Risi e Bisi

Risi e Bisi

Risi e Bisi

 (Rice and Peas)

Risi e Bisi (rice and peas) is a classic Venetian spring dish.  In the past it was prepared only on the feast days decreed by the Doge (Venice’s ruler).

One can of course now prepare Risi e Bisi at any time although the dish really shines with fresh spring peas.  It’s been some time since I last shelled peas – there is something rather soothing about it – although quite a few didn’t quite make it into the dish – its so very easy to pop them into your mouth – they are quite lovely fresh…

Risi e Bisi  is actually a variant of Risotto, although technically a soup and should be served with a spoon, not a fork. It is so thick and rich that it does indeed look like a risotto. However unlike risotto, where constant stirring is required there is only minimal stirring so far less labour intensive!

It is a simple dish with only a few ingredients – but the end result is delish!

Buon appetito!

 

Risi e Bisi

What you will need:

 

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 6 – 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 cups fresh peas or thawed frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf (continental) parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Nutritiional yeast, for topping

 

What to do:

In a medium saucepan, place the stock and bring to a gentle simmer.

In a large, heavy pot or fry pan heat oil over medium heat

Add leeks and cook until just softened; about five minutes (remove and set aside a few tablespoons of the leeks for topping if desired). Add garlic and rice, toss until rice is nicely coated, about 3 minutes.

Add in warm stock, one cup at a time, the stock should be bubbly. Stir often allowing the stock to be just absorbed. Add in another cup of stock, repeat.

 

Risi e Bisi

Add in peas, more stock and continue the process for another 15 minutes or so, or until the rice is al dente, tender but chewy.

The whole process should be about 25 – 30 minutes or so.

Add in more stock and stir.

Your rice and peas should be a little soupy. Remove from heat, taste for seasoning and stir in parsley.

 

Risi e Bisi

Serve topped with a nice dusting of nutritional yeast and freshly cracked pepper.

Enjoy!

Xx

 

Risi e Bisi

Orange and Chia Seed Muffins with Orange Glaze

Orange and Chia Seed Muffins

Oranges can often be over looked in the world of fruit for their more glamorous cousins, the peach, the mango, the nectarine… but a good orange really is a thing of beauty. When I think of oranges I think of rays of sunshine, dappled light and smiles.

I also think of the beautiful Leonard Cohen song ‘Suzanne’ with the line ‘… and she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China’ It’s just so wistful and poetic…

And oranges also just happen to make superbly delicious muffins! These are just lovely…

 

Orange and Chia Seed Muffins

What you will need: 

  • 2 cups (250g) plain flour
  • 1/3 cup (60g) caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ tablespoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Grating of orange rind (finely grated)
  • 1 cup (250ml) orange juice
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable oil
  • Egg replacer for 1 egg – 1 tblspn flaxseed meal with 3 tblspns water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Oranges

 For the orange glaze

  • 1 tablespoon melted vegan margarine
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 cup (90g) icing sugar

Orange and Chia Seed Muffins

 

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (fan forced 180). Line a muffin tin with patty cups, or grease with a little oil.

Sift and mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients all at once, and then gently fold together using a fork. Do not overmix; scrape up from the bottom of the bowl to gently fold together until the mixture is just moistened.

 Spoon the muffin mixture into the patty cups, filling the cups 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.

 IOrange and Chia Seed Muffins

To make the orange glaze, mix together all the ingredients, adding more orange juice or icing sugar to adjust the consistency if necessary. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled muffins.

 

Orange and Chia Seed Muffins

Enjoy! xx

 

 

 

Lentil and Vegetable Soup with Spiced Yoghurt

 

Lentil & Vegetable Soup

Winter has arrived in Melbourne! It’s been chilly, rainy and windy. The sun made an appearance today which was lovely but the air was still cold – perfect time for soup and this one will warm the cockles of your heart!

With all the lovely warming spices and the added burst of peppery Tabasco sauce this soup is warming from the inside out!

Ingredients

What you will need:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 litre (4 cups vegetable stock)

250 ml (1 cup) water

1 bay leaf

185g (1 cup red lentils)

450g (1lb) butternut pumpkin (peeled and cut into 1 cm ½ inch) cubed

400g can chopped tomatoes

2 zucchini – but in half lengthways and sliced

200g broccoli, cut into small florets

1 small carrot, diced

80g (1/2 cup) peas – fresh or frozen

Spiced Yoghurt

250g (1cup) thick soy yoghurt

1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

1 garlic clove – crushed

3-4 dashes Tabasco Sauce

Spiced Yoghurt

What to do:

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes or until soft and lightly golden. Add the curry powder, cumin and garam masala and cook for 1 minute or until spices are fragrant.

Pumpkin

Add the stock, bay leaf, lentils and pumpkin. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the lentils are tender, Season well.

Add the tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, carrot and 500 ml (2 cups) water and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the peas and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

 Lentil and Vegetable Soup

Spiced Yoghurt:

To make the spiced yoghurt, place the yoghurt, coriander, garlic and Tabasco in a small bowl and stir until combined. Dollop a spoonful of the yoghurt on each serving of soup and garnish with a sprinkle of coriander leaves.

Serve with bread – crusty bread or maybe even naan bread – can’t go wrong really!

Enjoy! Xx

Lentil and Vegetable Soup

 

 

 

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

 Gingerbread Cupcakes

Gingerbread…mmmnn! As a child the dilemma for me when visiting the bakery was always –- the cupcake or the gingerbread and many times the gingerbread would triumph! Which says something as I LOVE cupcakes!

The delicious moreishness of gingerbread, the softness, spiciness – it’s a winning combo! So combining my love of gingerbread and my love of cupcakes means no more the cupcake or the gingerbread dilemma!

Gingerbread Cupcakes

What you will need:

175 g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

3 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp salt

112mls vegetable oil

113 mls molasses (or golden syrup)

170 mls maple syrup

60 mls soya milk

60 soy yoghurt

Lemon zest of 1 lemon

lemon

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 180 °C and line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt into a bowl and mix

Whisk the oil, molasses, maple syrup, soya milk, yoghurt and lemon zest in a separate large bowl.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full

 

gingerbread cupcakes

Bake for approx. 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean

Lovely Light Lemon Icing

1 cup icing sugar

1 tablespoon vegan margarine

Juice of 1 lemon

To Make the Icing:

Really easy peasy! Just mix the vegan margarine and lemon juice into the icing sugar – I used the juice of a whole lemon – add more or less juice depending on the consistency you wish.

Enjoy! xx

gingerbread cupcakes

 

Tofu Scramble

Tofu Scramble

Lazy Sunday brunch would have to be one of my all-time favourite meals – what’s not to love – a sleep in on a chilly winter morning and then whipping up a yummy feast and Tofu Scramble fits the bill!

I’ve been reading about the benefits of adding turmeric to food – it has anti-inflammatory properties, is a powerful anti oxidant, helps indigestion and fights colds and flu among a number of claims – that’s one powerful little spice!

And with cooking magic at work here – you could throw in a side of mushrooms, avocado and some crusty bread – Yum!

What you will need:

1 Tablespoon Olive oil

1 small red onion – diced

250 g firm tofu, thinly sliced and then crumbled

1 ½ teaspoons turmeric

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon coriander

Handful of pine nuts (toasted)

1 small tomato – diced

¼ red capsicum – diced

Handful of spinach leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

The ingredients

What to do:

 Place tofu on a plate lined with several layers of paper towel (to absorb moisture from the tofu)

Tofu

Toast the pine nuts – just a light toasting in a pan works but watch them as they can overcook really quickly

Pine nuts

In the same frying pan add the olive oil and add the onion and sauté for about a minute or two.

Add the tofu and spices and salt and stir through to coat. Next add the tomato and capsicum and sauté another minute and finally add the spinach leaves.

Tofu Scramble

Plate up and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with crusty bread

Enjoy! Xx

Tofu Scramble

 

Decadent Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

You know when people talk about dying and going to chocolate heaven – well this is it!

Vegan or non-vegan – this is a chocolate mousse to die for! And so simple – just three ingredients. Silky, smooth, Irresistible…

So death by chocolate mousse it shall be!

Chocolate Mousse

What you will need: 

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 2 x 400g tins full-fat coconut milk, chilled in the fridge overnight
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

 

What to do:

Using the bain marie method bring a pot of water to a gentle simmer. Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl over the simmering water.

Chocolate Mousse

Make sure the bowl is not touching the water. Stir the chocolate with a wooden spoon occasionally until melted.

Remove the bowl from the heat and stir the maple syrup into the melted chocolate.

Chocolate Mousse

Set aside to cool.

Open the can of chilled coconut milk. The coconut cream should have risen to the top of the can so it can easily be scooped out.

Coconut Cream

Pop this into a mixing bowl and vigorously whisk this cream into a whipped cream.

Coconut Cream

Add the cooled chocolate and whip again.

Chocolate Mousse

Pour into 4 containers (you could use tea cups, sorbet glasses or dessert bowls).

Chocolate Mousse

Refrigerate for at least four hours – preferably overnight for best results

Chocolate Mousse

Serves 4

Need I say it… enjoy!! xx

Chocolate Mousse

 

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

Taking a quote from Seinfeld:

Cinnamon: It should be on tables in restaurants…anytime someone says ‘Ooh, this is so good – what’s in this?’ the answer invariably comes back, ‘cinnamon’. Cinnamon. Again and again!

And so it is! Cinnamon – one of the all-time great spices and together with apple they are like two peas in a pod! Perfect!

This is another recipe that I’ve had tucked away in a recipe book that I put together years ago so I can’t tell you where it came from or its actual author as such. But I can tell you that they are delicious and just a little bit special!

Using the pie apple makes them particularly moist – one of my all time favourite muffins!

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

 What you will need:

  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 410 can diced pie apple
  • Egg replacer for 1 egg (you can use flaxseed meal)
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, extra pinch ground cinnamon

 

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

What to do:

Preheat oven to moderately hot 200 °C (180 fan forced oven)

Pop muffin cases into a 12 hole muffin pan

Sift the flour, spices and brown sugar into a large bowl. Add 1 ½ cups of the pie apple then the combined egg replacer, soy milk, oil and vanilla extract. Then stir until just combined. Don’t overmix.

 

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cases. Divide the remaining apple amongst the tops of the muffins and sprinkle with the combined extra sugar and cinnamon.

 

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

Bake in the oven for approx 15-20 mins

Transfer the muffins to a wire rack.

These are lovely served warm or…. Equally as yummy served when cooled!

Enjoy! Xx

Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

Easy Indian Dhal Soup

Easy Indian Dahl Soup

Sometimes I really enjoy cooking a particular dish that has a long, slow cooking process, other times quick and easy but not skimping on flavour is the order of the day!

This Dahl Soup fits the quick, easy and flavoursome brief completely!  It really is delicious! And by adjusting the amount of vegetable stock you can decide if it’s more of a soup or the more traditional Dahl ‘stew’.

Having made a bit pot of this Dahl, I was then able to take it to work for lunch for the next couple of days and like most meals involving spices – it only got better!

Serve with warm Naan bread – delish!

Easy Indian Dahl Soup

What you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 kg tin of chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1 ¼ cups coconut milk
  • Coriander – chopped
  • Salt & pepper

Naan bread, to serve

Easy Indian Dahl Soup

What to do:

Melt the margarine in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring for 2-3 minutes.

Add the turmeric, garam masala, chilli powder and cumin and cook for a further 30 seconds.

Stir in the tomatoes, red lentils, lemon juice, vegetable stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup, uncovered, for about 25-30 minutes until the lentils are tender and cooked.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle the soup into a warm tureen

Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with warm Nann bread.

Enjoy! xx

Easy Indian Dahl Soup

Squashed Cherry Tomato Spaghetti

Squashed Cherry Tomato Spaghetti

This is a scrummy Donna Hay recipe – the only ingredients that had to be changed for a vegan update was swapping butter for vegan margarine and using Nutritional Yeast rather than Parmesan cheese.

Ready in less than ½ hour – this is a super duper supper!

What you will need:

  • 200g spaghetti
  • 30g vegan margarine
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 500g cherry tomatoes (pierce at least half with a knife)
  • 1 cup roughly torn basil tomatoes
  • Nutritional yeast (nooch) to serve

Squashed Cherry Tomato Spaghetti

What to do:

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water for approximately 10-12 minutes until al dente.

Drain. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside keeping warm.

Return the pot to the heat and cook the margarine, garlic, vinegar and tomatoes for approximately 4 minutes or until the tomatoes are heated through and slightly soft.

By piercing some of the tomatoes – this will help to give a slightly caramelised effect, especially combined with the balsamic vinegar.

Add the cooked spaghetti to the tomato mixture, stir through and then toss the basil leaves gently through.

Pile the spaghetti onto a serving plate. Sprinkle with the nutritional yeast if so desired.

Serves 2

Enjoy! xx

Squashed Cherry Tomato Spaghetti

Lemon and Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Lovely Lemon Icing

Lemon & Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Cooking with lemons is always such a joy! Lovely lemon scent pervading the air smells divine. Instant sunshine and happiness!

This is another really easy cupcake recipe with no beaters required. The lemon icing is also really simple. You can whip these up in no time and be sitting having a lovely afternoon tea in under an hour.

What you will need:

Makes 12 divine little cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups unbleached plain flour
  • ½ cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/3 cup castor sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon concentrated vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds

Ingredients

What to do:
Preheat oven to 180 °C. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners

Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt

In a separate bowl whisk together the oil, maple syrup, milk, lemon juice and zest, vanilla and vinegar until well combined.

Lemon & Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and gently stir with a wooden until the batter is smooth.

Gently fold through the poppy seeds.

Fill the cupcake liners to about ¾ full.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the tops are golden. Insert a toothpick or metal skewer in the centre of the cake – if it comes out clean they are ready!

Cool on wire racks.

Lovely Light Lemon Icing

1 ½ cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon vegan margarine
Juice of 1 lemon

To Make the Icing:

Really easy peasy!

Just mix the vegan margarine and lemon juice into the icing sugar.

I used the juice of a whole lemon – add more or less juice depending on the consistency you are after. For these cupcakes I wanted it more like a glaze so used more juice – use less if you prefer it creamy.

Oh yes – enjoy! xx

Lemon & Poppy Seed Cupcakes