Now that the weather is warmer, we’ve swapped our hearty stews for summery salads that are bursting with flavour. But even though the season has changed, one thing hasn’t: how important it is to get enough protein in our diets.
Therefore, whether you’re enjoying the cool of the gym or taking to the great outdoors for your workout, you’ll need something protein rich, and tasty, to refuel. That doesn’t mean eating sad meal-prepped chicken breast while your mates are diving into their sausage rolls and strawberries at your summer picnic – getting your protein in can be delicious.
Who else to give you inspiration than the team at Bosh!, the plant based recipe creators known for their drool-worthy video recipes that regularly go viral on Instagram. They’ve shared three of their favourite high-protein, vegan meals that everyone will love, whether you’re serving up a midweek dinner for one or hosting a Saturday barbecue for six.
Crispy chilli tofu
This high protein ‘fakeaway’ is spicy, sticky and full of umami flavour.
Ingredients (serves four)
- 1 x 280g block firm tofu
- 150g cornflour
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 lemons
- 250ml orange juice
- 100g sweet chilli sauce
- 1 tbsp sriracha or other chilli sauce
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 spring onion, to serve
- 1 tsp sesame seeds, to serve
First, press the tofu using a tofu press or place it between two clean tea towels, lay it on a plate and put a weight on top. Leave for at least half an hour to drain any liquid and firm up before you start cooking.
Carefully slice the pressed tofu into 1cm-wide sticks and spread them out on a board. Sift cornflour over the top, coating the pieces generously. Use tongs or two forks to turn the pieces and sift over more cornflour until the tofu is covered on all sides. The thicker the better with the cornflour as this coating gives the cooked tofu its crunchy texture.
Pour enough oil into the pan to fully coat the bottom and heat until it makes the tip of a wooden spoon sizzle. Carefully place the tofu pieces in the pan, with a bit of space around each one (you may need to cook them in batches). Cook for 5 minutes, turning the pieces every minute or so until they are starting to turn golden brown. Transfer to the plate lined with kitchen paper. Tip away the excess oil in the pan and reduce the heat to medium-high.
Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the pan, catching any pips in your other hand (be careful as the pan may spit). Add the orange juice, sweet chilli sauce, sriracha and soy sauce and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5–7 minutes until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency.
Add the tofu strips back to the pan and stir until fully coated. Continue to cook, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat. Finely slice the spring onion and sprinkle over the tofu along with the sesame seeds before serving.
Spread on sourdough toast and serve with cornichons for the perfect summery starter or canapé with drink.
Ingredients (makes four small jars)
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 7 sage leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 echalion (banana) shallot
- a pinch of salt
- 2 garlic cloves
- 18 button mushrooms
- 2 tbsp cognac
- 150g walnuts
- 400g cooked lentils (home-made or from a packet)
- 2½ tbsp soy sauce
- ½ or 1 very small cooked beetroot (about 30g)
- 100g dairy-free butter
- A few peppercorns, to garnish
Remove the leaves from the herbs by running your thumb and forefinger from the top to the base of the stems (the leaves should easily come away.) Reserve a few leaves and sprigs for garnish and finely chop the rest.
Pour the oil into the frying pan over a medium heat. Peel and roughly chop the shallot and add it to the pan. Add a pinch of salt and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
Peel and roughly chop the garlic and add to the pan. Cook for a further 3 minutes. Chop the mushrooms and add them to the pan. Cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes, until everything is well softened. Add the finely chopped herbs and the cognac.
Transfer the contents of the pan to the food processor. Chop the walnuts and add them to the processor with the cooked lentils, soy sauce and beetroot. Blitz until almost smooth. Transfer the mixture to the prepared jars or ramekins and smooth the tops with the back of a spoon.
Place the small saucepan over a low heat. Add the dairy-free butter and melt without heating it too much as it can split. Pour it over the paté to completely cover. Place a few herb leaves, sprigs and peppercorns on top and leave to cool. Seal the jars (or cover the ramekins with cling film) and refrigerate to chill.
Goulash and dumplings
This filling dish is rich, hot and bursting with tomato and paprika flavours.
Ingredients (serves four)
- 2 tbsp light olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 large carrot
- 2 red peppers
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 x 400g tin finely chopped tomatoes
- 500ml water or veg stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 fresh red chilli
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
- 2 x 400g tins cannellini or borlotti beans
- Salt and black pepper
For the dumplings:
- Handful of flat-leaf parsley
- 150g plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50ml light olive oil, plus
- 75ml unsweetened plant-based milk
- 1–2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Handful of flat-leaf parsley
- 1 lemon
- Plant-based yoghurt or plant-based sour cream
- Salad of your choice
Start the goulash. Add the oil to the casserole dish. Peel and finely slice the onion and carrot. Add both to the casserole and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Roughly chop the peppers and add them to the pan. Crush the garlic and add it to the casserole along with the caraway seeds. Stir-fry for one minute.
Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Put the tinned tomatoes into the medium saucepan. Once simmering, add the water or stock and stir to combine. Break the bay leaves and add them to the pan. Deseed and roughly chop the chilli and add it to the pan along with the sugar and paprika. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Now, make the dumplings. Chop the parsley and put it into a bowl. Add the flour, salt and baking powder and mix well. Make a well in the mixture, pour in the oil, plant-based milk and mustard. Mix until it comes together. Grease your hands and roll the dough into 16 equal-sized balls.
Finish the goulash: drain the tinned beans through a sieve and tip into the casserole along with the tomato sauce. Mix well and bring to the boil. Add the dumplings, cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 8 minutes and season to taste.
Chop the parsley and sprinkle it over the goulash. Serve with the yoghurt or sour cream, salad and the lemon wedges for squeezing over the top.
BOSH! celebrates its 5th birthday in June. Visit to @bosh.tv for more tasty vegan recipes.
Images: Lizzie Mayson