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
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Squash and Eggplant Gratin  (Vegan, DF, GF)

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‘Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors and let every new year find you a better man’  – Benjamin Franklin

Every year people makes lists of resolutions, drink less, eat less, do more exercise. These are really just generalities that you think will make your life better and in some circumstances relieve the guilt of the past season. We all do it and it seems to make sense at the time, but how long do we stick to our resolutions?

I have found, for me at least that making small changes on a day to day basis works better, with a little room for error, so that I don’t get into a guilt cycle and give up. Every day I start a fresh and think about what I can do better today.

For me like a lot of people, I have a deep and complex relationship with food. It has been my friend and enemy, it comforts me when I am far from home, it teaches me about my ancestry and it gives me a canvas for creativity. I am not going to give up eating and sometimes I am going to want something that does not serve me well, like a slice of pizza with my Italian husband or a truffle parmesan potato chip or two. So how do I balance the two.

I make it easy for myself to eat healthily 90% of the time and I don’t punish myself for the rest. I batch cook at the weekend and then my fast food is healthy food. I buy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and I prepare them in batches as grab and go, lining up the pairings, for example peeling carrots and setting them next to the hummus, or placing mixed cut fruits in little pots next to my almond yogurt as a quick grab and go in the morning.

This recipe is an easy batch recipe. You cut and bake the butternut squash and eggplant, which you can make it bulk and use for other things also. You then add it all together bake it, creating 6-8 portions to be eaten or frozen. It tastes wonderful as a side or main, lunch or dinner and each ingredient can be repurposed in many different ways.

Take a few hours at the weekend to make your week easier and your food healthier. Now thats a resolution that anyone can keep. Happy Healthy 2019.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 large jar passata/homemade or shop bought
  • 2 large eggplants/aubergines
  • 100g gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 50g vegan parmesan
  • salt, pepper, olive oil, chilli flakes

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350f
  • Peel the squash, remove the seeds and cut into 1 cm long segments
  • Toss the squash in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until soft
  • As the squash is roasting, half peel the eggplant (alternate stripes) and slice into 1cm discs
  • Cover in olive oil, salt and pepper and lightly fry to brown on each side. Set aside on kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil
  • Warm the passata and add any additional flavouring you might like. I used a garlic basil tomato sauce and added a few chilli flakes (this saves a lot of time). Reference the Rowley Leigh recipe for the original recipe.
  • Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan and set aside till ready to assemble
  • In an ovenproof dish, spoon a little sauce on the bottom and place half the squash segments down. Add some more sauce over the top and add half the eggplant segments, add more sauce and add the rest of the squash segments, more sauce, the other half of the eggplant segments and the rest of the sauce. Cover with the mixed breadcrumbs and cheese and bake for 30 minutes. I baked it covered with foil to make sure the breadcrumbs didn’t burn
  • Best eaten fresh and hot, but works well as leftovers too

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Happy New Year!

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Dear Friends of Tasha. Kitchen,

Happy New Year!

My wish for you is to Live Better, Strive Harder, Be Bolder, Dream Bigger, Climb Higher and Seek Greater.

These too are wishes for myself and in the pursuit of this at the end of the year I took some time out to self reflect on all I have learnt over the last year.

In 2018, I completed my certificate in Plant Based Nutrition with Cornell and have used this and some great books (e.g. how not to die – Gene Stone and Michel Greger), articles and blogs to learn more about the hard science behind food and disease.  Many of you may have seen my blog evolve over that time, from broad based healthy food to more of a plant-based blog. This is a reflection of my learning and has caused me to sit back and think about what my own philosophy is and what the blog should centre around.

After much study, contemplation and a recommitment to both my followers, and myself I am pleased to announce a new blog coming soon. The blog will be dedicated to Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw recipes with a focus on Plants and Whole Foods to maximise the nutritional content. There will also be a new section where I will share scientific research, so you can learn with me.

The blog will be called PlantToTable.com and exists today but with a redirect to Tasha.Kitchen until it is ready for launch in early 2019. Tasha.Kitchen will resume this Saturday and an announcement will be made when the new blog is ready.

I hope that this news allows you to forgive my absence and I look forward to continuing our journey together.

Yours faithfully,

Tasha x

Delhi Green Beans with Ginger and Green Chillies (Sem Ki Sabzi)  (Vegan, DF, GF)

Green Beans and Ginger

This dish is from the north of India and is normally served with lentils, rice and yogurt.

My grandma had a special dish for everyone, cheese rolls for my brother, rice porridge for me and green beans for my cousin Sabrina. I actually think Sabrina is the only person I know, as well as my grandmother who loved these green beans. They would eat them together, laugh and talk. It was something special to see.

This is my first attempt at a green bean recipe and there will be a few more to come until I get the right one. This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s Vegetarian India, it is vibrant, spicy, tasty and takes no time at all.

Ingredients

  • 1 LB green beans, topped and tailed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • ½ tsp. asafoetida (optional)
  • ½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 1 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 tsp. ginger, chopped
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. coriander, powder

Method

  • Plunge the beans into boiling water 3-5 minutes and then drain, leaving them al dente
  • Put the oil in a medium frying pan, set on a low heat, add the asafoetida, add the cumin
  • Take the pan off the heat and add the ginger and chillies
  • Put back on the heat, add beans, salt, coriander powder and 2 tbsp. water
  • Cook for another 5 minutes
  • Eat with rice and roti

Cauliflower Steak (Vegan, DF, GF)

Cauliflower steak

Let’s break the myth that you need meat to build muscle. The gorilla can lift up to 10 times its body weight!

I made this dish on the request of my meat and potatoes concierge. As I would leave the building early in the morning I would go by the front desk and drop off a plant based treat, vegan cheesecake, vegan meatballs, vegan samosa, vegan chocolate truffles and after a few months I finally got a request for a cauliflower steak. This was a man who said that he had to eat meat with every meal.

You must learn a new way to think, before you can master a new way to live.

I love the humble cauliflower, the texture is meaty enough to satisfy and it takes well to assertive flavours. This is a basic version, but you could add a pesto, salsa or chimichurri. I served this with some Baba Ganoush underneath for a texture and flavour contrast.

Mr B was a little upset that I was cooking for another man, so I made him some vegan truffles and he forgot all about it…

Ingredients

  • 1 cauliflower
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup oil

Method

  • Preheat the oven
  • Remove the outer green leaves from the head of cauliflower
  • Use a large knife and cut the cauliflower half lengthwise and into half again
  • In a bowl mix the oil and spices
  • Brush the cauliflower with the mixture on both sides
  • Bake covered with foil until steamed and starting to soften
  • Uncover and let brown for the remaining time
  • If you have a BBQ, sear for grill marks and a little char

 

King Trumpet Yakitori (Vegan, DF, GF)

Yakatori

A little advice from a mushroom;

  • Be down to earth
  • Sprout new ideas
  • Keep a low profile
  • Know when to show up
  • Stay well-rounded
  • Start from the ground up
  • Be a fun-guy

This is a beautiful recipe for a BBQ. It is meaty and sticky and sweet and sumptuous.

Mushrooms are always said to be a great meat substitute but I don’t see it as a substitute but a star in it’s own right. I use a variety of mushrooms in my recipes due to the medicinal benefits; Trumpet versus the others is good for something you want to give more structure to, which is why it works so well on this recipe.

Be careful with the reduction, as it can get hot due to the melted sugar. If it toughens up just reheat.

Ingredients

  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 1/3 cup sake
  • 1/3 cup tamari
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • trumpet mushrooms
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • Salt

Method

  • Soak 6-10 bamboo skewers for at least 15 minutes
  • Prepare grill/BBQ for medium heat
  • Thread the mushrooms onto the prepared skewers and brush with oil and salt
  • Grill until golden brown
  • Heat the mirin, sake, tamari and sugar until slightly reduced
  • Brush on the mushrooms and grill again, flip and brush again
  • Serve with spring onions on top

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Vegan Smoked Salmon (Vegan, DF, GF)

Smoked salmon bagel

‘I didn’t change, I just started to look at things differently’.

Mr B and I popped into Orchard Grocer, a vegan Deli one day a few months ago. I was curious to see how they had become so popular so quickly, with reported long lines for their smoked salmon bagel. It is said that the bagel married lox in New York, so there is a high bar for this classic dish here.

I have to say, I was skeptical that a carrot could replace salmon and so took Mr B as the ultimate taster, given his New York roots and his love of this combination. The Deli did not disappoint and in fact the bagel was so good, Mr B asked me to recreate it so it could become his new go to at home.

The reason Mr B likes this, is because it has tones of the real thing due to the nori and tamari but is lighter and has a preferred texture. I like to serve it to Mr B on a Sunday morning in an everything bagel, or if he is getting on a train, I make it in a plain bagel and then add the everything seasoning to the vegan cream cheese. I also use it in wraps, bowls and in salads to add some depth and flavor.

I hope this dish gives you a glimpse into a reimagined classic and if not at least a new way to see the humble carrot

Ingredients

  • 3 carrots
  • 2 nori sheets
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tbsp. Tamari
  • 1 tbsp. Liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. dill
  • Sea salt to taste

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350f
  • Wash the carrots, add some salt and bake for 45 minutes or until soft.
  • Remove and once cooled slice into strips with a peeler or mandolin
  • Transfer into a container with the rest of the ingredients and let marinate at least overnight
  • For a classic new york bagel serve with vegan cream cheese, dill, red onion and capers

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