Category: Shoebox Kitchen

Recipes from my tiny London kitchen


Tonight’s dinner demanded the stealth of a weary ninja, speed of a frazzled cook, a soft punch of a thousand pillows and the taste of blown off socks (better than it sounds). It felt only right to celebrate Mexican food for Cinco de Mayo.

Rock n’ Guac at your service.





How to Survive Humans and Earth came about as a means to mental and physical well-being. Nothing beats a good de-cluttering of the mind and hearty nosh that blows your socks off.

SO – get y’chops round this.

Step 1: De-stress that job out of your hair and chop like a muttha-fukka

The over-achiever of the Brassica family
The over-achiever of the Brassica family

Step 2: Give those bingo wings a run for their money

In a bowel – 1 cup of flower, 1 cup of water (or less depending on consistency), ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic granules, 1tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp of chilli powder, good dose of freshly ground black pepper


Bingo-wing delight
Bingo-wing delight

Step 3: Dump the brassica flowers of gloopy delight onto either an oiled baking tray or parchment lined tray

Messy heaven
Messy heaven

Step 4: Bang in the oven at 220c for approx 30 mins or until they look brown/charred or crispy

Crisp-tastic healthy-kick
Crisp-tastic healthy-kick

Step 5: Serve with sharp tasting soy sauce or spicy tomato sauce and DEVOUR!!!!!

Lip-smacking sexy veg
Lip-smacking sexy veg

Wiggle Kicking Salad

What’s in a month ay? Who’s counting since the last post anyway? Not I!!! Spiralling upwards and onwards with the next post, I give you my little nugget of recipe gold to kick off National Vegetarian Week 2013 that will have you foaming at the mouth. This recipe is sure to have even the most fiddly and hardened meat eater mmming and ahhing at your culinary prowess.

I give you the ‘Wiggle Kicking Salad’*…

* Renamed from the original recipe (see below) due to it’s alteration and the taste bud explosion that happened when I ate it 😉

Wiggle Kicking Salad
Wiggle Kicking Salad

In my search for vegan concoctions that don’t have me showing off a face like a wet week (old Irish saying that probably makes no sense seeing as London has been nothing but a wet year so far), I have recently been indulging in recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen’s cookbook ‘It’s All Good’, and let me tell you right now… HELL YES… It lives up to it’s name!! I’ll be writing a review of the book soon when I’ve tried more recipes, but so far so good! The reason I’m sharing this one in particular, is because it’s sure to have meat eaters asking for more (probably after they’ve asked where the meat is). 😉

The original recipe is called ‘Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpeas with Mustard + Parsley’ (p. 173), and while I’m more than sure that it tastes spectacular just as the recipe suggests, I did my usual ‘I never follow a recipe’ dance in the kitchen and it turned out pretty damn amazing. So, I urge you to make this salad with a pinch of whatever you fancy, because the flavours work for themselves, and with pretty much anything you can add to it. Here’s my whatever was in the fridge and cupboard version:


1 tin of chickpeas

1/4 head of cauliflower (do add more… This is all I had in my fridge)

10 heads of baby corn

1 medium sized onion

4 baby potatoes

Lots of baby spinach to bed my salad on

2 tablespoons of wholegrain mustard

1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

50/60 mls of olive oil

coarse ground black pepper

rock salt


Wash your chickpeas and haphazardly chop your veg (or not)…

Par-boil your potatoes for about 5 minutes before roasting to make them extra crispy and all the more edible.

Put all your veg into a roasting tin, and glug some olive oil over them for roasting. Add a pinch of salt and put into a preheated oven at 200C for approximately 25/30 minutes.

While your veg is roasting, whisk your mustard, red wine vinegar, olive oil, generous sprinkling of black pepper and a pinch of salt together.

Mustard Dressing Goodness
Mustard Dressing Goodness

Do the taste test on your mustard dressing… By this I mean, go by your own taste buds and not by mine. Where I’d happily eat black pepper for breakfast, you might prefer to gag! So, add your ingredients sparingly and build up towards what you can handle or prefer.

Put your wet ingredients into a large bowl, and when your veg is ready and nicely toasted and roasted, add them immediately to the dressing bowl, coating the veg entirely with mustardy goodness!

Serve on a bed of spinach, serve warm, and enjoy!


Let National Vegetarian Week commence!!!


Theoretically, this doesn’t really fit the category of ‘VEGAN SURPRISE’, but it surprised the HELL out of me!! So much so, that I’ve had friends and family calling for the recipe seeing as I wouldn’t shut the hell up about it!

Bad Ass Shepherdless Pie
Bad Ass Shepherdless Pie

I came across this recipe  last week on Sweet Sugar Bean for a Lentil & Kale Shepherd’s Pie with Roasted Garlic Potatoes, and although it looked heavenly, and I could almost smell it just by looking at it, it sadly wasn’t vegan. So, I quickly went to work swapping out dairy bits & pieces for vegan versions in the hopes I’d still get smacked in the tastebuds by awesome. Did I WHAT!!! (Irish statement of intent, meaning I KILLED IT!!!!!) Oh the irony 😉

Bad Ass Shepherdless Pie Part Deux

The original recipe Á la Reneé called for kale, cream, butter, cheese, honey and worcestershire/worcester sauce… all my favourites, and all delectable in their own right. Instead, I substituted some of these goodies for some dairy free sunflower butter, and Alpro Soya SIngle Alternative to Cream to recreate that creamy mash texture. For convenience  reasons (translation = on a permanent budget) I’ve left out a few ingredients like cheeses, honey and worcestershire/worcester sauce, but you can swap these for cheddar alternatives, maple syrup and a vegan version of worcestershire sauce. I used Cholula’s chilli and garlic hot sauce for a bit of added sweetness, and I also swapped the kale for spinach as that’s what I had to work with, and it worked a bloody treat. As the recipe says “No kale?  Use any other green or sub in mushrooms or carrots or go without – it will still be awesome”.

The Humble Spud

All I can say is that this recipe knocked my socks off, even my tailored bastardised vegan version. I have to admit, I never follow a recipe to the letter because I prefer to make everything my own, so I sniff, pinch and poke around measurements and let my mouth do the taste test along the way. That said, I definitely used the Sweet Sugar Bean recipe as guide in shining armour, but I altered it to my own taste seeing as I was freeing bastardising it from dairy 😉 I really and truly didn’t want to lose any of the taste or that warm, comfort feeling, and I have to say I literally killed this recipe in the best way possible! Just saying! OH, and might I just say… The roasted garlic mashed into the potato topping is one of the most heavenly things I’ve ever tasted in a mashed potato… It almost didn’t make it to the topping! An accolade of the highest order from an Irish gal. I’ll be spreading word on Irish shores ASAP!

Roasted Garlic

RESULT: Only an acronym can do this any justice… O. M. F. G.

Once again, here’s the original recipe on Sweet Sugar Bean – CLICK HERE – follow your gut, nostrils and taste buds and create your own masterpiece!

Toodle pip


Taa daa