Bye Vegan Week 👋 – My fave recipes from the past week

We have completed a week of being vegan for my sisters project! It really was so much easier than anticipated, I am excited to eat some cheese today but I really didn’t miss meat.

Over the weekend, I visited Albero Lounge in Bedford. They make it super easy with separate menus for vegans/vegetarians, they also have a really good range of options. I had to go for the burger though, if you haven’t worked out by now… I f*cking love burgers. It was a Beyond Meat patty with vegan smoked cheese and chipotle mayo – so good!

I have really enjoyed finding new ways of cooking. As promised, here is my favourite recipes of the week!

Vegan Chocolate Orange Cookies

Ingredients

  • 60g vegan butter
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 40g light brown sugar
  • 40g dark brown sugar
  • 30g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp vegan milk alternative
  • 100g good quality dark chocolate, chopped finely
  • Half an orange, zested and juiced

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a large bowl and add in the sugar, stir until combined. Add the milk.
  2. Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder together. Add a little at a time in to the butter and sugar, stirring until fully combined.
  3. Add the chocolate, vanilla essence and orange zest and juice to the mix and stir in to the dough.
  4. Take the cookie dough from the bowl and form in to a log shape, wrapping it tightly in cling film. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour or until it is firm to the touch.
  5. Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 180C and line a baking tray in parchment paper.
  6. Slice the cookie dough, I made 12 cookies out of this mix. Evenly space on the tray and put in the oven for 12 minutes.
  7. Cool on the tray for 15 minutes ish before transferring to a wire rack. They will solidify as they cool. Enjoy!

Vegan Apple Crumble

I took the recipe for this from the BBC good food website. I did however add a ton of extra sugar and cinnamon to the apples.

You can find the recipe here.

Vegan Primavera Risotto

Ingredients

  • 300g arborio rice
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 150g peas
  • Bunch of asparagus, ends removed and chopped in half
  • 3 spring onions (I just had these leftover in the fridge so shoved them in!)
  • Small bunch of chives, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, dependent on taste, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Rocket and vegan Parmesan to serve

Method

  1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and add the leeks. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes. Add in the asparagus and spring onions and cook for about 8 minutes. Put the peas in boiling water to defrost.
  2. Have your stock ready in a saucepan over a low heat.
  3. Add a tablespoon of oil to a large sauce pan or sauté pan and bring to a medium heat. Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add in the rice and fry for another minute or 2.
  4. Now you have to stay with the risotto for 20 mins ish! Start adding the stock 2 ladlefuls at a time, stirring constantly. You can add the next ladlefuls of stock when you can drag a spoon across the bottom of the pan and it leaves a clear line through the rice.
  5. After about 20 minutes, the rice should be soft with a little bite to it, at this point take it off the heat. Season to taste and add your vegetables, chives and lemon zest and juice, stirring until combined. Add a ladle of stock if it is getting sticky.
  6. Serve immediately with rocket and vegan Parmesan.

You can use any green veg for this dish, it’s another great dish for using up what’s in the fridge! Just make sure they are cooked and ready to add in at the end. Risotto is a dish that you need to be prepped completely at the start or it will very quickly go wrong!

I’m not sure what to make today, any recipe ideas for this week? Let me know!

I have also set up an Instagram account to run alongside my blog, you can follow me @lydeatsfood ❤️

Love,

Lyds xxx

Vegan Week – Part 2

Well, well, well! I’m 5 days in to my week of being vegan along with the rest of my family.

It’s been a pretty stressful week, had a massive scare with my little dog. She passed out and we had to rush her to the vets. She’s now on medication and hopefully on the mend.

Here she is today, enjoying the autumn leaves 🍁

After leaving Macey at the vets, none of us were quite ready to drive home. We decided we needed some food, a drink and to sit for a moment. Toby Carvery is directly next door, this didn’t seem like an obvious vegan choice but we thought we’d risk it!

Well lo and behold, they have a vegan and vegetarian separate menu! It actually had quite a few options and they were relatively varied. We all went for the Vegan Burger, it uses a Moving Mountains patty which I had never tried before. Weirdly, it came with roast potatoes and gravy and you could help yourself to the vegetables from the carvery. I mean, I’m not complaining! Roast potatoes are great. It just didn’t seem to quite go with the burger… Anyway! All in all, it was really nice and would definitely recommend giving it a go.

Moving Mountains burger with roast potatoes and gravy….. weird flex but ok

I’ve also been trying out some more vegan snacks from The Vegan Kind Supermarket. The NOMO Caramel and Sea Salt Choc Bar is absolutely delicious, eat this as soon as possible, SO GOOD!

Got FOMO? Eat NOMO!

I also tried the Peakz chocolate squares, they didn’t really taste much like caramel though. They were nice but I probably wouldn’t order them again. Worth a try if you like dark chocolate though!

If you can’t tell, I love salted caramel

So it’s Friday night, and I’m having a chilled one at home as I’ve finally succumbed to the god awful cold that’s going around. My mum made a couple of vegan curries, a Quorn korma and a medium potato and pea curry. What a delicious start to the weekend!

2 days left of vegan week, I really haven’t missed eating meat or animal products at all really! It takes a little more prep and planning but it hasn’t been that difficult to get my head round!

Any other chain restaurants I should try out? Let me know!

Love,

Lyds xxx

Vegan Week – The Beginning

My dearest little sister is doing a project as part of her college course about veganism. As part of her project, she has convinced my family to try a vegan diet for a week. For me, this isn’t too difficult as I already make plant based choices for most meals. I do however really love cheese, and I’m yet to find a vegan alternative that cuts the mustard!

We are now 2 days in to the experiment and I’m really enjoying seeing my family change the way they think about food. My stepdad made a fantastic vegan ‘shepherds pie’ last night, something he never would’ve even tried before.

So far this week, I’ve eaten some great food. I made a vegan apple crumble, which if I do say so myself was bloody good! I made a vegan version of my chocolate orange cookies and a primavera risotto went down a treat.

Vegan Primavera Risotto – using fresh green veg and lemon

I also made a big batch of chilli (non carne of course!), using loads of beans and sweet potato to make it super filling. I added some vegan cheese to my portion on Monday and it ruined it! It was Sainsbury’s own brand, made with coconut oil. I would certainly not recommend.

I have also ordered more snacks and sweets from the Vegan Kind Supermarket, which is fast overtaking ASOS as my favourite online shop! I am a serial snacker, so I always have a tonne of snacks to hand at work, at home and even in my car. I’ve really enjoyed eating Super Fudgio toffee flavoured fudge. It’s moreish as hell!

And finally, what’s a girl to do without dairy ice cream? Well, she’s gonna eat vegan ice cream of course. I love Halo Top ice cream, it’s low calorie and really tasty. As I was strolling through the frozen section, I discovered that not only is there a vegan version of their absolutely bangin salted caramel ice cream – it was also on offer!

So far, I’m really enjoying vegan week. I’m actually taking time to consider what I’m eating and trying new things. I fill full after every meal and I can still eat all the naughty snacks I want!

Any vegan recipes, hints or tips would be greatly appreciated! And PLEASE tell me where the good vegan cheese is at!

I will share my favourite recipes from this week in the coming days.

Love,

Lyds xxx

Lyd’s Top 5 Eats of the Month – October

My main weakness is going out for dinner, I love trying new food and having a cheeky cocktail or glass of Prosecco. So each month I will compile my top 5 eats of the month for you to peruse. Details of all restaurants I will add at the end.

Bills matcha latte and white hot chocolate – 10s across the board!
Bills Garden Breakfast (minus peppers coz I’m fussy).
Such good vegetarian options and this was so filling.
Visited the Rushden Lakes restaurant.
Avo sourdough with feta, seeds and tapenade, plus extra egg coz eggs is great.
The Gallery Cafe, Bedford – a must try as they not only serve great food but support the community through Companions Bakery (links at the bottom of page)
Smokeworks, Cambridge.
Disclaimer: This is a sharing platter, I did not eat this on my own! Absolutely delicious smoked meat with a great range of sides included.
Interior of Smokeworks.
Very cool, industrial interior with really friendly staff and a good cocktail list.
The kind of burger that makes you say ‘F*ck yes’.
The Herdburger served at Bedford’s finest- Herd.
Okay, I really love burgers and smoked meat and this is a combination of the 2!
Head to FatCap Smokehouse and try this bad boy out, filled with brisket, pulled pork and hot link sausage. Omg.

Please let me know any of your favourite restaurants in the UK, so I can add them to my ever growing list of where to eat next!

Love,

Lyds xxx

Eat more greens! Green Egg Muffins 🐔

How is it Tuesday already? The weekend went so quickly! I always spend Monday’s prepping breakfast and lunch for the week. It is amazing having Monday’s off, I get so much done and I have the house to myself. Dreamy.

I also spent a fabulous day at a local spa called York Cottage Spa. We had the place to ourselves and had a really delicious afternoon tea.

After my indulgent weekend, I decided to change up my breakfast. I’ve seen loads of recipes on Pinterest for little egg muffins so I finally decided to give it a try.

If I don’t prepare breakfasts ahead, I end up completely skipping them and then I end up eating reeeeeal unhealthy snacks (mainly cookies…) and then have no energy all day.

These egg muffins were pretty easy to make! I would say, make sure you don’t overfill your muffin tin because I did, and it made one hell of a mess of the tin and the oven. Doh. I also had quite a lot left over, so poured it in to a Yorkshire pudding tin, these muffins were so much better so if you have one I would definitely use it!

Cooked in a muffin tin (avec messy tin in the background)
Cooked in a Yorkshire pudding tin!

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 60g 0% fat Greek yoghurt (I’ve also seen recipes use reduced fat creme fraiche)
  • 100g veg – I used 2 spring onions and some broccoli I had leftover. You could use asparagus, peas, spinach or whatever you have in the fridge. Chop it really finely.
  • 50g chives, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 50g cheese (optional)
  • Olive oil or butter for greasing

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease your muffin (or Yorkshire pud!) tin with a little oil or butter and place in the oven to heat up.
  2. Place your veg in a sauce pan filled with boiling water, cook for a few minutes until it is just before al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop it cooking any further.
  3. Add all the eggs and the yoghurt in to a jug and whisk until smooth. Add in your herbs and season with salt and pepper. You can also add cheese in now if you are using!
  4. Pour the egg mixture in to your muffin tin, make sure not to overfill. Sprinkle your veg over the top and very, very carefully walk the tin to your oven and place it back inside.
  5. Bake for around 15-20 minutes. They’ll be golden and have risen up a little, they should not be runny.
  6. Allow to cool in the tin. Once cooled, you may need to use a knife around the edges to get them free. I didn’t need to do this with the Yorkshire pud ones!

This recipe made 14 muffins! Have them for breakfast or as a mid afternoon snack.

Love,

Lyds xxx

Chocolate Orange Cookies Done Classy 🍊 🍫

Right, summer is long gone and I have stopped worrying about being ‘beach body ready’. Well I am never particularly worried about that, I’m a curvy gal and I love it. I digress. As winter is fast approaching, I am leaning more towards comfort food and nothing is more comforting than a fresh batch of cookies.

These cookies were all devoured within 24 hours by my family. So be warned, make sure you eat your fair share before letting anyone else in on the action!

I do like chocolate orange (Terry’s or otherwise) but I often find it too sickly. To get the perfect balance for this recipe I used freshly squeezed OJ and a really good quality 54% dark chocolate – not too dark to be bitter but rich and sumptuous. You can use your chocolate of choice, you do you boo.

If you have any fab cookie recipes, point me in the right direction! I am going to make some more next week.

Ingredients

  • 300g self raising flour
  • 225g butter
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 180g good quality dark chocolate
  • 1 large orange, zested and juiced

Method

  1. Soften the butter. Place in a large bowl and use an electric whisk to beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the sugar, a little at a time. Then stir in the orange zest and half the juice.
  3. Add in the flour a little at a time. Then add in the chocolate.
  4. Divide the dough in two, rolling both pieces in to a log shape. Wrap tightly in baking paper or beeswax reusable food wraps.
  5. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until firm.
  6. When ready, heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line baking trays with baking paper.
  7. Cut your dough in to slices a couple of centimetres thick. Place evenly apart on the baking trays.
  8. Place in the oven for 10-15 mins, until they have risen a little and gone golden and delicious.
  9. Allow to cool on the trays for a few moments before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

This recipe made about 24 cookies for me!

It is based on a fab BBC Good Food recipe, but with a few alterations (aka what I had in my kitchen!).

Love,

Lyds xxx

Eat Yo’ Greens! Spring Greens Pizza 🍕

For a large majority of my childhood, I refused to eat vegetables. My poor little mum had to cut them up tiny and cook them down for ages so I wouldn’t know they were in my food. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to have a kid who is a fussy eater. I’m sure if I have a child, karma will come back to bite me and they will also hate vegetables. Sigh.

Anyway, nowadays I love vegetables! I still can’t eat peppers or mushrooms, but other than that I haven’t met a piece of veg I didn’t like.

I received my first magazine in my BBC Good Food subscription which I absolutely love! Definitely recommend signing up if you can afford it (they seem to always have a good deal on!). This month contained over a hundred recipes and my subscriber only recipe was a white pizza covered in all the best vegetables, I had to give it a go!

I had never made pizza dough before and I was surprised by how easy it is! It only took about 10 minutes to make, with an hours proving time.

I absolutely love all the vegetables suggested for this recipe, you could easily leave out or add in other vegetables.

I very slightly tweaked the recipe and used reduced fat creme fraiche and mozzarella because I am trying very, very hard to be good. This is probably the healthiest pizza I’ve ever eaten and it’s got loads of protein from the egg and peas. Hell to the yeah.

Now I am a dough aficionado, expect to see some more pizza-y goodness in the coming weeks. What’s your favourite pizza?

Ingredients for pizza dough

  • 250g strong white bread flour, plus some extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 175ml warm water

Method

  1. Put all the dry ingredients and the oil together in a bowl. Slowly stir in the water.
  2. Knead first a few moments in the bowl, before tipping out on to your floured surface.
  3. Knead for approximately 8 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy like elastic.
  4. Cover and leave to prove for an hour in a warm place, I put mine by my boiler. It will puff up to twice the size.
  5. Roll out and add toppings of choice. To make sure it cooks properly on the bottom, allow your baking tray to heat up in the oven first. Place the pizza on lightly floured baking paper and cook in a pre heated oven at 240 degrees Celsius for about 10 minutes.

To make a veg packed pizza like mine, prep your greens of choice (I used spring onions, asparagus, peas and spring greens) and boil.

As this is a white pizza, it does not have a tomato base. I used reduce fat creme fraiche and mixed it with olive oil, garlic and a vegetarian alternative to Parmesan. You could use mascarpone or ricotta if you want to go fulllll cheese! I also sprinkled grated reduced fat mozzarella over the top.

Assemble everything on your pizza and pop it in the oven following the above instructions.

If you want to add an egg, crack your egg in to a ramekin or small bowl and take your pizza out the oven after 5 minutes of cooking. Carefully pour the egg in to the centre and place back in the oven for 4-7 minutes more, depending on how you like your eggs. I made a bit of a mess and my egg went everywhere, so when assembling your pizza you might want to leave a little gap in the vegetables for it to sit in.

Add rocket when it’s finished cooking and a drizzle of oil. Boom, enjoy!

Love,

Lyds xxx