Hosting a post-lockdown dinner party? We can finally invite friends and family round our houses for a dinner party reunion, which means now’s the time to get creative in the kitchen and rustle up some delicious crowd pleasing dishes. Karen Koramashai, foodie, chef and all round wellness expert, has shared three healthy vegetarian recipes to help you impress your dinner guests.

From puff pastry tarts to asparagus risotto, read to find out more…

Tomato and Fennel Tart

This is a simple and easy dish which can be enjoyed warm or cold, maybe even for a picnic in the park. You’ll be able to rustle this together with ingredients you probably have knocking about in your kitchen already. Enjoy the wonderful flavours of tangy tomatoes on a crunchy pastry base, lightly covered with feta crumbs.

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 pack GF puff pastry

1 bulb fennel sliced thinly

1 large, white onion peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon vegan butter

500g mixed tomatoes- firm but ripe, sliced

A few sprigs of thyme

100g feta (for a non- vegan version)

A few sprigs of thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

Method 

  1. Melt the vegan butter in a heavy saucepan and cook the fennel and onion until soft and golden brown – around 20 minutes.
  2. When cooked chop coarsely and season well.
  3. Pre – heat the oven to 170C. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
  4. Unroll the pastry and using the tip of a sharp knife score approximately 1 cm in from the edge being careful not to cut all the way through.
  5. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and then using the tip of the knife cut away with a neat pastry case.
  6. Spread with the fennel and onion mixture and top with tomatoes and thyme sprigs.
  7. If using feta crumble this over. Brush lightly with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake for a further 15 minutes.
  8. Serve at room temperature.

Healthy Asparagus & Green Pea Risotto

This is a delicious warm risotto which is a perfect dinner party meal.  20 minutes is all you need to prepare then you can sit back, relax and enjoy hosting your guests. This dish is packed with flavour and we can guarantee that your guests will not be leaving hungry!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

175g Risotto rice

1 tbsp Olive oil

1 White onion chopped

1-2 Garlic cloves

4 Cups of vegetable broth (water for the rice)

150g Asparagus, chopped

1 Cup of green peas (fresh or frozen

Salt and pepper

Fresh parsley to garnish

Method

  1. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus stalks and tip them into a saucepan with boiling water for about a minute.
  2. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Finely slice the rest of the stalks into rounds.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy, wide pan. Cook the onions gently for 5 minutes until soft, stirring often.
  4. Add the chopped asparagus stalks and cook for 2 minutes more.
  5. Add the rice and and continuously stir for a few minutes until it turns semi-transparent and makes a hissing sound.
  6. Stir in the vegetable broth, a ladleful at a time, stirring between each addition until it is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  7. Try the rice – it should feel just cooked with a slight bite to it.
  8. Stir in the asparagus tips and any last dregs of stock and cook for 1 or 2 mins more. Add the green peas. Stir an extra minute or 2 mins. Remove from the heat and top with parsley. Season generously, cover and leave for a few minutes to settle.
  9. Give the risotto a stir and serve straight away.

Black Bean and Tofu Tacos

This is a quick and easy dish which is crisp, light and absolutely delicious. Buy all the ingredients and assemble your taco with your dinner party guests!

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 x 280 gram extra firm tofu (I used ‘The Tofoo Naked Tofu’ extra firm)

1 x can organic black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tbsp tamari

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 large ripe avocado

1 lime cut into 4 wedges

Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

4 corn tortilla taco shells

Method

  1. Combine half the olive oil, tamari and spices in a mixing bowl. Pat the tofu dry and then using your hands, roughly crumble into the bowl and mix well to coat. Allow to marinate for an hour.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 125°C/ 250°F
  3. Warm the taco shells in the oven for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large non-stick frying pan heat up the remaining olive oil and then add the tofu. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly until the tofu begins to brown and crisp and any moisture has evaporated. Add the black beans and the nutritional yeast and stir well to combine all the flavours.
  5. Peel and chop the avocado into small dice. Remove the taco shells from the oven and divide the tofu and black bean mix between them followed by the avocado. Arrange on a serving platter and scatter over the coriander. Serve with the lime wedges along-side.

Check out more delicious recipes from Karan Koramashai here


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