All posts by beaniecat

Onion Bhajis and Coconut Riata


  • Onions
  • Chilli powder
  • Salt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Fresh coriander, chopped
  • Cumin seeds and powder
  • Freshly grated ginger
  • Gram flour
  • Water
  • Vegetable or rapeseed oil for frying


  1. Mix all ingredients into a thick batter.
  2. Drop large spoonfuls of the batter into hot oil until golden brown.

blackshaw head1



  • Alpro or Coco yoghurt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Chopped cucumber
  • Chopped coriander


  1. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly.
  2. Leave in fridge to chill.

Recipe: Tanu

Dorset Apple Cake


  • 9oz self-raising flour
  • (2tsp baking powder, only if using plain flour instead)
  • 4oz margarine
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 3oz sugar
  • 2 chopped, peeled and cored apples
  • 2oz slivered almonds (or more to taste and extra to sprinkle)
  • Soya (or similar) milk
  • 2tsp vanilla extract

blackshaw head


  1. Rub the flour and margarine together.
  2. Stir in the salt, sugar, apples and almonds.
  3. Stir in enough milk to bind and make a moist dough.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and stir.
  5. Put in baking tin and sprinkle with sugar and almond slices.
  6. Bake at 180c for 45 minutes.

Recipe: Angie Winerbottom

No-Bake Choccie Biccie Cake

Makes approx. 15 pieces.


  • 225g (8oz) digestives, roughly crushed.
  • 85g (3oz) vegetable margarine.
  • 50g (2oz) golden syrup
  • 50g (2oz) sultanas or raisins
  • 25g (1oz) cherries, chopped
  • 25g (1oz) pecan nuts, chopped
  • 25g (1oz) dark chocolate chips
  • 225g (8oz) dark cooking chocolate
  • extra cherries and pecan nuts (optional for decoration)

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  1.  Melt the margarine and syrup together in a small saucepan.
  2.  In a large bowl, mix together the biscuits, sultanas or raisins, cherries, chocolate chips and nuts.
  3. Pour the margarine and syrup mixture into the biscuit mixture and combine thoroughly.
  4. Pour the mixture into a small, greased baking tray and press down evenly into the corners. Place in the fridge to harden.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a small pan of water to the boil and turn the heat to the minimum setting.
  6. Place a bowl on top of the pan. Break the chocolate into the bowl and stir it until melted.
  7. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the baking tray. Decorate with nuts or cherries if desired and put back into the fridge to re-harden.
  8. Remove from fridge and cut into pieces.

Recipe: Martin Shaw Cooks Veggie

Vegan on a Budget

3 Valley Vegans recently held a cookery demo which showed how to make affordable, nutritious and tasty vegan food. With the plethora of new processed vegan food being rolled out by supermarkets and established brands, it’s worth remembering that homemade meals are cheaper and more nutritious than prepackaged alternatives.

Stocking up on a few ingredients will ensure you always have the basics to hand when planning a meal. A few essentials to keep in your food cupboard include:

  • Dried beans/pulses
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Wholemeal flour
  • Tins of tomatoes
  • TVP (dried soya mince)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dried herbs and spices

Most of the above are cheap to buy and can be purchased in bulk.

mix of fruit and veg

Bulk buying is one way of saving money and reducing packaging waste but is only worth it if you actually use what you buy! One way around this is to club together with relatives, friends or neighbours and share out the order.  Real Foods (amongst others) offer bulk buying on their website.

Food Co-ops are not for profit community ventures which exist to enable a group of people to buy produce they might otherwise not be able to afford direct from the suppliers. Suma is an obvious example for people living in or around the Calder Valley since it is strictly vegetarian, relatively local and offers a ‘Food Buying Group‘ service .

Asian supermarkets are often cheaper for many vegan food items such as tofu, peanut butter, jackfruit, pulses and beans. If there isn’t one local to you, there are many online stores that will deliver straight to your door.

blackberriesForaging is a good way to discover foods such as fruit and mushrooms and if you know where to go and what to pick, it’s hugely satisfying to use fresh ingredients that are truly local and totally free. Falling Fruit maps the location of fruit bushes and trees in local areas.

Incredible Edible is, of course, Todmorden’s very own contribution to the concept of growing food in public spaces for the benefit of the community. Their map is available to download here.

Love Health, Hate Waste is an online resource offering plenty of vegan food items at reduced prices. Their products are often past their ‘Best Before’ date which is how the company can sell at such low cost but that shouldn’t put you off as it is just a guideline and the food can still be enjoyed.

We have a few budget recipes for you to try and there are a wealth of other blogs and websites with recipes and tips for vegans on a budget. Here’s are a few worth visiting:

veg and spicesThe Stingy Vegan

Minimalist Baker

Cooking on a Bootstrap

Vegan Society Budget Meals

Veganuary Budget Meals

One Green Planet Cheap Meals

Further reading

Cauliflower Tabbouleh (GF)

Serves four as a side dish


• 1 medium onion (Lidl 7p)
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or more to taste. (Can use ‘Jif Squeezy Lemon’ but that is more expensive than a fresh lemon, comes in plastic packaging and contains preservative.) (Lidl fresh lemon 20p)
• 2 tablespoons oil – olive oil best but not essential (Lidl 9p)
• 1 teaspoon salt or tablespoon of shoyu (Note shoyu is not GF) (2p)
• 1/2 large head of cauliflower (Lidl 48p)
• Large bunch of fresh parsley or two tablespoons of dried parsley (3 packets of Lidl fresh cut parsley £2.01)
• Fresh mint leaves (half the quantity of parsley) or one tablespoon of dried mint (2 packets of Lidl fresh cut mint £1.34)
• NOTE – I used fresh lovage from my garden instead of parsley and mint for the demonstration.
• Optional – 3 fresh tomatoes (Lidl fresh tomatoes 48p)
• Optional – 6 pieces of sun dried tomatoes soaked in water for 30 minutes (don’t soak if bought in oil).


1. Finely chop the onion and transfer to a large bowl
2. Juice the lemon and add to the onion along with oil and salt/shoyu. Stir thoroughly and leave to marinade while carrying out the next steps.
3. Slice and chop the cauliflower into rice-sized pieces but it still works if the cauliflower pieces are bigger. If you have a food processor, a quick spin of florets (big chunks) of cauliflower will reduce them to rice-sized pieces easily.
4. Finely chop the fresh herbs.
5. If using fresh tomatoes, quarter and then cut in half again.
6. If using sun dried tomatoes, drain and slice into strips or smaller chunks.
7. Thoroughly mix cauliflower, herbs (and tomatoes if using) with the marinaded onion.
8. Tastes even better if prepared a few hours in advance.
9. Leftovers will keep for a day or two.


• 29 calories per serving
• excellent source of vitamin C.
• very good source of vitamin K and folate
• good source of vitamin B6 and potassium
• anti-cancer properties
• fairly high level of antioxidant phytonutrients
Contains vitamin A, K, C, and E, thiamin,riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12,pantothenic acid, choline, folates,calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese,phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and copper.


  • £0.86 with home-grown herbs but without tomatoes
  • £1.34 with home-grown herbs and supermarket tomatoes
  • £1.91 with dried parsley and mint from supermarket but without tomatoes
  • £2.39 with dried parsley, mint and tomatoes all from supermarket
  • £4.21 with fresh herbs bought in supermarket & without tomatoes
  • £4.69 with fresh herbs and tomatoes from supermarket

© Rob Baylis, 2018

Egg Substitutes

Eggs play a large part in a non-vegan diet so here are a few ideas for replacements:

There are several egg replacers on the market that can be used in baking and cooking but you can also try some plant-based substitutions such as mashed bananas or flax seeds (see below).

Try out a few to see what works best for your recipe. In place of eggs to bind food together, try rolled oats, breadcrumbs, nut butters or corn starch. Again, it’s a case of experimenting to see what works best.

A great substitute for scrambled eggs is tofu scramble and you can make omelets with chickpea flour. The liquid from a tin of chick peas (called aquafaba) is a good stand-in for egg white. For that ‘eggy’ flavour, try adding some black salt (kala namak) to your dish, it can be bought in some shops or online. We have lots of egg free dishes in our Recipe section.

egg substitutions