A diet filled with chickpeas, lentils and quinoa might sounds like the beginning of a nightmare for a meat loving South Africa. But healthy diets packed with wholesome grains are becoming increasingly tempting as people wave goodbye to the chop and embrace more plant-based and vegan diets.
Such was the case for Dané Vermeulen (31), foodie and systems leader at Food For Mzansi’s digital partner, Yehbaby Digital.
Vermeulen began her journey in September last year.
That was the month that Vermeulen, a former lover of all things cheesy, took a leap and committed to a new plant-based lifestyle documenting her journey on our sister publication Food For Mzansi every month.
Plant-based winter comfort food
Vermeulen says, “The idea of a plant-based diet can be daunting for some. Most people would think that you only eat salads, fruits, and raw vegetables. While I enjoy eating these foods, they can be quite cold and uninviting during the winter months.”
So, what do you do when you are longing for a hearty, filling, home cooked meal to warm you up during a cold winter’s night.
“My go-to cooking nowadays usually involves a veggie curry, some combination of roasted veggies, mixed with flavoured rice, or a nice flavourful soup with a slice of fresh sourdough bread,” she says.
“The key to making great tasting food is to pack every element with a flavour punch.
“A recipe I love eating during winter is my creamy mashed potatoes and aubergine, tomato roast. This is the perfect winter comfort food dish and it’s entirely plant-based. You don’t have to turn to a meaty stew or the all too common ‘rys, vleis en aartappels’.”
So, satisfy your cravings and keep warm this winter with this recipe:
Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Aubergine, Tomato Roast
2 medium aubergine
1 green pepper
2 garlic cloves
Fresh Italian parsley
7 medium potatoes (mash potatoes)
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
3 stalks fresh rosemary
Splash of soya milk
Splash of coconut milk
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Juice of ½ lemon
- Preheat your oven to 200°C. Cut the aubergine, green pepper, and tomatoes in bite sized pieces. Place all the ingredients in an oven baking dish.
- Add the sliced garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Remove the rosemary leaves from the stalks and add to the ingredients.
- Mix the ingredients well and roast it in the oven for 40min. Give it a stir halfway though.
- Peel and cut the potatoes and places it in a pot with water covering the potatoes. Boil the potatoes on a high heat until soft.
- Drain the water from the pot and remove the pot from the heat.
- Mash the potatoes until most potato pieces have been crushed. Add a splash of soya milk and continue mashing.
- Add a splash of coconut milk and continue mashing. This will ensure a creamy and smooth texture to the mash, but refrain from adding too much coconut milk because you don’t want the mash to taste like coconut.
- Add the lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper and freshly chopped parsley and mix it into the mash. Once the mash is mixed and smooth you can set it aside until it’s time to dish up.
- After 40min remove the vegetables for the oven and drain the liquid into a small saucepan.
- Place the veggies back in the oven on the grill setting and grill the veggies for 5min or to your liking. On a high heat, seduce the leftover liquid to a sauce like consistency.
- To plate your winter comfort food dish. Scoop a layer of your mashed potatoes and add your roasted veggies on top. Drizzle the sauce reduction to over the food and top it off with freshly chopped parsley.