Product Review: Gardein Golden Fishless Filets


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Gardein Golden Fishless Filets are an absolute life-saver in the kitchen. They are so practical; I stopped making my own vegetarian fish and chips from scratch. There is nothing fishy here, just great taste and 0mega-3s without cholesterol. Dip in … Continue reading

Recipe: The Mighty Lemon Coconut Slice

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading The Dalai Lama’s Cat and The Art of Purring by David Michie. It was my lazy Sunday read. In the book, “Mrs. Trinci, Serena and Lobsang were sitting on stools at the kitchen counter, sipping mugs of tea and munching on coconut slice that Mrs. Trinci had brought with her.” That was the moment coconut slice entered my life. Well, the idea of it. I had to find the recipe. John came to my help as he has been brought up with lemon coconut slice. So, he found one recipe and I found one, too. After trying both recipes and adjusting lamington tin size etc. I have come up with these beauties.

lemon coconut slice

As for the book… The Dalai Lama’s Cat and The Art of Purring is the second one from the series. The first one is The Dalai Lama’s Cat. There is another one in the series which came after The Dalai Lama’s Cat and The Art of Purring: The Dalai Lama’s Cat and The Art of Meow. I haven’t got it yet but I’m sure I will. They are all available from Amazon.

Lemon Coconut Slice

80g unsalted butter
250g sweetened condensed milk (about ¾ cup)
250g milk arrowroot biscuits (or Marie biscuits)
1 cup fine desiccated coconut
Juice of 1 lemon
Grated lemon zest from one lemon

Ingredients for Lemon Frosting:
240g pure icing sugar
60g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons desiccated coconut

• Grease and line a rectangular Lamington tin with baking paper (mine is 30 x 20.5 x 3 cm). Make sure you have enough room for overhang all around –it makes it easier to lift the slices up before they are cut into squares.
• Crush biscuits in a food processor very finely and place into a large bowl. Add coconut and grated lemon rind. Mix well.
• Melt butter in in a saucepan on medium heat until completely melted. Alternatively, microwave it. Add melted butter, condensed milk and lemon juice to the biscuit mixture. Mix thoroughly until well combined. Press into the prepared tin and place into the fridge.
• Meanwhile, whisk the icing sugar, room temperature butter and lemon juice in a bowl until creamy and ‘frosting-like’ – if the frosting is too thick to spread, add a little more lemon juice.
• Spread the frosting over the slice, sprinkle with the extra coconut and place back into the fridge to set completely. Cut into slices.

Recipe Note: Lemon Coconut Slices can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

lemon coconut slice

Product Review: Sanitarium Bacon Style Rashers


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We love our Sanitarium Bacon Style Rashers. They are incredibly versatile and easy to get, too! I buy ours from Woolworths online and get them delivered with our weekly groceries. Great source of protein, high in iron, zinc and vitamin … Continue reading

Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages (New Recipe)


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The new recipe Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages new recipe are vegan friendly and made from rehydrated textured soya protein. The company recently changed their recipe by adding soy and palm oil and reducing sugar and sodium. Most people want the … Continue reading

Ingredient Profile: Purslane or Green Purslane

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) comes from Portulaceae family and has many names like green purslane, pigweed, portulaca, kitchen-garden purslane, poor man’s spinach and munyeroo (Aboriginal term).

purslanePurslane is considered as a weed by many farmers. However, it is an edible succulent with a chewy texture and a mild, slightly lemony taste. Depending on the variety, the leaves can be very fleshy, too –like juicier cuisine of lamb’s lettuce.

Selection and Storage
Purslane is a delicate creature. So buy it only a day or two before you use it. Because it won’t last long –even in the fridge. Choose purslane with bright green leaves. Seal it in a plastic bag and store in the vegetable crisper at the bottom of your fridge.

• Wild purslane
• Asgen
• Partulaca
• Vilmoin

Where to Use
Salads: Purslane is widely used as a raw salad ingredient in countries like Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Cyprus, Armenia and Syria. Purslane Salad with Yoghurt or Yoğurtlu Semizotu Salatası from Turkish cuisine and the famous Middle Eastern salad Fatoush are great examples.

Stews: In Turkish cuisine, there is a vegetarian stew featuring purslane and it’s called Zeytinyağlı Semizotu. There is a variation of it with rice, too.

Soups: Purslane is one of the main ingredients in the French soup called ‘bonne femme’ mostly for its gelling, binding, thickening effect. Very much like okra.

Complimentary Flavours
Purslane goes particularly well with these ingredients:
• Oregano
• Yoghurt
• Basil
• Garlic
• Flat-leaf parsley
• Bay leaves
• Cucumber
• Chervil
• Chilli flakes
• Parsley
• Onion and spring onion (scallions)
• Thyme
• Nutmeg
• Chickory
• Cheeses like feta or halloumi
• Tarragon
• Watercress
• Chives

Purslane is a good source of iron, vitamins A and C, calcium, magnesium and one of the best plant sources of the Omega 3 fatty acids.

Ingredient Profile: Broccoli


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Ingredient Profile: Broccoli Broccoli –botanical name is Brassica oleracea cv.italica—comes from the highly nutritious Brassica family and considered to be a cruciferous vegetable. Brassica family also includes Brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach and chard. Origin Broccoli is originated from Italy more … Continue reading

Ajoy Joshi’s Moong Dal with Tadka Tempering

moong dal tadka tempering

Nilgiri’s has always been one of my favourite Indian restaurants in Sydney. For me, it’s an education, an institution of fine Indian cuisine. This may sound like Nilgiri’s is closing its doors but they are just moving to a new location. Change is good; it freshens things up. So we are excited about the new location. And to celebrate, I have a recipe from Nilgiri’s. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes: The recipe below is Ajoy Joshi’s very own but I had to make some changes. Because, the recipe yields a lot of dal. When you think of it, it’s just the two of us. So, I halved the dal ingredients, however, used the exact measurements for the tadka tempering. It just worked perfectly.

Moong Dal with Tadka Tempering

2 cups moong dal (mung lentils)
8 cups cold water (tap water)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Step 1: Wash and drain lentils.
Step 2: Add turmeric and oil to the lentils along with 8 cups of water and bring water to the boil.
Step 3: Cook lentils until soft, add the salt, turn off the heat and set aside (mung dal should be soft to touch when cooked).

Now for the tadka or ‘tempering’:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida powder
1 teaspoon ground chilli
salt, to taste
juice of half a lemon
2-3 fresh coriander leaves

Step 1. For tadka, or ‘tempering’, heat oil in a pan and let it smoke, remove from the heat and crackle the cumin seeds.
Step 2. Add the asafoetida and then chilli powder.
Step 3. Pour the hot oil (this is called the ‘tempering’) on top of the cooked lentils.
Step 4. Add lemon juice and the coriander leaves and serve immediately!!

Nilgiri’s new home address:
Shop 3, 283 Military Road

Ayurveda: The Science of Life


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What is Ayurveda? Ayurveda is traditional Indian medicine and is the most ancient system of medicine known to humankind. It is believed to be at least 5000 years old but some say it’s even older. Therefore, often called as “the … Continue reading

Vegetarian Chorizo Pizza for Eurovision 2016

vegetarian chorizo pizzaYesterday, I was forced by my husband to get out of the house and buy some ingredients from The Cruelty Free Shop in Glebe. There are reasons for this…

The reason number one: I have been couped up at home, rehearsing for Open Mic Night at The Vanguard or in Big Music Studios with the rest of the band. Now that the event is behind us, I can focus on other things.
The reason number two: I have been experimenting with ready-made, supermarket-bought pizza bases for a while and hoping to get more of Gran chorizo which works really, really well. When you have it in your cupboard, though (which I didn’t). So, I had to go out and get some ingredients.
The reason number three: Since we are way into Autumn here in Australia and experiencing really good weather makes you think how many more days like this we have left? Saturday was a really good example so use these days wisely while you can.
The reason number four: Eurovision semi-final was on last night which was screaming pizza and large quantities of alcohol to drink after every key change and wind machine 🙂

vegetarian chorizo pizza

Vegetarian Chorizo Pizza

1 pizza base (I used Pomodoro Brothers brand which I buy from Coles)

For Passata:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large tomato, peeled and chopped or grated
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
Salt to taste

For the Pizza Topping:
2 rings pineapple, chopped
10 slices Gran Chorizo
1 spring onion, chopped
2 pickled baby cornichons, sliced
1/3 banana chili, chopped

Grated cheese

• Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan forced) or 200ºC.
• Place the pizza base on a tray (preferably earthen pizza tray).
• To make Passata: Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the tomato, garlic powder and onion powder. Cook over medium heat until tomato pieces lose their shape completely and the consistency is sauce like. While hot, spread it all over the pizza base. This will soften the pizza base a little.
• Arrange the pineapple pieces, vegetarian chorizo, spring onion, baby cornichons and banana chili on top of passata. Top it all up with grated cheese and place it in the middle of the oven. Bake the pizza for 20 minutes.
• Slice and serve immediately.

Ingredient Profile: Tomatoes


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Vegetable Profile: Tomatoes Origin of Tomatoes Tomatoes are native to Central America and had been brought to Europe by the Spaniards. However, Europeans initially thought that they were poisonous so they did not gain popularity for quite some time. They … Continue reading