Lemon and Thyme Welsh Cakes

Someone mentioned the combination of lemon and thyme in a sweet context the other day. It’s a pairing that I’d only ever really thought about as a savoury thing. I’ve never seen lemon and thyme welsh cake (lemons and thyme a bit more Mediterranean) but since I really like welsh cakes, I thought why not? I’ve left out sultanas as my children don’t like them.

Wow, it certainly does work! Citrusy and fragrant little drop scones sprinkled with sugar – not sure what  Welsh traditionalists would say but they are delicious.

Lemon and Thyme Welsh Cakes (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes 8-12

  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free spread
  • 1/4 cup of caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup sultanas
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps oat milk
  • 1 tbsp thyme (preferably lemon) chopped finely
  • caster sugar, to sprinkle

– Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and spice into a bowl.

– Rub in the spread until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs

– Stir in the sugar, lemom zest and thyme.

– Add the oat milk and lemon juice and mix to form a slightly sticky dough.

– Roll out on a floured board and cut out shaped with a cookie cutter – circles are the traditional shape but any would be fine.

– Heat a dry non-stick frying pan (or any frying pan wiped with a smear of spread)

– When hot add the cakes and dry fry/griddle for 2-3 minutes on either side until golden.

– Sprinkle with caster sugar and serve.

– To reheat warm in an oven or microwave

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Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

These savoury vegetarian sausage rolls are perfect picnic fodder: they are easily transportable and there’s no need for any plates or cutlery to tuck into them. Shallot, roasted red pepper, fresh thyme leaves and balsamic vinegar all make these little bites taste a bit Mediterranean, and I’d say are equally good hot, warm or cold.

Vegetarian Sausage Rolls (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes about 14

  • 1 pack dairy-free puff pastry (really, who has the time to make homemade puff?)
  • 1 slice bread, blitzed into fine crumbs
  • 1 tin pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 banana shallot, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 roasted red pepper, skinned and chopped
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce (or season with salt if avoiding soy)
  • 4 tbsps finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsps nutritional yeast

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade

– In a food processor blend the beans ( or mash with a potato masher). Add the breadcrumbs, shallot and flavourings. Taste and adjust flavours.

– Roll out the pastry a little more. Cut into a 3-4 inch wide strip.

– Make a neat line of filling about one inch in from the edge of the pastry.

– Brush one side with oat milk. Roll over the pastry to form a ‘sausage’ connecting the dry pastry with the oat milk brushed side.

– Cut into the 2 inch-ish sections.

– Place on a lined baking sheet.

– Brush with oat milk

– Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.

– When cooked, cool on a wire rack.

– Eat or freeze

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Frazzled Thyme Onions

These simple crispy onions are the ideal topping for a burger or addition to a salad or sandwich. Is this worthy of posting as a recipe? Yes, because they are crispy, sweet and delicious, and the kind of thing you might overlook. It’s the extras like this that can make a sandwich or burger into something really special.

Frazzled Thyme Onions (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free. gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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  • onions, very finely sliced
  • sunflower oil, to fry
  • thyme
  • salt

– Heat about 2 cm of oil in a saucepan

– Add the onions and fry until turning golden. Be sure to keep a close eye on them as when they go brown it’s only seconds until they’re burnt!

– Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

– Sprinkle with dried thyme and salt whilst still hot.

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Celeriac, Apple and Thyme Soup

It’s snowing today in the UK – proper piles of fluffy white stuff everywhere! We normally have a little sprinkle of snow that melts almost immediately, so a decent amount of snow is a reason to celebrate.

School was initially open for the girls, and we had a rather white knuckle drive there on the icy roads, only to decide it was a bad idea and immediately turn around and come home. So the rest of today is a snow day! 🙂

We’ve already sledged to the shops and got rather cold in the process – so this winter warmer of a soup (chosen due to yet another gnarly celeriac in this week’s veg box) was most welcome for lunch. I can’t say the girls loved the flavour of celeriac – maybe it’s a bit of an adult flavour, but D and I enjoyed it greatly. We actually added a bit of horseradish at the end but in reality it didn’t need it, and had a perfectly interesting flavour without.

Celeriac, Apple and Thyme Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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serves 4

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 sweet apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
  • 700ml vegetable stock

– Sweat off the onion and leek in the oil until nicely soft but not browned

– Add the celeriac and apple and half the thyme leaves. Stir to coat in the onion mix.

– Pour over the hot stock.

– Simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until the celeriac is cooked through.

– Blitz in a liquidizer. Taste and season as required.

– Serve topped with more thyme leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Thyme and Redcurrant Gravy

This is an absolutely winning gravy – perfect served with Christmas lunch or a roast, on a pie or with veggie sausages (you’ve got to try my nosages!) and mash. The finished sauce is silky smooth, so packed full of flavour, deep and intense. If that flavour becomes too intense for you (and it can), to ‘tone down’ simply add some water or light veg stock to desired taste/consistency.

Thyme and Redcurrant Gravy (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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serves 4

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsps plain flour
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 125ml red wine
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 1-2 tbsps soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp marmite
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Redcurrant jelly

– Sauté the onion in the oil until completely soft. Add the thyme leaves.
– Stir in the tomato purée and briefly cook out.
– Stir in the flour and cook out for a couple of minutes
– Pour in the red wine and reduce by 2/3rds.
– Add the stick, balsamic, soy sauce and marmite.
– Stir until the sauce is starting to thicken and no lumps remain.
– Stir in the Redcurrant jelly, making sure it has completely dissolved.
– Taste and adjust the seasonings, if required
– Either serve with the onions in the sauce, or strain for a smooth version.
– For a less intense, thinner sauce dilute with up to 200ml water.