We loved putting together this plant-based Christmas lunch menu for a few reasons. First, of all, we’ve noticed how the movement towards a plant-based lifestyle or veganism has grown. Even if people in our lives are not quite ready to give up animal products entirely, many of them are ‘plant-curious’ but need ideas on what plant-full dishes to make. We hope this will inspire them… and you!
We also realised how many vegan recipes out there, but with so many people choosing to cut out gluten from their diets – for a variety of reasons – there is a great need for more plant-based AND gluten free recipes, along with guidelines of what gluten free alternatives are out there in terms of ingredients.
We also wanted to bring some authentic African goodness into this meal. For so long, we have adopted recipes from different – often much colder – parts of the world for the festive season. We thought, why not give this Christmas lunch an indigenous African flavour using medicinal, organic superfoods?
We thoroughly hope you enjoy these recipes with an EarthTribe flavour!
Shredded Kale Salad with Cranberries & Marula nut ‘Parmesan’
Vegan & Gluten free
Serves 4 as a side dish
For the salad and dressing:
2 medium bunches de-stemmed (preferably Tuscan) kale, finely chopped (8 to 9 cups chopped)
2 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup dried cranberries, for garnish
For the marula nut ‘Parmesan’:
1 cup (120 g) marula nuts, toasted
1 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 pinches fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 150°C. Spread the marula nuts onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes until fragrant and lightly golden.
- Remove the stems from the kale and discard. (composting is a great idea!) Finely chop the kale leaves (the smaller, the better).
- Wash the kale and spin dry. Place dried kale into a large bowl.
- For the dressing: In a food processor, process the garlic until minced. Now add the lemon, oil, salt, and pepper and process until combined. Adjust to taste, if desired. Pour the dressing onto the kale and mix it into the kale with your hands or toss with spoons. Keep mixing for about 1 minute to ensure everything is coated perfectly. This will soften the kale.
- For the Marula nut Parmesan: Rinse out the mini processor and pat dry. Add the nuts into the processor and process until they are crumb like. Now add in the nutritional yeast, oil, and salt and process again until it has a coarse crumb texture. Be sure not to over-process—we still want a nice crunchy texture here, not powder.
- Sprinkle the Marula nut Parmesan all over the salad. Toss on a handful or two of dried cranberries. Wrap and place in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes to soften, or you can simply enjoy it right away. This salad is served best on the day, we don’t recommend making the day before and serving the next day.
Stuffed Courgettes with Cranberry Pepper Sauce
Vegan & Gluten free
1 finely chopped onion
2 cups finely chopped brown mushrooms
1 ¼ cup raw marula nuts
2 cups cooked jugo beans
3/4 cup boiled & peeled salad potatoes
3 tsp sundried tomato purée
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme
Black pepper to taste
5-6 courgettes (I calculated 1 1/2 courgettes per portion)
cooked Amaranth (optional, to serve with)
Sauce Ingredients –
250ml almond or cashew milk
4 Tbsp soy sauce (or Tamari, for gluten free option)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp French mustard 1 tsp garlic granules
3 tsp cassava flour
Black pepper to taste
5 tsp cranberry sauce
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
* To cook the dried Jugo beans, first wash and submerge well with fresh water to soak overnight. Before cooking, drain well and rinse again. For every 1 cup of beans, add 2 cups of water or more – as they cook, they make a thick, soupy brown sauce that can be used in soups and stews for a savoury burst of flavour. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to simmer – covered – for around 1 to 1 ½ hours. Only add salt at the very end, as salt tends to harden beans while they are cooking.
* To cook Amaranth, use 2.5 cups water to 1 cup Amaranth. Combine in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Start by boiling the salad potatoes
- Finely chop onion and brown mushrooms.
- Sauté in some coconut oil until softened and the water from the mushrooms has evaporated. Set aside.
- To a food processor add marula nuts and blend until you get a coarse flour. Then add the jugo beans and process as well. You might have to give your food processor the odd nudge so the nuts and mushrooms don’t stick to the sides of the processor. It doesn’t have to be a smooth batter, just make sure you don’t have whole beans left.
- Add the mixture to a large bowl and add boiled and peeled potatoes to it. Add the rest of the ingredients in step 3 and mash together well until you get a dough like consistency. Then add the sautéed onion and mushrooms to the bowl and mix together.
- Cut off the ends of the courgettes and slice into halves. Deseed (remove the core with a spoon) and then spoon in the stuffing mix you created in steps 1-3. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top and season with a dash of salt.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 200C for 20-25 minutes.
- To make the savoury cranberry pepper sauce add all sauce ingredients to a blender and blend until you get a smooth sauce. Make sure you use French or Dijon mustard and not English mustard, the sauce wouldn’t taste the same otherwise.
- Pour into a pan and add 5 tsp of cranberry sauce to it (or to taste, it depends on how sweet your sauce is). And for even more flavour also add an optional 1 Tbsp of nutritional yeast. Heat up on high to medium heat and cook for 3-5 minutes until you get a nice thick sauce. Make sure you keep stirring the sauce so it doesn’t burn. Turn down the heat if it gets too hot.
Take the stuffed zucchini out of the oven and pour the cranberry pepper sauce on top. Serve with Amaranth grain. Enjoy!
Baobab & Blueberry Vegan Mini Cheesecakes
Vegan & Gluten free
1 cup packed (200 g) pitted dates
1 cup (120 g) raw walnuts / marula nuts
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours
1 large lemon, juiced (1/4 cup)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp (150 ml) full-fat coconut milk, canned or homemade (Wellness Mama’s recipe for homemade coconut milk)
1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
4 Tbsp raw Baobab powder
1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- Add dates to a food processor and blend until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
- Next add nuts and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms – it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it’s too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If too wet, add more nut meal. Optional: add a pinch of salt to taste.
- Lightly grease a standard, 12 slot muffin tin. To make removing the cheesecakes easier, cut strips of parchment paper and lay them in the slots. This creates little tabs that makes removing them easier to pop out once frozen.
- Next scoop in heaping 1 Tbsp amounts of crust and press with fingers. To pack it down, use a small glass or the back of a spoon to compact it and really press it down. The bottom of a glass works well. If it sticks, separate the crust and the glass with a small piece of parchment. Set in freezer to firm up.
- Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Mix in blueberries last.
- Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins. Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard – about 4-6 hours.
- Once set, remove by tugging on the tabs or loosening them with a butter knife. They should pop right out. Keep in the freezer for up to 1-2 weeks.
- You can set them out for 10 minutes before serving to soften, but also nice frozen.