From Veganissimo! Beautiful Vegan Food

Leigh Drew's exciting new recipes for delicious vegan fare are sure to make your mouth water. Cook up a vegan storm with a fresh take on truly ethical food like you've never seen it before.

Vegan Reuben Sandwiches

Corn Fritters and Tartare sauce

Strawberry and Pepper Sorbet with a balsamic glaze

These recipes are an extract from Veganissimo! Beautiful Vegan Food by Leigh Drew, Arbon Publishing, $34.99.

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Gluten Free
SERVES 6 sandwiches
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
340 g green sauerkraut

Thousand Island-style Sauce:
½ batch Tartare Sauce (see below)
½ cup (120 ml) tomato sauce
2 or 3 dashes hot sauce

To Serve:
12 slices gluten-free or dark rye bread
2 tablespoons seeded mustard
½ batch of cooled Cheese Sauce (see recipe below)
24 pieces Vegan Bacon (see the book Veganissimo!), or use store-bought vegan corned beef slices.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion slices for about 10 minutes or until they have softened and are beginning to colour. Add the sauerkraut and stir for about 5 minutes or until it is warmed through. Cover the frying pan to keep the contents warm and set it aside. In a small bowl, mix the Tartare Sauce with the tomato ketchup and hot sauce.

To serve, spread six slices of the gluten-free or dark rye bread with seeded mustard and Cheese Sauce, and the other six slices of bread with Thousand Island-style sauce. Top the seeded mustard and Cheese Sauce with the sauerkraut and onion mixture, and four pieces of Vegan Bacon. Place the bread with the Thousand Island-style sauce on top of the Vegan Bacon, sauce side down.

Place the sandwiches into a toaster press and cook them until the bread is crisping and the Cheese Sauce is beginning to bubble. Alternatively, place them into a frying pan or cast-iron pan and press down with a spatula until one side is crisp; flip the sandwiches and repeat for the other side.

Cheese Sauce
Soy Free, Gluten Free
MAKES 6 portions

2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup (30 g) chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
½ cup (45 g) nutritional yeast
⅓ cup (60 g) ground sunflower seeds (gluten free) or quick-cook rolled oats
2 cups (480 ml) hot salt-reduced vegetable stock
½ cup (120 ml) soy-free or soy non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour, nutritional yeast and ground sunflower seeds or quick-cook rolled oats, and stir well. Pour in a ½ cup of salt-reduced vegetable stock and stir well to form a paste. Continue adding the stock a ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until the sauce is thick and smooth and coats the back of a spoon. Whisk in the soy-free or soy non-dairy milk, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and white pepper. If the sauce is lumpy, use a stick blender to blend it until it is smooth.


Soy Free, Gluten Free
SERVES 12–14 fritters

1½ cups (285 g) corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium red bell pepper (capsicum), finely chopped
1 bunch coriander (approx. 115 g), finely chopped
1 cup (155 g) polenta
½ cup (60 g) chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup (240 ml) soy-free or soy non-dairy milk
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
½ batch Tartare Sauce (see below) to serve

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a cookie tray with kitchen baking paper. In a large bowl, mix together the corn kernels, red onion, garlic, red capsicum and coriander. Stir through the polenta, chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour, salt and ground black pepper. Pour in the soy-free or soy non-dairy milk and olive oil, and mix the ingredients together well. Set the bowl aside.

Place a non-stick or cast-iron frying pan over medium heat. Form ½-cup portions of the mixture into patties, and pan-fry the fritters in batches of three or four at a time. Cook the fritters for 5–7 minutes or until they are golden on the underside, flip and fry them for a further 3–5 minutes, and then place the fritters onto the cookie tray. Place the fritters into the oven to bake for 15 minutes or until they are fully cooked and set in the centre.

Serve the fritters topped with the Tartare Sauce.

Tartare Sauce
Soy Free, Gluten Free
PREPARATION TIME 5 minutes, plus overnight soaking
MAKES 2 cups

1 cup (130 g) cashews, soaked overnight and drained
¾ cup (180 ml) water
¼ cup (60 ml) white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch chives (approx. 15 g), finely chopped
⅓ cup (70 g) finely chopped cornichons (gherkins)
¼ cup (45 g) finely chopped capers

Tartare sauce can be used on sandwiches, served with panfried or battered tofu, and even offered as a dip.

Place the cashews, water, white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, white pepper and olive oil into a food processor. Blend the ingredients until the sauce is smooth. Pour the sauce into a bowl and stir through the chives, cornichons (gherkins) and capers.


Low Fat, Soy Free, Gluten Free
COOKING TIME 40 minutes, plus at least one hour churning and freezing, PREPARATION TIME 15 minutes

1 kg fresh strawberries, hulled and rinsed
1 cup (240 ml) hot water
½ tablespoon whole peppercorns
½ cup (115 g) coconut sugar (rapadura sugar or brown sugar can be used instead)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (cornflour)

Balsamic Syrup:
1 cup (240 ml) balsamic vinegar

To make the strawberry and pepper sorbet, place the fresh strawberries into a food processor and blend them until they are smooth. Pass the blended strawberries through a mesh strainer and into a large bowl to remove the seeds. This should leave you with 3 cups of strawberry pulp. Set the strawberry pulp aside.

Place the hot water into a small saucepan and add the whole peppercorns. Simmer over low–medium heat for 10 minutes. Strain the peppered water into a medium bowl and discard the peppercorns. Pour the peppered water back into the small saucepan and add the coconut sugar. Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is beginning to form large bubbles. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Pour the peppered and sugared water into the large bowl with the strawberries. Place a ¼ cup of the mixture into a small bowl and whisk in the cornstarch (cornflour) to form a paste. Whisk this paste back into the rest of the mixture.

Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to churn and freeze the sorbet.

To make the balsamic syrup, place the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15–20 minutes or until almost two-thirds of the liquid has evaporated. The syrup can turn to burned toffee very quickly, so keep an eye on it, especially in the last 5 minutes. Set the syrup aside to cool completely.

Serve the strawberry and pepper sorbet with a drizzle of balsamic syrup. This sorbet needs to be taken out of the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving, or 25 minutes if it has been frozen overnight or longer.

These recipes are an extract from Veganissimo! Beautiful Vegan Food by Leigh Drew, Arbon Publishing, $34.99.