Boxing clever | Viva! - The Vegan Charity

Boxing clever

Eat seasonal and British vegetables - make the most of your local veg box with our environmentally friendly recipes for eco eating.

Box clever

Organic vegetables are best for your health and the environment – and the number of companies making deliveries is growing rapidly. Mostly seasonal and British, with the occasional foreign top-up, it is the sensible way to eat veg. But if faced with unfamiliar beetroot or celeriac, don’t give up!

Here are a few ideas but for more, check out the Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation's Recipe Club.

Also, see these websites for ideas: and  (not all recipes will be veggie or vegan!). The Soil Association can give you details of veg box schemes in your area and has lots of links on its website –  or call on 0117 314 5000.

Boozy Baked Onions


Serves 4/60-90 minutes (inc 10 minutes preparation time)
Simple, sweet and a nice side dish.

4 medium-large onions
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp wholemeal breadcrumbs
1⁄2 tsp dried sage or 1-2 tsp fresh sage, finely chopped
Black pepper
4 tbsp water – or more if necessary
Pinch of mixed herbs
2 tbsp medium or sweet sherry
1 tsp soya sauce
2 tsp cornflour

1 Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.
2 Drop whole onions into pan of boiling water for 5 minutes.
3 Drain and set aside.
4 Halve onions and rub with oil.
5 Mix breadcrumbs with sage, salt and pepper.
6 Place onions in oiled dish cut sides up, sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture and drizzle remaining oil over.
7 Bake for 45 minutes. If not tender, cook for a further 15-30 minutes.
8 Make glaze by mixing water, sherry, mixed herbs, soya sauce and cornflour in a small pan.
9 Bring to a gentle boil, adding more liquid if too thick. Whisk to remove lumps.
10 Spoon glaze on to a shallow serving dish – place onions on top and serve.


Celeriac Coleslaw

Serves 2-4/10 minutes
Tastes very like nutty celery.

1 small-medium celeriac, peeled,
scrubbed and grated
2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise (Plamil)
mixed with 2 tbsp soya or rice milk
Salt and ground black pepper
1-2 carrots, grated
Green or white cabbage, grated
1 small red onion or half a bunch of spring onions, finely chopped

1 Mix all ingredients together so well coated with mayo.
2 Serve as side salad, with baked potatoes or mixed bean salad.
Will keep in the fridge for 1-2 days.

Warm Beetroot & Quinoa Tabbouleh

Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main course/30 minutes.

125g/4oz quinoa
300ml/1⁄2 pint water
2 tsp low-salt vegan bouillon powder or half a vegan stock cube
2 tsp olive oil
2 large red onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 small raw beetroots, peeled and grated – about 200g/7oz
Handful flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
Salad leaves on which to serve tabbouleh
Orange and lemon slices to garnish

1 Rinse quinoa and place in saucepan with 300ml/½ pint of water and bring to the boil.
2 Cover and leave to cook slowly for 18 minutes.
3 Remove from heat and leave to stand, still lidded.
4 Warm olive oil in a largish saucepan, add and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until tender.
5 Stir the balsamic vinegar into the pan, let it bubble, then remove from the heat.
6 Add quinoa, lemon juice, beetroot, parsley and salt and pepper.
7 Serve on salad leaves with garnish.

Rooty Noodles with Veggie Oyster Sauce

Serves 4/20-30 minutes, including preparation time.

1-2 tbsp sesame or olive oil
4 large sticks celery, chopped small
3 medium red onions, sliced thinly
1 small swede, chopped into matchsticks
1 medium leek, chopped, including best green parts
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 pack soba (buckwheat), Udon or wholewheat noodles
1-2 tins of cooked pulses (aduki, pinto beans or whole lentils etc) rinsed and drained or 450g/1lb home-cooked.

1 mushroom or vegetable stock cube
240ml/8fl oz boiling water
4 tbsp black bean sauce (eg
Blue Dragon)
1 tbsp date or maple syrup
2 tsp cornflour dissolved in 1 tsp
cold water

1 Sauté prepared vegetables in the oil until just tender.
2 Stir in cooked pulses.
3 Cook noodles in boiling water, drain and keep warm.
4 Make the sauce by dissolving stock cube in hot water.
5 Mix with black bean sauce and syrup and heat to boiling.
6 Add dissolved cornflour and stir until thickened. Add more liquid if necessary.
7 Serve vegetables on a bed of noodles, pour sauce over and serve hot.

Rhubarb Compote

Serves 4/5-10 minutes
Eat on its own or with dairy-free
cream/custard or porridge

450g/1lb rhubarb
1-2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
Agave, date syrup or brown sugar to taste
A little water

1 Wash and chop the rhubarb into
2cm/1 inch chunks.
2 Place in a medium pan with a little
cold water and ginger.
3 Bring to gentle boil.
4 Add sweetener and cook until
mushy (just a few minutes).
5 Will keep in the fridge for a few days.
6 Optional: turn into a creamy
Rhubarb Fool by blending 110g/4oz
of silken tofu, adding rhubarb and
blending again.