Roasted Vegetables Tricolore

Roasted mediterranean vegetables are always delicious, but this way of cooking and presenting them gives an extra wow factor, making it the perfect vegetable accompaniment to serve straight from the oven to the table. The left-overs also make a lovely salad/antipasti dish.

It’s important to make sure the vegetables that take longer to cook are cut smaller, and to make sure you don’t undercook the whole thing – in my opinion there isn’t much worse than a spongy raw aubergine and courgette.

The amounts are all rather approximate and the vegetable selection can easily be altered, just make sure you stick to the red, white and green of the Italian flag (sorry for the inferior iPhone photos!)

This recipe is inspired by a recipe that appears in Celia Brooks Brown’s Vegetarian Foodscape

Roasted Vegetables Tricolore (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

serves 4 as a side

  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 aubergine, cut into cubes
  • 1 large handful of button mushrooms
  • 2 courgettes, roughly cubed
  • 1/2 jar marinated artichokes (I didn’t have any but they do add to the dish)
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • large handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • small bunch of basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • large pinch of sugar
  • pepper, to taste

– Preheat the oven to 230 Degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 8

– Arrange the vegetables in colour coded lines, just like a flag. Red (peppers and tomatoes), white (aubergine, onion and mushroom) and green (courgette and artichoke). Sprinkle with the oregano and scatter over the basil leaves

– Pour over the marinade

– Bake for 45-60 minutes (or longer if needed) until all the vegetables are cooked through and lightly golden, but not frazzled.

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Sweet Balsamic Bean Salad

This sweet and tangy bean salad knocks the socks off any shop bought (or horrors of horrors, tinned) offering. You can easily mix and match the beans, using up half tins of beans that may be hanging around. The fresh green beans and tomatoes really add to the final dish, but just make it with tinned/soaked dried beans if thats all you have and you don’t fancy a trip to the shops. I’m thinking this would be a great BBQ accompaniment, should it ever be warm enough this summer!

This recipe is inspired by the Sugarbeans recipe in Celia Brooks Brown’s Vegetarian Foodscape but has been altered to suit my taste, and had the sugar content toned down quite a lot!

Sweet Balsamic Bean Salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes a bowlful!

  • 2 tins mixed beans (I used 1 tin of mixed beans, 1/2 tin of sweetcorn and 1/2 tin of black beans)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • handful of green beans, blanched
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps caster sugar
  • ground pepper, to taste

– Warm the beans up so they absorb the dressing flavours, I bring them to a simmer in a little water and then drain.

– Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the balsamic, olive oil, sugar and seasoning

– Tip in the warm, drained beans and stir to combine.

– Leave to cool, then stir in the remaining ingredients.

– The salad is fairly robust and will easily keep for a few days in the fridge.

Baba Ghanoush

I was looking for a hummus replacement for little S who is allergic to sesame. I’ve tried tahini-free hummus but it never seems to work (if anyone has a recipe that’s worth trying, please let me know!). I’ve also got a great bean dip recipe but it isn’t quite Mediterranean enough to fill the hummus gap. So, inspired by Celia Brookes Brown New Vegetarian – I seriously love this cookbook – I whipped up a dairy/sesame-free Baba Ghanoush. I thought it was delicious, Little S wasn’t impressed!! Maybe next time she’ll like it a bit more…

Baba Ghanoush (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

Makes enough for a small crowd to dip!

  • 1 aubergine
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4-1/2 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps soya yogurt (I used Alpro)
  • salt and pepper

– Preheat the oven to very high, approx. 220 degrees centigrade/Gas Mark 7

– Halve the aubergine and score the flesh. Drizzle generously with olive oil and bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden

– Let cool a little, then scrape out the flesh. Discard the skins.

– Place in a food processor/blender (or mash). Add the extra virgin olive oil, soya yogurt, lemon juice, minced garlic and seasoning. Blend until a smooth puree. Adjust seasoning.

– Transfer to a pretty bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

– Serve with toasted pittas, crackers, crudites or even crisps.

Super-duper Amazingly Gooey Flapjacks

Flapjacks are a great standby for the dairy/egg/nut allergic household. When other people can produce some shop bought cereal bar for their kids, I was always lacking in options. There came a time when yet another biscuit, fruit bar or rice cake just didn’t hit the spot. So for a couple of years I made a passable flapjack recipe found in a GoodFood magazine thinking that was as good as they could get without all the butter. Then last summer we visited Avebury and stopped by Stones, the only vegetarian National Trust cafe and bought a simply yummy vegan coconut flapjack that my daughters could safely eat. (Oh the joy of being able to buy a food item in a cafe!) So, my mission to find an awesome vegan flapjack recipe began. I can tell you, there are A LOT of dreadful flapjack recipes out there, reminiscent of chewing on a mouthful of sawdust! But, in my opinion this recipe cannot be beaten. It is from Celia Brooks Brown (one of my real vegetarian cooking heroes) and the only alterations I have made is to use golden syrup rather than honey, which makes it vegan but also avoids the very strong taste you can get from honey, and added half a teaspoon of salt to enhance the flavour.

These freeze brilliantly and are always a hit!

Super-duper Amazingly Gooey Flapjacks

  • 200g dairy free spread (I use Pure soya or sunflower)
  • 200g demerara sugar
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 400g oats (preferably not giant oats)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (preferably fleur de sel)
  • 50g dessicated coconut (optional)

– Preheat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade

– Line a 30×20 cm (approx.) baking tray with foil

– Melt together the dairy free spread, sugar, syrup and salt

– When the sugar has dissolved mix into the oats (and coconut if using)

– Spread into the lined baking tray

– Bake for 15-20 mins until golden

– Cool well before cutting into bars/squares. Or freeze whole and cut when defrosted.

– Try not to eat too many!!