Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    This super pretty pink Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein will brighten up your table while bringing you a zesty and nutty tasting cake that is very easy to make. The sponge is full of pistachio-orange flavour, while still feeling light enough to have it any day with a nice cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. What’s more: It comes with about 10g of protein per slice, meaning you get your nutrition from your dessert. The candied orange slices are optional, but highly recommended and once you made them, you’ll wonder why you ever bought them, it’s so simple.

     

    Why You Will Love This

    I mean look at it! Doesn’t it lift your mood simply because it’s there? It sure does for me. But if you need more reasons, here we go.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Easy to Make

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein is essentially a very simple sponge cake you can whip up in a few minutes. The only special equipment you’ll need is a food processor, do grind the pistachios, as they can be hard to find pre-ground.

    The icing comes together in seconds and the candied oranges take just a few minutes on the hob and some drying time.

    This cake is just as good as impressive centre piece for afternoon tea with guests, as it is to have just by yourself during the week, because of how easy it is to make and how well it keeps due to the pistachio-rich batter.

    Pretty Pink and Entirely Natural Icing

    Blood Oranges give you an incredibly pretty icing without any food colouring. Even though not all of them have the dark red shades on the skin, the juice tends to be a really intense red, which will colour the simply icing sugar mix just on its own. No colour needed.

    Protein

    If you read some of my dessert recipes, you probably noticed I include protein powder in most of them. This is because I made dessert essentially a main meal. Due to my busy fulltime job, I rarely have time to eat breakfast, so usually I meal prep lunch and something sweet for the evening on my weekends, to have it ready during the week.

    Now, would I eat “normal” desserts, which usually have very little nutrition, that would probably not be a good idea. But I try to incorporate fruits, nuts, protein, and nutritionally dense carbs in everything I make, meaning I fuel my body with them and there is no reason to feel bad about eating them.

    Dessert for Breakfast. Or Dinner?

    The above distribution of my meals (including this Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein) is very intentionally structured around what I feel like eating at the time of day I have the food.
    Usually, having “lunch” as my first meal, I feel like something savoury, ideally with lots of veggies, that will fuel me until dinner.

    While in the evening, after the stresses of the day, I almost always crave something sweet. Do I use the food to reward myself? Absolutely. But by doing this in an intentional way and including all the nutrition my body needs in it, I feel pretty great about it too.

    Pistachios for Lovely Contrast and Flavour

    This recipe was inspired by one from “Nistisima” by Georgina Hayden for a vegan walnut-orange cake, that is often eaten during fasting.
    I wanted protein in my cake and pretty green pistachios instead of walnuts, to provide a contrast to the bright colours and flavour of the blood oranges. Also slightly lower calories. So I adapted the recipe accordingly.

    The Ingredients

    I’m giving just a few of the ingredients here and why I used them. For the full list, please see the recipe.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Ingredients

    Blood Oranges

    Blood oranges are in season, so I wanted to make a dessert that really showcases their pretty colour and bright, intense flavour. I feel this Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein does just that. Both their juice and zest are used in the sponge, more juice to make the pink icing and they get candied to create an amazing and very snackable topping.

    They also contain lots of fibre and vitamin C together with and whole range of other nutrients, meaning they are really good for you. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/blood-orange-benefits

    If Blood Oranges are not in season, you can of course use normal oranges. They just won’t add the pink colour to the icing. Or use blood orange juice from the fridge in your supermarket. I’ve seen one brand having it relatively regularly.

    Pistachios

    While it was near impossible to get shelled pistachios in Ireland for a while, they are slowly becoming more common. I found mine at Holland & Barrett, but also saw some at Dunnes.
    Depending on where you live, you might want to check health food shops for them, as they seem to be easier to find there.

    Pistachios are rich in nutrients, one of the lowest calorie nuts and high in protein.

    That being said, Pistachios are not a “nut” in the biological sense, but rather in the same family called “drupes” together with cashews and almonds. Which also explains their affinity with most foods that almonds go so well with.

    If pistachios are very expensive where you live, you could replace either half or all of them with almonds and the cake would still be delicious. Just not as pretty light green.

    Protein

    I’m using as usual my favourite (neither sponsored nor affiliated) MyProtein Whey. In this case their Buttered Popcorn flavour.
    Vanilla flavour would work great too.

    You could use vegan or casein protein powder, which I read are especially great for baking, but I absolutely despise the flavour of all vegan powders I have tried, and found MyProtein Whey to work rather fantastic in any dessert. So swap at your own risk.

    Apart from the beneficial added protein, the powder replaces part of the plain flour and sugar, which brings the nutrition up and the calories down. Win/win.

    Whole Wheat Flour

    To up the nutty flavour of this cake, I swapped part of the more typically used plain flour for whole wheat flour. Fine to be specific. This is particularly nice for cakes, as it’s finer ground than the typically coarse whole wheat flour you’d use for bread, but still has all of the nutrition of the whole grain.

    Icing

    Blood Orange Icing_Ingredients

    All you need for the pink icing is icing sugar and blood orange juice. Extremely simple and very delicious. It also “seals” the cake, keeping in the moisture, so it will last for a few days on your counter.

    Candied Oranges

    Candied Blood Oranges_Ingredients

    I know, everything candied sounds so very complicated, doesn’t it?
    I can assure you, it’s not. Orange slices, sugar and water is all you need. It’s entirely made on the hob. A sugar thermometer is needed.

     

    Making this Cake Vegan

    To transform this cake into a vegan one, simply replace the 2 eggs with another 1/2 cup of light olive oil and use a vegan protein powder.

    The Process

    The Candied Blood Oranges

    Start by making the candied oranges if you chose to include them. This will make a few more than you need, which is perfect, as they are great for nibbling.

    Prepare a sheet pan with a wire rack by placing some baking parchment under the wire, for less mess to clean up later.

    First bring a pot with water to the boil and prepare a bowl of iced water. Once boiling, gently lower your orange slices into the water and simmer for 2 minutes, taking them out with a slotted spoon when done and plunging them into the ice bath. This will remove some of the bitterness from the peel.

    Candied Blood Oranges_Process

    Next add your cup of sugar and ½ cup of water to a medium saucepan. The little red flecks you see in the pot above are orange juice from the cut off ends I squeezed into it.

    Stir while bringing it to the boil, so the sugar can dissolve. Once it boils, stop stirring and just swirl the pot occasionally, to prevent sugar crystals from forming. If any form on the sides of the pot, use a wet brush to push them down.

    Let the syrup come to 225°F/110°C, then gently and in layers, lower all the orange slices into it.
    Continue to simmer the mix until it reaches about 230°F/115°C (Keep an eye on it. You don’t want it to turn into dark caramel accidentally) while carefully turning the orange slices once with thongs or a spatula. Once the target temperature is reached, your syrup should be fairly thick.

    Pick out the now candied orange slices one by one with a fork or thongs and place on the wire rack. Be sure to keep a bit of space between them, so they don’t stick together.
    Leave to cool for at least 1h.

    Candied Blood Oranges

    If you are not using them immediately, they can be stored in a lidded container in the fridge for up to a week. So you can prepare them ahead of time. Ideally keep them in single layers on baking parchment, to keeping them for becoming one huge sticky orange piece.

    The Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Start by greasing a springform and line the bottom with baking parchment. This is easiest if you lay the parchment over the loose bottom, then fasten the ring around it and cut off the overlap.

    Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C

    In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or with your stand mixer, whisk together sugar and oil. Note the sugar won’t entirely dissolve, as it might in butter. That’s fine. Just whisk for a few minutes until it’s mostly there. Add the eggs one by one and mix until light and foamy and the sugar has dissolved. In doubt rub some of the mix between your fingertips. If it’s still slightly grainy, mix a bit longer until it feels smooth.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Process

    Now you can add all the remaining wet ingredients and the protein powder. Continue whisking until really smooth and foamy. This will add lift to the sponge.

    In a separate bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients, keeping ¼ cup of chopped pistachios back for garnish later.

    Add the dry to the wet and gently fold in with a spoon or silicone spatula until no dry flour remains. Don’t overmix, or you will develop the gluten and your sponge will become tough.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Process

    Pour the batter into your prepared springform. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, rotating once if your oven bakes unevenly, until it’s nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Process

    Leave the cake to cool in the form for about 10minutes, then take it out of the springform and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Don’t add the icing while still warm, or it will just soak into the cake. Which is still delicious, but not as pretty.

     

    The Blood Orange Icing

    Juice your last blood orange and add the icing sugar to a bowl or small jug. Start by adding 2-3 tbsp of the juice to the sugar and, using a small whisk, incorporating it until there is no liquid left. Judge the consistency. It should be thick, but still drizzleable (is that a word? If not, it should be!). Add more juice or sugar if it’s not quite right.

    Blood Orange Icing_Process

    Pour the icing over your cake, first one half, spread with a spatula or back of a large spoon, then add more where you feel it’s a bit thin. You could also do this in two layers, letting the first one dry completely before you add the second. Use a spatula to spread some of the icing that has run off onto the sides to complete the look.

    Blood Orange Icing_Process
    Let the icing dry completely before you decorate the cake.

     

    Decorate and Serve

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Just before serving your Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein, decorate it with the candied oranges and remaining chopped pistachios. Slice and enjoy with a lovely cup of hot tea or coffee. Earl Grey would be particularly fitting here.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Getting Ahead

     

    Both the sponge and candied oranges can be made the day before. The orange slices keep well in a lidded container in the fridge. Ideally each layer separated by baking parchment, to prevent them from sticking to each other.

    The cake will be fine for up to 5 days covered with kitchen foil or clingfilm. I used kitchen foil and domed it, so it wouldn’t touch the oranges and stick to them.

    The cake also freezes well. Even with the icing, though it will soak into the cake a bit when thawing and not be as pretty anymore. So ideally ice later. Or just enjoy the extra flavour that soaked into the cake.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    If you liked this recipe, you might also like:

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein 

    Lemon Poppy Sourdough Zucchini Bread with Protein 

    Banoffee Protein Mousse Pie

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    This super pretty pink Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein will brighten up your table while bringing you a zesty and nutty tasting cake that is very easy to make. The sponge is full of pistachio-orange flavour, while still feeling light enough to have it any day with a nice cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. What’s more: It comes with about 10g of protein per slice, meaning you get your nutrition from your dessert. The candied orange slices are optional, but highly recommended and once you made them, you’ll wonder why you ever bought them, it’s so simple.
    5 from 13 votes
    Prep Time 40 minutes
    Cook Time 1 hour
    Cooling and drying time 2 hours
    Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
    Course Cake, Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Servings 12
    Calories 468 kcal

    Equipment

    • Food Processor, sugar thermometer, springform

    Ingredients
      

    Sponge:

    • ½ cup olive oil light
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 ¼ cups pistachios finely chop 1 cup, keep 1/4 for decorating, grind rest
    • 4 blood oranges zest 1 + juice until you have 1 cup.
    • ¾ cup plain flour
    • ½ cup +2 tbsp whole wheat flour fine
    • 2/3 cup protein powder I used MyProtein buttered popcorn flavour. Vanilla works too
    • ¾ cup brown sugar
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp kosher salt
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

    Icing:

    • 1 blood orange
    • 1.5 cups icing sugar

    Candied Blood Orange Slices:

    • 3 Blood Oranges cut into 0.2in slices
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ½ cup water

    Instructions
     

    Candied Blood Orange Slices:

    • Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare a bowl of iced water.
    • Blanch the orange slices in boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer them to the ice bath.
    • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, swirling the pan occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
    • Once the syrup reaches 225°F/110°C, gently add the orange slices in layers.
    • Simmer until the syrup thickens and reaches about 230°F/115°C, ensuring the orange slices are evenly coated.
    • Using tongs or a fork, transfer the candied orange slices to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Allow them to cool for at least 1 hour.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein:

    • Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Grease a springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
    • In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil and brown sugar until mostly dissolved. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until light and foamy.
    • Stir in the blood orange zest, juice, and protein powder until smooth and foamy.
    • In a separate bowl, combine the flours, ground pistachios (reserving 1/4 cup for garnish), baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
    • Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
    • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Blood Orange Icing:

    • In a bowl or small jug, combine the blood orange juice with icing sugar. Start with 2-3 tablespoons of juice and adjust to reach a thick but pourable consistency.
    • Drizzle the icing over the cooled cake, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
    • Allow the icing to set completely before decorating.

    Decorate and Serve:

    • Arrange the candied blood orange slices on top of the cake and sprinkle with the reserved chopped pistachios.
    • Slice and serve the cake with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

    Notes

    Getting Ahead
    Both the sponge and candied oranges can be made the day before. The orange slices keep well in a lidded container in the fridge. Ideally each layer separated by baking parchment, to prevent them from sticking to each other.
    The cake will be fine for up to 5 days covered with kitchen foil or clingfilm. I used kitchen foil and domed it, so it wouldn’t touch the oranges and stick to them.
    The cake also freezes well. Even with the icing, though it will soak into the cake a bit when thawing and not be as pretty anymore. So ideally ice later. Or just enjoy the extra flavour that soaked into the cake.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 468kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 12gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 238mgPotassium: 326mgFiber: 3gSugar: 48gVitamin A: 172IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 107mgIron: 2mg
    Nutrition Facts
    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    468
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    21
    g
    32
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    3
    g
    19
    %
    Trans Fat
     
    0.003
    g
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    4
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    12
    g
    Cholesterol
     
    37
    mg
    12
    %
    Sodium
     
    238
    mg
    10
    %
    Potassium
     
    326
    mg
    9
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    63
    g
    21
    %
    Fiber
     
    3
    g
    13
    %
    Sugar
     
    48
    g
    53
    %
    Protein
     
    12
    g
    24
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    172
    IU
    3
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    6
    mg
    7
    %
    Calcium
     
    107
    mg
    11
    %
    Iron
     
    2
    mg
    11
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Easy, For Guests, fruit, Protein, Vegetarian
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

     

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    This Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu answered all my cravings for the crunch of KFC chicken, the spiced marinade, and the urgent need for creamy, tangy, and punchy Caesar dressing on a fresh salad. Super satisfying, packed with protein from the tofu with a cashew based sauce, adding all the nutrition you could possibly want for dinner in one delicious plate.

     

    Why You Will Love This

     

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Did you ever feel you really wanted the crunch and flavour of KFC chicken, but in Tofu? Or anything other than meat really, but Tofu really offers itself due to the structure and tenderness you get, when you first press then marinate it. In this case in a marinade made from almond milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice and a spice mix from Joshua Weissman that is very similar to KFCs.
    This infuses the tofu with lovely tang and lots of flavour, getting it ready to be coated in crushed cornflakes. You can bake it in the oven or pan fry, but I found it bakes best in the air fryer, giving you perfectly crunchy and golden pieces, that are rather addictive when dipped into the Caesar Cashew dressing.

    The all-important Caesar Dressing made vegan

    While typical Caesar dressing is made with mayonnaise and anchovies, I’m using a base of cashews, which are blended into a super creamy dressing with capers, to give the salty, briny umami notes you’d usually get from anchovies and Worcester sauce. Nutritional yeast replaces the parmesan, making the dressing vegan.

    While you could of course use a vegan mayonnaise, I prefer the nutritional benefits of cashews, adding protein and minerals. Plus the more natural taste they give to any salad dressing. And I use them for many different ones like my Cashew Ranch Dressing.

    Thyme Lemon Garlic Croutons

    Another defining and rather addictive element of the Caesar salad are the croutons. They are also an ideal use for any stale bread you might have. I used homemade sourdough bread, but any reasonably good bread will do. A few days old is perfect, as it will crisp up in the oven or air fryer. I added fresh thyme from my garden, grated lemon zest from the lemon I used for the dressing, some garlic powder, salt, and olive oil, to give it a lovely herby and fresh flavour.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Crouton Ingredients

    Making them in the air fryer is fantastic, as you only need to shake them once and it’s hands off apart from that. They come out perfectly golden and crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.

    Mixed Salad

    While the classic Caesar Salad would be Romaine, I always like different veggies in my dinner, so I added shredded carrot, thinly sliced white cabbage, sweetcorn, red onions that are being quick pickled in some lemon juice.
    I’ve also added black grapes, but if you are not a fan of fruit in your salads, you could swap them for black olives, which would go really well with the vegan Caesar dressing.

    You could just leave out or swap around any of the veggies I added here. Cucumber and tomatoes would be nice too, radishes, different types of greens, kale in particular or even added asparagus.

     

    The Ingredients

     

    I’m just mentioning a few key ingredients here and why I’m using them. For the full list, please check the recipe card.

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Tofu Marinade

    For the Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu I’m using firm tofu. In Ireland I find the best one of those I tried is from “The Tofuu Co.” https://www.tesco.ie/groceries/en-IE/products/294476706
    You can use any brand, as long as it’s very firm, so it doesn’t fall apart when marinating and then breading.

    Since I wanted to get as close as I could to buttermilk fried chicken, similar to KFC, but without the chicken and huge amount of fat, I used almond milk mixed lemon juice and spices. Don’t be put off by the fairly long list. You will likely have them in your spice collection already, as they are very common.
    The Joshua Weissman recipe for the spice mix I adapted had celery powder in it, which I couldn’t find here, so I used celery salt. This made also up for the fact that Tofu is a bit more neutral than chicken on its own, so it can take more salt.
    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

    I left out the MSG though. Not last because I didn’t have any, but also due to its rather questionable reputation. Personally I admit I haven’t looked into it much, as I rarely eat out, let alone buy convenience food, so it wasn’t much of a topic for me to focus on.
    If you are a fan, feel free to include some. I think the marinade does a fantastic job as it is though.

    Seasoned Flour and Cornflakes are then used for “breading”. And because I’m not working with raw meat, the marinade does double duty instead of eggs, to attach the two dry coatings to the tofu.

    The Cashew Caesar Dressing

    Using cashews as base has become my favourite way to create super creamy, delicious, and nutritious salad dressings. I honestly wouldn’t go back to mayonnaise based, even without the calorie and nutrition consideration. I tried one recently again and simply didn’t like the greasy texture and taste anymore. The cashews are neutral enough to add any flavourings you like and with even a small highspeed blender like the Nutribullet you get an extremely smooth base.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Caesar Cashew dressing

    While the original Caesar dressing didn’t have anchovies, they have become a rather classic way to add umami and saltiness to this tangy sauce. Brined capers, even though I’m not a fan of them on their own (wouldn’t eat anchovies on their own either) have a very similar effect when blended and add a hint of their briny flavour, which goes really well with the tangy punch of mustard and lemon juice that give the dressing its characteristic taste.

    Often parmesan is used to add more saltiness and a cheesy background flavour. So you can use either grated parmesan or, like me, nutritional yeast for a very similar effect.

     

    The Process

     

    Salad

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Meal Prep

    Prepare your salad ingredients:
    Roughly chop the Romaine Lettuce, grate the carrots, finely shred the cabbage, drain and wash the sweetcorn, wash the grapes (or drain olives if you prefer salty to sweet) and keep all in separate containers.

    Peel and thinly slice the onions. In a small bowl mix with ¼ tsp salt and 2-3 tbsp lemon juice. Cover and leave to marinade until ready to use.

    All the veggies will keep well for 3-4 days, if you keep them separate.

    Cashew Caesar Dressing

    Drain the soaked cashews. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender. You can use a normal blender or food processor, but it won’t get as lovely smooth and creamy.
    Blend until creamy.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Caesar Cashew dressing
    Have a taste and add more salt, mustard, or lemon juice to balance the flavours to your liking.

    Croutons

    In a small bowl, mix your olive oil, chopped thyme (or any other hardy herb you might have on hand. Rosemary works very well too), garlic powder and salt.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Croutons

    Add your bread cubes to a larger bowl. Drizzle over your olive oil mix, turning the cubes over after half over it, so they are all coated evenly. Stir carefully to distribute the oil mix and let them sit for a few minutes so the oil can absorb.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Croutons

    Bake in your air fryer at 400°F/200°C for 4 minutes, toss and turn once, then bake for another 2 minutes. Transfer the croutons to a paper towel lined plate until ready to serve. Nibble a few, you know you want to.

    The Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Similar to chicken, that improves dramatically with brining, tofu needs a bit of help to come to its full potential. So this needs a bit of planning ahead. Start about 2h before you plan to fry the tofu or the day before.

    First remove your tofu from its package, drain the fluid and press it. You can either wrap it into a clean kitchen towel between 2 wooden boards and put something heavy on top. Or, if you want a much easier and less precarious solution, get a tofu press like this one and put it in the fridge for an hour or longer.

    Once your tofu has given up some of its liquid, it’s time to marinade it. Cut into about ½ in / 1cm thick slices and halve them diagonal. You could just leave them in one piece, but I think more corners mean more crunch and more crunch is always better.

    Mix your plant milk with a tbsp of lemon juice and let it stand while you get your spice mix together. Add the marinade spice mix to the now curdled milk and whisk well. In a container that is large enough to hold all tofu pieces in one layer or a freezer bag, add first your tofu then pour the tangy, spicy milk mix over it. Now let this marinade in the fridge for at least 1h, better even overnight.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

    Meanwhile, mix the flour with the spices and herbs for the dredge mix. This will season the tofu even more and give it that characteristic crust you’d get on fried chicken.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

    Now obviously we are not deep frying this, so the incredible crunchy crust that develops when the marinade-flour (and usually egg) mixture hits the hot fat, will come from crushed cornflakes.

    In a firmly closed freezer bag, crush your cornflakes either by hand or, carefully, so you don’t pop the bag and scatter the crumbs across your kitchen (never happened to me…ahem…) with a rolling pin or bottom of a cooking pot. You want relatively rough crumbs, not fine as panko. Check the picture for the texture we are aiming for.

    When you are ready to fry your tofu, set up a breading station with 3 rimmed containers or deep plates. Into one add your flour-spice dredge, the second will hold all the remaining marinade that wasn’t absorbed by the tofu, the third has the crushed cornflakes.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

    Using one hand for dry and one for wet, to avoid the dreaded dough fingers, firmly press your tofu first into the flour, coating it very well, pushing it in, so it sticks. Then into the marinade, turning once until coated- Last into the cornflakes, again, pressing firmly, covering it with the crumbs and pushing down until every last bit is well coated.

    Spray both your air fryer basket and the tofu pieces with a bit of vegetable or avocado oil.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Tofu

    The crunchy tofu will take about 15 minutes in your air fryer at 400°F/200°C, turning it once very carefully after 10minutes, the fry for another 5 until golden and crunchy.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    I you are making them in the oven, this will take about 25-30minutes at 450°F/225°C, turning them after 15 minutes.

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    To Serve

    First drape a bed of romaine lettuce on a plate, followed by the carrots, cabbage, sweetcorn, onions and grapes or olives. Drizzle everything with a bit of the Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing. Top with croutons and crispy tofu and serve with more dressing on the side, to drizzle over or dip your tofu pieces into.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

     

    Meal Prep

     

    I prepared this Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu on my weekend, to have a fresh salad during my workdays. Keeping everything separate in containers, the tofu in a paper towel lined box, means you can assemble freshly, and everything remains crunchy.

    I re-heated the tofu pieces in the air fryer before serving, so they were just as crispy as freshly made.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    If you liked this, you might also enjoy:

    Sweet Potato Grape Salad with Goats Cheese

    How about a fresh dessert?

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

     

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    This Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu answered all my cravings for the crunch of KFC chicken, the spiced marinade, and the urgent need for creamy, tangy, and punchy Caesar dressing on a fresh salad. Super satisfying, packed with protein from the tofu with a cashew based sauce, adding all the nutrition you could possibly want for dinner in one delicious plate.
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 45 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Tofu Pressing and marinading 2 hours
    Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
    Course Dinner, Main Course, Salad
    Cuisine American, Fusion
    Servings 6
    Calories 553 kcal

    Equipment

    • High Speed Blender, oven or air fryer

    Ingredients
      

    Salad

    • 1 Romaine Lettuce
    • 1 can Sweetcorn
    • ¼ white cabbage thinly sliced
    • 2 carrots coarsely grated
    • 2 cups Grapes
    • 2 onions thinly sliced
    • 1 Lemon juice
    • ¼ tsp salt

    Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing

    • ½ cup raw cashews soaked for 30min in just boiled water
    • ½ cup water
    • ¼ cup lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 2 tsp capers
    • 2 cloves garlic

    Homemade Croutons

    • 4 slices sourdough bread cubed into bite sized pieces
    • 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped
    • ½ tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 3 tbsp olive oil

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    • 1 Block tofu pressed
    • 1 cup plant milk with lemon juice
    • 1.5 tsp Kosher salt
    • 1 tsp ground white pepper
    • 2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1.5 cups crushed cornflakes

    11 Herbs and Spices Dredge

    • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1.5 tbsp Kosher salt
    • 2 tsp ground white pepper
    • 1 tsp ginger powder
    • 1 tsp celery powder or celery salt
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp dried oregano crushed
    • 1 tsp dried thyme crushed
    • 2 tsp mustard powder

    Instructions
     

    Salad:

    • Prepare all salad ingredients as mentioned. Marinate sliced onions in salt and lemon juice. Keep all ingredients separate.

    Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing:

    • Drain soaked cashews.
    • In a blender, combine soaked cashews, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, capers, and garlic cloves.
    • Blend until creamy. Adjust salt, mustard, or lemon juice to taste.

    Homemade Croutons:

    • Preheat air fryer to 400°F/200°C.
    • In a small bowl, mix olive oil, chopped thyme, garlic powder, and kosher salt.
    • Toss cubed bread in the olive oil mixture until evenly coated.
    • Air fry for 4 minutes, toss, then fry for another 2 minutes until golden and crisp.
    • Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu:

    • Press tofu to remove excess liquid.
    • Cut tofu into slices about ½ inch thick, then half diagonal.
    • Mix plant milk with lemon juice and let it curdle.
    • Combine the plant “buttermilk” with salt, white pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Marinate tofu in this mixture for at least 1 hour in the fridge. Overnight is better.
    • Crush cornflakes into coarse crumbs.
    • Mix flour with spices for dredge.
    • Set up a breading station with flour-spice dredge, remaining marinade, and crushed cornflakes.
    • Coat tofu slices in flour mixture, then marinade, and last crushed cornflakes.
    • Spray air fryer basket and tofu slices with oil.
    • Air fry tofu at 400°F/200°C for 15 minutes, flipping once after 10 minutes.

    To Serve:

    • Arrange romaine lettuce on plates.
    • Top with grated carrots, sliced cabbage, sweetcorn, marinated onions, grapes (or olives), and croutons.
    • Drizzle with Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing.
    • Add crispy air-fried tofu on top.
    • Serve additional dressing on the side for dipping or drizzling.
    • Enjoy your Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu!

    Notes

    Meal Prep
    I prepared this Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu on my weekend, to have a fresh salad during my workdays. Keeping everything separate in containers, the tofu in a paper towel lined box, means you can assemble freshly, and everything remains crunchy.
    I re-heated the tofu pieces in the air fryer before serving, so they were just as crispy as freshly made.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 553kcalCarbohydrates: 84gProtein: 20gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gSodium: 3778mgPotassium: 614mgFiber: 8gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 4893IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 226mgIron: 14mg
    Nutrition Facts
    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    553
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    17
    g
    26
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    3
    g
    19
    %
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    4
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    9
    g
    Sodium
     
    3778
    mg
    164
    %
    Potassium
     
    614
    mg
    18
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    84
    g
    28
    %
    Fiber
     
    8
    g
    33
    %
    Sugar
     
    18
    g
    20
    %
    Protein
     
    20
    g
    40
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    4893
    IU
    98
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    31
    mg
    38
    %
    Calcium
     
    226
    mg
    23
    %
    Iron
     
    14
    mg
    78
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Healthy, High Fibre, meal prep, Protein, vegetables, Vegetarian, versatile
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    Vegan Taco Casserole

    Vegan Taco Casserole

    It’s Veganuary, time for vegan comfort food, which is exactly the right time for Vegan Taco Casserole. All the flavour of an amazing Taco Casserole, none of the meat. Instead an alternative made from mushrooms to bring all the umami flavour, lentils and walnuts for protein and texture and a super creamy vegan queso topping you’ll want to pour over everything after making it the first time. Fantastic for meal prep for the whole week too, so you have less stress on workdays.

    The recipe makes a very large casserole with about 8-10 portions and freezes great. So you can make a large batch and freeze some for busy weeks. Or cook it for a crowd.

    Not sure about you, but I just could not resist the Christmas sweets, they are always my downfall. So, of course I gained a few pounds that I’d like to shed again. Recipes like this one, heavy on veggies, light on calories and super satisfying, help me to very easily get rid of the few extra pounds, without feeling I’m on a diet.

     

    Why You Want to Make This

     

    Vegan. Taco. Casserole.

    I mean, need I really say more? I do? Ok then:
    While I’m not a vegan as such, I do enjoy vegan food. Weird you think? Not after you try this Vegan Taco Casserole. I often find minced meat a bit odd texturally and am plain not a big fan of it. But making it vegan adds for me flavour and texture wise. The mushrooms together with lentils, walnuts and a few “secret” ingredients give you tons of very satisfying meatiness while sneakily adding all of their benefits to your favourite comfort food.

    Vegan Taco Casserole

    Essentially we have a layer of soft tortillas as a base, topped with a mix of the vegan mince meat mix together with beans, which of course belong into any Taco and also add more protein. Sweetcorn goes in too for me, as I love it in pretty much everything and it adds more veggie content. If you can’t stand it, just leave it out or add more beans. This mix is flavoured with your favourite Salsa and a few spices, then fried for even more flavour.

    Really Good for You

    All the deliciousness of it will give you 4 different legumes plus mushrooms in one go, which makes it incredibly good for you. The toppings of lettuce and cherry tomato add not just juiciness and crunch, but also to your daily veggie intake.

    Vegan Queso

    The fantastic Vegan Queso recipe is from “Rainbow Plant Life” and her incredible Crunchwrap Supreme video.
    I made it a little less spicy but add as much spice as you like. It’s utterly addictive and dare I say better than dairy queso? I honestly prefer the taste of the creamy blended cashews with all the spices and flavours to the texture of typical Queso any day.

    I have topped the casserole with vegan grated cheese too, but I think you could even leave it out and be more than satisfied.

    Optional but delicious Toppings

    For me, the toppings are the best thing about Tacos, so of course it’s the same for Vegan Taco Casserole.

    I top mine with homemade Guacamole https://forthepleasureofeating.com/easy-guacamole/, Vegan Greek Style Yoghurt mixed with some lime juice, zest and salt, making it similar to the crema you usually get with Tacos.

    For extra crunch I added some chopped romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, spring onions, and, of course, tortilla chips. Most of them are incidentally vegan, but some have dairy in the seasoning. So if you are strictly vegan, check the ingredient list to be sure.

    The Ingredients

    Most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry or fridge. Just a few fresh veggies and you have the Vegan Taco Casserole of your dreams ready.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Ingredients

    The Taco Mix

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Ingredients

    Mushrooms

    Mushrooms have a list of powerful health benefits according to studies. Decreasing the risk of cancer, lowering sodium intake and promoting lower cholesterol are just a few of them.
    To me, their amazing umami flavour is enough to add them. I hear some complaints from the backrow there about texture, to which I say: Fry them until browned and crispy and see how you feel about them like that.
    I quite enjoy the brown inexpensive button mushrooms I get at any supermarket here. But any will do. You can try a mix with Shiitake if you find it.

    Legumes

    Legumes, with again impressive health benefits containing B vitamins, folate and iron, and a great vegan source for protein, I’m adding them here for texture and flavour. Together with mushrooms and walnuts, they make a fantastic meat alternative. The colour doesn’t matter much. I just used the green ones I had in my store cupboard and cooked them according to packet instructions. You could use brown or black too, canned if you like. They will all be delicious.
    Add Kidney and Black beans to the filling gives even more protein and keeps you full until the next meal. For ease of preparation I’m using them from cans.

    Walnuts

    Walnuts add that slightly nubbly texture you usually find in ground meat to our Taco Casserole plus a range of health benefits and healthy fats.
    Anti-inflammatory benefits and improvement of cholesterol levels being just two of the impressive ones. You could use pecans instead if you prefer.

    Onion and garlic for flavour are the basics.
    But here are what makes this taste “meaty”: Miso paste. I used brown for its intense umami notes.
    Tomato puree and sundried tomatoes together with nutritional yeast and some coconut aminos give the mushroom-legume-walnut mix incredible depth of satisfying meat like flavour.

    Of course typical Taco spices like smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, chili, onion powder for extra punch and oregano.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Spices

     

    The Queso

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Ingredients

    For the Queso I’m using soaked cashews, some vegan Greek yoghurt for tang. A bit of salsa (use your favourite, the rest will go into the mushroom-legume mix), nutritional yeast for cheesiness, salt, smoked paprika, chili powder and a bit of cumin. To add that original queso tang and a bit of fiery chili background, some pickled red jalapenos (are they still Jalapenos when red? Please correct me if that’s wrong…I’m just a German living in Ireland.) and a bit of the pickling liquid.

    The Guacamole is of course made from avocados, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper and a hint of chilli powder. If you don’t feel like making your own, you can use shop bought here. But honestly, it’s made so quickly and tastes so much better, I don’t feel it’s worth saving the few minutes.

    Topping wise: fresh cherry tomatoes, spring onions, and crunchy romaine lettuce add that real taco feeling for me. They are optional though.
    And any tortilla chips you like, to use for dipping, crumbling over, eating on the side, however you enjoy your casserole.

     

    The Process

     

    While this looks like a lot of ingredients, the process is surprisingly simple.

    The Taco Mix

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Lentils

    First pre-cook your lentils according to package instructions if using dried as I did. They should have a tiny bit of bite left for that ground meat texture. I usually add some vegetable stock powder to my cooking water and maybe some herbs and garlic, to start flavouring them. Use whatever you have on hand. Bay leaf, thyme, rosemary or oregano all work well.

    Walnuts

    While your lentils are cooking, briefly toast your walnuts in a dry pan until fragrant. Set aside.

    Mushrooms

    Fry your finely chopped mushrooms in batches in a large pan with a bit of oil. Only stir occasionally, so they can brown beautifully for that lovely meaty flavour we are looking for. Season with salt and pepper and set aside too.

    Seasoning

    Gently fry onions and garlic until translucent in a bit more oil, then add all parts of the Mexican seasoning and toast until fragrant. Lastly the sundried tomatoes, tomato paste, miso paste, nutritional yeast and coconut aminos join the pan for a quick stir and heat through.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Process

    Now add the garlic-onion-spice mix together with fried mushrooms, walnuts and cooked, drained lentils to your food processor and pulse until it resembles minced meat. It should stick together mostly, but fall apart when you try to crumble it, much like meat would.
    Taste it. It should be delicious. Add more salt to taste.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Mix with beans and sweetcorn

    Tip the whole mix back into the pan and fry on medium-high heat until you have a bit of browning everywhere and it smells delicious. Tip in the drained and rinsed canned beans and sweetcorn, canned tomatoes, 1 1 ½ cups of your favourite salsa (the last ½ cup will be used for the queso), stir and heat through.
    Taste and add salt or any other spices you feel it might need. I don’t like mine very hot, but you might of course.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Casserole assembly

    Lightly grease your casserole form. Cut the tortillas into quarters and lay them across the bottom with a little overlap, so you have one layer.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Top with the mushroom-bean mix.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Queso

    To make your queso, add all the ingredients for it into a high speed blender like the Nutribullet and blend until super smooth and creamy. Taste and add more salt or chili if needed.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Bake

    Top your Vegan Taco Casserole with the vegan queso, sprinkle over some grated vegan cheese (or dairy if you are not vegan). Cover the casserole with kitchen foil and bake at 375°F/190°C for 15min, remove the foil and bake for another 15min uncovered until it is hot throughout and the cheese has melted.#

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Toppings

    While the casserole is in the oven, prepare your toppings. Mash the Avocados with lime juice, minced garlic, salt, pepper and chili.

    Mix the remaining vegan yoghurt with some lime juice, zest and salt to taste.

    Chop romaine, spring onions and cherry tomatoes and put in separate containers. Tip tortilla chips into a bowl.

    Vegan Taco Casserole

    Serve

    To serve, add a piece of your Vegan Taco Casserole to the plate and let everyone pick their own favourite toppings. Enjoy the satisfied munching sounds.

    Vegan Taco Casserole

    Meal Prep

     

    You can make everything the day before, but I would add the queso on top just before baking, so it doesn’t soak into the taco filling layer, but remains as cream, cheesy layer on top.
    After baking, the Vegan Taco Casserole stays fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat either in the microwave until piping hot or in oven or air fryer.

    The casserole also freezes really well. I always keep a few pieces in the freezer for emergency taco cravings.

     

    Looking for more vegan recipes?

    Try my Vegan Tom Kha Soup for a warming Thai soup full of veggies.
    Or the Asian Bowl with crispy Cauliflower and Tofu, for a nutritious and delicous meal.

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Vegan Taco Casserole

    Vegan Taco Casserole

    It’s Veganuary, time for vegan comfort food, which is exactly the right time for Vegan Taco Casserole. All the flavour of an amazing Taco Casserole, none of the meat. Instead an alternative made from mushrooms to bring all the umami flavour, lentils and walnuts for protein and texture and a super creamy vegan queso topping you’ll want to pour over everything after making it the first time. Fantastic for meal prep for the whole week too, so you have less stress on workdays.
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 1 hour
    Cook Time 1 hour
    Total Time 2 hours
    Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course
    Cuisine American, Mexican
    Servings 8
    Calories 580 kcal

    Equipment

    • Food Processor, High speed blender like Nutribullet

    Ingredients
      

    Taco Mix:

    • 3 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 onion chopped
    • 2 cups lentils, cooked. About 1 cup dried. You can use cans instead.
    • 2 packs mushrooms finely chopped
    • ½ cup walnuts
    • 1 tbsp tomato puree
    • 5 sundried tomatoes
    • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
    • 1-2 tbsp brown miso paste use any colour, but brown has the most meat-like flavour
    • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • 1 can tomatoes
    • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
    • 1 can kidney beans drained and rinsed
    • 1 can sweetcorn drained and rinsed
    • 2 cups salsa use your favourite. Set ½ cup aside for the queso

    Seasoning:

    • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 2 tsp ground coriander
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 2 tsp oregano
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 3-4 corn or flour tortillas to cover the bottom of your casserole
    • 1 cup vegan shredded cheese of choice

    Queso:

    • 1 cup cashews soaked for 30min in hot water or overnight in cold
    • ½ cup vegan yoghurt I used Greek
    • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • 2 tbsp water
    • ½ cup salsa
    • ¼ -1/2 tsp chili powder I like ancho chili, but use whatever you have and enjoy
    • ½ tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tbsp pickled jalapenos
    • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeno brine
    • 1 tsp kosher salt

    Toppings (Optional):

    • Guacamole Ready made or, to make yourself:
    • 5 avocados mashed
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 3 limes juice
    • 1/2-1 tsp Chili powder
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 cup Vegan sour cream or Greek yoghurt
    • 1 Lime zested and juiced
    • 1 head Romaine lettuce chopped
    • 2 cups Cherry tomatoes halved
    • 3 tbsp Cilantro chopped
    • 1 bunch Spring onions chopped
    • 1 bag tortilla chips

    Instructions
     

    • Pre-cook lentils according to package instructions, leaving a bit of bite for texture.
    • Toast walnuts in a dry pan until fragrant. Set aside.
    • Fry mushrooms in batches until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
    • Sauté onions and garlic until translucent. Add Mexican seasoning, sundried tomatoes, tomato paste, miso paste, nutritional yeast, and coconut aminos. Stir and heat through.
    • Combine garlic-onion-spice mix, fried mushrooms, walnuts, and cooked lentils in a food processor. Pulse until minced meat-like texture.
    • Transfer mix back to the pan and fry until browned. Add drained beans, sweetcorn, tomatoes from the can and 1 ½ cups salsa. Stir and heat through.
    • Lightly grease a casserole dish. Place quartered tortillas on the bottom, slightly overlapping.
    • Top with mushroom-bean mix.
    • For queso, blend all queso ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasoning.
    • Top casserole with vegan queso, sprinkle vegan cheese. Cover with foil, bake at 375°F/190°C for 15min, then uncover and bake for an additional 15min.
    • While baking, prepare toppings: guacamole, lime yogurt, romaine, spring onions, cherry tomatoes, and tortilla chips.
    • Serve casserole pieces with desired toppings. Enjoy the flavorsome vegan taco casserole!

    Notes

    Total for the Dish (excluding optional toppings) assuming 8 portions:
    Calories: Approximately 580 kcal
    Protein: Around 22g
    Carbohydrates: Roughly 73g
    Fat: About 25g
    Fiber: Around 17g
    Sugar: Approximately 11g
    Please note that these values are approximate and may vary based on the specific brands and types of ingredients you use. The queso portion is a rough estimate, and the optional toppings are not included in the total dish values.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 580kcal
    Nutrition Facts
    Vegan Taco Casserole
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    580
    % Daily Value*
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword For Guests, Healthy, High Fibre, Low Calorie, meal prep, vegan, vegetables, Vegetarian
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

     

    Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu

    Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu

    The Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu is a great start for the Veganuary. Lots of colourful crunchy veggies in a flavourful fruity-hot Asian sauce topped with crispy air fried cauliflower and tofu. Meal prep a large batch and you are all set for your work week with a seriously delicious and nutritious meal.

     

    Why You Want to Make This

     

    All the Nutrition in One Bowl

    I’m often aiming to get all my veggies for the day in my main meal and this Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu is no exception. If you use the same vegetables as I do, you get a phenomenal 7 portions of veg, protein from the tofu and healthy carbs from the rice.

    Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu

    Versatile

    Of course you could swap the vegetables out for any you might enjoy. Courgettes, broccoli, asparagus, sugar snaps or kale would all fit nicely into this dish.
    Protein wise, if you are not a fan of tofu, you could use any meat you enjoy or even some fish. Though do try this way of preparing tofu. It’s super flavourful from the marinade, which doubles as sauce and crispy with tempura batter!

    The Sauce

    The Sauce is made with a delicious mix of Asian and Middle Eastern flavours, which may sound odd, but work wonderfully. It is both used to marinade the tofu and coat the vegetables, quick pickling the red cabbage in the process, making for a seriously flavourful bowl that you’ll want to keep eating.

     

    The Ingredients

     

    Vegetables

    Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu_Ingredients

    Cauliflower – I found a rather pretty orange cauliflower at my local Tesco and just couldn’t resist. You could just steam or roast it as is, after cutting into small florets, but I opted for coating it in crispy tempura batter and air frying it. If you are using a whole head, you can either fry it in batches or simply put it in the oven. I tried both and found the air fried pieces to be a bit crisper, so that would be my favourite method.

    For the remaining veggies, you could use anything in your veg drawer. I had spinach, carrots, mushrooms, red cabbage, mini sweetcorn, and a bag of soy sprouts for a nice Asian inspired mix.
    To top the bowl with bright green accents and more flavour, I used a bunch of spring onions and cilantro.

    Protein – I’m using tofu here, which gets marinated in part of the sauce, then dipped into tempura batter, same as the cauliflower, and air fried/oven roasted. The sauce imparts lots of flavour here, so no need to worry about bland tofu.

    The Sauce

    Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu_Sauce Ingredients
    A mix of low sodium soy sauce, orange juice, balsamic and rice vinegar, honey, pomegranate molasses, gochujang paste (or any chili sauce of your choice), nutty sesame oil, garlic and ginger make this a very more-ish dressing that you’ll want to drizzle on anything from salads to stir fry.
    The pomegranate molasses has a distinct fruity sweet and sour taste. Most healthfood shops have it these days. If you can’t find it, use a little more balsamic vinegar and a bit more honey.

    The Tempura Batter

    While you could roast both cauliflower and tofu just covered with the sauce and they will be delicious, the batter adds that extra crispy shell and makes this bowl irresistible. You only need flour (gluten free works too), cornstarch, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, pepper and ice cold sparkling water.

    Carbohydrates – I had rice as carb with this bowl, but you could use noodles or any other grain you enjoy. Frekkeh would be particularly good here due to its nutty flavour.

     

    The Process

     

    Pressing the tofu

    Start by pressing the tofu, so it’s easier to fry to that perfect chewie texture and can soak up the marinade. If you don’t have a tofu press as mine in the picture, you could wrap it in a clean kitchen towel, then top with something heavy, like a cast iron skillet, to push out the moisture. Be careful though, I had a heavy cast iron pot slide off it once and drop to the floor, leaving a chip in my tiles. Hence my tofu press. I figured it’s less expensive than having to get tiles re-done or buy a new cast iron pot. About 30 minutes should be enough, but you can leave it for longer if you have time.
    Once it has given up a good bit of moisture, cut it into bite sized cubes.

    Vegetable Preparation

    While the tofu is left to its devices, prepare the veggies. Cut the cauliflower into florets, half or quarter the mushrooms, depending on size, julienne or slice the carrots, shred the cabbage thinly, slice the mini sweetcorn in half lengthwise and wash and roughly chop your spinach. Slice the spring onions and roughly chop the cilantro if using.

    Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu_Process

    The Sauce

    Peel your ginger. This is easiest done by scraping the skin off with a teaspoon. Sounds weird, I know. But give it a try. I promise you won’t look back.
    Peel and mince your garlic.
    Mix all the sauce ingredients in a jar and shake well.

    Marinate

    Use ¼ of the sauce to marinate your tofu cubes. Keep in the fridge for at least 30minutes, so they can soak up all the delicious flavour.
    In a large bowl, coat the shredded cabbage with about 3-4 tbsp of the sauce and mix well. Let it marinate until ready to serve.

    Line either your air fryer basket with some baking parchment (after pre-heating, as the empty air fryer will pull the paper up and might cause burning) or 2 baking trays. If using the air fryer, you might have to fry in batches, but the results will be a little crispier.

    The Tempura Batter

    To mix the batter add all dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly add the water, whisking as you go, until you have a smooth batter that will coat tofu and cauliflower. Add the water slowly, you might not need it all.

    Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu_Process

    Bake

    Pre-heat your air fryer or oven to 400°F/200°C.

    Dredge your tofu and cauliflower pieces through the batter, shaking each lightly, to let excess batter drip off. Distribute between the trays or add to your hot air fryer basket. Spray lightly with some oil or cooking spray. Air fry for about 17-20min until golden brown and crispy, flipping the pieces halfway through.
    In the oven, they will need about 30-35 minutes.

     

    Cook rice, fry vegetables

    Cook your rice according to packet instructions and drain when done.

    Meanwhile, heat 2 frying pans. Coat both with some oil or cooking spray. Add the mushrooms to one pan and fry until nicely browned, stirring only occasionally, to not disturb the browning process.

    In the second pan, stir fry the mini sweetcorn, followed by the julienned carrots, then soy sprouts and lastly the spinach until wilted. Add the remaining sauce to the pan and let it bubble up briefly, to take the raw edge off the garlic and ginger.

    Serve

    Start by adding rice to your bowl, then top with the remaining ingredients, finishing with the crispy cauliflower and tofu. Drizzle some sauce over. Sprinkle with some spring onions, cilantro and sesame if you like. Enjoy your colourful and healthy Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu.

    Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu

    Meal Prep

     

    I made the ingredients for the Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu on my weekend and stored them in separate containers, to keep them fresh. While I fried each vegetable on its own to show them in the bowl, it makes more sense from a flavour perspective to stir fry them all in one pan and also store them that way. No need to go through all the trouble I did. Though if you want to keep them separate, you can just microwave them with the rice later, to heat them.

    For the tempura battered tofu and cauliflower, I lined a large container with kitchen towels, and stored them in layers, to stop them from sticking. I then re-heated them in portions in the air fryer for a few minutes, to crisp them up.

    Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu_Meal Prep

    The ingredients keep stored as above for about 4 days in the fridge. I wouldn’t necessarily advise to freeze them, especially the tofu and cauliflower, as they will go soggy.

    Looking for more ideas for Veganuary? Here are some of my favourites:
    Vegan Tom Kha Soup

    Vegetable Stew with Dumplings

    Sumac Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Black Garlic Mushroom Sauce

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu

    Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu

    The Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu is a great start for the Veganuary. Lots of colourful crunchy veggies in a flavourful fruity-hot Asian sauce topped with crispy air fried cauliflower and tofu. Meal prep a large batch and you are all set for your work week with a seriously delicious and nutritious meal.
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
    Cook Time 40 minutes
    Total Time 2 hours
    Course Dinner, Main Course
    Cuisine Asian, Fusion
    Servings 6
    Calories 750 kcal

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 pack tofu
    • 1 head of cauliflower
    • ¼ red cabbage
    • 1 pack mini sweetcorn
    • 3 carrots
    • 1 pack mushrooms
    • 1 pack bean sprouts
    • 1 bag spinach
    • 1 cup rice
    • 1 bunch Spring onions - sliced
    • 1 cup fresh cilantro chopped, optional
    • sesame seeds for serving, optional

    Sauce

    • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or peanut oil
    • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 1/3 cups honey
    • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon molasses or pomegranate molasses
    • 1 tsp gochujang paste
    • 2 tbsp sesame oil
    • 3 cloves garlic minced or grated
    • 1 inch fresh ginger grated

    Tempura Batter

    • 3 cups gluten free flour blend or brown rice flour
    • 4 tbsp cornstarch
    • 2 tbsp baking powder
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • ½ tsp black pepper
    • 3 cups sparkling water extra cold

    Instructions
     

    Pressing the Tofu:

    • Press the tofu for about 30 minutes to remove excess moisture, then cut it into bite-sized cubes.

    Vegetable Preparation:

    • Cut cauliflower into florets, mushrooms into halves or quarters, carrots into julienne strips, shred the cabbage thinly, slice mini sweetcorn in half lengthwise, and wash and roughly chop the spinach.
    • Slice spring onions and chop cilantro if using.

    The Sauce:

    • Peel and mince the garlic, and peel and grate the ginger.
    • Mix all sauce ingredients in a jar and shake well.

    Marinate:

    • Use ¼ of the sauce to marinate tofu cubes. Keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
    • In a large bowl, coat shredded cabbage with 3-4 tbsp of the sauce and let it marinate.

    The Tempura Batter:

    • Mix all dry tempura batter ingredients in a bowl. Slowly add sparkling water, whisking until a smooth batter forms.

    Bake:

    • Preheat air fryer or oven to 400°F/200°C.
    • Dredge tofu and cauliflower through the batter, shaking off excess. Air fry for 17-20 minutes or bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and crispy, flipping halfway.

    Cook Rice, Fry Vegetables:

    • Cook rice according to package instructions.
    • In separate pans, fry mushrooms until browned in one pan. Stir-fry mini sweetcorn, carrots, bean sprouts, and spinach in the second pan. Add remaining sauce to the stir fry and let it bubble briefly.

    Serve:

    • In a bowl, layer rice, vegetables, and crispy tofu and cauliflower. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with spring onions, cilantro, and sesame seeds if desired.

    Meal Prep:

    • Prepare ingredients and store separately for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave and crisp up tempura battered pieces in the air fryer.
    • Enjoy your colourful and healthy Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu!

    Notes

    Total for the Dish (including rice, excluding optional toppings):
    Calories: Approximately 750 kcal
    Protein: Around 19g
    Carbohydrates: Roughly 110g
    Fat: About 26g
    Fiber: Around 15g
    Sugar: Approximately 26g

    Nutrition

    Calories: 750kcal
    Nutrition Facts
    Asian Bowl with Cauliflower and Tofu
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    750
    % Daily Value*
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Healthy, High Fibre, Protein, vegan, vegetables, Vegetarian
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    Grand Aioli

    Grand Aioli

    Grand Aioli is my idea of a perfect party dinner. Four different kinds of Aioli, one of them vegan, are served with a stunning spread of different vegetables and protein for dipping. Easy to prepare ahead of time and guaranteed to please everyone, this is one of my favourite dishes to serve, when I want both an impressive and healthy spread. Vegan version included.

    Why You Want to Make This

    Grand Aioli

    Easy

    I know it looks like it’s a lot of effort, but it really isn’t. The 4 types of Aioli take a maximum of 5 minutes each. There is a bit of vegetable chopping, but since you want them large enough to dip comfortably, that’s quickly done. Some roasting, boiling and quick steaming of some of the ingredients and you are ready to assemble. You could buy ready cooked prawns or scampi, if you wanted to skip the extra step of frying them briefly.

    Can be Prepared in Advance

    Most of the ingredients for Grand Aioli can be prepared well in advance. The different aioli keep well in the fridge for several days. Pre-chop the veggies, so you only have to stem or boil them quickly on the day. The eggs can be cooked the day before too. I tend to keep each ingredient in its own container in the fridge, so they keep the perfect flavour.

    Satisfies Everyone

    Always wondering what to serve the vegans and non-vegans, without preparing two different meals? This is it. There is plenty of variety for both here. The Green Cashew Aioli is so delicious, even the non-vegans will want their share. If you’ want to make all the sauces vegan, use a larger quantity of the cashew base without herbs, then divide and mix different flavourings into it.

    Healthy

    During my weight loss journey, which lasted nearly a year, I was looking for feasts that would not throw me back in my progress. This is one of them. With all the fibre from vegetables, protein from prawns and eggs and healthy carbs from the boiled potatoes, you have a pretty balanced meal that is surprisingly low in calories. Depending on how much aioli you spread on said veg of course. But if you use the cashew aioli as base, even that gives you fibre, protein, and healthy fats.

    The Four Types of Aioli

    I made four different kinds of Aioli for this Grand Aioli, though theoretically you could also use my Black Garlic Aioli. It would be delicious for sure.
    Traditional would be just the classic version, but I do love variety in my dips and can never decide on just one.

    Classic Aioli – This is the very classic base version, made with egg, oil a bit of lemon juice, mustard and, of course, garlic

    Chili Aioli – By simply adding a little bit of Sriracha, chili powder and maple syrup to the basic version, we have made a Chili Aioli, for the lovers of spicy food.

    Green Aioli with Greek Yoghurt – For a slightly lighter and fresher version, the basic Aioli gets mixed with 0% fat Greek yoghurt and loads of fresh herbs. Tons of flavour, less fat.

    Green Cashew Aioli – The vegan version. But don’t be fooled, this is no less delicious than the original. I would even say it’s my favourite out of all of them. Still super creamy, lots of flavour from garlic and herbs, I’m completely hooked!

     

    The Ingredients

    Grand Aioli - Ingredients

    This depends a lot on you: What vegetables do you like for dipping? You can get very creative here. Just don’t leave out the potatoes, as they might be the best of all with any of the Aioli.
    Use fresh and good quality new or baby potatoes, for their size and creamy, nutty flavour.

    Broccoli and asparagus are lovely for their green crunchiness, so are green beans.

    I used some squash, since I found some small and pretty ones. Hokkaido was my favourite of them, as it has a particular sweet and nutty flavour when roasted, that I adore.

    Fresh carrots, mini sweetcorn, mini peppers, cherry tomatoes, and radishes can never go amiss. If you can find it, radicchio would be lovely for the bitterness and colour it brings to the table. Unfortunately it is very hard to find in Ireland.

    For protein, boiled eggs and prawns or scampi are typically served. But if you have more meat eaters in the crowd, some sliced roast beef might be nice too. Or grilled chicken breast pieces.

    Lemons, both for garnish and squeezing over last minute. And some Maldon salt for sprinkling.

    On the Aioli front, being at the heart of a Grand Aioli, it will depend which ones you decide to make.

    The classic version is made mainly with eggs, oil, mustard, lemon juice and garlic.

    Grand Aioli - Ingredients

    For the Chili version use Sriracha or any chili sauce you enjoy, chili powder, lime juice and cilantro.

    Grand Aioli - Ingredients

    Fresh herbs and 0% fat Greek yoghurt for the lighter green version.

    Grand Aioli - Ingredients

    The Cashew Aioli is, as the name says, based on cashews which get soaked in water and then blended with water, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, dates (I know this sounds weird, but trust me, it’s delicious) and lots of fresh herbs.

    Grand Aioli - Ingredients

     

    The Process

     

    Aioli

    Prepare the Aioli first since you can leave them in the fridge for the flavours to meld while you prepare the veggies and proteins.
    My personal trick to perfect mayonnaise, leading to perfect Aioli is, to use a stick blender.

    Grand Aioli_Process

    Using a slim jar or container that just fits the stick blenders head with very little room to spare on the sides, you add your egg, mustard, and lemon juice at the bottom, then top it with all of the oil. Gently lower your blender head, equipped with the whisking disc, all the way down, so it covers the egg. Switch it on at full speed and do not move it for a few seconds. You will see mayonnaise forming right away at the bottom. Keep it still until the white mass doesn’t expand upwards further, then gently tip your blender into a diagonal, and very slowly move it upwards.

    Black Garlic Aioli_Process

    This method will do the same as you would do by hand: Incorporate the oil in a thin stream, by creating a vortex that pulls it slowly into the egg, emulsifying it in the process. The trick lies in the waiting time before moving the blender, to give it enough time to pull in the oil until it reaches no more. Once you’ve pulled it all the way up, most of the oil will be incorporated and you will have a firm and very stable mayonnaise.

    Grand Aioli_Process

    Mash your garlic, chop your herbs roughly and add all of them with some salt and pepper to your mayonnaise. Blend again with the pureeing attachment, to create a smooth and delicious Aioli.

    Due to the specific jar requirement, you’ll have to make one portion at a time. If you’d rather make the whole batch at once, you could use a food processor or blender and slowly drizzle the oil in, to emulsify the mayonnaise.

    Variations of Aioli

    I made 3 batches of this basic Aioli, then mixed the chili sauce and maple syrup into one, finely chopped herbs and Greek yoghurt into the next and left one as it was.

    Grand Aioli_Process

    Cashew Aioli

    The Green Cashew Aioli is even easier: Soak the cashews in just boiled water for about 30min. Drain, then add to a high speed blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend until super smooth and creamy. I’m using my Nutribullet for this. You could use the zest of the lemon as I did here, but I found it tastes lovely with just the juice, so I left the step out in the recipe.

    Grand Aioli_Process
    This is one of the recipes that, yes, in theory you could make in a normal blender or food processor, but it will never be as satisfyingly smooth as in the high speed version. So if you, like me back in time, wonder why on earth anyone would eat a grainy cashew sauce, the lack of high speed is the reason.

    Grand Aioli_Process

    Things to Dip

     

    Prepare the Veggies for the Grand Aioli

     

    Depending on what veggies you are using for dipping, cut them into easy dippable pieces.
    Leave the potatoes whole, especially if you got baby potatoes.

    The squash was halved, deseeded with a spoon, and sliced into wedges, drizzled with a little olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and roasted on a baking tray until the edges started to brown and caramelize. About 25min at 400°F/200°C.

    Grand Aioli_Process

    Boil the potatoes for about 20-25 minutes until you can easily pierce them with a sharp knife.
    The eggs are boiled for about 7-8 minutes, for that waxy perfection.

    Grand Aioli_Process

    Clean tender stem broccoli, asparagus, and beans, leaving them whole, but cutting off any dry ends. Steam the broccoli for 3-4 minutes, until slightly tender but crunchy. The Asparagus gets 5-10 minutes in the steam, depending on the thickness of your spears. You’ll want them tender but with bite. The beans can be cooked or steamed for about 5-10 minutes, until tender-crisp.
    If using mini sweetcorn, it is also great steamed for 5-6 minutes.

    Prepare the Protein

    If using ready cooked prawns, you don’t need to do anything to them. I used raw and briefly pan fried them with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, until they were opaque and no rawness showing in the middle anymore. This just takes a few minutes.

    Grand Aioli_Meal Prep

    Serve

    Now it’s time to serve. Peel your eggs. Divide the Aioli into smaller serving bowls, so everyone at the table can reach them easily.

    Arrange potatoes, eggs, prawn and vegetables on a big board or plate, sprinkle over a bit of Maldon salt and squeeze over some lemon. Top with lemon wedges and dig into your Grand Aioli!

    Grand Aioli

    Meal Prep

     

    Most parts of this meal can be prepared ahead of time as described above. If you do so, keep each part in a separate container in your fridge.

    The Aioli will last for about 2-3 days covered in the fridge. The Cashew Aioli up to 5 days, as it doesn’t contain raw egg.

    There will most likely be leftovers in form of aioli, which are amazing on sandwich, vegetables of course and any meat you might have. Cold or hot, it’s a pretty universal dip.

     

    Looking for different festive dinner ideas?

     

    Try these:
    Vegetarian Mezze Feast

    Burger with Black Garlic Aioli

    Chinese Duck Pancake Salad with Plum Dressing

    Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken

    Please Comment

     

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Grand Aioli

    Grand Aioli

    Grand Aioli is my idea of a perfect party dinner. Four different kinds of Aioli, one of them vegan, are served with a stunning spread of different vegetables and protein for dipping. Easy to prepare ahead of time and guaranteed to please everyone, this is one of my favourite dishes to serve, when I want both an impressive and healthy spread.
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 1 hour
    Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
    Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
    Course Dinner, dip, Feast, Main Course, spread
    Cuisine French, Mediterranean
    Servings 8
    Calories 500 kcal

    Equipment

    • Stick blender, high speed blender

    Ingredients
      

    Aioli

    • 3 eggs very fresh
    • 2 ¼ cups neutral oil such as grapeseed
    • 4 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp lime juice
    • 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
    • 9 fresh garlic cloves minced
    • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt or more to taste

    Add Ins:

      Chili Aioli:

      • 1 tbsp Sriracha or another chili sauce you enjoy. More or less to taste.
      • 1 tbsp maple syrup
      • 1/8 tsp ancho chili powder or more to taste
      • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped

      Green Herb Aioli

      • ½ cup 0% fat Greek yoghurt
      • 4 tbsp mixed soft herbs like dill parsley and basil, chopped

      Cashew Aioli

      • 1 cup cashews soaked in just boiled water for 30min
      • 2 dates destoned
      • 4-6 tbsp fresh soft herbs like parsley basil and dill, roughly torn
      • 3 cloves fresh garlic
      • 2 tbsp lemon juice
      • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
      • 1 tbsp liquid aminos or Tamari or soy sauce. Liquid Aminos are slightly sweeter so you might have to adjust the seasoning if you are using one of the other options
      • ½-1 cup water start with ½, add more after blending if the aioli is too thick. If you keep it in the fridge, it will thicken more
      • Salt and pepper to taste

      Vegetables for dipping

      • 1 lb baby or new potatoes
      • 1-2 Hokkaido or similar squashes depending on size
      • 1-2 packs tender stem broccoli I used 2 small packs
      • 1 pack green beans about 300g
      • 1-2 bunches of Asparagus depending on size
      • 2 packs mini sweetcorn
      • 1 romaine lettuce heart
      • 1 pack radishes
      • 1 pack cherry tomatoes
      • ½ lb carrots
      • 1 pack mini peppers halved and deseeded

      Protein

      • 2 packs large prawns or scampi ready cooked or raw (fry them if you got raw ones)
      • 8 eggs for boiling use more if you have more than 8 people

      Instructions
       

      Aioli:

      • Start by preparing the Aioli as it benefits from some time in the fridge for the flavours to meld.
      • Use a stick blender for a foolproof method. In a slim jar, add eggs, mustard, and lemon juice (lime juice for one batch for the chili version) at the bottom, then pour in all the oil.
      • Lower the blender head equipped with the whisking disc, covering the egg. Switch on at full speed, keeping it still for a few seconds until mayonnaise forms.
      • Tilt the blender diagonally and slowly move it upwards, allowing the vortex to pull in the oil. This method creates a stable mayonnaise.
      • Mash the garlic and add it with salt to the mayonnaise. Blend again to create a smooth Aioli. Taste and add more salt ort lemon juice to taste.
      • Do this in 3 batches, since a jar slim enough to fit your blender will likely only hold one batch of Aioli. Use lime juice instead of lemon in one portion for the chili sauce.
      • Customize one with chili sauce and maple syrup, another with finely chopped herbs and Greek yogurt, and leave one as it is.

      Cashew Aioli:

      • Soak cashews in just-boiled water for 30 minutes. Drain and add to a high-speed blender with other ingredients.
      • Blend until super smooth and creamy. High-speed blending ensures a satisfyingly smooth texture.

      Things to Dip:

      • Cut veggies into easy dippable pieces. Leave potatoes whole, especially if using baby potatoes.
      • Halve and deseed squash, slice into wedges, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast at 400°F/200°C for about 25 minutes.
      • Boil potatoes for 20-25 minutes until easily pierced with a sharp knife.
      • Boil eggs for 7-8 minutes for waxy perfection.
      • Clean tender stem broccoli, asparagus, and beans, leaving them whole. Steam broccoli for 3-4 minutes, asparagus for 5-10 minutes, and beans for 5-10 minutes until tender-crisp.
      • Steam mini sweetcorn for 5-6 minutes if using.
      • If using ready-cooked prawns, no preparation is needed. If raw, pan-fry briefly with olive oil, salt, and pepper until opaque and cooked through.

      Serving:

      • Peel eggs, slice in half lengthways, and divide Aioli into smaller serving bowls.
      • Arrange potatoes, eggs, prawns, and vegetables on a large board or plate.
      • Sprinkle with Maldon salt, squeeze over some lemon, and top with lemon wedges.
      • Serve and enjoy the Grand Aioli feast!

      Notes

      Most parts of this meal can be prepared ahead of time as described above. If you do so, keep each part in a separate container in your fridge.
      The Aioli will last for about 2-3 days covered in the fridge. The Cashew Aioli up to 5 days, as it doesn’t contain raw egg.
      There will most likely be leftovers in form of aioli, which are amazing on sandwich, vegetables of course and any meat you might have. Cold or hot, it’s a pretty universal dip.
      No nutrition calculation this time, as it depends on the vegetables used, the amount of aioli on each veg when dipping and which aioli you would use. So this has too many variables to calculate. So I used just a general 500cal per portion as a wild estimate. Depending on how much of it you eat and the amount of aioli you spread on your veggies, this may be below or above.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 500kcal
      Nutrition Facts
      Grand Aioli
      Amount per Serving
      Calories
      500
      % Daily Value*
      * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
      Keyword Easy, For Guests, Healthy, vegan, vegetables, Vegetarian, versatile
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!