5 Easy & Delicious recipes to try this Veganuary

Saturday 13th January

The more I read about and research plantbased eating, the more convinced I am of it’s natural benefits for our longterm health and wellbeing, and while I still don’t call myself vegan, I am slowly eating more and more vegan meals and dishes without really thinking about it.

January marks the start of what the vegan community are predicting to be one of it’s most successful ‘Veganuarys’ to date; Veganuary is a month that gives people outside the community an opportunity to dip their toes in the lifestyle without committing to anything. The idea is that during Veganuary, you open your eyes and mind to how easy it actually is to eat no animal sourced foods and how unrestricted the lifestyle really is. 

While I didn’t officially sign up to Veganuary, I have been making a conscious effort to eat as much plantbased meals as possible since the start of January, and so far have succeeded, without much effort or thought, to eat almost completely vegan since the new year with the exception of a sprinkling of cheese on pasta once or twice. The thing is, I actually love eating plantbased meals and foods, I always feel better and more energetic and enjoy cooking so much more. With that in mind I am sharing five of my favourite easy vegan recipes to get you inspired this Veganuary, even if you just eat one vegan meal a day it’s a start. 

1. Vegan pizza

Vegan Pizza
Prep Time
1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 

Learn how easy it is to make vegan pizza, dough and all, and you'll never depend on takeaway pizza again; this way is so much more fun. Pizza party anyone?

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 2 pizzas
Ingredients
For the dough
  • 2 1/2 cups strong flour or plain gluten free flour
  • 1/3 cake fresh yeast or 7g fast action dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil of preference I use extra virgin olive oil, you could also use coconut oil
  • pinch of salt
For the sauce & toppings
  • 2 cups tomatoes
  • 2-3 sun-dried tomatoes + extra for toppings
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • red onion
  • asparagus
  • rocket
  • chilli flakes
Instructions
For the dough
  1. Dissolve the yeast in a small bowl with the sugar and one cup of lukewarm water. Stir to combine and then leave to sit for about five minutes to allow the yeast to activate. 

  2. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the salt and vegetable oil then make a 'well' in the middle and pour in the yeast mix. Use a wooden spoon to combine all the ingredients into a dough.

  3. Turn your dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes. 

  4. Return the dough to a clean bowl, cover loosely with clingfilm or a clean teatowel and then leave to rise in a warm space for 45 minutes to one hour, until the dough has doubled in size. 

For the sauce
  1. Wash the tomatoes and add to a high powered blender or food processor along with the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth.

  2. Pour into a small pot and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and add in the sugar. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly then set aside to cool.

Assembling the pizzas
  1. Once the dough has double in size turn it out onto a floured surfaced and knead again to knock out some of the air. Cut the dough in half.

  2. Use your hands to flatten one half of the dough into a round shape and then use a rolling pin to gradually roll out and stretch the dough into a thin pizza base. 

  3. Move your base to a baking tray or pizza tray lined with baking paper and lightly floured (to avoid making holes in your dough as you move it, lightly fold it in half and then half again, then move it and unfold it onto the tray). 

  4. Use a tablespoon to spoon on half of your tomato sauce, spreading it out over the entire base using the back of the spoon or a spatula. Add your desired vegetable toppings, I like onion, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes and a sprinkling of chilly flakes.

  5. Repeat the process with the second half of the dough. Then bake the pizzas in a preheated oven at 200°C (180°C fan oven) for 20-25 minutes.

  6. Garnish with some rocket leaves and a drizzle of olive oil before cutting and serving.

2. Matcha cupcakes

Matcha Cupcakes
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Vegan cupcakes with a vegan buttercream matcha frosting, all infused with the antioxidant power of matcha green tea. They taste good, they look good, they're almost too good to be true. 

Course: Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
For the cupcakes
  • 2 bananas extra ripe
  • 100 ml soya milk or coconut milk
  • 50 g coconut sugar
  • 30 g vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp matcha powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
For the frosting
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 75 g chilled vegan butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp matcha powder
Instructions
For the cupcakes
  1. Start by melting the butter or coconut oil in a small pan over a low heat and then set aside to cool slightly.

  2. Peel the bananas and break into a blender or food processor; add in the milk and blend until smooth. 

  3. Pour the banana mix into a large mixing bowl. Add in the melted butter/oil and sugar. Use an electric whisk to combine together. 

  4. Sieve in the flour, baking powder and matcha powder. Add the vanilla and then use the electric whisk to combine everything together into a smooth cake batter. 

  5. Line you cupcake/muffin trays with 12 cupcakes cases and then spoon the batter out evenly into each, I find using an ice-cream scoop gets the most even division of the mix. 

  6. Bake the cupcakes in a preheated oven at 180°C for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean and dry. Leave to completely cool on a wire rack.

For the 'buttercream' frosting
  1. Add the chilled vegan butter into a medium mixing bowl and use an electric whisk to beat for 3-4 minutes until pale, light and 'fluffy'. 

  2. Gradually sieve in the icing sugar and combine with the butter using the electric whisk. Once you have added about half the icing sugar, add in the matcha powder and vanilla and then continue to add the rest of the icing sugar gradually until you have a smooth spreadable 'buttercream' consistency. If your frosting is too dry, add in 2-3 drops of soya milk and whisk until smooth.

  3. Spoon the frosting into an icing bag and pipe onto the fully cooled cupcakes. Place the cupcakes in the fridge for about an hour to allow the frosting to fully set before eating. 

3. Breakfast muffins

Breakfast Muffins
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

A zesty, hearty morning snack; perfect for anyone who likes to enjoy an early bite to eat on the move.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 100 g flour
  • 125 g rolled oats
  • 50 g desiccated coconut
  • 1-2 tsp baking powder
  • 75 g coconut sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 225 ml soya milk
  • 100 g vanilla soya yoghurt
Instructions
  1. Add all the dry ingredients (flour, oats, coconut, coconut sugar, lemon zest and baking powder) to a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a blender combine the banana and milk until smooth. 

  3. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, pour in the banana mix and then use a wooden spoon to combine all the ingredients.

  4. Add in the yoghurt, stirring until a thick smooth batter forms.
  5. Use an ice-cream scoop or a ¼ cup measure to divide the mix evenly between two muffin tins lined with muffin cases. If you don't have any muffin cases you can use baking parchment cut into squares and pressed down into the holes of the muffin tins instead.

  6. Place in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top.
  7. Remove from the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee!

 

4. Aubergine Chilli with a Cool Cucumber drizzle

Aubergine Chilli with a cool Cucumber drizzle
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Friday night or Saturday night is a take-away night in many house holds, but vegan take aways isn't always available and healthy take is almost non-existent. I like to call this dish my weekend 'fake-away'; the spicy chilli sauce is complimented with the cool, zesty cucumber yoghurt drizzle. It will fill you up, warm you up and is ideal for sharing with friends. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 4 people
Ingredients
For the chilli sauce
  • 1 aubergine
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 red onion
  • 3-4 tsp harissa
  • 2 cups passata
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • salt
  • papper
For the drizzle
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soya yoghurt
Instructions
  1. Start by putting the rice to boil in a medium pan with a pinch of salt for 15-20 until cooked through. 

  2. Meanwhile heat up the olive oil in a pan with the pealed cloves of garlic, salt and pepper. Cut the aubergine into small cubes, add to the oil and cook until soft and browned. 

  3. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and dice onion; add these to the pan, reduce the heat, remove the garlic and allow to simmer until the tomatoes to soften.

  4. Add a teaspoon or two, depending on how hot you want the sauce to be, of harissa and mix through. Add in the passata, chilli flakes, a pinch of salt and pepper and top up with a cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5-6 minutes. 

  5. Cut the cucumber into small cubes; add about a third of what you chopped into a blender with one cup of dairy free yogurt and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and mix in the remaining cucumber. 

  6. Once the sauce has reduced and the rice is boiled you are ready to serve; make a bed of rice with a ‘well’ in the middle, pour on the aubergine sauce and finally serve with a generous drizzle of the cucumber yogurt.

5. Smooth Sweet Potato Soup

Smooth Sweet Potato Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

For the days when you need something cosy that will warm you from the inside out. It is smooth and creamy without the need for cream or milk and packed with vitamin C thanks to the sweet potato.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2-3 white potatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
To garnish
  • chilli flakes
  • toasted sunflower seeds
Instructions
  1. Half fill a large pot with water and bring it to the boil.

  2. Meanwhile peel both the potatoes and sweet potatoes and cut into even sized chunks. Add to the boiling water and leave to cook for 20-25 minutes until soft all the way through. 

  3. In a pan, lightly the fry the onion with the salt, pepper and a peeled clove of garlic. Remove the garlic and set the onion aside to cool slightly.

  4. Remove the potatoes from the water, but save the water. Add the potatoes to  a blender, along with the onions and 2 cups of cooking water. Blend until smooth (add more water if needed).

  5. Pour the soup into a clean pot, and bring to the boil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and an optional pinch of chilli flakes. Simmer for 2 minutes. Serve with a garnishing of toasted sunflower seeds. 

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