Easy midweek vegan chocolate cake and jars that even meat lovers will love

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In his book, A Pot, Pan, Planet, Anna Jones made it easy to eat delicious food, while being concerned about the planet. Containing 200 easy recipes, it limits casseroles and simplifies the ingredients needed for all-in-one dinners, ensuring dinner is just moments away.

Orzo in a jar with beetroot, thyme & orange

This orzo cooks in a single skillet until a satisfying deep purple with the feel of a spoonful risotto. You can use any beetroot color you like here; I like the deep magenta of reds but yellow and pink work well too

Ingredients

  • a bunch of beets (about 650g), peeled and grated

  • 300g orzo pasta

  • a small bunch of thyme, leaves picked

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons of good olive oil, and more for finishing

  • ½ vegetable stock cube or 2 teaspoons of stock powder

  • To serve:

  • the zest of a small orange or unwaxed clementine

  • 4 handfuls of arugula 100g feta or vegan feta-type cheese, crumbled (optional)

  • a few handfuls of chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts will do)

  • a drizzle of olive oil

Method

  1. Put the grated beetroot, pasta, thyme leaves, garlic and vinegar in a medium-lid saucepan with 1 teaspoon of sea salt, the 2 tablespoons of oil and 850 ml of water. Crumble into stock cube or add powder.

  2. Place the pot on high heat, cover with a lid and bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes until the pasta is cooked and all the water has been absorbed.

  3. Stir every minute or so to make sure the pasta does not catch on the bottom of the pan. If the orzo looks a bit thick (you want it to have the consistency of a risotto), add a little more hot water.

  4. Divide on warm plates and finish with orange zest, pepper leaves, a crumbled feta (if using), a few toasted nuts and a good drizzle of oil.

    Variants
    Squash / lemon / sage – replace beet with the same amount of grated squash, use lemon instead of orange and garnish with crispy sage leaves
    Broccoli / chilli / oregano – replace the beet with 850g of coarsely chopped broccoli and use lemon instead of orange, oregano instead of thyme, and finish with chopped red chili and lemon zest

    Excerpt from One pot, pan, planet by Anna Jones, published by Harper Collins. Photography © Issy Croker

Asparagus & lemon sautéed with maple seeds

This recipe was serendipitous when I ordered ten bundles of asparagus from the greengrocer instead of two. This is one to do during the asparagus season. I also do this in winter with purple broccoli to sprout

Asparagus & lemon sautéed with maple seeds

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

  • 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds

  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup

  • a good pinch of dried pepper flakes

  • the zest and juice of an untreated lemon

  • 2 bunch of asparagus of 400g

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 2 heads of greenery or 200 g snow peas

  • 4 nests of eggs or rice noodles, cooked

  • For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar

  • a pinch of dried pepper flakes

Method

  1. For brittle ones, toast both types of seeds in a dry pan until they begin to give off their aroma. Once toasted, add 3 tablespoons of maple syrup, a good pinch of salt and the chili flakes and cook for another minute, until the syrup begins to bubble around the seeds and thicken (but not to blacken).

  2. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with lemon zest and let stand.

  3. Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl with a tablespoon of water and set aside.

  4. Cut the asparagus tips and set aside, then cut the stems into 5 cm pieces diagonally to the last 3 cm from the base. Discard these tips or keep them in the freezer for the vegetable broth.

  5. Wipe the pan with paper towels and return to high heat. Once it is very hot, add the teaspoon of sesame oil, the asparagus tips and stems and the green vegetables or snow peas and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until which the edges turn black and the asparagus softens slightly. Pour in the sauce and add the noodles and cook for another minute.

  6. Coarsely chop the crisp and serve the noodles with the maple seed crisp on top and lemon wedges to press them.

    Seasonal variations
    Spring – asparagus or broad beans in pod
    Summer – zucchini or Spanish beans
    Fall – kale or squash peeled and thinly sliced
    Winter – purple sprouting broccoli or frozen greens

    Excerpt from One pot, pan, planet by Anna Jones, published by Harper Collins. Photography © Issy Croker

Fondant chocolate and muscovado cake

My insatiable sweet tooth almost knows no bounds, so cake is something I take very seriously. This dense and gooey (and incidentally vegan) chocolate cake made from coconut oil is as much a hit with my two-year-old as it is with my vegan brother.

Fondant chocolate and muscovado cake

Total time

1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the icing:

  • 100 g of olive, coconut or vegetable oil

  • 65 g of black muscovado sugar

  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

  • 200g finely chopped dark chocolate

  • For the cake:

  • 200 g plain or light spelled flour

  • 1 ½ teaspoon of baking soda

  • 75g of cocoa powder

  • 250 g of black muscovado sugar

  • 75 g of olive, coconut or vegetable oil, plus a supplement for lubrication

  • 1 ½ teaspoon of vinegar (I use cider)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C / 16O ° C hot air / gas 4. Butter a 20 cm round pastry pan with oil and line the bottom with baking paper.

  2. Put all the icing ingredients except the chocolate in a saucepan with 60 ml of cold water. Heat until everything is melted making sure that the mixture does not boil, then turn off the heat, add the chocolate all at once and let stand. After about a minute, the chocolate should have melted. Whisk until a thick glaze is obtained and set aside. It should be cold by the time the cake is baked and cooled.

  3. For the cake, combine the flour, baking soda, a good pinch of sea salt and cocoa in a bowl. Make sure there are no lumps of baking soda.

  4. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, 375 ml of boiled water, oil and vinegar. Incorporate the mixture into the dry ingredients, then pour into the prepared pan (it will be a fairly moist paste). Bake for 30-40 minutes.

  5. When ready, the cake should have come off the edges of the pan and a spike inserted in the center will come out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Pour in the icing and decorate as you wish.

    Decoration ideas:
    Grated chocolate
    Fresh flowers
    Chopped candied nuts
    Chopped stem ginger
    Crumbled chocolate
    Sea salt flakes

    Excerpt from One pot, pan, planet by Anna Jones, published by Harper Collins. Photography © Issy Croker

Excerpt from One pot, pan, planet by Anna Jones, published by Harper Collins. Photography © Issy Croker


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