Almond Cacao Pear Delish – Meatless Monday

Which is better for you: Cacao or cocoa powder?

Cocoa powder is roasted which changes the molecular structure and reduces the enzyme content.

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Almond Cacao Pear Delish

GF. DF. EG. Vegan and Vegetarian

Ingredients

Beet and Lemon Layer

  • 2 cups plant milk
  • 2 Tablespoons agar agar flakes( 1 T. = ½ t powder)
  • few tablespoons of beet juice for colour*
  • 1/4 cup kudzu powder or chia
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or coconut syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • grated zest of ½ lemon
  • chopped toasted almonds or coconut for garnish
  • Mint leaves (optional)

Pear Chia Seed Layer

  • 2 cups juice
  • 2 tablespoons agar agar flakes
  • 1 cup chopped pears
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons maple, rice or coconut syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pomegranate (optional)

Chocolate Topping (optional)

  • ¼ cup raw, creamy almond or sesame butter
  • 1/3- ½  cup organic medjool dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 ripe banana or 1/2 avocado
  • 
1 tablespoon pure coconut oil (can be solid)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch pink Himalayan sea salt or miso
  • 1/8 cup water (add in stages to get desired consistency)

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Method

Beet and Lemon Layer

1. Place the milk in a saucepan. Add the agar agar flakes and bring to the boil. Lower heat and cook till the agar dissolves.

2. Chop up a beetroot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain and reserve beets for another dish.

3. In a small bowl add a few tablespoons of milk. Then mix the kudzu or chia seeds in. Add the sweetener, vanilla beetroot juice and lemon zest.

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4. Stir the agar mixture into the chia seed and keep stirring so that the seeds don’t clump.

5. If using kudzu instead of the chia seeds, stir into agar mixture and bring to the boil.  Remove from heat and set into a mould.

Pear Chia Seed Layer

1. Chop fruit.

2. Combine juice and agar agar in saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook till agar dissolves.

3. Add the pears and simmer for a few minutes. Turn off and add the sweetener and the vanilla (if using chia seeds for this layer add here).

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4. Set on top of the first mixture when the first mixture has ALMOST set at room temperature or refrigerate for a quicker set.

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5.  Cut and decorate with coconut, pomegranate, almonds, etc. *  Spoon beetroot juice around on the plate for decoration.

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Chocolate Topping (optional)

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1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or suribachi and process until smooth adding more liquid till desired consistency is reached.

2. Serve under or with dessert.

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Photography ©Paula Kimberley

Vegan Rice and Quinoa Pilaf – Meatless Monday

Move over, Kale. Take a backseat, Brussels sprouts. Enter Quinoa!

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Above: Rice and Quinoa Pilaf with Shiitake, Bean, Kale and Snow Pea dish.

Vegan Rice and Quinoa Pilaf

GF. DF, EF , Vegan, Vegetarian

Ingredients

    • ½ cup brown rice
    • ½ cup white or red quinoa
    • 1-2 teaspoon olive or coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • pepper to taste
    • 2 ¼-1/2 cups boiling stock or bone broth
    • ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt to taste or miso
    • ½ cup re-activated almonds, coarsely chopped
    • ½ cup goji berries (soaked)
    • 2 Tablespoon coriander, finely chopped
    • 2 shallots finely chopped

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Method

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1. Roast Rice.

2. Heat oil add the spices and cook 1-2 minutes, then add the boiling stock or broth, grains, salt.  Stir and bring to the boil.

3. Lower heat, cover and cook 30 minutes or bake in a preheated 175C oven until fluffy and all broth has bee absorbed.  Mix together.  

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4. Prepare the almonds, coriander, Goji berries and shallots.  Stir into pilaf just before serving.  Serve with Last weeks recipe Shiitake, Kale, bean and snow pea dish.

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Photography ©Paula Kimberley

Shiitake, Kale, Bean and Snow Peas – Meatless Monday

Which vegan food aids weight loss, supports cardiovascular health, fights cancer cells, improves energy levels and brain function, reduces inflammation, and supports the immune system?

SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS!

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Shiitake, Kale, Bean and Snow Peas

GF, DF, EF, Vegetarian, Vegan

Ingredients

    • 6 tablespoons olive or unroasted sesame oil
    • 225 gr. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps thinly sliced
    • 2 shallots, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 250 gr. snow peas
    • ½ can white beans (drain liquid and save for soup )
    • 2 cups chopped kale or seasonal vegetable
    • 1/2 cup vegetable  stock
    • tamari to taste
    • pepper to taste
    • almonds to garnish

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Method

1. Heat skillet, add 2 tablespoons oil. Add shiitake mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to medium bowl.

2. Add another 2 tablespoons oil in same skillet. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes.

3. Add snow peas and toss to coat.  Pour broth over mixture. Cover and simmer until liquid evaporates and snow peas are crisp-tender, about 4- 5 minutes.

4. Add remaining 2 Tablespoons oil, and sauté the kale for a few minutes.

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5. Then combine with the snow peas and shiitake mushrooms

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6. Season to taste with tamari and pepper. Transfer to platter and serve warm.

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Photography ©Paula Kimberley

Tony’s Vegan Shepherd’s Pie – Meatless Monday

Our latest Meatless Monday recipe is a Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with a beautiful, crisp mash potato topping.

High in vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B6 and niacin (vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid) potatoes are also rich in minerals, including iron, copper, manganese and tryptophan. In fact, potatoes contain all twenty-one amino acids, which are the building blocks of a complete protein.

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Tony’s Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

GF, DF, EF, Vegan and Vegetarian

Ingredients

3 cups chopped white or sweet potato (skin on)

¼ cup ginger

2 Tablespoons garlic

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped beetroot

2- 3 cups chopped cauliflower

1 cup chopped carrots

Sea or Himalayan salt to taste

miso or tamari to taste

2 cups plant milk (almond, rice, etc.)

3 tablespoon arrowroot, rice or tapioca flour

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Method

1. Preheat the oven to 175 C/ 350°F.

2. Place the potatoes in a large pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove the pot from the heat and drain off all but 2⁄3 cup of the cooking water. Use a masher to mash the potatoes well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover and set aside.

3. Heat skillet, add the oil and sauté the vegetables. Lower heat cover and cook till tender, stirring occasionally.

4. Add1-2 tablespoons water or stock at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Cook until almost tender.

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5. Meanwhile, combine the arrowroot, rice* or tapioca flour with the plant milk in a medium bowl, and whisk until well blended. Add the mixture to the vegetables and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with tamari and pepper to taste. 

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6. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a baking dish or casserole dish. Spoon the mashed potatoes over the top.

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7. Bake until lightly browned and set, about 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped shallots, if desired, and serve hot.

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* To increase the flavour of rice flour, toast it in a dry skillet moving it around till it smells nutty. Then add the plant milk and whisk quickly. Season with tamari, salt and pepper to taste and mix into vegetables.