i've loved pesto my whole life but used to be entirely unimpressed by homemade versions. no idea why, but now it just works :) for a genovese-style meal, cook a medium potato and a handful of green beans and serve with pesto on top of spaghetti. if you don't have the roasted garlic (wrap a head of garlic in foil and bake at 180C for 30 mins), gently pan fry 4 cloves of minced garlic in a teaspoon of oil on low-medium heat for 2 minutes, being careful not to brown. raw garlic should be avoided in this recipe.
1 oven roasted whole head of garlic
0.5c raw cashews (or pine nuts, walnuts, or soaked almonds, or a combination)
0.5c olive oil
0.25c nutritional yeast flakes (from health food store)
1Tbs apple cider (or white) vinegar
0.25tsp salt and ground pepper, plus more to taste
3-4 bunches of fresh basil (try your local Asian grocer- usually fresher and cheaper than supermarket basil, though may taste slightly different to Italian basil)
rinse the basil and remove large stems- small stems are fine.
blend all ingredients except the basil in a food processor until well blended but not entirely smooth. add basil a handful at a time to the processor and blend before adding another handful. adjust seasoning to taste.
this is a bit of an odd one: made for me many years ago in canada by an austrian hellenophile, i won't claim whether this dish has any greek authenticity. it is, however, incredibly delicious, and simple to make- plus the vegetables can be substituted for others (though these are my favourites). quantities are approximate- whatever fits into your dish (note: chunkier pieces will take up more room).
cut into 1.5cm thick slices:
1 red capsicum
1 small aubergine
1 large zucchini
10 cherry tomatoes, pierce with knife
5 cloves roasted garlic, peeled
1-2 green spring onions, cut into 0.5cm rounds
juice of half a lemon; cut the other half into 3-4 slices
1Tbs apple cider vinegar
1Tbs maple or agave syrup (or raw sugar)
1c olive oil
1tsp each salt and coarsely ground pepper
2Tbs dried oregano
arrange the vegetables, garlic, onion and lemon slices into an oven proof dish at least 10-15cm deep. add the remaining ingredients and top with enough water to almost cover the vegetables and leave at least a centimetre from the top of the dish so it doesn't overflow. cover with foil, and bake for 40 minutes at 200C.
serve with plain white rice or crusty bread.
there will be lots of sauce left- either fish out the veggies and cool a new lot in the existing juice, or use it as part of a salad dressing!
here is a post for chocolate crackles that anyone with a mouth and a need for deliciousness must read. crackles contain the essentials of life: coconut in two forms, cocoa for strength and general hipness; and the crunch of a thousand rice puffs. somehow, no doubt in violation of some natural law, i have made them BETTER. read on.
4c puffed rice cereal
0.5c icing sugar, sifted (or blitz some raw sugar in an electric spice/coffee grinder for 10 seconds)
1.5c desiccated coconut, toasted on low- medium til light golden brown in a dry frying pan
200g coconut oil
0.25c cocoa powder 1-1.5c raisins and pitted prunes, finely chopped 150g dark chocolate, melted
grated rind of one orange
in a large bowl, mix the rice cereal, sugar, cocoa and coconut. gently mix in the chopped fruit.
in a medium bowl,
melt the coconut oil and dark chocolate in the microwave (60-90 seconds). add in the rind and salt. pour this into dry
ingredients, stirring gently til well combined. spoon into a loaf or brownie tin (remember: silicone rocks!) and press firmly to level and refrigerate until firm, then slice into squares.
from top: cucumber salad with mint, brown rice, masala dosa potato filling, red lentil daal
i tried to make dosa once (from a packet mix), and let me put it this way: grasshopper is in need of much patience. the potato filling is almost as satisfying without the heavenly, lacey crunch of the dosa crepe. who am i kidding- the potato filling will do me only until i can get to salaam namaste dosa hut in west footscray or maya vegetarian in surry hills!!
1kg potatoes (waxy are best, such as dutch cream) 2 small onions, finely sliced 2Tbs finely grated ginger 2 fresh chillis (red or green, mild or medium heat- up to you), finely sliced 1tsp turmeric powder pinch of salt
4Tbs oil (coconut is the best, olive or other is fine) 2Tbs mustard seeds (i use black mustard, either should be fine) 2tsp garlic powder (though the recipe calls for asafoetida- must get me some- garlic is apparently similar)
5-6 fresh curry leaves (optional)
cut potatoes into large chunks (2-3cm); boil in salted water until cooked. drain and mash coarsely; set aside.
heat oil on medium in a large frying pan for 1 minute: add mustard seeds, cook for 1 minute, then add garlic powder, followed by sliced onions, chillis and ginger. cook on medium-low until onions are soft and becoming translucent- avoid browning. add the curry leaves, if using.
add turmeric and salt, a little more oil if needed, and the potatoes. fry for about 5 minutes, mixing gently until the spices and onions are mixed through the potato.
at this time of year, kitchen slavery and the excess of rich foods assault the palate and brain: this is your incredibly delicious saviour.
1tsp olive or other oil
50g firm tofu, in 1cm cubes
1c cooked brown rice (preferably refrigerated overnight)
1 bok choy, sliced in 1cm sections (separate white and green)
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated
soy sauce and sesame oil to taste
gently fry tofu on medium-high heat for 2 minutes before adding the rice. fry for a further 2 minutes, sautéing gently then adding garlic, bok choy white stem parts. cook for two minutes before adding bok choy greens and snowpeas. reduce to medium-low heat, cover with a lid for one minute, then add ginger, soy sauce and a touch of sesame oil before removing from heat and serving.
someone made this on tv last night. my mouth was half full of dinner, yet i NEEDED to make this RIGHT NOW. and since the person who told me about date syrup isn't forthcoming in reminding me what the hell i was supposed to be using it for, this is date syrup's first outing chez loulou. looks like i'll be making more later in the week- half of it's gone already! enjoy :)
mix all the dry ingredients except for the fruit together in a large bowl. add the date syrup or maple/date mix and stir til the dry ingredients are well coated.
line a baking tray with a silicone baking mat, or lightly greased baking paper or foil. spread the mix evenly and bake for 15 minutes; carefully stir the fruit in and bake a further 15 minutes. allow to cool (not completely, just til warm) and break into clusters; cool completely and store in airtight containers.
everybody needs tacos. much like vietnamese rice paper rolls, these are a party-in-your-mouth, nutritious, joy of a meal, and are pretty flexible as long as you have the outside wrapping and a couple of other bits. coming into summer, i'm not really into the idea of standing over the stove, and with the exception of heating the taco shells in the oven for 10-12 minutes (don't waste time and add heat to your kitchen by preheating- just whack them in and turn it on), this is a no heat recipe! i'm going to try to post a few more of these- as much as salad rocks, i will want more variety over the next few months without resorting to eating frozen mango cubes out of desperation (mmm, frozen mango...)
anyhoo, the tacos: the secret to this recipe is to not cook the beans. just mix in a medium-large bowl
a 400g tin of beans (black, kidney, or even canellini)
juice of a lime (or lemon)
good dash of olive oil
what will really kick this over the edge is a teaspoon of a spice mix which can be made ahead- either blend pre-ground spices, but if you can, grind them up fresh (with a mortar and pestle if you've got some issues to work out, or an electric spice/coffee grinder- best investment of $30, i promise!).
1Tbs coriander seeds
1Tbs cumin seeds
1tsp anise seeds
1tsp celery seeds
half a cinnamon stick (1tsp ground)
1tsp black peppercorns
grind to a fine powder, and store in an airtight container.
if nothing else, add just a teaspoon of ground cumin to the salad. then it's up to you and your cupboards- add any or all of these:
fresh chopped coriander
sliced red onion
roasted garlic, mashed
finely chopped semi dried tomato
baby spinach leaves
serve this bowl of salad with your taco shells, plus shredded lettuce, sliced tomato and cucumber, avocado, vegan cheese or sour cream, and salsa (or the cheat's combo- sriracha chilli sauce and tomato sauce).