Chickpea, spinach and red pepper curry – vegan

Chickpeas need plenty of spices and flavouring to make this delicious curry.

.Whole spices give more flavour than ground spices so it is good to whizz the coriander and cumin in a grinder or pound them before cooking. Then add the fresh ginger and garlic.

Serves 2 – double to serve 4

Vegan chickpea, spinach and red pepper curry


1 tbs vegetable oil, 30g

Small onion 60g, finely diced

3cm fresh ginger, peeled and sliced, 25g

2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced, 5g

1 tbs coriander seeds, 10g

1 tbs cumin seeds, 10g

½ can coconut milk 150ml

2 tbs tomato ketchup = 30g

1 tsp garam masala – optional

½ 400g chickpeas, drained = 200g

½  red pepper, cut into slices 70g

Spinach – fresh or frozen 50g

Salt and black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and stir in the onion and cook gently for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Prepare the spice mixture. Whizz the ginger, garlic, coriander and cumin seeds in a processor until smooth.
  3. Add the spice mixture to the onions and cook and stir for a further 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk and tomato ketchup then pour in some of the chickpea water and bring to the boil.
  5. Add the garam masala, drained chickpeas and red pepper and stir and heat until it begins to bubble.
  6. If using fresh spinach, put the leaves into the sauce. If using frozen spinach, chop the spinach and heat to allow to defrost in the hot sauce.
  7. Stir, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with a cucumber or tomato spiced salad or boiled rice.

Use the Nutrition Program to carry out the analysis

List the ingredients, and their weight and check that they say Vegan.

Check that the ingredients show Vegan.

Look at Costs for a portion or whole recipe.

This shows total cost of recipe and a portion.

Check the Nutrition – Choose Show 8 to show energy, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrate, total sugars, protein, fibre and salt. You can see the percentage of  RI Reference Intake % and the Traffic Light – if any show red, then the recipe may need changing

This shows RI Reference Intake of the recipe – this recipe is low in energy.


Click Food Label and insert a photo of your work.

This shows Traffic Lights, nutrition and ingredients.

Now do a Recipe Sheet and put in the Method.

Method is really useful.

Finally do the Star Profile to show how it looks and tastes.

Add your tasting notes

Vegan lasagne with aubergine

Made from aubergine and soya mince with oat milk for the bechamel sauce

In this Vegan lasagne I use vegan ingredients to replace meat lasagne recipe  

  • Soya mince replaces meat mince
  • Plant based drinks like oat, soya, almond replace milk
  • Vegan spread replaces butter

Things to watch for

Make sure the lasagne sheets are not made from egg otherwise they are not vegan. There are plenty of plant based drinks to replace milk – this recipe uses unsweetened soya drink. The meat free sauce needs careful flavouring – herbs, tomatoes, vegetarian seasoning, salt and pepper. Taste after it has cooked.

Use Nutrition Program to look at nutrition

Serves 4
The recipe is made for 4 as it is hard to scale it down to serve 2.


180g meat free mince (Sainsburys) made from soya
100ml water
1 tbs vegetable oil
Small aubergine 150g cut into slices then cubes
1 small onion 90g, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ of a 400g can of tomatoes (200g + juice)
1 tbs tomato ketchup
Large pinch mixed, dried herbs
Vegan stock cube or 1 tsp vegan bouillon powder
Salt and pepper
Vegan white sauce
2 tbs vegetable oil
40g plain flour
400ml plant based drink – soya, oat, almond
Salt, pepper, grated nutmeg

4-6 sheets dried egg free lasagne 60 – 90g


  1. Mix the meat free mince with water and stir so it absorbs and swells.
  2. Gently fry the aubergine cubes, onion and garlic in oil in a large frying pan for 3-4 minutes until they soften, stirring all the time.
  3. Add the softened mince and stir in the tomatoes, tomato ketchup and a little water to make the sauce.
  4. Season with vegan bouillon and mixed herbs. Cook gently for 5 minutes.
  5. Make the white sauce. Heat the oil and flour in a pan for a minute to mix together then gently whisk in the plant-based drink until the sauce thickens.
  6. Season with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg.
  7. The lasagne is ready to assemble. Choose a dish that will serve 4.
  8. Put half the meat free mixture in the base of the dish, then layer on half of the sheets of lasagne. 
  9. Spread in the remaining meat free mixture and top with the lasagne sheets.
  10. Pour over the white sauce so that it covers the lasagne sheets.
  11. To serve, set the oven to 150°C and bake 20 minute to thoroughly heat through. It should reach 75°C. Test with a food probe.

Vegan red and yellow pepper risotto

To make a risotto, the rice needs to be stirred during cooking

Vegan Risotto with yellow and red peppers

Serves 2


1 small red onion, peeled and cut into small pieces, 70g

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

2 tbs vegetable oil

120g risotto or other rice

1/2 cob of sweetcorn, with seeds removed (50g seeds)

1 red and 1 yellow pepper (about 100g) deseeded and cut into chunks

2 tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp vegan bouillon powder or 1 vegan stock cube

400ml boiling water

2 spring onions, washed and finely chopped


Roasted peppers
Fry onion and sweetcorn

Preheat the oven 200C.

Fry the onion and the garlic in a large frying pan over a gentle heat to soften the onion. Stir often and after 5 minutes add the rice.

Put the chunks of pepper in a roasting tin and toss in the oil. Put in the oven and roast for 20 minutes so that the peppers soften and the sugars caramelise, giving some brown edges and added flavour.

Add the sweetcorn seeds to the rice mixture.

Mix the boiling water in a jug with the bouillon powder or stock cube. Stir slowly into the rice mixture, letting the rice absorb the liquid.

Stir and cook the rice for 10-15 minutes until the rice softens. Add the sweetcorn 2 minutes before the end of cooking.

Remove the peppers from the oven and spoon out of the oil, leaving excess oil in the roasting pan.

Gently toss the red and yellow peppers into the rice then taste and add more seasoning if needed.

Sprinkle over the finely chopped spring onions.

To do

Take photos of the dish.

Put the recipe ingredients into the Nutrition Program to look at the nutrition.

This is the food label – the arrow points to the Vegan label.

This is the Food Label – the risotto provides 464 kcal per 350g portion = 23% RI
See the allergens and the label Vegan

Write up the method so it is saved on your Recipe Sheet.

The risotto is a well balanced dish but more protein could be added.
Taste the risotto and create a star profile to show how it needs improving. This recipe needs extra protein and more flavour and longer cooking.

Nutrition Program and Vegan pasties

Find the nutritional value of your Vegan Pasties using the Nutrition Program.

See how much protein they provide compared with meat or cheese pasties. 

These are the ingredients:-

140 g plain flour
70g vegetarian fat suitable for vegans
1-2 tablespoons water 
Pinch of salt

Vegetable Filling
Choose a range of vegetables to make up to 120g – grated carrot, finely chopped sweet potato, butternut squash, potato
Small piece finely chopped onion 20g
20 g frozen peas
Pinch mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
1 tsp sesame or flax seeds
Oil for brushing pastry

Vegan pasties with vegetables
  1. My Recipes – Vegan Pasties – makes 2
  2. Enter the ingredients
  3. Look at the Nutrition
  4. Go to Food Label and put the photo, fill in the Storage info and Use by to show how to keep the pasties and how long to store them. Check that your recipe is Vegan.
  5. Go to Recipe Sheet and add your Method. Export the work.
2. Enter the ingredients – Check they are Vegan
3. Look at Nutrition – 4.4g protein
4. The food label shows ingredients, allergens, nutrition and if Vegan.
5. You can write your recipe method

Vegan pasties

Vegan pasties

The vegetable filling for these pasties is made from a mix of grated and finely chopped vegetables which can include grated carrot, finely chopped sweet potato, butternut squash, potato. Chickpea or plain flour binds the vegetables together as the mixture can get wet during baking and make soggy pastry.

Pasties can be made from square or circles of pastry then sealed before baking.

Add some frozen peas for colour and extra protein and flavour the vegetables with salt, pepper and mixed herbs. 

The pastry is glazed with a little oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds for protein.

For speed you can use a pack of ready made, ready rolled shortcrust pastry which makes 4 small pasties.

Makes 2 pasties



140 g plain flour
70g vegetarian fat suitable for vegans
1-2 tablespoons water 
Pinch of salt

Vegetable Filling
Choose a range of vegetables to make up to 120g – grated carrot, finely chopped sweet potato, butternut squash, potato
Small piece finely chopped onion 20g
20 g frozen peas
Pinch mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
1 tsp sesame or flax seeds
Oil for brushing pastry

Preheat the oven to 200 °C/ Gas 6. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
Make the pastry by rubbing in the fat into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Mix with cold water and form into a dough. If time, wrap in clingfilm and chill.
Prepare the filling by mixing the grated and finely chopped vegetables. Mix in salt, pepper and mixed herbs and stir in the chickpea or plain flour
Divide the pastry into 2 pieces and roll out into 15-17 cm squares or 15cm diameter circles. Roll  between 2 pieces of non-stick paper or roll on a floured surface. The non-stick paper can be used to line the baking tray.
Put about 70g of the filling in the centre of each square or circle, damp the edges with water and fold over to seal.
Squeeze the edges together with thumbprints or mark with a fork.
Brush with a little oil to glaze the pastry and sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and the vegetables have softened.
Leave to cool slightly before tasting.

Cooking tips

Seasoning tips – Vegetable fillings for pies and pasties need careful seasoning. Try using smoked paprika, curry powder, cumin, coriander and celery salt to add flavour.

Put the vegetable filling into the centre of the pastry to fold.

Adding extra protein
This pastie has a  lower protein content than a meat or cheese pastie. Add protein ingredients to improve the nutritional value by including beans, cooked lentils or chickpeas. Crunchy peanut butter adds flavour, texture and protein to these pasties and tomato ketchup binds the vegetables, adding flavour.

Skills – pastry making, grating and chopping vegetables finely, rolling pastry and sealing.

Classroom issues
Tips on working with large classes in one hour or less practical session.

Buy a selection of vegetables that students can use for fillings.
Use ready made pastry either bought in or made in another session.
Students can work in pairs, one preparing pastry and the other vegetables.
Vegetables need to be very finely chopped/ diced to make sure they cook through in the baking time, so sharp knives are essential.
Several pasties can be cooked in a hot oven at the same time if using 3 oven racks.
Using nonstick parchment paper – this saves flouring the worksurface and cleaning up time. The paper can be used to line the baking tray.

Food waste – roll out the pastry into squares or circles without cutting into shapes to avoid pastry wastage.
Vegetables such as carrots can be scrubbed instead of peeling.

Serving ideas

Add colour to the plate when serving the pasties by adding some coleslaw, tomato salsa or home made chutney.