Mains

Well Balanced Vegan Lunch for the Whole Family – Tuscan Bean & Pasta Soup

This is becoming a staple in our home since my lovely friends got me the cookbook 15 minute vegan comfort food which I hugely recommend. It’s inspired in one of the recipes there but I have changed a few bits. I love that is well balanced containing beans, carbs (pasta), veggies and green leafy vegetables. The spices make it so tasty that salt is not really needed. It’s simple and warming and it has become one of our favorite recipes.

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Ingredients

  1. 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  2. 1 onion finely chopped
  3. 1 stick of celery, chopped
  4. 1 carrot chopped
  5. 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  6. 1 tablespoon of Thyme or basil
  7. 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  8. 1 liter of hot vegetable stock (I used homemade stock but using a stock cube will also do)
  9. 100g of orzo pasta (ensure egg free)
  10. 400g can of canellini beans, drained and rinsed
  11. A handful of Kale, stalks removed / or fresh spinach
  12. A handful of black olives chopped (optional)
  13. Sea salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soucepan pover a medium heat and cook the onion, celery and carrot for a few minutes until the onion is soft and golden. Add the garlic oregano and thyme / basil and cook for a minute
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, hot vegetable stock, pasta and canellini beans and cook for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add the kale / spinach and cook for further 2 minutes. If using black olives add them in now. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. I do this after separating my daughter’s portion so that she doesn’t have any not naturally occurring salt.

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Quick Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 onions diced
  • 1 tablespoon each of ground coriander, paprika, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper
  • 2 Garlic cloves diced
  • 400g Chopped tomatoes
  • 400g Tinned chickpeas or 250g of chickpeas soaked overnight
  • 100g Spinach
  • A pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • 500 ml of water of veggie stock

Method

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive or coconut oil in a pan. Add the spices, garlic and onions.
  2. Once the onion is golden add the chickpeas, tomato and the 500ml of water or vegetable stock.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes if using tin chickpeas or from 1h to 1h and a half if using soaked chickpeas.
  4. 5 minutes before finishing cooking add the fresh spinach.

 

 

Avocado & Cashew Pesto Pasta

I love this cashew and avocado pesto, not just with pasta but with everything: salad, toast, courgette spaghetti… anything, really! It can be made in just 10 minutes and it’s perfect for summer as it’s so fresh.

Here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy it:

Ingredients

For the pesto

  • 150g cashews soaked overnight
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • The juice of 1 and a 1/2 lemons
  • 30g of fresh basil
  •  4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of water (use the water from the soaked cashews)
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the pasta

  • 15 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 servings of pasta (I used brown pasta)

Method

  • Combine all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook the pasta as per packaging instructions and allow it to cool under the tab. Drain and mix with the pesto sauce. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and mix with the pasta.

Homemade Gnocchi with tomato sauce

Gnocchis are so filling and sometimes they can be pretty heavy. I have created a lighter version of this Italian food. These Gnocchis are made with gram flour (chickpea flour) and rice flour which makes them healthy and well round up meal. This recipe is gluten free.

I like to have them with a tomato and mushroom sauce and a crumble of pine nuts and sunflower seeds.

Ingredients:

For the gnocchis

  • 600g of potatoes
  • 100g of buckwheat flour
  • 100g of chickpea flour (gram flour)
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

For the crumble

  • A handful of sunflower seeds and pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

For the sauce:

  • 3 onions diced
  • 4 garlic cloves finely diced
  • olive oil
  • 250g of button mushrooms
  • 1 tin of tomatoes or 1 jar of passata
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks and boil in salty water until soft (it usually takes 30 minutes). Rinse the potatoes and wait until they cool.
  • Once they are cool mash and knead with your hands and combine with the flour and a good spurt of olive oil. Once it´s all combined, knead into a sausage like shape and cut the gnocchis.
  • To cook the gnocchis boil them in salty water until they float.
  • Prepare the tomato sauce by sauteing the onion, garlic and carrot. Once they are golden, add the mushrooms. After 5 minutes add the tomato and balsamic vinegar. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • To make the crumble, roast the sunflower seeds and pine nuts in the oven or in a pan. Blend them in a food processor. Add the nutritional yeast. Sprinkle on top.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Chickpea Sri Lankan Curry

This recipe is inspired in Mildrerd’s Sri Lankan curry which I love and I always order at Mildreds. This a simplified version since some of the ingredients they use are not accessible for me (i.e. curry leaves) and I added chickpeas to make it more nutritious. It tastes just as good and I hope you enjoy it. The portions below make 6 servings.

Ingredients

  • vegetable oil
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • About 4 cm of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoon Madras curry powder
  • 3 x 400 ml cans coconut milk (from a can)
  • 100g of creamed coconut
  • 1 x can of chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or caster sugar
  • 300 g (10 oz) basmati rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 250 g (8 oz) roasted peanuts, to garnish (Mildreds use cashews)

To serve

  • Tomato chutney (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees (fan)
  2. Steam the sweet potatoes until lightly soft but not completely cooked. Cut them in to chunks
  3. Oil a baking tray and put the sweet potatoes in the oven to slowly roast (this gives them a very sweet taste)
  4. Blend the onion, ginger, garlic and chillies together in a food processor to form a smooth paste. If using fresh turmeric blend it too
  5. fry the paste for 6 minutes until golden and fragant
  6. Add the turmeric, cinnamon and curry powder, season with salt and fry for a further 2–3 minutes, then stir in the coconut milk, creamed coconut and maple syrup or sugar
  7. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until the curry has thickened and reduced.
  8. Add the chickpeas
  9. Now, cook the rice following the packaging instructions
  10. Meanwhile, stir the cooked sweet potato into the curry and cook for a further 6–8 minutes until heated through.
  11. Spoon the curry into bowls, garnish with roasted cashew nuts and serve with the rice, and (optional) tomato chutney.
  12. I made the tomato chutney just by sautéing onion and garlic. Adding 4 tablespoons of tomato paste and a can of chopped tomatoes. Cook on a medium heat until it thickens. Add salt to taste.

Thai Style Lentil and Quinoa Bowl

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of lentils
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms (I used button mushrooms but any kind will do)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 cup of broccoli or other veggies
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 liter of water
  • 2 tablespoons of red miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons of sage
  • 3 tablespoons of Chinese 5 spice mix
  • 2 tablespoons Lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon Thai basil or normal basil chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of grated turmeric (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander (optional)
  • 1 tablespoons of vegetarian oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind sauce (optional)
  • 1 lime (optional)
  • Some chilly, fresh or flakes (optional)

Method

  • Poach the onion, ginger and turmeric in olive oil until golden.
  • Add the red miso paste,  vegetarian oyster sauce (if using) and all the spices. Cook for 2 minutes until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook until soft.
  • Add 1 liter of water the stock cube and bring to boil. at this point add the quinoa and lentils.
  • Add the broccoli once the quinoa is cooked and cook until tender.
  • Add some chilly (I do this last so that I can separate a portion for my little girl before adding the chilly but you can add it when combining all the ingredients).
  • Serve with lime on the side

 

Vegan Stuffed Aubergines with Tahini

I love baked aubergines and tahini goes so well with them. This is a very light lunch or dinner.

Vegan stuffed aubergines

Ingredients

  • 2 big aubergines
  • 4 tablespoons of tahini
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • Lemon juice (half lemon will do)
  • 1 tablespoon of maple or agave syrup
  • 4 tablespoons of yogurt (soy, almond or coconut yogurt)
  • 5 cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • 2 spring onions (optional)
  • Pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan). Place the aubergines halved and sprincle olive oil, salt and pepper on top.

Cook for 30 minutes or until the aubergines are cooked. Remove the flesh and blend with the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, syrup, 2 tablespoons for yogurt, cumin, salt and pepper.

Scoop back the mixture and sprinkle yogurt, tahini, spring onions and pomegranate seeds on top. You can also add some cherry tomatoes, they are delicious with tahini.