Vegan food has this reputation for being bland, unfulfilling, and without texture. These recipes are none of those things. The spicy chutney combined with the crunchy latkes is flavourful, healthy, and it sticks to the ribs really well. The spinach salad is delicious and ridiculously healthy. As a bonus, it works well as an entrée or a side dish. These two delicious vegan recipes will satisfy partisans of every food faction. Enjoy!
1. Red Lentil Latkes with Cilantro Chutney:
Latkes – 1 cup rinsed basmati rice, 1/2 cup red lentils, 1/2 tsp tumeric (substitute mustard powder if you want), sesame or peanut oil, 1 tsp cumin, 2 cups diced onions, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, corn starch.
Chutney – 1 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 jalepeno without stem, 1 small, peeled garlic clove, 1-inch knob of peeled ginger, salt to taste.
Latkes – Place the rice, lentils, tumeric/mustard powder, and salt into a pot with 4 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil, uncover, and simmer without stirring until all the water is absorbed (15 minutes or so). Meanwhile, heat a glug of oil in a small frying pan, add the cumin and sauté until fragrant, add the onions, and cook them over medium heat until they are well-browned.
Remove from heat, add the red pepper flakes, and then add to the lentils. Combine very well and cool the whole mixture in the fridge for about 20 minutes. After it has cooled, take it out of the fridge, heat about a centimetre of oil in your pan (not too hot! Keep it around medium.), spread a layer of corn starch on a large plate or cutting board, form the mixture into patties, and evenly coat both sides. Place the patties into the oil and flip when they are browned on one side. Serve them warm with the chutney on the side.
Chutney – While that is cooling, make the chutney. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. If you don’t have one of these, you can chop up all the ingredients as fine as you can make them and then combine them all. Blend it all together until it is the consistency of runny oatmeal.
2. Wilted Spinach Salad with Almonds and Honey Garlic Vinaigrette:
One bag (about 10 oz) of spinach, 2 cups of thinly sliced mushrooms, 3 diced garlic cloves, 1/4 cup of almonds, 1 green onion (thinly sliced), 2 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tsp honey, olive oil.
Combine the spinach, mushrooms, and almonds in a large pot. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over top, and put on very low heat while you’re preparing the dressing, stirring occasionally. Sauté the green onion and garlic in oil with lots of salt and pepper until browned. Add the vinegar and stir until the sharp vinegar smell has lessened somewhat, remove from heat, and add the honey.
Make sure that there is enough oil and vinegar to coat the spinach sufficiently. By this time, the spinach and mushrooms should have lost most of their mass and wilted. Spoon the spinach mixture onto a plate and pour the dressing over top. Serve immediately.