Apple-berry Bircher Muesli – Vegan & Wholefood

Some time ago we bought some of those mail order mini fruit trees, and now about three years later those trees are absolutely loaded with fruit. The plum doesn’t ever seem to do much, but it’s going to take planning to make good use of all the apples and pears! If you like your fruit and you are on a budget, a couple of little fruit trees in your garden are an extremely worthwhile investment.

Apples of course are excellent for all kinds of things, including weight loss and reducing cholesterol. There is some merit to the saying ‘an apple a day’. I’ve found one way to get in my apple a day, is in this Bircher style muesli.

Here the apple is partnered with mixed berries. I get mine frozen from ASDA in 1kg bags for just £3 – which is really good value. Especially when compared to the expense of buying fresh berries. See here: ASDA Berry Medley


  • 500g frozen berries
  • 250g wholegrain porridge oats
  • 500g plain unsweetened soya or coconut yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp agave syrup (or preferred liquid sweetener)
  • 1 fresh apple per serving


  1. Defrost the berries overnight (alternatively defrost the berries in a bag placed in hot water, or use the microwave)
  2. Stir all ingredients, except apples, together and put in a sealed tub in the fridge to be used when wanted (will last several days).
  3. To eat, spoon some of the mixture into a bowl and add one freshly grated apple.
  4. Stir together and serve.

Serves 6

Easy Low Fat Hummus – Vegan & Wholefood

Low Fat Hummus


  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained (about 220g – 240g drained weight)
  • 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter (you can use tahini, but peanut butter is cheaper, easier to source and also works well)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 100g plain, unsweetened soya yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and process to a smooth puree.
  2. Serve with vegetable sticks and toasted wholewheat pitta strips.


Leek & White Bean Patties – Vegan & Wholefood (batch cook recipe)

Homemade legume and vegetable patties are a staple in our weekly menus.

This recipe is filled out with oats instead of breadcrumbs as I find them so convenient and cheap. The oats used here are from the basics range as usual.

This is a batch cook recipe, making 20 plus patties, which I then freeze and either bake from frozen or defrost and pan fry.

Nice served with a baked potato and some side veg.

I use one third of an American cup measure to divide the dough into evenly sized balls.

Leek & White Bean Patties


  • 500g dried white beans (butter beans or cannellini), soaked, cooked and drained
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g leeks, finely sliced
  • 3 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 cups rolled porridge oats
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • large handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • plain wholemeal flour, to coat


  1. Heat oil in large deep-sided pan. Add vegetables and saute until tender, stirring frequently.
  2. Stir in cooked white beans, salt, pepper and herbs.
  3. Mash together well.
  4. Add oats and work thoroughly into the bean mixture to form a soft malleable dough-like texture.
  5. Shape into about 20 patties and coat in wholemeal flour.
  6. Lay on lightly floured baking trays and place in freezer overnight.
  7. Bag up patties and return to freezer to store until needed.
  8. To cook, brush both sides of the patties with oil and bake for twenty five minutes.

Mexican Bean Pate – Vegan & Wholefood

Dead simple and tasty, ideal for toast, sarnis, crackerbreads or dipping. Keeps in the fridge for several days. Apart from chopped tomatoes, one of the most useful and versatile tinned foods in my cupboard are kidney beans. Many supermarkets stock a low cost basics version which are usually every bit as good as the more expensive branded alternatives. I get mine here at ASDA for 30p. I use them in salads, bean burgers, stews, and of course pate. Definitely a cupboard essential.

Mexican Bean Pate


  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 red and/or green peppers, finely sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 x 400g tins red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Saute the vegetables in the oil until tender.
  2. Add the spices and heat through for a few minutes until they release their fragrance.
  3. Stir in the beans and tomato paste.
  4. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
  5. Process to a paste with either a hand held blender or a food processor. Alternatively mash with a potato masher.
  6. Salt to taste.
  7. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to five days.

Cajun Black-eyed Beans – Vegan & Wholefood (slow cooker)

We have this dish regularly, it’s super tasty and really moreish. I cook up a batch then freeze in four tubs of two portions for reheating later in the month.

Cajun Black-eye Beans 

  • 500g dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 peppers, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • chilli sauce to taste
  1. Soak beans overnight. Drain.
  2. Put oil and vegetables in slow cooker. Add lid. Heat on high until vegetables are softened.
  3. Add remaining ingredients. Add lid and cook on low for 3 hours.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve with steamed brown basmati rice, garlicky greens and baked sweet potatoes.

Serves 8

Tofu in Purgatory – Vegan

This is a great Italian inspired brunch dish and an excellent alternative to scrambled tofu if you are seeking something a bit different to replace those weekend eggs.

Simple, healthy and quick; serves two to four depending on how much of an appetite you have. Don’t forget to have some nice crusty bread with it to mop up the sauce.

Original recipe found here @ A Virtual Vegan

Tofu in Purgatory


  • 400g firm tofu, pressed and cut into four slices
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (I prefer it spicy)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • black salt (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a deep sided frying pan and add the garlic.
  2. Saute for a couple of minutes then add the tomatoes, oregano, sugar and chilli.
  3. Simmer for five minutes on a medium heat. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place tofu slices in the sauce and poach them gently for a further fifteen minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the tofu with some black salt if liked, then serve.

Creamy Brown Rice Pudding – Vegan & Wholefood

Creamy Brown Rice Pudding


  • 1 Cup short grain brown rice, uncooked
  • 4 Cups unsweetened plant milk
  • 1/2 Cup maple syrup (or preferred liquid sweetener)
  • 1/2 Cup dried fruit, chopped if necessary (I used dried cranberries)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed


  1. In a large non-stick pan add milk, rice, syrup, fruit, spices and vanilla.
  2. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
  3. Put the heat on low, add lid and simmer gently for about 1 hour, or until rice is tender. Stir occasionally.
  4. Once cooked, take off heat and stir in ground flaxseed.
  5. Sit to allow to thicken, then serve.