Pancakes Filled with Creamed Spinach, Tomatoes and a Balsamic Reduction

I’m a big fan of savoury pancakes and the South African Dutch pancake makes a perfect stuffing pancake.  Similar to a crepe, but with a thicker and fluffier, consistency, its holds the creamy creamed spinach perfectly.  You can also overstuff this bad boy without any problem!

Just like the name of this recipe, this meal is a mouthful, and will keep you satisfied and full.  Its a perfect any time meal, that will impress your friends.  The cherry tomatoes adds a little freshness to the pancake and pairs wonderfully with the creamed spinach.  Drizzle with a little bit of balsamic reduction for a little bit of pizazz!

PANCAKES FILLED WITH CREAMED SPINACH, TOMATOES AND BALSAMIC REDUCTION –  serves 2

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Ingredients

Pancakes

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  •  2 tbsp oil
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup non dairy milk

Directions

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, until you have a lump free batter.

Heat a large non stick pan, over medium to high heat.

Slightly grease the pan.

Spoon a ladle full of batter into your pan, swirl it around until you have a rather thin large disk.  When the pancakes start to show little holes all over flip and cook on the other side. Continue with rest of the batter.  Set aside.

Creamed spinach

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Ingredients

  • 2x 200g bags of spinach, steamed, cooled, drained and chopped
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp margarine or coconut oil
  • 2 cups non dairy milk
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast ( optional)

Directions

Melt the margarine in a medium sized pot over low to medium heat.

Add the flour and make a paste.

Slowly add the non dairy milk, whilst stirring the whole time, until you have incorporated all the milk.  Keep stirring, until you have a lump free sauce, add the spinach, onion, garlic and nutmeg. Cook for 2 more minutes, while stirring.

Remove from heat and season.

Balsamic Reduction

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions

In a small  saucepan bring balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to a boil.  Reduce heat and let it reduce to 1/3 cup about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Assembly

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  • Pancakes
  • Creamed spinach
  • Cherry tomatoes halved
  • torn basil leaves
  • Balsamic reduction

Directions

Fill your pancakes with creamed spinach. Fold arrange tomatoes around the pancakes and garnish with basil.  Drizzle balsamic reduction.  Sit back and admire your beautiful creations.  Now.  Stuff your face.

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Butter Tofu Curry

This is not your authentic butter chicken recipe.  First of all it doesn’t have chicken in and is made with coconut milk, it might not be authentic, but it sure is good.

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Filled with all those lovely butter chicken spices. that you have come to love, with a rich creamy sauce that you will just want to dip your naan bread in.  Serve this with rice and naan, for a deliciously warming meal.

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I’ve been on a forbidden rice kick lately, so if you notice the black rice that’s what’s up with it.

BUTTER TOFU CURRYServes 6

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Ingredients

  • 1 block firm tofu, cut into blocks
  • flour for sprinkling
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup kale, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, washed and chopped.
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 can tomato purée
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • rice and naan for serving

Directions 

Coat the tofu with flour.  In a large pan heat 2 tbsp of olive oil until hot.  Fry tofu until golden on each side.  Remove from pan.

Heat the remaining olive oil.  Add onions and garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add all the spices and stir until fragrant. Add ginger.

Pour in the tomato purée and water.  Stir.  Add the spinach, kale, carrot and sweet potato.

Pour in the coconut milk.  Stir.  Reduce heat to low, cover and let cook for 10 – 15 minutes, until the veggies are tender.  Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the tofu and cook for 2 minutes.

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Serve.

Caramelized Onion, Sweet potato and Spinach Quesadillas

Its no secret that I love Mexican food.  I’m all the way in South Africa, but hot damn I love me some good Mexican food.   We even have a quesadilla song.  Yes, an actual song.  Played on ukulele that’s just about quesadillas, that’s how much we love them here.  The song is also really catchy and I find myself singing it randomly during the day.

Great meals come from having no inspiration and wham you have something delicious all up in your face.  This quesadilla is so delicious you will just want to keep eating, I made a salad to go with it, but I didn’t even bother eating it, that’s how good they are.  You can also add vegan cheese or regular cheese.  I refuse to buy vegan cheese in this country, because its just so expensive and taste like a side order of meh.

CARAMELIZED ONION, SWEET POTATO AND SPINACH QUESADILLAS4 quesadillas

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Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes, boiled till tender, mashed with a little margarine and milk. Seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • 4 small tortillas
  • 1 cup spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled, sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salsa and avocado to serve.

Directions

In a large skillet add the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent.  Lower heat and add the balsamic vinegar and wait till it thickens, continue stirring and add the sugar.  Cook for 2 minutes.  This is my fast/lazy version.

Lay out the tortilla, and start assembling.  I half my quesadillas, because I like to overfill them, they  also feel sturdier in my hand that way.

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Add spinach.

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A couple tbsp sweet potato mash.

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Caramelized onions.

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Fold

Heat a little olive oil in a pan and fry each side until golden.

Let cool slightly and serve.

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We always have some after dinner conversation that turns into Belphie sneaking on Carl’s lap, and both of us wondering when he got there.

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This never ends well, because when you try to nudge him off, he gets really angry and bites your boobs or under arms.  He’s been banned from sitting on my lap, because of this.

This is Carl telling Belphie he needs to go study.  He got bitten.

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Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Tacos

You know what I love? Being really lazy and making one amazingly delicious meal.

I think Mexican food is just something incredible.  Wrapping food up in tiny flat bread, stuffed with avocado and fresh salsa, damn they know what is up!

This recipe is easy, filled with pure laziness, flavourful and utterly delicious.

ROASTED VEGETABLE AND CHICKPEA TACOSserves 6

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Ingredients

  • 6 small tortilla wraps
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup, chopped spinach
  • 1 small butternut, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup small broccoli florets
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper
  • salsa, avocado and shredded lettuce – optional.

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C.

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Place all the veggies except the spinach and chickpeas on a baking sheet.  Toss with oil and roast in a preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Remove.

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Add the spinach and chicpeas and roast for 10 more minutes.

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Remove and season with garlic powder, cumin, chilli powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Fill half of the wrap with vegetables and top with lettuce, salsa and avocado.

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Herbed Chickpea Sweet Potato Salad

A great side dish is something to be celebrated.  Its one of those things you can eat with anything, bring to picnics or just sit in the corner eating it all by yourself.  This great salad is pure heaven!

Sweet potatoes and  chickpeas are a match made in heaven, two of my favourite ingredients tossed in a glorious zesty dressing, if you don’t believe me give it a try yourself and tell me what you think.

HERBED CHICKPEA SWEET POTATO SALADserves 4

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Ingredients 

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, cubed and roasted with a little oil
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and washed
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1/4 grated or diced red onion
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large bowl combine the sweet potato, chickpeas, celery and onion.

In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest.

Pour over salad and toss.  Fold in the herbs  and season.

Refrigerate or serve Immediately.

Easy Vegetable Chow Mein

We all have that one recipe we keep coming back to and make way to much.  I especially love this recipe when I’m sick, and can feel my body needs an overload of veggies.

This recipe is really versatile and you can change the veggies to what ever you have on hand.  The smaller you cut the vegetables the faster this will cook.  Also use a soy sauce you really, the soy sauce can change the meal completely so be sure you like it.

VEGETABLE CHOW MEINserves 4 –  6

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
  • 4 cups chopped mixed vegetables, I use grated carrot, cabbage, snap peas, cauliflower and broccoli.
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Directions

In a large pan heat the oil.  Add the onion and celery.  Cook until translucent.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.

Add the vegetables and continue stir frying until al dente.  Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce and sugar,  Give it a big stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Mix the cornstarch with a little bit of water until it forms a runny paste.

Pour the cornstarch over the vegetables, stir and allow to thicken.  Serve Immediately with noodles.

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Polenta Fries

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My guilty pleasure has always been fries, and when I went vegan it became a comfort food for when I had to eat out.  It has been a comfort food that has been banned from the house thanks to Carl’s allergy to potatoes, but that doesn’t mean we suffer, you just have to get creative and have a french fries party!  Polenta fries, avocado fries and sweet potato fries, now that’s how you put the comfort in comfort food.

These polenta fries are crisp and flavourful, really easy to make and they just look so good.

POLENTA FRIESserves 6-8

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Pour vegetable stock in medium saucepan over medium heat.    Slowly whisk in the cornmeal.  Be careful this stuff can erupt like a volcano if you look away for to long.  You will start to feel it get thicker, bring to a simmer and when its a thick creamy polenta its done, remove from heat. Fold in coconut oil and season with salt and pepper.

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Pour mixture into a large greased baking sheet.  Spread evenly.   Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.  Refrigerate for 1 hour or you can just leave it until its completely cooled and firm.

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Flip the pan over and allow the polenta slab to pop out.  Start cutting the polenta into fries.

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Place a large skillet over medium high heat and heat the sunflower oil.    Fry the polenta in batches until golden.  Remove and sprinkle with seasoning.  Serve immediately with your favourite dipping sauce.

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Cream of Vegetable Soup

Soup is just one of those lovely meals you can make in one pot and forget about for a while, but sometimes an amazing soup comes around that’s creamy, filling and just bursting with flavour.  The best part about this soup is you can really just use up the veggies in your fridge, its really easy and versatile, with just a dash of coconut milk for extra decadence.

A word of advice, if you’re going to fiddle around with the recipe and use other ingredients, just make sure your veggies are just covered with vegetable stock, to much and you will have a really runny soup, to little and you will have a purée.

CREAM OF VEGETABLE SOUP –  Serves 4  

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small butternut, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp italian herbs
  • dash of coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat a large pot over medium to high heat.   Add the olive oil.  Add the onions and garlic and sauté till fragrant.

Next add the vegetables, vegetable stock and herbs.  Reduce heat, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender about 10 -15 minutes.    Let cool slightly and place everything in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  Add the coconut milk and blend in.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Thai Yellow Curry

This is my version of Thai yellow curry, its got easy to find ingredients and is packed full of vegetables, its also one of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten.

I’m also trying to consume more turmeric for the health benefits, but boy oh boy, that tea, that tea is really disgusting!  and one little spill and you are stained yellow forever.  This is an easier way to get turmeric in and yet its so delicious.  This curry is also packed with ginger, cayenne pepper and garlic making it a great meal to have for those sick days.

THAI YELLOW CURRY serves 6

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Ingredients

Curry Paste

  • 1 small onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger
  • 1 chilli, I used a roasted green chilli, choose any one you like or leave it out
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 stalk  lemon grass
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk

Main ingredients

  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped.  I cut mine on the smaller side so they cook faster
  • 1 tiny butternut, peeled and chopped
  • 4 brown mushrooms, washed and chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup kale, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp sugar, or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • salt if needed

Directions

Place all the curry paste ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

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Heat a large pan over medium heat.  Drizzle a little bit of oil in the pan and saute the paste for 2 minutes.   Add in 1/2 cup of coconut milk.

Add all the veggies except the spinach, give it a good old stir.

Pour in the vegetable stock, lower heat, cover the pan and let simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Add the spinach into the pan, rest of coconut milk, soy sauce and sugar.  Let cook for 2 -3 more minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

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This is a very versatile recipe, play around with your vegetable selection.  Or just raid your fridge and use what you have on hand.

Happy almost Easter weekend!

Apple Cinnamon Butternut Squash Soup

A couple of weeks ago I made the most potent butternut soup ever.  I mean it was a mouth raping, burn central hotter than hell soup.  I’ve made this soup numerous of times with great success, that little bit of burn was always just right, but for some reason the little jalapeño I used was forged in mount doom.  Ever since that day, I’ve vowed to make the best butternut soup I will ever eat and I did it!

This is a great recipe for kids or for adults that have been scorned by butternut soup before.  Naturally sweet and really easy to make this is a recipe for everyone.

APPLE CINNAMON BUTTERNUT  SQUASH SOUPServes 6 -7

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 gala apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 356 degree F/180 degrees C.

In a large roasting pan add the butternut, carrot, apple, onion and garlic cloves.  Drizzle with olive oil and coat well.

Roast for 25-35 minutes or until the butternut is soft.

Place the vegetables and the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  You might have to do this in batches.  Pour everything into a pot and reheat.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

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Serve with vegan garlic and herb bread knots.