Posts Tagged ‘side dish’

Vegan Creamed Spinach

| Side dishes and Salads


I’ve always had a bit of a love affair with creamed spinach…In my non-vegan days I always ordered it at restaurants, but since going vegan, I hadn’t had it for about 2 years before I realised that I missed it!  I played around with different cheese sauces to see which one works best and this one is an absolute winner.  It is super quick to make and completely healthy – no processed ingredients, no cholesterol.IMG_0685


Cheese sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts (You can use 1/4 cup instead.  It will still taste great but will be a little less creamy.)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons bottled lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1/2 small garlic clove minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  •  onion, chopped
  • Optional – crushed garlic
  • 3-4 cups of frozen spinach


Saute the onion in a little oil or just using a dash of water if it catches until translucent.  I like to add a heaped teaspoon of crushed garlic and saute that for another 2-3 minutes.  Add frozen spinach, put a lid on the pot, reduce heat to medium and allow to thaw.  Every 3-5 minutes, remove the lid and break up the chunks of frozen spinach/give a stir, replace the lid for another 3-5 minutes.  Keep doing this until the spinach is fully cooked.

While the spinach is cooking, blend all the cheese ingredients in a blender.  If you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Omniblend, there is no need to pre-soak the nuts.  If you have a regular blender, if possible, soak the nuts in water 8 hours before making it just to soften the nuts and ensure a smooth sauce.  If you don’t have time to soak it it is not a crisis though – even if the sauce is not entirely smooth, you actually won’t notice it at all once mixed through the spinach.  Once everything is blended, pour it into the fully cooked spinach and cook though, stirring from time to time to prevent it from catching.  You will see that as the sauce comes to the boil, the tapioca flour thickens it into a beautifully creamy, thick sauce.  Taste for saltiness – add more if desired and serve!  This can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for about 4 days.

Bon Appetite!
Dr T




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Perfect Roast Potatoes

| Side dishes and Salads

IMG_4150Making roast potatoes is not rocket science, but making PERFECT roast potatoes is not something everyone gets right.  This way of making roast potatoes was taught to my grandmother by her mother, my grandmother taught my mother and she, in turn, taught me.  As yet, I do not have any children to pass this recipe on to – my chihuahua is just not into cooking – so I decided to share it with you:)


  • Potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • boiling water
  • beef flavoured or brown onion flavoured stock powder (I use Ina Parmens beef flavoured stock powder which is vegan)
  • salt
  • olive oil


Pour boiling water into a large pot and dissolve enough stock powder into the water so that it tastes like flavourful salty stock.  Plop potatoes into the pot, put lid on pot and bring to boil.  Turn heat down to allow the potatoes to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked.  Do not allow potatoes to cook to the point of being mushy – you are still going to roast them.  You just want them thoroughly parboiled.  Drain into a colander and allow to cool down.

Preheat your oven to 180ºC.  Grease an oven pan with oil and place the potatoes into it.  Drizzle potatoes generously with olive oil.  Use your hands to rub the oil evenly over the potatoes – making sure that they are completely covered.  Sprinkle generously with salt.  Bake in the oven until potatoes are golden with crispy edges.  You can flip potatoes halfway through cooking.  I am deliberately not saying how long this will take as it varies greatly with your oven.  It can take anything from 40 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes.

Don’t expect any leftovers:)
Dr T


Creamy Cauliflower Millet

| Mains, Side dishes and Salads

IMG_4147This is such an interesting dish…It looks like mashed potatoes, but tastes creamy, savoury and almost cheesy (despite no cheesy ingredients in the recipe!).  It also has an amazing texture – creamy and soft yet with some texture to it – it’s not just mush like mashed potatoes.  I love this dish soo much that I have it for lunch sometimes, for supper sometimes and often serve it as a side dish for guests.  The credit for this recipe goes to my mom who came up with this delicious concoction:)


  • 1 medium sized cauliflower, washed, stems chopped off and florets broken into chunks
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/3 cup millet
  • 5 cups vegetable stock (I use Ina Paarmans  vegetable stock powder)
  • olive oil
  • salt to taste


Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until nicely browned.  Add millet and stir through.  Add cauliflower and stir through again.  Add vegetable stock, stir to mix and then bring to boil before simmering for 30-40 minutes.  Simmer however long is needed until cauliflower and millet are soft and cooked.  While it is simmering though, keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t catch at the bottom.  If getting too dry, add some more water – millet does tend to soak up a lot of water while cooking.  Once cooked through, stir vigorously to break up some of the cauliflower.  You want most of the cauliflower to break up and spread throughout, but you want a small piece of cauliflower for texture here and there.

Pile onto your plate and dig in!
Dr T

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Butternut, Apple, Cranberry Bake

| Side dishes and Salads

There was a big special on butternut at the supermarket and ended up buying a big sack of 10 butternuts…..What to do with 10 butternuts…..I had plenty of apples and decided to throw a few ingredients together and see what happens.  Turned out fantastic!  Sweet, syrupy and almost dessert like.  Give it a try!

Butternut, Cranberry, Apple BakeIngredients

  • 500g butternut, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 6 pickling onions (those cute small ones), peeled and halved
  • 2 large golden delicious apples, cored and chopped into small cubes (leave peel intact)
  • 1 handful of dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar  (I have a very sweet tooth so I used 4 tablespoons.  Adjust according to your taste but I recommend at least 3 tablespoons)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (not extra virgin – just regular olive oil) and extra for greasing
  • Glass dish with a lid or oven proof pot (I used a small Le Creuset pot)

TIP:  To peel a thick skinned butternut, chop off the head and tail (so that the hollow part with the seeds is visible on the tail end.)  Put on a plate and microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Allow to cool for a few minutes, then peel with a sharp vegetable peeler.

Preheat oven to 200°C.  Pour a glug of olive oil into your baking dish/pot.  Use a piece of paper towel to smear the oil around the base of the dish and to absorb any excess oil.  Add butternut, apple,cranberries and onions to dish.  Pour over 15ml olive oil and mix it with clean hands ensuring that everything is well lubricated.  In a separate bowl, mix salt, sugar and cinnamon before sprinkling half of it over the vegetables.  Give a stir to mix it through.  Put lid on and place in the oven for 15 minutes.  Take out, remove lid, give a stir.  Sprinkle on the rest of the sugar mixture, replace the lid and put back into the oven for another 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven, remove lid, give a stir and put back into the oven WITHOUT THE LID for another 15-20 minutes but reduce the temperature to 180°C.  During this time, give a stir to prevent catching every 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!
Dr T

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