Monday, 29 January 2018

Olive & VioLife Samboussa


I hope you are having a lovely start to your week! I seem to always update my blog after badminton... But today I was also at a job assessment! Fingers crossed I get a wee phone call at the end of the week.

Some time ago, when my friend came back from Australia, she told me about this lovely little Moroccan place, called the Moroccan Soup Bar, that she had been to - and she had brought me a copy back.... ALL the way from the other side of the world! It was even signed and everything *smiles*

The recipes are earthy and humble, but packs a punch in flavour! My boyfriend Kev doesn't even like olives, but I caught him sneaking a second one when they were fresh from the oven - I take that as a good sign!

Originally these were made with feta as well, but I just changed that to plain, vegan meltable cheese; it's delicious!

Instead of cutting out rounds and making smaller samboussas, I used a ready rolled short crust pastry (check ingredients to ensure it's vegan as some use butter instead) - and I cut it into six rectangles and folded over and sealed with fork prints around the edges.

Olive & VioLife Samboussa
(Makes 6)

1 pack of ready rolled short-crust pastry

15 pitted black olives, finely chopped
100-200g (vegan) cheese, chopped into small dice
1/2 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Few sprigs of thyme, or 2/3 tsp dried thyme
A few mint leaves finely chopped or 1/2 tsp dried mint
2 tsp sumac (I LOOOOOOOVE this spice!)
2 tsp pomegranate syrup (I used agave)
2 tsp olive oil

(Instead of the chilli and oil - I used 1 tbsp red pepper paste as that is what I had on hand)

Dipping sauce:
1 tsp pomegranate or agave syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 chilli finely chopped and deseeded or a good pinch chilli flakes
A good pinch of thyme
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

- Take out the short crust pastry from the fridge to soften (about 20 minutes)

- In the mean time, mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl - and set aside.

- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

- Now mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl - set aside.

- Roll out the pastry on a baking paper-clad tray, cut into six rectangles, and put 1 tbsp of the filling in the corner of each piece. Fold over and press down the edges, before sealing with fork prints all the way around it.

- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce whilst they are still fresh out of the oven. And enjoy!

Have you been up to much? I hope you have a great evening!

xox J

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Vegan Choco-Banana Iced Latte

Good evening and happy Saturday!

Today has been busy busy and I have made some vegan sushi, as well as a vegan spread - both recipes from a Norwegian (or Norvegan should I say :P) vegan website, where you see the pictures and you just want to make everything all at once!

However, I decided to share a quick and delicious pick-me-up coffee recipe, I came up with this myself when I wanted to experiment. Do you remember those foamy chocolate covered banana sweets you get? I lived right next to a chocolate factory as a child, and the days they were making these chocolate bananas the air just smelt..... amazing!! Anywhoooo - now that I am trying to go vegan (and even as a vegetarian) I haven't come across any vegan chocobananas, sigh... BUT somehow adding a banana to my iced latte magically, despite not adding chocolate, tastes JUST like those sweets! When I discovered this I was in awe, and slightly proud one of my experiments actually turned out decent! I have many strange failures in the kitchen behind me, and probably more to come.

Without any further ado.... here you are!

Vegan Choco-Banana Iced Latte

(PS, I have gone over to using re-usable straws now!)

1 espresso shot (usually I use about 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee + 3 tbsp boiling water)
3-4 ice cubes
1 banana, torn into pieces
250ml vanilla soy milk

- Make the espresso first, transfer to a mixer and then tip in the ice cubes to allow it to cool whilst you get the milk. Add the banana and then fill up with milk - Wroom, wroom - and there you have it! It's really that simple!

Please try it and let me know what you think! I still ponder how the chocolate flavour gets in there... It will forever remain a mystery, ha!

The other day, my sister and I checked out a charity shop at random - and they had a painting that we had a copy of in the dining room as children! My mum actually still has it. I nearly ended up buying it, but at the moment I'm still waiting to start my job - so I saved the £15 and just use it as a background on my mobile phone instead....

Turkish Cafe - August Macke, I just love these vibrant colours - makes me feel like I am on holiday!

And here are the things I made today!

Roast Aubergine and plum sushi, and I added some cucumber to some of them as well - SO tasty!

And this is "mockerel" in tomato sauce! I'm trying to find other things rather than hummous to have on my toast in the morning, over the past three years there has been a lot of hummous... and I just want to mix it up!

I also tried tempeh that I got from the health shop today - but that really wasn't to my taste.... But that's OK, I still have a full tray of sushi that needs polished off! Yarr!

Have you had any culinary adventures this week?

I hope you have a fandabbydosey weekend!

xox J

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Turkish Kisir

I thought I would share a little colourful number, courtesy of Yotam Ottolenghi! My cousin gave me this book one christmas, and every. single. recipe. I have tried have been amazing!

Ready? Let's do this!

Turkish Kisir (Serves 4 as a starter, or serve as part of a mezze)


2 onions, finely chopped
100ml olive oil
2 tbsp tomato purée
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
125ml water
400g bulghur wheat, dry
1 1/2 tsp pomegranate syrup (or use agave)
1 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp chopped parsley
3 Spring onions, finely chopped (+ extra to serve)
2 green chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
Seeds from 1 medium pomegranate
A handful of chopped mint leaves
Salt and black pepper

- In a medium size casserole, heat up the oil and add the onions. Sauté on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Then add your tomato purée, and stir for about 2 minutes. Now, you can tip in your tomatoes, and cook for a further 4 minutes. Add the water and leave to boil - then turn off the heat and stir in the bulghur.

- Now, add your syrup, lemon juice, parsley, Spring onion, chilli, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper.

- Plate up, and scatter the pomegranate seeds across, along with a drizzle of oil and some extra mint and Spring onions.

I hope you love this as much as I did! It's fantastic to bring to work for lunch as well, and it is packed full of flavour! I even had this for breakfast to be honest ^ ^

This week has been pretty slow, but good... I have played badminton twice, hung out with Kev and lil fluffy Alphonse, as well as having my sister over - staying up all night chatting and watching rubbish TV. Today she and I even braved the weather and went for a long walk - it was refreshing!

And guys - the weekend is just around the corner!

Have you got plans? I only know Kev and I are going to this nifty little place to eat, and then? Improvise!

I hope you have a good one!

xox J

Monday, 15 January 2018

5 Ingredient Vegan Fluffy Pancakes

Good evening!

I'm just back from badminton this fine evening - and I had a blast! And because I will be slightly hyped up for the next hour or two, I thought I'd pop by here and share a little sweet treat with you!

My sister was over earlier, and so I thought I'd rattle up something a little extra - and it was a success!

It's probably the easiest pancakes I have ever made to be fair....

5 Ingredient Vegan Fluffy Pancakes (Makes about 8 medium or 4 large ones)


1 cup plain or self-raising flour (use wholemeal if you prefer)
1 cup yogurt (I used plain Alpro Soy)
1 cup plant milk of choice (Soy Vanilla is what I used)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp coconut oil for frying

To serve: Anything you want! We had layers of redcurrant jelly (a childhood favourite as my grandmother used to make home made redcurrant jelly and diluted juice when we were children!) along with a dollop of the yogurt, and frozen berries. But really just serve them with lemon juice and sugar, any jam, or syrup!

- Start by mixing the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add in the milk and yogurt and stir well to combine. Let it sit for ten minutes, before heating coconut oil in a non stick frying pan. Dollop half-ladlefuls of the mixture and allow to cook a few minutes on each side until golden. They will start bubbling on the surface when they are ready to turn. Repeat (without adding more coconut oil) until the batter is used up.

Serve with your favourite toppings, and tuck in!

This was originally a Pinterest recipe but it is very easy to adapt and I just wanted to share with you what I made of it *smiles*

I hope you have had an amazing day despite it apparently being Blue Monday!

xox J

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Chestnut Timbales


Tonight I thought I would share a recipe that I discovered in Viva! Magazine. It is quick and simple and perhaps a little different from your normal patty.

Chestnuts don't necessarily mean christmas now, with the already cooked and peeled and sealed chestnuts you can get all year round - and these served as a perfect lunch for me! My favourite combination was with some mango chutney or sweet chilli sauce. But you might come up with other alternatives, let me know! I have a recipe for mango chutney here if you want to give it a go!

Chestnut Timbales (Makes 6)

45g vegan margarine
1 red onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
100g pine nuts or cashews, finely chopped
125g breadcrumbs
1/2 lemon
60g (smoked) vegans cheese, grated
170g artichokes in oil (drained weight), chopped
200g ready cooked and peeled chestnuts, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp linseeds plus 2 tbsp warm water (or other egg-replacer for one egg)
2 tbsp each chopped fresh parsley, sage and thyme (use dry if you have them at hand)

- In a large pan, heat the butter and fry the onion and garlig forabout five minutes. Add nuts, breadcrumbs, rind and juice of half the lemon, cheese, artichoke and chestnuts. Season and stir in the egg-replacer (linseed mix)and the herbs.

- Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Divide the mixture into six, then with firm hands - shape into patties. If you do have baking rings, you can press themfirmly into these and bake, but I just shaped them by hand! Place on a non-stick baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes - et voila! Perfect in a roll with some chutney (mango chutney was my favourite!), or you can have it with vegan cheese, or cranberry sauce - whatever tickles your fancy!

I hope you have had a lovely weekend! I have had some lovely ladies over visiting for chat, movies and snacks, and today my friend Jill make me a delicious vegan chilli with home made vegan garlic mayo and a vegan sour cream - Yum! She even makes her own elderflower wine, and it is delish!

Have a wonderful new week ahead!

xox J

Monday, 8 January 2018

Refreshing Mocktail

Yes, I know... The weekend is just over - but that is not to say you cannot enjoy a non-alcoholic beverage in the evening, surely? *smiles*

I made these when I was hanging out with some friends, and we didn't want to get tipsy or whatever, so I just rattled up some of these!

Refreshing Mocktail

Glace Cherries (optional)

- Pour each glass almost full with ginger beer, then add the juice of 1/3 lime, a good splash of grenadine, and finish off with a glace cherry. Easy as that!

I hope you are having a good Monday! I have really struggled to get any proper sleep over the last week, so I hope that changes soon. It was Kev's birthday yesterday, and so we went to this lovely restaurant in Finnieston called Fanny Trollopes - and yes, it might have a peculiar name; but you couldn't dine in a more friendly place! The food was absolutely stunning! And they didn't even flinch when I asked if they could make something vegan for myself. The birthday boy was so impressed that it's now his favourite restaurant here in Glasgow, fancy that!

Tonight, I am playing badminton,tomorrow's college, and I hope I hear about starting my new job soon!
What have you got planned for the week?

In any which case I wish you a merry Monday! x J

Friday, 5 January 2018

Vegan Banana & Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Good evening good people!

Today I thought I would post a little sweet treat up for you - recipe courtesy of Blue Cross for Pets. I hosted a little charity evening last year and these went down a treat! Last time I had a clothes swap I also made these, and there were none left by the time they'd scuttled home.

These a vegan, and not dry! I have tried a few vegan cake recipes and usually 50% of the time it works - I have got to practise a little bit more, and collect my absolute favourites: these cupcakes are definitely up there!

Vegan Banana & Peanut Butter Cupcakes - Makes 16

240 self-raising flour
140g golden caster sugar
1/2 salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
240g egg-free mayonnaise such as May-O
2 large or 3 small ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
25g (or 50g) vegan dark chocolate chip

For the icing
80g vegan margarine
250g icing sugar
25ml vegan milk (I usually use vanilla soy, oat or almond milk)
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter

- Pre-heat the oven to 170C or 150C fan.

- In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Make a well in the middle and tip in mashed bananas, the mayonnaise, and vanilla extract. Stir well to combine and the swirl the chocolate chips through.

- Spoon mixture into cupcake cases and place in the middle of the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes.

- When the cupcakes are done, let them cool a little and then mix all the icing ingredients together until you have a smooth, lush texture, ice the cupcakes whichever way you like! Add sprinkles if you want, and serve!

These will keep in an airtight container for two days, buuuut I doubt they'll last that long!

What is your favourite vegan cupcake recipe? I would love some more inspiration!

I just came back from a long walk here in Glasgow, walked through Kelvingrove Park and around a few neighbour hoods that I have lived in the past. Certainly builds up an appetite! Time for dinner in a bit, yum!

Have a lovely evening!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Sweet Potato, Spinach and Lentil Dhal

So today, I thought since I have had a re-boot myself, I would share a recipe that was one of the first I posted on my blog actually! When I was a child, I was the pickiest of eaters, and now.... well - the first time I tried this dish it was probably one of those "hang on a minute.... this is vegetarian and actually TASTY?!" type of moments. Since then I have made it time and time again, despite usually not liking making the same dish again... A few recipes just sort of stick around!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Sweet Potato, Spinach and Lentil Dhal (Serves two)

450 ml vegan stock (I use Knorr)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 red chilli (or 1/2 if you don't like it too spicy) deseeded and finely chopped
100g red lentils
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp Garam Masala
A few handfuls of spinach
Salt to taste
Pitta bread or rice to serve

Don't you just want to stick you hand in there, like Amelie Montmartre?

- Start by making the stock in a medium sized pan, then add your onions, chilli, lentils, sweet potato and spices. Cover and cook for about half an hour until the sweet potato and lentils are tender. In the mean time, if serving with rice, make sure you time that right for when the dhal is ready.

- Once the dhal is ready, tip in the spinach and stir until it is wilted - this should only take a minute or two. Serve up with rice or bread and enjoy!

We had it with rice today, but usually we serve it with pitta bread. Other than that, I am just waiting on the thumbs up to start my new job - and I finished reading Philip Pullman's "The Books of Dust: Volume One - La Belle Sauvage" and wow! I haven't read his Dark Materials series for over a decade, but being teased into that world again - it was just awesome! I only bought it the other week as well, and though I am a slow reader, I managed to inhale it!

Are you reading anything at the moment?

Have a lovely evening,


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Long Time no See!

Right, so it has been ridiculously long since I have posted anything - but there were a few reasons for that.

1. One of my previous jobs were grinding me down mentally to the point of me just floating around wondering what I was doing with my life. Thankfully, I had amazing support, and I made some amazing friends along the way of recovery - taking a few steps back, a time out, and heal. Also - we got a little kitten!! His name is Alphonse and he is disgustingly cute. And yes, he totally came into our home at the grand old age of two months and totally claimed the flat. So this is his kingdom now!

2. I was working hard, feeling overwhelmed and also I was studying (floristry), I still am studying actually - and it is only part-time, but jeez; a lot of work nevertheless! This next semester will be a little more demanding than the last - but I will power through it!

3. Part of the feeling of feeling overwhelmed also meant that taking photos of every new dish I made, uploading photos and writing became a bit of a struggle... But I might just be able to handle that now - I reset my laptop yesterday evening and am ready to rumble!

So yeh, those are the main reasons - and also, I have been reading tonnes! In 2016 I set myself a New Year's resolution (I know, I know, but this was actually quite achievable!) to read a book a month, and I did it! And then continued with it into 2017 and read 18 books last year! Eighteen!!!! I love delving into other worlds and just let myself be taken away on adventures.
I started playing badminton again last year as well, which has done me all sorts of good beyong imagining! In September I joined a local club, and I'm telling you - the members there are the best kinds of people! My sister also moved to Glasgow last year - which was the best surprise! So we have caught up with a lot of time that was lost when she was living back in Norway.

In addition to this, on a more food-related note, I have been eating more vegan foods over the last half year (those of you who follow me on Instagram - Julie_Skogedal) will probably have noticed all those stupid little hashtags.... (my boyfriend is a little daunted, but I'll try and make my transition as smooth as possible, and I wont stop him eating whatever he wants - this is just a personal choice for me!) This year, I want to challenge myself to eating close to all vegan. Although.... Today, on day THREE I grabbed a bottle of aloe vera juice which tends to always be vegan, but I noticed hey had added honey in it, probably because it was out of a health cafe - but it is all just a learning curve, and I hope to discover loads of great new recipes and be forever inspired by my blog-friends too!

I hope you have had a good start to 2018, and I'll be looking forward to sharing recipes and adventures with you as we go along!

xox J