Struggling a little with Veganuary?
Perhaps your local shop isn’t equipped with all the ingredients you’ve been coming across in your new recipe books; perhaps the recipes you’re looking at just seem like too much effort. Either way, you’re fast losing interest in the whole thing.
Enter So Vegan in 5, written by IRL couple Roxy Pope and Ben Pook who have been vegan for six years. Their book is made up of super simple (but very impressive-looking) recipes that have no more than five ingredients each.
So if you’re looking to simplify your Veganuary just a little, click through to find three of their best recipes.
Apricot & Rosemary Nut Roast
Prep: 15 mins plus standing
Cook: 45 mins
Serves 4 generously
200g dried apricots
200g mixed nuts
400g tin green lentils
4 rosemary sprigs
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/gas mark 6 and line a 450g (approx. 20 x 10cm) loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Peel and finely dice the onion, then fry for 10 minutes, until softened, stirring frequently.
3. Meanwhile, add the apricots to a food processor along with 100ml of cold water and process until it forms a smooth paste. Add the nuts and pulse until they have mostly broken down. Drain and rinse the lentils, then add to the food processor and pulse everything again until the mixture holds together. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
4. Pull the rosemary leaves off the stalks, chop the leaves (you should be left with roughly 2 tablespoons) and add them to the mixing bowl along with the fried onions, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, then mix everything together.
5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf tin, pushing it down into the tin as you go, so it’s compact and level. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until golden brown.
6. Remove from the oven and leave the nut roast to stand in the tin for 5 minutes, before turning it out onto a wooden board. Serve in slices.
Creamy Spinach Ravioli
Prep: 30 mins plus chilling
Cook: 12 mins
60g fresh spinach
150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Large handful of basil, plus extra for serving
1. In a small bowl, soak the cashews in hot water directly from the kettle, while you work through the next few steps.
2. Blanch the spinach in boiling water for a couple of minutes until soft, then strain it, reserving the leftover water. Transfer the spinach to a small blender, add 3 tablespoons of the reserved spinach water and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a small blender, you can use a handheld one to blend everything together in a bowl.
3. Next, add the flour to a large mixing bowl along with a generous pinch of salt. Make a well in the middle, pour in the blitzed spinach, then mix everything together. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, then wrap it tightly in baking paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Divide the chilled pasta dough in half and roll each piece out until it’s as thin as you can get it without splitting the dough (this should be around 2mm). Use a pastry cutter 8cm in diameter or the rim of a pint glass to cut the dough into circles. Repeat until all of the dough is used up and you’re left with 20 circles.
5. Drain the cashews and add them to a blender along with the juice from the lemon, basil and 3 tablespoons of cold water. Blend until the mixture reaches a smooth but thick consistency, then season well with salt and pepper.
6. Add a heaped tablespoon of the cashew mixture to the centre of a pasta circle and cover it with another circle. Use your thumb to press down around the edges, sealing the circles together. To finish, use the prongs of a fork to pinch all around the edges. Repeat until you’re left with 10 filled ravioli.
7. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the ravioli for 5 minutes, until tender, then carefully scoop out using a slotted spoon. We usually cook the ravioli in two batches to avoid them sticking together.
8. Meanwhile, finely slice half a dozen or so basil leaves and mix them in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Drizzle the basil flavoured oil over the ravioli to serve.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Breakfast Slices
Prep: 20 mins plus cooling
Cook: 25 mins
Makes 8 slices
130g crunchy peanut butter
3 tbsp coconut oil
4 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
200g jumbo oats
200g fresh raspberries, plus 12 for decoration
1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan/gas mark 7 and line a 10 x 20cm loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Add the peanut butter, coconut oil and 4 tablespoons of the maple syrup to a small pan over a medium heat. Stir until everything has fully combined and the coconut oil has melted.
3. Meanwhile, transfer the oats to a large mixing bowl. When the peanut butter mixture is ready, pour it over the oats and stir until the oats are completely coated. Add half of the oat mixture to the prepared loaf tin and push down with the back of a spoon to make sure it’s compact.
4. Add the 200g raspberries and remaining 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup to a separate small pan over a medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, until it turns into a sauce, stirring occasionally.
5. When the sauce is ready, spread it evenly on top of the oats in the loaf tin. Top with the remaining oats and use the back of the spoon to press down like you did before. Top with the remaining 12 raspberries. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Use the baking paper to remove the loaf from the tin, and transfer to a wire rack. Leave to cool completely before cutting it into eight slices. Try not to devour them all in one go!
SOURCE: Refinery29, by Jess Commons