Pineapple Sweet & Sour Tofu and Vegetables with Brown Rice

Really tasty and satisfying, using simple inexpensive ingredients available from any supermarket, this is my current favourite meal.

I must confess I never get on well with stir frying tofu, it sticks and breaks apart without fail, so instead this recipe includes tofu cubes marinated and baked into firm savoury nuggets of yumminess.

Feel free to add fresh or ground chilli and ginger for an extra kick. And as for vegetables, do whatever you feel. I like to use inexpensive veg like carrots, peppers, onions, cabbage, mushrooms and garlic. But if feeling fancy, you can use bok choi, water chestnuts, beansprouts or lotus root.


First I pressed and cubed a 400g block of tofu, then I coated it with a mixture of: 1 tbsp soya sauce, 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil and 1 tbsp cornflour. Then I placed the cubes on a greased baking sheet and baked them at 200C for 20 mins. took the recipe from here:…u/print/24123/

Second I made up the sweet and sour sauce and set to one side: mix the juice from a 227g tine of pineapple chunks in juice, 4 tbsp soya sauce, 1/4 cup agave syrup, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 2 tbsp tomato ketchup, 1 & 1/2 tbsp cornflour. Recipe from here:…e-and-peppers/

Third I chopped lots of fresh veggies from the fridge – about 1kg – tonight we had sliced onions, sliced mushrooms, finely sliced carrots,  finely sliced cabbage and garlic.

Lastly I stir fried the veg in a tablespoon of sesame oil for a few mins. Added in pineapple chunks, heated. Then added the sauce mix. Cooked the sauce for a few mins to thicken then stirred in the tofu. Heated through and served over some boiled short grain brown rice.

Piquant Mexican Slaw with ‘Honey’ & Lime Dressing – Vegan & Wholefood

Easy, economical and flavoursome, this simple tangy slaw is perfect partnered with black bean chilli and tortilla chips.

Piquant Mexican Slaw with ‘Honey’ & Lime Dressing



  • 3 tbsp lime juice (I use bottled)
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup (or preferred liquid sweetener)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp pickled jalapenos, finely minced
  • Salt to taste (I prefer it quite salty)


  • Handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1/4 head white cabbage, very finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 red onion, very finely sliced


  1. Mix dressing ingredients together.
  2. Toss vegetables together.
  3. Drizzle dressing over vegetables and mix thoroughly.
  4. Serve immediately, or leave to marinate in dressing for a couple of hours.



Tofu & Sesame Patties – vegan & wholefood

These tofu and millet patties are a play on Japanese tofu fritters. Very savoury and satisfying. Could be put in a bun if desired. I usually double this recipe and freeze the extras. Can be baked from frozen, just add a few extra minutes to the cooking time.

Tofu & Sesame Patties


  • 400g firm tofu, drained and pressed overnight (essential to remove excess moisture)
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tbsp strong soya sauce
  • 1/4 Cup millet grain
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 30g cornflour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 tbsp brown rice flour (or wholemeal will do)
  • 2-3 tbsp rice bran oil (or any preferred oil)


  1. Gently cook the millet grain in 1/2 cup boiling water and 1 tsp bouillon powder until all the liquid has been absorbed and the millet is soft and sticky (keep the lid on the pan during cooking). leave to sit and cool.
  2. Add crumbled tofu, garlic, cooked millet, sesame seeds, cornflour, ginger and soya sauce to food processor and process into a firm, slightly sticky ball. It helps at this point to chill the mixture in the fridge, but not essential.
  3. Divide the mixture into four to six balls and shape into patties. Coat lightly in brown rice flour.
  4. Brush a baking tray with oil and place the patties on the tray. Then brush the patties with oil.
  5. Bake at 200C for 25 mins.
  6. Serve with stir fried rice or noodles and greens for dinner, or a mixed salad for lunch.

Simple Salsa

I’m no purist, so this is as lazy as it gets. We like to knock up a bowl of this to go with our fajitas. Super cheap and super quick from store-cupboard ingredients.

Simple Salsa


  • 1 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x small onion, very finely diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp hot chilli sauce (or use chilli powder)
  • salt to taste


  1. Drain the tomatoes in a sieve over the sink.
  2. Place in a bowl and add all the other ingredients.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips or with fajitas.

Fajita Seasoning Mix

I find this a really handy blend to keep in the cupboard for when we make fajitas. Simple, fast and easy. Just cook up your mix of fresh chunky veggies (we use peppers, onions and mushrooms) and stir in towards the end of cooking. I probably use about two tablespoons per batch. Allow the spice mix to thicken and coat your veggies evenly and serve wrapped in a warm tortilla with other toppings as desired.

Fajita Seasoning Mix


  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp onion granules
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic granules
  • 1/4 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin


  1. Mix well.
  2. Place in an airtight container and use as needed.

Chilli Sage Butternut Squash Soup

It’s not quite autumn yet, but this is one of my favourite autumnal soups. Nice and warming and very satisfying. Super frugal if you’ve grown your own butternut squash, which I highly recommend doing. Butternuts are incredibly easy to grow and store for months in a dark cool cupboard. Unlike the classic Halloween pumpkin, they’re also the perfect size to cook with.

Chilli Sage Butternut Squash Soup – vegan & wholefood

  • 1 butternut squash (about 1kg), peeled and cubed
  • 2 potatoes (about 500g), peeled and cubed
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp dried sage
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 700 ml hot vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (if needed)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Saute the onions, carrots and celery in a large lidded pan until just tender.
  2. Stir in the chilli flakes and sage.
  3. Add the potatoes, butternut squash and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, add the lid and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Puree with a hand held blender until nice and smooth. Stir in the lemon juice.
  5. If needed, stir in some plant milk to reduce the thickness.
  6. Season with salt to taste.
  7. Serve with croutons.

Serves 4


Brown Rice Paella Verduras – Vegan & Wholefood

This is a really nice summery dish. Though it’s close to a traditional Spanish vegetable paella I like to use brown rice instead of white for its better nutritional profile. This means it needs parboiling first to ensure it’s cooked through properly.

I find the most convenient shop to get short grain brown rice from is Holland & Barrett, though it’s also possible to purchase great value larger bulk quantities from online stores such as Goodness Direct.

Artichokes are a bit of a luxury item, however the marinated ones are really delicious and are well worth including in this dish. I find the best place to purchase posh anitpasti is in budget supermarkets like Lidl or ALDI which stock lots of lower cost continental foods.

No doubt an anathema to real paella oficionadoes, I like to use frozen vegetables in my paella, both for price (frozen vegetables are usually really cheap when compared to fresh) and convenience.

Brown Rice Paella Verduras


  • 2 cups short grain brown rice
  • 250ml white wine (I use cooking wine)
  • 600ml boiling water
  • 2 tsp bouillon powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 pint / 2 cups frozen broad beans
  • 1 pint / 2 cups frozen french beans
  • 1 pint / 2 cups frozen sliced mixed peppers
  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
  • 85g olives, drained and sliced (I use black olives in brine from ASDA)
  • large bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 whole lemons, cut into quarters


  1.  Parboil the brown rice for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large lidded pan, saute the onions and garlic in oil for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix the wine, water, stock, turmeric, tomato puree and paprika in a jug.
  4. Pour into the pan with the onions. Stir in the rice and frozen vegetables.
  5. Place lid on the pan and bring to the boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, or until rice is tender. Stir occasionally.
  7. Stir in artichoke hearts and olives. Heat through for a further 5 minutes.
  8. stir parsley through the rice and serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 6

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.