Baked Butter beans and Zucchini

A few of days ago I heard some really sad news that Jessica Ainscough passed away after losing her battle with cancer. I didn’t know her personally but I did follow blog and go to her Wellness Warrior Live Australian Tour about a year ago (post). She also wrote a great book, Make Peace with Your Plate: Change Your Life One Meal at a Time, which spoke of her own struggles with her health and how she changed her life by focusing  on nourishing her body with healthy food and living. She was a great inspiration of mine and I really value what I learned from her. There has been a lot of negative things written about her, which I don’t think is fair. Unless your are in someone else shoes I don’t think you have the right to judge what kind of treatment someone chooses when they are faced with a life threatening illness. I hope never to have to face such a difficult situation and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else. There are no guarantees in life and I believe she thrived in a terrible situation. Normally I’m never usually that sad when a well known person passes, but I feel differently this time. I guess because after hearing her story and meeting her at the book signing, she seemed really real, kind and relatable.

Over the past few days I have been making more recipes from my favourite recipe book of the moment, The Oh She Glows Cookbook. If you haven’t seen the book or Angela’s blog, Oh She Glows, I really recommend both. I am determined to cook as many recipes as I can. They are always delicious and easy to make. She also has recently had a baby and I have been enjoying reading all her posts and has been very eye opening to me for what to expect. I might start a new cookbook project with her book. My last one was not very successful. I have had more fun cooking Angela’s recipes. So this is some more recipes that I made over the last few days.

Since I’ve been pregnant I’ve often have cravings for granola. I have bought a few different brands but end up devouring the whole box with in a few days. I was flipping through Angela’s book and found this easy recipe for Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters. I absolutely love this recipe. It tastes so much better then storebought. I had everything already on hand so it was really easy to make. For the dried fruit I used dried figs and raisins. The recipe makes a fair bit and can last a couple of weeks in the fridge. Mine didn’t last that long. I had it with coconut yoghurt, over overnight oats and raw buckwheat porridge or simply with some almond milk. Marco also got very excited about it as well and enjoyed it for afternoon tea at work or a late night dessert snack.

In fact, something else that really paired well with this granola was Angela’s Creamy Vanilla Almond Milk. I did make it a few weeks back and used cheese cloth and made such a mess. Never again. I bought my own nut bag from a health food shop and it was so much easier, quicker and zero mess. Homemade almond milk taste so much better then store bought, that can have a bit of a strange taste. Plus this recipe uses 1 whole cups of almonds, which is way more than store bought, that usually only contain 6 almonds if your lucky. So it is way more nutrious and extremely creamy. Marco even used some to make a cappuccino and it creamed up really well. As you can see below I finished most of my granola by the time I took this picture. 

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Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters, The Oh She Glows Cookbook

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Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters with Creamy Vanilla Almond Milk, The Oh She Glows Cookbook

Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters with Raw Buckwheat Poridge, Oh She Glows Cookbook

Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters with Raw Buckwheat Porridge, The Oh She Glows Cookbook

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On the mend Spiced Red Lentil-Kale Soup, The Oh She Glows Cookbook

Another recipe I made was the On the mend Spiced Red Lentil-Kale Soup. It doesn’t look like much but it is packed full of flavour. Marco wasn’t so excited about this soup until he tried it and he was blown away. Usually he doesn’t want to eat the same thing twice but he was happy to have it three times till it was gone. This recipe is something I came up with when I ran out of green veggies and was left with a zucchini and a can of butter beans. It’s very easy to make and makes a great main meal and leftovers can be eaten for breakfast on toast. I enjoyed mine with mashed potatoes and white wine mushrooms. I didn’t think Marco would like this one but I snuck it in his work lunch anyway and he really enjoyed it. DSC03851

Baked Butter beans and Zucchini (vegan, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 brown onion, quartered, sliced thinly

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium zucchini, chopped into cubes

1 cup good quality tomato pasta sauce (about 250 grams)

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

pinch of raw sugar

sea salt and black pepper to taste

1 can butter beans

4 tablespoons good quality bread crumbs

4 tablespoons nutritional yeast

4 small roma tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes, sliced

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Heat olive oil in an oven proof skillet on medium heat, then add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes or until soft and browned.

3. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

4. Add the zucchini and sauté for another minute

5. Add the tomato sauce, water, italian seasoning, liquid smoke, red wine vinegar, sugar. Bring to a light boil, then place on a simmer for 10 minutes.

6. In the meantime combine the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt in a small bowl.

7. Add the butter beans to the skillet and season with salt and black pepper. Then take of the heat.

8. Top the skillet with the bread crumb mixture and some sliced tomatoes.

9. Bake for 20 minutes and then serve.

*Serves 4-6 DSC03846

Zucchini Basil Fritters with Lemon Cumin Mayo

I have been in such a rut with cooking since I’ve been back from holidays. I have still been cooking everyday, but I have been lacking inspirations and finding it hard to get back into a healthy routine. I’m not sure if its me still being in holiday mode or because of my anger towards my electric stove (I miss mums gas stove!).  But today I’m back on the wagon.

Last night after work I went and did my shopping for the week. Normally when I shop when I’m hungry I’m DSC01738overflowing with ideas and can’t wait to get home to cook. But yesterday it wasn’t the same. So I thought I’d go back to the basics and just fill my fridge with healthy vegetables, fruit and spurge on some coconut yogurt. I came home and baked some petite potatoes, red onions and this beautiful little pumpkin that I found in my DSC01740garden. While  I was waiting for it to cook I finally got some inspiration. I made these little fritters with some leftover rice and some organic zucchini. They were very good!

This morning I pushed myself to drink a healthy smoothie.  I made delicious Mixed Berry Kale Smoothie with Coconut Yogurt and Almond Milk. Can’t believe I’ve been avoiding smoothies and juices. Now I remember how good good they are.

Do you ever get in a rut with cooking or eating healthy? What do you do to snap out of it?

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Zucchini Basil Fritters with Lemon Cumin Mayo (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

To make Zucchini Basil Fritters:

Ingredients:

1 cup leftover basmati rice

1 medium zucchini, grated

2 garlic cloves, diced

20 basil leaves, diced

2 teaspoons egg replacer, mixed 4 tablespoons water)

1/2 cup plain flour or gluten free flour

1 tablespoon lemon juice

sea salt and black pepper to taste

olive oil

Method:

1. Take a mixing bowl and combine the basmati rice, grated zucchini, garlic and basil.

2. Add egg replacer, flour, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper to taste. Stir through well.

3. Heat a non stick pan with olive oil on medium heat. Take a heaped tablespoon of the mixture and make into a pattie with your hands, then drop into the pan. Cook fritters for a minute or two on both side.

4. Continue Step 3 until you have no more mixture yet. You should be able to make eight Fritters.

To Make Lemon Cumin Mayo:

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste

sea salt & black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients and serve with the fritters.

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Roasted Capscium & Vegetable Lasagna

Yesterday I went food shopping and found out that my local Fruit and Vegetable shop at Mt Ommaney (Brisbane) is now selling Notzarella! I don’t buy it often since I don’t live near the only vegan grocery store that sells it. So more melty ‘cheese’ will be on the menu from now on. To celebrated I made lasagna. This is the first time I have made my own Roasted Capsicum in the oven. It is so easy and doesn’t take too long either.

For some strange reason my oven didn’t cook the lasagna on both sides, so the sweet potato on one entire side was uncooked. That was the side we ate last night. I added the extra step in the recipe to steam them first to be on the safe side.

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Roasted Capsicum & Vegetable Lasagna (vegan, gluten free option, nut free)

Ingredients:

4 red capsicum (or mixed with green)

500g sweet potato

2 large zucchini

2 cups baby spinach

1 handful basil

1 tablespoon vegan butter (I used Nutlex)

2 cups whole soy milk (thick)

1 tablespoon arrowroot flour (or unbleached plain flour)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 bay leaf

sea salt & black pepper to taste

2 cups grated vegan mozzarella (I used Notzarella)

250g  packet lasagna sheets (use gluten free lasagna sheets if you prefer)

2 x jars 500g pasta sauce

Method:DSC04576

1. Preheat oven to  200 degrees.

2. Remove stem and seeds from capsicums. Then bake for 20-30 mins or until skin starts to blister.DSC04575

3. In the mean time thinly slice the sweet potatoes and zucchini. Steam sweet potatoes until you can put a fork through them. Roughly chop the spinach and basil.

4. Once capsicums are cooked, turn the oven down to 180 degrees and remove the skin from the capsicums and roughly chop.???????????????????????????????

5. To make bechamel, heat butter in a pot, add soy milk,  flour,  garlic powder, nutmeg, bay leaf. Whisk until combined. Then heat until it thickens, season with sea salt and black pepper.

6. Take a baking tray and add pasta sauce on the bottom. Then add pasta sheets. On top add sweet potato and then zucchini, spinach, capsicum and basil. Then top with bechemel sauce and mozzarella. Next top with pasta sheets and pasta sauce then continue to layer  the vegetables. Once you have done a couple more layers,  lastly top pasta sheets with pasta sauce and mozzarella.

7. Bake for 40-45 mins then serve.

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Eggplants stuffed with Israeli Couscous and Cucumber Yogurt Salad

Yesterday I paid a visit to my favorite vegan cafe in Brisbane, Green Edge. I had a Veggie Burger (best in Brisbane) and a Vegan Brownie with Soy Whip. I also topped up on some grocery supplies, such as Notzarella , Kingland Plain Soy Yogurt, Smoky Maple Bacon Marinated Tempeh, So Delicious Banana Split Minis and some loose dried legumes. If you are dairy free, gluten free, vegan or vegetarian, you will be able to find a variety of delicious products here, as well as the most delicious ‘I can’t believe its vegan’ Brownies and Cheesecakes. As far as I know this is the only vegan supermarket in Brisbane, so you will fine stuff here that you won’t see in your local health food store.

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After we had lunch at Green Edge, we paid a visit to some family, then came home late. I decided to make Stuffed Eggplants, which I haven’t made before. But I really wanted to use my Notzarella and Israel Couscous. It turned out quite nice. I probably didn’t blanch my eggplants long enough so the bigger ones had a bit of white color in parts of the shells that didn’t soften as well as the rest. I didn’t really think about a side until 5 mins before they were ready so I just made this quick Cucumber Yogurt Salad.

We were still a bit hungry after, so after some left over pizza from last night. We also had to try the So Delicious Banana Split Minis. They were sooo good! With only 100 calories and all natural ingredients they were pretty guilt free.

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Eggplants stuffed with Israeli Couscous (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

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Ingredients:

4 medium eggplants

table salt

1 onion

3 garlic cloves

1/2 red capsicum

2 tomatoes

1 large zucchini

1/2 tablespoon agave

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 cup water

sea salt to taste

1 cup israeli couscous

8 slices vegan mozzarella on top (I used Notzarella)

Method:

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

2. Cut the eggplants in half and sprinkle table salt the eggplants. Leave for 30 mins, to get out the bitterness. ???????????????????????????????

3. In the mean time cook the Israeli Couscous according to packet instructions, then place to the side after its cooked to cool.

4. Wipe off the moisture and salt from the eggplants. Then cut out the center flesh of the eggplants, leaving the skins of the eggplant intact and in shape. Chop the flesh of the eggplant into cubes.

5. In a large pan or pot of boiling water, blanch the eggplant skins for 5-10 mins, or until the skin goes from purple to brown. Don’t over soften, but try to make sure the inside flesh left on the skins are not white (otherwise those parts won’t be soft after cooking).???????????????????????????????

6. In the meantime chop onion, garlic, capsicum, tomatoes and zucchini.

7. Take out the eggplant skins and place on baking paper in a baking tray. Then tip out the water from the large pan/pot.

8. Heat olive oil in the pan then add onion, garlic, capsicum and eggplant. Cook for 5 mins or until softened.

9. Then add tomatoes, zucchini, tomato paste, water, agave, sea salt and black pepper. Cook for a further 5-10 mins or until it becomes a bit saucy. ???????????????????????????????

10. Stir through the Israeli cous cous and cook for a further minute. Then take off the heat.

11. Place these vegetables and couscous from the pan into the eggplant shells. Then top with Notzarella or vegan mozzarella. Bake for 30-40 mins.

Cucumber Yogurt Salad (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 cucumber

2 shallots

1 tablespoon soy yogurt

1/2 teaspoon agave

squeeze of lemon

sea salt  and black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Cut the cucumber finely into slices and chop the shallots.

2. Place soy yogurt, agave, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper in a bowl. Then stir through cucumber and shallots and serve.???????????????????????????????

Cucumber Yogurt Salad (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 cucumber

2 shallots

1 tablespoon soy yogurt

1/2 teaspoon agave

squeeze of lemon

sea salt  and black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Cut the cucumber finely into slices and chop the shallots.

2. Place soy yogurt, agave, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper in a bowl. Then stir through cucumber and shallots and serve.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

Zucchini, Onion & Parsley Eggless Fritata and Spelt Pomogranate & Almond Biscotti

These two dishes were last nights dinner and dessert. My frittata didn’t set right,  because I used too much tofu. I had a block of 500g, so I made two with an extra 50g of tofu in each. So for the instructions below I gave my original measurements to make one. You will be able to slide it more easier in a baking tray, which is what I struggled with. Nevertheless it was still creamy and delicious.

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Zucchini, Onion and Parsley Eggless Fritata (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

200g soft silken tofu

2 tablespoons vegan butter

3 tablespoons cornflour (or arrowroot flour)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon onion flakes (or onion powder)

½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 zucchini, grated

1 small red onion, diced

1/2 bunch italian parsley, roughly chopped

Method:

1. In the processor blend the silken tofu, vegan butter, cornstarch, baking powder, sea salt, black pepper, turmeric, onion ???????????????????????????????flakes and garlic powder.

2. Heat pan with olive oil, then add the red onion and cook for a couple of minutes.

3. Take off the heat then add the zucchini and italian parsley and stir though.

4. Add the tofu batter to the pan, coat the vegetables, then level the batter and let it cook for 15 mins on medium heat.???????????????????????????????

5. Preheat grill in the oven.

6. Slide the frittata onto a circular baking tray with baking paper and place into the oven (grill). If you have the right pan you can put the entire pan into the oven. Grill for 3 mins or until slightly golden brown on top.

*Serves 2

Since I still had half a pomogranate worth of seeds left from the salad I made for Sally’s 60th, I decided to try and use it to make Italian Biscotti. I have never made it before, although I have eaten my fair share of it. I adapted the recipe  Vegan Almond Biscotti, from Food.com. I used spelt flour, so I needed more apple sauce to make a moist batter. I also tweaked some of the other ingredients. They came out really well. Mine are a tad softer, as I only baked them once after slicing them and I used more oil. For a more drier biscotti, use less oil and bake slices on both sides.

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Spelt Pomogranate & Almond Biscotti (vegan, soy free)

Ingredients:

2 cups wholewheat spelt flour

1 cups unbleached plain flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1.5 cups raw sugar

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup pomogranate seeds

3/4 cup almonds, dry toasted and roughly chopped???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Preheat oven the 180 degrees. Take two nonstick cookie trays or grease two normal cookie trays.???????????????????????????????

2. Take a large mixing bowl and combine spelt flour, white flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together.???????????????????????????????

3. In another mixing bowl add raw sugar, apple sauce, olive oil and vanilla extract. Whisk together.???????????????????????????????

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir well, then add pomogranate seeds and toasted almonds.

5. Place 1/2 of the batter on one of the cookie trays and shape into a 3 inch wide log. Square off the ends. Do the same with the rest of the batter on the other tray.

6. Bake for 25 mins in the oven. Then remove from oven and turn oven down to 160 degrees. Place both logs on cooling trays for 15 mins.

7. Now that the logs have cooled down, use a shape knife to cut the logs into 1/2-1 inch wide slices.???????????????????????????????

8. Place slices back onto the cookie trays and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until it is golden on the bottom side.

9. Then turn the slices oven and cook for a further 5-10 mins. (I skipped this step because I forgot).

10. Place on cooling racks before serving.

*Serves 30-40 depending on how thick you cut them.

*keep in airtight container for two weeks

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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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Merry Christmas to all!

Hope everyone had a good Christmas  I spent the 24th-26th preparing food and eating it. We had Marco’s Birthday Lunch with his family, Christmas lunch and dinner with my family and Boxing day celebrating with his family again for lunch.

We are off to Melbourne tomorrow  I can’t wait! All my family are down there and I haven’t been for a few years. But I am also eager to discover some of the great vegan eats down there too. I have heard that Melbourne is the best state for vegans and vegetarians. I hope I have time. Its difficult to find time to do your own thing when visiting family. I feel guilty for ditching them or that I am not making the most of my time with them. I have a very big italian family. My mum is one of 10 and most of  her siblings live down there with their kids and my father is one of four and his parents and grandmother are still alive. There is always a bit of jealously when I go between one family to the other. I also don’t know how they are going to take my new diet. They love meat down there. I know people think well they others should respect their lifestyle choice as vegan/vegetarian, but I always feel like I should be as little trouble as possible when I stay like people. Thats just the way I have been brought up and if you go against the norm then you are a problem. I am hoping I am worrying about nothing and it will all turn out well!

Over the last few days I cooked for Christmas with my family and for Marco’s family. I made another Rosemary Galette with tomatoes and zucchini, Chat Potato Salad, Sweet Potato CroquettesStone Fruit Slice, and a Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake. I ended up making everything except the Cheesecake for Christmas with my family. Unfortunately none of them even tried or asked about what I cooked. I was a bit annoyed after going to all that effort. This part of my family is very pro meat and milk. They don’t believe that food is important to be healthy and it shows. I hope they don’t read this. Its their choice anyway. At least they didn’t put caesar dressing on the other salads, so I could eat them. It’s something I suppose. They did eat my fudge, which  also brought and Marco served out. Didn’t get any feedback, but considering the plates didn’t come back with any left over I guess they liked it.

I ended up taking the Sweet Pototo Croquettes and both cakes to Marco’s the next day for his family. Considering when I met this Serbian family they ate meat for nearly every meal, they have come a long way. Most of them don’t drink dairy and make a conscious effort to not eat so much meat. It isn’t just my influence, but also cancer, intolerance and a lot of reading that has really changed their eating habits over the past 5 years. So they were really happy with everything I brought and it cheered me up.

Their were also a lot of vegetarian options at their lunch. One of the ladies brought their traditional pita, but instead of putting cheese in them, she put some with semolina and some with grated potato. They were really really good. I couldn’t stop eating them. I wish I took a photo of them. The Serbian’s have traditional called Slava, where they don’t eat any meat or dairy products for a day. So they do have a few vegan friendly recipes. Hopefully I can learn a few.

Below are some of the foods I prepared for Christmas:

 

Rosemary Galette with Tomato & Zucchini (vegan, nut free)

Adapted from Chloe’s Kitchen???????????????????????????????

Ingredients:

1.25 cups plain flour

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon rosemary leaves

1/2 cup nutlex (vegan butter)

5 tablespoons ice cold water

olive oil

2 truss tomatoes

1 small zucchini

Method:

1. Preheat the oven 180 degrees and start the dough. Take a large ???????????????????????????????bowl and combining flour, sugar, salt, rosemary in a bowl. Then adding nutlex in small chunks. Use your hands to combine so it becomes like bread crumbs, then add the water, so that it becomes like a dough. Place in the fridge for 10 mins.

2. Roll out the ???????????????????????????????dough with rolling pin on baking paper. Cut out a large circle about 20cm and place into a circle baking pan. Refrigerate for 10 mins.

3. Brush the dough with olive oil, fan sliced tomatoes in the center and add the thinly sliced zucchini around the edges. Then fold down the edges on top of the zucchini and season it all with salt. Refrigerate for 15 mins.

4. Bake for 30-35mins and serve.

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Chat Potatoes Salad (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

500g chat Potatoes

olive oil

sea salt

200g soft tofu

1/4 cup olive oil

1  garlic clove

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

4 shallots, chopped

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

vegan sour cream (I used Chef Chloe’s recipe)

1. Preheat oven 180 degrees. Coat the chat poatoes in olive oil and sea salt. Bake for 40 mins or until soft. ???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????2. In the meantime prepare the sour cream. Blend the tofu, oil, garlic, lemon, mustard and salt and place in the fridge till you need it. Should make 3/4 of a cup.

3. When potatoes have cooled down cut the potatoes in halfs or quarters. Add sliced shallots and sliced sun dried tomatoes.

4. When ready, coat in sour cream and sea salt.

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Mixed Fruit Slice

This is adapted for my Stone Fruit & Berry Slice. I used nectarines, peaches, kiwi fruit, pineapple, green grapes. One thing I really changed was adding a cup of soy milk to the base of the slice when I was making the dough. I also didn’t add maple to the fruit. I just squashed them on top and added a sprinkle of raw sugar.

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Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake

This recipe is from The Veggie Nook. Really easy to make. Next time I wouldn’t add so much banana and put a bit more maple syrup in the filling. It was sweet enough for me, but not for Marco.

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These are a couple of recipes I have made from leftovers this week, while I was cooking:

Tempeh ‘Tuna’ Salad (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

I have been hearing about this mock tuna for a while, but I never got around to trying to make it. I looked at a few recipes, but didn’t have all of the ingredients for them. It does have the texture of tuna but not quite the fishy taste. I will have to keep trying. But otherwise a good creamy salad filling for a sandwich.

Ingredients:

75g tempeh

2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons celery, finely diced

1 small dill pickle, finely diced

1.5 tablespoons vegan mayo

1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast

1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Steam tempeh in a steamer for 20 mins (to remove bitterness)

2. Combine all the ingredients and season to taste. Serve in a sandwich, on toast or with a salad.

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Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese (vegan, gluten free option)

Ingredients:

100-150 g Macraroni (or other short pasta, use gluten free pasta if you prefer)

1/4 cup mashed pumpkin

1/2 cup milk

2-3 tablespoons nutitional yeast

2-3 tablespoons vegan sour cream (I used Chef Chloe’s recipe)

sea salt to taste

corn crumbs

Method:

1. Boil Pasta according to instructions. Then strain and set aside.

2. Heat pumpkin with soy milk. Stir till it becomes a thick sauce, then add nutritional yeast and stir. Add pasta and take off the heat.

3. Add sour cream and season with salt, then place into a baking proof dish. Top with corn crumbs and cook in the oven for 10-15mins or till golden brown on top.

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Penne con pesto di zucchine

I recently found this great site with traditional Italian dishes. I love Italian food and I especially love to try regional specialties.  When I was in Italy and traveling around Europe I always made sure I tried the dish that the town was known for. So you may have guessed, I was eating plenty of meat. I did find some vegetarian and seafood dishes occasionally.

I adapted this dish from Garganelli con pesto di zucchine. I’m not sure where this dish originated from or if it is a traditional dish or a modern creation. The pasta garganelli is from the region Romagna. It is similar to shape to penne, but it has a strip indent marked by the riga-gnocchi tool and  flap from being folded. The name comes from the word garaganel, which means chicken’s oesophagus in dialet. This pasta dates back to 1725 and apparently was created by mistake by a Cardinal Cornelio Bentivoglio d’Aragona ‘s cook. Traditionally it was served in a broth, but today it can be cooked in a variety of  ingredients [1]. As for the zucchini pesto, I think this is a variance of the typically Ligurian classic Pesto alla genovese. This pesto is raw, really tasty and a great way to use your left over zucchini.

I adapted the recipe to be vegan and changed the amount of ingredients. I found with out Parmesan it needed more nuts. In the original recipe there are prawns. If you want to try this with them, just add to the sauteed garlic and pinenuts, then add pasta and  take off the heat before adding the pesto. I made Marco’s today with the prawns and he loved it. I recommend using the left overs as a pasta salad. I find pesto usually doesn’t reheat as well, especially if intend on microwaving it at work.

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Penne con pesto di zucchini (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

400g penne (use gluten free penne if you prefer)

250g zucchini (1 large)

60g + 2 tablespoons of pine nuts

20g slivered almonds

20g fresh basil

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2-3 garlic cloves

1-2 tablespoons pure olive oil

sea salt & black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Take a pasta pot and boil water. Once boiled add pasta and a big pinch of salt. Then cook according to pack directions and set aside.

2. Grate the zucchini then squeeze out the water (through a strainer). DSC00922

3. Take your processor and add pine nuts, almonds, basil, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt to taste. Process till all ground together.

4. Add zucchini to processor and process till combined and creamy. Adjust seasoning if you need to.

5. Take a large pan or pot and heat olive oil. Then add garlic and extra pine nuts and saute for 2-3  mins or until browned.

6. Add pasta and heat through till warm.

7. Turn off the heat and add zucchini pesto and stir through.

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[1] Great Garganelli Pasta, blog.cookitaly.com/2011/01/great-garganelli.html