Vegan Pumpkin Soup

Warms the soul as well as the belly!

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

    200g butternut pumpkin
    4 large carrots
    125g can coconut cream
    4 fresh sage leaves
    1 sprig fresh rosemary
    1 litre vegetable stock
    Chives to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and roast the pumpkin and carrots until soft and golden. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. Place the roasted pumpkin and carrot, sage, rosemary, stock and coconut cream in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, place the mixture in a large bowl or saucepan and blend with a stick blender until smooth.
  3. Serve hot with chives on top.

Pie Maker Savoury Muffins

After a recent baking spree for night shift, I can now truly appreciate why people are going nuts over these pie makers!

You’d be surprised at what people can create in such a short space of time with one of these (a real bargain considering they’re only $29 from Kmart). For some epic recipe ideas, definitely look up the Australian Kmart pie maker recipe group on Facebook!

As part of my experimentation, I made an old recipe of mine, a cross between a muffin and a frittata – a fruffin if you will (because mufftata sounds a bit risky).

I made two different flavours of these by changing the spice, otherwise the base recipe is the same!

Ingredients (makes 12)

Method

  1. Turn on the pie maker.
  2. Beat the eggs, then add the milk, flour, yogurt and spice mix and stir well to combine.
  3. Place spinach leaves at the base of the pie mould, then pour 1/8th cup of filling mixture on top. Place a small piece of cheese, then add another dollop of filling mixture to cover.
  4. Cook in the pie maker until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes). These will cook more evenly the more full the mould is.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge if they don’t all get eaten!

Nacho Average Burrito

Here’s one for the meal prep list for vegetarian burritos on demand!

Ingredients 

  • 1 can mixed beans
  • 1 large red capsicum, chopped
  • 200g mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 large kale leaves, deveined and chopped
  • 200g fetta cheese, crumbled
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 1 packet wraps +/- salad leaves

I mix the beans, capsicum, mushrooms, kale, fetta and tomatoes until well combined, then divide into air-tight containers and freeze until needed. Then just defrost the mixture, decant any water that may have been produced in the defrosting process, and wrap in your wrap (I also add lettuce or baby spinach and sometimes avocado for a bit of freshness just before serving!).

Carrot and Parsnip Gratin

After I made my amazing mushroom cauliflower sauce, I remembered I had bought some parsnips from the market. Time to make gratin!

Ingredients (serves 2 as above)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C. Lightly grease a baking dish with olive oil.
  2. Grate the carrot and parsnips. Mix with the sauce and pour into the dish.
  3. Sprinkle with quinoa flakes and then mozzarella. Bake until cheese is melted and golden (approx 20 minutes).

Creamy Cauliflower Mushroom Sauce

  

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salt-reduced stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 400g mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium head of cauliflower
  • 2 sprigs each of tarragon, parsley, thyme and 2 large sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup light cooking cream

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Break up the cauliflower into small florets and baking until soft and starting to brown (30-40 minutes).
  3. Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat with a small amount of olive oil. Place the herbs, mushrooms and 1/2 cup stock in the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms soft and half the liquid evaporated (approximately 30 minutes).
  4. Drain the remaining liquid from the pot. Place the liquid, cauliflower, remaining stock and cream into a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot with the mushrooms and stir until well combined. Serve with whatever takes your fancy (like roast chicken with kale and spinach as above!).

Best Ever Veggie Patties

What do you get when you mix protein-rich chickpeas, nutty LSA and a tasty range of vegetables from the market? Some of the best veggie patties I’ve ever made!

Ingredients (makes 12) 

  • 100g pumpkin
  • 100g sweet potato
  • 1/2 small head broccoli
  • 150g baby spinach
  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup LSA (linseed, sunflower seed, almond meal)
  • 1 large egg
  • herbs from the garden – sage, thyme, parsley, chives, tarragon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Chop the pumpkin and sweet potato into small pieces and roast until golden and soft (approximately 30 minutes).
  3. Place the roast pumpkin and potato, broccoli, spinach, chickpeas and herbs into a food processor and process until combined. Add the egg and LSA, and mix well.
  4. Heat a large frypan over medium heat with a small amount of olive oil. Roll 2-3 tablespoons of mixture into balls, place onto the pan and flatten with the back of a spatula. Lightly brown both sides  (don’t cook all the way through).
  5. Transfer the patties to a lined baking tray and bake until firm (approximately 30 minutes). Serve as veggie burgers, as part of a buddha bowl, or as a delicious snack straight from the fridge!

Raspberry Chia Sauce

I went to cooking school in Paris. While I was there, we learned how to make “Canard avec fruites rouge” (duck with red fruits), which was essentially a pan fried duck with amazing raspberry sauce. In my usual habit of trying to recreate things, I tried to make my own raspberry sauce, but with a slightly thicker texture – and so this raspberry ‘jam’ was born. Note that it is supposed to be tart like cranberry sauce rather than sweet like strawberry jam, so don’t get a fright if you put in on your toast and something tastes a little odd!

Ingredients 

  • 200g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/8 cup white chia seeds
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tsb balsamic vinegar (flavoured ones work well here, I used fig and guava with success)

Method

  1. Using a fork, gently mash the raspberries. Add the water and vinegar and stir to combine.
  2. Add the chia seeds and continuously stir until starting to thicken. Put aside in the fridge for 5 minutes and stir again (if too thick at this stage, add small amounts of water until it thins out). Return to the fridge until ready to serve.

For example – roasted turkey with spinach, slaw and a sweet potato and pumpkin smash! 

Honey Mustard Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t throw out your unwanted pumpkin seeds – turn them into this tasty snack instead!

Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp honey

Just multiply the recipe for bigger quantities, works a treat! I’ve also thrown in buckwheat groats and tigernuts to increase the volume before and they taste amazing. 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Toss the pumpkin seeds with the honey and mustard, then roast until golden – be vigilant as these can burn quickly, then only need 8-10 minutes max!

Roasted Cauli Salad with Tahini Turmeric Sauce

Another easy meal-prep option that’s vegan and gluten friendly, packed full of nutrition with a hint of spice!

Ingredients (serves 4) 

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 200g pumpkin
  • 4 large kale leaves, washed and de-veined, then finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup cranberries
  • 1/8 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/2 cup plain coconut yogurt (can use plain Greek instead)
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp turmeric

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Wash and chop the cauliflower, eggplant and pumpkin into similar sized pieces. Roast the cauliflower and eggplant on the same tray until slightly charred around the edges (about 40 minutes), and roast the pumpkin until soft and golden (about 30-40 minutes).
  3. Make the yogurt sauce by mixing the yogurt, tahini and turmeric until well combined.
  4. To assemble the salad, place the kale on the bottom, then top with the vegetables, then add the yogurt sauce, and sprinkle the almonds and cranberries on top.

Roast Pumpkin and Eggplant Bake

This is one of my favourite meal-prep dishes ever, and I have been known to exist off it when I’m on a week of night shift. This is vegetarian soul-food at it’s finest – packed full of veggies and unbelievably tasty, plus easily adaptable to suit the vegans, dairy-free and coeliacs among us!

Ingredients (serves 4) 

  • 250g kent pumpkin
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 tin of diced tomatoes
  • 4 fresh basil leaves or 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 clove of garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup salt-reduced stock (use either veggie or chicken  – use a gluten free stock to make this coeliac friendly!)
  • 1 yellow capsicum
  • 2 large carrots
  • 150g bag of baby spinach leaves (can also substitute for green kale)
  • shredded mozzarella for sprinkling on top (portion dependent on how cheesy you like it, can be substituted for dairy-free cheese instead) 

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C. Slice the pumpkin into 1cm thick slices and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake until just soft (about 20 minutes – continue the rest of the recipe in the meantime!).
  2. Prepare the sauce: Place the tomatoes, stock, garlic and herbs into a mixing bowl and stir until well combined. If you like your sauce thicker, you can also add 1 tbsp tomato paste or substitute the tinned tomatoes for passata instead. 
  3. Prepare the rest of the veggies: Slice the eggplant width ways into discs. Dice or slice the capsicum into small strips. Also slice the carrots length ways into small discs.
  4. In an oven-proof baking dish, start by laying down a layer of eggplant slices. Top with the spinach leaves, then a layer of pumpkin, followed by the capsicum and carrots, then half the sauce and a small sprinkle of cheese. Repeat the process with another layer of eggplant, then spinach, pumpkin, capsicum and carrot, with the rest of the sauce spooned over the top and sprinkled with cheese to your liking.
  5. Bake until the eggplant is soft and the cheese on top is golden brown (about 20-30 minutes). Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Note that even when it has been cooked, the eggplant skin can be a little tough to slice, so go slowly with a big knife! Also feel free to experiment with different types of cheese – I have used combinations of Jarlsberg, Edam, feta, mozzarella, ricotta, goats cheese and provolone with great success!