Sweet potato, Red Lentil and Piquillo Pepper Soup

Soup again tonight! After 43 degrees over the weekend, it has really cooled down here, especially in the evening. So I thought I’d get my soup fix in before summer really arrives. This soup is thick, creamy and has a smoky spicy kick. Exactly what I needed to keep me and bub nice and warm.

DSC03024Sweet potato, Red Lentil and Piquillo Pepper Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

3 medium sweet potato, cut in to cubes (about 6 cups)

olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup red lentils

5 cups vegetable stock (1/2 cup water)

8 roasted piquillo peppers, plus more to garnish (or 4 roasted capsicums)

1  teaspoon liquid smoke

cayenne pepper to taste

sea salt to taste

natural coconut yoghurt (or savoury soy yoghurt) to garnish

black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.

2. Place sweet potato on a tray, drizzle with some olive oil and roast for 30-40 minutes or until cooked.

3. In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and then add the onion and garlic. Saute for 4 minutes or until translucent.

4. Add the cumin, ginger, cinnamon to the pot. Sauté for 1 minute or until the the spices are fragrant.

5. Add the red lentils and 1 cup of vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and then put on a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Add 1/2 cup water if too dry.

6. Place the roasted sweet potato, red lentils, piquillo peppers and 1 cup of vegetable stock in a Vitamix or blender and blend till smooth. You may need to do in 2 batches. Alternatively you can place all the ingredients in the pot and use a bar mix to blend.

7. Return the ingredients from the Vitamix to the pot. Add 3 cups of vegetable stock, liquid smoke, cayenne pepper and sea salt and stir through. Bring to the pot to the boil, then place on a simmer, season with more sea salt if you need before serving.

8. Serve the soup topped with natural coconut yoghurt, ribbons of piquillo peppers, black pepper and drizzle some olive oil.

*Serves 4-6

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Cream of Broccoli and Potato Soup

One of my favourite soups in recent times is broccoli soup. I usually add at least one potato for creaminess and then let the Vitamix do most the work. This is not one of Marco’s favourites. I usually threaten him with my broccoli soup when I don’t feel like cooking so that he will go pick up some Thai. However he really liked this recipe. He was a bit apprehensive at first but thoroughly enjoyed it. The cashews give an extra creaminess that was missing without the cream. I promise  your family won’t know this recipe is dairy free when you use cashew cream.

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Cream of Broccoli and Potato Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashews, pre-soak for an hour if you can

1/4 filtered water (plus 2 tablespoons)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 medium dutch cream potatoes, chopped in cubes

1 medium broccoli head, roughly chopped (include the stem and leaves)

3 cups vegetable stock

sea salt and black pepper

hemp seeds and nutritional yeast to serve

Method:

1. If you haven’t already pre-soaked the cashews, then place them in a small pot of water and boil for 10 minutes to soften.

2. Place cashews in a high speed blender with 1/4 cup of water. Add more water if the consistency is too thick. Scrap out of the blender and leave to the side. No need to clean the blender.

3. Place the potatoes in the steam and steam for 15 minutes.

4. Place the broccoli in with the potatoes and steam for an additional 5 minutes or until cooked.

5. In the meantime heat a large pot with olive oil, then add the onions and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

6. Place onions, garlic, potatoes, broccoli and 2 cups of vegetable stock in the high speed blender. Blend until smooth.

7. Add the blended ingredients back to the pot and place on a medium heat.

8. Add the cashew cream (leave some for garnish later) and 1 cup of vegetable stock to the pot and heat through.

9. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

10. Serve with a teaspoon of cashew cream, hemp seeds and nutritional yeast.

*Serves 3 large serves or 4 medium

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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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Rich Roasted Tomato Soup

During the week I was flipping through one of my Jamie Oliver book’s and I came across the most delicious looking Tomato soup. I have never had a real tomato soup. When I was a kid we use to eat a lot of can soup, including the Campbell’s Tomato soup. I never really like it though. I just found it tasted like tomato juice, which I wasn’t a big fan either.  But I thought I would give it another chance. I adapted this recipe from Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals. It was so delicious and really celebrated the essence of the tomato. The tomato and basil tasted really fresh and fragrant. It was also really creamy without the add of any dairy or dairy substitutes.

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Rich Roasted Tomato Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 large tomatoes

500g variety cherry tomatoes (heirloom, orange, red)

4 garlic cloves

1 large red chilli (or 2 small)

olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

2 medium red onions

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup filtered water

1 handful basil leaves

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

2. Chop the large tomatoes into quarters, crush the garlic cloves and remove the chilli seeds and stem from the chilli. Add all the tomatoes, garlic and chilli to a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until tomatoes soften.

3. In the meantime, roughly chop the red onions. Then heat a pan with olive oil and add the red onions. Cook on a medium heat until the onions start to soften. This should take about 5 minutes.

4. Add balsamic vinegar to the onion and allow it to cook through so that the onions are sticky and sweet.

5. Place the onions, roasted tomatoes, roasting liquid (from the tomatoes), basil leaves, water, sea salt (to taste) in high speed processor. Blend until smooth.

6. Serve immediately or reheat in a pot.

*Makes 5 cups

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Satay Noodle Soup with Grilled Tofu

This soup was adapted from Shredded chicken satay noodle soup. Not such a great idea while we were having a heat wave, but still delicious and very healthy.

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Satay Noodle Soup with Grilled Tofu (vegan, gluten free)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 large red chilli, diced

1 tablespoon diced ginger

2 medium brown onions, chopped

5 tablespoon natural peanut butter

3 tablespoon soy sauce

2 litres vegetable stock

sea salt to taste

1 x 400g tin coconut milk

2 bunches buk choy/other asian green

2.5 serves bean thread noodles/other noodles

2 x 200 g packets of marinated satay tofu (or homemade)

coriander (optional)

Method:

1. Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and red chili. Saute for a 5 minute or until the onions are browned.

2. Stir in the peanut butter and soy sauce.

3. Add the vegetable stock and whisk so the peanut butter mixes well through the stock.

4. Bring to the boil, then leave on a simmer for 30 -40 minutes. Season with sea salt or more soy sauce.

5. Wash and slice the buk choy and leave to the side.

6. Bring the kettle to the boil, then fill a pot and soak the Bean thread noodles for 5 minutes, then strain.

7. Add the coconut milk to the soup and season with more sea salt if you need.

8. Add the buk choy, let it wilt, then turn off the heat and add the noodles.

9. Before serving the soup,  slice the tofu and grill it. Then serve the tofu on to of the soup. Also top with some fresh coriander if you have on hand.

*Serves 6

New Beginnings

I’m back again after a little break from blogging. I finally have some time off after seeing the dentist. I have a few days off to recoup at home. Finally got out my last wisdom tooth. The one I begged the dentist to leave last time because I couldn’t have him take 2 at the same time again. This little break is also great timing for me to start packing up my things, because we signed papers to buy a house this weekend past! After two years of looking off and on and many disappointments we have finally found the one for Marco and I to start our adult life together. I say ‘adult’ because we are going to have to start doing things for ourselves. Although I love to cook I’m not a great cleaner. Marco on the other hand loves to keep his room in order, but we both can’t iron his shirts. But its time to grow up and leave the nest!

A couple of nights ago mum took us out to dinner to celebrate. We decided to try Rouj Modern Lebanese. I discovered them a few weeks ago at Rosalie. They were full with people and the reviews are great too, so they must be doing something right. After checking out the online menu I found a dish that was vegan friendly. I ordered the Vegetarian Delight, which included ftayer (pastry filled with spinach), Silver beet rice roll, pumpkin kebbi, hummus (instead of tzaziki) mjadra, tabouli, pickles, Lebanese bread. I was so full after this that I didn’t have room for anything else.

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Other vegan eats this weekend was brunch at The Green Edge. Marco was the one that suggested to go. He just loves their vegan burgers, brownies and milkshakes, but we still hadn’t tried their breakfast. We ordered a little too much but the food was fabulous! Marco and I shared the Big Breakfast, which had tofu scramble with garlic-sautéed mushrooms; smoky strips; breakfast potatoes; toasted Turkish bread with guacamole; seitan sausage patties, served with a homemade tomato relish. Mum had the special, smokey strip Turkish Sandwich with Roasted Capsicum Relish. We also all shared the Pancakes Stack with Dark chocolate chips and syrup. Can’t tell you what was my best part because I loved all of it. Lucky for me our new house is just down the road from here, so it won’t be such a big deal to travel over for a bite to eat or replenish my vegan pantry.

The Big Breakfast

The Big Breakfast

Smokey Strip Sandwich with Roasted Capscium

Smokey Strip Turkish Sandwich with Roasted Capscium Relish

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Pancakes Stack with Dark chocolate chips and syrup

Other then buying houses and eating out, the weekend before I visited the Organic Growers Fair.  Marco is obsessed with growing trees at the moment, so I picked up for him a dwarf Mango, dwarf Apple and Vanilla bean orchard. He also has a dwarf lemon, dwarf lime, dwarf mulberry, dwarf avocado, more avocado trees. At the moment they are all in pots, so hopefully we will plant some at a new home.

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Here a just a few of the trees we have transported to mine house. Isn’t he a gorgeous boy! Unfortunately he hasn’t been protecting our mulberries from the birds. He only chases people.

The following are some recipes I cooked during the week. This first one was my favourite. I have never cooked soup with old bread before. The first time I tried a soup with old bread was  the soup Ribollita in Sienna, Tuscany. The bread and vegetables were really mushy, but full of flavour. Pappa al pomodoro is another summer Tuscan soup. I used old ciabatta bread (finally some leftover). The rest of the ingredients were simple, evo, onion, garlic, fresh tomatoes, vegan chicken stock and fresh basil. This had to be the most delicious soup I have ever made. Marco was a really big fan and said it tasted like real Italian food.

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Pappa al pomodoro (vegan, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

900g fresh tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

200g ciabatta bread/other ‘country style’ bread, remove crust

850ml hot vegan chicken stock

20 basil leaves, diced

sea salt & black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Boil a pot of water, then add all the whole tomatoes. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until you see the skin peel back a little bit. Then place tomatoes straight in a bowl with ice water or cool down with rinse with water in strainer. Once they have cooled down, peel the skin and then dice and set aside.???????????????????????????????

2. Heat olive oil in a large pot, then add onions and garlic. Saute for 6-8 minutes on a low heat, not letting them brown.???????????????????????????????

3. Add the tomatoes to the pot. Leave on a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 30 minutes.

4. In the meantime tear the ciabatta bread into small pieces and heat the vegan chicken stock.

5. Add the bread and stir through a couple of times.

6. Gradually add hot stock and allow it to soak up all the bread.

7. Add the basil leaves and season if you need. Cook for one more minute.

8. Serve warm or wait an hour and serve at room temperature.

*Serves 4-5

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I have finally found and eaten golden beets! I got them from the Wednesday Farmers Market in the CBD. They were only small but had the leaves attached as well. They are so delicious and sweet! I really nice change from the regular beets. I’ve never tried making coconut yogurt before, but it was really simple. I just added lemon juice to coconut cream. Just be careful to not add to much or it will be too sour. I got this idea to make chickpea nuggets from The Japanese Vegetarian Kitchen’sVegan Chicken teriyaki steak. Funniest thing was Marco took leftovers to work and some of the blokes sauce his container when he was heating the nuggets. They didn’t know whose it was but they were all trying to figure out what it was.

Sweet Sumac Tahini Chickpea Nuggets with Quick Coconut Yogurt and Quinoa Kale salad with Golden Beets and Sweet Potato (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients for Chickpea nuggets & sauce:

1 can chickpeas

1 tablespoon arrowroot flour

sea salt to taste

Ingredients for Marinate:

1 tablespoon tahini

2  tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sumac

1 teaspoon crushed ginger

sea salt to taste

1 teaspoon agave

Ingredients for Salad:

4 small golden beets, sliced

1 medium sweet potato, sliced

olive oil

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

2 cups tuscan kale

sea salt

pine nuts

Ingredients for Coconut Yogurt:

1/2 cup coconut cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice (more to taste)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Then toss the golden beets and sweet potato with olive oil and sea salt and place on a tray in the oven for 30 minutes or until cooked.???????????????????????????????

2. Mash the chickpeas with a fork and add arrowroot and plenty of sea salt. Then form into nuggets. I made about 9.???????????????????????????????

3. Combine all the ingredients for the marinate. Coat the nuggets in the marinate and leave in the fridge for 20- 30 minutes. Leave any extra marinate aside for later.???????????????????????????????

4. If you have’t already, cook the quinoa and prepare the kale. Chop the kale, then massage it with sea salt until the fibers have broken down. Once the quinoa has cooled down combine with the kale.???????????????????????????????

5. Heat a non stick pan with a little bit of oil (olive/coconut). Cook the nuggets for a couple of minutes on both sides until golden.

6. Prepare the coconut yogurt by combining the ingredients the put to the side.

7. Toast the pine nuts.

8. Assemble the salad, then top with Chickpea nuts, extra marinate and Coconut yogurt.

*Serves 3

This was my veganised attempt of Sichuan Noodles. I swapped pork for brown lentils and shiitake mushrooms, egg noodles for sweet potato noodles, chicken stock for vegan stock, and hot bean paste (didn’t have any) for miso paste. Not sure how Chinese, but it was a healthier version.

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Spicy Shittake, Brown Lentil and Spinach with Sweet Potato Starch Noodles (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

100g cooked brown lentils

100g sweet potato noodles

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 tablespoon ginger, diced

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon dry sherry

2 tablespoon sesame oil

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

2 small red chilies, diced

1/2 tablespoon white miso or hot soy bean paste

1 tablespoon peanut butter

125ml vegan chicken stock

2 cups of spinach leaves  (chopped)

sea salt & black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Cook sweet potato noodles according to packet instructions.

2. In a bowl combine brown lentils, soy sauce, sherry, sea salt. Heat oil in a wok and saute brown lentils for 3-4 minutes. Then add shittake mushroom and cook for 2 more minutes. Take out of wok and place to the side.

3. Add garlic, ginger, onion and chili to the wok. Stir fry for 1 minute.

4. Add miso/soy bean paste, peanut butter. Heat for a few seconds.

5. Add vegan chicken stock and bring to boil, simmer for 5 minutes or until it thickens.

6. Add lentils, shiitake mushrooms, spinach and noodles. Heat in the wok until spinach has wilted. Season.

*Serves 2

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Healthy Italian Hot Chocolate for 2 (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 mugs of coconut milk

1 tablespoon cacao

1 tablespoon maca

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

1 tablespoon vegan custard powder (to make thicker, optional)

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in small pot. ???????????????????????????????

2. Heat on the stove on a medium-low heat and whisk while cooking. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until it thickens a little.

3. Serve immediately.

Corn and Kale Chowder with Sour Dough Croutons

I don’t know where I got the idea to make chowder, but I’ve always wanted to try it and never had. Since becoming dairy free I rarely order soups out and only eat creamy ones at home. I wasn’t sure what makes a chowder different to a soup so I did some research and it has quite an interesting history.

Chowder is a seafood or vegetable stew or thick soup. It is usually is made creamy but adding milk or cream and is eaten with or thickened with broken up saltine crackers. Famous chowders you may of heard of are the New England clam Chowder and Manhattan clam chowder. However corn and potato chowders are also very popular in American cuisine.

Chowder originally originate in Europe. There are a few theories to where the word chowder originate from. Perhaps it was originally derived from the Latin cuisine[1]word calderia means a place to warm things, which later came to symbolize a cooking pot or a cauldron. Perhaps it originated from the French word chaudière  means a cooking or heating stove; or from the old English word jowter, which means fish peddler. Or maybe it originated from the French dish chaudrée (thick fish soup from Charente-Maritime and Vendée. Nevertheless chowders were prepared in fishing villages along the coast of France and Southwestern England.

Although this dish has its roots in France or England it has become quite famous in New England and Atlantic Canada. It was brought to North America by early settlers. They would of originally used fish, salted pork and ship’s biscuits. Later shellfish, like clams became more frequently when they were in season. CVR_SFS_ClamChowder_article

There are numerous different clam chowders from different regions in North America. Famous ones include New England Chowder (milk based), Manhattan Chowder (broth & tomato based), Rhode Island clam chowder (clear broth). Obviously non of these are vegetarian. However, the Corn Chowder which I have tried to emulate is vegetarian.

The Corn Chowder is very similar to the New England Chowder, in that it is a thick creamy milk based soup. However instead of clams, corn is used. The main ingredients include corn, milk or cream, potatoes and onions. Potato chowder is similar except that cheese, sour cream or bacon is often added.

To make this recipe I consulted a few vegetarian and vegan recipes, including Jamie Oliver’s Corn Chowder and Cheeking Kitchen’s Vegan Rich & Hearty Corn Chowder. I decided to use kale, lemon thyme and garnish with chives, as my mum brought me heaps of lovely produce from the Eagle Farm Markets. My soup didn’t turn out as thick as I would of liked. I think it may have been the gluten free flour. Rather then adding more flour I left it a bit thinner. With the delicious croutons it was a delicious hearty meal. All my family commented how nice it was. This recipe can be made nut free if you prefer to use soy milk instead of almond. It can also be further thickened by using a cashew cream or more flour.

Have you made Corn Chowder before? What ingredients do you like to add to make it shine?

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Corn and Kale Chowder with Sour Dough Croutons (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients for Soup:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 onion diced

2 sticks celery, diced

700 g red potatoes. cubed

1/2 cup white wine

1/4 cup lemon thyme

2 litres vegan chicken liquid stock

3 tablespoons gluten free flour or corn flour (use unbleached plain flour if you can tolerate)

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

4 cups tuscan kale,  chopped

sea salt to taste

chives to garnish

Ingredients for Croutons:

1/2 loaf white sour dough bread,  chopped into cubes

olive oil

sea salt

garlic powder

ground cayenne pepper (optional)

Method:

1. Take a large pot and heat olive oil. Add the onions and celery and cook for a few minutes, until onions are translucent.

2. Add the potatoes and white wine. Cook until the liquid is absorbed.

3. Add lemon thyme and liquid stock. Bring to the boil, then place on a simmer for 15 mins, or until the potatoes have softened.. While its simmering, take about 1 cup of the stock out of the pot and whisk it with flour, then add it back to the pot.

4. Add almond milk, tuscan kale and sea salt. Cook until kale has cooked.

5. In the meantime, place bread in a mixing bowl. Coat with olive oil, garlic powder and sea salt. Then in a medium hot pan toast the bread until it is crunchy.

6. Serve soup with chives and croutons on top.

*Chowder serves 8, croutons serve 4-5

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Something new that we bought over the weekend was a Santa Claus melon or Spanish melon. I have never seen this kind of melon before. They had samples at the fruit shop and we really liked it. The flesh is a yellow-white color  and the skin is green with yellow. Apparently the more yellow the skin the sweeter it is. It doesn’t taste like a regular melon, its really sweet and a bit firmer.

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I made us some smoothies for work using the melon, parsley and spiralina. It was delicious, but a little thicker then I expected. I recently bought these nice glass drink bottles for juicing. Now its worked up a little I’m hoping to get better use of of them.

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Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Corn Soup

Another cauliflower recipe…We have almost got through all of them. Only 1/2 to go now. Marco hasn’t been too keen on having more cauliflower meals, but this is what he will be coming home too again tonight. I made a Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup a while ago and I was really craving it again. This soup is a bit different as it has the sweetness of the corn and the heat of the cayenne pepper. I also got to try out my vitamix as a soup blender. The texture was so smooth and luscious. No more lumpy soups 🙂

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Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Corn Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 large cauliflower

4 corn cobs, kernels sliced off and cobs discarded

1.5 tablespoons thyme leaves

1/2 cup olive oil (plus more)

2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper

sea salt to taste

1 brown onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

3 cups vegetable liquid stock

1.5 cup plant milk (I used oat milk, but you can also you coconut or rice; almond or soy if you can tolerate)

black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.???????????????????????????????

2. Cut cauliflower into florets and cut corn kernels from the corn cobs.???????????????????????????????

3. Take a baking tray and add the cauliflower, corn, thyme leaves, cayenne and olive oil. Season with sea salt and toss through.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot, then add onion and garlic and saute until softened.

5. Add liquid stock and bring to the boil.DSC06136

6. Add the oat milk and most cauliflower and corn, but reserve 4 tablespoons in the baking tray. Bring to the boil and let it cool.

7. Add the soup to the blender in two batches. Blend till smooth.

8. Place soup back into a pot and reheat if you need to.

9. Serve soup with a tablespoon of roasted cauliflower and corn, a drizzle of olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.

*Serves 4

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(Cookbook Project) Energise Your Life – Aloo Gobi…Sweet Potato Noodle Soup with Tofu, Asian Greens and White Fungus

A couple of nights ago I made Aloo Gobi from Energise Your Life. I have had Aloo Gobi a couple of times in the past and I was really looking forward to making it. However, this recipe was a big disappointment. I don’t know if it is because I eat Indian food out often so I am use to more authentic flavors or this was just a terrible recipe in general.

To make this recipe I had to saute a little bit of turmeric, cumin and cayenne with extra virgin olive oil. Then add peeled tomatoes and maple syrup before adding quartered potatoes. The recipe said that the potatoes only needed 10 mins to cook, but perhaps I had the wrong type, as I only had Brushed. After letting the potatoes cook for a while I found the flavor was far too sweet and didn’t have enough spice. So I added a whole lot of sea salt and some curry powder. Lastly I added some cauliflower, but it didn’t look too exciting, so I added some peas. The end result was very underwhelming and disappointing.

To make things worse I took the advice from the book and tried to pair this dish with Basmati Rice cooked in Coconut Milk, Cumin and Lime. What a disaster. I don’t know why, but every time I try to make Coconut Rice it turns out stodgy and flavorless. This time was no exception. I also had to move the rice from the rice cooker into a pot on the stove since it refused to cook it anymore. It just keep putting it to warm.

So after a few good recipes, this one was not for us. Marco and I really didn’t want to take it for lunch the next day, but we had no choice. In fact there’s still some left over in the fridge but both of us are avoiding it lol.

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Since the Aloo Gobi disaster, our China student has arrived back from China and we also have a new Chinese student. We decided to do pizza night, so we could all make our own pizzas and get to know the new student. I am not sure if the new student has ever had pizza before. The poor thing looked very confused or maybe it was just jet lag.

Last night I thought I might make something she is more familiar with. So I dropped past the Asian grocery store on the way home and got some Sweet Potato Starch ???????????????????????????????Noodles and Asian veggies. I also got some Gold Vegetarian Sha Chao Buns, which are vegan frozen steamed buns. I also tried out some White Fungus in the soup. I first soaked them, but they didn’t soften very much. After I chopped them and discarded the really hard center. Are any of you familiar with White Fungus and how to cook it?

Both the girls seemed to like the soup. It was a bit spicy for our new student, but our other student loves spicy burn your tongue off flavors.They both didn’t touch their Sha Chao Buns. I don’t blame them after trying them. They were terrible. The inside didn’t taste too bad, but the actual bun tasted plasticy. Definitely will be making my own next time.

I didn’t have time tonight to include tonight’s recipe, Tempeh Sausages baked with Cherry Tomatoes…It was the best thing we’ve had all week.

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Sweet Potato Noodle Soup with Tofu, Asian Greens and White Fungus (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

handful white fungus

250g firm tofu

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons tamari (more for seasoning)

1 tablespoon chinese cooking wine

3 garlic cloves, finely diced

small nib ginger, finely diced

2-4 small red chillis

1 green onion, sliced

400g sweet potato starch noodle

1 litre vegan beef liquid stock

2 cups of water (or more if you need)

1/2 bunch asian greens, roughly chopped

1/2 bunch enoki mushrooms

15 snow peas, topped and tailed

handful of mint leaves to serve

Method:

1. Soak the white fungus in filtered water. Use just enough to cover. Soak for 10-20 mins.???????????????????????????????

2. Press the tofu then slice it into cubes. Then combine it with sesame oil, soy sauce, chinese cooking wine, garlic, ginger and chili. Leave it to marinate for at least 10 mins.

3. Heat a large pot and add the marinated tofu. Saute for 3 mins.

4. Add sliced onion and saute for a further few minutes.???????????????????????????????

4. Add the liquid stock and water. While its coming to the boil quickly slice the white fungus, then add the white fungus and its soaking water to the soup. Place on a simmer and cook for 15 mins.

5. Cook the starch noodles in boil water, according to pack directions.

6. Add the asian greens, enoki mushrooms and snow peas and cook for a few minutes. Add more soy sauce for seasoning if you need.

7. Add the starch noodles, then serve soup topped with mint leaves.

*Serves 6

Pizza, Soup and a Chocolate Berry Breakfast Suprise

A  couple of nights ago we got invite out to dinner with some friends. But with the rainy weather and my cold feet about going somewhere that didn’t cater to me, we decided invited them over for homemade pizzas. We had some leftover pizza dough so last night I made the most delicious pizza with a few simple ingredients. This wasn’t the main event but to accompany this Red Lentil and Root Vegetable Soup.

For breakfast I prepared the most delicious overnight oats. I included a few extra healthy ingredients such as cacao, maca, chia seeds and goji berries.  I nice to be able to have guilt free chocolate oats for breakfast.

Just as I was writing this post, I got a call about a job. I’m going in for an interview tomorrow. I only send in an application yesterday to them for a different job, but they liked my previous work experience in mentoring and in a call centre. Fingers crossed they hire me!

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Browned Onion and Garlic Pizza (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

pizza dough for 1 pizza (wholemeal or gluten free)

1 large brown onion, thinly sliced

1-2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more to brush pizza)

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 tablespoon fresh/dried rosemary

sea salt & black pepper to tasteDSC05454

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

2. Heat a large pan with olive oil, then add the onion. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until onion has softened, but not browned (Its best to use a nonstick pan for this).

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3. In the meantime roll out pizza dough and place into a pizza pan/stone. Brush base with olive oil. (If you are using a pizza pan brush that with oil before placing the pizza ontop, so that the base will brown)

4. Take pan off the heat, then add garlic and stir though the onion.

5. Top pizza with the onion and garlic. Then sprinkle some rosemary, sea salt and black pepper.

6. Bake pizza for 15 mins or until the base is cooked and the onions are lightly browned.

*Makes 1 pizza

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Red Lentil and Root Vegetable Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 large brown onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 stalk of celery, diced

1 swede, diced

2 parsnips, diced

2 red skinned potatoes, diced

1 sweet potato, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground ginger

4 cups vegetable/vegan chicken liquid stock

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

Method:

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot, then add the vegetables and spices. Saute for a couple of minutes.

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2. Add the liquid stock and bring to the boil, then cover and place on a simmer. Cook for 20 mins or until the vegetables begin to soften.???????????????????????????????

3. Add the red lentils and sea salt if you need. Continue to cook covered on a simmer, until both the lentils have cooked and the vegetable are completely cooked.

4. Take off the heat and puree the soup with a bar mix, until you have the desired consistency. If the soup is too thick add some filtered water to thin it out.

5. Reheat on the stove to you are ready to serve.

*Serves 6

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Chocolate Berry Overnight Oats (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup instant/rolled oats, preferably organic

3/4 cup plant milk (coconut, rice or oat;  almond or soy if you can tolerate)

1/2 cup mixed frozen berries

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1/2 tablespoon maca powder (optional)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1.5  tablespoon maple syrup (I used blueberry maple syrup)

1 teapsoon goji berries to serve

1 teaspoon cacao nibs to serve DSC05483

Method:

1. Combine the oats, milk, frozen berries, cacao, maca, chia seeds and maple syrup in an airtight container and stir to combine all.

2. Seal the container and place in the fridge over night.

3. In the morning serve with goji berries and cacao nibs. If you don’t have these any other dried fruit, nuts and/or dark chocolate chips would go nice. If the consistency of the oats is too thick add a dash of milk.

*Serves 1