Author Archives: Deb

About Deb

Vegetarian since 17, taught myself to cook as a matter of urgency when my mother had no idea what to give me. That was over 30 years ago. Now a mother of 2, I emigrated from London in 2002 with my Australian husband. After watching Forks Over Knives, reading The China Study, etc, we chose to go plant-based so stopped eating eggs and dairy a couple of years ago.

Spicy Spinach & Mushroom Rice Bowl

This is based on a thing I’d kind of throw together for myself for lunch when I was a stay-at-home-mum and one day when I was marvelling at the deliciousness of it I realised I was being selfish to keep it to myself so I made it into a proper family meal and everyone loved it. Better still this is a quick and easy weeknight dinner, whilst not skimping on plenty of veg.  It’s kind of like a risotto so should be soupy and not a dry pilaf-type thing. If you like it hot spicy feel free to add chopped chillies or chilli powder at the start.  Otherwise this is totally kid friendly. 🙂


Spicy Spinach & Mushroom Rice Bowl
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • 4 field mushrooms, diced or a bag ready sliced
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tablespoons salt reduced soy sauce
  • 2 tsp smoked (or regular if you're' not a fan) paprika
  • 1 bag baby spinach, 2-300g, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen sweetcorn and / or peas
  • 3 cups ready cooked medium grain brown rice
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons tahini (or ½ cup fat free hummus)
  • 1.5 cups tomato pasta sauce
  • Juice of a (juicy) lime
  • Freshly chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Prep all your vegetables.
  2. Heat a large, deep non stick pan (which has a lid preferably)
  3. Saute the onion, capsicum and mushrooms with the spices and cook for 5 minutes until the capsicums are softened a little then add handfuls at a time of the chopped spinach, stirring until it wilts in to the mixture - should take around 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the cooked rice, frozen corn / peas, the stock, the tahini (or hummus) and pasta sauce and stir well. Once it starts to bubble put on the lid and turn down to gentle simmer. After 5 minutes check the vegetables are all done to your liking. Stir in the lime juice, scatter with the parsley and serve!

 

Potato, Chickpea & Veggie Cakes

These were a bit of an experiment which turned into a huge success!  We had them for dinner topped with hummus and salsa (or hot sauce or tomato sauce depending on your age!) with some steamed broccoli.  Also were a great breakfast the next day sandwiched into some sourdough with avocado and tomato.


Potato, Chickpea & Veggie Cakes
 
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Creamy mash and chickpeas blended together with gently sautéed veggies and spices, formed into patties and coated with breadcrumbs. A delicious light lunch with salad or for dinner with steamed vegetables.
Author:
Recipe type: Patties & Burgers
Serves: 14
Ingredients
  • 700g potatoes (peeled weight)
  • 1-2 cups dry breadcrumbs (I used a sourdough crust, pulsed in food processor, toasted in oven, then pulsed again into a fine crumb)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 T tahini
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, halved lengthways, washed and finely sliced
  • 2 cups finely chopped cabbage
  • 100g chopped mushrooms
  • 1 medium carrot grated
  • ½ cup frozen baby peas
  • ½ cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • ½ t paprika
  • ½ t turmeric
  • ½ t coriander
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 5 cubes frozen spinach defrosted and squeezed dry
Instructions
  1. Peel your potatoes and put into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your other vegetables (and breadcrumbs if necessary.)
  3. Blend the chickpeas with the tahini in a food processor until mostly smooth, a few chunks is ok.
  4. Put the onion, leek, cabbage, mushrooms, carrot into a large nonstick frying pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently until softened, adding a splash or two of water if starting to stick. Stir in the herbs and spices and soy sauce and cook until very soft and most moisture evaporated. Turn off the heat.
  5. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line a large baking tray with paper and place inside.
  6. When your potatoes are just tender, drain well and mash until smooth.
  7. In a large bowl combine the potato, chickpeas, the cooked veggies, frozen peas and corn, and the spinach. The mixture should be very thick and quite difficult to stir. Hands are easier if it's too hard! Can be refrigerated at this stage until you're ready to cook them.
  8. Take large spoonfuls and shape into patties, then coat in breadcrumbs.
  9. Cook a batch at a time in a dry frying pan over a moderate heat for a few minutes until crispy on both sides, then transfer to your baking sheet in the oven whilst you cook the rest. Bake them in the oven for a further 15 minutes. I managed to get 14 cakes.

 

Italian Cabbage & Beans

This recipe has been a surprising favourite for many years, having been adapted from a recipe in BBC Vegetarian Good Food magazine circa 1999! It’s a rustic Italian inspired dish.  More vegetables have been included, oil eliminated and wholewheat sourdough toast substituted.  Interestingly it features cumin which I thought was very unusual for in Italian cuisine, however after researching I find it used to be more popular and was even called Roman Caraway! 🙂

Even my kids love this dish; it’s both simple in terms of ingredients and yet complex in flavour. You WILL go back for a second bowl!

Italian Cabbage & Beans
 
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Recipe type: Casserole / Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or try fennel or caraway for interesting variations)
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small savoy cabbage, roughy shredded / and / or kale, shredded
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • wholewheat sourdough bread, toasted
  • flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. In a large deep casserole pot, saute the leek, onion, cumin seeds & crushed garlic for 3 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally and adding a small splash of the stock to stop it sticking
  2. Add all of the stock, and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the bay leaves, cabbage beans potatoes and return to the boil.
  4. Turn down to a simmer and put on the lid.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes whilst you toast the bread and rub them with the cut garlic cloves.
  7. Serve the cabbage and beans scattered with the parsley alongside the garlic toast

 

 

Easy Enchiladas

I have been trying to come up with really easy recipes for after work suppers which involve little in the way of chopping, measuring etc as after  hard day at work that’s all just too much sometimes.  There’s really nothing wrong with canned beans, tomatoes, and frozen vegetables etc so finding ways to use them to speed up your evening meal is a no-brainer.
Here I’ve used canned beans along with frozen kale, wraps and jarred tomato sauce to create a delicious enchilada bake.  I topped ours with my Quick Cheezy Sauce which only takes 5 minutes to make but if you really don’t feel like even slicing a leek you can omit and top with purchased breadcrumbs, homemade breadcrumbs with walnuts or just the tomato sauce itself. I hope you try it!  A possible variation, if you like a refried beans type of filling is to substitute the can of chilli beans and sauce for one of refried beans instead.  Either works well, it’s just your preference.  If you can’t get or don’t like frozen kale, you can use spinach instead.  :

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Easy Enchiladas
 
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Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 can black beans - rinsed & drained
  • 1 can lentils - rinsed & drained
  • 1 can kidney beans in chilli sauce - not drained
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon semi dried coriander (Gourmet Garden range)
  • 1 pack frozen kale defrosted and water squeezed out
  • 3 tablespoons salsa
  • 2 cups passata
  • Thin wraps - I used BeFree gf sweet potato ones or mountain bread ones are ok
  • ½ batch my quick cheezy sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Mix the beans, seasonings, spices, coriander, kale, salsa together in a large bowl. Add some chilli if you like it spicy!
  3. Pour one cup of the passata into the bottom of a lasagne style dish and tip to cover evenly.
  4. Spoon a generous amount of filling in to each wrap and then roll up and place into the dish.
  5. Continue until all the filling is used up, 5-6 wraps is usual.
  6. Pour the other cup of passata over the top and then the cheezy sauce if using.
  7. Bake in the oven for 30 mins, covering with foil for the last 10 minutes to prevent burning if necessary.

 

Potato & Pea Pie

Not really a pie so don’t get excited – there’s no pastry!  But delicious all the same!  It’s kind of a variation on bubble and squeak.  I used to make a dish of potato and onion which had peas on the side and one night just thought damn it, I’m just mixing them in!  So good!  There’s something about the texture of peas mixed into mashed potatoes that I just love; maybe it’s childhood memories of Sunday lunch.  Either way this is a great midweek meal as there’s only a few steps and adding the peas makes it a complete meal so you don’t need any sides if you are pushed for time or just not inclined.  We had ours with just some wilted spinach and sweetcorn.

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Potato & Pea Pie
 
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Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: English
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1kg white potatoes, peeled (we used Desiree)
  • ½ cup oil free hummus (we use SSS brand from Woolies)
  • 2 medium brown onions
  • 3-4 tablespoons freshly chopped mint
  • 1 cup or 150g baby frozen peas (minted if you like!), defrosted
  • Seasoning
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Cut the potatoes into 2 inch chunks and steam the potatoes for 15-20 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, defrost your peas, finely chop the onions and cook them in a large frying pan, stirring frequently until starting to brown. Turn off the heat and they will unstick themselves naturally.
  4. Rinse the bunch of mint under the tap and finely chop.
  5. Once your potatoes are tender drain and then tip back into the pan and mash with the hummus until smooth, season to taste.
  6. Scrape in the onions and add the peas and stir to thoroughly combine.
  7. Line a baking tray or pizza tray with baking paper, scrape the contents of the pan into the centre of the pan and smooth it out into an even round shape about 4-5cm tall.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-30 mins until starting to brown on the top.
  9. Cut into slices and serve!

 

 

White Bean & Olive Spread

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White Bean & Olive Spread
 
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Lebanese inspired spread for toast
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Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Lebanese
Serves: 6 slices
Ingredients
  • 1 can butter beans or cannellini beans
  • Juice and zest of 1 juicy lemon - about 4 tablespoons
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2-4 tablespoons finely chopped red or spring onion (as preferred)
  • 6 black or green olives, chopped
  • 1 tsp capers, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp tahini (optional)
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped mint
  • pinch of chilli flakes or semi-dried chopped chililes
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Zest the lemon and tip into a medium bowl
  2. Juice the lemon into a small bowl and tip the crushed / Microplaned garlic into it to steep.
  3. Mash the beans with a fork in a bowl, or pulse in a food processor until broken down but not a smooth paste.
  4. Prepare the herbs, olives, onion & capers and add to the bowl with the lemon zest.
  5. Add the beans and stir thoroughly, add the tahini, chilli and salt and pepper as desired.
  6. Stir in the lemon juice and garlic mixture. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes as flavour will continue to develop. The garlic flavour will be stronger the next day if it lasts that long! 🙂
  7. Serve on hot toast with sliced baby tomatoes.
  8. NB: You can use all or one of the herbs, equally delicious with any combination of fresh herbs.

 

Deb

July 1, 2016

I must thank my amazing friend Emma Roche and her husband Scott for helping me sort out a major security issue with my site! By very small way of thanks, I’m plugging her site www.plantplate.com for amazing recipes, tips, advice and info on the Plant Based Diet. You’ll also see a link there to Emma’s new eBook which you can download for a very reasonable fee. Her eBooks include shopping lists and full instructions.

Whenever I put up a new recipe I always add it to my facebook page which is https://www.facebook.com/plantbasedfamilyaustralia/ where I welcome comments and questions etc, rather than putting comments here as it’s more interactive and besides which allowing comments on my website is impossible right now without inviting in spam back in again! So please like my Facebook page and you’ll be kept up to date with any new recipes. It’s so nice to be back in operation! 🙂

Chunky Vegetable Mornay

chunky vegetable mornay

Tender vegetables simmered in a creamy sauce. Perfect for an Autumnal dinner served with mash & more veggies.

Chunky Vegetable Mornay
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 1 large green capsicum / bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced small
  • 1 large stick celery, diced small
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup soy / other plant milk
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons creamy style hummus
  • 1 tsp chicken style stock powder
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 tsp cornflour mixed til smooth with a splash of soy milk
Instructions
  1. Salute the 1st 4 ingredients (leek to celery) in a large frying pan (skillet or casserole dish with a close fitting lid) until tender, adding a splash of water if necessary to stop sticking.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients apart from broccoli & cornflour mix and stir well, replace the lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the broccoli and replace lid, allow to steam until broccoli is almost done. Add the cornflour mix, and stir slowly until thickened and flour is cooked out. Turn off the heat, replace lid and allow to sit whilst you prepare the plates & accompaniments.
  3. Best served with mashed potatoes, or a cooked grain. May also go well with wholewheat pasta.

 

Cauliflower & Kale Dhal (pressure cooker)

cauliflower kale dhal

This was inspired by Fatfreevegan’s recipe for Dal Tadka, I wanted to include more veggies and tweaked the method and spices a little.

Cauliflower & Kale Dhal (pressure cooker)
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 brown onions, chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced, grated for finely chopped
  • 1 cup split red lentils
  • 3 cups water,
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder (optional)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 3 cups small cauliflower florets
  • ½ bunch kale, de-stemmed & finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp chilli powder / to taste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala / dhal spice mix / curry powder
Instructions
  1. Put rice on to cook if you are serving with rice.
  2. Heat the pressure cooker on brown function, add one of the onions, all the ginger and garlic and stir around for a minute, add a splash of water or stock if starts to stick.
  3. Add the lentils, water, stock powder if using, tomato, cauliflower, kale, cumin seeds, turmeric & salt and stir thoroughly.
  4. Lock down the lid and set to high pressure for 10 minutes.
  5. Whilst the dhal is cooking, heat a large frying pan and dry fry the onion with remaining spices for 5-10 minutes, over a medium heat. Use a lid to catch the steam and prevent them from sticking.
  6. Once the dhal is finished, release the steam and add the cooked onions and spices; stir well and serve.
  7. Great with mango chutney, freshly chopped coriander and a sprinkle of coconut if you wish.

 

Curried Brown Rice Salad

Indian Brown Rice Salad

Curried Brown Rice Salad
 
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Brown rice with chopped fresh raw veggies and an Indian inspired creamy dressing For a speedy week night dinner, cook the rice the previous day. This can easily be stretched to feel more mouths, depending on how much rice you add to the chopped veggies.
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Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 large stick of celery
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium capsicum
  • ½ cup baby frozen peas
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 12 green beans, steamed and sliced
  • 2 fat spring onions, sliced
  • ½ cup raisins or sultanas (optional)
  • 4-6 cups cooked brown rice, chilled or at room temperature
  • Garnishes: (optional): Fresh chopped coriander, coconut, toasted cashews, chopped chillies
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tsp tahini
  • 2 desert spoons avocado
  • ¾ cup soy milk or other milk of choice
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar, any variety
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
  • 1 tsp curry powder
Instructions
  1. Put the rice on to cook if you're not using precooked rice.
  2. Whisk together, or blend in processor the ingredients for the dressing.
  3. Finely chop all the vegetables and mix together in a large bowl.
  4. Once the rice is cooked, spread it out on a large tray to cool down, or place in fridge for 30-50 mins if you have the time.
  5. Dish up the rice in to individual bowls and top with the vegetables and dressing, and optional garnishes.
  6. Leftovers can be mixed together and put in the fridge for lunches the next day! 🙂