Happy Labor Day weekend fellow Queenslanders! The heat has finally arrived! This weekend has been hot and humid, but really breezy as well. I spent this long weekend with house hunting and spending time with the Mini Marco’s. Below are some of the meals I have prepared over the week.
I finally tried some recipes from Crazy Sexy Diet over the weekend. I adapted her Cornmeal Banana Walnut Pancakes. Since I didn’t have any banana or walnuts, I used dairy free choc chips, which of course the kids loved. I really loved the batter for this recipe. The polenta/cornmeal really gives the pancake a crunch. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to get any photos. Another recipe I tried was her Tofu Country Scramble. Marco and I really loved this. After a year on a plant based diet and I was yet to make a tofu scramble. This tasted really similar to a real egg scramble, but better.
We also visited The Green Edge with our Living Social Lunch Vouchers. I got Spicy Seitan Burger and a Peanut Butter Milkshake. Marco got the Satay Tofu Burger and Chocolate Milkshake. It was all so good, but I ordered far to much.
While I was there I bought a couple of new vegan products. Sweet Freedom Natural Sweetener is made of apples, grapes and carob. Its a great substitute to maple syrup and much more cost effective. Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon powder is an organic dry vegan stock, which i really makes a really flavorsome stock and is the best one I have tried. It is also a lot more cost effective then buying liquid stock.
Over the past couple of weeks when I haven’t felt like cooking I have been bring home takeaway from Vege Rama on my way home from work. For a less then $10 you can get the most delicious vegan thai, indian curries or even a lasagna, which is big enough for two. Tonight I tried to recreate one of my favorite dishes from there.
Easy Thai Pumpkin Curry (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, diced
1 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons thai red curry paste
1 small red capsicum, chopped
4 cups pumpkin, chopped
2 cups carrot, chopped
2 teaspoon vegan vegetable stock mixed with 2 cups of water
400ml coconut cream
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1. Heat coconut oil in a wok, then add onion, ginger, garlic and curry paste. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until the oil separates from the curry paste. Then add 1/4 cup coconut cream and heat for few more minutes.
2. Add capsicum, pumpkin and carrot and saute for a 5 minutes.
3. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Add coconut cream and soy sauce and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is soften.
*Serve with brown rice or another other gluten free grain, or some wholemeal roti
Ever wondered how asparagus risotto gets that beautiful green color? I found this tip in an Italian cook book, to blend the stems of the asparagus spears with the liquid stock before cooking the risotto. I always find that I need more then a litre of stock, so added some of the steamer water to make use of the vitamins that get lost in the water. I haven’t made risotto in so long, so this was a nice treat.
Green Spring Risotto (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)
1 bunch asparagus
1 bunches of broccolini
1 litre vegan chicken liquid stock
1 tablespoon vegan butter (I used nutlex)
2 cups risotto rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 cup frozen peas
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Cashew Parmesan/vegan parmesan (optional)
1. Cut the woody ends off the asparagus and the broccolini. Then cut into each spear into 4 parts.
2. Place the asparagus and broccolini in the steamer, except for the tops of them. Leave them to the side for later. Steam for 5 mins or until tender.
3. Place steam asparagus and broccolini in the blender with the liquid stock and blend until smooth. Then place on the stock to boil, so that it is ready for the risotto.
4. Heat butter in a large pot, then once its melted add the risotto rice. Toast for a few minutes.
5. Add white wine, onion and garlic to the risotto and allow it the wine to absorb into the rice.
6. Now begin adding boiled liquid stock, a ladle at a time. Allow it to absorb into the rice, until adding more. Stir the risotto continuously.
7. About 5 minutes before the risotto is ready, steam the tops of the asparagus, broccolini and the peas. If you need more boiling water for the risotto, you can used this steam water once your finished with it.
8. Take the risotto off the heat and add in the steamed asparagus, broccolini and peas, and season with sea salt and black pepper.
9. Serve with some home-made vegan parmesan.
*Serves 4 main serves, or 6 entree serves
I love eggplant, but I find I don’t it as much as I like because I need to use so much oil to cook it. This recipe is a bit lighter on the oil, but is just as flavorsome. Its also really easy to prepare and is gluten free.
Stuffed Eggplants with Sun dried Tomatoes & Pine nuts (vegan, gluten free, soy free)
1 Italian eggplant
2 small red onions
3 garlic cloves
10 sun dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons pine nuts
small handful of basil
2 tablespoons quinoa crumbs (or gluten free bread crumbs)
sea salt to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Slice eggplant in half, then use a pairing knife and a spoon to scoop out most of the flesh from the eggplant, just leave the shells.
3. Brush the eggplant shells with olive oil, then place in the oven for 20 minutes.
4. In the meantime chop the eggplant flesh into small pieces and dice the red onion, garlic, sun dried tomatoes and basil.
5. Heat a pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes, until they start to soften.
6. Add the eggplant flesh to the pan and saute for 5 minutes, until its cooked. Add another tablespoon of olive or water if the eggplant is too dry.
7. Take off the heat and add the sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, quinoa crumbs and sea salt. Stir through till combined well.
8. Take out the eggplant shells from the oven and fill with the eggplant stuffing.
9. Bake the eggplants for 20 minutes.
* Serves 2 to 4 depending on the size of the serve.
What to do when you have heaps of canned pineapple leftover from pizza night? I made this delicious dressing for my work salads. Well it only turned out to be one work salad, since I accidentally poured most of this dressing on my kitchen bench.
Pineapple Poppy seed Dressing (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)
1 cup pineapple pieces
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3 tablespoon olive oil/other mild oil
sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1. Place all the ingredients, except the poppy seeds in a high speed blender.
2. Stir in the poppy seeds last and serve with salad.
*Makes 250 ml