Raw Pistachio and Rose Avocado Cake (Raw, V, DF, GF)

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“Good food is all the sweeter, when shared with good friends”

This is a beautiful light dessert, with the sweet fragrance of a souk from the rose petals and pistachios. It is an easy blender recipe, with the base made mainly of dates and nuts and the topping 90% avocado. I served it at the end of my plant to table dinner and the guests loved the way it looked, the subtle sweetness and it’s delicate nature after a 3 course meal.

Ingredients

Crust

  • ½ cup raw pistachios
  • 6 soft Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 2 medium avocados, de-seeded and peeled
  • 6 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Place all the crust ingredients apart from the maple syrup into the blender and process to a crumble
  • Add the maple syrup and process again to a sticky crumble
  • Transfer the mixture to a 5-inch springform pan
  • Press the mixture into the bottom
  • Place in the freezer whilst you work on the filling
  • Blend all the filling ingredients apart from the pistachios, make sure the mixture is well combined
  • Add the pistachios and blend again, but not until fully blended, as you want to see visible specs in the mixture
  • Add to the base and smooth the top over
  • Add toppings, I used rose peals and more pistachios
  • Place in the freezer for at least 4-5 hours
  • If you have leftovers, keep them frozen otherwise the mix will oxidise and change color
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Mushroom Stroganoff (Vegan, DF, GF)

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‘Winter is a season of recovery and preparation’.

Stroganoff is an old classic Russian recipe from the 18th century, that has become popular around the world. You can imagine people eating this dish on a cold snowy day, which is why it has become so popular as a warming winter dish in other places and the USA is no exception.

I took this particular recipe from Healthy Living James as featured in Vegan Food and Living. It is rich from the coconut milk, substituting for the cream and has deep flavors from the smoked paprika, dijon mustard and garlic. You can use it for canapés, eat it on toast for breakfast or with rice for dinner and it only takes 30 minutes to make.

Ingredients

  • 1kg mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tins of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Large handful of parsley
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Heat a large pot with oil, adding the garlic, onions and mushrooms with a large pinch of salt and pepper
  • Cook for 5 minutes, stirring as you go along
  • Once the mushrooms are soft, add the coconut milk, paprika, mustard and lemon juice and stir well
  • Cook on a high heat to allow the sauce to thicken, cook for 20-25 minutes of until thick and reduced, keeping stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick
  • Finally add freshly chopped parsley

Vegetarian Shami Kebabs  (V, DF, GF)

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‘Food has a story, a history, relationships’

I adapted this recipe from Season by Nik Sharma, using Quorn to make it vegetarian.

Kebabs have a long and interesting history, and mostly trace their origin to the influence of Mughlai cuisine. This cuisine is strongly influenced by the cuisine of Central Asia, the region where the early Turko-Mongol Mughal Emperors originally hailed from in the 16th century. The deep spices and meat where seen as luxurious foods and used for royal dinners and celebrations. In our family, meat was also seen like that as my grandma was vegetarian and so it wasn’t an every day occurrence.

This is an easy recipe, it’s just a mix and fry. You can bake them too, but they tend to dry out a little due to their being little fat in the mixture.

Ingredients

  • 1lb vegetarian mince
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • 2 chilis, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. dried sage
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • In a large bowl, mix the mince, onion, egg, chickpea flour, chilies, garlic, ginger, lime juice, cayenne, coriander, mint, cinnamon, sage and salt
  • Mix thoroughly
  • Divide into 10 portions
  • Heat 2 tbsp. oil and fry the kebabs in batches, adding more oil as needed until golden brown, 3-5 minutes each side
  • Drain on paper towels
  • Serve with chutney, on their own or with naan

Sweet and Sour Mixed Nuts (Vegan, DF, GF)

This recipe is from season by Nik Sharma, ‘I am an immigrant and I tell my story through food’.

This is a beautiful cookbook and a tail of a life and culinary journey through India and America. It is a book that tells the tale of the inherent tension between originality and origin. It is the familiar story of how food becomes a tool of acclimatization and acceptance and how on that journey it is a friend and teacher in times of discomfort and in finding yourself once again.

I love this cookbook not only for its beautiful pictures and recipes, but for the familiar story it tells, of getting to know yourself through food. For immigrants, food can represent heritage, home and your life journey. When you doing know where you are or who you are, your nostalgic dishes will give you back your pathway and identity. From the porridge you ate as a child with your grandma, or the celebratory dish that was always placed center stage at birthdays, food can take you back in time and give you comfort as you make your journey far away from the place you once started.

This recipe is a tantalizing combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy. Make it to snack on or to serve to guests.

Nuts are a rich source of protein, omega-3 fatty acid and dietary fiber.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. unsalted vegan butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tsp. coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp. pomegranate powder
  • ½ tsp. sumac
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup raw shelled pistachios
  • ½ cup halved walnuts

Method

  • Preheat the oven to c. 300f
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, pomegranate molasses, sugar, pomegranate powder, sumac, cayenne and salt to form a smooth paste
  • Fold in the nuts and stir to make sure there is an even coat
  • Transfer to the baking sheet and spread out
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool before serving
  • If not using immediately, cool and keep in an airtight glass jar

Marinated Tofu with Miso Jam & Edo Spice (Vegan, DF, GF)

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‘The mind is like Tofu. It tastes like whatever you marinate it in’.

This is a beautiful recipe and I would recommend it to anyone who likes Tofu. My beautiful cousin, Sabrina, bought me a selection of spices and it came with some suggested recipes.

The key here is to make sure you get as much water out of the tofu as possible. The resulting dish is a wonderful combination of the char from the tofu, the salty sweet umami from the miso jam and the acid and spice from the spice mix. I have given a suggestion for if you don’t have Edo spice, but you can just sprinkle anything you have or that suits your palate, making it your own recipe.

Mr. B doesn’t like Tofu or miso, so this is recipe is just for me.

Ingredients

  • 12oz block of firm tofu
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 tbsp. mirin
  • 2 tbsp. mushroom powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 batch miso jam
  • 2 spring onions/scallions (for garnish)

Miso Jam

  • 1 tbsp. mirin
  • 2 tbsp. sake
  • 6 tbsp. sweet white miso
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Method

  • Drain the tofu, then cut it like a loaf of bread into six, ¾ inch slabs
  • Arrange the tofu on a single layer on a cloth, lay more towels on top and weigh down to squeeze out as much water as possible
  • Let stand for at least 20 minutes
  • In the meantime, make the marinade by whisking oil, mirin, shitake powder, ginger and a pinch of salt. It will be spreadable but thick
  • Transfer the tofu slabs to a plate and arrange them in a single layer. Brush the tops with the marinade, then flip and cover the other side. Let stand for 30 minutes
  • During this time make the jam but whisking the ingredients together over a low heat, whisking until it is firm enough to hold a soft peak. Immediately take the jam off the heat and place in a bowl to make sure it doesn’t continue to cook
  • Heat a non-stick pan, add the remaining oil. Add the tofu slabs and pan fry under nicely browned on all sides
  • Transfer tofu to a serving plate
  • Spread a dollop of miso jam on top of each slab, sprinkle the mixed spice* on top and a few bits of scallion.

*If you don’t have Edo Spice – a mix of 7 spices from Japan, add sesame seeds, chili flakes and some lemon zest

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Pioppini Mushroom Pasta (Vegan, DF, GF)

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The pioppino mushroom is not only known for its delicious and earthy taste and great texture but also pack a series nutritional punch, providing a great source of vitamin D and boasting beneficial bacteria great for improving digestion and overall health. These mushrooms have a valuable amount of bioactive metabolites. These metabolites include agrocybenine with anti fungal properties, Cylindan which has anti-cancer properties and indole derivatives which are responsible for hunting down free radicals. The Pioppino mushroom is also known for slowing down the effects of osteoporosis. MIND BLOWN!

I found these at the farmers market and since I had never seen them before I thought I pick some up. I asked the lady what to do with them and she said just chop the whole thing up including the stalk and saute them with some shallots. So that is exactly what I did. I served these with some ancient grain gluten free pasta and topped with a little vegan parmesan.

‘Bellissimo’ said Mr. B and I agreed.

Ingredients

  • 150g of gluten free pasta
  • 400g Pioppini Mushrooms
  • ½ cup shallots, sliced
  • 10g vegan butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Vegan parmesan (optional)

Method

  • Clean and cut the mushrooms. I cut 2cm off the bottom and chop the stalks into rounds and slice the heads
  • Warm the oil in a skillet and add the onions, cook until starting to brown
  • Add the mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes on high heat
  • Whilst cooking the mushrooms, cook the pasta
  • Drain the pasta and add to the mushrooms, add the butter, salt and pepper
  • Mix well and serve hot with optional vegan parmesan

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Honey Balsamic Brussel Sprout Tacos (Vegan, DF, GF)

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‘People need to understand the different between wants and needs, I want abs, but I need tacos’

…. with this recipe you can have both!

My American husband likes Brussel Sprouts and Tacos, two popular ingredients in the USA, but not two that you normally see together. Given our plant-based diet at home however, I am always trying to find new and innovative recipes and nearly always have these two ingredients in the fridge.

This is a great recipe for brussel sprouts if you want them on their own or as a side. I love them in a taco as they are a little crunchy from the char, a little sweet from the honey balsamic and a little spicy from the red pepper flakes.

Ingredients

  • 5 Ibs. brussel sprouts
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • Pinch red chilli flakes
  • Corn Tortillas

Method

  • Preheat oven to 425c
  • Line a baking tray
  • Trim the brussel sprouts and cut the bottom off. Cut in half.
  • In a large bowl, toss in the olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Roast until a little charred
  • Mix the balsamic, honey and a pinch of red pepper
  • Warm the tortillas, place some of the sprouts on and drizzle the honey balsamic on top
  • Serve warm