Vegan Bagel Stack
This powerhouse vegan bagel stack was thrown together with all the leftover bits in my fridge, result! It was what we call in our house, a ‘cobbler’. Combining smoky peri-peri hummus, smashed avocado, fresh basil leaves, shredded carrots, toasted pine nuts and baby spinach. It turned out absolutely divine. This is a real vegetarian vitamin hit and is super filling. Not forgetting to mention, all this is quished together inside a toasted rye & pumpkin bagel. I’m salivating at the thought!
Now, whilst I eat predominantly plant based any way, I don’t go out of my way to vegan-ize (sorry!) .Still, it’s always a little extra bonus to know you’ve managed to avoid all animal based products whilst creating new meals in the kitchen! Add to that I was using up supplies to avoid waste, you’ve got yourself a real all-round eco lunch.
Yes, Vegan Food is Filling
After enjoying this tasty lunch I went on to the club and played tennis for HOURS. Even after all the running around I did on court, I didn’t feel hungry in the slightest. So that breaks any pre-conception you might have that vegan food isn’t as filling. I’m no expert at vegan foods, but I find if I load up a meal with lots of healthy fats like those found in nuts & seeds it does the trick. Not only does it add extra crunch and flavour, but it keeps me full up for longer.
I was hoping to use my own grown basil by this time, although it’s all gone to seed, so I got a fresh bunch to use. Not going to lie, I was tempted to call this my own grown but I’m a terrible liar! Basil is definitely one of my top herbs to use, it’s great on pretty much everything.
Just Say No To Packet Sandwiches!
I’m trying to vary my lunches at the moment, as I am on a bit of a post-holiday health kick. I have had so many salads that this vegan bagel stack was a welcome change to the normal fare. Also, if I was going out to the sandwich shop I would have been very tempted to have something filled with cheese. Think I made the right call for my healthy eating plan to stay home and prep this. I’m sure you’ve had those moments where you think another boring pre-packed sandwich just won’t do!
Variety is the Spice of Life
You can change up the flavour ideas as much as you want in a recipe like this. I used a spicy peri hummus as a base on one side, with the smashed avocado on the other. However, if you aren’t a fan of spice you could always opt for plain hummus and put some time into seasoning the avocado instead. I usually would dress it with lemon, black pepper and coriander. This time around I left it plain as I had a lot of other flavours going on already.
Y’know, just in case you want to re-create my lunch creation…
- 2 Pumpernickel bagels
- 1 Tbsp peri peri hummus
- 1 Smashed avocado
- Small, thinly sliced carrot
- Fresh basil leaves
- 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
My allotment is really coming alive lately, so to use up my glut of berries here is my tried & tested strawberry & peanut butter flapjack recipe. A match made in heaven.
Seasonal Eating – Strawberries
Seasonal eating is something that I am passionate about. It is one of the best things I have learnt from growing my own produce. Over the years I have become familiar with what crops will ripen and when. So now that the sun has started warming our bones the strawberries are out. It’s a no brainer that this is the best time of year to eat them. You just try to find strawberries in the winter, they’re practically anaemic. For top flavour it pays off to follow the seasons.
Strawberry & Peanut Butter Flapjacks
I only ever make these flapjacks when my strawberry patch is producing more than I can manage (which is like, every year). I have so many to use up that I simply can’t get through them all otherwise! There is something about a homegrown strawberry that is just that little bit nicer than shop bought. For one the taste is far more intense. What’s more is that they pair perfectly with a big dollop of peanut butter in this recipe.
These flapjacks are rustic, to say the least. They taste divine when warm & fresh out of the oven. Beware, though, they are mega crumbly, so with this in mind you might want to put them in the fridge before you slice them up as it helps keep them from turning into granola!
Make sure you fold in the strawberries gently to stop them breaking up. Also, to add that extra bit of texture and sweetness I cut up medjool dates and add them to the mix. However, you can jazz this up with other additions if you prefer. Raisins or chocolate chips would work really well too.
Want to Vegan-ize?
This recipe can easily be made vegan friendly:
- Sub the butter for coconut oil
- Sub the honey for maple syrup
As I write this post up I am finishing one of these bad boys off with a cup of coffee, perfect.
Strawberry & Peanut Butter Flapjacks
Delicious rustic flapjacks, dotted with fresh strawberries and medjool dates.
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Tbsp Peanut butter
- 1 Tsbp Honey
- 1 Tsbp Maple syrup
- 3 Medjool dates, chopped
- 2 Cups Oats
- 1 Cup Chopped strawberries
Set you oven to 180 degrees.
Line a baking tray with non stick parchment paper.
In a pan, add the butter, peanut butter, honey & maple syrup. Heat on medium-low for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and the mixture is combined.
In a bowl, combine the oats together with the dates and butter mixture. Once combined, stir in the strawberry chunks gently.
Tip the mixture into the baking tray, smoothing out into the edges.
Cook on the middle shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes. They are ready once the top begins to turn a golden brown.
Leave to cool in the tray. These flapjacks are crumbly, so would benefit from being cooled in a fridge before slicing. Also great warm if you don't mind the mess!
This lemon & blueberry quinoa salad is versatile, vegan and drizzled with flavoursome lemon dressing!
Back when I did my stint at veganism this lemon & blueberry quinoa was my go-to salad. It has a lovely fresh flavour from the home made lemon dressing which pairs up beautifully with the blueberries. Serve with mixed leaves and a sprinkle of crunchy pumpkin seeds for a balanced and tasty lunch.
This simple salad doesn’t have too many ingredients, which is a bonus as there is less prep time, yet it still is bursting with quality fresh ingredients and flavours. Enough to convince you?
You can make this ahead to bring to work with you, or eat it straight away if time allows. This recipe doesn’t take long to put together, the longest part is waiting for the quinoa to cook.
I’m so sold on the lemon dressing that I think next time rather than making just enough for two salads, I’ll make a batch so I can use it on everything.
Vegan Blueberry & Lemon Quinoa Salad
A fresh salad, flavoured with zingy lemon dressing and topped with crunchy pumpkin seeds. Oh, and vegan too!
- 1/2 cup Quinoa
- 1 cup Fresh blueberries
- 2 tbsp Pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp Lemon zest
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp Agave nectar (or honey)
- Salt & pepper
To make the quinoa heat up 1.5 cups of water in a pan. Rinse the quinoa and add to the boiling water, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, then take off the heat and leave to stand, still covered, for 10 minutes.
Whilst the quinoa is on the go, prepare the lemon dressing. In a bowl mix together the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, agave & mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Once the quinoa is ready, divide into two portions and plate up.
Time to assemble the rest of the salad. Add the blueberries and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle on the lemon dressing. To finish it off serve with some fresh salad leaves and baby plum tomatoes.
If there is one thing that makes cooking easier it is simplicity. This is so quick to throw together and it just shows that it’s not about complicated ingredients and flavours, it’s about pairing those that taste best. Hope you enjoy!Yum
Just before we had all this snow my beau and I managed to get out to our allotment. First we just thought we’d “survey the situation” ie, poke around, talk about all the things we were going to do..and then go back in for a cuppa. But no, we actually got to work! I am so thankful we did now, as it’s been mighty cold lately. I think we managed to sneak out on one of the only mild days in February. Here are some allotment tips for garden growers and plot owners alike!
We’ve had the allotment for three years and we’ve both gone through little spurts of enthusiasm with it. Although we are by no means experts we have learnt some valuable lessons over the years. If only we knew these from the start..
Our Favourite Newbie Allotment Tips
Put your allotment to ‘bed’
This one might be little late for some of you, as if you haven’t already done this you’ll have to bear it in mind for next winter. Once the growing season is over (like, in October/Nov) take a load of cardboard, or black tarpaulin and just cover everything. Every bed you want to use next season. It’s prevented a load of weeds, which will spare SOOO much time in the summer months. This way you can just peel back the covers and get stuck in, no evil weeds lurking.
Don’t worry about digging all the weeds out
So if you haven’t been organized and covered all your beds (or in our case, some of your covering flew off) and you have weeds growing, you don’t need to dig em’ all out. We had already started when a friendly neighbour gave us this handy allotment tip. Just turn all the earth, leaving the uprooted weeds at the top. Yep, you heard right, leave the weeds there. So we were told, the cold and frost will kill them off, then you can just turn them back into the ground.
Word of warning, this is actually the first time trying this. So I genuinely don’t know if it will work, but the friendly oap allotment man surely must know his business. He has a totally banging plot so I am going to have faith in him on this one… Remember though, this tip only applies for the colder months, where frosts still happen, you can’t go doing this in the summer.
Buy your fruit trees now! (Quick!)
So I had no idea, but you are supposed to plant fruit trees in the dormant season. They have a far better chance of establishing that way. So if you want to get a lovely apple tree growing, you best get down to the garden centre quick sharp, as spring is almost here. Technically we should have our fruit trees planted up by now, but I am going to chance it and plant mine up this weekend. I did actually know all winter that I wanted to get an apple tree. But when it’s just so cold and miserable out there it’s so easy to put it off until the last minute.
Oh and check this out, still got some badboy veg and herbs that have lasted the harsh winter!
Looking forward to the season ahead, fresh fruit and veggies taste so much better than store bought. Take advantage of any milder days and get out there to put our allotment tips to use!Yum