Archive for the ‘Vegetarian and vegan’ Category

Super smoothie

Posted on: January 22nd, 2013 by admin No Comments

Kale is definitely the ingredient of the moment isn’t it?  I’ve posted a recipe for kale chips earlier, but in truth, I don’t love the stuff.  Sautéed in butter and garlic is also OK, but I find once I buy a bunch, I’m not totally inspired to use the whole thing. That is until a super smoothie fad swept my family. Now I can’t live without it! I believe it was NYCase who started it – now my parents have one daily and I jumped one the bandwagon about a month ago.

This is a healthy smoothie, I’ll admit, I was pretty sceptical about its taste to begin with. But you can adjust the recipe slightly to your own taste if you find it too sweet or not sweet enough.  It boosts your energy so much you may even be able to skip your morning coffee *gasp*.

I’ll give you a rough 2 person recipe.  It could also just be for 1 or 3 small glasses full.

  • 1 cup apple juice (I love cloudy organic apple juice)
  • 1/2 banana
  • handful of bluberries (fresh or frozen)
  • handful of raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 kale leaves (I remove the stem)
  • handful of baby spinach or silverbeet
  • 1 beet leaf
  • 1/4 c red cabbage
  • 3 sprigs of parsley
  • 3 inch chunk of cucumber
  • 3 mint leaves
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 of any other squishy fruit you might like to add – optional

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend well for a good 3 – 5 minutes.

Drink up!

My version is pretty fruity so you can’t taste the leafy greens, but if you want to boost your vitamins and you don’t mind a ‘greener’ taste, you can add a stick of celery and more red cabbage. It’s important to use the blender and not a juicer so that you get all the totally awesome fibrous goodness from all the fruits and veggies. If you want it sweeter – add the whole banana and a little more juice.

Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

Posted on: February 29th, 2012 by admin 3 Comments

When you have a massive bunch of Kale, sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with it all.  I mean I know it’s healthy – really healthy, but there’s only so much I can steam and eat and enjoy.  In fact I don’t totally enjoy it steamed, but I eat it because I know it’s good for me.  When I read this easy recipe for Kale salt and vinegar chips, I knew it was the answer/recipe I’d been looking for.  Literally gone in 60 seconds after photos, these chips are a great, crispy salt’n'vinegary way to enjoy  Kale.

  • 1 bunch kale, about 6-8 big leaves
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp white vinegar (The original recipe called for balsamic, but we went off Foodess’ recommendation to use white vinegar and loved it)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and line or lightly oil two baking trays.

Wash and dry the kale and tear into bite-size pieces. Toss leaves with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a large bowl. Give the leaves a quick rub to make sure each gets a coating of oil- this will make sure they crisp up well.

Place the kale on the baking sheet in a single layer – no overlapping leaves. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Bake for 6 minutes, then stir and turn kale, and bake for another 6 minutes. Remove crisp pieces as they are done to prevent burning (if they get too brown they can taste kind of charred) and allow remaining kale chips to get even heat. (A single layer is important for crispy results, they tend to steam when they overlap).

Original recipe from Foodess

Song for this recipe:

“Walk on gilded splinters” – Dirty Dozen Brass Band Walk On Gilded Splinters - Medicated Magic

Last week my sister went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  She said it was an amazing bonanza of bedazzled performers, drinking all day, necklace throwing and good music.  I want to go.  This song is a tribute to southern USA and their talent for making ‘greens’ more edible.  Fry them, add pork or smother them in butter.   The Dirty Dozen are an awesome band, apparently they revolutionized the New Orleans brass band style by incorporating funk and bebop into the traditional New Orleans style, and have been a major influence on the majority of New Orleans brass bands since.  I believe they have many albums, but Medicated Magic is my favourite – now someone throw me a necklace.

Carrot and Beet salad

Posted on: November 7th, 2011 by admin 4 Comments

This is a really simple fresh salad.  It’s wonderful to make as an accompaniment for many dishes and is a beauty to serve because the combination of beets and carrots makes an amazingly pink salad!

This serves 2-3

  • 3 carrots, coarsely grated
  • 2 beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 orange, juice and grated zest
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed to a paste
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped coriander (optional)

First lightly toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium heat for just a few minutes, stirring so they don’t burn.  Take them off when they turn slightly brown.

Mix the grated carrot and beetroot together in a large bowl.  Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Check the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, honey or orange juice as you prefer.

Avocado and Ginger Pasta

Posted on: September 14th, 2011 by admin 7 Comments

More often than not, cooking shows just make me hungry, but there was one I loved so much (it is sadly off air now, but their website is still full of information.)  It was called The cook and the chef. For all you Australians it was on Wednesdays on the ABC, I think they still might occasionally do shows?  But for the rest – check out their website.

They were interesting, Maggie Beer (Australian home-cooking royalty) and Simon Bryant (executive head chef at the Adelaide Hilton), an unexpected duo. As the cook and the chef, they often had very different ideas in the kitchen, but they communicated well, despite their varied backgrounds and came up with some real culinary treasures. Generally they concentrated on 2 ingredients per episode and did a range of 4 or 5 dishes with those ingredients.

We absolutely love to make this recipe from an episode that aired exactly 5 years ago today!

Avocado and ginger pasta

  • 2 large or 3 smaller avocados chopped
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 6 Tbsp almond flakes
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger almost to a mince
  • 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 g (just over a pound) tagliatelle pasta
  • 1/3 c coriander leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C to roast the almonds. This won’t take long so keep an eye on them. Remove from oven when ready. About 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Cook the pasta al dente.

In a large bowl place the warm pasta with the oil and minced ginger, toss. Add some salt and 3/4 of the roasted almonds, toss. Then add the coriander and then the rest of the roasted almonds and toss. Add the avocado last, serve with some freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste, and some lemon juice then add the shaved parmigiano (just a handful).

Be sure to visit The cook and the chef for more lovely recipes.  Or Maggie’s cookbooks, which have won numerous awards.  I particularly like Maggie’s Harvest.

Song for this recipe:

“What you know” Two Door Cinema Club What You Know - Tourist History

Two Door Cinema Club are an indie rock band from Northern Ireland.  Their upbeat album Tourist History is pretty fun for a mad dance around the kitchen – which is obviously a theme for me these days.  I think this song is perfect for this recipe, as both are fresh and zingy (highly technical terms for explaining music and food- I know).

Delicous snacks

Posted on: July 4th, 2011 by admin 2 Comments

Happy 4th of July Americans!

I almost titled this delicious balls, maybe not appropriate, but true.  People like to call these bliss balls, energy balls, snow balls even beach balls anything other than just balls…

I’m trying to pay more attention to making healthy snacks (we’re potato chip addicts).  Generally I just go for carrots or a banana between meals, something quick and easy.  We love Lärabars- which are healthy and delicious, but can be expensive if you eat them daily.  Their website is wonderfully informative and lists full ingredients so it’s easy to try make your own.

We like to make them as balls, so you can easily regulate how much you want to eat (ha). While we post this recipe for cherry date nut snacks, we thought we’d include another recipe for more tasty balls we like to make below…

Cherry date nut balls

  • 3/4 c nuts (almonds and/or cashews)
  • 6 large dates (Medjool are good), pitted (about 1/2 packed cup)
  • 1/3 c dried cherries
  • 1/2 c flaked or shredded coconut (optional)

Now we don’t have a food processor, so these are a little more painstaking to make by hand, but never fear – it can be done and it’s well worth it.  (Handmade version below).

Chop the nuts in a food processor until they are coarse.  Add the dates and cherries, and process until everything is completely combined. Pinch a little of the mixture to see if it sticks together or falls apart. If it’s too sticky, add a few more nuts. If it won’t form a ball, add more dates or cherries.

Form into balls about an inch wide and roll them in coconut. This recipe makes about 14.

You can store them at room temperature for a couple of days or in the fridge for a week or more, freeze them for up to a month.

Handmade – I used to chop everything really small, but now I like to bash the nuts in a bag with my rolling pin and add these to the chopped dates and cherries.

Apricot oat balls

  • 1 c raw oats
  • 1 1/4 c dried apricots
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 3/4 c flaked or shredded coconut

Place oats, apricots, honey and warm, melted butter in a food processor. Process for 2 to 3 minutes or until well combined.

Place coconut in a shallow dish. Roll tablespoons of muesli mixture into balls about an inch wide coating the balls in coconut. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Very important – mix and match the nuts and dried fruits you like!!  Check out the Lärabar website for more combination inspiration.  My next mix?  I love dates, flax seeds, cinnamon and cashews. Or what about dried pineapple and macadamia?

Song for this recipe:

“Shiny disco balls”  – Who da funk  Shiny Disco Balls (Sandy Vee & KC Taylor Remix) - Shiny Disco Balls (feat. Jessica Eve) [2009 Remixes, Pt. 2] - EP

Really I’m not a big trance fan, but you know, when making energy balls, why not put on a leotard and sweat band and high-kick to the beat as you make a snack for later? So much fun!

Kohlrabi, apple and walnut salad

Posted on: June 27th, 2011 by admin No Comments

We eat tons of salads and I always assume everyone else does too and therefore who needs recipes?  But of course we all get into our regular salad routine and sometimes forget to try something new or different, so we thought we’d post a few of our more unusual favorites.  The more varied vegetables you eat, the better.

For those who don’t know what kohlrabi is, it looks like this…

It has a mild taste and when eaten raw, has a similar texture to a young broccoli stem, but for those in winter you can cook it too.  I’d say it is best raw in salads and slaws and it is particularly delicious roasted and/or made into soup.  I would recommend peeling them, just because sometimes the outer layer can be a bit stringy, but you don’t have to.  Also in Kashmir, where they are used commonly, they eat the leaves in salads too, but I find them a touch bitter.

Serves 6 – 8

  • 3 kohlrabi (any color), peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 crisp apples, cored and diced (skins on or off, up to you)
  • 2 little gem lettuces or 1 boston lettuce, shredded
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • a handful of watercress (optional)
  • 75g walnuts, lightly toasted (do this in a pan or in the oven but keep an eye on them!)

for the dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp walnut oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of pepper

Toss together the salad ingredients in a large bowl and sprinkle with a squeeze of lemon to keep from browning.

For the dressing I like to use a jar with a screw cap to just shake up all the ingredients in, which also makes it great for saving to use later. You could always make a creamy dressing and leave out the lettuce to make this more like a waldorf salad if you’re so inclined.

If you’re living in winter at the moment and want to make this a warm salad.  Roast your kohlrabi in slightly bigger chunks in a 180ºC (350ºF) oven for about 20 minutes.  Add them and the walnuts to the salad hot and serve immediately.

Dress the salad before serving and enjoy.

Recipe originally from the Riverford Farm cookbook.

Song for this recipe:

“Ready to Start” – Arcade Fire Ready to Start - The Suburbs

Definitely popular these days, but rightly so,  Arcade Fire’s new album – The Suburbs, is, in my opinion, their best yet.  Their indie rock sound is not as predictable as many other bands in this genre.  I like the structure of their songs, the lyrics and thoughtful use of many instruments. They are based in Montreal – like me.

French Onion Soup

Posted on: April 3rd, 2011 by admin 2 Comments

It’s not often we get visitors from Aus, and rarely our best mates, but they did come last year and it was grand.  Sometimes it’s hard to be vegetarian in the world of French cuisine and this recipe proves that all the more!  Joh ordered French onion soup as the vegetarian option at a few French bistros, which she thoroughly enjoyed and asked us to find a recipe of equal tastiness.  Alas, on further inspection, and for those of you who know – French onion soup is hardly vegetarian.  It’s a rich beef broth with slow cooked onions.  However – here is the recipe and you can substitute veggie broth for the beef…

  • 8 c sliced onions (use a mix of mostly brown, white and a bit of red)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp worstershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 c dry white wine
  • 8 c beef broth (or veggie alternative)
  • fresh thyme
  • 1 French baguette
  • Gruyere cheese

Melt butter in a large saucepan and add the onions. Add sugar and a little salt to help the caramelisation process. Cook over medium to low heat until the onions start to caramelise – around 20 minutes. Deglaze the pan with white wine and then pop in a couple of sprigs of thyme and cook together. Pour in the stock and cook for another few minutes. (Vegetarians, I’ve heard if you also add red wine instead of white – you’ll get a more ‘beef brothy’ taste!)

Ladle the soup into little ramekins or thick soup bowls and cover with a slice of bread. Top with gruyere, a pinch of pepper and chopped thyme and grill the top until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden.  Alternatively if you don’t have a grill (like us) place the toasts with cheese in the oven until the cheese melts and then pop the toasts ontop of the soup. Also if gruyere is hard for you to find, you can use swiss cheese with a bit of cheddar.

This recipe is highly adapted from Michael Smith’s French Onion Soup – A Recipe from Food Network Canada.

Song for this recipe:

“Place Des Abbesses” – Pierre Lapointe Place des Abbesses - Pierre Lapointe

The first time I heard of Pierre Lapointe was when he came into the salon I used to work at for a haircut.  I had no idea who he was, but everyone else was very excited.  I researched him when I got home – there’s a lot of good music here in Montreal – so I knew he might be alright.  And I wasn’t disappointed, sounding like a classic songster from old, his hipster style belied a lovely, thoughtful voice.