg (if using) together with grilling the wholemeal pittas for around 1 minute each side.

7. Stir in the vegan chorizo, the remainder of the manchego and place the egg on top of the tomato base (all optional) together with sprinkling the remainder of the parsley.

8. Serve and enjoy!



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