It’s easier than you think to be a broke vegan. The trick is not to be fooled by too many meat and dairy replacements – they often come with a hefty price tag, while also being processed, even ultra-processed foods. So today’s recipes don’t use any tofu, tempeh, seitan, veggie sausages, vegan cheese or yoghurt and the like. There’s so much delicious food that can be made simply with vegetables, grains, pulses and seasonings that there’s honestly no need to bother with over-processed foods.
Stalk and lentil tacos (pictured above)
Grated broccoli and cauliﬂower stalks give this taco filling an amazing texture; you could use all broccoli or all cauliﬂower instead, if you prefer.
Prep 15 min
Cook 15 min
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and ﬁnely sliced
1 broccoli stalk, grated
1 cauliﬂower stalk, grated
1 x 400g tin green lentils in water, drained
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp vegan bouillon powder
1 tsp hot sauce, or to taste
½ tsp celery salt, or to taste
Salt and pepper
For the quick red onion pickle
1 red onion, peeled and very ﬁnely sliced
2 tbsp white-wine vinegar, or lime juice
A pinch of salt
A pinch of sugar
For the coriander salsa
1 small bunch coriander
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 green chilli
1 small garlic clove
12 small tortillas or hard-shell tacos
¼ iceberg lettuce, shredded (optional)
1 small handful coriander leaves (optional)
1 lime, cut into wedges
1–2 sliced green chillies or pickled jalapeños (optional)
For the pickle, put the red onion in a small bowl, cover with the vinegar or lime juice and add the salt and sugar. Scrunch everything together with your hands (or mix well with a spoon) and set aside for at least 15 minutes. When the onion changes to a pink hue, they’re ready.
Meanwhile, make the taco filling. Put the oil and red onion in a large frying pan, add the grated stalks and lentils, and cook on a medium heat for five minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the tomato puree and seasonings, cook for one minute, then add the bouillon powder and water. Cook for five to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, then season generously with hot sauce, celery salt and pepper, or to taste.
For the salsa, finely chop the coriander, stalks and all, then mix in a medium bowl with the lime zest and juice, chilli and garlic; if need be, loosen with a few tablespoons of water or oil. Season well and use immediately.
Spoon the broccoli-lentil mixture on to tortillas, top with shredded lettuce and coriander, if using, and then some pickles and salsa, and serve with lime wedges.
Shredded veg rice noodle salad
You’ll want to put this tongue-tingling chilli oil dressing on just about everything.
Prep 15 min
Cook 10 min
150g rice noodles
2 spring onions, trimmed and ﬁnely sliced
1 carrot, trimmed, peeled and grated or julienned
½ cucumber, grated or julienned
½ white cabbage, shredded (optional)
1 small handful coriander and mint leaves, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve (optional)
For the dressing
1 garlic clove, peeled and ﬁnely grated
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp crispy chilli oil
2 tbsp salted roasted peanuts
½ red bell pepper, ﬁnely sliced
Put the rice noodles in a medium bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside.
Put all the vegetables and herbs in a large bowl. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a second bowl, season to taste with salt, then pour the dressing over the vegetables.
Once the rice noodles are tender, drain them well, add to the vegetable bowl and toss to combine and coat.
Serve sprinkled with the peanuts, sliced red pepper and some extra herbs, if you like.