Beet tartare

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Life is your canvas…paint it with your dreams!

My dreams are normally full of food. If you know me well and see me staring off into the distance, you’ll know its because I am thinking about my next meal, the meal I just had or a recipe I am working on. It is therefore natural for me to combine food and art.

Beetroots have such amazing colors, my favourite is the deep ruby red because of the colour but also the antioxidant qualities you get with it.

This recipe is my healthy vegan version of beef tartar using those beautiful red beets to create a hearty, beet tartare. The dish has a lovely crunch and salinity from the capers and a smooth heat from the mustard.

I loved playing with this dish, as when you have finished you have a pink paint and a white cream cheese base to play with. It lets your inner artist (and child out) and what could be more fun than that!

This is a Tasha. Kitchen original, feel free to copy, creativity should be shared!

Ingredients

  • 2 small beets
  • 1 tsp. capers
  • 1½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 3 tbsp. vegan cream cheese (see prior recipe)
  • Chives, chopped (for garnish)

Method

  • Preheat an oven to 350c
  • Bake the beetroots in salt for 40 mins or until slightly tender
  • Remove from the oven and let cool
  • Once cooled chop into roughly 1cm x 1cm pieces
  • Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, oil, and salt.
  • Transfer beets to a small bowl and mix with the dressing
  • Smear plate with the vegan cream cheese and place the beetroot on top using a cookie cutter or ramekin
  • Garnish with chopped chives

Banh Xeo

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I love making gluten free savoury pancakes as they are easy to whip together quickly in the evening and you can fill them with whatever you want, so they are a good way to use leftovers (my granny taught me well) as well as allowing you to change the dish every time you make it or to the taste of the person eating it.

This is a Vietnamese dish and normally consists of pork and prawns. I prefer this vegetarian version as it is nice and light and the freshness of the vegetables and herbs are mind-blowing.

This recipe is taken from Ottolenghi’s Plenty, my vegetarian food bible.

Ingredients

For the pancake

  • 200g rice flour
  • 1 small free-range egg
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 400ml canned coconut milk
  • ½-1 tbsp. coconut oil

 

For the sauce

  • 40ml lime juice
  • 1½ tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. tamari
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh root ginger
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ tsp. salt

 

For the filling

  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 4 radishes, chopped
  • 4 spring onions/scallions
  • 1 fresh green chilli, deseeded (optional)
  • 80g mangetout
  • 15g coriander
  • 15g Thai basil/basil
  • 15g mint
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 100g Enoki mushrooms

 

Method

  • Start with the pancake ingredients. Place the rice flour, egg, salt and turmeric in a large bowl. Slowly ass the coconut milk, whisking well to get rid of any lumps. You want the consistency of single cream, so add water of more coconut milk if needed. Set aside to rest.
  • To make the sauce, just whisk together all the ingredients, adjusting the amount of chilli to your liking.
  • Finally prepare the vegetables, shred the carrot, slice the spring onions/scallions at an angle and cut the green chilli and mange tout into long thin strips. Pick the herb leaves. Set all the prepared vegetables and herbs aside with the mushrooms and bean sprouts.
  • Heat a large non-stick pan to a medium heat; add a small amount of coconut oil.
  • Pour one quarter of the batter and swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the underside is golden brown, turn over the pancake and cook the other side. Remove from the pan and keep warm while you make the other three pancakes.
  • To serve, place pancake on a plate and pile vegetables and herbs over one half of it. Drizzle the vegetables with some sauce and fold the other half of the pancake over them. Spoon some more sauce on top and serve, with any remaining sauce on the side.

Quinoa Vegan Burger

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Having decided to eat less meat, I have been looking for a good alternative to a burger. When I say ‘good alternative’, I mean, something you can get your teeth into that has good flavor and texture.

To this end, to start off with, I convinced Mr. B and my foodie friend to try one of New York’s best rated vegan burgers, Superiority Burger. This was rated as one of New York’s top burgers, full stop, so as you can imagine we had high expectations. A little like English sparkling wine winning against champagne in blind tastings, whilst you’re secretly a little smug about it, you don’t really believe it.

Superiority Burger, which was similar to your traditional bean burger, at least within the opinion of our population of three didn’t quite live up to the hype or the 20-minute queue. I therefore felt obligated to investigate good alternatives and after a number of attempts, this is our favorite recipe. The mushrooms bring an earthy note and meaty depth, the Quinoa the protein and the sweet potato binds the patty nicely and means you don’t need egg.

Mr. B loved this version and ate his in gluten free buns with some mustard and lettuce. I in turn, used the lettuce as my bun. Both versions were tasty and filling.

Ingredients

  • 1sweet potato
  • 1 cup of mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (from about ½ uncooked)
  • ¾ cup almond meal
  • 4 Gluten free burger buns
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180c/350f
  • Prick sweet potato all over with a fork; rub with 1 Tbsp. oil, then season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, 30–45 minutes. Let cool. Remove and discard skin; mash flesh with a fork. Set aside.
  • Wash mushrooms and chop mushrooms and shallot.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp. coconut oil on low heat, cook shallot and paprika, stirring often, until shallot is soft, about 2 minutes. Add mushroom and cook, for around 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; mix in quinoa and season with salt and pepper. Let cool.
  • Add almond meal and half of the mashed sweet potato to quinoa mixture and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. If mixture is too loose, add more sweet potato to bind.
  • Divide mixture into 4 portions and form into patties, pressing firmly together with your hands.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spray coconut oil on the sheet or brush sheet if using liquid form
  • Cook burgers, since all the ingredients are cooked, we are only really looking for the ingredients to bind at this stage to form a solid patty. This should take less than 5 minutes each side.
  • Build burgers with patties, gluten free buns and toppings of your choice.

 

Green ‘fried’ tomatoes

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I have had this recipe percolating in the back of my mind since my visit to New Orleans. I went to a restaurant called Upperline in the Garden District, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and had the most wonderful meal. The owner’s aim with Upperline is to restore the original meaning of a restaurant. Restaurants she notes used to exist to soothe and bolster the weary soul with comfort and indulgence. I like that sentiment and this dish fits neatly within it.

The original dish was green fried tomato with shrimp remoulade. I adapted it to bake the tomatoes and made a spicy remoulade without the shrimp to make it vegan.

This dish can be adapted to a breakfast by adding an egg on top or some vegan scrambled eggs.

I hope you enjoy and that this brings a little warmth to your soul.

Ingredients

  • 2 green tomatoes (firm)
  • 1 cup rice flour or gluten free alternative
  • 1 cup gluten free seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs (whisked) and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. Sriracha
  • 1 Jalapeno, thinly sliced

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180c/350f
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spray coconut oil on the sheet
  • Set up your dipping station, by placing three bowls in a row and the rice flour in one, egg in one and breadcrumbs in the third.
  • Slice the green tomatoes to 5cm thick each
  • Dip first into the rice flour, second into the egg, thirdly into the breadcrumbs, lay on the baking tray and repeat for each of the subsequent tomato slices
  • Bake in the oven for 5 minutes each side
  • Whilst the tomatoes are baking, mix the mayonnaise and Sriracha
  • Once cooked place each tomato on a plate with a little of the spicy remoulade and a slice of Jalapeño

Halloween Pumpkin Peppers stuffed with spooky spicy Quinoa

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Since Halloween is such a big occasion in the USA, I felt I had to be a good citizen and join in.

This dish will delight kids and adults alike and provide a little heat as you try to keep warm after a little trick or treating. It only takes 7 minutes in total, quicker than it will take for your kids to eat all their candy!

Happy Healthy Halloween, from Tasha.Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 orange peppers
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • 1 cup mushrooms (chopped)
  • ½ tsp. red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 cup chopped black olives
  • 1 cup quinoa (cooked)

Method

  • Heat the coconut oil on a low heat
  • Add the garlic and crushed red pepper, stir for 30 seconds
  • Add the mushrooms
  • Cook until they start to brown, 2 minutes
  • Add the olives and stir for 30 seconds
  • Add in the Quinoa
  • Mix together, switch off the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes
  • During those 2 minutes, cut the head of the peppers off, cut out the eyes and a crocked smile
  • Fill with the Quinoa and serve for a ‘happy healthy halloween’!

 

 

 

Pad Thai Salad

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Having spent a lot of time traveling across Asia; I love Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and Malaysian food and whilst a lot of the menu in Asian cuisine is gluten and dairy free, in the USA it still doesn’t taste particularly clean.

In lieu of putting on a lot of weight seeking out the most authentic Asian restaurants on the East Coast, I have decided to recreate my favorite dishes, making them as clean as possible, taking Asian food from a weekend treat to a week day staple.

This dish is taken from ‘the Londoner’ (http://www.thelondoner.me), which is a great lifestyle blog with some amazing recipes thrown in. The recipe takes salads from simple to sinful!

I like making the recipe with prawns, but you can make it with tempeh to create a vegan version.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cucumber
  • 2 Large carrots
  • 2 Spring onions (chopped)
  • 1 Handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 Handful of fresh mint
  • 1 Handful of peanuts (roughly chopped/smashed)
  • A few wild tiger prawns

Dressing:

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3tbsp Sesame oil
  • 3tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1tbsp chili flakes
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 1 Clove of garlic

Optional:

  • Change the prawns for tempeh and leave out the fish sauce if you want to make this vegan
  • Substitute water for stock to add a little extra flavor to your shrimp

Method

  • Spirilize the cucumber and carrot, or use a peeler to create ribbons
  • Add the chopped spring onions, fresh coriander and mint
  • De-vein the shrimp and blanch in hot water. I added a little organic clear spring mushroom broth for a subtle flavour.
  • Take the prawns out and place to the side once they turn pink
  • Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad
  • Add the prawns and sprinkle over the crushed peanuts

 

 

 

A Hot New Dog (Vegan/Gluten-Free/Guilt-Free/Hot Dog)

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Hot dogs are a staple in America. You see them at football, ice hockey, baseball games, at 4th of July parties and on every street corner, the aroma of fried onions an assault on your senses as you walk through the city.

I have never been a fan of the texture of biting into hot dogs and I’m never quite sure what is in them. However they are a favourite of my mother and brother and Mr B as an American feels it is his patriotic duty to have a few with his brothers on hot, sunny days in the summer.

I was therefore delighted to find this recipe. A healthy hot dog, which seems like a contradiction from any angle you consider it and vegan to boot. How??

No fillers or faux meat here – this is actually a jazzed up carrot inside a gluten free bun. Using an amazing marinade including liquid hickory smoke, gives the dog its deep smoky flavor. It is incredible and you have to try it to believe it, but as an indicator Mr. B said this was the best hot dog he had ever had!

This recipe was from genius, Lee Watson, author of peace and parsnips; featured in Shape magazine.

Ingredients

  • 4 carrots
  • 4 tbsp. vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp. tamari
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ inch piece of ginger
  • 2 tbsp. mirin
  • 2 tbsp. liquid smoke
  • 3 tsp. raw honey
  • 1 tsp. canola oil

Method

  • Simmer the carrots in boiling water for 8-10 minutes then shock in iced water
  • While they simmer stir together the stock, tamari, garlic, ginger, mirin, liquid smoke and honey.
  • Pour the marinade over the cooled carrots and let sit overnight
  • When you are ready to cook put the oil in a pan over a medium-high heat, add the carrots and sauté for 10 minutes, drizzling the marinade every few minutes, turning them regularly

Pop them into gluten free buns, add your favourite toppings and dig in!