Saturday, 28 April 2012

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup

I had some pumpkin on the way out so I thought I'd try a pumpkin soup I hadn't made before. I got this recipe from Taste. It's pumpkin soup with a bit of a spice twist.

Moroccan Pumpkin Soup

(serves 6)

1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red birdseye chilli, finely chopped (I used 1/4 tsp chilli powder - omit if you don't like spice)
1 cinnamon stick (I used 1tsp ground cinnamon)
3cm piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1.5kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 3cm pieces
1/3 cup (70g) yellow split peas (I used red lentils)
Juice of 1/2 lemon


Heat oil in a large saucepan over low-medium heat and cook leek, garlic and 2 tsp salt, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until soft.
Add chilli, cinnamon, ginger and cumin and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add carrots, pumpkin and split peas. Stir to coat in onion mixture.
Add 1.5 litres water to saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 50 minutes or until split peas are soft.
Remove and discard cinnamon stick from soup.
Add lemon juice then process or blend soup, in small batches, in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Return soup to pan and reheat over medium heat.
Add salt as required.

Cream of Coconut and Broccoli Soup

I had a bunch of vegetables that were nearing their goodbye date so I decided to make soup. This was simple and yummy. Original recipe from Mouthwatering Vegan.

Cream of Coconut and Broccoli Soup
Serves 3-4


2 tbsps coconut virgin oil
1 medium broccoli head, cut into florets
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 cup of vegetable stock
2 cups of coconut cream
salt to taste
1 tbsp freshly cut coriander (optional)
lime wedges, for squeezing onto soup


In a large saucepan (with a lid) on a low-medium heat add the coconut oil.  
Add the onion and broccoli, stir on a gentle heat for around 10 minutes, add the garlic, and continue stirring.
Next add the stock and cover. 
Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, then add the coconut milk, stir again, cover and allow to cook for a further 10 minutes or so.
Allow to cool for a few minutes, then add the salt and coriander.  Pour slowly into a food blender, and blend until smooth – it will be very thick at this point, so add 1 cup water and 1/2 cup stock and blend again.
Re-heat, and serve immediately with the lime wedges.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Cashew and Chilli Jam Stir Fry

This is my lame replica of the Thai classic using the chili jam I made.

Cashew and Chilli Jam Stir Fry
Serves 4


1 Tbls oil
1 onion, chopped or sliced
1 packet puffy fried tofu
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 bunch kale (or any green leafy vegetable)
2 handfuls mushrooms, sliced
1 handful basil leaves, chopped
2 Tbls vegan fish sauce (or Braggs Liquid Amino)
2 Tbls soy sauce (I used Tamari)
8 Tbls chilli jam
1 handful cashew nuts, roasted
2 tsp sesame oil (optional)


In large frying pan or wok heat the oil on a medium heat.
Saute onions until clear.
In a bowl add soy sauce, fish sauce andchilli jam and whisk together.
Add sauce, mushrooms and tofu and cook till soft.
You want the sauce to thicken and caramelise a little without going sticky.
Steam or blanche remaining green vegetables until leaves have wilted but vegetables are still crunchy.
Drain well.
Add to stir fry, mix through and turn off heat.
Stir in sesame oil and basil or add as garnish.
Serve with boiled rice.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Creamy Chickpea and Pumpkin Curry

I got this recipe from Vegan Dad blog. I've changed a ingredients around for taste preference but the original is here.

Creamy Chickpea and Pumpkin Curry 


2 tsbp oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp of ginger, minced
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
2 heaping tbsp tomato paste
1 can coconut milk
1/2 butternut pumpkin, chopped into small chunks
handful English spinach
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)


In a separate saucepan, bring some water to boil and add pumpkin.
Cook for 10 - 15 mins until cooked but not soft.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Saute onion and ginger for 10 mins, until onion is a deep golden brown.
Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
Add chickpeas and spices and fry for 2 mins.
Add spinach, tomato paste and coconut milk and bring to simmering.
Adjust spices to your liking.
Once pumpkin is cooked drain and stir gently through curry.
Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Lentil Bolognese

A friend gave me this recipe but I've changed it a bit. If you're not into TVP or vegan mince then this is a great way to have a full bolognese sauce using lentils.

Lentil Bolognese


2 Tbls olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 carrot, grated
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 Tbls fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 Tbls dried)
4 sprigs thyme leaves, chopped (2 tsp dried)
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup red wine (I used 1/4 cup red wine vinegar & 1/4 cup water)
1 410g can brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 cup of passata (I used 1 cup tomato paste with a little water and mixed herbs)
1 Tbls tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1 handful English spinach (optional)
1 handful fresh basil (optional)
Salt & paper to taste
Pasta of your choice (I used GF spaghetti)
Vegan Parmesan (for serving)


In a large frying pan or sauce pan heat the oil on a medium heat.
Saute onion and garlic for 3 mins until onion is clear.
Add carrot and herbs (except basil) and cook for 5 mins until carrot is cooked through.
Pour in wine and cook for 1 min.
Add lentils, tomatoes, passata, tomato paste, sugar plus 1/2 cup water.
Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 mins until sauce has thickened.
While the sauce is simmering cook your pasta according to packet instructions.
Once sauce has thickened add salt and pepper to taste and stir through spinach and basil.
Once wilted serve with pasta and vegan Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Carey's Orange Tofu Surprise

My husband Carey made up this recipe - I wish I was so creative!
It was delicious! Serves around 4 with rice.

Carey's Orange Tofu Surprise


2 Tbls olive oil
1 onion, diced or sliced as prefered
1 bunch spinach (I used Chinese spinach)
1 block hard tofu, diced
2 Tbls soy sauce (I used Tamari)
4 tsp agave syrup (in place of honey)
Juice of an orange
4 cloves Garlic, crushed
3 Tbls red wine vinegar
2 tsp fresh Ginger (I used jar ginger as you all know :P)
2 tsp black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp)
Bunch of coriander, chopped (optional)


Heat olive oil put it in a frying pan on medium/high heat.
Add onion and garlic to pan and saute until onion is clear.
Add tofu, ginger and agave syrup.
Let this cook for 5 mins, add a dash of cayenne pepper and black pepper.
Turn down the heat to low/medium and add soy sauce and simmer for 1 min.
Add spinach and allow to wilt.
Cook for 2 mins more then add orange juice and red wine vinegar.
Let it simmer for 2 mins.
Stir through coriander and then serve with rice.

With fried tofu...

Vegan Tom Yum Soup

This is a recipe originally from the Cruelty Free Shop newsletter but I've changed a feww things.
It was YUMMY and surprisingly filling. I got 4 decent servings out of this.

Vegan Tom Yum Soup


6 Tbls Vegan Tom Yum Paste
100g Vegan prawns, chopped into chunks Firm Tofu, diced
4 cups bean sprouts
1 packet of firm tofu
1 bunch english spinach, chopped (including stalks)
15 shitake mushrooms, chopped (I used dried and soaked them)
2 litres stock (or water if you prefer)
1 small packet vermicelli (thin rice noodles)
1 handful basil leaves, chopped


Boil water/stock in a large sauce pan with the tom yum paste.
Add mushrooms, tofu and prawns.
Lower heat to simmer for a few minutes.
In the meantime, add boiling water to the vermicelli in a heat proof bowl and cover with a tea towel.
Add spinach and bean sprouts.
Once heated through drain the vermicelli.
Add vermicelli to your serving bowls and ladle soup on top.
Garnish with basil leaves.

Note: I found the vegan prawns and many other gluten free vegan meats at CitiSuper Asian Grocer in HSBC Centre, Town Hall, Sydney.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Liv's Vegan Stew

My friend Liv made this for me the other day. It was simple, yummy and healthy.

Liv's Vegan Stew


2 Potatoes, peeled and chopped in small chunks
1 cup Quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup Peas (canned or frozen)
Onion, finely chopped
Handful Spinach (any kind), chopped
Tomatoes, chopped
Handful of endive, chopped (or other green vegetable)
1 Tbls Olive oil
1 tsp Pink salt


In a large frying pan add oil and heat on medium.
Add onions and fry until clear.
Add potato and add water enough to cover the potato.
Turn heat up to medium/high and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add all other ingredients except quinoa.
You may need to add a little more water if it simmers down to much.
Once potato is cooked through, add quinoa to heat through.
Serve with bread.

Note: Liv says pink salt is stronger than reegular salt so you don't need to use as much but just add salt to your own taste.

Quesadillas with Guacamole

I went to my BFF's housewarming the other night and his beautiful girlfriend made me these yummy quesadillas based on a Jamie Oliver recipe, original recipe is here. Kathryn's recipe is below. Sorry about the quality of the picture, I had had many beers.

Quesadillas with Guacamole

Corn mini tortillas (Woolworth's brand and Mission mini white corn tortillas are both GF)
1 can Refried beans
Taco Seasoning
Roasted red capsicum
Roasted pumpkin (or sweet potato)
Caramelised red onion
Salt & Pepper
Mixed herb
Olive oil


You can roast your vegetables the day before as it won't matter if they are cold to begin with.
In a large frying pan add some olive oil and heat on medium.
Make up your quesadillas like a sandwich, with one piece of tortilla on the bottom, add your filling and one on the top. Squash down so it's flat.
Use a spatula to carefully lift the quesadilla onto the frying pan.
Fry for a few minutes until crispy and slightly browned.
Carefully flip over the quesadilla and fry the other side.
Remove and cut into quarters.
Serve with guacamole. Here's my guac recipe.
Jamie Oliver's recipe below.



2-3 ripe avocados
2-3 ripe tomatoes, deseeded
2 red chillies, deseeded
4 spring onions, chopped
Handful coriander
Pinch of salt
Black pepper (to taste)
Squeeze of lemon or lime juice

Add avocado, tomatoes, spring onions, chillies and coriander into a food processor and pulse till finely chopped.
Stir in salt, pepper and lemon/lime juice.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Hot Cross Buns

Everyone likes Hot Cross Buns at Easter (or anytime really). Sweet, cinnamon buns with currents or mixed peel served warm with melted butter. YUM!
I can't remember where I got this recipe but it was a generic site. The pictures through as from the regular flour batch and the gluten free ones are last (cause they aren't as pretty) :)

Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients (buns)

340g flour
1 tsp All Spice
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 packet of yeast (or as per insutructions per gram of flour)
28g Caster sugar
85g Currents
28g mixed zest (optional)
Zest from once lemon
85g vegan margarine
175ml non-dairy milk

Ingredients (crosses)

57g Flour
28g vegan margarine

Ingredients (glaze)

28g Sugar
30mls boiling water


In a large bowl mix the flour, spices, yeast, sugar currants, mixed peel and lemon zest.

Make a well in the centre and add melted margarin and warmed milk.
Mix until a soft dough is formed. (I do it by hand but you can use electric beaters if you prefer)
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and kneed for 10 minutes.
Pleace dough in an greased bowl, cover in cling film or foil and place in warm place (around 30 degreec C) for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.
To make crosses, rub margarine into the flour and add enough water to bind.
Roll out the mixture and cut into thin strips.
When dough has risen, divide into 12 pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball and place onto a greased baking tray. Add the crosses.

Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 30mins. Don't worry if they are close together because they can be pulled apart once baked.
Once risen., preheat the oven to 180C.
Make the glaze by adding boiling water to sugar and whisking together.
Then use a pastry brush to coat each bun with the glaze.
Bake for 30mins or until golden. You can check if they are cooked by placing a knife or skewer into the centre of the bun. If it comes out clean it is cooked through.
Serve warm with vegan margarine!

Gluten free ones...

Monday, 9 April 2012

Crust Pizza

Crust Pizza does gluten free bases and have four vegetarian options to choose from.
This is the Sweet Potato...I added my own Tofutti cream cheese, he he.
Excuse the pic, ate half of it before I remembered to take a picture :)

Easter Marzipan

My grandma found this Choceur dark chocolate marzipan egg at Aldi and thought I could eat it but I read the back and it is vegan! Winning!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The Winston Hotel

After my friend's child's Christening we went to a pub in Winston Hills/Baulkham Hills, Sydney called The Winston. They do gluten free pizza bases and were really good with the vegan thing. I had this pumpkin pizza which was yummy, although I did flavour it up a bit with some BBQ sauce :)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

My Little Restaurant

I went to this restaurant with my Mum the other night and the owner, Lana, who served us was quite eccentric but was really savvy with the whole vegan/gluten free thing. There was a vegetarian meatloaf with gravy on the menu that was actually 100% vegan and gluten free. It was so delicious. Sorry I didn't take any photos :(
The place was cute, like a French cafe but tackier, lots of fafiry lights, lamps, knick knacks and mismatching artworks. The meals were very simple home cooked type dishes.
Nice that there was a really good vegan option that wasn't a risotto or vegetable stack!

My Little Restaurant
Shop 4, 260 Military Road
Neutral Bay, NSW 2090
02 9953 7500