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Superfood Tempe Taco

With the weather getting cooler it’s time for something comforting, something warm, and something spicy. It’s time to Taco!

Avocado and Tomato

There’re a few reasons why I love Mexican food. I love food with bold flavours, the kind of food that punches you in the face with a strong taste and then makes you come back for more. It’s sexy and daring. It’s passionate.

One of my favourite Mexican foods is taco. I mean, who doesn’t like taco? It’s tasty, easy to make and it’s great for parties!

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Traditionally, taco is made with meat but I make mine with tempe, walnuts and chia seeds. These make the taco highly nutritious and their unique texture gives the taco that ‘meaty’ and chewy taste, even though it’s completely plantbased.

You can find tempe (also spelled tempeh) at your local supermarket, health food store or an Indonesian or Malaysian speciality grocery store. You want to get raw tempe, as the cooked version is often flavoured and not as firm as the fresh type so it might be difficult to grate.

Superfood Tempe Taco

Why I love it

It’s not only that this superfood tempe taco is easy and quick to make, it’s also nutritious, delicious, and high in protein. The added chia seeds provide a boost of omega 3 and they also help thicken the taco’s ‘meat’ mixture in next to no time.

The leftover ‘taco meat’ can also be used to spice up salad or sandwiches for lunch the next day, if you can manage not to eat it all in one sitting.

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The key is to a good taco is a good taco seasoning. You can get it at the store or you can make it your self. If you’re a big taco fan, I recommend making it yourself because it’s so easy to do and you can customise it to suit your preferences.

You just need to get all the spices, mix them together and then store the mixture in an airtight jar to keep its freshness. The best thing about making your own taco seasoning is that you can adjust the taste to your liking. You can make it as hot (or as mild) as you like, you can add more of the spices you like, maybe reduce the salt, or add more pepper.

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Superfood Tempe Taco

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack (250) raw tempe, grated
  • ¼ cup walnut, finely chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup non-dairy cheese
  • 8 hard taco shells

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a sauté pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and stir for about 3 minutes, until it begins to soften.
  3. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Stir grated tempeh; cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Pour vegetable broth over the tempeh mixture and reduce heat to low. Add the taco seasoning, oregano, and ground red pepper. Cook, stirring regularly, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

*How to Make Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ½ – 3 teaspoon chilli powder (depending how hot you like it)
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together

Tips:

  • Make a big batch of taco seasoning and use it to season roast vegetables, salads, wraps, etc
  • Use lettuce leaves in place of taco shells if you want to make it lighter (or if you run out of taco shells)
  • Use leftover taco meat to fill sandwiches or to sprinkle upon your salads.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you Leave a comment below or share a picture and tag me on Instagram!

 

Keren x

 

This recipe is also created in collaboration with Australian Avocado

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Vegan Bolognaise With Walnut And Mushroom

Spaghetti bolognaise is one of my favourite childhood comfort foods. It wasn’t something that our family would eat regularly so growing up, it would be a real treat for me whenever we went out to have spaghetti bolognaise!

I also owe my English language skills to this lovely dish. During my teens, I was studying English at an International College which ran classes on weeknights and on the weekend. It has a cafe that served spaghetti bolognaise amongst a list of Western dishes they had on their menu. There were times when I was tired and didn’t feel like going to class but I would go anyway as I didn’t want to miss out of having spaghetti bolognaise for lunch or dinner after class. It was a great motivator to study English!

Though this vegan bolognaise recipe is miles different to what I had then but it’s delicious just the same. It’s meaty, without having any actual meat in the ingredients, fragrant, mildly spicy and very, very comforting.

 

Vegan bolognaise sauce

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Why I love it:

This dish brings me back to my childhood. I love the aroma and the tast of fresh basil cutting through the richness of the sauce. I love the chewiness and the meatiness of the mushrooms and the walnuts.  And I especially love trying to gently slurp the spaghetti strands from the bowl and attempting to make as little mess all over the chair and the floor. It never works but hey, one can try.

It’s meatless but it’s full of flavour and satisfying . It’s simple to make, delicious and satisfying. It’s also healthy and nutritious.

  • Walnuts are rich in omega-3 which is essential for normal brain function. They are also rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is known to help lower “bad” cholesterol and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. A study has also found that walnuts contains melatonin, which helps with sleep regulation, circadian rhythms and light-dark adjustment.
  • Mushrooms are not only a great meat replacement it’s also great for weight management. They’re very low in saturated fat and cholesterol and also are a good source of protein and folate which supports your brain and nervous system. They are also critical for red blood cell production (folate, iron, copper, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6, are necessary for the production of red blood cells) as well as supporting reproductive health in women.

Vegan bolognaise sauce

Vegan Bolognaise With Walnut And Mushroom
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Keren Natalia
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 140 ml tomato paste
  • 4 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 carrots, dice into small squares
  • 350 g Swiss Brown mushroom, sliced
  • 1 ½ cup walnut, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh chilli, chopped
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
Instructions
  1. Process walnut in a food processor or chop using a knife to a rough crumb
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan under medium heat. Fry onion for about 2-3 minutes until fragrant and soft.
  3. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add tomato, tomato paste, carrot, walnut, water and chilli.
  5. Simmer for 1 hour until the sauce thick and rich
  6. Add salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  7. Add mushroom and cook for about 2 minutes,
  8. Turn the heat off, add basil leaves and pour over freshly cooked pasta.

Notes and Tips:

  • For low carb alternative, you can replace the pasta with zucchini noodles by slicing the zucchini into thin strips using a knife, a mandolin or a spiraliser. Toss the zucchini in a pan over a medium heat for 1 – 2  minutes to warm it up.
  • Add 1/2 cup of kalamata olives in place of salt
  • Replace 1 cup of water with 1 cup of red wine
  • Add a teaspoon of dried oregano or mixed dried Italian herbs instead of basil

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture on Instagram and tag me so I can see your creation

 

Keren x

 

 

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Vegan Vegetable Frittata

Vegan Frittata

Who says that you can’t make egg-free frittata?

But honestly, if you asked me a year ago if I could make frittata without eggs, I would have said, ‘hell, no!’

Vegan Frittata

Frittata, by definition, is an omelette – specifically an Italian-style omelette filled with various ingredients. And as we all know, you need eggs to make omelette.

Or do you?

Vegan Frittata

Fast forward to the present day. I’ve learned that you can make egg-free omelette. And since you can make egg-free omelette, you can make egg-free frittata. Hallelujah.

Vegan Frittata

To make a vegan frittata you need to use chickpea flour, vegetable starch (I use arrowroot powder but you can also use corn starch or potato starch), nutritional yeast, onion, garlic and mustard powder. All of these ingredients are very important for both texture and flavours so don’t skimp or omit any of them. The recipe yields a texture similar to that the normal frittata, but slightly softer and tender, somewhat like scrambled eggs (without the eggs, of course).

Vegan Frittata

Why I love it: 

It really reminds me of egg frittata! I served mine with Sriracha sauce (I’m a bit of a Sriracha addict) and garnished it with some fresh parsley leaves. The leaves add freshness to the dish, and also make the frittata look pretty and stylish on the plate. It didn’t take long before I made a huge mess of the plate, though.

This vegan vegetable frittata recipe uses no oil apart from greasing the baking dish so it’s perfect for those who are looking to eating more whole foods as part of a plant-based diet. It is full of protein so it’s just like eating real frittata (minus the cholesterol and saturated fat)

Vegan Frittata

Vegan Frittata
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • Omelette batter
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder, garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ½ cup vegetable stock
  • Fillings
  • 2 cups of chopped vegetables – I use:
  • ¼ cup chopped spring beans
  • ¼ cup diced red capsicum
  • ½ cup chopped asparagus
  • 1 cup shredded kale
  • Seasoning
  • ½ large red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • A pinch of black salt or Kala Namak (optional but highly recommended)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • [url href=”http://www.passionatelykeren.com.au/make-vegan-parmesan/” target=”_blank”]Vegan parmesan[/url]
Instructions
Cuisine Companion Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Chop red onion and garlic cloves using superblade on speed 8 for 20 sec. Transfer into a plate, rinse the bowl and blade and wipe dry.
  3. Add all the dry chickpea batter ingredients into the bowl. Mix for 5 seconds on speed 8.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and cook using speed 5 at 100 C for 5 minutes
  5. The mixture should be thick.
  6. Add the chopped veggies to the batter. Mix at speed 8 for 10 -15 seconds until mixed through
  7. Transfer batter onto greased pyrex pan. Even it out with spatula.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes and then cover with aluminium foil and bake for another 25 minutes or until the centre is not jiggly and the edges are lightly brown. Depending on the type of your vegetables you use you might need more or less time for the batter to cook. Just prick the centre with a fork to test done-ness.
  9. Stand for 10-15 minutes to set.
  10. Sprinkle with a bit of black salt for an eggy flavour boost.
  11. Serve warm with some freshly ground pepper, [url href=”http://www.passionatelykeren.com.au/make-vegan-parmesan/” target=”_blank”]vegan parmesan[/url], and your favourite hot sauce.
Manual Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, cook onion and garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add the chickpea flour, arrowroot powder and the remaining dry ingredients
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes until the mixture becomes thick. Stir in the chopped veggies and mix.
  6. Transfer batter onto greased Pyrex pan and flatten the surface with spatula.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for another 25 minutes or until the center is not jiggly and the edges are lightly brown. Depending on the type of your vegetables you use you might need more or less time for the batter to cook.
  9. Prick the centre with a fork to test done-ness. Stand for 10-15 minutes to set.
  10. Serve warm with some freshly ground pepper, [url href=”http://www.passionatelykeren.com.au/make-vegan-parmesan/” target=”_blank”]vegan parmesan[/url], a sprinkle of black salt and your favourite hot sauce.
Notes
Freeze leftovers for up to 4 weeks.[br]Sprinkle with some black salt before serving for an ‘eggy boost’.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture and tag me @passionatelykeren on Instagram .

Love and greens,

Keren Natalia

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Low Carb Stir Fry Cauliflower Rice

One day I was feeling a bit adventurous and created this recipe. I ran out of rice and I was craving something white, warm, comforting and filling. I had a huge cauliflower which I recently bought so I thought, why not make cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower rice

It is low carb, low calorie, nutritious and most importantly, delicious! I think I had twice the usual amount of cauliflower I normally have (or rice for that matter) because it was so yummy. Success!

Cauliflower rice-4

I used my Tefal Cuisine Companion to make this so it was pretty effortless. You can of course make it the normal (manual) way. It will take a bit more time but it will taste just as good.

The first thing you need to do is to process the cauliflower florets into fine crumbs, using the Cuisine Companion or a normal food processor. I wouldn’t recommend using a blender for this. If you don’t have a food processor, just use a cheese grater.

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I used lots of chopped garlic, ginger and cumin to flavour the ‘rice’. You can probably use spring onions or red onions as well for this. I’m a big ginger fan so I used 2 knobs of ginger to give it a bit of a ‘punch’. If you’re not a fan of ginger you might want to cut it down to one.

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Once you have all the ingredients ready, you can just ‘stir fry’ the cauliflower like you would with rice. It’s obviously a lot softer and mushier than rice so don’t expect the texture to be quite the same. It does taste like a cross between mashed potatoes and rice.

Cauliflower rice-3

Low Carb Stir Fry Cauliflower Rice
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Gluten Free
Author: Little Green Habits
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A unique and healthy twist on the traditional asian stir fried rice
Ingredients
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 large knob of ginger (a knob would be one of the “arms” sticking out of the main body of ginger)
  • 1 whole cauliflower, cut into florets (around 5 cups)
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Using Superblade attachment in Cuisine Companion. Process cauliflower florets into crumb at speed 11 for 15 sec. Transfer into a big bowl.
  2. Switch to Chopping blade in Cuisine Companion, chop ginger and garlic at speed 11 for 30 sec.
  3. Switch to Stirring blade. Add cumin and coconut oil into the chopped ginger and garlic. Cook at 130C for 5 minutes at speed 4.
  4. Add cauliflower crumbs and peas. Reduce the speed to 2 and cook for a further 15 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.
Notes
For cooking on the stove, use medium high heat and just follow the step in the recipe and stir constantly just as you would when you make stir fry.

 

 

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Fragrant Superhero Fried Rice

When I received a call that my recipe was selected to be part of the Superfoods Kitchen Cookbook, I was over the moon…

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I can’t help feeling proud to have my recipe being featured in this cookbook. Around 200 recipe entries were submitted and reviewed, a number of those were tested and judged by the judging panel of nutritionists and naturopaths for taste and nutritional value and then around 70 recipes made it to the cookbook. I chose quite a difficult category to “veganise” (dinner category) and my most favourite naughty meal to “healthivise” (fried rice). I thought, everyone can make a healthy and delicious salad but I wanted to show how plant-based dishes can be the star of a meal, not just as a side dish, and how comfort food can be made healthy. I really didn’t think I would make the cut but I did so here we are.

The Superfoods Kitchen cookbook, although it is not strictly a plant-based cookbook, it features lots of vegan recipes and recipes which can be easily ‘veganised’. It has over 70 great recipes from savoury to sweets and it caters for all dietary requirements including gluten free, dairy free, nut free and of course, vegan. 

Now on to this fried rice recipe that made it through to the final.

Fragrant Superhero Fried Rice

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I called it fragrant superhero fried rice because when ever I think of the word superfood, it reminds me of the word Superman . So I thought, if Superman was vegan and eats fried rice, what would it look like? So I created the recipe with that in mind. I thought, this fried rice will give all the energy and nutrients a superhero needs to fight the villains and save the day. It’s clean and fresh tasting, simple and easy to make, 100% vegan and delicious, if I may say so myself.

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The recipe features the amazing Brussel sprouts  for anti-cancer, bean curd for a hit of protein, coriander for digestion (and the fragrant aroma), carrots and bean sprouts for fiber, minerals and tasty crunch! It is also highly adjustable and almost foolproof. Use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge, the more the merrier.

Tips: Add the vegetables in order of their weight (heaviest first and lightest last) for even cooking. As long as you stir constantly, maintain the heat (high) and season well, you’ll end up with something tasty.

So here it is. Go and save the day :)

fragrant superhero friedrice

Superhero Fried Rice
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan, glutenfree
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Fragrant and delicious supercharged fried rice to fuel the superhero in you.
Ingredients
  • Vegetables
  • 2 cups of baby Brussels Sprouts trimmed and cut into quarters
  • 1 cup of cooked Brown Rice
  • 1 cup of diced Extra Firm Bean Curd
  • 1 big handful of Bean Sprouts
  • 1 large Carrot, diced
  • Spices
  • 1 large Shallots, sliced
  • 1 knob of Ginger (about 2cm), grated
  • 2 Green Onions, sliced
  • 6 garlic Cloves, sliced
  • 1 small Red Chilli, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped Coriander
  • Seasonings
  • 3 tbsp of Coconut Oil
  • 2 tbsp of Light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Vegetarian Oyster sauce
  • 3 drops of Sesame oil
  • ¼ cup Bioglan Chia seeds + 1 tablespoon set aside
  • A sprinkle of ground white pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok; add chopped onions, grated ginger, garlic and stir-fry until onions turn a nice brown color, about 5 minutes; remove from wok and set aside.
  2. Add 2 tbsp oil to wok, swirling to coat surfaces; add sliced bean curd and stir-fry for 2 minutes until brown.
  3. Add brussels sprouts, carrots, and cooked onion; stir-fry for 3 minutes.
  4. Add brown rice, green onions, and bean sprouts, tossing to mix well; stir-fry for 3 minutes. If the rice is sticking on the bottom of the wok, add a few tablespoon of water (up to ¼ cup) to release it.
  5. Add all the sauces (2 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce and 3 drops of sesame sauce) and ¼ cup of chia seeds to rice mixture
  6. Fold in; add ground pepper and chopped chilli if preferred, stir-fry for 2 minutes more; taste.
  7. Adjust the flavour by adding more sauce or season to taste.
  8. Fold in chopped coriander to finish. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp chia seeds to garnish.
  9. Set out additional soy sauce on the table, if desired.

 

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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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Easy Broccoli Soup

This soup is perfect for a post weekend detox. One bowl, a handful of ingredients and voila, a hearty and delicious bowl of soup that is super nutritious and delicious. And guess what, it’s oil-free too.

Easy Broccoli Soup - 4

Easy Broccoli Soup - 1 Cuisine Companion

Easy Broccoli Soup

 

 

Easy Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 large broccoli (about 650g), roughly chopped.
  • 1 liter vegetable stock
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Pepitas, Vegan Parmesan and Kinda Bacon flakes (optional but they’ll make your soup tastier by an exponential factor)

Equipment: Tefal Cuisine Companion (see note)

Method

  1. Put all ingredients in the bowl (use the chopping blade)
  2. If using the Tefal Cuisine Companion, press automatic program soup (P1 100C 30 min).
  3. Do some shopping while the machine does its thing.
  4. Serve.

Note: You can also make this on the stove by putting all ingredients in a big pot. Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes or until the broccoli is tender and then blend the mixture using a hand blender.

Thick and scrumptious… just like a good soup should be.

Easy Broccoli Soup - 1

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Vegan Soba Mee Goreng With Teriyaki Tempeh

There’s no denying I love a good stir fry. It’s easy, speedy, and it transforms any left overs you have in the fridge. One night, it occured to me that I haven’t had fried noodles for a while and I had this sudden craving for the sweet mee goreng I used to have as a child when I was growing up.

So I created this noodle recipe inspired by that memory. I wanted to create something as delicious but I wanted something better, healthier and more nutritious. Most stir-fry noodles are dripping in oil which makes me cringe sometimes.

This recipe only uses two tablespoons of oil for four servings. It’s a cross between soba noodle salad and mee goreng and it’s full of the colours and flavours I love from the stir fry noodles in my childhood.

Vegan Soba Mee Goreng With Teriyaki Tempeh
Recipe Type: Lunch
Cuisine: Vegan
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A comforting but healthy fried noodles that is slightly sweet, slightly salty, fragrant, substantial and every bit delicious.
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch baby broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet soya sauce
  • 250g tempeh*, cut into cubes
  • 2 bundles of buckwheat noodles
  • 8 okras, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup tbsp teriyaki sauce
Instructions
  1. Melt 1 tbsp oil in a wok on high heat, fry marinaded tempeh for 1 minute, flip and cook until golden brown, set aside.
  2. Cook buckwheat noodles according to packet instruction.
  3. Melt 1 tbsp oil, add sliced onion and sauté until soft. Add garlic and fry for about 1 minute. Add chopped broccoli, stir for 30 seconds.
  4. Add 1/3 cup of water into the wok and stir for 10 seconds.
  5. Add sliced carrots and okras.
  6. Add soy sauce, sweet soya sauce, and sesame oil. Toss all ingredients to combine.
  7. Season with ground pepper.
  8. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.
Notes
Tempeh is a delicious health food made from fermented soy bean. It’s rich in protein and is a perfect substitute for meat.

Vegan Soba

 

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Roasted pumpkin and lentil salad with shiso leaves

I’ve only started using purple leaves or shiso leaves (also known as perilla leaves) a few months ago when I discovered this interesting looking plant amongst all the familiar herbs in the vegetables section. It has a very fragrant smell and it has this striking purple colour on one side of the leaf and a deep green colour on the other side. If you’re familiar with Japanese or Korean food, you may have come across this item without realising it (which I did). It is very popular in Korean cuisine in particular and is usually served pickled.

pumpkin-salad-3

It tastes somewhat like coriander (has a fragant note to it) but not as strong. At first, I didn’t know what to use it with so I experimented a fair bit. It seems to work on a lot of things. At the very least, it never ruined anything to which I added the shiso leaves. It adds an interesting flavour to Chinese stir-fries and it gives any salad I make a nice herbaceous twist.

It turns out that shiso leaves are rich in dietary fibre, essential minerals such as calcium, iron and potassium, and vitamins A, C and riboflavin, and the leaf components are undergoing research for potential anti-inflammatory properties. Needless to say, there are many reasons to try this delicious herb.

pumpkin-salad-1

One night recently I was rushed for time and had to make something quickly for dinner. So I made pumpkin and lentil salad with shiso leaves (among a few other things) and I was really surprised with how well it turned out. There’s not much preparation involved with this. Just roast the pumpkin (you can even leave the skin on if you can’t be bothered peeling it), cook the lentils, chop the shiso leaves, and combine everything in the bowl with olive oil and some seasonings. It is a great salad to have when you need something quick but more substantial than just salad greens.

Roasted pumpkin and lentil salad with shiso leaves
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Glutenfree, sugarfree, vegan and paleo
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A delicious and comforting salad that equally light and satisfying. It’s low in fat, high in fibers, vitamins and minerals and full of fresh flavours and aroma.
Ingredients
  • Half of butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into big chunks
  • 4 sprigs of shiro leaves (about 10 medium size leaves)
  • 1 cup of green lentils, rinse well
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of roasted pinenuts (optional but highly recommended)
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Place pumpkin onto a nonstick roasting pan. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and generously sprinkle with sea salt. Toss to mix. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 25 minutes or until cooked (if you can pierce it using a fork, it’s done).
  2. Meanwhile, transfer the lentil into a pan and cover with water, add 1/2 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Turn down the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes until the lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain and rinse in cold water
  3. When the pumpkin is cooked, remove from the oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes until cool enough to handle. Chop into cubes.
  4. Pick shiso leaves from the sprigs. To chop the leaves,stack them on top of each other, roll them into a cigar and then slice thinly.
  5. Transfer all ingredients into a bowl, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Devour!
Notes
To roast pine nuts:[br]You can roast them in the oven for 15 minutes at 170C but the quickest way is on the stove. Heat a dry non-stick pan (no oil, no nothing) over medium heat for a couple minutes and add the pinenuts. Allow the pinenuts to toast for 30 – 45 seconds and then toss them in the pan. Repeat this process every 30 seconds until you start seeing them just turning brown, then remove and let them cool.[br][br]Be careful not to burn them.  They can go from nicely browned to burnt very quickly, so keep an eye on them.

pumpkin-salad-8

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Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Lately, Buzz and I have been going to my local library on Saturdays. It’s the perfect place to do some work on Saturdays, especially since the weather has heated up for summer and I don’t have air conditioning at home. On these days we go to the local café (Victoria Park Cafe) for lunch and we end up getting falafel rolls each time, every time, without fail. I surprised myself with the fact that I could actually have the same food… again, and again, and again. I used to be more adventurous and would refuse to order the same thing from a restaurant as it seems like ‘wasted calories’ but it seems that as I am getting older, I’m less fussed about these things.

But one thing hasn’t changed. The foods I eat when I’m eating out still inspire me, and I still like re-creating them at home.

When we order our falafel wrap, we always ask for ‘extra tabbouleh’ (also called tabouleh or tabbouli). We both love our tabbouleh! One day, the café owner was so generous that he gave us much more ‘extras’ than anticipated and couldn’t finish our wrap. Guess there’s only so much falafels and tabbouleh one can eat in a single sitting. By the way, for those who are unfamiliar with tabbouleh, it is a traditional (and very popular) lebanese salad served as part of a mezze plate or use to fill a wrap.

Like our giant falafel wraps.

One day, back at home, I felt like some tabbouleh and decided to make my own customised version. I used quinoa to increase its protein content and I ended up accidentally making it gluten-free and wheat-free. And since there’re no falafels in the house, I added beans to the salad to make it more substantial and satisfying.

Not sure if you can get addicted to salad but it was hard to put the fork down once I started eating this.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of quinoa
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 large cucumber, finely diced
  • 4 cups of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to season

Method:

  1. Cook quinoa in 1 cup of vegetable stock until tender but not too soft. Check out this post for the complete instruction on how to cook quinoa. Set aside to cool.
  2. Transfer parsley, quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber and red kidney beans into a big bowl.
  3. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Toss gently.
  4. Season with  freshly ground sea salt and cracked pepper and serve

Though we love our falafel roll, we like to eat our quinoa tabbouleh salad with some Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages :)

So, have you had tabbouleh before? Do you like it?

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Eat Me Skinny Kohlrabi Soup

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This is diet-changing stuff. I’ve asked myself how something so creamy and yummy can also be so healthy and light. Oh, but it can. It’s called Kohlrabi.

Kohlrabi

Like most vegetables, kohlrabi is healthy and nutritious. This one is particularly rich in Vitamin C, though. Just a hundred-gram serving gives you all your daily Vitamin C requirement. And, my goodness, it is so low in calories it is almost criminal. It has the creaminess of potatoes but it has just one third of the calories.

One kilogram of raw kohlrabi has only 270 calories. To put this into perspective, that’s less than a calorie count of 100 grams of bread. Amazing, isn’t it?

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Geeky science fact: Kohlrabi is actually man-made. Along with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts, it was created by artificial selection from the wild mustard plant (brassica oleracea).  Artificial selection of a plant means the intentional selection of certain traits you like from the plant, so for example:

  1. Brocolli resulted from the suppression of flower development.
  2. Kale was the outcome from the enlargement of leaves
  3. Cauliflower came from sterile flowers
  4. Cabbage arose from suppression of the internode’s length (the bit of the plant stem between the nodes); and
  5. Kohlrabi was the result of enhancement of the lateral meristem (part of the plant cells involved in lateral/sideways growth)

Thankfully, contrary to artificial selection and cultivation, cooking Kohlrabi is not a complicated undertaking. Here’s as perfectly basic, easy-to-make soup with a great clean flavour which you can tweak to your heart’s content – wants spice, add cayenne; dreaming of Italy, add bay leaves and rosemary; or like it exotic, add cumin powder, you get the gist.

Eat Me Skinny Kohlrabi Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A creamy, comforting soup, without the calories. Great to have warm or chilled.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 1/2 cups almond milk
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Vegan parmesan (I use
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut oil in a large pan. Add onions and cook gently until soft, about 10 minutes. Add kohlrabi and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Add vegetable stock, and almond milk to pan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes or until kohlrabi is tender. Let cool for a few minutes.
  3. Using an immersion blender, bench top blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in heated bowls with freshly cracked pepper and a generous sprinkle of vegan parmesan.
Notes
Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free

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