Raw banana crepes

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A few weeks ago I had the most divine breakfast at a beautiful cafe in Perth called The little shop of plenty. They had raw banana crepes on the menu and I knew right away i had to taste them! They were nothing like traditional crepes but absolutely delicious in their own way. Since then, I have had them on my mind and when we had some over ripe bananas hanging around I knew the time was perfect. Plus, it was a Saturday night when I started so I couldn’t resist the thought of waking up to a slow Sunday morning with raw banana crepes!

I have flavoured the crepes with a little cinnamon as it always goes so perfectly well with banana and adds another dimension of sweetness. It’s also loaded with antioxidants and anti-innflamatory properties, so win win! We then filled the crepes with beautiful fresh figs and passionfruit from our garden, coconut cream, a little mint and some raw honeycomb my Dad collected from the bees. It was a sensational combination and I urge you to try it! Otherwise the crepes are delicious with whatever seasonal fruit is available or even almond butter and honey. Let you imagination run wild!

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Notes about the recipe 

You will need a dehydrator to make the crepes. I have a large sunbeam one which wasn’t too expensive and does the job well. The time will depend on your dehydrator settings but as stated in the recipe mine took 4.5 hours at 70 degrees celsius.

This isn’t your regular cope so don’t expect anything fluffy and light. Rather these are chewy in texture and really quite filling.

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Raw banana crepes

Serves 3-4  

Ingredients 

  • 4 ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbs chia sees
  • 1/4 C filtered water
  • To serve: fresh figs, passionfruit, coconut cream, honey comb, mint and edible flowers. Feel free to use any seasonal fruit you have available. 

Method

  1. Place the bananas, cinnamon, chia and water in a high speed blender and pulse until very smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour 1/4 C onto a lined dehydrating tray and move the tray in a circular motion to evenly spread the mixture into a circle. Repeat until all the mixture is used.
  3. Dehydrate at 70 degrees celcius for 4.5 hours, or until dry and not sticky.
  4. Gently peel off the baking paper. The crepes will keep in an airtight container with paper between each one for up to 1 month.
  5. To serve slice the figs and scoop out the passionfruit pulp. Fill the crepes with the figs, passionfruit, a drizzle of coconut cream, a little honeycomb a few mint leave and  edible flowers. Roll up and enjoy the beautiful fresh flavours!

Enjoy! Show me your crepes on Instagram @goodnessgraciouskitchen #goodnessgraciouskitchen

 

Summer Goddess Salad

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What could possibly be better for you than a huge platter piled high with vibrant green leaves, sprouts, crisp cucumber, sweet sun-ripend tomatoes, creamy avocado, spicy radishes, tangy blueberries and a lemony dressing?! Nothing! It’s time for you to enjoy the best of what summer has to offer, so head to your veggie patch, community garden or local farmers market and find some seasonal greens to whip up this bowl of nourishment. I can’t promise you’ll end up looking like a summer goddess but I can promise you’ll feel like one. And its all about whats on the inside, right?

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Summer Goddess Salad 

Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients 

  • 1 head of butter lettuce
  • 1 head of baby cos lettuce
  • 100g baby rocket
  • 100g pea sprouts
  • 150g yellow pear tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), halved
  • 50g blueberries
  • 2 radishes, thinly slices
  • 1 avocado, large dice
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, sliced
  • edible flowers to garnish (borage, nasturtium, pansy)

Lemony vinaigrette

  • 1/2 white salad onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • salt and cracked pepper

Method 

  1. Wash the lettuces together while pulling the leaves off the stem. Then spin dry all the leaves and place wrapped in a tea-towel in the fridge. This ensure beautifully crisp leaves.
  2. Wash the rocket and pea sprouts together, spin dry and place wrapped in a tea-towel in the fridge.
  3. To make the vinaigrette combine the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper. Once mixed add the onion slices and set aside.
  4. To assemble the salad cover a large platter with 3/4 of the lettuce leaves. Pile over the rocket, pea sprouts, cucumber, tomatoes, radishes and avocado. Add in the rest of the lettuce leaves before sprinkling on the blueberries and edible flowers.
  5. Dress the salad just before serving.

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Enjoy!

Show me your salads on Instagram by tagging #summergoddesssalad and #goodnessgraciouskitchen

 

 

 

My vegan lasagne

I write this after feasting on another lasagne for dinner and I really could not hold this recipe from you anymore. It’s delicious and worthy in every kitchen, whether you’re vegan or not. I am also thinking it would be the perfect addition to a christmas eve dinner, so it’s just in time for you to start your planning!

This past year lasagne has been making a regular appearance on my dinner table. It’s simple to make vegetarian lasagne but I found it a little trickier to make it vegan and still keep all the delicious and comforting flavours. I have made mushroom lasagne, creamy carrot and lentil lasagne, eggplant lasagne with lemony ricotta and the list goes on. But this recipe is my absolute favourite. It’s creamy, hearty, warming and oh so satisfying.

The layers consist of lentil bolognese, which to me is one of the greatest things ever, a vegan béchamel sauce, grilled vegetables, fresh spinach and all topped off with a home-made vegan parmesan. I used some fresh spelt pasta but choose whatever pasta you like although try and make it a healthy choice.

Notes about the recipe

I often make the lentil bolognese as an easy midweek meal over raw zucchini noodles, spelt pasta or quinoa. Please do try this as it is a delicious alternative to the regular spaghetti bolognese.

The lentil bolognese can be adapted with whatever vegetables you have on hand, celery is great and sweet potato too. The mushrooms add a nice richness so if you have them on hand do include. I often just throw in any extra vegetables hiding at the bottom of the fridge.

I like to buy a large jar of charred capsicum from selected supermarkets or gourmet food stores, they taste delicious and are great addition to many dishes.

It may seem like a huge ingredient list and mammoth task but its not too complicated and most parts can be made in advance.

Lentil, eggplant and zucchini  lasagne 

Makes 1 very large lasagne with 8-10 serves

Ingredients for the lentil bolognese 

  • 1.5 C whole green lentils, preferably soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 200g swiss brown mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 1/2 a large red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 tin crushed tomatoes
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 C chopped fresh italian herbs, chopped (basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary)
  • 1/4 C chopped and pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 C charred capcicum, finely chopped
  • 1/4 C good quality red wine
  • Himalayan salt and freshly cracked pepper, to season

Ingredients for the béchamel sauce

  • 2 Tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp chickpea flour
  • 2 C unsweetened plant milk (cashew, almond or soy)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Himalayan salt and white pepper, to season

Ingredients for the raw vegan parmesan 

  • 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp walnuts
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Himalayan salt and freshly cracked pepper, to season

To assemble

  • 1 large eggplant (aubergine), sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Spelt or gluten free lasagne sheets
  • 2 C fresh spinach or chard leaves

Method 

  1. If soaking the lentils in advance simply place in a large bowl and cover generously with filtered water and a squeeze of lemon.
  2. To cook the lentils drain off the soaking water (if applicable) and place in a saucepan with 2 bay leaves and cover generously with water. Bring to a gentle simmer  before covering and cooking for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  3. To start the bolognese heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the chopped onion and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. The onion needs to gently sweat rather than colour. Add in the garlic, mushrooms, carrot and chilli while continuing to cook gently for another 5 or so minutes.
  4. Add in the tin tomatoes, then 2 C of water, followed by the tomato paste, fresh herbs, kalamata olives, charred capsicum and red wine. Bring to a simmer before covering and cooking for 35-45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. To make the béchamel sauce gently heat the olive oil in a small sauce pan. Add in the chickpea flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the milk a little at a time, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk over a gently heat until it starts to thicken and bubble. Let it cook for another 2 minutes before taking off the heat. Add the nutritional yeast, nutmeg and season to taste. Set aside.
  6. To make the vegan parmesan simply finely chop the sunflower seeds and walnuts and combine in a small bowl with the nutritional yeast and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Lastly, preheat a grill to high. Brush the eggplant and zucchini slices with olive oil before placing in a single layer under the grill. Cook each side for around 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Finally its time to assemble. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. In a large baking or lasagne dish (30 x 20 cm) place a spoonful of lentil bolognese. Spread over the base of the dish before following with pasta sheets, lentil bolognese, grilled zuchinni and eggplant, fresh spinach/chard and a drizzle of the béchamel. Continue these layers until all ingredients are used, making sure you save 1/4 of the béchamel for the final top layer. Sprinkle over the raw parmesan and cover with a lid. Bake for 40-45 minutes, before removing the lid and baking for a further 15 minutes.
  9. Leave to sit for 10 minutes before serving. I like to pop a few potatoes in at the same time for delicious whole baked potatoes. I also serve with a fresh green salad.

 

 

 

Spiced veggie patties

So, university is out for the year and I now have three clear months ahead of me to fill with cooking, yoga, running, swimming and adventuring! Somewhere in there too I will have to find a REAL job to sustain my summer of fun! Anyway to start with I am looking forward to lots of relaxation after a busy few weeks of study and exams. So today you would find me spread out on the couch in the sunny front room of my parents house with a cup of tea and a big appetite to share one of my favourite recipes with you.

Veggie patties are a bit of a staple for me. They are super quick, easy, cheap and can be served in a multitude of ways. I love to wrap them up in a pita with lots of fresh salad in summer or roll them into balls and serve with a rich tomato sauce and pasta in winter. They are just so versatile and always a hit, even with my meat eating friends.

By combining rice and lentils your body receives all 20 essential amino acids, which makes these patties a complete protein source (yes I did lean something this year!). It is very important for vegetarians/vegans to combine different protein sources to ensure they are  consuming complete proteins and these patties make is super easy! With lots of veggies and spices too it makes them an all round winner!

Spiced veggie patties 

Makes approximately 20 patties

Ingredients 

  • 1 C red split lentils, soaked overnight or as long as possible
  • 1 C brown rice, soaked overnight or as long as possible
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
  • 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 medium zucchini (courgette) , grated
  • 1/2 C parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 C spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 C currants
  • 1/4 rolled oats
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. If soaking the lentils and rice, place in separate large bowls and cover completely with filtered water, add a squeeze of lemon and leave.
  2. Drain the lentils and place in a saucepan with 2 C filtered water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and cook for 20 – 25 minutes or until reduced into a thick paste. Set aside.
  3. Drain the rice and place in a saucepan with 1.5 C filtered water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, turn the heat to very low, cover with a lid and cook for 35 minutes. Do not lift the lid during the cooking process. After 35 minutes the water should be evaporated and the rice fluffy. Set aside.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  5. Place the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the cooked lentils and rice and mix again. The mixture should be sticky and hold together when pressed. If too wet add another 1/4 C rolled oats. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Roll the mixture into 2 balls and flatten out on the tray. Brush with oil before placing in the preheated oven to cook for 20 minutes before flipping and finish off for another 15 minutes.
  7. Serve with salad, coconut yoghurt, toasted almonds, avocado and pomegranate or wrapped up in a pitta with fresh salad.

Enjoy!

Show me your patties on Instagram #goodnessgraciouskitchen

Baked mushroom and tofu spring rolls

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Amazingly I have now been on holidays for two weeks and am only now getting around to posting a recipe! Time has just been flying by with lots of cooking, beach walks, running, picking citrus, playing with the chookies and exploring the beautiful south west where my parents live. So here I am with a new recipe that is quick enough to be whipped up by all of you on holidays as well as those who are not so lucky.

Lately I have been feeling a little tropical and craving asian inspired food, even though on average its only been about 12 degrees! Think fruity smoothies with lime and coconut, fresh herb salads, fried brown rice, gado gado and these spring rolls. The fabulous thing about these is that they are baked not fried, which creates a much healthier snack without compromising on flavour or texture. The outside doesn’t achieve the same colouring but it is still crisp to the bite and the filling remains beautifully steamed inside. We enjoyed these for lunch along with the suggested add ins and all three of us were completely satisfied.

Feel free to get creative with the filling and add in other asian vegetables depending with what you have available. Fresh capsicum and thai basil would be great additions.

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Baked mushroom and tofu spring rolls

Serves 3 as a meal or 6 as a snack

Ingredients 

  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • a thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 250g button mushrooms
  • 1 whole dried chilli, finely chopped
  • 100g firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1 C green cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 C purple cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1/4 C chopped coriander
  • 2 T tamari
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 50g brown rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to packet directions
  • 1 packet (~20) round rice paper sheets
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil

To serve

  • Peanut sauce, recipe follows
  • Tamari
  • Lime wedges
  • Coriander, purple cabbage and carrot
  • Broccolini, steamed

Method

  1. To make the mushroom filling, heat the sesame oil in a large frypan then add the spring onions, garlic and ginger and stir fry for a couple of minutes or until fragrant and beginning to colour. Add the mushrooms and chilli and continue to stir fry for 5 minutes. Then add the tofu, half the cabbage, the coriander and continuing to cook for another 5 minutes. Stir through the tamari and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Prepare a bowl with lukewarm water to dip the rice paper sheets in, place a damp tea towel on your work surface and line a large baking tray with baking paper. When the mushroom mixture is ready, soak the rice paper for 30 seconds then place on the damp tea towel and load up with the mushroom filling, noodles, carrot and both types of cabbage. Roll up from the end closes to you folding the sides in as you go, (follow directions on rice paper packet). Place on the prepared tray and continue until all the filling is used.
  3. Brush the prepared rolls with the EVOO and place in the preheat oven for 15 minutes. Turn and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately withe the suggested sauces and vegetables.

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Peanut dipping sauce

  • 1/3 C natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp tamari
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp hot chilli sauce

 

Method 

Simply combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add in 1-2 tbsp just built water to thin to your desired consistency.

Enjoy, and hopefully I can transform those of you suffering in the winter chill to a sunnier place with these flavours.

 

 

 

 

Fat banana pancake

gracebancroft

This is the perfect lazy Sunday breakfast when you feel like pancakes but don’t want to stand at the stove flipping them all morning. With this ‘fat’ pancake you just pop it in the oven while you get on with your morning and soon enough its golden and bubbling with sweet juices from the banana, ready to be gobbled up. Saying that, it makes this the perfect treat for any day of the week really.

The flavours I have gone with lend to a tropical theme but any seasonal fruit would be delicious, such as grilled peaches or caramelised apple. Caramelising the bananas first really enhances their flavour and gives them a beautiful golden colour without having to achieve that and overcooking the batter.

Eggs are a beautiful breakfast ingredient as they are a complete source of protein and combined with the healthy fats and some complex carbohydrates you will be full until lunch time!

gracebancroft

Fat banana pancake

Serves 4.

Ingredients 

1/2 C almond meal

1/2 t gluten free baking powder

2 T buckwheat flour

2 T rolled oats

2 T desiccated coconut

1/2 t ground cinnamon

zest and juice of 1 lime

3 free range organic eggs

2/3 C coconut milk, plus extra

1 T coconut sugar

2 T extra virgin coconut oil

2-3 bananas, sliced lengthways

Method 

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celcius. Place a 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in your baking dish (roughly 20cm in diameter) and pop it in the preheating oven until melted.

Whisk together the almond meal, baking powder, buckwheat flour, oats, coconut, lime zest and cinnamon.

Squeeze half the juice of the lime over the sliced bananas and sprinkle over the coconut sugar. Heat the remaing tablespoon of coconut oil in a small frypan and cook the bananas cut side down until golden and caramelised.

Meanwhile, in a small jug whisk together the eggs and coconut milk then pour into the dry ingredients. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Pour into your prepared baking dish and top with the bananas, caramelised side up.

Place in the preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until golden and puffed.

Serve with a squeeze of lime juice, shredded coconut and coconut milk.

gracebancroft

Enjoy! And get creative with other seasonal fruit.

 

Soup for all seasons

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It’s not very often that I will think about eating soup during the warmer months, I would have smoothies for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could! It’s just starting to cool down (a little!) here in Perth so I though now would be the perfect time to make a light, fresh soup that could be enjoyed anytime of the year. It went down an absolute treat and with all the garlic I’m hoping to fend of any colds coming my way for the next couple of weeks!

This broth is the perfect base for any vegetables, whatever the season. It’s early autumn here so I have used yu choy as the main leafy green but broccoli, bok choy, zucchini strips or Chinese cabbage would all be delicious. The hot broth is poured over the vegetables, cooking them lightly whilst still keeping everything fresh and crunchy.

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Fragrant vegan soup

4 C salt reduced vegetable stock (home made is best but if your like me and didn’t have time a good quality one will be fine)

2 C water

8 spring onions, thinly sliced

1 T crushed ginger

6 garlic cloves, crushed

1 bunch of coriander, stalks and leaves washed

1 cinnamon stick

2 whole star anise

1 bunch yu choy

100g or two bunches of 100% buckwheat soba noodles

300g mushrooms

1 T extra virgin olive oil

1 T hoisin sauce

Thai basil leaves, bean sprouts, sesame seeds, chilli and radish to serve.

Method

Pull the leaves off the coriander and reserve for serving. Thinly slice the stalks and had to a large pot along with the sliced spring onions, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, stock and water. Slowly bring to the boil and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Bring another pan of water to the boil and cook your soba noodles for 5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and refresh under cool water. Set aside.

In the meantime, slice the mushrooms and fry in the olive oil. Once starting to soften add the hoisin sauce and cook for another minute or until nice and sticky and cooked through. Set aside.

Wash and slice your yu choy or whatever veggies you have chosen and set aside ready for serving.

You can either place everything on your table and let everyone dig in and construct their own soup or serve it up.

Either way, place the yu choy (or your choice of veg) in first followed by the noodles and then cover with steaming hot broth. Then top with your desired combination of fresh toppings.

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Get creative and enjoy!