A vegan feast: recipes from Passion by Anthea Amore

Anthea Amore's raw cashew hummus makes a healthy snack or starter.
Anthea Amore's raw cashew hummus makes a healthy snack or starter.  Photo: Supplied

Byron Bay based chef Anthea Amore has nearly two decades' experience cooking up vegan and vegetarian fare both in Australia and overseas.

She currently runs a catering business (Organic Passion Catering) servicing some of Byron Bay's health retreats. This is an edited extract from her first cookbook, released earlier this year.

Raw cashew hummus

Slightly sweet and very creamy, this raw hummus can be made in 15 minutes or less. It is great served with fresh crudites like carrot batons, celery sticks, beetroot straws and any other vegetable you like raw. Crackers of every description can be used – a variety with different textures is fun on a platter. Elegant grissini sticks in a tall glass, fresh French baguette and any sour dough or Turkish bread warmed or chargrilled with a drizzle of olive oil. Yum!

Ingredients

1 cup soaked cashews (soak for 10 minutes)

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup + 1 tbs lemon juice

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1 small clove of garlic (optional)

1 tsp good salt

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1/4 - 1/2 cup filtered water to obtain desired texture

To garnish: Olive oil, some black sesame seeds and a sprig of rosemary.

Directions

1. Process the cashews in the soaking water, on their own, until they have the texture of a coarse paste.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

3. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, some black sesame seeds and a sprig of rosemary.

Makes: approximately 350g

Mushroom and spinach tagliatelle with vegan white sauce.

Mushroom and spinach tagliatelle with vegan white sauce. Photo: Supplied

Mushroom & spinach tagliatelle with vegan parmesan cheeze

Mushroom and spinach in a white sauce is such a classic vegetarian meal, but it's a goodie. There is something lovely about pasta with only a few main ingredients. It allows the pasta to really stand out. 

In winter, a little warming comfort food is so appreciated. I can justify having pasta in my diet by either mixing it with lots of vegetables or serving it with a nice big crunchy salad.

Ingredients

250g tagliatelle or gluten-free pasta of your choice

Olive oil, dash of

1/2  large brown onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, finely minced

2 tsp mixed Italian herbs

10 medium mushrooms, sliced

500ml soya milk (or milk of your choice)

2 tsp vegetable (vegan) stock powder (or 1 tsp each good salt and savoury yeast flakes)

100g fresh spinach  (washed thoroughly)

1 tsp arrowroot or cornflour

For vegan parmesan cheeze

1 cup cashews (or blanched almonds)

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp Italian dried herbs

3-4 tbs savoury yeast flakes

1 tsp good salt


Directions

1. Firstly put the water on for the pasta while you prepare the sauce.

2. Saute the onion in a deep frying pan with a little olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and reduce heat slightly so you don't burn it and saute for a minute. Then add your dried herbs so they infuse into the onion and garlic mix. After about another minute add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they are golden and have absorbed some of the herby onion mix, approximately two minutes.

3. Pour in the soya milk and allow it to simmer. Add the stock powder and stir thoroughly into the milk. 

4. Add the fully-washed spinach to the frying pan and allow it to wilt.

5. Mix some arrowroot with a little water into a mug and stir until the white powder has dissolved into a thin paste. Then slowly, stirring, add the arrowroot paste to the pan to thicken the sauce.

6. When pasta is ready, drain and pour onto the sauce and mix through. Serve in pasta bowls, adding a little freshly cracked pepper and vegan parmesan cheeze (see recipe below).

Enjoy this warming comforting food with friends or loved ones.


Vegan parmesan cheeze

This is so easy and quite yummy.

1. Process cashews in a food processor until they form a fine meal, light and powdery, but catch it before it turns to cashew butter.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and whiz for another 30 seconds. Too easy!

Place in a glass jar. Keeps well in the fridge. 

Note: You can use almonds with the skin on too, but it doesn't look as lovely and 'white' as cashews or blanched almonds, which give a result more like parmesan cheese.

Serves: 4

Chocolate-vanilla tarts with chocolate almond crust.

Chocolate-vanilla tarts with chocolate almond crust. Photo: Supplied

Chocolate vanilla tarts with chocolate almond crust

If you want to impress someone then these little raw tarts are great. Their taste is what impresses most but people are also amazed to find out that they are completely uncooked. They're a great way to introduce the uninitiated to raw food. They're very mousse-like in texture and the base is wonderfully chocolaty. I love the sweet, rich chocolate flavour with a hint of salt. They do need to set in the fridge for at least three hours (or overnight) to be their best.

Ingredients

For crust

2 cups (dehydrated) almonds

4 tbs coconut oil

8 medjool dates, pitted

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2  cup raw cacao powder

For filling

1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted

1 whole ripe (not overripe) avocado

8 tbs raw cacao powder

1/2  cup coconut oil

2 tsp vanilla bean seeds or paste

1/4 tsp good salt

8 tsp maple syrup or agave syrup

Directions

Crust

1. Blend almonds in a food processor until they form a fine meal but before they begin to turn to almond butter. Throw in the rest of the ingredients and blend until crumbly in texture and the dates have been broken down with the almonds. The mixture should be dry and crumbly but when you scrunch it, it sticks together.

2. Spoon into 7.5cm diameter flan tartlet tins with removable bases (no need to pre-oil them). Pinch out the edges first so that you have a crust about half a centimetre thick. Flatten the top edge so you have a nice flat, even rim around the tart. Spread out the remaining mixture to cover the bases and press it down firmly. Place all tins in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.

Filling

3. Process the dates in the food processor until they have broken down. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until the mixture is smooth. Spoon into each flan and fill evenly out to the edge. Add a final spoon in the centre of each tart and using the back of the spoon touch the filling lightly, creating a quiff in the centre. Chill for 3 hours or until set.

Makes: 12 tarts

This is an edited extract from PASSION: organic vegan recipe to live for, by Anthea Amore, $39.95. This self-published title is available online and in select book and health food stores across Australia.