Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

Easy Cheesy Kale Chips

| Snacks, Bars and Biscuits

IMG_8814sIMG_8815sThese chips are one of the best discoveries that I have made since going vegan.  They taste amazing, have a lovely crunch and really make a perfect substitute for potato chips.  To be honest, I would much rather be sitting with a bowl of these for a movie night than a bag of potato crisps – they taste way better to me….

I make these in my dehydrator.  They can also be done in the oven, but I find that oven kale chips taste very “kaley” (not sure if that word exists….).   I find that the oven brings out the “spinachy” taste quite strongly and even though I love spinach, I prefer for these to have the strong cheesy taste that they have when done in the dehydrator.  You can dehydrate these for 2-3 hours and eat straight away, but I find that if I dehydrate them for 24 hours, they store beautifully in a sealed mason jar without going soggy for over a week!  They may even last longer than that – I just don’t have that kind of self-control…

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • a drop of agave or maple syrup
  • salt to taste
  • tons of nutritional yeast

Instructions

Firstly rinse your kale and dab dry with a dishcloth.  Just wipe off excess water but no need to be too thorough with this.  Tear the leaves off the central thick, hard spine.  Tear the leaves into large chunks – they will shrink a lot in the dehydrator so keep the chunks large.

In a small bowl, mix all other ingredients except nutritional yeast together.  Once mixed,  add in some nutritional yeast and mix in until it forms a thick paste.  With your hands, rub this thick paste through the leaves to make sure they are evenly covered.  Now pop one leaf into your mouth to see if you have salted it adequately.  Sprinkle extra nutritional yeast over the leaves and mix through.  I find the chips turn out best when I sprinkle lots of nutritional yeast over the chips so that they form plenty of yellow clumps on the leaves.

Arrange the leaves on the dehydrator trays in a single layer.  Dehydrate on high for 2 hours and then turn on low-medium for 8-24 hours until chips are crisp and dry.  Allow chips to cool 100% before sealing in a mason jar or just eat them all immediately!

Enjoy!
Dr T

2 Comments

Rice-Free Chinese Fried Rice

| Mains

IMG_8730The title of this post may seem a bit confusing – how can you make fried rice without rice?  You’d be surprised….If you have not eaten this before, you are probably thinking I’m a bit “special” right now, but don’t judge until you have tried it!  This dish blows my mind – it tastes JUST LIKE normal fried rice, but the secret ingredient is actually cauliflower.  And it really is a secret ingredient.  The first time I made this I gave my husband some to try.  He tasted it, said it tastes like normal fried rice, but that the texture wasn’t exactly like normal rice.  I asked him to tell me what I had used instead of rice and he simply couldn’t.  You should’ve seen his face when I told him it was cauliflower!:)

At this point I would like to point out that I have never been a cauliflower fan.  I don’t hate it, but I really don’t like the smell of it once it is cooked and I have never been crazy about the taste either.  But because this is stir fried instead of cooked, it doesn’t get that awful smell of cooked/steamed cauliflower and the taste completely vanishes.  Obviously the texture of the grains is not exactly the same as rice.  Rice has a glutinous, squishy texture while this has more of a crunchy, fresh texture, but the taste is identical, the calories are ridiculously little and the health benefits are amazing.  This has become one of my favourite movie dinners because it takes 5 minutes to throw together and I end up with a HUGE bowl of delicious fried rice which is full of amazing veggie vitamins, but doesn’t taste healthy at all.

Everyone likes fried rice a little different.  I like mine with loads of onion, garlic and soy sauce, my mom likes hers spicy….Some like it with a honey/ginger/garlic sauce.  Use this recipe as a template and adapt it by adding your preferred extras to make it perfect for you.

Ingredients

  • Cauliflower (I use 1 large head for 2 servings)
  • soy sauce or tamari
  • olive oil
  • chopped onion
  • crushed garlic cloves (fresh garlic is so good here!)
  • add ins: I usually use frozen sweet corn, peas and carrots.  In this picture I used frozen sweet corn, peas and spicy salted red kidney beans.

Instructions

Inspect the cauliflower and cut off any yucky brown bits.  Now chop off the florets – you can set the core and stems aside for use in soups.  Place the florets into a food processor and process until you have rice size bits.  Do not over process to the point of pulp.  This is your rice!  Set it aside.   If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the rice on your grater – works just as well.

Chop one large onion or 2 small onions for every head of cauliflower that you use.  Crush the garlic cloves.  I like lots of garlic and use about 4-5 cloves per cauliflower head.  Get your add ins ready.

Pour 1 teaspoon olive oil into a wok or a large non-stick frying pan and heat up on high.  When oil is hot, add the onion and stir fry until nicely browned.  Add in garlic and stir fry for another minute.  Add cauliflower rice and mix through the onion/garlic mix so that the rice absorbs these delicious flavours.  Add in frozen veggies/fresh veggies of your choice and stir fry.  Pour soy sauce/tamari over and mix through (I start with 2 tablespoons per cauliflower head and work my way up from there).  Taste and add more soy sauce until it is salty enough for you.  Don’t cook your cauliflower into a pulp – you want to stir fry it so that it is still crunchy.   When soy sauce is nicely mixed through and the frozen veggies (if used) are heated through, dish fried rice into a large bowl and tuck in!

Bon Appetite!
Dr T

0 comment

Homemade Almond Pulp Cereal Bites!

| Breakfast

IMG_8705IMG_8704My husband used to eat Weetbix honey bites every morning for breakfast.  He loved the sweet, crunchiness and the convenience of just adding warm milk.  Since becoming more health conscious he has stopped eating these sugary cereals – one doesn’t need a ton of sugar and a long list of unpronounceable ingredients to enter your poor body first thing in the morning!  After being stuck with a bunch of nut pulp after making nut milk, I decided to try to simulate these honey bites.  The result was VERY pleasing:)  Both my husband and I love it – the taste, the texture and the fact that every ingredient in this will nourish you to the core and start your day on the right note.

You do not need to use almond pulp – any nut pulp will do.  I used almond pulp in this batch, but am going to use hazelnut pulp in the next batch.  Even sesame pulp will do the trick:)

IMG_8707The bites are so yummy to eat even when dry, but I enjoyed them with banana slices, goji berries and warm roasted hazelnut milk.  These cereal bites are so sweet that you don’t need to add any sweetener at all.

Ingredients (Makes one small batch of 2-4 servings.  2 serving if eaten without fruit, 4 if eaten with a chopped banana or other fruit.)

  • 1 cup almond pulp flour (see under instructions)
  • 2/3 cup oat flour (Grind oats in a blender/food processor until fine.  Then measure out 2/3 cup of this flour.)
  • 1/3 cup honey/maple syrup (you can use less if you don’t have a sweet tooth)
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder/extract/essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

To make nut pulp into nut flour:   After making your nut milk, squeeze as much of the water out of the nut pulp as possible.  Spread nut pulp onto a sheet in your dehydrator and dehydrate until completely dry.  Alternatively, put your oven onto its lowest temperature and dry in the oven – stirring frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn.  Remove once completely dry.  Place this dry nut pulp into your food processor or blender and process until it forms a flour.  Store in an airtight container and use in place of store bought nut flour.  I usually pop my wet nut pulp into an airtight container in the freezer until I have accumulated enough nut pulp to make a lot of nut flour all in one go.  When I have accumulated enough, I let it thaw overnight in the fridge and dehydrate it the following day.

Simply mix all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and spread in a thin layer on a dehydrator sheet.  Dehydrate at 65º for about 12 hours.  At this point try lifting it.  If you are able to lift it, place it on a chopping board and cut into bite sized pieces.  If it is not ready to be lifted, dehydrate a bit longer.  Place the pieces back on the dehydrator sheet but place them upside down (so the underside can dry this time).  Dehydrate for another 6-12 hours or until a desired texture has been reached.  These bites do not crunch or snap.  They have a lovely texture though – they have an amazing bite to them and the flavour is beautiful.

I have not tried dehydrating this in an oven, but it should work.  If you want to try, set your oven on its lowest temperature setting and check on it frequently.  If anyone has success with this – please share and let me know:)

Store the cereal in an airtight container and enjoy!  We loved this so much that I plan on cutting them into larger squares next time and eating them as cereal bars:)

Don’t waste that nut pulp!
Dr T

0 comment

The Notorious Gatsby – Veganised…

| Mains

gatsby_sandwichThis is a gatsby and this is what wikipedia has to say about it:

“A Gatsby is a South African sandwich very similar in content and method of preparation as a hoagie in the United States. It is mostly popular in the Western Cape province. (That’s where I live.)

Gatsbies usually consist of long bread rolls cut lengthwise and opened up to form a sort of cradle which is filled with various fillings. While the choice of filling in a Gatsby varies widely depending on customer preference and vendor, one standard item is usually hot chips i.e. French fries.

Different varieties of Gatsbys include masala steak, chicken, polony, Vienna sausage, calamari, fish, and chargrilled steak.

Gatsbies originated in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town, where people would often buy large rolls and fill them with whatever leftovers they had, and split them four ways. This practice has carried on in modern times, with gatsbies being bought in full, half or quarter sizes.”

All true Cape Townians have experienced the deliciousness that the gatsby world has to offer…Saucy, spicy chips topped with everything under the sun – the ultimate movie junkfood supper.  The problem is that being a vegan – never mind a gluten-free vegan – I am yet to find a vendor that makes a gatsby that is not filled with some sort of meat, cheese and egg.  In addition, the chips are always deep-fried in old oil and usually smothered in cheap, processed sauces that are filled with chemicals you don’t even know how to pronounce.  Suddenly not so appetizing….

Enter the healthified (not sure if that is a word – but it really should be) vegan, gluten-free gatsby:

IMG_8697I used a sweet potato bread from wellness warehouse as it is the closest gluten-free bread that I can find to a soft glutinous long roll.  It is soft and fluffly with a slightly sweet taste – a brilliant substitute for the roll you see in the picture at the top.  Your gatsby needs to be filled with fries, but apart from that, the rest is up to you.  Most gatsbies are topped with caramelised onions, cheese, tomato, lettuce and and a meat of choice.  The chips are spiced with a spicy salt and usually a sauce of your choice.  Below is the recipe for my gatsby, but feel free to put whatever you like onto yours.

IMG_8699Ingredients

  • gluten-free bread/roll of choice (I do recommend a white, soft kind of bread here)
  • caramelised onions (recipe under instructions)
  • gherkin slices
  • shredded iceberg lettuce
  • sliced tomato with black pepper and salt
  • my homemade cheese sauce
  • oven baked fries (frozen french fries from woolworths)
  • Soya mince of choice, flavoured to taste (I used fries soya mince for which I paid dearly since it is not gluten-free.  Next time I will rather use a barbeque lentil mixture such as this one.)
  • Spicy salt (I love Steers Salt)
  • Other sauces like tomato sauce or barbeque sauce

Instructions

To caramelise the onion:  On the slicer side of your grater, slice the onion into rings.  Separate the rings with your fingers and set aside.  Heat a dollop of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat and add the onions along with a dash of balsamic vinegar and a half a teaspoon of brown sugar. (The sugar is not essential but does help it caramelize nicely.)  Keep stirring from time to time to prevent onions from catching.  After a few minutes, reduce heat to low and allow to soften and caramelize further while you get the other ingredients ready.

I stir fried the soya mince in some olive oil and then added a little beef-flavoured stock (Inna Paarmens vegan beef-flavoured stock powder dissolved in a little boiling water), some chutney and tomato sauce and simmered it for a few minutes.  Flavour your mince as you please and feel free to use faux polony, faux chicken/beef strips or whatever else makes you smile – even some beans/lentils:)

Make the cheese sauce according to the recipe on my pizza post.

Bake your oven chips.  This is a lot less fatty than fried chips.  In South Africa, I really recommend woolworths oven fries.  They taste like proper chips.  I find that many of the other oven chip brands have a dry, strange texture which doesn’t quite do it for me.

To assemble:

Butter your bread with a vegan margarine if desired.  Place tomato slices, lettuce and gherkin onto the bottom slice of bread/roll.  Put a thick layer of chips on top.  Sprinkle generously with your favourite spicy salt.  Pour warm cheese sauce over the chips.  Pour some tangy mince over the cheese sauce.  Pile some caramelised onions right on top.  If you like, add tomato sauce too – your call.

Open your mouth REALLY wide and…hmmm…
Dr T

2 Comments

1 2 3 4 5 17