Chickpea scramble

Chickpea scramble

This makes a great alternative to tofu scramble, and like tofu has a hefty amount of protein it is also high in fibre.  The nutritional yeast adds  B12 and the linseeds add essential fatty acids
As well as all that great nutrition the dish is incredibly tasty and flavoursome, so why not make it today
Serves two
Chickpea flour batter:
  • 50g of chickpea flour (also known as gram or besan flour)
  • 100 ml cold water
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (with added B12)
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed (linseeds)
  • ½ tsp kala namak (black salt) – for an eggy flavour and smell
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric or freshly grated
  • large pinch of smoked paprika and black pepper

chickpea flour

  • 1 tsp oil or a few squirts of oil spray
  • 1 clove of garlic ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ½ chopped onion
  • ½ red, green or yellow pepper – chopped
  • handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • large pinch dried chilli flakes or ½ fresh chilli chopped
  • small handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • black pepper
  1. Make the batter by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside until neededchickpea scramble
  2. Heat ½ tsp oil in a frying pan, over a medium heat. Add onion and garlic (salt) and cook until soft; about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add veggies and chilli and cook for another 2 mins.29365503_10155428600326903_775324558516289536_n
  4. Then add the spinach, cook until the leaves are wilted.
  5. Pour the chickpea flour batter over the veggies. Cook for a few minutes until the edges start to set. Drizzle ½ tsp oil or a few sprays of oil on the edges.chickpea scramble
  6. Scramble up the mixture  with a fork and continue cooking. The mixture will form clumps, scrape the bottom of the pan and let it cook for another few minutes before mixing again.  Continue to cook until the edges start to dry out, probably a total 4 to 5 minutes.chickpea scramble
  7. Turn off the heat and let the doughy mixture sit for 1-2 minutes.chickpea scramble
  8. Then break into smaller chunks and serve on wholemeal bread, sour dough toast or crumpets.  Or make it part of a more substantial brunch
  9. Sprinkle generously with black pepper and scatter over the coriander leaves

chickpea scramble

Sweet potato falafels

Sweet potato falafels – serves 2

sweet-potat-falafelsThese are a great way to use protein rich chickpeas and vitamin packed sweet potatoes.  If you have some roasted butternut squash that can easily be used in place of the sweet potato. And feel free to play with the spicing by using curry powder, garam masala, turmeric or a small amount of cinnamon

My vegan cookery class guests will be making these little morsels all this week.


vegan cooking

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

Makes 10 x 30g falafels

sp-falafels-ingredients250g raw sweet potato

½ tin (108g) drained chickpeas (keep the water)

or 25g dried chickpeas soaked overnight in water until they swell to 125g (discard the water) and rinse them well. Add them to a large pot, cover the beans with several inches of water, and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until they reach your desired tenderness,  1 ½ to 2 hours. Either with the a lid off or slightly on

35g chickpea (gram) flour

1 large garlic clove

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp chilli flakes and smoked paprika

5g fresh coriander or parsley, chopped finely

toasted sesame seeds, to coat (optional)


Sesame sauce

1 tbsp tahini

2 tsp lemon juice

½ small garlic clove, crushed

½ tsp maple/golden syrup or agave

salt & pepper to taste

chickpea water



mashed-falafelsPut the potatoes into a 200° C / gas mark 6 oven and roast it until soft, it takes about 1 hour (depending on size). Or microwave for 5-6 minutes on full. Let them cool, peel and mash the flesh with a fork. You can bake the skins until crispy and serve with the falafels

Finely grind the chickpeas and garlic in a food processor.

In a large bowl, combine the mashed potato, ground chickpeas and garlic, chickpea flour, herbs and spices. Mix it well, if its very soft it can be placed in the fridge for an hour or two (or freezer for ½ an hour) to firm up.


patie-shapesUsing your hands (dipped in water to stop the mixture from sticking to them), form small patties (about 30g) out of the mixture. If the mixture is still too soft add a bit more chickpea flour. Once shaped, press them lightly into some sesame seeds spread on a small plate.

Brush a small amount of olive oil onto a baking tray and place falafels on it, making sure they do not touch. Bake falafel-in-the-ovenfor 20- 25 minutes, keep an eye on them after 15 mins and flip them over if they look too brown. At this point you can add the potato skins to the dish and crisp them up.  The falafels are done when they are crispy and golden.



Sesame sauce

In a bowl, mix tahini with lemon juice and a splash of chickpea water.

Add maple/golden syrup, garlic and a bit more water to thin it down so you can drizzle it. Taste and if necessary season with salt and pepper.



When you try this recipe, why not post your photos here?!




recipe inspired by LazyCat kitchen



This Moroccan buckwheat salad is a very versatile dish, so if you haven’t got buckwheat, or indeed you don’t like it you can use protein rich quinoa, peal barley, Freekah, spelt or another grain of your choice


The same goes for the salad ingredients, you could use sweet potato instead of the butternut squash, add dates instead of apricots, substitute pine nuts for the almonds etc

200g butternut squash, cubed (you can keep the skin on)

1 tbls oil

1 tsp each of smoked paprika, cumin and chilli flakes

100g uncooked buckwheat, 25g uncooked quinoa

1 tsp oil

500ml stock –using hot water and 1tsp marigold bouillon powder

1 carrot, grated,

½ a tinned of drained chickpeas

3 dried apricots chopped, 2 spring onions, chopped

Large handful of fresh coriander and mint

20g of pomegranate seeds

Large handful each of spinach and rocket

20g of flaked and toasted almonds



1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbls lemon juice

½ tsp cumin powder

large pinch rock/sea/Himalayan salt

½ garlic clove, finely grated


  • Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  • Pour 1 tbls oil in a large bowl add cumin, chilli flakes and smoked paprika. Mix then tip in the cubed butternut squash. Mix well and pour in to a baking dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes until soft and golden


  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan; add the buckwheat and toast for 1 – 2 minutes. Keep the grain moving so it coats in the oil. Add the stock, bring to the boil and then allow to simmer for 8 minutes, stirring now and again. Then add the quinoa and cook for another 8 minutes. You may need to add more stock/water. The buckwheat should be slightly al dente. Set aside to cool.
  • In the bowl you used to coat the butternut squash add the spring onions, apricots, grated carrot and chickpeas. Mix well. Remove the butternut squash from the oven and add to the salad vegetables. If the almond flakes are not already toasted, dry fry in a small pan until lightly golden, set aside. Chop the herbs and keep separate

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  • Make the dressing by adding all the ingredients to a jar. Securing with a lid and shake to mix. Taste and season if necessary
  • Plate up the dish. On a large platter scatter the rocket and spinach leaves. Cover with the vegetables and butternut squash. Scatter over chopped herbs, pomegranates seeds and toasted almonds. Drizzle the dressing over the whole dish and serve

If you would like to come to a vegan cooking class then please contact me for more details

vegan cookery classes

Vegan sweet pancakes

Vegan sweet pancakes – Makes 8 small pancakes 118 calories each

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

IMG_2659As its Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) tomorrow I thought I would make a ‘free from’ recipe because a number of my clients have intolerances and they miss out on some great meals.  But not this time!

As well as being vegan the pancakes are also gluten free.

They make a great protein packed breakfast as well as a delicious dessert or afternoon snack, with low GI quinoa flour*.  The flaxseeds also add omega 3 fatty acids.  Any leftovers can be reheated for the following day or frozen for another time

When the pancakes cook they are much more delicate than other pancakes so be careful when you turn to flip them over!  Dont worry if they break up they can just be pressed together and they will firm up


  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (linseeds)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 250 ml unsweetened soya milk, coconut or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 125 g quinoa*/coconut/wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon golden caster sugar
  • 1 IMG_2642teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 50 g blueberries or 1 grated apple or pear, plus extra to serve
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • soya yoghurt, maple syrup or agave and sesame seeds, to serve


IMG_2643 IMG_2641Whisk together the ground flaxseed and 2½ tablespoons of cold water, then set aside to thicken.


Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over a medium heat or microwave on high for one minute, then leave to cool slightly.

IMG_2647Combine the soya, coconut or almond milk and vinegar or lemon juice. Leave to for 5 minutes then add the melted coconut oil and whisk in the flaxseed mixture.


Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then make a well in the middle. Gradually pour in the wet mixture, stirring continuously until combined – don’t worry if there are still a few lumps. Fold in the fruit, then set aside, until needed but at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature.

IMG_2658 IMG_2652

Heat about ½ a teaspoon of coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Turn the heat down to low and place a ladleful of the batter in the pan (one ladleful is enough for one pancake).

Add more ladlefuls of the batter, ensuring they’re nicely spaced out – you’ll need to do this in batches.


Cook for around 3 minutes, or until golden underneath and little bubbles start to appear on the surface, Use a palette knife or spatula to carefully flip them over. Cook for a further 2 minutes, or until golden. REMEMBER, these pancakes are much softer than others so flip carefully!


IMG_2656Place in the oven to keep warm while you make the remaining pancakes.

 Serve with a dollop of soya yoghurt, a IMG_2684drizzle of maple syrup or agave and extra fruit.  Oranges, banana, kiwi and tinned prunes all work well.



IMG_2644 IMG_2645
* Quinoa flour can be bought from most health food shops but it is easy to make your own for a fraction of the cost. Measure out 125g of uncooked quinoa place in a grinder (I used my ever versatile Nutribullet) and blend until it looks like a fine powder.  And hey presto you have quinoa flour!  You could also make wholemeal rice, millet, oat or barley flour the same way

If you would like to learn more about vegan cooking then why not come to one or more of my vegan cooking classes held in West Bridgford?

vegan cookery classes

Cannellini bean soup

Cannellini bean soup – from the River café cookbook

This a protein and fibre rich soup, that has a thick and satisfying texture.  Feel free to add extra stock if you want it thinner.  I haven’t tried making this with tinned cannellini beans but if you do I suggest two tins (with their liquid) and use everything in the recipe below except the bicarb,  And obviously miss out the soaking and pre-cooking steps

Serves 4

250g dried cannellini beans

2 tbls bicarbonate of soda

1 large tomato

½ bulb garlic, unpeeled

a handful of fresh sage leaves

3 garlic cloves – peeled and chopped

3 tablespoons of olive or rapeseed oil

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped.  ¾ in the soup, ¼ for decoration

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil

handful of toasted sliced almonds

river cafe

Begin by preparing the dried beans; Cover the beans with cold water and bicarb and soak overnight. Drain the beans place in a large saucepan, cover with fresh cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain again. Add more fresh cold water and cover 5cm or 2 inches above the beans. Add the tomato, garlic bulb and sage, bring to the boil then simmer with a lid until the beans are cooked. This can take between 40 and 90 minutes. Remove the scum that floats to the surface


Drain the cooked beans (keep the liquid), remove the garlic, tomato and sage leaves. In a pan cook the 3 raw garlic cloves until soft but not brown. Add ¾ of the parsley (including the chopped stalks), cook for a few seconds then add the beans and some of the cooking liquid. Cook for a few minutes before putting ¾ of the mixture into a food processor, nutribullet or use a hand blender or potato masher. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped.

Add some veg stock if its too thick.   Return the chopped beans to the remaining ¼ mixture in the pan. Taste, and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. This is a thick hearty soup, but If its still too thick add some extra stock. Pour in to four bowls scatter over the toasted sliced almonds, some chopped parsley and drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil

bean soup

The soup is nice and thick and hearty

I made this soup as part of a 5 course dinner for 5 of my friends so I made it thinner and served smaller portions in teas cups.  It looked very tasty indeed

vegan soup

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

Quick Cauliflower and chickpea biryani

Quick Cauliflower and chickpea biryani

A biryani that is perfect for meat free Monday

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

IMG_4476This is a very quick and easy vegan cauliflower  biryani recipe. It uses some store cupboard standbys, like microwaveable rice and some chutneys

By adding chickpeas you are seriously upping the protein and fibre content. The cauliflower adds more fibre and plenty of immune supporting antioxidants

Adjust the level of spice to suit your taste buds


Serves 2, 480 calories per portion


500g Cauliflower, cut in to florets, include the stalks for extra fibre

1 large onion (150g) – chopped

2 tsp oil

IMG_44741 x 400g tin of chickpeas –

1 garlic clove  and 1 nub of fresh ginger – sliced

or 1 tsp garlic and ginger paste

2 -3 heaped tsp curry powder

1 tsp each of turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli flakes

splash of lemon juice

handful parsley and/or mint leaves – chopped

1 packet express wholegrain rice


nutracheck image

The calories have been calculated using the Nutracheck App


IMG_4472Start by heating the oil on a medium flame in a large frying pan and add the chopped onions and cauliflower. Cook until the onions start to colour. If it starts to stick and burn, resist adding more oil and add a splash of hot water instead.

Add the garlic and ginger (or the paste) and stir. After about two minutes add all the spices and using a metal spoon (the turmeric will stain a wooden one) coat theIMG_4473 vegetables. Cook until the spices start to smell fragrant. Add the chickpeas and their juice. Turn the heat down and cook until the cauliflower is soft – about 10-15 minutes. You may need to add more water


When your veg is nearly cooked, open the rice and add to the pan, mixing in thoroughly and cook for 2 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Add more water if its sticking to the base of the pan. Finish with a splash of lemon juice and the fresh herbs


IMG_4475Divide between two warmed bowls. And add a spoonful of mango chutney and lime pickle, for even more heat!


You can of course make this even quicker by using cooked left over veggies. The cooking time will reduce by 10 minutes. You can also add some lovely protein and omega 3 packed cashew nuts

Chocolate and blueberry vegan cheesecake

Chocolate and blueberry vegan cheesecake – serves 4,  approx 350 calories each

IMG_1968This recipe was created after I found an alpo dark chocolate dessert lurking in my pantry.  So I got my thinking cap on and came up with this really easy vegan cheesecake recipe. The fruit can be varied depending on what you have in the fridge or cupboards, for instance add fresh raspberries, strawberries or some tinned oranges  (minus their juice)


For the base

110-115g of vegvegan biscuitsan biscuits – biscoff, ginger nuts, Hobnobs, (some) digestives

28g of non- dairy spread

½ tsp ground ginger



For the filling

150g of vegan cream cheese

125g Alpo dark chocolate dessert

30g plain vegan yoghurt – Apro ‘Go on’ Protein is thick and creamy

100g blueberries

Sprinkling of sea salt and sesame seeds (optional)


Melt the non-dairy spread in a pan or in the microwave

IMG_1959Place the biscuits in a bag and crush with a rolling pin or base of a pan or use a blender, until you have fine breadcrumbs.  Add the biscuit crumbs to the melted non dairy spread and mix well



vegan cheesecake

If making individual cheesecakes, place cling film on a baking tray and place 4 small rings on the tray.  Press the crumbs into the bases and place in the fridge.




23584671_10155118007906903_292297845_nMake the filling by mixing the cream cheese and chocolate dessert together.  Add the blueberries and gently mix.  Spoon into the four moulds and smooth with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle each with a few grains of sea salt.  And place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.


When you aIMG_1963re ready to serve, remove from the fridge and using a spatula lift the cheesecake from the cling film tray and place on a plate.  Gently ease the rings up and away from the cheesecake.  serve with some extra blueberries and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds

These can also be frozen and defrosted at least an hour before serving  –  you can remove them from their moulds before placing in the freezer

When you make these cheesecakes please share your photos with me, or let me know what adaptations you made

vegan cheesecake


Sweet potato curry

Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry – serves 2.  270 calories per serving


veg curry

Why not try this 5:2 fast diet curry,  the additions at the bottom of the page mean you can make it more substantial and also eat it on your non fast days

It works equally well with sweet potato, butternut squash or those Halloween pumpkins!


1 small sweet potato (100g) – chopped into bite sized pieces – you could also use pumpkin or butternut squash

1 small onion (50g) – chopped

1 medium chopped courgette or frozen peas (145g)

½ tsp vegetable oil

80g of spinach – fresh, frozen or tinned (and drained)

½ of a 400g tin of chickpeas – drained , reserve the liquid

½ garlic clove – chopped

Pinch chilli flakes

½ tsp curry powder

½ tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tsp tomato puree

1 tsp balti/curry paste

25 g per person of uncooked brown basmati rice (makes 80g of cooked rice)

Coriander leaves (optional)


Frozen spinach

Frozen spinach


Fry the onion in the oil add the curry powder, tomato puree and curry paste and fry for 2 minutes.  Add the sweet potato (butternut squash or pumpkin) and cook for another 5 with a lid on.


Add the courgettes (or peas), spinach, tomatoes, garlic, chilli, chickpeas.  If the sauce is too thick add some chickpea water.  Turn down the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft (20-25 mins).  Taste and adjust seasoning, add more water if necessary


At the same time cook brown rice (according to instructions on the packet) for about 20-25 minutes

veg curry

Sever the rice and curry.  Scatter over a few coriander leaves

Non-fast day additions

rotiMore rice 80g cooked – 90 calories

28g cashew nuts – 164 calories

small tandoori roti bread – 160 calories

Banana and peanut butter Bread

Vegan Banana and peanut butter Bread –12 slices

This is a great way to use up ripe bananas that might otherwise end up in the bin or composter.  You can also defrost and use any ripe bananas that you have in the freezer.  An extra addition could be 1 tbsp cacao powder, but you will need to add 1 tbsp water to keep the same consistency

I baked this very cake for the visitors at Maggie’s cancer support centre, in Nottingham.  A very kind person sent me this message

“Just been to Maggie’s Susan and had some of your lovely banana cake. X”



225g Plain flour (or use Self-raising flour and no baking powder)

2 tsp of Baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water – mixed together

100g Brown/coconut sugar or 75g agave/maple syrup/golden syrup/date syrup

2 tsp Cinnamon or Mixed spice

1 tbsp cacao powder and 1 tbsp water (optional)

4 large very ripe bananas, mashed

75g (80ml) Vegetable or Sunflower oil

120g wholenut peanut butter

2lb loaf tin and grease proof paper or liners

  • Pre-heat oven to 200C/180Fan/400F/ gas 6
  • Mash the peeled bananas with a fork. Mix well with oil, peanut butter, vanilla extract, flaxseed mix and sugar (and 1 tbsp water if adding cacao powder)
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and cinnamon/mixed spice (and cacao powder if using) together then add to the banana mix and combine well.

This short video shows the cakes consistency and how easy it is to prepare the loaf tin when using a paper liner

  • Pour in to a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin and place in the oven for 20 minutes, before checking. Cover with foil, if the loaf cake is browning. Bake for another 40 minutes (approximately).

vegan cake

  • Allow to cool a little before slicing. It’s delicious freshly baked but even yummier when it goes squidgy the next day!

vegan cakeDo let me know how you get on, and if you make any alterations or additions to the recipe