Giveaway: Win a Box of Corkers Crisps

Corkers Thai Sweet Chilli Flavour Crisps
Corkers Thai Sweet Chilli Flavour Crisps
Thai Sweet Chilli Flavour

I reckon the busiest aisle in my local supermarket is the crisp aisle and, in my opinion, this is rightly so. Yeah, okay, so we’re turning into a nation of fatties and this isn’t a good thing, yada yada but… crisps… Crispy, crunchy, wonderful crisps.

Corkers sussed I love crisps, and asked me if I wanted two boxes of theirs – one for me and one to give away. Obviously, being a) a glutton; and b) of sound mind (no sane person would give away their crisps), I wanted to keep both boxes for myself but I showed some restraint, thanked them for their generosity and asked them to keep the winner’s box to one side to stop me from eating them all, therefore leaving the winner with only a few crumbs in an otherwise empty box, which would probably breach a few blog giveaway guidelines.

Corkers crisps
Don’t panic – the pork sausage flavour ones are vegetarian

I’m now going to pretend you haven’t scrolled down to the bit where I give away the crisps, but if you are still reading this, here are few facts about Corkers:

  • The crisps are made in the fenlands in Cambridgeshire.  Not only are the potatoes grown on the family farm but the factory is also located there and all the crisps are hand-cooked on site.
  • The Naturalo potato has a unique flavour from being grown in the rich peaty fenlands – it makes crisps with a unique crunch.
  • They have just won Potato Grower of the Year by UK Growers and been named Best Regional Supplier by Waitrose (they also have a host of Great Taste Awards).
  • The company was set up by best friends Ross and Rod in 2010, who had the idea whilst they were on a ski-ing trip but Ross’ family has been farming on the land since 1800s.
  • The crisps are currently stocked at National Trust properties, the Tate, selected Waitrose stores and also

Although I haven’t eaten my way through the whole box yet, I’ve had a packet of the Thai Sweet Chilli Flavour and I can confirm that this is a quality crisp – firm, crunchy and full of flavour. Much better than that Walkers thin splintery rubbish.

Win a box of 8 packets of Corkers crisps 
Win a box of 8 packets of Corkers crisps
Win a box of 8 packets of Corkers crisps

If you’d like to win a box of 8 packets of Corkers crisps (feel free to donate them back to me if you do win), just leave me a comment below letting me know what flavour crisp you would invent if you were in charge of inventing crisp flavours. I think I’d like cheese and baked bean flavour.

Terms and conditions 

I can’t guarantee which flavours will be in the box, but they will all be vegetarian.
One winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator after the closing date of Saturday 31 October 2015.
The winner will be emailed, so make sure you leave a working email address (it won’t be shared with anyone).
UK entries only.

For more information about Corkers:

Visit their website
Follow them on Twitter
Like them on Facebook


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Review & Giveaway: The Part-Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes

The Part-Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes
The Part-Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes
Review: The Part-Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes

Nicola Graimes wrote one of my favourite vegetarian cookbooks – Veggienomics. This is definitely one of my ‘go to’ cookbooks and you can see some of the recipes I’ve tried from it here, here and (my favourite) here.

In Nicola’s latest cookbook – The Part-Time Vegetarian – she confesses that, after almost thirty years of being vegetarian, she now occasionally eats meat and fish. While Nicola doesn’t go into detail about why she chose to start eating meat again, part of me dearly hopes one of the reasons is ‘got drunk and bought a kebab on the way back from the pub’ but my guess is that probably wasn’t a contributing factor and, after thirty years, deciding to re-introduce meat and fish into her diet probably wasn’t something she did lightly.

Still, whatever Nicola’s reasons, I’ve got to admit when her publisher asked me if I’d like a review copy, I was hesitant to accept. Although I’m pro-choice and, as far as I’m concerned, if people want to eat meat then that’s their prerogative, my collection of cookbooks is 100% vegetarian/vegan and I don’t want to see meat recipes while I’m flicking through a cookbook looking for something to make.

Vegetarian recipe with fish adaptation
Vegetarian recipe with meat/fish variation

This isn’t a half-meat/half-vegetarian cookbook though – The Part-Time Vegetarian contains vegetarian recipes that can be adapted to include meat and fish. For example, it could be something as simple as sprinkling  some crispy bacon on the finished dish, the addition of prawns, or a more substantial alteration such as spiced grilled lamb instead of roasted mushrooms served on a white bean mash.

So, if you’re one of the two out of three part-time ‘vegetarians’ who occasionally eat meat, chicken or fish*; you cook for a family that contains a vegetarian; or you just want to incorporate a few vegetarian meals to your weekly menu, then this book will be of interest to you. Nicola’s also included menu plans for a family vegetarian week, a part-time vegetarian week, a 7-day healthy week, part-time vegetarian meals for friends and menus for different occasions.

Paneer, egg and potato gratin from the Part-Time Vegetarian
Paneer, egg and potato gratin
 Recipe: Paneer, egg and potato gratin 

I don’t know if it was my subconscious to blame, but the recipe I decided to try first from The Part-Time Vegetarian didn’t have a meaty alternative. I also don’t know if how it turned out was anything like it was supposed to, as there’s no photo for this recipe in the book (there are plenty of full-page photos to accompany other recipes though) and the finished result wasn’t how I’d pictured it in my head but, appearances aside, this was a tasty, filling meal, with the paneer and Indian spices giving an interesting twist to the potatoes and eggs.

[Please note: As usual, this is my simplified/altered to my preference version and not how it appears in the book.]

Paneer, egg and potato gratin
Cuisine: Vegetarian
  • 800g potatoes, halved if large - no need to peel
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 green peppers, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • 325ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g paneer, cubed
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6
  2. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water with half the turmeric for 10-12 minutes, or until almost tender. Drain the potatoes and leave until cool enough to handle.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick pan and fry the onions for 8 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, cumin seeds, green peppers and chilli and cook for 5 minutes until softened.
  4. Slice the potatoes into 1cm slices and add to the pan, turning gently until combined, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes until the stock has reduced by three-quarters. Stir in half the coriander and transfer to a baking dish.
  5. Make four indentations in the potato mixture and break an egg into each one. Scatter the paneer over the top and drizzle with the remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper, cover with foil, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil and cook for a further 5-8 minutes.
  7. Scatter over the remaining coriander.


Giveaway: Win a copy of The Part-Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes 

I’ve got a copy of The Part-Time Vegetarian to give away and if you’d like to win it, just leave a comment below and I’ll pick a winner at random after the closing date of Friday 2 October 2015.

UK entries only.

*Yes, I know there’s no such thing as a part-time vegetarian. Don’t shoot me. 

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Recipe: Asparagus and Potato Tart

Vegetarian asparagus and potato tart

I usually haven’t recovered from the weekend enough to be bothered to cook from scratch on a Monday, but because I had a rare booze-free, exercise-packed, fresh-air filled weekend, my energy levels were up and so I decided I wanted to cook something healthy.

After deciding I wanted tonight’s dinner to involve asparagus, I perused the BBC Good Food website, filtering the results down to healthy options. None of the healthy options particularly appealed, so I took the healthy filter off and saw their free-form asparagus and potato tart, which is what I loosely based mine on. It’s not healthy in the slightest but it’s a big step up from the processed junk I usually heat up in the oven on a Monday.

Recipe: Asparagus and Potato Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Tart
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 4
  • 375g pack ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml soured cream
  • 75g asparagus, woody stems snapped off
  • 200g potatoes, sliced
  • 3 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 100g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • salt and black pepper
  1. Boil the sliced potatoes for about 5 minutes until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and soured cream, then add the rosemary and season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Line an 8" round pie dish with the pastry, leaving the edges overhanging.
  4. Brush the bottom of the pastry with the mustard.
  5. Layer the pastry with the potatoes, mushrooms and asparagus and top with half the cheese.
  6. Pour the soured cream/egg mixture over the vegetables and top with the remaining cheese.
  7. Fold over the edges of the pastry, trimming if necessary.
  8. Cook in the oven at 200C/180C fan for about 30 minutes.

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Cookbook: Greens 24/7 by Jessica Nadel

Greens 24/7 by Jessica Nadel
Greens 24/7 by Jessica Nadel

On flicking through Greens 24/7 by Jessica Nadel, my first thought was ‘I want to make EVERYTHING’. There are so many gorgeous-sounding (and looking – they’re all accompanied by a photo) recipes, such as creamy spinach curry with tofu paneer, sweet potato and greens burger, and shaved asparagus and roasted tomato terrine, I didn’t know where to start.

Samosa burrito
Onions, potatoes, carrots and peas frying in mustard seeds, curry powder, ground coriander, salt and pepper, (the potatoes, carrots and peas had already been boiled)

Unfortunately, the first dish I tried – samosa burritos with peas – turned out a tad bland. Don’t get me wrong; it was pleasant enough and perfectly edible, it just lacked something. I know it lacked the cumin which was originally stated in the recipe but I’d left that out on purpose as, since The Meat Eater has recently started calling cumin ‘farts’, I’ve refused to use it in any meals I’m cooking which he’ll be eating. Fair enough, I reckon, eh?

Samosa burrito
Place some of the mixture on top of a tortilla wrap

Another absent ingredient were the fenugreek seeds as my local Tesco didn’t have any. I read on a website that fennel seeds can be used instead but The Meat Eater doesn’t like fennel, or anything aniseedy for that matter, so that was out.

Samosa burrito
Wrap the tortillas

By now I’m sure you’re thinking – and not unreasonably, I might add – ‘no wonder it was bland, you’ve left out all the spices’ but I did tip in about three tablespoons of curry powder to give it a lift but it still lacked any oomph (for want of a better word).

Samosa burrito
Fry on both sides

Still, there are two burritos left over in the freezer and I’ve been thinking about them and have decided that instead of serving them with basmati rice as I did this time, I’ll pour a load of curry sauce over them and perhaps serve on a bed of spinach. That’ll sort them out.

Samosa burrito
I don’t advise serving them with plain rice. I reckon they’ll be better with curry sauce poured on top

I’m making another recipe from Greens 24/7 tonight – a spinach and mushroom galette. This will involve me making pastry. Wish me luck!

Greens 24/7 by Jessica Nadel is published by Apple Press and is available at Amazon.

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Cheesy Spinach and Chickpea Soup


Because someone – okay, I – forgot to add the spinach to the Quorn curry I cooked last night, I had a bag of spinach in the fridge, going to waste. In my defence though, it was a slow-cooked curry and by the time its eight hours were up, I’d completely forgotten there was another ingredient to go in. Also, the spinach wasn’t going to go to waste as a) I’m going to use it instead of kale in a recipe tomorrow; and b) I made soup out of it at lunchtime today.

My original idea was to make spinach and rice soup, then I changed my mind and thought I’d give spinach and chickpea soup a go and to liven it up a bit, also add some vegetarian Parmesan. It works.

Cheesy Spinach and Chickpea Soup (serves 4)

1 onion, chopped
25g butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium potato, diced
150g spinach
500ml vegetable stock
50g veggie-Parmesan
salt and pepper

  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the garlic and onion and fry for a few minutes until the onion is soft.
  2. Add the potatoes and fry for another couple of minutes.
  3. Add the spinach and the stock and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
  4. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and blend.
  5. Add the cheese and blend again until it’s melted through.
  6. Add the chickpeas and return to the heat to warm through.
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Bannisters’ Farm Cheese & Roasted Onion Filled Potato Skins


Someone on Twitter last night tweeted she’d seen an advert for frozen baked potatoes. ‘WTF’, she said, ‘get a potato and put it in the oven/microwave’.

Personally, I think anyone who puts a raw potato in the microwave to bake doesn’t deserve to have a potato in the first place but I’ve nothing against frozen potato-based products. Especially when they’re filled with cheese and onion.

Speaking of cheese and onion, by a happy coincidence, yesterday a delivery of Bannisters’ Farm products arrived. All of them potato-based. Oh yes, there’s a happy Meat Eater in the house at the mo.

Amongst the delivery were potato skins filled with cheese and roasted onion, baked potato halves filled with mature cheddar cheese, ready baked potatoes and a bag of roasting potatoes.

I love proper oven-baked potatoes – who doesn’t – but they need about two hours in the oven (unless you put them in the microwave, but see what I said above about microwaving raw potatoes) to cook them to perfection. Which is where frozen ones come in. The cheese and onion filled potato skins I cooked yesterday only took 20 minutes (you can also microwave them for 3 minutes or put them on a BBQ).

You may be thinking ‘okay, they’re quick, but I bet they’re full of crap’. Aha – wrong! The ingredients are simply: potato, cheddar cheese, roasted onion, water, sunflower oil, Monterey Jack cheese, mustard powder and white pepper.

But the proof of the potato is in the eating though, yeah? Yeah. The skin was crispy, the potato was soft and fluffy and there was a creamy topping of cheese and onion. I’d have liked a stronger cheese taste and one of my potatoes was mostly potato but one of The Meat Eater’s was mostly cheese so he said if you average them out, that makes them perfect. I think there’s logic in there somewhere.

I served them with Quorn Mini Kievs and baked beans.


The Bannisters’ Farm range costs between £1.39 – £2.50 and is available nationwide from Morrisons, Ocado, Tesco, Waitrose, Iceland, Booths, Nisa, Farmfoods and selected Sainsbury’s Local stores.

For more information visit

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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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Shepherd’s beany pie

The Meat Eater saw the amount of washing up and asked what was for dinner. I said it’s like a shepherd’s pie, but with beans. He asked if I’d made it before and I said no. He looked scared. I didn’t know why he looked scared as most things I make, I haven’t made before and anyway he likes beans and he likes potatoes so I told him he’d like this.


And he did. As did I. I especially liked the cheesy topping.


Despite the recipe (which is taken from Rose Eliot’s New Complete Vegetarian) using quite a few pans, it’s quick and easy to make. I used dried parsley instead of fresh and mixed herbs instead of herbes de Provence.


Shepherd’s Beany Pie (serves 4)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
50g mushrooms, chopped
2 x 400g cans black-eyed peas
400g canned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp herbes de Provence
salt and freshly ground black pepper
700g mashed potatoes
50g grated cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and go on cooking for another 4-5 minutes.
  3. Drain the peas and mash or blend them, depending on the texture you want.
  4. Add the peas to the pan, along with the tomatoes, tomato purée, parsley and herbes de Provence and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes. Then season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon the mixture into a shallow ovenproof dish, spread the mashed potato evenly over the top, rough up the surface with a fork and sprinkle with grated cheese.
  6. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
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Dalepak Cauliflower Cheese Grills

dalepak_cauliflower_cheese_grills_2Years ago, before I was vegetarian, I used to eat cauliflower cheese grills. I have no idea if they were Dalepak but I used to eat them because the only meat I could afford was economy burgers and they were the vile scrapings from the abattoir floor. So I used to eat cauliflower cheese grills and put up with people asking me if I was vegetarian.

Back then, although I ate them, they weren’t all that really. The cheese was nice, but cheese always is. The breadcrumb coating was usually soft and I didn’t like cauliflower anyway, so now I’m wondering why I bothered with them at all.

Dalepak’s cauliflower cheese grills were nicer than the ones I used to eat in the 90s but there wasn’t enough filling – the grills were mainly breadcrumb. The breadcrumb was beautifully golden and crispy but I would have preferred the grills to be much thicker than they were as, if it hadn’t been for the slight cheesy taste, I wouldn’t have known there was any filling in them. Disappointing.


The mashed potato made from our homegrown potatoes was nice though.

homegrown_potatoes Dalepak Cauliflower Cheese Grills are Vegetarian Society Approved and available from Iceland, Heron Foods and Jack Fulton’s and cost £1 for a pack of 4.

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Lentil and courgette gratin

Another courgette recipe, again from Rose Elliot’s New Complete Vegetarian. We still have two courgettes in the fridge and apparently there are more to come out of the greenhouse, so there’ll be even more courgette recipes on the way soon.

I made a courgette and smoked feta cheese soup last week, but didn’t blog it. It was simply two sliced courgettes, one medium sized sliced potato, cover with stock, season with salt and pepper, simmer for about 20 minutes, then add some cubed smoked feta (I used the one made by Yamas) and blend.

Tonight I made a lentil and courgette gratin (in Rose Elliot’s cookbook, there are variations for lentil and mushroom, lentil and celery, lentil and tomato, and lentil and fennel) and served it with a Quorn Peppered Steak, boiled potatoes, steamed broad beans and steamed green beans. Next time, I’ll serve it on its own with the potatoes and vegetables; it was a meal in itself and didn’t need the Quorn Peppered Steak. 


Lentil and courgette gratin (serves 4)

175g split red lentils
1 pint milk and water mixed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper~
1 tsp yeast extract or 1-2 tsp soy sauce
450g courgettes, sliced

For the topping

25g fresh breadcrumbs
25g grated cheese

  1. Put the lentils into a saucepan with the milk and water and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are golden and tender.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4.
  3. Meanwhile, heat half the olive oil in another saucepan, add the onion, cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until tender but not brown. Add to the lentils with the lemon rind and juice, salt, pepper and yeast extract or soy sauce. Blend this mixture to make a smooth, thick purée.
  4. Fry the courgettes in the remaining oil until tender.
  5. Place the fried courgettes in a shallow baking dish and pour the lentil mixture over the top to cover.
  6. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and cheese evenly over the top.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
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