chocolate truffle brownies (I can’t believe they are vegan)

These brownies are squidgy and very chocolatey… but not too sweet, add more of the coconut sugar if you prefer them sweeter, and the prunes add that extra squidge factor. I tried them at a dinner party with fresh raspberries and they were a big hit. My friend Vicki thought they were very truffley, so I changed the name.

They are also great with vegan vanilla ice cream or just as a dessert with coffee. You could also press a half walnut or pecan into the top if you fancy instead of the chocolate drops before you bake them. They are perfect if you are following a dairy free diet and fancy a bit of the old chocolate cake.

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vegan coconut shortbread

These shortbreads are coconutty and taste really buttery even though they are dairy free. I love them with a coffee or crunched up on ice cream. No one will ever know they are vegan unless you tell them, and toasting the coconut makes the flavour even more delicious.

Try making them with kids, as they are easy to make and good fun to stamp out into shapes.

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vegan burrito tortillas with avocado

I know… all the best bits of a burrito with the best bits of a tortilla. So you have crispy fried tortillas with charred corn and avocado with my pink pickled onions and Mexican refried beans. These are perfect as a canapé, a TV snack or a starter. I tried these out at a dinner party and no one noticed that they were vegan. You can buy a can of refried beans but my recipe for them is so much nicer and is on the blog in the vegan bit of the blog menu, just remember to start making them the day before as the beans need to be soaked overnight. The same goes for the pink pickled onions recipe as it also needs to made the day before. These are colourful, tasty crunchy and good for you.

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pavlova ice cream pudding

This pudding can be assembled in 5 minutes max, so zero stress.  I’ve never met anybody who didn’t think it was really amazing. It has that great combo of creamy and crunchy mixed with sweet from the meringues and ice cream and tart from the berries. It’s a visual and sensual feast. The recipe uses any vanilla ice cream, but I use Swedish Glace or the newly launched coconut ice cream from Coconut Collaborative which are delicious if you are going down the dairy free route. None of your guests would guess it’s dairy free and it’s perfect if you are following kosher.

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David Beckham’s risotto

This risotto was put on Twitter by David Beckham when he cooked it for his family. I looked at the pictures of him proudly cooking it, and I checked out the ingredients and worked out it was a risotto Milanese. I have recreated it so you can try a bit of the Beckham. It’s a really rich, creamy risotto that would work well with a crisp lettuce salad dressed with my vinaigrette to counterbalance the richness of the risotto which would be a delicious dinner for two on a date night.

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chocolate dipped ginger shortbread

These shortcakes are really fun easy and vegan. Anyone can make them. All you do is mix the ingredients, bake them, dip in warm chocolate and leave to cool. They taste amazingly buttery even though there’s no butter in them. They are perfect as tree decorations if you make a little hole in them before baking so you can thread a ribbon or piece of string through to hang them up.  I’ve tried these out on friends who can’t tell they are dairy free, so give them a go…

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pad thai

This version of Pad Thai is a delicious warm noodley stir fry salad. Perfect on a summer evening. You can add cooked prawns or chicken to this recipe, if you want to, it’s totally versatile, but stands alone as an outstanding vegan recipe. I love that it’s a tangy mixture of flavours and it’s a variety of textures. It was a great hit at dinner with my vegetarian boy pals (it can be made with white noodles too).

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fresh nectarine salad

This salad is simple and sweetly delicious and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. I really love salads that are using just one main ingredient. It’s the zen way. Also I have always secretly put vinaigrette on my fruit salad when it’s just for me. So this recipe, which could also use peaches, hits the sweet and savoury thing on the head, if you like that sort of thing. I love the sweetness of the nectarine with the zingy dressing. It’s particularly lovely with my winter slaw. A friend of mine makes it all the time…she’s completely hooked on it.

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express salmon kedgeree

Kedgeree is one of those quintessentially British dishes, dating back to the 1800’s, that’s easier to make than you think plus I’ve made it even easier. It’s a lovely mixture of creamy eggs, fish and rice with the gentle perfume of Indian spices. My version is inspired by a recipe by the cook Roxy Beaujolais which uses salmon instead of smoked haddock. It’s perfect for a light Christmas Eve supper, or as a New Years Eve supper bearing in mind it only takes about twenty minutes to cook. It’s also perfect for dinner for two. Continue reading

healthy raspberry sorbet

Raspberry sorbet always reminds me of summer holidays in France with my family when I was little. And when I eat it now in all its jewel red gorgeousness I am transported back to places we visited there and adored. Anyway, ices have always been my favourite thing, my Italian grandfather made Gelato so it’s in my blood.
This raspberry sorbet doesn’t need an ice cream machine and is made with raw raspberries that have been frozen and the only other ingredients are lemon juice and maple syrup, so it’s raw and low glycemic and really easy to make. I usually get a punnet of raspberries and stick them on a plate so they are separated as much as possible from each other and them bung them in the freezer till rock hard or over night, alternatively you can buy a punnet or bag of already frozen raspberries.

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