I’m back again after a little break from blogging. I finally have some time off after seeing the dentist. I have a few days off to recoup at home. Finally got out my last wisdom tooth. The one I begged the dentist to leave last time because I couldn’t have him take 2 at the same time again. This little break is also great timing for me to start packing up my things, because we signed papers to buy a house this weekend past! After two years of looking off and on and many disappointments we have finally found the one for Marco and I to start our adult life together. I say ‘adult’ because we are going to have to start doing things for ourselves. Although I love to cook I’m not a great cleaner. Marco on the other hand loves to keep his room in order, but we both can’t iron his shirts. But its time to grow up and leave the nest!
A couple of nights ago mum took us out to dinner to celebrate. We decided to try Rouj Modern Lebanese. I discovered them a few weeks ago at Rosalie. They were full with people and the reviews are great too, so they must be doing something right. After checking out the online menu I found a dish that was vegan friendly. I ordered the Vegetarian Delight, which included ftayer (pastry filled with spinach), Silver beet rice roll, pumpkin kebbi, hummus (instead of tzaziki) mjadra, tabouli, pickles, Lebanese bread. I was so full after this that I didn’t have room for anything else.
Other vegan eats this weekend was brunch at The Green Edge. Marco was the one that suggested to go. He just loves their vegan burgers, brownies and milkshakes, but we still hadn’t tried their breakfast. We ordered a little too much but the food was fabulous! Marco and I shared the Big Breakfast, which had tofu scramble with garlic-sautéed mushrooms; smoky strips; breakfast potatoes; toasted Turkish bread with guacamole; seitan sausage patties, served with a homemade tomato relish. Mum had the special, smokey strip Turkish Sandwich with Roasted Capsicum Relish. We also all shared the Pancakes Stack with Dark chocolate chips and syrup. Can’t tell you what was my best part because I loved all of it. Lucky for me our new house is just down the road from here, so it won’t be such a big deal to travel over for a bite to eat or replenish my vegan pantry.
The Big Breakfast
Smokey Strip Turkish Sandwich with Roasted Capscium Relish
Pancakes Stack with Dark chocolate chips and syrup
Other then buying houses and eating out, the weekend before I visited the Organic Growers Fair. Marco is obsessed with growing trees at the moment, so I picked up for him a dwarf Mango, dwarf Apple and Vanilla bean orchard. He also has a dwarf lemon, dwarf lime, dwarf mulberry, dwarf avocado, more avocado trees. At the moment they are all in pots, so hopefully we will plant some at a new home.
Here a just a few of the trees we have transported to mine house. Isn’t he a gorgeous boy! Unfortunately he hasn’t been protecting our mulberries from the birds. He only chases people.
The following are some recipes I cooked during the week. This first one was my favourite. I have never cooked soup with old bread before. The first time I tried a soup with old bread was the soup Ribollita in Sienna, Tuscany. The bread and vegetables were really mushy, but full of flavour. Pappa al pomodoro is another summer Tuscan soup. I used old ciabatta bread (finally some leftover). The rest of the ingredients were simple, evo, onion, garlic, fresh tomatoes, vegan chicken stock and fresh basil. This had to be the most delicious soup I have ever made. Marco was a really big fan and said it tasted like real Italian food.
Pappa al pomodoro (vegan, soy free, nut free)
900g fresh tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
200g ciabatta bread/other ‘country style’ bread, remove crust
850ml hot vegan chicken stock
20 basil leaves, diced
sea salt & black pepper to taste
1. Boil a pot of water, then add all the whole tomatoes. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until you see the skin peel back a little bit. Then place tomatoes straight in a bowl with ice water or cool down with rinse with water in strainer. Once they have cooled down, peel the skin and then dice and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large pot, then add onions and garlic. Saute for 6-8 minutes on a low heat, not letting them brown.
3. Add the tomatoes to the pot. Leave on a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 30 minutes.
4. In the meantime tear the ciabatta bread into small pieces and heat the vegan chicken stock.
5. Add the bread and stir through a couple of times.
6. Gradually add hot stock and allow it to soak up all the bread.
7. Add the basil leaves and season if you need. Cook for one more minute.
8. Serve warm or wait an hour and serve at room temperature.
I have finally found and eaten golden beets! I got them from the Wednesday Farmers Market in the CBD. They were only small but had the leaves attached as well. They are so delicious and sweet! I really nice change from the regular beets. I’ve never tried making coconut yogurt before, but it was really simple. I just added lemon juice to coconut cream. Just be careful to not add to much or it will be too sour. I got this idea to make chickpea nuggets from The Japanese Vegetarian Kitchen’s, Vegan Chicken teriyaki steak. Funniest thing was Marco took leftovers to work and some of the blokes sauce his container when he was heating the nuggets. They didn’t know whose it was but they were all trying to figure out what it was.
Sweet Sumac Tahini Chickpea Nuggets with Quick Coconut Yogurt and Quinoa Kale salad with Golden Beets and Sweet Potato (vegan, gluten free, soy free)
Ingredients for Chickpea nuggets & sauce:
1 can chickpeas
1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
sea salt to taste
Ingredients for Marinate:
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
sea salt to taste
1 teaspoon agave
Ingredients for Salad:
4 small golden beets, sliced
1 medium sweet potato, sliced
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups tuscan kale
Ingredients for Coconut Yogurt:
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice (more to taste)
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Then toss the golden beets and sweet potato with olive oil and sea salt and place on a tray in the oven for 30 minutes or until cooked.
2. Mash the chickpeas with a fork and add arrowroot and plenty of sea salt. Then form into nuggets. I made about 9.
3. Combine all the ingredients for the marinate. Coat the nuggets in the marinate and leave in the fridge for 20- 30 minutes. Leave any extra marinate aside for later.
4. If you have’t already, cook the quinoa and prepare the kale. Chop the kale, then massage it with sea salt until the fibers have broken down. Once the quinoa has cooled down combine with the kale.
5. Heat a non stick pan with a little bit of oil (olive/coconut). Cook the nuggets for a couple of minutes on both sides until golden.
6. Prepare the coconut yogurt by combining the ingredients the put to the side.
7. Toast the pine nuts.
8. Assemble the salad, then top with Chickpea nuts, extra marinate and Coconut yogurt.
This was my veganised attempt of Sichuan Noodles. I swapped pork for brown lentils and shiitake mushrooms, egg noodles for sweet potato noodles, chicken stock for vegan stock, and hot bean paste (didn’t have any) for miso paste. Not sure how Chinese, but it was a healthier version.
Spicy Shittake, Brown Lentil and Spinach with Sweet Potato Starch Noodles (vegan, gluten free, nut free)
100g cooked brown lentils
100g sweet potato noodles
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon ginger, diced
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon dry sherry
2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 small red chilies, diced
1/2 tablespoon white miso or hot soy bean paste
1 tablespoon peanut butter
125ml vegan chicken stock
2 cups of spinach leaves (chopped)
sea salt & black pepper to taste
1. Cook sweet potato noodles according to packet instructions.
2. In a bowl combine brown lentils, soy sauce, sherry, sea salt. Heat oil in a wok and saute brown lentils for 3-4 minutes. Then add shittake mushroom and cook for 2 more minutes. Take out of wok and place to the side.
3. Add garlic, ginger, onion and chili to the wok. Stir fry for 1 minute.
4. Add miso/soy bean paste, peanut butter. Heat for a few seconds.
5. Add vegan chicken stock and bring to boil, simmer for 5 minutes or until it thickens.
6. Add lentils, shiitake mushrooms, spinach and noodles. Heat in the wok until spinach has wilted. Season.
Healthy Italian Hot Chocolate for 2 (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)
2 mugs of coconut milk
1 tablespoon cacao
1 tablespoon maca
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 tablespoon vegan custard powder (to make thicker, optional)
1. Combine all the ingredients in small pot.
2. Heat on the stove on a medium-low heat and whisk while cooking. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until it thickens a little.
3. Serve immediately.