Three recipes: This is how vegetables become the main actors

Vegan recipes are complicated and only serve as a side dish? These three recipes show that vegetables can also be the protagonists.

Vegetables should be on the daily menu – not only for health, but also for the environment. The Irish twins David and Stephen Flynn aka “The Happy Pear” prove in their new cookbook “The Veg Box” (ZS Verlag) that vegetables are not just a side dish with meat or fish and can definitely shine as the superstar on the plate. In 100 recipes, they make ten types of vegetables, from aubergines to potatoes, the main protagonists – with a maximum of ten ingredients. The fact that these are purely plant-based dishes is often only apparent at second glance. You can find three recipes here.

Spicy noodles with eggplant and peanut sauce

Ingredients: 200g whole wheat pasta or pasta of your choice, 1 large or 2 small aubergines, 200g mushrooms, 1 medium carrot, 5 tbsp tamari or soy sauce, 4 tbsp maple syrup, 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 4 tbsp peanut butter, ½ tsp chilli powder, 50 g baby spinach


Boil water in a medium-sized saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Cut the aubergines and mushrooms into bite-sized pieces and slice the carrots. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan to very high. Fry the aubergines and mushrooms for 8 minutes, turning them regularly. If you start, put 2 tablespoons of water in the pan and loosen the sediment with the wooden spoon and stir.

In a screw-top jar, combine the tamari, maple syrup, vinegar, peanut butter, and chilli powder with 6 tablespoons water and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, seal and shake thoroughly. Reduce the temperature of the pan slightly, add half the sauce and cook for 4 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the pasta, spinach, carrots, and remaining sauce to the pan and mix thoroughly. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the stove and season the noodles. If you like it spicy, you can add more chilli powder.

Cabbage with miso glaze

Ingredients: 1 cabbage or pointed cabbage, 2 cloves of garlic, 10 g ginger, 1 red chili pepper, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 tbsp miso paste, 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce, 2 tbsp maple syrup


Quarter the cabbage lengthways. Peel and finely chop the garlic and ginger. Finely dice the chilli. If you don’t like it too spicy, core them first.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until they begin to burst. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on top, turn off the stove and brown the sesame seeds for about 5 minutes while tossing. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil very hot in a second large non-stick pan. Sprinkle the cabbage quarters with 1/2 teaspoon salt and sear until browned, 3 to 4 minutes on each cut side. Then turn the quarters inside out, add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan, cover and steam the cabbage for 4 minutes.

Whisk together the garlic, ginger, miso paste, tamari, and maple syrup in a mug with 4 tablespoons of water. Glaze the cut sides of the cabbage quarters in the pan with half of this dressing and fry them again for a minute on each cut side.

Remove from the pan, drizzle with the remaining glaze and serve garnished with diced chili and sesame seeds

Beetroot salad with oranges, avocado and pumpkin seeds

Ingredients: 350 g raw beetroot, 1-2 carrots, 35 g pumpkin seeds, 35 g sesame seeds, 2 ripe avocados, freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon, 2 oranges, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 50 g baby spinach


Wash beetroot and carrots, remove dirt and damage and cut off tips and ends. Do not peel as most of the nutrients are in the peel. Grate both into a bowl.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and toast the pumpkin and sesame seeds, 5 to 7 minutes, until cracked and fragrant.

Halve the avocado, remove the stone, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and cut into cubes. Place in a bowl with the lemon juice and a pinch of salt and toss thoroughly.

Use a knife to cut off the top and bottom of the oranges, leaving a straight surface. Then cut the shell from top to bottom following the curve so that the outer skin of wax is completely removed. Cut and release the individual segments along the membranes. Squeeze the rest of the orange over the beets and carrots.

In a second bowl, whisk together vinegar, maple syrup, 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper, pour the dressing over the grated beets and carrots. Add the spinach and half the toasted seed mixture and toss thoroughly.

Dice the salad with the avocado, serve garnished with the orange fillets and the remaining toasted grains.


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