Friday, October 31, 2014

Quinoa Stuffed Eggplants

Here's another post that has sat in my drafts for sometime.
I had taken several photos and for some reason my SD card in my camera decided it would corrupt the pictures. Not happy!
I have since upgraded my SD card and now I bring you these super yummy 

Quinoa Stuffed Eggplants
(Makes 6)
You'll need:
3 large eggplants
2 cubes frozen spinach
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 green capsicum
1 tin lentils
1 Tablespoon mixed Italian herbs
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 cup tomato passata cooking sauce

Bake the eggplants in a preheated 200C oven for 30 minutes until softened. Make sure you have pierced the flesh in several places with a fork so they don't explode. 

Cut the eggplants in half lengthways, and scoop out the softened flesh, leaving a small border (approx 1cm) around the edge of the eggplant.
Lay them out on a baking tray.

Soak the frozen spinach in some boiling water for a few minutes until defrosted. Drain. (Omit if using fresh spinach.)
Chop the onion, garlic, and capsicum.
Stir all the vegetables in a large bowl and combine with the drained lentils, nutritional yeast, herbs, quinoa and passata.  Chop the flesh of the eggplant that was removed and stir this into the mixture too (optional - it also makes a great dip if you don't want to add it to this mixture!).
Scoop the mixture into the cooked eggplants. Fill them quite well as this will give the eggplant case back its shape. Press the mixture down quite firmly. 
Drizzle a line of passata over the quinoa mixture (this is purely for presentation purposes, cause I think it looks better than just the plain mixture, salsa also works fantastic or any other sauce you'd rather).
Reduce the oven temperature to 180C and bake the eggplants, now stuffed, for a further 20 minutes until warmed through completely.

A recommendation and a story:
My husband took one bite into these & spat it out, declaring how awful they were!!!
I was chuckling to myself because I realised he had eaten the top of the eggplant! I thought everyone knew you weren't supposed to eat the top of eggplants - clearly not!
So I highly recommend removing the eggplant tops prior to putting these on plates.
After his initial opinion of this meal, he decided they were actually quite delicious!

Submitted for Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Add your recipe at:
Rock My Vegan Socks 
Vegan Dollhouse 

Question of the day:
Have you ever accidently eaten the top of an eggplant?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Filo Fillers

Confession time:
I've had this post sitting in my drafts folder since February.... waiting for me to re-do the recipes and take better pictures. However, since filo pastry is such a rare treat in our home it hasn't happened! And we have refined our diet even more in the last few months so the chances of filo making a re-appearance are now even more rare than previously!
So you'll just have to trust me when I say that even though the pictures are not the greatest, that each of these is totally delicious!!!!!

Filo Fillers - Tasty Pastry Options

There is something tremendously comforting for me about rolling up filo pastry. 
I don't really know what it is..... 
Perhaps it's having to be so tender so the pastry doesn't tear.
Perhaps it's experimenting with the many different types of fillings. 
Perhaps it's the excitement of feeling like we're having something a little bit fancy for dinner even though it's really easy to make.
Perhaps it's the fun of brushing over them knowing that their pale skin is going to come out brown and blistered when it's baked.

Perhaps it's just knowing they are a real treat....

Whatever it is, I recommend you try these fillings! 
And be sure to let me know if you find rolling filo pastry just as comforting as I do!!!

Although they reheat well, the pastry is never quite the same as when they are fresh from the oven. 

For each of these recipes I will give quantities to make 4-5 pastries depending on how generous you are with your fillings.
The instructions are the same for each filling - just different ingredients are used. 
I recommend using 2-3 sheets to roll each pastry. I find that using just one sheet will tear and/or get soggy. And no-one like a soggy bottom ;-) 

Basic Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. 

Place approximately a 1/2 cup of the filling onto 2-3 sheets of the filo pastry in the center and roll the pastry up, being sure to tuck the ends in to minimalise leakage. 

Place on a lined baking tray and brush with plant milk. 

Bake in a preheated 200C oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Tomato and Bean Filo Rolls
4 chopped fresh tomatoes
1 tin drained borlotti beans
1 teaspoon salsa spice mix

Curried Pumpkin Filo Rolls
1/4 small pumpkin - cut into cubes and cooked til tender
1 tin 4 bean mix, drained
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 zucchini, chopped and cooked
1 teaspoon curry powder

Potato and Pea Filo Triangles
2 cups mashed potato
1/2 cup frozen peas, cooked
1 teaspoon Rogan Josh spice blend

(I boil the potatoes and peas together to make life easier. I also like to wrap these ones into triangle shapes just to be different!)

(This is an example of what happens if you overlook the milk-brushing part, still delicious but the pastry ends up really dry.)

Question of the day:
Do you use filo pastry?
What are some of your favourite fillers?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Kids Lunchbox Club - Quick Mexican Quinoa Salad

My daughter has decided that she quite loves quinoa! This is thanks to her testing out a Dreena Burton recipe. So this means now she requests it for her lunchbox salad. We don't often eat quinoa, but I had a batch made up this week and with a few leftover bits and pieces from a Mexican-inspired meal we had prepared earlier in the week this delicious salad was created.
Nevermind the kids! I reckon this lunchbox meal would please any adult too!


To serve one you'll need:
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 Tablespoons of salsa
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup corn kernels
1/4 small capsicum - chopped
1/2 small avocado - diced

Stir a tablespoon of salsa into the quinoa and mix well. 
Add the other ingredients and stir through. Top with the remaining tablespoon of salsa.


Submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays
You can add your recipe on these blogs:
Vegan Dollhouse 

Rock My Vegan Socks