Vegan cauliflower cheeze

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Over the last few months purple cauliflower has been popping up at all the farmers markets over here in Perth. The first time a bought one I was so excited & wanted to do something extra special. It ended up sitting in the fridge for two weeks while I dreamed up all these crazy things I could do with this purple cauliflower cauliflower. In the end I used it in a rush one busy weeknight when I was craving some comfort food. The cauliflower was roasted with garlic before being baked with a fish and creamy sauce made from almond milk. Surprisingly, it was an amazing dish that was gobbled up by all, especially my sister. She would have eaten the whole tray right then. Luckily some was left for our lunches the next day!

Since then we’ve had this cauliflower cheeze on regular rotation & every time it is thoroughly enjoyed. I’m thinking of serving this on Christmas eve and even though it’s quick & easy to make, it tastes indulgent.

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By using purple cauliflower there’s a healthy does of anthocyanins which have anti-innflammatory & antioxidant benefits. Regular cauliflower is also high in vitamin C so no matter what colour you choose its bound to be healthy & nutrient rich.

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Vegan cauliflower cheeze 

Serves 4 as a main, or 6 as a side

Ingredients

  • 2 small or 1 large head of purple cauliflower (if you can’t find it white is just as delicious)
  • 4 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp smokey paprika
  • 1/3 C chickpea (besan) flour
  • 800ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1/4 C nutritional yeast flakes, plus 2 tbsp
  • 1/2 C walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius.
  2. Trim the cauliflower & cut into medium sized florets.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper & place the cauliflower on in a single layer. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of the olive oil, sprinkle over the crushed garlic, paprika & season with salt & pepper. Place into the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile prepare your béchamel sauce by heating the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the chickpea flour and stir until a thick paste forms. Now, with a whisk in hand, gradually add the almond milk, whisking continually to ensure no lumps. Over a medium heat gently bring to the boil, while whisking every so often. It will take about 10 minutes for the sauce to thicken.
  5. Once thick add in the miso & nutritional yeast. Give the sauce a final whisk before taking off the heat.
  6. Remove the cauliflower from the oven & place in a baking dish. Pour over the béchamel sauce & top with the walnuts, sunflower seeds & remaining nutritional yeast. Season with a little extra salt & pepper & baking at 200 degrees celcius for 30 minutes.
  7. Serve with a crisp green salad.

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Enjoy!

 

Chewy chocolate bars

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Imagine crispy puffs of quinoa and buckwheat, crunchy peanut butter, creamy tahini, a hint of sea salt and dark chocolate all rolled into one bar. It’s the chocolate bar of my dreams. And now I can have it everyday because, really, it’s not as unhealthy as you might think. Puffed quinoa and buckwheat are both nourishing seeds, which makes them gluten frees, and they are packed with protein and calcium. So we’ve got a chocolate bar that’s both delicious and nutritious!

A little peanut butter and tahini are also great sources of protein and healthy fats, which will help keep you full for longer. These really are the chocolate bar you should be reaching for when the 3pm slump hits. That’s exactly what I’m doing now, along with a big cup of tea. It’s the perfect post tennis treat.

I also made these for my parents last weekend and they thoroughly enjoyed them. Especially my Dad. Now that the recipe is up, my mum might even make them for him!

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Don’t be shy with your pinch of sea salt as it really lifts these bars to the next level. Also, feel free to add whatever nuts or seeds you have on hand instead of the pistachios and almonds. Of course, these bars can also be made vegan by using an alternative sweeter such as rice malt syrup or maple syrup, however I truly love the taste of a beautiful floral honey. 

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Chewy chocolate bars

makes 16

  • 1 1/2 C puffed quinoa
  • 1 1/2 C puffed buckwheat
  • 1/4 C flaked almonds
  • 1/2 C pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 C chia seeds
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 1/4 C natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 hulled tahini
  • 40g drak chocolate (70% cocoa solids minimum)

method

  1. Combine the puffed quinoa, puffed buckwheat and chia seeds in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a heavy based pan, gently toast the almonds and pistachios over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Combine the honey, peanut  butter and tahini in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until combined.
  4. Add the toasted nuts and tahini mixture to the puffs, quickly mix to combine.
  5. Press into a lined lamington tin (30 x 15 cm), you may need to wet your palms slightly to prevent the mixture sticking to you.
  6. Refrigerate for about 4 hours, or until set firmly.
  7. Remove from the fridge and slice into even sized bars. Gently melt the dark chocolate then use a small spoon to drizzle it over each bar. Pop them back into he fridge for the chocolate to set. Serve, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

enjoy!

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!

 

Vanilla cream cake with seasonal fruit

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This may sound like a totally indulgent and luxurious dessert but really its not so bad for you at all! The ‘cream’ filling is made from raw cashews and coconut milk which is fluffy and flavoursome and so much better for you than a regular cream filling! Along with a nut base and fresh seasonal fruit on the top it’s the perfect guilt-free treat. My mum has been going all out and taking a slice for her morning tea at work, piled high with sweet figs and tangy passionfruit it’s the perfect morning indulgence. It would also be beautiful on an afternoon high tea platter.

The cream cake filling is scented with vanilla beans and raw local honey which adds not only sweetness but floral fragrances making it the perfect backdrop for whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand. I have chosen figs and passionfruit as our garden is bursting with them both at this time. Plus, the sweetness from the figs and tang from the passionfruit work beautifully together. I would also say mango and raspberries would be a delicious topping. Strawberries, kiwifruit, peaches and even cherries. Choose whatever fruit you have available in abundance and by doing this you will be getting the tastiest option. Sprinkle a few little mint leaves on top and you have a picture perfect and flavour packed treat!

For the base, I have chosen to use mainly buckwheat groats as these make the dessert a little lighter, there’s only so many nuts we can have, right?! But by including a few walnuts the base still has a delicious nutty flavour and is packed with nutrients.

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Notes about the recipe

I like to make the cream cake and place it sliced in a tupperware in the freezer without adding the topping. This way it will last up to 1 month frozen. Before serving I simply remove the desired amount of slices 30 minutes prior and top with the fresh fruit topping. 

To achieve a really creamy filling it is best to use a high speed blender, such as a vitamix. 

Vanilla & honey cream cake with seasonal fruit 

makes approximately 16 slices

Ingredients

for the base

  • 1/2 C raw walnuts
  • 3/4 C buckwheat groats (buckinis)
  • 1/2 C shredded coconut
  • 8 fresh dates, pitted
  • 4 dried figs
  • 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • a pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

for the cream filling

  • 2 C raw cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 1/2 C full fat coconut milk
  • 2 T raw honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

for the topping (choose whatever locally grown, seasonal fruit you have available)

  • 1 C sliced fresh figs
  • 4 passionfruit, pulp only
  • a few fresh mint leaves
  • edible flowers to decorate, if desired

Method

  1. Start but soaking your cashews overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  2. For the base, place the walnuts, buckwheat and coconut into a processor and blitz for about 1 minute, or until a rough crumbly textures is achieved. Add the dates, dried figs, coconut oil, sea salt and cinnamon before processing again until a sticky texture.
  3. Press this mixture firmly into a lined 20×30 cm tin. Place into the freezer.
  4. For the cream filling, drain the cashews and place in a high speed blender along with all the other filling ingredients. Blitz for 2-3 minutes or until a VERY creamy texture is achieved. Check the balance of flavours as you may need to add a little more honey if you’ve got a sweet tooth.
  5. Pour the filling over the base and place back into the freezer to set for 4-6 hours. Once completely set slice into 16 bars. If serving now top with fig slices, passionfruit pulp and mint leaves and let sit for 30 minutes to thaw.
  6. Otherwise store the slices in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Enjoy!

Show me your creations by tagging #goodnessgraciouskitchen on Instagram xx

 

 

 

 

Cacao & Ginger energy bars

University goes back today, school has been back for a few weeks and I’m sure most of you have been back at work for at least the last month. For me, this means long days at uni filled with chemistry labs and the need something delicious and energising to keep me sustained. I have previously posted the recipe for my Nutty fruit cake, which is a great snack while you’re on the run and is often found in hanging around the bottom of my bag. These bars are another delicious snack and with the addition of cacao which is full of antioxidants, magnesium and iron they really will give you a boost.

I must admit though that these energy bars don’t travel nearly as well as the indestructible Nutty fruit cake however they are just as delicious enjoyed at home with a big cup of tea or a glass of fresh nut milk. Filled with the rich taste of cacao and spicy ginger these are the big kid addition of a chocolate bar so if you want to make them for some little people reduce the ginger and perhaps addd a little honey for a sweeter version.

Cacao & ginger energy bars

makes 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 2 C rolled oats, gluten free is necessary
  • 1/2 C pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 C pitted dried dates soaked in just boiled water for 10-20 minutes
  • 2 C puffed quinoa or millet
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1- 2 pinches flaky sea salt
  • 3/4 C tahini
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp  freshly grated ginger

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place the rolled oats and pumpkin seeds on a baking tray and pop it into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the oats are just golden and smelling delicious.
  2. Meanwhile, line a 20x30cm lamington tin with baking paper and set aside. Drain the dates, place in a small bowl and mash with a fork into a sticky smooth paste. Add in the tahini, coconut oil and ginger, mixing to combine.
  3. In a large bowl mix the puffed quinoa, cacao powder and sea salt. Add in the toasted oats and pumpkin seeds.
  4. Finally spoon over the date/tahini mixture and mix quickly to combine.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared tin and press down firmly with your palm. You may want to wet your hands very slightly to stop the mixture sticking to you!
  6. Place in the fridge to set for about 4 hours before slicing into bars.

 

 

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