This is the time of year when comfort food really comes into its own. Cosy nights in with friends, food and flix (of the net variety) are what dreamy Friday’s are made of. To embrace the most recent trend, I would describe this vegan mushroom risotto dish as a plate of Hygge! A super delicious and warming hug for your tummy and your tastebuds.
Whilst a creamy risotto might not seem an achievable vegan variation, with this recipe I like to think I have proven otherwise. I challenge you to give it a try and prove me wrong 😉
Now I can’t take all the credit for this delight, as it was a team effort. My Dad and Brother both helped to make this dish as scrummy as it is – they are both food fanatics too. It runs in the family! So together we supercharged one of our favourite dishes into a healthier vegan version that packs a punch of vitamin-D from the mushrooms (essential during the darker winter months) and tons of flavour!
Vegan Mushroom Risotto
Find a large lidded pan and add in a tablespoon of oil (coconut or rapeseed), melt over a medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add a handful of sage leaves and thyme sprigs. When the oil becomes fragrant and the leaves start to brown take off the heat and remove the herbs.
Put 40g of porcini mushrooms in a glass bowl, and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes (or follow the on-pack instructions).
Chop up the chestnut and wild mushrooms, along with 3 cloves of garlic. Fry in the herbed oil over a medium-high heat for approx 7 mins. Once cooked, take the mushrooms off the heat and set aside, these will be added back to the pan later on.
Slice up the leeks and add to the pan. Sweat down with the lid on for 10 mins, until they have softened and are sticky.
Add the risotto rice (75g per person) and turn up the heat. When you can hear the rice starting to 'crackle' add approx 2/3 of a bottle of wine. Reduce down until the liquid disappears, you need to watch and keep stirring every minute or so.
Once the rice starts to stick to the bottom of the pan drain the porcini juice into a container, and gradually pour into the pan. Keep adding the rest of the vegetable stock bit by bit.
When the rice is al dente, stir in the mushrooms and a generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast. Take the pan off the heat and add grated vegan parmesan to taste. Dollop 5-6 teaspoons of Oatly Creme Fresh, and add the lid back onto the pan. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Indulge your tastebuds with this vitamin-D boosting hygge hug on a plate. You can thank me later!
Let me know how you get on.
This easy vegan courgetti bolognese recipe is tasty and quick to make, the ideal dish to throw together if you are tight for time but still want a comforting meal. Even a complete cooking novice will ace this one – simple and satisfying. If you’re looking to get more organised, this recipe is great to make in batches so you have some meals ready for the week ahead. This is one of my favourite ‘stand-by’ recipes, as almost all corner shops and supermarkets will have the ingredients.
I tend to use the frozen Linda McCartney’s mince, however there are lots more options now with other brands such as Fry’s and supermarket own-brands introducing Vegan Mince too. You will find it in the veggie frozen section in most supermarkets. The best thing is that if you aren’t able to find vegan mince in the local shop, you can use a tin of lentils instead.
Easy Vegan Courgetti Bolognese
This courgette bolognese recipe is simple and tasty, great to throw together if you have friends over for dinner last minute. If you aren't able to find vegan mince you can use lentils instead.
In a large frying pan, melt the coconut oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper. Fry on a medium heat and when they start to soften, add the chopped mushrooms and herbs.
As the mushrooms start to brown, add the frozen mince and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. If the mixture sticks add a splash of water. If you have some to hand, add 2 tbsp refried beans.
Add the tomato purée and tinned tomatoes, stir well and simmer for 10 minutes over a low/medium heat - (If you are using the lentils then drain them, rinse in a colander and add to the pan).
Serve on the bed of raw courgetti (the hot sauce will warm it up, or if preferred sauté gently for a few minutes) and sprinkle with grated dairy-free cheese (Violife Prosociano is good) or nutritional yeast flakes and chopped olives.
*If you are wondering why I specified an organic pepper and tomatoes check out the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen for a list of the fruit and vegetables that contain the most pesticides. I try to buy these ingredients organic whenever possible.
I like to throw in frozen peas or sweetcorn sometimes to add some extra flavour - if you'd like to do this too then add these with the chopped tomatos and tomato puree.
If you fancy doubling the ingredients to make a bigger batch, the leftovers are safe to freeze.
These Lentil Meatballs are quick to make and are a perfect ‘easy meal’ to throw together when you have friends or family coming for dinner. The finished dish is nutritionally balanced, filling and light enough to allow room for dessert.
Even though I made it up as I went along this recipe turned out to be a great success. I made this at my Gran’s when visiting family in Devon – as usual I couldn’t resist the opportunity to host a Vegan supper and get everyone together to enjoy some delicious food.
I stuck to a simple tomato sauce with this recipe because it’s clean on the palate. There were some locally grown organic tomatoes for sale at the village shop so I added some of these to the sauce too. Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins B6, C, K, beta-carotene, and minerals potassium and manganese. The plant nutrient lycopene in the tomatoes has been linked to prevention of cancers such as prostate and lung, as well as other diseases.
I used one can of chickpeas and one of green lentils – however you could use two of green lentils, depending on what you have in the cupboard. The lentils and chickpeas provide 24g of protein between 4, and you can increase this by using edamame bean or black bean pasta.
Vegan Lentil Meatballs with Courgetti
The flexibility of this recipe is great and you can adapt different parts of it to suit your taste! If you're in the mood for Italian you can major on basil flavours and drizzle with olive oil when serving. Alternatively if you're feeling adventurous add some aromatic Moroccan spices such as cumin, turmeric, coriander etc to the meatballs.
First start by making the flax egg and letting the mixture thicken – this will only take 2-3 mins. Lightly grease a baking tray with coconut oil. Add all Lentil Meatball ingredients to the food processor and pulse gently until the mixture starts to stick together and become doughy. I prefer to leave little chunks in mine for texture so I don’t blend too much. If the mix is too dry try adding a bit more tomato paste, if too wet add a sprinkle of flour until the mixture holds when formed into balls. Scoop a dessert spoon sized amount of the mixture onto your hand and gently roll into a ball. Add each ball onto the baking tray.
Once you’ve used up all the mixture, pop the tray into the oven at 180 degrees C for 35 minutes (or until brown). I prefer to turn the meatballs over half way to make sure they are crunchy all over – mmm!
Whilst the meatballs are in the oven, on a medium heat melt coconut oil in a saucepan and gently cook the onion and garlic until softened. Stir in the tomatoes and spices. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 mins. Give the sauce a little taste after 10 mins -I often add a small sprinkle of coconut sugar if the sauce is tasting too acidic. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. This can be blended in a food processor if you’d prefer a smooth sauce.
Spiralise the courgettes into noodle strands to make the ‘courgetti’. You can serve the courgette cold or if you’d prefer blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds to soften (although this will reduce the nutrients slightly).
Serve with a sprinkle of Vegan Parmesan and Fresh Basil
Bon Apetit 🙂
Let me know how you get on with this Vegan Lentil Meatballs recipe and tag @theveganedit in your Instagram pics! x