Polytunnels allow home growers to produce a wide range of fresh food for their tables. If you have a vegan diet, free from meat and dairy, then it is even easier to grow almost everything that you eat at home. Even if you do not follow this diet, these vegan meal ideas should inspire you to make the most of the produce you grow in your polytunnel garden.
Vegan Breakfast Ideas
How about a simple smoothie? Anyone can enjoy a delicious drink crammed full with summer berries or other fruits. Toss in some spinach and a few seeds for an extra nutritional boost. Or how about making some healthy savoury muffins with courgettes, carrots and other seasonal veg?
Vegan Lunch Ideas
Wraps and salads are staples when you grow your own food at home. You can stuff home-made flat breads with whatever fruits, vegetables and herbs are ready to eat each month. Making wraps ahead of time with bean spread, home-made hummus or vegetable mix and salads can make it easy if you work during the week. Soups are also perfect for lunches – and there is almost no end to the delicious soup recipes you could choose from if you grow your own.
Main Vegan Meal Ideas
Vegan meal ideas abound for dinner. Even the most zealous meat eaters will enjoy recipes like a Thai green curry, or a vegetable daal. There are plenty of creative curry recipes that are vegan. Pasta dishes (with egg-free pasta) also offer plenty of options that are meat and dairy free. Make a pasta sauce with tomatoes, peppers, and other polytunnel fruits and vegetables, for example, and this could also be great for spreading on a cheese-free pizza. Layer on the veggies and perhaps some mushrooms and you will not miss the cheese at all – though you could use cashew cream and nutritional yeast to replace the cheese if you wish.
Vegan Snack Ideas
One snack idea everyone can enjoy is taking root vegetables such as carrots, beetroots, parsnips and (of course) potatoes and making your own vegetable crisps. Kale can also make fine crisps. Vegetable crisps can be seasoned to taste – you could also add some spice if you wanted. You could enjoy these crisps on their own, or with a delicious dip also made from your polytunnel produce.
Vegan Dessert Ideas
If you have a fig tree, you could make dates. Dates are used for texture and sweetness in a range of different vegan cake and pudding recipes. Amongst the easiest vegan desserts are those which make use of fresh produce and only a few other ingredients. How about making a granita, for example, with fresh summer berries? How about a vegan crumble for autumn fruits – topped with a mix of oats, seeds and honey?
These are just a few ideas to help you seek out and cook some delicious vegan meals using produce you have grown in your polytunnel. Do you have a favourite vegan recipe? Let us know in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.