One of the advantages of the vegan diet is it's versatility. You can veganize almost anything, in my view. This allows you to experience different styles of cooking and different tastes too, from all around the world. This can never be boring with proper meal planning and an open mind to learn new things. In this blog, three sisters: Sis. Alyssa, Sis. Anesia & Sis. Karima, share their recipes of foods known as Mediterranean. They are all vegan and healthy, not to mention delicious! Try them and let us know how it goes!
Sis. Alyssa's family in Trinidad enjoys Hummus with snacks like whole wheat crackers
1 lb chick peas (channa) 3 cloves garlic (3 or 4 cloves additional needed when blending) 2 onions 3 tomatoes 1 tsp salt 1/4 TSP cayenne pepper 2 spoons of green seasoning
Freshly made Hummus from the Jugmohunsingh's Kitchen in Trinidad
Method 1. Heat pressure pot and burn 1 clove of garlic in enough oil to coat the pan. 2. Using a food processor/ chopper finely chop onion, garlic and tomatoes. 3. Once garlic is burnt place the chopped onion, garlic and tomatoes into the pot. 4. As it begins to simmer add the chick peas, salt, black pepper and green seasoning. 5. Add water until an inch above the channa and pressurize for 10 minutes or until soft. 6. After it cools, place the chick peas and roasted garlic into a food processor/ hand blender. Mix until creamy in texture. 7. Remove and serve with your favorite dish.
Tahinni paste from Sis. Anesia's Kitchen in St. Vincent
TAHINI PASTE Although the recipe above does not require it, Tahini paste is a common ingredient in Hummus recipes. Don't be turned off by the name, it is simply a sesame seed butter which you can make in your kitchen. For this recipe you will need sesame seeds and oil (olive or another mild oil). Sesame seeds are high in protein and calcium. As a result they are an excellent addition to your meals for nutritional value. See Tahini Paste recipe below
Sesame seeds star in Tahinni paste; they are rich in calcium
Ingredients Sesame seeds Olive oil
Method 1. Toast sesame seeds in a non-stick pan over medium heat. While toasting, keep moving about the seeds so they do not burn. (toasting helps to release the oils from the seeds) 2. Remove from heat and allow to cool 3. Place in blender or food processor to grind, adding olive oil along the way until you reach a paste like consistency 4. Add more oil to create a slightly runny effect. 5. Add some paste to your hummus recipe or when serving hummus. 6. Place in a bottle/jar and store in the refrigerator for future use
* Do not be surprised if the oil separates from the sesame seed paste while in the refrigerator. Simply stir when you are ready to use again.
In addition, Tahini paste can then be stretched and seasoned to make a Tahini sauce which can be used on your sandwiches and as a dip. Simply add seasonings to taste such as garlic, lime juice, salt and some water to Tahini paste and blend. (See flatbread sandwich recipe below with Tahini sauce on it.)
Falafel patties from Sis. Anesia's kitchen in St. Vincent
FALAFEL INGREDIENTS 1 cup dried garbanzo beans aka chickpeas/channa 1/2 onion, diced 4 cloves minced garlic 1/4 cup chopped parsley (I used celery) 1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste 1 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp ground coriander 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 1/4 tsp baking soda 1 rounded tablespoon flour (I used wholewheat) or a bit more according to need 2 tsp lemon juice
METHOD 1. Soak chick peas overnight. 2. Do not cook chickpeas, simply rinse and add to the blender/food processor with other seasonings. 3. pulse ingredients together. You do not want to blend to a puree but to arrive at a crumbly looking consistency. Add water to help you get this consistency (not too much water) 4. Ideally, put in refrigerator to rest for about 1 hour so the seasonings can incorporate well into the mix. 5. You may pan fry or deep fry (I pan fried and made patties). You may deep fry for falafel balls. *I learnt this technique in frying the mix which includes having damp hands. The damp hands allow you to take up the mix and shape patties without them sticking to your hands, as you place in the frying pan. It really works and makes the process easy and not messy. Try it!
My (Sis. Anesia's) first effort at a Flatbread sandwich- filled with falafel patties, pasted with hummus. There is a light (whitish) Tahinni sauce (made using Tahinni paste above) on it with diced cucumbers and tomatoes. It's like a vegan mediterranean Taco. Try it!
FLATBREAD (Two ways)
INGREDIENTS 8 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cup), more as needed 3/4 tsp salt 1/4 cup vegetable shortening 1/2 cup hot water
METHOD 1. Add dry ingredients together in a bowl and use a pastry cutter or a fork to mash shortening into the flour until crumbly. 2. Add hot water and knead (with a fork) until you get a soft dough 3. Rest dough for about 15 minutes 4. Cut into 8 pieces and prepare to roll out into circles 5. Heat pan medium-high, bake circles of flour, flipping after about a minute one each side until baked.
This flatbread is really easy to make and may be stored in refrigerator for later use.
Flatbread hot off the pan in Sis. Karima's Kitchen in St. Vincent.
2nd Method Flatbread
INGREDIENTS 2 Cups of whole wheat flour Salt to taste I tsp oil Water
METHOD 1.Combine wheat flour, salt and 1 teaspoon oil in a bowl, mix well and knead into a soft dough using water, at intervals. I suggest that you knead the dough for about 5 minutes to stretch and knead in the gluten. Rest for 15-20 minutes. 2.Divide dough into equal portions, roll into balls. Roll out into a circle 3.Heat an iron pan or tawa. Place flat bread on it and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat. Flip and cook on the other side for 2 minutes. Remove flatbread from tawa, place on open flame and cook until puffs. 4.Serve with your favorite side dish