Three plant-based family dinners you can get on the table in 30 minutes


As part of our Budget Bites column – where we’ve teamed up with Sorted Food to bring you easy, affordable, quick and (most importantly) tasty recipes once a month – we’ve brought you three speedy vegan dinner recipes that require no 12-hour cashew soaking or painstaking almond milking to get amazing results. They also make the most of your staple ingredients while keeping your fresh shopping list minimal.

We’ve also provided a handy shopping list for the ingredients (though hopefully most of it will be knocking about already), which are used across all recipes to ensure minimal food waste. You just need to decide where to shop, whether it’s locally or online.

Shopping list

  • 1 brown onion
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 20g fresh ginger
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 cauliflower (approx 800g each)
  • 1 large avocado
  • 200g fresh spinach
  • 1 lime
  • 20g fresh chives
  • 280g extra firm tofu
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 15 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 20g almond flakes
  • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée/tomato paste
  • 400g tinned coconut milk
  • 400g tinned cannellini beans
  • 200g dried pasta
  • 250g microwave brown rice
  • 2 flatbreads
  • 50g salted crisps/salted potato chips

Creamy vegan tomato pasta

We use blended cannellini beans to get a cream-like texture in this recipe, but butter beans also work well

(Sorted)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

5 cloves garlic

200g dried pasta

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp tomato purée/tomato paste

400g tinned cannellini beans

10g fresh chives

Method:

1. Fill the kettle with water and put it on to boil – this will be for the pasta later.

2. Peel and mince 5 cloves of garlic.

3. Add 200g of dried pasta to a large frying pan, season with salt and cover with boiling water from the kettle.

4. Place the pan over a high heat and boil for 8-10 minutes, until soft but still with a slight bite. Reserve a mugful of pasta cooking water for later. Get on with the rest of the dish while you wait.

5. Add the garlic to a medium saucepan along with 4 tbsp of oil. Place the pan over a medium high heat and fry for 2-3 minutes, until starting to colour.

6. Add 2 tbsp of tomato paste to the pan. Fry for a further 3-4 minutes, until darkened and sticky.

7. Add 1 400g undrained tin of cannellini beans and 100ml of the pasta’s cooking water. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the beans are piping hot. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

8. Finely chop 10g of chives crossways. We will use this for garnish later.

9. Once the beans are ready, take the pan off the heat and blitz until smooth and loose mashed potato-like with a hand blender. Season to taste with salt.

10. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta into the sauce. Give everything a good mix and loosen with more pasta water if necessary. We are looking for a light, creamy sauce that coats the pasta.

11. Divide the pasta between plates, top with the chives and serve.

Salt and pepper tofu with avocado dressing

We use pre-cooked microwave brown rice in this recipe, but if you have the energy, feel free to boil your own from scratch

(Sorted)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

280g extra firm tofu

5 tbsp plain flour

250g microwave brown rice

1 large avocado

1 lime

10 tbsp vegetable oil

2 red chillies

Method:

1. Cut 1 280g block of tofu into 6 slices crossways.

2. Add 5 tbsp of flour to a plate, then grind over 1 tbsp of black pepper. Season generously with salt and give everything a quick mix.

3. Coat the tofu in the seasoned flour and leave it on the plate, ready for frying later.

4. Cook 1 250g pouch of rice in the microwave as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Use a small knife to cut 1 avocado in half lengthwise around the stone. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the stone, then use the spoon to scoop the flesh out of the skin into a measuring jug. Finely grate in the zest from 1 lime and squeeze over its juice.

6. Blitz until smooth with a hand blender, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Add 10 tbsp of oil to a large frying pan and place it over a medium-high heat.

8. Once the oil starts to shimmer and loosen, carefully lay in the tofu. Fry on 1 side for 2-3 minutes, until golden, before flipping and repeating on the next. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

9. Thinly slice 2 red chillies into neat rounds.

10. Divide the avocado dressing between plates and push the dollops out to form discs. Spoon on the rice, top with the tofu, and garnish with the red chilli rounds. Tuck in!

Roast cauliflower, spinach, “potato” and coconut curry

This recipe works really well with the same weight of peeled and cubed butternut squash if you aren’t a cauliflower fan

(Sorted)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 brown onion

3 cloves garlic

20g fresh ginger

5 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 cauliflower (approx 800g each)

2 tsp curry powder

400g tinned coconut milk

200g fresh spinach

50g salted crisps/salted potato chips

20g almond flakes

10g fresh chives

2 flatbreads

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Halve, peel, and roughly dice 1 onion. Peel and mince 3 cloves of garlic and 20g of ginger.

3. Add 2 tbsp of the oil to a medium saucepan and place it over a medium heat.

4. Once the oil starts to shimmer and loosen, add the onion, 1 tbsp of cumin, garlic, and ginger. Fry for 6-8 minutes, until soft. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

5. Cut and discard any green leaves from 1 cauliflower. Cut small, bite-sized florets from the stalk straight into a large roasting tray. We don’t need the leaves or stalk in this recipe, but it makes great soups.

6. Toss the cauliflower in the tray with 3 tbsp of oil, 2 tsp of curry powder, and a generous pinch of salt. Ensure everything is well coated and spread out on the tray.

7. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until soft and charred in places. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

8. Add 1 400g tin of coconut milk to the pan.

9. Add 200g of spinach, 50g of salted crisps, 20g of almonds, and 10g of chives.

10. Simmer for a further 8-10 minutes, until the spinach and crisps start to break down. Get on with the rest of the dish while you wait.

11. Bake the flatbreads in the oven for 4-5 minutes, until golden and crisp in places. Crack on with a bit of washing up while you wait.

12. Blitz the coconut sauce until smooth and soup-like. Season to taste with salt if necessary, but remember, you have already seasoned it well with the crisps.

13. Divide the curry sauce between bowls and top with the roast cauliflower florets. Serve with 1 flatbread per portion.#

In response to the rising cost of living, we have teamed up with Sorted Food to bring you easy, affordable, quick and (most importantly) tasty recipes once a month. Find out more about Sorted and their nifty meal-planning app Sidekick at sortedfood.com/sidekick.



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