Delights Vegan

An Introduction to Delights Vegan

(instagram: delightsvegan)

My aim is to delight your tastebuds!  I will be sharing a variety of recipes including breakfasts, lunches, salads, dinners, desserts, snacks and cakes.  In addition to some more elaborate dishes for the occasional splurge, there will be plenty of cheap recipes and suggested budget plans, so hopefully your purse will be delighted too.  Expect many fusion recipes, like this one, which happens to be thrifty too.

Mushroom and Red Onion Spring Rolls

A mushroom lover’s tribute to a Chinese takeaway favourite.  If you like Crispy Pancake Rolls and mushrooms, you’ll love these to distraction.  Serves 4.

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Ingredients

500g chestnut mushrooms, washed and halved

2 red onions, chopped fairly finely

Packet of filo pastry

2 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs oil for frying

1 tbs oil for brushing the rolls

1 pack spring onions – reserve 3 for garnish – chopped finely (including any undamaged leaves of the green part), tails removed

Method

  1. Fry the onions in a wok until translucent.
  2. Add the mushrooms and soy sauce, then stir fry until tender.  Let this cool.
  3. Put the sheets of filo under a clean, damp tea towel, otherwise they’ll dry up and won’t co-operate.
  4. Take a sheet of filo, keeping the rest securely under the towel.
  5. Add 1 tbs filling, leaving 4 cm perimeter at the top and along the sides.
  6. Fold over 4cm pastry at the short end of the rectangle, as if you were making a bed.
  7. Fold over one side, then the other.  Make sure the filling is secured within.  The pastry will still be pliable at this point so you can experiment with more or less filling until all is safely contained.  If you overfill and break a sheet don’t worry too much – there are usually plenty of sheets to play with (or you could patch it up).
  8. Gently roll it up, as if you were making a swiss roll.  Repeat 8 times for 2 rolls per person.
  9. Arrange the spring rolls on a greased baking sheet with their seams underneath.
  10. Brush each roll lightly with oil, then cook at Gas Mark 7 for roughly 20 minutes until light brown.
  11. Wash the spring onions, then slice them vertically in several places about 2cm before you reach the white root.  Place in iced water until the strands bend and curl.  Lovely with plum sauce, bought or homemade.

NB:  If you are lucky enough to live near a Thai or Chinese shop, the squares of filo they sell in packets are much easier to manipulate because they haven’t been rolled up like many of the supermarket ones; they are packed flat.  They tend to be cheaper too.

This will only set you back £4.68 for four servings if you have olive oil and soy sauce in the house.  If you need to buy these, ASDA, for example, have their cheapest bottle of soy sauce at 45p, and a 250ml bottle of olive oil for £1.30.  Better still, their filo is on offer at £1 as I write, so you’ll be able to save more if you fancy giving these a try soon.

  

Mock Moussaka

This will feed four people for two days (or unexpected guests).  It has similar layers to a moussaka but the resemblance stops there; a pungent vegan cheese sauce is used and a sweet, tangy tomato and chick pea sauce replace the mince.  When I have served this to guests, without exception they have come back for seconds, even the most impassioned meat-eaters, such is its hearty depth of mixed delights.  It is quite a performance to make, so it is best reserved for your day off.  Alternatively, you can make it the evening before, omitting the baking stage,  and leave the assembled dish in the fridge until you come home the following day, but take it out as soon as you get in the door so you can allow it to come to room temperature before baking.  Turn the oven on 15 minutes before baking.

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Ingredients

1 large, or two small aubergines

2 tbs olive oil (or thereabouts)

2 tins chopped tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 tins chickpeas

500g mushrooms, halved

1 red pepper, chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped

800g organic potatoes

4 tbs tomato puree

2 tsp dried mixed herbs

1 tsp sea salt (if necessary; taste first because the cooked chickpeas may be slightly salty)

170g vegan cheddar cheese; one block of 55g, grated with the smallest hole on the grater, and 115g for the cheese sauce

1 tbs plain flour

30g vegan margarine

1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard

3 tbs nutritional yeast

500ml plant milk

Method

  1. First prepare the aubergine(s):  Line two large plates with kitchen paper. Slice into 1 cm slices, then fry in the oil until soft and lightly browned on both sides.  Aubergines are notorious for soaking up oil.  Two tricks help with this. Firstly, if you are lucky enough to have a griddle pan, you can brush the pan with oil and if you keep an eye out, turning the aubergine frequently, you should be able to soften the aubergine without needing to add more oil.  Secondly, if you fry the aubergine in two batches, once with the larger slices then again with the smaller (when you need less oil), hopefully they will cook evening and you won’t be forced to add more oil to prevent the little slices blackening.
  2. Drain the cooked aubergine on the lined plates.  When they are cool, blot them further with kitchen paper – this ensures that you extract as much oil as possible.  Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4.  Boil or steam the potatoes for about 15 minutes, until tender.  Thick slices work well in this dish, and you need to cook them first.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, make the savoury tomato sauce:  fry the onion until transparent, then add the peppers, garlic, tomatoes, tomato puree, herbs, chickpeas and salt (if necessary).  Bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes, then add the mushrooms and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the sauce into a large casserole dish.  Lightly sprinkle with a little of the 55g block of vegan cheese.  Add a layer of cooked potatoes (it doesn’t matter if they overlap as they are already cooked), then sprinkle with soft dusting of the vegan cheese.  Finish with a layer of aubergines and another smidgeon of vegan cheese.
  6. Repeat these layers, ending with the aubergine, but on this final layer do not sprinkle any cheese because you will be finishing with a covering of cheese sauce.
  7. To make the cheese sauce, melt the margarine, add the flour and stir vigorously to make a smooth paste.
  8. Turn off the heat, then very gradually, drop by drop, add the plant milk, stirring and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan after each addition. Turn on the heat and stir constantly until you have a thickened, smooth sauce.  Add the mustard, nutritional yeast and the grated 115g portion of cheese and stir until both are incorporated.
  9. Pour the sauce on the top of your layered casserole dish and bake for about 40 minutes until the top is lightly browned. 

All the ingredients for two nights for four people come in at £12.88; however, that is buying everything from scratch, including flour, marg and nutritional yeast. I had to go to a health food shop for the latter.  It can be found in Waitrose but it is usually for the same price, so if you are not near a Waitrose you’re better off going to your local health food shop, which you’ll know if you’ve used nutritional yeast before.  You’ll also know that it lasts a long time (it’s a large tub) and is extremely useful for vegan cheesiness!

Persian Rock Cakes

Birthday Persian Rock Cakes

These little light cakes are a particular favourite of mine. They are quick, supremely easy to make and are very economical. Sprinkle a classically Persian ingredient into classically English cake mix which has stood the test of time and you have an extra special breakfast fit for a birthday or another occasion worth celebrating.

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Ingredients

225g self-raising flour

3/4 tsp ground mixed spice

125g vegan margarine, cold from the fridge, diced

3 rounded tbs soft brown sugar

125g sultanas

80g tub of pomegranate seeds

2 rounded tsp apple sauce and 1 tbs plant milk, whisked together with a fork

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.  Grease a baking sheet.
  2. Sift the flour and mixed spice into a bowl.  Rinse your hands in cold water, dry them, then rub the marg into the mixture until you have little breadcrumbs.  Try just to use the tips of your fingers because you want to keep the marg as cold as possible.
  3. Add the sugar, the dried fruit, the pomegranate seeds and the plant milk/apple sauce mixture.  Gently stir until everything is just combined, like you would with muffins.  If you overmix, you’ll end up with tough cakes.
  4. Using a tablespoon (serving-spoon size, not the measurement), put 8 rock-like heaps of the mixture onto your baking sheet, making sure you have plenty of room around each cake to allow them to spread.
  5. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until browned.  Leave to cool on a wire rack.  (The pomegranate seeds get startlingly hot).
  6. Serve with birthday candles stuck into them at odd angles.  If you happen to come across these candle holders with tiny garden forks, so much the better to shift rocks.

If you buy the apple sauce, sugar, sultanas and flour at Aldi, and the margarine, milk, mixed spice and pomegranate seeds at ASDA, the bills will total around £4.33, but of course you’ll have plenty left of all the ingredients, excepting the pomegranate seeds. But with a bit of luck you’ll have some of these items at home already!

Plum and Date Chutney

Hello food lovers! Here is a chutney which is a perfect partnership of sweet dates and tart plums.  It is unusual in that is preserved with balsamic vinegar.  Fear not about the cost!  The Pound Shop sell it for – no! – a pound and the chutney will taste just as good.

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Ingredients

2 onions, finely chopped

4 apples, chopped

300g chopped dates

4 kg plums, washed, chopped and stoned

4 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp ground cloves

6 star anise

500ml balsamic vinegar

500g soft brown sugar

 

Method

  1. Slowly saute the onion until translucent.  Add the spices and cook for about half a minute, stirring gently, just enough to allow them to be incorporated.
  2. Add the apples and dates, stir well, then put in the sugar, plums, and balsamic vinegar.  Stir gingerly, but well.
  3. Bring the chutney to the boil.  Simmer for two hours, stirring now and then, until the mixture is thickened but not runny.  About three quarters of an hour before the mixture is ready, put the oven on Gas Mark 2/150C/300F, then wash some jars in very hot soapy water.  Rinse and dry well, then put them on a baking sheet.  Add this to the preheated oven.  This will give them enough time to sterilise.
  4. When the mixture is done, take out the trays jars with oven gloves, then carefully spoon in the chutney (both need to be hot or the glass will crack) and put on the lids.  If it is easier, you can tighten them properly when the glass has cooled.
  5. Wait for at least a month before trying the chutney; the flavours need time to mature.
  6. Enjoy with salads, curries, ploughman’s or buddha bowls.  A jar of homemade chutney also makes a lovely gift!

If you’re lucky, you may find a plum tree and save a lot of money.  But if not, this will cost around £12.68, if you get the apples and sugar from Aldi and the rest from ASDA, excepting the balsamic vinegar from The Pound Shop. However, if you know anyone with a plum tree you’ll save £7.50!  I have factored in the cost of the spices, so if you have any at home you’ll be up on the deal.

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti Chow Mein

A Chinese friend of mine gave me spaghetti in a chow mein because she only had egg noodles in.  It worked very well, so I often copy her idea if I don’t have any vegan noodles.  Of course, you can use any vegetables you wish, but here’s a frugal one for those slim wallet days, using a 20p pack of spaghetti.

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Ingredients

1 red pepper, chopped

1 bunch of spring onions, sliced

500g chestnut mushrooms

1 bag bean sprouts

340g spaghetti

1 tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp cornflour

2 tbs soy sauce

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp sugar

1 tbs olive oil

Method

  1. Mix together vigorously the cornflour, soy sauce, garlic, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the mushrooms and set aside for half an hour (or the night before if you wish). Boil the spaghetti for one minute less than the packet instructions advise.
  2. Lightly fry the spring onions for two minutes in the wok, followed by the red pepper for another two minutes, then finally add the mushrooms in their marinade and stir fry until they are tender but firm.
  3. Add the spaghetti and the bean sprouts, and heat until the bean sprouts are cooked but retain some crunch; this should only take about a minute. 

If you have sugar and oil in the house, you can do this for around £5.28, based on an ASDA shop using the cheapest versions available.

 

The Versatility of Ratatouille

Do you enjoy batch cooking? I love the freedom of having most of the meal prepared in advance, with a few tweaks required. Big pots of curry are brilliant for that, don’t you find?  They’re even better with keeping, so I often find I serve them with rice one day, jacket potatoes the next, or sometimes just chapatis.  Similarly with ratatouille. Ratatouille is the culinary equivalent of a well-mannered guest; you can take it anywhere.  It benefits from a long slow cook and tastes even better after a day’s keeping, so you will get the best bang for your buck if you make a huge pot and serve it in different ways because its ingredients are cheap and plentiful in the summer.   What follows will give you enough to put in a pie one day, and serve with couscous the next.

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Ingredients

6 tbs olive oil

4 red onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

4 red peppers, deseeded (including the white part) and roughly chopped

500g aubergines, roughly cubed – the weight doesn’t have to be precise though; Sainsbury’s Basics bag is ideal, or otherwise just work on the premise of using three medium aubergines

4 courgettes, roughly chopped

3 tins chopped tomatoes

1 red chilli (or more if you like a bigger kick)

500ml water

4 tbs tomato puree

2 tsp dried Herbes de Provence

30g (ish) pack of flat leaf parsley

1sp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

small jar (about 330-340g) of pitted green olives in brine, drained and rinsed – all supermarkets sell a cheap pot or jar, ranging from 45p at ALDI to about £1 at the higher end

Method

  1. Fry the onions in the olive oil until they turn a translucent pink colour.
  2. Add the peppers, courgettes, aubergines and garlic and fry gently for another five minutes, taking care that the garlic doesn’t burn.
  3. Add all the rest of the ingredients, except the remaining olive oil, bring to the boil, then summer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.  Longer won’t hurt it, but obviously don’t let it boil dry.
  4. Stir in the remaining olive oil, taste, then add salt and pepper to suit you.

Midsummer Pie: Ratatouillekopita

 

“Koptita” means “pie” in Greek – perhaps the most famous example is Spanakopita, spinach pie.  But we all now how adaptable filo pastry is, so here is a ratatouille pie.

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Ingredients

Enough ratatouille to fill a 7in springform tin (drain off any excess liquid; you want a moist but firm mixture, otherwise your pie will leak)

8 sheets long filo pastry, plus a spare for garnish

30g vegan margarine, melted

a single courgette for garnish, sliced

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7/220c/430F.  Brush a 20cm springform pan with melted marg, then add the sheets one at a time, overlapping them as you go and painting with melted marg before each addition. Place them across each other, with a generous margin of pastry hanging over either side.  Make sure the bottom of the tin is completely covered, with no gaps.
  2. Add the ratatouille filling with care and spread it across the bottom.
  3. Bring up the edges of pie one by one so that they lie across the filling, brushing each sheet with melted marg before adding another the next one.  Cut out a few flower shapes to garnish your pie, and brush these with melted marg too.
  4. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until nut brown.  Towards the end of the cooking time, saute a courgette and use it to decorate the edge of your pie.

Ratatouille with Giant Couscous

Couscous is as popular in France as Indian restaurant food is here (both sadly beginning with colonisation; Algeria in France’s case).  It is almost as commonly cooked in France as it is in North Africa.  As far as I know, though, although they serve it with a vegetable or meat stew Berber-style, they don’t usually fuse French and African and serve it with the famous French country stew, ratatouille.  It must be only a matter of time though, because the couscous soaks up the flavour and sauce of the ratatouille without losing its own texture, creating that rare combination of light but satisfying eating. 

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Ingredients

1 portion of ratatouille, reserved from yesterday’s recipe.  Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.  (If you didn’t cook this, follow the ratatouille recipe, but halve the ingredients).

250g giant couscous (ordinary couscous doesn’t affect the taste, but the texture and look is improved with giant couscous).

30g vegan margarine

Method

  1. Boil the giant couscous for 6 – 8 minutes, or according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. While this is simmering, reheat the ratatouille gently, until bubbling.
  3. Fork the marg into the cooked couscous, then mix with the ratatouille.

Based on a Sainsbury’s shop (minus the oil), this will cost about £13.55 for both meals (using the Basics range wherever possible) but you will have chillies, garlic cloves, vegan margarine, tomato puree and Herbes de Provence left over.  

Spaghetti Plus Three Sauces

Hope you’re doing well! If you like your sauces, this is just for you.

You may be pleasantly surprised by the reaction to the purple sauce; roasting the beetroot intensifies its sweetness and makes it far more acceptable to avowed beetroot haters.  There was a surprise conversion at  my table anyway!

Cherry tomatoes, baby beets and small spinach leaves, which are all easily available in June – both in the supermarkets or in farmers’ or street markets – have a more concentrated flavour than their full-grown counterparts, so they make the best summer sauces for spaghetti.  If you serve the sauces on the side (either in little pots or one one side of the plate) diners can choose whether they want to mix the sauces or eat them separately.

The beetroot sauce here was inspired by the soup Borscht, which originated in the Ukraine as  you know but is popular in many other Eastern European countries.  This sweet vegetable is combined with a sour liquid, which is tastebud-tingling stuff; the same principle works by combining the tomato with lime-infused coconut milk.  A contrasting flavour and colour was then needed to balance the meal; the earthy/creamy spinach sauce did it to perfection.

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Ingredients

340g spaghetti

For the Roasted Beetroot Sauce

8 baby beetroots

2 tbs olive oil

pinch of salt

a few grindings of black pepper

half of 500ml pot of vegan yoghurt

For the Cherry Tomato and Coconut Lime Sauce

500g cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 tbs olive oil

1 lime

1 tin of coconut milk

For the Creamy Spinach Sauce

one carton of soya or oat cream

1 200g pack washed organic young spinach

2 cloves garlic, chopped finely

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put the baby beetroots in a shallow baking dish, pour on the oil, then shake the pan with gusto to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  In another pan, lightly fry the garlic until translucent, very gently.  Set aside. Bake the beetroots for about 30-40 minutes, checking after 30 to see if they are tender.  About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, transfer the tomatoes to an overproof dish with the garlic and oil, shake, then pop in the oven.
  2. While the beetroots and tomatoes are in the oven, after about twenty minutes put a large pan of water on to boil for the spaghetti.
  3. Tip a tin of coconut milk into the food processor, add the juice of a lime and a little salt, then process with the roasted tomatoes until you have a pretty coral colour.  Set aside and wash the bowl of the food processor in readiness for the beetroots.
  4. With a tiny amount of water, cook the spinach with the garlic until wilted.  Turn off the heat and beat in the soya or oat cream.
  5. When the water comes to the boil, put in the spaghetti and cook for about 11 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, process the roasted beetroot with the vegan yoghurt.  (A little juggling is needed if the spaghetti water is ready too much in advance of the beetroot or vice versa.  If the beetroot is ready first, keep the veg in the oven but turn it off and cover the baby beetroot with foil.  If the water is ready too soon, turn off the heat, cover the pan, then reheat the water when needed).
  7. Reheat the sauces (very gently to prevent curdling) about 3 minutes before the end of the spaghetti’s cooking time.
  8. Drain the spaghetti thoroughly and serve the sauces alongside, either collectively or individually, depending on how much you or whoever is doing the washing up is prepared to deal with!

This will cost about £6.83, based on an ASDA/Aldi shop, but you will have yoghurt and garlic left.

Double Corn Stroganoff

A happy Thursday to you!  Do you like this internationally popular recipe? It really began life as a fusion recipe in the 19th Century,  with the Stroganoff family’s French chef adding his own touches to an old Russian recipe, and cooks have been adding their own touches ever since.  Here is a version which replaces the beef with corn, and is delicious and satisfying as well as cruelty-free!  NB:  You can cook the rice the night before if you have time.

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Ingredients

300g firm silken tofu              

juice of one lemon

1 clove garlic, chopped finely

1 tin chopped tomatoes, processed to a puree

1 tbs tomato puree

4 tbs frozen sweetcorn

1 packet baby corn

1 onion

1 tps oil

500g chestnut mushrooms, quartered

300g brown basmati rice

2 red chillies

pinch (or more to taste) of salt

Method

  1. Boil the brown basmati rice for 20-25 minutes, drain thoroughly and leave to cool while you make the stroganoff.
  2. Fry the onion until transparent. Deseed and chop 2 red chillies.  Set aside. 
  3. Add the sweetcorn, mushrooms and baby corn and fry for 5 minutes, stirring all the time.
  4. Add the tomatoes and tomato puree, bring to the boil, then gently simmer for five minutes.
  5. Blend together the silken tofu, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Gradually add to the stroganoff and heat through gently until completely absorbed.
  6. While this is heating, fry the reserved chillies in a tiny amount of oil, add the cool rice, toss thoroughly to combine, and heat through thoroughly.
  7. Serve the stroganoff on the rice (unless there are objections) so it can absorb the sumptuous sauce.

If you have none of the ingredients at home, this will come in at about £8.14 (Aldi/ASDA). However, with luck you may have the tomato puree, garlic, tinned tomatoes and rice in already (as they tend to be ingredients which crop up frequently); in which case, you can make this for about £6.84.

 

Ful Masalah with Rosemary Infused Mash

Ful Masalah, if you’ve never had the pleasure, is an East African dish made with fava beans.  I can get these tinned at my local whole food shop, and cook with them a lot, but as I cannot find them in any of the supermarkets I decided to see what this recipe was like with frozen broad beans, which is the same bean anyway.  This recipe was inspired by the Ful Masalah I was served at an Ethiopian restaurant, with the addition of tomatoes which are good at the moment.  This is great to make for a crowd because it can be easily scaled up when pennies allow.

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Ingredients

8 tablespoons frozen broad beans, thawed (doesn’t take long if you spread them out)

4 cloves garlic, chopped fairly finely

1 tsp garam masala

2 tsp tomato puree

500g cherry tomatoes, halved

600g organic potatoes

60g vegan margarine

2 tbs soya milk

fresh rosemary leaves, stripped from the stalk using your thumb and forefinger

1 red chilli

Method

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200C/360F.

  1.  Melt the margarine on a low light, then gently fry the garlic in a nonstick wok for one minute.  Add the tomatoes and garam masala. 
  2. Fry until they begin to break down. Add the  beans.  Gently stir and lift to combine with the tomatoes. Simmer the sauce for ten minutes, slowly stirring the sauce occasionally.
  3. Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes or so until tender.
  4. In the meantime, melt the margarine, gently fry the chilli until tender, remove with a slotted spoon, then stir in the rosemary.  Set aside until the potatoes are ready.
  5. Mash the potatoes with the soya milk and stir in the chilli.  Set aside.
  6. Put the broad bean mixture into the bottom of a shallow casserole dish.  Holding a sieve over the mashed potatoes to catch the spiky rosemary leaves, pour the melted margarine into the potatoes and mix in with a wooden spoon.  (It is amazing how quickly the margarine absorbs the rosemary flavour, so do not fear that it won’t be sufficiently infused after such a short time).  Smooth the potatoes over the Ful Masalah and fork it up.Bake for 20 minutes.

If you buy the organic potatoes, tomato puree and chillies in Aldi, and the rest in ASDA, you can make this for around £8.24 (that includes the milk and marg, so if you have these in this is going to be very cheap)!

Lentil and Pesto Roast with Courgettes and Lemony Beans

This makes a good sized portion for an otherwise traditionally British family roast and is equally tasty cold the next day if any slices are left over.  Pesto enhances so many dishes, not just pasta or the ubiquitous panini; as it is both moist and flavourful, a jar of this time-honoured Italian sauce in the cupboard helps to stretch the pennies, because it also keeps well in the fridge once it has been opened.

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Ingredients

4 heaped tsp vegan pesto

250g split red lentils

1 red onion, chopped and fried until translucent (drain well)

85 – 115g breadcrumbs

115g vegan mature cheddar, grated

2 heaped tbs nutritional yeast

2 garlic cloves crushed with 1 tsp sea salt

340g runner (or similar) beans

1 lemon

2 large courgettes

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 and thoroughly grease a large loaf tin or a ring tin if you have one.  If you are using a nonstick metal pan, it is still prudent to line the bottom of the pan with greaseproof paper as the loaf can stick in the corners, however carefully you grease them.
  2. Wash the lentils, cover them with water, leaving about 2 cm to spare at the top, then bring to the boil, and turn down to a more gentle boil, but not a simmer.  They will have softened in about 15-20 minutes, but check after 15.  Do keep checking your lentils by stroking the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon; if they look at all in danger of boiling dry or you find some stuck lentils, top up with water just boiled from the kettle.
  3. When the lentils are soft, drain them and mix with pesto, vegan cheddar, garlic and salt into a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs gradually until you have a soft but firm mixture.  It shouldn’t feel too “solid”.  Pack this mixture into your prepared loaf pan and bake for about 40 minutes, until the loaf is firm.
  4. After about 15 minutes into the cooking time, put a pan of water on to boil.  Once boiled, cook the runner beans very gently until tender – probably 15 minutes at most.
  5. Slice the courgettes, then water fry them in a nonstick pan.  This should take about 10 minutes, so start them about 5 minutes after you have started the beans.
  6. After you have turned out the roast, tumble the green beans in the middle (or alongside), then finely grate lemon zest over them.  While still hot, squeeze out one half of the lemon (serve the other half with some water at dinner).
  7. Arrange the courgette slices around the edge.

If you have to buy the nutritional yeast, this will cost around £13.68.  Nutrional yeast tends to cost around £2.95, but you could add more cheese instead if you wanted. Additionally, I did include the purchase of a loaf of bread, but if you have bread in the house, it will save you more.  That said, this does make a good sized roast and there will be enough for the following day.

Squashy Bubble

Even people who aren’t squash fans love this velvety sauce from Italy; combine its richness with the humble Bubble from England and you have a divine mixture of the earthy and the luxurious (as in refined, not expensive).  If you enjoy this sauce, it goes just as well with its authentic  partners, gnocchi and pasta.  And for bubble fans, this is bubble lover’s paradise.  Serves 4.

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Ingredients

For the Bubble and Squeak

500g cooked old potatoes, mashed with 55g margarine then cooled

1 large onion, chopped

good grinding of black pepper

500g spring greens, sliced and steamed until tender

1 tsp Dijon mustard

25g margarine

2 cloves garlic

2 tbs soya milk

1 heaped tbs flour

1tbs oil

For the Butternut Squash Sauce

butternut squash

1 clove garlic

25g vegan margarine

1 30g packet cut fresh thyme; save 3 for decoration, then run your forefinger and thumb along the remaining stalks to remove the leaves

1 150ml carton soya cream

Method

  1. Melt 25g vegan margarine, then fry the onion until transparent. Add the garlic and fry briefly, until the garlic is tender; as always, avoid burning the garlic.
  2. In a big bowl, combine the mashed potato, spring greens, cooked onion, garlic and Dijon mustard.
  3. Whip in the soya milk.
  4. Shape into patties with clean hands, then roll each patty in the flour to coat.  Set aside while you make the sauce:
  5. Steam or boil the butternut squash until tender (about 10-15 minutes).
  6. Fry the garlic in a 25g margarine until softened, then tip the butternut squash, thyme leaves and garlic  in the food processor and blitz until smooth.
  7. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then fry the patties on both sides until brown.
  8. In the meantime, gently heat the butternut squash puree in a saucepan.  When it starts to bubble, turn the heat right down, then add the soya cream. Stir in and heat briefly – for a minute at most.
  9. Put a pool of sauce on a large plate, top with the bubble patties and garnish with sprigs of thyme.

If you buy the thyme, butternut squash, flour and mustard from Aldi, and the rest from ASDA, you can make this for £6.77, excluding the oil, salt and pepper.  I have factored in the margarine.