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Vegan coconut flour choc chip cookies

Coconut Flour Choc Chip Cookies

“Don’t tell me the problem. Tell me the solution”. One of my old bosses used to love saying this. At the time I thought it was a little annoying but I have to say, he’s got a point. Sometimes you need to stop focusing on the problem, and start thinking of the solution. And today, I’ve found a solution to my old, old problem – how to turn coconut flour into something tasty, and vegan.  The answer couldn’t more obvious. Vegan coconut flour choc chip cookies. I hope you believe in magic, or science, or soft crumbly cookies.

Coconut Flour Choc Chip Cookies

These vegan coconut flour choc chip cookies are soft, slightly chewy, and absolutely addictive. I won’t go as far as saying that these are healthy cookies, but they certainly healthier than your usual choc chip cookies, and tastes just as good if not better. If you’ve used coconut flour before, you’d know how tricky it can be. Most recipes would call for loads of eggs when using coconut flour because of the nature of coconut flour. It’s full of fibre, dense and absorbs a lot of liquid (which can make the resulting bake goods dry). But these vegan coconut flour choc chip cookies contain no egg, soft and chewy, and every bit delicious. I hope you give them a go.

Coconut Flour Choc Chip Cookies

Coconut Flour Choc Chip Cookies

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Vegan Coconut Flour Choc Chip Cookies

A super delicious way to use coconut flour. These cookies are soft, just like those Subway cookies, but so much better for you.

Course Cookies, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword chocolate, coconut flour, cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 18

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 tablespoon tahini *optional - see notes
  • 2 tablespoon almond butter or your favourite nut butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 80 g dark chocolate chopped into fine chunks

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C. Line a baking sheet with a baking paper. Make flax egg by whisking the ground flaxseed with water using a small whisk or a fork until thick frothy. Set aside for 5 minutes to thicken.

  2. In a blender, add melted coconut oil, nut butter, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar. Blend until well combined. Add the flax egg and blend again.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Stir in the coconut oil mixture. Stir in the chopped chocolate.

  4. Take one tablespoon of cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Flatten the ball to create a disc (about 1/2 cm thickness). Place onto the baking sheet.

  5. Bake the cookies until they are just set, for about 10 minutes. Careful not to overbake them.

  6. Allow the cookies cool on a baking sheet, and then move onto a wire rack to let them cool completely. Serve with a glass of your favourite dairy milk. Also great to make cookie sandwich!

Recipe Notes

* if you don't want to use tahini, you can replace it with another tbsp of almond butter

P.S. If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram or Facebook. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

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The Ultimate Vegan Shortbread

Ultimate Vegan Almond Shortbread - Passionately Keren

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How to Make Kitchari – and a Quinoa Kitchari recipe

Quinoa Kitchari - Passionately Keren

If you’ve never heard kitchari before, then you’re in for a treat. This beautiful recipe is a request from my equally beautiful friend Jess who wanted me to create a kitchari recipe, and I’m so glad she did. Because, this recipe goes straight to my number 1 favourite for winter! A protein pack grain-free quinoa kitchari that will warm your body and nourish your soul. Enjoy it friend, this is comfort in a bowl.

What is Kitchari

Kitchari /ˈkɪtʃ(ə)riː/

If you’ve never heard of kitchari before, it’s an Indian-vegan-equivalent of a chicken soup. ou eat it when you have a cold, or a digestive issue, or a stomach ache, or a hangover. It’s considered to be very soothing to the body and easily digestible. At its simplest and most traditional, kitchari is made with a mixture yellow moong dal, ghee (clarified butter) and Indian spices. It is minimally seasoned and is often used by mothers to feed their young children (or infant, when pureed).

Kitchari is also popular Ayurvedic medicine and is believed to have detoxifying, restorative properties as a cleanse. As for me, I think it a perfect dish for winter, or whenever you feel like some tasty and comforting, but also good for you.

Quinoa Kitchari - Passionately Keren

How to make kitchari

Making kitchari is fairly straight forward. You just need these key ingredients:

  1. A mixture of grains and legumes – such as yellow mungbeans or moong dal, split peas, rice (either white or brown)
  2. Coconut oil – coconut oil makes the perfect plantbased replacement for ghee (and tastes better too!).
  3. Spices – the key spices are cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ginger, and turmeric, however I highly recommend adding fenugreek if you can source it, the rest is optional.

Adding quinoa to kichari

This is my little twist to the traditional kitchari recipe. Technically a seed, I think adding quinoa to the bean mixture makes the dish a little more wholesome. You can add it to your rice and legumes mixture or use it to replace the rice. It adds a lovely nutty taste to the kitchari and is pack full of protein.

P.S. If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram or Facebook. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

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Quinoa Kitchari

A comforting and delicious grain-free kitchari that you will absolutely love

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword ayurvedic, kitchari, quinoa, turmeric
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 massel stock cube
  • 1/2 cup yellow mungbeans
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup split red lentils
  • 6 cups water

Spices

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 knob of ginger minced
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Vegetables

  • 2 cups of chopped vegetables. I use carrots and cauliflower

Instructions

  1. 1. The night before - rinse mungbean, quinoa, and lentils and soak them. Make sure you use a large bowl filled with with water.


    2. The following day - drain the soaked beans and seeds and rinse under running water. Set aside.


    3. Heat coconut oil over medium heat, in a cast iron pot (or any heavy-bottomed pot). Add onion, garlic, cumin, turmeric, fenugreek and ground coriander. Cook for a few minutes until seeds begin to pop.  Add the rinsed beans, and stir to coat. 

    4. Add stock cube and water. then bring to boiling over medium heat. 

    5. Cover and reduce to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the chopped veggies and cook until they become soft, about 20 minutes. 
Stir the pot every now and then to prevent it sticking on to the bottom.

    6. Season with salt and pepper.

    7. Adjust the consistency to your liking by add more water for a soupier consistency, and increasing the cooking time for a thicker, creamier soup.

    8. Serve with fresh coriander.


Recipe Notes

If you like your spices like I do, you can add some freshly sautéed spices for bolder flavours. In a separate saucepan, sauté 1 tsp of mustard seeds in a bit of coconut oil until they pop. Then add 1/2 tsp of cumin seed. Stir together to release the flavours. Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked kitchari mixture just before serving.

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Flourless Vegan Sweet Potato Brownie

 

Have you ever craved something you have not had before? I get that all the time. Case in point is this flourless vegan sweet potato brownie. I was craving sweet potato brownie one day, even though I’ve never had it before. It was one of those moment when you go “you know what, I really feel like sweet potato brownies today”.

Inception much?! I don’t know it works but it is likely that I saw the recipe either on Instagram, or Youtube, or somewhere in the blogosphere and that planted a seed in my head that kept growing and growing, until it suddenly become a craving.

When I experiment with a new recipe my success rate is usually 70% – which means that three out of ten times I fail. The good thing is, this is not one of those times.

If you like dense, filling brownie that tastes even better the next day, then you will love these brownies. They’re so decadent, filling but won’t make you feel heavy after eating in. They also taste good cold, strangely enough. The mashed sweet potato makes it moist and not too hard when chilled. Just perfect. I hope you give them ago!

 

P.S. If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram and share your creation. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

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Sweet potato brownie

A dense and decadent chocolate brownie with a healthy twist that no one will notice.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword chocolate, sweet potato
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8
Author Keren Natalia

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato

Dry Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or seed butter of choice
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk I use soy
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 26cm rectangular baking pan (brownie pan) with baking paper and set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix your dry ingredients.

  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, add all your wet ingredient. Add in your sweet potato and mix until smooth.

  4. Pour your wet mixture into the dry and mix until until a thick, yet smooth batter remains.

  5. Pour batter into lined baking pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre. Depending on how much liquid you added, you may need to cook it longer.

  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan completely before frosting and slicing into pieces.
 For firmer texture, leave in the oven (power off) for an hour while the oven is cooling down.

Recipe Notes

You can add 1/4 cup of dairy-free choc chip for a more chocolatey experience. 

I also like to add some spices like a pinch or cayenne pepper of a tablespoon of spicy latte powder to add a spicy hint.

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Fresh Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup - Passionately Keren

Tomatoes… or not tomatoes. That is the question.

Truth is, I was looking for a lovely poem on tomatoes on the internet. But I couldn’t find any. At least not one that would emotively describe how beautiful,  and divine vine-ripened tomatoes can be, and and how their scent could make one daydream of slurping a creamy tomato soup on a cold winter day.

The near freezing weather doesn’t feel so bad anymore.

Tomato Soup - Passionately Keren

If you love tomatoes like I do, you’re going to love this soup. Traditionally sour-cream is used to give tomato soup that rich and creamy flavour but since I don’t have vegan sour cream laying around I just used soy milk, and it worked beautifully. If you don’t have any fresh tomatoes, you can also use canned tomatoes. You’d need about 2 x 400g tomatoes for this recipe. However, if you can, do use fresh vine-ripened tomatoes for a fuller, richer tomato flavour.

Tomato Soup - Passionately Keren

 

Tomato Soup - Passionately Keren
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Fresh Tomato Soup

A delicious, aromatic and creamy fresh tomatoes soup that will nourish your body and make everything just a little bit better.
Course Entree, Main
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Keren Natalia

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large brown onions diced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 7 medium size vine-ripened tomatoes chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 vegetable stock cube I use Massel
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup soy milk

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onions over a medium heat until soft but not brown.
  2. Add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme and then stir so that the spices soak up the olive oil. Add the stock cube, salt, pepper and sugar and stir.
  3. Add the tomatoes. Break them up slightly with a wooden spoon and stir. Add water and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Take the soup off the stove and allow to cool slightly then remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
  5. Puree soup with a blender (or a hand blender). Transfer back into a pan (if using blender) and heat gently. Add the milk, and season to taste.

Recipe Notes

Safety tip: For blending hot soups using a normal blender, fill less than halfway, remove your blender lid's centre insert, and then hold a kitchen towel to cover the top while blending.

Tomato Soup - Passionately Keren

P.S. If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram and share your creation. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

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How to use Himalayan Salt Block

Himalayan Salt Block

Have you cooked on a salt block before? It’s the coolest thing ever. Mine is small square Himalayan Salt Block from The Salt Box who, aside from stocking a range of salt blocks, also sells an incredible variety of salt.

Cooking with salt block not only make it looks impressive, but also makes the food deliciously salty and flavoursome.

Grilled Tempe on Himalayan Salt Block

What is a salt block?

Salt block is essentially a slab of pure salt. In my case, I use the Himalayan salt block which has the prettiest pink hue. Himalayan salt thought to have first formed around 250 million years ago, when the sun dried up a prehistoric ocean, leaving a dense salt deposit, colored by a common pink microorganism that had lived in it.

Now let that sink in a little bit. 250 million years! So next time you use Himalayan salt, know that you are in fact eating something that comes from the ancient time.

Cooking with salt block can be intimidating at first but once you give it a go, it is actually really simple.

Here are some of my tips if you’re new to cooking with salt block.

1. Acclimatise your salt block

This is important to ensure that they won’t crack under high heat, especially if they are new. Just bring them up to temperature slowly, in stages. So heat the block using a low heat (under 100 degrees C) for about 15 minutes, then increase it to a medium heat (about 150 degrees C) for another 15 minutes, and then on high (around 200 degrees C) until it reaches temperature. This applies to gas stove top and grill. Note: you’re using electric, use a diffusing ring (or anything metal like a tart pan with a pop out bottom or a pastry ring) to create a small air gap between the heating element and the salt block and then follow the same process.

It is quite a slow process so give yourself enough time. Each time you want to cook with the salt block it will take 45 minutes in the oven to reach the ideal cooking temperature. I do this whilst I do my food preparation so I don’t have to wait for too long for the block to heat up.

The salt block or plate will change its appearance to a more opaque colour when heated and it may also crackle a bit. Don’t worry too much about it as the salt block will return to its original look once it cools down.

Grilled Tempe on Himalayan Salt Block

2. Keep the salt block hot

Because otherwise, your food will absorb too much salt. You need to salt block to be hot enough to evaporate the moisture in the food. To test this, I would just add a drop of water onto the salt block. If it sizzles violently and evaporates quickly, it’s hot enough. Don’t worry, you get the hang of this.

3. Designate a ‘top’ and ‘bottom’

In other words, use the same side of the salt block for searing food. This is to maintain the integrity of the salt block as it can start to break down faster if both sides are used as the cooking surface.

4. Treat it with a bit of TLC

First of all, do not wash your salt block under running water. Do not use soap, ever (unless you want soap flavoured salt)! If hot, allow your block to cool completely first and use a scrub or a soft brush to remove any stuck matter and wipe with damp cloth. The less water the better. I normally scrape any sticky bits with a knife and then just wipe them clean. It may seem a bit unsanitary but keep in mind is that salt block has powerful antimicrobial properties so you don’t need to worry about things growing on them.  You can keep your salt block in a sealed plastic when it’s not in use.

I use my salt block mostly to grill tempe. The salt block imparts a lovely sea flavour and it’s so simple to make. Here’s a quick recipe/direction on how I do it.

Grilled Tempe on Himalayan Salt Block

Grilled Tempe on Himalayan Salt Block

Ingredients

  • 250g organic tempe
  • Himalayan salt block

Method

  • Heat up the salt block to high (200 degrees C)
  • Slice tempe into 1 cm slices.
  • Add a drizzle of olive oil and place tempe slices on the hot salt block
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side and then turn and cook the other side.
  • You can use the remaining heat to sear other veggies like asparagus or mushroom

Have you used salt block before? If not, would you try it? And if yes, what’s your favourite way to use salt block.

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GoodnessMe Box Review + Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

Hi everyone,

Hope you are well. I honestly can’t believe that March is here. I’ve taken some time off from social media as some of you may have noticed and it felt really good. Sometimes you have to stop, re-focus, re-centre, and remember why you do what you do.

Anyhow, a week ago I did an unboxing video of the February edition of GoodnessMe Box, perhaps one of my favourite boxes of all time. It was loaded with a lot of pink deliciousness and boy do I love pink.

I also made Cashew and Almond Energy Bars inspired by Lorna Jane’s Energy Bars recipe that came with the box. They were delish! Mildly sweet, nutty, and oh so satisfying.

Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

These bars are so easy to make and perfect for an afternoon pick me up or as emergency snacks. I’ve been making them in double batches to freeze. So so good! Check out the video and the recipe below and I do hope you will give them a try.

  Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

Cashew and Almond Energy Bars
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Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

A delicious wholefood snack for whenever you need a boost of energy
Course Snack
Cuisine Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword cashew
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 20 -30
Author Keren Natalia

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashew
  • 1 cup raw almond
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter I used Pic's Peanut Butter
  • 2/3 cup soaked dried dates or 10 medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 4-8 tbsp boiling water

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients, except the boiling water in a food processor until crumbed.
  2. Slowly add boiling water until the mixture forms a ball.
  3. Firmly press the mixture into a mold (I use heart-shaped mold) or into a lined slice tin.
  4. Allow to set in the fridge for about 1 hour before eating.
  5. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer for 4 weeks.

Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

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Vegan Eggnog Custard

Vegan Eggnog Custard

Merry Christmas everyone! I’ve got a delicious recipe for you today. It’s a creamy, dreamy Vegan Eggnog Custard.

I’m writing at The Manhattan Hotel Club New York. We landed yesterday after a tiring 21-hour flight from Sydney to New York via Los Angeles, and two special security screenings for which I was randomly selected (not sure how ‘random’ it was to be honest).

It is the 24th December here in America but because of the time difference, it is 25th December (Christmas day)for my Australian friends and family!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

I was supposed to post this recipe before I left for New York but better late than never right?

Vegan Eggnog Custard

This Vegan Eggnog Custard  ‘happened’ because I couldn’t choose between making Vegan Eggnog or Vegan Custard for my Christmas lunch week, so I made both! I was really surprised at how good this turned out, and how much everyone loved it. It’s delicious, decadent, and contains all the spices that scream Christmas morning.

The addition of fresh mint leaves and pomegranate seeds, although optional, makes such a difference, so I recommend you include them if possible. The freshness of the mint and the sour tanginess of the pomegranate just adds such a lovely contrast to this sweet creamy dessert.

I hope you give this recipe a go, and may the sweet magic of Christmas fills your heart and soul and wishing you all the peace and joy this holiday!

Vegan Eggnog Custard

Vegan Eggnog Custard
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Vegan Eggnog Custard

A creamy, dreamy, delicious Christmas treat for everyone.
Course Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword custard, eggnog
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 4
Author Keren Natalia

Ingredients

  • 1 400ml can coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoon brown rice syrup or you can also use maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon spiced sherry or rum, bourbon, brandy, or whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
  • a tiny pinch of turmeric for colour optional
  • 6 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Fresh mint leaves and Pomegranate seeds  optional

Instructions

  1. Soak the cashews overnight or for at least 1 hour.
  2. Combine cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and mix really well. Make sure there are no lumps
  3. Place all the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour the eggnog mixture into a saucepan and warm gently on the stove. Do not bring to a boil.
  5. Add about a cup of the warm eggnog milk to the cornstarch mixture and combine. Now pour it all back into the saucepan to combine with the remaining eggnog mixture.
  6. Stir constantly with a whisk and continue cooking on medium until the custard is thick and luscious.
  7. Remove from heat and transfer to serving glasses.
  8. Chill for 3 hours or overnight before serving
  9. Serve with some fresh mint leaves and some pomegranate seeds (about a tablespoon per serve)

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM NEW YORK!

Keren in New York

Me eating Vegan Burger at By Chloe, NYC

P.S. If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram and share your creation. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

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Penne with ‘Meaty’ Vegan Ragu with Gino’s Gourmet Groceries

Penne with ‘Meaty’ Vegan Ragu

I love my pasta. I love how something so simple as boiled dried dough, made out of flour and water, can bring such comfort and delight.

Casalare: Gluten Free Vegie Penne Pasta

Before I became a vegan, one of my favourite pasta sauces to make was ‘ragu’, a meat-based Italian sauce, which is rich, thick, delicious and full of flavours. It was, in more ways than one, awesome.

Spiral Foods: Organic Garlic & Basil Sugo

When I eat food, it invokes all sorts of feelings and emotions inside of me. Not all the time, of course, because sometimes eating is just the mere act of ‘re-fuelling’ oneself. The meal can take many forms, but all share the same mundane, unremarkable purpose, to stop that feeling of hunger in its tracks.

But other times, more often than not, I eat to feel things (as opposed to stop feeling things, like the sensation of hunger). I eat to make myself feel joyful, gratified, indulged, pacified, inspired, delighted, happy, and alive.

Penne with Meaty Vegan Ragu

I wanted to re-create that feeling I used to get whenever I had a good ragu back in the old meat-eating days, only this time with a vegan ragu. And so I went to my kitchen laboratory and started experimenting I chose mushroom and tempe as my plant-based proteins of choice and, boy, did they rise up to the challenge. I also added some shredded kale leaves to give the dish another layer of texture and flavour, and to boost its nutritional content, and because I just love kale in general.

The result is a thick and rich ragu that tastes so ‘meaty’ and delicious that you’ll forget it contains no meat at all. I hope you will give it a go!

Casalare: Gluten Free Vegie Penne Pasta
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Penne with ‘Meaty’ Vegan Ragu

A deliciously rich, protein-packed vegan ragu that's nourishing, satisfying and oh so comforting.
Course Main
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Author Keren Natalia

Ingredients

  • 250 g tempeh diced to about 1cm cubes
  • Leaves from three stalks of kale chopped or shredded (optional)
  • 1/3 cup basil leaves
  • 3 large brown mushrooms chopped
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 700 g jar of pasta sauce*
  • 250 g gluten free penne pasta*

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook red onion for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until softened slightly.
  2. Add the minced garlic and diced tempeh and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until browned.
  3. Add the chopped mushroom, cook, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the pasta sauce, bring to boil, then add the chopped kale into the pot and stir until kale is cooked, about 1 minute.
  5. Stir in fresh basil. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water according to the packet instruction until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  7. Mix sauce with pasta, adding the reserved cooking liquid to coat pasta with sauce. Serve with Vegan Parmesan.

Recipe Notes

*I use Spiral Foods: Organic Garlic & Basil Sugo; and Casalare: Gluten Free Vegie Penne Pasta, both from Gino’s Groceries.

This recipe is sponsored by Gino’s Gourmet Groceries, an online store that partners with the best independent producers who share their values of doing things the right way. They supply real, honest food, with no artificial ingredients and no nasties, at a fair price. I must say that the pasta sauce and the gluten-free vegan penne I got from them were some of the best I’ve ever tasted.

And because the team at Gino’s Gourmet Groceries are awesome, they’re giving you, my lovely readers, a 25% discount on our next purchase with them. Just use the code “PASSIONATELY25” during checkout.

P.S. If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram and share your creation. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

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How to Make Vegan Haloumi with Mad Millie Cheese Kit + Giveaway

Vegan Haloumi Cheese

Gosh, I’m excited about this post! It’s been four years since I last had haloumi cheese. And although I’ve experimented with making dairy-free cheeses for a while, I’ve never made haloumi cheese, at least until now. And it’s the best thing ever. And thanks to Mad Millie’s Vegan Cheese Kit, you too can learn how to make vegan haloumi at home.

Talk to any vegan or aspiring vegan, and they will tell you one of the hardest transitions to make is quitting dairy. It’s getting a little bit easier now to source good vegan cheeses, but they’re still like finding purple MnMs, still quite hard to find, and can be pretty pricey. The best (and the most affordable) way to get your cheese fix, therefore, is to make your own.

But making your own nut cheese is not without its challenges. I own three vegan cheese cookbooks and I can probably count the number of recipes I’ve tried from these cookbooks using just one hand (in other words, not a lot). Some of the ingredients can be hard to source, some of the recipes can be quite complicated and intimidating for first-timers, and sometimes it can be a long wait before you can eat your cheese, ranging between three days to 3 weeks.

What I love about Mad Millie’s Vegan Cheese Kit is that it provides you with all the ingredients you need to make your own vegan cheese. The recipe is also very simple and easy to follow. No specialised equipment or experience is required. Just add your choice of nuts and kitchen spices. The best thing is that all the cheeses can be made in less than a day!

The kit contains a thermometer, cheesecloth, citric acid, agar, tapioca flour, yeast flakes, cheese salt, instructions and recipe booklet. The kit makes approximately 3.6 kg of cheese before you need to replenish some of the ingredients. That’s a pretty decent amount of cheese I think, enough to feed a family with two hungry teens… or ten.

I have to say that the vegan haloumi I made using the kit was unexpectedly divine! Even Nat (my pescetarian/vegan hubby) says it tastes as close as 80% to the real thing… and I think that is excellent as far as dairy-free cheese goes. And Nat is a severe critic as he loves his haloumi!

I love adding this haloumi to salad or simply serving it with some fresh tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. Nom!

How to make a vegan haloumi

Seriously, you won’t believe how easy it is. You don’t even need to do any culturing! Click on the video below to see how to make vegan haloumi using the cheese kit.

You can see all the ingredients required to make the cheese, all provided in the kit (except the nuts and some pantry items of course). It’s a simple blend, cook, and chill process so you can spend more time eating them :D

Vegan Cheese kit Giveaway

Because the Mad Millie team are so awesome, they’ve agreed to give away one Vegan Cheese Kit to a lucky reader of Passionately Keren. To enter the giveaway, simply do any one of the following action to gain entry points.

Winners will be drawn on the 8th of December 2017. I think it would make a lovely Christmas gift, don’t you agree?

Mad Millie Vegan Cheese Kit

Do you like Haloumi cheese? If not, what’s your favourite cheese?