In a bid to eat the freshest, juiciest, crunchiest foods, I’m here entice you with delicious plant-based recipes using ingredients that are in-season, every season. Why plants, you ask? Well firstly, there are so many varieties of fruit and vegetables and so much can be done with them – they can be eaten fresh, roasted, sprinkled in spices, sautéed, steamed, do you need me to go on? Secondly – you’ve guessed it – I’m vegan which means I avoid all animal products. Funnily enough, I used to be one of those people who turned my nose up at vegetarians and died in disbelief when they said they hated the idea of ‘eating animal flesh’. Fast forward a few years and here I am, encouraging you to try out some flavourful plant based recipes. I’m just as surprised as you are.
The beautiful pink blossom trees that line the streets indicate that it is Spring and therefore cauliflower, lettuce and bananas are at their prime. I surprised myself at the creation of a roasted cauliflower dish with pomegranate and a tahini dressing because it tasted seriously incredible – all the spices elevate what could perhaps be considered ‘boring’ veggies. And of course, I’m a sucker for a sweet treat after savoury (who isn’t?) so I created a sweet yet sharp rhubarb oaty crumble with vanilla coconut cream to enjoy for dessert. I am drooling writing this and I hope you are too!
Whilst they don’t include any meat, dairy or eggs, they pack a flavourful punch and are seriously satisfying. Just trying to integrate one plant based meal in your day can create positive impacts in the reduction of environmental degradation, animal suffering and your health. Okay, enough of the preaching, let’s get on to the recipes and let them speak for themselves…
Roasted Spiced Cauliflower with Pomegranate and Tahini dressing
Ingredients: (Serves 2)
– 2 Cups of Cauliflower
– A Drizzle of Olive oil
– 1 Cup of dry Basmati and Wild Rice (or rice of your choice)
– Paprika (half a tsp)
– Turmeric (half a tsp)
– Cumin seeds (a sprinkle)
– Salt and Pepper (just a pinch)
– A Pomegranate (de-seeded)
– A handful of Fresh Coriander
For the Tahini Dressing:
– Tahini (A tbsp)
– Lemon Juice from half a lemon (get rid of those pips!)
– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius.
– Cut up the cauliflower into decent sized florets, spread on a baking tray and drizzle in copious amounts of olive oil. Sprinkle over the paprika, turmeric, cumin and seasonings. Make sure all the cauliflower is coated in those flavourful spices before placing in the oven for 30 minutes.
– Next up, cook your rice: bring water to the boil, before transferring to a low heat and simmering until the rice is fluffy.
– Create your nutty sesame tahini dressing by mixing the tahini with lemon juice and enough water to create a creamy sauce, thin enough to drizzle on top. I would recommend adding a little water at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
– Finally, plate up the rice, top with your spiced cauliflower, sprinkle in pomegranate seeds and cascade that tahini lemon dressing all over. Finish with some chopped coriander and devour.
What’s a savoury dish without a sweet treat to finish off? Let me introduce you to my rhubarb crumble…
Rhubarb Oaty Crumble with Vanilla Coconut Cream
For the rhubarb filling:
– 4 cups Rhubarb
– 1/4 cups Sugar
– Cinnamon (1/2 tsp)
– Coconut Oil (1 Tbsp)
For the oaty crumble:
– 1 cup Oats
– 1 cup Oat flour (created by blending oats)
– 1/2 Cups Coconut Oil (melted)
– Salt (a pinch)
For the vanilla coconut cream:
– A Can of Coconut Cream
– 1/4 Cup Icing sugar
– One Vanilla bean pod OR Vanilla bean paste (1/2 tsp)
– Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius
– Cut the rhubarb stalks into roughly 2cm pieces and combine with the sugar, cinnamon and coconut oil. Let this heavenly mixture sit whilst you create the crumble.
– In a separate bowl, combine the oats, oat flour and coconut oil with a pinch of salt. It should create a breadcrumb-like mixture. If not, add a little more coconut oil.
– Spoon out the rhubarb into a big serving oven dish and top with the crumble, bake for 30-40 minutes until the crumble is a golden brown and the rhubarb oozes from underneath.
– In a bowl, whip together the coconut cream with the icing sugar and vanilla.
– Serve warm with the cream.
I hope you enjoy these recipes perfect for Spring. As the weather starts to warm, why not tuck into a light nutrient-packed spiced cauliflower bowl? Then as the cool evenings drift in, enjoy a warm, sweet crumble. Make the most of these seasonal ingredients, before the scorching summer days cast out any desire for hot comforting food and replace the hunger with fresh, cooling fruits and veggies. See you next season.
By Elise Ireland