Sunday 22 March 2015

Vegan Feast

I love food. No question about it! Fortunately I have found others with the same passion. One of these friends is an enthusiastic (and skilled!) cook. There’s just a slight difference…she doesn’t eat meat. Now as a rare steak loving carnivore this is a confusing concept to me. But, open-minded as always, I happily accepted the invite to prepare (and, of course, eat!) a vegan meal.

I follow lots of foodie blogs / instagram feeds / pinterest pics and have seen lots of delicious vegan / veggie recipes so we poured over the beautiful selection to decide on our three-course meal.

We were in for a treat!

First up was drinks! We celebrated the start of the weekend with vegan prosecco...

...before moving onto a Japanese plum wine aperitif “Umeshu”.

Steffi got to work on the quinoa salad and veggies…

Steaming the broccoli and snap peas…

Before lightly frying them in coconut oil

The highlight being playing with our spiralizers - a must have kitchen accessory for low-carb living! 

So simple to produce courguette / zucchini noodles

I was in charge of the cheese-free pesto for the ‘Veggie Bowls’.

Which basically meant I got to play with the blender! In went the basil, walnuts, cashews, olive oil, garlic and salt…

…with a slight pause when the garlic knife got the better of me!

Minor injury sustained, the pesto came together…

It was then added to the spring greens.

Finishing off the quinoa salad at the same time, we settled round the table to enjoy the fruits of our labour so far.

It was super tasty - and the bright colours looked fantastic.

Even the non-vegans agreed (even if they did sneak some parmesan into their veggie bowls).

Our version of ‘The Ultimate Green Veggie Bowl’

Our version of ‘Quinoa Bowls’

There was plenty to go around and it was all comfortably filling - and I didn’t even notice the lack of meat. Plus we were still getting our protein from the nuts and quinoa.

Then it was back to the kitchen to prepare the dessert - raw brownies.

We soaked the dates for 10 minutes to soften them up...

…while we blended together the almonds, walnuts and cacao powder.

Before blending up the dates to make a sticky (yummy) paste.

Which was then combined with the nut-powder mixture to make our brownie dough.

With a few more walnuts and cacao nibs added for texture..

…before it was pressed into the dish and put into the fridge to set.

A brief interlude to ‘check’ our mixture.

Before I joined in the ganache / frosting team…in time for whisking the icing sugar into the almond milk, coconut oil and chocolate mixture.

Which we then smothered onto our now-set brownie.

We released the brownie, which held together well.

We decided to 'jazz' it up with some coconut shavings...

Before carving it up (carefully with the knives now!).

And then tucking in…they were seriously yummy: super fudge-y and chocolatey.

I couldn’t believe something raw and gluten-free was perhaps even better than the original style. I would highly recommend them. My pics don’t do them justice - head on over to mininalistbaker’s site for the real food porn shots!

With our bellies nice and full of vegan goodness, the last stop on our feast was a homemade peppermint tea.

A perfect Friday evening!

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