Courgette carpaccio

Courgette carpaccio

This week I’ve been galavanting around Menorca with my friend/partner in crime Philippa. We drank all the wine and beer the little island had to offer, until I rather unceremoniously fell down a flight of marble stairs – SPLAT! With severely bruised legs and ego, I shook off the do-gooders attempting to peel me off the floor and hobbled angrily to the bar with my friends laughter still ringing in my ears. I spent the rest of the holiday covered in bags of ice and drinking away my shame – so all in all, a very successful holiday!

Anyhoo, since returning home, I’ve been busy licking my wounds and stuffing shop-bought stuffed-crust pizzas into my mouth to cheer myself up. That was until I realised I couldn’t remember the last time I ate a single vegetable. So yesterday, I ran/hobbled to the shop and bought myself a giant courgette and ate it raw, slathered in olive oil and goats cheese. Fortunately for me, courgettes are high in magnesium, which supposedly helps to heal bruising and inflammation, so I’ll only have to eat a thousand more before my legs start resembling legs again.

Courgette carpaccio with goats cheese
Serves 8 as a side / Hands on time 5 mins / Total time 5 mins / V Gf
2 large courgettes, peeled into ribbons
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes
Handful fresh Dill, roughly chopped
70g vegetarian soft goats cheese (optional) –  I used Sainsbury’s Abergavenny goats cheese

1. Using a potato peeler, peel the 2 courgettes into ribbons and put in a large bowl. Squeeze over the lemon, 2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle over a large pinch of salt.
2. Add the chopped dill and give it a good mix (being careful not to break up the courgette ribbons). Once everything is nicely dressed, pour out onto a large platter and dot with hunks of goats cheese. Drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Courgette carpaccio

If you’ve had a go at making my courgette carpaccio or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

V – Vegetarian    Gf – Gluten free

Braised tofu & kale bulgur bowl

Braised tofu & kale bulgur bowl
Braised tofu with kale & bulgur wheat

Being vegetarian for thirty-four-years, I’ve certainly eaten my fair share of tofu, aka, bean curd. Much like cheese, tofu is made from curdled soy milk and compressed into blocks – mmm tasty. Speaking of taste, tofu literally has none. Eaten raw it tastes wet, soft and tasteless – much like my ex boyfriend. However, cooked correctly, tofu becomes juicy, flavourful and sassy – much like Beyoncé.
To make Beyoncé tofu you need to make a bootylicious broth for your tofu sponges to soak up and I have just the recipe.

Braised tofu & kale bulgur bowl
Serves 4 / Hands on time 45 mins / Total time 45 mins / V Vn Df 
300ml cold water
120g bulgar wheat
Knorr vegetable stock pot or stock cube
1 tsp sesame oil
1 medium onion, roughly sliced
½ tsp sea salt flakes
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs light soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
300ml boiling water
125g Shiitake or chestnut mushrooms, sliced
280g firm tofu, cut into thick slices
4 handfuls chopped kale
2 spring onions, chopped to serve (optional)

1. Measure out the bulgur wheat and pour into a small saucepan along with 300ml of cold water and half a vegetable stock pot/cube. Place over a medium to high heat until boiling before turning down and simmering for 8 mins. Once the water has absorbed, remove from the heat, give it a quick stir and cover with a lid. Put to one side.
2. Meanwhile, warm 1 tsp of sesame oil in a large pot with a lid over a medium heat. Add the chopped onions, ½ tsp sea salt flakes and 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar. Give it a good stir and pop the lid on. Turn down the heat slightly and allow to soften for 10 minutes – stirring occasionally.
3. Once the onions have softened, add the garlic and cook for a further 3 mins before adding 1 tbs soy sauce, 300ml vegetable stock (use the other half of the stock pot/cube) and add the roughly sliced mushrooms. Up the heat and bring to the boil.
4. Once boiling, reduce the heat and carefully submerge the tofu slices into the broth before covering with a lid and cooking for 10 minutes. Once the tofu is cooked, add 4 handfuls of kale directly on top the tofu and cover again for a further 5 minutes.
5. Loosen up the bulgur wheat by stirring with a spoon and divide into bowls. Top with the braised tofu and sprinkle with chopped spring onions.

Braised tofu with kale & bulgur wheat

If you’ve had a go at making my braised tofu or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

– Vegetarian     Vn – Vegan    Df – Dairy free

Savoury green drop scones

Savoury green drop scones
Savoury drop scones
Savoury drop scones

Let’s be honest, no right-minded person in their thirties is getting up early to make pancakes before work on Pancake Day. Chances are, you have no idea it’s Pancake Day until someone mentions it to you at work, and that’s when you realise you have no lemons, no maple syrup or anything remotely pancake-y in your house. However, if you don’t want to miss out on the ‘fun,’ but are not overly keen on the idea of lemon and sugar pancakes for dinner, then skip the supermarket on the way home and try my savoury drop scones – aka, Scottish pancakes.
Made mostly from ingredients you may already have lying around, these little babies make the perfect midweek meal. Happy Pancake Day!

Savoury green drop scones
Makes 8-10 / Serves 2 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 30 mins / V
175g spelt, wholemeal or plain flour
200ml semi skimmed milk
1 egg
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp rapeseed oil
3 springs onions, finely chopped
1 large handful of greens (you can use any chopped greens you like for this recipe – I use a mixture of savoy cabbage and kale but spinach, cavolo nero, chard or even brussels sprouts will work. You can also use grated root vegetables such as carrots or parsnips)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Handful fresh coriander, chopped
50g vegetarian cheese of your choice – I used cheddar 
30g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or Parmesan* (optional)
½ tsp sea salt
Rocket, avocado slices and extra virgin olive oil to serve

1. Preheat an oven to 100°C/80°C fan/210F/gas mark 1.
2. Weigh out the spelt flour and the baking powder and combine in a large bowl. Add 200ml of semi-skimmed milk to a jug and crack in 1 egg. Whisk the egg in the jug with the milk until fully incorporated. Put to one side.
3. Finely chop the spring onions, garlic, coriander and your selection of greens. Grate both cheeses and put to one side.
4. Add ½ tsp of salt to the flour and mix before making a well in the middle and pouring in the milk bit by bit, whisking continuously. Once you have a smooth batter, add the other ingredients until fully incorporated.
5. Put a large non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat and add a tsp of rapeseed oil. Once hot, drop a heaped tablespoon of mixture into the pan and push down with the back of the spoon to create a round-dish shape. Repeat this process making sure the drop scones are not to close together. After a couple of minutes, flip the scones over and press down on them with the back of a spatular to help them cook through – feel free to flip them over a couple more time to insure they are cooked all the way through.
6. Turn the scones out onto a plate, cover loosely with foil and place in the warm oven while you make your second batch of scones. Repeat this process until you have no batter left. Serve warm with a simple rocket salad, sliced avocado, a good crack of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Savoury drop scones
Savoury drop scones

If you’ve had a go at making my savoury drop scones or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

V– Vegetarian
*Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.

Celeriac & goats cheese soup

Celariac goats cheese soup
Celariac goats cheese soup
Celariac goats cheese soup

The other day, my friend Kaydence asked how old I was. I’m not quite sure how we got onto this topic, but I genuinely couldn’t remember.
“So, you were born in 1984 in June, yeah? So that would make you…” Kay started counting on her fingers. “Thirty four,” she said triumphantly, as she swigged her giant gin and tonic – when did gin glasses get so big?
“Really? I’m pretty sure I’m thirty five.” I replied, texting my mother.
“How do you not know how old you are?” Kaydence asked, baffled and slurring slightly.
“Well, I guess because no one really asks me how old I am these days – must have just forgot,” I laughed, as a wall of ice hits my teeth. “Hey. where did all the gin go?”
My phone flashes and I see a blurry text message from my mum.
“Hi, Corricles,” I read aloud – Kay sniggers. “You were born in 1984, so you are thirty four. I’M THIRTY FOUR! BRILLIANT!” I slam my fist on the table a little too hard, causing a bit of unwanted attention from the locals – oops. “It’s like I’ve gained a year,” I say, in a slightly more hushed tone. Kaydence raises her glass and toasts to my newly discovered youth, before slumping her head on the table.
The next day I woke feeling dehydrated and tired – but thirty four. Huzzah! So, I decided to treat myself to a loaf of walnut bread in Tesco to go with this gorgeous celeriac and goats cheese soup. Just what I fancy on a freakishly warm February day – I know, we’re all doomed.

Celeriac & goats cheese soup
Serves 4 / Hands on time 20 / Total time 40 mins / V Gf* ❄
You’ll need: Hand blender or food processor
30g unsalted butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
½ tsp salt flakes
1 medium celeriac (400g), peeled and chopped
1 litre vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pots
125g vegetarian soft goats cheese + extra to garnish
Black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil to serve

1. Over a medium heat in a large pot, sweat the chopped onion and garlic down in the butter along with ½ tsp of salt flakes. Put the lid on and soften for 10 mins, stirring frequently.
2. Meanwhile, peel and chop the celeriac. Add to the softened onions along with the vegetable stock and a pinch of black pepper. Up the heat and bring to the boil, before reducing and simmering for 20 minutes with the lid on. Once the celeriac is soft, take the pot off the heat and blend well with  a hand blender or food processor until smooth.
3. Add the soft goats cheese and blend again until your soup is silky smooth. Ladle into bowls, top with any spare goats cheese, extra virgin olive oil and a good crack of black pepper.

Celariac goats cheese soup
Celariac goats cheese soup

If you’ve had a go at making my soup or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

V– Vegetarian   Gf*– Knorr stock pots are gluten free but some stock cubes may not be. Always check the label.
❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.

Homemade vegetable stock

Homemade vegetable stock
Homemade vegetable stock
Homemade vegetable stock

Would you judge me if I told you that I ate half a stuffed crust pizza, a tube of Smarties and three Percy Pigs for breakfast? Perhaps let’s not go there then, but suffice to say, I feel disgusting – diet starts tomorrow.

So in a bid to absolve myself, I made this hearty vegetable stock that I could drink to cleanse my junk-food-laden soul – or simply to make a delicious soup that I will share with you next week. I’m sure you’re on tenterhooks.

Homemade vegetable stock
Makes 1 litres / Hands on time 15 / Total time 1 hr 30 mins / V Vn Gf Df  
You’ll need: A large pot with a lid
1 tbs rapeseed oil
3 garlic cloves, bashed
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
5 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
1 large leek, roughly chopped
4 sprigs rosemary
1 small bunch of thyme
1 Bay leaf
2 tsp salt flakes
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 litres boiling water

Tip: Bear in mind that you will be left with half the amount of stock than water you put in. If you wish to make more than one litre consider doubling the recipe.

1. Peel and roughly chop the carrots, onions, celery and leek. Using the flat part of a knife, apply pressure to the garlic cloves until they split open (no need to chop them). Add a tbs of rapeseed oil to a large pot with a lid and set over a medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables along with the salt before giving a stir and covering with the lid. Leave to sweat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Once softened, add 2 litres of boiling water straight from a kettle, turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add the rosemary, thyme, peppercorns and bayleaf. Simmer away for one hour.
3. Carefully strain the stock through a sieve into a large bowl and use immediately or allow to cool and freeze to use another day.

Homemade vegetable stock
Homemade vegetable stock

If you’ve had a go at making my vegetable stock or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

V– Vegetarian   Vn– Vegan    Gf– Gluten free    Df– Dairy free
❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.

Welsh rarebit

Welsh rarebit
Welsh rarebit
Welsh rarebit

Easy, cheap and bad for your cholesterol, this teatime treat is the kind of oozy comfort food that blocks your arteries with love (and fat) – just what the doctor may have ordered back in 1725.
Believed to have taken off in 18th century England, it may surprise you to learn that Welsh rarebit isn’t Welsh at all, but an English dig at poverty stricken Wales – nice. Rabbit was a poor man’s meat in England, whereas the poor man’s ‘meat’ in Wales was cheese, thus the name ‘Welsh rabbit’. Although somewhere along the way, the alternative spelling, ‘rarebit’, crept in for some reason, and no one really knows why. Anyhoo, that’s not to say that the Welsh didn’t eat Welsh rarebit – cheese, bread and beer were food staples of the time. Sounds worryingly like my current diet. Oh well, scurvy here I come…

Welsh rarebit
Serves 1 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 15 mins / V
100g vegetarian mature cheddar, grated
1 egg yolk
1 tbs beer or stout (or milk if you don’t have any)
½ tsp English mustard
1 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce*
2 thick slices of bread

1. Grate the cheese and place all apart from a small handful in a bowl along with the egg yolk, stout, English mustard and vegetarian Worcestershire sauce. Stir well and put to one side.
2. Put a grill on a high heat and toast the bread in a toaster before spreading evenly with the cheese mixture. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and place both slices on a baking tray. Place under the hot grill for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has started to bubble and brown. Serve immediately.

Welsh rarebit
Welsh rarebit

If you’ve had a go at making my Welsh rarebit or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

V– Vegetarian
*Most brands of Worcestershire sauce regretably not vegetarian as they contain fish so always check the label. I used a vegan brand in this recipe called Biona. 

Cheese and Marmite scones

Cheese and Marmite scone
Cheese and Marmite scone
Cheese and Marmite scone

Are you skint, even though you’ve literally just been paid? Welcome to my life. As quickly as my pay cheque came – ‘pay cheque’ what am I, American? Anyway, no sooner had I been paid then the money swiftly vanished out of my account, leaving me with, well, not with nothing, but not with very much at all. It’s like I get robbed every month – stupid London.
Anyhoo, in light off my continuing impoverishment (perhaps I shouldn’t have spent so much money on Tina Turner The Musical tickets) I had to ditch the recipe I was going to make and swap it for something I could cobble together with ingredients I already had. Cheese and Marmite scone anyone?

Cheese and Marmite scones
Makes 10 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 40 mins / V
You’ll need: 5cm cookie cutter
1 ½ tbs Marmite
1 tbs boiling water
350g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
80g cold unsalted butter, cubed
80g vegetarian mature cheddar, grated
175ml semi-skimmed milk
1 egg
15g grated vegetarian Italian hard cheese or Parmesan*

1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6 and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Put to one side.
2. In a small bowl add 1 ½ tbs of Marmite and cover in 1 tbs of boiling water. Using a teaspoon, mix well until the Marmite has dissolved into a more workable liquid. Put to one side.
3. Combine the flour and the baking powder together in a large bowl and mix well before adding the cold cubed butter. Using your hands, work the butter into the flour with your fingers until you have fine breadcrumbs. Add the grated cheddar and mix well with a cutlery knife .
4. Warm the milk slightly in a pan (it’s important that you don’t over heat the milk, it should be lukewarm). Take off the heat and mix the Marmite liquid into the milk (leaving a little of the Marmite liquid behind for the topping later). Place the baking trays in the oven to warm up.
5. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the Marmite milk. Using a cutlery knife, mix quickly until combined (you need to work quickly as the warm milk with activate the raising agents in the flour).
6. Flour a clean work surface and tip the dough out onto it. Using your hands (and being carful not work the dough too much) pat the dough into a kind of giant burger shape roughly an inch thick. Flour the cutter before plunging into the dough, twist and pull out creating your scone. Continue until you can’t make anymore, before gathering up any excess dough and reshaping to produce more scones. Carefully remove the baking trays from the oven. Place the scones evenly on the trays (making sure you have enough space between each scone for them to rise).
7. Crack the egg into the bowl containing the remaining Marmite water and beat well with a fork. Brush the top of each scone with the egg and top with a small sprinkling of Italian hard cheese. Bake in the oven for 10-13 minutes or until they’re a lovely golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving warm with butter and an extra spread of Marmite for those who really love it.

Cheese and Marmite scone
Cheese and Marmite scone

If you’ve had a go at making my cheese and Marmite scones or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

V– Vegetarian
❄ To freeze, cool fully before wrapping individually in a few layers of clingfilm and freeze for up to 3 months.
*Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.

Red pepper & tomato lasagne

Red pepper & tomato lasagne
Red pepper & tomato lasagne
Red pepper & tomato lasagne

I tend to find myself crying a lot these days. Not about anything important – in fact, it’s the trivial things that really set me off. A slightly sentimental advert, a chick and a cat becoming friends or even just spilling coffee granules on the kitchen floor.
For example, today I’ve already cried twice, and both times were during the first half hour of Harry Potter film ‘The Goblet of Fire’. Bear in mind, nothing upsetting had actually happened yet. Thinking about it, the first cry was over Brendan Gleeson, until I realised he wasn’t actually dead in real life (thanks, Google). The second was the realisation I may never get to go to a glamorous wizarding ball.
So, to cheer myself up, I needed some serious comfort food and that came in the form of my mum’s red pepper and tomato lasagne – aka tomato and cheesy pasta realness. In fact, this recipe was one of the first-ever recipes I blogged about many moons ago, but I have to be honest, the picture was a bit shit and so was the recipe. So I spent the day rewriting, reshooting and re-eating it. It was so good it made me cry… Again.

Red pepper & tomato lasagne
Serves 6 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total 2 hour 10 minutes / 
You’ll need: Rectangular oven-proof dish 22cm x 28cm and foil
9 dried lasagne sheets
24 tomatoes, cut into eighths
4 red peppers, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 tbs dried oregano
2 tbs dried basil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
300g mild/medium strength vegetarian cheddar, grated

TIP: This is an easy recipe but does take a couple of hours to cook so best make when you have plenty of time. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

1. Slice off the core and roughly chop each tomato into eighths and put in a large pot, over a medium heat with a tbs of extra virgin olive oil. Meanwhile, de-seed and finely chop the peppers and add them to the tomatoes. Sprinkle over the dried herbs, a tsp of salt and mix well.
2. Bring to the boil (you may have to dig down to the bottom to see the juices bubbling away). Put the lid on and cook the sauce down for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Meanwhile grate the cheese.
3. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6. Once the sauce has thickened, take off the heat and start assembling the lasagne.
4. Oil the oven dish and start layering. Begin with a layer of pasta sheets (feel free to break the pasta sheets to fit your dish if needs be). Cover the lasgane sheets with an even layer of sauce (3 ladles worth) and top with an even sprinkling of cheese. Continue to layer like this a couple more times before topping with the last layer of cheese. Season with salt and pepper and cover loosely with foil (ensure the foil isn’t touching the cheese – you don’t want the cheese to stick and peel the whole top layer of the lasagne off).
5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes before removing the foil and cooking for a further 10 minutes to brown the cheese a little. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving with a simple green salad.

Red pepper & tomato lasagne
Red pepper & tomato lasagne

If you’ve had a go at making my lasagne or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

V– Vegetarian
– Suitable for home freezing before cooking. Wrap the lasagne well in 2 layers of cling film and 1 layer of foil. Defrost fully before baking.

Peanut ramen

Peanut ramen
Peanut ramen
Peanut ramen

If I hear the word Veganuary one more time, I’m going to stuff my ears full of cauliflowers. Yes, I know I’m vegetarian, but I don’t bang on about it constantly to anyone who’ll listen. In fact, in my experience, the opposite is true.
“What? So you don’t eat chicken?”
“Nope.” I smile faintly, trying to attract the waiter’s eye.
“Not even lamb?”
“Nope,” I reply again, as I swig from my empty wine glass.
“But what about bacon? Surely you’ve eaten bacon?”
“Nope, never eaten bacon,” I say, exasperatedly “Scuse me? Can we get another bottle of red for the table, please?”
“So, you’ve never even tried a bacon sandwich?”
Ugh, why do I always get sat on the weirdo table at weddings? I think, as I continue to shake my head to this awful man’s line of questioning. Finally, my starter arrives, but instead of leaving me alone, he surveys it carefully before diving his fork in and telling me how surprisingly delicious it is. Who invited this guy?

Anyway, my point is that I’m always so baffled that anyone even cares what I eat? I couldn’t care less what other people eat, so when someone who has been vegan for like, a day, tries to lecture me about the dairy industry, forgive me for walking off. That being said, all this talk of Veganuary must have seeped into my subconscious, because I created this gorgeous bowl of vegan deliciousness. So, on that premise, Happy Veganuary everyone!

Peanut ramen
Serves 2 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 30 mins / V Vn* Df
1 tsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Knob of ginger (1 inch), grated
1 tbs Thai green curry paste*, I use Blue Dragon
1 can light coconut milk (you can use full fat but I find it makes the sauce too thick)
300ml vegetable stock, I use ½ a Knorr stock pot
2 ½ tbs crunchy peanut butter
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tsp palm sugar or granulated sugar
1 nest of rice noodles* or egg noodles
1 lime, cut into quarters
150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 large bulb pak choi, cut into strips
2 spring onions, chopped
Handful fresh coriander to serve

1. In a large saucepan over a medium heat, add 1 tsp of sesame oil. Once warm, add the chopped garlic along with the grated ginger and cook for 2 minutes stirring continuously.
2. Add a dash of water along with the Thai curry paste and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes stirring continuously. Add the coconut milk and the peanut butter – the peanut butter will need little help to be incorporated so gently work it against the side of the saucepan using the back of your spoon until dissolved.
3. Add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, palm sugar and the juice of half a lime before mixing well and bringing to the boil. Once boiling, reduce and simmer for 5 minutes. Use this time to slice the mushrooms and the pak choi.
4. Add the mushrooms and the pak choi to the sauce and cook for a further few minutes before submerging the nest of noodles. Cook the noodles according to the packet instruction in the sauce (usually 3-5 minutes, depending on what noodles you’ve gone for).
5. Finally, spoon into bowls and serve topped with chopped spring onions, fresh coriander and lime wedges.

Peanut ramen
Peanut ramen

If you’ve had a go at making my peanut ramen or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

V– Vegetarian    Vn*– Vegan’s please substitute egg noodles for rice noodles    Df– Dairy free
* Some Thai green curry pastes contain crustaceans and fish. I use Blue Dragon which does not.

Fish-less pie

Fish-less pie
Fish-less pie
Fish-less pie

I love fish pie – at least, I think I would if it didn’t have fish in it. Let me explain. I love all of the elements of a fish pie – I adore smoky flavours, I love creamy white wine and dill sauces and buttery mash potato. But what can I use instead of fish to pour all of this deliciousness over?

“Fish pie without the fish?” Sarah looks up from her desk and stares at me.
“Yeah” I say as I rummage through my bag for a packet of brazil nuts.
“Fish pie without the fish?”
“Yes!” I say, still rifling.
“Surely that’s just ‘pie’?” she replies blankly.
“Er yes, but no, because I’m using mushrooms instead of fish.”(I swear I put those Brazil nuts in here, I think to myself, getting slightly more agitated.)
“Oh, so you’re making a mushroom pie?”
“What? No!” I say, as I continue to angrily nosedive into the depths of my bag – why do I have so much shit in here, and why is my bag so big?
“I just told you, I’m making a fish-pie-without-the-fish-and-using-mushrooms-instead… pie.”
“Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue,” Sarah mutters, as I emerge pink-faced and slightly harassed.
“It’s a mushroom pie with all the flavours of a fish pie, making it more fish pie than mushroom pie in essence, so I can’t call it a mushroom pie, because it encompasses all things fish pie without the fish AND WHERE ARE MY FUCKING BRAZIL NUTS???!!!!!!”
“They’re on your desk.” Sarah points to a packet of Brazil nuts nestled in-between my pen pot and a box of Yorkshire Tea.
“Oh… Thanks.” I say in a small voice, realising my outburst was slightly louder than I was intending.
Sarah turns back to her screen. “Sounds nice,” she says. “But you should call it fish-less pie – bit more clever.”
“Yeah, alright” I say, through a mouthful of a least five Brazil nuts.

Fish-less pie
Serves 4 / Hands on time 40 mins / Total time 1 hr / Gf ❄ 
You’ll need: 25mm x 20mm baking dish
30g unsalted butter
1 medium white onion, chopped
½ tsp sea salt flakes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
250g oyster mushroom
100g button mushrooms
200g smoked tofu, cubed
Juice of ½ a Lemon
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp capers
1 tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 spring onions, chopped
5 tbs Greek yogurt
2 handfuls frozen peas (roughly 40g)
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Handful fresh dill, chopped
900g potatoes, peeled and cube (roughly 4 baking potatoes)
50g unsalted butter
5 tbs Semi-skimmed milk
1-2 tsp sea salt flakes 

1. Fill a kettle with water and boil. Meanwhile, roughly peel and chop the potatoes and put them in a large saucepan. Pour over the boiling water from the kettle, add ½ a tsp of salt and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer.
2. Meanwhile, pre-heat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7 and make the pie filling. In another large saucepan or cooking pot, sweat the chopped onions in the butter for 5-7 minutes over a medium heat. Add the garlic and ½ a tsp of salt and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
3. Tip the mushrooms out onto a chopping board and slice only the very large mushrooms in half, same goes for the button mushrooms. Add to the pot along with the smoked tofu cubes and stir carefully as to not break them up. Cook for a further 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to soften.
4. Add the juice of ½ a lemon along with 2 tsp of soy sauce, 2 tsp of capers, 1 tbs of white wine vinegar, 1 tsp of dijon mustard and 1 tsp of smoked paprika. Add the chopped spring onions, give it all a good stir and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
5. Remove the the mushrooms from the heat, pop the lid on and put to one side to cool slightly while you make your mash.
6. Drain the potatoes and put back into the saucepan. Add 50g of butter, 1 to 2 tsp of salt and 5 tbs of milk. Give it all a good mash with a potato masher until you have your desired consistency (add more milk if needed).
7. Turning your attention back to the mushrooms, remove the lid and add the freshly chopped herbs and frozen peas and stir in the yogurt. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish and level out evenly with the back of a spoon. Top with the mash and score with a fork. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins.
8. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley, steamed vegetables and a good dollop of dijon mustard.

Fish-less pie
Fish-less pie

If you’ve had a go at making my fish-less pie or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale

– Vegetarian    Gf – Gluten free    ❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.