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Tag Archives: vegan

Red Lentil Vegetable Dahl

I am describing myself these days as a “flexitarian”, as I support the philosophy of vegetarianism and try to follow its precepts, at least for some of the time. I am finding that I am becoming more and more interested in vegetarian cooking, as well as really enjoying eating meat free. I regard my forays into vegetarian cooking as an ongoing project!

My Saturday morning trip to Orange Grove Market often results in the acquisition of some delicious Indian fare from a couple of market stalls. One of these stalls makes a great red lentil dahl – so delicious! So I thought it was about time I made my own.

I found this recipe from Vegan Sparkles and made it with a few tweaks. The link to the original recipe is here. My main variation was adding water as well as stock to the recipe, as the dahl really needed the extra liquid.

It’s super easy to make, looks colourful and enticing, is both vegetarian and vegan and best of all – tastes great!

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil

½  onion, finely chopped

1 cup sweet potato, chopped into cubes

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

2 tsp mustard seeds (black or yellow)

¾ tsp ground cayenne pepper

1½ tsp ground cumin

1½ tsp ground turmeric

1½ tsp garam masala

½ tsp ground coriander

1 clove garlic, chopped

1½ cups dried red lentils

4 cups vegetable stock

2 cups water

1 tsp honey

1 cup grated and pulped carrot

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup baby spinach leaves

½ tsp nigella seeds

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or frying pan over a medium heat. Add onion and sweet potato and fry gently until onion is soft. Add ginger, mustard seeds, cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric, garam masala  coriander and garlic to the pan, and cook, while stirring, until mustard seeds begin to pop.

Add the lentils, stock and water and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the honey. Put the carrot pulp, broccoli  and cherry tomatoes into the dahl and simmer for another 15 minutes.

The dahl will be cooked and somewhat reduced. If it’s looks a little too dry, add more water, or if it’s too liquidey, reduce down a bit more.

Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the spinach leaves until they are just wilted. Scatter the nigella seeds just before serving over the dish. They will give an interesting black fleck to the dish!


		
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Jamie Oliver’s Sticky Teriyaki Eggplant (Aubergine)

I’m cooking quite a few recipes  from Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients at the moment. I love the simplicity of just a few basic ingredients.

There are a wealth of good recipes in the book which are pretty easy to prepare and don’t require a store cupboard full of ingredients.

Sticky Teriyaki Eggplant (read Aubergine in Jamie’s original British recipe), is unbelievably easy to make, low in calories and most importantly, very delicious!

As a dedicated foodie I love eating! Sometimes it’s necessary to undergo a little judicious calorie management, so at the moment I am embracing Weight Watchers, an organisation I can speak highly of, with its sensible food plans and non-judgmental mentors. A big shout-out to Wendy at WW in Rozelle and the city!

So it was with delight that I realised that this lovely recipe was very calorie friendly, as well as being delicious.

I made one tiny addition to the ingredients – the sticky sauce was quite strong , so I added a little brown sugar. This worked a treat and I think gave the sauce more of an Asian sweet/salty taste. For Jamie’s original, just leave out!

And if you count the ingredients it’s 7, but who is actually counting?

Ingredients

1 large eggplant (aubergine)
4 spring onions
1 fresh red chilli
20g unsalted peanuts + a few extra for scattering
1 tbls olive oil
2 tbls teriyaki sauce
1 tsp brown sugar (optional – my addition)

Method

Put a 26cm non-stick frying pan on a high heat and pour in 250mls of water.

Halve the eggplant lengthways, quickly slash the skin of each half a few times and place skin side up in the pan, then season with sea salt and black pepper.

Cover and cook for l0 minutes, or until it boils dry and begins to sizzle (listen for the change in sound).

Meanwhile, trim the spring onions. Cut the whites into 3cm lengths at an angle and put aside.

Deseed the chilli and finely slice Iengthways with the green part of the spring onions. Place both in a bowl of ice-cold water and put aside to crisp up.

When the eggplant starts to sizzle, add l tablespoon of olive oil, the white spring onions and the peanuts to the pan, stirring regularly.

After 2 minutes, add a splash of water, drizzle in the teriyaki, stir in the brown sugar and reduce to a medium heat.

Turn the eggplant, jiggle the pan and let it get sticky for a few minutes, then serve sprinkled with the drained green spring onions and chilli and a few peanuts scattered over the dish.

 

Jamie Oliver’s Happy Cow Burgers and Old School Coleslaw

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These are veggie burgers  – and if you minus the feta, they are vegan too! Aptly named “Happy Cow Burgers” as there is no “cow” in the recipe.

The recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals, and I have listed the recipe pretty much as Jamie wrote it with a couple of my own tweaks.

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Ingredients

Burgers

1 bunch fresh coriander

1 x 400g tin of mixed beans

200g frozen broad beans

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 lemon (zest for the burger mix, juice for the coleslaw)

1 heaped tbs plain flour, plus extra for dusting

Olive oil

2 large ripe tomatoes

Cos or any long lettuce leaves

4 gherkins

75g feta cheese

4 burger rolls or 2 long bread rolls

Tomato chutney, to serve

Coleslaw

1/2 small white or red cabbage

1/2 red onion

4 heaped tbs fat-free natural yoghurt

1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tsp brown sugar

Method

Put the coriander stalks into the processor (reserving the leaves), then drain the mixed beans and add, along with the broad beans, a pinch of salt and pepper, the cayenne, cumin, ground coriander, grated lemon zest and flour. Whiz until fine and combined, scraping down the sides of the processor if needed.

Tip the mixture on to a generously flour-dusted board, divide into 4 pieces, then roll each ball into a ball and flatten into a patty about 2.5cm thick, dusting your hands and the burgers with flour as you go. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the frying pan, followed by the burgers, pressing them down with a spatula and flipping them when golden. Slice the tomatoes and gherkins and place on a serving board with lettuce and crumbled feta. Heat the rolls in the oven, if you want them warm. If the buns are a really soft and fresh, serve as is.

Swap to the grater in the processor, then grate the cabbage and peeled red onion, and tip into a bowl. Chop the coriander leaves and add, with the yoghurt, mustard, and the juice of the zested lemon and brown sugar, then toss well and season to taste. Remove the rolls from of the oven if heating them, and cut them in half.

Serve burger patties with tomato chutney, coleslaw, feta, tomatoes and gherkins.

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Blueberry, Cumquat and Pecan Cake – Two Ways

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I revisited this cake made last year which is based on an Annabel Langbein recipe.

I made it two ways, my original recipe tweaked a little and a vegan version.

Below is the link to the original recipe:

https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/07/14/blueberry-and-cumquat-cake-with-sugared-pecans/

Original Version

My “tweaks” were to use a couple of tablespoons of preserved cumquats instead of jam, as I had run out of cumquat jam. I blitzed the cumquats pretty thoroughly so as not to have big chunks in the cake. When adding the final teaspoon of cumquat preserve, I added the syrup rather than the fruit.

Here is the link to preserved cumquats: https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/08/26/cumquats-in-sugar-syrup/

I also served the cake with lots of fresh berries and more preserved cumquats.

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Vegan Version

This is a similar recipe to my vegan chocolate cake, minus the cocoa. I also made a plain vanilla cake as well. I used my fancy Nordic ware molds which I love.

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Ingredients


175 gms self raising flour

3 level tsps baking powder

100 gms rapadura or other unrefined sugar* + 1/8 cup

125 mls vegetable oil

325 mls cold water

I/2 cup blueberries

1/8 cup chopped pecans




Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
  Grease 20 cm cake tin or 4-6 small fancy molds with oil spray.

Place all the ingredients  (except the blueberries and pecans and additional sugar) in a food processor in the order given and whizz. 
Place mixture into the greased tin or molds.

Scatter the blueberries and chopped pecans over the batter. Lastly sprinkle over 1/8 cup rapadura sugar, making sure the nuts are well covered.

Bake for 30 minutes for the cake tin, 15 minutes for the molds, in the pre-heated oven.

Cool for 5 minutes before gently turning out onto a wire rack.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

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While making my Christmas Spruce Cake last year for some work colleagues, https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/12/04/christmas-spruce-cake/, I needed to provide an alternative for a vegan friend. I found this recipe which I made festive by baking it in some Nordic ware individual fancy molds.

Ingredients


175 gms self raising flour

3 level tsps baking powder

25 gms cocoa
 (I used Dutch cocoa for flavour)

100 gms rapadura or other unrefined sugar*

125 mls vegetable oil

325 mls cold water




Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  Grease a loaf tin, 20 cm cake tin or 4-6 small fancy molds with oil spray.

Place all the cake ingredients in a food processor in the order given and whizz. 
Place mixture into the greased tins or molds and bake for 30 minutes for the loaf or cake tin, 15 minutes for the molds, in the pre-heated oven.

Cool for 5 minutes before gently turning out onto a wire rack.

This cake is great served on its own, or you can add fresh berries or a vegan icing.

* It’s important not to use white sugar, as white sugar is refined using animal bones to “bleach” the colour of the sugar.

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