Mushroom Parcels


The holiday season can often be a stressful period of time for people on a plant-based diet who are spending the day with loved ones who do not observe a plant-based diet. It’s figuring out the etiquette of how to have plant-based food at the table. And there is also the having to respond to plant-based diet questions at the table without offending anyone but still being true to oneself. It is an acquired skill.

I made these mushroom parcels over a decade ago when I was a vegetarian, sharing house with meat eaters, living overseas. Whilst planning for our orphan’s Christmas dinner, I was advised that I would not be catered for as there will be a meat roast. The chef in me rose to the occasion and made this kick-ass mushroom parcels which everyone wanted a taste of. I have modified this to a plant-based recipe and hope that you and your loved ones enjoy these crispy, flaky and mushroom meaty parcels.

Ingredients

Pastry
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic, minced
300g mushroom, sliced
1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 sprig of thyme, leaves removed
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sheets of frozen pastry
Plant milk to brush on pastry

Sauce
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 sprig of thyme
1 bayleaf
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon stock powder
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1/4 cup plant milk

Method

Pastry

  1. Sautee onions for parcels with 2 tablespoons water until translucent.
  2. Add onions, garlic, herbs, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. The mushrooms will start to release its juices. Cook until there are no juices left. Leave to cool.
  3. After mushrooms have cooled, separate into 2 portions. Place each portion in the centre of the pastry.
  4. Pull each pointed corner of the pastry to the centre until all 4 corners join. Crimp the sides to seal. There are no rules to the shape you want to make. If you prefer another shape, go for it!
  5. Brush the top of the pastry with plant milk, then bake at 200C/400F for 20 minutes or until the pastry has browned. Make your sauce whilst your pastry is cooking.

 

Sauce

  1. Sautee onions until translucent. Drizzle some plant milk if needed.
  2. When onions are translucent, add remaining ingredients and continue stirring with pot on low heat. If you need to add more plant milk, do so.
  3. When the sauce has thicken, it’s ready to serve.

Lentil Soup (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)


My friend’s Italian mama occasionally makes this soup and sends it to me through my friend via take out containers. I have never met her, but imagine her making this heart warming and nutritious broth with a lot of love in her kitchen. This is my whole food plant based no oil version of Italian mama’s soup. Happy Vegan Day everyone!

Ingredients

1 cup lentils (soaked overnight and drained)
6 cups stock
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1-2 carrots chopped or grated
1 stalk celery chopped or grated
1 teaspoon oregano
1 handful fresh parsley or dill chopped
Salt and pepper (optional)

Method

  1. Sautee onion in pot with 2 tablespoons of water until onion is soft.
  2. Add garlic and sautee for another minute.
  3. Add remaining ingredients except for oregano and parsley.
  4. Bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. Add herbs and seasoning, simmer for another 30 minutes. You can simmer for longer.

Orange Chilli Tofu (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

Many of you know that buddha bowls are my favourite. ┬áIt’s a great way to add a wide diversity of nutrients in one meal, and the ability to choose your own toppings makes it a great party option to cater to individuals with different food intolerances.

Today’s buddha bowl topping is orange chilli tofu, inspired by a friend who introduced me to Korean chilli paste.

Ingredients:

1 block of firm tofu
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1orange, juiced and zested
1 tablespoon Korean chilli paste (you can use another type of chilli if you like)
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup or sweetener of choice

Method:

  1. Wrap the tofu in clean towels and rest something heavy (e.g., chopping board, pot) on top of it for 15 minutes. This will drain the tofu of some of its water.
  2. In a bowl, mix the orange juice, chilli, tomato sauce and sweetener.
  3. Sautee onion in 2 tablespoons of water in a non-stick pan until it has softened.
  4. Add garlic and tofu and sautee for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the orange chilli mix you have prepared and cook the tofu some more until the sauce has reduced to a consistency you like.

Roasted Garlic and White Bean Soup (No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

The roasted garlic gives this hearty soup a warm and delicious flavour without the strong pungent flavours associated with this root vegetable.

Ingredients:
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
2 potatoes cut in large pieces
2 sprigs rosemary removed from stalk and finely chopped
1 onion
1 bulb garlic
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 litre stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Slice off the top of bulb of garlic to reveal most of garlic cloves without peel.
  2. Drizzle olive oil on garlic and cook in 150C oven for about 20-30 minutes or when garlic browns.
  3. Sautee onion with 2 tablespoons of stock until softened.
  4. Add all ingredients except for salt and pepper and bring to boil then simmer for 30 minutes or longer.
  5. Season the soup.
  6. If you like a slightly chunky soup, remove several ladles of beans and give it a quick mash.
  7. Process soup until it is smooth and creamy.
  8. For chunky soup option, return the mashed beans into the rest of the soup.

Spinach Tofu Ricotta Lagsana with Homemade Tomato Sauce (No Oil, No Refined Sugar)

I got quite excited by this delicious spinach tofu ricotta lagsana that makes me squeal when I take a bite. There are quite a few ingredients but it is totally worth it as a weekend meal comfort meal. It freezes well and I love bringing individual slices to work for lunch where it causes a bit of lunch envy.

Tofu ricotta ingredients:

1 block of very firm tofu, wrapped in a towel with heavy weights (like a pan) placed on top to squeeze out excess water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon miso
1/2 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
4 handfuls of spinach
1 small bunch of basil

Tofu ricotta method:

  1. Sautee onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons of water until softened.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until there are no lumps

Tomato sauce ingredients:

1 jar passata or 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
1/2 onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano

Tomato sauce method:

  1. Sautee onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons of water until softened.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer at a gentle heat for about 15-20 minutes.

Other ingredients:
Wholewheat lagsana sheet
1/4 cups cashews finely chopped
1 tomato finely sliced

Method:

  1. Spoon a layer of sauce at the bottom of a lagsana tray.
  2. Followed by a lagsana pasta sheet then a layer of the tofu ricotta.
  3. Repeat this until the final layer is a layer of sauce, then place thin slices of tomatoes over the top.
  4. Cook in 180C oven for 25 minutes.
  5. Take lagsana out from the oven, sprinkle the cashews over the lagsana and cook for another 20 minutes or until cashews are browned.

Loaded Chickpea Potatoes (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

This makes a hearty dinner where left overs makes a good lunchbox option.

Ingredients:

1 kg potatoes, cooked and cooled
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup plant milk (e.g., soy, oat, almond, cashew)
1 tablespoon mustard
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
3 tablespoon jalapenos, chopped
5 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
Salt and pepper

Tahini sauce
2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice

Method:

  1. Cut the cooked and cooled potatoes lengthways. Scoop out the middle, leaving about 2cm of potato skin.
  2. In a food processor, add the scooped out potato, garlic, milk, mustard, nutritional yeast and chick peas. Process until there are no lumps.
  3. Stir in the parsley, jalapenos, sundried tomatoes and red onion. Season to taste.
  4. Fill the potato skins with your prepared mash filling.
  5. Bake at 400F/200C for 10 to 20 minutes until the tops are golden.
  6. Serve drizzled with tahini sauce with a side of salad leaves.

Miso Meal Soup (No Oil, No Refined Sugar)

This is one of the quickest meals I make during the week. No more than 10 minutes for a really nourishing and belly warming meal. Change up the vegetables and use what you might already have in the fridge. Hardier vegetables will have to be cooked a little longer. You can also leave out the noodles or change it to another starch like cooked rice or a different type of noodles.

Ingredients:

Soup base
3-4 cups water
1 tablespoon miso
2 tablespoon wakame (seaweed)

Goodies for the soup
Bean sprouts
Bok choy
Silken tofu
Buckwheat noodles

Method:

  1. Place water in a pot and start to bring to a boil.
  2. Add miso and agitate to dissolve.
  3. Add the wakame.
  4. Add the noodles and tofu.
  5. As the water starts to boil, add your other quick to cook vegetables. We only want them to blanch quickly so they don’t lose their crunch or overcook.
  6. Serve in a bowl, makes 2 serves.

One-Pot Pad Thai (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

Cheat’s Pad Thai as I like throwing all the ingredients in the one pot and have the noodles absorb all the flavours. This is a really versatile dish where you can use any of your favourite vegetables.

Ingredients:

Vegetables
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 inch grated ginger
1 grated carrot
1 bunch of bok choy, washed and cut into 1-inch parts
1/4 cup dried shitake mushrooms
*You can use any vegetables such as bean shoots, bell peppers etc.

Sauce
1 tablespoon mushroom sauce or vegan oyster sauce
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vegan fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoons siracha

Fresh coriander, chopped
200 grams Pad Thai noodles
2 cups stock
Small block of tofu cut into cubes, I prefer pre-marinated tofu for this dish.

Method:

  1. Sautee onions with 2 tablespoons of water in a pot. When they soften add garlic and ginger and sautee for another minute.
  2. Add 2 cups of stock and sauce ingredients, and bring to simmer. Add the shitake mushrooms and carrots and bring to boil. Add tofu.
  3. Add the noodles now. Avoid moving the noodles too much as it will break. Put the lid on the pot to help the noodles hydrate. Bring the heat down to a simmer for a minute. If you are using vegetables that are more sturdy and take a longer time to cook (e.g., zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli), add this at the same time as the noodles, on top of the noodles.
  4. After the minute, add any softer vegetables (e.g., bok choy) now. At any time if it looks like the stock has completely reduced, you may add more stock, a little at a time. Give the pot a stir. Your noodles should now be soft. If not, put the lid back on and let it steam for another minute.
  5. Add chopped corriander and serve.

 

General Tso Chickpeas (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

This is a healthier version of what is originally a sweet and greasy American-Chinese chicken dish. So delicious!

Ingredients:

Marinate:
1 can chick peas rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon mirin
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Sauce:
6 tablespoons broth
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons siracha
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
4 teaspoons sweetener (e.g., maple syrup, honey, brown sugar)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teasoon sesame oil (omit if cooking no oil option)

Vegetables:
Capsicum, cut into strips
Zucchini, chopped
Red onion, sliced
Garlic, minced

Whole cashews

Method:

  1. Marinate chick peas.
  2. Mix all ingredients for the sauce together in a separate bowl.
  3. Reserve a small amount of the red onions to use as garnish.
  4. In a hot pan, sautee the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons of water until onion is softened.
  5. Add marinated chick peas and vegetables and stir for half a minute.
  6. Add sauce and stir periodically and add cashews in the last minute.
  7. Serve with rice and garnish with raw red onions.

Spinach Chickpea Curry (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

This curry is a delicious way of getting lots of dark leafy green goodness in you. I serve them up with brown rice or a mix of brown rice and barley.

Ingredients
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
4 handfuls of spinach (rough guide, does not have to be precise)
2 tablespoon of cashews soaked in water for a 4-6 hours
1/4 cup water/stock
1 tomato
1 can chickpeas (rinsed well)

Spices
1/4 teaspoon garam marsala
1 teaspoon sugar

Method:

  1. Put all ingredients except chickpeas and onion into a food processor and process until there are no more big lumps. To keep the mixture moving, you may add a little more water/stock.
  2. In a non-stick pan, put in 2 tablespoons of water and onion to sautee until onion is softened.
  3. Add the spinach mix, spices and chickpeas. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Season with salt to taste.
  5. Serve with rice.