Veganuary: two recipes to help you get started

Sweet potato and coconut soup

Vegans, non-vegans, eat your heart out. This warming, rich soup is a certain crowd pleaser and my absolute go-to whenever I’m entertaining my plant-based friends and family. Inspired by ‘The Medicinal Chef’ Dale Pinnock, this soup is a great source of beta carotene, flavonoids, and ajoene; all of which function as anti-oxidants. Aside from the health benefits and utterly delicious taste, this soup is also simple to make and can be easily frozen – perfect for those bulk-cooking Sundays as part of a busy student life!

40 minutes, serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 500g sweet potatoes
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3cm ginger
  • 1 large red onion
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 red chilli
  • Coriander (optional)
  • Dried chilli flakes (optional)
  1. Dice the onion and finely chop the ginger, garlic, and chilli.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan. When hot, add the onion, ginger, garlic, and chilli and lightly fry. Place aside.
  3. Chop the sweet potatoes into small chunks and bring to the boil in the vegetable stock.
  4. Add the previously fried onion, ginger, garlic and chilli, the coconut milk, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan containing the sweet potatoes/vegetable stock.
  5. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
  6. Allow the pan to cool down for 15 minutes. Using a hand blender, (these can be purchased at local supermarkets for £5-£10), blend the contents into a decadent, luxurious soup.
  7. Serve scattered with coriander and dried chilli flakes (optional).

Chickpea, squash, and spinach curry

Growing up, I was such a fussy eater to the point that my mum had to repeat the same three meals over and over again for near on 14 years. When I was 18, I visited Malaysia and fell in love (and I mean ‘head-over-heels, I have to eat this food every day for the rest of my life’ kind of love) with the cuisine and culinary influences. One of my favourite dishes, when I was there, was a Malay butternut curry: it was rich and creamy with the perfect spicy kick. Here I’ve adapted BBC Good Foods’ chickpea and spinach curry to inject an essence of one of my favourite dishes.

55 minutes, serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 400g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1 jar of rending curry paste
  • 200g fresh baby-leaf spinach
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 red chilli (optional)
  • Basmati rice, to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Peel the butternut squash and cube into small (approximately 1cm by 1cm) chunks. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Mix the butternut and garlic with a tbsp of olive oil then place into the oven for 35 minutes to roast.
  3. Dice the onion (optional: and red chilli) and lightly fry in 1 tbsp olive oil for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the curry paste and cook for a further two minutes over low heat. Add the coconut milk to the pan and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the chickpeas. Cook for 5 minutes before taking off the heat. Add the spinach and allow the heat from the pan to wilt the leaves. Add the roasted butternut squash.
  6. Serve on a bed of rice.

 

Image Credit: fxxu via Pixabay

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