Out there in the world there seems to exist this myth that Vegans are very difficult to cater for and inviting them to your party is just a pain - but seriously those guys from Mythbusters should get onto this one because truly Vegans are not hard to feed in fact you will find it to be cheaper than feeding your meatlover friends. The other awesome thing about Vegan party food is that everybody can enjoy it and it is so tasty that everybody loves it - that means you don't have to have separate designated food for each of your guests depending on their eating preferences. This recipe is also made Gluten Free by substituting tamari for soy sauce, which means all your guests can be eating the same thing! (Unless they have some sort of weird sweet potato allergy).
So, next time you are having friends over, Vegan or otherwise, check out this series of recipes (that I will be adding gradually) all of which I served at my most recent birthday party to very enthusiastic guests!
Sweet Potato and Sunflower Seed Dip
1 medium-large sweet potato (choose the size depending on how many people you are feeding)
1 onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Olive oil, for frying
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp tamari (or substitute soy sauce)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Cracked pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to a moderate temperature (about 150-180 degrees Celsius). Spread the sunflower seeds out evenly on a tray and toast in the oven for about 3 minutes or until they go brown and smell intoxicating. Watch them the whole time though or you'll burn them. Seriously do it.
2. Peel the sweet potato and chop into chunks. Boil them in water until they are nice and soft and then strain and put aside.
3. While your sweet potatoes are boiling you can heat some olive oil in a saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions are completely cooked and then add the spices. Fry for a further 1-2 minutes until the spices are fragrant. Turn off the heat.
4. The next step you can do one of 3 ways 1) in the saucepan you used to cook the ingredients (this is what I did), 2) in a mortar and pestle because you ROCK and mortar and pestles are awesome or 3) in your food processor (but then you have to wash the damn thing up afterwards booooo). So... pick your vessel and combine the onion and the sweet potato and mash/pestle/process until smooth. Add the tamari and cracked pepper to taste and mash a bit more.
5. Stir in the sunflower seeds (not in your food processor because then they will get all ground up), leaving some aside to sprinkle on top so it looks pretty.
6. Set aside and serve either warm or at room temperature (preferably not chilled, so if you made it the night before (which is a very smart thing to do) make sure you get it out of the fridge a couple of hours before you are going to serve it so it can become room temp).
It's dip so serve it with carrot & celery sticks, crackers and/or corn chips.