Eating

How to make an Easter meal your favourite vegan will love

How to make an Easter meal your favourite vegan will love

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This year, I’ve kept things simple but delicious.

This year, I’ve kept things simple but delicious.

How to make an Easter meal your favourite vegan will love
Easter is just around the corner and apart from the fact that eating chocolate for breakfast is acceptable behaviour, is there anything better than a hearty Sunday lunch with your nearest and dearest (pandemic rules applied, of course)? After a week of peanut-butter toast between meetings, there’s something about a big, fancy meal, with a glass of bubbly or two, that really makes me happy – and so excited to get into the kitchen. Plus, does a better nap exist than the one you take on the couch with a belly full of food and your chocolate stash just within reach?

This year, I’ve kept things simple but delicious for Easter and I’ll be serving up a mushroom and “chicken” pie with garlic-fried broccoli, a light but tasty spinach salad and smashed baby potatoes. And I’ve got a few places you can get some vegan Easter treats for snacking throughout the day. I hope you have a happy day with your loved ones and a plate piled with food.

Easter lunch recipes

Mushroom and “chicken” pie

Olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp thyme

2 x 250g button mushrooms, sliced

60ml white wine (optional)

540 g plant-based "chicken" pieces (like these ones from Oumph!)

2.5 cups vegetable stock

2 tbsp cornflour

1 roll puff pastry, defrosted (many puff pastries are vegan, unless you go for the real butter kind)

1. To a large pan over medium heat, add a good glug of olive oil, then add the onion, carrot and celery (aka your mirepoix). Sauté for about 10 minutes or until the veggies are soft and just starting to caramelise.

2. Stir in the crushed garlic and thyme and sauté for a few more minutes.

3. Add the mushrooms and stir to combine (I usually add a bit of salt here because it helps draw the liquid out of the mushrooms). Stir in the wine, if you’re using, and cook the mixture until the mushrooms are soft.

4. Now you can add the stir-fry strips (I pulled my pieces apart a little bit, so there is a mix of chunky pieces and smaller pieces). Stir to combine and let the mixture cook for a few minutes before adding the vegetable stock. Let the mixture simmer.

5. Meanwhile, in a cup, make a slurry by adding a little bit of water to two tablespoons of cornflour. Stir until there are no lumps. Add the slurry to your pie filling and stir to combine. As the cornflour cooks in the stock, it will thicken it.

6. Cook the mixture until you are happy with the consistency, then remove from the heat. Taste to check the seasoning and add more salt, pepper or thyme until you’re happy. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes.  

7. Once your mixture is cool, pour it into your baking dish. Unroll your puff pastry and roll it over the top of your dish, cutting it to fit as you go. Make two slits in the middle of the pastry, so steam can escape. Place the pie into the fridge for about 30 minutes, if you have the time, so that the pastry can cool down – this will ensure crisp, flaky layers.

8. Bake in a 180˚C oven for 50 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Garlic-fried broccoli

Olive oil

1 head of broccoli, broken into florets

Salt and pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Add a glug of olive oil to a heated pan, swirling the pan to make sure the base is covered. Add your broccoli in a single layer (if you want to do a lot of broccoli, you could do two batches) and leave for a few minutes without stirring. You want the broccoli to get a little bit charred (I like it a lot charred). Once it’s begun to char, give the florets a stir, adding salt and pepper as you do.

2. When the broccoli is just about done to your liking, stir in the garlic. Cook for a minute or two more and remove from the heat. Taste a floret to check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper, as desired.

Spinach salad

100g spinach

1/2 red onion, peeled

50g roasted almonds, chopped

2 tsp whole-grain mustard

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp white-wine vinegar

Sugar, salt and pepper, to taste

1. Place the spinach in your serving dish. Slice the onion into half half-moons, separate the pieces and scatter them over the spinach. Next, scatter over the chopped almonds.

2. To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together and adjust the seasoning to taste. Pour over the salad and toss to combine.

Smashed baby potatoes

700g baby potatoes

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1. Boil the potatoes in water until just soft. Drain the water and place the potatoes into a baking dish.

2. Using the back of a spoon (or the bottom of a glass), “smash” each potato a little so that it cracks and flattens. Pour over some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven with the pie – they should take about 50 minutes.

Vegan treats to pick up for Easter

While we’re a long way from the shelves and shelves of Easter treats that make their way into shops once Valentine’s Day is over, each year there are a few more options for the animal-friendly people of the world. Here’s a list of treats to pick up for your friendly neighbourhood vegan:

- An Easter bunny from Vantastic Foods.

- Chocolate crisp balls from Oslo Raw.

- A selection of vegan candy from your local supermarket.

- Pana Chocolat coconut and goji chocolate.

- Chocolate Easter lollies from Vantastic Foods.

- A bundle of chocolate bars from Goodio.

Easter is just around the corner and apart from the fact that eating chocolate for breakfast is acceptable behaviour, is there anything better than a hearty Sunday lunch with your nearest and dearest (pandemic rules applied, of course)? After a week of peanut-butter toast between meetings, there’s something about a big, fancy meal, with a glass of bubbly or two, that really makes me happy – and so excited to get into the kitchen. Plus, does a better nap exist than the one you take on the couch with a belly full of food and your chocolate stash just within reach?

This year, I’ve kept things simple but delicious for Easter and I’ll be serving up a mushroom and “chicken” pie with garlic-fried broccoli, a light but tasty spinach salad and smashed baby potatoes. And I’ve got a few places you can get some vegan Easter treats for snacking throughout the day. I hope you have a happy day with your loved ones and a plate piled with food.

Easter lunch recipes

Mushroom and “chicken” pie

Olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp thyme

2 x 250g button mushrooms, sliced

60ml white wine (optional)

540 g plant-based "chicken" pieces (like these ones from Oumph!)

2.5 cups vegetable stock

2 tbsp cornflour

1 roll puff pastry, defrosted (many puff pastries are vegan, unless you go for the real butter kind)

1. To a large pan over medium heat, add a good glug of olive oil, then add the onion, carrot and celery (aka your mirepoix). Sauté for about 10 minutes or until the veggies are soft and just starting to caramelise.

2. Stir in the crushed garlic and thyme and sauté for a few more minutes.

3. Add the mushrooms and stir to combine (I usually add a bit of salt here because it helps draw the liquid out of the mushrooms). Stir in the wine, if you’re using, and cook the mixture until the mushrooms are soft.

4. Now you can add the stir-fry strips (I pulled my pieces apart a little bit, so there is a mix of chunky pieces and smaller pieces). Stir to combine and let the mixture cook for a few minutes before adding the vegetable stock. Let the mixture simmer.

5. Meanwhile, in a cup, make a slurry by adding a little bit of water to two tablespoons of cornflour. Stir until there are no lumps. Add the slurry to your pie filling and stir to combine. As the cornflour cooks in the stock, it will thicken it.

6. Cook the mixture until you are happy with the consistency, then remove from the heat. Taste to check the seasoning and add more salt, pepper or thyme until you’re happy. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes.  

7. Once your mixture is cool, pour it into your baking dish. Unroll your puff pastry and roll it over the top of your dish, cutting it to fit as you go. Make two slits in the middle of the pastry, so steam can escape. Place the pie into the fridge for about 30 minutes, if you have the time, so that the pastry can cool down – this will ensure crisp, flaky layers.

8. Bake in a 180˚C oven for 50 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Garlic-fried broccoli

Olive oil

1 head of broccoli, broken into florets

Salt and pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Add a glug of olive oil to a heated pan, swirling the pan to make sure the base is covered. Add your broccoli in a single layer (if you want to do a lot of broccoli, you could do two batches) and leave for a few minutes without stirring. You want the broccoli to get a little bit charred (I like it a lot charred). Once it’s begun to char, give the florets a stir, adding salt and pepper as you do.

2. When the broccoli is just about done to your liking, stir in the garlic. Cook for a minute or two more and remove from the heat. Taste a floret to check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper, as desired.

Spinach salad

100g spinach

1/2 red onion, peeled

50g roasted almonds, chopped

2 tsp whole-grain mustard

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp white-wine vinegar

Sugar, salt and pepper, to taste

1. Place the spinach in your serving dish. Slice the onion into half half-moons, separate the pieces and scatter them over the spinach. Next, scatter over the chopped almonds.

2. To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together and adjust the seasoning to taste. Pour over the salad and toss to combine.

Smashed baby potatoes

700g baby potatoes

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1. Boil the potatoes in water until just soft. Drain the water and place the potatoes into a baking dish.

2. Using the back of a spoon (or the bottom of a glass), “smash” each potato a little so that it cracks and flattens. Pour over some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven with the pie – they should take about 50 minutes.

Vegan treats to pick up for Easter

While we’re a long way from the shelves and shelves of Easter treats that make their way into shops once Valentine’s Day is over, each year there are a few more options for the animal-friendly people of the world. Here’s a list of treats to pick up for your friendly neighbourhood vegan:

- An Easter bunny from Vantastic Foods.

- Chocolate crisp balls from Oslo Raw.

- A selection of vegan candy from your local supermarket.

- Pana Chocolat coconut and goji chocolate.

- Chocolate Easter lollies from Vantastic Foods.

- A bundle of chocolate bars from Goodio.

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