Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families and a Giveaway

Tell us about your favourite cookbook.

Today’s theme was a little difficult for me – I have so many cookbooks I love for so many different reasons. However I decided to go with my newest cookbook, Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families. For full disclosure, I was lucky enough to actually win a copy of this book through Of The Kitten Kind’s blog, but I had been eyeing it off for some time as I have long been a fan of Dreena’s books that I already have – Eat, Drink & Be Vegan and Let Them Eat Vegan.

ppf

Plant-Powered Families boasts “over 100 kid-tester, whole-foods vegan recipes”. Now I don’t currently have kids, but I can sure appreciate simple, wholesome and satisfying recipes, particularly when they are creative enough to make health whole foods seem decadent. While the flavours are fairly mild in the recipes, they are easy to tweak if you prefer a little more kick. I also love how quick the dishes I’ve tried have come together – even without kids I enjoy being able to whip something up to have on the table within half an hour, leaving me plenty of time in the evenings to get on with other things.

One of the great things about Plant-Powered Families is that there is a beautiful photo to go with each recipe. You heard me. A PHOTO WITH EACH RECIPE. I totally eat with my eyes, and when I’m flicking through a cookbook I love to be able to see what I am making. The photos I’m sharing today are straight from the book.

Plant-Powered Families also has a lot of extra useful information included like nutrient charts, example meal plans and info on how to make and cook staple items, making wholesome eating that much easier.

teriyakistirfry

During the week, the Bear and I came home from the gym with tummies rumbling, and we combined forces to make the Ultimate Teriyaki Stir-Fry (page 166). This came together very quickly (as any good stir-fry should) and we served it on soba noodles. It was tasty and satisfying, the Bear particularly liked it which says it all – he is not a big fan of stir-fries, they have to be something rather special to get a compliment out of him.

pbpudding
We’ve been making our own peanut butter, so I jumped at the chance to use it in something different like the Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl (page 177). I made a batch of these for the Bear and I to take to work for an afternoon treat. I already had some homemade berry chia jam in the fridge, so I used that in place of the berrylicious swirl. These puddings were super decadent, and a few spoonfuls were enough to stave off those afternoon sweet cravings that I tend to get. I would be interested to try the alternative suggestion of almond butter with orange zest in it, so will have to put that on the list.

saucybbqchickpeasandbeans
We also made the Saucy BBQ Chickpeas with Green Beans, which we served with some quinoa and some hot sauce for an extra kick. With permission from the lovely Dreena herself, I’m sharing this recipe with y’all.

Saucy BBQ Chickpeas and Green Beans
Serves 4This is a very unassuming recipe, but the final dish is something more than its parts, full of bold flavor and very satisfying. Serve over rice or quinoa, or in wraps with avocado (have I mentioned avocado goes with just about anything)?1½ cups green beans, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup natural ketchup
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 medium cloves garlic, grated
3 tablespoons coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari or coconut aminos
2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon chipotle hot sauce (optional; see note)
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup minced shallot or onion
2½ cups chickpeas (see note)
 
First, blanch the green beans. Bring 2–3 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the beans, let cook for just a minute or two until vibrant green, then strain and run under cold water. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a bowl, whisk together the ketchup, tahini, Dijon mustard, garlic, vinegar, tamari, Worcestershire sauce, and chipotle hot sauce, and then whisk in the water. Once well incorporated, stir in the shallots.

Add the chickpeas and stir through. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes.

Add the green beans, stir through, re-cover, and bake for another 4–5 minutes (not much longer, or the beans will turn a gray color). Remove and serve.

Hot Sauce Note: Chipotle hot sauce adds more smoky heat than spicy heat, but if you think the kiddos will be sensitive to it, feel free to omit.

Beans Note: If you are a little short on green beans, you can sub extra chickpeas—for example, you can use 1 cup of green beans and 3 cups of chickpeas. Or, if you prefer more green beans, you can do that too, and use less chickpeas! It’s a flexible recipe.

Serving Suggestions: Serve over a cooked grain like basmati brown rice, quinoa, or millet. A little chopped avocado on top is especially delicious!

Next on my to-make list are the Crazy Brownies (page 182), Polenta Pizza Crust (page 137) and the Umami Sun-Dried Tomato and Almond Burgers (page 144 and pictured below)

umamiburger

 
In light of my love of this cookbook (and my luck at getting a free copy), I’ve decided to purchase another copy to give to one lucky reader from anywhere in the world. If you’d like that lucky reader to be you, check out the competition widget below. Winner will be chosen Sunday 20th September.

For further information about Plant-Powered Families and to keep up with what Dreena is doing, check out her website at Plant Powered Kitchen.

Plant-Powered Families Giveaway
tomatoweb

Golden Kraut

Focus on a nutrient.

I may be bending the rules a little on this one – I don’t know if probiotics quite fit into the nutrient category but in terms of beneficial things for your body I definitely think that they are up there. Probiotics are good bacteria that help your body with digestion and nutrient absorption, as well as prevent bad bacteria taking over your system – they are our little buddies that like to help keep everything in balance. I’m sure that’s a very layman’s explanation, but that’s my understanding (also I often picture the little blue dudes from the probiotic ads that battle all the baddies for us).

0M4A0399b

So since I did a couple of fermentation workshops I have been pretty obsessed with fermenting stuff. I haven’t experimented a whole lot, in that I’ve really stuck with the things I know – kim chi, sauerkraut and salsa. I try to remember to have a little bit of fermented goodness every day, often I will treat it as though it’s a salad dressing, packing it in my work lunches.

One thing I have played around with though is variations of sauerkraut. After having a few store bought versions from the health food store, I started scanning the ingredients lists for ideas. One of the ones that I had enjoyed most included carrot and turmeric and was a beautiful vibrant colour. Turmeric is well known for it’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties, so I like to incorporate it into my diet as much as possible.

0M4A0402b

Golden Kraut
(makes 2 large jars)

2 small green cabbages (about 1.5kg)
3 large carrots (about 600g)
1 Tbsp fresh turmeric
2 Tbsp fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp sea salt
1½ tsp celery seeds
Pinch of chili (optional)

Sterilise two large glass jars in preparation for the kraut.

Remove outer layers of cabbage and put aside for later. Chop cabbage finely and place in a large bowl. I actually had to use two bowls for this recipe as my bowls were not large enough. Grate carrots and add to bowl. Use a microplane grater to grate turmeric and ginger, and add to bowl, along with garlic, salt, celery seeds and chili (if using).

0M4A0232b

You may want to use gloves for this part as turmeric can leave you with lovely yellow stains on your skin. Using your hands, squeeze and mash the cabbage mix. breaking up the fibres, for a good few minutes. You will notice that the mixture will reduce in size and liquid will start to release from the veggies. When it’s about half the size it started, put a heavy bowl (or a lighter bowl with some heavy items in it) on top of the mixture to weigh it down, allowing more liquid to release from the mix. Leave for 15-30 minutes.

0M4A0236b

Come back and remove the bowl. Pack the cabbage into your prepared jars, making sure to push the mix below the liquid. Leave about an inch of free space at the top of the jar, as the mixture may expand during the fermentation process. It is also important that the cabbage mix remain submerged in the liquid so that mould does not grow on top. If there is not enough liquid, add a little water. Once packed, you can press one of the outer leaves of cabbage into the top of the jar to help keep the kraut submerged. From here, you can either place the lid on top or put a weight on top of the mix (a jar full of liquid, or one of those awesome ceramic weights) with a clean damp towel covering it. Leave out of direct sunlight for 5-7 days, checking each day to ensure the kraut remains submerged (if it is not, just push it back under with a clean utensil). Remove cabbage leaf, transfer to fridge and begin to enjoy! Make sure you always use a clean utensil when dishing out the kraut.

0M4A0405b

broccoliweb

 

Raw Blueberry Cheesecakes

Something blue.

I’m probably taking the easy path here, but I was struggling to come up with an idea for something blue that wasn’t drowned in food dye. I get that blueberries are not particularly blue when used to cook with, but blue makes up part of the word so I’m going to go with it. Also it’s pretty late and I don’t have time to come up with anything else. And these are pretty.

blueberry1
This may look more complex than it is because of the subsections of ingredients, but raw desserts are often very straight forward and easy. It’s just a matter of blending ingredients and pouring them in. The most time consuming part is the soaking and waiting for them to set.

I’ve got a bunch of these stored in my freezer now which I’m bringing out sporadically when I want a quick treat. As you can probably imagine, I’m sure these would be great with raspberries, strawberries or a combination of all of them.

blueberry2

Raw Blueberry Cheesecakes
(makes about 20 mini cakes)

Base:
¾ cup dates, soaked
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup almonds
pinch of salt

White layer:
1½ cups cashews, soaked
¼ cup agave nectar
¼ cup coconut oil, liquified
2 tsp vanilla
1Tbsp lime juice

Blue layer:
1½ cups cashews, soaked
1½ cups blueberries (I used frozen)
¼ cup coconut oil, liquified
¼ cup agave nectar

Chia jam::
2 cups blueberries (I used frozen)
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp chia seeds

Start by preparing the base – combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until they form a thick mixture. If it’s too dry, you can add a tablespoon of water at a time until it comes together – it should be tacky, but not so sticky that you can’t work with it. Break of small pieces of mixture and press into bases of mini muffin tray, making the base a couple of millimetres thick – I used a silicone tray as they were easier to pop out at the end.

Blend white layer ingredients until smooth. Pour evenly on top of the prepared bases, filling each case to about half way. Put tray in the freezer to set.

Now do the same with the blue layer – blend until smooth and fill up each case until it is level with the top – smooth over to make even. Return to the freezer to set.

To prepare the jam, place blueberries, agave and lime juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the berries start to come apart. Using the back of a fork or spoon, mash some of the blueberries. Add chia seeds and stir to combine. Remove from heat and allow to sit – the chia seeds will absorb a lot of moisture and thicken the jam. Allow to cool.

Once the cheesecakes have set, pop them out of their moulds and top with a spoonful of jam and some extra blueberries. I find it best to keep these dudes in the freezer, taking them out 15 minutes before you want to eat them to allow them to soften a little.

blueberry3

cornweb

Save

Golden Syrup Dumplings

Most retro recipe.

In trying to plan for today’s theme, I was flicking through old Women’s Weekly Cookbooks from the ’70’s, looking for outdated and kitsch recipes (preferably with a pineapple and toothpicks) but nothing really grabbed me. Then I was over at my mum and dad’s place, and mum handed me a Country Women’s Association cookbook from the 1940’s that once upon a time belonged to my great Nanna James. The CWA is the largest women’s organisation in Australia, and since 1922 have been well known throughout the country (mainly for their jams, chutneys, knitted goods and lamingtons amongst other baked goods). The CWA initiated with the goal of improving conditions for women, particularly those living rurally, and have since assisted with emergency relief, education funds and workshops, amongst other benevolent things.

0M4A0430

Flicking through the pages, it is clear that most recipes have similar and basic ingredients, created prior to much multicultural influence in Australia. Common ingredients include butter or dripping, flour, breadcrumbs, sugar and eggs. There are some mock meat recipes which initially had me excited, however I soon discovered that the mock goose was made of liver and the mock brains made of left over porridge and egg. It was certainly an age of ration and limited wastage.

0M4A0433b

There are some pretty neat ads to take note of, including the one repping this kerosene operated fridge.

0M4A0434b

And this one from the dried fruits board (awesome) spruiking currants, sultanas and raisins. Amazing.

Anyway, I digress. When I found golden syrup dumplings I knew this was the recipe for today, as it fits the retro bill and also brings back nice memories from childhood when mum used to make this for us. Boy were they a treat with their sweet sticky sauce and a dollop of cream or ice cream. Initially when I veganised this recipe directly from the CWA book it did not turn out how I remembered enjoying golden syrup dumplings as a child. The sauce was not as thick and caramel-y, rather a bit too thin. Then I recalled Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe posting a recipe for golden syrup dumplings a while back that I had made and it had turned out wonderfully. So I tinkered with the CWA recipe, adding some sugar to the syrup which made all the difference. Ahhhh sugar.

dumplings2

Golden Syrup Dumplings
(serves 3-4)

Syrup:
3 Tbsp golden syrup
¼ cup coconut or brown sugar
1 Tbsp vegan butter
cups water

Dumplings:
1 cup self-raising flour
¼ cup vegan butter
1 Tbsp golden syrup
3 Tbsp water or non-dairy milk
Pinch of salt

Place syrup ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, rub together flour and butter with your hands. Add remaining ingredients and mix to form a thick dough. While it will be tacky, you should be able to use your hands to roll it into balls. Get heaped dessert spoonfuls of dough and roll into small balls. Drop the balls into the syrup mixture, and simmer, covered, for approximately 10-15 minutes, until dumplings have increased in size and sauce has thickened. Serve with cream or ice cream.

dumplings1

tomatoweb

 

 

 

 

Tempeh Cheatballs with Marinara Sauce

Today is the day I’ve been waiting for. I’m forever waiting for reason to bring up Bill Murray, but this one was just handed to me on a silver platter:

Make / eat some thing inspired by a book or film

You got it MoFo gods. Ever heard of a little film called Meatballs?

tempehcheatballs1

I said film, dammit!

That’s better!

Meatballs is an early Bill film, about a pretty average summer camp at which he plays a camp counsellor. It’s certainly not award-winning, it’s more like a film you’d expect to see at midday on free to air TV when you’re at home sick, but hey, for what it is it’s pretty amazing. And did I mention Bill Murray? He is hilarious and he makes everything great. The end.

It doesn’t take too much imagination to guess what dish was inspired by this one. Let’s call them ‘cheatballs’, as they certainly ain’t meat.

tempehcheatballs2
Nope, these bad boys are made with a combination of tempeh, walnuts and oats – among other goodies. They are very similar to the filling of my sausage rolls – I like the idea of tempeh, but texturally and taste wise prefer it in things, rather than just in chunks by itself.

For this recipe I’ve baked the meatballs, but I’m sure they will work just as well if you pan fry them so do whatever works best for you.

tempehcheatballs3

Tempeh Cheatballs with Marinara Sauce
(makes about 24)

Cheatballs:
1 tsp oil
1 small brown onion, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
300g tempeh
2Tbsp flax meal + ¼ cup water
½ cup walnuts, pulsed in food processor to crumbs
½ cup oats, pulsed a few times in food processor to resemble crumbs
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp thyme
¼ cup flat leaf parsley
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp chili powder (optional)

Marinara sauce:
1 tsp oil
1 small brown onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup red wine (optional)
800g tinned tomatoes
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 Tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper

If you plan to bake them, preheat the oven to 200C and line a tray with baking paper.

In a small bowl, combine flax meal and water and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and add onion. Saute until translucent – a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.

Crumble the tempeh with your hands into the bowl along with the onion and garlic. Add flax mix and remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. If you’d prefer a smoother texture, feel free to try doing this in a food processor, but for this kind of thing I personally prefer a bit of chunkiness. The mix should come together, and while it is a bit sticky, you should be able to handle it without too much mess. If it’s too sticky, try adding some more oats.

Get heaped teaspoons of mix and roll into balls, placing each one on the prepared tray. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn over (the best you can with a spherical object) and cook for a further 10 minutes. You’ll see the balls become visibly browner.

While they’re cooking, prepare the sauce – heat oil in a pot over medium heat and saute onion until translucent. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Add wine, basil and oregano and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously, until most of the wine has evaporated.

Add tomatoes and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and stir in tomato paste, and season with salt and pepper. Since I left the cheatballs chunky, I popped the sauce in the blender and gave it a quick whizz until it was smooth. Return to pot and add cheatballs. Eat as is, or serve over spaghetti with some vegan parmesan (classic!)

tempehcheatballs4

broccoliweb

Oven Roasted Ratatouille Beans with Toasted Breadcrumbs & Basil Oil

A bit of a mouthful, but a totally delicious one.

Re-create a restaurant meal.

Today I am recreating a dish that I have only eaten once from a cafe that I have only been to once, however my experience there was so memorable that I have talked about it several times since. The cafe is Mixed Business in Clifton Hill, and I went with a group of about 15-20 people from work for a group brunch on a weekday. The service was outstanding and friendly, and I was just awed by the fact that they were able to bring out all of our dishes at the same time with so many of us there. Not only that, they were freaking delicious.

ratatouillebeans1
I had avocado on toast with a side of slow roasted ratatouille beans. The beans were topped with toasted crumbs and a drizzle of basil oil. Outrageously good. Unfortunately I did not take a photo of the dish on the day, nor do I have a photographic memory, so I was trying to recreate the idea in my head here. It worked out great, and this will definitely be a rotation in our weekend breakfasts.

Note, I started out using fresh tomatoes and then added crushed tomatoes to make the beans more saucy. I’m sure if you wanted to use a whole can of crushed tomatoes and omit the fresh ones it will be much the same.

ratatouillebeans3

Slow Roasted Ratatouille Beans with Toasted Crumbs and Basil Oil
(serves 3-4 as a side)

1 medium eggplant, diced (roughly 3 cups) skin on or off
1 red capsicum, diced
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp oil
cups cooked butter beans
3 Tbsp tomato paste + ¼ cup water
200g crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Breadcrumbs:
2 slices of stale bread, crusts removed

Basil oil:
1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
½ cup olive oil
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 220C. Place onion, garlic, eggplant, capsicum, chopped tomatoes in a large baking dish and toss with olive oil. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together tomato paste and water. Add tomato paste mix, crushed tomatoes, fresh basil and salt and pepper and stir to combine. Return to oven for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check that the eggplant is tender, and the sauce is nice and thick. If it needs a little longer, you may want to add a little more liquid to keep it at the right consistency.

While the beans are cooking, prepare the basil oil. Bring a pot of water to the boil and blanch the basil leaves for no more than a minute. Transfer to icy water to cool. Blend basil, oil and salt as best as possible, then strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth.

To prepare the breadcrumbs, tear up the pieces of bread and place in a food processor. Process until crumbs are formed. Spread crumbs out onto a baking tray and pop in the oven, bake until crumbs are golden – 5 – 10 minutes. Make sure you stir them regularly to ensure they don’t burn. Remove from oven and put aside.

To prepare, serve up some beans, sprinkle on some breadcrumbs and top with a drizzle of basil oil. Serve with a side of avo on toast, of course.

ratatouillebeans2

cornweb

Best Sandwich Ever and Marinated Eggplant

Best Sandwich Ever.

It’s a big call, and to be honest I’m not sure that what I’m about to share with you completely lives up to that title, HOWEVER, when the bear and I were living in our van we invented this sandwich and put it on high rotation. It therefore has fond memories for us both. We would often (not always) buy the eggplant pre-marinated, but we did also have an awesome cast iron grill pan that we liked to char eggplant and other things with. Then we’d hit up a park or nice spot, get out our little plates, sometimes even set up our little table and chairs and enjoy our lunch.

It’s nothing particularly fancy, but it works. It’s kind of antipasto in a sandwich – tangy and delicious. The sandwich has the following ingredients:

Bread of choice (we used some dumpster-dived bread – rye I think?)
Hummus
Marinated eggplant (recipe to follow)
Spinach
Sundried tomatoes
Basil (if you’re a bit fancy)

Salt and pepper

We did make versions of this sandwich with pesto, and it’s also delicious grilled with some vegan cheese.

sandwich1

Marinated Eggplant

1 medium eggplant
salt for sprinkling
oil for frying
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 chilli, minced
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
salt
pepper

Cut top and base off the eggplant, then slice longways in 5mm pieces. Sprinkle salt over the eggplant and leave in a colander for 30 minutes or so to drain. Rinse and drain.

Heat some oil in a fry pan over medium heat and fry eggplant for a couple of minutes on either side, until slightly browned.

Mix together olive oil, garlic, chili, vinegar and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place eggplant in a small container and pour over marinate. If you can, marinate for 24 hours to allow the eggplant to soak up as much flavour as possible.

sandwich2

tomatoweb

Zucchini and Sweet Potato Fritters with Sumac Yoghurt

Quick, easy and delicious.

Initially I had planned to go with the first thing that came to mind with this theme – a stir fry (classic!). But when thinking about my go-to easy week night meals of late, I realised that I more often turn to variations of vegetable fritters for something fast and delicious. A great way for using up those veggies on their last legs, welcome additions to veggie fritters include corn, spinach, carrots and crumbled broccoli – whatever’s going.

zfritters1

The combination of sweet potatoes and sumac is a match made in heaven, and the fresh herbs and yoghurt just round the meal off. If you can’t be bothered with the yoghurt, they are just as yummy with a simple squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

zfritters2

Zucchini and Sweet Potato Fritters with Sumac Yoghurt
(makes about 15)

3 cups grated zucchini (about 2 large zucchinis)
2 cups grated sweet potato (about 1 medium sweet potato)
2 cloves garlic, minced
cup brown rice flour
2 tsp sumac
2 Tbsp flax meal + 6 Tbsp water
¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp fresh mint, minced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Oil for frying

Yoghurt:
cup vegan yoghurt (I used homemade cashew based yoghurt)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
½ tsp sumac
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 Tbsp fresh mint, minced

In a small bowl, mix together flax meal and water, along with the oil and lemon juice and set aside.

Using a clean towel or your hands, squeeze as much liquid from the zucchini and sweet potato as possible. Don’t go crazy, just get as much out as you can. Place in a large bowl. Add flour, sumac, parsley, mint and lemon zest and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired. Add the flax mix to the large bowl and stir to combine. The mixture should be quite thick and ‘gluggy’.

Heat oil in a frypan over medium heat, and place spoonfuls of mixture into the pan, pressing them flat with the back of a fork. Cook for a couple of minutes, until golden, then flip and cook the other side.

For the yoghurt, simply stir all ingredients together. Voila! Dinner is served!

zfritters3

broccoliweb

Sago Pudding – Two Ways

Recreate a meal from your childhood.

I like today’s theme, as it’s prompted me to start making a dish that I haven’t eaten in years, but always loved as a child. There’s something comforting about sago pudding – perhaps because of its simplicity, or maybe the fact that memories are linked to warm bowls of it for dessert on a cool winter’s night.

sago1a
Sago has such an interesting texture – I think we used to call it ‘frog’s eggs’, a name that likely came from dad (along with the charming ‘snot blocks’) and it may be one of those things that you either love or hate. I’m definitely a fan, and the bear is too – he was so excited when I wasn’t happy with my first set of photos and declared I would have to make it again. I’m glad somebody was able to see the positive.

sago2a

I could never pick which was my favourite – the milky one or the lemon one, both so delicious in their own right. The milky version was creamy and sweet, often laden with drizzles of golden syrup on top, but the lemon so zesty. Both were such a treat!

sago3a

Coconut Sago Pudding
(makes 2 large or 3 smaller serves)

½ cup sago (tapioca pearls)
1 ½ cup milk
1 ½ cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup agave or brown rice syrup
Pinch of salt
Toppings of choice – banana, toasted coconut, extra syrup

Cover sago with water and let sit for thirty minutes.

Drain any excess liquid and put the sago in a pot, along with remaining ingredients except for the toppings. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly to ensure the sago doesn’t stick to the bottom. Once boiled, turn down to a low simmer and cook for approximately 10 minutes, until the sago pearls become translucent. Make sure you stir continuously to avoid sticking.

Remove from heat and serve warm or allow to cool. Top with some brown rice syrup, banana and toasted coconut for extra deliciousness.

sago4a

Lemon Sago
(makes 2 large or 3 small serves)

½ cup sago
¼ cup lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp rice bran syrup

Cover sago with water and let sit for thirty minutes.

Drain any excess liquid and put the sago in a pot, along with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly to ensure the sago doesn’t stick to the bottom. Once boiled, turn down to a low simmer and cook for approximately 10 minutes, until the sago pearls become translucent. Make sure you stir continuously to avoid sticking.

Remove from heat and serve warm or allow to cool.

sago5a

 

Vegan MoFo 2015 – Buckwheat Pancakes with Blueberry Coulis

Good morning lovely readers, old and new! Welcome to the very first day of the vegan month of food! Who can believe it has already been a year since the last one? Goodness gracious me..

This year, things are going down a little differently. Rather than each participant choosing their own theme to stick to throughout the month, the MoFo team have posted a list of prompts for each day so that everybody participating is chatting about the same thing. I think this has definitely simplified things and perhaps made it easier for more folks to get on board. So without further adieu, today’s prompt:

Rise and Shine! It’s MoFo time! Tell us about your breakfast.

Now unless you closed your eyes for the title of this post or even skipped it entirely in a mad rush to get to the rest of this quality post, you’ll see that I’ve gone with a classic – pancakes. I don’t eat a hell of a lot of pancakes, as they have always seemed like a special occasion food because they always appeared for mother’s day or father’s day or christmas or birthdays. But seeing as though it is day one of MoFo, what the hell! 
 
IMG_3662b

Hello sweet goodness! If only every day started like this…

If you’re like me and have some serious troubles with flipping pancakes, think about making smaller pikelet sized ones like this! I’ve never made such perfect looking pancakes in my life.

Buckwheat Pancakes with Blueberry Coulis
(makes 10-12 smaller pancakes)

1 ½ cups buckwheat flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup mashed banana
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 ½ cups non dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla
Coconut oil for frying

Coulis:
1 ½ cups blueberries
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2-3 Tbsp agave
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp chia seeds (optional, for thickening)

For the pancakes, mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients (except for the oil). Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and pour the wet mix into it, stirring to combine.

Heat a fry pan over medium heat and melt a small amount of coconut oil in it. Scoop pancake batter into the pan – for these smaller pancakes I used a ¼ cup to measure it out. Allow to cook until bubbles have started to form and pop all over each pancake. Carefully flip them using a thin metal spatula and cook for a further couple of minutes, until golden. Continue with the remaining batter.

For the coulis, place blueberries, lemon juice and agave in a small pot and heat over medium low heat. Gently simmer for about 10 minutes, until the blueberries start to break apart. Mash some with a spoon so that they separate. I like to keep some chunk in mine, but if you prefer you can blend and strain the mix later.

Turn off the heat and stir in vanilla. Taste for sweetness and add more agave if necessary. For a thicker sauce, add 1 teaspoon of chia seeds, stir through and allow to sit for a couple of minutes.

Serve pancakes with coulis, fresh fruit, yoghurt, ice cream, or whatever you damn want.

IMG_3666b

IMG_3659b
tomatoweb