Smoky Maple Jackfruit

This is a flavoursome side, and also makes for an interesting sandwich filling (try it with some rocket and sliced apple or pear). You can find young green jackfruit in brine or water (not syrup) in a can in your local Asian store.

Ingredients

2 x 280g cans (drained weight) young, green jackfruit in brine or water, drained and well rinsed
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp vegetable broth
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven for 220C. Steam or boil the jackfruit for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, mix the rest of the ingredients in a shallow baking dish.
3. When the jackfruit is cooked, pull it apart with a fork, and set the seeds aside for eating on their own later.
4. Toss the jackfruit in the marinade.
5. Bake in the baking dish for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

A relatively easy salad with wonderful textures, this serves one as a main course or two as a side. Great for packed lunches, but pack the dressing separately so that the lettuce doesn’t become soggy.

250g baked and cooled sweet potato, cubed
1/4 cup cooked black beans
5 leaves romaine/cos lettuce, shredded
2 scallions/spring onions/green onions, diced
2 tbsp unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled
1 tsp each toasted sesame and pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tbsp dressing of choice (e.g. Miso-Ginger dressing)

Directions
1. Add the romaine lettuce to a large bowl. Top with sweet potato. Sprinkle over black beans, scallions, nuts, seeds.
2. Top with dressing. Toss, and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Moroccan Chickpea Salad

This is a budget and speedy recipe that’s perfect for packed lunches; it makes enough for a large plate for four, or for a starter for eight.

Ingredients

For the salad

1 red onion
2 cloves garlic
2 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cucumber, finely diced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 small cooked beetroot, finely diced
5 cherry tomatoes, finely diced
1 spring onion, finely sliced
3 dried apricots, finely chopped
3 dates, finely chopped

For the dressing

1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp soy sauce
Small bunch fresh coriander, torn

Method

1. Sauté the onion over a medium low heat in a nonstick pan for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more.
2. Add the 1/4 cup vegetable broth to deglaze the pan, and add the chickpeas and spices. Cook over a low heat until the liquid is evaporated (5-7 minutes). Allow to cool.
3. Meanwhile, mix the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
4. In a smaller bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together to combine.
5. When the chickpeas are cooled, stir through the salad ingredients. Serve with dressing.

Serving suggestion:
Beetroot hummus
Toasted seeds
Pita bread or cooked grains (e.g. rice or couscous)

Griddled Vegetable Sandwich

Full of everyone’s favourite vegetables, this recipe makes two full sandwiches and takes under 15 minutes.

Ingredients

For the baste

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp suitable-for-vegans wholegrain mustard
1 clove garlic, minced

For the griddling vegetables

3 small mushrooms, sliced
1/2 courgette/zucchini, in thin slices lengthwise
1 bell pepper, deseeded and in quarters
1/2 small aubergine/eggplant, in thin rounds

For everything else

4 slices suitable-for-vegans wholemeal bread
Mixed greens (kale, spinach, lettuce, etc.)
2 heaped tbsp hummus
2 heaped tsp red onion relish
2 thin slices red onion, in rings

Directions

1. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat, or preheat a health grill.
2. Mix the basting ingredients.
3. Place the prepared vegetables on a plate and baste their top sides. Transfer them to the grill or griddle pan, basted side down, and baste on the other side.
4. If using a health grill, close the lid until the vegetables are cooked (approximately 5 minutes). If using a griddle pan, cook until starting to colour underneath, flip, and cook on the other side.
5. Meanwhile, toast the bread on one side only.
6. When the bread is toasted and the vegetables cooked, spread the hummus on the toasted sides of the bread. On two slices of the bread, layer on the greens, griddled vegetables, and red onion. These will be the bases of your sandwiches.
7. On the remaining slices of bread, spread some of the relish; these will be the tops of your sandwiches. Place the relish-spread bread on top of the sandwiches, untoasted-side-up. Return the sandwich to the griddle pan or health grill to toast the untoasted sides.

Traditional Irish Potato Cakes

These traditional Irish potato cakes are extremely easy to make: two ingredients, very little fuss, and extremely inexpensive. This quantity makes 6 potato cakes, and these are delicious served as a side with a bowl meal, dipped in a sauce, or spread with your favourite suitable-for-vegans topping.

Ingredients

300g leftover mashed potato, cooled
20-30g flour of your choice (for a gluten-free option, try buckwheat)

Directions

1. Preheat a frying pan over a medium heat.
2. Mix the flour into the mashed potato, adding enough to make the potato mix come together into a ball.
3. Dust the countertop with flour.
4. Roll out the potato mixture until it’s about 1cm thick. Cut with a cookie cutter or with an inverted mug or glass. Alternatively, take sections, roll into balls, and flatten out.
5. Heat about 1 tsp oil in the frying pan, or use spray oil. Fry the cakes 2-3 minutes each side, until golden.

Speedy Turmeric Crumbled Tofu

Crumbling tofu and cooking it with vegetables makes for a very quick meal and an economical way of using up leftover vegetable. This recipe takes under 10 minutes, and it serves 4. Any leftovers can be stored in a lidded container in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Feel free to substitute any of the vegetables according to your own leftovers and personal preference.

Ingredients

1 onion, smallish dice
1 each red and yellow pepper, medium dice
350g firm tofu, drained and crumbled
200g asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp soy sauce
Pinch chilli powder
100g baby spinach leaves

Method

1. Spray a frying pan with a little spray oil, or wipe around with a piece of kitchen towel dipped in oil. Sauté the onion and peppers over a medium low heat for about 2 minutes, until fragrant.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, apart from the spinach, and cook until any water expelled by the tofu is evaporated (4-5 minutes).
3. Add the spinach and stir through until wilted.
4. Serve on toast, in a pitta bread, or with a large salad.

Pizza Tots

This is a fun way to serve potatoes and is a perfect recipe for serving vegetables and beans to children who may be reluctant to eat them otherwise. The recipe makes 20 tots

Ingredients

1 x 400g can cannellini beans
1 cup fresh basil
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 medium potatoes, baked and cooled
1/3 cup olives, finely chopped
1/4 cup slow-roasted or sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup nuts of choice, finely ground (if allergic to nuts, use ground oats instead)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 220C, and line a baking tray with a silicon sheet or parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, pulse the cannellini beans and basil until smooth.
3. Halve the potatoes, and scoop the flesh from the skins. Mash the flesh with a fork and add to the basil and bean mixture with the rest of the ingredients.
4. Taking a heaped tablespoon of the mixture, press it firmly between your hands to bind it, and form it into tater tot shapes. Place on the silicon sheet or parchment paper. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the tots, and bake for 10 minutes more.
6. Serve with some tomato sauce or suitable-for-vegan yellow mustard.

Sweet Potato Confetti Toast

A colourful, simple lunch or side that takes under 20 minutes to make. This serves 2 people.

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato, peeled
1/4 each red, yellow, and orange bell pepper (or just use 3/4 of one colour of your choice if you prefer), finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 avocado
1/2 tsp each garlic powder and onion granules
1 tsp lime juice
1 pinch red chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Cut the potato into four long, 1/2-cm thick slices. To stop the potato rolling around as you try to cut it, take a thin slice from one side, and use this flattened side as the base to stabilize the potato.

Place the potato in a preheated health grill for 15 minutes, turning once. Alternatively, run it through the toaster for two rounds.

Meanwhile, mash the avocado with the garlic powder, onion granules, lime juice, chilli flakes, and salt and pepper.

Top the toasted sweet potato with the avocado, and sprinkle on the bell peppers and onion.

Twice-dressed roasted vegetable, spinach salad

Potatoes, cubanelle peppers, mushrooms, and pears roasted with scallions, chili and garlic, tossed with sundried tomatoes, nutritional yeast and flax, then tossed with baby spinach in a sesame and tamari balsamic vinaigrette.

Ingredients

For the roasted vegetables
2 cups potatoes, 1/2″ dice (I use white grelots and quarter them)
2 cubanelle peppers, cored and seed, sliced 1/4″ length-wise
1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1t herbes de Provence (or similar)
2 cups cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
2 bartlett pears, cored, sliced 1/4″ length-wise
1/2T lemon juice
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes rehydrated with 1/4 cup boiling water (use dehydrated, not jarred)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1T milled flax seed
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the spinach
1/2T sesame seed butter
1/2t fresh garlic, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2T balsamic vinegar
1/2T tamari
1/2t prepared brown mustard
2T water
3 cups loose baby spinach
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the ingredients for the roasted vegetables up to and including the lemon juice. Bake on a lightly oiled or nonstick baking sheet on the middle rack for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the vegetables are lightly browned and the potatoes are fork tender. Ovens vary; use the texture and colour as a guide.

Around the 40 minute mark, rehydrate the tomatoes and set side. When the vegetables are done, remove from heat, pour the tomatoes and their soaking water over the roasted vegetables. Let stand while you prepare the spinach.

Whisk together the dressing for the spinach adding the ingredients in order. Mix until emulsified (shouldn’t take more than a minute or so). Dress the spinach. Season to taste.

Add the flax seed and nutritional yeast to the roasted vegetables and toss to combine. Season to taste. Toss the roasted vegetables with the spinach, let stand 2 – 3 minutes to wilt the spinach, and then serve.

Portobello mushrooms sauteed with apples, red chili and thyme over a sauce of roasted red pepper, white wine and sumac (served in the photo with roasted Brussels sprouts and white potatoes).

For the red pepper sauce
2 red peppers
1/4t of coarse sea salt
3T of olive oil (separated)
1T of garlic, minced
1T of sumac
2T of white wine*
1t of lemon juice
1t of agave nectar
1T of nutritional yeast
Sea salt to taste

The wine should either be unfined/unfiltered or filtered without the use of animal products.

Preheat your oven to 450F.
Rub the peppers with oil, and then roast until their peel starts to char (or use the traditional method with a gas stove).
Remove the peppers, let stand to cool, and then peel, core and chop in 1/4″ dice.
Bring 1T of oil to heat on medium-high.
Add the salt and the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
Add the red peppers and sumac and saute until the pan starts to brown (about 5-7 minutes).
Deglaze with the wine and lemon.
Add the nutritional yeast and agave.
Puree the mixture.
Carefully emulsify the mixture with the remaining 2T of olive oil (add the oil very slowly so that the sauce becomes nice and light).

For the mushrooms and apples
4-6 portobellos, stemmed and sliced in half inch cuts (about 3 loose cups — these will reduce a lot)
1 medium-sized apple, cored and cut into sixteenths
2T of olive oil
1/2t of coarse sea salt
2 scallions, minced (reserve about 2T for garnish)
1T of fresh thyme (reserved 2-3 stalks for garnish)
1T of minced garlic
1t of red chlli paste
1t of prepared mustard
2T of nutritional yeast
1T of lemon juice
1t of tamari
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Bring the oil to heat on medium-high.
Add the salt, the scallions, the garlic and the thyme and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the chili and mustard and saute for 1 minute.
Add the mushrooms and toss to combine.
Saute the mushrooms for 5-7 minutes (until there’s about 1/4 cup of liquid in the ban).
Add the apples, stir to combine and cook for another 5 minutes or so or until the pan is starting to brown.
Add the nutritional yeast.
Remove from heat and deglaze with the lemon and tamari.
Season to taste.

Plating
Plate about 2T of sauce in a shallow, 6″ circle. Add the mushrooms and apples. Garnish with fresh scallion and a sprig or two of thyme.