Having published ‘34 Vegetarian Sunday Lunch Recipes you need to know about‘ last year, I thought it was about time I got round to putting together a vegan version. These are all delicious vegan meals which could be served alongside roast potatoes, gravy, lots of veg and all the trimmings, or perhaps a centrepiece for a big family meal.
One of the great things about fruit and veg ‘glut’ seasons is that even if you don’t have a garden or allotment of your own, you can often take advantage of the abundant crops via the overflowing bargain aisles at your local supermarket.
I don’t usually shop on a Sunday but popped to our local Co-op for a few essentials, and found these gorgeous looking strawberries and figs reduced for quick sale to under a pound a punnet. Too good to miss, and I was in need of jam for some Wimbledon-watching scones.
This is one of those ‘what have I got in the fridge’ recipes which turned out far better than I expected. I thought it would be simply a filling and quick vehicle for some great seasonal vegetables, on the table in fifteen minutes with leftovers for lunch.
But in fact it was better than that – fairly garlicky, (adjust if you have an important meeting / first date the following day), with lovely flavour from the fennel without being too ‘anniseedy’, (I’m not always a huge fennel fan but love it in this dish), and unexpected crunch from al-dente carrots and walnuts, with a zing of lemon juice and parsley to really finish it off.
Isn’t it funny how some things we usually eat hot also work really well cold, but others don’t? Like cold pasta, (eg. fusilli or penne), in a salad is delicious, but somehow cold tagliatelle seems really wrong. And cold tomato soup is gorgeous as gazpacho, but cold cauliflower soup sounds revolting. Cold waxy potatoes in salad are wonderful, but cold chips are less so!
My point is that whilst I usually prefer my noodles hot, these gorgeous soba noodles work really, really well cold – they retain their bite and nutty flavour and are great for soaking up the flavours of punchy dressings, like this creamy and crunchy peanut and sesame one.
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Here’s a quick weeknight supper which is smoky, spicy, packed with flavour and very filling. (Oh and it’s really good for you too – bonus!). Your taste buds will be transported to Mexico with every spoonful, thanks to the chipotle and smoked paprika, coriander, lime and spring onions.
The star of the show here is black quinoa, with its earthy, sweet flavour. It is classed as a ‘complete protein’ containing 8 essential amino acids, and its delicious flavour and soft texture make it a perfect alternative to rice, pasta and cous-cous. It really bulks out this soup into a meal in itself – perfect for a speedy and satisfying dinner.
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The never-ending debate is re-surfacing again for the summer…. what on earth do vegetarians & vegans want to eat at BBQs? Fake sausages just dry out and turn to cardboard, and I’m getting a bit bored of halloumi.
So, here’s an idea which is deceptively easy and a sure-fire crowd pleaser at any BBQ… garlicky, olive-y flatbreads cooked quickly over the coals, topped with marinated artichokes and cherry tomatoes. Totally delicious, and great served with hummus, baba ganoush or other middle-eastern style bits and pieces.
Here’s one of those ‘bung it all in and see what happens’ sort of suppers – supposedly celebrating all the fabulous produce that early British summertime brings, (though I fear that summer might in fact have been and gone…. oh well, it was fun whilst it lasted).
If you’re a regular reader you’ll have noticed that I’m not much of a salad fan…. I rarely find a salad filling and satisfying enough to count as a main meal in its own right, but adding grains like giant cous cous (here), bulgur wheat (here), or rice (here) transforms a collection of vegetables (ie. a side dish), into a proper stand-alone main course.
Here’s a really gorgeous savoury scone recipe, which I’ve cut into fingers for the sole purpose of dunking into a nice big bowl of soup. By all means cut these into rounds or squares instead, (in fact little round ones halved, with something lovely on the top would make a really gorgeous party nibble or canapé.). The flavours are punchy, just how I like them – along with the sun-dried tomato is cayenne, mustard and garlic, then the crunch of pine nuts. These are just as good, (in fact better!), than any cheese scone I’ve had recently!
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I’m not sure I’ve met anyone who doesn’t like lasagne, but let’s face it – it can be a bit of a chore to make. Two pots bubbling on the stove, one with a creamy béchamel and the other with a rich, tomato-ey ragù, then all that layering, breaking the lasagne sheets into the right shape, then baking. It is absolutely always worth the wait, but sometimes I just can’t quite find the motivation.
So here’s something a bit different – a no-chop, no-saucepan, lazy-
boy -person’s lasagne.