Vegan Monday: vegan haggis stuffed mushrooms


Today’s Vegan Monday went a lot better than last week’s did. This time, I’d been to Tesco at the weekend, so I was prepared. No more ‘accidentally’ drinking non-vegan hot chocolate; Tesco had in some Sweet Freedom Choc Shot Liquid Chocolate that I’d lusted over at VegFest the other week (it wasn’t available to buy there at the time, it was only available to win and I only managed to win a bottle of juice and a bottle of cardamom flavoured tomato sauce).

I had fruit for breakfast and I’d also been to the farm shop at the weekend to buy a leek to make leek and potato soup for lunch. Snacks weren’t a problem either, as I made some chilli peanut butter granola bars.

For dinner, I made a vegan haggis stuffed mushroom, topped with spring onions and tomato. Usually I have side vegetables and potatoes with butter or salad cream, but tonight my condiment of choice was jalapeno and chilli relish – it worked well.

Vegan haggis stuffed mushrooms (serves 2)

1 packet Macsween Microwaveable Vegetarian Haggis
2 large field mushrooms
1 spring onion, sliced
2 small tomatoes, sliced
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

  1. Brush the mushrooms with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  2. Bake – covered – at 180C for about 15 minutes.
  3. Stuff the mushrooms with the vegetarian haggis and top with the spring onions and tomatoes.
  4. Return to the oven – uncovered – for another 15 minutes.

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Vegetarian haggis pizza wrap


The Meat Eater’s away and I pondered what to have for dinner. I had planned to have a tortilla pizza but it rained all afternoon and I didn’t fancy cycling in the rain to the farm shop to buy mushrooms. That meant the toppings on my tortilla pizza would consist only of cheese and onion. Bit tame, really.

Then I remembered I had a pack of Macsween’s Microwaveable Haggis in the fridge. Result.

Despite the name, you don’t have to microwave the haggis (although if you want to microwave it, it only takes 60 seconds); you can grill it or fry it or stuff peppers or mushrooms (other vegetables are available to stuff) with it, or you can do what I did and make a pizza wrap with it. (You can also not do what I did and forget to add rocket and chilli flakes.)

Macsween’s Vegetarian Haggis is vegan, so if you want a vegan version, just leave out the cheese or use vegan cheese.


Vegetarian haggis pizza wrap (serves 1)

1 tortilla wrap
1 portion of Macsween’s Microwaveable Haggis, crumbled
3 tbsp tinned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped onion
1 green chilli, sliced
30g cheese, grated

Spread the tortilla with the chopped tomatoes, layer on the rest of the ingredients, leaving the cheese until last.

Roll up into a wrap and bake in the oven at 180C for 10-15 minutes until hot and the wrap’s just turning golden.

Update: My friend Lynda has christened this the ‘Hapiwrap’ – how brilliant is that for a name!

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Spicy chickpeas in tomato sauce with rosemary


My life over the last few weeks, while not exactly jet set, has certainly been a bit train set with me up and down the country from Kent to Salisbury and London and Dorking and Ipswich and so I haven’t been in the kitchen much making healthy meals. Whether I’ve been in bed a lot complaining of having a hangover is another matter.

Still, I’m back now (well, until Friday when I’m off to London for afternoon tea and a gig, then back again to London on Sunday for the London Duathlon) and so tonight, much to The Meat Eater’s relief, I made something tasty and healthy for dinner.

The Meat Eater said it had too much rosemary in it, but that didn’t stop him cleaning his plate right down to the last grain of rice.

In the cookbook I used – Slow Cooking for Vegetarians – it once again faffs around cooking ingredients before adding them to the slow cooker. The recipe below is my faffless way of doing it.

Spicy chickpeas in tomato sauce with rosemary (serves 4)
(Adapted from Slow Cooking for Vegetarians)

2 cans chickpeas, drained
1 tbsp cumin seeds
4 bay leaves
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 green chillie, chopped
600ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

  1. Preheat the slow cooker on High.
  2. Place all the ingredients except the parsley in the slow cooker and cook on High for about 8 hours.
  3. Just before serving, stir in the parsley.
  4. Serve with basmati rice (or whatever you want to serve it with).
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Butter bean and tomato soup

rose-elliot-the-bean-bookJust because it’s 27C outside, that doesn’t mean I can’t have soup for lunch does it? Nope, thought not. I’d recently bought The Bean Book by Rose Elliot (it’s been in my wishlist for ages after reading all the great reviews on amazon) and made myself some butter bean and tomato soup.

And very nice it was too. Although I did have a dilemma at the end – to blend or not to blend? I decided to blend as I do like a one-handed soup, leaving my other hand free to mouse around the internet with.

All the recipes in the book use dried beans but you can substitute 100g of dried beans for a 400g tin. In the recipe below, I’ve used tinned beans and left out the soaking, draining, rinsing and boiling malarkey.

For a vegan version, fry the onions in oil instead of butter.


Butter bean and tomato soup (serves 4)
(Taken from The Bean Book by Rose Elliot)

2 tins butter beans, drained
900ml/1.5 pints vegetable stock
1 bayleaf
2 large onions, sliced
25g/1oz/2tbsp butter
1 can chopped tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fry the onions in the butter until soft – about 10 minutes – then add the beans, tomatoes, salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.

If you’re going to blend it, remember to remove the bayleaf.

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Butter bean bake


Usually when The Meat Eater’s out, I phone Papa John’s and order a pizza (hot pepper passion, swapping the green peppers for mushrooms, to be specific) but, tonight, I needed an excuse to stop editing an article I was working on and decided to cook myself something.

This recipe was taken from The Vegetarian Society’s magazine, ‘The Vegetarian’ and was sent in by Gail Crawford from Taunton.

Don’t be put off by the cottage cheese, it gave it a beautiful tanginess. When The Meat Eater came in, the first thing he said was ‘what have you been cooking? Smells nice!’ and helped himself to some instead of going out to the chippy. High praise indeed.

Butter bean bake (serves 4)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 large can butter beans
110g cheddar cheese
300g cottage cheese
1 egg, beaten
Salt and black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and the tomato puree and simmer over a medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  4. Drain the butter beans and add to the tomato mix. Season to taste.
  5. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish.
  6. To prepare the topping, grate the cheddar cheese, place in a mixing bowl, add the cottage cheese and mix in the beaten egg.
  7. Spread the topping over the beans and bake for about 30 minutes, until the topping is set and golden brown.
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Fish Free Prawn and Tomato Curry


It was only a little bit of chilli, I even took the seeds out. That didn’t stop The Meat Eater being a complete wuss and sniffing throughout his dinner, you know what they say: ‘if you can’t stand the heat, make your own dinner’.

If you can stand a tiny bit of heat, make this curry, it’s fab. I adapted this one-pan prawn & tomato curry from the BBC Good Food website and substituted the dead prawns for some Linda McCartney Fish Free King Prawns.

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Butter bean, tomato and artichoke soup


Okay, so you’ve got a slow cooker recipe you really want to try out, but it says it’s going to take 6-10 hours. Assuming you want your lunch at around 1pm, and we choose the in between time of eight hours, this means that you’ll have to start it off at 5am.

I don’t know about you but a) I’m not usually (um, let’s make that ever) up at 5am; and b) if I was, I wouldn’t want to faff about getting soup ingredients ready.

The Meat Eater came to my rescue by suggesting I use the plug timer thing – it’s a plug that you plug your appliance plug into and you set it for whatever time you want your appliance to come on. Sorted. Sort of. That sounded fine in theory, but that meant getting all the ingredients ready and leaving them in the slow cooker for about seven hours until the timer came on and switched on the slow cooker. I didn’t want to leave vegetables hanging around that long but then I remembered that I didn’t think twice about leaving milk, cheese and butter in the bread maker overnight, so sod it, that’s what I did.

The timer came on at the right time, and my soup was ready for me at lunchtime. I thought the onions and artichokes would disintegrate after being cooked for eight hours, but the onions still had a bit of crunch and the artichokes kept their shape and were beautifully tender.

This recipe is taken from Slow Cooking for Vegetarians. The original recipe says you should fry the onion and garlic, then add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil before transferring to the slow cooker, but I didn’t bother with that and just put everything in the slow cooker together without cooking first.

A light and super-healthy soup, bursting with flavour and texture.

Butter bean, tomato and artichoke soup (serves 4)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
400g tin chopped tomatoes
425g tin butter beans
425g tin artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1tsp dried thyme
900ml vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker
Cook on Low for 6-10 hours until all the ingredients are tender
Adjust the seasoning to taste

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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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Slow cooked spicy spaghetti with garlic mushrooms

There’s something not quite right about preparing dinner at 11am but  there’s a reason slow cookers are called slow. This meant I was chopping onions and mushrooms in the morning before going to university, so dinner would be sort of ready when I got back. All I had to do was boil up some pasta and dinner was on the table.

I’m not sure if I’m trying to convince myself the flavours are more intense when food’s come out of a slow cooker because I’ve spent the money on it and I want it to be true, or if it really is the case. But both meals I’ve made in it so far have been gorgeous. The chilli and garlic came through perfectly in the spaghetti sauce from this recipe I adapted from the BBC Good Food website. Their recipe says it serves four, but I found it only served two (it could have served three, but I didn’t want to freeze only one portion).


Spicy spaghetti with garlic mushrooms (serves 2)

2 tbsp olive oil
250g pack chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed small bunch parsley leaves, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp chilli flakes
150g spaghetti

Place all the ingredients except the parsley and pasta in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 6-7 hours. Just before you’re ready to eat, cook the spaghetti, drain, mix with the mushroom mix and scatter with parsley to 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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