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 ūüôā

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! ūüôā

 

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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 Masala, Korma 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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Roast pumpkin dahl

Roast pumpkin dahl

Roast pumpkin dahl

I really quite like dahl, as it turns out. And pumpkin as well – well, they just go together perfectly!

You know i’m into my curries ;). Dahl is totally gorgeous to have next to a curry as an accompaniment. Different texture, different flavour and wholesome and healthy to add to a meal. Hope you love it. It’s also just great stirred through rice the next day for lunch left overs!

This recipe ¬†comes from Veganise this. Love all these websites I’m discovering.

Ingredients:
1 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree  (1/2 butternut pumpkin, roasted then pureed)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
100g baby spinach leaves
Rinse the red lentils in a strainer until the water runs clear then place them in a saucepan with the water, vegetable stock powder and turmeric. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to the lowest possible and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a frying pan on a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds and when then begin to pop, stir through the onion and fry for 5-10 minutes until the onions are translucent and begin to brown. Add the cumin, chilli powder, garam masala and salt, stir the spices through the onions evenly and cook for about 2 minutes.
Mix the onions and spices through the lentils then stir in the pumpkin puree, lemon juice and spinach. Turn off the heat when the spinach has wilted and serve with rice.


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Whole food samosas (Gluten free)

Whole food samosas

This is such a special recipe. Samosas are one of those spectacular Indian foods that is often deep fried – and not necessarily great for the body. Gluten Free Vegan girl has come up with an oil free, gluten free and more importantly, whole food samosa recipe. And it’s good. Really good!

What surprised me was that I made a batch and had heaps of left over filling so I put the rest in puff pastry (knowing my kids love anything in pastry!) and both of them preferred the buckwheat version! I was stoked. So grab yourself some brown rice flour, buckwheat flour and flaxseed or chia. They don’t look spectacular but the taste it!

Dough:

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseeds (I used chia)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water

Sweet potato & green pea filling:

  • 4 heaped cups cubed sweet potatoes, with or without peel ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† (I added in some carrot etc too)
  • 2 cups green peas or lentils (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • a few tbsp water

Spices, to taste:

  • garam masala
  • red curry powder
  • ground ginger
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • cumin

Head over to gluten free vegan girl‘s site for the instructions on how to make. Brilliant recipe.


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Aloo tikki (Indian potato patties)

Aloo tikki

Aloo tikki

 

Ok so for some reason they look a little squishy in this photo! But truly, these golden little nuggets are so tasty. We don’t eat potato really much these days but I so wanted to try these and they really lived up to – and exceeded – my craving expectations. It is so so simple. Really an Indian hash brown if you like.

 

3 large potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed

1/2 cup green peas

handful of coriander, chopped

1 spring onion, chopped finely

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper for seasoning

 

Mix all ingredients together and squish together to form little (or big) balls. They do cook better if squashed flat a little I find. Lightly fry for a couple of minutes on each side.

The outside is oh so crunchy and the inside is soft and rich in flavour.

Some recipes seem to add breadcrumbs. I could be wrong but I don’t think this is true of traditional Aloo tikki? I wanted to keep them gluten free – but you could add besan flour (chickpea) if you wish.

There are also many variations on the spices added i.e. coriander (ground), onion, chilli etc.¬†(I personally would have added chilli but I know my 3 yo would complain so I’d rather him be able to eat them!)

Whatever you do, you can adapt this to suit your style as always, and enjoy, they are delicious!

 


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Vegetable (Butter Chicken) curry

Butterless Chickenless Butter Chicken

Butterless Chickenless Butter Chicken

What do you call butter chicken when it has no butter and no chicken? I guess that makes it a vegetable curry. But really, it’s more exciting than that. There are two other curries on this blog: tikka masala and korma. I make those often because they are favourites but some sort of light bulb moment occured the other day when I realised I used to like butter chicken curries! It has a unique flavour (if you’re a discerning curry eater) and is rich. Yum.

I am slowing down my blog posts…1 a day has been fun but as we have grown, I’ve got some great projects on the go (which you’ll hear about soon) and I need to slow the pace down a little. But I can’t not share this one with you. It’s awesome.

So here tis.

1 spanish (purple) onion, finely diced

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp ground ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp Indian curry powder

1/2 tsp chili flakes

2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 cup tomato puree

200g crushed tomatoes (tinned)

1/2 cup plain coconut yogurt or coconut cream

1/2 tsp salt

Saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add in the spice mix and stir briefly until spices become fragrant. Add in tomato paste, tomatoes and 1/4 cup water and lemon juice. Stir on heat for 2 minutes, then set aside. This is your curry paste.

Saute whatever vegetables you like (pumpkin/carrot/sweet potato/onion/ spinach added at the end) and add in your curry paste. Add in coconut cream and 1/2 cup water or vegetable stock and simmer until veggies are cooked. So simple, and so, insanely delicious.


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Indian spiced baked vegetables

Indian spiced baked vegetables

Indian spiced baked vegetables

The weather seems to have an Autumn flavour to it (finally!) and the nights are actually closing in darker much earlier. The hankering for baked vegetables seems to go with the weather change in the air…

This is deeply divine. Rich in flavour, colour and goodness. And it is perfectly alter-able (nice word) to suit your ingredients in your fridge and your taste buds. I actually think I could eat this every night and die happy. Yum. Yum. Yum. And it is so little preparation.

Also let me just say: My 5 year old and I were arguing over the cauliflower! No, he’s not normally a crazy veggie eater (although he may be becoming one!) but he LOVED this cauliflower. And he stole the rest of mine so we had to negotiate how I could get some back. lol! Great problem to have ūüėČ

Here is what I did.

1 cup cauliflower florets

2 mushrooms, quartered

2 tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 cup pumpkin pieces

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 beetroot, cut into small wedges

1 purple (sweet) onion, cut into wedges

4-6 garlic cloves, slightly squashed and ends removed

1 cup broccoli (but to add later in the cooking process)

Mix together:

1/4 cup water

3 T oil

juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp ginger powder

2 tsp sweet paprika

salt and pepper

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Toss the vegetables in the spice mix and bake at 200degrees C until roasted (45 minutes or so). Add the broccoli into the mix with 5 minutes to go (MUCH  better to keep the broccoli fresh and bright and green!).

You could also add in any sort of potato, eggplant, zucchini, almonds or beans/chick peas. Yum!

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