Weekly Vegan Recipes - Week III

 

I didn't learn from last week's delay and didn't write these down every night..! OK so here we go with Week 3. This week is a good one - we've got possibly the best vegan lasagna I've ever made, and some delicious falafels, our first go at making them from scratch!

I am so happy to hear your feedback and see you cook some of my recipes! Makes me so happy. I have also been brainstorming how I can keep this going post-veganuary... A few ideas on the go at the moment are :

- a weekly newsletter with a recipe to try out? In photo and text format.
- perhaps, maybe, a video on Youtuve (this feels like a BIG step.. a little scary but I could, maybe try?)
- a weekly blog post
- All of the above... (jokes... no but seriously?)

What do you think?!

Homemade Falafels

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Ingredients :
- 500g of dried chickpeas soaked for 12 to 24 hours (canned chickpeas won't work for this)
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp of flour or chickpea flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp of cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp of cayenne
- pinch of cardamon

Method :
- place all the ingredients into a food processor or a blender - 'pulse' until the consistency is between couscous and a grainy paste (you don't want it to turn into hummus consistency, you need some chunks!)
- Cover the mixture up in a bowl and place in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours
- After the mixture has chilled for a while, roll them into balls! Roughly 1 heaped tbsp per ball (we made around 30 medium/big ones) when you roll, make sure your hands are moist, have a bowl of water nearby, it helps!
- Now they're ready for some shallow frying. We use a big crockpot which is quite deep to limit the splashing. They take roughly 2 to 3 minutes per side. Or until they're golden and crispy. If they go faster, your oil is too hot, so turn it down. (don't be intimidated by the frying, use vegetable oil  over medium to high heat)
- Continue with the rest of the mixture until they're all done! Once I take them out of the pan I put them into kitchen roll to absorb excess oil.
- Serve with pitta bread, salad, cucumber, some greens, pickles, hummus, oh and a quick and easy tahini sauce (into a jar put 2 heaped tbsp of tahini, 1/2 a lemon juice, pinch of salt and pepper, 1/4 cup of water and 1tbsp of agave syrup or maple syrup, 1/2 clove of crushed garlic and shake hard until it goes smooth and combined - add more water if too thick, or more tahini if too thin!)
- Have a pita party!!


Vegan Lasagna

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Ingredients:

Lasagna:
- one pack of egg-free lasagna sheets (most are!)
- 1 jar of passata
- 1 can of peeled tomatoes
- 2 heaped tbsp of tomato purée
- 1 red pepper
- 2 carrots
- 250g of chestnut or button mushrooms
- 450g pack of soy mince (found mine in Tesco's frozen isle - can replace with brown lentils)
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 stalk of celery
- 2 small handfuls of fresh basil
- 3 medium courgettes
- 1 small jar of capers
- half a jar of kalamata olives
- Spices : 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of nutmeg, 1 stp of paprika, 1/2 tsp of cayenne

Bechamel :
- 2 cups of soaked cashews
- 1 carton of Oatly 'single cream'
- 4 heaped tbsp of nutritional yeast
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
 

Method :
- Start by chopping all of your veggies into quite small pieces.
- Slice your courgettes into thin slices lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pop them in the oven at 180C for 15min or until golden (you can also cook them in a griddle pan to add more flavor!)
- Now in a large crockpot, soften your onions, celery, and garlic in some olive oil, once soft, add your red pepper and carrots to soften too.
- Once the veggies have softened, add in your soy mince to brown for a bit (if you're using lentil instead, add in your cooked lentils at this point)
- Then add in all your spices: cumin, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne
- At this point, add in your mushrooms, sauteed with the rest for a couple of minutes.
- Add in your passata (around 500ml), then you can of chopped tomatoes, and 2 heaped tbsp of tomato puree and one small handful of the fresh basil.
- to everything add 2 cups of stock, 2 tbsp of agave syrup, 2 tsp of marmite, 1/2 cup of chopped kalamata olives, 3 tbsp of capers and let everything bubble away on a low heat for 30 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, prepare your bechamel. Pop all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, season to taste (more salt? more nutritional yeast? taste and see!)
- Once the sauce has been bubbling for 30 minutes or so, your kitchen smells delicious and it's time to set up the lasagna! In a deep oven tray, start with a layer of sauce, then one layer of the lasagna sheets, then sauce, then a few of the courgettes slices (you'll only do two layers or courgettes, so use half) then a drizzle of bechamel, a small sprinkle of vegan cheese if you have any, then repeat one more time, then the last layer is just sauce, bechamel, fresh basil, then pasta again and all the rest of the bechamel (I kept quite a bit of it for that top layer), sprinkle with some crunchy crumbs.
- Pop in the oven for 25 minutes covered and uncover for the last 10 minutes to go all golden and crispy (take out when cooked through, poke a knife through the pasta sheets, and you'll be able to tell!)

ps: this is my new favourite dish EVER! Before I went vegan lasagna was my favourite thing in the world, I requested it as my birthday dinner since I can remember! and I am so happy to say that this beats the original!
 

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Easy Smokey Pasta

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Ingredients (for 1 person) :
- half a block of smoked tofu
- Oatly "single cream"
- 3 tbsp of pesto
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 shallot
-  one handful of chopped cavolo nero
- chili flakes
- 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

Method :
- Start by frying up your shallot in a little olive oil, add in your chopped smoked tofu, and then your garlic. Sautée until soft and golden. At the very end just before the pasta is cooked, add in the cavolo nero for a few minutes.
- While you're doing this, cook your pasta of choice (we chose linguine)
- Once the pasta is cooked, reserve a little bit of the pasta water (a few tbsp worth)
- In your pan add 1/2 cup of the Oatly cream, the pesto, lemon juice, 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast and a few spoonfuls of the pasta water until it's all nice and creamy, add in your pasta and mix well until all coated.
- Serve up, sprinkle some chili flakes if you like the heat, or grate a bit of vegan parm, enjoy!