I’ve still been quite busy with uni. Yesterday I had my Italian exam, which I hope will be the last exam I ever sit. Not sure it went too well, so I am praying for a pass. All that’s left to go now is to hand my last assignment for history. By friday or maybe sunday I should be finished for good and I can’t wait! Then I can put more effort into cooking. My mum has been cooking more for us lately or I whip up something quick and simple for us.
Yesterday I got a chance before my exam to go back down to Fundies Wholefood Market for their Friends day. Once a month they offer 15% off, so I thought it was worth buying up on organic fruit and veggies. I recently saw the EWG’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Although this data is from the USA, in Australia we do use a lot of the same pesticides. In fact I did an assignment a while back and I found that we use a lot of pesticides that are illegal in other countries.
In the last couple of years since I have been buying and growing more organic produce I really notice the difference in the taste. I notice that particularly conventional apples, zucchini, green beans, rocket and other leafy greens have a really bitter taste. Marco can taste it as well now and enjoys the taste of organic vegetables much better. Before I went to Europe we were regularly going to the Organic Markets on Sundays, but I have gotten slack since I got back. But this latest shoppers guide has really reminded me why I want to buy organic. We can’t afford or find everything on this list of the Dirty Dozen, but I am going to make a conscious effort to try to buy organic or avoid these ones. So you can see what I bought below. I got most of this stuff for juicing since its something we do every day.
We also bought these Bagel Boys Sesame Bagels from Fundies. They looked too good to pass up. Coles and Woolies have just recently got bagels, but they are full of preservatives. These ones have completely natural ingredients.
When we were living in Milan we use to often go to The Bagel Factory for breakfast or lunch, when we were sick of pizza or pasta. We would chose a whole wheat bagel and usually get the Bagel con uova all”occhio di bue filling, that was full of egg, ham, capsicum and onion. When I wasn’t as hungry I would order the hummus filling instead. They were both really delicious. In case you didn’t realize I wasn’t vegan this time last year. But now I look back and I can’t believe I use to eat this bagel with all that egg and ham. I remember how good it tastes but I think I ate enough of them to live without them. Marco still has fond memories of these bagels.
Marco really wanted to recreate this breakfast bagel, but instead I made some veganised versions. Yesterday since we were in a hurry, we quickly cooked up some Fry’s Traditional Burgers, prepared some fresh salad items and stuffed them into our bagels. These were so good! The Bagels were not as good as the fresh ones in Milan, but toasted they still good.
Today I had a bit more time to think about lunch so I made us these BBQ Tofu Bagels. I still had heaps of homemade BBQ, that I used to make the Sweet and Sour Meatballs from Chloe’s Kitchen a while ago. You can find the recipe for both the sauce and the meat balls on Smith’s Vegan Kitchen blog. I marinated the tofu and the onions in this sauce then cooked them in a griddle pan. These bagels were even better then the day before. This tofu is also really good on its own.
BBQ Tofu Bagel (vegan, gluten free option, nut free)
200g organic firm tofu
1/2 homemade BBQ sauce (recipe above)
1 brown onion olive oil
3 bagels (wheat flour/gluten free)
1 tomato sliced
1 small carrot grated
1 small beetroot grated
1/2 cucumber sliced
3 lettuce leaves
1. Press the tofu, then slice it into 6 pieces.
2. Marinate the tofu and sliced onion in the BBQ sauce.
3. Heat a griddle pan with olive oil, then cook the tofu and onions for 7-10 mins. The onion should be softnened and the tofu should be heated through.
4.Slice the bagels so you have two halfs, then brush them with olive oil and toast them in the griddle pan.
5. Add some extra bbq sauce onto the bagels, then fill them with tofu, onion, sliced tomato, grated carrot, grated beetroot, sliced cucumber, alfalfa and lettuce.
Tonight Mum went out, I was nearly not going to cook, but I felt guilty having all this food in the fridge. I really wanted to try out this Red Russian Kale that I got from Fundies, so I came up with this. Marco loved this dish and was disappointed I didn’t make enough for seconds. Luckily I have some left over sauce so this will be lunch again tomorrow.
Linguine with Kale in a Pumpkin Cashew Sauce (vegan, gluten free option, soy free)
Ingredients for Pumpkin Cashew Sauce:
3 cups chopped butternut pumpkin (or 2 cups mashed pumpkin)
3/4 cup cashew (raw or presoaked)
1 cup almond or other plant milk
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional for cheezy flavour)
sea salt to taste,
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch red russian kale (or other type kale/spinach), roughly chopped
4 serves linguine/other long pasta
2-3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (optional)
italian parsley (optional)
1. Steam the pumpkin in a large pot of water until it is soft. This should take about 20 mins. Then remove the pumpkin and mash it.
2. In the meantime if you haven’t soaked the cashews already, boil them for 10 mins.
3. In a processor, add the cashews and blend them until they are mostly broken down.
4. Add the pumpkin and almond milk and continue to blend. The cashews should be braking down now. Keep scraping down the sides of the bowl so there are no pieces of cashew that aren’t being blended.
5. While the processor is on add the dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and sea salt.
Now prepare the rest:
6. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
7. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Then add the kale, sea salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes or until it begins to wilt.
8. Add the pumpkin cashew sauce to the pan and heat through.
9. Serve sauce ontop of hot pasta and garnish with lightly toasted pumpkin seeds and italian parsley.