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Zucchini and Tomato Chutney

Most people that grow zucchinis in Tasmania seem to think the plants produce too much – I can never have enough of them – whether it’s grating them up and sneaking them into delicious chocolate mud cake, adding them to roast veggies for the last 10 minutes of roasting, grating and mixing them into a chickpea flour batter and frying as fritters, there are so many uses for them.  Here is another way to use this vegetable, in a chutney that will probably keep for 12 months in the cupboard.  It’s a small batch so if you’ve never made your own chutney before this is a nice one to try.
I’m growing costata romanesco zucchini this season (I think this is the third year in a row that I’ve grown it), it’s a really tasty Italian heirloom variety – so it’s GMO-free and easy to save the seeds.

costata romanesco zucchini

costata romanesco zucchini

Making your own chutneys and sauces is actually really easy and affordable.  With shop-bought organic chutneys and relishes often being ridiculously expensive with weird stuff like xanthan gum and anonymous ‘natural flavour’ added to them it can be worthwhile to make your own, even if you don’t grow any veggies.

I based this recipe with the same amounts of fruit, sugar and vinegar as a pumpkin chutney recipe from Good Home Preserving.  With the right jar preparation the pumpkin chutney recipe keeps for 12 months, so I imagine that this one will keep well too.  The trick is to sterilise your jars with heat before filling, and to tip them upside down after filling until they cool down.  I use this same trick for jams and sauces.

The flavourings I use in this recipe are reminiscent of a typical English chutney or relish.  Feel free to change the spices, as long as the main ingredients are the same this recipe will work.

Gluten-free, soy-free, low fat, sugar-free option

Kitchen time 10-15 minutes.  Cooking time 1 hour.


Makes around 1100ml/1.1 quart/4 2/3 cups)

Ingredients:

300g (10.58oz) rapadura, sucanat, coconut sugar or raw sugar
300g (10.58oz) apple cider vinegar
700g (1.54lb) zucchini, diced
1 small carrot (or extra zucchini), diced (50-100g/1.76-3.2oz)
200g (7.05oz) diced tomatoes, or tomato purée/crushed tomatoes
50g (1.76oz) sultanas or raisins
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
125g (4.4oz) onions, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard powder (or yellow mustard seeds, crushed in a pestle and mortar)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 heaped teaspoon Himalayan salt, or natural sea salt
3 cloves, ground (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves)

Method:

Rinse enough jars out with very hot water (preferably boiling).  Place upside down, directly on the racks of a cold oven.  Heat the oven up to 120c (250f).

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium-low heat.  Stir every now and then until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, with the lid off, for around an hour.

When the chutney has finished cooking, bring a small pot of water to the boil.  Add the pot lids or gaskets and boil for 30-60 seconds, carefully remove the lids and place upside down on a clean tea towel to dry.

Carefully remove the hot jars from the oven.  Fill them up with the hot chutney (I place a wide-mouthed funnel over the jars and use a soup ladle to add the chutney).  Screw the jar lids on tightly and turn upside down until thoroughly cold.  Turn the right way up and store in a cupboard, it will probably keep for 12 months.  It will taste best after it’s been in the cupboard for a couple of weeks, but it’s still good to enjoy right away.  Once the jars are opened, keep them in the fridge.

Great served with mildly flavoured seitan sausages such as pumpkin seed, lentil and herb from High Protein Vegan, or burgers such as chickpea schnitzel patties or bean and sunflower seed rissoles from ‘High Protein Vegan’, or the lentil burgers from Triumph of the Lentil.

chickpea schnitzel patties from 'High Protein Vegan'

chickpea schnitzel patties from High Protein Vegan

P.S. I have more recipes coming up on this blog soon.  To ensure that you get to see them subscribe to the mailing list on the right hand side of this page to get blog posts by email – I don’t send spam, just blog posts which are not that frequent and always have a recipe or something useful in them.  Facebook is making it really difficult for blog pages to get news out to people that like the page, so even if you ‘like’ the Triumph of the Lentil Blog page, you may not find out about new posts unless you follow this blog by email or Twitter.

This post is a part of Wellness Weekend, Pennywise Platter, Wheat-Free Wednesday, Made from Scratch Monday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday,

Creamy Vanilla Bean Chia Custard

I seem to be working on quite a few different cookbooks at the moment, which may mean that it will be some time before this wonderful recipe is in print.  I will be nice and share it on here now.

vanilla bean custard

This is a healthy and filling snack or dessert with the delicious taste of real vanilla and a decadent creamy mouthfeel.  It takes very little actual kitchen time – just put a couple of ingredients on to soak for a while, then add some extra ingredients and blend it up.

Gluten-free, soy-free, under 45 minutes option

Kitchen time 5 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons chia seeds
6 tablespoons raw cashews
1 1/2 cups vegan milk (for best results use homemade unsweetened almond, cashew or sunflower seed milk)
2 tablespoons agave syrup
pulp from one vanilla bean (or 3 teaspoons high quality real vanilla extract)
a pinch of salt
optional 1/2 teaspoon maca powder

Method:

Combine the chia seeds, cashews and vegan milk in a bowl.  Cover and leave to soak in the fridge for at least 10 minutes, preferably over 2 hours or overnight.

Add this to a blender along with the agave, vanilla bean pulp, salt and optional maca powder.

Blend until smooth and enjoy right away, or refrigerate and enjoy later (it will thicken in the fridge).

This post is a part of Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Pennywise Platter, Raw Foods Thursdays, Wheat Free Wednesdays,

Raw Cashew Yoghurt

We go through times where we don’t have that much variety in our meals, it’s really easy to have a few favourites that can be made through the whole year and always have the ingredients around to make them.  Lately I’ve been trying to plan our meals and weekly shopping a bit more so that I can try out new recipes.

I recently got Bryanna Clark Grogan’s book ‘World Vegan Feast’ and dog-eared around half the pages, there are so many recipes that look really good (and the ones that I’ve tried so far have been great).  There was one for shawarma wraps that involved yoghurt, so rather than following a faster recipe I decided to use my meal planning skills to make a fermented vegan yoghurt instead.

Ingredients:

1 cup cashews
water, for soaking
1 cup water, for blending

Method:

Soak the cashews in the water for at least half an hour (preferably overnight).  Drain and place in a blender with a cup of water and blend until smooth.  Using a nut milk bag or a very fine sieve, strain the mixture into a wide-necked jar or bowl.  Leave it to sit at room temperature until it tastes fermented.  It takes around 24 hours in my fairly cold kitchen, if your kitchen is warmer you might want to check after 8 hours or so.

Compared to shop-bought soy yoghurt this is much creamier, richer, and has a slight cashew taste.  Great for any recipe that calls for plain yoghurt, or just served plain with some fruit.

Bryanna Clark Grogan’s recipe consisted of some homemade seitan – slowly baked in broth then thinly sliced and marinated in an incredibly delicious sour and spicy marinade.  The seitan is then grilled (broiled) and served in a wrap with salad greens, tomatoes, red onion and vegan yoghurt and sumac.  It was very tasty, I will definitely make this again.


This recipe has been a part of the Pennywise Platter, March the 14th

Raw Vegan Caramel Sundae

This recipe is based around the magic trick of putting frozen bananas in the blender to make soft-serve ice cream. Recently I’ve discovered some raw dark agave nectar that tastes like caramel, along with hulled hemp seeds and found combining these with the ice cream makes a delicious caramel sundae. If you don’t have hemp seeds, any other crushed-up nut would be fine to replace it with. The caramel sauce recipe in this post would be a good replacement for the agave.

To freeze bananas, peel them and place them in the freezer in a container or bag.  If you’re in a hurry you can slice them up really small, but I usually just break them in half and leave them in there for at least a few hours.  Once they’re frozen they’ll last in there for months, so if you find some cheap bananas this is a quick way to store them for use later in this ice cream, as well as for smoothies and cakes.

Makes 1 big serve, or 2 small
Gluten-free, soy-free, raw

Ingredients:

2 bananas, frozen
1/3 cup vegan milk (use a raw nut milk if you want it to be 100% raw)
2-3 teaspoons dark raw agave or date caramel sauce, for drizzling
hulled hemp seeds, or crushed-up nuts, for sprinkling

 
Method:
In a blender place the bananas and vegan milk.  Leave to sit for a minute (not very long though) and then blend until it resembles soft-serve ice cream.  You may need to stir it a couple of times during the blending to help it blend evenly.

 
Place on your serving dish, drizzle with dark raw agave and sprinkle with hulled hemp seeds.  Eat right away.

Raw Pecan Tarts (Vegan Iron Chef Pecan Challenge)

Recently there’s been some recipe challenges in the Goodreads vegan cooking group.  With the current challenge being for pecans and some pecans in my kitchen that needed using, I decided to make something raw and delicious with them.

This recipe started out as a raw custard tart, but after making the base and the pecan cream filling, I thought it needed something else, and created a delicious caramel sauce that I would recommend doubling the next time (and maybe halving the pecan cream filling).

Soy-free, gluten-free

Kitchen time 10 minutes.  Makes 4.

For the pecan cream (I would recommend halving this):

2 cups pecans

7 dates, pitted

1 vanilla bean

water, for soaking

1 – 1 1/2 cups water, for blending

Soak the pecans, dates and vanilla bean in enough water to cover for at least a few minutes, preferably a few hours.  Drain the water (reserving it for blending), remove the vanilla bean, slice it open and scrape the pulp into a blender with the pecans and dates.  Add 1 cup of the reserved water and blend on high until combined.  Add the extra half a cup of water if you want.

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups pecans

1/2 cup dessicated (dried, finely shredded) coconut

5 dates, pitted

1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid

In a food processor, combine the pecans and coconut.  Blend until soft and crumbly.  Add the dates and coconut oil and blend until evenly mixed and no big pieces of dates remain.

For the caramel sauce (I would recommend doubling this):

8 dates

1/4 cup pecans

3/4 cup water

1 – 4 pinches of salt, to taste

Place all the sauce ingredients in a blender and leave to soak for at least a few minutes, preferably a few hours.  Blend until smooth.

To assemble:

Take 4 12cm (4 3/4″) tart pans and place 1/4 of the crust mixture in each.  Press into the base and sides.  Pour in 1/4 of the pecan cream into each pan, then decorate with the caramel sauce and some extra pecans.

More recipes from the pecan iron chef challenge:

Pecan Encrusted Tempeh from Carrot Top Vegan

Gingerbread Pecan Biscotti from Plenty Sweet Enough

Raw Brownies

The raw brownie recipe is not one of my own, but can be found here.

Rawgust

‘Rawgust’ is an idea promoted by The Raw Food Institute.  It involves taking a pledge to go 100% raw for the entire month of August.

I’ve never been 100% raw and like cooked food way too much to consider it so I haven’t signed this pledge, but eating a lot of raw food is great for our health even if we don’t try to have any specific amount of raw food in our diet, so I try to find ways to add more raw food to our lives during the winter.

Raw snacks, like these mostly raw healthy chocolate truffles from Triumph of the Lentil: Soy-Free Vegan Wholefoods for all Appetites are a tasty way to eat more raw food.

Healthy Chocolate Truffles, from Triumph of the Lentil: Soy-Free Vegan Wholefoods for all Appetites

There are heaps of raw dessert recipes available online.  A lot of chocolate ones are based around a combination of dates, nuts and raw cacao.  You don’t really need a recipe to make stuff like this, you can just throw things into a food processor and adjust it to taste, but a good way to start is with 1 1/2 cups of walnuts (or other nut), 1/3 cup of raw cacao and 1 cup of dates (around 12 medjool ones).  Process the walnuts until very fine, then mix in the cacao.  Pit the dates, then add them to the nuts and cacao and process until evenly mixed.  You can roll this into balls, shape it into bars or a cake, or just eat it in spoonfuls out of the food processor.  Something I like a lot about raw desserts like this one is that they are often ready right away, so can replace shop-bought muesli bars in a healthier way.

Here are some links to delicious looking raw recipes:

The Raw Brownie

Raw Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes with Avocado Frosting

VegWeb Raw Desserts and Treats

There are plenty more around online if you look for them.  Some require hard-to-find ingredients and dehydrators, but a lot of them are really quick and easy to make.  Triumph of the Lentil: Soy-Free Vegan Wholefoods for all Appetites has easy recipes for a raw black forest slice, and a raw apricot slice, along with the healthy chocolate truffles in the above picture, which use barley malt syrup or maple syrup as a sweetener, but are otherwise raw.

What are your favourite raw recipes?

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