Blue Mountains Autumn Tofu And Vegetable Balls – Meatless Mondays

This past weekend I had the delightful experience of teaching a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) food energetic cooking workshop in the Blue Mountains on a beautiful dry, warm sunny day. As we looked at the beautiful colours and setting sun. we ate lots of vegetarian and vegan dishes together.

One of the dishes that we enjoyed was Autumn Steamed Tofu and Vegetable Balls, an excellent vegetarian protein dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner, which can moisten our lungs.

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Plant Based Pizza with a Difference! – Meatless Monday

By the end of the week I sometimes find my vegetable bins sightly too full of sad looking vegetables and although they look a bit wilted I don’t want to throw them away. I thought I would share with you one of the ways I recycle them into something pleasing and delicious: my plant based pizza with a difference!

This week’s leftovers included: 1 beetroot, ¼ of a pumpkin, 2 sweet potatoes, ½ of the broccoli, some garlic, an opened jar of my Italian go to Tapenade, ½ of a tomato some leftover cashew nuts and of course my staples of miso, salt and pepper.

Note: I cooked all the vegetables the night before while I was cooking dinner. Then put them in the fridge overnight.

Plant Based Pizza

Plant Based Pizza with a difference!

Vegan, Vegetarian, EF, DF

Ingredients

Pizza base

2-3 cups thinly sliced pumpkin and or sweet potato mix

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 cups sliced broccoli

1 cup thinly sliced beetroot

2-3 cups thinly sliced cabbage

Few tablespoons Tapenade (Italian vegetables and olive oil mix)

½ tomato

2 cups raw cashews

8 cups boiling water

¼ cup hot water (as needed)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Lemon juice to taste

Miso to taste

Plant Based Pizza

Method

1. Soak cashews with 5-6 cups boiling water in large bowl. Cover with clean kitchen towel, and let stand 2-3 hours or longer.

2. Cut up all the vegetables Steam the broccoli for 4-5 minutes or until bright green.

3. Sauté the beetroot, cover and cook till tender.

4. Sauté the garlic for a few minutes to flavour the oil. Then add the pumpkin and/ or sweet potato a little water, cover and cook till tender.

5. Sauté the cabbage till slightly tender. Season with salt and pepper

6. Meanwhile drain cashews, then blend or process with 1/3 to 1/2 cup hot water until smooth and thick, like sour cream.

7. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again till almost creamy or until desired consistency is reached. This can be prepared 3-4 days in advance. Delicious as a dip or spread on bread, cover for baked vegetables or salad dressing.

Putting it all together

I used a prepared Organic pizza base that is made with spelt flour. I found gluten free options too, at the local Saturday market, courtesy of Matty’s Healthy Pizza Bases.

1. Pre heat the oven to 230 C.

2. Lay the pizza base on a pizza brick or metal pie base without sides.

3. Spread the pumpkin/sweet potato and garlic layer on.

4. Then top with cabbage and beetroot, broccoli and sprinkle some Tapenade around the whole pizza

Plant Based Pizza

Plant Based Pizza FB Pizza Tapenade

5. Spread the cashew cream over the whole pizza, chop up some tomatoes if you have one and sprinkle with Olive oil.

Plant Based Pizza

6. Bake 7-10 minutes. Serve hot.

FB Pizza Final

Almond Crusted Sweet Potato and Apple Pie – Meatless Monday

Want to know the secret to a long life? Eat plenty of carotenoids! Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are filled with these healthy organic pigments.

Get started with this recipe for a sweet potato treat.

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Almond Crusted Sweet Potato and Apple Pie

GF, DF, EF

VEGAN, VEGETARIAN and PLANT BASED  

Ingredients

Filling

  • 3 cups fresh cooked sweet potato or pumpkin
  • 1 cup cooked apple
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 2 -3 tablespoons rice syrup
  • 2 eggs (700 gr.)
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger or cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • pinch of sea or Himalayan salt or miso

Crust

  • 1 ¾-2 cups almond meal (ground from activated almonds with skin on)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup rice syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

  • Coconut Whipped Cream
  • 11 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • toasted coconut
  • Goji berries

FB Sweet pot pie Ingred.

Method

Crust

1. Measure out the nuts and blend them to a fine powder.(almost a nut butter)

2. Add the oil, rice syrup, vanilla and slowly add the coconut flour until it forms into a more solid consistency.

3. If it is too soft add a little more coconut flour 1 teaspoon at a time until it becomes solid enough to press into a pie pan.

4. Oil pie dish, and press the dough down with your fingers.

5. Heat over to 175 C (350 F) and pre bake pie crust for 10 minutes.

FB Sweet pot pie shell

Filling

1. Peel and steam sweet potato or pumpkin and apple together. (save peels of sweet potato, toss with olive oil and salt and bake).

2. In a food processor puree the sweet potato and apple, coconut cream, rice syrup, eggs, spices and salt or miso.  Taste and adjust if necessary.

3. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake another 30-40 minutes or until slightly firm.

*If the crust is getting too dark cover the pie with a piece of foil or other oven safe method and continue to bake until it is set.

FB Sweet Pot PIe whole

 

Topping

1. Put a mixing bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill.

2. Turn the can of coconut milk upside down and open it from the bottom. Scoop the top layer of white, fatty goodness into a mixing bowl (save the coconut water for a hot day).

3. Blend the chunks of coconut milk with a hand mixer on high speed for 15-20 seconds, just until the mixture turns softer. Add the sweetener (amount depends on how sweet you like it) and mix until combined. Add the vanilla extract and blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes, until light and creamy.

4. Spoon the coconut cream on top of the pie, sprinkle with the toasted coconut and Goji Berries. I had some beetroot juice which I sprinkle on top to add more colour and intrigue to the pie.

FBSweet pot Apple Pie and cut

Fermented Summer Vegetables – Meatless Monday

One of the best things you can do to enhance and improve gut flora is to regularly eat foods that contain a lot of friendly probiotic bacteria; fermented foods are particularly good. With winter just around the corner it’s the perfect time to grab those organic, late summer vegetables and ferment them before they disappear!

My Tomato, Onion and Corn Salsa is pantry staple that works as a perfect side dish for your winter burgers. You can also use it as a flavour enhancer for soup, a condiment for sandwiches, a great topping for cooked salad and more!

FB Corn & Tomato salsa jars 1

FB Corn, Tomato salsa jar

Tomato, Onion and Corn Salsa

Ingredients

GF, DF, EF

VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN 

 

4 medium organic tomatoes, diced

1 ear organic corn

2 small organic onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped organic chilli pepper, hot or mild

6-8 cloves organic garlic, peeled and finely chopped 

1 bunch organic coriander, chopped

1 teaspoon organic dried oregano or cumin

2 organic lemons, juiced

1-2 tablespoons sea or Himalayan salt

1/4 cup filtered water if necessary

 

Method

1. Mix all ingredients together and place in a liter-sized  jar. Press down lightly with your hands or a wooden pounder; adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. The top of the vegetables should be at least 2.5 cm  below the top of the jar and covered with fluid.

2. Cover with a lid, but don’t screw it on too tightly. Keep at room temperature for about 2-3 days. When it starts to bubble, remove the lid and taste. If it is sour enough for your taste, put the lid back on and refrigerate. Keeps for months !

3. One of the ways I like to serve this ferment is to mix a small amount with black beans, potatoes and corn chips. It not only tastes delicious but helps to digest the food.

FBCorn & tomato salsa close

FB corn & tomato chips

 

Vegan Plant Based Nutty Fruity Pumpkin – Meatless Mondays

It’s finally pumpkin season and there are many reason to celebrate. Did you know, that the name pumpkin comes from the Greek word ‘pepon’, meaning ‘large melon’? And, according to Guinness World Records, the record for the heaviest pumpkin was set in 2010 with a pumpkin that weighed 2,323 pounds (1,054 kilograms)!

Pumpkins, pack powerful health options- like keeping your vision, heart and inflammation in check. Rich in minerals and vital antioxidants and vitamins, the seeds are also concentrated sources of protein, minerals and health-benefiting vitamins.

Use any leftover grains, beans and vegetables that you have. Vary your own spice mixture, Italian, Middle Eastern, Asian, experiment and  have fun!

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VEGAN PLANT BASED NUTTY FRUITY PUMPKIN

Ingredients

GF, DF, EF

VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN 

 

1 Japanaese (Kabocha) pumpkin – about 1 – 1½ kg

1-2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil

3 cloves peeled garlic

1 tablespoon chopped ginger or to taste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cardamom or coriander

Pinch of chilli (optional)

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped celery

½ cup chopped carrots and/or beetroot

½ cup cooked black, white beans, aduki or chickpeas

½ cup chopped almonds or walnuts

1-cup leftover cooked rice, quinoa or buckwheat

½ cup chopped dates or un sulphured apricots (grated apple is good too)

1 tablespoon grated rind of lemon, lime or orange

Sea or Himalayan salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 230 C/450 F. Bake the pumpkin whole for 15 minutes then cut the lid off and scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh. Alternatively, cut the lid off the pumpkin, set the lid aside, and scoop out the seeds and the flesh.

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2.  Chop any of the pumpkin flesh that you have scooped out. Reserve the pumpkin seeds, which you can bake and have as a snack sprinkled with tamari soy sauce when hot.

3.  Heat frying pan, add the garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes then add the ginger and repeat. Add the spices and sauté another minute. Add the onions and cook till transparent. (Add more oil if too dry as the spices eat it up!)

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4. Then add the rest of the vegetables, cover and simmer 5 minutes.

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5. Add the beans, nuts, rice, dried fruit and rind. Mix thoroughly, season to taste.

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6. Place the pumpkin in a baking dish, spoon the mixture into it, then place the lid back on.

7. Rub the skin with olive or coconut oil and bake 20-30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft to the touch.

8. Remove the lid and sprinkle the top with ground almonds before serving.

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9. Cut into thick wedges, serve with some sauerkraut and roasted tamari pumpkin seeds. And don’t forget you can enjoy every bit; even the skin!

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Join us and take on the Meatless Monday Challenge: Once a week cut the meat! You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make to your health (and your wallet).

Plant Based Tofu Steaks and Carrot Salad – Meatless Monday

After a few weeks of rain, the sun has returned to Sydney! The blue skies and warmer weather have inspired me in the kitchen and this week I am sharing my recipe for Plant Based Tofu Steaks and Carrot Salad; a light, delicious meal or side, which is perfect for sunny days and picnics!

FB Tofu Steaks close finished

Plant Based Tofu Steaks and Carrot Salad

GF, DF, EF

VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN 

Marinade

1 tablespoon organic roasted sesame oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup tamari soy sauce

2 tbsp freshly grated ginger

2 tablespoon rice syrup

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 package extra firm organic tofu, rinsed

Carrot Salad

2 cups coarsely grated carrot

1/2 cup roughly chopped cashews

1/3 cup minced shallots, white and green parts

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh coriander or italian parsley

2 teaspoons fresh lemon or lime  juice

1 teaspoons roasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon  tamari soy sauce

½ cup blanched mung bean sprouts

FB Tofu Steaks ingred. 1

Method

1.Cut each block of tofu in half horizontally, then into slices lengthwise, about ½ cm thick. Arrange in single layer on rimmed plater.

2. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over tofu, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight.

FB Tofu Steaks marinating

3. Place the tofu on single layer of a shallow sided tray and grill or bake on high heat for 6-8 minutes, turning once and glazing with reserved marinade.

FB tofu Steaks tofu cooked

4. Grate the carrots, chow the cashew and chop the shallots, coriander. Mix with the rest of the ingredients. Place tofu on a serving platter, top with carrot salad stacked on top.

5. Pour dressing over salad and serve at room temp.

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Kale and Black Bean Organic Vegetable Pie – Meatless Mondays

You may have written-off kale as being a fad, but don’t. It deserves our attention.

Kale is incredibly nutrient dense and has definitely earned its status as a trendy vegetable. It’s delicious and a great source of vitamin A, which helps to keep our eyes functioning properly as well as K and C.  Kale is also low in oxalates so it doesn’t block your body’s uptake of essential minerals. Recent research has shown that black beans provide special support for digestive tract health, and particularly our colon.

My Kale and Black Bean Organic Vegetable Pie combines these nutritious ingredients with other delicious and healthy foods, creating the perfect comfort dish for a cool autumn night or an informal family lunch.

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Kale and Black Bean Organic Pie

Ingredients

GF, DF, EF

VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN

 

Choose organic vegetables and other ingredients whenever possible

4 cups sweet potato thinly sliced into rounds

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 yellow or red carrot chopped into half moons

1 beetroot or purple carrot chopped into half moons

3-4 cups chopped kale

1 cup canned black beans

tamari or salt to taste

½ cup ground almonds or other nuts (optional)

 

Kale:bean pie cut finish 

 

Tofu Cream

300g blanched and drained silken tofu

½ cup cashew, almond, sesame butter or oil

Water , soy or other milk (1/2-1 cup)

¼ cup lemon juice, umeboshi vinegar or whole grain mustard.

Sea salt or Himalayan salt or 1-2 teaspoons of miso paste

1 teaspoon cumin or coriander

1 teaspoon dill seeds (optional)

 

Method for Tofu Cream

  1. Drop tofu into boiling water and cook 2-3 minutes. Drain.
  2. Blend with other ingredients till creamy and smooth.
  3.  Can keep refrigerated for 1 week uncovered.

Kale:bean pie ingred 2

 

Method

1. Steam sweet potatoes till soft. Set aside.

2.  Cut Vegetables.

Kale:bean pie veg cut

3.  Heat skillet, add oil and sauté the chopped garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add the ginger and continue to sauté another few minutes to flavour the oil. Then add the cumin. Stir. Add the chopped carrots and beetroot, cover and cook till tender. (add water if  necessary)

4.  Then add the chopped kale, and sauté  few minutes. Add the beans and stir around until well mixed. Add nuts, if desired then season with tamari or salt to taste. Cover and set aside.

FB Kale:bean pie cooking

5. Pre-heat oven to 375 F 175 C. Oil a round pie dish or rectangular baking pan.

6. Blanch tofu into boiling water 2-3 minutes, drain and press out excess liquid. Place in processor, with the lemon juice, umeboshi (plum) vinegar or whole grain mustard. Blend together. Then slowly add the nut butter or oil and continue to blend. Season with salt, or miso and cumin or coriander and dill seeds. Taste and adjust seasoning. It should taste strong.

Kale:bean Pie shell

7. Put the kale bean mixture into the oiled dish, cover with tofu cream and top with sweet potato rounds. Sprinkle on sesame seeds if desired and bake 15-20 minutes or until hot.

FB Kale:bean pie tofu cover

8. OPTIONAL: Reserve the tofu cream, just top with sweet potatoes and bake. Serve the tofu cream on the side. (if you choose this method, thin the cream so it can be spooned over the pie.

FB Kale:bean PIe finished

ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

Veggie Nut Butter Sushi Rolls – Meatless Mondays

Another week and time is just rushing by. As the weather starts to cool our bodies crave food that’s both filling and comforting. My Veggie Nut Butter sushi Rolls are a fantastic Autumn dish, easy to make and packed with protein. Perfect for lunch boxes, a light dinner or post workout treat.

These bite sized rolls also make a great snack or side. I like to serve them with some soup or stew. Cook the vegetables before hand and keep them ready to roll up. If you’re preparing the vegetables the day before, steam the vegetables and wrap for a few minutes before rolling.

Veggie Butter Nut Sushi Wrap 1

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Grilled Miso Ginger Eggplant – Meatless Mondays

This week I am celebrating Meatless Monday with a delicious recipe for Grilled Miso Ginger Eggplant, which is overflowing with healthy bacteria and probiotics. These good bacteria inhabit our gut environment and balance the “unhealthy bacteria” that we obtain from processed food, environmental toxicants, contaminated water, pollution and so on.

Organically grown fermented soy products like miso, tempeh or natto are the only types of soy I recommend consuming.

Eggplant Kraut

 

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Zucchini Pasta – Meatless Mondays

GF, DF, EF

Vegan and Vegetarian

If you are anything like me, you have been enjoying the abundance of summer vegetables and fruits like Zucchini which some say is actually a fruit. It can boost skin health, strengthen the immune system, build strong bones, protect against birth defects and reduces blood pressure. Native to Mexico some 7,000 years ago, zucchini make a great base for any topping you like if you want to try a different type of “pasta”.

Fresh Zucchini

“Flowers of zucchini are stuffed, battered and deep fried to make “tempura” – a Japanese dish.
Italian “fiori di zucca” is a variant of the dish.
Mexicans also use it to make soups or as a filling for quesadillas –corn or a wheat tortilla filled with a savoury mixture….
“Ratatouille” is a French cuisine prepared with zucchini and summer fruits and vegetables by cooking them in oil and served alone or as a side dish.
Another French dish is “courgette farcie” which is zucchini stuffed with tomatoes or bell peppers.
Pancakes made from shredded zucchini, flour, and eggs, lightly fried in olive oil and eaten with yogurt are a popular dish in Turkey called “ mücver.”
In Bulgarian, zucchini is prepared as a snack by frying them and serving with a dip, made from yogurt, garlic, and dill.
Egyptians make zucchini with tomato sauce, garlic, and onions.”

Fresh basil from the garden

Fresh basil from the garden

Ingredients

  • 3-4 yellow, green and/or multi coloured zucchini
  • Sea or Himalayan salt
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup grated sweet potato or carrot
  • 1-cup organic canned lentils
  • 1-tablespoon rice honey (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons activated chopped nuts (I used almonds)
  • 200-300 grams pizza pasta sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Sea or Himalayan salt
  • Pepper
  • 1-2 ripe tomatoes
  • Handful fresh basil leaves, stems removed and torn into small pieces

Zucchini Pasta Ingredients

Method

1. Cut zucchini into noodles using a vegetable peeler for thicker shapes or a spiralizer (see photo). Sprinkle with salt and set aside. This helps to remove the bitterness.

Zucchini Pasta Spiralizer

2. Heat pan, add oil and garlic 1-2 minutes to season the oil. Add the onions and sauté till transparent.
Then add the sweet potato or carrot and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the lentils, rice honey and nuts if using, give it a stir add pasta sauce and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer 7- 10 minutes.

Zucchini Pasta sauce

Zucchini Pasta cooking

4. Meanwhile add the other oil, and sauté the zucchini 2-3 minutes or until tender.
5. Put the zucchini pasta in a bowl, toss the fresh tomatoes into the sauce with some of the basil and spoon over the pasta. Add more basil if desired and enjoy! You can top it off with some Parmesan or sauté silken tofu or any other protein of your choice.

If you like this recipe, please take a look at my next cooking workshops.

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