Veganuary might be over but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate plant-based recipes into February, March and for the rest of the year. More and more people are turning to a meat-free or meat reduced diet and veg is finally taking centre stage as it deserves; it’s an exciting time at Riverford where life revolves around all things green! Here are 5 vegan recipe picks for February to help make your veg sing.
Sweet Potato & Lentil Bake
With their rich sweet flesh, sweet potatoes are a vibrant and versatile replacement for potatoes or squash in scores of dishes. They have a light spiciness to their flesh which marries well with the harissa and cumin in the lentils of this dish.
A colourful, creamy dish which makes the most of our sweet, tender spring greens and finished with a sprinkling of hot chilli and toasted coconut chips. Spinach, cabbage or chard can all be used instead of the greens.
This is a Moroccan style dish, lightly spiced with a slight chilli heat. Celeriac has a fragrant, nutty, celery-like taste is great at soaking up surrounding flavours. Celeriacs are notoriously knobbly so we’d advise ditching the peeler in favour of a sharp knife for this one.
Broccoli, Tofu & Udon Bowl with Miso, Parsnip & Peanuts
Miso is a fermented rice or soybean paste and is a fundamental building block of Japanese cuisine. It has a deeply savoury flavour and tastes hugely restorative. You can try and eat this with a fork and a spoon but the best way is with chopsticks, sucking up the noodles over the bowl and slurping the broth.
Quinoa has been much heralded in the last few years. It has a very mild bitter edge to its taste but generally makes a great bass note to a whole ensemble of ingredients. We’ve chosen the earthy flavours of beetroot and cauliflower, some pepperiness from the watercress, sweet fruit, crunchy seeds and a sharp tart kick from the orange and balsamic.
We thought we’d offer a little inspiration for how to do Shrove Tuesday the Riverford way. Although the classic lemon and sugar combo takes a lot of beating, we think our savoury pancakes are pretty good contenders. They are, of course, all about the veg!
The key to a good pancake is to use an oil suitable for frying at high temperatures, and without a strong flavour, such as sunflower or groundnut oil. Plain flour can be substituted for buckwheat, which goes particularly well with savoury fillings; in France, crêpes are usually made with buckwheat. It’s also gluten-free.
Masala Dosa & Spiced Spuds with Beetroot & Coconut Relish
Masala dosas are the perfect Indian street snack. Traditionally the paper thin dosa pancakes are made with a fermented rice batter. As the process takes 3 days, we’ve cheated a little here and used a mix of rice and chickpea flour. An Indian snack is never complete without a chutney or relish, so a warm beetroot side adds some earthy flavour and bright colour. Read the full masala dosa & spiced spuds with beetroot & coconut relish recipe
Ragú of Green Beans with Tomatoes, Olives & Farinata
These sweet potato pancakes can be adapted for both sweet and savoury tastes. Serve for dinner with a roasted vegetable topping e.g. ratatouille and quick pickled red onions or leftover curry or chilli, or as a hearty breakfast, laced with a pinch of cinnamon and served with sliced banana and maple syrup or honey. Read the full sweet potato pancakes recipe
Spinach, potato & chickpea pancakes
This recipe ticks the box for both vegan and gluten-free. These chickpea pancakes are stuffed with a curried potato, spinach and chickpea filling. Serve with a good dollop of yogurt, some fruity chutney and wedges of lemon for squeezing. Read the full spinach, potato & chickpea pancakes recipe
Stuck in a recipe rut and want to try something new? Live life on the veg with these quick, veg-packed recipes that can be on the table in around 30 minutes. Ideal to mix up your midweek meals!
Broccoli & Sweet Potato Curry with Cashews & Quinoa
This is a light, aromatic vegan curry. The sweet potatoes could easily be replaced with squash or pumpkin if you choose to make it again. Celeriac or parsnip would work well, too. Quinoa is a great source of protein and dietary fibre and stands in well for rice with a curry. It has a different texture, with a light bite and pop to it, but it soaks up all the liquid from the curry well. See recipe.
Chicken, Spinach & Chickpea Tagine with Harissa & Preserved Lemon
Harissa is a spicy blend of chilli, herbs and garlic. We’ve advised using half to start, tasting and adding more towards the end, depending on your preference for heat. We’re using baby spinach here, which can be wilted down in the pan in handfuls. If you make it again with larger leaved spinach, it’s best to blanch, refresh and chop it first. See recipe.
Leek, Mascarpone & Lemon Gnocchi with Walnut & Parsley Pesto
Gnocchi is quick, versatile and up there in the list of top comfort foods. Here gnocchi balls are served in a leek and watercress sauce with creamy mascarpone, then finished with a simple walnut pesto. See recipe.
Teriyaki Tofu Bowl with Shiitake, Crispy Kale & Shredded Sprouts
This is a big mixed bowl of contrasting textures. Sticky dark mushrooms, crisp roasted tofu with a soft melting centre, crunchy seaweed-like kale and a fresh sweet/sharp salad of raw sprouts, all tethered by a comforting base of unctuous rice. With good organisation, all 5 elements should mesh nicely in their preparation. See recipe.
Smoked Mackerel, Celeriac & Watercress Salad
Rich smoked mackerel with clean, crunchy celeriac and apple, peppy watercress and fresh herbs. If you don’t have watercress, use peppery winter salad leaves instead. You could also add in wedges of cooked beetroot, toasted walnuts or slices or waxy salad potato. See recipe.
We are firm believers that you don’t need meat to make a magical meal. Whether you want to ramp up the veg in your diet, are giving Veganuary a go, or just want to experiment with new, inspiring and veg-centric meals, these recipes are for you. We hope you’ll enjoy living life on the veg with these colourful, nourishing and bursting-with-flavour dishes.
Thai Celeriac Salad with Noodles & Crispy Tofu
This is dish is inspired by the famous Thai green papaya salad, a dish of crisp shredded veg dressed with a sharp, fragrant and punchy dressing. The noodles and tofu help draw it into a well-rounded meal. As long as they are well drained and retain a slight bite, noodles are a great addition to a salad. This dish is about texture and freshness. The tofu should be crisp on the outside but soft in the centre. See full recipe.
Squash & Tomato Dosa with Green Coconut Relish
The trick to achieving a thin dosa pancake is to tip the pan in a swift, steady roll as soon as the batter hits it. You should be able to guide and swirl the batter into an even layer. The recipe will make more batter than you need so you can have a few experimental runs. We find the first attempt always ends up as a sacrifice to the god of pancakes. See full recipe.
Aromatic Beetroot Curry with Quinoa & Coconut
Healthy and sustaining, this jewel-coloured, mild curry is packed with aromatic spices, cooled with coconut, and served with protein-packed quinoa. If you want to prevent your hands from staining when you’re preparing the beetroot, wear a pair of rubber gloves, although it does wash off, we promise! See full recipe.
Winter Pilaf with Walnut Pesto & Baked Portobellos
A good pilaf is all about light but fragrant spicing and gently methodical cooking of the rice. As best you can, the aim is to try and get the grains of rice fluffy and well separated. Placing a tea towel under the lid helps to absorb condensation in the pan, which in turn helps the grains separate. See full recipe.
Cauliflower Caponata with Garlic & Herb Tortillas
Caponata is a dish traditionally made with aubergines, so using this name may offend any purists, but the other ingredients and general feel of the dish remain correct. It incorporates the Italian principle of agrodolce (literally sour and sweet), a flavour combination that is also prevalent in many other cuisines. The vinegar and briny tang of capers and olives are well balanced out by the sugar and plump sultanas. See full recipe.
A calming January marmalade-making session is a good antidote to the mayhem of Christmas and New Year. Put the radio on, get peeling, slicing and simmering, and fill your house with the distinctive bittersweet aroma.
We buy our Seville oranges from Ave Maria Farm in Mairena del Alcor near Seville, which is run by Amadora and her two daughters. They produce wonderfully gnarly, knobbly, thick-skinned fruit with the incredible aroma and unusually high pectin content that make Seville oranges so valued. There have been orange groves on their 60-hectare farm since 1867 and they were the first orange farm to be awarded organic status in Andalucia. Riverford founder Guy Watson visited them in 2011 and was hugely impressed by the crops and wildlife on the farm, not to mention the energy and orange-devotion of Amadora and her family!
Seville Orange Marmalade Recipe
Our own much-loved recipe. You could substitute in a few of our glorious blood oranges to get a rich, caramel-coloured preserve, or use our incredibly perfumed bergamot lemons to really crank up the aromatics.
Watch Guy make it (and learn from his mistakes!) in this video:
Guy’s tips: • Make sure the pan is big enough – if it’s too full, it will boil over, and all that sugar will be a nightmare to clean off your cooker • When you are dissolving the sugar, don’t heat it too vigorously as it will catch on the bottom and you will end up with burnt marmalade – not tasty. • Don’t boil it too for long; if you go past the setting point you will end up with jars of concrete! • Skim off any scum before potting up to get a clearer set. • Let the marmalade stand for 15 mins before jarring – this will stop the fruit from settling at the bottom of the jar.
Makes 6 jars, prep 30 mins, cook 3 hrs
1.5kg Seville oranges
2.5 litres cold water
approx. 2kg granulated sugar
a large pan
screw top lids or wax discs
1. With a sharp knife, peel the skin from the oranges and lemons, leaving as much white pith on the fruit as possible. Chop the peel into 3mm strips and put in a large pan. 2. Line a large bowl with a piece of muslin, leaving plenty to overhang the sides of the bowl. Cut the oranges and lemons in half. With your hands, squeeze the juice from the fruit over the bowl, dropping the leftover squeezed fruit (pith, pips and flesh) into the muslin. 3. Lift the muslin out of the bowl, gather the sides and squeeze any remaining juice into the bowl. Tie the muslin together with string to keep the fruit in and form a bag. 4. Place the muslin bag in the saucepan with the peel. Add the squeezed fruit juice and 2.5 litres cold water to the pan. 5. Heat until boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours, until the peel is tender. Put a few saucers in the fridge to chill. 6. Remove the muslin bag and squeeze all the sticky juice from the bag into the pan. An easy way to do this is to put the bag in a colander and use a spoon to press it out. 7. Measure the contents of the pan in a jug (include the shreds and liquid). Return to the pan and add 450g sugar for every 500ml liquid. 8. Gently heat for 15 minutes, until the sugar crystals have dissolved. Increase the heat and boil rapidly for 15 minutes. 9. If you have a sugar thermometer, the setting point for marmalade is 105°C. To check the set without one, put 1 tsp on a cold saucer and push it with the back of a spoon. If it wrinkles, you have reached setting point. If it doesn’t, keep boiling and re-test every 5 mins. Turn off the heat as soon as you reach setting point. 10. Skim any scum from the surface. Leave the mixture to stand for 15 minutes. Stir gently, then carefully spoon into warmed sterilised jars (use a jam funnel if you have one). If using screw top lids, put the lids on while the marmalade is still hot and turn upside down for 5 minutes to sterilise the lids (or boil the lids for a few minutes and leave to dry before use). If using cellophane, put a wax disc on the marmalade while warm, then seal with cellophane and an elastic band.
Marmalade making is even easier with a Riverford marmalade kit. Seville oranges, lemons, and our recipe included – just add your own sugar and jars.
These individual pies look smart when served and are great for impressing festive guests. Roasted squash is one of our favourite things and together with chard and soft cheese, it’s hard to go wrong with this dish.
Sweet leeks and soft pastry work together in this dish to create a warming and satisfying centerpiece. It’s quickly and easily prepared ready to go straight into the oven so you can get on with enjoying the day.
The pick of the our seasonal vegetables to fuel your new year cooking.
These knobbly little roots are a farmer’s dream: easy to grow, with no significant pests or diseases. They do particularly well at Wash Farm – in fact our biggest challenge is keeping them under control. They have a nutty, sweet, almost mushroomy flavour. order jerusalem artichokes
Another cosmetically-challenged seasonal root (although who looks their best in January anyway?), grown around our Riverford farms. Celeriac endures winter well and has a delicate, celery-like, fragrant flavour. It will keep in the bottom of your fridge for several weeks. order celeriac
Man cannot live on roots alone, so welcome the dark green leafiness of the kales. They benefit from slow growth and are at their best after some hard winter weather. This year our cavolo nero (black kale) is all but over, so look out instead for other varieties, including curly kale, which can be as good as cavolo nero once it has had plenty of frost. Store it in the fridge and eat it within a few days. order kale
How to cook kale You will normally need to discard the stalks before cooking – hold the stalk in one hand and run your other hand down it, stripping off the leaves. Curly kale is best boiled briefly or used in hearty, peasantstyle soups and stews. Try our easy ideas for kale.