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Archive for the ‘Mediterranean’ Category

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Well, it’s been quite a roller coaster year and a half, and there have been many changes in my life! One of them was that I veered off the Vegan track, which is something I’m not very proud of… However, I am happy to say that I am back with a vengeance and excited to start blogging my favourite animal-friendly recipes once again!

Warning: These babies are addictive!! I’ve probably made them at least once a week for the last year and just can’t get enough of their crispy deliciousness. They are not only amazing on their own as a snack (think of it as protein popcorn!), but I also love sprinkling them over salads, or popping them in wraps along with some spinach, hummus, tomato and avocado (or whatever else your veggie heart desires) – yumm yumm…The spices are a rough guide, so you can add whatever you find in your spice rack and think will taste good; but I’m a huge cumin fan and wouldn’t think about leaving out the paprika either. Sometimes I have a lemon & herb spice that I like to add too, but like I said – whatever floats your herb boat!

Ingredients:

1 can of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

generous splash of Olive Oil

about 1 tsp each of Paprika, Cumin & Cajun spice (or a favourite blend of your own)

sprinkle of Sea Salt

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 200C/400F and prepare a tray with foil.

– Dab the drained Chickpeas with a paper towel until dry and spread onto the tray.

– Drizzle Chickpeas with Olive Oil and then sprinkle with Spices & Sea Salt, tossing until evenly distributed (it will get a bit messy if you’re using your hands).

– Place tray in the oven and roast +- 30 mins or until Chickpeas are golden and crispy. Allow to cool completely before storing, if you’re not eating them right away (like that’s gonna happen!).

*Chuck into a salad or a wrap, if you haven’t already eaten them all straight out of the oven…

 

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I know, it’s been a while…But this was worth the wait, I promise! This recipe is founded on a dish my Mum used to make, which was a family staple in the house – Sausage Pasta Bake. She would use English Pork Sausages and crumble them into a Tomato sauce, baked with Macaroni and covered with melted Cheese. It was absolutely delicious and I’ve dreamt of it many times since I’ve become Vegan…and now I’ve finally attempted to make my own version & it came out really well! I’ve spent the last few months in LA (Vegan capital of the world!), and have therefore been taking advantage of the abundance of faux meat & dairy products. The Soy Chorizo I used in this recipe is one of my favourite finds, but you could easily use any other Vegan Sausage and just crumble it – the only difference is that this one adds a nice spice to the dish. This bake can be whipped up in about 30 minutes flat, but comes out tasting & looking like you’ve spent a good couple of hours slaving away in the kitchen

 

Ingredients:

1 large clove of Garlic, minced

1/2 small Red Onion, diced

1 cup Mushrooms, chopped

1/2 medium Red Pepper, diced

splash of Red Wine

1 cup crumbled Soy Chorizo, or other Veg Sausage/Mince (I use Trader Joes)

handful of chopped Black Olives

tin of Fire Roasted Tomatoes (optional: with green Chillies)

dash of dried Basil & Oregano

bag of Fusilli or Macaroni Pasta (I use Brown Rice Pasta)

1 cup of grated Vegan Cheddar Cheese of choice (I used Daiya)

 

Method:

– Boil a pot of water for the Pasta, and cook until al dente and rinse. Preheat oven to 430F.

– Heat Oil in a medium sized saucepan and sauté Onions until browned. Add Mushrooms, Garlic and Red Peppers and continue to sauté, adding a dash of Red Wine. Add minced Chorizo, Olives and Herbs and cook a few minutes more. Then add the tinned Tomatoes, with a little water if needed, and allow to simmer for a few minutes.

– Add bolognaise sauce to cooked Pasta, mix in a handful of the grated Cheese, then pour into a square baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Cheese to cover the whole dish, and place in the oven for about 10-15 mins. or until Cheese has melted.

*Serve with a Spinach Salad and dig in…


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On a recent quest to detoxify my body, and lacking the willpower for another 7 day liquid cleanse, I decided to stick to a Raw menu for a few weeks. This dish is just one of the many delicious & satisfying meals I have been feasting on, which I decided to recreate after having it at one of my favourite Veggie haunts. To be honest, the idea of eating Zucchini uncooked has never really appealed to me – along with Broccoli, Cauliflower and Mushrooms…And so, despite the hype around Zucchini ‘Pasta’, I hadn’t even considered trying it – until it was the only raw choice on the menu one night, and now I’m so glad I did! Julienning the Zucchini into long, thin strips creates mock noodles with just the right texture, and they’re packed with fibre & water unlike heavy, starchy pasta. But it’s the zesty Basil Pesto and juicy Cherry Tomatoes that make this dish so heavenly – nothing can beat homemade Pesto! I like mine with lots of garlic, so if you’re not a big fan then adjust accordingly. These noodles are topped with Gomasio (a mixture of Sesame Seeds & Salt) for some crunch, but you can just as easily replace it with finely chopped Almonds or Sunflower Seeds…You’ll be surprised by how filling this dish actually is!

Ingredients: (2 servings)

2 medium sized Zucchini

handful of Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1 Tblsp. Sundried Tomatoes, chopped

Gomasio to sprinkle on top (or finely chopped Almonds/Sunflower Seeds)

For the Basil Pesto: (from The 30-Minute Vegan: Over 175 Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking) – makes 1 cup

1 1/2 cups fresh Basil leaves, packed

1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. Pine Nuts

1/2 cup plus 2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

2 Tblsp. freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

2-3 Garlic cloves (I used 3…)

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

1 tsp. Nutritional Yeast (optional)

 

Method:

– After washing the Zucchini, cut the tops & tails off and, using a Mandoline, julienne into long, thin strips (make sure they are not too thick). Place in a large bowl, along with the Cherry Tomatoes and Sundried Tomatoes.

– Combine all the ingredients for the Pesto in a food processor or high-speed blender, and blend until mostly smooth.

– Mix Pesto with Zucchini Noodles (you may only need half the batch), and top with Gomasio.

*Enjoy, guilt-free!

 

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This Salad contains basic ingredients, the typical fare found in a Greek Salad – but it’s the dressing that elevates it to another level! In place of the usual Feta I used my Soy version that I still had from the States, but if you don’t have that on hand then Firm Tofu, marinated in Lemon Juice & Herbs, should do the trick. If you want to turn this into a dinner (like I did), then wrap it up with some Avo in Tortillas – Mmmm…Warning: You WILL have Garlic Breath after this!

Ingredients: (adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch: Kick-Ass Recipes for Hungry Girls Who Want to Stop Cooking Crap (and Start Looking Hot!)

2 cups shredded Romaine Lettuce

equal amounts of:

  Cucumber

  Cherry Tomatoes

  Red Pepper

handful of Kalamata Olives, de-pitted

1/4 Red Onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup Soy Feta/Marinated Firm Tofu

1 Tblsp. Pine Nuts

Dressing:

1 Tblsp. Red Wine Vinegar

2 cloves Garlic, minced (or 1 big clove)

1 tsp. Mustard

2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

1/2 tsp. dried Basil

1/4 tsp. dried Thyme

pinch of Salt

dash of Black Pepper

 

Method:

– Chop Salad vegetables into bite-sized pieces and place in large Salad bowl, along with Romaine Lettuce.

Sprinkle with Olives, sliced Red Onion and Pine nuts, and crumble Feta/Tofu over the top.

– In a jar, mix Dressing ingredients and shake with lid on until combined. Pour over Salad, and serve with Toasted Pitas.

(about 4 servings)

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Here is a basic Hummus recipe that always hits the spot! I used Great Northern beans because I find they are softer and therefore give a creamier result, but I then added some Chickpeas to bulk it up. If you can’t find those around your area, this works just as well with only one can of Chickpeas…The spiced oil isn’t necessary but adds a nice zing, and makes your Hummus look more authentic. Enjoy with some raw veggie crudites, or some toasted Pita – good on Sandwiches too, instead of Mayo!

Ingredients:

1 can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 -2 cloves Garlic, minced (depending on size)

2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

3 Tblsp. Lemon Juice, fresh

1 Tblsp. Tahini (Sesame Paste)

1 tsp. Sea Salt

1 Tblsp. fresh Parsley, chopped

1/2 tsp. ground Cumin

1/2 tsp. Paprika

2 Tblsp. Water (if needed – depending on desired thickness)

 

Method:

– Add all ingredients (except water) into Food Processor/Blender and pulse until combined and smooth. If too thick, add water slowly while machine still running.

– Pour into bowl and refrigerate until needed. Before serving, drizzle with Spiced Oil.

Spiced Oil:

1 -2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

1/4 tsp. Paprika

1/4 tsp. Cumin

dash of Cayenne

Method:

Heat Oil in Pan and mix in spices until combined. Remove and drizzle over Hummus.

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