Restrictions are easing, and you’ve decided to ask some friends over for dinner.
How about you surprise them with a three-course plant-based meal?
Lee, you’re crazy, who’s going to want to come to my house to eat something plant-based, let alone a three-course plant-based meal? Everyone will leave hungry!
I know, I know, but I’d like to remind you that a plant-based diet, just like a plant-based meal, isn’t solely plants and vegetables; it’s based on plants. Do you see the difference?
I believe consuming a diet based on plants has an abundance of benefits, including (but not limited to):
- Increased fibre which your gut loves.
- A whole heap of antioxidants which are great for our skin and immune system.
- A moderate and stabilised body weight.
I thought it might!
I challenge you to create a plant-based meal for your loved ones (or just yourself – treat yourself!). If that idea terrifies you, remember, just because this meal is plant-based, it doesn’t mean you can’t include some non-plant-based ingredients in here too.
If you’re ready to prepare the easiest three-course meal possible, join me!
Let’s start with the entree.
If you’ve ever tried traditional coleslaw and relate to any of the below:
- You hated it so much and vowed never to touch it again.
- You can’t eat anything else when it’s on the table because it’s that damn addictive.
- You are anywhere between A and B on the coleslaw spectrum.
Then this is the salad for you.
My Kaleslaw with a Creamy Sesame Dressing is fibre and sulphur-rich, making it great for our liver health and detoxification pathways. If you want the phytochemicals, antioxidants and naturally occurring vitamins of kale, without the bitterness of the leafy green, this is the answer!
Oh, and don’t be fooled by the dressing name – it tastes like a traditional creamy dressing, but is packed full of whole ingredients like sesame, creamy cashews and sugar-free mustard.
If you want to wow your friends, give my Kaleslaw a go.
Kaleslaw with creamy sesame dressing
Serves 6 as a Side
- 4 cups thinly sliced cavolo nero (Tuscan kale)
- 2 apples, cut into very thin wedges
- ½ cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 red capsicum (pepper), seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 small carrot (optional), grated
- parsley or micro herbs, to serve
Creamy sesame dressing
- 120 g (4 ¼ oz/¾ cup) raw cashews, soaked in filtered water for 2 hours
- 40 g (1 ½ oz/ ¼ cup) sesame seeds
- 50 ml (13/4 fl oz) apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar-free mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
To make the dressing, pulse all the ingredients in a food processor with a generous splash of filtered water until smooth.
Toss all the slaw ingredients except the herbs in a large bowl and stir through the dressing.
Scatter over the herbs, and serve.
Okay, okay, it’s time for the main meal.
I recommend trying my Vegan Lentil Moussaka on for size. This deliciously layered baked eggplant dish with lentils and a vegan cheese sauce will bring all the comfort and nourishment to the table. It puts a deserved spotlight on lentils, is plant-based and completely stodge-free.
I know what you’re thinking, Lee, this sounds delicious, but this is only two courses – where’s the dessert?
Introducing: My Homemade Berry Crumble!
Made from nothing but whole natural foods, you can serve this crumble straight from the oven with a generous dollop of chilled yoghurt, and you’ll seriously impress the pants (not the literal pants – the emotional pants) off your family and friends.
If you and your guests have the cake cravings (it’s a real thing), my Carrot Cake with Coconut Icing should be on the table. If you're a vegan, just substitute the eggs with 2 tablespoons ground or whole chia or flaxseeds soaked in 120 ml (33/4 fl oz) of water for 15 minutes.
This night is a celebration, and this cake is worth celebrating – but, just a warning, if you bake this for your friends, I guarantee every time you see your friends they’ll ask you for the recipe or expect you to bake it for them on the spot. Don’t come to me later and tell me how annoying it is that they do; I warned you :).
I hope you enjoy this full three-course plant-based meal. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.