Posts Tagged ‘Veggies’

If my Sister sees this post, she’ll probably roll her eyes at me – when we were staying together in South Africa for a while, I  made this a bit too often for her liking (atleast twice a week…)! I just can’t help it, it’s my favourite meal when I’m craving some juicy Veggies and a light, but satisfying, dinner. I like to add some chopped up Veggie Sausage to this too, which adds to the roasted yumminess. Usually I would pop in some Yellow Pepper & Eggplant as well, for extra colour, but I didn’t have any around this time. I love that this can be put together within 30 mins or so…I still make this atleast once a week!

Ingredients: (2-4 servings)

half Red or Yellow Onion, chopped into large chunks

1-2 cloves Garlic, minced

handful Mushrooms, sliced thick

1 Red Pepper, cut into large chunks (add Yellow Pepper too, if you have)

handful Cherry Tomatoes, whole

1/2 Courgette, cut into large chunks

1 head of Broccoli, small florets separated

2-3 Veggie Sausages, cut diagonally into large chunks (optional)

juice of 1/2 fresh Lemon

Olive Oil

dried Basil, Thyme & Oregano



Preheat Oven to 220 C/425 F, and get a baking tray ready (line with foil if needed).

– Combine chopped Veggies, Garlic, Herbs, Sausage in a large bowl and squeeze Lemon Juice over. Add as much Olive Oil as is needed to cover everything in a light layer. Mix well. Remove Broccoli and set aside to add later.

– Pour the rest of the Veggies on to baking tray and place in oven, on top shelf, for 10 mins. Remove, add Broccoli and give Veggies a stir to promote even cooking. Roast in oven for another 10-15 mins, until Veggies have softened & begun to brown.

– Serve on a bed of Quinoa, or with a Salad for a light meal…


*You might need use two trays if not all the Veggies fit on one tray – they need to lay evenly to roast properly, not too crowded. If so, swap the trays around half way through roasting.



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Curried Red Lentil Soup…

This is one of my favourite staples, and I’ve fed it to many a non-veggie who have all enjoyed it. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, it’s mainly spices – and if you’re a compulsive grocery shopper like me, you’ll probably have them all in your rack! If not, just stick with whatever you have (most important are the Curry Spice, Cinnamon, Cumin & Tumeric) but no matter how tempting, don’t leave out the Tamari & Maple Syrup at the end – this soup isn’t the same without them…

Adapted from recipe in You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan!: 200 Recipes for Simple and Delicious Animal-Free Cuisine

Ingredients: (4 servings)


1 medium Red Onion, diced

1 clove of Garlic, minced

2-3 stalks Celery, medium dice

1 medium Carrot, medium dice

1/2 Sweet Potato, small dice (1/4 Butternut works well too…)

1 tsp. Mustard Seeds

1/2 Tblsp. Curry Powder

1/4 tsp. Cinnamon, ground

1/2 tsp. ground Cumin

1 tsp. ground Ginger

1/4 tsp. ground Coriander

1/2 Tblsp. fresh Ginger, minced

1 small, Red Chile, minced (take half seeds out)

1/4 tsp. Tumeric

1 cup dry, Red Lentils

5 cups Water

handful Swiss Chard/Spinach, chopped

2 Tblsp. Maple Syrup

3-4 Tblsp. Tamari/Soy Sauce



Fresh Parlsely, minced

Fresh Coriander, minced



– In a medium sized pot, over medium heat, sauté Onions, Garlic, Celery, Carrots, and Sweet Potato in Oil of choice for 3 minutes. Add the spices & sauté with the vegetables.

– Add the Lentils and stir to mix, then add Water and cook uncovered, for about 30 mins over medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent sticking, and cook until Lentils are soft. Add Swiss Chard and cook a few more minutes, until wilted.

– Season the soup with Maple Syrup, Tamari, Salt & Pepper, and sprinkle with fresh Parsley & Coriander to serve.

*Can also be pureed smooth if you prefer…You may want to double this recipe if making for 4 people, as you will definately be wanting seconds!

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It’s BBQ Time! I’ve never been very keen on cooking food over a flame, mainly because in South Africa it usually entails eating about 4 hours later and getting burnt food (especially if the ‘Braai Master’ looses track of time while enjoying his many beers..). Here in Hong Kong the process is a bit faster, as we either barbeque on a gas grill or over charcoal – as opposed to fire wood in SA. I also find the idea of succulent vegetables & fruit on a skewer more enticing than burnt meat, which is why I no longer mind going to BBQ’s that much…The marinade is so tasty you are going to want to make a double batch, so be sure to let the Veggies soak in it for a sufficient amount of time to get the most flavour. Don’t leave out the Pineapple – it’s amazing once grilled!


Wooden Skewers, soaked for atleast 1 hour

Assorted Veggies, chopped roughly eg:


Red Pepper

Yellow Pepper

Orange Pepper

Courgettes, Green & Yellow

Red Onion


Cherry Tomatoes


Mint Marinade:

handful Fresh Mint (about 4-5 Sprigs)

3-4 Tblsp. Tamari/Soy Sauce

2-3 Tblsp. Agave

2 Tblsp. Red Wine Vinegar

2 Tblsp. Lemon Juice

1/2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

1 clove of Garlic, minced





– Combine Marinade ingredients in a food processor/blender and blend until smooth.

– Alternatively thread Vegetables on Skewers and place in a shallow dish, cover with marinade and let soak for atleast a few hours.

– Once ready to barbeque, hand them over to a man so he can grill them for you…;) Make sure to rotate frequently, so Veggies grill evenly.

*Tofu would also make a great addition!


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Store-bought Pesto almost always contains Parmesan Cheese, so I resort to making my own – luckily, it’s extremely easy to make! You do, however, need a small food processor as a blender doesn’t work very well (unless you have a really snazzy one…), and a good quality Olive Oil helps too. For this pasta dish I mixed my Pesto with some Silken Tofu for a Cream Cheese-y affect, but you can also just keep as is. It’s so tasty you won’t miss the Parmesan, I promise! Add whatever vegetables you like to this, but I think Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes & Artichokes make a great addition to any Italian meal…This is simple, delicious & easy to make, and if you already have the Pesto pre-made you can whip this up in less than 10 minutes.


3-4 generous Tblsp.  Creamy Pesto (recipe to follow)

1 pkt. fusilli Brown Rice Pasta (or any other pasta you prefer)

1/2 Red Onion, sliced

1 clove Garlic, minced

2 Portobello Mushrooms, chopped

1/2 Zucchini, julienned into long, thin strips and halved

1/2 Red Bellpepper, thinly sliced

a few re-hydrated Sun-dried Tomatoes, sliced

handful of Kalamata Olives, halved

3 Tblsp. chopped Artichokes, from jar in Olive Oil

1 Tblsp. Parsley



– Boil the Pasta according to packet instructions until Al dente. Drain, rinse and drizzle with a little bit of Olive Oil to prevent sticking.

– In a large Frying Pan, sauté Onions in Olive Oil until beginning to brown. Add Garlic & Mushrooms until Mushrooms begin to release moisture. Add Zucchini & Peppers and sauté until beginning to soften. Add Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes & Artichokes and mix well.

– Add drained Pasta to the pan and stir a few times until everything is combined, and Pasta is heated through. Mix in Pesto, stirring a few more times and then take off heat.

– Fold in Parsley and serve.

Basil-Parsley Pesto: (adapted from Nonna’s Italian Kitchen: Delicious Homestyle Vegan Cuisine (Healthy World Cuisine)

1 1/2 cups fresh Basil leaves

1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley leaves

2 cloves Garlic

1 Tblsp. Pine Nuts, toasted

1 Tblsp. slivered Almonds/raw Almonds/Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 tsp Salt

squeeze Lemon Juice (1/4 Tblsp)

4 Tblsp. Olive Oil (1/4 cup)

* 1/2 asceptic box of Firm Silken Tofu


Place everything in a food processor, and let it run until a paste forms. Refrigerate if not using.

* For Creamy Pesto: Add Tofu once the Pesto is finished, and process again until smooth. Keep in the fridge to firm up until using



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Vegan Paella…

I only ever tried a traditional Paella once, before I became Vegan, and it was my boyfriend’s leftovers from dinner the night before (left overs are the best!)…but I remember it being really tasty! That’s what makes this dish one of my favourites – it’s full of flavour, and makes a hearty meal. This was the first time I tried using Brown Rice instead of Arborio, and you really can’t tell the difference! I also had no more saffron left, so I used tumeric instead and it actually works just as well. If you can’t find Tempeh or don’t like it, feel free to sub it with a tin of your favourite beans for some protein!

Ingredients: (adapted from Vegan Fire & Spice: 200 Sultry and Savory Global Recipes)

1 pack of Tempeh, diced

3/4 cup of ‘Chicken’ bits, or Seitan

1 cup of chopped Veggie Sausage

2 cloves of Garlic, minced

1 tin of crushed Tomatoes

3 cups Vegetable Broth

1/2 Red Onion, diced

1 small Red Chilli, minced

1/2 tsp. Cumin, ground

1/4 tsp. Saffron threads OR ground Tumeric

1 1/2 cups short-grain Brown Rice

1/2 Eggplant, cubed

2 large Portobellos, chopped

1/2 each of Red & Yellow Bellpeppers

handful of Olives (Green & Kalamata)

1 -2 Tblsp. fresh Parsley



Poach Tempeh in some water/stock for 30mins. and drain. Heat oil in a large Frying pan and add Tempeh, Chicken and Sausage. Cook until brown on all sides (do seperate batches, if needed). Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

– While the Tempeh is poaching (or you can poach it while you prepare veggies…), heat oil in a large saucepan/frying pan and add Onions to brown. Add Garlic for 30 seconds, then add Tomatoes, Broth, Chilli & spices and bring to a boil. Add Rice, stirring well to combine, allow to boil a bit longer, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 45 – 50 mins. until Rice cooked through and has absorbed all the liquid.

– 15 Minutes before Rice is ready, heat oil in a pan and saute Mushrooms until they begin to release liquid. Add in Eggplant and saute a few minutes more. Remove Mushrooms and set aside, add Bell peppers to Eggplant, and saute until tender and Eggplant has softenend. Add these vegetables to the Paella about 10 minutes before the Rice is ready, covering with a lid again.

– Once Rice is cooked through, fold in Tempeh, Chicken, Veggie Sausage & Olives, and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

– Sprinkle with Parsley, and serve from the pan.

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Summer is here, which means ridiculously hot & humid weather in HK and a craving for Salads…These Lentils are like gold to me – for some reason they are incredibly hard to come buy, but seriously worth the effort to hunt for as they are delicious! They have a wonderfully distinct flavour, almost tea-like, and they retain their shape so they’re great for Salads. My local supermarket has stopped stocking them, so I was delighted to find them in another organic shop out of town – but it was their last bag, and they won’t have again until sometime in August. I’ve used half the bag already, so I better go easy on them! No more sharing with the meat-eating boyfriend…


half Red Onion, diced

1 clove Garlic, minced

1 large Carrot, diced

1 medium Beetroot, diced

1 tsp. dried Herbes de Provence (or Thyme/Tarragon/Oregano)

Olive Oil

squeeze of Lemon Juice

1 cup French Puy Lentils (or other Green Lentils)

2 cups Water

1/4 Cucumber, diced

1/2 Yellow Bellpepper, diced

2 Tblsp. Parsely, chopped


1 1/2 Tblsp. White Wine Vinegar

1 tsp. Mustard

3 Tblsp. Olive Oil

1/2 tsp. dried Tarragon

Baby Spinach



Set oven to 200C/400F, and line a baking tray with foil. Mix together Onion, Garlic, Carrot, Beetroot, Herbs, Lemon Juice & Olive Oil and arrange on tray. Bake for 20-30mins. or until Beetroot & Carrot cooked through. Remove and allow to cool.

– Meanwhile, bring water to a boil and add Lentils. Cook around 30 mins, until al dente. Rinse with cold water and drain.

– Add Roast Veggies, Cucumber, Yellow Pepper & Lentils to a large bowl. Combine Dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Pour over Salad, and fold in chopped Parsley.

– Serve on a bed of fresh, baby Spinach*

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My boyfriend’s sister and I share the same name – this is the dish she served me a few nights ago…I was so impressed by this yummy meal by a non-vegan that I had to ask her for the recipe, but Becca confessed to being an impulsive cook who doesn’t really measure anything so I had to take home the left-overs and dissect the ingredients one by one. After much questioning, examining & tasting, here is my replica of her Tagine! The only thing we can’t agree on is whether to use Figs or Dates (Becca insists she used Figs, where as I’m sure they were Dates), so decide for yourself – but don’t leave out the dried fruit as it is the Secret Ingredient in this dish, adding delicate sweetness. You will be pleasantly surprised at how there is so much flavour in one mouthful, without the use of even one dried herb or spice…


1/2 Onion, sliced

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 Tblsp. Ginger, minced

1 small Red Chilli, chopped

1 Eggplant, halved & sliced

1 large Carrot, halved & sliced

2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved

4-5 dried, pitted Dates/Figs/Apricots

1x tin of Lentils (or dry Red/Green Lentils, but add earlier & with more water)

1/2 Tblsp. Soy Sauce

1 – 2 cups Baby Spinach, torn

handful of chopped, fresh Mint

boiled Water, as needed (about 3 cups)



– In a large frying pan/sauce pan, sauté Onions in oil until beginning to brown. Add Garlic & Ginger, and sauté another 30 sec. then add Chilli, Eggplant & Carrots and keep cooking on medium heat until they begin to soften and brown.

– Add in Tomatoes & Dates/Figs, and cover with Water. Boil on med-high heat for about 10 mins, then lower heat to a simmer, adding more water if needed, and partially cover with a lid. You will need to keep adding water while it cooks, to prevent vegetables from sticking. Allow to simmer for  atleast 2 hours, until vegetables have cooked through, dried fruit has almost disintergrated, and sauce has reduced.

– Add in tinned Lentils about 20 mins. before serving, again increasing water if needed. Add Spinach & Soy Sauce about 10 mins. before the end of cooking time, stirring to combine.

– Fold in Mint and allow flavours to blend for about 10 mins., before serving with cous cous/farro.

*If you are using the bulbous, dark purple Eggplant (and not the long, thin, light purple one), then you will need to salt the pieces and leave them in a colander to sweat for atleast 20 mins, before rinsing, drying & cooking. This takes away its bitter flavour.


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