Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cherry tomatoes with raw nut cheese and edible flowers

After the raw vegan mushroom and nut macaroons here is another cute raw vegan appetizer! Make a cross incision at the base of cherry tomatoes, stuff with some raw vegan nut cheese (recipe here) and decorate with herbs and edible flowers. They taste so good and are incredibly pretty!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Raw Vegan Mushroom and nut 'macarons'

White button mushrooms are delicious raw, and they are vitamin rich, apparently they even have vitamin B12. These little savoury mushrooms 'macarons' make a tasty appetizer, and they look really fancy! All you need is mushrooms and some raw vegan nut cheese (recipe here). Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and peel off the top 'skin', the clean them well with a damp paper towel (do not wash). Fill with a little vegan nut cheese and close together like a macaron.  

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Raw Vegan Nut Cheese

This is commonly called Vegan cheese or nut cheese, although to me it feels more like a very 'intense' dip. Full of protein and spreadable, it stores well for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

120 g cashews
80 g macadamia
1 small shallot
2 tbsp lemon juice
water (just enough to blend the nuts)
salt and pepper to taste

Soak the cashews for 4 hours, drain and place in a food processor (or use an immersion blender). Add the shallot, peeled and chopped, lemon juice and a little water. Blend until smooth, adding more water if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste (I do this little by little while blending).

Store in the fridge.

Happy Weekend!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Plant based recipes for an Autumn evening

Brrrrr it is getting cold! Time to prepare some filling, comforting and easy dinners :-).
Greg gave us a long pumpkin from his garden, I love it as you just need to slice it and peel it and you have a nice pumpkin medallion!

Roasted pumpkin medallions with pumpkin and sunflower seeds

Slice, peel and place onto an oven tray, drizzle with olive oil, salt, smoked paprika, garlic and crushed cumin seeds. Roast until tender. Toast a few pumpkin and sunflower seeds the oven and sprinkle on the pumpkin medallions before serving.

In addition I had the last zucchini in the garden, not quite a marrow but quite big, so I sliced it and baked it too:

Baked zucchini

Wash and slice lengthwise, drizzle with olive oil and salt, bake. That all!

To serve I added some basmati and lentils

Lemon basmati and lentils

Wash and cook the basmati with a small pinch of salt, open a can of lentils, drain from the water and pour the lentils on top of the rice during the last five minutes of cooking. Turn off the heat, add two tbsp of lemon juice and stir.

And to top some instant hummus with almond dukka:

Instant hummus

Open a can of chickpeas, drain and keep half of its water. Blend the chickpeas, water, two peeled garlic cloves and the juice of half a lemon until smooth. Add salt to taste and a little olive oil.

Almond dukka

Toast half a cup of almond, a few sunflower and pumpkin seeds and 1 tsp of cumin seeds. Add a little rock salt, a pinch of paprika or the spice of your choice. Grind and use to top the Hummus.

Well, that was easy, the kids loved it and got eaten in no time!

And remember that May 15 is Food Revolution Day! Sign the petition here!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Gluten free, fat free, sugar free, vegan chestnut and cocoa cakes

Well, mini cakes, heart shaped for Mother's Day. I used one cup of chestnut flour, 2 tsp cocoa, a few sultanas and enough water to make a batter. I poured the batter in silicone moulds and baked for about 20 minutes (until a toothpick came out clean). Very yummy, incredibly filling, and healthy too.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Friday, May 1, 2015

Bread stuffed cabbage leaves, step by step

Cabbages are cheap and healthy, and when I buy one I can cook with it for a family of four for three days! Usually I start with cabbage rolls, to use the larger leaves, and these can be done in a zillion ways! I have another  good Vegan recipe here, but today for the filling I used stale bread. But first thing first:

Wash the cabbage leaves (the bigger outer leaves, about 15, and steam or boil until soft but not too soft! In the meantime put one onion, one carrot, two celery sticks with leaves and a little parsley in the food processor and mince.

Heat two tbsp of olive oil in a pan and sauté the vegetables, stirring often, for 10 minutes.

Soak some old bread in water, doesn't matter what kind of bread, I had two white bread rolls and some seed sourdough, so I used those. 

Squeeze the water out of the bread and crumble it into the pot with the cooking vegetables. Add a little vegetable stock if necessary and cook everything for about 15 minutes. Stir often and make sure that the mixture is quite thick and not too watery or runny. Adjust with salt and pepper (I quite like to use smoked salt here).

Spread the cooked cabbage leaves on clean tea towels.

Divide the vegetable and bread mixture between the leaves.

Roll up the leaves.

They look so pretty!!

In a capable pan heat some olive oil (about 3-4 tbsp) and sizzle a couple of garlic cloves and 1 heap tbsp of tomato puree.

Pack the cabbage rolls in the pot tightly,

 if there is not enough space put some on top, during cooking they will 'reduce' and you will be able to move them down into a single layer.

Add about half a litre of vegetable stock, cover and simmer on low for about 40 minutes.

Serve hot (I had mine on polenta!)

The leftovers rolls and sauce I wrapped in filo pastry and made a pie for the second day, and on the third day I still had the centre of the cabbage to use (quite a lot in fact, I had it after a few days though, for variety) for a Vegan Cabbage Bolognese Sauce.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


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