3 nutritious plant based dinners for the Vegan in your family

Author: Claire

Vegan diets are all the rage at the moment and if a member of your family refuses to eat anything but plant based food, you may be wondering what on Earth to cook. Fear not – cooking vegan is easier than you think! These 3 weeknight dinners will take you less than 30 minutes each to prepare and they’re so delicious, you may as well serve them to the whole family.

1 – Spicy Broccoli & Peanut Noodle Stir Fry

Noodles with vegetables

It doesn’t get any easier than a noodle stir fry! All you need is a wok, a hob on a high heat and a few simple ingredients and you can make a yummy dinner in minutes!

Ingredients (serves 4):

250g wholewheat noodles (optional: gluten free soba noodles)
200g tenderstem broccoli
250g chestnut mushrooms
1 medium red pepper
2 spring onions
1 bunch of coriander
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

For the Peanut Sauce:

6 tbsp soy sauce (optional: gluten free tamari sauce)
8 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 ½ tbsp Sriracha sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, then rinse in cold water and set aside. Next, heat the sesame oil in a wok or large frying pan and fry the vegetables for 5-8 minutes.

To make the peanut sauce, stir all the ingredients together to form a thick, smooth sauce. Add hot water as necessary to achieve the right consistency. Stir half the sauce into the noodles, half into the veg, then combine everything in the wok. Serve straightaway, and use any leftovers as a cold packed lunch the next day.

2 – Baked Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Chickpeas & Creamy Garlic Sauce

Stuffed sweet potatoes

Substitute your usual spuds with sweet potatoes and add a simple garlic/herb sauce and some roasted chickpeas, and you have a mouthwatering, plant-based and naturally gluten free dinner that all the family can enjoy.

Ingredients (serves 4):

4 medium sized sweet potatoes
1 can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ tbsp olive oil
½ tsp each of ground coriander, ground cumin, cinnamon, paprika
pinch of sea salt

For the Garlic Sauce:

60g of hummus (chickpea paste)
juice of ½ lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried dill
water (or unsweetened almond milk) to thin
sea salt to taste

For the topping:

50g cherry tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Chili garlic sauce (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with kitchen foil. Rinse and scrub (not peel) the sweet potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. Rub with some olive oil and place them on the baking tray. Toss the chickpeas in olive oil and spices and also place on the baking try – then put into the oven to roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven when the potatoes are fork tender and the chickpeas are golden brown.

Meanwhile, mix the topping ingredients together and set aside to marinate. Prepare the garlic sauce by placing all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisking. Add the minimum of liquid to achieve a pourable consistency, then adjust the taste with the seasonings as needed.

Serve the potato halves flesh side up, topped with chickpeas, sauce and parsley/tomato topping.

3 – Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers

Mediterranean stuffed peppers work every time, look great on a place and taste delicious. We shared a vegetarian version last year but adapting it to Vegan cooking is a doddle. Here’s how to do it:

Ingredients (serves 4):

8 large peppers (4 red, 4 yellow/orange)
150g long grain rice
2 carrots
1 onion
1 celery stick
1 can kidney beans
1 can chopped tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
25g pine nuts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 handful pitted olives
Italian herb mix (oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley)
3 tbsp vegan pesto sauce (no cheese!)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the rice per instructions and set aside. Prepare each pepper by slicing the top off each one and eeping for later use, then cleaning out the insides. Arrange all the peppers upright in a deep ovenproof dish, making sure they sit tight against each other and can’t fall over.

Fry onions and garlic until glassy, then add the celery and fry for 5 more minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, kidney beans, pesto sauce and herbs and bring to a boil, then add the cooked rice, pine nuts and olives and combine everything, making sure the mixture is not too runny. Season well, then fill each pepper with the rice/bean mixture, the put on the pepper ‘lids’ and add a drizzle of olive oil.

Bake in a preheated oven (180C) for 30-45 minutes, and serve hot, accompanied by a simple salad.

Bon Appetit!

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