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.

 

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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 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.

Gluten-free vegan basics | The essential vegan smoothie (banana-free)

I’ve tried a lot of smoothies in my time, and boy, is it hard to find the perfect balance – not just in taste, but in prep time and number of ingredients, too. It’s hard to make a smoothie jam-packed full of nutrients when you’re vegan, hard when you’re time poor with a near empty fridge, and also, hard when you’re not a fan of the good old banana to thicken things up (which, I’ve been told, can take a smoothie from zero to hero pretty quickly).

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve made an easy smoothie that requires virtually zero prep and actually tastes good. Plus, my freezer is no longer full of chopped and portioned ingredients in zip-locked bags (a bonus if you have a tiny freezer).

In terms of the ‘specialty’ ingredients, they aren’t quite as extreme as what a smoothie made by Gwyneth Paltrow or Miranda Kerr would encompass, but I won’t lie, there are a few. If you don’t have aloe vera powder, spirulina or glutamine powder on hand and don’t feel like buying them, feel free to omit them. Glutamine is something you should definitely look into if you don’t eat red meat, aloe vera powder is good to calm inflammation within the body, and spirulina is good for your immune system as well as being rich in beta-carotene, iron and calcium.

Baobab powder, however, is something I’d recommend you do buy. It’s the powder from an African fruit that is full of vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants, and surprisingly, it tastes very good in comparison to most superfood powders. Finally, adding beetroot powder was a crazy idea that came to me one day in the shower. It elevated the taste to a whole new level so I’d definitely recommend picking some up. It’s also a great natural food dye so I’m sure you’ll be able to find a use for it somewhere along the way.

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The essential vegan smoothie (banana-free)
Serves 2-3

1 1/2 cup organic frozen blueberries
1/2 cup organic frozen spinach
2 tbsp baobab powder
1 tbsp coconut water powder (see note)
1 tbsp white chia seeds
1 tsp glutamine powder
1 tsp aloe vera powder
1 tsp Hawaiian Pacifica spirulina
2 cups filtered water
1 tbsp beetroot powder

Add all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute until combined and smooth. Then, add the beetroot powder and blend again for 15 seconds.

Pour into glasses and serve immediately. Alternatively, pour your smoothie into a bottle and chill until needed. Just give it a shake before you drink it.

NOTE: You can omit the coconut water powder and replace the filtered water with coconut water.

Gluten-free vegan breakfast bake

Breakfast without gluten, dairy, eggs or meat just isn’t the same. The first meal of the day was once my favourite of all: eggs, bacon, english muffins, sausages, hash browns … I could go on but I probably shouldn’t. This is a safe place after all.

Enter my delicious gluten-free vegan breakfast bake, born when I was tired of smashed avo on GF toast (jokes! Like I would tire of that. More like I ran out of GF bread), wasn’t in the mood for pancakes (more on that later) and hungry for a meal that heroed the hash brown but was more nutritionally sound than a bowl of hash browns (not judging, I’ve done it, too). The other prerequisite? I didn’t want to stand in the kitchen for hours.

What makes it so good? Well, the golden hash browns for one, but I also think there’s something about Notzarella (vegan mozzarella) that gives this dish what it needs. It delivers a saltiness that can’t be replicated by adding salt during prep. Maybe I’m too far gone in this diet to remember what real cheese is like. I’m sure you could use real cheese and it would work just fine. Probably better, in fact. But if you can’t eat real cheese, don’t be to afraid of vegan versions, especially not this one. I’ve been there, and I’m here to tell you that life is a little better with Notzarella.

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Gluten-free vegan breakfast bake
Serves 6-8

1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup lukewarm water
Pinch salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup water
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups black beans
1 packed cup baby spinach
4 tomatoes, quartered
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 red capsicum, finely chopped
10 hash browns (or more!)*
1/2 cup shredded Notzarella
1/2 avocado flesh, to serve
Pinch sumac, to serve

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.

Whisk chickpea flour, lukewarm water, salt and pepper and olive oil in a small bowl and set aside.

Mix tomato paste with water, dried oregano, thyme and garlic in a large bowl then add black beans, baby spinach, tomato quarters, red onion and capsicum, stirring through until all combined.

Pour contents of bowl into a stainless steel baking dish then pour the chickpea flour batter over evenly. This adds a bit of extra protein and helps further bind the bake.

Place your hash browns on top and push them into the bake a little, then sprinkle Notzarella over everything.

Cook in the oven for 30 mins. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving with avocado and a pinch of sumac.

* Not sure how to make hash browns? Boil 4-5 medium to large sized potatoes until soft all the way through. Let them cook slightly and mash them in a large mixing bowl. Then add salt, pepper, dried thyme and 1 tbsp gf all purpose flour. Mix and mould into shape then deep fry.

Green eggs and jam | Gluten-free vegan tofu scramble

I’m in two minds about this. One huge part of me wishes I had stopped searching for perfection seven years ago and just bitten the bullet on this thing. But, another huge part of me is spurred on by my friends, family and colleagues – they are constantly checking in with me about what I’ve been making and when they will be able to see it on my blog. Well, I am finally here, and what better way to christen Kale Mary than by starting with a breakfast meal featuring kale? Not to mention breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

It took me a while to find scrambled tofu nirvana – almost as long as it took me to get this blog up and running – some too dry, others too plain, and the rest too (forgive me) moist. Here I am today with a recipe that is not too dry, not too moist and the complete opposite of boring: green eggs (aka gluten-free, vegan scrambled tofu) and red onion jam. Where’s the ham? I’m not quite there on that front but onion jam sure does the trick in the meantime.

OK, so it might look like there are a few ingredients here (hey, did I mention it is a super quick recipe) but when you break it down, most of what’s needed will be already sitting in your pantry waiting to be used for this exact moment. Don’t have nutritional yeast or matcha? Buy it. Seriously, what are you doing? These ingredients will change your life.

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Green eggs (aka simple scrambled tofu)
Serves 3-4

1 tbsp coconut oil
4 leaves of kale, finely sliced (dino/tuscan kale is preferred but curly will do the job)
250g organic non-GMO tofu, crumbled with your hands or a fork (you don’t want uniform pieces)
2 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp matcha
1 tbsp + 2 tsp water
1 tbsp + 2 tsp gluten-free soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp powdered vegetable stock (optional)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch cracked black pepper
Small handful of chives, finely sliced (optional)
Small handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, to garnish

Mix crumbled tofu with nutritional yeast, matcha, water, soy sauce, garlic powder and turmeric, cumin and stir until combined.

Heat coconut oil in a shallow pan on medium. Add finely sliced kale until gently wilted and darkening in colour (a few minutes) then add the tofu and mix through before adding the extra tablespoons of both soy sauce and water.

Stir occasionally for 8-10 minutes ensuring the tofu is covered by the matcha and spices, and it is not catching on the bottom of the pan.

Season with salt and pepper, stir through chives (if using) then take off the heat. Garnish with parsley and serve hot or cold with red onion jam, avocado and toast.

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Red onion jam
Makes 1.5 cups

1 tbsp olive oil
3 red onions, finely sliced
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Heat the oil in a wide-based pan on a medium heat. Add onions and sprinkle with salt, stirring until onion has started to soften.

Add sugar and stir around the pan until it has dissolved. Then, add the red wine vinegar and mix through.

Turn heat to low and cook uncovered for 25-30 minutes until onions grow darker in colour and become sticky and caramelised. Remove from heat, let cool and jar.