Recipe – Vegan Barbecue Ribs With Barbecue Sauce

We fancied some homemade ribs with BBQ sauce and thought we’d share the recipe as was so tasty. Get your #anythingyoucaneaticaneatvegan ready. We used this recipe for the vegan ribs and the following for the barbecue sauce.

vegan barbecue ribs.jpg

Barbecue sauce Recipe


  • Two tablespoons vegan butter
  • One small onion, finely chopped
  • One large red chilli, minced
  • Four cloves garlic, minced
  • Two cups ketchup
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Two tablespoons yellow mustard
  • Two teaspoons chili powder
  • Two tablespoons liquid smoke
  • One tablespoon granted 100% cocoa

Melt the butter then add onion, garlic and chilli until browned.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened. This is a formidable foe so you will need to stir frequently. Once it has reduced bliz and enjoy.

vegan barbecue ribs two.jpg





Recipe: Vegan Bacon

I love vegan bacon and have tried lots of recipes. They all had one flaw or another so in the end I made my own. Please let me know what you think or if you have any questions / suggestions.

To obtain the flavours of blood-mouth bacon in beautiful vegan form, you will making two lots of seitan; one reddish in colour and one white. There are then two liquid and two dry recipes; one for the red and one for the white. Once made, the red seitan dough is divided into three and the white into two.

Before you start, pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (about 350 Fahrenheit)  and have a roll of tin foil approximately 30cm long set to one side.


Bacon 1


Seitan Dough One:

One cup: vital wheat gluten

Two tablespoons: nutritional yeast flakes

Two teaspoons: onion powder

Two teaspoons:  smoked paprika

Seitan Liquid One:

½ cup: water

Two tablespoons: maple syrup

Two tablespoons:  liquid aminos

Two tablespoons: liquid smoke

One tablespoon: tomato puree

One teaspoon:  brown sauce combined with a tablespoon of water. You can use just one tablespoon of vegan Worcestershire Sauce. However, it can be hard to find.

One tablespoon: olive oil

Seitan Dough Two:

1/4 cup: vital wheat gluten

Two tablespoon: chickpea flour

One teaspoon: garlic powder

Seitan Liquid Two:

⅓ cup: water

½ teaspoon: fine salt

One tablespoon: olive oil


Seitan dough & liquid One. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl then slowly add the liquid. Divide into three equal parts and set aside. Repeat with second set of seitan dough & liquid – divide into two.

You will now need to layer the five lots of seitan. This will create the look of ‘bacon’ and give it a great flavour. Lightly roll out each piece of seitan to increase its length by one third.  Starting with a red piece of seitan layer the pieces together; red, white, red, white and red. You do not want this to be neat and uniform. Press the mound of layered seitan together and wrap in tin foil. Do not wrap too tightly as it will expand in the oven and place directly onto the oven rack seam side down.

It will take about 25-30 minutes to cook. Check every ten minutes and turn over – so the seam side is now not in direct contact with the oven. Repeat until firm (but with a bit of ‘give’ still) and very lightly browned. Do not worry if it is slightly soft – as you’ll fry each slice you can crisp it up to your taste in the pan. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes. As seitan is, in effect, dough it will be soft once out of the oven. Use a bread knife to thinly slice.

Finally, shallow fry in a pan using coconut oil (not olive oil). Brush one side of the bacon with maple syrup and have this side out of the oil initially. Fry for 30 seconds each side and serve.

Bacon 2.jpg
Vegan bacon and waffles drenched in maple syrup.









Recipe: Easy Mexican Dinner

burrito IG

This is one of the first vegan things I attempted to cook – I wasn’t actually vegan at the time, but I’d just started dating one and was looking for ways to tick that “the way to his heart is through his stomach” box (this dish *totally* helped).

There are a few elements, but I’d say none of them are especially demanding in terms of time, effort, or skill, and at the end of it you get a huge, satisfying, nutritionally ACE meal that has satisfied even the fussiest omnivores and vegans alike.

You can prep the butternut squash ahead of time, and then whip up the other two elements whilst it’s in the oven.

I serve mine with guacamole, a quick tomato salsa, and salad. I’ll mention how I do those at the end, but I suspect you have your own go-to recipes and who am I to change them (or to tell you how to make a salad)?

The fillings I use are:

  • Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash
  • ‘Red Rice’ (roasted red pepper)
  • Black Beans

Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 1 butternut squash20150225_181403
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Garlic (ideally smoked) – at least two cloves, but this household has a 4 clove minimum!
  • Dried Chilli – at least 1, but the squash is sweet enough to take a fair old hit of spice. I do 3.
  • Grated nutmeg

This is slightly adapted from a recipe in Jamie Oliver’s first book. To be honest, I change up the spice mix depending on what I have in the cupboard, what else I’m serving it with, and who I’m cooking for. This dish also makes a great side dish for a roast, with sausages, or thrown into a risotto or a salad.

Preheat the oven to 180c

Peel the squash and cut it in half. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and pulpy bit. There’s a kind of sweet spot where the texture changes, so if you can find this with the side of your spoon, the seeds and all their gunk comes out in one easy go. If you can’t, just keep scraping until the inside of the hole is the same colour as the rest of the flesh.

Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes (if you’re doing this as a side dish, it’s really nice to do big wedges the length of the squash, but they don’t fit well into a wrap situation!).

Throw the squash into a mixing bowl and drizzle on a generous couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Bash the coriander seeds in a pestle & mortar, and then throw the (peeled) garlic and the dried chillis in too. Bash them all up a bit.

Chuck the mixture into the bowl with the squash, and salt and pepper, grate on some nutmeg and toss it all around with your hands until everything is coated. The longer you leave this to sit and infuse, the better. If you can manage to do it in the morning before going about your business (cover it, obviously) then you’ll have extra tasty squash at the end.

20-30 minutes before you’re ready to eat, tip the whole contents of the bowl onto a baking tray and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Check after 20, in case the squash is catching and needs an oil top up. I like my squash soft, with browned/caramelised edges. Delicious.

Red Rice

  • 1 cup ricered rice
  • 1 or 2 romero red peppers (the long thin ones)
  • Smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsps tomato puree
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

This is something I sort of blagged the first time, and then it was so tasty I’ve made it loads of times since. It is SO easy.

Preheat the oven to 180c (if your squash is already in, move the squash to a lower shelf and pop the peppers on the top shelf)

Cook the rice as you usually would (for me, this is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of cold water. Put the rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Add salt and cover, leave for 14 minutes. Do not remove the lid until the end of the time (and yes, I mean 14. Not 15, trust me)!

Whilst the rice is cooking, coat the peppers in a little bit of olive oil, and put in the oven at 180c, with a bit of seasoning on top.

Red Rice!When the peppers are soft and have started to go ever so slightly browned around the edges, they’re ready for the next stage. This should take about 10 minutes, 15 at a push. Lift them (gently, they’ll be fragile!) into a plastic sandwich bag and seal it. Leave this for a few minutes – the steam inside the bag separates the flesh from the skins, which can be a little tough, and makes it easy for you to skin the peppers, remove the seeds and stalk, and throw them into a blender.20150225_182441

Add the tomato puree, smoked paprika, and a touch of olive oil to loosen the mixture, and blitz to a smooth paste. Season to taste.

Stir the paste through the cooked rice, et voila!

Black Beans

  • 2x 400g tins of black beans
  • at least 2 cloves of garlic (I’m more of a 4 girl myself)
  • 2 shallots, or 1 red onion
  • Smoked salt (if you can’t get hold of it, normal salt is fine) & pepper
  • Smoked paprika (if you don’t like too much smokiness, go standard on either the paprika or the salt!)
  • 2 tbsps tomato puree
  • Olive oil

Drain and rinse 1 of the tins of black beans and put it in the blender (sorry, you’ll have to wash your blender up at least once to do all 3 items, unless you have 2!).

Add the garlic, shallots, tomato puree, salt, pepper and paprika. Add a bit of olive oil to loosen it up and blitz to a paste.

Tip the paste into a saucepan and fry. If it sticks right away, add a touch more olive oil. you wanBlack Beanst to cook out the onions in this stage, so give it five minutes or so. You’ll need to keep stirring so it doesn’t go sticky just yet.

Once the onions have cooked (this won’t take too long, as they’ve been blitzed in the blender) add the other tin of beans, including the liquid. Combine fully and turn down to a simmer. You want these to be sticky rather than runny, but you don’t want them to burn. If they’re already pretty solid, add a bit of water so you can simmer them for a bit and let the flavours come together.

That’s it!

I serve these with:20150225_184517

A tomato salsa – super simple, just fresh tomatoes and a red onion diced up finely and placed in a bowl with fresh lime juice, salt, pepper, and fresh chopped coriander leaves. This provides some much needed freshness to cut through all the delicious smoky stodge in the recipes above!

A crisp salad – I try and get some fresh greens in pretty much every meal, and these will provide some much needed crunch. Depends on what I’ve got in – some cos or little gem lettuce, cucumber, and even grated raw beetroot all go really well in this dish. Throw on some toasted pumpkin seeds if you want some extra crunch or protein.

Guacamole – as if you can have a burrito without guac! I prefer a simple guac, so mine is just mashed up avocado, fresh lime, salt and pepper. I make it ahead of time so I can chill it a bit before serving

I buy my tortilla wraps because life is too short (just double-check they don’t have milk or milk-products in). My wrap technique is to fill a strip in the centre of the wrap, leaving a good 3 inches clear at the bottom. I fold up that clear bottom part first, then bring the sides round. It’s not foolproof, but it’s my tried and tested method as a tiny-handed greedy person 🙂

This is one of my absolute favourite dinners, and is quick enough to do on a weeknight (especially if you have a helper to do some chopping and washing up for you along the way) – there’s nothing better than unwrapping a leftover burrito for lunch on a drab Wednesday 🙂

Recipe: Super Easy Katsu Curry

I’ve looked at loads of katsu recipes online, and their ingredients lists vary so wildly in length and contents, that I ended up winging it a bit based on the ingredients that sounded good to me. Fortunately for me, the experiment worked and has been declared by various diners as “SO GOOD” and “the best sauce I have ever had”. So, with the modesty out of the way, let’s get saucy (sorry).

Katsu Sauce

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch cube fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 x eating apples, peeled, cored, and roughly diced
  • 1 stingy tbsp coconut oil
  • liquid aminos or soy sauce to taste
  • 1-2 tbsps sriracha (depending on how hot you like it, and based on the regular sriracha – adjust accordingly if you have the extra hot!)
  • 1 pint water



  • 2-3 tsps curry powder

Sweat the onion, garlic and ginger gently in the coconut oil until soft.

When soft, add the apples and the spice blend or curry powder (whichever you’re using/have in the katsuprogresscupboard) and cook through for a couple of minutes

Add 2-3 tbsps of water to help the apple soften. Once fairly soft, and the rest of the water and the sriracha, and simmer

Once the apple is completely soft, blitz with a hand blender until smooth, and add the liquid aminos/soy sauce to taste (they’re used in this recipe in place of salt).

That’s it. Seriously. This makes enough sauce for 4 people (or two greedy people who want to have half of it on a chippy tea the next day)

What to serve it with

Instead of chicken, I usually do either roasted butternut squash or crispy fried tofu. Sometimes I do both 🙂

For the tofu, before akatsudonenything else I press it. If you’re reading this with a view to cooking tofu for the first time ever, or maybe you have a vegan or veggie friend coming for dinner and you want to make something for everyone, here is the single secret to cooking tofu: YOU HAVE TO PRESS IT. Between two plates, under something heavy (I use 4 hardback cookbooks or my pasta machine) for at least 90 minutes, but several hours is best. This makes it a) way easier to cut and work with and b) much more pleasant to eat.

Once pressed, I slice it into slabs and coat it in fine semolina with a bit of turmeric powder run through it. I’ve experimented, and I think the best way to coat the tofu is to put the semolina in a sandwich bag and gently toss the tofu in there one piece at a time. Be gentle!

Shallow fry the coated tofu in the oil of your choice, but think about flavour – coconut oil is nice with the right dishes, but vegetable or groundnut is less likely to overshadow the flavour of your dish. Olive is an absolute no-no (it burns at too low a heat, and will impart a lot of flavour to the tofu that you don’t want).

Serve with sushi rice and some greens quickly fried in a wok and dressed with soy, garlic, ginger and chilli. Enjoy!

Recipe: Vegan Christmas Pie

I came up with this recipe in defiant response to the constant “but what will you eat on Christmas Day?” questions from the non-vegans in my life. Let’s be clear, vegans can have as delicious a Christmas dinner as anyone else, and you don’t have to rely on meat replacements and the like if you don’t want to.

This pie is tasty, indulgent, Christmassy, and comes with the added bonus of working really well the next day, to eat cold with pickles and Bubble and Squeak on Boxing Day! It’s also really easy to put together, and doesn’t require any specialist ingredients, meaning that even if you’re back with your grandparents in the deep countryside, you should be able to get your hands on everything you need.

We’re gonna need a bigger plate!

Don’t be daunted by the number of steps below, nothing in this pie is hugely technical, and you can swap out ingredients you don’t like for ones you prefer (if you hate parsnips, bring in more carrots, or celeriac – you could even include some gently roasted sprouts here if you wanted. The only thing to bear in mind is the overall water content and stability of the elements of the pie – if there are too many squishy things in there, the pie won’t hold and the pastry will get a bit soggy).

Makes a 10 inch x 6 inch rectangular pie, large enough to feed 4 hungry Christmas guests with a bit leftover for Boxing Day.

I use a veganized version of Delia’s quick flaky pastry which is quite rich – you can use your favourite shortcrust recipe if you prefer:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 175g butter alternative
  • A pinch of salt
  • Cold water, to mix

Sift the flour into a bowl, and then add the butter. It’s best to do this with the butter as cold as possible, and in pieces as small as possible. If you’re using a block (Stork, for example, is incidentally vegan) you can grate it in. If you’re using a tub, I’d suggest just using your finger to push small amounts of the fat off the spoon into the flour (but be wary of warming it up too much with your hands). Once all the fat is dotted around the flour, begin to rub them together. I do this by hand (even though Delia says it’s naughty because hands are warm), just rubbing the flour between fingertips until the mixture is even and crumbly. If you’re more patient than me, you can do this with a knife. Add enough water just to bring the mixture together (though you can always add more flour if it gets too wet) and, when the dough is a single ball, wrap it in cling film and rest it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Be careful not to overwork the dough, or it will be slightly tough to eat once cooked.

Don’t be left out when everyone tucks into their Boxing Day leftovers!

For the filling:

  • 3 parsnips
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 big (or 2 small) leeks
  • 340g fresh (or frozen) cranberries
  • 450g chestnuts (either fresh and raw, or those vac-packed ones you can get these days!)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 40g + 1 tbsp vegetable spread/butter alternative
  • Olive oil
  • A generous pinch of red pepper flakes (if you can get them, paprika if you can’t)
  • 1 good handful of fresh rosemary, stripped from the stalks and roughly chopped
  • 2 good handfusl of fresh sage, roughly chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Whole nutmeg (ground is OK if you can’t get whole, though most big supermarkets have it)
  • Stuffing (you can use a pre-made mix, most of which are vegan-friendly, or make your own using the recipe below)


  1. First things first, prep your pastry and get it chilling whilst you assemble the other elements
  2. Prep the carrots and parsnips by scrubbing (and peeling if necessary), then chopping into rough even-sized chunks, slightly larger than 1 inch cubes.
  3. Toss the carrots and parsnips into a roasting tray with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and the rosemary and red pepper flakes
  4. Peel the butternut squash and cut into similar sized cubes, discarding the seeds in the centre (or saving them for later*)
  5. Toss the butternut squash into a separate roasting tray with some olive oil, salt and pepper, half of the chopped fresh sage and a generous grating of whole nutmeg (ground is fine if you can’t get whole, I just find whole is more fragrant)
  6. Roast both trays of veg for around 15-20 minutes at 180c, or until soft and slightly golden around the edges. When they’re done, just set them aside until you’re ready to assemble the pie.
  7. Whilst these are roasting, prep your chestnuts for roasting (if you haven’t got the vac-packed ones). First, score each chestnut – I’ve tried loads of methods for this, and find that scoring a crescent shape like a big smiley face on the flat side of the chestnut makes for the easiest peeling, but a cross on the flat side is also effective. Once all the chestnuts are scored, place them on a baking tray and into a hot oven () for (minutes). You’ll need to act relatively quickly to peel them, as the skins begin to stick back down as they cool – you’ll definitely need oven gloves and a sharp knife to pry the skins off. It sounds like a chore, but it makes the kitchen smell amazing, and is one of those really satisfying festive tasks best done by a group of you with a drink and a mince pie. Once they’re all peeled, roughly chop them and set them aside for pie assembly.
  8. Whilst the chestnuts are in the oven, wash the leeks and chop them into rough rounds about half an inch thick. Soften them up in a saucepan with a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of your butter alternative, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Set these aside too – now you’re building up a nice lot of set aside elements for pie assembly!

    Look at all those tasty festive layers
  9. For the cranberry layer, there will most likely be a recipe for cranberry sauce on your packet, but I keep it really simple – put 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar into a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and add the cranberries. Bring back to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, as the cranberries begin to break up. Ideally, you’ll be able to let this sit for a little before adding to the pie, as it thickens up wonderfully as it cools, but if you haven’t the time don’t worry, it’ll permeate the pie deliciously!
  10. Next, the stuffing. If a packet mix feels more manageable then go for it – Christmas is stressful enough! If, however, you’re game for it, this is super easy, I promise! Sweat one large onion in 40g of your butter alternative, add the remaining half of the fresh chopped sage and a generous helping of salt and pepper, grate in the zest of the lemon and cook for a few seconds. Take off the heat and stir the breadcrumbs through, allowing them to pick up the butter and onion and distribute the seasonings. Done!
  11. Now, the fun part! Divide your pastry into 2, with one portion of around 1/3, and the other around 2/3 of the dough. Roll out the larger portion – you probably want it around 3mm/1/8 of an inch thick, and big enough to cover your pie dish bottom and sides
  12. Place the parsnips and carrots onto the pastry as the bottom layer of the pie, trying to get a good mixture.
  13. Sprinkle over the chestnuts, and then layer on the leeks
  14. Now layer on the butternut squash, and pour over the cranberry sauce
  15. Finish with the stuffing, either as a layer of its own, or rolled into balls to hold up the pastry lid if you prefer
  16. Roll out the smaller portion of pastry to the same thickness, and cover the pie. Pinch the sides and top of the pastry together and cut off any excess
  17. Cut a small hole in the top of the pastry to allow steam out, and decorate the top with any leftover pastry shaped into leaves, letters, or whatever takes your fancy!
  18. Gently and lightly brush the top with some soya milk for a shiny finish, and bake until the pastry is golden brown, around 15-20 minutes, at 180c
  19. Serve with all the usual trimmings and a generous slug of onion gravy

Merry Christmas!

P.s. If you miss that Boxing Day sandwich, like Lewis, don’t hold back…

Yep, that’s pie, sausage, bubble & squeak, stuffing and piccalilli (and ketchup, of course)

Recipe: Fudgey Chocolate Banana Brownies and Rich Ganache Sauce

So, chocolate brownies have been my go-to specialty since I was in my teens, and were therefore one of the very first things I veganized. I’ve been refining the recipe ever since, and it’s now versatile enough to provide a great vegan alternative for brownies, and for a family birthday favourite: the Bruce Bogtrotter cake.

finished choc cake 3

This recipe is quick, easy, and produces wonderfully fudgey, rich chocolate brownies. The sauce/topping makes this into a decadent dessert option, or a great full size cake and topping.

For 16 brownies/1 large cake:

6oz vegan butter alternative
12 oz caster sugar
4 oz cocoa powder
4 bananas (ripe-ish if you can)
4 oz plain flour
1 flat tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence/vanilla bean paste

For the topping:

1 can of full-fat coconut milk
4oz cocoa powder
agave nectar to taste

Method – Fudgey Chocolate Banana Brownies:

Melt the butter in a generous saucepan (you’ll mix the brownies in this pan, so make sure it’s large enough!).

Remove the pan from the heat, and add the sugar and cocoa powder, and mix until completely combined

In a separate bowl, mash the bananas to a puree (I use a potato masher, but a fork would be fine if the bananas are ripe enough!)

Add the banana puree to the butter, sugar and cocoa powder mix, and stir until completely combined. Add the vanilla.

Sift in the flour and baking powder, and combine.

Pour into a greased and lined baking tray (I like a thick brownie and so usually opt for a 9 inch round tray for a large cake, or a 9 x 11 inch for brownies – bear in mind that this mixture doesn’t rise a great deal, because the bananas are quite heavy)

Bake at 180C or gas mark 4 for 20-25 minutes, until they’ve just stopped wobbling if you shake the tray, but a knife comes out with a sticky (not sloppy) coating. If the knife comes out clean, you’ve baked them for too long!

perfect brownie test knife

Cool the brownies in the tray, and lift out when they’re just warm, or fully cool. For brownies, cut them before you turn them out.

These brownies are really fudgey and decadent, so you don’t need a big piece to satisfy those chocolate cravings. Adding the sauce below takes them from a teatime snack to a decadent dessert or celebration-worthy cake (and is also a really versatile recipe to have in your vegan treats armory)!

Method – Rich Ganache Sauce

This recipe is so incredibly easy, and has a multitude of uses:

Hot (either straight from the pan, or warmed up from a jar in the fridge), it makes a rich hot chocolate sauce ideal for pouring over desserts or ice cream.

Chilled, it sets like a ganache or chocolate spread, and is great as a topping for pancakes, spread over a cake or cupcakes, or eaten straight from the jar with a spoon!

It can be added to hot almond milk for a decadent hot chocolate, or poured hot into a clean dry jar and given as a gift (it keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks)

So, to the recipe:

Gently heat the entire can of coconut milk in a saucepan

Add the cocoa and whisk until fully incorporated and all the lumps are gone

The mixture should be the consistency of a thick custard, but will taste pretty rich and bitter at the moment.

fudge sauce method

Add the agave to taste – I usually add 1-2 tablespoons (slightly more if I’m hoping to use it as a chocolate spread, less if I’m going to top an already sweet dessert with it)

Keep heating the mixture until fully incorporated and dark and glossy in appearance, and then remove from the heat. Avoid boiling the mixture.

Allow to cool fully before using (unless it’s intended as a hot fudge sauce). If you’re spreading it onto a cake, make sure the cake is completely cooled too – it doesn’t take much for this sauce to revert back to liquid, so it’ll slide straight off a warm cake!

chocolate spread

Enjoy making (and eating) these – they work especially well with a hot pot of half earl grey and half English breakfast tea, or a pot of hot black coffee.

Ellie x