Friday, December 19, 2008


Here's my December cake. Well, one of them. There may be one more before the month is out. I'm gone cake mad!


225gr of self raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1tsp NoEgg mixed with 2tblsps water (or 1 beaten egg for non vegans)
1½ tablespoons of treacle
200mls of soya milk
100gr of light brown sugar
225gr of raisins
100gr walnuts
30gr flaked almonds

o Preheat the oven to 160˚C
o Grease a 2lb loaf tin
o Sieve the flour and spice, mix in sugar, dried fruits and walnuts
o Heat the soya milk and the treacle gently until they are thoroughly combined, but be careful not to over heat.
o Mix the NoEgg mix into the treacle and milk. Then mix this mixture into the dry ingredients
o Put the mixture into the loaf tin. Gently shake to flatten the top
o Sprinkle with the flaked almonds
o Bake for an hour and ten minutes in the top of the oven.
o Test with a skewer to see if it is baked through

Thursday, December 11, 2008


We have eaten all of our vegan Xmas cake, bar one tiny smidgin. Sigh. Only two other people - our friends John and Malcolm - got to taste it. It really was delicious: crumbly, moist, full of taste. I think the combination of dates and brandy are what made it so, so good.

So now I think I need another cake; a December cake, if you will. And I need to decide what that will be. Stay tuned!

Last night we went to a Vegetarian Christmas Cookery Demonstration, run by Ann Mills, in the An Gáirdín Organic Centre in Portumna, 20 miles away. Everything was fresh, organic, seasonal and local, where possible. None of the food was vegan, but all the recipes were adaptable. Most of the produce was grown on site.

We were welcomed with a hot blackcurrant drink. They then made carrot and coriander soup to start; leek and tomato croustade for the main, with parsnips, brussels sprouts and roast potatoes; and an apple and yogurt trifle for dessert. All of it was delicious. Mr Vegan could taste very little but enjoyed what he did sample. After the demo, they served us a 3 course meal. I thought we'd get a little taster but it was bountiful. It was a lovely evening in good company, and considering the dinner I ate, good value at €35 each.

An Gáirdín run other courses throughout the year and their site is here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Here's a seasonal take on my regular spelt muffins. Oranges are so Christmassy, are they not? They just smell like Christmas to me.

Makes 12 small, figgy-orange muffins.

Preheat oven to 180˚C

125 gr of halved or quartered ready-to-eat figs
rind and juice of 1 large orange
250 gr (9oz) wholegrain spelt flour
25gr (1oz) light muscovado sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
100ml soya milk
1 tsp NoEgg mixed with 2tblsps water (non vegans can use one beaten egg)
2 tblsps vegetable oil
12 muffin or bun cases

• Put muffin cases into bun tray
• Zest the orange, then half it and squeeze it
• Cut up the figs into halves or quarters (depends how big they are) and remove any stalks
• Soak the figs in the orange juice and rind
• Mix the flour, spice, sugar and baking powder in a bowl
• Make up the NoEgg as per pack (or beat your egg)
• In a jug, mix together the soya milk, oil and NoEgg mixture
• Make a well in the flour and beat in the milky mixture
• Mix in the fig and orange mixture until combined
• Divide the mixture between the muffin cases
• Bake for 30 minutes

Monday, October 27, 2008





You can use all organic ingredients, but you don’t have to. This makes a lovely moist, boozy and fruity cake. We eat it plain but you can buy vegan marzipan and icing to decorate it if you like. I like to get everything measured and ready before I start, so that the making of the cake goes smoothly.


350 gr wholegrain spelt flour
175gr vegan marg
175gr light muscovado sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
150gr sultanas
200gr raisins
150gr dates
50 gr flaked almonds
1 tblsp treacle
100gr glacé cherries, halved
grated zest of an orange
2 tblsps ground almonds
120ml soya milk
2 tblsps red wine vinegar
¾ tsp of bread soda (bicarbonate of soda)
6 tblsps (90ml) brandy

• Preheat oven to 150˚C
• Grease an 8” cake tin and line with a double layer of greased greaseproof
• Sieve the flour and spice
• Rub in the marg until the mix is like breadcrumbs
• Stir in the flaked almonds and treacle
• Add the sugar, dried fruit, cherries, orange zest and ground almonds and mix
• Warm half the soya milk in a small pot and add the vinegar
• Dissolve the bread soda in the rest of the soya milk, then add
this to the milk and vinegar mix
• Stir this into flour and fruit mix until well combined
• Spoon mix into greased tin and smooth the top
• Bake for 2 hours, until a skewer/cocktail stick comes out clean
• Leave cake in tin to cool, then turn out and peel off greaseproof
• Prick cake with a cocktail stick and feed with a third of the brandy
• Wrap cake in greaseproof and store in a tin
• Feed with the rest of the brandy at weekly intervals
• Will keep for 4 weeks

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I love this time of year: the leaves; the winter coats, hats and gloves; the making of the Christmas cake. I'll be posting a recipe for an organic vegan Christmas cake very soon. I adapted it from a Rose Elliott fruit cake. I've made it the last two years and it is fruity, rich, and brandy-soaked for extra flavour and a soft texture.

I make my cake early because we start to eat it from early December. Christmas Day itself is so packed with food that we like to start early with a nice fruity cake and maybe some mince pies. My mouth is watering even thinking about them...

Stay tuned!

Monday, September 8, 2008


At last, the vegan pizza recipe. Makes 3 medium pizzas.

Pizza dough:
175 gr plain or strong white flour
175 gr wholemeal spelt flour
5 gr fast-acting yeast
1 tsp salt
200 mls warm water

chopped red, green and / or yellow peppers
chopped onion
chopped garlic
olive oil


Put flour in bowl, stir in salt and yeast

Pour in water and mix to a dough

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes

Brush with water and leave in tea-towel covered bowl for an hour or so, to rise

Break into 2 or 3 pieces, and roll out

Spoon passata on top and smooth out

Toss the veg in olive oil to prevent drying

Bake base at 180C for 5 mins

Sprinkle with sweetcorn, peppers, garlic and onion

Bake at 180C for a further 10 to 15 mins.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008


OK, this is not exactly a recipe but I discovered this great organic bread mix at the Farmer's Market at the Electric Picnic and felt the need to share.

You can make it with soya milk for a vegan loaf. They assure me I'll be able to buy the mix in Athlone, so I will be looking out for it.

All you need is the mix - I used their Mega Spelt Bread Mix which has linseed, pumpkin and sunflower seeds in it - and 350ml of soya milk. You cook it at 200 C and it yields a very unspelty, very un-soya-y loaf. (And that's a good thing.) It's a lot like real brown soda bread. Yum!

The enormous tomatoes come courtesy of our weekly organic veg basket from Beechlawn Organic Farm. The bread is actually a hefty 2lb loaf.

Their website is Sowan's Organic and it's here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Here's Mr Vegan, hard at work making pizza dough for vegan pizzas. Recipe to follow.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I used frozen summer fruit – blackberries, red currants, raspberries, black currants – and Siúcra’s Sure-Set Jam Sugar, but you can use ordinary sugar; use the juice of two lemons, instead of one, if you use ordinary sugar.

The jars are heated to stop them cracking when the hot jam is poured in. This amount made five pots of jam, a lovely smell in the kitchen, and a happy hour together for me and my littlest son.

Preheat oven to 180˚C to warm the jam jars

1kg fresh or frozen berries
1kg sure-set jam sugar
juice of 1 lemon

• Simmer the berries and the lemon juice together in a big pot until the fruit is soft
• Stir in the sugar until it dissolves
• Put 5 dry, clean jam jars into the heated oven for 5 minutes
• Bring the mix to the boil, put the lid on the pot, and boil vigorously for 4 minutes
• Carefully fill the hot jars with the very hot jam using a small ladle
• Cover with wax discs, or the jam jar lids, and stand to cool

Monday, April 28, 2008


You can use wholewheat flour instead of spelt flour if you prefer, but the spelt flour gives a lighter texture. These are a great snack: low in sugar but sweet because of the dates. Instead of dates, I also sometimes use the equivalent weight (150gr) in chopped apple, mashed banana or grated carrot, or blueberries.

This recipe makes 12 small, tasty, low GI muffins.

Preheat oven to 180˚C

250 gr (9oz) wholegrain spelt flour
25gr (1oz) light muscovado sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
150ml soya milk
1tsp NoEgg mixed with 2tblsps water
150 gr of chopped, de-seeded dates
2 tblsps vegetable oil
12 muffin or bun cases

• Put muffin cases into bun tray
• Mix the flour, spice, sugar and baking powder in a bowl
• Make up the NoEgg as per pack
• In a jug, mix together the soya milk, oil and NoEgg mixture
• Make a well in the flour and beat in the milky mixture
• Mix in the dried fruit until you have a sticky, fruit-studded dough
• Divide the mixture between the muffin cases
• Bake for 25 to 30 minutes

The Hungry Vegan - An Intro

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a vegetarian in search of a good meal, must be in want of a meagre, greasy stir-fry (sorry Jane Austen). This truth is held, it seems, by the restaurateurs and café owners of Ireland, who presume that non-meat eaters are never hungry and that we relish small portions of oily, tasteless food. Most of them seem to believe that anything that isn’t awash in beef/cream/cheese/eggs/butter is just not worth cooking or eating.

But if the restaurant-going vegetarian is isolated, the vegan is in solitary confinement: they are handed the afore-mentioned stir-fry, or alternatively piles of lettuce with dry bread; sometimes they’re given mounds of mashed spud or sagging tomatoes stuffed with bland veg-o-mix and are expected to jump for joy. The vegan is denied roast potatoes, even when they’re not cooked in meat juices, and has to decline every vegetarian option that is thoughtlessly slathered in cheese. Can it be that chefs feel that vegans and veggies are “just being awkward”, and therefore that they are not worth feeding, and feeding well?

We’re here to tell these restaurateurs – and also the meat-munching friends of all non-meat eaters – that vegans are hungry! That they love food – lots of it – and that they care about what goes into their mouths in a way that carnivores just don’t have to. They relish everything they eat because it’s so hard to find anything to eat at all! And, because vegans need to think about and plan every bite, they have to learn how to cook – and fast! – if they want to eat well.

And so, The Hungry Vegan has a five-fold purpose:

1. to show restaurant and café owners what vegans and veggies would really like to eat when they step outside the safety of their own kitchens

2. to provide recipes for the family and friends of vegans, that they will cook for them, instead of pointing at packets of dried pasta and telling them to help themselves, while they tuck into a fragrant lasagna

3. to welcome converts to vegan- and vegetarianism to the fold, with a wide range of fast, tasty, easy-to-make meals and snacks

4. to take the mysteries out of vegan cookery and bring it into mainstream thought as a healthy lifestyle choice

5. to provide information on veganism, including lists of vegan-friendly products, ingredients, restaurants and shops

One of the authors of this blog is a vegan; the other is a vegetarian who cooks for the vegan, so you can assume that we know what we are talking about. However, never make assumptions: our motives are purely selfish. We merely want to make it easier for ourselves to have a decent meal somewhere (anywhere!) that one of us hasn’t had to cook. And, yes, we love Chinese and Indian restaurants, as well as Cork’s Café Paradiso, Cornucopia, Café Fresh and Govinda’s in Dublin, Galway’s Ard Bia, The Mustard Seed in Limerick, and those few other places that make a huge effort to cater for those who don’t eat meat.

We just hope that anyone who drops by here will try out and enjoy the recipes here, while spreading the word that vegans (and veggies) are hungry too!