Roasted Summer Vegetable Pasta Dish with Mojo Sauce

In today’s post, I’m sharing a recipe for a pasta dish that features colourful roasted veggies and chunks of sausage, coated in a delicious red pepper sauce. It’s easy to prepare and makes a great weeknight meal.

The mojo sauce really is the star of this dish, and takes it to a whole new level of deliciousness. I first discovered this sauce in a supermarket in La Palma, and it was just perfect for brightening up our simple home-cooked veggie meals. Back home, I’d been dreaming about this sauce and finally, nearly a year later, I set to re-creating it. Continue reading “Roasted Summer Vegetable Pasta Dish with Mojo Sauce”

Chestnut and Mushroom Bourguignon Pie (Vegan with Gluten Free Option)

In today’s post I’m sharing a recipe for a delicious pie that’s just perfect for serving in the cold weather months. It’s an adaptation of a recipe published by the Vegetarian Society back in 1995. We first tried this pie last month and it was a big hit with the family. Since then, we’ve already eaten it a couple more times as special weekend dinners. While it looks pretty impressive, it’s really easy to make and requires less than 30 minutes hands on time.

Continue reading “Chestnut and Mushroom Bourguignon Pie (Vegan with Gluten Free Option)”

Healthy Snacking – No Bake Strawberry Tarts. Dairy Free. Vegan.

In today’s post, I’m sharing recipes for a delicious, quick and easy strawberry jam and ‘treat snack’ that the family has been loving lately: No Bake Strawberry Tarts

But before I do so, there’s an occasion that I must mark on this blog – Lil’ L’s first strawberry picking outing. I’d been dreaming about this moment for years.

Strawberry Picking

Continue reading “Healthy Snacking – No Bake Strawberry Tarts. Dairy Free. Vegan.”

Cranberry, Orange and Dark Chocolate Florentines. Dairy-free. Vegan

For this month’s Suma Blogger’s Network entry, I though I’d share one of my latest treat obsessions – Vegan Florentines

Vegan Florentines

I’ve been dreaming about Florentines ever since I saw them on display in the patisserie shops of Venice and Florence a few years ago. I’d never seen anything quite like them before. They looked so dainty yet totally decadent with their dark chocolate bottoms! I was pretty sure that they’d be full of dairy and off limits to me, but I was excited about the thought of creating a vegan version one day.

This week I finally got round to a little Florentine experimentation in the kitchen.

After a quick internet search, I discovered that Florentines are typically made with cane sugar, honey, butter, candied cherries, candied citrus peel and almonds. Since I’m not a fan of the first 4 ingredients, and I know a lot of my readers aren’t keen on candied peel, I ended up subbing 5 of the 6 ingredients. The almonds stayed 😉

The cane sugar and honey was swapped for coconut sugar and maple syrup, which gave the Florentines a wonderful golden hue and caramel-like sweetness. Instead of candied cherries and citrus peel, I used dried cranberries and orange zest. This gave the Florentines a fresh, citrussy flavour which I absolutely loved. The butter was exchanged for non dairy spread or organic aroma-free coconut butter.

Vegan Florentines

I’ve done 6 trials so far this week, playing around with different ingredient ratios and combos. All have tasted delicious, but I was striving to bake a Florentine that was super thin with the traditional ‘lacey’ texture on the underside. By the 4th trial, I’d cracked it.

Vegan Florentines

Once cooled, I then added the classic Florentine wavy chocolate bottom.

Vegan Florentines

These Florentines are my new treat obsession. I absolutely love their texture – crisp on the outside, chewy in the centre with a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bottom. Plus the flavour combination is so lush. The citrus zest gives them a wonderful lift while the dark chocolate makes them feel decadent.

Another great thing about this biscuit is that each one only contains 1 tsp of mixture which, in my eyes, makes it totally acceptable to go back for a second or third 🙂

‘M’ and Lil’ L seem to love them as much as me. I’ve made 72 so far this week, and there are very few left in the biscuit tin! I also took along a sample to my Tuesday night study class and they were a big hit!

Vegan Florentines


If possible, I recommend weighing the ingredients rather than using tablespoons as it’s more precise. I find that the shape and ‘lacieness’ of the Florentines varies depending on the size of the fruit and nut pieces, and the type of flour or fat used. Regardless of their shape, all are totally delicious!

Makes 12
Hands-on time: 20 minutes    Cooking time: 8 minutes
Ready in: 40 minutes

27g / 1 oz / 3 rounded TBSP flaked almonds
27g / 1 oz / 3 TBSP dried cranberries
Zest of ½ unwaxed / organic orange
27g / 1 oz / 2 TBSP dairy-free spread or organic aroma-free coconut butter
27g / 1 oz / 3 TBSP coconut sugar
27g / 1 oz / 1½ TBSP maple syrup
18g / ⅔ oz / 2 TBSP fine wholemeal (whole wheat), chapatti or gluten-free flour mix
80g / 3 oz dark chocolate or ½ cup dark choc chips

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) / 350F. Line two large baking sheets with non stick baking paper.

Place the almonds in a frying pan (skillet) and dry fry for a few minutes, stirring regularly. As soon as they start to brown and become fragrant, tip them onto a plate and leave to cool. Once cool, finely chop the nuts or scrunch them in your hands to break them up.

Finely chop the cranberries. Zest the orange.

In a small pan, gently heat the non dairy spread / coconut butter. Once it has melted, whisk in the sugar and syrup. Remove from the heat and whisk in the flour until fully incorporated. Stir in the nuts and fruits. You want to get the mixture as uniform as possible so that the Florentines spread evenly as they bake.

Drop six rounded teaspoons of mixture onto one baking sheet. Be sure to space them out well to give them room to spread. Add another six teaspoons to the second baking sheet. Using damp fingers, press down on the Florentines to flatten slightly and shape into circles.

Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 8 minutes, or until the edges of the Florentines have browned. Leave to cool. (They will be very soft when they come out the oven, but they firm up as they cool).

Once the Florentines are completely cool, prepare the chocolate coating. Place the chocolate pieces in a heat proof bowl set over a pan with an inch or so of water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl). Gently heat the water and stir the chocolate until it has fully melted. Remove from the heat. If the chocolate is very runny, keep stirring it until it has thickened slightly. Using a knife, coat the bottom of each Florentine with chocolate, then wiggle a fork along the chocolate to form a wavy pattern. Leave the chocolate to set.

The Florentines will keep for a week or so in an airtight container. In warm houses, it’s best to store them in the fridge. They also freeze really well so it’s worth making a double batch and freezing some. That way, you’ll have a stash ready for coffee mornings, surprise visitors or whenever a sweet craving strikes.


Unwaxed Citrus Fruits
Unwaxed lemons are widely available, but unwaxed oranges are a little harder to come by. In the UK, they are currently available in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Tesco. If you’re only able to find waxed oranges, you’ll find tips online on how to remove the wax. The wax on citrus fruits often contains shellac (from the lac beetle) or beeswax, making them unsuitable for vegans. Organic citrus fruits are unwaxed, which makes them vegan friendly 🙂

You’ll find Suma products available to purchase in UK independent health food shops. You can also bulk buy many of their products from Amazon.

Rocky Road (Vegan Style!)

Sorry I haven’t been around much these past few weeks, but I’ve been hanging out with Lil’ L. He’s growing up fast, and since this could be the last summer that he actually wants to hang out with me, I’ve been savouring every moment. We’ve had so much fun! This week’s highlights (so far) have been hiking, biking, playing tennis, picnicking in the park, a trip to the cinema (How To Train Your Dragon 2) and playing in the kitchen 🙂

Last weekend we got back from our vacation and there was a postal delivery card waiting for us. First thing Monday morning, we hopped on our bikes and pedalled down to the post office. I jumped with glee when I saw that the mystery parcel was the latest The Vegan Kind Subscription Box. I couldn’t wait to do the big ‘reveal’!

The Vegan Kind #TVK10

As usual, the box was filled with interesting brands and products that I’m excited to try out. Lil’ L’s eyes especially lit up when he saw these….

Freedom Mallows

While regular marshmallows are made with gelatine (a slaughterhouse byproduct), Freedom Mallows are gelatine free, dairy free, egg free, gluten free and nut free, and thus suitable for vegetarians and vegans, as well as people with gluten, dairy and nut allergies/intolerances.

And it’s incredible how similar they are to regular marshmallows, both in taste and texture. My mum loves marshmallows and even she can’t tell the difference.

Over the winter, Lil’ L enjoyed slicing and sprinkling vanilla mallows onto his hot chocolates. This time round, we thought it would be fun to make some Rocky Road. While I stood by, Lil’ L set to work melting chocolate and coconut oil…

Rocky Road Making

…bashing biscuits

Rocky Road Making

…then adding mallows and mixing it altogether. Since our mallows were strawberry flavoured, we thought it would be nice to finish off our Rocky Road with a sprinkling of freeze-dried strawberries (which we had left over from these Chocolate Crunch Hearts).

After a couple of hours in the freezer, the Rocky Road was ready to slice and sample. It got a huge thumbs up from Lil’ L!

Rocky Road (Vegan Style)

So far this week, he’s enjoyed it as a treat snack at the cinema and the tennis courts. While it’s a little too sweet for me, Lil’ L reckons it’ll be a hit with kids or anyone with a sweet tooth. It would be great for sharing at children’s tea parties or selling at charity or school fundraisers. It would also make a lovely home-made gift for sweet-loving veggie friends, wrapped in a special box or tin


Rocky Road… Vegan Style!
Got a sweet tooth? Then this treat is for you! It’s easy and fun to prepare. It makes a great rainy day activity for veggie kids, young and old alike!

Makes about 12 pieces
Hands-on time: 15 minutes Ready in: 2 hrs 15 minutes

200g / 7oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
2 TBSP virgin coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
200g / 7 oz Digestive biscuits (or Rich Tea, Oreos or gluten free cookies)
75g / 2½ oz veggie marshmallows (e.g. Freedom Mallows)
Icing sugar, for dusting

Grease and line a freezer-safe container about 12cm x 22cm (5 inches x 8½ inches) with baking paper. (I used a large loaf pan, but you could use a plastic, silicone or foil container).

Add a small amount of water to a saucepan and place a heat-proof bowl on top. Break the chocolate into chunks, place it in the bowl along with the coconut oil and gently heat, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has fully melted.

Meanwhile, place the biscuits (cookies) in a freezer bag. Press out the air and tie the bag shut. Bash with a rolling pin until you have a mixture of crumbs and small pieces.

If your mallows are large, slice them into halves or thirds.

When the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and stir in the biscuits and mallows. Tip into the prepared pan and press down hard with the back of a spoon to remove air pockets.

Place in the freezer for about 2 hours, until solid. Using a sharp knife, slice into rectangles about 4 cm (1½ inches) in size. Add a light dusting of icing sugar for decoration.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer, where it will keep for weeks.


In the UK, Freedom Mallows are available from Holland & Barrett, independent health food shops (including Harvest in Bath) and online.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! xx

Valentines Chocolate Cookie Crunch Hearts (Dairy-Free / Vegan)

Today I’d like to share one of my favourite home-made chocolate treats – Chocolate Cookie Crunch Hearts. They are so delicious, yet simple to make. They contain just THREE ingredients! ✨ They are perfect for sharing with loved ones on Valentine’s Day. Head below to see how I make them.

Continue reading “Valentines Chocolate Cookie Crunch Hearts (Dairy-Free / Vegan)”