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Hearty Harm-Free Recipes For Cosy Nights In Leave a comment

Forgot to celebrate World Vegan Day on the 1st November? Don’t worry… We’ve got you covered on making the Veg Pledge in November and beyond with these hearty, delicious and compassionate winter recipes.

But first, it’s time consider a few ways that going vegan can save the world. No overstatement. Did you know, cutting meat and dairy products from your diet is one of the biggest ways to reduce your environmental impact? In fact, a recent study by the University of Oxford found that choosing vegan food products could reduce your carbon footprint from food by 73%.

Since animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of climate change, responsible for 14.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions, going vegan is a step in a greener direction. As well as resisting climate change, veganism fights world hunger, combats deforestation and conserves water.

But it also means being curious and discovering how to gain access to the full seasonal flavour and bountiful nutrients of local vegetables. With just a few environmental advantages in mind (not to mention health, ethics and supporting local), will you be curious enough to try these autumnal vegan recipes?

Lovely Lasagne

Homemade lasagne is a firm favourite. This Italian-style dish is rich, creamy and full of flavour. It brings together all the best things about a pasta dish and makes for a wholesome sharing vibe. So, if you’ve never made vegan lasagne before, give this one a try.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 packet of lasagne sheets
  • 100g vegan cheese, grated

For the red sauce

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 350g button mushrooms, chopped
  • 300g vegan mince
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tins tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 1 tbsp marmite or Henderson’s relish
  • A handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper

For the white sauce:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g vegan cheese, grated
  • 800ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • salt and pepper

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 190° Celsius.

For the red sauce:

Place a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add oil, garlic, mushrooms, and onion. Cook until softened, then add in the vegan mince. Cook until the mince is thoroughly browned.

Stir in tomato paste, wine, Henderson’s relish or marmite, salt, pepper, sugar and basil. Cook for 5 minutes then stir in the chopped tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and continue cooking.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before using in the lasagne.

For the white sauce:

Heat the oil in a medium sized pan. When hot, add flour and cook, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Add in the milk, nutritional yeast, cheese, and season well with salt and pepper.

Whisk over a moderate heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until smooth and thickened. Adjust the seasoning to taste and thickness to your liking.

To assemble:

Spread a spoonful of white sauce over the base of the baking dish, then cover over with lasagne sheets. Pour over a third of the remaining white sauce, sprinkle over a little of the remaining grated cheese and top with half the red sauce. Cover with another layer of lasagne sheets, top with half the remaining white sauce, then all the remaining red sauce. Add the final layer of lasagne sheets, then spread with the rest of the white sauce. Cover with the remaining grated cheese.

Bake the lasagne for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Stand for 5 minutes before cutting to allow the filling to settle.


Sweet Jacket Potatoes

Sweet potatoes can be cooked in many ways… they are fairly inexpensive and taste good. This loaded jacket potato alternative is packed with goodness and perfect for a cosy night in.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tin sweetcorn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 handful spinach, stalks removed
  • 1 handful coriander, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil/coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 avocado, smashed
  • 2 limes
  • salt and pepper

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 190° Celsius. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and cover with foil on a baking sheet. Pop them into the oven for 50 minutes.

Using a medium sized pan, heat the oil and garlic. After 2 minutes, once the garlic is fragrant, add spinach and stir. After 5 minutes, add beans to the spinach with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the avocados in half, discard the stone and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Add half the juice of a lime. Using the back of a spoon, roughly smash the avocado until smooth. Add salt and pepper and squeeze lime. Set aside.

Chop the onions, tomatoes, and coriander, put them in a bowl and add a teaspoon of olive oil and 1 ½ lime juice. Mix with salt and pepper.

Remove potatoes from oven, cut in half. Top with spinach and beans. Sprinkle over cold sweetcorn, diced tomato, onion and coriander, then add the smashed avocado.


Mushroom, Sage and Onion Wellington

This absolute showstopper is the perfect dish to make on a Sunday afternoon or chilly evening alongside some tasty, roasted vegetables.

  • 8 portobello mushrooms
  • 3 onions
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 2 oz walnuts
  • 2 (11 oz) sheets of dairy-free puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 220° Celsius and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place five mushrooms in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then bake for 15 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and set aside. Leave the oven switched on for later.

Cut the remaining mushrooms into quarters, peel and roughly chop the onions and add to a food processor along with sage leaves, walnuts, ½ teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Process to form a smooth paste, then fry in a pan over a medium-high heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Roll out one sheet of pastry onto the lined baking tray. Spread a third of the paste down the middle of the pastry lengthways, spreading it 2 inches wide and leaving the same length clear at each end.

Turn the baked mushrooms upside-down to drain excess juices, then place three of the mushrooms, gills facing up, on top of the paste along the middle of the pastry. Add the remaining two mushrooms, gills facing down, between the three mushrooms. Spoon the remaining paste around the mushrooms to cover them on all sides.

Place the second sheet of pastry on top and use your fingers to seal the edges together. Trim around the Wellington roughly one inch away from the filling, discarding the excess pastry as you go. Lightly score the Wellington with diagonal lines at 1-inch intervals and brush with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, until the pastry turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve in slices.

We hope these vegan powerhouse meals warm your bellies and your heart. If you try them, let us know what you think, and don’t forget to share your favourite recipes with us too. Plus, keep an eye on our Instagram stories where you can find more hearty vegan meals and sweet treats.

Written By Hannah Stark

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