vegan dinner ideas

Raw Vegan Sushi Rolls with Sunflower Seed 'Rice'

As the weather gets (somewhat) warmer in the UK, we've been eating a lot more raw food and experimenting with different recipes. I always feel so energised after eating raw meals, so I'm curious about the raw lifestyle and this interesting way of creating food. If you have any recommendations or resources then let us know in the comments below!

These sushi rolls are a recent favourite to make for lunch - they're so delicious, fun to make and packed full of  colour and goodness! Instead of rice, we make a really tasty paste out of sunflower seeds - the texture and taste is weirdly a bit like tuna,  but it works perfectly in sushi and adds a great flavour. What's great about these rolls is you can mix up the recipe depending on what veggies you have in - some great options are avocado, carrot, cucumber, pepper, sprouts, beetroot & any pickled veggies, but it's great to experiment with what you have! 

RAW VEGAN SUSHI ROLLS WITH SUNFLOWER SEED RICE

Ingredients (serves 2 people)
For the sunflower seed filling:
1 cup of soaked sunflower seeds
1 tblsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
1 tbsp tamari
water

For the sushi rolls:
2 nori sheets
thin strips of vegetables (we like avocado, pepper, carrot & cucumber)
optional: pickled vegetables
toasted sesame seeds
tamari 

Method:
1. Soak the sunflower seeds for 2+ hours (overnight if possible)
2. Drain and rinse the sunflower seeds, add to food processor with the vinegar, tamari, salt and pepper. Blend well and add a little water to bring the mixture to a fairly smooth paste. (see picture for the texture)
3. Place your nori sheets onto sushi rollmats, then press half the mixture down evenly onto each sheet, leaving about a 2 inch gap at one end. (see pics)
4. Add strips of vegetables evenly along the center of the nori sheet, don't overload them or they will be difficult to roll up!
5. Using the mat slowly roll up the sushi, if you've never done this before there are some helpful videos on youtube!
6. Use a long sharp knife to cut the rolls into 5 or 6 pieces and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, enjoy with extra tamari and wasabi.

raw vegan sushi rolls with sunflower seed rice
raw vegan sushi rolls with sunflower seed rice
raw vegan sushi rolls with sunflower seed rice
raw vegan sushi rolls with sunflower seed rice

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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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Yellow Dal with Curry Leaves

The scent of spices cooking in the kitchen always gives me a sweet nostalgia for our days in India. It spins me off into long daydreams about our adventures. Using our hands to scoop up dal and rice. The sweet, comforting smell of chai dancing through the train carriage. Thick clouds of steam drifting off our plates of biriyani.

Yellow Dal with Curry Leaves

Being the foodies that we are, we talk about these moments (and food in general) a lot. But we also love spending time trying to recreate these special flavours at home. We make this Yellow Dal nearly every week, as we love it so much! It’s simple to prepare, has incredible flavour and is perfectly comforting without being too rich. Our Millet Flatbreads are an amazing side to this, or else it's really delicious served with short grain brown rice. 

Fresh curry leaves are the star of this dal. Tempered with spices and coconut oil, then added to the dal at the end, they add such an aromatic, tasty flavour to the whole dish. They also have some incredible health benefits - including anti-oxidant properties. Some studies have even found that the chemical constituents in curry leaves are helpful in fighting cancer! You can find fresh curry leaves in an Asian supermarket, avoid the dried ones, as they don't have any flavour.

Even if you haven’t been to India, we hope the scents and flavours of this dish transport you to some place warm and special …

Ingredients (Serves 4-6 with rice or breads)
for the dal:
2 cups split red lentils or tur lentils, well rinsed and drained
1/3 cup tomato pasata or 2 medium tomatoes
1 large onion, finely sliced (half for the dal, half for the tadka)
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
25 fresh curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder or grated fresh turmeric
2 green chillies (optional) 
2/3 tsp salt

For the tadka: 
2 tblsp coconut oil
1.5 tsp black mustard seeds
15 fresh curry leaves
1 dried kasmiri chilli (optional)

Method:
Put the rinsed lentils into a large pan and cover with water by 4-5 cm. Add in all of the remaining dal ingredients. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for around 30 minutes (45-60 with tur dal). The lentils should be very soft, use a potato masher or a wooden spoon to mash them into a creamy texture. You can add more water or simmer for longer depending on the consistency you like. We like ours like a thick soup. 

For the tadka, heat the coconut oil in a small non stick or small heavy bottomed pan. Then add the mustard seeds and cook for around 20-40 seconds until they are all popping. Then add the remaining half of sliced onion, the curry leaves and the chilli if using. Stir fry on a medium to high heat for 5 or so minutes until the onions just start to brown, then add the whole mixture into the lentil pan. Mix very well and then leave covered for at least 15 minutes for the flavours to infuse before eating. 

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Wishing everyone an incredible New Year!