When I left home I only knew how to make one thing without a recipe, and that one thing was béchamel sauce. I'd been making it since I was about fourteen because my Mum taught me well and to date, I've never made a bad one. And it meant that with every attempt I made at lasagne, cannelloni or macaroni and cheese, I knew I could do one component well, and the rest would slowly get there.
The problem was that going vegan meant my béchamel sauce pro level got knocked down a few notches. And my lasagne stopped making any sense, and my macaroni cheese resulted in tears. Because while I'd learnt about when and how much cheese to add to a béchamel sauce, dairy-free cheese does its own thing. And soy milk is gross in white sauce, tofu isn't quite good enough on its own as a ricotta replacement in cannelloni and if you don't make your béchamel sauce thick enough for the top of your lasagne, it's gonna taste like cardboard.
The thing about a lot of vegan cooking is that it's not difficult, it's just about forgetting some of the old rules, and realising there's a load of other tricks you can trade on. So I thought I'd collect together a few recipes for all the vegans that survived Veganuary (HAI!!!), or for anyone that fancies learning a few more recipes off by heart. Whether you're just a few weeks into this JOYOUS ride or years down the egg-replacer path. They will hopefully be especially good for any new vegans that don't feel that confident in the kitchen yet, or maybe just don't have that much time. I've also chosen ones that should help your fresh produce go a bit further by adding in store cupboard items.
I hope they can be as useful as the sauce my Mum first taught me, kind of like an online version of a few essential recipe cards. They're not the most glamorous or Instagram-ready, but let's be real, neither are the majority of any of our dinners, right?
CLICK THE RECIPE TITLE TO LINK TO THE ORIGINAL POST