Cooking a vegan pasta bake on the Afternoon Express Show

This week, I was at it again! Afternoon Express invited me back to the studio to show their viewers just how easy and delicious plant-based cooking can be.

The brief was simple – create something scrumptious using Clover’s soy milk as a dairy alternative. My initial idea was to dish up a dessert, however, I’d rather help South Africans replace their meat-heavy main meals than their sweet treats. Leaving meat, eggs and dairy off your plate one day (or even one meal) at a time can make a massive difference to our environment, and obviously our animals. One beef burger requires the same amount of water than 60 showers, and with the detrimental drought South Africa is facing, we can’t risk wasting one drop. So I encourage you to join the Green Monday SA movement and simply reduce the amount of animal products you consume. Vegifying your favourite food is easier and tastier than you think! My favourite food is pasta, so for this week’s show, I created a velvety pasta bake with roasted broccoli, butternut and sundried tomatoes. I usually use Happy Earth People‘s red lentil pasta for this dish to increase the protein content, but you can use any (egg-free) pasta of your choice. You can also swap the veggies with whatever you have available in your fridge – think peppers, mushrooms and sweet potato. It is a quick and easy dinner that the whole family will enjoy!

Pasta Bake with Broccoli, Butternut and Sundried Tomatoes

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 packet pasta screws (250 grams)
  • 1 head broccoli, washed and chopped
  • 1 packet butternut cubes (500 grams)
  • 1 cup Woolworths sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 3 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 cup cake-wheat flour (all-purpose flour), sifted
  • 100ml sundried tomato oil (from the packet)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • Fresh parsley
  • Sriracha (or another hot sauce)

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to packet instructions, drain and set aside.
  2. Place broccoli and butternut in an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with olive oil. 3. salt and pepper and roast for 30-40 minutes until soft and caramelized.
  3. While veggies are grilling, make the white sauce: Sift flour into cold milk and whisk until combined. Transfer to a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, add the sundried tomatoes’ oil and whisk continuously over very low heat until thick and lump-free. Add salt and pepper to taste. If your white-sauce becomes lumpy, transfer it to a food processor and mix until smooth and velvety.
  4. Add the pasta and chopped sundried tomatoes to the dish with vegetables. Mix to evenly spread the ingredients.
  5. Pour over the white sauce and mix.
  6. Top with an even layer of breadcrumbs and bake for about 30 minutes.
  7. Cut into squares and serve with a squirt of Sriracha and fresh parsley.

COOKING VEGAN BUTTER CHICKEN ON THE AFTERNOON EXPRESS SHOW

If you love the aromatic ambiance of curried Indian cuisine as much as I do, you will adore this recipe! Recently, Afternoon Express phoned me up with another incredible opportunity to feature on their lifestyle show. From the 17th of September to the 17th of October the Indian community celebrates Purtassi, an annual festival during which the community only feasts on vegan foods. To make it as easy (and tasty) as possible for their viewers to eat vegan during this fast, Afternoon Express asked me to whip up a traditional Indian recipe with a plant-based twist.

21743074_1987064051508594_6079501643188225329_n.jpg

Since Indian cuisine already consists of many vegan curries, I wanted to create something out of the ordinary and challenged myself to vegify a creamy Butter Chicken using Quorn’s vegan savoury pieces. These little nibbles are one of my favourite products in their vegan range as they are super versatile and mimic the texture of chicken incredibly well. I was inspired to give it a go for the show, and to my surprise this spicy dish knocked the saucy socks right off me.

Even though summer is on its way, this still makes for a delicious dinner or left-over lunch. It is a get-together meal best enjoyed with good friends, red wine and crispy naan on the side.

 

VEGAN BUTTER CHICKEN WITH QUORN

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box Quorn spicy patties, cut into bite-sized chunks

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 2 tsp garam masala spice mix
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • Juice of 1/2 lime / lemon

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala, plus additional to taste
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 6 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the Quorn cubes Set aside and let it marinate while you prepare the sauce.
  • Blend the soaked cashews with the water until it becomes a creamy sauce, scoop a dollop out and keep aside for garnish
  • Heat oil in a deep non-stick pot. Add chopped onions and cook over medium-low heat until translucent.
  • Add garlic, ginger and garam masala, paprika, turmeric and cumin and mix until the onions are coated and fragrant.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and a pinch of salt to the pan and mix. The tomatoes will release a lot of liquid.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, until all of the excess juices have evaporated.
  • Once mixture is reduced to a paste, add it to the blender with the cashews and blend until smooth. Add additional water if needed.
  • Return the sauce to pan and add the Quorn cubes along with the marinade. Simmer until heated through.
  • Add cayenne pepper, nutritional yeast, and salt & pepper. Taste and adjust flavor, adding more garam masala if needed.
  • Serve hot with basmati rice or naan bread. Garnish with the dollop of cashew cream and fresh coriander.

{Recipe} Mediterranean Pasta Primavera

This simple, sophisticated Primavera Pasta is sunshine in a bowl! A fresh dish, bursting with exotic flair from Mediterranean flavours, including basil pesto, Kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes and fresh arugula leaves. On Tuesday, my dear friend, Nina, and I whipped … Continue reading

A Touch of Starlight – Vegan Pop-Up Party

An evening of sparkles, bubbles, city lights and gourmet vegan delicacies. A Touch of Starlight was delightful and glamorous, yet humble and comforting. On Sunday, I had the privilege of attending this intimate event hosted by Flavamingo Events, Troupe Events … Continue reading

Vegan Chilli con Corn-è – Version 2.0

Happy Green Monday everybody!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have read about the soy-based recipe collection I am working on for the Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL). They are launching a recipe database to support the growing number of small-scale food operations across Africa and sent a request through to HSI for submissions. The focus is on promoting soy as an economical, plant-based protein source and highlighting the versatility of it i.e. how to use soy in its many different forms. We are including recipes using whole soybeans, soy milk, soy yoghurts, soy flour, tofu, soy sauce, okra, and much more. This is the very first collection of international soy food recipes created and will be used for inclusion in institutional feeding programs like school lunch programs, day care and hospital catering – I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of it!

One of the dishes I want to submit is a Vegan Chilli con Corn-é recipe I blogged back in 2014. The original version contained a lot of sugar-loaded sauces and oil, so I decided to rework the recipe to make it even healthier. This is version 2.0 – protein packed with soy black beans and dehydrated soy mince (TVP). It makes five 250gram servings, each containing approximately 1102 kilojoules, 34grams carbs, 19.3grams protein and merely 3,7grams fat (all depending on the type of soy mince and brand of tinned veggies you are using). I can honestly say that even though this is the healthier con corn-e, it is also the yummiest version of the two. It is perfect to cook on a Sunday for your weekly meal prep, which is exactly what I did yesterday.

As soon as the SIL database is live, I promise to share the link with all of you.

Vegan Chilli con Corn-è - Version 2.0

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1x red onion, chopped
  • 1x teaspoon garlic, crushed
  • 2x teaspoons onion powder
  • 1x teaspoon turmeric
  • 1x teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1x tin chopped tomato
  • 1x tin black beans / 2 cups cooked black soya beans
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1x teaspoon chilli flakes (more if you want a harder kick)
  • 1x tin kettle corn
  • 1 cup dried soya mince or TVP (textured vegetable protein)
  • 100g (1/2 cup) tomato puree
  • 1x cup of veg stock

Directions

  1. Soak the soya mince in water for 20 minutes. Drain water and squeeze out excess water from the soya mince.
  2. In a large pot, fry the chopped red onion in a bit of the stock over very low heat until soft and sweet.
  3. Add garlic and spices: onion powder, paprika, and turmeric. Add a bit more of the stock and mix well to create a paste in the pot.
  4. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and the black beans and let it simmer on the stove over low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the tin kettle corn, chilli flakes and tomato puree and stir well.
  6. Add the soya mince and the rest of the stock and turn up the heat to medium.
  7. Stir occasionally until all the water is absorbed and the soya mince is soft -about 15 minutes. (Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. I like adding more onion powder and chilli flakes).
  8. Serve hot with starch (cooked rice, mash potato, couscous or samp corn) or with steamed veggies.