This year, I appear to have committed whole-heartedly to Halloween by emerging from the month of October looking, incredibly convincingly, like a pumpkin.
This is not apparent in terms of colouring (next year I may paint myself orange to complete the look), and is largely due to my eating my way through the changing of the seasons. Here are my stand-out favourites:
To follow my pumpkin theme through, we’ll start off with something which I am now realising would be cannibalistic if I am to insist on sticking to this metaphor: pumpkin & spinach stuffed pasta shells.
These joined three other canapes (sourdough bruschetta bites, chestnut & pesto stuffed mushrooms, and roasted sweet potato with herby cashew cheese) to kick off a fundraising lunch I catered for at Sadeh farm at the start of the month.
To continue with my new theme of shouting out my own food at the very top of my favourites list, I’ll show off the dessert I made for the fundraising lunch at Sadeh, too.
This apple, pear & walnut crumble followed up a lentil lasagne and a buffet of seasonal salads. Ending on a sweet note, the crumble was served with whipped coconut cream and edible flowers picked fresh from the farm.
Moving on from food (and humble bragging) ByTallie, let me show off some delicious vegan eats ByChloe. ByChloe has featured on my blog before, and I have no doubt they will again. This salad – essentially a big bowl full of deconstructed taco – was fantastic.
Less on the salad-y side, I tried the new vegan cheesecake at Pizza Hut.
I have to say the pizza wasn’t anything to shout about in my opinion, but this dessert is fantastic, and easily one of the best and most realistic vegan cheesecakes on the market.
Speaking of realistic substitutes, I also tried the breaded soya goujons from Tesco’s new Plant Chef range. Now, I can’t say with complete certainty that they’re the perfect replica, as I haven’t eaten chicken in many years, but goujons used to be my absolute favourite meal as a child, and these hit the nostalgia sweet spot perfectly.
Another childhood favourite is pesto pasta, so I was delighted to be asked to make some for a client (with homemade kale pesto and creamy cashew cheese, of course) so that her son’s girlfriend could get a taste of the vegan food the family have all been enjoying over the past year! I thought that was so sweet.
Another sweet thing is the vegan cookie dough dessert from Bella Italia.
I had been meaning to try the extensive vegan menu at the Italian chain for months, and the pizza and salad we shared for our mains did not disappoint, but this melt-in-the-middle hot dessert with caramel sauce and dairy-free ice cream was the star of the show.
Talking about stars, I have to mention my own food again to highlight the absolute vegan heroes that are chickpea flour & black salt. With just some added water, paprika and onion, these ingredients make amazing vegan, egg-less omelettes, which I cannot and will not stop eating for breakfast.
Since we’re talking plant-based substitutes, I’ll finish up by mentioning this ‘no duck’ party food selection from Iceland. The packet contains three different Chinese pastry items filled with a mock-duck substitute, all of which are delicious, and since Halloween is out of the way, I’ll finally say it… these will make perfect Christmas party food. Get buying now!
Thank you for reading my
Halloween October favourites, and I’ll see you again soon with a recipe or two – I have loads coming up!