English Veggie Brunch

It’s the weekend (and a rather dull, wet one too) so what better lunch could you wish for than an English style veggie brunch.

This is my vegan-friendly version – no sausage, bacon, black pudding or eggs here – just a delicious combo of sweetcorn fritters, the most tangy mushrooms ever (recipe to follow), mini roasties with rosemary and thyme, balsamic roasted tomatoes and of course, some Heinz baked beans. Oh and some fresh pea shoots for Big S – she’s developed a big taste for them recently, along with vinegar on virtually everything!

Flatbreads

This is a great recipe if you’re all out of bread for the next morning and can’t face the trip to the shops. Simply make the quick dough the evening before, leave in the fridge to rise overnight and then just roll out the next morning and bake for 10 minutes – and you have warm, fresh bread! Also if you can’t eat sesame then most fresh bakery bread is out of the question, so it’s lovely to be able to easily make your own instead.

I’m not sure if it’s a similar process to making pittas – these seemed to have pockets inside, but were just a bit fluffier than a usual pitta.

These also work well with any herb or spices, I added fresh thyme leaves this time… next time I may try sunflower seeds or even cumin seeds.

Flatbreads (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes about 10

  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps brown sugar
  • 300ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp herbs/seeds/spices, to taste
  • coarse salt crystals to sprinkle on top

– Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

– Pour in the warm water and bring together to form a soft dough. if it’s too sticky and wet, add more flour.

– Knead for a few minutes to form a smooth and bouncy dough.

– Roll in oil and place back in the bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for a few hours, or in the fridge overnight.

– Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 7

– Knock back the dough, divide into ten and roll each piece out. Sprinkling with herbs/spices/seeds and rolling them into the dough. Sprinkle the top with a little coarse salt

– Place on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden and puffy.

– Best eaten fresh.

Dairy-free Fromage Frais

I made up this recipe ages ago when Big S was tiny. All the other toddlers we came across seemed to eat a lot of fromage frais from those cute little yogurt pots, but all Big S could have was large, boring, grown-up looking soya yogurts (and needing the calcium she had to eat a lot of those yogurts)! So I devised a way of making a fromage frais replacement – to be honest it’s just a flavoured, strained yogurt but it tastes suitably different from a regular soya yogurt and makes a usual yogurty pudding more interesting! Add any flavour of fruit puree (I used a strawberry coulis – recipe will follow), or just sweeten with the icing sugar.

Dairy-free Fromage Frais (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, peanut-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes 4 small pots

  • 1 large tub of plain soya yogurt, such as Alpro
  • 1/4 cup fruit puree or coulis
  • 1 tbsp sifted icing sugar

– Line a sieve with a new kitchen cloth, or some cheesecloth. Place over a bowl.

– Pour the yogurt into the sieve and leave in the fridge overnight to drain. It should end up looking thicker with about 1/2 cup of clear liquid in the bowl.

– Turn the thickened yogurt into a bowl and stir in the icing sugar and fruit puree/coulis.

– Place in pretty glasses and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

– Will keep for 2-3 days.

Crunchy Munchy Granola

I reckon Granola with soya yogurt makes a great dairy-free breakfast, but it’s almost an impossibility to find Granola or museli that is free of nuts or traces of nuts in the UK. So I made my own version. My children like it with dried mango and ‘strawberry pearls’, but you can add whatever dried fruit you like (careful to check the packs for traces of nuts)

Granola (dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, vegan, vegetarian, soya-free)

  • 1 1/2 cups of oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps brown sugar
  • 2 tbsps sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsps maple syrup/golden syrup (honey for non-vegan option)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of mixed, dried fruit

– Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– In a bowl mix together all the ingredients, except the dried fruit.

– Spread evenly over a baking tray lined with foil

– Bake for 20-30 minutes (stirring every 10 minutes) until very lightly golden.

– Cool, then stir in the dried fruits.

– Serve for breakfast topped with soya yogurt and maple syrup