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If you haven't heard about it already, Veganuary is an annual challenge run by a UK non-profit organisation that aims to educate people about veganism by encouraging people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January. It isn't easy for a lot of people to go vegan cold turkey, however, I've collected a couple of my favourite quick recipes that can be implemented into your diet, whether full Veganuary, or just for a bit of a change.
Mongolian style Seitan
This recipe is perfect if you're craving a quick, healthy, vegan takeaway style meal!
Ingredients for 4x servings:
For the Sauce:
- 2tsp cooking oil, I use a mix of sesame and rapeseed
- 1/2 tsp minced ginger (you can also use ground ginger)
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- 1/3 tsp Chinese five spice
- 1/3 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp water
For the Seitan:
- 1 tbsp preferred cooking oil
- 500g Seitan (This recipe is excellent if you have time to make your own, if not this one from Biona is great)
Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over a medium high heat, add in your ginger and garlic and stir continually, add the spices and cook for around a minute more until fragrant.
Add soy sauce and sugar to the pan, and reduce the heat to medium low. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, bring to a simmer and add in the corn starch and water mix to thicken the sauce.
Reduce the heat to as low as possible, and let it sit until the seitan is ready to stir in.
To cook the seitan:
Heat your oil in a frying pan over a medium high heat, add your seitan and cook for 2/3 mins on each side until crispy around the edges.
Reduce to a low heat and stir in the sauce, continue cooking until the seitan is coated.
Serve with rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds and spring onion.
Quick Tomato Pasta
Ingredients for 4x servings:
- 4 cups of your preferred pasta
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1 white onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 veggie stock pot (and 150ml water - I like to use pasta water)
- A dash of plant based cream (Alpro have a great one) or oat milk
- Vegan parmesan (this is the one I use)
- Salt, Black pepper, Chilli flakes to taste
Cook your pasta according to cooking instructions, save the water for your stock later!
Saute the garlic and onions in the cooking oil in a saucepan over medium heat until soft.
Cook and reduce for 2 to 3 minutes.
Once onions and garlic are soft then pour in your tomato puree. Stir the mixture until it's thoroughly combined, then reduce the heat to low.
Slowly pour in the vegetable stock, stir to combine and then add a dash of the vegan cream/oat milk.
Stir to combine, then turn heat to the lowest simmer possible.
Sprinkle in the chilli flakes and add salt and pepper to taste. Finally, stir in grated vegan cheese to taste.
Pour the drained pasta into the sauce and toss to combine.
Sprinkle on more vegan cheese and more red pepper flakes to serve if desired
Crispy Chilli Tofu
Ingredients for 4 servings
For the crispy tofu:
- 1 x 280g block firm tofu (this is my preferred)
- 150g cornflour
- vegetable oil, for frying
For the sauce:
- 1tbsp sesame oil
- dash of lemon juice
- 230ml orange juice
- 2tbsp tomato puree
- 100g sweet chilli sauce
- 1 tbsp spicy chilli sauce
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 spring onion, to serve
- 1 tsp sesame seeds, to serve
This step is optional, but don't skip it if you want extra crispy tofu pieces! Press the tofu using a tofu press or place it between two clean tea towels, lay it on a plate and put a weight on top (we use a few cook books) Leave for at least half an hour to drain any liquid and firm up before you start cooking.
Slice the pressed tofu into 1cm chunks and spread them out on a board.
Sift cornflour over the top to coat the pieces generously, flip the tofu chunks and repeat this step to make sure each side is covered (The thicker your coating, the crispier the tofu will be).
Pour enough oil into the pan to fully coat the bottom and heat until it makes the tip of a wooden spoon sizzle.
Carefully place the tofu pieces in the pan, with a bit of space around each one if they’re touching they will stick together (you may need to cook them in batches).
Cook for approx 5 minutes, turning the pieces every minute or so until they are starting to turn golden brown.
When cooked, Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper.
For the sauce, add sesame oil to a pan and allow it to heat up
To this, add your soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sweet chilli sauce and tomato puree and stir to combine.
Once combined, stir the orange juice into the mixture and allow to reach a boil.
Finally, add a teaspoon of cornflower to the mix (make sure to mix thoroughly so there are no chunks!) and allow to cook off for around 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the tofu chunks into the mix and stir until coated.
Serve with rice, and sprinkle over sesame seeds and spring onion.