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.

Steamed silken tofu with caramalised onion and mushrooms (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

I’ve been missing my Dad of late and trying to recreate some of the dishes that he cooks, although it’s never quite as good as how he does it. I enjoy the delicate texture of the silken tofu with the salty and umami flavours of topping. Some people serve the tofu cold with the topping hot, but I prefer steaming it first.
Ingredients

1 silken tofu
1/4 onion, sliced
1 slice ginger
1 teaspoon fermented blackbeans
2 white button mushrooms, roughly grated
2 dried shitake mushroom, soaked then sliced (reserve soaking liquid)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Chopped spring onion or corriander
Method

  1. Place silken tofu in a bowl and drain it as much as you can then place into a steamer. This is the serving bowl as the silken tofu is delicate and cannot be moved around too much or it will break. Steam for 10-15 minutes.
  2. As the tofu is steaming, in a non-stick pan, sautee the onion, ginger, black beans and mushrooms. Add some of the mushroom liquid as the onion starts to brown to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
  3. As the onion and mushrooms start to caramalise, add 1/2 tablespoon of the soy sauce.
  4. Remove the tofu bowl from the steamer carefully as it will be hot. Drain as much of the liquid as you can.
  5. Place onion and mushroom topping on the tofu, pour remaining 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce over topping. Garnish with chopped spring onion or corriander. Ready to serve.

Alfredo (No Oil, No Refined Sugar)

This is a beautiful creamy pasta without the queasy feeling after eating a rich and greasy meal.
Ingredients

250 grams fettuccini
1 cup peas

Alfredo Sauce
1/4 cups cashews soaked for 6 hours and drained
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup cooked cauliflower
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon mustard
1/2 cup broth
Salt and pepper
Method

  1. Cook fettuccini following instructions on package.
  2. Whilst fettuccini is cooking, sautee onion in a non-stick pan. Add a small amount of water as onion starts to caramalise to prevent sticking. Add garlic.
  3. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until a smooth sauce.
  4. One minute before fettucini is cooked, add peas.
  5. Complete cooking pasta and drain pasta and peas.
  6. Return pasta and peas back into pot, toss alfredo sauce through pasta.
  7. Top with chopped chives. Ready to serve!

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!

Pancakes (No Refined Sugar, No Oil)

Chilly mornings call for pancakes. This is a pancakes for one recipe which you can multiply for number of people you’re sharing the love with. Full of oats that have the superpower of cleaning out your arteries. Delicious at the same time!

Ingredients

1 ripe banana
100ml plant milk
3/4 cups rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground flaxseed
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Topping ingredients

1/3 cup frozen berries
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Method

  1. Blend all pancake ingredients in a blender until smooth
  2. Drop batter on medium heat pan to gently cook. Once pancake bubbles on top, flip over to cook and brown the other side. There is no need to use oil of you are cooking on a non-stick ceremic pan.
  3. Whilst pancake is cooking, microwave or cook over the stove all pancake toppings for a minute. Watch the fruit of cooking in a microwave that the fruit doesn’t bubble over.
  4. Serve pancake stacked with fruit compote as a topping with a doll so of nut butter.

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.

Easy Mapo Tofu (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

I was missing an Asian inspired tofu dish and decided to make an easy version of mapo tofu. The woody aroma and meaty texture of the shitake mince completes this spicy and salty dish that finishes with a sweet crunch from the spring onions.

Ingredients

1 block (300g) medium firm tofu cut into cubes
1 tablespoon fermented black beans
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 de-seeded chilli finely sliced
1/2 cup sliced spring onions
8 slices dried shitake mushrooms
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornflour
Sichuan pepper

Method

  1. Soak the shitake mushrooms in 1/4 cup of hot water for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Sautee onion in a non-stick pan until translucent. Add some of the mushroom water as needed. Add chilli.
  3. Add garlic and ginger and black beans and sautee for half a minute.
  4. Add tofu, soy sauce and remaining mushroom stock. Try not to move the tofu too much or it will break down too much by the end of the cooking process.
  5. Mince the mushroom finely and add.
  6. Leave to simmer for 15 minutes, moving the tofu as little as possible.
  7. In a separate dish, dissolve cornflour in 2 tablespoons of water. This ensures you will not get cornflour lumps in your dish. Add to pan, stirring through only a couple of times. This will help thicken the sauce.
  8. Add sliced spring onions.

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.