Sunday, 19 August 2012

Recipe: Punk rock chickpea gravy

This recipe is from the fabulously talented Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s  cookbook “Vegan with a Vengeance”.  I first tasted this gravy when a friend made it and thought it was amazing! Since then, my partner has made it a few times for us now, to have on top of mashed potatoes. Don’t let the fairly long list of ingredients put you off. It really is worth the effort! The only modification we have made to the recipe is putting less lemon juice in. The original recipe calls for juice of 1 lemon, which turned out to be way too much for our taste.

What you will need:
4 tbsp plain flour (I use a gluten free variety)
600ml of water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium sized onion, quartered and thinly sliced (optional)
2 tsp mustard seeds
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (optional)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed and then roughly mashed (okay if some lumps, you don’t want a paste consistency)
2 pinches ground cumin
2 pinches paprika
Pinch dried rosemary
Pinch dried thyme
Pinch dried oregano
Pinch ground coriander
3 tbsp soy sauce/tamari
Juice of half a lemon
4 tbsp nutritional yeast

Mix flour with 475 ml of water until flour is mostly dissolved.
Heat pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions and mustard seeds, and cook for approx. 10 minutes, stirring now and then.
Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add chickpeas, herbs, spices, soy sauce/tamari, and lemon juice. Lower heat and pour flour mixture in. Stir constantly until a thick gravy forms. Stir in nutritional yeast. If too thick and pasty, add water and mix well.
Serve on top of a mountain of mash potatoes and enjoy!

Recipe: Mediterranean lentil soup with spinach - slow cooker style

I have included a few other recipes on this blog, that feature lentils but this is the first one in which I have used a slow cooker to prepare them. I am a big fan of slow cookers. You prepare, switch on and then forget about them for a few hours. You can even go out of the house for a while and come home to a gorgeous aroma. And I do truly believe that food tastes better for being prepared in a slow cooker. This recipe is a definite winner.

What you will need:
1 cup green or brown lentils
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped (optional)
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
Half tsp ground cumin
1 potato, peeled and grated
6 cups vegetable stock
250g of spinach leaves, roughly chopped or whole
1 tbsp lemon juice

Rinse lentils in cold water and set aside.
In a pan, heat oil over medium heat and add onions, celery and carrots.  Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring.  Add garlic and cumin, and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Transfer mixture into slow cooker and add lentils, potato and stock.
Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 6 hours, until vegetables are tender. Add spinach and lemon juice. Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes and then serve.

Recipe: Sweet quinoa-pumpkin seed pilaf

This is a rather curious recipe that I found in the cookbook “Big Vegan” by Robin Asbell. Although it is on the sweeter side, you could have this for lunch, as well as for breakfast. The toasted grains and seeds give it a popcorn sort of flavour. You can find the pumpkin seeds, quinoa and millet in supermarkets, but you may have to look in their health food section. Alternatively, they can be found in health food shops or stores that sell bulk grains, nuts, seeds, etc.

What you will need:
Half cup quinoa
Half cup millet
1 cup apple juice
Half cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
Half cup grated carrot
Pinch of salt
Half cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup water
Agave syrup for drizzling over the top (optional)

In  a saucepan, dry-roast the quinoa and millet over high heat. Swirl grains until they are crackling and fragrant. Take off heat and add 1 cup of water and apple juice.  Add raisins, carrot and salt and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
In a pan, dry-roast the pumpkin seeds over medium-high heat. Swirl and toss seeds until toasted and popping.  Pour onto plate to cool.
Serve the pilaf with the toasted pumpkin seeds on top and drizzle with agave syrup if you like. 

Magazine: Living Vegan (Winter 2012)

This is the third issue of this Australian vegan magazine, and what a colourful one it is. Just check out the cover, which features the amazing rainbow cake that won in the 'sweet cakes category' of the Vegan Bake Off competition which was organized by Animal Liberation Victoria. An article and more photos of entries are featured in this issue of the magazine.

In this issue, you can also read an interview with Australian model, Amanda Rootsey who is not only a vegan but also one of the people behind the Vegan Card, which offers discounts from over 60 vegan friendly businesses around Australia.

There is also an interview with vegan photographer Jo-Anne McArthur, who is involved with the project "We Animals", and an article about the ALV's lockdown at a battery hen factory factory where cruelty and suffering was occurring.

There are brief articles on juicing and on durians (sorry, but yuck!), plus the regular features such as the Armchair Activist and the Recipe Corner (my partner wants to try out the Party Sausage Rolls).

There really is much more in this issue than what I have briefly covered here, so I strongly recommend that get yourself a subscription to this magazine. Check out their website on how to do that.