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, June 29, 2009

Cauliflower Soup with Tempeh Croutons

As it's winter, I'm beginning to explore a range of soups for dinner. I mix a protein with vegetables and seasonings, whizz with the blender and boom! Soup in 30 minutes.

This soup is fine by itself, but the smoky tempeh croutons really make the dish sing.

Cauliflower Soup

  • 70g white beans
  • 150g cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 20g spring onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small chilli, minced
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon mixed savoury herbs (heavy on the sage)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon barley miso
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Steam cauliflower until tender.

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Saute spring onion, garlic and chillies for one minute. Add the beans and coat with the spring onion. Add mustard seeds, mustard, herbs, cumin, coriander, miso and mix together into a paste. Cook, stirring constantly, for two minutes. Add water and lemon juice, mix together well, and bring to a simmer for ten minutes.

Add the steamed cauliflower and simmer for another ten minutes. Take off the heat and cool for five minutes. Using a hand blender, blend until as smooth as possible. Place back on the heat, stir in the nutritional yeast and simmer for another two minutes, stirring constantly.

Serve topped with the tempeh croutons (recipe below).

Tempeh Croutons

  • 100g tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1/4 cup sweet soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.

Mix the liquid smoke, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and water into a small saucepan and put over a low heat and slowly simmer.

Cut tempeh into 1/2cm slices, and then into 1cm wide croutons. Put the croutons into the warm marinade and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Take off the heat.

Pour 1/2 tablespoon olive in a baking dish. Pour in the tempeh and remaining marinade and make sure that the tempeh is in a single layer.

Bake until the tempeh is sticky and dark golden and the marinade has all evaporated.

Cool until the soup is ready.

Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale!!

I've been so excited for the last couple of months, knowing that the Sydney arm of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale was coming up.

I got involved in the bake sale thanks to Mandee's invitation, and she, Michelle and I met up a couple of times and talked on the intarwebs, organised a time, a place, a charity (WSPA) and what we were going to make. Mandee also got a whole bunch of other vegans on board to bring along yummies to sell as well. We also tried to figure out what we'd do with the leftovers and decided to take them to work to sell to workmates.

I decided to go with a biscuit theme, and spent 5 hours one night after work churning out four and a half dozen large chocolate chip cookies (variations on my standard recipe) and 5 dozen melting moments - some gluten free and some chock full of gluten.

Gluten Free Double Chocolate

Gluten Free Classic Choc Chip

Classic Choc Chip

Double Chocolate

Gluten Free Mocha Chip

Vanilla Melting Moments, awaiting their icing. I also made chocolate, passionfruit and gluten free lemon (and chocolate) melting moments.

Mocha Chip

And (finally!) Choc Chip & Almond Chunk

Mandee has a great wrap up of the day itself, which was amazing and brilliant and so much fun and I met so many lovely people (boy, vegans are way pretty and shiny and fabby, aren't they?) and we raised $908.70 for WSPA!!!

I'm hoping that we'll be able to run a bake sale again sooner rather than later. Not that I've already started planning what I'd make or anything (cherry pie, custard tart, almond cookies, sausage rolls - anyone?)

One Day Cooking Class, Open for Enrolments

Just a quick one (I have a report on the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale and a lovely soup recipe to share - tomorrow, I hope!) to let folks know that if they're interested in getting a fun and tasty introduction to vegan cuisine, I'm running an one day class on Saturday August 29.

Here's the rundown:

"Veganism, a lifestyle where there is no consumption of any animal products whatsoever, is a rapidly growing subculture. Due to its’ strong ethical grounding, alignment with healthy eating principles and minimal impact upon the environment, it appeals to many different people for many different reasons.

Vegan cuisine is bright, tasty, easy and satisfying, and incorporates flavours and techniques from cultures around the globe.

The course will cover nutrition, a range of cookery techniques, and act as an introduction to all things vegan – as well as showing how easy and healthful vegan cuisine can be!

Organic and in season ingredients will be used where possible.

So if you are interested in learning more about vegan cuisines and ways of incorporating it into your everyday lifestyle, then this is the course for you.


Why vegan?

What are vegan ingredients, where do I find them and how do I use them?

Students will receive comprehensive information booklets and recipes, and cook a vegan feast that will be enjoyed by the whole class.

Recipes will cover breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert dishes, inspired by cuisines from around the world. "

I always have a great time running these classes, and this will be an intensive day, as I plan on cramming as much cooking as possible into the 6 hours!!

The class is run in Leichhardt and starts at 10am and runs to 4pm, and the cost is $129.

You can enrol here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tempeh Balls with Tomato Sauce - rejigged

I apparently can't get enough of this combo, but this is a rejigged version that I thought deserved its own recipe...

Spicy Italian Tempeh Balls

  • 170g tempeh
  • 1/2 tablespoon barley miso
  • 1/2 tablespoon Braggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.

Pour the olive oil into a baking tray.

Grate the tempeh into a large bowl, and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well until the mixture sticks together when rolled into a ball. Roll into ten small balls.

Roll the balls in the olive oil to cover. Place evenly spaced on the baking tray, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until crisp and golden - turn once during the baking.

Tomato Sauce

  • 100g tinned tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon Braggs
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil

Mince the garlic, and place all ingredients bar the basil into a saucepan over a high heat. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until thick. Take off the heat, add the fresh basil, and process with a stick blender until smooth.

I roasted 70g cauliflower with the tempeh balls and serve it all topped with the tomato sauce. Mucho tasty...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Barter economy FTW!!

I have two Bokashi bins, which I fill about every six weeks, and I love them. I think they're great for inner city living...until you have to empty them every six weeks.

I have got a kind of (dying and waiting for replanting in Spring) garden out the back, but I really don't have enough room for burying the Bokashi compost. What to do, what to do?

I went into the Watershed a few months ago to find out if there was a compost sharing community or something around Newtown, and there didn't seem to be one running. However, one of the women working at the Watershed offered to take the compost off my hands for her garden. I jumped at the chance and she came and picked up that lot soon afterwards.

This week I had reached the limit of fullness in the bins, and she was happy to come around again to pick up the compost, and she offered to give me some gifts from her garden. To my surprise and joy, this bounty greeted me when I got home this evening:

There are little hot chillies (which I used in tonight's iteration of Spicy Lentil Soup)

A green and gorgeous tangle of herbs, including coriander (already consumed tonight!), basil, oregano and mint

I'm assuming these are Asian greens - they look shiny and well tasty!

A beautiful big bunch of rhubarb - I'm going to make breakfast rhubarb crumble with this! Yum!

And finally plump purple wondrous smelling lavender - I'm drying this out and will put it into my clothes drawer, mmmmm!

I'm feeling very blessed and lucky at the moment - some wonderful things are happening in my life - and finding these gifts on my doorstep today really gave me a joyful feeling of community, and that is a wonderful way to feel!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Spicy Red Lentil Soup

This? This was freaking awesome. I love love love red lentil soup, ever since I had the most delicious version I had ever tasted about 10 years ago, on an icy winter's day in Katoomba. My boyfriend at the time was a chef, and I got him to deconstruct the flavours and ingredients and started making red lentil soup obsessively. I don't think I've made it for at least two years, but after tonight's effort, I think I'm obsessed again!!

The only problem I had with this was figuring out how much dried red lentils make up 170g cooked red lentils. I think I overestimated this time and have adjusted the recipe accordingly.

  • 70g dried red lentils
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 pickled chilli
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chilli
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 170g chopped canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 stock cube
  • 2 cups water (plus more as required)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Mince the garlic and chillies together. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Saute the garlic and chilli for a minute, add the red lentils and mix well. Add the dry spices and cook off. Pour in the tomatoes and stock cube and mix well. Add the 2 cups of water, mix, and simmer until the lentils are softened and cooked. If the mixture gets too dry, add more water as required.

Take the soup off the heat, cool for 5 minutes, and puree until smooth. Put back onto the heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

I served this with guacamole and fresh shredded beetroot that I dressed with lemon juice and flaxseed oil - the juices from the beetroot made a great drizzle for the soup!!

I'm looking forward to making this tomorrow night and beyond!!

Marinated Tempeh/Tofu Steaks & Shiitake Mushroom Sauce

I had friends over for dinner on Monday night (dinner and Castle, which is so much fun!), and had a really hard time figuring out what to make. The following recipe feeds three relatively hungry folks (and follows the rules of my new diet, I might add!) As a first go 'round, it was okay, but there are things that I could happily tweak in it.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Marinated Tempeh and Tofu Steaks
  • 380g tempeh and tofu
  • 2 tablespoons miso
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 3 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon Braggs
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
Shiitake Mushroom Sauce
  • 150g rehydrated shiitake mushrooms (weighed after being rehydrated)
  • 150g onion
  • 210g canned tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 70g chickpeas
  • 60g tamari almonds
  • reserved mushroom soaking liquid (about 2 cups)
  • reserved marinade (about 1/3 cup)

Cut the tempeh and tofu into 10cm wide, 25cm long, 1cm thick "steaks".

Whisk the marinade ingredients - miso to liquid smoke - together, add the tempeh and tofu and marinate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Remove hard stalks from shiitake mushrooms and cut shiitake mushrooms into strips. Slice onion into half moons. Mince garlic.

Blend the tomatoes with 1/4 cup of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid until smooth. Set to one side.

Blend the chickpeas and tamari almonds with 1/4 cup of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid until smooth. Set to one side.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over a medium hot heat. Fry the tempeh and tofu steaks until just coloured on both sides, and transfer to a baking pan. Cover the baking pan with foil and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, the last 10 minutes uncovered.

In the same frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil and add the onions. Fry the onions until translucent, then add the garlic. Deglaze as required using a little of the mushroom soaking liquid. Add the blended tomatoes and the reserved marinade. Simmer until the mixture begins to thicken a little. Add the blended chickpeas and almonds, the shiitake mushrooms and the remainder of the mushroom soaking liquid. Simmer until thickened - if it gets too thick, add 1/3 to 1/2 cup water as required.

Serve the tempeh and tofu steaks on top of coleslaw (with a dressing of 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of seeded mushroom, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 3 tablespoons flaxseed oil and salt and pepper to taste) topped with the mushroom sauce.

I really liked using the chickpeas and nuts instead of flour to thicken the gravy/sauce, and it's definitely something I'll try again.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A whole new world

So, I have begun a new diet regime in an attempt to actually drop the weight that I've been attempting to shift for the last 2.5 years. This was created with a naturopath and is not quite as crazytimes as I expected it to be. In fact, to semi-misquote a friend of mine, "you say, give me the most restrictive diet you can, and I will make it into something fabulous." I am having a great time making interesting and diverse and tasty dishes under the following rules:

Breakfast: 30g unsweetened cereal + 1 piece of fruit + 240mL soy milk OR 170g tofu/tempeh + 170g cooked vegetables
Lunch: 170g legumes OR 170g tofu/tempeh + 170g cooked vegetables + 170g salad + 1 piece fruit + 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
Dinner: 170g legumes OR 170g tofu/tempeh + 170g cooked vegetables + 170g salad + 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil

The great thing about this diet is that it is teaching me how to appreciate portion size, and it's making me think really hard about making new and exciting ways of eating protein and veges.

I've made up a great breakfast cereal of organic puffed rice, rolled quinoa and rolled amaranth, which I've been having with organic pear and vanilla soymilk, and which has been a great start to the day!

Lunch is a fairly standard bowl o' food - today was chickpeas, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, sprouts and grated carrot, dressed in a flaxseed oil/lemon juice/hot sauce/salt dressing.

Dinner is where I've been having lots of fun. I've only been on the new regime for a couple of days, so I only have a couple of examples (and recipes!) to date. I also have a restricted set of veges available to me at the moment, so the "salad" section of the meal has been a variation on red coleslaw - red cabbage, grated beetroot, grated carrot, dressing as per lunch - for both meals.

And now for some actual recipes!!

Smoky BBQ Miso Tempeh Skewers

  • 170g tempeh
  • 70g mushrooms
  • 100g baby tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons miso
  • 1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoon BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Cube the tempeh. Whisk together the miso, liquid smoke, BBQ sauce and water. Marinate the tempeh overnight.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celcius.

Cut the mushrooms into chunks. Alternate tempeh, mushroom and tomatoes on a skewer. Place onto a baking tray, and drizzle with a little of the marinade - reserve at least 2/3 of the remaining marinade to make a sauce - and the olive oil.

Bake for about 30 minutes, turning once, until the tomatoes have started to crinkle and split.

While the skewers are baking, put the reserved marinade and another 1/3 cup water into a saucepan over a high heat and cook down until there is about 1/3 cup thickened sauce left.

Serve the skewers drizzled with the marinade, and red coleslaw on the side.

Tonight's dinner was shared with Phil and Neibi, and they seemed well impressed with this concoction!!

Tempeh-Bean Rissoles with Tomato Sauce


  • 100g tempeh
  • 70g borlotti beans
  • 50g carrot
  • 30g peas
  • 10g spring onions
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon miso
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Tomato Sauce
  • 90g baby tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.


Steam the tempeh for 10 minutes. Cool.

Finely slice the spring onion, and place into a large bowl. Add the beans and mash well. Grate the tempeh and carrot into the bowl. Add the peas. Mix together. Add the herbs and mix well. In a small bowl, whisk together the miso and lemon juice, then pour into the tempeh-bean mixture. Using your hands, mix and squeeze the tempeh-bean mixture together until you can form a patty using the mixture.

Drizzle the olive oil into a baking tray.

Using about 2 dessertspoons of tempeh-bean mixture, form into 1cm thick rissoles. Coat both sides with the olive oil, and place in the baking tray. Bake, without turning, for about 30 minutes or until the edges of the rissole are browning and the top is dry. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes after removing from the oven before serving.

Whilst the rissoles are baking, make the:

Tomato Sauce
Roughly chop the tomatoes, and place into a saucepan with the rest of the ingredients - use only 1/3 cup water at this point. Cover with a lid and set onto a high heat. Cook until most of the liquid has cooked off, and keep adding a little more water and cooking down until the tomatoes are almost completely broken down - about 25 minutes.

Serve the rissoles topped with the tomato sauce.

I have spent the last couple of nights feverishly writing down ideas for meals, so thought I'd share some of those ideas here:

Borscht with Beans
Tempeh Steak with Noochy Cauliflower Mash
Ginger Miso Chickpeas and Broccoli with Cos Salad
Indian Spiced Chickpeas and Cumin Raddichio
Roasted Beetroot and Tempeh Bacon with Cos Salad
Creamy Coconut Thai Style Curry
Cheezy Tofu Casserole
A take on the Asian Pear and Tempeh Salad from Veganomicon
Beans and Vegetables in Pesto
Tempeh/Tofu Steaks with Shiitake Gravy on Red Salad
Red Lentil, Tomato and Kale Stew
Tofu Kale Saag
Not Really Bruschetta

I look forward to trying these ideas and sharing them all with you folks out there!!