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!

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!

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

Sticky Hoisin Tofu

Ingredients

  • 1 XL pack of extra firm tofu (we like Tofoo Co)
  • 4 tbsp Cornflour
  • Veg oil
  • 2 small sachets of Hoisin sauce (Sainsbury’s is labeled vegan)
  • 1 1/2 cups rice (this serves 4 of us easily)
  • 1/2 pack beansprouts
  • 1 cup peas
  • Spring onions and black sesame to garnish (not needed but adds flavour and extra calcium)

Method

  • Pop the rice on to cook. I like to pour in to a pan of boiling water and cook until just tender.
  • Open the tofu and drain the liquid. I give it a squeeze in my hands too but not too much.
  • Slice the tofu block in to 1/2 cm strips and then each block in to 4.
  • Sieve over the cornflour to coat the tofu.
  • Heat 1 cm of oil in a pan and when hot drop in the tofu. Turn it until each side is crispy but not burnt!
  • Drain the tofu by scooping out and laying in a bowl lined with a paper towel/muslin cloth.
  • Just before the rice is cooked chuck in the peas and bean sprouts (last 3 minutes of cooking).
  • Heat the hoisin sauce in pan and add in the cooked tofu coat the tofu in the sauce.
  • Drain the rice and serve. You can garnish if you wish!

Tips and Cheats

Tofu is a bit of a minefield for new vegans. Silken is great for sauces but for this dish you need firm or extra firm. I love the Tofoo Co one as it has a great texture and flavour but all firm tofu will work. You can cut it how you like. My children like sticks as they call them sticky ribs but squares work too! Please watch when heating oil I don’t want oil pan fires! If you are nervous you can do it on a lower heat and it still works. If you are dieting or wanting to be healthy you can spray the coated tofu with olive oil spray and bake it in the oven for 15 minutes until it starts to brown. The garnish is a lovely touch but not needed. I like to add sesame seeds as they are full of nutrients and add a little extra calcium. If you don’t like hoisin sauce then use black bean or sweet and sour or even sweet chili. It is okay to use packet mixes from time to time everything doesn’t have to be made from scratch.

Recipes · Week Night Winners

Farmer Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 large carrot sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms
  • 1 veg stock cube (My fav are Knorr or Sainsburys)
  • 1 tin baked beans
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp brown sauce
  • Vegan soya mince (Our favourite is Sainsburys)
  • 6 large potatoes

Method

  • Heat oven to gas mark 5/ 180c
  • Boil the potatoes in one pan.
  • Heat your oil in another pan and soften the onions and carrots for 5 minutes.
  • Add in the peas, mushrooms and mince.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir.
  • Simmer the mix for 20 minutes, if it looks to dry out then add a little more liquid and stir occasionally.
  • Once the potatoes have cooked, drain and mash them.
  • Pour the mince mix into a pie dish and top with the mash.
  • Pop the pie into the oven for 15 minutes or until the mash is a little crispy.

Tips and cheats

You can really play with this dish. If you don’t like soya mince you can use 2 cups of red lentils and a handful of oats or you can make mushroom mince by blending 300g of mushrooms. You can add a little more brown sauce, I like the tang it gives the dish. feel free to add in two sweet potatoes to the mash and we often sprinkle vegan cheese onto the top before it goes in to the oven.

If you want to make this in advance you can do the whole things and pop it in the fridge and just cook in the oven when you want to eat it. You can also freeze the mince mix although if you are using lentils they don’t defrost great.

Recipes · Week Night Winners

Vegan Chicken Pie

Moreish Vegan ‘Chicken’ Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 large leek sliced in to half moons
  • 2 large carrots sliced in to half moons
  • 150g sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 pack of vegan chicken pieces
  • 500 ml Bisto gravy (yup its vegan! as are some own brands)
  • 1 pack filo pastry
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Heat the oven to gas mark 5/180c

  • Gently heat some oil of your choice in a large pan.
  • Add in all the veg and saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add in the vegan chicken pieces and just the 500 ml of water (not the granules!)
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the gravy granules.
  • Pour the whole mix in to a pie dish, deep tin – what ever your pie will be in!
  • Take the pack of filo and cut the sheets in to 1/4
  • Take small bits and scrunch it all over the top of the pie.
  • Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is cooked.
  • Serve! We like it with roast potatoes and more veg, either green beans or broccoli.

Tips and cheats

If you want to make this in advance don’t put the pastry on until you pop it in the oven. The mix will keep in the fridge for a day before cooking in the oven. You can also freeze it at this point.

If you don’t like filo pastry or want a luxury rich finish then use puff or shortcrust pastry. Again most of the shop bought ones are vegan (just avoid the all butter version!)

If you like a creamy sauce swap the gravy for 500 ml of veg stock and a dash of vegan cream. My current favourite is the Elmlea Plant based. – don’t add it straight in to the pan. Pour the cream in to a dish and add table spoons of the hot liquid in to the cream until it doubles in quantity then add to the dish. This helps to stop it splitting.