The Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam may have been COVID-cancelled in 2020, but this year the show is still on the cards. While Montaigne can't physically fly over to join the wind machines, the show will go on and she will be taking to the stage from here in Oz.
We're preparing for a big night of snacks and making them vegan. Here are plenty of options you can make that are just as extravagant as Eurovision. Which one will be your winner?
Cauliflower is such a clever vegetable. Aside from tasting just great on its own, it also masquerades as a pizza base, fritter, pastie, potato and these nuggets. They are just as moreish as the chicken variety.
There's something intrinsically right about tacos in front of the telly. They're the kind of thing you can eat with your fingers, no need for your eyes to even leave the screen. That said, it might be wise to stuff a tea towel into your shirt collar, these tacos are extra-juicy. Don't worry, no one is going to see...
Picture yourself in front of the box, popping these little gems into your mouth one by delicious one. You could add a dipping sauce if you like. Falafel goes well with a feta and yoghurt dip, or tahini sauce.
Theoretically, you could just fry up some potatoes and eat standard chips, but where's the fun in that? Instead, crisp up some sage in a little oil, drop some tofu in to fry until golden, then serve them together with a liberal sprinkle of sea salt. Bliss!
If you’re on the fence about kale, it will definitely woo you in this crisp, lightly oiled and salted form.
Scagliozzi (pronounced skah-lee-oh-tsee) are fried shapes of leftover polenta, found predominantly in Bari and Naples in the south of Italy.
The secret to a good chip should be no surprise. Good spuds, good fat and care in the cooking. That said, they’re dead easy to make once you know the routine.
"If you love crunch and you love seaweed, these are your perfect homemade chip. You can cut them into a uniform shape of your choice. Squares or strips are fine, as long as they are even, otherwise they will finish cooking at different times. They are dangerously moreish, so make sure you make plenty. Great as a beer snack!" Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co. 2
A tangy miso-based dipping sauce makes this vegan sushi extra special. They're also extra easy to roll up, making you wonder why you've never bothered to make your own before. Fill them with sweet potato, avocado, cucumber and carrots.
This pizza has flavour on top of flavour. Pesto, red sauce and a cashew-based melty mozzy sauce on top. Plus, cherry tomatoes that roast right into it and fresh basil leaves to complete your entire world.
Japanese gyoza make the best TV snacks. They're bite-size (just like this list!), quick to prep and endlessly satisfying to munch, one after the other. Line up a few different condiments for dipping.
It will take you 10 minutes to prep this masala and just over half-an-hour to cook (we may have exaggerated the "30-minute" thing slightly). Don't worry, the extra few minutes are worth your time. Scooped up with some fluffy naan bread, this spicy masala makes an awesome dip.
The classic Middle Eastern dip baba ghanouj is even more amazing when fresh and homemade. Scoop as much as you can onto fresh flatbread and watch a side become your main course!
This popular dish is inspired by the Moroccan beetroot salad. Sydney-based Moroccan chef Hassan M’Souli, from Out of Africa restaurant, recommends using fresh baby beetroot to make the dip. Faithful to Moroccan cuisine, the recipe adds carrots and orange juice for a hint of sweetness and body to the dip.
Munch into a stack of Ronnit Hoppe's sweet seed brittle and hope will be the word. You won't believe it's good for you. It's packed with pepitas, sunflower seeds, coconut, hemp seeds, chia seeds... and cacao nibs. Just go easy, of course...
This choc-avocado mousse is health food masquerading as dessert. Which seems very fitting for a Eurovision snack. It will take you less than 15 minutes to get ready and much less time to devour it. There's another mousse option here.
Kheer is a milk pudding that's eaten across India. This version is made from basmati rice, almond milk, sugar and cardamon. It's quick to make, but it does require a little extra cooking time, pushing us over the 30-minute mark. One scoop of this beauty and we are certain you'll forgive us.
Paal payasam (milk pudding) is a popular South Indian sweet dish that is traditionally made with full-fat cow’s milk and an indigenous variety of Asian rice, similar to arborio in taste and texture. I've adapted my mother's recipe to suit a vegan lifestyle.
Luxe, decadent brownies truly are for every chocolate lover, as this raw, vegan-friendly version showcases. The recipe utilises powerhouse hemp seeds to bring a creamy texture that would never dare be dry.
This panna cotta-like pudding pops with chia seeds, coconut milk, vanilla and honey. It's silky smooth and utterly delightful to slowly spoon while your eyes never leave the box.
A crust made with cashews and macadamias is all you need to know about this wholesome salted caramel tart. Except you'll most likely be equally interested in the layer of date and almond butter-based caramel. And possibly the rich cacao chocolate layer as well... we think we've found our winner.
Spoiler alert: these cookies are made with chickpeas and peanut butter, so they're delicious and good for you!
An earthy turmeric leaf cake filled with coconut, rice, jaggery and cardamom, commonly found on Indian's west coast.
As a New South Welshperson, I may be struck down for not calling these ‘potato cakes’ or ‘potato fritters’, as they do in other parts of Australia.
An addictive spicy-salty-sweet nut, seed, grain and dried berry mix that takes the usual party nuts to the next level.
Well worth the trouble of making, this sesame–almond paste is a simple and delicious treat.
Merrill and I had a cookie bake-off in 2015 where each of us was tasked with creating a holiday cookie that incorporated vanilla. I wanted a cookie that merged the benefits of a chewy chocolate chip cookie with the fragrance of a holiday spice cookie. I began by using a chocolate chip cookie base that’s made with vegetable oil rather than butter — inspired by Ovenly’s vegan chocolate chip cookie. I infused this base with vanilla by grinding up a whole vanilla bean with the sugar; I increased the chocolate and chopped it so there would be a mix of shavings and chunks; and I gave it a little holiday oomph with cinnamon and ground chile.