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Pearl Barley Vegetable Risotto

vegan vegetable risotto with bulgar wheat

Pearl Barley Roasted Vegetable Risotto

Using pearl barley as the base for a risotto instead of arborio makes a delicious alternative. This vegan friendly risotto is naturally gluten free with lots of flavour and brilliant eaten cold the next day. If there’s just two of you there’ll be loads for leftovers in the week. 

What’s in the recipe?

Pearl Barley- This is a grain that can be either cooked from raw or soaked overnight. If you know you’re cooking this in the evening, soak in the day, drain then add to the pot just as instructed. It will take less time to cook if it’s been soaked.

Vegetables- I’ve used courgette, tomatoes and peppers, sliced into small pieces as it works with the grains if they’re slightly smaller. If you roast the vegetables on a tray with the herbs and olive oil, it gives a delicious flavour instead of adding to the pot. If you’re unable to roast them, simply add the vegetables to the pot after frying the onion and garlic, sizzle for a few minutes then add the grains and white wine.

White Wine- I get asked if you can replace the wine, however having made risotto without it, can confirm it doesn’t create the same flavour. It’s really difficult to find a good substitute so find a nice white wine (vegan friendly if you’re vg) and enjoy. You don’t have to spend much on a bottle


Cooking Tips

Pear Barley- When cooking this grain, you can soak them for a few hours beforehand if you want to, however it isn’t essential to this recipe. If you do soak them, it will reduce the cooking time from about 40 minutes to 25 minutes.

White wine- I think the wine is a really essential ingredient for a good risotto, pour it into the pot before adding the stock, so it absorbs into the pearl barley. That way it’ll cook off the alcohol but retain the flavour.

Roasting the veg- I think adding the vegetables to the oven gives a delicious caramelised flavour. If you chop them up into fairly small pieces it also really helps it work with the grains without being too bit to take a big bite.

Slow and low- With a risotto the trick is to not rush but instead simmer and stir slowly. This will allow all the delicious flavours to marry each other and turn into a pot of comfort food.

Add my pepper and garlic oil to each bowl. Find the recipe just HERE. It’s a paste recipe, almost like harissa, so add a drizzle of the oil made from the paste to each bowl, it’s delicious!


pearl barley risotto vegan

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vegan vegetable risotto with bulgar wheat

Pearl Barley Vegetable Risotto

Using pearl barley instead of arborio to make this delicious vegetable risotto. It's vegan friendly and naturally gluten free with lots of flavour and brilliant eaten cold the next day. If there's just two of you there'll be loads for leftovers in the week.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 44 mins
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • For the roasting tray:
  • vine of tomatoes about 250g
  • 1 courgette diced
  • 1 pepper diced
  • Generous pinch of salt pepper, smoked paprika and thyme
  • For the pot:
  • 1 Knob of vegan butter 2 tbsp
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 large shallot or red onion
  • 250 g Pearl barley
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 1.2 l Boiling water + stock cub
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Generous serving of cracked black pepper to own preference
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley or dried

Instructions
 

  • Pop the oven on to 200°C and add all of the veg to a roasting tray, add the seasoning with a drizzle of olive oil and toss, then pop in the oven and leave for 30 mins
  • Place the large pot on a medium heat, add the vegan butter and the diced shallot and fry for 4 minutes before adding the finely chopped garlic cloves
  • After a few minutes add the Pearl barley and toast before pouring in the white wine and allow to simmer and soak
  • Once soaked up, add the dried thyme and vegetable stock a cup full at a time until each batch has been absorbed
  • Once you’ve added all of the stock, add the salt and pepper, pop a lid on top and leave to simmer on a medium heat for a further 15 minutes or so
  • After around 30 minutes once the veg has cooked, the risotto should be about fully absorbed, add the roasted veg to the pot, mashing in the delicious tomato juices
  • Once the Pearl barley has softened and cooked, serve up with fresh chopped parsley (or dried) another pinch of salt and pepper and enjoy!

Notes

•Flora vegan butter is great
•A good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to top each dish is also great!
•If you want an extra kick add my garlic and pepper paste oil to each dish also!

If you like this recipe why not try my Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto

asparagus and shiitake vegan risotto

 

pearl barley risotto lucy and lentils

Dinner Recipe

Garlic and Mushroom Tagliatelle

creamy vegan tagliatelle

Creamy Garlic and Mushroom Tagliatelle

This oyster mushroom and garlic tagliatelle is creamy, delicious and ready in 15 minutes. You can easily swap the mushrooms to the type you have at hand. It makes two huge portions with a little leftover for lunch.

What’s in the recipe?

Mushrooms- I’ve used a mix of oyster and shiitake mushrooms in this recipe, however you can use chestnut, portobello or cup. Any will work for this, it helps to have 2 or 3 different types to add different textures.

Tagliatelle- I’ve chosen tagliatelle as it works perfect at holding lots of that delicious creamy sauce, however any pasta will work with this recipe.

Garlic- I like using 5 cloves for this recipe as it really works with the cream, however if you’re not a huge fan of garlic use 3 cloves instead.


creamy mushroom vegan tagliatelle

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creamy vegan tagliatelle

Garlic and Mushroom Tagliatelle

Oyster and shiitake mushroom creamy tagliatelle recipe flavoured with lots of garlic, and all vegan friendly. This easy recipe takes 15 minutes to make with minimal preparation. You can easily swap the mushrooms to fit what you have available.
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g tagliatelle
  • 300 g wild mushrooms
  • 5 cloves garlic or 3 large cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 250 ml vegan single cream I use Oatly
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ladle pasta water 250ml
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil or oregano to top
  • Salt & Pepper for garnishing

Instructions
 

  • Get a pot of water on to boil, heavily salt then add the tagliatelle, and bubble for 10-12 minutes
  • Roughly chop the mushrooms and finely dice the garlic cloves. Add the garlic to a frying pan with the olive oil, fry for 1-2 minutes then add the mushrooms and tamari, continue to fry
  • Add in the dried herbs, after a few minutes when the mushrooms have browned off add the vegan single cream and drop the heat to low, to make sure the cream doesn't curdle
  • Heavily season the creamy mushrooms with salt and pepper and add a ladle full of the pasta water, mix
  • Drain the cooked tagliatelle and add to the creamy mushrooms and stir until coated, top with fresh oregano or basil, plate up and serve with a little more salt and pepper to top

Notes

Swap tagliatelle for any pasta of choice
Swap marjoram for dried sage
Swap 5 cloves of garlic for 1 tsp garlic powder
Swap fresh oregano for fresh basil

If you like this recipe why not try my Meatball Tagliatelle Recipe

creamy vegan meatball pasta

Dinner Lunch & Light Bites Recipe

Baked Cream Cheese & Tomato Gnocchi

cream cheese vegan gnocchi

Cream Cheese & Tomato Gnocchi – Slowly Baked

This delicious vegan baked cream cheese and roasted tomato gnocchi is full of flavour, comforting and a delicious plant based dinner option. It’s an easy recipe to pop in the oven and let it do its magic whilst you wind down for the evening. It’s a similar process to the viral Tiktok baked feta pasta recipe, this time swapping the feta for vegan cream cheese and swapping pasta for gnocchi.

What’s in the recipe?

Gnocchi- I use dried gnocchi as you quite often find fresh gnocchi has milk powder in it. However either will work!

Cream Cheese- I use a delicious vegan version from Nush. You can find lots of brands have this as a vegan option now, such as Oatly or supermarket brands. Plain or herbed will work for this recipe, whatever you have at hand.

Tomatoes- I’ve used baby tomatoes for this recipe however a range of tomatoes will work. I find the smaller cherry sized tomatoes work better for a recipe like this. Slowly roasted they transform into beautiful pockets of flavour and texture to mix into the cream cheese.

Garlic- You can use 5 cloves or if you’re doubling up the recipe, whack a whole bulb of garlic in to roast. It’s a key ingredient in this recipe.


cream cheese gnocchi vegan recipe


Cooking Tips:

Peel the garlic- Before adding to the roasting dish, peel the garlic so it roasts easily, making it easy to mash with the back of a fork into the cream cheese.

Mash together- Once the tomatoes, cream cheese and onion have baked, mash together with a potato masher or the back of your fork until deliciously creamy. If you want the onion to be pulsed in, add the entire thing to a food processor before adding the gnocchi.

Gnocchi water- Add a ladle full of the water used to boil the gnocchi to make the sauce delicious and smooth. I’d take a mug full so around 250ml.


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cream cheese vegan gnocchi

Baked Cream Cheese & Tomato Gnocchi

Vegan baked cream cheese and roasted tomato gnocchi pot. Just a few key ingredients to make this delicious plant based recipe, and only two pots needed to bring this together. It's a similar concept to the viral baked feta pasta, this time with a vegan cream cheese and gnocchi.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 39 mins
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g gnocchi
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 100 g vegan cream cheese I use nush
  • 1 red onion optional
  • 200 g tomatoes baby or cherry
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Large pinch salt & pepper
  • Garnish with fresh oregano

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C fan
  • Add the tomatoes, quartered red onion, peeled garlic cloves and olive oil to a roasting dish
  • Add the dried herbs, create a space in the middle and add the cream cheese to the middle, pop in the oven and bake for 25 minutes
  • In a pot of boiling water, add a generous pinch of salt with the gnocchi and simmer for a few minutes, drain but leave a ladle full of the water in the pot
  • When the tomatoes have baked, mash the garlic and tomatoes into the cream cheese and mix until creamy then add in the cooked gnocchi and water
  • Mix together then add back to the oven for 5 minutes, garnish with fresh oregano or basil and enjoy

If you like this recipe why not try my Roasted Tomato Risotto

vegan tomato and garlic risotto

cream cheese vegan gnocchi

Dinner Recipe Sides & Savoury Snacks

Grilled BBQ Watermelon Skewers

grilled watermelon recipe vegan

Grilled BBQ Watermelon Skewers (Perfect Vegan BBQ)

These grilled bbq watermelon skewers transform the flavour of the sweet watermelon usually eaten as a snack. The marinade creates a delicious umami packed flavour which works perfectly with the watermelon when grilled on a high heat. Ideal for skewers when paired with corn on the cob and peppers to have at a BBQ.

What’s in the recipe?

Watermelon- I’ve used 1/2 a watermelon to make 6 packed skewers. Cutting the watermelon into similar size cubes helps with the cooking process.

Corn- I’ve chosen a precooked corn on the cob, however if you have it raw, simply parboil for 15 minutes to soften.

Garlic- Lots of delicious garlic to marinade the watermelon and veg. Paired with the soy sauce and smoked paprika, it creates a delicious dressing.

Soy Sauce- You can use soy sauce or tamari if you’re gluten free. This helps create a lovely rich flavour with the garlic and soaks up into those veggies.

Smoked Paprika- I prefer smoked paprika as it has a lovely rich undertone to the spice. You can use regular hot paprika if you prefer more spice to smokey.


grilled bbq watermelon skewers

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grilled watermelon recipe vegan

Grilled Watermelon Skewers

Grilled BBQ watermelon skewers perfect for a vegan BBQ. Flavoured with garlic and soy sauce marinade this grilled fruit transforms from a sweet to umami packed bite.
Prep Time 23 mins
Cook Time 14 mins
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 corn on the cob precooked
  • 1/2 watermelon
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Good pinch salt & pepper

Instructions
 

  • Start prepping the corn by popping in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes to soften
  • Prep the watermelon by slicing into cubes along with the pepper
  • In a large dish mix the soy sauce, olive oil, paprika, and minced garlic cloves then add the pepper and watermelon, quarter the sweetcorn and add in once softened
  • Salt and pepper the veg and leave for at least 15 minutes
  • Get the BBQ on, add the marinated veg to skewers (should make 4-5) and add to the grill, leave to sear on each side for around 5 minutes
  • Enjoy topped with fresh herbs and pine nuts, or just enjoy as is!

Notes

  1. Once you have the skewers on the bbq, brush in the leftover marinade to make sure there's none going to waste
  2. If you don't have precooked corn on the cob, simply chop each cob in half and add to a pot of boiling salted water for 15 minutes to soften
  3. Leaving for 30 minutes to marinade will help add flavour, if possible marinade for a few hours to soak up the flavour

If you like this recipe why not try Grilled Lettuce Recipe

leftover lettuce recipe ideas

Dressings and Sauces Lunch & Light Bites Recipe

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Dip

roasted cauliflower garlic dip vegan

Cauliflower and Garlic Dip

Beautifully roasted cauliflower with roasted garlic blitzed into a creamy dip. This vegan friendly and gluten free recipe is so easy to make and creates a huge batch perfect for dipping homemade croutons or adding into salads and sandwiches in the week. If you’re going to a bbq or dinner party, whip this up and serve with crunchy veg and crisps for a delicious side.

What’s in the recipe?

Cauliflower- Don’t underestimate the humble cauliflower, because when it’s roasted it tastes delicious. Full of flavour and seasoned with salt, it works perfectly in this dip.

Garlic- I’ve used 1/2 bulb of garlic which works out at about 6 cloves of garlic. Don’t be concerned with that many cloves as the roasting process takes away the harsh taste of it and instead creates a delicious rich and smokey flavour to the recipe.

Olive oil- I love using olive oil in dips and when roasting veg as it creates a beautiful golden and smooth flavour.

Tahini- Much like you use tahini in hummus, I love adding it to this dip to add a creamier texture. If you don’t have tahini you could swap it for hummus, or just simple leave this ingredient out. Add 1 ice cube to the processor to help create a fluffy texture.

Paprika and Cumin- These spices are delicious with the cauliflower, however I’ve only added a small amount so the flavour of the cauliflower comes through. Make it, taste test and feel free to add a little more to suit your preference.


roasted cauliflower and garlic dip

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roasted cauliflower garlic dip vegan

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Dip

Easy cauliflower and garlic dip made by roasting the vegetables then blending with spices, olive oil and salt. Easy to make, makes a huge batch for the week. Just a few key ingredients to have this tasty dip.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp olive oil for the cauliflower
  • 1 large head of cauliflower chopped into florets
  • 6 cloves garlic around 1/2 bulb
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water
  • 1/2 small lemon squeezed

Instructions
 

  • Start by preheating the oven to 200ºC (fan) and chop the cauliflower head into florets and place into a large baking dish / tray with 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and the garlic cloves
  • Roast for 30 minutes, turning and tossing in the oil halfway through baking
  • Allow to cool a little before adding to a food processor along with the cold water, roasted garlic, tahini, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, salt and olive oil and blitz until smooth
  • Taste test adding a little more paprika or cumin if preferred

Notes

  1. Top with my delicious red pepper and garlic paste for an extra kick of flavour 
  2. Use my homemade zero waste croutons to dip into this
  3. Ice cold water helps create a fluffy texture, so allowing the cauliflower to cool before blending really helps
  4. You can add the roasted garlic skin, but if you would rather, squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin when adding to the blender

If you like this recipe why not try my Roasted Pepper and Chilli Paste 

home made harissa paste

Breakfast dessert Recipe

3 Ingredient Banana & Chocolate Quesadillas

Banana and chocolate quesadillas

Only 3 Ingredients Needed – Banana & Chocolate Quesadillas

These banana and chocolate quesadillas just need 3 ingredients, you’ve guessed it, with just banana, chocolate and wraps. It’s so easy to make and perfect for a breakfast idea or for an easy dessert. This vegan friendly recipe is ideal for kids to make, and is also BBQ friendly too.

What 3 Ingredients?

Banana- I like choosing the ones that are a little more overripe as they’re naturally sweeter in flavour. Just slice it up to make lots of little banana coins ready to fill & garnish with.

Chocolate- Now I’ll let you decide what chocolate to use as we all have our favourites however my favourite is a creamier dark chocolate, maybe a one that has a little coconut oil in as it’ll help with the melting.

Wraps- I’ve just opted for your bog standard plain white wraps however you can get fancy and choose wholemeal, seeded, you name it. I used Aldi’s smaller taco sized wraps as they work perfectly when creating 3-4 of these quesadillas.


banana and chocolate quesadillas

Tips:

Extra Chocolate- I find drizzling extra chocolate over the top of the quesadillas makes them look even more delicious and perfect if you’re cooking for friends.

Extra banana- You get the hint, but leave a little extra banana on the size to garnish over the top along with the drizzled chocolate as it makes it look beautiful

Non stick pan / grill- If you’re grilling these you might find it helps to add a little vegan butter on each outside to help it prevent from sticking. If you’re frying in a pan, a non stick will work best, otherwise add a little oil or vegan butter to give a beautiful golden edge.

It really is that easy, just 3 ingredients and you have a simple but delicious banana and chocolate quesadilla, great for desserts or even breakfast.


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Banana and chocolate quesadillas

3 Ingredient Banana and Chocolate Quesadillas

These banana and chocolate quesadillas just need 3 ingredients, you've guessed it, with just banana, chocolate and wraps. It's so easy to make and perfect for a breakfast idea or for an easy dessert.
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 to rtillas
  • 1 banana
  • 50 g dark chocolate

Instructions
 

  • Simply layer up the chocolate and banana inside the wraps and place on the grill
  • Once turned golden brown, flip over, continue for another few minutes then slice up, add fresh banana on top with a drizzle more of chocolate & enjoy

If you like this recipe why not try my Oreo Cookies

oreo vegan cooki

 

3 ingredient sweet quesadillas

3 INGREDIENT QUESADILLAS

Lunch & Light Bites Recipe Sides & Savoury Snacks

Smashed Roast Potatoes with Pesto

pesto smashed potatoes vegan

VeganCrispy Smashed Roast Potatoes with Pesto

Delicious and crispy smashed roasted potatoes with pesto and vegan cheese. Salty and crispy skin with a fluffy inside, this is a perfect side recipe or as part of a salad. It’s easy to make and full of flavour with just a few key ingredients needed.

What’s in the recipe?

Baby Potatoes – I found these were the perfect size, however let’s not discriminate against potatoes. Just use whatever you have at hand, but if you have large taters, make sure to cut them smaller to make them easier to roast / bake.

Pesto- If you want to use fresh pesto, I have a recipe HERE. However if you have a jar of good quality pesto that will also work really well.

Olive Oil- I used a mix of olive oil and the oil you get in those jars of roasted preserved peppers. I love the combination of flavour however olive oil, with work beautifully. Don’t be shy of oil in this recipe, it helps get a beautifully crisp coating on the potatoes.

Tomatoes- Optional ingredient but I love adding tomatoes to the roasting tray for the last 20 minutes or so. They add a lovely sweetness to the tray bake.

Vegan Mozzarella- I love using Violife or Follow Your Heart mozzarella to add to the tray for the final five minutes of baking. It just gives a beautiful texture on top of the pesto.


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pesto smashed potatoes vegan

Smashed Roast Potatoes with Pesto

Delicious and crispy smashed roasted potatoes with pesto and vegan cheese. Salty and crispy skin with a fluffy inside, this is a perfect side recipe or as part of a salad.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 kg baby potatoes
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 g fresh pesto
  • 200 g chopped tomatoes
  • 50 g vegan mozzarella
  • 1 tsp parsley

Instructions
 

  • Add the baby potatoes into a pot of salted water, boil for 15 mins
  • Pop the oven on at 200°C (Fan)
  • When you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork, drain the water then add to a non stick baking tray with 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1 heaped tsp salt, mix until coated then smash the potatoes with the back of your fork or the bottom of a glass
  • Place on the middle tray in the oven for 20 minutes
  • Take out, then cover in 150g fresh pesto (recipe here) and 200g chopped tomatoes and place back in the oven for 20 minutes
  • Take out and garnish with vegan mozzarella and cook for a final 5 minutes

Notes

Optional - Garnish with pine nuts and parsley, or just enjoy as is! I like drizzling mine in a little chilli oil to finish

If you like this recipe why not try my Tofu and Asparagus Stir Fry

asparagus and tofu stir fry

Dinner Lunch & Light Bites Recipe Sides & Savoury Snacks

Asparagus and Tofu Stir Fry

asparagus and tofu stir fry vegan

Asparagus and Tofu Stir Fry with Chilli and Sesame

Asparagus and crispy tofu stir fry made with ginger, garlic and chilli oil. Perfect as a side dish or as part of a main if served with noodles or rice. Made in less than 15 minutes this recipe is perfect for a week night meal or as a light lunch option. This easy stir fried recipe can be prepared the night before to make it really quick to make on the day.

What’s in the recipe?

Asparagus- When asparagus is in season it’s beautiful to cook with. I’ve bought locally grown asparagus, roughly chopped and added to the stir fry.

Tofu- I like using Cauldron Tofu which is soaked in a water bath, simple drain the water and press. If you don’t have a tofu press, just wrap in a bit of kitchen roll and allow to soak the excess water.

Cornflour- If you toss the tofu in cornflour and fry in sesame oil, it’ll create a lovely crispy coating before adding the marinade. It’s a good cooking hack to help absorb any excess moisture in your tofu.

Chilli oil- I love using Pippy Eats chilli oil, it’s perfect for garnishing tofu or stir fried vegetables such as this. If you don’t have chilli crisp oil, definitely look out for some next time you’re in the supermarket.


 

tofu and asparagus stir fry

Cooking tips:

Medium Heat- It’s tempting to whack the heat right up to get ‘crispy’ tofu however you run the risk or burning the marinade. I would suggest a good quality non stick pan, medium heat and allow the tofu to crisp on each side before turning.

Fry First then Coat- I prefer to fry the tofu in a bit of corn flour to crisp and turn golden before adding the marinade. It helps prevent the garlic and ginger from burning and give it just enough time to cook off the ingredients.

Don’t overcook the asparagus- By adding the asparagus to fry only for the last 3-4 minutes will allow it to cook until a little tender without burning.


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asparagus and tofu stir fry

Asparagus and Tofu Stir Fry

Asparagus and crispy tofu stir fry made with ginger, garlic and chilli. Perfect as a side dish or as part of a main if served with noodles or rice. Made in less than 15 minutes this recipe is perfect for a week night meal.
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Servings 2 People

Ingredients
  

  • 350 g block of tofu
  • 1 heaped tbsp cornflour
  • 200 g asparagus locally grown if possible
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chilli crisp oil if you don’t have this, add 1 tsp chilli flakes to the marinade

Instructions
 

  • Drain & cube the tofu block and toss in the cornflour, fry in a non stick pan with a drizzle of sesame oil
  • Prepare the marinade by mincing the garlic and ginger then add to a bowl with the oil and tamari and whisk together
  • Once the tofu has crisped, add the marinade to the pan and continue to fry on a medium heat
  • Chop the asparagus and add to the pan to fry for a further 2-3 minutes
  • Serve up and drizzle the chilli crisp oil over the top & enjoy

Notes

  • If you don’t have chilli oil, add 1 tsp chilli flakes to the marinade
  • I used Pippy Eats chill crisp oil
  • Serve as a side or add sticky rice or noodles with more chilli oil

If you like this recipe why not try my Easy Tofu Ramen

Tofu easy vegan ramen recipe

gluten free asparagus and tofu stir fry

tofu and asparagus stir fry vegan

Dinner Lunch & Light Bites Recipe

Asparagus and Shiitake Risotto

asparagus and shiitake vegan risotto

Vegan Asparagus and Shiitake Mushroom Risotto

This asparagus and shiitake risotto is vegan and gluten free.  It’s easy to make and just takes 30 minutes of stirring to create a delicious hearty week-night meal. Asparagus season  is here so let’s celebrate with a recipe that works perfectly with the shiitake mushrooms.

What’s in the recipe?

Asparagus – Celebrating the season of asparagus, try and find locally grown asparagus to help cut down on air miles.

Shiitake Mushrooms- I’ve used shiitake as the texture is slightly meaty agains the fluffy rice, however you could easily swap this for whatever mushrooms you have available.

 Arborio Rice- This short grain rice is perfect for risottos and is readily available in most supermarkets. You can swap this for bulgar wheat, follow the same process but remember to soak the wheat for a few hours before.

Vegan Butter- I’ve used the flora salted butter because it is a really good vegan alternative to butter. You want at least 2 heaped tbsp in this recipe to make a delicious creamy risotto.

Stock- I use boiled water and vegetable stock cubes for this, it’s cheap and easy to make. You can use a home made stock if you prefer.

Lemon- To cut through the salty, herby, creamy risotto, you need a good squeeze of lemon juice for acidity to really help the risotto have a full and round flavour profile.

Seasoning- I can’t express how important salt and pepper is to this recipe – don’t be scared of seasoning! Get generous with the seasoning and enjoy.

vegan risotto asparagus and shiitake


Risotto Cooking Tips

Absorb- Letting the rice absorb each ladle of stock before adding the next is crucial. It’s important not to add it all at once, it may mean taking time to stir it through but it’s worth it.

Seasoning- Don’t be shy of the salt and pepper for this recipe.

White wine- I’m not fussy when it comes to what wine you use for risotto. I won’t pretend to be a connoisseur  so just choose a wine anywhere from £4-7 and it’ll do the job!

 


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asparagus and shiitake vegan risotto

Asparagus and Shiitake Risotto

Vegan and gluten free asparagus and shiitake risotto recipe perfect for batch cooking. Easy to make, just takes 30 minutes of stirring and you have a delicious hearty week night meal.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 250 g asparagus
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 120 g shiitake mushrooms chopped
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 150 g arborio rice risotto rice
  • 550 ml veg stock I used boiling water and a stock cube
  • 200 ml white wine
  • Squeeze 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to top when serving

Instructions
 

  • Start by finely chopping the garlic and add to a large pot with the butter, place on a low- medium heat
  • After a few minutes add the chopped shiitake mushrooms and fry for a further five minutes
  • Add the seasoning and the dried herbs then add the risotto rice and toss in all of the flavours before adding the white wine, then leave to absorb
  • Add the vegetable stock a ladle at a time allowing it to absorb before adding the next bit, continue this process until all of the stock has been used
  • When add the last ladle of stock add the asparagus stalks so they can soften for the last few minutes of cooking
  • After 3 minutes squeeze in 1/2 lemon juice, season generously season with black pepper and salt before serving and enjoy. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to the top of each bowl when serving (optional)

Notes

If you snap the ends off your asparagus, finely chop them up and add to the pot along with the mushrooms to prevent food waste

If you like this recipe why not try my easy tomato and garlic risotto recipe

vegan tomato and garlic risotto

 

vegan asparagus and shiitake risotto lucy and lentils

asparagus and shiitake risotto

Dinner Recipe

15 Minute Simple Garlic Pasta

15 minute garlic pasta vegan

Simple 15 Minute Garlic Pasta Recipe

Vegan friendly and easy to make, this 15 minute garlic pasta recipe is perfect for mid week cooking. If you just have a few key ingredients you can create this at home. You will need garlic, tomatoes, pasta and tenderstem and seasoning to make this. 

What’s in the recipe?

Garlic- I’ve opted for about 3 large cloves, or if you’re using a much smaller garlic bulb go for around 4-5. The aim is to have a beautiful garlic flavour so don’t be afraid to go heavy!

Pasta- I chose rigatone pasta for this recipe as I love the way the filling seeps into the tube and gives a pop of flavour with every bite. You can use any pasta you have to hand, this will work!

Tomatoes- I find fresh tomatoes work a lot better with this recipe. It’s pretty versatile for whichever kind of tomatoes you have but I love using smaller tomatoes such as cherry, piccolino or roma.

Seasoning- I’ve used marjoram, parsley and thyme for this recipe. Marjoram has a gorgeous spice to it, perfect in recipes such as this. It’s not as strong as chilli but gives a slight punch. If you don’t have marjoram substitute for 1/2 tsp oregano.


cherry tomatoes and garlic pasta sauce

Tips and Tricks

Pasta Water- Save some of the pasta water, usually a good ladle full (between 100-200ml) to mix in with the tomatoes. It’ll help create a delicious silky smooth texture to coat all of the pasta.

Season heavily- The trick to good pasta is heavily seasoning the pot of boiling water, seasoning whilst cooking and just before serving. Pasta also loves cracked black pepper so be generous with that too!

Thicker sauce? If you like loads of sauce to your pasta, double up the tomatoes to 600g.


garlic and tomato pasta

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15 minute garlic pasta vegan

15 Minute Easy Garlic Pasta

Vegan friendly and easy to make, this 15 minute garlic pasta recipe is perfect for mid week cooking. If you just have a few key ingredients in the house, give this plant based recipe a try. Full of flavour with 10 main ingredients, it's perfect for batch cooking
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 130 g pasta
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 7 Tenderstem
  • 300 g tomatoes
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp Parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 100 ml pasta water
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast optional
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts optional

Instructions
 

  • Start by frying the chopped garlic cloves in olive oil for 2 mins
  • Add the roughly chopped tomatoes and seasoning and leave to fry
  • Meanwhile whack a seasoned pot of water on to boil and add the dried pasta, after about 8 mins add the roughly chopped Tenderstem
  • Mash the tomatoes into the garlic and add the tomato purée, mix together
  • Once the pasta is aldente, drain (leaving a good ladle full of pasta water) and add to the pan of tomatoes and garlic
  • Stir together, taste and season generously with salt & pepper again
  • Top with nutritional yeast and pine nuts if you’re feeling fancy, otherwise ENJOY!

If you like this recipe why not try my Garlic, Tomato & Veg 15 Minute Pasta

vegan tomato pasta recipe

 

15 minute garlic pasta vegan

15 minute garlic pasta recipe