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!

Cake · Recipes · Sweets

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 220g self raising flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 70ml vegetable oil
  • 200ml oat milk (or any dairy free milk)
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp white or cider vinegar

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/180c
  • Put all of the ingredients in to a large bowl and beat to a smooth batter. I always do this by hand.
  • If making cupcakes place 12 paper cases into a cupcake tin.
  • Split the mixture equally between the 12 cases.
  • Pop into the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool before topping with chocolate buttercream!

Tips and Cheats

If you don’t fancy cute cupcakes you can split the mix between two 7inch cake tins and cook at the same temperature for 25 minutes. or you can pop in to a tray for a tray bake and cook for 40 minutes. It is so versatile! I like to chuck in cherries sometimes or nuts or even dark chocolate chips! As with all cake it is best served fresh!

Cake · Sweets

Cherry and Marzipan Cake

Ingredients

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 150g sugar
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 70ml vegetable oil
  • 200ml oat milk (or other dairy free milk)
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp white or cider vinegar
  • 200g marzipan
  • 200g glace cherries

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/160c
  • In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, sugar, oil, milk, vanilla, and vinegar and beat into a smooth batter. It doesn’t take long so it is super easy by hand,
  • In an 8 inch tin add a layer of baking parchment to the bottom. The tin will need fairly deep sides.
  • Pour in about 1/2 of the cake batter.
  • Roll out the marzipan in a disc the size of your tin and lay over the cake batter .
  • Chop the cherries in half and add on top of the marzipan in an even layer.
  • Pour over the rest of the cake batter making sure all the cherries are covered.
  • Pop the cake into the oven and cook for 50 minutes. It may need a little longer if a skewer doesn’t come out clean.

Tips and Cheats

This cake is so good warm from the oven. It is also good a day old with lashings of custard! (Birds custard powder is vegan!) If you want a more almond taste, or don’t have marzipan you can either add almond essence in place of the vanilla, or you can swap out 1/2 of the flour for ground almonds. This does result in a heavier cake! However, you eat it enjoy it!

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.