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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Aussie Beetie Burgers

Hi all, hope your having a great week. Mine has been quite busy so far. Last night I went to the Hungry for Change Film Night, held by Inspiring Living Events at Kangaroo Point. It was really great to be around people who share the same passion for healthy living and meet health experts living and working in my city. Even though I’d seen the film before it was more enjoyable to watch it with other people. They also had some delicious vegan finger foods. Unfortunately I left my camera sim card at home, so I can’t share the lovely food that was provided by a new organic cafe Bang Bang Lulu. I’m also really happy that I found a new Naturopath last night, that also supports my vegan journey. I haven’t been feeling the best recently, so I’ve been planning to organise an appointment with somebody, but I know my former nutritionist doesn’t share my passion for vegan food. I’ve already booked in to see this new Nathuropath for a couple of weeks time when I can finally take some toil time from work. I will let you all know how I go.

Below is a recipe I whipped up over the weekend. I really felt like a burger, but all I had was some old beets and mixed grains left in the fridge. I added some leftover home-made pesto, lentils and some Aussie BBQ seasoning. The seasoning and pesto really gave the burgers an amazing flavour. The Aussie BBQ seasoning I used contained pink rock salt, paprika, garlic, onion, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon, lack pepper, thyme, oregano, chilli, chives and basil. It has no extras ingredients, preservatives or artificial flavours. Believe it or not I got it from Aldi. It really helped give my burgers that Aussie flavour that you usually find in Aussie beef burger patties and rissoles. The leftover mixed grains that I used where from one of those new brown rice products, that have quinoa, black sesame seeds and red rice mixed through. All you do is steam the rice and serve like you would normally.

I cooked the first batch of burger patties  in the pan with olive oil. They were still moist after they were cooked, but they were very hard to flip.  I’m really bad a flipping anything in a pan and I didn’t have Marco here to do it for me. He may not be able to cook to save himself, but he has a talent for flipping pancakes, omelettes and burgers. So the next day I decided to baked the rest. They were a little drier but much easier to prepare and they kept their shape a lot better when I served them. I served them with balsamic red onion and tomato sauce. Delicious!

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Aussie Beetie Burger Patties (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil (more to cook burgers)

1 small red onion

2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon apple cinder vinegar

1 cup grated beetroot

1 cup mixed cooked grains/brown rice

1 cup cooked brown lentils

1/2 cup homemade pesto

Aussie BBQ seasoning to taste (or other spice mix you prefer)

Method:

1. Heat coconut oil on medium heat, then add red onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until it starts to soften.

2. Add garlic to red onion and saute for 1 minute, then add apple cider vinegar. Saute for another couple of minutes till the onions brown a little and get a little sticky. Take the onions off the heat and allow to cool down.DSC02001

3. Combine the remaining ingredients the processor and blend until combined. Don’t over process as you want some texture to the burger.

4. With damp hands form burger patties and place on baking paper. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes or longer, to allow the burgers to harden.DSC02006

5.If you are going to bake the burgers, preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place on a tray with baking paper and bake for 20 minutes. If you are going to cook them on the stove, heat a tablespoon of oil in a nonstick pan on medium heat. Cook the burgers a few minutes or until it is cooked to your liking.

*Makes 8 burgers patties or 4 thicker burger  patties

Cooked in the pan

Cooked in the pan

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Roasted Cauliflower, Beets, Capsicum and Chickpeas with Tahini Sumac Dressing

As promised another recipe with cauliflower. I just love roasted cauliflower. It doesn’t have that bitter flavor that steamed cauliflower has. I usually make roasted vegetables with potatoes, pumpkins and other root vegetables. But this variation was really nice change and the dressing gave it a bit more zing.

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Roasted Cauliflower, Beets, Capsicum and Chickpeas with Tahini Sumac Dressing (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

olive oil

1 large beetroot, sliced

1/2 large cauliflower, chopped

1 red capsicum, sliced

1 tin chickpeas

handful of italian parsley, chopped

sea salt & black pepper to taste

Ingredients for Tahini Sumac Sauce:

1 whole garlic head

3 tablespoons unhulled tahini

2 tablespoons lemon

handful of italian parsley

1 teaspoon sumac

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup water

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Place beetroot in a baking dish and toss with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender.

3. Add cauliflower, capsicum and whole garlic, drizzle with more olive oil. Bake for a further 20 minutes or until the vegetables have cooked. Remove the whole garlic once it has softened.

4. In the meantime add all the ingredients to the blender. Also peel roasted garlic and add to the process and blend.

5. Add a tin of chickpeas to the baking dish and cook vegetables for a further few minutes, then remove from the oven.

6. Toss the vegetables with the dressing, parsley and season with sea salt & black pepper before serving.

*Serves 4 as a side dish.

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On the side I made Syndian Asian Bean and Kumera Patties. This was the first Syndian product that I have tried and it wasn’t too bad. It really tasted homemade, which is probably because it had all real ingredients in it. The only thing that it needed was a sauce, as I found it was a little dry, but otherwise not to bad.

Summer Salads for Sally’s 60th

Hi all, as promised, these are the salads that I prepared for Marco mother’s 60th party last night. All of these are from recipes that I have been collecting on Pinterest. In my household we have always had our salads with olive oil, salt and pepper and sometimes balsamic vinegar. So I am not very experienced in salad dressings.

These salads were a big hit at the party. The Roasted Aubergine only lasted about 15 mins till it was all gone. The pasta salad was also popular. All of these salads were quite quick and easy to prepare. The only cooking involved was for the pasta and grilling the eggplant.

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Jamie Oliver’s ‘Best Pasta Salad’

The original recipe for Jamie’s pasta salad is here (gfo, sf, nf)). The only thing I did different was using small vine ripened tomatoes, rather then yellow and red cherry tomatoes. I wasn’t able to get them for a reasonable price. But it didn’t make a difference with flavor, just with color. I especially loved the fresh herbs and zesty lemon flavor. This is a great salad if you have a large group of people and is big enough that everyone gets to have firsts and seconds.

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Roasted Aubergine with Sumac and Tahini Dressing

The recipe for this dish can be found here. This salad was really loved by all the Serbians. The dressing is earthly and zesty, the toppings are nutty and fragrant and the eggplant is soft and creamy. It can be served warm or at room temperature, which is how I served it. The dressing should be chilled and added just before serving. I have never used pomegranate in ???????????????????????????????a salad before. It went really well with the pine nuts. Unfortunately it isn’t in season at the moment in Australia. These were a USA import, so they were expensive and had some bad bits inside, but it was a must have ingredient to complete this dish. I really liked the dressing as well, it was dairy free, but really creamy. I used unhulled tahini, so my dressing is a lot darker then the picture in the original recipe. For the eggplant I removed the bitterness before grilling it. I just added table salt to the slices of eggplant and left them, so that the moister would come out. Then I wiped the moisture off before cooking it. Only thing I would do differently next time is make double the amount.

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Carrot Salad with Olives, Agave and Cumin

The recipe for this salad can be found here. The only things I changed was using agave instead of honey and italian parsley instead of coriander  The birthday girl is not a fan of coriander  but loves italian parsley, so I thought for her party it was better to go with what she likes. This is also a really easy salad to put together. It did take me a while to cut these carrots into tiny matchsticks, but worth it. The dressing was sweet and zesty.

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I was really lucky last night. There were plenty of fresh salads, roasted potatoes and baked bread for me to eat. I definitely didn’t go hungry. Of course they had their lamb on the spit, which they serve at big celebrations, but I didn’t feel like it. Some of the salads they made were Cabbage and Pickles; Cabbage, Beetroot and Carrot; Tomato and Red onion; and Radish and Cucumber. They all had vinegar, oil and salt to season them. There was also a traditional Serbian homemade bread, which is called Pogača. Usually at the beginning of the meal everyone takes an edge and pulls to get their piece. It is quite a heavy, dense bread, but it is nice and airy inside and soft on the outside.

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Marco’s sister made Sally’s birthday cake. This cake isn’t vegan, but it was dairy free. It is also a traditional Serbian recipe. It consists of 3 layers of baked sponge cake, which is only made of ground peanuts and eggs and between the layers are crushed peanuts. On the outside was chocolate and strawberry flavored marzipan. The humidity got to it a bit, but it still looked great and most importantly tasted amazing.

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It was a great night for everyone. The older ones ate, drank and danced all night. Marco, the kids and I ended up watching a movie together to get out of the heat. Most importantly Sally had a great time and it was a birthday to remember.