The vegan summer crowd-pleaser

As lockdown eases you’ll find that the dining room is no longer in the house, it’s in the garden. So, dust off the patio furniture and string up the fairy lights because alfresco dinner parties are set to be this Summer’s biggest trend. Dinner parties can be a daunting prospect, so why not keep it simple and serve up a big vat of crowd pleasing Bolognese? Not only does my red lentil Bolognese make a tasty vegan summer recipe, it’s simple, delicious and could feed an army! Serve with homemade garlic bread, torn fresh basil and lashings of extra virgin olive oil, for the perfect vegan dinner party idea this summer.


Vegan red lentil bolognese

Vegan red lentil Bolognese
Serves 6 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 1 hr 10 mins /
V Vn Df 
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery sticks, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 can plum tomatoes
250g red lentils
1 tbs tomato purée
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
700ml vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pots
3 tbs vegan red wine (optional)
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
450g whole-wheat spaghetti or gluten free alternative (75g per person)
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Fresh basil leaves to serve (optional)


TIP: This Bolognese is suitable for home freezing once cooked. To freeze, cool fully before spooning into bags or Tupperware. Freeze for up to 3 months.


Method
1. In a large cooking pot, sweat the diced onion, carrots, celery and garlic together in a tsp of oil over a low heat. Season well with salt, put the lid on, and sweat for 15 mins, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the tomato purée and the tinned tomatoes. Break the tomatoes up a bit with a spoon before pouring over the stock, wine, lentils, cherry tomatoes and sprinkle over the oregano, parsley and the nutmeg. Season well with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
3. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for 25 mins with the lid on, stirring occasionally to dislodge any lentils stuck at the bottom.
4. After 25 mins, keep the Bolognese cooking and fill a large saucepan with boiling water and add the whole-wheat spaghetti. Season the water well with salt and boil the pasta for 10-12 minutes (or according to the packet instructions).
5. Once the pasta is cooked, take off the heat along with the Bolognese. Drain the pasta and divide into bowls. Top the spaghetti with the Bolognese and serve drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good crack of black pepper and fresh basil leaves.


Vegan garlic bread
2 baguettes or ciabatta loaves (not too big they won’t fit in your oven)
150g dairy-free margarine
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1tbs dried oregano

Method
Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6. Cut both loaves into slices about 2cm thick, being careful not to slice right through to the bottom, leaving the base intact. In a bowl, mix together the dairy-free margarine, garlic and oregano. Place each loaf on a large sheet of foil and spread the garlic margarine between the slices of bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before wrapping in the foil and placing on a baking tray. Bake for 5 mins before unwrapping and cooking for a further 4-5 mins until crisp. Serve immediately.


If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V – Vegetarian    Vn – Vegan     Df – Dairy free




Vegan red lentil bolognese

Vegan red lentil bolognese

It’s official, veganmania is in full swing, and it looks like she’s cool, young and beautiful. Whereas vegetarianism is still an old hippy, who doesn’t wash his hair. Why are we still so uncool? Plant-based burgers, vegan cheese and even vegan Happy Meals are popping up on menus across the land, and I still get risotto?! It’s so unfair! Don’t get me wrong, I’m appreciating the ever-expanding vegan menus with offerings that are more exciting and innovative – but where is vegetarian revolution? Stuffed peppers and goat cheese tarts are still thrust upon me at any given moment, as it seems our time in the sun has been eclipsed. Restaurants are killing two birds with one stone, and I don’t blame them, but it would be nice to have some sort of renaissance. Well, if you can’t beat them, join them. Here’s a vegan spaghetti Bolognese, because apparently I’m vegan now.


Vegan red lentil bolognese
Serves 4-6 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 1 hr 10 mins / V Vn Df Gf* 
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery sticks, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 can plum tomatoes
250g red lentils
1 tbs tomato purée
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
700ml vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pots
3 tbs vegan red wine (optional)
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
300g wholewheat spaghetti or gluten free alternative (75g per person)
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Fresh basil leaves to serve (optional)


TIP: This recipe makes A LOT! So unless you’re making it for six people, it’s a good idea to freeze what you don’t eat. To freeze, cool fully before spooning into bags or Tupperware. Freeze for up to 3 months. 


Method
1. In a large cooking pot, sweat the diced onion, carrots, celery and garlic together in a tsp of oil over a low heat. Season well with salt, put the lid on, and sweat for 15 mins, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the tomato purée and the tinned tomatoes. Break the tomatoes up a bit with a spoon before pouring over the stock, wine, lentils, cherry tomatoes and sprinkle over the oregano, parsley and the nutmeg. Season well with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
3. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for 25 mins with the lid on, stirring occasionally to dislodge any lentils stuck at the bottom.
4. After 25 mins, keep the bolognese cooking and fill a large saucepan with boiling water and add 300g of wholewheat spaghetti. Season the water well with salt and boil the pasta for 10-12 minutes (or according to the packet instructions).
5. Once the pasta is cooked, take off the heat along with the bolognese. Drain the pasta and divide into bowls. Top the spaghetti with the bolognese and serve drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good crack of black pepper and  fresh basil leaves.

Vegan red lentil bolognese

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Df– Dairy free
Gf– I use Knorr vegetable stock pots because they are gluten free but other stock pots/cubes may not be. Always check the label. Please substitute wholewheat pasta for a gluten free alternative.
 The bolognese sauce is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.



 

Spaghetti Quorn bolognese

Quorn Spaghetti Bolognese
Quorn Spaghetti Bolognese

So Quorn, hmm. Not really sure how I feel about it if I’m honest, but it works really well in this dish, mainly because I adapted it from a meat recipe. When I was a child, I used to get furious bolognese envy. I’d look over at my best friend Philippa, shovelling forkfuls of cascading spaghetti into her mouth, flecked with delicious, oily meat and cheddar cheese. I would then woefully look down at my plate – a lone soggy stuffed pepper staring up at me and I would wish I was dead… Okay so that’s perhaps a little dramatic, but I wanted to create a decent alternative to bolognese that would make little Corrie very happy. I now cook it all the time and everyone loves it, it’s cheap, easy if a little time consuming – I tend to make it on a lazy Sunday. Enjoy


Spaghetti Quorn bolognese
Serves 4 / Hands on time 30 mins / Cooking time 1-2 hrs / V 
You’ll need: A hand blender/food processor, oven-proof cooking pot with a lid.
1 tsp olive oil
1 white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
350g Quorn mince
150ml semi-skimmed milk
150ml vegetarian white wine
1 can plum tomatoes
¼ tsp nutmeg
Large handful of black olives in brine, drained
300g wholewheat spaghetti
100g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or Parmesan*
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 160°C/140°C fan/325°F/gas mark 3. In a large oven-proof pot, on a medium heat, sweat the onion, carrot and celery in the oil, adding a dash of water if needed to help them steam. Cook for 5-8 mins.
2. Once soft, take off the heat and roughly blend the vegetables with a hand blender or food processor. Return to the heat and add the mince and the milk. Cook for a 3 mins or until the milk has absorbed, and add the tinned tomatoes. Break the plum tomatoes up with a spoon and add the white wine, olives, nutmeg and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.
3. Put the lid on a jar and slow cook in the oven for up to 2 hrs, stirring halfway through.
4. Remove from the oven and serve stirred through spaghetti and topped with torn fresh basil and a sprinkling of cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

 

Quorn Spaghetti Bolognese

 

 


If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V – Vegetarian
❄ This 
bolognese is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. 
* Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.