This has been a long work in progress. Our family loves Mexican food and we usually make burritos or tacos but I have been looking for a dryer taco “meat” which doesn’t make them soggy. After trying lots of variations I’ve come up with a winner! Topped with avocado, salsa and spring onions, these tacos are delicious!
Lentil, Mushroom, Walnut, Quinoa & Black Bean Taco filling
Recipe type: Main
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped
- 3 cups finely chopped mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon each of coriander, cumin, smoked paprika and dried oregano
- 3 T tomato paste
- 1 can lentils or 1.5 cups home cooked
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 packet cooked red quinoa, or 1.5 cups of home made
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup frozen sweetcorn - defrosted
- Salt & pepper
- Fry off the onion, spices then add all other ingredients.
- Add a splash of water and keep stirring from time to time until it dries out a little - should be fairly dry
- Toast corn tortillas in hot pan with lid so they steam and crispen.
- Spoon 2-3 dessertspoons in each taco and top with your favourite toppings - fresh salsa and diced avocado, hot sauce, coriander and lime juice!
I’ve always loved this spicy Indonesian rice dish but until now I just couldn’t seem to infuse the flavours into the rice without using oil. Finally I seem to have found a solution! Hope you love this as much as my family did.
Mushroom Nasi Goreng
Recipe type: Main
- 4 cups cooked long grain brown rice
- - SAUCE:
- 3 cloves garlic, micro-planed / finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons lemon and or lime juice
- 2cm piece ginger, finely chopped - a heaped tablespoon
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chopped chillies - from a jar (add more if you like it really spicy!)
- 1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- ¼ green cabbage, cored and finely chopped
- 400g grams diced mushrooms - about 3-4 cups
- 2 medium carrots, finely diced
- 1 cup frozen / canned sweetcorn
- To serve:
- Toasted peanuts
- Chopped fresh coriander
- Limes - quartered
- Put on your rice to cook if not already available. (This may delay your serving time).
- Finely chop, crush or microplane the garlic, place in a small bowl and pour over the lemon and or lime juice and stir. Soak the garlic in the lemon juice for 5 mins.
- Add all other sauce ingredients then mix well and allow to sit whilst you prep the vegetables.
- Sauté the onion, cabbage, mushrooms and carrots in a large deep frying pan with a lid. Once softened - about 5-7 mins - add the paste, stir thoroughly and keep stirring for a few minutes to , thoroughly distributing the sauce through the veg.
- Add the cooked rice and mix well, then add a cup of water and the sweetcorn. Stir well and allow to heat through.
- Put on the lid, turn the heat down to low and cook for a further 5-7 mins until the carrots are tender and the sauce is absorbed into the rice.
- Turn off the heat and allow to sit whilst you get ready to serve.
- Serve each bowl with a quarter of lime, and scatter with coriander, peanuts and hot sauce.
I had a craving for this dish which I used to love as a child when we would very occasionally go to a Chinese restaurant. Of course it wasn’t tofu back then, was probably chicken or pork but it was the way that sweet tangy sauce soaked into the rice that I loved so this satisfies that completely! After trying a few recipes I found on the net, I combined the best of them plus a few variations to make this version. We usually enjoy it with some steamed bok choi or broccoli on the side. You can also add other vegetables such as snow peas or bamboo shoots / beansprouts at the end if you like.
Sweet & Sour Tofu
Recipe type: Dinner
- 1 300g pack of firm tofu (we like to use smoked but plain is fine)
- 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Juice from 1 400g can pineapple pieces
- ½ cup water
- Pineapple pieces from the can
- 2 tablespoons brown unrefined sugar
- 2 heaped teaspoons corn flour
- 2 cloves garlic, minced / microplaned
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 large red capsicum cut into strips
- 1 large green or yellow capsicum, cut into strips
- 1 large red onion, sliced into strips
- 1 small can water chestnuts, drained - optional
- 4 tablespoons roasted cashews - optional
- Put your brown ride on to cook
- Mix together the pineapple juice, vinegar, tomato ketchup, soy sauce and lime juice in a small bowl, whisk in the corn flour and water and mix thoroughly until smooth with no lumps. Put the tofu in to a shallow dish and pour the sauce over and leave to marinade.
- When then rice is almost ready heat a large non stick frying pan over a medium heat and saute the onion and peppers until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and stir around for 5 minutes, adding a tiny splash of water if any sticking is occurring. Put on the lid and allow to cook on a low heat for a further few minutes until peppers are tender.
- Add the tofu and sauce to the pan, along with the pineapple, water chestnuts and cashews. Stir consistently until the sauce thickens and becomes transparent. Add a splash more water as needed to create as much sauce as you'd like.
- Serve with the rice and accompanying vegetables as desired.
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
- 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
- Prep all your vegetables.
- Heat a large, deep non stick pan (which has a lid preferably)
- 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.
- 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!
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
Recipe type: Patties & Burgers
- 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
- Peel your potatoes and put into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil.
- Meanwhile, prepare your other vegetables (and breadcrumbs if necessary.)
- Blend the chickpeas with the tahini in a food processor until mostly smooth, a few chunks is ok.
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line a large baking tray with paper and place inside.
- When your potatoes are just tender, drain well and mash until smooth.
- 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.
- Take large spoonfuls and shape into patties, then coat in breadcrumbs.
- 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.
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
Recipe type: Casserole / Soup
- 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
- 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
- Add all of the stock, and bring to the boil.
- Add the bay leaves, cabbage beans potatoes and return to the boil.
- Turn down to a simmer and put on the lid.
- Simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes whilst you toast the bread and rub them with the cut garlic cloves.
- Serve the cabbage and beans scattered with the parsley alongside the garlic toast