Beetroot and mushroom lentils baked with mustard celeriac topping

It’s been a funny old time for weather the last few days on the Fylde coast, a combination of bright blue skies and the sort of sunshine that makes me break out the factor 50 sunblock (it’s that time of year again, boo…), and driving rain with winds that whistle down the chimney.

So while I was having a lovely afternoon creating the bright springtime ackee recipe from yesterday, I also made this savoury, earthy, lentil dish. I wasn’t sure how the mustard celeriac slices would work, but goodness they’re a delicious topping! And the scent that permeated veganbungalow as it was cooking was absolutely gorgeous.

Beetroot and mushroom lentils with mustard celeriac topping

Beetroot and mushroom lentils with mustard celeriac topping

makes 4 servings

for the lentils

100 g red lentils, rinsed

100 g green lentils, rinsed

1 small leek, sliced

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

200 g mushrooms, sliced

180 g cooked beetroot, diced (I used the sort you can get in a vacuum pack at the supermarket, they’re very cheap and I use them a lot)

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried marjoram

1/2 tsp caraway seed

500 ml vegetable stock, hot

for the celeriac

500 g celeriac, sliced into pieces around 5 cm x 5 cm and 2 mm thick (I found that half a celeriac root after peeling was about 500 g)

2 tbsp oil

2 tbsp mustard, I used a hot Polish type which is quite sweet

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees c.

For the lentils, simply put all of the ingredients in an ovenproof casserole dish and give it a mix. Cover, and pop in the oven for 50 minutes, checking the liquid levels after 30 minutes. The vegetables should have released some liquid and there should be enough for the lentils to soak more up when the celeriac topping goes on.

Toss the celeriac slices with the oil, mustard, and salt and pepper and arrange evenly over the lentils. Carefully as the casserole dish is hot!

Cover and bake for another hour, removing the lid for the last 30 minutes. The celeriac should be cooked through and slightly browned on top.

It doesn't photograph so well, but goodness me it's delicious!

It doesn’t photograph so well, but goodness me it’s delicious!

By E.


Ackee and pickled samphire with herby lentils and rice

When I was a kid growing up in Preston there was an amazing Caribbean cafe close to where my dad worked, and it was there that I was first introduced to the delights of rice and peas, and ackee, and dumplings, oh the dumplings… there was a stall selling them at the northern vegan fair in Blackpool last year so I had to buy one and it was as good as I remembered! The cafe closed (and became a polish one where I discovered perogi and zebra cake, but that’s a whole other post…) and for ages I only really ate that type of food once a year at the Preston Caribbean carnival.

But becoming vegan and the amount of recipes around which use ackee so creatively reminded me what I was missing! The last time I cooked with it I made a veganised saltfish and ackee recipe, which uses nori for the saltfish flavour which I thought was a stroke of genius!

This time however, I wanted to continue with the sea vegetable theme, and try it with samphire instead.

The ackee itself has a mild, very slightly bitter flavour and a wonderful silky texture. And it looks just like scrambled eggs, hence the classic vegan way of eating it, as a breakfast scramble!

I’ve paired the ackee and samphire with a delicious, savoury mixture of rice, lentils, leeks and tomatoes with plenty of fresh herbs stirred through at the end. It’s incredibly moreish, and a great treat as unfortunately ackee can be rather expensive… I got mine on offer from tesco a little while ago, but it was still £3 a tin!

ackee and pickled samphire with herby lentils and rice

ackee and pickled samphire with herby lentils and rice

makes 2 servings

for the herby lentils and rice

100 g brown basmati rice, rinsed

75 g red lentils, rinsed

1 large leek, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

250 ml vegetable stock, hot

1/2 tbsp oil

1 tbsp coriander, chopped

1 tbsp mint, chopped

1 tbsp dill, chopped

salt and pepper

for the pickled samphire

50 g samphire

1/4 tsp celery seed

1/4 tsp ground fennel seed

2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

and the ackee…

1 540 g tin of ackee, drained (340 g when drained)

To make the herby lentils and rice, heat the oil in a saucepan on a medium low heat and cook the leeks partially covered, stirring often for 10 minutes, until softened. Add the rice, lentils and garlic and cook for a further 3 or so minutes stirring all the time, until the rice begins to look translucent. Add the stock and tomatoes, give it all mix and turn the heat to low. Cover the pan and leave to cook for 40 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the pan covered for 5 minutes. Stir through the herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.

For the pickled samphire, simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside for 20 minutes.

To serve, stir the drained ackee gently through the rice mixture, and top with the pickled samphire.

By E.


Sweet potato chips (fries) with sweet mustard dip

is it just me or are sweet potatoes getting bigger every year? All the ones in the local grocery shop were huge! I’d been fancying something chip like, and although the title makes it sound like a whole lot of sweet, the dip is a vinaigrette and is more tangy than sweet which balances the tastes nicely.

If I’d have had any, I’d have coated the sweet potato chips in polenta, it gives a wonderful crunch.  Cooking them in the oven like this makes them a bit crunchy and a bit fudgy .. And very moreish !


Serves 2

Start off by pre-heating the oven to 200 centigrade (180 fan)

For the sweet potato chips

A large sweet potato, after peeling mine weighed 550g

2 tbsp of oil (I’m using rapeseed)

Half a tsp of salt

Half a tsp cracked blacked pepper

1 tsp of nutritional yeast

2 small sprigs of oregano finely chopped

For the dip

30ml of oil (rapeseed)

20ml apple cider vinegar

1tsp agave syrup

1tsp mustard (I’m using a mild English mustard)

A pinch of salt

ingredients for chips

Let’s start with the chips, add the salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and finely chopped oregano to the oil. Whilst the flavours are infusing the oil peel and slice the sweet potato, I aimed for chips about 3 inches long and quarter inch thick.

Pop the chips on a baking sheet, drizzle over the oil and toss them together so they are evenly coated. Put in the pre-heated oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes turning part way through.

ready for tossing

Whilst the chips are cooking whisk together all the ingredients for the dip until emulsified, the quantities of agave and mustard are really down to personal taste so make sure to taste and adjust!

This made for a great lunch on another rainy day, I have managed to drip rather a lot of the dip down myself though!

By A


Samphire and tofu hot and sour soup

I can’t remember where the original recipe that I learnt for hot and sour soup came from, but it was an absolute revelation! Before this, I’d only ever had the bright orange gloopy kind that seemed so popular with Chinese takeaways when I was growing up, which I’m pretty sure was just thinned down sweet and sour sauce with chilli in…

But this type, with its combination of white pepper for heat and chiankiang black vinegar and rice vinegar for the sourness is a whole different proposition!

As these things do, my recipe has changed over the years I’ve been making it, quite often when I haven’t had one of the original ingredients. So where here I’ve used pickled gherkin, it started off as szechuan preserved vegetables… but the gherkin works beautifully, and in combination with samphire gives the soup the correct salt and tang to go with the basic flavours. I’d never tried samphire in this sort of recipe before, but there were packs of it in the supermarket looking so appealing and wow does it work well!

I do think that the soup needs the dried shiitake mushrooms, they give a gorgeous earthy depth that is hard to get with any other ingredient.

The potato starch added at the end gives the soup a little more body, but it’s by no means essential.

Samphire and tofu hot and sour soup

Samphire and tofu hot and sour soup

makes 1 large bowlful

3 mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 shiitake mushroom, soaked in 100 ml hot water for 20 minutes and then sliced (reserve the soaking water)

30 g samphire

100 g tofu, cubed

1 tbsp chopped pickled gherkin

1 tsp grated ginger

400 ml vegetable stock, hot

1/2 tbsp chiankiang black vinegar

1/2 tbsp rice vinegar

1/2 tbsp tamari or light soy sauce

a large pinch of white pepper

1/2 tsp potato starch, slaked (optional)

Put the mushrooms (fresh and shiitake), gherkin, ginger, stock, reserved mushroom water, vinegars, tamari and white pepper in a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 3 minutes until the mushrooms are starting to soften. Add the samphire and tofu and cook for a further 2 minutes until just heated through.

Stir in the potato starch if using.

By E.


Chayote and sweet potato salad

It’s blustery here on the Fylde coast today and the wind is getting stronger, but it’s been bright all afternoon with a beautifully blue sky.

The sort of weather that made me want to make light, pretty salad for lunch at work tomorrow!

I bought a chayote from the supermarket the other day, I’ve been using them in salads for a couple of years now as the crisp texture and subtle, slightly appley flavour combines beautifully with herbs and other vegetables. I’ve only tried cooking them once (i made sort of chayote ‘bacon’!), so if anyone has any good recipes, let me know!

I’ve combined the chayote with sweet potato and carrots, and a fresh lime and dill dressing. With brown rice and quinoa as the base.

I cheated a little with the rice and quinoa, and used a sachet of the ready cooked kind… it’s Tilda brand, and is pretty good to keep in as a shortcut.

It’s a delicious salad and will brighten up my Friday no end!

Chayote and sweet potato salad

Chayote and sweet potato salad

makes 2 servings, or would do 4 as a side

1 chayote, diced. To prepare the chayote, cut into quarters and then cut out the small ‘core’ in the middle. There is no need to peel it if the skin is in good condition.

1 carrot, finely diced

1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced

250 g cooked rice or quinoa (see above)

1 heaped tbsp fresh dill, chopped

1/2 a lime, zest and juice (you may need a little more lime juice if yours is a little one)

a small pinch of salt

1/2 a small tray of salad cress, snipped

First cook the sweet potato. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and then simmer the sweet potato for 6-8 minutes until tender. Tip it into a sieve or colander and run under cold water for a couple of minutes to cool it and stop it cooking.

Now simply combine the sweet potato with the other ingredients, and you’re done!

A whole chayote, such a lovely shade of green!

A whole chayote, such a lovely shade of green!

By E.


Roasted radish and carrot salad with lentils and mushrooms

Radishes are such a pretty vegetable with their gorgeous bright pink colour, and the peppery flavour when raw is a welcome addition to many salads at veganbungalow.

But they’re also delicious cooked! I love them simply roasted and salted, so came up with this striking looking and tasty salad which we ate for lunch at work today.

The radishes are paired with carrots (for flavour as well as the pleasing colour contrast!), and a light but deeply flavoured lentil and mushroom base with balsamic vinegar.

If you were going to eat the salad straight away I’d reduce the amount of vinegar, start with 1 tbsp. But I know from experience that when a lentil or bean salad tastes perfect the night before, by the time it’s eaten at work the next day the sharpness of a dressing can all but disappear!

Radish and carrot salad with lentils and mushrooms

Radish and carrot salad with lentils and mushrooms

makes 2 servings

175 g radishes, trimmed

1 carrot, in small dice

175 g mushrooms, quartered

1 small clove garlic, sliced

1 tbsp oil

a sprig of fresh thyme or a pinch of dried thyme

240g cooked lentils, I used a tin!

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (see above)

1 tsp tamari

salt and pepper

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees c.

Put half the oil on a small oven tray and pop it in the oven for a few minutes to heat through. Add the carrots and radishes and roast for 25 minutes, giving them a shake halfway through. Remove from the oven and season with a large pinch of salt. Leave to cool and then toss with the parsley.

Heat the rest of the oil in a saucepan on a medium heat and saute the mushrooms and thyme for around 5 minutes, stirring frequently until cooked through and juicy. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the thyme sprig and add the lentils, tamari, a pinch of pepper and the balsamic vinegar. Mix it all together well and bubble for a couple of minutes to reduce the liquid a little.

Cool the lentil and mushroom mixture, and then top with the radishes and carrots to serve.

By E.


I’m torn between tarte champignon or mushroom clafoutis!


Now how pretentious does that sound! When in reality I looked in my cupboards and fridge after being away for a few days and all I had was basically gluten free self raising flour and mushrooms..

With the addition of a couple of other bits and bobs, it’s ended up as a really tasty and filling tea. I think it looks quite nice too!

So what do we need ..
200g of chestnut mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
100g of gluten free self raising flour
125ml of soya milk
1/2tsp gluten free baking powder
1tsp tamari
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tsp dry mixed herbs
1/2tsp of salt
Oil for cooking and lining the dish
7inch round quiche dish or cake tin

Start by pre-heating the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

Chop the garlic very finely and pop them in a pan with some oil on a medium heat.
Slice the mushrooms and add to the pan, after a couple of minutes add the tamari, balsamic vinegar and herbs stir and let the vinegar reduce.


Tasty mushrooms

Make up the batter by whisking together the flour, milk, salt and baking powder. You want the batter to be thick like cake mix rather than anything pancakey.

Rub the inside of the quiche dish with oil.

Spread out the mushrooms in the dish so they completely cover the bottom.

Slather (I said it was thick) the batter over the mushrooms trying to cover them completely.

Pop in the hot oven for 15 minutes or until the batter is cooked.


Okay, I didn't manage to completely cover the mushrooms

Let it cool slightly when out of the oven then run a knife round the inside of the dish to loosen.

Pop a large plate over the top of the quiche dish and turn it over, with any luck your upside down mushroom cake (still not a great name for it) will come straight out.

Then just slice and serve and maybe try to come up with a better name for it ..


It can be eaten as hand food

By A.


Caramelised onion and courgette pasties

Alex and I have been wondering for a while whether our gluten free and vegan pastry recipe could be adapted to make flaky pastry. The sort where you freeze the fat and grate it into the flour to give a well, flakier pastry, which is perfect for pasties and rolls.

It turns out that it could! It’s not as flaky as I remember the traditional version to be, but it’s definitely lighter than shortcrust, and much better suited to a pastie.

It is a little more difficult to work with though, I rolled it out between sheets of floured baking paper which just about kept it under control… The filling is inspired by an oregano plant I bought today, it’s a lovely combination and would be yummy with pasta too.

Caramelised onion and courgette pasties, with oregano, capers and garlic

Caramelised onion and courgette pasties, with oregano, capers and garlic

makes 6 pasties

For the pastry

210 g gluten free flour, plus extra for rolling

30 g almond milk powder

120 g vegetable fat, frozen

small pinch of salt

55 ml water

For the filling

1 large onion, sliced

1 courgette, in small dice

1 clove garlic, sliced

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp capers

1 tbsp fresh oregano

salt and pepper

First make the pastry. Put the flour, almond milk powder and salt in a large bowl. Grate the frozen vegetable fat into the bowl and toss it around to coat in flour. Add the water and mix quickly to form a dough. Pop it into a plastic bag or wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for a while to give the fat time to set again. Half an hour at least.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the oil in a saucepan on a medium heat and saute the onions with a pinch of salt for around 10 minutes stirring often until softened and golden brown. If the onions start to catch and burn, take them off the heat, add a splash of water, stir well and continue cooking. Add the garlic and the courgette and cook for a further 5 minutes, still stirring regularly. The courgette should still be firm, we don’t want mushy.

Stir through the oregano and capers, and some black pepper. Leave to cool. Don’t put hot filling into cold pastry! It will end in soggy disaster.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c. Roll the pastry out to around 4 mm and cut it into 6 rectangles. Spoon 1/6 of the filling onto half of each rectangle. Don’t overfill the pasties, you may have a little mixture left but that’s okay, it’s the cooks perk! Fold the other half of the rectangle over the filling and either crimp or squash to seal. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.

I forgot to photograph the filling before I put the pasties together... but there was a spoonful left!

I forgot to photograph the filling before I put the pasties together… but there was a spoonful left!

By E.


Pepper and bean soup with chilli and coriander

Yep, this is another of my oven soup recipes… I just find it such an easy method of making soup, and the bonus is that there is no oil involved at all!

This version is actually based on a dip recipe that I first made years ago. It’s evolved over time to become a tasty, filling soup with gentle chilli heat from the jalapenos and a fresh herbal note from the coriander stirred through at the end. The flavour and colour of the soup will be best if you use red or orange peppers.

It also works very well with butterbeans or cannellini beans, but not well at all with chickpeas…

Pepper and bean soup with chilli and coriander

Pepper and bean soup with chilli and coriander

makes 3 to 4 servings

2 onions, chopped (the soup will be blended so the vegetables can be chopped roughly)

2 peppers, chopped

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 stick celery, chopped

150 g tomatoes, chopped

7 slices pickled jalapeno

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp smoked paprika

750 ml vegetable stock, hot

1 400 g tin of kidney beans, drained

3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees c.

Put the peppers, onion, garlic, celery, tomatoes, jalapeno, oregano, smoked paprika and vegetable stock in an oven proof casserole with a lid.

Cover and pop into the oven for 1 hour.

Add the kidney beans and put back in the oven for another half an hour. Blend the soup (I use an immersion blender), and add salt and pepper to taste.

Stir the coriander through just before serving.

By E.


Garlic mushroom bake

Alex’s dad grows gorgeous garlic and had brought some for him to try last week. Thankfully there was enough for me to have some too! I really wanted to use the garlic for something with mushrooms, because as everyone knows, they’re a heavenly combination!

So this recipe is my version of the garlic mushrooms that are often served as a starter in Italian restaurants. It cries out for some bread to mop up the delicious juices…

I ate it with a piece of ciabatta with cherry tomatoes squished on to it, and a simple salad. Oh it was delicious!

Before the baking...

Before the baking…

serves 1

For the vegetables

7 mushrooms, sliced

1 courgette, sliced

50 ml vegetable stock

For the garlic sauce

2 tsp sliced garlic

2 tbsp oil

1/2 a green chilli, finely sliced

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp parsley, chopped

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c.

First make the sauce. Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the garlic. Stir constantly for a minute or two until it’s starting to turn golden. Remove from the heat and tip it into a cold dish to stop the garlic cooking too much more.

Mix in the lemon juice, chilli and parsley and season.

Use a little of the garlic sauce to grease a small oven dish.

Layer in half of the courgettes, followed by half of the mushrooms. Pour the stock in.

Repeat the vegetable layers. Spoon the sauce evenly over the top and cover the dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and give it another 10 minutes so that the mushrooms on top can caramelise.

After the baking... so delicious!

After the baking… so delicious!

By E.