Category Archives: Cooked Savory

Silverbeet and Cauliflower Curry

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I have to admit, a lot of the meals I make are purely out of necessity, using what ever veggies I have left over and adding lots of herbs and spices.

This one was no different.  Basically I wanted to make a curry that was low fat, low calorie but tasty and filling and would go well with whatever I threw at it as sides.

I don’t normally cook with oil so that’s nothing new, but I kept this low fat by using unsweetened coconut milk instead of the coconut milk that you buy in a can.  Vitasoy make a good one, and no, I’m not payed to say that!

Whilst I’d always recommend making your own milks, I like to have this on hand because I’m busy, it’s low fat, it’s versatile and it keeps well.

Back to the curry.  It’s actually really simple, no fancy steps and it’s fast to make.

Silverbeet and Cauliflower Curry

Makes approx. 5 cups

Ingredients

1/2 medium head of cauliflower, chopped (about 700g)

1 medium carrot, chopped

3/4 cup of pumpkin, cubed

1/2 cup of frozen green beans

3 cups of chopped silverbeet (or spinach)

3 cloves of garlic crushed

1 TBS grated ginger

1 vegan stock cube

1/2 tsp of ground cumin

1 tsp of curry powder (or more depending on taste)

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp of fennel seeds

Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup of water

1/3 cup of unsweetened coconut milk

 

Method

Pour 1/3 of the water into a large saucepan and turn heat onto  medium.  Add garlic, ginger and spices and cook until it becomes fragrant.  Add the carrot, pumpkin and cauliflower and mix until it all becomes coated in the spices.  Turn heat down to med-low and cover, stirring occasionally.

Whilst the vegetables soften, place the silverbeet in a blender with the rest of the water, and stock cube.  Blend until smooth.   Pour this mixture into the cooking vegetables, and stir to combine.  Put lid on and let it simmer until vegetables become soft.

When vegetables are ready, add the frozen beans and stir in the coconut milk.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Continue to cook with the lid off so some of the liquid evaporates off and it becomes a little bit thick, about 5 minutes.

Done.

Serve with a side of basmati rice and a sprinkle of fresh coriander.

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Because it tastes better the next day, I’ve been using it for my lunches and dinners that I take to work.  Today I made another batch but here’s the first batch I made.  It was good for 5 meals.  So cost effective!

If you wanted to up the protein, you could stir in a can of chickpeas, or some cubed tempeh.

I just bought some soy free tempeh (made from chickpeas or fava beans) so I might try that with the next batch.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I am right now, literally been eating it for lunch and dinner A LOT!

And, if you follow me on instagram, you would’ve seen that I wrote it up as spinach but as I found out today, silverbeet (which I thought was a type of spinach) is actually a chard.  So there you go, learn something new every day!

Peas, love and mungbeans

 

xxb

 

 

Cheap as chips……but better for you

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So when I was a poor university student, leaving out of home and having enough money only for the important things (read beer and good times), I basically lived off this soup.  It was easy, fast, filling, tasty, and best of all, cheap.

This is the type of soup you make when you don’t want to make something but still need to eat.  Better yet, it makes enough for two hearty servings so you can have it again the next day.  WIN.

For those of you who don’t like to used canned veggies, you can still soak and cook the cannellini beans as you would, and instead of canned tomatoes, just blend about 6 ripe tomatoes.

But the whole point of this soup is that it’s cheap and easy and uses up most people’s pantry staples.

Tomato Veggie Soup with Basil & White Beans

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 can of cannellini beans

1 can of water (from the canned tomatoes)

1 carrot, chopped

1 small zucchini, chopped

1/2 medium leek, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 large stalk of celery, chopped

4 basil leaves, roughly torn

1 vegan stock cube

Himalayan pink salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

In a medium saucepan, put in all of the ingredients, except the cannellini beans & basil.

Bring to the boil, then lower heat to low-medium and cook until carrots are tender.  Add beans & cook for a further 5 minutes.  If it’s too thick, add some more water, but I like my soup thick. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Add basil.  Done.

Told you it was quick.   The longest part is probably cutting all the veggies.

I normally serve it with a scoop of wholegrain, like millet, quinoa or brown rice to make it extra filling if I’m really hungry or you can have it just on it’s own or add pasta to it when you add the veggies.

Another good cheap recipe that I make on a regular basis is hummus.

Here’s my recipe which has been adjusted since I first posted it a while back.  I really like this one.  It uses canned chickpeas because I always have them in my pantry and it’s quicker than soaking and boiling my own but you can certainly do that if you prefer.  Sometimes I do this, and it still tastes the same.

OHM Best Hummus 2.0

Makes approx. 450 mLs.

Ingredients

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed well and drained

2 TBS of unhulled tahini (or hulled, whatever you’ve got)

1 lemon, juiced

1 clove of garlic

1/2 tsp of cumin

1/4 cup of water

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy.

To make beetroot hummus, I just add 1/4 of a small beetroot to the mix.

Easy A.

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

Spicy Kidney Bean & Sweet Potato Patties

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Don’t you just love it when you make something out of leftovers and it turns out the bomb?

That’s exactly what happened to me today.  I was stuck as to what to have for lunch, all I knew is that I wanted something tasty and filling but I wanted to just make it from whatever I had in the fridge.

I spied a little container of left over kidney beans at the back of the fridge, took a whiff of it, and knew that if I didn’t use it up today, it’ll die.  Then I saw a quarter of a sweet potato sitting all on it’s lonesome in the bottom of the veggie crisper so, bam! There it was.  It was like they were screaming at me: “turn me into a burger, turn me into a burger”.

Well, since you’re asking :)

Now, you’ll have to forgive me, as all ingredient quantities are estimations as I just chucked things together without measuring so fingers crossed it all turns out!

Kidney bean and sweet potato burger patties

Makes 2 patties

Ingredients

3/4 cup cooked red kidney beans (I used canned)

1/2 cup of sweet potato, diced

2 TBS red onion, chopped

1/4 tsp chipotle powder

1/8 tsp chilli flakes

Himalayan pink salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Method

Cook sweet potato either by steaming or boiling.  Alternatively you can place them covered in a bowl in the microwave if you’re pressed for time, about 3 minutes but I don’t really recommend use of microwaves, but hey, sometimes you have to.

Whilst the sweet potato is cooking, you can organise your additions.

I used baby spinach, fresh tomato, grilled zucchini, grilled mushrooms, red onion,  chunky guacamole and hummus.

When the sweet potato is ready, place it in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined well but not a mushy mess.

Take the mixture out and form into a big ball.  Cut this in half and shape each half into one pattie.

Place in the fridge to harden a little bit whilst you dance around your kitchen, or clean up the mess you’ve made (that’s what I do.  I know, I’m one of those people that cleans as they go).  This is when I put the grill on in my oven and grill the mushies and eggplant rounds.  You could also just cook the eggplant and mushies when you do the patties.

Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat, and place patties on to cook.  Flip after a few minutes.  It should be nice and brown before you flip it.  Be gentle as the top will still be soft so be careful so they don’t fall apart.  It’s ready when both sides are nice and golden brown.

To assemble, place the grilled mushroom on the bottom, this will be your burger bun, then just add your chosen veggies and sauces plus your pattie of course.

I had one for lunch, then for dinner I had the other one wrapped up in some wholemeal Lebanese bread with salad, hummus and the left over guac.  It was cold but it was still yummy.  Topped it with some sweet chilli sauce and it was so, so good.

The little pattie that just keeps on giving.  Sigh.

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This is a very easy, quick and cheap recipe that you can add to your plant based arsenal and probably uses stuff that you have in your fridge and pantry on the daily.

If you don’t have chipotle powder, you could use curry powder.  Or if you still wanted to give it a Latino vibe, you could add a mixture of ground cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano and chilli flakes.  Go experiment.

 

Peas, love and mungbeans,

 

xxb

 

 

let’s get saucy

IMG_2302When the culinary gods where creating dishes, I’m sure they picked pasta as the dish that would bring instant comfort and satisfaction to the lucky person devouring it.

Pasta is the reliable friend you can count on when your creative kitchen mojo has left you stuck and timepoor, and  your pack of loved ones are screaming to be fed.

But what makes a pasta a GOOD pasta.  After all, if there’s good, there’s also bad.  My money is on the sauce.  If  you have a super tasty sauce, man, you own it!

Here’s a recipe for a delicious sauce that’s sure to keep the family happy and you, with your sanity intact.

Spinach Pesto

Makes about 300 mls or enough to feed 4 hungry bellies

Ingredients

4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pinenuts
4 TBS nutritional yeast

Method

Add all ingredients to your blender and and blend until smooth. You many need to scrape the sides and push the ingredients down to incorporate them into the blending.
Place pesto in a glass jar with tight fitting lid and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Here’s a recipe that I made with it (pictured).

 

Spinach pesto and zucchini pasta

Serves 4

Ingredients

Enough pasta for 4 people (approx. just over half a regular pack)
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 medium brown onion, finely diced
1 quantity of spinach pesto (as above)
3/4 cup of plant mylk (I used unsweetened almond)

Method

Cook pasta al dente, rinse in a colander with warm water and set aside.
In a large frying pan, lightly sauté zucchini and brown onion with a little bit of water.  Add the pesto and stir to warm through.  It will be thick, so add your mylk a little at a time to maintain a thick and creamy sauce.  You may not need to add all of it.  When the zucchini is soft and your sauce is as creamy and thick/thin as you like it, add the cooked pasta and toss to cover each and every single pasta piece.

Taste and season if required.  Serve immediately with a fresh crisp salad simply dressed in lemon juice.  This will go well with the rich tasting pasta.  You could also add some more nutritional yeast on  top or sprinkle on some hemp seeds.

* I used gluten free quinoa pasta

 

Ok, now I’m going to share with you my favourite ALL TIME sauce.  it’s a pesto but I use it raw.  You can cook it if you like but my suggestion is that you use it raw.  It makes a great sauce for raw zucchini pasta, a deliciously creamy salad dressing, and you can also have it as a dip with a bunch of your fave veggies or on top of some raw crackers.

 

One Hungry Mami’s Almond Pesto

Makes 50o mls

Ingredients

1 cup of raw almonds, soaked overnight and rinsed well
1/2 bunch of parsley, leaves and stems
1/2 zucchini, chopped
handful of baby spinach
4 Tbs of nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp of spirulina (optional)
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil (optional)
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup of water
Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.   You will need to stop and push the ingredients down, as well as scrape the sides to incorporate all the ingredients.  You can add extra water also, just do so a little bit at a time.

Adding the zuchinni to the blender first will also help the blending process, as it releases fluid when blended.
This keeps well if kept in a glass jar with tight fitting lid.  However, mine usually only lasts 3 days as i have it a lot.  Basically have been living off it for the last week, oops!

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IMG_2400What can I say, green is my favourite colour!

 

Peas, love and mungbeans

 

xxb

Stew it up

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Now that the weather is getting cooler, it’s been so much fun coming up with tasty and hearty dishes that keep me satisfied and feeling nurtured.

The following two recipes are stews, which I love making as they are super simple, fast and last well in the fridge for a couple of days so you can either freeze the left overs, or keep it for tomorrow’s lunch and/or dinner.

You’ll have to forgive me as I’m writing the recipes way after the fact so hopefully my memory serves me and I don’t leave out any ingredients!

Black Bean and Quinoa Stew

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 garlic cloves

1/2 brown onion, diced

1 cup chopped pumpkin

1 cup chopped mushrooms

2 cups of chopped silverbeet

1 cup of chopped celery

1/2 cup of chopped capsicum

1/2 cup of quinoa, soaked and rinsed

1 can of organic black beans, rinsed really well

1 vegan stock cube

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 cups of water

 

Method

In a large pot, add 1/4 cup of water, the garlic and spices and gently cook until they are fragrant.

Add the vegetables, except the silverbeet and beans, and give it a good stir so that they are covered with the spices and garlic.  Add the water, quinoa and stock cube.

You may need to crush the stock cube once it’s in the pan, and stir to combine.

Bring to the boil over medium heat, then, lower heat to simmer and cover with lid.

Check after about 15-20 minutes to see if the quinoa is cooked.  Adjust seasoning at this time and if you feel it’s too dry, add some more water.   If you feel there’s too much liquid, cook it for a bit longer with the lid off so some of the liquid evaporates.  Add the beans and silverbeet and cook for a further 5 minutes.  Basically you just want to warm the beans through and keep the silverbeet vibrant and green.

Serve into bowls and eat.

I eat this on it’s own or with some cauliflower mash.

 

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Spiced red lentil and Root Vegetable Stew

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 cup red lentils, soaked overnight and rinsed

1 brown onion, diced

1 parsnip, diced

1 swede, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 sweet potato, diced

1 red capsicum (pepper), diced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 Tbs of freshly grated ginger

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

5 fresh curry leaves

1/2 Tbs of turmeric

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

2 tsp of ground coriander

1/2 tsp of Himalayan pink salt

2 tsp of tamarind puree

1 cup of water*

1 can of organic canned tomatoes

1/4 cup coconut milk

fresh coriander and coconut kefir to garnish

some papadums for dipping and scooping**

 

Method

Add some water to a large saucepan and add the spices and ginger over a medium heat.   Once it becomes aromatic, add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, a few minutes.

Add the veggies and stir to cover with the spices, cook for about 5 minutes, then add the lentils, canned tomatoes and water.

Stir to combine and bring it to the boil, then lower heat to low-med, cover with lid and leave to cook for about 25 – 30 minutes, until the vegetables and lentils are soft.

Once the vegetables and lentils are ready, stir in the coconut milk and tamarind puree, and stir gently to combine.  You don’t want to mash the vegetables!  You can adjust seasoning at this point if required.

Serve on it’s own, topped with a generous tablespoon of coconut kefir and some fresh coriander.

*You may need more water, but start with 1 cup.  You want it to be thick and saucy not soupy.

**I used store bought papadums which I just prepared in the microwave.

As you can see, I didn’t add any oil when I made the above recipes because you just don’t really need to.  However, I know some people love to fry up their spices so feel free to use some coconut oil if you so desire.

Hope you enjoy the above recipes and that they make you feel warm and toasty all over!

Please let me know if you have any problems with the recipes, like I said, I’m relying on my memory (gasp!), which if I believe what my husband tells me, is pretty unreliable!

 

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb