In my Kitchen Lately



I’m back from a few days in London where I did absolutely no cooking whatsoever. There are too many good restaurants and cafés (and Wholefoods…!) and as I’m not visiting very often at the moment I feel like I have to make the most of the options when I am there.

Back in Bath I pretty much never eat out and I think we’ve established by now that I love spending time in the kitchen! When I’m not coming up with recipes for the blog I’m trying recipes from my favourite cookbooks, lately I’ve been enjoying some new ones (more on that to come though), and also trying out recipes from other bloggers.

After Vegan MoFo in September, I said that I wanted to squeeze in some time to do this and I figured, as I photographed what I made anyway,  it might be nice to share the successes and point you to the recipes from some of my favourite blogs.

So, without further ado, here’s a little more of what’s been happening in my kitchen lately:

Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple-Cream Cheese Sauce

I have pancakes at least once a week so think of myself as a pancake connoisseur of sorts. I’m actually not going to tell you where I found this recipe as I didn’t love it. They were just a tad tough. The “Maple Cream Cheese Sauce” from the Vegan Cookbook Aficionado, however, was fantastic. It had a pleasant tanginess to it but was still plenty sweet and most definitely redeemed the lacklustre pancakes.

Kale Salad with Apricot-Ginger Dressing, Apples & Walnuts

Kale Salads are one of my favourite ways to eat kale. This “Kale Salad with Creamy Apricot Ginger Dressing, Walnuts and Apples” from Gena of Choosing Raw was delicious and nice and autumnal. You’ll want to clean out the blender really well to get every drop of the dressing out!

Kale Salad with Apricot-Ginger Dressing, Apples & Walnuts

Back when the Canadians were celebrating Thanksgiving I kept seeing lots of beautiful holiday dishes appearing all over the blogosphere and decided to make something a bit more festive myself. This lovely tart from Dreena Burton’s “Let Them Eat Vegan” is aptly named, “Festive Chickpea Tart”, and is packed with savoury herbs and cranberries for lots of flavour, along with chickpeas, walnuts and oats to make a really hearty meal. Luckily for those of you who don’t have the book, Dreena’s kindly posted the recipe on her site, Plant-Powered Kitchen too.

Festive Chickpea Tart

A fresh, zingy salad was the perfect pairing. I chose a recipe I’d seen ages ago on Oh She Glows- “Holiday Salad with Apple, Pear, Cranberries & Walnuts”. I’ll definitely be making the Cranberry-Orange Vinaigrette again.

Holiday Salad with Apple, Pear, Walnuts & Cranberries

My final pick to share today is the “Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadillas” from Oh My Veggies. Lots of my favourite ingredients here- kale, sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, black beans and smoked paprika,  so it was a given that I would like this one really. As Kiersten points out, these aren’t really “quesadillas” since there’s no “queso”, but they’re no less tasty for it.

Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadillas

I served them with a quick homemade salsa, a squeeze of lime and sprinkle of fresh coriander.

Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Hope you check some of these recipes out.

Now it’s your turn! Are there any recipes you’ve made from other blogs recently that I simply have to try?

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Chili-Bean Soup with Avocado-Lime Cream


Chili-Bean Soup with Avocado-Lime Cream

Food is such a great source of memories. From big family feasts to a particularly pleasant summer’s day involving ice cream….

Chili is another one of mine. I don’t think I’d ever had a proper chili until I visited New York a few years ago. It was a cold September’s day and we took a break from sight-seeing to grab lunch in the Grand Central Station Food Court. We opted for steaming cups of vegetarian chili and pieces of sweet, crumbly cornbread. I’ve been a fan ever since and often make chili dishes, accompanied by the obligatory cornbread, and think of our fun trip to NYC Smile

Chili-Bean Soup with Avocado-Lime Cream

This is a simplified version of chili, blended up into a thick soup for maximum creamy comfort. It’s not too spicy, but even so I like to have a cooling contrast to go with it, and the tangy avocado-lime cream filled that role perfectly.

I took the opportunity to try a new cornbread recipe out as well. These muffins are from Isa-Chandra Moskowitz’s latest book “Isa Does it”. My favourite cornbread is still the Corn & Scallion version from another book by the same author,“Appetite for Reduction”, but these were still pretty good.

Chili-Bean Soup with Avocado-Lime Cream

I don’t think I need to tell you how nice it was to come home to a big bowl of this after being outside in the cold and rain. A big thank you to whoever invented soup!

Chili-Bean Soup with Avocado-Lime Cream

Chili-Bean Soup with Avocado-Lime Cream:

1/2T Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, diced
1 Medium Carrot, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
1 Stalk of Celery, chopped in 1/2-inch pieces
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1T Ground Cumin
1T Mild Chili Powder
1/2T Dried Oregano
1 1/2T Tomato Paste
3C Vegetable Broth
1 1/2C (1Can) Kidney beans
1/2t Salt

In a large pot, sauté the onion, celery and garlic in the olive oil for approx 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and spices and continue to cook for a further minute.

Add the beans, vegetable broth and tomato paste. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Use an immersion blender to blend until fairly smooth. I like a few chunky bits in mine.

Serve topped with a generous spoonful of the avocado-lime cream and cornbread on the side.

Avocado-Lime Cream:

1 Medium Avocado, scooped out
Juice of 1 lime (2T)
1T Olive Oil
Pinch of salt
1/8t Garlic powder
1/2C (loosely packed) Fresh Coriander/Cilantro

In a food processor combine all ingredients except for the coriander and process until smooth. Pulse in the fresh coriander.

Serves 4 (or 2 huge bowls, as pictured)

I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly link parties, Wellness Weekends and Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Chili-Bean Soup with Avocado-Lime Cream

Do you have any vivid food memories? Please share!

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Creamy White Bean Pasta with Mushrooms & Sage


Creamy White Bean Pasta with Mushrooms & Sage

It’s Bonfire night! Since the 5th is a weekday this year, most of the fireworks displays took place over the weekend when it was, predictably, raining.

Bonfire night always seems to signal the real start of Autumn weather and indeed the temperature has certainly dropped these last couple of days. I’m back on porridge for breakfast and looking for warming meals to fill my tummy after coming in from the cold.

Creamy White Bean Pasta with Mushrooms & Sage

I don’t eat pasta all that often these days. I think maybe I had my fill of it when I was younger when plain pasta was one of the few meals fussy little me liked. I tend to think of it as boring and not particularly nutritious, but I’m realizing that it doesn’t have to be so. Add some beans, greens and wintry herbs and you’ve got a tasty, healthy, and satisfying meal.

I know this dish doesn’t look terribly inspiring but I promise it tastes a lot better than it looks. The creamy sauce is made from white beans and packs a punch of protein as well as bringing the herby mushrooms, pasta and kale together nicely.

Creamy White Bean Pasta with Mushrooms & Sage

Creamy White Bean Pasta with Mushrooms & Sage:

Pasta for 4 people (I like Dove’s Farm Brown Rice Pasta)

1/2T Olive Oil
1 Small Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
1C White Beans
1T White Miso
1T Lemon Juice
1 1/2C Vegetable Broth
1/2T Olive Oil
250g/8oz Mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced thickly
2T Minced Fresh Sage
Salt & Pepper
A few large handfuls of kale or other greens, chopped

Make the white bean sauce first. Sauté onion over medium heat for 5 minutes in the olive oil, add the garlic and continue to cook for a further couple of minutes.

If you have an immersion blender add the beans, broth, miso and lemon juice to the pot and blend until smooth. Alternatively, transfer onion mixture to a blender, add the other ingredients and blend until smooth. Return to pot and heat gently until warmed through. Add more broth if you prefer a thinner sauce.

Cook pasta according to packet directions.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining olive oil in a pan and sauté mushrooms along with the sage for approx 5 minutes, or until they’ve released their juices. Season with salt and pepper.

Steam greens.

Either add everything to the pasta and mix well to coat with the sauce or layer the separate components on individual plates.

Serves 4

Creamy White Bean Pasta with Mushrooms & Sage

I’ve got so much I want to share with you but am lacking the time to post it at the moment. I hope you’ll all bear with me!

What are your favourite pasta-dishes?

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Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad with Baked Cashew Cheese


Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad with Baked Cashew Cheese

I get a lot of my cooking inspiration from restaurant menus, normally not vegan or even vegetarian restaurants. I love being able to take a dish containing animal products and make it vegan-it’s sort of my gentler way of putting two fingers up and saying “ha, I don’t need your animal products- I made your dish better- for us, the planet and the animals!”

This “Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad with Baked Cashew Cheese” is my take on the beetroot & goat’s cheese salad I’ve been seeing on menus all over the place.

Eliminating cheese is a doddle when you’ve got cashews, the magical nut! I usually use cashews for creamy sauces and spreads, but to replicate goat’s cheese’s crumbly texture I baked my blended mixture to dry it out, taking this recipe as my starting point.

I used the same recipe back in the summer for my Herby Courgette Galette recipe (Please excuse the terrible pictures, photography’s been a steep learning curve!) and learnt then that straining the cheese didn’t achieve much so I skipped that step this time.

Baked Cashew Cheese

Here’s what my little ramekin of cheese looked like out of the oven.

Baked Cashew Cheese
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  1. 1/3 C (Heaped) Cashews, soaked, drained and rinsed
  2. 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  3. 1 Tbsp Neutral Oil (I used Organic Sunflower)
  4. 1 Tbsp Water
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F
  2. Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor or high-power blender for 5 minutes (This helps the cheese firm up so even if it’s smooth blend for the full amount of time).
  3. Pour into a lined/oiled ramekin. Bake for approx 25 minutes, until firm on top and beginning to turn golden.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool completely in the fridge.
  1. *This makes twice the amount you need for the salad but it’s nice to use in other dishes too)
Adapted from C'est La Vegan
Adapted from C'est La Vegan
Coconut and Berries

Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad with Baked Cashew Cheese

To turn this into a meal-worthy salad I bulked it up with roasted sweet potato chunks, some spicy rocket leaves and a scattering of toasted pine nuts. Simply delicious.

Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad with Baked Cashew Cheese

Yield: 2-3 Servings


  • 3 Medium-size Beetroot
  • 2 Medium-size Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 2” chunks
  • 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Sprig of Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 3/4 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Handful of Rocket leaves
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Pine Nuts OR walnuts, toasted
  • 50g/2oz/1/2 Recipe Cashew Cheese (See Above), crumbled


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F
  2. I like to roast beetroot using the tin-foil method. Alternatively, if you want to avoid getting messy, you can also use the pre-cooked kind (usually found in vacuum packs).
  3. Drizzle sweet potato chunks with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and spread in a roasting pan with the thyme. Roast for approx 25 minutes, until soft and golden.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk mustard, vinegar and olive oil together for the dressing.
  5. Peel and chop cooked, peeled beetroot into chunks the same size as the sweet potato.
  6. In a large bowl, toss the beetroot and sweet potato with the dressing. Add the parsley and rocket, salt and pepper to taste and toss again. (You can either wait until the roasted vegetables are cool to do this or eat the salad warm, in which case the rocket will wilt).
  7. Remove to a serving dish and top with the toasted pine nuts and crumbled cashew cheese.

I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly link-ups: Wellness Weekends and Healthy Vegan Fridays

Beetroot & Sweet Potato Salad with Baked Cashew Cheese

Have you successfully veganized any dishes you’ve seen on restaurant menus? Or have you got any you’d like to challenge me to veganize?!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! 3 free codes for the Vegan Delish app to win!

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Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash


I hesitated as to whether I should post this one- it’s hardly a recipe at all really- more of a simple, tasty meal idea. I know a lot of my readers are experienced cooks, more than familiar with cooking vegan, but some of you are also just getting started cooking plant-based meals.

Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash

When I went vegan was the first time I really got into cooking. I taught myself to cook using recipes and it took me quite a while to get comfortable with experimenting in the kitchen and adapting other recipes to my own tastes, rather than following them strictly to the letter.

This is one of those basic recipes which you can follow as written, if that’s what you’re happiest doing, or adapt to your own tastes with different vegetables and spices, if you’re more of an experimental cook.

Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash

Even for those of us who cook a lot, there are days when inspiration is absent (at least for me!) and it’s nice to have a few no-brainer dishes in your back pocket for these situations. This Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash is one of those.

Just a few humble ingredients, but combined with some spices and heat they turn into something a bit more special.

Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash

I made enough for 1 with leftovers for lunch, 2 small-ish servings or to serve a few people as a side-dish (I’m envisaging BBQ baked tofu, corn on the cob-if in season-and a quick green salad…). Or, if you’re following my own advice, make a larger batch and eat it for lunches a few days in a row. It will keep well in the fridge (Just add the avocado fresh to each serving).

Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash

Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash
Serves 2
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  1. 1 Medium Potato, peeled and diced
  2. 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  3. 1/2 Onion, diced
  4. 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  5. 1/2 Red Pepper, diced
  6. 1/2 Green Pepper , diced
  7. 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  8. 1/2 tsp Cumin
  9. 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  10. 3/4 C (1/2 Can) Cooked Black beans
  11. 1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke (optional)
  12. 1/2 Lime
  13. To serve: At least one of the following: avocado, fresh coriander, chopped green onions, nutritional yeast, cashew sour cream, extra lime
  1. Boil potatoes for 5 minutes, or until almost tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the onion, cook 1-2 minutes, add peppers and cook a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes, along with spices and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes, until vegetables are fairly soft.
  4. Add the beans and continue to cook for a couple of minutes to allow them to warm through and soak up the flavours. Add the liquid smoke (if using) and the juice of half a lime.
  5. Serve with your choice of toppings.
Coconut and Berries

Smoky Black Bean, Potato & Avocado Hash

If you’re into these flavours and are up for something a bit more involved, try my Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream!

What’s your cooking style? Rigid recipe follower? Or make-it-up-as-you-go?

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