Dining & Wine

‘7 Day Vegan Challenge’ cookbook: Recipes from ‘tuna’ toasties to choc-chip banana muffins

Faux tuna melt toastie

I have always loved sandwich fillers, especially creamy mayonnaise ones, and that will not change. So this faux-tuna recipe came about for completely selfish reasons.

Makes 4 toasties

240 g (8½ oz) drained tinned artichokes, chopped
4 cornichons, chopped
1 carrot, grated
4 tablespoons Plant Mayo (see below) or shop-bought
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon chopped dill
4 slices of sourdough or good quality gluten-free bread
olive oil, for brushing
2 pieces of melty plant cheese (optional)
salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Start off by putting the artichokes, cornichons, carrot, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and dill in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and give it a good mix. Brush both sides of the bread with oil, then spread two slices with themix, put a slice of plant cheese on top and seal the sandwich with the other slices of bread.

Get a frying pan (skillet) nice and hot with a splash of olive oil. Put your sandwiches in the pan and fry for about 5 minutes until a nice crispy brown on the base before flipping and browning the other side. Place on a cutting board and slice in the middle. Eat immediately but carefully so you don’t burn your mouth.

Plant mayo

This is a real treat of a mayonnaise and super-easy to make. It lasts for a good week in the fridge, too. You can save your chickpeas for hummus or any of the other recipes in this book – they last about 3–4 days in the fridge. You can add lots of different flavours to the mayonnaise, such as herbs, spices and more.

Makes a 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) jar

3½ tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from tinned chickpeas (garbanzos)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
120 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) organic rapeseed oil (organic is usually a lot yellower)
60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Put the aquafaba, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar in a bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until combined. Whisking continuously, gradually begin to add the rapeseed oil until the mixture emulsifies and starts coming together as a mayonnaise. Continue whisking and slowly adding the olive oil until it is all incorporated. Season with mustard, salt and pepper to taste.

Mexican nacho plate

Take 10 minutes out of your time to make this plate of deliciousness, put on a great movie, relax and indulge yourself.

Makes 2 portions

240 g (8½ oz) drained tinned black beans
1 tablespoon fajita spice mix
1 splash of Plant Cream (see below) 
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1 squeeze of lemon juice
corn chips, to serve
lime wedges, to serve (optional)

For the fresh salsa

300 g (10½ oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
30 g (1 oz) coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
½ shallot, finely chopped
½ chilli, chopped
1 pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper

To make the black beans, put the drained beans in a blender with the fajita spice mix, Plant Cream and a pinch of salt and pulse until well mixed. Scoop out onto a plate and spread evenly. Next mash the avocado with the squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of salt and put on top of the black beans.

To make the salsa, put the tomato halves in a bowl and add the remaining salsa ingredients. Toss gently.

Put a dollop of salsa on the plates, scatter the corn chips around the edges and add some lime wedges for extra zing, if you like. Enjoy straightaway!

Plant cream

Here are three versions of quick plant-based creams that can be made super-quickly at home. The almond version lends itself best to sweet recipes.

Makes a 250 ml (8½ fl oz) jar

For cashew cream

60 g (2 oz/½ cup) cashews
250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) boiling water

For almond cream

60 g (2 oz/½ cup) blanched almonds
250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) boiling water

For sunflower cream

60 g (2 oz/½ cup) sunflower seeds
250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) boiling water

Regardless of which version you choose, simply put all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until you have the desired smooth texture. If you want an even smoother consistency, put the nuts or seeds and water in the blender jug and leave them to soak for at least 20–30 minutes before blending.

Fifteen-minute flourless choc chip banana muffins

I don’t usually toot my own horn, but these are genius! My daughter and husband love them. They are great as a snack to take away and real winners at bake sales. It’s important that the peanut butter is runny/loose, and the coconut oil is melted, otherwise the mixture will become dense.

Makes 8 muffins

240 g (8½ oz/1 cup) drained tinned chickpeas
60 g (2 oz/1/3 cup) brown or coconut sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
60 g (2 oz/1/4 cup) runny peanut butter
60 g (2 oz/1/2 cup) cacao
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
160 ml (51/2 fl oz/2/3 cup) oat milk or other plant milk
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the topping

100 g (3½ oz) dark or milk dairy-free chocolate, chopped
1 banana, sliced

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and line a muffin pan with 8 paper cases.

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz until you have a beautiful smooth mixture. Scoop the mixture into the 8 muffin cases. Put one or two pieces of chocolate into each muffin along with a slice or two of banana. Bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes. The muffins will be lovely and cooked on the outside but still gooey on the inside. Leave them to cool on a wire rack, then enjoy.

7 Day Vegan Challenge‘ by Bettina Campolucci Bordi (Hardie Grant, £15) Photography by Nassima Rothacker 

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