Mushroom Quinoa Steak served with fresh Pesto on Baked Aubergine

I frequently enjoy replacing ordinary meals with vegan or vegetarian deliciousness. I actually eat more vegan food now than anything else. Why? Because it tastes amazing and is so good for my health.

The other day I had made both, so the family could choose what they wanted – to my surprise ALL, even the teenagers helped themselves to the vegan dishes! And there I was, stuck with the meat which I had to chuck……… imagine!

I thought, really? But yes!
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This is one of the dishes that win over meat in our family.

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Moroccan Vegan Burger with Spicy Homemade Harissa

One of the ways I like to keep healthy by is making some of my meals with plant-based foods.

In general I try to be 80% plant-based as I feel my body thrives and feels content that way. So much so I could never go back to my old “regular” diet. I smile when I see my children eating more and more vegetables too.

Hey they do as you do, not as you say 🙂

This way of eating keeps my cholesterol levels down, naturally. I maintain my ideal weight. I have tons of energy all thorough the day. And the Meniere’s disease I once suffered from, has gone!

Yesterdays plant- based invention was this:

Morrocan Vegan Burger with Homemade Spicy Harissa

Moroccan Vegan Burger

Moroccan Vegan Burger

 

Moroccan Vegan Burger with Spicy Homemade Harissa

3 medium sized yams – cooked until tender

2 cups of cooked quinoa

500 grams dark mushrooms

3 shallots

Olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

3 spoons of flaxseed meal

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Seasoned flour

Spice mix

small 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Small 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Small 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Small 1/2 teaspoon Allspice

1/2 teaspoon Cumin

Finely chop the shallots, rinse and chop the mushrooms – put the mushrooms into a hot frying pan with olive oil and fry until they are until golden brown. Add the chopped shallots and continue frying until they are tender. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

In the blender put the de-skinned baked yams, the cooked quinoa, the cooked mushrooms, the spice mix, the freshly squeezed garlic, the sea salt and the freshly ground pepper-blend. Put the “burger” mixture into a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal. The mixture is quite soft so it can be a little tricky to work with – you can put the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours before you make them into patties so they can firm up a bit. Then turn them in seasoned flour like this:

Turn lightly in flour before frying

Turn lightly in flour before frying

Gently fry the patties in olive oil until they are golden brown on both sides.

Serve on a good bun with homemade harissa sauce, slices of red onions and a handful of Arugula or mixed lettuce – (see recipe for homemade rolls here )

Homemade Spicy Harissa

Spicy Harissa Sauce

Spicy Harissa Sauce

I love this sauce on anything – the perfect dip for any vegetable! But also good with fish, chicken, lamb, – well, as I said, anything 🙂

2-3 red peppers

1-3 cloves of garlic depending on how fierce you want it

1/4 cup of olive oil

Red chilli – I use 1/2 , how hot do you like it?

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Juice of one lemon

Cut the peppers in halfs and bake them in the oven with the skin up until they are tender and the skin is beginning to get dark, actually almost almost black. Leave them to cool and then take off the skin.

Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend into a smooth sauce.

A healthy spicy bite

A healthy spicy bite

Plant-wild week-day 2

Day 2 of our plant-wild week. I slept like a log and woke up full of energy – I can feel how I am actually fueling my body with everything good.

I am excited about today – I love this, creating new healthy recipes – and as you may know, I don’t compromise on taste …………

Breakfast

Breakfast today is quinoa cooked in coconut milk and cardamom, served with chopped dates, walnuts and fresh peaches.

I used:

1 cup of quinoa

1 can of coconut milk

5 green cardamom pods

1/2 cup of water

Put all the ingredients in a pan and cook over gentle heat till all the coconut milk is absorbed. The cardamon gives an awesome taste but they’re a bit chewy for most, so please see if you can fish out the 5 pods before serving.

Serve with chopped walnuts, dates and fresh peaches

Morning smoothie

Morning smoothie:

2 slices of fresh pineapple

one peach

one mango

a handful of grapes

some frozen summer berries

a handful of almonds

Blend into a smooth and delicious morning smoothie. This is a family hit.

Lunch

Salad with pomegranate, apples, pineapple and walnuts in a pomegranate marinade:

Arugula lettuce

A mix of your favorite lettuces

1/2 pomegranate

a slice of pineapple

a handful of walnuts

1 apple

2 spring onions

Marinade

1/2 pomegranate

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons of agave or maple sirup

1 clove of garlic

pinch of sea salt

Put all ingredients for the marinade, except for the olive oil, into the blender – blend, add the olive oil slowly only a little at a time.

Arrange the salad, add the marinade, the apple, some finely chopped pineapple, the pomegranate seeds and sprinkle on top with the walnuts.

By the way – wear your bathing suit or an apron while making this – I ruined a T-shirt, because the little red juicy pomegranate seeds were wildly uncontrollable and went all over the place.

The taste of this salad was so intense and full of flavors – I will be making this again soon!

Dinner

We love to BBQ – and as we don’t care too much about the weather, we try to BBQ all year round, but I must admit the best time to BBQ is now, on a warm summer night, while the hummingbirds are flitting about and the long rays of sun setting give such a relaxing colour to everything.

So BBQ dinner: Tonight’s  dinner is BBQ Portobello mushrooms with slices of marinated eggplant and served on grilled bread with homemade pesto sauce!

The bread

3 cups of water

1 teaspoon of yeast

2 tablespoons of olive oil – season with a clove or two of garlic

5 cups of organic wheat flour

1 cup of organic whole wheat

Salt

Put the (lukewarm) water and yeast into a big bow and stir until the yeast is dissolved, then add the olive oil and a spoonful of salt. Stir in the flour a little at a time until you have used all flour. When the dough has absorbed all the flour and does not seem to want more put it on the counter for a couple of hours to raise. Cover it with a clean wet (damp) cloth.

Scoop out the dough on the kitchen counter – onto a bit of extra flour – to keep it from sticking. Tear off a small amount, about the size of a tennis ball and roll it out to a fairly thin bread (like a pizza). Put it on a piece of baking paper on a plate and add another sheet of baking paper on top for the next bread. Make the amount you need – we usually have one per person.

Heat up the BBQ and brush each bread with some of garlic olive oil and carefully place the oiled breads oily side down on the BBQ – brush the upper side with the garlic oil. Turn them until they are slightly browned on both sides and ready.

BBQ

4 Portobello mushrooms

4 thick slices of eggplant

fresh rosemary

olive oil

Lemon juice

Marinate the eggplant slices with a bit of olive oil, some fresh rosemary, some sea salt and some freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Take the stalks out of the Portobello mushrooms and put them and the slices of eggplant on the BBQ. Grill gently til everything is ready – turning every now and then, sprinkle with some sea salt.

Homemade Pesto

I love the fresh basil in the garden right now – it is so intense and deep in flavor.

a big bunch of fresh basil

1 clove of garlic

2 spoonfuls of pine nuts

sea salt

one tablespoon of nutritional yeast

1/3 cup of olive oil

Blend it all together in to a great sauce.


To assemble the dinner, slice some tomatoes and some red onions and some lettuce. This goes wonderfully along with the grilled bread, the pesto and the grilled eggplant and Portobellos.

Too serve put a grilled bread on a plate, add some pesto, a grilled Portobello, a grilled slice of eggplant, some slices of tomatoes, onions and some lettuce –

Enjoy!

Stuffed baked Portobello mushrooms

I was in a hurry and I needed to have dinner ready quickly – but — no compromises! I wanted it to be healthy and delicious too.

Luckily in-house I had a tray full of incredibly red and ripe tomatoes – sweet, locally grown and with intense flavor and aroma. I also had some Portobello mushrooms and a bunch of fresh basil.

Not only that but I also had some really good bread (from the greatest Italian bakery)! and, oh and a big clove of garlic. Everything I needed to make a quick feast!

 

I cleaned the mushrooms – took out the stalks, chopped them and some tomatoes, found a good bit of fresh basil and added some olive oil to the pan. When it was hot I added the Portobello stalks — left them to brown and then added the tomatoes and cooked them until they were soft. Added the fresh basil and some garlic. I flavoured with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and a fresh  squeeze of lemon. Then I added a slice of that great bread which I had cut into little cubes. I mixed it all together and added the mixture into the Portobello “cups” –  I put them in a baking dish drizzled with a little olive oil and put them into a 350 F hot oven to bake for about 20 min. I kept an eye on them because they are ready when they are just slightly browned and the Portobello meat is tender.

In the meantime, I cooked some sprouted quinoa in slightly salted water. When it was cooked I added a dash of olive oil, some freshly squeezed lemon juice and a sprinkle of ground coriander. This made the perfect match to the baked Portobello.

There is nothing like cooking with fresh ingredients, tomatoes together with the fresh basil and the Portobello were so good. A perfect summer meal!