Reference Intake RI

A voluntary UK front of pack Nutrition Labelling Scheme from 19/6/2013 uses Reference Intake information RI – this was known as Guideline Daily Amount GDA

It shows levels of energy, fat, saturates, sugar and salt in red, amber or green if the traffic light system is used.

RIs for fat, saturates, sugars and salt are the maximum amounts that should be consumed in a day. These figures are based on an average sized woman, doing an average amount of physical activity.

The RIs are defined in a new piece of legislation called the Food Information to Consumers Regulation.

You can download the document on this link.

The Regulation provides RIs for use on a label for Energy kJ, kcal, fat, saturates, (total) sugars,  and salt and these are the same as the current ‘adult’ GDA values, with the exception of
protein which has changed from 45g to 50g and
carbohydrate which has changed from 230g to 260g.

The Nutrition Program shows the Reference Intake on a recipe as a %.

Put your recipe in My Recipes and go to Nutrition and see the chart.

This is a recipe for Vegan lasagne and you can see that it supplies plenty of protein – 59%

Vegan Mac ‘n’ cheese

This recipe uses Vegan yeast flakes which are enriched with Vitamin B12. It gives the dish a cheesy, nutty taste which replaces the traditional cheese used in the recipe.

Nutritional vegan yeast flakes
Nutritional vegan yeast flakes

You need to add flavour and protein to this dish as vegan style cheeses can be made from coconut oil and starch and are low in protein. The Nutrition Program has a selection of vegan cheeses and milks.

Serves 2-4


1 small onion, chopped 50g
100g of macaroni or similar pasta

Vegan white sauce
50g vegan spread
40g plain flour
400ml plant based milk – soya, oat, almond
Salt, pepper,
1 tbs vegan yeast flakes 7g
50g grated vegan type cheese
Vegetables for mixing
Frozen peas and sweetcorn 50g of each
Leek finely chopped 100gBreadcrumbs 10g – make by baking a slice of bread and crumbling into breadcrumbs
1 tsp vegan yeast flakes 1g
1 medium tomato 100g

Vegan macncheese dish


  1. Put the chopped onion into a saucepan with the plant based milk and warm through to add flavour.
  2. Cook the macaroni or pasta according to the packet instructions in a large pan of salted boiling water.
  3. Remove the onion from the milk and pour the hot milk into a measuring jug. 
  4. Use the milk saucepan to make the sauce by melting the vegan spread, stirring in the flour then heating while stirring for 1-2 minutes until it forms a paste.
  5. Gently add in the milk and stir over the heat until it forms a smooth sauce.
  6. Stir in the vegan cheese, yeast flakes and salt and pepper and taste. Add more seasoning if needed. And keep the sauce in the saucepan.
  7. Strain the pasta and put in an oven proof dish.
  8. Keep the hot pasta water and pour back into the saucepan.
  9. Tip in the frozen peas, sweetcorn and raw leeks and boil 2-3 minutes then strain and add the vegetables to the pasta.
  10. Stir the pasta and vegetables into the sauce in the pan and toss gently to cover. Spoon back into the serving dish.
  11. Mix the breadcrumbs with the vegan yeast flakes and sprinkle over the pasta dish.
  12. Top with the tomato slices.
  13. Grill lightly to make the breadcrumbs golden brown.
  14. If eating later, cool and reheat when needed in an oven at 200C for 20 minutes.
Nutrition for Macncheese - perfect dish!

Vegan bean sausage rolls

These vegan pastry rolls are filled with a spicy bean mixture which needs careful flavouring with onion, smoked paprika, cumin and celery salt.
You can use ready made shortcrust pastry or make your own. Ready made pastry needs to be taken out of the fridge for 30 minutes before using.

Makes 12


1 can butter beans (400g) drained of juice 250g drained weight

1 small onion finely chopped, 50g, 

1 level tsp smoked paprika

1 level tsp ground cumin

Pinch of celery salt

1 level tbs tomato ketchup

Chopped spring onion, chives or parsley

Sesame seeds

Shortcrust pastry – either ready made or use Vegan shortcrust pastry recipe 300g


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Line 2 baking trays with non stick baking paper.
  2. Put the drained butter beans in a bowl and mash with a fork or bash with the end of a rolling pin. Keep the bean liquid to use to glaze the pastry.
  3. Stir in the finely chopped onion, paprika, cumin, celery salt and tomato ketchup. Add chives, spring onion and/or parsley. Taste the mixture and see if it needs more flavour.
  4. Roll out the pastry into an oblong about 25x35cm and cut in half lengthways.
  5. Divide the bean mixture into 2 equal portions and roll into 2 long sausages along the length of the pastry. 
  6. Brush the long side of the pastry with some of the bean liquid and roll up to make a cylinder. Press to seal and put the sealed pastry edge underneath on the baking tray.
  7. Brush the top of the pastry with bean liquid and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  8. Cut each roll into 6 equal rolls and cut the top with scissors to make a peak.
  9. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  10. Serve warm or cold.


Find out how companies are making Vegan sausage rolls

Greggs Vegan sausage roll is made with flaky pastry and a vegan Quorn filling.

Greggs best selling Vegan sausage roll

Marks and Spencers has a Plant Kitchen with a range of products made from plants. Their No Pork Sausage roll has vegan flaky pastry and a filling made from soya protein and spices

Marks and Spencers Plant kitchen

Quorn has vegan pieces that can be used as a vegan protein for dishes.

Mycoprotein (89%), Potato Protein, Firming Agents: Calcium Chloride, Calcium Acetate; Natural Flavouring, Wheat Gluten, Pea Fibre, Stabilisers: Carrageenan, Sodium Alginate.

Store cupboard extras for vegan cookery

If you are teaching Vegan Cookery, I think you need to have some special ingredients in your store cupboard for flavour, colour and surprise!

Vegan Cookery for Schools will have ideas.

Here’s ideas for herbs and spices, flavourings and ingredients that students use in small quantities to save them bringing in from home.

You can store some frozen extras to add colour and flavour like frozen garlic, chillies and ginger from Iceland.

Flavour, flavour

Spices and herbs

Savoury vegan dishes are often high in carbohydrate if they contain beans and lentils, so the recipes need careful flavouring with herbs and spices to make them taste delicious.  

My school stock cupboard had loads of spices but many of them were so old, they had no flavour and should have been chucked out. Why not buy a spice grinder and whizz up whole spices such as cumin and coriander seeds when you need them?

Useful spices – cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, celery seeds, black pepper – essential, cinnamon, paprika, smoked paprika, dried chilli flakes

Useful dried herbs – mixed herbs, 

Pots of flavour

Keep a supply of large bottles of soya sauce, tomato ketchup – store in fridge when open, mustard, chilli sauce, vinegar such as malt, wine and apple

Store extra ingredients in the freezer to add colour, flavour and nutrition to dishes. Supermarkets sell large, inexpensive packets of frozen vegetables for emergency use if students forget ingredients.

Freezer extras – Iceland does deliveries

  • Frozen peas, sweetcorn, mixed peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, carrots and spinach – much cheaper than fresh and ready prepared!
  • Frozen chopped onions – I know it lowers the skill but onions are used in loads of recipes!
  • Frozen garlic and fresh ginger – adds flavour
  • Edamame beans – use for a lesson on soya

Large packets of essential extras

  • Range of dried pasta shapes
  • Flour – white, self raising, wholemeal, strong flour
  • Cans of tomatoes
  • Sugars – granulated, caster and brown
  • Cornflour
  • Rice – long grain, easy cook, risotto
  • Couscous, Quinoa, 
  • Dried pulses and beans – lentils, butter beans, kidney beans
Vegan cookery for Schools

Vegan Gyozas

Gyzsa wrapper

You can buy ready made gyoza dumpling wrappers as they are tricky to make. Strong flour is used as it is higher in the protein, gluten which helps the wrappers stretch as you roll out the balls of dough.

Handy tip – watch a Youtube video to see how to mix and roll – this dough is tricky to master! It has taken me 3 attempts to get sorted.

Makes 12-14 wrappers for 12-14 gyozas

Vegan gyozas with soya dip


200g strong flour salt


About 100 ml boiling water 

Cornflour for dusting the work surface



Vegan Filling

3cm of ginger peeled and grated 20g

Soya sauce 1tbs 15ml

Miso paste 1 tsp

Very finely chopped pieces of a range of vegetables – red pepper, cauliflower, cabbage, spring onion, mushroom, beansprouts

15g frozen peas

Toasted sesame seeds, 1 tbs

Soya sauce 1-2 tbs

Miso paste tsp 20g

Toasted sesame oil 1 tsp


Put the flour and salt in a bowl.

Gradually stir in the boiling water with a spatula and work with your  hands to form a dough. You may need more or less water, depending on the dryness of the flour.

Knead for 5 minutes then roll into a log about 3 cm diameter and cut in half. Use cornflour to stop the dough sticking.  

Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes – this is needed to let the gluten relax and develop.

Unwrap the dough. Sprinkle a little cornflour on the work surface and cut each log into 8 equal sized pieces – so 16 in total.

Cover the dough with damp T towel or wet paper towel to stop it drying out.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough pieces as thinly as possible, to a 10-12 cm circle on a surface dusted with cornflour. The thinner the skin the crispier the gyoza and the wrapper is less doughy when cooked.

When each circle is complete, put on a plate and cover with a damp cloth. You can freeze or wrap in cling film and store in the fridge for 3-4 days,

Make the filling while the dough is resting. Finely chop all of your choice of vegetables – the total weight is about 250g.

To season stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper and some miso paste if used.

To make up the gyoza, take one circle at a time and wet the edges. Fill with the vegetable mixture then seal and pleat like a pastie. Check online to see how it is done.

Heat 1 tbs oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When hot, put the gyoza in a single layer, flat side down.

Gyozas frying in a little oil

Cook until the bottom of the gyoza turns golden brown for about 3 minutes.

Lift off the lid to evaporate any remaining water. Add 1 tsp sesame oil around the frying pan.

Cook uncovered until the gyoza is crisp on the bottom. 

Lift onto a plate and serve with dipping sauce. For the dipping sauce, combine the sauce ingredients in a small plate and mix all together. 

To save gyoza for later, put the gyoza on a baking sheet leaving some space between to keep them from sticking, and put it in freezer. Transfer frozen gyoza into a freezer bag and store in the freezer up to a month. When you use frozen gyoza, do not defrost. Cook while frozen and steam for extra 1-2 minutes.

Put the results into the Nutrition Program.

Gyoza nutrition
Gyoza nutrition
Nutrition label
Gyoza evaluation after tasting