Back to basics

Back to basics

Make it vegan

Try these simple plant-based spins on favourite family dishes, with cooking tips from Co-op executive innovation chef Dai Llewellyn

Ultimate vegan burger (VG)

Pile it high in this juicy showstopper, starring the Co-op GRO quarter pounder

Serves 4 • Ready in 25 mins

DAI’S TIP:
’The crunchy winter slaw makes this burger something really special! I love the apple too, as an unusual twist. You can spice it up by adding a splash of Tabasco® Sauce or some sliced jalapeños — they make a nice contrast with the freshness of the apple, both sharp and spicy.‘

THE METHOD:

  • 2 x 227g packs Co-op GRO the quarter pounder 
  • 8 slices dairy-free cheese alternative
  • 4 vegan burger buns (find the recipe at coop.co.uk/recipes)
  • 2 apples

FOR THE SAUCE & SLAW

  • 6 tbsp Co-op GRO vegan mayo 
  • 2 tbsp Co-op tomato ketchup
  • 2 tsp American or Dijon mustard
  • 2 medium gherkins, finely chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 Co-op little gem lettuce, shredded  
  • 1 small Co-op British carrot, peeled and grated
  1. To make the sauce, stir together the mayo, ketchup and mustard in a bowl. Set half the sauce aside in a separate dish, to use for the burger topping. For the slaw, add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well with the sauce.
  2. Preheat the grill to a medium heat. Cook the burgers for 8-9 mins on each side, until cooked through. One minute before they‘re ready, put two slices of cheese alternative on top of each burger to melt slightly. Remove from the grill and leave to rest for a moment. 
  3. Briefly toast the cut sides of the burger buns under the grill, until lightly golden.
  4. Core and finely slice the apples. Load the base of each bun with slaw, then top with a burger, apple slices and the burger sauce. Finish with the bun lid and serve.

MEET DAI

Award-winning chef Dai has spent over 15 years living and breathing all things food-related. He works with our Delicious Food team to create hundreds of original new products each year — including tasty additions to our plant-based Co-op GRO range.


Loaded mushroom kebabs (VG)

Field mushrooms are perfect for soaking up a punchy marinade

Serves 4 • Ready in 50 mins  

DAI‘S TIP:
‘The trick here is to grill the mushrooms after you‘ve baked them, for extra caramelisation. Use a high heat to avoid any sogginess. You can use button mushrooms instead and cook them in the same way — there‘s no need to use skewers though, just roast them straight on the tray.‘

THE METHOD: 

  • 8 large field mushrooms 
  • 1 tbsp sumac (optional)
  • 4 Co-op wholemeal pittas
  • Co-op olive oil, for brushing
  • Co-op GRO onion & garlic dip, to serve

FOR THE MARINADE

  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp Co-op Irresistible cold pressed rapeseed oil

FOR THE SALSA

  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small chilli, diced (optional)
  • 4 tbsp Co-op white wine vinegar
  • Small bunch coriander, leaves torn, plus extra to garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Put all the marinade ingredients into a large bowl and mix together. Add the mushrooms and gently toss to coat. Leave to marinate for 15 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, toss together the ingredients for the salsa. Leave to one side.
  3. Take two skewers and slide half the marinated mushrooms onto each, so they sit close together. Place on a baking tray and sprinkle with the sumac (if using). Bake for 20 mins, turning halfway. 
  4. Change the oven to the grill setting and turn to high, or if you have a separate grill, preheat it to high. Grill the mushrooms for a further 10 mins, turning halfway.
  5. Heat a frying or griddle pan to high and toast the pittas on each side for 1 minute, until starting to char. Remove from the heat and brush lightly with olive oil. 
  6. Season the mushrooms, then serve with the pittas, salsa and dip, with the extra coriander sprinkled over.

RAISE A GLASS

Co-op low alcohol Cabernet Tempranillo
This fruity low alcohol red makes a superb partner for our earthy mushroom kebabs.


Honeycomb lasagne (VG)

This vegan take on lasagne is inventive and delicious!

Serves 6 • Ready in 2 hours 

DAI’S TIP:
‘This is a much easier dish than it looks — and it looks really impressive! Be careful not to let the tops of the lasagne rolls dry out too much in the oven. You can cover them with foil if you‘re worried about this. Just remove it for the last 5 minutes so that the dish gets the necessary colour.‘

THE METHOD:

  • 23-25 Co-op lasagne sheets
  • 1 tbsp Co-op olive oil, plus extra for greasing 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 leeks, chopped 
  • 2 courgettes, 1 grated, 1 shaved into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, chopped 
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • 125g bag Co-op baby spinach, roughly chopped 
  • Few basil leaves, to garnish

FOR THE SAUCE 

  • 500ml unsweetened oat or almond drink 
  • 40g dairy-free spread 
  • 40g Co-op plain white flour 
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg 
  • 50g dairy-free cheese alternative, grated
  • 125g bag Co-op baby spinach
  1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Cook the lasagne sheets for 5-6 mins, until just pliable ­— do this in batches to stop them sticking together. Carefully lift each sheet out of the water and drape it over the edge of a colander, brushing with a little oil to stop it sticking. 
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion, leek, grated courgette and mushrooms for 5-6 mins, until beginning to soften. Sprinkle in the rosemary and season. Take the pan off the heat and stir through the spinach, until wilted. Set aside to cool slightly. 
  3. For the sauce, put all the ingredients, apart from the cheese alternative and the spinach, into a saucepan. Cook over a medium heat until thickened and bubbling, whisking vigorously all the time. 
  4. Once thickened, stir through the cheese alternative until melted. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Take off the heat and blitz with a handheld blender. Stir a third of the sauce through the veg until well coated. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Grease a high-sided round 20cm baking dish or cake tin with olive oil, and spread about a third of the sauce across the bottom. 
  6. To assemble the rolls, lay a sheet of pasta on a chopping board. Place 2 courgette ribbons and 1 heaped tbsp of the veg mixture at one end of the sheet, then roll up into a tube. 
  7. Stand the roll upright against the side of the prepared dish. Repeat for the rest of the lasagne rolls, fitting them together snugly. 
  8. Spoon the remaining third of the sauce over the top of the rolls. Bake for 35-45 mins, until dark golden and crisp on the top. Serve garnished with the basil leaves.

Watch this recipe in action on our Insta


Butterbean & sweet potato no-fish pie (VG)

You can make this veg-packed pie ahead and pop it in the freezer for a fuss-free family dinner 

Serves 4 • Ready in 1 hr 30 mins 

DAI’S TIP:
‘Roasting the sweet potatoes brings out their sweetness. After you‘ve made the mash, you can put the skins back into the oven to crisp up. Crumble them on to your pie for a zero-waste crispy topping.‘

THE METHOD:

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Co-op Irresistible cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large Co-op British carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50ml vegan white wine
  • 200ml vegetable stock, made with ½ reduced salt stock cube
  • 3 x 400g cans Co-op butter beans 
  • 200ml dairy-free single cream alternative
  • 2 tbsp drained jarred capers
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp Co-op wholegrain mustard
  • ½ x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 125g bag Co-op baby spinach
  • 30g dairy-free spread
  • 100g green beans
  • 100g Co-op frozen British garden peas
  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/fan 200ºC/gas 7. Prick the potatoes with a fork, then roast for 1 hour, until soft. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 5 mins, until softened. Add the carrot and celery and cook for 3-4 mins, then add the garlic and fry for 2 mins more.
  3. Pour in the white wine and cook for 2-3 mins. Add the stock and butter beans. Simmer for 5 mins, until reduced and starting to thicken.
  4. Stir through 150ml of the cream alternative, the capers, lemon zest and juice, 1 tsp of the mustard and the parsley (reserve a little to garnish). Lightly mash some of the beans with a fork.
  5. Add the spinach to the pan and stir through. Simmer for 1 minute, then pour into a pie dish.
  6. Put the dairy-free spread into a bowl with the remaining cream alternative and mustard. Scoop out the potatoes into the bowl, season and mash together until smooth.
  7. Spoon the mash onto the pie and scrape it with a fork to distribute it evenly. Bake for 20 mins. 
  8. Meanwhile, cook the green beans and peas according to the pack instructions. Serve with the pie, sprinkled with parsley.
DID YOU KNOW

… that you can help communities when buying Co-op branded products when you’re a Co-op Member? More details here.