Tomato and Basil sandwich

The weather here has been pretty darn irritating.  I’m not one to complain, but its been raining non stop.  The joys of summer in South Africa :/  Note to tourist never visit KZN – South Africa during spring/summer time, unless you enjoy dreary weather!

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So to lift my spirits about this WONDERFUL spring weather I made this fresh sandwich, perfect for those times when you need to be reminded that its spring/ summer or just because you want a damn good sandwich. 🙂

 

TOMATO AND BASIL SANDWICH – 1 sandwich

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Ingredients

  • 2 slices wholewheat bread
  • 1 tbsp vegan cream cheese
  • 3 tomato slices
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 3 cucumber slices
  • 1/2 small carrot grated
  • 1/2 tbsp vegan mayo
  • salt and black pepper 

Directions

On one slice of bread spread the cream cheese.  Layer the tomato, basil, carrot and cucumber on the bread. 

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Drizzle with the mayo and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the sandwich in a medium sized pan on high heat and allow to brown and flip, cook until both sides are brown.

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Enjoy your weekend lovelies!  and here is a picture of Pedro to kick of your weekend!

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Papaya Cake

I love papaya, or as we call it here Paw-paw. We have about 10  papaya trees in our garden with a lot of fruit ready to be used.  

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I decided to try and make a nice fruity cake and boy o boy did it pay off.  This cake make me feel like I’m sitting on some tropical island, even though I’m sitting at home drinking some tea and stuffing my face with cake:)  

For the topping you can either make a syrup to pour over the top or sprinkle with a little powdered sugar, frosting just wont work with this cake, unless you’re a sugar fiend 🙂

If that didn’t make you want to try this cake, here are some health benefits of papaya 🙂

HEALTH BENEFITS OF PAPAYA

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  1. Vitamins and nutrients: Papaya is high in vitamin C, vitamin B, Potassium and fiber. Due to the high amount of vitamins and nutrients that papayas contain, your immune system will be boosted if you frequently eat papaya.
  2. Digestive Process: If you have digestive problems, you may want to consider eating papayas. The reason is because they contain an enzyme called papain, which is known to help with the digestive process. It can prevent you from becoming constipated and may also help end diarrhea.
  3. Helps with Nausea: Papaya is known to prevent this type of nausea or provide you with relief once you already have it. To experience the best relief or prevention, consider drinking pineapple juice with your papaya, as both are known to be very effective.
  4. Lung Protections: The reason that papaya provides the body with lung protection is because it contains Vitamin A. When a person experiences lung cancer or other lung conditions, they often have a deficiency of Vitamin A.

     

HEALTH BENEFITS OF PAPAYA SEEDS

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  1. Antibacterial Properties: Research has found that papaya seeds are effective against E. coli, Salmonella, and Staph infections.
  2. Kidney Protection: Research has found that papaya seed extract may protect the kidneys from toxin-induced kidney failure.
  3. Eliminates Intestinal Parasites There is evidence that papaya seeds eradicate intestinal parasites.
  4. Liver Detoxifier
    In Chinese medicine, it is believed that a teaspoon of papaya seeds will help detoxify the liver. Papaya seeds are often recommended by natural doctors in the treatment of cirrhosis of the liver.

Now that you know all about the papaya lets get to this cake:)

 

PAPAYA CAKE

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups Flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 papaya, finely chopped

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, coconut flakes, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.

In a medium bowl, whisk together water, oil, vanilla and vinegar.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined.  Fold in the orange zest and papaya.

Pour the batter into a greased cake pan and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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ORANGE SYRUP

Ingredients

  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Directions

In a small saucepan bring the orange juice to a boil and add the sugar whisk until the sugar is melted into the orange juice.

Pour the syrup over the cake ( prick the cake all over with a fork, this will help absorb the syrup).  Let sit for 5 minutes and enjoy!

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RESOURCES: http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/4-health-benefits-of-papaya-seeds.html

http://superfoodprofiles.com/papaya-health-benefits

Baked Tofu Nuggets

I’ve been house sitting for my parents this week, its been a nice break away from the computer, but at the same time I’ve missed blogging and writing tasty recipes.  

The web is filled with tofu nugget recipes, but this one is worth a try its filled with lots of spices to make for a scrumptious treat.

 

BAKED TOFU NUGGETS

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Ingredients

  • 2 blocks tofu cut into nuggets
  • 3 tsp nutritional yeast 
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme and oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • dash black pepper
  • 2 orgran egg re placers or flax seed eggs
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, paprika, basil, oregano, thyme, cayenne and ginger.

Dip the tofu into the egg mixture and coat with the bread crumbs.  

Place onto a greased baking tray.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce.

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Cheesy Garlic Roll

I love garlic! Its one of those things that I can’t believe people don’t like, pairing these little garlic rolls with cheese makes for one scrumptious lunch or a delicious side dish for a vegan BBQ.  

 

CHEESY GARLIC ROLL – 4 rolls

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Ingredients

  • 4 brown hot dog rolls
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped ( add more to taste)
  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast – optional
  • sprinkle salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 356F

In a small bowl combine the margarine, garlic, basil, cayenne, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper.

Carefully cut the rolls into slices, making sure not to go right through.  

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Spread 1/2 tsp garlic margarine in every slice.  Sprinkle with the vegan cheese and bake for 10 minutes.

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This is so crispy and delicious and a yummy treat! 

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I can’t believe how fast this week is going by, time really does fly when you’re having fun!! 

Roasted Tomato and asparagus pasta

This is my new favorite pasta recipe, I made this for lunch yesterday and I felt like it was the perfect meal for a romantic vegan lunch with your lover, but alas even if my lover was with me he doesn’t like tomatoes or asparagus so I was left to dream about my fake romantic vegan meal! 

 

This is a simple vegan pasta that’s perfect for a romantic lunch or dinner.  The roasted tomatoes cover the spaghetti perfectly.

 

ROASTED TOMATO AND ASPARAGUS PASTAserves 2 

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Ingredients

  • enough spaghetti for 2
  • 2 cups Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 10 asparagus spears, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup baby spinach chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • salt and black pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • juice of half a lemon

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F

In a bowl mix the tomatoes and asparagus together with the oil making sure its completely covered in oil.  On a baking sheet spread out the tomatoes and asparagus and Roast for 20 minutes ( stir the tomatoes around after 10 minutes).

In a large bowl add the spinach,sunflower seeds, pasta, basil, tomatoes and asparagus, mix well.  Season with the cayenne, salt, pepper and  lemon juice and mix well.  Serve with crusty bread or a salad.

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Hopefully someone can use this as a romantic meal for a lovely vegan or vegetarian.  Enjoy the weekend! Its been sunny and beautiful here, perfect weather for a beach trip.

Sugar free Milk tart

What  is a milk tart you may ask? This is a traditional dutch South African recipe called “melktert” translated to milk tart.  Its a sweet pastry tart filled with a creamy milk custard and sprinkled with cinnamon. The authentic way of making a milk tart requires a lot of milk, sugar and egg, but my vegan version is sugar free and a lot healthier for you! This is a recipe that everyone should try!

 

MILK TART – 1 large tart or 2 smaller ones

WHOLEWHEAT CRUST

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cold margarine
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven to 356F

In a large bowl add the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Next add the margarine and syrup and start working it into the flour until you have a soft play dough consistency.  On a floured surface roll our the dough and place into a pie dish, prick the bottom with a fork.  Bake for 20 minutes until lightly brown, remove from heat and let cool.

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Milk tart filling

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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups Soy milk 

4 tbsp agave nectar ( or to taste)

1/2 tsp cinnamon and extra for sprinkling

1 tsp vanilla essence

3 tbsp corn flour

Directions

In a small pot bring 2 cups of milk to boil with the cinnamon, add in the agave nectar and vanilla and stir well.  In a separate bowl mix the rest of the milk with the corn flour and slowly add to the milk mixture and allow to thicken.  Remove from heat and pour into the pie crust, sprinkle with cinnamon and place in refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.  Enjoy chilled.  

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This is a great treat and is sure to impress.  Enjoy your weekend lovelies!

Veggie Rice

This is a favorite recipe around here, its simple to make and can be a main course or a side dish.  Cooking the rice in vegetable stock gives it a nice flavor boast and mixing in all the rice is an easy way to get a vegetable overload. 

 

VEGETABLE RICE – serves 6

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked brown rice (cooked in vegetable stock)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms thinly chopped
  • 1 leek chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 2 large carrots, diced 
  • 1 tsp each, basil, marjoram and oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • sprinkle of vegan Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a large pan heat the oil and add the onion, garlic and mushrooms, cook until fragrant.  Next add in the leeks stirring for everything together.  Add the broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, cook for 5 -10 minutes until soft ( add 2 tbsp water if its not getting as soft as you would like).  

Add the rice, basil, marjoram, oregano, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Mix well Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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A simple and inexpensive vegan dish!

 

Creamy, cheezy leek and spinach pasta sauce

Every vegan has a cheeze sauce they love, but most of them require nutritional yeast, its hard to find nutritional yeast here and when you do its really expensive, so that’s why I made this little recipe its made from grated soy cheese instead of nutritional yeast.  I love this recipe, because its really easy and very creamy, grating in the non dairy cheese gives it a nice cheesy taste, this is a recipe for anyone that doesn’t like nutritional yeast in their sauce.

When choosing a vegan cheese, try and use one that has a lot of flavor, mozzarella wont work for this recipe.  I used sheese Edam flavor it was the right amount of cheesy flavor for me, but if you really want to crank it up use a cheddar style cheese.  

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For added nutritional value I add in leeks and spinach for a nice healthy kick!

 

CREAMY, CHEEZY LEEKS AND SPINACH PASTA SAUCE – serves 4

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Ingredients

  • pasta 
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped

Cheese sauce

  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • 3 Tbsp margarine
  • 3 cups non dairy milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated soy cheese ( or more to taste, I grate the cheese on the small grater side, so its easier to melt)
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

On medium heat melt the margarine in a saucepan.  Stir in the flour and continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes or until sandy brown.  

Slowly add the milk and continue whisking until smooth.  Gradually start adding the cheese and continue whisking until melted into the sauce.  Next stir in the mustard, garlic powder and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.    Stir in the leeks and simmer on low for 2 minutes.  Next add the spinach and stir through until wilted.  Serve immediately.

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PS.

On my run this morning I found one of my favorite flowers, on the side of the road.  During Christmas time these flowers are EVERYWHERE!  They smell like honey and just perks up  a room.  I ended up running with a yellow flower, I probably looked foolish, but hey you only live once 🙂 Now I can look at it all the time 🙂

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Have a lovely weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Green Olive foccaccia bread

This is a simple, but delicious foccaccia bread.  I really wanted a warm bread yesterday and decided to make my favorite bread, a yummy green olive foccaccia, it only takes 30 minutes to rise so you don’t have to wait hours just to have a piece of bread.

 

GREEN OLIVE FOCCACCIA BREAD – 1 large round bread

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Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups wholewheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • good grind black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1/4 cup green olives cut in half
  • 1 tbsp hemp powder (optional)

Directions

In a small bowl mix the yeast and water together and let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy.

In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt, basil, oregano, marjoram, black pepper, hemp powder and minced garlic.  Mix in the maple syrup, 1 tbsp olive oil and the yeast mixture until well combined. If its to dry add a little more water if to wet add a little more flour.  Knead the dough in the bowl for 5 minutes, place the dough in the greased bowl and let sit in a warm spot covered for 30 minutes.  

Preheat the oven to 392F

Punch down the dough and pat into a 1/2 inch thick circle. Brush the remaining olive oil over top and make indents with your finger.  Place the olives in the indents and spread the shallots evenly over the foccaccia.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

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Lentil muffins aka “meatloaf”

I don’t know much about meatloaf, I’ve never had it and I don’t know anyone that’s tried it, but that didn’t stop me to try and make my own version of this classic dish.  I made it in a muffin tin, because I loved the idea of everyone having a little cake and it just looked super cute, its got all the right flavors and goes great with a vegan gravy.  

 

LENTIL MUFFINS12 muffins

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 slices soft wholewheat bread
  • 1/4 soy milk
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 shallots, chopped finely 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 celery stalked, chopped finely
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp ketchup

Glaze 

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • splash soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Directions

Preheat oven to 356F

In a medium sized pot bring the lentils and stock to boil. Turn down the heat and simmer on low for 30 minutes until soft and mushy.  

In a small bowl, break up the bread and add the soy milk allowing the bread to absorb the milk. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile mash the lentils ( I like to leave some lentils whole, so I give it a quick mash), and mix in the soy sauce, ketchup, cayenne, cumin, paprika and thyme.  Next add the bread mixture and combine well this combines the mixture (its works like an egg).  

Fold in the celery, shallots, garlic and red pepper, making sure its even distributed.  

Grease the muffin tin, and fill with the lentil mixture ( make sure you fill it to the brim).  

Spread the glaze on all the lentil muffins.

Glaze 

Mix all the ingredients together.

Bake for 30 minutes or until light brown on the top.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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Enjoy with mashed potatoes and gravy.