Happy New Year!

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Dear Friends of Tasha. Kitchen,

Happy New Year!

My wish for you is to Live Better, Strive Harder, Be Bolder, Dream Bigger, Climb Higher and Seek Greater.

These too are wishes for myself and in the pursuit of this at the end of the year I took some time out to self reflect on all I have learnt over the last year.

In 2018, I completed my certificate in Plant Based Nutrition with Cornell and have used this and some great books (e.g. how not to die – Gene Stone and Michel Greger), articles and blogs to learn more about the hard science behind food and disease.  Many of you may have seen my blog evolve over that time, from broad based healthy food to more of a plant-based blog. This is a reflection of my learning and has caused me to sit back and think about what my own philosophy is and what the blog should centre around.

After much study, contemplation and a recommitment to both my followers, and myself I am pleased to announce a new blog coming soon. The blog will be dedicated to Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw recipes with a focus on Plants and Whole Foods to maximise the nutritional content. There will also be a new section where I will share scientific research, so you can learn with me.

The blog will be called PlantToTable.com and exists today but with a redirect to Tasha.Kitchen until it is ready for launch in early 2019. Tasha.Kitchen will resume this Saturday and an announcement will be made when the new blog is ready.

I hope that this news allows you to forgive my absence and I look forward to continuing our journey together.

Yours faithfully,

Tasha x

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Cauliflower Steak (Vegan, DF, GF)

Cauliflower steak

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…

Ingredients

  • 1 cauliflower
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup oil

Method

  • 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

 

King Trumpet Yakitori (Vegan, DF, GF)

Yakatori

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.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Salt

Method

  • 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

Processed with MOLDIV

 

Korean Eggplant Tacos (GF, Vegan)

Eggplant tacos

This is a recipe from the kitchen of Verge in Philadelphia and is a super sexy dish. It has umami from the glaze with the mix of maple and tamari combining well and added depth from the gochujang

Because you are only using the inside of the eggplant it is a super light dish, silky and smooth, spicy and sweet

I love these flavors!

Adding in Kimchi Vegan Mayo also adds to the flavour and gives you a health kick too! Apart from the positive effects on weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar, kimchi benefits that have been reported in scientific literature include; increased antioxidant status, protection from asthma, anti-aging, anti-cancer and protection from atherosclerosis. A good source if you want to read up on the benefits Kimchi is universityhealthnews.com and it gives you the links to the studies too

Kimchi is Grandma Food, passed down from generation to generation and if you have followed my blog for a while, you will know my rule, of whatever granny says, goes!

Ingredients

  • 4 Japanese Eggplants (or one large Italian eggplant), peeled and chopped into 1 by 4 inch pieces (salt and leave to drain to take some of the moisture out)
  • 1 tbsp. Gochujang
  • 2 tsp. tamari
  • 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup/agave
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • ½ cup vegan kimchi, drained, chopped
  • 1 cup vegan mayo
  • 4-6 corn/masa tortilla
  • 4 chopped spring onions
  • Chopped lettuce

Method

  • Preheat the oven
  • Make the glaze by mixing the gochujang, tamari, vinegar and maple syrup
  • In another bowl toss the eggplants in the sesame oil
  • Heat a large sauce pan over high heat and cook the eggplant for 5 minutes until browned
  • Toss the crispy eggplant in the glaze and bake until the glaze is soaked up
  • Meanwhile fold the kimchi into the vegan mayo
  • Warm the tortilla for c. 2 minutes
  • Assemble the tacos by spreading some of the kimchi mayo down the centre of each tortilla, top with a large spoon full of the roasted eggplant, dress with the spring onions and lettuce
Processed with MOLDIV
Processed with MOLDIV

Sweet Potato Tikki (GF, Vegan)

Sweet Potato Tikki  (GF, Vegan)

Sweet Potato Tikki

One of my dreams is to write a book of recipes that reflect my grandma’s food and mine together. I did think of just writing her recipes down, as that would take up a whole book in itself but with some of the allergies and dietary requirements that have occurred in our family over the last few years, I thought my adaptations might have some added value

As I look through my photos of my gran, and me we are holding hands in most of them, like an old married couple. So I take that as a message from here that she liked to do things hand in hand

If you have someone in your life that you think it a kindred spirit, make sure you take all the time you can to spend with them as when they are gone it feels like a piece of you is too! My way of getting that connection back is to cook and this is where this recipe came from, hand in hand

I love the combination of ingredients that go in a Tikki, which is an Indian Potato cake that my grandma used to make as an appetizer. I decided to adapt it to use sweet potatoes for the healthy benefits and by also adding some pumpkin seeds for protein and crunch

I love sweet potatoes not only for the vibrant colour and sweet taste but also as they are high in the antioxidant beta-carotene, which helps to keep the bodies defences up and is great for fighting off diseases like cancer. This means you are actually eating your medicine, cool, right. Garlic and Ginger are also great health foods, which my grandma knew and so added to near every single food we ate!

I’m lucky that Mr B likes food with strong flavours and so ate this up without hesitation!

Ingredients

  • 750g sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 100g chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 10g fresh coriander, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. sunflower seeds

Method

  • Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into chunks. Boil for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain and mash roughly with a fork
  • Meanwhile grind the ginger, garlic, chilli and salt until smooth using a mortar and pestle
  • Heat up the oil and sauté the onion until softened, add the spice mix for a couple of minutes until fragrant
  • Add the mashed sweet potato, coriander, sunflower seeds and flour and combine well. Allow mixture to cool
  • Shape 10 round cakes with wet hands
  • Line the baking tray with parchment paper and brush with a little oil. Place the cakes on the tray, brush with more oil and bake in a preheated oven for c. 25 minutes
  • Serve with a blend of vegan mayonnaise, garlic and coriander

HandinhandBigmama

Beetroot Poriyal (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Poriyal (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Poiyal

This is one of my favourite Indian stir-fries, it’s vibrant, tasty and spicy, everything you want from Indian food, but also healthy, full of vitamins and anti-oxidants, all you want from food in general!

It’s origins stem from southern India, where the use of coconut and mustard seeds is much more prevalent

I love to serve this as a little canapé in a vegan filo shell with a nice cold crisp glass of wine. I generally make a bigger batch and also have it with rice as a light mid week dinner

You can also use this recipe with another vegetable, e.g. cabbage that I have done and served like a taco with poppadum. I have served that at dinner parties topped with pomegranates for a hit of sweetness and acidity

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 cups cooked and grated beetroot
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tbsp. grated coconut

Method

  • In a pan heat the coconut oil, keep the heat low and add the mustard seeds
  • When the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add the green chilli, curry leaves
  • Add the beetroot, mix well
  • Add salt to taste
  • Add the coconut, mix well
  • Serve with rice, roti or in a tart cup as a canapé

 

 

Chickpea Blondies (Vegan, DF, GF)

Chickpea Blondies (Vegan, DF, GF)

Blondie Brownies

Oh so gooey, tasty, yummy, fudgy brownie blondies..

This is an easy blend and bake recipe, so you can do it when whilst you are waiting for the kettle to boil or whilst you are making the kids lunches

The Japanese tend to use sweetened bean pastes, like red bean, in their pastries and this is a nice parallel. It has the texture of a fudge brownie and is sweet but not too sweet, making it great for a midmorning snack

This recipe is super high in protein from the chickpeas and triple use of almonds in the almond meal/flour, almond butter and almond milk. It is gluten free also with the almond flour the only flour used

Mr B has a prolific sweet tooth and he loved these and found them more satisfying in a way as they kept him fuller for longer, whilst still satisfying that sweet craving in a natural way

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2, 15oz cans of organic chickpeas
  • ¾ cup almond butter
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Method

  • Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until well combined
  • Pour into an oiled bread tin
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean