So it’s been another cooking hiatus due to international traveling. This time I was off visiting the Beautiful country of South Africa. As I had traveled internationally before I was less worried about eating and finding vegan friendly foods. I have come to have a system of bars, vegan dry snacks, and protein powder in my luggage as a back up. Surprisingly, I did not have to explain my dietary needs. There were plenty of options, since everything was fresh. Mostly, I ate pasta with tomato sauce, avocados, tomatoes, and fresh fruit. In addition, of the restaurants we went to there was soya products offered to replace the meat products in salads and on sandwiches. The people were very helpful as well. I spoke with numerous chefs that were sent out to me, without my requesting to do so, in order to get my needs met correctingly. Also, if I asked for the cheese removed the waiters asked if I did eat any dairy and helped identify other ingredients that I should avoid.
Outside of food, I got to see some amazing places and scenery: Table Mountain – such a gorgeous and peaceful view. It’s easily accessible form the hop on hop off bus tour and it a can’t miss. You can spend hours walking in different directions seeing the varied views of the country and coast line.
Apartheid Museum – such an inspirational and emotional journey through the country’s past.
Kruger National Park – I can’t even express how amazing the Safari was. As an animal lover to be able to observe animals in their natural environment was a gift. And to top it off, I got to see this little 6 month baby elephant!! We saw 4 of the “big 5” while on Safari. The leopard remained hidden on our two day adventure.
Maropeng – The cradle of human kind leaves you contemplating how to leave this world a better place on various levels (social, political, humanity and environmentally).
So I’ve never really liked eggplant, which is naturally why I attempted to cook it. I keep cooking something until I find a way I like it, if possible.
About Eggplant – As well all know, or most of us, it is a purple glossy item. They are at their very best from August through October when they are in season.
Fun Fact: Eggplants belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes.
Health Benefit: Eggplant also contains important phytonutrients, many which have antioxidant activity. Phytonutrients contained in eggplant include phenolic compounds, such caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, such as nasunin.
Place mushrooms, kale, potatoes, garlic, tahini, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and let mix until desired consistency. If you prefer a creamer mixture add the milk of your choice or a little water.
Follow the instructions on the sauce mix (Boil 1/2 water and slowly add mixture) – Pretty simple.
Wet the spring roll wrapper. Once the wrapper is malleable, cut into pieces. I found that triangle shaped worked best for wrapping.
Put some of the vegetable mixture in the middle and fold up so all ends are sealed. Place with edges down on the plate. Continue wrapping until you have the desired amount of ravioli.
Once Alfredo sauce is down, spoon amount onto each ravioli. I found these best to be eaten with your fingers. I rolled my ravioli to be bite sized.
Things to think of:
Hold off on the salt – the sauce mix has a pretty salty taste
Less Kale and more mushrooms depending on your taste preferences
So I’ve been on an Asian food kick and wanted to take a stab at spring rolls. FYI – the package of wrappers comes in like a 24 pack. So unless you plan on making mass springs rolls, you’ll have to repurpose them. I’ll be making some type of ravioli to post, as a possible suggestion.
3 Spring Roll Wrappers
1 to 2 Mushrooms chopped
Bamboo Shoots chopped (4 to 5 shoots from a can)
Water chestnuts chopped (6 to 8 rounds from a can)
Kale (2 leaves chopped)
Peanut Sauce of choice (I have the Whole Foods brand)
Place wrapper in warm water and let soak for a minute or two
Place on dry plate and place ingredients inside
Wrap roll like a burrito folding the ends inside while continuing to roll