Tuesday 21 January 2020

Delicious recipes for Veganuary

A new book by plant-based chef Bettina Campolucci Bordi has lots of tasty but simple recipes which show that, with a little bit of planning, anyone can go vegan for seven days... and beyond

Best vegan burger
Best vegan burger
Red Lentil Dhal & Tandoori Chickpeas
Faux tuna melt toasties
7 Day Vegan Challenge

Bettina Campolucci Bordi is constantly on the hunt for solutions to disprove the belief that eating plants is boring, expensive and time-consuming and has set out to encourage people to add as many plants as possible to their diet in an easy and delicious way.

In her second book, 7 Day Vegan Challenge, the chef and author is very practical and shows how, with a little bit of planning, you can go vegan for a week.

"Sourcing local, seasonal produce and cooking from scratch is my magic recipe that will make your transition into including more veggies into your diet so much simpler," says Bettina. "Try and source local and seasonal ingredients where possible, find a farmer's market or sign up to a veggie box. Having a well-stocked pantry with a variety of grains, pulses, chopped tomatoes and a variety of good spices to always transform any dish quickly and easily is also key.

"The majority of my recipes are designed for two-person households but can easily be multiplied, to avoid food wastage and to save you time and money. Therefore, I always suggest buying and cooking with medium-sized veggies - which is just a little trick I always use when I'm out shopping.

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"If you are also purchasing organic vegetables, you can leave the peel on. Peelings are not only packed full of beneficial nutrients and fibre but also help to save you time and effort when prepping. The peels I tend to leave on include organic parsnips, carrots, potatoes and ginger. Citrus fruit peelings also work very well but have to be unwaxed."

Bettina says that while she will always encourage people to eat more veggies and incorporate plant-based meals into their week, she likes to have a flexible approach so that nobody feels discouraged for not following the rules 100pc of the time. As long as you're making a conscious effort and being mindful of where your food comes from, that's all that matters.

"If we look at our consumption as a whole and are able to peel off a few layers, then I think we have hope on having a better future which is why my book is all about taking it seven days at a time, rather than having to commit for life," she says.

The Best Burger You  Will Ever Eat

Don't be afraid of the ingredients list on this recipe - I know it seems long, but these are well worth making and cook beautifully on the grill so are perfect to take along to barbecues. This is the burger (with improvements) from my first book, Happy Food. They freeze really well, and last a good 4-5 days in the fridge and can be made fresh.

Makes 4-6 patties


Half a leek, green and all, chopped

5 mushrooms, chopped

30g thyme leaves

140g GMO-free firm tofu, chopped

1 handful of kale

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp tamari

240g drained tinned black beans

3 tbsp oat bran

2 tbsp precooked brown rice

2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts (filberts) or walnuts

40g chickpea (gram) flour (optional)

Olive oil, for frying

Sliced tomatoes, red onion & lettuce, to serve

Burger buns, to serve

For the dressing

4 tbsp vegan mayo

1 tsp tomato ketchup

1 tbsp chopped cornichons

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 pinch of cayenne


1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the leek, mushrooms, thyme, chopped tofu and kale for about 5 minutes. Then add the mustard, tamari, and half of the drained black beans and give it a good stir.

2. Transfer the mixture to a blender and pulse a few times but make sure the mixture is still chunky.

3. Take the contents of the blender and scoop into a bowl and add the rest of the black beans, the oat bran, rice and chopped nuts and give it a good mix.

4. Shape the burger mixture into patties and let them rest in the fridge if you are grilling (broiling) them. If you are pan frying them, you can fry them off straight away. I like dipping them into chickpea flour before but it's just an option.

5. For the burger dressing, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

6. Fry the patties for 4-5 minutes on each side until lovely and crisp. Choose your burger toppings, add a pattie and some sliced tomatoes, red onion and lettuce to your burger bread and a generous dollop of burger dressing and enjoy!


Red Lentil Dhal & Tandoori Chickpeas

Red Lentil Dhal & Tandoori Chickpeas

Serves 2

Comforting and hearty with added crunch, this is perfect for large batch cooking and to take away for lunch on a drizzly day. One of my favourites. Strictly speaking, this requires a baking sheet as well as a frying pan, but roasting chickpeas is so simple, and makes a huge difference to the flavour and texture.

Olive oil, for cooking

1 leek, green and all, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 Medjool dates, torn into pieces

1 tbsp turmeric

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

100g red lentils

250ml boiling water

400ml coconut milk

1 large handful of fresh spinach

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Vegan yoghurt, to serve

Sourdough bread, toasted, to serve

For the crispy chickpeas:

240g drained tinned chickpeas

1 tbsp tandoori spice mix

1 tbsp olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

2. To cook the crispy chickpeas, put the drained chickpeas in a bowl with the spice mix and olive oil and mix so they are well coated. Scatter them on the prepared sheet and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden and crunchy. 3. Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the leek, garlic, dates and spices for a good 5-10 minutes until soft.

4. Add the lentils and boiling water and simmer for about 15 minutes until the water has been absorbed. Add the coconut milk and season with salt and pepper to taste, then simmer for another 10 minutes until the lentils have a lovely creamy texture.

5. Once it's ready, ladle in a handful of spinach and top off with crispy chickpeas, a dollop of plant yoghurt and toasted sourdough for scooping.


Faux tuna melt toastie

Faux tuna melt toasties

Makes 4 toasties


240g drained tinned artichokes, chopped

4 cornichons, chopped

1 carrot, grated

4 tbsp vegan mayo

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Juice of ½ lemon

1 tbsp chopped dill

4 slices of sourdough or good quality gluten-free bread

Olive oil, for brushing

2 pieces of melty vegan cheese (optional)

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper


1. Start off by putting the artichokes, cornichons, carrot, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and dill in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and give it a good mix.

2. Brush both sides of the bread with oil, then spread two slices with the mix, put a slice of plant cheese on top and seal the sandwich with the other slices of bread. 3. Get a frying pan nice and hot with a splash of olive oil. Put your sandwiches in the pan and fry for about 5 minutes until a nice crispy brown on the base before flipping and browning the other side. 4. Place on a cutting board and slice in the middle. Eat immediately but carefully so you don't burn your mouth.

Irish Independent

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