I’ve Perfected Teriyaki Sauce

Here’s a delicious multi-purpose sauce for you.

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INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all ingredients together and add to a pre-heated cast iron pan, quickly simmer to thicken moving the sauce around the pan with a spatula while the sauce bubbles. This is a quick process. Remove from heat when you have a light-but-syruppy sauce.

Optional ingredients include chilli, garlic, ginger and vinegar.

Serve on thick chunks of tofu with fresh spring onions, black sesame, rice and vegetables to make your own Donburi or as I have here on fresh bread with avocado, sprouts and crispy tofu.

Fresh Pasta Sauce with Quinoa ‘Neatballs’

I don’t think I’ll buy pasta sauce again, this pasta sauce is more superior in every way! It’s incredibly simple to make and has a really fresh, frisky feel. You can use it on any kind of dish that requires fresh tomato sauce.

Also today I’m going to reveal one of my flavour secrets on how to make the ‘neatballs’ taste so…well… uhh… ‘neaty’… it’s the Worcester sauce. I put it in any kind of stewy, British-origin meal. It’s basically one of my big secret ingredients… super wow factor… must not be underrated. A lot of the traditional preparations contain anchovies though so make sure yours doesn’t. PAMS BRAND IS VEGAN and it’s magnificent.

I’m also going to show you how to use chia seeds as an egg replacement. This is an excellent binder!

Also a small disclaimer: sometimes I’m a bit lazy on measurements so please tweak as required!

Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs

Pasta Sauce

INGREDIENTS

A huge pot of fresh tomatoes chopped roughly
1 carrot
4 sundried tomatoes
A dash of garlic
A generous dash of olive oil – 3 tablespoons ish?

INSTRUCTIONS

Lazy: Put everything into a pot and cook it until the tomatoes are smooshy.Puree in the blender. Keep it chunky. Serve.

Energetic: Saute the garlic, then add the other stuff along with some extra oil, then cook it until the tomatoes are smooshy. Puree in the blender. Keep it chunky. Serve.

Add any extra flavours you want! Personally I have found there is so much delicious sodium in the actual tomatoes that I’m quite sufficiently happy sans-salt but hey, it’s all up to you. This is a base recipe, it begs your creativity.

Neatballs

I need to apologise here, the quantities are from memory. You can add mushrooms as well if you’d like!

INGREDIENTS

About 1 cup of cooked lentils
About 1 cup of cooked quinoa
About 1 cup of breadcrumbs
A handful of sunflower seeds
A teaspoon of garlic
A sprig of fresh rosemary
Three dashes of soy sauce (maybe about 3 tablespoons?)
Two dashes of Worcester sauce (maybe about 1.5 tablespoons?)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
4 tablespoons boiling water
Oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

Sauté the garlic, rosemary (remove the woody stalk) and sunflower seeds. Add this seedy, herb mixture to lentils, quinoa, breadcrumbs, soy sauce and Worcester sauce. Taste. Does it taste good? If not, add some more soy or Worcester sauce! Then you’re going to bind this using chia seeds. Mix your chia seeds and boiling water together. Observe how sticky they are! This is good, it means they’re going to work well as a binder. Mix them with the doughy mixture then fry these until they’re cooked through.

SERVE:

On pasta noodles with sautéed vegetables and a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. If you’d like (and I highly recommend it) serve with a vegan parmesan or Raw Cashew Cream Cheese.

Raw Cultured Cashew Cream Cheese

I’ve levelled up.

As I packaged and photographed these beauties I felt a sense of lofty arrogance burgeon wildly forth and I realised that all of humanity is divided into two categories -those who ferment stuff and everybody else – and it may be said that I have no class but hey, at least now I can say I have some culture.😛

Anyway… this… this… this… (shown with pistachio, walnut, sundried tomato and chives):

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It’s so easy but there is one tip I’d like to recommend that is counter to popular wisdom (and counter to every recipe I’ve found). I have tried to make this a number of ways and I think my way is best! The base recipe is from my incredibly talented friend Vilja who has turned out to be a real source of foody inspiration to me.

You can see it below packaged up for my new charitable food project: www.hungryforraw.com where we will be applying this magnificent cheese to our Raw Zucchini Rolls with chives, black pepper, capsicum and olives and also shown with my new Spaghetti and Quinoa ‘Neatballs’ made with fresh pasta sauce; the recipe for this is coming soon.

This is a raw recipe and is best enjoyed on crackers (raw or not), raw pizza, on fresh vegetables, or in any situation in which you’d use a savoury cream cheese, it’s beautiful on cooked pasta or on raw spiralised zucchini noodles and it will last in the fridge quite well.

Alright! The exposition is over, now here are the photos and then, the recipe…

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups raw cashews
1 cup water
3 x probiotic capsules (the kind you swallow to give your tummy good bacteria)
salt

Any of the following; garlic, sundried tomatoes, lemon, flavoursome nuts and seeds, herbs and spices of all varieties – once you have the base you can literally season this in any way imaginable.

INSTRUCTIONS:

This is where I’m going to deviate from standard cashew cheese recipes…

Do not soak your cashews.

Pulse them into a fine crumb.

In a bowl, mix your water, your cashew crumb and open your probiotic capsules and add the powder to the mixture. Compost (or dispose of) the capsule case. Stir this mixture up and then add it to your blender. Grind. Grind, grind, grind. Grind it into oblivion. Grind with violence. Grind with passion. The longer you can grind and the smoother it is the better your final outcome.

Next, scoop all of this into a muslin cloth or similar fine fabric. Twist the top and suspend it. This is easy. You want to hang this somewhere so some drips can fall away while it ferments… here is a picture of how to do this… fear not, it takes about two minutes…  I stole this photo from someone on the internet as it pretty clearly indicates the system:

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Leave it for 24 hours, 36 if you want, but 48 hours is too much. When it smells nice and sour take it back to the blender.

The next part is up to you… I like about a teaspoon or so of salt, about a teaspoon of garlic and a dash of lemon for a cheese flavour, adjust quantities to taste… or skip those things altogether because here’s the thing, you can add anything you damn well please. There is no limit you your creativity here. Flavour it, stick it in the fridge, serve it the next day.

That’s it. I hope you enjoy it, please let me know how it goes!

(Raw) Sour Cream

Ohhh yum. My 3 year old is really fussy about anything saucy or creamy but he loves this and so do I! Here he is enjoying some sour cream dip and veggies after an afternoon building a garden box.

Enjoy this sour cream with carrots, cucumber or celery, on tacos (raw or cooked) or dip crackers in it. Some people like to add garlic or chives to turn it into an delicious aioli. It also makes a great dressing for salad.

❤ It’s so tasty!

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INGREDIENTS

1 & 1/2 cup cashews (soaked for at least 1 hour in hot water or overnight in cold)
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
The juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Blend all ingredients until it takes on a whipped consistency. Add a dash more water if needed to get things moving, and a wee pinch more salt (if you like) to taste.

MASTER TIP/SOAKING ALTERNATIVE: to make a really creamy dressing what you should do is first turn the cashews into a fine flour by blending them dry first. Then add all other ingredients and blend. This results in a smoother, faster cream.

1 Hour

To increase the level of healthy food in the house and dial back the convenience foods I’ve started to spend about an hour every three days to make salads and bulk food to sit in the fridge so that we have yumness immediately available. Then we can just dip into salads and make various combinations of stuff into wraps, toasties, food plates, etc. It’s great for my fussy 3 year old as well. 1 hour is a small amount of time to spend in the kitchen and it only takes that long because they are really basic items to make. It’s kinda only 5 mins to throw together each thing even though they look more time intensive. Check it out…❤

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Homemade muesli – oats, sunflower seeds, coconut, almonds, sultanas,a small amount of brown rice syrup massaged through, then toasted.
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Pesto – spinach, pine nuts or cashews, oil, salt

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Steamed mushrooms with baby spinach – mushrooms, spinach, oil, water, mixed herbs

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Roasted beet, kumara and potato with rosemary

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Carrot, mesclun, mint, coriander, alfalfa pineapple salad

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Bolognese – tofu heated with Dolmio

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Roasted Cauliflower

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Pesto pasta – spiral pasta, pesto,olives, sundried tomatoes, salt

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And this is the selection from last week:

– Turmeric massaged, roasted cauliflower, with pine nuts, red rice, sultanas and salt
– Mesclun salad
– Herb roasted mushrooms
– Avocado
– Bolognese toasties
– And a beautiful beetroot salad from the Revive Cookbook – (beet, carrot, sunflower seeds, sultanas, and an orange dressing!) I didn’t get permission to share that but it’s a beautiful recipe from their second book.

Playdough

While I’m making a beautiful stew and trying out our new blender (wish me luck) I need something to entertain the little person who likes to toddle – always – in the exact same spot my legs like to be.

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INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour
3/4 cup salt
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons oil
Food colouring

INSTRUCTIONS

All you need to do is mix all of the ingredients, then kneed it to activate the stretchy properties of the gluten, but before you do, protip! Drop the food colouring into the water before you mix it through.❤

Creamy Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

I’ve started to purchase nuts and seeds in bulk in order to dial back our household expenses. I got 3kg of cashew pieces for $30 NZD. I also have a new, hardcore blender. With these powers combined I give you Raw Chocolate Cheesecake. This is simple and yummy!

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I’ve also included here  a photo of the cheesecake when frozen. Freezing it gives the best, creamy, slice-able, cafe-level texture. The photos above are of the cheesecake refrigerated. This wasn’t overly stylized, this is literally just a slice I cut in order to eat it.😀

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INGREDIENTS

3 cups cashews
1.5 cups sweet syrup and a little extra for the base and coconut cream – we used low-GI, brown rice syrup
4 tablespoons lemon
1 & 1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 handful pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dates
rice milk
vanilla
salt
thick coconut cream
berries

INSTRUCTIONS

Soak 3 cups of cashews. Soak these for four hours or overnight using cold water or for 1 hour using boiling water). Soak 1/2 cup dates for 10 minutes. Drain both. Measure 1 cup of soaked cashews and blend with 1/2 a cup of dates, 1 handful of pumpkin and sunflower seeds (blended), a dash of vanilla, 1/2 a cup of cocoa and a pinch of salt. Press this into the base of a spring-form baking tin.

Next, blend the remaining cashews (around 3 cups after soaking), along with 1.5 cups of syrup, 1/2 a cup of coconut oil (softened), 3/4s of a cup of cocoa, vanilla, 4 tablespoons of lemon, a dash of rice milk and two pinches of salt. Blend until creamy. Adjust flavours to suit your taste preference! Pour this creamy mix onto the nut base and make the pan ‘tremor’ to smooth out the top. Set this in the freezer for around four hours before serving (you can set it in the fridge but personally I think the freezer delivers a superior result). Serve with thick coconut cream whipped with a dash of sweet syrup and a berry sauce (to make this berry sauce I just blended 1 cup of frozen strawberries with a dash of liquid).

Chickpea Patties

I’ve been seeking a simple chickpea patty recipe for a while now, often I’m left unsatisfied! This is a modification of a random recipe found online and it is simple and yummy.❤ Enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS

1 carrot
1 tin chickpeas
1 teaspoon coriander
1 generous handful of sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons of flour
salt
pepper
starch to bind (I used 1/4 teaspoon of xanathan gum with water, but you can use 1/2 teaspoon of tapioca starch, 1 teaspoon of cornflour, etc)
oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

Mash chickpeas. Add 1 grated carrot, sunflower seeds, coriander, flour, generous helpings of salt and pepper and your chosen starch and then fry in hot oil until crispy.

The Ultimate Most Perfect, Inexpensive, Quick Vegan Ice Cream Base Recipe; Scoops From The Freezer Like A Dream. Life Will Never Be The Same! Aah!

What a time to be alive.

This is my gift to the people. It feels like the pinnacle of my contribution to veganism. I take full credit for the modification of other vegan ice cream recipes into an incredibly simple, quick, cheap recipe – with no fancy ingredients – that scoops directly from the freezer with the perfect softness.

Right now I only recommend this one particular brand of coconut cream, but it’s the ubiquitous Woolworths Homebrand Coconut Cream found in Countdown supermarkets for $1.20 per tin.

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INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup sugar (I prefer coconut sugar)
1/4 cup maple syrup (I use the inexpensive imitation stuff)
2 tins Woolworths Homebrand Coconut Cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

Ensure your ice cream maker bowl has been frozen for at least 24 hours.

Put all ingredients into a pan and stir over a low head until sugar has dissolved – no need to boil. Place mixture in freezer or fridge until very cold.

Once cold assemble ice cream maker and pour mixture into bowl. Churn until very thick. Return churned ice cream to freezer and freeze. You should be able to eat this as ice cream after it’s been frozen for around 1 and a half hours.

Makes 850ish mLs.

This is absolutely as delicious as the fancy brands that are around $8 for 400mLs.

This is the vanilla recipe and it operates as a base, flavour this any way you damn well please.

***

NOTE:  If you are a rebel and a troublemaker with no regard for potential waste you can trial other cheaper brands of coconut cream. You’re a braver kind than me. Let me know how you go. One of the most important thing to avoid is the formation of oil on top of your mixture. If oil forms it will destroy your batch. Watch out for that with other brands. If oil forms, remove as much as you can. You may also use coconut sugar and agave to make it low GI. Experiment with Stevia and Erythritol; the world is yours.

Epic vegan butter

toast

This is a recipe adapted from Mattie’s outstanding butter recipe at VeganBaking: http://www.veganbaking.net/recipes/fats/vegan-butters/vegan-butter.

First, please go read Mattie’s original recipe–it explains what the ingredients do, and why it’s important to be quite precise with the measurements and the ingredients. What I like about Mattie’s approach is that he replicates the fat/water/solids content of butter to give it butter-like qualities as well as buttery taste.

This is where I come in. I found the ratios in that recipe were not quite the same as butter, so I wondered how much closer I could get. After making a recipe with the exact ratios found in butter, I made a few adjustments for taste and found it was very close to a great quality butter. My recipe makes up the solids by  adding cashews to the soy milk in the original recipe. This increases the solids content without increasing the water ratio.

I mentioned precision above. The best thing you can do is have a good set of digital scales that can measure to 0.1 gram (TradeMe sellers often have ones that will do up to 2kg by 0.1g for $20). This gets you accuracy and repeatability. I’ll give the exact weights below, but also measurement approximations.

One last thing: this butter needs to live in the fridge. It’s more spreadable straight from the fridge than butter is, but it separates much more easily as it warms up, because it is less complex than butter. Butter has a hundred components that melt at different temperatures. Because of this, it gradually softens across a wide temperature range. This recipe has only three – water, coconut oil, and rice bran oil – and although it has an emulsifier and a stabiliser in it, it will still separate when not chilled for an hour or two.

KNIFE

Ingredients 

Exact weights Approximate measures
62 grams soy milk ¼ cup soy milk
14.5 grams, cashews, soaked 12 whole cashews, soaked
68 grams rice bran oil 1/3 cup rice bran oil
210 grams refined coconut oil 1 cup of refined coconut oil
2.8 grams coconut vinegar ½ tsp coconut vinegar
2.8 grams apple cider vinegar ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
3 grams salt ½ to ¾ tsp salt
9 grams liquid lecithin 2 tsp liquid lecithin
2.3 grams xanthan gum ½ tsp xanthan gum
Pinch of turmeric Pinch of turmeric

Method

1) Soak cashews for 3 hours. Dry off, and set aside.

2) Add soy milk and vinegars to a glass. Let it curdle.

3) Microwave or otherwise warm the coconut oil until just melted.

4) Add all of the remaining ingredients (except turmeric) to the coconut oil. If you have digital scales, just use ‘tare’ in between weighings and you can easily add all of your remaining ingredients accurately.

5) Pour the oil mixture in a blender and add the cashews and soy milk/vinegar mixture. Be sure to use a rubber spatula transfer everything.

6) Blend for several minutes on a high speed until everything is completely smooth, even and light.

7) If you want a yellow colour, progressively add tiny pinches of turmeric and blend until you hit your desired tint.

8) Pour into a container, and freeze until completely solid. Remove, and refrigerate.