Brie & mushroom open puff pastry tart

Very easy to make for a quick lunch ready in less than fifteen minutes.


Serves 4
- 1 Jus Rol ready rolled puff pastry sheet
- 50g brie
- handful of mushrooms
- salad/rocket for serving

To do:-
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
2. Place a large sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray and lay out your puff pastry sheet. I used the Jus Rol variety so didn't need to do anything to it.
3. Cut the brie in small pieces and distribute evenly. Slice the mushrooms and do the same. Remember to leave about half an inch gap around the whole edge to allow the pastry to "puff up".
4. Bake in the oven for about ten minutes, the outside should be nice and golden.
5. Cut into four squares and serve with salad if desired.

Notes: Veganize this: Jus Rol puff pastry sheets are vegan so the options are endless, simply omit the cheese or replace with your favourite vegan variety and experiment with veggies, nuts, different sauces to make quick delicious lunches.


Homemade potato wedges

A really easy accompaniment to a main meal or as a hot snack with dips/salad.

potato wedges

Serves 1 or 2
- 4 or 5 potatoes, I used Maris Piper ones
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper for seasoning

How to:-
1. Preheat oven to 200C/Gas 6.
2. Line a baking tray with foil and grease it with oil.
3. Wash/scrub the potatoes and cut into wedges. Toss in some olive oil and spread evenly on the baking tray.
4. Cook for around 35-45 minutes, turning at intervals to ensure they cook evenly.
5. Season with salt & pepper and serve.

Notes: Cooking time will vary depending on how thick you cut the wedges; thicker ones will take longer. For a spicy seasoning, dust on some paprika during the last five/ten minutes of baking time. My favourite vegan condiments for dipping are Reggae Reggae BBQ/Jerk sauce and Tiger Tiger Garlic Mayo.


Fast food: Tortilla pizzas with rocket

My kitchen is cold, it's snowing outside and I want something hot, fast and relatively low-fat and healthy. Tortilla pizzas to the rescue! Seriously, these take like two minutes to prepare and eight minutes to cook. Lunch is served.

tortilla pizza

Serves 1
- Wholemeal tortilla
- About 50g of light/low-fat mozarella
- Tomato puree paste
- Basil & oregano - best if you can use fresh but dried is fine
- Rocket to serve
- Olive Oil to serve

How to:-
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas6
2. Line a baking tray with foil and lightly grease with oil.
3. Place the tortilla on the foil and using the back of a spoon, spread the tomato paste evenly.
4. If using fresh basil/oregano, chop finely - if using dried just shake a little all over.
5. Tear the mozarella and place all over, you can shred it if preferred.
6. Bake for around eight-ten minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the base is crispy.
7. Serve with a handful of rocket and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

Notes: Veganize this by using vegan mozarella. You can play around with the toppings and use whatever you like.


The ultimate chocolate cake (it's vegan too!)

When I say 'ultimate' chocolate cake, that's exactly what I mean. If you're in need of a truly irresistible chocolate cake recipe, one that is moist, rich and seriously chocolatey, then give this a go. Just make sure you're first in line to get a slice before it's all gone!


Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch:-
Chocolate Suicide Cake
Serves 12-16

- 180ml rapeseed or safflower oil
- 260g wholemeal flour
- 300g unrefined light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- pinch of sea salt
- 200g vegan chocolate chips
- 300ml soy milk
- 180ml unsweetened apple sauce*
- 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 115g unsweetened vegan chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 500ml Chocolate Fudgy Frosting**

*To Make Apple Sauce - (the easy way!)
Core, peel and chop three or four small apples. Place the pieces in a microwave-proof tub with a lid and add a few tablespoons of water and a little cinnamon if desired. Heat for about five minutes on full. Transfer to a bowl and use a hand blender to pulp until smooth, adding a little more water if needed. Done!

How To:-
1. Preheat oven to 180C/Gas 4. Oil a 32.5cm x 23cm baking pan, set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Stir in the the chocolate chips. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, soy milk, apple sauce and vanilla extract, stirring until smooth. Place to one side.
4. Heat water in a saucepan and keep it gently simmering. Place a heat-proof bowl on top of the saucepan and put the chopped chocolate in the bowl. As it melts, stir slowly until smooth.
5. Add the oil mixture into the flour mixture, stirring until its a smooth consistency. Now add the melted chocolate, again stirring until everything is smooth and then stir in the vinegar.
6. Transfer the mixture to the oiled baking pan and smooth over the surface. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the centre and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
7. Let it cool thoroughly before frosting.


**Chocolate Fudgy Frosting (makes about a litre, or you could use the whole lot to very generously cover the cake)
- 14 tablespoons rapeseed oil or refined coconut oil
- 200g unrefined light brown sugar
- 175g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 240ml soy cream or plain soy yoghurt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt

1. In a medium saucepan over a medium heat, melt the oil. Stir in the sugar and cocoa powder and then gradually stir in the soy cream.
2. Now stir almost constantly until the mixture is smooth and hot but don't allow to boil. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
3. Set aside to cool to room temperature or until thick enough to spread.

Notes: When sifting the wholemeal flour, really sift it thoroughly. If desired, discard the larger flakes left at the end and pop into your compost bin. I feel that this stopped the cake from turning into a bread but this is down to personal preference. With regards to the frosting, I didn't have any soy cream so I substituted it with plain soy yoghurt (Alpro works very well) and added a small bit at a time until I got the right texture and thickness. It seems that the bitterness of the dark chocolate I used, counteracted any tartness from the yoghurt and thus worked perfectly.


Quorn mince quesadillas & guacamole

This is a spin on the traditional quesadilla which bulks it out to be a more substantial meal and lowers the fat content too.


Serves 1 or 2 (depending if you want to share!)

- drizzle of rapeseed oil
- 1 wholemeal flour tortilla
- handful of grated cheese, I used chili mature cheese
- 50g quorn mince
- passata sauce
- 20g black or pinto beans, drained
- home-made guacamole to serve (optional)

To make the guacamole:-
Makes about 240ml
- 1 medium avocado
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or pressed
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- pinch of sea salt
In a small bowl, use a potato masher or a fork to mash all of the ingredients together.
Use immediately.

How to:-
1. Cook the Quorn mince according to the pack, adding some passata sauce and stirring occasionally. Once cooked through, set aside.
2. In a frying pan over medium heat, drizzle the rapeseed oil over the tortilla and place in the pan oiled side down.
3. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the tortilla, leaving a small border clear all the way around the edge.
4. Put the beans over the cheese and add the quorn mince in the same way, still making sure that there is a border.
5. Gently flip the tortilla in half like an omelette. Cook for about 3-4 minutes and flip over and cook for a further 2 minutes until both sides are golden brown.
6. Cut into wedges and serve with the guacamole.

To veganize this, simply choose vegan mince and cheese instead. Remember to serve the guacamole straight away as it turns brown very quickly due to its rapid oxidising.



In winter, I sometimes find it difficult to be motivated to eat fruit. Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get more fruit in your diet. I tried the four recipes in The Skinny Bitch in The Kitch book and loved them, here they are. Each recipe makes about 500-750ml depending on whether you want to add more soy milk/juice. Add the fruit and liquid, blend until you get the consistency you like. Add some ice cubes if using all fresh fruit. Enjoy!


Verry Berry Smoothie
I love the colour of this.
300g mixed berries (use frozen if out of season), 120ml soy milk and 120ml apple juice (or you can use all soy milk).


Tropical Orange, Banana & Ginger Smoothie
I've never tried Ginger before in a smoothie but it was quite surprisingly yummy!
300g chopped bananas, 240ml orange juice and 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger.


Just Peachy Smoothie
Simple and smooth
300g chopped peaches, 120ml soy milk and 120ml apple juice


Berry & Banana Smoothie
Definitely a favourite
One banana chopped, 250g mixed berries and 240ml soy milk.

Scrambled tofu & black bean burrito

A hearty breakfast option that also works well as a light lunch. I used chili flakes to give a little heat but if you like it hot, just add slices of the real thing.


Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch:-
Bitchin' Breakfast Burrito
Serves 1

- 100g firm tofu, crumbled
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tablespoon soy or tamari sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- 1 vegan sausage, chopped or crumbled
- 2 or 3 baby new potatoes, chopped
- handful of black beans (or pinto)
- 1 wholemeal tortilla
- Ketchup or other condiment (optional)

How to:-
1. Boil the baby new potatoes until tender (around 15 mins). Chop and set aside.
2. In a bowl, combine the tofu, garlic, yeast flakes, soy sauce, turmeric, salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. In a frying pan, cook the vegan sausage according to pack. Once cooked, chop/crumble into the tofu mixture bowl.
4. Heat the oil in the frying pan and heat the potatoes and beans. Add in the tofu mixture and stir occasionally for 3-4 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
5. Place the tortilla over the pan to warm it and then place on a plate and add your condiment is using.
6. Carefully transfer the food onto the tortilla, keeping everything in the middle.
7. Wrap around and fold the bottom to envelope everything.
8. Serve whilst hot.

Notes: This would be great with some vegan cheese, salsa, peppers, chilies, mushrooms, tomatoes..the list is endless!


Healthy breakfast muffins

Perfect for breakfasts on the go and packing into lunchboxes. These little muffins are made with wholemeal flour so they will help to keep those hunger pangs at bay until lunch time. Have a go at experimenting with different fruit and nut combinations. Or if you prefer a sweeter muffin, try making some with dark chocolate chunks and maple syrup.

healthy blueberry muffins

healthy tropical muffins
zest of 1 orange,
use chopped banana and dessicated/shredded coconut for the fruit
and macadamias or hazelnuts.

Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch:-
Basic Fruit and Nut Muffins
Makes 12

- 4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
- 250g wholemeal flour
- 65g unrefined light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 300ml soy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 150g fresh or dried fruit, diced/chopped if necessary
- 60g chopped nuts (optional)

How to:-
1. Preheat oven to 190C/Gas 5. Grease a standard muffin tray or use liners, set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, salt and mashed banana.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy milk, oil and vanilla essence.
4. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until barely combined.
5. Stir in the fruit and nuts.
6. Transfer to the prepared muffin tray and divide evenly.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin centre comes out clean.

Notes: The original recipe calls for Ener-G egg replacer but I used a ripe mashed banana instead to act as the "egg". The main reason for this is because in my household, I always have some sorry looking bananas left in their bowl at the end of the week so this is a great way to use them up.


Homemade granola

This is so easy to make, once you try it, you'll never buy store-bought again!


Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch:-
Home-Made Granola
Makes about 500g

- 175g porridge / rolled oats
- 125g sliced or chopped almonds
- 60g unsweetened dessicated / shredded coconut
- pinch of sea salt
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil (plus a little more for the baking sheet)
- 125g dried fruit e.g raisin mix

How to:-
1. Preheat oven to 150C/Gas 2
2. Arrange the oats on a large lipped baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, combine the almonds, coconut and salt. Set aside.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and oil.
5. Stir the toasted oats into the almonds bowl and add the syrup mixture, stirring thoroughly to combine everything.
6. Grease the baking sheet with a little oil and spread the granola evenly and bake. Stir occasionally until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
7. Sprinkle on the dried fruit and if you feel the granola looks a little dry, drizzle on a little more maple syrup and oil.
8. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack, be careful, this will be hot!
9. Store in an airtight container.

granola jar

Notes: I couldn't find any rice syrup which the original recipe called for, so I used 2 tablespoons of extra maple syrup, with the result being very maple-syrupy which I loved! You could try using agave nectar instead and choose different nuts/dried fruits for variation. Serve your granola with your favourite soy/rice milk/yoghurt and add fresh fruit if desired.


Potato Scramble

A hot and filling lunch which is ideal for these cold days. You can use whatever you like in this and vary different spices to create this simple meal.

Potato Scramble

Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch:-
Potato Scramble
Serves 1

- 3 or 4 new potatoes
- 100g firm or extra-firm tofu, diced
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch of pepper
- pinch of paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- 1 vegan sausage, sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- sprinkle of chili flakes
- handful of baby spinach leaves to serve (optional)

How to:-
1. Boil the potatoes until tender (around 15-20 minutes) and then slice/chop and set aside.
2. Cook the vegan sausage according to packet instructions and then slice and set aside.
3. In a bowl, combine the tofu, salt, pepper and paprika, and add the sausage and potatoes.
4. Melt the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
5. Add everything into the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
6. Serve immediately on the bed of spinach leaves if using.

Notes: I used Cauldron tofu and Linda McCartney's vegetarian sausages (vegan friendly too). As mentioned above, you can make countless variations of this dish; add mushrooms, beans, cheese, garlic, tomatoes etc.


Apple crumble

I love comfort food, especially as the weather begins to get colder. This is one of my favourite desserts, best served hot/warm and with plenty of ice-cream. Drizzling maple syrup all over makes it even more perfect. You can make this with whatever fruit you like, I've recently made it with peaches and it was delicious.

Apple crumble

Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch:-
Fresh Fruit Crumble
Serves 4

- 100ml rapeseed oil, plus a little more for the pan
- 60g unrefined light brown sugar
- 75g wholemeal flour
- 45g rolled oats
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 small dessert apples, cored and sliced
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- vegan vanilla ice cream to serve (optional)
- maple syrup to serve (optional)

How to:-
1. Preheat oven to 190c/Gas 5. Lightly oil a 20 x 20cm baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, combine 50g of the sugar, 60g of the flour, the oats and pinch of salt.
3. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, swirl in the oil, mixing until the biggest pieces are the size of peas. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine the remaining sugar, flour and cinnamon. Mix in the apples, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
5. Transfer the fruit to the baking pan, spreading evening. Sprinkle on the crumble topping.
6. Bake for about 30 minutes.
7. If the fruit isn't yet tender (depends on the type of fruit used), cover lightly with foil and for bake for an additional 20-30 minutes.
8. Serve warm with ice-cream and maple syrup if using.

Notes: I couldn't find Sucanat so I used store-brand fairtrade unrefined light brown sugar. As I like to pile on the ice-cream and maple syrup with my desserts, I reduced the amount of sugar that I used from the original recipe and also reduced the amount of oil used. For the vegan ice-cream I used Swedish Glace's Smooth Vanilla, which is a great alternative to dairy ice-cream.

Vegan McMuffin / breakfast sandwich

This little beauty reminds me of those calorie and fat laden McMuffins that McDonalds serve. Thankfully, this one is completely vegan and has much less fat! You can play around with what you want to put in them; try a portobello mushroom, add some tomatoes or cheese, load it up with salad, put in a sliced faux sausage, the options are endless. P.S I was in a little hurry taking the photo so I realise that the muffin is upside down, it was still tasty though :)

Vegan McMuffin

Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch:-
THE Breakfast Sandwich
Serves 1

- 50g tofu, sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- 2 slices vegan bacon
- soy butter/marg spread for the muffin
- 1 wholemeal English muffin, split and toasted
- pinch of sea salt (optional)
- pinch of pepper (optional)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce (optional)
- ketchup for serving (optional)

How to:-
1. If using, mix the tofu with the soy sauce and set aside.
2. In a frying pan, melt the rapeseed oil. Add the tofu and bacon and cook for a few minutes.
3. Toast the muffin and spread lightly each side with soy butter.
4. Assemble as desired with the tofu and bacon, adding the salt/pepper/ketchup if wanted.
5. Serve immediately whilst hot.

Notes: I'm trying to eat wholemeal/wholegrain carbs nowadays and avoiding the nasty white stuff wherever possible. Wholemeal English muffins are to die for. If you don't have much love for the whole stuff, try these. I used Cauldron tofu and Redwood's Organic Bacon Style Rashers. I didn't like the bacon much, it was very chewy. If I was making this for myself, I would probably use bacon from Quorn which would make it vegetarian. I also tried using Tofutti's Cheddar Cheese Slices which are simply awful, so I skipped those. For the soy spread I used Pure.


French tofu scramble

I've wanted to cook properly with tofu for a while but never got around to it, until now. I'm really pleased with how this turned out for my first effort. I am AMAZED by how similiar scrambled tofu is to scrambled eggs. Seriously, after making this, I could quite happily not eat whole eggs ever again and I doubt I would miss them. This is a nice cooked breakfast on its own or you could easily bulk it out with more veggies and a side of carbs to turn it into a more substantial lunch or dinner time meal.

French scramble

Adapted from Skinny Bitch In The Kitch:-
French Scramble
Serves 1

- 100g firm or extra-firm tofu
- handful of grated vegan cheese
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped or put through a press
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- 30g sliced mushrooms, any kind - I used normal white button ones
- handful of baby spinach leaves to serve (optional)

How to:-
1. In a bowl combine the tofu, cheese, garlic, soy sauce, turmeric, salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. In a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, melt the oil. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender.
3. Stir in the tofu mixture and cook for around 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally and until any excess liquid has evaporated.
4. Serve immediately on a bed of baby spinach leaves if using.

Notes: I used Cauldron tofu and Redwood's Cheezly Mozzarella for this one. The vegan cheese grated and melted easily with the scramble. I couldn't taste it a great deal whilst eating so if you prefer a more cheesier dish, just add more cheese! The original recipe calls for spring onions which I left out because I hate onions and nutritional yeast flakes which I left out as I couldn't find them. I have since ordered a tub of Marigold Engevita's nutritional yeast flakes via eBay and will use these next time I make this dish. I also couldn't find any refined coconut oil so used rapeseed oil instead, and I prefer to eat spinach raw rather than cooked so that's just a matter of personal preference.

Strawberry, grape and melon fruit salad

I've recently read Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin. Loved the book and found it very informative on a lot of issues. I've started to change some of my eating habits and the first one that I've found the easiest to do was to have something simple for breakfast. Fruit is the breakfast of champions so I've been enjoying this simple fruit salad lately.

Fruit salad

Strawberries are probably my favourite fruit. I could eat them all day, everyday and I'm always sad when they go out of season. I love grapes and all types of melons so this is a perfect little starter in the mornings for me.