Peanut butter, sweet potato and kale stew

A perfect, warming and delicious meal to throw together in autumn or winter.

Not only is this dish easy to make and super tasty, it is also packed with vitamin A, iron and fibre.

I decided to add some peanut butter to this “stew” mostly because I like the taste and creaminess it adds, but you can opt out of using peanut butter… or switch to another nut butter if you prefer.

It may also be good to think about whether you can bring food with nuts to school/work or wherever you are bringing the lunch box if you decide to mealprep this dish. Then it may be better to just eat this meal at home or opt out of using nuts if you aren’t allowed food with nuts at school/work.

I have made a similar dish to this before, and made one using tofu and sundried tomatoes which is also super tasty, so you can check that out HERE.

Changes:

  • You can adjust the spices or change the spices depending on your own preference
  • You can change coconut milk for example cooking cream (oat or soya based)
  • You can switch kale for spinach
  • You can switch vegan chicken pieces to tofu or tempeh, or just omit this ingredient

I personally wouldn’t switch sweet potato for regular potato as it just won’t be the same. It is the sweetness from the sweet potato which works so well with the nut butter and gives this dish a slight sweet taste.

Now onto the recipe:

Recipe:

Makes c.a 4-6 portions, takes about 40 minutes

Ingredients:

2 small/medium sweet potato – peeled and diced

1 shallot onion

2 cloves garlic

c.a 200g kale – fresh or frozen

150g vegan chicken – can use tempeh, tofu or leave this out

1 heaped tablespoon peanut butter

240ml water

240ml coconut cream (full fat) or plantbased cooking cream

½ can crushed tomatoes

½ can chickpeas

Handful of cocktail tomatoes

1 tsp sambal oelek

1tsp smoked paprika

1-2 tsp brown sugar (for sweetness)

1tsp salt (or use less if you are using a salted peanut butter)

Black pepper

Rice

Top with crushed peanuts and some naan bread

Oil to fry in.

How to:

Start by preparing the rice according to instructions (make sure to rinse the rice a few times before cooking!)

Begin by dicing the onion and garlic. Add to a large pot along with 1tbsp oil and begin to fry until golden brown.

In the mean time, peel and dice the sweet potato into small/medium cubes.

Add the sweet potato to the pot along with the water (240ml) and the tomato juice. Add the peanut butter, sambal oelek, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and pinch of brown sugar. Mix and allow to heat on medium temperature under a lid for 15 minutes, stirring every now and then.

When the sweet potato has begun to soften, pour in half or all of the coconut milk , depending on how thick or loose you want your stew. Add in the kale, vegan chicken, chickpeas and cocktail tomatoes (halved!).

Allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes until the sweet potato are soft and the stew has thickened up a bit. Taste and add more seasoning according to preference.

Once done, serve the stew along with the rice and some crushed peanuts on top!

If you try this recipe, don’t forget to let me know what you think 😊

You can find other soups and stews on my blog or other easy mealprep recipes!

31 vegan dinner ideas for veganuary

January the 1st 2020. And many of you are *hopefully* comitting to veganuary… or maybe you have just decided to eat more plantbased and are looking for some meal inspiration…. well then, here are 31 lunch or dinner ideas you can try making or incoporating into your weekly diet!

When you first start eating plantbased you may find it hard to know what to eat and you end up just eating salad, or you take away the meat and dairy but don’t replace it with anything so you end up unsatisfied, hungry and get cravings.

So my best tip is to 1) Remember to substitute what you take away. I.e switch dairy products for non dairy alternatives. And if you take away the meat or fish on your plate, don’t just take it away or substitute with more potatoes. Instead substitute it with tofu, tempeh, beans, soya products or something else that gives you protein.

Another tip is to write down all your favourite meals and find a way to veganize them. Now a days the majority of dishes can be veganized in one way or another. Though of course, you do have to be prepared for the fact that the dish won’t taste exactly the same. So some prefer to note veganize and isntead just recreate new vegan dishes which don’t try to replicate a non vegan dish.

I would suggest you write down a bunch of different meal ideas or recipes you want to try or try to recreate and have that as a back up for when you don’t know what to cook or eat. A good idea is also to have the list on your phone for the days you are tired and hungry and need to quickly shop for food.

Invest in some cookbooks or follow a bunch of vegan recipe creators online (such as myself 😉 Instagram: itsahealthylifestyle)

Also, here is a post with some good staple foods to always have at home &what’s in my fridge/freezer

And for more inspiration or cooking videos, you can follow me on my Youtube channel – IzzyM

Meal ideas

*click the picture for the name of the dish*

There you have many different dishes you can try out 🙂 I have plenty more recipes you can search for on my blog. Also a whole bunch of breakfast, snacks and desserts which you can check out.

So now it is just to get cooking and try different recipes, see what you like and what you don’t like!

If you try any of these recipes, let me know in the comments down below or on my Instagram (itsahealthylifestyle)

Vegan eats in Tel Aviv | Restaurant review and tips

Together with VibeIsrael, i was invited on their vegan food tour (Gifted trip)

I was contacted a few months ago and at first i didn’t know how to respond… i must admit, i even thought it was just another spam mail. But with a little research i realized that Vibe is infact an established organization that has held many different tours.

I can say, i was honored to be asked to join… even if it was uncertain whether i could travel or not because of my studies. However, i can say now that the trip is over i am so glad that i decided to go, because it was an experience for sure.

If you want to see some of the food we ate and what we did, you can watch my 3 videos, PART 1, PART 2, PART 3 showing you the first 3 days of our trip 🙂

So, i am sure many of you have heard about Tel Aviv being a sort of vegan Haven? One of the top cities to visit if you are a vegan foodie. Not just aesthetically pleasing food, but delicious food. Because it is in the Middle East, Israel has food from many different cultures as well as having lots of fresh fruit and vegetables which often make it the center of the meal. Which i love!

I may be all for vegan soy burgers and fake meats, but there is something incredible about being able to make amazing dishes out of vegetables, spices and “natural/unprocessed foods”. Of course, natural doesn’t have to be better and it is fine with processed foods, but being able to make vegetables taste delicious and make meat eaters enjoy and like eating vegetables is definitely a talent. And we need more of that in our everyday lives.

So i can say, i am excited to bring back all the new food experiences and different meals i have tried. Maybe have vegetables be more in focus in my meals… but of course focusing on Swedish vegetables.

But, in this post i want to focus on some of the vegan restaurants we ate at. I am sure there are many more amazing vegan places to eat at, but these are the ones we went to.

There will be a mix of my own photos as well as photos from a proffessional food photographer, Amir Menahem, who you should check out and follow on his Instagram.

Bana:

A really cosy vibe and atmosphere. A place where you can go to eat and just sit there for hours, ordering in dishes to share among friends. We went during the evening, around 8pm so it was dark outside but still warm enough to sit outside. This restaurant gave me tapas vibes, i.e you order in a bunch of different meals which you share and try together with friends or family.

The food at Bana was my first taste of Israeli food and i can say i was not disappointed, however we got so many dishes served to us and we were so caught up in talking and eating that i didn’t always register what it was that we were being served.

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The menu changes based on what fruits and vegetables are in season, so the dishes i ate might not be there when you go to visit. But there was a sweet potato dish that was amazing, as well as an eggplant and tahini dish. Not to mention the desserts that were incredible, my favourite being the waffle with apples/pears and caramel sauce.

Vegetables are in focus at Bana, however i don’t think you have to be a vegetable lover to appreciate the food. However if you are a hardcore meatlover who wants that smokey taste and texture, then maybe this isn’t the place for you. But it is an amazing place to get inspiration for different vegetable based dishes.

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You can see some of the meals we ate at Bana in THIS VIDEO.

Opa:

Opa is a rather newly opened (when writing this) restaurant which is focused on vegan fine dining. Meaning high class, gourmet meals that use ingredients and ways of cooking, preparing and styling food you may not have seen or heard about before.

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Photo: Amir Menahem
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Photo: Amir Menahem
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Photo: Amir Menahem

Gourmet and fine dining isn’t really my thing if i am honest. I keep my meals simple and don’t like to overcomplicate food and cooking, so this was definitely an experience for me, and a good one at that!

We got about 8-10 different dishes which two people shared. The vegetable was in focus, just like at Bana, and i think the menu changes depedning on the season and what vegetables are in season as well.

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Amir Menahem

There were so many new and different flavours and tastes, and you can definitely tell that it was not the same as home cooked comfort food. If you are into fine dining or just want to try fine dining experience then i recommend going to Opa. It is of course more expensive than a regular restaurant, but it is worth the experience and if you are in Tel Aviv, why not! It is also great for a date night or maybe celebrating an anniversary!

The chocolate dessert was BEYOND AMAZING. So if it is on the menu, then you definitely have to get it

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Photo: Amir Menahem

You can see some of the dishes are my experience in THIS video!

416:

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Photo: Amir Menahem

416 was one of my favourite places to eat while in Tel Aviv. It had very LA vibes…. loud music, lots of plants, friendly staff and vegan remakes of fast food.. but better than fast food. I.e not the greasy burgers and fries or pizza you get at maybe McDonalds or burger king, but the restaurant type of burgers and pizza which taste so much better.

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Photo: Amir Menahem

This is definitely the type of place you would go with friends, maybe before going out dancing. Or if you are celebrating a birthday or just want some good, filling vegan food. it would work great to bring your partner if they are sceptical to vegan food but willing to try as 416 offers vegan fake meat and remakes of different meatbased dishes.

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Photo: Amir Menahem

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I.e vegan ceaser salad, vegan sliders, vegan steak, vegan calamari, vegan filled pasta and of course THE DESSERTS. I highly recommend you leave space for dessert, and maybe order in more than one dessert.

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Photo: Amir Menahem

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Not to mention, they have a vegan cocktail bar meaning… all the drinks are vegan. Which is always a plus because then you don’t need to wonder or ask if the wine is vegan!

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Photo: Amir Menahem

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You can see a video from our dinner at 416, HERE.

If you like fake meats or vegan “fast food” i.e not necessarily just vegetables and plantbased, then i do recommend making time to go to 416.

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Photo: Amir Menahem

Price wise… i can’t really say. But it is in the middle/high class. and in general, Tel Aviv is rather expensive so i would recommend you save up before travelling there so that you can fully enjoy yourself and enjoy the food there – it is well worth the money 🙂

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Photo: Amir Menahem
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Photo: Amir Menahem

Citizen garden (brunch)

The last place we ate at was citizen garden, which is a brunch/lunch place and the first thing i have to say is that it is VERY INSTRAGRAM FRIENDLY. Of course, i am sure many don’t care about this…the important thing is that the food tastes good – which it definitely did! But it has amazing lighting, there is a cosy outside “garden” which you can sit in and of course the food both tastes and looks amazing… so yes, you will be wanting to take photos.

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It is the type of place you go to have brunch with friends, weekend breakfast with your partner (or solo!), go there to eat lunch, drink coffee and work for several hours… or even the place you go after a night out, feeling kind of hungover and just want a detox juice and salad… and some avocado toast (which was the case for myself and the rest of the group. A detox juice and plenty of coffee was definitely necessary!).

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I really enjoyed the food at Citizen garden and it is the type of food i make and eat even at home. Different bowls, toasts, drinks and cold dishes. You will want to order a little bit of everything, but i have to say that the bowls/salads are very large almost worth sharing.

So it could be a good idea to get a bowl and toast to share between two people, then you get to try more than one thing.

Price wise… well, it is worth the price for the food you get. It tasted very fresh and of course very nutritious. Not to mention lovely staff and atmosphere!

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Hummus HaCarmel in carmel market

Carmel market is the market in Tel Aviv, and there is plenty to see there. Lots of people, lots of stalls, lots to see and try… almost a little overwhelming. I do also recommend that you try to stay clear from the slaughter/meat/fish part of the market if you are vegan… it wasn’t the most pleasant to walk past that part.

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Photo: Amir Menahem

I did try some things from the market such as bread and sauce, some different sweet desserts and an ethiopian coffee. But the place i wanted to recommend was Hummus HaCarmel. I had never heard of this place, but apparently it is rather well known/a tourist place… which i noticed when we got there. There was a line waiting to eat and we had to wait about 15-20 minutes until we got to sit down and order, but it was worth the wait.

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Basically it is a hummus place. So they have different hummus with salad and you also get pita bread. it is basically a small “in the wall” resturants but it has quite alot of places to sit outside and you do get a place to sit, so it is not just to walk in and sit down.

The vibe is very fast paced… people walking by, people waiting, it is not a place you go to sit for a long time and just talk, instead you go there with a mission to eat your hummus and pita bread and leave rather quickly again. Basically a market place cafe.. it is what you would expect regarding the atmosphere.

But it is worth a visit if you enjoy hummus and are in Carmel market. Also, they do have a sink and antiseptic so you can wash your hands before eating which you will most likely want to do as you eat with your hands!

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Price wise… basically the price of a lunch. More expensive than typical market place food which is often rather cheap (according to me). So even if you just get hummus and pita bread it is rather expensive, but worth it atleast once anyway 🙂

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Photo: Amir Menahem
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Photo: Amir Menahem

Luna

So, Luna isn’t actually in Tel Aviv, it is in Nazareth (about 2 hours from Tel Aviv) so if you just plan to be in Tel Aviv you may not go here, but if you do have plans to travel around Israel and are in Nazareth, then i do recommend Luna.

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The focus is arabic food. Lots of falafel, tabbouleh, hummus, stuffed cabbage rolls, rice etc

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And the dessert, specifically the Knafeh, was incredible. We were all so full from lunch and our previous eats in the morning that none of us were particularly craving dessert… but one bite in and we all wanted more. So that was definitely a hit!

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Photo: Amir Menahem
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Photo: Amir Menahem

The atmosphere…? Definitely a place you go with your family. It was beside a shopping mall, so i am sure many go shopping and then go for lunch there or vice versa. It is definitely easy to eat a whole bunch at Luna and end up with a food coma deluxa.

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One thing i do have to mention is that the owner, Luna, was so incredibly friendly and you could tell that she was so passionate about the food and wanting us to really enjoy it. And it was like you could tell that the food was cooked with love…. hahaha, how true that is i don’t know. But it was a really nice experience eating there.

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Like Opa and Bana, no fake meats… only wholefoods and vegetables in focus. Lots of different spices, which is very typical in the middle easten cuisine. And of course, it seems like you order a bunch of dishes to share among many (though maybe you can order a dish just for yourself which you do in European restaurants).

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Photo: Amir Menahem

Price wise, unfortunatly i don’t know.

Other tips:

Anastasia

I never visited Anastasia, but apparently it has a great vegan brunch but there is usually a queue (specially on weekends), so you will want to go there in time and be ready to queue until you get a place to sit down.

Other places you can eat:

Order a Sabich (“Hole in the wall” restaurant)

Similar to a fish and chips shop in the U.K, i.e they have a small kitchen/cooking area where they prepare the sabich for you freshly when you order. Takes about 10 minutes to make as they fry the eggplant when you order. Typically Sabich is made with egg, but you can skip that if you want to make it vegan.

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Lots of fresh vegetables, Amazing fried eggplant. Delicious tahini and amba sauce. Definitely a meal you should try… and perfect if you just want a quick lunch before walking around Tel Aviv, or maybe one of those before going out partying meals.

I am not sure the exact address for this “restaurant”, but it was close to Carmel market so i am sure with some googling you may find it. Apparently the locals do want to keep it rather secret as well as they don’t want a bunch of tourists going there and ordering when they just want to eat their lunch!

Note, there are 2-3 benches outside to sit on… but it is one of those meals you most likely eat while stnading up or while on the go unless you bring it with you to sit somewhere else 🙂

P.s recipe for homemade Sabich HERE

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Betzavta, a Friday night dinner. Basically you eat Friday night dinner at an Israeli host. You contact Betzavta who match you with a host and then the host cooks you dinner and it is a lovely way to talk to people who are locals to share stories and just make connections! It was a lovely experience for me to have the Friday night dinner.

As each host is different and the food they prepare is different, everyone will have a unique experience. So my experience was a positive one, but it can of course vary depending on what host you get.

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Photo: Amir Menahem
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Photo: Amir Menahem

Pop up dinner at TheVeganItalianChef (i.e Nadia):

She hosts pop up dinners at her place where she makes vegan italian food. You can book a place during one of her dinners and she will cook you amazing food. I haven’t done this myself, but Nadia is wonderful and her cooking is amazing (we made brunch together with her), so i would definitely recommend you do this if you want to try different food and different food experiences rather than just restaurants and cafes.

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Photo: Amir Menahem

There you have a list of some places to visit if you want to eat vegan while in Tel Aviv!! If you have any other recommendations, comment down below. Or if you have any questions regarding travelling to Israel or my experience, comment down below or contact me via myInstagram (itsahealthylifestyle)

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Cucumber salad – with vegan greek cheese | Vegan

Do you ever buy vegetables with the intentionof eating them but then suddenly a week has passed and the vegetable is in it’s last few days/hours….. yeah, that’s me and cucumbers.

Sure i like – infact love – vegetables…. but there’s something about cucumbers. They just don’t appeal to me.

But suddenly i had two cucumbers and no idea what to do with them.

Sure… i could them just as they are. Or dip in hummus or even add to water. But i didn’t feel like eating any of those ideas.

So…. i thought… what’s better than a regular plain salad? A creamy salad.

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Sometimes you just need to throw everything into a big bowl, add some garlic, salt and pepper and mix together with some van creme fraiche or mayonnaise.

And that’s exactly what i did. And i can tell you…. i was not disappointed.

Well… aside from the fact that i am trying to limit my intake of garlic and onion, especially raw…. but taste wise this was delicious.

Vitamins, nutrients, fiber, protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. You got it all in this meal!

Recipe

In all honesty, this recipe doesn’t really require measurements…. it’s mostly freestyle and adjust the measurements according to the amount you want to eat and make!

Ingredients:

3/4 large cucumber, or 1 medium sized

1 small red onion, diced

1/2 block vegan feta cheese

1/2 can chickpeas

1/2 red pepper. diced

1 avocado

Vegan creme fraiche, around 150-200ml. Note you can use 50/50 vegan creme fraiche and mayonnaise or opt for a lighter version by using soya quark or vegan greek yoghurt.

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Salt

Black pepper

How to:

Dice cucumber, red onion and bell pepper. Chop the avocado and greek cheese into small cubes. Rinse the chickpeas (save the aquafaba for another recipe).

In a large salad bowl add all the ingredients, including the minced garlic, salt and pepper. Mix together with creme fraiche, or your alternative.

Either eat right away with example some bean burgers or as filling in a baguette, or place in the fridge and allow the flavours of the salad to combine and eat later!

 

For some other salad ideas:

Vegan tuna salad

BBQ chickpea salad

Vegan ch*cken curry salad

Beetroot salad

Swedish tofu skagenröra

Potato salad and coleslaw

Next time you don’t know what to eat…. throw some foods into a bowl and mix together with some vegan creme fraiche, saltand garlic…. 50% chance it will turn out good…. sounds like a good idea!!!

Vegan remake of pickled herring | Vegansk skärgårdssill | Aubergine “herring” | Classic Swedish dish

In Sweden it is common to eat pickled herring, especially during high times such as Christmas, Easter and Midsummer.

In the past i did like eating the pickled herring, however it was mostly the sauce i liked and not so much the raw fish. Since going vegan i have never tried to recreate this dish, because it just hasn’t been something i have wanted or felt the need to eat. However a few weeks ago i had some extra aubergine i needed to use, as well as all the ingredients to try recreate the sauce so i thought… why not give it a go.

The sauce has a slightly fishy taste from the vegan caviar, but it also has a sweetness due to the marinade, and of course the creaminess from the creme fraiche.

I would recommend you use vegan mayonnaise, or 50/50 vegan creme fraiche and mayonnaise as that will give the best results. But you can switch for a lighter version such as creme fraiche or soya quark.

For the marinade, i have written less sugar than i used as mine was a little too sweet for my preference, so in the recipe it is about 60% sugar than what i used which will hopefully give a better balance, but you can of course use even less, as the sugar is mostly for preserving and giving a little flavour but it shouldn’t be overly sweet.

This dish may sound strange for many who aren’t from the Nordic countries, but all countries have their different cuisines and dishes… so if you are willing to try something new and different, give this a try. Of course, i don’t know who readily available vegan caviar is in other countries…. Maybe Ikea will have it if you have an Ikea close by…? Otherwise you could always try adding some seaweed flakes/crushed up seaweed to give it a slightly “fishy taste”.

Also, in Sweden there are many different types of pickled herring with different sauces such as onion based, mustard based and each year they have a new sauce the exclusive/limited edition sauce, hahah. But many companies have also realised that not everyone wants to eat fish and have made alternatives based on tofu, which are very tasty in my opinon.

Notes!

You could switch the aubergine for tofu in this recipe, though i would then use a firm tofu and you don’t need to salt it… however you should press it of water before marinating!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

For the marinade:

100ml vinegar

100g sugar

300ml water

3 bay leaf

8 black peppercorns

½ small red onion, diced

For the “herring”

1 aubergine

Salt

For the sauce:

½ red onion

200ml vegan creme fraiche, or 50/50 crème fraiche and vegan mayonnaise

Fresh dill

2 tbsp vegan caviar

½ lemon (juice)

Salt and pepper

How to:

In a pot, add all the ingredients for the “marinade” and allow to boil for a few minutes.

In the meantime, rinse the aubergine and chop into small cubes. Pour over a little salt and allow sit for about 10 minutes, so that some of the moisture is drawn out.

 

Add the aubergine to the “marinade” and allow to boil for a few minutes before removing from the heat. Then allow to cool down before placing in the fridge overnight.

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Prepare the other sauce as well, so that it can sit overnight as well, and the flavours will be a lot stronger and combined.

To make the sauce, dice the onion and the dill. In a bowl mix together all the ingredients, taste and adjust seasoning according to preference. Allow sit in the fridge overnight as well.

In the morning, pour away the “marinade” from the aubergine and mix the aubergine into the other sauce. Preferably, you then let that sauce sit for another few hours in the fridge, but it is fine to just mix and eat directly.

 

This is a remake of a class Swedish dish, i.e skärgårdssill. You can make this recipe using tofu instead of aubergine, and you can make a mustard sauce instead of the caviar based one.

In the future I will be making this for Christmas, midsummer, Easter and all those other hightimes when the non vegan version is classic at the table!

 

 

 

 

 

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