What to cook a vegan – A vegan diet plan
First and fore most, don’t panic. This is not Masterchef, My Kitchen Rules or an episode of My Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey. You are just cooking dinner for no doubt a dear friend or family member who happens to only eat plants.
A challenge it maybe to some but take this opportunity to cook a meal that just happens to have no animal products. It’s that simple. Make it a feast, which includes numerous sharing plates that will have everyone sample the best of plant based food or cook one kick arse main meal with a cleansing side salad.
I know myself as a vegan I like to eat, no excessively but quality fresh foods that highlight the best seasonal produce has to offer. When buying your ingredients for the meal head down to your local organic grocery store or even farmers market if the dinner happens to fall on a weekend.
How to plan the meal
Think snacks and picky foods but sorry no cheese plate or sliced up salami. Instead put out an array of:
- Tamari or smoked almonds
- Sicilian olives
- EVOO, dukkah and sourdough
- Grilled polenta with an olive tapanade
- Baked wedges
- Dried fruits such as figs, mango and Medjool dates
- Vegetable sticks & dips (dips such as hummus are guaranteed to be vegan)
Moving now to the dinner table depending on how you decide to structure the dinner you will either prepare a entrée, main and dessert or a selection of foods for sampling – we love this way of eating but am mindful not everyone has all day to prepare a meal.
Soups – pumpkin & coconut, Moroccan chickpea with kale & quinoa, corn chowder, Broccoli even a tomato soup with sourdough croutons
Brushetta topped with tomato, basil and garlic or roasted vegetables such as pumpkin, fennel, and red onion drizzled with pesto
Samosa if the theme is Indian, even spring rolls or san chow bow made with tofu and mushrooms
Seasonal vegetable lasagna – not all pasta dishes need to be baked with cheese. Using fresh ingredients and a quality tomato sauce you can create quite the hearty meal. Serve with a salad dressed in a balsamic glaze.
Tofu and vegetable curry served with steamed brown rice
Asian vegetables stir fry served with hokkien noodles (ensure they are made with wheat not egg)
Mexican – who doesn’t love burritos, tacos or even nachos and refried beans are everywhere. Serve with a salsa and guacamole.
Chickpea curry or dhal served with roti bread and papadams.
Grain or pseudograin based salads; brown rice, cous cous, barley or quiona mixed with grilled vegetables, nuts and fresh herbs.
Now everyone has a sweet tooth but why not make the sweetness come from raw natural ingredients that are healthy and beneficial.
Raw chocolate grated over coconut or soy ice cream served with stewed berries
Try your hand at making your own raw chocolate dessert it’s really not as hard as you think with the core ingredients being: nuts, dates, cacao and coconut.
Coconut yoghurt with mango and crushed nuts
Hunt down some raw chocolate such as Loving Earth or Pana Chocolate
Finish the evening with a warming and cleansing cup of herbal tea such as rooibos, which is earthy with a fruity undertones, this will compliment the raw desserts.
Putting together a plant based meal is easy the hardest part is remembering not to panic. The only expectations for the meal are the ones you set yourself. You can cook without animal products; think about it, you do it all the time.
Remember we don’t eat:
And yes majority of us do eat gluten, this is vegan well unless it’s a cheese scroll!
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