(30 Days of Vegan) Day 3: Roasted Potatoes with Tapenade

If you have not yet read my post about why I am going vegan for a month, you should.

My real concern at the moment is that I will accidentally eat something non-vegan without realising it. It is, of course, much easier when you are eating food almost entirely made at home, but there are little things that might be easy to miss if you are not consciously thinking about everything you consume. Beer, for example. Apparently some beers are made in a process that uses Isinglass, a product made from the dried swim bladders of fish. When we were out the other night I had to perform the wonderfully social task of looking up several types of beer on my iPhone to check whether they are vegan. This is a great tool: http://www.barnivore.com/ When I had an intense craving for chocolate, I spent some time trying to work out if there was a generally-sold vegan milk chocolate. There is not. I had it in mind that oreos were vegan, but when I looked at the packaging I could not be entirely sure, and I wanted so much not to mess up on my third day. (I did end up getting the Ritter Sport dark chocolate with marzipan, which was far more delicious than an oreo anyway).

As I am posting a recipe from the same book for a second day, I should really say something about it. I bought The Big Book of Vegetarian by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley six years ago from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I haven’t picked it up in years, but when I was looking through my cookbooks looking for vegan food I could make this month I remembered it, and it has been the most fantastic resource. I don’t know if it is still in print, but you can get it for as little as a couple of dollars online. It is not fancy or beautiful to look at, there are no pictures of the food (which is one of the things I love about good cookbooks – choosing what to cook on the basis of what picture makes your stomach rumble the most), but it contains both vegetarian and vegan recipes that have proved consistently successful (as you can see below).

Vegan Menu, Day 3

Breakfast – Berry Smoothie with Protein Powder

Lunch – Roasted Potatoes with Tapenade (see below for the recipe)

Dinner – Tempeh Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Snack – Rita Sport Dark Chocolate with Marzipan

I ditched the porridge this morning, and made a smoothie from fresh strawberries, frozen blueberries, ice and some vanilla protein powder. The protein powder gave it a slightly granular texture, but it tasted pretty good, and it looked beautiful. For lunch, while Nick was at work with a jar of pea soup, and I roasted some more potatoes and used up the rest of the tapenade that I had made for dinner on day 1. For dinner I fried up another lot of tempeh which we had with left-over peanut dipping sauce and salad.

Note: This makes enough for 4 serves. I made the full amount of tapenade, reduced the quantity of potatoes according to the number of people eating. Keep any extra tapenade in an air-tight container in the fridge (I kept it in a jar) – it would be delicious just as a dip served with crackers.

Roasted Potatoes

24 small red-skinned potatoes (not the tiny round ones – try to get some the size of chat potatoes)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 teaspoons of paprika

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

A large pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Scrub the potatoes, pat them dry, and remove any eyes or hard patches. In a medium bowl, toss together the potatoes with the oil and dry ingredients. Place them in a baking tray and bake until soft, about 50 minutes. While they are baking, shake the pan every now and then, so that they are re-coated in the oil. When they look done, test one by inserting a small knife – it should slide through easily. Remove from the oven and allow then to sit for a few minutes. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise, and top with tapenade.

Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade

12 kalamata olives

9 sun-dried tomatoes

 A large handful (roughly 1/4 cup) of flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves, removed from the stalk

2 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar

Roughly chop the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and parsley, and finely chop the garlic cloves. Combine ingredients in a food processor (I tried using a blender, but it just got stuck at the bottom and didn’t blend well). Serve on top of the roasted potatoes.

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