Poached Eggplant Stir-fry with Vegan Pesto Hummus

Eggplant can be quite difficult to prepare without soaking it in oil or some kind of sauce, which I don’t always want. I’ve developed this technique of cooking it quickly, without all the oil, but all the flavor of a stir-fry.

This is a quick and easy vegan meal that I like to cook myself when my boyfriend feels like a ham and cheese sandwich! He hates eggplant, so I always cook it when he fancies some dead animal for lunch.

Ingredients For Stir-fry:
  • 1 lb of eggplant (aubergine)
  • A handful of bean sprouts
  • A handful of snow peas (mange tu)
  • Italian spice mix
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Half a small onion finely chopped
  • Dried chilli peppers (optional for a spicier flavor)
  • Ghee or avocado oil
Ingredients For Vegan Pesto Hummus:
  • 1 lb of garbanzo beans, preferably sprouted
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts
  • Large bunch of fresh basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Instructions:
  • To prepare the hummus in advance, you can either use raw sprouted garbanzo beans, cooked un-sprouted soaked beans, or sprouted cooked beans. To cook them, simply boil for 10-15 mins.
  • Put all the hummus ingredients in a blender and mix until it looks like hummus!
  • If you are not a vegan, add a couple of good spoonfuls of Parmesan cheese to make it a full on Pesto sauce.
  • To prepare the eggplant, chop into even slices.
  • Put a little avocado oil, onion and spices into a frying pan and brown the eggplant stirring frequently to avoid burning. Do this for about 5 mins.
  • When the oil has dried up, fill the pan with about 1cm of water, almost covering the eggplant. Allow to simmer uncovered until the water has evaporated, poaching the eggplant.
  • When all the water has dried up, add a little more avocado oil, along with the bean sprouts and snow peas. Stir-fry for about 3 mins, gently tossing the ingredients.
  • Serve with a fresh dollop of hummus on top!

Asian Sprouted Pea Soup

This recipe has a double dose of pea goodness, with sprouted peas and pea sprouts. Yes, they’re different things. I really enjoy this fresh and healthy twist on pea soup, mixed with an Asian porridge. It’s very filling, full of vitamins, antioxidants, protein and minerals.

If you’re not sure how to sprout your own peas, here’s a post I wrote about How To Sprout Peas. You can look up online how to do it from many online sources. But in short: Sprouted peas are dried peas that have been soaked and sprouted in darkness so that they have small roots sticking out of them. The process changes the nutritional value of the peas and makes them easier on your digestive system. Basically, if beans make you toot, you should be sprouting them.

Pea Sprouts are the larger shoots that start to produce leaves, opposed to the pea itself, like alfalfa sprouts or mustard cress.

Ingredients:
  • Half a cup of broken jasmine rice
  • A cup of dried organic peas (sprouted in advance)
  • Fresh pea sprouts (If you can’t get these, you can use mustard cress, water cress or even alfalfa sprouts.)
  • Half a chopped onion or dried onion flakes
  • Small piece of finally chopped ginger
  • Avocado Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cloves of finally chopped garlic or garlic powder
  • Sesame Oil
  • Soy Sauce
Instructions:
  • In a large saucepan, gently saute the garlic, onions and ginger in avocado oil, adding salt and pepper to taste. When browned, fill the saucepan with water.
  • Add the rice to the pan and bring to a boil. Then simmer for an hour, topping up the water as needed to keep the porridge from drying out. You can cover the saucepan if you leave about an inch or so open to vent the pan, to prevent it from boiling over.
  • After the rice has turned into porridge, add the sprouted peas and continue to simmer. I like to keep the sprouted peas crunchy, so about 5-10 mins cook time for the peas works for me. If you’d prefer softer peas, add them earlier and cook them through for about 30-45 mins. It will also make your soup greener.
  • Continue to add water as needed to keep the mixture at a soup consistency.
  • Once you’ve cooked the peas to your preference, you’re ready to serve.
  • But before taking the soup off heat, add a few large handfuls of pea sprouts and mix in. I like to serve immediately like this, so that the pea sprouts heat up but haven’t lost their raw, fresh crunchiness too much.
  • Garnish with more raw pea sprouts and drizzle sesame oil and soy sauce to taste.
  • A non-vegan addition for vegetarians is to add a couple of organic eggs a couple of minutes before you take the soup off the heat. Stir the eggs into the soup for a creamy, thick consistency.

 

Chocolate Oat Bites

I like to make my own naughty treats because at least I know that all the ingredients are real and I can adapt them to suit my needs. This recipe is diary and wheat free. You can eliminate the nuts and substitute almond milk for coconut milk to make it nut free. (see my Vegan Seed Bites recipe). This recipe makes about 24 pieces, at around 2×2″. Keep in the fridge.

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups of oats
  • 1 cup of sultanas or raisins
  • 1/2 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup of hazelnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 large bars of dark dairy free cooking chocolate (or regular dark cooking chocolate / or carob chocolate)
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to about 200c/400F.
  • Mash 2 bananas in a mixing bowl.
  • Add oats, all nuts, seeds and fruit to bowl.
  • Melt coconut oil and golden syrup in a pan slowly until both are runny.
  • Poor mixture in bowl along with almond milk and mix thoroughly.
  • Place mixture in a large tin, lined with grease proof paper, or parchment paper.
  • Bake for 25 mins. Oat Bites without the chocolate
  • Let stand to cool for 30 mins.bain-marie
  • Prepare a bain marie. A bain marie is best for melting chocolate as it is easy to accidentally burn chocolate. To do this, boil some water in a saucepan. Put a heat safe bowl, like Pyrex over the top of the boiling water and place the pieces of chocolate into the bowl. It should take just a few minutes for the chocolate to melt completely.
  • Poor the melted chocolate over the cooled oat bites. Allow to chill in fridge for 30 mins, then cut into chunks and serve!Chocolate Oat Bites
  • These bites are really rich. The dark chocolate is very powerful. If you prefer, substitute the dark chocolate with milk chocolate, if you’re okay with dairy. I’ve used Green & Black’s Organic 70% Dark Chocolate to make this treat before, which turned out rather well too.

Vegan, Nut Free Seed Bites

A healthy, filling treat packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber and yumminess!

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of Oats
  • 2 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of sultanas
  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup of flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup of hemp hearts
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
Instructions:
  • Mash one banana in a bowl. Add oats, all the seeds and sultanas.
  • Heat golden syrup and coconut oil on low until runny.
  • Poor coconut milk, coconut oil and syrup over oats and seeds.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • If the mixture seems runny, add more oats.
  • Pack mixture tightly into a baking tin lined with grease proof paper, or parchment paper.
  • Bake at 180c for 30 mins. Let sit for 30 mins before cutting and serving.

Yellow Bean & Watercress Noodle Soup

This is a great, light meal that I often have for breakfast or lunch, sometimes dinner when I’m being lazy. It takes about 5 mins to make and is also pretty cheap to put together. You can easily make it vegan by removing the eggs from the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Organic Watercress
  • Yellow bean paste (available at most Asian markets)
  • Soy Sauce (for taste only)
  • Sesame Oil
  • Ground Pepper
  • 1-2 free range organic eggs
  • Rice noodles
  • Water

Instructions:

  • Boil at least 1 inch of water in a saucepan. Amount can vary based on how much soup you want, but you need at least enough to cover the noodles.
  • Add between a teaspoon and tablespoon of yellow bean paste, to taste. I like a lot of liquid, so I put about 2 inches of water in the saucepan and a heaping tablespoon of paste.
  • Let the paste dissolve, then add rice noodles. The noodles double in thickness, so don’t over estimate how many you need.
  • Simmer for 1 minute. Then turn down heat until the water is hardly bubbling. Crack eggs straight into the mix and let them poach for 1-2 minutes. If you like your eggs soft, only cook for 1 min and remove from heat before the eggs are fully cooked, as the heat from the soup will continue to cook them for a few minutes, while the soup is too hot to consume.
  • Break up the watercress loosely and place in the bottom of your serving bowl.
  • Carefully pour your noodle and soup mix over the watercress. The heat from the soup will cook the watercress perfectly in the bowl.
  • Add pepper, soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.

Leek & Potato Soup

This is a vegan recipe that you can adapt for vegetarians by adding dairy, and for meat eaters, by adding bacon off cuts. I’ll include notes in the description for these options, but the basic recipe is diary and meat free. This batch will serve about 6-8 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium onions
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 large leaks
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 2 tbsps Coconut Oil
  • Salt
  • Finely ground white pepper
  • Water
  • (A splash of milk or cream, and 1/4 lbs butter for added vegetarian option.)
  • (1/2 lb of bacon off cuts for meat eaters.)
  • Bread for croutons

Instructions:

Sweating Leeks and Onions
Sweating Leeks and Onions
  • Heat coconut oil in large pot. Chop garlic and onions finely and sweat in oil for a couple of minutes.
  • If you are adding meat, chop it finely and add it to the mix now. Brown gently before moving to the next step.
  • Chop leeks finely and add to onions and garlic. Sweat leeks until they start to go soft.
  • Add boiling water to the mixture, covering all the ingredients in the pot.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Bring to the boil, then add finely chopped potatoes to the mix.
  • Bring to a boil again, then reduce heat and partially cover with a lid. Allow to simmer for about an hour. Stir occasionally. Make sure to add more water if it seems like the liquid is evaporating. I may add up to 4 pints of water while I’m cooking. Add less for a thicker soup.
  • You can cook this for more time if want. I like to leave it on low and cook it for a couple of hours usually. I go away and do other things while it is cooking. You can cook it in a slow cooker if you like too.
  • Your soup is now ready. For non vegans, you can now add a dash of dairy to the soup to make it creamier. Just pop in the extra dairy to taste and stir on low heat.
  • I prefer a chunky soup, but if you prefer a smooth soup, simply blend the soup now before serving.
  • Chop bread in to tiny cubes and gently shallow fry in oil to make croutons.

Vegan Asian Noodle Soup

This is a fusion recipe inspired by my love of Singapore Rice Noodles, Pho, Miso and stir fried veggies. Add egg if you aren’t Vegan, and meat if you aren’t Vegetarian at all. Substitute the rice noodles for Ramen if you like too. Play with the soup stock based on your tastes. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Singapore Rice Noodles (fresh or dried)
  • 1 onion
  • Sprouting broccoli
  • Fried tofu
  • Miso stock or vegetarian soup stock
  • Soy Sauce
  • Ground Pepper
  • Water
  • Sesame Oil
  • Chili Sauce (optional)

Instructions:

Boil noodles for 1-2 minutes. They really don’t need long. So don’t walk away from them. Add Miso/vegetable stock to the water to taste.

Stir fry the chopped onion in oil, adding in broccoli and tofu. Splash with soy sauce and a little water to avoid burning without adding too much oil.

Serve noodles and stirfry in a large bowl. Add more soy sauce, pepper and chili sauce to taste.

Tips:

Buy fried tofu in an Asian fresh market. If you can’t get hold of it, you can use regular tofu from the grocery store. It has a different flavor and texture, but still makes a wonderful soup.

If you aren’t likely to use a lot of Miso stock for all your cooking needs, a way to cheaply and quickly make a batch of this soup without wasting money, is to use a cup-of-soup single serving packet instead. Here’s an Organic Miso Soup in a cup from Tesco, UK.

Mashed Potato Rosti with Hemp Heart Ratatouille

This is a quick and easy leftovers recipe that you can also make from scratch. Whenever I eat out at places where I know there will be too much food, I order mashed potatoes and save them for the next day. This is what I make with them. The ratatouille I make from scratch most of the time, but you can throw leftovers into it too. It takes about 20 mins to prepare and cook from scratch.

Ingredients:

  • One egg plant (aubergine)
  • 1-2 small zucchinis (courgettes)
  • One large heirloom tomato
  • Salt & Pepper as seasoning
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Potatoes
  • Hemp Hearts

Instructions for Mashed Potatoes:

Bring water to a boil, add a pinch of salt. Boil potatoes for 10 mins, until you can easily stick a fork through them. I prefer to make my own potatoes with skins still on. They’re more nutritious this way. But peel them  if you must. Drain. Mash with a fork.

Instructions for Rosti:

Form mashed potatoes into patties. Saute over medium heat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Turn once. Cook until brown. Serve.

Instructions for Ratatouille:

Dice egg plant, zucchini and tomato. Pan fry egg plant for a few minutes first, in coconut oil. When slightly browned, add in zucchini and tomato. The vegetables will start to cook into each other, with the tomato and zucchini providing plenty of juice to cook everything through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 10 mins. Sprinkle with hemp hearts, mix and serve.

Stir Fried Salad

One of my favorite meals that my mother used to make us growing up was stir fried cucumbers. You may find this strange, but salad actually tastes wonderful cooked! Here’s my spin on a Chinese style stir fried salad. The ingredients are mostly picked for their crunchiness, but if you want, you can add things like spinach to the mix. Anything you like really!

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cucumber or 2 baby cucumbers
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 cup of snow peas
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Basil

Instructions:

Cut all vegetables up into very small pieces/slices. The key to a good stir fry is cutting things up very small. This way, they cook very fast, leaving more flavor and crunchiness, and without over cooking the nutrition out of everything.

Heat oil. Saute chopped onion for a mintue before adding the rest of the vegetables to the mix. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes on high.

Add salt, pepper and fresh basil to taste.

Serve!

Fusion Asian Porridge

This recipe is a fusion between an Indian style Kitcheri and a Chinese style rice porridge, or “jok”. I love both dishes, and sometimes combine them to make the best of both.

Ingredients:

  • Cup of brown rice
  • Cup of Mung Dahl
  • Teaspoon of Turmeric
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Baby salad greens
  • 2 eggs (optional for non-vegans)
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy Sauce

Instructions:

Bring the rice and dahl to a boil in a large saucepan of water. Then let simmer for a couple of hours, keeping an eye on the mixture and topping it up with more water as it starts to thicken up. Don’t cover it completely, as it will over flow, but partially covering it will stop it steaming dry.

You can speed the process up by cooking it in a pressure cooker. It should take about 20-30 mins to make it this way.

Speed the process up either way by replacing the brown rice with white short-grain rice. But note that the brown rice provides more nutritional value, so is worth the wait if you have the time.

Add turmeric, salt and pepper as the mixture simmers.

In a frying pan, slowly saute the sunflower seeds in olive oil until golden brown, taking care to stir well so both sides of the seeds brown evenly. When browned, set aside to cool.

When the porridge is cooked, the rice should be broken down and the soup should be thick and milky. At this point, crack two eggs into the mixture and stir. If you’re vegan, just skip the egg part.

Once the egg is fully cooked, add lots of salad greens and remove from the heat. Fold the greens into the hot porridge allowing it to wilt gently. Don’t over cook it by leaving it on heat.

Serve the porridge hot, topping with sesame oil, sunflower seeds and soy sauce.

Enjoy!