food

Vegetarian Cooking Made Easy With Christine Capendale

In her new cookbook Meals – also available in Afrikaans as Maaltye – Capendale proves that vegetarian cooking isn't as difficult as some may think.

Myburgh du Plessis

With over 20 years in the food catering industry, Christine Capendale is no stranger to creating simple yet delicious dishes that are packed with flavour. And now the chef, food writer, dietitian and cooking teacher has expanded her already impressive repertoire with a new cookbook. As the name suggests, Meals: Effortless Food for Every Occasion (also available in Afrikaans as Maaltye: Maklike Geregte Vir Elke Geleentheid) features easy recipes ranging from vegetarian meals and salads to soups, sides and comfort food. While Meal's meat dishes are seriously tantalising, we're embracing the trend of reducing meat from our diets and have chosen two of our favourite vegetarian recipes from the book to share with you. 

Mexican Red Bean Soup with Avo Salsa

Vegetarian Cooking Made Easy With Christine Capendale | House and Leisure

Ingredients

For the soup
  • 20 ml sunflower oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5ml ground cumin
  • 5ml ground coriander
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or fresh chilli, to  taste
  • 10ml paprika
  • 30ml tomato paste
  • 1 tin (400g) chopped Italian tomatoes
  • 1 tin (400g) red kidney beans, rinsed and  drained
  • 10ml fresh oregano or thyme
  • 600ml good quality vegetable stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 80 ml sour cream, for serving

For the salsa
  • 1 small ripe avocado, cut into small cubes
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped or 60ml  chopped spring onions
  • handful of chopped fresh coriander  
  • 100g chopped, seeded tomatoes
  • 10ml olive oil
  • 5ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium heat and add the onion, garlic and all the dry spices. Cook for a few minutes, adding a little more oil if the mixture becomes too dry. Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, beans and oregano. Stir well, then add the stock and bring to a slow boil. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper and perhaps more cayenne pepper or chilli. Blend the soup lightly with a stick blender; it should have some chunky bits.

To make the salsa, mix together the avocado, onion, coriander and tomatoes in a bowl. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice, and add seasoning to taste. Reheat the soup, but do not let it boil. Ladle into warm bowls, add a dollop of sour cream and top with the salsa.

Serves 4

ALSO READ: 5 Super Simple Recipes That Use 5 Ingredients or Less

Oven-Baked Risotto with Spinach, Asparagus and Feta

Vegetarian Cooking Made Easy With Christine Capendale | House and Leisure

Ingredients

  • 125g asparagus
  • 20ml olive oil
  • 200g sliced leeks, washed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400g Arborio risotto rice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 litre good-quality vegetable stock
  • 150g feta, crumbled
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • 30g butter
  • grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 20g toasted pine nuts, to garnish
  • Parmesan shavings and a few uncooked baby spinach leaves, to garnish 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Blanch the asparagus for 1 minute and set aside. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof saucepan on medium heat and add the leeks and garlic. Cook for a few minutes while stirring. Add the risotto rice and cook for a few minutes, then season with salt and pepper and add the vegetable stock. Cover the saucepan with a lid and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until cooked – check after 20 minutes and add more liquid if necessary. The rice must be al dente. Remove from the oven and stir in the feta, Parmesan, butter, lemon zest, baby spinach and asparagus. Stir gently to mix and to melt the butter. Place the lid on the saucepan and let it stand for a few minutes. Taste to adjust the seasoning. Divide the risotto between four bowls and top with the toasted pine nuts, Parmesan shavings and a few baby spinach leaves. For a variation, replace the baby spinach and asparagus with 200g baby peas and 30 ml chopped mint. Garnish the risotto with pea shoots, Parmesan and pine nuts.

Serves 4

ALSO READ: Mediterranean Mussels with Fennel, Thyme and Parmesan 

Shop Meals/Maaltye by Christine Capendale Now

Vegetarian Cooking Made Easy With Christine Capendale | House and Leisure
SHOP IT | R333, Exclusive Books
Vegetarian Cooking Made Easy With Christine Capendale | House and Leisure
SHOP IT | R333, Exclusive Books