Ok, I have accepted that we will probably not be able to travel for a fare while yet. Kicking and screaming, I have accepted that fact. So, I have been travelling around the world via my kitchen! I decided that while we were on lockdown, I would cook something new everyday. This has meant I have been a little more adventurous in my vegan cooking! Some have turned out a treat, some…not so much…! The ones that were delicious, I thought I would share with you. Let’s go on a virtual trip around the world, via easy vegan recipes!
All of these recipes I have tried to get as much goodness into them as I could. Lots of veg and vitamins. We all need to keep our immunity up and our body healthy while Coronavirus is still wandering around looking for hosts! Please remember, I am not a chef! I am just experimenting in my kitchen, challenging myself to find new meals. I also love a lazy vegan recipe that can be done in one bowl….None of these need a cooking degree, but all turned out well! It was as much a surprise to me, trust me….
Easy Vegan Recipes
All of these can be adjusted to your own taste. I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to spicy heat, so these may be a little mild for some tastes. Just up your spice if your hard core! I am a true advocate of never throwing food away. I tend to use whatever veg is in my fridge, and needs using up. So you can pretty much put any veg in these dishes. That was how I discovered the blitzed mushrooms in chilli.I had shrooms to use up, so in they went! Enjoy!
First stop -Thailand!
Coconut Vegan Soup with Chilli
Really simple to make, and one pot cooking which is my fave kind of cooking!
- large sweet potato – cubed
- 1 large butternut squash – cubed
- 1 large onion – chopped
- 850 ml boiling water with a vegan stock cube dissolved in it
- 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes (or to your taste)
- 2 teaspoons of ginger powder (good for digestion)
- 1 generous teaspoon of lemongrass paste
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (good for the airways)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tin of coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric – (fab immunity booster)
- pinch or fresh or dried coriander
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (or other cooking oil)
Put the veg into a pan with a tea spoon of coconut oil and gently fry for 5 mins. Add the water. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add all of the herbs and spices. Gently simmer for another 10 minutes, or until all veg soft. I then blended the veg until it was chunky. Add the tin of coconut milk and blend together. I like my soup quite thick so I did not over blend, but you can do it however your prefer. That is it! As easy as that. I also found this tasted much more delicious if left to stand for a couple of hours after cooking. All the flavours came out and it was gorgeous.
Let’s pop into Italy
Italian Vegetable Pasta
Again, this has lots of veg and goodness in it. You can replace the veg with whatever you like once you have your main tomato base. I use whatever I need to use up in my fridge, so have made a few variations.
- about 15 large tomatoe’s – quartered
- 1 large onion – chunky chopped
- 3 garlic gloves, or a teaspoon of chopped garlic (again, do this to taste. I LOVE garlic, and it is so good for your blood)
- 2 large courgettes – chopped
- 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper – chopped
- 5 large closed cup mushrooms – sliced
- handful of spinach
- fresh basil to stir in at end if you have it
- salt and pepper
- 1 table spoon dried basil or mixed Italian herbs
- generous squirt of tomato puree
- drizzle of olive oil
Put the tomatoes in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil. Pinch of sea salt. In a separate tray, put the onion and garlic. Drizzle with oil, a little salt. Put both in the oven at 200 degrees, for about 15 minutes. At the 15 min mark, take the onion tray out and add the rest of the chopped veg. Drizzle with oil, put back in the oven. When the veg is cooked, take both trays out the oven. The tomatoes should be cooked and starting to release juice. Put the tomato’s into a pan and roughly smash down. Add all your herbs and seasoning. Add the cooked veg. Stir all together and simmer for about 5 mins. Add a few chopped basil leaves to finish. You could serve this with any pasta you like. We have had it with spaghetti and fusilli. Using wholemeal pasta will up your fibre consumption so use that if you have it. The sauce will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.
Next Stop – India for a Vegan Curry
Sweet potato and Chick pea curry
Delicious and comforting. Can be served with rice, or we have also had leftover on a jacket potato the next day. I love curries, and this is one area I would love to up my knowledge on. I know it is all about the curry paste base with a good curry. I have tried a few variations, but this one is pretty reliable.
- 2 large sweet potato’s – chopped into large cubes
- 1 butternut squash – chopped into cubes
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 can chick peas
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons turmeric (immunity booster)
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- big handful of spinach leaves
Place the cubed sweet potato and squash in a baking tray. Drizzle with oil and put in the oven just to start them off. For about 10 minutes. In a pan, put the garlic and tablespoon of coconut oil, heat until sizzling (don’t let it burn, I learnt that one…). Then, add the tomato puree and all of the spices. This is your curry paste. When all combined, add the coconut milk, tomato and mix well. Add the roasted veg and mix together. Transfer to an oven dish, and bake in the oven. Mine took about half hour to cook, but keep your eye on it. You don’t want you veg to mush. When cooked, add your drained chick peas and spinach. Serve with rice.
Finally, Mexico for easy Vegan chilli. Provecho!
This chilli has the extra goodness of lots of mushrooms mixed in. It thickens the chilli and makes it go further. Please excuse the dodgy photo here, I had to take it from my Instagram as I had cleverly, cleared the originals from my phone…
Vegan mushroom Chilli
- 1/2 packet vegan frozen mince
- 1/2 pack of mushrooms – any kind
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 pepper
- 1/2 cup of lentils if you want the extra fibre
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can tomatoes
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1 vegan stock cube (dissolved in the warm water)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of chilli (or to your taste)
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- salt and pepper
- 2 table spoons maple syrup (optional but I love it)
- squirt of fresh lime over the top if to your taste. I love it!
Put the mushrooms in a blender and blitz. Leave to one side. Put the onion, pepper, and garlic in a pan with a little oil, and fry for a few minutes. Add the mince and stir. Chuck in the water (with the stock cube in it), drained beans, lentils and tinned toms, along with all the seasoning. Mix well, cover and let simmer gently. After about 10 minutes, add the blitzed mushrooms. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Stir in the maple syrup about 5 minutes from the end of cooking time. The mushrooms just bring more fibre, and a richness to the chilli that I really like. You can adjust the seasoning to however you like it. I also sometimes chuck in a tin of baked beans!
Well, that is it, we have been on our little kitchen based travel tour. We may not be able to get to these places at the moment, but we will by hook or crook get there in spirit! I have actually enjoyed trying to find ways of getting the flavour of overseas. It has actually been fun. Just don’t tell Nik and the boys as they may expect me to always cook even after lockdown is over…I hope you can see how simple, but so full of the good stuff these easy vegan recipes are. Like I say, chuck in whatever veg you have! I love spinach leaves stirred into anything, so you could add them to any of these really. I love Healthy Living James for vegan meal inspiration. His recipes are always uncomplicated and simple. I also love the Bosh books, both the Simple Recipes and the Healthy Vegan ones. I use them a lot.
I also find adding lentils to a dish makes it go a lot further too. This is brilliant if you are batch cooking as you will get more meals. I have used red split pea lentils in the thai soup and the curry, as well as always in my chilli. Experiment. Nothing can really go wrong with vegan cooking. As long as you get flavour in there, you got yourself a meal!
If you would like some other lockdown inspiration, I have you covered. There are 40 books for your reading list while self isolating, and 25 Things to do while you self isolate. I hope you are all keeping well, keeping safe, and keeping sane! Stay home, we will be free again soon xx
I would really love to hear if you give any of them a go. Also, if you have any easy vegan recipes you love, let me know. It is always good to try other things. I seem to have become a domestic goddess in the lockdown………kind of….