Happy 21st Birthday Little Bro!

On Sunday we celebrated the birthday of my younger brother Daniel who has grown from this:


L-R Daniel (little bro), David (big bro) and Me

To this:


Watching the Foo Fighters at Reading 2012

We had a small party at home with my mum’s famous buffet. Unfortunately for me there’s usually not much variety on buffet tables for somebody who is gluten free, vegan and on a wholefoods diet. I decided to put some effort in this time and had a bit of a feast like everybody else!


For some reason I had a craving for a beany/tomato dish and this is what I came up with. I followed no recipe for this and didn’t note down what I did either (sorry!). It consisted of a tin of red kidney beans, one of chickpeas, one of butter beans and two of chopped tomatoes. I also added babycorn, onion and green beans. For a bit of spice I added chilli and coriander. This was nice cold (good for dipping nachos in!) but also good heated up the next day over a jacket potato.

ImageA savoury meaty tasting dish came next. I roasted a whole packet of button mushrooms with a chopped aubergine and some walnuts. This was perfection. I used tamari to give it a deeper flavour and then sprinkled with chives before serving.











Standard vegan fare… a platter of chopped carrots, green and red peppers, courgettes and cherry tomatoes with two types of hummus for dipping (Pea and Mint / Plain).



ImageMore standard vegan fare… salad. However I added roasted vegetables (courgette, pepper, red onion) and sweetcorn to this to make it a little bit different.

ImageMy feast plate!

A good time was had by all. I’ll leave you with a photo of a chocoholic (but not in any way vegan) birthday cake.

ImageHappy Birthday Daniel!


A new year, a new diet and our family dinner

Happy new year everyone! I hope 2013 brings you everything you hope for and that you’re still sticking to your new years resolutions 18 hours in!

For those of you that don’t know, I’m beginning a new wholefoods diet/lifestyle from today. You can find out more in my previous post (https://writingbeckles.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/a-new-year-a-new-me/). I thought I’d celebrate this by cooking a family meal for New Years Day.

Well it was a success with my meat eating family! My brother actually went back for seconds which impressed me! I’ll show you some photos and then tell you what we had.


Beans and Mushrooms, Sweetcorn and Peppers


Carrots and Cauliflower, Sesame Sprouted Broccoli, Asparagus and Baby Courgette, Roasted Potatoes and Squash


My plate with a bit of everything!

For the main dish I used a recipe out of Veganomicon but ended up not following the instructions (like always!). The recipe is called Rustic White Beans and Mushrooms and calls for dried beans which always replace with canned (because I’m lazy!). By replacing the  beans I changed the entire texture of the dish as not as much water was needed. I also chopped the vegetables and left them in rather than just using them for stock like the recipe suggests. I therefore ended up with an entirely different dish! I used cannelini and haricot beans, onion, celery, carrot, leek and two types of mushrooms. It was a yummy earthy tasting dish.

The side dishes were:

  • Roasted Potatoes with rosemary and thyme
  • Roasted Sweet Potato and Squash with cumin seeds
  • Sweetcorn with Peppers (red and green)
  • Sesame Green Veg – sprouted broccoli, baby courgette and asparagus tips stir fried in sesame oil with sesame seeds and tamari
  • Boiled Cauliflower and Carrot

The gravy was impressive. I used a recipe from Spark Recipes (http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1280339). It was the best gluten free vegan gravy I’ve tried and was vaguely reminiscent of roasted chicken as I used rosemary and thyme instead of sage.

I’ve got some great leftovers for lunch tomorrow and I had a really nice plate of comfort food that didn’t make me ill! It was great passing the dishes around the table as well instead of just putting a plate of food in front of everyone.

I hope you’ve all had as good a day as me and have a wonderful new year.