Love has certainly been in the air this week and we've chatted to a few of the Root Tribe this week who tell us they are going to plate up some of our vegan ready meals for their special lockdown Valentine's Day dinner so we thought we'd give you all a helping hand to add some Wow factor to your plate 😍.
We chatted to our development chef's Lyndon and Nathan to get some top tips on how to plate up like a pro:
Let's face it, its pretty cold at the moment so lets warm things up by putting your plates in the oven and keeping your Roots hotter for longer.
Serve in Style
Some of our range including curries like the Tofu Tikka Masala and Vegetable Jalfrezi are easy to dish up as are the pasta and noodle dishes. We recommend a shallow bowl for perfect presentation will do the trick. We also suggest going with authentic looking dishes, for example if you are serving up the Szechuan Aubergine Noodles, serving it in something oriental looking and eating with chopsticks will be sure to secure you extra brownie points.
It's a slightly different story when serving up something like our Vegetable Shepherds Pie or Butternut Squash Lasagne however the are a few tricks of the trade that'll help you make it look home made 😉
It's all about getting underneath it......Reach into the utensil drawer and grab a spatula (or tuner utensil if you are a pro), loosen around the sides, then simply scoop it out of the tray and Voila! Finish the dish off with a side of delicious colourful Root Veg and your on to a winner.
If you are lucky enough to own a small, rectangular ceramic dish for these two meals you could go the whole gastro pub look and take the meal out of the tray whilst it's still frozen and cook it in the oven like you have lovingly portioned it yourself.
It's all about the Garnish baby!
We all know and love the crunch of salad leaves net to our a big hearty meal to add a bit of freshness, the trick is to save it right until you are ready to serve before you get it out of the fridge so it'll be extra fresh.
When it comes to herbs, I guess it comes down to personal preference but some definitely go better with certain types of cuisine. Coriander is the perfect partner for the curries in our range whilst rocket or basil complement the comforting Italian dishes such as the Aubergine Al Forno or Butternut Squash Lasagne. Oh and before we forget the Thai Red Curry is bangin' with a sliced spring onion or red chilli on top! Do this right and your partner will be looking for their phones to take a snap for the gram in no time.
No One Likes a Dirty Plate
We've all been guilty of this from time to time but once you have served your haute cuisine make sure your dishes are 'splatter free'. An old chef's trick is to use the edge of a tea towel or cloth and wipe the plates just before you serve to recreate the restaurant experience to a tee.
All of our dishes have been designed so that they are the perfect size for one (double portions are on the way btw) but in our eyes no meal is complete without plenty of fresh vegetable sides, not only so they add colour but nutrients and extra tastes to compliment the main course.
The Cherry On Top
OK so at Root Kitchen we're all about the main meals (at the moment) but as it's Valentine’s Day this weekend, we want to share with you one of our chef's special desert recipes! Lyndon's Dairy and Gluten Free Chocolate Truffles are the perfect way to impress that special someone this Valentine’s weekend. (Or better still, make too many and keep some for yourself!)
So this is going to take you a little while longer than heating up one of our meals (40 mins) but give it a go and send us a snap of your results with the hashtag #showusyourroots
300 g Dark chocolate, min. 65% cocoa ( We recommend Solkiki Dark Chocolate)
2 pots of dairy free chocolate puddings (we used The Coconut Collaborative Little Choc Pots)
Rice Bran Oil (for greasing – optional)
1. Melt 200g of the chocolate on the hob or in a microwave (if using a microwave, remove and stir the chocolate every 20 seconds to prevent burning).
2. Brush the chocolate mould with oil if necessary.
3. Use a food-brush to paint a layer of chocolate into a 12-piece chocolate mould. (You could use a silicone Cake-Pop maker if you don’t have a chocolate mould, as these are sold at many supermarkets.) The chocolate needs to be thick enough to hold a ganache, so ensure that you can’t see the mould through the chocolate. If you don’t have a food brush, use a spoon to smooth the chocolate onto the surface of the mould (this only works if the moulds are a circular shape.)
4. Place the chocolate mould in the freezer to cool for 5 minutes.
5. Remove the chocolate shells and spoon a teaspoon of your dairy free chocolate pudding into each one. Aim to fill roughly three-quarters of the shell.
6. Place these in the freezer to cool. Don’t leave them in for longer than 5 minutes – just long enough to ‘set’ the middle and then remove.
7. Melt the rest of the chocolate.
8. Top each truffle with half a tablespoon of the melted chocolate.
9. Place them into the fridge to cool. This should take around 5-10 minutes.
10. Once the chocolate has set, upend the mould and the truffles should fall out. They may need a nudge – just be careful not to break them! If necessary, you can put them back in the fridge for 5 minutes which will make it easier to pop them out.
Enjoy Lovebirds! 😘 🌱