Vegan Sausage Korma Curry

The other day bought the Australian Eatwell Vegie Sausages (tomato, onion, basil) to try something new. They are 70% vegetable, so not completely made of soy protein. I figured I’ve been eating enough soy products as it is. They are available from the two major supermarkets. I cooked a couple last night in the pan, like the instructions suggest. They didn’t taste that sausage like, so I thought do something different with them.

I was looking online this afternoon to get some inspiration and I came across Curried Sausages recipe. I adapted the recipe a fair bit, so their would be more vegetables and it would be more creamier. I usually don’t use store bought spice paste, but I wasn’t sure how to make Korma paste. So I bought Pataks Korma Paste, which is apparently vegan, as the lactic acid in Pataks products is non animal derived. The curry was quite tangy, but with the coconut cream it was much nicer. The paste was not spicy at all, so I had to add cayenne pepper. It was good, but next time I would use a different sausage. Marco was happy with it, which is good since he will be having it again tomorrow for lunch. I would of liked to add coriander to the curry, but Marco and his mum don’t like it. I just added it to my rice and it was also nice.

Vegan Sausage Korma Curry (vegan, gluten free)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 onion, diced

1 small capsicum, diced

4 tablespoons korma curry paste

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teapsoons arrowroot flour

1 apple, grated

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 potatoes, diced

1 packet of vegan sausages (containing 6-8)

1.5 cups vegan chicken stock

250ml coconut cream (1 tetra pak)

100g baby spinach, chopped

1.5 cups steamed basmati rice

coriander leaves to serve

Method:

1. Cook rice according to packet. Best to use rice cooker and leave on warm setting till it is needed.

2. Heat coconut oil in a large pot, then add onion and cook for 4 mins on medium heat.

3. Add capsicum and cook for 1 min.

4. Add korma paste, cayenne pepper, arrowroot flour,  apple, tomatoes and potatoes. Stir and cook for 1 min.

5. Add liquid stock and sausages. Bring to boil, then let it simmer for 30 mins or until potatoes are soft.

6. Add spinach and coconut cream and cook for 1 min.

7. Serve with steamed rice with coriander leaves. 

Risoni Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Mushrooms

We haven’t done the shopping yet and I gave all the leftovers to Marco for lunch, so by lunchtime I was in a frantic hunger. I haven’t had the willpower to completely give up fish yet and that tuna in the cupboard was looking really good. Luckily I saw the risoni pasta and remembered the delicious dish I use to order at my dad’s Italian restaurant. It was risoni in a cream sauce with chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts  So I came up with this instead. I would of loved to add pine nuts or spinach, but unfortunately we were out. Instead of cream I just made a half portion of Cheese Sauce that I made for the Baked ‘Cheesy’ Fusilli Bolognese. Before I added the cream sauce I realised that I didn’t really have to of added it. The caramelised onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms coated the pasta enough, but for extra richness the sauce really feed my craving for cream. I always preferred cream sauces and this cheese sauce is mild enough to appear like cream. I will have to see what vegan cream sauce works well with Marsala. Scallopini di vitello alla marsala use to be my favourite dish of all time, so I will have to find a way to substitute the veal and cream. If you have any thoughts let me know…

Risoni Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Mushrooms (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/3 cup risoni pasta (use gluten free pasta if you prefer)

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, diced

1/2 small onion, diced

6 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

4 mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients for Cheese Sauce (for 1 serve use half of the ingredients):

1 tablespoon vegan butter

3/4 cup plant milk (rice or oat; almond or soy if you can tolerate)

1 tablespoon arrowroot flour

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon dried onion flakes

6 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Method:

1. Boil small pot of water and cook risoni according to packet instructions.

2. Heat olive oil in a pan and add onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes (these will be oily enough) and cook for 5 mins on medium heat.

3. Add mushrooms to pan and cook for further 1 min or until the mushrooms have browned and add basil. Then set to the side.

4. Prepare the Cheese sauce. In a small mixing bowl combine milk with arrowoot flour and whisk so there are no lumps. 

5. Heat the vegan butter in a small pot on the stove. Once its melted add the milk, dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion flakes and nutritional yeast. Whisk it and let it cook on low heat till it becomes thick.

6. Pour the risoni in the pan and add the cheese sauce. Heat it through and add salt and pepper to taste.

*Ingredients for the pasta serves 1

*Ingredients for the cheese sauce serves 2

Fakin’ Bacon

This morning I wanted to try out some vegan bacon that my boyfriend’s mother bought from Green Edge the other week. We tried it in Panzarotti the other night with some Notzarella cheese. It was good, but after it was baked it didn’t taste like bacon. So I thought maybe if I pan fried it the way the instructions say then it would be more baconey. So I made a ‘traditional’ breakfast with baked beans, sauteed spinach, buttery toast and vegan bacon.

This product is Redwood’s Cheatin’ Rashers. For me it doesn’t taste as salty and strong as bacon, but it is a pretty good substitute if you really like bacon. I don’t crave bacon so I could probably go without. It also doesn’t have that strong smell.  I think perhaps it should only be used as the instructions state on the package, as it becomes more dry and harder the longer its cooked and the colour becomes a lot darke as well.

The only other vegetarian bacon that is available in Australia, to my knowledge, is Sanitarium Vegie Delites Bacon Style Rashers. This is available at the two big supermarkets, but it is not vegan, as it contains milk and eggs. I usually stay away from these fake meats, as they are usually contain milk and are not healthy alternatives.

So I think Redwood’s Cheatin’ Rashers is probably one of the more healthier alternatives. It is cholesterol free, has no hydrogenated fats, no artificial colours or preservatives and is GMO free. But don’t expect it be exactly be like the real thing.

I want to try and make my own tempeh bacon. I’ve seen a couple of recipes on other blogs  such as Tempeh Bacon Recipe. Vegan ‘Facon’ for All and Tempeh Bacon. I’ll just have to find liquid smoke, which I only heard about a week ago. Its not common ingredient here, so I may have to order it from the US.

Have any of you made your own vegan bacon or tried any store bought that you recommend???

Smoothies

While I was away on exchange I really missed fresh home-made smoothies and juicers. Unfortunately my juicer and blender are at my place, since I’ve been spending the semester at my boyfriends, so I bought myself a cheap bar mix for smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to get fruit into my diet since I usually don’t eat it them otherwise. I haven’t been exercising enough, so I just don’t find I need to eat more then 3 meals a day.  

I usually blend fresh fruits with some juice or almond/rice milk and chia seeds. I noticed since I’ve been making it an everyday meal that I feel heaps better and don’t need coffee first thing in the morning.  I also discovered some other ingredients that change up the flavours. Pears give a fresh, crisp, mild taste. Nut butters and dates are also really good for a rich decadent taste as well. Soy yoghurt also give that sweet bubblegum flavour. I like Soy Life, which is available at Coles, Woolworths and now Aldi.

I’ve also been trying to incorporate more berries into my smoothies, since they are the healthiest fruits. Compared to grapes, bananas, apples and mango, berries have way more antioxidants. In particular,  raspberries and blackberries, since they have way more antioxidants then strawberries and blueberries [1]. When in season strawberries are between $1 to $4 and blueberries are about $4. Unfortunately a small punnet raspberries are $8. Black berries are about the same, but I rarely see them available. Another problem is that they are they usually start growing moss within a day. They must have a long way to travel. So I have opting to buy these berries frozen. Creative Gourmet has also brought out some organic frozen berries, since the pesticides used for berries are quite high compared to other fruits.

Best Berries- Nutritional Facts Video

Another new discovery is Smoothie cubes. They are now available at Aldi and as well as Coles and Woolworths and all seem to be on sale at the moment. Most of which are 100% fruit and fruit juice or fruit with natural ingredients. They all appear vegan too. The only ingredient I don’t agree with is in the Breakfast flavour, which has Polydextrose, which is a synthetic fiber.  Marco is addicted to smoothie cubes.  He has bought one of each flavour. At least he is making his own smoothies every morning and I’m not having to make him drink them anymore. I only used them as an accompaniment to the fruit, instead of the only fruit in my smoothie.

Here are a couple of my favorite smoothie recipes. What are yours???

Btw I found this great Vegan Cheat Sheet for products you can buy Australia

Berry and Kiwi Smoothie– Handful of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, 1 kiwi, 2 tbsp soy vanilla yoghurt, 1 tbsp chia seeds.

Raspberry, Pear & Blueberries Smoothie– handful of blueberries, 3 tbsp frozen raspberries, 1 pear (not skin), 1/2 glass almond/rice milk, 1 berry smoothie cube (optional), 1 tbsp chia seeds.

Banana Nut Smoothie– 1 banana, 1 tbsp nut butter (brazil, cashew & almond), 1 /2 glass almond/rice milk, 1 tbsp ground flax seeds, 1 banana & mango smoothie cube (optional)

Banana Date Smoothie – 5 dried dates chopped (put boiled water on them for a few minutes to soften), 1 banana, 1/2 glass almond/rice milk, 2 tbsp nut butter (brazil, cashew & almond), 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Five Fruit Juice– 1 orange juiced, 5 strawberries, handful of blueberries, 1 banana, 1 kiwi

Banana Chocolate Smoothie– 1/2 banana, 2 scoops Soy Good Soy Chocolate Ice cream, 1/2 glass soy/almond/rice (the kids favorite smoothie)

Blueberry & Oat Smoothie– handful of blueberries, 2-3 tbsp rolled oats, 3 tbsp soy vanilla yogurt, 1/2 glass almond/rice milk, 1 smoothie cube (optional) (Marcos favorite)

Raspberry Pear & Blueberries Smoothie

Banana Nut Smoothie

[1] Best Berries-  http://nutritionfacts.org/video/best-berries/

Peanut butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I have a class party at uni,  so I wanted to make something I could actually eat. I hope everyone will like them and no one is allergic to peanuts. They taste pretty good, but I’m use to people not wanting to try things when I say they are vegan. So I might wait till people have started eating them, before I mention it. The last two times I’ve made cookies I made the silly mistake of not stirring the dry ingredients enough, so when they were ready there were a few salty bits. I think it must of been the  baking soda, it tasted really horrible. So fingers crossed I mix it enough today. For all my Australian friends, you have to try the Organic Macro Peanut Butter. Its 100% peanuts with nothing extra. In fact it doesn’t need anything else. It taste just as good as any brand, just without the extra oil, salt and sugar.

Peanut butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies (vegan, soy free)

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup raw sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or essence

1/2 cup plant milk (coconut, rice or oat; almond or soy if you can tolerate)

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons peanut butter

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Take a large mixing bowl and sift flour, baking powder and baking soda. Stir it all through with wooden spoon.

3. Add sugar and stir through again.

4. Add vanilla essence, milk, and oil, and stir.

5. Add peanut butter and mix it through.

6. Lastly add chocolate chips and mix it through again.

7. Take some trays with baking paper. Make small balls and place them on tray and then flatten them a little to form a cookie.

8. Cook for 8 mins, then take out and put on a baking rack to cool for 10mins then serve.

This recipe makes 40 small cookies.

Pumpkin & Swede Soup with ‘Parmesan’ & Rosemary Garlic Sticks

I bought a tray of swedes at the market the other day for 99 cents. I wasn’t sure what to do with them, since I’ve only roasted them with potatoes, because I was curious  to see what they would tasted like. I decided to make soup, so I was considering roasting them, but I didn’t want to roast out all the nutrients. So I just cooked them in the stock and they turned out pretty good. They are also very healthy, packed full of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, fibre, vitamins A and C. Even though they aren’t that popular here in Australia, they are always available. So someone must be eating them.

Pumpkin & Swede Soup with ‘Parmesan’ & Rosemary Garlic Sticks (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Soup Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, diced

4 small swedes, peeled and diced

1/2 small kent pumpkin

1 litre vegan ‘chicken’/vegetable  liquid stock

2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

2 tablespoon tofutti cream cheese (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Bread Stick Ingredients:

wholegrain or gluten free bread

vegan butter

garlic clove, diced

dry rosemary

nutritional yeast

sea salt

Method:

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot, then add onion, garlic, pumpkin & swede. Cook for few minutes till they have a bit of colour.

2. Add liquid stock and bring to the boil, them simmer for 30 mins or until vegetables are soft.

3. Turn off heat and wait till there is no steam.

4. Prepare bread by buttering, adding garlic, rosemary, nutritional yeast and salt then grill till golden brown.

5. Add to the soup tofutti cream cheese and chives.

6. Blend soup with a bar mix then reheat on the stove and adjust seasoning.

7. Cut bread into strips and serve with hot soup.

Serves 4

Pumpkin and Cannellini bean Curry with Buckwheat

Tonight I was left to my own devices, without any Marco to push me into making something in particular. When he is not here I usually take advantage of not having to worry about what he will eat and just making it up as I go. So this is what I ended up with and lucky for him I left some for him to take to work tomorrow.

I haven’t been eating as many gluten free grains since I’ve come back from Europe and I’ve started eating wheat again. But I need to make sure I have variety, so I don’t get a imagesgluten intolerance again. If you find that you feel sick after you eating, you might have an intolerance to gluten, milk, eggs or something else. This can happen when we get a parasite from travelling or just bad diet in general. It can upset the stomach and create many  food intolerance. I found this out after doing a food intolerance blood test and reading a lot about leaky gut syndrome. If you think might have an intolerance to something in particular like gluten, try taking it out of you diet for three months. Then reintroduce in small amounts and you might find that you have cured yourself. I did a detox, but I really needed to since my leaky gut was really bad. It is possible to take out gluten out of you diet, especially if eating at home. I found it difficult getting gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian food from restaurants and takeaway, but slowly things are changing here in Brisbane. Ethnic cuisines can usually accommodate, like Indian and Asian.

If you haven’t tried buckwheat, you should. It can be used like rice or it can be toasted  for cereals and muesli bars or it can be used in soups and stews. It is often used by the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Eastern Europeans. Dr Perricone names it one of the top superfoods. Its got more protein then wheat, rice, millet and corn and is high in high in the essential amino acids lysine and arginine. It is also gluten free and good for your cardiovascular system, better blood sugar control, lowers risk of diabetes, and helps prevent gallstones and heart disease.

Pumpkin and Cannellini bean Curry with Buckwheat (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 cup raw buckwheat

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1/2 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 small piece of pumpkin

1 small piece of capsicum

250ml liquid vegan chicken stock

200g cannellini beans, cooked

165ml coconut milk

salt & pepper to taste

Method:

1. Cook buckwheat according to pack directions and put to the side when finished.

2. Heat coconut oil in pan on medium heat, add onion, garlic, cumin, curry powder and turmeric and cook for 3-4 mins or till browned and fragrant.

3. Add capscium and pumpkin and stir spices through. Then add liquid stock and cook for 15 mins or till pumpkin is soft.

4. Lightly mash the pumpkin then add coconut milk, cannellini beans and season. Cook for another 15 mins.

5. Add the buckwheat and cook till it is heated though.

6. Adjust seasoning and serve 2.

Baked ‘Cheesy’ Fusilli Bolognese

Tonight I reused leftover and made the best vegan pasta bake yet. Marco couldn’t believe how much it tasted like the real thing, even though it was the vegan version. This is as adventurous as I have been the last few days. I have been really busy in my last week of uni trying to get everything done. Still have an exam and thesis due this week, so not sure if I will be cooking anything exciting this week. If any of you are interested I just did a research project on Circus animal accidents in Australia on wordpress. Noone else has done a study on this previously so I’m very proud of it.

In between doing my work I have been pretty good with my diet. I eat at home most days, so not a lot of temptations out there. Except for my boyfriend eating his coconut chocolate and nutella in front of me every night. I was out with friends the other night and found out that EasyWay Bubble Tea do Soy Milk Tea’s. I love the green tea versions but I missed milk tea, so it was a nice vegan surprise.  I had a soy strawberry milk tea with rainbow jelly, which was really satisfying after watching my friends eat a mango and shaved milk ice with ice cream at a Taiwanese dessert bar.

Anyway tonight I just reused left over Bolognese that I made with TVP and eggplant  and it actually tasted a lot better the second night. I think for pasta bake its always works better when its already been cooked the day before, plus it makes sense not to cook it twice in one night. For the cheese I just made a basic vegan cheese sauce, which made it really creamy and cheesy. I just find a lot of the time that store bought vegan cheeses don’t melt, so I wanted something sticky and more cheese tasting. We also made some Tuscan cabbage chips, like you would kale chips. I figured its part of the kale family so why not. It was really good, pretty much tasted the same, but more crunch as it was more leafy. I will have to see if this can be done with silverbeat spinach as well.

Baked ‘Cheesy’ Fusilli Bolognese (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

500g whole wheat fusilli (use gluten free pasta if you prefer)

olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 small capscium, sliced

1 small eggplant, sliced

6 mushrooms diced

380g passata sauce

1 tablespoon fresh basil

salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients for Cheese Sauce:

1 tablespoon vegan butter

3/4 cup plant milk (I used rice milk, use oat, almond or soy if you can tolerate)

1 tablespoon arrowroot flour

2 teaspoon dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon dried onion flakes

6 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Methods:

1. Boil water and cook pasta according to instructions. Once finished strain with cold water and leave to the side.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pan/pot and saute onion, garlic for 2 mins.

3. Add to pan capsicum and eggplant and saute for 4-5min or till all vegetables are browned (if eggplant is too dry add more oil).

4. Add passata sauce and basil and bring to the boil, then put on a simmer. Adjust seasoning and let it cook for 30-40mins. The longer the better, but make sure you add water if it gets dry.

5. Before serving heat the pasta through the sauce. This should serve 5-6.

If making Pasta bake…

Before cooking baking

6. Preheat the open to 180 degrees celcius and put pasta in a casserole dish.

7. Take a small pot and melt vegan butter on a low heat.

8. Take a bowl, add plant milk and tapioca and whisk so there are no clumps.

9. Add the milk to the small pot and keep on a low heat.

10. Add dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion flakes, nutritional yeast, salt and stir on a low heat for 5mins.

After baking

11. Once the sauce has thickened take it off the heat and pour over the pasta.

12. Cook the pasta bake for 30-40mins or until it is crispy on top. This should serve 5-6 or less if its left overs.

Baked Panzarotti

Tonight Marco suggested something I don’t like to make very often, Panzarotti. It’s not that I don’t like it, its just that it’s fried, so I only really make it for special occasions. I had never heard of it until I went to to Italy this year. It is quite a popular snack over there, so I’m surprise with all the Italian restaurants I’ve never seen it here.

Panzarotti is actually from the region of Puglia, the heel of Italy, but it is also make in Calabria (where my family is from) and Sicilia. While I was living in Milano, we discovered shop called Luini, just behind the main street,  near the big Duomo. They make Panzarotti, with all different fillings, sweet and savoury, baked and fried. They don’t have many vegan or dairy free options, so I always got the Tomato, Olive and Onion Fried Panzarotti. Marco’s favourite was Prosciutto and Cheese or Spinach and Ricotta. For only a few euro’s it was a great snack. Plus it is write next door to CioccolatItaliani, one of the only cafe’s in Milano that will do a Soy Cappuccino. The only other place is Juice Bar. Otherwise prepared to get laughed at if you ask “Prendo un cappuccino di soya”.

Anyway, so after telling my family in Milano how I had discovered this wonderful Panzarotti, they taught me how to make it. It’s actually quite easy to make. Its just mini calzone that is deep fried in olive oil. Since I couldn’t

The family’s Panzarotti

have cheese, they made me tuna and potato or spinach and anchovies  I have made it a couple of few times since I’ve been back. But mine  doesn’t look like theirs. It tastes just as good, but the dough gets these kind of bubbles on the outside. It maybe the quality of the oil or the type of flour.

My fried Panzarotti

Tonight I said to Marco the only way I was making it, is if we baked it. Reluctantly he agreed, since we both know the fried is better then the baked. We tried a baked one at Luini one did and it just wasn’t as good. Perhaps thats because we had experienced it fried. Anyway tonight it actually turned out really good. I use tipo 00 flour, so I think that make the dough a lot more lighter when it was cooked. I told Marco so long as we are baking it from now on I will definitely make it once a week.

I didn’t have many ingredients to work with,  so I made ham & tomato and tuna & potato for Marco and these vegan ones for me.  I was really excited when I saw the Cavolo nero at the shops the other day, so I used that in mine. But really you can put anything in them. Just don’t be too tight on the ingredients, so long as it can close its fine. Cavolo nero is an italian cabbage or black kale. Its got plenty of lutein, vitamins K, A and C, manganese, copper, fibre, calcium, iron, the B vitamins and more vitamins. Its doesn’t have a strong taste and it is versatile. You can use it in a stirfry, a pasta dish or even a pizza.

Panzarotti is a great treat to make with friends or for a lazy night infront of the tv. After making them tonight I do really recommend baking them. They are really crispy and have the great fresh pizza taste.

Baked Panzarotti (sf, nf)

Basic Pizza Dough- 3 cups Italian Tipo 00, 1 tsp dry yeast, 1 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tsp salt, 1 pinch raw sugar, 1 tbp olive oil & more for brushing

Filling Ingredients- 380g jar passata sauce, 2 onions sliced, 1/2 bunch of cavolo nero (tuscan cabbage)

First prepare the dough

1. Take a large bowl & brush with oil.

2. Take a bowl and add warm water and yeast. Put some plastic wrap over the bowl and leave it  to sit for 5 mins.

3. Add flour salt and sugar to the large bowl and mix it through.

4. Slowly add water to flour and mix. (add more flour if to stick)

5. Place dough on board and knead for 10 mins.

6. Place dough in a large bowl, place somewhere warm and leave for 1 1/2-2  hours to rise.

Prepare Panzarotti

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. 

2. Heat olive oil in large pan and cook onions for 10 mins, till soft.

3. Heat olive oil in large pan and cook cavolo nero for 3mins.

Panzarotti before cooked

4. Separate dough into 12 balls.

5. On a floury board roll dough ball out with rolling pin.

6. In the centre of rolled out dough add 1 tbsp of sauce, capsicum, cavolo nero & onion (don’t fill them too much).

Panzarotti, after baked

7. Fold into a half moon and close the edges with a fork.

8. Repeat with the rest and brush tops with olive oil.

9. Put panzarotti in the open for 15mins and serve. 

Quinoa Porridge with Mixed Nuts, Seeds and Sultanas

Ever since I discovered Quinoa I feel in love. This little South American grain is so delicious, versatile and healthy! Quinoa (keen-wah) is extremely high in protein, in fact it has just as much as 4 eggs. It has less carbohydrates and higher mineral content then the rest of the grains. It also contains all the essential amino acids that we need. Only one cup has over your daily requirements for manganese, magnesium and iron. However the best thing about this grain is that its packed full of fiber, three times then the other grains [1].

Its also gluten free, which is how I discovered quinoa a few years ago. I had leaky gut syndrome and needed to find alternatives to wheat and other sources of gluten. I also had a mild intolerance to rice, so for me quinoa filled the spot perfectly. It’s really quick to cook and can substitute pretty much anything you can make with rice, including stir-fry, casseroles, stews and sweets.

So why isn’t this ancient grain more popular then rice? Well when the Spanish came to South America they didn’t respect the Inca’s super grain. They thought it was peasant food and decided that rice, corn and potato’s was better.

In Australia its becoming more mainstream, as it begins to creep into the major supermarkets in the health food section. Even some Australian nutritionists, celebrity fitness trainers and chefs are starting to promote it, but not enough that the average person knows what it is. If your in Australia, you can buy organic white/red/black quinoa in Woolworths, Coles and Healthfood shops. The colour doesn’t change the taste or the nutritional property’s,  so its up to you what you choose. A few years back I decided to stuff our Christmas turkey with black quinoa and walnuts. Probably not the best colour, as it turned my family off the stuffing. According to my chef brother, I ‘ruined Christmas’.

When ever I cook quinoa I always make some extra to keep in the fridge, to add to salads and porridge. Last night I made the Stuffed Eggplant Rolls with Quinoa, but this morning I’m making my favourite breakfast treat.

Quinoa Porridge with Mixed Nuts, Seeds and Sultanas (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

4-5 tablespoons of cooked quinoa

2-3 tablespoons mixed nuts & seeds

1/2 cup plant milk (coconut, rice or oat; almond or soy if you can tolerate)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

maple syrup or other natural sweetner

1/2 tbsp sultanas

Method:

Dry roasting nuts & seeds

1. Take a small pan and dry roast the nuts and seeds on the stove. Once they are a little brown and have an aroma take off the heat.

2. Take a small pot and add quinoa and enough milk to cover it and turn on medium heat.

3. Add cinnamon and sweetner and take off the heat once it comes to a lite boil.

4. Serve in  a bowl and top with nuts & seeds and sultanas.

*Serves 1

[1] Lieberman, D. & O’Connor, A. 2010, The 10 Things you Need to Eat: And More Than 100 Easy and Delicious Ways to Prepare Them.