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!

Christmas · Sweets

Mince Pies

Perfect mince pies

Ingredients

  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 2 Tbs Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 150g Vegan spread (I like the Pure Baking one for this.)
  • 3 Tbs Ice cold water
  • 3 Tbs Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon (or mixed spice)
  • Jar of mincemeat (The Aldi one is vegan!)

Method

  • Heat the oven to GM 7/ 200c
  • In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients and give them a light mix together.
  • Add in the butter and rub it in. This means rubbing the butter and flour together between your fingers until it looks a bit like soggy bread crumbs!
  • Then add in the water and oil and mix together until it forms a dough.
  • Flour the surface and then roll out your dough to about 5mm thick.
  • Using a circular cutter the size suitable for your yorkie tin cut out 12 discs.
  • Pop the discs of pastry in the tin (one in each hole!) and fill them with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat.
  • I like to put stars on the top but you can do full lids or any shape you like.
  • Once finished pop them into the hot oven for about 10 minutes or until they are a gentle golden brown.
  • You will probably get about 18 mince pies from this mix.

Tips and Cheats

I often make this and freeze some of the pastry or keep it in the fridge for a couple of days as nothing beats fresh mince pies.

You can also not put in the spice and sugar and use the pastry for savoury dishes.

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.

Breakfasts · Recipes

Fluffy Pancakes

Fluffy Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 300ml dairy free milk

Method

  • Whisk all the ingredients together until they make a smooth batter
  • Heat some oil in a frying pan
  • Spoon a good dollop of the mixture in to the pan and watch it fluff up. It works best on a medium heat
  • Flip the pancake and brown off the other side.
  • Serve hot with your favourite toppings.
  • The mix makes about 16-20 depending on the size!

Tips and Cheats

You can go to town with these pancakes! Serve them with maple syrup and banana or with sugar and lemon juice or even chocolate spread! If you want them extra special throw in a cup of blueberries before you cook them. A perfect weekend breakfast.

Recipes · Sweets

Poached Pear Tart

Poached Pear Tart

Ingredients

  • 3 large conference pears
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 6 Vegan Caramel/toffee sweets
  • 1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry

Method

  • Pre heat the oven to Gm 6 or 200c
  • Peel the pears and slice them in half. scoop out the core leaving enough room for the caramel.
  • Pop the pears in to a pan with the maple syrup and cover with boiling water.
  • Cook the pears until they just start to soften, this should take less than 5 minutes but will vary depending on how ripe the pears are.
  • Remove from the heat and drain from the liquid.
  • Roll out the pastry and lay the pears on top leaving enough room to cut them out.
  • Cut around each pear leaving a 1cm edge.
  • Pop the caramel in the hole where the core was.
  • Lay the pastry pears on a baking tray
  • With the scraps of pastry cut out leaf shapes and adore the pears (get as fancy as you like!)
  • Place into the hot oven for 12-15 minutes until the pastry is puffy and golden.
  • Serve warm with either vegan cream or vegan ice cream!

Tips and Cheats

If you can’t get hold of vegan caramels you can either make your own caramel sauce and spoon that in (Just melted brown sugar, vanilla and coconut cream!) or you can swap out for a spoon of vegan chocolate spread or lotus biscoff! My mum made me these as a child after seeing the recipe in a mother and baby magazine and they are still a firm favourite with my own children! They look so fancy yet are so easy to make. If you have ripe pears you don’t need to poach them first!

Recipes · Sweets

Lemon Cheese Cake

Lemon Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pack of plain hobnob biscuits (I use Aldi ones)
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter
  • 2 packs of vegan cream cheese at room temperature (I use Sainsbury’s which is 170g each pack)
  • 2/3 cup of icing sugar (check it is vegan!)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 bag of frozen forest fruits – defrosted (Aldi)
  • 7 inch tin – ideally spring form or with a pop out bottom

Method

  • Crush the biscuits in a food processor and add the melted butter
  • Use this to line your tin, a spring form tin is best as it makes getting it out a the end easier. work the mix up the sides pressing hard.
  • Put it in the fridge to set.
  • In a clean food processor add the cream cheese, icing sugar and coconut oil and blend until smooth.
  • Slowly add in the lemon juice.
  • Pour the batter into the tin with the base in it and leave it for 5 hours in the fridge to set.
  • Once it is set drain the defrosted fruit and adorn the top. Serve immediately.

Tips and Cheats

I used to make this dish when I wasn’t vegan and it was always a winner. If you can’t get forest or frozen fruit you can use fresh raspberries or any soft fruit. I like the tartness of the fruit against the richness of the cheese cake. You can swap the lemon juice for lime too if you want a key lime pie type flavour!

Cake · Recipes · Sweets

Scones

Scones with Jam and Cream

Ingredients

  • 500g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 80g caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 80g dairy free butter (I like the Pure sunflower or Vitalite for these)
  • 240 ml dairy free milk (Oat works like a dream)
  • Strawberry jam and vegan cream to serve (Food Heaven squirty or Elmlea plant based double. )

Method

  • Pre- heat the oven to GM 6 or 200c
  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl or food processor and mix into a dough.
  • Flour your hands and the work surface
  • Tip out the dough and bring it together to a smooth dough
  • Using a cutter cut out your scones.
  • Put on to a lined baking sheet and pop in the oven for 12 minutes.
  • Eat warm straight from the oven or allow to cool if you have the patience!

Tips and Cheats

If you want an even rise on your scones don’t twist the cutter as you cut them out. You can add sultanas to the mix, about 100g for fruit scones too, or cranberries, apricots, dates etc what ever takes your fancy! If you don’t eat them all at once the scones will keep for about 3 days in an air tight container, although I wouldn’t know because they never last that long!

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.