This bright pink spaghetti is a real winner,” says Ella Mills, the food writer and founder of Deliciously Ella.
“The mix of walnuts, pine nuts and white beans gives it a lovely texture, the coconut milk makes it beautifully creamy. The beets bring the color, and the garlic and parsley really add to the flavor. The result is sweet and mild, almost like a korma sauce.”
Creamy beetroot and walnut spaghetti
50g pine nuts
300g cooked beetroot, drained, peeled and roughly chopped
25g flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1 × 400g tin of small white beans (cannellini or haricot), drained
200ml tinned coconut milk, shaken well to disperse the cream
Lemon juice, to taste
4 servings of spaghetti or other long pasta (75g per person)
Sea salt and black pepper
1. Toast the walnuts and pine nuts in a dry frying pan over a high heat until the pine nuts are golden, then transfer to a food processor along with the beetroot, parsley, two tablespoons of the olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Blitz until you have a thick mash.
2. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion for five to seven minutes, until soft. Stir in the garlic and fry for another minute.
3. Transfer the beetroot mash to the pan along with the beans and coconut milk and mix everything together. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes to heat everything through.
4. Check the seasoning then stir in lemon juice to taste.
5. Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the pack, then drain well and return to the pan.
6. Stir the sauce through the pasta and serve immediately.
Cauliflower and cashew pilaf tray bake
“The ginger, garlic, bay leaves and spices give this cauliflower and cashew pilaf loads of depth, with a nice pop of color from the green beans,” says Mills.
“To vary this, you can swap the cauliflower for squash or sweet potato – just peel and chop into bite-sized pieces and add it in the same way.”
She advises one slight change for kids: “If you’re cooking for very young children, omit the cashews from the roasting tin and sprinkle over the adults’ portions when serving.”
1 onion, finely sliced
1 cauliflower, tough outer leaves discarded, cut into florets
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1½ tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
50g cashews, roughly chopped
250g white basmati rice, rinsed and drained
200g green beans, trimmed and cut into 4-5cm lengths
500ml hot vegetable stock
1 lemon, halved
Small handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
Harissa, to serve (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan.
2. Put the onion, cauliflower, ginger and garlic into a large roasting tin. Add the coconut oil, cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin, turmeric, coriander and cashews. Mix everything until well combined and spread out in a single, even layer.
3. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, until the onion and cauliflower have taken on a little colour.
4. Take the tray out and add the sultanas, rice and green beans. Stir them through the veg, then spread everything out in an even layer. For over the hot stock.
5. Cover the tray with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cauliflower and rice are tender. Season and add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste, then serve with a generous sprinkling of coriander, and a drizzle of harissa, if you like.
Banana and olive oil loaf
“I make this recipe all the time for the girls, it’s brilliant and they absolutely love it,” says Mills.
“It’s soft and spongy and the prunes or dates make the loaf lovely and sweet – you really don’t miss sugar at all. It’s perfect on its own, but equally delicious as a pudding with coconut yoghurt.”
Makes: 1 loaf
200g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
4 tbsp coconut yogurt
75ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
100g plums or medjool dates, chopped
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
75g sultanas or raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 160C fan.
2. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line with baking parchment.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the banana, coconut yogurt, olive oil, vanilla, plums and flaxseed. Stir in the Sultanas.
5. Add the banana mixture to the flour and mix well – it will seem dry at first but it will come together.
6. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin, level out the top and bake for 50-60 minutes, until risen and golden. Test with a skewer – if it comes out clean the loaf is ready.
7. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out.
‘How To Go Plant-Based: A Definitive Guide For You And Your Family’ by Ella Mills (published by Yellow Kite, £26; photography by Clare Winfield), available 18 August.