Honeybunch of
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05 / 12 / 2019

Running with the lentil meatball train I seem to be on (with these Swedish Lentil Meatballs and the Italian Lentil Meatballs in my new cookbook) - I bring you some glorious spinach herby balls coated in a fabulous creamy pesto sauce. It's always nice to consume ya' greens in comfort-food kind of form, and these sure do taste heavenly. They're also sturdy, not too moist, nor too dry, easy to cook and you can keep them in the fridge or freezer for a decent amount of time. Win!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Spinach Balls

Method

  1. Get your Spinach Balls going by cooking your green lentils in a large pot of boiling water (with the vegetable stock cube plopped in) until tender. Drain & set aside to cool and dry off.
  2. Defrost/wilt your spinach by placing in a heat-proof bowl and pouring boiling water over the cubes. Once defrosted/wilted, drain through a fine sieve, and press out as much excess moisture as you can.
  3. In a small fry-pan add a drizzle of olive oil, followed by the chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté until soft. Blitz bread into breadcrumbs if you were planning on doing this.
  4. In a food process, add the breadcrumbs, drained & dry lentils, the spinach, onion mixture along with all the other remaining spinach ball ingredients. Blitz to form a slightly chunky mixture. Roll into balls, by compacting and then rolling 1-2 tbsp of the mixture together in your hands. Repeat with all the mixture and then transfer the balls to the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make your Pesto Sauce by blending all of the sauce ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Add a splash of water to thin it out if needed.
  6. When ready to serve, cook your balls in a fry-pan with a drizzle of olive oil, turning regularly to brown up their "sides". Cook your pasta according to packet instructions. Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve with the balls on top!

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05 / 12 / 2019

If you haven't tried Polenta Chips, then get ya' booty into gear because they are absolutely heaven! I think polenta is definitely one of the most underrated foods on the planet, and when you add some cheesiness and extra seasoning, fashion them into a chip, then dip them in a little aioli or mayo - then oh my looordee(!!) they're good! Let's just say a salivation sensation will grip ya’ taste-buds nation, and you might be making a second batch minutes after you've finished the first. Delicious!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Method

  1. Add your stock and plant milk to a large pot and place on the stove over high heat. Just before boiling (when the first few tiny bubbles appear) reduce to medium heat and while whisking constantly, gradually sprinkle in the polenta. This method will avoid any polenta lumps from forming. Once all the polenta has been added, keep whisking for 2-5 minutes or until the mixture thickens in a thick porridge-like consistency. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. Grate your vegan cheese and grab all the other ingredients (sans olive oil). Add the vegan cheese and all other remaining ingredients (sans the olive oil) to the polenta and whisk to melt the butter and form a smooth mixture.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a grease-proof paper lined tray with sides approx. 18x27cm/7x10inches. Wet a spatula to smooth over the surface. Transfer your polenta to the fridge to set & chill for 2-3 hours.
  4. When the polenta has set & chilled, pre-heat your oven to 200C. Remove your polenta from the fridge and slice into chips. Arrange on a baking tray so that there is space between each chip. Brush with a little olive oil and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Flip each chip, brush with a little more olive oil before baking for another 15 minutes or until golden and slightly crunchy looking. Serve warm with some garlic aioli.

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11 / 08 / 2019

Your taste buds will not be able to comprehend that this is vegan - as the beefy pasta layers coupled with an INSANELY good béchamel is delicious enough to blow their tiny white socks off. While I'm in no way knocking my favourite vegetable lasagna, I recognize that those with hard to please family members and friends - may not find it the slam-dunk of a recipe they need to convince such company that leaving the furry friends be is totally do-able. Filling in the blanks (left by meat and dairy) with veg doesn't do it for everyone, I get it. So here's my answer to that, and it's flippin' fantastic!

P.S Don't be put off by the long ingredients list. The bulk of it you probably will already have in your pantry.

Serves 6-10

Ingredients

"Meat" Sauce

Method

  1. Start by making your "meat" sauce, by heating a glug of olive oil in a large pot and adding the onion, celery and garlic. Sauté until starting to soften. Add in the mushrooms and sauté until they are softened. Add the vegan mince, breaking it up with a spoon and browning it off/defrosting it (if cooking from frozen).
  2. Once tender, add the passata. Fill up the bottle halfway with water and add this to the pan as well, along with the remainder of the "meat" sauce ingredients. Stir to combine, put the lid on and let simmer away for 30 minutes.
  3. Pop your oven on to 200C.
  4. Now make your béchamel. Grab a small/medium non stick saucepan/pan and add a drizzle of oil along with the onion and garlic. Sauté until soft and starting to go golden. Add in the butter and let melt completely. When bubbling, add in the flour and stir immediately for a couple of minutes to cook the flour slightly.
  5. Add in the soy milk in splashes at first, then small and bigger glugs, stirring or whisking thoroughly to combine after each addition. Once all the soy milk has been added, stir with a wooden spoon until thickened or until the first bubbles appear.
  6. Take off the heat and add in the remaining béchamel ingredients. Whisking once more to combine.
  7. Once the "meat" sauce is finished simmering, take off the heat and get out a large/deep baking dish ready to assemble your lasagna.
  8. Add a little olive oil and then a little sauce, alternating between sauce and lasagna sheets. When you think you're at the halfway point, add a little (like 10%) of the béchamel along with the spinach to a layer. Once all the "meat" sauce is used up, top with another layer of lasagna sheets and finish with the béchamel, smoothing it out to all the edges. Finish by sprinkling over the vegan parmesan (if using).
  9. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes until golden, bubbling and the pasta sheets are tender. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

friends-but-vegan-part-two-8


11 / 08 / 2019

Who doesn't love a thick Udon noodle covered in gingery soy-ness with some hearty tofu and crisp veg in there as well? Not many, Honeybunches, not many. It's a delightful combo and one I happily gobbled down, and will be doing again very soon. It's a superbly straightforward midweek dinner, or Friday night "take-out" kind of meal to whip up - which can include heaps of veg in there as well. Happy days!

Serves 2
(Double the quantities of everything bar the marinade to have it serve 4. The recipe makes enough marinade to double the recipe.)

Ingredients

Marinade

Method

  1. First make your marinade, by whisking all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl until combined. The recipe makes enough marinade for 2 rounds of this recipe.
  2. Cut your tofu how you'd like it, press out moisture on all sides with paper towel. Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick fry pan and add the tofu, crisping up on both sides. Add some salt & pepper to the tofu, while cooking to season. When lightly browned, remove the tofu from the pan, setting it aside until needed.
  3. Cook the udon noodles according to packet instructions and set aside until needed.
  4. Meanwhile add a little sesame seed oil to the fry-pan the tofu was cooked in and add the spring onions. Stir for a minute or so, then add in the broccolini, pak choi and snow peas, tossing for a minute or so more until just tender. Add the tofu back to the pan and ladle in as much of the marinade as you desire. Stir to coat, then add the noodles and toss to combine.
  5. Serve with sesame seeds sprinkled over the top.


04 / 08 / 2019

I'm a big fan of sweet slices made out of nuts, maple syrup, chocolate etc. that you can keep in your freezer and grab a piece with a cup of tea in the afternoon or whenever you're feeling like something delectably moreish & bite-sized. This one is another to add to my repertoire. It’s a bit on the more summery-side I guess than my previous caramel slices and snickers slices due to the frozen and fabulously fruity banana coins that form the base of this one. Eating frozen banana for fun doesn't sound like something that works, but I promise, it really does!!

Makes 16 squares

Ingredients

Method

  1. Take out a 20cm/8inch baking pan (or one similar to that size) and line it with baking paper. Arrange the banana coins over the bottom so that they form a relatively hole-proof layer. Place in the freezer while you get on with your other layers.
  2. Prepare your peanut butter, by living it a good stir. Make your caramel by melting your coconut oil (if not already runny) and add the maple syrup, almond butter and salt to it, whisking until super smooth and runny. Melt your chocolate and chop up your toasted peanuts at this point too.
  3. Take the bananas out of the freezer, and spread over the peanut butter to form a smooth layer. Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the freezer and pour over the caramel, smoothing it into all the crevices. Return it to the freezer until set (about 20-30 minutes).
  5. Finally drizzle over the melted chocolate and sprinkle with the toasted peanuts, returning to the freezer to set one last time (will only take a couple of minutes). Remove, slice and serve. Keep it in the freezer when not eating.