Tempeh Satay Skewers

Satay Skewers wm042


2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

¼ cup of water

1-2 red bullet chillies

4 tablespoons of organic peanut butter

2 tablespoons of organic tamari or soy sauce

½ teaspoon of tamarind puree

2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice

Plus another ¼ cup of water

1 x 300gram block of organic tempeh



Put the garlic and a ¼ cup of water in a small pan. Bring it to the boil. Gently simmer the garlic for 5 minutes to get rid of the raw taste. Drain and discard any of the cooking water.

Blend the garlic and the remaining ingredients together (except for the tempeh), until they form a sauce. Put a small amount of sauce aside for dipping when you serve the satays. Keep the rest to use as a marinade.

Slice the tempeh (on the shorter side), into 7 even rectangles. Then slice each rectangle in half lengthways, to make 14 thinner pieces. Carefully skewer each piece of tempeh and lay flat in a plastic container.

Pour the rest of the sauce over the tempeh skewers and turn each skewer over, so that they are coated on both sides.  Put them in the fridge and give them time to marinate for at least an hour.

Cook the skewers on a medium heat, in a large non stick fry pan. Allow a couple of minutes on each side, until they are heated through and start to brown.


Serving Suggestion: Serve with sticky rice, chopped cucumber and the dipping sauce. Garnish with crushed peanuts.

Yields: 14 skewers

Time: 20 mins preparation. 1 hour minimum to marinate. 10 minutes cooking time.

Notes: For a smoky and fiery hot flavour, you can use 1 dried chilli instead of 2 fresh chillies. Just remove the seeds and soak the dried chilli in hot water before you blend it with the sauce.

You can purchase tempeh and tamarind paste at select supermarkets and Asian grocers.

The consistency of the satay can vary depending on what brand of peanut butter you use. If it’s a little runny just add a little more peanut butter and if it’s a bit dry, simply add a little water.

Dirty Red Rice Tacos



1 cup of red rice

2 cups of water

¼ cup of water

½ a large brown onion, peeled and finely diced

3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

Pinch of hot cayenne

1 teaspoon of dried oregano

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

2 small tomatoes, cored and finely diced

½ a large red capsicum, finely diced

2 teaspoons of tomato paste

½ cup of vegetable stock

¼ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of liquid smoke

1 small bunch of fresh coriander, washed and drained

8 taco shells



Rinse and drain the rice then place it in a small pot with 2 cups water. Bring it to the boil, then cover the pot, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook until it is cooked. This takes about 30 to 40 minutes. While the rice is cooking, finely slice the coriander stems, roughly chop the leaves and set them aside.

Put the ¼ of a cup of water into a large pan and sauté the onions and garlic on a low heat, until the onions are translucent. Add the cumin seeds, cayenne, oregano and paprika and sauté on a low heat for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes, capsicum, tomato paste and the vegetable stock and cook on a low heat for a couple of minutes.

Add the cooked rice and coriander stems to the pan with the rest of the ingredients. Stir the mixture so all the flavours combine. If the mixture is too wet just cook it a little longer.

Spoon equal amounts into the taco shells and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with sliced avocado and dairy free sour cream. They are lovely topped with a bit of spicy salsa too.


Yields: 8 tacos

Time: 30 to 40 minutes.  If you cook the rice the day before though, it only takes 15 minutes to get these on the table.

Notes:  You can get red rice from Asian grocers. If you can’t find red rice you can substitute it with brown rice.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Pies with Mango Mint and Lime Salsa

Sweet Potato PIE 3 IMG_6593wm


1 large sweet potato

1 tablespoon of rice bran oil

1 large brown onion, peeled and finely diced

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

¼ teaspoon of dried crushed hot chilli

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 teaspoon of pimento allspice

1 large green capsicum

1 can of crushed tomatoes

2 cans of black beans

¾ cup of vegetable stock

20 grams of dairy free (70% cocoa) dark chocolate

3/4 teaspoon of salt

Cracked black pepper to taste

4 handfuls of Kataifi pastry

2 large mangos, cut into cubes

1 cup of fresh mint leaves, washed

2 limes



Preheat your oven to 180c and get a steamer on to boil.  Peel the sweet potato, cut it into rough cubes and steam them until the potato is tender. Once the potato is cooked, mash it and set it aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook on a low heat until the onion is caramelised.  Add the chilli, coriander and pimento allspice and cook, stirring frequently for another minute or 2.

Add the capsicum, tomatoes, black beans and stock and gently simmer on a low to medium heat for 5 minutes. Once all the ingredients have cooked down, stir in the chocolate, salt and some ground black pepper, to taste. Continue cooking until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is a thick, wet consistency.

Spoon equal amounts of the bean mixture into 4 shallow, single serve pie dishes. Top each with some mashed potato. Then top each pie with a handful of Kataifi pastry. Place the pies into the oven and cook until the pastry has started to brown.

Make the salsa by juicing the 2 limes, roughly chopping the mint and combining them with the mango. Place into a small serving dish.

Serve the pies hot from the oven, accompanied with the salsa.


Yields: 4 serves.

Time: 25 – 30 minutes preparation. Plus 15 minutes cooking time.

Notes: You can purchase black beans at well stocked health food stores. If you don’t have black beans you can substitute them with kidney beans.

Kataifi pastry can be found in well stocked delis. Otherwise substitute with filo pastry. The pies are also lovely with no pastry.

Basic Pizza Dough

Pizza Doughwm

I make pizza dough all the time these days.  That way I know the ingredients. Besides it only takes a couple of minutes to throw all the ingredients together and roll out and I just prepare the rest of the meal while it proofs.


1 and 3/4 cups of plain or wholemeal flour

1 x 7 gram packet of dried yeast

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

200ml or so of warm water (start with 200 and go from there. Flour differs in its “hardness” so I find I often need more, but always use 200 as a starting point)

# extra flour for dusting



Sift the flour into a large bowl.

Add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir to evenly combine.

Add the water and mix all ingredients. Mix them together, and then work the dough into a ball. If it is too dry, slowly add more water a little at a time until it comes together. If it is a little wet, add a little more flour till it comes together.

Dust your bench with a little flour and knead the dough for 5 minutes.

Then pop it back in the bowl and allow it to proof until it doubles in size. I am usually impatient though and often start rolling it out a lot sooner than this.

Once the dough has proofed, dust your bench again and roll it out into whatever shape and thickness you want. I tend to roll mine very thin as I prefer thin crust pizza.


Yields: Makes enough for 1 large or 2 small pizza bases.

Time: 10 minutes preparation. Plus proofing time.

Freeze: Absolutely! Just portion any dough you don’t need, wrap it well and freeze it for another day.

Giant Penne Pasta w/ Mushroom Sauce


250 grams of large penne pasta (dry)

1 teaspoon salt for the pasta water

2 large cloves garlic

1/2 large brown onion, peeled and finely diced

4 cups of swiss brown mushrooms, sliced (stalks and all)

1/3 cup of dry white wine

1.5 cups of rice milk

1 teaspoon of porcini powder (optional but amazing)

1 teaspoon cornflour

1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, chopped

2 cups asparagus, sliced (be sure to cut the woody ends off)


salt/pepper to taste



Place a large pot of water and a teaspoon of salt on stove top and bring to the boil.

Heat some oil in a pan. Throw in the onion and garlic and cook till the onion is caramelised.

Add a little more oil to the pan and add the mushrooms. Sauté on a medium heat until soft and nicely browned. This is where a lot of your flavour is going to come from, so don’t get impatient and rush this part.

Add the white wine and deglaze the pan.

Add the rice milk and porcini powder to the mushroom mix and simmer gently.

In a small separate container mix the cornflour with enough water to combine to a watery consistency and stir till free of lumps. Add the cornflour mixture slowly to the mushroom mix, until you achieve required consistency. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon. Continue to gently simmer for another minute or so.

Add the asparagus and rosemary. Mix through and check the seasoning. If you need to, add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook pasta in boiling water till al dente. Strain the pasta once it is cooked and add it to the mushroom sauce and combine.

#Optional ~ If you want some “cheesiness”, add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast flakes and stir through before serving.


Yields: Serves 2

Cauliflower & Chickpea Curry



I had some cauliflower that needed using up and then I picked up some organic tomatoes and capsicum for 1/2 price and had an urge to make a curry. The following is what I came up with.



1 head of cauliflower (approx 4 loose cups), cut into florets

1 can chickpeas, rinsed well

6 tomatoes, core removed and roughly chopped

1 medium brown onion, peeled and finely diced

1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, very finely diced

1 small red chilli, seeded and very finely diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 heaped tablespoon of curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups vegetable stock

1/3 cup tomato puree

1 capsicum (also known as bell pepper)

1 bunch fresh washed coriander, roots removed, stems finely sliced and leaves roughly chopped

2-3 teaspoons besan flour (also known as chickpea or garbanzo flour)



Heat a small amount of water in a large non stick pan and sauté the onion on a low to medium heat until it softens. Add the ginger and chilli and cook for another minute or so.

Add a little more water and add the cumin, turmeric, curry powder, ground coriander and salt and continue to stir on a low to medium heat for a few minutes. Add a little extra water if you need to, in order to stop the spices from burning.

Add the tomatoes, stir all the ingredients together and let them gently simmer for another couple of minutes to allow the tomatoes to start breaking down.

Pour the vegetable stock and tomato puree into the pan. Add the cauliflower, capsicum and chickpeas. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer very gently for about 10 – 15 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked. I allowed mine to remain slightly firm.

Just before the cauliflower is cooked, place 2 teaspoons of besan flour in a small dish with enough water to make a loose paste and pour the mixture into the pan. Stir it through the other ingredients and allow the dish to simmer and the sauce to thicken. If you want the curry to be a little thicker, make a paste with the remaining teaspoon of besan flour and some water and repeat. Serve, once the cauliflower is tender.

Garnish with lots of fresh washed coriander. Serve with steamed basmati or brown rice and pappadams.


Servings: 4

Time: 30 minutes

Freezing: Not recommended.

Notes: Fresh whole spices are always more fragrant. You just grind them as you need them.

You can purchase besan flour in any well stocked health food store.

Lentil Shepherds Pie

Lentil Shepherds Pie 159wm


oil or water for cooking
1 large brown onion, peeled and finely diced
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 large unpeeled carrots, grated (2 cups)
2 cups of celery, washed and finely sliced
1 teaspoon of hot chilli powder
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
½ tablespoon of ground coriander
3 tablespoons of curry powder
1 ½ cups of green/brown lentils, rinsed well
5 cups of gluten free vegetable stock
1 can of crushed tomatoes
6 cups of brown potatoes, peeled and diced (any type that are good for mashing)
¼ cup of gluten free plant based milk, such as almond or rice milk
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 bunch of fresh coriander, washed and roughly chopped

Gently heat a little oil (or water) in a large pot and sauté the onion till softened. Add the garlic and stir for another minute or two. Add the carrot and celery and cook for another 5 minutes.

Dry roast the spices in a small pan on low heat, stirring frequently for a minute or two to bring out their fragrance.

Add the spices, lentils, tomato puree and stock to the pot and stir to combine. Bring it all to the boil, then turn the heat down to a very gentle simmer. Cook the lentils, uncovered till they are tender (approximately 45 minutes). Add a little extra stock if you need to, but you don’t want the lentils to be too watery or the mash potato will just fall into them.

While the lentils are cooking, get a large pot of water on to boil. Cook the potatoes until tender. Once they are tender, add the milk. Mash it all together till you get a nice smooth piping consistency. Add a little extra milk of you need to. Season well with the salt and add pepper to taste.

Once the lentils are ready, stir the fresh coriander through them. Place them into a baking dish and allow them to cool a little.

Place a large piping nozzle into a piping bag and spoon some mashed potato into it. The mash needs to be quite hot to pipe well, so wrap a tea towel around the piping bag so you can hold it without burning yourself. Pipe rosettes onto the lentils until they are all covered.

Pop the baking dish into a preheated oven at about 180c and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the potato starts to brown.

Yields: Serves 4 very hungry people or 6 not so hungry people.

Time: 30 minutes preparation. 1 hour of cooking time.

Notes: If you use different lentils, they will take either more or less time to cook depending on which ones you choose This will alter how much stock you need and the overall flavor of the dish.

The smaller you cut your potatoes the quicker they will cook.

Convenient Beetroot Falafel


The best recipes are often the most simple. This is a favourite in our household and always a hit anytime we have served it to others.

These are SO quick and SO easy.

You ready?



a packet of falafel mix from the supermarket

1-2 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and minced

1 small fresh beetroot

a handful of fresh parsley, washed well and drained

a handful of fresh coriander, washed ell and drained

½ teaspoon of salt

pepper to taste



Prepare the falafel mixture as per the instructions on the box and set aside as it needs time to absorb the water. This is usually about 10 minutes.

In the meantime peel and grate the beetroot. You need ½ cup. Set aside any leftover beetroot for another day.

Finely chop the coriander and parsley. Add the beetroot, coriander, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper to the falafel mixture and stir all the ingredients until they are well combined.

Make teaspoon size balls out of the mixture and place them on a plate.

Carefully shallow fry the falafel balls for a minute or 2, in rice bran oil until golden brown then place them on paper towelling to drain.


I serve my beetroot falafels with hummus, grated (unpeeled carrot), sliced capsicum, diced fresh tomato, steamed corn on the cob, soft tortillas, fresh spinach and spicy guacamole. It’s a delicious meal!


Yields: 30 small falafel balls

Time: 15 minutes. 25- 30 minutes if you are serving them as I have suggested above.

Notes: Make sure there is a lot more falafel mix than there is beetroot or its impossible to ball and will fall apart when you try to fry it.

To test if your oil is hot enough, just throw a little bit of bread into it and if it sizzles the oil is hot enough.