Oat-Stuffed Bell Peppers with Carrot Umami Sauce

It’s a vegan classic, the stuffed pepper. Here, we’ve served it with a sauce that’s so good that you’ll lick the serving spoon!

To make the sauce: 

2 carrots, trimmed and sliced
1 potato, scrubbed and chopped
1 garlic clove
1/2-1 cup water
1 tbsp miso paste
salt, to taste

1. Add carrots and potato to a pan. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, simmer, and cook until fork-tender. 
2. Drain and add to a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Season to taste. 

To make the stuffed pepper: 
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup oats
2 tbsp hummus
1/2 cup Carrot Umami sauce
2 bell peppers, deseeded (if you’re following the plan, yours will each have a slice removed that we used for previous meals) 
Small handful spinach

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Fry the onion until lightly caramelised. Add the garlic until just fragrant. 
2. Mash the beans in a bowl. Add in the oats, onion and garlic, hummus, and carrot umami sauce. Season to taste. 
3. Stuff the peppers with the oat mix, pressing in well with your hands. 
4. Place the peppers on a silicone- or parchment-lined baking tray, and bake 25 minutes, or until the pepper has cooked. 

To serve: 
Suitable-for-vegans tortilla chips
Suitable-for-vegans salsa

Serve the dish with a large handful of tortilla chips, more Carrot Umami sauce, and some of the salsa.

Irish Colcannon

Colcannon is an Irish staple that can be cooked with either kale or cabbage, and it can be served as a a side or a main dish. This version is easy, cheap, quick, and nutritious. It serves 4 as a side.

5 medium potatoes
100g kale, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions (green onions), green and white parts minced
Plenty of minced, fresh parsley
2 tbsp all-plant milk (I used soya) or cooking water
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Optional additions:
suitable-for-vegans mustard
suitable-for-vegans horseradish
nutritional yeast

1. Add the potatoes and kale to a large pot with plenty of cold, salted water. Bring to the boil, cover, lower the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender (ours took 12 minutes).
2. Drain the potatoes and kale and return to the pot over a very low heat for a few seconds just to remove any excess liquid.
3. Mash the potatoes with the all-plant milk (using a little more if necessary). Mix in the scallions and parsley, season to taste (add in one of the optional ingredients, if desired), and serve.

Waste-Not Want-Not Soup

Don’t throw those vegetable scraps away. You can slow-simmer them for a flavourful vegetable broth, or you can turn them into a hearty soup that’s very easy on the budget.
2 medium onions, medium chopped
3 parsnips, medium dice
3 carrots, medium dice
1 small turnip or swede, medium dice
Stems from a bunch kale, chopped
Cauliflower leaves, chopped
Outer leaves of a savoy cabbage, finely shredded
Stem of 1 broccoli head, chopped
Inner stalks and leaves of celery, chopped
2 potatoes, medium dice
2 l vegetable broth
2 tsp turmeric
1.5 cups soup mix
Salt and pepper, to taste

1) Sauté the onion in a large soup pot until lightly coloured.
2) Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are cooked to your liking.
3) Serve.

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.


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


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.

Creamy Potato Dressing

This oil-free dressing is incredibly cheap and easy to make, and it’s a fantastic spread for sandwiches, dressing for potato salad or a dip for french fries, if you like potatoes with your potatoes. You can vary it by adding some sriracha for a spicy dip; 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley and 1 tsp garlic powder for a garlicky version; or even some smoked paprika for a smoky dip. This recipe makes 2 jars’ worth, so scale it down if desired. Because there is no oil, it will separate when stored, so just stir it back together again.


500g potatoes, peeled, boiled and cooled
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp maple syrup
3/4-1 cup water


Blend all ingredients in the blender, adding the water a little at a time until you like the consistency. The dressing will thicken in the fridge.

Smoky Potato Sweetcorn Soup

Flavoursome and with a hint of smokiness, this budget soup takes about 10 minutes to prepare. If you don’t have access to a blender, it’s equally delicious unblended. Serves 2-3.


1 yellow onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
100g mushrooms, chopped or sliced, as desired
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large potato, unpeeled and diced
800ml vegetable broth
300g sweetcorn
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Sauté the onion, mushrooms, and bell peppers over a medium-heat until the mushrooms start to release their juices. Add the garlic and sauté for a further 30 seconds.
  2. Add the potato, broth, sweetcorn, and smoked paprika. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for about 7 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Serve as is, seasoned with salt and pepper as desired, or remove about a third of the soup to blend it before returning it to the pot to reheat.

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.


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


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.

Slowcooked, curry spiced seitan, potato and mushroom stew

Layered with curry spices, garama masala, kale, tomato and sesame, this is a simple, slowcooked dish with rich flavour and texture. This makes 2 large bowls, or 4 small ones.


For the lentils
2T curry powder
1/2t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
1T fresh garlic, minced
1t fresh ginger, minced
1t turmeric (or to taste)
1 cup lentils
1 cup boiling water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu, about 1″
1/2t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
2 cups potoato, 1/2″ dice (I use organic russets for this)
2 cups green curly kale, coarsely chopped
Coarse sea salt and black pepper or chili to taste

For the seitan
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/3 – 1/2 cup cold water

For the garnish
1T garam masala
1 scallion, finely sliced on an angle
1/4 cup passata
1T sesame seed butter
1t lemon juice
1/2t fresh garlic, minced
1T cold water
A pinch sea salt

Optional: Use freshly ground spices for more flavour. You can also prepare this is a large, wide bottomed pan with a lid on the stove — just be sure to adjust the cooking time. A couple tablespoons cooking oil will add flavour and mouthfeel. Replace the passata with diced tomato if you prefer and the sesame with a little coconut milk to keep it simple. Replace the seitan with extra firm tofu if you prefer, but add it with the lentils. Add some cilantro, mint or both for garnish for some additional bright green flavour.


Warm the slowcooker on high heat. Add the curry spices and toast until fragrant (about 2 – 3 minutes). Add the scallions, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Let cook 3 – 5 minutes, stirring periodically.

Add the lentils, water and kombu. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes on high heat.Add the stock, sea salt, and mushrooms. Cover and cook on low for at least 4 hours and up to 8.

When the lentils are ready, increase heat to high. Remove the kombu. Mix the water and wheat gluten for the seitan. Add as little water as necessary to form a dough. Knead for 3 minutes. Cut into 1/4″ to 1/3″ cubes. Add the seitan to the slowcooker. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for about an hour until the potatoes are fork tender.

When the stew is ready, add the kale and stir to combine. Turn off the slowcooker. Whisk the sesame seed butter, lemon juice, garlic and water. Season to taste. Warm a small pan on medium. In a small pan over medium heat, toast the garam masala until fragrant and set aside. Season the stew to taste.

Ladle out. Garnish with a sprinkle of garama masala, 2 tablespoons tomato passata, and 1/2 tablespoon sesame mixture. Sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve.

Potato and cabbage pancakes with lightly roasted heirloom tomatoes and lemon nori pesto.

Colcannon (a traditional Irish dish) is normally made from mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. This version shreds the vegetables, adds some tomatoes and scallions, as well as a little pesto for a quick brunch style dish a little more like boxty. This make four pancakes.

For the pancakes

2 cups of shredded yellow potatoes (well-scrubbed, unpeeled)
1 cup of shredded cabbage (I use coleslaw mix)
2T of olive oil
2 scallions, minced (about half a cup — reserve a little green for garnish)
1T of minced garlic
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
1/4 to 1/2T of coarse sea salt (use less if you don’t like your potatoes nicely salted — you can always add more later)
1T of egg replacer diluted in 2T of cold water
A pinch of turmeric
Black pepper to taste.

Preheat your oven to 400F.
Squeeze out all the moisture you can from the potatoes.
Combine everything but the egg replacer in a large bowl and mix until well combined.
Whisk the egg replacer, cold water and turmeric until well combined.
Add the mixture to the potatoes and cabbage and mix well until the egg replacer is thoroughly distributed.
Make balls about 3/4 to 1 cup in size from the mix, packing well.
Add the balls to a well oiled baking sheet and pack by hand again.
Bake on the middle rack until the tops are starting to brown slightly (about 25 to 35 minutes depending on your oven).
Once the balls have started to brown a little on top, flatten carefully with a wooden spoon for a pancake shape about 1″ high.
Set the oven to broil.
If you roast the tomatoes in the garnish, add them to the pan now, cut side up, sprinkle with a very tiny pinch of sea salt.
Broil for 7-10 minutes — until you have a nicely browned top.*
Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes.
Carefully remove the pancakes from the pan and plate with the tomatoes.

For the garnish

2T of scallion green sliced on the diagonal
2 basil leafs
4 small grape tomatoes, halved
A small amount of olive oil just to coat the tomatoes a little
A pinch of sea salt

For the pesto

2T of olive oil
A pinch of coarse sea salt
3T of packed fresh basil
1t of lemon juice
1/2t of nori flakes
2t of minced garlic
2t of nutritional yeast

Combine ingredients in a high speed blender and blend. You can always ad a few pine nuts to this, but given the amount, you may have difficulties getting it to blend.

*I use a convection oven. Time may vary for a gas or a standard electric. Use the browning of the potatoes to guide the amount of baking. If you use a gas oven, very carefully flip the pancakes once they start to brown (as above) with a spatula and cook for another 10-15 minutes at 400F.

Potato and kasha salad with mushrooms and kale

A simple warm salad good as a side dish. For a light lunch, throw in some walnuts, pepitas or cashews, or clementines with kalamata olives. This recipe makes a fair amount.

5T of olive oil divided : 2T/1T/2T
3/4t of coarse sea salt, divided 1/4t and 1/2t
2 cups of kale, chopped
2 cups of cremini or button mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 cups of white or yellow potatoes in 1/2″ dice
2 cups of vegetable stock
1T of arrowroot powder whisked in 2T of water
1T of garlic, minced
1 cup of kasha
1T of lemon juice
2T of nutritional yeast
1t of dried thyme, rubbed
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

First, start the vegetables; then make the kasha.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Whisk together 2T of olive oil and 1/2t of sea salt.
Dress the kale, mushrooms and potatoes and toss until well-combined.
Oven roast in a pan with sides until the vegetables are lightly browned (about 40 minutes), stirring occasionally. Ovens vary; use the colour as your guide.
When the vegetables are about half way through their roasting, whisk the arrowroot with the water.
Toss the kasha in the solution.
Bring 1T of cooking oil to heat on medium-high in a pan with a lid.
Add the sea salt and the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
Add the kasha to pan and stir fry the kasha for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
Add the stock.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the stock is absorbed (perhaps 10-15 minutes).
Whisk together 2T of olive oil, the nutritional yeast, lemon juice and the thyme.
When the water has been absorbed, dress the kasha, remove from heat and set aside 5 minutes to cool.
Toss with the roasted vegetables until well-combined.
Season to taste.