Veganuary Week 1

5 Jan

Anyone participating in #veganuary?  We are!  Well, I am, and the family are tagging along, to a certain extent.

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Breakfasts: the usual, plus a big new tub of peanut butter and…


Lunches – leftovers, slaws, soups and:

  • Houmous  and various vegetables, salads and home made rye bread



  1. Veggie shepherd’s pie with sweet potato mash
  2. Stirfry with Thai basil, aubergine and tofu
  3. Vegan burritos
  4. Walnut burgers served in a ciabatta bun with salad/ sweet potato fries and if you are a pesto maniac like me, a no-basil spinach pesto
  5. One for the team: Pasta with red sauce (and/or vegan pesto)
  6. Comforting vegan kedgeree 


Desserts and snacks:






How to eat properly with no fridge or cooking facilities

1 Oct

There may be a number of reasons why you’re not eating properly. It might be a lack of time, or a lack of cooking facilities. Either way, I wanted to come up with a series of evening meals that could ensure you get enough variety in your diet without even employing a fridge, let alone an oven. A microwave or a pan is all I’ve allowed. A shopping trip as outlined below could last you for two weeks if you top up on cherry toms.

  1. Wafer-thin ham or Quorn slices (doesn’t take up much fridge space!), rye bread party rounds or crispbread crackers, chopped carrot or cornichons, followed by a tin of peaches or a juicy orange with an individual UHT soya pot
  2. Flavoured couscous with a tinned chicken korma and a handful of cherry toms.
  3. Ready to eat lentils in pitta bread with feta cheese and semi dried tomatoes in oil (keeps out of the fridge)
  4. Baked beans and sweetcorn on toast followed by a Del Monte fruit salad pot
  5. Boil-in-the bag rice (can even be done in a kettle!!) with tinned red lentil or mulligatawny soup, followed by an individual apple pie and a UHT soya pot
  6. Individual stir-in sauce for pasta

Shopping list:

  • Wafer-thin ham or Quorn slices
  • Rye bread party rounds or rye bread slices or Ryvita (keep in a tin)
  • Carrots (keep somewhere cool) or a jar of cornichons
  • Tinned peaches
  • Navel oranges, apples, pears
  • Individual UHT soya desserts
  • Couscous
  • Tinned chicken korma
  • Cherry tomatoes (keep somewhere cool)
  • Ready to eat lentils
  • Feta cheese with semi dried tomatoes in oil
  • Baked beans
  • Sweetcorn
  • Bread for toasting (I’d just cadge a slice)
  • Del Monte fruit salad pots
  • Boil in the bag rice
  • Tinned red lentil soup / mulligatawny soup
  • Individual apple pie
  • Pasta
  • Stir-in sauce

Menu Plan for Meat-eater and Vegetarian

19 Sep

It’s perfectly easy to cook in a house where some are vegetarian and some eat meat. The worry about the difficulty of this is something that puts people off being vegetarian for years. But it just takes a little getting used to.  There are 2 approaches to combining meat and veggie options.

  1. Cook meat and two veg, and have a veggie protein option instead of the meat. This may mean you explore veggie gravies and sauces which everyone can eat.
  2. Cook the same base (eg. tomato sauce with lentils) but have 2 pans and add meat to one of them. Remember to have 2 spoons as well for cooking.

Here are three suggestions:

1. Beef/marinated tofu in black bean sauce with egg noodles.

Have 2 pans and put the beef in one pan and the marinated tofu in the other. Cook both following the recipe.

2. Tuna steaks (or chicken breasts) with chilli edamame.

Adapt this recipe by slicing an aubergine lengthways and griddling the slices in the grill pan, for 5 mins each side, or grilling under a hot grill for 4 mins each side. Then cook the tuna steaks as in the recipe and serve the aubergine option instead of the tuna steak. Edamame are extremely good sources of protein so the vegetarians will not lose out.

3. Chicken/veggie fajitas

Adapt this veggie recipe by griddle frying or stir frying the thin strips of chicken in a pan on the hob while the veg are roasting. You can if you like them, use Quorn roast chicken strips, fried before the chicken on the same griddle. Place fillings including a bowl of grated cheese in separate bowls on the table for people to mix and match.  If you can’t get taco seasoning, just use a mixture of mild chilli powder, oregano and ground cumin.

Shopping List


  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 350g beef sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 195g Sharwood’s Black Bean Stir Fry Sauce
  • 1 spring onion, sliced to garnish
  • 1/2  pkt marinated tofu pieces
  • Handful cashew nuts
  • 150g dried egg noodles
  • Sesame oil


  • 1 tuna steak per meat eater (about 150g/5oz each)
  • 2 aubergine slices per person, sliced lengthways
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 1 x 210g tub edamame and pea salad (save the dressing from the pack for another time)
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • rice to serve


  • 1 yellow squash
  • 2 small zucchinis
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1-2 medium bell peppers
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 packet of fajita or taco seasoning
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • salt and pepper
  • whole wheat, low carb fajita-style tortillas (6”)
  • 1 chicken breast per person, thinly sliced
  • 1pkt Quorn roast chicken (meant for sandwiches)
  • grated cheese

Autumn Showstoppers Vegetarian Menu Plan

19 Sep


  1. Vegetarian Jambalaya
  2. Spanish Omelette with salad
  3. Mushrooms Cacciatore with Rosemary Potatoes
  4. Butternut Squash in Filo Parcels
  5. Gnocchi alle Pere e Gorgonzola


  • Tempeh  (or vegetarian sausages)
  • Cajun Seasoning (or cayenne plus oregano plus garlic)
  • 2 Onions
  • 6 sticks Celery
  • 3 Bell Peppers
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Brown Rice
  • Bouillon powder
  • 1 can chopped Tomatoes


  • 500g white potatoes
  • 1 white onion
  • lots of olive oil
  • parsley
  • 6 eggs
  • salad leaves and cucumber to serve


  • A handful dried porcinis or a small pouch dried mushroom mix
  • 6 portobello mushroom caps
  • fresh (or dried) thyme
  • 1 chilli
  • plenty of garlic
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cans tomatoes
  • A few leaves basil
  • Rosemary
  • Potatoes


  • butternut squash
  • paprika
  • allspice (or cinnamon)
  • 4 sheets filo pastry
  • 200g feta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • tinned sweetcorn
  • vegetarian Parmesan
  • butter


  • 3 oz gorgonzola dolce cheese
  • 1 ripe pear, diced
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • light vegetable stock
  • milk
  • fresh gnocchi: 2x 400g packs feeds a small family




Summer Vegetarian Menu

1 Jul

Menu Plan

  1. Sunshine salad
  2. Mixed mushroom stirfry
  3. Bean salad
  4. Pea & Goat’s Cheese Tart
  5. Ravioli and red pasta sauce

Shopping list


  • raisins
  • bacon
  • sunflower seeds
  • broccoli
  • mayonnaise
  • cider vinegar
  • 1/2 a red onion


  • mixed wild mushrooms
  • chestnut mushrooms
  • cashew nuts
  • sugar snap peas
  • rice or noodles
  • stir fry sauce


  • beans (cannellini, borlotti, green)
  • onions
  • green pepper
  • celery
  • brown sugar
  • plenty of oil and vinegar


  • 300g frozen peas
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • handful mint leaves
  • 2 eggs
  • 284ml pot double cream
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 200g mild goat’s cheese, crumbled


  • Ravioli
  • Tomatoes, tinned
  • Onions


Eat Well, Stay Well menu plan

25 Jun
  1. finger lickin chicken 
  2. field mushroom spanish omelette
  3. ratatouille
  4. baked fish in tomato
  5. gammon and leek soup


Shopping List


  • 3tbsp runny honey
  • 2tbsp muscovado sugar
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2tbsp tamarind paste
  • 4 chikcen drummers


  • 20g (¾oz) butter
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cooked potatoes, diced
  • 200g (7oz) flat field mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 125g (4oz) young spinach
  • 4 eggs
  • 100ml (3½fl oz) milk or soya milk
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 medium courgettes, trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 1 medium aubergine
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 2 medium onions, red or white
  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp tomato paste
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ¼tsp ground coriander
  • 2 large sprigs basil, roughly chopped

4. (to serve 1-2)

  • 1/2 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 x 227g tin chopped tomatoes
  • Handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • small handful oregano or basil leaves
  • 2 skinless white fish fillets, about 250g
  • 2 very thin lemon slices


  • 750g Tesco Unsmoked Gammon Joint
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1.5 – 2 litres vegetable stock
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 200ml double cream or soft goat’s cheese


Simple Food for Hungry People

12 Jun

1. Bacon and greens with lentils
2. Chickpea and carrot stew with couscous
3. Smoked mackerel with new potatoes and sugar snap peas
4. Spag bol
5. Omelette with feta, sweetcorn and cherry tomatoes

Tomatoes tinned
Smoked mackerel
New potatoes
Sugar snap peas
Lamb mince
Dried spaghetti
Finest feta
Cherry tomatoes