Kimchi Quinoa StirFry (GF, DF)

Kimchi Quinoa StirFry (GF, DF)

Kimchi Quinoa Stirfry

I saw this in Bon Appetite and it just sang to me! A recipe with tamari, sesame oil, kimchi and Quinoa, some of my all time favourite ingredients! It’s an easy recipe and has a double helping of protein with the egg and Quinoa.

Kimchi is great for your digestion, as it is fermented, another wisdom passed down through generations

I use normal Kimchi for me and mama’s extra spicy Kimchi for Mr B

Happy Spring!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Kimchi, plus 3 tbsp. of juice from the jar
  • 4 scallions/spring onions
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cups Quinoa
  • 2 tsp. tamari
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 tsp. black sesame seeds

Method

  • Squeeze kimchi over a small bowl to catch the juices. Top up if you need more to make it up to the 3 tbsp.
  • Chop the kimchi, set aside
  • Cut dark green tops of the onions and thinly slice, set aside
  • Thinly slice the white and pale green parts and set aside
  • Heat the coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan
  • Crack the eggs into the pan and fry until the white is solid and the egg is crispy around the middle, c. 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate
  • Add the carrot and cook until soft, c. 2 minutes
  • Add the green and white parts of the onions and kimchi and cook until golden, c. 3 minutes
  • Add grains, tamari, sesame oil and the kimchi juice, cook until well mixed
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper

To serve, top with the egg and black and white sesame seeds

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Spinach Paneer (GF)

Spinach Paneer (GF)

Spinach Paneer

The word Paneer is of Persian origin and is used to refer to any type of cheese. Paneer is normally homemade by Indian families, boiling whole milk and adding some lemon juice. My Grandma tried several attempts to make Paneer using Soya Milk and Almond Milk, but it didn’t work, so this is a vegetarian recipe using full fat dairy paneer and is dedicated to my brother

My brother loves Paneer and will eat it, in pretty much any form. This paneer dish is packed with amazing healing spices and antioxidants from the spinach and thus is a complete meal full of your veggies and protein. I hope you love it, a much as I love you, Mr D!

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. cayenne
  • ½ tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 12 ounces paneer
  • 16 ounces spinach
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chilli (deseeded)
  • ½ tsp. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder

Method

  • In a bowl mix the turmeric, cayenne and salt and paneer, make sure the pieces are well covered
  • Heat half the oil and pan fry until at least golden on a couple of each side, set aside
  • Steam the spinach in a little broth, let cool and blend
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan, add the onions, tomato, chilli, ginger and garlic and cook until the onions are soft and starting to caramelize
  • Add the garam masala, cumin, coriander continue to cook until the spices are well incorporated, c. 5 minutes
  • Add the spinach, combine and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add the paneer and continue to cook, make sure well combined and try not break the paneer pieces as you mix
  • Serve hot with rice or roti

Healthy Pop Tarts (GF, DF)

Healthy Pop Tarts (GF)

Pop Tart

Who would have ever thought you could make such a thing as a healthy pop tart?? It sounds like a contradiction in terms

The pop tart for those of you who don’t know was introduced to the world in 1964 by Kellogg as a pre-baked toaster convenience food and soon became popular as a kids breakfast. It is made out of two layers of pastry and has a sweet filling inside. The basic pop tart without frosting has approximately 16g sugar and 200 calories

The reason I know anything about Pop Tarts at all is due to Mr B, who recently admitted to me that when he is stressed at work he goes to the vending machine and liberates a pop tart. This surprised me, as Mr B is a firm believer in clean eating, and generally sticks to that during the week

I therefore decide to seek out the ultimate treat for him. A pop tart that he could eat, that would be healthy and clean but taste just as good. This recipe is adapted from Lexiscleankitchen.com and doesn’t disappoint. It has Pataya, blueberries, chia and almonds as the main ingredients and so has plenty of antioxidants. It is sweet, but the sugars are natural. The biggest difference is that unlike the shop bought version, it wont outlast a nuclear incident, but given how quickly Mr B ate them, that was rather unlikely anyway!

Ingredients

For the tart

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 large egg

Homemade Chia Jam

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds

For the glaze

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. cashew milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. pataya powder

Method

  • To make the dough, combine all the ingredients in a blender and leave to chill in the fridge (very important)
  • To make the jam, put all the ingredients in a deep pot and cook on a low heat until broken down, be careful not to burn
  • Turn off an let cool
  • Combine the glaze ingredients and set aside
  • Between two pieces of parchment, gently roll out the dough and cut out rectangles using a sharp knife
  • Place half the rectangles on parchment paper, place a teaspoon of the jam in-between, wet the edges and press down with a fork to close
  • Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill and preheat the oven
  • Once the oven is hot, bake the tarts for 12-15, until golden brown. Let cool
  • Once cooled use a pastry brush to add the glaze
  • I added the pataya later after brushing first so that I had two different colours and used the glaze as a drizzle

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Goan Ambotik – A hot, sour, spicy prawn coconut curry (GF, DF)

Goan Ambotik – A hot, sour, spicy prawn coconut curry (GF, DF)

Prawn Ambotik

Ambot means sour and tik means spicy. This dish is also known for it’s fiery quality, but has a cooling coconut element to it. So the trick to this dish is balance.

“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create’.

I personally find it easier to create balance in food than in life, but i fully accept that it is a journey and something to work towards, just as with any good cooking technique

This dish comes from the south of India and this recipe is adapted from Maunika Gowardhan.com. It can be made with pomfret, mackerel or sardines. You can make the sauce in a big batch and use it for multiple dishes, or even just eat it as a soup or with rice.

Mr B enjoyed this and noted it as being an addictive and beautiful bouquet of flavours, to which I promptly fainted. When I recovered he said, he had read that comment in one of my food & wine magazines, and was waiting for the right moment, which happened to be now. This day will be marked as the day; Mr B became an official foodie!

Ingredients

  • 10-12 king prawns, deveined, shells off apart from the tails
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 100g white onion, finely chopped
  • 70g tomatoes, chopped
  • 400ml water
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste

For the paste

  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 8 dried Kashmiri chilies
  • 150g grated coconut
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • ½ ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 60ml apple cider vinegar
  • 150ml water

Method

  • Add the prawns to a bowl with the turmeric and salt
  • In a frying pan add the cumin and coriander seeds to a dry pan and roast for 5 minutes or until they change colour
  • Add the dried spices to a blender with the dried chillies and cloves
  • Blitz to a fine powder. To this add the coconut, garlic, ginger and vinegar. Blend with the water until a smooth paste is formed
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil over a medium flame and cook the onions till translucent
  • Add in the tomatoes and continue to fry for a few minutes till softened
  • Add in the paste you made and cook through for 6-8 minutes
  • Add the water and season to taste along with the sugar
  • Simmer for 2/3 minutes on a low heat and add the prawns, cook for another three minutes with the heat on low
  • Add the tamarind paste and stir
  • Serve hot, with rice of a Tikki

Vegan Jerky

Vegan Jerky

IMG_9271

Mushrooms are powerful sources of antioxidants and phytochemicals, best harnessed through eating a mix of raw and cooked mushrooms. This is a great version to use as a snack or put on a pizza or salad

I decided to make these after seeing vegan jerky in the supermarket being sold for 12.99. With two Portobello mushrooms from $3, I thought it was worth the saving!

These are made with an easy marinade and quick dehydration, so very little cooking or effort for such a versatile dish

Mr B likes the smoky umami taste and said he preferred the texture to the meat version

Ingredients

  • 2 Portobello mushrooms, cut into ¾ inch strips

Marinade

  • 3 tbsp. tamari
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 3 drops liquid smoke
  • Black pepper to taste

Method

  • Soak the mushrooms in the marinade for a minimum of 4 hours. I left them to soak and absorb the marinade over night
  • Dehydrate at 115f for 6 hours in a dehydrator or oven until mushrooms are dried but not chewy

IMG_9261

Chilli Chocolate Vegan Samosas

Chilli Chocolate Vegan Samosas

Samosa

I was inspired to create this for a competition where we were asked to use cacao in a creative way. My first thought was to make my grandmothers samosas with a chilli chocolate slant on them. (Mr B’s influence as two of his favourite flavour profiles). I wasn’t sure this would work, but I felt my grandma was urging me on, if only to see me make my first samosa

Well it did work and I’d encourage you to give it a try. It has some wonderfully deep, rich flavours from the garam masala and chilli, with an earthy tone from the cacao and smoked paprika

‘Creativity is the courage to let go of certainty’.

I didn’t want to let go of the certainty of my grandma’s recipe, but this competition pushed me out of my comfort zone and to something new in our relationship. A collaboration of sorts, a recipe created hand in hand, partly from heritage and partly from something new. Growth isn’t just a case of learning something new but about unlearning old limits too

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder (adapt to heat preference)
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 500g vegan mince
  • 20g cacao powder
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 10 spring roll wrappers

Method

  • Heat the olive oil, add the onion and fry till translucent, add garlic and fry for 30 seconds
  • Add spices for 30 seconds
  • Add vegan mince and stir till equally distributed
  • Cook down for 20 minutes
  • Taste and adjust for seasoning
  • Let cool
  • Mix the water and flour together to use as a glue for the samosa pastry
  • Fold, fill and seal (see picture for instructions)
  • Bake or fry and serve with a coriander dipping sauce

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Mushroom Pate (Raw, Vegan, GF)

Mushroom Pate (Raw, Vegan, GF)

Raw Mushroom Pate

This is a lovely starter/canapé. It has a silky texture and earthy tone from the walnuts and mushrooms so your carnivorous guests will think it is made of liver, whilst your herbivore guests will lap it up for exactly the opposite reason.

It takes 5 minutes preparation and can be used for many different things, including a pasta sauce, an umami topping on a burger or a dip for crackers. I edited the recipe, which I took from Plant Food (Matthew Kenney, Meredith Baird, Scott Winegard), decreasing the amount of mushroom powder used to decrease the saltiness and adding fresh thyme to give a little brightness.

Mr B who is not a fan of liver Pate, loved this, although thought I was trying to trick him into eating traditional Pate until I showed him the process pictures.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups mushrooms (Portobello’s, Oysters, Shitake)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup mushroom powder
  • 1 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp. tamari
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp. agar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

Method

  • Blend all ingredients, for around 8 minutes or until the blender is warm. (I wouldn’t usually recommend this, but in this case you need it to get warm to activate the agar)
  • Pour into a lined terrine mold (I used a small bread pan) and refrigerate for 2 hours to set