Featured, Food & Drink

10th January 2021

Lettuce Eat Plants | Vegan Recipe Ideas

As we start 2021, you may be wanting to take up some new years resolutions. If you are still thinking about what different things you can try or do this year then Veganuary is a perfect choice to kick start a healthy and balanced year. The vegan lifestyle can often seem daunting as you question; what can you actually eat?

During the lockdown, my dad decided to try to be vegan and I ate a lot of plant based meals, so here are four recipes to inspire you throughout Veganuary!

It’s time to get your vegan chef hat on.

(All recipes serve four people)

Katsu Curry

Missing Wagamama’s? This panko-fried aubergine dish is one of my favourite dishes and is the perfect meat-free alternative when you have those Waga’s cravings! For the recipe you will need the following…

For the Katsu sauce:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 160ml coconut milk
  • 250ml vegetable stock

Other ingredients:

  • 2 aubergines
  • 150g panko breadcrumbs
  • 250ml plant-based milk
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1/2 tbsp salt

Method:

To begin, heat your olive oil in the pan. Add the onion to the pan with salt and cook this until the onion is soft, then add your garlic and stir for around one minute.

Turn the heat down and add your soy sauce, curry powder, maple syrup, turmeric, and garam masala. Next, stir to combine all the ingredients. Then add your coconut milk, bring the temperature up to let your sauce simmer. Finally, add in the stock and stir until the sauce has darkened in colour.

Transfer the sauce into a food blender and blitz until the consistency is smooth (like double cream), if it is a bit thick you can add as much water as is required in order to thin the consistency out.

Time to make that delicious panko batter we all love! Put the flour, milk, and salt into a bowl and mix until it resembles a smooth batter. Tip the breadcrumbs into a separate bowl.

Cut your aubergines into roughly 1cm thick slices. Tip them into the batter and toss to coat. Make sure the whole aubergine is covered before dipping them into the panko crumbs. Next cover the aubergine in panko crumbs.

Time to fry our aubergines. Pour 2cm of oil into a pan on a medium heat. Once the oil starts to bubble, carefully add the aubergine slices and fry in batches for 3-4 minutes on each side until crispy and golden. Afterwards, transfer to kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil.

Serve the dish with rice, add your aubergines to the rice and top it with your curry sauce!

The recipe is a combination of recipes from Bish Bash Bosh and Bosh Healthy Vegan.

Image credit: Bosh!

Quesidillas

Most students love a Mexican night – great for those lockdown nights in! Here is a delicious vegan Mexican alternative. These quesadillas are perfect for a quick dinner! For this recipe you will need:

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 large roasted red peppers from a jar
  • 100g dairy-free cheese (optional)
  • 1 large avocado
  • 30g fresh coriander
  • 1 lime
  • 400g tinned black or kidney beans
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 100g tinned sweetcorn
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Chop your onion and peppers into small thin slices, or small cubes. Grate your cheese and cut your avocado into small cubes. Then, chop and crush your garlic. Next, chop your coriander finely. Finally, cut your lime in half and drain and rinse the beans.

Place your frying pan on a medium heat. Add two tbsp of olive to the pan and place the onion into the pan with a pinch of salt and pepper. Fry until the onion has softened. Add the garlic and stir for two minutes.

After 2 minutes, add the roasted pepper strips, beans of your choice, tomatoes, and a tsp of cayenne pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sweetcorn. Add salt, pepper, and more cayenne pepper if you wish. Squeeze over the lime juice.

In another pan, add olive oil and your tortilla. On one half of the tortilla add some of the filling that you have been frying. For extra flavour add cheese, some avocado and coriander to the tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half and fry until golden spots appear on the tortilla. With a spatula flip the tortilla so it cooks on the other side.

Cut the quesadilla into quarters and they are ready to serve. Add whatever vegan Mexican condiments you may desire for the complete dish!

Image Credit: Bosh!

Recipe from Bish Bash Bosh.

Gyros

Dreaming of holidaying in Greece? This vegan gyros is delicious and can help you get over any Greek holiday blues… well just about! For this recipe you will need:

Ingredients:

  • 2 bell peppers
  • 3 courgettes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 400g tin of chickpeas
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garam Masala
  • 120g dairy-free coconut yogurt
  • Some fresh mint
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cucumber
  • Garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees.

Chop up your peppers, onions, and courgettes into small cubes. Then breakaway your cauliflower into little florets. Place your vegetables into a baking tray. Pour a good amount of olive oil over the vegetables. Next add two heaped teaspoons of cayenne pepper and garam masala. Sprinkle salt and pepper over it to season. Place the tray in oven for thirty minutes.

No gyros is complete without tzatziki! Pour your coconut yogurt into a bowl. Grate your cucumber and garlic and add them, your mint and juice from the lemon to the coconut yogurt.

After thirty minutes, remove the roasted vegetables from the oven, mix them about and place back into the oven for fifteen minutes.

Once your delicious gyros filling is cooked to perfection, warm your pittas, split them open and load them with your spiced vegetables and tzatziki. Tuck in and enjoy. If you shut your eyes you could be in Corfu or Mykonos! Who needs to go on holiday when the holiday can come to you?

Recipe from Mob Veggie.

Picture credit: Mob Kitchen

Miso Mushroom Ramen

Here’s another speedy and super delicious recipe, which I am sure will not disappoint. For a taste of Japan simply follow these steps:

Ingredients:

  • Fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 red chilli
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 200g rice noodles
  • 4 spring onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 100g spinach
  • 1-2 limes juiced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Peel and chop the fresh ginger. Crush the garlic clove. Next slice the chilli , scrape out the seeds and dice it. Slice the chestnut mushrooms.

Take a saucepan and fill it up with 1.4 litres of water. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, chestnut mushrooms, vegetable stock and miso paste. Bring the saucepan to a boil and simmer for ten minutes.

Next prepare the spring onions and carrots. Finely slice the spring onions then peel and grate the carrots. Add noodles to a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them. Leave them to sit for three minutes, using tongs to break them up.

Once the miso mushroom sauce has been simmering for ten minutes, lift the cooked noodles from the bowl and put them into the saucepan with the sauce. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir through the spring onions, carrots and spinach, stir till spinach has wilted.

Add some lime juice, 3 tbsp of soy sauce, and 1 tbsp of sesame oil. Finally, season with salt and pepper and your mushroom miso ramen is ready to enjoy.

Recipe from British Vogue.

Image Credit: British Vogue

A Final Comment

I hope this helps any aspiring vegans to ease yourselves into Veganuary. Will you have a vegan Mexican night or opt for the Greek gyros goodness first? Either way you’re in for a vegan friendly treat!

To find out the best food and drinks that Liverpool has to offer, and tasty recipes, check out some of our other articles.

Feature Image Credit: BN1 Magazine