Moroccan Chickpeas and Peach Salad (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

I love this combination of warm spices on the chickpeas, against the sweet summer flavours of peaches.
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
2 peaches, cut into wedges
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups spinach
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method:
1. Marinade chickpeas with soy sauce and spices for 10 minutes or longer.
2. Roast chickpeas in pre-heated oven 180C for 20 minutes.
3. Allow chickpeas to cool, then toss all ingredients together.

Peach, Quinoa and Greens Salad (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)


Summer peaches are the best at the moment. They add an aromatic sweetness to salads which is so good with the pepperiness of rocket and crunch of almonds.
Serves: 4




Ingredients:
3 cups of mixed greens including rocket
2 peaches, cut into segments
1 cup cooked quionoa
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses




Method:
1. Put vinegar and molasses in a jar and shake to combine.
2. Toss all ingredients together.
3. Ready to serve.

Black Bean Salad (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)





This is one of my favourite salads to make. It tastes delicious, and comes with black beans which is packed full of iron and other goodness. Adding fruit as an ingredient allows you to have the sweetness you need, without having to add sugar to the dressing.
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1 can black beans
1 cup corn
1/2 cucumber, deseeded and cubed
1 small capsicum, cubed
1/4 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup coriander, chopped
1 mango, cubed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoons mustard

Method:
1. Put corn in a hot pan without oil, and toss around frequently for about 5-10 minutes until corn has char marks.
2. Put lemon juice and mustard in a clean jar and shake to make a dressing.
3. Toss all ingredients and dressing together.
4. Ready to serve.

Miso Glazed Eggplant

I love this sweet and salty miso glazed eggplant which is another delicious addition to a buddha bowl, or just served with cooked grains.
Ingredients

2 large or 3 small eggplants
3 tablespoons miso
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon sugar
Dash of sesame oil (optional, leave out for oil free option)
Method

  1. Halve the eggplant and sprinkle with salt to “sweat” the eggplant for 15 minutes.
  2. Rinse off salt and dry the eggplant. Cut a criss-cross pattern on the inside surface of the eggplant.
  3. Sear the eggplant on a non-stick pan, face down, until it is slightly brown. Then remove from heat.
  4. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl into a smooth paste. Coat the seared surface of the eggplant with this mixture.
  5. Bake the eggplant in a pre-heated oven to 200C for 20 minutes or until the tops of the eggplant is glazed.

Pea, Celery and Potato Soup (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

I was so inspired by the pea, celery and potato soup I had at Table8 in Tokyo that I had to recreate this. This soup can be portioned and freezes well for a quick, healthy and heart warming meal.
Ingredients

1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cups peas
2 potatoes, cut into big cubes
5 cups broth
Small bunch of thyme and handful of parsley chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Method

  1. Sautee onion in a stock pot, add a little water as the onion start to caramalise to prevent sticking. Add garlic.
  2. Add celery, potatoes, stock and bring to boil. Then reduce to a simmer. Add herbs and seasoning.
  3. Simmer for half hour or until potatoes have soften.
  4. Add peas and simmer for a minute. Turn off heat.
  5. Using a handheld blender, puree the soup until it has a smooth consistency. Ready to serve!

Hazelnut Chocolate Slice

I am a huge fan of hazelnut chocolate anything. Naturally, I had to come up with a hazelnut chocolate recipe that is as whole food plant based as possible. This is a super delicious slice that I make for special people in my life. You will find it a winner to bring to parties or batch and freeze in small portions to add as a lunch box treat.
Ingredients:

Slice

1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup dates (soaked and drained to soften)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon flaxeed
3 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 cup raw hazelnuts
1 1/2 cups oats
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
3-4 tablespoons water

Topping (optional)

50g melted dark chocolate
Handful hazelnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon goji berries
Method:

  1. Toast hazelnuts in a pan until slightly browned. You can use roasted hazelnuts and skip this step, but I have found freshly toasted hazelnuts make the slice even more aromatic.
  2. Place dates in food processor and blend. Add remaining slice ingredients and continue to blend.
  3. Add the water teaspoon by teaspoon and stop once the ingredients come into a dough consistency.
  4. Line a square 20cm x 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
  5. Place slice ingredients into tray and press down with the back of a spoon until mostly level. Place in fridge for at least an hour.
  6. For the topping, melt the chocolate in a microwave oven for 30 seconds, or in a bowl placed over a saucepan of boiling water. If you are using the microwave, make sure you watch the chocolate so it doesn’t burn.
  7. Drizzle melted chocolate over slice. Sprinkle with nuts and goji berries.
    Return to the fridge for another 30 minutes before slicing and serving. If you are observing a strict while food plant based diet, you can leave this step out.

Five Spice Tofu (No Oil, Gluten Free)

I love having friends who love to cook. Apart from admiring their delicious looking Instagram accounts, it has given me an appreciation at the accents of Asian inspired meals I create. This week, I was inspired to explore the use of 5-spice. It has a strong aroma, marked by the inclusion of ground star anise, and is used in Chinese and Taiwanese cooking. Traditionally, it has been used mostly to season meats. In the next few weeks, I will be inspired to create plant based meals that uses this spice mix creatively, starting with this 5-spice tofu. The marinated tofu brings a warm and comforting aroma, finished with a sticky and garlicky sauce. It’s a great addition in any buddha bowl.
Ingredients:

Marinate
1 block firm tofu, well drained
1/2 teaspoon ground 5-spice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce

Sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Method:

  1. Cut tofu into large pieces and arrange in a container where they can all lie flat.
  2. Mix 5-spice, water and soy sauce and pour over tofu. Marinate for several hours. During this time, flip the tofu on its other side so both sides are marinated.
  3. Place tofu in a hot pan, then turn the heat down. If you use a ceramic pan, there is no need to use any oil.
  4. Brown tofu on all sides then remove from pan.
  5. Pour remaining marinate into the pan with the garlic and sugar and slowly reduce until it has a stickier consistency.
  6. Return tofu to the pan and coat with the sauce.
  7. Serve with sprinkles of sesame seeds.

Israeli Cous Cous Salad (No Oil, No Refined Sugar)

Summer seem to have made a return to Melbourne today and I was inspired to make this salad with vibrant colours of summer and aroma of fresh herbs.
Ingredients:

Cous cous
1.5 cups wholewheat cous cous
1.5 cups water
1 bayleaf (optional)
Salt to taste (optional)

Dressing
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/4 cups raisins (blanched if oil free preferred)

Salad
1 red pepper/capsicum
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup mint, chopped
Rind of a lemon
Pepper
Method:

  1. Toast cous cous in a saucepan over moderate heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add water and bayleaf. Bring to boil. Then simmer at a very low heat covered. Cook for about 8 minutes. Turn off heat and leave cous cous to rest and cool.
  3. To make dressing, put lemon juice, mustard and raisins in a jar and shake. Pour dressing over cous cous, mix and leave to rest whilst you prepare the salad items.
  4. Mix cous cous and salad items and serve.

Sundried Tomatoes Sweet Potato Burger (No Oil, No Refined Sugar)

We are still in summer even though people are back at work or school. These burgers are great for BBQs or quick lunches when you’re in between pool time. The sundried tomatoes, basil and chilli flavors brings a punch of flavor mellowed by the sweetness of the potato. And I love the crispy crunch of a burger that has been cooked with patience.

I often use these burgers in a buddha bowl (you know I love my buddha bowls). If you do use it in a bun, I suggest using an olive tapanade as a spread, then loading it up with crisp lettuce and sweet juicy tomatoes slices.

Ingredients:

1 garlic minced
1/4 onion chopped
2 button mushrooms diced
4 sundried tomatoes chopped
1 chilli chopped
1/2 cup oat flour
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked sweet poatoes
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 cup spring onions, sliced
1/4 basil

Method:

  1. Sautee onion, garlic, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and chilli in a pan until onion is translucent and mushrooms cooked.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor, except for sauteed ingredients and spring onion. Process until a smooth paste.
  3. Add sauteed ingredients and spring onions and pulse several times.
  4. Shape mix into burger patties. Makes four.
  5. Pan fry on low heat until brown on each side.

Apricot Orange Bliss Balls (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

I am loving these bliss balls that makes a great snack and is a good lunch box addition. However, it’s versatile enough that with an added splash of bourbon, it gives it that added depth of flavor that makes it a great after dinner sweetie for grown ups.

Ingredients:

1 cup dried apricots
1 cup ground almonds
1/4 cups oats (or walnuts for gluten free option)
1/4 dates soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Zest of one orange
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut plus extra to roll the bliss balls in
1 teaspoon bourbon (optional)

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a doughy consistency.
  2. Scoop dough into 1 heaped teaspoon sized portions and roll into a ball with hands.
  3. Roll ball in desiccate coconut.
  4. Place in fridge for an hour to hold its shape.