Did I just make a not so subtle reference to the most hyped and award-deserving movie of the moment? Whatever. Just humour me for a second here, because just like American Hustle, this post is an explosion of fun and great acting skills.
I would like you to meet the Bradley Cooper of Veggie World:
Moroccan Aubergine and Harissa Soup with Marinated Seitan
Whereas Bradley Cooper’s character Richie DiMaso relies on his curlers to make him sexier, this soup doesn’t need any embellishments. It stands on its own. The smooth and comforting texture of the aubergine is a match made in heaven with the exotic blend of spices. Add to that some zingy and sharp seitan croutons and you’ll understand why this soup does not require a perm to make a lasting impression.
Ingredients (serves 1):
- 1 aubergine
- 1 tsp harissa
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ras el hanout
- 250ml vegetable stock
For the marinated seitan:
- 100gr seitan, cut into chunks
- ½ tbsp honey
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- ½ tsp harissa
- Put the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl and toss in the seitan. Marinade for at least one hour.
- Fry the seitan dices until crunchy and set aside.
- Meanwhile make the soup. Put the aubergine under a hot grill for about 40 minutes. Turn it around every 10 minutes. Remove the aubergine from the oven and allow to cool completely. Once cool, cut an opening along the aubergine and scoop out the soft flesh. Discard the skin.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauce pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the tomato puree, harissa and spices and cook for another minute before adding the stock. Simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Transfer the scooped aubergine flesh to the soup and blitz to a smooth liquid. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve hot, with the crunchy seitan on top and garnish with some extra sesame seeds and spring onions, if you like.
Now on to the Amy Adams of light meals:
Cauliflower Frittata with Feta Cheese
Just like Amy Adams’ cleavage in American Hustle, this frittata is anything but subtle. Boldly spiced cauliflower, smooth and creamy eggs and punchy feta cheese: it doesn’t take much to understand that this ambitious lunch doesn’t need a British accent to seduce every man on her path.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 4-6 potatoes, peeled and diced
- ½ cauliflower, cut into florets
- Bunch of fresh parsley
- Bunch of chives
- 200gr feta cheese, cut into chunks
- 9 eggs
- ½ tbsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds
- Preheat the oven to 190°C.
- Blanche the potatoes and cauliflower florets until just al dente.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the spices. Toss the vegetables in the spicy oil and fry for a couple of minutes. Put the vegetables on the bottom of a round baking tin.
- Whisk together the eggs and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped parsley and chives.
- Pour the egg batter on top of the vegetables and scatter the feta chunks on top. Put in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
For the grand finale we go to the Jennifer Lawrence of vegetarian patties:
Spicy Kidney Bean Burgers with Herby Cauliflower Bulgur
In contrast to Jennifer’s character Rosalyn, I have to admit that this dish is anything but the”Picasso of passive-aggressive karate” but more of a “Dali of otherworldly extravagance”. Crunchy burgers served with refreshing homemade Tzatziki and accompanied by fragrant bulgur with roasted cauliflower: completely bonkers but definitely Oscar-winning material!
And with a bit of imagination the dish resembles Jennifer’s exploded hairdo.
Ingredients (serves 1)
For the burgers:
- 200gr kidney beans
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- ½ chili
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp coriander stalks
- 2 cm piece of fresh ginger
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Sesame seeds
- 1 egg
- Corn flour
For the Bulgur:
- 60gr bulgur wheat
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander
- 2 tbsp mint
- ½ tbsp za’atar
- ¼ cauliflower , cut into florets
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Blitz all the ingredients for the burgers together, except for the corn flour, egg and sesame seeds. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper. Make small patties out of the bean mix and roll them in corn flour. (The patties will be very fragile so be careful) Put them on a baking tray and brush them with beaten egg and sprinkle sesame seeds over the top.
- Put in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and fry the cauliflower until just cooked. Stir through the za’atar.
- Cook the bulgur according to the instructions on the packet and stir in the cooked cauliflower and fresh herbs.
- Serve the patties with the bulgur and a generous serving of tzatziki