Sea Salt Nutella Granola (GF, Vegan)

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‘There is beauty in simplicity’

I like to make my own granola for health reasons but also for taste. I love sweet salt umami for example, so adding salt accentuates that element. Mr. B loves all things chocolate and hazelnut (Nutella), so I use hazelnuts as the nut in this mix. You can change these elements based on your own taste and you will have something just for you and your loved ones.

I honestly never thought I would be someone who made my own granola. It was something that people used to joke about, calling the more naturalistic in a crowd, ‘crunchy granola’. Looks like my inner hippy is coming out these days, making bread, granola, yogurt and pasta by hand using old fashioned granny methods and ingredients from the farmers market. I personally think maybe they had it right all along. A simple life, old fashioned values and plenty of love and respect for the ingredients and environment around you.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients apart from the chocolate chips
  • Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, mixing half way through
  • Take out of the oven and let cool
  • Add chocolate chips and store in a glass jar….Or put  a ribbon on and give to a friend
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Mushroom Masala (Vegan, DF, GF)

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‘Indian food touches your soul before it touches your taste buds’

My wonderful husband Mr B, recently booked a tasting menu at a restaurant in New York for our anniversary. When I got there we realized that the vegetarian menu had a lot of dairy in it, which I don’t eat and so they offered me the ‘off the menu’ vegan option.  This ‘off the books’ menu was out of this world and Mr. B said better than his non-vegan menu. The layering of flavors was profoundly deep, it tasted smoky, rich and complex. Like a really good Burgundy wine.

As with every amazing dish we discover, I decided that I would make it at home the next day. Mr. B says that is the advantage of having a wife whose favorite room is the kitchen. I decided to put my own spin on  this dish and create a culture clash by placing it in a Chinese steamed bun and serving it with pea shoots and pickled chili.

Try it with rice, roti, as a canape, on top of a chickpea pancake or in a bao bun.

Ingredients

  • 5 cup mushrooms sliced
  • ½ onion, cubed
  • ½ cup tomatoes, cubed
  • ½ inch ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 10 cashew nuts
  • 5 tbsp. oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup coconut milk

Method

  • Heat oil in a pan, add the cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf and let infuse
  • Blend the tomato, ginger, garlic, onion and cashew to make the masala
  • Add the masala to the pan and cook down, add the garam masala, salt and smoked paprika
  • Add the mushrooms and mix in, cook for 5-7 minutes
  • If the mixture gets to thick add half a cup of water
  • Add coconut milk
  • Serve hot

 

Stir Fried Yellow Cabbage (Vegan, DF, GF)

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‘Work hard is silence and let success make the noise’

This is a quick stir fry recipe, but the mustard, curry leaves and turmeric give the depth of a dish that has been cooked for days. This was one of my grandma’s side dishes, so humble and inconspicuous on the table, but so wholesome and tasty. I like it as a main. My grandma was similar to this, she was humble and tried to fade into the background, but was the centre of our world, giving advice, keeping us fed, happy and cared for.

Ingredients

  • 1 small green cabbage
  • 1-3 chilies (to taste), finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 -2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice

Method

  • Shred the cabbage, place in a bowl and add the chilies
  • Put the oil in a wok over a low heat, add the mustard seeds, when they pop, add the curry leaves (be careful as they will splutter)
  • Add the cabbage, stir fry until it has wilted, 2-3 minutes
  • Add the turmeric and mustard powder
  • Add salt and lemon juice, stir and serve

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

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

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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Mushroom Broth and friends (Vegan, DF, GF)

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‘Nature alone is an antique, and the oldest art a mushroom’  – Thomas Carlyle

I love this dish so much that whilst I am writing this, I am making another batch

It made my life so much easier this week as I started to commute and needed a nourishing, light meal that took 10 minutes to make when I got home

The first day I ate the broth on its own, the second I added some soba noodles as I heated it up, the third I added some tofu, the fourth some pea shoots and the fifth some pre-cooked barley and some coconut milk.  The base itself has about 10 calories, a portion of soba noodles has 70 calories, so this is a low-calorie meal, whatever you do to it

Dried mushrooms can be much cheaper than real mushrooms but they retain the taste and nutrients including protein, enzymes, B vitamins (niacin) and vitamin D2

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dried mushrooms
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 8 cups water

Method

  • Place all ingredients in a deep pot, bring to the boil and then down to a simmer for 30 minutes
  • You are looking for a deeply concentrated flavour, so if at 30 minutes you don’t have that keep going or adjust the seasoning
  • If you have an instant pop, you can do the same thing and it will take 10 minutes
  • Eat as a nourishing broth
  • Add soba noodles and make a ramen
  • Add tofu and vegetables and make a protein dense soup
  • Use it as your broth and make a risotto