Review – The Playful Vegan Cooking Course

The offering of plant-based cooking courses has astronomically increased over the last year. These courses range from the use of superfoods as medicine to vegan basics with zero experience, to classes on how to make vegan macaroons! The NPO Vegilicious even hosted four hands-on cooking courses as part of their yearly Cape Town Vegan Challenge last year. And then there is Tara Gellé, The Playful Vegan who is currently hosting a 6-part cooking demo. I was fortunate enough to attend an Indian-inspired evening with 4 other guests and I absolutely LOVED it!

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Tara demonstrating how to make her “Oh-Sweet Potato Flatbread” which was the accompaniment to our various dips and curries. The flatbread is made with cassava flour which is naturally gluten-free!

Tara’s aim is to make you feel confident enough to prepare these dishes in the comfort of your own home, and so she spent the evening explain every step of her meticulous close-up demo with thorough detail. Whilst the evening was informative, the atmosphere was VERY casual – which made it feel like we were a group of friends rather than strangers, which suited me perfectly!

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“Delicately Spiced Lentils”

Tara refers to her evenings as “playdates” (LOVE this!), and in less than three hours had presented a starter, a side, and three mains with a fair amount of dexterity and speed! The best part (of course) was that we got to eat EVERYTHING…

  • Rougaille Pistache (Mauritian peanut sauce)
  • Delicately Spiced Lentils
  • Sublime Palak Jugo Bean Curry
  • Moreish Mushroom Matar Masala
  • Oh-Sweet Potato Bread

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All of her food was whole-foods plant-based, rich in spices and therefore flavour and gluten-free (as Tara herself is gluten-intolerant).

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There is little need to take any kind of formal notes throughout the evening as Tara provides her guests with their very own cookbook, filled with the recipes from all six of the classes. This means that if you were to miss one, you still have the added benefit of not missing out on some of her creations.

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Jugo Beans from Zimbabwe! – prevent arthritis – maintain healthy bones – treat anaemia – promote body growth in children – treat insomnia (due to amino acids) – maintain healthy digestions – treat diarrhoea – prevents stomach cancer – lowers cholesterol – anti-inflammatory These are from earthtribe.co.za

The evening felt far more like a casual dinner party than any sort of formal setup which (in my humble opinion) makes for a far better learning environment. I also appreciated that it was a cooking demonstration because it allowed me to observe without the added pressure of making sure I was succeeding in the kitchen from one seemingly onerous task to another. This meant that when I got to sample the food, I REALLY enjoyed it – as I was involved enough in the process to learn, without being overwhelmed by it.

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“Sublime Palak Jugo Bean Curry”
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“Moreish Mushroom Matar Masala”

There are three more classes left in this series of courses, but Tara plans to offer the same set of 6 at regular intervals. This is great news because I am slightly gutted that I missed the Italian-themed one! To book a space on one of her courses, you can contact Tara on playfulvegan@gmail.com.

You can also read the original article I posted on Tara’s course HERE.

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