FREE Vegan Cookbook for Beginners/Lazy chefs!

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Dear internet: I am a lazy chef. When a meal takes me under 5 minutes to make I applaud myself. How times have changed 🙂

I have an 18 year old sister in her freshers year at Uni. This Christmas she asked for a vegetarian cookbook to help her through the basics of healthy cooking as a student. She has decided quite rightly that fried rice can only sustain her for so long…  So I had a look around and honestly couldn’t relate to most of the books I saw. Everything felt way too high-maintenence, and just not a realistic student budget to work with (I’m sorry but uni fees are looking more like mortgage payments these days, and who can afford fresh blueberries when your skint?! Also there’s no way in hell I’d attempt something as tricky as tempura at 28, let alone 18…)

So I tried making my own version, and had so much fun with it!

It’s only a first draft, but if you’d like a FREE PDF version please leave a comment below and I’ll send you one over!*

Simple, budget, vegan, and delicious! I hope you enjoy:

***Warning*** Contains a few curse words so will need editing for smaller kids (but well done you if you’ve got 11 year olds doing this!)

The Recipes:

1. Hot Lemon Alkaliser

2. Healing Tea’s

3. Luxury Breakfast Oats

4. Luxury Breakfast Toast/Sandwiches

5. Yummy Smoothies

6. Deluxe Veggie Burger

7. Tasty Tahina Sauce

8. Super Hero Stir-fry Greens

9. Healing Green Salad

10. Wincent-Style-Veggies

11. Daal Delight

12. Heart Warming Veggie Stew

13. Coconut Rice

14. Simply Sweet & Cheap Carrot Soup

15. Easy Peasy Green Pea Soup

16. Joyous Jacket Potato

17. Stuffed Peppers

18. Veggie Roast

19. Couscous

20. Humous

21. Stir Fry / Pad-Thai

22. Rustic Peppers in Tomato Sauce

23. Easy Garlic Bread

24. Basic Tomato Sauce

25. Foolproof, Healthy Pizza

26. Protein Planning/ How to get complete proteins

27. Luxury Fruit Corner Ice Cream

28. Sweet ’n Warm Winter Pud

29. Baked Banana Split

30. Pancakes

31. Scones

32. Chocolate Candy

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Essential Veggie Cookware

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These are the most basic things you’ll need for your kitchen which will get you through pretty much any simple recipe:

  1. 2 medium pots (2 is better than 1 because for example whilst you’re cooking up rice or pasta, you’ll use the second pot for the sauce.)

  2. 1 frying pan

  3. 1 colander/sieve

  4. 1 silicone spatula: specifically for baking – be careful of melting this! I used it for cakes/chocolate.

  5. 1-2 wooden spoons: 2 is good if you have 2 sauces on the go so you don’t have to keep washing one between stirring!

  6. Tin opener

  7. Vegetable Peeler: don’t cheap out. I spent £7 on ours after wasting £2.50 on a cheap one that was horrible. Get a wide one with a good grip.

  8. 1 big cooks knife and 1 bread knife: I got this cheap from Wilko’s and it’s great.

  9. Chopping Board (wood or plastic, doesn’t matter. One is enough for the veggie chef; but bear in mind if meaty friends want to borrow it don’t let them put meat onto wood.)

  10. 1 blender: you can get a machine, or use a hand blender which is what I have.

  11. Cling Film

  12. Foil/Baking Paper

  13. Simple Plastic Boxes – freezer/microwave safe: these are mainly for storing in your freezer for when you’ve made a batch or soup or stew. If you’re worried about plastic contaminating your food, go for glass options like Pyrex. They will be more expensive, but presumably they’ll last forever.

  14. Tupperware Boxes – airtight containers for carrying food around or if you need to store something airtight. Again, Pyrex is the glass option.

  15. Roasting Pan – you can either get one big tray, or a few little tins, whatever you think will be more realistic for what you’re cooking.

  16. One Big Mofo Bowl – I regrettably don’t own one yet, but you’re big mofo bowl will really help with mixing ingredients, or as a salad bowl. There are loads of glass bowls in charity shops for some reason; go for this bargain!

Cooking basics: 

  1. Olive Oil: No need to go cray with expensive ones, and the only thing good about “extra virgin” is it tastes more olive-y. You’re only going to use this raw. Do not cook it. Just don’t do it bitch. (It’s basically just a waste of your money – use lower grade oils for cooking, and yummy stuff for tasting.)

  2. Sunflower Oil, or Rapeseed oil, or some kind of cooking oil: This you can cook with. (Avoid vegetable oil, it’s not very healthy but I can’t remember why. Sunflower is best 🙂

  3. Salt and Pepper: Even if you don’t really like pepper, even just a tiny bit of it in your cooking really does enhance flavours. (it’s not just some wanky thing chefs like to spout, it really works!)

  4. Garlic: you can buy fresh if you like but I suggest you get frozen until you’re in the swing of cooking loads otherwise it’ll just end up going off. Perfect for frying up some veggies or making soup. Mmm, soup. I mean noodle soup! I mean soup!!!

That’s the foundation done! Easy isn’t it?

Cupboard fillers:

These will make your cupboards nice and full of colourful variety and choice:

  1. Chopped Tomatoes: you can get these in little boxes or tins. I buy the cheapest ones and they’re always absolutely fine – no need to spend your money here. You’ll use this for making sauces or just bulking things out.

  2. Raisins, Nuts, Seeds: I recommend you get basic raisins or sultanas, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. Brazil nuts are also good and you only need 2 a day max otherwise it’s too much fat. Pistachios, cashews and almonds are super fancy and expensive but if you want a treat go for those!

  3. Nut butter: peanut butter is obviously an instant filler, 2 teaspoons of nut butter per slice of bread seems a good ratio to me.

  4. Jams, Marmite, Ivar: Ivar is actually quite easy to find if you go to a Polish shop or even if your big Sainsbury’s has a Polish section.

  5. Dried Spices and Herbs: They don’t have to be spicy: Tumeric, Cumin, Paprika, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme are all a good place to start with seeing what your tastes

The bulky carbs:

These have their own special category because there’s too much to talk about and it’s going to make the bulk of what you eat. Whatever you do, go brown! White stuff is the equivalent of eating donuts in terms of sugar spikes. Think: “going brown keeps your weight down, going white makes clothing too tight!” You’re welcome, sis 😉

  1. Rice: (I think you know this guy well already…again, go brown!)

  2. Bread: put your sliced bread in the freezer to stop it going mouldy and then toast it as you like. Pitta is great when you microwave it for 30 seconds or until it puffs up. Rye bread is good for a super healthy, dense bread. Regular, thick brown sliced bread is also good and often it’s half price because they’re selling it on it’s “best before” date, so buy it half prize and freeze it!

  3. Spaghetti/pasta/noodles: getting used to brown isn’t hard but if you really can’t then let this be the only white thing you consume.

  4. Couscous: This is amazing stuff! It takes literally 1 minute to cook it and it just tastes like little bits of cut up spaghetti!!!!!

  5. Porridge Oats: you can get a ginormously massive bag of these for about £1.20 in Sainsburys and Tesco. Just plain, whole, rolled oats. Then add fresh or dried fruit, nuts and seeds and you’ve got yourself a cheap as fuck homemade museli.

  6. Tinned beans: chickpeas, lentils, butter beans, haricot beans, kidney beans – they’re instant to cook and will add loads of iron, fibre and protein to your meals. These bad boys are ESSENTIAL.

  7. Dried split peas/lentils: you can make a crapload of daal for about £1 on these.

After that, you need a good supply of super lazy options because of course in an ideal world you’ll be cooking everything fresh, but some days you just can’t. You’re ill, you’ve got too much on, you’re just behind… These guys are going to make life easy for you so it’s 

The Lazy Options:

  1. Tinned soups. Avoid “vegetable” soups (they tend to be disgusting) and go for lentil, or tomato based ones. I know you don’t normally like them BUT I’ll show you how to make them yummy, and it’s a good idea to have a few knocking around in the cupboard for desperate times, trust me. I particularly recommend Sainsbury’s 3 bean tomato soup, and the tomato and red pepper one in the “Be Good” range, or just plain tomato. The best tinned soup I’ve ever had is “Amy’s” which can be found in Wholefoods or in the “Free From” section at Tesco.

  2. Frozen veggie burgers: I particularly recommend Sainsbury’s Indian spiced lentil burgers, don’t worry they’re not spicy. You can get 8 for £3!

  3. Frozen berries: blend up with a banana or some rice milk for an instant smoothie! (They’re super-sweet though.)

  4. Garlic Bread: I will show you how to make your own one and it’s so easy, but sometimes having this readymade version in the freezer is useful, especially when you get home after a night out! (You don’t need to use the oven like the instructions say – this is the lazy option – just microwave it for 3-4 mins, it will taste soooo buttery and yummmyyy!)

So most of the stuff above can be left in the cupboard/freezer for weeks and months on end and you don’t need to use it, but you need freshness too. I suggest these ones in particular:

The Perishables:

I, like you, used to throw away perfectly good fruit and veg just because of the use-by-date. I have learned over the years that this isn’t very important – it’s intended as a rough guideline. Get to know your fruit and veg by feeling/smelling them and discerning whether they’re appealing or not to eat. Use-by dates are useful when picking out which packets to buy and in what quantity, but they can’t realistically predict when something will go off. Never eat fruit/veg that has spots of white on it, or if it’s starting to wrinkle or go extra soft. As long as it’s plump and juicy it’ll be delicious no matter what the label tells you ❤

Fresh Fruits: Apples and Pears are always available, often very cheap and they’re a British staple so you’re more likely to find delicious local ones. You’ll find berries quite expensive, but now and again they’re a good treat (watch out for discounts!)

Bananas are always plentiful: eat them when there is NO green at all and preferably a couple of brownish spots, otherwise they’ll bloat you and make you fart. (Not ideal) If you want to ripen them faster, keep them altogether but beware that they will ripen other fruits faster too. If you want them to ripen slower, separate them.

Honeydew Melons are a bitch to carry from the supermarket, but get your backpack and grab a 2 for £3 offer at Tesco and have one of these bad boys as a meal in itself! Keep them at room temperature and cling-film the other half if you don’t eat it.

Lemons/Limes: always have a few of these! – add them to pretty much every meal, or drink 1/2 lemon juice with hot water in the morning, it’s really great for you – (more on this in the recipes section.)

Dried Fruits: Dates: make an incredible snacking food and you can get a huge pack of Halawi dates in tesco for £1! Whisk them up in the blender with water to make a delicious sugary drink. When I buy these I tend to eat the whole pack… They’re an excellent source of all your proteins, minerals, and B Vitamins. Apricots: great for Vitamin E and Potassium. Sultanas: lovely in cereal, in scones, pancakes, or just pop a handful with a cuppa

Veggies: Bell Peppers: buy 3 for about £1, that’ll last you a couple of weeks. A better source of Vitamin C than oranges. Onions: it’s good to always have a few of these knocking around in the bottom drawer of your fridge (because otherwise they might freeze & they just go black and soggy if they freeze.) They can be white, red, leeks, or spring onions, it doesn’t really matter – they’re all onion-y 🙂 A few salad ingredients like Cucumbers, Spinach and Tomatoes are great to have in the fridge to make up a side plate with every dish.

The Secret Ingredients:

  1. Sesame Oil: get the tiniest bottle of this stuff. All you need is a drop or two to transform a dull bowl of veggies into a nutty bowl of heaven!

  2. Fresh Herbs: these are vital for making your food taste fresh and whole. If you’re worried they’ll go off before you finish them, use this handy tip:

  3. Humous: you can make your own, or grab some readymade. Add a dollop of pesto to make it swanky.

  4. Olives: a few chopped into a tomato sauce or just added to a meal adds a lovely rich, salty flavour. Especially black olives in pizza sauce.

  5. Balsamic Vinegar: mixed with olive oil and drizzled on salad, bread, or a tiny bit in your stir-fry/super-hero-greens.

  6. Lemon/Lime juice: add this to pretty much everything.

  7. Tahina (see recipes): Adds a creamy, nutty taste to greens, salads, or a bread topping

  8. Pesto: excellent for spaghetti, but also on roasted veg, stirred into a stew or lightly spread on toast

  9. Soy Sauce: use a splash in place of salt, excellent for stir-fry’s

  10. Satay Sauce: a creamy peanut butter sauce sent from above – warning: highly addictive.

  11. Sundried Tomatoes: they’re rich & salty and can add a great kick to homemade humous or pizza/pasta sauce

The Recipes:

1. Hot Lemon Alkaliser

2. Healing Tea’s

3. Luxury Breakfast Oats

4. Luxury Breakfast Toast/Sandwiches

5. Yummy Smoothies

6. Deluxe Veggie Burger

7. Tasty Tahina Sauce

8. Super Hero Stir-fry Greens

9. Healing Green Salad

10. Wincent-Style-Veggies

11. Daal Delight

12. Heart Warming Veggie Stew

13. Coconut Rice

14. Simply Sweet & Cheap Carrot Soup

15. Easy Peasy Green Pea Soup

16. Joyous Jacket Potato

17. Stuffed Peppers

18. Veggie Roast

19. Couscous

20. Humous

21. Stir Fry / Pad-Thai

22. Rustic Peppers in Tomato Sauce

23. Easy Garlic Bread

24. Basic Tomato Sauce

25. Foolproof, Healthy Pizza

26. Protein Planning/ How to get complete proteins

27. Luxury Fruit Corner Ice Cream

28. Sweet ’n Warm Winter Pud

29. Baked Banana Split

30. Pancakes

31. Scones

32. Chocolate Candy

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1. Hot Lemon Alkalizer

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I’ve gotten into the habit of having hot lemon on most mornings as soon as I wake up and I can tell you it works wonders on your health. (It’s important that it’s only hot lemon with no added sugar or anything to imbalance you.)

The great thing about hot lemon tea is it works on your digestive system almost instantly, so if you suffer from constipation now and then, this is a great thing to give you that morning movement. (I’m so sorry I’m talking about poo already and we haven’t even begun, but don’t worry, it’s all natural and healthy and good for you. I know, I’m a massive hippy…)

It’s also an alkaliser so it gets you started on your day in the right pH balance. It’s quite easy to become too acidic by eating too much bread, pasta and starch and this will cleanse that all out and give you a bright new start to your day ❤

I suggest you don’t put the whole lemon in – it might look pretty but unless it’s organic it’s gonna have loads of pesticides on it! I’d squeeze about half a lemon for 1 mug.

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2. Healing Teas:

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For a caffeine-free black tea: Rooibos (takes some getting used to, but it’s nice once you do!)

Sugar-Free Sweetness: Liquorice Tea

Digestion Aid: Ginger Tea

Aching Joints: Rosemary, or St.John’s Wort* (this may interfere with the contraceptive pill)

Acne: Drink a chamomile tea and blot your face with the tea bag!

Antibacterial: Lavender, Cinnamon, or Turmeric

Antibiotic: Echinacea

Anti-Depressant: Jasmine, St.John’s Wort, Lavender, Rosehip, Rosemary

Anxiety: Chamomile,

Anti-Oxidant: Lemon, Turmeric

Bloating/Constipation/Cramps: Fennel, Chamomile, Lavender, Ginger, Lemon

Chest Infection: Echinacea

Diarrhoea:  Rosehip, Raspberry, Strawberry

Flu/Cold: Echinacea, Ginger, Lemon

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3. Luxury Breakfast Oats:

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The point is to experiment and mix in whatever you desire to make your own blend 🙂

I have my porridge with just water: it’s healthier, cheaper, and after a week you get totally used to it and it’s creamy and delicious – it is oat milk, after all!

1 cup or more of plain porridge oats

a sprinkle of sunflower seeds (or whatever seeds you like)

5 or 6 walnuts (or almonds – whatever you prefer)

1 or 2 brazil nuts

a sprinkle of sultanas (or whatever fruit you like!)

I like to mix it up occasionally with:1 tblspn Chia Seeds, a sprinkle of Cinnamon, Blueberries, Bananas, Dates (instead of sultanas).

Oats are really high in B vitamins, Iron, Fibre, Zinc, and they’re great for controlling cholesterol.

Nuts and Seeds have a high fat content, but that’s all good for you 🙂 just don’t eat tooooo many!

Chia is amazing for Omega 3 and Vitamin K and it’s a “complete protein”. It’s really high in iron, and it gets gloopy when mixed with water so you can use it as a replacement for eggs in baking! I’m not gonna lie, this stuff gets stuck EVERYWHERE, and will most likely get stuck in your teeth, but it’s so cute and forgivable so don’t worry 🙂

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4. Luxury Breakfast Toast/Sandwiches:

Again, the point here is to add to your heart’s desire. No limits. Be bold. Be brave.

This was actually something Phil and I came up with when we were about 17 sitting in the kitchen at Bedfordbury. The idea is you add everything delicious, and don’t be afraid to pile it on! I ended up making them for Peter and Mike when they were working in the basement!

I like to mix up sweet and salty, crunchy and smooth, so my favourite has become Peanut Butter, Marmite, Banana and Jam:

But yours might be different… the exciting part is experimenting!

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5. Yummy Smoothies:

General tips:

Banana is generally an excellent, creamy base for smoothies. If you don’t want to use banana, consider dates, or even avocados – just to get the creaminess.

Add water/milk bit by bit as you blend until you like the texture. (There’s no need to add fancy milks or sugars, but if you want to that’s fine. I make mine with just water and I love it.)

Remember stuff with seeds will be a bit crunchy (like strawberries) but you can sieve it through if that bothers you.

The most important thing is to make sure your fruit is properly RIPE: juicy, soft, and sweet, otherwise it’ll taste bitter. Bananas in particular must be free of any green and ideally have some brown spots.

 I made a really yummy Green Smoothie the other day which went something like this:

1 Avocado

1 Pear (a big, extra soft & juicy ripe conference pear)

1/2 bag of Spinach

1/2 stem of Ginger

1/2 Lemon juice

Water

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You could use banana, frozen berries and water/yoghurt for a berry smoothie:

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Or a super-sweet date and banana smoothie, just add water and blend!  It’s like a creamy caramel milkshake… mmmm 🙂

Add 1 or 2 bananas and a whole pack of pitted dates, some water or some rice milk or coconut milk!

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My simplest smoothie is Banana, Chia and Water. Sometimes I add Spinach to make it green and add some extra iron, but I’d say Banana and water is your best place to start as a base for anything.

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6. Deluxe Veggie Burgers:

This is my ULTIMATE, LAZIEST, MOST DELICIOUS comfort food.

Frozen Veggie Burger: pop into the microwave for 4 minutes

Bread: 2 slices of frozen sliced bread, into the toaster

Whilst these guys are cooking, whip out a chopping board and knife and take 3 minutes to slice up a plate of fillings:

Fillings: I like to add sliced beetroot (buy vacuum packed, with no added vinegar) sliced raw bell peppers, and if I’m feeling fancy, some super green’s from the night before (see Super Hero Stir-Fry Greens). You might like lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced cucumber, some sweetcorn… You could  also add hummus if you wanted to be really extra filling, or do as I do and have 2 veggie burgers instead of just one 😉

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Spread the veggie burger onto your toast, layer up your added toppings, pop the second piece of toast on top, and stuff your face with this. It’s absolutely gorgeous 🙂

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7. Tasty Tahina Sauce:

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A few months ago my lovely Israeli friend Vered made this vegan supper for a bunch of us. Her secret ingredient was “Tahina”. I confess I’ve never made it myself, but I tasted it and it is heaven… she says it’s really easy to make, and she puts it on pretty much everything! It is quite fatty, so be careful, but it’s so scrumptious!

Here’s Vered’s Recipe:

MIX TOGETHER:

2 tblspns of Sesame Paste/Tahini

Dash of Soy Sauce (to your taste)

1/2 lemon juice

Water (a little at a time)

Fresh Corriander

Olive Oil

Dash of Date or Pomegranate Syrup* (to your taste)

*apparently this is easy to find in Middle Eastern shops

You could make it fancy looking by sprinkling some of the coriander on top, a drizzle of oil and a dash of paprika spice (not spicy), to serve it up nice ’n pretty.

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8. Super Hero Stir-Fry Greens:

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I make a huge batch of this almost every week. It’s best eaten fresh and hot from the pot, but will last for a few days in the fridge as a filler. Pop it on toast, or eat it as it is, whatever you like!

I call it “Super Hero” because it really will make you feel incredible. It’s packed full of nutrients so if you start feeling icky, have this asap to beat any illness!

5 spring onion stems

1 Broccoli

Bag of Kale

Bag of Spinach

1/2 tsp Sesame Oil *

Olive Oil *

Salt and Pepper *

Lemon or Lime Juice *

*optional

1. Chop up the Spring Onion (removing the tops and bottoms), into about 1 inch length pieces.

Fry in a pot on the highest heat with a splash of boiling water, for 2-3 minutes.

2. Chop up the Broccoli: peel the stem first, give it a good wash, chop it up into roughly coin shaped pieces, then dismember the little flowery heads and chuck it all into the pot.

3. Add half a teaspoon or more of Sesame Oil and stir. Keep the lid on, but stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to your pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes on high heat.

NB: You should have quite a bit of steam in your pot, but not so much water that it’s soupy. If it’s too watery, just tip out a bit of the water, or take off the lid to let it steam off. You can use 1 tblspn of Sunflower oil in the beginning instead of water to make this easier.

4. Chuck in the Kale, stir it up and leave the lid on for 2 minutes.

5. Chuck in the Spinach, stir it up and leave the lid on for 1 minute.

6. Take off the heat, stir up and add a dash of olive oil and squeeze half a lemon or lime in. Add salt and pepper to your taste.

The result: a nutty, sweet, addictive, hot green salad that will make you feel super-human.

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9. Healing Green Salad: 1 serving

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I think of this as the summer version of the super-hero greens. It’s really similar, but a shitload easier to make, and has wonderful healing properties as it’s packed with Vit C, Iron, Calcium and all things beautiful

1 Avocado, sliced

1 bag of Spinach, steamed*

1/4 Broccoli, steamed* Add a dash of Olive Oil and a squeeze of lemon/lime 🙂

*If you don’t have a steamer, just put into a pot with a dash of boiling water on high heat, keep the lid on and stir occasionally. It only takes a minute or two for the spinach to wilt, as soon as it does, take it off the heat and drain the liquid. Broccoli takes a bit longer, so put bitesize chunks in for 2 minutes before adding the spinach.

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10. Wincent-Style-Veggies:

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Wincent told me his method for cooking vegetables when I was last in Belgrade and it’s completely revolutionised my veggie cooking. To get the MAXIMUM taste and goodness of the  nutrients out from cooked veg, follow our wise Uncle’s advice:

Each vegetable takes it’s own time to cook, but generally the softer ones will cook fast, and the harder ones will take longer. If you’re doing a pot of different veggies, add in hard things like potatoes and carrots first, then broccoli, peas and softer smaller veg later. Leaves and fresh herbs must be added at the last moment.

I use the following for: Broccoli, Peas, Carrots, Brussel Sprouts, Parsnips,

Put your vegetable, e.g. Broccoli, into a pot and pour cold water over it until it’s almost covered. Bring it to the boil on medium/high heat. As soon as the water is boiling, take it off the heat, drain it very quicky through the lid then slip the lid back shut and leave it to steam for a minute or two. Peas will need no time at all since they’re so tiny, sprouts, carrots and parsnips will need longer as they’re harder.

This way your veggies should end up still a bit crunchy, juicy, and it’ll avoid over-boiling your veg into a yucky canteen-style-stodge.

Add a squeeze of lemon or lime for extra YUM and perhaps a splash of Olive Oil. If you’ve got some fresh herbs, give it a sprinkle!

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11. Daal Delight:

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I make this in a ginormous batch and put into boxes in the freezer. It’s a lovely winter warmer, and great if you want lots of protein and sustained energy throughout the day. ***Warning*** this might make you fart a bit if you’re not used to eating lentils! But it’s totally worth it. This is brain food for the busy, budget student:

1 bag (500g) yellow split peas

3-4 onions

Garlic*

Tumeric Powder

Paprika*

Chopped Tomatoes (6 big fresh ones or 1 tin)

Fresh Corriander

Cooking Oil

Salt

Lemon juice

*optional

This will make about 6 generous servings.

Give the split peas a little bath in a bowl until the water is clear: it might take a few go’s, feel free to massage them about with your hands a bit (it feels quite nice!)

Boil the peas for about 30-40 minutes. In this time you can:

Slice up the onions, garlic, tomatoes, coriander & set aside

Clean the kitchen!

Err… take a picture and snapchat me!! 😀

Check in on the peas in 30-40 minutes, you should be able to squish one between your fingers. It’s up to you how firm you want it. I suggest soft for a more velvety texture, and less chewing time 😉

When they’re finished cooking, drain them, stir in a generous load of turmeric and paprika, fresh corriander and leave them in the pot off the heat.

Fry up your onions and garlic in some cooking oil, or water. (Oil can caramelise the onion and make it yummier), when that’s cooked add the tomato and chuck all this over the split peas.

Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to your taste.

This goes beautifully with some Garlic Bread, or Naan, or just buttery toast or pitta

Brain food: high in Iron, B vitamins, Folate, and a powerhouse of Protein! Also a shit-ton of fibre so beware of potential farts, and potential extra toilet activity – don’t worry tho it’s all good 😉

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12. ❤ Heart Warming Veggie Stew ❤

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This is a typical peasant dish because it takes everything that’s finishing growing and stews it all in a pot to last longer. It’s cheap, simple, and delicious:

About 6 servings:

4 Onions, chopped roughly

4 Garlic Cloves (at least, IMO…) crushed or chopped. Or 1 frozen Garlic Cube

Cooking oil

2 tins of tomatoes

1 or 2 tins of beans: chickpeas, kidney, or flageolet are nice

VEGGIES!! – Chose 4 or 5 of what you like; courgette, peas, broccoli, peppers, sweetcorn, green beans, aubergine, cauliflower, carrots.

Season: salt, pepper, corriander or basil or whatever fresh herb you lurve ❤

Fry up the onions and garlic until they’re soft and clear-ish

Add the tins of tomato and simmer for a few minutes while you chop:

Chop up the veg into bitesize pieces and chuck in (remember, hard veg goes in first, soft veg and leaves last) NB: the smaller you chop them the faster they’ll cook.

Leave to simmer for a while. Leave the lid on for more juice, take it off if you want a thicker stew.

Rinse the beans/chickpeas and chuck them in 2-3 minutes before finishing.

Add salt, pepper, and fresh herbs to your taste.

Easy!

Full of a variety of vitamins and protein (especially from the beans) – hearty and warming for the winter, and this batch will last you AGES.

You can experiment with this as you like (like any recipe) – add chunks of bread instead of beans if you don’t have any, use it as a pie filler, or blend it all up to make a smooth soup!

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13. Coconut Rice:

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This is reeeeaaaally yum and feels a bit decadent. Here’s how I did it:

About 3-4 Servings:

1 cup brown rice

1 tin coconut milk

Salted Nuts

1 or 2 Bell Peppers

Boil your rice for 10-15 minutes in water, make sure you don’t cook it completely. Drain, and replace the water with coconut milk. Let it reduce on a medium heat for a further 20-30 minutes.

You should stir it often to make sure it doesn’t stick, and if it’s too thick just add dashes of water in until it’s cooked.

NB: You can tell when brown rice is done when you look at it and it’s burst out of it’s shell, or just take a bite 😉

While the rice is cooking, chop up your peppers and lightly fry them or steam them, however you like.

Mix in some crushed up salted nuts for some crunch against the soft creamy coconut, and a bit of salt to balance out the sweet 🙂

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14. Simply Sweet & Cheap Carrot Soup:

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Makes about 5 bowls:

1 bag of carrots

3 onions

3-4 cloves of garlic*

4 Potatoes (preferably sweet)

Fresh Corriander

Cooking oil

Vegetable stock cube

Chunky Bread

*optional

First, peel and chop the onions, carrots, and potatoes. This will take about 20 minutes.

Fry up your onions (and garlic if you like) in 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil.
Add your chopped and peeled carrots and potatoes in bite-sized chunks

Add water to about 1 inch over the vegetables and pop in a vegetable stock cube

Let the pot simmer for 15-20 minutes, checking in with your veg by poking it with a fork to see if it’s soft enough. If the fork goes through easily, it’s ready.

Blend everything up!

Add fresh Coriander or whatever herb you have that you like

NO salt needed as the vegetable stock cube will be salty enough

Chuck in some chunks of bread and a sprinkle of black pepper to liven it up.

***This can be frozen and left for WEEKS so it’s great to make a big batch***

❤ Vitamin A, K, C, High Protein, Low Fat. If you choose Sweet Potato you’re getting loads of extra B Vitamins (great for concentration and brain function), Vitamin E (great for your skin), and higher protein levels (good for sustaining your appetite). ❤

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15. Easy-Peasy Green-Pea Soup

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This is really similar to the Carrot Soup in terms of ease but it might cost a couple of £s more. It’s still cheap, still hearty, and can be a great thing to eat cold in the summer, or if you thicken it up it makes a beautiful spread on bruscetta/toast.

I’ve made mine, pictured, with Roasted Sweet Potato Chips.

Makes around 4 – 6 servings:

1 bag of Frozen petit pois (from the basics range is absolutely fine)

2 Leeks or 3 Onions or 5 Spring Onions**

Garlic*

1 Romaine or 1 Iceberg Lettuce

1-2 tablespoons of Cooking Oil*

1 Vegetable stock cube*

*optional

**roughly

Roughly chop your chosen Onions and fry in either cooking oil or water until they’re soft/clear

Chuck in the peas, a stock cube if you want a deeper flavour, and enough water to cover the peas.

Simmer for 8 minutes

Chop up the lettuce, and chuck in at the last minute

Wizz up in the blender and enjoy!

❤ High in Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Fibre

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16. Joyous Jacket Potato

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You can use sweet potato or just regular white ones, whatever takes your fancy 🙂 Personally I prefer sweet potatoes because they taste gorgeously caramel-y and they have greater nutritional properties – AND they’re sweet!

The traditional way to do these is to bake them in the oven for about 45 minutes. To do this, you just wash the potato – no peeling required – poke several long holes in it with a skewer, aiming to reach for the middle. Pop it in the oven on medium heat (mark 6 on a gas oven and around 180-200 degrees on electric.) and wait for 45. This will create a lovely crispy outer layer. To check if it’s done, see how easy it is to poke through with the skewer.

Alternatively, you can try the LAZY METHOD: Microwave the potatoes (on a microwave-safe plate) for 5 to 10 minutes. Microwave ovens have varying wattage, which ranges from 600 to 1,600 watts. It takes about 5 minutes to cook a medium size sweet potato at 1,600 watts, and about 10 minutes at 850 watts. (If you have a low-wattage microwave, turn the potato over halfway through the cooking time.) If you want you can pop it under the grill for 5 minutes to get that crispy coat.

Filling ideas:

Olive oil, salt and pepper, fresh herbs

Soya butter and chives

Baked beans

Mashed Avocado

Fried bell peppers

Fried spring onions/leeks/onions

Fried tomatoes

Sweetcorn

Steamed Kale/Spinach

Spoon over a previous recipe like Heart Warming Veggie Stew, Easy-Peasy Soup, Tahina, Super-Hero Greens

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17. Stuffed Peppers

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Last time I made these it was Halloween, but you can make them anytime. I think they’re a really popular eastern European dish – I often see our Polish flatmates making them. They’re really easy and quite creative so they’re fun to bring out for dinner parties.

Bell Peppers are a great source of Vitamin C, so go for these if you’re getting a cold!

Wash your bell peppers, cut off the tops and pull out the seeds/turn it upside down and knock it a few times over the bin and the seeds will all pop out.

You can fill with pretty much anything you want to.

I suggest:

Beans and Rice – a complete protein so a good energy boost/brain food!

Risotto – I think this is traditionally what would go into this dish

Spaghetti – just adds that healthy twist to your usual spaghetti! Plus it’s super easy 😉

Couscous – the quickest, easiest option. Maybe add some fried onions and tomatoes in to add more flavour

Veggie Stew – add some beans to bulk this up, or take them out if you want it to be lighter.

Pesto-Flavoured-Anything: a tablespoon per pepper should be good.

Place on a tray in the oven for about 20-30 minutes on gas mark 5 or 180*

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A scrumptious, filling, simple, colourful delight! So satisfying that sometimes I really love a dinner of nothing but roasted veg.

I’m not sure how to roast without using oil – you may be able to find baking sheets that don’t require oil which is great. Otherwise, use a smudge of your cooking oil and grease some foil or your baking tray.

Chop up your veg into just slightly bigger than the size you want because they will shrivel up a bit – especially watery ones like beetroot and courgette.

Heat the oven to gas mark 6 or 180-200 degrees.

Add Salt and Pepper to taste if you want to.

Sage is a fantastic herb to roast, as is Rosemary, and Thyme.

My favourite things to roast are:

Sweet Potato Wedges: Wash and chop up into rough bite-size chunks.

Beetroots: buy the vacuum packed non-vinegar kind. They’re like bombs of sweet jam! They get quite small so chop them in half only.

Courgettes: I like to do these in long pieces. (They don’t look as pretty as they taste!)

Other Veg that works well: Carrots: cut lengthways down the middle then chop in half – 4 pieces, Parsnips: beautifully sweet and creamy – cut them the same as carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Brussel Sprouts cut in half, Avocado (though I prefer it raw).

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19. Couscous:

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❤ HIgh in B Vitamins, Selenium, and Protein ❤

I love how friggin easy this is… it’s ridiculous.

Put 1 cup of couscous in a bowl, and pour boiling water over it until it’s just covered. Pop on a plate or a lid and leave to stand for 2 minutes. Give it a fluff with your fork, add more water if it’s too crunch, or if it’s done, it’s done! Well done you. You made Couscous. It’s magical!

Summery Version: mix it up with your favourite salad ingredients: e.g – spring onions, sweetcorn, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado, sliced bell peppers, olives, cucumber.

Warming Version: combine with a warm veggie stew or soup, add a tin of beans, fried or grilled mushrooms with garlic, fried tomatoes, peas.

Simple Seasonings: add soy butter or olive oil, some fresh coriander, lemon juice, salt and pepper, or tahina.

You can either create a bowl of this as a mixture, or use it as a “lid” like I’ve done in the photo. ❤

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20. Humous:

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❤ Combine with brown pita bread to make a complete protein. On it’s own it’s high in folate, fibre, and zinc. ❤

3 cups cooked chickpeas

3/4 to 1 cup water

2 to 4 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons tahini paste (or 4 tablespoons sesame seeds)

1/2 fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt to your taste

  • Place all ingredients except salt in the blender in the order listed. Start the machine on low and increase speed to high. Chuck in the blender; you may need to stop and use a spatula to do this.) If the mixture is too thick, add additional water a little at a time. Turn up to the highest speed and blend for a few seconds until the mixture is completely smooth.

  • Stop blender and taste the hummus. Add additional seasonings and salt to taste and blend briefly to combine.

  • Store hummus in a sealed container in the refrigerator, use within a week!

Variations

Try adding any one of the following during the last brief blending: roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, spring onions, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, black or green olives, spinach, peas, avocado, sweetcorn… whatever takes your fancy!

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21. Veggie Stir-Fry/Pad Thai

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This is a classic student dish for a reason: it’s so damn easy, anyone can make this delicious with the right ingredients and it tastes gorgeous!! The only thing that’s time consuming is the chopping, but if you want to skip that you can buy a bag of readymade stir fry veggies from tesco and you’re sorted!

-Cooking oil (Tesco has a great ‘stir fry’ oil with ginger, garlic and sesame already in it. If you can’t get this just use sunflower oil with a drizzle of sesame oil.)

-Soy Sauce, Teriyaki*, Satay*

Veggies: choose what you love: spring onions or red/white onions, bell peppers, sweetcorn, carrots, bok choi, kale, mangetout, mushrooms, cabbage, beansprouts, broccoli, spinach, garlic

Toppings: cashews/peanuts/sesame seeds, fresh lime

Noodles: I prefer to use rice noodles because they’re light, and also they cook so quickly.

1) Chop up your veggies, or wash your readymade packet. Really thin strips are ideal as they’ll cook quicker and have more crisp to them.

2) Heat up the oil in your frying pan on the highest heat.

3) Chuck in the veggies bit by bit: onions first, then the harder vegetables like carrots and cabbage. (Don’t add too many or they’ll steam up and go soft rather than fry and it’ll take foreeeevveeerrr.)Toss them around or stir with a wooden spoon – the oil will probably be crackling. Keep moving the veggies or they’ll burn.

4) Boil the kettle and get your Rice Noodles out with a pot

Keep adding/stirring your veg as you boil your noodles in a separate pot for the recommended time – hopefully they’ll both take the same amount to cook, but if one takes longer just keep it off the heat until the other is done. If your noodles are done before your veg, you must drain the water or they’ll keep cooking and turn to mush. If the veg is done before the noodles, just take them off the heat and keep stirring them as they’re still hot and cooking.

When it’s all ready, mix together, or make a base of noodles and put your veg on top. Splash on a bit of soy sauce to make it as salty as you like, and sprinkle on some nuts.

To make it “Pad Thai” you just need to add crushed peanuts, a wedge of fresh lime and perhaps a spoon of Satay sauce.

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22. Rustic Peppers in Tomato Sauce

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I made this MEGA SIMPLE, rich and tasty dish as a kind of stew that we ate on top of toasted bread. I guess you could blitz it into a soup, or bulk it out with chunks of bread, or even use it as a pasta/couscous/rice/bean sauce! Or just eat straight out of a bowl with some microwaved garlic bread 😉

Peppers: bell, sweet, paprika – whatever you like. About 2 handfuls per person (i.e 2 bell peppers) roughly chopped

Tomatoes: either a tin or about 4 medium/large tomatoes per person, roughly chopped

Onions: 1 red or white per person, roughly chopped

Cooking oil or Water

Garlic: about 1 clove per person at a minimum. (I would do 3 or 4 for myself but I like things garlic-y.)

Fresh Basil* (it’s optional, but it will make it taste 10x better)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive Oil*

1)Fry up the garlic and onions for a few minutes until they’re fragrant and soft. (You can use water instead of oil if you like: it’ll make things softer and less fried. If you do use water you can add Olive Oil later for that glazed, oily effect and taste, or just leave it this way.)

2)Chuck in the peppers and let them soften a little before adding the tomato.

3)Once everything’s as soft as you want it to be, it’s done.

4)Add fresh basil, salt and pepper, and a splash of Olive Oil if you didn’t use oil before.

❤ This is a great base for lots of things: bulk out with your desired carbs and enjoy the Vitamin C 😉

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23. Easy Garlic Bread

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Now, the easiest would be to buy it readymade, stick it in the freezer, and microwave it for 3-4 minutes. (Traditionally you’re meant to wrap it in foil and stick in the oven for about 12 minutes on gas mark 6/7 or 180-200 degrees. Do this if you want it to be more toasted on the outside.) However, if you want to make it yourself, it’s also super easy… Here’s how:

For the Classic Baguette style: buy a baton from the supermarket in plastic wrapping next to all the sliced bread. This will be half-cooked.

Slice it up as you wish; typically it’s done into about 1-inch pieces, then fill with:

Filling:

Melted Soy Butter 

Chopped Parsley – about a handful very finely chopped/blended

Garlic! (either 1 or 2 frozen cubes, or about 8-15 cloves per baton depending on how strong you like it.)

Melt a little butter into the pan and fry up your garlic. Don’t let it get brown or it’ll be bitter. Keep adding as much butter as you need, then chuck in the parsley. (Don’t bother with salt – the butter is usually salty enough, and if not the bread will be.)

For a healthier version – just slice up your brown bread or toast your brown slices into soldiers, and make a dipping bowl of the garlic butter ❤

I sometimes like to have it just with a bowl of petit pois, or a tinned soup.

Garlic Bread is the ideal comfort food but it’s quite fatty obviously, so to avoid feeling too groggy pair it with your greens, or a nutritious veggie stew. Of course, some days you’ll just gorge on it – and that’s totally fine. It’s what you do most of the time that counts. ❤

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24. Easy, Basic Tomato Sauce

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Once you’ve mastered this there’s so much you can do – it makes a great pizza base, pasta sauce, and stew/soup base! This is simply your plain base to do whatever the hell you like with:

1 tin/paper box of chopped tomatoes

1 red or white onions: finely chopped/blended

4 cloves of fresh garlic or 1 cube of frozen garlic

Balsamic Vinegar*

Red Wine*

Sugar*

Salt and Pepper

Olive Oil

Cooking Oil/Water

Fresh Basil*

  1. Either chop or blend your onions and garlic finely, or chop roughly and blend later.

  2. Fry them up in  a few tablespoons of Water or Cooking Oil, adding as much as you need to keep it from sticking.

  3. Add your tomatoes and cook while stirring occasionally, letting the sauce simmer on a medium heat.

  4. (If you’ve chopped everything roughly, now’s the time to blitz it in the blender.)

To make it thicker: for pizza sauce for example, just let it cook for longer and keep stirring until you can make a parting in the sauce with your spoon. The water will evaporate and you’ll be left with a thicker consistency.

To make it fancier/richer: add a splash or two of red wine or a tiny bit of balsamic for a kick.

Balance off with a teaspoon or two of sugar. (Keep tasting the sauce to see how it’s going) Or stir in a spoon of pesto…

Once it’s finished: add your Olive oil at the end if you fried with water in the beginning, or if you just want it oilier, and a generous hunk of fresh basil ❤

You could also: Add water and a veggie stock-cube making it a tomato soup!

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25. Foolproof, Healthy Pizza

1) Plain Pizza Base (You can buy this in the supermarket in the Italian section)

2) Tomato Sauce: preferably your own (it’ll taste better), or from a jar if not.

3) Veggies: I like to use Aubergine, Courgette, Black Olives, Red Onions

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Roughly chop up your veggies how you want them, and roast them in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Cover your pizza base entirely with tomato sauce – no need to leave a crust, it’s easier this way.

Place your veggies on in the design of your choosing ❤

Pop into the oven for about 20-30 minutes. Keep checking on it as ingredients and timings will vary!

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26. Protein Plannning

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For those times when you might get harassed about not getting enough Protein in your diet being a veggie (which is bullshit by the way, veggies have a load of protein in them) – or if you’re looking for simple, cheap “complete protein” sources, here’s a cool resource from savvyvegetarian.com:

complementary-protein-chart

I know you eat fish and dairy and eggs, so you’ll be ok for B12 on those, but if you skip them for a long time make sure to get a B12 substitute – (it must say “b12 from Cyanocobalamin”.)

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27. Luxury Fruit Corner Ice Cream

OK this is a bit of a cheat but it’s so yummy I had to share!

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Swedish Glace Vanilla Ice Cream from Sainsbury’s or Tesco (it’s made from Soy so it’s lower fat and it tastes JUST like Corner Yoghurt! Also Dairy-Free so less of the farting and bloating. Hurrah!)

Frozen Mixed Berries – we get the cheapest and they’re scrumptious. Ingredients should be nothing but berries.

Fresh berries will taste less sweet and look a lot prettier – but the frozen ones are so much cheaper and they last ages. I like to have this in the freezer but usually it doesn’t last that long!

Have fun with it – add some chocolate chips or bits of mint or whatever floats yer boat ❤

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28. Warm Fruit Salad:

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Sometimes you want something warm and sweet and comforting. This should do the trick – AND give you a nice dose of energy and fibre ❤

1 pear

1 apple

Cinnamon

and a microwave…

Peel and chop the pear and apple into bitesize chunks

Sprinkle on some cinnamon and a tiny splash of water

Pop into the Microwave for 1-2 minutes with a lid on to retain all the juicy goodness (you can put a plate over a bowl if you don’t have a box.)

To sweeten it up more add sultanas, or dates!

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29. Baked Banana Split

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Make sure there’s NO GREEN on your Banana!

Wrap it in foil and pop into the oven on a high heat, checking every 15 minutes until it’s turned completely black. It may take around 45 minutes.

When it’s finished, split it open down the middle and add whatever you like!

The great thing is it acts like a bowl so you can scoop everything out. Also, baking the banana makes it super-sweet so it’s really a desert in itself – however if you want to make it extra decadent you could:

Sprinkle with sugar

Add a dollop of Ice Cream

Melt some Chocolate into it

Add Berries

Drizzle on Carmel Sauce

Use a smidge of peanut butter 😉

Sprinkle some Flaked Almonds on

Douse in Maple Syrup…. ❤ 😛

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30. Pancakes:

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Makes 6-8 servings

•1 cup flour (whichever kind you prefer)

•1 tablespoon cane sugar

•2 tablespoons baking powder

•1/8 teaspoon salt

•1 cup soy milk

•2 tablespoons cooking oil

Mix all the dry ingredients together in your blender, then blitz up with the soy milk and sunflower oil.

Heat up a pan and pour in your first batter.

Flip when you see bubbles in the middle or if the edges get stiff!

Mmm… I’m salivating just typing ❤

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31. Scones:

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Sometimes I get this urge to bake something cake-like and beautiful, but I just cba with all the effort required. These are SO EASY and delightful because you get to get really messy and hands-on, with minimal effort! Ali’s sister taught me & it’s amazing how satisfying they are, and your kitchen will smell gorgeous and cake-y!

Makes about 12

250g self raising flour

1 pinch salt (optional)

50g soya butter

100ml soya/almond/rice/oat whatever you want milk

50g caster sugar

1.Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a baking tray/foil.

2.Mix flour, salt and soya butter with your hands – rub together until they resemble breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

3.Gradually mix in the soya milk, bit by bit. Leave some milk for brushing over the top. When it becomes a dough, stir in any additional extras (e.g sultanas).

4.Divide into balls and place on your tray.

5.Bake in the oven until just golden, normally 10 to 25 minutes.

These are gorgeous to have with a glass of rice milk or a cup of tea ❤

Literally chuck in anything else you might like – sultanas, berries, chocolate chips, take out the sugar and add in fried onions and fresh chives! It’s all about embracing the play, oh, and the mess 😉

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32. Chocolate Candy

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I leave you with my culinary masterpiece so far. Chocolates! This is SO fun to make and will make your whole kitchen smell beautiful ❤

To make about 40 pieces of chocolate:

1/2 cup melted cacao butter

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/2 cup smooth nut butter – make sure it’s just the nut and no added ingredients or it will overpower the mix. (I used cashew but I think hazelnut or almond would be just as good if not better.)

1/4 tsp vanilla extract*

pinch of salt

3-4 tablespoons dark coco powder without sugar* (omit this if you want white chocolate only)

Melt the cacao butter in the microwave on a medium heat for a few minutes or until completely liquid. Then simply add the rest of the ingredients and blend up quickly. (This might get a bit messy!) **If you’re working in a cold space it will start to solidify so act fast!**

Either pour into little paper cases (like mini cupcake papers) or onto a flat tray/chopping board lined with baking paper to make either one big bar or lots of little bars of chocolate. (For my first batch I used the lids of my plastic boxes to make pretty slabs.)

Leave plain or sprinkle on desired ingredients!

TOP TIP: make half and half of white and dark and layer them. Also – add a layer of chocolate on the bottom, put a tiny plop of crunchy, salty peanut butter in and cover up for a surprise! (obvs make sure no one has peanut allergies…)

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It’s only a first draft, but if you’d like a FREE PDF version please leave a comment below and I’ll send you one over!*

***Warning*** Contains a few curse words so will need editing for smaller kids, just let me know (but well done you if you’ve got 11 year olds doing this!)

Thanks for reading! ❤

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2 thoughts on “FREE Vegan Cookbook for Beginners/Lazy chefs!

  1. Hey Dasha! I love your blog! And I would also love a copy of your recipe book please!
    Thanks! Vered x

    Like

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