Plant based Munchies

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


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Zucchini, corn and rice patties

 

Zucchini, corn and rice patties

Zucchini, corn and rice patties

 

I have not been posting regularly because I keep taking food photos with my iPhone and the end up looking like the above! It’s not exactly what I would like to be presenting on this blog…however, today the desire to get back into sharing recipes took over my concerns around photo presentation. Sometimes I find we are in such a hurry to EAT that I don’t take proper time to photograph. But that’s life, isn’t it!

 

I really, really enjoy these rice balls (or “patties”). The variations are , of course, endless. But I’ll share with you what I did, and you can work from there.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked brown rice

1/2 cup corn kernels

1 zucchini, grated

1 leek, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 T tapioca flour (or besan) to bind

1/2 tsp spices and herbs – I used thyme, onion powder and sweet paprika.

Salt and pepper for seasoning

 

Saute the leek, adding in the garlic and vegetables until soft. Stir in cooked brown rice, spices and flour to bind.

You may find use in adding 1/2 -1 Tblspn of water to assist with binding, however, I found that the zucchini provided enough moisture. You can play around with how much flour/water ratio you need to bind yours effectively.

Squeeze into balls of your desired choice and fry them on a reasonably hot heat until brown.

 

These are lovely just simply served with a fresh green salad xx

 


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Brown rice and mushroom balls

 

Brown rice and mushroom balls

Brown rice and mushroom balls

 

I apologise for the iPhone, dimly lit photo. My lovely cousin was running in the Commonwealth Games (and came 3rd!) and I was super distracted by getting our little food party out in front of the TV in time to watch her run. So the photos fell to the bottom of the priority pile.
As it turns out, while Jess was running, we were munching down a delicious feast of new creations. These are brown rice balls with mushroom and natural peanut butter. You can mix these up as much as you like – the possibilities are endless, but thees are delicious as is.  Enjoy!

 

2 cups brown rice (cooked).

1 brown onion, diced

5 mushrooms, diced finely

1-2 Tblspn natural peanut butter

1 Tblspn tamari (GF soy sauce)

2 Tblspn tapioca flour

1 clove garlic, diced

1 shake of dried chilli flakes

1/2 tsp salt

 

Fry onion and garlic together with the mushrooms until reduced and cooked well. Add in tamari, chilli and peanut butter with seasoning. Add in rice, turn off the heat, and stir through tapioca flour (to help bind).

Roll into balls. Heat a small saucepan with enough coconut oil to either deep fry, or shallow fry 1/2 of the ball. When oil is very hot, place 4 balls in at a time for a minute or so each side, then turn over to cook the other side. Allow balls to drain on paper towel.

 

Serve with peanut dipping sauce.


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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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Plant based non ‘sausage’ rolls

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My boys really seem to adore anything that is wrapped in pastry! Before we made the plant-based move, my eldest would have had homemade sausage rolls that were preservative and MSG free. I doubt either of them have ever had a bought one, and they certainly haven’t even had a homemade one in a long time.

So I was interested to stumble across this recipe. It actually does work! I discarded it at first because who would want a tofu-nut roll with oats? But the more I thought about it, the more potential I could see. This is a great option for kids’ parties I think where children are ‘used’ to eating sausage rolls and you can provide them with a much healthier, plant based option and they probably won’t know the difference. I am totally blown away by how good these little rolls (we’re calling them “little rolls”) taste! Despite the fact that we are not into faux-meats, these seriously pass for meat…with the added bonus of the fact that you actually know what you’re eating :). Bring on a kiddy party! Or just make them as a move to healthier eating for quick lunches etc. Whatever your goal, these are seriously delicious and they don’t taste like tofu, nuts OR oats. I promise!

I got this recipe straight from Where’s the Beef? No changes, I know, it’s amazing! I thought I better learn how to do it before changing the recipe at all. Already though I am thinking next time I would like to add in some more nutritional value: brown lentils or chickpeas and grated carrot and nutritional yeast flakes too. You’ll hear about it when I do!

For those who are gluten free, this recipe is not. But I’ll write the substitutes there to help along your way if you’re going to give it a go! Enjoy!

125g pecans
1/2 cup breadcrumbs           (or for gluten free, use crispy corn crumbs, I think Orgrans produce them.)
1 onion
300g pkt silken tofu               (try where possible to get non GMO)
1 cup rolled oats                       (for gluten free, sub 1 cup cooked quinoa)
1 stock cube                                (I forgot this, and they are still delicious)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons soy sauce (you can use less – the end result will be less salty and brown, and therefore less resemble a ‘real’ sausage roll)
ground pepper, to taste
3-4 frozen puff pastry sheets
water or non dairy milk for brushing pastry
sesame seeds

My preferred way of prepping this filling makes maximum use of my food processor. If you don’t have one, chopping and mashing will do the job just fine. Start by processing the pecans until they’re thoroughly chopped, but not all gone to powder. Tip them into a large mixing bowl, then toss in the bread crumbs. Chop the onion into 8 chunks and process them briefly until they’ve a ‘finely chopped’ kinda texture. Add them to the mixing bowl, and finally whizz up the tofu until it’s a smooth mush. Add it to the mixing bowl, as well as the rest of the filling ingredients: rolled oats, a crumbled-up stock cube, garlic powder, soy sauce and pepper. Stir everything together well.

Now preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and lightly grease a baking tray. Thaw out your puff pastry, and slice each sheet in half so that it makes two rectangles. Spoon the filling down the centre third of each pastry rectangle; lightly brush another third with water or milk and then roll the pastry, starting from the empty third and tucking it into the brushed third. Slice the roll into halves, thirds or quarters as you wish and place them on the baking tray. Make a couple more diagonal cuts in the top of the roll, brush the top with more water/milk and sprinkle over some sesame seeds. Repeat with the remaining filling and pastry. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, until they’re golden brown and flaky.


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Healthy peanut noodle salad

Healthy peanut noodle salad

Healthy peanut noodle salad

SUCH a lovely, light healthy lunch. Or a main meal for dinner. Given that I have a love-hate relationship with lunchtimes, this one works well for me. It is quick, easy and healthy. And anything that has a peanuts/satay feel to it is a win for me. If you can’t do peanuts, you could always substitute in another nut butter and I’m sure it would be just as delicious.

There are so many substitute options to this salad it’s ridiculous so make it your own! You could make it with pasta noodles if you prefer or soba noodles. But here is what I did:

Ingredients:

Rice vermicelli noodles, soaked in boiling water and drained

Broccoli

Carrot, finely sliced

Celery, finely sliced

Cucumber, sliced using a peeler to make slithers

Spanish onion, finely sliced

cashews

Handfuls of chopped fresh mint, coriander and spring onions.

Toss the noodles, salad ingredients and herbs together with the following sauce:

*NB. The water content in the sauce is important to keep, as tossing the sauce through the noodles will prevent them from sticking together.

Peanut sauce:

1 spanish (purple/sweet) onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger (or ground)
3 T peanut butter (100% peanuts. You could easily just process peanuts until smooth as an alternative)
2 T  soy sauce
2 T rice bran or coconut oil
1 tsp rice syrup
1 tsp sesame oil
juice of 1 lime

Whisk together.

Healthy peanut noodle salad


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Mayonnaise (the plant based way) and a waldorf(ish) salad

Mayonnaise - the plant based way

Mayonnaise – the plant based way

Unbelievable but true. Here is a delicious vegan mayonnaise. I’ve researched this, I promise. And the best recipe yet goes to Veggieful: very impressive. And here’s my version of their version! It really is STUNNING.  And even if you are not vegan, you will love this healthy tasty mayonnaise. (I promise there is nothing about it that tastes soy or tofu ish!).

300g silken tofu (use organic so it’s non GMO)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tspns rice syrup
1 diced garlic clove
3 tspns dijon mustard
1 Tblspn  oil
1 Tblspn apple cider vinegar

Squeeze of lemon.

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend away. Refrigerate for a couple of hours so that it thickens up a little.

Seriously. This is so yummy I kept eating it off the spoon before it even made it to the fridge!

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I actually wasn’t sure what to do with mayonnaise. Hmmm….

So I made a waldorf(ish) salad.

Iceberg lettuce

Green apple, chopped

cucumber, chopped

snow peas, chopped

Avocado slices on top

and….it’s supposed to be walnuts (but I didn’t have any so I used almonds and cashews)

Toss it with the mayonnaise – delicious lunch!

Waldorf salad


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Summer rolls

Summer rolls

Can I call these Vietnamese summer rolls given that I’m not Vietnamese and they probaably don’t have any Vietnamese ingredients in them? Perhaps just “Summer rolls” will do. Although I *adore* Vietnamese food.

I’ve come to admit lately that I really don’t love rice paper rolls. I would never buy them in a shop and I rarely LOVE them at home and I’ve just worked out why. I don’t like rice noodles (vermicelli) taking up the place of yummy fresh food. So I gave these a go and oh my goodness, I’m cured. They are delicious! You can use whatever you like in them really but my advice would be to leave out the vermicelli and stick with salad ingredients. You’ll be amazed.

1 carrot, grated (into slithers  with a peeler)

Lettuce leaves or baby spinach leaves

Cucumber, finely sliced into sticks

1 avocado, sliced

Bean shoots

Fresh chopped coriander and mint leaves

Rice paper (Packet)

I find the easiest way to do these is to wet a tea towel and lay it on the bench to work on. Pour some hot water into a large plate/tray and soak the rice paper until soft, then pull it out carefully and lay it on the wet towel.

Add your fillings (Always looks nice and green if you lay the spinach/lettuce leaves down first) and wrap the fillings up.

I made a little dippy dressing (Not true to Vietnamese flavours but yummy nonetheless):

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 T soy sauce (NB Use Tamari for gluten free 😉 )

1 T vinegar of choice

1 small piece chopped sweet onion

top up with water to distill.
Really, really refreshing and light and delicious.