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Vegan Thai Red Curry with Veggies

Cosy up in front of a movie with this over some aromatic brown jasmine rice for a real treat! You can experiment with the veggies, but eggplant, red capsicum and pak choy is our favourite combination. I like to toss in some pre-marinaded tofu or tempeh at the end of cooking for a protein kick.

Ingredients

1 very large eggplant

2 Tbsp coconut oil (refined is fine, or other oil of choice)

1 medium onion, sliced

1 batch of Thai Red Curry Paste

1 Tbsp light brown sugar (or palm sugar)

1 x 400mL tin coconut milk (at least 65% coconut)

Tamari to taste

1 very large red capsicum, sliced

6 bunches pak choi or bok choy or whatever you wanna call it, stems sliced and leaves just chopped in half

300g bean sprouts

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.

Chop the eggplant into cubes, leave the skin on it’s good for you ūüôā Pop them on an oven tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle them with salt. Roast them for about 15- 20 minutes.

Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan then add the onion and saute on a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the curry paste and and continue a few more minutes, then add the sugar and let it caramelise.

Add the coconut milk and bring it to the boil. Stir in the tamari and sliced capsicum, cover and simmer about 5 mins. Mix in the stems of the pak choy and simmer a further 10 minutes. Finally, add the roasted eggplant, pak choi leaves and bean sprouts and simmer a further 3 minutes before adding the fresh basil and coriander leaves.

Remove from heat and serve over brown rice, garnished with extra coriander and basil leaves.

 

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Vegan Thai Red Curry Paste

Fresh, homemade curry paste is super easy to make – why buy the overpriced stuff in jars that contains all those hidden toxic ingredients described as numbers rather than real food? You won’t find flavour 621 on this ingredient list!

Ingredients   

4 garlic cloves

1 small white onion, peeled

20g peeled galangal

20g peeled ginger

4 long red chillies, deseeded

3 kaffir lime leaves

1/2 bunch fresh coriander stems (keep leaves for curry itself)

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 Tbsp ground coriander

1 Tbsp paprika

juice from 2 limes

50mL rice bran oil

Method

Put everything except the oil in a food processor a blitz to form a smooth paste.

Scrape down the sides, add the oil, then blend at a slower speed until it’s all combined and a little creamy.

The paste can be stored in the fridge for a week if you’re not using it immediately (See recipe for Vegan Red Thai Curry Veggies).

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Carrot Cake Bliss Balls

When I first posted a pic of these balls of blissness no one could guess the flavour – the orange isn’t orange peel, nor apricot…it’s carrot! So eat ya veggies!

Ingredients

1.5 cups raw almonds

1/2 cup flaked coconut (plus extra for rolling)

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup flaxseeds

1.5 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 medium carrots (about 150g), chopped into 4 halves

About 18-20 medjool dates, pits removed

1/4 unrefined coconut oil, melted

Methods

Put the nuts, seeds and spices into a food processor/thermomix and process until finely chopped.

Add the carrots and again process for a few seconds until the carrot is grated and combined.

Finally add the medjool dates and melted coconut oil and process until the mixture comes together in a giant bliss ball!

Roll about 1 Tbsp of the mixture into a ball and optionally roll in coconut flakes, or any ground nuts or seeds to your liking. Repeat to make around 24 – 30 bliss balls. Store at the back of the fridge so the kids can’t find ’em! they will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge, but they’re suitable to freeze also.

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Raw Peppermint Truffle Bars

Raw peppermint truffle bars

Raw peppermint truffle bars

As a tweenie in the 80s I used to walk to the local deli (milk bar) to buy my favourite peppermint truffle bars for 20c… I wonder if they still sell them, but I bet they’re not vegan.

I tried to make my own by just adding peppermint oil to the standard date/almond/cacao mix, but the truffle¬†didn’t quite work out the right deepness of colour and texture. The next time I included a handful of juicy prunes, yep, prunes. Tasted delicious to me so I coated them in raw “chocolate”¬†and served them up at the autumn ayurveda mini-retreat – perfect little sweet vata pacifier!

Ingredients

Truffles

300g pitted medjool dates

200g pitted prunes

250g raw almonds

1/3 cup (about 60-75g) raw cacao powder

1tsp peppermint oil

Raw chocolate coating

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

Instructions

Grind the almonds into almond meal a food processor or thermomix.

Add the dates and prunes and process until smooth. The mixture will be very sticky, so add the raw cacao and peppermint oil and process until it’s all mixed through.

The mixture will be much more solid now, you should be able to pull it out of your processor with your hands and press it into a 20cm x 20 cm pyrex dish or cake tin lined with baking paper. Freeze for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan (or your thermomix) over a low heat together with the maple syrup and raw cacao, stirring until it’s all smooth. Pour about a third of the raw coating over the solid truffle slab, still in it’s container. Return to freezer until set, usually 15-20 mins.

Once set, invert the truffle slab and peel the baking paper from underneath. Place it on a new sheet of baking paper choc-coating side-down and return it to it’s container. Again, cover the truffle side-up with about half of the remaining raw coating in the saucepan, you may need to melt it again over a low heat. Return to the freezer¬†15-20 mins.

Once set, remove the slab from the tray and slice it into 8-12 rectangular bars. Keeping the bars on the baking paper and spacing them a little apart, spoon-drizzle the third long side of exposed truffle centre with the chocolate coating. Return to freezer, then repeat with the fourth long side.

Keep in the freezer until ready to serve. Or if you’re a choc-mint-a-holic like me and don’t want to share, individually wrap them in a little paper, hide them right at the back of the freezer and eat one each day while the kids are at school!!!!

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Vanilla Bean Pannacotta – Regular recipe and Thermomix adaptation

Vanilla Bean Pannacotta

Vanilla Bean Pannacotta

For when you’re just craving something¬†small and sweet to finish your meal!

Ingredients

600mL unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup cold water

2 sachets Queen brand Jel-It-In

400mL can 100% coconut cream

Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (not essence!).

4 Tbsp castor sugar

3 cups sliced strawberries (or other fruit of choice e.g. cubed mango, peach, blueberries etc.)

Instructions

Pour the almond milk and water in to a pot, or your thermomix, and sprinkle in the Jel-It-In. Stir well to combine or pop the thermomix to speed 2 for 60 seconds.

Add coconut cream, sugar and vanilla bean.

Stovetop cook over a low flame, gradually increasing to boil over the course of 5 mins, stirring constantly. Reduce to simmer for one minute then remove from heat. If using the thermomix, set temp to 100C, speed 2, for 10mins. As soon as you notice the temperature reaches 100C, let it proceed for one more minute and then press stop.

Pour into 8 ramekins/oiled moulds/teacups. Refrigerate 2 hours to overnight.

If using a mould you’ll need a knife to break the seal between the mould and the pannacotta and turn it onto a serving plate, otherwise just leave the pannacotta in the ramekin or tea cup. Garnish each with 3/4 cup berries (or other fruit of choice).

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Sweet Potato and Quinoa Patties

You can bake these babies in the oven at 180C for about 20 minutes, but we like them fried each side in a little olive oil on the BBQ or a frypan so they’re crispy – the women at last January’s mini-retreat did too!

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato (350-400g)

250g quinoa

Juice from 1 lemon

1/4 cup tahini (or any nut butter if you’d prefer, I’ve made it with cashew butter – delicious!)

1/4 tomato puree/passata (not tomato sauce or tinned tomatoes!)

1/2 cup gluten free flour (I generally go for tapioca)

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Peel the sweet potato and chop it into small cubes. Steam (preferable) or boil until very soft, about 20-25 mins.

Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa then steam it in a rice cooker/thermomix for 15-20 mins or add it to 2 cups of boiling water in a saucepan and simmer with the lid on until all the liquid has evaporated (15-20 mins).

Blend the cooked sweet potato in a food processor with the lemon juice, then add the tahini, tomato passata, flour, spices and continue to process until smooth. Season to taste.

Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and add the sweet potato mix. Stir it up until it’s all blended together, the mixture should still be a little sticky, but add extra flour if too sticky.

Make each patty by scooping about 2 tbsp of the mixture, rolling it into a ball with your hands then pressing it to make a circle. Yes the mixture will want to stick to your hands so just keep a bowl of water handy to wet your hands at regular intervals Рthis will keep the mixture from sticking to your fingers. Pop each patty on a tray/large plate, cover and pop in the fridge for at least an hour to harden up.

Keep them cold until you’re¬†ready to cook them…As mentioned above, heat them in the oven or fry on the grill and serve warm with a salad, steamed or sauteed veggies and sweet chilli or your favourite dipping sauce.

 

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Pine nut, Tomato and Basil Stuffed Mushrooms

For¬†my January 2017¬†Yoga mini-retreat I bought a box of massive “button” mushrooms, almost the size of portobellos, at first deliberating how I could use them and how we could possibly eat¬†them all before they were no good.¬†This stuffing ensured I needn’t have worried – there were no left overs for dinner that night!

Ingredients

18 very large button mushrooms (not portobellos, they go soggy and watery)

300g cherry tomatoes (our are usually homegrown red and yellow tommies, but equal to 1-2 punnets)

175g pine nuts (half a regular bag)

1 bunch / 2 handfuls fresh basil leaves

3 Tbs Tahini or soy sauce

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

lemon juice to taste (usually enough from half a lemon)

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Pop the oven on to 180C or 160C with fan. Tip: For the mini-retreat my husband actually cooked these on our outdoor BBQ grill with the hood down Рeasier and more flavoursome!

Remove the stalks of the mushrooms and put the caps on a baking tray or two. Put half the stalks aside for the stuffing and put the rest in a paper bag for another meal another night. Don’t throw them out as waste, they’re perfectly as healthy and tasty as the cap of the mushroom and can be chopped into so many dishes like pasta sauces, curries, stir fries etc. They just absorb any flavour, but you already know that ūüėČ

Either finely chop the mushroom stalks or blend them in a food processor like I did. Chop the cherry tomatoes in half and roughly chop the basil leaves.

Heat the EVOO in a fry pan and when hot reduce heat to medium and add¬†the mushroom stalks. Fry for about a minute then add the tomatoes, pine nuts and tahini and fry about 5 mins or until it’s all reduced down. Stir in the basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Stuff the tomato “pesto” mix into the mushrooms caps nice and tight and bake for about 15- 20 mins until the mushrooms are soft.¬†Or pass them off to your resident BBQ master to grill ūüėČ

 

 

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Eggplant, Fennel and Black Bean stew

Eggplant, fennel and bean stew

This stew is my adaptation of a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks, “The Happy Pear” by David and Stephen Flynn. It’s delicious¬†flavours are drawn from the fennel and fresh ground cardamon and cumin seeds. A delicious winter warmer! I’ve included a thermomix version below too.

IngredientsEggplant, fennel and bean stew 1

3 cardamon pods (or 2 tsp ground)

3cm piece of dried tumeric (or 1Tbs ground)

2 Tbs cumin seeds (or 1Tbs ground)

2 brown onions

3 garlic cloves

2 cm piece fresh ginger

2 medium eggplants, chopped into bite sized pieces

I large bulb of fennel, chopped into bite sized piecesEggplant, fennel and bean stew2

2 Tbs olive oil

3 Tbs tamari or soy sauce

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

1 cup cooked black beans (or 1 x 400g can drained)

800g tinned chopped tomatoes ( 2 cans)

1 Tbsp rice palm syrup

small bunch of chopped fresh coriander

100g baby spinach

 

Instructions

For regular saucepan users

  1. Put the cardamon, cumin seeds and tumeric  in a dry frying pan and cook over medium heat for 2 mins. Grind using a pestle and mortar.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over high flame for about 2 minutes. Peel and chop the onions, crush the garlic and ginger and then add to the pan. Cook over a medium heat with the lid on for 5 minutes.
  3. Chop the eggplant and fennel into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan along with the tamari, paprika and cayenne pepper. Stir, then add about 1/4 cup of water and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the ground cardamon, cumin and tumeric and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the rinsed beans, tinned tomatoes, rice palm syrup and salt, plus more water if the mixture starts to stick. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 15 more minutes.
  6. Just before serving, stir through the coriander and spinach. Serve with mash potato, rice, quinoa, cous cous, or warmed flatbread!

For Thermomix Users

Put the cardamon, cumin seeds and tumeric  in the dry TM bowl and cook 120C, reverse speed for 2 minutes. Allow to cool then mill on speed 9 minute and transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.

Without washing the TM bowl, add oil, onion, garlic and ginger and chop at speed 7 for 3 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cook at 90C, reverse speed 1, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large saucepan and continue to cook over a medium heat.

Follow steps 3-6 above. Meanwhile, use the thermomix to make some mash potato, or steamed rice or quinoa (I’ve prepared red quinoa here) according the TM basic recipe book!

Eggplant, fennel and bean stew3

 

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Creamy Carrot and Cashew Soup

Creamy carrot and cashew soup 2

I don’t like orange root vegetables (bad vegan), but this soup is one heck¬†of a delicious way to get your beta-carotene! It’s so creamy you wouldn’t believe there’s no cream of any origin. Delicious with warm sourdough bread on a cold winter’s evening. Serves 4.

IngredientsIMG_2128

1 onion

1 large garlic clove

4 big carrots

1 Tbsp oil

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

juice from 1 lemon

100g raw cashews

1L vegetable stock

small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Instructions – in Thermomix

Chop the onion in half and add it to the thermomix bowl along with the garlic and finely chop at speed 7 for 3 seconds.

Chop the carrots in half and add 2 at a time to the thermomix bowl, chopping at speed 4 for 7 seconds each time.

Add the oil, salt and pepper and cook at 85C, reverse speed 2 for 15 minutes.

Add the paprika, lemon juice, cashews and stock and mix at 100C, reverse speed 2 until boiling (about 5 minutes). Cook at reverse speed 2 at 90C for 15 minutes.

Allow thermomix bowl to cool to 37C then blend, gradually increasing from speed 5 to 9 over one minute.

Add coriander just before serving.

Instructions Рin old-school pan

Finely dice the onion and garlic. Slice the carrots.

Add oil to a large saucepan and bring to a medium heat on the stovetop. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, salt and black pepper to the pan and stir, then cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Add the paprika, lemon juice, cashews and stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a low heat and simmer with lid on for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool to a safe temperature before blending until smooth, either using a stick blender right in the pan and transferring to a blender.

Add coriander just before serving.

 

 

 

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Scrambled Tofu with grilled Truss Tomatoes, Field Mushrooms and Spinach

Scrambled tofu 2

This has got to be my favourite brekkie ever, so of course I had to have it for Mothers Day brunch – it’s simple enough for the dads (with help from the kids) to fire up on the BBQ! When I was studying Jivamukti teacher training in Costa Rica I would eat scrambled tofu at every breakfast. Back here in the real world of a busy family it’s now a once in a while weekend treat…although I’m not sure why as it’s pretty simple to make…

IngredientsScrambled tofu spices

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional if you like heat like me)

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 Tbsp nuttelex or other vegan margarine

400g block firm tofu

2 large truss/vine-ripened tomoatoes, halved

5 field mushrooms, halved

about 100g of baby spinach (I included rocket) to serve

MethodScrambled tofu spice paste

Place all of the spices in a small bowl and mix well. Add 1/4 cup of water, stir well until combined to a paste then set aside.

Chop the tofu roughly until it has a crumbled texture. Melt the nuttelex in a large frying pan over medium heat the add the tofu and saute for about 1 minute. Add the spice paste, stirring to coat all of the tofu pieces evenly. Cook for another 2 minutes, adding a little more water if the mixture looks too dry.

Scrambled tofu closeupPush the tofu to one corner of the frying pan and add the tomatoes and mushrooms, cut-side down, to the frying pan. Put the lid on the frying pan and cook for a further 3 minutes or until the cut-side of the veggies has browned.

Carefully remove the tomato and mushrooms from the pan with BBQ tongs and set onto serving plates with a handful of the spinach. Divide the tofu scramble between the plates and serve hot.

Serves 2 big hungry eaters (i.e – my husband and I) or 4 little mouths (my daughters)!Scrambled tofu

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