Roasted Vegetable Stack
Making plant-based meals is easier than you think. Yes, there are plenty of meat substitutes on the market and they are getting tastier and more accessible every day, but they aren't necessary to follow a well-balanced, healthy and - most importantly - delicious, vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.
Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy popping a Frys' Big Fry Vegan Burger on the braai, and when I went to the Vegan Goods Market in Constantia this past weekend, I tried vegan prego 'steak' made from mushrooms that was mouth-wateringly moreish. But part of what I want to do with my recipes is show you how easy it can to cook up a storm of flavour with what's in your cupboard and fridge, without having to go out and buy specialist ingredients.
As part of a healthy diet you should always have a bucket load of vegetables in your fridge. Add a few cans of legumes to your pantry each month and you've got your meat-free Monday sorted.
This recipe is for a roasted vegetable stack that not only tastes like a dream, it also looks pretty enough to impress your friends when they come for dinner.
Roasted Vegetable Stack
- 1 small butternut
- 1 large aubergine
- 1 pack brown or white mushrooms
- 1 can butter beans, drained
- 1 can asparagus (you can use fresh if preferred), drained
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup plant milk of choice
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- Olive oil
- Fresh coriander or other fresh herbs (optional)
- Crushed nuts - optional (cashews, macadamias or almonds will work)
1. In 2 separate roasting pans, roast the roughly chopped butternut and thinly sliced aubergine rounds. You want the aubergine to be charred and crispy, so coat it well in olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. Saute the chopped mushrooms in olive oil. Once they are browned, add 2 tbsp of flour and mix until the flour has soaked into the mushrooms and created a sticky mixture. Add milk and stock slowly, thoroughly mixing in the liquid before adding more. This is your mushroom sauce. Once the sauce is thick enough and seasoned to your liking, add the butter beans.
3. In a separate pan, lightly saute the asparagus. Add seasoning of choice - I use salt, pepper and a little turmeric. Once it is warm and seasoned, add the crushed nuts for texture.
4. Mash your roasted butternut - you can use a touch of plant milk or vegan butter to make the texture smoother.
5. To assemble, stack slices of aubergine on a plate and top them with the mashed butternut. Place more aubergine slices on top. Spoon mushroom and butter bean mixture onto the aubergine, and finally top with nutty asparagus. Garnish with coriander or other fresh herbs if desired.