Tag Archives: vegan

Coriander Tahini Dip

Coriander Tahini Dip

Tahini is a wonderful base ingredient for dips. We have been enjoying making many different combinations including this Coriander Tahini Dip. It is great as a dip with sweet potato chips (which we cook in the Air Fryer for a low fat snack) or with raw vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped roughly
  • small handful of pinenuts
  • 2 spring onions
  • little pinch of chilli flakes
  • large bunch of fresh coriander
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tahini
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • olive oil
  • handful of pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Add the garlic, pinenuts, spring onions, chilli flakes, coriander, salt, pepper, tahini, lemon juice, and cumin powder to a blender.
  2. Add 4 Tbsp of olive oil.
  3. Blend to a smooth paste. Add a little more olive oil if it is too thick or not blending well.
  4. Serve garnished with pomegranate seeds.
  5. Delicious as a dip with sweet potato chips or fresh vegetable sticks (eg cucumber or carrot).

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: The Decemberists – Five Songs EP

Apricot, Almond, Date Snack Bars

Apricot, Almond and Date snack bars

Snack bars are great for filling a little gap between meals, or when you know that lunch is going to end up being a little late. However, Healthy Snack Bars are generally quite expensive, so we have been experimenting with different recipes to make our own. This is a classic combination inspired by the fruits of Kashmir – Almonds and Apricots. The dates give a natural sweetness, so no honey or sugar needs to be added to the mix.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup dried dates
  • Little coconut or olive oil

Directions

  1. Place the almonds into a food processor using the metal knife blade. Chop the almonds until they are in small pieces
  2. Add the dates and apricots to the food processor. Mix until the mixture starts to form into a ball
  3. Grease a metal tray with a little coconut or olive oil
  4. Spread the mixture out onto the tray and press down with your hands to form a square or rectangle of an even thickness
  5. Place into the fridge for about an hour
  6. Cut into bars, and store in an air tight container in the fridge. We wrap the bars in baking paper to avoid using plastic wrap.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: The Kite Strings Tangle – Vessel

Korean Carrot Salad

Korean carrot salad

Living in Asia gives us the opportunity to explore its many flavours. The Korean kitchen is one we have been exploring more of recently. This is a very fresh tasting salad using all raw ingredients. It is easy to make, and fits into a vegan, vegetarian, or paleo lifestyle.

Ingredients

  • 1 large carrot, sliced into thin sticks
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced and chopped
  • handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp hot sesame oil (or 1 tsp sesame oil and 1 tsp chili flakes)
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Place the carrot, onion, spring onions, garlic and coriander into a bowl.
  2. Mix together the coconut aminos, sesame seeds and sesame oil in a small bowl to create the dressing.
  3. Stir the dressing through the salad.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Mahoney Harris – We Didn’t Feel Alone

Coconut Yoghurt

Coconut Yoghurt with Mango and Honey

Since going dairy free I haven’t had any yoghurt, or yoghurt substitutes. I wanted to change my breakfast habit (muesli and yoghurt) before trying any. Recently a friend gave me some culture grains that she uses to make her daily drink of kefir. I decided to use it to make a coconut yoghurt. After some experimentation, I found that you can vary the creaminess of the yoghurt by using coconut milk, coconut cream, or a mix of the two. This is a 50/50 mix, but you can make it more Greek Yoghurt like by adding more coconut cream

Ingredients

  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 200ml coconut cream
  • milk kefir grains (available on Amazon.com)
  • 1 mango
  • 1 tsp honey

Directions

  • Place the coconut milk and coconut cream in a jar. Stir to combine
  • Add the milk kefir grains to the coconut milk
  • Let the coconut milk mixture stand for 12-24 hours for the culture to do its magic
  • Strain the yoghurt through a mesh (I use a sifter) to sift out the kefir grains. Add the grains to a new batch of coconut milk.
  • Place the coconut yoghurt in a bowl in the fridge for 1 hour to cool down. It will also thicken in the fridge.
  • Serve the yoghurt topped with mango and a teaspoon of honey, or use it in a curry (such as a Palak Chicken Curry) to make the dish more creamy

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Oscar and the Wolf – Entity

Vegan Chocolate Biscotti

Chocolate, pistachio, cardamon biscotti

Biscotti are twice cooked Italian biscuits. You cook them first as a log, and they come out of the oven a soft cookie texture. After cutting them into slices you cook them a second time. This time they end up dry and crunchy, and perfect for dunking into a coffee or hot chocolate.

This version of the recipe uses almond and coconut flour to make them gluten free, maple syrup to avoid refined sugars, and no eggs to make them Vegan and Vegetarian. Despite being a significant variation on the traditional recipe they are a delicious, crunchy Biscotti that are no shame to the original recipe. The almond flour gives them a lovely richness that makes them feel more sinful than they are!

Unfortunately our son has just sneaked half the batch while we were out so we have to make a second batch already…

Ingredients

  • 100g blanched almonds (or 1 cup almond flour)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cardamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks

Directions

  1. Pre-warm the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degree Fahrenheit)
  2. Blend the almonds in a food processor with a metal blade (preferably the mini food processor attachment or a chopper accessory on a blender) until they are a fine powder (alternatively use almond flour
  3. Add the ground almonds, coconut flour, cocoa powder, cardamon powder, baking soda, and sea salt to a food processor. Process to combine all of the ingredients
  4. Add the maple syrup and process to combine all of the ingredients. (Note: If you prefer sweet biscuits you might like to increase the amount of maple syrup to 1/2 a cup. This is not a particularly sweet biscuit recipe.)
  5. The mixture should start to form into a ball. Let it rest for 5 minutes for the coconut flour to absorb the maple syrup.
  6. Remove the mixture and place it on a piece of greaseproof paper. Knead in the pistachio nuts and chocolate to mix it through the mixture evenly
  7. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray and place the mixture in the middle of the tray. Shape the mixture to form a block about 20cm long, 10 cm wide, and 2 cm thick.
  8. Cook the biscotti in the oven for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool (approximately 1 hour)
  10. Slice the log into 1cm wide biscuits using a bread knife. It is important that they are even in width as you are going to cook them again.
  11. Spread the slices of biscuit evenly on a baking tray lined with greaseproof baking paper
  12. Cook again for 15 minutes until the biscotti are crisp and crunchy but not hard
  13. Allow to cool and serve alongside coffee or hot chocolate

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Carbon Handshake – A Dive Right

Escape Juice

Banana watermelon juice

Our little Juicemaster son has been busy experimenting with his juicer and blender again and has created this very simple, but refreshing juice. Packed full of vitamins it could also all be made in the blender if you don’t have a juicer, but it would then be thicker as all the fiber of the watermelon would still be included. This Lego criminal thinks it has all the right ingredients to aid his escape.

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas
  • 1/4  watermelon
  • handful of ice
  • Juicer machine
  • Blender

Directions

  • Remove the rind from the watermelon. Juice in a centrifugal or slow juicer on the slowest speed to extract as much juice as possible.
  • Pour the watermelon juice into the blender. Add the banana and a handful of ice. Blend for 30 seconds until well combined
  • Serve over ice for a refreshing juice

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Graveyard Club – Nightingale

Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

Chicken Burgers, avocado and tahini spread, red onion and mushroom in vinegar

This side dish of caramelised onions and mushrooms is great as a topping to vegetarian or other burgers, on top of a steak, or as a side dish to eat on its own with a vegetarian or vegan meal. While this time we made it to top Chicken Burgers, we often eat it next to a pile of sweet potato chips from the Air Fryer with a salad. 

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 mini portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp good quality red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • pinch of sea salt
  • a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Add some coconut oil to a pan
  2. Fry the onions for a couple of minutes until they have softened
  3. Add garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Fry for 1 minute more until the garlic has also softened
  4. Add vinegar and fry for 1 more minute
  5. Add the mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes more until the mushrooms have softened and are cooked to your liking
  6. Use on top of vegetarian or chicken burgers, as a whole food topping for a steak, or as a side dish on its own with a vegetarian or vegan meal

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Zero 7 – EP3

 

Avocado Tahini Spread

Tahini Avocado Spread

Chicken burgers are really tasty, but they can also use a little something to spice them up. We made this avocado and tahini spread to top them along with Caramelised Onions and Mushrooms in vinegar. 

This is a variation of a recipe that we also use as a dip for sweet potato chips which we cook in the Air Fryer, and we also used this spread for that as well. It would also be great with raw vegetables used as a dip. 

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large red chilli
  • 5 spring onions
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Put everything in a blender add around 4 Tbsp of olive oil
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add a little more olive oil if the mixture is too thick or does not blend well
  4. Serve as a topping on Chicken Burgers, as a dip with Sweet Potato Chips cooked in the Air Fryer, or use as a spread for savoury dishes.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Netorare Fan Club – Make Believe

 

Nutty breakfast “muesli”

Nutty breakfast Muesli

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but not the easiest when you are trying to avoid processed food. We have become so conditioned to toast with spreads, or muesli with yoghurt that we hardly think of other options for breakfast.

While our Sago Porridge has become our standard breakfast, the one we make without thinking, it is really nice to have some variation, especially variation that can be made ahead of time and whipped up quickly before work. Because let’s face it, it isn’t as though we suddenly found a whole heap of extra time when we changed our lifestyle, but we did prioritize food and cooking our own meals over television time 🙂

This breakfast muesli was actually created by our son (6). He wanted to make breakfast for us, and started looking through the pantry for things to put in it. Together with Barry he pulled out all of these ingredients, and then with the help of Papa he put them together for our breakfast. It was really good, and worthy of including here. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 20g cashew nuts, chopped
  • 20g pinenuts, chopped
  • 20g blanched almonds, chopped
  • 20g shelled pistachios, chopped
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 20g goji berries
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 4 pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 dried fig, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • good squeeze of lemon juice
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. Toast the nuts in a frying pan together with 1 tsp of coconut oil until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove from the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. (Note: This can be made in larger quantities and stored in an airtight container to use later if you like.)
  2. Chop the apples into bite sized pieces. Place in a bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon and toss to coat all of the apple pieces.
  3. Sprinkle over a squeeze of lemon juice. This will stop the apples from browning.
  4. Chop the dates and fig and add to the nuts.
  5. Stir the nuts mix through the fresh fruit and serve.
  6. it would also be nice to add some fresh blackberries, blueberries, or cranberries to the mix as a variation.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: Moke – Let it burn

Desiccated Coconut Milk

Desiccated Coconut Milk

Recently for some strange reason we could not find any of the brand of coconut milk that we normally buy. It seemed to be sold out of all of the shops near our home. We looked at the labels of a lot of other brands of coconut milk, but were not happy with what we saw. In addition to a stabilizer, many had preservatives in them, and some other ingredients we didn’t understand.

Around the same time we ended up buying a whole pile of desiccated coconut on a shopping trip to the Indian wholesaler only to find when we got home that we already had quite a lot sitting at the back of the cupboard. OK, so let’s try combining the two and making our own coconut milk! Actually it is pretty simple, and using a blender it is also very fast. No more preservatives or stabilizers in this lot!

This recipe makes both thick and thin coconut milk, in the two presses of the coconut. I recommend that you press them into separate bowls and retain them separately for use in different recipes. The thick coconut milk can be used to replace cream, while the thin coconut milk can be used as a milk replacement in many dishes.

Ingredients

  • 180g desiccated (shredded) coconut
  • 1.25L hot water (5 cups)

Directions

  1. Put the desiccated coconut and half of the water (625ml / 2 1/2 cups) of hot water into a blender.
  2. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds.
  3. Pour the water and coconut mixture out over a fine sieve or a piece of muslin cloth (you could also use a fine tea cloth) with a bowl underneath.
  4. Squeeze all of the excess moisture out by squeezing the coconut in the cloth, or by pressing the coconut with the back of a spoon in the sieve.
  5. This first press of the coconut mixture will be thicker and creamier than the second press of the coconut mixture.
  6. Return the coconut to the blender and put the rest of the hot water in with it (625ml / 2 1/2 cups).
  7. Blend again on high for for 30 seconds
  8. Pour the second lot of water out over a fine sieve or piece of cloth, and a fresh bowl.
  9. This second press of the coconut mixture will be a thin coconut milk, but will normally be more than the first press of the coconut.
  10. Store the thick and thin coconut mixtures separately in airtight containers in the fridge, and use in soups, curries, or beverages.

Music to go with it…
Listen on Spotify: The Mountain Goats – Beat the Champ