Mexican style vegan black bean stew

imageWith all these ingredients it could only be vegan black bean stew with tacos. So easy to make but packed with loads of flavour and texture.

Black Bean Stew

1 can of black beans

1 onion chopped

1 carrot chopped

1 stick of celery chopped

large handful of mushrooms sliced

half a yellow pepper chopped

handful of mini sweetcorn sliced

3 garlic cloves crushed

1 red chilli chopped

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of coriander

salt and pepper

spray of oil

taco shells

Violife cheese sliced

spray pan with oil and cooked onions, carrots and celery for 5 minutes then add mushrooms, peppers, sweetcorn, garlic, and spices. cook for a further five minutes then add tomatoes and 2 cups of water, cook slowly over a low heat for twenty minutes. Season to taste.

While the stew is cooking make the side dishes

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 Salad

Shred some lettuce

chop up 2 spring onions, 2 tomatoes and 3 inches of cucumber adding salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime.

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Avocado cream

Mash 1 avocado and add lemon and salt.

Cashew sour cream

1 cup of cashews

1 and a half cups of water

Half a lemon

Salt and pepper

Add the water to the cashews and place in the microwave for 4 minutes. Allow to cool then add lemon and salt and pepper, blitz with a hand blender.

Place the taco shells into the oven for 4 minutes on a medium heat.

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load the plate and enjoy.

Recycled paper jewellery pieces

imageI love using recycled items to create my jewellery. Here I used scrap pieces of art work that were going to be  thrown away. I mount the pieces onto recycled mount board or other strong card.

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The next stage is adding glitter, let’s face it you can never have enough glitter, and finish off with glazing the pieces with dimensional glue. Once these are dry I will punch holes into the ones to be necklaces, or add pins to brooches and mount the smaller pieces onto cufflinks or rings.

So for minimum expense and little effort Iwill have a lovely new range of jewellery to sell.

So excited to see the end results.

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Vegan pizza – well worth the effort

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vegan pizza

I sometime miss pizza especially from Pizza Express, so I decided to make my own. I did not have enough time to make a bread base using yeast so I used a scone base and it did not disappoint.

 

Pizza base

175g self raising flour

half teaspoon of baking powder

50g vegan spread

soya milk

herbs

onion powder (optional)

salt and pepper

sieve flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl, add the herbs and onion powder, salt and pepper, rub in the vegan spread until you have crumbs and add enough milk to make a dough.

Get a baking tray and line with parchment paper, spray with oil and add rolled out dough. pop in a medium oven for 15 minutes.

Tomato Sauce

1 can of tomatoes

1 chopped small onion

1 garlic clove

herbs

1 teaspoon of maple syrup

salt and pepper

1 teaspoon of oil

Add oil and onions to a saucepan and cook until soft, then add the tomatoes, garlic, herbs and maple syrup. Reduce the sauce over a medium heat the test the seasoning.

Topping

large cup of blanched broccoli sliced

small onion sliced

half a pepper sliced or chopped

Cup of mushrooms sliced

Some artichokes, olives and sundries tomatoes in oil

Violife Cheese or any other vegan cheese

Basil leaves

salt and pepper

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Make the pizza by spreading some tomato sauce onto the base then add the vegetables and top with the Violife cheese. Place in the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 2o minutes or until it is cooked to your liking.

Oh so yummy sweet potato hummus

So quick and easy to do, with lots of goodness. Why not give it a go.

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Hummus

1 can of chickpeas, reserve a quarter cup for later

1 sweet potato

half a garlic clove crushed

2 teaspoons of tahini paste

juice of 1 lemon

water or olive oil

salt and pepper

smoked paprika

sumac

Wash the sweet potato and prick the skin. Place into a microwave and cook for 5 – 7 minutes depending on the size. Allow to cool.

In a processor add the sweet potato flesh and the rest of the ingredients apart from the reserved chickpeas and process until you reach the consistency you like. Add water if the hummus is too thick (if you want a low fat version,) or drizzle some olive oil in until consistency is reached.

Check seasoning and add salt and pepper if required.

With the quarter cup of chickpeas add to a pan with smoked paprika and a dash of oil and cook for 1 minute.

Add hummus to a serving dish, top with chickpeas and sprinkle on sumac.

This can be served as a dip or sandwich filling. Either way you won’t be disappointed.!

Witley Court – beautiful ruins

I love this place, I try to go at least once a year. The house and gardens are being renovated by English Heritage and they have just finished a seven month restoration on the main attraction. The Perseus and Andromeda fountain. It is spectacular when it is erupting a huge spout of cascading water over the figures. IMG_1873Everyone gasps as they look down from the ruins and see a truly beautiful site in front of them. The gardens are starting to take shape and is a great safe place for families to have a picnic.

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There are also walks of varying lengths which are not too strenuous for all. There is the old boat house, a play area  and a most magnificent church. To top it off tucked behind the church is a tearoom which serve delicious homemade cakes which you can eat inside or outside under trees.

The history of  Witley Court is fascinating, destroyed by fire and once overrun with bikers at one point, all the information you need to know is on a free audio guide.

Witley Court has a romance about it that draws you back time after time.

So if you are looking for a day out with the family or a walk with the dog I cannot recommend Witley Court enough.IMG_1875

Cauliflower steak with ginger stir fry and quinoa

imageThis is so simple to make but tastes great.

Cauliflower steak

1 Cauliflower

1 tablespoon of tomato puree

1 tablespoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of coriander

1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon of soy sauce

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

1 teaspoon of olive oil

Pull the leaves off the cauliflower and wash. Using a sharp knife slice down the centre of the cauliflower and slice off half inch steaks, the ends will separate. Mix all the ingredients and rub over the cauliflower. Place on a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes on a medium heat. Turn half way through. Use a skewer to make sure the cauliflower is soft, if not put it back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

Stir Fry

1 Pack of tender sweet

1 Red pepper sliced

1 carrot sliced into batons

1 courgette cut into half moons

handful of mini sweet corn sliced to 1cm pieces

3cm piece of ginger grated

2 garlic cloves chopped

Sesame oil

Olive oil

Soy sauce

Put a teaspoon of olive and sesame oil into a wok and stir fry vegetables until they reach the texture you like, add ginger and garlic stir for a minute and splash in some soy sauce to taste.

Quinoa

1 cup of quinoa

1 tablespoon of lemon

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 and a half cups of water

Rinse quinoa until water runs clear, this removes the bitter taste. Place in a medium saucepan adding the water, lemon and soy sauce. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes, reduce heat and simmer until you see the quinoa start to separate. Once this happens drain and replace back into the sauce pan and cover with some foil leave to steam without any heat. The quinoa should become fluffy after 10 minutes.

Enjoy..

 

 

Creamy Smoked paprika and tomato soup with beetroot and apple cheese toast

This is a delicious filling soup that is made creamy by adding cashew cream at the end of cooking. I use tinned, sundries, pureed and fresh tomatoes for maximum tomato flavour. It’s so easy to make

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Creamy smoked paprika and tomato soup

2 onions chopped

2 carrots chopped

1 stick of celery chopped

3 garlic cloves chopped

2 chopped fresh tomatoes

5 chopped sundried tomatoes

2 tins of tomatoes

1 litre of vegetable stock

2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs

splash of balsamic vinegar

splash of maple syrup

salt and pepper to taste

splash of olive oil

fresh basil

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Cashew Cream

1 cup of cashews

1 and a half cups of water

Method

Fry onions, carrots and celery until soft, add herbs, all the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes then add stock. Simmer for 10 minutes then add the rest of the ingredients, taste and season.

Cashew cream – place cashew nuts and water into a jug and microwave for 4 minutes. Allow to cool then use a hand blender to make the cream

Add most of the cashew cream to the soup saving some to decorate.

Warm through and serve adding the left over cream and some fresh basil

Oh I forgot to say that this is a vegan soup, but please don’t be put off because of it, it really is a lovely nutritious soup that all the family will love. It’s my favourite soup, I’m sure you will agree once you try it.

One more thing if you have any soup left over it makes a fabulous sauce for pasta!!

 

I served beetroot and apple bread vegan cheese toastie with the soup.

The cheese is made by Violife and is a good alternative to cheese, they seem to be adding to the range of cheeses which is great for vegans or anyone who wants to cut down on fat.

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Hidden faces skull plaques

I finally got to finish the hidden faces skull plaques today. They have been made by using recycled cards, magazines, beads etc. I have hidden faces from famous paintings in them, which gives them a strange appearance.

I really like Frida Kahlo and the festival of Day of the Dead and decided to create these plaques. There is plenty room for improvement but as a staring point I think they are good and I can see where the improvements are needed if I intended to sell them.

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The face of Marilyn Monroe
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Girl with the pearl earring
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Paula Rego and Frida Kahlo