Vegetarian & Vegan

Budhaditya Chattopadhyay’s Lentil Curry

Lentils (Red Split)
1 tomato
1 onion
2 green chili
Oil (preferably olive)
Spices (turmeric, coriander, red chili powder, garam masala)

Clean the lentils in water.
Cut the tomato in small pieces.
Cut the onion, garlic, green chili and ginger in small pieces.
Boil lentils in a container until they become puffy.

Put oil on the frying pan and fry onion, garlic, green chili and ginger finely.
Add turmeric, coriander, red chili powder, garam masala and fry.
Add cut tomato pieces and fry.
Add boiled lentils on top, and stir well.

Jill Tipping’s Baked polenta with leeks and blue cheese

Gluten free. Serves 4

500g leeks, trimmed and sliced
50g butter
1tbsp chopped rosemary
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
500g pack ready-to-use polenta
150g Blacksticks blue cheese (or Stilton)

1 Gently fry the leeks in the butter until soft (about 15-20 minutes) adding the rosemary for the last 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the walnuts and season with black pepper.

2 Slice the polenta and cheese into about 14 slices (the cheese will fall apart but you just need some rough slices rather than lumps).

3 Grease an ovenproof dish (mine is about 20cm square. Reserve a few crumbs of the cheese for the top. Starting at one side of the dish with a little of the leek mixture, layer a couple of slices of polenta then leeks, cheese, polenta, leeks, cheese etc across the dish, overlapping like roof tiles. Pour any remaining butter from the leek pan over the top and dot with reserved bits of cheese.

4 Cook in a pre-heated oven 190C/375F/Mark 5 for 20-25 mins until golden and bubbling. You can brown the top more under a hot grill if you like.

5 Leave to cool slightly before serving with plain salad leaves and a wedge of lemon.

Sabrina Joy’s Eggplant Parmesan


Pasta sauce:
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 cups breadcrumbs (made from dry crusty bread)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Butter, for greasing the dish
6 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons water
2 to 3 medium eggplants (about 2 1/4-pounds), cut into 1/2-inch-thick round slices (need about 18 slices)
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Vegetable oil, for frying
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
4 oz. shredded romano cheese
4 oz. shredded asiago cheese
4 oz. shredded provolone cheese


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 15 by 10 by 2-inch baking dish.

For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and cook on high heat, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes.
Place the bread crumbs into a large shallow bowl. Combine and add the herbs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. In another medium shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and 2 tablespoons of water together.

Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the bread crumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Heat 1/2-inch of oil in a large saute pan over medium heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 385 degrees F. Working in small batches, fry a few of the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with some of the tomato sauce and arrange 1/2 of the eggplant over the sauce. Cover the eggplant with some of the sauce and cheeses (cheeses combined). Repeat to make 3 layers ending with the sauce. Top with the mozzarella and bake until hot and just beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Mandy H’s Liquid Nails

I tin artichokes
Cup of mayonnaise
Cup of cheddar cheese
2 cloves garlic
2-3 Halapeno peppers

Liquidate (sic) and either put in separate ramekins or in a large dish, sprinkle with parmesan and bake.

Serve with tortilla chips or crudites.


Achim Mohné’s Riesling with Asparagus and Potatoes

500 gram per person white asparagus, approx thickness the diameter of a one euro coin…
Peel thoroughly and cut off one centimeter of the stalk

Boil gently for about 20 minutes in slightly salted water with two teaspoons of sugar and a knob of butter

Parboil unpeeled new potatoes

Serve in a dish, plate up and garnish with melted butter (50-100 gram)
Drink with Riesling from the Nahe Valley, south of Köln, Germany

Click here to enjoy his dessert recipe, Fresh Strawberries and Riesling

Zahra Mani

4 – 7 organic eggs depending on size and hunger
A small onion, very finely chopped
A few tomatoes, de-seeded and finely chopped
A fresh green chilli, finely chopped
Whisk the eggs (properly, so that they turn a bit fluffy and
are well-mixed) adding salt, freshly ground pepper and about
half a teaspoon of red chilli powder.
Mix in the vegetables and pour into a hot, flat pan in which
you’ve melted a bubbling, browning but not too dark butter.
Let the mixture spread evenly across the pan, and rather than
flipping the whole thing, fold one half over to cover the other
as soon as this is possible.
It should be soft and creamy inside. Serve with bread and butter, or make
parathas*. Perfect at any time of day or night.
* Flat breads made of whole-wheat flour, salt and water, fried in

Marjolein Kuijsten’s A Very East Dish

ingredients for 3 people:

– 1 and a half aubergine (size ± 15 centimetres)
– one big onion, ± 5 gloves of garlic
– about 5 peeled tomatoes (drop in boiled water for a minute) and cut in
small chunks (or use a tin already chopped tomatoes)
– 200 gram of boiled chickpeas
– a good pinch of herbs (bayleaf, provencales or a mix of thyme, oregano etc)
– some chili powder and/or a teaspoon sambal (or any other hot stuff)
– salt and black pepper
– some parsley

Dice the aubergine, rub salt though them and put in a colander for about 30 minutes.

Slice and fry the onion slowly till slightly brown, put aside.

Fry the aubergine for a while, add the onions and chopped garlic. Add the tomatoes, herbs, pepper and hot spice.

Drain the chickpeas and add them. Add some water if it gets too dry. It should be not soupy, but not dry either.

Taste for salt. Let it simmer for a while so the flavours can mix. Just before serving add a good handful chopped parsley

Nice with dark bread and a green salad and a sprig of mint

Charles Powne’s Arati’s Spicy Coleslaw

1/2 head green cabbage
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 C yogurt (plain, whole milk)
generous handful of cilantro leaves, stems removed
1 Tbsp black mustard seed
1 serrano chili, diced
2 Tbsp cooking oil

Finely chop the cabbage. Add lemon juice, yogurt and cilantro leaves. Stir well, then set aside. Heat oil in frying pan until hot, nearly smoking. Add diced chili and mustard seeds, stirring until mustard seeds begin to pop. Pour oil/seeds/chilis onto coleslaw. Stir again.

Let rest in fridge for an hour before serving.

Alice Kim’s Yachaejeon or Vegetable Pancake

Here is the recipe for yachaejeon or vegetable pancake. (We also call this pajeon. Pa means green onions, and yachae means vegetables. Jeon means fried pancake.) This is an all-time favorite dish for Koreans. It often appears on our table, and a lot of Koreans crave this on a rainy day. It goes well with rice, or by itself as well. You’ll notice how you can experiment with what goes into the batter, like adding onions to it.

1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup green onions chopped in a roughly two-inch length
3 cups Asian chives chopped (or if you don’t have this, just replace with more green onions)
1/2 cup zucchini shredded
2/3 cup shrimp and/or scallops (optional)
eggs (optional)
oil for cooking
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp rice vinegar

In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2/3 cup of water.
Add green onions, Asian chives and zucchini into the flour mixture.
Mix the batter well.
On a heated fry pan, drizzle about a tablespoon of oil and spread the batter, like when you are making pancake. Lower the heat to medium.
Place the seafood on top of the vegetables and press down with a spoon or spatula.
When the pancake is cooked about 70%, with the rim turning brown, beat one egg and spread it around the center of the pancake. Cook a couple of minutes over low heat.
Turn over the pancake with a spatula.
Add more oil as needed.
Serve it with a dipping sauce of soy sauce and vinegar combined.

You can get a video of making this dish here

Eddie Nuttall’s Risotto with Vegan Bacon

(Serves 2)
1 Onion (chopped)
1 Clove of Garlic (chopped)
1 Vegetable Stock Cube
250g Arborio Rice
Half a lemon
1 Bottle of Riesling (or other white wine if preferred)
4 slices of Vegan Bacon (cut into small squares)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Soya Margarine

1. Firstly, add the stock cube to water in a medium saucepan and simmer until dissolved. Reduce to a low heat so the liquid stays warm.
2. Melt a generous slab of soya margarine with some olive oil in a large, heavy pan on a medium heat.
3. Add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is slightly opaque.
4. Next add the vegan bacon and arborio rice and stir vigorously until everything is coated with the melted soya margarine.
5. Throw in a glass or so of the white wine, and stir until the liquid is absorbed. At some point during this, add the juice of the lemon also.
6. Next add a ladle of stock to the rice, and stir until absorbed. Repeat this one ladle at a time until the rice is al dente. During this you must stir the rice constantly to avoid it burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan. This can be quite hard work, so I recommend this to be a good time to dig out a favourite album to help you through it. Remember you still have a bottle of wine (minus one glass) for medicinal purposes at your disposal also. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, just use hot water.
7. When ready, serve immediately with piles of fresh rocket and excessive amounts of ground black pepper, and enjoy with the remainder of the wine. Do not leave to sit in the pan, it goes glutinous and rubbish really quickly.
8. If you cannot find vegan bacon at your local health food store, try experimenting with other ingredients. I have had great results from sun-dried tomatoes, fennel, asparagus, beetroot (which dyes the rice to an attractive pink), and slightly surreal-looking wild mushrooms respectively.

Angeline Evans’s Macaroni and Cheese with Portabella Mushrooms (or The Art of Perfecting the Béchamel Sauce)

16 oz. elbows pasta (whole grain, basic, gluten-free, whatever you like). Cook pasta per packet instructions, drain and place in greased baking dish.
16 oz. grated cheese, any kind, but at least 3 types (preferably 5) to make it interesting, e.g. extra sharp cheddar, colby jack, mozzarella, etc… Whatever you do, DO NOT USE VELVEETA! I buy the cheese in bricks and grate it myself.

A few good-sized portabella mushrooms. Chop into pieces. Brown mushrooms in a separate pan with BUTTER for a few minutes till mushrooms impart smoky fragrance, but before they turn to mush. Add cooked mushrooms to the baking dish with elbows pasta.

Pre-heat oven to 400˚F in bake mode.

To make the cheese sauce or béchamel, you’ll need:
8 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
4 to 5 cups of milk (warm in microwave for a few minutes)
salt and pepper
parsley (handful, chopped)

Melt butter over low heat in saucepan. When butter is melted, add the flour. Stir and blend flour/butter mixture over low heat for at least 5 minutes till lumps are gone, and mixture has a slight hint of nut brown color. It is important to thoroughly cook the flour, but not burn the whole thing. Once mixture is well blended, GRADUALLY add the warmed milk a little bit at a time. Keep stirring over low heat. Get rid of lumps before adding more warmed milk. This is essentially your classic white sauce (béchamel) base.

Once all the milk is added and mixed, add grated cheese. Stir till cheese is all melted. Season with salt and pepper. Add parsley. Now you have your doctored-up cheese sauce.
Pour cheese sauce over cooked pasta and mushrooms. Sprinkle in a tiny bit of paprika if you like. Bake in oven uncovered for approximately 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven before cheese gets burned.

Fiona Talkington’s Clare’s Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Butternut squash is the food of the gods to me and this easy and delicious dish was first made for me by a lovely friend, hence the title.

Chop a buttnernut squash (peeled, de-seeded, all the usual things) into chunks. Drizzle with olive oil and roast along with chopped garlic, a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and black pepper.

Meanwhile for the dressing whisk together 4 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp clear honey, 1 tbsp soy sauce and crushed garlic.

In your favourite large bowl put wild rocket. Arrange the roasted squash over the top, add chopped or crumbled goats cheese and chopped walnuts. I added some chopped dried apricots too which give it another texture.

Perfect for a winter lunch, a summer supper with a glass or two of chilled white wine or elderflower and try prosecco jelly for dessert.

If you want a non veggie option, some crisp fried parma ham nestling amongst the rocket is very tasty!

Daniela Cascella’s Grandmother’s pasta (nonna Maria)

For two people:

150 grams fusilli pasta
1 big onion (or 2 small)
400 grams ripe plum tomatoes (or, a can of chopped tomatoes)
100 grams black olives
a spoonful of raisins
½ spoonful of capers
a spoonful of pine nuts
two spoonfuls extra virgin olive oil

Chop the onion finely, put in a pan with the olive oil and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Add the raisins, capers, olives and pine nuts and let it cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, put the lid on the pan and keep on a low flame for 15 minutes.
Cook the pasta separately and then mix the sauce.

Best served with Italian red wine! Philologically, I would recommend a bottle of Taurasi or Rubrato, which are from the same region this recipe comes from. Away from the region, Valpolicella Ripasso or Montefalco would do, too.

Anthony Flanagan’s Cheese, Onion, Tomato, Salt

One block of cheese (your choice!)
One onion
One beef tomato

Wash the ingredients thoroughly. Cut the tomato in half and sprinkle with salt.
Take a bite of cheese.
Chew and devour.
Then take a bite of the onion.
When finished eating that, take a bite of tomato.
Continue the whole thing in any order in your own time.

The best food is simple food!

Parker’s Onion Soup

30g or 1oz of butter
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
675g or 1½ lbs of onions, halved, and thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic crushed
½ teaspoon of caster sugar
1 litre or 1¾ pints of vegetable stock (I always use marigold stock powder)
2 teaspoons of yeast extract or marmite
290ml or ½ pint of dry white wine

Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy saucepan. Add the onions, garlic and sugar and cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes, or even longer, stirring from time to time until the onions are soft and richly caramelized.

Add the stock, yeast extract and wine and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and leave to simmer for a further 30 minutes.

The onions never go totally brown, but you want them really really soft and gooey and sticky. The tiny amount of sugar helps them go a bit darker.

The yeast extract makes the soup go much more brown, after cooking for 30 minutes. But never dark brown.

Vicki Bennett’s Burritos (stuffed with refried beans, jalapeno sauce, sour cream and spicy mexican rice, with a sideplate of lettuce)

Burritos stuffed with refried beans, jalapeno sauce, sour cream and spicy mexican rice, with a sideplate of lettuce