These Veganuary recipes prove that vegan food can be easy to make and very, very tasty. These recipes are so versatile and taste so good, in fact, that we're planning on incorporating them into our regular cooking schedule way past January. From Lebanese-style spicy aubergines to the best Millionaire's shortbread you've ever had, these are the recipes to try out if you're curious about vegan food.
Going vegan isn't easy, particularly when it's freezing outside, and these delectable recipes are rich and comforting – just what you need in the middle of January. You can also think of the three recipes we've presented here as a complete three-course meal – starter, main, and dessert.
Spicy stuffed aubergine
A cheeky twist on the classic dish Imam Biyaldi, these stuffed aubergines are to die for.
Imam Biyaldi roughly translates to ‘The priest fainted’, and folklore tells us that a priest was so impressed by the dish upon first eating it that he swooned. Our version is definitely delicious enough to make a holy man topple… The mince and onion stuffing browns brilliantly and packs a spicy punch, while the traditional tahini and mint dressing cools the whole thing down. If you’re a fan of aubergine, this is a must-try! We prefer to use a new, tasty brand of plant-based mince for this, available chilled in most good supermarkets.
- 2 aubergines
- 2 tbsp harissa paste
- Handful of flaked almonds
- 1 fresh red chilli
- Handful of fresh mint
- Handful of fresh coriander
- 80g pomegranate seeds
For the stuffing:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ onion
- 200g soya mince
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
For the tahini dressing:
- 100g tahini
- 100ml water
- 1 lemon
1. Preheat grill to max • Line a baking tray • Frying pan on a medium heat • Kettle boiled • Whisk
2. Grill the aubergine • Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and lay them flesh-side up on the baking tray • Score the flesh in a crisscross pattern, being careful not to pierce the skin • Brush the scored flesh with the harissa paste and sprinkle with salt • Place under the hot grill to cook until soft, about 13–15 minutes
3. Meanwhile, cook the stuffing mixture • Add the olive oil to the hot frying pan • Peel and dice the onion and add it to the pan • Cook for 4 minutes until soft • While the onions are cooking, hydrate the soya mince according to the packet instructions • Drain, pressing the mince with the back of a spoon to remove excess water • Add the mince and the ground spices to the onions and cook until golden and fragrant • Taste and season to perfection
4. Make the dressing • Combine the tahini, mint and water in a bowl • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice • Whisk to a pouring consistency, adding extra tahini if the mixture is too loose, or extra water if it’s too thick • Taste and season with a little salt, to taste
5. Serve • Take the tray out of the oven and transfer the aubergines to a serving dish • Tip the flaked almonds onto the tray and toast very briefly under the grill • Finely slice the chilli and tear the leaves from the fresh herbs • Tip the spiced stuffing mixture over the aubergines • Drizzle with the tahini dressing • Scatter over the herbs, chilli, pomegranate seeds and toasted flaked almonds, then serve.
Frying pan samosa pie
This dish has all the flavours of our favourite Indian snack in a giant pie. What’s not to like? Seriously. Potato, cauliflower and peas form the main bulk of the filling and the spice profile is simple, familiar and very effective. The top of the pie is made from crispy, crunchy, shop-bought filo pastry, which makes this pie look as good as it tastes. If you like samosas, you need to give this a go!
- 6 sheets filo pastry
- Vegetable oil, for brushing
- Nigella seeds, for sprinkling
For the filling:
- 2 baking potatoes
- 1 small cauliflower (or ½ large cauliflower)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 fresh green chilli
- 2 garlic cloves
- thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 350ml vegetable stock
- 175g frozen peas
- small bunch of fresh coriander
- 1 lime
- salt and black pepper
- Coconut yoghurt
1. Preheat oven to 200°C • Large microwaveable bowl • Clingfilm • Microwave • Pastry brush • Baking tray • Large frying pan with lid • Microplane or fine grater
2. Cook the potatoes • Peel and roughly chop the potatoes into 2cm chunks • Tip into a large microwaveable bowl and cover with clingfilm • Microwave on high for 4–6 minutes
3. Cook the cauliflower • Roughly chop the cauliflower florets into bitesized chunks • Add to the bowl with the partially cooked potatoes and microwave for a further 6 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, bake the pastry • Take one sheet of filo and brush it with vegetable oil, then sprinkle with nigella seeds • Scrunch it up and place it on the baking tray • Repeat with the rest of the pastry • Bake in the oven for 6–8 minutes until golden, keeping an eye on them – they can turn from golden to brown very quickly!
5. Make the filling • Add the tablespoon of vegetable oil to the frying pan and place it over a high heat • Chop the green chilli, removing the seeds if you don’t like too much heat • Peel the garlic • Grate the garlic and ginger directly into the pan • Add the green chilli to the pan along with pinch of salt • Add the curry powder, turmeric and fennel seeds, then tip in the cooked cauliflower and potato chunks • Stir to coat in the spices • Add the stock and season well • Cover the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes • Take off the lid and use a fork or potato masher to lightly smush the mixture • Add the peas to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat • Roughly chop the coriander and stir it through the mixture • Halve the lime and squeeze in the juice, then stir it through
6. Assemble • Top the frying pan with the filo scrunches and bring it to the table • Serve straight from the pan with a spoonful of coconut yoghurt
Walking home from school was always fun; chatting to mates, kicking a ball about and,nbest of all, spending leftover lunch money at the local bakery. We were both very fond of their millionaire’s shortbread, so we decided to make our own. These beauties have everything – rich chocolate, gooey caramel and a crunchy biscuit base. Make a batch next time your mum’s coming round for a cuppa: brownie points guaranteed. We’re very proud that we’ve managed to turn these wonderful bites into a speedy recipe. Enjoy!
- 200g plain flour
- 100g dairy-free butter
- A pinch of salt
- 50g caster sugar
- 200g dark chocolate (we use Montezuma 73% dark)
For the caramel:
- 300g pitted dates
- 40ml boiling water
- 75g dairy-free butter
- 100g light muscovado sugar
- 150ml golden or maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1. Preheat oven to 180°C • Grease and line a 20 x 30cm baking tin with baking paper • Food processor • Microwaveable bowl and microwave or saucepan and a heatproof bowl
2. Make the biscuit base • Measure the flour, dairy-free butter, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl • Rub with your fingertips until the mixture looks like crumble • Tip into the prepared tin and lightly press down with your fingers until even • Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 12 minutes • Remove and set aside to cool in the tin
3. Meanwhile, make the caramel • Put the dates and boiling water in a food processor • Blend until smooth • Add the dairy-free butter, sugar, syrup, vanilla and Biscoff spread and blend until smooth and thick
4. Melt the chocolate • Roughly chop the chocolate and place it in the microwaveable bowl • Either melt it in the microwave in 30-second blasts or pour hot water into the bottom of a saucepan and bring to a simmer, put the bowl on top of the pan and leave the chocolate to melt • Once melted, mix until smooth
5. Assemble • Dollop the caramel over the biscuit base and gently spread it out to an even layer • Pour over an even layer of the melted chocolate • Leave to cool, then transfer to the fridge to set for 2 hours • Heat a sharp knife under the hot tap and use it to slice the shortbread into squares.