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5 delicious and seasonal vegan dinner recipes

Eating & Drinking
Recipes

Need some vegan recipe inspiration for dinner? We've collected 5 simple plant-based recipes from some of our favourite vegan cookbooks, chefs and the Sustainable Restaurant Association to get you started this Veganuary.

Georgina Wilson-Powell 20 December 2018

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Whether you're doing Veganuary this year or just want to eat more meat-free meals, these vegan recipes are absolutely delicious. If you're anything like us, we know we should be eating more plants but sometimes lack the imagination to know where to start.

Scroll down for our 5 easy, vegan recipes that will prove plant-based dishes are packed with taste. 

Golden cauliflower & almond soup

Serves 4

The Spanish love to use cauliflower and almond together and giving it a twist of golden turmeric and carrot turns this soup into something altogether different and incredibly tasty.

This recipe comes from Seasonal Soups, the cookbook from soup-obsessed greengrocer, Fraser Reid (published by Kitchen Press in January).

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 1 cauliflower, leaves removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 stock cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

Heat a pot on a medium-low heat and add the oil or butter. When it’s hot, add the onion, carrots and garlic and fry for 5–10 minutes until they soften slightly. Put in the ground almonds, cauliflower and turmeric and give everything a stir.

Pour in 1.2 litres of boiling water, then crumble the stock cubes into the pot and bring everything to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer it for 20 minutes.

Blend the soup until smooth and season to taste with salt and  freshly ground black pepper.

Seasonal Soups Vegan Recipes

Make an easy vegan dinner with Fraser Reid's Golden cauliflower & almond soup

Kathryn Ratrray

Cauliflower orecchiette 

Serves 4

This recipe is one of the Sustainable Restaurant Association's One Planet Plate recipes from restaurants all over the UK. Each creates a sustainable dish for easy eco-ordering. This recipe is by Luciano Nastasi and Eric Chauvet for Carluccio's. 

"Cauliflower orecchiette is one of our stand-out vegetarian and vegan dishes. We wanted to create a dish that was so tasty, even a meat eater would love it and we think we’ve succeeded bringing vegetables to the forefront of this dish and letting them shine -  it’s completely vegan, filling and delicious - a firm Carluccio’s favourite!" says Eric Chauvet.

For the cauliflower sauce 

  •  250g leeks, green leaves discarded, washed and finely sliced 
  •  2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 
  •  2.5g thyme 
  •  1 bay leaf
  • 30ml extra virgin olive oil 
  •  750ml water 
  •  Table salt and black pepper to taste 
  •  1 cauliflower (white flesh, green leaves discarded), finely sliced 
  •  15g vegan yeast flakes 

For the turmeric cauliflower florets 

  • 200g cauliflower florets 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 2 dessert spoons ground turmeric 
  • 2 dessert spoons extra virgin olive oil 

For the cauliflower orecchiette 

  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil 
  • 80g kale 
  • 20g freshly chopped chilli 
  • 1kg cauliflower sauce 
  • 400g dried orecchiette pasta 
  • 200g turmeric cauliflower florets 
  • 4 dessert spoons garlic breadcrumbs (lightly toast 4 dessert spoons of breadcrumbs, ½ crushed garlic clove in a splash of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan until golden brown) 
  • 4 dessert spoons capers, drained 
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil 
  • Table salt and black pepper to taste

Method

For the cauliflower sauce, in a large saucepan, gently sweat the leeks, garlic and herbs in extra virgin olive oil. Add water and bring to the boil. Add the sliced cauliflower & simmer gently until soft. Remove the herbs and season to taste. Blend until smooth. Add the vegan yeast flakes and mix well. Set aside. 

For the turmeric cauliflower florets, pre-heat an oven to 230 degrees Celsius. Dissolve turmeric and salt in water and bring to the boil. Add the cauliflower florets and boil for 1 minute. Drain the cauliflower and toss in a baking tray with oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven for a few minutes until golden. 

For the cauliflower orecchiette, add pasta to salted boiling water and cook according to packet instructions. 

In a large frying pan, sauté kale in 15ml extra virgin olive oil. Add chilli, season and cook until wilted. Microwave turmeric cauliflower florets on high for 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower sauce to the kale and gently reheat. Add the drained pasta, mix well and season to taste. Serve in a bowl and top with turmeric florets, capers and garlic breadcrumbs. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve. 

Cauliflower Orecchiette Vegan Recipes

The all vegan (but filling) Cauliflower orecchiette from Carluccio's is perfect for midweek dinner

Brussels sprouts, peanut and pumpkin seed salad

Serves 2

This warm salad is the perfect way to spruce up Brussels sprouts. Long gone are the days of the over-boiled, slimy mini-cabbages – here it’s all about lightly browned, crunchy little gems. The toasted peanuts and pumpkin seeds work magic, bringing out the savoury nuttiness of the sprouts.

This recipe is from Detox Kitchen Vegetables by Lily Simpson (published by Bloomsbury Publishing).

  • 40g dried cranberries
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 150g quinoa
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced lengthways
  • Rapeseed oil for frying
  • 250g Brussels sprouts, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped peanuts
  • Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • Fresh coriander, roughly chopped, to garnish

Method

Put the cranberries in a small bowl and add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Leave to soak.

Put the quinoa in a pan with a pinch of salt and cover with three times the amount of water.

Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer gently for 10–12 minutes until the quinoa is cooked and the tail has separated from the seed. Drain in a sieve and tip into a mixing bowl. Add the soaked cranberries, the spring onions, lemon zest and a pinch of pepper. Mix well.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan and sauté the Brussels sprouts until lightly browned. Add the pumpkin seeds, peanuts and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for a minute longer to brown the seeds and peanuts.

To serve, place the quinoa on a large serving platter, top with the Brussels sprouts mixture and garnish with some chopped coriander.

Detox Kitchen Vegan Recipes

Tuck into a Brussels sprouts, peanut and pumpkin seed salad by Lily Simpson

Hot radish pickles

Serves 6-8

Add a touch of spice to vegan dishes this winter with Ed Smith's recipe from The Borough Market Cookbook (published by Hodder & Stoughton, £25).

Look for pickled hot radish such as the extraordinary watermelon, honeydew and Japanese black radish varieties, which greengrocers (including Turnips in Borough Market, London) often stock. Each of their spherical outsides appear plain and unpromising, but when cut open look remarkable and are peppery enough to make your nose hairs stand on end.

  • 300g spherical, hot radishes (honeydew, watermelon or black)
  • 2 sprigs of dill
  • 120ml white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, gently tapped
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 120ml water
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

Method

Peel the radishes with a vegetable peeler, then cut them into 1–2mm-thick slices using a mandoline (watch your fingers) or, if you prefer to use a knife, cut into 1–2cm dice. Put the radishes and dill sprigs in a Tupperware container, jar or bowl in which they fit snuggly.

Put the remaining ingredients, except the garlic, in a small saucepan with 120ml water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the garlic, stir, then pour the hot mixture over the radishes. Leave to cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days.

Hote Radish Pickles Vegan Recipes

Add pickled hot radish to your vegan dinners this January

Issy Croker

Double choccy brownies

There are plenty of delicious vegan desserts out there. And there's no reason why every vegan recipe has to be super healthy if you're looking for something indulgent. This vegan recipe comes from Stacey Forsey's Scrumplicious Sweet Treats (published by ZEF Publishing). All of her recipes are dairy, egg and gluten free and where possible made with no refined sugars.

  • 75g organic cocoa powder
  • 300g organic brown rice flour
  • 3 soft ripe bananas
  • 70g flax meal
  • 9 organic Medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp organic maple syrup
  • 240ml organic vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 340g organic, vegan certified dark chocolate chips 

Method

Preheat your oven to 180c/Gas 4 and line a brownie tin or deep cake tin with baking parchment. In a blender or food processor pulse the dates (make sure you remove the stones).

Add the cocoa powder, brown rice flour and flax meal. Give them a really good mix until nice and smooth. At this point add all the remaining ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, and mix well until all the bananas are smooth too. Take a spatula and scoop the mixture into a bowl.

Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the mixture into a lined brownies or cake tin. Make sure you get all that gooey mixture out and into the tin. It’s too good to leave any behind. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until your knife test runs clear. 

Want more vegan recipe inspiration? Check out our favourite vegan cookbooks here or check out our Vegan Pinterest board.

Vegan Brownies Vegan Recipes

Vegan cooking can be all about treats too. These plant based chocolate brownies are rich and smooth.

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