Vegan Turkish Pizza (Lahmacun)

Vegan Turkish Pizza (Lahmacun) |

Vegan Turkish Pizza (Lahmacun) |

I love making pizza from scratch. It might take a little time with all the kneading, leaving the dough to rise ( maybe twice), preparing the toppings, etc. but I enjoy the process and definitely enjoy the eating too!

My pizzas are rarely traditional tomato sauce/cheesy numbers. I’ve made Spanish Romesco & Pesto Topped Pizzas, a “Southwestern” style BBQ Pizza and Socca Pizza, amongst others.

Today’s is even more different- a Vegan Turkish Pizza, also known as Lahmacun.

Pizza Dough

Lahmacun is a traditional recipe in the Middle East- a thin, oval-shaped flatbread topped with spicy lamb or beef mince, baked until crisp and then topped with salad and herbs.

Vegan Turkish Pizza (Lahmacun) |

Of course I don’t use lamb or beef for mine and instead made my own “meat” from ground mushrooms and walnuts. I was really pleased with how well it turned out and along with all the herbs and spices it was a wonderful topping with lots of texture and flavour.

I tried to keep it as simple as possible but all the ingredients really add to the overall experience so I didn’t streamline it too much. That is to say, don’t be overwhelmed by the long ingredients list and you likely have most things on hand already.

Mushroomm & Walnut Meat

You could speed up the prep by using store-bought pizza dough too. I used my old faithful pizza crust recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance (using half whole wheat flour) and made sure to roll it out thinly.

Vegan Turkish Pizza (Lahmacun) (4)

I’m not sure how traditional the tahini drizzle is, but I’m not going to pass up the opportunity to use the stuff…The lemon wedges, red onion and extra herbs are definitely typical though.

Vegan Turkish Pizza (Lahmacun)

Yield: 2-4 Servings

Vegan Turkish Pizza (Lahmacun)


  • 1 Ball of pizza dough
  • 1/2 C Walnuts
  • 1 C Sliced Mushrooms (50g)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 Onion, diced fine
  • 1 Clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 Medium tomato, de-seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Hanful of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • To serve- any number of the following:
  • Lemon wedges
  • Red Onion, sliced
  • Fresh parsley, mint & shredded romaine lettuce
  • Sumac
  • Tahini Sauce (tahini mixed with lemon & water)


  1. In a food processor, pulse the mushrooms and walnuts until coarsely chopped and well combined. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 225C/450F.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the onion and sauté until translucent (5-7 minutes).
  4. Add the garlic, tomato, tomato paste, spices and salt and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the mushroom walnut mixture and stir to coat in the spice mixture. It might look dry at this stage but the mushrooms will release some moisture as they cook. Cook for approx 10 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the tomato is cooked down and you have a thick, slightly saucy mixture. Stir through the chopped herbs and set aside.
  5. Roll out your pizza dough to a thin oval shape, top with the spiced "meat", spreading it evenly but not too thick or your dough will get soggy. You might not need it all.
  6. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes until the dough is cooked through and crisp.
  7. Serve topped with any number of the following: fresh herbs, red onion, tahini sauce, a sprinkle of sumac and with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Turkish Shepherd's Salad |

A Turkish Shepherd’s Salad is a lovely fresh accompaniment as well and can be thrown together in the few minutes that the pizza is baking. 

Vegan Turkish Pizza (Lahmacun)

 What are your favourite pizza toppings?

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Sesame Hummus Bites with Mango-Tahini Sauce

Sesame Hummus Bites with Mango-Tahini Dressing

Sesame Hummus Bites with Mango-Tahini Sauce

I ate a lot of hummus during my time away. I packed lunch every day to take to work, and while sometimes I was prepared enough to make grain/bean/veggie salads to-go, I often resorted to the lazy option and ate hummus/salad sandwiches for several days straight.

I’m sure I’ve already mentioned how much I dislike eating the same thing over and over again, but even worse was that I had no food processor in Geneva so had to rely on supermarket hummus most of the time. I don’t know how it’s possible to make hummus bad but this really was terrible!  Fortunately, the good farmers’ market seedy spelt bread almost made up for it.

That said, it’s nice to return home to my kitchen ingredients and equipment (I especially missed my food processor, blender and decent knives!) and the first thing I made was hummus. Well, sort of.

Sesame Hummus Bites with Mango-Tahini Sauce

I’m sure I’m not alone in eating hummus with a spoon sometimes…please tell me I’m not! But it’s not exactly something you can do at a table/in public. So these bites were devised as a more acceptable way of getting hummus to mouth efficiently, without crackers, bread or anything else getting in the way.

A simple, light version of our beloved chickpea dip, with green onions, herbs and carrot folded in for extra flavour and texture, shaped into bite-size balls and rolled in toasted sesame seeds. Perfect for popping into your mouth. No spoon necessary!


They’d be a fun alternative to your classic hummus & crudités platter appetizer. Kick them up a notch and serve them alongside my Mango-Tahini Sauce for dipping.
Tahini on tahini? Yes please!

Mango-Tahini Sauce/Dressing

My favourite way to serve them is over a giant rainbow salad. Great for clearing out all the odds and ends in your fridge and getting lots of colour and variety into your diet. I just fill a bowl with whatever veggies I have on hand, top with several of the Sesame Hummus Bites and drizzle generously with Mango-Tahini Sauce.  Much more fun than a dollop of hummus.

Rainbow Salad with Sesame Hummus Bites and Mango-Tahini Sauce

Sesame Hummus Bites with Mango-Tahini Sauce
Yields 20
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Sesame Hummus Bites
  1. 1-1/2 C Cooked chickpeas (1 can)
  2. 2 Tbsp Tahini
  3. 3 Tbsp Lemon juice
  4. 3 Tbsp Water
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 1/2 tsp Paprika
  7. Pepper
  8. 1 Medium carrot, grated
  9. 2 Green onions, finely chopped
  10. Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  11. 1/2 C Sesame seeds (white, black or a mixture)
Mango-Tahini Sauce
  1. 1 Mango, cubed (approx 2 C)
  2. 1/4 C Lime juice
  3. 1/4 C Tahini
  4. 2 Green onions, chopped (white part only)
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. A few pinches of cayenne pepper (optional)
  1. For the hummus bites, in a food processor blend the chickpeas, tahini, lemon, water, paprika, salt and pepper until you have a smooth, thick hummus-like consistency. Transfer to a large bowl, add the carrot, green onion and coriander and mix well to incorporate.
  2. Roll mixture into small balls, using slightly moistened hands. The mixture shouldn't be particularly sticky.
  3. Meanwhile, toast sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat for approx 5 minutes, or until fragrant.
  4. Pour the sesame seeds into a wide dish and gently roll the hummus bites in them to coat.
Mango-Tahini Sauce
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth.
  1. You will have extra sesame seeds but I find it's easier to coat the bites if you're rolling them in a larger amount.
Coconut and Berries
Rainbow Salad with Sesame Hummus Bites and Mango-Tahini Sauce

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Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with a Quinoa Crust)

Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with Quinoa Crust)

Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with Quinoa Crust)

Happy Easter weekend friends! It’s been absolutely glorious here these last couple of weeks. I’m inside working most of the day unfortunately but I love that it’s not getting dark here until around 8.30 now, leaving plenty of daylight after work. We’ve been lazing in the park or by Lake Geneva, browsing the evening farmers’ markets (it seems there’s a different market here every day- morning or evening!), and sitting out on the streets with a drink or ice cream.

It’s not supposed to last but I’m going to pretend it’s still warm and sunny and enjoy my Spring meals all the same…

Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with Quinoa Crust)

Spring is the time to start lightening up our meals and to me that usually means satisfying salads, smoothies/juices and fruit & veggies galore. Dishes which can be eaten warm or at room temperature are also ideal for this time of year,  and for picnic weather (!). My Vegan Persian Frittata or Rustic Beetroot Galette would be nice options, as would today’s recipe- my Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with a Quinoa Crust).

Fennel, Asparagus, Carrots

This recipe is good and seasonal with Spring vegetables- fennel, asparagus, carrots and peas- but you could easily adapt it to what’s good in your part of the world right now. I’m especially enjoying fennel right now so there may well be some more fennel recipes appearing soon…though I still can’t get on board with it in fresh juice.

Sautéed Spring Vegetables

I was feeling a little lazy when making this and not really in the mood for making pastry, so I ended up with an alternative easy quinoa crust (adapted from a recipe by Julie Morris’s Superfood Kitchen). I was really pleased with how it turned out.  Don’t expect it to be like your regular flour-based crust, but it does hold together really well and has a nice chewiness to it.

Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with Quinoa Crust)

It would be a lovely Easter Sunday brunch served with a salad or two- light enough to leave you some room for chocolate eggs!

Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with Quinoa Crust)

Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with Quinoa Crust)
Serves 6
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For the Crust
  1. 1/4 C Ground flax
  2. 1/4 C Water
  3. 1-1/2 C Cooked & cooled quinoa
  4. 1-1/2 Tbsp Melted coconut oil
  5. 2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
  6. 1/4 tsp Salt
For the Filling
  1. 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
  2. 1/2 Onion, diced
  3. 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
  4. 1 Small bulb of fennel, diced small
  5. 2 small carrots, diced small
  6. 1 Bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed and remaining stalks diced
  7. 1/2 C Fresh or frozen peas
  8. Handful of fresh basil, chiffonaded
  9. 1x 350g/12oz pkg firm tofu, drained
  10. 1 tsp Salt
  11. 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  12. 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
  13. 2 Tbsp Tahini
  14. 2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
  15. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  16. Pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and grease a 9" tart pan with coconut oil.
For the crust
  1. Combine the ground flax and water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken.
  2. Stir together the cooked quinoa, nutritional yeast and salt. Add the coconut oil and flax mixture and mix well.
  3. Press mixture into the prepared tart pan and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden and dry.
  4. Turn the heat down to 180C/350F
For the filling
  1. In a large pan, warm the coconut oil over medium heat and add onions, fennel and carrots. Sauté, stirring for approx 5 minutes. Add the asparagus; cook 2 minutes. Add the peas and garlic and cook for a final 2 minutes. Stir in the basil.
  2. In a blender or food processor, blend/process the remaining ingredients until very smooth. Remove to a bowl and stir though the sautéed vegetables.
  3. Spread the filling over your prepared crust *, smooth over and bake for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  1. * You will have EXTRA filling. I poured this into 4 oiled muffin cups and baked these alongside the whole quiche. Still delicious without the crust.
Coconut and Berries

Do you have Easter plans? What’s on the menu?

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Review & Giveaway: Super Healthy Snacks and Treats

Raw Mint Chocolate Tartlets

“More than 60 easy recipes for energizing, delicious snacks free from gluten, dairy, refined sugar and eggs”. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

Well it is! “Super Healthy Snacks and Treats”, published earlier this year by Ryland Peters & Small, was written by Jenna Zoe, the founder of Foods to Love, the nutrition and recipe blog and online healthy products store. I discovered Jenna and her book via Instagram and was really excited to get my hands on a copy. It’s especially fantastic to see a UK-authored book of this kind. It seems the plant-based, healthy living scene is finally catching on here!

Super Healthy Snacks and Treats, Jenna Zoe

Facing nutrition information overload, I’m sure something a lot of us can relate to, Jenna set out to find a simple way of eating which left her feeling good. Her criteria for the foods she was going to eat were that:

- They had to be natural, whole foods that were minimally processed
- She had to love how they tasted.
- They had to suit her system. She paid close attention to what made her feel best.

The result of the experiment is this book! Jenna hopes to inspire us to make our own healthy eating guidelines and feel empowered to take the best care of ourselves.

All the dishes in the book are packed with nutrition, not to mention taste, colour and fun!

Most of the recipes are very easy to make with a few longer ones which look a little extra fancy, ideal for special occasions. I was familiar with almost all the ingredients and don’t think any listed are particularly uncommon, especially if you already avoid dairy and refined sugars and flours and are used to alternatives.

Raw Mint Chocolate Tartlets

As well as the recipes there’s lots of useful information in here: a guide to essential ingredients and substitutions, tips and tricks, a how to use the book feature and Jenna’s “principles of healthy snacking”.

The recipe chapters are divided into Breakfasts, Power Snacks, Party Snacks, Dips & Dippers, Sweet Bites & Cookies & Bakes so there’s something for any time of the day.

Each recipe is accompanied by a little intro, where you’ll find more nuggets of useful info, and beautiful pictures which will make you want to get in the kitchen pronto!

Raw Mint Chocolate Tartlets

This here is one of the insanely delicious Raw Mint Chocolate Tartlets. I don’t need to tell you again of my love for raw desserts but this one is honestly one of the best I’ve had. Even better is that they take less than 10 minutes to put together and only need 15 minutes to set. They are very rich so I’d recommend sharing one!

The publishers have generously allowed me to reprint this recipe here for you all to try immediately:

Raw Mint Chocolate Tartlets:

(Makes 4)

145g/1C Almonds
135g/3/4C Dates, stoned
2T Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut, OR more almonds
a pinch of salt
2t Coconut Oil

Mint Chocolate Filling

(to fill 2 tarts) *Note, the book also lists a key lime filling to fill the other 2 tart shells. Either double the filling for 4 tarts or halve the crust mixture for 2)

1 Large Banana
60ml/1/4C Coconut Oil
60ml/1/4C Pure Maple Syrup
40g/1/3C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
6 Fresh Mint Leaves OR 1/2t Mint Extract

Put the almonds in a food processor and blitz until crumbly. Add the dates, desiccated coconut, salt and coconut oil and pulse until a smooth mixture forms. Remove the dough from the processor and divide it into 4. Press each portion into a tartlet mould so that it neatly lines the base and sides of the mould. Ideally you want the tartlet cases to be about 1cm/1/2inch thick all the way around, with plenty of room for the filling. Don’t worry if you have a little extra dough- you can roll this into bite-size energy balls and save for a healthy snack later on.

For the filling, make sure the coconut oil is liquid. If it isn’t put it in a saucepan over low heat and allow to melt. Allow to cool completely, otherwise the hot oil will start to cook the other ingredients in the filling,

Place the filling ingredients in the food processor, one set at a time, and blitz until smooth. Divide each filling between 2 tartlet cases and freeze for at least 15 minutes to set.

Raw tarts will keep, in the freezer, for up to 2 weeks, so they’re a great make-ahead option for tea and dinner parties.

Vegan Protein Pancakes

Next up, Protein Pancakes. If there is a pancake recipe in any new cookbook I get then that will most likely be the first I try! These are made from gluten-free flour and a dose of vegan protein powder and were light and fluffy but very filling too. I’ll be making these regularly.

Zucchini Hummus

I like to cover a range of sections when reviewing a cookbook so thought I’d make something savoury to complement my sweet choices. A batch of some kind of dip in the fridge is always useful and there are several in the book to choose from. I opted for the Zucchini Hummus which is rich and satisfying, despite not having chickpeas in. It’s also a good alternative for those who have trouble digesting beans.

Almond-Flax Crackers

Along with the hummus I served some veggies and another one from the book, the Almond-Flax Crackers. These are so so scrumptious and put conventional cardboard-like crackers to shame. They’re completely grain-free so very nutrient-dense and with lots of flavour so I’d happily eat them on their own instead of crisps. I would definitely recommend doubling the batch as there’s no way this recipe serves the 8 specified!

There isn’t one recipe in the book that doesn’t appeal but I’ve somehow shortlisted a few for my “must try very soon” list! The Breakfast Salad, Creole Cauliflower, Sticky Carrot Bites and Baby Gem Lettuce Wraps with Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce.

I hope you’re as excited about this book as I am and I’m thrilled to have one copy to GIVEAWAY to a very lucky reader. To enter, do any one or all of the following things and leave a comment for each letting me know that you have done so. The more you do the more chances to win you have! I am sending the book personally so this giveaway is open WORLDWIDE!

1. Leave a comment on this post
2. “Like” Coconut and Berries on Facebook
3. Subscribe to Coconut and Berries by email
4. “Follow” me on Twitter
5. “Follow” @FoodstoLove on Twitter
6. “Follow” @RylandPeters on Twitter
7. Tweet about the giveaway and post the url in the comments.

Giveaway ends Thursday 4th December 12am GMT. Winner will be picked randomly and contacted by email within 48 hours of the closing time.

“Super Healthy Snacks and Treats” is available from and as well as through Jenna’s site “Foods to Love”

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes, but, as always, all opinions are my own.

If you’re new to Coconut and Berries, Please sign up for email updates and join me elsewhere: I’m on FacebookPinterest, Instagram (@coconutandberries), Google + and Twitter!

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends for tomorrow!

Butternut & Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing


T is for…Tahini!

Oh the trials and tribulations of food blogging! I made this dish last night but since I didn’t realize the time and got started on dinner too late, the light had gone by the time it was ready so I couldn’t get any good pictures Sad smile My apologies but this is definitely a repeater recipe so when I make it again I’ll update the post.

Repeater recipes are, in fact, rare around these parts, quite simply because I love to try new things and there aren’t enough meals in the day to allow me to eat the same thing over and over. This, however, is one of my all-time favourite meals and I’ve made variations on it many a time.

Warm Butternut Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing

Tahini sauce has got to be one of the best things ever. I know many of you agree…

My Favourie Tahini Dressing

Drizzled (liberally) over sweet roasted squash and perhaps my favourite legume, puy lentils, it’s bound to be good.

The original recipe came from the Casa Moro Cookbook (Moro is a wonderful restaurant in London if every you get to visit. The dishes are Spanish, North African and Eastern Mediterranean inspired, and, although it’s not vegetarian, normally there are various veg or adaptable dishes on the menu) but I came across it on the blog Orangette a few years ago and and have adapted it to my tastes. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Warm Butternut Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing

Warm Butternut & Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing:

1/2 Medium Butternut Squash (Approx 400g/1lb), cut into large chunks
1/2T Olive oil
2 Cloves garlic, squashed with the flat edge of a knife
Large pinch of salt
1/8t Cinnamon
1/2C Puy Lentils
1C Vegetable Broth
1/4 Red onion, finely diced
Fresh parsley to serve, coarsely chopped

Tahini Dressing:

1 Small clove of garlic, minced
Pinch of salt
1 3/4T Lemon juice
1 1/2T Tahini
2T Water (depending on thickness of your tahini)
1t Maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200C/425F

Toss squash, smashed garlic, olive oil, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl until all coated in the oil. Spread mixture into a roasting dish and cook for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through and edges are beginning to caramelize.  Set aside.

While squash is cooking, simmer the lentils, in the vegetable broth, covered with a lid, for approx 20 minutes, or cook according to your package instructions. Drain if any liquid remains and set aside.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, adding more or less water to reach your desired thickness

Stir the red onion into the lentils and add several grinds of pepper.

Spread lentils onto a serving platter, top with the roasted squash (remove garlic cloves), a generous drizzle of the tahini sauce and chopped parsley. Hold a little of the tahini sauce on the side, for dressing at the table.

Serves 2


Warm Butternut Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing

Of course, I use tahini for many other things than just this salad. Tahini sauce is great on almost anything. It’s commonly served with falafel. Rather than a falafel wrap I like to top a big salad with a few falafel balls and then douse in tahini sauce. I also love it on roasted beetroot, dark leafy greens or steamed broccoli.

These Tahini Noodles sound really delicious to me too. Of course tahini can be used in sweet recipes too. It’s great as an alternative to peanut butter, spread on a banana for a snack, or try these Raw Chocolate Caramel Tahini Delights.

Of course I love my own Chocolate-Sesame Biscotti too.

Even though it’s Saturday tomorrow and this month I haven’t been posting at weekends, check back here as I hope to bring you a post for the letter “U” to get through the last of the letters in the alphabet for my A-Z series.Print