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Archive for the ‘Brunch’ Category

A lot of the dishes I make are often inspired by something I’ve seen or eaten before at a restaurant, and this is especially true for raw dishes as I’m still quite an amateur when it comes to ‘uncooking’. I first tried this creation in the Living Food Cafe in Phuket, and only because it was recommended to us by another customer – I was quite skeptical of the sound of it. I may have mentioned before that I was never a big fan of mixing fruits with vegetables, but honestly the mix of Papaya with the savoury flavours work wonderfully! Add chopped Mango to your salsa and you’ll be in raw heaven…Trust me, this combo is delicious  & satisfying, and makes a great starter or even a light dinner. Don’t use Papaya that is too ripe, as it won’t keep its shape!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

1 large Papaya, ripe but firm

Alex’s Mango Salsa (omitting Cucumber, adding 1/2 tsp. minced Garlic)

Guacamole (recipe from The 30-Minute Vegan: Over 175 Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking):

2 ripe Avocados, peeled & seeded

2 Tblsp. chopped Red Onion

sqeeze of fresh Lime juice

1 small Garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. fresh Red or Green Chile, minced (optional, depending on how spicy you want it)

dash of Chile powder or Cayenne Pepper

Salt and Pepper

for garnish: Spring Onion (optional)

 

Method:

– Peel Papaya and cut off top and tail. Cut into thick, even sized rings and carefully scoop out seeds from the centre of the rings. Place on plate.

– Mix ingredients for Salsa in a bowl and set aside.

– For the Guacamole, place all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well, mashing the Avocado until a few chunks remain. Taste, and adjust seasonings.

– Scoop a large spoonful of Guacamole onto each Papaya ring, followed by a spoonful of Salsa. Decorate with Spring Onion if desired.

*Eat with a knife & fork, and enjoy!

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It’s been a while since my last entry, but I’m slowly recovering from post-holiday blues…That doesn’t stop me from reminiscing though – which is exactly what this Carrot Cake is about! My mum’s friend and I had planned to make this to keep us going on our long car ride to Croatia (7 hours!), but it never lasted that long – we ended up having to bake a replacement at the last minute. Turns out my Dad has a strict ‘No eating in the car’ policy, so the Carrot Loaf came all the way to Croatia with us and ended up a blessing amongst the lack of veggie food…My family agreed that this was the best Carrot Cake they have ever had, and couldn’t believe it was made without Eggs or Butter. This recipe is based on one from Ricki Heller’s book: Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar, which I absolutely LOVE as all the recipes are without refined sugar or wheat – my kind of Dessert book! The combination of Carrot, Cinnamon, Lemon & Coconut is heavenly, and the Lemon Glaze on top (suggested by my Dad’s girlfriend) adds just the right amount of tartness…

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups finely grated Carrot, unpacked

1 Tblsp. ground Flax Seeds

1/4 cup Agave Syrup

1/4 cup Maple Syrup (or 1/2 cup of Syrup of choice)

3/4 cup Soy Milk

1/3 cup Canola Oil

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tblsp. grated Lemon Zest, fresh

1 1/2 cups Whole Spelt Flour

2 tsp. Cinnamon

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded Coconut

 

Method:

– Preheat oven to 180C/350F, and spray a 8″ loaf pan or 9″ square pan.

– In a medium bowl, combine Carrots, Flax Seeds, Agave, Maple Syrup, Soy Milk, Oil, Vanilla, Vinegar and Lemon Zest. Set aside for atleast 2 minutes.

– In a large bowl, sift together Flour, Cinnamon, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt. Add Coconut, and stir to combine.

– Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir just to combine. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

– Bake in preheated oven for 35- 45 minutes (the loaf pan takes longer than a square pan), or until a tester inserted in centre comes out clean.

– Allow to cool completely until removing from pan, and covering with Lemon Glaze.

For the Lemon Glaze:

1 cup sifted Icing Sugar

juice of 1 Lemon (add half first, then more if needed)

 

– Slowly add Lemon Juice to Icing Sugar until the right consistency is achieved. Pour over Carrot Loaf and allow to set.

*Warning: Will make a mess if eaten in the car…

PS: This would be delicious with the inclusion of Nuts, too!

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For the last 2 years or so I’ve become accustomed to a light breakfast of Fruits or Smoothies, but every Sunday I like to treat myself to a nice hearty Brunch (because I have the  whole day free to recover from my food coma!) – and I’ve had this recipe in mind for a few weeks…It comes straight from Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink & Be Vegan: Everyday Vegan Recipes Worth Celebrating, which has some fabulous recipes! I used Whole Grain Spelt flour for these, which produces quite a ‘wholesome’ texture, so I would suggest that you maybe try it with Light Spelt if you have it on hand – I’m sure Wheat flour would make a fine substitute too, if it’s not a problem for you. Even though they contain Coconut Milk, the pancakes don’t have an obvious Coconut flavour, so adding dessicated Coconut or an extract would be good if that is what you’re looking for…The overripe Banana adds enough sweetness, so that there is no need for extra Sugar. These are not South African style pancakes (which are more like Crepes) – they come out thick & small, perfect to stack on top of eachother and cover with Maple Syrup & Bananas!

Ingredients: (makes 12-15 pancakes)

1 1/2 cups Spelt Flour or Whole-wheat Pastry Flour

1 Tblsp. + 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon or Nutmeg (I prefer Cinnamon…)

1/8 tsp. Sea Salt

1 1/2 cups Light Coconut Milk (OR mix 3/4 cups Full Cream Coconut with Milk of choice) – you may need to add a bit more to get the right consistency

1 cup overripe Banana (about 1 large Banana), sliced

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Canola Oil Cooking Spray, or Oil of choice to coat pan

sliced Banana, Maple Syrup & dessicated  Coconut to serve

 

Method:

In a large bowl, add Flour and sift in Baking Powder. Add Cinnamon & Salt, and stir to combine. In a blender combine Coconut Milk, Banana, and Vanilla Extract and blend until smooth.

– Transfer wet mixture to dry, and stir just until well combined (don’t over mix), adding more liquid if needed to reach desired thickness (if mixture is too thick, pancakes will be very doughy). Set aside.

– Spray a frying pan with Oil (spreading it with a paper towel), and heat on medium-high heat until very hot. Reduce heat to medium-low, and using a ladle or Ice-cream scoop, pour batter into pan to form pancakes. Let cook on one side for a few minutes, until bubbles start to form, then flip and lightly brown other side for 1-2 mins. Repeat for the rest of the batter, re-spraying pan if needed.

– Top with Maple Syrup, sliced Banana & dessicated Coconut…

*Set your oven to 120C/250F and keep Pancakes warm on a foil-covered plate or tray until ready to serve.

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Tofu Scramble…

Tofu Scramble: the perfect dish to have by the poolside for brunch, especially if your housemates are filling the kitchen with the smell of bacon & eggs! As I’m on vacation at the moment, I didn’t have many herbs & spices on hand, so feel free to add whatever you have lying around…I served mine on Sprouted Wheat Bread with a Veggie Sausage, but it would be equally delicious on baguette/ciabatta/rye, etc. The creamy Avo, however, is a must on the side to add to each mouthful of scramble!

Ingredients:

1 Block of Firm Tofu, drained

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1/2 Onion, chopped

1 tsp. Fresh Ginger, grated

Red/Yellow/Green Pepper, chopped

1 Tomato, chopped

1 Tblsp. Spring Onion, minced

1/2 – 1 tsp. Tumeric (add less first, then taste and add more if needed)

1/2 tsp. Paprika

1 tsp. Oregano

Pepper

Salt

 

Method:

Crumble Tofu with your hands into a bowl. Mix in spices and set aside.

– Heat oil in a pan, fry onions until beginning to brown. Add Garlic & Ginger, and fry about 30 sec.

– Add peppers & tomato and cook until beginning to soften.

– Mix in Tofu and spices, and stir continuously until tofu begins to brown. Add Spring onions and cook 1 -2 mins. longer.

– Taste, and adjust seasonings. Serve on toasted bread with Avocado on the side 🙂

 

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