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Tofu, mango + cashew sheet pan {gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free}

For me, the best thing about summer is mango season. We’ve had a lot more 40+ degree (Celcius!) days than I can ever remember having. It was virtually impossible to go anywhere near the kitchen when it was that hot. Cold mango and an ice pack on my forehead was the only cure.

You know how I mentioned there would be more gluten-free and vegan sheet pan meals coming up? Well, here’s your next one, and it’s best enjoyed with some basmati rice and a light drizzle of my mother-in-law’s (can I call her that?) homemade sweet chilli sauce – there’ll be more on that delightful sauce later.

While you’re here, I wanted to thank you for reading Kale Mary and following me on the journey so far. Can’t believe it’s been a year already. I can promise that there will be more to love like my fried cauliflower and sushi burgers (your fave recipes to date) in 2018 and beyond.

Tofu mango cashew sheet pan

Tofu, mango + cashew sheet pan {gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free}
Serves 3-4

2 tbsp + 4 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
150g organic, non-GMO tofu, cubed
1 cup raw cashews
1 brown onion (see note)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp curry powder
1 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
1 mango, skin removed and roughly chopped into large pieces
2 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
6 tuscan kale leaves, finely sliced

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp of orange juice, maple syrup, nigella seeds, turmeric powder and coconut oil and stir to combine.

Add tofu and cashews to coat with the marinade. Pour tofu, cashews and all the marinade sauce onto your baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes.

While the tofu is in the oven, gently sautee the onion over a low heat on the stove. Set aside once starting to brown.

Remove tray from oven and add onion, garlic powder, curry powder, ginger, mango, soy sauce, remaining 4 tbsp of orange juice and kale. Return to oven for 10-15 more minutes, ensuring the cashews don’t get too burnt.

Serve with some rice and sweet chilli sauce, or eat it as is without the carbs, topped with some freshly chopped herbs.

NOTE: You can replace the onion with 1 tbsp onion powder if you’d like to skip the sauteeing step.

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Chickpea and kale soup {gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, dairy-free}

So, it turns out I needed a holiday more than I realised. The good news is that I’m back.

One of my not-new-year resolutions (I don’t set new year’s resolutions) is to slow things down. Part of that means setting more realistic goals for myself. That means, I’m going to blog on my own terms rather than religiously every Sunday. I want to make sure I don’t lose the love, because for a while there, I did lose the love.

In the spirit of new beginnings, this chickpea and kale soup is the perfect way to kick start the year (AKA January, the Monday of the year). It has a surprising ingredient of rooibos tea, which has anti-inflammatory properties, has anti-aging powers, and is rich in calcium. I’ve used the tea as a face toner (true story!) and I immediately noticed a reduction in inflammation around spots and patches. I highly recommend rooibos tea for anyone suffering from inflammation in the body.

Speaking of things I love… I have discovered soy-free miso paste made from chickpeas and it has changed my life. I have been adding it to everything, like this soup. It can be very easy to consume a lot of soy products when you are living as a vegan, and I think it’s important to watch your consumption, and enjoy it in moderation.

Chickpea and kale soup

Chickpea and kale soup {gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, dairy-free}
Serves 4

1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tbsp white miso powder (I use Meru Miso)
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups rooibos tea
1 bay leaf
6 tuscan kale leaves, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp olive oil, to serve
1 tsp nutritional yeast flakes, to serve

Heat some oil in a saucepan and add brown onion. Cook 3-4 minutes until starting to brown. Add garlic and cook a further 2 minutes before adding the chopped celery.

Once celery softens and becomes fragrant, add cumin, paprika and white miso, and stir to combine.

Add chickpeas, stock, tea and bay leaf. Bring to the boil then simmer for around 10-15 minutes.

Next, add the kale, salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve in bowls and drizzle with a light olive oil and some nutritional yeast flakes.

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GF vegan nut loaf

I’ve been thinking about nut loaf for a while. I wanted to make one that was simple, didn’t involve too much pre-cooking, and didn’t involve too many ingredients. I think I’ve hit the nail on the head with this one. It’s perfect on its own, or with vegan gravy or tomato sauce. This, my friends, is a dish that makes good lunch leftovers.

Can you believe Christmas is next week? If I don’t write to you before then, happy holidays dear readers!

GF vegan nut loaf

GF vegan nut loaf
Makes 7-8 slices

200g brown mushrooms, blitzed in a food processor
1 brown onion, blitzed in a food processor
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup curly parsley, roughly chopped
4 sprigs fresh sage, roughly chopped
1 cup brazil nuts, blitzed in a food processor
1/2 cup cashew nuts, blitzed in a food processor
3 chia eggs (3 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 9 tbsp water and left to sit 10 mins)
3 cups brown rice, cooked
1/2 cup gf bread crumbs or rice crumbs
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Heat a little olive oil in a skillet. Add mushroom pieces and cook 5-8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add onion to same skillet with a touch more olive oil if needed. Cook until onion starts to caramelise then set aside with the mushrooms.

Place all ingredients including cooked onion and mushrooms into a large bowl and mix until combined well.

Spoon mixture into a loaf tin and place in the oven for around 40 minutes or until top is browned.

Let sit 5-10 mins before taking a spatula around the edges and flipping onto a serving plate.

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Easy vegan summer tostadas

Summer is here all right. In the furniture shipment for the house, a leather lounge was included. Of course, in the excitement to complete the puzzle of furnishing a unique living and lounge situation, I forgot that skin sticks to leather on 30 degree (Celsius) days. But hey, at least it looks good.

We’re up to the part of the year which I call the worst. Driving anywhere is not by any means pleasant and you can forget trying to get a car park at a shopping centre – unless you’re prepared to do three laps of the lot. Work is a nightmare. We close for two weeks and I’ll be taking an extra week off in January. Can’t wait. That’s if I make it to the 22nd. I need to do about six weeks’ worth of work in three. Thankfully a colleague has spared my ears the trauma of listing to the Christmas playlist she has enjoyed playing in the office for the last two Christmas seasons.

The one thing I like about this time of year? Summer fruit. There are mangoes everywhere, and I’ve been wanting to make these easy tostadas for the longest time. There’s no cooking time involved – only a short amount of prep-time. That’s what you want in summer.

Summer tostadas ingredientsSummer tostadasSummer tostadas 1

Easy vegan summer tostadas
Serves 3

4 limes, juiced
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp orange juice
1/4 cup coriander, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt
1 mango, finely diced
200g grape tomatoes, quartered
2 green spring onions, finely sliced
½ red onion, finely diced
1 red capsicum, finely diced
1 avocado, halved and sliced
Tostadas (crispy tortilla chips), as many as you want to eat

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add lime and orange juice, coriander, olive oil and salt. Stir to combine and adjust flavourings to your preference.

Add mango, tomatoes, onions, and capsicum and mix to ensure ingredients are coated well. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

Lay a couple of tostadas on a plate and top with marinated mixture. Add a slice of avocado and enjoy!

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Vegan summer palak paneer | Easy sheet pan dinner

I’ve been on a mission recently: to find vegan sheet pan dinners that can save me on weeknights. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been as easy as I thought it would be. There’s plenty of chicken sheet pan dinners, plenty of taco ones and plenty of nacho ones, but very few are vegan, and more interesting than roasted vegetables.

Sometimes I make the marinade from this recipe and turn it into a veganised palak paneer, which is what I started doing last week when I realised I could turn it into an easy sheet pan dinner. The first attempt wasn’t so great – I undercooked the mushrooms, burnt the marinade and added too much coconut milk. But every attempt since has been simply delicious. And guess what? It only takes 35 minutes.

This palak paneer is probably quite different to what you’ve seen and eaten. My take on the Indian classic is light, fresh and vibrant – the perfect food to enjoy on a hot summer’s day. The umami and saltiness of the marinade meets the sweetness of the red onion and cherry tomatoes.

Sheet pan palak paneer

Vegan summer palak paneer
Serves 2

200g organic, non-GMO tofu, sliced into rectangles
4 tbsp + 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes, divided
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup filtered water
1 red onion, halved and sliced
12 cherry tomatoes
100g baby spinach
3-4 tbsp coconut milk

Heat oven to 200 degrees C.

Place the tofu in a shallow bowl and add 4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt and water. Mix until combined well and tofu is coated.

Place the tofu on a greased oven tray. Add the red onion and cherry tomatoes, and place in the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove tray from the oven and add baby spinach to the pan. Don’t mix it through yet as it will wilt down in the oven.

After 10 more minutes of cooking time, remove tray and mix everything around. Gently push your spoon on the tomatoes – they should be soft enough that their juices ooze out.

Drizzle the coconut oil onto the pan and the ingredients, then sprinkle additional 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes and return the pan to the oven for a further 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve atop some fresh spinach on a bed of steamed basmati rice.

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Easy chana masala

If you couldn’t already tell, I’ve bitten off a little more than I can chew at the moment. Between work, appointments, ceramic classes, more ceramic classes, and seeing friends and family, I’m barely home at all. It’s also that time of year when you realise the new year starts in T minus 1.5 months.

I woke up not feeling motivated to do a post today, but after doing some spring cleaning and furniture rearranging (ok… more of pot plant rearranging), the motivation came to me.

Have I spoken here about my love for cast iron pans? I can’t believe it has taken me all these years of cooking to get onto the bandwagon. In the two months since my 12-inch skillet arrived, I’ve used my stainless saucepans all of three times, and that doesn’t include for cooking grains. Everything tastes better in it. Everything! How does that even happen? I don’t know, but I’m hooked.

Chana masala is one of my favourite Indian dishes. And I’ve been enjoying it even more with my trusted cast iron pan in tow. I know there are a lot of recipes for chana masala out there, so why does the interwebs need another one? Well, this one is the only one you’ll need and it’s so easy, you can whip it up on a weeknight after a long day. It’s a dish I’ve had on rotation every week lately for that very reason. It’s also harder for me to order this at an Indian restaurant now that I have making it at home down pat. I don’t feel heavy or lethargic after my home made version.

Chana masala

Easy chana masala
Serves 4

1 brown onion, diced
2-inch piece ginger, sliced into matchsticks
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp pink salt
1/2-1/4 tsp ground chilli powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp tomato paste (I use one that has no added salt)
4-5 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 cup water
2 BPA-free tins of organic chickpeas
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder – you can use lemon juice in place of this)

Cook the diced onion in a pan over a medium heat. Once starting to caramelise, add ginger and garlic, and cook a further 3 minutes.

Add coriander, cumin, salt, chilli, turmeric and tomato paste, and cook until everything is mixed into the tomato paste and spices become fragrant.

Add tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water. Cook for 5 mins before adding the chickpeas.

Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add fenugreek, garam masala and amchoor, and cook a further 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve with cooked basmati rice and chutney.

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Gluten-free vegan sticky date slice

It feels like it should only be May, but here we are, in November already. My ceramic work has been keeping me so busy that I only have one day at home on the weekends. The ‘one day’ weekend goes by so quick.

This is a case of when bad photos happen to good food. I am always in such a rush to eat this, that I forget about trying to get ~the~ shot. You’ll just have to trust me that this is good. I’ll come back and update the photos for this gluten-free and vegan sticky date slice later. In the meantime, I’m going to share this recipe with you so you’re not deprived of something so tasty any longer.

Sticky date slice

Gluten-free vegan sticky date slice
Makes 8 slices

For the slice
2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup dates, soaked and chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
6 tbsp aquafaba, whisked into soft peaks

For the sauce
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup dates, soaked and chopped

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Mix almond meal, coconut sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Add dates, water, coconut oil and aquafaba. The mixture will be quite wet, as it is essential for the slice to be moist.

Pour into a lined tray and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until top is golden and knife comes out clean.

To make the sauce, heat coconut milk, coconut sugar and chopped dates over a low-to-medium heat. Remove from heat when sauce thickens.

Pour sauce over slice. Best enjoyed warm.

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Hidden vegetable ragù {vegan, kid friendly}

I know it looks like I’m a bit obsessed with Asian food, especially with the last few recipes I’ve posted. Truth be told, I am obsessed with Asian food. I love the flavours and the freshness each meal delivers.

I grew up in a small town and my earliest memory of going out for dinner was to an Asian restaurant. Maybe that’s what spurred my love for Asian cuisine.

Enter this delicious recipe for vegan ragù. In addition to being Italian, it contains eggplant and mushrooms – two things I don’t cook with very often. The good news is that if you’re not a fan of these ingredients, you won’t even notice them in this meal. And if you can’t notice them, chances are little kidlets won’t be able to tell the difference either.

Hidden veg ragu

Hidden vegetable ragù {vegan, kid friendly}
Serves 4

1 medium eggplant
200g brown cup mushrooms, blitzed into fine pieces
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups red wine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tbsp tomato paste
4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
Salt, to taste
Polenta, to serve (see note)

Bake eggplant in the oven for 1 hour. Let cool slightly then remove skin and put flesh into a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a cast iron pan. Add mushrooms and cook until fragrant and any juices released from the mushrooms have evaporated. Transfer mushroom pieces to a bowl and set aside.

Add a little olive oil to the pan you used for the mushrooms and add the onions. Cook over a medium heat until onions start to caramelise then add celery and carrot and cook until carrot starts to soften.

Add red wine to the pan and let cook for 5 minutes before adding the garlic, parsley and thyme. Once that has been mixed through, add the tomato paste and tomatoes. Season with salt.

Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced and tomatoes have softened.

Serve with some freshly cooked polenta or enjoy it with pasta.

NOTE: Bring 3 cups of water to the boil. Add salt and 3/4 cup polenta. Stir continuously until polenta thickens then remove from heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes.

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DIY instant noodles {GF, vegan}

When you are intolerant and allergic to most staple ingredients, it can be hard to pull together a quick meal. Instant noodles are not a great nutritional choice when you can eat them, but they are fast.

I’ve been toying with the idea of DIY instant noodles for a while and I think you’ll be happy with this recipe – it’s simple, it’s tasty and it’s much healthier than two-minute noodles. You can even put the ingredients in a mason jar to take to work. Just add boiling water and garnish when you are ready to eat.

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DIY instant noodles {GF, vegan}
Serves 2

For the soup base
1 tbsp chickpea miso powder (or a soy-based miso)
1 tbsp vege stock powder (see note below)
1/2 tsp wakame flakes

For the fillings
100g dried mung bean vermicelli noodles
1 carrot, julienned
1 cup white cabbage, finely sliced
1/2 cup tuscan kale, finely sliced
2 tbsp ginger, grated
3-4 cups boiling water
1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
Spring onion, to serve
Thai basil, to serve
Lime juice, to serve

Place the soup base ingredients in the bottom of a bowl or glass container. Add noodles and vegetables.

Pour boiling water into the bowl or container until all ingredients are covered. Let sit for 5 minutes, with a saucer or lid on top.

Garnish with spring onion and Thai basil, and drizzle with fresh lime juice.

NOTE: I make my own vegetable stock powder from 2 tbsp mushroom powder mixed with 1 tbsp onion powder, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cracked pepper and 1/2 tsp celery seeds.

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Cheat’s vegan banh cuon chay | Quick Vietnamese steamed rice rolls {gluten-free}

I know my last recipe was for a Vietnamese dish but stick with me. This one is that good. I remember the day I begrudgingly tried banh cuon chay. I was at my usual Vietnamese haunt and they had sold out of what I usually ordered (I’m known to rave about a restaurant for the one and only meal I’ve tried there). I saw that these steamed rice rolls were gluten-free and vegan so thought I’d give it a shot. What a blessing.

I’d never heard of them before or seen them on a restaurant menu and to this day, have not seen them on any other Sydney Vietnamese restaurant menus. It’s a shame because they are so fresh and light yet still feel like you’ve had a substantial meal. Better still, they are a great option for people with special dietary needs.

Making them at home has been on my mind for quite some time. The thought of making fresh rice sheets for them was what put me off making it earlier. Then I had a brainwave. I could layer a couple of sheets of dried rice paper to get the thickness I need, in less time and with far less stress. I reckon you should give this a shot. It’s nowhere near as laborious as you might think it is, and it tastes delicious. You’ll be eating it within the hour.

Steamed rice paper rolls

Cheat’s vegan banh cuon chay
Serves 3

For the banh cuon chay
1 clove garlic, minced
3cm piece ginger, grated
1 carrot, finely diced
50g wood ear mushrooms, finely sliced
65g organic, non-GMO tofu cubes, baked and diced
25g mung bean vermicelli noodles, cooked and finely chopped
27 rice paper rounds

For the dressing
1 lemon, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
1 tsp coconut sugar
1 tsp rice wine vinegar

Heat some neutral-flavoured coconut oil in a pan and sautee garlic. Add ginger, carrot, mushrooms and tofu, and cook until carrots start to soften. Add noodles and cook a further minute.

Transfer to a heatproof bowl and lay a damp tea towel on the kitchen bench, with a shallow dish next to it filled with water to soften the rice paper rounds.

Soften one rice paper round at a time and lay them on top of each other. Layer a maximum of three rounds per roll, and ensure you have removed as many air bubbles from each layer as possible.

Spoon some filling just below the centre and roll them tightly, as you would if they were fresh rice paper rolls. Repeat until all rounds have been used and there is no more filling left.

Place a couple at a time into a steamer. Put the lid on and steam for 3 minutes. Transfer to serving plates and repeat until all rolls have been steamed.

Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Adjust flavours to taste.

Pour dressing over the rolls and enjoy.