Thursday, 14 May 2015

Moosewood Tofu Vegan Dumplings in Garlic/Miso Broth (vegan with gluten-free options)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Audioslave ~ Bring Em Back Alive
Tina Dico ~ Private Party
Airbourne ~ Rattle Your Bones
Dead Sara ~ Some Have It Bad
Paulo Nutini ~ Scream (Funk My Life Up)
Nerina Pallot ~ Alien
The Virginmarys ~ Bang Bang Bang
Debussy@ Reverie L 68
Julia Macinally ~ Sallianne
INXS ~ Listen Like Thieves
Bizet: Bel Officier (Carmen, le remendado la dancer)
Beth Hart ~ Better Man
Crowded House ~ When You Come
Halestorm ~ Don't Know How To Stop

I love a bargain and I have to say the recipe book that I found these recipes in was certainly that...1p! Yep! The book is quite ravaged and well used but a quick tidy up of the cover and pages and it was good to go. The cookbook in question is Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favourites. As a vegan/veggie cookbook junkie I have been aware of their abundance of veggie/semi-veggie cookbooks. But I've always selected veggie/vegan cookbooks over theirs when buying a fresh and new book for my collection. I have to say that I may have been unwise in this because the recipes I found between the covers of this book have been plentiful. This is the first I've actually made from the long list I have written down for testing. 

I chose this one because it fitted the food style I am testing right now. Japanese or Chinese dumplings are intriguing to me. Now don't be daunted by the list of ingredients...every one is worth it and it's not really a rocket scientist recipe. Once you get started its quickly put together and when sat back at my dining table with the filling and wrappers I found myself reaching a Zen moment as I stuffed and rolled the dumplings together. My first experiences were not so calming! Believe me but perseverance is the key to these little beauties and one day you will find yourself sitting at your counter or table happily spooning in filling and playing with new shapes. Honestly...I promise. 

The Garlic/Miso Broth was suggested as a complementary dish to go with the dumplings and I was very interested with the cooking method. Quickly roasting garlic cloves and then blending with miso (I used white miso this time) and water and then heated up with low-sodium veggie stock...beautifully simple. I knew I had to try it and I wasn't feeling the dumpling dip love the day I made them. So a good, healing and nourishing broth seemed the way to go...

I made one adaption and that was the amount of shitakes used. I used 2 caps which is far less than the recipe asks for. But that is simply my issue with mushroom but you folks who love those darn fungi will just devour the correct amount I'm sure. I wanted a hint of the taste but not the texture. I used the dumpling cooking method of steaming for 10 minutes this time so I can warn you they will stick together and to the steamer tray which was an interesting moment. But next time I will try cooking them directly in the Garlic/Miso Broth. Also the amount of garlic I used was much less but this was because I read the recipe as 1 head of garlic and quickly grabbed a bulb and got peeling. However when I re-read the recipe later I see that Moosewood suggested 20 cloves. I only used 8...that was plenty for today but I will try it with the correct amount next time. Yep I am a garlic lover...

The results...well hell...they were so good. The dumplings were packed with flavours and textures and they were tender and still a little chewy which is just how I like them. The Broth was everything a good miso broth should be. So good that I would just sit and sip it as a hot beverage. The dumplings and broth combined with a scattering of a few fresh veggies made for a great lunch. Not wanting to repeat myself but the words nourishing and healing come back to my mind. 

And finally...the dumpling wrappers were made with wheat flour this time. Believe me when I say I wasn't overly happy with this and I found them dense and filling because of this fact. But I am still experimenting with vegan and gluten-free wonton/dumpling wrapper recipes and when I finally find one or create one that actually works...I will be shouting it out from the blog tops! I look forward to that if you have a recipe you would like me to test...hit my email

Tomorrow I am taking a break for a week as I am heading out for a holiday with My Love and our good pal Ann. We are hoping to relax, breathe and heal the soul for a while. Something all three of us need badly. We are road-tripping down to the coast and I don't care if it rains the entire time...its a holiday for which I am extremely grateful. 

Moosewood Tofu Vegan Dumplings in Garlic/Miso Broth (vegan with gluten-free options)

Moosewood Garlic/Miso Broth              Makes 6 cups
(Recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favourite Cookbook)

1 large whole head of garlic (approx 20 cloves) see note above
1/4 cup miso (use miso of your choice)
3 cups of filtered water
3 cups of low-sodium veggie stock 

Pre-heat your oven to 200'C/400'F/GM6. Peel the garlic cloves and place onto a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Your garlic cloves need to be golden brown not dark brown.

Place the baked garlic cloves in a blender with the miso and water and blend until smooth. Add this to a med sized saucepan with the veggie stock and gently heat through when ready to serve. Never allow it to boil. 

Moosewood Tofu Vegan Dumplings     Makes 48
(Recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favourites)

1oz dried shitake mushrooms (I used 2 caps)
2 cups boiling water
6 garlic cloves, micro-grated
1 tbsp fresh ginger root, micro-grated
1 tsp ground anise
1 cup peeled and grated carrots
2 cups fresh mushrooms, minced (I used Enoki)
1 cup Chinese cabbage, minced
1 tsp rapeseed/canola oil
4oz pressed tofu, crumbled
3 tbsp soy sauce/tamari or Braggs
2 spring onions, minced
1 tbsp Hoisin sauce (optional)
1 tsp chilli paste

1 packet of wonton or dumpling wrappers (GF if able)

Place the shitake mushrooms in a bowl and cover with the boiling water for at least 20 minutes. When the mushrooms have softened, drain them and finely mince the caps. You can save the strained water and use as a stock if you wish. 

Put the shitakes, garlic, ginger, anise, carrots, fresh mushrooms, cabbage and oil. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stirring frequently. Place the tofu, Hoisin sauce, chilli paste, spring onions and soy/tamari or Braggs and stir very well to evenly distribute the sauces in the tofu crumbs. Add this to the saucepan and stir in. Cook for a further 3 minutes and then remove from the heat. Set to one side. 

Set up your dumpling rolling station as follows. Small chopping board in front of you. Large baking sheet to one side and the saucepan with the stuffing on a trivet to the right. Small bowl of water and a smaller bowl of brown rice flour. And here goes....take one wrapper and using your finger, brush water around the outside edge of the wrapper. Place a heaped tsp of stuffing in the centre of the wrapper and then quickly bring the edges together. I played around and ended up with fours shapes. But the basic and most quickly done is simply bringing the two edges together and press them to seal, leaving you with half moon shaped dumplings. If this is your first time...I would go with that shape. Place the shaped dumplings onto the baking sheet but do not allow them to touch and when all are done cover with cling film and place into your fridge until ready to cook. You can freeze some very easily at this stage. Line a box with baking parchment and place a layer of dumplings (not touching) into the bottom. Repeat this until your box is full and then freeze and they will stay good for at least 4 months. 

Cook the dumplings in one of the following ways: 

Gently simmer the dumplings in water or broth for 5 minutes. 

Saute them in a skillet prepared with 1/2 tsp of oil for 2 minutes on each side. Pour in 1/4 cup of water, cover, and steam for 4 minutes. 

Steam the dumplings in a steamer basket or sieve over boiling water for 7 to 10 minutes. 

Gently heat the Garlic/Miso Broth and place 5 of the dumplings in a bowl and then pour over a ladle of the broth. Scatter over a few fresh veggies of your choice and serve while its still hot. 

Although the dumplings are also good served at room temperature with the following sauce:

2 tbsp soy sauce/tamari/Braggs 
2 tsps rice wine vinegar
1 minced spring onion      Simply whisk together folks


Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a splendid week and I will be back with your all soon....right time to pack and hit the road. 


NB: These recipes are not my own and therefore I take no credit for them whatsoever. They are the hard work and creation of the folks of The Moosewood Collective and theirs alone. I thank them for sharing such great recipes...~R~



Friday, 1 May 2015

SUMA: Rocket & Roses Black Bean Feast (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Beth Hart ~ Rhymes
Otis Reading ~ Pain In My Heart
Chris Cornell ~ Today
Louis Armstrong ~ La Vie En Rose
Live ~ I Alone
Alter Bridge ~ Ghosts Of Days Gone By
Alison Moyet ~ Invisible 
Norah Jones ~ Don't Know Why
Billy Joel ~ Honesty
Black Stone Cherry ~ Blame It On The Boom Boom
Prince ~ Nothing Compares 2 U
Terrorvision ~ What Makes You Tick
The Puppini Sisters ~ Sway
Brandi Carlile ~ The Story  

Rocket & Roses Black Bean Feast...savoury and sweet. (vegan & gluten-free)

There aren't words for how much I enjoy being part of the SUMA Wholefoods Bloggers Network. From receiving the latest catalogue, selecting the ingredients through to slaving over scribbled notes of inspiration and that final moment of taking the photographs...I love it all. The challenge is one I need at the moment with the health issues being at an all time low...the mental stimulation is a welcome relief. And although I had to accept much needed help from ML and my lovely Mum I still got the thrill as the recipes came to life...and tasted good. Always a...phew!..moment. 

SUMA have started selling tins of Organic Black Beans and as they are one of my favourite beans I decided to use them as my focus for this posting. I love the versatile nature of these little black gems and use them as often as I can in my cooking. I had quite a list of recipe ideas once inspiration hit and short listing them was quite hard. So I decided to make a new version of three of my favourite savoury forms and have a go at making a sweet treat too. Yes...a sweet treat. 

First up was the stuffing recipe. I wanted a succulent roasted butternut that was filled with a smokey spiced bean and vegetable stuffing. I used a whole dried Chipotle chilli to provide both the smokiness and heat. SUMA Black Beans, cooked quinoa and a selection of vegetables made up the texture of the filling. Added depth of flavour came from a good veggie stock and sun-dried tomato paste. Garnishing with fresh coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime juice finishes the dish to make for one flavour packed meal. The smokiness works perfectly with the sweetness of the butternut. And any leftover stuffing is really great as a filling for a sandwich or wrap. 

Next up was a black bean soup. A soup that is both light on the tum but packed with goodness. I wanted layers of flavour but not a long list of ingredients. I wanted a soup that could be made very easily. One of my favourite soup ingredients is the humble leek. I find great comfort in their flavour but enjoy their light texture when cooked. As a stand alone cooked veggie offering I'm not that fussed but as part of a dish I enjoy them very much. For me the combination of black beans and lime are divine so it wasn't a surprise to find myself juicing up some limes to add to the layers of flavour. Now when I made this dish I fully processed it to a smooth silky consistency which was nice but next time I will part blend the soup as I really am a chunky soup kind of a gal. The choice is yours. The results were a gentle soup that had a good layer of flavour from the earthiness of the leeks (not a literal layer of earth!) and wholesome beans and then the slight citrus sharpness bringing the soup up to another level. It's a quick and easy to make soup...and also turns out a light purple in colour so is quite pretty if that is your thing. 

Next up was a salsa. I have only recently found my salsa love and have been experimenting like a mad thing. This I have come to know...for me to enjoy salsa it has to be raw onion free. I've tried every method of 'treating' the onion before use from steeping in boiled water or vinegar to hopping on one foot and shouting to the moon! I just have to accept that raw onion and I are never to be friends. I can however digest a scant amount of minced spring onion in it. For this recipe I wanted nutritional goodness and a freshness with each mouthful. I adore vine-ripened tomatoes and love to keep a watch on them until they are at their perfect ripeness. Sliced simply in a sandwich with a lot of freshly cracked black heaven. So some chopped vine tomatoes were the base for this salsa along with an avocado, spring onion, SUMA Black Beans, freshly cooked corn on the cob, fresh coriander. The dressing was simplicity itself...the juice of one fresh lime and one fresh clementine. Wow..what a salsa this one turned out to be. It smelt great just sitting in the bowl and the flavours and textures mixed perfectly. A healthy salsa that could easily become have been warned..

And lastly....a black bean sweet treat. Yes...a sweet treat that isn't packed full of nastiness. No refined sugars in the fudge itself as I used medjool dates for the sweetness. I could have just served this black bean recipe up as it was which would have been a treat in itself, but I had a bag of SUMA Sour Morello Cherries which I was desperate to open. I love the combination of dark bitter chocolate and sweet cherries. The dried cherries weren't perfect as they did include sugar and sunflower oil in their ingredients which isn't my preferred choice but I couldn't argue that their flavour wasn't out of this world. They were juicy, sweet and full of cherry flavoured goodness. If you dislike glace cherries as much as I do because of the fake flavour and nasty texture...these could not be any further apart. As a treat every now and again these dried cherries are worth the little amount of sugar and sunflower oil. I decided to blend some into the fudge mixture itself and then use one as a topping for each piece of fudge. A little goes a long way with these sweet treats as they are intensely rich. One eaten with a bitter dark shot of espresso would be a great combination. And combined with the fact that these are 'healthier' treats...just makes them a food to be savoured indeed. 

So...let's get this black bean feast started....

Rocket & Roses Smokey Black Bean Stuffed Butternut (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Smokey Black Bean Stuffed Butternut
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)       Serves 2

1 lb baby butternut, halved, de-seeded 

1 med red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, micro-grated
1 2" piece of fresh ginger, micro-grated
1 med carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup kale leaves, finely chopped
a handful of fresh coriander leaves, minced
1 whole dried chipotle chilli
3 tbsp boiling water
1/2 cup of low sodium veggie stock
2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
1 tin of Suma Organic Black Beans, rinsed and drained
a good pinch of dried cinnamon
freshly grated black pepper to season to taste
extra fresh coriander for garnish
lime slices to garnish and juice

Pre-heat the oven to 350'F/180'C/GM 4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set to one side. Take the prepared butternut halves. Carefully extend the cavity of the flesh up to 1cm from the top of the butternut. Place flesh side down onto the baking tray and place into the hot oven. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from the oven. Turn over so the flesh is facing up and put the tray to one side. 

Put the dried chipotle in a small bowl with the 3 tbsp boiling water and leave to soak whilst making the filling. 

Water-saute the red onion until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, green bell pepper and carrot and cook for 5 minutes. Put the sun-dried tomato paste into the hot veggie stock and stir until it has dissolved. 

Mince the softened chipotle and put it and its soaking water into the veggies along with the veggie stock mix. Stir well and then add in the cooked quinoa. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the kale and minced coriander and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the ground cinnamon. Season with black pepper. Cook until the stock has dissipated and the stuffing is thick. Remove from the heat. 

Firmly pack the butternut with the stuffing and press in to fill the cavity. Then mound up extra stuffing to your personal preference. Place the tray back into the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the butternut is tender. Serve sprinkled with more chopped coriander and lime slices to squeeze over. 

Enjoy! And don't forget the leftover stuffing is unbelievably tasty as a sandwich/wrap filling the next day. 

Rocket & Roses Leek, Black Bean & Lime Soup (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Leek, Black Bean & Lime Soup  Serves 6-8
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

5 leeks, trimmed, cleaned and sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
5 cups low sodium veggie stock
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 bayleaf
2 15oz tins of SUMA Organic Black Beans
freshly grated black pepper
fresh coriander leaves

Water-saute the sliced leeks until softened. Take it slowly as you don't want them to brown. Add in the garlic slices, bayleaf, veggie stock and lime juice. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Add in the black beans and season with a generous amount of black pepper. Bring back to the boil, reduce the heat back to a simmer and cook until the leek is very tender. 

Remove half of the soup and blend until smooth and add it back into the remaining half and stir well to combine or completely blend all of the soup until smooth. Bring back up to a gentle simmer and serve with freshly torn off coriander leaves.

Enjoy! I've enjoyed this soup silky smooth but my preference is by far part blended. I'm just kooky that way...

Rocket & Roses Citrus Fresh Black Bean Salsa (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Citrus Fresh Black Bean Salsa   Yields 2 cups
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 med/large avocado, flesh chopped into 1/2" cubes
2 med/large vine ripened tomatoes, finely chopped
1 spring onion, minced
1/2 tin SUMA Organic Black Beans, rinsed and drained well
1 fresh corn cob, cooked and cooled
1 handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
juice from one lime 
juice from one clementine

In a bowl place the avocado, tomatoes, spring onion, black beans, coriander leaves and stir well. Strip the corn kernels from the cob and add to the bowl and stir in. Whisk the freshly squeezed juices together and pour over the veggies. Stir well to coat evenly. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve. Or devour freshly made. 


And now for the sweet treat....

Rocket & Roses Black Bean Morello Cherry Fudge Pieces (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Black Bean Morello Cherry Fudge Pieces
(Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)            Makes 24 pieces

1 tin of SUMA Organic Black Beans, rinsed and drained well
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
4 medjool dates, de-stoned and roughly chopped
1/2 tbsp good quality vanilla extract
2 heaped tbsp smooth cashew butter
1/4 tsp salt
5 heaped tbsp good quality cocoa powder
20 SUMA Sour Morello Cherries
tiny amount of filtered water 

24 SUMA Sour Morello Cherry pieces, to top

Place the beans, dates, cashew butter, salt and cocoa powder into a food processor. Pulse until it has broken down a little. Add in the melted coconut oil and vanilla and blend again. If the mix is dry add the small amount of water to loosen it off. When it is whipped and smooth add in the cherries and pulse until they are very well combined. 

Using a silicone mould, brownie tin or other flat shallow baking dish smooth the fudge mixture into it and smooth off until level. Press the 24 cherries into the fudge so that when you cut out the pieces a cherry will be in the centre of each piece. Place into the fridge for 4 hours to firm up. 

Gently press out the fudge pieces if using a silicone mould and cut each square into four pieces. If using a tin or baking dish, make cuts to make 24 pieces and then gently lever out each piece. Serve with bitter hot coffee for a great balance. 

Store leftover pieces in an airtight container in the fridge and they should stay yummy for about a week....if they last that long!!

Gratuitous foodie close up...its need to thank pleasure folks.

Enjoy the black bean feast folks and I hope you swing by the folks at SUMA Wholefoods and check them out. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all are enjoying the sun and finding many reasons to smile today...


NB: These recipes are my creation and mine alone. I have no problem with you using them or sharing them. I simply ask that you give credit where its due and provide links back to this posting as I always try to with others. Many thanks to Amy and SUMA Wholefoods for giving me the chance to be part of the SUMA Bloggers Network. Namaste...~R~ 




Thursday, 23 April 2015

Rocket & Roses Shallot, Ful Medames & Sumac Stuffed Bell Peppers (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Soundgarden ~ I Awake 
Soul Asylum ~ Black Gold
Beth Hart ~ Heaven Look Down
Audioslave ~ Set It Off
U2 ~ With Or Without You
Tina Dico ~ Her Secret
Alicia Keys ~ No One
Little Angels ~ Too Much Too Young
Maroon 5 ~ If I Never See Your Face Again
Status Quo ~ In My Chair
Shakira ~ Underneath Your Clothes (Acoustic)
Glen Campbell ~ Sadly Beautiful
Paloma Faith ~ Trouble With My Baby
Wilko Johnson ~ Ice On The Motorway

We have been enjoying some very beautiful spring sunshine this week. It has been glorious but still a little chilly...hey, it is England after all. Although I am by nature a Autumn/Winter lover...I do love the bright colours and vibrancy of Spring. To see the spring flowers blooming everywhere makes my heart smile and when visiting my sister I love to watch the hundreds of bunnies scampering about. It's such a wonderful time of year. 

I also get a high from looking at the natural beauty that comes in the rainbow colours of fresh vegetables and fruits. And for me bell peppers are one of the most splendid offerings. I know some of you will see 'stuffed peppers' and groan..."Not another stuffed pepper recipe..." as stuffed vegetables, hummus and salad recipes seem to switch peoples minds off which I find sad because what a fantastic way to eat and enjoy bell peppers? And I believe you can never have too many stuffed veggies, hummus and salad recipes...or soup!!

I enjoy making fillings for peppers, courgettes, aubergines, tomatoes, marrow, squash, pumpkins and tomatoes. I think it gives you the opportunity to play around with textures and flavourings. This recipe gave me the chance to try out a 'new to me' flavouring of Sumac. I found a little pot of it at a supermarket and was intrigued. It has a very floral fragrance and looks like a drier blend of chilli powder but the aroma could not be more has a high citrus note. I also use various bulk ingredients like brown rice, quinoa and other grains but today I opted for good old TVP granules. Not the large chewy grisly lumps shudder but the fine textured granules...those I love. But any other filler is would work too so use what you feel comfortable with..just make sure they are cooked off before making this recipe so using leftovers would be great for this. Another key ingredient I selected was a tin of Ful Medames in water. I usually make a breakfast/brunch with them so always have a couple of tins in my stocks. I pick mine up at my local Indian & Continental Store in the nearby city. I really enjoy their unique flavour and the wholesome texture. I also experimented with the stock I used...using two types of tomato paste and one chilli paste dissolved into freshly boiled water. Three large banana shallots and garlic was the base to which I began tinkering with the other ingredients. I enjoyed making this stuffing.

Now...the process of cooking the bell peppers. Personally I don't part cook them first. Why? Because I don't like the mushy element that can sometimes happen after time spent boiling or steaming them and then oven time. I like mine still quite crisp so I add my stuffing to the raw shells and then leave the cooking of them to the oven. However, you can steam/boil them for 5-8 minutes first if you wish lovelies. 

The results were extremely enjoyable. The pepper shells were as I'd hoped...tender crisp. The stuffing was a perfect blend of wholesome comforting textures and unique moreish flavours. I will definitely be making this again...the stuffing would also be great served with pasta too. 

So come on...get stuffing those veggies. The possibilities are endless. Go for it...   

Rocket & Roses Shallot, Ful Medames & Sumac Stuffed Bell Peppers (vegan&GF)

Rocket & Roses Shallot, Ful Medames & Sumac Stuffed Bell Peppers  (Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

4 large bell peppers, halved and de-seeded 

3 banana shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, micro-grated
15 baby plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
1 med carrot, peeled and grated
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
6 Brussels sprouts, peeled and finely sliced
1 tsp chilli paste
2 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp sun-dried tomato paste
1/2 cup freshly boiled water
1 tsp Sumac 
1 cup TVP granules 
1 cup low sodium veggie stock
1 15oz tin of Ful Medames in water, rinsed and drained
generous amount of freshly grated black pepper

In a small bowl put the TVP granules and the hot stock and stir well. Leave to soak until needed. 

In a medium sized pan water saute the shallots and garlic until soft and translucent. Adding a little more water if needed to keep from sticking to the pan. Add the tomatoes, carrot, green pepper and Brussels sprouts and stir well. Leave to cook down for approx 5 minutes. 

Put the tomato paste, sun-dried tomato paste and chilli paste into a small bowl and pour over the boiled water and whisk until the pastes have dissolved. Pour into the veggie mixture along with the Sumac and stir well. Generously season with black pepper. Leave to cook for 2 minutes. 

Add the soaked TVP granules into the pan and once again stir well and leave to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and then add the drained Ful Madames stirring well to evenly distribute them through the veggie mix. Re-season with black pepper. 

Pre-heat the oven to 350'F/180'C/GM 4 and place the bell pepper shells into a very large flat baking dish. Half fill each shelve and flatten down to ensure the filling fills the cavities. Then go back over each one sharing out the remaining filling into mounds. Loosely cover the dish with tin foil and place into the oven. Cook for 30 minutes covered and then remove the tin foil and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the pepper shells are to your preferred texture. Serve one whole pepper per person with a green salad. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your day is as sunny as mine...


NB: This is my creation. I have no problem with you using it or sharing it. I simply ask that you give credit where it's due and provide links back to this posting and I always do with others. Many thanks...~R~ 

Monday, 20 April 2015

Apple Tart (vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Audioslave ~ Cochise
Audioslave ~ Like A Stone
Audioslave ~ What You Are
Chris Cornell ~ Can't Change Me
Audioslave ~ #1 Zero
Audioslave ~ Gasoline
Chris Cornell ~ Pillow Of Your Bones
Audioslave ~ Jewel Of The Summertime
Chris Cornell ~ Part Of Me
Audioslave ~ Drown me Slowly
Audioslave ~ The Last Remaining Light
Chris Cornell ~ Arms Around Your Love 
Audioslave ~ Show Me How To Live
Chris Cornell ~ She'll Never Be Your Man

I enjoyed the company of good friends on Sunday evening and it was my pleasure to cook them all a meal and give us all a chance to relax and catch up with each other. When deciding what I wanted to cook for us I easily planned out the main course but struggled with the dessert. I was craving good old fashioned apple pie which is odd as I am by no means a dessert person nor a pie person. Strange how cravings hit you, isn't it? I thumbed through my recipe files and found this tart recipe that was heavy on flavour and apples without being loaded with gluten, dairy and refined sugars. Perfect..

It was very easy to make. The crust was quite delicate and I confess I served mine still on the loose base from my flan tin. It is a crumbly base but I liked that and the flavours were very enjoyable with the wholesome texture combined with the spices and tahini hit. The apple toppings were delicate in flavour but comforting with the mix of apples and dates..sweet enough without having a major sugar-rush after each mouthful. I served ours cold with indulgent chilled soya-vanilla custard. The dessert was rich but without the heaviness and stodge of traditional apple and custard. And I must confess...we all enjoyed a second slice. Ooops... 

Apple Tart ~ Vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar tasty!

Apple Tart    Serves 8

2oz ground almonds
4oz brown rice flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp sunflower oil
3 tbsp light tahini

3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and chopped
2 medjool dates, chopped
6fl oz filtered water

2 Gala apples, cored and finely sliced (skins on)
1/2 tbsp sunflower oil

Place the ground almonds, rice flour, cinnamon, cloves, water, sunflower oil and light tahini into a processor and blitz until you have a crumb consistency. Line the base of a 9" loose based flan tin and press the crumbs onto the base, flattening it out until you have an even surface. Do not press into the sides and be sure to leave a clear edge between the edge of the tin and the crust. Heat the oven to 200'C/400'F/GM6 and bake the crust for 15 minutes or until it has turned golden brown. 

Place the chopped apples, dates and water into a saucepan and stew the mix until the apples are soft. Remove from the heat and puree until smooth. 

Leaving a 1 cm edge around the crust spread the apple/date puree evenly over the crust. Take the sliced apples and place them on top of the puree in any overlapping pattern you wish. Brush the apple slices with the sunflower oil and place back into the oven for 20 minutes or until the apples are cooked and beginning to brown. Serve warm or cold. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your week starts well...


NB: This is not my creation and therefore take no credit for it whatsoever. I do send out thanks to whoever did. ~R~



Sunday, 12 April 2015

Fresh and Fruity Birthday Cake (vegan & gluten-free)

Fresh & Fruity Birthday Cake (vegan & gluten-free)

Juicy, fruity, fresh, fabulous and just down right awesome! Those are just a few words to describe my celebration birthday cake this year. As much as I love a trad (vegan) birthday cake...I really wanted something different this year and when ML came back to me with the idea of making a fresh fruit creation I was completely on board. We enlisted the help of my sister and her little ones and we all sat around the table cutting out shapes and prepping the fruits. I have to say that we all feasted on the cut-offs and almost spoilt our lunch. So how did we create this visually wonderful cake...

Take 2 medium watermelons and cut off the rind of one and shape into a standard cake layer. Take the second watermelon and once again remove the rind and then cut into a smaller cake layer to sit on top of the larger one. Secure with a wooden skewer. 

Slice a gala melon and the cut offs of the watermelon and cut out various sizes of star shapes with star cookie cutters. Set to one side. Peel and slice 4 kiwis and cut off the bottom edge and stand up along the bottom of the larger layer. Then with the remaining slices use the smallest star shape and cut out some stars. Set to one side. 

Slice some freshly rinsed strawberries into four. Set the outside edge pieces to one side and take the full slices and layer them around the bottom of the top layer of watermelon. Take the outside edges and cut them down a little smaller and then place them in front of the sliced kiwi pieces. 

Take a larger melon star and cover it with a smaller one and using them with a blueberry and stick them into the side of the top layer above the strawberries. 

Take a kiwi star and a blueberry and stick them into the side of the bottom layer above the sliced kiwi and strawberry. 

Using several longer wooden skewers start with a blueberry followed by the melon stars and more blueberries and place them into the top of the cake. And that is all there is to it...


Thanks for stopping by and I'll be back soon after I have finished celebrating getting another year older and wiser..sure, sure keep laughing. 


NB: This is ML's creation and we are happy to share it with everyone...I would love to see and hear about your future know you want to make one too! ~R~

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Fuhrman's Cauliflower & Green Pea Curry - adapted (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Lissie ~ Everywhere I Go
Beth Hart ~ Am I The One
Billie Myers ~ Tell Me
VAST ~ Beautiful
The Rolling Stones ~ Emotional Rescue
Lenny Kravitz ~ Can't Stop Thinking About You
Thunder ~ Broken
Meshell Ndegeocello ~ Don't Mistake My Kindness For Weakeness
Rizzle Kicks ~ Skip To The Good Bit
Martina McBride ~ Whatever You Say
Skin ~ When I'm With You
Dave Matthews Band ~ Drive In Drive Out
The Feeling ~ Fill My Little World
Harry Connick Jr ~ Smile

In making today's recipe I felt like I was paying homage to some 70's style vegetarian curry. And when taking the photos I had a hard time making it look pleasant. It's tricky to make a brown dish look attractive. Thankfully the cauliflower stood out amongst the brown sauce...phew!

Today's recipe is from Dr Fuhrman's Eat To Live Cookbook which I am recipe testing at the moment. I've been a fan of Fuhrman's work for some time as I respect the basic plan of his eating programme. I am trying to build some much needed strength for some operations that are (hopefully) coming up later in the year. His principals of eating nutrient dense foods and cutting out any macro dense foods is something I try to do every day. And his plan is naturally vegan so therefore perfect. I don't follow his everyday plan or menus but his recipes are something I enjoy. However, for me there are a little too many dried fruits in his soups for my liking and needs but that is my only quibble.

To describe this recipe as a curry is for me a stretch so personally I would have called it Curried Cauliflower & Peas. Foodies out there will understand the difference between the two. As is my rules...I made the first batch of this recipe as Fuhrman instructed and that meant using generic curry powder instead of a hand mixed blend of spices. I am not usually a foodie snob but when it comes to spices...I admit it..I ignoring all of my beautiful spices I have in my spice draw and selecting my large pot of curry powder felt all kinds of wrong. It felt lazy. But I soldiered on...

It is a very basic recipe and very quick to make although my cauliflower took twice as long to cook as the suggested time on the recipe. During a recent shopping trip I had been over the freaking moon happy to find some bagged Baby Kale Leaves. If you are lucky you can sometimes buy whole leaves of kale where I live but mainly it comes pre-chopped in bags. Which does mean dried out shrivelled kale pieces with large chunks of stalk attached. Nice, eh? So I was practically jumping up and down with joy at this bag of baby kale. When I was making this dish I felt it needed a green leafy and decided that the kale was the perfect one. I added the leaves at the end of the cooking time and stirred them through the curry and left them to wilt in the heat of the veggie mix. 

I enjoyed this spiced dish but I stand by my original wasn't a curry. It was a spiced vegetable dish and you could taste the curry powder tang as it didn't have the depth that a real curry has. And the richness of a good curry sauce was evidently missing. Am I being too picky? Maybe so. Would I make it again? Yes as it was quick and easy to make and very economical. But I would make my own spice blend next time and maybe use a little more fresh tomato. The kale leaves fitted in amongst the other veggies perfectly and brought a freshness to it. It may not be a looker...but it was nice to eat.  

Fuhrman's Cauliflower & Green Pea Curry - adapted (vegan & gluten-free)

Fuhrman's Cauliflower & Green Pea Curry     Serves 4
(Adapted recipe from Eat To Live Cookbook/Fuhrman)

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 med onion, chopped
1 small carrot, grated
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 bag of Florette baby kale leaves

Water/saute the onion, garlic and carrots until tender. Add ginger, curry powder and cumin and saute for an additional minute. Add cauliflower, tomatoes, peas and water. Cover and simmer for 7-15 minute or until cauliflower is tender. Add in more water if needed to adjust consistency. Stir in the baby kale leaves, cover and leave to warm through for a few minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and serve...



NB: This is not my creation. It is the adapted recipe from the Eat To Live Cookbook so I take no credit for it whatsoever. The hard work and creation is entirely theirs. I thank them for sharing such good recipes. ~R~