Easiest-ever homemade baked beans {vegan, gluten-free}

One of my fondest childhood memories is having spaghetti bolognese on buttered crumpets for breakfast. And sometimes, when the homemade sort wasn’t on the menu, we’d have it with tinned spaghetti. Yep, I was a casual tinned spaghetti eater.

I always turned my nose up at tinned baked beans even though the sauce is probably the same as the one in tinned spaghetti. Now, I’m fully supportive of baked beans – only, the homemade variety. I can’t say when or how or why, only that I’m very glad to be at this party.

The secret to this recipe is all in the herbs. Thyme is one of them but sage really elevates the dish – not too much to overpower but not to little to get lost… just enough.

These homemade baked beans are great on gluten-free toast but they’re also great without, with some avocado and hasselback potatoes if you’re looking for a less processed option.

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Easiest-ever homemade baked beans {vegan, gluten-free}
Serves 2-3

1 brown onion, diced
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried thyme
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup vegetable stock
3-4 fresh sage leaves, chopped

Heat some oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add onion and let sauté a few minutes.

Once onion is soft and slightly browning, add garlic powder, tomato paste, thyme, tomatoes and salt. Mix until well combined. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until tomatoes start to soften.

Add cannellini beans and mix through. Slowly add vegetable stock 1/4 cup at a time until all liquid is absorbed.

Add the chopped sage and turn off the heat. Serve with toast, avocado and/or hasselback potatoes.

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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!

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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.

 

Vegan fried ‘eggs’ {soy-free, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free}

I dream about eggs. There are a few variations of the dream, but the key elements are always the same: I’m frying up some eggs, and I’m happy – truly happy.

To remedy this, I’ve come up with something that comes a little close. It has stopped the egg dreams, which is both good and bad depending on which way you look at it. It sure as hell isn’t a fried egg, but it sure as hell is better than no egg. I reckon you should give it a go, this one might surprise you.

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Vegan fried ‘eggs’ {soy-free, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free}
Makes 2 ‘eggs’

For the egg white
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup filtered water
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt

For the egg yolk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp olive oil
4 tsp filtered water
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of salt

Whisk water and chickpea flour together to ensure no lumps then add olive oil and salt.

In a separate small bowl, add the yolk ingredients and mix to combine.

Pour half of the egg white ingredients onto a hot non-stick pan with a small amount of melted coconut oil. Let cook for 1 minute, then carefully spoon half of the yolk mixture into the centre of the batter that is cooking.

Let cook for 1 minute longer, then carefully transfer it to a plate.

Repeat with remaining batter and yolk, and serve with some toasted gluten-free and vegan bread.

The best Buddha bowl | Chickpea scramble breakfast bowl

I only started making chickpea scramble recently. I’m all for a good tofu scramble but lately I’ve been trying to cut down on my soy intake. Not that my intake is particularly high, just because I think tofu is an ‘easy’ option for a vegan – suddenly, you have had a lot of it over a week without even realising it.

When I first made this chickpea scramble, it was good, but something was missing. It needed something fresh, but fresh herbs and lemon juice weren’t the answer. Sure, it made it better, but it was still lacking. Then I picked up some lovely fresh pomegranates at a great little greengrocer in the lower Blue Mountains of Sydney.

Pomegranates were the answer indeed. And, while I’ve called this a breakfast bowl, it’s also a lunch bowl, and even an any-time-of-the-day bowl – also known as a Buddha bowl.

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Chickpea scramble breakfast bowl
Serves 2

3 tbsp aquafaba
1 can chickpeas
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 spring onions, roughly cut
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 lemon, juiced
2 cups baby spinach, roughly sliced
Seeds from 1 fresh pomegranate
1 small sweet potato, roughly chopped and roasted, to serve
1/2 avocado sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds, to serve
1/4 head leftover cooked cauliflower, to serve

Add aquafaba, chickpeas, turmeric, cumin, paprika, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper to a bowl and mash until only a small amount of chickpeas are still whole.

Heat some oil in a saute pan over a medium heat. Add spring onions and garlic cloves and cook until browning and fragrant. Add the chickpea mix and lemon juice, and let cook for 2 minutes.

Add the spinach and mix through. Cook for a further 5-8 minutes, until spinach has wilted.

Divide the chickpea mix into two bowls and add the pomegranate seeds. Add the leftover cauliflower, sweet potato and avocado, and serve.

Gluten-free vegan + soy-free French toast

This weekend I’m babysitting the most beautiful Great Dane puppy. It’s strange to think of him as a puppy because at just four months old he is the size of a full-grown dog. He’s also deaf, but he is perfect, just the way he is. So far, he loves following me around the house. And, he loves the couch even though he’s not allowed on the couch. But, it’s hard to say no when all he wants to do is be close to you … especially when he looks as cute as he does.

I’ve been meaning to share my French toast recipe with you for months and thought that now might be the perfect time with Bastille Day approaching. I came up with the perfect recipe by accident, too. I had been testing ingredients that could replace miso paste in recipes and after having some luck with tahini, I started thinking of where else tahini could be used as an ingredient or a binding agent. Voilà – as the French say – the best gluten-free vegan and soy-free French toast was born.

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Gluten-free vegan + soy-free French toast
Serves 4-6

3 tbsp brown rice flour
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch turmeric powder
3/4 cup filtered water
Coconut oil, for pan frying
As many slices of your favourite gluten-free vegan bread
Maple syrup, to serve
Tahini, to serve

In a shallow dish mix brown rice flour with tahini, maple syrup, vanilla, turmeric and water until combined.

Add slices of bread and allow them to sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid before turning the slices over to allow the other side to soak.

Heat coconut oil in a pan and add the soaked bread to your pan. Do this in batches to avoid overcrowding in the pan. Cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes then flip and cook a further 2 minutes.

Serve with maple syrup and tahini.

Gluten-free vegan banana bread

It’s been seven months since we moved into our very own house. Seven months and I am finally getting my wardrobe. Now that there are shelves and rails to hang clothes, all that’s left to do is the sliding doors. And boy, will they be worth the wait.

If I’m honest, I thought it would take three … tops. The reason for me giving what I thought to be a very generous three months was because we both work five days a week and I’m hopeless at measuring things and carrying heavy or awkwardly sized items; sometimes me helping is worse than me not helping. Back to the point. There became an immediate need to address some drainage issues and that involved cutting up concrete – a very deep slab of concrete – to install drains so water would run away from the house instead of under it. Thankfully I didn’t have to deal with any of it so I couldn’t exactly complain that there was no wardrobe to house my clothes.

I have been due to make a dish on the sweeter side for a while but lately, I’ve lost a bit of the sweet tooth that has carried me through life for 20-something years. I settled on banana bread because it’s the perfect treat that a sweet tooth or non-sweet tooth can enjoy. I’m not huge on bananas but I’m challenging myself to diversify and find ways to enjoy foods I don’t like. Plus, when have I ever turned up my nose at a slice of Alannah-friendly banana bread? Never.

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Gluten-free vegan banana bread
Makes 1 loaf (28cm tin)

3 bananas, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 chia eggs (2 tbsp chia seeds with 6 tbsp water, mixed and left to sit for 10 mins)
1 1/2 cup gluten-free plain flour
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

Mix the wet ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Mix the dry ingredients and ensure no lumps. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

Pour into a lined loaf tin and cook in the oven for 60-70 minutes.

Remove from oven and stand for 20 mins before taking the loaf out of the tin. Rest on a cooling rack before slicing and serving.

Gluten-free vegan savoury breakfast muffins | Zucchini and tomato muffins

A couple of weeks ago I tried imitation Tim Tams that were gluten-free and vegan. Sadly, they were a disappointment. The real thing was always my weakness growing up. I wouldn’t be able to control myself around them; my sweet tooth took over.

Fast forward to now, my sweet tooth has been cured. Case in point when it comes to sweet muffins. I’m spending my days dreaming of savoury muffins, something the old me would have scoffed at.

These gluten-free, vegan, savoury breakfast muffins are the most moist I have ever come across. This is all thanks to almond meal, zucchini, tomatoes and – most importantly – caramelised French shallots.

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Gluten-free vegan savoury breakfast muffins | Zucchini and tomato muffins
Makes 6-8

3 large French shallots, finely sliced
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water)
1 cup water
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
Juice of half a lemon
Zest of a whole lemon
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 zucchini, grated
1 handful basil, roughly cut
1 bunch of chives, roughly cut (optional)
1 tsp sumac
1 tsp beetroot powder

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.

Heat oil in a wide pan and add French shallots. Let cook over a medium heat until shallots are starting to catch on the bottom of the pan. Add 1/2 tsp water and continue to cook until onions turn golden brown and caramelise. Set aside.

Mix almond meal, brown rice flour, arrowroot flour, bicarb soda, baking powder, flax eggs, water, coconut oil, and lemon zest and juice until lumps-free. Then add tomatoes, zucchini, basil, chives, sumac and beet powder and mix until combined. Make sure the zucchini is evenly mixed throughout the flour and not sticking together in clumps.

Evenly scoop mix into an oiled muffin tin. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Knife should come out clean and top crust should be golden brown. Let cool slightly then carefully remove muffins from tins with a spoon and place on a cooling rack until ready to eat.