Nothing brings me greater comfort after a long day of lectures (aka: sending my friends high quality memes on Twitter while sitting in a lecture hall) than an easy and warm home cooked meal. While it may not be quite your mother’s cooking or as simple as some toasted potato waffles, the effort put into making a hearty meal is well worth it and does wonders for your mental health and general wellbeing. These recipes are all vegan but can easily be made more carnivorous.
Vegan Chili (serves 4)
- 2 Peppers
- 1 Onion
- 2 Carrots
- 200g mushrooms
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 cans of chopped tomato
- 1 can of mixed/kidney beans
- Vegetable Oil
- 1tbsp chilli powder
- 1tbsp paprika
- 1tsp oregano
- Dice onion and pepper and slice carrots and mushrooms
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions, carrots and garlic until tender. (You can also add mince in at this stage for non-vegans)
- Stir in peppers and chilli powder. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.
- Stir in mushrooms and cook 4 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes, kidney beans and oregano. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can serve this dish on its own, or with rice, wraps or baked potatoes. It is freezable.
For the Dough
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1tsp salt
For the tomato sauce
- 100ml passata
- ½ tsp oregano
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
For the topping
- 200g (vegan) mozzarella-style cheese, grated
- Any extra veggies/toppings you desire
- Put the flour, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Measure 150ml of cold water and 150ml boiling water into a jug and mix them together – this will mean your water is the correct temperature for the yeast. Add the oil and 1 tsp salt to the warm water then pour it over the flour. Stir well with a spoon then start to knead the mixture together in the bowl until it forms a soft and slightly sticky dough.
- Dust a little flour on the work surface and knead the dough for 10 mins. Put it back in the mixing bowl and cover with cling film greased with a few drops of olive oil. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees/Gas mark 9 and place two baking trays inside in preparation for the pizza. Once the dough has risen, knock it back by punching it a couple of times with your fist then kneading it again on a floured surface. It should be springy and a lot less sticky.
- Mix the ingredients for tomato sauce.
- Divide the dough into 2, shape into balls and flatten each piece out as thin as you can. Make sure the dough is well dusted with flour to stop it sticking. Dust another baking sheet with flour then put a pizza base on top – spread 4-5 tbsp of the tomato sauce on top and add some grated (vegan) cheese and any other toppings. Drizzle with a little oil and bake in the oven for 10-12 mins or until the base is puffed up and the vegan cheese has melted and is bubbling and golden in patches.
Vegan Double Choc Cookies
- 110g Vegan Butter
- 200g sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 125g All Purpose Flour
- 60g Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Soy Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 100g chopped Vegan Dark Chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Add the vegan butter, vanilla and sugar to a bowl and cream together.
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and mix in the baking soda and salt. Mix by hand until the mixture is crumbly.
- Add the 1 Tbsp soy milk or other non-dairy milk and mix into a thick cookie dough.
- Add the chocolate chunks and mix in. Your cookie dough will be very thick, but sticky enough to easily roll into balls.
- Roll into small balls and place on a lined baking tray.
- Bake for 10 minutes. The edges will be firm but the cookies will still be soft in the middle, but will firm up while cooling.
[Chris Timmins – @_plantbot – he/him]
[Photo credit: Joanna Erika/flickr.com]