IF you fancy taking up the challenge of being vegan for a day, Europe’s largest vegan campaigning charity has just published a new guide, Viva! Cookbook.

Author Jane Easton says: “There are important reasons to go vegan but this book is simply about passionate, exciting, accessible cooking that draws inspiration from around the world. It can be summed up in three words – flavour, flavour and more flavour, and I haven’t forgotten about those who need gluten-free, wheat-free and low-fat diabetic diets.”

The Viva! Cookbook costs £9.99 plus (£3.95 p&p) from Viva!, 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH. Order online vivashop.org.uk/vivacookbook or call 0117 944 1000

Here are some recipes for you to try at home:

Quick Aubergine & Tomato Curry

Serves 4-6, 30 minutes

675g/1½lbs aubergines
2 tbsp plain oil or oil spray
1 heaped tsp turmeric powder
4 cloves
1 heaped tsp cumin powder
1½ tsp coriander powder
6 black peppercorns
2.5cm/1inch piece fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp chilli powder
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp salt
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

1. Cut aubergines in 2cm/1inch cubes and soak in cold water.
2. Assemble all the spices. Heat oil and fry spices for 2 minutes.
3. Drain the aubergines. Add them, the salt and tomatoes.
4. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, cover and cook slowly until tender – about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
5. Add chopped fresh coriander just before serving 6. Serve hot.

Tony's Leek & Almond Pie

Serves 4-6, 30-40 minutes

3 medium-large leeks, cut lengthways and then sliced into 2cm/1 inch long pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, cut in half lengthways then sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Oil spray or a little oil
1 sheet of ready-rolled vegan shortcrust pastry (eg Jus-Rol or Sainsbury's)
4 heaped tbsp Engevita nutritional yeast flakes
25g/1oz ground almonds
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Dairy-free, ½ carton (125ml/generous 4fl oz) - Oatly, Alpro or Provamel
½ tsp salt
Lots of black pepper
2-4 tbsp flaked almonds

1. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 – about 10-15 degrees less if fan-assisted.
2. Soak leeks in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes. Shake vigorously to get rid of grit, rinse and drain in a colander. Set aside.
3. Heat olive oil and sweat onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes, until onions start to soften. Add leeks and continue to cook gently until soft enough to eat – 5-10 minutes. Add a small splash of water if they start to stick and stir occasionally.
4. Meanwhile, grease oven dish with oil spray or a little oil and gently place the sheet of pastry into dish, distributing evenly. Trim off top edges with a knife. Pierce pastry base a few times with a fork and cover the dish with baking parchment so it bakes evenly. Scatter baking beans over the parchment to weight it down evenly if possible.
5. Cook the pastry in the hot oven for 10 minutes. This is called ‘blind baking’, preventing the pastry from going soggy. Remove from oven and set aside.
6. Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 (10-15 degrees les if fan-assisted).
7. Add yeast flakes, ground almonds, nutmeg, salt and pepper to onion/leek mix. Stir in soya cream and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
8. Spoon filling into pastry dish and distribute evenly. Scatter flaked almonds over top and bake for 15-20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes to ensure almonds are not burning. They should be a light golden brown.
9. Serve hot or warm.