How to make a stunning dish with just two ingredients

Breakfast

Maple & pecan crisp cereal, soya milk, grapes

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Lunch

Vegan cheese and chutney sandwich, crisps, sesame snaps, apple

I’ve recently discovered a vegan cheese that they’ve started selling in Tesco. It’s great in sandwiches and next week I’m hoping to branch out into vegan macaroni cheese.

Dinner

Aubergine roulade with lemon & tarragon sauce, asparagus salad. Dessert: mini chocolate and ginger muffins

To make a roulade which serves 4, you just need 3 large aubergines and  a pack of Jus’ Roll puff pastry (such a discovery when I found out this was vegan)! It looks and tastes really impressive, so you’d never know about the miniscule ingredients list. The dish takes a while to cook but minimal effort to prepare, so it’s great if you’re at home but busy. The lemon and tarragon sauce is a nice accompaniment, but the roulade is quite moist anyway. The aubergine cooking method is inspired by Ottolenghi but simplified a bit.

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Method:

1. Preheat the oven to gas 7 (220 C)

2. Top and tail the aubergines and place on a baking tray, whole.  Roast for about 45 mins-1 hour until the skins are really charred and the aubergines feel soft when a knife is inserted. You can turn  them once half way through cooking but this isn’t essential.

3. When the aubergines are ready, remove from the oven, cut open lengthways and scoop out the flesh. It may help to steady the aubergine with a fork and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. You may want to cut up some of the larger pieces (kitchen scissors are useful for this).

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4. Roll out the pastry and place the aubergine in the centre, leaving a bit of a margin.

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5. It would probably work fine to bake  it like this and make an aubergine tart. If you’re feeling brave though, you could try and roll it up. It would be dishonest to pretend that this is easy to do, but it gets easier with practice and even if it looks messy it will still taste great. Start at the short edge and roll up fairly rapidly.

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The main challenge is ensuring that the pastry doesn’t stick to the work surface, so maybe try scattering this with a little flour. I tried using grease proof paper but I don’t think it was all that helpful. The filling may well squidge out of the side a little, but just push it back in with a spoon- no one will know!

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6. Bake in the oven until golden and puffy. I found it took about 15 mins on gas 7 ( 220 C) followed by 10 mins on gas 6 (220 C).

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Ingredients for lemon and tarragon sauce:

– 1 carton of soya cream

– Zest of 3 lemons

– A generous sprinkle of fresh or dried tarragon

Method:

Just add it all to a pan and simmer gently for about 5 mins.

The asparagus salad just needs two packs of asparagus, some lettuce and a good handful of salted almonds. Simply cook the asparagus, drain and run some cold water over them. Serve them on a ‘bed’ of lettuce and top with the salted almonds.

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The mini muffins are extremely light, and you can easily get through about three in a single sitting! They’re also quick to throw together if you have limited time for home baking.

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Ingredients for mini chocolate and ginger muffins (makes 12):

– 115 g plain flour

– 1 tbsp baking powder

– A sprinkle of mixed spice

– 50 g sugar

– 3 pieces of stem ginger in syrup

– 25 g vegan margarine

– 75 ml sweetened soya milk

– 70 g dark chocolate (but not too bitter)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to gas 5 (190 C)

2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and mixed spice into a bowl. Grate  one piece of stem ginger and stir in. You may need to use your fingers to rub it in as though making pastry.

3. Add the margarine and soya milk and beat until just combined.

4. Chop the chocolate into small chunks and stir in.

5. Spoon the mixture into cases and bake until a cake tester comes out clean (about 15-20 mins).

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You can garnish with the rest of the stem ginger. Just grate and use it to decorate the muffins. The hen plate is optional!

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