Vegan Roast

Now everybody gets a roast…

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A classic Sunday roast is such a beautiful family tradition. Whether you cook it together as a family or simply stroll down to your local pub, a Sunday roast is the perfect way to seal the weekend. Unfortunately finding a roast fit for  vegetarians and vegans is like finally finding a unicorn, they simply don’t exist. Not anymore! today’s recipe is here to make sure you never feel left out of the Sunday roast tradition.

The humble cauliflower is the perfect aid to make a vegan friendly roast. Thanks to its ability to perfectly char and crisp on the outside and yet remain succulent and delicate on the inside. I roasted the cauliflower on a tray of tinned olive oil glazed chickpeas and sweet potato wedges, which made for delicious accompaniments. You can serve this vegan roast with traditional Sunday roast accompaniments or just a simple salad. Either way, its lip smackingly delicious.

Ingredients:  8   Cooking time: 60 minutes

Serves: 4

  • One large cauliflower (leaves trimmed)
  • Two pods of garlic, minced
  • Two tablespoons of harrisa paste
  • One heaped teaspoon of cumin powder
  • One heaped teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 100 ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • salt to season

Prepare the cauliflower for the roast by trimming loose leaves and stems, so it can be laid flat on the roasting tray.

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Prior to roasting the cauliflower, steam the whole cauliflower for five to seven minutes. This helps the marinade to be coated evenly and also prevents the cauliflower from drying out whilst roasting.

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In a bowl prepare the marinade by mixing the oil, lemon juice harrisa paste, dried spices and salt. Apply the marinade on the steamed cauliflower ensuring its evenly coated.

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Roast the cauliflower on 180 degrees celsius for about 45 minutes or until crispy. Serve alongside your desired roast accompaniments and let this vegan roast become a part of your Sunday tradition.

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Spinach and Potato Bake

Love what you do, do what you love…

After a long break, I am sitting here staring at the screen thinking of something profound to say. Trying to make a come back, with a bang. However, words fail me! I don’t have an explanation for my absence. I don’t know how long I am back for or how frequently I will post a recipe for you. What I do know, is I love food and as long as I can cook, I will share it with you.

Today’s recipe is a simple, hearty winter warmer. Layers of potato, garlicky spinach, cream and cheese, a perfect matrimony of decadence and nutrition.

Ingredients:  11          Cooking time: 60 minutes

Serves: 4

  • One large bunch of spinach, finely chopped
  • Three medium potatoes, thinly sliced
  • one small onion, finely chopped
  • two to three garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Two eggs
  • 300ml of cream
  • 250 gms of grated cheddar cheese
  • 125 gms of grated parmesan cheese
  • Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • One teaspoon white pepper
  • Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Heat oil in a pan. Add onion, once translucent add garlic. Cook until aromatic.

Now add the chopped spinach, season with salt. Once wilted, drain the excess liquid (tip: you can use the liquid as stock in your gravies or pasta sauce).

In a bowl, combine eggs, cream, pepper and salt. Mix well.

Now grease a baking dish with some olive oil. Make a double layer the of the sliced potatoes, then add the spinach mixture and finish with a double layer of potatoes.

Pour the cream and egg batter and finally top it with grated cheese.

Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until cooked and golden brown on the top.

I usually serve this with a side of roasted vegetables or a salad. Either way it is lip smackingly delicious.

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Fish Curry

There’s nothing fishy about it 


I grew up in a vegetarian household and was strictly vegetarian until recently. Then one day just like that I decided to order a seafood pasta and haven’t looked back since. With that said I still can’t stomach fish that smells like fish, for instance, salmon, sardines, anchovies, etc. Nor can I eat oysters because they look like snot. After all food is an all inclusive experience. We eat with our eyes and taste with our nose first. 

Over time I have built my knowledge about various kinds of seafood and the flavours, spices, etc that are complimentary to each other. This fish curry recipe includes a mix of dried spices and fresh herbs. It’s similar to the Kerala fish curry called ‘meen moillee’. 


So when my mother in law and father in law were over I decided to indulge them in an all encompassing flavour explosion. I served the fish curry on a bed of basmati rice and with a side of crispy potatoes. I was so pleased to see everyone wipe their plates clean and even go back for thirds. 

Ingredients: 18   Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6

  • Two large white fish fillets, without skin and cut into bite size pieces (I used barramundi)
  • 800ml of coconut light cream 
  • One onion, finely chopped
  • Two tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Three to four pods of garlic, finely chopped
  • One thumbsized piece of ginger, grated
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves 
  • Two to three green chillies, chopped
  • Two kaffir lime leaves
  • Half a bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • Two teaspoons of dried mint
  • Two teaspoons of coriander powder
  • One teaspoon of red chilli powder
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Half a teaspoon of asafoetida (hing), optional
  • Four tablespoons of mustard oil
  • Salt to season 
  • Fresh coriander to garnish (optional)

Heat mustard oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add asafoetida, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Once aromatic add garlic, ginger and onion and cook until onion is caramelised.


Add tomatoes, turmeric, chilli and coriander powder, cook until tomatoes are soft. Then add dried mint and fresh mint (leave some fresh mint for garnish), coconut cream, kaffir lime leaves and two cups of water. Season with salt as required.

Simmer the curry on low heat for 30 minutes. Now add the fish and cook on low heat for another seven to ten minutes or until the fish is cooked.

Garnish with fresh mint and coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice or roti bread. Either way this curry is one hell of a winner!

Pumpkin, Carrot and Potato Soup

Autumn in a bowl 


Autumn is one of my favourite seasons in Australia. There’s a slight chill in the air and beautiful heartwarming colours of orange, red and yellow everywhere. It is one of the most picturesque sites to see. 

This autumn was made even better with the birth of my second son Jai Alexander. I mean how time flies my older son is nearly two, I am a mother of two and life is just that little more chaotic but oh so beautiful. The merriment around the house tripled as my parents were visiting too. I can’t explain watching my parents with my children in words except that it filled my heart with so much love, warmth and gratitude. 

To celebrate our little bundle of joy and the last remaining days of autumn, I decided to cook with colours of autumn.  I’m not a fan of pumpkin per say but I have to admit when combined with other warming flavours, it truly shines. So I decided to make a pumpkin, potato and carrot soup with chilli, lemon and ginger oil. 

Ingredients: 16   Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6

For the soup

  • Half a pumpkin (I used butternut), peeled and cut in cubes 
  • Two carrots, peeled and diced 
  • Two to three potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • One onion, chopped
  • Two pods of garlic, chopped
  • One bay leaf
  • One teaspoon cumin powder
  • One teaspoon smoked paprika
  • One vegetable stock cube
  • Three tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt to season 

For the lemon chilli oil

  • Five tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • One to two red chillies, chopped
  • One thumb size piece of ginger, grated
  • Juice of one lemon
  • One to two kaffir lime leaves

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom saucepan. Add garlic, once aromatic add onion and cooking until lightly caramelised.


Now add all the vegetables, followed by all the spices (except the stock cube). Mix well. Then add one litre of water, stock cube, season with salt and cover the pan with a lid. Let the soup simmer on a low heat until vegetables are cooked.


To make the flavoured oil, combine all the ingredients in a pan and let them simmer on a low heat for five to seven minutes or until aromatic.

Using the stick blender, blend the soup until smooth. Season with salt as required, add more water if needed to reach desired consistency. Again let the soup simmer for another 10 to 12 minutes.

Garnish with a generous drizzle of the chilli, lemon and ginger oil. Serve with a side of garlic bread and feel your heart and soul warm up with this autumnal goodness.

Cheesey Potato Bake

Because potato and cheese make everything better


 

 

 

 

 

I can’t imagine the world without potatoes! Let’s be honest what a sad place that will be. Potatoes are an every occasion food and can be eaten at every mealtime too. I suppose that’s what makes them so special. 

Both my mum and mother in law make some of the nicest dishes with potatoes. While my mum makes the best Jeera Aloo (Cumin potatoes), my mother in law does an incredible potato bake. So much so that whenever either of them are in town I’m sure to request these potato dishes. 

Since I have already shared the cumin potato recipe (find it here), it was only fair to not keep you bereft of this incredible potato bake recipe. It’s cheesey, its flavour packed, it’s actually healthy and such a quick mid week family meal.



Ingredients: 10  Cooking time: 60 minutes

Serves: 4

  • Six to eight medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Two to three carrots, peeled and sliced
  • One leek, chopped
  • Two pods of garlic, minced
  • 500ml of vegetable stock
  • 400gms of grated tasty or cheddar cheese
  • 100gms of grated Parmesan cheese 
  • Black pepper to season
  • Three tablespoons of olive oil
  • Chopped parsley to garnish 

Pre heat the oven to 250 degrees celsius.

In a pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic, once aromatic add leek and cook on a medium flame for two to three minutes. Now add the carrots, mix well and cook for five to ten minutes. Season with cracked pepper and keep aside.

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Grease a baking dish with olive oil. Assemble a layer of potatoes, then add a layer of the leek and carrot mix and a layer of cheese. Continue layering the remaining potatoes, leek and carrots and cheese. Once assembled pour the stock and finish off the a generous layer of cheese. 

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Place the dish in the oven and bake until the potatoes are cooked. Place under the broiler for the last five minutes to melt the cheese and crisp the top.

Your lip smackingly delicious cheesey potato bake is ready to be served. Garnish with chopped parsley and cracked pepper. This dish goes perfectly with a nice dry Pinot Grigio or Riesling. 

Green Thai Curry

Bring the taste of Thailand to your home…

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As much as I love winter, I am not a fan of all the cold and flu ailments it brings with it. 

I always thought being a stay at home meant I could just lie in bed all day and be a vegetable on days when I’m feeling under the weather. The reality is so far from it!  Give me a corporate job any day, atleast it comes with an end time everyday and paid leave for sick days. A stay at home mum on the other hand is a 24/7 kind of thing, sick or not sick #thestruggleisreal.

Now that I wasn’t going to get any ‘lie on my ass all day’ recovery time. So what’s the next best thing to cure a winter flu? Yep, you guessed it right a big bowl of curry and rice. 

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Here’s my version of Thai green curry. It’s simple, it’s tasty and filled with lotsa goodness, which will please your palette and heal your soul.

Ingredients: 20   Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6

  •  One bunch of fresh coriander
  • One to two green chillies
  • Four kaffir lime leaves
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Half a teaspoon cumin powder
  • Two pods of garlic
  • One two inch piece of ginger
  • One cinnamon stick
  • One bay leaf 
  • 500 ml of coconut milk
  • 250 gms of firm tofu, cut in sticks
  • Two carrots, peeled and cut into discs
  • One zucchini, cut into discs
  • 150 gms of shiitake mushrooms, quartered 
  • Two bunches of pak choy
  • One medium sized broccoli, cut into florets
  • One tablespoon of brown sugar
  • Salt to season
  • Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • One teaspoon sesame oil (optional)

To make the green curry paste combine coriander, green chillies, two kaffir lime leaves, lemon juice, cumin powder, garlic and ginger in a blender. Add one cup of water and blend the ingredients into a smooth paste.

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Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add tofu and all veggies apart from the pak choy, sear them through for three to four minutes. Now add the green curry paste, coconut milk, cinnamon stick, remaining kaffir lime leaves and bayleaf. Cover the pan and let the gravy simmer on a medium heat for seven to ten minutes. 

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Now add pak choy and season with salt and sugar. Cover the pan and let the curry simmer on a low heat for another 10  minutes. Finally drizzle a teaspoon of sesame oil and mix well.

Your lip smackingly delicious Green Thai Curry is ready to be served. Serve alongside some steamed rice or simply eat it by itself. This dish is a definitely a midweek treat.

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Prawn linguine

Something special for those special occasions…

Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. I woke up to a beautiful present, he bought me flowers, came home early from work, settled the babies for the night and finally as I went to bed I found a beautiful Swarovski bracelet on my pillow. Yes, I know he’s a keeper! I really hit the jackpot when I married him.

 Earlier we would have gone out to dinner, wined and dined till the wee hours of the morning. Now that wouldn’t go down too well with our eight month old boy and his furbling. Needless to say then our stay at home dinner had to be something special.

One of my husband’s favourite dishes is my prawn linguine. A touch of wine, a touch of chilli, loads of garlic and of course succulent prawns. What’s not to love? So if you are looking to celebrate something special in the comfort of your own home then this is the dish for you.

  
Ingredients: 10  cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

  • One packet of linguine pasta
  • 400 gms of prawns, shelled and deveined 
  • Three ripe truss tomatoes, chopped
  • Half a bunch of continental parsley, chopped
  • Three to four pods of garlic, finely chopped
  • 250ml of white wine ( I used a riesling)
  • Five tablespoons of olive oil
  • One teaspoon of red chilli flakes
  • Salt to season
  • Cracked black pepper to garnish

Cook pasta as per packet instructions until al dente. In another pot heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a pot. Add garlic and chilli flakes, cook until aromatic.

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Now add tomatoes, parsley (some some for garnish). Cook tomatoes until slightly soft. Then add white wine, lemon juice and let the sauce simmer for three to four minutes on a low heat.

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Add the prawns and mix well. Season with salt. Once the prawns start to change colour and start getting orange add the pasta. Toss the pasta well to ensure the sauce evenly coats the pasta. Finally add remaining olive oil, you can use more olive oil if the pasta looks dry.

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Your lip smackingly delicious prawn linguine is ready to serve. It’s best enjoyed with a garnish of cracked pepper, a wedge of lemon and of course more wine.