The dining room was flooded with light, as the yellowing spring sun reared its balmy head. Pouring through unsuspecting windows, it danced on a wipe-down tablecloth, awash with bold rainbows, and smiling sunrays, that were bursting with joy. For A had prepared easy vegan meals, that radiated positivity, browns, reds, and greens too, contrasting with whites, in monochromatic fusion. There was a vegan chilli con-carne, smattered with cheese, slowly melting into a puddle of comfort. And who could forget the vegan chicken curry, with basmati rice, laced with parsley, chilli, and tender flavour? The two meals were flanked supremely, by sides, and assortments, a feel good vegan fakeaway night in, that was completely meat-free. And who did she have to thank, for such an impeccable mecca? Why only Gordon Rhode’s whose new V and Easy range had easy to cook sauce mixes.
An intreprid traveller, who had searched the globe for the finest ingredients, A felt she shared something in common with Gordon. After all, she loved to travel, ate adventorously, and was passionate about good food, intense flavours, and recipes that were out of the box. It should come as no suprise to anyone that A was often considered to be a ‘super taster’ among her friends, and family, able to identify unique spices and herbs, with a flick, flick of her raspy tongue. With Gordon’s V and Easy range, she could use her skill for layering, spice, and garnish, to create simple, flavoursome global travel dishes, that anyone would enjoy. After all, a Chilli was D’s favourite vegan meal, while A loved vegan chicken curries. So why not combine the two together, for easy vegan meals that are cost-friendly, with plenty of leftovers to indulge in?
And so the vegan night commenced, A’s kitchen awaft with paprika, cayenne pepper, and sizzling garlic, laced in melting butter. A loved being cruelty-free, not only for her love of animals, but also because it was so easy to create delicious vegan lunches, and dinners, where even a meat-eater would be hard-pressed to find fault. That’s where D, her partner came in useful, a meat-eater, not a vegetarian like her. With his help, she could replicate meaty textures, and create a swoon-worthy dinner, that was completely, and utterly moerish. Besides, plant-based food was often high in protein, which helped A have enough energy to dance through the week, with utter abandon.
A was the kind of person who liked to go big or go home. Yet, she often had a tendency to overcomplicate meals, and burn the candle at both ends. Being the adventurer that she was, she liked to cook multiple dishes, and always had side dishes, for guests to pick at, so they didn’t feel like they were missing out. With the V and Easy meals, it saved her time, money, and energy, especially for curries which often required 6 different spices. Although there were 5 different flavours ( Vive Le Veg Cassoulet, Too Good To Be Stew, Supreme Green Tagine, Chilli Non Carne and No Worry Veggie Curry), A chose to highlight two dishes: a simple curry, and a fail-safe chilli con carne, done the vegan way.
Delicious, and Veganuary friendly, they began preparing the Gordon Rhodes Chilli first, aromotically spiced. A smiled, as D had been asking for a chilli for a while, and his culinary dreams finally came true. Using their own recipe for a vegan chilli con carne, they added kidney beans in chilli sauce, butter beans, canneloni beans, and more kidney beans, in a bean mix medley. It was laced with sweetcorn, and all things nice; shallots, peppers, and chopped tomatoes too, chilli’s drowned in vegan beef stock. The spice mix was added too, a fusion of chilli seeds, thyme, marjoram and sage, sprinkled with black pepper. It was simple yet effective, adding a nice thickness to the vegan chilli con carne that spoke volumes. The flavours were complex, but so easy to put together, pairing beautifully with the Meatless Farm Mince, and Richmond Vegan meatless sausages.
The spice mix even came with recipe cards, and A was particularly intrigued by the Chilli Non Carne Pulled Jackfruit Quesadillas, which she vowed to make next time. For now though, they concentrated on the task at hand, the comforting smell of vegan meat burrowed in tomatoes, simmering away. With a bubble and squeak, their meal had come to fruition, a blend of rich colours that fused together effortlessly. She placed it delicately in a blue marbled bowl, taking care to arrange it neatly, and precisely. Sprinkling grated vegan cheese on top, she added a splash of lime, and lemon juice, for a citric boost. After all, it might be spring, but there were days were the weather was horrendously dreadful. In her meals, she wanted to add little pick-me ups that made her feel brand new. She placed the bowl on a wooden chopping board, and arranged avocado slices. A ramekin filled with Mexican salsa, was garnished with mild red chilli’s, while another ramekin was filled with the chilli non-carne too. Scattering recipe cards on her rainbow tablecloth, she let the spirit of Gordon Rhodes wash over her.
It was their version of a Mexican classic, that had simplicity at its core. Using only one pot, they had conjured up a magical vegan chilli, that was packed full of protein. Bursting with flavour, it was paired with further ramekins (un-pictured), with guacamole, and vegan sour cream. This was mostly for A’s benefit seeing as D liked his chilli plain, and simple, but still she rejoyced. Washed down with a ginger,lemon, and tumeric herbal tea, it was a hug in a bowl. Though tea didn’t seem like the obvious choice, A was ill, and needed all the feel-good vibes that she could get. But what about the curry I hear you ask? As far as easy vegan meals go, A never considered curry to be one of them. Why? Because she would often create elaborate curries, that had 5-7 dishes minimum. Yes, she was that crazy.
But in her mind, all good Indian feasts had sharing dishes, whether that be rices, naans, curries, desserts, and even drinks. Indian food was A’s favourite cuisine, alongside Italian, but her goal was to make Indian food more simple. Lo and behold Gordon Rhode’s Veggie Curry mix had come to save the day, bathed in beauty. They would make a sweet potato, and vegan chicken curry, with tomatoes, peppers, chilli, and heartwarming spices. When A made curries, she often had an assortment of vegetables such as cauliflower, kale, spinach, carrots, but this time, she was taking it back to basics. After all, she could easily cook up vegetables during the week, and add it to her vegan chicken curry. She could pair the curry with rice, naan, cous cous, or even on its own, with a side of vegetables.
It seemed like easy vegan meals that were Indian, weren’t such a far shot after all. Free from meat, and gluten-free, the vegan chicken curry was a delicious surprise. The curry mix made the curry easier to make, and even reduced the cooking time as well. For families it would be a great solution for easy meals that were naturally vegan. For couples like A and D, it was a chance to cook together, without the added stress. Normally when they made curry, there would be tears. This time round however, there was only joy, pure and simple. The smell of cinnamon, was fragrantly sweet, offsetting the acidity of the tomato-based curry with ease. While A normally added coconut milk to defuse the acidity, they let the sauce boil down, until it was more stock based, than saucy. With A’s acid reflux, they always needed to offset sauces, to make it palatable for her stomach.
The curry was ready, she could smell it simmering away, begging to be eaten. Vegan chicken chunks floating in chunky stock-based sauce, heaped onto a blue and white plate. Sprigs of parsley were placed a-top the sticky rice, with a few chillis scattered across. Paired with garlic naan bread, and vegan yoghurt (which she added cucumber to), her makeshift raita helped cool down the curry, making it easier on the throat. It was elegant, yet trendy, the sweet roquito peppers lending sweetness to the spiced dish. It had spice, but it wasn’t overly spiced, letting all the flavours in their dish sing for themselves. The basmati rice had a squeeze of lime, and was liberally sprinkled with sea salt, and black peppercorns, finely crushed. It was nothing short of spectacular, just like the vegan chilli con carne. Gordon Rhodes had outdone themselves, and she couldn’t wait to try the green tagine next. She would make a Morrocan inspired vegan tagine, a succulent, slowly simmered stew begging for attention. Paired with apricots, pomnegranate, harissa, tomatoes, russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and mint, to name a few, it would be exceptional.
She could picture it now, a meal for the ages, reminscient of the gap between spring and summer, cautiously teetering on the edge. Though it was more Greek than Morrocan, she would add crumbled feta too, expertly divviyed up. But for now, they ate their nourishing bowls of Vegan Chilli and Vegan Chicken Curry with gusto, sopping up the sauce with garlic naan. A swirled the vegan yoghurt raita absentmindedly in her curry, marvelling at its marbled effect, while D threw on countless vegan cheese onto his chilli, preferring a cheesier con carne, than A.Time stood still as they ate, their two cats pawing impatiently at their legs, begging to be fed. Loki peered into A’s eyes with his green slits, while Luna, a kitten, scampered onto her lap with haste, making soft mewling noises.
Alas, their easy vegan meals were not kitten approved. Slurping up the last remains of their bowl, they murmered happily. A, in a memerized stupor walked over to the cat bowls, and fed the cats, eyes glazed over, as the food coma commenced. They were pleased with themselves, as they should be. After all, they had meals for the week, that they had batched cooked, which made it easier to eat during the week. There would be curry, and rice, or chilli con carne and rice. Chilli con carne soup, with guacamole, and salsa, Vegan Chicken Curry blended into a soup. Side dishes added, Bombay Aloo, garlic buttered greens. Smashed potatoes with spring onions and chive was a particular favourite. Vegan chicken curry salad, and Mexican chilli con carne salad was another must-have, making sure they used up their food beautifully.
The moon drank the spring sun hungrily, and the day faded into night. The mission was accomplished, and their easy vegan meals were complete. At long last, as they put the last remnants of the washing up away, they sank into the sofa gratefully. Curled up with their cats, and countless fluffy blankets, they put on an episode of Bridgerton, the very last in Season 2, a slow burner, yet satisfyingly watchable. The clock ticked slowly, and A’s eyelids began to drop. Together, they fell asleep, almost by accident, the young couple, and their cats, caught in dreamland stupor. That night they dreamt of curries dancing with con carnes, a fusion of two cultures immersed together in a hypnotic dance. A smiled, in her sleep of course. This was A’s happy place, sweet dreams, and endless food.
Read below for the curry and vegan chilli recipe!
Vegan Chicken Curry Recipe
Pack of This Isn’t Chicken (Vegan) fried
3/4 Gordon Rhodes Veggie Curry Mix
1 Red Chilli diced finely
2 Large Peppers (1 green and one red) Julietted
2 Medium sized Sweet Potatoes cut into chunks
2 Cubes Vegan Chicken Stock Dissolved
1 Can of Chopped Tomatoes (Plum)
1 tsp of Tumeric
1 tsp of Cumin
1 tsp of Cinnamon
1/2 cup of Basmati Rice
Vegan Yoghurt (a dollop)
Red chilli slices
2 sprigs of Parsley or Coriander
Salt & Pepper to taste
Vegan Garlic Naan cut into breadsticks.
- Cut up the shallots, chilli and the garlic, until finely diced. Heat a large pan on until hot, and cook the mix for two minutes, until slightly fried.
- Then add the vegan chicken, and the julietted peppers to the pan. Cook until Chicken and Peppers are slightly chargrilled (around 10 minutes).
- Add the sweet potato chunks and chopped tomato into the pan. Pour in 1 litre of vegan chicken stock, and add the Gordon Rhodes spice mix. Make sure it is thoroughly mixed.
- Put a lid over the pot, so that the water does not evaporate, and cook for 30-40 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft.
- Add tumeric, cinnamon and cumin to the pot, and mix it. Put it to boil and let the excess water boil off (around 30 minutes). Make sure you are stirring often, so that there is no stickage. After all stickage is lickage, and it’s not fun to lick a boiling pan!
- Fill up half a cup of rice, and add double the amount of water. Put the rice into a pan, with a lid on. Cook for around 10-12 minutes, until the water disolves. Voila you have semi-sticky rice!
- Garnish the Vegan Chicken curry as you please. I chose to add vegan yoghurt, parsley, and chilli to my mix.
Vegan Chilli Non Carne Recipe
Cooking Time: 2-4 hours
Ingredients (For Chilli)
3/4 Gordon Rhodes
Can of Kidney Beans In Chilli Sauce
Can Of Kidney Beans
Can Of Butter Beans,
Can of Sweetcorn
2 Shallots, finely Minced
4 cloves of Garlic finely minced
2 Large Peppers (one green, one red) roughly chopped into squares
1 can Chopped Tomatoes
2 Tsp Tomato Puree
2 cubes Vegan Beef stock crushed and disolved
1 pack of Meatless Farm Mince
2 Vegan Richmond Meatless Sausages chopped
2 chillis diced (1 red, one green)
3 tsp of Olive Oil
Vegan grated cheese
1 avocado sliced into slices
Mexican Tomato Salsa store brought
Red and green chilli garnishes
Lime and Lemon juice
Vegan grated cheese of choice
Salt & Pepper
- Dice, and finely chop the shallots, garlics, chilli’s and peppers, until they are in bite size chunks. All steps up until step 6 are at a medium heat.
- Heat a large saucepan or pot. Once hot add olive oil, and add the diced shallots, garlic, chilli’s and peppers to the pan. Let it cook off for 5 minutes, or until shallots start going translucent.
- Add your Meatless Farm Mince, and your sausages, which have been broken down into the same pan. Add 1/5 of the Gordon Rhodes V and Easy spice mix into the meat, while it cooks. Cook for around 10 minutes, or until the vegan meat starts looking done.
- Once the meat looks cooked, add tomato puree, and chopped tomatoes into the pan. Then drain your bean mix, apart from the chilli kidney beans. Add them into the pan as well, and mix thoroughly.
- Dissolve two vegan beef stock cubes in 1 litre of water, and add this to the vegan chilli mix. Make sure it is fully disolved.
- Add the remaining Gordon Rhodes spice mix until you use 3/4 of the packets, and stir thoroughly. Turn the heat on to high until the vegan chilli begins bubbling, and boiling.
- Once it has been brought to the boil, turn back to a medium heat. Let the water simmer down, depending on your taste preference. If you like it less watery, with little liquid, this will take around 3 hours, but make sure you are stirring frequently. You can cook it for even longer, around 4-5 hours, if you have time. If you like it more sauce based, we reccomend cooking it for around 1-2 hours.
- Serve with your favourite vegan toppings, whether that is cheese, vegan sour cream, guacamole, salsa or anything else!
What Are Your Favourite Easy Vegan Meals?
Please note this is a collaborative post, but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by gifted products. I did not receive monetary compensation for this article.