Veganuary: Vegan Leek, Mushroom and Spinach Tart

Vegan leek, mushroom and spinach tart

Hallelujah – I cooked something that wasn’t stodge! This vegan leek, mushroom and spinach tart is something I’ve cooked before, at least a variation of, anyway. Usually when I make it, I cover it in cheese, like I’ve done previously on my leek, mushroom and goat’s cheese tart, mushroom, leek and mozzarella tart, and my courgette and tomato tart.

I’ve got to admit, I had a bit of a pang when I took both mine and The Meat Eater’s tarts out of the oven, and The Meat Eater’s was covered in bubbling, oozing Cheddar but the pang faded as soon as I started eating.

This vegan tart is a great way to use up any vegetables you have in the fridge – you can substitute the leeks, mushrooms and spinach for whatever you have to hand.

Vegan Leek, Mushroom and Spinach Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Pastry
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2
  • Two-thirds of a 375g pack of vegan ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 125g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the leeks for about 3 minutes
  2. Add the mushrooms, garlic and rosemary and fry for another 3 minutes
  3. Add the spinach and stir until wilted
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Cut the pastry in half so you have two rectangles
  6. Score a 1cm border round each rectangle of pastry and top with the leek mixture, keeping within the border
  7. Bake in the oven at 180C for about 15 minutes


Veganuary Day 12 – Lunch

Warburtons Thin salad sandwich

Yesterday’s lunch was a Warburton’s Thin with spinach, cucumber, olives, tomatoes, hummus and vegan mayo. Do you like my new plate? I got it in Tesco for £3. It’s almost as nice as the penguin slippers I also bought (£6).

penguin slippers
Gratuitous pic of penguin slippers

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Recipe: Butter Bean Pie

Butter Bean Pie

It occurred to me recently that I’ve been making a lot of one-pot meals, for example curries and pasta. Don’t get me wrong, I love curries and pasta but a) they don’t photograph well (at least not when I take a photo of them, anyway) so I end up not putting them on the blog and; b) sometimes I just want something a bit more traditional. And what could be more traditional than a pie?

I haven’t been completely honest here because, although it’s true I fancied something that wasn’t curry or pasta, my main motivation for making something different to curry or pasta was wanting to use up the tin of butter beans I’d found in the cupboard.

Rose Elliot has written a whole cookery book based on beans – The Bean Book – so I had a look in there and saw her bean and leek pie. Knowing The Meat Eater likes a) butter beans and; b) leeks, I knew he’d give it the thumbs up (or at the very least, an appreciative grunt).

I used Flora in this pie but it could be easily veganised by using a dairy-free spread such as Pure or Vitalite.

Vegetarian Butter Bean Pie

5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe: Butter Bean Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adapted from the recipe in Rose Elliot's 'The Bean Book'
Cuisine: Vegetarian but easily veganised
Serves: 4
  • 400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 50g butter
  • 225g carrots, diced
  • 450g leeks, sliced
  • 125g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 225g tinned tomatoes
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 225g ready rolled puff pastry
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark 7
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the carrots, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes
  3. Add the leeks and mushrooms and cook for a further 10 minutes
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and mix in well
  5. Add the tinned tomatoes, stock and dried thyme and cook gently, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until thickened
  6. Add the beans and season with the salt and pepper
  7. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish and leave to cool slightly
  8. Cover the top of the pie with the puff pastry and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until golden brown


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Review: Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 4

Friday meant new hamper day – hooray! I’d been looking forward to the new delivery because, let’s face it, everyone loves a food delivery, don’t they? I met the same cheery delivery chap as before in my front garden on my way back in from the gym. Because I’d been out, he’d left the hamper in the arranged ‘safe place’ (not to be confused with ‘safe word’ – this ain’t no 50 Shades-esque blog, okay?)

This hamper for the second part of the week’s diet was huge. Look at all the food.

Bodychef vegetarian diet plan hamper
I don’t think I’m going to starve

There was so much food, I couldn’t fit it in neat piles for each day.

Bodychef diet plan
Disorganised piles

I may have squealed when I saw the tub of coleslaw. I imagined thick, creamy, tangy coleslaw, but I’d have to wait until Saturday to have it, dammit.

Still, although I had to wait until Saturday to have coleslaw – today’s breakfast was low fat spread (a single serving of Flora at 40 cals) jam (18 cals) and crumpets (108 cals).

Bodychef crumpets and jam
My kind of ‘diet’ food

As usual though, I didn’t have breakfast and didn’t feel hungry enough in the morning to warrant wasting them by eating them just because they were there.

I’d also been looking forward to today’s lunch of egg mayonnaise. Egg mayonnaise as diet food? Get in! As with the feta and pepper spread, and the roasted aubergine and chickpea pâté, Bodychef had supplied a generous portion of egg mayonnaise (114 cals), pitta bread (161 cals) and salad (7 cals).

Bodychef egg mayonnaise and pitta bread
Oh yes, I’m enjoying this diet

Obviously, Bodychef hadn’t gone overboard with the mayo; this is a diet after all – if it’d had the amount of mayo I’d have spooned into it, left to my own devices, that would have been my calorie allowance for the next two days gone in one soggy sandwich. Still, it just goes to show what a bit of moderation and restraint can do – this was a perfectly acceptable egg mayonnaise and not dry at all.

This kept me full all afternoon but I kept thinking about those crumpets so I gave in and had them about 4pm-ish and yes, they were as good as they looked.

Since The Meat Eater started mountain biking on a Friday evening, Friday nights have traditionally become ‘chippy night’. Not tonight for me though, eh? Nope, my dinner was – instead of my usual veggie burger and chips or battered veggie sausage and chips – leek and mushroom kedgeree (306 cals) and Persian cucumber salad (27 cals). I’ve never seen such a small pot of salad.

Bodychef leek and mushroom kedgeree
More an aside salad, than a side salad

Bodychef supply only basic cooking instructions for the diet as a whole, not individual dishes, so I wasn’t sure if the hard-boiled egg should be reheated, as it’s not something I’ve done before. I’ve had hard-boiled eggs in curries in the past, and if you’ve never tried a curry that contains hard-boiled egg – please do, they’re fantastic, but the only time I froze the curry with egg, when it had defrosted, the egg was as rubbery as an old balloon stuffed inside another old balloon. This was a fresh egg though, so I heated it up in the oven along with the rice and it was fine.

Bodychef leek and mushroom kedgeree
No. 22. Egg fried rice

The kedgeree reminded me of egg fried rice, which is no bad thing. The salad, despite being small, was dressed, fresh and crisp.

While I was eating this, The Meat Eater came in with his chippy take-out and offered me a chip. I wondered if this would be the start of a slippery slope into obesity but I decided one wouldn’t hurt.

Don’t laugh at this next photo because despite what it looks like, this trifle (151 cals) containing jelly, sponge and some kind of watery blancmange-type substance was great – in a flashback-to-your-childhood-parties kind of way.

Bodychef trifle
Don’t judge a trifle by its watery blancmange-like cover

My cat started begging for some, so it got the cat approval, which is always a good sign. Cats don’t eat any old rubbish, you know.

Day 4 conclusion

Buy a bigger fridge. Crumpets are diet food. You don’t need a whole jar of mayo in an egg mayonnaise sandwich. Kedgeree is like egg fried rice. Put ‘trifle’ on the shopping list.

Special offer for Planet Veggie readers

If you’d like to try out the Bodychef diet, readers of Planet Veggie can get 15% off any plan by using the code PLANET15.

Related posts:
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Introduction
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 1
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 2
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 3
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 5
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 6
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 7
Bodychef Vegetarian Diet Plan – Day 8 – Final Day


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Recipe: Leek, Mushroom and Goat’s Cheese Tart

Leek, mushroom and goat's cheese tart
Leek, mushroom and goat’s cheese tart

I love these kinds of meals. The kind where you use up what you’ve got in the fridge. So simple, so cheap but, most importantly, so delicious.

Leek, mushroom and goat's cheese tart
Goes great with peas and potatoes

Leek, mushroom and goat’s cheese tart (serves 4)

½ block puff pastry, rolled into a rectangle
½ a large leek, sliced
3 mushrooms, sliced
65g goat’s cheese
1 tbsp butter
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp marjoram
salt and pepper

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
  2. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the leeks for a few minutes until soft.
  3. Add the mushrooms to the pan and fry for another few minutes.
  4. Add the herbs and salt and pepper.
  5. Lightly score 1cm from the edge of the rolled pastry and add the leek mixture inside the score lines.
  6. Crumble the goat’s cheese on top and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.


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National Heart Month: Quorn chicken and leek patchwork pie

Did you know February is National Heart Month? No? Waitrose did and they came up with some recipes to keep our hearts healthy and asked me to test one of them.


There are a few vegetarian recipes on the website, but I love puff pastry, so I decided to vegetarianise their Chicken and Leek Patchwork Pie by replacing the chicken with Quorn Chicken-Style Pieces and using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.


Puff pastry isn’t usually associated with healthy living, but because you’re only using a quarter of a packet, you’re not going to overdose on fat.

I was so pleased with how it turned out, it was absolutely delicious and something I’ll definitely make again.


Quorn chicken and leek patchwork pie (serves 4)
(adapted from the Waitrose website)

1 tbsp olive oil
250g leeks, sliced
200g Quorn chicken-style pieces
125ml vegetable stock
125ml milk, plus extra for brushing
1 tbsp sauce flour
150g frozen peas
150g frozen broccoli, defrosted slightly and cut into smaller pieces
30g soft cheese with garlic and herbs
1/4 pack ready-rolled puff pastry

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C, gas mark 6.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the leeks and Quorn chicken-style pieces for 5 minutes until the leeks are softened.
  3. Add the stock and milk, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the sauce flour to the pan, bring to the boil and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring until smooth and thickened.
  4. Stir in the peas, broccoli and soft cheese, then tip into an ovenproof dish.
  5. Cut the pastry into 12 squares and arrange on top of the filling – the pastry should overlap a little in places but not cover the filling completely.
  6. Brush the pastry squares with milk and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling is piping hot.
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Brussels sprouts and goat’s cheese tart


Waitrose asked if I’d like to take part in their Waitrose Christmas Recipe Challenge which involved recreating a traditional vegetarian main dish especially for Christmas. The dish they wanted me to recreate was a vegetable tart.

Fine, I thought, that’s easy enough; get some puff pastry, bung some vegetables on it, cover it in cheese and put it in the oven. Sorted. Unfortunately, when I mentioned this to The Meat Eater he started getting adventurous and asked if it’d have cream and eggs in it. Before I realised he was just trying to scupper Vegan Monday, I’d already agreed, despite my reservations that adding cream and eggs to a tart probably makes it less of a tart and more of a quiche.

Still, it sounded like a plan, so the only thing left to think of was what vegetables would I use. I thought cranberry and brie sounded nice and Christmassy, The Meat Eater said ‘bleurgh’ (or something like that) and asked for Brussels sprouts. Seriously? Brussels sprout tart? I agreed it at least nodded towards Christmas so I eventually (after asking Facebook what it thought) decided upon Brussels sprouts, leek and goat’s cheese tart (even if it was going to be more of a quiche).

I know goat’s cheese is as ubiquitous on the veggie menu as risotto is at Christmas time, but you’ll have to forgive me for this.

Brussels sprouts and goat’s cheese tart (serves 4)

15 Brussels sprouts
1 leek, sliced
2 baby onions, sliced
125g goat’s cheese, sliced
100g Cheddar, grated
1 pack ready rolled puff pastry
3 eggs
300ml double cream
25g butter

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Trim the ends off the Brussels sprouts, along with any hard leaves and cook in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and leave to the side.
  3. Fry the baby onions and leeks in the butter for about 5 minutes, until soft and season with salt and pepper. Leave to one side.
  4. Beat the eggs in a bowl and mix in the cream and grated cheddar.
  5. Line an 8” round tin with the puff pastry.
  6. Add the leeks and onion mixture to the tin.
  7. Add the Brussels sprouts evenly on top.
  8. Pour over the egg, cream and Cheddar mixture.
  9. Place the sliced goat’s cheese on top.
  10. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown, then leave to cool for about 10 minutes to help it set.






Probably not the most Christmassy of dishes but, who cares – it was delicious.


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Roasted vegetable slice with mozzarella

Hey look, I made something else that’s reminiscent of a pizza. I had a packet of puff pastry to use up (actually, it was two days out of date but I appear to still be alive), so I made a quick trip to the farm shop for a leek and a courgette and made this quick, easy vegetable slice for dinner.


Roasted vegetable slice with mozzarella (serves 4)

1 pack ready made puff pastry
1 courgette, sliced
1 leek, sliced
3 tomatoes, sliced
1 block of mozzarella, sliced 
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Place the courgette and leek in a roasting tin, drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and bake in an oven at 200C for about 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Alternate slices of courgette and tomato onto the pastry, then cover with the leeks and top with the mozzarella slices.

Season with salt and pepper and return to the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.

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Cabbage and leek bake

If you pretend this isn’t smothered in cheese sauce and just focus on the cabbage and leek bit, this is a healthy side dish. Although, as it’s only a side dish, a bit of cheese is hardly going to sabotage any healthy eating thing you’ve got going on at the mo.


I served it with Linda McCartney sausages and boiled potatoes and it got a rating of ‘very nice indeed’ from The Meat Eater.

Cabbage and leek bake (serves 4)
Taken from The Boxing Clever Cookbook

450g cabbage, chopped
175g leeks, sliced
Salt to taste

25g butter or margarine
50g plain flour
1 pint milk
225g Cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and black pepper

  1. Place the cabbage and leeks in boiling water. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes and drain well. Transfer to a buttered oven dish.
  2. Melt the butter or margarine in a pan, add flour and cook, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Slowly add milk, again stirring continuously until sauce is smooth and thick.
  3. Add cheese and stir until melted. Season to taste.
  4. Pour sauce over vegetables and bake in oven 180C/Gas 4 for 30 minutes.
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Quorn Lamb Strips Stir-Fry

Healthy meal no. 2 wasn’t so healthy as it contained Quorn, a packet stir-fry sauce and spring rolls. Still, it wasn’t chocolate, cheese, crisps or chips, so it was a lot more healthy than a lot of my meals recently.


My stir-fry was made with leeks and mushrooms from the farm shop, a yellow pepper that’d been sitting in the fridge for a while (not sure how it hadn’t gone off in all that time – this is why I buy my veg from the farm shop, I don’t like freaky vegetables that stay fresh for ever), Quorn Lamb Strips, a tin of beansprouts, egg noodles and served with mini spring rolls.

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Swede and leek soup

It’s that time of year when I sober up and want something other than cheese, chocolate and crisps in my diet. So, today, I looked in The Boxing Clever Cookbook to see what was seasonal and cycled down to my local farm shop and got myself a big bag of vegetables.


Healthy meal no. 1 was today’s lunchtime soup. I’m not sure I’ve eaten swede before, I certainly haven’t cooked it before as it always looked like it would be hard to peel but it was as easy as peeling a potato. This soup was delicious (and vegan, as I used soya milk instead of moo juice and didn’t add cheese to it for a change).


Swede and leek soup (serves 4-6)
2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
700g swede, peeled and diced
225g potatoes, peeled and diced
450g leeks, sliced and washed
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp mixed herbs
1.5L (2.5 pints) vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
150ml (1/4 pint) soya milk

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the swede, potatoes, leeks and garlic for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the mixed herbs, vegetable stock and season to taste.
  3. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Soup can be left like this, or puréed if you like a smooth texture.
  5. Stir in the milk, reheat and serve.
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