Even though I no longer eat meat, eggs and dairy I still like to enjoy a varied diet. I love spending time at home adapting recipes to make them vegan, or trying out vegan suitable recipes that I find online.
I thought I’d share some of my favourite tried and tested vegan suitable recipes with you from the last few months so that you can see how they turned out in real life. The great thing about each of these is that they are delicious meals in their own right that just happen to be plant based, so I recommend giving them a go whether you’re vegan or not.
(With the exception of the vegan bacon which I appreciate is a bit more specialist!)
Vegan Ramen with Creamy Sesame Broth by Cilantro & Citronella
I’ve tried out a few recipes for ramen now, this one is my favourite by far.
The broth is wonderfully creamy and takes no time at all to make so if you were short of time you could just make that part with some noodles and throw in some stir fried veggies.
If you have a bit more time on your hands though I thoroughly recommend making the crumbled tofu, a sweet and salty concoction that I think resembles bacon bits! I find that it takes a long while to get the tofu mix crispy in the pan so once I’ve cooked it as per the recipe instructions I transfer it to a heatproof bowl and leave it in an oven set to 100 degrees C, then I prepare the rest of the dish. This helps it to dry out a bit more which gives it a wonderful texture.
Quick and Easy Basil Avocado Pasta by Nourish Your Glow
I always feel a bit guilty about eating pasta dishes since the main ingredient is a complex carb that in itself isn’t particularly nutritious. However the simple all in one blended creamy sauce used in this recipe is packed full of good fats and nutrients.
It helps that it’s an absolute cinch to whip up in a blender too, it takes me less than 15 minutes start to finish, most of which is just time spent waiting for the pasta to cook!
Vegan Streaky Bacon by Avant-Garde Vegan
There are a number of reasons why you might not want to attempt this recipe. The ingredients aren’t all readily available in supermarkets, the ingredients list is long which makes it costly if you’re buying everything from scratch, it takes a long time to put together with lots of steps involved, including upwards of 20 minutes of elbow grease if you don’t have a machine with a dough hook.
Having said all that, if you DO decide to give it a go the end result is nothing short of genius and perfect for anyone being tempted off the vegan path!
Thickly sliced, the seitan resembles maple glazed gammon and when cut wafer thin and fried it really does become a convincing copy of actual bacon rashers.
Oliver made a ‘bacon sandwich’ from it with HP sauce and is convinced that our friends wouldn’t know the difference if we served it to them that way.
Here are a few tips I’ve found to ensure that your vegan streaky bacon is a success!
- Ingredients such as the liquid smoke, vital wheat gluten and nutritional yeast can be found via Buywholefoodsonline.co.uk or in Holland and Barrett.
- I use my Kenwood KMix with a dough hook attachment to knead the dough, reducing the kneading time by 4 minutes to make sure it doesn’t get overworked.
- Make sure to choose a thick grease proof baking paper and wrap the raw bacon as tight as you can, making sure that it’s fully sealed. This is to avoid water getting in whilst it simmers as otherwise it is an absolute pain to get the paper off at the end! I use three generous layers of cling film.
- Wait until the bacon is completely cooled, preferably refridgerated for at least an hour, before trying to remove the paper and slice it. This lets the seitan rest and firm up which makes things a lot easier.
- Sharp knives are a must and you want to get the slices as thin as possible for an authentic bacon result. I use a meat slicer (rather ironic since I’m vegan but it is perfect for the job!).
- Sprinkle an extra bit of salt on each side as you fry the bacon – it makes all the difference!
Smashed Avocado with Lime and Chilli by BBC Food
I serve this on it’s own with toast for a filling breakfast or lunch, in tortilla wraps with fajitas as an alternative to proper guacamole, or as pictured above with some vegan bacon. I am generous with the lime juice as I love the zingy tang it gives, and I use a mini food processor instead of mashing it by hand to speed things up even more!
Chocolate and Cherry Cake With Vanilla Frosting by Sainsbury’s Magazine
Oh yes – I found a really indulgent dessert cake without the need for eggs or butter! The rich chocolate cake works so well with the tang of the cherry jam and the sweetness of the frosting. I throw an extra handful of chopped cherries into the mix itself before baking it but this is completely optional. It also looks a bit of a showstopper with minimal effort required thanks to the chocolate dipped cherries on top.
The recipe requires you to make vegan buttermilk by combining soya milk and apple cyder vinegar together until the mixture curdles, but it doesn’t tell you how long this takes. I recommend leaving the mix to sit for 10 minutes before moving onto the next step in order to get the best end result.
I also find pitting cherries a really monotonous task so I bought myself a cherry pitter (this is the one I’ve got which is fab) which makes the task a doddle!
These are just a handful of my favourite tried and tested vegan suitable recipes from around the web. I’ve got plenty more that I can share along with my tips on how to get the best results so let me know in the comments if you’d like me to turn this into a series.