Skillet Italian Sausages (vegan) with Potatoes and Peppers

I’ve been on my vegan journey for nearly 2 years now, but I still occasionally get a meat cravings. It’s usually triggered by one of Marco’s BBQ’s, when I see my friends and family enjoying his gourmet sausages from the local organic butcher. I try to stay away from mock meat, since they usually contain soy protein and isolates. However, when I was browsing my local vegan supermarket I noticed these Tofurkey sausages that are made of Organic Tofu, so thought I would give them a chance. They were actually pretty good. They had the texture of a real sausage, which was surprising. Although they didn’t really have that meaty taste, they were still a good substitute. On the plus side it didn’t leave that strong meaty after taste and Marco didn’t mind them.

Have you tried Tofurky Sausages? What other brands vegan sausage brands do you recommend?

DSC02527Skillet Italian Sausages with Potatoes and Peppers (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoon olive oilDSC02517

3 potatoes, wash and cubed (preferably yellow potatoes)

1/2 medium onion, sliced

1 medium red capsicum, sliced

1 cup vegetable liquid stock

1/2 teaspoon sea salt and more to season

black pepper to taste

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, diced

Tofurky Italian Sausage (4 in pack), sliced into rounds

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Heat a large skillet with olive oil and then add potatoes, onion, and capsicum. Saute for 10 minutes. When the  vegetables start to stick to the pan add 1/2 cup vegetable stock.

3. Add the garlic, rosemary and Tofurky Italian Sausages to the skillet and stir through. Saute for another couple of minutes, allowing the sausages to brown a little.

4. Add 1/2 cup vegetable stock to the skillet then place in the oven. Cook for 25-30, or until the potatoes are cooked through.

*Serves 4

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Bucatini all’amatriciana and Verdure grigliate

The past couple of days Marco and I have been going into work really early. When I say early I meet leaving the house at 6 am. It wouldn’t be so bad if I went to bed a little early and didn’t get woken up by students showering at 3 am and getting up to turn off the fridge beeping twice around 4 am every night. Strangely enough once I get up I actually feel pretty good. Yesterday we decided to have an early breakfast at a local cafe near my work. While we were waiting for our meals I lrg_2400was flicking through an old addition of Jamie Olives Magazine from April/May 2010. Marco was looking over my shoulder and when I went past Jamie’s Bucatini all’amatriciana he snatched the magazine and said I am making this tonight!

Considering he only knows how to cook eggs and toast I was surprised about his enthusiasm. Then I realized that it was because he wanted this dish because it had meat. He knows there no chance I was going to make something with Pancetta. Besides the fact that I don’t eat meat anymore, I also remember the sweet delicious flavor of Italian pancetta and proscuitto and quite frankly its still too temping for me to prepare for someone else.

Later that afternoon we went to the supermarket on Marco’s mission to buy Pancetta. We went to two big supermarkets and once we finally found it I managed to talk him out of it. From a health persective I don’t understand why ingredients like gluten, soy, lactose, sodium nitrate, glucose, preservatives, etc, need to be included. Italian hams do not include any of this. So after scrutinizing the ingredients he agreed to go with my promise of making a vegan alternative.img30l

Bucatini all’amatricana is famous traditional dish from the region of Lazio in Italy. L’amatriciana (matriciana in Roman dialect) gets it’s name from the Italian town Amatrice, Lazio. The dish is made from the ingredients typical of Lazio, cured pork jaws (Guanciale di maiale), pecorino cheese, and tomatoes.

L’amatriciana is actually derived from another older dish, La gricia. This is also one of the most famous Italian dishes from the same region. This dish is considered its ancestor, as it predates the importation of tomatoes to Europe. La gricia is also made with cured pork jaws and pecorino cheese. It is  believed that it was named after the Grici, who use sell bread and groceries to the Romans. The were perhaps called Grici because they had emigrated from the Swiss canton of Grisons. Alternatively it is thought that the dish was named after the hamlet of Grisciano, which is in a comune of Accumoli, near Amatrice.Apicius_1709

Tomatoes were not introduced to Europe until the 18th century. In fact the first written record of tomatoes being used as a sauce with pasta was from the 1790 cookbook L’Apicio Moderno by Roman chef Francesco Leonardi. The L’amatriciana later became one of the most famous sauces during the 19th to early 20th century in Rome. This was perhaps because of its close proximity  between Rome and Amatrice. Thus, it became a classic dish of Roman Cuisine. Although La gricia is still prepared throughout central Italy, the L’amatriciana is more well known throughout and outside of Italy.

The recipe of the sauce does vary throughout Lazio. The main ingredients are pork jaws, tomato and pecorino and olive oil. are always used, Olive oil is generally used, but some recipes call for strutto (canned pork lard) instead. The cheese type of pecorino cheese used is Pecorino romano or Pecorino amatriciano. Other ingredients such as black pepper or chili pepper, onion (not used in Amatrice)  and garlic are also acceptable.bucatini

This dish is typically prepared with Bucatini pasta. This is a thick long pasta with a hole through the center. The name is derived from the Italian word ‘buco’ meaning ‘hole’. This type of pasta is very common throughout Rome and Lazio. It is made of hard durum wheat flour and water. It usually takes about nine mintues to cook and is often served with buttery sauces, pork jaws (guanciale), pancetta, vegetables, cheese, eggs, anchovies or sardines. This dish is also typically prepared with Rigatoni or other dry pastas, but never fresh pasta.

I remember that we did eat this pasta somewhere when we were in Italy, so I was going back through my photos and found these (below). This is in a restaurant in Trastevere, Rome. We ordered Bucatini all’amatriciana, Patate arroste and Polla alla Romana. The pasta was definitely the best part.

Rome

So how to make this vegan? I used tempeh as a meat substitute. This is my favorite thing to substitute bacon, meatballs and sausages. To give it the smokey taste I used liquid smoke. After marinating the tempeh and frying it it really did have that smoked meat flavour. Then with the wine and tomatoes and really helped it come together as a delicious sauce. Marco loved this dish and said he was happy to have this instead. He was a bit worried while I was cooking it but once he tried my sauce he was very pleased.

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Bucatini all’amatriciana (vegan, gluten free option, nut free)

Ingredients:

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

150g Tempeh pancetta (ingredients below)

1 red chili, diced

6-7 small tomatoes, diced

1 can good quality Polpa (Italian diced tomato pulp)

sea salt and black pepper to taste

4 serves of Bucatini/gf long pasta (400 g)

Ingredients for Tempeh Pancetta (150 g):

2 tsp liquid smoke

1 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp agave

sea salt to taste

Method:

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1. First make the Tempeh Pancetta. Slice the tempeh into thin strips, then slice it the other way so they you have small strips. Place the tempeh in a bowl and drizzle liquid smoke, soy sauce, agave and sea salt. Toss through so that it coats all the tempeh. Leave to marinate at least 10 minutes.

2. Bring a small pot to the boil, then drop in the whole tomatoes. Boil for 1 minute or until the skin slighly brakes. Then remove them from the water and plunge into ice water. Peep the tomatoes, remove the seeds then dice the flesh.

3. Heat a large pan or pot with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat, then add onion and garlic. Fry for 3 minutes or until translucent.???????????????????????????????

4. Then add Tempeh Pancetta and fry for another 5 minutes.???????????????????????????????

5. Add white wine and cook until it evaporates. Should take about 5 minutes.

6. Add the diced tomatoes, chili and can of polpa. Fill the half the can with water and add that to the pan as well.

7. Season generously with sea salt and bring to a light boil, then place on a simmer and leave to cook for 30 minutes.

8. Before the sauce is ready cook the pasta in boiling salty water, until al dente. Then move the pasta from the water straight into the hot sauce. Toss through and serve with cracked black pepper.

*Serves 4

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On the side I made grilled vegetables. This is also something we ate a lot in Italy as contorni (side dish). Although I was still eating meat back then, I still craved vegetables. So simple to prepare and really delicious!

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Verdure grigliate (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

olive oil

sea salt to taste

1 eggplant

2 bunches asparagus

2 zucchini (any other vegetables you like)

Method:???????????????????????????????

1. First slice the eggplant into thin strips and then halve again if you like. Add salt onto the eggplant and leave for at least 10 minutes to remove the bitterness. After wipe off the moisture and the salt from the eggplant.

2. In the meantime prepare the rest of the vegetables. Chop the zucchini in half, then slice into thin strips. Remove the woody end of the asparagus then chop in half and slice in half again, so they are thin and long.

3. Brush the griddle pan with olive oil and heat. Brush the vegetables with olive oil, then add in batches to the griddle pan. All the vegetables have difference cooking time, between 2-5 minutes. I cooked the eggplant first and brushed with extra oil while they cooked if there were dry parts. Then I cooked the zucchini and asparagus in batches.Season with sea salt while cooking or after the vegetables are cooked to serve

*Serves 4

Amatriciana, 2013 <http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amatriciana>

Bucatini, 2013 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucatini>

Jamie Magazion 2010 April/May 2010, Amatriciana Pasta Sauce, 2010 <http://www.icanhascook.com/amatriciana-pasta-sauce/>

National Bacon Week – Bucatini Amatriciana, 2013 <http://www.loverofcreatingflavours.co.uk/category/features/food/vegetables-food/grow-your-own/herbs-grow-your-own/parsley/>

Sugo all’amatriciana, 2013 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugo_all’amatriciana>

Tempeh Pine nut ‘Meatballs’, Green beans and Potatoes

The weather has really cooled down at night here in Brisbane, so tonight we needed something warm and hearty. I tried to recreate an Italian meatball dish using tempeh. I have once tried using a mixture of  tempeh, lentils and walnuts to make Chef Chloe’s Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs. I was so impressed with the texture, that I thought it could be recreated in other ways. This is a much healthier alternative  if you don’t like using store bought mock meats and it is just as satisfying.

These ‘meatballs’ are very soft and delicate. I didn’t want to add flour or too much corn crumbs to them, in case it ruined the flavor  So be careful when flip them. I paired them with this rich red wine tomato sauce, instead of the usually napoletana sauce. I found my tinned tomatoes were a bit bitter and acidic, even though I added salt and sugar to balance them. So I added a bit of worcestershire sauce, which worked very well. It also worked well in the meatballs, to get a meat like flavor.

I also made Green beans with Tomatoes and Cashew Parmesan and Roasted Rosemary Potatoes. I actually adapted the recipe for the Green beans from the Leggo’s recipe book, Cook Italian. I’m not sure where I got this book, it just turned up one day in my recipe book collection. This recipe makes green beans a bit more exciting. I really loved the combination of tomatoes, lemon, pine nuts and cashew parmesan. Since I didn’t have pesto on hand, I just made a small amount with my mortar and pesto. It also gave a rich flavor to the sauce.

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Tempeh Pine nut ‘Meatballs’ with Red Wine Tomato Sauce (vegan, gluten free)

Ingredients:

225g tempeh

2 tins diced tomatoes

1/2 cup red wine

1 cup water

sea salt & pepper to taste

raw sugar to taste

1 onion, diced

2/3 cup pine nuts, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 cup walnuts

1 tin brown lentils

1.5 cups fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano)

3 tablespoons vegan worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

zest from 1 lemon

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1/3 cup corn crumbs (or other gluten free bread crumbs)

olive oil

Method:

1. Cut the tempeh in cubes then steam for 20 mins to get out the bitterness.???????????????????????????????

2. In the meantime make the sauce. Place diced tomatoes, red wine and water in a pot and bring to the boil. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.  Place on a simmer, until the rest is ready. If the sauce is too bitter or too acidic and you can’t balance with salt and sugar, then add 1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce.

3. Take a pan and heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add onion and pine nuts and cook for 4-5 mins or until onion is soft and pinenuts are golden brown. Remove from the pan and set to the side to cook.

4. In the same pan add more olive oil and saute diced garlic for 2 mins.

5. In the processor add tempeh, lentils, walnuts, garlic and fresh herbs. Process until combined well.???????????????????????????????

6. Place mixture into a large bowl then add onions and pine nuts, worcestershire sauce, fennel seeds, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, corn crumbs and sea salt to taste.

7. Form the mixture into large balls in your hands, then cook them in olive oil in a large pan in batches. You should be able to make 12 ‘meatballs’.

8. Serve ‘meatballs’ with sauce.

*Makes 12 large meatballs, Serves 4-6

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Green beans with Tomatoes and Cashew Parmesan (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic clove, sliced

1 large tomato, diced

3 tablespoons tomato sauce (from recipe above) or 1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon pesto (or grind 1 teaspoon pine nuts, 1 tablespoon basil and 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil)

500g green beans

1/4 cup vegetable liquid stock

1 tablespoon lemon juice

pine nuts and vegan parmesan to serve (Cashew Parmesan)

Method:

1. Wash, top and tail the green beans.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pan, then saute garlic for 1 minute.

3. Add diced tomato, tomato sauce/paste and pesto. Cook for 5 mins or until tomatoes are soft.

4. Add green beans, liquid stock and lemon juice. Cook for a further 4 mins or until green beans are tender.

5. Serve green beans with pine nuts and vegan parmesan.

*Serves 4

DSC04650

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 kg kifler potatoes

1/3 cup olive oil

3 springs of rosemary

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

2. Peel potates and cut them into cubes.

3. Place potatoes in a baking tray, add olive oil and sea salt. Then top with whole rosemary sprigs.

4. Roast for 30-40 mins. To make more crispy turn oven up to 200 degrees and cook for a further 5-10 mins.

5. Before serving remove rosemary leaves from stems and reseason with sea salt.

*Serves 4

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Cowgirl Veggie Steaks with Chimichurri, Sesame Agave Carrot, Cauliflower Garlic Mash and Sweet Green Onions

Tonight we tried out a new vegan product we haven’t had before, Viana Cowgirl Veggie Steaks. This product is imported from Germany and is a high quality vegan product. The ingredients are all certified organic, GMO-free, high in protein, and  they are really easy to prepare. This is the only vegan steak currently available in Australia.???????????????????????????????

So first impressions, the ‘steaks’ look very much like a cooked meat steak. When I first took took them out of the pack I thought they were a bit small, however they are also quite thick as well. There was not really must instruction on the box. It just had a picture of a pan with ‘5 mins’. So I just cooked it in a non stick pan with a drop of oil for about 4 mins on each side. I served it topped with Chimichurri and some vegetable sides. Once it was cooked it looked very much like a nice steak.

The taste wasn’t too bad either, definitely doesn’t taste like a real steak, but the texture is very convincing. It wasn’t dry or??????????????????????????????? chewy like meat is when its cooked as much as the texture felt like when you ate it, so it was easy to eat. It was also really filling. Its been two hours and I can still feel it in my tummy.

I think this is probably the best vegan mock meat product in terms of quality and nutrition. It tasted pretty good too, but next time I will use a heavy sauce. It doesn’t taste that beefy, so its also good for those people who don’t like the flavor of meat. I would eat it again, well I will be eating it again, since I have another packet in my fridge. I recommend for people who are transitioning or like to still enjoy meat like dishes. Marco really liked it, even though he loves real steak, so you can also share it with your carnivore friends.

This is the first time I have made Chimichurri. It is actually an Argentinian sauce, however it is also used in Uruguay. It is used for grilled meats as a topping or as a marinate. It is traditionally made with  finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red wine vinegar. However, there are many variants using  coriander, paprika, cumin, thyme, lemon, bay leaf, tomato and red bell pepper. It was quite nice and fragrant sauce. It definitely needs to be used as a condiment. By itself its not that nice.

This is the second time I have made Cauliflower mash. The first time I made a macrobiotic recipe with millet. I told Marco it was mash potatoes. He hated it and made me promise to never make it again. He was very skeptical when I told him I was making cauliflower mash again, but he ended up loving it. It was very silky and delicious and all it needed was a bit of salt to bring it alive. It went really well with the Sweet Green Onions to give a sweet and savory taste. Even if you don’t like cauliflower, you still like this!

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Cowgirl Veggie Steaks with Chimichurri (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 Viana Cowgirl Veggie Steaks (or other vegan steak)

olive oil to cook

2 tablespoons minced parsley

1 tablespoon minced oregano

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon white or red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or red chilli flakes

sea salt or black pepper to taste???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients, except for cowgirl steaks, in a small bowl to make the Chimichurri. Then set to the side. If making the ahead of the time leave in the fridge to chill.

2. Cook Cowgirl Steaks in a pan with a drop of olive oil on medium-high heat. Cook for 5 mins on each side.

*Serve steaks with Chimichurri spoon on top.

*Serves 2

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Sesame Agave Carrots (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

3-4 carrots

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

agave to taste

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Cut the carrots into battons. Then steam until tender.???????????????????????????????

2. Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan till lightly browned.

3. Add carrots to the pan, drizzle agave and season with sea salt.

*Serves 4

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Cauliflower Garlic Mash (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 large cauliflower

6 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons vegan butter

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

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

Method:

1. Roughly chopp cauliflower into small pieces. Then steam with whole garlic cloves  until soft.

2. Place steamed garlic and cauliflower in the processor.

3. While processor is on add vegan butter, almond milk and sea salt.

*Serve on its own or with Sweet Green Onions.

*Serves 6

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Sweet Green Onions (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 bunch of green onions (shallots)

olive oil

1/2 tablespoon brown rice syrup

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

Method:

1. Roughly chop the green onions.

2. Cook green onions in a pan with olive oil and brown rice syrup for 10 mins. Season with sea salt.

*Serves 3-4

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In search of good Indian food and experimenting with Tofurky Smoky Maple ‘Bacon’

Hi all! I haven’t blogged in a few days. I have been busy with work and uni. Since making Indian food a few day back I have been craving more, so I have been out to eat to Indian a couple more times. I checked out Top in Town Pure Vegetarian at Mt Gravatt, but to be honest I wasn’t terribly impressed. It wasn’t that the food was bad, but it wasn’t great either. The service wasn’t very good and the food was just from a hot box and the samosa we ordered was microwaved. I guess it was very cheap, but not good enough to recommend.

We were still craving good Indian food, so last night we took Marco’s niece and nephew to A Night in India at Carindale. These kids have never tried Indian food before and ???????????????????????????????are usually a quite a bit picky with stuff they haven’t tried, like most kids. Recently we have taken them a couple of times to a Chinese restaurants and they love fried rice and bubble teas. The little boy loved it so much that China is now his favorite country. So we thought we would see how they would go with Indian food. First the papadums came out and I told them it tastes like a big potato chip. So they hesitantly tried them and before long they were all gone. Then the curries came out with the rice and the naan bread. They were a bit hesitant to try the curries as well, since they haven’t seen anything like that before. But they agreed to try a tiny bit. I was surprised how much they loved the curry. They ate what was on their plates and then went for more. They also loved the rice and naan. The rice they would eat with the curry, but dipping naan into the curry was a bit too strange for them. I was really proud of how grown up they were and happy that we have some new food buddies for when we need our Indian hit.

Last night I decided to try something I haven’t had before. Alu Dhall Palak is now my favorite curry. Its got dhall, potatoes and spinach in a fragrant spiced sauce. It was rich and saucy and was loved by the whole table.

Alu Dhall Palak

Alu Dhall Palak

Something else I wanted to share with you guys was my review of Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Marinated Tempeh, that I bought last 00150-A Coconut Curryweek end from the Green Edge. I have never been a huge bacon eater, as I remember my mum telling me when I was little that bacon and butter is bad for your heart and the fat with suffocate it. She was saying that for my brothers benefit, who from a little boy would want to have a man size Sunday breakfast. But I was the only one that those kind of comments usually actually effected. So going without bacon (as great as it smells) hasn’t been too hard for me. The only vegan bacon I have tried previously is  Redwood’s DSC00408Cheatin’ Rashers, which I posted about a while ago (Fakin Bacon). That one didn’t have that strong taste or smell of bacon, but had a kind of rubbery texture liked overcooked bacon.

So what do I think about Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Marinated Tempeh? I loved it. The texture is not bacon like at all, it is tempeh after all. But the flavor of it is amazing. It’s not as sweet as I thought it would be, rather it has a delicious smokey savory flavor. Although it doesn’t taste like bacon, the after taste does, which was a bit strange, but good. It feels like I just ate bacon, except without the guilt.

So far I have made tried it grilled in a skillet with olive oil and topped on a salad of mixed salad, tomato, red onion, cucumber, vegan mayo, vegan cashew parmesan and mango. This salad was so delicious on its own, but the ‘bacon’ took it to a whole new level and the protein from the tempeh kept me full for hours.

Mixed Salad, with Mango and Maple Smoky 'Bacon'

Mixed Salad, with Mango and Maple Smoky ‘Bacon’

For brunch today I made Banana Wholemeal Pancakes, topped with pan fried ‘bacon’, agave and strawberries. I have never had bacon with pancakes before. In fact I think its kind of weird, but I thought why not be different for once. It was deee-lusicous! I can see why this savory and sweet combination is so popular, except mine was guilt free.

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Banana Pancakes with Smokey Maple ‘Bacon’  (soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 overly ripe bananas

1.5 cups wholemeal, spelt or unbleached white flour

2 cups plant milk (coconut, rice or oat;  almond or soy if you can tolerate)

3 tablespoons brown rice syrup (or other natural sweetener)

canola spray oil

Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Marinated Tempeh (or home-made)

agave or maple syrup

fresh fruit to serve (optional)

Method:

1. Peel the bananas, then place the flesh into a bowl and mash the banana with a fork. Continue to mash till most of the lumps are gone. If can want you can blend them to make them less lumpy.

2. Place the mashed banana in a mixing bowl then sift in the flour. Stir it through well. Then add the soy milk and brown rice syrup. Whisk until it is a consistent batter.

3. Heat a non-stick pan and add spray oil. Then ladle the batter into the pan and cook on both sides for 2-3 mins or until golden brown and cooked all the way through.

4. Heat the Smoky Maple Bacon in a not stick pan with spray oil. Cook on both sides for 1-2 mins.

5. To serve place pancakes on a plate, then add the Smoky Maple Bacon, top with agave and fresh fruit (optional).

* Makes 8-10 pancakes

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Millet and Pumpkin, Fried Tofu ‘Chicken’ with a White Wine Mushroom Sauce and Garlic Brussel Sprouts

I usually eat quite late since I got back from Europe. It’s been over 6 months, but I just prefer to eat later now. I know people say the later the more weight you put on, but I walk the dogs after dinner usually. I try to only eat when I am hungry and listen to my body. Strangely this afternoon I got really, really hungry. I didn’t know whether I should cook for myself, since I was alone. So I thought I would make Millet and Pumpkin and then the rest kind of evolved to a  full on dinner. Luckily Marco finished early again and got to have a hot dinner.

The Millet and Pumpkin is adapted from Miglio con zucca al rosmarino by Due Bionde in Cucina. I added white wine, onion, more rosemary and cooked it a bit differently. It was really delicious and healthy. The White Wine Mushroom Sauce is a healthier version of my favorite Creamy Mushroom Sauce that we use to have with veal. This was Marco and mine favorite part of dinner. I definitely will be making this again. All of this is gluten free as well.

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Millet and Pumpkin (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

180g millet

1/4 cup white wine

250g kent pumpkin or butternut pumpkin. cut into cubes

2 sprigs of rosemary leaves

1 garlic clove. finely diced

1 small onion, finely diced

3 cups vegan chicken or vegetable liquid stock

sea salt & black pepper to taste

vegan parmesan to serve

Method:

1. Rinse the millet in a mesh sieve. Then take a pot and dry toast the millet for 2 minutes.???????????????????????????????

2. Add white wine and cook until its absorbed, stirring often.???????????????????????????????

3. Then add 1.5 cup of liquid stock to the millet. Bring it to the boil, then place it on a simmer with a lid. ???????????????????????????????

4. In pan heat with oil then saute the onions, garlic and rosemary leaves for 2 mins. Then add pumpkin and cook for 5 mins.

5. Add the pumpkin, onion, garlic and rosemary to the pot with the millet. Let it cook for 30 mins or until millet is soft. Stirring often and adding more liquid stock and water as it needs.

6. Before serving season with salt and black pepper. Then serve with vegan parmesan.

*Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main

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Fried Tofu ‘Chicken’ (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

250g firm tofu

2-3 teaspoons vegan chicken liquid stock

corn flour

2-3 sprigs of rosemary leaves

4 tablespoons soy milk

1-2 teaspoons nutritional yeast

sea salt

corn crumbs

olive oil to fry

Method:

1. Press the water out of the block of tofu, then cut tofu into 3 slices. ???????????????????????????????

2. Sprinkle the liquid stock on all sides of the tofu. Then coat it in corn flour.???????????????????????????????

3. In a small bowl add the rosemary, soy milk, nutritional yeast and sea salt. Then dip one piece of tofu in this mixture and then coat it in corn crumbs. Continue till all slices of tofu have been dipped and coated.

4. Heat olive oil in a pan, then fry the tofu 2-3 minutes on both sides or until golden brown.

*Serves 2-3

*Serve with Whit Wine Mushroom Sauce or by itself.

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White Wine mushroom Sauce (vegan, gluten free)

Ingredients:

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, finely diced

4-6 white mushrooms

1/4 cup white wine

1 teaspoon vegan butter

1 cup soy milk (more if too thick)

1 teaspoon arrowroot flour

2 tablespoons vegan parmesan (or nutritional yeast)

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. In a pan heat olive oil, then add garlic and mushrooms, saute for 2 mins then add white wine and cook for 3 more minutes. Then take off the heat.DSC03205

2. In the mean time heat vegan butter in a small pot then add soy milk and arrowroot. Cook until it has thickened, stirring constantly.???????????????????????????????

3. Place mushrooms back on the heat and add the cream sauce. Add vegan parmesan and sea salt. Add more soy milk if it is too thick.  Cook until heated.

*Serves 2-3

*Serve with Fried Tofu ‘Chicken’, mock meat, tofu or potatoes.

Garlic Brussels Sprouts (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

12-16 brussels sprouts

3 garlic cloves, diced

3 shallots, diced

olive oil

sea salt???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Steam brussels sprouts for 15 mins, then set aside.

2. In the meantime finely chop the garlic and shallots.

3. After brussels sprouts have been cooked, then heat olive oil in a pan. Add garlic, shallots and brussel spouts. Cook until garlic and shallots have brown a little. Season with sea salt and serve.

*Serves 4

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Peanut Butter & Raspberry Jam Overnight Oats, Cannellini Cutlets and Creamy Baked Zucchini

Today I started the day off well with some overnights oats. I was thinking of flavor combinations the night before. I often see recipes with PB & J, so I thought I’d see how they worked with oats. It was sooo delicious and very decadent. I found it was extremely thick this morning, so I added a bit more milk to break it up a bit and topped it with fresh blueberries. After that I was so full I couldn’t imagine ever eating again.  Marco hates it when I do this because then I get hungry all of a sudden and then I have to eat straight away. Sure enough by 3ish I got a bit peckish and bought some sushi and Soy Caramel Cappuccino (which I probably didn’t need).

So again I was so full I was convinced I would never eat again. But after much persuading by Marco I ended up preparing some dinner. By the time it was done it smelt quite good that I had to have some too.  I made Roasted Chat Potatoes, Sweet Potato, Carrots & Garlic; Creamy Baked Zucchini, Peas and at the last minute I prepared Cannellini Cutlets.

I got the recipe for the cutlets from The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutes. It is meant to be like fish fillets. I used cannellini beans and corn crumbs, rather then white beans and panko crumbs. I didn’t find that it was flaky like fish, which was probably because I didn’t use the panko crumbs. The texture was similar to an mochi, but less sticky. It was still quite good, but it need a bit of sauce. Luckily I had plenty of sauce from the Creamy Baked Zucchini to go with it. It was really easy to prepare and a great gluten free and soy free meat substitute.

For the Creamy Baked Zucchini, I made a vegan cheesy sauce to go between the layers and on top. I also put some rice crumbs on top, so that it would go crunchy. Only thing is that I put far too much and it didn’t really need it. Nevertheless, everyone commented how delicious it was, even Marco who usually hates zucchini. The rest was my standard crispy roasted vegetables and peas heated in vegetable stock and vegan butter. Now I have that feeling in my tummy that I can’t eat ever again, but I am sure it will pass by tomorrow.

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Peanut Butter & Raspberry Jam Overnight Oats (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

???????????????????????????????Ingredients:

1/2 cup instant or rolled organic oats

1/2 cup plant milk, plus extra (coconut, rice or oat;  almond or soy if you can tolerate)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

2 tablespoons raspberry jam

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir it all through.

2. Place in the fridge overnight to enjoy the next day. Stir and add some extra milk if it is too thick. Top with some fresh berries.

*Serves 1

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Cannellini Cutlets (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 tin of cannellini beans

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/4 teaspon ground black pepper

1/4 cup grapeseed oil  (plus more for frying)

1 cup corn crumbs (or other gluten free crumbs)???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients except the corn crumbs in a bowl. Mash the beans with your fingers so they are not whole.

2. Add the corn crumbs and mix well. Leave for 20 mins.???????????????????????????????

3. Divide into 4 portions then shape the portions into cutlets.

4. Heat oil in a pan and cook on both sides for for 3-5 minutes.

*Serves 4

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Creamy Baked Zucchini (gf, nf)

Ingredients:

3 zucchini, cut in half then sliced in thin strips

1 tablespoon vegan butter (more to grease)

1.25 cup soy milk

1 tablespoon arrowroot flour

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

6 tablepsoons nutritional yeast

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and grease a small baking dish or loaf pan.

2. Take a small mix bowling and combine soy milk and arrowroot flour. Whisk the flour in the milk.

3. Melt the vegan butter in a small pot. Then add the soy milk and whisk.

4. Add dijon mustard and garlic powder and whisk on medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until it has thickened.

5. Add the nutritional yeast and whisk till it is combined then take off the heat.

6. Take baking tray and layer strips of zucchini then add a bit of the sauce and continue till all the zucchini has been used and the sauce has been layered on the top. Bake for 20 mins or until zucchini is soft.

*Serves 4-5

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‘Chicken’ Enchiladas

I was nearly not going to make dinner tonight. I have eaten far to much today. First I had left over curry and rice from last night. Then I had Govinda’s vegan buffet for lunch, since we had to use our coupon this week. Then I made a Hazelnut Mocha with Oats milk and had the lasted of the Salted Caramel Nuts for afternoon tea. So I wasn’t hungry, but by 8ish I was getting a bit peckish.

Vegan Buffet at Govinda's

Vegan Buffet at Govinda’s

I had made the Vegan Sour Cream this afternoon with the extra silken tofu that the students left the other night. I had so much I even made a double batch of Marinated Buffalo Style Tofu Mozzarella. I knew I also had to use the packet of wholemeal wraps. Unfortunately then need to be used in 3 days after opening. So I came up with Enchiladas. I have never made them before, but then turned out pretty good.

I adapted the recipe for Homemade Enchilada Sauce from Recipe Girl. I added some cocoa powder, as  I saw another recipe that said it was more authentic with that. For the Enchiladas I noted that many recipes used either a tomato based sauce inside with meat or beans; or just sour cream and cheese with meat. So I did both and made a creamy tomato sauce. I topped it with Tofutti Cheddar Slices, that I diced. I would of preferred to use a better quality grated vegan cheese, but I didn’t have any. I served it with last nights leftover Yellow Split Peas and Brown Rice and just added vegan butter and lime juice.

All the ingredients are gluten free, except for the wraps I used. But you can definitely use gluten free wraps. If you don’t want to or don’t have any vegan chicken strips then use another can of kidney beans.

Sorry about the photos. My camera ran out of batteries before I got a chance to take a picture after it cooked. I used my mothers camera and I was also very sloppy when I served it. I promise you that it did taste really good, even though it doesn’t look that appealing.

P1000598

‘Chicken’ Enchiladas (vegan, jut free)

Ingredients  for Enchilada Sauce:

1/4 cup sunflower oil

2 tablespoons arrowroot flour

2 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cups vegan chicken liquid stock

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion flakes

sea salt to taste

Ingredients for Vegan Sour Cream: (makes 1.5 cups, only need 1 cup)

240g silken tofu

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sea salt

Ingredients for Enchilades: 

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 onion, diced

1 small red capsicum, chopped

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground sweet paprika

1 cup passata sauce

2 tablespoons chili sauce

1 can kidney beans

380 g Fry’s Chicken-Style Strips or other vegan chicken strips (or another can of beans)

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

sea salt to taste, 6-8 wholemeal wraps or enchilada wraps

vegan cheese (optional, I diced up vegan cheddar slices)

Ingredients for Rice:

leftover rice

1-2  tablespoons vegan butter

2-4 tablespoons lime juice

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Make the Vegan Sour Cream. Blend all the ingredients in a processor. Leave in the fridge till ready to use.

Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce

3. Next make the Enchilada Sauce. First take a large pot and heat oil on medium heat. Then add the arrowroot flour and cayenne and whisk it. Cook for 1 minute or until lightly browned.

4.Then slowly add the rest of the ingredients and whisk it all so it is consistent. Cook for 10 mins or until it has thickened, while stirring often. Turn of the heat and leave to the side.

5. Meanwhile make the Enchilada filling. Heat another large pot with oil on medium heat. Then add onion, garlic, capsicum, cumin and paprika. Saute for 4 minutes. Add a bit of water if its too dry.???????????????????????????????

6. Then add the passata sauce, chili sauce and kidney beans. Cook for another 5 mins and adjust seasoning.

7. Then add vegan chicken strips. Cook for 6-8 mins or until the packet says they should cook for.???????????????????????????????

8. Take of the heat and add the 1 cup of Vegan Sour Cream, nutritional yeast and lime juice. Stir through so it is consistently creamy.

9. Take a large baking dish and spoon 1/4 of the Enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish.???????????????????????????????

10. Lay the first wrap on the chopping board. Fill the Enchilada filling in the center then roll an place in the baking dish. Continue till all 6 -8 wraps are placed in the dish.

11. Top the wraps with the rest of the Enchilada Sauce and vegan cheese. Bake for 25 mins or until cheese has melted.???????????????????????????????

12. Just before serving, prepare the rice. Take a pan and melt the vegan butter then add the rice and lime juice. Saute till heated through.

*I made 6, but there should be enough filling to make 8 Enchiladas

*The Ingredients for the Sour Cream makes 1.5 cups however this recipe only calls for 1 cup

P1000597

Sizzling ‘Chicken’ with Kale, Peas and Noodles

Now I am back home I am back to cooking.  Don’t have much left in the fridge, but making use of the fresh kale and basil that I got from the farmers market at Murwillumbah yesterday  I wanted to make something different then my usually standard stir fry. I was looking through a Chinese cookbook and found Sizzling Beef dish. I used similar flavors for the sauce, but adapted the rest of the ingredients. If you don’t have vegan mock chicken strips, like  Fry’s Chicken Style Stripes, then you can substitute with tofu or shiitake mushrooms.

DSC02564

Sizzling ‘Chicken’ with Kale, Peas and Noodles (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/3 cup mock chicken strips

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon evaporated cane sugar

1.5 tablespoon corn flour,

soba noodles or prefered other noodles

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 small red chilli, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 shallots, chopped

10 pieces tuscan kale, chopped

1/3 cup frozen peas

2 tablespoons vegan oyster sauce

Method:

1. Place mock chicken in a bowl and add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar and corn flour. Stir through so that the mock meat is all covered and let it marinate for a few minutes

2. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions then place to the side.

3. Heat sesame oil in the wok then add garlic, chilli and shallots. Cook for 2 mins.

4. Add the mock chicken and cook for few more minutes.

5. Add kale and peas, vegan oyster sauce and cook until peas are tender.

6. Add noodles and cook only till noodles are heated through and coated in the sauce. Take off heat and serve.

This makes two large serves. If making for four you can use the same amount of ingredients for marinating the mock meat, increase by a little bit or double it. It depends how strong you want the taste to be.

DSC02566

For dinner I used the huge bunch of basil to make pesto. I make the same recipe that I did last time for the Basil & Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, but I used 1/4 pine nuts, 1/4 pecans, couple of pinch of cayenne and only pulsed the sun dried tomatoes through. I just served it with some hot fettuccine pasta. So simple and so delicious.

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Before I go a big thanks to Miss Marzipan who nominated me for the Blog of 2012 the Year Award. She nominated back in on 31 December last year and have been meaning to thank her since then. If you haven’t seen her blog she is a very creative girl, who lives in Sweden and blogs about her diy projects and her delicious recipes. I especially love her sweets recipes!

Thanks to her I have received my 6th star for the award! I promise I will reply to the other awards my blog has been nominated by fellow bloggers and share the love soon!

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

Su Life Vegetarian Restaurant

Today after seeing a morning session of The Hobbit (which was really, really good), me and Marco decided to check out Su Life Vegetarian Restaurant at Upper Mount Gravatt. I  have been wanting to come here for while, as I saw many good reviews. First impressions it looked like it was closed except for the open sign. We were happy when we saw another table. It was late in the afternoon, but it wasn’t long till a couple more tables arrived. They had a really extensive menu so I was bit confused what I should order. I wanted to have some mock meat, since I can’t have that everyday. I don’t often make it at home, so its more like a treat.

We started with the Satay Veggie Chicken, since I love satay. The actually veggie meat was quite good and it was hard to tell that it wasn’t chicken. However some of it was hot and some parts were cold. The bed of lettuce also had a couple of black pieces, so I stayed away from that.

DSC02245

Satay Veggie Chicken

For mains we ordered the Japanese Curried Veggie Steak & comb Vegetables with Rice and the Bendon with Thai Spicy Chicken with Rice. The mock meats were not bad, however the batter was a bit thick and under seasoned. The Japanese curry wasn’t what I expected it was more like a gravy. On the bright side they were generous with the vegetables which were cooked well. There was some fried banana to accompany the curry which wasn’t bad. For the Spicy Chicken, the side dishes weren’t bad either. The sauce for the chicken wasn’t really to our taste though.

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Japanese Curried Veggie Steak & comb Vegetables with Rice

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Thai Spicy Chicken with Rice (Bendon)

All in all it was a cheap lunch, but not sure I will come back. I may have ordered the wrong thing or I have higher expectations. Blackened lettuce and uneven cooked food is not really acceptable though. If you have visited this place and have a better experience let me know and I will be open to try it again.

Tomorrow I’m off to Murwillumbah for a couple of days. Can’t wait to relax with just Marco. Hopefully I will find some more good eats there.