Category Archives: Meal

Curried and roasted butternut squash soup

Curried and roasted butternut squash soup

Serves 4-6
Cook time 45 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Soup, Starter
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (average to above-average size)
  • 1 head garlic (or adjusted to your taste (peas loves garlic))
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/4 cup water (optional)
  • 2-3 cups veg broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk (or to taste)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • ½ - ¾ tablespoon curry powder (to taste)
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh, chopped ginger (or ground, dried ginger ¼ T)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • salt + pepper (to taste)

Directions

Step 1 Split butternut squash in half —lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and squash guts. Lay cut side down in baking dish.

Place whole head of garlic or break into cloves —leaving the skin on. Put that in the baking dish.

Seed the pepper and cut in half or into quarters. Pop that in the same pan.

Cut onion into quarters and it goes in the pan too.

Add water (optional) to the pan or line with baking paper. I find adding the water speeds up the baking time and helps steam the squash. Some people don't like adding water and prefer baking paper or covering the bottom of the baking dish with olive oil.

Bake at 225°C for about 35-40 minutes. Poke the squash with a fork, if it's done, the fork will glide into the flesh easily.
Step 2 Skin the squash and garlic. Add all ingredients to a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add the rest of the ingredients. Add enough broth according to how thin/thick you want the soup —you can add a bit at a time and check consistency after the next step and add more if needed.
Step 3 Let your soup come to a low boil, then put heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
Step 4 Get your immersion blender* out and whir up your soup. I don't make a complete puree, I usually leave a few chunky bits.

*You can use a countertop blender, but be very careful. Using this method you should allow the soup to cool down considerably before blending as the heat under the lid produces steam which could pop the lid off, make a mess and possibly scald you. Not pretty or fun. Then you have to heat the soup up again if you make it past this stage successfully.
Step 5 Taste. Alter flavour and/or alter consistency.
Step 6
Serve with a red pepper coulis and Greek yoghurt swirl, homemade chunky croutons, zest of lime and swirl of Greek yoghurt, pumpkin seeds or a combination of any or all of these suggestions or none at all.

Shown here with homemade cheesy, garlic toast.
Step 7 Put it in your tummy...yum.

Cauliflower pizza base, low-carb pizza

In trying to get healthier and perhaps stave off migraines, I’ve been trying to cook healthier foods that decrease carbs and increase all sorts of other wonderful vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

I’m never going to stop eating pizza because it combines many favourite things: cheese, fresh veg and herbs and bread. But since bread is a nasty vehicle for carbs, I’ve adapted this low carb, nutritious pizza crust from The Londoner.

You could make a pizza that will feed two people depending on their hunger level or you could add a light salad to round out the meal.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 small cauliflower or about 2 ½ cups grated
• ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
• ¼ cup grated mozzarella
• 2 tsps fresh oregano, chopped
• 2 cloves crushed garlic
• Egg replacer for one egg or use an egg if you’re so inclined
• Salt & pepper
• olive oil, for spraying

TOPPINGS
• tomato-based pizza sauce, white pizza sauce, pesto or any other first layer your heart desires
• the rest is up to you: spinach, red pepper, chilis, mushrooms, feta, pineapple, pine nuts, more
oregano, olives, etc. (you know how pizza works!).
• more mozzarella and parmesan Or anything else you want to top your pizza with…or not.

Pre-heat your oven to 220°C/430°F. And preferably add your baking tray or pizza stone to also get warmed up.

Using a food processor on short spurts chop up the cauliflower until it’s rice-like. Alternatively, you can use a hand grater, but be careful!

Cover and pop in the microwave for 4-6 minutes, depending on your microwave. It will smell like cooked cauliflower and will no longer be raw, but also not fully cooked.

Transfer to a small-meshed sieve and let the water drain out. I added a weight to the top to help squish more water out. Let the cauliflower cool down. Then, to make absolutely sure you’ve drained all of the water you can press the back of a big spoon into the cauliflower. The original recipe drains out excess water by placing the cooked cauliflower in a teatowel. Either method works, both have drawbacks in terms of messiness.

Add your grated cheeses to a mixing bowl. Then, add the fresh oregano, egg replacer and cauliflower. Mix it all up. Yum.

Layout a sheet of baking paper on a counter or cutting board and spray/sprinkle it with a bit of olive oil. Shape your cauliflower ‘dough’ into a pizza-like circle.

DSC00009 DSC00010 DSC00011 DSC00013

Get that pre-heated tray/stone from the oven and carefully place the crust onto the pan. Pop it into the oven for about 10 minutes or until it looks like the top, right photo. Golden.

Add your pizza sauce base and all your ingredients, top with mozzarella and parmesan mix (if you wish). Back into the oven for another 10 minutes or until it looks done. You know.

Now, my first attempt (above) tasted incredibly delicious. You can’t get all handsy with this ‘pizza’ because the base is just not sturdy enough, so get your forkin’ knives out and plunge right into that deliciousness. I loved it and will make it again, but I have some changes in mind.

Enjoy!

 

You-can-make-this-anytime lasagna

It all started because I spotted fresh lasagna noodles at the local market. Then I loaded my basket with cheese, veg and extra protein (vegetarian) for the sauce. Sorted.

I’m pretty sure that one of the Lasagna rules is that you must cover the entire top the layered goodness with mozzarella. Not a flakey smattering of grated mozzarella, but a side-to-side, wall-to-wall coating. You should see nothing beneath the cheese. And then, add some freshly-grated parmesan as well.

Cheesy, veggie lasagna

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 5 minutes
Allergy Milk, Soy, Wheat
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Mostly, I don't measure. This is such a recipe. Add or subtract any of these ingredients and slap it all together with your own creative, cooking talent!

Ingredients

  • 1 packet soy mince (I call it 'pretend mince')
  • lots ofgarlic
  • leeks
  • kale
  • mushrooms
  • roasted butternut squash
  • roasted red pepper
  • oregano (fresh)
  • marjorram (fresh)
  • basil (fresh)
  • chili flakes (optional)
  • onion powder
  • cream cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • mozzarella
  • parmesan
  • canned tomatoes
  • passata or tomato paste
  • lasagna noodles (either pre-cook them or use non-cook lasagna sheets)

Directions

Step 1 Cube the butternut squash (after peeling it, of course) and chop up some red pepper. Roast in oven or barbecue in the same pan you will use for baking the lasagna.
Step 2 Fry up the soy mince + garlic. Careful not to brown the garlic.
Step 3 Add spices. Stir + cook for about a minute.
Step 4 Add tomatoes and paste. Stir. Cook on low heat for a few more minutes.
Step 5 Add some cream cheese to the sauce, stir and let it melt in.
Step 6
Layer your lasagna however you want, but start with a layer of sauce. I usually start with sauce, then a layer of noodles, cottage cheese and a sprinkling of parmesan, then veggies. Repeat.
Step 7
End with a layer of mozzarella and parmesan.
Step 8
Lasagna Rule - Cheese goes to edges and covers everything beneath it.
This was my second pan of lasagna that will go in the freezer.
Step 9 Cook in 350°C oven for about 45 minutes.

Sweet potato fries and chipotle pepper dip

Sweet potato fries and chipotle pepper dip

Serves 2-4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Dips, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack, Starter

Ingredients

Fries

  • 2 1/2lb sweet potatoes (slice to desired size, but not too thick or too thin)
  • deep fry oil (if you deep fry rather than bake)
  • 2-3 handfuls cornstarch ((and a holeless bag))
  • 1 heaped teaspoon oregano (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or smoked paprika powder (or to taste)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon onion powder (or to taste)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
  • salt + pepper (to taste)

Dip

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (light, regular or vegan)
  • 1/2 cup kwark or greek yoghurt
  • chipotle peppers (here you can use a sauce, dried or fresh peppers or a powder...the amount will depend on which type of chipotle pepper you use)
  • salt + pepper (to taste)
  • 1-2 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika powder (to taste)

Note

We like to eat these about once a month. You can eat them with a veggie burger or other main dish or eat them by themselves. We tend to choose the latter. 🙂

Directions

Fries
Step 1 Cut the sweet potatoes, but not too thickly or thinly —leave the skin on if you wish.
Step 2 Immerse cut sweet potatoes into a microwaveable bowl of hot water. Microwave on high for about five minutes. You don't want the sweet potatoes to cook and get soft...it's just to get the cooking process started.
Step 3 Drain the water from the sweet potatoes, but don't dry them off. You will need the excess water still clinging to the potatoes to adhere to the dry ingredients.
Step 4
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Then add a handful to the bag along with a couple of handfuls of the uncooked, damp fries. And shake, shake, shake until the fries are coated. They should be lightly coated, not glommy.
Step 5
Now, you can either deep fry the sweet potatoes or bake them in a 425°F/ 220°C oven.

My experience shows that with the oven method, you will have to turn the fries and monitor them for done-ness. It takes a long time. Anywhere from 20-45 minutes.

I hate to admit it, but the deep fry route works a lot better and (of course) tastes a lot better than the oven method.
Dip
Step 6
Mix together all of the dip ingredients and adjust to taste.
 

Satay veg bowl

If you love peanut butter…or better yet, satay…you will love this deliciously, peanuty, spicy sauce.

Satay veg bowl

Serves 2-3
Allergy Peanuts
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
From book The Coup Cookbook

Ingredients

SAUCE

  • 250ml natural crunchy peanut butter ((smooth is also fine))
  • 250g water
  • 50ml soy sauce
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 25ml fresh lemon juice
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 25ml brown sugar
  • 15ml green curry paste (or to taste)

THE REST

  • 175ml tofu
  • 1l seasonal vegetables of your choice cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 500ml quinoa
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro (roughly chopped)

Note

I make this often.

1 – It is served in a bowl. (I ~might~ have a slight bowl fetish.)

2 – It is freakishly delicious.

3 – Who doesn’t like peanut butter for dinner?!

It is out of a cookbook from a fabulous vegetarian restaurant in Calgary, Canada called The Coup. I’ve made a few, little changes from the original version.

Directions

Step 1 In a pot on medium heat, mix peanut butter and water together. Continue to mix until a smooth consistency —watching that you do not burn the peanut butter.
Step 2 Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and continue to cook at a low heat, stirring often for about 20 minutes to let the flavors mingle.
Step 3 Remove from heat, taste to adjust spice (if necessary) and place a lid on it to keep it warm.
Step 4 In a large pan, sauté tofu until the edges get crispy, add vegetables + sauté until tender but still crispy, you might need to add a little soy sauce or water for liquid so veggies don’t stick to the pan.
Step 5 Add peanut satay sauce and heat until it bubbles. You can also serve the sauce separately.
Step 6 Portion grain out in each bowl and add veggie mixture on top of each.
Step 7 Garnish with cilantro.

Lomo Saltado, vegetarian Peruvian stirfry

Lomo Saltado, vegetarian Peruvian stirfry

Lomo Saltado, vegetarian Peruvian stirfry

The first time I ate this amazing meal was at my friend Barbara’s. She’s from Peru. We had so many amazing things to eat that day…she even made a vegetarian version for me!

I have since re-created it a couple of time and would love to share the magic with you.

Ingredients

  • French fries or potatoes cut into friet-sized strips, 4 large potatoes
  • Sunflower oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Grilled vegetarian meat substitute – 1 package (or ungrilled…it’s up to you)
  • Garlic, crushed – 3-4 or to taste
  • shallots, julienned – 4-5 depends on size
  • red pepper, julienned- 1
  • tomatoes, thinly sliced – 4-5 medium
  • white vinegar, 1 tablespoon
  • soy sauce, 1.5 tablespoons
  • red chiles, fresh – 1 or more to taste
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  • cilantro, fresh, chopped
  1.  Bake frozen friets according to package directions or fry in the pan with very hot oil, remove friets with a slotted spoon and set aside, covered to keep them warm.
  2. Pour oil in a wok and turn heat on high. Once the oil is very hot add the gegrilde filet and cook until brown. This will only take a minute or two. You don’t want the filets to soak in the oil, but rather to be cooked very fast.
  3. Remove the filets with a slotted spoon and set aside. 
  4. If necessary, add more oil to pan and heat to very high. Add shallots and garlic, cook to browned/fried.
  5. Toss in red pepper, chiles and tomatoes and fry until mixture is hot.
  6. Add filets back to pan.
  7. Add white vinegar and soy sauce to pan and mix.
  8. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  9. Top mixture, in the pan, with warmed fries and cilantro. Serve in the pan. Dish out with tongs.