If you follow me on Face Book – you would have seen me hounding you all for votes for a recipe competition featuring Australian Macadamias (above photo courtesy of Australian Macadamias). Thank you to everyone that voted for me – I won! My photo/recipe now take pride of place on the front cover of the 2013 Australian Macadamias calendar.
BUT, the editor of the calendar may need his/her eyes checked. Unfortunately when I received my copy, it seems that the MAIN INGREDIENT (except for the macadamias, of course) was forgotten (!) FAIL. The tofu was left out, and the salt/vanilla quantities were written around the wrong way – so if anyone attempts to re create this tart it will be a salty flop with hardly any creamy filling. Empty, over salted tart shell, anyone?
Anyway, I took it upon myself to post the recipe here, because it is simple, delicious and surprisingly healthy – although it tastes SO decadently sinful. Viper even stated that this was one of my finest creations, and requested that he received one every evening. Yeah right, Viper.
Macadamia Shortbread Tart with Lemon Coconut Cream
(Vegan, soy/seed/refined sugar/wheat free – gluten free if you use certified oats)
This post is going to be an absolute mish-mash. Maybe this will give you an indication of the way my mind works (a million miles a minute) – and my inability to focus/stick to any sort of structure. Yeah, I’m pretty susceptible to a tangent… even while in the act of cooking. Things started with popcorn, visited a sugar-free sweetener, and ended up with cream cake, Confused? Yeah, me too.
It makes sense to start at the beginning. I wanted to make something using popcorn: Misty is obsessed with it, and after the success of my Popcorn Balls, I knew I had to experiment. I thought I would just make snack- bars, but then I decided that I could use these as an “add-in” to baking – like a fruity chocolate chunk? It’s always good to have a nut free option on hand, right?
Nut Free Fruity Choc-Chunks:
(Vegan, nut/gluten/wheat/soy/refined sugar free)
- 4C (popped) popcorn
- 1C dark raisins
- 1/4t sea salt
- 3T cacao powder (or carob/cocoa)
- 2T coconut oil*
- 1T water
- In a food processor, pulse together popcorn and raisins until they are all ground up. Add other ingredients, adding coconut oil and water last – it will seem like it’s not going to come together, but it will!
- Press out to your desired thickness – the mix is very sticky and soft (rolling out between 2 sheets of baking paper works well) and place in the freezer overnight. This gives the popcorn time to soak in the oil, and it forms more or a solid bar.
- Cut into small chunks and store in the freezer (fridge if you use cacao butter as suggested below)
* If you want a more solid chunk that holds it’s shape out of the fridge for longer, use cacao butter in place of the coconut oil.
You can use these as a snack bar (cut into larger pieces) or as a alternative to plain dried fruit or chocolate chips in baking/desserts – I know, I know, they are nothing like a chocolate chip – just something yummy to have on hand when you don’t have chocolate. I hardly ever use/buy chocolate chips due to the fact I can’t find a decent vegan option – I usually just chop up a good quality dark chocolate, or make my own raw chocolate. This recipe makes about 1 & 1/4 C worth of chunks.
I recently received a nice little package from the people at Natvia/Vitarium **- a company that makes a stevia/erythritol blend. As you can see from the picture, they produce a range of sugar-free sweeteners for use in both drinks and baking. From my experience this blend is an easily accessible (from the supermarket) option for those who want to cut down sugar. Most products that boast being “sugar-free” are usually flashing red warning signs for me (toxic! chemicals! crap!) but not this stuff – it’s natural – hooray. My personal preference will always be NuNaturals Vanilla stevia (which I get from the US) but many people find straight stevia has a bitter after taste that is unpalatable. Natvia doesn’t have that bitter after taste thanks to the inclusion of erythritol, which really does mellow out the flavour, and makes it a fabulous ingredient for wherever you would usually add sugar.
I decided to combine an experiment using both Natvia’s Baking Blend AND the Mocha flavoured Drinking Chocolate – as well as including my latest Fruit Choc-Chunk creation.
Vanilla Cream and Chocolate Brownie Cake
(Vegan, gluten, wheat, nut, refined sugar free)
Brownie Cake Base:
- 1 & 1/2C cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2C brown rice flour
- 3T natvia baking blend*
- 2T mocha natvia drinking chocolate powder*
- 2T cacao
- 1/4t salt
- 1/2C coconut milk
- 1/2t vanilla extract
* If you do not have access to Natvia, simply use 1/4C granulated sweetener, plus 3T cacao powder and 2t ground espresso)
- Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor until well combined.
- Spoon mix into a lined loaf tin (make sure the baking paper has some decent over-hang to make getting the cake out of the pan easier) and bake at 160 degrees C for 25 minutes – it will appear cracked on top, and seem super dense – perfect!
- Keep cake IN the pan, chill in the fridge.
- 300g silken tofu
- 3T coconut butter
- 3T cacao butter (or additional coconut butter if you do not have cacao butter)
- 2t lemon juice
- 3T Nativa baking blend (or your choice of sweetener – 2T agave – 15 drops liquid stevia etc)
- 1t vanilla extract
- 1/8t sea salt
- 2/3C Fruity Choc-Chunks (recipe above)**
**You can sub in regular chocolate chunks or any sort of dried fruit if you don’t want to bother making the Fruit Choc-Chunks – cherries and pistachios would make a very festive looking dessert.
- Blend all ingredients except Fruity Choc-Chunks together until very smooth.
- Fold the chunks into the mix.
- Pour on top of brownie base, and place in the freezer for at least an hour – until “set” but not frozen.
- Cut into slices/squares.
- Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
Yeah, I know, beans and tofu in one dessert? AND no sugar? Trust me – it’s an interesting process, yes – but the end result is delicious. Super high protein and without the sugar-induced coma.
Do you go off on tangents while involved in the cooking-process as I do? Tofu AND beans in a dessert – game to try? Or has the silly season gone to my head?
**Disclaimer – I received some samples of Natvia, but was under no obligation to post/review the products. I also received one of the Vitarium Banana-flavoured powders to add to milk (targeted at children) which contains cochinel (colour 120) which I obviously am not a fan of – and will not give to Misty.
I think most people tend to “play-it-safe” when it comes to dinner parties and entertaining. The same (fail safe) recipes are used time an time again – and that’s fine, you stick to what you know, and the likelihood of a disaster is lessoned considerably.
Maybe I’m a rebel. Maybe I’m crazy (I know the answer to this one). I like to get change things up a bit, take risks and create something a little different. Yes, I could end up with a pile of strange tasting, unidentifiable slop on my platter to present to m guests, but I’m willing to take that chance. If my dish is a failure, I shall just drink more wine and all shall be forgiven (forgotten? Drink more wine).
Beetroot, Chai spices and carob seem like an odd little threesome, yes? Well they are, but I think they get on rather nicely – they all have a similar earthiness to them, which is balanced out in this recipe by some creamy coconut, and a little freshness from mint & lemon. To keep things a little left of centre (as I like it) the pastry base uses chickpeas, because we all love protein, yes? Call me crazy, but I kind of dig it.
Creamy Beetroot & Coconut Tart with Chai Spices and Fresh Mint
(Vegan, wheat, nut, corn, refined sugar free)
Beetroot & Coconut Filling
- 1 heaping cup chopped beetroot (raw)
- 3C water
- 2 star anise
- 4 crushed cardamom pods
- 2t ground cinnamon
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1t mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)
- 1/4t ground ginger
- 1T lemon juice
- 1t lemon zest
- 1/8C fresh mint leaves
- 200g silken tofu (the shelf stable varieties like mori nu and moringa are the most “neutral” tasting and best texture in my opinion)
- 1/4C coconut butter
- 3T maple syrup
- 1/3C coconut milk (full fat)
- 1/2t pure vanilla extract
Chick Pea Oat “Pastry”
- 1 can chick peas
- 2T ground flax
- 4T oat bran
- 1T psyllium husks
- 3T coconut sugar
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1/2t pure vanilla extract
- 2T carob powder
- 4T melted coconut oil
- 1T maple syrup
- Tiny pinch sea salt
- 1/4t vanilla extract
- First up, make the pastry. Pre heat your oven to 170 degrees fan bake.
- Pulse together all pastry ingredients, then let the mix sit for about 10 minutes…. this just makes it a little easier to work with.
- Press the “dough” down firmly into a tart pan with a loose bottom. Be sure to get the dough spread out as evenly as possible – this ensures it will bake accordingly.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until pastry becomes golden and looks like it is slightly cracking.
- Remove from oven and set aside while you prepare the tart filling.
- To make tart filling, take beetroot and place in a small saucepan. Cover with the water and add star anise and cardamom pods to the cooking water. Bring to the boil, reduce to a quick simmer and continue cooking until beets are tender.
- Drain beets, discard water and spices.
- Combine all remaining ingredients with the beets in a food processor and whizz until very smooth.
- Spoon mix into your tart shell, smooth down and chill in the fridge for at least an hour…. or until nice and firm.
- For the drizzling sauce, simply combine all ingredients and splosh onto chilled tart at your leisure (it turns into a hard “magic shell” which is quite fun).
- Garnish with additional fresh mint, and enjoy.
If this flavour combo isn’t your thing, then you can’t deny the beauty of beetroot’s hue, now can you?
Thanks to all for another fabulous soiree of delicious Vegan eats – organisers and contributors alike… I can’t wait to peruse the delicacies on offer.
I think I’m experiencing post-wedding-blues.
It’s crazy how quick it is all done and over with. So so so much hype, excitement, tears, tantrums, fun, love – and then boom, all over. Life goes on…. straight back to reality and the normality of day to day life. I’m feeling a little blah to say the least.
Let me just say that a wedding is not a good time to be doing a candida cleanse. You only get married once (hopefully) and I was not going to deny myself of champagne, delicious coffees, sugar, amazing dinners out, cider, liquers, and so on.
So I am starting again – my symptoms HAD reduced dramatically, but now they are back with a vengeance. It was so worth it though.
My (new) Mother in Law made me some delicious stuffed mushrooms the other night, which has got me on a mushroom eating bender. Better than a tequila bender for sure. These have a sort of Italian-style flavour; the combination of nutritional yeast and silken tofu replace the cheese…. and fresh herbs are always a welcomed touch.
Easy Kale and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms
(Vegan, Anti-Candida, gluten, wheat, nut, refined sugar free)
- 6 medium field mushrooms
- 250g silken tofu, patted dry
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4C sundried tomatoes
- 4 stems of kale… leaves only…. washed and finely chopped (or baby spinach if you aren’t into kale… maybe 2C leaves packed tight)
- Fresh herbs: I used basil and oregano… 3T finely chopped
- 1/4t sea salt
- 3T nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1t apple cider vinegar
- 1t balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients (except mushrooms) in a mixing bowl, and leave to “marinate” for a few hours…. this will also help the kale soften.
- Stuff mushrooms with spoonfuls of the kale mix, and bake for 25 minutes at 180 degrees C.
- Viper does not like kale. All the more for me.
I’m on Day 3…. it’s getting better/easier.
Emotionally I feel a bit more balanced – it helps a lot that Viper has returned from a few days away…. and that Misty’s teething has settled down. I feel like I have more energy today; a morning yoga class definitely improved my mood and energy levels.
Feeling “full” after meals is the challenge – I am eating a LOT of fat to help satisfy my sweet tooth that is longing for a fruity/sugary hit. Coconut oil, almond butter, avocados, tahini and whole nuts have become my best buddies.
This has ALWAYS been a staple for me, but it is one of only a few “seasoning” options I have (along with general herbs/spices and sea salt). I’ve been experimenting today with a few ways to make piles of veggies interesting. Ginger juice.
Ginger “juice” is a staple in Japanese cooking. Basically I grate up a heap of ginger and then squeeeeeeze out all the liquid (through some cheesecloth)…. voila – super intense ginger juice you can add to anything. Of course, keep all of the squeezed ginger for adding to stir fry/juices/kombucha – whatever.
I think I’m missing pickled ginger and SUSHI…. hence my lunch time bowl of sushi-style ingredients. Wakame makes for some great flavour when condiments are limited.
This is a pretty loose recipe, but it was surprisingly yummy, so I thought I would record it.
“Sushi” Veggie Bowl
(Vegan, Anti-Candida, gluten/wheat/nut/grain/refined sugar free)
- 1/3 head cauliflower made into “rice” (whizzed up in the food processor until it is the size of rice grains)
- 1 large zuccini, grated
- 1 small Lebanese cucumber, cut into chunks.
- 1/4C wakame “dust” – or however much/little as you like…. simply whizz the wakame up in the food prcoessor until it is a chunky powder. If you want you can just snip it into strips using kitchen scissors.
- 1 small avocado, diced.
- Small amount cooked tofu (I think I went with 1/4 of a 250g block, pressed and baked)… totally increase this if you aren’t on an anti-candida eating regime like me!
- 2T tahini
- 2-3t ginger juice… or more depending on your ginger threshold.
- 2t apple cider vinegar
- 4t water
- 1/4t sea salt
- Teeny tiny pinch of stevia (less than 1/8t)
I was surprised, as this actually kept me full for longer than 1 hour. Success.
A lot of people are afraid of tofu.
Health foodie enthusiasts such as myself may have been scared off due to the grand old SOY debate. In my opinion, moderation is key. Everything has it’s benefits in moderate amounts. Just don’t go silly on the stuff and you’ll be fine. Stressing about it would probably be a lot more detrimental to your health.
Others may be scared of it’s seemingly rubbery, tasteless nature (that’s a weak excuse, probably coming from a poor tofu experience).
Either way- unless you are allergic to soy, a block a week isn’t going to kill you. Most of my soy intake comes from fermented soy (tempeh and miso paste) which is easier on my stomach…. but I do love tofu. We get a block of extra firm tofu every week, which will usually do enough for a dinner, plus leftovers (if Viper hasn’t demolished it all) for my lunch the next day. Basically, it’s all in the preparation.
There are heaps of varieties available, this little method-lesson is for extra firm tofu. Japanese/Chinese grocery stores are great places to get bargain tofu if your local supermarket doesn’t have a great range. Be sure to read your ingredient labels though! For those on my side of the globe (Australia & NZ) my favourite brands are Bean Supreme, Pureland, Tonzu, and Blue Lotus.
First you have to press it. I ate tofu for years and years and years before I came across this tip. Seriously, it makes all the difference. If you take one thing from this post – press.your.tofu.
I take a clean tea towel (paper towel is fine for this too) wrap the block up all snug, and then whack some super-heavy stuff on top. A pile of books/plates works a treat. Leave this for at least 2 hours to get out as much liquid as possible.
Cut into chunks (I usually go for baton-type chunks… about 5mm thick and 3cm long) and chuck in a bit of soy for some salty goodness. Any kind of marinade/sauce will work here, however I tend to keep things simple with soy.
Lay soy-soaked pieces on a lined baking tray… bake at 180 degrees C for 10 minutes, flip tofu over and return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until they puff up slightly and are lovely and golden brown. I love the texture pressing/baking the tofu creates… chewy (almost meaty if you are missing those type of protein sources).
The possibilities for dishes using this tofu are endless – chucked in with stir-fry veggies and served over brown rice…. in place of meat-protein in a curry… added to soups for texture… eaten as a “chip” like this recipe or crumbed like this recipe- go crazy.
Honestly, my favourite way to eat tofu is cold, chopped up into tiny pieces and sprinkled in a salad. Viper thinks I’m weird.
Embrace the weirdness, my taste buds thank me every time.
I’m not really pushing the limits of culinary creativity with this recipe… similar things are very common, particularly in the vegan realm. Why is there always the need to make pretend “cheeze”? I hate the “z” too, it’s just annoying. I suppose my twist on the following recipe is that I’m not trying to replicate cheese. It’s just a nice tasting sauce. It’s not a cheese replacement, nor does it have a “z” in it’s name.
Feta and goats cheese I once loved, and do still miss on occasion. Probably because they had the mega salty factor in their favour. Yellow cheese? No thanks. I just can’t handle the “cheese grease,” that comes out of yellow cheese when you heat it. Viper reckons that’s the best bit. Ick.
If you asked pregnant Lou what she though on this topic, she would most likely disagree as she tended to only want to eat cheese, potatoes and bread for quite some time. Also Viper’s home made cheese, pineapple and ham pizzas, but let’s not get into that today.
I know a lot of people are afraid of tofu too. To try and pass tofu off as cheese is just asking for trouble. To try and pass tofu off as cheese, and feed it to a cheese lover is just plain ridiculous. The trick is, not to mention what is in the sauce.. don’t go shouting from the rooftops that it contains tofu, or is vegan… you’ll scare them off quicker than you imagine. If they ask, just say it’s a creamy pumpkin sauce. Ha, fools.
Creamy Pumpkin Protein Sauce
(vegan, gluten, wheat, refined sugar free)
- 400g silken tofu, drained
- 1/3C tahini
- 2 cloves garlic (cut this down if you wish… I love garlic)
- 1/2C nutritional yeast
- 1 + 1/2C cooked pumpkin
- 2t apple cider vinegar
- 1/2t sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste… lots.
- Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor until very smooth.
- Store in the fridge*
* I doubled this recipe as an experiment, and froze half… worked a treat.
The beauty of this sauce not being a “cheeze” sauce, is you are not limited to using it only where “cheeze” is appropriate. OK, I’ll stop saying “cheeze” now as I am annoying myself. I used it as a “Salad Sauce,” in the photo above… grated zuccinni, peas and avocado. Awesome.
Of course, it is also delicious served warmed over say, wholemeal pasta with some green veggies on the side. I casually asked Viper is he would like to try some of my ‘yummy sauce,’ with some roasted brussel sprouts (!) and he declared not only the sauce ‘amazing,’ but me as well. Win and win. That previous sentence is quite incredible really… Viper not only eating brussel sprouts with tofu sauce, but loving it? Wicked knickers indeed.
If you take away anything from this post… please nab these points:
- A tofu sauce trying to be cheese is like me dressing up as Barbie, we ain’t fooling no body.
- The key to covering up the “soy” taste in tofu based sauces is tahini/nut butter… the richness really hides that flavour. You could even do a curried version by adding peanut butter in the place of tahini, and a teaspoon or so of a mild curry powder.
- If you haven’t tried it yet, nutritional yeast is a must. It makes everything taste better. For my Aussie/NZ friends, I use the Lotus brand which is stocked at most health food stores.
- Don’t limit yourself to traditional ways of using sauces… cold and on a salad is even better than hot on pasta I reckon. I am a weirdo though, so be warned.
The inspiration for the dish detailed at the end of my rambles came about in disjointed fashion. It began with addressing wedding invites… talking about certain guests… bad impersonations of a certain guest.
My impression was bad… I was supposed to be a sort of leprechaun (yeah there’s my nod to St Paddy’s day whenever it was) but I ended up sounding like a pirate. This reminded me of a pile of pirate-y fabric I have had sitting around intended for Misty’s curtains. Then I started thinking about Misty and how he used to look like a Kewpie Doll when he was little. That got my mind onto Kewpie mayonnaise, which I hate similarly to all mayonnaise. It did get me thinking about Japanese food though, and how much I love it. Speaking of love… Viper took me out to a fantastic Japanese restaurant back in our early dating Melbourne days where we had the best Nasu Dengaku I have ever tasted.
After all this thinking (yes, my brain was starting to hurt) I remembered a tub of miso that has been in my fridge for months. I love miso, don’t get me wrong, but I generally love the very hearty dark miso (way more salty) over the light one that I purchased without looking at properly. Viper said it wasn’t strong enough tasting as well… so it has been sadly sitting on the fridge shelf for a long while.
What I love about Japanese food it the balance of flavours. They really have the old “sweetie/salty” thing down pat. Nasu Dengaku (it’s a roasted eggplant and sweet miso sauce kinda dish) is the perfect dish in my mind. Brussel Sprouts aren’t the typical feature, but I had bags to use up – the fridge scrapings way.
Baked Tofu and Brussel Sprouts with Maple Miso Sauce……
- 1/4C light miso
- 1/2t sesame oil
- 1T apple cider vinegar
- 1T + 3t water
- 1T + 2t maple syrup* (Or honey/agave/rice syrup)
- Whisk all ingredients together and store in the fridge… makes about 1/2C.
- I baked 350g of firm tofu (after pressing) check out the method here.
- To cut down on the cooking time, I par-steamed 500g brussel sprouts (cut in half) in the microwave first…. about 5 minutes worth of zapping in a splash of water.
- I whacked them all in a roasting dish with a sprinkle of sea salt and 2T melted coconut oil. I baked them for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees until they were just tender when stabbed with a fork. I actually love it when they get slightly charred on the outer leaves… let’s call it “caramelised” to sound hip.
Basically, this sauce will taste good on just about anything…. veggie stir-fry, fish/chicken, rice, noodles, yeah anything.
Yeah, I know. Pizza is not the same without cheese. I’ve never been the biggest fan of cheese… vegan or not. Goat and feta were my favourites (salty)… along with super high quality buffalo mozzarella which is so expensive I only had it once in a blue moon anyway. Otherwise it’s just not my thing.
Viper on the other hand is a cheese freak. Him and Misty go through about a kilogram of the yellow stuff every week. Cheese on bread, cheese on potatoes, cheese cheese and just cheese by the slice.
The hardest part of being pregnant for a girlfriend of mine was giving up blue cheese. She dreamt of towering cheese platters for the 10 months she was with child. I just don’t understand it… especially cheeses like brie or camembert – ew just the thought makes me feel ill. I remember once I was going to a cocktail party with another friend, and we were in charge of bringing the cheese platter. We left said cheese platter in my car, in the sun for slightly too long… by the time we arrived at the party the cheese selection was a little worse for wear. This night was the birth place of “leaky cheese,” when the camembert was cut into, it literally leaked goo out over everything. Disgust. Cheese enthusiasts would love this, I bet. Sickening.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand… Pizza. Viper loves pizza. Probably because pizza is all about the cheese.
I just had this conversation with Viper:
Me: What do you love more? Pizza or cheese?
Viper: What do you mean?
Me: What do you love more, PIZZA or CHEESE?
Viper: That doesn’t make sense.
Me: Why not?
Viper: Because pizza has cheese on it. That’s a trick question.
I rest my case.
Viper: What do you love more – doughnuts or sprinkles?
Viper:Do you want to get married?
Today was an experimental vegan pizza extravaganza. Not really. I was using up scraps, or as they are known in these parts… fridge scrapings. The last little bit of tofu, the tail end of the bag of nutritional yeast, and 1/2C brown rice flour I had no idea what I was going to use it for. It was all pretty successful, I might add.
Vegan Pizza Topper: (no, it’s NOT cheese but it’s tasty)
- 3/4C drained, pressed for 2 hours + crumbled extra firm tofu (or chopped finely)
- 1/4C nutritional yeast
- 1T red wine vinegar
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1/8C chopped fresh herbs (I used coriander, chives and oregano)
- Mix all ingredients well and let chill in the fridge for at least an hour so the flavours develop.
Vegan Pizza Cracker:
(Vegan, gluten/wheat/soy/nut/corn/cane sugar free)
I called this a “cracker” as it’s definitely more crunchy than a doughy pizza base. I liked it though. It got crunchy on the edges, but under the toppings it was soft and chewy. I liked it, but I’m a bit strange. For a fridge scraping recipe it is definitely one I will repeat.
- 1/2C brown rice flour
- 2T ground flax seed
- 4T milk (I used almond but any will do)
- 1t apple cider vinegar
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1t coconut oil
- Mix all ingredients together well. It will seem quite crumbly.
- Squish together into a ball with your hands, roll in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Flatten out with your hands (it doesn’t really roll out) until it is no more than 5mm thick.
- Top with your favourite pizza sauce (or if you’re game, Viper’s recipe below) plus the Pizza Topper recipe above.
- Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake for around 20 minutes at 180 degrees C or until golden and crunchy (or however you like it… it’s vegan no chance of getting sick from it being under done, hurrah).
- Season with black pepper and top with avocado chunks.
Viper’s Pizza Sauce:
- 1+1/2T tomato paste
- 1/2C chopped tinned tomatoes (chunks only, squeeze off the watery stuff)
- 2 roasted red peppers (from a jar, which are marinated in vinegar, salt, sugar and garlic) chopped finely
- Handful of fresh basil, shredded roughly
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Attack with knife…or mush together with a fork (Viper says you gotta keep it chunky) and spread on dough.
My pizza… not ridiculously aesthetically pleasing, but who cares if it’s tasty? Deliciously ugly. Yes, I have an unbalanced toppings to base ratio, I am aware of this….the base smooshed out to about 15cm in diameter, whereas I had quite a bit of the tofu topping. This is not a bad thing; too much topping is not a disaster in my book (or belly).
The tofu topper got crispy and crunchy on the top, and stayed gooey inside. It was actually rather cheesy. Surprising. Viper thought it was good, he actually described it as “cheesey.” Not bad, not bad.
Avocado is a must on this. As is freshly ground black pepper.
Viper’s meaty cheesy monstrosity. Yes, he ate the whole thing. Viper made a more traditional plain flour and dry yeast dough, kneaded by our trusty bread machine. He was not game for my brown rice creation. No hippie pizzas for Viper thankyouverymuch.
Thoughts in my brain are still on the subject of how our diets/ways of eating seem to be in a constant state of evolution as we learn what works for our own body. I didn’t used to like change. Didn’t like it at all. Especially with my meals.
Ok, I admit it, I’m slightly obsessive/compulsive. Viper calls it being “special.” He is constantly saying, ‘Lou, you’re so special,’ as in, I’m weird. That’s fine, I’m down with being weird. Viper has to be down with it too, seeing as we have pro-created and all. Misty will be special for sure. With our genes combined…. oh I fear for Misty.
We are a funny bunch in our household, OCD, ADHD, Vi-Polar… and we wonder why we don’t have any friends. Ha.
Anyway, let’s just say I used to eat a lot of the same sorts of food/dishes day in, day out for a long time. Including an interesting period where I ate a can of tomato soup every day for about 6 months. Weird. I thought I could not possibly survive without a daily bowl of oats…. and being honest here, probably a litre of diet coke. Ick.
Now it seems I have snuck along to the other side of the spectrum… I get bored of the same food all the time…. to the extent that the leftover half of yesterday’s Chocolate Chickpeas needed to be re invented. I warned you I was special.
Chocolate Chickpea Tart Crust:
(Vegan, gluten, nut, seed, soy, cane sugar- free)
- 1/2C chickpeas from this recipe
- 4 large dates (medjool)
- 2t coconut oil
- Pulse all ingredients together in the food processor until they resemble a fine crumb.
- Press into moulds, or simply roll into balls, flatten and shape into a ‘case’ for the filling.
Vanilla Banana Cream Filling:
(Vegan, gluten, nut, seed, cane sugar-free)
- 2 medium, very ripe bananas*
- 375g silken tofu, drained of water**
- 2T lucuma powder (if you do not have this, sub in maca, mesquite, vanilla protein powder or even cacao/cocoa powder for a chocolate-banana twist)
- 1/2t vanilla bean paste
- 1/4t sea salt
- 20 drops vanilla stevia liquid (alternatively use maple syrup or honey to taste… start with 1T and go from there)
- Blend everything together in a food processor until silky and smooth.
- Spoon into your prepared tart crusts.
- Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
*Due to the inclusion of banana… the cream will turn a funny colour after 30 minutes or so. The taste doesn’t vary, but if you’re all about looks (how shallow of you) then make the cream just before serving, or you could add some lemon juice to stop the oxidisation of the fruit. You may need to increase the sweetener if you do this.
**I’m fussy with my tofu… especially for sweet puddings. I really hate the strong soy-ish tasting varieties so I tend to buy the fresh Japanese style. Keep an eye on the ingredient panel as all sorts of nasties can be snuck into tofu. The kind I bought: water, organic soybean, calcium sulphate, organic nigari. That is all. Be aware.
The cream on it’s own is an awesome ‘pudding,’ especially for babes with few chompers. Actually, Misty has about 8 these days, but he stills loves tofu puddings. Especially for finger painting. So special.