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

Miso soup

Miso soup – 1 serving 80 calories 1.7g fat

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

In this cold and chilly weather what better way to stay warm than having plenty of miso soup, its simple quick and very satisfying.  And if you are watching your weight this is the perfect low calorie lunch option for all you 5:2 fasters


miso soup

the basic miso

2 tsp miso paste (make sure it is suitable for veggies and vegans i.e. no bonito flakes)

1 mug of boiling water

25g soft tofu – cubed

1 spring onion – finely sliced

¼ red pepper, chopped

few flakes of dried chilli


20 (large handful) spinach leaves or 1 Nori leaf, shredded

few fresh coriander leaves

  • Mix the miso paste with the hot water in the serving bowl or mug
  • Add in the cubed tofu, chilli flakes, spinach leaves or nori seaweed and sliced spring onion
  • Stir until the leaves are wilted and soft
  • scatter over some chopped fresh coriander (optional)
miso soup

The full works



IMG_2893Optional extras –  100g cooked sweet potato slices (90 calories), ½ tsp toasted sesame seeds (40 calories), few drops sesame oil (10 calories), 28g/small handful unsalted cashew nuts (150 calories), 2 sliced mushrooms (24 calories), soba noodles (28g will add 90 calories)

Speedy stir-fry

Speedy stir-fry – serves 2 or 3

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website


To celebrate the Chinese New year why not cook yourself this vegan speedy stir-fry.

This recipe makes a really quick and tasty light lunch or a more substantial supper dish.  The peanuts and sesame seeds add protein and some useful minerals like iron and magnesium and all the veggies are bursting with vitamins, fibre and antioxidants.  The wholegrain rice also adds some useful protein and fibre.




IMG_36311 packet microwavable wholegrain rice

½ (100g) large onion – sliced

2 (130g) carrots – cut into matchsticks

1 (130g) red pepper – sliced

80g spring greens or spinach or kale- shredded

20g fresh ginger – thin strips

¼ – ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

30g unsalted peanuts or cashews

1 spring onion – sliced

½ tsp soy sauce

1 tsp *toasted sesame seeds



Heat a wok (or non stick frying pan) until it is really hot and add 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Quickly add the sliced onion and keep them moving in the pan (with a large spoon or chopsticks). After 2 minutes add the carrots. Again move them about to stop them burning. If it looks too dry add a splash of water


After another 2 minutes add the pepper, greens, ginger and chili flakes. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the veg soften slightly


In the meantime microwave the rice according to the instructions on the packet (usually 2 minutes).  This step can be missed out, just tip the rice straight into the wok and cook for an extra 2 minutes with a splash of hot water


IMG_3639Add the steaming rice to the wok and mix in. Add the peanuts, soy sauce and spring onion and again stir to mix





Divide into 2 bowls for a generous evening meal serving (358 calories) or into 3 bowls for a lighter lunch or 5:2 fast diet meal (238 calories). And sprinkle over the toasted sesame seeds


Now you know how simple it is what are you waiting for?! 

* To toast sesame seeds. Heat a nonstick frying pan – don’t add any oil. Add the sesame seeds and keep moving the pan to stop the seeds burning. They will start to colour and go golden brown after 2-3 minutes. Switch off the heat and allow to cool before tipping into a container with a lid. The toasted seeds will keep for 2-3 months

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! 




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

November is world vegan month

November is World vegan month

Does Nottingham cater for vegans?

A number of high profile celebrities like Beyonce, Lewis Hamilton, Ellie Golding and Liam Hemsworth to name but a few have all decided to follow a vegan diet.  And they are not the only ones, it is estimated that over ½ million UK adults are now vegan; that’s a 360% increase over the last decade.

Concern for animals, taking better care of the earth’s resources and the environment or the health advantages of a plant-based diet are just some of the reasons for becoming vegan.

website banner

For some people it’s none of the above but they have allergies to dairy products or are lactose intolerant, hence the increased popularity and availability of non-dairy alternatives

But generally being a vegan is more of a lifestyle choice and a philosophy than a diet.

You can now buy ethical clothing, shoes, toiletries and makeup. But for ‘World vegan month’ I’d like to focus on the food aspect of being vegan.


In Nottingham over the last couple of years I have seen more vegan options in shops, supermarkets and eateries, an increase in wheat/gluten/dairy free cakes and goodies and special vegan events to raise awareness.

vegan food Nottingham

Did you know there is a vegan market in Sneinton on the first Saturday of every month?

vegan market


I regularly write veggie food reviews for the Nottingham Post and the West Bridgford Wire, sometimes it’s a 100% vegan/vegetarian eatery like cafe Roya in Beeston or the Peacock Pub on Mansfield Road, Nottingham which has a 100% vegan kitchen.


Or a regular restaurant that has a good selection of vegan options like Zizzi, Chocks Away (at Nottingham City Airport),  Baresca, The Angel microbrewery, Annies burger shack, Oscar and Rosies, Suda (Wollaton), Horse and Plough (Bingham), wagamama, Alchelmilla; the list just keeps on growing

fav vegan restaurant?



courtesy of TeenVGN (Twitter)

courtesy of TeenVGN (Twitter)

Not to be outdone the main supermarkets have also increased their range of vegan options.  You can now buy vegan ready meals, Christmas selection boxes, non-dairy milk, yoghurt, ice-cream and cheese, pesto etc.  And the cheaper supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl also have some great choices too

In Nottingham we are also lucky to have a number of Asian and world food supermarkets and shops that have a plethora of vegan goodies like tofu, spices, noodles, lentils, nuts, Asian greens, sauerkraut, fresh herbs and pulses



For some the transition to being vegan is a staged process; they cut down on red meat and processed meat, then only eat fish, consider following the ‘Meat Free Monday’ campaign,  progress to becoming vegetarian then decide to take the plunge and go for a 100% plant-based diet.

vegan classes

If you are considering eating a more plant based diet but are concerned about nutrition then why not come to my vegan cookery classes.  More information can be obtained by following this link

cookery feedbackYou can make sweet potato falafels, tofu rice rolls, beetroot risotto, lasagne, tacos and much much more. Contact me for more details 07946 301338

For more advice about adopting a vegan diet visit the vegan society website

Beetroot risotto

Beetroot risotto with pearl barley and quinoa

Serves 2, 320 calories per serving

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

IMG_4244This risotto has been inspired by Jack Monroe’s risotto recipe in the Royal Marsden cancer cookbook



vegan cookery poster jpeg


And is the perfect recipe for my Vegan cookery class to make this week!

The use of beetroot not only adds colour and a wonderful earthy taste but bags of fibre, antioxidants, potassium and iron. The pearl barley makes a healthy nutritional change to arborio rice: Its high in fibre, calcium and protein, but low in fat and calories. By adding quinoa the protein content really increases, making this a very filling and nutritious vegetarian and vegan dish


IMG_4276250g fresh beetroot, peeled and diced (or use the pre-cooked vacuum packs)

500 ml vegetable stock – either leftover stock from cooking some veggies or hot water and 1 teaspoon veg bouillon powder

2 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

1 fat garlic clove – crushed

1 small leek (80g) finely sliced

large pinch dried chilli flakes


Pearl barley

100g pearl barley or buckwheat (which you need to pre soak overnight) and 25g of quinoa

50ml red or white wine (or water)

100g frozen peas (or broad beans)

2 tbls chopped mint and parsley

salt and ground black pepper


IMG_4296flavoured drizzle oil (optional)

zest and juice of half a lemon (equivalent to 2 tsp)

1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

½ tsp horseradish

If you are not using the oil you can substitute the horseradish for the chilli flakes in the main risotto


To make the drizzle vegan please use either fresh horseradish or a jar without cream

If you are using fresh beetroot put it in a pan and cover with some of the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until tender.

If you are using the vacuum packed variety, miss out this stage and simply open the packet*




*A word of warning! which ever type of beetroot you use, be aware that it stains everything! So your chopping boards, spoons and hands will all be a lovely pink colour by the end of this. You can minimize the pink by wearing rubber gloves to handle the beetroot, cook with a metal spoon (never wooden for beetroot), or use a plastic chopping board


Meantime on a medium flame heat the oil in a large IMG_4281shallow pan and add the leeks and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the leeks are soft.   Add the pearl barley and coat with in the oil. Then tip in the wine and allow it to bubble away for a few minutes.


Blitz the beetroot in a blender (a nutribullet does a great IMG_4287job), add the stock and chilli (or horseradish) and add a ladleful at a time to the grains. Keep adding a ladleful as soon as it is absorbed. This should take about 30-40 minutes


After 15 minutes add the quinoa (this takes less time to cook) and mix in. once the pearl barley and quinoa are soft and fluffy stir in the peas and 1 tablespoon of the chopped herbs. Taste and season with salt and lots of pepper


Serve into 2 warmed bowls


Lemon horseradish oil

Mix all the ingredients together and drizzle over the risotto





Finally scatter over the remaining tablespoon of chopped herbs






And here’s how the finish dish looks when its made by my vegan cookery guests







BCAMThis is a great recipe to support breast cancer awareness month.  So why not make a larger amount (its easy to double or triple the ingredients) and invite your friends over.  They can make a donation to your favourite cancer charity like Maggie’s (the cancer support centre inside the grounds of the Nottingham City hospital)




Launched by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, Meat Free Monday is a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the detrimental environmental impact of eating meat, and to encourage people to help slow climate change, preserve precious natural resources, consider animal welfare and improve their own health by having at least one meat free day each week.

imagesI regularly share meat free Monday recipes, in fact if you look to the right you will see a meat free Monday category

But being vegan, every day is meat free for me.

Here are just a few of my recent meals to show you how varied, colourful and easy it is to go meat free

Meat Free Monday


Many more restaurants and cafes now have meat free options.  I visited one a few days ago called Chocks Away, at Nottingham City airport in Tollerton.  The owner and chef Alison just happens to be vegan so the meat free options are expanding.

With a bit of imagination and some store cupboard staples it’s relatively easy to rustle up some delicious and quick meals

Quick recipe 

vegan rice salad

This was a very quick veggie rice salad, using a packet of microwaveable rice.  Just open the packet (no need to heat up)  tip into a large bowl, add a tin of drained mixed beans for protein (any tinned beans will do; chickpeas, cannellini, butter beans etc), bulk out with your favourite salad veg, I used cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, olives and celery. But you could add beetroot, avocado, peas and sweetcorn, radishes etc.  I finished with a simple dressing of 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or apple cider/balsamic vinegar) and a good handful of fresh chopped herbs like mint, parsley or coriander. It will make enough for 4 very hungry people, or 6 as side dish

Some of last weeks meals included



I hope some of my ideas have inspired you to try being meat free for one day at least

vegan classes septIf you need more convincing then why not come to my vegan cookery classes in West Bridgford

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