Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Lentil & 3 C's Stew

Here's a nice easy meal that is great in winter because it's so warm and soothing and full of veggies. It is great by itself, but also pairs well with brown rice or couscous or baked potatoes or even freshly baked bread.
We make it in a pressure cooker, as it's super quick & easy. We have the ability to saute first in our pressure cooker which is a feature I love, as I really prefer the taste of sauteed onions over just having them cooked in the stew without being sauteed first. However, if you don't have a pressure cooker you can make it over a stove top -  it will just take longer and may require more water.
This has become a favourite in our home, especially at the end of the week when we have quite a few bits and pieces of veggies leftover and want to use them all up before we buy our fresh lot for the next week. My husband refers to this meal as "pressure cooker lentils" - just stating things like they are ;-)
It works with any different herbs you wish to use, depending on what flavours you'd like to add to your stew. We also occasionally use a drop of liquid smoke which adds a lovely depth to the stew. The options are truly endless. :-) 

(Makes 6-8 servings)
You'll need:
2 cups dried green lentils
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1/4 head cabbage 
2 carrots

2 stalks celery
1 zucchini
1/2 bunch silverbeet 
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 Tablespoon lemon juice 
1 litre veggie stock
1/2 litre water
1 teaspoon fresh rosemany

Chop all the veggies. 
Saute the onion and garlic. Add the remaining veggies to either a pressure cooker or stove top. 
If using a pressure cooker, add remaining ingredients and cook under pressure for 18 minutes. Release steam and serve. (You can use baby spinach in place of the silverbeet, add after steam has been released and stir through until wilted.)
For stove top, add the stock, water and lemon juice and cook for 30-35 minutes until lentils are cooked through and veggies are tender, adding more liquid if required. Then stir through the nutritional yeast, tomato paste, and rosemary.

Question of the day:
Do you have a winter comfort food? If so, what is it?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Neapolitan Ice-cream

Who remembers those big tubs of ice-cream that had a mixture of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavours in them? I assume they are still available. We always had them in our house when I was growing up. My favourite flavour was chocolate, and my brothers was strawberry. Although, occasionally we would have a scoop of all 3 flavours and mix it together to make a big swirl of flavoured ice-cream in our bowl!

Here's a way to combine chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavours into a healthy ice-cream swirl:

You'll need (per serving):

1 cup frozen strawberries, chopped into pieces prior to freezing
1 medjool date, pitted
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essense
1-2 Tablespoons motherless milk of choice 

Combine all ingredients in a mini food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
The amount of milk will vary depending on your blender, and how smooth you want it.


This one was made with more milk and more cocoa.

Question of the day?
Did you have Neapolitan Ice-cream as a child? If so, what was your favourite flavour?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Chocolate Okara Pie

For those of you who make your own motherless milk, it can often be quite a dilemma what to do with all the leftover pulp. It seems wasteful to throw it away, and yet it isn't always the easiest thing to find uses for, especially if you go through a lot of milk in your home.
Here's a great way to use up some of that pulp.
I have only tried this pie with okara (soy milk pulp) but I see no reason why it wouldn't work with other plant-based milk pulps.

Chocolate Okara Pie

1 cup oat flour/bran
1/2 cup okara
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon baking powder

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times until combined. Mixture will be a wet crumble. 
Press into a 20cm pie dish, making sure to press some of the mixture up onto the sides.
Bake for 12-15 minutes in a preheated 180C oven.

Pie filling:
1/2 cup okara
1 cup motherless milk of choice
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or other dry sweetener of choice)
1/4 cup cornflour
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine all the pie filling ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth.
Pour mixture over the baked pie crust.
Cook at 160C for 1 hour. Remove from oven.
The mixture will be slightly wobbly.
Allow to cool prior to slicing.
The mixture will thicken upon cooling.

Serve with frozen berries of choice.

Question of the day:
Do you make your own plant-based milk? If so, what do you do with the pulp?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Kale, Quinoa & Falafel Salad

Have you seen mini kale in your supermarket or farmers market lately?
I have found these little kales in Coles, and not only are they super cute, but they are really delicious too. 
They don't have the same grassy taste that regular kale does. They have a subtle sweetness to them.
We have been enjoying them the last few months.

They are called "kalettes" and Coles has described them as a combination of kale and brussels sprouts with a nutty flavour.

I think that is a very good description.

Here's a quick and easy way to add them to a eye-pleasing salad:

You'll need:
1 cup quinoa
1 punnet of kalettes
Approx 20 pre-cooked falafels
1 red capsicum


1 can chickpeas, drained
1 Tablespoon sweet chili sauce
2 Tablespoons soft tofu
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Place the quinoa in a microwave safe dish with 2 cups of water. Place a lid on and cook in the microwave for 12 minutes or until quinoa is clear and cooked through.
Allow to cool slightly.
Remove the woody ends from the kalettes and steam for 3-4 minutes.
Slice the capsicum.
Combine all the above in a salad bowl along with the falafels.
You can make your own falafels, or use packet ones. (Click on this link to see my preferred packet brand.)
To make the dressing, simply combine all the ingredients in a blender with 2-3 Tablespoons of water and blend til smooth. You can add more water if you prefer a thinner sauce.
Pour over the salad.

Can be served warm or cold.

*You can use regular kale if you can't find kalettes. Just steam and chop into rough pieces.

Question of the day:
Have you seen kalettes in the shop?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Sausage-less" Rolls

Life has been very busy for me lately - this is reflected in my lack of posts! 
I hope to be more motivated soon and share all the drafts that I have lined up waiting to be published. 

These "sausage" rolls were inspiration enough to get me started back at it again. They are super easy to make and they are very delicious. 


To make 4 rolls you'll need:
2 tins lentils
1 Tablespoon each: nutritional yeast, onion flakes, soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon each: ground garlic, sage powder, liquid smoke and molasses
8 sheets filo pastry

Drain the lentils and combine them in a bowl with all the other ingredients except for the pastry.
Mash until the lentils have crumbled and the mixture resembles mince. 
Place a quarter of the mixture onto the side-middle of 2 sheets of filo pastry. 
Fold the side of the filo pastry in, then fold the edges up and roll until you reach the end of the pastry.
Repeat for the other 3 rolls.
Place on a lined baking tray and brush the tops with soymilk.
Bake in a 180C oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Best served while still hot from the oven.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Potato-topped, white bean pie

I'm sorry, there simply is no way to photograph this and make it look pretty....
Then again, often the sloppy-messy dinners are the most delicious!

We definitely think this is one of those dinners!!! :-)
This eventuated when a lentil shepherd's pie was on the cards, but no tins of lentils were in the pantry. Alas, potato-topped white bean pie came about :-)
I haven't given this recipe the usual make, try, try again process. However, it's quite a simple dish that is versatile and you basically can't go wrong!


You'll need:
1 onion

3 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery
1 zucchini
2 carrots
1 green capsicum
120g fresh spinach leaves
2 tins white beans
1/2 large jar of tomato passata
1 Tablespoon mixed Italian herbs

For the potato topping:
6 medium sized potatoes
1/2 cup motherless milk of choice
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 Tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried chives

Chop the potatoes into little pieces and place in a microwave safe dish and cover with water. Heat in the microwave for 10 minutes (or until totally soft).
Combine all the vegetables except for the spinach in a food processor and pulse a few times until desired size. 

Put chopped veggies into a frying pan and dry-fry until then begin to soften.
Add the drained white beans, the passata, spinach and herbs.
Stir frequently until warmed through and spinach has wilted.
Transfer to a large lasagne size baking dish and press down evenly.

Drain the potatoes and mash with the other ingredients needed for the topping.
Spread the potatoes over the top of the bean/veggie mix.

Place in a preheated 180C oven for 30minutes until lightly browned on top.
Serve :-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cheesy Baked Cauli & Capsicum

I am totally in love with these mini capsicums that are readily available in the grocery store lately.
There's something about the mixture of the colours and their little cone shapes that I just find incredibly appealing!

Here's our families favourite way of using them lately. This makes a great side dish. 
The capsicums make little cups that hold the cheese sauce - just delicious :-)


You'll need:
250g tub of mini capsicums
1/2 head cauliflower
1/4 cup nutritional yeast 
1 Tablespoon cornflour
2 teaspoons onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon each sage, garlic powder, paprika
1/2 cup motherless milk of choice
1/4 cup water

Half the capsicums and scrape out the seeds. Place in a baking dish along with the cauliflower broken into florets. 

In a microwavable measuring jug, combine the remaining ingredients and stir with a fork until dissolved. 
Microwave for 1 minute until the mixture starts to thicken.

Pour over the vegetables.

Place in a preheated 200C oven for 40 minutes until veggies have softened and lightly browned.

The top will be crisp and underneath will be filled with oozing-gooey-cheesy sauce :-)

Question of the day:
Are mini capsicums available in your area?
Do you use them as mini scoops for anything?