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’ve been making these for several years now at Easter, managing to avoid the temptation to buy them in the supermarkets (from February onwards)! Seems to get earlier every year but I like special occasion foods to be just that and so only make these once a year and they are so much nicer – and oil free – and wholemeal – and no preservatives – that its really worth it. I usually am cooking them for a crowd so I want to impress and therefore don’t do 100% wholemeal flour as they are much heavier and take longer to make as the rising time has to be longer. Feel free to go that way if you wish and in that case add a splash more liquid to the dough and allow an extra 30 minutes or more rising time
You will need: A large mixing bowl, a whisk or fork, measuring spoons, a clean work surface, a large rectangular baking tray, baking paper, digital scales (not essential unless you’re particular about bun size like me!), tiny zip lock bags, small bowl (1/2-1 cup size), teaspoon, cling film, oil spray, pastry brush.
Hot Cross Buns
- 230g wholemeal flour
- 220g plain flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- 50g raw brown sugar
- 7g instant yeast
- 270ml warm water
- 150g mixed dried fruit & peel - any combination you like
- extra: plain flour rolling, for making crosses; & sugar for glazing
- [Dough can also be mixed in a breadmaker or with a dough hook attachment in a food processor or hand mixer - just mix all ingredients from flour to water together then mix in the fruit]
- In a very large bowl whisk the dry ingredients all together then slowly stir in the water. It will suck up the water very quickly and seem quite dry but keep mixing until all the flour is incorporated and then add a splash more (tablespoon at a time) until the dough is soft and a little sticky. It should be a little wetter than a regular bread dough. Tip it onto a floured working surface and knead in the dried fruit. Knead for 10 minutes until the dough becomes springy and elastic and all the fruit is incorporated.
- Wash out the bowl and place the dough inside, cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm place for an hour or so or until doubled in size.
- Tip the dough back onto a floured work surface.
- Line a large baking tray (as wide as a regular oven) with baking paper.
- Here is where digital scales are very useful. If you're at all like me, you want 12 buns exactly the same size. The only way to achieve this is to weigh each ball of dough. 🙂 So weigh the entire amount, divide by 12 and then pull off balls of dough that weight, roll in to a neat ball between your lightly floured palms and place on the tray. Repeat! You want 3 x 4 on the tray, even spaced. They will grow as they rise so allow a good 3-5 cm between each bun.
- Spray a piece of cling wrap with oil (otherwise they will stick and deflate when you pull off the wrap). and place over the buns and return to their warm spot until they have risen sufficiently to be stuck to each other.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.
- Make the cross paste: Mix 2-3 tablespoons of flour in a little bowl with enough water to make a thick but runny paste (like single cream). Pour it into a little ziplock bag.
- Remove carefully the cling wrap and take your bag of flour and water paste. Snip off a tiny corner off of the bag and carefully drizzle in long lines across the middle of the buns, then back the other way. It's easier to do this in one continuous motion rather than individually. Plan your route before you set off! 🙂
- Once you've finished, place in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Make the glaze: Mix 2-3 teaspoons of sugar in a small bowl with boiling water and stir until it dissolves.
- Once the timer goes off check that they're cooked by cutting one open (use tongues!), it should be firm and not wet inside.
- Brush the glaze over the hot buns and leave to cool - if you can. 🙂
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
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. :
Recipe type: Main
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
- Mix the beans, seasonings, spices, coriander, kale, salsa together in a large bowl. Add some chilli if you like it spicy!
- Pour one cup of the passata into the bottom of a lasagne style dish and tip to cover evenly.
- Spoon a generous amount of filling in to each wrap and then roll up and place into the dish.
- Continue until all the filling is used up, 5-6 wraps is usual.
- Pour the other cup of passata over the top and then the cheezy sauce if using.
- Bake in the oven for 30 mins, covering with foil for the last 10 minutes to prevent burning if necessary.
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.
Potato & Pea Pie
Recipe type: Main
- 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
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
- Cut the potatoes into 2 inch chunks and steam the potatoes for 15-20 minutes
- 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.
- Rinse the bunch of mint under the tap and finely chop.
- Once your potatoes are tender drain and then tip back into the pan and mash with the hummus until smooth, season to taste.
- Scrape in the onions and add the peas and stir to thoroughly combine.
- 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.
- Bake in the oven for 20-30 mins until starting to brown on the top.
- Cut into slices and serve!
Tender vegetables simmered in a creamy sauce. Perfect for an Autumnal dinner served with mash & more veggies.
Chunky Vegetable Mornay
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Best served with mashed potatoes, or a cooked grain. May also go well with wholewheat pasta.
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)
- 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
- Put rice on to cook if you are serving with rice.
- 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.
- Add the lentils, water, stock powder if using, tomato, cauliflower, kale, cumin seeds, turmeric & salt and stir thoroughly.
- Lock down the lid and set to high pressure for 10 minutes.
- 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.
- Once the dhal is finished, release the steam and add the cooked onions and spices; stir well and serve.
- Great with mango chutney, freshly chopped coriander and a sprinkle of coconut if you wish.