Tag Archives: “Meatless Monday”

Meatless Monday – Classic Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

Sometimes it’s all about how the cookie crumbles, or in this case how the bread crumb crunches. In the spirit of crunchy zen coupled with the autumn breeze sweeping through Sydney’s evening sky I hunted for this old fashioned  Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Read More…

Meatless Monday: Leon’s Superfood Salad


Post Australia Day weekend  I was nostalgic over Leon‘s salad and not the quintessential Australian meatpie. Leon is a chain of great food in London, and one of the places that the London Stitch and Bitch used to frequent. I used to order their Superfood Salad multiple times and their recipe book is one that I tend to frequent now and again. If interested to see their other recipes, the Guardian showcased a number of their recipes from their cookbook “Leon Ingredients and Recipes” here. I am also excited that the great folks at Leon will be releasing a vegetarian cookbook this March, and I will definitely be ordering it.

This recipe is the vegetarian version of their Superfood Salad, replacing the suggested grilled chicken with fetta as its main source of protein. One thing I do have to say is you just have to make their aioli. It is so much lighter and fluffier than your typical variety thanks to the whipped egg white and yoghurt. One tip if you want to bulk up this salad you can always have it with some brown rice. Read More…

Meatless Monday: Ottolenghi’s Kosheri


Starting Meatless Monday with this recipe from Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.  This is a completely unfamiliar dish for me, so cooking this felt a bit like reading a choose your own adventure book.

So what is Kosheri? According to Wikipedia it’s:

Kushari, also kosharykosheri or koshari (Egyptian Arabic: كشرى, [ˈkoʃæɾi]), is an Egyptian dish of ricemacaroni and lentils mixed together, topped with a tomato sauce, some add spaghetti garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions. A sprinkling of garlic juice and hot sauce are optional.  Read More…

#Meatless Monday – warm lentil and beetroot salad straight

Warm lentil salad

The end of the wettest Australia Day weekend on record (not official), also marked the quiet deflation of the giant duck in Darling Park. Got to say, I rather missed seeing its gigantic inflatable yellow butt as I walk down Pyrmont Bridge.

Today being Monday, I finally have the time to whip up a Meatless Monday meal and blog on the same day. Today’s Meatless Monday is brought to you by the recipe from the back of McKenzie’s French Style Lentils and it surprisingly, amazingly awesome on a cold, rainy Monday!

Just a giant duck floating around Darling Harbour #sydneyfestival #quack

Warm lentil salad

Ingredients for warm lentils and beetroot salad

3 cups water
1 cup McKenzie’s French Style Lentils
1 Bay leaf
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon seeded mustard
1 minced garlic clove
To taste salt and pepper
1/2 finely sliced red onion
1 tin whole baby beets, drained and cut in half
1/2 cup chopped italian parsley
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
1/2 cup crumbled fetta cheese

Directions for warm lentil and beet salad

In a medium saucepan bring the lentils, water and bay leaf to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain off any excess water and remove the bay leaf. 

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, seeded mustard, minced garlic and salt and pepper. Pour over warm lentils and lightly toss. Have a taste, I ended up adding an extra tablespoon of mustard, olive oil and lemon as the dressing gets completely lost otherwise. 
In a serving bowl, lightly toss the dressed lentils together with the red onion, baby beets, parsley and coriander. Top with crumbled fetta. Serve with warm crusty bread. 
Definitely something I will make again in the future and I can use this recipe as the base for other salads. The lentils are incredibly filling and the combination of salty feta, juicy beetroot and earthy lentils was incredible.
In other food related news I am looking forward to my first mix box from the awesome people at Food Connect. I found them last year when wandering around farmer market sites. Food Connect is about sustainable produce coming direct from local farmers and about eating what’s in season. There are a couple of organic markets within fairly close driving distance, but what really got me was the fact that they have a subscription grocery model that delivers! Oh they do have drop off point where you can pick your box, but the chance of me getting out of work and picking up grocery on a weekday is pretty much nil. Stay tune for grocery box shots.

Meatless Monday – Baked Gruyere Cheese Souffles

Cheese souffle

There are times when everything is just right and a recipe turned out perfectly, sometimes a little too perfectly. Six souffles went in and six came out so light and fluffy I barely had time to grab my camera before they deflate. This recipe was taken from Serge Dansereau’s French Kitchen – Classic recipes for home cook. This is a really easy recipe to follow and with extremely pleasing result, light, fluffy and depending on the cheese you want to use can be as rich as you want!

Cheese wise I would recommend using Lovedale Smokehouse’s Gruyere, made without rennet and with the most addictive smoky flavour that made me visit the fridge a couple of time to slice just a tiny slice for the last time…


  • 55g butter
  • 60g (1/2 cup) plain flour
  • 450 ml full-cream milk, warmed
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 160g (11/4 cups) grated Gruyere cheese, plus extra to serve
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 pinches of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoon snipped chives
  • 6 egg whites

Gruyere cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 210 degree celcius. Grease six 200 ml ramekins
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and stir for 1 – 2 minutes until well combined and smooth. Remove from heat and gradually add the warm milk, a little at a time, mixing after each addition, until all the milk is incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
  • Add the egg yolks and return to medium heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute, then add the cheese, salt, cayenne pepper and chive and stir until the cheese is melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Whip the egg whites until soft peak form. Fold a third of the egg whites through the cheese mixture until well combined, then gently fold through the remaining egg whites.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins so they are 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until puffed and no longer wet in the middle. Serve immediately.

Meatless Monday – Stuffed capsicum with brown rice and black beans

Stuffed capsicum with brown rice and black beans
Spring is finally here after a rather slow start, I’m still not a 100% sure that I will be packing away my heater anytime soon while the wind is still howling like crazed wolves. In the meantime there is another Meatless Monday recipe to count the year away.

For whatever reason, I had a craving for stuffed capsicum never mind the fact that I never had these before I cooked them. I imagined biting into crispy capsicum followed by the satisfying heartiness of brown rice. This recipe was created on the fly, with a few bits and pieces taken as inspiration from around the web.


  • 3 capsicums, deveined and gutted then sliced in two, don’t be silly like me slicing the capsicum horizontally, rather slice down the middle
  • 1.5 cups of cooked brown rice
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of shredded tasty cheese
  • a handful of coriander
  • 150ml sour cream


  • Turn the oven to 170 degrees. Roast the capsicum for 20 minutes. Peel the capsicum skin and put aside
  • In the meantime brown onion, add cooked brown rice, bean and tomato paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spoon the rice and and bean mixture into the capsicum
  • Sprinkle cheese on top and place back into the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese melts
  • Sprinkle coriander and serve with a spoonful of sour cream

Serves 3 people

Meatless Monday – Vegetable Lasagna and the uphill better to blog more

Vegetable Lasagna

Incredibly, it had been a full 6 months since my last post. During that period of hibernation from the blog sphere many things happened, but for the most part I was in survival mode through a long cold winter (both literally and metaphorically). With summer just around the corner and glimpses of warmth peeking through, I feel it’s appropriate to shake the winter’s blues and get back to the swing of it again with a Meatless Monday recipe.

Vegetable lasagna is one of those comfort dishes that can warm a cold winter’s evening. Unfortunately like its cousin the cottage pie, it is not the most photogenic of meals. Though Billy from A Table For Two can make the dish look oh so deliciously glamorous. On a side note, today is his book launch, a big congrats to him and a reminder to myself that I will need to pick up a copy at some stage.

The following recipe is one that I made up and tweak everytime I make lasagna, enough so that it feels like I need to record it for posterity sake to refer to in the future.

Ingredients for lasagna and filling – serves 4

  • 1 packet of lasagna sheets (you don’t need to use the entire box just enough to layer the lasagna)
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • 100g of mixed mushroom (swiss brown and shitake)
  • 1 large egg plant 500g, sliced horizontally
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 brown onion – diced
  • 1 jar of passata
  • teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon of oregano
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 250g vegetable mince (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • 50g of parmesan and tasty cheese mix

Ingredients for bechamel sauce

  • 60g butter, chopped
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • 75g parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 25g tasty cheese, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • good pinch ground nutmeg

Method for bechamel sauce

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until bubbling. Remove from heat. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth. Return to heat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 10 to 12 minutes or until sauce comes to the boil, thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in both cheeses salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

Method for lasagna filling

The night before slice the egg plant horizontally to create egg plant steaks. Cover both sides with salt, then layer egg plant in a dish and leaver overnight in the fridge. This will draw out the water from the eggplant and result in non spongy egg plant. The next day, rinse the salt from the egg plant steaks the next day. Place on paper towel and put aside.

Heat oven to 200 degree.

Heat oil in a pot. Brown the diced onion until tender, then add crushed garlic. Add vegetarian mince and mushroom until mushroom is wilted. Pour chopped tomatoes and passata into the mixture, add chilli flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Wait until the sauce is boiling slighty, add oregano and sliced zucchini to the mix. Wait until the zucchini is slightly wilted and take the pot off the heat.

Layer the bottom of a lasagna dish with the eggplant steaks, handful of the mixed cheeses,  the tomato mixture, the bechamel sauce followed by the lasagna sheet. Repeat the order with the next layer and continue building the lasagna ending with the lasagna sheet on top. Cover the lasagna sheet with remaining grated cheese mix. Pop into the oven, turn down the heat to 150 degree, then bake for 30 minutes. Leave the lasagna to cool in the oven in order for the top layer of the lasagna to crisp and turn brown without burning.

Happy eating

Meatless Monday and Happy 2012 : Okra curry

2012 explosion

With the blink of an eye and explosion around Sydney, 2012 is here. We greeted New Year sitting on a balcony overlooking the city, eating cheese and playing board games. I can only hope that 2012 will be just as chilled.

2011 in hindsight was a year of mostly ups with a few trips down the chasm. It’s probably the most active year I ever had, training for Warrior Dash, doing more running in general and doing the Inca Trip which is a highlight in itself. I wish I have more time to blog, to reflect, but in an action packed year time is not something I have buckets of. This year I would like to plan my time better, keep in touch with friends on a more regular basis and make sure my photos will see the light of day… There are many people I am grateful for being in my life, you know who you are and let’s continue rocking on in 2012.

As I said, I’m still sorting out photos from 2011 and trying to climb the blogging mountain, for a start here is the first Meatless Monday post for the year.

Meatless Monday

Taken from Good Food Magazine, this recipe for Spicy Okra Curry is incredibly easy and will be my staple whenever I have okra in my fridge.

5 tbsp olive oil
400g onions , sliced
500g okra , trimmed, washed, dried and sliced into 2cm pieces
2 tomatoes , diced
1 red chilli , finely chopped (or ½ tsp powdered)
2 tsp ground coriander
handful fresh coriander , roughly chopped, to serve
I added hard tofu to bulk up the  portion since I only have half the okra on hand, but this is completely unnecessary.


Heat a large wok or frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil, then the onions, cooking until soft. Stir in the okra. Add the tomatoes and chilli, then season. Mix well and keep stirring gently, taking care not to break up the okra. Okra releases a sticky substance when cooked, but keep cooking, stirring gently – this will disappear and the tomatoes will become pulpy, about 10 mins.
Lower heat, add ground coriander and cook for another 5-10 mins. Add 2 tbsp water, cover and let simmer for another 4-5 mins. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with basmati rice or chapati bread.

209 kcalories, protein 5g, carbohydrate 13g, fat 16 g, saturated fat 2g, fibre 6g, sugar 10g, salt 0.04 g

Meatless Monday – Shitake mushroom, water chestnut and ginger dumpling

Shitake mushroom, water chestnut and ginger dumpling

A friend held a dumpling night a while back, everyone brings a filling and we make the dumplings on a long table  ready for steaming. I never made dumpling before, but it was the perfect time to figure out how to this dumpling thing. I googled this dumpling  recipe, and made a bit of modification to the recipe.

Shitake mushroom, water chestnut and ginger dumpling


  • SERVES 4 (or more)
  • 1 package frozen round dumpling wrappers (or substitute regular wonton wrappers)
  • 3 cups sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup cubed medium-firm tofu (about 2/3 package)
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves and stems, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 225g of water chestnut
  • 1 tsp. chili sauce (or more if you want them spicy)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock

Shitake mushroom, water chestnut and ginger dumpling


  1. Remove dumpling wraps from freezer.  The dumpling wraps will need at least 2 hours before using.
  2. Prepare a steamer by lining it with 1 or two layers of baking power (to keep dumplings from sticking). I used a traditional bamboo steamer set over a pot of boiling water, but you could also use a colander with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Place all Filling Ingredients together in a food processor or large chopper and blitz to create the mushroom-tofu filling.
  4. Lay 6 dumpling wrappers out at once over a clean working surface. Also have ready a small bowl of water for sealing the dumplings.
  5. Spoon a little of the filling in the middle of each wrapper (about 1 tsp.). Then dip your fingers (or a pastry brush) in the water and moisten all around the outside of the wrapper.
  6. Bring the sides of the wrapper up over the filling and press together to seal. If it doesn’t seal, moisten the edges with a little more water.
  7. Pinch along the seal to create a decorative edge (see picture).
  8. Set the finished dumplings on a plate dusted with corn starch or flour. Steam the dumplings right away, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours.
  9. To steam, place the dumplings in the lined steamer (they can be touching) and steam over high heat for 15 to 20 minutes (mushrooms need to be well cooked).
  10. Serve with soy sauce and chili sauce with a squeeze of lime or sweet kecap manis with a squeeze of lime and chopped red chilli

You can freeze the dumplings, to do this line a baking tray with baking paper and space the dumplings so they don’t touch. Slide the baking tray in the freezer for 2 hours, take the tray out and store in a plastic container making sure you line the layer with baking tray.


Meatless Monday – Mini vegetable fritatta

I was pleasantly surprised to find more than 500 views for my last post, thanks to Kimbra’s Facebook page. Thank you! You basically made up for my entire blog’s traffic within a single day! It inspired me a little to get back on the blogging bandwagon, so here’s today’s Meatless Monday post.

DSC_0868I’m a huge fan of frittata because they’re just so easy to make. It’s basically an excuse to throw left overs in the fridge and turn it into a meal. With this recipe I was looking for something small enough to pack for a hike, but still be quite filling.

Ingredients (makes 12 mini frittatas)

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pure cream or lite
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 potato peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 onion
  • handful of parsley
  • half a leek
  • handful of pitted olives
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tbs of olive oil or butter
  • Heat oven to 150 degree
  • Fry onion, garlic and potato until brown in the oil, add leek
  • In a jug mix cream, cheese and eggs, mix in the parsley, salt and pepper, then throw in the fried mixture
  • Grease a tray of muffins with butter
  • Pour mixture into tray
  • Adjust oven heat to 110 degrees celcius. Place tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Can be served both hot or at room temperature.