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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.

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

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.

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.

Creamy Polenta with Red Wine Mushrooms

A comforting and rich dish, this Creamy Polenta with Red Wine Mushrooms is great for entertaining, but easy enough for a decadent-tasting meal for two.

Ingredients:
For the Polenta:
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups soy milk
1 tbsp herbes de provence, crumbled
1 cup polenta (or cornmeal)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Mushrooms:
1 red onion, finely sliced
350g mushrooms, sliced (I used 250g chestnut and 100g shiitake)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup suitable-for-vegans red wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
1 heaped tsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed to a smooth paste with a little cold water
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Add the vegetable broth and soy milk to a large saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the herbes de provence. Sprinkle in the polenta, whisking vigorously as you go (there’s no need for the water to be boiling or even warm to start polenta).
2. As soon as the polenta starts to spit, reduce the heat to low. Stir occasionally until the polenta starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Add the nutritional yeast, if using, and season to taste.
3. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms and the onion until the liquid released from the mushrooms is reabsorbed. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds before stirring in the wine. Mix in the tomato purée and thyme and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cornflour mixture and allow to thicken. Season with black pepper.
4. Serve the mushrooms on top of the polenta, garnished with a little parsley if desired.

Coconut Cream of Mushroom Soup

Thick and full of umami notes, this recipe is incredibly quick and quite inexpensive to make.

Ingredients

2 small onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
650g brown mushrooms (I used chestnut and portobello), roughly chopped
10g dried mushrooms, ground fine in a blender or coffee grinder (optional)
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups coconut milk
Fresh parsley, to garnish

Directions

1. In a large soup pan over a medium-low heat, cook the onions, garlic, and mushrooms until the mushrooms release their juices.
2. Add the mushroom powder, vegetable broth, soy sauce, and coconut milk, reserving a little of the coconut milk for garnish.
3. Cover, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are softened.
4. Garnish with the reserved coconut milk and parsley.

Fennel and Mushroom Penne in a Lemon and Garlic Sauce

Delicately fragrant, vivid, and lively, this comforting gluten-free dish is full of nutrients. Eat your fill!

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 leek, finely chopped
250g mushrooms, sliced
1 fennel bulb, quartered and finely sliced
150g tenderstem broccoli (substitute with broccoli florets if tenderstem is hard to find)
5 sage leaves, finely minced
Small bunch each basil and parsley, minced
200g brown rice pasta
2 large handfuls baby spinach

For the sauce

50g white beans of choice
150g silken tofu, drained
Zest 1 lemon
Juice 1/2 lemon
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup unsweetened, unflavoured all-plant milk of choice (soy milk used here)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
1. Steam the fennel and broccoli until just tender (about 5 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid, and rinse to remove the excess starch.
3. Sauté the leeks and mushrooms over a medium heat in a non-stick pan until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the sage.
4. Blend all the sauce ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
5. Add the sauce to the leeks and mushrooms vegetables, thinning out to desired consistency with a little of the reserved cooking water. Toss in the pasta, fennel, and broccoli to warm through.
6. Serve the pasta on a bed of spinach, garnished with a little extra lemon zest, more black pepper, and the minced basil and parsley.

Hot and Sour Soup

With a different combination of flavours in every mouthful, and taking under 15 minutes to prepare, this soup is bound to be a winner. It makes 4 large servings.

If you can’t find the types of mushrooms listed in the ingredients, use 350g sliced mushrooms of your choice, and if you can’t find the vinegars, use apple cider vinegar.

Ingredients

250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
20g dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted (save the soaking water) and sliced
20g dried Chinese black (wood ear) mushrooms, reconstituted (save the soaking water) and sliced
1 can bamboo shoots (120g drained weight)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 inch ginger, grated
1-2 red chilli peppers, deseeded and finely sliced
1.5 l vegetable broth
110g mung bean sprouts
200g extra-firm tofu, cubed
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
Pinch white pepper
2 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced

Directions

1. Heat a large stock pot over a medium-low heat, and when hot add the mushrooms and bamboo. Lower the heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, adding just a splash of water if the mushrooms start to stick.
2. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilli, and stir for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the broth, mushroom soaking water, bean sprouts, tofu, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, and white pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve topped with the green onions.

Sweet Potato and Tempeh Stew

A very easy recipe with lots of interesting flavours and textures that’s ready in about 20 minutes.

Ingredients

1 red onion, in medium dice
250g mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
220g tempeh, cubed
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
150g sugarsnap peas, roughly chopped
1 l vegetable broth
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 heaped tsp cornflour mixed to a paste in a little cold water

Directions

1. Sauté the onion and mushrooms in a large soup pot over a medium-low heat until softened (2 minutes), adding a splash of broth if the vegetables start to stick.
2. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
3. Stir in the tempeh, sweet potato, sugarsnap peas, vegetable broth, mixed herbs, smoked paprika, and soy sauce.
4. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender.
5. Stir in the cornflour mixture and allow to simmer for about 2 minutes to allow the liquid to thicken.

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.