Mushroom and ale stroganoff (NEW RECIPE #42!)

This was a delicious recipe that I would give 5/5. From the 15 minute vegan cookbook, it had 200 ml of ale making up the majority of the sauce, and the mushrooms became really tender and rich.

I served it with tagliatelle, and it was good – the sauce coated the pasta beautifully and it was a hearty and filling meal, but I am convinced that the best possible use for this stroganoff would be as a pie filling! I can’t wait to make this again, shove it in some puff pastry and serve with chips and mushy peas for a decadent pub-style meal.

As it stands, however, it wasn’t particularly unhealthy or extravagant; it was just a tasty, comforting sauce which would go equally well with rice, pasta or a baked potato.

Chickpea, maple and apricot tagine (NEW RECIPE #41!)

What’s that, you say? Tagine in fifteen minutes? Well, that’s what the 15 minute vegan cookbook promised, and that it approximately what it provided! If I had been timing, it would probably have taken longer than 15 minutes, but I am a very slow and careful chopper of veg, so I’d guess it’s quicker for most people.

I served this with cous cous and veggies, so as to add to the Moroccan vibe, and the whole thing worked nicely. The tagine sauce was really flavoursome, and dried apricots are a fabulous addition to a meal. I think the green beans should have been added much later, though, as they went a bit insipid (as you can see in the picture). That was my only quibble, though, and it’s a very easy-to-rectify one.

I’d rate this recipe as a 3/5, and I suspect that it would go up to a 4/5 if I stuck the green beans in at the end. When I cook it next, I think I’ll add a few more apricots, too, as they were such a highlight!

Piri piri bean grill (NEW RECIPE #40!)

This is what we had for dinner on bonfire night! We wanted something that would go nicely eaten from a bowl by the side of a roaring bonfire, and this did the trick.

Another 15 minute vegan recipe, this was really simple and a great high-protein treat. The spice combination was delicious and smoky, but not too hot, and we quickly scoffed the lot. It was a really large portion, too, which I always like!

This would probably be a popular recipe with children (or other veg dodgers), as it’s simple, and not too ‘healthy’ feeling (you know what I mean!).

We served it by itself as it was followed by a large pudding, but it would also go brilliantly on top of a jacket potato, or even a few slices of toast!

3.5/5 – I really enjoyed it, but it wasn’t quite special enough to hit that 4/5.

Toffee apples (NEW RECIPE #39!)

It was recently bonfire night, so I thought I’d give making toffee apples a go. The method in this 15 minute vegan recipe was pretty simple – stab a handle into your apples, make the toffee sauce and pour it over.

The recipe included a method for if you had a sugar thermometer, and a work-around for if you (like me!) don’t have one, which involved dipping some of the sugar coating in cold water – when it’s ready, it will go stiff. I boiled mine for absolutely ages, and it didn’t go stiff ever, so I decided to just give up and shove it on my apples anyway!

It never went completely hard, but stayed at that chewy-gooey stage a bit like a chewy sweet. It was absolutely delicious, but in reality it was a bit of a failure. Not sure if it was me or the recipe, but given that this is a once-a-year type of food, I probably won’t give it another go.


Syrup sponge pudding (NEW RECIPE #38!)

This 15 minute vegan recipe might not be the prettiest thing I’ve cooked lately, but it was absolutely delicious!

The recipe was one to cook in the microwave, so it actually only took around five minutes to cook all in all, which made it dangerously quick for the future of my waistline!

The pudding was gooey and oozing with beautiful maple syrup, and the just the right level of stodgy and satisfying. It’s a shame that it looks slightly anaemic, but otherwise it is exactly the sort of pud that I would be delighted to serve at a big gathering after a roast dinner.

The level of moistness meant that no custard was needed, but I’m also fairly sure that custard would have gone brilliantly with it too.

4.5/5 (and it would be 5/5 if appearance didn’t count just a little bit!)

Peri peri hasselback potatoes (NEW RECIPE 37!)

Do people still say hubba hubba?! These potatoes were amazing! I wanted something special for date night, and given that we both love spuds and spices, I decided to give this recipe from the BOSH! cookbook a try.

The cutting of the potatoes was a bit fiddly, but now I’ve done it once, I’m fairly sure it will work better next time. The rest of the recipe was basically preparing the spice rub, coating the potato in it and shoving them in the oven, so it wasn’t too complicated. The cookbook recommends these as an accompaniment to a barbecue, but I thought they’d go well with a big pile of garlic mushrooms (and I was right!).

This is how I served them

The meal was amazing.. The spice mix tasted like the seasoning on curly fries, and was the perfect level of tasty but not spicy. The potato was crispy in all the right places, and comforting. The garlic mushrooms were lovely and sloppy and set off the potato to perfection.

A definite 5/5.

Beetroot and pickled walnut salad with minted yoghurt (NEW RECIPE #36!)

This tasty little salad was taken yet again from 15 minute vegan. I love beetroot, and I really love pickled walnuts, so made this salad as a starter for date night.

The salad itself was very simple, just a case of putting ingredients on a plate, and the minted yoghurt dressing was similarly straightforward.

For me, the salad was good, but nothing special. The dressing was the really special part, being lovely and creamy against the tart counterpart of the vegetables.

I probably won’t make this one again, although I would be very happy to eat it if someone put it in front of me!