We as a company are dedicated to do better for our planet. That's why our team has started doing Meat-Free Mondays! Other than the multiple health benefits this provides on a personal front, can reduce the cost of your weekly shop and more importantly, your carbon footprint! Fun fact, if you went meatless for a week, you could reduce the cost of your weekly shop by 40%.
Will you join in on Meat-Free Mondays? Read on to find some of our Vegan recipes, created by the amazing Kelly - @My_vegan_kitchen
Homemade Vegan Pizza with Honestly Tasty Veganzola and This Isn't Bacon
Makes 4x 250g dough balls
For the dough:
- 595g flour
- 387g lukewarm water
- 18g salt
- 20.4g fresh yeast
- Coarse semolina flour
- For the pizza sauce:
- Mutti tinned pizza sauce
- Topping suggestions:
- Honestly Tasty Veganzola
- Violife Organic Mozzarella, sliced
- This Isn't Bacon, sliced
- Fresh basil leaves
- Measure water out and dissolve the yeast in it
- Put flour in a bowl and add the water + yeast mix whilst stirring
- Mix for about 30 seconds and then add the salt (you can't add the yeast and salt at the same time as the salt counteracts the yeast)
- Stir until it forms a dough
- Tip out on to a floured work surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes
- Put in to a large bowl, cover with cling film and leave for 24 hours (you might need to knock it back if it gets too big)
- After 24 hours, split it into 4 equal dough balls and leave them in round oiled, sealable containers (I like these ones)
- Leave to proof for another 6 hours
- When ready to cook, preheat your pizza oven to 450 degrees celsius, oven or grill on full, which ever you're using
- Have some coarse semolina flour in a bowl and empty each dough, 1 at a time, in to the semolina flour and roll around to cover
- Use your kitchen counter to work each dough ball in to a round pizza shape, about 12 inches in diameter, using your fingertips, working from the middle out, leaving a 1 inch gap thicker around the edge (there are lots of videos on YouTube on this if you're unsure)
- Spoon your pizza sauce on top, you'll need around 3 or 4 tbsps, then add your toppings
- If using a pizza oven, slide your pizza on top a floured pizza peel, you may need to reshape on the peel once done
If using an oven your pizza stone will need to have been heating for about 15 minutes before you put your pizza on top
If cooking on a hob, in an iron skillet, it's easier to lay your dough in there once shaped and then build the pizza whilst the base of the dough is cooking in the skillet
- Cook for about 3 minutes in a pizza oven, turning as each side cooks
If in the oven, cook until the edge of your pizza has risen and started to char and the cheese has melted
If in a skillet it should take about 5-8 minutes for the base to cook, but keep checking by lifting up a corner of the dough, then pop under the grill until the cheese melts
- Top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil leaves
Vegan Protein Pancakes with Dairy Free Ice Cream + This Isn't Bacon
Makes 8 thick, fluffy American style pancakes
- 240g plain flour
- 60g vegan protein powder, I used PHD Nutrition's Salted Caramel Smart Plant Protein
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 50g blueberries
- 2 cup water, plus more as needed
- Banana slices
- Dairy ice cream, I like Jude's Lower Calorie Vegan Cookie Dough Brownie
- This Isn't Bacon rashers
- Maple syrup
- Hotel Chocolat dark chocolate tiddly drops
- Mix the flour, protein powder, baking powder + salt together in a bowl
- Add the maple syrup and blueberries (or chosen filing), then slowly add the water, mix together until "just mixed". It should still be a little bit lumpy - We like our pancakes really thick but light (think American-style pancakes - You can add extra water if needed.
- Allow the batter to rest while you heat a frying pan over a low to medium heat. Use a light cooking spray to coat the base of the pan, then spoon about 3 - 4 tbsp of the batter onto the pan for each pancake, or enough to reach your preferred size.
- Cook until bubbles start to appear and the edges of the pancake look dry. Flip over and cook for a further 1 - 2 minutes.
- Pile up and top with your fave pancake toppings - I love sliced banana, chocolate chips, dairy free ice cream, This Isn't Bacon and more maple syrup.
For the rolls:
- Rice papers
- Lettuce, shredded
- Cucumber, sliced
- Carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- Avocado, sliced
- Marinated tofu - I use Cauldron Foods tofu sliced and marinated in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, lime juice + maple syrup
- Mango, sliced
- Pomegranate seeds
- Red cabbage, sliced
For the dipping sauce:
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter
- 2 tsp soy / tamari sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ tsp sriracha
- 2 - 4 Tbsp hot water (depends on desired consistency)
- Slice all the vegetables and fruits into thin strips/pieces about 5-6 cm long.
- Take a rice paper wrapper and soak it into warm water from both sides until it softens.
- Place it on a cutting board and arrange the fresh ingredients in the centre of the sheet horizontally (starting with the lettuce).
- Fold the rice paper over the ingredients (pushing them back) and fold the sides in towards the middle like a burrito. Roll it up firmly until the end and put aside.
- After you finished the rolls you can cut them in half and place on a serving platter or a bowl.
- For the sauce, mix all ingredients together and stir until you get a creamy dip (add more water for desired consistency).
- 225g dried vegan chow mein noodles - I use Yaus Thick Chow Mein Noodles (egg free, so suitable for vegans)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 100g vegan chicken pieces, sliced
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oi
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 50g mangetout finely shredded
- 50g This Isn't bacon rashers, finely sliced
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp golden caster sugar
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1tsp salt
For the marinade:
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 200g dried spaghetti
- 4 rashers of This Isn't Bacon, diced
- 2 tbsp vegan cream cheese, I use either Violife Original or Tesco own brand
- 30g Violife Prosociana, grated
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sea salt
- Cook pasta according to instructions in a pan of boiling salted water
- Mix the vegan cream cheese with 20g of the grated prosociano
- Whilst pasta is cooking, heat some oil in a large frying pan and cook the "bacon" until crispy, set aside once cooked
- Once cooked, take the spaghetti directly from the saucepan and add to the now empty frying pan, taking a little pasta water too
- Spoon the cheese mixture and cooked bacon back into the frying pan with the spaghetti and mix, adding more pasta water if needed, to create a creamy sauce
- Once all mixed together, and desired sauce consistency has been achieved, split into 2 pasta bowls. Top with remaining prosociano cheese, season and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
Health & Environmental Benefits of a Meat-Free Diet
We speak to Kelly from @My_vegan_kitchen on when she first went vegan, and the benefits veganism has on your health and the environment!
"When I first went vegan it was for different reasons to what keeps me vegan now. Back then, almost 7 years ago, it was for health reasons, some of which are listed below, but also, being an animal lover and an advocate of animal welfare, it felt kind of hypocritical to be adding to the problem.
* lower cholesterol
* reduced chance of getting type 2 diabetes
* reduced inflammation
* lower risk of heart disease
* reduced blood pressure
* enhanced gut health
* control of arthritis symptoms
In fact after eating a plant based diet for around 1 month, I'd lost about 10 lbs without even really thinking about "dieting".
Since then though, the vegan industry has boomed and vegan junk food is abundant. So in order to keep reaping these benefits, you need to focus on eating a healthy plant based diet, full of fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, pulses and legumes. Concentrating on home cooking whenever possible, turning to the many vegan friendly food prep boxes and meals that are out there - AllPlants, Gousto, Planty etc.
But it's good to know that even if you do enjoy junk food, it's often lower in calories and still abundant with all the health benefits I mentioned previously!
After initially turning to Veganism for health, I started to look in to all the other reasons to stay vegan. There are same great documentaries out there that highlight the below.
* Animal agriculture accounts for 30% of all global greenhouse gas emissions
* If grain fed to animals in western countries were consumed by people instead of animals, we could feed at least twice as many people as we do now
* Millions of hectares of trees have been felled for livestock, destroying wildlife habitats and endangered species
* Our resistance to antibiotics is in some part down to the antibiotics we consume in meat products
* If you eat meat, on average you're responsible for the consumption of 15,000 litres of water a day! It takes the equivalent of 50 bath tubs of water to produce just 1 steak!
And any compassionate person would find it impossible to turn a blind eye to the animal cruelty involved in the meat and dairy industry. Once you know, you can't un-know. Plus, there are so many amazing meat-free alternatives now. From This' Isn't Bacon, Future Farm Meatballs and Vegetarian Butcher What The Cluck chicken-style chunks, you can find a plant based alternative for all your faves!"