Monday, January 30, 2012

Goodness Green Smoothie

I never used to be able to stomach and idea of a green smoothie.
And now I  LOVE them!

Here's one that I particularly like. Its a great start to my mornings or a great afternoon pick me up to beat those sweet cravings.

You'll need:
1 cup frozen baby spinach leaves
1 cup cos lettuce leaves
1/4 cup walnuts
3 medjool dates
1/2 cup vanilla soymilk (or almond milk and a teaspoon of vanilla)


Note: I always have a bag of spinach leaves in the freezer - they keep for ages & are great to throw into a smoothie without needing to defrost them.

This is really tasty.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Life is good!

Tonight's dessert: (serves one ONLY!)

1/2 packet frozen cherries
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 frozen banana
50ml soymilk

Lentil Loaf

This is a really delicious meat-loaf substitute.
It's nice & easy cause you don't have to precook anything, one bowl for mixing and its done.

Serves 2 big chunky pieces, or can slice it into about 8 slices.

You'll need:
1 tin lentils, drained really well
1/2 onion
6 button mushrooms
2 celery stalks
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup pasta sauce (I love a mushroom flavour one for this recipe) SEE NOTE BELOW
3/4 cup chick pea flour (I don't recommend substituting other 'flours' here - this one just seems to work best with the flavours!)

Chop the onion, mushrooms and celery into really small pieces.
In a bowl combine the drained lentils with the chopped vegetables. Stir together. Add the oregano. Add the pasta sauce and stir. Make sure all the mixture is lightly coated with the sauce but not so much that it is runny. Stir in the chick pea flour & mix until well combined & not visible chunks of flour remain.
Place mixture into a lightly oiled loaf dish. Spread evenly & pat down so that the top is smooth.
Place in a 200C oven for 40 minutes.

Serve with a salad or potatoes & veg.

You can choose to lightly spread a bit more pasta sauce over the top of the loaf at prior to baking if you wish. I have never found that this mixture dries out though. And I quite like the slightly crusty top of the lentils that is made.

This could also work as a base for a veg shepherd's pie.
This is very child friendly! And even meat eater friendly!
I love that its easy to assemble & requires no hard work & then I have 40 minutes free. Works a treat for those busy nights when we don't have too much to do to slave over the stove!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Cooked pie waiting to be cut and served

You can vary the flavour of this pie by using BBQ sauce in place of the pasta sauce.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Mousse

Let's face it - sometimes we just want a quick & easy dessert.
I love creating treats like this when I feel like a little something fancy but haven't had the time to pre-make it!

You'll need:
1 ice-cube tray of frozen pumpkin (I simply boil pumpkin til its soft then spoon it into an ice cube tray and freeze it - this is a great way to use up leftover bits of pumpkin too!) As you can see from the picture I don't do this in a particularly tidy way but none the less you can see the process!
1 frozen banana
3 fresh medjool dates
1/4 teaspoon of each; cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg
1/2 cup soymilk (or other nondairy milk)
1 teaspoon ground flax seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend in a blender til smooth.
If you are like me and don't have a Vitamix it may take some time to get through the ice cubes & frozen banana but keep stirring it & you will get there. You may need to add a touch more soymilk. Don't make it too runny - just so that it will scoop up on a spoon without dribbling off.

This will make about 6 dessert cup servings.

I couldn't decide if to call this slush or mousse. It definitely has a creamy texture to it, not icey like slush. To me it tastes like eating pumpkin pie! I love how the dates & flax seeds kinda resemble the crust!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Baked tofu & bean mix

(4 serves)
You'll need:
1 pack firm tofu
2 teaspoons dried garlic flakes
2 teaspoons bbq seasoning (check out the range available of different seaonings at the grocery store - make sure the one you pick doesn't contain milk as some of them do - so silly!)

Slice the tofu into thin long strips.
Lay the tofu strips into a baking dish. Sprinkle the seasoning & the garlic flakes over the top.
Pour about 1/2 cup water into the baking dish. Depending on the size dish that you use you may need a bit more - it needs to completely cover the base of the dish but not over the top of the tofu pieces.
Place dish in a preheated 200C oven.
It will take about 30-40 minutes for the water to evaporate. Make sure you turn them once during cooking. I like to let them bake for about 10 minutes after the water has completely evaporated to just make the tofu pieces that bit firmer.

While the tofu is cooking prepare the bean mix.

You'll need:
100g greeen beans
1 tin red kidney beans
1 onion
1 tin tomatoes
1 teaspoon chili
2 stalks celery

Chop the onion & saute in water til lightly cooked. Chop the celery, top & tail then slice the green beans. Add them to the onion. Let simmer for about 5 minutes before adding the drained red kidney beans, the chili & the tin of tomatoes.
I add about a half cup water & let this simmer for 20ish minutes until most of the moisture is evaporated & the mixture is not totally runny anymore.

The baked tofu really compliments the bean mixture & I love to serve this on a lettuce leaf and roll the bean mixture into it. Very tasty.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Date & Coconut Slice

This is made in 3 parts.
Its a little time consuming & fiddly but oh so worth it!

For the base you'll need:
1 cup plain flour
100g nuttelex.

For the filling you'll need:
1 cup dried dates
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dessiccated coconut
1 tablespoon corn flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping you'll need:
30g walnuts
2 tablespoons shredded coconut (you can use desiccated if you wish but the shredded looks great as a topping!)

Line a 2cm square cake tin with baking paper.
Preheat your oven to 180C.
Put the flour into a mixing bowl & add the nuttelex cut into bite size pieces. Use your hands to rub the nuttelex into the flour until the mixture is crumbly.
Push the mixture into the lined cake tin and press down firmly.
Bake in the oven for 13 minutes (it won't look cooked or very golden - that's ok!).
Chop the dried dates into little pieces & place into a saucepan. Pour boiling water over the top of the dates until just covered. Place on the stove & bring to the boil & then simmer until nearly all the water is dried out - takes about 10 mins. Remove from heat & drain any excess water.
Place dates, brown sugar, desiccated coconut, corn flour & vanilla into a mixing bowl & mix well.
Pour the date mixture over the base. Spread until evenly coated.
Place the walnuts in a sandwich lock bag. Zip shut & then crush with a meat mallet!!! You can make the crumbs as small or large as you like. Add the shredded coconut to the bag and mix well.
Sprinkle the coconut/walnut mixture over the top of the date filling & lightly press down til its just into the date mix.
Bake in the oven for a further 15 minutes or until lightly golden on the top.
Allow to cool before cutting into bite size squares.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Strawberries & Cream

This is wayyyyyyyyyyy better than any strawberries or cream I've ever had before.

And its' soooo easy to make!

Simply slice strawberries & sprinkle with cacao powder & top with a few dollops of cashew cream.
Cashew cream recipe can be found with this link.

Creamy Lentil Spaghetti

You'll need:
400g pasta
1 tin diced tomatoes
1 tin lentils
small handful of basil leaves
1/4 cup my creamy cauliflower mash
(To make creamy cauliflower mash, simply steam half a head of cauliflower & a handful of spinach (approx 30g I never really measure to be honest!) together until cooked ~approx ratio 3:1~ - then place in a blender with a 1/4 cup of cashews & a pinch of nutmeg - this is great as a salad dressing, a dip or mixed with meals for added flavour & a creamy texture!)

Cook the pasta per packet directions.
In a small saucepan place the lentils, the tomatoes, the creamy cauliflower mash & the basil leaves & bring to the boil.
Simmer for a few minutes stirring continuously to make sure it's warmed through.

Serve the lentil mix over the top of the pasta. Serve with cracked black pepper & another basil leaf.
(Serves 4)
(Nice way of sneaking a bunch of veggies into a kids meal when they won't even notice!)