vegan meal 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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Potatoes with Curry Leaves and Turmeric

Sometimes life and rainy days call for a delicious plate of crispy potatoes. Us being us, we wanted to put our own twist on the classic roast potato and give them a little indian and somewhat healthier twist! If potatoes could be life changing, then these guys definitely would be. But either way, this is such a good side dish to have with curry or dal,  especially our mung bean dal which you can find the recipe for here

Turmeric and curry leaf potatoes
Turmeric and curry leaf potatoes

We've talked about our love for fresh curry leaves on the blog before, and these really transform the potatoes in this dish. They add such an aromatic flavour and become amazingly crispy in the oven. There's so many healthy benefits to these incredible leaves too, including benefiting the liver, helping with digestion issues and being full of antioxidants too. As we've mentioned before, you can find these in many indian and asian supermarkets. 

We also added the ever popular turmeric to the mix to add flavour, colour and healing properties. Turmeric is one of our favourite spices and is amazing for fighting inflammation and preventing illness. I like to think of it as the sunshine spice - it brings such a beautiful colour to our food!

Over to the potatoes.....

Ingredients (serves 6 as a side dish)
1kg of potatoes
Roughly 50 fresh curry leaves (a small handful)
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder or 1 tablespoon of grated fresh turmeric root
a generous pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil  (or other oil of choice)

Method
1.Parboil the potatoes for approx 8-10 minutes in boiling water. Allow to cool before cutting. 
2. Once cool, cut into 1/2 inch slices and combine in a large baking tray with all the other ingredients. Make sure the oil and turmeric is well spread between the potatoes. 
3. Bake on gas mark 6 for around 1 hour or until the potatoes are golden and crispy. 
4. Allow to cool before eating and enjoy! Don't forget to eat the crispy curry leaves... these are our favourite bit of all! 

 

What's your favourite way to use turmeric?
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Miso Soup with Vegetable Noodles

As we've been faced with frosty mornings and busy work/study schedules, this warming miso soup has been a saviour in recent weeks. There's something so satisfying about soup during this time of year, but the options can often feel a little predictable... tomato, carrot, mushroom...you know the drill. So with something more 'exotic' in mind, we whipped up this delicious soup with toasted sesame seeds, vegetable noodles, herbs & tamari. This really is such a simple, quick soup to prepare, but it packs a whole load of flavour and texture too. Basically, it's the best of both worlds!

miso soup with vegetable noodles

We've opted for vegetable noodles in our soup, made with a julienne peeler and whatever we have in the fridge! This works great with carrot, courgette (zuchinni) & butternut squash. If your'e in the mood for something a bit heartier though, the soup is great with some noodles thrown in at the end too. Our personal favourite are buckwheat noodles by King Soba. 

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
2 tablespoon of organic red miso paste
1 tablespoon of tamari
1 litre of water
a handful of fresh coriander
1 small onion, finely sliced
1/2  head of broccoli, chopped up
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon of good quality salt
(optional: buckwheat noodles, fresh green chilli)
1 inch of fresh ginger, finely sliced
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
for the vegetable noodles:
1 courgette (zuchinni) 
1/2 a butternut squash
2 carrots

Method
1. In a small frying pan, toast your sesame seeds until fragrant and golden. Set aside. 
2. Prepare your vegetable noodles for the dish - you can use a julienne peeler, spiraliser or a normal vegetable peeler for this. 
3. In a large saucepan, heat some coconut oil and add your onions. Fry for 4-5 minutes until golden. 
4.Add in the water, salt, half of the ginger and the broccoli. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes,until the broccoli is nearly cooked. If you're using buckwheat noodles, add them now. 
5.Add in your vegetable noodles and simmer for another 4-5 minutes, with the lid on the pan. 
6. Turn off the heat, before adding your miso paste, coconut milk, tamari, coriander & the rest of the ginger. Stir thoroughly to make sure the miso paste has dissolved.
7. Your soup is ready! Serve and top with the sesame seeds and extra coriander. 
 

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What are your go-to meals for winter? 

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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