Harvest Stew

I’ve always loved a good hearty stew and now that Autumn is officially here and the evenings are getting colder, it’s the best time to use some of those harvested vegetables (if you’re lucky enough to have a plot to grow your own) or source some organically grown produce and boil up a big pot of seasonal goodness.

Alternatively, making a stew is a great way of using up any veg that you have you your chiller, you can quite literally put in anything you like.

I generally like to throw in around 5-7 different types of veg in although today I’ve just come back form the farmers market so I’ve out done myself this time with if you include the barley 10!

Here’s my basic recipe anyway with the veg I used today, feel free to chop and change.

It’s impossible to make a small stew once all the different ingredients have been added so if I’m eating alone, after I’ve eaten, I generally divide the leftovers in to three tubs, pop one in the fridge for the following day and freeze the other two for lazy days, or should I say lazier days because the actual recipe is so simple, you literally just throw everything in the pot!


Serves 4


1/2 cup of pearl barley

2 small onions, peeled and halved

1 medium peeled and potato quartered

1/2 cup of peas 

1/2 cup of broad beans fresh if you can or frozen if not

1 stick of celery, sliced in to cm thick chunks

1 carrot, peeled and sliced in to cm thick chunks

1 small leek, sliced in to cm thick rings

1 turnip, peeled and cubed

4 cauliflower florets

4 cloves

2 bay leaves

2 tsps dried thyme (I love the flavour the thyme gives the stew)

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp vegan bouillon

1 tsp yeast extract (vegemite)

1 cup red wine

2 tbsps plain flour





Put all vegetables and barley in a pan.

Pour in wine.

Add water until the level just covers all the veg.

Bring to boiling.

Add bouillon.

Stir in yeast extract.

Add bay leaves, cloves, paprika, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in flour to thicken.

Turn heat down and simmer with lid on  the pan for 45 minutes.

Serve. (remove bay leaves and cloves)

‘Sausage’, Bean & Leek Hotpot


As the weather gets colder, you really crave nice hearty meals in the evenings and hotpot’s are just perfect.

You can literally put anything in, I’ve gone for sausage, bean and leek here but hotpots are great for using up veg from your fridge, your freezer or tins from your cupboard so I’ve thrown some peas in as well.

Serves 4


1 small onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 leek, sliced

4 Vegan sausages, sliced in to 1cm thick pieces (I used Linda McCartney)

1/2 a tin of chopped tomatoes

1/2 a tin of kidney beans

1/2 a tin of butter beans

1/2 a tin of borlotti beans

1/2 a cup of peas

2 tbsp of vegan gravy granules

1 cup of Water

1 tsp of thyme

1 tbsp of vegan Worcestershire sauce (I used Henderson’s relish)



1 green chilli, chopped (optional)

1 tbsp of olive oil

4 baking potatoes

1 tbsp of dairy free dubber

1 tbsp of plain flour


Heat the oven to 200°C

Peel the potatoes and lice in to discs about 3 mm thick.

Place in a microwaveable dish with 2 tbsps of water. Put the lid on the dish and cook for 6 minutes.

In the meantime, in a saucepan fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil for around 2 minutes until the onion starts to become transparent.

Add the water and bring to the boil.

Add the gravy granules and stir until they disolve.

Add the sausage pieces, tomatoes, kidney, butter, borlotti beans (and peas if you want to add them like I did this time), worcestershire sauce, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. (Add the chilli here too if you’re a chilli fiend like me)

The gravy should be a nice consistency but add a little more water here if you need to. 


Turn the heat down, put the lid on the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the potatoes from the microwave and drain.

Put them back in the microwaveable bowl, add the dairy free butter and plain flour, season with a little salt and pepper, put the lid on the bowl and shake to coat them.


Pour the sausage, bean and leek mix in to a large oven proof dish. (I would generally use one large dish but the big strong man in my house is a wimp when it comes to chilli so I’ve used 2 smaller dishes here instead)


Layer the potato discs on top, overlapping slightly.

Place in the oven for 45 minutes.



Broccoli,Mushroom, Tomato & ‘Feta’ Tofu Quiche


I find tofu one of the best things to use as an egg replacer and this recipe is bound to turn any anyone who’s undecided on tofu in to a total convert.

Serves 4


For the crust

200g of plain flour

100g of dairy free butter

2 tbsps of cold water

Pinch of salt

For the filing

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 large white mushroom, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 broccoli tree, cut in to smaller trees

1/2 a cup of dairy free milk

800g of firm tofu, drained

1/2 a block of ‘feta’ style vegan cheese (I used Sainsbury’s own)

1 tbsp of dried parsley

2 tsps of dijon mustard

1/2 a teaspoon of ground nutmeg



1tbsp of olive oil


Heat the oven to 200°C

Put the flour, dairy free butter, water and salt in to a food processor. Mix until the dough gathers together.


Remove the dough from the food processor and wrap in cling film. 

Place the dough in the fridge for an hour.

Remove the dough from the fridge and cling film.

Sprinkle a little flour on your worktop and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough in to a circle a couple of inches bigger than your pie dish.

Place the rolled out crust in to your pie dish, pressing the edges with your fingers.

Cut off any excess pastry.


Place your crust in to the over for 15 minutes.

In the mean time.

Combine the tofu, dairy free milk, ‘feta’, dijon mustard and parsley in a blender and whizz.

Ad salt and pepper to taste and give another short whizz.

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In a pan, fry the garlic and onion in olive oil for around 2 minutes until the onion starts to turn transparent.

Add the broccoli, mushroom and tomato and fry gentle whilst stirring for another 2 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Pour the tofu mix in with the vegetables and stir.

Remove the Crust from the oven.

Pour in the filling and smooth with a spatula.

Place in the oven for 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven stand for 5 minutes.

Serve either hot or cold.

Summer Vegetable Lasagne


Serves 4


1 medium sized aubergine, cubed

1 courgette, cubed

1 onion, chopped

200g of spinach

150g of chestnut mushrooms,  chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped (alternatively, 1 tsp of dried basil)

1 tbsp of yest extract (of course vegemite for me)


1 tbsp of vegan butter

1 tbsp of plain flour

1/2 a litre of dairy free milk (I used oat)

6 lasagne sheets

Drizzle of olive oil

100g of vegan cheese, grated



Preheat oven to 200°C

In a pan, fry the onion and garlic in olive oil for around 5 minutes until they start to cook.

Add the aubergine, courgette, mushrooms and tomatoes and bring to the boil.

Add the yeast extract, basil and salt to taste.

Stir in the spinach until it wilts.


Turn down the heat, put the lid on the pan and simmer for around 20 minutes.

In another pan, melt the butter and then stir in the flour to make a roux paste.

Remove from the heat and stir in some of the milk until the roux melts and there are no lumps.

Return to head and add the rest of the milk gradually, stirring until the bechamel sauce thickens in to a nice consistency.

Stir in about 1/4 of the grated cheese.

Spread half of the vegetable mixture in a lasagne dish.

Place 3 of the lasagne sheets on top, covering the vegetable mixture.

Spread half of the bechamal sauce evenly on top of the lasagne sheets.

Repeat, vegetable mixture, lasagne sheets and bechamal sauce for another layer.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Place in the oven for 45 minutes.



Salsify & Saffron Risotto


Serves 2


4 sticks of salsify, peeled and chopped diagonally, about a cm in thickness

250g of arborio risotto rice

1 small onion, peeled and chopped finely

1 clove of garlic, chopped

800ml of water

2 tsps of vegetable bouillon

1 tbsp of vegan butter

1 tsp dried parsley

1 pinch of saffron strands

1/2 cup of white wine

1 tbsp of olive oil



2 tsps of vegan parmesan, grated


Boil the water and pour in to a jug.

Add the bouillon and saffron to make a stock.

In a pan, fry the onion and garlic in oil for around a minute until they start to soften.

Add the salsify and fry gently for another 5 minutes.


Add the rice, parsley and salt and pepper to taste and stir for around 1 minute.

Pour in the wine and stir while cooking until wine has almost evaporated.

Pour around 100ml of the stock in to the pan, stir in and wait until the liquid soaks in to the rice and reduces down.


Repeat this process 100ml at a time until all the stock is used up and the rice is the correct, slightly al dente consistency. 

Stir in the butter and parmesan.


Add a little parsley to garnish




Spiced Carrot and Butternut Squash Soup


Serves 2


1 small butternut squash

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 onion, chopped

2 medium sized potatoes, peels and quartered

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 chilli, chopped

1 tsp of vegetable stock or bouillon 

1 tsp dried sage

2 cups of water



Steam the onion and garlic in a little water in a pan with the lid on for about 5 minutes.

Cut the squash in half and remove the squash guts keeping the seeds.

Peel the squash and cut in to cubes.

Add the squash, carrots and potatoes and add water until level with the contents of the pan.

Add stock, chilli, sage and salt to taste and bring to the boil.

Once boiling, turn heat down, put the lid on the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and leave to cool for a little while before blending.

In the mean time

Wash and dry the squash seeds.

Place on baking tray and put under the grill until toasted, around 5 minutes.

Blend soup.

Serve with toasted seeds.


Salsify Thermidor

Salsify is not a charm that you recite whilst pointing a wand at something Hogwarts style as I thought when I first heard of it but in fact an edible root vegetable belonging to the dandelion family. 


Salsify is also known as the ‘oyster plant’ due to its apparent oystery taste when cooked.

Thermidor comes from the Greek word ‘thermos’ meaning ‘heat’. 

I’ve come up with an original oyster free thermidor recipe, very easy to cook and delicious. 

salsify thermidor

Serves 2


3 sticks of salsify, peeled and sliced in to cm thick chunks

1 onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1/2 a cup of white wine

1 cup of plant based cream, (I used oatly)

1 tbsp of soya or other plant based margarine type spread

1 tsp of English mustard, (having grown up in Norwich, I loyally stick to Colman’s)

2 sprigs of parsley, chopped




Vegan Cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 440°F (200°C)

Melt the soya spread in a saucepan

Add the garlic and onion to the pan and fry gently for

a 2 minutes until they start to cook.

Add the salsify and stir in the wine, when the pan is bubbling, stir in the cream, mustard and parsley, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.

Once boiling, turn down to low, simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally while the sauce reduces and thickens.

Remove from stove and pour salsify mix in to a small oven proof dish.

Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and then cheese.

Bake in oven for 30 mins.