Mumbai based Rithika Ramesh is a vegan, baker and a blogger who, after dabbling in the world of Indian cinema for a while, turned to veganism and baking as her full-time passion and profession.Veganism was a choice she made out of her love for animals while baking was always a hobby. The Green Stove, a vegan catering service was born out of those passions in 2010.
The Green Stove is India's first 100% vegan bakery making delicious dairy-free and egg-free goodies that includes cupcakes, cookies, organic breads and vegan cheese spreads. Rithika is also a Lifestyle and Cooking Coach advising people on how to eat healthier. Here’s a vegan twist to a few popular favourites.
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Vegan Alfredo with Fusilli (Serves 2)
>> 1/2 cup dry, raw and unsalted cashews
>> 1 onion chopped fine
>> 1-2 cloves of garlic
>> 1 green/red/yellow capsicum cut in to 1/2 inch cubes
>> 1/2 cup broccoli florets
>> 7-8 mushrooms chopped
>> 3 tsp sun dried tomatoes (optional)
>> 1 tsp red chilli flakes
>> 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
>> Salt and pepper
>>1 tsp olive oil
>>200 gms fusilli pasta
Start cooking the pasta in a pot of boiling, salted water, first.
Dry roast the cashews till they start showing brown patches on them. Powder the cashews in a blender and add some water to make a paste.Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil. Add the broccoli, mushrooms and chopped capsicum. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Add in the cashew paste and mix well. Add about 1 cup of water. Let them all simmer together till the sauce achieves a nice thick consistency. If you think the sauce is not enough add in a little bit more of water and let it simmer. Add the chilli flakes, herbs, salt and pepper.
Chocolate Mousse (Serves 4-6)
>> 1/2 litre (roughly 2 1/2 cups) of chocolate soy milk at room temperature
>> 1 strip of agar agar/ China grass
>> 1/4 cup water
Cut the agar agar with scissors into small pieces. Put it in a grinder and grind it till it resembles flakes. Mix the powdered agar agar flakes with the water and bring it to a boil. Stir frequently and make sure most of the agar agar has disappeared. A few small lumps are okay. While stirring continuously, add the chocolate soy milk, little at a time. Keep it on the stove for another 3 minutes till the soy milk is hot, and then take it off the stove. Pour into a big glass bowl or smaller bowls to set. Keep it in the fridge and let it set for at least 45 minutes. Top with some grated/ chopped vegan chocolate (Bournville, Mordes Dark) and serve cold.
Healthy Gajar Halwa (Serves 2)
>> 4 long carrots (usually available in winter. I’d suggest you use it only when it is available seasonally)
>> 1/4 cup melted jaggery syrup (more or less depending on your sweet tooth)
>> A handful of cashews powdered in a grinder
>> 2 cloves of cardamom
>> 4-5 almonds roasted
Wash the carrots. It is not necessary to peel carrots as most of the nutrition is just under the skin. Cut the carrots in half and steam for 20 minutes. Don’t let it become too soft. Once they are done steaming let it cool for another 10 minutes or so and then using a big holed grater, grate the carrots. Mix in the jaggery, cashew powder and cardamom. Top with some slivers of roasted almonds. Serve warm or cold.
>> Pamela Anderson
>> Alanis Morissette
>> James Cameron
>> Bill & Chelsea Clinton
>> Jason Mraz
>> Ben Stiller
>> Vanessa Williams