Category Archives: Vegetarian

Sensational Breakfast Sanga (Indea’s favourite breakfast)

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This is Indea’s favourite breakfast and she asked me to share it. Super easy but super yummy and vegetables are the star. Long weekend Breakfasts are sacred in our family, many pots of tea, coffee, good food and long leisurely yarns with those you love most – what in life is better?

For this Sanga you will need

Toast for each person. Indea and I like an open sandwich but Pete likes two sliced of bread, top and bottom for his.

Capsicum

Spinach

Tomatoes

Haloumi Cheese

Avocado

Tomato Pesto ( you can use shop bought or you can make it. I like to whizz together garlic cloves, sundries tomatoes, macadamias and enough olive oil to make it to a spreading consistency)

To make it

Grill or fry the haloumi and capsicum until golden and cooked through, slice the tomatoes and avocado

Spread the toast liberally with the tomato pesto, layer the vegetables on top.

Super easy and super yummy

Seared Tuna with Olive, Feta and Pomegranate Couscous

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It is getting so hot in tropical Queensland that meals which require very little cooking, are healthy and quick to make, are essential. Tuna, egg and olives make such a happy trio. I created this last night and we settled back with our bowls of yummy couscous and tuna, under the ceiling fan and chilled out with Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

For four hungry people

You will need

4 Tuna Steaks – You can use Tempeh for a Veggie Option

2 Cups of dry Couscous. I use corn couscous because we are gluten free and this is available in most supermarkets in the health section

4 Eggs boiled hard, shelled and chopped

1 cup of chopped Olives

I red Capsicum finely diced

125 grams of Feta cheese

1 bunch of finely chopped fresh Coriander (otherwise known as cilantro)

1/4 cup of Lemon juice

1/4 cup of Pomegranate syrup (sometimes called Pomegranate Molasses)

1 Lemon

Optional extras

1/2 cup of toasted Pine Nuts

The seeds of one Pomegranate

To Make it

Prepare the Couscous by putting the dry couscous into a large bowl and pouring over 4 cups of boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Whilst this is happening I pop on the eggs to boil. When the couscous has absorbed most of the water and is fluffy and soft to eat drain it in a sieve and run it under the cold tap. This will stop the cooking process and stop it from becoming gluggy. Place the well drained cold couscous into a large bowl.

Add

The Olives, diced red capsicum, most of the chopped coriander keeping some aside for garnish, crumble in the feta cheese, 1/4 cup of lemon juice and the 1/4 cup of pomegranate molasses. If you are adding pomegranate seeds and/or toasted pine nuts pop them in now too.

Combine well until the pomegranate molasses and lemon juice are thoroughly spread throughout the couscous.

Set aside and sear the Tuna Steaks on both sides

To Serve

Place the couscous salad into bowls, place the sliced Tuna steaks on top, sprinkle on the diced egg and remaining coriander.

Add a 1/4 lemon to each plate so eaters can squeeze over their tuna

Easy Agedashi Tofu

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This is our go to quick healthy snack. I love Agedashi Tofu and could easily eat it for three meals a day. This recipe takes less than half an hour to whip up. What can I say? Tofu has come a long way.

This recipe makes 2 large serves.

You will need

400grams of Firm Silken Tofu
Bonito flakes
1 teaspoon of Bonito Stock
1 cup of Potato Flour
2 Tablespoons of Mirin
1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
1 Cup of water
Coconut Oil

First Make the Stock

Place the bonito stock, water, miring and soy into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Then set aside.

Next Make the Tofu

Because you are using Silken Tofu you will need to be gentle with it.
Pat the Tofu dry with towel.
Cut the tofu into cubes, I use fairly large cubes and cut each 200g packet of Tofu into 4.
Coat each cube in potato flour
Immediately gently fry each cube on each side in the hot coconut oil until slightly golden.

To serve

Place the lightly fried Tofu in a bowl, pour over the warm broth, sprinkle with the bonito flakes and enjoy immediately.

Note: You can purchase mirin, bonito flakes and stock in most supermarkets but if yours doesnt have it an asian grocer most likely will. You will find the potato flour in the flour section of most supermarkets

Robbi’s easy peasy 100% Rye Bread and nothing else (made for Pete)

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My lovely husband Peter looked at the salt content in shop bought bread and had a coronary over his sardines on toast so I said I would make home made bread for him that was 100% rye – his favourite.

This bread is so yummy and so easy to make I’m now making it every second day – (ahh what you can manage when the kids fly away).

Smile because there are no arduous hours of kneading and the smell of bread cooking and the taste of hot bread smothered in butter is one of those things that makes life worth living.

Just make sure you have somewhere warm away from drafts to leave the bread whilst it rises. Up here in the tropics that means anywhere.

Ingredients

6 Cups of Rye Flour

2 Teaspoons of Yeast granules

2 Dessertspoons of Molasses

1 Teaspoon of salt

1/4 Cup of Rice Bran Oil

2 Cups of Warm Water

To Make that Dough

Put the rye flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre, put the yeast into the well, sprinkle the salt and molasses over the yeast. Pour over 1 of the cups of warm water, stir the well until the salt, molasses and yeast is mixed into the water but don’t stir in all the flour.

Leave it in a warm place for about 15 – 20 minutes, after this time there should be bubbles in the watery-yeast mix.

Pour in the other cup of water and the oil and mix the whole lot up until combined. Cover with a towel if you have drafts near by and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size or for about 1 – 2 hours.

Now cover  your hand in rye flour and knead the dough. I usually do this in the bowl using one hand. As its rye you won’t knead to knead (hah hah) for long – just until the dough is doughy and holding together and a bit shiny and elastic – no more than 20 kneads.

Now shape it into the tin you want to bake it in and leave it in a warm place for another 1 – 2 hours until it doubles in shape again.

Bake that Bread

Now bake the bread at 175 degrees celsius or 350 farenheight for 1 hour.

When cooked tip the bread out, slice, smother so its dripping in butter (another coronary coming on) and try not to eat the entire loaf in half an hour.

Carrot, Maple & Macadamia Cake

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It was a scorching 35 degrees celsius in Townsville and so what did I decide to do to stay cool – I decided to bake. Really I was trying to avoid looking at my manuscript which is due back at the publishers in just a few weeks because I am filled with trepidation – no I lie – I am filled with utter panic that I’m not up to the task. So instead of writing why not bake. My Peter has declared this his all time favourite cake. It was influenced by Pete Evans – all kudos and bowing to Pete Evans but I’ve made a few changes to his wonderful recipe (sorry Pete) to suit our tastes. But if you want his version of this cake which included dried fruit that My Pete can’t eat and less nuts and more eggs you can find it in his book Healthy Every Day. This is a dense nourishing cake so don’t expect light and fluffy. I like it served hot with cream, Pete liked it cold with ice-cream. Its super easy to make.  I posted my original how-to-stay-cool-while-Australia-burns-carrot-maple-and-walnut-cakes to Facebook and some of my friends asked for the recipe but as I never measure I had to bake another cake – seen above so here is the recipe.

Ingredients

4 cups of grated carrot

100 grams of chopped macadamias

100 grams of chopped walnuts

125 mls (1/2 cup) of maple syrup

125 mls (1/2 cup) of coconut oil

2 teaspoons of Vanilla essence

2 teaspoons of Cinnamon ( Being a cinnamon lover I usually spill a little more cinnamon in)

2 teaspoons of ginger

125 grams Self Raising Flour Gluten Free or use 125 grams of any other flour and add 1 teaspoon of baking powder

6 large eggs or 8 smaller eggs

Mix all this together and bake at 175 degrees, 20 minutes for smaller  serve cakes (which is what I baked) and 60 minutes for a large cake or until a skewer comes out clean

 

 

Quinoa with Veggie Chips

Topped with a greek yogurt dressing

Topped with a greek yogurt dressing

It is so hot in Cairns and we wanted a dinner that was light, healthy and meant no baking.  So I created this salad topped with a yogurt sauce. Meals that show off the beauty, colour and flavour of simple vegetables are always my favourites. We loved it and hope you do too.

Ingredients

I cup of Quinoa

2.5 cups of water

1 massel stock cube

2 tablespoons of pine nuts

1 sweet potato

1 eggplant

1 red capsicum

100 grams of natural yogurt or greek yogurt

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

2 tablespoons of minced garlic

2 tablespoons of tomato pesto

1 tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil

oil to sauté

salt

optional

parsley to top

asparagus to add some green

 

Cook the Quinoa

In a saucepan place

1 cup of quinoa

2.5  cups of water

1 massel vegetable stock cube or a teaspoon of stock powder

Cook for 20 minutes until the water has been absorbed by the quinoa

Whilst it’s cooking

Lightly brown 2 tablespoons of pine nuts and set aside

Prepare and Cook the veggies

Slice the vegetables in strips and place one type of vegetable at a time into a heated and lightly oiled pan and sauté until cooked and browned. When each vegetable is cooked set aside and do the next one.

When all vegetables are cooked place the 2 tablespoons of garlic and the 2 tablespoons of tomato pesto in the pan and lightly cook then add the cooked vegetables and sauté for a further 3 minutes until the vegetables are well coated with the garlic and tomato.

Prepare the Quinoa

When the quinoa is cooked add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice (you will need the rest for the yogurt) and the pine nuts and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and lightly stir through the quinoa.

Prepare the Yogurt Sauce 

Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt through the yogurt

To serve

Place the quinoa in each serving bowl or plate, top with the vegetable chips and spoon over yogurt.

Spanakopita Gluten Free – Spinach and Cheese Pie

Our current favourite we are eating this once a week

Our current favourite we are eating this once a week

We love spanakopita – the salty fetta, healthy spinach. I have worked to perfect this recipe over the last 6 months to get it how we think is just the right combination of fetta, other cheeses and the spinach. Its super easy to make. Super yummy and there is never any left over.

You will need:

1 diced onion, sautéed until it is just browning

1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 cup of grated tasty cheese

200 grams of fetta cheese (I use the Danish because I love its creaminess)

300 grams of  spinach leaves, chopped and make sure they are dry (even though I find it difficult to cook anything that has the word baby to describe it I do use baby spinach leaves)

6 eggs

3 tablespoons of fresh oregano

1/2 cup of gluten free self raising flour – now you can leave this out and sometimes I do – but then you have to make sure the spinach really is dry. If you add the 1/2 cup of flour you will have a fail safe pie.

No salt – the fetta is salty enough on its own

To make it:

what it will look like before you pop it in the oven

what it will look like before you pop it in the oven

Combine all these ingredients and pour into an oiled baking dish and top with extra cheese and some extra fresh oregano.

To Upload it

Sometimes – and my daughters love it when I do this – I line the greased dish with nitrate free prosciutto and then pop the spinach cheesy mix on top. It does make it more salty but also super yummy.

to upload line the dish with prosciutto

to upload line the dish with prosciutto

 

 

Raspberry and Banana Muffins

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I am a bit of a fussy muffin eater – they have to be moist and full of fruit and flavour. I have tried so many ways to make them but family feels I have hit the jackpot with these ones.

These are our favourite muffins – super yummy – super moist and they never last longer than the day they are cooked.

We love them for breakfast but they are also great for afternoon tea. I hope you love them as much as we do.

Ingredients

1 and a half cups of S.R. Flour

1/3 cup of oat bran (if you can’t get oat bran ground oats will do)

3 eggs

3/4 cup of dark brown sugar

200ml container of any yogurt (3/4 cup). I use a nice Jalna berry one

1/3 cup of cocoanut oil

1 cup of fresh or frozen berries

1 large banana, split down the middle and cut into thick slices

Cinnamon Sugar

For Cinnamon sugar mix 1/4 cup of cinnamon with 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar – you will use this to sprinkle on your hot muffins

Making them

gently combine all ingredients

ladle the mix into  muffin tins lined with baking paper. I make six large muffins but you could do 12 small ones

Bake the 6 large for about 20 minutes at 180 C or 350 F. If you make 12 small ones probably about 12 minutes will do it. You can tell they are ready when they are springy on top.

Remove from oven when cooked and sprinkle with cinnamon  sugar

Chilli Non Carne

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This recipe is one of my favourites – I love a good vegetarian Chilli as a comfort food, and a chilli that has chocolate in it is even better. I have been making this recipe for 20 or so years now. It tastes even better the next day when the flavours have really infused so if you are making it for friends you can make it the day before they come over.

Chilli Non Carne

You will need

2 sticks of celery finely sliced, making sure to include the leaves which have all the flavour

1 large or 2 small capsicums diced, you want the pieces to be between .5 and 1 cm (1/4 inch), you don’t want them too large and chunky

2 cloves of garlic – I use double this at least but I do love garlic so feel free to use more if you are also a garlic lover

2 onions finely diced

2 dessertspoons of chilli paste (more or less if you want extra hot or mild)

2 dessertspoons of dried oregano

1 dessertspoon of cumin powder

A good slug of olive oil.

Pop all this on the stove to simmer until the onions are tender, stir occasionally and whilst its simmering away prepare:

4 cups of carrots diced finely as above or grated if you want a mushier texture. I like the carrots diced because I really enjoy carrot flavour but my Girls prefer the carrots grated.

1 400 g tin of kidney beans

1 400 g tin of diced tomatoes

When the onions are tender and all those spices have cooked and blended add the carrots, kidney beans and tomatoes and cook covered over low heat until the carrots are really cooked. Normally I like my veggies crunchy but for this recipe you really want those carrots to be soft and to absorb all the chilli flavour.

Usually cooking the carrots takes about 30 minutes. When cooked add,

50 grams of good quality dark chocolate

2 tablespoons of tomato paste or pesto

Stir until the chocolate has melted, the chocolate will give the chilli a lovely rich colour and deeper flavour.

Serve with coriander (cilantro) salsa, sour cream or greek yogurt and rice or corn chips

Coriander Salsa

Combine in equal proportions:

diced avacado, cucumber and tomato

Sprinkle with lemon juice and lightly toss through 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander

Heavenly Hash with a Dash of Sin

 

My Aunt used to make this dessert every Christmas and I loved it. She was a strict Baptist so she never added the sin bit that I’ve put in – but my attraction to sin always did make me the black sheep of the family.

Its super quick to whip up.

Combine

500 grams of chopped strawberries ( don’t make the pieces too small) halves is usually okay unless they are those enormous G.M strawberries that the supermarket shelves are now full of.

1 sliced banana

1/4 cup of liqueur , – there’s the dash of sin. I used limoncello but cointreau would work, as would grand marnier, brandy, champagne etc. If you don’t want the alcohol you can omit it.

Leave this to marinade for about 1 hour in the fridge

Add

2 cups of chopped marshmallows

1 cup of grated eating chocolate, I used  Lindt Dark Strawberry Intense, but Toblerone would be great or Lindt Dark Chilli Chocolate.

300 mlx of thickened cream whipped

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint

Gently combine this with the fruit.

Serve in a glass and sprinkle fresh mint on top – voila – a kinda healthy dessert – well it has got fruit in it so that means no calories right?

Poor Student Vegetable Soup (now also called Actors Soup)

 

I lived on this soup when I was a poor art student in the late 70’s.  I dressed in bright green tights and retro 1930’s dresses from the op shop, lived on a student allowance of $70 a fortnight and made gallons of this soup. I passed on this recipe to my youngest son who is at present a poor Jazz Piano student at the Conservatorium in another state (God I miss him!) . This soup is great because you can use it as a base and add anything you like to it according to your budget. It’s super healthy and so now I am putting it here for my  son Seth who is an actor on the other  side of the world in L.A. (God I miss him!) ,

Vegetable Soup

Into a large pot place one and half cups of each of the following vegetables:

diced onion

sliced celery

grated parsnip

grated turnip

grated carrots

Add

1 tablespoon of mixed herbs

A good lug of olive oil – about 4 tablespoons

salt and pepper

Fry everything for about 5 minutes stirring often. Its really important not to skip this step, this is what really brings out all the lovely vegetable flavours.

Add

500 g  (1 lb) of the cheapest bones you can find, lamb, beef, oxtail, ham hock, chicken anything is fine. I used lamb bones today but I just use what ever is cheapest. If you want a vegetarian soup leave out the bones but add some lentils or other legumes instead.

2 litres of vegetable stock, you can use the ready made stock or you can use powder or cubes and water which is what I did.

Bring to the boil then simmer gently for one hour.

Remove the bones. The dog is waiting patiently for the bones, this is the dog with his I’m being good waiting for those bones face IMG_0015

Chop a bunch of parsley and add to the soup – this will taste great and give you a really good shot of iron.

Serve sprinkled generously with parmesan or tasty cheese.

Things I sometimes add to this soup are

bacon pieces, lentils, white legumes like haricot beans, other veggies like potato, yams, zucchini etc.

Butternut and Cashew Curry

Butternut and Cashew Curry

This is Peter’s favourite curry – the one he asks for as his birthday dinner. Here it is for Seth who is looking for yummy veggie meals for those trying to live on a budget in L.A, and all the rest of you who want to try a really yummy, easy vegetarian curry.

Spices

1 chopped onion

1 chopped capsicum

1 teaspoon of seed mustard

1 dessertspoon of curry paste ( more or less to taste)

2 dessertspoons of dark brown sugar, (I hate to use sugar but it really does bring out the lovely sweetness of the pumpkin)

1 dessertspoon of lemon juice

2 heaped dessertspoons of sultanas (preferably sun dried no sodium nitrates which are super bad for you)

1/2 cup of cashews

a few lugs of olive or cocoanut oil

Throw all these into a good sized pot and stir over heat until the aromatic smells combine into deliciousness and start to fill your house and make you all hungry, reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and leave to sauté whilst you prepare the veggies.

Vegetables

1 large tomato chopped

1 zucchini (courgette) chopped

200 grams of mushrooms sliced

1/2 butternut pumpkin chopped unevenly, (this is so the smaller pieces become mushy saucy bits whilst the larger bits retain their shape)

Add all these to the spices and stir well, still sautéing for a few minutes so the spices coat the vegetables. Its really important to sauté it all to really give the pumpkin its nuttiness. Then pop on the lid and keeping on low simmer for 30 minutes or until the larger pieces of butternut are cooked. It doesn’t matter if the smaller bits get a bit mushy as you want that  – they will become part of the curry sauce.

Before Serving

When the butternut pumpkin is cooked add 270 mls of cocoanut cream and 4 dessertspoons of chopped fresh coriander (more or less to taste – I love coriander so there is never enough for me).

To Serve

Sprinkle chopped roasted cashews on top

Serve with microwaved pappadums and rice

2 Colour Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola

My son ate 5 bowls of this in one sitting

My son ate 5 bowls of this in one sitting

Yes my son ate 5 bowls of this Gnocchi in one sitting (he has grown to over 6ft tall – maybe it was the Gnocchi). It’s his favourite dish. I make this with a Gorgonzola sauce and prosciutto crumble but my kids do like really strong flavours, if yours don’t you could just as easily use parmesan or tasty cheese instead of Gorgonzola and make the dish veggo by omitting the prosciutto crumble and using parmesan or herbs to garnish.

Ingredients

For the Gnocchi
2 cups of sweet golden potato (sometimes called yam or kumara)
2 cups of white potato (I like Desiree)
1 Egg
1 cup of Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
3 heaped teaspoons of Herbs (I used fresh Parsley, Chives and Oregano from my pot plant garden because that’s what I had, you could also use Basil)

For the Sauce
2 teaspoons of crushed garlic
1 cup of sour cream
100g of Gorgonzola (or other cheese)
1/2 cup of vegetable stock (I use Massels, it has no nasties and is gluten free)

To finish off
3 tablespoons of prosciutto fried till crisp and crumbled or grated parmesan or chopped fresh herbs
Chopped Baby Spinach

Making the Gnocchi
1. Dice and cook the potatoes till soft, drain and cool. Whilst cooling I make the sauce.
2. Once cooled mash the potato very well
3. Add 1 egg
4. Add flour 1/3rd at a time and mix in well
5. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and then bring it down to simmer
6. Using floured fingers and a floured teaspoon, gently take teaspoons of the potato mixture and form them into Gnocchi shapes – don’t overwork them or they will become heavy.
7. Carefully drop them into the simmering water, don’t overload the saucepan.
8. When Gnocchi have floated to the top let them cook for 1 – 2 mins before removing with a slotted spoon. Don’t let them cook for any longer or they will become soggy.
9. Place the Gnocchi on a bed of chopped baby spinach (so your kids get some greens and because baby spinach is sooo yummy) and pour the sauce over the gnocchi, garnish and serve

Making the sauce
1. In a saucepan fry the garlic till browning
2. Add sour cream and stir regularly till melted
2. Crumble in the Gorgonzola and melt whilst stirring regularly
3. Add the vegetable stock

Sour Cream Veggie Slice (good enough to make you give up meat)

My daughter says this slice is so good she would give up meat for veggie food like this and she asked me to make it two nights in a row. It’s super easy so have a go!

"will make you give up meat"

“will make you give up meat”


Ingredients

3 heaped cups of Mixed Veggies (I used spring onions, asparagus, parsley, corn, spinach and potato but have added others and basically use what I have in the fridge)
4 large eggs
3/4 cup of sour cream
200g of Fetta (I love Danish fetta because of its creaminess)
1 cup of shredded parmesan plus a bit extra for on top
3 tablespoons of Pesto
6 tablespoons of Gluten Free Corn Cous Cous (or GF breadcrumbs)

1. Lightly cook the veggies until they are just tender (you don’t want them to go mushy when baked). Drain very well.
2. Sprinkle the cous cous over the base of an 8 inch, well buttered or oiled square baking dish. The cous cous will form a base for the slice.
3. Mix together until there are no lumps (well maybe only a few, it’s hard to get rid of them all) the eggs, fetta, sour cream, parmesan and pesto
4. Sprinkle the drained veggies over the cous cous
5. Pour the mixture over the top and shake a little so it gets in around the veggies
6. Sprinkle the extra parmesan (and some tomato slices if you feel like it) over the top
7. Bake for 25 minutes at 180C
8. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving
It tastes even better the next day for brunch!!!