Hasselback Potatoes with Lemon Almond Pesto and Beans, Broccoli & Spelt Croutons

I have been wanting to try Hasselback Potatoes for a while. I came across this recipe one day and was intrigued  I have never seen potatoes prepared like this before. This recipe was adapted from Joy the Baker’s Hasselback Potatoes with Spinach Cashew Pesto. I had to change the recipe for the pesto a bit, since I was missing some key ingredients. For some strange reason my processor wouldn’t liquefy all the ingredients and left it a bit chunky. I was so frustrated that I just gave in to it. It turned out to still taste good and Marco said he liked it chunky, so I guess it wasn’t that bad.

The potatoes themselves were so delicious. They were a bit of a pain to cut and stuff with garlic. I did go all the way through on a couple of them.  I ended up served them with these simple vegetables and some leftover risotto, as I was in a hurry to watch My Kitchen Rules.

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Hasselback Potatoes with Lemon Almond Pesto (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients for Hasselback Potatoes:

4 large potatoes

4 garlic cloves

4 tablespoons vegan butter

olive oil to coat

sea salt

Ingredients for Pesto:

2 cups basil

2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup toasted almonds

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/3 cup vegan parmesan

sea salt & pepper to taste

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees.???????????????????????????????

2. Thinly slice a layer from the bottom so that the potato can sit on its side. Then slice slits in the way along the potato. Be careful not to cut right through to the bottom.???????????????????????????????

3. Thinly slice the garlic and stuff a piece in each slit in the potato.

4. Put the potatoes in a small baking dish and top with vegan butter and coat in olive oil. Roast in the oven for 1 hour. If you can check the potatoes a few times and baste in the olive oil.

5. In the meantime place all the ingredients for the pesto in the processor, except for the evo. Process until smooth. Lastly add the olive oil.

*Serve the potatoes topped with the pesto

*Serves 4

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Beans, Broccoli & Spelt Croutons (vegan, nut free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 head of broccoli, roughly chopped

2 handfuls green beans

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 slice of old spelt bread, toasted and chopped

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt & pepper to taste

Method:

1. Heat olive oil in a pan then add garlic and spelt bread. Saute for 2 mins.

2. Add broccoli and green beans and saute for 4 mins or until tender.

*Serves 4

Risotto alla zucca, Brazil Nut Parmesan, Zucchini Fritters with Mint and Banana Blueberry Overnight Oats

Good evening or morning guys. Tonight I made another Italian traditional dish. In the north, pumpkin is plentiful and in the past was typically eaten by the poor farmers. In Mantova this dish is very popular. I have previously made some dishes from this city, including Tortelli di zucca and Sbrisolona in past posts.

I veganised a recipe from the Italian website Giallo Zafferano. Instead of using rosemary, I used thyme, which gave it a beautiful fragrant flavor. I topped it with Brazil Nut Parmesan. This Parmesan was just as good as Cashew Parmesan. It is really creamy and savory. I am addicted!

I also made these zucchini fritters. Marco didn’t like the mint, but I think it gave it a really nice fresh taste. If you don’t like mint, add basil or italian parsley. There are no eggs needed in this recipe. The moisture from the zucchini, flour and touch of soy milk is enough to bind the fritters. These can be made gluten free by just using gluten free plain flour.

This afternoon we went to the Rocklea Markets and got this delicious loaf of Organic Spelt Bread. We also heaps of vegetables. I can’t believe for $17 I managed to fill a whole box of food. So if you live in Brisbane I really recommend doing your food shopping here and see how much you save.

Lastly, I wanted to share these delicious overnight oats I had for breakfast. Our bananas have been going nearly off, as no one has been eating them, so this was a perfect way to use them. Overnight oats are really filling and a perfect quick way to start the day. For more flavor ideas check out my Recipe Index.

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Risotto alla zucca (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons vegan butter

1 brown onion, diced

350g pumpkin cut in small cubes

500g arborio rice

1-2 tablespoons thyme leaves

1/2 cup white wine

1 litre vegan chicken/vegetable liquid stock

vegan parmesan

Method:

1. Heat vegan butter in a pot, then add onion. Cook for 4 mins or until the onion has soften.???????????????????????????????

2. Add pumpkin and cook for 5 mins so it has softened.

3. Add rice and thyme cook for 10 mins. Constantly stirring. While it is cooking boil liquid stock.

4. Now begin ladling hot liquid stock, one spoon at a time. Constantly stiring. Continue adding stock till all has been absorbed and rice is cooked.

*Serve with vegan parmesan

Serves 6

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Brazil Nut Parmesan (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 cup brazil nuts

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Method:

1. Grind all the ingredients till ground.

*Makes 1 cup

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Zucchini Fritters with Mint (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini

2 garlic cloves

1 handful of mint

1/2 cup wholemeal (or gluten free flour)

1 tablespoon unsweetened plant milk (oat or rice; soy or almond if you can tolerate)

sea salt to taste

olive oil to fry???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Grate zucchini and garlic. Chop mint roughly.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well so all the flavour goes through.

3. Make small patties and fry in hot oil. Cook patties for 1-2 mins on both sides or until browned.

*Makes 10

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Banana Blueberry 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)

2 whole overripe bananas

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 tablespoon maple syrup (I used blueberry maple syrup)

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a container and stir through.

2. Cover and place in the fridge over night.

*Serves 2 or 1 big serve

Whole Baked Sweet Potato with Mixed Bean Chili, Guacamole and Quinoa Salad

Believe it or not I have never baked a whole sweet potato before. When I was kid, mum use to make ‘potatoes in their jackets’ (baked spuds), but I haven’t had them in years. I think I am in love! They were so delicious and sweet. I can’t believe what I have been missing out on all this time. This is definitely going to have to be a part of our regular weeknight dinner rotation. It also went really well the the chili. The savory, spicy flavor toned down the sweetness of the sweet potato. The guacamole and salad really brought a fresh taste to the main event as well. Avocados are still expensive and very hard at the moment. We bought a whole heap of small ones the other day and they all went ripe at the same time. Can’t wait for the big soft ones to be back in season for breakfast.

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Whole Roasted Sweet Potato with Mixed Bean Chilli (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients for Sweet Potato:

4 medium size sweet potato, olive oil to coat

Ingredients for Chili:

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon onion flake or onion powder

1 tablespoon ground sweet paprika

1/2 tablespoon chilli powder or ground cayenne pepper

1/2 tablespoon dried oregano

400g can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon agave or raw sugar

400g can mixed beans

sea salt & black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Clean and scrub sweet potatoes. Then coat in oil and place in a baking tray. Piece a few times with a fork along the sweet potato, then bake for 45 mins.???????????????????????????????

2. Heat olive oil in a pan, then add onion and garlic and saute for 2 mins.???????????????????????????????

3. Add cumin, onion flakes, sweet paprika, chili powder and dried oregano. Continue to cook for 3 mins or until fragrant and onions are have softened. ???????????????????????????????

4. Add diced tomatoes, agave, sea salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then leave it to simmer for 20.

5. Add the beans then cook for another 5-10 mins. Adjust seasoning if you need to.

6. When sweet potatoes are ready slice long ways to open up the flesh.

*Serve with Chili on top of the Sweet Potato. Also serve with Guacamole or Vegan Sour Cream.

*Serves 4

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Creamy Guacamole (gf, nf)

Ingredients:

2 large avocados

1/2 lime

2-3 tablespoons tofutti ‘cream cheese’ (optional)

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mash avocado and ‘cream cheese’ until consistent.

*Serves 4 as a side

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Simply Zesty Quinoa Salad (gf, sf, nf)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup quinoa

1 small red onion, diced

2 large tomatoes, diced

1 stick of celery, diced

2-3 tablespoons diced fresh/frozen parsley/coriander

juice from 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon agave (optional)

Method:

1. Cook quinoa according to packet instructions.

2. Once ready and water has completely evaporated (otherwise strain), add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Season to taste.

*Serves 6 as a side dish.

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Zucchini, Onion & Parsley Eggless Fritata and Spelt Pomogranate & Almond Biscotti

These two dishes were last nights dinner and dessert. My frittata didn’t set right,  because I used too much tofu. I had a block of 500g, so I made two with an extra 50g of tofu in each. So for the instructions below I gave my original measurements to make one. You will be able to slide it more easier in a baking tray, which is what I struggled with. Nevertheless it was still creamy and delicious.

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Zucchini, Onion and Parsley Eggless Fritata (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

200g soft silken tofu

2 tablespoons vegan butter

3 tablespoons cornflour (or arrowroot flour)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon onion flakes (or onion powder)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 zucchini, grated

1 small red onion, diced

1/2 bunch italian parsley, roughly chopped

Method:

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

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

3. Take off the heat then add the zucchini and italian parsley and stir though.

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

5. Preheat grill in the oven.

6. 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

Since I still had half a pomogranate worth of seeds left from the salad I made for Sally’s 60th, I decided to try and use it to make Italian Biscotti. I have never made it before, although I have eaten my fair share of it. I adapted the recipe  Vegan Almond Biscotti, from Food.com. I used spelt flour, so I needed more apple sauce to make a moist batter. I also tweaked some of the other ingredients. They came out really well. Mine are a tad softer, as I only baked them once after slicing them and I used more oil. For a more drier biscotti, use less oil and bake slices on both sides.

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Spelt Pomogranate & Almond Biscotti (vegan, soy free)

Ingredients:

2 cups wholewheat spelt flour

1 cups unbleached plain flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1.5 cups raw sugar

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup pomogranate seeds

3/4 cup almonds, dry toasted and roughly chopped???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Preheat oven the 180 degrees. Take two nonstick cookie trays or grease two normal cookie trays.???????????????????????????????

2. Take a large mixing bowl and combine spelt flour, white flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together.???????????????????????????????

3. In another mixing bowl add raw sugar, apple sauce, olive oil and vanilla extract. Whisk together.???????????????????????????????

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir well, then add pomogranate seeds and toasted almonds.

5. Place 1/2 of the batter on one of the cookie trays and shape into a 3 inch wide log. Square off the ends. Do the same with the rest of the batter on the other tray.

6. Bake for 25 mins in the oven. Then remove from oven and turn oven down to 160 degrees. Place both logs on cooling trays for 15 mins.

7. Now that the logs have cooled down, use a shape knife to cut the logs into 1/2-1 inch wide slices.???????????????????????????????

8. Place slices back onto the cookie trays and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until it is golden on the bottom side.

9. Then turn the slices oven and cook for a further 5-10 mins. (I skipped this step because I forgot).

10. Place on cooling racks before serving.

*Serves 30-40 depending on how thick you cut them.

*keep in airtight container for two weeks

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Pomogranate and Avocado Quinoa Salad with Sweet Tahini Lime Dressing

I woke up really tired and late this morning, so I needed a power salad to prep me up. This salad is sweet, zesty, earthy and full of nutrients. Hope you guys like it!

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Pomogranate Quinoa Salad with Sweet Tahini Lime Dressing (vegan, gluten free option, soy free)

Ingredients for Salad:

1/2 cup quinoa

1 small stick of celery

1/2 carrot

1 small avocado

1 handful italian parsley

2 handfuls pomogranate seeds

1 handful almonds

extra lime and agave to garnish

Ingredients for Dressing

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon agave

1/2 tablespoon tahini

1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Method:

1. Place quinoa in a small pot with 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to the boil, then place on a simmer and cook for 15 mins. Strain with cold water and place to the side.

2. In the meantime make the dressing. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing a small bowl and stir through.

3. Then prepare the ingredents for the salad. Slice the celery finely, grate the carrot, slice the avocado in cubes and roughly chop the italian parsley.

4. Roughly chop the almonds then dry toast in a pan till golden.

5. Combine the cooked quinoa, celery, carrot, avocado and italian parsley in a bowl and stir.

6. Then add the dressing to the bowl and stir through

7. Place the quinoa salad on a plate and top with pomogranate seeds, toasted almonds. Serve with extra agave and lime wedges.

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I also wanted to share with you guys another great food find in Carindale, Brisbane. Last night our friends took us to Grand Taj. It is a small Indian restaurant off the main road in a shopping complex. Before going their I checked out their website and they had plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. Some of the dishes I haven’t seen before so I was very excited to try this place.

I ordered the Pumpkin and Eggplant Curry (diced butternut pumpkin and eggplant steamed with onions and flavored with white mustard), which came with Saffron Rice. On the side Marco I shared two Indian Breads, these were Onion Kulcha (bread stuffed with finely chopped seasoned onions and garlic) and Aloo (Potato) Paratha (wholemeal bread stuffed with spiced mashed potatoes). These were also both dairy free. Normally when I go to Indian these stuffed breads are’t dairy free or wholemeal, so this was a nice treat. I especially liked the Onion Kulcha. The onion was all the way through and nicely spiced.

I was really impressed with Grand Taj and I definitely hope to visit them again soon.

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Summer Salads for Sally’s 60th

Hi all, as promised, these are the salads that I prepared for Marco mother’s 60th party last night. All of these are from recipes that I have been collecting on Pinterest. In my household we have always had our salads with olive oil, salt and pepper and sometimes balsamic vinegar. So I am not very experienced in salad dressings.

These salads were a big hit at the party. The Roasted Aubergine only lasted about 15 mins till it was all gone. The pasta salad was also popular. All of these salads were quite quick and easy to prepare. The only cooking involved was for the pasta and grilling the eggplant.

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Jamie Oliver’s ‘Best Pasta Salad’

The original recipe for Jamie’s pasta salad is here (gfo, sf, nf)). The only thing I did different was using small vine ripened tomatoes, rather then yellow and red cherry tomatoes. I wasn’t able to get them for a reasonable price. But it didn’t make a difference with flavor, just with color. I especially loved the fresh herbs and zesty lemon flavor. This is a great salad if you have a large group of people and is big enough that everyone gets to have firsts and seconds.

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Roasted Aubergine with Sumac and Tahini Dressing

The recipe for this dish can be found here. This salad was really loved by all the Serbians. The dressing is earthly and zesty, the toppings are nutty and fragrant and the eggplant is soft and creamy. It can be served warm or at room temperature, which is how I served it. The dressing should be chilled and added just before serving. I have never used pomegranate in ???????????????????????????????a salad before. It went really well with the pine nuts. Unfortunately it isn’t in season at the moment in Australia. These were a USA import, so they were expensive and had some bad bits inside, but it was a must have ingredient to complete this dish. I really liked the dressing as well, it was dairy free, but really creamy. I used unhulled tahini, so my dressing is a lot darker then the picture in the original recipe. For the eggplant I removed the bitterness before grilling it. I just added table salt to the slices of eggplant and left them, so that the moister would come out. Then I wiped the moisture off before cooking it. Only thing I would do differently next time is make double the amount.

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Carrot Salad with Olives, Agave and Cumin

The recipe for this salad can be found here. The only things I changed was using agave instead of honey and italian parsley instead of coriander  The birthday girl is not a fan of coriander  but loves italian parsley, so I thought for her party it was better to go with what she likes. This is also a really easy salad to put together. It did take me a while to cut these carrots into tiny matchsticks, but worth it. The dressing was sweet and zesty.

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I was really lucky last night. There were plenty of fresh salads, roasted potatoes and baked bread for me to eat. I definitely didn’t go hungry. Of course they had their lamb on the spit, which they serve at big celebrations, but I didn’t feel like it. Some of the salads they made were Cabbage and Pickles; Cabbage, Beetroot and Carrot; Tomato and Red onion; and Radish and Cucumber. They all had vinegar, oil and salt to season them. There was also a traditional Serbian homemade bread, which is called Pogača. Usually at the beginning of the meal everyone takes an edge and pulls to get their piece. It is quite a heavy, dense bread, but it is nice and airy inside and soft on the outside.

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Marco’s sister made Sally’s birthday cake. This cake isn’t vegan, but it was dairy free. It is also a traditional Serbian recipe. It consists of 3 layers of baked sponge cake, which is only made of ground peanuts and eggs and between the layers are crushed peanuts. On the outside was chocolate and strawberry flavored marzipan. The humidity got to it a bit, but it still looked great and most importantly tasted amazing.

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It was a great night for everyone. The older ones ate, drank and danced all night. Marco, the kids and I ended up watching a movie together to get out of the heat. Most importantly Sally had a great time and it was a birthday to remember.

Cumin Cardamon Spiced Rice with Green Lentils and Roasted Brussels Spouts & Garlic

This is my last green lentil dish from the leftovers that I cooked a few days ago. I can’t believe how far 2 cups of lentils went. I served these dishes with some crunchy roasted kale, some twice roasted potatoes (also leftovers) and Fry’s Golden Crumbed Schnitzels.

I have been feeling really tired the last few days. I have been working and not eating fresh greens or much fruit. I also have been relying to much on coffee. After becoming really lethegic, I decided to be different today. For breakfast I had Organic Kamut Bread toasted with hummus and a Cherry Berry Oat Milk Smoothie. For lunch I had these dishes again. For dinner tonight I am  making some vegetarian salads for Marco’s mothers big 60th party. So I will post on what I come up with soon.

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Cumin Cardamon Spiced Rice with Green Lentils (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 cups brown jasmine rice

2 cups cooked green lentils

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 red onions, sliced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cardamon

juice of 1 lemon

sea salt to taste???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. First cook rice in the rice cooker. ???????????????????????????????

2. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large pan. Then add red onions, cumin and cardamon. Cook for 8-10 mins or until the onions are soft and browned. Don’t let spices burn, if you need add more oil or water.

3. Add green lentils to the pan and heat through. Cook for 2-3 mins.

4. Add cooked rice to the pan, lemon juice and seas with salt. Cook until heated then serve.

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Roasted Brussels Spouts & Garlic (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

12-15 brussels sprouts

1 whole garlic head

olive oil

sea salt

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Wash and remove any tarnished outer leaves of brussels sprouts.

2. In a small baking dish combine the brussels sprouts, the whole garlic (don’t remove outer skin), olive oil and sea salt.

3. Roast for 30 mins or until you can pierce the brussels sprouts with a fork.

4. Peel the roasted garlic and stir through in a bowl with brussels sprouts and adjust seasoning.

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Lentil & Potato ‘Meatballs’ and Spaghetti in a Creamy White Wine Sauce with Mushrooms & Kale

Hi all! These recipes are inspired by the leftovers in my fridge. I love using leftovers, because it means its time to go food shopping again.

The recipe for the ‘Meatballs’ is adapted from this Italian vegan recipe, Polpette di lenticchie, from Veganblog.it. I just tweaked some of the ingredients and the method a bit, so it was more like the meatballs I use to make. I have never used potatoes in meatballs before, but it bound the ingredients really well and tasted really good fried. I was going to make a sauce, but my family really liked them the way they were.

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Lentil & Potato ‘Meatballs’ (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

400g of cooked green lentils

250g of boiled potatoes

1 carrot grated

1 red or brown onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

3 tablespoons diced parsley

1/2 tablespoon sea salt

4 tablespoons corn crumbs or breadcrumbs

plain flour (use gluten free plain flour if you prefer)

grapeseed oil for frying

Method:

1. If you haven’t already cook the lentils and boil the potatoes with water in separate pots.???????????????????????????????

2. Take a large mixing bowl and place the lentils inside. Mash the boiled potatoes then add to the lentils.???????????????????????????????

3. Heat a drop of oil in a pan on medium heat and add the onion, garlic and carrot. Cook for 3 mins or until softened and slightly browned. Stir constantly, so its consistently cooked.???????????????????????????????

4. Add the onion, carrot and garlic to the mixing bowl. Add parsley, corn crumbs and stir and stir through. Add more corn crumbs is the mixture is too wet.

5. Form a small balls with the mixture and roll in flour. Repeat until mixture has been used. You should have about 40 balls.

6. Heat a pan with oil to fry. Then fry the balls for 2-3 mins or until they are golden brown on all sides.

*Makes 40 balls

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Spaghetti in a Creamy White Wine Sauce with Mushrooms & Kale (vegan, gluten free option, nut free)

Ingredients:

4-5 serves of spaghetti or other long pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves

10 white mushrooms, thinly sliced

leaves from three large leaves of kale

1/2 cup white wine

2 teaspoons vegan butter

2 cup soy milk (more if too thick)

2 teaspoons arrowroot flour

4 tablespoon vegan parmesan (or nutritional yeast)

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water. When its ready strain and set to the side.???????????????????????????????

2. In a large pan heat olive oil, then add garlic and mushrooms, saute for 2 mins.

3. Add the kale and saute for another minute. Then add white wine and cook for 3 more minutes. Then take off the heat.???????????????????????????????

2. In the meantime heat vegan butter in a small pot then add soy milk and arrowroot. Cook until it has thickened, stirring constantly.

3. Place mushrooms back on the heat and add the cream sauce. Add vegan parmesan and sea salt. Add more soy milk if it is too thick.  Cook until heated.

*Serves 4-5

*I really recommend making some vegan parmesan, rather then using nutritional yeast. The cashews give the sauce creamy sweet taste.

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Spiced Vegetable and Lentil Loaf

Its been pouring all day here and the air is a little cooler. So tonight I felt like some comfort food. This recipe is adapted from Lentil Loaf by The Vegan Stoner. I recently came across their recipes and I really like them. They are simple to follow and the drawings are really cool.

I changed the recipe by using oats instead of crackers and added some extra spices. Mine was not as firm as I would of liked, but that was probably because I didn’t mash the lentils.  It tasted delicious and I got to make use of my dried organic green lentils and organic frozen vegetables from Woolworths, which have been waiting to be used for a while. I just served it with some simple roasted vegetables and added a little bit extra ketchup to serve.

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Spiced Vegetable and Lentil Loaf (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked green lentils

1 red or brown onion

1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1/4 cup organic instant oats

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, roughly chopped

4 tablespoons apple sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup sauce

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and prepare a loaf tin with baking paper.???????????????????????????????

2. In a mixing bowl combine green lentils, onion, walnuts and oats and stir through. Mash the lentils, if you want a more firmer consistency. ???????????????????????????????

3. Then add sea salt, black pepper, cardamon, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, garlic powder and cayenne, stir through.

4. Lastly add the frozen vegetables, apple sauce and ketchup, stir through.

5. Press the mixture into a loaf pan and cook for 40-50 mins, or till golden brown on top.

* Serves 6

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My highlight of today was receiving my long awaited Chloe’s Vegan Desserts recipe book, that I purchased as soon as I found out it was coming out. To celebrate I made Chef Chloe’s Peanut Butter Cookies. I burned mine a little because silly me though I should put two trays of cookies on the same rack. Nevertheless they were so delicious. I used coconut sugar, so I didn’t feel so guilty eating them too. They really tasted like professorially baked cookies as well. I can’t wait to try so more of her recipes!

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Straw and Hay Soy Mushroom Noodles

This is a quick dish I whipped up tonight for dinner and for tomorrows lunches. I am obsessed with Skiitake mushrooms at the moment and I love soaking them in liquid stock to give them a really nice flavor when you bite into them. If you want to mix noodles make sure you use ones that take the same amount of time to cook. These soba and ramen noodles are Organic Hakubaku Noodles, that are available at major supermarkets and Asian grocery stores.

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Straw and Hay Soy Mushroom Noodles (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 serves soba noodles

2 serves ramen noodles

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 small onion, diced

2-3 garlic cloves, diced

1 bunch shallots, diced

1 large chilli

20g skiitake mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup or vegan chicken or vegetable liquid stock or water

2 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce

2 carrots, sliced julienne

1-2 zucchini, sliced???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions then strain and put to the side.???????????????????????????????

2. In a hot wok heat sesame oil, then add onion, garlic, shallots and chili. Cook for 2-3 mins or until slightly browned. ???????????????????????????????

3. Add carrot and saute for 2 more minutes.

4. Add mushrooms with the stock/water, and mushroom soy and cook for 4 mins or until the carrots are tender.

5. Add zucchini and cook for 2 more minutes or until zucchini are tender.

6. Add noodles and stir through. This should soak up most of the liquid. Add more mushroom soy if not enough flavor, then serve.

*Serves 4