Basic Recipes 

These easy recipes can help you take the first steps towards adopting a fully plant-based cuisine. You can also find many ideas online on how to cook tasty and plant-based food. A couple of interesting websites to take a look at are: www.bevegan.be, www.heerlijkplantaardig.be, www.evavzw.be, www.degroenemeisjes.nl

GUACAMOLE 

RED BEET - TOFU SPREAD

OLIVES SUNDRIED TOMATO SPREAD 

SWEET POTATO - RED BEET SPREAD 

NUTCHEESE

HUMMUS 

VEGGIE MARTINO

CHOCOLATE SPREAD

VEGANAISE 

DELICIOUS SPOUP PACKED WITH ANTIOXIDANTS

VETETABLE DISH WITH TOFU SAUCE

VOL -AU- VENT

WEEDBURGER 

ORANGE SAFFRON COUSCOUS WITH POMEGRANATE

REFESHING SALADE 

BLACK RICE - TEMPEH DISH

CHOCOLATE BROWNIES 

PANCAKES

VEGAN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE 

HEALTHY SANDWICH SPREADS

GUACAMOLE

Ingredients: 1 avocado (peeled, pit removed), 1 small onion, 1 red pepper, ⅓ of a fresh bunch of coriander, 2 garlic cloves, lemon juice, sun-dried tomatoes or 1 fresh tomato, turmeric, black pepper, a pinch of salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Mix everything in a blender until smooth and place in a refrigerator for an hour so that all the flavours can mix well.

RED BEET - TOFU SPREAD

Ingredients: 1 pre-cooked red beet, 1 onion, 1 tomato, 200 g Feto (fermented tofu), 2 garlic cloves, fresh parsley and basil, black pepper. Mix everything together and it's done. Combine it with salad on a whole-grain sandwich and enjoy a very healthy lunch. 

OLIVES SUNDRIED TOMATO SPREAD

A healthy lunch: homemade whole wheat bread with a spread of olives, onion, garlic, sundried tomatoes, turnip greens, red-green leaf mustard, black pepper and turmeric. 

SWEET POTATO - RED BEET SPREAD

Steam 1 big, sliced sweet potato and let it cool.

Put in a blender: 1 roughly sliced onion, 2-3 garlic cloves according to preference, 2 pre-cooked and sliced red beets, the cooled sweet potato pieces, fresh basil and coriander, some flaxseed oil, black pepper, turmeric and a pinch of salt. Mix everything together and it's done.

NUT CHEESE

Tasty and yet so easy! (recipe retrieved from non-profit organisation EVA, a site full of various recipes)

Soak 225g cashew nuts in water for 4 to 8 hours.

Drain and mix in a blender with 2 capsules of probiotics (Probiotical or Probactiol, available without prescription at any pharmacy) and 120 ml water. Mix until you have a creamy, smooth mass.

Place the cashew cream in a bowl and cover it up with a towel or muslin. Leave it for at least 24 hours at room temperature. Smell the cheese after 24 hours, if it smells sour, then it is ready. If it still smells like nuts, leave it for another couple of hours or another day. The cheese should have a spongy appearance.

Mix herbs into the cashew cream: 1 tsp salt, 1.5 tsp nutritional yeast flakes, 1 tsp thyme, 1.5 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp oregano. You can also add herbs such as basil, chives, dill etc. 


HUMMUS (recipe from non-profit organisation EVA)

Ingredients: 1 can of chickpeas (drained 265 g), 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp ground cumin (or coriander powder), 1-2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste, optional), 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp water, pepper and salt.

Preparation: mix everything with a hand blender, add extra water or olive oil if necessary to achieve a smooth paste.

You can also use dried chickpeas. To do this, soak the chickpeas overnight and boil them for an hour until they are done. 


VEGGIE MARTINO

Ingredients: 1 small onion, 4 carrots, 1 red bell pepper, 1 tbsp veganaise, 10 green olives, 2 tsp capers, 3 drops of tabasco, pepper and salt.

Preparation: peel the carrots and onion and cut into pieces. Cut the bell pepper into pieces. Steam the vegetables until they are tender and leave to cool.

Mix the vegetables and olives together with the veganaise and tabasco in a blender.
Add some olive oil if the paste seems too dry. Add the capers and season with pepper and salt.

CHOCOLATE SPREAD

Ingredients: 125 g hazelnuts, 40 ml agave nectar, 100 ml unsweetened soy milk, 100 g dark chocolate.

Preparation: melt the dark chocolate in a bain-marie. While that melts, grind the hazelnuts until fine. Add the agave nectar and soy milk and then mix with a hand blender. Finally, add the melted chocolate to the mixture. 

VEGANAISE

Mayonnaise can be prepared in an entirely plant-based manner, simply by replacing the eggs as a protein source by soy milk.

Ingredients: 100 ml unsweetened soy milk, 250 ml sunflower oil, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp mustard, salt and pepper.

Preparation: pour the soy milk into a mug and add the mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix briefly. Put the hand blender on a moderate speed setting and carefully add the oil while slowly moving the blender up and down. You may stop mixing when the mayonnaise is thick enough. Add spices to your liking.

DELICIOUS SOUP PACKED WITH ANTIOXIDANTS

Whenever I make soup, I always make a large pot. You can keep soup in the refrigerator for a couple of days, or you can choose to freeze several portions. This means you can easily produce an extra portion of veggies by just warming the soup up again on the stove or in the microwave while preparing the rest of your meal. The real work is washing and cutting the fresh vegetables. You can incorporate legumes such as beans, lentils and chickpeas into your soup. In the morning before you leave for work, put dry beans and chickpeas in some water in the refrigerator to soak. Drain them in the evening and boil them in a generous amount of water for an hour. You can add them to your soup when it is ready, before blending it or afterwards. Wash the lentils under the tap before adding them directly to your soup and cook the soup for half an hour.

Ingredients: 2 onions, 3 garlic cloves (crushed), 2 sweet potatoes, 2 red bell peppers, 5 large carrots, 4 large tomatoes, 200 g red lentils, vegetable stock, fresh garden herbs, turmeric and black pepper. 

Preparation: cut the vegetables into large pieces, fry the onion in some olive oil until it becomes translucent and add the garlic. After about 2 minutes, add the rest of the vegetables and the rinsed lentils. Add 2 litres of water and bring to a boil. Add the vegetable stock, the fresh garden herbs, turmeric and black pepper. Leave to simmer for half an hour and stir the soup. If the liquid is too thick, add some more water. Leave the soup to cook for a while longer. While serving the soup, you can add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast flakes. This gives the soup a creamy taste. Yeast flakes are a source of vitamin B, folate and zinc. The flakes are best not to be cooked, otherwise vitamins are lost. You can also thicken sauce with them. My preference goes to the nutritional yeast flakes by the brand Natufood. 

VEGETABLE DISH WITH TOFU SAUCE

Ingredients: 1 block of tofu (drained 250 g), sun-dried tomatoes, 2-3 garlic cloves, 250 ml unsweetened soy milk, turmeric, black pepper, salt, herbes de Provence, olive oil or rapeseed oil that can be warmed, 1 onion, 3 to 4 different kinds of chopped vegetables: sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, cabbage, mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, bell peppers, chicory, spinach, fennel..., fresh parsley and basil.

Preparation: cut the tofu into pieces and put into a blender with the unsweetened soy milk, sun-dried tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, turmeric, black pepper, olive oil and herbes de Provence. Mix to a thick sauce.

Fry the thinly sliced onion in a wok pan or pot until they become translucent. Add a clove of crushed garlic and leave to simmer. Then add the sliced vegetables and stir well. Leave to cook for 10 minutes. Add the tofu sauce, stir and leave to simmer for another 15 minutes. When done, add the finely chopped fresh parsley and basil. Serve with steamed potatoes, pasta or rice.

Tip: you can also use hempfu instead of tofu. Hempfu, or hemp tofu, is a versatile meat substitute made of hemp seeds that is also rich in protein.

VOL-AU-VENT

Ingredients (serves 2 people): olive oil, 1 thinly sliced onion, 1 garlic clove (crushed), 250 g sliced mushrooms, 200 g 'kipstuckjes' by the brand the 'Vegetarische Slager' (or another variant of meatless chicken), 1 tsp thyme, 1 leaf of laurel, 250 ml soy cream cuisine, 50 ml vegetable stock, 1 tsp lemon juice, pepper and fresh parsley.

Preparation: Stew the onion in some butter at a low heat. Add the garlic, herbs and mushrooms and leave to cook. Cook the 'kipstuckjes' (meatless chicken pieces) separately first, and only then add them to the rest. Add the cream, stock and lemon juice to the mushroom mixture. Allow the mix to thicken while on a low heat for about 20 minutes. 

WEEDBURGER (recipe by Petra Vaes)

Ingredients for 6 small burgers:

50 g of black lentils, 50 g of brown rice, 1 finely chopped onion (50 g), 50 g of diced carrots, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp of vegetable stock in 250 ml of water, 20 g of olives without seeds, 2.5 g dried wakame, 1/2 tsp paprika powder, 20-30 g breadcrumbs and 10 g sunflower seeds.

Preparation: Put the wakame in a bowl of hot water and let it soak until it becomes soft. Drain the water, cut the leaves off the wakame and dry well with kitchen roll.

Put the lentils, rice, onion, carrot, garlic, water and stock in a pot and bring to a boil with the lid still on the pot. Leave on a low heat for approximately 40 minutes. Add water when the mixture has almost boiled dry. Pour the water away and let it drain in a fine-mesh strainer. Leave to cool.

Chop the olives and sunflower seeds into rough chunks. Then finely chop the wakame and put everything into a bowl. Add the lentil mix to the rest. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top and mix until the mixture becomes a solid dough.

Shape the mix into 6 burgers and dip them into the bread crumbs. Leave to rise in the refrigerator or in the freezer and then fry them in olive oil.

Tip: You can swap the lentils for beans (red kidney beans, adzuki beans, black beans, mung beans or soya beans) that have been soaked the previous night and boiled for an hour. You can add these to the mixture after cooking.

ORANGE SAFFRON COUSCOUS WITH POMEGRANATE

Ingredients: 250 g couscous (e.g. spelt couscous), 500 ml freshly pressed orange juice or blood orange juice, 1 generous pinch of saffron, fresh herbs: fresh dill, fresh mint, fresh flat-leaf parsley, fresh coriander, olive oil, pepper, salt, 1 pomegranate and a handful of nuts.

Preparation: put the couscous in a large bowl and pour the orange juice on it. Stir the saffron in and season to taste with salt and pepper. Leave the couscous to swell in the juice for half an hour to an hour until it has absorbed all the liquid and is ready (use raw couscous!).

Stir in the pomegranate seeds and the finely chopped fresh herbs.

To finish off, stir in a good dash of olive oil and sprinkle some chopped nuts over the top.

REFRESHING SALAD

Ingredients: rocket, sliced red and yellow pepper, seedless olives, tomatoes cut into wedges, cucumber. You can also add sliced yacon, cooked lupin beans or chickpeas, nuts.

Make a dressing with 2 tbsp flaxseed oil, 1 tbsp agave syrup and 1 tbsp vinegar of choice. Season with turmeric, black pepper, fresh parsley and a pinch of salt.

Bring everything together and add some hemp seeds.

Yacon or Peruvian ground apple is a tuberous plant that originates in the Andean Mountains in South-America. Apparently, yacon grows well in Belgium too. Many health benefits are linked to the tuber, including a prebiotic function, which is beneficial for the immune system. Yacon is high in potassium and antioxidants. It has a fresh sweet taste and a crispy bite. It can be used both hot and cold. The tuber is low in calories, because it contains a lot of indigestible inulin. These sugars are not absorbed into the blood, which is why they contain few calories, but are still able to provide a sweet taste.

BLACK RICE-TEMPEH DISH

Ingredients: 200 g tempeh, 100 ml Tamari soy sauce, 100 ml water, 2 bay leaves, ginger, 2 tsp coconut sugar, 250 g chestnut mushrooms, 1 sliced red pepper, 250 g black rice, garlic, 4 spring onions

Preparation: Cut the tempeh into little pieces. Put Tamari soy sauce, water, bay leaves, ginger and coconut sugar into a pan. Let it cook. Add the tempeh pieces and let it slowly cook for ½ hour. Then let the tempeh cool down in the sauce.

In the meantime, you can start cooking the black rice in plenty of water. Rinse the rice under the tap before starting to cook it. Drain off the rice after cooking it.

Pour the tempeh mix through a strainer and catch the sauce. Cook the tempeh in a bit of olive oil in a pan for around 7 minutes, you can cook the pepper pieces at the same time.

Then cook the chestnut mushrooms and cut up spring onions, add black pepper, turmeric and garlic powder or a freshly pressed clove of garlic, at the end add a bit more Tamari soy sauce.

Add the tempeh, the coconut sauce of the tempeh, the pepper, mushrooms and spring onions to the rice. Warm it up for a bit.

Serve with a refreshing salad.

DESSERTS

CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

Ingredients for 8 people: 340 g plain flour, 300 g cane sugar, 90 g cocoa powder, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 0.5 tsp salt, 300 ml water, 1.5 tsp vanilla sugar, 80 g bitter chocolate (in pieces), 60 g nuts (of choice), 100 ml sunflower oil

Preparation: Preheat the oven at 175°C.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl.

Mix the water with the oil, add this wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix until a homogeneous dough is formed.

Pour everything into a shallow, greased baking tray or mould and place it in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. A shorter baking time will lead to a soft, creamy brownie, while a bit of a longer bake will provide a sturdier, dry brownie.

PANCAKES

Ingredients: 150 g spelt flour, 150 g buckwheat flour, 750 ml unsweetened soy milk, 1 tsp baking powder, a pinch of salt, a dash of agave syrup, vanilla extract, 2 tbsp Maizena (corn starch), a dash of olive oil. Mix everything together and bake the pancakes in a pancake pan in a bit of oil.

VEGAN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Ingredients: 400 g silken tofu, 240 g dark chocolate, 60 g cane sugar

Preparation: melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Meanwhile mix the silken tofu and cane sugar. Pour the melted chocolate into the mixed tofu and whisk for 4 to 5 minutes. Pour into little glasses and let it settle for at least an hour in the fridge.