Good old Pie ‘n’ Mash

pie n mash

Yummy rich pie filling in a crisp and crumbly shortcrust pastry case. Who could resist?
This will serve 2 very hungry people.

For the pastry you will need…

225g strong white bread flour (using bread flour gives a lovely “short” pastry)
pinch of salt
100g vegan margarine
4 or 5 tbsp cold water
Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and add the margarine in smallish chunks and rub the flour and marg between your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the water on top and mix thoroughly until it’s a nice firm dough. Knead very lightly for a few seconds and use as required. You will probably have more than you need for this recipe, but the raw pastry freezes very well.

For the filling you will need…

1 tbsp light olive oil
3 vegetarian sausages (my preference is Linda McCartney Rosemary and red onion)
8 chestnut mushrooms, quartered
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
1/2 a pint of rich gravy, made with Bisto granules
200g canned Butter beans, drained
1tsp fresh tarragon, chopped
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 small glass of  vegan port (Vintage and traditional LBVs are fine)

Place the onion in a shallow pan and fry lightly in half the oil until soft. Add the sugar and mix through, turn down the heat then leave for a short time to caramelize slightly.
Meanwhile chop the defrosted sausages into bite-size chunks. Place the sausage pieces, mushrooms and caramelized onions into a pan and fry until the sausages and mushrooms have a nice golden colour. Add the butter beans, tarragon and the gravy mixture and combine well, then add the port and stir. Take off the heat and leave the mixture to cool (otherwise your pie will have a soggy bottom!)

Roll out the pastry and line your chosen deep pie dish, making sure you line the dish with a thin layer of margarine before placing the pastry in. Put the filling. Then roll out your lid, and place on top. You can use a little of the aquafaba (the brine in your can of butterbeans) to help seal your pie. Brush the top with a little oil, and sprinkle with the dried rosemary.

Serve with lovely buttery mashed potatoes (Vitalite dairy free spread is particularly good in mash as it has a very buttery taste) and some lightly fried curly kale topped with toasted flaked almonds.



It’s Friday, so it has to be curry!

Ultimate Friday night curry

Super-easy Spicy Vegetable Tikka

Serves 2-3

Use either those vegetables mentioned or any of your choice. I find that winter veg such as parsnip, carrot, mushrooms, cauliflower etc go well together. Or use all Mediterranean veg such as courgette, aubergine, red onion, and sweet peppers.

For the sauce

1/3 tub of tikka powder mix (Schwartz do a good one, or any supermarket own brand is fine)
Seeds of 4 cardamom pods
½ tsp ginger powder
½ tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp dried coriander leaf
200ml unsweetened soya yogurt
Juice of half a lemon

400g chopped tomatoes in juice
Handful of fresh baby spinach leaves (or a small amount of frozen if preferred)

For the veg

1 parsnip, roughly cut into ½ inch cubes
1 medium onion cut into large chunks
1 medium potato roughly cut into ½ inch cubes
1 medium sweet potato roughly cut into ½ inch cubes
3 portobello mushrooms
6 small cooked chestnuts, halved

2tbs light olive oil (or other light oil of choice)
Ground black pepper


Mix the tikka powder, cardamom, ginger, chilli, coriander, yogurt and lemon juice.
Set aside.

Place your chosen veg in a large oven dish, drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven (about 180°C for 30mins or until soft).

Once your veg is cooked through, place it in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the sauce mixture. Once bubbling, add the chopped tomatoes and spinach. Turn down the heat, cover the pan and leave to simmer for 10 minutes or so. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with basmati rice, naan bread or poppadoms. Or mix up some unsweetened soya yogurt, chopped cucumber, dried mint and coriander leaves for your own instant raita.