Thursday, 10 June 2010

Vegan Pizza

Most non vegans would probably turn their nose up at the idea of pizza without cheese. However I have always preferred a pizza that has a really good tomato base and topping rather than one smothered in cheese.....but of you really cannot imagine a cheese-less pizza then why not make your own cashew nut cheese by blending soaked cashews, with a small amount of water, tahini and spices of your choice. Its delish!.

Grilled vegetable pizza w. a cashew nut cheese

Pizza Base:

300 grams strong bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
200 ml warm water
1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Place the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the water and oil and stir with a wooden spoon until evenly mixed.
3. Lightly flour a surface and kneed this mixture for 5 minutes. cover with a tea towl and set aside whilst making the topping.

Tomato Sauce:

2 table spoons olive oil
5 large tomatoes (chopped)
2 shallots (finely chopped)
1 red chilli (finely chopped)
3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
5 sundried tomatoes (chopped)
2 sprigs rosemary
2 tea spoons thyme leaves
small handfull of basil (torn)
salt and pepper

1. Place a large pan over a medium heat and add the oil. Add the shallots, chili and garlic and allow to soften.
2. Add the rosemary and thyme and cook for another minute or so before adding the tomatoes and seasoning.
3. Allow the tomato mixture to reduce for around 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
4. Finally add the sun dried tomatoes and basil, transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth.


1. Pre heat you oven to 240 degrees C.
2. On a lightly floured surface roll out your pizza dough.
3. Place the dough on a baking tray (a pizza tray is best). Spoon a generous layer of the tomato sauce onto the base and add topping of your choice. (I topped mine with grilled aubergine, peppers & courgette, basil oil and cashew nut 'cheese')
4. Place the pizza into the oven for 8-10 minutes.


Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Summer Salads

I love bank holidays! Who doesn't!

Although I have to admit, I didn't have the most productive one...well my debit card did, as did my wardrobe...but I was finally able to cook and eat some some of my favourite foods; Indian on the Saturday evening, Sushi for lunch on Sunday and dinner on Monday, and finally a trip to my favourite cafe in London, Ottolenghi. Delicious!

I couldn't quite wait till Monday to get my Ottolenghi fix, so on Sunday evening, after a day shopping, dinner was to be an array of Ottolenghi inspired salads;

Portobello mushrooms stuffed with a basil infused pearly barley salad
Puy Lentil, red and yellow pepper, sun-dried tomato and coriander salad
Char grilled broccoli with red chilli, garlic and slivered almonds
chilli roasted butter nut squash

Summer Lentil Salad

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side dish


2 table spoons olive oil
80 grams dried puy lentils
300 ml vegetable stock
1 small red onion (finely chopped)
1 red chilli (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
2 sprigs or fresh thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 a red pepper (2 cm diced)
1/2 a yellow pepper (2 cm diced)
small handful sun dried tomatoes (chopped)
handful of chopped coriander
salt and pepper


1. Wash and drain the lentils
2. Place a pan over a medium heat. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion, chilli, garlic, cumin and thyme and cook for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the peppers and cook for a further few minutes.
4. Add the lentils to the pan, along with the stock and seasoning. Leave to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally (add more stock if looking too dry)
5. Finally mix through the sun dried tomato and coriander.

Sprinkle with a little extra coriander to serve.

Why cant we have a bank holiday every weekend??