Kumera & English Spinach Gnocchi from Harvest Vegetarian

Kumera & English Spinach Gnocchi from Harvest Vegetarian Cookbook is an incredibly time consuming recipe but it’s worth the effort.

The recipe below yields quite a bit of gnocchi but don’t fret because gnocchi freezes well. Just lightly dust them with flour and freeze them in a bag.

If you don’t have time or energy to make your own gnocchi, you could buy ready-made gnocchi from chiller section of your supermarket and bake it with Lemon and Garlic Cream Sauce.

English Spinach Gnocchi

Kumera & English Spinach Gnocchi from Harvest Vegetarian
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

Gather:
500g (2 cups, 1.1 lb) desiree or pontiac potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
250g (1 cup, 8 oz) kumara (sweet potato), peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons salt pepper to taste
1 bunch lemon thyme, leaves only
90g (3 oz) English spinach leaves (wash, chop and wash again)
2 tablespoons fresh basil or oregano, finely chopped
500g (2 cups, 1.1 lb) plain flour

Lemon and Garlic Cream Sauce
300ml (1/4 cups, 10 fl oz) cream
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon

250g (1 cup, 8 oz) parmesan, grated

Create:
• Boil potatoes until just cooked-when a wooden skewer can just be inserted, do not overcook. Drain. When cool, peel and return to pan to dry off well. Mash until smooth.
• Boil kumara until just cooked. (Do not cook with potatoes as each has a different cooking time.) Drain and mash.
• Combine potato and kumara mash, salt, pepper to taste, lemon thyme leaves, chopped spinach and basil or oregano. Add flour to thicken and mix thoroughly.
• Wash and oil your hands and roll a teaspoon of gnocchi mix into a ball. Place on a tray and continue until all the mix is rolled. You will need to wash and oil your hands as you go.
• Roll each ball in the seasoned flour and roll in clean, floured hands for up to two minutes each, to help develop the gluten and allows the gnocchi balls to maintain their shape when cooking. Place balls on a clean tray and continue until all the gnocchi is rolled and ready to cook.
• Drop 6-8 balls at a time into a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water. They rise to the top when cooked. Remove and place in sauce. (Or, prior to placing in sauce, you can keep in refrigerator for two days or freeze for later use.)
• To make the Lemon and Garlic Cream Sauce: Combine cream, garlic and lemon juice in a saucepan bring all ingredients to the boil then simmer until thick. Stir frequently. Place gnocchi in sauce and stir to coat.
• Transfer into an ovenproof serving dish and cover with grated parmesan then grill until golden.

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Thyme

Creamy Cauliflower Salad Lemon Thyme

I have been growing some of my herbs in our outdoor area for some time. Some of them have been successful, some died and replaced and even the replacements died. It’s a process I’m learning and in the end, all this will translate into a mini eBook (hopefully) for you guys to download. I will keep you posted on VegFusion Facebook page. So, go and like the page if haven’t done so.

Lemon thyme I used in this Creamy Cauliflower Salad is the one from my own herb garden. I have always thought that buying a bunch of lemon thyme to be used just one thing was waste of money. However, you pick just the right amount if you’re growing your own and the rest of it will still live.

Mixing yoghurt and mayonnaise is a common practice where I come from. It sort of balances the creaminess of the salad dressing. And, here in this recipe, I flavoured this creaminess with Dijon mustard and added some tanginess with white wine vinegar.

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Thyme
Ingredients:

1 small cauliflower, broken into small florets
Juice of ½ lemon

For the Creamy Dressing:
2 tablespoons plain yoghurt, thick Greek style
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (I used Plamil Egg Free Mayonnaise which is vegan)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
Salt to taste

2 twigs fresh lemon thyme, leaves separated
Freshly ground black pepper

Method:
• Wash the cauliflower and drain. Broke into small florets.
• Boil enough water in a large pot. Once it starts boiling, add the lemon juice (you can squeeze it directly into the pot) and cauliflower florets. Cook the cauliflower for 10 minutes. Drain and immediately drop the florets into cold water to prevent further cooking. Cauliflower florets should be slightly firm. Once they are cool, drain and set aside.
• To make the creamy dressing: Mix together plain yoghurt, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar. Season to taste.
• Place the cauliflower in a salad bowl and dress it with the creamy dressing. Mix well.
• Garnish with lemon thyme and freshly ground black pepper and serve!

Faux-prawns in a Coconut Cream Sauce

Yesterday, I was tidying up my Indian recipes on my computer. All of a sudden it occurred to me that I haven’t done much Indian cooking recently. I was especially missing my Aloo Matar (potatoes and peas) and it seemed like I may have cooked it a million and a half years ago. I quickly checked the radiation levels in my fridge and for that I mean ingredients. Eventually decided to make my aloo matar and something else. That something else is below…

prawns

My Faux-prawns in a Coconut Cream Sauce recipe was inspired by Meena Pathak’s Chingri malai curry from her book; Flavours of India.

Faux-prawns in a Coconut Cream Sauce

Meena Pathak says that the dish is from the east coast of India. Of course, it uses real prawns but I substituted them with vegan/vegetarian prawns. The recipe also calls for bay leaves but I didn’t have any. So, I left it out completely.
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 vegan/vegetarian king prawns, thawed and cut into 2
½ cup frozen baby green beans
5 baby corns, chopped
½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic
1 piece ginger (about an inch)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves
2 green cardamom pods
2.5 cm (1 in) piece of cinnamon stick, broken into 3 (I used a very thin one)
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon plain natural yogurt
270 ml coconut milk
Salt to taste

Method:
• Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan and add vegetarian prawns, green beans, baby corn and turmeric. Fry them on high heat until they are crispy. Remove and set aside.
• Place the onions, garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender and process to a fine paste.
• Wipe the pan with paper towel. Add the remaining oil to the pan (1 tablespoon) and add the cloves, green cardamom and cinnamon.
• Reduce the heat, and add the onion, garlic and ginger paste to the pan. Stir-fry over a medium heat for 2 minutes.
• Add 1 teaspoon turmeric and red chilli powder. Sprinkle with a little water and stir well.
• Add the yogurt and mix well. Pour in the coconut milk and return the vegetarian prawns, green beans and baby corn to the pan. Cook over a medium heat for 5-8 minutes until the sauce thickens.
• Serve with plain boiled rice.

Anah Daata Sukhi Bhaava! (Bon Appetit!)

Recipe: Aloo Matar (Potatoes and Peas)

Aloo Matar

Aloo Matar (Potatoes with Peas) is one of my favourite vegetarian Indian dishes of all time. Partly because it was the first Indian dish I ever learnt to cook.

Aloo means potato and matar means peas, by the way. It is a dry style Indian dish which can be added to other dishes like a daal or another main dish. I found the recipe in Shehzah Husain’s Vegetarian Indian cookbook many years ago. I make changes all the time like (you know me) but I have the original recipe here for you. Enjoy!

Aloo Matar (Potatoes and Peas)
Ingredients:
Tomato puree (1 large tomato)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon garlic pulp
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons corn oil
2 onions, diced
125 g (4 oz) peas (I use baby peas because they cook faster)
300 ml (1/2 pint) corn oil
3 potatoes, roughly diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
½ green pepper, deseeded and sliced
½ red pepper, deseeded and sliced

Method:
• Mix the tomato puree, ground coriander, chilli powder, garam masala, garlic, turmeric, salt and lemon juice together in a bowl and set aside.
• Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and fry until golden brown. Pour the tomato puree and spice mixture into pan, lower the heat and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Stir in peas and set aside.
• Heat the remaining corn oil in a karahi or deep frying pan to 180C, or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds, add the potatoes and fry them until they have golden edges and are cooked through. Remove the potatoes dice from the pan and add to the peas and spice mixture.
• Finally, add the fresh coriander and sliced green and red peppers and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Serve the dish hot.

Anah Daata Sukhi Bhaava! (Bon Appetit!)

Spinach with Eggs or Yumurtalı Ispanak

I have recently introduced my husband to this fantastic Turkish dish called Yumurtalı Ispanak (Spinach with Eggs). Now he keeps asking for it. Yes, I know; I created this monster. Anyway, this is a good example of Turkish comfort food and I sometimes crave it myself too.

The day I made the decision to make Spinach and Eggs, though, I didn’t have any spinach in my fridge –neither did onion. So, on my way back from my singing lesson the other day, I popped in to our local supermarket and grabbed some spinach and onion.

spinach eggs

There are a few different varieties of this dish back home. One of them uses mincemeat which can be substituted with vegetarian mince easily. Some people love it with chilli flakes and cumin and sometimes it is eaten with garlic yogurt, too. What I have here, however, just plain Spinach and Eggs.

Spinach with Eggs or Yumurtalı Ispanak
Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 bunches English spinach
1 medium brown onion, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Method:
• Wash the spinach in cold water a few times until all the dirt is washed away. Discard the stems and chop roughly.
• Peel the onion and chop.
• Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable of in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until the onion is completely soft. Add the spinach and cook until it starts to wilt. Season with salt and pepper.
• Create two holes for eggs and break them into the holes. I usually try and spread the egg white as it binds the spinach nicely. And when it is time to serve the dish it is a lot easier to lift it with a spatula like a galette or omelette. Put the lid on and cook until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still soft.
• Sprinkle with extra black pepper and serve immediately.

Vegan Izmir Kofte made with Bounty Bites

Bounty Bites

This is the first time I am using Bounty Bites and I have to admit I am impressed. They are frozen properly, so you take any number of pieces out if you don’t need to cook all of it in one go.

As for the originality of the dish, Izmir is the name of a coastal city in Turkey and I used to make this dish with Sanitarium’s veggie mince before but they don’t make it anymore. So I veganised Izmir Kofte with the help of Bounty Bites!

Ingredients:
12 Bounty Bites
2 medium-sized potatoes (I used Nicolas)
1 small tomato (sliced thinly)
1 heaped tbsp concentrated tomato paste (plain variety)
1 clove garlic
A handful continental parsley (chopped)
1 cup drinking water
1 tsp sweet paprika
Salt
Pepper

Method:
• Wash and peel potatoes. Slice them thinly and deep fry them until slightly brown. Set aside. I did them in Actifry for about 15 minutes with so little oil.

• Lightly fry Bounty Bites in a frying pan. All you need is 1 minute on each side. Once they are slightly done remove them and again, set aside.

• In a small pot, dilute tomato paste with water. Add sweet paprika, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Once it is boiled turn the heat off. Add chopped parsley and stir.

• I used two oven proof ramekins which are about 14cm in diameter. Pour a thin layer of the sauce as the first layer. One layer of potatoes and one layer of Bounty Bites then another layer of potatoes -as shown in the photo below.

Bounty Bites

• Once you have finished layering the potatoes and Bounty Bites, finish off with tomato slices -as shown in the photo below.

Bounty Bites

• Pour over the rest of the sauce and bake them in the oven for 30 minutes at 180°C. Serve hot and enjoy!

Mum’s Kısır (Turkish Tabbouleh Salad)

Kısır is Turkish version of Tabbouleh. I guess there are two types of Kısır in Turkish cuisine. One with tomato paste –or hot pepper paste- and one without. My mum’s version is more on the light, salad side. She used to make one big bowl of it for her tea parties. She also had a way of dressing up cucumbers which you might find interesting.

Ingredients:
1 cup fine bulgur
1 small onion
1 tomato
1 handful flat leave (continental) parsley
1 handful fresh spearmint
1 handful fresh dill
2 leaves lettuce
1 spring onions
1 small cucumber
1 lemon
100 ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:
• Place bulgur in a large salad bowl. Cover bulgur with boiling water. Leave it for a few minutes until the water is absorbed and the grains have swollen. Fluff up with a fork.

• Wash lettuce, mint, dill, parsley and tomato. Cut the top and the ends of spring onion. Wash, dry and chop mint, dill, parsley and spring onion finely. Cut lettuce into 2 cm pieces. Cut tomato into wedges. Peel onion, halve and slice thinly. Add to the salad bowl.

• Wash and peel cucumber (I use my potato peeler for the job). Cut the ends. Scratch cucumber all the way by using a fork, forming four lines. Continue until you have formed lines all around. Then slice.

That’s what the cucumbers look like when they are sliced.

• Add cucumber, paprika and black pepper to the bowl.

• Squeeze lemon. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Pour over the salad, toss and serve cold. Check the seasoning and add more salt to your liking.

Vegetarian Çökertme Kebab

Ok, I confess… I still have non-vegetarian cookbooks and clippings from magazines. I even came back from Turkey with quite a few material containing unethical stuff. Why? Because some of them are modifiable in vegetarian cooking. The recipe below is coming from an incredible famous recipe magazine which I picked up from Istanbul airport on my way back to Australia. Don’t think you can’t have kebabs because you are vegetarian. It’s all doable people and this one, in particular, goes nicely with a bottle of Chard Farm Pinot Noir 2008 from Central Otago.

Vegetarian Çökertme Kebab

Ingredients:
3 medium potatoes (I used desiree potatoes)
Oil for deep frying

For the kebab:
Sanitarium Vegie Delights Tender Pieces in caramelised onion gravy (I used the whole tin)
1 small onion
1/3 tsp cumin
½ tsp Turkish chilli flakes
½ tsp dried thyme
2 sprig continental parsley
Salt and pepper

Tomato sauce:
3 medium tomatoes
A drizzle vegetable oil
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
Salt and pepper

Yoghurt mix:
4 tablespoon (heaped) plain, Greek style yoghurt
1 large clove garlic

Method:

  • You will have three elements going all at the same time. Start with peeling potatoes. Cut them into thin pieces –somewhere between French fries and English chips. Put them in large bowl of water.
  • Heat your deep-frying oil.
  • Peel and chop onion. Peel and dice tomatoes. Wash and chop parsley. Set them all aside for the time being.
  • Heat some oil in a pan (I used my non-stick wok for this because I have better heat control) and add onions. Fry them until onion is cooked thoroughly. If you are not using a non-stick pan add a little salt to onions while frying as they brown without burning.
  • Rinse potatoes and dry them completely with a clean tea towel. If the oil is hot enough, start doing your chips. I did this in two batches. It depends on the size of your deep frying pot.
  • In the meantime, heat oil in a small pot. Add tomatoes and sweet paprika, salt and pepper. Boil first and then turn the heat down and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to be called “sauce”.
  • Empty the whole tin of Tender Pieces. Add salt, pepper, thyme and cumin. Continue stirring until all that caramelised onion gravy is absorbed.  Add ½ parsley and keep it warm.
  • Peel and crush garlic onto a bowl. Mix with yoghurt and mix it all well. Set aside.
  • Once your sauce is thick, kebab is cooked and chips are done, it is time to assemble your dish. Arrange chips on the plates. You will have a bed of chips first. Spread garlic-yoghurt mixture. Spoon over your kebab and add tomato sauce. Finish with chopped parsley and enjoy!

Vegan Singapore Noodles

SINGAPORE NOODLES (1280x938)

Ingredients:
80 g dried rice vermicelli
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup vegetarian oyster sauce
1/4 cup light soy sauce
100 g Lamyong roast duck or pork, thinly sliced
1 tbsp oil
1 stick celery, finely sliced
1 small carrot, julienned
2 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
1 tbsp Asian curry powder
1/2 tsp sesame oil
50 g bean sprouts

Method:

  •  Cover the noodles with cold water and leave for 30 minutes or until soft.
  • Place the garlic, ginger, 1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce and soy sauce in a bowl and mix well. Add your vegan duck or pork, toss to coat and marinade for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a wok until very hot, add the oil and swirl to coat. stir fry duck or pork until browned. Add the celery, carrot and half the spring onion, and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the curry powder and stir fry for 2 minuytes or until aromatic.
  • Add the noodles and mix well to coat and heat through. Then stir in the remaining vegetarian oyster sauce, soy sauce, spring onion, sesame oil and bean sprouts. Serve hot.

Şehriyeli Sebze Çorbası or Vegetable Soup with Turkish Vermicelli

I adopted this recipe from a non-vegan one by leaving chicken and chicken stock out and replacing them with vegetables and Massel chicken style stock powder. For extra flavour, I use Continental Stock Pot Vegetable which comes in a pack of 4 little pots and one pot is enough for this soup.  Make sure you use good quality water as water is your biggest ingredient in soups.  If you use tap water, the chlorine in water dominates
the taste and it intensifies during the cooking process.

Ingredients:
1 small carrot
1 small potato
1/3 cup Şehriye (Turkish vermicelli that can be purchased from Gima in Auburn)
2 teaspoon Massel Stock Powder Chicken Style
1x Continental Stock Pot vegetable
1 litre drinking water
1 tablespoon corn oil
1 teaspoon corn starch
3/2 bunch continental parsley
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 lemon

Method:

  • Peel both potato and carrot and grate.
  • Wash and finely chop parsley. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large pot and add grated potato and carrot. Sprinkle them  with chicken style stock, pepper and sweet paprika until the vegetables are slightly cooked. If you are using stainless steel pot and your vegetables stick to the bottom don’t worry as they will release themselves when you cover with
    boiled water.
  • Boil 1 litre water in kettle and add hot water to the pot along with stock pot vegetable gradually. Make sure that stock pot dissolves completely.
  • In a small bowl mix corn starch with cold water let it dissolve. Set
    aside.
  • Add şehriye to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. When şehriye is cooked, give corn starch another stir and add gradually.  This will thicken your soup.
  • Bring the pot to boil. Before you remove the soup from heat add finely chopped parsley and divide your soup into 4 large soup bowls.
  • Drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice.