Chef Jason McNamara created The Kind Kitchen brand following his studies in plant-based and vegan culinary arts at the Natural Epicurean Academy of the Culinary Arts. Since its beginning in 2013, The Kind Kitchen has evolved from vegan butchery to restaurant to home delivery meals and a product line, which if you’re in the Western Cape you can order.
Jason’s philosophy is that we all have the power to change the way we treat Mother Earth through the foods we choose to eat and by choosing a vegan or heavily plant-based diet.
The Kind Kitchen Cookbook is a cookbook that sets out to inspire more vegan cooking. It’s a collection of traditional foods, like French toast, nachos, burgers, “meaty” balls and the omelette below that are recreated as vegan dishes using mostly wholefood ingredients, combined with “meat” substitutes.
For vegans it provides new and exciting recipes like carrot lox ‘benedict’, a ‘lamb-style’ curry and Jason’s recipes from creating meat from wheat (aka seiten), like a chicken loaf and beef style steaks. For non-vegans it provides an endless array of delicious looking vegan dishes which are achievable to make to inspire more plant-based meals. It’s the perfect combination of classic and exotic dishes.
I’m sharing his vegan omelette du ‘fauxmage’ which is similar to chickpea pancakes/crepes but has the addition of tapioca starch and is served stuffed with vegan cheese, mushrooms and pesto. It’s a heavier dish, which for me lends itself more to a late brunch or early dinner meal than breakfast, and while he lists the serving size as 2 omelets, I got 6 – but I did make them slightly thinner (as they were easier to fold that way). I would say the recipe can easily and happily serve 4 (or 2 very generously).
The ingredients in the recipe are the same as in the book, however the method I’ve included is the method I used after finding the first try a little too thick. My suggestion is to cook them the same way you would a crepe/pancake. The batter was very thick so it didn’t lend itself to cooking it like a thin crepe. The recipe also calls for ½ cup of batter and although it came out very well, it was a very thick pancake (or flapjack, depending on your origin) that couldn’t fold.
The last note is on the black salt he uses – it is kala namak and has a unique sulphuric quality that gives an authentic egg-like smell and taste. It is available here. I did not have any and thus did not use it which means that my omelette tasted more like chickpea flour and less like egg.
- a 20cm frying pan
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon groun turmeric
- 1 teaspoon black salt see note
- 2 cups water or plant-based milk
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 250 grams brown mushrooms thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- 3-4 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoon sun-dried tomato and rocket pesto recipe below
- ½ cup grated mozerella
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- mixed baby leaves or microgreens
Sun-dried tomato and rocket pesto (makes 3 cups)
- 1 cup raw unsalted almonds soaked for 2-3 hours and then drained
- 3 cup olive oil
- 2 cup sun-dried tomatoes dry not in oil
- 40 grams rocket
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Place all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add water and oil and whisk well (this incorporates air, making the omelette less dense). The mixture should be a thick pouring consistency. if it seems too thick add more water. Set aside as you prepare your filling.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on medium-high. Add the mushrooms and onion and fry for 3-5 minutes until translucent (if they start to stick add a splash of water). Scoop into a bowl, add the pesto and stir through. Keep warm.
To make the Omelettes
- Make one omelette ata time in a 20cm bowl.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
- Pour batter into a half a measuring cup and gently pour into your pan, swirling it so it coats the bottom. I would err on the side of less batter to make it as thin as possible to allow it to fold and instead of fliiping it over once the top started bubbling (as the recipe suggests) I waited for it to look set, added the mushroom filling and cheese and then folded it over, covering it until the cheese melted. This allowed it to retain bendability.
Sun-dried tomato and rocket pesto
- Place the almonds and 2 cups of oil in a blender and blend to a chunk consistency. Add the remaining oil, plus the other ingredients, and pulse until combined, but still chunky. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt, pepper or lemon if needed.
- If not using immediately, store in a steralised jar in the fridge for 1 week.
Recipe is reprinted with permission from the publisher. Images are by Nutreats Food Photography Studio.