There’s a vegan on my stoep *

A lovely friend is in Cape Town for six months on contract so I invited her to be my first real guinea pig – as in, to have dinner with me at my own house. Rob was also invited, but obviously has eaten here many times – the difference is, he was always the one doing the cooking!

So, as I chatted to Melinda during the week about how to find my house and the best route, etc, I remembered to ask if there was anything she didn’t eat. She reminded me that she is a vegan. Oh sweet cheeses – I’d forgotten that! What she didn’t realise is that it was brave enough of me to have offered to cook for her in the first place, let alone having to cater for someone who doesn’t even eat eggs. She also doesn’t eat mushrooms or tomatoes (whole) but that’s not the vegan side of her, those are just her personal dislikes.

I was desperate. I turned to the interwebs and googled my fingers sore, until – ta da – Jamie bloody Oliver! What a genius he is. With a few minor alterations, I served lentil tabbouleh and stuffed butternut, with french bread on the side. I couldn’t find puy lentils so used black ones (they were perfect) and substituted finely chopped spinach leaves from my own garden for the tomatoes. I also couldn’t find chestnuts for the butternut stuffing (chestnuts, seriously, wtf?) so used slivered almonds instead. A couple of bottles of Nederburg Baronne and, really, it was a lovely meal and a lovely evening.

I think I’m almost ready for a full table of people now (i.e. six) so I’ll be giving some thought to that this week….heaven knows there are enough friends I owe a return invitation to, in all my years of non-cooking :)

*Only South African readers will get this reference, sorry.


23 thoughts on “There’s a vegan on my stoep *

  1. katechiconi

    *… and those of us with Dutch mothers. ‘Porch’, natuurlik.
    Well done on the demanding menu, it sounds extremely tasty. My vegan standby is onion, garlic, shredded red cabbage, apple, red capsicum and borlotti beans braised gently in olive oil, with a few drops of liquid smoke. You can pretend to yourself that it really does contain rookvlees, the vegan friend will be happy, and if you happen to have omnivorous visitors another time, you can really give them some nice smoked sausage in it too.

  2. The Snail of Happiness

    Well done on finding something suitable to cook. You may have read my recent post on making a vegan cake, so I know exactly what you went through finding an appropriate recipe! Somehow your new living arrangement had passed me by… I’ve been very erratic with my reading over recent months and I hadn’t realised. Anyway, here’s to many more meals cooked and enjoyed with friends.

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      Just sent you an email via your contact page — and only as I hit send did it occur to me it might not be private!!! Please check, and if not private, please delete asap. Thanks !!!!!

  3. insearchofitall

    You make me laugh out loud reading this! ;) I have a vegan friend and hate to even have lunch with her. I’m no cook in any shape or form. Mostly we go out for a salad. You did a good job of it and if I need to cook vegan, now I know where to go. My friend is an excellent cook and blogs at A German transplant with a flair for food. I love eating at her house but I hate to cook…period. Thanks for the giggle.

  4. healthobsessedvegan

    Well done! The one thing I find about vegan cooking is it forces you to be a bit more adventurous, which I absolutely love. Soon you’ll find yourself incorporating vegan meals into your diet without much effort. This dish sounds amazing by the way!

    1. Nice Piece of Work Post author

      It was great! The one thing I find about all cooking is that it doesn’t really excite me at all so I prefer not to do any – sometimes one has to just bite the bullet, though :)


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