Bonus cookies!


Watching The Great British Bake Off makes me hungry. Since I don’t have a television at my house, and my boyfriend (who does have one) has some kind of sport-thing he does of a Tuesday, I have to wait for Wednesday evening to get my GBBO fix.

In preparation for drooling over fancy baking this evening I whipped up a quick batch of cookies earlier. When I need an urgent dose of sugar I generally go with the ‘Happy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies’ recipe to be found on and then mess around with it. It may not be sophisticated, but it gets the job done. The added bonus is that the recipe is incredibly easy to remember, as it’s 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup oil and 1/4 cup water, some raising agent, chocolate chips and flavourings. The recipe says “a handful” of chocolate chips, which I take to mean half a cup. They don’t say whose hand it is!

This recipe is very customisable, the best received variation of these has been adding a cupful of dried mixed fruit (raisins, sultanas and mixed peel) instead of chocolate chips. I took them to work when the weather was chilly and people raved over them!

Today, I tried a new combination. In addition to chocolate chips, I added half a cup of chopped peanuts, omitted the cinnamon and put half a teaspoon of five spice powder instead. Not bad at all, although they made the house smell confusing, since the spices normally go in savoury food.

I also tried planting a few white chocolate chips on top of some of the cookies as soon as they were out of the oven. 




Wholefood Wednesday (I know, I know, terrible title. Sorry!)

Sorry to say that I was slightly at a loss for a Wednesday theme, so this is just what I had for lunch. It also doesn’t really fit into my overall frugal, locally gathered theme as one of the ingredients is red quinoa, however I did buy the quinoa at my local independent wholefoods co-op, so that’s… erm… B+ for effort?

Earlier this week I promised to post later about the kindness of someone I work with. On Monday morning I arrived into the office (where my main job is based) and found these on my desk Image

– runner beans from the garden of one of the managers in my team. Free produce is always a good start to a day.

Some I ate last night, sliced and added to leftover cauliflower curry, and I’ve added some more to today’s lunch, which is a warm variation of a salad I make regularly.

Warm Courgette and Quinoa Salad


Red quinoa, cooked – approx 2/3 cup

A small-medium onion, chopped

Runner beans, sliced (a small handful, say 6-7).

1 tsp cooking oil (olive was the closest to hand so I used that)

A medium sized courgette, grated

A yellow pepper, chopped 

(grated carrot and/or beetroot are really nice additions to these kinds of salads as well. A bit of lettuce doesn’t go amiss either)

Lemon juice

Garlic, 2 cloves, or to taste

Root ginger, grated, about a heaped teaspoon.


Cayenne pepper (couple of shakes)

Marinaded tofu (optional)

Some nice fresh tomatoes

Hot sauce, a few shakes

(Some mustard would have been nice in the dressing too. And some sesame oil if you’re not going to add the tofu).



Cook quinoa in double the volume of water in a saucepan (I cooked a cupful of dry quinoa so I would have leftovers for something else). Bring to the boil then simmer with saucepan lid on for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and leave in the pan while finishing preparing the veg.

While quinoa is cooking, in a smaller pan, fry up the onion for a couple of minutes, add the chopped beans and a sliced clove of garlic and a pinch of salt and fry for a couple more minutes. Add about a tablespoon of water and cook for about 5 more minutes, just to soften up the beans. Turn off heat and leave in pan.

Make dressing from juice of half a lemon, a crushed/grated clove of garlic, finely grated ginger, pinch of salt, a little cayenne (about 1/8 tsp, maybe?). Pour over the bean/onion mix in the pan and stir it up.

Grate the courgette and put it in a medium mixing-sized bowl. Add in the chopped pepper, then add the bean mix and some quinoa – I added about 2/3 cup, cooked.

I had some firm tofu in the fridge I’d previously marinaded in more lemon juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, a dash of maple syrup, fresh grated garlic and root ginger and a pinch of dried 5-spice mix, so I thought I may as well have some of that as well, and it was finished off with a few ripe cherry tomatoes.



I tasted this, thought it could do with some hot sauce, which I added. Then I scoffed the lot!

Sorry if this isn’t very useful because the recipe is a bit vague. I really wanted to get a courgette salad into my MoFo though, as I’ve been enjoying variations enormously during the season, while they’ve been arriving regularly in my (now sadly defunct) weekly veg-bag delivery. Grated courgette makes such a nice, light base for a salad and because it doesn’t really taste of much is the perfect foil for loads of other ingredients. It’s also surprisingly full of vitamins. This is the first time I’ve added in quinoa, and obviously that and the tofu ramp up the protein, but without either of those, the courgette salad still makes a lovely accompaniment to a meal.

Oh, and I suppose there was an element of frugality because I saved heat cooking more quinoa than I needed. If you have any suggestions for cold quinoa please comment and let me know!