For many people who want to reduce impact on the world around us, starting to cut down on meat consumption comes top of the list.

However, at a time that’s already challenging, some may find themselves needing a little helping hand to keep things simple, achievable and of course, budget-friendly.

Linda McCartney’s has teamed up with renowned recipe writer and champion of affordable cooking, Jack Monroe aka Bootstrap Cook, to create three affordable recipes that help to take the challenge out of meat-free and make it accessible to everyone.

Jack has also shared her five top tips on how to make cooking meat-free a doddle, so that it’s an easy and delicious start to the year.

Jack’s Top Veganuary Tips

1. Rummage in your cupboard , fridge and freezer and make a list of everything you have that is vegan – some things seem really obvious but I find it easier to focus on what you CAN have rather than what you can’t – so everything counts, from canned fruits to rice and pasta to pulses and grains.

2. Don’t get hung up on being ‘perfect’ – because none of us are. If you make a mistake or slip up, just put it behind you, forgive yourself and keep going. Being vegan – whether full time, or only for January, or one day a week, or before 6pm, or however you choose to reduce your impact on animals and the environment – is about kindness and compassion, and you’ve got to include being kind and compassionate to yourself in that as well!

3. Follow LOADS of great vegan Instagram accounts to keep your feed full of amazing ideas and delicious looking food. I recommend @londonafrovegan; @theplantbasedmd; @shinewithplants; @fabiola; @genesis_butler; @rachelama_; @whatsgoodberto; @sweetpotatosoul; @myaplanet9; @theinvisiblevegan; @itskimberlyrenee; @koyawebb; @icanyoucanvegan; and @iamtabithabrown to get you started!

4. Let the experts do some of the hard work for you! Linda McCartney’s has perfected their vegan sausages and other meat-substitute items to use as a simple swap in recipes or to enjoy without too much fuss, so grab some when you’re at the supermarket and give yourself a bit of a break!

5. Head over to cookingonabootstrap.com for hundreds of free vegan recipes that are super cheap and really simple, you can type what you have in the cupboard into the search bar to generate recipe ideas. Also the Veganuary Facebook group are a super friendly helpful bunch too!

Linda McCartney’s Vegan Pastitsio

Pastitsio is an iconic and delicious Greek baked pasta dish that has similarities to the Italian lasagne.

Ingredients – serves 6-8 generously

For the bechamel:

50g flour

60ml olive oil or other cooking oil

1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Scant 1/2 tsp mustard, any kind

400ml cashew milk or unsweetened soya milk

100g vegan mozzarella

For the mince:

1 onion

4 large stalks of celery

1 carrot

4 fat cloves of garlic or 6 dinky ones

2 tsp olive oil or other cooking oil

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp mixed dried herbs

A pinch of powdered clove or 2 whole cloves

500g Linda McCartney Vegemince

175ml red wine or strong black tea

125ml strong mushroom stock or vegan gravy

500g passata

1 tsp vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

Plus 300g bucatini pasta – you can use penne or short macaroni instead if you don’t have bucatini

Method:

First peel and very finely chop your onion, and finely slice your celery. Grate your carrot, including the peels and the top, using the large holes on a box grater. Heat 2tbsp of oil on your largest hob ring in a very large nonstick pan, and add the veg. Turn the heat down to low – the large hob will still give off a generous amount of firepower – and add your cinnamon, herbs and clove. Season generously with salt and pepper, and cook gently for around 10 minutes, keeping them moving every now and then so they don’t stick and burn.

Add your mince, from frozen, and stir through the veg. Pour over your wine (or tea), pasta, and stock. Stir in the vinegar and sugar. Bring to the boil, briefly, then reduce to a simmer, uncovered, for around 20 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, make your bechamel. If you have a small bullet blender, this step is super easy. Just weigh the flour into the largest cup, and add the oil, mustard, sliced vegan mozzarella, nutritional yeast, a pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper, and two-thirds of the cashew milk. Blend for 60 seconds, or until smooth. It will look a little thin, but don’t worry, it thickens up when warmed, just like in the traditional method. Transfer it into a saucepan, on a low heat on your smallest hob ring, and stir intermittently to keep it smooth, adding the remaining cashew milk a little at a time. When it has thickened sufficiently that it thickly coats the back of your wooden spoon, remove from the heat. It will continue to firm up – don’t be alarmed by this – but if it starts to set, loosen it with a little of the boiling pasta water from the next step.

Bring a large, wide pan of generously salted water to the boil, and add your pasta. Slightly undercook it, so it is al dente, as it will continue to cook in the oven. Around 6-7 minutes is fine for most dried pastas, but check the packet instructions and simply knock 1-2 minutes off the cooking time. When the pasta goes into the pot, turn your oven on to 180C and lightly grease your dish.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add a ladle of the bechamel and shake through gently to lightly coat the pasta.

Transfer half of the pasta to the bottom of the dish. If you want to be fastidious about it, you can try to make sure the pasta is all aligned neatly so when it is cut through it looks spectacularly neat and really quite awesome, but Greek and Cypriot cooking is more of a practical skill than a beauty pageant, so you can just pop it in however you like.

Stir a ladle of bechamel into the mince and sauce, then spread it evenly over the pasta. Layer the remaining pasta on top, then pour over the remaining bechamel. You can top this with extra cheese if you like, but it’s not essential.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, then remove and allow to cool to room temperature before enjoying. Can be stored in the fridge for three days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Delicious enjoyed fridge-cold, room temperature (as is traditional), or piping hot.

Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Tomato & Basil Meatballs with Orzo-or-Rice, Tomatoes and Olives

This super simple tomatoey orzo-or-rice uses my favourite flavours from my Greek Cypriot heritage; oregano, rosemary, cinnamon and nutmeg, to complement the delicious moreishness of Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Tomato And Basil Meatballs.

1 large onion

4-6 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp mixed dried herbs or oregano and rosemary

a pinch of nutmeg

a pinch of cinnamon

400g chopped tomatoes

400g passata, or another can of tomatoes

1 tbsp sugar or your preferred alternative

100g green or black olives

1 tbsp lemon juice, fresh or bottled

salt and pepper

280g orzo pasta or white long grain rice

1 packet LM tomato and basil meatballs

First peel and finely dice your onion, and peel and finely mince your garlic. Warm a little oil in a large nonstick pan and add the onion on a low heat. Cook, stirring, for around 10 minutes until they start to soften.

Add your herbs, and the nutmeg and cinnamon, then pour in your tomatoes and passata. Add your sugar, and halve your olives and add those too. Add your lemon juice, and season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a brief boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes to thicken and develop the flavours.

Add your orzo or rice to the pot, along with x1 250ml cup of water. Stir well, and cook for 10-12 minutes if using orzo, 20 minutes if using rice. You may need to add more water, don’t overdo it as you can always put more in but it’s harder to take it out!

Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a separate frying pan and cook your Linda McCartney Meatballs on a medium-high heat.

Combine the meatballs with the tomatoey orzo or rice to serve.


Source


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more