Vegan Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

Ahh pasta. Comforting, filling, diverse, cheap; what’s not to love? And what’s finer than shop bought? Homemade, of course! You don’t need a professional pasta machine to make this recipe – just a rolling pin and a little time!

There are a few little things you can do to ensure success making this dish. First: Thickness of the dough is key. Too thick and you’ll end up with big lumps of dough, too thin and the ravioli will split. If you can blow under the rolled dough and it flutters with no breakages it should be the right thickness – about 3-4mm.

First: Thickness of the dough is key. Too thick and you’ll end up with big lumps of dough, too thin and the ravioli will split. If you can blow under the rolled dough and it flutters with no breakages it should be the right thickness – about 3-4mm.

Second: Ensure the sheets are stuck together really well – or they will explode in the pan. Disaster.

Third: Make sure the filling isn’t too runny (if it is you need to reduce it some more) and only fill the pasta when the filling is cooled. Trust me.

Finally, keep your surfaces well floured. You don’t want to have made perfect ravioli only to destroy them picking them up because they’re stuck to the surface!

The addition of Silken Tofu adds a creaminess to the filling that mimics ricotta. I add three cloves of garlic because I love it really garlicky but if you want to cut it down to one or two go for it. Adjust to your taste! I topped the ravioli with my homemade pesto (see blog post: Fresh Basil Pesto).

Ingredients

Serves 6-8

Pasta:

  • 650 g Strong White Flour + Extra for rolling
  • 300 ml Water*
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Salt

Filling:

  • 1 Large Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 250 g Spinach
  • 350 g Silken Tofu
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Cornflour
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

Filling:

  • Add the vegetable oil to a pan and gently heat on the hob
  • Chop the onion and add to the oil
  • Cook until soft
  • Mince the garlic and add to the pan
  • Allow to good for a few minutes
  • Add the spinach to the pan
  • Let the spinach completely wilt
  • Add the tofu to a blender and blend until smooth
  • Add the tofu to the spinach and onion mixture
  • Mix the cornflour and water in a small bowl
  • Add this to the mixture and mix well (this will thicken the filling)
  • Reduce and cook the mixture until thickened
  • Season to taste
  • Take off the hob and allow to cool while you make the pasta

Pasta:

  • Add the flour and salt to a large bowl
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour
  • Add the oil and 3/4 of the water (*you may not need all the water – add more if needed)
  • Mix together to form a dough
  • Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 – 15 minuets
  • Leave the dough to rest for 10 minuets
  • Split the dough into 8-10 peices
  • Take one peice and roll into a sausage shape with your hands
  • On a floured surface roll the dough into a long thin strip with a width of approximately 15 cm (see image above) and a few millimetres thick
  • On the top half of the dough add a tsp of filling in a ball shape (see image above)
  • Add the filling with 3-4 cm between each across the dough (see image above)
  • Wet the edges of the dough and the bottom half with some cold water (this will aid sticking)
  • Take the bottom half of the dough and flip it over the top half with the filling
  • Gently press the dough around the filling, removing any air bubbles (see image)
  • Cut each ravioli from the strip, removing any excess dough
  • Using a fork, crimp around the 3 edges to ensure they don’t spilt open
  • Place on a floured baking tray and freeze
  • Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling
  • Heat a large pan of salted boiling water
  • Add the ravioli from the freezer to the pan
  • After approximately 5 minuets the ravioli will be cooked (and floating)
  • Serve 6-8 per person immediately with a sauce of your choice

| Per Serving | 422 Cals | 15.3 g Protein | 74.2 g Carbs | 6.9 g Fat |

Fresh Basil Pesto

I love pesto. I put it on pasta, roast veggies, tofu.. yummy. However, traditional pesto contains Parmesan cheese, which created two problems for me. First, I don’t like Parmesan, and second, I am now dairy-free. There are lots of really good dairy-free pesto’s on the market but they are a bit pricey. So, I have created a quick and cheap dairy-free, fresh basil pesto. Win win.

There are a few herbs which are just so much better fresh. Basil being one. I picked up a plant for £1.50 from my local supermarket and if you give it some TLC it can last a long time!

In my opinion, my pesto is the besto! (If you don’t get that reference stop everything and watch FRIENDS immediately).

Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 30 g Fresh Basil
  • 50 g Spinach
  • 30 g Pine Nuts
  • 50 g Silken Tofu
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 65 ml Olive Oil
  • 65 ml Water*
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt

Method

  • Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan
  • Add all the ingredients to a blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • Add more water (or oil) if you like a thinner sauce
  • Serve immediately

| Per Serving | 138 Cals | Protein 3.9 g  | Carbs 2 g | Fat 13.2 g |

Rice Paper Vegan Bacon (or Facon!)

Pre-vegan, bacon was a favourite of mine. I’m a big fan of salty foods and would really enjoy some bacon as a weekend treat. Since turning vegan, I’ve been surprised that I haven’t missed bacon! Even though its something I get asked a lot. Despite this, I decided to challenge myself and make a fake bacon (or facon) as an extra addition to homemade burgers and hot dogs.

Generously coat the double layered rice paper strips with the marinade. I like to do each one individually because sometimes the rice paper coated in the water can get stuck to the sheet if left too long.

Make sure to keep a close eye on the facon as it can easily catch and burn! Once they bubble and go brown they’re done. If they’re undercooked they will be quite chewy. Its a fine balance.

Serve this guilt-free facon with burgers, hot dogs, pancakes, waffles and whatever else you like!

Ingredients

Serves 10

  • 10 Rice Paper Sheets
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tbsp Water
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • ½ tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 1 tsp BBQ Sauce
  • ½ tbsp Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Paprika

Method

  • Cut the rice paper into equal size strips
  • Combine all the other ingredients in a small bowl to create the marinade
  • Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper
  • Place one strip of rice paper on the baking sheet
  • Using a pastry brush, brush with water
  • Flip over the rice paper
  • Brush with water
  • Place a dry sheet of rice paper on top of the wetted strip
  • Brush the top of the dry sheet with water
  • Press firmly so the rice paper sticks together
  • Generously brush the rice paper strip with the marinade
  • Flip over and repeat the other side with the marinade
  • Repeat with all the strips
  • Bake at 200oC for 5-10 minutes (keep an eye on them; they can burn quickly!)

| Per serving | 26 cals | 0.6 g protein | 2.7 g carbs | 1.4 g fat |

Vegan Lentil Burgers

These vegan lentil burgers are virtually fat free and packed full of protein! If you fancy a burger but don’t like meat substitutes lentils are a great option. They are a good source of fibre, potassium, calcium, zinc, vitamin k, protein, folate, iron – powerful little things!

Tinned lentils also work really well. It will mean you can whip up these burgers in no time. I always keep some in my cupboard and we should be eating more in our diets with all their benefits!

I served them in a burger bun with pickles, facon (see my blog post: Rice Paper Bacon) and ketchup – but serve with your favourite toppings. Go for it!

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 200 g Dried Green Lentils
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 50 g Vital Wheat Gluten
  • ½ tsp Basil
  • ½ tsp Sage
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 6 tbsp Water
  • Pinch of Salt and Pepper
  • Oil Spray (for frying)

Method

  • Cook lentils until soft on a low heat for 20-30 minuets
  • Finely cut the onion and fry until lightly brown
  • Blend half of the lentils with the water
  • In a large bowl combine the vital wheat gluten, basil, sage, cumin, garlic salt, pepper and salt
  • Add the lentils, the blended lentils, tomato puree and onions to the mixture and mix well
  • Split the mixture into 4 equal amounts
  • Shape into burgers
  • Brown the burgers in a griddle pan with a little oil
  • Cook at 180oC for 15 minuets to fully heat through

| Per serving | 250 cals | 22.7 g Protein | 36.8 g Carbs | 1.7 g Fat |