Category: Mains, Soups & Stews

Vegan Lentil Lasagna

For as long as I can remember Lasagna has been my favourite dish. I love a good vegetable lasagna packed full of whatever the season has to offer, but lentils provide this beaut more of a meaty texture. This dish is packed full of flavour, and a tofu topping means you don’t need to faff about with a bechamel and worry about lumpy sauce = win! 


Vegan Lasagna with lentils and kale
Serves 4-6

1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
200g puy lentils (soaked overnight if possible)
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp thyme
1 tspn ground cinnamon
2 tbsp tomato puree
400ml vegetable stock
80g kale
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
6 – 8 lasagne sheets (depending on the size of your dish)

For the topping:
1 block of firm tofu (drained)
3 tbsp pine nuts (keep an extra few to sprinkle on top)
80g spinach (washed and dried)
Salt and pepper
A few cherry tomatoes
A few basil leaves

  • In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil on a medium heat.
  • Chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan and cook for five minutes.
  • Rinse the lentils and add to the pan, along with the chopped tomatoes, oregano, thyme, cinnamon and tomato puree. Cook for five minutes.
  • Gradually add the vegetable stock, along with the kale, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. Cook for about 25 minutes until the lentils are cooks. Season with plenty of pepper and a little salt.
  • Meanwhile in food processor, add the drained block of tofu, the pine nuts and spinach and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large oven-proof dish add half of the lentil and kale filling and spread evenly. Lay the lasagne sheets covering the filling.
  • Spoon half the tofu mixture and spread evenly across the pasta sheet. 
  • Spread the remaining lentil mix over and top with more pasta sheets and the rest of the tofu mixture.
  • Top with sliced cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and a few basil leaves.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for thirty minutes.
  • Serve with some tasty salad leaves.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

 

Carrot and Swede Soup with Smoky Pumpkin Seed Croutons [vegan]

I’ve got the February blues and I feel grumpy. I’m in desperate need of Spring, but it’s grey, cold and miserable, and the promise of warmer days seem still too distant for my liking. This carrot and swede soup definitely brings a little sunshine to my bowl, so until Spring finally springs I’ll be staring into this bowl of goodness.

Carrot and Swede Soup with Smoky Pumpkin Seed Croutons
Makes 4 servings

For the soup:
1 tspn coconut oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
4 medium carrots
1/2 medium swede
1 litre of vegetable stock
1 tspn smoked paprika
1/2 tspn cinnamon
A handful of fresh coriander

For the pumpkin seeds:
25g pumpkin seeds
1 tspn smoked paprika
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
Salt and pepper

  • In a large saucepan melt the coconut oil.
  • Finely chop the onions and add to the pan and cook for a few minutes until they’ve softened.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and finely chop and add to the pan.
  • Peel and dice the carrots and swede and add to the pan along with the vegetable stock.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for thirty minutes on a low heat.
  • Add the paprika and cinnamon and stir through.
  • Remove from the heat, and using a stick blender blitz until the soup is smooth.

For the pumpkin seed croutons:

  • Line a baking tray with some greaseproof paper, spread the pumpkin seeds across the tray.
  • Sprinkle the seeds with the smoked paprika, chilli flakes, pinch of salt and pepper and make sure they’re coated well.
  • Toast in the oven for five to ten minutes until they start splitting and puffing up.
  • Sprinkle on top of the soup and serve with the fresh coriander and a little more smoked paprika.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

Miso noodle soup with fried tofu

I’m having a miso revelation. I love the stuff and this miso noodle soup is not only super quick to make but also really tasty, and it’s really good for your tummy too. 

Miso is from Japan and is made from fermented soybeans, sounds a bit weird, but honestly it’s good. Fermented foods are a great natural probiotic. I’ve been doing a bit more reading into how to look after my gut and keep it happy, making sure I’m getting plenty of probiotics into my system, and eating more fermented foods is where I’m heading.

Miso noodle soup with fried tofu
Serves two

For the tofu:
1/2 block of firm tofu
1 tspn coconut oil
2 tbsp tamiri (soy sauce)

For the soup:
800 ml vegetable stock (I used vegan boullion)
2 garlic cloves (sliced)
1 red pepper (sliced)
1 carrot (sliced)
1/2 white cabbage (shredded)
2 bundles of rice noodles
2 tspn miso paste
1 tbsp tamari (soy sauce)
1 tbsp sesame seeds

  • First, drain the liquid off the tofu, using a sieve. Pop the tofu block on a plate and then pop another plate on top and leave for half an hour, with a heavy object of some sort on top.
  • Once the liquid has drained, slice half the tofu into centimetre slices. Keep the other half in a container in the fridge and use for another dish.
  • In a frying pan, melt the coconut oil and add the sliced tofu and sprinkle the tamari on the tofu, keep it on quite a high heat and it’ll start to crisp up, turning over every now and then.
  • Meanwhile, heat the vegetable stock on a medium heat, add the carrot, pepper, garlic and cabbage and bring to the boil.
  • Once boiling, bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes, add the miso paste, tamari and rice noodles.
  • Cook as per your rice noodle instructions. 
  • Once cooked, serve in bowls.
  • Top with the tofu and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Enjoy!
Veronica x

Pumpkin Risotto [vegan]

I’ve got another delicious pumpkin recipe this week. I still had half a pumpkin leftover from last week and hadn’t quite got round to using it up, but I don’t think you can ever get too much pumpkin at this time of year!

vegan-pumpkin-risotto

Pumpkin Risotto
Serves 4

300g risotto rice
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
300g pumpkin
5 or 6 stalks of cavolo nero 
1 litre vegetable stock
Salt and pepper

  • Peel and cube the pumpkin and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan on a medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Chop the onion and garlic and cook in the pan until softened.
  • Add the risotto rice to the pan and coat with the oil and onion.
  • Add a little of the vegetable stock, and stir continuously until the stock as soaked up, keep adding the stock a little at a time and repeat until nearly all the stock has gone.
  • Chop and wash the cavolo nero and add to the risotto, along with the roasted pumpkin.
  • Continue stirring and add the remaining stock. 
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Super tasty and warming autumnal dinner.

Enjoy

Veronica x

Spicy Pumpkin and Parsnip Soup [vegan]

Yes, now I can make soups for lunches! In the summer I’m all about salads, but now I’m all about staying warm, and soup is what I’m craving on these chillier autumnal days.

I’ve massively got into pumpkins and squashes over the last few years, especially with the different varieties you can now get in the shops and in your veg boxes. The one thing that I can simply not deal with is how difficult they are to cut up! I’ve got a good knife, and still I nearly give myself a hernia dealing with this nemesis veg! If you’ve not got a sharp knife, you seriously need to invest in one, because squash prepping life was definitely MUCH harder with a blunter cutting implement.

This is soup is filled with flavour; the perfect amount of sweetness and spiciness to warm your cockles.

Pumpkin

 

Pumpkin-and-parsnip-soup

 

400g pumpkin
2 parsnips
2 onions
1 leek
vegetable stock
1 tspn cumin
1 tspn dried chilli flakes
A bunch of fresh coriander

  • Cut the pumpkin and parsnip into smallish cubes. Pop into a roasting dish with a drizzle of olive oil, roast in the oven for 25 minutes at 180C.
  • In a large saucepan, gently soften the onions and leek. Add the roasted pumpkin and squash. 
  • Sprinkle the cumin and chilli flakes and coat the vegetables.
  • Add the vegetable stock. 
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add the coriander, and then blend until smooth using a stick blender.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Veronica x

Courgette Fritters with Thai Peanut Sauce [vegan and gluten-free]

I promise I’m not lying when I say these courgette fritters may just be my best creation so far! When I had my allotment my kitchen was overrun with courgettes. It turned out planting five courgette plants meant you had about 50 courgettes to consume, and if you didn’t tend to your plants regularly they would look more like marrows. So, 50 marrow sized courgettes meant we were eating a heck of a lot of the vegetable! We had to get inventive with our mealtimes. I made this delightful courgette loaf that used some up. We used to have these fritters at least once a week, but now i’ve upped the fritter game with this peanut sauce AND it’s definitely a game changer. So if you’ve found yourself in a courgette predicament right now, or you’re wondering what else can you do with courgette other than slicing them and boiling them, THIS recipe has definitely got your name on!

DSC_0464courgette fritters

Courgette Fritters with Thai Peanut Sauce
750g courgettes
1 red onion
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
100g rice flour (or alternate flour)
1 tspn ground coriander
1 tspn cumin
1 chilli (finely chopped)
180ml oat milk
1 tbsp flax seed
Handful of fresh coriander (chopped)
1 juice of lime
Salt and pepper

For the peanut sauce:
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tspn dried chilli flakes (or fresh chilli)
1/2 lime juice
1 spring onion
40ml water

  • Grate the courgette and onion. Leave to drain for 10 minutes in a sieve and then squeeze and remaining water out of the mixture -the drier the better.
  • In a pan, melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil and sauté the courgette, onion and garlic cloves for 5 – 10 minutes,
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, ground coriander and cumin and stir the spices through.
  • Once the courgette mix has cooled slightly, add to the flour mix, along with the chilli, milk, flax seed, lime juice and coriander. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Melt the other tablespoon of coconut oil and spoon the mixture into patties and cook on a medium high heat. Turn over once they have crisped up on the bottom. They will take about 10 – 15 minutes to cook through.
  • Meanwhile, to make the peanut sauce – add the peanut butter to a bowl, along with the soy sauce, sesame oil and maple sauce – stir until creamy and smooth.
  • Add the dried chilli flakes, lime juice and finely chopped spring onion, along with the water to make a runnier sauce, add more or less water depending on how thick you prefer the sauce.
  • I served it with courgette ribbons and the peanut sauce drizzled all over them – super tasty!

Peace and love
Veronica x

Basil Pesto Carrot Gnocchi [vegan and gluten-free]

This basil pesto carrot gnocchi may just be my favourite thing EVER! I mean, I’m not going to lie, this is not a weekday dinner – making your own gnocchi is a faff that’s for sure. This is definitely more of a weekend meal, one to take your time and not stress over. I promise, it is worth the effort though, for sure!

But, this delicious pesto you could make any day of the week. Mix it through some pasta for a quick simple weekday dinner, or stir it through some courgette ribbons and add it to your lunchtime salad. You’ll never want to buy another jar of pesto once you’ve made your own!

Vegan pesto gnocchi

Vegan pesto gnocchi

Basil Pesto Carrot Gnocchi
Serves 4

For the pesto:
120g pine nuts
1 1/2 tubs of basil (the pots you can buy in the supermarket)
70ml olive oil
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper

  • On a medium heat, toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for five minutes.
  • In a food processor, blitz the garlic clove and basil. Add the toasted pine nuts and olive oil and blend together until it’s as fine as you want it to be. 
  • Season with salt and pepper.

For the gnocchi:
6 medium carrots
400g potatoes
180g rice flour
Salt and pepper

  • Peel and boil the potatoes until cooked. In a separate saucepan, peel and boil the carrots until cooked.
  • Once they are both cooked, in a food processor, blend the cooked carrot until smooth, add the potatoes and mix until both are combined and no longer lumpy (use a potato masher if you don’t have a food processor).
  • Add the rice flour and season with plenty of salt and pepper and blend together until a doughy consistency is formed.
  • Shape into small balls using extra flour (this bit gets quite messy) and lay out on greaseproof. I used a fork to flatten them out a little and to give them an even shape.
  • In a pan of salted boiling water, lower to a simmer, then place the gnocchi into the water (you may need to cook half at a time so it doesn’t clump together).
  • The gnocchi will take two – four minutes to cook, once it has risen to the surface it is ready. Using a slotted spoon strain the excess water and place on a plate.
  • Heat the pesto in a pan on a medium heat, and add the cooked, strained gnocchi. Stir the pesto thoroughly through the gnocchi. Serve straight away.

Happy gnocchi days 🙂

Veronica x

Apple & Parsnip Soup

I love this time of year – the lighter evenings and the sunnier days. Yes, spring has sprung and I for one am glad! Despite the sunnier days I still haven’t turned my back on some warming foods, after all there is still a chill in the air. In fact, I was on a run the other day and all the weather was thrown at me during those three and a half hours (Yep – that’s my longest run for the marathon done). I came home and was frozen, soup was the only thing that warmed me through.

We’re still in the hungry gap right now so whilst spring is bringing lots of fresh new greens, we’re still relying on the last of winter’s crops until new season produce is ready. But there are still some parsnips and apples knocking around and they happen to make the tastiest soup I’ve ever made. Yes, a bold claim indeed, but seriously this is a winning combination. And the coconut yoghurt makes this soooo good. You could always swap this with some canned coconut milk if you’ve not got any to hand. I bought it in our local health food shop.

Apple-and-Parsnip-Soup

Apple and Parsnip Soup
Serves 4-5 

1 onion
3 parsnips
2 apples
2 sticks of celery
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp coconut yoghurt
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

  • In a large pan heat the olive oil on a medium heat
  • Chop the onion and soften in the pan for 3-4 minutes
  • Peel and chop the apples and parsnips and add to the pan along with the chopped celery
  • Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, simmer for 30 minutes
  • When the vegetables have softened add the cumin and cinnamon. Blend using a stick blender until all smooth
  • Stir through the coconut yoghurt and season with salt and pepper

V x

Beetroot & Black Bean Burgers

We love eating by the seasons and seeing how the passing of the year brings a whole different array of food to our tables. Living in the heart of a city I particularly love the connection my local veg box gives me to the changing seasons, weather and produce. There’s nothing like a wet, muddy carrot to spark the connection between the weather we’re having to the food that’s growing, or maybe that’s just me… vegetable romantic?

At this time of year, when the winter veg starts running out and the new season crops haven’t quite kicked in, it can seem like there isn’t that much exciting produce around. For sure there are plenty of greens to be had but when it’s still decidedly wintery outside, it can be hard to get excited about salad and I actually LOVE salad. But I don’t see this as the down-side to eating by the seasons. I see it as the fun, challenging side. How can I make the most delicious, satisfying, yummy meal out of a cabbage…. uh hello Winter Veg Stir-fry!

In fact I’ve actually had people say to me, oh yeah it seemed good getting a local veg box at first but then we just ended up getting loads of beetroot and just didn’t really know what to do with it. Well it just so happens that we bloody love beetroot (is that some kind of beetroot joke there, blood… who knows) and we don’t want beetroot putting anyone off eating seasonally!

We really do love it, just check out these recipes…

Chocolate Beetroot Cake
Roasted Beetroot & Raw Green Salad
Roasted Beetroot Rissotto
Celeriac & Marinated Beetroot Salad
Vegetable Crisps

So I wanted to share a really exciting, super delicious, hearty recipe to inspire those who might think eating seasonally is boring and restrictive and show that it is exciting and most importantly delicious! 

Beetroot-and-black-bean-burgers Vegan-beetroot-burgers

Beetroot & Black Bean Burgers
Makes 8 burgers

3 large beetroot (approx. 650g)
1 cup uncooked black beans
150g oats
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dill

Serving options:
bread rolls
salad leaves
alfafa sprouts
fried onions
fried chestnut mushrooms 

  • Soak the black beans overnight in double their volume of water. (I often don’t plan ahead to do organised stuff like this so just cook them for double the amount of time).
  • Rinse and drain the beans and place them with fresh water in a saucepan. Cook on a medium heat, covered for 1 hour until tender and soft.
  • Once your beans have started cooking, pre-heat the oven to 180C before peeling and chopping the beetroot. Place in a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil, sprinkle with the dill and season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and cover with foil, roast for 45 minutes then set aside to cool slightly. 
  • When the beans are cooked drain them and run under cold water to cool. Add them to a food processor with the beetroot, oats and spices. Pulse for a couple of minutes, scraping down the sides regularly until you have a fairly smooth consistency.
  • Shape into burgers and place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes which help gives them a firmer consistency. You can skip this step if you don’t mind them a little squishy, or are really hungry.
  • Bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 180C, flipping hallway through. Serve in bun with toppings of your choice and a large side salad. Or skip the gluten and serve with sweet potato wedges.

Amy x 

Kohlrabi, Kale & Black Rice Salad

January is a funny old month. We’re trying to break old habits and exercise more, eat better, sleep longer… But it’s a cold, dark month and maybe sleeping more is really the best suited resolution for January!!!

Last week I wrote not about a new year’s resolution as such but about setting a positive intension for the year which included to nourish myself. Cue healthy salad recipe… ha! But I don’t just mean with food, obviously that’s part of it. But also to nourish my mind and body, maybe by spending less time on social media and more time meditating. More time strengthening and practising yoga. More time traveling and experiencing new things. Those kind of nourishing things.

We’re one month into the new year and it’s been going fairly well so far. I’ve been receiving treatment for an ongoing bad back and a niggling knee injury that brought any of last years cycling ambitions to a complete end. I’m doing daily strengthening exercise to rebalance and realign my posture which has been the cause of both injuries. I’ve practised mindfulness daily and I’m still struggling with the social media bit…. but I’m not going to be too hard on myself : )

Food-wise I’ve been eating pretty well for the last year or so. I’ve cut down heavily on refined sugar, wheat, alcohol and any processed foods. I eat a balanced diet, jam-packed with local, seasonal vegetables! What’s more I really feel the difference. The feeling after eating a fresh, flavour-packed, filling meal to a processed meal or snack laden with sugar of wheat is unbelievable. Light and energised or heavy and sluggish, this is what has helped me easily sustain a healthy balanced diet.

The great thing about having transitioned to a healthy, nourishing diet is that I don’t feel guilty about having the odd, not-so-nourishing meal or snack. I know that for 80-90% of the week my body is thanking me for eating well with energy and concentration levels to suit. So if time gets the best of my healthy, advanced food preparation or I’m in a situation where being vegan means my only option is chips, its ok and I don’t have to feel bad, I can just move on knowing the next thing I eat will probably be much more nourishing. 

We got there in the end… cue healthy salad recipe, for the 80-90% of the week when you want something fresh, flavour-packed and filling to leave you feeling light and energised. This salad will definitely not disappoint!
Kohlrabi kale and black rice saladvegan winter salad

Kohlrabi-and-kale-salad copy

Kohlrabi was one of those strange vegetables I have never encountered until I signed up for a weekly, local and organic veg bag. I was like, kohl-you-what-now!? So I did the usual thing I do with unknown vegetables, roast them and hope for the best… and it was ok. It wasn’t until I discovered this recipe using raw kohlrabi from Love and Lemons that I realised kohlrabi is totally amazing! 

I have made many a meal inspired by the spicy kohlrabi noodles from Love and Lemons, depending on what other vegetables are to hand. I wanted to share this version (my new favourite) before the kohlrabi season comes to an end. They should be back by around mid-late summer, so not too long to wait if you do miss this season.

Kohlrabi, Kale & Black Rice Salad
Serves 2-3

100g Black rice
1/2 Large kohlrabi
Large handful of cavolo nero or kale
1 Carrot
Handful of tender stem broccoli 
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1tbsp rapeseed oil
Red chilli to taste
Handful of fresh coriander 
2 tsp sesame seeds

For the kohlrabi marinade:
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp rice mirin
Juice of 1 lime
A few slices of red chilli, to taste
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1cm piece of ginger, grated

  • Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a large mixing bowl. Peel and finely slice the kohlrabi into thin match sticks and add it to the marinade, and mix thoroughly. Place in the fridge whilst you prepare the rest of the dish.
  • Place the rice in a saucepan and pour over roughly double the amount of boiling water. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 40 minutes until tender. (Check the rice now and then to make sure it doesn’t boil dry, adding a little water when necessary.)
  • Wash the cavolo nero or kale and slice down wither side of the tough stem and discard. Roughly chop the remaining leaves and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the rice vinegar and rapeseed oil and massage into the leaves until they start to soften then set aside.
  • Wash the broccoli and steam over the rice or over a pan of boiling water for 10-15 minutes until just tender. Rinse immediately under cold water to stop it cooking any further.
  • Wash and peel the carrot then, peel into ribbons.
  • Once the rice is cooked, rinse through cold water to cool. 
  • Remove the kohlrabi from the fridge and add the kale, carrot, chopped coriander and rice, and mix together. Spoon into a large serving bowl. Arrange the broccoli pieces on top, pour over the remaining marinade, sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced chilli and serve.

Amy x