Blog Posts

Seasonal spice

You can’t beat the smells and flavours of Christmas. Creating delicious dishes filled with seasonal spices brings that extra special dimension to your festive dining table. Whether you’re adding cloves, nutmeg or smoky bacon to your menu, your kitchen will entice guests with scents of the season.



(recipe from Pyrex

Perfect for festive visitors, a simple yet delicious Christmas ham keeps guests well fed over the Christmas period.

Serves: 10pyrex-stout-glazed-christmas-ham-1

Cooking time: 45-55 minutes



1 4kg unsmoked boneless gammon joint

2 tbsp English mustard

2 tbsp demerara sugar

25 whole cloves

1 x 330ml can of stout



Place the gammon into a large pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Drain, return the gammon to the pan and refill with cold water. Bring to the boil, skim and simmer for 2½ hours. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the stock until cold.

Preheat the oven to 200c/gas mark 6.

Remove the gammon from the pan and reserve the stock. Remove the string and peel off the rind using a small sharp knife. Score a diamond pattern. Spread the mustard over the fat. Sprinkle over the sugar and press it into the mustard. Stud each diamond with a clove.

Transfer the gammon to a roasting tin, add the stout and a ladleful of stock. Gently baste with a little of the liquid and cook in the oven for 45-55 minutes until deep golden, basting twice. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before carving.


(recipe from Pyrex

The ultimate festive or wintery side dish; rich, sweet cabbage studded with smoky bacon and chestnuts. This dish can be made in advance and reheated straight from the fridge or freezer.

Serves: 4-6 as a side dish



1 tbsp olive oil

50g unsalted butterpyrex-braised-red-cabbage-with-bacon-and-chestnuts

2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped

200g smoked bacon lardons

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 bramley apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped

1 large red cabbage, finely shredded

200g cooked chestnuts, roughly broken up

1 tsp ground mixed spice

2 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

sea salt and black pepper



Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2. Heat the oil and butter in a 3 litre casserole pot, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes until softened. Add the bacon and cook for 5 minutes until golden. Add the garlic, fry for 2 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Cover the casserole with a lid, cook for 5 minutes then transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is completely soft. Season to taste then serve.

This recipe freezes very well; freeze the cabbage in the casserole then reheat on the hob straight from the freezer.


(recipe from Pyrex

The perfect accompaniment to roast turkey, chicken or pork. Any leftover stuffing can be stored in the same dish and is delicious cold in a roast chicken sandwich.

Serves: 4 as a side dish



Dash of olive oil

25g unsalted butter

1 onion, peeled and finely choppedpyrex-chestnut-and-apple-stuffing

2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme

Pinch nutmeg

50g dry white breadcrumbs

2 tbsp milk

1 dessert apple (such as Cox’s or Pink Lady), peeled, cored and finely chopped

400g cooked and peeled chestnuts, finely chopped

250g sausage meat

sea salt and black pepper



Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 6.

Heat a little olive oil and the butter in a frying pan, add the onion, thyme and nutmeg and cook gently for 5 minutes until the onions are softened but not browned.

Tip the cooked onions into a large bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Pour over the milk and leave to stand for 5 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to soak up the milk.

Mix in the remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper then press into the bottom of a square Pyrex dish. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top.


Sweet solutions

A Christmas pudding doesn’t have to be a Christmas Pudding!

When it comes to the main course, the Christmas dinner is a fairly predictable affair, so why not whip up something a bit more imaginative for dessert? These sweet treats are tasty, fruity and bring a touch of Christmassy glamour to the table when you’ve all finished eating your sprouts.


Blackberry and blueberry Christmas cake



If you are not a fan of heavy dried fruit cakes then try this light almondy sponge speckled with blackberries and blueberries and drizzled with glace icing.


Serves: 8

Preparation time: 25 minutesblackberry-and-blueberry-christmas-cake-1

Cooking time: 40-50 minutes

To decorate: 5 minutes



175g (6oz) mixed blackberries and blueberries, if the blackberries are very large, cut them in half

175g (6oz) self-raising flour

½ tsp baking powder

175g (6oz) butter, at room temperature

175g (6oz) caster sugar

3 medium eggs, beaten

75g (3oz) ground almonds

Few drops almond essence, optional


To decorate

175g (6oz) icing sugar

  • tsp cold water

3 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

Few extra blackberries and blueberries or a few halved strawberries




Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Brush inside a 23cm (9 inch) diameter or 1.5 litre (3 pint) fluted ring mould with a little oil. Add the blackberries and blueberries to a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of the flour and gently stir together until the berries are coated. Add baking powder to the remaining flour.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually mix in alternate spoonfuls of beaten egg and remaining flour, beating well after each addition and continuing until both have all been added.

Stir in the ground almonds and almond essence if using, then fold in the flour coated berries.

Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and level the top. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until well risen, the top is golden and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the cake.

Leave to cool for 30 minutes then loosen the edges of the mould, turn out on to a wire rack and remove the mould. Leave to cool completely.

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, gradually mix in just enough water to mix to a smooth icing that will slowly fall from a spoon. Transfer the cake to a serving plate, drizzle the icing over in zig zag lines, decorate with a few extra berries and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Leave to stand for 15 minutes or so for the icing to set, then cut into thick slices and serve.


Tip: As the cake has lots of fresh fruit in the mixture it is best eaten within two days.


Chocolate roulade with boozy blackberries


Wow friends and family with this impressive looking chocolate dessert – made with sloe gin and blackberries.

Serves 8

Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Cooling: 3-4 hours


200g (7oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
5 large eggs, separated
175g (6oz) caster sugar, plus a little extra
50g (2oz) ground hazelnutschocolate-roulade-21
2 tbsp hot water
225g (8oz) blackberries
3 tbsp sloe gin, cherry brandy or kirsch
400ml (14fl oz) double cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
Chocolate holly leaves (see directions below)

Extra blackberries to decorate


Preheat the oven to 180˚C/ 350oF/gas mark 4. Cut a rectangle of non-stick baking paper a little larger than a 34 x 23 cm (131/2 x 91/2 inch) Swiss roll tin or roasting tin with the same base measurement. Snip diagonally into the corners of the paper then press into the tin so that the base is lined and the paper stands a little above the sides of the tin.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of very gently simmering water.

Using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites until peaking. Using the still dirty whisk, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a second bowl for 4-5 minutes until thick and pale and the mixture will leave a trail.

Fold the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture, then the hazelnuts and water. Fold a little of the egg white into the mixture to loosen it then gently fold in the rest.

Spoon into the tin and lightly ease into an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes until well risen and the top is slightly crusty. Leave to cool covered with a clean teacloth. Add the blackberries and liqueur to a bowl, cover and leave roulade and berries to stand for 3-4 hours, or longer if that suits you better. About 2-3 hours before serving, whip the cream until it forms soft swirls then fold in the icing sugar and the liqueur from the soaked blackberries.

Wet a clean teacloth under a hot tap, wring out and put on the work surface so that the shorter edges face you. Top this with a clean sheet of non-stick baking paper and sprinkle with a little extra sugar. Turn the roulade out on to the sugared paper and remove the lining paper.

Spread the cream over the roulade, sprinkle with the soaked blackberries then roll up the roulade starting from the short edge nearest you and using the paper and damp teacloth to help. The roulade will crack, but don’t worry, just continue rolling and pressing into a good shape until you reach the other end. Wrap the paper and cloth around the roulade for a few minutes to set the shape. (If you would like to serve this on Christmas Day, wrap the roulade in paper and foil and keep in the fridge overnight)

Remove the paper and cloth and transfer the roulade to a serving plate. Decorate with chocolate holly leaves (see tip below) and extra blackberries.

Chocolate holly leaves

Snip about 20 holly leaves from a small branch, leaving just a little of the stem on. Wash and dry the leaves then brush the shiny top of each leaf with a little melted chocolate leaving a little of the leaf and stem uncovered.

Put leaves on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper, chocolate side uppermost and chill in the fridge until the chocolate has set. Cover with a second thin layer of melted chocolate (you’ll only need about 75g (3oz) of chocolate in all) and chill again.

When ready to use, hold the stem end of the leaf and very gently begin to peel and curl the leaf away from the chocolate. Arrange on the top of the roulade.


Christmas spiced blueberry panettones



Part cake, part bread, these buttery festive Italian treats are flavoured with cinnamon, citrus rinds, ginger and vanilla. Rather than being made in one large traditional tall tin, these individual ones are baked in recycled cans and make great Christmas gifts wrapped in cellophane.

Makes 8
Prep: 30 minutes
Rising: 2 hours
Cook: 35 minutes


200g (7oz) unsalted butter, diced plus 15g (½oz)
500g (1lb 2oz) white bread flourindividual-blueberry-panettones
½ teaspoon salt
100g (4oz) caster sugar
tsp ground cinnamon
1 orange, finely grated rind
1 lemon, finely grated rind
4 tsp easy blend dried yeast
200ml (7 fl oz) semi skimmed milk
3 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g (5oz) ready diced mixed candied peel
2 tablespoons ready chopped glace ginger
150g (5oz) blueberries



Melt 200g (7oz) of the butter gently in a saucepan then take off the heat and leave until it feels warm to a fingertip.

Add the bread flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon and fruit rinds to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, or a large bowl. Add the yeast and mix together.

Warm the milk in a second saucepan until it feels just warm to a fingertip. Beat the eggs and vanilla together in a bowl then gradually beat in the warm milk. Gradually mix into the dry flour mix and beat for 4-5 minutes. If you don’t have an electric mixer, use a wooden spoon.

Gradually trickle in the warm melted butter, beating well after each addition until the mixture is a smooth, glossy and elastic batter. Cover the bowl with a clean tea cloth or cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile brush the inside of the washed and recycled cans with a little oil then line the bases with a circle of non-stick baking paper and the sides with a strip of paper that stands a little above the tins.

Knock the yeast batter back by beating for 1-2 minutes then stir in the candied fruit and ginger. Add the blueberries and gently stir together so that you don’t break them up. Divide between the lined tins. Cover the tops with a clean tea cloth then leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until the batter almost reaches the tops of the tin.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190oC/gas mark 5. Remove the cloth from the top of the breads. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a deep brown and the bread sounds hollow when the tops are tapped. Take out of the oven, brush the tops with the remaining butter then cool for a few minutes.

Loosen the edges of the panettone, turn out and leave to cool on their sides on a wire rack.

When cold, wrap in clean paper and return to the washed and decorated tins then wrap in cellophane, tie with ribbon and add labels. These can be kept up to 4 days.

Cook’s tip

As these breads contain a generous amount of butter and sugar, you will find that they take longer to rise than plainer breads. Make sure that the liquid is warm to your little finger – too hot and you will kill the yeast, too cool and it will take ages to activate the yeast and start the rising process.


Homemade Mince Pies

(by Fiona Burrell, Principle at the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School)



For the pastry:

225g/8oz plain flour

140g/5oz butter, cut into cubes

Pinch of salt


For the mincemeat:

1 apple

85g/3oz sultanas

85g/3oz raisins

45g/1½ oz currants

85g/3oz dried cranberries

45g/1½ oz flaked almonds

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Grated zest ½ orange

1 ½ tsp mixed spice

2 tbsp whisky or brandy

55g/2oz melted butter

1 ripe banana


To serve:

Icing sugar



Make the pastry by sifting the flour into a large bowl. Add the butter and salt and rub in until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add approximately 5 tablespoons of ice cold water. Bring together to a ball of dough adding a little more water if necessary. Flatten into a circle and wrap in cling film. Chill for 15-20 minutes.

Wash and grate the apple, including the skin. Put into a bowl and add the sultanas, raisins, cranberries, almonds, lemon zest, orange zest, mixed spimince-pies-landscapece, whisky and melted butter. Mash the banana and add to the mincemeat.

Roll out two thirds of the pastry and cut into medium sized circles using a pastry cutter. Line a 12 hole patty tin with the pastry. Place a spoonful of mincemeat into each pastry case. Roll out the rest of the pastry and cut into stars. Top each open pie with a star lid. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190˚C/Gas Mark 5.

Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 15-20.

Cool slightly and remove carefully from the tin. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.





Christmas spirit

Tis the season to be merry, and what better way than with a Christmas cocktail, punch or mulled wine?



by Jenny Gillison of Leiths School of Food and Wine



4 x 75cl bottles of full-bodied red wine

570ml (1 pint) orange juice

587133_num1182297290ml (½ pint) water

1 orange studded with 12 cloves

150ml (¼ pint) orange liqueur

2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

225g/8oz granulated sugar



Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan and dissolve the sugar over a low heat.

Bring up to simmering point and add more sugar to taste if necessary.

Keep warm but do not boil as the alcohol will be evaporated.



The Big Smoke Winter cocktailthebigsmoke-006



Get in the festive spirit by making this fantastic beer-based cocktail by Friends of Glass ambassador Jane Peyton, the UK’s first Beer Sommelier of the Year (2014-2015).



1 x 500 ml bottle of London Velvet (a blend of porter beer and cider – available from Morrisons). Or use 200ml of porter and 300ml of medium dry cider


Cinnamon stick



Gently warm beer, cider and sprinkle of paprika on the hob.

Pour into tulip or snifter glass

Garnish with a cinnamon stick stirrer

Magic of spice

Businesswoman and cook Lajina Leal brings a sprinkle of spice and a touch of magic to recipes, uncovering the secrets of a perfect home-cooked curry

unknownLajina Leal’s business, Lajina Masala, has been born out of her passion for quality, healthy, home-cooked Indian food.

From Priorslee, in Telford, Lajina was encouraged to start her own business by friends who said they preferred her style of home cooking to many of the more commercial dishes they were offered when they ate out.

She started making up little spice pots, packed with all the spices and flavours she had used to cook for friends and family and, before she knew it, had become a one-woman spice dynamo.

The Lajina Masala spice pots contain all the spices needed to create perfect curries in one pot. It’s ideal for any foodie and curry lover who is pressed for time as Lajina has taken all the stress out of the cooking process. The spices are lovingly prepared by hand; roasted and ground before being carefully measured and packed into the pots.

With a little tweaking these pots provide many options including Lajina’s take on a Jalfrezi, Korma, Tikka Masala and Rogan Josh.

“I love to make the Masala Magic spice mix to give cooks the freedom to create perfectly seasoned and exciting flavour combinations,” she says.

Lajina says her spice pots are also much healthier than many of the shop and restaurant bought dishes.

“They have been laboratory tested and are low fat, sugar and gluten free,” she says.

“Indian food is often seen as high in calories and fat, what we’ve been able to achieve is to show that Indian food can be healthier and with the help of these blended spice mixes you can create dishes which really pack flavour into every bite.”

Chefs throughout Shropshire have started to use Lajina’s spice pots and she has become a bit of a celebrity on the food festival circuit, including Lichfield and Cosford food festivals, where she frequently runs demos.unknown-1

One of Lajina’s frequent chef collaborators is Shrewsbury’s Chris Burt, who runs The Peach Tree and Momo No K. Together they ran demos at the NEC in October for Grand Designs Live.

“Events such as these, together with the launch of my new branding and website at the Ludlow Food Festival, means that these are very exciting times ahead for me,” she says.

Through the festivals, Lajina has found that her dynamic personality is perfect for teaching would-be curry cooks. She now offers cookery lessons for adults and children and offers a catering service for dinner parties.

“In my lessons I share the secrets of making tantalisingly spicy Indian curry, fragrant and fluffy rice, fresh chapatis, samosas and bhajis,” she says.

After just three years in business, Lajina has won several county food and business awards including a Dragon’s Den style competition held at Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre in Shrewsbury, last year.

“Shropshire is the most supportive county for self-employed people. There are numerous consultants who’ve helped me along the way, too many to mention,” she says.

“The response from the people and businesses has at times been overwhelming. From advice on running my business to buying the product and making events successful, the county really has been the catalyst for an amazing couple of years.”
For more information visit or

Double Chocolate Cake

This makes a lovely moist cake which you can fill with vanilla icing and a chocolate top. Or why not try our variations for chocolate orange, chocolate raspberry and chocolate blueberry?






8oz (225g) caster sugar

4 dssps cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

9oz (255g) plain white flour

3oz (85g) plain wholemeal flour

1 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

6 fl oz (170 ml) vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla essence

4 tsp vinegar

2/3 pint (350ml) cold water



1 1/2oz (45g) vegan margarine

4oz (115g) icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

soya milk

Topping – 5oz (140g) vegan plain chocolate

Decoration – A few squares of vegan plain chocolate



Sieve the sugar, cocoa, salt, flours and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and mix well.

Add the oil, vanilla essence, vinegar and (cold) water. Combine well with a fork or spoon, but do not beat.

Pour into two greased sandwich tins. Cook at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes or until the cake springs back lightly when pressed. Cool thoroughly.

To make the filling, mash the margarine and vanilla essence into the sugar with a fork. Add enough soya milk to get your desired consistency – add a tiny bit at a time though! Refrigerate until use and when the cakes are cool use it to sandwich them together.

Make the topping by melting the chocolate in a double saucepan.

Smooth the chocolate icing on the top, then decorate with flakes of chocolate (grate the chocolate and/or cut it really finely with a sharp knife).


Variations – for chocolate orange cake use vegan orange-flavoured chocolate to ice the top. For chocolate blueberry or raspberry cake, put a layer of blueberry/raspberry jam in the middle of the cake along with the icing.

Vegetarian Society Christmas Recipe Collection

Christmas is the perfect time to enjoy great food – whether you are treating yourself or sharing with friends, family or neighbours. Add a sprinkling of inspiration to your Christmas kitchen with eight delicious dishes from the Festive Flavours collection. Set the scene with a pea and spinach soup, Christmas galette or a zingy fruit and nut salad with chilli and lime. Then fill your plates with an indulgent cheesy lattice2 pie, a classic nut roast or a chestnut and butter bean Wellington. There’s even a smooth, rich Christmas gravy to make in advance. To round off your meal, delight in an individual fruity trifle with cashew cream. Festive Flavours – the Vegetarian Society’s Christmas recipe collection is available free of charge online at or by calling 0161 925 2000. 

Lynne Elliot, Chief Executive of the Vegetarian Society, said: “We have created a host of brand new recipes for you this year. To make sure everyone can join in and try something tasty, these recipes cater for both vegetarians and vegans. Some are gluten-free and there’s also a delicious dessert that is vegan and raw. You’re sure to find something you’ll love.”

Visit to find the recipes for these fabulous Festive Flavours. Plus there are tips on storing and freezing these dishes so you can be prepared. Or if you prefer to hang-up your apron and take the weight off your feet at Christmas then you’ll be able to get the low down on the favourite ready-made veggie products available in the shops this Christmas.

The Vegetarian Society is a national charity that influences, inspires and supports people to embrace and maintain a vegetarian lifestyle. Being a vegetarian is a choice that is kinder to animals, to people and to our planet. Visit for more information.

Pea and Spinach Soup with Beetroot Swirl

A silky, goodness-packed soup that looks really festive.
Serves: 4
Preparation: 5 mins

Cooking: 30 mins








For the soup:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small potato (around 130g), peeled and choppedsoup
  • 1250ml vegan vegetable stock*
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 150g frozen spinach
  • Salt and pepper

For the beetroot swirl:

  • 1 cooked beetroot
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water

To garnish:

  • Soya cream (optional)



  1. In a large pan, gently fry the onion in the oil for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and potato.  Continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add the stock to the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked. While the soup cooks, put the ingredients for the beetroot swirl into a blender and blend until smooth. Set the finished swirl aside and rinse the jug of the blender thoroughly.
  3. Add the peas and spinach to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Let the soup cool for a few moments, then blend until smooth. Season to taste, reheat if necessary and serve in warm bowls with a swirl of the beetroot mixture and soya cream if desired.Note: Will keep for three days in the fridge. Can be frozen for up to three months.

*Vegan and Gluten-free stock is available in most supermarkets.

Energy: 146 kcals Protein: 4.9g Carbohydrate: 16g Of which sugars: 8.6g Fat: 5.4g Of which saturates: 0.8g Fibre: 5.7g Salt: 2g



Christmas Galette

 These filled buckwheat pancakes make a luxurious starter.

Serves: 4

Preparation: 10 mins

Cooking: 25 mins


Can be vegan*





For the pancakes:

  • 100g buckwheat flour*
  • 300ml milk or soya milk
  • 1Ž2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (and some extra for frying)

For the filling:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 300g mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 40g walnuts, chopped
  • 100g vegetarian or vegan cream cheese
  • 100ml single cream or soya cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

To serve:

  • 100g vegetarian Cheshire cheese or vegan cheese, crumbled or grated
  • Mango chutney and/or cranberry sauce
  • Small side salad (optional)



  1. To make the pancake batter, whisk the buckwheat flour, milk or soya milk*, paprika and vegetable oil together and set to one side. Preheat the oven on its lowest setting
  2. To prepare the filling, fry the mushrooms in the oil for 5 minutes, then add the remaining filling ingredients and cook for another 5 minutes. Season to taste and keep warm.
  3. To make the pancakes, heat a little oil in a medium non-stick frying pan. Add a quarter of the batter and cook the pancake for around 2 minutes on each side, until set and lightly golden brown. Slide the pancake out of the pan and fold the edges in to create a square shape with the centre exposed. Place the pancake on a baking sheet, cover with foil or greaseproof paper, and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  4. To serve, place each pancake on a warm plate. Unfold the edges, place a quarter of the filling in the centre, then refold. Sprinkle with the extra cheese* and add a dollop of mango chutney or cranberry sauce, and a side salad if you like.


*Gluten-free buckwheat flour is available in most supermarkets.


Energy: 587 kcals Protein: 20g Carbohydrate: 40g Of which sugars: 21g Fat: 37g Of which saturates: 13.5g Fibre: 7.5g Salt: 1.4g


Fruit and Nut Salad with Chilli and Lime

A vibrant, crunchy salad that’s light enough to start a festive meal.

Serves: 4

Preparation: 10 mins






For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1Ž2 tsp soy sauce*
  • 1 lime, juiced9


For the salad:

  • 100g of your favourite salad leaves (we like lamb’s lettuce, rocket or chicory)
  • 160g Cauldron marinated tofu pieces
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1 pear, cored and diced
  • 1 carrot, cut into ribbons or fine strips
  • 1Ž4 red onion, sliced very thinly
  • 1Ž2 cucumber, halved length ways, watery centre discarded, peeled into ribbons
  • 50g mixed seeds (such as pumpkin or sunflower)
  • 50g mixed nuts (such as cashews or peanuts), roughly chopped


To garnish:

  • A few fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped




  1. To make the salad dressing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together using a fork. Whisk again just before serving
  2. To serve, divide the leaves between four plates, top with the tofu and add the rest of the salad ingredients, finishing with the seeds and nuts.
  3. Just before serving, drizzle a little dressing over each salad and scatter with the coriander.

*Gluten-free soy sauce is available in most supermarkets.


Energy: 328 kcals Protein: 14g Carbohydrate: 15.2g Of which sugars: 12.2g Fat: 22g Of which saturates: 3.4g Fibre: 4g Salt: 0.8g



Cheesy Lattice Pie

 An indulgent centrepiece, great served with fresh winter greens.

Serves: 4-6

Preparation: 1 hour 15 mins including cooling

Cooking: 1 hour


Can be vegan




For the lattice top:

  • 500g vegetarian or vegan puff pastry, in a block
  • Flour, for rolling out

For the filling:

  • 500g leeks, finely sliced and washed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp plain flour5
  • 200ml milk or soya milk
  • 100g vegetarian or vegan cheese, grated
  • 100g vegetarian or vegan cream cheese
  • 400g vegetarian or vegan Quorn pieces*
  • 50g sun-dried tomatoes, drained and diced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme or parsley, finely chopped
  • 50g frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper

For the glaze:

  • 1 egg, beaten, or 1 tsp flour and 3 tbsp soya milk, mixed




  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 40cm square, or large enough to cover a pie dish with a 10cm overhang on all sides. With a sharp knife, cut the pastry into strips 3cm wide
  2. Make the lattice top. Lay two strips of pastry on the work surface at right angles, with the ends overlapping. Add new strips one by one, alternating vertical and horizontal strips and weaving them over and under each other to make a pastry lattice sheet. Don’t leave any gaps between the strips. Put the sheet on a baking tray, cover and refrigerate.
  3. To make the filling, gently fry the leeks in the oil for 5 minutes, then add the paprika and garlic. Stir constantly while you add the flour, then the milk a little at a time. Add the grated cheese, cream cheese, Quorn, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs and peas. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Season to taste.
  4. Place the filling in a 25cm square pie dish and allow to cool. Carefully lift the pastry lattice onto the pie dish and press around the edges with a fork to seal. Trim off any excess pastry. Brush the pastry with the glaze and bake for 45 minutes or until golden.


Note: Can be chilled for up to three days, or frozen for up to three months.

*As an alternative, use other chicken-style pieces, or pressed tofu.


Energy: 629 kcals Protein: 26g Carbohydrate: 42g Of which sugars: 6.5g

Fat: 37g Of which saturates: 16.4g Fibre: 10.3g Salt: 2g (based on 6 servings)



Nut Roast

Easy to make and delicious hot or cold, nut roast is the classic main course for a veggie Christmas.

Serves: 4-6

Preparation: 15 mins

Cooking: 1 hour 10 mins






  • 200g red lentils
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 50g sun-dried tomatoes (oil reserved) drained and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 50g dried apricots, chopped7
  • 200g mixed nuts, chopped
  • 50g mixed seeds
  • 11Ž2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp soy sauce*
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt and pepper




  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Cook the lentils in plenty of water for 15 minutes, then drain using a fine sieve. While the lentils cook, heat a little of the sun-dried tomato oil in your largest frying pan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes
  2. Add all the other ingredients, except the seasoning, to the pan. Stir really well, add the cooked lentils and stir again, seasoning to taste.
  3. Line a loaf tin (approximately 20cm x 10cm) with non-stick baking paper and spoon in the mixture. Bake for 50 minutes and allow to cool slightly before removing and cutting into thick slices.

Note: This can be made ahead of time and frozen for up to three months, or chilled for up to three days and reheated.


*Gluten-free soy sauce is available in most supermarkets.


Energy: 353 kcals Protein: 11.3g Carbohydrate: 17.8g Of which sugars: 9.6g Fat: 24g Of which saturates: 2.9g Fibre: 8g Salt: 0.4g (based on 6 servings)



Chestnut and Butter Bean Wellington

Wrapped in golden pastry, this vegan bake is packed with flavour.

Serves: 4-61

Preparation: 25 mins

Cooking: 1hr 15 mins




For the pastry:

  • 500g vegan puff or shortcrust pastry, in a block
  • Flour, for rolling out

For the inner filling:

  • 50g sun-dried tomatoes (oil reserved) drained and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 300g cooked chestnuts, mashed
  • 400g tin butter beans, drained and mashed
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 50g ready-to-eat prunes, chopped
  • 1 tsp mild curry powder
  • 100g chopped mixed nuts
  • Salt and pepper

For the outer filling:

  • 400g mixed mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 200g frozen spinach
  • 1 lemon, juice and 1Ž2 zest only

To glaze:

  • 2 tbsp soya milk




  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle measuring 40cm x 30cm. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  2. To make the inner filling, heat a little of the sun-dried tomato oil (save some for later) in your largest frying pan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add the remaining inner filling ingredients, except the seasoning, and cook for another 10 minutes over a low heat, stirring often. The mixture should be fairly dry and hold together. Season to taste and set aside to cool.
  3. To make the outer filling, use the rest of the tomato oil to fry the mushrooms and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce, spinach, the lemon zest and juice. Cook for 10 minutes, or until all of the moisture has evaporated. Allow to cool
  4. To assemble the Wellington, line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and transfer the pastry to it. With the long edge facing you, use the back of a table knife to lightly mark the pastry in half horizontally, giving two long rectangles. Place the inner filling in the top rectangle, leaving a 3cm border around the edges, and form it into a sausage shape. Pat the mushroom and spinach layer all over the filling to form the outer filling.
  5. Brush the pastry borders with a little water. Fold the lower half of the pastry over to enclose the fillings and press all around to seal, then crimp the ends with a fork. Brush with the soya milk and bake for 45 minutes or until golden.

Note: This can be baked and chilled for up to three days or frozen for up to three months. If frozen, allow to thaw and then thoroughly reheat.


Energy: 725 kcals Protein: 15.1g Carbohydrate: 58g Of which sugars: 10.1g Fat: 45g Of which saturates: 13.4g Fibre: 12.8g Salt: 1.1g (based on 6 servings)


 Christmas Gravy

 This smooth, rich gravy is easy to make in advance.

Serves: 4

Preparation: 5 mins4

Cooking: 25 mins







  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 600ml vegan vegetable stock*
  • 2 tsp cranberry sauce
  • 3 tbsp vegan red wine
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • Salt and pepper




  1. Gently fry the onion in the oil in a large, deep pan for 5 minutes. Add the mustard seeds, garlic, celery and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the stock, cranberry sauce, wine and herbs, season and simmer for 15 minutes. Purée with a stick blender until smooth.

Note: Will keep for up to three days in the fridge. Can be frozen for up to three months.


*Gluten-free stock is available in most supermarkets.


Energy: 52 kcals Protein: 1.1g Carbohydrate: 5.8g Of which sugars: 5.2g Fat: 0.9g Of which saturates: 0.1g Fibre: 1.6g Salt: 1.2g


Fruity Trifle with Cashew Cream

 These individual desserts are creamy, fruity, crunchy, vegan and raw.

Serves: 4

Preparation: 40 mins







  • 70g cashew nuts
  • 1Ž4 tsp mixed spice
  • 4 blood oranges
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 ready-to-eat prunes
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp date syrup
  • 400g frozen summer fruits, thawed and drained




  1. To make the cashew cream, finely chop 20g of the cashews with the mixed spice in a food processor and set aside. Juice one of the oranges and pulse half the juice with the remaining nuts and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract until smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little extra juice. Set the cashew cream aside.
  2. For the chocolate sauce, blend 3 prunes, the cacao powder, the remaining vanilla extract, the juice of one orange and 2 tbsp of the date syrup in the food processor until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Pick 12 whole fruits from the summer fruits and set aside. Split the rest of the summer fruits into two portions. Blend one portion of the fruit in the food processor with the remaining prunes and 1 tbsp date syrup. Set aside.
  4. To make the compote, simply push the other portion of the summer fruits through a sieve and retain the juice, discarding the pulp in the sieve.
  5. Peel and segment the remaining two oranges with a sharp knife.
  6. Assemble the trifles by dividing the whole summer fruits between four serving glasses. Gently layer the cashew cream, chocolate sauce, orange segments and fruit purée on top, until the glasses are full. Finish with chopped nuts and a drizzle of compote.

Note: Can be stored in the fridge (without the compote and nuts) for 24 hours.

Energy: 377 kcals Protein: 10g Carbohydrate: 50g Of which sugars: 45g Fat: 10.7g Of which saturates: 2.8g Fibre: 15.7g Salt: 0.03g


©The Vegetarian Society 2016

Tasty treats with a clear conscience

It is World Vegan Day on 1 November and the entire month is given over to World Vegan Month. Whether you go vegan for 24 hours or the full 30 days, it’s the perfect opportunity to join the estimated half a million people already leading a vegan lifestyle.

The Vegan Society is encouraging people to learn about the benefits of a plant-based diet and way of life; as well as helping towards the welfare of animals, veganism offers benefits to the environment and possibly to our health.

For those scared that a vegan diet will mean missing out on tasty treats, then think again with these delicious recipes.


Triple Chocolate Muffins



These are easy to make and even easier to eat. You can change the ratios of flour if desired: it is fine to use just white or just wholemeal flour, though you’ll need to add a bit more water if you use all white flour. The cake will take on a slightly different texture depending on which you use (being lighter with white flour).



8oz (225g) caster sugar

4 dessertspoons cocoa powder

pinch salt

9oz (255g) plain white flour

3oz (85g) plain wholemeal flour

1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

1oz (30g) vegan chocolate chips

6 fl oz (170ml) vegetable oil

2 tsps vanilla essence

4 tsps vinegar

2/3 pint (350ml) cold water



2oz (50g) vegan plain chocolate

1 dessertspoon vegan margarine

1 dessertspoon icing sugar, sieved

Decoration – a few squares of vegan plain chocolate



Place the sugar, cocoa, salt, flours and bicarbonate of soda in a mixing bowl and mix well.

Add the chocolate chips, oil, vanilla essence, vinegar and water. Combine well with a fork, but do not beat.triple-chocolate-muffins

Pour into 12 muffin cases. Bake at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes or until the cake springs back lightly when pressed. Cool thoroughly.

To make the icing, melt the chocolate in a double saucepan* with the margarine and icing sugar. Stir to ensure that the ingredients are well combined.

Smooth a spoonful of icing on each cake, leave to cool for a few minutes then decorate with flakes of chocolate (grate the chocolate and/or cut it really finely with a sharp knife).


*If you don’t have a double-saucepan, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure that the bowl does not come into contact with the water.

Pumpkin – Cepe – Parmesan Recipe from Michelin Starred Head Chef

Michelin starred chef Steve Smith has devised the perfect recipe to make use of those leftover Halloween pumpkins. Alternatively this recipe can be used with butternut squash for the ultimate winter warming dish.


Pumpkin/Butternut soup

2kg Butternut squash or Pumpkin flesh

300g Unsalted butter

4 Sprigs thyme

8 Coriander seeds

3 Cloves garlic

2 Juniper berries

2 Litre chicken stock

500ml Milk

500g Grated parmesan



In a heavy bottomed saucepan sweat the flesh in the butter without colour until it starts to break down. Add all the other ingredients, except the parmesan, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the parmesan and leave it to melt for five minutes then blitz the soup together. Pass through a chinois twice then correct seasoning and consistency. Chill and store.


Cepe Puree

150g Chopped onion

3 Garlic cloves sliced

125g Butter

1 kg Cepes sliced

500g Button mushrooms sliced

100ml Madeira

500ml Mushroom stock

250ml Double cream

2 Sprigs thyme




Sweat the onion and garlic in the butter, without colour. Add both mushrooms and sweat until they soften. Add the Madeira. Reduce by half. Add the mushroom stock and bring to the boil, simmer until cooked through (reduced by ⅔). Add the cream and blend in the vita prep. Pass through a chinois. Check seasoning and store.


Mushroom crisp film

500g Mushroom puree

100g isomalt

5g Crisp film powder



Place all ingredients into a pan and gradually bring to the boil while whisking all the time. Pass through a chinois then allow to cool. Spread some of the fix as thinly as possible on a Silpat mat. Place in the oven on 90°C for 3-4 hours or until crisp and dry. Store and use as required.


Mushroom Consommé

900ml Button Mushrooms

80g Foie Gras

200g Chopped onion

2 Tbspn tomato puree

4 Litre chicken stock


5 Egg whites

50ml Madeira

25g Dried cepes

10 Drops of Boletus flavouring



Blend the mushrooms in the robo to form a mince. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the foie gras, add the onions and sweat without colour until soft. Add the tomato puree and cook out for a couple of minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Add a tspn of salt then gently simmer for 30 mins. Pass the liquid through a chinois twice then allow to cool.


Slightly whisk the egg whites and whisk in to the mushroom stock. Place in a heavy bottomed saucepan and slowly bring to the boil, stirring the mix so the egg whites do not catch on the bottom. Gently simmer for 30 minutes to clarify. Leave the liquid to settle for 5 minutes. Pass the liquid through double muslin twice. Add the Madeira, dried cepes, and flavouring. Cling film and allow to cool. Re season, pass through muslin then store.


Mushroom Jelly

250ml Mushroom consommé

25g Vegetable gel



Add the ingredients together, and leave for 10 minutes. Place into a pan and gradually bring to the boil, whisking continuously. Re season. Pour into a jelly mould and store.


Parmesan Ice Cream

650ml Milk

50g Sugar

30g Dextrose

15g Glycerine

100g Pro crema

350g Grated parmesan



Place all ingredients except the parmesan into a pan and bring up to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.


Add the parmesan in to the mix and whisk in until completely dissolved. Blend in the vita prep, pass through a chinois and store in the freezer in a paco beaker.


Ideas for Garnish

Toasted pumpkin seeds

Grated parmesan


Chopped coco nibs

Poached Quail Egg


Bohemia is the only restaurant in the Channel Islands to be listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants and is ranked at number 49. Bohemia received the highest score in the Channel Islands in the Good Food Guide 2016 with a glowing score of 7, its highest score yet, and was listed as the best restaurant in Jersey in the guide’s ‘Top 50 Restaurants in the UK’. Bohemia was also recently listed as the best restaurant in Jersey in Square Meal’s Top 100 Best Restaurants 2016.




Venison burger with root vegetable crisps and blue cheese

Venison burger with root vegetable crisps and blue cheese


Serves 4



600g coarsely minced venison

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 tsp chopped thyme

Sea salt

Ground black pepper

1 parsnip

2 carrots

1 celeriac

4 slices blue cheese

4 buns

Seasonal salad




To make the burgers, mix the mince, onion and thyme together, adding salt and pepper to season. If you wish, fry a small piece of the mix and taste it to make sure that the seasoning is just right for you.

Divide the burger mix into four patties and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.

Finely slice the root vegetables and fry in vegetable oil until crisp. Drain, season with salt and set aside so that they remain crispy.

Heat a frying pan with a little oil and fry the burgers for 4 to 5 minutes on each side – longer if you like them well done.

Place the burgers on a baking tray, add a thick slice of blue cheese and brown under the grill.

Serve the cheeseburgers in a toasted bun with the root vegetable crisps, salad and mustard.


Pot roast partridge with honey roast root vegetables

Pot roast partridge with honey roast root vegetables

Serves 4



4 whole dressed partridges

2 knobs of butter

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and ground pepper

4 sprigs of thyme

4 cloves of garlic, crushed


Honey roast root vegetables

2 large carrots

2 large parsnips

1 medium swede

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 large sprig of thyme

3 tbsp of honey

4 tbsp cider vinegar

5fl oz/150ml chicken or game stock



Place garlic and thyme in cavity of partridge. Heat large ovenproof frying pan with olive oil and butter. When it starts to foam add the partridges. Seal birds for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and remove from the pan.

Wash and peel vegetables before cutting into 1in/2cm square chunks.

Place vegetables in pan, cover with cold water, add a little salt. Bring to boil and cool until al dente and strain.

Roast off the vegetables in the frying pan, add thyme and garlic. Deglaze pan with cider vinegar, add honey and season with salt and pepper. Place the birds on top of the root vegetables and season.

Roast in a preheated oven at 200C/4000F/gas mark 6 for about 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for a further 5-7 mintues.

Strain off the pot roast juice, place in a small pan and reduce by half. Finish the light partridge gravy by whisking in 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Season and taste.

Serve with game chips or potato crisps.