7 healthy vegan recipes to try tonight

Vegan food can be as substantial and filling as any comfort food favourite. Nutritionist Sarah Flower brings you 7 recipes that will leave your family warm and nourished (and not missing meat!)

Here is a selection of vegan recipes the whole family can enjoy.   I would highly recommend the cashew nut roast – absolutely delicious  and approved by my most ardent meat-eating friends!

 

Tofu and Spinach Quiche

Vegan recipies quice for article

Oven Recipe

Perfect for Packed Lunches or Picnics!!

This quiche is one of my favourites and it is a big hit with meat eaters as well as vegetarians – most don’t realise they are eating tofu!  It can be adapted for vegans (see below for ingredient substitutions if needed). It is also very simple to make and there’s no risk of a soggy, eggy middle that some quiche recipes can suffer from!

Double Up & Freeze! – Why not double the recipe and freeze before cooking. Don’t forget to label before freezing

Serves 4-6

100g plain flour

50g Vegan margarine

1 onion, finely chopped

1 box tofu, mashed

75g vegan cheese, grated

30g Nutritional yeast flakes

1 baby of baby leaf spinach (approx. 80-100g)

Dash of finely grated nutmeg

Dash of soya or almond milk

Seasoning to taste

  • Make the pastry – Place the flour in a large bowl and add the margarine. Using your fingertips, rub the margarine into the flour until the whole mix resembles breadcrumbs. Add 5–6 tablespoons of cold water (a little at a time) and mix until it forms a dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge to cool until needed.
  • Preheat the oven to 200˚c
  • Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to the correct size and thickness to line a 23cm greased flan tin. Place a sheet of baking parchment over the pastry and cover with baking beans.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the baking beans and parchment and cook for a further 10 minutes until it starts to colour. Remove the pastry case from the oven and turn the oven down to 180°c
  • Meanwhile mash the tofu thoroughly. Place the spinach in a colander and rinse well with hot water until it starts to wilt.  Stir into the tofu.  Add grated vegan cheese, nutritional yeast flakes, onion and nutmeg   If the mixture is too dry, add a dash of soya or almond milk and mix well. Season well before pouring into the pastry case.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden.

 

Lentil Dahl

dahl

 

Hob Recipe

This is so easy to make and costs very little.  You can make it mild and creamy by adding some coconut cream – ideal for children or spice it up to suit your taste.  You can add fresh chillies or chilli flakes if you prefer a more powerful dahl.

Healthy Tip!  Lentils can help lower cholesterol and help balance blood sugars.  They are an excellent source of protein, fibre, b vitamins and minerals.

Serves 4

1 tsp olive oil or coconut oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 pepper, chopped (optional)

1-2 fresh chillies, finely chopped

100g red lentils

1-2 inch knuckle of fresh ginger

3 heaped teaspoons curry powder

1-2 teaspoons turmeric

3 tomatoes, finely chopped

1 teaspoon tomato puree

300-400ml of hot water (start by only using the 300ml)

2 tbsp coconut cream (optional)

  • Place the olive oil or coconut oil in a heavy based pan on a medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onion, garlic, chillies and pepper and cook for 5 minutes to start to soften.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and allow to simmer gently on the hob – stirring occasionally to avoid it sticking to the base – don’t have it too high – better to cook slowly on a lower heat.
  • Stir occasionally during cooking. As the lentils start to break down, it will thicken to a rich golden dahl.  You may need to add more liquid if it needs it.
  • If you like a creamier dahl, stir in a couple of tablespoons of coconut cream. Sprinkle with coconut before serving.

 

Moroccan Style Vegetable Tagine with Quinoa

vegetable tagine

 

A really wholesome dish with a kick.  Serve with quinoa as this is much better nutritionally than the traditional couscous.  You can use any vegetables in this dish so feel free to add and change to suit taste and what is lurking in the bottom of your fridge!  This is an idea recipe to make in your slow cooker – simply add all the ingredients and set to auto or high for 6-8 hours.

Double Up & Freeze! – Why not double the recipe and freeze before cooking into single of family size portions.  Don’t forget to label before freezing.

Healthy Tip! Quinoa is a complete protein that will keep you fuller for longer, helping you with weight loss, but it has also been shown to protect you against some cancers.  It contains more iron than other grains and a very good source of fibre.   A study found a diet rich in grains such as Quinoa offers significant protection against cancer, in pre-menopausal women.  High in protein and contains good quantities of phosphorus and potassium.  It is also a really rich source of vitamin E.

Serves 6

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 red onion, diced

2-3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

1 chilli, finely chopped

2cm knuckle of ginger, finely chopped

1 peppers, diced

2 sticks of celery, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 large courgette, diced

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

75g red lentils

1 tin of chickpeas, drained

40g dried apricots, halved

2 tsp harissa paste

1-2 tsp chilli powder

½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)

2 tsp turmeric

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp dried mint

½ tsp ground coriander

500ml vegetable stock

Small handful of fresh coriander, chopped

  • Place the coconut oil in a heavy based stock pot. Add the onion, garlic, chilli, ginger and peppers and cook for a couple of minutes to help soften.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and cover with hot vegetable stock.
  • Allow so simmer gently on a low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Transfer to a tagine to serve, sprinkle with some chopped coriander, flaked almonds and pomegranate seeds before serving.

 

Tofu & Chickpea Burgers

tofu burgers

Hob or Grill Recipe

I love these burgers.  If you like them to taste very spicy, double up the chillies and add a splash of Tabasco sauce.

Serves 4-6

Double Up & Freeze! – Why not double the recipe and freeze.  See below on how to freeze them without them sticking together.  Don’t forget to label before freezing.

1 tin chickpeas, drained

250g or 1 pack firm tofu

1 onion, finely chopped

1–2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 chilli, finely chopped

1 celery stick, finely chopped

1 teaspoon tomato purée

1-2 teaspoons garam masala

Splash of soy sauce

Seasoning to taste

1 tablespoon wholemeal breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon oats

 

  • Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and mash until soft. Add the tofu and continue to mash until the two are thoroughly mixed together.
  • Meanwhile, fry the onion, garlic, chilli and celery until soft. Add to the chickpea and tofu mixture.
  • Add the tomato purée, garam masala, soy sauce and seasoning. Stir well before adding the breadcrumbs and oats.
  • Mix thoroughly and form into balls (on a floured surface if the mixture is sticky) – the balls should be firm but moist. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the balls into burger
  • You can place them in the fridge until you are ready to use them, or freeze them in layers (separate each layer with parchment to prevent them sticking together).
  • When you are ready to cook the burgers, brush lightly with olive oil. Grill, fry, BBQ or oven-cook until golden.
  • Garnish with salad and serve with wholemeal baps.

 

Spicy Bean & Tomato Stuffed Butternut Squash

squash vegan recipes

Hob and Oven Recipe

If you have not tried butternut squash before, give it a go, it is really delicious and this is a very simple dish to prepare.

Serves 4

1 butternut squash, halved

Olive oil

sprinkle of paprika

Seasoning to taste

1 red onion, finely chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 chilli, finely chopped

1-2 teaspoons curry powder

1 red pepper, finely chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tin of mixed beans, drained

Small handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 190˚c
  • While the oven is preheating, halve the butternut squash and remove the seeds. Using a sharp knife, scour the flesh of the butternut squash in a criss-cross pattern.  Place on your greased baking tray.  Brush with olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.
  • Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Whilst that is cooking, in a sauté pan, fry the onion, garlic and chilli until it starts to soften. Add the curry powder and red pepper and cook for another couple of minutes before adding all remaining ingredients.
  • Cook for another 5 minutes making sure it is well combined. Leave to one side until needed.
  • When the butternut squash is soft, remove from the oven. You can scoop out a little of the flesh to form a small well in the centre of each half of the butternut squash.  Add this flesh to the bean mixture.
  • Spoon the bean mixture onto the butternut squash. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Serve with a lovely green salad.

 

 

Vegetable & Bean Crumble

moroccan crumble

Hob and Oven Recipe

This is a very filling one-pot dish packed with goodness and is also a good way of using up the odd vegetables you have in the fridge.  Serve on its own or with a salad for a perfect meal.

Double Up & Freeze! – Why not double the recipe and freeze before cooking into single of family size portions.  Don’t forget to label before freezing.

Serves 4-6

Coconut oil

1 sweet potato, diced

1 white potato, diced

1 carrot, diced

2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1 red pepper, diced

1 stick of celery, diced

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tin of mixed beans

1-2 Handfuls of fresh baby leaf spinach

Small handful of mixed fresh herbs

Seasoning to taste

75g vegan butter

150g plain flour

30g nutritional yeast flakes

30g mixed seeds

50g oats

  • Prepare your vegetables. Place the potatoes and carrots in a steamer and steam for 10 minutes to help soften.
  • Meanwhile, place olive oil in sauté pan and cook the onion and garlic until it starts to soften. Add the pepper, celery, chopped tomatoes, 200ml vegetable stock, spinach and herbs and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 180˚c
  • Add the potatoes and carrots to the tomato mixture and season to taste. Pour this into a deep ovenproof dish.
  • In a bowl, add the flour and rub in the margarine to form a texture similar to breadcrumbs. Add the oats, seeds and nutritional yeast flakes and season well.
  • Sprinkle this over the vegetable base. You can leave this to cool and freeze, leave in the fridge until ready to cook or place immediately into your preheated oven.
  • Place the crumble in the oven and cook for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.
  • Serve immediately.

 

 

Mushroom and Cashew Nut Roast

mushroom casserole

This is a fantastic recipe for a roast or Christmas dinner.  It has always been really popular with meat eaters and vegetarians.  It does really speed up the preparation process if you have a food processor .

Serves 6

Double Up & Freeze! – Why not double the recipe and freeze before cooking. I freeze mine in the loaf tin, then remove and freeze ready to pop back in the tin whenever I want to cook it. Don’t forget to label before freezing.

1 large onion finely chopped

200g Cashew nuts (chopped)

250g mushrooms (I prefer chestnut but choose whatever works for you)

50g breadcrumbs (from your own bread)

2 tsp yeast extract

  • Fry onion in a little oil until translucent.
  • Add onions and nuts and cook for five minutes
  • Add yeast extract, followed by the breadcrumbs.
  • Place into lined loaf tin and press down to form firm base
  • Bake in oven for 40 minutes.
  • Can be frozen (before baking) and used when needed.

NB:  Another variation of this is to wrap the mixture in puff pastry – this makes a Mushroom En Croute which looks very impressive, particularly for Christmas lunch or as an alternative to meat when putting together a roast.  Roll out the pasty and place on a baking tray.  Add the mixture in the middle long ways.  Using a sharp knife, cut 1-2inch strips either side of the mixture – you will then fold these over the mixture to form a pleated effect.  Fold the pastry over the top and seal well with beaten egg or milk.  Bake for 40 minutes until golden.


sarah flower 2
Sarah Flower is a nutritionist and author of 15 recipe and health books. Sarah is also ambassador for Jamie Oliver Food Revolution and campaigner for healthy eating; teaching  healthy eating education and cookery in schools as well as corporate businesses.  For more information visit www.sarahflower.co.uk  or Twitter @MsSarahFlower

 

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