For World Vegan Month, chef Megha Jhunjunwala shares three vegan recipes to impress your date
This simple-to-prepare three course meal comes together in under an hour and tastes divine
Whether you're vegan or not, these flavours promise to impress. And what better time to get out that apron and experiment than World Vegan Month. Popular dating app, Tinder, has revealed new insights about its members in India who are increasingly trying to find like-minded partners who are environment lovers and interested in the vegan lifestyle. And in the spirit of love and shared values - the app has collaborated with celebrity chef and MasterChef India finalist Megha Jhunjhunwala to help young adults impress their #Vegantine with easy-to-cook recipes for their next date.
Megha Jhunjhunwala says,“It was such a treat curating these easy vegan meal recipes, which are sure to impress one’s dates, and can even be made together. “These recipes celebrate and hero ingredients that are so close to nature and at the same time intrinsic to a lifestyle that is increasingly being adopted by the younger generation who wants to leave a better world behind, especially with regard to climate change. No wonder, choosing a partner with similar lifestyles is supreme too!
Cauliflower Steak with Pepper Sauce
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 red peppers cut into chunks
- 400 gm cherry tomatoes or tomatoes
- 7 garlic cloves peeled & minced
- 80 g almonds
- 50 g walnuts
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place cauliflower on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover the cauliflower with foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180°C, remove the foil and bake for another 40 minutes.
- Start preparing the sauce by placing the tomatoes, red bell peppers and garlic in a pan. Top with olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Let it cool.
- Dry roast the nuts on a pan and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then blend nuts and vegetables, paprika, honey and lemon juice until you have a fairly thick cream (if too thick, add a dash of water or olive oil). Season with salt and pepper and mix for another couple of seconds.
- As soon as the cauliflower is cooked, spread the bell pepper cream on a serving dish, top with black pepper and fresh herbs of your choice. Lay the cauliflower on top, cut into chunks and serve immediately.
Mushroom Risotto with Cracked Wheat
- 1 cup raw cracked wheat or bulgar wheat or Dalia
- 1/2 kg fresh mushrooms cut into halves (mixed like king oyster & shiitake or just button)
- 1 minced onion
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley/basil
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup plant-based milk
- 1/2 cup vegan cheese (optional)
- Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Once shimmering, add the mushrooms. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until mushrooms are nicely browned, stirring only occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium.
- Add the herbs & garlic to the mushrooms. Season with salt. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add the milk to the pan and stir into the mushrooms. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat and set the mushrooms aside.
- Cook the risotto in a large nonstick saucepan, or deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until translucent.
- Add the cracked wheat and stir quickly until all of the grains are well-coated and the smells slightly toasty, 60 to 90 seconds.
- Ladle in 1 cup (240 mL) of the warm vegetable broth and stir frequently but not constantly. Once it has absorbed the liquid, add the next round of broth, 1 cup at a time. Continue this process stirring about every 30 seconds and adding more broth when most of the liquid is absorbed for about 20 minutes, until the risotto is slightly firm and creamy, but not too soft or mushy.
- Transfer the cooked mushrooms to the risotto and stir to warm through for a few minutes. Remove from the heat, and then stir in vegan cheese, if using.
- Taste for seasonings, adding a bit of salt as needed and some black pepper to season. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Vegan chocolate cake
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and grease two 9-inch cake pans.
- Measure 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and add the tablespoon of vinegar to it. Stir slightly and set aside to curdle.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk well to combine. Now add the oil, applesauce, vanilla and almond milk/vinegar mixture. Mix on medium speed with a hand mixer (or stand mixer with the paddle attachment) until well combined.
- Lower the speed and carefully pour in the boiling water, continuing to mix into the cake batter until combined. The batter will seem very runny at this point; that is how it should be, trust me!
- Divide the batter evenly between your cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- After 10 minutes of cooling in the pan, carefully remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.