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
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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.

Vegan quiche

I’ve been using chickpea flour ever since I discovered socca – a crispy flatbread. It gets crispy on the edges and retains moisture inside – with it sometimes having a scrambled egg-like consistency. I knew it would soon become the base of my quiche recipe.

Growing up, my mum’s quiche was the only one I would eat. It had flaky pastry but the vegetables were the real hero. Oh, and those little bits of bacon. Bacon has always been my achilles’ heel. I toyed with the idea of adding coconut bacon but things were starting to get complicated. I had to let the vegetables shine, just like mum’s.

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Vegan quiche
Serves 6-8

1 leek, cut down the middle then sliced
1 zucchini, cut down the middle then sliced
1 head broccoli, broken down into pieces
3 spring onions, cut into 2cm pieces
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 cups chickpea flour
2 1/4 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.

Gently cook the leek, zucchini, broccoli and spring onions until soft. While cooking, whisk chickpea flour with water, olive oil and salt and pepper.

Add the vegetables to the tart dish and add the cherry tomatoes. Evenly pour the chickpea flour mix over the top and then place the sliced roma tomatoes on top.

Cook in the oven for 25-30 mins. Let cool 10 mins before slicing. Serve.

Vegan shakshuka (gluten-free, soy-free)

I never got to try shakshuka before I became vegan. It only really popped up on my radar in the last five or so years. I got to work on veganising it because I felt like I was really missing out. The only problem? What to do about the egg component.

I was just going to use avocado to replace the egg but it’s just not the same. On my third attempt at this dish, it came to me – I make these great savoury crepes from chickpea flour and they sometimes have an egg-like texture. What if I used that for the ‘egg white’, and nutritional yeast, olive oil and turmeric for the ‘yolk’? The first go was too bitter from the turmeric, the second go was better – but I added the ‘yolk’ too soon and it sunk into the ‘white’. Then, I cracked it (pun intended). The trick was to let the ‘white’ cook for almost a minute before adding the ‘yolk’.

It’s the closest I’ve come to a vegan fried egg, and I think it’s the closest I am ever going to get without having to add tofu. It’s easy, soy-free and chickpea flour has a good amount of protein, which always helps a vegan out. I still can’t believe I did it, and I’m sharing it with you with a huge smile on my face.

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Vegan shakshuka
Serves 2

1 brown onion, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp powdered vegetable stock
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
Pinch salt and pepper
8 tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup water
3 sheets lasagna pasta, broken into small pieces
1 tbsp coconut sugar *optional
Pinch sumac, to serve
Pinch nutritional yeast, to serve
Pinch white sesame seeds, to serve
Pinch black sesame seeds, to serve
Avocado, to serve
2 fried ‘eggs’, to serve (see note)

Saute brown onion in coconut oil over a medium heat. Once starting to brown and caramelise, add the tomato paste and mix into the onion for one minute. Add the spices and stir until fragrant.

Add the tomatoes and water and mix until even then add broken lasagna sheets. Let cook fifteen minutes until reduced slightly. Gently loosen the ingredients in the pan while cooking to avoid it catching on the bottom but try not to mix the pasta into itself as it may stick. If it gets too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water then add coconut sugar – if using – towards the end.

Serve into a bowl topped with two fried ‘eggs’, avocado, sumac, nutritional yeast, and black and white sesame seeds.

NOTE: Whisk 1/4 cup chickpea flour with 1/4 cup water, 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Pour half into a hot nonstick pan with coconut oil and let cook for 1 minute. Mix 2 tbsp nutritional yeast in a small bowl with a pinch of salt, 2 tsp olive oil, 4 tsp water and a pinch of turmeric, then carefully spoon half of it into the centre of the chickpea batter that is cooking. Let cook a minute longer then carefully transfer it to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter and ‘yolk’ and serve.