Quinoa Tabbouleh – Vegan, DF, GF

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‘I’d rather have a cupboard full of herbs than a closet full of heals’

This is a beautiful dish using vibrant herbs to bring the dish to life. It is an old levantine dish, native to the middle east but widely eaten all over the world. I substituted the bulgar wheat here for quinoa on my husbands suggestion (Mr B also known as the reluctant foodie, is reluctant no more…)

Apart from cooking the quinoa, the rest of the prep is just chopping the vegetables and herbs. An easy quick after work recipe, good as lunch, dinner or a side to a summer BBQ.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. salt and pepper
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup mint, chopped
  • ½ cup coriander, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 English cucumber, diced

Method

  • Bring one cup of water to the boil
  • Meanwhile toast quinoa dry in a frying pan, till it gives off a toasty aroma
  • Once toasted, pour the quinoa in the boiling water
  • Turn down the heat and simmer until the water is absorbed
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool
  • Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • Combine the herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers and quinoa, mix and add dressing

 

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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

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

Pioppini Mushroom Pasta (Vegan, DF, GF)

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The pioppino mushroom is not only known for its delicious and earthy taste and great texture but also pack a series nutritional punch, providing a great source of vitamin D and boasting beneficial bacteria great for improving digestion and overall health. These mushrooms have a valuable amount of bioactive metabolites. These metabolites include agrocybenine with anti fungal properties, Cylindan which has anti-cancer properties and indole derivatives which are responsible for hunting down free radicals. The Pioppino mushroom is also known for slowing down the effects of osteoporosis. MIND BLOWN!

I found these at the farmers market and since I had never seen them before I thought I pick some up. I asked the lady what to do with them and she said just chop the whole thing up including the stalk and saute them with some shallots. So that is exactly what I did. I served these with some ancient grain gluten free pasta and topped with a little vegan parmesan.

‘Bellissimo’ said Mr. B and I agreed.

Ingredients

  • 150g of gluten free pasta
  • 400g Pioppini Mushrooms
  • ½ cup shallots, sliced
  • 10g vegan butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Vegan parmesan (optional)

Method

  • Clean and cut the mushrooms. I cut 2cm off the bottom and chop the stalks into rounds and slice the heads
  • Warm the oil in a skillet and add the onions, cook until starting to brown
  • Add the mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes on high heat
  • Whilst cooking the mushrooms, cook the pasta
  • Drain the pasta and add to the mushrooms, add the butter, salt and pepper
  • Mix well and serve hot with optional vegan parmesan

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Jackfruit Peking Duck (Vegan)

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My mum used to serve Peking Duck as an intermediary course at her amazing dinner parties. I remember our not so large living room being filled with conversation and laughter as I would go around serve the canapes and my brother would help top up the drinks. My mum was really in her element in those situations, entertaining and listening out for the comments and compliments on the food. I don’t think I have ever seen her happier.

Of course, as many of you know, I try and replicate this nostalgia through my own dinner parties with just an eye to my own plant-based interpretations.

‘Food has no soul, you as a cook must bring soul to the recipe’

Peking Duck also featured heavily in our celebrations, as we would always congregate at our local Chinese restaurant to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. This is a theme for Indian families, and I have never worked out why, apart from perhaps the ability to accommodate large parties and the willingness to supply chopped up chilis to us in abundance.

My brother loves this dish so much that it is also his comfort food at home and so this recipe is dedicated to him. It is my way of showing him that I care, taking his favourite dish and making it heart healthy so he can eat it at will and see it as a healthy snack versus an unhealthy treat. Dev, this recipe is from my heart to yours, in recognition of our memories and the nostalgia we share.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of jackfruit
  • 3 tsp. tamari
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • ½ cucumber, cut into strips
  • 8-10 Chinese pancakes
  • 150ml hoisin sauce

Method

  • Heat the grill on high
  • Drain the jackfruit and pat dry
  • Combine the tamari, maple syrup, coriander, pepper and sesame oil
  • Coat the jackfruit in the mixture and place under the grill
  • Grill for 10 minutes, turning 2/3 times until crispy
  • Warm the pancakes, serve with the cucumber, spring onion and hoisin sauce

 

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