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 (makes enough sauce for 6) / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 1 hr 20 mins / V Vn Df Gf* 
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped
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
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
700ml vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pots that are gluten free, vegan and dairy free.
3 tbs vegan red wine (optional)
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
300g wholewheat spaghetti or gluten free alternative
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Fresh basil leaves to serve (optional)


Method
1. In a large cooking pot, sweat the diced onion, carrots, celery and garlic together in a tsp of oil over a medium heat. Season well with salt, add a dash of water and soften for 20 mins with the lid on, stirring frequently.
2. Stir in the tomato purée and add the tinned plum tomatoes using a wooden spoon to break them up a bit. Pour over the stock, add the lentils, cherry tomatoes and sprinkle over the herbs and ground nutmeg. Season well with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
3. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for 40-50 mins with the lid on and stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils sticking to the bottom of the pot.
4. After 40 minutes, 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. Finally, take the bolognese off the heat and leave to stand for a couple of minutes whilst draining the pasta and dividing into bowls. Top the spaghetti with the bolognese and serve drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good crack of black pepper.

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.



 

Harissa carrot & lentil salad

Harissa carrot & lentil salad
Harissa carrot & lentil salad
Harissa carrot & lentil salad

I don’t know why I do it to myself. I just spent another Sunday attempting to make Thai green curry only to fail miserably. Again! I never learn.
Firstly, the paste I made was so hot that even Jamie – who sprinkles chilli on his cornflakes – had to spit it out. Secondly, coconut cream is not the same as coconut milk – the box I bought was a separated grainy mess. Thirdly, swapping tofu for jackfruit made for a weird and sloppy texture, not to mention the fact that jackfruit tastes like, well, a fruit. Jamie didn’t seem to mind, though, and happily gobbled it up while I sulkily tucked into a packet of crisps.

On that note, here’s something I made earlier that actually worked. Roasted harissa carrot and lentil salad on a bed of homemade labneh (strained Greek yoghurt). If you can’t be bothered to make your own labneh (I don’t blame you), simply substitute for full-fat Greek yoghurt.

Harissa carrot & lentil salad
Serves 2 / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 45 mins / Gf
For the carrots
250g whole carrots, trimmed and peeled  (I use organic bunched carrots)
1 tbs rapeseed oil
1 tbs harissa
2 tsp maple syrup
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp ground cumin
For the lentils
1 tsp rapeseed oil
Small red onion, peeled and sliced
1 tsp harissa
250g ready to eat puy lentils
Juice and zest of a lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
To serve
4 tbs full fat Greek yogurt or Labneh 
Handful fresh dill, chopped
50g soft vegetarian goats cheese (optional)


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ 400F/gas mark 6. Trim and peel the carrots and place in a large roasting tin.
2. To make the dressing combine the rapeseed oil, harissa, maple syrup, garlic, ground cumin together in a small bowl with a crack of salt and pepper. Pour over the carrots and mix well until they are well coated. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes before giving them a good shake and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile sweat the onions in the oil in a large pot or frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add a dash of water to help the onions steam before adding the harissa. Stir and cook for a few minutes before adding the lentils along with the zest and juice of a lemon. Season well with salt and pepper and warm through. Once hot, take off the heat and stir in the crushed garlic. Cover with a lid and put to one side.
4. To serve, make a bed of yogurt or labneh in the middle of each plate and spoon over the warm lentils. Top with the carrots, a sprinkling of chopped dill and scatter with soft goats cheese.

Harissa carrot & lentil salad
Harissa carrot & lentil salad

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.   Gf– Gluten free



Thai green lentil soup

Thai green lentil soup
Thai green lentil curry
Thai green lentil curry

What could be better than boiling hot soup on a boiling hot day? Well, I apologise, but my cupboards were bare and I couldn’t be bothered to get the bus to Waitrose. So, instead, I sat in the sun and drank wine for nine straight hours, listening to The Little Mermaid soundtrack and crying – I don’t feel very well today.

Anyway, next week I’m off on hollibobs, so alas, you won’t be receiving a recipe from me, but expect something deliciously Italian on my return. In the meantime, let’s head to Asia and enjoy this rather tasty Thai green soup.

Thai green lentil soup
Serves 4 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 45 mins /
V Vn Gf* Df  ❄🌶
1 tsp coconut oil
1 white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Knob of fresh ginger, grated
50g vegan/gluten free *Thai green curry paste, I use Blue Dragon
1 can coconut milk
150g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
150g dried green lentils
1 litre vegetable stock*, I use 2 Knorr vegetable stock pots
Handful of fresh coriander, including the stalks
Stick of lemon grass, bashed


Method
1. In a large cooking pot with a lid, sweat the chopped onions in the oil, over a medium to low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally (add a dash of water if needed, to prevent burning).
2. Once soft, add the grated ginger, crushed garlic and the Thai green curry paste. Give it a good stir and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the sweet potato, coconut milk, stock, lentils and the bashed lemon grass and bring to the boil.
3. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cut the storks off the bunch of coriander and add them to the soup. Cook for 5 more minutes. Finally take off the heat, fish out the lemon grass and blend – either with a hand blender or a food processor. Serve topped with chopped coriander leaves.

Thai green lentil curry
Thai green lentil curry

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.   🌶– Spicy
Gf– I use Knorr vegetable stock pots because they are gluten free but other stock pots/cubes may not be. Always check the label. 

 Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.
* Some Thai green curry pastes contain crustaceans and fish.




Turkish lentil soup

Turkish Lentil Soup
Turkish Lentil Soup
Turkish Lentil Soup

Just when I thought our pathetic excuse for a summer had gone, the sun comes out. After a week of drizzle, frizzy hair and wet ballet pumps, I have decided to spend the one weekend of sun in my flat playing Super Nintendo. It’s Jamie’s fault really, he managed to get the damn thing working and now I can’t stop playing it. He’s at work today though so I’m determined to beat his score on Donkey Kong… Yes I am aware of how sad that sounds.
Anyway, lentil soup is one of my favourites but unlike my other recipe, this version is milder and creamier. It’s the addition of egg yolks that give this soup it’s velvety and luxurious texture. Where possible, I try and add a bit of protein to my soups to make them a bit more substantial. On this occasion I’ve used cottage cheese but you can serve it topped with Greek yogurt or even poured over soft boiled eggs.


Turkish lentil soup
Serves 4 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 50 mins / V❄ 
25g unsalted butter
1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
½ tsp turmeric
1 tbs plain white flour
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1½ litres vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pot
280g red lentils
½ tsp salt
1 bay leaf
2 egg yolks
Extra virgin olive oil
Cottage cheese/plain yogurt to serve (optional)


Method
1. In a large pot, fry the onions on a medium to low heat in the butter until soft (around 10 minutes). Add the turmeric and cook for a further 2 minutes
2. Add the flour and give it a good stir for about a minute. Pour in the stock, add the roughly chopped carrots, lentils, bay leaf and bring to the boil.
3. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes stirring occasional to stop the soup from sticking to the bottom.
4. Fish out the bay leaf, take off the heat and blend with a hand blender or pour into a food processor. Blend until silky smooth. Taste and season with salt.
5. Once smooth add the egg yolks and blitz again quickly – you don’t want the eggs yolks to start poaching! Serve topped with cottage cheese/yogurt and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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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
❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.


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Spicy Carrot & Lentil Soup 3 Ways

Spicy Carrot & Lentil Soup
Spicy Carrot & Lentil Soup

Woke up feeling old, obese and poor. Something must be done before I turn into Kirstie Alley, a plus size Scientologist who married her cousin… At least she was married though right? Not that I want to marry my cousin, although he is very nice but unfortunately he’s already married… Look, I don’t want to marry my cousin! We’re getting off topic.
I think that’s enough talk of incest for one Sunday, lets talk about carrots. I always seem to end up with a ton of carrots in the fridge at the end of the month, so this soup is really good at using them up. Also, this recipe isn’t just cheap, it’s low fat, so this time next week I expect to look less like Kirstie Alley and more like Miranda Kerr please, thank you.
Although, eating the same old soup for lunch everyday makes me want to kill myself at the best of times, so I’ve managed to adapt the recipe throughout the week to help change things up a bit. I’ve made 3 of my favourite variations to try and keep it as exciting as possible (well, as exciting as lentil soup can be).

Spicy Carrot & Lentil Soup 3 Ways
Serves 4 / Takes 30 minutes / V Vn 🌶
Make it vegan: Leave out greek yogurt and egg variations
1 large white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Half a red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
8 Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 Handful of red lentils
1.5 Litres of vegetable stock (I use 2 knorr vegetable stock pots)
Spray oil (I use fry light)
Salt and pepper
(Once cooled, suitable for home freezing)
Additional extras: Sweet potato, a couple of free range eggs, fresh spinach, chickpeas and greek yogurt.
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Method:
1. Roughly chop the onion, half the chilli and crush the garlic. Add to a pan with a bit of spray oil, the cumin and the turmeric and fry until the onion has softened. Keep adding a bit of water to prevent the vegetables from burning, this also helps them steam and cook faster.
2. I’m too lazy to peel my carrots so I just roughly chop them and add them straight to the onion mixture. (The soup gets blended at the end so don’t spend ages chopping everything perfectly)

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3. Cook the carrots for around five minutes, add the stock, the lentils and season. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about 20 minutes.

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4. Take the soup off the heat and blitz with a hand blender or food processor (I use a hand blender). So that’s it!

Now, if you want to jazz up your soup see my 3 variations below…

Variation 1: Add a boiled egg, a chopped red chilli and some chilli flakes.

Variation 2: In a frying pan add a can of chick peas, a crushed garlic clove and a bit of spray oil, plus a couple of tbs of water and season. Add a whole bag of spinach one handful at a time and cook down. Season with every handful. Also, continue to add spoonfuls of water to keep the mixture moist (gross word, sorry). Top with chopped fresh coriander and half a jalapeno chilli. This makes quite a lot so whatever I don’t use I keep in the fridge and top a baked sweet potato with it the next day.

Variation 3. Chop a sweet potato into wedged and spray them with spray oil on a baking tray. Season with chilli flakes and salt. Roast at 200c (180c fan) for half an hour whilst your soup is simmering. Serve with a greek yogurt and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper.

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Spicy Carrot & Lentil Soup
Spicy Carrot & Lentil Soup

I later enjoyed pouring all the variations into one bowl and eating them all together like some sort of monster. YUM!
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If you’ve had a go at making my soup or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com