Tag Archives: meat free week

Cauliflower. Yes again. 

I know I only made a whole roast cauliflower the other day (as a curry), but I couldn’t resist testing out my idea for a chermoula cauliflower for Sunday lunch today to celebrate the last day of #meatfreeweek. It was lovely! I’ve included the recipe for the chermoula spice paste and how to preserve lemons. Although you can now get preserved lemons in most supermarkets, you will probably find it best to learn to preserve your own once you too get hooked on this addictive stuff. Liz x

Start by tipping a tin of tomatoes and a tin of water into a small, deep roasting dish. Add a couple of handfuls of chopped dates and some sliced red onion. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper. If you like, add a tbsp of Harissa for an extra spice kick.

Then prepare the cauliflower by pulling off all the leaves and slicing off the stalk at the base. Put the prepped cauli on top of the tomato and date stew base. Then get on with the chermoula paste.

Chermoula is an incredibly tasty, North African, spicy paste. There are countless variations around, but the key flavours are from the preserved lemon, chilli and spices. Blitz up this red chermoula paste in a small food processor/blender. Or if you don’t have one, you can crush the spices with a pestle and morter, finely dice the lemon, crush the garlic and mix in a bowl.

  • 1 large (or two small) preserved lemon
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • Fresh red chillies, to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil to bring it together, about 2 or 3 tbsp will do

Then smear the paste thickly over the trimmed cauliflower. Sprinkle with a few more cumin seeds and bake for an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the size of your cauliflower. Serve sliced wedges on cous cous with the tomato and date stew spooned over it, cumin roast parsnips and carrots, salad…etc! I made a quick tahini, yogurt and pomegranate molasses sauce too. A deliciously different Sunday roast!

And here’s how to preserve your own lemons. It’s very easy! You will need…

  • A tall sterilised jar or two
  • As many unwaxed lemons as you can squeeze into them
  • A tbsp of salt for each lemon
  • Chillies and herbs (optional)
  • Olive oil

Slice a deep cross into each lemon so they are almost in quarters, keeping them intact at the base. Stuff 1 tbsp of salt into each lemon and squish them down into the jar. Try and fit them in as tightly as possible. Use the back of the tablespoon to squash them down and get those juices flowing. Put the lid on and leave it for a week. Give the jar the occasional shake. After a week put in a whole red chilli and a sprig of Rosemary or thyme, or a couple of bay leaves. The lemons will have released most of their juices but top them up with a little more lemon juice if necessary and then about a cm layer of olive oil. Lid back on and leave to preserve for another 3 weeks before using.


Rice & Greens with Avocado-Miso Sauce.


Tonight’s simple and soothing Spring supper was inspired by my poorly daughter. Her new school comes with a bunch of new bugs to encounter apparently. We needed something plain and soothing to settle an upset tummy and this was just the trick. And it soothed the rest of the very tired family too! 

No real recipe as such… 

Just boil some rice (a smallish mug of rice fed two adults and two kids…add two mugs of water, lid on, bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer until all the water absorbed).

In the meantime make your avocado, lime and miso sauce by blending the flesh of an avocado with a couple of tablespoons of miso paste and the juice of a lime, add a slow dribble of cool water to the blender while it’s running until you reach your desired consistency…I like mine like a thick mayonnaise. 

Then sauté some seasonal greens in a little oil with lots of chopped garlic. Add a generous splash of tamari (or light soy sauce is fine of course, if you are not avoiding gluten) to wilt the greens, you may need to add a splash of water too. Then stir in a liberal sprinkling of sesame seeds. And you are done! 

Put the rice in the bottom of bowls, add the soy-salty wilted greens and sesame seeds and then top with a generous dollop of the avo-miso sauce. Put a bottle of soy sauce/tamari on the table to season the rice if you like. Some chilli sauce doesn’t go amiss here either.

Enjoy! Liz x


Spring Breakfast.


This was amazing. Toast spread liberally with wild garlic and cashew nut pesto (pulse a handful of cashew nuts, a fistful of wild garlic, a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of oil and seasoning in a food processor). Poached egg from the garden (thanks Nettle/Rose/Power-Ranger/Princess-Layer!), and steamed then griddled purple sprouting broccoli.  

What’s your favourite spring breakfast? Liz x


Tomato and Coconut Soup.

Here’s what my poorly daughter and I had for a quick hot lunch today. Did you know it’s ‘meat free week’ this week? Well, I’ve just found out and I’m going to try and post a recipe on the blog every day in honour of this ‘taking stock of how much animal produce we consume’ time. The best thing about these sort of ‘fasts’ is not the holier-than-thou depravation but the gradual realisation of an unnecessary imbalance in our consuming. Give it a go and see what you learn. Liz x

This is one of those embarrassingly simple recipes you dread to share. It’s one of our most requested soups at the cafe but we only make it when we really have no fresh veg left at the end of the week. It’s also great to make when we’re in a rush. Please don’t dismiss this recipe, it’s like a vegan version of cream of tomato soup and absolutely delicious!

serves 2-4

1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tin tomatoes
1 tin coconut milk (or use half if you prefer it less creamy)
Salt and plenty of freshly
ground black pepper – to taste

Optional extras…
Spinach, kale or chard
A handful of cooked chick peas
Fresh coriander or basil

If you are in a real hurry or just feeling particularly lazy you can easily get away with leaving out the onion and garlic. You will need a medium pot. Peel and finely dice the onion and sauté it in the oil on a medium heat until soft and golden. Crush in the garlic cloves. Add the ground spices and give it a stir.
Empty in the tin of tomatoes. Half fill the tin with water, swirl it about a bit to get any tomatoey juices that have been left behind and pour that into the pot too. Give it a good stir and simmer for a few minutes.
Then scrape in the tin of coconut milk. Give the soup a good stir and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup back to a simmer and taste. Add more seasoning or water if you think it’s necessary. Blend the soup until smooth using a handheld stick blender.
Return the pan to the heat. If you would like to add some sliced greens or chick peas do it now whilst you are bringing the soup back up to temperature. The greens will only take a minute or two to wilt.
Serve immediately with some crusty bread, another good grind of black pepper and a generous sprinkle of fresh herbs.