Want to embrace a vegan lifestyle but are in need of inspiration? The Great British Vegan recipe cookbook by Aimee Ryan has a whole host of delicious plant-based takes on traditional meal ideas.

Beer-Battered Tofish and Chips

Not only does this beer-battered tofu look like the real deal but it also has added fish flavour, thanks to the nori sheet. Served with probably the best chips you’ll ever make – which take a bit of effort but are totally worth it – and super-simple minted mushy peas.

Serves 2

Preparation time:

20 minutes, plus cooling

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the tofish

  • 1 x 390g/13¾oz block of extra firm
  • tofu, drained and patted dry
  • 1 sheet of nori
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 80g/2¾oz (scant ²?3 cup) plain
  • (all-purpose) flour
  • 50g/1¾oz (½ cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 150ml/5fl oz (scant ²?3 cup)
  • vegan-friendly pale ale

For the chips

  • 1kg/2lb 4oz King Edward potatoes,
  • peeled and cut into chunky chips
  • 750ml/26fl oz (3¼ cups)
  • vegetable oil, for frying

For the mushy peas

  • 1 tbsp dairy-free butter
  • 200g/7oz (1½ cups) frozen petit pois
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp white (distilled) vinegar
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

To serve

  • vinegar
  • Vegan Mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Method

  1. Rinse the chips in cold water to remove excess Starch. Add them to a large saucepan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5–8 minutes until just softened. Drain, pat dry and arrange on a baking tray. Refrigerate for at least an hour or, covered, overnight.
  2. Make the mushy peas. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the mint and vinegar and, using a potato masher, crush the peas until mushy. Season then place a lid on the pan to keep them warm.
  3. To cook the chips, heat the oil to approximately 180ºC/350ºF and carefully lower half of the potatoes into the oil. Cook for 4–5 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the chips from the oil and drain on some paper towel. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Season generously with salt.
  4. Whilst the chips are cooking, prepare the tofish. Cut the block in half horizontally, then create fillet shapes, triangles or just rectangles. Using scissors, cut the nori sheet into matching shapes, so that it sits neatly on top of the tofu. This will resemble fish skin and also adds a fish flavour. Squeeze half a lemon over the tofu pieces then pat the nori shapes on top, so they’re fairly secure.
  5. Use the same pot of oil as you used to fry the chips, and reheat it until it’s reached approximately 160ºC/315ºF. Make the batter by whisking together the flour, cornflour and ale, then season. Dip the tofu shapes into the batter and then carefully transfer them to the hot oil. Cook for 3–4 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon.
  6. Sprinkle the tofish with salt and vinegar and serve with the chips, peas, lemon wedges and mayonnaise

Full English

Weekends aren’t the same without a fry-up. This vegan version will cure your cravings and is packed with plant-based protein and fibre.

Serves 2

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2–4 Vegan Sausages
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large flat mushrooms, stalks removed and peeled
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can baked beans
  • 2 handfuls of spinach, washed
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 8 Crispy Bacon Strips (see below)
  • 1 recipe quantity Tofu Scramble see below or 2 Vegan Fried
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • buttered toast, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the grill to medium–high. Put the vegan sausages in a large roasting tray and drizzle with the oil. Grill for 10 minutes, then turn the sausages and add the tomatoes and mushrooms. Cook for 5–8 minutes. Turn the grill off but leave the tray under it to keep everything warm.
  2. In a small saucepan, warm the baked beans for 5 minutes over a low–medium heat.
  3. Place the spinach, the balsamic vinegar and a splash of water in a small saucepan. Put the lid on and cook for 2 minutes over a medium heat, until the spinach has wilted.
  4. Divide the spinach between the plates followed by the beans, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon and tofu scramble or fried eggs. Season with salt and pepper and serve with buttered toast

Crispy Bacon Strips

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 4 sheets rice wrappers
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan/200ºC/400ºF/gas 6 and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Mix the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, paprika and salt together in a shallow dish.
  3. Stack two sheets of the rice paper on top of one another and soak in a bowl of cold water briefly to soften them. Using kitchen scissors, cut the sheets into bacon-sized strips.
  4. Dip each strip into the mixture, coating the paper on each side, before laying on the prepared baking tray. Use a pastry brush, dipped into the mixture, to give them a second coating on the baking tray.
  5. Bake for 5–8 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don’t burn. They should be crispy and textured with a good crunch. Serve immediately as they will lose their crunch after a few hours.

Tofu Scramble

This scramble tastes just like the real deal, especially if you can get hold of some black salt, which adds an eggy flavour. It’s delicious served on toast or as part of a full English breakfast.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp dairy-free butter
  • 1 x 396g/14oz block of firm tofu, drained
  • ¼ tsp kala namak (black salt)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • a pinch of ground black pepper
  • a few drops of unsweetened dairyfree milk (optional)
  • fresh chives, chopped (optional), to serve

Method

  1. Heat the butter in a frying pan and then crumble the tofu into small pieces before adding to the pan.
  2. Add the black salt, turmeric and pepper and cook for 7 minutes. Pour in a little milk if you want a creamier consistency.
  3. To serve, add some extra ground black pepper and sprinkle with a few chopped chives, if you like.

Easy Lentil Loaf

This is my go-to for roast dinners. It’s really easy to make, has a wonderfully meaty texture and is a lovely change from nut roasts.

Serves 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can Puy lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp yeast extract or miso paste
  • 2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 140g/5oz (scant 1½ cups)
  • oats (oatmeal), plus extra if needed
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC fan/180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and use a potato masher to mash everything together to make a chunky mixture. If the mixture is too dry, add a drop of water and if it’s too wet, add more oats. Season well with salt and pepper
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf tin and cook for 45 minutes, until firm to the touch.
  5. Turn the loaf out onto a chopping board and slice to serve.

Buttery Seasonal Greens

Don’t worry, greens are optional. I happen to love them though, for the flavour, nutritional goodness and colour it adds to the plate.

Ingredients

  • 900g/2lb seasonal cooking greens, such as chard, kale or cabbage, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 80g/2¾oz (5½ tbsp) dairy-free butter
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the greens for 5 minutes, until tender, then drain.
  2. Melt the butter in the still-warm pan, then remove from the heat. Add the drained greens and stir gently to coat them.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, then serve.

Crispy Roast Potatoes

Serves 6

Having the perfect crispy-on-the-outside and fluffyon- the-inside potatoes is the most important part of a roast dinner, in my opinion. Trying not to eat them all before serving to guests is the trickiest part.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg/3lb 5oz King Edward potatoes, peeled
  • sunflower oil, for cooking
  • 2 tbsp semolina
  • sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 210ºC fan/230ºC/450ºF/gas 8 and cover the base of a large roasting tray with oil, about 2mm/¹/16in deep. Put the tray in the oven to get really hot.
  2. Cut the potatoes into large chunks, with as much surface area as possible. Put into a large saucepan with cold, lightly salted water and bring to the boil, then boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes and leave them to steam in the colander for a few minutes. Return to the pan and put the lid on, then give it a good shake to roughen up the edges and help make them crispier. Sprinkle the potatoes with the semolina and shake again to coat.
  4. Carefully remove the tray from the oven and tip in the potatoes, turning with tongs to coat them in the oil. Roast for 50 minutes, turning half way through, until crisp and golden. Season with salt to serve.

Golden Roasted Parsnips And Carrots

Serves 6

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 400g/14oz carrots, peeled and cut into battons
  • 400g/14oz parsnips, peeled, and cut into battons
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup (light corn syrup)
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • a few fresh sage leaves, roughly torn
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • a pinch of sea salt

Golden syrup might seem like an odd ingredient in your roast dinner but it really brings out the natural sweetness of the parsnips and carrots, without being overpowering.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC fan/220ºC/425ºF/gas 7 and place a large roasting tray in the oven.
  2. Combine the olive oil, golden syrup, mustard, herbs and salt in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and toss to coat.
  3. Transfer the vegetables to the hot roasting tray and cook for 35 minutes until tender and golden.

Swede and Carrot Mash

Serves 6

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 600g/14oz carrots, peeled and
  • roughly chopped
  • 600g/14oz swede, peeled and
  • roughly chopped
  • 60g/2oz (¼ cup) dairy-free butter
  • a small pinch of nutmeg
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the carrots and swede and simmer for 15 minutes, ,until they are very tender.
  2. Drain the vegetables and return them to the saucepan, along with the butter and nutmeg, and season to taste. Mash well with a potato masher, or use a stick blender for a smoother mash.

Gravy – Three Ways

Caramelised Onion

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 600ml/21fl oz (generous 2½ cups) vegetable stock
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and fry the onions over a low heat for 15 minutes, until soft and caramelised. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir until the flour has been incorporated and made a thick paste. Add the stock and bring to a boil whilst stirring, then lower the heat and simmer for a further 10–15 minutes, until reduced and thickened. Serve immediately.

Creamy Cider

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 300ml/10½fl oz (1¼ cups) vegetable stock
  • 200ml/7fl oz (scant 1 cup) dry (hard) cider
  • 4 tbsp Cashew Cream
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and fry the onions over a low heat for 10 minutes, until, softened and golden.
  2. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir until the flour has been incorporated and made a thick paste. Add the thyme and stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the cider and simmer for a further 5 minutes until reduced and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cashew cream whilst still hot. Serve immediately.

Mushroom

  • 2 tbsp dairy-free butter
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 500g/1lb 2oz chestnut (cremini) mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 600ml/21fl oz (generous 2½ cups)
  • vegetable or mushroom stock
  1. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan and fry the onion over a low heat for 2 minutes, until softened. Add the mushrooms, garlic, vinegar and soy sauce and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir until the flour has been incorporated and made a thick paste. Add the stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for a further 10–15 minutes, until reduced and thickened. Serve immediately.

Trying out new gravy variations is a great way to add a twist to your traditional Sunday lunch or with Bangers and Mash.

Yorkshire Puddings

Makes 10

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 80g/2¾oz (scant ²?3 cup) selfraising
  • (self-rising) flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 60g/2oz (¹/3 cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 60g/2oz (½ cup) gram flour (chickpea flour)
  • 200ml/7fl oz (scant 1 cup) unsweetened dairy-free milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 300ml (10½fl oz)
  • sparkling water

This is the recipe I have spent by far the longest perfecting. Finally, I can share some Yorkshire puddings I am proud of!

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 230ºC fan/250ºC/500ºF/gas 9 and pour a tablespoon of oil into each hole of the 10- hole muffin tray. Once the oven is really hot, put the tray in and leave there for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the batter by mixing all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth.
  3. Carefully remove the muffin tray from the oven and, working quickly as possible, pour the batter into the holes using a circular motion to help form a well in the centre. You can also use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the top, halfway through cooking, to give you the sunken middle.
  4. Cook for 25–30 minutes until crisp and golden. Carefully remove from the tray and serve immediately. These can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

British Veggie Burger

Serves 2–4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

This veggie burger has a great, firm texture – no mushiness! It’s packed full of flavour and cooks beautifully in the pan, the oven or even on the grill. The recipe makes four small patties or two large ones if you’re feeling hungry!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for cooking the burgers
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp yeast extract or miso paste
  • 120g/4¼oz shiitake or chestnut (cremini) mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tbsp brown sauce
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 125g/4½oz (1 cup) cooked rice
  • 40g/1½oz (¹?3 cup) porridge oats (oatmeal)
  • 4–6 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • a generous pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper

To serve

  • 2–4 vegan cheese slices
  • 2–4 seeded burger buns
  • 1 little gem (bibb) lettuce, leaves
  • separated and washed
  • 1 beef tomato, sliced
  • Vegan Mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • Crispy Bacon Strips (see below)

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the balsamic vinegar, yeast extract or miso paste and mushrooms and cook for a further 8 minutes until brown and sticky.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients and use a potato masher to crush and combine everything together into a thick, chunky mixture. (You can also pulse the mixture in a food processor.) Shape the mixture into two large or four small patties.
  3. To cook, heat a frying pan with enough oil to cover the base and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes on each side, until slightly charred. Add the slices of cheese to the burgers whilst they are still warm in the pan and let the cheese melt slightly.
  4. To serve, lay out the bases of the buns and place a cheesy burger on each. Top with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, ketchup, bacon slices and any other toppings you like, then pop the bun lid on top and enjoy.

Crispy bacon strips

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 4 sheets rice wrappers
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan/200ºC/400ºF/gas 6 and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Mix the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, paprika and salt together in a shallow dish.
  3. Stack two sheets of the rice paper on top of one another and soak in a bowl of cold water briefly to soften them. Using kitchen scissors, cut the sheets into bacon-sized strips.
  4. Dip each strip into the mixture, coating the paper on each side, before laying on the prepared baking tray. Use a pastry brush, dipped into the mixture, to give them a second coating on the baking tray.
  5. Bake for 5–8 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don’t burn. They should be crispy and textured with a good crunch. Serve immediately as they will lose their crunch after a few hours.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 220ml/7½fl oz (scant 1 cup) unsweetened dairy-free milk
  • 100g/3½oz chopped dates
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 115g/4oz (scant ½ cup) dairy-free butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g/3½oz (½ cup) soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp treacle
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120g/4¼oz (scant 1 cup) self-raising (self-rising) flour
  • ½ recipe quantity Caramel Sauce (see page 137), warm
  • Easy Custard (see page 190)
  • or vegan ice cream, to serve

Sticky, sweet sponge cakes, served with a toffee sauce: what could be better? This recipe makes four individual mini puddings, but you could make it as one large pudding if you wish: it will just need to cook for longer.

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC fan/180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 and grease four 7.5cm/3in mini pudding moulds or a 1 litre/35fl oz (1 quart) pudding basin.
  2. Pour the milk into a small saucepan, add the chopped dates and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until softened. Remove the pan from the heat, add the bicarbonate of soda and, using a stick blender, blitz to make a purée.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the treacle and vanilla, followed by the date purée. Sift in the flour and mix well to combine.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared moulds, filling them about two-thirds of the way full. Place the moulds on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes (50 minutes if using the 1 litre mould), until well-risen and golden. The cakes should be shrinking away from the edges of the moulds. Allow to cool in the moulds.
  5. Serve the puddings warm with a generous drizzle of toffee sauce on top and some custard or ice cream.

Go Vegan without giving up your favourite dishes, with the simple plant-based recipe book Great British Vegan by Aimee Ryan, out now at GreatBritishVegan.

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