Kari at Bite-Sized Thoughts posted a recipe yesterday for split pea soup with caraway seeds. It looked gorgeous and warming and wintry, and I did have split peas needing to be used up, so I decided that would be lunch today.
Only then I woke up very late, and letting a soup simmer for an hour didn’t seem like a good way to get lunch on the table at, well, lunchtime. And then I realised I didn’t have caraway seeds or cabbage. No worries – I have a pressure cooker!
Also, I wasn’t dressed yet, which meant that Andrew would be the one doing the shopping, and he hates cabbage. I can sneak it into things and he will eat it (even if he knows it’s there), but blatantly making him go out and buy it seemed a bit unnecessarily confronting. So I started thinking about what I could put in instead, and whether I even wanted caraway seeds, really (I mostly don’t like them, except when I do), and then I needed to look up how long split peas needed in a pressure cooker, and Lorna Sass had a recipe for split pea soup with sweet potato and apples, and I had apples to use up, and then I thought, really, split peas are my favourite kind of dal, and I also have all these Indian spice mixes and…
… well, basically, it was suddenly a very different soup. Almost a stew, actually. Also, it makes enough for 6-8 people, so lunch for the next few days is basically sorted. Also, it’s really, really satisfying and good, especially in this chilly weather. Not bad for something that cooks in twenty minutes…
Your Shopping List
1 tablespoon of butter or sunflower oil
2 small onions
3 celery sticks
2 cups yellow split peas
4 cups water
2 cups stock, any kind that appeals (you can use a couple of extra cups at the end to thin the soup, but don’t use them for the main part of cooking if you are using a pressure cooker, as split peas can misbehave if their level is too high)
1 big sweet potato – about 650g
1 tsp mint
1-2 tsp tandoori masala spice blend
pinch of salt and pepper
2-3 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
1 tbsp panch poron spice mix
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
Posted in anyone can cook vegetarian food, dairy-free, egg-free, foodie challenges, gluten-free, low glycemic index, nut-free, Recipes, soups, vegan, vegetarian
Tagged cauliflower, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, low GI, nut-free, recipes, soups, spices, split peas, sweet potato, vegan, vegetarian
This was an entirely serendipitous recipe, born out of the fact that my dinner really needed a salad to go with it, and what I had in the house was carrots. And spices. And orange juice. It’s sort of based on a recipe by Allegra McEvedy, but the flavour profile has moved from the Middle East to India or thereabouts. Basically, I didn’t have the pumpkin seeds and cumin that she recommended, but I did, as it turns out, have sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and a bottle of panch poron, a whole spice mix composed of fenugreek, nigella, cumin, black mustard seed and fennel seed.
It’s really rather good, and it takes five minutes to make. Also, it’s very pretty! And it used up the rest of my carrots, nicely in time for the market this Sunday, which is definitely a bonus.
If your pantry looks anything like mine, you should try it.
Your Shopping List
3 carrots, preferably in a range of colours, but orange will do!
2 tsp panch poron spice mix
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp currants or sultanas
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp pumpkin seed oil
Posted in dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, low glycemic index, nut-free, Recipes, side dishes, vegan, vegetarian
Tagged carrots, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, low GI, nut-free, panch poron, recipes, vegan, vegetarian
This is a very simple recipe that can either be served as a side dish or over cous-cous or rice as a meal (though in that case, I’d probably stir in a tin or two of chickpeas ten minutes before the end of cooking). But simple doesn’t mean ‘non-tasty’, at least not in my book, and this is rather gorgeous – the tahini balances the sweetness of the spices and maple syrup, preventing this from turning into Dessert Vegetables, which would be a bit weird even for me, and I love the way that every bite tastes slightly different – gingery or anisey or cinnamon-laden or sesame-seedish, though I admit, this is probably an artefact of me not mixing things together well enough. The flavours do all go together beautifully, however. And the colours are a perfect celebration of autumn!
I admit, there is a fair bit of peeling and chopping involved in this recipe, but it’s also a fairly relaxing recipe to make – you can peel serenely while listening to a CD, and then, when everything is in the oven, you can sit down with a book or pop onto the internet and read a blog post or two while it all bakes. The oven is doing all the work.
If you happen to have leftovers after this, you can combine them with stock and more chickpeas to make a stunningly flamingo-pink soup, worth eating for the colour alone, but also gorgeously velvety and tasty.
Your Shopping List
1/2 a butternut pumpkin (mine was moderately sized, but this recipe is fairly approximate, so you decide what you like!)
4 carrots, as many colours as you can find
6 baby beetroots
500 g orange sweet potato
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup canola or sunflower oil
2 tsp cinnamon
3 star anises (what is the plural of star anise, anyway?)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cumin
a knob of fresh ginger approximately 1 x 2 inches
a good pinch of nutmeg
Posted in anyone can cook vegetarian food, dairy-free, egg-free, foodie challenges, gluten-free, low glycemic index, nut-free, Recipes, side dishes, vegan, vegetarian
Tagged beetroot, carrots, cinnamon, dairy-free, egg-free, ginger, gluten-free, low GI, nut-free, parsnip, pumpkin, recipes, side dishes, spices, sweet potato, tahini, vegan, vegetarian
So it’s Saturday evening, the day before Farmers’ Market day, and the fridge is a bit bare. Also, you were out all day and are now somewhat exhausted. You really don’t want to go to the supermarket. And the dishes situation is really somewhat epic, due to the fact that you have made yourself four birthday cakes so far this week (this was not the original plan, but sometimes these things happen).
But you do need something sensible for dinner after all that picnic food and cake for lunch. And you had takeaway last night, so that will certainly not do.
So you look in the fridge, and find the two carrots leftover from making carrot cake. You find the lovely sausages that were delivered today (meat being the one thing you currently do have fresh and in quantity). You still have some of those chillis drying out on the table from the huge autumnal veggie box a few weeks ago, and you are certainly still rich in garlic and onions. Three tomatoes are considering succumbing to dodginess on the fruit stand. On the benchtop, there is half a packet of lentils and about a quarter of a packet of risoni pasta, and your father was just talking today about how Nonna used to make pasta with lentils and how he could probably still make it now. (It’s almost certainly nothing like this recipe, though.)
Maybe you have the makings of dinner after all… and a one-pot, comfort-food dinner at that, just right for a cold night.
(Just don’t chop up the chillis and then rub your eyes and nose, or you will be much more awake and much less happy)
Your Shopping List (or, What’s Lurking In The Kitchen Today?)
1 -2 tbsp olive oil
4 sausages, any kind that you think will go with lentils or that happen to be on hand
1 garlic clove
1 dried red chilli
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
salt, pepper and a pinch of fennel if you have it
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup red lentils
1/2 cup risoni pasta
Posted in dairy-free, egg-free, everyday cooking, gluten-free, low glycemic index, main courses, nut-free, Recipes
Tagged carrots, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, lentils, low GI, main courses, nut-free, onions, pasta, recipes, sausages, tomatoes
Another pizza recipe! This is because I keep buying those lovely pizza bases from Take Me Home, and then stockpiling them in the freezer. It’s about time I used some of them.
The main inspiration for this recipe was the two bags of sweet peppers I bought from Rita’s daughter at the market a couple of weeks ago. They were just crying out for a peperonata-style dish… and it turns out that peperonata is *amazing* on pizza! The trick turns out to be using only a small amount of cheese, and putting it under the topping, to help the topping stick. And also, for once, not piling so many raw vegetables on top of the pizza that it gets all soggy…
Your Shopping List
1 smallish onion
1 clove garlic (I know, I know, who are you and what have you done with Catherine? But sometimes moderation is good. And sometimes, I just can’t be bothered chopping garlic…)
1 red chilli
1 tbsp brown sugar
Lots and lots and lots of peppers… in my case, two red capsicums, two long yellow sweet chillis, three long red sweet peppers, and four long green sweet peppers.
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 x 20cm (ish) pizza bases,
100 g mozzarella,
Posted in egg-free, gluten-free, low glycemic index, main courses, nut-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged capsicums, chilli, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, low GI, nut-free, peppers, pizza, vegan, vegetarian
Remember the recipe which was not at all what Scott asked for? Well, hopefully, this one actually will be more useful, though I’m not sure it entirely fills the brief. Especially once you have it for dessert with spiced cherries, ice-cream and fancy nougat…
Technically, one could say that this recipe is based on one of my favourite cakes from Wayfaring Chocolate, but since I veganised it and then changed all the proportions and half of the flavours, I very much doubt Hannah would recognise it in its current state.
I’ve kept this slice pretty plain – it has a rather nutty, wholemeal texture to go with its Nutella taste – but there is a fair bit you could do with it to liven it up.
Oh, and Scott? Still no Nuttella. Sorry. But I’m not going to the trouble of sweetening something with agave and then adding a spread that is mostly composed of sugar. That would just be silly…
Your Shopping List
75 g quinoa, raw, or 150 g cooked
150 g hazelnut meal
30 g cocoa, as dark as you can find
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup apple sauce
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Posted in cakes, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, low glycemic index, Recipes, vegan, vegetarian
Tagged agave, cocoa, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, hazelnuts, low GI, maple syrup, quinoa, vegan, vegetarian
This pizza topping is based on a recipe from Simon Bryant’s Vegies, an excellent Australian vegetarian cookbook which uses really interesting flavour combinations, including all sorts of Australian native ingredients. It’s also clearly a gardener’s book – the recipe this is adapted from starts with a head of broccoli which is on the bolt. My broccoli always gets eaten by caterpillars before it can even think about bolting, but the idea is still appealing.
I’ve kept a lot of Bryant’s flavours, but changed the context significantly. Bryant serves this marinated broccoli raw over couscous; I’m sticking it on top of a pizza base and baking it, albeit briefly. I’ve also added a bit of lemon zest, to up the citrus content, and I’ve added imaginary pine-nuts, which is to say, I forgot to put them on the pizza, but they would have been great had I remembered them at the time, so they are going into the recipe regardless…
Your Shopping List
1 head of broccoli
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1/2 an orange
1 tsp dried lavender
1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 sprigs fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (not that I measured this – just a good splash, really)
125 g ricotta
50 g pine nuts
To serve: one plain pizza base, olive oil, garlic, oregano
This recipe is the fault of my friend Scott, which seems a little unfair, since it actually isn’t the recipe he asked for, and in fact probably isn’t going to do him much good at all! Sorry, Scott – the quinoa one will happen later in the week. He requested a recipe for a high-protein snack that used cooked quinoa and Nutella and was sweetened with agave nectar.
I had every intention of doing this, but currently my oven is full of a cake that will take 4 hours to cook, and my ideas involving cooked quinoa all necessitate baking, so that the snack ends up crispy rather than soggy. And I wanted to try something *now*. Also, I had this popped amaranth sitting around, waiting to be used. And then there was the fact that I don’t actually like Nutella, and that if one is wanting a snack sweetened with agave nectar, it’s a bit silly to include Nutella, which is full of sugar…
And it all went downhill from there, really. But in a good way, because these little snacks taste gorgeous, and look incredibly cute, all black-brown with little white dots of amaranth through them. Try them and see…
Your Shopping List
120 g hazelnuts
30 ml cocoa
30 ml agave nectar
30 ml almond butter (can you tell I had this 30 ml measure just sitting there, looking convenient? So many recipes develop proportions based on what’s clean and nearby at the time…)
1 cup popped amaranth
Posted in confectionery, dairy-free, egg-free, foodie challenges, gluten-free, Recipes, vegan, vegetarian
Tagged agave, almonds, amaranth, cocoa, confectionery and sweetmeats, dairy-free, dates, egg-free, gluten-free, hazelnuts, recipes, vegan, vegetarian
I was going to call this ‘Middle Eastern-inspired Breakfast Granola’, but let’s face it, the closest I’ve been to the Middle East is in fact the local Turkish shops (of which, admittedly, there are quite a few). On the other hand, I live in an area where the supermarkets routinely stock pomegranates and rosewater and Persian feta, so there’s certainly something in the idea…
Anyway, this is my Sydney Rd breakfast. The yoghurt is Greek, the pomegranates, while in this instance from the Farmers’ Market, are Mediterranean or maybe even Iranian, the Pistachios are from the Middle-Eastern grocer, the cinnamon is from one of the Indian-owned spice shops, the sunflower seeds acknowledge the granola-vegan-hippysville that Brunswick is rapidly becoming and the honey? Well, the honey is from one of the labs at work, which is technically on Sydney Rd, too. I am reliably informed that it is not radioactive or bioengineered, though I think I saw it fluorescing quietly in the kitchen last night…
All in all, a proper breakfast for my side of town, with the advantages of being quick to make, moderately healthy, very tasty, and, quite accidentally, exactly the right size for two people. Even if one of them doesn’t eat nuts. Which is just fine, because I have no problem eating this for breakfast two days running…
Your Shopping List
15 g sunflower seeds (about 30 ml)
25 g pistachios (about 50 ml)
30 g rolled oats (about 70 ml)
25 g honey (about 20 ml)
a big pinch of cinnamon
seeds from half a pomegranate
Greek yoghurt to serve – about 300-350 g for two people.
Posted in dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, low glycemic index, Recipes, vegan, vegetarian
Tagged breakfast, cinnamon, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, honey, light meals, low GI, pistachio, pomegranate, recipes, sunflower seeds, vegan, vegetarian
So, what’s a macarön, I hear you ask? Well, a macaron is a shiny, posh, filled biscuity thing made of egg-whites and almond meal and currently very much in vogue, and a macaroon is a rough, rustic, old-fashioned biscuity thing made of egg-whites and coconut. This is a rustic but shapely, semi-filled biscuity thing made from egg-whites and almond meal, and thus neither fish, flesh or fowl. Which, actually, is good, because who wants fish, flesh or fowl biscuits? Let alone foul biscuits. That would be no good at all. Anyway, it’s a macarön, because it falls somewhere between the macaron and the macaroon and therefore deserves it’s own name.
It’s also a handy way to use up those egg-whites you set aside when you were making egg-yolk candies.
Also, I must admit, after seeing the truly stunning things Donnamarie did with her Easter eggs, I felt challenged! The least I could do was cunningly make two kinds of sweet Easter egg out of actual eggs – one using the yolk, and one using the white.
(I have to say, the things everyone has come up with for this challenge have absolutely blown me away)
These are faintly Middle-Eastern in their inspiration, because that’s how I feel about almond meal, and also, that’s where my local ingredients tend to lead me, but you could make them utterly British with raspberry jam and vanilla, or Sicilian with lemon zest and blood orange marmalade… the possibilities are endless.
Your Shopping List
6 egg whites (and you know what to do with the yolks, right?)
525 g almond meal (you may want a little more if the dough is too wet)
200 g caster sugar
250 g icing sugar
2 tablespoons of pistachio and cardamom sugar, if you have it, or use 2 tsp cardamom and make up the bulk with ground almonds or ground pistachios.
1-2 tsp rosewater or orange flower water
apricot or fig jam, for the yolks.
Posted in anyone can cook vegetarian food, biscuits, dairy-free, foodie challenges, gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged almond meal, anyone can cook fabulous vegetarian food, biscuits pastries and slices, cardamom, dairy-free, eggs, foodie challenges, gluten-free, jam, orange flower water, recipes, rosewater, vegetarian