YouTube sensation Rachel Ama has been gaining a legion of followers to her channel since late 2017 with her delicious takes on vegan alternatives to staple recipes.
With her brilliant cookbook Rachel Ama’s Vegan Eats, having been released this week, this plant powered chef kindly shared three mouthwatering recipes from the book for you to enjoy today.
Ackee Scramble and Smoky Aubergine Bagels
A mouth-watering vegan take on a breakfast classic, a savoury mixture of onions, tomatoes and ackee – one of my favourite natural alternatives to eggs. Ackee is a fruit that you’ll see in a lot of Caribbean cooking. It’s extremely subtle in taste and soaks up flavour well, just be careful not to over-mix it as it breaks down very easily.
The aim is to heat it up and give it just a few stirs when cooking. Using black salt to season the ackee right at the end of cooking will give an egg-like flavour to this dish which is really delicious. I’ve topped the ackee with sweet and smoky, slightly crispy aubergines and served them in a toasted bagel with some avocado for ultimate bagel goals.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 bagels, halved
2 avocados, sliced
1 quantity of Smoky Aubergine
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp finely snipped chives Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges, to serve
For the ackee scramble
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves,
Leaves from 2 thyme sprigs
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 × 540g tin of ackee, drained 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Salt (or black salt) and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan.
First, make the ackee scramble. Place the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and spring onions and sauté for 5 minutes until softened, then add the garlic, thyme, turmeric, tomatoes and chilli, season with pepper and sauté for a further 5 minutes.
Sprinkle in the nutritional yeast and then add the ackee. Give this a gentle mix to coat the ackee in all the other ingredients and then allow to heat through for 4–5 minutes. Ackee is fragile so don’t over-mix or it will turn to mush.
Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and 1⁄2 a teaspoon of salt and mix in carefully.
Meanwhile, toast the bagel halves and place two halves on each plate. Add some of the ackee scramble to the bottom half of each bagel, along with a few slices of avocado and smoky aubergine, then sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, chives and coriander before adding the top half of the bagel. Serve each filled bagel with a wedge of lime for squeezing over.
Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash with Tahini
A hearty salad that combines maple-glazed squash and beets with salad leaves, tomatoes and nutritious lentils, all drizzled in a creamy tahini dressing. If you’re not a fan of balsamic vinegar, you can substitute it with fresh lemon juice. I like to use light tahini for a smooth dressing.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
2 large raw beetroots, peeled and chopped
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped
Leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 × 400g tin of brown lentils, drained and rinsed
200g mixed rocket and other salad leaves
200g cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 tbsp sunflower seeds Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
4 tbsp pomegranate seeds Salt and black pepper
For the tahini vinaigrette
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1–2 tsp balsamic vinegar (to taste)
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.
Place the beetroot, butternut squash and rosemary in a large baking tray or roasting tin and toss in the olive oil, maple syrup and some salt and pepper until evenly coated.
Spread out the vegetables in a single layer and roast in the oven for 40–50 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time, until tender and slightly crisp.
Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the tahini vinaigrette together in a bowl, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the lentils and salad leaves in large bowl with the cherry tomatoes and a small drizzle of the tahini vinaigrette and toss until evenly coated.
Transfer the dressed salad to a serving dish and add the still-warm roast vegetables in layers with the sunflower seeds, parsley and pomegranate seeds. Finish with a generous drizzle of vinaigrette.
Layered Pavlova with Coconut Cream
Your summer-party showstopping recipe! The meringue is made with aquafaba instead of egg whites. You may or may not be familiar with aquafaba: it is the liquid from a can of pulses.
It’s kind of like vegan magic; it whips up perfectly and makes amazing light meringues with a slightly crisp outer shell. The pavlova is finished with an indulgent whipped coconut cream, fresh or frozen berries and a tasty and decorative berry drizzle.
Ingredients (Serves 6)
For the meringue
Liquid (aquafaba) from 1 × 400g tin of chickpeas
1 tsp cream of tartar
175g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
500ml coconut cream
200g mixed frozen berries Juice and grated zest of 1⁄2 lime, plus extra zest to decorate
300g seasonal fruit of your choice (such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or redcurrants, sliced figs, mangos or bananas or passion fruit pulp)
Preheat the oven to 130°C fan, then line two baking sheets with baking paper and draw a 23cm circle on each sheet.
Place the coconut cream in the fridge to chill while you make the meringue.
Using a food mixer or an electric whisk, whisk the aquafaba and cream of tartar at a high speed in a large bowl for around 5 minutes until the mixture has doubled in volume and is light and fluffy.
Continue whisking and add the sugar one teaspoon at a time until it has been completely absorbed. Then add the vanilla bean paste and whisk for a further 2 minutes until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks.
Divide the meringue between the two circles drawn on the lined baking sheets, spreading the mixture out evenly but making each circle a little thicker around the edges than in the middle.
Place in the oven to cook for 11⁄2–13⁄4 hours or until firm to the touch, then turn off the heat and leave to dry in the oven (or in a cool, dry place) overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours.
When the meringues are ready, prepare the rest of the dish. Place the frozen berries and lime juice in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook on a medium heat for 3–4 minutes or until the fruit is soft and the liquid has mostly evaporated.
Remove from the heat and set aside to cool down completely.
Meanwhile, whisk the chilled coconut cream using an electric whisk until light and thick like whipped cream. Once the fruit compote has cooled down, add it to the whipped coconut cream with the lime zest, and fold in gently to create a ripple effect, being careful not to stir too much.
Carefully transfer one of the meringue bases to a serving plate and spread over half the fruity coconut cream, then scatter over half the seasonal fruit.
Carefully place the second meringue on top, cover with the remaining coconut cream and seasonal fruit and an extra sprinkling of lime zest. Serve as soon as possible.
Rachel Ama’s Vegan Eats by Ebury Press is out to buy now.
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