Affordable vegan lunches that also fight food waste

Hummus doesn’t have to be made with chickpeas – try this lentil-based variety (sorted)

Trying a vegan diet doesn’t have to cost the earth.

In the Budget Bites column this month, we’re ditching meat for smooth bowls of lentil hummus, meatless dan dan noodles and a super comforting orzo dish that will keep you coming back for more.

These recipes from Sorted Food – with whom we jointly deliver easy, affordable, quick and (most importantly) tasty dishes once a month – are perfect for home cooks who are short on time and want to cut back on meat consumption and include more vegetables in their diet.

One shopping list with the ingredients used in all recipes also ensures minimal food waste, taking your weekly grocer a step further.

shopping list

Lentil hummus and baked eggplants

Hummus doesn’t have to be chickpeas! Serve our lentil twist with steamed couscous and soft baked harissa vegetables.

It serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 eggplant

200 g of cherry tomatoes

5 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon harissa paste

100 g of couscous

1 lemon

Microwave 250g lentils

1 clove of garlic

3 tablespoons of tahini

2 balloons

method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Fill the kettle with water and bring it to a boil – this will be for the couscous later.

2. Remove and discard the green stem from 1 eggplant, then cut the eggplant into small pieces.

3. Transfer the eggplant to a large baking sheet along with the 200 g tomatoes, 1 tbsp harissa paste and a large pinch of salt. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix well. Make sure the vegetables are spread out in 1 even layer.

4. Bake the vegetables in the oven for 12-15 minutes until everything is soft, jammy and golden in places. Take care of the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

5. Pour 100 g of couscous into a large bowl. Finely grate the zest of 1 lemon and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper, then mix everything well.

6. Pour enough boiling water from the kettle into the couscous bowl to just cover the couscous. Stir everything together quickly, set aside and let the couscous slowly soften while you take care of the rest of the dish in the next steps.

7. Put a 1,250 g bag of lentils in a large bowl, then squeeze the juice from the grated lemon peel. Peel, finely grate 1 clove of garlic, add 2 tablespoons of tahini paste and 4 tablespoons of water.

8. Blend everything with a hand blender until smooth. Loosen with a little water if necessary – we want a smooth, mashed potato consistency. Season generously with salt and pepper.

9. When the couscous is tender, fluff the grains with a fork. Thinly slice 2 spring onions and fold them.

10. Spoon hummus into bowls and spread with a spoon. Load up the couscous, vegetables and finish with a serving of ½ tablespoon tahini in each bowl.

Vegan rice noodles dan dan

Sichuan's answer to comfort food (sorted)

Sichuan’s answer to comfort food (sorted)

Dan dan noodles are Sichuan’s answer to comfort food. The noodles are covered in a silky sesame sauce and served with spicy tofu in our very vegan twist.

It serves: 2

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

280 g of very firm tofu

2 tablespoons of tahini

10g of fresh ginger

1 clove of garlic

1 teaspoon of powdered sugar

½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon of ground allspice

½ teaspoon of ground cumin

100 g flat rice noodles

3 balloons

20 g of fresh coriander

1 tablespoon of light soy sauce

method:

1. Fill the kettle with water and boil it – this will be for pasta later.

2. Place a large frying pan over high heat and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil.

3. When the oil is shiny and loosens up, crumble a 1,280g block of tofu.

4. Fry for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden and crispy in places. Take care of the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

5. Add 2 tablespoons of tahini and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce to a large bowl. Peel and finely grate 10 g of ginger and 1 clove of garlic. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar.

6. Mix everything well and season to taste with a little soy sauce if necessary.

7. When the tofu is crunchy in places, add ½ teaspoon each of cinnamon, allspice and cumin. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Season to taste with salt.

8. Put 100 g of pasta in a medium saucepan and pour enough boiling water from the kettle to just cover it. Place the skillet over high heat and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender but still with a slight bite.

9. While the pasta is cooking, thinly slice 3 spring onions.

10. When the pasta is ready, use tongs to transfer it to the bowl with the sauce. Add spring onions and 15 g of coriander – we will use the rest later for decoration. Stir everything together, loosening with a bit of the pasta cooking water if needed. The sauce should cover the pasta with a silky sauce.

11. Divide the noodles into bowls and put the seasoned tofu on top. Garnish with the remaining 5 g of cilantro and serve!

Tofu and harissa orzo

Super Fast One Pot Miracle (sorted)

Super Fast One Pot Miracle (sorted)

A super quick miracle in one pot. Delicate orzo in a silky, creamy sauce with lots of harissa and bright orange.

It serves: 2

Ingredients:

5 spring onions

2 tablespoons of olive oil

280 g of very firm tofu

200g orzo

1 vegetable bouillon cube

2 tbsp harissa paste

10 g of fresh coriander

1 orange

method:

1. Fill the kettle with water and boil it. Cut 5 spring onions into about 2 cm lengths.

2. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet and place it over medium heat.

3. Once the oil starts to shimmer and loosen up, toss in the onion and crumble it into a 1,280g block of tofu. Fry for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden in places.

4. Add 200 g orzo to the pan and mix everything so that the grains are coated with oil.

5. Measure 500 ml of boiling water into a pot. Mince 1 stock cube, then add 2 tablespoons harissa and a large pinch of salt.

6. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally until the orzo is softened but still has a slight bite and the liquid coats the grains with a loose shiny glaze. We’re looking for a risotto-like texture. Take care of the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

7. Finely chop 10g of cilantro, then garnish it with a little washing-up liquid while waiting for the orzo.

8. When the orzo is ready, remove the pan from the heat and finely grate the zest of 1 orange. Squeeze the juice and add ¾ of the cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

9. Divide the orzo into bowls and sprinkle with the remaining cilantro. eat!

In response to the uprising maintenance costs, we’ve teamed up with Sorted Food to bring you easy, affordable, quick and (most importantly) delicious recipes once a month. Learn more about Sorted and their nifty sidekick meal planning app on the site sortedfood.com/sidekick.

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