Food Glorious Food! Do you spend most of your day thinking about what you’re going to eat next?
You’re not alone.
If you’re trying Veganuary, this is a great time to roll up your sleeves and experiment in the kitchen.
We’ve created this blog post in collaboration with a man so passionate about food it literally saved his life, vegan food blogger, Aaron Calder. It’s easy to assume just because you’ll be cutting out meat and dairy (or just dairy) that you’ll be consuming less or eating boring meals.
However, Aaron is taking over the plant-based space by proving that “going vegan doesn’t mean going without”.
From developing syrupy, sweet dishes to salty and tangy savoury dishes - Aaron has covered all the bases for you.
He has provided 3 breakfast, 3 lunch and 3 dinner recipes that are easy to recreate and packed with delicious flavour.
1. Carrot Cake Pancakes
Pimp up your pancakes with a few extra ingredients to create these delicious and nutritious vegan breakfast pancakes.
1 cup of plain flour/oat flour 1 cup of plant milk (soya is great) 1 banana 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp ginger pinch of pink/sea salt pinch of nutmeg 1 carrot - grated 1/4 cup crushed walnuts 1/4 cup sultanas
Step 1. To your blender/food processor add the banana, salt, spices, milk and flour. Blend for 30 seconds to make a thick batter.
Step 2. Stir in the carrot, walnuts and sultanas (do not blend).
Step 3. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and pour in the batter to make 3-4 pancakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes then flip and cook the other side.
Serve with dairy free yoghurt, fruit, maple syrup and nuts. Enjoy!
2. Scrambled Tofu with Spinach
You can make this recipe using normal salt and it's still delicious. Like regular scrambled eggs you can add other ingredients like chilli, sausage or your favourite veggies. It also works well once cooled in a sandwich with mayo.
Serves 1 (generous portion)
150g firm silken tofu (drained) ½ a small onion (chopped) 1 garlic clove (Minced) Handful of fresh or frozen spinach ½ tsp turmeric ¼ tsp black salt (kala namak) Use sea/pink salt if you don't have black. 2 tbsp nutritional yeast Black pepper (to season) I like a lot. ½ red/green pepper (chopped) 60ml Soya/oat cream 1 tbsp olive oil
Step 1. In a medium to large frying pan heat the oil on a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and pepper and stir until slightly softened (4-5 minutes).
Step 2. Using your hands, crumble the tofu into the pan and add the turmeric, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. Stir thoroughly coating the tofu until golden.
Step 3. Pour in the cream, add the spinach and continue to heat and stir for another 2-3 minutes.
Serve hot from the pan with toast.
3. Sweet Cinnamon French Toast
Blitz the chia seeds in a blender to a powder to make them soak up the liquid easier. It tastes better too. If you are making a large batch or using larger slices of bread preheat your oven on low and keep them warm while you fry each slice.
Makes 4-5 slices
250ml soya/almond milk (use unsweetened) 50g chickpea/gram flour 1 tbsp ground chia seeds 2 tbsp nutritional yeast 2 tsp agave/maple syrup 1 tsp vanilla extract Generous pinch of cinnamon Pinch of black salt 4-5 slices of bread
Step 1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl with a fork or hand whisk. Pour in the milk and whisk to a batter. Add the vanilla and syrup and whisk again. Allow to sit for a few minutes to soak.
Step 2. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and dip the bread in the batter mix, covering both sides. Let it sit for 10 seconds then place in the pan and fry each side for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
Best served with fresh fruit, a drizzle of syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
4. Cream of Tomato Soup
This is an easy, cheap yet rewarding recipe that's great served as a starter or main course. Creamy and rich this soup is a winter warmer and goes perfectly with fresh bread.
Chop the onion finely so it cooks faster and leaves the soup with a smoother texture. Aaron used passata but you can use tomato juice or chopped tomatoes. If using chopped tomatoes you'll need to blend them first to a fine liquid.
2 tbsp of olive oil 2 500g packs of passata (2 tins of chopped tomatoes) 2 onions - finely chopped 1 veg stock cube 2 cloves of garlic - minced 250ml soya/oat/coconut cream 1 tbsp coconut sugar - or sugar of your choice (takes away any bitter flavours) 2 tbsp tomato puree 1/2 tsp pink/sea salt 1 tsp sage 1 tsp basil season with black pepper
Step 1. To a pan on a medium head add 2 tbsp of oil and fry the onions for 3-4 minutes until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and heat for a minute.
Step 2. Then pour in the passata, herbs, salt, pepper and add the stock cube. Keep mixing the soup to combine the ingredients (you want it hot enough to simmer).
Step 3. Pour in the cream (save a little to decorate the top). Mix together then add the sugar and tomato puree.
5. Sausages and Beans on Toast
Drain off some of the liquid from the tomatoes or your toast may go soggy! Why not add some chilli powder to spice it up a bit?
1 can of mixed beans - drained 1 can of chopped tomatoes - drain off some of the liquid 1/2 onion - chopped 1-2 garlic clove - chopped 1 tsp mixed herbs 1 tsp smoked paprika pinch of sea/pink salt black pepper vegan sausages - use 2 per person
Make sure your sausages are cooking and will be ready at the same time as your beans. Fry the onion and garlic in a little oil for a couple of minutes to soften. Pour in the tomatoes and turn up the heat, you want it to simmer. Add the salt, pepper, herbs and paprika. Add the drained beans and stir into the sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Serve with freshly toasted buttered bread and your sausages of choice. Enjoy!
6. Mexican Bean Chilli
Aaron used up some grilled peppers in this recipe but normally he chops fresh one. You can fry it with the onion & garlic or add it when you add the chopped tomatoes. If you like your chilli with a kick then add more to suit your tastes.
Why not make double the amount and freeze it for another day?
1 tin of chopped tomatoes 1 tin of mixed beans - drained 2 medium onions - chopped 2 cloves of garlic - chopped 3 tsp gravy granules Generous pinch of pink/sea salt Season with black pepper 1 red pepper - chopped 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp ground cumin
Step 1. Add 1 tbsp oil to a frying pan on a medium heat. Fry the onion, garlic and pepper for 3-4 minutes to soften.
Step 2. Add the tomatoes, beans, chilli, cumin, salt & pepper. Mix together and bring to a simmer. Add the gravy granules and stir in. Simmer for 10 minutes (stirring occasionally).
Shake off any excess batter when placing them on your baking tray as it can cause the wings to stick together. Depending on the size of the florets, they generally bake for 25 minutes. Then with a cocktail stick check to see how well the cauliflower is cooked. If the stick is difficult to push into the wing bake for a few extra minutes until the wings are firm but tender.
Preheat oven to 200C/392F
Serves 2-3 as a side dish
1 cauliflower (cut into florets) 1 cup of wholemeal flour 1 cup of plant milk (unsweetened) 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning (found in most supermarkets) 1 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp pink/sea salt Season with black pepper
Step 1. Cut the cauliflower into florets (not too small) and set aside. In a large bowl mix together the flour, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper.
Step 2. Pour in the milk and whisk until you have a thick batter. Throw in the florets and use a spoon or your hands to coat each floret in the batter.
Step 3. On a baking tray lined with parchment paper lay out each wing (not too close together) & drizzle with a little olive oil (optional). Bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
8. Chilli Mac n Cheese
One day, Aaron couldn't decide whether to have mac and cheese or chilli for dinner so he combined the two recipes. It turned out to be really tasty and not too spicy. A great winter warmer recipe.
Vegan mince was originally used for this recipe but when Aaron made the video version he used lentils. If using mince make sure you fry it with the onions and garlic. If using lentils use tinned cooked lentils not dry ones. If the dish is too dry when it simmers add a little more cream or milk.
2 cloves of garlic - finely chopped 1 medium onion - chopped 1/2 red pepper - chopped 3 tbsp tomato puree 1 cup plant cream (250ml) 1 cup of vegan mince/cooked lentils 125g macaroni 75g grated vegan cheese 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp paprika, cumin & oregano 1/2 tsp pink/sea salt 3 tbsp nutritional yeast 1 tsp English mustard 1/2 cup kidney beans
Step 1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan on a medium heat. Fry the onion, garlic and pepper for 4-5 minutes to soften. If using mince fry this at the same time.
Step 2. Add the cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, oregano, paprika, lentils and kidney beans. Stir in and lightly fry for 2 minutes.
Step 3. Add the cream, yeast, mustard and puree. Stir everything together and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Serve while hot with salad and garlic bread.
9. Fishless Cakes
Makes around 4 cakes.
Tin of drained cannellini beans 150g cooked potato (leave on skins for fibre and nutrients) 1 clove of crushed garlic 1 tsp sea salt Black pepper to taste 2 tbsp nutritional yeast 1/2 cup of Linda McCartney pulled chicken or soya mince. 2 sheets of nori (blended into powder) 1 tbsp parsley, fresh or dried 2 tbsp lemon juice 3 slices of wholemeal bread (blend in food processor to make crumbs)
Step 1. Add bread to a blender/food processor and blend until you have crumbs, set aside.
Step 2. Blend the nori until it becomes powder, set aside.
Step 3. In a mixing bowl add the beans, potato, lemon juice, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. Mash together but leave a few lumps for a great texture.
Step 4. Now add the chicken/soya, onion, garlic, nori and half the bread crumbs. Using your hands rub ingredients together like a dough and form the fish cakes. Remember the thicker they are the longer they will need cooking.
Step 5. Cover the cakes in breadcrumbs and press the crumbs into the cakes lightly. Gently fry on a medium heat for around 5 minutes each side.