Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls – Meatless Monday

Buckwheat Cabbage Rolls
Plant Based
GF, DF, Vegan, Vegetarian

I remember my mother stuffing, rolling and baking stuffed cabbage with a rich tomato sauce at least once a week to warm us up in the winter. She would stuff it with “Kasha” which is the Russian word for Buckwheat or rice, garlic and any leftover vegetables she had in the fridge. It was a family favourite although the buckwheat was not my favourite then it certainly is one of mine now.

FB Cabbage rolls flower

Sauce

1 jar Basil and Garlic Pasta sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 cup finely chopped onions
½ finely chopped shallots
Salt to taste

Cabbage and Filling

1 large cabbage with outside leaves
1-½ cups cooked buckwheat or rice
½ cup cooked grain buckwheat,** rice, quinoa
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1-teaspoon cumin seeds
1-cup leek, or red onion, finely chopped
1 cup chopped carrots or sweet potato
½ cup mashed tofu
¼ cup celery finely chopped
½ cup toasted almonds, plus extra to serve
1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander or parsley
A few sprigs of fresh dill
Salt or tamari and pepper to taste
3-5 large outside or inside cabbage leaves

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4. Or prepare a steamer.
Trim and finely chop the leek, chop the carrots or sweet potato. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Chop the almonds, plus a few extra to serve. Pick the dill, and then mash the tofu.
Heat the oil in a pan over a low-medium heat, and add the garlic, basil, cumin and leek and sauté. Then add the carrots and tofu for a few minutes add a splash of water, season, then cover and gently cook until the veg. are almost soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked buckwheat, Stir often, adding water if it catches. Stir in ½ of the almonds, parsley and dill. Set aside.

Heat another saucepan; add the oil to the sauce and sauté the garlic and onions and shallots for a few minutes. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce and cook another few minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

FB Cabbage rolls sauce in pan

Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes, drain and lay out on a board. Then spoon 2- 3 tablespoons into the centre of each leaf.

FB Cabbage rolls ready to roll

Roll up and place, seam-side down, in a baking dish. Drizzle with pasta sauce cover and bake for 15 minutes. Serve with the reserved almonds on top

Alternatively: Steam 15 minutes then put sauce and almonds on top before serving.

FB Cabbage rolls_sauce finished

**Ingredients for Buckwheat:
1 cup toasted buckwheat groats
1 3/4 cups filtered water
1-2 Tbsp butter to taste (I used unsalted butter)
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste (I used sea salt)
If the buckwheat you buy is not toasted, you can quickly toast it in a dry skillet over medium heat 4-5 min until it is golden brown in colour then remove from heat.

Add 1 ¾ cups water oil and salt to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the buckwheat lower heat cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Hearty Buckwheat and Oat Pear Spice

Plant based, Vegetarian, Vegan

FB Buckwheat unbaked 1

In winter, when I was growing up, I remember my mother cooking buckwheat for breakfast. Most of the time I couldn’t stand the smell and get way fast enough. Boy have my taste buds changed! I have become an avid fan of buckwheat in all sorts of dishes now.

A few days ago I got back from the hot and humid weather in New York to the middle of Sydney winter and was feeling so cold, I just wanted something for breakfast that was warming and hearty. So I decided to reach for buckwheat (my favourite winter breakfast grain), crack it and mix it with steel cut oats together with my some warming winter spices, plant based milk, rice syrup, nuts, pears and bake it for a heartier breakfast and top it off with winter’s magic pomegranate fruit.

The next day I even warmed it up and ate it for lunch topped with some coconut yoghurt. It felt so satisfying and nourishing.

No matter what the time of the day, you will find this dish will fit into any meal or snack. You can also experiment with other grains. Just remember to crack them first so that they cook faster.

FB Buckwheat OAt Ing.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup “cracked”* buckwheat
  • ¾ cups steel cut oats
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds*
  • ¼ teaspoon Sea or Himalayan salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/3 cup rice syrup
  • ¾ cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup chopped pears
  • 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 pomegranate seeds removed
  • Blanched almonds for garnish

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 175 C. / 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 21 C. / 8 1/2 or 9-inch pie tin/dish with coconut oil and set aside.
2. In a coffee grinder or food processor, grind the buckwheat and oats until they have a “cracked” appearance, or at least until most of the grains are visibly split in half. Put them into a large bowl.*
3. Combine the ground flax seeds with 2 Tablespoons warm almond or other plant milk. Set aside.
3. To the grain mixture, add the spices and salt and stir lightly to combine.
4. In a saucepan warm the milk, add the rice or coconut syrup and whisk together. When the flax mixture has thickened add it to the milk mixture and stir well.
5. Start layering: Pour a third of the milk mixture into the oiled dish. Then, evenly sprinkle half of the buckwheat and oat mixture on top of the milk. Sprinkle half of the almonds and diced pears on top of the grains. Sprinkle additional cinnamon here if you like. Pour another third of the milk on top next. Then, add the other half of the grain mixture. Pour the remaining milk on top and garnish with remaining almonds and diced pears.
6. Give the pan a good shake and some light taps on the counter. Drizzle the melted coconut oil on top and slide the dish into the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden and everything is set. Serve the hearty dish warm with extra rice syrup and if you like, try some coconut yogurt on top.
For a snack or dessert, cool and slice into wedges with coconut yoghurt on top or pack in a lunch box for a treat.

 

Photos by Paula KimberlyFB Buckwheat oat finished  (1)

*This recipe makes the equivalent of 1 egg.

3 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon flax seeds

Grind the seeds into a meal in a blender or spice grinder. Like flax oil, flax seeds are extremely perishable so if you grind a larger amount for later use, store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one year. 1 cup of seeds equals about 1 ⅓ cup of flax meal.
Add the water or plant milk to a small bowl or cup. Add the flax meal and mix together with a whisk or fork. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes so it develops a gelatinous texture similar to a raw egg. Warm water will speed up this gelling process and make it happen about twice as fast.

Vegan Truffles – Meatless Monday

In December 1973, Alice Medrich began selling her chocolate truffles out of Pig-by-the-Tail, in California. After quickly running out of her first small batch, she was asked to deliver 25 dozen every day. This was the start of an American craze for chocolate truffles!
Can’t help myself! Love to make treats to eat with kids!

Holidays are all about treats to share.

Enjoy these chocolate vegan truffles as they are easy to make and fun to eat.

truff

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw pecans, almonds or cashews (activated)
  • 1 cup raw walnuts lightly toasted
  • 1 Tablespoon cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash of chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 10 medjool dates, pitted (if dried out, soak in warm water for 10 minutes then drain)

Topping Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups dairy free dark chocolate (real chocolate bar, not chips), roughly chopped
  • 1-teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs, Goji berries, sesame seeds, coconut dipped in beetroot juice, crushed nuts, strawberries and/or salt for topping
  • Kids can:
  • Find the ingredients
  • Take out the measuring spoons and cups
  • Measure out the dry ingredients
  • Put the nuts in the food processor and push the on button
  • Help to remove them
  • Put the dates in the food processor and push the on button
  • Add in the cacao (and with help) ½ of the nut meal and push the on button as required
  • Help to roll into balls
  • Put paper on tray and put the balls on and into the freezer
  • Help to sprinkle the decoration onto the balls or strawberries after an adult dips them in the chocolate

Method

Place nuts in a food processor or high speed blender and process until it reaches the consistency of a meal. Remove and set aside in a dish. Next, place pitted dates in the food processor and process until small bits remain and/or it forms into a ball.
Then add in the cacao powder and 1/2 of the nut meal and pulse. Continue pulsing and adding more of the nut meal a little at a time until loose dough is formed. You may not need to use all of the nuts, which is fine because you can use any leftovers for topping the truffles.
Once you have a mixture that’s easy to form into balls, scoop out 1 Tablespoon and form into balls. (If they aren’t quite forming, hold in your palm and let the heat of your hand warm them, then gently shape into a ball.) Set on tray and place in freezer to chill – you should have about 12 truffles.

Truffles b4 dipping

In the meantime melt chocolate in a double boiler. Be careful not to overheat. Once melted, stir in coconut oil to help the chocolate thin and ease the dipping process.
Remove truffles from freezer and, one at a time; dip them into the melted chocolate. With a fork or skewer. Remove them and tap away excess chocolate.
If there is leftover chocolate, dip the tips of strawberries into the chocolate.
Transfer onto parchment paper or oiled tray and top with coconut dipped in beet juice, chopped goji berries, sea salt, sesame seeds, crushed nuts, or cacao nibs.

Truffles sesame 1

Repeat until all truffles and strawberries are dipped or there is no more chocolate left!
Let set at room temperature. If there are any leftovers store in an airtight container in fridge or wrap them up and give them as gifts.

truffles sesame 2

For longer storage freeze.