Wednesday, April 30, 2014

WIAW - Last day of April

Can you believe it's the last day of April already?
Where on earth has this year gone???
Here's what I ate today:
Breakfast was a bowl of granola - This week I made a batch using this recipe from PlantPlate
Lunch was my fairly regularly eaten hummus pizza.

And dinner was this absolutely delicious & super easy

Lentil & Green Vegetable Dish
(Makes 6 servings)
You'll need:
1 cup green lentils
2 bay leaves
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 zucchinis, chopped
1 green capsicum, chopped
1 400g can tomatoes
2 cups stock1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon mixed Italian herbs

Put the lentils in a pot with 2 cups water and the bay leaves, bring to the boil and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the lentils are soft.
Drain and rinse.
In a large frying pan water saute the onions til soft and then add the crushed garlic cloves.
Stir in the other chopped vegetables and saute til slightly tender. 
Add the tomatoes, lentils, stock, tomato paste & herbs. Stir until well combined.Cover and let cook for 10 minutes until all is warmed through.
Remove bay leaves prior to serving.
Serve over a wholegrain of choice.
  Shown here served with a 1/2 fresh corn cob and farro.

This was the first time I have ever cooked farro. 
It was very chewy and I'm not sure if that is how it is or if I had just undercooked it - I'm about to go and research to find out!

Question of the day:
Have you tried any new grains lately?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Meatless Monday: Vanilla Banana Custard

Today's Meatless Monday food is Vanilla.

I decided to go with Vanilla custard.
I have always enjoyed custard & I have fond memories of my mother making a banana custard for us when we were children which I really liked.
I have used that as inspiration but have made my own custard instead of using a powder for a base.
This is a really simple recipe that is quick to make and doesn't need a huge amount of ingredients. It can be served either hot or cold.
It makes it a perfect mid-week treat when desserts are sometimes overlooked!

(Serves 4)
You'll need:
300ml soymilk (or other plant milk of choice)
1/4 cup sugar (I used unrefined cane sugar)
2 Tablespoons cornflour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 banana

Combine the sugar, cornflour and vanilla in a saucepan. Add a few tablespoons of milk and whisk until a paste is formed and the cornflour has completely dissolved. 
Add the remaining milk and stir until well combined. Place over a medium low heat & stir constantly until the custard thickens.
Chop the banana into thin slices and place in the bottom of little serving containers of choice.
Pour the custard over the banana.
Can be served warm, or alternatively store in the fridge until ready to eat. 
The custard will thicken more if kept in the fridge.

Question of the day:
Do you have any childhood dessert memories that you still enjoy eating today?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Walnut Blondies

Brownies - turned blonde.... and healthy ;-)

You'll need:
2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup walnuts

1 Tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 Tablespoons boiling water
1 banana
1 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
100g dairy free white chocolate (I used Sweet William)
1/4 cup boiling water

Smash the walnuts into crumbly pieces. I do this by putting them in a zip-lock bag & hitting with a 'meat' mallet. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined and walnuts are evenly distributed.

Prepare the flax seeds - combine them with the water and whisk well. Leave aside for 5 minutes until thickened.
Mash the banana.
Melt the chocolate. I do this in a microwave on 50% power, checking every minute and stirring til nearly melted. The residual heat will do the rest. I find it best not to wait until it's completely melted or some parts tend to be hard and overdone.

Pour all the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir until folded through.
Pour mixture into a lined 18cm square baking tray and spread until evenly distributed.
Place in a preheated 180C oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Cool before slicing.

School Tip:
For nut-free schools make this with sunflower seeds instead.  

Submitted to Meatless Monday A-Z:
Unbleached Flour

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Banana Choc Pudding

Just because sometimes we all need a little sweet treat in our lives....

Banana-Choc Pudding
You'll need:
400g loaf of wholemeal bread (I used half an unsliced 800g loaf)
400ml lite coconut cream
1 1/2 cups soymilk
2 Tablespoons egg replacer
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 overripe bananas
100g dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%)

In a large bowl, mix together the coconut cream, soymilk, egg replacer, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
Tear the bread into bite-size pieces and place in the bowl of the cream/milk mixture. Press down gently to encourage the bread to soak up the liquid. 

Mash the bananas in another bowl. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe dish on 50% power. Once completely melted stir chocolate through the mashed bananas. 
Using a lined 20cm round cake tin, pour half the saoked bread into the bottom of the tin and press down gently.

Pour the banana/chocolate mixture over the top and then pour the remainder of the bread mixture on top and make sure it completely covers the banana/chocolate.

Place in a preheated 180C oven for 40 minutes.
Allow to cool before turning out onto a plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Slice and serve.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Healthy Carbonara

Childhood memories of carbonara are not my most favourite to be honest. Thick cream & egg heavy pasta topped with fat dripping bacon and smelly parmesan cheese. 
Not my idea of tasty food.....

But then again, that didn't turn me off experimenting with this dish to turn it into something healthy, light and totally delicious :-)

Healthy Vegan Pasta Carbonara
(Makes 3 Serves)
You'll need:
250g dried pasta of choice

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1-1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms

1/4 head cauliflower
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup motherless milk of choice
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon ground sage

Lentil "bacon" bits:
1/2 cup lentils (already cooked, either home made or from a can)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Extra nutritional yeast to serve

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the pasta per packet directions.
Slice the onion and crush the garlic. Dry fry with the mushrooms until browned well.
Place the lentils in a fry pay with the soy sauce, maple syrup and liquid smoke. Dry fry until the lentils begin to pop open. You can chop them into smaller pieces if you wish to make them more similar to 'bacon bit.

Place all the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend til smooth. 
When the pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pot. Pour the cauliflower cream sauce over the pasta and stir til pasta is evenly coated.

Serve with the mushroom/onion mix and lentil 'bacon' bits. Top with nutritional yeast.

Submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays.

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