Vegetarian Chilli Soup Recipe

Vegetarian Chilli Sou[

Photo Source: Glenn, [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

This vegetarian chilli soup is perfect for warming up on a cold winters day. Packed full of delicious beans and spices it is a hearty and healthy meal. The recipe is very versatile so feel free to substitute the onions and pepper for another type if those are what you have available. The type of beans used in chilli is normally kidney beans but others will work just as well. You could also use a tin of mixed beans or even chickpeas. The heat of the finished chilli will depend on what chillies you use and whether you leave the seeds in or remove them.

This vegetarian chilli soup recipe could be adapted to be suitable for vegans by replacing the quorn mince with soya mince or a vegan mince. the mince could also be left out and replaced with lentils or a second can of beans.

Serves 4

500g quorn mince
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 red chillies, finely chopped and deseeded (leave in the seeds for a hotter chilli)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 large can beans, drained
3 tbsp paprika
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 pint of water
Olive oil for frying


1. Gently fry the onions in a little oil until they are soft.

2. Add the chillies, garlic and red pepper and fry for another minute.

3. Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan and stir well. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.


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Delicious Sunshine Vegan Salad Recipe

Vegan food can often seem difficult or time consuming to prepare to many people. This doesn’t just apply to vegans but also to people who are not used to catering for anyone on a plant based diet and need to. In many cases there is also the added issue of needing special ingredients or equipment such as a high powered blender or a dehydrator.

When creating my vegan recipes I try to focus on using everyday ingredients that are easy to buy or that anyone may have at home already. I also try to avoid the need for equipment people may not have.

This vegan salad recipe is nice as a lunch, part of a buffet or as an accompaniment to other foods in a main meal. Perfect for the summertime or with it’s bright happy colours as a reminder of warmer, sunnier days at colder times of the year. I have included the basic recipe as well as two variations  but please feel free to try you own by adding in favourite ingredients or swapping for whatever you have available. The recipe serves one person if the salad is eaten alone but can easily be created in larger quantities if needed. This vegan salad recipe is also great for using up small amounts of veg you may have left from other recipes and meals.


Sunshine Vegan Salad

Sunshine Vegan Salad

2 spring onions, sliced
5cm piece of cucumber, deseeded and diced
1 tomato, deseeded and diced
1 yellow mini pepper or 1/4 a small pepper, diced
1/4 tsp sesame seeds

1. Place the spring onion, cucumber, tomato and pepper in a bowl and mix well.

2. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and mix briefly to distribute them through the salad.


1. Add two small cooked and diced beetroots to the salad in step 1.

2. Top the salad with one sliced tofu sausage (or vegan sausage of your choice) and then stir this into the salad.


Vegan Salad with Beetroot

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Professional Crafters Guild Christmas Book is Out Now.

This interactive online book has listings detailing many of the members of the Professional Crafters Guild. It has information on the beautiful crafts and services that they offer as well as full colour photographs and weblinks. The book is perfect for Christmas and winter holiday shopping  from the comfort of your own home while also enabling you to support small businesses. There are items to suit every taste and budget including crocheted items, soaps, Christmas stockings, jewellery and candles.



The Professional Crafters guild was established in 2011 in order to help those who work in crafts to be taken seriously. They offer a wide range of services including registration certificates and badges to display on your website or offline, websites and lots and lots of friendly support. Joining the guild if free though there is also a premier member option with even more great benefits.

Visit their website at for further information.


Professional Crafters Guild membership


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Delicious Vegan Smoothie – Banana, Pear and Flax

This delicious vegan smoothie is quick and easy to make. It is perfect for quick breakfast or healthy snack any time of the day. There is no need to peel the pear, just remove the stalk and core if desired before adding to the other ingredients. This vegan smoothie is also gluten free.
Serves 1

1 pear
1 banana
150ml non-dairy milk
2 tbsp vanilla soya yoghurt
2 tbsp linseeds

Place all ingredients into a blender or smoothie maker and blend until smooth.



  • Use plain, strawberry or coconut yoghurt instead.
  • Use different milks such as soya, rice, almond, coconut or hemp.
  • Use other seeds or even nuts in place of the linseeds.


Hints and Tips

  • Freeze into delicious and healthy smoothie pops or ice cream.
  • Can be kept but will turn brown after a while. Even if this happens the smoothie is still ok to drink.
  • For lower powered blenders use ground flaxseed instead of linseeds. These could be swapped for ground almonds or other nuts and seeds.
  • Add a couple of strawberries or use a very ripe banana for a sweeter smoothie.



Pears are available in a variety of types and can be soft and sweet or firmer and crunchy. They are packed full of health giving nutrients including fibre, antioxidants, vitamin C, copper, iron, potassium and B complex vitamins making this vegan smoothie a great and healthy choice.


Bananas are a healthy choice when looking for energy rich foods. They also help to give this vegan smoothie its creamy smoothie texture. Bananas are soft and easily digestible so are a great choice for children, the elderly or anyone who is unwell. They are a good source of vitamin-B6 and also contain vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, fibre and manganese.


Linseed, or flaxseed as it is often known are packed full of nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, riboflavin, thiamin, folate and pantothenic acid. These chewy seeds also contain a range of minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium and magnesium.

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Ten Easy and Vegan Ways to Use Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a great vegan alternative to dairy milks and has a range of uses. It is available in tins and this is generally a thicker milk that is perfect for curries and a thinner milk for drinking can be bought in cartons. It can be used to replace dairy milks in hot drinks, for putting on cereal or making porridge and coconut milk also makes a delicious and creamy hot chocolate.

1. Tinned coconut milk can be whipped like dairy cream to use on desserts and hot drinks. Refrigerated a can of coconut milk until well chilled (overnight is also ok). Now open the can and carefully remove the thicker layer that has settled on top, stopping once you reach the thinner water underneath. This thick creamy layer can be whipped using an electric beater or hand whisk just as you would double cream. Sugar and flavorings can also be added if desired. The thin watery liquid left in the bottom of the tin can be drunk or added to fruit juices or smoothies.

2. Add to soups when recipes call for dairy cream.

3. Mix tinned coconut milk with passata to create a dairy free pasta bake sauce. Pour over cooked pasta and bake until heated through and slightly crisp on top. The bake could be topped with vegan cheese.

4. Add to mash potato instead of milk and dairy free spread. This also works well with other mashed root veg such as carrot and swede, sweet potato and squashes.

4. Add to banana, mango, pineapple and kiwi for a delicious tropical smoothie. Coconut milk and pineapple juice also makes a refreshing and delicious drink.

5. Tinned coconut milk can be used to make a quick and easy curry when combined with the curry paste of your choice.

5. Cook rice in coconut milk to add n exotic flavour.

6. Dissolve cocoa in a little hot water and pour in hot coconut milk to create a creamy dairy free hot chocolate.

7. Use tinned coconut milk to create dairy free vegan fudge. An example recipe can be found here.

8. Use coconut milk in place of other milks when making rice pudding. The thinner drinking type is best for this.

9. Make great healthy ice lollies for children (and adults!) by blending coconut milk with fruits and then freezing in lolly molds.

10. Make coconut ice cream.


Ten Easy uses for coconut milk

Photo Source: Nize, [CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

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Quick and Easy Gluten Free Vegan Dahl Recipe

Gluten free vegan dahl

This recipe for gluten free vegan dahl is highly adaptable and can be made with pretty much any vegetable you wish. Swap the ingredients for whatever you happen to have in the fridge and this is also a great recipe for using up small amounts of leftover veg. To enure even cooking cut the vegetables into small even sized pieces. This gluten free vegan dahl can be served on it’s own, with other Indian dishes or as simply with some warm pitta or nann bread. If desired the dah could be served with rice, cous cous or even pasta.


Serves 4

1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 green chilli, finley diced and deseeded (for a hotter dahl add the seeds to the dahl as well)
1 carrot, finely diced
5 cherry tomatoes, finely diced
50g butternut squash, finely diced
1 spring onion, finely sliced
Olive oil, for frying
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
150g red lentils
900ml vegetable stock or water
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a little oil in a pan until hot. Add the vegetables and chilli and then reduce the heat a little. Cook gently for five minutes.

2. Stir in the spices and cook for a further minute.

3. Add the lentils and stock or water to the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are soft.



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How to Create a Gemstone Angel Keyring

Angel keyring

This step by step tutorial will show you how to create a pretty angel keyring using gemstones and silver findings. I have chosen to use snow quartz beads as I made the angel keyring as a winter holiday gift. Any gemstone or other bead in the right size will work fine for creating the angel keyring so feel free to use your favourite stone. The keyring could be customised by using a favourite stone or combination of stones, birthstones or stones that are relevant due to their healing properties.

These angels can also be made using gold plated findings or indeed any of your choice. Black coated findings would be nice with some gemstones such as clear or rose quartz, amethyst or tigers eye. Hair or a hat can be added to the angels using decorative bead caps. Oval shaped beads could also be used to create an angel with a longer body shape. However in this case, depending on the length of bead chosen; a longer headpin may be required.



Wire cutters
Round nosed Pliers


Split ring with chain keyring
2.4cm angel wing
4.5cm head pin
6mm snow quartz bead
8mm snow quartz bead


1. Create the angel by placing the beads onto the headpin in the following order: 8mm snow quartz bead, angel wings and then finally the 6mm snow quartz bead.

angel keyring


2. Bend the end of the headpin over above the 6mm bead and trim so that there is approximately 1cm remaining.

angel keyring


3. Using the round nosed pliers, create a loop in the end of the headpin.

angel keyring

4. Open the ring on the end of the keyring finding chain. Attach this ring to the loop created in step 3. Close the ring.


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Vegan Rice and Greens. A Twist on Rice and Peas

I created this vegan rice dish based on the Jamaican rice and peas. Rice and peas came be found in many variations but the basic ingredients are rice and beans – often kidney or black beans. Chillies are often included as well as herbs and flavours such coconut.

One of my favourite vegan rice meals to make is stir fried basmati rice with mixed veg. I prefer basmati rice as it has a nicer texture and I also find that is less soft once cooked, but any rice will work fine. I stir fry the previously cooked and cooled rice with whatever vegetables I happen to have in the fridge. Frozen mixed veg are also a great stand by for making this in a hurry.

Spring onions and peas are two of my favourite veg so I decided to combine them with some leftover rice and rice and greens was born! When I cook rice I often cook extra and then freeze this in one portion sizes to be used later. The packages are prefect for if I am only cooking for myself or for reheating with leftover curry or chilli. If you want to save rice once it has been cooked it should be cooled as quickly as possible. The rice should then be stored in the fridge or placed in the freezer.

Recipe notes

This recipe is also gluten free if you use tamari sauce. If you do not need to avoid gluten or wheat the tamari can be substituted with soy sauce.

If you prefer you can swap any vegan oil for the sunflower oil. However some may change the end taste of the recipe.

Vegan Rice and Peas

Serves 2

150g (6oz) basmati rice, cooked and cooled
100g (4oz) spring onions
80g (3oz) frozen peas
1 tbsp. tamari
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. sunflower oil

1. Slice the spring onions and place in a bowl with the peas. Mix to combine.

2. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the rice, peas, spring onions and tamari and cook stirring until hot and the peas are completely cooked.

3. Season to taste with freshly ground salt and pepper.


vegan rice



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NaNoWriMo 2014 is Here! Time to Get Writing.


It’s November which means it is NaNoWriMo time again. I completed the challenge in 2012 but was unable to take part last year due to time constraints. In 2012 I wrote a draft of a novel that I haven’t gotten back to since and am still not sure what I want to do with. If anything at all. This time round I am going to join the Rebels and write my 50,000 words but not as a novel. Instead I am going to write a mixture of recipes, Hubs, tutorials, blog posts and articles on a range of subjects. I am a little behind as my laptop broke so I only got started yesterday but hopefully I will be able to catch up ok.

A few weeks ago I made a list of ideas that I could use a start point for NaNoWriMo which should be a big help. I have found that joining is great motivation too, especially once past the half way point. In 2013 I took part in Camp NaNoWriMo twice and wrote 10,000 words for the first and 15,000 the second time round. For both I wrote a combination of material and projects.


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