ZB's Vegan Recipes

Here's where you can find some fun, tasty and generally pretty easy-to-make vegan (and often low GI) recipes. Enjoy!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Classic Red Cabbage

I learnt to make this when I was working as an apprentice at a French restaurant, and there was lots of duck fat and red wine and sugar involved. My version is a little more sedate...It's great served hot with vege sausages/Not!Bacon of choice/marinated tofu, or just some steamed veges and mash. I like to make a lemon sauce to go with the steamed veges - it complements the sweet/tart/vinegaryness of the cabbage...

Classic Red Cabbage


1/2 medium red cabbage
8 very small apples
3 small onions
1 to 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
1/2 to 1 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 to 1 cup water
olive oil


Slice the cabbage thinly - this is called chiffonade, and is usually a cutting style reserved for leafy vegetables. Core and slice the apples thinly. Slice the onions thinly.

In a large heavy bottomed pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions, and cook until translucent. Add the cabbage - you may need to do this in two lots, as cabbage appears to expand exponentially when sliced. Stir to allow the cabbage to begin wilting. Add the apples, and stir through thoroughly.

Add the peppercorns - I go crazy and add heaps, but they can be a bit of a shock when you're eating and encounter them whole! But it adds a separate moment of flavour, which is kind of fun.

Pour in the vinegar and water - you want the cabbage to be about half to two thirds covered. You may need to add more water and/or vinegar as the cabbage cooks.

Cook over a medium low heat, stirring regularly and adding liquid as required, until the cabbage is soft, there is no more liquid, and the apples and onions have "disappeared".

Serve hot as described above, or cool as a side salad for lunch! This is a great and versatile side dish. Whenever I make it, I feel like I'm aiming up a class with the meal I'm about to present. And mega tasty!

Share and enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I loves me spinach [/Popeye]

In my quest to eat lots of leafy greens, and yet avoid just eating salads (because I am strangely salad-phobic...I think it's because, when I go out to eat, I keep getting presented with salads as the only option for a vegan, and that really gets right up my left nostril) I'm consuming an awful lot of spinach - in this case, silverbeet.

I love spinach. I love spinach pies, and spinach cannelloni, and spinach ravioli, and baby spinach in salads and on salad sandwiches. The stuff is great, and packed to the gills with flavour and nutritional goodness.

I was inspired by a recipe in the Organic Gardener magazine to make the following salad...meal...thingy. There were actually three salads making up the meal, so this is going to be a ginormous post...

Warm Sweet Potato and Spinach Salad


1 - 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
several cloves of garlic
equal amount of fresh ginger to garlic, cut into small chunks
fresh rosemary, about 1/3 cup
olive oil
sea salt
1/2 bunch of spinach, leaves shredded and stems finely chopped
lemon juice to taste


Preheat the oven to about 150 degrees celcius.

Put the sweet potato chunks, garlic cloves, ginger, rosemary, sea salt and peppercorns into a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, and mix thoroughly together to coat everything with the olive oil. Place in the oven, and cook (turning the dish occasionally) until the sweet potatoes are lovely and soft.

When the sweet potatoes are cooked, put to one side. In a saucepan over a medium heat, pour in a little of the olive oil from the baking dish, and heat. Add the chopped spinach stems, and cook until softened. Add the spinach leaves, and toss through the lemon juice until the spinach wilts a little. Turn off the heat, and add everything from the baking dish to the spinach mix. Mix through thoroughly, pour into a bowl, and serve.

Couscous Salad

The version of this I made was a little plain, but I decided that a bit of lemon zest and lemon juice would bring the taste up to another level. It's great with the spinach and sweet potato salad - very filling!


1 cup couscous
1 1/2 cups stock
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raw cashews
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
olive oil (optional)


Soak the raisins and cranberries in the stock until plump. Pour about 1 cup of stock into a saucepan and heat it to boiling. Add the couscous, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir thoroughly and set to one side for about 5 minutes, for the couscous to absorb all of the liquid. Fluff with a fork.

Dry fry the cashews in a frypan over a high heat, then add the raisins, cranberries, lemon zest, and any left over stock. Cook until the stock is almost cooked off. Add the couscous to the frying pan, and toss through to mix the nuts and fruits thoroughly through the couscous. Pour into a bowl, drizzle a little olive oil and the lemon juice, and serve.

The final fabulous salad was put together by TheBoss - a great green salad, with radishes and avocado and baby tomatoes and cucumber and red onion and...it was crunchy and fresh and very tasty with Iku dressing...

It's coming up to salad weather, so experiment with using some new ingredients, lots of fresh veges, and make sure to share and enjoy!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

What is she talking about??

I thought I'd take a moment to start a bit of a "Vegan's Guide". I know it took me a while to come to terms with some of the wacky new stuff that I started using in my cooking as a vegan, and even more so as someone on a low GI diet. I'll probably update this slowly, as things occur to me, so don't expect total revelation all at once (or, you know, ever...)

A lot of people reading this blog will already know this, but I thought I'd do it for the non-vegans, the interested, and also for myself - kind of a glossary/reference guide thingy. I'm pretty sure we're all going to learn something from this ;-)

'kay. I'm going to put links in as well, so you can go and read something written by someone far more knowledgeable than myself...


Tofu is curd made from soy. It's traditionally used in Asian cuisine, but due to its texture, relative tastelessness and the variety available, it has been adopted into many Western style recipes...

Tofu generally comes in the following standard textures:

Extra Firm

This is the tofu I use for marinading/grilling etc. It's firmer and will stick together far more easily through grilling/baking etc. It still has quite a spongey texture, and often will retain a tofu-y flavour even when marinated. Not that there's anything wrong with a tofu-y flavour, but sometimes you may want to have something a little different. By either pressing, or freezing, defrosting and pressing extra firm tofu, you can get quite a different texture - quite chewy - and the tofu will pick up the flavours in a marinade much more strongly after this process.

So, get your tofu, cut it into even sized chunks (ie how much tofu do I use in a single meal?), wrap in glad wrap and freeze.

Defrost, and then place on a clean teatowel/paper towel. Place the teatowel/paper towel on top of the tofu as well, and put a nice heavy weight on top. Press until the liquid has pretty much all escaped from the tofu, remove the weight and the teatowel/paper towel. Cut/tear the tofu into your chosen shapes, marinate, cook and eat.

Num num num num.


This tofu is definitely not good for the freezing or marinating process (at least, I've always found it breaks to bits when I try to marinate it), but is great for chopping up and adding to soups, or to quiche or "cheese"cake bases. It's firmer than silken, but still very soft and creamy. I don't use it much, but I know it sometimes gets used for scrambled tofu.


I love this stuff! I use it as an egg replacement in both savoury (quiche) and sweet (cheesecake) recipes. I use it as a cream replacement in sorbets and icecream. I use it in salad dressings and sauces...It's got a great consistency for all of these, being incredibly soft and creamy, and also it takes up other flavours really well - though I have found it to be the strongest tasting of all of the tofus, so strong flavours around it are really important.

You can also get tofu skin, marinaded tofu, dried tofu, sweet tofu desserts etc. I don't really use a whole lot more than the tofu types listed above, so I've got not much information to impart. However, I do encourage (as always) experimenting with all the types of tofu - it's a great source of protein, you can get calcium enriched tofu, and it's fun to play with and eat!

Next time:

Nutritional Yeast (oh, how I love that Nutritional Yeast...)

Sorbet-y goodness

As the weather turns to summer (at least in the hemisphere on what I am living), and fruit ripens faster, I start looking for a way to use the fruit before it goes off (often due to the new only-two-pieces-of-fruit-a-day restriction under which I am living). I don't want to waste any fruity goodness, and I really don't want to waste it when it's something like pawpaw...mmmmm....pawpaw.

So I made Pawpaw and Orange Sorbet. It was fresh and creamy and incredibly tasty (notice the "was" there - I'm cooking and consuming faster than I can blog the recipes!!) And incredibly easy to make, if you have a food processor...It's probably even easier if you have an icecream maker as well!! I don't have an icecream maker (though I am thinking about getting one), so I went with the relatively old fashioned way to make this sorbet...

Creamy Pawpaw and Orange Sorbet


1 medium sized very very ripe pawpaw, cut into chunks
1 x 250g packet silken tofu
1-2 tablespoons of agave nectar (available through most health food stores)
juice of 3 to 4 oranges


In your handy food processor, blend the chunks of pawpaw until it is mushed up. Add the silken tofu, and blend until the ingredients are well mixed together. Slowly add the juice of the oranges, and the agave nectar. The orange juice is mostly to cover the taste of the tofu, so taste occasionally - the more juice is in the mix, the more ice crystal-y and less creamy the sorbet will be.

Pour the mix into a airtight container and put into the freezer. Every couple of hours, as the mix starts to get quite icy, take the mix out and whip, either in the food processor, or with a whisk. Repeat this whipping process at least 3 times - doing it more times really won't hurt, but may cut into your time for other things you might like to do...

Leave the sorbet to freeze completely, defrost until just soft, and whip in the food processor again until it reaches a "soft serve" consistency - soft and creamy but still obviously frozen. Pour back into the air tight container and refreeze.

Allow to defrost for about an hour before serving and stir a little before spooning out scoops.

Put out some scoops, add some freshly cut fruit, prepare for an instant icecream headache and...share and enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

From the cupboard to your plate.

There are times when I'm in the mood for extreme-stick-to-the-ribs pasta sauce. I want heavy, I want extremely flavoursome, I want lots...

I satisy this craving with Nutmeat Pasta. I used to make this pasta sauce using TVP (textured vegetable protein) or soy mince, but I prefer the nutmeat (scroll to the third from the bottom) - it breaks down into the sauce more, and I find that the flavour is not as intrusive as that of TVP or soy mince. That's not to say that you can't use TVP or soy mince in this recipe - please do!

Another thing that I love about this recipe is that, if you only have the canned goods, and you don't have any fresh veges kicking about, you can still make a tasty, relatively healthy meal.


Nutmeat Pasta


1 x 415g can of Nutmeat, finely chopped (or same volume of reconstituted TVP or soy mince)
2 x 400g can of tomatoes
garlic to taste, minced (I use a huge amount of garlic, so this is to taste - you can use fresh or bottled, though bottled will give you more intense garlic breath than fresh)
onion, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped (optional - it's also fun to use the canned champignon mushrooms, they have a very different texture)
2 tablespoons dried or fresh "Italian" herbs
1 tablespoon tomato paste
vege stock cube
olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
vegan worcestshire sauce - two to three dashes

Pasta (I like to use Vegeroni, but any pasta is fine)


Set a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil. When the sauce is about 15 minutes off ready, cook your pasta of choice.

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan, over a medium heat. Throw in the onion and garlic, and cook until translucent but not coloured. If you are using dried herbs, throw in half of them now. Add the nutmeat/TVP/soy mince, and stir quickly. It will stick, so deglaze with a little lemon juice. Add the tomato paste, and stir until mixed. Add both cans of tomatoes, half fill each of the cans of tomatoes with water, and set to one side. Stir so that everything is well combined. Pour in the rest of the lemon juice and the worcestshire sauce. Season with the pepper, crumble the stock cube in and pour in the water from the tomato cans.

Turn the heat to low medium, and leave to cook for about 40 minutes, or until the liquid has cooked off and the sauce is darker and having a Vesuvius moment. You will need to stir this sauce regularly, as it will stick as it cooks.

Pour generous amounts of the sauce over your drained pasta, serve with salad and garlic bread, and share and enjoy!

Momentary begging for comments...

I realised yesterday that I had set the comments to "Bloggers Only", and that's not really what I wanted to do. So I've reset it to "Anyone who wants to comment can comment", so feel free to go crazy with the comments (though not too crazy or I may, you know, think you all are a bit crazy).

Anyone who wants to comment will still need to type in the code thingy, though.