Sunday, 30 August 2015

Mixed Mushroom Risotto

I adapted Jamie Oliver's basic risotto recipe to vegan and then made it mushroomy....mmmmm! This is a wonderfully rich dish so you may prefer it as a starter :)


Mixed Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients

1.1 litres vegetable stock
2 Tbls vegan butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ head celery, finely chopped (I used 1 tsp celery salt in lieu)
400 g risotto rice
2 wineglasses dry white vermouth or dry white wine
sea salt
4 cups mixed mushrooms (I used porcini, shiitake, oyster and portobello)
1 tsp dried tarragon
3 springs of parsley, chopped
Juice of one lemon
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbls of vegan butter
90 g vegan Parmesan cheese


Method

Heat the stock to nearly boil and then reduce heat to low and keep on a simmer.
In a separate pan, heat the olive oil and butter, add the onions, garlic and celery, and fry very slowly for about 15 minutes without colouring.
When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat to medium and keep stirring.
After a minute it will look slightly translucent.
Add the vermouth or wine and keep stirring.
Once the vermouth or wine has cooked into the rice, add in mushrooms and dried herbs and stir through.
Alternatively you can fry or grill your mushrooms separately and add once cooked.
Add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt.
Turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn't cook too quickly on the outside.
Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next.
This will take around 15 minutes.
Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite.
Don't forget to check the seasoning carefully.
If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some boiling water.
Adding more stock will make the risotto too salty.
Add in lemon juice and fresh herbs.
Remove from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan. Stir well.
Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes.
Season with salt and black pepper before serving.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Deep Fried Pickles

Based on an Alton Brown recipe...


Deep Fried Pickles

Ingredients

4-6 dill pickles
1 cup non-dairy milk (coconut is best)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 cups of cornmeal
oil for deep frying


Method

Start oil boiling on a medium-high heat in a large pot.
Slice pickles in quarters long ways and pat down with a paper towel to dry.
In a bowl mix the milk and apple cider vinegar.
In another bowl add corn meal.
Take one slice of pickle and coat it in the milk.
Place it in the cornmeal to dredge.
Place back into the milk mixture and dredge a second time in the cornmeal.
Place on a dry surface while you repeat with the other pickles.
When you have enough for one layer in the oil place lightly and wait around 1-2 minutes until the cornmeal has gone goldne brown.
Remove pickles and place on paper towels to dry.
Serve as a side or main with fries and serve with a side of horse radish sauce or any sauce of choice.


Monday, 24 August 2015

Saffron Rice

Recipe adapted from Veg Recipes of India. The even have a vegan section...so awesome!


Saffron Rice

Ingredients

1.5 cups basmati rice
2 to 3 generous pinch of saffron or kesar
¾ tsp caraway seeds
2 green cardamom
1 bay leaf
1 inch cinnamon
2 cloves
1 strand of mace
3 1/4 cups water
a pinch of turmeric (optional)
1.5 tbsp oil or unsalted vegan butter
a few coriander or mint leaves for garnish (optional)
salt as required


Method

Rinse the rice for 3-4 times in water.
Soak the rice for 20-30 mins in water.
Drain the water and keep the rice aside.
Heat oil or unsalted butter in a deep pan or pot.
Add all the whole spices including caraway and fry till the oil/butter becomes fragrant.
Add soaked rice and stir for 1-2 minutes.
Crush the saffron with your fingers or in a mortar-pestle and add these to the rice.
Add turmeric powder now if you plan to add it and stir in.
Add water along with salt.
Cover the pan tightly and let the rice cook till the grains become separately cooked and absorb all the water.
Once done, fluff gently with a fork.
Serve the saffron rice garnished with coriander or mint leaves and your favourite Indian dish.

Easy Indian Curry

This is adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe. It's a great basic curry and you can add whatever you like!
Remember curry is almost always better the next day :)
Serve with Saffron Rice.


Easy Indian Curry

Ingredients

5 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
3 fresh green chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
1 handful curry leaf (I couldn't find these so I didn't use it)
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
6 tomatoes, chopped
1/2-1 cup water
1 (400 ml) can coconut milk
salt
1 teaspoon tamarind syrup
1 large handful Baby Spinach
1 large handful fresh coriander, chopped
4-6 potatoes, quartered
1 cup peas


Method

Put some water on to boil for the potatoes, when ready simmer potatoes till ready.
Heat the oil in a pan, and when hot add the mustard seeds.
Wait for them to pop, then add the fenugreek seeds, fresh green chilies, curry leaves and ginger.
Stir and fry for a few minutes.
Chop the onions and add to the same pan.
Continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the onion is light brown and soft, then add the chilli powder and turmeric.
Chop the tomatoes and add them to the pan too.
Cook for a couple of minutes, then add water and coconut milk.
Simmer for about 5 minutes until it has the consistency of double cream, then season carefully with salt.
Add tamarind to the sauce and simmer for 6 minutes.
Feel free to add some baby spinach and chopped coriander at the end of the cooking time.


Sunday, 23 August 2015

Comforting Noodle Soup

This is based on a recipe by Nigella Lawson.


Comforting Noodle Soup

Ingredients

6 ounces soba or thick rice noodles, dried
3 cups vegetable or dashi broth
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 star anise
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup bean sprouts
3/4 cup sugar snap peas
3/4 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 heads baby bok choy, finely sliced
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves


Method

Cook the noodles according to packet instructions and while the water is boiling fill a nearby saucepan with stock, brown sugar, star anise, ginger and soy sauce.
(When the noodles are done, just drain them and put half in each bowl.)
When the flavored stock comes to a boil, add the vegetables.
They should be cooked before 2 minutes are up.
Pour half into each bowl, over the cooked and drained noodles and sprinkle with cilantro.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

"Insalata Caprese" Crackers

When I was staying in Sicily (before I was vegan) I had most wonder salad which consisted of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil layered alternating in a circle and topped with olive oil and seasoned with salt. It was so simple, yet so amazing. it's called "Insalata Caprese" or Salad of Capri and variations of the salad include using bocconcini and an additional drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I have been making it on rice crackers as a go to snack for as long as I can remember and when I couldn't get any good vegan cheese I just skip the cheese. Good quality ingredients are the key, I love using tomatoes straight from the farmers market!


"Insalata Caprese" Crackers

Ingredients

Rice crackers (or any crackers you like)
Tomatoes, sliced and then cut into four
Handful of basil leaves
Vegan mozzarella cheese (I used Field Roast Chao Slices - Original Creamy, cut into 4 or 6 pieces)
Good quality olive oil (garlic infused is divine too!)
salt & pepper for seasoning.


Method

Assemble the crackers on a plate or dish.
Place a cracker size slice of cheese on each cracker, followed by the tomatoes and lastly with the basil leaf.
Sprinkle a  light seasoning of salt (and pepper if desired).
Drizzle a very small amount of olive oil.
Enjoy!! So easy!


Chocolate Brownies

These brownies are delicious!! They seem a little not done when you take them out of the oven but once they cool down they are crunchy on the outside and fudgy on the inside. YUM! I found they harden up if you store them in the refrigerator.
This recipe comes from "Pollen" on Food.com.


Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients

2 cups GF baking flour
1 cup water
1 cup vegan brown sugar
1 cup vegan white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (I forgot this ingredient and mine still turned out great)
1/2 cup nuts (optional) - I used walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional) - I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks


Directions

Preheat oven to 350F and grease your 11"x7" brownie pan (I also used some parchment/baking paper)
Cook water and 1/2 cup of the flour over low heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches the consistency of a gluey paste.
Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Mix sugar, salt, vanilla, cocoa powder and vegetable oil, and then mix in the flour/water mixture.
Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour, plus the baking powder and mix until smooth.
Stir through the nuts and chocolate chips if using.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until knife inserted into center of pan comes out clean.
I ended up cooking mine for 45mins before they were done but it might have been the lack of baking powder...oooops!

Pea and Pesto Soup

This recipe comes from Nigella Lawson's Express series. I found that the amount of water was too much and ended up being a very liquidy soup so I've changed it below - obviously if that's what you like then you can add the original 750ml :)


Pea and Pesto Soup

Ingredients

500 ml water
375 grams frozen peas
2 spring onions (trimmed but whole)
1 teaspoon Maldon salt
½ teaspoon lime juice
4 tablespoons fresh pesto
2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)


Method

Add water to a pot to cover the peas, spring onions, salt and lime juice and bring to boil.
Let simmer for 7 minutes.
Discard the spring onions and blitz the peas and their liquid with the pesto in a blender.
Tip the pine nuts into a small frying pan, and toast over a medium heat until they begin to colour.
Sprinkle over each bowl of soup.

Monday, 20 July 2015

New Vegan Items - July 2015

These products may not be super new on the market but I've only recently discovered them so I wanted to share :)

Nada Moo! I only recently discovered this brand of vegan ice-cream and it's fabulous!! These were the two that I tried and both were divine...so creamy! I found these at the health store and Harmons.

Beyond Meat Beef patties really taste like beef patties. They are best grilled or fried. They are a little dry but definitely taste like meat! I found these at Wholefoods.

So Delicious Minis - I'm totally addicted to these ice-creams!! I got them at Target and the fudge bar reminds me of chocolate Billabong ice-creams from my Australian childhood! The chocolate covered vanilla one tastes like a Magnum.

Field Roast Chaos Cheese - I was pretty impressed with this cheese. I really like the creamy original, it tastes like mozzarella/Gouda. And melts too! Found these at my local health food store. 

The creamy original delicious on my "Salada Caprese crackers"


Treeline Treenut Cheese - this was pretty tastey, like a hard cheddar but it was kind of expenzive at $10 and kind of small. For $10 a cheese I'll stick with Miyoko's Kitchen cheese! I found this at the health food store.

Joia Ginger, Apricot & All Spice Natural Soda - found this at the health food store...very interesting! 

Nature's Path Chocolate Koala Crisp are not new but I've only just tried them and they really taste like Coco Pops! Plus they give some of their profit to help the koalas...winning! 

I found these Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers just at the supermarket and they were a great plain cracker for dips or vegan cheese...mmmm

I love the Dream range of ice-creams because there are so many different flavors and different types of vegan milk options. Butter Pecan and Toffee Almond Fudge are two of my faves!
I found these at my health food store. 

I've been craving waffle cones for a while but have never found a vegan AND gluten free brand. I found Barkat Gluten Free Waffle Cones on Amazon. It's a UK brand and I confirmed with them that they use British Sugar in their cones which is vegan! YAY!

Just discovered these at my local health store, Starlite Cuisine is 100% vegan and has a range of gluten free items as well. They didn't cook very well in the oven and the microwave made them soggy but they still tasted good!

Ikea vegetable balls are finally here! They don't seem to be available for retail yet but you can purchase them in store at the cafeteria. They were pretty tasty, I have to admit. They tasted like vegetables but I'd love to be able to buy them retail and put them in pasta sauces!



Saturday, 4 July 2015

Homemade Mint Patties

This original recipe is from This Rawsome Vegan Life.



Homemade Mint Patties

Ingredients 

Mint Patties 
1/3 cup dried coconut chunks/shreds
1/3 cup cashews
1-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons honey/maple syrup/agave
1 teaspoons peppermint oil (I used 1/2 tsp of peppermint essential oil)
Pinch of salt

Chocolate Layer
1-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/3 cup cacao powder
4-5 tablespoons honey/maple syrup/agave
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon and cayenne


Method 

Blend all ingredients for the mint pattie together until smooth.
Pat into flattened balls (patties) with your hands and place them in the freezer to set for around 30 minutes.
Process all ingredients from the chocolate layer together until smooth.
Dip each pattie in the chocolate sauce and place on a tray lined with parchment paper.
The recipe says they harden instantly but that definitely was not the case for me.
I had to put them in the freezer and even then they melt very quickly in your hands.