#Veganuary, Meat my Aunty

Tofu and other Scrambled Offerings

I’m far too old to make New Year resolutions but this year is different. My nephew, who owns The Kind Kitchen in Constantia and Woodstock, threw down the Veganuary gauntlet. There was cold, hard cash at the end of the challenge. I succumb easily to bribery and corruption. I’ve always been funny, that way.

So, here I am, in a meatless daze, trying to picture my life munching my way through endless platefuls of fabulous fruit and voguish vegetables. The problem is that I live in a fishing village on the West Coast where “bokkoms met brood en fig jam” is heavily trending. Voguish veg like Jerusalem Artichokes and Kohlrabi are definitely not your daily fare. Neither are Asian pickled and fermented products like miso and kimchi on our local supermarket shelves. But then I have a flash of genius. I
spotted a vegetarian programme on My Home Channel and quickly tune in….OMG. This woman makes pizza bases with cauliflower! I kid you not. Is she crazy? Life is hard enough woman, get a grip. So I tune out….

I read about Veganuary online and it’s like a double entendre! Apart from a whole month without meat or fish, I also can’t eat eggs or dairy. That’s just reduced me to a whimpering wreck. And, to add insult to injury, these fiendish veganites have chosen January for their challenge – a month with 31 bloody days! Why not February? Give us omnivores a fighting chance!

I read that I must reacquaint myself with the pleasure of pulses. It’s all very well turning lentils and dry beans into nourishing dishes but are these as pleasing to the palate as rare roast beef and horseradish sauce? Well, I think we all know the answer to that question. And, at any rate, I have never romanced the pulses because they play havoc with my colon!

A friend has just phoned. Our local supermarket has tofu on the shelf. They’ve stocked up for the yuppie Jo’burgers and Capetonians here for the holidays. I read that you can scramble it. Well that’s it then. Scrambled tofu is my first hot tip for a Veganuary breakfast.

Until next time – may The Force be with you.

By Lucille McNamara

You can learn more by clicking here to Register for Veganuary


Super Simple Salad with Ranch Dressing

Here’s a super simple but wholesome salad you can accompany with a big meal or simply eat on its own.

1. 2 handfuls of organic mixed greens like lettuce, spinach and rocket or similar.
2. 1/2 Cucumber
3. 2 spring onions
4. Handful or more of Rosa / Cherry tomatoes
5. 1 medium carrot
6. 1/4 block of vegan cheese (I used Violife)
7. 2 tbsp sunflower seeds or a mix of your choice
8. 1/4 flax oil
9. 1/4 olive oil
10. Tsp Dijon mustard
11. Tbsp vegan mayo from @bwellfoods
12. Tsp dried mixed Italian herbs

Salt and Pepper
14. Juice of a lemon and a tsp of Apple cider vinegar

1. Be creative and have fun with your fresh produce for your salad.
2. I chopped the greens very finely, placed them into my favourite new salad bowl with a glug of olive oil and S&P.
2. Next I layered it with cucumber, followed by the tomatoes, spring onions, grated carrots and finally added the cheese and seeds to finish. The colours just worked so well.
3. For the ranch dressing, place 8-14 into a large jar and shake until the dressing emulsifies into a beautiful viscous texture. This happens pretty quickly, so don’t waste your time with a hand blender. This is part of the joy of cooking.
4. And there you have it and lovely tangy ranch style dressing to have with your super simple salad. Enjoy.


5 Spice & Coconut Corn Soup

I remember being taken to my local Chinese restaurant as a kid. I was always keen for the their chicken corn soup because it always reminded me of happy times and it tasted so damn good. Today’s soup is my vegan version of these happy, but kinder, memories.

1. 2 cups vegetable broth or good quality miso if you’d prefer.
2. 1 corn off the cob
3. 1 fresh spring onion
4. 1 jalapeño
5. 1 thumb size ginger
6. 1 clove garlic
7. 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
8. 1 tbsp soy sauce
9. 1 cup coconut milk
10. Pinch of white pepper
11. Handful of fresh basil and coriander

1. Cut the corn in half and place one half into a food processor and the other tot he side.
2. Chop the spring onion into small pieces and place the white parts into the food processor and leave the green parts for serving later.
3. Place the spice, soya, herbs, chopped ginger, garlic, deseeded and chopped jalapeño into the food processor with the coconut milk. Pulse to a chunky texture and set aside.
4. Bring broth to boil and add the remaining corn to it, lowering the heat immediately.
5. Place the boiled broth mixture into the food processor with previous mixture and pulse once again for a few moments. Don’t try make a smooth soup, the aim is to release more of the flavours through a quick pulse cycle.
6. Plate the mixture adding fresh spring onions and a dash of Whitney pepper. Enjoy.

You can add the mixture back to the pot to simmer longer if you wish but keep an eye on the heat so the milk doesn’t boil and separate.


Vegan Cauli’ Alfredo with Oyster Mushrooms

This is a super simple and delicious pasta to make for a dinner party and the local mushrooms you source will surely be a talking point over and above the low carb, gluten free, vegan meal you decided to whoo your guests with.

Ingredients to serve 4.

  • 1 Head of Cauliflower broken into pieces for grilling.
  • 1 Red Onion finely diced.
  • 2 Cloves of garlic finely diced.
  • 2 Handfuls of assorted locally foraged/sourced Oyster Mushrooms. (I mixed yellow & pink varieties.)
  • 1 Tbsp dried mushroom herbs (parsley, red pepper flakes, tarragon, ginger, thyme and rosemary.)
  • 1 Tbsp dried mixed Italian herbs (oregano, thyme, sweet basil, parsley, sage, black pepper and bay leaves.)
  • 1/2 Cup Olive oil.
  • 1/2 Cup of nutritional yeast.
  • 1 Pack of Spaghetti / Fettuccini (gluten free if desired).
  • 1 Cup vegetable broth.
  • Handful of fresh Origanum, finely diced for serving.
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard.
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar.
  • 1/4 Water.
  • Salt & Pepper to taste.


  • Pre-heat oven to grill. Place cauliflower onto a roasting pan with half the oil and sprinkle with Italian Herbs, salt and pepper. Allow to chargrill for about 5min.
  • Chop the mushrooms into desired lengths and finely dice half the garlic and 3/4 of the red onion.
  • Bring a suitable deep pan to heat with a tbsp of olive oil and add the onions, allowing them to sautè on a medium heat for about 3-5min until translucent.
  • Remove cauliflower from the grill. Sprinkle half the nutritional yeast over it, turning and coating as much as possible then return to grill for another 5min.
  • Now add turn up the heat and add the garlic, mushrooms, mushroom herbs, vinegar and slowly add the water to prevent the mixture from burning or going dry.
  • Remove cauliflower from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • Lower the heat, stir in the mustard and allow to simmer for 10min.
  • Add the cooled cauliflower to a food processor with the remaining raw 1/4 onion, remaining raw garlic. Now pour some of the veg broth over the cauliflower’s grill pan to scrape up the flavours and decant it into the food processor with the remaining nutritional yeast.
  • Blend to a smooth sauce adding salt and pepper and more mustard to taste.
  • Bring a pot of boiling water to boil with a tbsp of oil and a touch of salt. Once boiling, add the pasta and allow to cook to al dente.
  • Place the cauliflower Alfredo sauce into a sauce pan on a low heat to keep warm. (*note this dish is beautiful as a cold summer pasta salad too if you wish.)
  • Prepare to plate. Place the warm pasta as the base, followed by the mushroom mixture followed by the Alfredo sauce, top with fresh origanum and sprinkle with a dash of vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast.
  • Serve with a fresh green salad.


Recipe 2. #Veganuary2018 

Coloured Beets & Soy Spinach Wrap


2x handfuls of fresh baby spinach
1x sprig of fresh basil
1x avocado sliced
4x baby beetroots finely grated (try mix up the colour if possible, the more variance in colour the different antioxidant it contains)
1x handful of romaine lettuce leaves
1x handful of small Rosa vine tomatoes chopped up
1x handful of sundried tomatoes chopped into lengths
2x tbsp flax oil
1x tbsp Apple cider vinegar
1x tbsp Soy sauce / Tamari
1x tsp vegan mayo to spread (I use Bwell Mayonaise)
1 tsp hot English mustard to spread

1. Pan fry your vegan wraps on the stove to warm. Make sure not to over heat to make them crunchy. Set aside under a plate to keep warm. (This recipe will make 4)

2. Mix the spinach, basil, vinegar, soya and oil into a mixing bowl and massage the spinach with your hands. You can add fresh onion, ginger and garlic here if you wish.

3. Wash the raw beetroot. Then simply grate the beetroot on the 2nd biggest setting on your grater to achieve a semi fine outcome.

4. Place wrap onto the board and start by painting a stripe of mayo and mustard down the middle.

5. Layer the lettuce, Avo, beets and spinach mix on to of each other and place the tomatoes on either side of the stack.

6. Finish with sprinkle of nutritional yeast flakes, S&P and then roll the wrap together by folding both sides in to the middle and flap the bottom of the mixtures, final lay rolling the whole thing tightly into a cylinder.

7. Cut in half and enjoy.

Benefits of the this Raw Vegan lunch wrap is that’s is packed with nitrates, antioxidants, Iron and folic acid to help lower blood pressure and boost exercise performance. Spinach is high in protein, fiber and important B6 vitamin. We also boost our B12 intake trough the nutritional yeast we added.

Overall this is a kickass lunch option that won’t leave you feeling sluggish.