You don't have to be a vegetarian to love vegetarian food.

Cinnamon spiced hot chocolate

Filed under: Other's Vegetarian Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , — Sarah Jayne @ 11:37 pm December 5, 2009

December has arrived and for most of us the calendar change signals that a month of hardcore cooking and baking is on the horizon.

I have a huge stack of cooking magazines and recipes I have printed out from the internet sitting on my desk as I try to widdle them down to decide what exactly I will be cooking and baking for the Christmas period. You would think after all that foodie focused research I would be settled on a menu by now. The problem is that the more I see the more I want to make but I want to be careful of not biting off more than I can (literally) chew.

One thing I do know is that Christmas cooking period is going to be one of those times where I won’t be sticking strictly to a vegetarian diet. However, I do really want to try as much as possible to be cooking and serving mostly vegetarian Christmas recipes.

The good thing though is that it really isn’t very hard to do that. When you think about it, most of the Christmas cookies and cakes we will munch over the holiday period are vegetarian by their very nature. Then, the normal Christmas dinner trimmings are also largely vegetarian. At least that is the case if you skip doing your roast potatoes in goose fat. Frankly, even when I wasn’t so focused on vegetarian cooking that never appealed to me anyway.

As I make my way through a largely vegetarian Christmas, I will check in and share my vegetarian cooking adventures. Hopefully, it will give some of you also trying to eat mostly vegetarian over the Christmas cooking period of bit of inspiration.

For now though, it is on to finally forming a solid Christmas cooking schedule. So, time to settle down with that stack of Christmas cooking magazines and make my mind up. At least until I change it again.

Of course, I can’t do that research without having a good hot beverage by my side. This month for the vegetarian swap I participate in over at Recipezaar, I picked out this Mayan Hot Chocolate recipe posted by Recipezaar member the80srule

spiced hot chocolate recipe

It turns out this hot chocolate recipe is the perfect partner to planning my vegetarian Christmas cooking. Firstly, the big sell for me, is that it is actually made with soy chocolate milk. I am lactose intolerant so whenever I make a creamy drink like hot chocolate I have to weigh up the consequences. I could make a normal hot chocolate recipe with water, I suppose, but any lover of hot chocolate knows that is simply never the same. Amazingly though, I had never thought of using soy chocolate milk as the base of a hot chocolate recipe but it really did work.

What really makes this hot chocolate recipe special though are the spices that go into the mixture. First in the pot, is a bit of cinnamon which gives a real Christmas feel to the hot chocolate recipe. Then comes the real surprise, a pinch of cayenne pepper. You would think that would make it hot and spicy but really it just adds a back ground warmth to the hot chocolate.

So, make yourself your own mug of this spiced hot chocolate and pull up your own pile of Christmas recipes and join the foodie December ritual of planning your holiday baking and Christmas cooking. Let the games begin!

Chunky broccoli slaw with apricots

Filed under: My Vegetarian Recipes — Tags: , , , , — Sarah Jayne @ 11:28 pm November 28, 2009

These days, two topics dominate both media coverage and personal conversations. Seriously, have any of us gone one full day in the past year without hearing anything about either the budget crisis or what is called the obesity crisis? Well, here is a recipe that, in its own way, addresses both issues.

If you want to save money on your food budget, one the best ways to do so is to make the most of your ingredients. A great deal of what most people normally throw in the trash could actually go towards making meals.

For example, instead of throwing away your carrot and onion peels, keep them in the freezer until you have filled up a freezer bag. Then use all those trimming to make a vegetable stock. Not only have you made the most of something you have already bought but you save yourself having to pay for store bought stock or stock cubes.

When, I was in the States, I discovered broccoli slaw. I guess this is something that became popular after I left the States to move to the UK because I hadn’t even heard of it until recently. Basically, it is just like coleslaw but instead of cabbage the main ingredient is shredded broccoli. It turned out to be really very tasty. Also, depending on the dressing you use for the broccoli slaw recipe it can be very healthy. Broccoli is, after all, a super food.

Upon my return to the UK, I decided to try to figure out how to make my own broccoli slaw recipe since it isn’t available in British supermarkets. When I investigated what went into making a broccoli slaw I found out that the broccoli used is actually the broccoli stem. How great is that? Something which the vast majority of us just chop off and throw away can be used to make something so tasty and healthy. You simply use a vegetable peeler to take off the top layer of the broccoli stem and then you are ready to make your broccoli slaw recipe.

So, in one full swoop you can take on both the budget and obesity crisis by making this tasty low fat and healthy broccoli slaw recipe. I cut the vegetables chunky because that way I can have it has a side dish when I want but I can also have it as a lunch salad all on its own if I desire. Plus, I am usually too lazy to pull out the food processor to shred them.

Chunky broccoli slaw with apricots


45 grams broccoli stem
85 grams carrots
70 grams green cabbage
55 grams law fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon skim milk
25 grams dried apricots


1. Peel the carrots and broccoli stalk and then cut them into matchstick sized pieces.
2. Use a knife to shred the cabbage and put into a large bowl with the carrots and broccoli.
3. In another bowl, mix together the mayo, mustard, onion flakes and milk until well combined.
4. Fold the vegetable mixture into the mayo mixture until all of the vegetables are covered in the dressing.
5. Slice the dried apricots into thin slices and fold into the slaw mixture.
6. Chill in the fridge for an hour or so and then serve.

Makes 2 to 4 servings

Sun dried tomato and olive tortilla pizza recipe

Filed under: My Vegetarian Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — Sarah Jayne @ 5:32 pm October 10, 2009

Who doesn’t love pizza? I sure know that I do but ordering takeaway pizza is just a no no on my diet. When I have a lot of time on my hands, I am not adverse to trying making a homemade pizza dough recipe. Truth is though, I rarely think that far ahead. Even if I did, a homemade pizza dough recipe is still going to have more calories than I am likely to have spare.

Lately, I have been indulging my pizza craving moments by throwing together quick and very easy tortilla pizza recipes. It really is as simple as using a tortilla in place of the normal pizza dough and piling it high with the cheese and toppings of your choice. They are so easy and simple to make that I have taken to having them instead of a sandwich for lunch. I suppose, really they are an open faced sandwich or a an inside out quesadilla anyway.

You really can put just about anything on them and make a whole new tortilla pizza recipe each and every time. They are great for anybody following a vegetarian diet because the pizza topping options really are as varied as the types of vegetables you can find.

My recent favourite topping combination for my tortilla pizza recipe is sun dried tomatoes and a mixture of green and black olives. If I use reduced fat mozzarella I can pile those olives high and not worry too much about the fat. It is all good fat anyway, right?

Sun dried tomato and olive tortilla pizza

1 flour tortilla
1 tablespoon pasta sauce
1/3 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons green olives, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons black olives, sliced


1. Preheat oven to 400F/Gas Mark 6
2. Put the tortilla on a baking sheet and spread with the pasta sauce.
3. Scatter the cheese evenly over the tortilla.
4. Put the sun dried tomatoes and olives all over the top of the cheese.
5. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes until the cheese melts. Watch it very closely during this cooking time as it can very quickly go from golden and melted to very burnt.
6. Put onto a plate and eat sliced into pizza style slices.

Serves: 1

Mexican bean stuffed baked potatoes

Filed under: My Vegetarian Recipes — Tags: , , , , — Sarah Jayne @ 2:58 pm September 23, 2009

The times when it gets difficult to stick to a vegetarian diet comes when I just have no energy to get into cooking a meal that takes a long time to prepare. It is also exactly these times when I am starving and need something that is really going to fill me up. It was just one of these moments when I came up with these Mexican bean stuffed baked potatoes.

I have always loved how a good twice baked potato recipe is an easy recipe but looks really impressive. The problem is though that so many twice baked potato recipes are usually rather high in fat and calories from all the butter and cheese that usually goes into making them. Anything that high in fat is a no no for me these days.

I am always looking for something else to put refried beans into. I know they don’t look pretty but I just love them and with vegetarian and low fat versions of refried beans now readily available in British supermarkets I pretty much always have a can in the cupboard. I usually have a bit of salsa in the house and we are never without some potatoes. So, this really is the sort of recipe that comes more out of a cupboard than a cookbook.

You can control the spice levels by picking the intensity of salsa that your family enjoys. I am a total spicy heat wimp. So, I used a mild salsa and then the two of us topped our Mexican twice baked potatoes with chillies. I went for the really mild banana peppers. These are fantastic and now sold as part of the Discovery brand’s range of Mexican foods. They aren’t in every supermarket but I usually can find them in Morrisons. My husband has much more of head for spices. So, he topped his with Jalapeños.

Mexican Bean Stuffed Baked Potatoes


4 baked potatoes, freshly baked
1 (435 gram/15 ounce) can fat free refried beans
1 cup salsa

Optional Toppings:

fat free sour cream
banana peppers


1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees or gas mark 6.
2. Cut off most of the top of the baked potatoes and scoop out the majority of the insides leaving just enough not to break the skins.
3. Put the potato shells into an oven proof dish and the insides into a large bowl.
4. Gently mash the potato insides but don’t mash so much that they are fully smooth.
5. Empty the can of beans and the cup of salsa into the bowl and gently mix so that everything is combined but not over mixed or it will get really loose.
6. Spoon the mixture back into the potato shells and bake for 20 minutes.
7. Top with any or all of the optional toppings and serve with a green salad for a low fat and healthy vegetarian meal.

Serves 4