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.

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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.

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.

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.