January 9, 2023 8.00 pm This story is over 15 months old

Sam Owen: Recipes to inspire you this Veganuary

Mouthwatering vegan recipes for you to try at home

Sam Owen is the owner of award-winning catering company Salted Orange, Sam has worked in the hospitality industry for 15 years and his skills have been showcased in travel guides, TV and radio. 


New year, new you or something to that effect. This is a sentiment that all try to aim towards or achieve. My personal beliefs are that the more you can do to diversify your palate and experiences, the greater your life can be.

With a new year brings the ever more popular ‘Veganuary’ a now timely tradition to bring forth the focus on alternative diets, social responsibility, and the effects on climate change. It is fascinating that from an agricultural and historical point of view, January is and was a time for eating from your stores and that nothing green grows in winter.

Now one could go further down the contradictions and complexities however diversity and adaptability should be utilized through the year and not just one month of said year.

Salt baked celeriac

Sam Owen’s salt baked celeriac is a taste explosion using seasonal ingredients

Thinking about veganuray brought forth two amazing examples of dishes which champion the month but also some lesser known yet widely available ingredients, firstly we have a delicious root vegetable celeriac which has been married with some late winter forged mushrooms, wilted spinach, baby onions roasted in a aged balsamic fortified in ex sherry casks and ‘spit roasted’ cauliflower cream made with the vegan alternative cream.

Making this dish comes from a more classical approach, using salt baking, this process involves burying the celeriac or chosen root vegetable in salt and cooking for 2 hours then leaving to cool, this process helps minimise moisture loss and intensifies the minerals and vitamins naturally found in the vegetable. Spit roasting the cauliflower at home is not going to be easy unless you have a skewer system on your BBQ that you would like to dig out from under the tarp, a quicker at home version would be to salt and oil your cauliflower and roast in the oven basting every five minutes until golden and crispy on the outside.

Ingredients:

  • celeriac
  • 200g salt
  • cauliflower
  • vegan butter
  • balsamic vinegar marinated onions

Method:

  • Bury the celeriac in salt and bake at 180 for up to two hours until a knife will pierce smoothly
  • Leave to cool then crack open the salt and peel
  • Turn into ‘steaks’
  • Roast the cauliflower with butter, salt until golden brown
  • Bring the vegan cream to a boil then add the cauliflower reserving some for decoration
  • Blend until smooth, season as required

Chocolate Delice

Something to impress your dinner party guests with

After this intense aniseed and flavour explosion in your mouth you need something dark, sweet and rich. What better excuse than to whip out the chocolate and cream? Let’s make a chocolate delicé, delice comes from the word delight ‘Very keen pleasure, which produces this pleasure; delight, enchantment’. What could be more delightful than chocolate, cream, butter, sugar?

Bringing vegan alternative cream to a light simmer with a hearty amount of margarine, the vegan flora salted version is my personal preference. Once simmering we take off the heat and add the dark chocolate and sugar to great a light, intense yet sweet ganache to pour into moulds ready for the fridge for 4-6 hours.

We pair this dark majestic dessert with salted caramel, orange and Italian meringue to add the four key tastes into your senses; sweet, salty, sour, rich (FAT). Overall, if you want to impress your loved one, treat your family or generally want to diversify your palate these ingredients wouldn’t cost more than £15 at the super market and would fill you as would a regular protein based meal all with slightly fewer calories.

Ingredients:

  • 2l vegan cream
  • 200g vegan butter
  • 20g Salt
  • 200g Sugar
  • 1.5kg dark vegan chocolate

Method:

  • Bring the cream, butter, salt and sugar to the boil
  • Remove from the heat and leave for 3 minutes
  • Add the chocolate and stir until fully incorporated use a whisk if need but do not spilt
  • Pour into the mould and leave to set

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