Posts tagged main meal
Jackfruit inspiration... 15+ versatile vegan recipes!

Jackfruit has been a player on the vegan scene for a while now... in my excitement late last year I bought a can from the Asian market near me but and until last month it has sat in the cupboard- forgotten! Oops..

A few weeks ago I came across that lonesome can and figured it was time for some experimentation. After a little research and realising the true versatility of jackfruit, I then put a call out for some other wonderful vegan bloggers to contribute their delicious recipes too. 

Since jackfruit in this context is often used a meat substitute but as it's a fruit has a low protein count in itself, I would typical advise teaming it with beans/nuts/tofu to create a nicely balanced dish.

So here you have it, my own jackfruit 'buddha bowl' recipe creation and lots more ideas from some vegan friends. If this doesn't inspire you to go buy a can and have a play then I don't know what will! :-)

Recipe: BBQ Jackfruit Buddha Bowl

Perfect for the summer months, it famously makes a great 'pulled pork' style topping/filling. I have also tried freezing it once marinaded and part cooked, it worked really well- simply defrost enough to 'flake up' then grill or bake for a few minutes until the edges are a little crispy and serve.  In the future I will definitely be making up a big batch this way!

Final top tip- make sure you buy the young jackfruit in brine (not syrup!) this also works much better using canned jackfruit not fresh (which is handy as fresh is harder to come buy in Europe and it can weigh up to 100 pounds!) Many of the recipes online call for chopping out the centre 'core' of the jackfruit pieces, but I didn't both as I felt it would mean discarding quite a lot of the fruit and the core seemed quite soft and so I simply chopped it up well- but feel free to discard if you prefer.

This is a photo of a jackfruit tree that I took in Chaing Mai Thailand last year!

This is a photo of a jackfruit tree that I took in Chaing Mai Thailand last year!

Recipe: BBQ Jackfruit Buddha Bowl

(from Jo!)

Serves 3-4


  • 1 can young jackfruit in brine or water (not syrup) - approx 1 1/2 cups

  • 3 sun dried tomatoes- chopped (optional)

  • 1 small onion- finely chopped

  • 2-3 garlic cloves- crushed

  • 1 tbs coconut oil (or other oil of choice)

BBQ sauce:

  • 1 can tinned chopped tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup tomato puree

  • 2 tbs maple syrup

  • 1 tbs molasses

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • pinch of cumin

  • 1 tbs liquid smoke*

For building the 'buddha bowl' (or use whatever you have to hand)

  • 1 can black beans- cooked

  • 2-3 large handfuls fresh coriander

  • 2 avocados- sliced

  • A big bunch of sautéed greens of choice- I used chard (use lots as green wilt so much!)

  • Sprinkling of pine nuts (optional- I just fancied some!)

Note: when I first made this I did not have any liquid smoke, I left it out and it still tasted great. It juts adds some extra BBQ-ey depth of flavour ;-)


Sauté the sun dried tomatoes, the onion and garlic in a medium pan until softened. Meanwhile prepare the jackfruit (cut out core if desired) by 'flaking it up' a little. Add all BBQ sauce ingredients and jackfruit to the sauce pan and simmer for 15 mins. 

Remove from the heat and allow jackfruit mix to sit and marinade for an hour. (You could also marinade for longer or overnight by allowing to cool, covering and placing in the fridge). This would also be the point at which you freeze any extra portions. 

Lay the jackfruit mix in a thin even layer on a lined oven tray (or two) and bake at approx. 160C for approx 20 mins until slightly crispy at the edges.

Meanwhile prepare the remaining components of the buddha bowl ready to serve along with the BBQ jackfruit.

Recipe: BBQ Jackfruit Buddha Bowl.jpg


Jackfruit recipe creations from the vegan community! Thank you to all those who contributed ;-) (click the pics to jump to the original recipes)

Jackfruit Vegan Pozole Rojo

Doras Kitchen

Vegan Enchiladas with Jackfruit and Black Beans

Well Vegan

Buffalo Jackfruit Sandwiches with Hemp Ranch

Simply Overjoyed

Jackfruit Fried Chick’n

Soy Division

Jackfruit Carnitas

Yup...It's Vegan

Teriaki Jackfruit Bowl

The Veg Life

Jackfruit Taquitos with Southwest Dipping Sauce

The Mostly Vegan

Jackfruit Crabless Cakes

Healthy Slow Cooking

Jackfruit Tacos

One Hungry Bunny

Pulled Jackfruit Enchiladas

May I have that Recipe?

Jackfruit Chile Relleno Pot Pie


Vegan gyros with jackfruit and creamy tzatziki

Zena N Zaatar

Teriyaki Jackfruit Sushi Bowl

Elephantastic Vegan

Jackfruit Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Vegan Heaven

Slow Cooker Pulled Jackfruit

Yummy Mummy Kitchen


Here are a few other jackfruit recipe/cooking technique inspirations from around the web that provided me with inspiration when I began my experiments:

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches - Minimalist Baker

How to make the Ultimate BBQ Jackfruit - Organic Authority

How to cut, open, prepare and eat fresh jackfruit - video (if you don't want to use canned!)

Have you tried jackfruit or a you a newbie? If these recipes have inspired you... let me know in the comments what you try! 

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Baked Falafel Pie... an easy meal to feed a crowd!

Wow... you're getting two recipes within a week.... it's like the days when I first started my blog when I often used to get three recipes up here per week! That's when I had a full time job as an architect too.... crazy days, how did I find time to do it all!

Recipe: Baked Falafel Pie

These days I develop so many recipes for destinations beyond this blog itself... such as for Real Food Source, my own ebooks and other publications that sometimes this space loses the battle of priorities. I am looking to charge all that again- with one new recipe per week from the New Year onwards- an early resolution of sorts?

Anyway, back to this recipe!

This came about a couple of week ago as I was developing new recipes for my Lanzarote retreat.... I wanted something that was delicious, filling and easy to cook for 8-10 people (though the recipe below is halved to feed about four). This is a total winner and a lovely spin on the more traditional falafel balls.

It's not my brainchild- there are loads of similar creations across blog land- I got the idea from a general Pinterest search looking for meal image ideas rather than any one recipe in particular. I imagine you could tweak this to add in other herbs or spices to suit. You could also add a chunky salsa, guacamole or other topping instead of hummus if you preferred.

I realised this recipe would be also very similar to my classic nut roast (still a go-to favourite and great to have on standby in the freezer) and so I used that as the base and made a few ingredient tweaks.

Let me know what you think.... I'll let you know how it goes down with the guests on my retreat ;-)

Recipe: Baked Falafel Pie

Recipe: Baked Falafel Pie

Serves 3 portions with salad or 4-5 if serving as part of a larger dinner


  • 1 cup chopped nuts of choice

  • 2 tbs olive oil

  • One onion diced

  • One large garlic clove minced

  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes (optional for extra depth of flavour)

  • 1 large carrot grated

  • 1 medium courgette grated

  • 1 cup chickpeas

  • 1 cup oats (or cooked rice or quinoa or dry wholemeal breadcrumbs- GF if needed)

  • 2 heaped tbs flax (or tapioca or potato flour)

  • ¼ cup fresh coriander

  • 1 tbs ground cumin

  • 2 tbs soy sauce (GF if needed)

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 tub hummus (or homemade if possible)

  • 2 sliced avocados

  • a sprinkle of salt and pepper


Pre-heat oven to 180C. coarsely grind the nuts and set aside. Finely chop and sauté vegetables in olive oil for 5 mins until soft. Mix all remaining ingredients in large bowl and add vegetables and nuts to it.

Mix and mash together well. Add more oats (or another dry ingredient) if mixture is too wet or a little water or stick if too dry.

Press mixture firmly into a greased and lined medium baking dish (it should be around a generous inch thick). Bake for approx. 45 mins until golden on top, the inside will still be moist. Add hummus and avocado slices to serve with salad or cooked greens.

Recipe: Baked Falafel Pie
Recipe: Baked Falafel Pie
Recipe: Baked Falafel Pie
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High protein pizza base... in minutes!

I never really worry much about getting protein on a vegan diet as my focus on real whole foods of maximum variety typically does that by default, but it is nice to know that it's easy to put together a high-protein meal when needed- particularly something like this pizza when the base itself gives a great protein boost and you can top it up with anything you like knowing that I've got a well balanced meal in the bag!

vegan High Protein Pizza Base

In addition it's always nice to have an answer to the question 'where do you get your protein?' and also offer a simple option for those who are looking for high-protein veggie-based meals.

oh and did I say... Pizza?

Yay, pizza :-)

The pizza base contains just three ingredients- quinoa, almonds and flax (plus any herbs if you wish to add them). Each ingredient is in itself a great source of protein, amongst other nutrients, Plus it couldn't be easier to make in minutes. Such a winner!

You can top the base with anything you like, I'm not a fan of fake vegan cheeses so I used home-made hummus mixed with tomato purée and then just any veggies I had to hand. This base also freezes beautifully as I have now done on multiple occasions since I first created the recipe. It makes for an amazingly speedy last minute dinner!

vegan High Protein Pizza Base

Recipe: High protein pizza base

Serves 2


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

  • ½ cup ground almonds

  • 2 tbs flax

  • 1-2 tsp mixed herbs (optional)

  • ½ tsp salt

Pizza topping:

  • 1 tbs tomato puree

  • 2 tbs hummus

  • 1 cup worth finely chopped veggies of choice- tomato, onion, bell pepper, courgette and sweeetcorn work well.


Process all ingredients together until you have a well blended slightly sticky dough. It should still be easy enough to handle and roll. I found it didn’t stick to my rolling pin at all but if this is a problem for you that’s the running pin with a little dry ‘flour’ of some kind- such as fine almond flour or protein powder. Attentively press out into pizza bases with your hands.

Once you have rolled the dough to approximately 3-4mm thick, bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes until sealed then flip over and bake for a further 10 minutes until just beginning to turn golden.

You can remove from the oven and allowed to cool and then freeze at this point or simply add all your pizza toppings and bake for 10 minutes until cooked and golden.

vegan High Protein Pizza Base
vegan High Protein Pizza Base

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Best ever festive nut roast!

This will probably be my last recipe post before Christmas day... so I figured I'd better make it a good one AND I figured a savoury recipe might just be in order!

For those of you with a sweet tooth...don't worry, I've added links to two of my favourite festive treats too.... scroll down for those!

I had an epic baking session in the kitchen yesterday.... four big nut roasts, two big batches of bliss balls and two big trays of chocolate-orange-raspberry brownie cake. That should set me up for the next week, though they weren't all for me somewhere private orders for others ;-)

The photos of the nut roast are not the best ever since they were fresh out of the oven and I couldn't slice into them as they needed to be kept whole for the big day itself, however the recipe is very similar in texture to my previous nut roast recipe and so I have shown sliced photos of that one below so you get the full idea!

Best ever festive nut roast!

What's different about this nut roast?

What's the secret ingredients?

.... well, sun dried tomatoes are the answer!

On my recent wellness retreat I made 'meatballs' that used mushrooms, sunflower seeds and sun-dried tomatoes and they tasted incredible- I'll try and post the recipe soon but I need good photos! The sun-dried tomatoes create an amazing richness to a meatball/nut roast style recipe, and so in creating this nut roast I tweaked my previous recipe that I still love so much to add in the tomatoes as well as a few different herbs.

One of things I love about this recipe, as well as its previous incarnation was that it's not too heavy on the nuts- a lovely combination of nuts and beans and oats (oat make a great wheat free alternative to breadcrumbs).

I found an idea for a glaze by Angela at Oh She Glows, and so I tweaked that and added it to the top half of my loaves too for variety. 

I have made this as a loaf tin and also in deep cake pans, as shown here, that I plan to cut into wedges to serve. Always nice to change things up a bit! 

Do the double bake! As per my original recipe one of the ways I like to serve this is to bake a few days in advance, freeze, then defrost for an hour or so on Christmas morning just enough to slice neatly and then arrange the individual slices on a baking sheet and 'double bake' for super crispy edges and to heat though. Amazingly time-saving on Christmas morning!

A good nut roast would not be complete without gravy… This is my favourite mushroom gravy recipe and the one I'll be serving up on Christmas day. Even mushroom haters will like it (I used to be a mushroom hater myself!) It looks a bit grey in the photos on the link but it's not so much in real life ;-)

plain top on the left and glazed top on the right (add the glaze near the end so it doesn't burn!)

plain top on the left and glazed top on the right (add the glaze near the end so it doesn't burn!)

Recipe: Christmas Nut Roast

Makes 1 loaf or a 8" cake pan


  • 1 cup chopped nuts/seeds (I used a mix of almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds)
  • 1 tbs olive oil (if sun-dried tomatoes are not in oil)
  • One onion diced
  • Three garlic clove minced
  • 1 large carrot grated
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 1 cup cooked white beans
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (approx 6)
  • 1 cup dry porridge oats 
  • 2 heaped tbs flax (or chia, tapioca or potato flour)
  • small handful fresh parsley 
  • small handful fresh oregano 
  • 1 tsp dried mixed Italian herbs
  • 2 tbs tamari soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Up to ¼ cup vegetable stock if needed (I never need it as it's moist enough)


Pre-heat oven to 180C. Coarsely grind any nuts/seeds and set aside. if you are using sun-dried tomatoes not in oil add them here also (if soft in oil add with veg)

Sauté vegetables in olive oil for 5 mins until soft- add sun-dried tomatoes if in oil. 

Mix all ingredients in large bowl adding sautéed vegetables to it. Mix and mash together well and add stock only if needed to achieve a sticky (but not wet) consistency. Add more oats if mixture is too wet. 

Press mixture firmly into a greased and lined 20cm loaf pan or cake pan. Bake for approx. 45 mins until cooked through and golden on top. If adding the glazed brush this on generously 10 mins before the end of the cooking time I found it tended to burn of added at the beginning of the cooking time).

Let the loaf sit for 10 mins before turning out of the tin.

Recipe: Glaze:


  • 2 tbs tomato puree
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 tbs apple puree (plain applesauce)


Mix all ingredient together and brush on top of the loaf with a pastry brush in a  generous layer. I add the glaze towards the end of the bake time so seal it but so that it doesn't risk burning.

My original nut loaf recipe- great texture!    

My original nut loaf recipe- great texture! 


Easy sweet treat ideas roundup!

Since I have had a few full on chocolatey days at home in my kitchen, I thought it would only be fair to share a few recipes with you from ym archives- easy no fuss winners that are wheat free and refined sugar free too.

This forest fruit chocolate pudding-cake is a spin on my favourite brownie cake and perfect for a celebttipn- serve hot or cold with vegan cream or ice-cream. Winner! I made a version this year mixing the beside through the batter and then adding a sugar free jam glaze when it came out of the oven!

These choc-orage goji bites are one of my classic 'bliss ball' style recipes- seen here sliced into squares instead of rolled into balls. You can really make any variation- this year I made this recipe but istead of orange extract I added a generous helping of ground ginger, added a tiny bit of water to make the mix even more fudgey, rolled them into balls and then dusted in extra cacao. So good! 

I'd love to hear what you'll be concocting in the kicthen for Christmas... if you make any of my recipes please tag me on social media (see links below) you have no idea how happy it makes me to see your pics!

Wishing you a totally magical Christmas season!

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Cauliflower 'Cheese'.... fat free!

This is the recipe that has got me most excited in recent weeks!!

…And this is why!’s quick to whip up, it uses two basic cheap ingredients, it freezes well, it’s so versatile as a sauce in so many recipes or even as a stand alone dip!

This would make a perfect ‘lightened up’ pasta bake or really anything that would use a regular cheese sauce. I made cauliflower cheese because to me that’s classic comfort food and it’s what I craved. You could add other vegetables or substitute the beans for the peas. I had some beans needing using up so I added them for extra protein and texture.

I can’t take full credit for the 'cheese' sauce as it has appeared in various guises around the Internet, and I tweaked this spices and removed the oil to make it my own.

I want to point out, that you could add some fat (see this recipe which was my main inspiration) and but I wanted to see what the texture was like without. Also, I prefer adding the fat component of a meal by way of ingredients such as nuts and avocados as opposed to adding unnecessary oils into sauces etc. That is simply my preference. 

Recipe: Cauliflower cheese

Serves 2

Ingredients- Sauce:

  • 2 small fist sized white potatoes- chopped on to smallish pieces (approx 350g)

  • 1 heaped cup chopped carrot (approx 150g)

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tsp salt

  • juice of half a lemon

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast*

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard

Other ingredients: 

  • 1 head of cauliflower

  • 1 courgette

  • 1 can white beans (or beans of choice or peas)


Boil the chopped carrots and the potato for 15 to 20 minutes until soft. (I used a food processor for the carrots and potatoes and then only cooked them for five minutes or so).

Meanwhile mix the rest of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. 

Chop the cauliflower and courgette into smallish pieces and lay evenly in a medium sized glass oven dish.

Once the carrot and potato have cooked, transfer to a blender/food processor and add the remaining ingredients. I found the veg retained some cooking water, so add only a little extra water to start with as you do not want the sauce to be too runny, add extra if needed. 

Pour the sauce into the oven dish to fully coat the veggies. Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes until the top is golden and the veg cooked through.. Serve immediately with a side salad if desired.

*Do not skip or substitute the nutritional yeast, this is what gives the sauce it's cheesy flavour. I use this brand and it can be found in most whole food stores in the UK and online. It's a good store cupboard ingredient to have on hand for dairy free cooking!

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here you might like to check out my 'About' tab up top. To buy healthy nibbles you can also find me over at my sister site Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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Thrive feature.... Double tomato courgette & Sweet potato peanut rostis

I'm so excited about my latest feature in Thrive Magazine.  

If you've not yet come across 'Thrive' then you are in for a treat, not least because their website has just had a beautiful revamp (go check it out!)  but because their magazine (online and in print) is stunningly beautiful too. You can see why I am so happy to share with you my feature below.  


Their philosophy is so similar to my own, as they say on their website:

"We want to help you to be healthy... Thrive Magazine helps you to choose healthier food & products. We love being healthy, we love how being healthy makes people get up, get out and do stuff.

Healthy = Better. Better for people, better for the planet, a better future."

These recipes are two from my archives that I truly love and are perfect for summer time. I have been given the privilege to share my featured spreads in full so that you can see what the magazine is all about, the quality if the beautiful graphics... and so I can tempt you to go over the there to browse the website for yourself. If you like what you see here, please do hop over and say Hi! :-)


Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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The most versatile vegan quiche... four ways!

Wow... I owe you a recipe!!  Yeah this was once a recipe blog ;-)

I have so many recipes I want to share, and even more than I want to test out... but I have so many other things I ask want to share and only so many hours in the day to do it all!  Plus Wholeplus to manage on top of all that!

I hope this makes up for it! It was one of my favourites versatile creations during December. A spin off from this recipe that I knew at the time held so much more potential, and so it is that 'potential' I want to share with you today. I also featured festive variation using parsnip instead of cauliflower in my column in Definition Magazine in the November issue last year... yummy!

This recipe is also perfect for this time of year. Comforting yet light and tummy friendly, and perfect for a lunch or dinner. Packed with protein but without weighing you down... Winner!

When it comes to recipes, you surely know how high ease and versatility rate on my scale of importance by now! This does not disappoint... I promise! (even though the method looks longer than usual... it is really simple!!

I've called it a quiche, thought I guess it's not really in that it doesn't have a crust or use eggs, it's also lighter than a quiche with the chickpea/cauli infusion going on. It's definitely not a pie or fritatta what else would I call it? Quiche is definitely the closest.

I've provided the base recipe below and all the addition options beneath. These are my flavours...but try experimenting with whatever takes your fancy or you happen to have to hand. You'll see in these photos I made single serve size quiches in jumbo muffin cups. They worked really well. You could make a big batch to freeze!

Recipe: The most versatile vegan quiche

Make 1 x 8” pie dish or 3-4 single serve jumbo muffin sized

Basic ingredients:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour

  • 1 tbs flax

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp general mixed seasoning

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • ¼ tsp baking soda

  • half a head of a small-med cauliflower (equal to 1 cup grated)

  • ½ a onion sliced thinly

  • 1 cup water

Options- add one of these (or more than one if making mini quiches):

  • 1/2 cup black beans (I teamed this with a smoky chipotle sauce and nutritional yeast)

  • 1/2 cup corn and sliced red onion (I used frozen corn and added paprika)

  • 1/2 cup sliced red pepper and sun dried tomatoes (I teamed this with fresh basil)

  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach (I teamed this with garlic)

  • 1/2 cup sliced courgette (I teamed this with dried italian herbs and fresh rosemary)


Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.  Chop the onion finely and grate/process the cauliflower (to a rice like consistency) and add both to the dry mix, then add the water and mix through well.

If you are making mini quiches, separate the batter now.

Stir through your chosen additions (add flavours at the same time as the other ingredients in previous steps if more appropriate to do so) 

The mixture should be thick and clumpy but easy to spoon into a tin. I used an 8” silicone cake tin, but you could also use a metal one with removable bottom, or large silicone muffin cups.

Press the mixture firmly into the pan but leave the top quite rough for some nice texture. Bake at 180C for approx 30 mins until the tops is nice and golden, or around 20 minutes for mini quiches (keep an eye on the colour).

Serve either hot or cold. This ‘quiche’ holds together really well when cold so would also be great for picnics/lunchboxes. It also freezes well and can be reheated in the oven.

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

I've entered this recipe into the Health Bay Recipe Challenge because I reckon this hits the spot for both health and taste!  What do you think?


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Christmas day done.... and the chickpea hazelnut tart!

Christmas day never fails to disappoint. The one day of the year where I feel able to totally relax and chill out... no need to be anywhere or so anything, other than spend time with family, peel veg, eat (lots), read books, watch TV, play games... basically whatever takes our fancy in the moment. I love the notion that the whole world is taking time out to relax too. I love that vision, opening my curtains in the morning and imagining what is happening inside all the other houses in my street. 

A little frustrating was that this year I had a cold. I very rarely get ill and i've had this cold for almost two weeks which is a wake up call that I was working myself too hard over these last few months. That didn't stop me enjoying the day, it just meant the early Christmas morning run I went on last Christmas day didn't happen this year.... as I can't breathe properly! I am planning on picking up running again in the New Year. I find it meditative, and I could really do with more of that in my life.

We'll talk all about goals and resolutions another time soon but for now.... my Christmas day and food!!

I made this mushroom chickpea and hazelnut tart largely inspired and changed very little from the original recipe by Kathy at Healthy Happy Life. I didn't have any sage- all the shops had sold out!  so I couldn't add that, otherwise it was pretty much the same. I made this tart for myself and my dad who are both plant-based. The rest of my family ate meat but wanted me to make some stuffing (usually they use my nut roast as stuffing), so with a little twist, I added extra oats to the tart mix and pressed it in to an oven dish and voila... 2 dishes from one recipe. I got a tart they got some stuffing.

I added the recipes below so you can see the differences and make which ever you prefer as a main or side dish.

I also had lots of potatoes, steamed and roasted veg, bread sauce (I indulged in gluten a little over xmas), plus a dish of pan fried maple glazed brussel sprouts with red onion and chestnuts... yum!

Recipe: Chickpea hazelnut tart with a spelt crust



  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup mild oil (I used olive)
  • 1/4 cup non dairy milk of choice


  • 3 cups chestnut mushrooms- chopped 
  • 1 large white onion- chopped
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • juice of one orange (approx 1/4 cup) and 1/2 tsp zest
  • 2/3 cup whole raw hazelnuts
  • 400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fine corn meal (polenta)
  • 2 Medjool Dates or 5 deglet nor, pitted and diced
  • 1 heaped up kale, finely chopped, loosely packed
  • a few pinches of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt + 1/8 tsp black pepper 
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced

See note below for stuffing additions.


Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Prepare crust. Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl. Combine milk and oil in separate bowl then process together to achieve a slightly sticky crumbly mixture. Using your hands form a ball  that will roll out without crumbling, roll to fill the base and sides of a 9" pie dish. I had a little leftover to make holly leaves!

Bake for approx. 10 minutes until just golden. Set aside.

Meanwhile start on your tart filling. Warm a frying pan over high heat, add the coconut oil. Add mushrooms, onion and rosemary. Saute until browned, about 3-5 minutes over high heat. Onions and mushrooms shoul lightly brown and reduce in size. Fold the salt, black pepper, cayenne, nutritional yeast and parsley into the mushroom mixture. Turn off heat and set the pan aside.

Lightly toast the hazelnuts in a hot pan for 2 minutes until they begin to give off an aroma. Then, in a food processor process the hazelnuts until they are coarsely chopped. Add the chickpeas and process for a few seconds until the chickpeas until coarsely mixed in with the nuts. 

Put the nut chickpea mix in a bowl and add the orange juice, veg stock, dates, kale and corn meal to the large mixing bowl and fold the ingredients together. Add the mushroom mixture to the chickpea-hazelnut mixture and fold everything together. Stir for about a minute.

Spoon this filling into the pie crust and pat down to smooth the top. Add the chopped red pepper over top and press in lightly. 

Bake tart at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. (see notes on Kathy post for other notes on timings) Allow tart to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving, it can cool for up to a half hour. 

Stuffing: For a firmer crust-free stuffing style alternative I added 1 1/2 cups oats and 1 tbs soy sauce (to bump up flavours since the oats 'dilute' it). Press into  pan and rough the top with a fork. 

Note: I made both the tart and stuffing this the day before and warmed in the oven for 15 minutes on Christmas day itself- I left it in for 20 mins and browned the top a bit too much! It also tastes great chilled as I had the following 2 days!

I also tried making a trifle.

Trifle is a childhood favourite for me... especially the way my mum makes it with sponge and  raspberries in jelly, a blancmange layer and then a whipped cream layer with sprinkles on top!! But since being vegan I haven't been able to eat it. I've always had it in mind to attempt my own and so this year I did... I worked pretty well BUT I couldn't get the whipped coconut to work- that should have in theory been the easiest part!! Annoying. It's not a recipe I consider blog worthy and for the all the effort that went into it i doubt i will attempt it again... i'll just enjoy the memories of my mum's version :-)

The trifle kind of worked... topped with some vanilla Wholeplus Toppers

The trifle kind of worked... topped with some vanilla Wholeplus Toppers

How did you sped your Christmas day?  Food? Family? A big gathering or a quiet affair?


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