healthy

The ultimate rich vegan bolognese

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This vegan bolognese recipe is unbelievably rich, deep flavoured, and 'meaty'. I’ve tried dozens of recipes in the pursuit of perfection, and this one is an amalgamation of many, taking the best parts from each recipe to make the ultimate vegan bolognese! Here's how I decided on each component:

The aubergine is as much for the texture as it is the flavour. Using the minced roasted pulp really helps to create a rich, silky texture (some recipes end up a bit watery), while also giving a subtle smoky, savoury flavour. I'm not usually a fan of shitake mushrooms as they're a little too pungent and chewy for me, but when chopped finely, amongst the other ingredients, they give the perfect bite to the bolognese, really making it feel and taste quite ‘meaty’. The process of reducing the red wine, plus the addition of a little soy and cocoa powder, really deepens the flavours and makes it incredibly rich. Some vegan bolognese recipes are based around too many beans and end up a bit uninteresting, but using a combination of puy lentils, quinoa, and black/kidney beans in this gives a great texture and they really absorb the depth of flavour of the dish. And of course they add a load of protein too! 

Although this bolognese recipe is easy, it is a little more involved than some others. But it is definitely worth the effort, and you can make a big batch to freeze some portions to save for a rainy day. In fact, as with many dishes, this tastes even better after being reheated as it gives the flavours even longer to infuse! It's really high in protein, and just a fraction of the saturated fat than a meat recipe too - check out the nutrition stats at the end. 

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The Ultimate Rich Vegan Bolognese

Ingredients (makes 8 portions):

  • 1 medium aubergine (eggplant)

  • 6 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced

  • 2 large celery sticks, finely diced

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cups red wine

  • 300g button mushrooms, roughly chopped

  • 150g shitake mushrooms, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup tomato puree

  • 1 can chopped tomatoes

  • 300g puy lentils

  • 100g quinoa

  • 1 400g tin black or kidney beans

  • 750ml vegan stock

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder

  • 3/4 cup almond milk

  • Pasta & homemade vegan parmesan to serve

Method:

Preheat oven to 190C (375F). Prick aubergine with a fork a couple of times, drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil, and roast until completely softened (up to 1 hour).

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan, and fry onion, carrots, and celery until softened but not brown (about 10 mins). Add the garlic, half the parsley, half the basil, and stir for a further 2 mins. Add the red wine and bay leaves, and simmer until the wine is reduced to nearly dry (about 10 mins). 

In a separate pan, add 3 Tbsp olive oil, add button and shitake mushrooms and fry over a medium-high heat until all the mushroom juice has evaporated and the mushrooms have browned nicely (about 15-20 mins). Add tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and stir well. 

Add the mushrooms to the vegetable and reduced wine mixture, and the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, soy sauce, cocoa, and almond milk.

Remove the aubergine from oven, and when cool enough to handle, slit open and scoop out the soft flesh. Chop the flesh finely with a sharp knife and continue mincing until it becomes a puree.

Add this to the pan, along with the lentils, quinoa, black beans, plus 1/2 litre of the vegan stock, a pinch of salt and a few pinches of pepper. Stir to thoroughly combine, then simmer on a low-medium heat until the sauce is rich, thick, and the flavours have fully developed (about 1 hour). Stir occasionally throughout and add the remaining stock if it needs more liquid. 

When ready to eat, cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet, drain, and reserve a few tablespoons of the pasta water. Return to the pan with a ladle of the bolognese, the remaining fresh herbs, and stir over a high heat until the pasta is well coated. Sprinkle with homemade vegan parmesan and serve immediately! 

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the ultimate rich vegan bolognese recipe vegetarian healthy quick easy spaghetti

Nutrition per portion (served with 80g wholegrain pasta and vegan parmesan):

  • Protein: 34.5g (Women - 69.0% / Men - 62.7%)

  • Iron: 10.8mg (Women - 73.0% / Men - 124.1%)

  • Calories: 827 (Women - 41.4% / Men - 33.1%)

  • Sugars: 16.4g (Women - 18.2% / Men - 13.7%)

  • Total Fats: 22.7g (Woman - 32.4% / Men - 23.9%)

  • Saturated Fats: 3.6g (Women - 18.0% / Men - 12.0%)

  • Salt: 1.7g (Women - 28.3% / Men - 28.3%)

  • Fibre: 30.3g (Women - 101% / Men - 101%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

 

 

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Vegan Gemista Recipe (Greek Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes)

vegan gemista recipe greek stuffed peppers and tomatoes - healthy quick and easy

Gemista (or yemista) is a traditional Greek recipe that’s bursting with fresh flavours and colours. It’s sometimes made with minced meat in Greece but in my opinion it’s perfectly suited to being meat-free because then the flavours of the wonderful vegetables and aromatic herbs shine through. There are hundreds of gemista recipes in Greece - almost every family has their own take on it. But this vegan version, with the addition of fragrant capers, the bite of the toasted almonds, and the hearty puy lentils, just takes it to another level.

This is by far my favourite gemista recipe because it’s also so easy. You don’t even need to boil the rice first, there’s plenty of moisture in the vegetables and filling mixture to cook the rice in the oven, plus that way it absorbs even more of the delicious flavours!

Don’t forget to check out the nutrition info at the end of the post too because this vegan gemista recipe packs over a third of your recommended protein intake and around half your daily iron. And that’s before you add any salad or other sides like this gigantes plaki (Greek giant butter beans in a rich tomato sauce).

vegan greek food gemista recipe stuffed peppers and tomatoes with rice and lentils

Vegan Gemista Recipe (Greek Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes)

Ingredients (serves 3):

  • 3 bell peppers

  • 3 large ripe tomatoes

  • 4 Tbsp almonds

  • 100g uncooked medium-grain rice

  • 1 x 250g pack pre-cooked puy lentils

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped

  • Handful fresh mint, chopped

  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 2 Tbsp capers, roughly chopped

  • 2 tsp caster sugar

  • Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil

  • 4 Tbsp tomato puree

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vegan gemista recipe greek stuffed peppers and tomatoes with rice lentils healthy quick and easy
vegan gemista recipe greek stuffed peppers and tomatoes vegetarian rice lentils easy quick healthy
vegan gemista recipe greek rice stuffed peppers and tomatoes vegetarian healthy quick easy

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C (360F)

Roughly chop your almonds then lightly toast them in a small frying pan for a few minutes without any oil, until they start to smell fragrant. Remove from the heat.

While the almonds are cooling, cut the tops off the peppers and tomatoes. De-seed the peppers and discard the seeds. Scoop out the inside of the tomatoes using a spoon, the chop up the tomato flesh and add to a large mixing bowl, with any juices.

Add the toasted almonds and all the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl, and stir thoroughly to combine.

Arrange the hollowed out peppers and tomatoes snugly on a baking tray or dish, then spoon the filling into the vegetables, until level with the cut. Put the tops back on the vegetables, place the tray / dish in the oven, and bake for 60-70 minutes until the rice is cooked through and the vegetables are soft and tender.

This vegan gemista is best served warm rather than hot, and goes brilliantly served with just a simple green salad and with these gigantes plaki (Greek tender butter beans stewed in a rich tomato sauce) for a Greek ‘mezze’ style dinner!

vegan gemista recipe greek stuffed peppers and tomatoes with rice and lentils quick healthy and easy

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Protein: 19.3g (Women: 38.6% / Men: 35.1%)

  • Iron: 6.5mg (Women: 43.9% / Men: 74.7%)

  • Calories: 556 (Women: 27.8% / Men:22.2%)

  • Sugars: 17.3g (Women: 19.2% / Men: 14.4%)

  • Total Fats: 24.1g (Women: 34.4% / Men: 25.4%)

  • Saturated Fat: 3.2g (Women: 16.0% / Men: 10.7%)

  • Salt: 0.5g (Women: 8.3% / Men: 8.3%)

  • Fibre: 16.3g (Women: 54.3% / Men: 54.3%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

The Best Beetroot and Quinoa Vegan Burgers

vegan beetroot and quinoa burger recipe veggie ‘beet burger’

Burgers should most definitely not be confined to the summer. Of course, they're an essential component of any decent barbecue or picnic, but they're also the perfect comfort food when the evenings start to get cold and dark. These beetroot and quinoa burgers are seriously good and will cheer you up no-end. The beetroots give them a brilliant vibrant colour, a kind of meaty texture, and a slightly earthy but not at all overpowering taste. And the addition of quinoa and oats ensure the burgers stay firm with a golden, crispy coating when cooked. You can feel really good about eating these beetroot burgers too - they’re packed with veggies and whole grains, and they’re a great source of protein, iron, fibre, folate, vitamin C, manganese, and omega-3 fats from the flax seeds.

Did you know that the red colour in beets comes from betalain pigments, which have been shown in numerous studies to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects? See for yourself and check out the review of the studies on beetroots at the end of this recipe! This vegan burger recipe is one of the tastiest ways to get all those significant health benefits of beetroot into your diet!

vegan beetroot and quinoa burger recipe - veggie beet burger healthy quick and easy

Vegan Beetroot and Quinoa Burgers

Ingredients (makes 6 burgers):

  • 1 Aubergine (eggplant)

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

  • 5 Tbsp ground flax seeds

  • 6 Tbsp warm water

  • 2 cups raw beetroot, peeled and grated (about 3 large beets)

  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 cup humous

  • 3 Tbsp rapeseed oil, for cooking

  • Salt and pepper to taste

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vegan beetroot burger recipe vegetarian veggie burger recipe healthy quick and easy
vegan beetroot burger recipe vegetarian veggie burger beet healthy quick easy

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 180C (360F). Cut your aubergine in half length-ways and cook for 20-30 minutes until roasted and tender, flipping pieces half way through.  

Meanwhile, cook your quinoa following packet instructions to make 1 cup of cooked quinoa, then rinse through a sieve with cold water to cool and push with back of a spoon to drain as much liquid as possible.

When the aubergine is ready, remove, allow to cool, then scoop out the flesh, and chop finely until a paste has formed. Now mix 2 Tbsp of the flax with 6 Tbsp warm water in a small bowl and leave to stand for 10 mins (this creates 2 'flax eggs').

Add the beetroot, quinoa, oats, remaining 3 Tbsp of flax seeds, and garlic to a food processor and blitz to combine the ingredients (this can be done by hand if preferred). Transfer mixture to a large bowl, then add the humous, aubergine paste, flax ‘eggs’, salt & pepper, and mix to thoroughly combine.

Shape the mixture into 6 patties, and place on baking paper on a plate to pop in the fridge for 1 hour (this helps the patties to firm up). When ready, heat oil in a frying pan to medium heat, and fry the beetroot burgers for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they are crispy on the outside and hot through. 

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Nutrition (per beetroot burger, served in a bun, 1/4 avocado, red onion and greens):

  • Protein: 17.6g (Women - 35.2% / Men - 32.0%)

  • Iron: 5.8mg (Women - 39.2% / Men - 51.3%)

  • Calories: 562 (Women - 28.1% / Men - 22.5%)

  • Sugars: 8.1g (Women - 9.0% / Men - 6.8%)

  • Total Fats: 25g (Women - 35.7% / Men - 26.3%)

  • Saturated Fat: 2.9g (Women - 14.5% / Men - 9.7%)

  • Salt: 1.1g (Women - 18.3% / Men - 18.3%)

  • Fibre: 19.4g (Women - 64.7% / Men - 64.7%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Clifford, T., Howatson, G., West, D., & Stevenson, E. (2015). The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease. Nutrients, 7(4), 2801-2822.

Easy Vegan Shepherd's Pie

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Shepherd’s pie is a classic British winter dish. This vegan version has all the best qualities - it’s warming, hearty, comfort food at it’s finest. Made with chunky tender vegetables and chickpeas in a thick, rich gravy, and topped with fluffy potatoes which turn golden and crispy on the top.

I’ve tried loads of vegan shepherd’s pie recipes in my time, and this version takes the best bits from each one to form the ultimate recipe. It’s packed with protein, is low-fat, and of course has a huge array of vitamins and minerals. But, most importantly, this vegan shepherd’s pie is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

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Easy Vegan Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • 1kg potatoes (floury varieties like Russet or King Edwards work best

  • 3 Tbsp rapeseed oil

  • 30g dried porcini mushrooms

  • 2 leeks, chopped

  • 2 onions, diced

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 4 sticks celery, chopped

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 5 Tbsp tomato puree

  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 small butternut squash

  • 2 tsp dried oregano

  • A dozen sprigs of thyme, leaves picked

  • 250g cooked puy lentils

  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas

  • Vegan stock cube or 2 tsp vegan stock powder

  • 300g frozen peas

  • 300g frozen spinach

  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk

  • Handful fresh parsley

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Method:

Start by preparing your potatoes. Peel them and roughly chop into large chunks, then boil for 30-40 minutes or until they are tender. Drain and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, soak the porcini mushrooms in 200ml hot water for 10-15 minutes, then lift out the mushrooms, reserve the liquid, and chop the soaked mushrooms into small chunks.

Heat the rapeseed oil in a large pan, then add the onions, leeks, carrots and celery, and saute for 5-10 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the porcini mushrooms, garlic, tomato puree, soy sauce, paprika, squash, oregano and thyme, then continue to saute for another 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Now add the chickpeas (along with the liquid from the can), the lentils, the reserved water from the porcini mushrooms, and add a vegan stock cube or powder. Add the frozen peas and spinach, season with lots of black pepper (there’s enough salt already in the stock and soy sauce) and simmer for another 10 minutes. Take 200g of the boiled potatoes, mash roughly with a fork, and stir through the vegetables (this helps to thicken and enrich the sauce).

Now prepare the mash topping by mashing the remaining boiled potatoes with the olive oil, plant-based milk and fresh parsley until smooth. Divide the filling between your pie dish (or dishes). Dollop the mashed potato on top and spread out evenly over the pie using the back of a fork.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180C (360F) and bake the pies for around 40 minutes, until the filling is piping hot and the potatoes have turned golden and crispy on the top. Serve with a fresh salad or mixed green veg.

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Nutrition (per serving):

  • Protein: 13.7g (Women: 27.4% / Men: 24.9%)

  • Iron: 4.4mg (Women: 29.7% / Men: 50.6%)

  • Calories: 378 (Women: 18.9% / Men: 15.1%)

  • Sugar: 9.9g (Women: 11.0% / Men: 8.3%)

  • Total Fats: 11.6g (Women: 16.6% / Men: 12.2%)

  • Saturated Fat: 1.2g (Women: 6.0% / Men: 4.0%)

  • Salt: 0.9g (Women: 15.0% / Men: 15.0%)

  • Fibre: 11.1g (Women: 37.0% / Men: 37.0%)

    See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

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Vegan Pea and Mint Fritters

vegan pea and mint fritters fritter recipe

Every season has its perks - summer makes barbecues and picnics in the sun possible, autumn brings us the freshest seasonal fruit, and in spring the lengthening days and bursting flowers remind us that the sun does in fact still exist. But winter can be pretty magical too, and one of the best bits is enjoying good hearty pub grub (if you can find yourself a pub with an open fire and a resident dog, then you’re in luck)!

Luckily, most pubs nowadays serve vegan options with their Sunday roasts. These actually tend to be very healthy meals - plates loaded with colourful foods like vegetables, nut roasts, golden roast potatoes, and veggie gravy made with onions or mushrooms. All without any animal products so with just a fraction of the saturated fat than a roast dinner made with meat.

After eating copious amounts at a Sunday roast, it’s easy to think that the slightly-too-full feeling will last forever. But by the evening, that feeling usually starts to subside and you surprisingly find yourself ready to eat something again. While you still may not be able to manage a big dinner, something light, healthy and tasty is just what you need.

Vegan pea and mint fritters fritter recipe healthy quick and easy

These vegan pea and mint fritters are definitely the answer. They’re seriously delicious, with the perfect combination of fragrant sweet peas and subtle fresh mint. They go golden and crispy on the outside while staying soft and tender in the middle.

Plus they’re really quick and easy to make, and are really healthy, providing lots of protein, fibre, vitamins A, C, and K, B-vitamins, iron, and manganese, thanks to the green peas and whole grain flour. All while being pretty low in calories (check out the nutrition info at the bottom of the post).

They’re best eaten fresh and hot out of the pan, served with a simple salad and a yoghurt dip. But they’re also delicious cold used like a falafel in a pitta, or just on their own as a snack (they keep in the fridge for up to three days).

Vegan Pea and Mint Fritters Recipe

Ingredients (makes 8 fritters):

  • 2 cups frozen peas

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 white onion

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 cup whole grain flour

  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped mint

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

    For the yoghurt dip

  • 1/2 cup plain soy yoghurt

  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped mint

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Method:

Start by cooking your frozen peas - just simmer in a pan of boiling water for around five minutes

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, finely dice your onion, and saute for 4-5 minutes. Mince your garlic and add to the pan and continue to saute for another 1-2 minutes, until the onion is softened.

Drain the peas and throw into a food processor. Also throw in the sauteed onion and garlic, flour, nutritional yeast, fresh mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Pulse until it becomes a thick paste, as in the picture below. You’ll need to scrape the sides of the blender down a few times to make sure everything is thoroughly combined (you can add a couple of Tbsps of water to loosen the mixture if it’s too thick).

Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan. Take a heaped Tbsp of the mixture and roll into a rough ball, then carefully press down into the frying pan using the back of a spoon to flatten into a fritter shape.

Fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden and crispy, then flip over to cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side.

Mix the yoghurt dip ingredients together in a ramekin and serve with a simple salad.

Vegan pea and mint fritters recipe healthy quick and easy
Vegan pea and mint fritters recipe vegetarian nutrition healthy quick and easy
Vegan healthy pea and mint fritters recipe healthy quick easy and vegetarian
Vegan pea and mint fritters fritter recipe with quick salad healthy easy vegetarian plant based

Nutrition (per two pea fritters):

  • Protein: 9.1g (Women: 18.2% / Men: 16.5%)

  • Iron: 2.6mg (Women: 17.6% / Men: 29.9%)

  • Calories: 235 (Women: 11.8% / Men: 9.4%)

  • Sugars: 5.0g (Women: 5.6% / Men: 4.2%)

  • Total Fats: 7.7g (Women: 10.6% / Men: 8.1%)

  • Saturated Fats: 1.1g (Women: 5.5% / Men: 3.7%)

  • Salt: 0.2g (Women: 3.3% / Men: 3.3%)

  • Fibre: 7.7g (Women: 25.7% / Men: 25.7%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Vegan pea and mint fritters recipe in a bagel healthy lunch dinner quick easy vegetarian

Vegan Tofu Bacon BLT

Vegan tofu bacon BLT recipe

I’ve experimented with quite a few vegan tofu bacon recipes and so I wanted to share my favourite one with you. It’s such an easy recipe and quickly turns a humble block of tofu into a powerhouse of flavour that you can use in sandwiches, tear up in salads, or include as part of a healthy cooked breakfast.

I deliberated whether or not to actually call this ‘bacon’, because I’m in no way pretending that it replicates the texture or flavour of bacon made from pigs. But it’s definitely tasty enough to take the place of traditional bacon in many dishes, including this vegan BLT, because it has a delicious bite, and salty, smoky, slightly sweet flavours that make this great protein source so versatile. Also, I couldn’t come up with a better alternative name - ‘smoky baked tofu slices’ just doesn’t have the best ring to it.

Vegan tofu bacon BLT recipe

Vegan Tofu Bacon BLT Recipe

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 x 280g block extra firm tofu (such as this tofu by The Tofoo Co)

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke

  • 1 Tbsp tomato puree

  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 2 tsp olive oil

  • 1 tsp cider vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • good pinch of black pepper

To serve:

Note: this recipe makes approx 12 slices of tofu bacon, enough for four BLTs - keep any leftover tofu bacon in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Vegan tofu bacon BLT recipe healthy

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C (360F).

Quickly drain the tofu by pressing gently between your hands over the sink for about 30 seconds. Then thinly slice the tofu length-ways. Use a couple of pieces of kitchen roll to pat the tofu slices dry.

Now mix up the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Carefully dip the tofu slices in the marinade and arrange on a wire rack set over a baking tray.

Bake the tofu bacon slices for about 15-20 minutes, until the edges start to turn brown and the tofu feels firm. Keep an eye on the tofu, especially for the last 5 minutes, because the marinade can burn if left in the oven too long.

Remove the tofu bacon from the oven and allow to cool while you prepare your BLT sandwiches. Simply wash and slice the tomatoes and lettuce leaves, then add a few small dollops of the vegan mayonnaise. Then layer a few slices of the tofu bacon, and enjoy!

vegan tofu bacon BLT recipe vegetarian

Nutrition (per BLT):

  • Protein: 19.8g (Women: 39.6% / Men: 36.0%)

  • Iron: 5.9mg (Women: 39.9% / Men: 67.8%)

  • Calories: 443 (Women: 22.2% / Men: 17.7%)

  • Sugars: 11.2g (Women: 12.4% / Men: 9.3%)

  • Total Fats: 18.4g (Women: 26.3% / Men: 19.4%)

  • Saturated Fat: 1.9g (Women: 9.5% / Men: 6.3%)

  • Salt: 1.5g (Women: 25.0% / Men: 25.0%)

  • Fibre: 6.6g (Women: 22.0% / Men: 22.0%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Easy vegan tofu quiche with broccoli and sun dried tomatoes

vegan tofu quiche recipe with broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes - easy healthy and quick

I toyed with the idea of cooking a vegan quiche for a while, but for some reason didn’t get round to it until quite recently. I think I just presumed it would be a palaver to make.

But I met with family for a Sunday lunch earlier this summer and thought I’d try making one to bring along. And I was genuinely surprised at just how easy making a tofu quiche was (with the help of my quick fool-proof crust, the same one used for my trusty vegan plum tart recipe). It really is delicious too, if I do say so myself! When baked, the creamy tofu provides the perfect quiche texture, and the garlic, leek and nutritional yeast all give lovely ‘cheesy’ and umami flavours. It went down a storm with my family, with vegans and meat-eaters alike all devouring it and asking for the recipe… So here it is!

This quiche recipe is really versatile too. I’ve since made it with a variety of different vegetables - whatever I’ve had lying around - mushrooms, green peas, spinach, and roasted vegetables like courgette, aubergine, bell peppers and red onion, all work well. Best not to use veggies that contain too much water though (like fresh tomatoes) as this could result in a soggy quiche.

Nutritionally, this tofu quiche contains just a fraction of the saturated fat of a traditional quiche, with just as much protein, more fibre, more iron, and all the flavour!

easy and healthy vegan tofu quiche recipe

Easy Vegan Tofu Quiche with Broccoli and Sun-dried Tomatoes Recipe

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 200g whole wheat flour

  • 65ml olive oil & 1 Tbsp for frying

  • 65ml water

  • 400g block of firm tofu

  • 1 leek, thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1/2 jar of sundried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped

  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 head of broccoli, par-boiled

  • 20g fresh basil

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • Good pinch of black pepper

Method:

Mix the olive oil and water, using a whisk to thoroughly combine until cloudy (this is the oil emulsifying). In a separate bowl, combine 200g flour with the salt, then gently pour the oil / water mixture into it.

Knead the ingredients for a few minutes with your hands until it comes together. Roll out the dough into a round shape on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin (or a bottle of wine!) until just bigger than your tart dish. Lightly grease your dish with olive oil, then carefully transfer the flat dough to the dish and spread it out so it neatly covers all the edges. Place the dish with the dough in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C (360F) and prepare the filling.

Unwrap the tofu and press it gently between your hands over the sink to squeeze out some of the liquid, then break up the tofu into a food processor. Blitz until smooth and creamy, adding a little splash of water or nut milk if necessary to help it reach a cream cheese texture (as per picture below).

In a frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil and gently fry the leek for a few minutes. Add the garlic, broccoli, basil, oregano, sun-dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, and seasoning (to taste) and continue to stir for another few minutes.

Now take the pan off the heat and stir in the processed tofu until thoroughly combined. Spoon the mixture into the base and spread out evenly using the back of a spoon.

Bake the quiche for 30-40 minutes, until the quiche is firm to the touch, starting to go golden on the top, and the base is nice and crispy.

Best served warm but store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days as it’s also delicious served cold or reheated.

easy healthy vegan tofu quiche recipe
easy healthy vegan tofu quiche recipe
healthy vegan tofu quiche recipe
easy vegan tofu quiche recipe broccoli leek
healthy vegan tofu quiche recipe
easy vegan tofu and vegetable quiche recipe
easy vegan tofu quiche recipe
vegan tofu quiche recipe with broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes healthy easy quick

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Protein: 13.9g (Women: 27.8% / Men: 25.3%)

  • Iron: 3.9mg (Women: 26.4% / Men: 44.8%)

  • Calories: 328 (Women: 16.4% / Men: 13.1%)

  • Sugar: 3.3g (Women: 3.7% / Men: 2.8%)

  • Total Fats: 16.0g (Women: 22.9% / Men: 16.8%)

  • Saturated Fat: 2.0g (Women: 10.0% / Men: 6.7%)

  • Salt: 0.1g (Women: 1.7% / Men: 1.7%)

  • Fibre: 3.9g (Women: 13.0% / Men: 13.0%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Herby Broad Beans and Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese Bruschetta

Vegan tarragon broad beans and cashew cream cheese bruschetta recipe

This is one of my favourite meals to make at the moment as it's got everything you want in a summer meal - the crunch and chew of the char-grilled bread, the garlicky, creamy cashew cheese, and the fresh, herby dressed broad beans all go together so incredibly well. This bruschetta recipe makes the perfect weekend lunch to have at home or alfresco, or you can make everything in advance for an impressive (but easy) vegan dinner party starter. 

Vegan tarragon broad bean and cashew cream cheese bruschetta recipe healthy easy quick nutrition

Herby Broad Bean and Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese Bruschetta Recipe

Ingredients (serves 2 as a main or 4 as a starter):

  • 4 Slices wholegrain sourdough bread

  • 8 Tbsp vegan cashew cream cheese (recipe here)

  • 250g broad beans (frozen or fresh)

  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 2 Tbsp good quality olive oil

  • 2 handfuls fresh pea shoots or rocket to serve

Method:

Tip the broad beans into a pan of boiling water and simmer for two minutes. Drain the beans in a sieve and run under a cold tap until cool.

Now the fun part - pop the beans out of their skins into a bowl. Just give them a gentle squeeze and the skins will break open and the bright green bean pops out. This bit is quite therapeutic - put some music on and enjoy the process!

Add the chopped tarragon leaves to the beans, then use the back of a fork to mash some of the beans, leaving about half of the beans whole. Add the olive oil and stir together. 

Now, heat a griddle pan until it's red hot. Place the slices of bread on the griddle pan for around one minute on each side, or until they're gently char-grilled. You might have to do this in two batches if there's not room for four slices in the pan. 

Halve the garlic clove (no need to peel the skin off) then rub the cut side into the griddled bread. Spread each slice with two tablespoons of the vegan cashew cream cheese, then top with the bean mixture. Garnish each with the pea shoots or rocket to add extra height and flavour to the bruschetta, then serve!

Vegan herby broad bean and cashew cream cheese bruschetta recipe healthy nutrition plant based
vegan herby broad bean and cashew cream cheese bruschetta recipe garlic healthy lunch

Nutrition (per main course serving):

  • Protein: 25.3g (Women: 50.6% / Men: 46.0%)

  • Iron: 5.7mg (Women: 38.5% / Men: 65.5%)

  • Calories: 558 (Women: 27.9% / Men: 22.3%)

  • Sugar: 7.4g (Women: 8.2% / Men: 6.2%)

  • Total Fats: 29.4g (Women: 42.0% / Men: 30.9%)

  • Saturated Fat: 4.9g (Women: 24.5% / Men: 16.3%)

  • Salt: 1.2g (Women: 20.0% / Men: 20.0%)

  • Fibre: 15.9g (Women: 53.0% / Men: 53.0%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Imam Bayildi (Vegan Aubergine Recipe)

Vegan vegetarian imam bayildi recipe aubergine eggplant healthy turkish food

This aubergine dish, full of spices, rich tomatoes, and tender smokey aubergines is so tasty that, as legend has it, the Turkish Imam fainted with pleasure when he tried it (hence the name which translates as 'the Imam fainted'). There are hundreds of versions of this dish as it's eaten across the former Ottoman empire regions, from South East Europe to Western Asia, each region having its own influence. This recipe involves two stages of cooking your aubergine - the first step can be done however you like - in the oven, on the BBQ, or wrapped in foil among hot coals (the latter two options can create a delicious smoky flavour). For the second step, once stuffed, you just finish them off in the oven to let the flavours infuse and reduce to become thick and rich. 

This vegan Imam Bayildi recipe can take centre stage on your plate, served with some rice or fresh bread to mop up the juices, or works well as a side dish. I served mine up with some crispy sesame coated baked tofu and steamed asparagus. 

Vegan Imam Bayildi Aubergine Recipe 

Ingredients (serves two as a main or four as a side dish):

  • 2 aubergines

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 white onion, finely diced

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 8 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar

  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper, to taste

Method:

Heat your oven to 180C (350F). Half your aubergines lengthways, score the flesh deeply in a diagonal pattern, then brush with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Pop them on a baking tray and roast (or arrange them on the BBQ) for 20-25 minutes until the flesh is browned and soft enough to scoop out. 

Now heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and saute the onion for around 5-10 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and spices, and cook for a further minute, stirring to release the oils from the spices. Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper, then scoop out the flesh from the aubergines, roughly chop, and add it to the pan. Allow to simmer for around 10-15 minutes, then add the parsley.

Lay the empty aubergine halves on a baking tray, then stuff them with the tomato-onion mixture, filling them as much as you can (don't worry if some spills out). Then place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Remove, scatter with a little more parsley and enjoy warm or allow to cool and eat at room temperature.

Aubergine eggplant imam bayildi vegan recipe healthy turkish food
Vegan Imam bayildi recipe aubergine eggplant healthy turkish food
Vegan aubergine eggplant recipe imam bayildi healthy turkish food
Vegan imam bayildi recipe aubergine eggplant healthy turkish food
vegan and vegetarian aubergine eggplant imam bayildi recipe healthy turkish food

Nutrition (per two aubergine halves with one cup of brown rice):

  • Protein: 15.1g (Women: 30.2% / Men: 27.5%)

  • Iron: 4.2mg (Women: 28.4% / Men: 48.3%)

  • Calories: 569 (Women: 28.5% / Men: 22.8%)

  • Sugar: 26.6g (Women: 29.6% / Men: 22.2%)

  • Total Fats: 17.1g (Women: 24.4% / Men: 18.0%)

  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g (Women: 12.5% / Men: 8.3%)

  • Salt: 0.4g (Women: 6.7% / Men: 6,7%)

  • Fibre: 28.0g (Women: 93.3% / Men: 93.3%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

healthy vegan aubergine eggplant recipe imam bayildi vegetarian turkish food

The Ultimate Grillable Vegan Burger

This vegan grillable veggie burger bbq recipe is plant based and full of healthy protein

I've tried my fair share of vegan burger recipes over the last 4-5 years. I hope through my trial and error with some truly disastrous recipe attempts, I can help you avoid that heart-sinking moment when you realise your veggie burger is falling apart in the pan/grill and you end up using the mixture as more of a stuffing than a burger (we've done this a number of times - still tastes good, but looks gross)! I've shared the best of my tried-and-tested favourites here like my mean, lean, black bean burger and this amazing beetroot and quinoa burger - both of which definitely don't fall apart, and taste delicious! 

This vegan burger recipe really is grillable - they hold their shape perfectly and don't stick to the BBQ!

But now I wanted a vegan burger recipe that holds well enough to cook on the BBQ. With some inspiration from Minimalist Baker I've adapted / amalgamated a few different recipes to make a really healthy burger that's just perfect for grilling - it holds its shape wonderfully and doesn't stick to the BBQ at all. Best of all, by grilling on the BBQ, you get to add these blackened char lines, which as well as helping it look legit, creates an outer crust and a smokey depth of flavour that barbecues are all about. 

vegan bbq veggie burger recipe grillable healthy plant based barbecue
vegan bbq veggie burger grillable recipe healthy plant based nutrition barbecue

Not to mention, they taste amazing - they have a great firm texture, they're hearty, and they pack a flavour-punch with the addition of smokey spices, toasted walnuts, and barbecue sauce. 

vegan bbq veggie burger recipe grillable plant based healthy nutrition

You could make these in advance if you're going to a summer barbecue, and because the recipe makes eight you can even freeze a few of them ready for a quick healthy dinner when you haven't got the time (or energy) to cook! 

I made a "cheats" vegan burger sauce to go with the burgers - all that's required is mixing a few ingredients in a small bowl and you can dollop on top of your burgers for the ultimate finishing touch. 

vegan bbq veggie burger recipe grillable healthy plant based nutrition

The Ultimate Grillable Vegan Burger Recipe

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • 1.5 cups cooked quinoa*

  • 1.5 cups raw walnut halves

  • 1 Tbsp rapeseed oil

  • 1 white onion, finely diced

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1.5 Tbsp smoked paprika

  • 1 Tbsp chilli powder / flakes

  • 0.5 Tbsp cumin powder

  • 0.5 tsp tumeric

  • 2 x 400g tins of cooked black or mixed beans (drained and patted dry)

  • 0.5 cups golden or panko breadcrumbs

  • 4 Tbsp BBQ sauce

  • Pinch of salt and lots of ground pepper, to taste

For the vegan burger sauce (serves 8):

  • 4 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise

  • 4 Tbsp tomato ketchup

  • 2 tsp dijon mustard

  • 0.5 tsp garlic powder

  • pinch of salt and pepper

Method:

Start by toasting your walnuts - heat a frying pan over a medium heat and using no oil add the walnuts - shake and toss the pan from time to time to prevent burning and toast for 7-8 minutes until they smell fragrant and start to turn slightly darker. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, using the same pan, add the rapeseed oil over a medium heat and saute the onion for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes until the onion is softened.

Now the walnuts have cooled, add to a food processor along with the spices, and blitz until the texture of wet sand (see picture). 

In a large mixing bowl, add the drained beans. It's important to pat them dry as we want to avoid added moisture making the burgers too wet. Use the back of a fork or a masher to smash the beans up. 

Now add to the smashed beans the walnut-spice mix, sauteed onion/garlic, the cooked quinoa, breadcrumbs, BBQ sauce, and salt and pepper, then use your hands to mix thoroughly until it becomes a consistency that you can mould into burger shapes. Use your hands to squeeze the mixture into eight burger patties. 

Heat your barbecue or griddle pan until smoking hot, then place your burger patties on and grill for 4-5 minutes on each side. Don't be tempted to move them around during cooking as it's nice to get neat grill char lines across the burgers. While they're cooking, prepare your buns and toppings. 

To make the burger sauce, simply mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl, then dollop generously on top along with your favourite burger toppings!

*Note - this recipe calls for pre-cooked quinoa. Allow time for cooking if you don't have any to hand. The quinoa should be cooked but completely dry - press any moisture out through a sieve after cooking to ensure the burgers aren't too wet. 

vegan bbq veggie burger recipe grillable healthy plant based barbecue easy

Nutrition (per burger with sauce and bun):

  • Protein: 15.4g (Women: 30.8% / Men: 28.0%)

  • Iron: 4.6mg (Women: 31.1% / Men: 52.9%)

  • Calories: 505 (Women: 25.3% / Men: 20.2%)

  • Sugars: 9.6g (Women: 10.7% / Men: 8.0%)

  • Total Fats: 21.5g (Women: 30.7% / Men: 22.6%)

  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g (Women: 12.5% / Men: 8.3%)

  • Salt: 1.1g (Women: 18.3% / Men: 18.3%)

  • Fibre: 10.2g (Women: 34.0% / Men: 34.0%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Rich vegan Moroccan roasted vegetable tagine

Rich roasted vegetable vegan Moroccan tagine recipe - healthy and easy

This incredibly rich, full-flavoured vegan tagine starts life as a few humble ingredients. Other types of stews where similar ingredients are simply chucked in a pan are missing out on so much - it's the roasting of the vegetables, then the gentle simmering all together with the delicate spices in the oven that creates the richness of flavour and consistency that this tagine has in abundance (it's the same culinary chemistry principles that makes this roasted vegetable ratatouille so good). The addition of good quality Ras el Hanout is important to really make the dish stand out - it's a North African blend of spices available in most large supermarkets amongst the spices or world food sections, essential for any tagine recipe. This dish freezes really well so you can easily double-up on the ingredients and stock up some portions in your freezer for a healthy, vegan, warming pick-up on a rainy day!

Recipe note - I'm not the biggest fan of dried fruit in savoury dishes, so I've replaced dried apricots with some date syrup - this provides even more richness and a subtle touch of sweetness, without having chunks of chewy dried fruit. It's just a personal preference but feel free to use 2-3 Tbsp chopped dried apricots instead if you prefer. 

Rich Vegan Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Tagine Recipe

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 2 Tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed / olive oil

  • 1/2 a large butternut squash, cubed to 1-2cm pieces*

  • 1 small aubergine (eggplant), cubed to 1-2cm pieces

  • 4 Shallots, sliced

  • 5 tsp Ras el Hanout

  • 1 red onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 Tbsp Harissa paste

  • 250ml vegan stock (reduced salt)

  • 1 x 400g tin good quality chickpeas

  • 2 large good quality tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 3 tsp date syrup / treacle

  • Handful fresh coriander (cilantro)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 packet Oumph! vegan chunks

  • To serve - cook 28g dried cous cous and 28g dried quinoa as per packet instructions then mix them together.

* I like to wash the squash and leave the skin on - it adds another texture to the dish and helps prevent the squash falling apart (which can happen if freezing and reheating)

Butternut squash ready for the vegan roasted vegetable and chickpea tagine

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C.

Rub the cubed butternut squash with 1 Tbsp of the oil plus 2 tsp of the Ras el Hanout, scatter on to a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. 

Add the cubed aubergine and sliced shallots to the roasting tray, mix everything around, and roast for a further 15 minutes, until the vegetables have browned a little and are tender.

Roasted vegetables for vegan moroccan tagine recipe - healthy and high protein

In your tagine (a casserole dish with a lid works fine), heat the other Tbsp of oil over a medium heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes, adding the garlic for the last 2 minutes. 

Add the remaining 3 tsp of Ras el Hanout and continue frying for a further 2 minutes to release the aromas of the spices. 

Stir in the harissa paste, then add the tomatoes, chickpeas, hot stock and seasoning. Stir in the roasted vegetables, the date syrup (or treacle), then cover with the lid and place in the oven for 20 minutes to simmer. 

Now remove the dish from the oven and add the Oumph! chunks, straight from the freezer. Stir, then cook in the oven for a further 5-10 minutes. 

Vegan roasted vegetable and chickpea moroccan tagine recipe - rich and healthy

This vegan tagine goes brilliantly with a 50/50 mix of couscous and quinoa. Simply cook 28g dried couscous and 28g dried quinoa as per packet instructions then mix them together. I also made some quick roasted pitta chips (simply cut up some wholewheat pittas, rub with a little olive oil and dried mixed herbs, then roast for about 10 minutes until crunchy)!

Rich and delicious vegan moroccan tagine - butternut squash, aubergine and chickpea recipe

Nutrition (per serving with a portion of couscous / quinoa mix):

  • Protein: 28.9g (Women: 57.8% / Men: 52.5%)

  • Iron: 7.4mg (Women: 50.0% / Men: 85.1%)

  • Calories: 552 (Women: 27.6% / Men: 22.1%)

  • Sugars: 16.2g (Women: 18.0% / Men: 13.5%)

  • Total Fats: 10.6g (Women: 15.1% / Men: 11.2%)

  • Saturated Fat: 0.9g (Women: 4.5% / Men: 3.0%)

  • Salt: 1.2g (Women: 20.0% / Men: 20.0%)

  • Fibre: 19.9g (Women: 66.3% / Men: 66.3%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Vegan creamy celeriac soup

Vegan creamy celeriac soup recipe - healthy quick and easy

The poor old celeriac - it's too often overlooked because it's gnarled, nobbly appearance scares most of us hurrying down the vegetable aisle. But when cooked right, celeriac is actually incredibly tasty, with a celery-like flavour and delicious, slightly nutty undertones. Plus it packs some impressive health benefits, including significant amounts of potassium which helps to regulate blood pressure, plus vitamin K and phosphorus, both important for bone health, and all with only about a third of the calories of potatoes (by the way, celeriac can also be mashed as a much lower calorie and more interestingly flavoured substitute for mashed potatoes).

Cooked in this soup recipe, it gives us a beautifully subtle celery-like flavour, and when blended, the celeriac helps to create an incredibly rich and creamy texture, so you'd never guess it's actually very low in calories, with only 89 calories per portion (before the bread!) It's a proper comfort-food style soup that'll cheer anyone up on a rainy day - we seem to be getting lots of those at the moment so this creamy celeriac soup should definitely come in handy.

If you like this celeriac soup then you’ll love this vegan celeriac risotto recipe - it’s easy to make but makes a really impressive dinner!

Raw celeriac - ready for easy healthy and creamy vegan celeriac soup recipe

Vegan Creamy Celeriac Soup Recipe

Ingredients (makes 6 portions):

  • 1 Tbsp rapeseed oil

  • 1 white onion, peeled and roughly diced

  • 1 leek, washed and sliced

  • 1 medium potato, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 medium celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1L vegetable stock

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fresh parsley and olive oil to garnish

Vegan creamy celeriac soup - healthy and easy!

 

Method:

In a large pan, heat the rapeseed oil on a medium heat and add the onion, leek, potato, celeriac, and garlic, and fry gently for around 10 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. 

Add the vegetable stock, bring the soup up to a boil, and simmer for a further 20 minutes until the celeriac and potatoes are tender. 

Use a stick blender or tip the soup into a blender in batches and blitz until smooth. Add the salt and pepper to taste before serving up. Then garnish with some fresh parsley leaves and a little drizzle of olive oil. Goes brilliantly mopped up with fresh crusty bread... heaven! 

Nutrition (per serving + 2 slices whole wheat bread):

  • Protein: 8.9g (Women: 17.8% / Men: 16.2%)

  • Iron: 2.1mg (Women: 14.2% / Men: 24.1%)

  • Calories: 227 (Women: 11.4% / Men: 9.1%)

  • Sugars: 5.4g (Women: 6.0% / Men: 4.5%)

  • Total Fats: 5.0g (Women: 7.1% / Men: 5.3%)

  • Saturated Fat: 0.7g (Women: 3.5% / Men: 2.3%)

  • Salt: 0.8g (Women: 13.3% / Men: 13.3%)

  • Fibre: 5.6g (Women: 18.7% / Men: 18.7%)

Vegan celeriac soup recipe blended to create delicious creamy texture

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Easy Vegan Baked Falafels

Vegan baked falafel recipe - healthy served in pitta

Falafels are a staple for many vegans. They're so handy - vegan, high-protein little bites that can be used in sandwiches, wraps, in salads, or just dunked in hummus. For ultimate ease you can buy them from any supermarket, and I often do, but these ones are nearly always deep-fried so can be high in fat. Making your own vegan falafels at home is so easy and if you oven bake them then they have just a fraction of the fat content, so these delicious, high-protein little bites are better for us (as well as tastier AND cheaper)! 

Vegan baked falafel recipe - healthy and high in protein

Vegan Baked Falafel Recipe

Ingredients (makes 16):

  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained

  • 1 small white onion, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced

  • Breadcrumbs from 1 slice of bread OR 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs*

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds

  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil & 1 tsp for coating

  • A pinch of salt and pepper, to taste

* I used dried breadcrumbs from a packet in this recipe. I'm all for making things as easy as possible so I keep some in the cupboard for recipes that call for them.

Vegan baked falafel recipe method: healthy and versatile
Vegan baked falafel recipe - vegan nutrition
Homemade vegan baked falafel recipe

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a baking tray with baking paper. 

Using a food processor, whizz up the onion and garlic until chopped finely. Next add all the other falafel ingredients, and mix for a little longer. You may need to scrape down the sides of the mixer a few times to make sure everything is thoroughly combined, but don't worry of there are still a few chunks of chickpeas as they can add nice texture to the falafels. 

Now shape the mixture into 16 slightly flattened balls, and lay on the lined baking tray. At this stage you can use just 1 tsp of olive oil on a pastry brush to coat the falafels - this will help to make them turn golden on the outside. Pop in the oven to bake for 30-40 minutes, turning the falafels halfway through so they brown evenly on both sides. 

Vegan baked falafels recipe - high in protein and low-fat
Vegan healthy baked falafel recipe - easy

Nutrition (per 4 baked falafels):

  • Protein: 5.9g (Women: 11.8% / Men: 10.7%)

  • Iron: 1.2mg (Women: 8.1% / Men: 13.8%)

  • Calories: 141 (Women: 7.1% / Men: 5.6%)

  • Sugar: 1.9g (Women: 2.1% / Men: 1.6%)

  • Total Fats: 5.6g (Women: 8.0% / Men: 5.9%)

  • Saturated Fat: 0.8g (Women: 4.0% / Men: 2.7%)

  • Salt: 0.1g (Women: 1.7% / Men: 1.7%)

  • Fibre: 4.7g (Women: 15.7% / Men: 15.7%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

vegan baked falafel recipe - easy

Quick Vegan Tofu and Mushroom Pho

Quick Vietnamese vegan tofu and mushroom pho

This vegan take on a pho is all about creating the delicious, fragrant, broth. I'd quite happily just drink a bowl of this broth on its own, but pack it with rice noodles and amazing toppings and it turns into a hot bowl of slurpy, warming, goodness. 

Traditional pho takes up to 10 hours to prepare, but I'd rather take this healthier, mega-quick, flavour-packed vegan version any day! (Tip - if you're just making this for two people, still make the broth for four. Just strain the liquid through a sieve and freeze for a rainy day. Then defrost and serve with fresh toppings for a quick mid-week meal). 

Quick Vegan Tofu and Mushroom Pho

Ingredients (serves 4):

For the broth:

  • 2L vegetable stock (only use 1 stock cube)

  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped

  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • Thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped

  • 3 whole star anise

  • 5 whole cloves

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2 Tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce

To serve:

  • 225g pack instant rice noodles

  • Handful coriander (cilantro)

  • Handful basil

  • Handful mint

  • 8 spring onions (scallions), sliced

  • 1 red chilli, sliced

  • 2 Tbsp rapeseed oil

  • 300g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

  • 300g pack tofu

  • 2 Tbsp cornflour

  • 1 fresh lime, cut into wedges

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180C (360F).

Start by making the broth. Simply chuck the stock, onion, garlic, ginger, star anise, cloves, cinnamon and soy sauce to a large pot and simmer gently with the lid on for about 30 mins. 

Meanwhile, prepare your toppings. Cube the tofu and gently toss with 1 Tbsp rapeseed oil and the cornflour, then scatter onto a baking tray and bake for 20 mins until crispy. Sauté the mushrooms in 1 Tbsp rapeseed oil in a hot frying pan for 5-10 minutes or until browned. Wash and chop the fresh herbs, spring onion, chilli, and lime. Cook the rice noodles as per packet instructions.

Now to assemble the pho - divide the drained noodles into your serving bowls, then ladle in the hot stock (leaving the onion and spices behind). Now top with the crispy tofu, sautéed mushrooms, spring onions, chilli, fresh herbs, and lime wedges. 

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Protein: 21.9g (Women: 43.8% / Men: 39.8%)

  • Iron: 3.9mg (Women: 26.4% / Men: 44.8%)

  • Calories: 481 (Women: 24.1% / Men: 19.2%)

  • Sugars: 4.4g (Women: 4.9% / Men: 3.7%)

  • Total Fats: 15.3g (Women: 21.9% / Men: 16.1%)

  • Saturated Fats: 2.4g (Women: 12.0% / Men: 8.0%)

  • Salt: 1.7g (Women: 28.3% / Men: 28.3%)

  • Fibre: 5.5g (Women: 18.3% / Men: 18.3%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Vegan Carbonara with Tofu and Mushrooms

Vegan carbonara with tofu and mushrooms

There are some dishes that you'd imagine you could never have again after ditching meat, eggs, and dairy. Carbonara is one of them - traditionally made with lardons, eggs, cheese, and butter - surely this is a dish that's off the menu for vegans? Well, this vegan version takes on a slightly different (and in my opinion, better!) flavour, and it certainly provides a fix for any cravings you might have for a deliciously rich, creamy, comforting pasta dish. And swapping the traditional ingredients - laden with saturated fat and salt - with nutrient-packed plant foods, it's definitely better for your health too. 

Vegan Carbonara with Tofu and Mushrooms

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 1 hour

  • 3/4 cup low fat coconut milk

  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 400g dried linguine / spaghetti

  • 200g frozen peas

  • 1 Tbsp rapeseed oil

  • 5-6 chestnut mushrooms, sliced

  • 4 shallots, finely diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 160g marinated tofu pieces

Method:

To make the sauce, simply chuck the drained cashews, coconut milk, nutritional yeast, and seasoning into a food processor and blitz until smooth (a high-speed blender, such as a Nutribullet or Vitamix, blitzes the ingredients into the smoothest, creamiest sauce). Set aside.

Now, cook the pasta as per packet instructions. Add the frozen peas to the pasta for the last few minutes of cooking. 

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, and fry the mushrooms for 5 mins until starting to brown. Add the diced shallots, garlic, and tofu pieces and continue to fry for a further 5 mins. 

Now mix the drained pasta, peas, mushroom / tofu mix, and sauce all together in the pan, and serve! 

vegan tofu carbonara recipe

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Protein: 31.3g(Women: 62.6% / Men: 56.9%)

  • Iron: 7.8mg(Women: 52% / Men: 89.7%)

  • Calories: 762(Women: 38.1% / Men: 30.5%)

  • Sugars: 9.9g(Women: 11.0% / Men: 8.3%)

  • Total Fats: 29.7g(Women: 42.4% / Men: 31.3%)

  • Saturated Fats: 7.2g(Women: 36.0% / Men: 24.0%)

  • Salt: 1.1g(Women: 18.3% / Men: 18.3%)

  • Fibre: 8.5g(Women: 28.3% / Men: 28.3%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Linguine With Vegan Parmesan

Vegan sun-dried tomato pesto linguine with vegan parmesan cheese

Sometimes you just need pasta in your life. And this is one of the best, most flavourful pastas I've had. It's also one of those great dishes that looks and sounds pretty impressive, but only takes 20 minutes to put together and so makes the perfect fall-back option if you're cooking for friends but find yourself tight for time. The key to this recipe is top quality sun-dried tomatoes - it's the star of the show here so splash out on some really top quality ones and this dish will go from good to freaking awesome. 

Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Linguine with Vegan Parmesan

Ingredients (makes 4 portions)

  • 1 cup top quality sundried tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (30g)

  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 3 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese (see below)

  • 3 Tbsp tomato puree

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 100g dried pasta per person

  • 50g cavolo nero or kale per person, chopped

For the vegan parmesan (makes 1 cup):

  • 3/4 cup cashews

  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder / garlic granules

Method:

First of all make the parmesan. Literally all you do is tip the ingredients into a food processor or chopping attachment of a stick blender (not a high speed blender like a Nutribullet as they're too powerful). Blitz for a minute or so until the consistency is like sand or, well, grated parmesan! This will make a cup so you'll have lots to store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks and also goes great on vegan risotto or the ultimate vegan bolognese

Now while making the pesto, cook your pasta as per packet instructions, adding the cavolo nero to the pasta for the last 5 minutes of cooking. To make the pesto, squeeze the sun-dried tomatoes to drain any excess oil. Add to the same food processor (no need to wash it after making the parmesan) and also chuck in the olive oil, basil, garlic, vegan parmesan, and tomato puree. Blitz this until it reaches a pesto-like consistency, although a few chunks of the sun-dried tomatoes left in there is nice in my opinion as it adds more texture. 

Once cooked al dente, drain the pasta and cavolo nero, return to the pan you cooked it in, and stir in the pesto. If you reserve some of the pasta water, you can add a little back now if you like the pesto a bit thinner. Serve into warm bowls and top with some extra vegan parmesan, torn basil leaves, and fresh ground black pepper. 

easy vegan sun-dried sun dried tomato pesto recipe

Nutrition (per serving with 100g - uncooked weight - pasta):

  • Protein: 15.6g (Women: 31.2% / Men: 28.4%)

  • Iron: 4.4mg (Women: 29.7% / Men: 50.6%)

  • Calories: 573 (Women: 28.7% / Men: 22.9%)

  • Sugars: 8.2g (Women: 9.1% / Men: 6.8%)

  • Total Fats: 22.4g (Women: 32.0% / Men: 23.6%)

  • Saturated Fats: 3.1g (Women: 15.5% / Men: 10.3%)

  • Salt: 0.6g (Women: 10.0% / Men: 10.0%)

  • Fibre: 8.1g (Women: 27.0% / Men: 27.0%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Soul-Warming Tuscan Bean Soup

Soul-warming vegan Tuscan bean soup

Sometimes the best things in life are just really simple. That's what I love about good Italian cuisine - it's most often very straightforward food, with a few simple ingredients, but cooked with real passion. And when you're cooking with just a few ingredients it's even more important to make sure they're top quality. This dish (as with most vegan dishes) is incredibly cheap, so you can afford to buy the best, and let each ingredient shine through. Oh, and as well as being delicious, this hearty, soul-warming soup is extremely low in saturated fat but high in protein, fibre, B-vitamins, and antioxidants. This recipe makes six portions so freeze some for a rainy day. 

Vegan Tuscan Bean Soup

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus extra to serve)

  • 1 medium-sized white onion, diced

  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

  • 3 stalks celery, diced

  • 1 medium courgette (zucchini), diced

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 400g can cannellini beans

  • 1 litre vegetable stock

  • 1 400g can chopped tomatoes

  • 2 large handfuls fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

In a large pot, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and gently fry the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, courgette, and herbs, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Add the stock and tinned tomatoes (with the juice) and bring to the boil. Add the beans and simmer for 10-15 minutes, then add the spinach leaves and cook for a further few minutes until wilted. 

Best served with warm, crusty bread to mop up the juices. 

Nutrition (per serving with 1 slice bread):

  • Protein: 10.2g (Women: 20.4% / Men: 18.5%)

  • Iron: 3.2mg (Women: 21.6% / Men: 36.8%)

  • Calories: 217 (Women: 10.9% / Men: 8.7%)

  • Sugars: 7.3g (Women: 8.1% / Men: 6.1%)

  • Total fats: 6.2g (Women: 8.9% / Men: 6.5%)

  • Saturated fats: 0.9g (Women: 4.5% / Men: 3.0%)

  • Salt: 0.9g (Women: 15.0% / Men: 15.0%)

  • Fibre: 7.7g (Women: 26.7% / Men: 25.7%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

The Ultimate Vegan Chilli

The best vegan chilli

I've been experimenting with vegan chillies for years now - making loads of little tweaks and improvements each time, taking inspiration from several other recipes - and I'm proud to say this is definitely the best one yet.... It's a rich, deep chilli with a good spicy kick and complex flavours that rivals any meat-based chilli. The quantities in this recipe makes 8 servings, so use your biggest pan and freeze any leftovers - as with many dishes, the flavours actually become even more infused once defrosted and reheated. And check out the nutrition info below - one serving of this chilli with rice gets you close to half your daily needs for protein and iron, and all with less than a gram of saturated fat! 

The Ultimate Vegan Chilli

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • 2 Tbsp rapeseed oil

  • 1 large (or 2 small) white onion, finely chopped

  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • Thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced

  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp chilli powder

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 heaped Tbsp chipotle paste

  • 2 tins good quality chopped tomatoes

  • 300g dried puy lentils

  • 100g quinoa

  • 100g bulgar wheat

  • 1 x 400g tin of black beans

  • 150ml red wine

  • 1-2 litres vegetable stock

  • 1 heaped Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 Tbsp date syrup / black treacle

  • A pinch of salt and loads of black pepper

Method:

Fry the onion and red pepper in the rapeseed oil over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, and fresh chilli and continue frying for a further 2-3 minutes. Then add the dry spices and fry for a further 1-2 minutes to release their flavours, stirring continuously.

Now simply add all the remaining ingredients, but starting with just 1 litre of the stock, keeping the rest handy in case the chilli needs extra liquid. Simmer gently for 30-40 minutes until the lentils are tender, most of the liquid has absorbed, and the chilli is deep and flavoursome.

The trick to take this chilli from a 9/10 to a 10/10 is to now remove just a couple of ladles of the chilli to blitz in a blender into a kind of sauce, then return this back to the pot - this gives the chilli a thick, rich consistency and helps to infuse the flavours even further. I like to serve with rice or just some warm crusty bread, any kind of dark green vegetable, and a dollop of avocado mashed with a squeeze of lime to help cool your mouth! 

Vegan chilli with kale, rice, and guacamole

Nutrition (per serving with 60g uncooked weight of rice):

  • Protein: 22.1g (Women: 44.2% / Men: 40.2%)

  • Iron: 6.1mg (Women: 41.2% / Men: 70.1%)

  • Calories: 555 (Women: 27.8% / Men: 22.2%)

  • Sugars: 9.7g (Women: 10.8% / Men: 8.1%)

  • Total Fats: 6.1g (Women: 8.7% / Men: 6.4%)

  • Saturated Fats: 0.9g (Women: 4.5% / Men: 3.0%)

  • Salt: 0.9g (Women: 15.0% / Men: 15.0%)

  • Fibre: 15.5g (Women: 51.7% / Men: 51.7%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

 

Jamaican Jerk Aubergine, Rice and Peas

Jamaican jerk aubergine (eggplant) with vegan rice and peas

The summer is upon us, and if you've dusted off your barbeque and are now looking for inspiration for something AWESOME to cook on it, then this jerk aubergine (eggplant) is one of my all-time favourites. Served up with coconut rice and peas (which I would happily just eat on its own) to help cool the fiery heat of the jerk sauce, and nutty barbequed corn.

Vegan Jamaican Jerk Aubergine, Rice and Peas

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 2 large aubergines (eggplants)

  • 8 Tbsp jerk marinade

  • 200g basmati rice

  • 1 can light coconut milk

  • Small bunch spring onions (scallions), chopped

  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp allspice

  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained

  • 4 corn on the cobs, or 300g baby corn

  • 1 lime

Jerk marinade:

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar

  • 4 chillies (scotch bonnet ideally)

  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 tsp allspice

  • 1 bunch (around 10) spring onions (scallions)

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce

  • Juice of 1 lime

Method:

You can use shop-bought jerk marinade if tight for time, or to make your own, simply chuck all the ingredients above in a food processor and blitz until a rough paste has formed (you may need to scrape down the sides a few times). Now, chop your aubergines into 1cm-thick steaks, smother in the marinade, and leave to rest, ideally for a couple of hours. When ready to start cooking, preheat your oven to 180C and fire up your BBQ (or heat up a griddle pan if the weather's not so nice). Now, scrape most of the jerk marinade off the aubergines (otherwise the marinade will burn, but keep aside in a bowl). Lay the aubergines steaks on the hot BBQ / griddle - cook for about 3-5 mins on each side. Don't be tempted to move them around, so you get nice griddle lines across them. Once nicely charred, smother each steak with the jerk marinade again and pop in the oven while you do the rice and peas: rinse the rice under cold water, then tip into a pan with the coconut milk, spring onions, thyme leaves, garlic, and allspice. Add 300ml cold water and set over a high heat. Once it begins to boil, turn the heat to medium, cover with a lid, and simmer for 10 mins. Add the beans to the rice and put the lid back on for 5 mins, or until all the liquid is absorbed. While the rice is cooking, char your corn on the BBQ / griddle. Then serve the rice, aubergines and corn on plates, scatter fresh coriander over and serve with lime wedges. Reggae tunes obligatory!

Nutrition (per serving with rice and corn):

  • Protein: 18.5g(Women: 37.0% / Men: 33.6%)

  • Iron: 7.3mg(Women: 49.3% / Men: 83.9%)

  • Calories: 592(Women: 29.6% / men: 23.7%)

  • Sugar: 24.8g(Women: 27.6% / Men: 20.7%)

  • Total Fats: 8.7g(Women: 12.4% / Men: 9.2%)

  • Saturated Fats: 5.7g(Women: 28.5% / Men: 19.0%)

  • Salt: 1.3g(Women: 21.7% / Men: 21.7%)

  • Fibre: 19.3g(Women: 64.3% / Men 64.3%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

 

Mean, Lean, Black Bean Burgers

Vegan black bean burger recipe

Been searching for a killer vegan burger recipe? Well look no further, this one is awesome! It's really tasty, doesn't fall apart in the pan (like so many vegan burger recipes!), goes nice and crispy on the outside, and it's amazingly healthy. One of these burgers gives you 14g protein and 3.5mg of iron with just over 300 calories, including the bun! 

Vegan Mean, Lean, Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients (makes 6 burgers):

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (about 1/2 cup dried quinoa)

  • 1/2 cup oats

  • 1 red onion

  • 1 red pepper

  • 1/2 cup canned black beans

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped (1-2 tsp)

  • pinch of salt & pepper

Method:

First cook your quinoa as per packet instructions (use a little less water than directed to keep your burgers firm, not sloppy). Meanwhile, in a food processor, blitz up the oats a little so they turn into a rough flour. Add the red onion and pepper, and blitz until they are roughly chopped. Now add the black beans (well drained to keep mixture drier), cooked quinoa, minced garlic, paprika, rosemary, and seasoning. Blitz until the mixture is completely combined - this may require scraping down the side of the bowls a couple of times. Now form the mixture into 6 burger patties, and fry in a non-stick pan, using 1 Tbsp oil per 2 burgers, for 3-4 minutes each side, or until the edges are nice and crispy and it's hot through. Best served in a warm bun, topped with tomatoes, avocado, and sriracha sauce! 

Nutrition (per 1 burger served with a wholewheat bun):

  • Protein: 13.8g (Women: 27.6% / Men: 25.1%)

  • Iron: 3.5mg (Women: 23.6% / Men: 40.2%)

  • Calories: 317 (Women: 15.9% / Men: 12.7%)

  • Sugars: 4.6g (Women: 5.4% / Men: 3.8%)

  • Fats: 4.5g (Women: 6.4% / Men: 4.7%)

  • Saturated fat: 1.8g (Women: 9.0% / Men: 6.0%)

  • Salt: 0.8g (Women: 13.3% / Men: 13.3%)

  • Fibre: 9.2g (Women: 30.7% / Men: 30.7%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.