One of the best things about working from home is how much choice you have at lunchtime. No soggy sandwiches or greasy takeaway. I often just zap some homemade soup in the microwave, but if I have more time and energy, nothing beats a salad or sandwich. 

Sauteed field mushrooms, roast potato, tomato, onion and baby spinach with homemade chipotle mayonnaise on Turkish bread.

Homemade smokey seitan and salad on a crusty roll with a side of avocado potato salad.

A BLT made with Redwood fake bacon. Yum!

Homemade chickpea seitan sausage with  loads  of sauce on a hotdog bun.

Homemade chickpea seitan sausage with loads of sauce on a hotdog bun.

Sometimes I make my own bread - like this majestic organic spelt loaf.

Gorgeous, colourful salad with homemade wasabi mayo.

Gorgeous, colourful salad with homemade wasabi mayo.

Citrus salad with navel and blood oranges and ruby grapefruit.

Pizza...Who Needs Cheese?

Browsing my folders of food photos I found a few of the many pizzas of my past, and a bonus shot of some focaccias. I don't buy a lot of vegan cheese, mainly because it's expensive, but also because there aren't many varieties I really like (I must dedicate a blog post to commercial vegan cheese soon!), but there are lots of other ways to make your pizza tasty and delicious that don't involve copious amounts of grated cheese...

For example, topping your pizza with creamy homemade aioli once it's out of the oven, as I have with this mushroom pizza with a cornmeal crust. My aioli recipe is here.

I topped this potato and roasted fennel pizza with generous spoonfuls of homemade pesto.

Another roasted fennel pizza that I topped with a cheesy cashew cream sauce before baking.

Here's another topped with cheesy sauce. I use a squeezy bottle for exceptional cheesy coverage!

Sometimes I replace the traditional tomato sauce with a base of roasted, pureed eggplant enriched with roasted garlic, olive oil and ground almonds - just as rich as cheese, and twice as delicious. A base of cheesy white sauce is particularly yummy topped with potato and artichoke. With this pizza below, I used homemade pesto as a base, and topped with a small amount of homemade melty cheese (cheese recipe here).

I have to say though, putting aside all of these cheese alternatives, one of my favourite pizzas is from a local cafe which is simplicity itself. Just beautifully cooked and seasoned vegetables on a thin, crispy base, and lashings of good quality olive oil. I never miss the cheese.

As promised, a bonus focaccia shot (pizza's delicious cousin!). I use a recipe from The Bread Bible which always works out a treat.

Recent Kitchen Adventures

For the last couple of months I've been having a lot of fun trying out vegan recipes & experimenting with my own creations (some of which are best not talked about). I've bought a few new vegan cookbooks too (my favourites so far are Vegan Diner & Veganomicon), & I have to say, compared with some of the books I bought in the 80s & 90s, vegan cooking has come a long way! I thought you might like to take a look at a chocolate tart I made recently.