Mushroom and chickpea Pasta (vegan friendly)

Mushrooms, chickpeas = a recipe for over indulging

I was looking for something easy and hearty for dinner, this pasta dish goes pretty far. Feed 4 ish people or eat it all by yourself, no one will judge you. It also makes great leftovers, and lets be honest, who doesn’t love leftovers?

Mushroomy pastaliscious grub

This recipe is vegan friendly, but if you don’t abide by the vegan law, use real parmesan and a cheeky bit of butter when you cook your mushrooms. I love using the nutritional yeast because it’s a good source of B12 which is always a good thing.

In the recipe I made I also used more chili and paprika than I have in the recipe, but it turns out quite spicy, so for those who are not such avid spice fans you can just stick to the recipe.

Without further ado, here is my mushroom and chickpea pasta:

  • 400 g          Pasta Grande pasta, I recommend spaghetti or the cavatappi.
  • 2 cloves           garlic, minced
  • 1 whole           white onion, chopped
  • 300 g               mushrooms, sliced. I used a mixture of shitake, button and portobello
  • 200 g               fresh baby spinach, washed
  • ½ tsp               paprika
  • 3 TBS              olive oil (or groundnut oil)
  • 1 Tsp               chilli flakes
  • 1 cup               vegetable stock
  • 100 g               chickpeas, drained
  • 1                      lime, juiced
  • To taste salt and pepper
  • To taste           nutritional yeast
  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C
  2. Cover a baking tray with foil, scatter your chickpeas on the tray, drizzling on 2 TBS oil.
  3. Place the tray in your preheated oven for ±20 minutes, until they are browned and crispy. Make sure to shake the pan every now and again to get an even brown.
  4. In a large saucepan or frying pan fry the onions and garlic in 1 TBS oil.
  5. In the meantime, cook your pasta according to the packet instructions, when it reaches al dente, set aside and reserve a cup of the pasta water.
  6. When onions are translucent, add your paprika and chili flakes and cook for another minute or 2.
  7. Add your lime juice to the pan, stirring continuously.
  8. Add your mixed mushrooms and fry on a medium heat for another 4-5 minutes.
  9. Slowly add your vegetable stock, deglazing as you go. Cook until the liquid has evaporated to about ½.
  10. Add you ½ cup of pasta water slowly, you don’t have to add it all if it is too runny.
  11. Cook for another 8-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Add your spinach leaves to the pan and stir through. Add your pasta to the pan and stir through to coat. Season to taste.
  13. Dish the pasta in bowls with a scattering of baked chickpeas and a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.
  14. Enjoy!
Pasta lavista baby

Thanks for reading!

Love and health to all of you ❤

xx

N

Spicy beans and rice burrito (vegan friendly)

GIMME DEM BURRITOS!

Okay so I love Mexican food, and since becoming vegan I have found a new appreciation for all things bean related. Weirdly my sense of taste has been amplified and I’m pretty sure it’s to do with the new diet. In appreciation for the new and improved taste buds, I have been using a lot more spice in my cooking. Fragrant or spicy I’m incorporating it.

Before I write out the recipe, I must add a disclaimer. I did not roll my burritos properly, even with assistance from multiple YouTube videos. Also I used beetroot and acai wraps instead of regular flour tortillas and to my surprise they are a bit more fragile than their counterparts. With all of this in mind, the flavour was incredible, and even though my food photography is still budding, the photos do not give justice to the taste of this dish. It really is in the top 10 tastiest things I’ve made. It was adapted from the vegan burrito recipe from lovingitvegan.com. If you are interested in something less vegan, substitute the cashew sour cream for regular sour cream. I’m sure it will be just as delicious.

Burrito fever!

Bean and rice burrito (vegan friendly)

Makes about 6 burritos.

  • 400 g               cooked basmati rice. (I used Spekko basmati, hoorah for low gi)
  • 2                      fresh avocados, mashed with a fork
  • 1 packet          vegan tortillas or vegetable wraps
  • 2 large             white onions, chopped relatively fine
  • 2 cloves           garlic crushed or finely chopped
  • 3 large             tomatoes, chopped into smallish pieces
  • ¼ cup              sliced jalapeno, fresh or bottled.
  • 2                      limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 handful         fresh coriander roughly chopped
  • 1 cup               raw cashews
  • ½ cup              water
  • 1                      lemon, juiced
  • 1 TBS              apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBS              nutritional yeast
  • 1 can               black beans
  • 1 can               corn
  • 80 g                 sundried tomatoes
  • ½ head            fresh lettuce, shredded
  • 1 Tsp               cayenne pepper
  • ½ Tsp              ground cumin 
  • ½ Tsp              dried chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Firstly, make your sour cream. Add your cashews, water, lemon juice, vinegar and yeast into a blender and blend until smooth. Decant and set aside.
  2. Make your salsa, in a bowl add the chopped tomatoes, 1 of the chopped onions, 1 glove of garlic crushed, the juice and zest of 1 lime, jalapenos and the fresh coriander. Season with salt and pepper, mix and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, fry the remaining onion and garlic until onion is translucent.
  4. Add the cayenne, cumin, chili flakes and the remaining lime juice. Cook for ± 5 minutes until fragrant.
  5. Add the sundried tomatoes and cook for another minute or 2.
  6. Add your black beans, including the water, and your drained can of corn to the pan, stir through and cook until most of the water has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  7. Heat up a large frying pan, heat each wrap for 10-15 seconds each side. I suggest heating and building each burrito as you go.
  8. In your heated wrap, place in succession a helping of Spekko basmati rice, the bean and corn mixture, some shredded lettuce, 1 or 2 tsp of avocado, a spoon of the salsa and a spoon of the sour cream.
  9. Fold in the edges on the shorter side, then roll from the longer side until fully enclosed. Place back in the hot pan, seam side down, to seal.
  10. Cut in half and serve or wrap tightly in foil. They can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days. I wouldn’t suggest keeping them longer.

If you struggle to wrap your burritos tightly (like I did!) don’t worry because the foil will keep them tight.

With whatever fillings you have left, mix them all together in a big bowl and just like that you have a Mexican rice bowl! Mine made dinner and lunch for a day or two.

I hope you enjoy making this as much as I did!

Thanks for reading, love and health to you all!

N xx

Crispy tofu, pearled wheat and miso dressing (vegan friendly)

Fresh, healthy, delicious

This was the first recipe I’ve created where I dabbled in formal food photography. I hope to get better at it but bear with me while I practice.This recipe is a really lovely and fresh addition to any meal, or even one by itself.

What you’ll need:

250 g               firm tofu cut into bite sized pieces     

1 cup               pearled wheat (I used IMBO brand)

3 cups             water

1                      large carrots, spiralized or thinly sliced

1                      courgette, spiralized or thinly sliced

2 TBS              cornflour

1                      lemon, zested and juiced

1 Tsp               Maldon salt

½ Tsp              Freshly ground black pepper

3 TBS              Olive/avocado or sesame oil

1 TBS              Poppy seeds

2                      Spring onions, chopped

1 Tsp               Miso paste

2 TBS              Maple syrup

1 TBS              red wine vinegar

1                      Lime, 2 cheeks cut off, the rest juiced

How to do it:

  1. Firstly, make the dressing. Combine the miso paste, maple syrup, red wine vinegar, lemon and lime juice and 1 TBS of your chosen oil. Whisk until combined and set aside.
  2. Add the IMBO pearl wheat and the water to a saucepan, cook according to packet instructions, about 30 mins. When cooked, rinse with cool water and set aside.
  3. Combine the cornflour, salt, pepper and lemon zest to a bowl. Add your tofu pieces and toss lightly until covered.
  4. Heat your remaining oil in a pan, fry the coated tofu pieces for about 6 minutes. Making sure they are browned on all sides.
  5. In a large salad bowl, place 1-2 cups of your cooled cooked wheat, add your carrot and courgettes, tossing lightly.
  6. Add your tofu pieces and drizzle your dressing over everything. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  7. Garnish with lime cheeks and season to taste. Perfect as a light lunch or side dish.
Crispy tofu, pearled wheat and miso dressing.

Veganuary and other stuff

So I am back from a really (really though) long break. My life went a bit pear shaped but I have rediscovered myself and new healthy food trends to boot. I realized toxic relationships are similar to animal products, they make for an unhealthy mind and body.
I have been a pescatarian for about 2 years, and as the new year started I transition to vegan. It was an easy decision considering the current state of animal abuse going on in today’s production of meat and dairy products.
Some other things have changed since last we spoke, for example, my cat Boo turned into Satan, I got married, I got (sort of) divorced. I adopted another kitten who has wormed his way into being my whole world. His name is BC and he will most likely make up a substantial part of my writing.

I am committed to providing a barely funny and semi-interesting blog for all the 1 or 2 people who read this.

Here’s to a wonderful 2020!

Love and health to all of you.

Xx
N

Basil & Blueberry Pies

I haven’t been very active on the baking side recently and for that I’m sorry. There are a few reasons. Some good, some bad. For instance we have just adopted a stray kitten. Her name is Boo, she is 3 months old and she follows me around everywhere. She also likes to lie on my key board or right in front of it and try catch my fingers when I type.  Which is why this first paragraph has taken me 15 odd minutes. It’s also impossible to stop her doing it because she is so devilishly cute, you can imagine she takes up large chunks of my time.

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Boo – She knows she’s cute

So getting to these pies, I had this massive punnet of blueberries that I hadn’t eaten and they were on the doorstep of turning squishy and I really didn’t fancy freezing them or anything so I figured lets do something with them for the blog and also have something nice to leave out for the family.

This recipe is super easy and pretty quick, it’s something you can whip up in 40 mins with minimum effort if you have people coming around for tea. I used store bought puff pastry because its what I had on hand, you can make your own and keep it in the freezer, I’ll do a post for that at some point. I do recommend keeping some nice quality store puff in your freezer in case you have an emergency where you need something made and you just don’t have the patience to crack out your own. There is no shame and no one is judging you.

What you’ll need: (recipe makes 6 pies, 8 if you don’t measure and cut rectangle like I did)

  • 1 sheet puff pastry defrosted
  • 1  cup blueberries
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • handful of fresh basil leaves (about 8 depending on size and strength but it will be to taste)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste

What you gotta do:

  • Firstly wash your berries, you can use frozen berries if you want but I only had fresh so yea. Place them in an appropriate sized saucepan with 3/4 cup of sugar lemon juice and rind and set to a medium heat.
  • While that’s going make sure you’ve set your puff pastry out to defrost! If you haven’t you’re going to feel dumb. Then preheat your oven to 200°c.
  • Stir your berries check that they are getting nice and squishy, if they are getting dry add a little water. You don’t want it to be runny but you don’t want it to burn either.
  • Add your basil leaves to taste, what you’re looking for is being able to taste the basil and the blueberries both.
  • Once it’s a nice jammy consistency remove it from the saucepan and place it a bowl inside the fridge so it starts cooling.
  • Unroll your puff pastry, I dusted my surface with a bit of icing sugar. Then measure your pastry. You’ll want to get even square here, so equal sided my friends. I guessed, don’t do that, then they don’t fold over properly. You’ll get 6-8.
  • Mix your egg with a teaspoon of sugar.
  • When your filling is cooled place a dollop in the center of each of your squares then with a pastry brush a little egg mixture along each side and fold corner to corner. Press down the edges with a fork to give it a little something extra and to stop your juices coming out. They might do anyway don’t panic.
  • When they are all filled place on a sprayed baking tray evenly spaced and brush with egg mixture.
  • Bake for 15-20 mins depending on your brand of puff. Just keep an eye on it, you’ll want it to be golden and fluffy but not too light otherwise it’ll be raw on the inside and no one wants that.
  • When they are done place them on a wire rack to cool.
  • Mix your glaze, this is 1/2 cup icing sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla paste, dash of lemon juice and about a TBS of water but don’t add it all at once. Add until it’s the correct thickness. You’ll want it so you can drizzle it over your pies but thick enough so it doesn’t run off after.
  • Drizzle pies with your glaze only after they are cool though.
  • Enjoy with gusto and also not wearing white clothes!

Thanks!

xx

N

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Spesh Ginger Tea

I haven’t posted the last couple days, I was driving back from the hypnotic coast back to the cavernous city. There isn’t much WiFi between the winding passes and great expanses of veld. I think the majority of people will be back from holiday by now, I think I was one of the lucky few to have dragged it out for longer than expected.

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Roadtriiiiiiip

 

We all have this tiny sadness in our bellies and the end of December after family, friends, feasts just wishing we could drag it out a little longer. I find mine disappears after I have my first cup of tea after my very first proper night sleep back home. Currently I’m enjoying some tea I made myself and scrubbing out my belly sads.

I do have teabags before you ask but I felt like something different. I found some wrinkly old ginger and I love ginger tea, and ginger gives you such a wonderful boost and we all need that little boost after our beautiful holidays. Read More

Choux for my Boo

I know, what a terrible title. It does leave me open to a variety of options though, eclairs, profiteroles, flavour profiles the choices are endless. I am aiming to dedicate this post to my very significant other who is currently 13247,7 km away from me. He has been an avid taste tester of mine when we are in the same country. See we are currently embroiled in a visa battle to be together, how unfortunate it is when you fall for a foreigner.

He’s tried most a my favourites like my Eggs Benedict, Chicken & Prawn Curry (recipe from my mother), Fancy Macaroni Cheese, Caramel Panna Cotta, Moist Chocolate Cake and many other things, but I haven’t made any choux for him as yet, and he really fancies an eclair.

A week or so ago I made some profiteroles and eclairs for some plated desserts I was doing I’m going to go through my choux process and then how to put together an eclair. Read More

Chocolate Honey Cheesecake

I made this cake today and I’m quite proud of it. It has two layers of chocolate honey cake which sandwich a layer of cheesecake and the whole thing is covered in cream cheese icing. It has really fancy flavours and who doesn’t just love cheesecake/cake combo? It’s pretty much a win win.

It started this morning with a request from my mom asking that I use all the cream cheese in the fridge.See we’re leaving soon to go back to our normal non-holiday lives and we’ve got use all the perishable food up before we go. So I’m trying to bake all of it into some form of edible deliciousness. So today the challenge was cream cheese, and I found the last of the cream, some honey, purposeless lemon and some prechopped couverture.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 100 g good quality dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 270 g brown sugar
  • 230 g soft butter
  • 150 ml honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g cake flour
  • 5 ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 15 ml cocoa
  • 200 ml boiling water

Filling

  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 80 g castor sugar
  • 45 ml lemon juice
  • 30 ml warm water
  • 8 ml gelatin powder
  • 300 ml cream
  • 60 ml honey

Icing

  • 150 g cream cheese
  • 100 g butter soft
  • 5 ml vanilla paste
  • 250 ml icing sugar (use more if necessary for a thicker icing)
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 60 ml honey

Soundtrack: A jazzy electro-swing playlist including Parov Stelar -Clap Your Hands, Lone Digger – Caravan Palace, Istanbul – Bart&Baker.

 

Method:

  • Okay firstly you’re going to want to preheat your oven to 170ºc, and line 2 X 24 cm cake tins. For chocolate cakes I like to butter then and dust with cocoa instead or paper lining. It works just as well but adds another depth of chocolateyness.
  • Then take your chopped chocolate in a little heat proof bowl and melt it either in the microwave or over a double boiler. Leave to cool.
  • In a mixer, beat together your sugar and butter until creamy, then add your honey.
  • Add your eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • Sieve your dry ingredients together.
  • Fold your chocolate into your egg mix, then your dry ingredients.
  • Beat in your hot water until incorporated. Don’t over beat.
  • Divide mix evenly between your two cake tins and place in the oven.
  • Bake for 45 minutes ish.
  • Be sure to check your cake with a skewer.
  • Let your cakes cool. You can put them in the fridge if your super impatient, I am and I did.

For the filling:

  • Beat your cream cheese, sugar and lemon until smooth.
  • Add your gelatin to your warm water to dissolve. If you’re having trouble fill a cup with boiling water and place your container with your gelatin in, in the cup for a minute.
  • Add your honey to the mixture and beat till combined, then beat in your gelatin.
  • Whip your cream till soft peaks and fold into your mixture.

Assemble:

  • Take a loose bottom cake tin the same size as the one you used to bake your cake.
  • Line it with cling wrap enough that it hangs over the sides. You want it so that when you have all your bits in the cling wraps will be covering everything even on the top.
  • Place one cake layer at the bottom, then spoon your cheese cake filling into the tin, I used all of mine to make a nice fat layer, you need a good cheesecake to cake ratio you know. when you’ve smoothed it out place you last piece of cake on top then wrap your cling-wrap up and place your tin parcel in the fridge. Keep this guy refrigerated for like 4-5 hours then make your icing and ice that beauty.

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Icing:

  • Place butter, cream cheese and honey in a mixer with a whisk attachment beat until smooth.
  • Add your vanilla paste and lemon juice and mix in.
  • Add your sifted icing sugar one spoon at a time until incorporated.
  • Ice your cold cake and drizzle with some warmed honey.
  • Serve to your bestie.

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Cheers! Thanks for reading 🙂

 

xxN

A long walk and eventually a salted caramel sauce.

The other day I went on this walk with my brother in law. It’ s bloody awesome, 2 hour walk first through the forest and up a mountain round the top and down back the other side. I felt energetic this morning so I decided to tackle it again. kwtu9573The forest is full of these huge yellowwoods that are old as your mum, I’m playing I bet she’s aged well. You also walk along these semi-dry riverbeds it’s like a fairy tale. The forest bit is magic but the stairs up to the top are a nightmare on the glutes.

mjoj9129

It’s just stairs for days, around every corner you think you’re near the top but then you see the stairs, and it’s like “think again dumbo”. One hundred bazillion steps later I reached the summit, congratulated myself with a hearty back pat, and continued down the other side. kapv7043

So on the way down I’m thinking about ice-cream, well also about not standing on snakes, but mainly how I really fancy an ice-cream. I had one in the freezer waiting. The snag is that that’s not baking and I’m supposed to have a recipe! So the whole way home I thought about how I’d give you my salted caramel sauce recipe which is really good on ice-cream, and is incredibly easy.

My journey ended with an orgasmic resting of the feet and some real majestic ice-cream. What a ramble! I guess let’s get this recipe down then.

Salted caramel sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar (white granulated)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 80 g butter cubed
  • Flakey sea salt (like Maldon) to taste

Method:

  • Okay you’re going to need a deepish saucepan for this because of splattering and bubbling.
  • Place your sugar in the pan and heat until all the sugar has dissolved and it has turned a lovely golden colour. Do not stir it or it will go chunky, just leave it to go all molten like. Keep a close eye though! Sugar can burn quickly.
  • When your sugar is caramel add your cream, add it at a long arms length and stir once you’ve added it. Keep stirring until combined and smooth. I like to used a whisk.
  • Leave it to bubble for 5-10 minutes until thickened slightly, stirring occasionally.
  • Take off the heat to cool, add your blocks of butter in while whisking. Add your salt to taste. Decant into a fancy jug or just a bowl if you feel lazy, cover and put in the fridge until use.

 

Well I know that was a crazy ramble! But I got to the point eventually…

 

Thanks for reading!

 

xx

N

 

 

 

Dirty Buttermilk Rusks

My Ouma used to make incredible seed rusks, we’d have them every year for Christmas and they’d be finished the first week in. You could always catch people sneaking into their rooms with cups of tea and bowls of rusks. This recipe is not Ouma’s rusks because I don’t have the recipe. But I made my own rusks this year and I had to make three batches because people kept finishing them. So I’m guessing my rusks are a very good runner up, but let’s be honest, nothing beats Ouma’s rusks.

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Why are they dirty? Well I call them dirty because usually buttermilk rusks are clean cut rusks, my ones are whole wheat grizzly BAMFs. They are tasty, always there for you when you need them, won’t judge you in your fat pants and always think you look gorgeous.

What you need:

  • 800 g whole wheat flour
  • 450 g cake flour
  • 300 g brown sugar
  • 10 ml baking powder
  • 10 ml cream of tartar
  • 10 ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 15 ml salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 500 g butter cubed
  • 500 ml buttermilk

How to do it:

  • Firstly you’re going to want to grease a loaf tin  for your rusk bread, or you can use a rectangular baking tin. Then preheat your over to 180°c.
  • Sift all your dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make sure it’s a big ass bowl, because all of your ingredients are going in here at some point.
  • Take your cubed butter and rub it into your dry ingredients until it’s crumby.
  • Mix your buttermilk and eggs together until combined.
  • Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour your buttermilk mixture into the center, work your dry ingredients in slowly until you get a nice soft dough.
  • Squish your dough into your greased tin of choice. Brush the top with a little melted butter.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes until it’s cooked through. Test with a cake skewer.
  • Tip it out onto a wire wrack to cool. When it has cut it with a bread knife into rusk sized pieces and place them to dry on baking trays.
  • Your oven should be at 70°c-80°c for drying out, and you should keep the oven door slightly ajar. I like to stick a wooden spoon in the door.
  • Dry the rusk out for about 5 hours or until done. Your house will smell amazing, also the rusk bread off cuts are the best snacks all hot with a bit of melty butter… yum!

 

Yay that was fun, good luck!

 

xx

 

 

 

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