Category:  Vegetarian

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Vegan Ragu (Pasta Tomato Sauce)

In Dinners and Meals, Vegan, Vegetarian On September 7, 2017 0 Comments

This recipe is another impromptu invention that I came up with while not knowing what to cook. I must say that my best dishes come through when I don’t know what to cook. I love utilising my pantry to the optimum to create new dishes. I had bought zucchini and knew I wanted to make zucchini spaghetti, but I didn’t know about the sauce. I knew I wanted a vegan sauce, so I soaked some cashew nuts knowing that this cashew sauce would become handy. The result was an exquisite Italian style tomato sauce and a great companion to pasta!

We had plenty of tomatoes in the fridge, so I immediately thought of tomato sauce since I don’t often buy ready made tomato sauce. The recipe is very easy whilst and uses simple yet authentic ingredients. I loved the smell and taste of basil and oregano in this sauce. The sauce smelled so good and looked like traditional Bolognese or Italian ragu. It was also great served with normal pasta or with zucchini noodles made with this spiralizer.

This is happy food for me, it looked nice, smelled delicious, tasted great without using animal products in the process.

Here is a video that I posted on Instagram of the sauce cooking:
 

 

Making #vegan and #paleo ragu 🍅😋 #nomnom 😋🍅

A post shared by Rody (@rodysheartycorner) on

 

How to easily peel tomatoes?

To be able to peel the tomatoes easily I soaked them in hot boiling water for about five minutes. Then I rinsed the water, covered the tomatoes in some ice and added more water. This allowed me to peel the tomatoes with a knife easily.

 

 

Vegan Ragu
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min

Cook Time
15 min

Total Time
35 min

Prep Time
20 min

Cook Time
15 min

Total Time
35 min

Ingredients
  1. 8-10 tomatoes (I used Roma Tomatoes)
  2. 1 medium onion, diced
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 1 cup pre-soaked raw cashews (soak in water for at least one hour)
  6. 1 teaspoon oregano
  7. fresh basil leaves
  8. Salt & pepper
  9. ½ teaspoon Chilli flakes
  10. 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  11. 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Soak the raw cashews in water in advance. This will allow them to soften up.
  2. Use the easy method suggested for peeling the tomatoes.
  3. Stir fry the onion in olive oil and add some pepper. Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes in a food processor.
  4. When the onion has softened, add in the garlic.
  5. Then add most of the pureed tomatoes reserving some in the food processor.
  6. Blend cashew nuts in the food processor together with the remaining tomatoes. You can puree completely or leave some chunks.
  7. Add this cashew mixture to the simmering tomato sauce.
  8. Add a good pinch of salt, oregano, chilli flakes, nutritional yeast and coconut sugar if using.
  9. Stir the mixture from time to time and let simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the flavours to soak in.
  10. Switch off the heat and add in pieces of fresh basil.
  11. Add in the cooked pasta or raw zucchini spaghetti and serve immediately. If you want warm pasta, you can switch on the heat, but I find zucchini to be best when raw as otherwise, they will become mushy.
  12. Enjoy!
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

 

Sweet Potato Fries

In Savory Bites, Vegan, Vegetarian On December 9, 2016 0 Comments

This is a super easy sweet potato chips recipe that you can make any time instead of conventional chips. For this recipe I have used white sweet potatoes which are grown locally in Malta. They are cheaper than normal sweet potatoes and we prefer their taste better than the orange ones. They are less strong making them taste similar to normal potatoes but with less starch. Below is a picture of these white type of sweet potatoes. 

These white fleshed sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, a good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus (source). 

The final product was a quite satisfying experience. The same recipe however can be used with all type of sweet potatoes.

 

 

Sweet potato fries
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min

Cook Time
25 min

Total Time
30 min

Prep Time
5 min

Cook Time
25 min

Total Time
30 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 large sweet potato
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  4. 1 teaspoon paprika
  5. ½ teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
  6. ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek (optional)
  7. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill or otherwise oven at 200°C.
  2. Cut the sweet potato in strips and place in a clean plastic bag.
  3. Add the olive oil, close the plastic bag and shake to evenly distribute the oil on the sweet potatoes.
  4. Add in the remaining spices and seasoning and mix well by shaking the bag.
  5. Place on oven tray, preferably onto baking paper and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes turning the potatoes half way through.
  6. Enjoy as a side or as a snack.
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

Easy Broccoli and Cauliflower Bake

In Dinners and Meals, Vegetarian On November 4, 2016 4 Comments

You don’t need comfort dishes of baked pasta when you can have equally delicious baked vegetables. This meal is effortless to assemble and is pure comfort food, without giving you the guilt feeling and bloating effect.

broccoli-bake-1
Now that the cold weather is kicking in, we found this dish so heart-warming it left us happy and fulfilled. I am pleased to say that this recipe is boyfriend approved and was so good that we had this twice this week.
The choice of vegetables can vary depending on what’s in season. I love to mix cauliflower and broccoli, although pumpkin would also be great, especially after all that pumpkin carving!



broccoli-cauliflower-recipe

 

 

Easy Broccoli and Cauliflower Bake
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
30 min

Total Time
45 min

Prep Time
15 min

Cook Time
30 min

Total Time
45 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 head cauliflower
  2. 1 head broccoli
  3. 2 scallions, chopped
  4. 4 slices bacon, chopped (optional, omit for vegetarian)
  5. 120g mozzarella cheese
  6. 1 cup ground almonds
  7. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 1 teaspoon oregano
  9. 1 teaspoon paprika
  10. 1 teaspoon ground chilli flakes
  11. salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to medium heat.
  2. Steam or boil the cauliflower and broccoli for 10 minutes leaving them firm. Remove from the water.
  3. Cover an oven dish with baking paper and place bite-size cauliflower and broccoli florets at the bottom of the dish.
  4. Spread the scallions and bacon evenly on top of the vegetables.
  5. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  6. Then mix the ground almonds, olive oil, spices and seasoning in a small bowl. This mix will turn into a crumble (like gluten free and grain free breadcrumbs). Sprinkle this crumbly mixture on top of the mozzarella.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes and serve warm.
  8. This mixture serves roughly 4 people as a main course (depends on the size of your broccoli and cauliflower).
Adapted from primaverakitchen.com
Adapted from primaverakitchen.com
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

Vegetable Cake

In Dinners and Meals, Vegetarian On March 3, 2016 0 Comments

The idea of the words vegetable and cake combined might not sound right at first, but unless you associate a cake with only something sweet, I assure you that you will not be disappointed. I found it very convenient to combine all these vegetables in one cake or pie, call it what you please. First of all this meant I could make use of almost all the vegetables in my fridge thus eliminating waste of produce and still having a hearty wholesome dish. Secondly it is really convenient as a quick grab for both lunch or dinner. Having this portioned and ready to eat inside the refrigerator was a great time saver for the whole week. Just grab a slice and eat it cold or warm, served with some side salad and voilà a meal quickly served.

Vegetable Cake (4) (Large)
The recipe could be easily adjusted by replacing or adding other vegetables of your choice. The trick is to have the vegetables steamed or boiled beforehand so when you combine them into a cake as this will make cooking and combining so much easier.

Vegetable Cake (1) (Large)

 

 
This veggie cake was even great for a picnic!
 
Vegetable Cake(3) (Large)
 

Vegetable Cake
Serves 8
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Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr 30 min

Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
1 hr

Total Time
1 hr 30 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 head broccoli
  2. 1 head cauliflower
  3. 2 sweet potatoes
  4. 1 ½ kg pumpkin
  5. 1 jalapeno pepper
  6. 10 sun-dried tomato half
  7. 1 cup/80g ground almonds
  8. 1 teaspoon chopped chillies
  9. 2 teaspoon dried dill
  10. 1 teaspoon dried basil
  11. 1 teaspoon paprika
  12. 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  13. ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  14. 3 eggs whites + 1 whole egg
  15. sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Start by steaming the sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and pumpkin. You can use a large pot and toss everything together. This should take about 15 minutes plus a few more for the sweet potatoes.
  2. Using a fork, mash the pumpkin in a sieve to get rid of any excess water as this might dampen you cake.
  3. In a large bowl mash the sweet potatoes then combine the mashed pumpkin with it.
  4. Add the cauliflower and broccoli florets to the mixture and roughly mash keeping some large bite size pieces.
  5. Add in the ground almonds, eggs, jalapenos, sun-dried tomatoes and spices and mix until everything is well combined.
  6. Cover a large baking dish with grease proof paper using some oil to hold the paper in place. Fill in with the vegetable mixture and top with some sesame or pumpkin seeds.
  7. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 45 minutes to one hour at 200°C.
  8. Store inside the fridge for up to five days. Alternatively cut into portions and store inside a freezer (consume within 6 months for best freshness).
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

Lemon date coconut balls

In Sweets and Treats, Vegan, Vegetarian On December 6, 2015 0 Comments

This is a simple recipe for adult coconut balls. I refer to them as being ‘adult’ since the lemon really adds a mature twist to the conventional coconut balls. They are great for welcoming guests during the festive season, or any other occasion. Simple to do yet delicious and satisfying.  These will make your guests happy!

You could also prepare a batch and store it in the fridge for easy access when craving something sweet. These coconut balls can be stored in refrigerator and they will harden, but they can also be stored for long hours outside fridge and they will be slightly softer.

If you don’t like lemon desserts, try these cacao nut balls.

lemon date balls square2

Lemon date coconut balls
Yields 20
Print

Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
10 min

Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
10 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 cup freshly baked almonds
  2. 1 cup shredded coconut + extra for rolling
  3. 1 cup (250g) dates
  4. zest of 1 lemon
  5. juice of 1 lemon
  6. vanilla powder
Instructions
  1. Pre-soak the dates in hot water for at least 15 minutes if they are not already soft. In the mean time bake the raw almonds for around 10 minutes, be careful so that they don’t burn. If you have pre-baked almonds then omit the baking.
  2. Blend the nuts first until powdered. Then rinse the dates from water and blend all the ingredients in a food processor.
  3. Roll mixture into balls and then cover with additional shredded coconut.
  4. Store in a fridge until ready to serve.
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

 

Aubergine Burgers (vegetarian)

In Dinners and Meals, Salads, Vegetarian On September 25, 2015 0 Comments

There is so much to say about these lovely meatless burgers. They made my eyeballs literally roll back many times whilst devouring them. They are quite surprising for what they appear to be and I promise that they taste delicious. I cannot compare their taste to anything else, but they are definitely a must try.

Since I was eating these burgers during my lunch break, I felt the urge to share them with my colleagues as otherwise they couldn’t have imagined why I was making such a fuss on how good they were. This in fact proved right since they all agreed that the burgers taste was delightful.

These burgers would also make an ideal snack. My next variation with these burgers would be to put them in a bun and use them instead of a conventional burger, since they did look like they were meat burgers after all. Although, I am still working on finding the best alternative burger bun to accompany them. I cannot use my recent favourite aubergine burgers buns alternative, as there would be too much aubergines, but I definitely suggest you to try this recipe out if you are using any other type of burgers. Sliced aubergine do make a really good replacement for bread rolls.

Oh by the way, aubergines and egg plants are the same thing. So, here goes the recipe.

IMG_8308

 

Aubergine Burgers
Yields 8
Print

Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
30 min

Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
30 min

Ingredients
  1. 2 medium sized aubergines
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 small onion
  4. 1 big garlic clove
  5. 1 white dry local cheeselet (gbejna bajda) or 1 cup semi-hard cheese
  6. handful of chopped fresh parsley
  7. 1 cup / 100gr ground almonds (intrita) or flour or breadcrumbs of your choice
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  10. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Peel and dice the aubergines into cubes and set aside.
  2. Chop the onion and cook on medium heat adding the olive oil only when pan gets hot and onions start to sizzle. This method will reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the oil.
  3. Toss in the spices together with some salt and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  4. In the meantime mince the garlic, then sauté for a further 1 minute.
  5. Finally add the eggplant cubes and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every now and then until golden and soft. This depends on the size of your saucepan.
  6. Whilst the aubergine is cooking, grate the cheese and set aside.
  7. Transfer the aubergine mixture into a large bowl and puree using an immersion blender. Alternatively you can do this in a food processor or a blender.
  8. Add the grated cheese, parsley, black pepper and using a spoon stir until well combined.
  9. Add the ground almonds or any flour or breadcrumbs of your choice gradually to the mixture stirring constantly.
  10. Let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes to allow the almond meal to suck up all the lovely juices and moisture.
  11. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
  12. Divide the mixture into 8 parts. Dampen your hands and form each part into a ball flattening it to a burger shape. The flatter they are the faster they will cook.
  13. Place the burgers on the prepared baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. Flip them over and bake on the other side for a further 15 minutes. Alternatively fry the burgers on a sauce pan for quicker cooking.
Notes
  1. You can replace the cheese with vegan cheese for a vegan alternative.
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

Grain Free Granola

In Breakfast Basket, Vegetarian On April 30, 2015 2 Comments

I have liked the idea of making my own homemade granola since I started noticing the ingredients of the store bought versions. When I started eating healthy, a lot of things were different. Some food that I considered healthy 10 years ago, are no longer on my grocery shopping list. Some of these items are whole grain bread, sweet corn, oats, canned beans and breakfast cereals.

It takes time to change, but as I grew older the perception of what healthy eating was changed. Healthy for me nowadays means eating unprocessed foods, or processing them myself. I try to avoid anything that is highly processed or that has more than one item on the ingredients list. Fresh and seasonal are always the favored items on my shopping list. Unfortunately  marketing campaigns show a totally different picture from reality. They manage to make us consumers believe what they want. You will be amased on how many bluberry products out there do not contain actual blueberries. Crab sticks do not contain any crab meat. The list goes on. It is a shame to label something as healthy despite all the sugars and high fructose corn syrups added to it. Not to mention additives, colors and preservatives. 

 

granola square (Small)

 

I am one of the minorities to see no actual benefits in grains, and consider it as being a harmful substance. I believe that grains aid the development of some diseases and allergies and are one of the culprits of weight gain. Anyone will see a difference in his life when cutting out grains completely, even if for a short term. If you are unsure of whether even healthy whole grains are keeping you ‘fat’, I encourage you to go grain free for a week at first to see if you notice any difference in how you feel. There are a lot of studies backing up this argument and I encourage you to read this article by Wellness Mama if you want to know more. 

 

granola closeup (Small)
 

 

Grain Free Granola
Print

Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
30 min

Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
30 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 cup raw almonds
  2. 1 cup raw pistachios
  3. ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  4. ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  5. 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  6. 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  7. 3 tablespoons honey
  8. vanilla from 1/2 bean or 1 teaspoon valnilla extract
  9. dash of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcus and line baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Combine coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until dissolved and well combined. You could alternatively melt oil and honey in microwave for 1 minute. Take off heat and stir in salt and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. Combine nuts in a food processor and pulse a couple of times just to roughly break them up. Transfer nuts to a large bowl.
  4. Add the seeds and coconut flakes to the nuts. Toss to combine.
  5. Pour oil mixture into the nut mixture. Use a spoon to combine everything together  making sure the nuts are coated.
  6. Transfer granola onto baking sheet, arranging it in one even layer. Place baking tray in the oven.
  7. Bake granola for 25-30 minutes until dry and golden. Rotate the tray if the granola is browning unevenly.
  8. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let the granola cool completely. It will crisp further as it cools.
  9. Once cooled, break the granola apart into whatever sized chunks you prefer. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

 

Vegan Veggie Burgers

In Dinners and Meals, Vegan, Vegetarian On April 14, 2015 4 Comments

This is my own take at making egg free, dairy free and grain free burgers. I tried to include as many nutrients as possible and served them with my homemade harissa and homemade hummus to have a wholesome and satisfying dinner. I was skeptical that consuming 2 veggie burgers per person would not satisfy our appetite for long, but in the end they did curb all appetite and after dinner we didn’t look for any other food. I am happy to announce that these sliders are boyfriend approved.

These burgers will not easily go off and can be stored in the fridge up to one week because they do not contain any dairy. I suggest to be creative with the serving. The recipe I put here is one which uses aubergines instead of burger buns, but you could easily use them on any bread, wraps or crackers of your choice, although containing them in a bun is only the beginning of the limitless options you have. You could serve them on salad or as a side to any other meal. Another handy idea is to have them prepared in the fridge and take one as a snack or pre/post workout meal.  

Finally, do not be discouraged if you are out of homemade harissa and homemade hummus . This is just an idea and you could use any other condiments that you have in your own kitchen. Other examples of dressings are Greek yogurt sour dip, homemade pesto, bigilla or wholegrain mustard. And if you do not have any of these just slice a couple of tomatoes and add some pepper and chilly if you can handle it.

Since this recipe is made up of other small recipes, you could prepare the condiments on one day, the burgers on another day and the burger buns just before serving. Try to prepare meals in advance to make it less stressful for you in the kitchen.

I hope that you enjoy these veggie burgers and let me know your best take on this recipe in the comments below.

veggie burger closeup (Small)

 

Vegan Veggie Burgers
Yields 8
Print

Prep Time
45 min

Cook Time
45 min

Prep Time
45 min

Cook Time
45 min

For the burgers
  1. 1 white onion
  2. 1 small head broccoli
  3. 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  4. 6 tablespoons water
  5. 1 cup cooked lentils
  6. 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  7. ½ teaspoon paprika
  8. 1 teaspoon cumin
For the buns
  1. 1 aubergine
  2. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  3. salt & pepper
Condiments
  1. Sliced onions
  2. ricotta (optional)
  3. homemade harissa (optional)
  4. homemade hummus (optional)
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking the lentils (you can do this a day ahead). It is best to pre-soak them in hot water for at least 3 hours and then rinse and boil them for around 25 minutes. I prefer to do this once I am cleaning the kitchen in the evening because they do not need particular attention but just stirring from time to time. You can then drain them and store them in the fridge and have them ready for use the next day.
  2. Preheat the oven at 200°C and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
  3. Make flax seed ‘eggs’ by mixing the flax seeds and water in a separate cup. Stir from time to time and you will have your egg replacement in 5 minutes.
  4. For the burgers, dice the onion using a food processor and then add the broccoli and process until broccoli is finely chopped. Add the remaining burger ingredients including flax egg and process until mixture becomes mushy but still firm to the touch.
  5. Scoop some of the burger mixture and place on the palm of your hand. Use the other hand to shape it in the form of a round patty and then place on the lined baking tray.
  6. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes on each side and let cool before storing.
  7. To make the aubergine burger bun slice the aubergine sidewise into 1cm thick slices. Drizzle some olive oil making sure you spread the oil evenly allover the aubergines (use a wet kitchen brush to do this). Place on a grilling tray then season with some salt and pepper and put underthe grill for around 5 minutes or until lightly browned. When browned turnover the other side and grill for a further 5 minutes.
  8. When the aubergines are ready, spread half of the aubergines with harissa and the other half with hummus. Then put some onion and ricotta on the hummus base aubergine. Top with the cooked burger patties and close the bun with the other slice of the harissa aubergine.
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/