Vegan macaroni no cheese, serves 3

This is a tasty, tried and tested vegan version of Mac’n’cheese.


  • 250g macaroni pasta
  • 1.25 cups (300ml) soya milk
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil
  • 2 heaped tbsp (50ml) plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) salt


  1. Cook your pasta as per the directions on the packet
  2. In a small/medium pan, heat the 2 tsbp olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add 2 heaped tbsp of flour and stir vigorously to make a roux.
  4. Add the soya milk slowly and stir constantly to incorporate the liquid.
  5. Reduce the heat and continue cooking the sauce for about 8mins, stirring frequently.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients: 1/2 cup (125ml) nutritional yeast flakes and the garlic powder, chilli flakes and salt
  7. Drain the pasta and empty it into a casserole dish and then cover it with the sauce, stirring it well so that the pasta and sauce are well mixed.
  8. (Optional) Pop the dish uncovered into the oven at 200°C for 5-6mins to make the top a bit crispy.

You’ll get 3 servings from this recipe.

Polenta recipe, serves 2-3

There is something comforting about a big pot of polenta. This is a tried and tested vegan version.


  • 4 cups (1 litre) of water
  • 1 tsp (5ml) salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) of polenta (cornmeal)
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) vegan marg
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) of nutritional yeast flakes


  1. Bring a litre of water and a teaspoon of salt to the boil in a large saucepan.
  2. Pour 1 cup (250ml) of polenta slowly into boiling water, stirring until all the polenta is added and there are no lumps.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer with lid on the pan for 30mins, stirring the mixture well approximately every 5mins. After 30mins the polenta texture should be creamy and the individual grains tender.
  4. Switch off the heat and stir in 2 tbsp of margarine and the 1/2 cup (125ml) of nutritional yeast flakes. Leave covered for 5mins to thicken some more before serving.

The polenta will become more rubbery as it cools down and is good to eat hot or cold.

Broccoli Burritos with chickpea and roasted pepper filling

This has been a staple favourite of mine if I’m entertaining as it works well as a party buffet snack (chopped in quarters) or as part of a main meal served with rice and salad. These are dead easy (a food processor is required) to prepare and turn out extremely tasty.

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Vegan chocolate tray bake topped with ganache

Vegan chocolate tray bakeI went along to my first meetup of the Edinburgh Cinema group and Elise the facilitator had generously baked a chocolate cake for everyone. This was my first knowing encounter with ganache as an icing alternative and I was pointed towards Beatty’s Chocolate Cake for the recipe of the deliciously moist cake.

Inspired by this, I fancied adapting this into a vegan tray-bake and my first attempt turned out no’ too bad.
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Vegan Trifle

This was how I commemorated the Millenium – at midnight on 31 December 1999 a few of us were sat around a bonfire in a suburban Edinburgh garden getting tucked into some vegan trifle! The recipe makes 2 trifles or you can have one trifle and a fruit sponge pudding. Trifle purists will argue of course that you have to have whipped cream and hundreds and thousands on top, but spongey-jelly-fruit with vanilla dessert is good enough for me! The sponge recipe was adapted from Neal Barnard’s lowfat recipe for Fruit Cobbler.
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Vegan Birthday Cake (Sponge Sandwich)

This recipe was adapted from the Vegan Carob Sponge in the Engine Shed Recipe Book and is the standard cake we use for family birthdays and any other time a lovely light sponge sandwich with “buttercream” icing and jam filling is required!

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Tofu and cashew nut roast

Credit for this recipe goes to Nature’s Gate wholefood shop in Edinburgh, sadly now no longer in existence. This “Festive Roast” is so easy to make, turns out so well and has a very pleasant taste and texture that it has been the centrepiece of my Christmas day dinner for the last goodness knows how many years. (I say it is easy to make, but I suppose that is assuming you have access to a food processor to make the breadcrumbs, pulverise the cashew nuts and mix the tofu and stock together!)

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Coconut Balls

This is another recipe for the sweet tooth and again it is inspired partly by the Engine Shed Recipe Book, though the initial credit must go to our friend Sheila Hyslop. Warning: the vegan adaptation is still somewhat experimental, so please attempt this recipe with a “trial and error” attitude, particularly when preparing the carob coating and olive oil. If you can’t get hold of carob that works well, substitute with vegan cooking chocolate, though we found that chocolate melts more in the hand when the balls get eaten.

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