Burns Night Stew

Here is another option for Burns night that doesn’t involve any vegetarian haggis like this: https://wordpress.com/post/catamongthepilchards.com/141 or this: https://wordpress.com/post/catamongthepilchards.com/204. The stew is served with dumplings which are cooked balls of butter and flour, an old British favourite and very comforting. It’s great to get so many veggies in whilst feeling indulgent. The recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’.


  • 300g celeriac
  • 300g swede
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 jar mini pickled onions
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 75g pearl barley
  • 330ml porter
  • 2 tsp blackcurrant jam
  • 1.5 litres veg stock
  • 300g self raising flour
  • 50g butter
  • 200g red cabbage
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard


1.) Grind 5 cloves into a powder. Peel the celeriac, swede and carrots and chop into chunks. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

2.) Fry in a casserole pan with a tbsp oil and the bay leaves. Add some salt and pepper, the cloves, the allspice and the drained pickled onions. Cook for 15 minutes and make up the stock.

3.) Add the porter and the pearl barley to the pan with the jam and leave to simmer.

4.) Make the dumplings by chopping up the butter and rubbing it into the flour. Add 100ml of water to make a dough then form 12 balls with the dough. Pop the balls into the stew and drizzle over a bit of oil.

5.) Cover the pan with the lid and cook in the oven for 45 minutes.

6.) Make a slaw to go with the stew by shredding the cabbage, chopping the apple into batons and tossing with the vinegar and mustard.

7.) Take the lid off the pan and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.

West Indian Pepper Pot

Back when I was a meat eater I used to like cooking some Caribbean curries from Levi Roots book ‘Caribbean Food Made Easy’. Levi Roots actually became famous on the show Dragons Den, selling his own Reggae Reggae sauce. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to succeed in finding a way to make his curries work without the meat so I’ve just looked at that book wistfully when I see it on my bookshelf. When I saw this recipe for West Indian Pepper Pot in Shelina Permaloo’s book ‘The Sunshine Diet’ I was excited to find some Caribbean food I could eat. With the sweet potato this dish was a little too sweet for me but it definitely brought those flavours of allspice and cinnamon that I was looking for. I think next time I would maybe switch it out with some normal potato but I know sweet potato is many people’s bag. I added a bit of quinoa during the cooking time.

Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 scotch bonnet chilli
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 100g green beans
  • 200g kale
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 10g chives
  • 3 spring onions
  • salt


1.) Peel the onion and finely dice.

2.) Heat the oil in a casserole dish, add the onion. Cook until soft.

3.) Whilst this is cooking, strip the thyme leaves into the pan and finely chop the chilli. De-seed the pepper and chop into chunks. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into small cubes.

4.) After the onion has softened, add the marjoram, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and chilli and sauté for another minute.

5.) Add the pepper to the pan along with the sweet potato, stock, kale and green beans.

6.) Cook for 30 minutes.

7.) Chop the chives and spring onions up finely.

8.) Use these to garnish the stew.

Hearty Herby Stew

I enjoyed The Tinder Swindler documentary so much I even listened to the podcast ‘The Making of the Tindler Swindler’ on Spotify. It’s fascinating stuff. On the back of that I just want more of the con artists and I’m trying to watch the show about Anna Delvey but to be honest, I’m pretty lost and I’m not sure what Julia Garner’s accent is meant to be and if it’s good or not, I’m not sure who she’s conning and how and what her motivation is. This is the weather for staying in watching TV and also for eating a hearty stew. This recipe from the Bosh team in ‘Healthy Vegan’ is great, It packs a lot of flavour for a veggie stew. This meal is both light and filling at the same time.

Serves 4


  • 3 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stick celery
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 250g new potatoes
  • 1 tin green lentils
  • 1 tin cannellini beans
  • 200g kale
  • 15 parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 11/2 tbsp oil
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 500ml water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp marmite
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper


1.) Peel and finely dice the shallots and garlic. Peel the carrots and chop up. Chop up the celery.

2.) Heat the oil in a casserole dish and add the veggies. Cook for 5 minutes until soft.

3.) In the meantime, strip the leaves from the rosemary and the thyme. Chop them up finely.

4.) Chop up the potatoes into smaller chunks.

5.) Add the garlic to the pan and cook for another minute.

6.) Add the thyme and rosemary and cook for one more minute.

7.) Make up the stock and add to the pan with the water, bay leaf and mustard and bring to a simmer.

8.) Add the potatoes and cook until they’re tender.

9.) Chop the lemon in half and remove the pips. Drain the lentils and beans and add to the stew. Add the juice of half of the lemon. Simmer for 4 minutes.

10.) Whilst this is simmering, chop up the parsley and sage. Add the herbs, the kale and the marmite and simmer for another couple of minutes.

11.) Season with salt and pepper. Dish into bowls.

11.) Add the kale, sage,