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Spring

Food & Drink, Spring

Vegan Easter Lunch Ideas

vegan easter lunch

With Easter just around the corner, my thoughts are turning towards the traditional Easter lunch, and what my family and I are going to eat after the one time of the year when we legitimately get to eat chocolate at breakfast time!

Aimee Ryan from the lovely vegan food blog Wallflower Kitchen, has created some amazing vegan Easter lunch recipes this Easter for the Vegan Society, which I’m excited to share with Moral Fibres readers.  There’s everything you need to cook up a delicious vegan feast this Easter:

Creamy Pea Soup

vegan soup recipe
A simple but flavourful soup that can be ready in minutes! Perfect for a light starter.

Serves: 4 / Cook time: 8 minutes / Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
450 g frozen peas
700 ml vegetable stock
50 g raw cashews
(Optional) 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Dairy-free cream or soy yoghurt, to serve

Instructions
1.  Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and saute the onions and garlic, until softened.  Add the chopped leek and celery and cook for a further couple of minutes.
2.  Stir in the peas and cashews, then add the stock and balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
3.  Transfer to a blender and mix until smooth.
4.  Ladle the soup into four serving bowls and top with a swirl of dairy-free cream or soy yoghurt.

Vegan Mushroom and Leek Pie

vegan mushroom and leek pie
Creamy mushrooms and leeks encased in a crispy, golden pie crust.  Delicious, filling and a great choice to serve to both vegans and meat-eaters!

Serves: 4 /Cook time: 35 minutes / Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium leeks, trimmed and sliced into discs
3 cloves garlic, minced
500 g button mushrooms
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
A pinch of salt and pepper

For the sauce:
1 tbsp dairy-free butter
2 tbsp plain flour
350 ml dairy-free milk
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
A pinch of salt and pepper
1 roll vegan puff pastry (or gluten-free, if needed)
4 tbsp dairy-free milk, for glazing

Instructions
1.  Add the olive oil to a large saucepan on a medium heat.  Fry the leeks and garlic for 2 minutes, to soften.
2.  Add the mushrooms, herbs, salt and pepper and stir for a minute.  Place the lid on top and cook for 8 minutes.
3.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the dairy-free butter on a medium heat.  Add the flour and stir until combined.  Slowly add in the milk, a tablespoon at a time and whisk, until you have a smooth thick mixture.  Stir in the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
4.  Combine the cooked leeks and mushrooms with the sauce and leave to cool completely.
5.  Make sure your puff pastry is at room temperature (if using frozen, leave at room temperature overnight) and preheat the oven to 200C.
6.  Add the leek and mushroom mixture to a pie dish and top with the puff pastry, cutting off any excess pastry around the edges.
7.  Crimp the edges using a fork and score a criss-cross pattern on the top with a sharp knife.  Finally, dip a pastry brush in a little dairy-free milk and brush the top of the pie to help it brown.
8.  Cook for 25 minutes until golden brown.  Serve straight away.

Balsamic roasted new potatoes with asparagus

vegan roasted potatoes
A flavourful side dish featuring seasonal asparagus and new potatoes.  Salty potatoes paired with the subtle sweetness from the asparagus and balsamic vinegar make this utterly moreish!

Serves: 4 / Cook time: 40 minutes / Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
1 kg new potatoes (such as Jersey Royal or another small waxy variety) cut into quarters
250 g asparagus tips, cut in half
2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A generous pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 200C.
2.  In a large roasting tin, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt.  Add the potatoes and toss to coat fully before roasting for 30 minutes.
3.  After 30 minutes, add the asparagus with a little extra olive oil, if needed.  Toss to coat and cook for a further 10 minutes.
4.  Season with extra balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
5.  Serve and enjoy!

Lemon Possets With Shortbread


Ultra creamy lemon puddings with sweet, crumbly shortbread cookies – perfect for dipping!

Serves: 4 / Cook time: 0 minutes / Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
For the lemon possets:
600 g silken tofu
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
120 ml agave nectar
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
A few fresh raspberries, to serve
1 tbsp icing sugar, to serve

For the shortbread biscuits:
200 g dairy-free butter
125 g icing sugar
310 g plain flour
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
2 tsp extract
1 tbsp dairy-free milk, if needed

Instructions
For the lemon possets:
1.  Blend all the ingredients, except the raspberries and icing sugar, together in a food processor until smooth.
2.  Divide the mixture equally between 4 glasses and chill for at least an hour or overnight.
3.  To serve, top with fresh raspberries, a sprinkling of icing sugar and 2 shortbread biscuits (see recipe below).

For the shortbread biscuits:
1.  Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
2.  Mix the dairy-free butter and icing sugar together in a large bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the dairy-free milk.
3.  If the mixture is too stiff, add the dairy-free milk to help thin it out until you have a soft but firm mixture.
4.  Transfer to a piping bag with a large star nozzle.  Pipe the mixture into small circular spirals.  Starting from the outside, working your way in.  Try and keep them all the same size!
5. Bake for approx 12-15 minutes until lightly golden. Leave to cool completely.

Enjoy your Easter lunch!

All recipes and images Aimee Ryan for Wallflower Kitchen Copyright: The Vegan Society, 2018.

Food & Drink, Spring

Fruit and Vegetables in Season in April

fruit vegetables in season in april

Aah, April!  We’re finally out of winter and have a full month of spring ahead of us – yippee!  British seasonal fruit and vegetables are still a bit thin on the ground this month, but there are still a few old favourite fruit and vegetables in season in April to keep us going through the month.  And there’s the addition of some spring delights – radishes, cucumbers, spring onions and even some herbs this month to cheer up our plates!  And, finally this forager’s favourite – wild nettles!  I’m planning on getting busy with the nettles this month – hopefully I’ll be able to share my nettle makes with you this month.

If you’ve not tried nettle before, it’s similar in taste to spinach, and once you boil it there’s no danger of stinging – I promise!!  Give it a go this month – maybe start with this wild nettle pesto recipe?  And let me know how you get on!

As before, I’ve included all of the information below in an free printable, without images, to make life easier for you when you’re out shopping for seasonal produce, or meal planning.  Grab the free fruit and vegetables in season in April printable here!

Fruit in Season in April

Rhubarb

fruit vegetables in season in april

Vegetables in Season in April

Asparagus

Broccoli

Cabbage (Spring Green)

Cauliflower

Cucumber

Kale

Lettuce

Potatoes (Jersey Royal New Potatoes)

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Radishes

Rocket

Samphire

Spring Onions

Watercress

Wild Nettles

 

Herbs in Season in April

Basil

Chives

Dill

Sorrel

 

Enjoy your month – eat well and eat seasonally!  And don’t forget to download your printable!