Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Impromptu Vegan Variety...Pull Up A Chair!

I'm a big fan of natural ingredients tasting like themselves. No cream sauce slathered limp broccoli or butterey, sugary, wilted and lifeless carrots for me, thanks very much.

This meal reflected my wish for vegetables to taste like better versions of their raw selves, and was heartily enjoyed by three other ardent meat eaters as well!

The Day: A rainy Sunday afternoon

The Place: The bu and my's cottage

The Mission: Spontaneous lunch with my parental units

The Protocol: Vegan cuisine

The Ingredients: Whatever was on-hand in the pantry (butternuts, baby onions, potatoes, legumes, lettuce, tomato, avocado and herbs from the garden)

The Table:

The Meal:

The Method:

Herbed Butter Bean Hummus:
  • Ingredients: 2 tins of butter beans, 1 large carrot, 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, virgin olive oil, cumin, salt.
  • Method: (1) Strip the leaves off the rosemary and toss them in a food processor. (2) Zhoesh the rosemary, a pinch of salt, 1 Tbsp of olive oil and the carrot until fine. (3) Drain the butter beans, reserving some of the liquid. Add both to the food processor, with approximately 3 Tbsp olive oil, a pinch of cumin and salt. Zhoesh till required consistency is reached (you might want to add a little water or more olive oil if you'd like a smoother texture). (4) Season to taste with cumin and salt.
  • Serve: Dollop the bean hummus into the cavity of the roasted butternut.
Roasted Baby Onions:
  • Ingredients: 1kg of baby onions (deskinned and cut in half), sunflower oil, fresh thyme, fresh chives, salt, pepper.
  • Method: (1) Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees Celsius. (2) Cover a roasting pan in tin foil (to make it SO much easier). (3) Add the onions, drizzling them with sunflower oil and sprinkling them with thyme leaves, salt and pepper. (4) Bake uncovered in the oven for approximately 40 minutes to an hour (till they're crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with a little bit of al-dente bite to them). 
  • Serve: Sprinkle with freshly cut chives.
Roasted Butternut:
  • Ingredients: 2 medium butternuts (one-half per person), coconut oil, salt.
  • Method: (1) Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees Celsius. (2) Cut each butternut in half and de-seed them. (3) Cover a roasting pan in tin foil. (4) Lay the butternuts next to eachother in the pan. Rub the flesh with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt. (5) Bake uncovered in the oven for approximately an hour on the bottom rack, or until the flesh is soft and yielding when pressed with a fork.
  • Serve: Fill each cavity with butter bean hummus.
 Roast Potatoes:
  • Ingredients: 4 large roasting potatoes, coconut oil, salt.
  • Method: (1) Scrub the potatoes. (2) Cut each potato into quarters. (3) Cover a roasting pan with tin foil, and rub the bottom with coconut oil, as well as a sprinkle of salt (this help to crisp the skins). (4) Lay the potato quarters in the pan skin side down, then rub the flesh on the upper sides with coconut oil before sprinkling liberally with salt. (5) Bake on the top rack of the oven for 40 - 50 minutes, until the flesh inside is tender but the outside is crispy.
Side Salad:
  • Ingredients: 1 medium head of lettuce (one-quarter per person), 2 medium tomatoes (one-half per person), 2 avocados (one-half per person), fresh basil (torn, not chopped), olive oil, salt.
  • Method: Self-explanatory, right?
The Greeting: Born-up-a-tree! ;-)