Birkdale

Delicious Vegan Recipes for You to Try at Home

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Birkdale

27th January 2021

Veganuary may be almost over, we thought we’d share a couple of delicious vegan recipes, courtesy of our very talented, private-dining chef, Francesca.

Francesca is a Leiths-trained chef, food writer and stylist who honed her skills in London’s competitive kitchens. Since then, she has travelled the world catering for private clients, worked as a home economist on BBC’s ‘Great British Menu’ and qualified as a Nutritional Therapist. Fortunately for us, she decided to return to the Lake District.

Veganuary

Established in 2014, Veganuary has gone from strength to strength as more and more of us include plant-based, dairy free meals in our diets. This may be for health reasons, concern about the climate and animal welfare, or simply to try something new. Whatever your motivation for enjoying a vegan meal, Francesca’s recipes below are simple, filling and absolutely delicious.

Many of us trying healthy vegan recipes head straight for the butternut squash, sweet potato or roasted cauliflower options. Failing that, a tofu stir fry. But while these delicious vegan recipes may be a little more involved, they’re certainly worth the effort.

We’ll begin with this colourful dish which is perfect for lunch for two and is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Aubergine Cannelloni with Red Pepper Sauce and ‘Cashew Nut Cheeze’ Filling

Ingredients:

For the Cashew Nut Cheeze:

240g cashew nuts, soaked in water for 6 hours/overnight and rinsed

2 garlic cloves

Zest of 1 lemon

60ml lemon juice (approx 2 lemons)

55ml water

6g nutritional yeast

30ml cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt to taste

For the Red Pepper Sauce:

325g cooked red peppers

100g flaked almonds

3 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

½ tbsp apple cider vinegar 

For the Cannelloni:

3 large aubergines, thinly sliced lengthways

8 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

For the Parsley Oil:

40g flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

100ml cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

Squeeze of juice from 1 large lemon

 80g Rocket, to garnish

Method:

1.    Blend all the ‘cheeze’ ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy. 

2.    Place a large sieve over a mixing bowl, lay down two layers of muslin and spoon the cheeze mix into the centre of the cloth, gather the corners and twist the top gently to create a ball shape with the mixture. Secure the cloth with string and refrigerate for 6 overs, ideally over night for a firmer set (aiming for a slightly firmer cream cheese consistency).

3.    Pre-heat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Oil a couple of large baking trays with half the olive oil, evenly place the aubergine slices across the trays, season with salt and pepper and drizzle over the remaining olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn over and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the aubergine has softened but not turned crispy (if it’s crispy it will break up when you try to form the cannelloni).

4.    Allow the aubergine to cool.

5.    Make the red pepper sauce by blending all the ingredients together until smooth and spoon into a bowl.

6.    Give the blender a clean and then blend the parsley oil ingredients and decant into a small jug.

7.    To construct the dish, spoon a generous tablespoon of cheeze mixture at one end of the aubergine slice and roll up the aubergine to create a fat cigar shape. Repeat with the remaining aubergine slices.

8.    Spoon the red pepper sauce across the centre of the plate, place a small handful of rocket over the sauce and place the aubergine cannelloni on top and drizzle over some of the parsley oil. 

Wild Mushroom Stew with Creamy Polenta

The second of Francesca’s delicious vegan recipes is this hearty, mouth-watering wild mushroom stew with creamy polenta. A perfect winter warmer for two to enjoy. We’ll leave it to you to prepare the polenta – simply follow the instructions on the pack, using vegetable stock and soya milk for a beautiful, creamy finish. For a little extra creaminess, stir in some non-dairy butter before serving.

Ingredients:

3 tomatoes

375g portobello mushrooms

150g oyster mushrooms

6-7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion

1 chopped sage leaf

1 tsp chopped thyme

¼ tsp chilli flakes

½ tbsp tomato puree

Sea salt and pepper

½ tbsp gluten-free flour

240ml vegetable stock 

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

50g flat leaf parsley, chopped

Squeeze of lemon juice

Method:

1.    To prepare the tomatoes, score the tops of with a cross and add to a pan of boiling water. Leave for 15-20 seconds and transfer the tomatoes into a bowl of ice water, leave for a minute. Then, using the edge of the crosses, peel the skin away. Quarter the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds.

2.    Clean the mushrooms, keeping the two types of mushrooms separate. Thickly slice the Portobello mushrooms.

3.    Set a pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and the onions. Sauté the onions until soft. Remove from the pan and set aside.

4.    In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and cook the portobello mushrooms on a medium heat until nicely coloured.

5.    Lower the heat, add the sage, thyme, chilli flakes, tomato puree, tomatoes, salt and pepper and give everything a stir. Cook for a couple of minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

6.    Evenly sprinkle in the flour across the pan, stir for a few minutes to incorporate and cook out the flour. Add the sautéed onions.

7.    Pour in half the stock and keep stirring to allow the flour to thicken the stock and prevent lumps forming. Once thickened, gradually add the remaining stock and cook for 2 minutes until the sauce has a gravy-like consistency. Add more broth to thin the sauce if necessary.

8.    Taste and adjust the seasoning, it may need a squeeze of lemon juice to lift the flavour.

9.    Just before serving, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a small frying pan and sauté the oyster mushrooms until they begin to colour. Add the garlic and parsley, stir to coat, season with salt and pepper and cook for a further minute. Add the oyster mushrooms to the base sauce ready to serve.

Thank you, Francesca. Having tried these easy vegan dishes, we can safely say they are absolutely delicious.

Click here for more information about Francesca and the range of services she offers.

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