Italian-Inspired Chickpea Salad

An incredibly bold and lively Italian-Inspired Chickpea Salad from Frances McCormack, this takes just minutes to make andis served with a Wholegrain Mustard and Balsamic Dressing. Packed with flavour, this makes a great sandwich spread or topping for a bed of greens. Serves 1 as a large salad, or 2 as a side or sandwich spread.

Ingredients:
For the salad
1 can chickpeas, drained and minced
1 roasted red pepper (I used one from a jar), finely diced
3 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
8 black olives, finely chopped
Large bunch basil, chiffonaded

For the dressing
1 tbsp suitable-for-vegans wholegrain mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Mash the chickpeas. Mix with all of the salad ingredients.
2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Season to taste.
3. Toss the salad with the dressing, a little at a time, tasting as you go (I used all of the dressing, but I like bold flavours).

Soured Tofu Dip

Don’t be put off by the mention of “sour” in the title. This is adequately balanced by both sweet and salty notes. Perfect for tacos, nachos, wraps, in soups and stews, and it will show you just how versatile tofu can be.

Ingredients

1 block silken tofu (approx. 350g; more or less than this is fine)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
Generous pinch salt

Directions

Blend everything together. Season to taste, and enjoy.

Consider varying this recipe up with the addition of some herbs or garlic (or both!)

Moroccan-Spiced Hummus

This beautifully vibrant hummus is a breeze to make, incredibly tasty, and inexpensive if you have a well-stocked spice cabinet.

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas
1 red pepper
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried mint
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp tahini

Directions

Blend all of the ingredients, adding a little extra water if necessary to reach desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Because this hummus is oil-free, it may separate in the fridge. Just stir it all back together.

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Sauce

This inexpensive, oil-free and relatively simple pasta sauce is made of blended cauliflower and beans, and when served with a pasta of your choice, it’s filling but not heavy. It serves 4 people with 125g egg-free dried pasta per person, and vegetables of choice.

Ingredients

400g frozen cauliflower, steamed for 8 minutes or until warmed through and tender
1/2 cup white beans of choice
2 tsp mixed Italian herbs (parsley, rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme)
2 garlic cloves
3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2/3 cup unsalted all-plant milk
1/3 cup cold vegetable broth
1 tbsp yellow miso paste
1 tsp suitable-for-vegans Dijon mustard
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp onion granules
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh parsley to taste, minced

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a jug blender until smooth. Season to taste and blend again.
  2. Add to cooked pasta and vegetables to heat through. Season to taste again, and stir the parsley through.

Creamy Macadamia Salad Dressing

A good dressing can transform even the most basic of salads. This is particularly delicious with a range of roasted and cooled vegetables (sweet potatoes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and even some roasted chickpeas) or with a very simple salad of a crispy lettuce like cos or romaine, red onions, bell peppers, and cucumber. It’s oil-free and with a good balance of sweet and umami to complement almost any savoury flavours or to cool down spicy food.

Ingredients

1/2 cup macadamia nuts, soaked in boiling water overnight, or boiled in a saucepan full of water for 15 minutes
1/4 cup plain all-plant (e.g. soy or coconut) yoghurt
1/4 cup all-plant milk
1/4 cup water
1 tsp suitable-for-vegans Dijon mustard
1 tsp white wine or cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Directions

Drain the macadamia nuts and add to the blender with the other ingredients. Blend until smooth, adding a little extra water if needed to make the dressing smooth (this will depend on the speed of your blender).

Cranberry-Stuffed Marrow with Tahini-Miso Dressing

A delicately flavoured recipe, lifted by a zingy umami dressing and the addition of dried cranberries to the stuffing. This serves 2.

Ingredients

For the Marrow

1 marrow
1 tsp oil (I used rice bran oil)
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries
100g couscous, cooked according to package directions
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Dressing

1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp yellow miso
2 tbsp warm water

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the marrow in half lengthways. Score each half about 3/4 way through lengthways and then widthways. Scoop out the cubes of marrow and set aside. Place the marrow in a roasting dish and cover with aluminium foil. Roast for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium low heat. Add the onion, peppers, and the marrow chunks. Cook until the onions and peppers are lightly softened. Add the almonds, cranberries, and couscous.
3. When the marrow is roasted, remove the foil and stuff with the pepper-couscous filling. Cover again with foil and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together with a fork. Serve the marrow with a generous amount of dressing.

Tempeh au Poivre

A rich and decadently-flavoured dinner that takes just 30 minutes to prepare, including marinating time, this tempeh au poivre is best accompanied by roasted vegetables and potatoes, or steamed greens and French fries. It serves 2.

Ingredients

1 block tempeh (approx. 250g), halved

For the Marinade

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp onion granules
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dill

For the Sauce

1 1/2 cups soy (or other all-plant) milk (1/4 cup set aside)
2 heaped tsp suitable-for-vegan Dijon mustard
2 tbsp crushed peppercorns
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp cornflour

Method

1. Steam the tempeh for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the marinade by mixing all the ingredients in a shallow bowl.
3. Place the tempeh into the marinade and turn to coat. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes while you make the sauce. Meanwhile, preheat a griddle pan or health grill to high, or a regular frying pan to medium.
4. Mix 1 1/4 cup soy milk, mustard, peppercorns, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a simmer, whisking. Mix the cornflour into the remaining 1/4 cup soy milk. Add this paste to the sauce, whisking all the time. Allow to thicken, and turn off the heat while you cook the tempeh.
5. Fry the tempeh 3-5 minutes each side until golden and heated through. Serve with the sauce.

Speedy Tortilla Pesto Pizzas

These pizzas take 20 minutes, including the time needed to preheat the oven. The vegetables listed below are only a suggestion; feel free to use up the leftovers. If you don’t want to make the pesto, shop-bought suitable-for-vegan pesto or hummus will do just fine. Serves 2.

Ingredients

For the Pesto

1 large bunch basil (about 2 cups, tightly packed)
400g cannellini or other white beans
3 cloves garlic
50g kale leaves
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp miso paste
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3/4 cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Pizza

4 mini or 2 large suitable-for-vegan corn or flour tortillas
Tomato purée or suitable-for-vegan pizza sauce
1 courgette (spiralized, sliced, or shredded)
1 each red and yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
2. Blend all of the pesto ingredients. Season to taste.
3. Place the corn tortillas on two baking trays or on pizza stones. Spread with the desired amount of tomato purée or sauce, top with pesto, and load up with vegetables.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating or rearranging once to make sure they are evenly cooked.

Cannellini Bean Sea Cakes with Parsley Sauce

Cannellini beans are so extremely versatile. They blend down to make sauces and dips; they make great binders in burgers; they taste good sprinkled over salads or cooked in a sauce. But they’re particularly good made into sea cakes, mixed with onion and sea vegetables, coated in breadcrumbs, and baked in the oven for a filling and healthy main dish. Makes 4 cakes.

Ingredients

For the sea cakes

2 cups cooked cannellini beans (another white bean will do)
1 tsp seaweed powder or flakes; I prefer kombu
1/2 onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1/4 cup water
75g wholegrain breadcrumbs

For the parsley sauce

Ingredients
2 cups unsweetened soya (or other plant) milk
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp onion granules
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
pinch white pepper
1 bunch fresh parsley, finely minced

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. Make the sea cakes. Mash the beans in a large bowl with the back of a fork.Stir in seaweed, onion, and salt and pepper. Form the beans into four patties, dip in the cornflour mix, and coat in breadcrumbs.Bake on a silicone mat on a baking tray for 20 minutes, turning once.
3. Meanwhile, make the parsley sauce. Mix 1/4 of the soya milk with the cornflour. Set aside. Place the remaining soya milk into a saucepan and heat gently. Whisk in the onion granules, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and parsley. When the milk comes to a simmer, add the cornflour mix and stir continuously to thicken.
4. Serve the sea cakes with the parsley sauce, steamed greens, and mashed, boiled, or steamed potatoes.

Tofu Pesto Spread

Although this spread is ideal for crusty bread, it also makes a wonderful stuffing for pasta shells. It’s incredibly simple to make: just put all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor.

Ingredients

1/2 block extra-firm tofu (about 170g), crumbled
1 cup toasted pine nuts or raw macadamia nuts
1 cup spinach leaves, tightly packed
Large bunch basil
Juice 1/2 lemon
2 tsp white or yellow miso
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste

Method

Pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides if necessary. Don’t overprocess; you want the finished product to have some depth of texture from the nuts.