How much have you put on over Christmas?!

How much have you put on over Christmas?!  

Christmas Weight gain

So the festivities are almost over, the christmas tree will soon be packed away for another year and you will  be trying to get through all the chocolate, biscuits and treats that were either bought or received as gifts

And then its ‘New Year resolution’ time; get fit, get slimmer, get active, get alcohol free?! Why do we make these kinds of resolutions in January?  Well, maybe my game of festive bingo may provide some clues!

Have a look at the bingo card below see how many items you consumed over the last few weeks, then count up the calories.  Shocked?!




In true bingo style lets see if you got

  • The four corners; 870 calories in total
  • a line across; 950 calories in total
  • a line down ; 1,120 calories in total
  • a diagonal line ; 1,170 calories in total
  • A FULL HOUSE is 4,360 calories in total


You could consume 3,289 calories from your Christmas day dinner alone.  And maybe after completing the festive bingo card you can see where those calories have come from. And that’s before we add in the calories consumed or drunk on New Years Eve and day.

free nutrition session

If you are one of the many who stepped on the scales this week and quickly stepped off again I can help.  I have many clients who want to see me in January so I can help motivate and support them and you to shift the pounds, make healthy eating goals or adopt a healthier lifestyle



vegan cookery classes

You might want to see me for one to one healthy eating advice, how to survive Dry January or join one of my healthy eating cooking classes so you can fully embrace  ‘Veganuary’.


My one to one nutrition sessions last 50 minutes and cost £40, but I have a special offer of 3 sessions for £100.  If you need cooking inspiration my classes cost £25 or 6 sessions for £125 (6 for the price of 5). Click on this link for more details about my classes

A pervious client was kind enough to write these words

ryans-testimonialSo if you want to be lighter, healthier and more motivated in 2018 give me a call

07946 301338

Festive vegan wellington

Festive vegan wellington


This is a great celebration centrepiece that both vegan and non-vegans will love. I have made a plaited top to reduce the heaviness of the dish, which will also lower the calories

festive vegan wellington







So lets get cracking!




You will need

100g washed and chopped leeks

200g of sliced mushrooms

1 tsp vegetable oil – I used rapeseed

festive vegan wellington 100g of nuts, toasted and chopped – I used a bag of mixed nuts but choose your favourites

180g cooked chestnuts – chopped

400g drained chickpeas (save the water)

small packet of basic stuffing – I used sage and onion

1 apple, grated or finely chopped

1 tsp each of fennel and caraway seeds – optional

festive vegan wellington 5g fresh tarragon, thyme or rosemary – I used tarragon as it goes well with mushrooms and the fennel seeds

2 cloves of garlic chopped

large pinch of chilli flakes, or ½ – 1 tsp chilli power or ½ – 1 fresh chilli chopped

1 tbsp cranberry sauce

1 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper

1 portion of vegan just roll puff pastry (thawed)

1 tbsp non dairy milk

1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

1 baking try and rolling pin


First of all preheat the oven 200oC

Tip the stuffing mix in to a bowl add hot water, according to the instructions on the packet (plus an extra 50 ml of water).  Mix well then add the grated apple and toasted chopped nuts and mix again. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Leave to cool

vegan festive wellington

In a large frying pan heat the oil and add the chopped leeks, cook for about 5-8 minutes until they soft. Add the garlic and sliced mushroom, cook for a further 10 minutes stirring regularly. If it all looks dry add a small amount of chickpea water but not oil. Add the chopped chestnuts, chickpeas, chilli, fennel/caraway seeds (if using), lemon juice and herbs. Leave to cook.  Take the back of a fork and squash some of the chickpeas, to make the mixture a bit smoother and creamier.  Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary


On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry in to a square that will fit a large lightly oiled baking tray (I used one 30cmx30cm). You could use greased proof paper instead of the oil.  Place the rolled pastry on the tray

Now for the construction


First of all tip the stuffing mixture down the centre of the pastry and shape in to a flat sausage. Leave enough pastry either side to be able to fold strips of the pastry up and over the filling. Dot 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce across the top.

With a large spoon place the chestnut and mushroom mixture on top of the stuffing and again shape in to a looser sausage shape. Make equal diagonal cuts on each side of the filling.

Then start to plait the top by taking a strip from one side and crossing it up and on to the top of the filling, brush with some milk. Take a strip from the opposite side and bring up and place on the moistened first strip. Repeat the process until the plait is complete. Finally, wrap the top and bottom pieces of pastry and fold it around the ends.

Make sure all the pastry is brushed with milk (you can also sprinkle over some sesame seeds for extra texture) and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Cut in to 6-8 slices and serve with plenty of festive veg and vegan gravy

This short clip will show you how to portion up the finished dish


All done, now enjoy!

festive vegan wellington

And any left over pastry and filling can be quickly turned in to sausage rolls!

vegan sausage rolls


merry xmas1

Accidentally vegan!

Accidentally vegan!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

As the number of people adopting a vegan lifestyle increases so does the number of products, food items and drinks that specifically cater for their needs.  As well as vegan specific foods like cheeses, yoghurts, sausages, cakes, pastries etc there is also a growing number of accidentally vegan products out there………

You may be surprised just how many vegan items you are consuming!

But first of all a big caveat; the items below are what I would call snacks, treats and convenience foods i.e. to be consumed occasionally.  The majority of a healthy balanced diet should be in the form of freshly prepared foods like vegetables, fruit, wholegrain carbs, water, fats from olives, avocado and nuts and protein from nuts, seeds, beans, pulses, non- dairy, soya etc.

Accidentally vegan!

lets start with biscuits; these are from Aldi, Tesco, Wilko, B&M, Poundland, Asda etc

I have it on good authority that the Crocus cafe ( in Lenton, Nottingham make an amazing oreo cookie cake, just what you need for a special treat

ore cake


And lets not forget one of our childhood favourites Fox’s party rings!

vegan party rings









If you want to know what food in most UK supermarket is vegan friendly then I suggest you visit

Christmas treats

There are now more than ever, some delicious vegan Christmas treats that should make the whole family happy


vegan onion rings


Sainsburys onion ring crisps



vegan christmas

Coop’s Christmas dinner crisps


Coop’s Christmas dinner crisps


vegan snacks



Tesco churros




vegan malt loaf

Aldi ‘Malt’ loaf

vegan savoury biscuits

M&S crackers

vegan nut bars

Aldi quinoa protein bars

vegan millionaire shortbread

Millionaire shortbread from Sainsbury photo by veganoo

vegan savoury biscuit

Aldi crackers

vegan Prawn cocktail crisps

Many crisp varieties including Walkers Prawn cocktail, and Worcester sauce flavours, McCoys BQ chicken, Skips, Pringles Smokey bacon. All available at most supermarkets





Cooking ingredients

vegan sauce

Sriracha mayo

vegan sauce

Asian spicy pastes and sauces


vegan choc drink

Liquid chocolate from Aldi and other supermarkets

At the very least this blog should give you some stocking filler ideas for the vegans in your life

vegan caramel spread biscoff

Lotus biscoff spread

merry xmas1

Black bean burger

Black bean burger

I’ve adapted a Peta recipe that I found on twitter to create this really tasty vegan bean burger. It’s packed with fibre filling wholewheat pasta, please free to use gluten free if you need to

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 16.10.18

Makes 6 – 8 burgers depending on the size

bean burger

ingredients for black bean burger

400g cooked wholewheat pasta

1 tin drained black beans (or any other beans you have in the cupboard, red kidney beans would work well)

1 teaspoon chilli flakes or ½ – 1 fresh chilli chopped

50g sun-dried tomatoes

90g BBQ sauce  – I didn’t have any so I used 65g tomato ketchup, 25g brown sauce,  ½ tsp of smoked paprika and 1 tsp liquid smoke

1 tsp lemon juice

handful chopped parsley or coriander (optional)

½ tsp salt

1 onion – chopped

1 tsp vegetable/rapeseed/olive oil

3 cloves of garlic

extra oil for brushing the burgers

small bowl of water to wet your hands

Pre heat an oven 180oC, 160oC Fan, 350oF, gas 4

Add the oil to a frying pan and cook the chopped onions for 5-8 minutes, until soft and golden.  Add the chopped garlic and salt. If it sticks add some water, not more oil

Tip the cooked pasta, beans, chilli, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs (if using), lemon juice and BBQ sauce in to a food processor and blend until you get a thick paste.  Scoop out into a bowl and mix thoroughly with a large spoon or spatula.  Add the cooked onions and mix again.

Lightly grease a baking tray or use greaseproof paper.  Spoon out 6-8 spoonfuls of the mixture and place on the baking tray.  Dip your hands in water and gently shape the burgers and flatten slightly.  Brush lightly with some extra oil

bean burger

Place in the pre heated oven and cook for 30-40 minutes.  Check half way though the cooking time.

bean burger

cooked in 30-40 minutes

When cooked add to a burger bun that has your favourite extras like vegan mayo, tomato sauce, avocado, gherkins, salad leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, onion rings etc

black bean burger

I served mine in sour dough bread with sweet potato wedges and it was delicious. I had the left overs with mash potato and baked beans (pure comfort food!) and finally in a sandwich with mustard fried onions

How did you eat yours?




Food waste

Food Waste

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

the coop and food waste

Over the last few days the Co-op hit the headlines for its war on waste.  Its East of England stores will now be selling food that is past its ‘best before date’ for 10p

food-waste2In the run up to Christmas when we are all busy stocking up our shelves, fridges and freezer it’s perhaps worth bearing in mind that £17 billion worth of food is thrown away every year in the UK.  That’s the equivalent of £470 per Uk household

We all have a part to play in that number, for instance shops and manufacturers generate 6 million tonnes of food waste annually, restaurants generate another 3 million tonnes and 33% of the food we buy is thrown away

But at the same time 8.4 million people in the UK who are too poor to eat and 4.7 million people go a whole day without food


So what can you do to help reduce some of these statistics?

Food waste top tips

Tip #1 - understand the difference between use by, best before and sell by dates.  It could make the difference between using or throwing away food


Tip #2 – go shopping with a list. It could not only reduce your food bill by discouraging you from purchasing BOGOF and other special offers but you will only buy what you need and help reduce waste

Tip #3 – Use the freezer to correctly store leftover food.  Place leftovers in freezer bags (clearly labelled with the contents and a date)

Tip #4 – Love your leftovers; veg can be made into a winter warming and cheap soup, stale bread can be turned into breadcrumbs, garlic bread or frozen for later, herbs can be added to bottled oil to create flavoured oils, potatoes can be cooked,mashed and frozen, ripe bananas can be broken into pieces and frozen ready to be added to smoothies, turned in to squishy banana bread or whizzed in a blender to make ice-cream

Tip #5 – Stalks, stems, outer leaves from veg and herbs can all be frozen ready to make homemade stock for stews, soups, risottos and sauces

Tip #6 – Ripe fruit can be cooked in a small amount of water and some cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch or two of sugar until soft and spooned over yoghurt, served with your favourite cereal or eaten with custard.  Any left over can be frozen flat in freezer bags

Tip #7 – Never go food shopping when you are hungry; it could encourage you to make impetuous buys

Tip #8 - Make your salad leaves last longer by putting them in a big bowl or tub, lay a paper towel or two over the top so moisture doesn’t settle on the leaves. Cover with a lid or some clingfilm and store at the bottom of the fridge.

Tip #9 – Practice portion control and don’t overload your plates with food.  Consider using smaller plates, bowls and glasses

Tip #10 – If you have left over food contact your nearest food bank, soup kitchen, charity or local church and let them redistribute it for you


 feed-bellies-not-binsWhat’s your best tip for avoiding food waste?

Cheats mince pies

Cheats Mince pies

mince pieThis is a recipe I made a few years ago when some unexpected guests arrived one Christmas and I needed to make some mince pies pronto! And your guests will never guess the ‘cheat’ or that they are vegan!

I have pimped up shop bought mincemeat but you can just open a jar and get cracking

So the cheat is to use wholemeal bread instead of pastry.  Its so simple, quick and easy and you can make as many or as few as you need.  I also keep a few frozen slices of wholemeal bread in freezer bags for those surprise visitors.  And 15-20 minutes later they are settled with a homemade mince pie and a cuppa (or something stronger)

One slice will make 2 circles and 2 star tops i.e. 2 complete mince pies.

vegan cookery classes




My cookery class guests have made these mince pies today along with chocolate truffles and ginger men biscuits.  If you’d like to come to any of my vegan classes then please contact e for more details




So what are you waiting for get rolling!

Makes 6 mince pies

3 slices of wholemeal bread

6 teaspoons (120g) shop bought or homemade mince meat

2 tsps of your favourite tipple (brandy, rum, sherry etc) – Optional

1 cooking or eating apple washed, cored but not peeled

1 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice

2 tsps oil

large pinch of sugar

extra cinnamon, mixed spice or nutmeg for dustingpastry cutter for mince pie

1 pastry cutter 3″ or 78mm wide

1 star cutter

1 rolling pin

bun tin


Pre-heat the oven 220C/200C fan/gas 7.  Grease the bun tin using a small amount of oil and some kitchen roll

Using the rolling pin roll out and flatten each slice of bread.  Make it large enough so that you can cut out two circles and two stars*


Place the circles in the bun tins and press down so they line the tins.

Chop the apple in to small cubes or grate on a course grater

img_9116In a bowl add 120g of mincemeat, chopped/grated apple, cinnamon or mixed spice and alcohol (if using).  Mix together and spoon in to the bread cases

Using a pastry brush, brush the remaining oil carefully over the stars.  Place a star on top of the filled pies sprinkle with extra cinnamon and a few grains of sugar

img_9122Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-12 minutes until the tops look nice and toasted.  Eat hot or cold, either by themselves or with some soya cream or custard

They should be stored in an airtight container and will keep for 4 days

*The left over bread can be used to make bread sauce, homemade stuffing, make a shop bought stuffing go further or frozen until you decide what you want to do with it!



christmas Merry Christmas!