In early Summer, my family were eagerly anticipating a trip to Wagamamas. On the way there, we psyched each other up, talking about how much we were looking forward to tucking into our favourite Wagamama dish – the Yasai Cha Han Donburi. Upon arrival, the waiter showed us to our seats and handed us the menu. Our eyes immediately moved to the spot where the dish is usually listed, but it wasn’t there. We scanned both sides of the menu but it was nowhere to be seen. We called over the waiter and he explained that they had a new summer menu. Sadly, the Yasai Cha Han Donburi hadn’t made the cut.
Has that ever happened to you? Where you’re looking forward to tucking into your favourite dish at a restaurant, or you specifically go to that restaurant because you’re craving a dish… only to find that it’s been taken off the menu. It’s happened to my family a few times and it’s always such a bummer.
Well this time, I decided to look on the bright side. I’d been meaning to try my hand at making the Yasai Cha Han Donburi at home for a while, and now was the perfect opportunity. I could still remember what the bowl tasted like and its main components, so I set to work re-creating it.
One of my favourite parts of the bowl is the flavouring added to the rice, so I really wanted to nail this part. I chose to use two of my favourite pantry staples as the basis of the dressing – Clearspring Organic Tamari Sauce and Meridian Organic Toasted Sesame Oil. The tamari provides the ‘umami’ flavour, while the toasted sesame oil add a touch of smokiness. I then added a tablespoon each of maple syrup and rice vinegar for some ‘sweet ’n’ sour’ flavour, and finished it off with a sprinkling of garlic granules. I was extremely happy with the way the dressing turned out. For me, it’s the perfect compliment to a Japanese-inspired rice bowl.
Continue reading “Wagamama-Inspired Yasai Cha Han Donburi (Brown Rice Bowl with Stir-Fried Veggies and Tofu)”
In today’s post, I’m sharing a recipe for a delicious Pear and Yogurt Cake. While simple to make, this cake looks pretty impressive with its glistening pear and cinnamon-speckled top. The cake itself has a beautifully moist, light and fluffy texture and is flavoured with hints of vanilla and almonds.
I know some people with gluten sensitivities are able to tolerate spelt flour and this cake works just perfectly with white spelt flour. Otherwise regular plain (all-purpose) flour or even a combination of half white/plain flour and half wholemeal or chapatti flour works great.
The inspiration for this cake was a visit during May half-term break to one of my favourite cafes in Bristol – Roll for the Soul. This community-run cafe also houses a cycle workshop and event space. It has a great atmosphere and lovely food and coffee, so I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area [UPDATE: Sadly Roll for the Soul closed down in September 2017 ]
Roll for the Soul is in one of my favourite districts of Bristol. We often head over there to check out the street art. One of my favourite street artists is Silent Hobo and I actually bumped into him a few weeks ago at Montpelier Railway station where he was putting the finishing touches to this mural. Isn’t it beautiful?
Continue reading “Pear and Yogurt Cake (Dairy-Free / Egg-Free / Vegan)”
Back in 2013, I shared the recipe for a Lemon Drizzle Cake that I baked for my mum for Mother’s Day. It proved to be a big hit with my readers and, four years later, it’s still one of the most popular recipes on my blog!
Though I made it specifically with my mum in mind, the Lemon Drizzle quickly became my husband’s favourite cake. It’s the one he’s requested every birthday… even though his birthday is a week before Christmas and Lemon Drizzle feels like a Spring-time cake (well, to me anyway!) Recently, however, I made an adaptation of the Lemon Drizzle and, after tasting it, my husband declared that THIS one may just be his new favourite!
With a few little tweaks, I transformed the Lemon Drizzle into an Orange Drizzle speckled with poppy seeds It still has the beautiful, moist consistency and light texture, but the flavour is of course orange rather than lemon. Rather than ‘zingy’ like the Lemon Drizzle, this one is more sweet and fruity. It reminds me of summer and sunshine. So maybe Lemon Drizzle will be my spring-time cake, and Orange Drizzle will be the summer-time version. But, of course, you can eat it whenever you like. I know we’ll be eating it in December 😉 Continue reading “Orange Drizzle Cake with Poppy Seeds (Vegan / Dairy-free / Egg-free)”
Happy New Year everyone!
I hope you had a wonderful break over the festive holidays. I spent a magical five days with my mum and her three dogs in Verwood, Dorset. It was so relaxing, which was just what I needed after a busy year finishing the cookbook.
We went for daily walks in Verwood Forest, had a glorious day on Bournemouth beach, and spent our evenings watching films and munching our way through all the Christmas goodies. As you may have seen on my social media channels, I was totally spoilt by family and friends this Christmas and received lots of beautiful boxes of vegan chocolates. Needless to say, most are empty now.
And after all the excesses of the festive season, this month I’m looking forward to getting back to my favourite way of eating – simple meals filled with natural ingredients and packed full of flavour and nutrients.
To kickstart my recipe shares for January, I have one of my family’s favourite winter-warming dishes – Smoky Yellow Split Pea Soup ❤️
Not only is this soup easy to make, but it’s incredibly cheap too. A 500g bag of Suma yellow split peas costs £1.15 and we only use half a bag in this recipe. Add in the remaining ingredients and this soup costs about £2.25, which works out at 56p per portion. Bargain!
Continue reading “Smoky Yellow Split Pea Soup”
In today’s post, I’m sharing a recipe for an easy vegan pecan pie. This dish will be perfect for serving in the upcoming festive season. It looks impressive and slices beautifully.
Pecan pie hails from the southern US states. After a google search, I discovered that it’s traditionally made with eggs, butter, refined sugar and corn syrup. I decided to ditch all of these and use some of my favourite plant-based ingredients instead.
For the crust, I use my ‘go to’ sweet pastry recipe (which I first shared in my Mince Pie post). I’ve never had a fail with this pastry and I love how crisp it turns out. Unlike many pastry recipes, it’s also palm-oil free as it uses coconut butter (the aroma-free/culinary kind) instead of dairy-free spread/vegan butter.
Continue reading “Easy Vegan Pecan Pie”
Here in the UK, the temperatures are starting to cool off and there is definitely change in the air. So to celebrate the start of another beautiful season, for this month’s entry to the Suma Blogger’s Network I’d like to share my Curried Vegetable Pasties ❤️
I’m a huge fan of pasties, especially the home-made variety. You can fill them with all manner of vegetables, herbs and spices. One of my all-time favourites is this curried pastie. With its warming flavours and beautiful golden and red hues, this has to be the perfect pastie for Autumn. Continue reading “Curried Vegetable Pasties (Vegan / Dairy-Free)”