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
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Processed with MOLDIV
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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

 

 

Stuffed Aubergine (Vegan, DF, GF)

Stuffed Aubergine (Vegan, DF, GF)

Stuffed Eggplant

This is a recipe that I saw in Vegetarian Living and adapted to add in some Indian Flair to deepen the flavour profile. I had pulled it out the mag with a note to adapt and when my father in law handed me some Eggplant/Aubergine and Tomatoes straight out of his garden, I knew this was the recipe to make

It is a great technique for an Eggplant, as letting some of the water come out and taking strips of the skin off before baking, makes for a softer inside

I love the depth of flavour I was able to get with this; it is very satisfying and a real changing of the season’s dish. Mr B is a big fan of Eggplant and Spicy Tomatoes and I added some extra spice for him, which you can adapt to your own palate. You can also double up the batch for the tomato topping and use it on something else. I like to eat it on it’s own with a little rice sometimes adding some chickpea’s or even on toast for a mid day treat

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Ingredients

  • 2 large aubergines/eggplant
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 Jalapeno, finely diced (optional)
  • Handful of basil, chiffon/chopped
  • Handful of coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½. Tsp. garam masala
  • 6 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped

Method

  • Preheat the oven
  • Partially peel the aubergines, lengthways, alternating to create strips. Leave the crowns in tact
  • Sprinkle with salt and place in a sieve to let some of the water come out. Leave for 30 minutes and wipe with a paper towel once done
  • Brush with olive oil and roast for 25 minutes
  • Whilst the aubergine is cooking, add oil to a pan and fry the shallots until starting to turn golden, c. 3 minutes
  • Add the ginger, garlic, chilli, basil and coriander, cook for 1 minute
  • Season with cumin, coriander, paprika and garam masala
  • Add to combine and cook the spices a little
  • Once spices are starting to give off fragrance, add the tomatoes. Cook down and add salt and pepper to your own taste
  • Meanwhile take out the aubergine and slice down the middle, making sure not to cut to the bottom
  • Stuff the aubergine with the mixture, turn off the oven and let it bake until the aubergine is soft and pillowy
  • Serve with rice, almond yogurt or eat on its own (this is what I do)

 

 

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

 

Chole Masala (Chickpea Curry) (GF, Vegan)

Chole Masala (Chickpea Curry)  (GF, Vegan)

Chole

Food is love when words are inadequate

My grandma always made you feel like she had been waiting for you all day and when you arrived her day was now complete

The first thing I had to do after taking off my shoes and putting away my bag was to taste what ever my grandma had been creating all day in the kitchen

This is a dish that you can smell as soon as you walk into the house, as it is rich in spices. It is also low in calories but high in protein so it is a great staple

A lot of my grandma’s dishes took a long time to cook, but this one is a 30-minute meal. As with most Indian dishes however the longer you cook down the spices the more concentrated the dish and the longer you leave the dish the more intense it tastes, so remember to leave some for the next day

I used two chills for this as Mr B has a spicy palate, but you should adjust to your own taste

My grandma used to serve this with rice; I like it on its own. You can also serve this to your guests as a canapé in a Phyllo cup or on top of a chickpea pancake (see earlier recipe)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 tsps. Finely chopped ginger
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 chilli’s
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • ½ cup of water

Method

  • Heat the oil in a large pan, add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant
  • Add the onions, ginger, garlic, chilli’s and season with salt
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent
  • Add the garam masala, coriander powder, salt and turmeric, stir until well combined
  • Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and water
  • Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce slightly thickens
  • Serve in a phyllo cup, with rice or on a chickpea pancake

Vegan Crab Cakes (GF, Vegan)

Vegan Crab Cakes (GF, Vegan)

Crab Cakes

What to cook for game day? Vegan crab cakes of course! These are a pretty tasty treat, with the heart of palm being the substitute for the crab. However in my opinion this is a case of when the understudy is better than the original actor.

I used old bay seasoning for this to replicate the authentic taste and vegan mayonnaise for the texture. I used gluten free breadcrumbs, which I seasoned with garlic, onion and paprika. Panko also works nicely if gluten is no concern.

Mr B loves jumbo crab cakes, like you get in the steak houses in New York City and so I’ll make him a larger sized, but it is easier to get them crispy with a smaller portion. I use an ice-cream scope to get an even portion size, but you could use the palm of your hand for a rough approximate.

Ingredients

  • 1 can, hearts of palm
  • ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. old bay seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ cup chives, finely chopped
  • 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350f. Line a baking tray with parchment
  • Thinly slice the hearts of palm lengthwise, then crosswise
  • Transfer to a bowl and break up using your hands, add the vegannaise, bay, salt and pepper, chives
  • Sprinkle half the bread crumbs into the mixture and mix thoroughly
  • Form into 14 portions
  • Spread the remaining bread crumbs into a small dish and cover the cakes pressing down a little to make sure the crumb adheres
  • Paint the parchment paper with a little coconut oil
  • Place the cakes down with a little spacing inbetween
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown