Soups and lunches · Week Night Winners

Lemon Pasta

Ingredients

  • 200g dried pasta
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 4tbsp grated Violife Prosociano Wedge (or vegan Parmesan) (a little extra for presentation)
  • 1.5tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms sliced
  • 200g tender stem broccoli chopped into 1 inch chunks

Method

  • Boil the kettle.
  • Place the dried pasta in a large pan with a pinch of salt and cover with boiling water. Cook until tender or as packet suggests.
  • In a frying pan fry off the mushrooms then remove from the stoves. In the same pan add the broccoli and fry for a few minutes. Then add in a cup of boiling water and pop on a lid. Cook for a further 3 minutes until just cooked.
  • Drain the broccoli and put with the mushrooms on one side.
  • Meanwhile in a large jar add all of the other ingredients with 1 cup of the water the pasta was cooked in.
  • Pop the lid on the jar and give it a good shake!
  • Drain the pasta and return to the pan, add in the veggies and the contents of the jam jar.
  • Heat for a few minutes to bring it all up to temperature and then serve with a little more cheese on top and some nice crunchy salad.

Tips and cheats

I love this dish it is so light and its actually even better the next day cold for lunch like a pasta salad! You can add in any veggies you like but in this house mushrooms and broccoli rule. Its also a great dish in our camper van as it can be cooked on 2 gas hobs with limited pans!

Week Night Winners

Alison’s Curry (Saag Aloo)

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml water
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 small sweet potatoes peeled and chopped in to 1cm chunks
  • 2 baking potatoes peeled and chopped in to 2cm chunks
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 ½ tbsp dandelion honey/agave syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Frozen spinach, I used 6 pieces

Method

  • Heat the oil in a pan and add in the cumin seeds, onion and garlic. Sauté on a medium heat until they are starting to go translucent.
  • Add in all of the ground spices and fry off for a minute or two to release the flavour.
  • Add in the coconut milk, tomatoes, water, potatoes, tomato puree, dandelion honey and salt.
  • Stir well.
  • Pop on a lid and cook on a low heat for 45 minutes until the sweet potato has turned almost to mush and the baking potato is soft but not mushy! (You don’t want a bowl of curried mash potato!)
  • Add in the spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Serve with rice!

Tips and Cheats

My dearest friend Alison cooked this for me and my children and there were empty plates. I have honestly craved it ever since! The children even ask for it! It helps that my son is Popeye and loves spinach and curry. This isn’t a spicy dish more flavourful but if you wanted heat by all means add in some cayenne pepper to suit or even some fresh chili. I like to make homemade flat breads with this dish and serve it with nice fluffy rice. It is great the next day to and freezes well. If you do not have frozen spinach you can add in a small bag of fresh spinach (I much prefer this!). Enjoy!

Recipes · Week Night Winners

Hot Rice Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 2 blocks of frozen garlic or 6 large cloves
  • 2 large tomatoes diced (or a handful of cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 tin of drained chickpeas (or any bean I actually prefer black beans!)
  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 2 Tbsp. Peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp of mustard (any but I like Dijon!)
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice (the bottled stuff is mighty fine)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Spring onions and fresh herbs to garnish if you are feeling fancy

Method

  • In a large pan with a little oil soften the garlic and onion for 5 minutes.
  • Then add in the tomatoes and chickpeas or beans and cook on a medium heat stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
  • Add in the rice and spinach for a further 5 minutes until the spinach wilts.
  • In a small bowl mix the peanut butter, lemon juice and mustard to a paste and then stir it in to the main pan.
  • Finally season to taste and when serving sprinkle on some spring onions and maybe fresh parsley.

Tips and cheats

I love this dish hot or cold but hot it makes a great accompaniment to a vegan burger and gherkins or even just on its own in a big bowl. Rice and beans together make a great protein source and with the added veggies you have some vital vitamins too. Who knew comfort food could be so good for you?!

Recipes · Week Night Winners

Veggie Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped onion (I use frozen!)
  • 1 block of frozen garlic (Again I buy it frozen but a couple of fresh cloves will work too)
  • 2 medium potatoes diced into 2cm cubes
  • 2 medium carrots diced in to 2cm cubes
  • 300g mushrooms chopped in to chunks
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn drained
  • 1 pint of gravy (I like the Sainsburys vegetable one)
  • 1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry. (Most are vegan but do check, I use Jus Roll or Aldi)

Method

  • Pre heat the oven to hot! About gas mark 8/220c
  • Place some oil in a large pan and gentle soften the onion, garlic, potato and carrot. Stir so it does not burn for 5 min.
  • Add in the gravy and cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat
  • Stir in the rest of the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove from the heat and spoon the mix into a pie dish.
  • Top with the ready rolled pastry and press down on the edges of the dish to make a seal. You can brush with melted vegan butter for a touch of luxury but I don’t usually!
  • Place in the oven for about 12-15 minutes until the pie is a lovely golden brown.
  • I like to serve it with mashed potato and tender stem broccoli.

Tips and Cheats

You can pretty much add anything you want into this pie! My kids love it and we always get empty plates. If you have left over roast veggies you can use those and just chuck into hot gravy and place in the pie dish. You might have gathered that most of my cooking is chuck it in and hope for the best type of cooking and it really is. I hate waste and generally try to use up what is left in the fridge. I would however avoid cabbage inside the pie and opt for it as a side dish!

Soups and lunches · Waste Not Want Not · Week Night Winners

Ramen Noodle Broth

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped onions (I use frozen)
  • 2 cubes frozen garlic (2 tbsp. frozen or 3 cloves fresh)
  • 2 medium carrots finely sliced (I like batons)
  • 2 peppers, finely slices (I used red and orange)
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger (or fresh if you have it)
  • 300g Mushrooms (1 box, I like to mix chestnut and a couple of flat ones too for texture)
  • 1 heaped tbsp. white miso paste
  • 2 tbsp. bouillon powder
  • Approx. 1 lire of water
  • 1 packet of pre cooked noodles per person. (I use the Aldi ones and put 4 in this for 4 people)
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach
  • 3 spring onions to garnish

Method

  • In a large pan add a tablespoon of oil (olive or sesame) and heat on a medium heat and add in the onion, garlic, carrots and peppers.
  • Soften them in the pan then add the ginger and mushrooms and stir through.
  • Pour in enough water to cover the mix by a good inch and then stir through the miso and bouillon powder.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes and then add in the noodles and spinach.
  • Serve into bowls and sprinkle with the spring onions.

Tips and Cheats

You can add in anything to this, any veg you like really! Or you can chuck in some vegan protein, in the photo I had added some Linda McCartney Hoisin Vegan Shredded Duck and on other occasions I have coated Tofoo Co Tofu in cornflour and chili and fried it off. If adding some protein then cook it separately and just add it on top or it tends to go mushy!

Recipes · Week Night Winners

Cowboy Casserole

Cowboy Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 onions sliced
  • 1 tin baked beans
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin butter beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tin kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tin cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp brown sauce
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 vegetable stock cube and 300ml water

Method

  • Saute the onions in a pan until they are soft (about 10 minutes).
  • Add in all the other ingredients and stir well.
  • Cook on a low heat for 1 hour stirring frequently so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  • Serve with fluffy mash potato or crusty bread or even some shroomdogs!

Tips and Cheats

I made this in my food technology exam at 16, back then I finished it off with some grilled fresh tomatoes but it really doesn’t need them. If you don’t have Dijon you can use English or American mustard just alter the quantity to taste as it is often stronger. The dish does make quite a lot but it is easy to freeze.

Picnic · Recipes · Week Night Winners

Fajitas

Fajita’s

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of tofu or tempeh (we love the Tofoo Co. one)
  • 1 tbsp Lime (or lemon) juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • Cornflour
  • 1 large courgette (or 2 small ones)
  • 2 peppers (we like red and yellow)
  • 2 medium onions

To serve:

  • Tortilla wraps
  • spinach
  • grated vegan cheese
  • plain yoghurt (we like Koko)
  • salsa
  • chopped cucumber
  • chopped tomato

Method

  • Drain the tofu and gently squeeze the water from it.
  • In a shallow dish mix the lime juice, cumin, garlic, soy sauce and chipotle chili
  • Slice the tofu in to thin strips or cubes and add to the mixture. Leave it to marinade for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile slice the veggies and stir fry off in a wok or large pan.
  • Once the veggies are part cooked pour in the marinade mixture saving the tofu (this needs crisping off!).
  • Set them aside on a low heat to get nice and soft.
  • Toss the tofu in to the cornflour and in another pan add a small amount of oil.
  • Fry off the tofu until it starts to crisp.
  • Now serve!

Tips and Cheats

I love to serve each components in little bowls and let the children make up their own. My daughter doesn’t like cooked veggies so I also put out bowls of raw pepper for her to add in. If you are short for time most of the Old El Paso Fajita kits are vegan, just check the milder ones as they contain milk powder. If you are using these sprinkle half the flavour mix into the veggies and half with the cornflour then fry the tofu the same way! So delicious! They are also great cold on a picnic or for lunch!

Recipes · Week Night Winners

Meatballs

Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of vegan meatballs. Our favourites are the Plant Power frozen ones from Sainsburys.
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 onion (either red or white it makes no difference!)
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 bottle of garlic tomato passata/ or normal passata (Aldi)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs

Method

  • Slice all the vegetables in to strips, or chunks (your choice!)
  • Saute off the onion for 5 minutes until soft in a large pan with a little oil.
  • Add in the garlic and the rest of the vegetables and saute for another 5 minutes, if it starting to brown add in a little water.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes. The 200 ml of water is optional but i like quite a saucy meatball so add it in!
  • Serve with rice or on top of pasta.

Tips and Cheats

You can honestly throw in any veg you like to this dish. I like the more Mediterranean veg and if i have left over tomatoes I chop them up and chuck them in too. If you make the sauce without the meatballs it keeps for ages in the freezer and makes a lovely pasta sauce on its own. You can even blend it to a smooth sauce for those fussy eaters. Often with any left overs we make our own meatball subs by popping them in to a cob with cheese and salad. AS mentioned we really like the plant power meatballs from Sainsburys. They are £1.75 for a bag of 20 so easily feeds a family of 4.

Recipes · Waste Not Want Not · Week Night Winners

‘Egg’ Fried Rice

‘Egg’ Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 200g of cooked rice
  • 200g extra firm tofu (we like the Tofoo one)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • bunch of spring onions
  • 1 cup of cooked frozen peas
  • 1 clove garlic

Method

  • Heat a little oil in a pan/wok and chuck in the spring onions, peas and garlic.
  • After 2 minutes add the tofu and gentle heat through. Stir constantly as it will stick.
  • Add the turmeric and stir until the tofu goes a lovely yellow colour.
  • Add in the cooked rice – this should be freshly cooked not reheated so as to prevent food poisoning.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Tips and cheats

You can add any veg in to this as you like! We often add in sweetcorn, beansprouts, peppers, edamame beans, cooked diced carrot and mushrooms. The tofu is what gives it that eggy texture. If you are feeling super lazy you can use a packet or two of microwave rice or if you are feeling healthy opt for brown rice or wild rice. There are no rules here just chuck it all in and season to taste. I often use soy sauce to season rather than salt if I have it and I love a drizzle of sweet chili sauce on top where as the kids love a drizzle of plum sauce!

Recipes · Week Night Winners

Stuffed Jackets

Stuffed Jackets

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 2 tbsp of dairy free butter
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 cup of grated dairy free cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Cook your jacket potatoes. I personally like to blast in the microwave for 10 minutes to give them a head start and then pop into a medium oven for an hour until the skin is crispy.
  • Cut the jackets in half length ways and scoop out the filling, please don’t burn yourself but it does need to still have some heat in.
  • Put the potato filling into a large bowl and add in all the other ingredients. Give it a good mash together and watch the cheese melt!
  • Take the filling and refill the potato skins.
  • Pop them under a hot grill until the tops brown.

Tips and cheats

You can put anything you like into these stuffed jackets. My children like some yellow pepper rather than the spring onions. You can add in some kidney beans for extra protein along with some sweetcorn for a more Mexican feel! Get as creative as you like. They are great for hot picnics (something we like to do in winter), or even on a buffet. I really like the Sainsburys grated dairy free cheese or the Violife in this as they both melt really well and have a nice mature flavour. If you don’t like dairy free cheese you can leave it out and just add in some dairy free butter along with your fillings.