Plant based Munchies

A journey towards whole food, plant based, healthy eating….


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Dal Makhani (lentil curry)

 

Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani is a total winner. I know a lot of people (non vegans esp) don’t do lentils. I used to think like that too – but seriously…this is amazing. Even my 6 year old said this is the BEST dinner ever and asked to have it in his lunch boxes for school. Curried lentils for a school lunch? Happy mum! Lentils are AH-mazing for you! And this is moorish. So give it a go :)

It is again a tomato onion based curry however you can add soy milk (traditionally cream). I have used coconut cream. It is also usually quite buttery (that’s the makhani bit) so you can choose if you wish to use an oil like coconut oil or something like nuttelex or another non dairy margarine.

Also lastly, traditionally this has black lentils and red kidney beans. I can’t find black lentils anywhere, much as I’d like to, and I don’t love red kidney beans. So I am beautifully content with whole green lentils and see no need to change it – but go for it if you want to do the bean thing, and if you have access to black lentils.

 

2 cups whole green lentils

1.5 cups tomato puree

1 brown onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

1 inch ginger, finely diced

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tblspn coconut cream

2-3 cups water

 

Start by either soaking the lentils over night or simmering them for 45 minutes in a quick cooking method. I did the latter, then rinsed them, ready for cooking.

Fry the brown onion for a few minutes before adding the spices. When aromatic, add the lentils and remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes until warmed and ready to eat!

DIVINE with pappadums. Don’t forget them! :)

 


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Rich chocolate pots

 

Rich chocolate pots

Rich chocolate pots

Is anyone in the mood for a chocolate hit? (Actually, is anyone ever not in the mood…?)

These are rich and decadent. And they will surely satisfy any chocolate craving.

* This mixture made enough for 12 chocolate pots in medium sized cup cake papers.
Base:

1 cup raw cashews/macadamias or almonds

1/2 cup hazelnuts

12 pitted medjool dates

1/3 cup cacao

1 T water

Process the nuts until ground in a meal, then add remaining ingredients. Press spoonfuls into little cup cake holders until each has an equal base.

 

Top:

1 pkt silken tofu (non GMO)

100g dark (dairy free) chocolate, melted

1/3 cup cacao

2 T rice syrup

1/2 tsp coffee essence

 

Blend the tofu briefly until a creamy consistency. Add the remaining ingredients and process into a mousse. Spoon the mousse into cups on top of the base evenly, and bake in a 180deg C oven for 20 minutes.

Refridgerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy :)

Rich chocolate pots

Rich chocolate pots

* This recipe uses coffee essence for a richer flavour. You can sub this for espresso or even just vanilla extract (which at least does not have additives etc). You could also use Franjelico if you do alcohol, which has a hazelnut flavour. The recipe will also make a larger tart if you would prefer this to 12 little ones. I made these for a picnic which worked beautifully to serve them out individually!


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Aloo gobi matar (Potato cauliflower tomato based Indian curry)

Aloo gobi matar

Aloo gobi matar

I have posted a few favourites of my Indian curries on this site here (see the Non butter chicken,  Tikka MasalaKorma and Sri Lankan tamarind curry recipes). Aloo gobi is one of the first Indian curries that actually sold me Indian food in India. It is simple and divine and easily (and often) vegan. There are many many variations but it is essentially a tomato and onion based curry with simple veggies. The Aloo Gobi refers to the potato- cauli combination. Matar refers to the peas, however I have adapted that to green beans. Use whatever suits you and your family though. Peas are very common in Indian curries.

 

2 potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/2 small cauliflower florets

1/2 cup green beans (topped and tailed and chopped roughly)

1 brown onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced (and peeled)

1 inch fresh ginger, finely diced (and peeled)

1 Tblspn almond meal

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes (or as much as you enjoy)

2 cups water

1/4 cup tomato puree (passata) – or alternatively, blanche, peel and squish a fresh large tomato

 

Lightly fry the diced onion and add in the potato pieces. Saute for a few minutes (to get the potato cooking under way) and add in the spices. Once aromatic, add in the almond meal, tomato puree and water and simmer. When potato is almost cooked, add in the cauliflower and simmer for a further 4-5 minutes. Add the green beans only a couple of minutes before serving.

 

NB I really prefer my veggies cooked but  not soggy. If you like them mushy, obviously you can cook them for much longer.

 

 


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Sweet buckwheat waffles

Sweet buckwheat waffles

Sweet buckwheat waffles

Woweee. I have pronounced my love for Sloveig’s blog, the Gluten Free Vegan Girl many a time, and she has delivered again on this one. This is her recipe, it is pure, healthy and delicious. Breakfast, dessert, or snacks throughout the day – these waffles are awesome :) I have to share.

I have halved the recipe because it makes LOADS. Also, my waffle maker sadly only does animal shapes (haha) so here we have a giraffe and a lion – looking slightly more like a map of Australia actually… not to worry!

I’ve also done this recipe with half buckwheat and half brown rice flour and I have to say, I really loved that also. It seemed a little lighter to me. But please yourself.

 

  • 2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1.5 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla [extract]
  • 1/4 tsp maldon salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, optional but recommended
  • juice from 1/2 lemon, optional but recommended

Directions:

1. Place all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl and stir together.

2. Place the pitted dates, lemon juice, vanilla essence and milk in a high-speed blender (or use a hand blender) and run until completely smooth. Pour this into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until well-combined. Keep in mind that the batter will be slightly thicker than regular wheat waffles. Do not add any more liquid to make it thinner! This will prevent the batter from sticking together properly, and you will end up with a runny gooey mess.

3. Heat a waffle maker and add your mixture. Depending on your maker, you may need spray oil to stop it sticking. I use brushed melted coconut oil.

 

Sweet buckwheat waffles

Sweet buckwheat waffles

I have added fresh chopped strawberries and a homemade chocolate hazelnut sauce. Try this:

 

2 dates, pitted, soaked and pureed (alternatively substitute with rice malt syrup)

1 heaped Tblspn cacao

2 Tblspn melted coconut oil

1 heaped Tblspn hazelnut meal

2 Tblspns non dairy milk

dash of vanilla extract
Whisk together and enjoy. Add more milk if you prefer it runnier.


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Warm green soup

Warm green soup

Warm green soup

Greetings loyal foodies! Some of my photos are going to be quite dodgy from when I was camera-less, but bear with me.

I’m sure a more creative title for this one could have found me. Warm.Green.Soup. Well, at least it is descriptive. But so much more than that too – try tasty, nourishing, filling, comforting, moorish….and cheap! All those great things.

This soup has a punchy flavour with minimal effort. It’s ALL good in this soup. There’s nothing shotty, nothing masking anything else. It’s just all solid delicious nutritious food.

Your only issue is whether you can convince people to eat green soup. My kids were not so keen, unsurprisingly.

Here’s how to do it (cook it, that is):

3-4 zucchinis
1/4 cauliflower
1-2 leeks (I used 1 gigantic one, but 2 small is ok)
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 tin cannelinni beans, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves
salt
thyme
garlic powder
dash of apple cider vinegar (or use white wine)
2 cups water

Method:
Saute the leek, garlic and vegetables for 4-5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until vegetables are cooked. Once cooled, blend until smooth and creamy. Heat and serve!


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Spiced buckwheat and sweet potato herbed salad

 

Spiced buckwheat, sweet potato and beetroot salad

Spiced buckwheat, sweet potato and beetroot salad

My sincere apologies for my extended absence from blogger land! I’ve missed you! It all began with a missing camera cord followed by a missing SD card… but that’s another story.

Today I bring to you a gem inspired by Gina, an amazing woman who catered for 25 of us at a non violent communication retreat in Byron recently. From Gina, I not only was reintroduced to the delightful dill but was introduced to whole buckwheat salads. Wow. Where have I been? Buckwheat is not wheat. It is gluten free and a whole food. It is not quite as protein rich as quinoa but nevertheless, an awesome food! And since Dave can’t do quinoa, stand by for more buckwheat in the future :). It is slightly nutty and holds it’s shape beautifully. And it does not go gluggy like rice can.

Because I’m out of practice I paid very little attention to quantities for this salad but you will get the idea. Make it to suit yourself. If my mother is reading this, for example, the cumin will be given a wide miss.

 

2 cups of whole buckwheat (cooked according to instructions. I, however, boiled mine in a spice mix of cumin, turmeric and ginger powder to give it a light spicing as well as a golden colour)

1 sweet potato, peeled, cubed and roasted

1 beetroot, peeled, cubed and roasted

1 spanish onion, peeled, cubed and roasted

Once these ingredients have cooled, toss together with:

cherry tomatoes, halved

brocollini, roughly chopped

Add 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill and 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves.

Season with salt and pepper and toss either juice of 1 lemon or equivalent vinegar through the salad.

 

NB I think this would be sensational with the tomatoes lightly roasted, and adding in fresh baby spinach leaves. You could also whip up a dressing that includes garlic, mustard, lemon juice and oil if that suits (especially if you leave out the cumin and spices, it will require more flavour).

 

Enjoy!

Spiced buckwheat, sweet potato and beetroot salad

 


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Leek and Mushroom quiche (gluten free)

Gluten Free Vegan Leek & Mushroom Quiche
The Gluten Free Vegan girl, perhaps my most favourite blog, has come up with a simply genius recipe. It sounds impossible and somewhat ridiculous for gluten-free vegan people to eat quiche. And you would wonder how it is even do-able. But trust me, I’ve tried it and it not only works but it is delicious. If you’ve never seen her site, go there. It’s awesome. I don’t normally just reblog things straight on here but this is too important not to :)

This recipe and photo is straight from Sloveig’s blog. I subbed some buckwheat flour in the base because I like it and some onion powder in the filling (because I like that too!) and I subbed tapioca starch for cornflour, but that’s all. Next time I think I’ll add in some roast pumpkin to the ‘quiche’. But I don’t even really like mushrooms and I still went back for seconds. And ate the left overs the next day.

It is delicious, filling, homely, tasty, and well – just very exciting to have a new recipe that is whole food and interesting and works, really.

Give it a go.

 

makes one 9″ inch pie

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 2 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup rice flour
  • 4-6 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Filling:

  • 300 grams firm & silken tofu *non GMO/organic
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup plant-based milk
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp vegan vegetable [stock] powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Other ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped leek (roughly 1 small leek)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • fresh herbs, for garnish

Directions:

1. Start by making the crust. This is done by placing the cashews in a food processor and pulse until you have a fine flour. Add the remaining ingredients and run until you have a smooth dough. You should be able to shape it into a ball without it sticking to your hands.

2. Press the dough into a 9″ pie pan, making sure the crust is relatively thick and even. Prick it thoroughly with a fork. Pre-bake crust at 200 degrees Celsius/390 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes, until slightly golden.

3. While the crust is baking, make the filling. Place all the ingredients for the filling in a food processor and blend until smooth. Gradually add additional amounts of the seasoning whilst tasting if necessary.

4. Chop up the vegetables. Heat up a small non-stick saucepan and dry-roast the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, until golden. Place this in a bowl with the leek and stir in the filling. Once the crust is finished baking, pour the filling on to the crust and flatten it using a spatula. Drizzle a tablespoon do chopped leek on top of the quiche before putting it in the oven. Reduce to oven temperature to 180 degrees Celsius/356 degrees Fahrenheit and bake with the filling for 45-60 minutes, until set. Allow for the quiche to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

 

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