On Week 3 of ‘Vegan Cooking for Everyone’ class our 'self-confessed nut lover' Deirdre sampled an array of vegetables, fruit and nuts . Having always felt like she could easily live on veggies and nuts, she now realises it would be a good idea to increase her fruit intake!
The first two dishes consisted of Broccoli, Pea Shoots, Ruby Chard and Toasted Almonds dressed in Basil and Lemon and Grilled Spring Greens, Lemon and Tahini Sauce, Dhukka Seasoning and Crisped Dillisk.
The finished result was delicious and I grasped the importance of salad dressings. It also answered the question I often asked myself when eating salads in Cornucopia; my salads don’t taste as good because I never really put much effort into making dressings.
James’s beautiful dressings really gave the vegetables an extra je ne sais quoi, and I’ll never go without a jar of made-in-advance dukka seasoning to sprinkle liberally on my salads in future.
It consists of hazelnuts, sesame seeds and coriander seeds, toasted in the oven for seven minutes and then roughly chopped – tasty and nutritious – what’s not to love about it!
The generous helping of Tempeh and Brazil Nut Roasts was served with Spiced Plum Sauce and Roasted Cauliflower Purée. Having never eaten tempeh before, it was very tasty mixed with Brazil nut, onion, garlic and wheat gluten flour.
The plum sauce was deliciously spicy while the roasted cauliflower (puréed with soya milk, salt and rapeseed oil) was quite intense and mixed beautifully with the other flavours.
James’s helpful tips and hints
- Keep a jar of toasted almonds at the ready, they make a brilliant crunchy, nutritious and tasty addition to any salads or cooked veggies.
- Parsley is another herb that can be easily added to many dishes and is very high in iron.
- Coriander (the leafy herb) or powder, has a different taste to coriander seeds (used in the dhukka seasoning).
- Cauliflower can take a fair amount of roasting.
- Soy milk is higher in protein than almond milk and is great to cook with as the flavour is easily masked by the other ingredients.
Lily, his fellow chef at Cornucopia, made the Double Chocolate and Raspberry Torte. This no-cook dessert had a nut, cocoa powder and date base with avocado, agave syrup, cocoa powder, coconut oil and raspberry filling decorated with fresh raspberries and dusted with raspberry powder. It is also very easy to make and as it doesn’t require cooking makes this will make it very appealing.
So, roll on the next adventure into another aspect of vegan cooking at the Academy.