Chef Dion Vengatass's vegetarian dishes

Many vegetarians, who opt for a lifestyle without meat, have to be selective and budget conscious when it comes to shopping and cooking their meals. Mount Nelson Hotel’s chef Vengatass gives us his top tasty vegetarian recipes that will cost you under R100 each.


Stuffed black mushrooms


4ea black forest mushrooms washed

200gr spinach (blanched and all liquid squeezed out)

50gr feta cheese (crumbled, optional)

40ge diced onions

2gr crushed garlic

2gr thyme

2gr rosemary

10gr olive oil

10gr canola oil

Season to taste.



  1. Preheat your oven at 180°c
  2. In an oven tray lay out your black mushrooms fin side up
  3. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and drizzle with olive oil
  4. Roast in the oven for 20mins till slightly soft and juicy, set aside
  5. In a separate pan gently cook the onions and garlic with the canola oil till translucent.
  6. Chop the blanched spinach and add it to the cooked onion and garlic
  7. Mix well with the crumbled feta and grill for 10mins on medium
  8. when the cheese has caramelised it is ready to eat
  9. Best served with a crisp green salad or with some roasted butternut



Quinoa salad


100gr red quinoa (cooked)

100gr white quinoa (cooked)

10gr parsley leaves

10gr coriander leaves

80gr crushed mixed bar (any for nuts of your choice)

10gr Goji berries

20gr natural honey

20gr freshly squeezed lemon juice

30gr kiwi peeled and diced

30grorange peeled and diced

30grgreen chilli chopped

30gr plum tomato diced finely

30gr red onion diced



  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  3. Best served just after the salad has been mixed



Macadamia nut cheese


400gr Macadamia nuts

800gr boiling water

5gr salt

4gr paprika

2gr lemon zest

10ml freshly squeezed lemon juice



  1. In a container add all the ingredients together
  2. Allow to sit for three days in a cool dark place
  3. When the nuts are soft enough to squeeze in your hands and it breaks its ready
  4. If not soft leave for another day
  5. When the nuts are ready
  6. Blend all the ingredients together till smooth
  7. Place in a cheese cloth, squeeze into a ball and hang in the fridge with a bowl underneath
  8. Allow to hang for a day until most of the liquid is out
  9. This can be used in many different ways.
  10. Where ever a recipe calls for cheese and you vegan, now you have an option.


Brinjal and tomato bake


3ea medium size Brinjal (sliced length wise into 2cm pieces)

6ea plum tomatoes quartered

20gr crushed garlic

5gr thyme chopped

3gr rosemary chopped

3gr oregano

6gr shredded basil leaves

60ml olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste




  1. Season the brinjal and rub with 30ml of the olive oil
  2. Grill on a braai or grilled pan, till soft on the inside
  3. Marinate the tomatoes with the herbs, olive oil and season well
  4. Slow roast at 90°c for 3hrs
  5. In a baking dish layer with the tomatoes and brinjal until fully packed
  6. Place Macadamia nut cheese on the top (optional)
  7. Bake at 180°c for 10mins until all the flavours come together
  8. Serve with fresh ciabatta or you can lightly toast the bread



Beetroot, radish and apple salad


1ea beetroot washed and medium diced

2tblsp honey

5gr thyme

1ea granny smith apple core removed

2ea radish thinly sliced

5gr toasted walnuts

5gr toasted sunflower seeds

20ml plain Greek yoghurt

1ea lemon freshly squeezed

2gr shredded parsley

40gr baby gem lettuce




  1. Begin by roasting, preheat your oven at 180°c
  2. Place beetroot in a roasting tray with the thyme and honey cover with foil and roast for 20 to 30 mins until soft.
  3. Allow to cool down completely before mixing the salad
  4. Cut the apple into rings
  5. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl and season to taste
  6. Best prepared and mixed immediately
  7. This salad has to be eaten as soon as it is done