baking, BBQ accompaniments, cafe food, Cardioprotective food, Easy Recipes, Healthy dinner ideas, Home cooked, Mid week lunches, Prepare ahead of time, vegetarian

My Cheat loaf … not for cheat days!!

This thing, this loaf, is not a cheat day meal – its a vegetarian meat loaf comprised of chickpeas, black eye beans and vegetables. I know I make a lot of loaf style things and its just because they are easy to make. Baking something is so easy to do in between emails and laundry, it basically cooks itself once the oven timer has been set!

I came across this recipe on the Connoisseurus Veg blog and its become popular with my home crew who usually love their meat. I didn’t have all the ingredients that Alissa used so this one is more basic that her recipe, I didn’t have flaxseeds or the liquid smoke either – it was a bit fancy for me. But still successful – particularly with the brothers and my mom who are usually huge meat fans. I also substituted out one of the cans of chickpeas for black eye beans which Edgell have finally started to be sell here in Aus now. I first tried these when I lived in the states and I loved them. They are a good source of protein and fibre and mix in well with the chickpeas in terms of flavour and legumes are usually quite economical as well. The other thing I like about this recipe is that it is super simple; all you have to do is fill your food processor and blitz until everything is a bit crumbly and broken down to a mince consistency.

You’ll need:

Food processor – large capacity – or you could use a small one but just blend it in batches.

1 x400g tin of chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 x400g tin of black eye beans drained and rinsed

2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 onion, 2 carrots & 2 celery sticks … all diced. I chop my veggies a bit larger so that some of them are still visible in the loaf once its cooked.
Salt & Pepper to season – you could add in extra paprika or other herbs if you like.

2 Tablespoons each of Olive Oil, Worcester sauce, Low Sodium Soy, Tomato Paste
1/4 cup Soy Milk or dairy alternative – increase to 1/2 cup if mixture is too dry after blending.

Maple Glaze Ingredients – in a small bowl, mix together
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon Worcester sauce
1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika

Once the mix is blended, place into a lined loaf tin, top with tomato maple glaze and bake for 40 mins at 180 degrees. This will be quite soft so I would recommend eating it when its cooled for awhile, you could bake it in the morning and let it sit for bit.

I’ve taken to serving it with my other side dishes like some stirfried tofu or asian greens or sometimes have it with a green salad. Its even nice cold. My little brother who I think is actually a genius has taken to shallow frying it for an extra crunchy element, and served with polenta. And I also think it might be good with a serve of sweet potato fries *drools*!

Overall, its versatile. Give it a go and let me know your thoughts on it.. on a meatfree monday perhaps?

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#winter, Easy Recipes, Home cooked, Mid week lunches, Money Saving, Prepare ahead of time, Soup

on saturdays we make soup

Its been hard to find the time to sit down and write. In between work and gym, I’ve been doing some online studies. I am doing an online Diploma of Business and Entrepreneurship which has been good so far and gives me some good things to think about outside of hospital life. I’ve still been cooking but just not writing so much. So today I’ve decided to share my usual Saturday morning routine when I’m at home. Lately on Saturday mornings I’ve been making soup.

Here are my top four go to soup recipes for you… I’m going to put these into an PDF recipe booklet with some of my top healthy veggie bowl recipes and will share that link soon.

  1. CARROT & LENTIL SOUP (I did this for LIVE BELOW THE LINE)
  2. GINGER, TOMATO & TUMERIC LENTIL SOUP
  3. PORK & FENNEL MINESTRONE
  4. PUMPKIN & COCONUT (VEGAN)

1. CARROT & LENTIL (aka LIVE BELOW THE LINE soup) – a classic soup recipe you need if, like me you are trying to eat well but on a budget. I did this back in May when I did the Live Below the Line Challenge where you try to feed yourself on less than $10 a week or $2 a day. It was interesting but I kinda felt comforted by the simple flavours of this soup, so its become a regular recipe now.

You’ll need:

1 cup of red lentils
2 cups water, with a stock cube added
2 medium carrots, grated roughly
1 diced tomato
1 diced onion

Method:

Place all lentils, onion and stock in a medium pot and bring to the boil until lentils are soft and well cooked. This should take about 20 mins. Then add in the carrot and tomato and bring to the boil. Simmer on for another 10-15 and then serve with salt and pepper.

 

2. GINGER, TOMATO & TURMERIC & LENTIL SOUP

You’ll need:

1 cup red lentils
2 cups water plus an extra 2 cups for later
2 stock cubes
2 medium carrots
2 diced onions
1 Tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 diced tomato
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 Tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Method: In a medium pot, gently sauté the diced onions in a small amount of olive oil. When they are translucent, add in the ginger and turmeric powder and fry together for a minute. Add in the tomato paste, the stock, and the lentils.
Boil this for about 15-20 minutes then add in the carrots and tomatoes. Boil steadily on a medium heat and then reduce the heat. Add parsley and season to taste.
Serve hot.
PORK AND FENNEL MINESTRONE – This totally reminds me of a Bourke street bakery sausage roll. Next time I should pop a puff pastry lid on it.

Ingredients

150gms pork sausage or mince seasoned with salt and pepper and rolled into smaller than teaspoon sized meatballs
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds, bruised and toasted
1 bunch of parsley
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tin of diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 celery stalks chopped
1 large carrot chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini chopped
1 cup elbow pasta

Method

Dice the vegetables and finely chop parsley and its stalks
In a medium pot, gently sauce the onion and fennel seed. Add in the celery, carrot and cook until soft. Then add in the meatballs, tomato paste, diced tomatoes and zucchini.

Cover with stock and add in the pasta. Bring to the boil until the pasta is cooked.

Season with salt and pepper and serve with crusty bread.

4. PUMPKIN & COCONUT

Super easy to make, I’m sure we all have a recipe for this.

1 butternut pumpkin (about 700gms) cut into large squares and skin removed
2 cups water
1 stock cube, vegetarian
3 – 4 slices of fresh Ginger or 1-2 cloves Garlic (you can choose your own adventure here)
1 x 400ml can light coconut milk

Method

Place the pumpkin cubes into a large wide based pot.
Boil the water and dissolve the stock cube in it. Pour over the pumpkin and cover with lid. Depending on how much pumpkin you use, you may need to add more water, but be careful not to add too much or the soup may end up a bit watery.

Boil water until the pumpkin cubes are soft. Cool for 30mins.

Blend or use a hand mixer to puree the pumpkin. Replace in the pot and put it back on the stove. Add coconut milk and gently heat until warm but do not boil as the coconut milk might split.

Serve topped with crunchy croutons, smashed crackers or dry roasted edamame beans.

ALL SOUPS WILL SERVE ABOUT 6 so invite your friends around 🙂

 

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