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.

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.

Creamy Butternut, Cauliflower, and Lentil Soup

This is an easy budget soup, making four main-meal-sized portions. Don’t let the inclusion of the notoriously difficult to peel squash put you off; there are two options below to make your job much, much easier. As always, use this recipe as a roadmap: try it with the addition of coconut milk and either Thai or Indian spices; add a can of tomato sauce and some Italian herbs. A good base soup can be varied in so many different ways.

Ingredients:

1 red onion, medium dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 butternut squash
200g split red lentils
1 small cauliflower, in florets (approx. 500g)
1.5 litres vegetable stock
Pinch chilli flakes
1 tbsp fresh sage leaves, minced (or 1 tsp, dried, rubbed between fingers)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 heaped tbsp yellow miso

Directions:
1. Carefully make several slits in skin of the squash with a small sharp knife, and microwave for about 3-5 minutes to loosen the peel from the flesh slightly. Alternatively, slit and then boil the squash whole in a large stock pot for about 5 minutes, until softened. Wait until it’s cool enough to handle, and then peel, deseed, and chop into bite-sized dice.
2. In a stock pot over a very low heat, sweat the onion and garlic, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes. Don’t allow them to take on any colour; if they start to stick, the heat is too high. Lower it, and add a little broth to loosen.
3. Add the cauliflower, stock, butternut squash, chilli flakes, and sage leaves. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
4. While the soup is cooking, rinse and drain the lentils, picking them over to ensure there are no small stones or pieces of grit among them. Add them to a saucepan with about 400g water, bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until softened. Drain and rinse.
5. Add the lentils back to the pot with the butternut squash (cooking them separately ensures that the lentils don’t add any foam to your soup), and mix well to combine. Spoon between a third and half of the soup into a blender jug with the miso paste and blend until creamy. Alternatively, remove the same quantity of soup and use an immersion blender to blend it to smooth.
6. Stir the blended soup back to the pot, warm, and serve in warmed bowls with some parsley, additional chilli flakes, and nutritional yeast if desired.

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.

Jewelled Greens and Beans Salad

A simple, filling, and nutritious salad that’s full of flavour and texture. This would work well with miso-ginger salad dressing or even balsamic vinaigrette.

Ingredients (per serving)

1 cup baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup beans of choice
1 cup steamed broccoli
1 carrot, peeled and cut into strips with the peeler
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Directions

Use the spinach as a base, top with the rest of the ingredients, and enjoy.

Speedy Chana Saag

Perfect for novice cooks, this meal is warming, nutritious, and ready in just a matter of minutes. If you wish, you can cook the tomato sauce for longer to reduce it, but it’s delicious as it is.

Ingredients
1 cup vegetable broth
3 cups baby spinach
400g can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 cup suitable-for-vegans tomato sauce
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp onion granules
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp curry powder (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric
Pinch ground ginger

Directions
1. Place all ingredients into a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
2. Heat over a low heat, stirring frequently, until spinach is wilted and curry is heated through.
3. Season to taste with salt, lime juice, and extra spices if desired.

Marinated Aubergine and Pear Sandwich

Balancing the savoury marinade of the aubergine with the sweetness of the pear, this dish takes under 15 minutes, since it has all of the flavour of the marinating process without the time outlay. Serves 2.

Ingredients

For the Marinade

2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp suitable-for-vegans BBQ sauce
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp onion granules
1 tsp smoked paprika

For everything else

1 aubergine/eggplant sliced into 1/8-1/4 inch slices
1 long sweet pointed pepper, sliced into strips
1 large handful greens (I used spinach and baby kale)
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 pear, sliced
1 suitable-for-vegans wholegrain demi baguette

Directions

1. Mix the marinade in a shallow bowl.
2. Heat a frying pan to medium low, and fill the bottom with a thin layer of water (or vegetable broth, if desired)–just enough to cover. Place the aubergine slices into the water and allow to soften–about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat a health grill or a griddle pan to high. Chargrill the peppers until lightly blackened in spots and slightly softened. Remove when done, and transfer to a plate–they don’t need to be kept warm.
4. Transfer the aubergine slices to the marinade, toss, and then lift out with a slotted spoon, allowing the excess marinade to drip off. Add to the griddle pan and allow to cook enough to pick up some colour.
5. Halve the demi baguette. Fill with the vegetables, as desired, and enjoy.

Simple Silky Greens Soup

Ideal for novice cooks, this serves 6, and takes under 20 minutes to make.

Ingredients
1 leek, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 head broccoli, in florets
2 courgettes (zucchini), roughly chopped
200g frozen green beans (French beans)
200g frozen garden peas
150g spinach, roughly chopped
1.5 litres vegetable stock
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
Black pepper, to taste

Directions
1. Heat a large stock pot over a medium low heat, and sauté the leeks for about 3 minutes until starting to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the pepper.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
4. Blend in batches, return to the pot, and season with black pepper (and, if you like, some crispy fried onions and all-plant (e.g. soya, coconut, almond) plain yogurt).

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.

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.