Sunday, 22 November 2015

How to create a 3 course vegetarian dinner....

On Friday we had a friend over to our place, who is a vegetarian. I have to admit even so I am quite a cook, vegetarian cooking is not my speciality. I do love vegetables and cook a lot with them, but if you need to cook a whole dinner with vegetables only, as none vegeterian you will face some limitations.....well at least I did. 

When I invited our friend over to us and he asked me if we can have a vegetarian dinner I fell bit like aunt Voula in my "Big Fat Greek Wedding" movie in the scene where Tuola told her aunt that Ian is a vegetarian, first she did not get what it means and than she answered " Oh that´s OK, that´s OK then I will make lamb", since I do not know how to cook lamb either our friend was lucky as I decide to stick to vegetables only...

Finally we ended up having a three course vegetarian dinner, an international mix of all the dishes I like....vegetable creme soup for starters served with homemade tortilla chips, Mexican veggie wraps for main dish and lazy mini princess torta for desert. All done in under 1,5 hours. I learned that vegetarian cooking does not have to be so complex or bland as I always was thinking before....





Spicy veggie creme-soup with homemade tortilla chips
  • quarter of butternut pumpkin
  • 1 big sweet potato
  • 2-3 small potatoes
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 chili
  • 1 garlic glove
  • 2 cubes vegetable broth
  • 1-1,5 l water
  • 100 ml double cream for cooking
Peel and cut all vegetables in cubes, take the seeds out of the chili and cut it in stripes. Chop the garlic roughly. Put all vegetables, chili and garlic in the pot with some olive oil and braise it for minute or so. Add broth cubes and water (just that all vegetables are covered). Once water starts to boil put the heat down to medium high, close the pot with the lead and let is cook for about 20 minutes. Check if veggies are cooked through, then add double cream and bring it to boil once again. Use your blender to puree the soup...
  • tortilla flat bread
  • olive oil
  • pink Himalayan salt
Preheat your oven to 180 C. Take a tortilla and brush it with some olive oil, sprinkle some of the salt. Cut the tortilla with a pizza cuter in 8 triangles and place them on the baking tray. Bake for 5-7 minutes, till the edges starts to brown. Take the tray out of the oven and let the chips cool down (at the tray).


Mexican veggie wraps
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 package fajita spice
  • 200 ml tomato sauce
  • tortillas flat bread
Peel the sweet potato and cut it in long strips (try to have them in the same size). Do the same with the remaining vegetables (bell pepper, carrots, courgette). add some olive oil into the pan, add sweet potatoes chunks and fry for 2-3 minutes on medium/high (make sure it does not get burned). Then add the carrots and cook for 1-2 minutes, finally add bell pepper stripes and courgette chunks. Sprinkle fajitas spice over the vegetables, steer till all veggies are covered. Pour tomato sauce over and steer again...add some water if needed, as you would need some liquid to cook the veggies through. Put on the lead and cook for about 10 minutes....steer occasionally. Serve with warmed up tortillas flat bread, creme fraiche and fresh leave salad....

I served just fresh salad leaves sprinkled with some olive oil, lime zest and lime juice over it...



Lazy mini princess torta
  • 3 eggs
  • 90 g sugar
  • 90 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 fresh vanilla pod
  • marmalade
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 30 g powdered sugar
  • rolled marzipan 
Preheat the oven to 180 C. With an electrical mixer whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla seeds from a half of the vanilla pod till doubled in size and pale in the colour. Sift in flour and baking powder and fold it into the egg sugar mixture with a spatula. Pour the batter on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let the biscuit cool of and cut 6 circles with a round cookie cutter.
Spread some marmalade on top of each biscuit cicle, set aside. Whip double cream, remaining vanilla seeds and powered sugar till firm peaks start to form. Put about 1 tablespoon of the whipped cream on the top of the biscuit creating a dome shape. With a bigger cookie cutter, cut 6 circles of rolled mazipan and put it on the top of the cream dome, covering the cream dome of the mini cake (no need to do it neat). Decorate with remaining whipped cream and sprinkles....



Enjoy!
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