Monday, 28 January 2013

Cafe: PAWS falafel bar

Not only do PAWS have a hot food and a raw food section to their cafe, but they now also have a falafel bar. My partner and I went down a few days ago to check it out.

Now, I have had a few falafels in my time but I have to say this one was a cut above the rest.
Here is why:
You get a choice of 3 condiments - spicy salsa, a coriander sauce, and a super creamy garlic sauce. I opted for the last two and my partner had all three in his.
The falafel mix is made from scratch, and it shows.
The vegetable fillings are crisp and fresh - a mix of tomato, black olives, and red and green cabbage. You can pick and choose what you want in yours. We opted for the works, plus the option of having some vegan cheese thrown in too.
The bread is light and tasty, with just enough crustiness to it without being dry.
Oh, and you can rest assured that it is all vegan!
Also, the guy who runs it (Alex) was friendly and you could tell he took pride in his product and service.

The cost of a small falafel wrap is $5, and I think the large was $7-8 .
We found the small was the right size for lunch but if you have a bigger appetite, go for the large.

PAWS is located on the corner of Beaufort and Aberdeen Streets in the city. Open 7 days a week, with Mondays from 11am to 8pm and the rest of the week (Tues-Sun) 11am to 4pm.

Recipe: Italian rice and beans

I found this recipe in the cookbook “Vegan Yum Yum” by Lauren Ulm .It is very flavour rich and easy to make. I find that the proportions given makes enough for 2 large servings. If you are cooking for more people or want leftovers for later, double everything.

What you will need:
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp Italian herbs of tour choice. (I used basil, marjoram and oregano)
½ cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, cut into strips
¼ cup pine nuts
1 can cannellini beans
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 to 3 large handfuls of baby spinach
Dash or two of sea salt

Cook the rice either in a rice cooker or via the instructions on the pack.
When rice is done, heat up oil in a large pan, over medium heat. Add herbs, tomatoes, and pine nuts. When the pine nuts start to brown, add the beans and stir gently.
Add salt and vinegar and stir gently. Turn heat down to low.
Place spinach on top of the beans. Place hot, steaming rice over the spinach and leave for about 30 seconds or until the spinach starts to wilt. Mix gently and then serve.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Recipe: Non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiris

Super easy and super refreshing for summer. Amounts given make enough for 2 servings. Double or triple it if you want your friends to have some – or just drink it all yourself! Ha!

What you will need:
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup water
2 tbsp light agave syrup (available in health food and organics stores)
2 lime slices

Combine the strawberries, water and agave syrup in a blender and process until smooth. Serve with a slice of lime on the rim of the glass….or better still, pop it into the drink itself.

Bottoms up!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Recipe: Red Lentil Bolognese

My partner gave this recipe a go, which I found in the book “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Cooking” by Beverly Lynn Bennett and Ray Sammartano. It was delicious! Thick and flavoursome. Give it a go!

What you will need:
1 cup onion diced (optional)
1 cup carrot, diced
¾ cup celery, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp garlic, minced (optional)
1 tsp dried basil
¾ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp chili flakes
1 can diced tomatoes
2 ½ cups vegetable broth ( for vegan veggie stock cubes or powder, you can use Marigold or Massel, former available in healthfood or organics stores, the latter in supermarkets)
¾ cup dried red lentils, rinsed
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (available in healthfood shops, if not at your nearest one, ask them to stock it)
¾ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper

In a large pot, over medium heat, sauté the onion, carrot, celery and olive oil. Stir often and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, basil and oregano. Saute for 1 minute.
Add diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, red lentils, tomato paste and bay leaf. Stir well and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Add parsley, nutritional yeast, salt and black pepper. Stir well and simmer for 2 more minutes.
Serve over pasta.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Recipe: The 5 C's soup

With the current heatwave we are having in Australia, I think this raw vegan soup would be ideal. No slurping of hot food or heated up kitchen, preparing it. Lifted from  the cook book “Raw Food Kitchen” by Dunja Gulin.

What you will need for the soup:
3 medium cucumbers or 2 continental cucumbers
1 medium zucchini
1 large avocado
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup coconut milk, unsweetened (I used light coconut milk)
½ tsp curry paste or powder
Dash of chilli powder
1 to 2 cups warm water

What you will need for the pesto:
4 tbsp chopped raw cashews
4tbsp olive oil
Handful fresh coriander

Method for soup:
Peel and chop cucumbers. If using continental variety, no need to seed. If using others, with large seeds inside, remove.
Peel and chop zucchini and avocado.
Place chopped vegetables, lemon juice, coconut milk, curry paste/powder, chilli powder, a pinch of salt and 1 cup of water in a blender . Blend until smooth. Add more water if you wish. Add more salt in needed and stir well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Method for the pesto:
Put all ingredients in a food processor or use a hand held blender and process until you get a thick paste.

Ladle soup in bowls and top with a tbsp. of pesto. Dust extra chilli powder on the top and serve.
I found that this recipe makes enough to serve 4.

Recipe: Mediterranean chickpea and green beans

I found this recipe in the book “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Cooking” by Beverly Lynn Bennett and Ray Sammartano. As the title of the book suggests, this is an easy recipe to use. My partner and I had this dish on a bed of quinoa. (Click here for easy to follow instructions on how to cook that grain in a rice cooker.)

What you will need:
1 cup onion, diced (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ fresh green beans, cut into 5 cm pieces
1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into 1cm thick slices
1 cup red bell capsicum, ribs and seeds removed and then diced (optional)
1 tbsp garlic, minced (optional)
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried ground cumin
½ tsp sea salt
¼ ground black pepper
1 can chickpeas
1 can diced tomatoes

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté onion an d olive oil for 2 minutes. Stir often. Add green beans, zucchini and red bell capsicum. Saute, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
Add garlic, basil, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Saute for 1 minute.
Add chickpeas and tomatoes and stir well to combine. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and tomatoes begin to break down.
Serve over quinoa, rice or pasta.

Recipe: Purple people pleaser smoothie

Looks great, tastes great and easy to make. Recipe found in “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vegan Cooking” by Beverly Lynn Bennett and Ray Sammartano. If you use completely fresh berries, you may want to add the ice to make it colder. I used a mixture of fresh and frozen berries but also added the ice.
Ground flaxseeds can be found in healthfood shops. The frozen berries and juice can be found in supermarkets and healthfood shops but aim for the unsweetened ones.
I found this recipe to be just fine but if you want it sweeter, I suggest putting in a little bit of agave syrup which you can find in healthfood shops.
Makes enough for two servings.

What you will need:
1 ½ fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries and raspberries)
1 cup soy or other non-dairy milk
½ cup fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
½ cup pomegranate or cranberry juice
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
½ cup ice cubes (optional)

Place berries, non-dairy milk cherries, juice and flaxseeds in a blender and blend for 1 minute or until smooth.
Add ice cubes and blend for 1 minute or until smooth. (Optional)

Friday, 4 January 2013

Recipe: Banacado

It is summer in Australia and bananas and avocados are in season. This super easy drink recipe is from the book "The Raw Truth" by Jeremy A. Safron. It is smooth, thick and oh so yummy. Give it a go!

What you will need:
2 dates, seeded
2 cups water
4 bananas, peeled and thickly sliced
half an avocado, peeled and pitted

Place dates in a bowl, cover with the water at allow to soak for 1 hour, so they soften.
Drain but keep the water.
Place bananas, avocado and the water used to soak dates, into a blender and blend until combined.
Add dates and blend until a thick, smooth consistency is achieved.
Drink up!