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5 vegan recipes by chef and food blogger Khanya Mzongwana

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Bursting with colour, flavour and texture, you’ll want to try all of these recipes immediately.

5 vegan recipes by chef and food blogger Khanya Mzongwana
We challenged chef, food blogger and contributing food editor Khanya Mzongwana to go vegan for a month. Not only did she rise to the challenge (read more about that here) – she also developed a range of delicious vegan recipes for us.

1. Soba noodle rainbow salad

This beautifully vibrant salad is more than just a pretty face! The blueberries add enormous nutritional value and taste unexpectedly good with the noodle, while the peanuts add great texture. Overall, a salad to feel good about eating.

Serves 6

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

400g soba noodles, cooked

100g blueberries

300g broccoli

45ml vegetable oil

50g ginger, finely julienned

100g mixed peppers, finely julienned

1 large carrot, peeled and finely julienned

120g salted peanuts, roughly chopped

1 cucumber, sliced into ribbons

100ml light soy sauce

50ml maple syrup

1 T sesame oil

Lime wedges, to serve

A few sprig of mint, to serve

Salt

Method

Heat a pan and add the oil. Fry the broccoli until the stems are tender to the bite. Season with a bit of salt. In a bowl, combine the soba noodles with the julienned carrots, peppers, ginger, cucumber, fried broccoli, and blueberries. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy, honey and sesame oil. Toss through the salad thoroughly. To serve, turn out onto a plate and top with mint, lime wedges and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

2. Veggie soup for the ages

Here. The only vegetable soup recipe you'll need from here on out. This versatile recipe works well with a number of different veggies – perfect for repurposing forgotten vegetable scraps that your conscience won't let you throw away. This deliciously bulky soup has a big yield and freezes very well.

Serves 6

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

60ml extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 leek, sliced

1 large sprig thyme

2 cloves garlic

2 large carrots, diced

2 large potatoes, diced

1 large butternut, diced

200g split green peas

200g brown lentils

1 1⁄2 l vegetable stock

Salt & cracked black pepper

A dollop of smashed avo or hummus

Zest of 1 lemon

Method

Heat a heavy-based pan and add the oil. Fry the onions, leeks, garlic and celery. Fry gently until caramelised. Add the sprig of thyme, remaining veggies, split peas, lentils and then the stock. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the split peas, lentils and vegetables are soft and velvety. Remove the sprig of thyme and serve hot and chunky. Serve with a dollop of smashed avo or hummus and a bit of lemon zest and cracked black pepper.

3. Green pasta with avo & fried pumpkin seeds

Green food is my absolute best, and this sexy monochrome plate makes use of one of my favourite green foods – green pepper. It uplifts this dish, adding a fresh and fragrant sweetness to this loose take on a pesto.

Serves 6

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 packet vegan fettuccine, cooked

1 packet baby spinach

1 large onion, roughly chopped

1 stick celery, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small green pepper, roughly chopped

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup vegetable oil

Salt & cracked black pepper

1 handful of rocket, to serve

2 large avocados, sliced, to serve

1 T dried thyme

Method

Heat a pan and add half the oil. Fry the onion, green pepper, celery and garlic on a medium to high heat. Add the dried thyme and the baby spinach and stir through quickly. Remove from heat and place fried spinach mixture in a blender. Blend until smooth. Season well to taste. In a bowl, toss the spinach mixture through the cooked pasta. In another pan, heat the oil and add the pumpkin seeds and fry until the pumpkin seeds turn brown and give off a nutty aroma. Remove from heat. To serve, dish up the pasta and scatter with fresh rocket leaves, slices of ripe avocado and generous spoonfuls of the toasted pumpkin seeds.

4. Crumbed oyster mushrooms

These are as crazy good as they look! I had these for breakfast alongside some scrambled tofu, but they're also great with brothy greens and rice or as a vegan's tasty alternative to a burger patty.

Serves 6

Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

600g oyster mushrooms

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup flour

1 t garlic powder

1 t dried mixed herbs

1 t ginger powder

1 t paprika

1 t salt

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup sesame seeds

Sunflower oil, for frying

Soy Dressing

200ml soy sauce

100g brown sugar

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger

3 spring onions, sliced (optional)

Method

To make crumbed oyster mushrooms

Whisk the coconut milk with the vegetable seasoning, paprika and garlic powder. Remove the woody stalks of the mushrooms and discard or compost. Coat the mushrooms in flour and then dunk them in the coconut milk mixture. Combine the panko crumbs with the sesame seeds and coat the mushrooms in the seeded breadcrumbs. Heat the oil to 160C. To check if the oil is hot enough for frying, add a few breadcrumbs into the oil. If they float to the surface of the oil and sizzle immediately, it’s go time. Fry the mushrooms in batches and rest on paper towel.

To make the soy dressing

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until the sauce has thickened. To serve, arrange the mushrooms onto a platter and drizzle with the soy reduction. Scatter over sliced spring onion.

5. Bulgur stuffed veggies with salsa verde

Here’s a solid veggie dish. I love this one the most because it makes full use of the entire vegetable, and if there is any filling left over, it freezes incredibly well. Just defrost gently and enjoy alongside chunks of roasted root veggies.

Serves 6

Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

2 large tomatoes

2 medium aubergines

80ml extra-virgin olive oil

1 1⁄2 cups bulgur wheat, cooked

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 sticks celery, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 bird’s eye chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tin chopped tomatoes

100g tomato paste

1 T smoked paprika

1 T dried oregano

1 T low sodium vegetable

Seasoning

For the salsa verde

1 fistful flat-leaf parsley

1 fistful fresh basil

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Method

Halve the tomatoes widthways and halve the aubergines lengthways. Using a paring knife and a spoon, scoop out the flesh of the vegetables, whilst leaving in enough for the veggies to hold a steady shape and not flop around. These will act as the “bowls” for your bulgur wheat. Chop up the insides of the tomatoes and aubergines and set aside until ready to use. Heat a pan and add half the olive oil. On a high heat, fry the onion, celery, garlic and chilli until caramelised. Add the chopped tomato and chopped aubergine and fry, stirring continuously. Add the vegetable seasoning, smoked paprika and dried oregano. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and the tomato paste. Add the cooked bulgur wheat and stir through thoroughly. Simmer for another five minutes. Remove from heat. Preheat the oven to 200C. Spoon the tomatoey bulgur wheat mix into the vegetable “bowls” and scatter with pumpkin seeds. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. To make the salsa verde, combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Spoon over the bulgur wheat and serve.

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