by Laura Waters, Snowdon House Gourmet & Gifts –
I don’t know where the time has flown! It seems like only yesterday I was taking the Christmas decorations out, hosting dinner, putting everything away and now it is the middle of January. Both my boys are choosing to go vegan, so my traditional cooking is being challenged. Looking for substitutes for butter, milk and eggs was my first test. So many things I cook use either one (or all three!) of these ingredients. I never liked the texture of tofu, but I found if I chopped it up really small I didn’t even notice it. Years ago when I tried non-dairy cheese, it would not even melt, but now it’s much easier because there are so many more products to choose from. My goal for 2019 is to cook three vegan dinners a week. It’s a new challenge I think I am up for!
My job for Christmas dinner this year was to bring all vegan items.
The first thing I prepared was sweet potatoes. Normally I would add butter and bake them; instead I used coconut oil. Once baked, I then mixed the sweet potato with coconut milk, more coconut oil and my Yam and Curry Dip Mix. I then puréed it. Everyone raved about the sweet potatoes.
My next challenge was to prepare another dish using mushrooms and spinach. I made a quinoa crust and filled it with mushrooms, onions and spinach. Usually I would have used an egg to hold the quinoa together for the crust but instead, I mixed flax seeds and water with the quinoa and then baked it. I sautéed the spinach, onion, garlic and mushrooms together in coconut oil, mixed in a little flax seed and water and added a non-dairy cheese. I put it in the crust and baked it once more. I surprised myself again!
The recipe for the tomato pomegranate salad below is one I always love this time of year. Everything can be chopped ahead of time and then mixed just before serving. Pomegranates are at the end of their season, but what a beautiful, tasty salad for a cold wintery day.
1 large pomegranate
½ cup red cherry tomatoes
½ cup yellow cherry tomatoes
½ cup plum coloured tomatoes
1 cup Roma tomatoes
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1 red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tsp allspice
2 tsp Plum and Basil Infused Vinegar (Snowdon House)
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped basil
¼ tsp salt
Mix together the tomatoes, pepper and onion in a bowl. In another bowl whisk together the garlic, allspice, Plum and Basil Vinegar, olive oil and ¼ tsp salt. Pour over tomato mixture and mix gently. Place the tomato mixture and its juices on a large flat plate and sprinkle with pomegranates and basil on top. Serves 6. Enjoy!