Vegan Dinner Date

Vegan Dinner Date

Times are changing; it’s the 21st century and you may be shocked to know that many of us girls here at Her Campus have never eaten an entire vegan meal, never mind cooked a three-course veggie dinner to perfection. Whether you’re trying to impress a vegetarian/lactose intolerant potential suitor, or you fancy a super healthy girls’ night, this selection of recipes will really impress your harshest critic. With mighty portion sizes (go on) packed full of homemade feel good flavour, your friends will be begging to know all your culinary secrets....

All of the recipes below are 100% cruelty free, suitable for those who are lactose intolerant, and the starter and main course are Gluten-free (coeliac friendly).

Starter:

Granny Nancy’s Homemade lentil soup.

A classic. Us Scottish girls have been stealing our Granny’s soup recipes for generations, and they never fail to impress. Serve with warm crusty bread for the perfect winters warmer. Or Summer warmer if the weather calls for it.

 

Ingredients:

3 Vegetable stock cubes (check for Gluten, and to be super healthy- low salt)

1½ mugs of Red Lentils

1 onion

3 carrots

3 potatoes

1 leek

1 turnip.

 

Method:

1. Place the stock cubes into a large soup pot and add the lentils. Bring a kettle of water to the boil (1½ litres) add the water to the pot and stir. Lower the heat to medium when the mixture starts to boil.

2. Prepare your vegetables while stirring the soup occasionally. Chop them into medium sized chunks and a top tip is to microwave your turnip for a few minutes before attempting to cut- we are not all built like bodybuilders.

3. Add the onion when the lentils are soft and yellow and turn the heat to low. Cook for about ten minutes.

4. Add the rest of the vegetables, and ensure they cook for around 20-25 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally and ensure all vegetables are soft before removing from the heat.

5. Choose to blend the mixture or leave unblended for a chunky homemade soup

Main Course- (taken from the Easy Vegan cookbook)

Aubergine, Tomato and Red Lentil Curry:

(mmmm, more lentils <3)

 

Ingredients:

1 large aubergine

1 red onion

2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

250g cherry tomatoes on the vine

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon chilli powder

1 tablespoon tomato puree

¾ cup red lentils

a handful of fresh coriander

basmati rice to serve

(serves 4)

 

Method:

1. Heat some oil in a frying pan and when the oil is smoking and hot add the aubergine to the pan and fry for 5 minutes, turning the pieces every so often. Remove the aubergine from the pan once the oil has been absorbed and released back into the pan and not before.

2. Add a little more oil and the onions, garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, cook for 1 minute and then remove them from the pan.

3. Add the curry, cumin, chilli powder, tomato puree, 500ml of water and the lentils and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Cook until the lentils are tender but retain some bite.

4.  Stir in the aubergine and tomatoes and heat through for one minute. Stir in the coriander and serve over warm basmati rice.

Dessert:

Banana Nut Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting:

(from the Independent article on the Great British Bake Off- Vegan recipes)

These are delicious on their own or with a little glass of wine at the end of a nice meal. Some people won’t even guess that they are vegan, and you could even substitute the flour with a gluten-free alternative

 

Ingredients:

3 over ripe bananas

55g vegan butter

200g brown sugar

250g plain flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp salt

100g walnuts or almonds

 

For the frosting you will need:

115g vegan butter

170g icing sugar

60g cocoa powder

1tsp vanilla extract

Dried banana pieces, walnuts or almonds for decoration

14 cupcake cases

(Makes 14 cakes)

 

 

Method:

1. Pre heat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4

2. In a mixing bowl cream together the mashed bananas, vegan butter and sugar with an electric whisk or mixer.

3. In a separate bowl, sieve the flour and bicarb together and add the salt. Put the nuts into a food processor until finely chopped and add to the flour mixture. Stir together.

4.  Next, add the dry ingredients mixture slowly to the banana mixture and continue to mix or blend until combined.

5.  Place your cases into a deep muffin tray and fill each case 3/4 full of the batter. Bake on the middle shelf for 25 minutes.

6.  Once baked, take out of the oven and leave for 5 minutes in the muffin trays. Then transfer the cakes in their cases to a cooling rack until completely cool. Once cool, it's time to prepare the frosting.

7.  In a mixing bowl sieve together the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add the vegan butter and vanilla extract. Place a clean tea towel over the mixing bowl and then mix together with an electric hand whisk or mixer. This will stop the fine powder coating everything in your kitchen! Once the frosting is combined to a nice consistency spoon it into a piping bag with a star nozzle.

8.  Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes as a small star in the centre (healthier) or a large swirl all over the cake (yummier) and top with a dried banana piece or nut for decoration.