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12 August 2017

Summer Bulgur Wheat Risotto

Risotto is a classic Italian dish, made with starchy rice, wine, stock, hard cheese and seasonal veg. I've used those classic flavours, creating a dish reminiscent of a traditional risotto, but using bulgur wheat instead. I included runner beans, spinach and peas for a green veg, summer inspired dish. 

My mum used to tell me stories about runner beans, how my great nan would grow them in the garden, cook them up and then sit there and eat a whole plate full at once. When I cook runner beans now I think about that story and the fond memories I have of my great nan.

Runner beans are actually pretty easy to prep once you know how, you trim the ends off and then peel the sides, you can use a knife for this but a vegetable peeler actually makes it a lot easier and finally just chop at an angle into smaller pieces. Runner beans only take a few minutes to cook, so are thrown in at the last minute, so they stay crisp and vibrant.

A 'risotto' made with bulgur wheat isn't quite as creamy as the traditional rice version, but it is very delicious and still a little creamy. Bulgur wheat adds a unique, almost nutty hint of flavour, not to mention extra nutrition too - bulgur is high in protein, iron, magnesium, manganese and fibre, making this dish a perfect weeknight dinner. This version is also simpler, with less stirring required and is also ready in around 30 minutes, so you won't have to wait long for this delicious dish!

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Summer Bulgur Wheat Risotto | Serves: 4 | Time: 30 mins

You'll need

  • Sauté Pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Vegetable peeler


  • Knob dairy free butter
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 cups bulgur wheat
  • 1/2 cup vegan white wine
  • 1/4 cup dried mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp vegan bouillon
  • 1-2L boiling water
  • 200g runner beans
  • 50g baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 cup finely grated vegan parmesan (I use violife)
  • Black pepper


  1. Dice an onion and fry with a knob of dairy free butter, crush in the garlic and fry for a few more minutes. Stir in the bulgur wheat, then pour in the wine and let it boil away. Add the dried mushrooms and bouillon and cover with boiling water. Simmer and stir for 15 minutes, topping up with water as needed.
  2. To prep the beans, wash them, remove the ends and carefully peel the edges with a vegetable peeler or knife. Chop them at an angle and add to the pan after it has been simmering for 15 minutes and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the peas and spinach and cook for a further minute. Then grate in vegan parmesan, add the dried parsley and black pepper, stir together, serve up and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx

29 July 2017

Banana Coconut Pancakes with Passion Fruit

Pancakes. The perfect weekend breakfast food, all fluffy and delicious, topped with fruit and syrup. The best thing about pancakes is that you can make them any flavour...chocolate chip, raisin, banana, lemon...the combinations really are endless. I made these with banana and coconut, then I topped the pancakes with passion fruit and date syrup - a tropical combo to brighten up your weekend!

These pancakes are fluffy and delicious, not overly sweet but enriched with tropical flavours, then topped with tangy and slightly sour passion fruit, a generous drizzle of date syrup and a dollop of vegan yogurt to tie it all together. If you want to try another fruit, you could use mango, pineapple, papaya, or any other tropical fruit you desire! If you'd like you could also use a different flour, such as wholemeal or oat, but you may need to play around with the proportions, as the flours have slightly different properties compared to plain white.  

These pancakes couldn't be simpler to make; the batter is made in a blender and then you simply use a 1/4 cup measure to size the pancakes. When cooked in a good non-stick pan, you'll have a perfect pancake every time. You can even make up the batter and store it in a squeezy bottle, for speedy, mid-week pancake breakfasts, simply use what you need and put the rest back in the fridge. 

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Banana & Coconut Pancakes with Passion Fruit | Yield: 12 | Time: 25 mins

You'll need

  • Blender
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Large non-stick frying pan
  • Spatula


  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup coconut milk (in a carton, the type you'd put in coffee)
  • 2 medium overripe bananas
  • 2 tbsp date/agave/maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vegan butter
  • Date syrup
  • Thick vegan yogurt (I used Alpro go-on)
  • 2 passion fruits
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut


  1. Add all the pancake ingredients, aside from the butter to the blender and blitz until smooth. 
  2. Melt a tsp of butter in a non-stick pan on a medium heat, then tilt the pan to spread the butter around. Using a 1/4 cup, measure the pancake mix into the pan. Pour the mix in, allow to spread out and when it is dried around the edges and bubbling on top, carefully flip the pancake using a spatula and then cook on the second side until golden brown and cooked through. 
  3. Serve up the pancakes with a dollop of vegan yogurt, passion fruit, desiccated coconut and a good drizzle of date syrup and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx

Recipe Notes:
  • Use a good non-stick pan and don't add any more butter when you're cooking the rest of the mix, this will help the pancakes to turn out an even, golden brown colour.
  • Keep a close eye on the appearance of the pancakes before you flip them and the colour of the pancake, this will help you to judge exactly when to flip them over.

23 July 2017

Vegan Broccoli & Stilton Soup

I mentioned a few weeks ago, when I tried the new Violife Blu that it would be great in a broccoli and stilton style soup, though at the time, the weather was beautiful and it was hardly soup weather. Now that England has decided summer is officially over, it feels like the perfect weather for a bowl of creamy, warming soup as you snuggle up in your duvet and watch the rain outside your window. 

I absolutely love creamy soups, the blu cheese and potato provide creaminess in this soup, with the traditional sour tang the cheese brings, this soup could easily pass for it's dairy counterpart. The blu cheese is obviously dairy free, but it is also free from gluten, wheat & soya, making it also a great option for allergy sufferers.

16 July 2017

Cherry Bakewell Bliss Balls

Something I've learnt since I started my new job is that snacks are essential to getting through the day. Without them you get hungry, can't concentrate fully and then aren't nearly as productive. I have been relying on nakd bars and similar snacks - so whilst these don't have any added sugar and have protein, good fats, fibre and carbohydrates, they can be a little expensive to keep buying. So, I thought I'd make some myself - for this you'll need a food processor.

Quite often fruit and nut bars can just taste sweet, from the dates, but here I added dried cherries, for a sour note which really enhance the flavour of these energy balls. I combined the dried cherries with dates for some sweetness and ground almonds, for a cherry bakewell inspired flavour, I also rolled them in coconut, which I know, isn't traditional for a cherry bakewell, but it tastes delicious and makes them less sticky too!

12 July 2017

Mexican Rice & Grilled Corn Mango Salsa

I recently started my first, post-uni job as a Nutritionist Marketeer, which is pretty exciting and why I've been a little quiet on here. This is also my first post since I had my university results, so now I'm officially a Nutritionist with a BSc (Hons)! I've just moved from Bournemouth where I was at uni to a new town, which I'm pleased to say is already starting to feel like home. Along with starting a new job, the last couple of weeks have entailed packing & unpacking along with a lot of trips up and down stairs with it all! So it's safe to say, after my first official full week of work I was definitely ready for the weekend, to fully unpack and actually do some cooking.

As a tradition of sorts, my mum helped me unpack Tuesday evening and we got Chinese food to help us along with this. On Wednesday I then had the left overs for dinner; this was a bit of a delayed process, as it took me 25 minutes to work out how to turn on my touch-operated electric hob and in the mean time I ate some cold Chinese chips to keep me going (I was so hungry by this point they didn't taste half as bad as I know they should have!). Once I managed to turn it on (more of a happy accident), I could then only figure out how to operate one ring, to the highest heat and had to switch it off at the wall afterwards. You'll be pleased to hear I managed to work it successfully for this recipe today and it's really not as complicated as it first seemed, but perhaps I was just too tired and hungry for my brain to work it out! The hot water also decided to cut out a few times, luckily it's summer and pretty warm, so the freezing cold showers didn't make the start of the day too bad! But the main thing is, I'm all moved in, everything's figured out and I'm absolutely thrilled with my new place & my new job.