M U S H R O O M & S P I N A C H S O U P

English season’s are never consistent, the weather seems to constantly fluctuate with clear, blue skies one day and thunderstorms the following morning. Soups are sometimes the perfect meal as they can be warming, light and delicious all at the same time.

This mushroom and spinach soup was made using leftovers in the fridge, but with a drizzle of rosemary oil, freshness of spinach and crispy onions, it was filling and nourishing.

I  N G R E D I E N T S (serves two-four):

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 1 large potato, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 bag of spinach
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • Water
  • A dash of paprika
  • A dash of ground nutmeg
  • A sprinkling of cumin
  • Dried herbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Crispy onions (optional)
  • Rosemary oil/Chilli oil/an oil of your choice!


Soups are a great and easy way to use up leftover veg pretty quickly. We’re sure if you just roughly chopped everything, sautéed it, added some spices, water, stock and then blended it till it was at the desired chosen consistency, you would have a soup of some sort.
However, what we can tell you is the order you should put your ingredients in and the reasons for each.

  • Firstly, heat up a generous tablespoon of oil in a pan.
  • Once hot, add your finely sliced onion, with the garlic following shortly after.
  • Once the onions are almost translucent, add your finely sliced mushrooms, a couple of sprinkles of paprika and salt and pepper, then leave to gently fry in the pan. (NB.: any mushrooms will do here – if you want to really make this soup special, then we advise using wild mushrooms which will really enrich the flavour, however, basic mushrooms and button mushrooms are great too.)
  • If all the vegetables have softened and coloured, add your vegetable stock, followed by your cubes of potatoes and spinach. Leave this to simmer for 10-15 minutes, to allow your potatoes to soften and the spinach to wilt. (NB.: Potatoes add a great, silky texture to soups and act as a thickening agent, as well as enhancing the flavour and richness without taking anything away from the main components.)
  • Give your soup a taste – if it’s not rich enough try adding a little more salt, pepper, paprika and any other spices that you think will compliment it. We love mushrooms and nutmeg together, so we added a couple of generous dashes of ground nutmeg. We also added a bit of cumin for further depth, along with some dried herbs. (We went for dried rosemary, to compliment the rosemary oil drizzled over it at the end.)
  • Once you are satisfied with how it tastes, remove the saucepan from the heat and blend until no lumps of vegetables remain. If it’s still a little thicker than you would like, add a splash more water until you are happy with it!
  • Pour into two bowls, add a small handful of fresh spinach onto it, top with crispy onions and drizzle over your chosen oil.





Beetroot is available from July through to January, which means that this colourful salad can be enjoyed as a side with your barbecue spread, or as a light-lunch post Christmas.

Please feel free to use either whole raw beetroot, or the vacuum packed ones from a Supermarket – I love both and it just depends on which we have bought that week.

With this recipe, I was using up leftovers so had some raw beetroot left over from a dish that I needed to roast some for, which is why I didn’t go for the pre-packaged.
If you have the same, simply wash and boil whole for about 35 mins, until soft. It is essential not to cut the beetroot as all the colour will leak out into the water whilst it is boiling!
Once cooked, remove from the water and leave to cook whilst you prepare the rest.

Ingredients (serves two):

  • 4 Beetroot
  • 1 Red onion
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/2 Bag of rocket
  • 1/2 Bag of spinach
  • Black olives, halved and to taste

For the vinaigrette:

  • 3 tbls Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbls Olive oil
  • A couple of splashes of lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. Wholegrain mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed, chopped & thrown in
  • Sprinkle of chilli flakes
  • Salt & pepper (to taste!)

These ingredients and their amounts may look vague, but this is a very basic (but delicious) beetroot salad for two.

The only things we suggest doing are finely slicing your beetroot & red onion – we like to use a mandolin so it is more similar to beetroot carpaccio, but a knife will do just fine.

After that, the rest is up to you. There is really no set way to teach someone how to make a salad; It’s all about tasting the dressing as you go along and sprinkling in what you feel like eating and what you have in your fridge.
What we can advise however, is to premix the salad before serving! We always make any salad in a large mixing bowl, toss in all the ingredients (however much of each we fancy), drizzle over the dressing, then give it a toss around the bowl. This way everything is evenly coated, which makes the leaves wilt naturally, and it has a natural look when it falls onto each plate.


Crispy marinated tofu & ho fun stir-fry


This is a simple, full of flavour dish that will satisfy both vegans and meat-eaters. The stir-fries are a great way to use up any veg that might be going off; they provide a variety of textures as well as bulking up your plate in a colourful and healthy way! Don’t worry too much about the veg we’ve used, use what you have and in the quantities you want. The same goes for spices, we use Japanese curry cubes and chilli bean paste, but if you don’t have them just add whatever you fancy, they shouldn’t be too hard to find though.

You will need (serves two):

  • 125 grams of dried Ho fun (flat rice noodles)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 spring onion (chopped)
  • 1 chilli (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • A chunk of red cabbage, grated
  • A very large handful of peas, or a small glass full
  • Soy sauce
  • Chilli bean paste
  • About an inch squares of Japanese curry cubes
  • Fresh coriander (roughly chopped)
  • Lime

For the tofu:

  • 250g tofu
  • 2 tsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 2 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 1 tsp Tomato Ketchup
  • Chilli – to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced


Preheat your oven to about 180 degrees celcius, then the first thing to do is to get your noodles soaking in water, this will make them less starchy and cook faster. Simply cover them in water until it’s time to cook, but for at least 20 minutes.
Next pat your tofu dry, just with kitchen paper or a clean tea towel, but until it’s all dry. Then mix all the ingredients for the marinade and taste it. Adjust it to your preference, add more of whatever you fancy and then pour it over the tofu, rubbing it all over before placing it in the fridge.
Now prepare all your veg. Chinese food is so aesthetically pleasing but also incredibly versatile in how it looks – you may want long strips of spring onion or you may want them in small rings, simply chop up whatever vegetables you’ve chosen, however you like them to look.

Place the tofu in the oven for 30 minutes. After about 15 minutes however, turn the tofu over and leave, whilst you heat up your wok on the hob. Once it is heated, gently fry off your chilli, garlic and onion, stirring over a medium heat so that they don’t burn. Stir-fries are so versatile, I like most of my veg to go in right at the last minute for texture and that extra crunch, but if you like them softer add them before the noodles.
We added the noodles next, followed by the chilli bean paste, curry and a splash of water; the water helps make a sauce as well as stopping your ingredients sticking without using too much oil, it also cooks the noodles nicely. Add the noodles and continue to stir over a medium low heat. If you need to add more water, add a little at a time, we’re not making broth so we don’t want it too wet!

You need to taste constantly, you might want to add more spices – ginger is great, but add whatever you like, really. After the tofu has been in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, turn it to grill setting and grill for a further couple of minutes, or so, on either side so that it goes nice and crispy. Once you are satisfied with its crispiness, cut it in half, put your noodles into a couple of hot bowls, and place a piece of tofu on top of each (alternatively you can mix it in with the stir fry). Then add a squeeze of lime juice and a nice handful of coriander over both bowls and you’re ready to go.

You can also add toasted nuts, cashews or peanuts are recommended. Chopsticks, knife and fork, spoon, slurp and suck, however you eat it, this is a really satisfying meal. It’s also almost always difficult to replicate exactly, all we’ve tried to give you here is a blue print for your own stir-fry. Experiment, test and most importantly – taste. This can be a great meal to impress someone with, or it can become your new favourite fast, comforting meal in the cold winter months. It’s brilliant all year round!


Sweet potato fries

Sweet potato fries are a healthy and delicious alternative to normal fries and add a little sweetness to accompany whatever main you decide to go for.
For this meal we enjoyed ours Mediterranean style, coated in zaa’tar, paprika, garlic, chilli, salt and pepper and served with spring green wraps.

You will need (serves two):

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • Oil (we like the spray one for chips as it distributes much more evenly)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Chilli powder
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Garlic powder, paprika, zaa’tar and any other spices if you so wish!

This is the simplest method, so start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees celcius.
Now roughly slice your sweet potatoes, however thick or thin you like them. We went for a bit of a mixture, some were more wedge-like, others were more like small fries that went extra crispy.
Once all are chopped, place them in a baking tray and sprinkle on your chosen spices, salt and pepper. Spritz on some oil and then with you hands, toss the fries to ensure that all are as evenly coated as possible.
Place into the oven and bake for around thirty-five minutes, checking on them every ten minutes or so and flipping them. For the last five minutes, switch your oven onto the grill setting, as this will help them go even crispier just before you take them out the oven.

If they are as crispy as you like, take them out, serve and enjoy!

Vietnamise Rice Paper Rolls

Vietnamise rice paper rolls

Vietnamise rice paper rolls are so vibrant and appetising that it’s hard for them to not impress whoever you have sat around your dinner table. We love adding them to our selection when we’re doing Asian, even if we’re just cooking for ourselves. Well – especially if we’re just cooking for ourselves.
They are a simple extra, which take no time at all but complete your spread; the crunch, the colour, the freshness accompanies some noodles so well, but they aren’t too filling that they tip you over the edge when you’ve almost had sufficient.

You can purchase the papers from any Asian store you have lurking around the corner, or failing that, a very large Supermarket should stock them too. Have a look online beforehand if you don’t live in a city, to save you driving somewhere to find out they don’t sell them. They’re usually pretty cheap – ours are around £2 something for a pack containing around twenty sheets. We cut each roll into two or three, so it wouldn’t take too many to make an impressive platter for a dinner party. Why not try these as canapés when you’re next hosting an Asian feast?

The servings for this are difficult as its up to you to decide how many you think you’ll want, so we’re going to write down what we usually do for two of us for a main dish:

You will need:

  • 3 sheets of rice paper
  • 2 spring onions cut into strips
  • A good chunk of red cabbage, either grated or cut into thin strips
  • 2 inches of cucumber, cut into thin strips
  • 3 radishes
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • A handful of rocket
  • Soy sauce, sweet chilli or hoisin sauce to dip
  • Any other veg you fancy! Water chestnuts are delicious and some red onion never goes amiss
  • Water


In a large, shallow saucepan pour in some water and bring to a simmer. Once it is hot, remove from the heat and allow to cool down.

Once it is cool enough to touch, take a sheet of rice paper and place in the water for 5 seconds or so. It will collapse and become completely soft so once it has done this, take it out and place on a large plate as flat as possible. It becomes very sticky so try not to let too much of it stick together as this will make it difficult to roll and it may tear!

Now place your veg in whichever order you prefer onto one side of the rice paper. Leave an inch or so above, below and to the side of it so that you can tuck these edges over and roll! We like to stick the top and bottom together in the middle if we can, then bring over the side and start rolling until all the rice paper is compact and held together. Slice in half, choose your dipping sauce and plate up!

Sesame Crusted Portobello with Simple Courgetti

Thai portobello

Our first Sunday brunch of vegan lent was not missing anything from our usual meals. Tahini has such a thick consistency and flavour that an almost creaminess was added to the sauce. This, combined with the juiciness of the Portobello mushrooms was such a nice blend; so rich, moist and surprisingly filling, packed with textures, spices and depth – the perfect way to start our Sunday.
This doesn’t have to be a dish solely for brunch though; it would make a great lunch, or even a fairly decadent starter for a dinner party filled with ravenous guests. We love how the dish tastes and looks, as though it is filled with a hundred components, all intricately crafted together, but it really isn’t. It’s simple and quick and will take you about 20 minutes to prep and cook. Enjoy!

You will need… (Serves two):

For the mushrooms:

  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • Half a chilli
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder (or fresh ginger if you would prefer)
  • Half a teaspoon of cumin powder
  • A small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Sesame seeds
  • A drizzle of sesame oil

For the courgetti with tahini drizzle:

  • 1 courgette, spiralized
  • A handful of babyleaf salad
  • 1/2 medium to large red onion, cut into thin strips
  • A handful of peanuts, crushed and toasted
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons of tahini
  • 1 Tablespoon of miso paste
  • a generous splash or two of water
  • The juice of half a lemon

This is an easy dish that takes hardly anytime at all to knock up, yet the results are delicious.
First turn your oven onto 180 degrees celcius and start by prepping your mushrooms, since these take the longest. Cut the stems off each and chop finely, along with half a red onion, 2 cloves of garlic and half of the chilli. Mix together in a bowl, adding salt, pepper, cumin, ginger and coriander. Of course, as always, please feel free to add any other spices and herbs you like – we tend to use a mixture of what we have lying around, and the cumin you can take or leave if you prefer to use it solely for Indian dishes (it’s probably my favourite spice, so I usually sneak it into any dish if I can)!
Once all the spices are mixed in, split the mixture in half and put half on top of each Portobello mushroom. Squish it down if you need, to prevent it falling out, sprinkle on a generous amount of sesame seeds onto each and drizzle over some sesame oil. Place onto a baking tray with your 6 cherry tomatoes and place into the oven for around 8-10 minutes.

Whilst these are cooking, spiralize your courgette, skin on, and place in a medium-large mixing bowl. Add the other half of the red onion, which you cut into strips, one clove of finely chopped garlic, a handful of babyleaf spinach and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside whilst you turn a pan onto low-medium heat and throw in your crushed peanuts to toast, then whip up your miso-tahini dressing. This really is a staple of ours – if ever in doubt, make a tahini sauce of some kind, and your dish will instantly be lifted; no salad will ever be just a salad, no vegetable dish will ever be just a vegetable dish!
In a cup, glass, mug, small bowl…whatever vessel you choose, put in your tahini, miso paste, the juice of half a lemon, a splash of water, your last finely chopped garlic clove and a pinch of salt & pepper, then mix well with a fork, until it is at a consistency that you are happy with. We like ours more runny than paste-like, but trust yourself and give it a taste and see if you think it needs anything else – more lemon never goes amiss!

Take you peanuts off the heat and into a bowl, then using the same pan, tip in your courgetti mix and put it back on the heat for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture has wilted and warmed up slightly. When you do so, flick your oven setting to grill so that your mushrooms grill for the last few minutes so that the top goes as crispy as possible!

Once your courgetti mixture has heated through, take it off and pour it back into the mixing bowl, drizzle over your tahini dressing and your crushed peanuts, mix well, then split onto two separate plates. Now take your mushrooms and tomatoes out the oven (the top should be slightly golden and crispy from the sesame seeds and the mushrooms should have reduced slightly) and place each mushroom on top of your courgetti, and 3 tomatoes on each plate.

Thai courgetti

Chana Masala filled Bhel Puri


We were always in awe of these starters when we went out for an Indian; they seemed so delicately crafted we didn’t ever think it’d be possible to make even halfway decent ones at home. They look so impressive and unusual that we had to give them a go, and it was fun trying something so new and different to what we usually do.

You can serve these as canapés if you master them so that they all puff up evenly and perfectly, or you can serve one or two as a starter at a small dinner party, or you can just keep them to yourself… You can even make larger ones if you’d rather they accompanied your main dish, but whichever you choose, we’re certain they’ll go down well and burst full of flavour.

You will need… (serves two):

For the chana masala:

  • Half a can of chickpeas, drained
  • Half a red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • Half a can of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
  • ½ green chilli
  • A medium handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, adjust according to your taste
  • You may need a splash of water to stop it from drying out and a couple of fresh and whole cherry tomatoes add a nice texture too!
  • A splash of sunflower oil or a teaspoon of coconut oil, depending on your preference

For the puri:

  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour or atta
  • ½ tsp coconut oil
  • a sprinkle of salt
  • ½ cup of water or so
  • Vegetable oil to fry
  • Sev and Bhel mixture (dried noodle pieces and puffed rice that can be bought from Indian stores – if you are London based there is a great little one in Euston on Drummond Street, or ‘Taj Stores’ just off Brick Lane in Shoreditch).


  • Mango chutney
  • Vegan yoghurt
  • Other dips/sauces of your choice


We suggest cooking your chana masala first so that your dish can cool slightly and the spices have longer to infuse, so first you want to heat your mustard seeds. Stir these in the saucepan on a medium heat for about 2 minutes, until they have darkened slightly in colour, then pour in your chosen oil.
Once it has heated up slightly, tip in your onion, chilli and your spices. Keep stirring so that the spices are evenly spread and if the mixture starts to dry out, add a splash of water. Next chuck in your garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes; if you are adding whole cherry tomatoes, throw these in now too so that they have a chance to reduce.

Stir in your chickpeas, chopped tomatoes and a little salt and pepper and leave for a couple of minutes. Once the chopped tomatoes have broken down, give it a taste and adjust accordingly. You may want to add a dash more cumin and salt, it’s up to you and how tomato-ey or spicy you like your chana masala!
Add a tiny splash more water, chuck in most of your chopped coriander (leave a little to garnish) and give it one last stir before putting a lid on top and setting aside whilst you make your puri’s.

First you want to sieve the whole-wheat flour with some salt, and then add your melted coconut oil.
Next, add a little bit of water at a time and knead until a stiff and tight dough is formed – make sure you don’t add too much water and that it doesn’t become sticky, (you may not need to use all the water)!
Once you are happy with the texture of the dough, divide it into small pieces – the dough should make around ten. Turn these into small balls then roll each ball out into a very small circle, each piece should be close to the size of a two penny coin.
Now get a deep frying pan, or a wok will do, and heat up a very generous amount of sunflower oil until it starts to sizzle. Once it is sufficiently hot, add each puri at a time and gently pat/pressdown on the top of the disc so that it should start to puff up. Flip it over and do the same to the other side until it is a nice golden brown – don’t let it get too dark as it will taste burnt and also won’t be anywhere near as aesthetically pleasing!
Once cooked, transfer to some paper towel on a plate so that any excess oil can be soaked up.

Once your puri’s have cooled, you want to crack a small hole in the top of each so that the inside of the puris can be filled with your chana masala. We usually don’t fill ours until the chana mixture has cooled down, otherwise the bottoms of the puri’s can tend to get a little soggy!

When both are at a temperature that you’re satisfied with, fill a teaspoon or so of chana mixture into each puri, add some mango chutney and sprinkle your bhel and sev mixture on top and garnish with coriander.

We advise putting a whole one in your mouth so that the delicious filling bursts out once the shell has cracked…but of course, it’s entirely up to you – enjoy!

R I B B O N E D & G R I L L E D C O U R G E T T E


This side is a nice way to change up your vegetables. We enjoyed ours in a mixed-veg wrap for lunch, but it also works great as a salad, tossed with oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and served on its own or with fish or another dish of some sort. Whatever you fancy!

You will need (serves two, bearing in mind we had ours in a wrap each. Use slightly more if it will be used as the base to your dish):

  • 1 courgette
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • Salt and Pepper

Preheat your grill to around 200 degrees Celsius, then peel and ribbon your courgette whilst it heats up.
In a mixing bowl, mix the oil, paprika, chilli flakes and the salt and pepper onto the ribboned courgette so that each spice is distributed evenly. Then place into the oven and grill for roughly 8 minutes, or until the courgette is soft and has started to crisp slightly. So quick, simple and delicious!


Stuffed mushroom

Stuffed Portobello mushrooms are so easy, delicious and are a great addition to any meal. Mushrooms hold so much juice in them that they add moisture and taste to any dish – we love grilling them and putting them in a bun for a great veggie burger, but they can also be enjoyed on their own, stuffed with breadcrumbs and served with a side salad. They make a perfect starter drizzled with a balsamic glaze, or can be enjoyed as a light-lunch or mid-morning snack!

Ingredients (serves two):

  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 slice of bread made into fresh breadcrumbs
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • Balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar


Preheat your grill to a medium heat and allow it to warm up whilst you prep your other ingredients.
Cut out the stalk from each mushroom and chop this up, along with the onion, garlic and coriander. Place these ingredients into a bowl and mix in the cayenne pepper, salt and normal pepper. In a food processor, blitz your slice of bread so that fresh breadcrumbs are made, and add these to your onion and spice mixture.
Divide the mixture into two and put half in each mushroom. Drizzle with olive oil and once your oven is hot enough, place both onto a baking tray and into the oven and bake for around 12-15 minutes. The mushrooms should start to release their own juices and reduce slightly in size, whilst the breadcrumbs begin to crisp up.
Once you are satisfied with how cooked they are (you may want an extra 5 minutes in the oven if you’re grill isn’t that hot), take them out the oven, drizzle some balsamic onto them and serve them how you wish. Delicious!

Note: vegan cheese or non-vegan cheese can be added for a stronger flavour if you so wish, and also, as always, please feel free to adapt the spices to your taste!


Okra chips

These okra chips can be enjoyed as a light snack, an interesting side or as the main component to your salad. We enjoyed ours with bao burgers and toasted peanuts, and to make them extra crispy we soaked them in water and vinegar for 15 minutes before baking them for around 20. The recipe and method for these chips is fairly self explanatory, but coat them in whatever spices you fancy!

We used one packet of okra for two, and coated ours in:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Finely chopped garlic(about 2 cloves will do)
  • Oil
  • Chilli powder
  • A little bit of cumin.
    (We also recommend roasting whole garlic cloves with the okra as these are delicious to eat whole!)

Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees Celsius, then soak your okra in the water and vinegar mixture, as stated above, and stir every five minutes.
After 15 minutes, drain the water and pat the okra dry with paper towels.
Transfer the okra to a large mixing bowl and drizzle over some oil and sprinkle on salt, pepper and whatever other spices you have chosen. Toss with your hands to ensure that all is well covered, then transfer to a baking tray and sprinkle on your finely chopped garlic and your whole cloves.
Turn after 10 minutes and then remove after 20 minutes if they look crispy enough to you!