Sweet Mixed Tomato and Tempeh Sausage Casserole

After pretty average meals all week I wanted to do something a bit more creative last night. I had so many beautiful tomatoes that I bought from the asian market the other night. I had orange grape tomatoes, kumato tomatoes and roma tomatoes. While I was busy at work (like I am now) I came across this Jamie Oliver recipe ???????????????????????????????for Sweet Cherry Tomato & Sausage Bake. I am not a big fan of store brought vegan tomatoes and at short notice its hard to get hold of them. So I thought I would try make them out of tempeh. I found this recipe by Vegan Chef, Italian Tempeh Sausages. So this recipe is adapted from both of these recipes to make something hearthy and delicious for a cold winters night. I paired it with some sauteed baby spinach, pureed potatoes and fresh Ciabatta bread.

I got good reviews from Marco and both of us thought the tempeh was a pretty close to the meat flavor of regular sausages. The tomatoes were also really sweet and delicious baked. My pureed potatoes were meant to be mashed, but I thought I would try out the vitamix. It came out pretty pastey, but it was still ok with the rich taste of the oil and tomatoes. I enjoyed the cooking juices to with the fresh bread as well. Marco thought I looked like an old Italian woman eating over the baking tray, but that’s the best part!

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Sweet Mixed Tomato and Tempeh Sausage Casserole (vegan, gluten free option, nut free)

Ingredients Italian Tempeh Sausages- 

300g  tempeh

3-4 tablespoons Italian seasoning

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup tamari or light soy sauce (use gluten free soy sauce if you prefer)

1/4 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil

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Ingredients for Italian seasoning (makes double):

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion flakes or onion powder

1 tablespoon ground fennel, or grind fennel seeds by hand

1/2 tablespoon dried thyme

1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tablespoon ground black pepper

Remaining Ingredients: 

1 kg (or more) mixed cherry tomatoes and larger tomatoes, halved

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 dried or fresh bay leaves

1 tablespoon dried oregano

3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

extra virgin olive oil

1.5 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or more to taste)

sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.???????????????????????????????

2. To make the Tempeh Sausages, cut the tempeh into cubes and steam for 15 mins. Then allow it to cool or if your impatient rinse with cold water. Then break up into crumbs and place into a mixing bowl.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

3. Add the Italian Seasoning to taste, then add 1/2 cup flour, tamari, olive oil and then 1/4 flour again. You shouldn’t need any salt, the soy sauce is quite salty.

4. Place all the tomatoes in a baking dish. Add fresh thyme and rosemary, bay leaves, oregano and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Toss together.

5. Take about 1/4 of a cup worth of the sausage mixture and form into a sausage shape or patties with your hands, then lightly place onto of the tomatoes. You should be able to make about 10 sausages/patties. Don’t worry if they are difference sizes and shapes.

6. Bake in the oven for 30 mins. Then turn the sausages and bake for a further 15-20 mins. The sausages should be golden brown color. Serve with some sauteed spinach, mash potatoes and/crusty bread.

*Serves 6

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Summer Salads for Sally’s 60th

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

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

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Jamie Oliver’s ‘Best Pasta Salad’

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

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Roasted Aubergine with Sumac and Tahini Dressing

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

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Carrot Salad with Olives, Agave and Cumin

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

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

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

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