Do you believe me when I say you can cook a delicious vegan 3-course dinner menu for two under 10€? 7.47€ to be specific. Curious how that exactly comes together? Well, stick around, because I got you covered.
Creating a vegan 3-course dinner menu for two
I love to set myself challenges. This time, I set myself the challenge to cook a vegan 3-course dinner menu for two under 10€. To have a starting point, I decided to center the dinner menu around one specific ingredient. This also allows me to use one grocery item for all of the three courses. You will see in the overview at the end of this blog post how that really brought down the costs.
So what is the magical ingredient in this menu you might be wondering? It's chickpeas! Whether it's hummus, chickpea curry, falafel or simply roasted in the oven - chickpeas are a staple in my kitchen. But for this menu, I really wanted to challenge myself and look beyond the obvious chickpea recipes.
Appetizer: Roasted Carrot Hummus
For starters, I made hummus witwh oven roasted carrots. I also added the juice of a lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Now, salt and pepper are kitchen staples so I didn't count that towards the total cost of this menu.
The carrots added a lovely, subtle sweetness to the hummus. Additionally, they made for a really vibrant colour as you can see above. We ate it with some baguette but you could also serve the hummus with some crackers. Or even carrots sticks if you like - talking about re-using ingredients, right?
Main Course: Vegan Meatballs with Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce
For the main course, I made a really classic dish and put a chickpea spin on it: Spaghetti in a (no-)meatballs tomato sauce. I started by preparing a home-made salsa. For this, I sauteed some onions and then added one can of tomatoes. Let that simmer and mash the tomatoes with a fork or the other side of a wooden spoon. I also added some spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, italian herb mix, paprika and cayenne pepper).
To make the chickpea (no-)meatballs, I added a can of chickpeas, one chopped onion and 6 tbps of salsa to a blender. After a few quick pulses, I added that to a bowl together with 50g couscous (cooked) and 60g of rice flour. You can pop the dough in the fridge for an hour so it is easier to form the balls. I baked the chickpea balls at 180 °C (360 °F) for 30 minutes, flipping them half way through.
Finally, add the rest of the home made salsa and the second can of tomatoes to a pan and bring to a simmer. Cook the spaghetti and voila - you're done.
Dessert: Raspberry Chocolate Mousse
Do you throw away the chickpea juice? I used to, but now I found a much better way to use the so called aquafaba - chocolate mousse. It takes just two ingredients plus any toppings that you like. I chose raspberries because chocolate and raspberries is a match made in heaven!
Aquafaba behaves similar to egg whites. If you whip it long enough, it'll stiffen and its color will turn white. Also, the chickpea smell magically goes away. While it's not completely as firm as whipped egg whites, it does come quite close. I used an electric mixer and it took me 10 minutes to reach the desired consistency.
While you whip your aquafaba, you can bring a pot of water to a light simmer and melt the chocolate. Make sure to let it cool to room temperature before you combine it with the stiff aquafaba. We don't want our chocolate to turn all crumbly. Here's another tip to prevent that from happening. Instead of adding the chocolate to your aquafaba bowl, add the aquafaba to the chocolate - one spoon at a time. This way, you'll get a really smooth and fluffy chocolate mousse.
Finally, fill the chocolate mousse into a bowl or glass and place in the fridge to set for approximately 2 hours.
Vegan 3-course dinner menu under 10€ - the bill, please!
Here's a complete breakdown of the ingredients I used and their costs. The total of this vegan 3-course dinner menu for two was 7,47€.
Main Course: 3,16€
Rice flour 0,15€
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