Vegan Lunch Ideas

Mini Vegan Chickpea Quiches with Mushroom, Spinach & Onion


Hey friends, we’re so excited to be sharing more meal recipes on here after a long hiatus at the beginning of the year. We’re fast approaching the time of year for picnics and eating outdoors, which also happens to be our favourite way of eating and sharing foods. We’re looking forward to upcoming months filled with long walks, beach visits and light evenings. These mini vegan quiches are a great addition to any picnic or lunch spread. They’ve been a regular go-to lunch for us for quite a while alongside a big salad, fermented vegetables and a tasty dip or two. This is an adapted version of our chickpea frittata recipe that we posted many moons ago, but this version has a much nicer texture and is easier to eat on the go!

Chickpea flour is often packaged as gram flour and can be found in most health food shops or in asian supermarkets (it’s often used in Indian cooking). We love the way it takes on different flavours and how you can be so creative with what combination of herbs, spices and vegetables you use. For this recipe we’ve chosen mushroom & spinach because it’s a classic favourite and we almost always have these in the fridge. Feel free to add or swap for whatever vegetables you prefer or have in.

Vegan Mini Chickpea Quiche Mushroom Spinach Onion
Mini Chickpea Quiches with Mushroom Spinach Vegan
Mini Chickpea Quiches with Mushroom Spinach Vegan

Vegan Mini Chickpea Quiches with Mushroom, Spinach & Onion

Ingredients (makes 6)
For the batter:
1 cup of chickpea flour
1 and 1/3 cups of water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

For the filling:
1 onion, sliced
100g of chesnut mushrooms, finely chopped
a handful of spinach, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground oregano
1 large sprig of rosemary
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
olive oil (or different oil of choice)

Method
1. In a silicone muffin tray (or a greased normal muffin tray) divide your onions into 6. Then into each quiche add a 1/4 teaspoon of oregano, rosemary and paprika. Then add a teaspoon of olive oil into each and mix well.
2. Cook onions in the oven for 6-7 minutes at gas mark 6. (If you’re using a silicone muffin tray a helpful tip is to place it on top of a flat baking tray, otherwise it will be difficult to move without spilling the filling)
3. While the onions are cooking add all of the batter ingredients to a small mixing bowl or jug and whisk well to combine.
4. Take the tray out of the oven and divide the mushrooms and spinach between the 6 quiches. Fill them as much as possible as they will cook down. Return the tray to the oven and cook for a further 5-6 minutes.
5. Remove the tray from the oven and pour the batter into each quiche mould. You don’t need to mix them. Place the tray back into the oven and cook for 25-30 mins until golden and firm.
6. Once cooked allow to cool slightly before removing the quiches from the moulds with a butter knife.


Have you tried cooking with chickpea flour before?

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Plantbased Meal Inspiration for #Veganuary

Over 50,000 people have signed up for Veganuary this year - a UK campaign that's encouraging people to go vegan for one month. That's an incredible amount of people! 

We realise that many people struggle with the idea of totally giving up meat and dairy. It can feel like an enormous change, and I think there's this huge misconception that vegans only eat salads & so called 'rabbit food'. It might seem overwhelming making the leap, but it's an amazing thing to do for the environment and your health... we promise there are so many incredible meals and treats that you can enjoy! Eating plantbased should never have to feel like you're depriving yourself of something... in fact, it's the complete opposite if you choose to nourish your body with vibrant, delicious foods. 

Vegan Oatmeal (Plantbased meal ideas for veganuary)

We've compiled this list of meal ideas, our favourite sites & resources to help anyone who needs some extra inspiration! Even if you're not ready to try a whole month fully plant-based, we encourage you to get informed & even just try swapping a couple of meals a week for something vegan. As we realise a lot of people are short for time & looking for easy ideas - we've tried to keep things simple & include affordable, easy-to-make recipes. 

Vegan porridge (vegan meal ideas)

Breakfast Ideas

Our go-to breakfast this time of year is a simple, delicious porridge. It's really affordable, healthy & quick to make on busy mornings! Try swapping cow milk for a plant-based alternative. We love using Oat Milk (Provitamel & Oatly do great ones with simple ingredients), but there are a ton of nut mylks on the market (Rude Health are a great brand with no added nasties). For extra protein & vitamins, try adding a spoon of nut butter, coconut oil or chia seeds to your oats. This will make it more filling, more nourishing & tasty! 

For something extra delicious, try our Banana Oat Pancakes

Our Chickpea Frittata is a great savoury option too. You can make the batter the night before, & prepare it in the morning. This is a really nice option for lunch too!

Chickpea Frittata (Vegan omelette)

Lunch & Dinner Ideas 

As we mentioned earlier, meal times don't have to mean plain salad. Think colourful meals with lots of vegetables, beans & different spices to add flavour. Here are some of our favourites:

Homemade Falafel Burgers - we make a big batch of these and store them in the freezer! 

Sprouted Chickpea Falafel

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Butternut Squash Wedges 
Easy to prepare & so tasty for lunch or dinner. Make a big batch and store in the fridge for throughout the week. The quinoa can be replaced with spelt couscous, millet, rice or buckwheat!

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Vegan

Sweet Potato with Tamarind & Coconut
 This is one of our favourite recipes on the blog. Such a tasty, filling dish inspired by our time in India. 

Sweet Potato with Tamarind and Coconut

Some more ideas:

Three Pulse Stew with Sumac & Thyme
This is a really rich, satisfying option with so many great flavours! You could serve with with rice or pasta, or eat on its own
Creamy Coconut Curry
Yellow Dal with Curry Leaves
Roasted Celeriac with Lentils & Tahini

Sweet Treats & Baking

Going vegan doesn't mean saying goodbye to tasty treats & chocolate! There are so many healthy alternatives, which won't make you feel rubbish & leave you feeling unsatisfied  

Quick and Easy flapjacks vegan
Gingerbread Oat biscuits vegan
Nourishing Banoffee Pie Vegan


Get Informed

If you're looking for some reasons on why to go Vegan or for some motivation to keep going, we really recommend the following documentaries: 
Cowspiracy - this is such an interesting & inspiring environmental documentary, exploring how the meat/dairy industry is one of the most destructive industries facing the planet. It's really well made, informative, on Netflix & Leonardo Dicaprio is the Exec Producer. 
Food Inc - also on Netflix & Youtube, this is a great documentary looking at health impacts of consuming so much meat/dairy. 

What are some of your favourite vegan meals or food blogs? Are you joining in for veganuary?

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Roasted Celeriac with Lentils, Mint & Tahini

Celeriac may not be the prettiest root vegetable, but it has a delicious, sweet & nutty flavour that goes so well with fresh herbs. We've loved experimenting with this underrated root recently... it's equally delicious roasted or mashed & it's currently in season in the UK, so it's a really sustainable option too!

Roasted Celeriac with Lentils, Mint & Tahini

Seeing as Tahini is one of our favourite ingredients, it also seems fitting that the two foods go perfectly together. Made from ground sesame seeds, tahini is a really versatile, rich ingredient used in a lot of Middle Eastern recipes. We seem to get through a lot of tahini every week, but thankfully it's full of goodness & is completely delicious! It's also a great source of calcium, B vitamins, iron and potassium. If you can, try and buy tahini made with un-hulled sesame seeds, as they keep more of their nutritional content (we love the organic version by Meridian). 

Bay Leaves - Roasted Celeriac with Lentils, Mint & Tahini
Mint Leaves

There are a few steps to this recipe, but it's well worth the effort and time! This dish works great as a main served with salad and pickled vegetables, but it would also work well as a side dish or part of a mezze. We hope you enjoy it! 

Ingredients (Serves 4 as a main dish with a side)
1 Large celeriac (Approx 1kg)
A large bunch of fresh mint, chopped
2 tbsp tahini
150g of green/put lentils, well rinsed
6 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp of dried thyme
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp good quality olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or fire cider
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt & pepper

Method
-First, add the lentils, thyme and bay leaves to a pan. Add plenty of water and boil gently until just cooked through (20-30 minutes depending on the lentils).  They should retain their shape. 
-While the lentils are cooking prepare the celeriac. Chop into 1 inch pieces and parboil in salted water for 6-8 minutes until just soft. Drain and add to a deep baking pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Then roast in the oven for around 30-40 minutes until crisp and golden. 
-Once the lentils are cooked, drain them well and remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. In a bowl mix the lentils, while still hot, with 1tbsp of olive oil, the vinegar, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. 
-In a small bowl, mix the tahini with 2-3 tbsp of warm water until smooth and pourable. 
-Once the celeriac is cooked removed from the oven and mash some of the pieces in the pan for a good texture.
-Then divide the lentil mixture evenly over the celeriac. Generously scatter over the chopped mint and drizzle with half of the tahini dressing. 
-Serve the rest of the tahini individually at the table with even more chopped mint.

Roasted Celeriac with Lentils, Mint & Tahini

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Have you ever cooked with Celeriac? We'd love to hear your experiences!

Spiced Butternut Squash Mash

As the days begin to get a lot colder and darker in the UK, I definitely find myself daydreaming about white beaches, lush rice fields & warmer climes. Looking through all our travel photos from India doesn't exactly help with the winter blues, but it is an amazing way to find meal inspiration...

One of the dishes we remember fondly from our travels was this spicy pumpkin or squash mash, which was often served as part of a lunchtime thali with other curries & pickles. As squash is in season here at the moment, we decided to make our own version of this delicious, satisfying dish. The whole spices in this meal bring a lot of flavour to the mash, as well having a lot of healing properties that help warm the body up during these colder months!

Butternut Squash Mash with Spices
Butternut Squash mash with spices.

Ingredients
1 large butternut squash (approx 1 kg)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 dried red chili (optional)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
large handful of coriander, chopped finely

Method
-First, peel and cut the squash into chunks and remove the seeds. Then roast in a hot oven for 40-60 minutes, until well cooked and beginning to colour. 
-Once roasted, remove from the over and roughly mash the squash on the tray using the back of a fork. 
-In a pan, heat the coconut oil, then add all of the spices and  the chili and stir fry for 30-60 seconds, until the mustard seeds begin to crackle. This is important for bringing the flavour out of the spices and into the oil!
-As soon as they begin to crackle, add the onions and fry on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until they start to turn golden. 
-Once the onions are golden, add the mashed squash to the pan. Mix well and fry for 1-2 more minutes, then turn of the heat.
-Mix in the fresh coriander and lemon juice. Enjoy! 

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What delicious meals have you had when travelling?