Raw Chocolate Banana Pudding (gluten free and soy free)

Went dairy free or vegan and thought you would never again enjoy chocolate pudding? Well I did, until I discovered an abundance of vegan chocolate puddings using tofu or avocado. I decided to try it make it myself. I can’t remember where I saw adding banana to make a raw chocolate pudding. I was a bit worried how it would turn out. However it turned out really, really delicious! The banana, avocado, peanut butter and coconut oil really made it creamy and thick. The cacao, cinnamon and sweetener really helped give it that decadent chocolate taste. It had a mild taste of banana, but you would never know there was avocado in here. It was a bit hit with the family. Can’t wait to make it for the mini-Marcos.

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Raw Chocolate Banana Pudding (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 large ripe banana

2 small avocados

1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

3 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons cacaco

2-3 tablespoons liquid sweetner (I used Sweet Freedom Natural Syrup)

2 tablespoons almond milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in the Vitamix/high speed blender. Whiz until smooth.

2. Eat immediately or chill in the fridge till your ready for dessert.

*Serves 3

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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with a Creamy Turmeric Dressing

Turmeric is so good for you. It’s anti-inflammatory and is packed full of manganese, iron, vitamin B6, fiber and potassium. Scientists believe that Turmeric wards of Alzheimer’s disease, prevents cancer, reduces risk of heart attacks and strokes, flights colds and flu, helps digestion and weight loss and can help people with diabetes. But unless you eat Indian food regularly, you probably don’t include this ingredient in many of your daily meals. This little salad dressing is creamy, raw and can be paired with almost anything. Hope you like it!

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Roasted Sweet potato, Purple Carrot, Red Cabbage, Kale and Spinach Salad with a Creamy Turmeric (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

6 small sweet potatoes

olive oil

sea salt to taste

3-4 purple carrots

1/4 red cabbage

2 cups baby/other kale

2 cups baby spinach

1 cup Creamy Turmeric Dressing (below)

1-2 tablespoons roasted black sesame seeds.

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Chop sweet potatoes in round pieces and toss in a mixing bowl with olive oil and sea salt. Then bake for 30 mins or until cooked. Turn once while cooking.

3. Grate the purple carrots and cabbage. Massage the kale with sea salt and chop the baby spinach.

4. Combine all the salad ingredients in a mixing bowl.

5. Serve salad topped with roasted sweet potato, drizzle Creamy Turmeric Dressing and top with some black sesame seeds

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Creamy Turmeric Dressing (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/2 medium avocado

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon crushed ginger

2 tablespoons turmeric

couple pinches ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon agave (more to taste)

4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons filtered water

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Add in the ingredients in to a processor/mixer. Mix until you have a delicious creamy dressing.

2. Serve topped with black roasted sesame seeds and top on a fresh salad or roasted vegetables.

*About 1 cup

Sauteed Broccolini and ‘Chicken’ with Brown Rice and Corn topped with Avocado Mousse

Hi all, hope you had a good week. I’ve gotten over my cold and nearly finished university. Today was my last day with my little mentees, who I have been helping get through the perils of first semester of university. But I still have my last Italian exam next Tuesday and my last assignment, which I will hopefully hand in next week. My lecturer is pretty cruisey about due dates, but I just want this to be over. Its been 5 years, so I’ve had enough of studying. I need at least 6 months off, in case I decide to do honors, but at this point I’m just looking forward to freedom. I also want my freedom back to cook.

This is the first meal I have prepared worth documenting this past week. It was more out of necessity of cooking all the vegetables in our fridge. My mother and I have a bad habit of doing food shopping on the same day without realizing, then we end up with too much food. Me and Marco can only eat so much of it, since she has more of a social life then us these days. I don’t know why but it stresses me out knowing that the vegetables are running out of nutrients everyday that goes by. I’ve especially become crazy when it comes to juicing. If Marco and mum don’t finish their juice within the first 10 mins after I’ve made them, I start yelling about the nutrients dying lol. I really need a break…

This dish was inspired by Natalie the Naturopath’s Pan Fried Buckwheat & Silverbeet with Spiced Tempeh. Unfortunately I didn’t have any tempeh and Marco negotiated ???????????????????????????????brown rice instead of buckwheat. I didn’t add any spices like hers, instead I made an avocado mouse to give the rest of the dish a lift. It was very simple, but delicious. Marco is looking forward to taking the rest of the leftovers tomorrow.

By the way, this little pink piggy was a surprise that Marco brought for me after work from the Cupcake Parlour. Unfortunately part of the surprise was that I had to share it with him. I guess it’s the thought that counts.

Sauteed Broccolini and ‘Chicken’ with Brown Rice and Corn topped with Avocado Mousse (gfo, nf)

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Sauteed Broccolini and ‘Chicken’ (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 brown onion

1 red capsicum

2 garlic cloves

2 bunches of broccolini

1 tablespoon coconut oil

200g Fry’s Chicken-style Strips/Tempeh, sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Slice onion and capsicum into thin strips and dice garlic cloves.DSC05323

2. Cut off ends of broccolini, then cut them in half.

3. In a large pan heat coconut oil, then add onion, capsicum and garlic. Cook for 4-5 mins, depending if you prefer them more crunchy.

4. Add broccolini and ‘chicken’ or tempeh. Saute for 7-8 mins, or until both are cooked. Season with sea salt, then serve.

Brown Rice and Corn

Ingredients:

1 cup short grain brown rice

2 ears of corn

1 tablespoon coconut oil

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Cook brown rice in a rice cooker or on the stove if you prefer.DSC05322

2. Meanwhile  cut the corn kernels from the corn cobs.

3. Once the rice is just about ready, heat coconut oil in a large pan, then add corn kernels. Cook for 5 mins or until corn kernels are cooked. Season with salt.

4. Combine brown rice with corn kernels. Add more sea salt if you need, then serve.

Avocado Mousse

Ingredients:

2 small avocados

1.5-2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 small lemon)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

3 tablespoons filtered water

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

Method:

1. Place avocado and coconut oil into a processor.

2. As its whizzing add the lemon, water and sea salt.

*Serves 4

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Japanese Favourites

Good evening all! Tonight I tried to make two of my favourite dishes that I have never made before, Sushi and Japanese Curry.

I have always been a bit scared to make sushi. ???????????????????????????????Years ago my brother and I tried to make it, but we didn’t realise you need sushi rice and rice wine vinegar. Our tuna sushi with basmati rice tasted pretty bad, so I thought I would leave it up to the experts. Marco was also very scared about me making sushi when I suggested it a while ago. He was nervous I was going to ruin sushi for him. Well that was until our friends mentions that they made sushi at home. Then he had hope I could do it too.

Making sushi was much easier then I thought. I made 3 large rolls that I cut up into bite size pieces. Half were filled with avocado, for Marco and the rest was filled with avocado and shiitake mushrooms. Not very adventurous  but it was my first time so I thought I would keep it simple. I followed this recipe, Avocado Sushi with Cucumber, but this is also a great site for recipes and tips, Make my sushi. My sushi turned out quite good. The only thing I know for next time is to not putting so much rice, as it is much harder to roll if you have to much.

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I was actually planing to fill one of the sushi rolls with Wakame. When I saw this Dried Seaweed salad in the packet at the Japanese Grocery store I thought it would taste like it. But no, this stuff is completely different. It is a mixture of different seaweeds that you soak and then dress, like a salad. It didn’t taste too bad on the side with tonight meal, but I think I will try to find a dressing to go with it as tastes like the sea.

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For the main event tonight I finally got around to a recipe that I have had on my Pinterest for a while, Japanese Curry with Edamame. I slightly adapted the ingredients in the recipe to give it a more richer flavor. I couldn’t find any organic or non gmo edamame. In fact, I have never seen any before in Brisbane. There are only the frozen edamame from China available at Asian grocery stores. So I decided to use frozen broad beans instead.

This recipe doesn’t taste exactly like the packet Japanese Curry, but it does have a nice strong flavour.  I have been eating Japanese Curry since the first Japanese sushi train popped up in my local shopping centre when I was in primary school. However, as much as I love it I never order it any more  Since I became aware of all my intolerances I avoid anything that may have  milk products or flavour enhances. The only packet version available here, that I think most restaurants would also use, is S&B Golden Curry. This recipe is a great substitute though and you won’t be disappointed in the flavour department.

I got the idea to make Eggplant Katsu from when I fried eggplant for Eggplant Parmigiana. When I made that dish I used corn crumbs. This recipe uses panko crumbs, which makes it all the more taster on its own. It is a really great substitute for fried cutlets and goes well with the curry.

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Japanese Curry with Broad beans and Eggplant Katsu (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients for Curry:

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

4 carrots, cut into ½-inch-thick half moons (about 2 cups)

2.5 tablespoons curry powder

2 teaspoons garam marsala

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups vegan beef liquid stock

4 creamy golden/yukon potatoes, peeled & cubed (about 2.5 cups)

1 small green apple, peeled & grated (about 1/2 cup)

3 tablespoon ketchup

1  tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon white miso paste

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup broad beans (fresh or frozen)

Ingredients for Eggplant Katsu:

1 medium eggplant, washed & peeled

table salt

tapicoa flour

sea salt

1/2 cup soy milk

panko crumbs

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Method:

1. In a large heavy based pot, heat canola oil over medium heat. Then add onions and sauté for 7 to 9 minutes, or until ???????????????????????????????lightly to brown.

2. Add carrots, and sauté  for a further 5 minutes. Add a little big of water if the pot gets too dry.???????????????????????????????

3. Add curry powder, garam marsala and garlic. Cook for 1  minute. Add a little water if the spices stick to the bottom of the pot.

4. Add vegan beef stock, potatoes, apple, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and miso. Stir through.

5. Bring to the boil bring, then place on medium-low heat to simmer with the pot slightly covered.  Cook 30 minutes or up to an 1 hour if you have time. The potatoes need to be cooked through.???????????????????????????????

6. In the meantime, prepare the eggplant. Cut the top and bottom of the eggplant so that it can stand up. Then slice the eggplants into 6-8 fillets.???????????????????????????????

7. Sprinkle table salt on the eggplant, to allow the bitterness and moister to come out. Leave for 10 mins.

8. While you are waiting for the eggplant boil the broad beans then rinse with cold water, peel and set to the side.

9. Wipe the salt & moister from the eggplants fillets, then batter with tapioca flour, sprinkle with seasalt, dip in soy milk then batter in panko crumbs.???????????????????????????????

10. Fry the eggplant fillets in canola oil, then leave on a paper towel to drain the oil.

11. By now the curry should be ready, so add the broad beans and heated through.

12. Slice the eggplant fillets.

13. Serve Japanese Curry topped with the Eggplant Katsu and with Steamed Rice.

*Serves 6-8

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Before I go, this a recipe I came up with this morning.  It is a nutritious breakfast that is gluten free, sugar free and goes nice with nut butter.

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Apple Oat Rösti with Sunflower Seed Butter (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 green apple

1/2 cup instant oats, preferably organic

1/2 teaspooon cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon coconut oil plus more

sunflower seed butter (or other nut butter if you can tolerate)

Method:

1. First peel, slice and grate the apple.

2. Then grind the oats into a flour.

3. Combine both the grated apple and oat flour in a small bowl and add cinnamon. Stir through. If it is too dry add some of the leftover apple juice from grating or a little water. Divide into 3 balls

4. Heat coconut oil in a small pan and add a ball of the mixture. Press it down in the pan with a spatula or with your fingers. Cook for a couple of minutes on both sides on medium-low heat.

5. Serve rösti with nut butter or a sweetener.

*Makes 3 rösti

 

Black bean & Corn Chili with Whole Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Broad bean Guacamole

I finally set up my veggie patch today. Its been empty for nearly a year since I went overseas. At Aldi they had a whole lot of starter plants in stock. So mum picked me up ???????????????????????????????some kale, lettuce, broccolini, cauliflower, cabbage, rainbow spinach and a whole lot of herbs. I also emptied out my compost, which I have been filling, but haven’t emptied for nearly two years. It was really smelly, but really healthy for my garden.

I had to Albie proof my veggie patch with some chicken wire and some steaks I found. Not sure its going to last a Queensland??????????????????????????????? storm, but anything to keep Mr Albie out. He likes to use my garden as a place to sleep or to attack possums on the fence. Bella also likes to use it as a toilet. So fingers crossed this will keep them out till I think of something else.

I have been really slack lately with preparing legumes. I was really craving black beans, so remembered to soak some today. I decided to make this Mexican inspired chili. I was really proud that I managed to make this entire dish with out any canned products. The beans, corn and tomatoes are all fresh.

For the Broad bean Guacamole I adapted the recipe from Daily unadventures in cooking. The taste was a lot different with the broad beans, so I added more avocado. It did have a nice fresh taste though with the lime juice.

I made a similar dish  last month, Whole Baked Sweet Potato with Mixed Bean Chili, Guacamole and Quinoa Salad. Tonight’s dish was just as delicious, but the flavors were a lot different.

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Black bean & Corn Chilli with Whole Roasted Sweet Potatoes (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

 

Black bean & Corn Chilli

Ingredients:

1.5 cups dried black beans (pre soaked for 8 hours/overnight)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2-4 garlic cloves, diced

1 large green chilli, diced

1 small green capsicum, diced

1 small red capsicum, diced

1 carrot, diced

2 tablespoons cumin

1/2 tablespoons chilli powder or cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon ground smoked paprika

3 roma tomatoes,  chopped (or 1 can diced tomatoes)

corn kernels from 2 cobs of corn

2 cups of vegetable liquid stock

1.5 tablespoons hot chipotle sauce

2 tablespoons corn flour (or arrowroot or plain flour)

sea salt to taste

lime juice to serve (optional)

Method:

1. Bring a large pot with water and black beans to a boil, then cook for 40 mins or until tender.  Strain black beans then put to the side.

2. In the same pot heat oil then add onion, garlic and chili. Cook for 2-3 mins.???????????????????????????????

3. Add carrot, green & red capsicum and cook for 5 mins. Stir often.

4. Add cumin, chili powder, paprika and cook for 2 mins or until fragrant. Add some water or oil if the pot is too dry.???????????????????????????????

5. Add chopped tomatoes and 1/4 cup of water. If using can tomatoes then you don’t need the water. Cook for 5 mins.

6. Add black beans, corn kernels, liquid stock, hot chipotle sauce, flour and sea salt. Bring to the boil, then let it simmer for 40 mins to an hour.

* Serve on top of the whole sweet potatoes and/or basmati rice and with a squeeze of lime.

*Serves 8

Whole Roasted Sweet Potato  

Ingredients:

8 sweet potatoes

canola oil (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Clean and scrub sweet potatoes.

2. 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.

* Serve with Chili

* Serves 8

Broad Bean Guacamole 

Ingredients:

1 cup broad beans

1 avocado

juice 1/2 lime

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

hot chipotle sauce to taste (optional)

sea salt & black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Then cook the broad beans for 2-3 mins.

2. Strain the broad beans, rinse in cold water, then remove the outer skin of the beans.

3. Combine broad beans and avocado in a bowl. Mash with a fork.

4. Add lime, evo, hot chipotle sauce, sea salt & black pepper.

* Serves about 1 cup

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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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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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