Autumn is a time for eating.

Autumn is  coming, fresh and chilly. It’s time to go into hibernation, but you can’t snooze on an empty stomach. Here’s a weeks’ worth of gluttonous goodness! Get your chops round these vegan, GF beauties! They’re delicious, cheap to make and more moreish than you can possibly imagine ❤

 

The Most Velvety Butternut and Chickpea Curry Ever:

You will need:

1 butternut squash

1 red onion

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp ready grated ginger

1 large can chickpeas (drained)

Handful of cherry tomatoes

2 stock cubes

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinammon

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

Brown rice to serve

 

This is how we do:

  • Dice butternut squash (in 1 inch pieces approx)
  • Toss squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinammon in a baking tin.
  • Roast at gas mark 4 for 25 minutes or until soft
  • Meanwhile, fry off the red onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and remaining spices.
  • Add stock a bit at a time to form a thick sauce.
  • Add chickpeas.
  • When the squash is cooked add to the sauce.
  • Add water as required and simmer for around 20 minutes or until the squash begins to disintegrate a little. Or, do it to whatever consistency you like it.
  • While it’s simmering away, boil the rice.
  • Serve!

 

Ultimate Comfort Food Honey-roast Veg and Sweet Potato Mash:

(Good with some grilled halloumi, too, if you’re veggie)

You will need:

1 large red onion

1 carrot

4 cloves garlic

1/2 butternut squash/ gourd

Handful cherry tomatoes

2 courgettes

1 red, orange or yellow pepper

1 beetroot

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Salt & Pepper

Balsamic vinegar

Olive oil

Honey

Sweet potatoes

Vegan butter/ spread

 

This is how we do:

  • Chop all veg and place in a large baking tin or pyrex dish.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and toss with the spices.
  • Add a dash of balsamic vinegar.
  • If you’re in a hurry, roast on a medium high heat for 25 minutes, then add the honey for another 5-10 minutes.
  • OR if you’ve got all day/ are in dire need of a cup of tea then roast on a low heat for a couple of hours then turn it up for 10 minutes and add the honey for a delightful glaze.
  • Boil the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes or until tender.
  • Mash up with a little knob of vegan spread.

 

Vegetables Galore Stirfry:

You will need:

Sesame oil

Spring onions

Baby corn

Peppers

Pak choi

Sugar snap peas

Broccoli

Any other veg you fancy – try grating raw carrot on top

Rice noodles

Grated ginger

1 clove garlic

Salt & Pepper

GF soy sauce

Honey

 

This is how we do:

  • Chop the veg to bit size chunks.
  • Heat the oil.
  • Add the spring onions, garlic and ginger and fry up for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the rest of the veggies.
  • Season and add soy sauce and honey.
  • Prepare the noodles whilst the veggies cook.
  • Eat!

 

Scrumdidilumptious Lentil Dahl:

You will need:

Olive oil

1 red onion

1 clove garlic

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garam masala

1 stock cube

Red lentils

Yellow split peas/ green lentils (optional)

Brown rice, naan bread and mango chutney to serve.

 

This is how we do:

  • Heat the oil and fry the onion with the garlic.
  • Add the spices and soften the onions on a low heat for a few minutes.
  • Add the lentils (I tend to do it by eye and make loads as it freezes well)
  • Add boiling water and simmer.
  • Keep adding water and stirring as the lentils soften.
  • Cook the rice and simmer the dahl until cooked.
  • Devour!

 

Cous-cous Stuffed Peppers:

You will need:

1 pepper per person

Maize cous-cous

Pomegrante seeds

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp harissa paste

Vegan spread

 

This is how we do:

  • Prepare the cous-cous according to the instructions.
  • Add the spices and spread and stir in while the cous cous is absorbing the water.
  • Cut the top off the peppers and de-seed.
  • Fill with the cous-cous.
  • Replace the tops of the peppers and roast for 20 minutes until soft and slightly browned on top.
  • Serve with the pomegrante seeds and any additional veg you fancy.

 

*Not technically food* Comforting Mulled Cider:

You will need:

  • 2 litres of apple cider
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 orange (quartered)
  • Honey (to taste)
  • Brown sugar (2 tbsp)
  • 2 star anise
  • 4/5 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick

 

This is how we do:

  • Put the cider in a large pan over a low heat.
  • Add the spices, orange pieces and orange juice.
  • Add the sugar and a large squidge of honey.
  • Stir and heat until the flavours have all come together and steam is rising (no need to boil)
  • Adjust the sweetness to taste.
  • Serve on cold nights!

 

Aubergine Dream Pasta:

You will need:

  • 1 aubergine
  • Olive oil
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 carton passata
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 carrot (diced up small)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup white wine (optional)
  • GF pasta
  • Vegan cheese (optional but opulent)

 

This is how we do:

  • Dice the aubergine and courgette.
  • Roast for 20-30 minutes.
  • While the veggies are roasting, make the sauce.
  • Fry the onion, carrot and garlic and season.
  • Add the wine gradually and allow the alcohol to evaporate off.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and passata.
  • If you want a smoother sauce you can blitz using a handblender.
  • Cook the pasta with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  • Combine the roasted veg with the sauce and serve!

 

Now, HIBERNATE!

Take care 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

A girl should always have flowers

 

I’m a firm believer in beauty, in all its forms. I also believe its like art – you don’t have to understand it to find it beautiful. And flowers are beautiful. Life just seems brighter and more bountiful when they are around.

There’s no feeling on Earth like sitting in a little Eden, especially if it’s one of your own making. My parents are keen gardeners and also keep an allotment, and not getting out into these oases often enough is one of my regrets (I’m working on it). Even if your budget doesn’t stretch to hothouse lilies, you can grab some daffs for pence around Easter. Supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi usually do good value and good quality fresh cut flowers. I tend to go for yellow roses or something like that. When they’ve had their innings, I re-purpose them into pot-pourri. Another good, more economical option is to buy a small potted plant to inject some green into your world. For me, though, the physical process of choosing, trimming and arranging a bunch of flowers is a singular pleasure in it own right.

If I’m not buying myself some flowers, I’ll almost certainly be wearing some. Of course, it’s a common print, especially for vintage clothing, and my wardrobe is particularly floral-heavy. I love it and make no bones about it. I think, even for people that don’t go for the twee pastel vibe that I go gooey for, there are more subtle ways to incorporate flowers into your wardrobe:

 

  • Undercover: Flowers on your lady-garden – underwear is the second outfit only you need to know about.
  • Accents: Belly-bars, belts, buttons, buckles, bags, brooches… all can be made in a flower-shape. Yay!
  • Hold onto your hose: Tights may also come embellished with flowers, to be paired with something plain, or neon orange fishnet. Whatever, Trevor.

 

And, if you need flowers in more than just your outfits, you could always make a real commitment. Tattoo, anyone? Maybe not… But seriously, have a go at making your own rose petal tea (go to an Asian supermarket for the ingredients), burn floral candles or incorporate some edible petals into a salad in the coming summer months.

Also, try reading about the Victorian Language of Flowers, or Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s gorgeous ‘The Language of Flowers’, which tells the story of a emotionally detached young woman, communicating through flowers. Beautiful!

 

Let flowers speak to you!

 

A Veritable, Vegetable Feast

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Delicious, healthy, vegetarian curry and accoutrements!

Veggie Curry – Ingredients

  • 1 courgette
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • any other veg you like
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 carton of passata/ sieved tomatoes
  • Spice mix: 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, 2 cloves garlic, salt and pepper

Veggie curry – Method

  • Chop all the veg and place in a slow cooker (you can use a normal pan if you prefer)
  • Fry off the garlic and spices in 2-3 tbsp of oil in a medium sized pan
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and passata to form the sauce
  • Pour over the vegetables and set on ‘High’ for four hours, or low for longer. (If using a normal pan, simmer until the vegetables are cooked)
  • When cooked, add coconut milk, stir thoroughly and serve.

Lentil dahl – Ingredients

  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 cup of lentils
  • Spice mix – salt, pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of vegetable stock

Lentil dahl – Method

  • Soften the onion in plenty of oil (2-3 tbsp)
  • Add the spices
  • Add the lentils and stock
  • Simmer until lentils are tender – you may need to add more stock

Rice – Ingredients

  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • Bay leaf
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • can of chickpeas (optional)
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of water

Rice –  Method

  • Melt the butter
  • Add the rice and coat in the butter
  • Add the spices and water
  • Boil for 15 minutes, checking water levels every few minutes

Butternut squash

  • Chop the rest of the butternut squash
  • Heat oven to 180 degrees
  • Coat the squash in oil and 1 tsp of ground cinnamon and 1 tsp of ground ginger
  • Roast for about 20 minutes, depending on the size of your chunks etc.

To serve:

  • Raita: Natural yoghurt with chopped cucumber and mint makes a refreshing dip.
  • Chopped banana or raisins add a little sweetness.
  • Naan bread is surprisingly simple to make – have a go.

Enjoy!