Lime spiked Black bean and Beetroot Dip

I am completely black beaned out for the week. I was so proud that I found time to cook a big pot of beans on monday after work. I forgot to mentioned that I also had a black bean burito earlier that day. So after boiling 2 cups of beans, Marco and I have had to eat them for just about every meal this week. I still had two cups left last night so this is what I came up with. The lime and coriander gave my old beans a new lively freshness and the beetroot gave the dip a very nice hue.

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Lime spiked Black bean and Beetroot Dip (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked black beans

1 large clove of garlic

1 cup grated beetroot

juice from 1.5 limes

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon onion flakes (or onion powder)

1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika

ground cayenne pepper to taste

sea salt to taste

1 cup loosely packed coriander leaves

Method:

1. Place black beans, garlic, beetroot and lime juice in a high speed blender or processor. Blend until smooth.

2. Add the spices and sea salt to taste and blend through.

3. Lastly add the coriander and pulse till it has broken down a little, but so you can still see specs of green through the dip.

*Makes 2 cups

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Roasted Potatoes two ways with Cashew Coriander Sauce

Now that Marco has his new BBQ he needs to BBQ every weekend and pretty much any other chance he gets. I’ve never liked BBQ, unlike most people in Australia.  I never liked the charcoal overcooked taste of meat. Last Sunday when it was BBQ o’clock again, I decided to prepare something special for myself, but it ended up being a fabulous side dish that everyone loved.

Marco has always hated coriander. But when it was blended into this delicious sauce it tasted more like a pesto with a twist. The fresh garlic also gave it some heat. I paired it with Roasted Sweet Potato Mash and a couple of days later with some spicy Roasted Kipfler Potatoes. Both ways tasted really good with this sauce. This sauce is also great as spread or dip.

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Cashew Coriander Sauce (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashews

4 garlic cloves

1 cup fresh coriander

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup water, sea salt to taste

Methods:

1. Just add all the ingredients into a Vitamix or high speed blender. Blend until smooth.

*Makes about 1 cup.

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Sweet Potato Smash with Cashew Coriander Sauce (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato (or 2 medium)

1/2 cup Cashew Coriander Sauce (recipe above)

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Methods:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. Place whole sweet potatoes a tray with baking paper and puncture the skin with fork (about 4 times).

3. Roast the sweet potato until soft and mashy inside. Should take about 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of your sweet potato. If you using a larger sweet potato chop into pieces.

4. While it is cooking you can prepare the Cashew Coriander Sauce.

5. Dry toast the pumpkin seeds in pan on a low heat. It should only take a couple minutes till they start to pop.

6. Serve mashed sweet potato flesh topped with the coriander sauce and toasted pumpkin seeds

*Serves 4 as a side

*Makes 1 cup of Cashew Coriander Sauce.

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Roasted Spiced Kipfler Potatoes with Cashew Coriander Sauce (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

500g kipfler potatoes

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon cajun spice blend (or 1/2 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper)

sea salt to taste, olive oil

1/2 cup cashew coriander sauce (recipe above)

Methods:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. Wash and brush the dirt from the potoatoes. Then slice into halves or quarters.

3. Toss potatoes with olive oil, spices and sea salt and place into a baking tray.

4. Roast pototoes for 40-50 minutes or until cooked and golden brown.

5. Serve roasted potatoes topped with Cashew Coriander Sauce.

*Serves 4 as a side

Sprouted Chickpea Peanut Butter Hummus

I rarely eat spouted legumes. I know they are really healthy, but they just don’t taste good to me. Marco really doesn’t like them. The first time I used them to make a salad for him to take to work he came home very upset that I would give him something so horrible. So since then I haven’t dared buy them again. However, I saw some chickpeas at the market yesterday and I thought why not give them another chance. I had only tried sprouted mung beans and lentils previously, but never chickpeas. Surely they couldn’t be that bad. We as it turns out they aren’t that bad, but also not that good either.

I was going to use them to make a salad. But I had second thoughts, after trying a few of these crunchy little guys. Instead I tried to make hummus. I used all my tahini earlier this week, so I thought if Nigella can make Peanut Butter hummus then so can I. It did take a while for the chickpeas to break down and all the ingredients to mix well in the processor, but once they did it came together really nicely. Unlike traditional hummus, this one had quite a bit of texture like any nutty dip.  I really liked the flavour. Its a lot different to a cooked chickpea hummus, but just as satisfying.

I paired the hummus with a salad, made from other fresh ingredients I bought from the Brisbane City Market and South Brisbane People’s Market. I usually visit the City Market every Wednesday before and after work. But this was my first visit to the South Brisbane market, during my lunch break today. Silly me didn’t realise that I left my wallet on my desk, so I had to run back up the hill to get my wallet and back down to pay and then back up again to log in my phone in 13 mins. I was determined though so I made it with 3 mins to spare.  I  just couldn’t believe how cheap the food was, especially since it was organic. I’m kicking myself I didn’t buy more. I only got a couple of bunches of kale, 3 zucchini, 4 cucumber and 5 red apples for $7.80. It was cost me triple to buy pesticide ridden week old food from the supermarket.

By the way, only one more sleep till I get the keys to my new house!

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Sprouted Chickpea Peanut Butter Hummus (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 cup sprouted chickpeas

2 garlic cloves (crushed)

3-4 tablespoons peanut butter

3 tablespoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons filtered water

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon sweet hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon ground coriander

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Place chickpeas into the processor. Blend until they break down a little.

2. Add the remaining ingredients. Continue to blend until smooth and creamy.

*Makes 1 cup

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Rolled Eggplant with Cannellini Pine nut Filling and Asparagus Green bean Salad with Caper Dressing

Now that we are so close to getting our new home, I have been trying to gather ideas for what to serve at our engagement/house warming party. Even though I got engaged back in January, we still haven’t had a formal celebration. I did want have it in a venue, but Marco has been pushing me to wait till we got a house. Although I don’t want to cater the whole thing, I think I will try make a few small things. All vegan of course. These are some of the ideas I came up with for an entree/main and a side salad. The filling for the Rolled Eggplant can also be made as a dip or spread. It was so delicious, I couldn’t stop eating it. I don’t think Marco is going to be a fan of the salad. He hates capers and green olives, but I’m hoping when he gets to try it later he will look past the salty ingredients and enjoys it as a whole. If he can’t, well then he won’t be invited to have any of my Coconana-Chia Cake that I just made! ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

Rolled Eggplant with Cannellini bean Pine nut Filling (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients for Eggplant

1 medium eggplant

sea salt

olive oil

storebought/homemade tomato (pasta) sauce

Ingredients for Cannellini bean Pine nut Filling:

1 can cannellini beans

1/2 cup pine nuts (soaked/boil 10 mintues)

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

sea salt to taste

20 basil leaves

Method:

1. To make the filling place all the ingredients for the filling, except the basil, in the processor. Blend until the nuts and beans break down and it becomes a puree.

2. Place the basil leaves in the process and blend so that they are finely cut but still a little chunky.

3. Slice the eggplant into thin strips (at least 12 with no skin on either side) and sprinkle generously with salt. Leave for 10 minutes, to remove the bitterness, then remove the salt and moist with a paper towel.

4. Heat a griddle pan on medium to high heat and brush with olive oil. Coat the eggplant with olive oil and cook on both sides (3 mintues per slice). While cooking apply more olive oil if the eggplant dries out. Place the eggplant in a warm place so that it doesn’t get cold while you cook all the slices.

5. Place the filling in the centre of the eggplant and then roll.

6. Serve on some warm tomato sauce. *Serves 4 ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? Asparagus Green bean Salad with Caper Dressing (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients for Salad:

30 green beans (topped & tailed)

2 bunches asparagus

2 large handfuls of baby kale/lettuce

small handful spanish green olives

2-3 tablespoons flaked almonds (toasted)

Ingredients for Dressing:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1.5 teaspoons crushed garlic

2 tablespoons baby capers

2 teaspoons agave

1/2 teaspoon dry oregano

Method:

1. Chop the green beans and asparagus into 5 cm pieces.

2. Steam the green beans and asparagus for 5 minutes or until tender. Then place straight away into a bowl with cold water and ice for 10 minutes or until cold.

3. Strain the green beans and asparagus.

4. Massage the kale with sea salt, so that it breaks down. Slice the olives and toast the almonds.

5. Prepare the dressing by placing all the ingredients into a blender/processor and blend until creamy.

6. To assemble the salad first make a bed of baby kale, then top with green beans, asparagus, green olives and flaked almonds. Drizzle the caper dressing and serve.

Spring Cleaning

Hi all, hope you had a lovely weekend. I can’t believe its over again. My weekend has been very quiet. Plans with friends were cancelled twice, so I decided to stay home and get a few things done that I have been wanting to do. So I spent most of the weekend cleaning up my house while mum has been away.

Beside spending an exiting weekend doing housework, I got a chance to start reading my two new books that arrived this week! Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen and Crazy Sexy Diet!! I first saw Kris on the Hungry for Change documentary. If you haven’t heard of her before, she was an actress  and photographer in New York that got the wake up call of her life, when she was diagnosed with a rare cancer incurable cancer back in 2003. Since then she has become a survived cancer and a wellness activist.

I haven’t seen her original documentary, but I have been following her on her website for a while. I finally subscribed to her website last week and got a sample copy of both her books (below). I was so enthralled by them that I had to find out more. Luckily I only had to wait a few business days for their arrival. I haven’t been able to put Crazy Sexy Diet down. If you curious I recommend subscribing to get a sneak peak inside. You will also get to see inside her Crazy Sexy Kitchen recipe book as well and get a copy of a few of the recipes. The recipes are beautiful and really healthy, but at the same time something that I think omnivores would also find appealing.

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Other important development this weekend was that I finally tried out my Vegg. This is a vegan 100% plant based egg yolk replacer, which I bought ages ago and left it in the back of my pantry. When you scroll down later you will see how I could forget about it. I ended up making a vegan quiche with leeks, mushroom and roasted capsicum. It wasn’t exactly a successful quiche. My wholemeal spelt crust didn’t work out and the moisture from the roasted capsicum let out too much moisture, so not even my puff pastry would crisp up. With a splitting headache, it was just a bad night all round. I tried to salvage what I could and below is what we ended up with, which looks deceivingly good. But actually it was not set at all. It wasn’t the fault of the Vegg, it was mine for trying something new without consulting a recipe. Anyway back to the Vegg, I can’t believe how much it smelt like fresh egg yolk. Marco also was amazed by it. When I combined it with soft tofu and became like an omelette batter and heated it was like scrambled eggs. The only difference is that it wasn’t rubber like an egg, it was much softer. I really want to try making a traditional Spanish omelette when I get some more tofu. Fingers crossed I have better luck.

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I have been really trying to eat more sprouts. They are so healthy and nutritious that I don’t know how I lived so long without them. Marco wasn’t a fan, but slowly I have managed to increase his intake of spouts, that he now doesn’t mind them. I juice them, put them in smoothies and add them to salads and sandwiches. I have yet to try and spout anything yet. So when I saw this Seed Sprouter Kit at Aldi for $7 I had to get it! I assembled it this yesterday, so not sure how many days it will take, but don’t have to water it for another 2 more days. Do you know if you can sprout anything else in something like this? Next I think I will try sprouting chia seeds. I have never tried them but apparently it can be done.

Seed Sprouter Kit

So what I spend the bulk of my weekend doing was doing the washing, cleaning my computer room, tidying my bed room (a little) and arranging the pantry and other food storage areas. This is something I have been wanting to do a lot long then I like to admit. I think I must of been a horder in another life, because I get so overwhelmed with clutter and I don’t like to throw anything out. But after I chuck out the junk I actually feel really good.

As you can see from my pantry we have a little to much food. My mum likes to bulk up on anything from Aldi and stuff for the home stay students and I just keep buying new ingredients, use them once them chuck them at the back of the pantry. You have to be really careful when you open my pantry that something might jump out at you. Most of this stuff doesn’t include my secret stash of super foods and other vegan ingredients. I have been storing things in my desk and a travelling cardboard box, since there was just no more room in here.

So first things first I took everything out and started looking at the Expiry dates. To help me to figure out what needed to go and what could survive a bit longer I used this helpful website, Eat by Date. It really helps for ingredients that don’t have an expiry or its rubbed off. Then I cleaned out the shelves and started grouping things together. I even got Marco involved by cleaning off the stickers from empty flour containers, so I could store legumes. I would love to have one of those kitchens with large mason jars filled with all my beans and flours, but besides the fact that it would cost my a lot, it just wouldn’t fit. I managed to fit most of my open packets of legumes and grains in a container which can be easily taken out and looked through. The same was done with the nuts. Mum’s snacks are all on the top to keep her away from them, and her nuts are up front and center. All the flours and sugars have been  grouped together by type and put into tupperware containers, so its easier to know what’s inside them before opening. All the half open pastas and rices are also easy to access, so they can get used before full packets are opened. All the everyday ingredients are now more easier to access and keep track of. I hope my mum is happy when she sees this. I’m already pretty strict in the kitchen so now I will be more so. If anyone messes my new system up…

Pantry

Another problem area was this other small pantry. I can’t believe how much tea we have. I’m not a big tea drinker and neither is my mum, but we have just about any tea you can image in here. Herbal blends, Japanese, Chinese, British… I only usually come to this pantry for one thing, the can opener. I’m not very tall and its a real bitch trying to get that thing down. Even though I have a step ladder now, Its still very awkward getting it out. So that had to come down and empty containers went up. Notice the cookies have been put to the back. Mum is also dairy free, but she doesn’t keep to the strict diet rules I do, even though I’m always telling her off. Hopefully she won’t realise they are here.

Pantry 2

Lastly and the place I have been dreading the most, the Spice draw. I have at least two of everything in here, yet I can find nothing. I’m always rummaging through and trying to fit it all in so it will close. I have to admit, I think this draw is mostly my doing. The students do always dump their instant noodle sauces in here, but they don’t use anything else. Plus some of this stuff is from the 2000’s. A while ago I got rid of the stuff from the 1990s, so it wasn’t too bad at least.

When I started taking everything out I got a nasty little surprise. This tiny bit of vanilla extract that I have been saving had gone all through the draw. It was so sticky. Luckily I didn’t find any critters in here. I had to take out the draw apart and give it a good clean, as well as clean a lot of the containers and plastic bags. It was well worth it though. Look how great it looks now. These aren’t all my herbs and spices, but the stuff I don’t use as often. To get rid of the abundance of plastic little bags I emptied them into these old little spice jars I had, that were part of a set. I have been saving them for a while to do this. I just made little labels with pen, paper and sticky tape. Unfortunately I didn’t get rid of all the plastic bags, but most of them are gone.

Spice Draw

While cleaning out my spice draw. I decided to finally try making nut butter with almonds. It was so easy. Just a matter of roasting them for 6 minutes then letting the processor do all the work. It came out so beautiful and creamy. But I still decided to flavor it with some sea salt and maple syrup. I think I should of perhaps of mixed this in by hand after. As the nut butter dried out a little, a bit like when you buy it and its all oily at the top and the bottom is dry harder to spread.

Almond Nut Butter

So I ended up making cookies and bliss balls with the almond butter. Although I made them small they area really filling, since they are only really made of nuts. These are vegan, gluten free, soy free, sugar free and so easy to make.

Nut butter 3 ways

3 Ingredient Salty Maple Almond Butter: 3 ways (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1.5 cup whole almonds

2 pinches of sea salt

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup

First make the Salty Maple Almond Butter:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Roast the  whole Almonds for 6 minutes.

3. Place the almonds in the food processor and process. I first used the larger bowl to break down the almonds into a mead, which should take a few minutes. Then I put them in the smaller bowl for the next 10 minutes to break down further into an almond butter.

4. Once you have the desired consistency of the almond butter, add a couple of pinches of sea salt and 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup. If it becomes too dry add a couple of tablespoons of water.

*Makes 3/4 cup of Almond butter

To make Salty Maple Almond Bliss Balls:

1. With clean damp hands roll the almond butter into small balls and place on a tray.

2. Place the try in the freezer for at 15 minutes, so that they firm up. Then serve.

*Makes 16 balls

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To make Salty Maple Almond Cookies:

1. If your oven isn’t still on, preheat again at 180 degrees.???????????????????????????????

2. With clean damp hands roll the almond butter into small balls and place on a tray.

3. Press lightly on the balls with a teaspoon to flatten them a little.

4. Bake for 5-6 minutes.

5. Immediately place them on a drying rack. If the spaces are too big on the rack then place some baking paper on top of the rack.

6. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes so that they firm up a little, then serve.

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Sweet Potatoes and Kale: Two Ways

The last couple of nights meals have been quick easy meals using two of my favorite ingredients, sweet potato and kale. I also finally made use of the organic wild black rice that I bought from Fundies two months ago. I have a habit of collecting beans and grains and storing them for a rainy day. This was the first time I have tried wild black rice. I quite like it. Surprisingly Marco was a fan too, even though he hates brown rice. It is quite chewy, but it has a nice flavor. I combined the rice with sauteed onions, kale and spices and stuff it in a whole baked sweet potato. I topped it with the Lime Cashew Sour Cream that I made over the weekend and served it with some Baked Spicy Panko Crusted Tofu and Guacamole.

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Whole Sweet Potatoes with Wild Black Rice, Kale and Lime Cashew Sour Cream (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

4 sweet potatoes

1/2 cup wild black rice

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 small onion, diced

2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1.5 teaspoons garlic powder

1 bag baby kale, roughly chopped

sea salt to taste

Cashew Sour cream (recipe below)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

2. Wash and scrub any dirt of the skin of the sweet potatoes. Stab them a few times with a fork then bake for 40 mins or until the inside flesh is soft.

3. In the meantime cook the wild black rice in the rice cooker and leave on warm till ready to use.

4. Heat coconut oil in a pan, then add onion, cumin, cayenne and garlic powder. Cook for a few minutes or until onion has softened.

5. Add wild black rice and kale and saute until kale wilts. Season with sea salt.

6. Slice a slit across on side of the sweet potato, then stuff with the wild rice and kale. Serve with Lime Cashew Sour Cream.

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Lime Cashew Sour Cream (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews (soaked/raw)

1 cup water

2-3 tablespoons lime

1 teaspoon garlic powder

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. If you haven’t pre-soaked the cashews, then boil for 10 mins.

2. Place in a blender and grind until cashews break down.

3. Add water (little bit at a time), lime, garlic powder and sea salt. Process until smooth.

*Makes about one cup

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Tonight’s recipe was inspired by the last whole baked sweet potato that didn’t get eaten last night. I considered making sweet potato gnocchi, sweet potato pasta, sweet potato burger or even sweet potato pancakes. I was pretty tired so I just decided on Sweet Potato Hummus with kale and vegetables. Since I already had my Vitamix out I made a dressing using the hummus and peanut butter. That was the best part! I ended up drizzling a lot more then what you see below. Now I am so full and looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow for Ekka public holiday.

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Sweet Potato Hummus Salad Bowl with Peanut Sweet Potato Dressing (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Sweet Potato Hummus (recipe below)

2 handfuls baby kale

chopped salad and vegetables (cherry tomato, broccolini, avocado, capsicum)

sea salt to taste

2 tablespoons Peanut Sweet Potato Dressing (recipe below)

Method:

1.  Steam broccolini or other vegetables. Rinse with cold water to cool down.

2. Massage the baby kale with sea salt, until it breaks down.

3. Place baby kale on the bottom of a large bowl and top with chopped salad & vegetables, hummus and drizzle with the dressing.

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Sweet Potato Hummus  (vegan, gluten free, nut free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas

1 whole roasted sweet potato (about 1 cup)

2 large garlic cloves

1 tablespoon tahini

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Peel the Sweet potato, then place all the ingredients in the processor. Whiz until combined.

*Makes 2 cups

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Peanut Sweet Potato Hummus Dressing  (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons Sweet Potato Hummus (recipe above)

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon apple cinder vinegar

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Place all the ingredients in a high speed blender and whiz till combined.

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Working Girl

Hi all, I have been so busy with work this week, so I haven’t got a chance to post and read any other blogs. I’m still getting use to this early mornings and  trying to have enough motivation to cook. I am still determined that we will have health lunches and dinners everyday, but its not as fun anymore. So far we have only eaten out one night since Sunday, so we are doing well.

On Sunday I made this delicious Red Capsicum & Green Lentil Hummus, grilled eggplant, grilled zucchini and Chocolate Chia Powerballs (adapted from Cross Fit). I used the hummus in wraps with a the eggplant, zucchini, my garden tuscan kale and snow pea sprouts. We had that for a couple of days and snacked on these delicious power balls. They didn’t last long, I couldn’t’ stop eating them.

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Red Capsicum & Green Lentil Hummus (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 capsicums

4 cloves garlic

1 cup green lentils (3 cups cooked)

2 tablespoons unhulled tahini

2/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Place the lentils in a pot of water, bring to the boil then cook on a simmer till ready. Should take less then 30mins if presoaked.

2. Roast 2 capsicums and garlic in the oven until the skin of capsicum has blackened.

3, Peel skin from the capsicum and roughly chop.

4. In the processor add green lentils, roasted capsicum and garlic.

5. While the processor is on add the rest of the ingredients.

*Makes about 3.5 cups.

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Chocoate Chia Power balls (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 cup hazelnuts

1 cup almonds

3 pitted medjool dates

1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)

1 tablespoon cacao

1 tablespoon maca

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons maple syrup

chia seeds to roll balls.

Method:

1. Grind hazelnuts and almonds into a fine flour.

2.Then in the processor add the nut flour, dates, cacao powder, maca. While its blending add coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup.

3. With damp hands, roll the mixture into balls and roll in chia seeds.

4. Freeze for half and hour, then transfer into fridge till your ready to eat.

* Makes about 16-18

On Monday I tried another recipe from Energise Your Life. I made the Ratatouille with polenta cakes. Well I tried to make the polenta cakes. They were very unsuccessful. I think I should of let the polenta set a bit before trying to fry it. So I gave up and we just had polenta on the side. It was nearly 9.30pm by the time we ate, so I had enough. Loved the Ratatouille! Can you believe its the first time I have had it.

My attempt of Polenta cakes

My attempt of Polenta cakes

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Yesterday we had Taiwanese food for dinner. I had the most amazing Sweet and Sour Bean Curd and Fried Rice with Skiitake Mushroms. Sorry no pictures. After dinner we came home and I made more delicious raw balls, with all the nuts I had on hand. These ones were even better then the last batch. Marco liked these ones better. However they do lose those shape if not kept in the fridge. I think I put too much coconut oil.

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Cranberry Maca balls (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

110g macadamia

4 tablespoons cashews

2 tablespoons maca

2 tablespoons flax

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Method:

1. Grind macadamia, cashews, flax seeds, sesame seeds into a fine powder. I did them one by one.

2.Then in the processor add the nut  and seed flour, cranberries, chia seeds and maca. While its blending add coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup.

3. With damp hands, roll the mixture into balls.

4. Freeze for half and hour, then transfer into fridge till your ready to eat.

* Makes 26 balls

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Tonight I made these Soba Noodle Salad, with some raw and some lightly steamed vegetables, Teriyaki Tofu, picked ginger, marinated seaweed and a light dressing (soy sauce, lime, ginger, mirin and coconut oil). I also had this for dinner and it was great, can’t wait to have it tomorrow.

I am trying to stay healthy at work, since its a lot of sitting down. I have been drinking fresh vegetable juices for breakfast, green tea and miso soups in tea breaks and eating lots of power balls for morning tea and afternoon cravings. I am learning so much new stuff so I am constantly hungry. Hopefully I won’t put on any weight, because its far to cold to go walking the dogs at the moment.

Hopefully over the weekend I will have some more delicious dishes to bring you!

Red Lentil Patties with Kale Pesto

We just had the yummiest lunch! Marco had been badgering me to make something before he went to work, but I wasn’t in the mood to cook. Then  I got the inspiration to make these delicious patties and make use of my organic kale. I don’t usually bake patties, but I figured why not. I hate when they fall apart when I flip them. Flipping isn’t my strong suit in the kitchen. I am so happy I did bake them. They were crumbly on the outside and nice and soft and gooey on the inside. Well that’s how Marco described them. He loved these patties, he even loved this pesto. He’s not a big fan of kale, so this was a more exciting way for him to eat it. We ended up finishing off the rest of the patties, but still have some Kale Pesto to enjoy with another meal.

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Red Lentil Patties (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup red lentils

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small red onion, diced

1 small potato, grated

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

sea salt to taste

1/2 cup quinoa crumbs (or other gluten free crumbs)

1/4 cup sesame seeds

6 tablespoons Kale Pesto (recipe below)

Method:

1. First cook the red lentils. Place 1 cup of water with the red lentils in a small pot and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10-15 mins till cooked. Add more water if you need whiles its cooking.

2. Meanwhile,  preheat oven to 180 degrees  and heat a pan with olive oil. Saute the red onion and grated potato for 5 mins or until the onion has softened.

3. All the  red lentils, red onion and potato to cool a little then add them into the processor. While it mixing add garlic powder, cumin, curry powder, cayenne and sea salt.

4. Once the mixture has combined well remove from the processor and place in a bowl. Add quinoa crumbs and stir through the mixture.

5. Form the mixture into 6 patties. Place the sesame seeds in a small bowl and dust the patties in the sesame seeds.

6. Place patties on a nonstick cookie tray, then bake for 20-25 mins. Turn once while they are cooking so that the seasame seeds on both sides get a little browned.

7. Serve with a tablespoon of Kale Pesto on each pattie.

*Serves 2-3 people.

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Kale Pesto (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

2.5-3 cups red russian kale leaves (stems removed)

1/3 cup pine nuts

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2-3  garlic cloves)

2 tablespoons lemon juice sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Place pine nuts in the processor and whiz till they are broken down and start to form a paste. If they are not braking down add a dash of olive oil.

2. Then add the kale leaves. Add a bit more olive oil to help break them down easier.

3. Once kale has broken down add the rest of the ingredients to the processor, until it is all combined and creamy.

*Makes about 3/4 cup

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Colorful Superfood Salad with Cheesy Brown Lentil Hummus

In preparation for the this weekends raw food conference with David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe, I am trying to eat more raw foods. I have been enjoying lots of raw fruit and veggies in juices, but I have to push myself incorporate more meals with raw ingredients. When I get some free time I want to give my dehydrator a try. I got it for Christmas and its still in its box. I have started collecting recipes on Pinterest, so there should be some experimentation next month.

This delicious brown lentil hummus is not raw, but it did make use of the leftover brown lentils that I haven’t had time to consider what to do with. I paired it with a fresh salad full of sprouts and colorful vegetables and some warmed wholemeal lebanese bread. This was so filling and a perfect quick dish before going back to studying.

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Cheesy Brown Lentil Hummus (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked small brown lentils

2 small cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons tahini

1/2 cup italian parsley

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon curry powder

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

sea salt to taste

black sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

Method:

1. Place brown lentils and garlic in the processor and blend.

2. While its processing add olive oil and tahini.

3. Then add italian parsley and continue to blend.

4. While its still processing add garlic powder, curry powder, nutritional yeast and sea salt.

5. Once  all the ingredients have broken down in a dip, serve and top with black sesame seeds.

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Colorful Salad Bowl with Cheesy Brown Lentil Hummus and Wholemeal Lebanese Bread (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

rocket

snow pea sprouts

alfalfa spouts

red cabbage (sliced)

red onion (sliced)

radish (thinly sliced)

mini roma tomatoes quartered

cucumber (thinly sliced)

pepita seeds

wholemeal lebanese bread (or gluten free)

sea salt to taste

black sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

Method:

1. Wash and toss rocket, snow pea sprouts and alfalfa and any other leafy greens you have. Place on the bottom of serving plate.

2. Top with thinly sliced red cabbage, red onion, radish, mini roma tomato and cucumber.

3. In a pan spray with spray canola oil or olive oil and lightly toast wholemeal lebanese bread. Then slice into desired shape.

4. Dry toast the pepita seeds in the same pan.

5. Top salad with Brown Lentil Hummus, pepita seeds, black sesame seeds, sea salt and serve with toasted lebanese bread.

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Friendly Fish and Chips with Sweet Chimi Mayo (vegan)

As I have mentioned before, giving up seafood has been probably the hardest thing about going vegan for me. I often end up eating fish or seafood when we go out with friends, because I have no other option on the menu. I haven’t been eating it that much lately, with all the recent controversy surrounding our quality and health of the seafood we get in Australia. However, every so often when I don’t feel like cooking, Marco and I have been buying takeaway fish and chips. It always sounds like a good idea at the time, but I end up feeling really full and sickly after. Our local one doesn’t have the best quality chips and the oil that they promote that they fry the food in vegetable oil. If I wouldn’t use vegetable oil at home because its so unhealthy, why am I buying it from there?

We don’t eat fried food often, but when we do I prefer to make it at home. Occasionally Marco twists my arm, to have fried chips. In fact its one of the only things he can or will make is fried chips. I don’t even have to do anything, which is very convenient for him. So last night when he offered to go get fish and chips, we decided instead we would make our own.

Do you remember on Valentines Day I posted about Kuan Yin Tea House? I ordered Veggie Snow Fish Rice. I was blown away by how great the ‘fish’ was. The texture, the flavor was very fish like. Silly me thought this was something they made in store. I never seen or heard of veggie fish before. However, last week when I was buying up at Green Edge, I was looking in their freezer section and saw Lamyong Vegetarian Chunky Fish. It looked very similar to what I had at restaurant. So I got some to try and yes it was the same thing.

I decided to make my usually go-to battered fish recipe. I used to dip the fish in flour, then into beaten eggs with herbs, then finished off in corn crumbs. I really prefer corn crumbs, as I find bread crumbs are a bit plain in flavor. Instead of using eggs I used whole organic soy (from Aldi) and it works just as well as eggs. The Lamyong Veggie Fish cooked  just as well as my usually fried fish, so it makes a really great substitute. Marco also really liked it and was happy to have this instead of regular fish. The pieces were quite thick and it was very filling, so you don’t need to have too many pieces to be satisfied.

On the side we had the chips, which we have learned from our mothers, that you must soak the potatoes before frying. I never knew why I could never make fries. Now we have no problems and they are cooked all the way through and unbroken. I also made this quick dipping sauce with the left over Chimichurri. Obviously I won’t eat this kind of vegan product often, but it is a nice vegan treat that can be prepared at home.

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Friendly Fish and Chips with Sweet Chimi Mayo (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients for Vegan Fish & Chips:

Potato and/or Sweet Potato (enough for 2 serves)

Canola or Sunflower oil to fry

6 pieces Lamyong Vegetarian Chunky Fish/other vegan fish (defrosted)

unbleached plain flour

whole soy milk (thick)

fresh minced herb of choice (optional)

corn crumbs or other bread crumbs

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

Ingredients for Sweet Chimi Mayo:

2 tablespoons vegan mayo

2 teaspoons Chimichurri

agave to taste

Method:

1. Wash and chop the potatoes and sweet potatoes into batons. Then place them in cold water for 10-20 mins. If you haven’t defrosted the vegan fish, place it in water and set aside.DSC04258

2. In the mean time make the Sweet Chimi Mayo, by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Add more of each for taste.

3. If you fish is ready (completely defrosted on inside) then you can batter it now. Just dip it in flour (pat off excess), then dip in thick whole soy milk with herbs mixed through (optional), then dip in corn crumbs.

4. To fry the fish and chips just heat the oil in a wok/pan and cook the fish and chips until fish is golden brown and chips are cooked. Then place them on paper towels to drain any excess water, top with sea salt and serve.

*Serves 2

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