Potato and Green Lentil Curry

Tonight I have another curry for you. This is the first Indian curry that I have ever made that actually tasted Indian. I’m not sure why but whenever I try to cook something Indian, even if its from a cookbook, it never actually tastes that Indian. I have to admit though it did taste more authentic the next day, when we ate it again. I usually use pre-made spice pastes. But this time I blended onions, garlic, ginger, chilli and tomatoes into a liquid and then add it to some simmering ground spices. Perhaps that was the key or maybe it was a fluke.

What is your secret to making an authentic tasting Indian curry?

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Potato and Green Lentil Curry (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 onion, roughly chopped,

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2-3 small red chilli

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 small knob of ginger

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 teaspoons ground cumin

3 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups vegetable stock

2 medium dutch potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes

1/2 red green capsicum, sliced

1.5 cups green lentils, cooked

steamed brown basmati rice, to serve

Method:

1. First place the onion, garlic, chilli, tomato and ginger in a blender. Blend ingredients so that they are mostly liquefied.

2. In a large pan heat coconut oil  on medium heat until it has melted. Then add all the spices. Cook for a minute or two until it is fragrant.

3. Add the blended ingredients to the spices in the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Add the vegetable stock and potatoes. Bring to the boil, then leave on a simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Add the capsicum and lentils and cook for a future 10 mintues, or until the capsicum has softened.

6. Serve the curry with steamed brown basmati rice

*Serves 4

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Tempeh and Mixed Vegetable Massaman Curry

Tempeh again tonight! I still had some left over so I figured I may as well add it to my curry. Marco really didn’t want me to add tempeh,  after last weeks chunky tempeh potato massman curry. But this time I cut it smaller and sauteed it till golden brown, before adding it to the curry.  It had a much nicer texture this time and Marco didn’t even realise I used it.

Graduation tomorrow! I’m so excited. I couldn’t get the whole day off tomorrow, so I’ll be in a mad rush tomorrow to make it to the convention center. I remember when Marco graduated a few years ago. It was so inspiring. My family haven’t see a graduation before, so I think they will see why its so important to me.

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Tempeh and Mixed Vegetable Massaman Curry (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2-3 tablespoons massaman curry paste

4 small potatoes, cut in quarters

1 sweet potato, chopped into cubes

1 carrot, chopped into cubes

1 can coconut cream

3 cups vegan beef stock (I used Massel)

1 small red capsicum, chopped

200g tempeh, cut into small pieces

4-6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon raw sugar

2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced thinly

2 handfuls of snow peas, topped and tailed

1-2 tablespoons lime juice

Method:

1. Heat oil in a large pot or wok. Add 2 tablespoons massman curry paste. Saute for 3 minutes.

2. Add potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and half a can of coconut cream. Cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add beef stock and capsicum. Bring to the boil and cook till for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.???????????????????????????????

4. In the meantime heat a pan with oil then add tempeh and 1 tsp of massman paste. Saute till lightly browned.

5. Add sliced shiitake mushroom and cook saute for another minute, then add to the curry pot.

6. Add to the pot peanut butter, sugar, kaffir lime leaves. Cook for another 5-10 minutes.

7. Add snow peas, lime juice and the rest of the coconut cream. Heat for a few minutes then serve with steamed rice and/or roti.

*Serves 6

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

canola oil???????????????????????????????

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

 

Weekend of International cuisines: Part 2

So for tonight dinner I wanted to try out something I haven’t made before. I decided to make some Indian inspired dishes. These included Pumpkin and Lentil Coconut Curry, Yellow Split Pea  and Brown Rice, Coriander Mixed Mushrooms and  Savory Pineapple Spelt Muffins. It all turned out well, but for me it didn’t taste like the food from my local Indian.  Most importantly though my family loved it  and all had seconds. I have never cooked with fresh curry leaves before. The aroma was so delicious. It did give a more authentic fresh taste as well.

For the main dish, the Pumpkin and Lentil Coconut Curry, this was adapted from Jamie Oliver: Pumpkin, chickpea and coconut curry MFM recipe. I didn’t change that much, I just improvised for the ingredients I didn’t have and made a bigger portion. For the Yellow Split Pea and Brown Rice I used similar spices to the curry and seasoned it with lemon. The Coriander Mixed Mushrooms was a spare of the moment dish of ingredients that needed to be used. The Savory Pineapple Spelt Muffins were adapted from Savoury Chutney Muffins from The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions. I tried to make my own chutney and altered a couple of the ingredients.

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Pumpkin and Lentil Coconut Curry (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

5 cups kent pumpkin (cut into cubs)

1 teaspoon minced ginger

60g frozen minced coriander leaves

sunflower oil

4 garlic cloves, diced

2 small fresh red chilies, diced

4 shallots, diced

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

20 fresh curry leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 tin diced tomatoes

400ml  coconut cream

1/2 cup water

1 tin brown lentils (400g)

Method:

1. Heat oil in a large pot on medium  heat. Then add ginger, garlic, red chili and shallots. Saute for 3 mins or until slightly browned.???????????????????????????????

2. Then add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and coriander. Cook until curry leaves go a bit crispy.

3. Then add turmeric, canned tomatoes, coconut cream and water. Bring to the boil.

4. Then add pumpkin and place on a simmer. Cook for 30 mins or until the pumpkin is soft enough to put a fork through. Add more water if dries out.

5. Add the lentils and cook for a further 10- 15 min, then serve.

*Serves 6

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Yellow Split Pea  and Brown Rice (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion flakes

12 whole curry leaves

4 whole dried red chilies

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 cups yellow split peas

4 cups filtered water

2 cups cooked brown rice

juice of 1 lemon

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Take large pot and heat oil on medium heat. Then add mustard seeds, cumin, garlic powder, onion flakes. Cook for 3 mins or until fragrant.

2. Add curry leaves, red chili, turmeric and yellow split peas. Coat split peas in spices and cook for  2 mins. ???????????????????????????????

3. Add water, bring to the boil, then place on a simmer. Cook for 20 mins or until split peas are cooked.

4. Add cooked brown rice, juice of 1 lemon and sea salt, then serve.

* Serves 8

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Coriander Mixed Mushrooms (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoons onion flakes

1 teaspoons garlic powder

1-2 cups mixed mushrooms sliced  (I used white & oyster mushrooms)

2 tablespoons frozen minced coriander leaves

Method:

1. Take a pan and heat oil on medium heat. Then add cumin, onion flakes and garlic powder. Cook for 2 mins or until fragrant.

2. Add mushrooms and coriander and saute for 5 mins or until cooked.

* Serves 4

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Savory Pineapple Spelt Muffins (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pineapple salsa

1/4 cup tahini

1 tabelespoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoons ground cayenne

1 teaspoons ground cumin

1 cup unsweetened soy milk

1 cup spelt flour

3/4 cup plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

Ingredients for 1 cup pineapple salsa:

400g pineapple (fresh or can)

10 sun dried tomates

2 garlic cloves

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease trays for 12 muffins

2. Take a mixing bowl and add pineapple salsa, tahini, sesame oil, coriander, cayenne and cumin. Stir all wet ingredients together.

3. Then sift spelt flour, plain flour and baking powder onto the wet ingredient, then add salt. Stir dry ingredients through wet ingredients. Add more soy milk if too dry.

4. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tray and bake for 20 mins.

* Makes 12 muffins.

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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

Indian inspired feast

I am overwhelmed by all the positive comments I have received today. I never thought people would read my blog, let alone  nominated me for so many awards. I initially started this blog to help me change to a vegan lifestyle diet. So far I have been doing really well, which has a lot to do with the inspiration from other bloggers and their nice comments about my food. I am use to my friends and family thinking my dairy free food was strange enough, let alone removing the animal products entirely. But I think my cooking has improve a lot for both myself and others, who now think that this vegan food doesn’t look that bad. All I know is I feel great and eating a healthy diet is becoming more effortless.

I admit I do struggle with entirely eliminating fish, eggs and honey out of my diet. But these are not an every day thing or a complete substitute to meat. Its still a process for me and I have cut back a lot. I don’t really eat eggs anymore, since my chickens have been re-homed. Only the occasional crepe that Marco begs me to make. I was struggling with the decision to re-home them, but my mother was relentless about me getting rid of them. I only agreed to it when I found out Marco’s boss and his wife were paying extra council rates to keep their baby roosters, because their kids had grown too attached to them and wanted some lady hens to keep them company. Apparently they are really happy and now my dogs regained the grass in my yard, so they are happy too. I am especially happy now they they have stopped using my veggie patch as a toilet. Sushi is my biggest weakness still. Usually I can find vegan substitute, but sometimes they don’t have them or they just don’t look that good. I am only human, so I am not going to be too hard on myself. For the most part I want to avoid the bpa in canned fish and mercury in fresh seafood. So since I am not substituting it on a daily basis, for now its an occasional food.

Dark Sweet Eggplant, Spring Onion & Broccoli Noodle Stir-fry

Lunches and dinners are very easy now I have accepted that I don’t need some kind of major protein in every meal. Lots of vegetables have protein that I never realized. On the menu today was Dark Sweet Eggplant, Spring onion & Broccoli Noodle Stir-fry for lunch and for dinner was a Vegetable Korma Curry, Red Dhal curry, Rice and Coconut Poori. I also made a banana curry, but it wasn’t a success. I tried to make this recipe a few years back and miss read it, thinking I needed green bananas. They were so taut that I ended up trying to fry them to make them edible. I didn’t make the same mistake tonight, but I think I may have burnt the spices, plus the soy yoguart and lemon juice did not help the flavor. No one was a fan of this curry. So I think its time to give up on banana curry and leave it up to the experts.

The recipes of Red dhal dish and Coconut Poori are from from the book INDIAN FOOD – INTERNATIONAL SERIES. I have had this book for years. It has great recipes for Indian breads and spice pastes and snacks. The Red Dhal dish is an appetizers  but I think it can be enjoyed for a main meal. It is very easy to make and takes very little effort. The recipe doesn’t ask for salt, but for me I used plenty of it to bring out the taste of the dhal and I also used coconut oil instead of ghee. It is gluten free and is a very hearty dish. The Coconut Poori were really different, but really delicious. I made the first couple too big and flat, so they didn’t puff up. So for the rest I made them thicker and smaller and they came out perfect. They are really good with a curry or can be enjoyed after dinner with some chocolate spread. These are not gluten free, but the recipe calls for wholemeal flour or Indian atta flour. It also calls for plain flour, but I forgot about it and it was fine without it. The Vegetable Korma was just whatever vegetables I could find to add. I didn’t make the spice paste, since I had some left over in a jar. I was going to add soy yogurt, but decided to change it to coconut cream in the end, since it was tangy enough.

Red Dhal (gf, sf, nf)

Ingredients

200 g red dhal/lentils (washed)

4 cups water

1 tsp ground turmeric 

1 crushed garlic clove

30 g vegan butter/coconut oil

1 large onion (chopped)

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Take a medium size pot and add the lentils, water, turmeric and garlic. Bring to the boil then place on a simmer for 30 mins (or until dhal is soft)

2. Just before dhal is finished, take a pan and melt coconut oil. Then add onion and the remaining spices. Cook for 5 mins, or until onions are soft.

3. Add onions to dhal, stir through and serve.

*Serves 6

Vegetable Korma (gf)

Ingredients:

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

4 potatoes (chopped)

1 red capsicum (chopped)

1/2-1 eggplant (chopped)

2 tbsp korma spice paste (or more)

300 ml chicken stock

250 ml coconut cream (1 tetra pak)

Method:

1. Take a large pot and melt coconut oil. Then add onions, garlic and korma spice paste. Cook for 3 mins, add water if becomes dry.

2. Then add rest of the vegetables and coat in the spice paste.

3. Add chicken stock and cook for 30mins or until potato is soft.

4. Lastly before serving, add coconut cream and heat through, then serve.

*Serves 4

Coconut Poori (sf, nf)

Ingredients:

200 g wholemeal flour/Indian atta flour

100 g plain flour (optional)

1/2 tsp sea salt,

100 g desiccated coconut

1 tsp chili powder (I used cayenne pepper)

1/2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp ghee/coconut oil/vegan butter

150 ml water

oil for frying (sunflower oil)

Method:

1. Take a mixing bowl and combine wholemeal flour, salt, coconut, cayenne, and sugar. 

2. Then add melted coconut oil and stir so that it becomes like bread crumbs.

3. Then add water so it becomes like a dough and set aside for 10 mins.

4. Divide into 14 balls and flatten into a small disk shape.

5. Heat wok with oil then place the disks into the oil and hold under the oil. They are ready when they puff up and are golden brown.

*Serves 14

Vegan Sausage Korma Curry

The other day bought the Australian Eatwell Vegie Sausages (tomato, onion, basil) to try something new. They are 70% vegetable, so not completely made of soy protein. I figured I’ve been eating enough soy products as it is. They are available from the two major supermarkets. I cooked a couple last night in the pan, like the instructions suggest. They didn’t taste that sausage like, so I thought do something different with them.

I was looking online this afternoon to get some inspiration and I came across Curried Sausages recipe. I adapted the recipe a fair bit, so their would be more vegetables and it would be more creamier. I usually don’t use store bought spice paste, but I wasn’t sure how to make Korma paste. So I bought Pataks Korma Paste, which is apparently vegan, as the lactic acid in Pataks products is non animal derived. The curry was quite tangy, but with the coconut cream it was much nicer. The paste was not spicy at all, so I had to add cayenne pepper. It was good, but next time I would use a different sausage. Marco was happy with it, which is good since he will be having it again tomorrow for lunch. I would of liked to add coriander to the curry, but Marco and his mum don’t like it. I just added it to my rice and it was also nice.

Vegan Sausage Korma Curry (vegan, gluten free)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 onion, diced

1 small capsicum, diced

4 tablespoons korma curry paste

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teapsoons arrowroot flour

1 apple, grated

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 potatoes, diced

1 packet of vegan sausages (containing 6-8)

1.5 cups vegan chicken stock

250ml coconut cream (1 tetra pak)

100g baby spinach, chopped

1.5 cups steamed basmati rice

coriander leaves to serve

Method:

1. Cook rice according to packet. Best to use rice cooker and leave on warm setting till it is needed.

2. Heat coconut oil in a large pot, then add onion and cook for 4 mins on medium heat.

3. Add capsicum and cook for 1 min.

4. Add korma paste, cayenne pepper, arrowroot flour,  apple, tomatoes and potatoes. Stir and cook for 1 min.

5. Add liquid stock and sausages. Bring to boil, then let it simmer for 30 mins or until potatoes are soft.

6. Add spinach and coconut cream and cook for 1 min.

7. Serve with steamed rice with coriander leaves. 

Pumpkin and Cannellini bean Curry with Buckwheat

Tonight I was left to my own devices, without any Marco to push me into making something in particular. When he is not here I usually take advantage of not having to worry about what he will eat and just making it up as I go. So this is what I ended up with and lucky for him I left some for him to take to work tomorrow.

I haven’t been eating as many gluten free grains since I’ve come back from Europe and I’ve started eating wheat again. But I need to make sure I have variety, so I don’t get a imagesgluten intolerance again. If you find that you feel sick after you eating, you might have an intolerance to gluten, milk, eggs or something else. This can happen when we get a parasite from travelling or just bad diet in general. It can upset the stomach and create many  food intolerance. I found this out after doing a food intolerance blood test and reading a lot about leaky gut syndrome. If you think might have an intolerance to something in particular like gluten, try taking it out of you diet for three months. Then reintroduce in small amounts and you might find that you have cured yourself. I did a detox, but I really needed to since my leaky gut was really bad. It is possible to take out gluten out of you diet, especially if eating at home. I found it difficult getting gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian food from restaurants and takeaway, but slowly things are changing here in Brisbane. Ethnic cuisines can usually accommodate, like Indian and Asian.

If you haven’t tried buckwheat, you should. It can be used like rice or it can be toasted  for cereals and muesli bars or it can be used in soups and stews. It is often used by the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Eastern Europeans. Dr Perricone names it one of the top superfoods. Its got more protein then wheat, rice, millet and corn and is high in high in the essential amino acids lysine and arginine. It is also gluten free and good for your cardiovascular system, better blood sugar control, lowers risk of diabetes, and helps prevent gallstones and heart disease.

Pumpkin and Cannellini bean Curry with Buckwheat (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 cup raw buckwheat

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1/2 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 small piece of pumpkin

1 small piece of capsicum

250ml liquid vegan chicken stock

200g cannellini beans, cooked

165ml coconut milk

salt & pepper to taste

Method:

1. Cook buckwheat according to pack directions and put to the side when finished.

2. Heat coconut oil in pan on medium heat, add onion, garlic, cumin, curry powder and turmeric and cook for 3-4 mins or till browned and fragrant.

3. Add capscium and pumpkin and stir spices through. Then add liquid stock and cook for 15 mins or till pumpkin is soft.

4. Lightly mash the pumpkin then add coconut milk, cannellini beans and season. Cook for another 15 mins.

5. Add the buckwheat and cook till it is heated though.

6. Adjust seasoning and serve 2.