Plants and Whole Grains the Vegan Way

November 10, 2014 Updated: November 11, 2014

Poultry, meat, and fish are not vegan foods because in the vegan view animal products and by-products such as honey, eggs, dairy products, and certain cosmetics are not ethical choices.

Most vegans love to eat whole grain breads, granola, root vegetables, all kinds of fruit, lentils, and pinto and fava beans. They often sprinkle sesame seeds on salads. They also have jars of almond butter and peanut butter in their cupboards. Soy or almond milk is often what vegans substitute for dairy. And yes, many vegans love dark chocolate.

Following are some vegan recipes that are easy to make, including a delicious chocolate cake.

Turkish Pea Bean Salad

Makes 4 servings 

• 250 ml (1 cup) cooked white pea beans 
• 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped 
• 1 each small green pepper and sweet red pepper, seeded and diced 
• 125 ml (1/2 cup) pitted and chopped black olives
• 125 ml (1/2 cup) vinaigrette dressing (recipe below)
• 1 small red onion, finely sliced
• 25 ml (2 tbsp) parsley, minced

Mix beans with tomato, peppers, black olives and the dressing. Pile into a salad bowl, cover with onion rings and sprinkle with the parsley. Chill for approximately 30 minutes.

Vinaigrette Dressing

Makes approximately 175 ml (3/4 cup)

• 7 ml (11/2 tsp) Dijon mustard 
• 1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt 
• Pinch of black pepper
• 75 ml (3 tbsp) lemon juice
• 140 to 175 ml (9 to 12 tbsp) olive oil

Mix mustard, salt, and pepper and add to the lemon juice, stirring well. Trickle in the oil while stirring. 

Optional: 25 ml (2 tbsp) chopped parsley, dill or chives may be added.

Lebanese Hummus Bi Tahini

Makes 2 cups

• 500 ml (2 cups) cooked chick peas 
• 5 ml (1 tsp) salt 
• 2 cloves garlic
• 75 ml (1/2 cup) tahini (sesame seed paste)
• 75 to 125 ml (1/3 to 1/2 cup) lemon juice 
• Olive or sesame oil
• Chopped parsley

Drain and puree chick peas, saving seven or eight for garnish. Pound the salt and garlic together to form a paste. Add to chick peas. Mix chick peas with tahini, add lemon juice and more salt if desired. Put in a serving dish and sprinkle lightly with oil. Garnish with reserved chick peas and parsley. Use as a dip with raw vegetables, crackers, or Middle Eastern flat bread.

Chocolate Cake

• 750 ml (3 cups) flour 
• 500 ml (2 cups) sugar
• 125 ml (1/2 cup) cocoa 
• 10 ml (2 tsp) baking soda
• 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt 
• (2 tbsp) lemon juice
• (3/4 cup) applesauce or pureed prunes
• (1 tsp) vanilla
• Marmalade, if desired for topping 

Preheat oven to 180º C (350º F).
Mix dry ingredients, then stir in wet ingredients as follows:
Combine 500 ml (2 cups) of water mixed with the lemon juice, applesauce or pureed prunes, and vanilla. Beat at medium-high speed for 3 minutes.

Grease and flour two 23-cm (9-inch) pans or one 33×23-cm (13×9-inch) round pan. Pour into pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes if using two pans, and 40 to 50 minutes for one pan. Cool and top with apricot or orange marmalade, thinned slightly with a little water.

Susan Hallett is an award-winning writer and editor who has written for The Beaver, The Globe & Mail, Wine Tidings, and Doctor’s Review, among others. She is currently the European editor of Taste & Travel International. Email: hallett_susan@hotmail.com