Thursday, 29 May 2014

Jelly Bears - Fun Kids' Vitamins that are 100% Veggie Friendly!

As a family of vegetarians, we often struggle to find vitamin supplements that are vegetarian friendly.  They often contain gelatin, have fish sourced omega 3 and animal sourced vitamin D.  Finding vitamins that are are also kid friendly has proved even more difficult.  So I was delighted to be chosen to try out Jelly Bears, a range of vegetarian vitamin fruity bear gummies from Mill House.

vegetarian vitamins

The Jelly Bears come in a cute collectable, re-usable bear shaped pot with a removable teddy bear head on the lid.  Once emptied, it would make a lovely money box or keepsake jar for a child.

 The fun factor of the product means that it isn't chore getting little ones to take their vitamin supplements.  Each pack contains 50 Jelly Bears and kids aged 3 and up can take 1 or 2 a day to supplement their diet with nutrients essential for a child's growth and development.  Freddy, aged 4, can be a fussy eater, so knowing that I am topping him up with extra vitamins makes me feel more confident about what he eats.

Jelly Bears

The Jelly Bears come in summer berry flavoured Multivitamins; orange flavoured Multivitamins + Zinc and orange flavoured Multivitamins + Omega 3.  Knowing that they are 100% natural, with plant derived pectin instead of gelatin, really pleases me.  I am also delighted to find a product containing Omega 3 that isn't fish based.  

As a vegetarian parent, I want my children to have appropriate supplements that are fun and kid friendly - Jelly Bears tick all the boxes!

diet supplements for kids

Each Jelly Bear is shaped with masses of kid-appeal.  Each little colourful, bite-size jelly is bear shaped.  The texture is quite soft and easy to eat.  Freddy says the Jelly Bears Multivitamins are "really fruity and very yummy" and he loves the packaging.   Having a vitamin Jelly Bear every morning is a fun part of his routine that he looks forward to.

As the Jelly Bears are very sweet-like in taste and appearance we have had to explain that he can only have 1 or 2 a day (or else I think he would have scoffed the lot!)  So it is important to supervise little ones and keep the Jelly Bears out of their reach.

gummie bears

Each pot of 50 Jelly Bears sells at £6.99 and are available at Holland and Barrett stores or online.

They are a great product, well priced, child friendly and suitable for vegetarians.  The cute, re-usable packaging is an added bonus.  Both Freddy and I have given the Jelly Bears a big thumbs up!

Jelly Bears

“I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity”.

Picture Books on Review - Marshmallows for Martians, Pete the Cat and Stop Sticking Stan

Marshmallows for Martians

George is a boy on a mission to find out what sort of sweets aliens like to eat.  Armed with a whole load of his favourite sweeties and a home made rocket, he heads off to Mars.

The book is brilliantly illustrated with detailed pictures and the fast paced, witty rhyming text is lots of fun.  

As the story unfolds, George discovers that the Martians favourite food is marshmallows, but not for the reasons you might think!!  It turns out that the sweets have a very welcome use for the inhabitants of Mars.


Released on June 5th 2014, this latest storybook from the author of Spaghetti with the Yeti is priced at £6.99 RRP and is published by Egmont.

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

Pete the Cat loves his brand new white shoes so much, he walks down the street singing about them.  But on his travels, his shoes don't stay white.  As he steps in different things, his white shoes change colour.  Instead of fretting, Pete just changes his song and keeps singing, embracing the new colours as he goes along his way.

This story has a great moral for little ones - whatever happens, just keep walking and singing your song because it's all good! Pete overcomes the things that could have upset him with an unswerving yet understated optimism.  

The quirky illustrations and the simple, repetitive text is really effective.  Pete is a groovy and bluesy cat with a cool attitude. I love this book and the message it delivers!

Pete the Cat, storybook

There is an MP3 recording featuring the cool song that Pete sings along with other assets at The book is out now priced at £6.99 RRP published by Harper Collins.  On July 3rd the next Pete the Cat adventure 'Four Groovy Buttons' is out. 

Stop Sticking Stan

Stan is a boy who loves collecting things.  When he receives a sticker as a reward for tidying his room, Stan decides that he is going to be super good so he can collect lots and lots of them.  Soon, Stan's sticker collection gets so big he ends up decorating the whole house.  Mum and Dad call a stop to his latest collection...but unwittingly start a new one!

This book comes with a page of stickers just like Stan's...which Freddy promptly decided to stick on the walls just like Stan did.  Oops!  Thankfully they aren't too sticky and peeled off easily.

storybook, reward chart

This story is a gentle way to introduce the concept of a reward chart for young children, and has lovely illustrations throughout.  It has a RRP of £6.99 and is published by Egmont.

*Freddy received the books to review but all opinions are our own.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Introducing One World Futbol - the Indestructible Football!

As this year's World Cup gets ever closer, football fever is starting to take hold.  Freddy, who is 4, is enjoying honing his ball skills with daddy in the garden and I'm planning a World Cup party with a Brazilian flavour.  A summer of football is definitely on the cards.

One World Futbol, has launched the world's first nearly indestructible football in the UK and Freddy was sent one to try out.  It will never need pumping up and never goes flat, even when punctured, making it perfect for withstanding some seriously tough kick abouts.

indestructible ball

The One World Futbol Project combines encouraging outdoor play with humanitarian aid.  For every purchase in the UK, a ball will be donated to disadvantaged communities around the world in their 'Buy One, Give One' campaign. The toughness of the balls makes them suitable for any terrain, and the company's mission aims to bring a joy of football to young people living in refugee camps, disaster areas, war zones and disadvantaged communities.  More than 165 countries have been reached by the One World Futbol project, bringing the healing power of play to millions of children.  It's a wonderful thought to know that as Freddy plays in the garden, another child will be playing somewhere else in the world, where play can be used to bring joy, teach life skills and foster social change.

The ball itself is sturdy and made of tough elastomer plastic.  It has a lower bounce rate making it easier to control and less likely to bounce over a neighbour's fence.  As it is never goes flat, even when punctured, it will outlive most other balls on the market making it a good investment that will last for years. It can even survive being run over by a car or chewed by a dog.

One World futbol

It's tough enough for use on the roughest of play surfaces, but is just as good on the street, in the garden or on the beach.  It is well weighted and easy to control.  The One World Futbol has replaced all of the old deflated, faded and torn footballs and playballs in our garden this summer!

You can find out more, buy a One World Futbol for yourself and choose the campaign to send your donated ball to at  They cost £33.00 on a 'buy one, give one' basis.

Watch some inspirational videos on their YouTube channel:

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Foodie Review Round-Up - Chicago Town, Little Cracker's Drinks & Pilgrim's Choice Pick n Mix

Chicago Town Takeaway Pizza

Freddy's favourite food is pizza.  It is the one food guaranteed to make him clear his plate!  We were sent a voucher to try out a Chicago Town Takeaway pizza with its saucy stuffed rising crust.

Chicago Town Takeaway Pizza

There are two limited edition flavours available: BBQ Sizzler and Deep Dish Ham and Cheese Topper, but we opted for Freddy's favourite Four Cheese Melt.  The dough rises in the oven for an authentic taste.  The mozzarella, Monterey Jack, mature Cheddar and Emmental topping is deliciously cheesy!

Chicago Town

Priced at £4.00 RRP for a family sized pizza, it's much cheaper than a real takeaway and takes just 22 minutes in the oven.  Perfect for a night in!

Little Cracker's Juice Drink

Little Crackers juice drinks are a delicious range of fruity chiled drinks made especially for kids.  With 75% juice and a splash of water, they are all natural and contribute to kids' five a day.  New to the range are Orange & Lemon and Apple & Raspberry.  We received a pack to try out.

fruit juice

The cartons feature the fun Fruithead characters Ollie Orange and Lilly Lemon. The zesty citrus combination is fresh and fruity.  The 200ml cartons come with a straw making them perfect for lunchboxes or drinking on the go.
Little Crackers

They are £1.99 for a three pack and available at Tesco.

Pilgrim's Choice Pick n Mix Cheeses

Pilgrim's Choice have a new range of 80g cheeses, each in an exciting flavour, to inspire cheese lovers to try something new.  With Vintage, Smokey, Wensleydale & Cranberry, Indian Spice, Firecracker and Wensleydale & Apple, the range offers something for everyone and changes seasonally.


We were sent a range to try out.  It is perfect for adding a cheesy twist to a variety of dishes.  The Firecracker is great for grating over Mexican food such as nachos.  The Indian Spice melted onto a naan bread gives cheese on toast an Indian twist.  They add an interesting flavour to tarts and quiches, and jazz up cheeseboards.

The Pick n Mix cheeses are £1.50 each or 3 for £3.00 from Tesco stores.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Fun Family Dining with OXO Shake & Flavour #OXOMealtimeMagic

If variety is the spice of life - OXO's new Shake & Flavour range is the perfect way to add some spicy mealtime magic to a variety of dishes this summer!

The fine seasoning granules come in a variety of flavours including Rich Beef and Roast Chicken as well as veggie friendly Tikka, Garlic & Herb, Chinese, Italian and Southern Fried.  They come in a handy shaker for ease of use and can be sprinkled on food before or during cooking or added as a finishing touch.

OXO, seasoning

We were sent some to try out, and I adapted a favourite family meal to add some extra flavour the OXO way.  I made a Sweet Potato, Butterbean and Cashew Nut Flan seasoned with OXO Shake & Flavour Italian seasoning and some chunky chips seasoned with Garlic & Herb served with sauteed white cabbage.

It is a lovely summery menu, perfect for family dining inside or outdoors.  The flan is light and packed with healthy sweet potato, pulses, nuts and seeds.  It is lovely served hot or cold with a freshly squeezed juice to drink.

alfresco, summer dining

Sweet Potato, Butterbean and Cashew Nut Flan Recipe


400g sweet potato peeled and cut into chunks
1 can butterbeans
1 oz chopped cashew nuts
1 onion chopped
2 gloves of garlic crushed
2oz chestnut mushrooms chopped
OXO Shake & Flavour Italian Seasoning
Ground pepper
Ready rolled puff pasty sheet
Handful of mixed seeds


Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water until tender.  Drain and mash.
While they are cooking fry the chopped onion, garlic and mushroom.
Mix the butterbeans and onion mixture into the mashed sweet potato and roughly mash together.
Stir through a generous sprinkle of OXO Sprinkle & Flavour Italian seasoning and some ground pepper to taste.
Place the sheet of pastry onto a baking sheet.
Pile the filling onto the pastry leaving an inch around the edge.
Fold in the pastry edges and glaze with milk.
Sprinkle seeds on top and another sprinkle of OXO Shake & Flavour Italian seasoning.
Cook in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


We made our homemade chunky chips by tossing cut potatoes in olive oil and OXO Shake & Flavour Garlic and Herb seasoning, and putting into the oven on a baking tray for 30-35 minutes at 200 degrees. 

 The children loved helping out with this, shaking the seasoning granules over the oiled potatoes and giving them a good shake - it certainly added a fun element to the cooking!


We served the flan and chips with sauteed white cabbage.  Once cooked we sprinkled a little of the OXO Italian seasoning and some black pepper on top for extra flavour.


I loved how easy the product was to use, simply sprinkle into or onto whatever you are cooking for an intense flavour shot.  It's a handy kitchen trick to make meals even tastier with very little effort. 

The seasoning definitely added a depth of flavour, which was very tasty.  I loved the Italian seasoning with its hints of tomato, fennel, oregano, basil and garlic. It worked perfectly with the sweetness of the sweet potato pie filling.  The chips were really yummy and the kids all loved the garlicky coating!

OXO, vegetarian

The scope for adding mealtime magic to my cooking is an exciting prospect as summer approaches.  For seasoning vegetable and halloumi kebabs on the barbecue, to adding flavour to alfresco dining, I have a selection of OXO Shake & Flavour  granules to hand!  They are so convenient, versatile and easy to use, and give a little culinary inspiration when needed.


This post is part of a BritMums project with OXO Shake & Flavour. Shake & Flavour seasoning granules can be sprinkled into food during cooking or before serving. Find out more about the Shake & Flavour varieties

Monday, 19 May 2014

The Great Outdoors

With the sun shining and the temperatures rising, yesterday was the perfect day for heading off to the beautiful town of Ellesmere for a walk around the mere.  It's a beautiful area, rich with wildlife and nature.  It was wonderful to enjoy and explore the great outdoors together as a family, having fun and making magical memories.


Climbing trees to reach the sky.


Enjoying the sunshine and expressing ourselves, creating shadow pictures on the ground.


Nesting birds with their gorgeous babies make us stop to gaze.


Trees that have fallen provide a haven for wildlife and make a beautiful natural sculpture.

Fallen Tree

Exploring our surroundings, discovering exciting things and learning about nature.

Exploring your surroundings.

 Riding high on Daddy's shoulders so you can reach the leaves on the trees.

Riding high on Daddy's shoulders

Perfectly pretty flowers adding splashes of colour to the landscape. (11 year old Kizzy took this photo, which I think is an excellent shot capturing the beauty of a simple buttercup!)


Adventures await as we discover play areas where you can jump, climb, balance and swing.

Adventure Playground

Role Playing as Harry Potter armed with a stick wand, casting spells as you go.

Harry Potter

Coming together as a family, spending quality time with those you love.

family fun

Swans gracefully swim alongside us as we make our way home.


This post has been inspired by the Center Parcs May Challenge and the tip to create a photographic scavenger hunt.  We have come up with a photo to represent each of the letters to spell out CENTER PARCS whilst capturing family moments and the wildlife around us!

tree climbing

‘This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots100 May challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Whinfell.’

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh Review

For the past few days I have felt the wonderful feeling of sunshine on my skin.  The kids have come out of school, pink cheeked with their sweaters tied around their waists, clutching letters telling parents to remember to apply sun tan lotion and to send in a cap for play time..  Signs of better weather on its way at last!

So I was delighted when I received a perfectly timed gift from Nivea Sun, making us well and truly prepared for any heatwave that we are lucky enough to experience.  I was sent a gorgeous personalised polka dot bag containing a selection of their new Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh range.

sun protection

The Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh range combines immediate protection with an innovative cooling effect due to the addition of menthol.  Rather than covering your skin with heavy creams or sticky oils, Nivea Sun Protect & Refresh lets you use a light and refreshing product, which makes your skin feel fresh and cool.  Just what you need on a hot summer's day.

The Protect and Refresh Refreshing Sun Lotion is priced from £15.00 for a 200 ml bottle.  It boasts a non-sticky, ultra-moisturising consistency, containing a balanced combination of silky powder and soothing oils.  It is water resistant with UVA/UVB filters for protection.

The Protect and Refresh Invisible Cooling Sun Spray is priced from £14.00 for a 200 ml bottle.  It's light, silky texture and cooling mist makes it lovely to use. It is effective as soon as it's applied and sprays on leaving no oiliness, stickiness or residue. I offers both UVA and UVB protection.

Protect and Refresh Invisible Cooling Mist is priced from £16.00 for a 200 ml bottle.  The light, skin cooling spray mist delivers a fine even layer of protection onto the skin.  The special 360 degree valve allows continuous spraying from all angles, making it great for when on  the go or during outdoor sports.  Beach volleyball anyone??

After enjoying a day out in the sunshine, you can freshen up by using the Nivea Sun In-Shower After Sun Lotion which is £6.00 for a 250 ml bottle. You apply the intensively moisturising lotion on wet skin then rinse off.  It soothes and refreshes the skin and absorbs quickly leaving no greasy residue.

We have been using the Factor 50 Sun Spray on the kids for school.  It is an almost colourless liquid with a very light, gentle fragrance.  The spray has good dispersal and doesn't drip or leak.  It is invisible on the skin and absorbs really fast.  As it is invisible it was a bit tricky to know if we had covered every bit of Freddy's skin, but the dispersal of the product was so good I felt confident that he was well protected.  Overall, I really like this mess free method of sun protection, that leaves no white marks or greasy residue, making it a very wearable form of protection for the whole family.

Now all I need is a proper heatwave and a holiday!

Friday, 16 May 2014

My Marriage - Seventeen Years On!

Seventeen years ago today I married my best friend and embarked on the great adventure that is marriage. There has not been a single day that has passed where my husband hasn't told me that he loves me.  I am a lucky to have a man who makes me feel so valued and loved; who accepts me for everything I am and has never tried to change me (and who does more than his fair share of housework!).  I've known Ian since my early teens and his existence is so entrenched into my own life, I cannot remember what it was like without him by my side.  We share so many memories of being at school, growing up in sunny Slough and having mutual friends.  He's knows everything about me, and still loves me. No secrets, no lies.

wedding day

 Together we have celebrated our family.  We have watched our eldest three grow into wonderful adults and have welcomed two more children into the fold.  Our five kids are our greatest blessing and our biggest achievement.  They make us so proud every single day.  Joe has got his own life in Northampton with a successful career and a little boy who he adores. He is an amazing dad.  Megan is doing fantastically well as she pursues a career in film production and has already worked with John Hurt on a feature film!  Her ambition, dedication and drive is inspirational. Ella is about to sit her A'Levels and will be off to university this September to study criminology. She is so talented and so very lovely.  Kizzy is our beautiful, fashion loving girl who is due to start secondary school after the summer.  Her sense of humour and fun keeps us all smiling. Freddy is such a breath of fresh air in our family, a whirling dervish of mischief with a heart of gold (when it suits him!).  I look at them and know that if I were to achieve nothing more in my lifetime, I would still feel accomplished. I am so grateful to have had Ian with us, every step of the way.

wedding day

I love my marriage.  I love feeling a part of something that is greater than the sum of its parts.  I feel safe.  I feel whole. Being a wife and a mother is an honour.  It's been my salvation.  I look forward to the future as we face all the challenges to come together as a team.

wedding day

I can't believe that we've been together for twenty years and married for seventeen years. I guess we're probably classed as a middle aged couple now!  But as long as we can still laugh and have fun and enjoy the blessings of our family life, then the next decades will be every bit as wonderful (in spite of our advancing years!) 

Happy Anniversary Ian. My husband. I love you. xxx

Wedding day

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Foodie Review Round-Up - V8 Juices, Marvellous Cadbury Creations and Lurpak Spray

 V8 V-Fusion

7 out of 10 adults admit that they do not get their recommended five a day of fruit and vegetables.  As guidelines now suggest that we should in fact be consuming not five, but seven portions daily, adults are slipping further and further behind in their pursuit of a healthy diet.  V8 V-Fusion is an exciting new drink that combines 100% fruit and vegetable juices in delicious combinations, meaning that one 250 ml glass gives you two of your five a day in one go.  It's a wholesome way to kick start your day and is a delicious alternative to ordinary fruit juices.

We tried the new Raspberry and Beetroot juice.  It was thick and perfectly sweetened by the raspberries but with an underlying earthiness from the beetroot.  It tasted wholesome and natural.  It is free from artificial additives and the ingredients list was made up purely of fruit and vegetables including sweet potato, carrot, apple, beetroot, raspberry and blackcurrant.

fruit juice, vegetable juice

It's such a simple way to incorporate extra fruit and veg into your diet. There is also a Passion Fruit, Mango and Carrot flavour available to buy in Tesco and Waitrose RRP. £1.89.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations and Marvellous Mix Ups

The latest creations from Cadbury are really touching on the fictional world of Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka! With some exciting combinations and flavours, Dairy Milk chocolate is elevated into some quite fantastically fun products that chocolate-lovers will adore.

The new Banana Caramel Crisp bar combines banana flavoured candy chunks, malted cereal balls and caramel pieces with smooth, creamy Dairy Milk to create a Marvellous Creation and taste sensation for the sweet-toothed.

Cadburys, chocolate

The Marvellous Mix-Ups see Cadbury Dairy Milk come together with other sweetie favourites in the same bag, perfect for sharing.  The Oreo Mix-Ups combine giant chocolate buttons, white buttons, Pebbles and mini Oreo biscuits. The Maynards Mix-Ups feature chocolate covered caramel nibbles, chocolate covered fudge and fruit jellies.  The mix and match combinations insure you're spoilt for choice and can enjoy all your favourite sweet treats together.


Lurpak Cook's Range Cooking Mist

Lurpak has a new range of cooking products designed to inspire food adventures in the kitchen.  Featuring clarified butter, cooking liquid, cooking mist and baking butter, each product includes real Lurpak Butter presented in a way to make cooking easier and give end results a professional finish.

I tried out the Lurpak Cooks' Range Cooking Mist which retails at £2.70 for a 200 ml spray can.  It combines a liquid blend of Lurpak Butter with rapeseed oil to create a sprayable mist for basting or greasing.  It can even be used to glaze pies.


The bottle itself looks classy and professional.  The spray top was easy to use, spraying a fine mist straight onto the food.  I was impressed with the way it dispensed and the coverage each spray gave.  I tried it out on home made chunky chips and roasted root vegetables.  It did a great job and the golden brown, crisp, glazed finish was impressive.

cooking chips

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Internet Matters - Keeping Your Children Safe Online

For many parents, internet safety is a huge concern.  With children connected to the internet across a whole host of devices, it is important that families are computer savvy and aware of the potential dangers. From social networking to online gaming to chat rooms, there are so many ways children are experiencing the internet.  Parents need to be equipped with the knowledge and resources necessary to deal with any issues that might arise.

The UK’s four major broadband providers; BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk, have joined forces to help parents safely navigate the internet with their children.  This initiati,, will cement the UK’s position as a world leader in child internet safety, with the tagline “learn about it, talk about it, deal with it”.

Internet Matters

Research has revealed that 74% of parents want more information and advice about online safety and 48% would prefer this information to be available online. To meet this demand, has been created as a one-stop hub, directing parents to valuable help and advice from the leading experts from organisations and charities in the child internet safety field. This initiative will encourage the wider technology industry, experts, policy makers and parents to work together to establish world-leading resources for parents , equipping parents with the information they need to make informed decisions and keep their children safe online.

With a 90% reach to homes across the UK through the four major broadband providers, Internet Matters is expected to become a household name. Internet will complement each providers own internet safety provisions and provide a forum for best practice.
Subjects such as how to deal with inappropriate content, cyberbullying, online grooming, sexting and keeping a good online reputation are covered.  The resources allow parents to make informed choices about their children’s internet safety.

Proud TalkTalk Family Blogger

Monday, 12 May 2014

Soccer Suckers Review

My eldest son Joe, who is now 25, was a real football fan as a boy.  He collected everything to do with football such as the sticker albums, souvenir coins and mini figurines, plus he wore each season's Arsenal kit with pride.  I'm sure it won't be long before 4 year old Freddy gets into the sport just like his big brother, especially with the excitement of the forthcoming World Cup in summer. That will undoubtedly herald the start of me buying all the latest football merchandise again.

Jumbo Games has a new range of collectable toys that will appeal to football mad kids and grown-ups alike. Each football shaped capsule contains a footballer with a sucker on the back, which can be stuck to any hard, glossy surface such as a window, mirror or computer screen. We were sent some to try out.

Soccer Suckers

There are 40 players to collect, from either Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur.  You can create your own dream team using players such as Kompany, Gerrard, Hart, Wilshere and Torres.

football, collectable toys

You can trade, swap and collect the perfect team and display them wherever they stick!  The little football capsules can be played with too, as Freddy discovered!

Soccer Suckers are available from Amazon, W H Smiths, Toys R Us and Smyths.

Soccer Sucker, football

Find out more at

Friday, 9 May 2014

Broccoli Pesto and Mushroom Open Topped Pie Recipe #BettaRecipe

Betta Living have launched a competition to celebrate National Vegetarian Week which runs from the 19th to the 25th May.  With more and more people trying to increase their vegetable intake, achieve their 7 a day or adopt a vegetarian diet, it's the perfect time to try out some new recipes using some underrated veggies that are usually just served as an side dish.

National Vegetarian week

As the mum to a family of vegetarians and vegans, I am always trying out new ideas for wholesome, tasty meals that everyone will enjoy.  This recipe is one that I came up with for the Betta Living competition, which is really delicious and is a new way to use super-healthy broccoli. It features a very versatile broccoli pesto in an open topped pie.  I love open topped pies as they use only half the pastry, making them much lower in calories, they are so quick and easy to make plus they look really impressive. 


1 large broccoli crown
6 oz mushrooms sliced
1 white onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1/3 cup of cashews (soaked for 1 - 4 hours)
3 tblspns olive oil
squirt of lemon juice
ground black pepper
1 tblspn Engevita flakes or vegetarian Parmesan
1 teaspn garlic granules
1 sheet of Jus Rol puff pastry (which is vegan friendly)
2 oz grated Cheddar cheese (or vegan cheese)


Firstly, lightly boil or steam a large crown of broccoli florets until tender.

Broccoli Pesto and Mushroom Open Topped Pie

As they are cooking fry the onion until golden brown, add mushrooms and garlic and cook down until all the excess moisture has evaporated.

Broccoli Pesto and Mushroom Open Topped Pie

When the broccoli is drained, put into a food processor and blitz together with cashew nuts.

Broccoli Pesto and Mushroom Open Topped Pie

Add oil, lemon juice and seasoning to taste.

Broccoli Pesto and Mushroom Open Topped Pie

When it's blitzed to a pesto consistency, spread onto the sheet of pastry, leaving an inch all around the edge.

Broccoli Pesto and Mushroom Open Topped Pie

Top with the garlic mushroom mixture.

Broccoli Pesto and Mushroom Open Topped Pie

Fold over the edges of the pastry and glaze with egg or milk.  Top with grated cheese. You can sprinkle on some mixed herbs or ground pepper or even mixed seeds to finish.

Broccoli Pesto and Mushroom Open Topped Pie

Put into the oven at GM6, 200 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Broccoli Pesto and Mushroom Open Topped Pie

Once cooked, slice and serve with fresh vegetables for a really healthy, wholesome family dinner.  Or serve with roast dinner accompaniments for a great Sunday lunch.

Broccoli Pesto and Mushroom Open Topped Pie

The broccoli pesto can also be used as a topping for bruschetta, a sauce to toss pasta in, added to mayonnaise, added to soups or spread on bread or crackers. It adds a nutritional boost to mash potato or omelettes and it can be used instead of tomato sauce as a pizza topping.  It's a great way to get an extra portion of vegetables into the kids.

Broccoli Pesto and Mushroom Open Topped Pie

This is my original recipe for Broccoli Pesto and Mushroom Open Topped Pie  and is my entry into the Betta Living Vegetarian Recipe competition.


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