Peanut-free Satay


vegan peanut-free, nut-free satay

My recipes so often tend to veer towards the sweet; I do love baking more than any other kind of cooking. So I’m on a drive to be more inventive and friendly in a savoury way, especially after the sweet excess of Easter weekend!

I’ve had in mind to create a peanut-free satay for quite some time, but as you might have noticed I shy away from Asian food – I think the reliance on fish sauce has put me off somewhat, and often when I’ve eaten veggie versions in restaurants there’s definitely been an unmistakeable fishy undertone. Not what I’m looking for!

Anyway, I thought satay skewers or brochettes with rice and chilli pickled cucumber salad would make a nice friendly family meal. The marinade and sauce works equally well on chicken or veggie skewers, keeping all members of our household happy in one go – by no means an easy task! The use of Wowbutter as a peanut butter replacement works perfectly, or you could use a seed better instead if you preferred.

The satay is deeply savoury with a ‘nutty’ dimension that pushes all the buttons of a South East Asian dish. We’ll definitely be repeating this one!

Peanut-free Satay

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, peanut-free, vegetarian and vegan. Warning: Wowbutter contains soya)

nut-free dairy-free satay

Serves 4

For the skewers: (per skewer -I served two or three per person)

3 mushroom halves

4 chunks of green pepper

4 chunks of spring onion

For the marinade:

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated

Zest and juice of one lime

1 tsp honey or syrup

2 tsp mild curry powder

1-2 tbsp Wowbutter

2 tsp soy sauce.

  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together.
  2. Use one third to marinate the vegetables and/or chicken ( obviously in separate bowls if doing both!!)
  3. After an hour or two, thread onto wooden skewers

For the sauce:

1/3 tin coconut milk

Left over 2/3rds of the marinade

  1. Combine the left over marinade with the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and thicken slightly.
  2. When you are ready to cook, paint a little of the sauce on the marinated veg skewers and bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade

For the cucumber salad:

1/2 cucumber

2 tsp wine vinegar

2tsp caster sugar

1 or 2 tsp sweet chilli sauce

Small handful coriander leaves

  1. Shave the cucumber with a veg peeler into fine ribbons, combine with the other ingredients. chilli cucumber salad

To serve:

  1. Place the brochettes on a bed of rice, drizzle over a little sauce.
  2. Serve with an extra bowl of sauce and the cucumber salad on the side.

peanut-free satay


Strawberry Torte

June is peak British strawberry season, and it’s easy to over-buy, they are so sweet, perfumed and tempting! This often results in bowlfuls of slightly tired, past their best berries unless you use them up fast. So the challenge was on to find a recipe that could use up loads of possibly overripe strawberries. I didn’t fancy making jam as no-one else in the house will eat it, and I can’t get through more than a little amount. During my research I came across this gorgeous sounding recipe on the Good Food website for a strawberry and almond torte. Here’s my ‘friendly’ version (apologies to those who can’t have them,  it does contain almonds which we are OK with) and I have to say it was a big hit all round. But do make sure you get through it fast as it will go a bit soggy after a day or so…

Strawberry Torte (dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan) N.B. contains almonds


makes 1 large torte

  • 175g ground almonds
  • 175g dairy-free spread (such as Pure)
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsps apple puree
  • 500g strawberries, sliced

– Grease and line a spring-form cake tin

– In a food processor blitz together the almonds, spread, sugar, flour, cinnamon and apple puree until well combined.

– Spread 2/3rds of the cake mix on the bottom of the tin

– Top with the sliced strawberries

– Dollop the rest of the mix on top

– Bake at 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4 for 1 hour, until golden and a knife comes out clean.

– Cool and remove from the tin.


Gorgeous Fluffy Green Couscous

This recipe is a bit of an amalgamation between Yotam Ottolenghi‘s Green Couscous and my Guaranteed Fluffy Couscous Salad. I think the mix works perfectly, with the slight tang from my ‘basic’ couscous enhancing the herby, nutty edge given by Yotam’s recipe.

This couscous is wonderful as a salad or a side dish – if pistachios are a problem for you, use seeds instead

Gorgeous Fluffy Green Couscous (dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

serves 4 -6

  • 1 cup of couscous
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 onion, finely sliced and sauteed until browned
  • 1 cup pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped (or use seeds)
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 large handful parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful rocket, roughly torn
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin oil oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

– Pour the couscous into a flat-ish bowl

– Place water, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

– Once boiling, pour over the couscous. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.

– Meanwhile, make a herb paste from the chopped parsley, coriander and olive oil.

– Fluff up the couscous with a fork and add the herb paste, onions and pistachios.

– Taste and add the extra lemon juice and more salt if required. Stir in the rocket.

– Serve

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s Sunday which means getting ready for the busy, early part of the week whilst still enjoying what remains of the weekend. This week our Sunday fun involves swimming and ‘play cooking’ (girls mixing up any ingredients they fancy), and the getting ready part will include uniform sorting, homework, hair washing, paying bills and cooking! Hence, there just isn’t much time to bake lots of goodies, so I opted for these fail-safe yummy muffins, easily made in just over half an hour for the girls to have after school.

I like to think of this as my go-to winning muffin recipe… This time flavoured with cocoa and bursting with rich (and if served warm, oozing) chocolate chips. These keep and travel really well, so are perfect to make at the weekend for the children to eat after school or to tuck into their lunch boxes as a fairly healthy snack 🙂

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins (dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

Makes 12

  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 2/3rds cup sugar
  • 1 dessert sp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup melted dairy-free spread
  • 1/2 cup plus 1tbsp oat milk
  • 1 cup soya yogurt (or use 2 small pots of chocolate yogurt)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

– preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade/gas mark 4
– line a muffin tin
– mix together the yogurt, oat milk, vanilla and melted spread. Set aside.
– in a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa. Stir in the sugar.
– add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir gently until fully combined.
– fill the muffin cases 2/3rds full
– bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and I knife comes out clean, bar a bit of oozy chocolate!
– remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack