We are constantly being told that veganism is the future. Not only does it show compassion for all living creatures, but in terms of the climate, a vegan diet can be the most sustainable option.
Switching January for Veganuary is a great way to start experimenting if you’re new to a plant-based diet and we have a selection of recipes to inspire that change, including a crowd-pleasing soup, a robust winter salad, a fresh take on sweet and sour, and a moreish traybake.
Renowned chef and food enthusiast, Gwen Kenneally, has released her highly anticipated Plantastic Cookbook which offers home cooks a delightful array of options to satisfy both vegans and omnivores alike. With over two decades of culinary experience, Gwen's commitment to sustainability shines through in her recipes and the book also provides valuable nutritional insights and tips on maintaining a balanced plant-based diet. Recipes include fava bean mint toast, jambalaya, breakfast quinoa and rice pudding with whipped cashew cream.
Roasted Carrot, Asparagus, and Ginger Soup
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium red onions, sliced
- 1 (4-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 litres (8 cups) vegetable stock
- 908g (2 pounds) carrots
- 908g (2 pounds) asparagus
- Pinch of kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- Roughly chop the carrots, asparagus, red onions, peeled ginger, and garlic. Toss with olive oil and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for about one hour until tender.
- Move to soup pot and add the stock. Simmer over medium heat until the carrots are tender. Puree and season with salt and pepper.
Recipe reprinted with permission from
Plantastic Cookbook by Gwen Kenneally (November 2023 Huqua Press)
Puy Lentil and Pepper Salad with Peach and Parsley Pesto
Ingredients for salad:
- 1 can (415g) peach halves (we like Del Monte® Peach Halves in Juice)
- 2 red onions
- 4 Romano red peppers
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 x 250g pre-cooked Puy lentils
- 100g pitted green olives
- Handful of rocket leaves
- 28g pack of flat-leaf parsley
- 75g toasted pine nuts
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.
- Drain the can of peach halves, reserving the juice. Next, peel the onions, cutting each into eight wedges. Remove the stalk and seeds from the peppers, again cut into chunks and place the vegetables onto a baking sheet in a single layer
- Whisk together 1 tbsp of the reserved peach juice with the 1 tbsp of olive oil, adding plenty of salt and pepper then drizzle it over the peppers and onions and cook in the oven for 30 minutes until it starts to char at the edges.
- Meanwhile make the salsa: roughly chop the parsley leaves and stalks and place in a mini food processor along with 50g of the pine nuts, the 3 tbsp of olive oil and 3 tbsp of the reserved peach juice until the parsley and pine nuts are finely chopped and you have a thick pesto. Transfer to a small bowl season well with salt and pepper and stir through a little more peach juice or olive oil to loosen slightly if need be. Chop two of the peach halves into small pieces and fold into the pesto.
- Heat the Puy lentils according to packet instructions and tip into a large bowl. Coat in the pesto and then gently stir in the red onion and pepper pieces. Transfer to a large serving dish, top with the remaining sliced peach halves, green olives and rocket leaves.
Image: Puy Lentil and Pepper Salad with Peach and Parsley Pesto (landscape)
Crispy Tofu with Sweet and Sour Peppers and Pineapple
Ingredients for sauce:
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 6 tbsp pineapple Juice (you can use the juice from the can you’ll see listed below)
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 4 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely grated
- Good pinch of dried chilli flakes
- 280g extra-firm tofu
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 can (435g) Pineapple Chunks in Juice (again, we recommend Del Monte®)
- 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- Thinly sliced spring onions, to serve
- Mix the sauce ingredients together thoroughly and set aside.
- Cut the tofu into small cubes. Put in a mixing bowl and sprinkle over with cornflour and plenty of salt and pepper. Toss together so that the tofu is coated in the cornflour. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a fairly high heat. Add the tofu and cook for about six minutes until golden and crisp. Leaving the oil in the pan, remove the tofu and put on kitchen paper to drain.
- With the pan over a medium-high heat, add the pineapple chunks and cook for three to four minutes, tossing once or twice, so they start to take on some colour.
- Add the sliced peppers and cook for another five minutes or so, stirring regularly until softened. Add the sauce into the pan and stir through. After a couple of minutes the sauce should bubbling and reduced but not cooked away to nothing.
- Divide the peppers and pineapple between your serving bowls, then add the crispy tofu. Sprinkle with thinly sliced spring onion and serve.
Vegan Browned Butter, Chocolate Chip and Hazelnut Traybake
- 80g Lyle's Golden Syrup
- 125g vegan butter
- 120g soft light brown sugar
- 225g plain flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 100g plant milk
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 100g chocolate chips plus another 50g to drizzle over the top
- 50g roasted chopped hazelnuts
- Preheat the oven to 180C fan
- Grease and line a 20 x 20cm square tin, or something similar with parchment paper.
- Place the vegan butter in a pan over a medium heat and stir until melted. Keep stirring regularly until it starts to look slightly darker in colour. Vegan butter doesn’t brown as much so don’t worry if it’s not dark golden but once it has browned a little, pour into a bowl and add in the light brown sugar. Stir until combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt. Stir together before adding the butter and sugar mixture along with the plant milk and vanilla extract. Add in the Lyle's Golden Syrup and incorporate fully. Finally, add in the chocolate chips and nuts, stir until evenly distributed. Place the batter into the brownie tin and spread into an even layer.
- Bake for 20-25mins until golden brown then leave to cool fully before removing from the tin. Drizzle over with the extra melted chocolate and once this has set cut into nine squares.