how to use bitter lemon recipes 

Although our recipes are simple to follow, there are a few things we've added to make them the best they possibly can be for you at home. Read our points below to get the best out of each recipe. If you've got any questions, feel free to get in contact with us.

cupboard vs. fresh ingredients

Stock up on the 50 cupboard ingredients we use across all of our recipes and only buy the fresh ingredients each time you cook a recipe​.

 

In each recipe we have highlighted & underlined the fresh ingredients needed so that you can quickly skim read and add what is needed to your shopping list.

make your own substitutions

We've tried to make our recipes as versatile as possible, meaning you can add or replace nearly all of the ingredients in each recipe, including any roasted vegetables, grains, pulses or sweeteners.

To find out more about what ingredients can be swapped visit our swaps section.

try cooking dishes in season

Ingredients taste better when they are in season. We've divided our recipes into Summer, Spring, Autumn & Winter categories which you can find at the bottom of each recipe page.

If you want to try a recipe but the ingredients are not in season, try replacing them for ones that are. Find out more on our swaps section.

making the recipes vegan

 

 

A lot of our dishes are either vegan or can be made into vegan dishes by simply replacing a few ingredients. We've added these categories to the bottom of each recipe as a way for you to know at home. 

If you have any questions about turning one of our recipes into a vegan recipe, feel free to get in contact with us here.

our top tips on making your food taste great

seasoning dishes, balancing flavour, cooking out spices and cooking on the right heat have made my cooking taste so much better

There are a few simple tips and tricks I've learnt through the years that have made the biggest difference to how I approach cooking and the taste of the recipes I make. I've tried to condense the key tips into four simple points below for you, they're probably things you know already, but it's always worth having them in writing if you want to give them a try.

seasoning & salt

Salt can be the single most important element in making a dish go from tasting great, to incredible. Salt is a flavour enhancer, it boosts every part of a dish, whether that be sweet or savoury. Make sure to try your dishes as you go and if something feels a little bland, try mixing through a pinch of salt. Sea salt flakes are less salty than small grains of table salt, we always tend to use sea salt in our cooking for this reason.

cooking out spices

Spices can give a dish a raw edge if they're not given the right amount of time to cook out in the recipe. You'll find in our recipes that we usually ask for you to cook any spices out in the early stages of the recipe methods, this is to make sure you get the best use from them. When cooked out, spices blend into dishes and enhance the flavours of the entire recipe. 

taste as you go & balancing flavour

Balancing flavour is one of the most powerful lessons I've learnt in cooking. There's a perfect balance of flavours in most great dishes between acid, salt, sweetness and spice. It can also help to fix bad tastes: if a dish is too hot, add some sweetness. If a dish is bland, try adding a dash of acid or salt. Taste and try your dishes as you go and see if there are any of these flavours missing.

low & slow, 

high & fast

Controlling the temperature of your hob and oven can be a simple step in ensuring your dishes always work. You'll find in our recipes that we recommend a temperature when cooking dishes, this is because ingredients differ in how they're meant to be cooked. High heat is great for cooking things fast and making them crispy, low heat is better for stewing things and ensuring the don't burn. 

 

We always try to give you as much information as possible on our recipes but ultimately some ingredients will always differ in cooking time, preparation and price - lentils are a great example of this as you can find some that takes hours to cook, and others that take 30 minutes. Please be sure to always source the ingredients that work best for you, as well as read instructions on the specific packets when relevant. If you every have any questions please email us.

ingredients in season

using fruits & vegetables in season is one of the easiest and most effective ways to create delicious dishes

Quality is something easy and inexpensive to find in plant-based ingredients; simply buy things in season or things that have been frozen, canned, jarred or fermented.

 

Fruits and vegetables in season can be easy to spot, they'll be lining the stalls at farmers markets, in abundance in the larger supermarkets and popping up in vegetable patches across the country. They not only look better, but they will taste full of flavour - one of the biggest examples of this will be tasting the difference in tomatoes from sourcing them in the winter to cooking with them in the summer.  We've put a list of our favourite ingredients in season in the UK below for you. This is by no means all of the ingredients you can find but it should give you a good idea of what ingredients you can use or even switch in and out of other recipes.

Winter

Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Cranberries, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Quince, Red Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage, Swede, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress, Winter Squash, White Cabbage.

Summer

Beetroot, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cherries, Chicory, Chillies, Courgettes, Cucumber, Fennel, Garlic, Leeks, Lettuce, Mangetout, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Plums, Radishes, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rhubarb, Rocket, Runner Beans, Spring Onions, Strawberries, Sweetcorn, Sweetheart Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Watercress.

Spring

Artichoke, Asparagus, Aubergine, Beetroot, Chicory, Chillies, Elderflowers, Lettuce, Marrow, New Potatoes, Peas, Peppers, Radishes, Rhubarb, Rocket, Samphire, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Strawberries, Sweetheart Cabbage, Watercress.

Autumn

Aubergine, Beetroot, Blackberries, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Courgettes, Chicory, Chillies, Cucumber, Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mangetout, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Peas, Peppers, Plums, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Red Cabbage, Rhubarb, Rocket, Runner Beans, Spinach, Strawberries, Sweetcorn, Sweetheart Cabbage, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms, White Cabbage.

 

non plant-based ingredients

simply source quality ingredients that make you feel proud and create dishes that make you even prouder

This website is focused on simple veggie packed dishes but that’s not to say you can’t occasionally add locally sourced chicken breast to any of the curry recipes or use any non-vegetarian ingredients you like. We don't cook with these ingredients often, but when we do we feel it's imperative to source quality ingredients from trusted suppliers. We believe very strongly in this and therefore think it's important to highlight our values.

 

Although produce from local butchers and farms can often be more expensive than those in the supermarkets, by buying meat & poultry less often and cooking using vegetarian recipes the majority of the time, we hope to find a balance to justify the price. Our general rule is to buy locally and organically from small butchers and farms, and treat meat & poultry as a luxury, the way it should be.

simple swaps & substitutions

We've tried to make our recipes as versatile as possible, meaning you can add or replace nearly all of the ingredients in each recipe, including any roasted vegetables, grains, pulses or sweeteners. These substitutions are only in reference to our recipes, they may not work in others.

flours

What does work:

  • Swapping gluten & non-gluten flours for one another.

  • Swapping self-raising flour for plain with a teaspoon of baking powder. 

  • Swapping plain flour for spelt flour & buckwheat flour (see note below).

What doesn't work:

  • Brownies should always use plain flour, not self-raising.

  • Never substitute coconut flour for any flour, ever.

  • Buckwheat flour does work in place of plain flour but gives an earthy flavour to the dish.

vegetables

What does work:

  • Swapping similar veggies: i.e. sweet potatoes for butternut squash, onions for shallots, leeks for green onions.

  • When we add roasted vegetables to our curries and stews, they can usually be any kind you like.

What doesn't work:

  • Watery vegetables for more substantial veggies (i.e. peppers for sweet potato)

  • When we blend vegetables down to make sauces, they usually always have to be the correct vegetable (i.e. corn & lentil curry).

fruits

What does work: 

  • Swapping similar fruits: i.e. blueberries for raspberries, oranges for blood oranges, red apples for green apples, lemons for limes.

  • When we use dried fruit, you can almost always swap it for any kind of dried fruit.

What doesn't work:

  • Bananas are a unique fruit for the texture and taste they offer. When we use these, we never swap them for other kinds of fruit.

  • Avocados are unique for their taste & texture, we never swap these. 

nuts & seeds

What does work:

  • When we add nuts and seeds to a dish for texture, i.e. sprinkled on top or mixed through a dish, they can usually be any kind of nut or seed you like best.

What doesn't work:

  • Making creamy sauces using cashews, no other nut really works. Macadamia nuts seem like they should work but their flavour is far too earthy. If you want to use an alternative ingredient, we'd recommend a tahini dressing.

  • When we use ground almonds in baking, it usually always has to be ground almonds.

oils & fats 

What does work:

  • Olive oil and rapeseed oil can be used interchangeably in our dishes. 

  • Coconut oil or butter can be used in place of olive oil when cooking curries, pancakes and any other dishes you may cook using butter.

  • In most cases, coconut oil and butter can be used in place of one another when baking - keep an eye on the texture of the batter.

What doesn't work:

  • We don't use groundnut oil or avocado oil due to the flavour they give, although if you know them well you can swap them in.

sugars 

What does work:

  • Coconut sugar and brown sugar can be used in place of one another, just use a little less brown sugar as it holds more moisture.

  • Maple syrup and honey can mostly always be swapped for one another in our recipes, unless the maple syrup is making up a significant amount of the recipe (i.e. over 100g).

  • When we add a dash of sweetness to any savoury recipe, it can be any kind of sweetness (i.e. sugar, maple or honey).

What doesn't work:

  • We don't tend to use brown rice syrup or coconut blossom nectar due to the syrupy nature.

herbs & spices

What does work:

  • If we're using herbs to sprinkle over the top of a recipe, they can almost always be any type of herb.

  • Similar flavour spices work best when substituting: i.e. dried herbs can mostly be swapped for one another, sweeter spices like cinnamon & ginger, coriander for cumin. 

What doesn't work:

  • When we blend herbs into sauces or dressings, they're usually chosen for the flavour, therefore we don't recommend swapping these. 

  • When mixing herbs & spices into batters (i.e. fritters), if you are swapping be sure to use ones you think will compliment the flavour of the dish.

other bits 

What does work:

  • Any plant-based milk & nut butters can be swapped with any other kind of plant-based milk & nut butter, it will change the flavour of the final results though due to the flavour of the milk/butter.

  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with 4 tablespoons of water can be substituted for eggs in baking. 

  • Brown rice miso paste and white miso paste can be used in each other's place in our recipes, although they do give a different flavour. We tend to use white miso paste for sweet treats and brown rice miso paste for savoury dishes.

  • We tend to interchangeably use harissa paste & tomato puree, although harissa paste can be spicy so watch out.

 

cooking our recipes

our recipes are developed with flavour at the heart

but some elements can differ during cooking

We try to make our recipes as simple to follow as possible, however there will always be some variations when sourcing ingredients. The best example of this is rice, some brown rice will take 25 minutes to cook, whereas other varieties will need soaking and can take hours. If you're ever unsure about an ingredient or cooking time, please take the time to read the back of pack on the ingredient you are using to ensure you get the most out of each recipe on our site. If you ever have any questions on ingredients or cooking methods, please email us.