{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.

Vegan Mac & Cheese Bake

Happy Election Day! With a stain on my thumb, I decided to cook up a comforting dish on this cloudy & grey Cape Town day. This vegan Mac & Cheese Bake is an ultimate favourite – so I thought I’d share it with you too. Traditional Mac & Cheese is not one of the healthiest dishes around, but this recipe is actually pretty good for your heart – and your waistline. No cream, no oil, and no cheese… but just as flavoursome as the real deal. I adapted it from the Green Monday version: I use Fry’s Thick Cut Chunky Strips instead of seitan, whole-wheat macaroni instead of elbow macaroni and fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. I’m actually not a big fan of the breadcrumbs either. I did add it today, but decided to omit it in the future. Hope you enjoy this hearty dish as much as I do!

Vegan Mac & Cheese Bake

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 250g whole-wheat macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (just to add to your water so the macaroni doesn’t stick)
  • 1 box Fry’s Thick Cut Chunky Strips, defrosted
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup firm tofu, drained
  • 1½ cups Almond Breeze, unsweetened
  • 1 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (optional)

Directions

  1. Cut the Fry’s chunky strips in small blocks & let it marinate in the soy sauce.
  2. Boil a pot of water, add a dash of olive oil and cook the macaroni until it al dente.
  3. While your macaroni is cooking, add all the other ingredients (except the breadcrumbs) to your blender and blend until frothy. Set aside.
  4. Transfer your marinated Fry’s to a pan and cook over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190° C. Spray a baking dish with Cook & Spray and set aside.
  6. Drain the cooked macaroni, rinse with water, and return it to the pot.
  7. Add the Fry’s blocks and sauce mixture to the pot, and heat it up over low heat. Mix the ingredients well. (Don’t keep it on the heat for long, just heat it up slightly).
  8. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, and bake until the crumbs are nicely browned (about 25 minutes).
  9. Serve hot.

TIP: You can also use 4x Fry’s Spicy Asian Burger instead of the box of Chunky Strips and you can swap the tofu with a small can of coconut cream.

Adapted from Green Monday SA

{Review} Vegan Dining in Durban – Part 2

It feels like only yesterday when I blogged about my trip to Durban – and here I am at it again. This time around, Don & I skipped the bunny chows and opted for wholesome meals. We are both following Dr. Greger’s daily dozen program and so nutrition was our primary focus when dining together. That said, I did want to revisit a few of my favourite foodie hangouts in Durbs, and managed to add one more to the list:

Chilliplum:
This gastronomical gourmet vegan restaurant turned 1 on Friday, 8 July, and so Don, Mandy (Fry’s social media manager) and I met up with two Miss Earth finalists for celebratory snacks. Mireesha Narsai and Melissa Schreiber are both so lovely and inspirational – two humble, beautiful girls that wish to make a difference in the world. Please give them and their Mss Earth SA campaigns some support on Twitter and Instagram! Since we were on our way to a trampoline session, we just opted for a light snack – Don & I shared a portion of vegan sushi and mini soft tortillas with black bean chilli and slaw, topped with guacamole, vegan cream cheese, and fresh salsa.

Chilliplum vegan restaurant

Mugg & Bean:
Have you tried Mugg & Bean’s new coconut, carrot & ginger soup? Every vegan in town has been raving about this new green addition on their menu, but I’ve been reluctant to try it. I’m honestly just not a fan of ordering soups in restaurants, my dad makes killer veggie soups and so I see them as a waste of money (funny enough, I used to feel the same about steak…sis). As the Pavillion Shopping Centre was my office this time around, I decided to give this soup a go. Man, has Mugg&Bean done well! This sweet and spicy soup has super salivating status. The sourdough slices soak up its creamy comfort with each dunk. I take back what I proclaimed about soups – this one was every penny’s worth!

Falafel Fundi:
We couldn’t resist the deep fried crunchiness of Falafel Fundi, and so after an hour of jumping around, Don and I treated ourselves to a little cheat meal. We were such fatties – we swapped the eggplant side in the Mediterranean platter for extra falafel balls AND ordered four more after finishing our platter. I’d love to know how they get their falafels fluffy on the inside. Guess we’ll just have to return for more until we solve this mouth-watering mystery.

DSCF1622 (1280x853)
Earthmother:
Every time a new health cafe opens up around the corner, the world smiles a little brighter. Apparently, Earthmother isn’t that new, but when they moved to the busy Musgrave area, they became an instant it-spot. The restaurant shares their premise with a beautiful little boutique and a chiropractor. It also boasts a deli with farm-fresh veggies, super powders, and eco-friendly household products. We only popped in for a quick snack before our half-day spa session (thanks again babe) and so our 39-minute meal consisted of two smoothies and a shared falafel wrap. It was yummy, but they should do with Falafel Fundi’s balls.

Palki Restaurant:
For Green Monday, and my final night in Durban, Don and I popped into Palki for a hot date. Literally! We shared the most amazing starter I have ever had at an Indian eatery: Vegetarian Manchurian – an Indian Chinese recipe of deep fried cauliflower balls in a sweet, spicy & sticky sauce. For mains, we shared a chilli mushroom curry as well as a chickpea curry with a big bowl of basmati rice on the side.  Take a quick squiz at their menu over here.

Palki

I’ll be visiting Durban again mid-August. If you have any recommendations of where else to go, please do let me know!

Leo xx