With the weather heating up and summer on its way, many New Zealanders will be breaking out the barbecue to entertain friends.
But with one in three Kiwis eating less meat for health, environmental and ethical reasons, there's a good chance at least a few people at your dinner party this weekend will need some sort of alternative - and a salad probably isn't going to cut it.
This Sunday there's a special reason to offer up some delicious vegan treats. November 1 marks World Vegan Day, celebrating all things plant-based and cruelty free.
To celebrate, restaurateur Ganesh Raj - owner of The Tasting Shed and co-host of Eat Well For Less NZ - has put together two easy and delicious vegan recipes.
Whether you're plant-based, vegetarian or an omnivore, these are great to add to your cooking repertoire.
Fully-loaded Chilli Dogs
These will be such a hit at your next barbecue, even the meat eaters will be passing over the pork snags to grab a taste.
- 1 pack Alternative Meat Co sausage
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 pack Vegie Delights Mince
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp tomato puree
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tbl dairy-free sour cream
- Dairy-free mozzarella
- Red onions (finely chopped)
- Parsley (finely chopped)
- 2 tsp dairy free spread
- 1 pack hot dog bun
- Heat some oil in a medium heated pan. Fry the onions and garlic till the onions go golden. Add the chilli, paprika, cumin and mixed herbs. Stir for 1 min.
- Add the vegan mince and brown it. Make sure the mince is well broken up.
- Add the can of tomatoes and beans and mix well. Add the sugar and season with salt to taste. Add vegetable stock.
- Boil until it reaches boiling point, reduce immediately to a simmer. Cook down for 20mins. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Cook the alt sausage in a medium heat pan or on the barbecue with a little oil. Make sure it is golden.
- Cut a hot dog bun in half. Heat a little dairy-free spread in a pan and brown the insides of the bun Spread dairy-free spread on one side of the bun and dairy-free sour cream on the other side.
- Load the bun up with the chilli mix. Garnish the top of the chilli with red onion, parsley and dairy-free cheese
- Serve and enjoy!
Traditionally made with pork mince, this vegan version of a delicious traditional Chinese dish is a total crowd-pleaser.
- 120g Vegie Delights Mince
- 1 block tofu (chopped into 1 cm pieces)
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp ginger (minced)
- ½ tsp garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp oil
- 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 4 tsp spicy fermented bean paste (Doubanjiang)
- ½ tsp Chinese 5-Spice
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp chilli oil
- ½ cup spring onions (chopped)
- Crispy shallots
- Cooked rice
- Marinate the tofu: In a bowl, add the tofu and the marinade ingredients. Mix well and set aside.
- Mapo Tofu: Heat the oil in a medium pan. Fry the Sichuan peppercorns. Once they are just golden, take them out and dry them on a paper towel. Then blitz them up in a dry blender or a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a hot pan. Fry the bean paste and the Vegie Delights mince for a minute.
- Add half a cup of spring onions and toss for 30 sec.
- Add the marinated tofu to the pan gently. Do not break it up.
- Add chilli oil, 5 spice powder and sugar. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Then simmer immediately for between 10-12 mins.
- Mix 1 tsp of cornstarch in ½ cup of water. Add a little of it to the sauce and mix until it thickens. Check that it is a silken thick sauce. Add more cornstarch if necessary. Once ready, remove from the heat.
- Transfer the Mapo Tofu into a bowl. Garnish the Mapo Tofu with the Sichuan peppercorns, crispy shallots and spring onions.
- Serve with rice.