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

Vegetable dumplings (No oil option)

Making dumplings is always a family affair in my parents’ house. Someone is chopping with a cleaver, someone is kneading dough and many people are wrapping dumplings. These dumplings freeze well and can be added to soups or steamed up quickly for a quick dinner that feels extra fancy. You can pick up dumpling wrappers at all Asian grocers, and some supermarkets.
Dumplings ingredients:

2 cups shredded cabbage
1 small carrots, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
4 button mushrooms, sliced
1 dried shitake mushroom, soaked in water to soften and sliced
200g firm tofu, roughly mashed
1 small can of bamboo shoots, drained and chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
500g dumpling wrappers
Dipping sauce ingredients:

1/4 cups soy sauce
1/4 cups rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 chilli sliced
Dumplings method:

  1. Sautee onion in a non stick pan. As the onion start to caramalise, add water used to soak the shitake mushroom to prevent the onion for sticking to the pan. If you run out of the mushroom water, you can add some water.
  2. Add ginger and garlic. Then the tofu and all other vegetables except for the bamboo shoots.
  3. Sautee until cabbage softens, add soy sauce and white pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Allow the mixture to cool.
  4. Put mixture through the food processor. There is no need to push the mixture on the sides down. Some chunks is good for texture.
  5. Add the chopped bamboo shoots and stir through the mixture.
  6. Fill a dumpling wrapper with 1 teaspoon of the mixture, wet half the circumference of the wrapper, fold in half with the filling inside, so it now forms a semi-circle. Form pleats on the outside of the dumpling. See this dumpling video below to illustrate how it’s done. Credit to Delightful Vegans for this clip.
  7. Make as many dumplings as you have filling or the wrappers. It can be a difficult estimate to have the exact amount of filling for number of wrappers you have. If you have excess wrappers, they freeze well in a ziplock bag. If you have excess filling, they can be eaten on its own or with some rice.
  8. To cook the dumplings:

Oil free: place the dumplings in a steamer lined with baking paper for 10 minutes.
Non-oil free: In a hot non-stick pan, put in 1 tablespoon of oil. When oil reaches smoke point, put dumplings in the pan. Add 1/4 cups of water into the pan, it will sizzle. Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat to its lowest plan and let the dumplings steam in the pan. Once the water is fully absorbed, turn the dumplings and put the lid on. Continue to do this until sides of the dumplings is browned.

Sauce method:

  1. Mix all ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Serve with slices of the chilli depending on how spicy you like your dumplings.

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.

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.

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.