Comfort food for the festive season

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If you like rich, creamy or caramelised textures, look no further. We’re presenting you with 4 recipes - an appetiser, a starter, a main and a dessert - made with i.a. seasonal ingredients and flavours. This is comfort food at its healthy best and should please your family members and guests alike during this festive season. Whether you’re an experienced cook or a novice in the kitchen, why not give plant-based cuisine a try during your holidays? You’ll not only be able to discover new flavours and textures but also start enjoying its numerous health benefits. Why wait until January to live your healthy life?

 

Red pepper hummus

This dip goes well with sliced raw veggies like carrots, cucumber, bell peppers as well as steamed broccoli or cauliflower florets and makes for a colourful appetiser that the whole family can indulge in.

  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted in the oven at 180° for 20 minutes, cooled off and peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, roasted in the oven with the peppers
  • 250 g or 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of (sweet) paprika powder
  • Water
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Parsley to decorate

Place all the ingredients in a powerful blender and mix until smooth. Add water to reach to desired consistency. Transfer to one or more serving bowls. Decorate with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.

 

Roasted cauliflower soup (serves 4)

This creamy soup is full of flavours and makes for a hearty, healthy winter starter. The roasting of the cauliflower, onions and garlic gives it a caramelised taste. The cashew nuts contribute to its rich texture.

  • 1 medium cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 150 g of peeled cashew nuts, soaked in water for 20 minutes, drained and rinsed
  • 250 g or 1 can of cooked butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • Approx. 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fresh parsley leaves, washed

Place the cauliflower, the onion and the garlic on a baking sheet, drizzle over some olive oil, salt and pepper and place in the preheated oven to cook at 180° for 30 minutes. Transfer the veggies from the oven to a saucepan, add the beans, cashew nuts, nutmeg and vegetable stock so to cover its content. Let simmer for a few minutes then mix everything in a high-power blender. Add the lemon juice as well as salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

 

Pumpkin risotto (serves 4)

This risotto uses cooked Hokkaido pumpkin instead of parmesan to create a whole new culinary experience. Adults and children alike will enjoy this dish which can also be served as a stand-alone main.

  • 1,5 of Hokkaido pumpkin, washed, peeled, seeds removed and diced
  • 500 g of risotto rice, e.g. Arborio, rinsed
  • Approx. 1,5 litre of hot vegetable stock for the risotto and for the pumpkin purée
  • 1 medium-sized leek, washed, white part chopped (green part not needed)
  • 5 spring onions, washed, white and green parts chopped separately
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 glass of white wine (can be left out)
  • 20 g of sage, washed and chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 20 g of pumpkin seeds, toasted in a frying pan on medium heat (optional)

Cook the pumpkin dices and the garlic cloves in a preheated oven (160°) for 20 minutes or until soft. Peel the garlic and transfer everything to a blender, add approx. 500 ml of stock and blend until smooth.
Next, cook the green part of the spring onions and the sage in a little olive oil for a few minutes on medium heat in a large frying pan. Using a colander, drain the oil and return to the frying pan; set aside the cooked spring onion and sage.
Drizzle a little more oil into the pan, then add the leek and the white part of the spring onion, cook for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and start cooking it by stirring for 10 minutes. Add the wine and stir until the liquid has been absorbed.
Transfer the stock to the risotto, one ladle at a time, and stir constantly until the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat until all the stock has been used up or until the rice is cooked al dente.
Add the pumpkin purée and stir until your risotto is thoroughly mixed and has the desired consistency.
Transfer to your plates and garnish with the green spring onion, sage and pumpkin seeds.

 

Chocolate mousse with raspberry purée (serves 4)

Sweets for my sweet... Light, yet rich and indulging - this dessert is a treat you can enjoy at home or take along when visiting family or friends.

  • 400 g of silken tofu
  • 200 g dark chocolate (min. 70%)
  • 100 ml plant-based milk (almond, coconut, oat, etc.)
  • 150 g fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon of agave syrup or honey

Let the chocolate melt in a saucepan over low heat. Once liquid, remove from the heat and leave to cool for 15 minutes. Blend the raspberries with the agave syrup and set aside. Place the tofu, melted chocolate and plant-based milk in a blender and mix until smooth. Transfer the mousse to 4 glasses and place them in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours. Before serving, top up with raspberry purée and decorate with fresh raspberries.

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Photo by Nadia Valko on Unsplash