Cape Town in the raw

Vegetarian and vegan food needn’t be boring

“We’re very early, sorry about that,” I hear someone say as I arrive. “Not a problem,” replies a smiling face, “grab a name tag and make yourself comfortable.” It’s friendly in here and that’s because it’s one of those wonderful occasions where like-minded people converge and celebrate a common passion.

In this case it’s vegetarian and vegan food and it’s culminated in this 3-hour hands-on course which will take us on a step-by-step journey through some delicious and delightfully simple recipes.

The venue, Wild Organics, is a store in Woodstock which stocks sustainably and locally produced organic products. They also deliver seasonal fruit and veg in and around Cape Town.

The event is hosted by Laura Cooke founder of veggie.bunch.net, a site dedicated to vegetarian and vegan recipes as well as news and reviews of restaurants around Cape Town. The site is aimed at all; from the devout vegan to the ‘Meatless Monday’ folk. Laura sees vegetarianism as a journey, rather than some sort of covenant.

The shop is intimate and is filling up quickly. I sit down at the end of a U-shaped table clad in hessian and surrounded by an excited crowd. After greeting those around me, Rolene Sher of RAWlean Foods appears in front of me. She’s gripping a large pitcher, greener than any shade of envy, and leans over and fills our glasses.

Starting off with the green elixir aptly named, ‘green juice’, we try three tasty salads, respectively; sprouts and lettuce, a spicy lentil salad with dried apricots and capers, and one that has chickpeas, peppadews, tomatoes and basil. Next up is a green vegetable curry with fried haloumi, as well as a chance to see the Wonderbag at work. The insulated cooking device allows you to cook dishes on the stove for 5-10 minutes, before popping the pot into the bag where it will cook via heat retention.

The dish is superb and nearly as heart-warming as the admirable story of Wonderbag itself; an award-winning device, that’s both eco-friendly and socially responsible—a percentage of proceeds goes towards uplifting poor communities.

Interestingly, the MAN Vintners wines, which have been paired with all the dishes are also vegetarian. Vegetarian wines you may ask? Well many wines, both local and international, use animal by-products for the wine stabilisation process, MAN Vintners keeps things strictly vegetarian.

The culinary feast is topped off with a... wait for it...  an awe-inspiring avocado based chocolate mousse and by now I’m left with a new found respect for all foods green.

By Julian Sendin

Wild Organics +27 (0)21 448 8109 | MAN Vinters +27 (0)21 886 7532 | RawLean +27 (0)82 700 6669 | Wonderbag +27 (0)82 480 5400  

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Go green, feel great at the Healthy Happenings How to live a plant-based lifestyle talk.

Save your bacon with creative and delicious plant-based cooking at the Playful Vegan Cooking Course.

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