Cooking up a storm at VegfestUK Brighton

Posted by Ollie on 14/03/17 in Recipes, VfL News and Events

Vegetarian for Life Roving Chef, Oliver Bragg, shares five recipes demonstrated at “a busy but fun weekend at VegfestUK Brighton” last weekend.

Says Ollie: “I loved the buzz, all the food, and meeting so many enthusiastic vegans! And it was great to impart knowledge and talk about subjects that I am passionate about.”

Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms and Truffle Oil

Serves 4, Vegan

6 cups vegetable stock

1 cup of polenta

2 cups soya milk or vegan milk of choice

1 shallot or small sweet onion

3 cups mixed mushrooms

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce

¼ cup nutritional yeast

1 clove minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp truffle oil

  1. Heat stock in a large saucepan. When it starts to boil reduce the heat to a simmer and gradually whisk in polenta. Continue to whisk polenta for 25–35 minutes adding the soya milk gradually when it thickens.
  2. Finely chop onion and roughly chop mushrooms.
  3. Heat a frying pan, add olive oil then onions. Fry until softened and starting to brown.
  4. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until browned. Add soy sauce and remove from heat.
  5. When polenta is thick and creamy and leaving the side of the saucepan easily when stirred, add the nutritional yeast.
  6. Add the minced garlic to the polenta and cook for 1 more minute.
  7. Ladle polenta into bowls and top with onion and mushrooms.
  8. Drizzle over truffle oil and serve.

Chilled Yoghurt and Cucumber Soup

Serves 2, Vegan

2 large cucumbers

1½ cups soya yoghurt

3 tbsp lemon juice

1 small shallot, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled

1/3 cup loosely packed dill

¼ cup parsley

2 tbsp tarragon leaves

¼ cup olive oil

sea salt

white pepper

½ red onion, finely sliced

  1. Chop cucumbers in half, then lengthways into quarters. Remove seeds with a sharp knife. Finely chop approximately 1 cups worth and set aside. Roughly chop the rest of the cucumber and add to a blender.
  2. Add yoghurt, lemon juice, shallot, garlic clove, dill, parsley, tarragon, olive oil, pinch of sea salt, pinch of pepper to blender and blend for 1 minute.
  3. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Pour soup into bowls. Add more salt and pepper to taste and another squeeze of lemon juice.
  5. Garnish with remaining chopped cucumber, sliced red onion and a good drizzle of dill oil.

Dill Oil


¼ cup rapeseed oil

½ cup fresh dill

¼ cup cider vinegar

  1. Blend in a blender and pass through a strainer.

Mini Sweet Apple and Dill Raw Pies

Makes 12 pies, Vegan

2 cups walnuts

2 cups dates

1 cup desiccated coconut

pinch sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon powder

4 apples

12 sprigs dill

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp rice malt syrup or date syrup (optional)

125g ‘COYO’ coconut milk yoghurt (vanilla flavour) – alternatively add 1 vanilla pod or 2 drops of vanilla essence to original flavour

OR 125g whipped soya cream with 1 vanilla pod added or 2 drops of vanilla essence

For the base:

  1. Blitz together walnuts, dates, coconut, sea salt and cinnamon in a blender.
  2. Press into silicon cup cake moulds to form a slim (½ cm thick) layer.
  3. Refrigerate for at least ½ hour.


  1. Peel two apples and roughly chop. Add to blender with dill, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and optional syrup.
  2. Blend together to form a coarse sauce.
  3. Finely chop the remaining apples into small cubes and add to the blended sauce.
  4. Spoon into the refrigerated bases.


  1. Add coconut yoghurt or whipped soya cream to a piping bag.
  2. Pipe onto the tops of the pies.
  3. Top with a slice of candied apple.

Candied Apple or Pear Slices


1 apple or pear

100ml water

150g brown sugar or coconut sugar

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  1. Finely slice the apple or pear.
  2. Place the water and sugar in a saucepan. Stir and gently simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Add the apple or pear slices and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the slices from the pan and place onto a baking tin that has been lined with baking parchment.
  5. Place in an oven for 10–15 minutes at 170°C.
  6. Cool and refrigerate. They will last for up to approximately 1 month.


Notify me of follow-up comments