A few links to work through

Some links to recipes I may or may not have had the chance to work through properly yet.

Gnocchi With Tomato Sauce

This simple tomato sauce gets tons of flavor from herbs steeped in olive oil that lusciously coats potato pillows of gnocchi.  With thanks.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 stems fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 4 stems fresh oregano
  • 2 stems fresh rosemary
  • 2 stems fresh basil, plus 2 more stems for garnish
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 vine ripened tomatoes  (or one can of prepared rich tomatoes)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (optional)
  • 400g gnocchi
  • 200g cherry size mozzarella balls, cut in half
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Add ¼ cup olive oil to a 10-inch high sided sauté pan or a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the parsley, oregano, rosemary and 2 stems of basil and cook for about 5 minutes or until the herbs become crisp.
  3. Remove the herbs and discard then add the onion and garlic to the oil, lowering the heat if needed so the onions cook gently and don’t brown.
  4. Cook until the onions are transparent, about 5-7 minutes, then crush the tomatoes with your hand and add to the pan with juice.
  5. Season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thicken, stirring occasionally.
  6. Stir in the heavy cream and remove from the heat.
  7. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the gnocchi.  Season generously with kosher salt and cook until the gnocchi float to the top of the boiling water.
  8. Drain and then place the gnocchi into the cooked sauce.
  9. Top with the halved mozzarella balls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese then drizzle the tops of the gnocchi with the remaining olive oil.
  10. Broil (Grill) for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese melts and the tops become crispy.
  11. Garnish with additional basil leaves and serve immediately.

Roasted Balsamic Vegetable Pasta with mint and yoghurt

Serves 2 to 3 as a main dish

1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 pound bowtie or other pasta
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup mint, chopped
Roasted red pepper flakes to taste
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt, or more to taste

Preheat oven to 450° F. Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper (you can also use foil, but be sure to spray foil with cooking spray before adding vegetables). Arrange cauliflower florets, eggplant cubes, onion slices, and tomato halves (cut side facing up) on baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, stir and shake up the vegetable pieces, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are browned and softened.

While vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta in salted water. Mix the balsamic, olive oil, mint, and red pepper flakes (if desired) with a fork until blended.

Combine roasted vegetables with pasta and toss with balsamic dressing. While hot, add yogurt and toss to coat evenly.

Notes:
• Make sure to leave enough space between the vegetables when roasting so they brown and caramelize rather than steaming
• Cut vegetables in slightly larger than bize-sized pieces — they will shrink when cooking. Keep the sizes fairly uniform to make sure everything cooks in the same amount of time.
• Depending on the size of your oven, you might need to roast the vegetables in batches.

from here

Maple Cinnamon Crunch Quinoa Granola

Makes approximately 4-5 cups

From Tasty-Yummies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked (rinsed well and drained)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut chips
  • 1/3 cup flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. In a large bowl or directly in a roasting pan, combine all of the dry ingredients, including the spices. If solid, heat the coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl on high for 20-30 seconds until melted. Pour the coconut oil and maple syrup evenly over all of the granola. Toss it all very well to make sure the dry ingredients are all nicely coated.
  3. Make sure the granola is evenly spread in a thin layer in your roasting pan (you can also use a parchment paper lined baking sheet as well). I like using a roasting pan, since it makes stirring easier, so you don’t lose any over the sides. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, and slightly crisp. Stirring a few times while it is baking.
  4. Cool completely in the roasting pan or on the baking sheet. As it cools the granola will crisp up even more. Cool fully before adding placing in air tight container for storage.
  5. Enjoy this granola as cereal in your favourite milk (dairy or non-dairy), sprinkled with fresh fruit over your favourite yogurt or ice cream, on top of a smoothie, etc.

Mushroom and Corn Chowder

Mushroom and Corn Chowder

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 6 servings

An amazingly creamy chowder, loaded with tons of veggies. It’s hearty, nutritious and so comforting!  Thanks

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound red potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1/2 cup half and half, or more, as needed*
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Instructions

  • Melt butter in the stockpot or Dutch oven. Add garlic, mushrooms and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme and dill until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Whisk in vegetable broth and bay leaf, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in potatoes.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
  • Stir in spinach and corn until the spinach begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in half and half until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more half and half as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with bacon and parsley, if desired.

Notes

*Half and half is equal parts of whole milk and cream. For 1 cup half and half, you can substitute 3/4 cup whole milk + 1/4 cup heavy cream or 2/3 cup skim or low-fat milk + 1/3 cup heavy cream.

Humous

This recipe is thanks to Inspired Taste for the initial method (but I prefer mine with more garlic)

Ingredients

  • 1 tin chickpeas (approx 400g)
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) tahini
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
  • Sprinkle of ground paprika for serving

Method

  1. In the food processor or blender, combine tahini and lemon juice.
  2. Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl then turn on and process for 30 seconds. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making smooth and creamy hummus possible.
  3. Add the olive oil, crushed garlic, cumin and the salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice mixture. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and bottom of bowl then process another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the drained and rinsed can of chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor then process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl, add remaining chickpeas and process for 1 to 2 minutes or until thick and quite smooth.

Getting the consistency right

Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until the consistency is perfect.

To Serve

Serve in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil over the top, and then sprinkled with a little with paprika.

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to about a week (if you don’t eat it all by then).

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 200g margarine
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
  • 300g plain flour
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 100-120g Chocolate chunks (vegan chocolate if preferred)
  • 120-100g Caramel pieces
  • Freshly ground sea salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Cream margarine and sugar together in a mixer, until light and fluffy
  3. Slowly add sifted flour & baking powder to the butter mix, to form a dough
  4. Add the chocolate chunks and caramel chunks to the dough, and mix carefully
  5. Roll into small golf size balls, arrange on paper on a cookie tray, and press down slightly.
  6. Freshly grind salt on top of each cookie.
  7. Cook for 12-15 minutes in the middle of the oven (take out just as they start going golden, not when they’re all golden)
  8. Allow to cool slightly on the tray before transferring to the cooling rack.
  9. Transfer to a cooling rack, and then store in an airtight container when cool.

Notes:

  • In my experience, the best chocolate chunks are actually half or third a ‘square’ of chocolate, so you end up with cubes of chocolate around 1cm square (which are much nicer to eat within the cookie).  Chocolate drops are just a little too small, and so melt too much during cooking.
  • The cookies do not need cooking for quite as long as you may expect.  But if they’re just going golden brown, they’ll still be quite soft when getting out of the oven, but they’ll firm up nicely when cooling.

Choc Oat Chewies

These are based on a ‘Special Oat Chewies’ recipe I picked up from somewhere many years ago.  So when a friend asked for some chocolate chip cookies with oats this morning, this recipe came quickly to mind.  Because of some new dietary restrictions amongst friends, I was able to modify the recipe accordingly below, and they’re delicious!

This makes a good 24-36 ‘biscuit’ sized treats (as I tend to cook them in baking trays of 12 at a time. Smaller is normally better)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup     rice bran oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup        white sugar
  • 3/4 cup     agave syrup (honey, or golden syrup)
  • 1/2 cup     non-dairy milk (soy, rice, etc.  or regular dairy if you prefer)
  • 2 tsp          vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups buckwheat flour (or wholemeal flour if you’re not worried about the Gluten Free aspect)
  • 1/2 tsp       baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp       salt
  • 3 cups       rolled oats
  • 3/4 tsp       cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup      sultans or raisins
  • 1/3 cup      hazelnuts
  • 1 cup / 125g         large chocolate chunks (such as 1/2 bar of Whitaker’s Dark Ghana, chopped roughly into half the regular sized chocolate squares)

Method

  • Preheat your oven to around 180 degrees.
  • Blend the oil, sugar, syrup/honey, milk and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Add the powdered ingredients slowly (mixing in well to the liquids as you go along).
  • Finally add the raisins, whole hazelnuts, and chocolate chunks, and mix in well.
  • Place large spoonfuls of the mixture onto baking parchment, around 12 cookies per sheet.
    • They largely keep their shape, so will look pretty rugged even after baking.
  • Bake them for around 11-14 minutes until just going golden on the peaks and base (rotating the baking trays as necessary).
  • Remove from the oven, and leave to cool on the baking tray for a couple of minutes (to help keep their shape).
  • Then remove carefully from the baking parchment, and allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes or so.
  • Enjoy slowly!

Storage:

  • You can store them in an airtight tub for up to a few days easily.
  • I haven’t tested them beyond 4 days yet, because they always get eaten up by then!

Vegan pancakes

Vegan pancakes

A few years ago, whilst single and working from home, I intentionally didn’t buy chocolate, sweets, or similar.

Pancakes were therefore my ‘go to’ option for those times I really wanted a sweet fix.  I’d always keep powdered milk, lemon juice, and the like in the cupboard ready (I can’t eat eggs, so I modified my own version with mainly just equal volumes of milk to flour, which worked pretty well by itself).

This is the latest incarnation of the recipe, that’s now vegan.  It also recently proved particularly popular to the build crews at kiwiburn, where there were a good dozen or so vegans (hence the group measurements).

Vegan pancakes

This makes those smaller, slightly thicker, American style pancakes.

If you’d like to make them more like the French Crepes style thin large ones, add a little more oil, a bit more ‘milk’ liquid, and use something to spread the mix gently around your pan as it starts to cook to help it get nice and thin.

Ingredients (to feed four, or there abouts):

  • 1 cup (250ml) plain flour
  • 1 1/3 cups (330ml) soy milk (or other milks)
  • 2 level teaspoons baking powder
  • about 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran oil (or other oils)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • A little oil for frying (depending on your non-stick pan)

Ingredients (to feed around 12-15 people):

  • 3 cups (750ml) plain flour
  • 3.5 cups (875ml) soy milk (or other milks)
  • 4 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 heaped tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 3 tbls rice bran oil (or other oils)
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • A little oil for frying  (depending on your non-stick pan)

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients into a large bowl
  2. Whisk thoroughly with a fork (or an egg whisk if you have one).
  3. The consistency should be similar to double cream.
  4. If you can, leave the mix to stand for 20 minutes (or ideally much longer like a few hours, for the best results leave the mix overnight. This helps the mix gel together better).
  5. Have a pre-heated non-stick fry pan, medium hot.
  6. If it’s not that good a non-stick pan, add about a teaspoon of oil before cooking (you don’t need much).  Otherwise ideally no extra oil in the pan.
  7. Pour a little of the mix into three ‘corners’ of the pan (a couple of tablespoons per pancake).
  8. Fry until the bubbles burst on the uncooked top, and the base is a nice brown cooked colour (if the bubbles burst before the base goes brown, turn the heat up.  If the base goes brown before the burbles burst, turn the heat down).
  9. Flip over, and cook for about 30 seconds to a minute more.
  10. Stack on a plate, put in a pre-heated oven at about 70 degrees Celsius, and eat with whatever you like!

Some great toppings:

  • Maple Syrup (the genuine stuff, not ‘maple flavour syrup’)
  • lemon juice and sugar
  • Toffee sauce
  • bananas
  • chocolate spread
  • bananas and chocolate spread
  • chocolate spread and cream
  • fruit purée / compote
  • frozen berries
  • finely sliced apple & cinnamon
  • slices of butter
  • everything  else you can think of!

Other Variations:

You can also use Buckwheat flour instead of the regular flour (although baking powder normally contains gluten too)  I’m still playing around with my favourite variations to the gluten free option at the moment.

chocolate drop pancakes
You can also add chocolate drops to part of the mix, for a delicious sweet variation.
You can stack a bunch of crepes together, layered with whipped cream, syrup, fruit, and whatever else you like.
You can stack a bunch of crepes together, layered with whipped cream, syrup, fruit, and whatever else you like.
You can fill your thinner pancakes with a savoury filling too. This was a chickpea salad mix topped with finely grated cheese.
You can fill your thinner pancakes with a savoury filling too. This was a chickpea salad mix topped with finely grated cheese.  Delicious 🙂

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 3 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 75g Vegetable or Sunflower oil (by weight, not volume)
  • 50g Dried fruit or nuts (optional)

Method:

  • Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
  • Mash the peeled bananas with a fork. Mix well with oil and sugar.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and cinnamon, and combine well.
  • Add any additional ingredients.
  • Baked in a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin for 20 minutes, before checking. Cover with foil, if the loaf cake is browning. Bake for another 40 minutes (approximately).
  • Allow to cool a little before slicing. It’s delicious freshly baked but even yummier when it goes gooey the next day!

Soft vegan chocolate brownies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/3 cup raisens
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C
  2. Put everything but the nuts and fruit in a mixing bowl
  3. Mix thoroughly
  4. Add the nuts and fruit, and mix again.
  5. Pour into a lined tray
  6. Bake for about 35 minutes
  7. Leave it to cool for a bit
  8. Chop it into squares
  9. Eat and enjoy!