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 Here is the first one of several instalments of the fantastic plant-based tapas recipes from Sabores….

One of the most exciting parts of travelling to distant lands is tasting the wonderful local foods and wines. When Molly and Nell travel to Spain, they sample local dishes, from octopus to churros.

Then, when Molly goes to Mexico, she continues to enjoy the culture, visiting the historical sights and taking part in many local activities.

She visits a tapas bar called Sabores, meaning Flavours, and is intrigued by the interesting plant-based tapas on offer there. One of the recipes is below. Try it out and enjoy your own tapas bar at home.

All recipes can be served with wine, soft drinks, fruit punch or, if you want that authentic Sabores taste, beer or Tequila.

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RECIPE 1

Molly’s friend Betty, who is from Texas, asks if they serve steak in the tapas bar and the owner, Liliana.

Ranch-style cauliflower steak

To prepare the cauliflower, cut off all the leaves and trim the stem. Cut it through into ½ inch steak slices. Carefully place the steaks on an oiled baking sheet. Drizzle it with olive oil and rub with a mixture of: a teaspoonful of siracha, cumin seeds, coriander, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper.

Carefully turn the cauliflower over and season the other side. Place in a medium oven to roast for 30 minutes, flipping over for the last ten minutes. Eat by itself or with aioli, mayo or chimichurri sauce. Great too with a dressed mixed green leaf and tomato salad.

RECIPE 2

Canapés

‘Cheesy’ and Spinach filo canapés

For the ‘Cheesy’ filling

  • 125 g of raw cashews
  • 150 g firm tofu
  • 4 tsp white miso
  • 4 tsp nutritional yeast
  • juice of a lemon

For the Spinach Filling

  • 250g fresh spinach
  • Sprinkle of mace or nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • ½ tsp olive oil

Also:

  • 1 packet filo pastry, defrosted
  •  3 Tbs olive oil

 To make the ‘cheesy’ filling:

  1. Soak the cashews for at least 1 hour in some warm water.
  2. Blend the cashews with a tbsp of their soaking water until completely smooth.
  3. Add the tofu and blend again.
  4. Add the miso, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and salt. Blend again.

For the Spinach Filling

  1. Sauté the garlic in a frying pan.
  2. Add the spinach
  3. Add the mace/ nutmeg and dill.
  4. Leave to cool and roughly mix with a dollop of the ‘cheesy’ mixture.

To assemble the canapés

  1. Brush one sheet of filo with olive oil.
  2. Cut it into half length-ways and fold it over length-ways so you end up with a long strip of pastry.
  3. Place a heaped teaspoon of one of the fillings on the pastry.
  4. Fold the filled side over and fold again so it makes a triangular parcel. Put it on a greased oven proof tray.
  5. Repeat with all the other pieces of filo pastry and both fillings, until you run out of filling or pastry. You should be able to make about 15, using generous dollops.
  6. Bake in the oven 220 degrees for around 15 minutes, then check that it’s crispy and golden brown. If it isn’t, cook for another five minutes and check again.

 

RECIPE 3

Kristof, the Sabores chef, makes a variety of plant-based frittatas for Valeria and Jose’s wedding on the beach. Here’s his recipe.

Individual Frittatas, five ways

Ingredients

For the basic frittata mix

  • 600g silken tofu (2 packets)
  • 100 g gram (chickpea) flour or more for texture.
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp Kala Namek (Black Himalayan Salt. This is optional but it’s great for an ‘eggy’ flavour.)
  • 5 tbs nutritional yeast
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tbs water, as needed

 Filling 1

  • A handful of frozen peas
  • Plant-based bacon or crisply fried shiitake mushrooms or crispy bits of oven-roasted aubergine, finely chopped
  • Herbs of your choice

 Filling 2

  • Chopped broccoli florets
  • vegan pesto (or make your own with a handful of basil, pine nuts, some lemon juice, capers, 3 tbsp nutritional yeast.)

Filling 3

  • Shredded kale or spinach, cooked lightly
  • Plant based vegan cheese/ cream cheese
  • Black pepper or a sprinkle of mace

 Filling 4

  • Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Green olives, chopped
  • Plant-based cheese
  • Mixed herbs: thyme, oregano, dill, coriander, parsley

Filling 5

  • A variety of chopped cooked vegetables such as mushrooms, potatoes, onions, broccoli, peas, cauliflower.
  • A pinch of turmeric, cumin seeds, diced coriander and crushed cardamom.

Instructions

  1. Grease or line a muffin tin.
  2. Turn your oven on to 220C
  3. Blend/ mix/ mash well all the frittata ingredients
  4. Separate the frittatas into five separate bowls and distribute the fillings by adding them to each portion of the mix.
  5. Spoon 3-4 tbsp of the frittata mixture into each muffin tin and bake for 15-20 minutes. After 15 minutes, check the progress: the frittatas should be golden and springy to touch.
  6. Allow it all to cool. You might need to run a knife around the edges to release the frittatas.
  7. Serve with crusty bread, a nice green salad, tomatoes, olives.

 

RECIPE 4

Black bean dip with tortilla chips

 

  • 400 g tin black beans
  • 4-5 sundried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • A handful of coriander (cilantro)
  • Juice of a whole lime
  • Black pepper/ sea salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Drain the black beans, don’t throw away the liquid.
  2. Blend all ingredients except the lime juice. Add a little of the reserved black bean liquid to help it become a smooth dip texture.
  3. Add the lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve in a pretty dish, garnished with thinly sliced tomatoes or onions, olives or slices of avocado.
  4. Eat by dunking tortilla chips. Make your own by baking some corn tortillas, cut into smaller triangles and lightly brushed with oil, for 7 minutes on a hot oven.

Cream ‘Cheese’

  1. Soak a generous handful of cashews in boiling water for an hour.
  2. Drain them and add to a blender with a couple of tbsp of lemon juice, coconut cream, wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt and onion powder. Blend.
  3. Stir in some fresh dill or herbs to taste. Works well with some broken walnut bits stirred in instead.
  4. Serve on your favourite savoury biscuits with a twist of cucumber, an olive or a slice of tomatoes.****************

Enjoy your meal. Or as we say in Mexico Buen provecho.’

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