Mushroom Crostini

You don’t have to tell your guests how ridiculously simple these crostini are to prepare. Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Ingredients:
4 slices of suitable-for-vegan bread, preferably freshly baked baguette or similar
150g mushrooms, preferably a gourmet mix
1/4 cup Tofutti Creamy Smooth (or equivalent suitable-for-vegan creamy spread)
1/4 cup soy or other all-plant milk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chives and/or parsley to garnish

Directions:
1. Lightly toast the bread.
2. Sauté the mushrooms until they have released their liquid and it is evaporated.
3. Lightly whisk the Tofutti, soy milk, nutritional yeast, onion salt, and garlic powder in a bowl with a whisk. Don’t worry about smaller lumps.
4. Pour the Tofutti mixture over the mushrooms and continue to cook on a low heat until the sauce has thickened slightly.
5. Serve the mushrooms over the toast.

Red Pepper Sesame Kale

This umami side is so creamy and flavourful that you’d almost wish you could eat it on its own. Perfect for serving with mashed potatoes for a comforting meal.

Ingredients:
1 large pack of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 tbsp sweet white miso paste
1 heaped tsp suitable-for-vegans Dijon mustard
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup sesame seeds, plus extra for serving

Directions:
1. Steam the kale. Drain, and press to remove the excess liquid.
2. Meanwhile, add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.
3. Toss the kale in the sauce, reheat gently, and serve with extra sesame seeds.

Raw Curried Sunflower Pâté Lettuce Wraps with Purple Cauliflower Rice

A light lunch for 2 people, this makes 8 lettuce wraps.

Ingredients

For the Sunflower Pâté

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 2 hours (or overnight) and then drained
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
Pinch chili powder
1 x 1 cm slice pineapple, juiced
1 x 2 cm piece ginger, juiced
Pinch sea salt

For the Purple Rice

1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1/2 cup red cabbage
1 garlic clove, minced
1 x 2 cm piece ginger, juiced
Pinch sea salt

To serve
2 tbsp finely diced red bell pepper
2 tbsp finely diced yellow bell pepper
2 tbsp finely diced green bell pepper
1 tbsp finely diced red onion
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
8 lettuce leaves, washed and dried well
Coconut flakes, to garnish

Directions

1. To make the pâté, place the seeds in a food processor or blender with the spices. Start to blend and add the pineapple and ginger juices little by little, scraping down the sides as necessary, until a firm pâté is formed. Season to taste.
2. To make the rice, place the cauliflower in a food processor with the red cabbage and pulse until the vegetables are very fine, like grains of sugar. Mix in the minced garlic and ginger juice, and season to taste.
3. To assemble, divide the rice and pâté between the lettuce leaves, top with the other ingredients, and enjoy. A squeeze of lime juice is optional.

Vegan Jelly Sweets

These vegan jelly sweetsare lower in refined sugar than shop-bought versions (although you can increase the sweetener to taste). These use agar (find in your health store in powder or flake form; it’s derived from red algae) to create the gummy texture.

Ingredients:
1 cup orange, cherry, apple, or berry juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
Pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp agar powder, or 4 tbsp agar flakes

Directions:
1. Add the juice, syrup, salt and vanilla essence to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer.
2. Add the agar, and simmer 3 minutes, whisking constantly, until dissolved.
3. Pour the agar mixture into a flat baking dish, or into moulds. Chill for 40 minutes, and then release from the dish and cut into shapes, if desired.

Giant Couscous Salad with Dijon-Balsamic Vinaigrette

The finely chopped vegetables in this salad mean that the flavours of each meld better. The addition of dried fruit creates an interesting contrast with the peppery rocket. This serves 2 as a lunch or 4 as a side.

Ingredients

For the Salad

150g giant couscous, cooked according to package directions and allowed to cool*
100g bell peppers, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
50g sugarsnap peas, finely sliced
6 grape tomatoes, quartered
4 baby beetroot, cooked, and finely diced
30g dried apricots, finely chopped
1 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp walnuts, toasted and chopped

For the Dressing
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp suitable-for-vegans Dijon mustard
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp water

To serve

Rocket
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Mix all salad ingredients together.
2. Mix all dressing ingredients together.
3. Serve the salad on a bed of rocket with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over the dressing to taste.

*If you can’t find giant couscous, use regular.

Baked Beans in a Flash

Oil-free, ready in just over 10 minutes, and suitable for novice cooks, these baked beans are perfect for breakfast or lunch.

Ingredients

1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
300g passata
1 x 400g can white beans (e.g. cannellini or haricot)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika

Directions

1. Heat a small saucepan over a medium low heat. Add the onion and sauté until just starting to caramelise (about 3-5 minutes). Add the garlic and a splash (about 1tbsp) water and cook for another 30 seconds.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan. Bring to a simmer and allow the sauce to reduce slightly, about 5 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve.

Can’t Cook Baked Beans Two Ways

Baked beans are a British and Irish lunchtime and breakfast favourite, and this recipe will show you two ways to change the flavour profile to create more variety.

Many brands of canned Irish and British baked beans are suitable for vegans; always check with the manufacturer, and repeat regularly to ensure there have been no recipe changes. Other readers may have more difficulty obtaining suitable-for-vegan baked beans, but the import section in the local supermarket may stock some of the suitable-for-vegan European brands.

Pizza Baked Beans

Ingredients

400g can suitable-for-vegan baked beans
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp yellow miso
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1. Place the baked beans into a small saucepan over a the lowest heat.
2. Add all ingredients to the beans, and stir through to warm.

Curried Baked Beans

Ingredients

400g can suitable-for-vegan baked beans
1.5 tsp curry powder OR all of the spice mix below

Spice Mix

1/2 tsp onion granules
1/4 tsp ginger
Pinch cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
Pinch chilli powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp garam masala
Salt, to taste

Directions
1. Place the baked beans into a small saucepan over a the lowest heat.
2. Add all ingredients to the beans, and stir through to warm.

Serving suggestion: baked potato and steamed greens, or wholemeal toast.

Smoky Tofu Stuffed Peppers

A relatively easy dish, this serves 2 as a lunch or a side. Chiquino peppers are pictured, but I also made this dish successfully with bell peppers (capiscum); the same method and timing applies.

Ingredients

For the Tofu Filling

300g silken tofu
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion granules
2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt or to taste
2 tsp mild chilli paste (I used chipotle and smoked paprika)
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Everything else

400g sweet peppers
1/2 red onion, chopped
100g mushrooms (I used shiitake), finely chopped
50g kale, in bite-sized pieces

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with a silicone sheet. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Meanwhile, in a pan over a medium-low heat sauté the onion and mushroom until the onions start to soften (about 2 minutes). Add the kale and 1/4 cup water. Sauté until the kale has softened or the water has absorbed.
3. Fill the peppers with the tofu stuffing and bake for 25 minutes.

Lime-Marinated Tempeh Skewers

A very simple dish that’s perfect for barbecues and al fresco dining. This serves 2.

Ingredients

1 tbsp hot lime pickle (if you can’t find this, use the juice of 1 lime, 1 tsp mango chutney, and a pinch of chilli flakes
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp dried mint, or 1 tbsp of finely chopped fresh mint
lime rind, to garnish
200g tempeh, steamed 15 minutes and then cubed
1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
8 cherry tomatoes

Method

1. Soak four bamboo skewers in boiling water.
2. Mix the pickle, tamari, vinegar, maple syrup and mint in a large, shallow bowl.
3. Add the tempeh, and toss to coat. Leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
4. Load your veggies and tempeh onto the skewers, brush with some marinade and griddle, grill or barbecue until cooked. These were cooked on a griddle pan for 10 minutes.
5. Serve with rice, with remaining marinade poured over, and garnish with lime rind.

Five-Minute Oat Flatbread

Simple, quick, tasty, and extremely inexpensive: what more could you ask for in a flatbread? This uses aquafaba (liquid drained from a can of chickpeas), which is a superb binder in cakes, and a lovely coating to help your spices stick to oil-free oven fries.

Ingredients

100g oats (blended to a flour if you have a blender; left whole if not)
1/4 cup aquafaba
1 tsp each garlic powder and smoked paprika

Directions

1. Mix the oats, spices, and aquafaba.
2. Add extra water if needed to make a sticky dough that you can form into a ball with a fork (the consistency doesn’t really matter here; you can make these very loose like pancakes, or very firm like patties).
3. Preheat a nonstick pan over a medium heat, divide the mix into two, and place in the pan. If you’ve got a firmer mix, you may need to flatten it out with the back of a spatula.
4. Fry for 2-3 minutes each side until the dough is set and lightly golden.