3 Delicious vegan recipes from the authors of BOSH!

01 Nov 2019
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

Walking around the supermarket, it’s easy to feel like your options are limited when you’re vegan. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

To help you rustle up some delicious meals, we’ve pulled in the experts. Below, you’ll find three vegan recipes from BISH BASH BOSH!, a brand-new cookbook dedicated to plant-based living written by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby. Enjoy!

Shepherd’s pie

This is perhaps one of Ian’s favourite dishes: the British classic, shepherd’s pie. Served with garden peas it is perfect for a cold winter evening. You can prepare the filling and mash the day before and keep them in separate airtight containers in the fridge, then assemble the pie when you’re ready to cook it. It might take a few minutes longer if you’re cooking it from cold.

Photo: Lizzie Mayson


Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 celery stick
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, plus 2 tbsp oil from the jar
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large carrot
  • 500g mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp yeast extract (e.g. Marmite)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 250ml red wine
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 400g pre-cooked puy lentils
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1.2kg Maris Piper or other floury potatoes
  • 40g dairy-free butter
  • 150ml unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard


First make a start on the potato topping. Peel and chop the potatoes into large chunks. Put in a saucepan, cover with cold water and add a generous pinch of salt. Put over a high heat, bring to the boil and cook for 12–15 minutes. Drain into a colander and leave to dry. Tip back into the pan.

Now to the filling. Peel and finely dice the red onions and celery. Peel and grate the garlic. Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Remove the leaves from the rosemary and thyme by running your thumb and forefinger from the top to the base of the stems (the leaves should easily come away), then finely chop. Peel and finely chop the carrot. Put the mushrooms in the food processor and blitz to mince (or roughly chop with a knife if you don’t have one). Now preheat the oven to 180C.

Put the second saucepan over a medium heat. Pour in the sun-dried tomato oil. Add the onion and a small pinch of salt. Fry for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary and thyme and cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and stir for 4–5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, turn up the heat slightly and stir for 2–3 minutes, until the mushrooms start to sweat. Reduce the heat and cook for 5–7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir the tomato purée into the pan. Add the yeast extract and balsamic vinegar and stir for 1 minute. Add the red wine, stock and lentils, turn up the heat and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Taste, season and take off the heat.

Mash the potatoes. Add the dairy-free butter, milk and mustard to the potatoes and mash until really smooth. Taste and season.

Spread the filling over the bottom of the lasagne dish. Spoon the potato into the piping bag, if using, and pipe tightly packed walnut-sized whips of potato all over, otherwise spoon over the potato and spread it out with the back of a spoon, then drag over a fork to make rows that will catch and brown in the oven.

Put the pie in the oven and bake for 25–30 minutes, until starting to crisp and turn golden brown. Remove and serve.

Roast sweet potato tagine

Whisk away to the Middle East with this hearty tagine. It’s sweet, fragrant and easy to make. You can replace the preserved lemon with the grated zest of a lemon, the juice of half a lemon and an extra pinch of salt. It’s also great with salad rather than the couscous for a lighter lunch.

Photo: Lizzie Mayson


Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1kg sweet potatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6cm piece fresh ginger
  • 30g fresh coriander
  • 100g dried apricots
  • 2 tbsp harissa paste
  • 2 tsp ras el hanout
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml water
  • 1 x 240g tin chickpeas
  • salt and black pepper

For the lemon and almond couscous

  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 300g couscous
  • 400ml boiling water
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • 20g fresh coriander leaves


First roast the sweet potato. Chop the sweet potatoes into 3cm chunks. Spread over the baking tray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put into a preheated oven at 180C and bake for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the red onions. Rip the stem from the chilli, cut it in half lengthways and remove the seeds, then finely chop. Peel and grate the garlic. Peel the ginger by scraping off the skin with a spoon and grate. Pluck the leaves from the coriander, put them to one side and thinly slice the stems. Roughly chop the dried apricots. Drain the chickpeas.

To make the tagine, place the saucepan over a medium heat and add the rest of the olive oil. Add the onions and fry for 4–5 minutes, stirring, until starting to soften. Add the chilli, garlic, ginger and chopped coriander stems and stir for 2 minutes. Add the harissa paste, ras el hanout, cumin, ground coriander and sugar and stir for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and water. Lower the heat and simmer for 7–9 minutes. Stir in the drained chickpeas and apricots. Put the lid on and simmer for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take the lid off the pan, taste and season. Add the coriander leaves and roasted sweet potato and stir. Reduce the heat to low and put the lid back on the pan.

To make the couscous, halve the preserved lemon and put it into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, cumin, couscous and boiling water. Cover with a dinner plate and set aside for 8–10 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread the flaked almonds over the baking tray. Put in the oven and bake for 4 minutes, until lightly browned. Finely chop the coriander leaves.

Back to the couscous. Remove the preserved lemon and fluff the couscous with a fork. Reserve a quarter of the toasted almonds and a quarter of the chopped coriander leaves and fold the rest into the couscous. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Divide the couscous among bowls and top with the tagine. Garnish with the reserved almonds and coriander and serve.

Banana bread blondies

These blondies are freakishly good! Arranging the bananas on top makes them look totally awesome. To speed up the process, use a food processor or stand mixer. The blondies will keep for up to four days in an airtight container.

Photo: Lizzie Mayson


Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 125g almonds
  • 4 bananas – 2 ripe (250g peeled weight) and 2 firm
  • 150g peanut butter
  • 6 tbsp (135g) maple syrup 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 90ml unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 250g plain flour
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp soft light brown sugar


Spread the almonds out over the baking tray, put the tray in the oven and bake the almonds for 8–10 minutes, until deeply golden. Remove and set aside to cool.

Put the ripe bananas in a mixing bowl and mash them with a fork. Add 100g of the peanut butter, the maple syrup, vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract and stir until well combined.

Combine the dry ingredients. Pour the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt into a separate mixing bowl and combine with a fork. Tip the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold everything together to combine and form a smooth batter.

Break the roasted almonds into small chunks using a pestle and mortar, food processor or the end of a rolling pin. Cut the chocolate into 5mm pieces. Add 100g of the broken almonds and 100g of the chocolate chunks to the bowl and fold them into the batter. Transfer to the baking tin and smooth the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

Dollop the remaining peanut butter over the top of the cake. Sprinkle the remaining almonds over the top and lightly press them into the batter. Peel the firm bananas, cut them in half lengthways and gently press the slices into the top of the cake, seed side up. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the bananas. Put the tin in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Melt the remaining chocolate. Boil a kettle and pour enough water into a small pan until it’s 2cm deep. Place a heatproof bowl over the pan and bring it to the boil, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Reduce to a simmer then break the remaining chocolate into the bowl and leave to melt (alternatively, melt in the microwave in 15-second bursts). Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cake. Cut into 12 pieces and serve.

Recipes taken from BISH BASH BOSH! by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, out now (HQ, HarperCollins).

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Staff writer at The Common Room