Vegetable Dhansak

This simple, vegetable curry is so versatile with lots of lovely spices and just a touch of sweet and sour. You can mix and match vegetables or meat of your choice, but I have used sweet potato, butternut squash, carrot and red pepper. Some recipes suggest roasting the vegetables first and adding in later, others include coconut creams and some add greens towards the end. You may like to blitz your dhansak into a traditional thick lentil sauce, or keep it chunky. You may even add some crushed cashews for a bit of extra crunch. Have a play with the sweet and sour and season to suit your taste.

Vegetable dhansak
Vegetable Dhansak; Photo: The Telegraph


  • 125g red split lentils
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 325g (1 medium) sweet potato, cubed
  • 150g (1/4 medium) butternut squash, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 700ml vegetable stock, boiling
  • 125g sultanas
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • small bunch fresh coriander, to serve


  1. Thoroughly rinse the lentils and set aside
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for five minutes or until it softens
  3. Add garlic, ginger and spices and cook for a further two minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. Add the carrot, sweet potato, squash and pepper and cook for a further five minutes
  5. Stir in the lentils, sultanas, stock, tomato puree and tomatoes and bring to the boil. Then, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for around 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally
  6. Scatter with coriander, squeeze of lemon juice and serve with warm naan bread or steamed brown rice.


Many versions of this recipe throw in green beans about 10-15mins before it’s finished cooking (as shown in the photo above). Stirring baby spinach leaves through just before serving also worked well.

Sultanas could be substituted for 1 tbsp brown sugar (or any sugar really), if you prefer.

Prep: 10-15mins | Cooks: 40-45mins | Serves: 4


Thai-inspired Spiralised Salad

sweet-sour dressing is the perfect partner for these vegetable curls, pepped up with mango, chilli and fresh coriander.

thai spiralised salad
Thai-inspired Spiralised Salad; Photo: Nassima Rothacker


  • 1 cucumber, spiralised (or peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler)
  • 2 courgettes, spiralised (or peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler)
  • 70g cashews
  • sesame oil, to drizzle
  • ½ mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 30g fresh coriander, chopped, plus extra to serve

For the tamarind dressing:

  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • juice of 1 lime


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Put the cucumber and courgette spirals in a large bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Pour half the dressing over the vegetables, mix and set aside for about 10–15 minutes.
  3. Toss the cashews in the remaining dressing and drizzle over a smidge of sesame oil to avoid sticking. Tip onto a baking tray and roast for about 15 minutes until toasted, shaking the tray occasionally. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely.
  4. Toss the mango and chilli into the vegetables along with the coriander and some of the roasted cashews. Reserve a few to garnish.
  5. Transfer the salad to a serving dish. Garnish with the remaining cashews and a little coriander.

Serves: 2 | Prep: 15-20mins | Cooks: 15mins

Classic Potato Salad

Team this delicious classic with Christmas leftovers or summer BBQ favourites like this Mushroom and Lentil Salad. Either way, Matt Tebbutt‘s classic potato salad is hard resist. Even better, this salad and can be made the day before, chilled and then pulled out a few hours before serving.


classic potato salad
Classic Potato Salad; Photo: BBC Good Food


  • 800g small new potato
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp small capers (optional)
  • 2 tbsp cornichons, finely chopped (optional)
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise, or to taste
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • small handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 20 mins until just cooked, drain, then cool.
  2. Cut the potatoes into chunks, then throw into a bowl with the shallots, capers and cornichons, if using.
  3. Add enough mayonnaise to bind, then mix together the olive oil and vinegar and add just enough to give a little sharpness to the salad.
  4. Stir in the finely chopped parsley and serve.


If you or your kids don’t like the strong flavours of capers or cornichons, their both optional so just leave them out.

Prep: 20mins | Cook: 20mins | Serves: 6

Mushroom, Lemon and Lentil Salad

This healthy, light and easy mushroom and lentil salad recipe by Jennifer Schmidt over at Delicious Everyday is perfect to bring along to your next bbq or summer picnic. Vegan and gluten free, and made from ingredients you are already likely to have in your fridge or pantry it’s sure to satisfy everyone!

Mushroom and Lentil Salad, Photo: Delicious Everyday


  • 1/2 cup French Green Lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 4 cups mix of button and swiss brown mushrooms sliced (300g or 10 1/2 oz)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 shallot or small onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbs lemon juice
  • 3 tsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup rocket (arugula)


  1. Begin by cooking the lentils. Place the lentils and vegetable stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain and set aside to cool.

  2. Place a large ]frying pan over a high heat. When the pan has come to heat (don’t add oil) add 1/3 of the mushrooms. Leave for 2 minutes before then give the pan a shake to flip them over. The mushrooms should be lightly golden. Cook for a further minute before removing from the pan and repeating with the remaining mushrooms.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and add 2 tsp of olive oil or vegan butter and add the shallot or onion. Cook until slightly golden on the edges and  return the mushrooms to the pan and add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant, but not browned as it will taste bitter. Set aside to cool.

  4. Toss the lentils, mushroom and garlic together along with the lemon juice and the extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste and add the parsley and rocket just as you’re serving.


Don’t slice the mushrooms too thinly. You want them to have a bit of substance and also you don’t want them to dry out when they are cooked over a high heat.

Prep: 30mins | Cooks: 40mins | Serves: 2

Jamaican Jerk Jackfruit & Beans with Rice

I love a good curry, but if you, like me, have never heard of jackfruit until now, believe it or not, it works wonderfully well as a meat alternative. When it’s cooked it takes on similar characteristics to pulled pork, so pairs nicely with pasta bakes, in wraps, tacos, burritos and buns. Here, Abel & Cole‘s meaty jackfruit is curried with a spicy Jamaican jerk seasoning in a coconut milk and kidney bean-based sauce and served over a heap of fluffy basmati rice.

jamaican jackfruit and beans
Jamaican Jackfruit & Beans with Rice; Photo: Abel & Cole


  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 chilli
  • 2 vine tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • 400g tin of kidney beans
  • 400g tin of jackfruit
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 150g white basmati rice
  • 50g baby leaf spinach
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300ml boiling water


  1. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and grate the garlic cloves. Halve the chilli, flicking out the seeds and membrane for less heat, and finely chop. Roughly chop the tomatoes.
  2. Pour 1 tbsp oil into a large pan and bring to a medium heat. Slide in the onions and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Fry for 4-5 mins, stirring occasionally, till softened and slightly coloured. Stir in the garlic, chilli and 2 tsp Jamaican jerk seasoning and continue to fry for a further 2 mins.
  3. Tip the chopped tomatoes into the pan. Drain the kidney beans and jackfruit and add them to the pan. Pour in the coconut milk. Combine well and bring to the boil, then partly cover with a lid and simmer gently for 20 mins. During the cooking time, use a wooden spoon every now and then to break up the jackfruit chunks a little.
  4. Tip the rice into a sieve and give it a good rinse under cold water. Tip into a small pan and add 300ml boiling water and a pinch of salt. Pop on a lid and bring to the boil, then turn right down and very gently simmer for 8 mins, till all the water has been absorbed. Take the rice off the heat and leave it to steam in the pan, covered, for 10 mins.
  5. Stir the spinach into the jackfruit and beans till wilted. Have a taste of the sauce and add more salt if needed.
  6. Spoon the rice into a couple of deep bowls and top with generous ladlefuls of the jackfruit curry and serve.

Prep: 10mins | Cooks: 25mins | Serves: 2

Potato, parsnip & pea curry with apple chutney

I went in search of a way to add a little taste sensation (read: variation) to my otherwise one-trick ‘roast ’em up boys‘ move with this season’s parsnips. This recipe from Waitrose (who knew?!) saved me from allowing perfectly good vegetables go to waste – or to the chippery! This curry makes clever use of store cupboard ingredients and those cooked vegetables that might otherwise get thrown away. And did I mention creamy, delicious veggie curry flavours to boot? I didn’t bother with the apple chutney this time around but I’ll definitely be making this one again, and with or without the chutney, my parsnips have just found a delicious new home.

potato, parsnip, pea curry
Potato, Parsnip & Pea Curry with Apple Chutney; Photo: Waitrose


  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh root ginger
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 400g cold roast potatoes, cubed
  • 400g cold roast parsnips, cubed
  • 227g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 100g frozen peas
  • Juice ½ lemon

For the chutney

  • 1 Cox apple, cored and finely diced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook gently for 5 minutes until soft and golden. Add the cayenne, turmeric and garam masala, cook for a minute then add the potatoes and parsnips and toss to coat in the spices. Stir in the tomatoes and some seasoning and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  2. Stir in the coconut milk and peas then bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 5 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Add the lemon juice and check the seasoning.
  3. Make the chutney by mixing together the apple, onion and mint. Serve the curry with the chutney alongside, and naan bread or rice, if you wish.

Cooks tip

To use raw potatoes and parsnips,simply peel 500g of each and toss with spices then cook in the tomato sauce until just tender, adding water as required.

Prep: 15mins | Cooks: 1-2hours (if using raw vegetables) | Serves: 6

Veggie Chilli


veggie chilli
Veggie Chilli; Photo: Jamie Oliver



Jamie Oliver‘s hearty, delicious alternative to the traditional chilli con carne, comes highly recommended from a fellow yogi and yogi-Mum. Can’t wait to give this hot pick a try for a super simple mid-week meal full of fiery goodness.









  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (500g)
  • 1 level teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • 2 x 400 g tinned beans, such as kidney, chickpea, pinto, cannellini
  • 2 x 400 g tins of quality plum tomatoes


  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas 6.
  2. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into bite-sized chunks, then place onto a baking tray.
  3. Sprinkle with a pinch each of cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper, drizzle with oil then toss to coat. Roast for 40 minutes, or until golden and tender.
  4. Peel and roughly chop the onion. Halve, deseed and roughly chop the peppers, then peel and finely chop the garlic.
  5. Pick the coriander leaves, finely chopping the stalks. Deseed and finely chop the chillies.
  6. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat, add the onion, peppers and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the coriander stalks, chilli and spices, and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  8. Drain and add the beans. Tip in the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a spoon, then stir well.
  9. Bring to the boil, then reduce to medium-low and leave to tick away for 25 to 30 minutes, or until thickened and reduced – keep an eye on it, and add a splashes of water to loosen, if needed.
  10. Stir the roasted sweet potato through the chilli with most of the coriander leaves, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
  11. Scatter over the remaining coriander. Delicious served with soured cream, guacamole and rice or tortilla chips.

Prep: 45mins | Cooks: 45mins | Serves: 4

Baked Tofu

This baked tofu recipe came to me off the back of an organic ClearSpot Original Tofu package and ended up sprinkled all over the top of a cheesy vegetable bake ready for a post-yoga protein-fueled dinner delight.

Baked Tofu; Photo by ClearSpot Organic Tofu


  • 140g ClearSpot Original Tofu
  • 2 cms root ginger cut finely
  • 1 clove garlic cut finely
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp finely chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 tsp balsamic glaze to drizzle
  • Pepper to taste
  • Lime wedges


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Chop the Tofu into even pieces.
  3. Place the chopped tofu onto two sheets of parchment paper.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped ginger and garlic and drizzle the soy sauce.
  5. Fold the edges of one sheet of parchment to make a parcel.
  6. Place the open end face down onto the other sheet.
  7. Place in an oven-proof dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the chopped coriander, spring onion and balsamic glaze.
  9. Add a dash of pepper and lime juice and serve immediately.

Prep: 5-10mins | Cooks: 20mins | Serves: 2

Spring Clean: Liver Detox

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Liver is the organ responsible for the smooth flow of emotions as well as Qi and blood. Along with its partner, the Gallbladder, the liver is the organ that is most affected by excess stress or emotions. Most of us have some kind of liver qi stagnation – it feels natural to be planning ahead and knowing where we are going to next. However, finding ways to ensure there is a sense of ease and grace, dropping rigidity and determination about our plans and being able to enjoy the moment is really important at this time of year to keep our physical and emotional world in balance. There are many symptoms of an imbalance in the liver, including blurred vision, headaches, high blood pressure, period pain, muscle tension, cramps and tremors, constipation or diarrhoea, irritability, stress and outbursts of anger. Slowing down, finding an outlet for stress and decreasing stimulants (such as caffeine, alcohol, sugar) are just some of the ways you can rebalance disharmony in your liver and gallbladder. If you find you are craving sour foods, your liver may be in need of some extra love. Try including some of these foods in your diet, or drinking some green juices (dandelion and milk thistle are great here). Your liver will love you for it!

Liver Loving Foods

  • lemon, lime, apple and grapefruit
  • beets and carrots
  • green tea
  • leafy green vegetables such as bitter gourd, arugula, dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens, and chicory
  • avocado, walnuts
  • olive, hemp and flax seed oil
  • broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage
  • turmeric, ginger, garlic, onion, fennel, mint, black pepper
  • grains, legumes, seeds

Liver Detox Foods

  • mung beans and their sprouts
  • lettuce
  • cucumber
  • watercress
  • seaweed
  • celery
  • millet
  • tofu
  • plum
  • dark green vegetables
  • mushrooms
  • rhubarb
  • bitter foods such as rye, asparagus, citrus peel, alfalfa, mustard greens, quinoa, radish


Sweet Beet Juice

  • 3 Carrots
  • 1 Beet
  • 2 Red Apples
  • 6 Kale Leaves
  • ½ inch of ginger root
  • ½ organic lemon, peeled

Liver Boosting Beet Juice

  • 1 beet
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 1 handful parsley

Deep Green Liver Detox

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 lime, peeled
  • 1 cup swiss chard
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled

Liver Detox Green Smoothie

  • 2 oranges, peeled
  • 1/2 rib celery
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 1/2 cup dandelion greens (or other bitter green)
  • 1/2 cup parsley

No-bake vegan pesto tart

Áine Carlin’s The New Vegan aims to take the stress out of going vegan by offering tips on a range of topics – including dining out, dealing with cravings and even vegan-friendly fashion. According to PETA UK, her book is a host of tasty recipes, such as marinated cauliflower steaks and blueberry cream pie.

This recipe for a raw vegan tart is a delicious dish for new and long-time vegans alike.

No-bake Vegan Pesto Tart, Photo: Nassima Rothacker

I’m not going to lie. When I first came across ‘raw food’ it kinda freaked me out. Even though I’d happily chow down on crudités and loved eating fruit, the thought of an entirely raw meal really did not appeal. Little did I know the immense cuisine that embodies this often much-maligned movement is vast and delicious, and after trying out a few dishes in raw food restaurants, such as Saf, I was officially hooked. Almost six years down the line and I’m forever experimenting with raw food in my own kitchen. This carrot, cashew and pesto combo makes for a great dinner party starter dish or entrée for a fancy lunch. The layers of textures and flavours are sure to trick your guests into thinking that you’d spent the day cooking instead of assembling … never a bad thing in my book.


For the crust:

  • 2 small carrots, finely grated
  • 70g walnuts
  • 1 tbsp mixed seeds
  • 1 heaped tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp coconut oil

For the cashew cream:

  • 130g cashews, soaked for at least 6 hours, drained and rinsed
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tbsp coconut oil

For the pesto:

  • 30g fresh basil leaves
  • 30g spinach
  • 2 tbsp mixed nuts (walnuts and pecans work best)
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp flaxseed oil

For the carrot serving sauce:

  • ½ Medjool date, pitted
  • 1 tbsp mixed seeds, such as pumpkin, sesame and sunflower, to serve


  1. Squeeze out any excess juice from the grated carrots into a bowl – reserve this for the sauce. Put all the crust ingredients in a food processor and blitz into a fine rubble. Season to taste.
  2. Line a 15cm tart tin or 225g loaf tin with baking parchment and press the crust evenly into the bottom. Freeze or refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.
  3. Blitz the cream ingredients in a food processor or blender with 50ml water until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as you go. This may take a while but persevere and it eventually becomes smooth. Check for seasoning, then pour the cream over the chilled carrot crust, reserving one heaped tablespoon for the sauce. Smooth out with a spatula and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  4. Blend the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until coarse but spreadable. Season to taste and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  5. Put the reserved carrot juice in a food processor, add the reserved cashew cream and the date and blitz until completely smooth.
  6. Carefully lift the chilled tart out of the tin and ease it onto a serving board. Spoon over the pesto and carefully spread out using a spatula. Drizzle over the carrot sauce and adorn with crushed seeds and nuts.

Serves: 4-6 | Prep: 30mins | Sets: 1hour