Oil-Free Sambal Stir Fry

Warming but not overly spicy, with plenty of fragrant aromatics, this is a great way to enjoy a stir fry without the oil. This recipe serves 2-4, depending on the quantity of noodles used.

Ingredients

300g tempeh (approx.)
1 head of broccoli, in florets
2 pak choi, chopped; stems and leaves separated
1 red pepper, finely diced
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 heaped tbsp suitable-for-vegans sambal oelek paste
1 heaped tbsp suitable-for-vegans garlic ginger paste
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Soba noodles, to serve

Directions

1. Steam the tempeh for about 12 minutes to remove the bitter flavour. Place the broccoli in another steamer basket on top and steam for 3 minutes more. When cooked, plunge broccoli into a bowl of cold water to stop it cooking. Drain as soon as it’s cool.
2. Meanwhile, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, pastes, lime juice, and cornflour, and set aside.
3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium high heat. Cube the tempeh, and add to the frying pan, and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden on each side (about 8 minutes). Set aside and keep warm.
4. Add the broccoli and pak choi stems to the frying pan, along with a splash or two of water or vegetable broth. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the broccoli starts to soften. Add the pak choi leaves, red pepper, and tempeh, until pak choi is wilted (about 2 minutes).
5. Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions.
6. Add the sauce to the vegetables and tempeh, and allow the sauce to reduce and thicken slightly (about 2 minutes).
7. Serve the rice noodles with the vegetables and sauce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Oat and Bean Burgers

Once you have a good vegetable burger recipe, you can adjust the flavour profile to your taste. Try changing the herbs and spices in this recipe to create your own flavours: add basil, oregano, sundried tomatoes and even chopped mushrooms for an Italian burger; choose garam masala and curry powder; you can even try fajita spices and serve with salsa. Have fun, experiment, and play around with flavours on top of the base recipe to make this your own. This recipe makes 8 patties.

Ingredients

Base Ingredients
2 x 400g (gross weight) cans cooked beans (I used one can of kidney and one can of cannellini)
1 red onion, quartered
1 red pepper, deseeded and quartered
1 cup oats

Flavourings
1 tbsp suitable-for-vegans Dijon mustard
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp soy sauce
pinch chilli flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 200C, and line a baking tray with parchment or a silicone sheet. Pulse the beans, onions, and red pepper in a food processor until fine and combined. If you don’t have a food processor, finely dice the onions and pepper, and mash the beans. Combine.
2. Add the oats, and pulse to combine further (or mix by hand). Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Add the flavourings suggested above, or experiment and create your own. Try to have about 2-4 tbsp wet ingredients among the flavourings so that the burgers are not dry.
4. Combine all ingredients well, preferably using your hands. Squeeze a handful of the ingredients together: they should hold without crumbling. If your hand is very, very sticky, add some more oats; if the mixture feels too dry, add a little suitable-for-vegans ketchup, mustard, or tomato purée.
5. Shape the mixture into 8 patties, flatten out, and place on the baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake 10 minutes more. Serve in a suitable-for-vegans bun with preferred salad vegetables and sauce of your choice (I have used creamy potato dressing on mine).

Tempeh-Potato Bake with Caramelized Fennel and Red Onions in a White Wine and Dijon Mustard Gravy

The beautiful aniseed flavours of fennel are tempered in this dish by the caramelizing process and they blend perfectly with the earthiness of the cabbage and the umami notes of the tempeh. This is an oil-free dish and it serves 4-6 (depending on appetite!). If you use a mandolin, it will make slicing the onions, fennel, and potatoes much easier.

Ingredients

227g block tempeh
300g cabbage, shredded
2 red onions, very finely sliced
1 bulb fennel, very finely sliced
1kg potatoes (skins left on), very finely sliced
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

For the Tempeh Marinade
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika

For the Gravy
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup suitable-for-vegans white wine
3 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp suitable-for-vegans Dijon mustard
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Steam the tempeh for 15 minutes, slice into thin strips and then each strip into thirds. Mix the tempeh marinade ingredients together in a shallow bowl, and add the tempeh. Toss to coat.
2. Preheat a large nonstick or stainless steel frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onions, fennel, and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the volume is greatly reduced and the vegetables are lightly coloured. If the vegetables start to stick, add a splash or two of water. Add the rest of the salt, the maple syrup, and the balsamic vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring frequently. Add the cabbage, and cook until starting to soften.
3. Make the gravy by combining all ingredients in a bowl and whisking.
4. Spray a large casserole dish with suitable-for-vegan spray oil, and layer half of the potatoes in the bottom, overlapping them. Layer on the tempeh, and then the onion-fennel-cabbage mixture. Top with the remaining potatoes. Pour over the gravy. Cover the dish tightly with foil.
5. Bake for 45 minutes; remove the foil, and bake for 15 minutes more until the potatoes are soft and golden.

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.

“But I Can’t Cook” Lentil Bolognese

About 10 minutes to put together. Cheap as chips. If you can open cans and jars and set a kitchen timer, you can make this. Serves 2.

Ingredients

150g dried spaghetti
1 x 400g can green or brown lentils
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt (1 tsp for the spaghetti water; 1 tsp for the sauce)
1 tsp maple syrup
A few handfuls of baby spinach

Directions

1. Boil a kettle full of water. Transfer it to a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and sprinkle in one of the tsp of salt. Add the spaghetti, and set the kitchen timer to the time advised on the packet.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to a smaller saucepan. Simmer on low until the spaghetti is cooked.
3. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain.
4. Add the sauce to the spaghetti. Taste, and promise never to tell yourself that you can’t cook again.

Thai-Inspired Augergine and Chickpea Curry

Oil-free aubergine (eggplant) dishes can be tricky because the aubergine often dries out. The secret to this recipe, though, is to roast the aubergine before simmering it in the sauce. This is a fairly straightforward recipe, and once the aubergine is roasted it comes together really quickly. I like to make it in advance and allow the flavours to meld before reheating it over a low flame, but that’s not at all necessary. Serves 4.

Ingredients

3 aubergines (eggplants), cut in bite size chunks
½ red onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece ginger, grated
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
400g chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 can light coconut milk, shaken well to combine
200g can tomatoes (half a regular can)
50g greens of choice, in bite-size pieces
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp turmeric
Pinch cinnamon
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp maple syrup
2 heaped tsp suitable-for-vegan massaman curry paste (if you can’t find this, use a suitable-for-vegan red curry paste)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with a silicone sheet or parchment, and add the aubergine in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, and then remove from the oven.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large stainless steel pot over a medium-low heat until hot. Add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes until softened and lightly coloured, adding a few drops of water if the onion starts to stick. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilli for 30 seconds more, stirring constantly.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the aubergine, to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes to warm everything through and allow the flavours to merge a little. Serve with some rice, or other grain.

Spinach and Basil Orzo Stew

A 20-minute easy meal with a side of sweet roasted tomatoes; you’ll be glad you made this when you see how little washing-up there is. It serves 2-3.

Ingredients

250g cherry tomatoes on the vine
1 yellow pepper, medium dice
2 tsp Italian herbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, fine dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
250g orzo
3 cups vegetable stock
1 x 400g can tomatoes
100g baby spinach
½ tsp suitable-for-vegans sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
15 g basil leaves, torn

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Line a baking tray with a silicone sheet. Toss 125g of the tomatoes and yellow pepper in 1 tbsp vegetable broth, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1 tsp of Italian herbs. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove the yellow peppers after 15 minutes, and roast the tomatoes for 5 minutes more.
2. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion over a medium-low heat for 2 minutes until just softened. Add the garlic for 30 seconds more, and deglaze the pot with about 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth. Add the orzo, the rest of the broth, the remaining de-vined tomatoes, the canned tomatoes, the sugar, and the balsamic vinegar, and simmer 8-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until cooked.
3. Stir in the spinach, yellow pepper, and basil until the spinach is wilted. Serve with the roasted tomatoes.

Fragrant Orange Cauliflower Bites

A healthier and budget version of a takeaway favourite: baked breaded and battered cauliflower in a spicy orange sauce. Ready in about 40 minutes, and a perfect accompaniment to rice and plenty of sautéed mushrooms and greens. Serves 4.

Ingredients

1 medium head cauliflower, in florets

For the coating

35g breadcrumbs
75g flour
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
150ml (approx.) unsweetened plant milk

For the sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
1 red chilli, sliced
1 scallion, sliced
Juice and rind 2 oranges
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp cornflour

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 220C. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or baking parchment.
2. Mix the breadcrumbs, flour, and five-spice powder for the batter. Add the plant milk gradually until the batter is firm.
3. Dip the cauliflower florets in the batter to coat. Lay on the baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, turning once.
4. Mix all sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer gently until thickened.

Sticky Lemon Cauliflower

A make-at-home meal that will rival the takeaway version and that’s ready in about 40 minutes. The battered cauliflower is baked rather than deep-fried, but we wouldn’t class this as healthfood nonetheless. Serves 4.

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower, in florets

For the Batter

120g wholemeal flour
65g cornflour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp rice vinegar
100-140 ice cold water, or enough to make a thick batter

For the Sauce

3 lemons, zested and juiced
1 tbsp soy sauce
100 ml water
80g rice, date or fruit syrup, or to taste
1 tsp Chinese five spice
1 tbsp cornflour

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or baking parchment. Mix the dry ingredients for the batter. Add the tamari, rice vinegar, and enough liquid to make a thick batter.
3. Prepare the sauce by placing the lemon juice and zest, sugar, water, spice, and cornflour into a small saucepan. Bring gently to the boil, stirring to dissolve the syrup. Allow to simmer and thicken.
4. Coat the cauliflower in batter, shaking the excess back into the bowl. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping once.
5. Serve over rice, and top with the lemon sauce.

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.