Sweet Chilli and Lime Yuba

A very easy, quick, and cheap lunch that serves 4. If you don’t have a spiraliser, you can use a vegetable peeler to create ribbons with the vegetables and cook them in the same way. 
 
Ingredients:
500g yuba (tofu skin, fresh or rehydrated)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, grated
4 courgettes, spiralised
2 carrots, spiralised
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp Chinese five spice
2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
 
Directions:
1. Heat a nonstick frying pan over a medium heat, and coat with some spray oil. Fry the yuba until it starts to brown.
2. Add the garlic, ginger, and spiralised vegetables, and season the mixture lightly with salt. Continue to fry until the noodles are soft.
3. Meanwhile, mix the sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, five spice, and cornflour.
4. When the noodles have softened, add the sauce to the pan and cook until thickened. Serve hot.

Tortilla Pinwheels

These Unfried Black Bean Tortilla Pinwheels take just minutes to make. If you want the pinwheels to be more firm, though, leave them in the fridge to set for an hour or two. Serves 2.

Ingredients:
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 red pepper, roasted (I used one from a jar)
1 can black beans, drained and mashed
1/4 cup broth or water
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground chilli pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp lime juice
3 cups spinach
1 avocado
2 corn tortillas

Directions:
1. Preheat a sauté pan over a medium low heat, and sauté the onion until it starts to take on some colour. Add the garlic and and stir for 30 seconds.
2. Stir in the jalapeño and red pepper, black beans, broth, herbs and spices, salt, tomato purée, and lime. Slowly add the spinach, a handful at a time, and allow to wilt. Cook the mixture until the spinach has completely wilted and all of the liquid is absorbed.
3. Mash the avocado and divide it among the corn tortillas. Spread the filling into the tortillas, roll up, and then cut into pinwheels using a sharp knife.

Mushroom-Sauerkraut Pierogi

These Pierogi have a dough that’s very easy to roll and an incredibly simple, yet flavoursome, filling. This recipe makes 20 pierogi. We served ours with Savoy cabbage, and a cauliflower and carrot purée.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1 3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup warm water

For the filling:

250g mushrooms, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup sauerkraut
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and white pepper

Directions:
1. Make the dough by mixing the flour and the salt. Make a well in the centre and add the oil. Add 1/2 cup warm water, and bring the dough together. Knead, adding the rest of the water as needed until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Allow to rest while you make the filling.
2. Dry sauté the mushrooms and onions until they have released their liquid. Add the sauerkraut, paprika, salt and pepper, and continue to cook until the liquid is absorbed. Allow to cool while you roll out the dough.
3. Sprinkle work surface with a little flour, divide the dough into two, and roll out one piece until very thin. Cut out circles of dough with a large cooking cutter and repeat with the other half of the dough, re-rolling the scraps as required.
4. Spoon a heaped tsp filling into each circle of dough. Moisten the edges of the dough, fold, and pinch to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat until all circles of dough have been filled and folded, placing the raw pierogi onto a floured silicone sheet as you go.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pierogi a few at a time and cook until they rise to the surface. Remove and drain.
6. When all pierogi have been boiled, lightly shallow fry them in a little oil in a preheated pan. Serve warm.

Irish Colcannon

Colcannon is an Irish staple that can be cooked with either kale or cabbage, and it can be served as a a side or a main dish. This version is easy, cheap, quick, and nutritious. It serves 4 as a side.

Ingredients:
5 medium potatoes
100g kale, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions (green onions), green and white parts minced
Plenty of minced, fresh parsley
2 tbsp all-plant milk (I used soya) or cooking water
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Optional additions:
suitable-for-vegans mustard
or
suitable-for-vegans horseradish
or
nutritional yeast

Directions:
1. Add the potatoes and kale to a large pot with plenty of cold, salted water. Bring to the boil, cover, lower the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender (ours took 12 minutes).
2. Drain the potatoes and kale and return to the pot over a very low heat for a few seconds just to remove any excess liquid.
3. Mash the potatoes with the all-plant milk (using a little more if necessary). Mix in the scallions and parsley, season to taste (add in one of the optional ingredients, if desired), and serve.

Portobello Unfried Black Bean Wraps with Avocado Aïoli

Though this looks like an involved recipe, it takes only about 15 minutes to put together, and it makes a hearty and filling lunch.

FOR THE MUSHROOMS
6 large Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pinch black pepper

  1. Add the mushrooms to a preheated frying pan with the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Sauté until the liquid that they release has been evaporated and they are cooked through.

FOR THE AVOCADO AÏOLI
2 large Hass avocados
2 cloves garlic (roasted or lightly sweated if you don’t want the raw garlic flavour)
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pinch cayenne pepper

Directions:
1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Transfer to a squeeze bottle (I used an clean and dry empty vegan mustard bottle) to serve.

FOR THE UNFRIED BLACK BEANS
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 red pepper, roasted (I used one from a jar)
1 can black beans, drained and mashed
1/4 cup broth or water
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground chilli pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp lime juice

  1. Preheat a sauté pan over a medium low heat, and sauté the onion until it starts to take on some colour. Add the garlic and and stir for 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in the jalapeño and red pepper, black beans, broth, herbs and spices, salt, tomato purée, and lime. Cook the mixture until all of the liquid is absorbed.

TO ASSEMBLE
4 wholegrain suitable-for-vegan wraps
Salsa
Spinach

  1. Layer spinach, the unfried beans, and the mushrooms on a wrap. Top with salsa and avocado aïoli to serve

Sweet Tomato Soup

If you want a really simple lunch, this Sweet Tomato Soup will remind you of those comforting canned tomato soups that you were served as a child–but with fewer heavily refined ingredients. This makes 2 large bowls.

Ingredients:
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
400 ml vegetable broth
2 cans (400g each) tomatoes in juice
1 tsp suitable-for-vegans sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat a large stainless steel pan over a medium-low heat.
2. Add the onions and sauté until lightly coloured. Stir in the garlic for 30 seconds.
3. Deglaze the pan with a splash of the broth. Then add the tomatoes and the rest of the broth.
4. Stir in the sugar, and crumble in the dried herbs between your finger and thumb.
5. Allow to simmer, uncovered, on a very low heat for about 10 minutes. Season to taste, and serve.

Bulgur Wheat Pilau with Spicy Mushrooms

Inspired by East African flavours, this Bulgur Wheat Pilau with Spicy Mushrooms is full of warming spices, and the pilau, if cooled and stored properly, will make for a great packed lunch. Serves 4-6.

For the Mushrooms:

Ingredients:
250g Portabello mushrooms, sliced
200ml apple juice
50 ml soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 inch ginger, grated
Pinch ground cardamom
Pinch ground fenugreek
2 pinches chilli flakes
Pinch ground cloves

Directions:
1. Place the mushrooms in a large saucepan. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour over the mushrooms.
2. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is reduced, 30 mins or so. Remove the mushrooms from the cooking sauce with a tongs or spider ladle and serve with the pilaf.

For the Pilaf:
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp chilli powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
300ml vegetable broth
2 carrots, peeled and in very small dice
100g sweetcorn
200g frozen peas
250g bulgur wheat
Vegetable broth, according to package directions

Directions:
1. Mix the spices and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan over a medium-low heat, sauté the onions until lightly caramelised. Add the carrots, sweetcorn, and peas, and pour over the broth. Simmer the vegetables for 4 minutes, just to soften.
3. Cook the bulgur wheat according to package directions, adding the spice mix at the beginning of the process. Stir in the vegetables to warm through, and serve.

Sweetcorn and Chickpea Fritters

The best thing about these easy fritters is that you you can change the flavour profile easily by adding different combinations of spices. The recipe calls for a food processor, but you can easily make these with a masher instead. This recipe makes 8 fritters.

Ingredients:
285g (drained weight) sweetcorn
240g (drained weight) cooked chickpeas
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp water
6 tbsp gram flour
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp white pepper

Directions:
1. Pulse (or mash) the sweetcorn and chickpeas until most are mashed but there are still some chunky bits.
2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients (the mix may be wetter than you imagine; trust me!).
3. Heat a frying pan over a medium-low heat and lightly brush with oil or spritz with spray oil.
4. Take 1/4 cup of the mixture and place it in the pan, pressing down to flatten. Repeat until you have four fritters in the pan. Cook 3 minutes, flip, and cook 3 minutes more.
5. Keep warm while you cook the rest of the fritters.
6. Serve with a sauce of your choice if desired.

Gur Cake

Gur Cake is a traditional Dublin cake, popular in working class communities. The cake was made from bakery leftovers, so it was always the cheapest item in the shop. It’s a thick slab of spiced, fruity bread pudding sandwiched between two thin layers of shortcrust pastry.
Ingredients

For the pastry:

250g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cornflour (corn starch)
1 heaped tbsp suitable-for-vegans icing sugar
pinch salt
60g suitable-for-vegans baking margarine
Cold water

For the filling:
8 slices stale bread, crusts cut off (I used wholegrain)
Very strong tea, cold
35g melted suitable-for-vegans baking margarine
3 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Rind 1 orange
150g mixed dried fruit
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp mixed spice
1 tbsp molasses
90g suitable-for-vegans brown sugar
3 tbsp apple sauce

Directions:
1. Make the pastry by mixing all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the vegan baking margarine and rub in between your fingers and thumbs until the mixture is like fine breadcrumbs. Add 2-3 tbsp cold water (more if necessary) until the mixture comes together in a firm dough. Don’t overwork. Wrap in film and place in the fridge to rest while you make the filling.
2. Steep the bread and fruit in in a single layer in just enough tea to cover (you could use a large roasting tin). Leave for an hour or so.
3. Meanwhile, mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.
4. Preheat the oven to 190C. When the bread and fruit are soaked, strain off the tea and give the bread a quick squeeze just to remove the excess liquid so that it is no longer dripping wet. Add to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir. The mixture should be the consistency of a thick cake batter. If it’s too dry, add a squeeze of orange juice; if it’s too wet, add a little more flour.
5. Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide in two. Line a 9 inch square baking dish with parchment. Roll the first half of the pastry thin and place it at the bottom of the baking dish (don’t line the sides of the tin; just the bottom). Flash bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and place the filling on top. Roll out the rest of the pastry and place it on top of the filling. Prick the pastry in several places with a fork.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool in the tin: the filling will set only when cold. Then remove from the tin and cut into squares.
7. Dust the squares with sifted icing sugar, or go for a more rustic feel and just sprinkle it on by hand.

Slow-Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes

Intensely sweet, these flavourful tomatoes are easy to prepare, and they make a wonderful addition to salads, sandwiches, or can be eaten on their own as a tasty snack.

Preheat an oven to 120C, line a baking tray with a silicone sheet, and halve as many tomatoes as you wish to roast–we used cherry and plum tomatoes here. Toss the tomatoes in a bowl with a tsp balsamic vinegar, and a generous helping of freshly ground black pepper, salt, and crumbled dried oregano. Place onto the tray in a single layer, cut-side up, and roast for 2-3 hours (depending on size and thickness of tomatoes; the cherry tomatoes took 2 hours).