Monday, 29 May 2017

Gluten & dairy free CHOCOLATE MAYO CAKE & Strawberry smoothie recipe

Can't believe we're practically in June already - I'm definitely ready for summer. Summer food you tend to think of smoothies (hence recipe two) fruit, salads & lighter meals, so this recipe may seem a bit random, but I say you can't beat a good chocolate cake - at any time of the year - and this one has the added bonus of being gluten and dairy free so if you have allergies you don't have to miss out.
I used regular soft brown sugar here - you can use coconut sugar or another sugar replacement if you prefer.
I've find my body reacts exactly the same to any so called healthier sugars as it does to regular sugar, So, I don't eat sweet stuff that often, but when I do I go for the real thing.

preheat the oven to 150c


200g doves farm gluten free self raising flour  (if you're not in the UK or can't get hold of it, any gluten free self raising flour mix will be fine)
3 heaped tabs cocoa
200g Mayonnaise
4 eggs
185g soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

200g dark chocolate
125g soy cream

1. Line or grease a cm cake tin.
2. beat all the cake ingredients together & pour the cake batter into the tin

3 bake in the centre of the oven for 65 mins (nb all ovens are a little different - I've given this recipe to 2 friends, one of whom said it took 50 mins and the other said 75 mins!)
so 65 mins is what it takes in my oven, and is a general guide.
to know if its ready you want it to be firm but springy on the top and if you poke a skewer or a knife in the centre it should come out clean (ie no uncooked cake mix on it).
4 when ready, remove from tin and leave to cool (preferable on a wire baking rack - I don't have one so I use a plate).
5 when the cake is cool it's ready to ice.
6 break the dark chocolate into pieces and place in a heat proof bowl. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and then reduce the heat. place the bowl of chocolate over the top and leave until its all melted. remove from the heat and mix the soy cream (or oat cream or coconut cream) into the chocolate until its all mixed together. place in the fridge for about half an hour to cool and begin to set.
7 when the icing has cooled and thickened but is still spreadable (again, the time this takes will depend on how cold your fridge is, so keep checking)  spread it over the cake, decorate with anything you feel like ( I used bee pollen and edible dried flowers).
8. cut.

9. Eat!

Ok, so in the spirit of balance and moderation, here is my favourite smoothie recipe at the moment! Enjoy!

100g strawberries (you could also use raspberries)
1- 2 medjool dates (hidden under the spinach!)
1 large handful spinach
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (about 20g)  vanilla whey protein is nice if you do dairy, or any vegan one will do
rice milk (I used 200ml - use more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon cashew butter
1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)

1 place all the ingredients into your blender and blitz.
2  decorated with bee pollen and Beetroot powder if you're interested.
3 Drink!

Happy June everyone, see you next month.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

QUINOA BUTTERNUT SQUASH & FETA SALAD/ & dealing with overeating in the evenings.

First up, so sorry I've been away from this space for so long, and thank you to everyone who has visited the blog in my absence.
I'm back on track now, and Kanga's helping :)

So, in this post I'm talking about a problem that is very common & so many people seem to struggle with. Eating healthy all day, then can't stop eating all evening. Even if this isn't an issue for you, I hope you still enjoy today's recipe.
Overeating in the evenings has never been an issue for me- I tend to lose my appetite after 7pm!- but I know this isn't the case for most people, as I hear it all the time in my homeopathic clinic and also with weight conscious friends.
Bingeing or overeating can be due to so many reasons - boredom, loneliness, working in a stressful environment then needing a coping mechanism when you get home, nutritional deficiencies.........the list goes on.
But for today I'm going to focus on the most common reason - undereating during the day.

If you have a coffee & a banana for breakfast, then salad for lunch- that's not being healthy, it's undereating & guess what? By the time you get home your body will be starving. It's not weak, it's not greedy, it's not lack of willpower - its biology. If you don't eat enough calories during the day, it will catch up with you - your body is keeping count. It's designed this way to keep you alive - if you starve it, it will think there is a struggle for survival and sooner or late it will drive you to eat everything insight.
Then if you binge in the evenings you won't be hungry for breakfast the next day and the whole cycle continues.
Undereating all day and then overeating in the evenings is a sure fire way to gain weight, so even if you're wanting to shed a few pounds, make sure you eat proper, substantial meals throughout the day. It makes such a difference to keeping your appetite in check and also in ensuring you have enough energy to get the most out of each day.

We're heading into summer now (even though if you're in the UK like me, this probably seems like a joke as the weather is freezing at the moment!) - but sunnier days make us think of lighter foods like salad for lunch. There's nothing wrong with salad for lunch, but just a bowl of green leaves will likely see you reaching for the biscuits mid afternoon - so make your salads healthy but hearty.
This recipe is great because you can make it on a Sunday, keep it in the fridge and that's 3 days lunch sorted! - This is the basic recipe but you can add to it, and change it up every day. If you eat meat, then you can add some chicken, ham or tuna, and if you're veggie you could add a can of chickpeas or black beans.  Nuts and seeds sprinkled over the top would also be great additions.
this basic recipe makes roughly 3 servings. More if you add beans, nuts, chicken etc.


200g Quinoa (uncooked weight)
150g Frozen sweetcorn
200g Butternut squash (peeled weight)
1 large red onion (peeled and chopped)
100g feta cheese
large handful of chopped, drained black olives
large handful of chopped, fresh spinach.

6 dessertspoons olive oil
3  dessertspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1-2 dessertspoons maple syrup

1. preheat the oven at 180c
2. place the quinoa in a large saucepan and cover with water. leave to soak for an hour or so.
3 drain the water away from the saucepan. Add in 300g fresh water or stock.
Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan and leave simmering for about 15 mins. Check on it periodically and if it needs some more water, add some. At the end of cooking time if there is excess liquid, just turn up the heat, take the lid of and cook for a further couple of minutes until its all been absorbed.
If at the end of cooking time the quinoa isn't done, add a little more water, turn up the heat till its bubbling, then remove the pan from the heat, leave the lid on and let it finish cooking in the residual heat for 10 to 15 minutes.  When cooked it should resemble this -

Once cooked, leave to cool
4 chop the butternut squash into bite sized pieces. Place in an oven proof dish, add a tablespoon of light olive oil, rapeseed oil or other cooking oil and mix the butternut squash in the oil so that all pieces are evenly coated.  bake in the oven for about 35 mins (nb I like my squash, cooked but with a bit of bite, not mushy - if you prefer yours softer, then leave for a bit longer (they will be sweeter that way too)
I didn't add salt to the squash as the feta and olives are quite salty.
5 whilst the quinoa and squash are cooking. chop your red onion and place in a frying pan with a tablespoon of light cooking oil of your choice. Stir fry the onion over a medium heat until they are softened and beginning to brown.
6 Almost forgot the sweetcorn! - you could also used canned, but I use frozen, and there's no need to cook it. I just leave it in a bowl to defrost. You retain all the goodness that way and could not be easier!
7. when the squash and onion are cooked, mix together in a big bowl.

8. Add the quinoa, black olives, crumble feta cheese in, add the chopped spinach. Mix together, that's it your done! you can eat it straight away, or store in the fridge - it's just as delicious hot or cold.
9 for the dressing ingredients, just whisk them all together! Give it a taste test (I like dipping romaine lettuce in for a taste test) and add more vinegar, mustard, maple syrup or oil, depending on what you feel it needs.

Not only is it a great "on the go lunch", it's also good to have in the fridge for when you come home starving. Perfect on its own, or a great side with an omelette, grilled salmon or anything else you can think of.

I hope the advice and/or the recipe featured in today's post has been useful. It's such a big subject and I've only touched on it here. If you're not sure how much you should be eating during the day to be healthy, but still want to lose weight I would encourage you to get some professional advice. It can save lots of time, wasted effort & heartache.  Last but not least I did not intend to demonise biscuits in this post! There's absolutely nothing wrong with a biscuit or two....ok three.  It's all about balance and moderation, and only you know if things are out of balance. Till next time friends x

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Ginger & tamari Tofu & chocolate banana boat.

March! Spring is on the way! the flowers are beginning to push through and its still light at 5 30. I love spring, and as the days get sunnier and longer our lives get busier as we want to be out & about, making the most of the extra daylight hours, not spending hours slaving away over dinner.
So this is super quick, very simple but really delicious.
More & more people are eating meatless meals, whether they are turning vegetarian, vegan, or just including more plant based dishes. Tofu can be really bland and uninspiring if you're not sure what to do with it, but this Tofu dish is packed with flavour & will hopefully convert you if you've previously found it tasteless.

200g Firm tofu
4 dessert spoons light oil . I used rapeseed, you can use any other mild flavoured oil.
2 dessert spoons tamari soy sauce.  (regular soy sauce is not gluten free if you need to be careful)
1 level dessert spoon ground ginger

that's it. Just 4 ingredients!

1.  Chop the tofu up into cubes as shown.

2  In a bowl, mix up the oil, tamari  & the ginger powder to make the marinade.

3 Pour the marinade over the tofu and mix well to make sure it is all covered in the sauce.
4 place in the fridge for half an hour. (or fine to be left for longer - half an hour is the minimum).
5. 15 minutes in turn the tofu over to make sure each side is evenly coated.

6.  To cook you can either stir fry it for 5 mins in a frying pan, over a medium heat until the outside starts to brown. (Its' been marinating in oil so you don't need any extra oil to cook it this way.)
Second option is to place it in an oven proof dish and pop in the oven for 30 mins (180c).

Served here with brown rice pasta, carrots, mushrooms and spinach. You can serve with rice, quinoa, any veggies you like.
Another extra finishing touch (which I forgot - sorry!) is to sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds over the tofu once its cooked.

Whilst your eating your tofu, take 2 bananas, slice them down the middle about 1/2 way through the banana- you're not cutting them in half! and place some chocolate squares in the gap you made as shown.

Bake in the oven (180c again) for 15 mins or until the banana skin has turned black and you can see the chocolate is melted.  Sooo easy & very delicious!

                                                          Not the prettiest I know.

That's it for this month. Happy spring everyone!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017



It's that time of year again! Hearts & flowers............................

Chocolate and beetroot.......................

Wait, What? No I haven't lost my mind. Don't go! Beetroot works really well with chocolate, gives the choc pots a really nice colour and means that dessert is packed with anti oxidents as well as being delicious.
These couldn't be easier to make, and you can make them a day in advance, leaving you more time to spend with your loved one (if you're planning a romantic dinner for two) or just eat whenever you feel like it, if it's just for you.
I know some people find valentines day pretty depressing if they're on their own, or in a relationship that isn't working that well. But this time of year when reminders of love are everywhere doesn't have to be about being in a relationship. Celebrate all the things you love most in your life. Your passions, your talents, your friends, family, pets, hopes, dreams. Anything! All the things in your life that make you happy. The more you focus on the good things, you more you will attract other good things into your life. This is honestly so true!

                                                                 two of my great loves!

So if you're on your own - great, there's more for you!

100g of cooked, peeled beetroot
100g dark chocolate
100g soy cream ( you could also use oat cream, regular dairy cream or coconut cream)
a few cherries, strawberries or raspberries to serve
50g white chocolate ( I used dairy free chocolate)

1 for the beetroot you can either use precooked beetroot (NOT the kind that is packed in vinegar!!) or bake it yourself. I make it myself as I much prefer the taste,  I take a sharp knife and poke it into the uncooked beets a few times (as you might do with a baked potato). Place into the oven at 180c for a couple of hours, or until the skin is starting to wrinkle and the beet feels soft & cooked when you poke a knife in.
2 break the chocolate up into small squares. Place in a heat proof bowl with the cream.  (note it's 100g of cream, not 100ml).
3 Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. place the bowl on top of the saucepan and let the chocolate melt. stir it as it's melting to mix it together with the cream.
4. When the chocolate is melted, transfer the chocolate/cream mix to a blender with the beetroot.
5  Blitz
6, Depending on how powerful your blender is, you may want to sieve the mixture to make sure there are no little lumps of beetroot.

7 Divide the mixture into two teacups, wine glasses, ramekins..... whatever you want to serve them in.
8 Leave in the fridge to set - preferably overnight.
9 to serve, decorate each chocolate pot with a couple of cherries, strawberries or raspberries.
9  take 50g white chocolate ( I used vegan white chocolate, you can use any you like). and melt in the same way as you melted the dark chocolate (without the cream).  When it's melted, using a spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the top of the choc pots.

10. return to the fridge for half an hour or so to set. Or leave in the fridge until you're ready to eat them. Yummm!

Saturday, 31 December 2016


Happy new year Rabbit foodies! I hope you all had a happy Christmas. This was my present from my friend Suzanne. Cats + yoga = my life!

So 2017. The new year is a time we examine our lives. What's working, what's not, what we want more of, what we want to let go of and what we want to transform.
For me, 2016 didn't end on the highest note health wise. I found myself reacting to a lot of foods that I'd re introduced into my diet, my joints were constantly aching and some of my chronic fatigue symptoms were returning.
After some investigation I put this down to a couple of things.
Firstly I re introduced corn back into my diet & with hindsight this was a mistake. A while back a blood test showed I was cross reacting to corn, but to be honest I found cutting it out really limiting, especially when eating out, because suddenly many of the GF options weren't available to me either.

When I realised that things were going downhill I cut corn out again and saw an almost instant improvement. No more joint pain, insomnia or constant bloating, however I'm still suffering from multi food sensitivities, which is a major indication that the gut needs some healing.

The second thing is stress. I lost my Grandma, moved house and started a new job, and I'm a fairly anxious person anyway. Don't underestimate the negative impact stress can have on your health.
It ended up being a vicious cycle because the more stressed I got, the worse my digestive problems, which then made me stressed and anxious about eating out, socialising etc etc.

We can't completely avoid stress, and we don't have to in order to heal, but just simply taking time to take some slow deep breaths whenever you think of it, can have a massive impact. Also when you find yourself feeling stressed, slow things down. Your movements, your speech, everything. Smile, laugh, even if it's the last thing you feel like doing. These simple actions tells the body to switch off the stress response.
My ultimate stress busters are yoga and cuddles with my cat, but you will have your own way of de stressing.

Right, so stress taken care of, here's what I'm doing to heal my gut. I generally avoid giving advice about healing on this page, simply because I don't want people arguing that this food I've recommended is bad for this, or not healthy because of that. But the thing is there is no perfect food or perfect diet that suits everyone.
We are all free to make our own choices, and I respect the choices of others, even though they may not resonate with me personally.
So this is what is working for me and I hope in sharing it might help someone else out there.

I'm taking probiotics, L glutamine, slippery elm and turmeric as gut healing supplements.
Turmeric lattes make the best wintery drinks and are very gut friendly. you can find a ton of recipes on the internet, but I basically just whisk a heaped teaspoon of turmeric into a cup of rice milk and warm on the stove, drink. Rice milk is naturally sweet so counteracts the slightly bitter taste of the turmeric without you needing to add any sweetener.

So here's the list of NO's for me at the moment. 1. Grains. I love them, they don't love me. 2 Dairy. A really common food for people with coeliac disease to cross react with. But is also a common problem food in it's own right. Kefir is the one dairy product you may find recommended on gut healing programmes - it has numerous reported benefits. 3. Meat. Personally I don't eat meat as  a) it just doesn't feel right to me and b) I don't tolerate it well anyway. I don't believe that drinking bone broth is the only way to cure my gut issues (despite being told this a million times by well meaning nutritionists!). However I have met a number of people with coeliac disease & other autoimmune problems, who have healed on a paleo diet eating good quality meat & drinking the afore mentioned bone broth, so it's a personal choice. 5. Sugar (probably don't need to explain this one!)  6  Nuts. I'm having allergic reactions to nuts again, including coconut, so obviously these are out for me. that being said I have included some nuts in the breakfast recipe because for most people coconut oil is very beneficial for gut healing and the smoothie tastes much better (so I'm told!) with a handful of cashew nuts.
Some gut healing diets recommend you cut out potatoes, tomatoes, lentils and pulses, but those are all really good foods for me so I've kept them in. Although most people will advise you to cut out all grains, I'm actually eating white rice/ rice milk as well as pseudo grains Quinoa & buckwheat. This works for me. Likewise coconut oil, dairy kefir and bone broth which are commonly recommended, are not well tolerated at all, so they're out.



Smoothies are a great choice for breakfast because you get lots of nutrients into your body first thing and also they are easy to add your supplements into. However, in the winter months I need something more warming to entice me out of bed, so the trick is to make a smoothie bowl (thicker than a smoothie you can drink) add some toppings and have with a cup of herbal tea to warm you up.

for this one you will need          Serves 1
1 pear
2 medjool dates (hidden under the spinach!)
1 piece of broccoli (you can steam it first for easier digestion if you prefer)
1 handful of spinach
1 tablespoon cashew nuts or cashew butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 dessertspoon protein powder of your choice

place all the ingredients in the blender, add enough plant based milk (I used rice milk) to make a smooth but thick consistency. Open a capsule of L glutamine, tip the contents into the smoothie and mix in well. Do the same with any other supplements you are taking.
Decorate with any toppings of your choice. Some people find nut or seed butters easier than whole nuts or seeds for an irritated gut.


Lunch can be something like Quinoa, roasted butternut squash and sauerkraut. (this is red cabbage sauerkraut). This is also really good for gut healing. You can also add a spoonful of Kefir (again super good for gut healing- I don't have the time or space here to go into the benefits of these foods but there's lots of info out there if you want to know more!) If you can't tolerate dairy kefir, coconut Kefir is quite widely available, and a good alternative. ( Most Holland and Barratt stores stock it in the UK).


This is my alternative to bone broth!
You can discard the veggies and drink the broth to make a super nourishing drink, or as I have done here, make into a thick soup. To make it you will need the following.

2 ORGANIC medium potatoes. washed and scrubbed.
75g shitake mushrooms
1 medium carrot
1 x 1inch piece of ginger (peeled)
50g cabbage (I used Brussel sprouts!)
400ml vegetable stock  ( If bone broth is your thing, this would be the time to use it! - if not, you can use homemade stock or stock from a cube)
(you can also add a teaspoon of garlic puree into the soup, if it's well tolerated - it's not here!)

1 peel the potatoes and add the peel to the saucepan.  (discard the peeled potatoes - you can use them later for roasting, mashing, etc)
2  add the rest of the veggies and the stock.
3 bring to the boil, cover the pan with a lid and simmer until the carrots and potato peel are soft and cooked (about 10 mins). discard the ginger.
4 add 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce, a little black pepper.
5. transfer the soup to a blender and blitz.
6 voila!
this soup should serve 2. It's quite thick, but it's easy to add more stock, or dairy free milk if you want a thinner consistency.

If you are making a broth, rather than the soup, after bringing the soup to the boil  and covering( stage 3), leave the veggies to simmer for at least an hour before straining the liquid off. - you can pour it through a sieve to get any little bits out. Keep the liquid in a sealed jar or bottle in the fridge until you're ready to use it.


Very ripe bananas, avocado, smoothies, dairy free yogurt - anything you can add some more L glutamine into! Another top tip is to make sure your food is not too cold (frozen fruit in smoothies) or too hot (piping hot soup or hot chocolate). Both these extremes "shock" the system, briefly producing the stress response, which is damaging to the gut and also shut down digestion . By the same token, other stimulants, such as caffeinated tea & coffee are best left out too if you can. (I'm sorry!)

Overall the message is to make 2017 the year you get back in touch with you. The foods your body wants and needs (at the moment, because we are constantly changing). Listen to the advice of others who have achieved the things you are aiming for, take on board anything that resonates and leave the rest. You know yourself better than anyone, but sometimes we get so bombarded with experts telling us what to eat, what not to eat, what's good, what's bad, that we forget to go inside, to listen to our inner wisdom. You are the only expert on you. You have all the answers, but you won't find them on the internet. Sometimes you just need to experiment and really pay attention with how X, Y or Z makes you feel, without being so brainwashed by popular opinion, that you are missing or ignoring the signs or signals your body is giving you.
Gut healing is a huge topic - I could write a book! - so this is an edited version, but if you want any more information about gut healing, what's worked for me, what hasn't etc, please email me at  alternatively check out the website where there is lots of useful information about all things gut related.

wishing you all a 2017 that is full of health, happiness, love and laughter and anything else you might wish for.

Till next time.xx

Wednesday, 30 November 2016


So here we are at the last post of the year. Christmas is almost upon us & everyone is coming to me this year. I found out when my younger sister asked me if it was Ok if one more joined us for lunch (her holiday plans fell through). I was like " Of course! Wait. Why is she asking me?....."
But I'm looking forward to having them all over and have actually got my first ever Christmas tree for the occasion. Love, love, love it!

Just hope that a certain black cat can be trusted not to attack it on a daily basis..........although might've helped if I hadn't decorated it with owls, robins & fluffy birds (I don't know what they are).

                                                    "who me?"

So, on with the recipe and I think its a good one! It Certainly didn't last long in my family, which is always a good sign (especially with my sisters who seem to have a strong aversion to anything with a "gluten free" tag.)
Not everyone likes Christmas cake or Christmas pudding (my brother is the one in our family who will eat it and he's in Spain this year) So this is a yummy, Christmassy alternative. It's not as difficult as you may think, but always looks quite impressive. The great thing about making a yule log is that it doesn't matter if it cracks or falls apart - in fact all the better if it does - it will look even more like a gnarly piece of log! just have fun with it and don't worry about getting it perfect. It will taste delicious no matter what.
I've made it with two alternative fillings. The one at the top is covered and filled with buttercream , the one below  is dairy free, filled with coconut cream and covered with dairy free icing.

SPONGE ingredients
125g plain gluten free flour  ( I used Dove's farm)
130g caster sugar
4 large eggs
3 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
1 level teaspoon baking powder

150g unsalted butter
225g icing sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

200g of coconut cream or coconut yogurt ( I used Coyo)

100g dairy free spread
150g icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1  Preheat the oven to 180c
2  Beat all the sponge ingredients together until you get a smooth batter
3  spread the mix onto a sheet of paper, about 1 - 1.5cm thick, in a kind of rectangle shape (it doesn't need to be too exact)
4 bake in the oven for 15 minutes. I know I've said it a million times, but all ovens vary, so keep an eye on it - your oven may take 10 minutes. you want it firm, but springy to the touch.
5 lay another sheet of baking paper on a clean work surface. when the cake is cooked, flip onto the  paper and peel off the lining paper it cooked on.
6  roll up the sponge (from its longest side - with the second piece of paper inside) into a tube shape. leave to cool. when cool, unroll the log

To make the buttercream icing shown at the top of the page
1 Beat the icing sugar, unsalted butter & cocoa together. you may need a little water if the mixture is too stiff (or to take it up a notch, a spoonful or two of brandy)
2 when the sponge is cool, unwrap it. Spread some of the icing over the flat surface and roll it up again (not in the paper this time).
3 cut a thick, diagonal piece off the log and place it at the side of the log (to make a branch, see main picture).
4 cover the log with the rest of the buttercream. Use a fork to make a "bark" pattern. dust with icing sugar for a snow effect and decorate with Holly.

To make the dairy free version.
Spread the coconut cream over the flat surface instead of the icing and roll the log up (not with the paper this time).
Beat the dairy free spread, the icing sugar and the cocoa together to make the icing. Don't use any water for this one - the consistency of the icing won't be thick enough. Spread the icing over the top of the log, use a fork to make a bark pattern, and dust with icing sugar for a snow effect.
Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2017 to each and every one of you!

Just to clarify, This is a Christmas tree at the Royal Albert Hall in London, not mine!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016


November! - Not going to lie, it's not my favourite month of the year........ It's usually starting to get cold, wet and Christmas seems ages away. Kia wants to hibernate and I do too! That being said there are some absolutely beautiful autumn colours around at the moment, so it's not all bad!

I do however, love late autumn/winter food - Curries, casseroles and best of all shepherd's pie. There is already a recipe on the blog for lentil shepherds pie (and its one of the most popular), but this one really is quite different. The other one uses lentils, mushrooms & sweet potatoes, whereas here we're using vegetarian mince, tomatoes and white potatoes...... (oh, er and still mushrooms).

200g frozen vegetarian mince (I used soya mince, you could also use quorn mince)
2 medium carrots
6 medium mushrooms
2 medium tomatoes
1 stick celery
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
150 ml red wine
1 dessertspoon sundried tomato paste (or regular if you can't get sundried tomato)
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce (I used Biona which is gluten free)
500g (peeled weight) potatoes
2 tablespoons butter (or alternative)
A little milk of your choice to get mashed potato to the right consistency

1 Chop up all the veggies
2 Heat 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil in frying pan, over a medium heat. Add the celery, carrots & mushrooms. Stir fry for about 10 minutes, until softened and starting to brown.
3 Add the tomatoes, veggie mince and red wine. Stir well, then add the tomato paste and the Worcester sauce (you can use tamari soy sauce instead if you like).
4 cook over a medium heat for about 15 mins. ( you want it gently bubbling away).
5 meanwhile chop your potatoes and place in a large saucepan. cover with water, add a generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and leave bubbling away, until the potatoes are soft and cooked. (around 15 mins)
6 When your mince and veggies have had their 10 mins, transfer the mixture to a baking dish.

8. Drain the potatoes, mash with the butter (or butter alternative) and milk.  spoon the mashed potato over the mince.
9 sprinkle with a little cheese, maybe some breadcrumbs, bit of chilli, few sliced tomatoes, some chopped nuts - top it as you like!
10 Bake in the oven for around 30 mins until the top is starting to brown.
11 Serve!

ps a note on servings. this would feed 2 - 3 people, depending on appetite and if you serve it with peas, green beans and other veg etc.

                                                  Happy November everyone!