Some favourite vegan/vegetarian dishes, as prepared by Animalia members

Salads and side dishes
Main courses


MELANZANE ALLA PARMIGIANA (vegetarian, optionally vegan) – By Dario Martinelli

INGREDIENTS (for one baking tin, that may feed something between 2 very hungry people and 8 anorexics):

– 1,5 kilograms of fresh aubergines (depending on where you are, Italy or Finland, this quantity may require an investement between 1 and 500 euros. Additionally, the purchase of Finnish aubergines have a disastrous impact on the environment, as they are all sold in their own plastic condom).
– 300 g of mozzarella, or mozzarella-like cheese (here is one VEGETARIAN/VEGAN variable. If you are vegan, try with Tofu or creamy Sheese, or with nothing at all. We may apply here the same principle as with Pizza: cheese is obviously a founding ingredient, but those who opt for not having it might either prefer a replacement or just nothing at all. Anyway, I think the dish is good in either way)
– 150 g of parmesan (second veggie vs. vegan dilemma. In this case, the point is to have something salty and with more “seasoned” flavour. So, if you are vegan, you have to take a decision whether you want to try with Cheddar-style Sheese – or similar “strong” vegan cheese – or not taking the risk. I’m normally not crazy for Cheddar Sheese: the flavour is too strong, and ends up affecting the whole dish. So, up to you)
– 2 bottles of Tomato puree of 700 ml each (NOT treated in any form. Just tomato puree: WE are going to prepare the sauce, not the factory! Check the ingredients on the label)
– Extra virgin olive oil
– 100 g of coarse salt and a bit of normal one.
– One onion
– A few leaves of FRESH basil (the use of dried one can be punished with death sentence in South Italy).
– 2 garlic cloves (or more, if you have nobody to kiss, afterwards) 


1) Let us prepare the tomato sauce, by frying in a pan oil, chopped garlic and onion, until the latter are of a golden colour. Then we add the tomato puree. Cook at low heat (mixing occasionally), and when the sauce looks a bit more dense than before, add a bit of salt (if you are completely skipping cheese or sheese, you might want to put a bit more of it) and chopped basil leaves. Turn off the heat.

2) Cut the aubergines in thin slices. Place them in a colander and add coarse salt on top. This process will remove the bitter liquid contained in aubergines. If you are not too picky about it, you can skip this passage. Otherwise let them rest for 1 hour ca. While waiting, you can either 1) add a post of the Animalia International blog or FB group, or 2) read you Peter Singer or your Tom Regan.

3) Remove the aubergines and wash them carefully under running water. Prepare a pan with oil and fry the aubergines, until they, too, are golden from both sides.

4) Take now a baking tin, put a bit of oil on the bottom (so you have less of a hard time in washing the tin afterwards), and create layers in this order:
a – one layer of sauce
b – one layer of aubergines
c – mozzarella (or vegan option, or nothing)
d – parmesan (or vegan option, or nothing)
Repeat until you reach the top of the tin. Some people (myself included) tend to put more layers of sauce (particularly between c and d). Up to you.

5) Bake for 40 minutes at 200 degrees, or less (some ovens seem to be more agressive than others). Anyway, the ideal is that there is a tiny crust on top, formed by sauce plus parmesan.

Serve at any temperature (it’s great also when it’s cold!!!) 


SPICED CARROT & ORANGE SOUP (vegan) – by Isabel P.

INGREDIENTS (for 6 portions)

1 kg of carrots
1 big onion
2 oranges
30 gr of margarine
7.5 ml of ground coriander
1 l of vegetable stock
175 ml of soya cooking cream


Peel the carrots and trim the ends. Cut each carrot into slices.
Peel the onion and cut it into dices. Grate the zest from one orange.
Squeeze the juice from both oranges, approx. 125ml of juice.
Melt the margarine in a large saucepan and add the chopped onion.
Cook them stirring until they are soft but not brown.
Add the carrots, grated orange zest, ground coriander salt and pepper.
Stir to mix it together with the onion.
Cover the saucepan and cook gently, stirring ocasionally for about 20min.
Add the vegetable stock and bring to boil, lower the heat, cover the pan again and simmer, stiring occasionally until the vegetables are very tender, 30-40 min. Let the soup cool slightly then puree it in the saucepan with a hand blender or in a food processor.
Reheat the carrot soup then stir in the orange juice and the cream.
If the soup is too think add more vegetable stock. Taste the soup for seasoning more salt coriander or pepper. (Do not continue to cook the soup or boil because the orange juice turns bitter).
Ready to eat! Enjoy 🙂


MOCHA CAKE (vegan) – By Malena Lindberg


150 g margarine
3/4 dl soy-cream
3 dl sugar
2 teaspoons vanillasugar
1 tablespoon cacao
4 & 1/2 dl wheatflour
2 teaspoons bakingpowder
1 & 1/2 dl soy-milk

for glazing:
75 g margarine
1 & 1/2 tablespoon of cold coffee
1 tablespoon of cacao
2 teaspoons vanillasugar
3 & 1/2 dl powdersugar (tomusokeri)

for topping:
coconut flakes


Melt the margarine. Whisk sugar together with soy-cream.  Put the rest in. Mix it. Put in the owen (in a form 30x 40 cm) 175 degrees for about 15 minutes. Now you can make the glazing: melt the margarine and put in the other ingredients while you mix it. Put the glazing on the cold cake, and coconut flakes to finish it up.


SMALL COOKIES (vegan) – By Malena Lindberg


150 g margarine
about 3 dl whetflour
1/2 dl potatoflour
1/2 dl sugar¨
1 tablespoon water
for topping: soymilk, almond (flakes or crush) granulated sugar (raesokeri)


Don’t use too cold margarine. Mix the both flours, put in sugar and cut margarine. “Pinch” it together with fingertops and work it together fast. Let the dough wait in the fridge 1/2 hour.
Then seperate the dough in to two or more pieces and start making fingerlong lengths. Brush them with soymilk, cut them to 4-5 cm long pieces or how you like them, and roll them in the granulated sugar and almond that you have on a plate. Put in 200 degrees for 9-10 min.


BUCKWHEAT CARROT MUFFINS (vegan, gluten-free) – By Melissa Airas


1 & 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 & 1/2 cups grated / shredded carrot (you could use zucchini too)
3/4 cup agave or maple syrup (I used only 1/2 cup and will probably do even less next time)
1 mashed banana
1/2 cup oil
3 tbsp ground flax combined with 9 tbsp hot water (replaces eggs)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup nuts (optional, I used walnuts)


Preheat your oven to 175 degrees C and line a muffin pan with liners or grease with oil or vegan margarine.

In a large bowl combine buckwheat flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

Add shredded carrot to the dry ingredients and combine. In a medium-sized bowl combine syrup, mashed banana, oil, and flax-hot water mixture. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Add raisins and nuts, if you want.

I tried this vegan recipe last week, and it was great (if you like carrot cake-type things)! Plus, it has a lot of protein due to the use of buckwheat flour. I used these as a substitute breakfast on days when I had to leave early in the morning.


PASTA WITH BROCCOLI (vegan) – By Dario Martinelli

INGREDIENTS (for two people):

– 120 grams of orecchiette (it’s a type of pasta with roughly the shape of a small ear…  not very easy to find outside Italy. If you have troubles in finding them, you can go for fusilli or penne, which are more popular formats)
– 1/2 kilograms of broccoli (of course, the amount of pasta and broccoli can be increased, if you are a bit more hungry… when I eat alone, I can use these measures for me only! 🙂
– Extra virgin olive oil
– Red hot chili pepper (always tricky to say how much: depends how spicy they are, and when they are fresh you never know. Anyway, let us say half a pepper should be enough).
– Garlic cloves (as much as you like. I normally like lots of it, so I could easily go for 4-5)


Put water in a pot, with a fistful of salt and let it cook. When the water boils, put the broccoli, chopped in not-so-small pieces (basically, some 5 cm long), and let them cook for some 15 minutes (depends on the heat, of course, but roughly the idea is that they should be soft without smashing… you can check with a fork: it should go through easily but without ‘distroying’ the piece).
At the same time (of course, get all the parts ready in advance), in a separate pot pour some extra virgin olive oil, garlic cloves in small slices and – a bit later – chili pepper. Let these three ingredients fry for a few minutes. Here, you have to be careful in coordinating your actions: basically, you should have the broccoli ready from the first pot, when
the garlic is “golden” (but not burned) in the other pot. When that happens, take one of those big spoons with holes (whatever they are called in English), and transfer the broccoli from the first to the second pot, draining the water (watch out: you don’t get rid of that water, it has to remain in the pot, so you have to use this particular spoon, rather than the usual colander).

So, now you keep on cooking the broccoli with the garlic, the oil and the chili pepper (you can add some salt, at this point). At this point, as the broccoli get more and more cooked, you can manually smash them with a wooden spoon (up to you, anyway: some people like the whole pieces, some people prefer them looking like a sauce…)
At some point the water in the first pot will boil again: that’s when you add the orecchiette/fusilli/penne, and you let them cook according to the cooking time (as Italian, I would tell you that “al dente” cooking time is preferrable: the main point is to eat pasta, not porridge).
Now you see why we needed to preserve the water from the first pot: having the broccoli been there, it has already some flavour that now the pasta is absorbing.
When the pasta is almost ready, drain it and add it to the second pot.
Mix together for a minute, then serve.

Possible variants: while frying garlic, oil and chili pepper, some people like adding also capris and/or 3-4 cherry tomatoes. Again, up to you.


RED LENTIL AND POTATO DAAL (vegan) – By Tina Kortelainen


about 4 dl red lentils
3-4 potatos cut into small pieces
1-2 onions, sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
spices: cumin powder, coriander powder, mustard seeds, chili, salt  
olive oil for frying
coconut cream and water                                          


Fry the sliced onion in some olive oil in a large frying pan. for some 2-3 minutes (on medium heat). Add crushed garlic, cumin powder, coriander powder and mustard seeds and fry the mixture for another 2-3 minutes until the mustard seeds pop (careful!). Add the potato pieces to the pan and fry shortly. Wash the lentils in cold water and drain – then add them to the the pan and fry shortly. Now add the coconut cream and water to the mixture, so that the potatos and lentils are covered. Boil on low/medium heat until the potatos are soft (approximately 15 minutes) or for as long as you have the patience to wait. Spice with salt, pepper, chili, etc. For a nice touch: add fresh coriander leaves on top. Bon appétit!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by platina on February 16, 2011 at 12:38

    Your carrot cupcakes sound delicious, Melissa. I happen to have a whole bag of carrots at home that I so far didn’t really know what to do with. And since my husband is also following a gluten-free diet, your recipe comes in just perfect. I’ll give it a try!


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