Roasted Romanesco with Garlic, Sage Crumbs (GF, DF)

Roasted Romanesco with Garlic, Sage Crumbs (GF, DF)

Cauliflower and Sage Crumbs

This is a stunning dish, fragrant, tasty, textured and healthy

I have a lot of fun cooking vegetables as sides to my southern Italian in-laws dishes. I can not make what would be perceived as a main dish, as it would be seen as disrespectful, even in my own house and since I don’t want to end up sleeping with the fishes, I choose to make vegetable accompliments that I think might compliment the food

This is one such dish, which I made with garlic and sage so as to stay within the Italian lane to compliment the beautiful muscles and shrimp that my in-laws made

Mr B was super happy to see everyone in the kitchen in harmony whilst he sat back and enjoyed his fathers homemade wine

You could use pretty much any cauliflower or vegetable for this recipe. I like Romanesco for its beautiful Fibonacci spirals, its nuttiness and textured crunch!

Ingredients

  • 1 head Romanesco (core and cut into florets)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. vegan or normal butter
  • ½ cup gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ cup. minced sage
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper

Method

  • Preheat your oven and get a casserole dish ready
  • Place the florets in a bowl with the oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper
  • Roast for 10-15 minutes until they start to brown at the edges
  • Whilst the cauliflower is roasting, add the butter to a pan on a low heat, add the breadcrumbs and garlic and stir to coat, cook for a few minutes and stir the sage in 30 seconds before finishing
  • Remove from the heat and cover the cauliflower
  • I take it straight to the table, steaming hot and serve it straight from the casserole dish
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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

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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Vegan Jerky

Vegan Jerky

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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

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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

 

Delicious Japanese Dashi Ramen

Ramen

Delicious Japanese Dashi Ramen

I have spent a lot of time in Japan over the years for work and for pleasure and I marvel at the way Japanese chefs elevate simple pure ingredients. Whether it is Sashimi, Tofu or Dashi, there is always a simple elegance in preparation and presentation, making sure the ingredient is the star of the plate!

Dashi is a baseline broth; the equivalent of chicken stock in Japanese cooking. It is used in its simplest form as a cleansing broth but it is also added to multiple dishes as a base umami flavour

I love it in it’s purest form and love to have it on its own or use it as a base for ramen, adding some combination of noodles and vegetables. This dish takes less than 10 minutes, so after a long day at work, it is a great way to warm up and get some dinner at the same time

Ingredients

  • 5g Kombu
  • ½ cup bonito flakes
  • 2 cups water
  • One head purple broccoli
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut aminos*
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 handful buckwheat soba noodles

*Coconut aminos comes from the sap of the coconut tree, it has very low glycemic levels, 17 amino acids and in plentiful in minerals and vitamins. Use it as a substitute to soya sauce/tamari

Method

  • Bring the cold water to the boil with the kombu, once you have reached a gentle boil, remove from heat and remove the kombu
  • Sprinkle bonito flakes in and let stand for 3 minutes, sieve and place back on the heat
  • Add the coconut aminos and sesame oil
  • Add the soba noodles and simmer for 3 minutes
  • In the mean time, lightly steam the broccoli, chop and add to the soup
  • Serve steaming hot, for a ramen facial

Here is a picture of Me and Mr B in Kyoto, Japan, as it would be amiss to leave him out of the post and he is not a fan of Ramen!

Japan.JPG

Porcini Cracker with Chives (GF, V)

Porcini Cracker with Chives

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The wonderful thing about dehydrating food is that there is very little method involved (blend, spread, dehydrate), the food retains it nutrients due to the low temperature and the flavors of whatever you are cooking intensify

This is my second attempt in the dehydrator, adapting a recipe from Matthew Kenney’s Plant Food, to create an umami savory sweet cracker. I offered these crackers to my tasters, without telling them about the method, and they loved them. It is hard to believed that there is no grain or flour in them, just almond and flax seeds and a little seasoning. If you don’t have a dehydrator, an oven, whilst you are in the house on a cold afternoon does the trick just as well

I liked these crackers with a little tofu cream cheese and fresh chives (see previous recipes) but Mr B is quite fond of them on their own, as a portable snack

Ingredients

Porcini crackers

  • 1 cup almonds, soaked overnight
  • ½ cup water
  • 5 tbsp. tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp. porcini powder
  • 1 tbsp. agave
  • ¼ cup flax seeds

Toppings

  • Tofu cream cheese
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped to ½ cm pieces

Method

  • Mix the porcini ingredients together in a blender. Spread 1.4 inch thick on parchment paper and dehydrate for 4 hours at 115f. Punch out shapes with a cookie cutter. Return to dehydrator on screens until dry and crisp, approximately 12 hours. If you don’t have a dehydrator, use the oven on the warm setting.
  • Pipe or spread on the tofu cream cheese
  • Top with chives