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Who knew #Veganuary and #TacoTuesdays were so meant to be! This recipe was taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes.

Crisp, golden, batter-coated tofu, a summery pea crema and a zingy salsa with a corn tortilla – what’s not to like? If you’re using fresh peas, don’t forget to save the pea pods; they make a flavoursome light vegetable stock.

Taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year

 

Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

165g/5¾oz/scant 1¼ cups plain/all-purpose flour
2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
300ml/10½fl oz/1¼ cups light ale
4 tsp chipotle powder
4 tsp ground cumin
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
550g/1lb 4oz block of firm tofu, drained cut into 2cm/¾in wide x 1cm/½in thick fingers
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

PEA CREMA
1 large avocado, stone removed and flesh scooped out
55g/2oz/⅓ cup cooked peas
4 tbsp crème fraîche
1 large garlic clove, peeled
juice of 1 lime
1 green jalapeño chilli, deseeded and chopped

TOMATO AND CORIANDER SALSA
4 vine tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 handful of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves, chopped
½ small red onion, diced
1 green jalapeño chilli, deseeded and chopped
juice of ½ lime

TO SERVE
8 corn tacos
2 Little Gem/Bibb lettuces, shredded
chilli sauce (optional)

Method

To make the batter, sift the flour and cornflour/cornstarch into a large mixing bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Make a well in the middle and gradually whisk in the ale to make a smooth, fairly thick batter. Set aside to rest. Mix together the chipotle powder and cumin on a plate.

Blend together all the ingredients for the pea crema in a blender or mini food processor (or mash with a fork if you like a chunky mix), then season. Taste and add more lime, if needed.

Mix together all the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl, then season.

Place the tacos on a baking sheet and warm in the oven preheated to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.

To prepare the tofu, heat enough oil to half-fill a deep heavy saucepan to 176°C/350°F (or until a cube of bread turns golden and crisp in 40 seconds). Pat dry the tofu slices with paper towels, making sure you get rid of as  much moisture as possible, then dust in the chipotle mix until coated all over. Dunk the tofu, one slice at a time, into the batter until well coated, then lower it into the hot oil. Cook 3 slices of tofu at a time for 11/2–2 minutes until light golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven. Repeat until you have cooked all the tofu.

To assemble, place some lettuce in a taco shell, top with 2–3 slices of tofu and a good spoonful of the salsa, followed by the pea crema. Finish with a dash of chilli sauce, if you like, and serve with extra wedges of lime on the side.

#Veganuary2021 is going strong with this glorious recipe! Nicola does offer a part-time variation to mix things up – swap out the tofu for white fish fillets! Cut them into bite-sized chunks, coat in the spiced flour and batter, then deep fry until crispy and golden brown. Delicious!

Join us in celebrating #WorldVeganMonth this November! It’s been amazing to see how far the vegan movement has come over the years; here at Nourish, we have made it our mission to aid and assist the movement, by publishing the ideal accompanying vegan guidebooks to help you join in and celebrate.

Take the Living on the Veg! quiz to get matched with the Nourish cookbook that will be your #WorldVeganMonth companion – share your results with us on social media using the #LivingontheVeg hashtag!

Light, bright and nourishing! This wholesome recipe was taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes, we’re sharing it as part of #VegetarianAwarenessMonth this October!

The broth is loaded with healthy and hearty ingredients such as ginger, turmeric and chilli, and plenty of seasonal veg. To give the broth extra flavour-infusing time, you could make it up to 2 days in advance, then leave to cool and store, covered, in the fridge – although this isn’t essential!

Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes,
plus standing time
Cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

875ml/30fl oz/generous 3 and 3/4 cups good-quality hot vegetable stock

7cm/3in piece of fresh root ginger, sliced into thin rounds

6 kaffir lime leaves

2 large lemongrass stalks, crushed slightly with the blade of a knife

1 and a 1⁄2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 bird’s-eye chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced

250g/9oz flat udon or soba noodles

350g/12oz asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed

sesame oil, for brushing

400g/14oz can coconut milk

1 tsp ground turmeric

4 large handfuls of baby spinach

juice of 1 large lime

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

2 spring onions/scallions, thinly sliced diagonally

1 handful of coriander/cilantro leaves

1 tsp black sesame seeds

Method

  1. Put the stock, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, soy sauce and half of the chilli in a large saucepan and bring almost to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes to infuse the stock with the flavourings. (This can be done in advance and the broth left to infuse until ready to serve. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)
  2. Cook the noodles following the package directions, then refresh in cold water and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, brush the asparagus with sesame oil. Heat a griddle/grill pan over a high heat and chargrill the asparagus for 8–10 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred in places and tender. You may need to cook the asparagus in batches. Set aside.
  4. While the asparagus are chargrilling, strain the broth, then return it to the pan with the coconut milk and turmeric. Reheat the broth, then add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes or until tender. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. To serve, divide the noodles evenly between 4 large shallow bowls. Ladle over the coconut broth and top with the asparagus, the remaining sliced chilli, spring onions/scallions, coriander/cilantro and sesame seeds.

Part-Time Variation!

Rejuvenating chicken or beef broth: Replace the vegetable stock with chicken stock, made from the bones of a roasted chicken, or a beef bone broth.

In celebration of #VegetarianAwarenessMonth this October, we are sharing some of our most-hearted veggie friendly recipes with you! First up, from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year, this Autumn appropriate hug-in-a-bowl carrot, ginger and lentil soup.

Carrot, ginger and lentil soup with carrot crisps taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year.

Warming and comforting, a bowl of this hearty, nutritious soup is a go-to when the weather is chilly and I’m looking for sustenance. The carrot crisps are a great way to use up carrot peelings. When roasted, they add crunch and a contrast in texture to the smooth soup – they also make a healthy snack.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

550g/1lb 4oz carrots, scrubbed

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 large onion, roughly chopped

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced

2 tsp ground coriander

Half-tsp ground turmeric

1 thumb-size piece of fresh root

ginger, peeled and finely grated

175g/6oz/1 cup split red lentils, rinsed well

2 bay leaves

1.2 litres/40fl oz/5 cups good-quality hot vegetable stock

juice of half a lemon

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tbsp thick plain yogurt and

Half-tsp nigella seeds, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
  2. Start by making the carrot crisps. Using a vegetable peeler, peel away the skin of the carrots into long, thin strips. Toss the carrot strips in a drizzle of oil and place in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes or until crisp and golden, turning once – keep an eye on them as they can easily burn. Remove from the heat, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and leave to cool and crisp up further.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the peeled carrots into chunks. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium low heat, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the celery and carrots and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the spices followed by the lentils and bay leaves, then pour in the stock. Stir and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, part-cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils and carrots are tender.
  4. Using a hand-held stick/immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls, then top with a good spoonful of yogurt, a few nigella seeds and the carrot crisps.

Why not give vegetarianism a go this month? Check out this post for some inspiration!

Don’t forget to tag @nourishbooks on social media when you post your version of this delicious meal. Happy eating!

The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes is available to buy NOW!

How things have moved on since my original The Part-Time Vegetarian was published five or so years ago. The culinary climate has definitely changed for the better, with more of us choosing to eat plant-based meals on a regular basis. And to prove the point, research figures show that, impressively, one in three in the UK have cut down on the amount of meat they eat, with 60 per cent of vegans and 40 per cent of vegetarians having adopted their dietary preference over the last 5 years.

While the health benefits of a plant-based diet – the reduced risk of major chronic diseases, obesity and diabetes – are well documented, it has been the growing concerns over the environmental impact of intensive animal farming that has spurred much of the move towards flexitarianism, vegetarianism and veganism over the past few years. Recent research has revealed the hefty footprint of intensively reared meat, with the conclusion that the single most effective way to reduce our environmental impact is a global shift towards a flexitarian diet that contains only small amounts of ethically reared, good-quality meat and dairy, eaten once or twice a week with a plant-based diet being predominant.

For me, one of the most exciting aspects of the shift towards flexitarianism is how inspiring and creative plant-based cooking has become. Nowadays, no chef worth their salt would forget to include a vegetarian or vegan dish on their restaurant menu. What’s more, many openly relish the exciting culinary possibilities of plant-based cooking.

As a family, we have become more mindful of what and how we eat over the years. Like many families, our eating preferences vary and I’m constantly on the look-out for meals that both meet our differing tastes and that can be adapted if need be. Whether we eat meat just once a week; just at weekends; as part of an extended family get together; for a dinner party; or not at all, I’ve found that flexitarianism is a way of eating that can be moulded to suit our individual needs.

I’m hoping that this sense of versatility, adaptability and variety shines brightly in the recipes in this book. Importantly, vegetables always take centre stage with a focus on what’s in season. Where meat (or seafood) are included they are in cost-, eco- and health-conscious small amounts and treated as a garnish, side, topping or second to the plant-based components of the meals. At the heart of this book is the growing relevance of a mindful connection with what and how we eat.