Vegan Chocolate and Coconut Truffles

These are deliciously creamy and rich, with a lovely hint of coconut! Incredibly easy to make, though they do take a while to set in the fridge before you can eat them. If you can’t have dairy for whatever reason, these are a great option.

Prep time: ~4 hours, largely inactive
Serves: 8-10
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 300 g dark chocolate.
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil.
  • 1 can coconut milk (240 ml).
  • 1-2 tbsp icing sugar.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Heat the coconut milk on low heat on the stove, or in the microwave, stirring often to make sure it’s heated evenly. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large bowl with the coconut oil.

Once the coconut milk is hot, pour it over the chocolate and oil. Leave it for a moment to begin melting, then stir well, making sure all of the chocolate and oil has completely melted. Pour in the vanilla extract, then sift in the icing sugar, being careful to keep the truffle mix completely lump-free.

Place the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl or a casserole dish (this will make it easier to scoop into balls later), then cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 4 hours.

When the truffle mix has set, use a tablespoon to scoop out the desired amount, then roll with your hands to form smooth balls. Decorate them however you like: toss them in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate sprinkles, desiccated coconut, chopped nuts… the possibilities are endless! Pop them back in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up again, then enjoy!

Coconut Noodles

Very loosely inspired by a Thai dish I once had. If you can’t find Chinese eggplant, I’d just leave it out, since Italian eggplant wouldn’t work too well in this dish.  Be careful not to overcook the rice noodles! They’ll end up mushy. This is a lesson I learned the hard way.

Prep time: ~20 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • ~300 g rice noodles.
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil.
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste.
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk.
  • 1 tbsp chili paste.
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced, some set aside to garnish.
  • 1 Chinese eggplant, cut into thin half-moons.
  • 1 cup bean sprouts.
  • 1 large handful Thai basil leaves (leave small ones intact, tear up the larger ones), plus some to garnish.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinsing the noodles with a bit of cold water to prevent them from overcooking, and set aside.

Place a large saucepan on medium-high heat, and add the sesame oil. When hot, add the scallions, and eggplant, and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften.

Next, add the coconut milk, tomato paste, and chili paste. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often to prevent it from sticking, then add the basil leaves and bean sprouts.

Reduce the heat and simmer for about three minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken.

Stir the rice noodles into the sauce and toss to coat well, and serve immediately, garnishing with a few extra basil leaves and the green onions.

Garam Masala Coconut Green Beans

A delicious side dish I learned from my father. Goes very nicely with spicy food, especially curries. Again, I won’t claim that this is authentic, because it absolutely isn’t. Quite a healthy dish, with no added fats.

Prep time: ~20 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Raw green beans, halved, with the ends cut off.
  • 1 tin coconut milk.
  • 2 tsp garam masala.
  • Slivered almonds.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Place the green beans in a large saucepan or pot, and pour in just enough coconut milk to nearly submerge them. This won’t be the whole can! Save the rest.

Add the garam masala, and stir well. Cook on medium-low heat, simmering the beans in the coconut milk until done. If the coconut milk is too thick, or boils away too quickly, add a small amount of water (1 or 2 tsp at a time) so the beans don’t burn.

In a small frying pan on medium-low heat,, with no oil, toast the slivered almonds. They should be lightly browned and crispy. Serve the beans piping hot, and garnish with the almonds.