Sweet Potato Sage Risotto with Hazelnut ‘Parmesan’

Now that I know the secret to making a good risotto it is one of my favourite midweek meals to make. I have never made it with sweet potato or sage before and to be honest I was a bit worried how it was going to turn out. However this has to be one of the best risotto’s I’ve ever made. I was worried that the sweet potato would be  too sweet, but it rather completed the risotto rather then overpowering it. The sage also gave the risotto a really nice aromatic flavour. With the addition of hazelnut ‘parmesan’ it was a winning combination.

What’s your favourite ingredients to add to Risotto?

DSC02000

Sweet Potato Sage Risotto with Hazelnut ‘Parmesan’ (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

3 medium sweet potatoes (about 3 cups), peeled and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons hazelnuts

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

sea salt to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups risotto

1 large brown onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1/2 cup white wine

1 litre boiling vegetable stock (I used steamer water and Marigold Swiss Bouillon Powder)

20 sage leaves, roughly chopped

Method:

1. Steam the sweet potato. Once it is cooked set aside and mash.

2. In the meantime place the hazelnuts and nutritional yeast in a coffee grinder. Grind into a flour and add sea salt to taste.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pot, then add risotto. Toast the risotto for a minute, then add the onion and garlic. Saute for another minute.

3. Add the white wine and allow it to absorb into the rice. Stir continuously.

4. Ladle spoons of boiling vegetable stock into the pot, one at a time. Allowing the rice to absorb the stock and before adding another ladle. Stir continuously. After you add a couple of ladles of stock, add the sage leaves.

5. Once the rice is just about cooked, add the mashed sweet potato and stir through. Adjust the seasoning with sea salt to taste.

6. Serve the risotto topped with a generous couple of spoons of the Hazelnut ‘Parmesan’

*Serves 6

DSC01998

To complement the risotto I made a great big salad with fresh organic lettuce, kale, pea sprouts, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and red onion. To dress it I used my homemade Sun-dried Tomato Basil and Almond Pesto.

Pesto is also my new weekly obsession. Every week when I go to the Farmers Market I get a big bunch of basil and just blend it with olive oil, nutritional yeast and what ever nuts I have on hand. It’s great to use as a spreads, salad dressings, to add to sauces, etc. Actually tonight I used the remaining pesto to give my homemade burgers an extra kick. I am too tired to post that recipe tonight, so it will be coming out soon.

DSC01982

Labor weekend recipe roundup

Happy Labor Day weekend fellow Queenslanders! The heat has finally arrived! This weekend has been hot and humid, but really breezy as well. I spent this long weekend with house hunting and spending time with the Mini Marco’s. Below are some of the meals I have prepared over the week.

I finally tried some recipes from Crazy Sexy Diet over the weekend. I adapted her Cornmeal Banana Walnut Pancakes. Since I didn’t have any banana or walnuts, I used dairy free choc chips, which of course the kids loved. I really loved the batter for this recipe. The polenta/cornmeal really gives the pancake a crunch. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to get any photos. Another recipe I tried was her Tofu Country Scramble. Marco and I really loved this. After a year on a plant based diet and I was yet to make a tofu scramble. This tasted really similar to a real egg scramble, but better.

???????????????????????????????

We also visited The Green Edge with our Living Social Lunch Vouchers. I got Spicy Seitan Burger and a Peanut Butter Milkshake. Marco got the Satay Tofu Burger and Chocolate Milkshake. It was all so good, but I ordered far to much.???????????????????????????????

While I was there I bought a couple of new vegan products. Sweet Freedom Natural Sweetener is made of apples, grapes and carob. Its a great substitute to maple syrup and much more cost effective. Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon powder is an organic dry vegan stock, which i really makes a really flavorsome stock and is the best one I have tried. It is also a lot more cost effective then buying liquid stock.

Untitled

Over the past couple of weeks when I haven’t felt like cooking I have been bring home takeaway from Vege Rama on my way home from work. For a less then $10 you can get the most delicious vegan thai, indian curries or even a lasagna, which is big enough  for two. Tonight I tried to recreate one of my favorite dishes from there.

???????????????????????????????

Easy Thai Pumpkin Curry (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon ginger, diced

1 garlic cloves

3 tablespoons thai red curry paste

1 small red capsicum, chopped

4 cups pumpkin, chopped

2 cups carrot, chopped

2 teaspoon vegan vegetable stock mixed with 2 cups of water

400ml coconut cream

1 tablespoon soy sauce

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

1. Heat coconut oil in a wok, then add onion, ginger, garlic and curry paste. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until the oil separates from the curry paste. Then add 1/4 cup coconut cream and heat for few more minutes.???????????????????????????????

2. Add capsicum, pumpkin and carrot and saute for a 5 minutes.

3. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Add coconut cream and soy sauce and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is soften.

*Serve with brown rice or another other gluten free grain, or some wholemeal roti

Ever wondered how asparagus risotto gets that beautiful green color? I found this tip in an Italian cook book, to blend the stems of the asparagus spears with the liquid stock before cooking the risotto. I always find that I need more then a litre of stock, so added some of the steamer water to make use of the vitamins that get lost in the water. I haven’t made risotto in so long, so this was a nice treat.

???????????????????????????????

Green Spring Risotto (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 bunch asparagus

1 bunches of broccolini

1 litre vegan chicken liquid stock

1 tablespoon vegan butter (I used nutlex)

2 cups risotto rice

1/2 cup white wine

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 cup frozen peas

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Cashew Parmesan/vegan parmesan (optional)

Method:

1. Cut the woody ends off the asparagus and the broccolini. Then cut into each spear into 4 parts.

2. Place the asparagus and broccolini in the steamer, except for the tops of them. Leave them to the side for later. Steam for 5 mins or until tender.???????????????????????????????

3. Place steam asparagus and broccolini in the blender with the liquid stock and blend until smooth. Then place on the stock to boil, so that it is ready for the risotto.

4. Heat butter in a large pot, then once its melted add the risotto rice. Toast for a few minutes.

5. Add white wine, onion and garlic to the risotto and allow it the wine to absorb into the rice.???????????????????????????????

6. Now begin adding boiled liquid stock, a ladle at a time. Allow it to absorb into the rice, until adding more. Stir the risotto continuously.

7. About 5 minutes before the risotto is ready, steam the tops of the asparagus, broccolini and the peas. If you need more boiling water for the risotto, you can used this steam water once your finished with it.

8. Take the risotto off the heat and add in the steamed asparagus, broccolini and peas, and season with sea salt and black pepper.

9. Serve with some home-made vegan parmesan.

*Serves 4 main serves, or 6 entree serves

I love eggplant, but I find I don’t it as much as I like because I need to use so much oil to cook it. This recipe is a bit lighter on the oil, but is just as flavorsome. Its also really easy to prepare and is gluten free.

DSC06906

Stuffed Eggplants with Sun dried Tomatoes & Pine nuts (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 Italian eggplant

olive oil

2 small red onions

3 garlic cloves

10 sun dried tomatoes

2 tablespoons pine nuts

small handful of basil

2 tablespoons quinoa crumbs (or gluten free bread crumbs)

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.???????????????????????????????

2. Slice eggplant in half, then use a pairing knife and a spoon to scoop out most of the flesh from the eggplant, just leave the shells.???????????????????????????????

3. Brush the eggplant shells with olive oil, then place in the oven for 20 minutes.

4. In the meantime chop the eggplant flesh into small pieces and dice the red onion, garlic, sun dried tomatoes and basil.

5. Heat a pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes, until they start to soften.???????????????????????????????

6. Add the eggplant flesh to the pan and saute for 5 minutes, until its cooked. Add another tablespoon of olive or water if the eggplant is too dry.???????????????????????????????

7. Take off the heat and add the sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, quinoa crumbs and sea salt. Stir through till combined well.

8. Take out the eggplant shells from the oven and fill with the eggplant stuffing.

9. Bake the eggplants for 20 minutes.

* Serves 2 to 4 depending on the size of the serve.

What to do when you have heaps of canned pineapple leftover from pizza night? I made this delicious dressing for my work salads. Well it only turned out to be one work salad, since I accidentally poured most of this dressing on my kitchen bench.

???????????????????????????????

Pineapple Poppy seed Dressing (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 cup pineapple pieces

3/4 cup pineapple juice

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

3 tablespoon olive oil/other mild oil

sea salt to taste

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Method:

1. Place all the ingredients, except the poppy seeds in a high speed blender.

2. Stir in the poppy seeds last and serve with salad.

*Makes 250 ml

???????????????????????????????

Mushroom Risotto

I’ve been wanting to make this dish for a while, since I bought dried Porcini Mushrooms from Melbourne on my last visit. But I have been waiting for a night when Marco was out. He is not a fan of mushrooms at all. But last night I decided I couldn’t wait any long. As usually he begged me to reconsider, or to make something else on-the-side (which means something else), so I made a small salad. Luckily enough he actually liked this mushroom risotto. He has started to warm up to mushrooms more lately, but he didn’t consider the taste to over powering in this dish, which was strange considering it was all mushrooms. Its really true what they say, if you eat something enough times you start to like it.

This recipe is slightly adapted from The Food of Italy: A Journey for Food Lovers. Unlike most risotto recipe, there is no wine used. Instead the porcini mushrooms are left to brew in hot water, and this stock is used instead to absorb into the rice, before liquid stock is added. The porcini mushrooms add a more earthy flavor, which is not achieved with just fresh mushrooms. Instead of parmesan cheese, I used a fresh batch of Cashew Parmesan, which helped give that creamy salty flavor, but you can omit if you prefer.

DSC04875

Risotto ai funghi porcini (Mushroom Risotto) (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

20g dried porcini mushrooms

4 cups vegetable or vegan chicken liquid stock

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon vegan butter (I used Nutlex)

1 small brown onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 3/4 cup risotto rice

200g fresh swiss brown mushrooms, sliced

pinch ground nutmeg

1/2 cup vegan parmesan (Cashew Parmesan)

3 tablespoons diced parsley

sea salt & black pepper to taste???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Soak porcini mushrooms in 2 cups of boiling water for 20-30 mins. (Remove and slice porcini mushrooms if they are too large, keep liquid).

2. Heat olive oil and butter in a large heavy-based pot.???????????????????????????????

3. Add onions and garlic and cook for 3 mins or until softened, but not browned.

4. Add risotto and reduce heat to low. Add sea salt and coat in the onions and garlic.???????????????????????????????

5. Add the fresh mushrooms and nutmeg. Saute for 1-2 mins and reseason if you need.

6. Add porcini mushrooms and there liquid. Place on a higher heat and let the stock absorb.

7. Once stock has absorbed now add boil vegetable stock, one ladle at a time, until it has absorbed into the rice, then add another ladle. This should take about 20 mins and then the risotto should be cooked.

8. Take of the heat, add vegan parmesan, parsley, sea salt and black pepper. Stir through then serve.

*Serves 4-5

DSC04853

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.

???????????????????????????????

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

???????????????????????????????

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

DSC04653

Pesto alla trapanese used two ways

I have been wanting to make Pesto alla trapanese for a while. 8003267902010_A_L This is a traditional Western Sicilian pesto that is used to make Pasta con il pesto alla trapanese or pasta cull’agghia in the Sicilian dialect  This is a typical dish from the province of Trapani, in Sicily. The pesto is also a traditional Sicilian food products, which is recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, in Italy.

F030_trapaniPesto alla trapanese is an ancient sauce, that originated from the the port of Trapani. It was influenced by the Genovese, who arrived on ships to the Trapani ports with their Agliata ligure, a traditional garlic sauce, made of garlic and walnuts. The Trapanese sailors, then developed their own interpretation using typical produce from their region, tomatoes and almond.

The main ingredients of this pesto is basil , tomato and almonds. Other ingredients that are added to classic recipes include red garlic, extra virgin olive oil, black pepper and sometimes grated Sicilian Pecorino cheese.

Busiati

Busiati

The pasta that is traditionally paired with this pesto is fresh Busiati pasta, which is also typical of Trapani. It is a type of macaroni-like pasta that has been twisted around a branch of the Mauritania grass (dis grass).  Another pasta that is often use is Gnoccoli, which is about 15 cm long and has a large cavity. They also use Linguine or Bucatini, which are also long pastas. Pasta con il pesto alla trapanese  can be served hot or cold and is usually served along side Eggplant, Fried Potatoes or Fried Fish.

Making this pesto is really easy. I have never blanched almonds before, but it doesn’t take long and worth the effort, as blanched almonds usually cost more. I noticed initially the color of my pesto was quite green, unlike many recipes I saw online which had a yellow-orange colour. However, this color changed the next day, after it had been sitting in the fridge in a sealed container. Nevertheless still tasted the same.

I first used the pesto to make a sauce for my pizza. It went really well with the spicy red chili  salty black olives and slightly bitter rocket. I ended up eating my whole pizza. It was so moresome. Today I used the pesto again to make Pasta con il pesto alla trapanese . I just used spaghetti, as this pesto requires long pasta as it coats it better, than short pastas. I added some vegan cashew parmesan, more salt and pepper and a handful of olives again. The almonds in the pesto make this dish really filling and the tomatoes and cashew parmesan bring a beautiful creaminess to the dish.

???????????????????????????????

Pesto alla trapanese (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

50g almonds

250g cherry tomatoes

1 bunch of basil

1 red garlic clove

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Method:

1. First blanch almonds by bring a small pot to the boil, then cooking them for 2-3 mins. Remove almonds and rinse with cold water, then remove the brown skins.

2. Peel the tomatoes by placing them in boiling water for 1 minute, then emerging them in cold water. The skins should easily peel off now.

3. In the processor (or mortar and pestle) add the almonds, basil, and garlic. Process until they are ground down.

4. Then add the tomatoes, followed by the olive oil, salt and pepper. Processor until it liquefy into a dense consistency.

???????????????????????????????

Pizza with Pesto alla trapanese, Chili, Black olives and Rocket (vegan, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 pizza base

3 tablespoons pesto alla trapanese

2 small red chili, diced

1/4 red onion, sliced

small handful of black olives (deseeded and halved)

cashew parmesan

large handful of rocket leaves

sea salt and black pepper to taste

extra virgin olive oil to taste???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Roll out pizza dough, then cover the base equally with the pesto.

2. Add red onion, garlic, black olives. Sprinkle vegan parmesan, then cook the pizza in the oven until base is cooked.

3. Add the rocket, salt, pepper and lightly drizzle some olive oil.

???????????????????????????????

Pasta con il pesto alla trapanese (vegan, gluten free option, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 serve spaghetti (use gluten free if you prefer)

3 tablespoons Pesto alla trapanese (recipe above)

2 tablespoon cashew parmesan

sea salt & pepper to taste

small handful of black olives, deseeded

Method:

1. Cook 1 serve of pasta according to pack directions.???????????????????????????????

2. Once the pasta is cooked, use a tongs to move it from the pot into a mixing bowl.

3. Add the pesto, vegan parmesan, black olives, sea salt and black pepper. Toss until the pasta is coated. Then serve immediately.

???????????????????????????????

Cauliflower Red Onion and Garlic Pizza

Tonight we decided to have Pizza Night and catch up on Revenge. I really wanted to do something with cauliflower, so I came up with this. I used ajvar, but after it cooked it didn’t have that strong smokey taste. The rest of the ingredients did have a great strong taste. Marco hates cauliflower, but even he liked my pizza. Although he still preferred his smoked ham and salami pizza.

???????????????????????????????

Cauliflower Red Onion and Garlic Pizza (vegan, soy free)

Ingredients:

dough for one pizza

3 tablespoons ajvar or tomato pasta sauce

3 garlic cloves, chopped in quarters

1/2 cup cauliflower, chopped into small florets

1/2 red onion, chopped

olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped basil

sea salt to taste

vegan parmesan (cashew/brazil nut)

Method:

1. Roll out the dough to make a pizza base.???????????????????????????????

2. Combine garlic, cauliflower, red onion, basil, olive oil and sea salt in a bowl and mix through.

3. Spread ajvar on the pizza base. Then add the rest of the ingredients from the bowl.

4. Sprinkle with vegan parmesan and cook for 20 mins or until base is cooked.

???????????????????????????????

Also check out my Spicy Hawaiian Pizza and Baked Panzarotti with Mushrooms, Sun-dried tomatoes & Pine nuts

dsc002871

untitled3

Risotto alla zucca, Brazil Nut Parmesan, Zucchini Fritters with Mint and Banana Blueberry Overnight Oats

Good evening or morning guys. Tonight I made another Italian traditional dish. In the north, pumpkin is plentiful and in the past was typically eaten by the poor farmers. In Mantova this dish is very popular. I have previously made some dishes from this city, including Tortelli di zucca and Sbrisolona in past posts.

I veganised a recipe from the Italian website Giallo Zafferano. Instead of using rosemary, I used thyme, which gave it a beautiful fragrant flavor. I topped it with Brazil Nut Parmesan. This Parmesan was just as good as Cashew Parmesan. It is really creamy and savory. I am addicted!

I also made these zucchini fritters. Marco didn’t like the mint, but I think it gave it a really nice fresh taste. If you don’t like mint, add basil or italian parsley. There are no eggs needed in this recipe. The moisture from the zucchini, flour and touch of soy milk is enough to bind the fritters. These can be made gluten free by just using gluten free plain flour.

This afternoon we went to the Rocklea Markets and got this delicious loaf of Organic Spelt Bread. We also heaps of vegetables. I can’t believe for $17 I managed to fill a whole box of food. So if you live in Brisbane I really recommend doing your food shopping here and see how much you save.

Lastly, I wanted to share these delicious overnight oats I had for breakfast. Our bananas have been going nearly off, as no one has been eating them, so this was a perfect way to use them. Overnight oats are really filling and a perfect quick way to start the day. For more flavor ideas check out my Recipe Index.

???????????????????????????????

Risotto alla zucca (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons vegan butter

1 brown onion, diced

350g pumpkin cut in small cubes

500g arborio rice

1-2 tablespoons thyme leaves

1/2 cup white wine

1 litre vegan chicken/vegetable liquid stock

vegan parmesan

Method:

1. Heat vegan butter in a pot, then add onion. Cook for 4 mins or until the onion has soften.???????????????????????????????

2. Add pumpkin and cook for 5 mins so it has softened.

3. Add rice and thyme cook for 10 mins. Constantly stirring. While it is cooking boil liquid stock.

4. Now begin ladling hot liquid stock, one spoon at a time. Constantly stiring. Continue adding stock till all has been absorbed and rice is cooked.

*Serve with vegan parmesan

Serves 6

???????????????????????????????

Brazil Nut Parmesan (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 cup brazil nuts

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Method:

1. Grind all the ingredients till ground.

*Makes 1 cup

???????????????????????????????

Zucchini Fritters with Mint (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini

2 garlic cloves

1 handful of mint

1/2 cup wholemeal (or gluten free flour)

1 tablespoon unsweetened plant milk (oat or rice; soy or almond if you can tolerate)

sea salt to taste

olive oil to fry???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Grate zucchini and garlic. Chop mint roughly.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well so all the flavour goes through.

3. Make small patties and fry in hot oil. Cook patties for 1-2 mins on both sides or until browned.

*Makes 10

???????????????????????????????

Banana Blueberry Overnight Oats (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup instant or rolled oats (preferably organic)

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

2 whole overripe bananas

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 tablespoon maple syrup (I used blueberry maple syrup)

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a container and stir through.

2. Cover and place in the fridge over night.

*Serves 2 or 1 big serve

Lentil & Potato ‘Meatballs’ and Spaghetti in a Creamy White Wine Sauce with Mushrooms & Kale

Hi all! These recipes are inspired by the leftovers in my fridge. I love using leftovers, because it means its time to go food shopping again.

The recipe for the ‘Meatballs’ is adapted from this Italian vegan recipe, Polpette di lenticchie, from Veganblog.it. I just tweaked some of the ingredients and the method a bit, so it was more like the meatballs I use to make. I have never used potatoes in meatballs before, but it bound the ingredients really well and tasted really good fried. I was going to make a sauce, but my family really liked them the way they were.

DSC03405

Lentil & Potato ‘Meatballs’ (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

400g of cooked green lentils

250g of boiled potatoes

1 carrot grated

1 red or brown onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

3 tablespoons diced parsley

1/2 tablespoon sea salt

4 tablespoons corn crumbs or breadcrumbs

plain flour (use gluten free plain flour if you prefer)

grapeseed oil for frying

Method:

1. If you haven’t already cook the lentils and boil the potatoes with water in separate pots.???????????????????????????????

2. Take a large mixing bowl and place the lentils inside. Mash the boiled potatoes then add to the lentils.???????????????????????????????

3. Heat a drop of oil in a pan on medium heat and add the onion, garlic and carrot. Cook for 3 mins or until softened and slightly browned. Stir constantly, so its consistently cooked.???????????????????????????????

4. Add the onion, carrot and garlic to the mixing bowl. Add parsley, corn crumbs and stir and stir through. Add more corn crumbs is the mixture is too wet.

5. Form a small balls with the mixture and roll in flour. Repeat until mixture has been used. You should have about 40 balls.

6. Heat a pan with oil to fry. Then fry the balls for 2-3 mins or until they are golden brown on all sides.

*Makes 40 balls

???????????????????????????????

Spaghetti in a Creamy White Wine Sauce with Mushrooms & Kale (vegan, gluten free option, nut free)

Ingredients:

4-5 serves of spaghetti or other long pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves

10 white mushrooms, thinly sliced

leaves from three large leaves of kale

1/2 cup white wine

2 teaspoons vegan butter

2 cup soy milk (more if too thick)

2 teaspoons arrowroot flour

4 tablespoon vegan parmesan (or nutritional yeast)

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water. When its ready strain and set to the side.???????????????????????????????

2. In a large pan heat olive oil, then add garlic and mushrooms, saute for 2 mins.

3. Add the kale and saute for another minute. Then add white wine and cook for 3 more minutes. Then take off the heat.???????????????????????????????

2. In the meantime 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 4-5

*I really recommend making some vegan parmesan, rather then using nutritional yeast. The cashews give the sauce creamy sweet taste.

???????????????????????????????

Red Wine Barley & Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Spinach, Vegan Parmesan and Turkish Bread Pizzas

Good evening guys, hope you had a good weekend. We just caught up with friends and finally celebrated our engagement with my parents. So didn’t do a lot of cooking. I have been feeling really tired lately. It’s not as hot as it was, but still a bit sticky. I have been finding myself craving meat, chicken mostly. Its strange because I really don’t want to eat it and it’s been the only thing I think I haven’t even tasted since I stopped eating it all together. I am still eating a bit of fish, but I know my body is craving whole grains and fresh greens. So I have been trying the past couple of days to get back on track.

I have also been trying to get back into exercising. Six months ago I was walking every where all day and all night. Now I have been barely walking, except for the occasional dog walk. It’s started to cool down as I said so there is no more excuses for not going for more walks and started back up with pilates. I went for a couple of walks today and it was really nice to get out by myself. The sun stays out till 6.30 and there are lots of people about walking. I won’t take the dogs by myself again, after what happened a couple of days ago. My dogs went crazy at a woman who walked too close to us, then they saw a cat, then a man walking a baby, then two people walking two boxes, then another couple walking a dog. They were out of control. I still have sore arms and blisters on my hands from them trying to pull away from me and attack all these ‘threats’. It was very embarrassing and scary situation. They were scared and they knew I didn’t have full control of them. But it is not their fault, so more walks are needed for them to get more social and for me to get back in shape.

Tonight I wanted to make something with a little bit of barley I had in the cupboard. I didn’t have enough so I also used brown rice to make a risotto. I adapted this recipe, Red Wine Barley Risotto with Silverbeet & Mushrooms, from Madison. I was a bit scared using merlot in the cooking, so I used a bit less then I could have, but it turned out lovely with a mild hint of the wine and gave the grains a beautiful color. Although not a traditional risotto, the vegan butter really brought a creaminess to it at the end.

Since I couldn’t use parmigiano, I looked for a vegan alternative. I found this lovely recipe for a Vegan Parmesan Cheese from Veggieful. It is made from cashew nuts and nutritional yeast and it tastes amazing. I actually never liked parmesan. Even my Nona knows not to put parmesan on my pasta from when I was a little girl. I always thought it smelt like throw up. But this parmesan is delicious! It is soft, with a creaminess to it and a bit of a cheesy salty taste. I really recommend it, even if you don’t like parmesan either.

Lastly, I put in a simple recipe from the night before. We weren’t going to have dinner, since we had such a late lunch. We made turkish burgers with Fry’s Traditional Burger patties (can’t get enough of these). But after a long walk with the dogs we got really peckish late that night. So this is what we came up with.

???????????????????????????????

Red Wine Barley & Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms & Spinach (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

4.5 cups (1 Litre) vegan chicken or vegetable liquid stock

1.5 cup filtered water

1.25 cup merlot

1 cup pearl barley (use another cup of brown rice instead to make gluten free)

1 cup brown rice

4 tablespoons olive oil

20g dried skiitake mushrooms, soaked & sliced if not already

5 white mushrooms, sliced

4 garlic cloves, diced

1 red onion, diced

200-300 g baby spinach, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons parsley, diced

50g vegan butter

sea salt & pepper to taste

vegan parmesan to serve (optional, recipe below)

Method:

1. Take a large pot and bring to the boil the liquid stock, water and wine. In the meantime rinse the barley and brown rice.P1000605

2. Once pot comes to a boil, add the barley and rice and let that come to a boil. Then let it continue to boil uncovered for 30 mins. Most of the liquid should be absorbed during this time. Remove any excess material from the top of the liquid as it cooks. Once it is finished take off the heat and put the lid on it and leave it for at least 5 mins before adding the rest of the ingredients.

3. Take large pan and heat the olive oil on medium heat. Then add the red onion, garlic and all the mushrooms. Cook for 10 mins. P1000606

4. Add the baby spinach and parsley to the mushrooms and cook for 2 mins or until spinach has wilted.

5. Then add the barley, rice and any extra liquid from the pot to the large pan and stir through.

6. Add the vegan butter  and season with sea salt & pepper. Heat through on a medium heat for 1-2 mins

* Serve with vegan parmesan

* Serves 5-6

???????????????????????????????

Vegan Parmesan (from Veggieful) (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 cup cashews

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp sea saltP1000604

Method:

1. Whiz in the processor or grinder until it becomes a powder.

* Makes about 1 cup

* Store in the fridge in air tight container. Should last a few weeks.

Turkish Bread Pizzas (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/2 whole turkish bread

olive oil

cherry tomatoes

garlic, crushed

roasted capsicum

marinated buffalo-style tofu mozzarella (or store-bought vegan mozzarella)

baby spinach, chopped

fresh basil or parsley

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to grill.???????????????????????????????

2. Slice the turkish bread in half, lengthwise.

3. Combine the tomato, garlic and olive oil in a small bowl. Then spread onto the turkish bread base. Then add roasted capsicum, tofu/vegan cheese, baby spinach, herbs and sea salt.

4. Grill in the oven for 5 mins or until the bread is toasted

* Serves 2

???????????????????????????????