Greenalicious pasta

Hey friends! After a very long drought from food blogging I am finally back with a new recipe. This is for all those thoughtful people who have been telling me how much they love my blog & recipes – so i’ve come back feeling very inspired to keep getting recipes out to you all! Hopefully with a little more regularity. I wouldn’t put the lack of posts down to me not cooking so much, but rather not having enough time to take all the photos and write up the recipe. I certainly have still been busy in the kitchen, making lots of hearty soups, curries (inspired by my trip to Sri Lanka – a post on that to come soon), lentil pies, warm salads and pasta. This pasta recipe in particular has been on regular rotation in our home, due to its simplicity, deliciousness and the fact that my boyfriend would eat pasta every night if I let him!

What has been keeping me busy is some very tricky chemistry units at university (who would have thought there was so much chemistry involved with Nutrition!?) and a new part-time job as a cook! So after spending most the morning cooking when I get home I just want to gobble up my food without even a thought about taking a photo.

Anyway, here it is. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family and I do, and that it might just become a delicious family staple. Plus, it’s super good this time of the year with all the garlic and kale to keep your immune system strong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenalicious Pasta

Serves 4, vegan & gluten free options

  • 375g wholegrain penne pasta (I use spelt or buckwheat)
  • 200g baby kale leaves, washed
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 C local extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large head of broccoli or romanesco, cut into florets
  • 1/2 C walnuts, toasted in a dry pan, roughly chopped
  • Sheeps milk romana or nutritional yeast, to serve

Method

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Once boiling add your kale and garlic. blanch for 2-3 minutes, until a vibrant green, no longer.
  2. Scoop out the kale and garlic and place in a blender with the oil. Add 1/4 – 1/2 C of the cooking water. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Blend until a super smooth, pourable consistency, adding more water if necessary.
  3. Meanwhile, pop the pasta in the pot of boiling water. 5 minutes before the pasta is due to be ready (according to packet directions) add in the broccoli florets. Continue to cook until the pasta is al dente. The broccoli should be just soft.
  4. Drain and stir through the blended kale sauce. Serve with the toasted walnuts and a little romano cheese or nutritional yeast. A drizzle of good EVOO is a nice addition too.

Show me your greenalicious pasta on Instagram by tagging #goodnessgraciouskitchen

Warm cauliflower and aubergine salad

Cauliflower has officially made a come back. Its no longer that plain, overcooked until watery vegetable but rather the hero of so many different dishes.  We’ve seen it as pizza bases, a rice alternative, in cakes, in bread and of course flavoursome soups. But my favourite way has got to be roasted until the edges are charred and crispy and the inside still has a little bite. Here it is roasted with turmeric, cummin and cinnamon which lifts the mellow flavour of the cauliflower while also adding a little sweetness.

Now don’t get me started on eggplant because it is quite possible one of my favourite things now after years of hating it as a kid. Roasting, like the cauliflower has got to be my favourite way to cook it. Once again the edges get crispy and charred but the inside is buttery soft and so delicious.

I’ve paired these two beautiful vegetables with green lentils, lots of fresh parsley, sweet dates, tangy pomegranate jewels and a creamy tahini dressing to really create a satisfying salad that is perfect for any day or night.

Warm cauliflower and aubergine salad

serves 4 as a side or 2-3 as a main 

  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp cummin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 aubergine, sliced into wedges
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp smokey paprika
  • 1/2 C green lentils
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 of a preserved lemon, finely chopped
  • 2 C baby spinach leaves
  • 5 medjool dates, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • pomegranate jewels, to serve
  • tahini dressing, to serve (recipe below)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Toss the cauliflower florets with 1/2 the olive oil, the turmeric, cumin and cinnamon. Spread out on the baking tray and place in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.
  2. Slice half way down along the wedges of aubergine, making sure not to cut all the way through. place on the other baking tray and drizzle with the rest of the oil, the chilli flakes and paprika. Place into the oven for 30 minutes, or until charred on the edges and soft and gooey on the inside.
  3. Rinse the lentils before placing in a saucepan and covering well with lots of water. Bring to the boil over medium heat before turning to low, covering and cooking for 20 minutes. Refresh under cold water and set aside.
  4. Combine the cooked lentils, roasted cauliflower, parsley, baby spinach and preserved lemon in a large bowl. Add the roasted aubergine on top followed by the almonds, pomegranate jewels and spicy tahini dressing.
  5. Serve immediately.

Spicy tahini dressing 

makes 3/4 C 

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 C tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • water, to thin, about 3/4 c

Method 

  1. Place everything but the water in a bowl and stir to combine. Slowly add the water until the desired consistency is reached. Its nice to have it quite runny so its a good drizzle consistency.
  2. Use for the salad and store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Enjoy!

 

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

 

 

 

 

Warming pumpkin tagine with spicy chickpeas

 

So its been getting cold here, like really cold, and I’m not at all used to it after spending the last four years in the tropical city of Darwin. So today I warmed up from the inside out with this tagine. I also lit the fire so the house was pretty warm. But really the tagine did most the warming. This is the perfect warming dish that you can just set on the stove and forget about for the next couple of hours while delicious smells waft through your kitchen. It’s a must if your feeling cold.

The chickpeas are really worth turning the oven on for. They are crispy, salty and spicy and when they mix with the sweet creamy pumpkin its so delicious! Plus leftover chickpeas (if any!) would be a great snack anytime of day. Or tossed through a sale for extra crunch, yum.

It might seem like the ingredients list is rather long but its mostly spices, and the chickpeas can be roasted ahead of time and stored in an airtight jar for a couple of days. I would recommend preserving your own lemons, someone in your street probably has a tree dripping with lemons when in season. Jamie Oliver has a great recipe, otherwise, they are a small fortune to buy at the shops.

Now after eating this I’m starting to think that perhaps winter isn’t so bad after all!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Pumpkin tagine 

Serves four.

Ingredients

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 t coriander seeds

2 t cummin seeds

1 t ground cinnamon

2 charred capcicums, peeled, deseded sliced (see note)

4 artichoke hearts in brine, drained, sliced

1/4 of a preserved  lemon, finely sliced

1/2 chilli, seeded, finely chopped

~1 kg kent or butternut pumpkin, cubed

1 C red lentils, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

1 tin whole tomatoes

1 t dried mint

a small handful of dried dates

2 C vegetable stock

a few sprigs of thyme

4 C baby spinach

1 lemon

a handful of parsley

Spicy chickpeas (recipe follows)

 

Method

Heat the oil in a large cast iron pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or until soft and beginning to colour.

Meanwhile, roughly crush the coriander and cumin seeds in a pestal and mortar. Add the cinnamon and a dash of water. Add to the onion mix. Stir over the heat for another couple of minutes then add the capsicum, artichokes, preserved lemon and chilli. Continue to cook for a few more minutes before adding the pumpkin, lentils, tin tomatoes, dried mint, dates, vegetable stock and thyme. Rinse out the tomato tin with water, adding at least 3 C to the pot.

Bring to the boil then turn down to low and cover, simmering for 1 and a half to 2 hours. Give it a stir whenever you fancy and break up the whole tomatoes.

Just before serving stir through the baby spinach until just wilted. Slice the lemon and roughly chop the parsley.

To serve, place into bowls and top with spicy roasted chickpeas, lemon wedges and parsley.

Note

To char capsicums simply place them whole under your grill and turn until all the skin is charred and black. Cover for 5 minutes then carefully peel off the skin.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Spicy chickpeas

1 T extra virgin olive oil

1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed a few times

2 T white sesame seeds

1 T nigella seeds

1/2 t ground cummin

1 t cinnamon

1 t chilli flakes

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl then put onto the baking tray. Generously sprinkle over some Himalayan sea salt flakes.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Any leftovers can be stored in a airtight jar for a couple of days.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Soup for all seasons

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Get creative and enjoy!