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 my lentil bolognese or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


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.



 

Peanut ramen

Peanut ramen
Peanut ramen
Peanut ramen

If I hear the word Veganuary one more time, I’m going to stuff my ears full of cauliflowers. Yes, I know I’m vegetarian, but I don’t bang on about it constantly to anyone who’ll listen. In fact, in my experience, the opposite is true.
“What? So you don’t eat chicken?”
“Nope.” I smile faintly, trying to attract the waiter’s eye.
“Not even lamb?”
“Nope,” I reply again, as I swig from my empty wine glass.
“But what about bacon? Surely you’ve eaten bacon?”
“Nope, never eaten bacon,” I say, exasperatedly “Scuse me? Can we get another bottle of red for the table, please?”
“So, you’ve never even tried a bacon sandwich?”
Ugh, why do I always get sat on the weirdo table at weddings? I think, as I continue to shake my head to this awful man’s line of questioning. Finally, my starter arrives, but instead of leaving me alone, he surveys it carefully before diving his fork in and telling me how surprisingly delicious it is. Who invited this guy?

Anyway, my point is that I’m always so baffled that anyone even cares what I eat? I couldn’t care less what other people eat, so when someone who has been vegan for like, a day, tries to lecture me about the dairy industry, forgive me for walking off. That being said, all this talk of Veganuary must have seeped into my subconscious, because I created this gorgeous bowl of vegan deliciousness. So, on that premise, Happy Veganuary everyone!


Peanut ramen
Serves 2 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 30 mins / V Vn* Df
1 tsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Knob of ginger (1 inch), grated
1 tbs Thai green curry paste*, I use Blue Dragon
1 can light coconut milk (you can use full fat but I find it makes the sauce too thick)
300ml vegetable stock, I use ½ a Knorr stock pot
2 ½ tbs crunchy peanut butter
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tsp palm sugar or granulated sugar
1 nest of rice noodles* or egg noodles
1 lime, cut into quarters
150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 large bulb pak choi, cut into strips
2 spring onions, chopped
Handful fresh coriander to serve


Method
1. In a large saucepan over a medium heat, add 1 tsp of sesame oil. Once warm, add the chopped garlic along with the grated ginger and cook for 2 minutes stirring continuously.
2. Add a dash of water along with the Thai curry paste and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes stirring continuously. Add the coconut milk and the peanut butter – the peanut butter will need little help to be incorporated so gently work it against the side of the saucepan using the back of your spoon until dissolved.
3. Add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, palm sugar and the juice of half a lime before mixing well and bringing to the boil. Once boiling, reduce and simmer for 5 minutes. Use this time to slice the mushrooms and the pak choi.
4. Add the mushrooms and the pak choi to the sauce and cook for a further few minutes before submerging the nest of noodles. Cook the noodles according to the packet instruction in the sauce (usually 3-5 minutes, depending on what noodles you’ve gone for).
5. Finally, spoon into bowls and serve topped with chopped spring onions, fresh coriander and lime wedges.

Peanut ramen
Peanut ramen

If you’ve had a go at making my peanut ramen or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian    Vn*– Vegan’s please substitute egg noodles for rice noodles    Df– Dairy free
* Some Thai green curry pastes contain crustaceans and fish. I use Blue Dragon which does not.



Butternut squash & sage soup

Butternut squash & sage soup
Butternut squash & sage soup
Butternut squash & sage soup

What the hell has happened to my skin? Over the past couple of weeks, my face has gone from practically blemish free to teenage pizza-face. I’m 34 years old, how is this happening? I just assumed adult acne was something made up by people who wanted to blame their bad skin on hormones and not on their diet of Mars bars and oven chips. But alas, I was wrong. My skin has turned on me and I am trying everything in my power to get it back on side. You name it, I’ve smeared it on my face – creams, scrubs, cleansers, serums, lotions, potions, even prayers – but nothing is working. If anything, I’ve angered it.
So, what’s the cause of my hormonal hell? Apparently, everything. From chemicals found in plastics to processed foods; from a bad night’s sleep to a stressful day at work; from pesticides found on our fruit and veg to the milk in our cup of tea. All of these factors like to fuck with our hormones – I was really hoping I could just buy a bottle of Clearasil and be done with it.
Instead, for the past few days, I’ve made a conscious effort to get eight hours sleep a night, do ten minutes of mindfulness a day and swap my cheesy dinners for this rather delightful dairy-free butternut squash and sage soup. The results? My skin is starting to look a little clearer and less itchy – woo-hoo! To celebrate, I got really drunk, ate a giant margarita pizza, went to bed at 3am and woke up feeling stressed… What?


Butternut squash & sage soup
Serves 4 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 40 mins /
V Vn Gf Df 
You’ll need: A food processor or hand blender
2 tsp rapeseed oil
1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped
14 sage leaves (extra for garnish)
600g butternut squash, peeled and cubed
400g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
½ tsp salt
1 litre of vegetable stock, I used 1 Knorr stock pot
Black pepper
Pomora extra virgin olive oil to serve


Method
1. Roughly chop the onion and sweat in a tsp of rapeseed oil in a large pot, over a medium heat. Add half a tsp of salt, give it a stir and continue to cook for 5 minutes with the lid on. Once the onions start to soften, add the 14 sage leaves, give it another stir and return the lid.
2. Meanwhile, de-seed, peel and chop the butternut squash and peel and chop the sweet potato (no need to be to be too perfect about this, the soup will be blended later).
3. Add the butternut squash and sweet potato along with the stock and a good crack of black pepper. Bring to the boil before turning down the heat and simmering for 20 minutes with the lid on a jar.
4. Once the vegetables have softened, take off the heat and blend until smooth either with a hand blender or pour into a food processor.
5. If serving with fried sage leaves, add 1 tsp of rapeseed oil to small frying pan on a medium to high heat. Once hot, add the leaves and fry for a minute or so until slightly crispy and browned. Top your soup with the sage leaves and serve with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Butternut squash & sage soup
Butternut squash & sage soup

If you’ve had a go at making my butternut squash and sage soup or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Gf– Gluten free    Df– Dairy free
❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.



Frozen berry porridge with maple syrup

Maple berry porridge
Maple berry porridge

I recently decided to try and become one of those people who gets up half an hour earlier for work, to do a spot of Pilates and eat a healthy and balanced breakfast. So far, I’ve struggled with the Pilates part and the getting-up-earlier part, but I have been making progress on the breakfast part – go me! Scoffing Pret croissants (plural) at my desk is now a thing of the past – I now opt for a bowl of granola with yoghurt, or scrambled eggs (not together, that would be horrible).
So, does this new, exciting weekday breakfast make me late for work? Yes, it does. Does eating it in under 60 seconds and then running for the bus give me indigestion? Of course! But I’m enjoying the variety. So, this week I thought I’d dip my toe into the world of porridge (not literally. Again, that would be horrible).
I’m not a massive porridge eater. I find it a bit sloppy, but I need something filling and hearty after all of this depressing snow. So, armed with frozen berries and maple syrup, I found this to be a cheap and cheerful way to start my day. Just need to remember to soak the pan next time – porridge can stick like cement. Enjoy!


Frozen berry porridge with maple syrup
Serves 1 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 10 mins
V Vn Df
2 small handfuls frozen berries
1 tbs maple syrup
1/3 of a mug of porridge oats
2/3 of a mug of oat milk
Greek or coconut yogurt to serve (optional)


Tip: Don’t wait to soak your pan, do it immediately or your porridge will turn to cement. 


Method
1. Put your frozen berries in a small saucepan with a tablespoon of maple syrup. Cook on a low heat with the lid on while you prepare your porridge.
2. Combine the porridge oats with the oat milk and a small pinch of salt. Cook on a medium heat in a saucepan stirring continually until the porridge is thick and creamy.
3. Serve immediately in a bowl topped with warm maple syrup berries and yogurt. Delicious.

Maple berry porridge
Maple berry porridge

If you’ve had a go at making my porridge or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com


V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Df– Dairy free.



Cashew Rainbow Slaw

Cashew Rainbow Slaw
Cashew Rainbow Slaw

Hey guess what? I went on holiday to a magical land called Bath. I climbed some trees, ate some fudge, saw a life sized sculpture of a minotaur (horrible), met a herd of unfriendly sheep, went to Jane Austin’s house, snuck into some well old churches and dressed like a Victorian milk maid. So, pretty standard holiday really but I’m sorry if you feel neglected my dears, I’m back now so you can dry those weeping eyes… Sorry for my use of the word ‘weeping’ it was unnecessary. Please click here for your apology present that has nothing whatsoever to do with anything.

Anyway, lets move swiftly on to the all mighty SLAW! Over the past few months, I’ve indulged in my fair share of coleslaw, but now barbecue season is over my friends and I’ve been left a little traumatised. Coleslaw is certainly something I enjoy eating but not watching other people eat. Perhaps I’ve just seen one too many grannies with coleslaw gathered in the corners of their crinkly mouths, but I crave something a little fresher and less mayonnaisey. So, lucky for us I came up with this recipe. It’s a nod to the humble coleslaw but the toasted cashews and ginger give it a warmer and slightly more Autumnal feel than the wet sloppy white stuff. Enjoy!

Cashew Rainbow Slaw
Serves 4 / takes 20 minutes / Vegan
Ingredients:
Half small red cabbage or 3rd of a large
2 carrots
1 red pepper diced
Bunch of fresh coriander
200g toasted cashew nuts
Small clove of crushed garlic
1 tbs cider vinegar
1tbs sesame oil
1tbs honey
1tsp dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lime
Knob of fresh ginger
Half tsp chilli flakes
Half tsp salt
Spray oil

Method:
1. Spray a frying pan with oil and pop on a medium to high heat. Once hot, add your cashews and toast them for a few minutes until they’re golden and little scorched. Watch them or they’ll burn, keep them moving in the pan all the time. You’ll know when they’re done because they’ll smell glorious.
2. Right, so that’s the hard bit done. Now thinly slice your cabbage, dice the pepper, grate the carrot and chop the coriander. Pop them all in a bowl with the cooled cashews and give it a good stir.
3. Zest the ginger, crush the small garlic clove and grab a small bowl to make the dressing. Simply mix together the sesame oil, cider vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, lime juice, chilli flakes, crushed garlic fresh ginger and salt until combined.
4. Add the dressing to the vegetables and mix well. DONE!

Cashew Rainbow Slaw
Cashew Rainbow Slaw
Minotaur (in case you don't know what one looks like... horrible!)
Minotaur (in case you don’t know what one looks like… horrible!)

If you’ve had a go at making my slaw or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

Coconut & Mango Porridge

Coconut & Mango Porridge
Coconut & Mango Porridge

I had a bit of time this morning (actually I didn’t, but I had a mango on the turn and thought that was more important than getting to work on time).
I always thought porridge was a bit rubbish without golden syrup laced through it, drizzled on top of it, poured straight into my mouth from the bottle, forget the damn porridge right?! But, I’ve been a bit obsessed with coconut ever since I got back from Thailand, everything that I can get my hands on that’s coconut flavoured I either eat, or spread all over my body… Anyway, I’ve tried a few recipes but most of them seemed to contain manky shmooshed up banana (barf) and not enough coconut for my liking. So I made my own one up.
I got a little carried away the other day though and impulsvley bought a couple of passion fruits to add to this recipe, but you don’t have to (you should though, it’s great). Also, I try and cut my mango up the night before, as butchering it first thing in the morning is sticky, fiddly and when I’m tired and grumpy not an enjoyable experience. You can buy it pre chopped but it tends to be more expensive, I always end up feeling a bit resentful when fruit costs more than a packet of Marlborough Lights. Also, did anyone else imagine they were eating goldfishes when they tried mango as a kid? No?… Just me then.

Coconut & Mango Porridge
Serves 1 / Takes 10 minutes / V Vn
1/3 cup of porridge oats (when I say cup I literally mean a standard mug)
2/3 cup of water
4 tbs coconut milk (Alpro do one in a carton, I’ve had mine for about a month in the fridge and I’m still using it)
1 tbs unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 tsp cashew butter (you can use almond or even peanut butter if you like)
Half a mango (I actually use a whole mango because I’m a greedy guts)
1 passion fruit (optional)
(I should mention that this recipe is quick to make provided you angrily chopped your mango the night before like I did. It’s also vegan if you care about that sort of thing).
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Method:
1. Pop your oats in a small pan and add the coconut milk, desiccated coconut and the water. On a medium heat bring the boil stirring continuously. This wont take long, trust me.
2. Once boiled turn down the heat and add the cashew butter, mix until absorbed. I know it looks a bit like baby poo but it tastes a lot nicer believe me.
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3. Take the pan off the heat and add half your mango to the pan and give it a good stir. Pour the porridge into a bowl and top with the rest of the mango, passion fruit and a sprinkle of desiccated coconut. That’s it… Bye bye!
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If you’ve had a go at making my porridge or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com