Category Archives: Lunch

Lunch

During the week, lunches need to be quick to prepare and, for many, easily transported to workplaces. Sandwiches can be made with a choice of breads such as a standard sliced loaf, rolls, wraps or a baguette (just check for milk proteins) and dairy-free margarine such as Vitalite or Pure, both of which can be found in supermarkets. For fillings, try yeast extract and tomato, peanut butter, dairy-free cheese and pickle, avocado and veggie bacon, cheatin’ ham and mustard, houmous and salad, veggie sausage and mustard, or mushroom paté and cucumber. (The faux meats, dairy-free cheese and paté can be found in health food shops.)

Soup

Soup is a great standby. Many tinned and fresh soups in supermarkets are suitable for vegans. Baxters labels which of its soups are suitable for vegans – and so does the Co-op and Sainsburys. Look out for Amy’s soups in supermarkets. Of course, it is easy to make your own. There are thousands of vegan soup recipes, but here are two to try.

Lunch

During the week, lunches need to be quick to prepare and, for many, easily transported to workplaces. Sandwiches can be made with a choice of breads such as a standard sliced loaf, rolls, wraps or a baguette (just check for milk proteins) and dairy-free margarine such as Vitalite or Pure, both of which can be found in supermarkets. For fillings, try yeast extract and tomato, peanut butter, dairy-free cheese and pickle, avocado and veggie bacon, cheatin’ ham and mustard, houmous and salad, veggie sausage and mustard, or mushroom paté and cucumber. (The faux meats, dairy-free cheese and paté can be found in health food shops.)

Soup

Soup is a great standby. Many tinned and fresh soups in supermarkets are suitable for vegans. Baxters labels which of its soups are suitable for vegans – and so does the Co-op and Sainsburys. Look out for Amy’s soups in supermarkets. Of course, it is easy to make your own. There are thousands of vegan soup recipes, but here are two to try.

Super saucy chickpea masala sandwich

Serves 3

  • 1 whole onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 whole pepper, or 2-3 small sweet peppers
  • 1 tbsp of garam masala
  • 1 tbsp of cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Ciabata or bread of choice
  • Avocado
  • Lemon juice

Method

  1. Chop the onion and garlic cloves and place them in a pan, alongside a small amount of your oil of choice. Cook until they begin to caramelise.
  2. Add chickpeas and chopped pepper, along with the garam masala and the cumin.
  3. Add the chilli powder, tomato puree and a small amount of water. Stir all of the ingredients together, and simmer until the chickpeas are cooked, and the mixture has thickened to the consistency of spread.
  4. Once cooked, add the chopped coriander and brown sugar to the mixture, and stir it in.
  5. Make a simple guacamole by mashing an avocado with a little lemon juice and spread on one half of the ciabatta, then add on the masala filling.
  6. Toast the bread if desired for added crunch.

Recipe courtesey of Rebecce Bellingham of Vegan Scran.

Spanish no-melette

  • 1 medium sized potato – cooked but still firmish and sliced
  • 1 onion – peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 heaped tbsp chickpea (gram) flour
  • 75-100ml cold water
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Celery salt – a couple of shakes
  • Olive oil to fry

Method

  1. Put the flour, celery salt and pepper in a bowl and slowly stir in enough water to make a smooth batter. It should be thin enough to pour easily from the bowl.
  2. Put enough olive oil in a frying pan to fry the onion, then add the cooked, sliced potato (add a little more oil if needed).
  3. When heated through, pour on enough batter mixture to just cover the bottom of the frying pan and around the potato.
  4. Cook for a couple of minutes, then ease away from the edge and flip over with a wide spatula. If the frying pan is too big to do this easily, slide the no-melette onto a plate and flip over this way instead (be careful of the hot oil).
  5. Fry the second side for a further few minutes.
  6. Enjoy as a light lunch with fried mushrooms and fresh tomatoes with chopped parsley or a green salad.

Macaroni cheese

  • 350g macaroni or penne
  • 100g of melting dairy-free cheese (e.g. Vegusto No-Moo Melty) – chopped up
  • 3 onions – peeled and finely chopped
  • 500ml unsweetened soya milk
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 rounded tbsp wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 lemon – finely scraped zest from outer skin and juice
  • 2 heaped tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (available from health food shops)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 packet meat-free bacon (e.g. VBites Tempeh Rashers) – chopped up (optional)
  • 1 handful freshly chopped parsley (optional)

Method

  1. Gently fry the onions in the oil for approx 10 mins. Stir the flour into the onions and cook for a further 2 mins.
  2. Add the soya milk slowly, stirring constantly, until it starts to thicken.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the fresh parsley) and stir on low heat until the dairy-free cheese melts into the mixture.
  4. Cook the pasta in large pan. Drain and stir the pasta into the cheese mixture.
  5. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Tomato soup

    • 2x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
    • 250ml of vegetable stock
    • 1 garlic clove – peeled and diced
    • 1 small onion – peeled and diced
    • 1 tsp dried oregano/basil
    • 1 tbsp tomato puree
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • black pepper to season
    • 1 tbsp soya cream

Method

    1. In a medium-sized pan, fry the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.
    2. Add the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients, then stir and bring to the boil.
    3. Cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes or until you are ready to eat.
    4. Blend the soup in a food processor or mash with a potato masher.
    5. Serve hot with crusty bread.

Tricolour peppers in a fresh basil marinade

  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 small red peppers
  • 2 small yellow peppers

Marinade

  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To serve

  • 6 tsp vegan pesto sauce (available from health food shops)
  • 6 ready-made pastry cups, 4cm (1½ inches) in diameter, or make your own by cutting out circles of ready-made pastry and baking them in a muffin tin
  • 18 small sprigs of fresh oregano or small basil leaves

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Place the whole peppers on a baking sheet on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning them over every ten minutes, so that all sides are cooked, blistered and rather brown/black. Remove and cover with a slightly damp tea-towel and leave to cool for ten minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the marinade by mixing all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  4. Peel the skin away from the peppers, discard seeds and stalks; cut the flesh into thin slices about 2.5cm (1″) long by 5mm (¼”) wide. Mix the strips into the marinade and leave to stand for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  5. To serve, divide the mixture into six – each plate should have a colourful ‘mound of peppers’ – pour the marinade around, and place the pastry cups, each filled with one level teaspoon of pesto sauce, on the peppers. Garnish each plate with sprigs of fresh oregano and serve with French bread or garlic bread.

Tomato and avocado towers

  • 3 avocados – peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 6 large tomatoes – chopped
  • 6 spring onions – thinly sliced
  • 1 small red chilli – finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Handful fresh basil – chopped

Tomato sauce

  • 1 x 400 (14oz) can tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small red chilli

To garnish

  • 4 slices of very thinly sliced toast
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • Handful fresh parsley – chopped small

Method

  1. Put chopped tomatoes, basil, and chilli in a bowl and mix well. In another bowl, chop the avocados with the lemon juice and add sliced spring onions. Mix well.
  2. To make the tomato sauce, place all three ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Leave aside in a bowl.
  3. Make one tower per person. If you don’t have a professional serving ring, you can make your own by cutting the top and bottom off a 400g tin/can to use as a frame. Place serving ring/tin in the middle of each dining plate and spoon in a layer of the avocado mix then the tomato mix. Lift the ring off – carefully! – leaving a tower.
  4. Spoon the tomato sauce around each tower. Top the tower with a quarter of toast and drizzle with a little sesame oil. Sprinkle with a little parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Potato and parsnip balls

  • 500g potatoes – peeled and roughly chopped
  • 500g parsnips – peeled and grated
  • 8 spring onions – thinly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic – peeled and crushed
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives – finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper and salt

Method

  1. In a large pan, par-boil (half cook) the potatoes before removing half with a slotted spoon, leaving the rest to cook right through. Grate the par-boiled potatoes (when cool enough to do so). When the rest are cooked thoroughly, drain and mash.
  2. Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.
  3. Combine the grated parsnips with all of the other ingredient, season with pepper and salt to taste and mix thoroughly.
  4. Make into walnut size balls. Place balls in a greased baking tin and bake in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Serve with fresh salad and dips, such as hummus, salsa or guacamole.

Garlic mushrooms with butter beans

  • 1 small onion – peeled and finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves – peeled and crushed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 450g button mushrooms – sliced
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 200g tin of butter beans
  • 2 tbsp water
  • fresh parsley
  • black pepper

Method

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp of the olive oil.
  2. Add the button mushrooms and cook until softened.
  3. Add 2 more tbsp olive oil, ground coriander, freshly ground black pepper, butter beans (drained) and water.
  4. Cook on a very low heat for around 20 minutes, stirring often and adding more water if necessary.
  5. Best served chilled, lavishly garnished with sprigs of parsley.

Potato wedges

  • 2 large potatoes (baking potatoes are ideal)
  • olive oil
  • fine sea-salt

Method

  1. Clean the potatoes and remove any skin blemishes. Cut each potato lengthwise into thick wedges.
  2. Place the potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover them. Bring the water to the boil, cook for a further 5 minutes, then remove them from the water with a slotted spoon.
  3. Pour a small amount of olive oil into a small bowl and place each wedge in the oil until coated. (Alternatively, brush the oil on with a pastry brush, if you have one).
  4. Place the oiled wedges on a baking sheet, or the grill pan and place under a pre-heated grill.
  5. Cook for 10-15 minutes with the grill on high. The finished potatoes should be golden brown and cooked right through.
  6. Sprinkle with sea-salt and serve with ketchup, hummus, guacamole or a topping of your choice.

You can spice up your wedges by adding fresh herbs, toasted sesame seeds or mustard.

Mediterranean artichokes

  • 6 globe artichokes (or use tinned version)
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 12 black olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1-2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • a large handful of fresh parsley or watercress for garnish

Method

  1. If using fresh artichokes, wash under running water, then remove the outer leaves and chop off the stems. Cook in a pan for 30 minutes, or until a leaf comes out easily when pulled.
  2. Stand the artichokes upside down to drain them while cooling. Then remove the leaves and chokes.
  3. Cut the remaining artichoke hearts into quarters and place in a bowl. Chop the tomatoes and thinly slice the pepper. Add these to the artichokes, then gently stir in olives and capers.
  4. Mix the remaining ingredients (except garnish) thoroughly in a separate bowl, then pour this dressing over the artichoke mixture.
  5. Toss lightly and chill before serving with garnish.