Pesto Soda Bread and Pumpkin Rosemary Soup

Good evening everyone! Tonight I made my first successful Italian bread. I love this recipe because it doesn’t require rising time, so its quick to prepare and it has a very dense texture. Marco really liked it. This is similar to the kind of bread they make in Serbia and how his mother prepares it at home. It’s not a bread that will be as good the day after, but it complements a hearty soup.

I adapted this recipe from one of my cook books, Mama’s Italian Cookbook. I veganised it and used my delicious Basil & Artichoke Pesto, that I prepared early this week. The original recipe also calls for green olives. I didn’t use them for Marco’s sake, plus my pesto was quite chunky. But I’m sure that would also be delicious as well.

To go with the bread, I made a simple Pumpkin Rosemary Soup and topped it with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds & Rosemary Leaves. It was a nice thick soup and it didn’t need any thing else to make it more creamy.  The soup is gluten free, but obviously the bread isn’t. It can probably be made with gluten free flour and it doesn’t need yeast. Unfortunately for me there is no more soup left, but I managed to take one piece of the bread for tomorrows lunch.

???????????????????????????????

Pesto Soda Bread (vegan)

Ingredients:

350g plain bread flour

250g wholemeal flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

3 tablespoon Basil & Artichoke Pesto (or other vegan pesto)

300ml soy milk (more to glaze)

1.25 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup water (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and take a nonstick baking tray or grease a baking tray. ???????????????????????????????

2. Take a large bowl and sift the flours, bicarbonate soda and salt into it. Add any bran that may not of gone through sieve.

3. Combine the soy milk and apple cider to make ‘buttermilk’, then add the pesto to the buttermilk and stir through.

4. Slowly add the pesto buttermilk to the bowl with the flour. If it is too dry add some water.

5. Place the dough on a floury board and knead the dough for a couple of minutes then shape into a large circle or square. Use a shape knife to cut a large cross in the centre of the dough, then place the dough onto the baking tray. ???????????????????????????????

6. Glaze the dough with soy milk, then bake for 30-35 mins or until golden brown. When it is read the base should sound hollow if you tap it.

* Serves 8 slices.

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

Pumpkin Rosemary Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, diced

2 tablespoon diced rosemary leaves

5 cups chopped kent pumpkin

1 litre vegetable liquid stock

sea salt & pepper to taste

Method:

1. Take a large pot and heat olive oil. Then add onion, garlic and rosemary leaves. Saute on medium heat for 3 mins.

2. Add the pumpkin and stir through with the other ingredients. Saute for a further 3 mins.???????????????????????????????

3. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Then place on a simmer for 30 mins or until the pumpkin is soft.

4. Once the pumpkin is soft take off the heat and wait until there is no steam, then use the bar mix or a processor to blend the soup, so it is a silky consistency.???????????????????????????????

5. Adjust seasoning and reheat in the pot and serve. Top with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds & Rosemary Leaves and Pesto Soda Bread (optional)

*Serves 4

DSC02851

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds & Rosemary Leaves (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

2-3t ablespoon seeds from kent pumpkin

leaves from 3 sprigs of rosemary

1 tablespoon olive oil

sea salt

Method:

DSC02845

1. Place the seeds and rosemary in a small bowl and add olive oil and sea salt. Stir through.

2. Place the mixture on to a baking tray with baking paper and roast in the oven for 3-5 mins or until pumpkin seeds are golden brown and crunchy.

???????????????????????????????

Adzuki Mushroom ‘Meatballs’ with Fettuccine

Tonight was another dinner made of leftovers. I used the last of the Eggplant & Capsicum Pasta Sauce and the cooked adzuki beans. This recipe is adapted from Oh My Veggies recipe, Lentil Mushroom Meatballs. I changed the ingredients and the portion size, so that there was more meatballs and it took less time to cook. The original recipe called to bake the meatballs. I was going to fry them, but then at the last minute I thought I would cook them at a high heat for a short time. This saved 20 mins in cooking time from the original recipe. This recipe is gluten free and tofu free. It was really easy to make and the very flavorsome. It also went really well with my favorite Greek red wine.

???????????????????????????????

Adzuki Mushroom ‘Meatballs’ with Fettuccine (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked adzuki beans

250g sliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, diced

1 handful parsley, minced

1 handful basil, minced

4 tablespoons red wine

1 cup vegetable stock

2 tablespoons tamari/soy sauce

1 cup organic instant oats

corn crumbs (about 1/2 cup)

prepared passata sauce & fettuccine/other long pasta/gf pasta for 6 serves

sea salt & pepper to taste

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Heat a pot of salted water for the pasta. Heat the passata sauce in a large pot and adjust seasoning.???????????????????????????????

2. Place the adzuki beans, mushrooms, parsley and basil in the food processor and pulse until its chopped.

3. Heat a large pan with olive oil and add garlic. Cook for 1 minute on medium heat.???????????????????????????????

4. Add the bean mushroom mixture and cook for 4 mins or until it has browned a little.

5. Add the wine and stir through. Cook until the wine has evaporated.

6. Add the vegetable stock, tamari, and oats. Adjust seasoning, stir frequently and cook until all the liquid has disappeared. Take off the heat and leave to cool.

7. Make the meatballs, by taking 2 tablespoons of the mixture, ???????????????????????????????making a ball with your hands, then rolling it in corn crumbs. Place all the meatballs on a tray with baking paper.

8. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Once finished strain and then place back in the same pot and add a bit of sauce to coat the pasta so it doesn’t stick.

9. Spray the meat balls with a little bit of canola oil spray and cook in the oven for 10 mins. Then turn them over and cook for a further 10 mins.

10. Add the meat balls to the pasta sauce, so that they are coated in the sauce. Then serve meatballs on top a serve of pasta.

* Serves 6, makes 24 meatballs =4 per person

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

Adzuki Chili Casserole with Cornbread Topping

Last nights dinner was my attempt at an American classic, chili and corn bread. In Australia, we don’t usually cook American dishes like this. We have a lot of influence from Asia, Europe and even the Middle East, but not a lot of American cuisine. I often cook  ‘mexican’ chili con carne. In recent years I have been making my own spice mix. I am not sure if I make it the right way, but it my best attempt at emulating the Mexican spice mix that you can buy in the packet. This is also my first attempt of making cornbread. I have tried corn bread a couple of times in the past in ribs restaurants They usually serve this as a entree, with lots of butter. I have always really liked the sweet and savory taste of it.

To put this dish together I used the left over rice and Eggplant & Capsicum Pasta Sauce from the day before. I also soaked some adzuki beans over night and cooked them up, so they were ready to add to any dishes. I used the rice to make a crispy base for the casserole. I was considering making a pie, but I didn’t really feel like making dough. I was also worried that if I used puff pastry, then it the sauce would go through it. I saw some recipes using rice with eggs to make pie or quiche bases, so I tried to do that. It turned out to be a really solid base and held the chili well. 

???????????????????????????????For the chili I made my usually spice mix and added the cook adzuki beans and the pasta sauce. The spices really helped give the sauce a more southern taste. It was really easy to prepare and quick.

Lastly, for the top of the casserole I decided to do cornbread, because I had seen it somewhere, but then I couldn’t remember where. So after doing a lot of research and trying to find a vegan version, I came across this recipe for Black Bean Chili Pot Pie with Cornbread Topping from Chipped Bowl. I decided to also add cinnamon to the batter, as I saw this in another recipe by Nigella Lawson. I had to make a double the portion for the size of my casserole, which I adapted below. This was my favorite part of the casserole. It was so sweet and fluffy. I could of just eaten this on its own.

My family were really blown away by this dish, as it was like nothing else they had tried before. I definitely want to make this a regular meal. I’m sure it would be great to serve for guests or family dinners. Let me know what your think of my attempt and how you make this American classic?

???????????????????????????????

Adzuki Chilli Casserole with Cornbread Topping  (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients for Rice Base:

2 cups of cooked rice

1/2 cup polenta or corn meal

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

sea salt to taste

Ingredients for Chili:

2 cups of cooked adzuki beans

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion flakes or onion powder

1 tablespoon ground sweet paprika

1/2 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper

1/2 tablespoon dried oregano

3 cups tomato pasta sauce (I used leftover Eggplant & Capsicum Pasta Sauce)

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons vegan worcestershire sauce

Ingredients for Cornbread Topping:

1 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (use gluten free flour if you prefer)

1 cup polenta or corn meal

3 tablespoons raw sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1.5 cup water

4 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.???????????????????????????????

2. First make the spice mix for the chili. Combine the cumin, garlic powder, onion flakes, sweet paprika, cayenne and oregano in a small bowl.???????????????????????????????

3. Heat 2 tablepsoons of olive oil in a large pot. Then add the all the spices. Cook for 3 mins on medium heat.

4. Add the cooked adzuki beans to the pot and coat in the spices.  Cook for another 3 mins.

5. Add the sauce, water and worcestershire sauce. Adjust seasoning and cook for 15-20 mins.???????????????????????????????

6. In the meantime, prepare the rice base. Place cooked rice and polenta in a large bowl. Combine the water with the nutritional yeast, then add to the bowl. Add salt to taste and stir it through.

7. Take large casserole dish and grease with some oil, then place the rice mixture and press down so it is equally distributed as a base. Bake for 10 mins, then remove from the oven.???????????????????????????????

8. In the meantime, prepare the cornbread topping. Take another large mixing bowl combine the flour, polenta, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir well.???????????????????????????????

9. Then make a well in the centre of the bowl and add the water and vegetable oil and stir till combined.

10. Take the Casserole dish and place the adzuki chili on top of the rice base.

11. Then add the cornbread topping on top of the chili. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins or until you can place a toothpick inside the topping and it comes out clean.

*Serves 8

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

Apple Pie Overnight Oats

For the past two days Marco and I have been enjoying this delicious sweet breakfast. I first saw this idea for  overnight oats on Oh She Glows, so I decided to try it out myself. I was very happy with the results. It doesn’t taste like the usually morning oat porridge. It is soft, cool, sweet and delicious. Perfect for hot summer mornings. It is also really convenient nutritious breakfast, that you can prepare the night before and eat straight out of the fridge in the morning. If you want a change from your regular oats try this out!

DSC02793

Apple Pie Overnight Oats (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup instant or rolled oats, preferably organic

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

1/2 cup apple sauce

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir it all through.

2. Place in the fridge overnight and enjoy the next day.

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

Calm after the storm

After torrential rain and gail force winds last night we finally got some calm weather today. So today we had to focus on cleaning the mess from the storm. Mum was drying the leaks  and sweeping the water away. Marco was vacuuming up Albie’s hair from all over the house, after his sleepover inside. And I tried to cook up all the left overs in our fridge and went shopping for  more supplies. I’m not so good at the cleaning, but I like to make sure we are eating well in this stressful time. We also got a student at 2 am  this morning. I am really surprised she made it here with the storm and the road closures. I’m even more surprised there were taxi’s working last night. Although the rain stopped this afternoon, we still have to worry about the  flood tonight, now the dam’s are being released. We are hoping that our suburb isn’t going to flood, since we are so close to the river. Our house will be safe, but I’m hoping we don’t loose power.

These are some of the things I made up today out of the leftovers:

Salad: red onion, tomato, grated carrot, baby spinach, rocket, chickpeas and a Sweet Garlic Mayo

Salad: red onion, tomato, grated carrot, baby spinach, rocket, chickpeas and a Sweet Garlic Mayo

For lunch I made salad  for everyone, as we had so many pre-cut ingredients, that my mum brought home from her work. I also had the tiniest bit of silken tofu leftover in the fridge, so I tried to make a homemade vegan mayo. This mayo only made enough dressing for 3 salads. So I will try to make up a bigger batch next time.

Sweet Garlic Mayo (vegan, gluten free)

Ingredients:

100g silken tofu

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon brown rice syrup

1 tablespoon parsley

1 tablespoon ground pecans (optional)

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in the processor and pulse until all is combined.

*Makes about 1/2 cup.

???????????????????????????????

After lunch I made this pesto to keep in the fridge as a condiment or to dress pasta. We had so much basil in the fridge that was starting to go bad and a jar of artichokes that I had started and forgot about. These ingredients went really well together. I had it as an afternoon snack with the left over Spelt Buttery Biscuits. I kept offering it to Marco to have on toast, but he’s not to excited about it.

Basil & Artichoke Pesto (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pine nuts

1.5-2 cups basil leaves

3 garlic cloves

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

6-8 artichokes from jar

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)

1/2-1 teaspoon herbamare/sea salt

Method:

1. Place pine nuts in the processor and whiz till they are broken down and start to form a paste.

2. Then add the rest of the ingredients, one by one, as the processor is whizzing, until it is all combined and creamy.

* Place in an airtight jar or container and top with a bit more olive oil so that it last longer.

???????????????????????????????

Even though we had the leftover the Spicy Peanut Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Eggplant with steamed rice and Achar de legumes (Ted’s Mauritian pickled vegetables) for dinner, I wanted to use up the rest of the ingredients that were on their last legs in my fridge. So I made this sauce so I can put together a quick meal tomorrow night.

Eggplant & Capsicum Pasta Sauce (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1.5 cup diced red onion, diced

5 garlic cloves, diced

1 medium eggplant, chopped

1 large red capsicum, chopped

1 cup grated/diced carrot

1 cup fresh diced tomato

2x 500ml jars passata sauce

500ml filtered water

sea salt, black pepper & raw sugar to taste

3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

Method:

1. Take a large pot and heat olive oil, then add the red onion and garlic. Saute for 3 mins on medium heat.

2. Add the eggplant and red capscium and saute for a further 5 mins. Add more olive oil if the eggplant is too dry.

3. Add the carrot and tomato and cook for saute for 2 more mins.

4. Add the passata sauce and water and bring to the boil.

5. Then place on a simmer. Adjust seasoning, by adding salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Add basil and continue to cook for 1-2 hours (the longer the better).

* Serve with pasta or if not using today let the pot cool (so it doesn’t go bitter) then store in the fridge for later use.dsc02738

One last thing I prepared tonight, which I am looking forward to tomorrow is my Apple Pie Over Night Oats. This is my first time making them, so curious how they are going to turn out. I made a container each for me and Marco. It really is a convenient breakfast that you can prepare the night before if you are in a rush, like Marco will be, in the morning. I will post the recipe tomorrow and tell you how it turned out.

Finally hit 100th post

Hi all, it’s been a rainy, windy couple of days in Brisbane. Everyone’s on alert for flooding and cyclones. Everything should be fine for us for flooding, but it’s a bit scary knowing that the rain isn’t going to stop for another couple of days. Our house has a couple of leaks from some screw ups from tradies that were working on our roof recently. We also have few little waterfalls flooding into our property from our neighbors. At least the dogs got a shower and a blow dry so they could join us inside. They are very happy chappy.

On the brighter side this is my 100th post. I can’t believe I’ve made it this far already. A big thanks to all the people who follow, comment and visit on my blog. You have no idea how much of a difference it has made to my life. Although I have had some slips this is the longest I have stuck to any kind of lifestyle change, so I am really proud to share it with you guys. You visits, likes and comments really help to keep me going on my transition, even though I often feeling like giving up.

Since I started this blog back at the end of September I have received a lot of positive feedback from many people. I have received a lot of great advice and praise from many regulars bloggers, many of which have given me awards for my efforts. I’ve also had views from from 77 countries to date. I can’t believe people from all over the world have found my blog and taken the time to check out out. So thanks again for all your support!

Untitled

Tonight I cooked an African Stew. The recipe is adapted from Spicy Peanut Soup with Chicken from Bon appétit website. I adapted it to be vegan and gluten free. It was really nice comfort food for a cool, windy night and everyone loved it. I haven’t used peanut butter in a stew before, but it tasted really good. To go with it I made Spelt Buttery Biscuits. Marco, mum and Ted haven’t had these before. Last time I made them it was for the Marco’s niece and nephew, who also loved them. They all really like the buttery biscuits and they went really well with the warm stew.

P1000583

Spicy Peanut Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Eggplant (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

450 g sweet potato, cut into cubes

1 tablespoon hot sauce

sea salt & pepper to taste

4 cups vegan chicken/vegetable broth

1/3 cup peanut butter

2 tablespoons tomato paste

5 tablespoons vegan butter

1.5 cups chopped onion

1 cup carrot, grated or diced

1 medium eggplant, cut into cubes

2 tablespoons arrowroot flour (tapioca)

1 cup canned diced tomatoes

Method:

1. Place the sweet potato in a large bowl and coat in the hot sauce, salt and pepper.P1000577

2. Take another large bowl or jug (big enough to hold 4 cups) and combine the stock, peanut butter, and tomato paste. Whisk it till it is all combined.

3. Take a large pot and melt the vegan butter on medium-high heat.P1000578

4. Then add the onions, carrot and eggplant.  Saute for about 8 min. Then add the sweet potato and saute for a further 3 min.

5. Add the stock, tomatoes and flour to the pot and stir it through.  Cook for 30 mins, or until the sweet potatoes are soft enough to put a fork through.

* Serves 8

P1000582

Yesterday I had another try at the Eggless Fritata. Last time I made it I used firm tofu instead of silken tofu. I also didn’t have a nonstick pan. So it didn’t turn out as smooth as I would of liked. Since then I tried to make it again, but unfortunately I dropped it when I flipped it. This time was a success! I had silken tofu and my new neoflam pan I got for Christmas. I found the silken tofu made the batter a lot smoother and cooked more like an fritata, instead of a scramble. The pan also kept it together and didn’t let it stick, so that I could easily slide it into a baking tray to grill before serving.

I adapted the recipe this time and used sweet potato, red onion and carrot. It was incredibly fluffy and according to both me and Marco (the egg lover) this tasted much better then an egg fritata. The potato really makes it creamy and less plasticy then egg. Although this breakfast took me a lot longer to prepare it was definitely worth the wait. It is also great to pack for morning teas or lunches, which is what I will be doing for Marco for work next time.

DSC02702

Sweet potato & Carrot Eggless Fritata (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato

200g soft silken tofu

2 tablespoons vegan butter

3 tablespoons cornstarch/arrowroot

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

½ teaspoon onion flakes (or onion powder)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small red onion diced

3 tablespoons grated carrot

Method:

1. Peel and cut the sweet potato in thin slices, then put it a small pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender. Then strain and leave cool. DSC02685

2. In the processor blend the silken tofu, vegan butter, cornstarch, baking powder, sea salt, black pepper, turmeric, onion flakes and garlic powder.DSC02686

3. Heat pan with olive oil, then add the red onion and cook for a couple of minutes.

4. Then add sweet potato and grated carrot and cook for another couple of minutes.

5. Add the tofu batter to the pan, coat the vegetables, then level the batter and let it cook for 15 mins on medium heat.DSC02687

6. Preheat grill in the oven.

7. Slide the frittata onto a circular baking tray with baking paper and place into the oven (grill). If you have the right pan you can put the entire pan into the oven. Grill for 3 mins or until slightly golden brown on top.

*Serves 2

DSC02700

Last night we had Marco’s niece and nephew stay over, so I made them Black Bean Brownies. I got the recipe from Happy Herbivore, you can find it here. I used 1/4 cup of oats more then recipe said as the batter a bit too thin and added vegan chocolate chips. I also cooked for about 10 mins more and then had to let it set in the fridge, so that I could slice it. It was nice, but the texture of the black beans was a bit strange for me. Luckily the kids loved it. They had two slices and even took the rest home, so it was a success after all. This recipe is gluten free, so if you don’t mind beans in your brownie, this is a nice recipe.

DSC02720

The only other exciting thing I have had to eat this week was on thursday night. Marco and I meet some friends at our favorite Indian Restaurant, A Night in India. I  have been visiting the Toowong location for ten years. Seems like just yesterday I was there with my newly legalized girlfriends, eating Indian and drinking wine, before hitting the clubs. I’ve change a lot since then, but the food hasn’t. It is still fantastic and fresh. Since then I have also discovered the Carindale location, which is owned by the other brother. Depending what side of town we are on, we visit both regularly. They both have many vegan, dairy free and gluten free options. So after I was forced to give up dairy and gluten a few years back and now eating vegan, this place was a god send to me. I don’t have to order the one boring vegan dish on the menu, because there are many exciting, delicious dishes to try, which are ‘Vanessa friendly’.

When we arrived the other night, our friends were running late and we were really hungry. So we ordered Vegetable Samosa. I asked if they were vegan and yes they are. The mint yogurt sauce that it came with was not, but I still ordered it for Marco. They were probably the best samosa I have every had. They weren’t greasy at all. We usually order Pakoras for entree, but I am happy I took a chance ordering this. For main I usually order the Vegetable Madras, as it is a creamy, dairy free dish, that has coconut milk. Tonight I decided to be different and order the Mushroom Sabji. It is a creamy curry with mushrooms, potato and peas. Although it isn’t vegan I asked the waiter if I could have it dairy free and the chef agreed to make it for me. On the side I ordered my usually Roti made of wholemeal flour and is dairy free. As much as I miss naan, when I eat the roti I forget about naan.

Vegetable Samosa

Vegetable Samosa

Mushroom Sabji

Mushroom Sabji

Roti

Roti

Summer Protein Smoothies

These are some of the smoothies that I have been making to cool me down and fill me up first thing in the morning in this summer heat. I don’t even feel like I need the coffee after I have one of these. Because of my pyroluria, protein is very important for me to have in the morning to kick start my brain. Since I don’t eat eggs anymore, I try to find other foods that are rich in protein, such as nut, nut butters, nut milks, grains, legumes and avocado. A really quick and easy way to get the protein I need to to put it all in a smoothie, with other fruits and vegetables.

The Protein that I have been using in my smoothies is Vanilla Vital Protein Pea Protein Isolate. It is vegan, 82% Vegetable Protein and is world’s highest source of vegetable protein. It is downloadgluten free, lactose free, GM free. It is also 88% Bio-available Protein, Low-Carbohydrate Level 0.1%, , Low Allergenic, Low in Anti-Nutritional Factors, High Tolerance, 100% Vegetable Origin, Balanced Amino Acid Profile, Not deposited in the body as fat, Rich in valuable Amino Acids for weight control, sports or medicinal purposes; High-digestability (98%), Amino Acid Score 0.9 (norm FAO 1991), High Alkalinity level (ph 7.5).

I have only found a couple of protein products available in Brisbane that are vegan. Such as  Tony Sfeir’s Pea Protein Isolate, Lotus Australia Organic Brown Rice ProteinHemp Foods Australia Hemp Protein.

What protein do you use?

How do you use it (smoothies, baking, etc)?

Do you have any good recipes?

Here are some of the smoothies I have been making over the past weeks. If you are a bit hesitant like I was to add some vegetables to your smoothies, I promise you won’t notice them in these recipes. These are what I call “Marco friendly” smoothies. He always gets nervous when he sees what I am putting in, but he ends up loving them.

Dragon Cherry Protein Smoothie- 1 small Dragon fruit, 1/2 cup cherries 3 dessert spoons vanilla protein, 1 cup almond milk, agave to taste (1-2 serves)

Spinach & Summer Fruit Protein Smoothie– 1 frozen banana, 1 cup frozen nectarine, 1/2 cup frozen grapes, 1/2 cup baby spinach, 2 1/2 cups almond milk, 9 dessert spoons vanilla protein, agave to taste (3 serves)

Green Minty Cooldown Protein Smoothie– 8 grapes, 1/2 lebanese cucumber (peeled), small handful of baby spinach, leaves from 2 sprigs of mint, 1 cups almond milk, 3 dessert spoons vanilla protein, agave to taste (1 serves)

Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie– 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup grated carrot, 1 teaspoon diced fresh ginger, 2 tablespoon ground pecans/walnuts, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 3/4 cup almond milk, 6 dessert spoons vanilla protein, agave to taste (2 serves)

Dragon Cherry Protein Smoothie

Dragon Cherry Protein Smoothie

Spinach & Summer Fruit Protein Smoothie

Spinach & Summer Fruit Protein Smoothie

Green Minty Cooldown Protiein Smoothie

Green Minty Cooldown Smoothie

Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie

Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie

.

Raw Cherry Ripe Buckwheat Porridge

To finish off the last of my batch of buckwheat porridge I decided to make something different. I still had some cherries I froze from a few weeks back, so I tried to make a cherry ripe like layered dessert . I only made enough for one, so I think Marco is going to be very jealous when he sees this. It was such a filling breakfast, not sure if I’ll be able to have lunch today.

DSC02662

Raw Cherry Ripe Buckwheat Porridge (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup raw buckwheat porridge

2 teaspoons cacao or cocoa powder (more to sprinkle)

1/2 cup pitted cherries (fresh/defrosted)

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon toasted coconut

Method:

1. Combine the buckwheat porridge and the cocoa powder and stir through till it is brown.

2. In the processor add the pitted cherries. While it is still running add the coconut oil and toasted coconut. Whiz until it has combined and has a jam like consistencey.

3. Take a dessert glass and layer the buckwheat porridge and the cherry mixture. Top with with some cocoa powder and serve.

*Serves 1

Last night I was invited over to my mother’s partners house. Since Ted’s been having a few dinners over at my place, I suggested we go over to his for one of his curries and for some air con. He is Mauritian and makes beautiful Indian curries and chapati breads. Lately he has been making more Thai curries. So last night we had a Thai Green Curry with Tofu and Vegetables, Rice and Lentils. He made the spice paste from scratch and he made it vegetarian for me. It was really good! I really like the lentils as well. His family usually make this kinds of lentils on the side, just with garlic and ginger.  I am going to try get some recipes from him soon and try to cook some of them.

DSC02659

Raw Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge

I discovered a new way to prepare buckwheat for breakfast. I saw this recipe, for Raw Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge, on Oh She Glows and finally got the courage to make it. I love Angela’s recipes. I have been a fan of hers for some time. She has some of the most creative and inventive vegan recipes I have ever seen. She also has an amazing story, so check her out.DSC02642

I was a bit worried that I didn’t have the right buckwheat. I never knew before that soaking them would make them go soft. I just had organic raw buckwheat from Woolworths. They looked the same as the ones Angela used, so I left them over night to soak and this is how they looked. They were tender, but if you apply a bit of pressure to them between your fingers they break.DSC02647

I actually made a half portion of this recipe, as I only had 1 cup of buckwheat left. Other then that I followed her recipe all the same. Once I rinsed the buckwheat well, I put them in my processor and added soy vanilla milk (use rice, oat, almond or soy), chia seeds, agave, vanilla extract and cinnamon. I processed them till the entire thing is nice and smooth.

To serve it I just added slices of banana, toasted slivered almonds and toasted shredded coconut.

DSC02648

Later, when Marco came home I made him a portion as well. He wanted it to be more like a dessert, so made a Raw Chocolate Coconut Buckwheat Porridge. I added cocoa powder, more agave and toasted shredded coconut. He really liked it too, so I think this will be a regular for a while.

DSC02656

Orange, Mint and Basil Noodles Stir fry with Assorted Mushrooms and Cabbage

I am addicted to mushrooms at the moment. Dried and fresh, I love them all. These little fungi are low in carbohydrates, calories, and sodium. They are cholesterol and fat free. They are also high in fiber, protein, a good source of B vitamins, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. They are good for our metabolism and if consumed regularly are proven to decrease the amount of cancerous cells in our bodies [1].

I like to use them in pasta and noodle dishes to substitute where I would normally use meat. Dried mushrooms especially have a meat like texture and they help to make a balanced filling dish. I bought a packet of assorted mushrooms from the local Asian supermarket. They are really affordable and easy to work with. Another one of my go to recipes with dried mushrooms is Risoni Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Mushrooms. 

DSC02639

Orange, Mint & Basil Noodles  Stir fry with Assorted Mushrooms and Cabbage (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 serve of brown rice noodles

1 garlic clove

2 shallots

1 red chili

1/2 cup cabbage

handful assorted mushrooms (dried & fresh)

1/2 cup vegan chicken or vegetable stock (or water)

10 basil leaves

10 mint leaves

segments from 1/2 an orange

1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil (plus extra for wok)DSC02630

Method:

1. Cook the noodles according to packet directions, then strain and set to the side.

2. In the meantime dice the garlic, shallots and chili. Chop the cabbage and fresh mushrooms. Soak the dried mushrooms.DSC02632

3. Prepare the herb sauce. Place basil, mint, orange in a mortar and pestle. Then add sesame oil and tamari.

4. Heat the wok with a little bit of sesame oil. Then add garlic, shallots and chili. Cook for 1 minute.

DSC026345. Add all the mushrooms with stock and cabbage. Cook for 3-4mins or until cabbage has wilted and stock has dried up.

6. Add the herb sauce and noodles. Heat through for one more minute, then serve.

DSC02635

[1] Leslee Dru Browning 2008, Mushrooms: The Underestimated Super Food, <http://www.naturalnews.com/024548_mushrooms_cancer_food.html>