Ultimate Savoury Mince/Stew Recipe

When I was a child I was ultra-fussy.

My Mum will attest, I ate three things and refused all else; mince, chocolate pudding and Marmite on toast. Farm life was amazing for me and the flavours of the food made by Nana and Mum have remained important to me despite being vegan; the flavours were savoury, mustardy, yeasty, sweet and chocolatey and the fruit was always intensely flavoured and fresh from my grandparent’s orchard. This stew is really child-friendly, it managed to satisfy me as one of the fussiest eaters in existence along with my own fussy kid!

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The mince my Mum made was so delicious that I regularly crave it even now, and there’s a reason.

Mum had been slipping something into it – Worcestershire Sauce or ‘worsheshhtehshesshterrshrrresauce” as I like to call it. Now that stuff isn’t usually vegan because it typically contains anchovies, however Pams in New Zealand make a Classic Worcester Sauce and it’s totally authentic tasting (water, treacle, colour, spices, salt).

The gravy of this stew is simply 1-1.5 tins of tomatoes, 3 tablespoons of Worcester Sauce and a generous helping of salt.

I don’t need to thicken it I just cook the stew until it reduces over head until it is covered in a thick gravy. The resultant stew is lovely served on toast with tomato sauce. You can use those ingredients to make an addictive gravy that works on everything. Usually you’ll saute onion and then you can use lentils, red kidney beans, TVP, tofu, sunflower seeds, or a combination of any of those as the protein base and then add any veggies you like, potato, carrot, peas, kumara, broccoli, mushrooms, kale, capsicum – whatever – add the tomatoes, stir in lots of salt and simmer until you get something beautiful.

Here’s the recipe for this batch. I didn’t have any capsicum but I definitely recommend adding it in if you have some, I’m not usually a fan but the combination of even a slither of capsicum (red bell pepper) with Worcester is… perfect. Also, don’t forget to finish with pepper and tomato sauce. Trust me, this is a classic, full-bodied savoury stew.

INGREDIENTS

1 dash of oil
1/2 an onion, chopped
4 large mushrooms, chopped
1 large kale leaf, stalk removed, kale chopped
1 potato, diced
1 tin drained brown lentils
200g of crumbled tofu
1-1.5 tins of diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons of Pams Classic Worcester Sauce
generous amount of salt
generous amount of pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Saute the onions in a dash of oil until clear. Add in mushrooms, Kale and cook through, add in potato, lentils, tofu, tinned tomatoes and Worcester Sauce. Salt generously, stir and simmer on low until potato is cooked through and sauce has reduced. If heat is too high and sauce reduces before the potato is cooked, add a little extra water. Serve on toast, with salt and pepper and a drizzle of tomato sauce.

Beautiful, Sweet, Low Calorie, Vegan Banana-Coconut Cake

I wasn’t going to blog this, but then I did the math and for such a tasty, pretty cake with each slice (makes 16 slices) being around 127 calories I figure someone might be interested in it! According to Google the average piece of chocolate cake is around 350 calories without frosting – yes, Google has this information!

I have found the best sweet result comes from combining sugar and sugar replacer, and in my humble opinion the best sugar replacers for taste are Nativa (which is a blend of Erythritol and Stevia) and coconut sugar. In this cake I’ve used 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar and 20g of Nativa.

If you really want you can blend a little Nativa with cocoa and make a delicious low-calorie chocolate sauce to go on each slice. I highly recommend that if you feel you don’t mind another 3.2 cals. ;)

OK, without further ado…

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INGREDIENTS

4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 & 3/4 cups flour
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
20g Nativa granulated sweetener (Erythritol and Stevia)
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
30g raisins (2 small boxes)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
1 tablespoon of coconut sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

Mash bananas. Add all dry ingredients including raisins. Add all wet ingredients. Mix and pour into a cake tin. Sprinkle blended topping ingredients. Bake. Bring out of the oven when springy to touch and a knife pulls out clean.

<3 You know, I’m not a bad baker if I do say so myself <3

Spicy Potatoes

Just roast potatoes in cumin, coriander, salt and a little sugar, topped off with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice. You can also add crushed cashews before roasting.

It takes me back to India where you could buy roast potato on the roadside, served in a newspaper cone, with a lemon quarter atop. My 2 year old son loves it…

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Easy Pizza!

If you want to make a vegan pizza, you can create your own cheezy sauce and put it on top, but one of the nicest, quickest and cheapest toppings I’ve found to be a beautiful substitute is just simple tahini sauce. Tahini sauce is my go-to cheese sub; I always have it in the house and it’s far less expensive than actual vegan cheese.

This beautiful pizza has home made pizza sauce (tomato paste and mixed herbs), tofu bacon, mushroom, refried beans, sunflower seeds, capsicum, mango chutney and fresh tomato. It is topped with a basic tahini sauce, a 1:1 ratio of tahini to lemon, with a lil’ water to achieve a pourable consistency.

This took about 10 minutes to assemble on a gluten-free base. It was lovely!
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Quinoa and Crispy Soy Taco Salad

This is a nice, fresh, quick pre-Summer salad.
yum

Cooked quinoa tossed with cucumber, avocado, tomato, sunflower seeds and coriander. Topped with crispy soy and taco sauce. Quick, easy and fresh. Add salt and pepper if desired. :)

P.S. This is Veg. Golden Steak (the soy I used). It is gluten free. Manufactured by Shenzhen Whole Perfect Foods Co. Limited. Imported here by Blissful Health Products and sold online and at the Blissful Health Stores.

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<3

LSA-Lemon-Berry Cake with Coconut Cream (Low Sugar)

This is so lovely. This is my first layer cake. ♥ Pretty proud of it actually. Plus; low sugar, low oil.

I’m currently experimenting with cakes to see just how low the sugar and oil can go and just how much healthy can be jammed into them without losing the cakey texture and flavour that we love. This cake – for example – is one people will enjoy and not realise there’s less sugar than usual. In the past I’ve made some fruit-sweetened cakes but have not liked the texture and flavour as much.  I believe I could still lower amounts more so stay tuned for later experiments! I am also getting closer to creating vegan sponge…

Note the use of vegan whipped cream and the addition of healthy LSA! This is good celebration food.

Without further ado I give you the next in my series of LSA cakes:

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If you don’t want to make two layers, ’cause of resources – I don’t like to waste food on experiments when I’m unsure how they’re gonna turn out! – you can just make one layer then fold one half atop the other as shown.

INGREDIENTS FOR ONE LAYER:

1 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup ground LSA
1 and 1/4 cups soy  milk
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1 tablespoon lemon

INSTRUCTIONS:

Blend, bake until springy, then repeat for the second layer.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR LEMON-WHIPPED CREAM (enough for a full layer cake, half the amounts for a half layer-cake like the one I made):

4 teaspoons lemon (to taste)
4 teaspoons apricot jam (to taste)
whipped with 2 tin of coconut cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

Whip in food processor and apply only when cake is very cool.

 

DECORATION:

Decorate with fruit, brazil nuts and shaved sugar-free chocolate.

Lovely, Healthy LSA-Banana Cake or Muffins

I’ve really nailed banana cakes.

I seem to hit that perfect texture every time now; this has the perfect level of moisture and spring. Furthermore this is not only yummy but quite healthy; I’ve included LSA.

It’s low, as opposed to no-sugar, and that means I feel like it’s more than sweet enough. You could possibly drop the sugar content further but I prefer cakes with a little sugar at least. Notice the hungry pajama-wearing person who prematurely spotted the cake and tried to wrestle it out of the photoshoot.

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INGREDIENTS

1 & 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seeds and almond)
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon malt or apple-cider vinegar
Optional: a couple of handfuls of raisins, walnuts or dark chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

Mash bananas. Add all dry ingredients. Add all wet ingredients. Mix. Bake long and slow in a cake tin or in a muffin tray. Bring out of the oven when springy to touch and golden.

 

Best Chocolate Cake & Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Source: Vegan Society of Aotearoa, New Zealand

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The recipe’s doubled, so you can halve it for a smaller batch. This recipe is my go-to and I use it for cake and cupcakes. It’s simple, quick and inexpensive to execute.

HALVED INGREDIENTS:

1 & 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon malt vinegar, apple-cider vinegar or lemon
1 cup water

Flawless Carob-walnut Coconut Ice Cream

I think this is one of the best things I’ve ever created.

I’m not being hyperbolic, this is flawlessly flavoured and perfectly scoopable. It’s not icy and you should do everything I say.

Carob isn’t a substitute for chocolate in my mind, it’s its own thing.

This recipe is foolproof and you can adapt the flavours as you see fit. Some might like to make a coffee ice cream, some may like to swap out the carob for 1/4 cup of cocoa, some may like to add cacao nibs or chocolate chips. This doesn’t deliver instantaneous gratification as it takes time to prepare, but once the ice cream is made then you get the instantaneous gratification of helping yourself whenever you may please – which if you’re me is ‘always’. I really, really, reeeeeeeeeally like ice cream.

You’ll need an ice cream maker with a freezy bowl. These cost about $20 from any department store.

Full credit to the ‘foolproofness’ goes to Max Falkowitz who really, really put his back into creating the solid structure of this ice cream. Thanks Max!

OK here it is, those are cacao nibs atop, though I prefer it plain :)

IMPORTANT: I only use Family Choice coconut cream and Family Choice coconut cream light for this recipe, it’s the only brand I’ve found to perform consistently. I personally found the organic brands to be too full of coconut oil, which messes with the consistency.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 & a half tablespoons carob powder, sifted
1/2 cup coconut sugar (use any sugar you like, I prefer this for its caramel flavour and low GI-ness)
1 & 3/4 cup light coconut cream (not solid)
1 3/4 cup solid coconut cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon of bourbon, Scotch or Irish whiskey (optional, though it does stop the ice cream from becoming too firm. I omitted this.)

INSTRUCTIONS:

On low heat add carob powder to a pan and slowly add some of the coconut milk to form a paste. Then stir through the rest of the coconut milk (this is to reduce lumps). Add all other  ingredients except for vanilla and walnuts. Slowly stir over heat until all ingredients have thoroughly melted together – no need to boil. If there is any oil that assembles at the top of the mixture do your best to remove this using a spoon as it will interfere with the outcome. Remove from head and blend for 30 seconds in a blender or food processor. Sit in fridge until very cold (about 4 hours).

Add chilled mixture to an ice cream maker bowl (ideally one that’s been frozen for 24 hours) and churn according to manufacturers instructions (30 minutes in my case). Transfer to an airtight container and chill in freezer until ready to scoop. (Approximately 5 hours).

P.S. You could enjoy this with chocolate sauce or just as-is.  I prefer it as-is but just in case you wanna try a sauce my mother’s chocolate sauce recipe is: 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup sugar, dash of vanilla. Blend sugar and cocoa in a pan until all lumps have been ground away. Slowly drizzle in water while stirring, heat until mildly simmering, take off stove, add in a dash of vanilla and pour the chocolate sauce – hot – over your ice cream.

Little Gluten-free, Low-sugar, Peanut butter, Chocolate Self-Saucing Puddings

Something to entertain us on a slow afternoon – baking!

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INGREDIENTS

Cake:

1 & 1/2 cups of Macro Wholefoods GF Plain Flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut syrup
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup soy milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1/4 cup peanut butter

Sauce:

2 tablespoons cocoa
1/8 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Throw ingredients at son.
2) Eat small puddings!

Or

Mix cake ingredients and spoon into stickless cupcake tins, mix up sauce ingredients and drizzle very generously over batter – 2 tablespoons per cake, minimum. Bake! The saucy bit will be at the bottom. Serve with maple syrup and cocoa (if you wish) and a side of whipped coconut cream.

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