Polish Cabbage Rolls // Vegan + GF
26 / 01 / 2020
So, I know these look like little fat logs of cabbage, but they are one of the most comforting, delicious, wholesome and nourishing dishes on the planet! It's simple, "peasant"-fare (if I'm not offending anyone by calling them that) - that is surprisingly flavourful! They're slightly sweet, slightly vinegary, herby and very very savoury. The mushroom and rice filling is elevated 200-notches by the tomato sauce which these rolls are cooked in, as it seeps into each unit and carries the flavour to the finish-line of perfection! Please do find a deli that sells a jar of cabbage leaves, and cook these up for your loved ones. Family & friends will ask for them to be on the menu again in no time.
So yes, you can steam a cabbage and use it's leaves, but you end up with a lot of leftover cabbage that way, so I find using a jar not only saves the hassle and leftover cabbage conundrum, but also adds a welcome vinegary-twang to the sauce.
- 1550g jar cabbage leaves (or tinned) - they're usually soaking in a water/vinegar/salt liquid, which is what you want.
- 1 1/2 cup white rice (e.g. long grain, basmati)
- 1 stock cube (vegetable, "chicken" or "beef")
- olive oil
- vegan butter
- 2 onions, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (or 1 tbsp minced)
- 12 medium-large button mushrooms, diced
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 large handful fresh dill, chopped
- 1 large handful fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- salt & pepper
- 700g jar passatta
- 1 cup stock (vegetable, "chicken" or "beef")
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp castor sugar (or sugar/liquid sweetener of your choice)
- vegan butter
- Start by cooking the rice for a few minutes less than the packet instructions suggest, however with the stock cube added to the cooking water. Once a few minutes off perfect, drain (or remove from the heat) and set aside to steam dry a tad.
- Grab a large fry-pan, pot or casserole dish and add a large glug of olive oil and a generous knob of butter. Once the butter is melted, add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté until the onion and mushrooms are soft, their juices have been released into the pan and have reduced in size (yet still are a little tender). Add the thyme, dill, mint and paprika and stir to coat. Take the pot off the heat, and add in the rice and stir everything together.
- Make the tomato sauce by mixing all the Tomato Sauce ingredients together.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
- Assemble your cabbage rolls by carefully taking a cabbage leaf from your jar, rinse it off slightly to dull the vinegary flavour just a tad. Then lay on a tea-towel to pat-off the excess moisture and arrange the leaf so that the leaf's base (where the leaf was joined to the cabbage) is closest to you. Add about 1/3 cup of packed mixture (for an average-sized leaf, more of less depending on the size of the leaf - they're not all uniform after all) near the base of the leaf and then roll up tightly like you would a burrito. Place the roll in large deep-baking dish that has a smidge of the tomato sauce splashed on the bottom. Don't be afraid to pack them in tightly. Repeat to use up all the leaves and filling-mixture.
- Pour all the Tomato sauce over the rolls (yes, it seems like a lot), cover with foil and bake in the pre-heated oven for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes to let the sauce thicken and give the rolls a chance to brown up slightly. Serve as they are, or you can top with parsley and vegan sour-cream (not essential though). Enjoy!
Caponata Sauce // Vegan + GF + RSF
23 / 01 / 2020
This sauce is absolutely divine! Overflowing with flavour and texture, I would encourage you to think of it more as a 'pesto' in how strong the flavour really is. Yes, it's slightly oily and kind of rich, but that's the beauty of this sauce. It's full of vegetables which I won't rush to say are my favourite, but together and slowly cooked in this way until they are incredibly tender - is utter heaven. I intended this recipe make a lot, because as well as serving it stirred through pasta for a hot dinner, or cold lunch the next day (so GOOD!!), you might like to serve this on bruschetta or freeze some to add into a lasagne, to bump it up 101 flavour notches. Do try this one honeybunches, it's simple yet sophisticated.
Makes approx. 6 cups of sauce. (Serves 8 if stirred through pasta)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 capsicum, diced
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 2 small eggplant, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled/1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup pitted black olives, roughly chopped
- pinch dried chilli flakes
- salt & pepper
- generous splash red wine vinegar
- 2 x 400g tins whole/chopped/crushed tomatoes
- handful parsley, roughly chopped
- Grab a deep dish pot/large & deep fry-pan, and add the olive oil (yes it's a lot, but as I said think of this like a pesto, plus the eggplant absorbs a lot of it) along with the diced onion, capsicum and celery, sautéed over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and sauté until all the veg (the eggplant especially) is incredibly tender and starting to fall apart. It will take approx. 15 minutes, don't rush this step.
- Add the garlic, oregano, capers, olives, chilli flakes and a generous sprinkle of salt & pepper. Stir and cook for a few minutes longer. It should be incredibly fragrant and beginning to resemble a sauce.
- Drizzle in a generous splash of red wine vinegar, stir to de-glaze the pan and then add the two tins of tomatoes. Stir to combine. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for approx 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Finally add the parsley and more salt & pepper should you think it needs it. Stir through pasta, serve on bruschetta or incorporate into a lasagne. Enjoy x
Homemade Hummus w Spiced Dried "Lamb" // Vegan + GF + RSF
20 / 01 / 2020
I have had zero luck with making homemade hummus in all my five years of being vegan. Honestly, the result of my repeated efforts has been bitter, card-boardy and tasting like dirt, ehk :(! But hello, hello - I've finally made utterly delicious hummus here Honeybunches. Creamy, smooth, light & lemony, nutty, garlicy and quite addictive… as much as pulses can be hehe. And not one bit bitter - hallelujah! Yes, I soak the chickpeas, but I promise it's dead-easy, just a spot of setting and forgetting, which I know we can all do. Then, moving one level up from plain hummus, is this INCREDIBLE dried spiced "lamb" which is hands down one of the most delicious things on the planet. It's glorious!! Sweet, juicy, cinnamony, and slightly vinegary! You won't regret making this recipe HBs. 12/10 it is!
Makes approx. 4 cups hummus & enough "lamb" topping for most of the hummus with a bit leftover. Serves 10 as an entree or 4 as a main w pitta bread.
START THIS RECIPE AT LEAST A DAY IN ADVANCE
- 1 heaped cup (250g) dried chickpeas
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 cup hulled tahini
- 1/4 cup thoroughly chilled water
- Juice of 3 lemons
- 2 tsp minced garlic (or 2 cloves)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cold water
Spiced Dried "Lamb"
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced small
- 1 tsp minced garlic (or 1 clove)
- 1 tsp each of cinnamon, cumin & paprika
- pinch chilli flakes
- generous pinch salt
- 2 cups vegan "mince" (I used Gardein which is GF)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (or any liquid sweetener)
- generous splash apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- pomegranate arils & chopped mint, to sprinkle
- Get your chickpeas soaking for your hummus at least a day before you intend to start eating it, by placing your chickpeas in a bowl (or jug to save space) and cover with water, leaving enough room for them to double in size. Pop them in the fridge (unless you live in a very chilly climate/time of year) and let them do their thing for 1-3 days.
- When ready to make your hummus, drain the chickpeas and transfer to a pot, add the bicarb and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer, letting it bubble away for 20-25 minutes. Yes, the chickpeas will become incredibly mushy, but this will also cook out the bitter-ness, so it's important to let them keep bubbling away. Scrape off and discard any foam that forms on the top during the cooking process.
- Meanwhile add the tahini to a bowl, along with the 1/4 cup of cold water. Whisk to emulsify the tahini and thicken into a creamy paste.
- Add the tahini paste into a food processor/blender, along with the lemon juice, garlic, salt & pepper. Once the chickpeas are cooked, drain and leave to dry off for about 5 minutes. Then add the chickpeas to the food processor/blender and blend until incredibly smooth. Add the 1 tbsp of cold water, if not more (as it will thicken up when chilled) and continue blending into a delicious creamy dip. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Transfer to a container and pop in the fridge to chill.
- Make your Spiced Dried Lamb by heating the olive oil (yes, it's a lot, but it's worth it here) in a fry pan and adding the onion and garlic, sautéing until softened. Add the spices, chilli and salt and stir for a minute or two. Once fragrant add the "mince", stirring to coat and cook the mixture for about 3-5 minutes.
- Once crisping up and smelling sensational, add the maple syrup - stirring to coat, then adding the vinegar to deglaze the pan. Cook for a minute more. Take off the heat and serve over the chilled hummus, sprinkled generously with pomegranate arils and chopped mint. Scoop up with some lovely pitta for one speedy trip to foodie heaven.
Spinach Lentil Meatballs w Pesto Sauce // Vegan + GF
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!
- 3/4 cup green lentils
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 300-350g spinach, fresh or frozen
- olive oil
- 2 small-medium onions, diced small
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (GF or not)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- pinch nutmeg
- salt & pepper
- 3/4 cup vegan basil pesto
- 1 handful raw walnuts
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 a tin cannellini/butter beans, drained & rinsed
To Serve - approx. 450g spaghetti (GF or not)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Cheesy Polenta Chips // Vegan + GF
05 / 12 / 2019
If you haven't tried Polenta Chips, then get ya' booty into gear because they are absolute 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!
- 2 cups vegetable/vegan "chicken stock
- 2 cups unsweetened soy/oat milk
- 1 cup polenta
- 1/2 cup grated vegan cheese (e.g. parmesan or cheddar)
- 1 tbsp vegan butter (or olive oil)
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 lemon, juiced
- salt & pepper
- Olive oil (to brush the chips with)
- To Serve: garlic aeoli
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.