Welcome to a new year! January, of course, means resolutions. I can’t think of a better resolution than starting to eating vegan foods, either entirely, or simply adding more vegan snacks or meals into your lifestyle. Vegan foods offer an extremely healthy option for eating, particularly when you combine foods to get a full dose of your proteins and fiber.
Though vegan cuisine is “good for you,” it’s by no means tasteless and most definitely can be done up at a gourmet level.
Let’s begin turning over a new leaf by starting the year with this menu pairing of beautifully colored vegan foods. I’ll even include one of my very favorite vegan desserts.
Pomegranate and Clementine Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts and Champagne Vinaigrette
½ pound watercress
½ pound endive
4 oz toasted pine nuts
1 split of Champagne
One bowl for the greens, one bowl for the pomegranate, one bowl for the clementines, salad dressing bottle, sheet pan, knife and cutting board
Sweet Pea and Mint Soup
1 tbs vegan margarine
1 cup medium size diced leeks
1 cup medium size diced yellow onion
2 cups vegetable stock
3 ½ cups fresh shelled peas
¼ cup soy milk
¼ cup chopped chives
1 handful mint
stock pot, knives and cutting board, blender
Blueberry and Port Sorbet
1 pound fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
½ cup Port wine
blender, half sheet pan deep enough to hold ingredients
These recipes are fairly easy but we’re going to work the menu completely back words.
For the sorbet, you’ll simply mix all the ingredients. Blend everything and place in the half sheet pan and put in the freezer. It should take about 2 hours to freeze, but you might want to check every so often.
Next up, the soup
In a large stock pan, melt the margarine over medium heat. Add your diced leeks and yellow onions. Cook until tender.
Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil and then add the shelled peas, cooking 3-5 minutes or until tender. Take off the heat and add the mint.
Carefully blend the soup in batches, watching out for filling the blender too full or you might burn yourself. It’s common knowledge that vegan food needs a powerful blender so make sure yours is up to scratch so you’re left with great results.
Add the blended soup back to the pot. Add the soy milk and then garnish with thinly chopped chives.
For the salad, turn the oven to 350 and toast the pine nuts. Watch them carefully because it doesn’t take long for them to toast.
Cut open the pomegranate and put all the seeds into a small bowl.
Now, the clementines. Cut off both the tops and, using a small knife, carve off the skin leaving no pulp. Using the same small knife, cut out the sections and place in the small bowl.
To make the dressing, fill the dressing bottle to ½ with the champagne and 1/3 with olive oil. Add 1 tbs of Dijon mustard and about 2 tbs of sugar. Shake well until the sugar has dissolved.
Cut the greens last because the endive is very perishable. Cut the endive in half moons. Add the watercress to the endive. If the watercress is really large, cut it coarsely. When you’re ready to serve the salad, place the watercress on the bottom, then the endive, clementines, pomegranate, pine nuts, shake the dressing and lightly pour over the top.
This menu is chock full of leafy greens, fresh peas and an antioxidant dessert. It’s a great way to start the New Year and a flavorful, aesthetically pleasing way to begin a vegan diet.
Good luck on your resolutions!