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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Creamy Sweet potato, Black bean, Chia seed Soup

Hi all, hope you having a great start to your week. I’m always most energetic on Mondays. I feel like I can achieve just about anything on my way home from work. I could prepare all our lunches for the week, do some pilates or even finally put together my new compost bin. Unfortunately I didn’t get to do everything I hoped for this afternoon. But I did get around to making a selection of jarred cold pressed juices, boil some black beans and make a delicious healthy soup. Lucky for Marco he’s at work tonight. So I even managed to clean  up the huge mess I made in the kitchen by my self.

I’ve never added chia seeds to a soup before and I didn’t really know what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised. They weren’t crunchy or gluggy at all. They also didn’t change the texture to the soup. What they did do is add some extra protein, fibre, antioxidants, calcium, vitamin C, omega 3, potassium and iron to my soup!

How do you like to include chia seeds in your diet?

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Creamy Sweet potato, Black bean, Chia seed Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 brown onion, diced

1 large garlic clove, diced

1/2 green or red capsicum, diced

1 large celery stick, diced

1 large sweet potato, chopped and cubed

1.5 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

4 cups vegetable stock (I used 4 cups filtered water with 4 tsp Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon)

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt/ sea salt to taste

black pepper to taste

2 whole dried bay leaves

2 cups cooked black beans

juice from 1/2 small lemon

1/3 cup chia seeds

diced roasted peppers, pan fried corn kernels and sliced avocado to serve

Method:

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Then add onion, garlic, capsicum and celery. Saute for a few minutes.

2. Add sweet potato cubes, cumin, oregano and cayenne. Saute for another couple of minutes.

3. Add vegetable stock, garlic salt, black pepper and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then leave to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the sweet potato has softened.

4. Add cooked black beans and lemon juice. Take off the heat and remove the bay leaves.

5. Place most of the soup with a high speed blender, leaving about a cup of the soup in the pot. Then combine again and stir through the chunky beans and sweet potato.

6. Add chia seeds and stir through.

7. Serve soup topped with diced roasted peppers, pan fried corn kernels and sliced avocado or whatever else you have on hand.

*Serves 4

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Doggy Days, Pancakes and Black beans

I haven’t posted in a few days, since I have been quite stressed out. I have still been cooking, but not anything too exciting. I have been stressed because a couple of days ago??????????????????????????????? I caught my crazy religious fanatic neighbor on my property trying to scare my dogs, by screaming and barking at them. I had a big argument with him and had to call the police. This is not the first time he has barked at the dogs. Both my dogs hate him and go crazy when ever they see him walk in the street. However, this is the first time I found him inside our front gates. After the police spoke to him they  realized he was crazy. They told him the next time he trespasses into my property or makes a public nuisance by barking at the dogs, then he will get charged. I know this isn’t over. He intend going to the council about my dogs barking and being ‘dangerous’. I’ve spoken to the council, so I just have to wait now and hope they side with me. Who could ever thing these two little guys are dangerous. I took them to the dog park today. They haven’t been in over 6 months, so I was a bit scared what would happen. But they were really good. Well Albie did have a tussle with the first dog that arrived. But then ten more arrived, so he realized he had to get along with them, because he was out numbered. I just can’t believe how big he has grown. He was the biggest dog there today. It was funny seeing a couple of the dogs run straight to him, since he was the biggest. Once they got the ok from him, they knew they wouldn’t have any trouble with the others. Little do they know how much of a baby he is.

A couple of days back when this all happened. I had plans of making Nachos with Black Bean Chili from scratch. However, it got to late and Marco thought it was better we bought the Nacho Topping and Corn Chips, since he was too hungry to wait. We used Old El Paso Nacho Topping, with Pinto beans and Mission Corn Chips. Both of these products weren’t too bad. I don’t usually buy Mexican products anymore, but I was happy with ingredients in these ones. For the cheese sauce I used Avocados and Ales recipe, Vegan Nacho Cheese. This is a really delicious nutritious alternative to using store bought melty cheese. I promise you won’t be able to tell the difference with the taste and texture. I will definitely make this vegan cheese alternative again. I served this with the leftover Cashew Sour Cream and Guacamole  So happy avocados are back in abundance at the moment.

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I have still been juicing everyday. Marco is also really been enjoying the juices and is getting use to eating raw vegetables for breakfast. Our favorite combination is Apple, Orange, Spinach, Celery, Carrot, Broccoli, Lime, Beetroot and Spiralina???????????????????????????????. I also love ginger, but Marco is not a fan. Other ingredients I have added include Plums, Zucchini, Parsley, Pumpkin, Cucumber, Mandarin and Lettuce. I really like the taste of lettuce and plums. But still not a fan of parsley.  So what have been the outcomes? In 7 days my skin cleared up and I can actually sleep at night and don’t wake up until 7 hours later, when I feel really refreshed. I also don’t feel like I need coffee. In past 20 days I have had one after having a terrible headache for a couple of days. I think I had coffee withdrawal, since the headache disappeared after I drank coffee. But I haven’t had another headache. Unfortunately, my skin is not as perfect as it was, since I gobbed up two jumbo Anzac Biscuits, that Marco’s boss made. I was told that it was dairy free, but turns out they weren’t and that the guy didn’t realise butter was dairy. So I will be juicing my way back to better skin again.

Yesterday, I took a break after 20 days of juicing and made Tiramisu Pancakes for breakfast, from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts.  These were amazing and hands down the best pancakes I have ever made. You can find the recipe here. I used whole wheat flour and used vanilla extract instead of dark rum. Although this batter is not sweet, since it only calls for maple syrup, the chocolate chips sweetened it nicely.

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Tonight I made a Cuban classic, Black bean Soup or Sopa de frijoles negros. This rich, spicy soup is typically prepared in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil and other nations in Latin America. The ingredients usually present are black beans, salt, ham hocks, onions, garlic, tomatoes, chili peppers, powdered cumin seeds, oregano and vinegar. It is often pureed smooth or can be left more chunky and rustic.

I looked at numerous recipes to come up with the right ingredients. I am not sure how authentic mine is, but it tasted really, really good. It had almost a meaty texture and taste. It also got Marco’s seal of approval, he had two serves. I also made Homemade Nachos (baked corn chips) to go with it. I used suckitupnotin recipe, Homemade Nachos. Instead of Garam Marsala, I used Cumin. Other then that I followed the recipe. I recommend not cooking them any longer then 12 mins, as the longer they cook the harder they go.

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Cuban Black bean Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 serrano chilli, diced

1/2 green capsicum, diced

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground cayenne or chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

450g cooked black beans

4 small tomatoes, diced

3 cups vegetable liquid stock

1 tablespoon lime juice (and more to garnish)

sea salt & black pepper to taste

2 shallots, diced to garnish

coriander leaves, diced to garnish

red capsicum, diced to garnish

vegan sour cream to garnish (Cashew Sour Cream)???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add red onion, garlic, serrano chili and green capsicum. Saute for 4-5 mins.

2. Add cumin, cayenne and dried oregano. Saute for 2 mins.???????????????????????????????

3. Add black beans, tomatoes and liquid stock. Bring to the boil, then place on a simmer and cover for 30 mins.???????????????????????????????

4. Add lime juice, salt and pepper and cook for another 10-15 mins.

5. Puree half the soup with a bar mix or processor, then combine again and reheat.

6. Serve soup and garnish with shallots, coriander, red capsicum, vegan sour cream and fresh lime.

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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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Finally hit 100th post

Hi all, it’s been a rainy, windy couple of days in Brisbane. Everyone’s on alert for flooding and cyclones. Everything should be fine for us for flooding, but it’s a bit scary knowing that the rain isn’t going to stop for another couple of days. Our house has a couple of leaks from some screw ups from tradies that were working on our roof recently. We also have few little waterfalls flooding into our property from our neighbors. At least the dogs got a shower and a blow dry so they could join us inside. They are very happy chappy.

On the brighter side this is my 100th post. I can’t believe I’ve made it this far already. A big thanks to all the people who follow, comment and visit on my blog. You have no idea how much of a difference it has made to my life. Although I have had some slips this is the longest I have stuck to any kind of lifestyle change, so I am really proud to share it with you guys. You visits, likes and comments really help to keep me going on my transition, even though I often feeling like giving up.

Since I started this blog back at the end of September I have received a lot of positive feedback from many people. I have received a lot of great advice and praise from many regulars bloggers, many of which have given me awards for my efforts. I’ve also had views from from 77 countries to date. I can’t believe people from all over the world have found my blog and taken the time to check out out. So thanks again for all your support!

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Tonight I cooked an African Stew. The recipe is adapted from Spicy Peanut Soup with Chicken from Bon appétit website. I adapted it to be vegan and gluten free. It was really nice comfort food for a cool, windy night and everyone loved it. I haven’t used peanut butter in a stew before, but it tasted really good. To go with it I made Spelt Buttery Biscuits. Marco, mum and Ted haven’t had these before. Last time I made them it was for the Marco’s niece and nephew, who also loved them. They all really like the buttery biscuits and they went really well with the warm stew.

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Spicy Peanut Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Eggplant (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

450 g sweet potato, cut into cubes

1 tablespoon hot sauce

sea salt & pepper to taste

4 cups vegan chicken/vegetable broth

1/3 cup peanut butter

2 tablespoons tomato paste

5 tablespoons vegan butter

1.5 cups chopped onion

1 cup carrot, grated or diced

1 medium eggplant, cut into cubes

2 tablespoons arrowroot flour (tapioca)

1 cup canned diced tomatoes

Method:

1. Place the sweet potato in a large bowl and coat in the hot sauce, salt and pepper.P1000577

2. Take another large bowl or jug (big enough to hold 4 cups) and combine the stock, peanut butter, and tomato paste. Whisk it till it is all combined.

3. Take a large pot and melt the vegan butter on medium-high heat.P1000578

4. Then add the onions, carrot and eggplant.  Saute for about 8 min. Then add the sweet potato and saute for a further 3 min.

5. Add the stock, tomatoes and flour to the pot and stir it through.  Cook for 30 mins, or until the sweet potatoes are soft enough to put a fork through.

* Serves 8

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Yesterday I had another try at the Eggless Fritata. Last time I made it I used firm tofu instead of silken tofu. I also didn’t have a nonstick pan. So it didn’t turn out as smooth as I would of liked. Since then I tried to make it again, but unfortunately I dropped it when I flipped it. This time was a success! I had silken tofu and my new neoflam pan I got for Christmas. I found the silken tofu made the batter a lot smoother and cooked more like an fritata, instead of a scramble. The pan also kept it together and didn’t let it stick, so that I could easily slide it into a baking tray to grill before serving.

I adapted the recipe this time and used sweet potato, red onion and carrot. It was incredibly fluffy and according to both me and Marco (the egg lover) this tasted much better then an egg fritata. The potato really makes it creamy and less plasticy then egg. Although this breakfast took me a lot longer to prepare it was definitely worth the wait. It is also great to pack for morning teas or lunches, which is what I will be doing for Marco for work next time.

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Sweet potato & Carrot Eggless Fritata (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato

200g soft silken tofu

2 tablespoons vegan butter

3 tablespoons cornstarch/arrowroot

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

½ teaspoon onion flakes (or onion powder)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small red onion diced

3 tablespoons grated carrot

Method:

1. Peel and cut the sweet potato in thin slices, then put it a small pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender. Then strain and leave cool. DSC02685

2. In the processor blend the silken tofu, vegan butter, cornstarch, baking powder, sea salt, black pepper, turmeric, onion flakes and garlic powder.DSC02686

3. Heat pan with olive oil, then add the red onion and cook for a couple of minutes.

4. Then add sweet potato and grated carrot and cook for another couple of minutes.

5. Add the tofu batter to the pan, coat the vegetables, then level the batter and let it cook for 15 mins on medium heat.DSC02687

6. Preheat grill in the oven.

7. Slide the frittata onto a circular baking tray with baking paper and place into the oven (grill). If you have the right pan you can put the entire pan into the oven. Grill for 3 mins or until slightly golden brown on top.

*Serves 2

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Last night we had Marco’s niece and nephew stay over, so I made them Black Bean Brownies. I got the recipe from Happy Herbivore, you can find it here. I used 1/4 cup of oats more then recipe said as the batter a bit too thin and added vegan chocolate chips. I also cooked for about 10 mins more and then had to let it set in the fridge, so that I could slice it. It was nice, but the texture of the black beans was a bit strange for me. Luckily the kids loved it. They had two slices and even took the rest home, so it was a success after all. This recipe is gluten free, so if you don’t mind beans in your brownie, this is a nice recipe.

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The only other exciting thing I have had to eat this week was on thursday night. Marco and I meet some friends at our favorite Indian Restaurant, A Night in India. I  have been visiting the Toowong location for ten years. Seems like just yesterday I was there with my newly legalized girlfriends, eating Indian and drinking wine, before hitting the clubs. I’ve change a lot since then, but the food hasn’t. It is still fantastic and fresh. Since then I have also discovered the Carindale location, which is owned by the other brother. Depending what side of town we are on, we visit both regularly. They both have many vegan, dairy free and gluten free options. So after I was forced to give up dairy and gluten a few years back and now eating vegan, this place was a god send to me. I don’t have to order the one boring vegan dish on the menu, because there are many exciting, delicious dishes to try, which are ‘Vanessa friendly’.

When we arrived the other night, our friends were running late and we were really hungry. So we ordered Vegetable Samosa. I asked if they were vegan and yes they are. The mint yogurt sauce that it came with was not, but I still ordered it for Marco. They were probably the best samosa I have every had. They weren’t greasy at all. We usually order Pakoras for entree, but I am happy I took a chance ordering this. For main I usually order the Vegetable Madras, as it is a creamy, dairy free dish, that has coconut milk. Tonight I decided to be different and order the Mushroom Sabji. It is a creamy curry with mushrooms, potato and peas. Although it isn’t vegan I asked the waiter if I could have it dairy free and the chef agreed to make it for me. On the side I ordered my usually Roti made of wholemeal flour and is dairy free. As much as I miss naan, when I eat the roti I forget about naan.

Vegetable Samosa

Vegetable Samosa

Mushroom Sabji

Mushroom Sabji

Roti

Roti

Sweet Potato Croquettes with Spicy Pineapple & Black beans Rice

You know how I was saying I was looking forward to using the leftovers. This is what inspired today’s lunch. I cooked the leftover the rice in a similar way to the Spicy Black bean and Rice stuffing, but I added some pineapple and a few more veggies. To go with it I made these croquettes. The polenta and corn crumbs really go well with the flavor of the sweet potato. Since I can’t use cheese, I used Tofutti instead to stuff it. This was nice and creamy inside. I also served it with last nights left over Coleslaw and a french stick that my mum turned up with, just in time for lunch. The dressing actually tasted better today and closer to the real thing.

I recently added a Recipe page, so you can all find the recipes easier. I also added a Eating out Vegan Page. These are some places that I have experienced. So far only places in Queensland, Australia and a couple in Milan. But I am hoping to add some more when I go to Melbourne next week. Now I’m off to do last minute Christmas shopping!

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Sweet Potato Croquettes (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 small sweet potatoes

1/4 cup polenta

1 tablespoon water

1  tablespoon coriander leaves, minced

sea salt to taste

5 teaspoons Tofutti cream cheese

corn crumbles

canola oil, enough to shallow fryDSC01375

Method:

1. Peel the sweet potatoes and steam them till they are really soft.DSC01376

2. Place sweet potato into a mixing bowl and mash with a fork.DSC01377

3. Stir through the polenta, water, coriander leaves and season with salt.

4. Place 1 tablespoon of the sweet potato mixture in the palm of your hand and flatten it. Then add 1/2 tsp cream cheese in the centre and close it into a ball, so that the cream cheese is in the center.

5. Rub the balls in corn crumbs.

6. Heat canola oil in a pan. Then add the croquettes and turn them as they go golden brown.

7. Once they are completely golden brown on all sides, place them on a plate with a paper towel to drain the oil. Then serve.

*Makes 10 balls.

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Spicy Pineapple & Black beans Rice (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2.5 cup cooked basmati rice (cooked in vegetable liquid stock &  turmeric)

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

2 large stalks of celery, diced

1 red chilli, diced

1/2 red capsicums, diced

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

sea salt & black pepper to taste

1 small zucchini, chopped

1/2 cup cooked black beans

1/2 cup pineapple, diced

Method:

1. Take a pan and heat olive oil. Then add the onion, garlic, celery and chilli. Cook for 5 mins.DSC01378

2. Then add the zucchini, pineapple and all the spices (cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, paprika, salt, pepper). Cook for another 3 mins or until zucchini is tender.

3. Stir through the black beans and cooked rice. Cook until all is heated through, then serve.

*Serves 4

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Spicy Black bean and Rice Stuffed Capsicums, Spiced Roasted Vegetables and Southern Coleslaw

I had no idea what to cook tonight. All I knew was that I had vegetable stock in the fridge, but I didn’t want to have soup again. I decided to use it to flavor some rice and then the rest of the meal evolved from there.

The rice tasted so good with the spices and the black beans. I am already planning tomorrows lunch with the left overs. It did taste good in the capsicums,  but my capsicums were not as sweet as I would of liked. I think they must of been a more bitter variety. I decided to do the roasted vegetables and coleslaw since I thought they would fit the kind of southern theme, plus they are some of Marco’s favorite dishes. For the coleslaw,  I tried adapt from this recipe, Simple Creamy Southern Coleslaw with Mayonnaise. My dressing is a lot healthier and vegan friendly. I didn’t have any celery seeds, but I read that you can substitute them with celery leaves. Not sure if I got the correct flavor, but it tasted good.

Since I only cooked for two tonight I roughly doubled the measurements for the following recipes. Sorry about the photos, My kitchen is not well lit at night. Dam energy savers!

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Spicy Black bean and Rice Stuffed Capsicums (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup basmati rice

1 cup vegetable liquid stock

1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric

4 red capsciums

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

2 large stalks of celery, diced

1 red chili, diced

2 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

sea salt & black pepper to taste

1 cup cooked black beans

2 tablespoon coriander leaves, diced

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.DSC01340

1. First you need to prepare the rice. Wash and place in the rice cooker. Add liquid stock to cover and tumeric to color the rice when its cooks. Let it cook till its tender and then set to the side. (If you make a cup you should have plenty left over for another meal).DSC01342

2. Carve out the top stump of the capsicums. Clean out the center, so that all the seeds are removed. Place in a baking dish.

3. Take a pan and heat olive oil. Then add the onion, garlic, celery and chili. Cook for 5 mins.DSC01347

4. Then add the cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and salt. Cook for another 2 mins.

5. Take off the heat and stir through the black beans, coriander and 1 cup of cooked rice.

6. Stuff the capsicums with the rice and beans. Then place in the oven and cook for 30 mins or until the skin of the capsicum goes very soft.

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Spiced Roasted Vegetables (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

8 chat potatoes

3 sweet potatoes

6-8 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper

sea salt to taste

olive oil

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.DSC01344

2. Peel the sweet potatoes, wash the potatoes and remove the skin from the garlic.

3. Place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, cumin, cayenne, and sea salt.

4. Place in a baking tray and cook for 40 mins or until golden brown.

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Southern Coleslaw (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

250g coleslaw mix

1/2 red onion

1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise

1 tablespoon agave

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon minced celery leaves or celery seeds

sea salt & black pepper to tasteDSC01353

Method:

1. Wash the coleslaw and place in a large bowl.

2. Slice the red onion and add to the bowl.

3. Take a small bowl and combine the mayonnaise, agave, apple cider vinegar, celery leaves, sea salt & pepper.

4. Stir through the coleslaw and serve.

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Canned Legumes

This morning while procrastinating about doing my assignments, I began thinking about BPA again. Last night to make the Black bean patties I used Global Organics Organic Black beans. I haven’t found anywhere that I can buy dry organic black beans and these ones are really convenient and soft. Black beans aren’t largely used in Australia. I’ve only seen them at a few Mexican healthy fast food places that have opened in last few years, like Guzman y Gomez, Mad Mex and Tuckeria. All of which have great vegan options and are way more traditional and fresh then old Montezuma’s. Last time I went there I got food poisoning, so I don’t recommend it.

Anyway I began looking online to see if Global Organics had BPA as well. According to Shop Naturally Healthy Households this brand does, but they mention a press release from Global Organics stating  “Test results from the can manufacturer show that the levels of BPA are well below the International Standards set…“Therefore in conclusion, human exposure to BPA from can coatings is minimal and poses no known risk to human health. Can coatings have been and continue to be recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.K. Food Standards Agency, the EC Scientific Committee on Food and other government bodies worldwide.”

So I guess its a better alternative if you can’t find Eden Organics, which is the only brand of can legumes I have found that is available in Australia without BPA. If your in the USA you have a lot more choices, check out this site for more info. For more information on BPA-free products you can get in Australia, check out Shop Naturally Healthy Households.

According to Oregon Enviromental Council a safer alternative to BPA cans are Tetra pak. They stated that ” Tetra Pak is made of 70 percent paperboard combined with thin layers of LDPE (low density polyethylene) and aluminum foil. xii Tetra Paks are used widely throughout Europe and have been utilized in the United States for juice, soups, liquid dairy products and even wine.”

I prefer to buy coconut milk in tetra paks. You can’t get them from the big supermarkets but you can buy them from Asian supermarkets. They tend to be alot creamer as well. Glass jars are also a good alternative, except that most have BPA in the jar lid. I haven’t been able to find any without BPA, but I’m guessing it would have less then from canned products.

Anyway bottom line is that we should be preparing food the old fashion way, from scratch. I’m going to try to make a commitment to do this more. Cans products are so tempting because its quicker and can be cheaper, but I rather invest my time and money in my health now while I’m still young and disease free.

For more info on why BPA is so bad, check out my other post. Also for info on what to buy organic or non-organic check out this site.

Black bean Veggie Burgers with Pineapple Relish and Lemon Olive Oil & Poppyseed Cake

Hawaiian Sloppy Joes (Chloe Coscarelli recipe) with homemade Tahini & Guacamole on whole grain bun

I’ve been really busy this weekend writing my last few essays before the end of the semester. So I haven’t had much time to cook anything special. I’ve don’t even remember what I’ve eaten the last few days. I’ve been a zombie on the computer. So tonight I wanted to make something special.

I decided to make a couple of recipes from Chloe Coscarelli’s book, Chloe’s Kitchen.Well  these recipes aren’t actually from her book, but on her website promoting her book.

I’ve got her book as well and its really great. I’ve cooked a few of her recipes and they are really recipes that you wouldn’t know its vegan. The Hawaiian Sloppy Joes are also on her website. The Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce are in the book. The filling is Garden Ricotta and its amazing. I never thought I would taste ricotta again. You can use it to substitute ricotta for other recipes. I have only used it for savoury, not sure how it would for sweet with the white miso paste in it.

Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce

Anyway tonight I was planing on making Chloe’s Mexicali Sliders. I was still able to make the Black bean Patties, but as for the Spicy Mango Sauce and the Guacamole, that was not able happen. There was a little communication problem with my boyfriend. He went food shopping before he came home and I told him I needed mangos and avocado, but apparently he heard everything I didn’t  need. So by the time I made the patties and I was about to prepare the rest I discovered I was missing a few things.

But it was ok, luckily I had a can of pineapple and used that instead of the mango. I was a bit worried putting pineapple with sun dried tomatoes, but it was really delicious. As for the Black bean patties, they were amazing. I think the best veggie patty I’ve ever had. Way better then anything I’ve paid for out, well except for the one at Green Edge. If you don’t like coriander, don’t worry you wont be able to taste it. Marco hates coriander and he didn’t know it was even in there. It was full of flavour and very easy to prepare. I had to use polenta and rice crumbs since I didn’t have cornmeal or breadcrumbs, which I think made it more moist, which means its gluten free I guess. These ingredients really help to bind the patties, so they don’t need egg. They tasted pretty good before they were cooked as well, so I think you could have them raw.

I also made Marco’s favourite sweet potato fries on the side. Since we found out he has an intolerance to potatoes  we have been trying  cutting back on them as well. They are just as delicious and easy to prepare.

For dessert I made another recipe from Chef Chloe, Lemon Olive Oil Cake. I’ve made it before, but this time I thought I would put poppyseed through it. It is actually a sugar-free recipe, well except for the icing sugar. You could just leave that out, since it only gets dusted at the end. If you are worried about the olive oil taste, don’t worry, you won’t taste that either. For me the maple syrup made it  sweet enough. Marco wanted to have his with nutella, but we are trying to cut back our sugar and salt. So hopefully if he skips a few more nights without chocolate he will start to appreciate natural sweetness again.