He started the week with a massive food shop - I was sceptical about the industrial amounts of kale and new ingredients like nutritional yeast flakes and hemp milk, but I'll give anything a go.
My verdict on the week
I will definitely be incorporating these four dishes below into my repertoire. But sadly the hemp milk was not for me...
Amazing avocado, mushroom and pear salad
"Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out"
Recipe from the "Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out” by Angela Liddon, but I've adapted it slightly by roasting the mushrooms which produces a delicious mushroom stock to add to the dressing. I decided to marinate the onions. I also tweaked it slightly so it can serve 4 generously rather than 2.
For the dressing
60 ml of apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup - I added a teaspoon of honey instead
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl.
For the salad
3 large portobello mushrooms (I added some extra smaller mushrooms as well)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
Around 200g of mixed salad leaves - I used to medium sized bags
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and chopped
1 avocado, pitted and chopped
1/2 a cup of walnuts
Gently rub the outside of the mushrooms with a damp towel to remove any debris and chop them into chunky, long slices.
In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms caps with half of the dressing. In another bowl mix the onions and the other half of the dressing. Marinate the mushrooms and onion for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Place the marinated mushrooms and its marinade in a roasting dish and roast in the over for around 20 minutes at around 180 degrees.
Meanwhile heat a tiny bit of oil in a frying pan and then add the onions, fry till they are soft and caramelising.
In another roasting dish scatter the walnuts and break them into small pieces. They should only need toasting for a couple of minutes.
Place the mixed greens in a large bowl and top with the chopped pear, avocado, walnuts and grilled mushrooms and onion. Drizzle the salad with the cooking juices of the onions and mushrooms made from the dressing.
Ottolenghi's multi-vegetable paella
Serves 2 generously
3 tbsp olive oil
½ Spanish onion, finely chopped
½ red, green and yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
½ fennel bulb, cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 bay leaves
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cayenne
150g Calasparra rice
1 tsp saffron strands
500ml boiling vegetable stock
12 mini plum tomatoes
5 small grilled jarred artichokes, quartered
300g podded broad beans, blanched and skinned
10 pitted Kalamata olives
2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
4 lemon wedges, to serve
Heat the oil in a paella or large, shallow frying pan, then gently fry the onion for five minutes. Add the peppers and fennel, and fry over medium heat until soft and golden - about eight minutes. Add the garlic, cook for a minute, then add the bay leaves and spices, stir, add the rice and cook, stirring, for two minutes. Add the sherry and saffron, boil down for a minute, then add the stock and a third of a teaspoon of salt. Reduce the heat as low as it will go and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Do not stir: the low heat will prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat. Taste and add salt if needed, but avoid stirring the rice and vegetables much. Scatter the tomatoes, artichokes and beans over the rice, cover the pan tightly with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Take off the foil, scatter the olives on top, sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
Warm and spicy aubergine dip and paprika pita chips
(Cashew-less vegan queso dip from the minimalist baker)
About 6 servings.
- 7-9 rounds of aubergine, sliced 1/4-inch thick (half of a medium aubergine)
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- 1.5-2 cups unsweetened original almond milk
- 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cornstarch (optional for thickening | sub another thickener if desired)
- 1/4 cup chunky medium salsa, slightly drained
- OPTIONAL: Smoked paprika and hot sauce for added color and flavor upon serving. (I would definitely recommend a dusting of smoked paprika on the top for added heat and decoration)
- Slice your aubergine into thin rounds just under 1/2 inch (not quite 1/4 inch), then sprinkle both sides of the flesh with a little sea salt and arrange in a colander to help draw out some of the moisture and bitterness. Let set for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with cool water and thoroughly pat dry between two clean towels.
- Preheat oven to high broil and place an oven rack near the top of the oven. Arrange the dried aubergine rounds on a baking sheet lightly spritzed with non-stick spray and drizzle both sides of the eggplant with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with a very small amount of salt.
- Broil on high for 4-5 minutes on each side, watching carefully as to not let them burn. Flip at the halfway point to ensure even cooking. Once the aubergine appears tender and both sides have golden brown color, remove from the oven and wrap loosely in foil to steam.
- After a few minutes, unwrap and peel the aubergine skin away. It should come right off. If you pack your roasted eggplant into a 1-cup measuring cup, it will be almost 1 cup - You may keep the skin on if you prefer.
- Place eggplant in a blender with the 1.5 cups (to start) almond milk, 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, minced garlic, cumin, chilli powder and cornstarch and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a pinch more sea salt and a little more nutritional yeast. To thin, add more almond milk.
- Transfer to a small saucepan and warm over medium to medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly - about 5 minutes. The longer you go the thicker it will become.
- Once hot and thickened, remove from heat and stir in DRAINED salsa. Don't put the liquid in or it will make it runny. Pour into a serving dish and top with a little smoked paprika and hot sauce for flavour/colour
- Refrigerate and cover leftovers. Reheats extremely well in the microwave or in a saucepan. Will keep for up to a few days, but best when fresh.
My dip was served with homemade pita chips - simple cut up some pitta bread drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and a very light dusting of smoked paprika. Put in the oven or grill at around 200 degrees until golden and crisp.
Chickpea curry with kale falafel and spinach
- 4 cups stemmed and torn kale
- 1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3 medium to large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1.5 Tbsp tahini
- 1.5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- sea salt and black pepper
- 3-4 Tbsp oat flour (ground from gluten free oats)
- 4 Tbsp grapeseed or olive oil for cooking
- Add the kale, chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and a healthy pinch each salt and pepper to a food processor and mix to combine.
- Once well incorporated, transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in oat flour 1 Tbsp at a time until the mixture is thick enough to handle - about 3-4 Tbsp.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Heat a large pan over medium to medium-high heat and add 2 Tbsp oil at a time. Swirl to coat pan.
- Add 4 falafel (or however many will fit very comfortably) to the pan at a time.
- Check at the 1-2 minute mark to ensure they're not browning too quickly. If they are, slightly reduce heat. Flip once deep golden brown - about 3-4 minutes.
- Cook until the underside is golden brown as well.
- Serve immediately with hummus and paprika, or inside a pita with garlic sauce or hummus, or alternatively as we did as a side dish.
- Will store in the fridge, layered with parchment paper in an airtight container, for several days. Freeze to keep longer.