Weekly Meal Plan Eleven
Lovely veggie Nut balls in a tomato sauce

Vegan Valentine Meal

I’ve been thinking about a celebration meal for this years Valentines Day and decided to do a vegan one this year. Two courses are from the archives, one, the starter, is a new, although very simple, invention.

So we have a black olive and tomato tapenade tart to start, with a little side salad. Then Lentil Nut Loaf with sweet potato chips and mixed veg. And to finish, a self saucing chocolate pudding. And maybe the best part? The whole meal is £1.35 a head. Not even Aldi can beat that!

Starter

Black olive and tomato tart

Black Olive and Tomato Tapenade Tart

Jar black olives 310g/54p, a quarter, 13p
15ml Olive oil £2/litre, 4p
7g Tomato puree 200g/37p, 1p
good pinch Garlic powder 115g/£1.09, 1p
qtr Tsp Red Wine Vinegar
125g JusRol puff pastry £1.25/500g, 31p

Using half of olive mix, total cost 40p
Cost per portion (2) 20p

Salad

Pack of cress, 24p, 1 sixth, 4p
Iceberg lettuce, 60p, 3p
Radishes, 50p, 3p
tblsp olive oil, 5p
tsp lemon juice and a spritz of zest, 5p

You could splash out and buy a bag of salad leaves, or shred some iceberg lettuce, a few snips of cress and finely slice a couple of radishes. Dress with a tsp of lemon juice and a tblsp of olive oil.

Total cost of the recipe 55p
Cost per serving (2) 27p

Blitz everything except the puff pastry together until you have a textured paste rather than a puree. I would use a stick blender for this rather than a food processor as the quantities are too small and the mixture will just smoosh to the edges.

Jus Rol pastry says on the packet that it is vegan. Cut the puff pastry into 4 equal squares. Roll out 1 of them into an oblong, about 32cm x 19cm. Cut round a saucer for each person for a pretty round tart, or, as here, cut round a heart shaped template. I made one by drawing half a heart on a folded piece of paper, cutting round it and unfolding to make a complete heart shape. Place the pastry on a baking sheet. Spread the olive pate on the pastry, leaving a half inch border. You will need half to two thirds of the mixture for this.

When you are ready to eat, place in a hot oven for about 25 minutes until the edges are puffed and golden. While the tart is baking, Put the oil and lemon juice into a bowl, but don’t dress your salad yet, dressed salad that’s left even for this short a time goes translucent and unpleasant. When the tart is on the plate, gently move your salad veg around in the dressing until it’s all got a light covering. Share between your two plates, or leave in the dish for each person to serve themselves.

 

Mains

lentil nutloaf for an extremely cheap dinner

Lentil Nut Loaf with Sweet Potato and Mixed Vegetables

Make a Lentil Nut Loaf, you will need less than the usual portion for this 3 course meal. I would think a one eighth portion would be about right.  The loaf can be cooked the day before if more convenient. The rest will freeze well until you need it.

While you are enjoying your first course, roast 400g of sweet potato cut into chips, oiled and seasoned, for 40 minutes.

After 10 minutes cooking time, put the lentil loaf in the oven as well if you are cooking it now. If already cooked, warm through in a covered dish or in foil when there are 10 minutes left

Cook 200g frozen mixed veg.

Serve the nut loaf with the sweet potato chips and mixed veg

Two x one eighth of the nut loaf £1.09/8*2 = 28p
400g sweet potatoes, £1/kg, 40p,
15ml Olive oil £2/litre, 4p
200g mixed frozen veg 79p/kg, 16p

Cost per serving, 88p

Pudding

Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding

self saucing chocolate pudding

I first made this self saucing chocolate pudding  in the summer of 2017, but it’s a big dish of 6 servings. I’ve now updated the recipe to show the quantities for dinner a deux.

After enjoying your main course, pop these in the still hot oven. Bake at 180c for about half an hour. It will probably look as if it needs more cooking when you take it out, but it is the sauce bubbling about.

Serve on its own, with a splash of Oatly or a dollop of vegan ice cream if you like. It’s seriously good!

 

 

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Verdict

This 3 course vegan Valentines dinner has a combination of interesting flavours, is easy to make and makes for an extremely cheap meal, even this celebration dinner.

I was going to make carrot chips and lemon zested roasted broccoli. But the broccoli heads in the shop were out of stock and when I used frozen mixed veg instead, it had a lot of carrot in it

Variations

Many things work really well spread onto puff pastry as a tart. Make a bigger one and you can have it as a main with veg or salad. If you don’t like olives, try any kind of vegan pesto or any flavour hummus, or even just  tomato  puree with a smear of garlic paste.

Add all kinds of different vegetables to the lentil loaf for different flavours, add curry paste, tomato puree etc – see the recipe post for more ideas

Use ordinary potatoes for the chips, or swede, parsnip or any other root vegetable.

Roast broccoli or cauliflower, or a mix of veg as the accompaniment. Shave fennel finely and dress with lemon; chop broccoli and cauliflower until rice like and dress with vinaigrette. Or spiralise some root veg and oil them before roasting

Vegan Valentine 3 Course Celebration Dinner

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Weekly Meal Plan Eleven
Lovely veggie Nut balls in a tomato sauce