Roast Cauliflower Salad

Family get togethers always tend to get the creative spark firing – not least because there are at least two other Kitchen Stars in SheWhoMustBeFed’s extended family. It just isn’t on to be bringing out the same ol’ dish all the time, though it must be said that The Plumber is rather fond of Soccattata  – especially as it is gluten free. When he is left near a plate of Socha’ you only have to blink twice and half of it is gone. Woosh!

A food processor is handy for making this salad, though not mandatory. Grating the cauliflower could be done with a hand grater over a large bowl, though it would of course be far more work than whizzing it down the chute of the processor and I suspect generate a lot more mess. Cauliflower does tend to fly around the place when grating!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large cauliflower
  • 1 bag of baby spinach leaves or mixed salad greens
  • 1 standard punnet of cherry tomatoes, all halved
  • Olive oil
  • Tamari

Method:

  • Grate the cauliflower using the “coarse” holes in your hand grater / or food processor attachment
  • Spread out the grated cauliflower on one or two baking trays (best to not have it too deeply piled)
  • Thoroughly coat with olive oil and a few dashes of tamari. It is best to roll up the sleeves and use your hands to help evenly coat everything.
  • Bake at 180-200c for about 20 minutes. Give the baking cauliflower a mix and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. You’re aiming for a slightly crisped, but not burned result.
  • Allow the baked cauliflower to cool to room temperature (consider preparing the cauliflower a day before you need the salad and refrigerate overnight)
  • Just before serving, mix the cauliflower with the greens and the halved tomatoes

 

Black Bean casserole

Some beans really contribute to the taste of a dish while others are more subtle and tend to just round out the flavours of everything else in the meal. Black Beans don’t like to stand on the sidelines – they’re definitely an “Individual Contributor”.

In

  • However many Black Beans you get from pressure cooking one cup of dry beans (maybe two standard tins worth?)
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 medium potatoes, halved
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Handful of fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 TBSP ground pepper
  • 2 TBSP miso
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • Generous splash of olive oil
  • Water

Cook

  • In a large, lidded baking dish…
  • Add the herbs, garlic, pepper, oil and miso
  • Next add the spuds and the onion (try not to separate the onion halves into rings)
  • Tip the beans over
  • Add the wine, and enough water to cover everything
  • Bake at a medium heat until the liquid is well reduced.

 

WOW! Burgers

I keep asking SheWhoMustBeFed where the name for these burgers comes from. The answer seems to involve either She or one of the LoinFruits exclaiming “Wow! They’re nice burgers.” upon first tasting them. Personally, I keep thinking that “WOW” must surely be some clever acronym.

Here are some suggestions from the long list of possibilities:

  • World Of Warcraft
  • Women Of Wrestling
  • War Of the Worlds
  • Women On Wheels
  • Wendy O Williams
  • Whip ’em Out Wednesdays

However you slice that (potential) acronym these are indeed a tasty burger that hangs together really well (courtesy of the oats and the linseed) that also have a really great ‘mouth feel’ due to the inclusion of all the seeds and the veggies.

Wow, what do I put in them?

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup linseeds
  • 3/4 cup oats (or replace with gluten free flour)
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 2 1/4 cups of butter beans, mashed
  • 2 TBSP Tamari
  • 1/2 TSP ground pepper
  • 1 TBSP finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Wow, those all sound good! What do I do with them?

  • Process the nuts, seeds and oats in a Bamix or similar until grainy but not powdery
  • Thoroughly mix everything in a large bowl
  • Form into patties (this recipe should make about 12 patties)
  • Fry or bake
  • Exclaim “Wow! They’re nice burgers.” upon first tasting them

As with all burger mixes, these will hold together even better if made ahead of time and refrigerated for a few hours (cover container).

 

Macadamia Cheese

She-Who-Must-Be-Fed has recently gone a bit nuts about cheese making…macadamia cheese that is. Which of course raises the very reasonable question…how do you milk a macadamia? Answer: using very tiny hands.

macadamia cheeseIn fact she is in the kitchen just now finishing a batch and has just called out “I like making this cheese…its fun!” Of course she doesn’t actually realise that I am in the process of putting up this entry so what is fun is knowing that at some point she’ll come back to check the recipe and find that I just typed her little exclamation in as part of the intro’, and say “Hey!!”.

Back to the cheese; this recipe entry is really just a pointer to Russell James’ ‘the raw chef‘ site, as it is his recipe. It’s just that every time that She-Who-Must-Be-Fed wants to make this cheese, she has to look it up and that requires going to Russell’s site and hunting through it to find the right recipe. Also I thought that all my readers (yes I’m addressing you both) might also be interested in this.

So, click here to find the recipe.

PS. James spells macadamia as ‘macademia’ which perhaps is meant to infer this is a thoughtful and studious recipe.

Braised cabbage in miso

Long read? Slow food? How about nearly four hours for a cabbage dish…howzatgrabya?

To be clear; I don’t actually like cabbage. Generally I think they’re like a Godzilla-ish Brussel Sprout. Only the death ray doesn’t shoot out of your eyes it shoots out a little lower down. I do however like this dish, which says a lot about the merits of this recipe in my (ever humble) opinion.

Needed:

  • About 1/2 a large cabbage, or equivalent.
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tabs light miso
  • 400 ml water
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 4 hours

Doing:

Crush and very lightly sauté the garlic in the oil. In the same pan, add the water and bring to a boil, then add the miso and thoroughly dissolve.

Remove any manky outer leaves off the cabbage and compost. Cut the cabbage into 5cm or so thick slices, going across the layers. Try to keep each slice as intact as possible.

Lay the slices, tightly packed into a lidded baking dish that has sides high enough to be higher than the cabbage slices. If you don’t have enough cabbage to pack the dish, and don’t have a smaller dish, cut another slice of cabbage. Go with the flow people!

Pour the liquid evenly over the cabbage.

Bake the container with the lid on at 250c for 30 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 150c and bake for another 90 minutes. After that, carefully turn all the cabbage slices over and repack them as tightly as possible. Bake for another 90 minutes.

Creamy Mushroom Penne

If you don’t eat anything with a face nor anything that comes from something with a face then you can end up eating a lot of tomato based Italian food. How much? A LOT. The default meal cooked by a restaurant “chef” who couldn’t be bothered spending 3.764 minutes finding a decent vegan recipe is “Pasta in a tomato sauce, with whatever vegetables need to be used but always capsicum”. Don’t get me wrong, we love a good Spaghetti Bolognese in this house, but sometimes it is nice to have something different when taking the menu to Italia for the night. Something with a creamy sauce rather than a tomato sauce.

But how to dream of cream without playing milkmaid?

Nuts!

Yes…nuts….or to be more specific cashew nuts. Oh yes…

Soak raw cashews in water and then blend them and you get…cashew cream; another one of those unlikely little transformations that make cooking a joy. Cashew cream is a great base for cream based recipes whether sweet or savoury.

So…Vieni con me in cucina con i vostri anacardi e faremo una bella cena insieme (*)

Portate con voi (abbastanza per due)

  • 1/2 cup of raw cashews
  • half a dozen or so medium sized mushrooms, quartered
  • your choice of: green beans, asparagus, broccoli spears, fresh peas, broad beans or whatever something green you like. In any case you want about an equal amount as you have of mushrooms. Chop into stir-fry type pieces
  • one small onion, cut into large rings or quartered and separated.
  • two cloves of garlic, minced
  • a TBSP of light miso paste
  • about two TSP of chopped, fresh rosemary
  • about 1/4 of a cup of chopped, fresh flat leaf parsley
  • one bay leaf
  • 2 TSPN of ground pepper (this may seem excessive but the cream sauce dulls the heat a lot)
  • one cup of white wine
  • olive oil
  • penne – use gluten free if desired (however much you think you’ll need; some people like a lot of pasta, some not so much. Go on…make a decision on your own)

Come fare

  • Before getting to the rest of the “method” – don’t forget to cook the pasta as per the manufacturer’s recommendation, timing the pasta to be ready whenever the following is done. Helpful tip: The steps related to making the creamed cashews, and mixing it into the saucy, wine mix can be done ahead of time, making it all much easier to get the timing right.
  • Firstly, soak the cashews in water. Best to use freshly boiled water; cover the nuts and leave them for at least three hours. Oops!! You didn’t read this until it was WAY too late to leave them for 3 hours! Panic not and do what everyone else does…cheat. Put the nuts and water into a small, covered pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Regardless of how you got there…drain the nuts afterwards, retaining the water.
  • To cream the cashews: place the soaked nuts in a Bamix Wet and Dry Processor or similar. You could use any food processor of course but something small like the aforementioned will work best as you’re not doing a high volume of material. Add a little of the water and blend until a fluffy, smooth and absolutely-no-solid-bits consistency is achieved. Keep adding a bit more of the water as needed, as you go along. If you run out of the reserved water just use some extra. Once done…put aside.
  • In a small pot very lightly sauté the garlic and ground pepper in some olive oil. As soon as it is aromatic add the wine, the miso, the bay leaf, rosemary and half of the parsley. Dissolve the miso then continue to lightly simmer for a minute, then remove from the heat. Add the creamed cashews and mix thoroughly.
  • In a heavy fry pan sauté the onion in some more olive oil until clear.
  • Add the mushrooms and whatever green vegetables you decided on into the pan with the onion. Cook until just done – it is nice when the vegetables retain some crispness.
  • Remove the vegetables from the heat and add the sauce to the vegetables along with the rest of the parsley and mix thoroughly. You will notice that the creamed cashew mix thickens somewhat when added to the hot pan; add a little more water to thin the mix if desired.
  • Serve over the pasta.

(* this may or may not translate as “Come with me to the kitchen with your cashews and we will make a beautiful dinner together”)