Tried & Tested Vegan Suitable Recipes

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.

Tried & Tested Vegan Suitable Recipes

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.

Tried & Tested Vegan Suitable Recipes

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.

Tried & Tested Vegan Suitable Recipes

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.

Tried & Tested Vegan Suitable Recipes

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.

Tried & Tested Vegan Suitable Recipes

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

Tried & Tested Vegan Suitable Recipes

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

Tried & Tested Vegan Suitable Recipes

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.

Tried & Tested Vegan Suitable Recipes

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.

Tried & Tested Vegan Suitable Recipes

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.

LovedByLaura

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Veganuary preparing for the big change

There’s no two ways about it, meat tastes great and I enjoy eating it. Then again there aren’t many things in this world that I’d rate above a lovely baked camembert or a nice bit of Wensleydale with cranberry either…and don’t get me started on milk chocolate.

But…

One day I was letting Facebook autoplay videos and up popped one with a guy explaining why he went vegan. It didn’t share anything graphic, it wasn’t militant or hateful towards meat/dairy eaters, it was just him calmly and matter of factly talking about some of the processes that take place to bring certain foods to our tables and why he has opted out of supporting them.

Something about it resonated with me and got me thinking about my food consumption in a way that nothing else ever has. I’d been toying with the idea of going vegetarian this year but I’d never really understood what all the fuss was about with dairy produce until watching that video. Since then I’ve been unable to shake the feeling that the lifestyle I’m leading doesn’t follow my ethical views.

I wasn’t really sure what to do about it though so rather than making a huge commitment that I’m not prepared for, (and to avoid giving my family a heart attack this Christmas when they are so kindly going to be cooking up a feast) I instead decided that I’d commit to Veganuary, which means maintaining a vegan diet and lifestyle for the whole of January. Rather than wait until then though and take the ‘Big Bang’ approach,  I opted to try and eat vegan as often as I practically could during December too, to ease myself in and get comfortable with what I was doing.

Veganuary preparing for the big change

That gives me a bit of leeway until then to learn what I can eat and what I need to avoid, plan breakfasts and lunches and generally get my head in a good place whilst not beating myself up too badly if I make a mistake. It’s a bit of a minefield as it turns out – just about everything you can think of has either egg or milk in it it seems, even Quorn!

Oliver has been extremely supportive which is great. He’s a meat eater through and through but he also has no qualms about trying out vegan recipes with me. His view is that as long as it tastes good and is nutritious and filling then he’s happy to give it a shot! So far we’ve tried vegan Mac and Cheese, Chocolate Banana Bread and Scrambled Tofu together. On my own I’ve made Pesto Pasta and Pea and Mint Soup. All are from Lucy Watson’s cookbook Feed Me Vegan which, along with Pinterest, is pretty much my food bible right now.

Veganuary preparing for the big change

What I’ve also learned so far is that there’s two ways to be vegan though:

  1. Healthily eating a diet consisting mainly of plant based nutritious foods, or
  2. Fake cheese, processed meat substitutes and a shit tonne of carbs.

Lots of new vegans make the mistake of going carb heavy and end up putting on weight in the first few months. After a few days of eating vegan I had definitely fallen into that trap and was feeling horribly bloated so there’s lots for me to work out before Veganuary.

Veganuary preparing for the big change

I’m not looking to put a strict label on things right now, but drastically cutting down on my consumption of animal derived products is something that I want to do and I’m going to see where it leads, so I think Veganuary will be a good way to start off the year.

Anyway that’s where I am. I just wanted to put something on here to talk it through really and explain why you might see me posting vegan recipes on Instagram one day and then wonder why I’m posting a picture of some milk chocolate the next. I have a few blog posts to go up from things I did in November that definitely weren’t even vegetarian and I’m still going to post them on here because I did them and enjoyed them and I think you might too!

Veganuary preparing for the big change

I also promise that if I do decide to become a fully fledged vegan in the future that I won’t be a dick about it. It’s all new and interesting right now as I learn things and naturally I want to talk and share my experiences as I go through them and I’m sure that will continue during Veganuary, but I don’t want to become a preachy type who shouts down anyone that doesn’t share the same views as me. Ultimately I’m making a personal choice and I won’t impose my decisions and views on anyone else.

On the other hand if anyone is going through a similar process right now and wants to talk about it, I’m more than happy to chat either in the comments below or on my Twitter account @lovedbylaurac . I’m also finding the website www.veganuary.com a really helpful, non judgemental resource for prepping for Veganuary, so it’s worth taking a look if you’re going vegan or are vegan curious!

Note: All of the food pictures in this post are vegan recipes that I’ve tried over the past few weeks, even the chocolate banana bread thanks to Bourneville Chocolate which is dairy free!

LovedByLaura

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