Sunday, 16 November 2014

Shata (Sudanese Chilli Sauce)

To really get your metabolism going and your tastebuds on fire, here is a fantastic chilli sauce which comes from Sudan. It's simple - but it packs a big punch of flavour and will turn any bland meal into something spectacular :) It keeps well in the fridge in a sealed container for up to two weeks and it an accompaniment to anything you can think of!

Shata (Sudanese Chilli Sauce)

1 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

To Make
1. Mix all ingredients together well.
2. Let stand for at least 10 minutes and the serve with anything. 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Big Fat Veggie Burger Bowl

I've decided to make November a healthy month on the blog, so I'm going to give you lots of colourful fresh healthy foods low in fat, low in carbs and low in sugar! I've been craving fresh healthy foods this month, because I did a fair bit of (wonderful) indulging last month.

I love a good veggie burger, but often I don't feel like eating the bread so it's become less common on our weekly dinners. This week I wanted a burger so I thought I'd make it into a big fat salad bowl instead. It was just as filling but minus all the bread, and I felt really great after I'd finished it (as opposed to over full and slightly ill which is how I often feel after a big fat veggie burger).

You can make this salad using any patties you like. I used chickpea and cumin patties which I bought from the supermarket, which made this a super quick and easy dinner. You can use any bought veggie or bean or lentil burgers, or you can make your own burger patties from the millions of great recipes out there on the internet :) You can also adjust the other salad ingredients to be what you like to have on your burger, I've chucked in some marinated artichoke hearts here which are not traditionally on a burger, but which I happened to have lots of in my fridge. Add or subtract what you like! If you like your burgers Aussie-Style then you might want to whack some tinned beetroot in with it (yum!).

Big Fat Veggie Burger Bowl

2-3 handfuls of torn iceberg lettuce (you can sub fancier stuff if you like, but for burgers I like the crunch of iceberg)
1 carrot, grated
1 large tomato, diced
2-3 marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (optional)
1 large dill pickle, thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, sliced
2 veggie patties of your choice
Burger sauce of your choice (I used BBQ, you can use tomato, sweet chilli, mayo or anything you like)
2/3 cup hummus
Sumac or smoky paprika for sprinkling on the hummus

To Make
1. Distribute the lettuce, grated carrot, tomato, artichoke hearts, pickle slices and avocado evenly between two bowls.
2. Cook the burger patties according to the instructions on the packet - you can usually pan fry in a little oil (I like this method, as is makes the edges nice and crispy) or heat in the oven for a slightly healthier, oil-free option. Once cooked chop roughly into pieces and add to the bowl.
3. Drizzle the chopped veggie patties with your choice of burger sauce and then dollop about 1/3 cup hummus on top of each bowl (you can be more generous - of course!).
4. Sprinkle some sumac or smoky paprika on top of the hummus and you're ready to go!

Serves two.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Blueberry & Avocado Salad with Candied Walnuts

Living in Australia, trips to Europe are a big deal. It's the other side of the world - the flights are long, exhausting and expensive! But I was adamant to make it over there last year to visit a dear friend. I was thrilled to escape the Sydney winter and spend my time strolling around beautiful cobblestone streets in a European summer. I've already posted a few post from my travels, you can check them out here:

Sweets in Sweden - A Photographic Diary
Wild Blueberries on the Stockholm Archipelagoes
A Day in Riga - Buildings, Berries & Black Balsam

You might notice a recurring theme - loads of fresh berries! We were so spoilt for fresh berries throughout our trip. Check out these gorgeous berries piled high in stalls on the side of the streets in Riga (Latvia):

In Australia punnets of blueberries or raspberries are always an expensive treat - even when they're in season. So it's no wonder that I ate them to my hearts content and came home with a mind full of berry inspiration! Now, Northern Europe is heading into winter and sunny Sydney is almost in summer, which means blueberries here are about as cheap as they'll ever get. So I took my inspiration from these gorgeous pictures and the memories of all those yummy berries & picked up a couple of punnets of blueberries to experiment with. 

Blueberry & Avocado Salad with Candied Walnuts

4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp water
1/2 cup walnut halves
2 cups baby spinach
1 large ripe avocado
1 punnet blueberries
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Cracked black pepper

To Make
1. To make the candied walnuts - combine the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved to form a simmering syrup. Add the walnut halves and stir continusouly while the syrup simmers. Cook for at least 5 minutes, or until the liquid has all cooked away and you are left with the coated walnuts. Transfer the walnuts to a sheet of non stick baking paper, breaking up any clumps, and place in the fridge to harden.
2. Line a salad bowl with the baby spinach leaves. Top with cubes of the avocado and then the fresh blueberries.
3. Combine the olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice and vinegar and whisk well until combined. Drizzle over the avocado & blueberries.
4. Top with candied walnuts and a generous amount of cracked black pepper.

Serves 2-4 as a side salad or as part of a buffet.

Also featured in the Vegan Virtual Linky Potluck.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Soetkoekies (Vegan)

I always find making cut out biscuits therapeutic, rolling out the dough and cutting out each one and then carefully transferring them to the tray and cutting out the next batch while the first batch are baking. I don't bake biscuits very often (because then I would eat biscuits very often), but I love putting some music on and spending an afternoon baking. I also love port. True, I love it. That makes this recipe just perfect. Have a little glass of port while you roll and bake & enjoy your afternoon! It's cold and rainy today and I wish I was at home drinking port and baking instead of here at work!


250g flour (I use wholemeal)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
100g castor sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
60g ground almonds
125g vegan margarine or butter
1/3 cup apple sauce
30ml port
Slivered almonds, to decorate

To Make
1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and then rub the butter in with your fingers until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the apple sauce and port and mix into a stiff dough. If it's too sticky (sticking to your fingers while you mix) add a bit more flour until it's not sticky anymore. If it is too dry and crumbly (won't come together in a smooth ball) then add a little more port.
2. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
3. Heat oven to 180 degrees C.
4. Cut the dough into quarters and roll out a quarter at a time to about 5mm thick, then cut into whatever shapes you like. Place each biscuit on a tray lined with baking paper. Decorate each with a few slivered almonds.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes (or until just starting to turn golden brown), turn the tray about halfway through to ensure even baking.
6. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool complete and then store in an airtight jar or container.

Makes about 2 dozen (depends on the size of your biscuit cutters).

This month I'm featuring recipes from South Africa.
Check out my other South African recipe posts:

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Chakalaka (South African)

It's been quiet on the blog because lately a lot of life has been happening instead, I've got so many wonderful things on and some great things that I'm working towards at the moment. But I do have a file full of photos and recipes to share with you, and I'll do my best to get as many of them up as I can.

I'm going to be taking the next couple of months off my world food challenge, because I've got a bit too much else happening. But I have quite a few recipes left over from South Africa month (last month) which I didn't get a chance to share, so I'll post them and you'll still get your fix of world food on Gormandize.

Today I'll give you a fun but simple dish. The fun is really in saying the name - chakalaka! But also the dish is delicious. It would traditionally be packed full of capsicum, but as capsicum makes me sick I hope I'll be excused for making mine without. I've added a grated zucchini in their place, which was really delicious. If you'd like to try it with, add one green and one red at the same time you add the chillis.

South African Chakalaka

2 large onions, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 Serrano chillis
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 carrots, grated
1 large zucchini, grated
2 tsp curry powder
5 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 can baked beans
1 tsp. paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

To Make
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions. Cook until just starting to brown and then add the chillis, garlic and curry powder and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes or so.
2. Add the carrot and zucchini and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add the tomatoes and reduce the heat. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes (if you tomatoes weren't very juicy, you may need to add a little water to stop it sticking).
4. Once the tomatoes are cooked down and the vegetables are cooked, add the tomato paste, baked beans, paprika and salt and pepper to taste and let simmer for a further 5 minutes. The end result should be thick and saucy, if it is watery, cook down for longer until it reduces.

Serve hot on toast, with rice or as a side dish. Or serve cold as a relish on burgers, wraps or anything you like.

I've entered this dish in the Vegan Virtual Linky Potluck.

This month I'm featuring recipes from South Africa.
Check out my other South African recipe posts:

Thursday, 24 July 2014

South African Tomato Chutney

Making up sauces, pickles and chutneys is one of my favourite things to do when I'm exploring the cuisines of other countries. They're so satisfying and you end up with a nice big jar in the fridge to put on whatever you like. This South African  Tomato Chutney isn't my recipe, it comes out of my favourite cooking magazine, SBS Feast which did a lovely feature on South African Cuisine in it's January 2012 issue, which is still sitting around on my shelf. It was nice to get it out and thumb through it again looking for inspiration for my featured country this month.

It's more of a tomato sauce than a chutney really, beautifully simple and packed with flavour. It's very versatile, we spooned it all over our South Africa dishes and then used up the leftovers dolloped on salads and vegetarian sausages (it was GREAT with the sausages!).

South African Tomato Chutney
Adapted from Feast Magazine, January 2012

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4-5 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup (loosed packed) chopped fresh coriander

1. Heat oil in a pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, or until softened, and then add the tomatoes and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the tomato paste, sugar and salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Once sauce has thickened, stir in the coriander and remove from the heat. Eat straight away dolloped on anything or put it in a jar and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Makes 1 large jar.

This month I'm featuring recipes from South Africa.
Check out my other South African recipe posts:

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Panamanian Black Eyed Beans

Hearty bean dishes are perfect for winter evening meals and even though this winter in Sydney has been very mild and sunny, it still has that evening chill which makes me crave slow cooked nourishing foods (and chocolate.....). It's a recipe from Panama month which I didn't get a chance to share with you then because I doubled the amount of work I was doing at the clinic (no time for blogging!), but now I have a moment to bring this one to you.

It's a bit of an unusual recipe, I found I on and adapted it to have at our Panamanian dinner party. It's got an odd mixture of flavours - bay leaves, chilli, cumin, fresh coriander and ..... red wine! Not usually what I put with those spices but my goodness it really worked. Everyone who tried these beans commented on how particularly delicious they are, so I recommend them for your next potluck!

Panamanian Black Eyed Beans

500g dried black eyed bean, soaked for 48 hours
1 onion, halved
2 bay leaves
1 Serrano chilli
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander (or to taste)
1/2 cup red wine
Salt and pepper, to taste

To Make
1. Soak the beans for 48 hours and then drain and rinse. Place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add the bay leaves and half of the onion and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the beans are just tender. Drain and set aside
2. Finely chop the other half of the onion and the serrano chilli. Heat the olive oil in your large saucepan and sauté the onion, garlic and chilli until the onion is translucent. Add the coriander, cumin and oregano and cook for 2 more minutes.
3. Add the drained beans, red wine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Serve sprinkled with some extra chopped coriander. 

This month I'm featuring recipes from Panama.
Check out my other Panamanian recipe posts:

I've entered this dish in the Vegan Virtual Linky Potluck.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Vegan South African Milk Tart

This month on Gormandize is South African food month. At first I wasn't sure how I would go having a completely vegan South African spread, as I understand it to be a very meat centred cuisine. But, on further delving, I found lots of wonderful dishes which were vegetarian, vegan or could easily be made so. 

My favourite dish from this month was this lovely milk tart. I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out and I couldn't believe how easy it was to make this custard vegan, and it tasted just exactly like the non vegan vanilla custards that I ate growing up. Exactly! What a great start to South African month.

I haven't included a recipe here for the pastry, I've used the basic shortcrust pastry recipe from Terry & Isa's Vegan Pie in the Sky Cookbook. I won't put it here because it's their wonderful intellectual  property, not mine. If you have a good vegan shortcrust pastry recipe, then use that. If not then praise Google and you'll find something!

Do you know any good South African dishes? :)

South African Milk Tart (Vegan)

500ml oat milk
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/8 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 batch of vegan shortcrust pastry dough
Cinnamon, for sprinkling

To Make
1. Roll out your shortcrust and line a greased pie dish. Bake in an oven at 180 degree oven for 10 minutes and then remove and set aside to cool.
2. Combine the oat milk, castor sugar, plain flour, cornstarch and vanilla extract in a saucepan and whisk together (while cold). 
3. Place the saucepan on a moderate heat and whisk continuously for 7-8 minutes while it thickens gradually. Test by dipping a knife or spoon in and if it comes out coated then you're done.
4. Pour straight into the pastry base and sprinkle with cinnamon. Allow to cool and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. 

Makes 1 tart.

This month I'm featuring recipes from South Africa.
Check out my other South African recipe posts: