Recipe: Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese - a lighter, vegan version of the ultimate comfort food #vegan #plantbased | thevegspace.co.uk

There’s something about butternut squash…. more than any other vegetable I can think of, it becomes so incredibly velvety and creamy when cooked, making just about the best creamy vegan soups and sauces.  And of course when roasted it is beautifully sweet, mashed it makes a superb shepherds’ pie topping, and thickly sliced, marinated and par-cooked beforehand, is totally more-ish on the BBQ.

But I’ll admit that sometimes I lack motivation for faffing with the thick skin, trying not to lose a finger whilst chopping it, and those seeds that just stick to everything they touch.  When I started thinking about this recipe, I was really looking for a very low-effort but maximum-flavour way of cooking a vegan butternut squash mac and cheese.

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Recipe: Colcannon-Topped Vegan Shepherds Pie

This vegan Shepherds Pie topped with colcannon mash is proper British comfort food #vegan #plantbased | thevegspace.co.uk

I promised you easy vegan comfort food, and you can’t get much more comforting than this cosy Colcannon-topped Vegan Shepherds Pie.  This would make a perfect Sunday lunch for all the family, served with green peas and tenderstem broccoli.

Or why not make a batch and freeze in individual foil trays, so you have some standby suppers for weeknights when you don’t have time to cook?

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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 (Vegan)

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: Vegan Sausage Casserole with Bangers & Borlotti Beans

Vegan Sausage Casserole - Bangers & Borlotti Beans #vegan #plantbased | The Veg Space

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!  This vegan sausage casserole is 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 Peppers (Vegan)

These Moroccan Stuffed Peppers are simple but oh-so-tasty! #vegan #plantbased | thevegspace.co.uk

Sweet, roasted romano peppers, lemony giant couscous and harissa-braised chickpeas… these Moroccan Stuffed Peppers make 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 for these stuffed peppers 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.

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Recipe: Sticky Sweet Ginger Tofu with Baby Courgettes (Vegan)

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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