Saturday, December 29, 2007

Plum Cherry Pie with Vanilla Ice-Cream

He said "It's almost as good as a lovers made orgasm"..
Yes, this tasted pretty mindblowingly good!!!

Stevie and I went to my Dads farm last weekend..
We picked (rescued) a huge bag full of cherry plums-
Ducking under the cover of the trees cool branches, weighed down by the ripe red baubles..
We are going again next week, to pick the other varieties of plums.. oh the possibilities!

I got an ice-cream maker for my birthday, and have been having a lot of fun playing with it..

Sometimes, things just come together at the final turn, when you never expected they would even turn out, and all you can do is ahhhh in wonder at the outcome..
Our pie mixture was too runny, so we added more arrowroot and crossed our fingers..
We wondered if an ice-cream made purely from soy milk, vanilla and arrowroot could be good..
Did walnuts (in the crust) even go with plum cherries?

Somehow it all worked, and it was incredible!

Pie crust recipe will follow shortly..

Friday, November 30, 2007

Homemade Pasta with Basil Pesto

Arrr nothing beats fresh homemade pasta..
Store bought fresh pasta is always made with eggs, so veganini's miss out.
It is slightly arduous to make, but the taste more than makes up for this.

The quantities always vary depending on the weather and the type of flour you're using, among other things..
A woman I know always has an extra mound of flour on her chopping board, which she calls God.. "Because you never know when you might need it, it's good to always have it close at hand"
I basically add some plain flour to a mixing bowl. Add a generous slosh of olive oil. Sprinkling of salt. Just enough water to form a dough. Then I mix it around a bit, to combine it all really well.
Then I pass the dough repeatedly through a pasta maker, to make it more and more thin, ultimately using the cutting piece, to crank out my strings of pasta..

Fresh pasta only takes a couple of minutes to cook.

-Made by Stevie & Sally

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Making love in the kitchen -Broccoli & Tofu with Tomatoes

There has been change a foot in the world of veganini..
I didn't intend to turn my back, (again), on my dear little & oft neglected blog.
I just lost the words..

There has been a lot of love making in the kitchen.
Learning the subtle art of co-creation..
I've done the director-&-the-directed kind before.. and even the you-do-the-cooking-I'll-do-the-washing-up kind, but I've never experienced true co-creation.

For someone that got very good at cooking for one, and thus, was very used to pleasing herself, it hasn't always come easy..
And really what else is it but what you're used to, when it comes to finely diced, or coarsely chopped, and other such things?
It's not even about jocking for position of who-knows-best, it's about finding that soft centre, where two people come together and the differences and similarities merge together in the most beautiful and satisfying way..

That soft centre, is the nicest place to inhabit..
He sizzled the tofu, and I simmered the sauce

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lime & Coconut Birthday Cupcakes

As you can see, I was very excited to get "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World", as a birthday gift..As soon as I lay eyes on the recipe for these cakes, I wanted to make (eat) them..
So, party cupcakes they were..

There was some recipe tweaking of course.
More lime juice, some lime pulp, more coconut cream, and some other little things here and there..

They were D*E*L*I*C*I*O*U*S :D

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Mulberry Just Cares For Me

Hmmn mulberries.. you forgotten fruit of childhood.
We would collect branches from the tree, and keep them in a shoe-box.. where we'd watch our little silk worms, grow, and transform..
Always eating, eating, eating.. and then spinning, spinning, spinning..
We would squish the berries between our teeth, purple trickling down our chins, as we walked home from school..

There is a tree on my walk home now. I watch it change through the year, waiting for the berries to come. They are there now. Almost black and full of juice, leaving their lovely impressions on the ground below.

So, mulberry pie..
Ingredients
2/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup plain flour
1/8 cup canola oil
1 Tbs cold water
1 Tbs maple syrup

1 1/2 cups mulberries (washed, destemmed)
2 Tbs jam (I used plum)
1/2 cup water
2 tsp arrowroot (or cornflour)
2 Tbs maple syrup

Method
1.Mix almond meal and flour together in a bowl, and add oil and water, combining with a fork as you go. You want a nice crumbley consitency to start with. As the dough begins to form, add the maple syrup, and mix to combine well, until mixture forms a dough.
2.Form dough into a ball and chill until berries are ready.
3.Put jam and water in a small sauce pan, on medium heat, and stir well as heated, to created a syrupy mixture.
4.Add maple syrup and arrowroot to the syrup (mix the arrowroot with a tiny bit of water first, so it doesn't clump together in your syrup).
5.Pour syrup over berries, and stir well to combine. Squish berries roughly with a fork.
6.Take chilled dough, and spread inside a small greased pie dish. Start in the centre and work your way out.
7.Pour berries into pie dish and bake in a pre-heated 200C oven for about 15 minutes

Easy and yummy!

If you can't get enough of mulberries- sigh, only for those in the southern hemmisphere this time of year.. follow this link:


I'm thinking of making it for a party in a couple of weeks.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Carrot-Pineapple-Coconut-Macadamia Nut Cupcakes

What happened to the cupcake girl?
It seems when I do bake cupcakes these days, rare as it is, I fall back, on this familiar favourite.
From my adaptation of Isa Chandra's carrot-coconut-ginger-macadamia nut cake recipe, from VWaV..
Non vegans & vegans alike seem to love these..
I ate three the day I baked them!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

You don't bring me zucchini flowers anymore..

I've been enjoying cooking multi part meals lately..
I remember the first time.. way back when.. there were many hungry guests.. and an Indian feast, not yet materialised.. I think we ate at about 10pm..
These days, I'm much better..
And if I'm not the one cleaning all the pots, hey, why not use many ;D
Last night there was:
*steamed broccoli, dressed in lemon juice and olive oil
*roasted red capsicum
*shitake mushroom, and leek risotto
*deep fried zucchini flowers
Ingredients:
zucchini flowers (figure about 4 per person as a side)
1/4 flour (for every 8 flowers)
Drizzle of olive oil
1/8 cup water (approx.)
vegetable oil for frying
1.Wash and dry zucchini flowers.
2.Stir olive oil into flour, combining well. Add water, slowly, stirring well to combine. You want a nice thick-ish slurry.
3.Heat oil for frying.
4.Place flowers in batter, to coat well, allowing the excess to drip off.
5.Place carefully in hot oil, and allow to fry for a couple of minutes- Until the batter has turned a little golden, and the zuc's are tender.
6.Scoop the zuc's out, and drain on kitchen paper.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Artichoke from the farm

I've never eaten such a tiny, and tender artichoke before..
This one came from the farm, the first of the season.
Growing up, my Dad always said the culo(bum) was the best bit..
We would eagerly peel back the layers, scraping our teeth as we went.. til we got to the heart.. or ass of the artichoke.. depending on your point of view.
We would take turns at having a little nibble, savouring the delicious taste..
Ingredients:
1 artichoke
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Olive oil (same amount as juice)
Sea salt
Method:
1.Steam the artichoke, until the culo is tender under a fork..
2.Place in a bowl, and open leaves a little. Pour combined oil and lemon juice over the artichoke.
3.Sprinkle with sea salt.
So simple, but so delicious.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Asparagus from the farm..

Why does everything from 'the farm', taste so good!?
Is it the love with which, it was grown, and picked, and finally given?
The weather is warm enough to eat outside now..
The kind of weather, that encourages you to linger some time, after the last mouthful is gone..
Ingredients:
Bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed, chopped in half
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil (about equal to the lemon juice)
Sea salt
Method:
1.Steam asparagus, really lightly, so it's just tender under a fork, but still has a little crunch.
2.Remove, and plunge in a bowl of cold water.
3.Drain stems, and place in bowl.
4.Pour olive oil and lemon juice over stems, adding salt, and stir well to coat!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pumkin Risotto

Mmmmn I love my risotto.
The starring role in all my dishes these days, goes to my olive oil..
A gift from my father, imported from Greece.. it still has little chunks of olives in it..
It is the most delicious oil, I've ever eaten.. and so now, I eat a lot of it!!
Everything is made all the more tasty, by it's presence.

Pumpkin Risotto
2Tbs olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
1 red chilli, chopped finely
1-2tsp dried sage
5 swiss brown mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/4-1/2 pumpkin, peeled & roughly chopped (I forget what kind I used)
1- 1 1/2 cups aborio rice
500ml vegetable stock (I used massel 'chicken' stock)
Good slosh of white wine
Salt & pepper to taste

1.Put onion in pan with olive oil, and cook until softened. Add garlic, chilli and sage, and cook til fragrant.
2.Add mushrooms and pumpkin, and cook until mushrooms have softened slightly.
3.Add rice, and cook, stirring, until rice have a little translucent sheath.
4.Season with pepper.
5.Add stock, one ladelful at a time. Stirring constantly. Make sure stock is fully absorbed by rice, before adding more.
6.Use wine in the same way as the stock.
7.When the rice is nearly cooked, reduce the amount of liquid you add each time.
8.Season with salt as needed- most pre-made stocks are quite salty aleady.

YUM YUM!

Spaghetti and Sunshine

What a great combination.
Spring is here it seems, and the air is pregnant with warmth and possibilities...
I've been making the most out of it, and sitting outside to eat.

Lots of spaghetti in the house of veganini lately. Not sure why that is- Maybe because for me, it's pretty fail safe.

Olive oil. Onions. Garlic. Red chillies. Red capsicum. Carrot. Swiss brown mushrooms. Zucchini. Chickpeas(can). Whole tomatoes(can). Penne.

YUM! :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Vegan Vacation

Many big shifts have occurred in the world of veganini, and all the while many meals have been cooked & eaten. Yet I never once did, visit my blog.
Things fell apart, and reformed again, in to something different.
But I am back. And I share once more, these little meals I make.
I am a happy little veganini once more. Come sit down at my table..

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Carrot, coconut, pineapple & macadamia nut cupcakes

Every good vegan loves "VWaV"..
I really, really want to love it.. I try hard.. and although I like a lot of the recipes in it.. I'm not smitten..
But, there is always at least one exception to any rule..
And for me, these are it..

These cupcakes make me overlook my overall VWaV noncholance, and testify to it's fabulousness..
I swear I would buy the cookbook, just for this recipe :D

Every vegan and non alike, I feed these too.. comes back for another, and another.. and finally the recipe..
My sister-in-law to be, had heard about them, because my brother had been pestering her to make them..
He was in town for a few days, so I made a batch, and gave him a box to take home to share with his finance.

I swear the addition of pineapple, takes these above and beyond..
They are just little parcels of tropical goodness! :D

So make these- and try adding the pineapple chunks..
[Fresh would be nice.. but usually I just use a whole tin of chopped pineapple.. ]
And tell me these aren't some of the best little cupcakes you've eaten :D

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Italian Beans

Hello. Hello little blogland :D
I've been on staples for the past couple of weeks.
All the tins of organic stewed tomatoes are now gone, same goes for all our pasta.
Yes! there has been a lot of pasta in the house of veganini lately..

Lucky I'm so fond of it.

This recipe idea came from Tessa's "Apples for Jam"..
It was nice as a side dish, although I'm not sure what would make a nice accompaniment.. ideas??
Ingredients
1Tbs olive oil
1/2 red onion
1 large clove garlic, chopped finely
1 tsp dried basil
1 tin stewed whole tomatoes
1 tin cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt & pepper

Method
1.Place onion and oil in a fry pan on medium high heat. Cook until golden and translucent.
2.Add garlic, and cook until fragrant.
3.Add remaining ingredients, and cook, stirring occasionally until tomatoes have reduced and are nice and thick.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Pumpkin Risotto

If you want the recipe I can supply it..
But right now, I'm typed out..
So I offer you instead, a photo of the end result..

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

La Pizza Rossa - Take II

I have been cooking.
I just don't have anything (photos) to show for it- oh, that is unless you want to come over and eat the old leftovers, still in my fridge!? :D

Last night, cucciolo mio was out go-karting, so I made La pizza rossa again..
I feel like saying "Hello love!", when I take the tray out of the oven..
Just baking it, makes the house smell soooooooooooooooo good!

Cleaning up after making the dough isn't so wonderful.. but this pizza, is definitely worth it!

This time I put baby spinach, olives, onions & pine nuts on top..

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tre Colori Pasta

It has been a while. I'm sorry for neglecting you little blog. I swore I wouldn't.
I need the cactus of the blog world. One that seems to actually prosper from ill treatment.
There was a flu, a trip inter-state, and the beginning of a new course..
Lot's of soups, eating out.. and more recently, sandwiches to go.

[My new little college's cafe is vegetarian/vegan!
So far I've only sampled the vegan banana bread.]

When I was inter-state, visiting my brother, he took us to the local Italian supermarket (huge).
I bought this charming pasta, with not much of an idea, what I would actually use it for.
I may need to have my brother send up some packets for me- as it was so delicious, this is bound to go quick!

Again I'm in dire need of a big food shop, but rather lacking in the funds, so every meal is a take on bubble & squeak right now.
Thus was born, tre colori pasta- three coloured pasta.

Ingredients:
1/4 onion, chopped finely
1/4 red capsicum, cut into thin strips
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp chilli paste
1/2 zucchini, cut into ribbons

Method:
1.Put your pasta water on to boil, and cook pasta as per directions. Heat olive oil in fry pan, and add onions and capsicum. Saute until soft.
2.Add the garlic and chilli paste, and stir well.
3.When you can smell the garlic, add the zucchini. Cook until tender.
4.Drain pasta, turn out 'sauce' mixture into empty pasta pot. Add drained pasta, and a lug of good olive oil. Stir over heat for a couple of minutes.
5.Serve with salt and pepper.

Friday, May 11, 2007

La pizza rossa

Oh man- what can I say about this pizza?
Last night before I went to sleep, I was muttering to cucciolo mio, about my plans for adapting the recipe to suit every meal of the day..
"You know.. I could do dessert pizza.. like pizza hut's 'apple pie' pizza.. except not disgusting.. in fact yummy.. with apples.. and cinnamon.. and oh!.."

For me, this was pizza dough nirvana.
Squish the baked pie between your fingers, and it slowly rises back to it's original fluffy shape.
And it was quick to make too. I have been searching for this here recipe, for a long time.

I was intending to use the recipe straight out of Tess Kiros' "Apples for Jam" book, but after starting, saw that it called for much more rising time than I was prepared for..
So.. I winged it..

Tessa was right on, when she said:
The dough must be sticky (this is what gives a nice texture to the cooked pizza), so don't feel you've done something wrong or be tempted to add any more flour.... It takes about five minutes to get the dough unstuck from my hands and find my ring.

Recipe for one large pie
Ingredients
Dough:
1 3/4 cups warm water
10g dry active yeast
1 tsp agave or honey
1 Tbs olive oil
600g (1LB 5oz) flour (I didn't use all of this)

Tomato Topping:
4 Tbs olive oil
1 large garlic clove, pressed and minced
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
3 basil leaves, chopped, or a liberal sprinkling of dried basil

Method:
1.Put the water, yeast, agave, olive oil and 3 fistfuls of the flour in a the bowl of a food processor.
Mix until smooth. Cover and leave for about 15 minutes, or until it has a nice layer of froth on top.
2.Place olive oil & garlic in a medium sized frypan, on medium-high heat, and cook until you begin to smell the garlic. Add the tomatoes and basil, and reduce heat slightly.
3.Add flour, in small portions at a time, mixing well in between. Continue adding flour, until dough gets a good consistency- it should be still super sticky.. Mix for a good 4 minutes.
4.Remove dough, and place in a well greased (olive oil) large bowl, and cover with a cloth. Leave in a warm place to rise (about 20 minutes).
5.With well floured hands, and some flour on hand to add to dough, if too sticky.. Turn out dough onto a lined, pizza baking tray. Squish out, until it meets the edges of the pan, and is uniform in thickness. Leaving a nice width crust, use your fingers to make indentations over the remaining pizza.
6.Pour tomato sauce over pizza dough (saving space for the crust). Place pizza in a pre-heated 200C (350F) oven, for about 15-20 minutes, or until crust is nice and golden brown.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Purple food

This past weekend I went to one of my favourite food stores-

Had some delicious lunch- pumpkin & dahl casserole, with brown rice, and bought some organic goodies.

Among the goodies, were a few purple potatoes. I'd never even heard of them, they didn't look that purple on the outside, still the thought of purple potato was too intriguing to pass up..
What a shock of intense purple, that greeted me, as I cut them in quarters!
They taste quite similar to regular potatoes though.
I simply steamed them, and tossed them with chopped parsley, sea salt & olive oil.
I also picked up some purple cabbage.
My brow chakra must be screaming for attention, me thinks.. all this purple.. and wasn't there that grade school tagline- liking purple meant you were sexually frustrated?? hmmn

I made Tessa's cabbage on sourdough toast recipe, from twelve.
Her recipe calls for the use of numerous different cabbages, I just stuck with the purple one.
You basically infuse a fry pan of evo with rosemary. Add garlic & chilli. Some water. The cabbage. Cook, cook, cook & serve on sourdough slices.
I don't know how something so simple can taste so damn good, but this is the best thing I have eaten in a long time..

The salad is a staple favourite of mine (seasonal)..
I love the contrast in textures and flavours it provides.
Baby spinach, avocado, walnuts, dried cranberries, and olive oil.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Spinach Canneloni

Ahh how frustrating- I just wrote the post, and suddenly, it was gone.
Ahh well. In it, I confessed that I hate measuring. That even when I follow a recipe, there is a lot of eyeballing & guesstimation. And that I'm sorry, if you've made one of my recipes, and what I said was 1/2 cup of water, was actually 2 :D

So this was one of my own inventions.
Where I just put enough ingredients, til it looks, about right..
Last night I had a girls night in, with my mum & grandma. I made spinach & tofu stuffed canneloni, and a mixed green salad, with apples, walnuts & pine nuts.
We ate it, and watched "Johnny Stecchino".

So there's some: tofu, spinach, 'fried' onion & garlic, nutritional yeast, and pepper in there..
All stuffed in pre-cooked canneloni shells, and then smothered in pasta sauce and baked..
YUM :D

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Patent for a Pig

Yesterday, just hours after receiving an email from Greenpeace, urging me to take action on GE foods, I watched a startling documentary relating to the problematic issue of bio-technology.

The email talked about research, which showed kidney and liver issues arising in rats fed GE food. The researchers deduced that GE food was not safe for rats consumption, and yet Australia has allowed foods containing GE ingredients (with no labelling laws), into our market, and is considering allowing the production of GE crops.
The production of GE crops in America, and other parts of the world is already prolific.

George Bush, a big Monsanto fan and ally, believes that quite directly, those that oppose bio-technology are baby killers, and preventing food from entering the mouths of babes.
Clearly, this is not a production issue though. The world already has enough food to feed the world, and too, if anything GE crops produce a smaller yield than regular crops.

Monsanto, the multinational bio-technology giant behind the massive push(and it has come to shove) towards GE food, began making pesticides. They realised, if they simultaneously engineered crops that would be more resistant to the pesticides, they could at least double their money. So they did.
Their self claimed goal, is to control the global food supply.
This is not a movie, as far as I know, Austin Powers is not planning on saving the day.

I knew a lot of this, but the documentary strung it altogether, illuminating how insidious the deception and greed is.
I felt sick to my stomach. And cried out many times to a bemused cucciolo mio- Those bastards! How do they sleep at night!? How can they get away with this!?

They have already patented the gene maps of their particular crops.
They sell the seed to farmers, and the farmers actually have to pay Monsanto each year, to sow the seeds produced from the previous years crop! -Monsanto sets the price each year.
Further more, the farmers that hold out against Monsanto, and do not buy their seed, are being threatened by cross contamination from GE farms. Monsanto is subsequently suing these guys, for patent breaches, because their crops contain the patented genes!!?
They are planning to patent a pig soon.

The other worrying thing, when taking a pig gene, and placing it in a corn pool, or a jellyfish gene into a cows gene pool- you never quite know how it will turn out.
In cotton as an example- whole new, never seen before proteins have been found.. I don't quite understand the science of it- but it sounds bloody alarming to me!

Monsanto has also been waging a vicious campaign against it's opposition.
People are quickly sacked, silenced or sued.
So the real concerns with GE food are just not getting out- so people can't even make up their own minds!

There is strong anecdotal evidence of animals fed GE feed, suffering fertility issues.
The conception rate has been showed, to often go down to just 30% , with some farmers claiming their entire stock became barren and sterile.

So what to do..
With Monsanto and such businesses being so aggressive and calculating, it can seem like a losing battle..
Their reach and clout, so big, that it seems impossible to escape it's influence altogether..

Buy organic/non-GE (there are hardly any non-GE soy beans crops, globally today)
Support small,independent & local (organic/non-GE) farms
Support organisations fighting against GE food
Write to your Politicians urging for change
While you're at it- vote to impeach Bush & Cheney (hey it couldn't hurt)
Write to companies using GE ingredients, urging change (I know Hormel does!)
Write to Monsanto & tell em where to stick it!
Spread the word!-
Tell anyone that will listen, that you don't eat GE foods, and why
Hey, you could even host your own True food party like I did (this years one is coming soon!)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Orange cheesecake with chocolate base

I got the idea for this from one of Tessa Kiros's books (again!)..
I think it was Twelve.. She had a recipe for a blood orange ricotta tart, with a chocolate base.

The combination of chocolate & orange, while not new, appeals to my senses-
The contrast of colours, smells & of course tastes..

I didn't want to use any vegan cream cheese, hydrogenation and all that..
I've never made a tofu baked cheesecake before.. so I looked to"The New Farm" vegetarian cookbook for the basic structure of one.
So far as the base, I basically winged it.

This is tasty- the orange flavour intensified with cooking, while the chocolate softened, overall a lovely combination..
Out of the oven, the tofu went pancake thin though!- next time I'll probably 1/2 the base recipe, and double the cheesecake one. Anyone else had similar problems with tofu cheesecake?

Recipe for one small cheesecake
Ingredients:
2Tbs earth balance margarine or similar
4Tbs maple syrup
1/2 cup plain organic flour
3Tbs unsweetened cocoa
Teeny pinch of salt
Dash of vanilla essence
2Tbs orange juice

1 cup silken tofu
2Tbs granulated raw sugar
2Tbs orange juice
Zest of one orange (zest the orange before juicing it!)
1Tbs canola oil

Method:
1.In a medium mixing bowl, cream together margarine and maple syrup.
2.Add remaining ingredients, and beat well to combine.
3.Spoon in to a greased pie dish, and put in a pre-heated 180C(350F) oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and place in the freezer until cool to the touch.
4.Meanwhile place all cheesecake ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth and creamy.
5.Pour cheesecake mixture over cooled base, and return to oven for about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lentil & Bean Stew

My Mum came home today, after four months away.
Not much of a welcome, thick and constant rain and about 17C(62F).
The classic story of- if only you'd have been here yesterday!
We were going to go out to lunch, but her car battery died.. so house bound, I made lentil & bean stew.
She bought me gifts from Papua New Guinea, South Africa, India, Madeira & the U.K!? :)
Recipe Serves 4
Ingredients:
1Tbs olive oil
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped finely
1/4 red capsicum, chopped finely
12 basil leaves
1 tin organic peeled tomatoes
1 tin organic borlotti beans
1 tin organic cannelini beans
1/2 cup red lentils
1 cup water
Chilli paste
Salt n pepper

Method:
1.After browning the onions with the capsicum and carrot, put all the ingredients in a pot and cook for about 30-40 minutes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lentil soup with homemade rye bread

I made this a while ago, but forgot to post it.
I made the soup ala my recent lentil and carrot pasta- adding more lentils & water.
The bread was made with rye & spelt flour.
It was ok, but I'm such a lazy kneader, and thus my bread is usually quite leaden!
Cucciolo mio remarked "You could kill someone with that thing".
I'm not sure if he meant by feeding it to them, or hitting them over the head with it!?
Either way, he was probably right. Still the soup, the soup was delicious..

Vegetable Tagine

I love this dish.
I'm so pleased I braved making it the first time -many, many months ago now..
To a certain extent, I generally stick to that which is familiar- cinnamon sticks in cooking, was not..
Still, I persevered, and it was a taste sensation. I made it many times last winter, and intend to do the same this year.
"Vegan with a Vengeance", labels it a spring vegetable tagine, but I think the warming spices and hearty lentils lend it to autumn or winter fare..
Oh, and did I mention it has sultanas in it!? Any savoury dish with sultanas in it, pretty much wins me over. I love when they get all plump & juicy..

So far as the herbs and spices, I pretty much follow VWaV to the letter.
With the vegetables I tend to use, whatever I have on hand- Last night there was broccoli, cabbage, green beans & carrots.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Eggplant in tomato

I remember eating this dish growing up. It's generally served as a side-dish, but we always had it over rice, as a one-plate-meal. Small meatballs done in the same way, were often served for lazy sunday lunches- you could use veganballs.

Last night I had this as a side, with a simple basil pesto pasta. Today, for lunch over rice.
(Yes, I am running out of ingredients and need to go to the store! :D )

For such a simple dish, it is surprisingly tasty!
Feel free to add herbs, I've used basil & oregano at different times.

Recipe for 4 side serves
Ingredients:
2 skinny eggplants, sliced about 1cm (1/4inch) thick
(The 'skinnies' are usually the same length as regular eggplants)
1 clove garlic, minced
2tsp olive oil
1/4tsp chilli paste
1Tbs red wine (optional)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Salt & pepper to taste

Method:
1.Lay slices of eggplant in a baking dish evenly.
2.In a bowl combine tomatoes, chilli paste and garlic, mix well.
3.Pour bowls contents over eggplant.
4.Drizzle wine & olive oil over the top.
5.Bake in a pre-heated 200C(350F) oven for about 20minutes.
6.Give everything a good stir, and return to oven for about 10 more minutes.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Where's the hole donuts!?

Tempted by Vegan Yum Yum's delicious looking mini-donuts, I decided to make my own.
I don't have a cute lil donut baking pan like her, so I went with this weird flying saucer like, pan I have- no holes.

One of my favourite donuts, was always the classic cinnamon- especially hot from the fryer.. oh yeah!

It has been many years since I've had one of those.
I used unbleached spelt flour, instead of regular flour- I am really liking the spelt!
Canola oil instead of margarine- reduced by 1Tbs.
For the topping I simply put 4Tbs of raw granulated sugar in a food processor, with 1tsp of cinnamon. Then, hot from the oven, dunked my little discs in the mixture..

Yum! These, like the 'real' thing, are very addictive..

Lentil & Carrot Penne

I made up this recipe the other night, because I had a hankering for lentils.
I wasn't sure what I was going to serve them with, ultimately I went for penne.
I later discovered, the sauce makes for a much more tasty, stand-alone soup.

Recipe for 2 serves of pasta + 1 soup OR 2 serves of soup
Ingredients:
1/2 cup dry red lentils
2Tbs olive oil
1/4 green capsicum, chopped finely
1/2 onion, chopped finely
2 small carrots, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup water
8 basil leaves, chopped roughly
1 cup stewed tomatoes (I use organic tinned)
3Tbs tomato paste
Salt & pepper to taste

Method:
1.Saute onion & capsicum with oil, in medium saucepan, on medium heat. Cook until golden.
2.Add carrots & garlic, and cook until fragrant, but not browned.
3.Add lentils, and stir well to coat. Add remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste.
4.Put lid on saucepan, reducing heat slightly, and allow to cook until lentils are tender- about 20 minutes.
5.Give small whizz with blender-stick-thinga-ma-jigga, retaining some of the chunk.
6.Serve as soup or over pasta- I say soup is best!

Friday, April 13, 2007

General Tso's Vegetables

I have a new lazy dish. For those days when you're already hungry, and you haven't even thought about cooking yet.. The recipe's sauce qoutient is definitely for 4 serves though!-
Use it with veggies for 2, at your peril.. Your veggies will be swamped in chilli goodness :)
It was a gorgeous, sunny 27C(80F) yesterday, so I took my lunch outside..

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sweet Potato & Mushroom Curry Puffs

This is another recipe from my friend Amanda. I remember she made it with her sister, when I was 16. At that stage, my veggo repetoire basically only covered stir-fries, so I was well impressed.
We ate these, curled up on the couch watching "Northern Exposure". Almost falling into swoon induced comas, from watching Chris.

Rain usually makes me feel mellow: curl up in a corner time, slow down, smell the furniture. Today... it just makes me feel wet. What is it about owning things? Why do we feel the need to own what we love, and why do we become such jerks when we do? We've all been there, you know: we want something; we own it; and by owning it we change it. When you finally win that girl of your dreams, the first thing you do is try to change her. That little thing she does with her hair, the way she wears her clothes, the way she chews her gum. Until eventually, what you like, what you don't like and what you change all merges into one. Like a watercolor in the rain.
-Chris Stevens

This is also great as a simple curry over rice.

Recipe serves 2
Ingredients:
1Tbs oil
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1/2 sweet potato, diced
3 large button mushrooms, sliced
Curry to taste (I use about 2 tsps)
1/4 cup lite coconut cream
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed)

Method:
1.Saute onion in oil, in a large frypan on medium heat. Cook until golden.
2.Add sweet potato & mushrooms, stirring to coat.
3.Add curry, stirring well, before mixing through coconut cream.
4.Cover pan, and leave to cook, until potato is tender (about 10 to 15 minutes). You may need to add some more coconut cream, if mixture is a bit dry, or sticking to pan.
5.Cut pastry in 1/2, and spoon mixture on each piece. Cover 1/2 the pieces, leaving the edges uncovered. Fold over uncovered pastry halves, to cover mixture, and press down edges with a fork to seal.
6.Cut a few slits in the top of the pastry. And bake in a preheated 180C(350F) oven, until pastry is golden- about 15 minutes.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Ribollita

Although the weather still isn't that cold, I'm in autumn mode.
The ocean is still a luscious 23C(74F), so really I should be surfing.. except, I feel like curling up under the doona and watching DVDs instead.
We got: "Art school confidential", "The departed", "Little miss sunshine", and another one I can't remember the name of.
I feel like eating lentils and rice at the moment.. warm, hearty & satisfying food.
So I made my own version of Tessa Kyro's- ribollita (from "Twelve"), and served it over basmati rice.
Perfect.
Recipe for about 4
Ingredients:
2Tbs olive oil
1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
1 carrot, finely grated
1/4 small green cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 can (10 1/2 oz) cannellini beans, drained
1Tbs tomato paste
1/2 stewed diced tomatoes (I use tinned organic)
1tsp chilli paste (fuoco d'amore)
water to cover
Salt & pepper to taste
2 slices stale bread
Method:
1.In a medium-large saucepan, saute onion in olive oil, on medium heat, until golden.
2.Add garlic and carrots, and cook until fragrant, but not browned.
3.Add remaining ingredients, except for bread. Fill the pot with water, to cover ingredients.
4.Lid pot, and turn down heat slightly, leave to cook for about 20 minutes.
5.Depending on the size of your cabbage pieces, they should be almost tender by now.
Remove lid, and return heat to medium. Cook until cabbage is tender.
6.You may have to add a little water, if it has mostly been absorbed already.
7.Add bread, and allow to absorb water and become soggy. Whiz briefly with a hand-held mixer, being sure to get the bread. It's nice if you can leave some beans and cabbage whole though.
8.Serve plain or over rice.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Choc Chunk Cookies


The store was out of cucciolo mio's favourite 'fresh' cookies.
Last night he was craving a sweet hit, so I offered to make something his style, from scratch.
When I mentioned Betty Crocker white-chocolate-chunk-macadamia-cookies, he said yes please.


I got the cookbook as a wedding gift from his great-aunt, and while I have a soft spot for Betty, she's just not my style. But last night, I sought her out.
I followed the recipe faithfully- with organic butter and vegetarian fed, free range eggs..
But I drew the line with the sugar, and reduced the called for amount, so there was an equal flour sugar ratio (I mean comeon', more sugar than flour!!?)


As they were baking I thought I would probably like a rice milk dunking buddy too-
So I made dark-chocolate-chunk-cookies, based on the recipe from 'Sinfully Vegan'.
They weren't amazing, but they were SO quick & easy.


Sadly & peculiarly, cucciolo mio only had one cookie.. saying they were ok, but nothing great..


Me: You mean not sweet enough?
Cm: I don't know.. just bland
Me: Okay, but if they had more sweetness they'd be better?
Cm: I don't know.. probably.. they just taste flour-y..bland


Recipe makes about 1 dozen
Ingredients:
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup (overflowing cup!)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2/3 cup dark choc chips
2 1/2 cups spelt flour


Method:
1.Pre-heat oven to 180C(350F).
2.Place canola oil, maple syrup, vanilla essence and choc chips in a mixing bowl, and stir to combine well.
3.Slowly add the flour, and mix well.
4.Drop spoonfuls of mixture, on a lined baking tray, and press to flatten.
5.Bake for about 10 minutes, or until just browned on their bottoms.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Chilli with Tears

I was supposed to go to the football, with cucciolo mio last night.
Anticipating few vegan food options, and a chilly autumn night, I made a pot of chilli.

As it turned out, cucciolo mio bought home an orphan stray kitten.
We nixed our plans in favour of looking after, the little fuzzball of cuteness.


Sadly, little one ended up dying last night :'(
We don't even really know what happened to her. She just started crashing, and never got better..
Cucciolo mio and I were so upset, we didn't feel like eating at all.

Today I am still feeling a little tender..
But with a big pot of chilli in the fridge, I decided I should eat some for lunch.

I made up the chilli recipe- I've made chilli so many times, I know the basic formula now..
Still, right now I can't remember what I put in it.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sweet Potato Fries

I love sweet potato. It's so versatile. I love it cooked every which way.
I've made oven baked sweet potato fries before, and while yummy, they didn't quite do it for me.
I decided to try again, this time, frying the chips for a couple of minutes, with oil & sea salt.
Delicious!!

Recipe for about 2 serves
Ingredients:
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into fries
Olive oil spray
2tsp olive oil
Sprinkle coarse sea salt

Method:
1.Place chips on a lined baking tray. Spread out evenly, and spray with a fine mist of olive oil.
2.Place, covered, in a pre-heated 180C(350F) oven.
3.Bake for about 40 minutes, or until tender.
4.Heat 2tsp of olive oil in a large frypan on medium heat. Add salt, and chips, and cook until the chips glisten, and start to get nice brown crispy bits on them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Apple, Walnut & Sultana Loaf

I am in love with Tessa Kiros.. well her books.
They are not simply recipe books- scientific equations for food production.
They are a treatise on life..

I wanted to make a fruity not too sweet, almost breadish cake, so I turned to her book "Apples for Jam" for inspiration.
The following, is an adaptation of her recipe "Apple Bread with Sugar & Cinnamon Topping".
This is what she writes about it:
I love the name apple bread- it carries me off in my fantasy to some very green hills with chunky plates and jugs of fresh cream, with rosy cheeked children skipping about here and there. It is perfect for snacks, breakfast, with a meal or as a meal with a few chunks of cheese...

This cake is moorish. Although I did share it with cucciolo mio & a few friends, it is already gone, with not even a crumb remaining.
Cucciolo mio had 2 slices (still warm) last night, with a smear of organic butter, and a mug of milk. Mmmn, comfort food.

Recipe
Ingredients:
1 cup red wine (I used leftovers from my pasta & Andrea Bocelli night)
1/2 cup sultanas
1 red apple, peeled & cored
1/2 vanilla pod, split open (or dash of vanilla essence)
1 cinnamon stick (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder)
2 Tbs raw granulated sugar
1/2 cup raw granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup wholemeal flour, sifted
1tsp bicarb soda
1tsp baking powder
1tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup apples, peeled, cored & coarsely grated
Used vanilla bean insides
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Method:
1.Place red wine, sultanas, apple, vanilla pods, cinnamon & 2 Tbs sugar in a saucepan on medium-high heat, and bring to boil. Cook on a gentle boil, until apple is tender, but not mooshy.
2.Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Prepare a loaf pan.
3.In a large bowl, beat together oil and 1/2 cup sugar. Mash cooked apple, and add to bowl, beating well.
4.Sift the flour, bicarb soda, baking powder & cinnamon in. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon, well.
5.Pour wine & sultana mixture through a strainer, into a container. (The wine is yummy on fruit as a syrup, or just drunk as a mulled wine)
6.Stir in grated apples, walnuts & sultanas to bowl.
7.Take vanilla pod from wine pot, and scrape out the inside seeds into the bowl (or add vanilla essence). Stir well.
8.Spoon mixture into loaf pan, and back for about 45 minutes. Check after 30 minutes.
If the top starts to brown before it's done, cover with foil.
9.Turn out onto cooling racks- but DO eat a slice while still warm..

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Penne with Tomato & Basil

I had the house to myself tonight.
I don't know why that makes dinner feel so different, but it does.
I recently bought a basil plant, and it's succulent & sweet smelling leaves, have been calling me.
So tonight, I decided on a simple pairing- tomato & basil.

I used some canned tomatoes- last years harvest from my Dad's farm.
I poured myself a glass of delicious wine, from said farm, and put on Andrea Bocelli (loud).
Recipe (for 2)
Ingredients:
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
10 or so basil leaves
1 cup passata
1 cup stewed roma tomatoes, chopped (canned is fine)
1/2tsp fuoco d'amore or chilli sauce
1 Tbs red wine
Salt & pepper to taste

1 Tbs pine nuts
1 Tbs bread crumbs
2 basil leaves, chopped

Method:
1.Heat oil in frypan, on medium heat.
Add onion, and cook til golden. Add garlic, cooking until softened.
2.Add remaining ingredients.
3.Cook pasta as per directions.
4.Place pine nuts, bread crumbs and basil leaves on a tray, under the grill (broiler) until golden.
Pour into a motar and pestle, and beat around until evenly textured.
5.When the pasta is about ready, add pine nut mixture to sugho(pasta sauce). Turn off heat.
6.Drain pasta.
Add to frypan, and stir sugho through well.

General Tso's Vegetables & Basmati Rice

After reading about no impact man, in the New York Times, I have been thinking of ways to further lessen my environmental impact, in regard to food.
I decided buying in bulk from the co-op (so I can use my own containers), is a good start..
As well as habitually(I've been sporadic at best) frequenting, my local organic farmers market.

All this takes some planning though, and so, until then, I'm foraging through what's left in my pantry and fridge-
And so, again last night I had General Tso's veggies TA-DA!

Cucciolo mio had home-made pizza instead, but after having a bite of mine, said he would have rathered it - wow, veggies over pizza!?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Chickpea and Green Bean, Tomato Stew

I have no idea of the origins of this dish- neither literally, or ethnically..
It came to me from my dear friend M, she bought it along to a potluck picnic once.
I've been making it ever since. It's a nice, reliable 30 minute meal (who doesn't love 30 minute meals!?)..
The secret ingredient, which really transforms the whole dish- is white vinegar:
Don't ask me, in this case, I just follow the instructions.

Recipe
Ingredients:

1-2Tbs olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2tsp cumin seeds
1/2tsp asafoetida
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (I used tinned organic)
2Tbs tomato paste
2Tbs water
1 can(400g) chickpeas, drained
2 handfuls green beans (or snake beans) split, and halved
4 small dried bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2Tbs white vinegar

Basmati rice

Method:
1.Add oil and onion to frypan on medium heat. When softened, add garlic, cumin & asafoetida, and saute until onion is browned.
2.Add all remaining ingredients, except vinegar, and stir well to combine. Cover, and turn down heat just a little.
3.Boil water for rice, and cook per instructions.
4.By the time your rice is cooked, and drained, the green beans should be tender.
Add vinegar, and stir in well. Cook for 1 or 2 more minutes.
5.Serve, with rice.

St Pats Naked Irish Oatmeal Cupcakes

If you squint your eyes, and look really, really carefully, you can see I'm Irish..
Some of my great(etc+) grandparents came to Australia from Ireland, 211 years ago.
There could also be green blood, a wee bit closer, somewhere in there, but that's not yet known..
My husband says he's Irish American- so far it seems to me, we're probably similarly nano-decimal-Irish.. but then, he does have a cool Irish name.



When we were in Portland, OR, last october, I had many delicious slices of Irish Oatmeal cake (vegan), from New Seasons [truly the friendliest store around!]..
It came close to being my favourite cake -ever..
So, being St Pats day and all, I decided to try to make my own version.

I found this recipe, and veganised it, subbing:
1/2 canola oil for the butter (oops, it should have been 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup granulated evaporated cane juice - instead of white sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup - instead of brown sugar
2Tbs ground flax seed, mixed with 2Tbs water - instead of 2 eggs
1 1/3 wholemeal flour - instead of white

I also added:
1/2 cup of applesauce, along with the oil
1/2tsp baking soda, along with the baking powder
Omitted the salt
1/2 cup rolled oats, just before spooning into liners

I didn't make the topping, because I was unsure of a condensed milk sub, and anyway, I was planning on doing a vanilla buttercream frosting..
Which I tried, but it was just too rich and sweet for my liking.
So, naked they stayed.

While these were yummy, they didn't touch on the bring-you-to-your-knees-delicious-ness of the Portland cake.
Gotta keep on trying :)

Friday, March 16, 2007

General Tso's Tofu with Vegetables & Basmati Rice

I've never had General Tso's before.
I haven't even seen it on a menu, here in Australia.
Still, considering how much my husband adores it- I figured it was worth trying..
Then I found this recipe, via ateoto ...



Cucciolo mio(my little pet/husband)doesn't like tofu, so I only did enough tofu to satisfy myself- and because I'm not a fan of cornflour, I only used it sparingly..
I also added:

1 1/2 carrots (diced)
1 1/2 smallish zucchinis (diced)
1/2 head of broccoli (cut into small florets)
Handful of green beans (sliced in 2 and halved)
1 rib of celery (cut into small strips)
1 smallish onion (diced)
1/3 red capsicum/bell pepper (cut into chunks)

*While I was preparing my tofu, as per instructions, I steamed my veggies (except the onion and capsicum) until just tender.
*I then set both aside, and continued to make the sauce as per recipe.
*I added the onion and capsicum, with the ginger and garlic.
*Finally I stirred the whole kit and caboodle together, and served it over some basmati rice.

DELICIOUS!
I'll definitely be making this again.
This was enough for cucciolo mio and I + leftovers for 1

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cauliflower Pasta with Toasted Breadcrumbs

It's always a challenge, when you have a few lonely vegetables in your crisper, and not much else by way of ingredients.
I realised, despite good intentions- a lot of vegetables I buy, go straight from crisper to compost.
So, in the spirit of 'use what you have', this pasta was born..

I've been a bit bored with pasta lately- I know all my own tricks too well..
But this was something new, and it was really quick and easy to make- always a bonus.

I don't know if it was the addition of fuoco d'amore (Fire of Love) chilli sauce (actually a gift for my husband), but this dish was really a flavour notch above my usual pasta staples..

Makes 2 serves
Ingredients:
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 onion (I like red)
1/2 cup mushrooms (diced)
1 garlic clove (minced)
2/3 cup cauliflower (chopped into small florets)
2/3 cup diced tomatoes (I use organic tinned/canned)
1 tsp chilli sauce [I used fuoco d'amore (product of italy) but you can use any that contains real chillies]
2 Tbs water

250g(about) dried pasta (I used wholemeal penne)

2 Tbs breadcrumbs
2 Tbs pine nuts
2 tsp mixed dried herbs (I wanted to use 2 Tbs fresh parsley)

Method:
1.Put oil in a fry-pan on medium heat, and cook onions until golden.
Add mushrooms, until softened, then add garlic. Cook until garlic is golden but not brown.

2.Add cauliflower, diced tomatoes, chilli sauce and water, and stir until well combined. Cover.

3.Cook pasta, as per directions.
Place breadcrumbs, pine nuts and herbs on a lined baking tray, and place under the grill/broiler.
Keep an eye on them(I burnt one lot!). Toast til golden, then set aside.

4.By the time your pasta's done, your cauliflower should be nice and tender- if not, continue to cook until it is.
Drain pasta.
With your frypan on the still warm, hotplate, add pasta, and stir well to coat.
Stir in breacrumb mixture.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Breakfast for his Birthday

Yesterday was my husbands birthday.
Although as he argues, he was actually born on the other side of the international date line, and thus is entitled to two birthdays! :)

Our eating habits & tastes, are vastly different-He isn't a vegan.
SO, for breakfast I made him- Buttermilk pancakes, with maple syrup and fresh bananas & blueberries..

His verdict- YUM

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Two posts in one day!? ack

Due to a bloody moth invasion, my pantry is very bare, still I had the required ingredients for oatmeal raisin's.
They are also my husbands favourites.. and it is sort of his birthday week.

I altered the recipe from "The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook"
When I got to measuring out the flour, I realised my organic wholemeal flour had been infested- So I nixed that and decided to use 1/2 rice flour instead.
I've never used it before- but I guessed it would be more nutritous than white flour.
Am I being delusional?

If you want a real gooey-chewy cookie- a lot of people like their oatmeal raisin's that way:
Add more 'fat', either in applesauce or canola oil.
Edit 3/11/07: I think I was just so starved for a vegan cookie, any vegan cookie, that these tasted good. Don't get me wrong, they weren't terrible.. but ordinarily they wouldn't have hit my cookie spot. Definitely more fat needed!! And rice flour was a bad idea!

Recipe (I only made a 1/2 batch)
Ingredients:
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soymilk
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups rice flour (or like I wanted- wholemeal flour)
1 1/4 cups white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins (pre-soaked in orange juice or hot water)

Method:
1.Cream apple sauce and oil together. Cream in sugar.

2.Add soymilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

3.Beat in flour, baking powder and salt.

4.With a spoon, stir in oats and finally the raisins, until well combined.

5.Bake at 180C/350F oven, for about 10 minutes, or until undersides just start to brown.

Spiced Yellow Split Peas with Vegetables and Basmati Rice

I'm a little too fond of my breakfast ritual.
So much so, that lately I have been eating breakfast, twice a day..
To curb the ill effects of too much tahini, I tried something different last night.

This was a make-it-up-as-you-go type dinner, with the starting point being split-yellow-peas.
It ended up being a quasi indian meal- spiced split peas and veggies, with basmati rice.

We have been having monster rain storms around here lately.
Such that, it already feels a little bit like autumn.
So with this in mind, I cosied up on the couch, and ate this last night.
It was mild, yet still flavourful.
Had a real satisfying comfort food feel- I think it would be lovely in winter.
It hit the spot.

Recipe
Ingredients:
1/2 onion
1/2 rib celery
1/5 capsicum (bell pepper)
1/3 carrot (save the rest)

1tsp tumeric
1tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Chilli or cayenne pepper to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups split yellow peas
water

2 large cauliflower florets (cut off from a head of cauliflower)
Remaining carrot
1 apple (peeled & cored)
1/3 cup raisins
1 zucchini

Basmati rice

Method:
1.Finely dice onion, celery, bell pepper and 1/3 of the carrot .
Place in saucepan with enough olive oil to suit, on medium heat.
Stir in spices, and cook until onion is browned.

2.Pour in washed split peas, and stir to coat the split peas thoroughly.
Add enough water to cover, and bring to boil.

3.Roughly chop zucchini, apple, cauliflower and remaining carrot.
Add the sultanas and reduce heat, to a gentle boil.
Cook for about 10 minutes.

4.Cook basmati rice, as per directions. Mine usually only takes about 10 minutes on the boil.

5.Add cauliflower, apple and carrot to mixture.
If split peas are running dry, add a little more water.
Cook for another 15 minutes, stirring every now and then.

6.Add zucchini, and continue to cook until tender.
You may have to stir more frequently towards the end, to prevent sticking.

7.Your split peas and veggies, by now should be tender but not mooshy!
Serve on top of basmati rice..