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.

Mexican-Style Vegetables (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

This is a quick way to cook up some vegetables and give them a delicious Mexican flavour to it.
Ingredients:

1 zucchini, chopped
1 capsicum, sliced
10 mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped
1 red onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon soy sauce (use tamari for gluten free)
Method:

  1. Sautéed onion in a non-stick pan until it starts to caramelise. Add a small amount of water if it starts to stick.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients (except coriander) and continue to sauté until vegetables have softened.
  3. Toss coriander through and serve with rice.

Serves: 4

Eggplant and mushrooms in black bean sauce (No Oil, No Refined Sugar)

This was an accidental and very delicious experiment when the plan was to cook some mushrooms but discovering that an eggplant had to be used. You can obtain black bean sauce which comes in jars, from most Asian grocers.
Ingredients:

1 eggplant, cubed
10-15 white button mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1 red chilli, deseeded (optional)
1/4 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon black bean sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon kechap manis
1 teaspoon corn starch mixed with 3 teaspoons water to form a slurry
Method:

  1. Sprinkle salt liberally over eggplant and leave to “sweat” for 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
  2. Sautéed onion in a non-stick pan until it starts to caramalise. Add a small amount of water if it starts to stick.
  3. Add black bean sauce, eggplant, mushrooms, garlic and soy sauce. Put a lid on the pan and stir occasionally. Turn the heat down.
  4. When the eggplant and mushroom looks close to being cooked, remove the lid. There should be a sauce from juices of the mushroom.
  5. Add the slurry to thicken the sauce and you’re done!

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.

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.