Back in 2010, I entered a competition to win the title of ‘UK’s Tastiest Meat-Free Dish‘ where the winner’s recipe would be included in the range of Linda McCartney products. Fellow food blogger Kate Ford – who blogs at The Veg Space – won with her mushroom and ale pie. I reckon Kate either bribed or slept with the judges because why the flipping flop would they choose a pie over my cheese-covered aubergine, eh? I mean, come on, look – it’s a masterpiece!
Kate has since gone on to even headier heights with her first cookbook Vegan in 15 recently having been published, and her people sent my people a copy of it to review. (I don’t actually have any people but Kate has won prizes and now has a book out and is making me feel inadequate, so if I want to pretend I have people, I’m bloody well going to, dammit.)
Vegan in 15, as you might have guessed, contains vegan meals you can cook in 15 minutes or fewer but Kate has obviously never seen me cook because I am the slowest cook in the world and if something says it takes 15 minutes, it’ll probably take me 30. Still, even if you’re a slow cook like me, this book contains dishes that can be rustled up easily and quickly; some of them helped along by using ‘cheats’ such as ready-made stuff like refried beans, ready-chopped garlic, and curry paste.
This is also a great book for beginners to a plant-based diet as there are chapters on starting out with a vegan diet, a list of store-cupboard staples and a note against any products that should be checked for any hidden dairy or egg (e.g. Thai curry paste and pasta). There’s also a guide to vegan shopping, practical nutrition advice and tips for quick cooking (*gets note-taking pen out*). In case you’re wondering if there’s any room in the book after all that for any recipes – well, yes there is: Vegan in 15 contains 60 vegan meals under the headings of:
- Easy Brunch
- Speedy Soups
- Fast Lunch
- Small Plates
- Main Dishes
- Decadent Desserts
There aren’t many photos in this paperback-sized book but the recipes are so straightforward and uncomplicated you’ll easily be able to conjure up an image in your mind before you start cooking. For example, I’m sure you can guess what ‘Creamy Fusilli and Mushrooms with White Wine’ looks like, can’t you? Even if, like me, you’d have the white wine as a side dish in a glass.
So, if you’re after a vegan cookbook that doesn’t have a complicated list of never-heard-of-it-before-fuck-I’ll-have-to-buy-everything-from-Amazon-yes-Isa-Chandra-I’m-looking-at-you ingredients as long as a British winter, then this is the book for you.
Buy Vegan in 15
Vegan in 15 is published by Short Books with a cover price of £8.99. Buy the paperback or Kindle version for less from Amazon.
Recipe: Savoy and Sesame Flat Noodles with Marinated Tofu from Vegan in 15
I decided to make the ‘Savoy and Sesame Flat Noodles with Marinated Tofu’ and, lo! it only took me a few more than 15 minutes to make. It was bloody delicious, too, and something I’ll definitely make again. The only alteration I made to the recipe was to use those straight-to-wok noodles instead of the Thai flat rice noodles but this was purely down to personal preference.
- 150g Thai flat rice noodles
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 red onion
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 tsp ready-chopped garlic / garlic puree
- 2 tsp ready-chopped ginger / ginger puree
- 6 large leaves savoy cabbage
- 160g ready-cooked marinated tofu pieces (from the chiller cabinet)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Fill a large bowl or saucepan with boiling water and add the noodles. Leave them to soak for 10-12 minutes until tender.
- Heat a large, dry frying pan and toast the sesame seeds for 2 minutes until they start to pop, then tip them into a small bowl and set them aside.
- Peel and slice the red onion. Add the oil to the frying pan, followed by the onion, ginger and garlic.
- Remove the tough stalks from the cabbage leaves, then slice them as finely as you can (I find it easiest to roll them all together into a tube, then chop). Add them to the pan, followed by the tofu pieces. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the cabbage has softened a little and is just turning brown at the edges.
- Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water, then add them to the pan. Use tongs or forks to combine all the ingredients and warm the noodles through. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds, and mix until the noodles are coated. Taste and add a little more soy sauce if required, then serve.
More reviews and recipes from Vegan in 15
For more reviews and recipes from Kate’s book, take a look at these by my fellow food bloggers:
Disclosure: The publishers of Vegan in 15 by Kate Ford sent me a copy to review but all opinions are my own. Any links to Amazon are affiliate links which won’t cost you any more if you purchase through them, but will earn me a small commission (about 2p or something, so don’t panic about making me rich).