Peanut Butter and Banana Fondue

It’s about time I got around to doing a sweet recipe. After a week of culinary trial and errors (and forgotten finished product photos!) I bring to you the Peanut Butter and Banana Fondue. This is so delicious I pretty much spooned it into my mouth as soon as the photographs were taken. You may also notice depleting fruit. Ahh such is the life of a food blogger! I imagine this would also work brilliantly as frosting for cakes but haven’t given it a try. Yummy yummy!

Steps

(Full instructions at the bottom of the page)

Add all ingredients except for the banana into a mixing bowl

Mix using an electric mixer, add mashed banana, mix until thickened.

Serve with chopped fruit and enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Banana Fondue

  • Servings: 200ml
  • Time: 10-15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 can of coconut milk – left in fridge overnight the cream will separate. Spoon this off into a mixing bowl. Save the coconut liquid for use in smoothies etc.
  • 3 tbsp confectioner’s/icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp banana – mashed well
  1. Add all the ingredients, except for the banana, into a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer whisk the mixture until thickened.
  2. Mash the banana very well, add this to the mixture and whisk until completely combined and a thick consistency is acquired.
  3. Serve with chopped fruit skewers.
  4. Enjoy!

Café à l’Orange

4Ahh the inevitable aftermath of having a power outage. Make a caffeinated and highly delicious smoothie! After the power comes back on of course… though I kept the candles! Today I bring to you the Café à l’Orange, a smoothie based on the cocktail. Traditionally this would use an orange liqueur – I didn’t use one but I’m sure sloshing some Cointreau in there would make a very good smoothie indeed.

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c1Steps

(Full instructions at the bottom of the page)

a1 Put ingredients in blender.

b1 Blend until a smooth consistency is acquired.

fEnjoy!

Café à l'Orange

  • Servings: 2 (400ml)
  • Time: 5 mins
  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 2 clementines – flesh and rind
  • 3 small apricots
  • 100ml soya milk – or other non-dairy milk
  • 100ml orange juice
  • 2 tsp freeze dried coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8tsp cinnamon
  • optional: sweeten to taste – I didn’t use any

Instructions

  1. Grate the rind from the clementines, peel and de-pith them.
  2. Mix the coffee with a little bit of boiling water until a paste is formed.
  3. Add all ingredients to the a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Enjoy!

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Roasted Cauliflower & Zoodle Stir Fry in a Tomato, Apple and Beetroot Sauce

Roasted CauliflowerWhat’s that you say? More beetroot and more stir fry? I promise there will be some recipes coming up soon which involve lots of chocolate and tasty treats. But for today, it’s another main! This is a recipe packed full of vegetables, a bright and light main with a kick to it. Roasted Cauliflower is tossed into a zoodle and mixed vegetable stir fry and smothered in a tomato, apple and beetroot sauce. This would go perfectly with rice or glass noodles; it’s filling, nutritious and super healthy, so feel free to eat as much as you want! And it’s so colourful that it cheers me up no end!

f 6 5b Steps

(Full instructions at the bottom of the page)

aChop cauliflower and toss into foil lined tray. Drizzle with soy sauce and balsamic and season with chilli flakes and black pepper. Pop into preheated 200c/400f oven for 30 minutes.

bDice tomatoes and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes.

cWhen they start to break down add chopped apple.

dAdd garlic, herbs, lemon, beetroot, balsamic and black pepper to bowl and mix.

eSquish the tomatoes and apples with a fork and add them to the beetroot mix and stir.

gToss the ingredients for the stir fry into a pan and heat on high for 3-5 minutes.

hThrow in the roasted cauliflower.

iCover with the sauce and stir.

1bEnjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower & Zoodle Stir Fry in a Tomato, Apple and Beetroot Sauce

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 35-40mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 600g cauliflower – cut into florets
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • soy sauce
  • balsamic vinegar
  • spray oil
  • black pepper

Tomato, Apple and Beetroot Sauce

  • 4 medium tomatoes – diced
  • 2 small apples – peeled and diced (I used royal gala)
  • 100g cooked beetroot – chopped into small pieces
  • 4 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • juice and zest of half a lemon
  • black pepper

Zoodle Stir Fry

  • 2 (about 260g) courgettes/zucchini – spiralized or peeled into zoodles (this always leaves end pieces which I toss in too)
  • 1 cup (100g) green cabbage – shredded
  • 1 cup (100g) white cabbage – shredded
  • 1 cup (50g) carrot – grated or peeled
  • 1/2 cup broccoli – cut into florets
  • spray oil
  • black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c/400f.
  2. Chop the cauliflower into florets. Toss into foil lined tray, drizzle with balsamic and soy sauce. Sprinkle with chilli flakes and black pepper. Put in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  3. While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare the other vegetables for the recipe.
  4. 5 minutes into cooking time, throw the tomatoes into a pan with some olive oil/spray oil, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for ten minutes.
  5. Whilst the tomatoes are cooking, add the beetroot, garlic, balsamic, herbs, chilli, lemon and black pepper into a small bowl and mix.
  6. After 10 minutes, toss the chopped and peeled apple into the pan with the tomatoes. Cook until they start to break down (5-10 minutes). Mash the tomatoes and apples together with a fork.
  7. Throw them into the beetroot mix and stir to combine and leave to one side.
  8. Toss the ingredients for the Zoodle Stir Fry into a pan and cook over a high heat for 3-5 minutes until cooked. Throw in the Roasted Cauliflower and mix in the Tomato, Apple and Beetroot Sauce. Stir to combine.
  9. Enjoy!

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Grilled Veg in a Roasted Pepper, Carrot and Beetroot Sauce

Grilled Veg in a Roasted Pepper, Carrot and Beetroot Sauce2Another day, another beetroot recipe! But we’re not complaining about that are we? And there’s nothing like a big pile of grilled vegetables to make me feel like it’s actually summer, despite the horrible weather! Today’s recipe combines grilled vegetables in a thick, rich roasted pepper, carrot and beetroot sauce. I whipped up some spinach and cauliflower rice to go with it and I was not disappointed! I can imagine eating this sauce on its own, with pasta, with rice, with cous cous, hot, cold…you name it! I’m surprised I got any photos of it at all!

576Steps

(Full instructions at the bottom of the page)

aAdd 2 bell peppers and the carrots to a pan. Boil over medium heat for 15 minutes.

b2Add the peppers and carrots from the pan to a foil lined tray. Add tomatoes. Season. Roast in preheated oven at 190c/375f for 40 minutes. Cut ends off garlic, wrap in foil and spray with oil. Pop in the oven with the veg. Prepare the rest of the veg.

gWhen roasted, add the vegetables, beetroot, garlic, thyme, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce to blender. Season.

hBlend until it reaches a smooth consistency (no thyme stalks!)

d Pop the vegetables for grilling onto the grill. Cook for around 15 minutes.

e While the veg is grilling, add the cauliflower to a pan and sauté over a medium heat for 15 minutes.

fAfter about 10 minutes, add the spinach, thyme and soy sauce. Season.

iWhen the grilled veg is done, add it to a pan with the roasted pepper, carrot and beetroot sauce. Serve on top of the cauliflower rice.

Enjoy!

Grilled Veg in a Roasted Pepper, Carrot and Beetroot Sauce

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 70mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Roasted Pepper, Carrot and Beetroot Sauce

  • 2 bell peppers – halved and de-seeded
  • 2 cups carrot – cut into chunks
  • 4 medium sized tomatoes – quartered
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 150g cooked beetroot – feel free to cook/roast it yourself!
  • 2 tbsp (15ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (10ml) soy sauce
  • spray oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh thyme
  • black pepper

Grilled Veg

  • 2 cups onion – cut into wedges
  • 2 bell peppers – cut into chunks
  • 1 cup courgette/zucchini – cut into chunks
  • 2 cups mushrooms – quartered

Spinach and Cauliflower Rice

  • 2 cups cauliflower – measure after grating/food processing
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • olive oil – I used spray oil
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) soy sauce – I used light/reduced salt
  • black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c/375f.
  2. Halve and de-seed the 2 bell peppers for the sauce, and chop and peel the carrots. Put in a pan and cover with boiling water. Boil on medium heat for 15 minutes. Chop the tomatoes.
  3. Line a tray with foil and add the peppers and carrots from the pan, along with the tomatoes. Spray with oil and season with black pepper, a few drops of balsamic and some fresh thyme. Chop the ends off the garlic, wrap in foil and spray with oil. Pop both in the oven for 40 minutes and prepare the rest of the vegetables whilst waiting.
  4. When roasted, add the vegetables, the cooked beetroot, garlic, thyme, balsamic, soy sauce and black pepper to a food processor. Blend until you have acquired a smooth consistency (no thyme stalks! – feel free to chop beforehand). Leave to one side.
  5. Pop the vegetables for grilling onto the grill (I use a George Foreman) and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. While the vegetables are grilling, add some oil and the cauliflower rice to a pan and sauté over a medium heat for 15 minutes.
  7. After 10 minutes add the spinach, soy sauce and black pepper.
  8. When grilled, pop the vegetables into a pan with the roasted pepper, carrot and beetroot sauce and heat for a few minutes.
  9. Serve the cauliflower rice with the grilled veg and roasted pepper, carrot and beetroot sauce on top.
  10. Enjoy!

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Beetroot and Thyme Grilled Veg Salad

Beetroot and Thyme Grilled Veg Salad Finally! A recipe where I haven’t decided to incorporate some stir fry! Though I was sorely tempted, believe me. Today’s Beetroot and Thyme Grilled Veg Salad was made to satisfy my cravings for a lovely and cool, yet filling salad. You may notice a rather giant pile of food in the photographs, but as someone who often eats a dinner consisting of only vegetables (no grains or substitutes), I try and make an extra large and hearty portion. Plus I stave off the eventual disappointment of having finished… at least for a little while. This recipe can be enjoyed either hot or cold, I enjoy it either way – but try not to eat it all before it has cooled!

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Steps

(Full recipe instructions at the bottom of the page)

6Blend the ingredients for the Beetroot and Thyme Sauce in a food processor…

7…until it reaches a somewhat smooth consistency.

8 After preparing the veg, pop it on the grill.

9Cook for 15 minutes.

10Throw some zoodles into a pan and cook for 3 minutes.

13When the veg has finished grilling, pop it into the pan with the zoodles.

11Stir to combine and add the Beetroot and Thyme Sauce. Heat for a minute or two.

12Serve on a bed of leafy salad. Enjoy!

Beetroot and Thyme Grilled Veg Salad

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Beetroot and Thyme Sauce

  • 150g cooked beetroot – I bought mine pre-cooked(!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 1/2 cup fresh thyme
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) balsamic vinegar
  • black pepper

Grilled Veg

  • 2 cups onion – cut into wedges
  • 1 cup courgette/zucchini – chopped into chunks
  • 2 cups mushrooms – quartered
  • 1 bell pepper – chopped into chunks
  • 2 cloves of garlic – sliced
  • spray oil

Other Ingredients

  • 1 cup courgette/zucchini – made into zoodles using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) soy sauce – I used light/reduced salt
  • spray oil
  • leafy green salad
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes – cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup cucumber – cut into chunks

Instructions

  1. Prepare the ingredients for the Beetroot and Thyme Sauce, add them to a food processor and blend until a somewhat smooth consistency is acquired. Season with black pepper to taste.
  2. Prepare the ingredients for the Grilled Veg and pop them on the grill (I use a George Foreman) for 15 minutes.
  3. While the veg is cooking, prepare the zoodles and the salad. When the veg is almost cooked, add the oil, soy sauce and zoodles to a pan and cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes.
  4. When both cooked, add the Grilled Veg followed by the Beetroot and Thyme Sauce to the pan of zoodles.
  5. Stir over a medium heat for a minute or two until heated through. Season liberally with black pepper.
  6. Arrange leafy green salad with tomato and cucumber on plates.
  7. If serving hot, serve the Beetroot and Thyme Grilled Veg immediately.
  8. If serving cold, allow the mix to cool before adding to plate.
  9. Enjoy!

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Lemony Sage and Thyme Stuffed Peppers

9smLemony Sage and Thyme Stuffed Peppers7smI woke up to my alarm this morning thinking  ‘ahhh Sunday’ and was bitterly disappointed when the chorus of alarms continued to sound and discovered it was Monday after all. Such disappointment! After a day on my feet all I wanted was something tasty, filling and full of veg when I came home. Having not gone shopping for a week or so, I looked in my fridge and discovered that I had pretty much the same ingredients to hand as when I made my Balsamic Roasted Veg Stir Fry. But we can work with that can’t we?

11smOf course we can! Today’s recipe, Lemony Sage and Thyme Stuffed Peppers, combines sautéed vegetables and cauliflower rice in a lemon, balsamic and fresh herb sauce with beautiful oven roasted peppers. This recipe would go perfectly with a salad or a hearty grain (or a combination of the two!). I however, in my need to use up ingredients, paired the stuffed peppers with.. you guessed it – stir fry! I do love my stir fry, and it’s always interesting to try out new recipes with exactly the same ingredients… well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

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Steps

(Full recipe instructions at the bottom of the page)

1smPrepare peppers. Boil  over medium heat for 10 minutes whilst preparing the other veg.

2smRoast pepper halves at 190c/375f for 20 minutes.

Sauté vegetables and add sauce ingredients whilst peppers are cooking.

10smStuff peppers with mixture. Pop back in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir fry the stir fry.

Enjoy!

Lemony Sage and Thyme Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 40mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Stuffed Peppers

  • 2 bell peppers – halved and de-seeded
  • 1 1/2 cup onion – finely diced
  • 1 cup courgette/zucchini – diced
  • 2 cups mushrooms – quartered
  • 2 1/2 cups cauliflower – measure after grating or food processing into cauliflower rice
  • 6 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp 1 tsp (20ml) lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) soy sauce – I used light/reduced salt
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • a few sprigs of fresh sage
  • olive oil – I used spray oil
  • black pepper

Stir Fry

  • 2 cups (200g) bean sprouts
  • 2 cup (200g) white and green cabbage – shredded
  • 1 cup (50g) carrot – grated
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp (10ml) soy sauce – I used light/reduced salt
  • black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 190c/375f.
  2. Halve and de-seed the bell peppers, put in a pan and cover with boiling water. Boil on medium heat for 10 minutes and prepare the rest of the vegetables for the stuffed peppers.
  3. Place the pepper halves on a foil lined tray, spray or brush with oil, and put in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Sauté the onions over a medium heat in a little olive oil and 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Add the crushed garlic after 5 minutes and stir.
  5. After 2 minutes add the courgette/zucchini, mushrooms and cauliflower rice.
  6. Season liberally with black pepper and add the rest of the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce.
  7. After 10 minutes add the lemon juice and the torn or chopped fresh herbs. Stir to combine. Season with black pepper to taste.
  8. Take the pepper halves out of the oven and stuff evenly with the mixture. Sprinkle with a little fresh thyme. If there is any mixture left over you can use it in the stir fry.
  9. Put the peppers back in the oven for 15 minutes.
  10. Prepare the vegetables for the stir fry. After 10 minutes add the stir fry ingredients to a wok and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes.
  11. Serve the stir fry on a plate with two stuffed pepper halves on top
  12. Enjoy!

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Balsamic Roasted Veg Stir Fry

2sm7smWelcome to Cooking by Proxy, my newly created blog where I will be sharing my recipes, recommendations and reviews on all things vegan. This blog has been in my mind for some time now and following my return from an incredible trip around Europe, where I happened to sample some beautiful food, I finally decided to bite the bullet and write it.

So a little about me… I’m a 20 something year old woman who has been vegan for the past 10 years, and vegetarian for 10 years prior to that. I love food; from healthy salads, soups and pasta dishes to smoothies, desserts and cakes. There is little vegan food that I won’t try and I’m a firm believer that a vegan can eat just as well as anybody else; so expect a variety of dishes!

I will be posting fairly regularly and will be organising some features to appear periodically. My first feature – Vegan in… will review restaurants, cafés and eateries where I’ve enjoyed a good vegan meal both at home and abroad, and hopefully make life a bit easier for vegans planning a trip away.

So onto today’s recipe! Some days I want nothing more than a quick meal – time is short, I’m in a rush and stir fry is the perfect dish. And some days I just want to eat stir fry; regardless of the preparation time. I love stir fry… I love roasted veg… I love balsamic vinegar… so I’m pretty darn sure I’m going to enjoy a combination of all three!

For my first recipe on Cooking by Proxy, I’m giving you the meal I go back to time and time again. It’s simple, tasty and yes! I was making it anyway. Perfect for a light dinner on its own (I ate the entire pan full), this main would go perfectly with some marinated tofu or rice.

Steps

(full recipe instructions at the bottom of the page)

2smPrepare and roast the veg at 220c/425f for 30 minutes.

3smCreate ribbons from your courgette/zucchini, season and allow to drain.

5bsmPrepare the veg for the stir fry and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes.

8smAdd the roasted veg to the stir fry, stir to combine, season and serve.

1csmEnjoy!

Balsamic Roasted Veg Stir Fry

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Time: 35mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

Roasted Veg

  • 1 onion – sliced into wedges
  • 1 bell pepper – chopped into chunks 
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms – quartered
  • 1 cup cauliflower – small florets or cut into chunks

 Roasted Veg Marinade

  • 1 tbsp (15ml) soy sauce – I used light/reduced salt
  • 1 tbsp 2 tsp (25ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 2 tsp (10ml) olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • black pepper

Stir Fry

  • 1 (160g) courgette/zucchini – sliced into ribbons or noodles
  • 1 cup (100g) bean sprouts
  • 1 cup (100g) white and green cabbage – shredded
  • 1/2 cup (25g) carrot – grated
  • 2 tsp (10ml) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp 2 tsp (25ml) balsamic vinegar
  • black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220c/425f.
  2. Prepare the onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and cauliflower and arrange in a foil lined tray.
  3. Mix together the ingredients for the Roasted Veg Marinade in a small bowl (I was quite liberal with the black pepper!) and pour over the prepared veg. Shake or stir to make sure it’s well covered and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. While the veg is roasting, prepare the courgette/zucchini using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler to make ribbons or noodles. Place in a colander, season with black pepper and allow to drain.
  5. Prepare the cabbage and carrots for the Stir Fry.
  6. When the Roasted Veg has been in the oven for 25 minutes; heat the olive oil in a wok, add the balsamic vinegar and throw in the courgette/zucchini, bean sprouts, cabbage and carrot. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the Roasted Veg and its marinade to the Stir Fry, give it a quick stir to mix, season with black pepper to taste and serve immediately.
  8. Enjoy!

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Vegan in Venice: Ristorante da Mario alla Fava

Welcome to the first in a series of features where I review restaurants, cafés and eateries both at home and abroad. Finding good vegan food isn’t always easy, especially when you’re far from home. In this series I hope to hunt out those vegan gems and make life a bit easier for those in need of a good meal. First stop – Venice!

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Restaurant         Ristorante da Mario alla Fava

Location               Calle Dei Stagneri, 5242 – Calle Galiazzo 5265, 30124 Venice

Website                http://www.ristorantemarioallafava.it/?lang=en

Rating                    5/5

Cost                        £££

I admit it; I like to be prepared when I go abroad and often get myself into a state of over-organisation. What can I say – I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. My recent trip to Venice started with a detailed search into where two vegans could possibly eat; the Venetians do love their seafood after all. I searched the internet, I read reviews, I even made maps to where I could snuffle out some vegan grub. If you’re anything like me, eating delicious food whilst on holiday is of paramount importance – vegan or not!

With the exception of one or two small places, it was beginning to look as though I would have to use my perfectly awful Italian to get us a decent meal. Then I stumbled upon a single review for Ristorante da Mario alla Fava, a traditional trattoria in the heart of Venice; just a short distance from the Rialto Bridge and only a hop, skip and a jump from San Marco. Mario alla Fava, having just celebrated its 55th anniversary, had released a completely vegan menu to celebrate the occasion! Their website also states that this is gluten free and that they would be happy to cater for food allergies and intolerances. Already far too excited, I emailed them immediately and booked a table for my sister’s 30th birthday meal.

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Having since returned from Venice, and having eaten at Mario alla Fava three times, I can confirm that the food is absolutely incredible. Every dish was seasoned to perfection, every vegetable was fresh, the presentation was impeccable and yes! They even provided vegan desserts. Drool… And not only was the food delicious, the waiters could not have been more friendly and welcoming, even giving us a discount on our final visit. It was such an enjoyable experience we felt we couldn’t go just the once!

So let’s get down to the details. Sadly some dishes lack photographs due to my inability to not gobble up the course before remembering to get my camera out. Oops!

Ahhh tomato based heaven. My starter of small ‘pappa al pomodoro’ pie with artichoke julienne was absolutely divine (and yes it has been partially eaten). I could honestly live off the stuff. Based on the classic Tuscan soup made from tomatoes and bread, the ‘pie’ was a reasonably soft mixture formed into the bowl of the dish. It was filling and fresh, the tomatoes were rich and the artichokes cool and soft. I couldn’t just have it once either, and both my sister and I had it as our starter on our next visit.

tempura veg

The fried vegetables with rucola sauce and ginger, a large dish of tempura style vegetables with a delicious dipping sauce made from rocket (arugula) and ginger, became a firm favourite of my sister. I of course assisted with the sampling of this dish and can confirm it was very tasty indeed!

The zucchine carpaccio with tomatoes tartare, basil and almonds, which I sadly didn’t photograph, was the final starter I tried. Having never eaten raw courgette (zucchini) before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Oh. My. It was absolutely delicious. Thin slices of courgette were drizzled in fresh tomatoes, olive oil, basil and almonds and seasoned to absolute perfection. I am a convert! This was an incredibly refreshing dish.

If you thought we were full after those glorious starters… well you’d be right! But who can resist having a delicious main? Certainly not me. The first main that we sampled was the orecchiette with aubergine, sun-dried tomatoes and black olives, yet another dish doomed to be consumed before being photographed. Tangy and fresh with juicy sun-dried tomatoes and handmade pasta, it was the perfect dish for relaxing in the sea air (or – ok! lagoon… but I really couldn’t smell any difference).

Our second visit had us sampling the 100% Italian farro linguine with pesto and peppers sauce. I think I enjoyed this even more than the orecchiette. The pasta itself had a wonderful texture and taste to it and was kept from being too heavy by the pesto and pepper sauce, which was similar to that in the tempura veg starter but without the added ginger kick. 

My favourite main of all though was enjoyed on our final visit, which happened to be a rather ridiculously hot day. In need of something to cool us both down, we both had the Stringoli ‘Bella Estate’: cold pasta with fresh tomato, rucola and almonds. I’ve always enjoyed cold meals, but there’s something about sitting outside, shaded from the scorching sun, having a cool drink and eating a plate of cold pasta. I had the stringoli following the zucchini carpaccio, two dishes which paired together beautifully.

And at last! We finally come to the desserts. I sampled the almonds small cake with coconut sauce on our first visit; a dense but flavoursome cake which didn’t survive long enough for a picture. However the ultimate favourite was the soup of strawberry with plain chocolate ice-cream; a scoop of rich dark chocolate ice cream topped off with a strawberry, in a bowl of puréed strawberry sauce with cake crumbled over the top. Too good! I think I’ll be dreaming of pappa al pomodoro and soups of strawberry for weeks to come!

So having sampled 2/3 of the vegan menu, I really couldn’t recommend this restaurant more. My only regret is that I couldn’t sample the whole thing! It isn’t cheap, but costs no more than a good restaurant in the UK and is perfect for special occasions. And if you hadn’t gathered as much already –  it really is worth it just for the food.

Disclaimer: This review was not endorsed and all opinions given are those of the author.