This dish is from the north of India and is normally served with lentils, rice and yogurt.
My grandma had a special dish for everyone, cheese rolls for my brother, rice porridge for me and green beans for my cousin Sabrina. I actually think Sabrina is the only person I know, as well as my grandmother who loved these green beans. They would eat them together, laugh and talk. It was something special to see.
This is my first attempt at a green bean recipe and there will be a few more to come until I get the right one. This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s Vegetarian India, it is vibrant, spicy, tasty and takes no time at all.
- 1 LB green beans, topped and tailed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tbsp. oil
- ½ tsp. asafoetida (optional)
- ½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
- 1 green chillies, chopped
- 2 tsp. ginger, chopped
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. coriander, powder
- Plunge the beans into boiling water 3-5 minutes and then drain, leaving them al dente
- Put the oil in a medium frying pan, set on a low heat, add the asafoetida, add the cumin
- Take the pan off the heat and add the ginger and chillies
- Put back on the heat, add beans, salt, coriander powder and 2 tbsp. water
- Cook for another 5 minutes
- Eat with rice and roti
Let’s break the myth that you need meat to build muscle. The gorilla can lift up to 10 times its body weight!
I made this dish on the request of my meat and potatoes concierge. As I would leave the building early in the morning I would go by the front desk and drop off a plant based treat, vegan cheesecake, vegan meatballs, vegan samosa, vegan chocolate truffles and after a few months I finally got a request for a cauliflower steak. This was a man who said that he had to eat meat with every meal.
You must learn a new way to think, before you can master a new way to live.
I love the humble cauliflower, the texture is meaty enough to satisfy and it takes well to assertive flavours. This is a basic version, but you could add a pesto, salsa or chimichurri. I served this with some Baba Ganoush underneath for a texture and flavour contrast.
Mr B was a little upset that I was cooking for another man, so I made him some vegan truffles and he forgot all about it…
- 1 cauliflower
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- ¼ cup oil
- Preheat the oven
- Remove the outer green leaves from the head of cauliflower
- Use a large knife and cut the cauliflower half lengthwise and into half again
- In a bowl mix the oil and spices
- Brush the cauliflower with the mixture on both sides
- Bake covered with foil until steamed and starting to soften
- Uncover and let brown for the remaining time
- If you have a BBQ, sear for grill marks and a little char
A little advice from a mushroom;
- Be down to earth
- Sprout new ideas
- Keep a low profile
- Know when to show up
- Stay well-rounded
- Start from the ground up
- Be a fun-guy
This is a beautiful recipe for a BBQ. It is meaty and sticky and sweet and sumptuous.
Mushrooms are always said to be a great meat substitute but I don’t see it as a substitute but a star in it’s own right. I use a variety of mushrooms in my recipes due to the medicinal benefits; Trumpet versus the others is good for something you want to give more structure to, which is why it works so well on this recipe.
Be careful with the reduction, as it can get hot due to the melted sugar. If it toughens up just reheat.
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup mirin
- 1/3 cup sake
- 1/3 cup tamari
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- trumpet mushrooms
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- Soak 6-10 bamboo skewers for at least 15 minutes
- Prepare grill/BBQ for medium heat
- Thread the mushrooms onto the prepared skewers and brush with oil and salt
- Grill until golden brown
- Heat the mirin, sake, tamari and sugar until slightly reduced
- Brush on the mushrooms and grill again, flip and brush again
- Serve with spring onions on top
This is one of those desserts…. one bite and addictive!
‘I don’t often eat Baklava, but when I do, I eat the whole tray…’
Here is an easy, peasy, lemon squeezy recipe for you to try out at home. It is such a beautiful taste and the smell of toasted pistachios is an added bonus. I used creamed honey from the farmers market as it is a little mellower, but any high quality honey will work.
This is a little healthier than your normal Baklava as it doesn’t have multiple layers of syrup. It is also easy to serve with cocktails as a canapé. I’d suggest adding a little rose water to some prosecco would be a good pairing, bringing out the fragrance and smells of a souk in both.
- 15 mini tart shells
- 3 tbsp. vegan butter
- 1 cup raw unsalted pistachios
- 2 tbsp. honey
- ½ tsp. cardamom
- Pinch salt
- Bake the tart shells
- Melt the butter in a medium pan, add pistachios and stir for c. 2 minutes until they start to have a nutty aroma
- Add the honey, cardamom and salt
- Take off the heat and mix
- Use two spoons to scoop the filling into the shells
- Cool before serving and make sure you don’t get any sugar on your skin as it will be super hot (I may be talking from experience…)
‘I didn’t change, I just started to look at things differently’.
Mr B and I popped into Orchard Grocer, a vegan Deli one day a few months ago. I was curious to see how they had become so popular so quickly, with reported long lines for their smoked salmon bagel. It is said that the bagel married lox in New York, so there is a high bar for this classic dish here.
I have to say, I was skeptical that a carrot could replace salmon and so took Mr B as the ultimate taster, given his New York roots and his love of this combination. The Deli did not disappoint and in fact the bagel was so good, Mr B asked me to recreate it so it could become his new go to at home.
The reason Mr B likes this, is because it has tones of the real thing due to the nori and tamari but is lighter and has a preferred texture. I like to serve it to Mr B on a Sunday morning in an everything bagel, or if he is getting on a train, I make it in a plain bagel and then add the everything seasoning to the vegan cream cheese. I also use it in wraps, bowls and in salads to add some depth and flavor.
I hope this dish gives you a glimpse into a reimagined classic and if not at least a new way to see the humble carrot
- 3 carrots
- 2 nori sheets
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 tbsp. Tamari
- 1 tbsp. Liquid smoke (optional)
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tbsp. dill
- Sea salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350f
- Wash the carrots, add some salt and bake for 45 minutes or until soft.
- Remove and once cooled slice into strips with a peeler or mandolin
- Transfer into a container with the rest of the ingredients and let marinate at least overnight
- For a classic new york bagel serve with vegan cream cheese, dill, red onion and capers
Cardamom Ice-cream (Vegan, DF, GF)
I love the simplicity and pureness of this recipe, filled with amazing ingredients straight from Mother Nature’s door!
I adapted this recipe from my plant lab raw desserts classic, bringing a little Indian Flair with the cardamom. If you don’t like cardamom, cinnamon works well or vanilla if you’d prefer a less dominant flavour profile
Did you know Cardamom has impressive medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It has antioxidant and diuretic properties, which are said to stop the growth of tumours, lower blood pressure, prevent inflammation and act as an antibacterial. Cinnamon has similar such properties, so you are good either way. Mr B doesn’t like Cardamom, so I tend to use cinnamon for him or during the holidays a little pumpkin spice (a US classic. I can not account for the medicinal properties I am afraid, just the smile invoked by the scent of the holidays)
- ½ cup soaked cashews
- ½ cup. Young coconut meat or coconut cream
- ¼ cup coconut water
- 1 tbsp. crushed cardamom seeds or cardamom powder
- ¼ cup agave
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- Pinch of salt
- Blend all the ingredients together until smooth, except the coconut oil
- Stream coconut oil in last
- Process in an ice cream maker, or if you don’t have one (like me), place in a tub and freeze
This is a great recipe from the kitchen at Vedge in LA. It is a take on the classic spanakopita, (which means cheese filled) and uses tofu as the substitute.
As I talked to a few people about this recipe, it became clear that there is a version of this pie across the world including knishes, Bourikas, calzones, samosas and dim sum to name a few. This means I had some pretty tough tasters. The best comment I got back was from my Albanian taster who said this tasted like his mums back home. Score!! It was only then that I told him that there was no cheese only tofu. (I am not sure if he will mention that to his mum).
The key to a successful pie or layered pie isn’t whether you use tofu or cheese; it is about how you spice the filling. The onion, garlic, dill, salt and pepper all add to a delicious filling that you could stuff into anything, or quite frankly eat on its own. So make sure you are happy with the flavour and everything else will fall into place!
Mr B was a definite fan of this dish, given his love of all things Greek (apart from me, of course, he loves me despite of my non-Greekness)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for brushing the Phyllo
- 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
- 1 cup onions, finely chopped
- 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. pepper
- 5 cups of tofu cream cheese
- 2 tbsp. chopped dill
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- Half a pack of organic vegan Phyllo, thawed
- Preheat the oven
- Brush a casserole dish with olive oil
- Bring a pot of water to the boil, add salt
- Blanch the kale for 5 minutes, drain
- Heat the olive oil in a deep pot, add the onions, garlic and cook for a few minutes until brown
- Add the crumbled tofu, salt and pepper. Stir until browned and the moisture is gone, c. 10 minutes
- Combine the kale and tofu mixture in a large bowl. Add the tofu cream cheese, dill and lemon juice
- Layer 3 sheets of Phyllo on the bottom of the dish. Add one third of the mixture, layer another 3 layers on top, add the next third, add Phyllo, the next third and finally top with the remaining Phyllo. Brush the top layer with olive oil and bake until golden brown, c. 15 minutes.
- Cut the dish into portions before baking, this will make it easier to serve
- Serve warm