Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Healthy And Delicious Vegan Easter Brunch Featuring Spring Vegetable Curry On Farro With Green Lentils

Vegan Easter Brunch Menu

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Easter Time
This time of the year is all about renewal. The buds on the vineyard have just broken through and we're enjoying calla lilies, camellias and daffodils. These signs of growth together with the long awaited extra hours of daylight are indications that spring is here and the cycle of the seasons presses on, even if we're not quite ready for it. 

Easter is often a time for gathering friends and family together whether you observe this as a holy day or a celebration of spring. To help make this a special occasion, I've put together a delicious vegan menu with an abundance of fruits and vegetables.

[Serves 8]

Mixed Greens, Mango, Avocado and Cashews 
with Mango Poppy Seed Dressing

Spring Vegetable Coconut Curry
with Cauliflower, Peas, Bell Pepper, Onions and Mushrooms

Farro with Green Lentils *

Creamy Vanilla Chia Pudding with
Fresh Strawberries

* (Farro not gluten free. Serve brown rice 
as side for gluten sensitive guests).

Mixed Greens with Mango Poppy Seed Dressing
Vegan, Gluten Free
Requires high speed blender
[makes 8 servings]

For the dressing (make the day before)
1 medjool date, pitted and cut in quarters
1/2 cup So Delicious coconut milk beverage
1 cup mashed, ripe mango or mango pulp
1/3 cup shredded or sliced carrot
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
pinch black pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup raw hemp oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

For the salad
1 lb container pre-washed mixed greens
2 avocados, thinly sliced
large mango, thinly sliced
several slices red onion, separated
1/2 cup cashews

To make salad dressing, soak medjool date in coconut milk for 4 hours or overnight in refrigerator. 

Place date, coconut milk, mango, carrot, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a high speed blender and process until smooth.

Running the blender on low, slowly drizzle in hemp (or olive) oil until combined.

Add poppy seeds for a few seconds to combine. Store in a 1 pint container and refrigerate until needed. (It keeps well so make early the day before since you need time to soak the date.)

Mango poppyseed dressing.
Dress salad or serve on side.

To make the salad, place greens in a large salad bowl. 

Place avocado, mango and onion slices over greens and top with cashews. Serve with dressing or dress  greens first and place avocado, mango and onion slices on top.

Prepackaged organic greens are very convenient, especially when you're entertaining.

*   *   *

Farro with Green Lentils
(Makes 5 cups, 8 servings)

5 cups water
1 Rapunzel vegetable bouillon with sea salt and herbs
1 cup farro, rinsed
1 cup green lentils, picked through and rinsed

Place water and bouillon in 5 quart Dutch oven or large pot and bring to boil. Mix to dissolve.

When using bouillon, do not add extra salt.
Use less if on a sodium restricted diet.

Mix in farro and lentils and bring back to boil.  Lower heat and cook on a low boil, covered, for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and moisture is mostly absorbed. Turn off heat and keep  in covered pot. It will continue to absorb moisture as it sits. Set aside until needed.

Farro and green lentils cook in the same amount of time.

*   *   *

Spring Vegetable Coconut Curry
Vegan, Gluten Free
[make 8 (1 full cup) servings]

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound white button or crimini mushrooms
1 tablespoon Penseys sweet curry (or to taste)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Penseys hot curry (or to taste)
1/2 cup veggie broth or water
15.5 ounce can light coconut milk
4 cups cauliflower florets (1 medium cauliflower)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas (or 1 can, drained)*

In a 5 quart Dutch oven or large pot, heat oil and sauté onions and peppers for 5 minutes. 

Add garlic and mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms soften. 

Stir in sweet and hot curry. 

Cook onions, red pepper and garlic.
Stir in sweet and hot curry.

Add veggie broth, coconut milk and cauliflower. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in peas, cover and cook another 5 minutes until peas are cooked and cauliflower is fork tender but firm. 

Add veggie broth and cauliflower.

After 5 minutes, add peas.

When veggies are cooked, place curry in a large serving bowl and serve.

Don't overcook cauliflower or it will fall apart.

*   *   * 

Vanilla Chia Pudding with Fresh Strawberries
(make pudding at least a day early but add strawberries when serving)
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 8 servings]

4 cups sweetened vanilla non-dairy milk soy, hemp or coconut milk *
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 to 4 (1 gram) packets stevia extract, to taste
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups thinly sliced fresh organic strawberries

* You may use unflavored non-dairy milk and add 1 or more teaspoons vanilla and additional stevia (or other sweetener) to taste. 

Combine chia seeds with milk, stevia and cinnamon and stir vigorously with a fork for several minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes and stir again until the chia seeds are well blended and separated. Let the mixture sit out for an hour, stir one more time and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight, until thickened and firm. This is a good dessert to make a day in advance in order to give it time to set. 

When ready to serve, mix in strawberries. Place in a large serving bowl.

This sweet, creamy dessert pairs perfectly with the spicy curry dish.
Other brunch ideas
Check out this Raw Vegan Easter Brunch Menu.

Happy Spring!

1 comment:

Debra said...

This meal looks fabulous! Thank you.