Miso green beans

How do you handle fussy adult eaters in your household? Now I’m also not calling anyone in my household fussy – but it’s more a case of making sure we’re getting enough diversity and nutrients from our diet. Sometimes “I don’t like this” isn’t an option when you’re living a 100% gluten-free and vegan life.

My parents will laugh reading this, because they’ve done their time in that situation when I was a child fussy about the food on my plate. But here I am – as an adult – living breathing proof that you can do a complete 360.

So, when my partner says he doesn’t like a certain ingredient, I treat it as a challenge. Oh but you will like it, a little voice inside my head says. And guess what? It works. Take eggplant for example – he used to cringe when I brought some home. But now he looks forward to my miso glazed eggplant or hidden veg dal among other dishes.

Another thing not liked was miso – so much so that I had to avoid it like the plague. Well, guess what, we’ve had another breakthrough. Not only are these miso green beans incredibly tasty, they’re also incredibly easy. I’m talking 10-minute meal territory. I serve this up for lunch, but it’s also perfect as a side along with your protein of choice.

Kale Mary miso green beans.jpg

Miso green beans {gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, vegan}
Serves 2-4

250g green beans, trimmed and halved
2 spring onions, whites and greens divided and finely sliced
2 tomatoes, quartered (or 6 cherry tomatoes, halved)
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp chickpea miso powder (I use Meru Miso) mixed with 1 tbsp filtered water
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup cashews, toasted
Thai basil, to serve

Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the green beans. Let cook 1-2 minutes before adding the spring onion whites. Cook a further minute, stirring occasionally then add tomatoes to the pan.

Stir through the lemon zest, miso powder with water, salt and pepper. Let cook an additional 1-2 minutes until tomatoes start to soften.

Add cashews, stir and remove from heat. Serve topped with remaining spring onion greens and some sliced Thai basil.

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Top 10 gluten-free vegan dishes in Sydney {part 1}

There are some standout meals in Sydney that I often crave. I reserve a spot in my mind for the memory of them. And when that memory starts to fade, that means it’s been too long.

When you find something you love on a restaurant menu, do you deviate? Or do you stick to what you love? I rarely deviate. But it’s not hard when there aren’t many options that are both gluten-free and vegan on the one menu (generally speaking).

So, here are Sydney’s best gluten-free vegan eats. The photos – where I’ve included them – are a bit of a case of when bad photos happen to good food (part 1587… amirite). You can’t win them all.

BEST VEGAN PHO

Kale Mary Golden Lotus

Tofu and vegetable pho
Golden Lotus in Newtown
Expect a long wait to get into this one on a Friday or Saturday night, but once you’re in, you can skip a read of the menu all together. Because there’s only one thing that should be on your mind: the tofu and vegetable pho. If you are living that gluten-free life, be sure to order it as gluten-free. This means no delicious tofu knots – it’s a small price to pay because this is the best gluten-free vegan pho in Sydney.

BEST VEGAN SANDWICH

Kale Mary Dear Delicious

Falafel veggie sandwich
Dear Delicious in Dulwich Hill
This little gem is a dish that gets better with age. Each time I go, the dish is refined a little more. While the falafels aren’t completely authentic, they’re still good. Ask for gluten-free bread, which will turn it into a sandwich from a burger as described on the menu.

BEST ENTREE/STARTER

Coconut and edamame bean moneybags
Yulli’s in Surry Hills
Tell me… where else you can get gluten-free moneybags let alone gluten-free and vegan moneybags in Sydney? And to think, they also happen to be the best in my living memory. These bad boys toe the line between sweet and savoury thanks to the unusual flavour pairing – but in the best possible way.

ties with

Sacred knot
Nourishing Quarter in Redfern
At first glance, you probably wouldn’t order these little morsels. Not because they don’t sound good. It’s just too hard to pass up the sweet angel wraps (rice paper rolls) or the pretty dumplings. Next time you’re at Nourishing Quarter, I suggest you reconsider. These guys are very, very tasty and a starter you won’t find on many menus around town.

BEST DOSA

Kale Mary Sri Venkateswara Temple

Masala dosa
Sri Venkateswara Temple in Helensburg
The canteen at this temple is one of Sydney’s best kept secrets. I say this because I’m usually the only Caucasian there. No trip down to the South Coast is complete without dropping by for a dosa – and more. It’s also ridiculously cheap. Keep an open mind about the dining experience – it’s a canteen, so it’s a slightly haphazard set-up. Oh, and skip that pale-coloured sauce if you’re dairy-free!

Kale Mary Hopper KadeAn honourable mention must go to the eponymous dish at Hopper Kadé in Surry Hills (I recommend the beetroot filling) – not technically a dosa, but too good not to include.

BEST VEGAN SALAD

Kale Mary The Henson

Gaddo gaddo salad
The Henson in Marrickville
Look, The Henson categorises this dish as a salad. It’s more like a peanut stir fry from a Thai restaurant – but better. And the tapioca crackers are a nice touch. Also pictured is the vegan taco with miso mushrooms. It’s good but the mushrooms are a bit too chunky and thus ‘meaty’.

ties with

Green papaya salad with crispy tofu
Yulli’s in Surry Hills
If you came here for the salad and found my previous choice questionable, you might find love with this one. If you hadn’t guessed, Asian food is my jam so naturally, any salad I rave as a fave is going to be of that persuasion. It really needs no explanation. If you haven’t had it, you need to.

BEST VEGAN BURGER

Kale Mary LOTF

Chick’n burger
Lord of the Fries
I’m not 100 per cent down with soy meats. But what I am down with is the combination of the chick’n patty with that mustard mayo and lettuce. It’s definitely the least healthy meal on the list. Just call it your naughty treat. And ask for a gluten-free bun.

Honourable mentions must go to the veggie vitality burger from Grill’d and the pulled pork (jackfruit) burger from Soul Burger.

BEST VEGAN PIZZA

Vegetarian pizza
Pizza Rocco in St Clair
While the gluten-free base is rather small, it’s the flavours of toppings that really make this pizza special. You can even bring your own notzarella and they’ll put it on your pizza for you. If you don’t have vegan cheese, they can hold the cheese completely – it’s still a good pizza.

Kale Mary Rocket Boy

An honourable mention must go to the Margherita pizza with extra cherry tomato and garlic oil from Rocketboy (pictured above). Their gluten-free base is a decent size and they use good quality vegan cheese. Fratelli Famous also does a good Margherita on a gluten-free base – their vegan cheese is the only downside.

Quick vegan chocolate fudge

I made no plans with the Easter bunny this year – being dairy and refined sugar free will do that to you. But, I just couldn’t escape the cheer – I was seeing chocolate everywhere. I came home for the long weekend and whipped up a batch of fudge.

On that note, it’s time for me to share my recipe for vegan chocolate fudge with you. This one happened when I had run out of cacao butter to make vegan chocolate and had to improvise. It quickly turned into a favourite.

Happy Easter everyone!

Kale-Mary-vegan-chocolate-fudgeKale-Mary-vegan-chocolate-fudge-2

Quick vegan chocolate fudge
Makes 12 pieces

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cacao powder
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
Pinch of salt
Shredded coconut, to serve

Gently melt the coconut oil and butter on the stove. Remove from heat to cool slightly.

Add the maple syrup, cacao, vanilla, salt, cooled coconut oil and butter to a bowl and whisk until combined.

Line a small container or dish with a piece of baking paper (I use a small tupperware container for fudge as I don’t have any smaller dishes). Then, pour mixture on top and smooth with a spatula. Refrigerate for around one hour.

Remove fudge from the fridge and slice into small, bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with shredded coconut and enjoy.

Easy weeknight pasta bake cake {gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free}

I try to keep pasta stocked in the pantry at all times. I rarely experience pasta cravings but this dish is simple and easy to make, especially when you’ve come home from work and haven’t given dinner a thought.

Pasta bake cake was my attempt at turning a simple bowl of pasta marinara into something a little more exciting. Needing a cheesy element, but trying not to overdo my soy intake, I pulled out my trusted recipe for cashew cheese – one of my earliest recipes – to complete the dish. Cashew cheese tastes like a hybrid of runny cheese and what I imagine queso dip to taste like (full disclosure, I’ve never had queso dip!).

You can add vegetables like spinach or kale to the pasta before you bake it, and you can make your own marinara sauce. In the interest of showing you just how easy living gluten-free and vegan can be, I’ve decided to keep this one as simple as possible. That means I’ve used store-bought sauce and left out the additions in the bake. Having said that, I do serve a slice of this with some fresh rocket or finely shredded kale (with a light drizzle of lemon juice) on the side.

Kale-Mary-Pasta-Bake

Easy weeknight pasta bake cake {gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free}
Serves 6

500g gluten-free vegan penne pasta, cooked 2-3 mins less than packet directions
2 x 500g jars of vegan pasta sauce
Cashew cheese (recipe below)
Rocket or finely shredded kale, to serve

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Cook pasta 2-3 minutes less than the packet directions. Strain and set aside.

Grease an 8-inch/20cm cake tin. Put a tray under in case the tomato sauce seeps through the tin during cooking.

Pour about 100g pasta sauce from one jar into the tin to cover the bottom. Fill cake tin with about half of the cooked pasta.

Add remaining 400g pasta sauce from the opened jar and pour about a quarter of your cashew cheese over the top. Add remaining pasta and pour contents of the second jar of sauce on top. Add remaining cashew cheese ensuring it is evenly spread over the top.

Place tin on tray in the oven and cook for around 20 minutes. Then, remove from oven and let stand to set for 10-15 minutes. Cut into slices and serve with rocket or kale.

Vegan cashew cheese

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp garlic granules
Pinch of salt

Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into a small bowl and set aside.

Savoury breakfast waffles {gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, dairy-free}

I was in Melbourne last week for work. The only thing getting me through said trip, was indulging in some amazing Melbourne food. First stop: Gingerboy for dinner. There, I had the mapo tofu with okra, water chestnut, heirloom tomatoes and pickled thai chili, as well as the stir fried bamboo and fungus with hor fun noodles and korean black bean dressing. To top it off, I also ordered the coconut creamed rice. Of course, it was delicious and of course, I ordered too much food, but when in Rome…

When breakfast came around, I headed to Higher Ground and ordered the kale and cauliflower salad. To say it was delicious was an understatement. I wanted more. The only fault in the dish was the lack of carbs.

A week on, and I’m still thinking about how that cafe dish eclipsed a night of pure Asian delight (at Gingerboy). Because it’s unlikely I’ll be going down to Melbourne again anytime soon (and who knows if that means another visit to Higher Ground… I’ve heard weekend queues are long), I decided to recreate some of the flavours atop some savoury breakfast waffles. Hello carbs, hello happiness!

Kale_Mary_savoury_waffles

Savoury breakfast waffles {gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, dairy-free}
Serves 4

For the waffles
2 cups chickpea flour
2 cups water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Small bunch of chives, finely chopped
Pinch of salt

For the toppings
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
5 kale leaves, roughly chopped
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 avocado, skin removed and sliced
2 cups hummus (hold the sumac and add 2 tbsp chickpea miso powder)

Add all waffle ingredients into a large bowl and whisk until combined. Let stand at least 10 minutes.

Heat your waffle iron and add a little coconut oil to the pan (this helps prevent the batter from sticking). Pour a ladle of batter into the iron and close it for five minutes. Repeat for remaining batter.

While the waffles are cooking, heat a small amount of olive oil in a cast iron pan and add cauliflower, kale and whole cherry tomatoes. Keep it on a medium heat for around 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and transfer contents into a heatproof bowl.

Add pumpkin seeds to the same cast iron pan and toast over a low-to-medium heat. Once browned, remove from heat.

To assemble, place two waffles and a couple of large dessert spoons of hummus on a plate. Top with kale, cauliflower and tomatoes, as well as avocado and pumpkin seeds.

 

Favourite things: February 2018

I thought I’d start a little series of my favourite things to show you what’s inspiring me, and what I’m enjoying. This is still very much a food blog, but since I can’t commit to posting a new recipe weekly, I’ll be sharing some other parts of my food journey.

  • Bill Granger’s stir fried curry brown rice with cashews without chilli and with a scrambled chickpea egg instead of regular egg (pictured)
  • This amber-coloured Maison Balzac handmade carafe and glass
  • Cooking to music by Dustin O’Halloran
  • Meru Miso‘s whole range of products
  • Dry January isn’t stopping me from enjoying Marissa A Ross’ guide to choosing wine. After reading 20 pages, I impressed myself at how I was able to describe a Storm Bay pinot noir
  • An all-black F!NK jug
  • My gluten-free vegan pesto pasta is on high rotation on hot summer days
  • This staggered glass floor lamp (not food related, but still…)
  • Trying to eat more quinoa in this household means I’m scrambling to find ways to make it more interesting. This recipe for khichari is getting me excited!
  • Savoury waffles… I’ll have a new recipe for you soon

Miso glazed eggplant {soy-free, gluten-free, wheat-free}

Vegetarian or not, miso glazed eggplant is my go-to at Japanese restaurants. But – like most things – my body doesn’t love it as much as I would like it to. It always leaves me feeling sluggish and unwell.

If you have the same problem, read on, because I have the solution. I’ve been finessing this recipe for a while. I’ve had it for lunch, eaten it as leftovers and served it up to guests at a dinner party, and it went down a treat every time. It is the only way to eat eggplant.

This baked miso eggplant is best enjoyed with a quick pickle of cucumber and red onion, and some steamed basmati rice. That’s all you need. Let the eggplant shine.

Kale Mary Blog miso eggplant

Miso glazed eggplant
Serves 4

2 tbsp chickpea miso (I love meru miso)
2 tbsp mirin
1 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp filtered water
1 tsp sesame oil
6 baby eggplant, halved lengthways and scored
3 tsp water
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp coconut sugar
1 tsp Himalayan rock salt
1/2 Lebanese cucumber, finely diced
1/4 red onion, finely diced
Steamed basmati rice, to serve

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Add miso, mirin, coconut sugar, water and sesame oil to a small bowl and whisk until combined. Consistency should be more like a paste than runny.

Lay eggplant slices skin side down on a baking tray. Spoon paste over the flesh of the eggplant, reserving around 1/4 of the contents.

Place in oven for around 12 mins, before reglazing with the remaining glaze. Return to oven for a further 12 mins.

While eggplant is cooking, add rice wine vinegar, coconut sugar, water and salt into a small bowl and whisk until combined. Add cucumber and onion and ensure coated well. Let stand until serving.

Spoon rice into bowls and lay a couple of eggplant slices flesh side up on top. Then, pour over cucumber and red onion ‘pickle’ and sprinkle with sesame seeds.