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Vegan Smoky BBQ Farfalle

Coming up with quick, easy, repeatable weeknight meals that don’t contain meat or dairy can be a massive ballache. It’s a large contributer to why I haven’t taken the plunge into actual proper vegan yet.

Therefore, whenever I happen upon one, I’ll do my level best to share it with you. This vegan cheesy pasta from back in January is dinner for me at least twice a week, so be sure to bookmark that one too if you share in my plant based dinner inspiration struggles.

This recipe yields enough for one portion for you for dinner tonight and three portions boxed up in tupperware for work – all for well under a fiver. One of the major positives to chilling out on the meat and dairy front.

Notes on ingredients:

If you’ve never used Old El Paso fajitas mix outside of its meal kit context before, you haven’t lived. That stuff is like gold dust, and deserves its own place in the kitchen cupboard alongside your other staple spices.

The best vegan mince I’ve tried to date is ASDA’s own brand soya mince, found in the freezer section next to the Quorn stuff (which, for the record, is not vegan.. last I checked).

Serves 4

300g farfalle
1/2 bag (or about 200g) vegan mince
3 peppers
2 onions
1 sachet Old El Paso smoky BBQ spice mix
1 tub salsa

  1. Boil pasta according to pack instructions, reserving a cup of pasta water just before draining. Set aside.
  2. Roughly chop the peppers and onions and cook in olive oil until beginning to brown.
  3. Add the mince and cook until defrosted, add the BBQ spice mix sachet.
  4. Finally, pour in the pasta water and salsa and stir to combine, then throw in the pasta and mix until each pasta shape is coated.

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Peanut Butter Biscoff Porridge

If you’re in the market for a recipe that adds a few hundred extra calories to a breakfast staple for no reason other than a fondness for deliciousness, you have come to the right place.

I’ve been eating this for breakfast almost every day for just over a month. The biscuits give it a cakey consistency that is either going to be very much up your street or make you hate me a little bit. Please do keep me posted.

The peanut butter in conjunction with the seeds and oats make this a proper slow release energy, full until at least 11-11.30am breakfast situation. (I’m not gonna say full until lunchtime because I don’t believe that anyone is ever truly full until lunch, they’re just resisting the urge to have a Kit Kat at elevenses, which is entirely different.)

The closest comparison I can give this is to the Dorset Cereals gingerbread porridge sachets – if you like those, you’ll have a lot of time for this.

Serves 1:

1/2 cup porridge oats

1/2 cup soya milk

1/2 cup water

1 heaped tbsp peanut butter

4 biscoff biscuits

Small handful mixed seeds

Pinch of salt, pinch of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, put on a low heat and cook for a few minutes, stirring all the time, until thickened.

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Vegan Buffalo Hot Mess

Buffalo Hot Mess

It’s 4th February – 4 days post Veganuary – and I am still quietly plodding along with vegan cooking and eating. In previous years, I’ve been sick to death of the restriction by the end of the month and delved back into mozzarella and chorizo with reckless abandon as soon as the clock struck midnight on January 31st. I don’t know what’s different about 2019, but I’ve not felt particularly restricted at all and I’ll roll with it for as long as I feel like it.

This weeks recipe is my current most favoured lunchbox situation. Vegetables are roasted in advance and placed into a plastic container. Cheese is grated on top, and hot sauce is drizzled over. This, when microwaved at the office come lunchtime, is the height of comfort.

You can roast quite literally anything you fancy and in any amount. I’ve found this to be a great way of using up smaller portions of vegetables left over from other kitchen adventures.

I’ve included specific veg and amounts in the actual recipe as a guide, but it’s worth considering which great roasters are in season this month: sprouts, cauliflower, leeks, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes and beetroot are all great contenders for being drowned in melted cheese.

I’ve written out quantities for 1 serving. Scale this up if you’re on a meal prep mission for a few days in a row, or keep it where it is to try it out for size before you commit.

Serves 1:

2 small or 1 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1 beetroot, peeled and chopped
1 large leek, sliced into 2cm rounds
1/3 block vegan cheese (violife original block or ASDA cheddar alternative are my go-tos)
buffalo sauce, to taste (I use Frank’s)
1 tbsp oil (olive, rapeseed, whatever you’ve got in is fine

  1. Heat oven to 180C Fan (Gas 6) and toss vegetables in a roasting dish with the oil and plenty of salt.
  2. Put the vegetables in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, give them up to an extra 10 minutes more depending on how crispy you like those edges – I’m a 40 minute girl, myself.
  3. Allow to cool, then transfer vegetables to a microwave safe box. Top with grated cheese and drizzle with hot sauce.
  4. When you’re ready to eat, take off the lid of the box and replace it loosely, then microwave for three minutes.

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