Virtually Vegan: All-Vegan Recipes with a Non-Vegan Twist!

December 12, 2018

These vegan burgers and appetizers are perfect for a summer party or barbecue…

























Mezze platter

Prep: 30 minutes / Cook: 30 minutes / Serves: 4–6


For the tabbouleh:

  • 100g/3½ oz/heaped ½ cup bulgar wheat, rinsed
  • about 6 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
  • 4 spring onions/scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 large handful of flatleaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 large handful of mint leaves,  chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the hummus:

  • 2 x 400g/14oz cans of chickpeas, drained
  • about 3 tbsp tahini
  • juice of ½–1 lemon
  • a couple of pinches of paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • about 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • For the griddled veg
  • 4 red peppers, halved, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 4 courgettes/zucchini, trimmed and sliced lengthways
  • extra virgin olive oil


  • The tabbouleh is all about the herbs so add plenty. Put the bulgar wheat in a pan, cover with water to about 2.5cm/1in above the bulgar and add a pinch of salt. bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed and the bulgar is tender. Drain into a bowl and fluff up with a fork. Add the tomatoes, spring onions/scallions, lemon juice and herbs and season well with salt and pepper.
  • To make the hummus, put the chickpeas/garbanzos in a food processor with the tahini and lemon juice and whiz to combine. With the motor running, add a pinch of paprika and the garlic and trickle in the olive oil, then begin to add about 6 tablespoons of hot water until the hummus reaches the consistency you prefer. You can make it as smooth or textured as you wish. Taste and season some more if needed. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with a little more oil and a pinch of paprika.
  • To cook the vegetables, brush the peppers and courgettes/zucchini with a little oil and season well with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan until it is hot, then add the vegetables, a few at a time, and cook for a few minutes on each side until char lines appear. Transfer to a serving plate.
  • Prepare other ingredients of your choice. Among my favourites are: mixed olives, sliced radishes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber cut into sticks, warm flatbreads.

























Courgette, Dill & Tomato Tart

Prep: 15 minutes / Cook: 45 minutes / Serves: 6


1 tbsp olive oil

½ red onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2–3 small courgettes/zucchini,
finely sliced

a pinch of dried oregano

a few stalks of dill, finely chopped, plus extra for topping

2 tsp Dijon mustard

4–5 tomatoes, sliced widthways
into 1cm/¾in slices

a few pitted black olives (optional)

a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

a drizzle of balsamic vinegar

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

a lightly dressed salad, to serve

For the Pastry: 

225g/8oz/1¾ cups plain/all-purpose flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting

a pinch of salt

125g/4oz sunflower spread


  • To make the pastry, mix the flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add the sunflower spread and rub in until it looks like breadcrumbs, then add 2 teaspoons of ice cold water and bring together to form a dough. Turn out onto a floured board and form into a ball, wrap with cling film/plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°f/Gas 6 and grease a 20cm/8in tart pan.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion, season and cook for 2–3 minutes until beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for a few seconds more. Add the courgettes/zucchini, oregano and dill and cook on low, stirring occasionally, for 2–3 minutes, until just golden. Set aside.
  • Remove the pastry from the refrigerator, sit it on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a circle slightly larger than the pan. Lay the pastry over the tin with the edges overlapping. Fill with parchment paper and baking beans and bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges of the pastry are just beginning to turn pale golden. Remove from the oven, remove the beans and paper, smear the base with the mustard, then put it back in the oven for couple more minutes until crisp. Remove from the oven, trim the pastry edges and leave to cool. Turn the oven down to 190°C/375°f/Gas 5.
  • Fill the pastry case with alternating slices of courgette/zucchini and tomato, top with tomato slices and scatter the olives over the top, if using, then drizzle over the oil and balsamic vinegar and bake for 20–30 minutes until golden.
  • Leave to rest for 5–10 minutes at least before slicing. Serve hot or at room temperature, scattered with dill and with a lightly dressed salad alongside.


for non-vegans… 

Layer a few canned anchovies between the vegetables for little pockets of salty flavour.

























Vegetable kebabs with miso & ginger glaze 

Prep: 30 mins / Cook: 10 mins / Serves:


  • 1 aubergine/eggplant, cut into chunky pieces
  • 2–3 courgettes/zucchini, cut into chunky pieces
  • 4–6 figs, quartered
  • 2 slices of sourdough bread, cubed
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • about 6 tomatoes, roughly chopped

For the Slaw: 

  • ½ light green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2.5cm/1in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • a pinch of demerara/turbinado sugar, to taste, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing: 

  • 1 tbsp red miso paste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2.5cm/1in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated


  • You will need 8 skewers. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them for 20 minutes before using – this will stop them from burning in the griddle pan.
  • First make the slaw. Put the cabbage and carrots in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix together. In another bowl, whisk the lime juice, vinegar, shallots, chilli, garlic, ginger and sugar and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture into the cabbage and carrots and mix it all together using your hands. Leave to one side or in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Now make the dressing. Mix the miso, oil and ginger together and season with salt and pepper.
  • Thread the aubergine/eggplant, courgette/zucchini, figs, bread, peppers and tomatoes evenly on to the skewers and lay them in a shallow dish. Drizzle the dressing over the top and turn to coat. Leave to one side for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a griddle pan until hot, then add the kebabs a few at a time. Cook for about 4–5 minutes each side, drizzling a little more dressing over them as they cook. Serve with the slaw and any leftover dressing on
    the side.

For non-vegans… 

Cut 450g/1lb pork tenderloin into chunky cubes, and add to the skewers in between the vegetables. Cook for 6–8 minutes until the pork is tender and juicy.





















Carrot & beetroot burger with red cabbage slaw

Prep: 30 minutes / Cook: 20 minutes / Serves: 8-10 burgers


  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for frying
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz carrots, peeled and roughly grated
  • 3 cooked beetroot/beet, grated
  • 400g/14oz can of chickpeas/ garbanzos or butter/lima beans, drained then chopped in food processor, juice reserved
  • a pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1–2 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • bread rolls, toasted, to serve

For the Slaw: 

  • 1 small red cabbage, shredded
  • 300g/10½oz/1¹⁄³ cups soy yogurt, plain or with almond
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard


  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Stir in the garlic and caraway seeds and cook for a few seconds more. Press any water out of the carrot and beetroot/beet and add the vegetables to the pan. Cook for about 5–6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot and well blended, then remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the slaw. Put the cabbage in a large bowl. Mix together the yogurt, vinegar and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Spoon it over the cabbage and turn to coat. Leave to one side or in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Add the chickpeas/garbanzos and chilli flakes, if using, to the carrot mixture and combine well, then pour in a little
    of the reserved juice to help bind the mixture. Spoon in
    the flour and stir to make quite a wet mixture. Scoop even-sized balls out with floured hands, flatten onto the prepared baking/cookie sheet into burgers and put in the refrigerator to chill.
  • When ready to cook, heat a little oil in a non- stick frying pan, add a few burgers at a time and cook for about 3–4 minutes on each side,
    or until golden and cooked through. Continue until all the burgers are cooked, adding more oil as you go.
  • Put some lettuce and tomato on each toasted roll, top with a burger and a dollop of slaw, finish with the top of the roll and serve.

For non-vegans… 

Serve the burger with a slice of melted cheese on the top.




Find Out More:

Virtually Vegan: All-vegan recipes with a non-vegan twist by Heather Whinney (Nourish, £20 hardback).



Posted by: jack.hallam