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.

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.

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.

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).

Lemony Cauliflower Soup

Creamy and chunky, creating wonderful textural contrasts, and with subtle undertones of lemon balanced out by the herbs and pepper, this soup is a real winner and would be perfect for entertaining. This recipe serves 4-6 depending on whether it’s being eaten as a starter or a main.

Ingredients:
2 white onions, finely chopped
650g white mushrooms, quartered
1.5 litres vegetable broth
1 large potato, peeled and in bite-size dice
1 tsp dried thyme*
1 tsp dried basil*
1 head cauliflower, in small florets
1 lemon, rind and zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Red chilli flakes and parsley (optional)

*Crumbling dried herbs between your fingers before adding them to a dish will help to release more of their aromatic oils.

Directions:
1. Preheat a large soup pot over a medium low heat. Add the onion and mushroom, and sauté until the mushrooms release their liquid.
2. Add the vegetable broth, potato, and herbs. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the cauliflower, cover the soup once again, and simmer for 7 minutes more.
4. Stir through the lemon zest and juice.
5. Transfer half of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth (optional). Return to the pot to reheat, and season to taste.
6. Serve garnished with red chilli flakes and parsley, and a little extra lemon zest, if desired.

Peanut-Butter Chocolate Energy Balls

These sweets are just as delicious and moreish as chocolate truffles but far less processed and very quick to make. They make a fantastic pick-me-up after a workout, or are delicious with a cuppa as a sweet treat.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dates
1/4 cup pecans
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1 tbsp maple syrup
Coconut flakes, ground almonds, or crushed pecans for dusting, if desired

Directions:
1. Process all the dates and pecans in food processor until very fine.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and process further to combine.
3. Roll into small balls, roll in the coconut/ground almonds/crushed pecans, and refrigerate for 30 minutes for best results (although you should probably eat one while you wait for “research” purposes).

Two-Tone Pepper Soup

This fun talking-point for guests is simple to make, and great fun to eat. It serves 4, and you can choose whatever colour peppers you like. We’ve chosen green and yellow for the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 green bell peppers, roughly chopped
4 yellow bell peppers, roughly chopped
1.2-1.6l vegetable broth

Directions:
1. Preheat two saucepans over medium-low heat. Divide the onions and celery between the two and sauté until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the garlic, and sauté for 15 seconds.
2. Add the green peppers to one saucepan and the yellow peppers to the other. Add enough broth to cover, and bring to boil. Simmer 15 minutes.
3. Transfer the ingredients of the saucepan containing the yellow peppers to a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a jug. Repeat with the saucepan containing the green peppers, and transfer to a separate jug.
4. Pour from both jugs into a bowl at the same time and at the same speed to keep the colours of the soup separate. Season to taste, and enjoy.

Fast Food Meal Plan

Don’t be put off by the title; this isn’t a week full of expensive, processed meals. Instead, we’ve given you 21 meal ideas that you can make without recipes and very little fuss. Serve vegetables of your choice on the side if and as desired. Don’t forget to season to taste!

*Please ensure that any ready-made products (bread, preserves, frozen products, sauces, cereal, etc.) are suitable-for-vegans

DAY ONE
Breakfast: Mashed avocado on toast (optional: baby spinach, tomatoes, red onion)
Lunch: Quick pizza (pita bread or tortilla, spread with tomato sauce and veggies, and baked 10 mins at 200C)
Dinner: Bean chilli: 1 can kidney beans, 1 can chickpeas, 1 can tomatoes, 1 can water with garlic powder and chilli powder, simmered 5 minutes.

DAY TWO
Breakfast: Banana, peanut butter, and preserves on bread or toast
Lunch: Vegetable soup (sauté an onion, add some minced garlic, top with vegetables and cover with suitable-for-vegans broth. Simmer until vegetables are cooked. Blend or serve chunky)
Dinner: Grains, beans, sweetcorn, avocado, and salsa

DAY THREE
Breakfast: Cereal with fruit and all-plant milk (add seeds and nuts if desired)
Lunch: Baked potatoes with hummus and salad vegetables
Dinner: Pasta with tomato sauce, olives, spinach, and pine nuts

DAY FOUR
Breakfast: Frozen hash browns or potato waffles with mustard and ketchup
Lunch: Pita bread stuffed with salad veggies and hummus
Dinner: Stir-fry vegetables with noodles

DAY FIVE
Breakfast: Oatmeal made with water or all-plant milk, dried fruit, and cinnamon
Lunch: Tortilla with mashed sweet potatoes, black beans, and salsa
Dinner: Chunky stew with lentils and sweet potatoes (sauté an onion, add garlic; stir in lentils, diced sweet potatoes, a can of tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Simmer until cooked)

DAY SIX
Breakfast: Smoothie (blend fruit, all-plant milk or juice, and a handful of oats)
Lunch: Suitable-for-vegans baked beans on toast with fried tomatoes and mushrooms
Dinner: Chickpeas simmered in tomato sauce with Italian herbs and garlic powder. Serve with rice or a baked potato.

DAY SEVEN
Breakfast: Overnight oats (soak 1 part oats to 2 parts water or all-plant milk) with fruit, nut butter, and maple syrup
Lunch: Large salad with hummus; serve with nuts, seeds, or croutons
Dinner: Baked sweet potato with mashed white beans, chopped bell pepper, red onion, and sriracha