Recipe: Black Bean & Avocado Tacos (from ‘Vegan in 15’)

Black Bean & Avocado Tacos

Just over a year ago I shared the exciting news that my brand new cookbook, ‘Vegan in 15‘ had hit the shelves .  Published by Short Books, it is crammed full of speedy (15 minute!) vegan recipes which are easy, delicious and with no weird or whacky ingredients in sight.

And what a year it has been.  So many lovely folks tagging me in pictures of their 15-minute dinners on instagram, (search #Vegan In15), recipes from the book featured in The Times, ‘i’ newspaper, Veggie Magazine, Cook Vegan, Vegan Live, Vegan Food & Living, and reviews in HELLO! and lots of my favourite food blogs.  A whirlwind of vegan excitement.

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Vegan Christmas Dinner Recipe: Kale Lovers’ Christmas Pie

Kale Christmas Pie | #Vegan

In collaboration with Discover Kale

There are two types of people in the world: those who would read “kale and polenta pastry with a kale nut roast filling” and think ‘why?’, and those who would think – ‘that’s my Christmas Dinner sorted”.  If you fall into the second category, read on!

This festive pie makes kale, that bright green, mineral-y superfood, the star of the show, and is just perfect with roast potatoes, gravy and all the trimmings of a traditional Christmas dinner.  And most importantly, you can make it well in advance and freeze it, or make the pastry one day, the filling the next and assemble the pie on Christmas Eve with nothing to do but bake it on Christmas Day.

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Vegan Christmas Recipe: Creamy Leek Strudel Wreath

Creamy Leek Strudel Wreath

In collaboration with Discover Leeks

That annual dilemma is coming around once again….. what vegan or vegetarian ‘centrepiece’ are you going to cook for Christmas dinner?  Ideally, I think it should be something that a) goes well with roast potatoes, gravy and all the trimmings, b) looks fairly impressive, and might get a few ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as you bring it to the table, and c) isn’t going to involve you spending ALL morning (and the night before) slaving over a hot stove.

So here’s an idea for you that is quite a bit simpler than it looks, tastes great and has a fairly short and simple list of ingredients.

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Recipe: Slow Cooker Butternut Dhal

Slow Cooker Butternut Dhal | Vegan

In collaboration with Redmond Multicookers

What a gift it is when you discover a food that’s a) deeply satisfying winter comfort-food, b) incredibly easy to make, and c) low-fat, high-protein and very good for you, all at the same time.  Not possible? Meet Dhal!  This is one of my favourite suppers, and my kids love it too, (even the baby, who scoops it up with his fingers – you can imagine the mess!!), so it comes up often on our weekly meal plan, with rice and/or naan bread.

It is perfectly suited to slow-cooking, so you can get this prepped in the morning then leave it to do its thing for the rest of the day, just in time for dinner.  It keeps well in the fridge for a few days, and also freezes well, so if you’re looking to expand your repertoire of vegan batch-cooking for the freezer, dhal is your friend!

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Recipe: Bangers & Borlotti Bean Stew

Bangers & Borlotti Beans | Vegan Stew

20 Min Meals | Vegetarian & VeganConfession time: this recipe was going to be a ‘Bonfire Night’ Bangers ‘n’ Borlotti Bean Stew, posted in the week before 5th November, in time for you to shop for ingredients then enjoy with a backdrop of fireworks.  But life happened, and here it is a couple of weeks late…. oops!  It is just as tasty, and perfect for coming home to after a chilly autumn walk.

Vegan sausages, baby carrots and borlotti beans in a thick, tomatoey gravy – this is a speedy 20 minute meal, helped out by one of my favourite ‘cheat’ ingredients, instant gravy granules.  They thicken the sauce, and give it a deep, savoury flavour at the same time – just check they are vegan, (most are).

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Recipe: Moroccan Stuffed Romano Peppers

Moroccan Stuffed Romano Peppers | Vegan

Sweet, roasted romano peppers, lemony giant couscous and harissa-braised chickpeas… this is a surprisingly simple supper that looks great and tastes even better.  Romano peppers are the long, pointy ones now quite widely available in supermarkets.  They work well here because their flesh is quite a bit thinner than a standard pepper, so they can be roasted quickly without turning soggy, but hold their shape.  But of course you could use standard peppers if that’s what you have to hand, just roast them for a little longer than the recipe suggests.

Harissa is one of those ingredients that immediately transports my tastebuds for a mooch around Marrakesh.  I actually used Rose Harissa* which is even better, fragrant and exotic, but the ‘normal’ stuff is fab too, so do use whatever is lurking in your cupboard.

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Recipe: Sticky Sweet Ginger Tofu with Baby Courgettes

Sticky Sweet Ginger Tofu with Baby Courgettes | Vegan & Vegetarian

in collaboration with Cauldron Foods

Until fairly recently I was a tofu-sceptic – loving the stuff in Thai and Japanese restaurants, but often frustrated when cooking it at home and ending up with a soggy, flabby mess.  But I’ve learned a few tricks recently to help get that super-crispy, packed with flavour ‘ultimate’ tofu taste at home and now cook it regularly.

It doesn’t have much of a flavour of its own. but soaks up anything you chuck at it like a sponge, so marinading is a great idea, and pairing it with lots of ginger, garlic, chilli, soy sauce, sesame, coriander and so on makes a huge difference.

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Recipe: BBQ Black Bean & Jalepeño Burger (Vegan)

Vegan BBQ Black Bean & Jalapeno Burger

In collaboration with OXO Good Grips

If you’re dusting off your BBQ in readiness for the next Bank Holiday weekend, you might be looking for some easy veggie and vegan recipes to spice things up a bit.  Here’s a juicy and flavour-packed burger which won’t fall apart on the BBQ, and which you can make and freeze in advance.  What more could you ask for?

I’ve been testing out my new OXO Good Grips Burger Press this week, and this black bean and jalapeño combination has definitely been my favourite.  And it is all the better topped with creamy smashed avocado, alongside all your favourite burger toppings.

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Recipe: Chestnut Mushroom Bourguignon

Chestnut Mushroom Bourguignon (Vegan)

20 Min Meals | Vegetarian & VeganJuicy chestnut mushrooms cooked in a rich and glossy red wine gravy… this is a warm, comforting dinner which has the added bonus of leaving two thirds of a bottle of red wine going spare for a cosy night in.

This is the latest in my ‘20 Minute Meals‘ series, and is suitable (as always) for both vegetarians and vegans.  Make sure you cook the bourguignon over a fairly high heat, it should be bubbling vigorously throughout to ensure it reduces to its thick, glossy sauce before your 20 minutes are up.

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