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8 recipes to get you through Veganuary - from chocolate cake to vegan black pudding

PUBLISHED: 19:00 07 January 2020

Are you going plant-based for Veganuary?  Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Are you going plant-based for Veganuary? Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Have you switched to a plant-based diet for January? Looking for inspiration in the kitchen? Here’s a selection of tried and trusted recipes from East Anglian chefs.

Chia spiced cake  Picture: Sara by NatureChia spiced cake Picture: Sara by Nature

CHIA SPICED CAKE WITH ORANGE COCONUT FROSTING

From Norfolk blogger Sara by Nature

This cake can be made in advance and frosted before servin. Or if you leave off the frosting it's delicious served warm with a dollop of plant-based ice cream or custard. This cake freezes well without the frosting, just defrost at room temperature.

Jamaican curry  Picture: Jonathon ManningJamaican curry Picture: Jonathon Manning

Ingredients

250g gluten free plain flour

200g unrefined sugar - I used coconut sugar, but soft brown sugar works too

3tsps chai spice (make a batch by blending 1tsp ground cinnamon, 1tsp ground cloves, 3tsps ground ginger, 2tsps ground cinnamon, 1 tsp allspice, 1/4tsp ground black pepper)

Vegan chilli  Picture: Jonathon ManningVegan chilli Picture: Jonathon Manning

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch salt

240ml unsweetened almond milk

60ml rapeseed oil

Thyme and cranberry 'cheese' ball  Picture: Sara by NatureThyme and cranberry 'cheese' ball Picture: Sara by Nature

1tsp vanilla extract

Frosting:

2 cans full fat coconut milk (left in fridge for at least 24 hours to separate the water from the cream)

1tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

Lentil and sweetcorn kofta curry  Picture: Sara by NatureLentil and sweetcorn kofta curry Picture: Sara by Nature

2tsp maple syrup

2tsp orange zest toasted coconut shavings to decorate.

Method

Vegan chocolate cardamom cake  Picture: Cupcake & CoVegan chocolate cardamom cake Picture: Cupcake & Co

Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a 20cm square tin with parchment.

In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, spices, bicarbonate of soda, salt and mix. In a jug combine the milk, oil, vanilla extract. Add wet to dry to combine then pour into your cake tin. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Once the cake is cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool in the cake tin.

For the frosting, in the bowl of a food mixer, (or with a handheld mixer) add the cream (this is the solid fat of the coconut milk) from the cans of coconut milk. Add the rest of the frosting ingredients apart from the coconut shavings and mix until firm like whipped cream. Spread this mixture over your cooled cake and decorate with orange zest and toasted coconut.

JAMAICAN SWEET POTATO CURRY

(serves four to six)

Supplied by Jonathon Manning, head chef at Aldeburgh Market.

Jonathon has access to an ever changing fresh supply of fruit and vegetables from the shop and deli, and takes pride in making his own curry powders and spice mixes from scratch. There are always vegetarian and vegan options on his menu.

Ingredients

Four large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes

2 white onions, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 thumb ginger, finely chopped

2tbsps of Jamaican curry powder

2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped

1tbsp dark brown sugar

Juice two limes

1 pint vegetable stock

1 tin coconut milk

One tin kidney beans

One bunch spring onions, finely chopped

One bunch coriander, finely chopped

Six vine tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

Oil for cooking

Method

Add the onions to a hot pan with 1tbsp of oil. Cook for a few minutes then add the ginger, garlic and red peppers. Cook until onions are translucent and peppers start to soften. Add Jamaican curry powder, stir and cook on low heat for few minutes. Add sweet potatoes, vegetable stock, dark brown sugar and coconut milk.

Cook until sweet potatoes start to soften.

Add kidney beans, spring onions, tomatoes, lime juice and chopped coriander.

Simmer until sweet potatoes are cooked and start to break up and thicken the curry.

Serve with rice and garnish with chopped coriander and lime wedge.

VEGAN VEGETABLE CHILLI

Supplied by Jonathon Manning of Aldeburgh Market

Ingredients

2 onions, finely chopped

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 aubergine, cubed

1 courgette, cubed

1 red pepper, cubed

1 yellow pepper, cubed

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

2tbsps ground paprika

1tbsp ground cumin

1tbsp dried oregano

1 tin kidney beans

1 tin chickpeas

2 tins chopped tomatoes

Splash tobasco

Oil for frying

Method

In a hot pan with 1tbsp oil fry the onions, chilli and garlic until soft. Add the papria, cumin and oregano. Fry on low for three minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer. In another pan fry off the aubergine, courgette, red pepper and yellow pepper until softened. Add to the tomato base with the kidney beans, chickpeas and chopped parsley. Season to taste with salt, pepper and tobasco.

Serve with rice, sweet potato wedges or a jacket potato.

THYME AND CRANBERRY 'CHEESE' BALL

(makes 1 ball)

Supplied by Sara by Nature

When dining with friends and sharing food who doesn't love a great cheese board? However, if you follow a plant-based diet or can't have dairy, the cheese board is normally a big no no. This vegan cheese is one of my favourite recipes and always gets a great response at my vegan cheese workshops and is so easy to make. Packed full of flavour, encased with cranberries served with gluten-free crackers or crusty bread it's always a winner.

Ingredients

150g raw cashews soaked

2tbsps lemon juice

2tbsps nutritional yeast

2tbsps coconut oil

1tsp miso paste

1 clove crushed garlic

Pinch of salt

1tbsp fresh chopped thyme leaves

80 g dried cranberries

Method

Place the cashews in a bowl, cover with water and soak for a minimum of four hours - preferably overnight.

Drain and rinse the cashews and add to a food processor along with the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, coconut oil, miso paste, garlic, chopped thyme leaves and salt and blend until very smooth and creamy, stopping at intervals to scrape down the sides.

Line a small bowl with clingfilm and scoop the cheese mixture into the bowl. Gather the edges of the clingfilm and gather up to seal and make into a ball. Place your cheese in its bowl in the fridge to allow to firm up for at least a couple of hours, preferably overnight.

To finish, remove the cheese from the cling film and press the cranberries onto the outside of the ball.

For an alternative flavour combination chop some apricots or dates and walnuts and use in place of the cranberries.

This cheese keeps in the fridge for up to five days.

LENTIL AND SWEETCORN KOFTA CURRY

(serves 4-6)

Supplied by vegan blogger Sara by Nature

This is a great tasting curry full of flavour and spice and not overly hot for those who love the taste but not the heat. The spicy lentil and sweetcorn koftas are full of flavour and make an ideal snack on their own. Served with the curry they make a delicious satisfying meal packed with nutrients. For ease and quickness, the koftas and curry paste can be made in advance and stored in the fridge until needed.

Makes 24-26 kofta balls, serves 4-6

Ingredients

Lentil koftas:

200g dried lentils (I used red)- soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours, rinsed thoroughly and drained.

2cm piece fresh ginger, grated

3 cloves garlic crushed

1tsp ground paprika

2tsps garam masala

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp turmeric

½tsp mild chilli powder (if you like it spicy you can add more)

1tsp ground coriander

Handful chopped fresh coriander, chopped

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Juice 1 lime

2 carrots, about 100g, grated

1 red onion, chopped

1 small tin (160g) sweetcorn, drained

Salt and pepper to taste.

Curry paste:

1 large onion, roughly chopped

1 green chilli (add two if you like it hot)

Handful fresh coriander

2 cloves garlic

2cm piece ginger peeled and grated

1tbsp garam masala

1tsp turmeric

Juice 1 lime

Curry sauce:

1tsp black onion seeds

1tsp cumin seeds

4tbsps tomato puree

400g tin chopped tomatoes

250-300mls vegetable stock

100g spinach

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Pre-heat oven 180C. Place all the kofta ingredients apart from the grated carrot and sweetcorn in a food processor and blitz until it forms a chunky paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in grated carrot and sweetcorn until combined. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes. Cover a baking tray in parchment. Roll the paste into 24 to 26 balls. Place on your prepared baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden and outside is firm to touch. Turn over halfway through baking to ensure even bake. Do not over cook or they will become dry.

Meanwhile place all the curry paste ingredients into a small food processor and blitz to make a paste.

For the sauce, n a large saucepan add your cumin seeds and black onion seeds heat on a medium to high until they become aromatic and start to pop, then add your curry paste. Turn the heat to medium and cook for two to three minutes, stirring to combine. Add the tomato puree and cook for a further two to three minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, 250 ml stock, andseason to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for eight to 10 minutes. The sauce should be quite thick. If it is too thick add a little more stock 1tbsp at a time. Lastly add the spinach and cook for a further two to three minutes until the spinach starts to wilt.

Add the cooked koftas to the curry and stir gently to coat them in the sauce. Ladle into bowls and serve with rice or quinoa and a wedge of lime.

VEGAN CHOCOLATE CARDAMOM CAKE

Supplied by Cupcake and Co , Norwich

Ingredients

490ml soya milk

10ml cider vinegar

300g caster sugar

160ml melted coconut oil

2tsp vanilla extract

1tsp almond extract

80g cocoa powder

160g plain flour

100g ground hazelnuts

1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

8 cardamom pods (bruise them and release the black seeds, discarding the shells)

For the frosting:

750g icing sugar, sifted

150g cocoa powder

300g vegetable fat

150ml soya (or any plant based) milk

For the ganache drip:

150g dark chocolate

30ml coconut oil

For the decoration:

Vegan sprinkles

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 190C and grease and line three 20cm round cake tins. Add the cider vinegar to the soya milk and set aside.

Grind the cardamom pods using a pestle and mortar.

In a large bowl mix together flour, ground hazelnuts, cocoa, cardamom, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

In another bowl combine the sugar, oil and extracts.

Add this mix, along with the soya milk, to the dry ingredients, stirring gently until a lumpy batter is formed. Don't overbeat or your cake won't rise.

Knock the mixing bowl on the work surface to knock out some of the air bubbles.

Divide the mixture between the three baking pans.

Bake for 25 minutes or until just firm.

Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

While the cakes cool completely, make the frosting. In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the icing sugar, vegetable fat, cocoa and soya milk until smooth and fluffy.

Use this frosting to fill and cover the cake, using a palette knife.

Make the ganache by melting the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave, just 30 seconds at a time, stirring until it's smooth and runny.

Allow to cool slightly then pour the mix on top of the cake. Spread it out until it drips over the edge.

Add sprinkles of your choice and enjoy!

VEGAN BLACK PUDDING

Supplied by Greig Young, head chef at The Northgate, Bury St Edmunds

This is great on its own, as a starter or as an accompaniment to any dish.

Ingredients

500g black rice, soaked in water for 24 hours

1/2 leek, finely chopped

1.5tbsps coriander seeds

1tbsp cumin seeds

125g dried apple, finely chopped

4 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 bottle red wine

1tbsp fennel seeds

1/2tbsp ground nutmeg

Oil for frying

Method

Crush all the spices in a pestle and mortar. Sweat the leek and shallots in a pan. Add all the spices and wine and cook until almost completly reduced. Add the rice and add water, ladle by ladle, simmering, until the rice is very soft. Add the dried apple before serving.

VEGAN WELLINGTON

(serves four)

Supplied by Justin Newton, head chef of The Weeping Willow, Barrow.

Ingredients

1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry

1 butternut squash cut in half lengthways

Scant handful fresh rosemary and thyme

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

200g oyster mushrooms

10ml soy sauce

10ml sesame oil

30ml vegan white wine

200g spinach, blanched in boiling water quickly, then drained and dried

20ml golden syrup

20ml rapeseed oil

Pinch saffron

Olive oil, salt and pepper and oil for frying

Method

Make a glazed by warming the golden syrup, rapeseed oil and saffron together. Set aside in a small bowl to cool.

Make a mushroom duxelle by sweating the shallot in a little oil until soft. Add the mushrooms and saute gently to soften. Deglaze the pan with the sesame oil and soy sauce. Reduce the liquid, add the wine and reduce again. Blitz in a food processor until smooth and spreadable.

Place the squash halfs in the oven at 210C, rubbed with the rosemary, garlic, thyme, olive oil and salt. Cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes or until soft. Remove the flesh and set aside to cool.

Place the flesh along a double layer of clingfilm in a thick sausage shape. Roll up and pop in the freezer until firm. Remove the clingflim.

On a floured surface roll out the pastry to about 0.5cm thick.

On a double layer of clingfilm spread your mushroom paste, then cover with the spinach. Place the frozen squash in the middle and wrap the mushroom and spinach mix around it. Place the mix in the centre of the pastry and roll, cutting away excess. Brush the edges with the glaze so it sticks. Seal each end with the glaze. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes until the pastry is puffy and golden.

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