Archive for Sauces + dressings

Sensational strawberry avocado salad

This is summer celebration in a salad. Combining mellow, sweet, savoury, toasted and aromatic flavours this salad packs a full bodied visual and taste experience.

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1 punnet strawberries, sliced
1 avocado, diced
½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
Fresh mint or basil, finely chopped
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Toasted sesame seeds

In a small pot bring the balsamic vinegar to boil and simmer for 6-8 minutes until reduced by half.
Prepare the strawberries, tomatoes, avocado and mint in a bowl. Gently mix through the olive oil, salt and pepper. Lastly drizzle with the balsamic reduction and garnish with more mint and toasted sesame seeds.

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Happy summering!

Crowd pleasing sushi salad

This is where you get to throw all your favourite sushi inners into one big delicious salad and drench it in a spectacular gingery sauce.img_20160826_124058012_hdr-small

A big hearty salad is a great dish to take to social events where you suspect vegan dishes might be on the low side. This salad goes a long way, is nutrient dense, and, importantly, it will fill you up.

Everysingleperson who has tried this salad has loved it.

As there are lots of components (as many as you want really) it may seem daunting, but bare with me.

Here are my top ingredients:

1 cup brown/wild rice, uncooked*
2 cups broccoli, cauliflower, finely chopped
1 splash of tamari
1 splash of mirin (optional)
2 Tbl sesame seeds, toasted
½ block of tofu, sliced lengthways
1 carrot, shredded
1 red capsicum, chopped
½ avocado, chopped
½ nori sheet, cut into small pieces
Sprouts/watercress/ripped lettuce

  1. Cook rice as per instructions. You want the grains separate, not gluggy. Fluff with a fork and leave to cool. The wild and brown varieties of rice make this easier than white rice. Do not use sushi rice as it will stick together.
  2. Heat a little sesame oil in a large pan and toss in the broccoli and cauliflower (cut small), stirring well. Splash in some tamari and mirin to prevent sticking. I like my veges crunchy so I don’t cook them for long.
  3. Sear the tofu strips in a little tamari, slice.
  4. Mix the cooked ingredients through the rice in a big bowl. Cool.
  5. Before serving add in the carrot, capsicum, nori pieces and fresh greens/sprouts. Transfer to your serving dish and garnish with avocado and toasted sesame seeds.

I like to serve the sauce separately, so you may need to double the recipe as people will reach for more!

Creamy ginger dressing
1 Tbl fresh ginger, minced
1-2 garlic, minced
1 Tbl tahini
1 Tbl tamari
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp mustard
¼ cup water

Blend until creamy.

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Vegan Sour Cream

vegan sour cream

This creamy cashew cream is all kinds of awesome.

Use it as a base recipe and try out different flavours depending on what you’re topping.

Asparagus likes garlic, butter beans like smoked paprika … capers, mustard – you get my drift.

A high speed blender will make it smooth + velvety. If you don’t have one just soak the cashews first.

1½ cup cashews
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
2/3 C water (approx)
Pinch of salt

Put all ingredients except water in a high speed blender or food processor and blend, adding water one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. If you want a thick cream, use less water; for a thinner sauce, use more.

Sprinkle with hot smoked paprika or fresh cut herbs.

You may also like this cashew mustard mayo, it’s delicious on everything!

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Pea pesto

Time on Instagram is well spent when I come across dishes as appealing as this quick cheesy pea pesto by Pepe Josephine at @pjantbased.

Photo credit Pepe Josephine

Photo credit Pepe Josephine

This is an easy option for when there’s not a lot of veges in the house but for a bag of peas in the freezer. We all have those times, right?

It makes a great pesto pasta, dip, sandwich filler, pizza topping … anything you want to lather in pesto goodness.

And the good news is peas are high in iron and basil is packed with health promoting flavonoids, oils, vitamins and minerals.

This will only take a few minutes to throw together in your food processor.

1 cup cooked peas

Juice of half lemon

3 Tbl nutritional yeast

1 clove garlic, minced

Handful basil, chopped

Salt to taste

Process and adjust. Add more water if too thick. You can also add more garlic and basil to suit your tastes.

It would be great on these gluten free noodles!

 

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Beetroot hummus

Pasta shells stuffed with cashew basil cream

 

Kaleslaw with cashew mustard mayo

I grew up eating coleslaw. It was simple yet utterly delicious because of one particular ingredient. And because Mum always used it. I’ve followed suit.20150624_212758 (Small)

Among a tangle of fresh herbs there must always be thyme. Preferably English. But any variety will do. Aromatic lemon thyme is especially spectacular.

Keeping the slaw simple we’re using the basics (cabbage, mixed greens, carrot, fresh herbs) adding finely sliced cavelo nero (black) kale for an extra nutritional boost.

While we do our best to keep salads lively, the dressing can make or break the experience. Your lovingly prepared coleslaw can easily convert to a fat-laden-cream-dressing-lathered throw back from the 70s.

Here’s an oil-free alternative I think you’ll love.

Cashew mustard mayo

¾ cup cashews
2 Tbl apple cider vinegar
2 Tbl dijon mustard
½ lemon, juiced
1 tsp maple syrup
¼ cup water
Pinch of salt

Blend. Splash in a little more water if it’s too thick. This dressing will take you may places. Try a dollop on steamed asparagus, baked potatoes and salady sandwiches.

How To Make Raw Pasta Sauce

There have been a couple of stand out new dishes that have delighted us this summer and this is one of them. IMG_20150122_195008253 (Small)

Easy. Tasty. And full of fresh readily available nutrients.

The good thing about raw foods is they’re loaded with water, which fills you up. It never ceases to amaze me how satisfying they can be.

First up. Cover the sun dried tomatoes in water and soak for a couple of hours. Avoid the ones packaged in oil. (You can always rinse the oil off for a cleaner meal.)

You will need:

1.5 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in just enough water to cover
4 cups fresh tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp apple or maple syrup
Green olives ~ half cup
Black olives (I like loads of both)
1 cup fresh basil
1 Tbl tamari

Blend:

1.5 cups sun-dried tomatoes & soak waterpasta marinara (Small)
2 cups fresh tomatoes
Garlic
Apple syrup

Pour into a large bowl and add:

Rest of fresh tomatoes, chopped
Green olives, sliced
Black olives whole
Basil, sliced
Tamari.

Gently stir in zucchini noodles.

Adapted from Brenden Brazier’s Thrive Foods cookbook.

You may also like Zucchini Noodles with Alfredo Sauce.

Raw Zucchini Noodles with Alfreda Sauce

The simplicity of this dish suits the relaxed nature of picking your summer vegetables from the garden and throwing together something easy for lunch or dinner.

Just be sure to soak your cashews in the morning (if you forget pour boiling water over them and sit for ten mins).zucchini noodles in alfreda sauce (Small)

Adjust the combo of vegetables to suit your taste. You can pretty much go anywhere with this dish.

I like to add strips of steamed kale. Thin sliced red capsicum or steamed/raw broccoli make nice additions also. zucc noodles (Small)

2 large zucchinis
Bunch cavelo nero or other kale
Cherry tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves

1 cup cashews, soaked
1 Tbl lemon juice
2 tsp tamari
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbl nutritional yeast
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup filtered water, add more as needed
Pinch cayenne
Salt & pepper

  • Finely slice zucchinis into long strips using a serrated peeler, mandolin, spiraliser or knife.
  • Slice long strips of kale and steam over boiling water for a few minutes.
  • Rinse cashews well. Add to blender with other ingredients.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Assemble noodles, kale and sauce together with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and cracked pepper.

And for all those extra zucchinis in the garden, you may also like this gluten free zucchini fritter recipe.

 

 

 

Fragrant chick pea, potato and cucumber salad

Combining the tastes of buttery chick peas with toasted seeds creates an interesting spectrum of flavour. Whether you use cumin, caraway, fennel or all three seeds combined doesn’t really matter.

It will bring your salad alive.

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New potatoes, thick sliced
Cucumber, chunks
Red onion, sliced
Several gherkins, optional
Fresh herbs
Salad greens

1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp caraway seed
2 cloves garlic, crushed

¼ cup tahini
¼ cup water
¼ cup parsley
½ lemon, zest & juice
Drizzle maple syrup, optional
Salt to taste

1. Steam potatoes until cooked ~10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile in a dry pan toast fennel, cumin & caraway seeds until fragrant, stirring continuously. Add in garlic, drained chickpeas and a splash of wine or water to prevent sticking.
3. Coat chickpeas in seeds and garlic. Take off heat after a couple of minutes.
4. Whisk or blend all the dressing ingredients together.

In a large bowl toss the potatoes with other salad ingredients. Dress and top with chickpeas.

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Two ways with quinoa

Late summer salad

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Two ways with quinoa

This should read 202 ways with quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) such is the versatility of this seed.

Seed??2014-09-28 13.19.00 (Small)

Yes! It’s commonly referred to as a grain but is technically a seed – which is great if you’re looking for a non-grain grain.

Use it instead of rice, eat it hot or cold, sprout it, you can even replace your porridge with it.

Quinoa consists of 20% protein, is high in lysine and is a good source of iron.

I particularly like the black and red varieties but it also comes in white. Mix them up for an attractive salad base.

Cook it like rice at a 1:2 quinoa to water ratio. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 20 mins. Fluff with a fork.

Some say to rinse your quinoa before cooking to ensure the bitter-tasting saponins are removed (I’m told most will have been removed before it got to the shop).

And some say to dry toast the grains for a few moments in a hot pan to enhance the flavour. I do either depending on which I remember first!

Important: Always cook more than you need so you can throw together a quick nutritious lunch. Cook 1 cup quinoa:2 cups water and you’ll have enough for the following two dishes. Double as needed.

BLACK BEAN & QUINOA

2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup vegetable stock
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
Zest of one lemon
1 can black beans
1 cup cooked quinoa
Lettuce cups lined with mint
Toppings – sliced avocado, red pepper, fresh coriander & cashew cream

1. Dry toast 1-2 tsps ground cumin
2. Add splash of vegetable stock and steam saute several cloves of minced garlic & lemon zest
3. Add 1 can of black beans and toss over heat for several minutes
4. Mix in cooked quinoa
5. Season with salt, pepper & extra chilli flakes to taste. Cool.

EVERYDAY QUINOA SALAD

I love salads that make a meal requiring as much or as little as your creativity, time and pantry allow. The plainest version of this is still delicious and packed with good sources of plant protein. Top with the vinaigrette below or your favourite oil-free dressing.

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
Handfuls of fresh mesculin and herbs
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
Grated carrot/zucchini
Favourite salad items, eg, olives, cherry tomatoes, blanched beans, roasted garlic, piles of sprouts, toasted seeds …

Mix ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Top with THIS dressing.

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BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

The mayo-like quality of this dressing takes it many places.

1/4 cup cashews (soak for an hour if you can)
1/2 cup water
1/4 balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tsp agave nectar (or sweetener of choice)
Salt & pepper

Be sure to blend/process this dressing until smooth.

Please share with your friends. You never know they may make it for you!

You may also like Late Summer Quinoa Salad

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1 must have sauce recipe

This sauce is a game changer. It literally added a whole new repertoire to my weekday-fly-in-the-door-meals.

Simplicity rules. Sauce plus steamed veges.

This is no time to be shy. If you secretly love Brussel sprouts steam up a bunch and lather in this walnutty wonder. New potatoes, greens, broccoli … your underneath carrier of sauce options are unlimited.

A macrobiotic favourite, this recipe has but three ingredients and water. If you can, soak the walnuts for 20 mins to a couple of hours – it’s all the better for taste and digestibility, but do discard the soak water and rinse.

Thanks to Ann Crile Esselstyn and Forks Over Knives for the heads up on this now weekly staple.SAM_1516 (Small)

To the blender add:

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup water

1 clove garlic

1 Tbl tamari

Adjust amounts of garlic, tamari and water to suit taste and texture.

And if you’ve got one of these lurking in your cupboards – get it out, wet it before use, and fill it with veges.SAM_1468 (Small)

Steam cooks fast and preserves flavour & nutrients.

Try 1/2-inch rounds of steamed new potato with the walnut sauce and you may want to marry me.

 

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