Vegan Easter Buffet

an assortment of dishes on a table, including a carrot galette, crostini, white beans, roasted potatoes and veggie meatballs

Happy Easter, everyone! The 2020 edition looks a lot different for many of us, due to the current COVID-19 situation in the world, but we believe celebrations should still be allowed – or at least adapted versions. Small gatherings of just the family you live with count too! We already live our lives in a semi-isolated kind of fashion, with few interactions with people on a daily basis, but stick even more to ourselves this year. Much of that is because of pregnancy and the upcoming trip to the labor ward, when we all want to be as healthy as we possibly can be.

In other words, we’ll celebrate Easter just the two of us – but that doesn’t make it any less special or fun! This year, we’re shooting for a smaller spread than usual, simply because we won’t be as many, and a slightly less traditional – yet full of color and spring feelings – approach. It’s always a little tricky in the early spring, when you have this massive desire to indulge in asparagus, crispy greens, radishes etc. but have to remember that those aren’t ready yet, and what you see available at the store will most likely be imported from far away. Better then to be creative what we have on hand and spice it up in a fun, spring-like kind of way and keep the feast eco-friendly!

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Green Pea Pesto Crostini

12-16 slices

4 dl frozen green peas
1 1/2 dl raw walnuts
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp dried mint (or 2 1/2 dl loosely packed fresh mint leaves, chopped)
Salt and black pepper

To serve

1 baguette
1 garlic clove
Optional: fresh herbs for garnish

  1. Bring water to a boil, add the peas and turn off the heat. Drain the peas after 2-3 min, and place them together with walnuts, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor (or bowl, if using a hand blender). Blend until more or less smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  2. Cut the bread into 1 1/2 cm thick slices and arrange on an oven sheet. Place the oven sheet towards the top of the oven, and toast for 5-10 until golden brown on one side, using the broiler function or heat only from the top (set at 250ºC). In other words, the oven should not be pre-heated, but only turned on as you put the sheet in.
  3. While the bread is still warm, rub the toasted side of each bread with the clove of garlic. Spread the pesto on the bread slices and top with optional fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Carrot Galette

Makes (1) 30×40 cm galette

Crust

3 dl all purpose flour
2 dl graham flour
1 dl rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 dl canola oil
1-1 1/2 dl cold water

Sunflower spread

1 dl toasted sunflower seeds (~50 g)
1 dl oat milk
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (can be omitted, but add some extra salt)
1/4 tsp salt
Black pepper

Filling

600 g carrots (~7-10 medium)
1 small red onion
Canola oil, salt and black pepper

Optional toppings

A chunk of feta cheese of your choice
A pinch of fresh or dried thyme

  1. Set the oven to 200ºC. Then start with the crust. Stir together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in the canola oil, and then add the lesser amount of cold water. Mix with your fingers until the dough comes together properly. If still crumbly, add a little more water. Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap, flatten it out into a disc-shape and wrap it completely. Put it in the fridge to chill for 20-30 min.
  2. Continue by peeling and slicing the carrots into halves or quarters lengthwise (see picture for reference). Place them in an oven dish, drizzle with a little bit of canola oil, salt and black pepper and roast in the middle of the oven for 15 min or until the carrots have softened slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sunflower spread. Place all ingredients in a blender (or in a bowl, if using a hand mixer) and blend until velvety smooth. Set aside.
  4. Then slice the onion thinly and sauté it in a splash of canola oil and 1/2 tsp salt over medium-low heat for about 8-10 min, or until soft. Set aside.
  5. To assemble: take the dough out of the fridge and place it on a piece of parchment paper. Place the plastic wrap on top, and then roll the dough out into a rectangle measuring roughly 30×40 cm. Spread out the sunflower mixture in an even layer, leaving about a 4 cm wide edge all around. Sprinkle the sautéed onion across the sunflower spread, and then arrange the carrots in a layer on top. Fold over the crust to overlap the edge of the filling. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40-45 min or until the crust is golden. Sprinkle with optional feta cheese and thyme before serving.

Chickpea-spinach Balls

Makes 40-50 balls

2 medium onions, finely chopped (~300 g)
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 dl toasted sunflower seeds
6 dl cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained (~450 g)
180 g frozen spinach or chard, thawed, excess water squeezed out and then finely chopped
40 g frozen (or fresh) dill, finely chopped
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (can be omitted, but you might want to add some extra salt)
4 tbsp flour
Olive oil, salt and black pepper

  1. Sauté the onions in 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt over medium heat for approx. 7-8 min. Stir frequently. Then add in the garlic. Continue cooking for another 2-3 min. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. Place the sunflower seeds in a food processor and go until the consistency is coarser than a flour but finer than chopped. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, place onions, garlic, chickpeas and spinach. Mash the ingredients together with a fork, allowing bits to remain and avoiding a puree-like consistency. Add the sunflower seeds and mix them in.
  4. Stir in dill, baking powder, nutritional yeast, flour, 1/2 tsp salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well.
  5. Heat up olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Roll the batter into balls (if too loose, add in a little more flour) and fry them until golden brown all around. Shake the pan frequently to avoid burning on one side, and don’t pack them pan too tightly – it’s better to do a few rounds of frying. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to a week, and the freezer for several months.

Smashed Potatoes with Chimichurri Sauce

Potatoes

500 g boiled potatoes (~12 small)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
Black pepper

Chimichurri

1/2 small shallot (~15 g), minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
30 g parsley (small bunch or 10 sprigs), finely chopped
5 g oregano (5 sprigs), finely chopped
1/2 dl olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

  1. Set the oven to 225ºC. Brush an oven pan with 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Arrange the potatoes evenly on the pan, and give each one a gentle “smash” so they flatten out, using a fork or a potato masher. Drizzle with the remaning 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle over the salt and give them a good grind of black pepper. Bake in the middle of the oven for approx. 35 min, or until golden and beginning to crisp up.
  2. In the meantime, make the chimichurri by stirring together all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Serve by spooning the chimichurri over the crispy potatoes. Indulge right away.

Quick and Crunchy White Bean Salad

Serves 4 as a small side

5 dl cooked small white or cannellini beans (~350 g), rinsed and drained
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
1 dl toasted almonds (~65 g), roughly chopped
5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 medium carrots (~200 g), sliced into 1/2 cm thick coins
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vegan mayonnaise
1-2 tbsp dried oregano
Salt and black pepper to taste

  1. In a medium sized bowl, stir together beans, red onion, garlic, almonds and sun-dried tomatoes. Set aside.
  2. Over medium-high heat, sauté the carrots coins in the olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Flip over after a few minutes, allow to get some color on the other side and remove from the heat. Add in coins and leftover cooking oil to the bowl and stir.
  3. Add in maple syrup, mayonnaise and oregano. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, and add in a splash of extra olive oil if it seems a little dry. Serve right away or refrigerate for later.

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