Delicious Ideas for Vegan Food
Natalie Lynch is the chef at Le Cheval Blanc in St Antonin. Apart from vegan and vegetarian table d’hôte, she offers workshops, catering for events and occasional supper clubs.
Vegan Ricotta Cigars
This first recipe in delicious ideas for vegan foods uses blitzed cashews instead of cream cheese. It may not taste the same but it’s delicious and can be used in place of dairy cream cheese in most recipes. Brik is widely available in French supermarkets and is almost always vegan (although it’s wise to check the ingredients). Adding to the cheesiness of this dish, nutritional Yeast is a kind of flaky powder available in health food shops, gives dishes a more satisfying flavour, and contains loads of vitamins and micro nutrients.
200g Raw cashews soaked overnight
1 tbs Nutritional yeast
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tbs Lemon juice
Handful of fresh mint
Handful of raisins
1 Packet of Brik (or Filo)
Blend the cashews until smooth and creamy, pour them into a bowl and mix with the other ingredients. Cut each Brik circle into quarters. Have the straight edge facing you and add around a tablespoon of the mixture to form a thick worm shape along that edge, leaving a cm clear each side. Fold the left and right edges over the paste and roll into a cigar. Brush with oil and sprinkle the top with nigella seeds or cumin (optional). Place in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes or until golden.
Chocolate Aquafaba Mousse
Aquafaba, a French classic, is a good substitute for egg whites and, incredibly, is the water from a jar of chick peas. It whips up just like an egg white (it contains similar long protein molecules), but the resulting mousse has a better texture plus flavour, is cheaper, easier to use, and removes the risks of using raw eggs. There’s no taste of chick peas. Once mixed it needs to have roughly the consistency of egg whites. It can be diluted or reduced down if necessary, but most can be used directly from the can.
200g Cooking chocolate (50%)
Begin by melting the chocolate in a bain marie. While the chocolate is melting whip the Aquafaba until it forms soft peaks. To stop the mousse becoming grainy place two large dollops of Aquafaba into the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly. Gently fold in the rest of the Aquafaba then pour into individual glasses and refrigerate for at least one hour.
They can be eaten as they are but I think berries are the perfect accompaniment for this decadent vegan mousse.
First published in the September/October 2019 issue of The Local Buzz
Images: Le Cheval Blanc