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Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

It’s sure to be a good morning with this Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal, served here with a generous dollop of coconut whip to give you that dessert-for-breakfast flavour and to start your day on a sweet note. Serves 4.

Ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp suitable-for-vegans brown sugar
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Pinch salt
2 tbsp chopped pecans, optional; extra for serving
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups soy milk

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 160C.
2. Mix all ingredients together. Add to a shallow baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the centre is set.

Banana-Pecan Cake

What do you do when your bananas are starting to brown? Make Banana and Pecan Cake, of course. This one is oil-free, relatively lower in sugar than other banana cakes or breads, and yet the flavour and texture don’t suffer as a result.

Ingredients:

2 overripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda (also called bicarbonate of soda or bread soda)
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch cloves
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup pecans (1/4 cup chopped; the rest left whole)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease or line an 8″ loose-bottomed cake tin.
2. Add all of the ingredients apart from the pecans to a large bowl in the order listed above. Mix well. Stir in the chopped pecans.
3. Transfer the mix to the baking tin and top with the pecan halves.
4. Bake at 10 minutes for 200C. Reduce the heat to 180C and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until the cake is cooked and a knife inserted comes out clean.
5. Because ovens can vary, if your cake is over-browning on the top, cover it with foil.

Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Another easy and cheap recipe. Serve topped, if desired, with some roasted asparagus and croutons. Serves two.

Ingredients

4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper or sweet pointed pepper, small dice
1 can (400g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp sweet paprika or smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
200g baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1. In a non-stick or stainless steel pan over a very low heat, sweat the garlic, adding a couple of drops of water if needed, until fragrant but not coloured.
2. Add the red pepper, chickpeas, vinegar, tomatoes, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne and stir for about 30 seconds.
3. Raise the heat to medium low and add the broth. Stir, and then add handfuls of spinach to wilt.
4. Season, and serve.

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.

Apple Pie Oatmeal Breakfast Wrap

If you take breakfast seriously, you’ll want to try this filling, lightly spiced and naturally sweet wrap with its medley of textures. Perfect for eating on the go, or for working your way through at the breakfast table; the choice is yours. The recipe does require that you soak the oats overnight, or for at least 20 minutes, so plan ahead! Serves 1.

Ingredients

For the overnight oats
1/4 cup rolled dry oats
1/4 cup all-plant (e.g. soy) milk
1 tbsp flaxseeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch ground ginger
Pinch ground cloves

For everything else
1/4 cup dried fruit of choice, chopped, if necessary, and soaked briefly in boiling water while you prepare everything else
1/2 banana, mashed
1/4 apple, chopped
1 tbsp nuts of choice, chopped
1 tbsp nut butter of choice
1 wholewheat tortilla

Directions
1. The night before (or at least 20 minutes before), combine the oats, plant milk, flaxseeds, and spices. Leave to soak.
2. Warm the tortilla according to package directions to make it pliable.
3. Drain the dried fruit.
4. Fill the tortilla with the dried and fresh fruit, oats, nuts, and nut butter. Roll and enjoy.

Hot Cross Buns

These spiced buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, and they are best served halved with some suitable-for-vegan spread. The majority of their sweetness comes from the dried fruit. Makes 12.

Ingredients

For the buns

250g strong white flour
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp suitable-for-vegans sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
zest 1 lemon
zest 1 lime
250ml plant milk, warmed slightly
60g mild-flavoured oil (I used rice bran oil)
2 tbsp whole flaxseeds, ground and mixed with 3 tbsp water
200g mixed dried fruit of your choice (I used 75g mixed peel; 75g raisins; 50g dried cranberries)
For the crosses
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp cold water
For the sugar glaze
20g suitable-for-vegans sugar
20ml water

Directions

1. In a large bowl, mix the flours, salt, spices, and sugar.
2. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast and rinds, and then mix in the plant milk, flaxseed mixture, and oil.
3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well, about 5 minutes (alternatively, you can use a stand mixer). Knead in the dried fruit. Shape the dough into a ball, place in a bowl, cover with a tea towel, and leave to stand for an hour until risen.
4. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, and roll each into a ball. Place on a baking tray lined with a silicone sheet. Cover again with a cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes more.
5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220C.
6. When the buns are nearly done rising, prepare the mixture for the crosses by mixing together the 3tbsp flour and cold water. Transfer to a piping bag. Once the buns have risen, pipe a cross on each one.
7. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
8. While the buns are baking, mix the ingredients for the sugar glaze in a saucepan over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. When the buns have finished baking, brush them with the sugar glaze, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. It’s highly recommended to eat one while they’re still warm.

Coconut Spinach and Chickpeas with Couscous

A dinner that takes just 10 minutes to prepare is a sheer delight, especially when it is healthy, minimally processed, and beautifully fragrant with coconut and spices.

Ingredients:
200g couscous (the photograph shows giant wholewheat couscous)
200g baby spinach
50g kale, destemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
150g baby button mushrooms
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained
1 bell pepper, medium dice
1 can coconut milk (well shaken to combine)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
pinch chilli flakes
salt and pepper
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

Directions:
1. Cook the couscous according to the packet directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over a medium heat, wilt the spinach. You may have to add it in batches. A splash of hot water will help speed things up.
3. Add the kale, mushrooms, chickpeas, and peppers. Stir to combine.
4. Add the coconut milk and spices. Cook until the mushrooms shrink a little. Season to taste. Add the cherry tomatoes and warm through.