warm spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce

This spaghetti is a proper Tuscan summery delight and my Italian family favourite. It not only is fresh and simple but it has very few ingredients too. It reminds me of summer evenings sitting in our garden as children with a glass of fizzy apple juice pretending it was champagne. This spaghetti can be served with Parmesan, but it traditionally is served without. I love this with a plain salad with my vinaigrette.
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creamy egg curry with a coconut sauce

This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbook Simple Indian Cookery. I have made a few alterations to the recipe, like removing the dairy and chicken stock, and replacing them with coconut cream and coconut milk. I have also used an assortment of different eggs and put less oil in so it’s healthier. It is an excellent dinner party recipe and I would serve it with freshly made wholemeal chapatis from the Indian section of my supermarket in the freezer (Shana)as they are a great combination with this curry and super easy. I also would add a salad with wedges of lemon and my {okra} and or basmati rice. My friends think this is the most delicious curry ever, see what you think. I love it.

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nicoise tartines with fried capers

Any one who reads my blog knows I loves salad sandwiches…but not just any old salad sandwich, mine are pimped up sandwiches made with a combination of new recipes and traditional ones like this nicoise tartine recipe. I scorch or roast my bread in a pan with olive oil so it’s extra crispy and tasty… then I layer crunchy capers on top of creamy soft boiled eggs with tuna salad and crunchy scorched bread. It’s colourful and healthy and tastes delish. I have also made them in advance and stored them in the fridge for an hour or so and they were still lovely and crispy.

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smoked salmon tartines with pickled cucumber and wasabi cream

If you like smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels, this tartine recipe is based on that but really ramped up flavour and texture wise. I made these last night for a dinner party, and they went down really well. They are a great combo of tangy sweet savoury crunchy and creamy. I replaced the smoked salmon with slices of avocado for one of my veggie friends who doesn’t eat fish and she really loved it. You need to make the pickled cucumber and pink pickled onions in advance, the methods are below and in my recipe archive, and they are beyond easy. I really can’t wait to make them again, I really love them and they are perfect for a date night.
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love cookies

These shortcakes are very chocolatey, fun 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 and are perfect as a gift for your loved ones (…or loved ones),  in a cellophane bag or a small box with a red ribbon because I think a homemade present is really thoughtful. I’ve tried these out on friends who can’t tell they are dairy free, in fact they even preferred them to normal biscuits made with butter!

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pear drop sorbet with pear guitars

This no churn boozy sorbet is based on the the delicious pear drop cocktail which is pear juice with vodka and vanilla. It’s such a brilliant combination of flavours I have made it into an easy gelato version which is perfect for valentine’s night or date night as it’s lighter than a traditional dessert, so you won’t feel like dozing off after dinner as you dim the lights and crank up the Barry White…
It can be made in advance and kept frozen till needed. It’s also very easy and quick to make, you just need a freezer and a food processor or a nutribullet.

Happy 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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roasted pears with Vermouth

I have been making this recipe for ever because not only is it the easiest pudding to make but it is one of the most delicious. Every one loves it and it’s got the lovely flavours of vanilla, the spicy vermouth and lemon peel. I initially got the recipe from an old Italian cookbook which had only a few ingredients in each recipe and no measurements. Every single recipe I did from that book was genius in its simplicity in the way Italians effortlessly get it right plus they all tasted amazing. This recipe requires virtually no work at all, you just bung the pears in a roasting dish with the rest of the ingredients, so it’s perfect for an easy dessert after dinner or when you want to create a simple pudding at the end of a dinner party. It can be served hot or cold and I serve it with dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. If you are vegan or dairy free you can serve it with {Swedish Glace } icecream or soya yogurt.

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chocolate dipped spiced cookies

As I’ve said before, its challenging converting a tasty recipe to vegan as the flavours and textures can be very different from the standard ingredients that are usually used. I think vegan recipes also need to be more fun, so I am trying to come up with fun recipes on this blog that are not only vegan but look and taste as good if not better than the original with animal products in them. I’m trying these cookies out at a dinner party and will get back to you with their verdict.
Result! They wanted the recipe and they think they’re perfect for Christmas and as a homemade Christmas gifts!

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creamy fish curry

I love this delicious Madur Jaffrey dairy free creamy fish curry recipe and have been cooking it for years. It’s perfect for a dinner party or as an antidote to all the Christmas fare. Really nice served with a wedge of lime and fantastic to serve on Christmas eve to guests as a simple supper with basmati rice or with whatever you fancy.

Recipe

Serves 4.

Ingredients:
A thumb size piece of ginger
3 green chillies
7 cloves of peeled garlic
400ml can of coconut milk
250ml carton of coconut cream
4 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive
3 medium onions finely chopped
8 small tomatoes halved
800g of white skinless fish (haddock, cod, monkfish), cut into big chunks
¾ teaspoon of turmeric
¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
A handful of coconut chips, toasted in a dry pan (optional)
A bunch of finely chopped coriander (optional)
Salt to taste

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