Vegan Butter “Tasty” Tofu

It’s been a while since I posted. The last month has been hectic with law exams. This degree is taking me longer then I expected and every year it seems like any future prospects for law professionals are in decline. Apparently, math is the way to go now and the only good degree for careers of the future. Nevertheless, I’m still slugging away.

Now that things have slowed down, I’m in the process of getting together all the information, registrations and clearance I need to start a food van and get this GF Veg Beast on the road, fill that festival void of trying to find both Vegan and Gluten Free options. However, good food van’s are hard to come by and the really good ones have a pretty hefty price tag. So watch this space..♥♥

Hope everyone is enjoying the slow winding up of the year. The weather is getting warmer, which is nice. So, I went for a hike today and since it’s snake season every rustle in the bushes had me bolting down the track, needless to say, I finished the hike in a record 2hrs instead of the recommended 4hrs. Survived to blog again, snake bite free. Here’s a little something I whipped up a while ago. Pictures don’t do it justice. I did have someone taste test it and they approved the recipe “fit for blogging”, even went back for a second helping ;).

tofu1

Ingredients 

Tasty Tofu 

  • 1 block of firm tofu, diced.
  • 1 tablespoon of cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1/2 tablespoon of ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of hot paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon of curry powder
  • A dash of sunflower oil

Tofu method

  • Mix the cornflour, garam masala, ginger, paprika and curry powder in a bowl.
  • Toss the diced tofu in the mixture till the cubes are well coated
  • Cover and set aside for 10mins
  • Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, once hot, add the tofu cubes and brown and crisp each side, turning the cubes as needed, once all cooked, set aside.. Start on the sauce.

Sauce 

  • 1 can of diced organic tomatoes
  • 400ml can of light coconut milk
  • 1 medium brown onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Dash of sunflower oil
  • 100g of baby spinach leaves

Sauce method

  • Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat, add onion and saute till translucent
  • Next, add in the curry powder, paprika, pepper, salt, garam masala, and ginger, stirring together till fragrant (2 mins), don’t let it burn
  • Next, stir in the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and lemon
  • Bring to boil, then turn down to simmer.. slowly add the tofu pieces and baby spinach and fold them through the mixture.

Serve with basmati rice or with a baked potato. Nom nom..

tofu2

Katri ♥

Eggplant Lasagna

So today I wore shorts to the gym for the second time. I know that sounds stupid. I mean plenty of people wear shorts to the gym. Why not? It’s hot, you get sweaty. However, I never wear shorts to the gym and especially now that I’m getting older. I seem to carry all my weight on my upper thighs and stomach. Even though tights don’t really hide much. I wore shorts to the gym because I stopped taking spin classes because my legs get too hot in tights. “So what’s the big deal” I hear you ask. Well.. I am worried about how my legs look, I feel self conscious and nervous about not covering up, even when I’m dripping in sweat. But the other day I decided enough is enough. I mean I’m 33, shouldn’t I stop worrying about the societal pressures of how a woman’s body should look. I know I should, but actually acting on it is harder. It’s hard to be comfortable in one’s own body when there is so much negativity out there. Even when you click of any news site there are numerous stories of “How much weight such and such lost” or “how to get buns of steal”. The reality is, everyone comes in different shapes and sizes, we all carry our weight differently, why deny it or hide.

A significant thing we can all do as feminist and humans is to realise our embodiment. We are embodied and our bodies serve us in everything we do. Love all yourself, even if it’s not perfect. I mean what is “perfect” anyway?! Sure, sure, some people judge others on appearance. But so what, it’s a testament to their inability of perceive outside of the social norms. Live the best life in the skin your in right now. I’m really talking to myself here too. Anyway. To celebrate my little hurdle, I made an eggplant lasagna. Nom nom nom.Eggplant1

And I included a picture of an old time tractor for your viewing pleasure. I took this picture when I went for a country drive the other day. Needless to say the farmer came out and was curious as to why I was hovering around his tractor. Not that you could really steal that thing.. I’m sure a brisk walk would catch up with it. Eggplant truck

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of ginger paste

1 tablespoon of garlic paste

1 tablespoon of chili paste

1 large brown onion diced

2 tins of diced tomatoes

1 cup of cashews

1 cup of tinned brown lentils

1/2 cup of dried red lentils

1/2 cup of dried green lentils

3 cups of veg stock

1/2 cup of coconut milk

Oregano, salt and pepper to taste

2 large eggplants, thinly sliced

2 large tomatoes thinly sliced

3 medium to small potatoes thinly sliced

Sauce Method

First, place red and green lentils and 2 cups of stock into a pot, bring to boil, simmer for 40 mins, stirring occasionally, add water if all stock dries up. Once cooked set aside.

Next, in a food processor, pulverize the cashew nuts with 1 cup of stock and coconut milk. Set aside.

Next in a separate pan, saute (with olive oil) the onion till transparent, add garlic, ginger, chili and cook till fragrant, finally add chopped tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper.

Now, add the tomato mixture to the blender with the cash nut mixture and pulverize till smooth. pour over the cooked lentils, add tinned brown lentils and simmer over heat till mixture thickens.

Now layer it,

In a casserole dish layer a layer of potatoes, next eggplant, tomatoes, sauce. Repeat till the dish is full. If you have leftovers, then layer another dish :).

Bake in oven at 200° for 40 to 50 mins.

Take out of oven, allow to cool.. Then eat it!! I served mine with chopped Chinese cabbage. full eggplant

Love and happiness,

Katri x

 

 

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

A mushroom walks into a bar..

Bartender looks up an says “we don’t serve your kind in here”

Mushroom “Why not? I’m a fun guy”.. Fungi

What’s winter without a hearty pasta dish.. mushroom pasta

Ingredients! 

  • 2 cups of soaked cashews
  • 3 cups of veg stock
  • 400g of brown cap mushrooms (sliced or quartered)
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 a cup of thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 cups of pre-cooked gluten free pasta spirals

Method!

  • First, place soaked cashews and 2 cups of veg stock into blender and pulse into a smooth paste, set aside.
  • Next, heat oil in pan and saute onions till soft, add garlic and cook for a further 4 mins.
  • Add mushroom and cook until mushrooms are browning on edges.
  • Add cup of veg stock and simmer for 5 mins.
  • Next add the pasta, the sun-dried tomatoes, paprika and cashew paste.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mix and enjoy.

mushroom pasta1

Sneaky tip: if you put your mushrooms in the sun they absorb the vitamin D and give you that extra boost. 

Katri x

 

Cabbage Soup (Diet?)

Cabbage soup 2

I watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty last night. The Rotten Tomatoes reviews aren’t very good for that movie, however, I find that most people who write reviews try too hard and only like complex art house movies and reject anything main stream or feel good. Like all those people who pretend to understand and respect rubbish art because they’re too afraid to say they have no idea whats going on.

Anyway, I love that movie, I love the long board scene. Mostly I just love this idea that an ordinary guy (girl) can suddenly be thrust into adventure. Always be open to a little adventure. It’s a big world out there, there’s always more.. always.

As I write this I’m enjoying cabbage soup for breakfast. I remember when I was a teenager the Cabbage Soup Diet was all the rage and making the rounds promising quick weight-loss. I even tried it, starved for a whole week. The actual soup is pretty nice though, watery, doesn’t leave you feeling full or bloated. I made a version in the slow cooker a couple of days ago. However, this time I’m enjoying it with a sneaky bit of garlic bread.

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 head of cabbage (chopped)
  • 1 cup of carrot (diced)
  • 1 cup of celery (diced)
  • 1 brown onion (diced)
  • 4 cups of veg stock
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • Touch of black pepper
  • Sprinkle of salt

Method

Cabbage soup

  • Put all the ingredients in the slow cooker on high for 6 hours

Keeps in the fridge for about 3 days.. If you want to do the actual diet:

Eat as much cabbage soup as you like! And..

  • Day 1 – Eat only fruits, except bananas
  • Day 2 – Start the day with a baked potato, then only non-starchy vegetables
  • Day 3 – Only fruits and vegetables (expect starchy ones or bananas)
  • Day 4 – Only bananas, yogurt (can be vegan) and milk (or alternative)
  • Day 5 – Only tomatoes and proteins
  • Day 6 – only veggies (no starchy ones) and proteins
  • Day 7 – Only fruits, vegetables and juices (no bananas or starchy vegetables)

Either-way, cabbage is loaded with nutrients and is super healthy so get it in ya!

cabbage

Katri x

 

 

Quinoa

Yum what a super food. I’ve had few days of relaxing and eating junk, however you can start to feel pretty slack after a while, weighed down and bloated. Now as a gluten-free vegan it’s not burgers and pizza that I’ve been feasting on, but processed rubbish and chips, you know the drill. Anyway university goes back next week, I’ve got heaps of work to do, kids to raise and gym workouts to get to.

Ninja Warrior is on at the moment, and if that’s not an inspiration to get back to healthy eating I don’t know what is. Anyway, I’m having quinoa with steam veg for lunch today, and as my main meal. Quinoa

Quinoa has twice the protein content of rice or barley, quinoa is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese. It also contributes useful levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fiber. And it’s a good gluten-free alternative to other grains. Nom nom. 

Ingredients 

  • Steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets.
  • 1 cup of red organic quinoa (follow the instructions on the pack, or double amount of salted water to the amount of quinoa, bring to boil and simmer for 10-15mins. I cook mine in vegetable stock, adds flavour).
  • 1/2 a sliced avocado
  • 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon.

Method

  • Bang it all together once all the elements are prepared. Organic-Quinoa-Red-Seeds-Scoop

Nom nom

Katri x

 

Butter Chick(en)pea

I got to work early this morning. Decided to have breakfast at my desk. Curry and potatoes. I’m trying out his new thing where I eat only 1 meal a day and maybe a fruit snack or something in-between.

The discussions around the office this morning where related to a young lady who was killed at the hands of her partner. With comments like this floating around:

“So I hate to say this, but have you seen the pictures of that girl, she looks much older, pulling duck faces and dressing inappropriately”

Which got the reply:

“There’s always a reason”

Comments like this aren’t uncommon when females are brutally murdered, raped or maimed. People start looking at them with a critical eye, trying to find some reason that they might be responsible for their own demise. As though, somehow, murder, rape and acid attacks are less severe if someone was “asking for it”. Similar comments where expressed last week when a woman was raped and murdered in Princess Park Melbourne.

“Why was she walking on her own, how irresponsible”.

These might not be the sentiments of the news coverage or the people who work in protective industries, but it is the sentiments I hear from everyday people. Anyway, call it out.

We can’t force progress. Attitudes, ignorance and opinions change with time and exposure. What we can do is warm our souls and bellies with yummy food. This Butter Chick(en)pea was really great even though the pics make it look a little gluggish. 🙂 Butter Chicken1

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 large brown onion (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped ginger
  • 3 tablespoons of minced garlic (or a few cloves crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • 1 tin of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 cup of cashews (soaked and blended to create a rough paste)
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 2 cups of any chopped veg you like (I used zucchini)

Let’s Cook!

  • Heat the oil in a pan, once hot saute the onion until it is soft. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute more.
  • Next add all the spices, garam masala, turmeric, coriander, cumin, chili and cardamon pods, stir until fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes and water. Scrape the pan to make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom. bring to the boil then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Pour all the ingredients into a blender from the pan, with the cashews and blend until smooth.
  • Return the blended sauce to the pan, add the coconut milk, and sugar and chickpeas and veg, heat till happy with the state of veg.. Serve! Butter Chicken2

Katri x

Eat your Veggies.. if you’re game.

Today I was sitting at work and listening to a conversation in the tea room about people’s diets. Diets seem awfully exhausting. Weighing your meals, eating pre-packed processed junk (disguised as health food), low carb, low sugar, one girl is eating only bacon and eggs for a whole week. Apparently encouraged by her personal trainer (no doubt a self proclaimed nutrition expert who lives on a solid diet of animal parts and the occasional avocado).

Now this is all well and good. More power to you. But what I find alarming and increasingly making it’s way around the diet grape vines is the demonetisation of fruits and veggies. Some claiming they won’t eat any fruits because they contain too much sugar, bananas? a complete no no. Avocado and nuts are too fattening and should be excluded. Today I was told that pumpkin and carrots are out, way too many carbs and sugar. There goes my last two days of eating carrot, ginger and pumpkin soup, thought the worst that could happen was I’d turn a balmy shade of orange. Potatoes (as you’ve probably already heard) is way out there with other untouchables. Poor guy who only ate potatoes for a year and lowered his blood pressure, cholesterol and increased his overall health, if only he’d known how dangerous they were when he started.

I’m no expert, but you don’t have to have a PhD in nutrition to know that fruits and veggies contain vital vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Known to fight cancer and are encouraged as a part of a healthy diet. I’ve never heard someone say that their Doctor told them to cut back on fruit and veg and replace it with a protein shake.

Of-course, I eat a plant based diet so apart from my legumes and occasional sweet, it’s fruit and veg that make up the bulk. But for those of you who don’t, go pick up an apple (or two), go for a walk, relax, throw away the scales and enjoy the sunshine on your skin.

Let’s stop the war on fruits and veggies! 

Capture
I even made this awesome pic, thanks paint shop pro!

And, always be suspicious when someone’s out to make a buck. 

Katri x

Beet, Potato and Leek Soup

At the beginning of this year, I decided that in 2017 I would take a break from social media. So I deleted my Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter… Well, that’s all I had. I thought I wouldn’t last a week. Missing all my friend’s food, animal and passionate posts about what everyone else is doing wrong and they’re getting right. But, as it turns out, I haven’t really missed it at all. It’s forced me to engage with people in real-time and by real-time, I mean face to face. I do feel a little out of the loop though, the ole “details are on facebook” no longer applies to me and I actually have to go out of my way to find out things others can just check on their feeds. Determined not to give though.

Although I left in an attempt to be more productive with my time, I’ve actually found that really I just find new things to distract myself with. Mostly, however, it feels like a good move, I feel private.

I Know the weather is still warm but it’s good to get a few hearty soup recipes under the belt for winter. This is my little twist on the popular potato and leek soup. My secret twist is… I added beets, ssshhhh.

beetsoup5.jpg

Soup Ingredients

  • 4 medium brushed potatoes
  • 2 large beets
  • 1 medium leek (sliced)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of veg stock powder
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of soy or almond milk
  • A handful of chopped chives
  • 1 fresh squeezed lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of Nuttelex

Let’s Cook!

Potato and Beet Prep

  • Turn on oven to 250° (fan forced).
  • Wash the potatoes and beets, wrap in aluminium foil and place in the oven for around 1 1/2 hours or until the potatoes feel soft.
  • Once ready, remove the skin off the potatoes and beets (it shuld come away easily once they are cooked) and put aside. beetsoup2

Soup

  • Melt two tablespoons of Nuttelex in a fry-pan on a medium heat, once the Nuttelex has melted add sliced leeks and saute the leeks until they are soft.
  • Next add the garlic and saute that with the leeks for about 5mins.
  • Next add the veg stock and 1 cup of water, allow the leeks, garlic and stock to simmer for around 10mins.
  • Next place the cooked beets and potatoes in a large saucepan with the 1 1/2 cups of milk and mash the them together till the potatoes are well mashed and combined with the milk (the beets will stay a little chunky)
  • Throw in the chives and leek mixture along with an extra cup of water, juice for a whole squeezed lemon and salt and pepper (to taste).
  • Whisk the soup for a minute with a hand held beater or processor but not too long so it still has some chunky beats.

All done, serve with crusty gluten-free bread or just on it’s own. I added some chilli powder to mine.. YUM! Everything taste better with heat!

 

Cocoa Pops and Honey Crackles

I just went to the clothes line to collect my lovely clean white sheets. Such warm weather and great for drying. Managed to wash all the sheets. The only thing about the nice the weather is all the birds are about enjoying the sunshine too. And as a result, my clean white sheets are splattered with grey and brown poop. Nevermind, I’ll just scrape it off. I mean, bird poo is goodluck right?

Anyway, it’s also great weather for enjoying some sweet treats. I made some cocoa pops and honey crackles in practice for the next primary school fair. Kids loved them, adults ate them and the rest are going to school in lunch boxes. Just make sure everyone brushes their teeth.  crackles1

Cocoa Crackles Ingredients

  • 4 cups of rice puffs or rice bubbles
  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 250g of copha

Let’s Make!

  • In a large bowl mix the rice puffs, icing sugar, cocoa powder and coconut. Set aside.
  • Melt the copha over medium heat in a small saucepan
  • Pour the melted copha over the rice puff mixture and mix in well
  • Scoop the mixture into cupcake containers
  • Place in the fridge for 20mins to cool and set

Done!  crackles2

Honey Joys Ingredients

  • 4 cups of cornflakes
  • 1/3 cup of white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 90g of Nuttalex

Let’s Make!

  • Pre-heat oven at 180°
  • In a small saucepan, on medium heat, melt the Nuttalex, sugar and honey. Bring to the boil till all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has bubbled
  • In a large bowl mix the melted mixture with the cornflakes, till well coated
  • Scoop into cupcake containers and place in the oven for 10mins
  • take out and leave to harden and cool

Eat!  crackles3

Health and Happiness, 

Katri x

 

 

 

 

Choc Peppermint Patties

A quick easy recipe today I’ve been dying to try. I just love Peppermint and so does my daughter. We got a little messy after school, covered in chocolate and dough. However, got there in the end and the final product was very moreish and yummy.

Why not make some before the US election to soften the blow.. “Well at least we made choc peppermint patties”.

Enjoy!mint1.jpg

Patties Ingredients

  • 500g of icing sugar
  • 100g of Nuttelex (soft but not melted)
  • 3 tablespoons of glucose syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of natural peppermint essence
  • 200g of dark chocolate

Make!

  • Place the icing sugar, Nuttelex, syrup and peppermint essence into a mixer
  • Mix on low/medium until the mixture has formed into a dough
  • Cut the dough into small sections and form the pieces into small ovals and place on a tray
  • Place the tray in the freezer for 20mins (this will help them firm up, ready for the chocolate)
  • Next.. Melt the chocolate (place ceramic bowl with chocolate in hot water to melt gently)
  • Finally, the fun part, take the patties out of the freezer, coat them in the chocolate, place back onto the tray, place the tray in the fridge to cool..

Then eat! Or save them for the election.. 

Health and Happiness

Katri x