Vegan Menus: Part 2

In this second installment of vegan menus, you start to see plate design and creativity shine more. I hope you find some tips and tricks to take your next dish up a level. In this next recipe, the fried spinach makes an amazing snack.

Butternut squash falafel with sliced watermelon radish and carrot, baby kale salad, tomatoes, fried spinach coated with chickpea flour, roasted garlic and eggplant caviar.

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Butternut squash falafel:

  • 3 1/2 cups butternut squash
  • 1 3/4 cups garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • oat flour
  • 2 garlic clives
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  1. Dice the butternut squash into cubes
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat the butternut squash with olive oil, roast the squash for 35 min. Set aside and cool completely
  3. In a food processor, mix together all of the ingredients except the oat flour. season with salt and pepper to taste. Add oat flour until the consistency becomes moldable into a ball or whatever shape you want.
  4. Fry the falafel until golden brown.

Fried Spinach:

  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 3/4 cup garbanzo flour
  • 1/4 cup sparking water
  • Enough oil to fill a pot by 2 inches, or to fill a fryer
  1. Heat a pot of oil or a fryer to 350 degrees
  2. Mix water and garbanzo flour together until it becomes a constant batter.
  3. Dip the spinach in the batter and drop into the oil, frying until light golden brown. Season with salt as soon as it comes out and place on a paper towel on a plate to dry.

Roasted Garlic and Eggplant Caviar:

  • 5 eggplants, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup garlic cloves
  • Enough olive oil to cover the garlic
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a pie tin or a loaf tin, put in your garlic and cover with enough olive oil to submerge the garlic, cover with tin foil and cook for about an hour until the garlic softens and caramelizes.
  3. Line a sheet pan with tin foil and spray with olive oil. Put the flesh side of the the eggplant down. Bake for an hour until completely soft.
  4. When both the eggplant and the garlic are finished, allow both to cool down enough to handle. Remove garlic from oil and set aside. Using a spoon, scoop out the inside of the eggplant, discarding the skins. Squeeze of some of the liquid from the flesh.
  5. In a blender, mix together the flesh and a portion of the garlic, add more garlic depending on desired flavor. Blend until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mexican spiced tofu with sauteed spinach bell pepper and onion, roasted asparagus, Piment d’Espelette oil, sliced carrots and radish

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Mexican Spiced Tofu:

  • Firm Tofu
  • olive oil
  • Mexican seasoning:
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
    • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  1. Mix all spices together in a bowl
  2. Turn the block of tofu onto its side and slice down the long side. Slice from corner to corner, which will give you two large triangles. drizzle with olive oil and seasoning mix on both sides.
  3. Bring a saute pan with olive oil to medium high heat. Sear both sides of the tofu until both are golden brown. You can either finish in the oven at 350 degrees, or start by searing at medium heat to slowly brown the outside and warm the inside.

Piment d’Espelette oil:

  • 1 cups olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons Piment d’Espelette powder
  1. In a sauce pan over low heat, warm the olive oil and pepper until fragrant, about 20 min. Let cool completely.
  2. Using a coffee filter and a bowl, filter the pepper from the oil and cool for a couple of hours. Store in a air tight container.


Black bean, tofu, and jasmine rice cake with mustard baby greens and shaved asparagus salad, confit carrots, haricot verts, and butternut squash and piment d’espelette puree

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Black Bean, Tofu, and Jasmine Rice Cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups diced tofu
  • 1 cup cooked jasmine rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add rice, cover with lid, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 15 minvites. Turn off heat and steam 5 minutes with lid on.
  2. Sauté onions and bell peppers until soft, let cool completely.
  3. In a food processor, blend 2 cups of the black beans until it forms a paste.
  4. Mix together all ingredients together in a bowl and use your hands to throughly mix. Season to taste.
  5. Form into patties and sear on both sides.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1-15 minutes.

Confit Carrots:

  • 1 bunch baby carrots, peeled and tops removed
  • enough olive oil to cover the carrots
  • 3 to 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small handful thyme
  • 1 large shallot thinly sliced
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees
  2. In a baking pan or a loaf pan, place carrots, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and shallots,covering with olive oil. Wrap the pan in tin foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the carrots soften.

Butternut Squash and Piment d’Espelette Puree:

  • 6 to 8 cups diced and peeled butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon Piment d’Epelette
  1. In a large sauce pan, cover the butternut squash with water and bring to a boil with a pinch of salt. Boil until soft, about 15-20 minutes
  2. In a blender, blend squash with the Piment d’Espelette until smooth. Add water and olive oil until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Provencal Vegetable Tian with Eggplant caviar, Brussel Sprouts and Cipollini onion leaves, and basil oil

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Vegetable Tian:

  • 2 yellow zucchini sqaush
  • 2 green zucchini squash
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 1 eggplant
  • thyme
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. using a sharp knife slice thick rings out of the eggplant. you should be able to get 5-7 portions from it.
  3. using a mandolin or a sharp knife cut the zucchini and the tomatoes into thin slices.
  4. heat a frying pan over medium heat with olive oil, sear each of the eggplant pieces on one side, set aside and let cool completely.
  5. to build the Tian, start with the eggplant, season with salt and pepper. in a counter clockwise motion layer a piece of the green zucchini, then the yellow zucchini, and then the tomato. Repeat this process until the entire surface is covered. Repeat with all of the eggplant. Drizzle some olive oil over the top and season with salt, pepper, and thyme.
  6. Either cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and spray.
  7. Bake the Tians for 10-15 mintues until all of the vegetables are evenly cooked.


Basil Oil:

  • 4 cups tightly packed basil leaves
  • 2 cups olive oil
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil with a pinch of salt, prepare a bowl of ice on the side. When the water reaches a boil add in the basil leaves, let them sit in the water for 1-3 minutes until they become bright green. strain the water and put the basil in the ice bath (this process is called blanching, its a great method to intensify the color and par cook vegetables)
  2. once the basil is cooled, add it and the olive oil into a blender, mix until smooth.
  3. In a sauce pan of medium high heat simmer the olive oil and basil puree for 45 seconds. transfer mixer into  a bowl lined with a coffee filter. Let the mixture filter and cool for a few hours. Transfer into an airtight container.