A 27-year-old chef on a mission, Chef Cola has worked as a senior chef in Cape Town’s crowd-pulling vegan restaurant Plant. Prior to that, she gained experience at various restaurants in and out of Harare and Cape Town. One of the highlights of her career as a vegan chef so far was when she was the head chef for the TEDx vegan-themed talks held in Cape Town. She prepared vegan meals for just over 800 people with her own hand-picked team of eight chefs and cooks.
Her latest venture, African Vegan on a Budget’s main aim is to raise awareness of the vegan lifestyle to people on the African continent. ‘Our aim is to focus on getting people educated about being a vegan, adopting a vegan diet and the benefits it has for the environment and for you as an individual,’ she says. ‘Via social media, we showcase easy-to-make and tasty vegan dishes on a budget – dishes that can be made with ingredients you’d find at home or at your local super market. African Vegan on a Budget is currently going into organic farming too.’
HOW TO MAKE ’EM
Cola’s super-tasty soft vegan tacos
1 Pack of Fry’s meat-free mince
2 Cans red kidney beans
12 Warm corn tortillas or wholewheat wraps
2 Tablespoons chopped seeded jalapeño chili
1 Cup veggie stock
4 Tablespoons tomato paste
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Onions chopped
Salt, black pepper, dried oregano and dried thyme to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro (dhania)
Guacamole (garlic, fresh diced tomato, lemon juice and avocado mix)
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and jalapeño; sauté for about 10 minutes until tender. Add meat-free mince and cook for about five minutes, stirring often, until beginning to brown in spots. Add cup of veggie stock, tomato paste, salt, black pepper, dried oregano and dried thyme to taste and simmer for a while until the ingredients absorb the sauce. Meanwhile, sauté beans in oil in heavy small saucepan over low heat until heated through, and mash with a fork to soften. Lay out two warm tortillas/wraps for each serving. Spoon three tablespoons of beans onto one half of each tortilla and top with spicy meat-free mince mix, dividing equally. Sprinkle with diced onion and cilantro. Add toppings of guacamole and vegan mayo. Fold the unloaded half of the tortilla over the loaded half, and hey presto Mexico, you’re good to go!