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
Advertisements

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

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

Processed with MOLDIV

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)

 

 

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

Toffee Apples (Vegan, DF, GF)

Toffee Apples (Vegan, DF, GF)

Raw Toffee Apples

‘Here’s to the crazy one. The misfits, the rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They are not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. Some may see them as the crazy some genius. But it is only those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, that do’

Matthew Kenney was one such crazy person, who created a plant-based culinary nutrition education program. He is a true believer that food is our medicine and through his own personal experience has seen a plant based diet bring him back to life. His culinary school is dedicated to showing the world that healthy, plant-based foods can be delicious, sexy, vibrant, beautiful and can be consumed without compromise.

I am a true believer in this philosophy and whilst not 100% plant based, I am making my way down this path. My dream is that food is used to fuel our body, minds and souls and the more I learn about the nutrient content of our basic plant friends, the more I feel like our health care is easily accessible and available to all.

Of all the courses that the PlantLab Culinary school runs, the one I choose to start with was their raw desserts course. You can do it online over 6 months, so pacing it with your own schedule. Desserts have always been my weakest point; due to my body not reacting well to gluten and dairy, so this course is an eye and palate opener. Mr B who loves his desserts is super happy too as he can now eat dessert for breakfast.

This was the first recipe I used at my vegan dinner party and the guests where in love with it. The whole plate was dairy, gluten and nut free and they were super surprised that it was a possibility. I hope Chef Kenney is proud of the impact he is having, I believe this revolution and evolution has just begun!

Ingredients

Apples

  • 1 apple

Caramel

  • 10 medjool dates, pitted and soaked
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1/3. Cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. mesquite or maca powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. Water

Pumpkin seed crunch/raspberries

  • ½ cup, plus 2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freeze dried raspberries

Method

  • Using a melon baller, make apple balls, place in a bowl with some lemon water to make sure it doesn’t brown. Place to the side
  • Blend all the caramel ingredients until smooth. Pour caramel to the side and move to the side
  • Grind all the pumpkin seed ingredients together, place in a bowl and move to the side
  • Crush the freeze dried raspberries, place in a bowl and move to the side
  • Take one of the apple balls, dry off, place a toothpick through the center, roll in the caramel, roll in topping of choice
  • Place in fridge to set (min 5 minutes)
  • Serve once set

 

Beetroot Chutney (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Chutney (Vegan, DF, GF)

Beetroot Chutney

‘A chef must think like a scientist, organize like an accountant, plate like an artist and cook like a grandma’

I am always looking for fun ways to add flavour and colour to my plate and this dish is really an expression of my soul, as it combines my core philosophies of what I want my food to be – Delicious, Nutritious and Beautiful

This chutney from Vineet Bhatia, a famous British Indian chef, he has an amazing way of combining new and old flavors and there are always many exciting elements to his stunning dishes. I tagged Chef Vineet on Instagram, with this dish and he replied asking about the taste – highlight of my year 🙂

I loved this so much I made two different versions, a yellow and a red to play off each other on the plate. You can serve it with anything you like as it is elegant and subtle, so won’t overpower the dish

Ingredients

  • 1 Beetroot
  • ¼ tsp. fennel
  • ½ tsp. ginger, chopped
  • ½ tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. vegan mayonnaise
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Place beetroot into a pot of boiling water and simmer for approximately 40 minutes, or until cooked through
  • Peel when cool enough, dice
  • Place the beetroot and all the other ingredients in a blender, blend until well combined
  • Sieve to form a smooth chutney

Easy Masala Sauce (DF, GF, Vegan)

Easy Masala Sauce (DF, GF, Vegan)

Masala Sauce

The classic ‘Indian’ dish, Chicken Tikka Masala, was apparently invented by a chef in Scotland as a hybrid dish for the English palate. This has since become a very popular dish both in the UK and US normally made with a decent amount of cream.

In Indian cooking, we call this cheating, anything that doesn’t take three days of you sitting next to the stove and gets it richness from dumping fat in at the end, would definitely not meet with generations of grandma’s who have passed these recipes down.

Needless to say therefore, this is not a grandma approved recipe, but since the last few weeks have been busy and Mr B loves masala, I decided to make a quick masala, which can be used for multiple dishes, vegetarian (e.g. served with charred cauliflower as above) or meat, used as a sauce for a breakfast bowl or a dip for some nachos. I make it in bulk and store it in the freezer. Coconut milk here is the vegan substitute for that added richness that my hubby loves so much!

Ingredients

Masala Base

  • 2 onions
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 inches grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • A handful of cashews

Masala Sauce

  • 5 cups of tomato puree
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup water

Method

  • Pulse all the base ingredients in a blender until smooth
  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a pan and scoop ¼ of the mixture into the pan. Fry gently until fragrant
  • Add the puree and water and simmer for 5-10 minutes
  • Add the coconut milk, simmer for another 10 minutes
  • Serve over grilled vegetables, use as a sauce for a rice bowl, or even over pasta