This is my version of the loaded fries I ate at Vegan Heroes, a vegan fast food restaurant that I sincerely hope will survive the Corona crisis. Treat this recipe as a blueprint and add or leave out whatever you like.
Serves 2 (double, triple, etc, as needed)
For the sauce: 115 g plant yoghurt 2 tbsp/30 g heaped tbsp vegan mayonaise 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/4 onion powder sriracha, to taste pinch of salt
Fries 1 x 750 g bag of (oven) chips
Toppings, in the order I put them on the chips:
– 260 g (1 1/2 pack) of vegan gyros/shawarma – sauce (hold some back to dollop over the top) – 100 g sliced iceberg lettuce – 1/2 red onion, finely chopped – 1/4 a red cabbage, thinly sliced – 4/5 tbsp of (homemade) vegan kimchi, chopped – 3 spring onions, sliced – 2 tbsp of shop-bought fried onions – sliced jalapeños, to taste – 1 tbsp sesame seeds
– Put the cooked fries on a large plate (or divide between two plates for indivual portions). – Layer on the toppings. – Eat.
Why eat an actual chicken? This easy-to-make seitan has bite and flavour. Slice thickly and braise in some stock or gravy and eat as ‘medallions’, slice thinly and stuff in a sandwich, or cube and use in a stir-fry.
250 ml (1 cup) vegetable or vegan ‘chicken’ stock
70 g (1/2 cup) cooked cannellini beans (I use tinned beans and freeze the rest in 70 g portions)
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 heaped tsp miso
1/2 tsp fine salt
140 g gluten flour/vital wheat gluten
1 heaped tbsp of my Chickun Seasoning (no salt added to the seasoning) or ready-made chicken seasoning
12 g (1/4 cup) nutritional yeast
– Blend wet ingredients using a small processor or (stick) blender.
– Put dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or (if kneading by hand) a wide bowl.
– Pour dry ingredients into the bowl with wet ingredients and mix.
– Knead for 10 minutes in stand mixer (using the flat paddle attachment) or by hand.
– Divide into 2 portions (about 200 g each) and shape them into logs.
– Wrap in aluminium foil, turning the ends like a toffee wrapper.
– Steam the seitan. I do this in the Instant Pot. Pour 250 mls/1 cup of water in the Instant Pot and put the wrapped seitan on the trivet. Steam for 40 minutes on high pressure and release pressure manually. You can also just steam it for 40 minutes in a large pot, using a steamer basket.
– Eat straight away or cool and store until you are ready to eat. Slice thickly and braise in some stock or gravy and eat as ‘medallions’, slice thinly and stuff in a sandwich, or cube and use in a stir-fry.
Bring this pasta salad to the family barbecue, and if it’s all you can eat there, you’re still not missing out. With lots of thanks to my friend Jean for giving me the recipe, which I’ve only slightly adapted.
For the salad 500 g whole-wheat pasta, cooked till al dente, rinsed with cold water until stone cold 3 peppers, finely diced 2 bunches of spring onions, sliced finely 15 g fresh basil, chopped or torn 130 g semi-dried tomatoes, chopped 2 sticks of celery, sliced finely 100 g sliced green olives 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved 1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained 1 small bag of pine nuts, toasted
For the dressing 1/3 cup/80 ml extra virgin olive oil 2 largish cloves of garlic, minced 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp salt 1 tbsp dried oregano.
– Mix all the salad ingredients (except the pine nuts, if you’re making it for later) in a large bowl. – Mix all the ingredients for the dressing, pour over the salad and mix well. Chill in the fridge. – Add pine nuts when you are ready to eat.
– Any vegan toppings you like. I, perhaps controversially, like a ‘naked’ pizza but there are some good mozzarella-style vegan cheeses. If you leave the cheese off, drizzle some olive oil over your pizza before you put it in the oven.
– Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius fan (preferred if you’re baking two large pizzas at the same time) or 220 Celsius regular oven.
– Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment.
– Roll out the dough, spread the tomato sauce on it and scatter over your toppings.
– Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
You need a pizza dough recipe in your repertoire. This dough is healthy(ish), versatile and easy to make.
175 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
175 g wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fast-action yeast
250 ml tepid water
1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp for greasing bowl
I use a standing mixer to knead this dough, so I will first give instructions for that. Instructions for mixing and kneading by hand follow below.
– Put the two types of flour in the bowl of your standing mixer and, using the flat paddle attachment, mix them well.
– Add yeast and salt and mix again.
– Keep the machine running and, still using the flat paddle attachment, add the oil and then the water, pouring it in slowly. I find a wettish dough that you can *just* handle gives the best result, but you may not want to add all of the water. Go by eye and remember that you can always add more water later.
– Stop the mixer when your dough is a shaggy mess and attach the dough hook to the machine. Let the machine knead the dough for about 8 minutes, or until elastic and smooth.
– Instructions for kneading by hand: mix flours, yeast and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour oil and water in the well and, using your hand or a wooden/silicone spoon, gradually work in the flour, taking it from the sides of the well until you have a shaggy dough. Transfer dough to work surface (I use a silicone baking mat) dusted with flour and knead the dough until elastic and smooth (about 10 minutes).
– Lightly dust your work surface (I use a silicone baking mat) with flour. On this surface, divide the dough into 2 balls, or more smaller ones, depending on how many (mini) pizzas you want to make.
– Pour the remaining tbsp of oil into a bowl and roll the dough balls in the oil so they are covered with a thin layer of oil on all sides.
– Cover the bowl with cling film or a wet towel (I use a plastic, reusable shower cap) and let stand for 45 minute to 1 hour.
Seitan is great, but the stuff you can buy ready-made looks like chunks of E.T. floating in formaldehyde. So make these balls instead.
75 g cannelini beans from a tin
250 ml vegan vegetable stock
2 tbsp soy sauce
155 g gluten flour/vital wheat gluten
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 heaped tbsp spice mix of your choice (I’ve used picadillo spices, merguez spices, and curry powder but the sky is the limit, really).
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
– Blend all the wet ingredients using a (stick) blender or small processor.
– Mix all the dry ingredients in a largish bowl.
– Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix, but only until all the white flecks of gluten flour have disappeared. DO NOT OVERMIX OR KNEAD. Sorry about the caps but this is crucial.
– Divide the seitan mixture into 6 balls (about 83 grams each) and wrap each ball in aluminum foil.
– Steam the balls for 40 minutes. I do this in the Instant Pot. Pour 250 mls/1 cup of water in the Instant Pot and put the wrapped seitan balls on the trivet. Steam for 40 minutes on high pressure and release pressure manually.
– Eat straight away or cool and store until you are ready to eat. I usually braise/heat these up in gravy.
This method will take the blandness off your tofu, yet make it just neutral enough to use in pretty much every dish you want to add tofu to.
It also gives tofu a great, chewy texture.
450 g of firm/extra firm tofu (I use Singh Tahoe brand), sliced into three slabs lengthwise
1/1.5 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese rice wine
1 tbsp sriracha sauce
– Press the slabs of tofu by placing them between sheets of kitchen towel and putting weight on them. I use two chopping boards and a heavy, cast-iron pan to weigh it all down. Let stand for an hour.
– Dice the tofu. I cut every slab into three slices, then chop those into six pieces. Anyway, just think bite size.
– Mix the wet ingredients in a shallow container with a lid. Add the tofu and mix again. The sauce needs to *just* cover the tofu. Put on the lid.
– Let stand for at least an hour, carefully shaking the container or turning it over to coat the tofu once or twice. Marinating the tofu longer won’t hurt (at all). The tofu will absorb all the moisture.
– Preheat the oven to 200 C, line a baking tray with baking parchment.
– Bake the tofu for 30/40 minutes, turning it every 10 minutes or so (no need to be overly precise, just give the cubes a quick flip with a flat spatula).
– Bake until it looks firm and slightly charred.
– Take the tray out of the oven and let the tofu cool. It will firm up even more as it cools.
– Either use it in a dish straight away or store it in the fridge or freezer to use later.