It’s now day five of vegan week and, as expected, it’s been tough. I’ve really enjoyed the cooking, but lunches have been more tricky, and I’m looking forward to my celebratory fry-up on Saturday morning!

For the benefit of Ella, and anyone else who’s interested in what I’ve been eating, here are three of my favourite vegan recipes from this week. I’ll definitely be cooking them again.

Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry

Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry

Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry

This is one of Jamie Oliver’s – really tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 3 tbsp rogan josh paste
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped 
  • 3cm piece of ginger, grated
  • A bunch of coriander, stalks chopped, leaves picked 
  • 3 sweet potatoes, cut into in 2cm chunks
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained 
  • 8 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped or 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes (I used both)
  • 1 x 400ml tin light coconut milk
  • 400g spinach, washed
  • Poppadoms and rice, to serve

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and curry paste, mix well, then cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and golden.

2. Add the chilli, ginger, coriander stalks, sweet potato, red pepper and chickpeas. Cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes and 200ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook for 10–15 minutes.

4. Remove the lid, then cook for a further 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is cooked through and the sauce thickened.

5. Stir in the coconut milk and cook for a couple of minutes, then stir in the spinach and cook until wilted.

6. Scatter over the coriander leaves, then serve with poppadums and rice.

(Jamie says it serves six, but we got about eight portions out of it. I can only assume Jamie used tiny sweet potatoes – I could barely fit all three in the pan with everything else.)

* * *

Baked spinach falafel

Baked spinach falafel

Baked spinach falafel

One of the tastiest things I cooked all week – adapted from Vegan Yack Attack.

Ingredients:

  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas
  • 100g spinach
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Paprika (the recipe says 1/4 tsp – I used a lot more and it was delicious!)
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 100g oats

1. Place all ingredients except the oats in a food processor and blend until it is in between a chunky consistency and a paste (much like very coarse sand). Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Fold the oats into the mixture until it is evenly combined.

3. Make 2-3 tsp-sized spheres on a greased baking tray. Pat them down so they’re about 1″ thick, to make sure they bake evenly.

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then turn over and bake for a further 10-15 minutes, until top and bottom are brown.

* * *

Curried lentil and spinach bake

Curried lentil and spinach bake - my iPhone has not done justice to how tasty this was!

Curried lentil and spinach bake – my iPhone has not done justice to how tasty this was!

This is my friend Polly‘s recipe, adapted slightly to suit what I had in the cupboard.

  • 125g dry red lentils
  • 1 can of green lentils
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • Sunflower spread, to taste
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes (Polly also adds 1/3 a jar of tomato salsa)
  • 300g spinach
  • Curry powder
  • Chilli flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Mixed herbs

1. Rinse and cook the red lentils. Preheat the oven on to 190 degrees C.

2. Drain the green lentils and rinse them, and add to the red lentils.

3. Add the spinach, tomatoes, and more curry powder than you think you need (to taste). Add a good shake of chilli flakes.

4. Boil potatoes and mash with sunflower spread. Add loads of black pepper, herbs, and a small shake of curry powder.

5. Put the lentil mix in a baking tray. Top with the mashed potato. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

(Serves two.)

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