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Sam’s Roasted Nut & Mushroom Loaf

Vegetarian friendly
Prep & cook time: 1 hour 15 mins
Serves 4-6

I’m an all-out, shameless carnivore, but this is right up my alley. The idea of a savoury nut loaf may sound a bit unorthodox but with a bit of good chutney and some salad leaves it makes for a seriously satisfying spot of lunch or dinner. Remember to season bravely – it will help to bring out the flavour of the mushrooms and all the different nuts.

Nut & Mushroom Loaf

Olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
Small handful each of rosemary and thyme
500g portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
½ cup white wine
1 tsp Dijon mustard
80g parmesan, grated
1 cup breadcrumbs
70g Alison’s Pantry natural cashews, chopped and roasted
70g Alison’s Pantry natural almonds, chopped and roasted
70g Alison’s Pantry hazelnuts, chopped and roasted
70g Alison’s Pantry brazil nuts, chopped and roasted
70g Alison’s Pantry pecans, chopped and roasted
Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
4 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp Alison’s Pantry sesame seeds
1 tbsp Alison’s Pantry flaxseed
1 tbsp Alison’s Pantry sunflower seeds
1 tbsp Alison’s Pantry sliced natural almonds

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

In a large saucepan over a moderate heat, add a little olive oil, followed by the onion and garlic, then sauté gently for several minutes until soft and translucent. Add the herbs and chopped mushrooms and continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes until the mushrooms are completely soft and are starting to caramelise. Add the white wine and the Dijon and let the liquid bubble up and reduce down. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.

Fold in the parmesan, breadcrumbs chopped nuts and parsley, taste and season well. Fold in the beaten egg.

Transfer to a lined loaf tin and smooth off the top. Scatter the seeds over the top and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until it is firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. Place some tin foil over the tin if the top is starting to darken. Allow to cool before turning out.

*You can also use 350g Alison’s Pantry Roast Unsalted Supreme Nuts in place of 70g each of the nuts.

 

Ideas to make more of the dish

  • Crumble up the leftovers, combine with some torn-up sourdough, lemon zest and a bit of olive oil, and use as a stuffing for a roast chook – it’s just about as delicious as the original.
  • Grill slices to go with poached eggs and a bit of bacon for breakfast.

 

 

Kelly’s Mushroom & Lentil Pie

Vegetarian & Vegan friendly
Prep & cook time: 70 minutes
Serves 4-6

This cosy vegan dish is my ideal comfort food. Full of gorgeous, rich flavour. It’s simple to put together and freezes well. A fantastic recipe to add to your repertoire.

 

 

Pie Filling

1 onion, diced finely
4 garlic cloves, diced finely
1 carrot medium, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
250g portobello mushrooms, cut into cubes
2 ½ cups Alison’s Pantry quick-cook green lentils*
1 litre vegetable stock
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp slightly heaped cornflour
2 tbsp tamari
½ cup peas
¾ cup Alison’s Pantry walnuts, roughly chopped

Kumara Top

2 medium orange kumara
3 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup coconut cream (may need to add a little more to achieve a smooth mash)
¼ cup Alison’s Pantry sliced natural almonds
Olive oil for sautéing
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

 

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the dried thyme and rosemary. Cook for a further minute. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until softened and glossy.

Add the lentils, stock, water and tinned tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring regularly, until reduced.

Combine the cornflour with a small amount of water to make a paste. Add to the saucepan along with the tamari and peas. Stir well. Reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 15 minutes until the sauce is thick and glossy. Add the chopped walnuts. Taste and season generously with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Remove from the heat and put aside.

Peel and chop the kumara into cubes. Steam until very tender. Mash with the olive oil and coconut cream until smooth. Season to taste.

Preheat oven to 180° Celsius

Pour lentil and mushroom mix into an ovenproof casserole dish (you can make one large pie or several smaller ones). Top with the mashed kumara and scatter the sliced almonds on top. Bake for 20 minutes until crisp on top.

Note: If you are not using the Alison’s Pantry Quick-Cook Green Lentils, you can achieve the same result by using 2 cups of Alison’s Pantry Brown Lentils. Increase the amount of stock to 6 cups and increase the simmer time by 20 minutes.

 

Ideas to make more of the dish

  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The cooked lentils can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • The lentils and mushrooms make an incredibly delicious vegetarian ‘mince’ on toast.
  • Use the lentils as a tasty filling in a vegetarian lasagna or moussaka.
  • Create a more decadent pie topping by replacing the kumara mash with a sheet of good quality store-bought puff pastry. Bake until golden brown.

 

Sam’s Pumpkin & Leek Pie

Vegetarian friendly
Prep & cook time: 1 hour 10min
Serves 4

Because who doesn’t love a good pie? Hot water pastry is one of those things that seems like it shouldn’t work but it always does – it’s absolutely fool-proof.

Make sure you give the cashews a quick toast making sure they are a nice golden brown so that they’re all lovely and crunchy for the end result. You can, of course, add whatever you like to this – some sautéed spinach, cooked chickpeas, lentils, or whatever you prefer – just change the ingredients as you see fit.

Hot Water Pastry

2 tsp sea salt
220g butter
260ml water
480g high grade (strong) white flour
1 tbsp Alison’s Pantry pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp Alison’s Pantry sesame seeds

Pie Filling

1 butternut pumpkin, peeled, cored and diced into 2-3cm chunks
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Several sprigs of rosemary
1 leek, finely sliced and washed
¼ cup dry white wine
1 ½ cup (225g) Alison’s Pantry roast unsalted cashews
1 cup Alison’s Pantry quick-cook green lentils*, cooked and drained
1 tbsp butter, to grease the pan
1 egg, lightly beaten, to brush the pastry

Combine the salt, half of the butter and the water together in a small saucepan over a moderate heat, until the butter has melted into the water.

In the meantime, pulse the remaining 110g of butter with the flour and the seeds in a food processor until well combined and the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Gradually pour the melted butter and water mixture into the flour, pulsing as you go, until you are left with a smooth, soft ball of dough. Taste a wee bit of it to see if you need to add any more salt; there is nothing worse than underseasoned pastry.

Remove from the food processor, wrap up tightly with cling film, and leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour.

 

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the pumpkin in a roasting tray, toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and the rosemary, and roast for 20-25 minutes until tender, but not too soft that it is mushy. Remove and allow to cool.

In the meantime, in a pan over medium heat, add a little olive oil and allow to heat up before following with the sliced leek. Cook gently for 5 to 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the white wine and allow to it to bubble up and reduce a little. Remove from heat, add the cooked green lentils and roasted cashews, mix through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Grease a round, square or rectangular pie dish, or alternatively, a tart tin. A ceramic dish is also perfectly fine. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use to line the dish, and then layer in the cooked pumpkin and the chickpea mixture. Top with the remaining rolled-out pastry, seal and crimp the edges, brush with a little beaten egg and poke a couple of holes in the top so that steam can escape.

Pop in the preheated oven to bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is cooked and golden brown. Allow to cool a little before serving.

*Cooking notes

Quick-cook green lentils – add 1 cup lentils to 1 cup boiling water. Cook with lid on 2 minutes, remove from heat and stand for 2 minutes.

Alternative legume:

Brown Lentils – add 1/3 cup lentils and 1 cup of water to a pot and bring to the boil, with lid on, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.

 

Sam’s Sesame Coated Tofu & Green Bean Stir Fry

Vegetarian and Vegan friendly
Prep & cook time: 40 minutes + marinating time of 2 -12 hours
Serves 4

I love Japanese flavours, especially pickled ginger, which is a fabulous way of lifting a dish and keeping it lovely and fresh. Tofu is so often ignored or overlooked – but I see it as the perfect vehicle for other flavours. I’m fond of using the rice and grain medley as a staple for salads – it’s an excellent base for just about anything you like – be it roast winter vegetables and a bit of chevre; or folded together with some hot-smoked salmon, shaved fennel, capers and dill.

Tofu Stir Fry Ingredients

400g firm tofu
1 tbsp miso paste
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
1 lemon
2 cups Alison’s Pantry rice & grain medley
3 tbsp Alison’s Pantry ground almonds
2 tbsp Alison’s Pantry sesame seeds
2 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper
Cooking oil
Large handful of green beans
2 tbsp pickled ginger, finely sliced
1 spring onion, shredded
1 tsp Alison’s Pantry sesame seeds, to serve

 

Cut the tofu into 4cm chunks. Combine the miso paste with 2 tbsp of soy sauce and a tbsp of sesame oil and a squeeze of lemon. Drizzle over the tofu and gently toss together so that the pieces are well covered. Cover and pop in the fridge, leave to marinade for a couple of hours, or overnight, if possible.

Add the rice and grain medley to a saucepan, cover with water and leave to simmer gently over a moderate heat for 15 minutes. Drain once cooked.

In the meantime, combine the ground almond, sesame seed, flour and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Spread out on a plate and then dredge the tofu through so that it is covered on all sides.

Get a frying pan going over a moderately high heat. Add some oil, let it heat up and then gently fry the tofu until golden brown on all sides. Wipe down the pan, add a little sesame oil and quickly fry the green beans for several minutes. Add the rice and grain medley and quickly heat through, followed by a little soy sauce to taste and the ginger. Toss through the tofu pieces, then scatter over the spring onion and sesame seeds and serve.

 

 


 

 

Sam’s Makhani Dal

Vegetarian and Vegan friendly
Prep & cook time: 35 mins
Serves 4-6

This so much more than just a lentil curry. It hails from the Punjab and was originally a royal dish. Nowadays it is popular all over India and it is easy to see why; for me it is classic comfort food. Don’t skimp on the cream as it absolutely defines the dish, making it rich and luxurious.

I rather like combining any leftovers into an oven proof pan with some sliced spring onion, coriander and a few sliced tomatoes, dropping a couple of eggs over the top and then quickly grilling until the eggs are only just cooked but still nice and runny. That – and a bit of flatbread to mop everything up with – makes for a perfect supper!

Makhani Dal

400g Alison’s Pantry brown lentils
Vegetable oil
2 onions, finely sliced
3 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Two thumb’s worth of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
150g butter
3 tbsp Alison’s Pantry ground almonds
½ cup cream or coconut cream
1-2 tsp chilli powder, to taste

To serve

Fresh coriander
3 tbsp Alison’s Pantry roast salted cashews, roughly chopped
Rice

 

In a large pan over a moderate heat, add several tablespoons of vegetable oil, followed by the onion. Fry gently for 5-8 minutes, until golden brown, then add the cumin seeds, garlic and ginger and continue to fry for several minutes until everything is starting to caramelise.

Add the tomatoes, cook for several more minutes, then add the lentils and 3 cups of water and bring up to a simmer. Leave to bubble away for about 10-15 minutes until the lentils are cooked and are starting to break down, then add the butter and the ground almonds. Continue to cook for several minutes until the mixture has thickened nicely. Adjust the seasoning, add as much chilli powder as you fancy, then stir in the cream.

Scatter the coriander and the cashews over the top, serve with rice and grain medley and perhaps a bit of yoghurt on the side.

 

 

Sam’s Kumara, Date & Almond Tagine

Vegetarian & Vegan friendly
Prep & cook time: 1 hr and 25 mins
Serves 4

A tagine may sound like a whole lot of exotic complication, but it’s surprisingly simple. Basically, it is a delicious vegetable stew, the longer you cook it the better. You don’t have to have a proper tagine dish to make one though; a lidded casserole dish will do superbly.

The thought of using dates in a savoury context may seem a bit strange, but that distinctly Moroccan combination of spices such as cinnamon, cumin and paprika acts as a beautiful foil for the sweetness. This is stunning winter comfort food, perhaps with a little spiced yoghurt as a garnish to counter the richness. 

Tagine Ingredients

1kg kumara* scrubbed and chopped 3cm
2-3 tsp each cinnamon, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, sweet paprika and cumin seeds
A thumb’s worth of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
Sea salt and cracked pepper
Olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
A handful of Alison’s Pantry select dates, roughly chopped
700ml vegetable stock
½ cup (50g) Alison’s Pantry ground almonds
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 cups Alison’s Pantry jumbo chickpeas, cooked**

To Serve

3 tbsp Alison’s Pantry sliced natural almonds, toasted
A small handful of coriander leaves
Alison’s Pantry couscous

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

In a roasting dish, combine the kumara with the spices, ginger, a brave seasoning of salt and pepper and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Spread out in an even layer and roast for about 35-40 minutes, until the kumara is lovely and caramelised, and cooked through.

In a large, lidded casserole or large cooking pot, over a medium heat, add a glug of olive oil, let it heat up and gently cook the sliced onion for about 10 minutes until soft and golden brown, then follow with the chopped dates and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the dates have softened. Add the roasted kumara with the scrapings from the pan, the stock, ground almond, carrot and chickpeas, stir well, cover and cook for about 25 minutes. Season well to taste.

Whip up some couscous (1 cup couscous to 1 cup boiling water cover and leave for 5 minutes, will make enough for 4 serves), then flavour with a generous amount of butter, a bit of chopped coriander, some toasted cumin seeds and fluff with a fork.

Serve Tagine with the couscous and scatter over the flaked almonds and the coriander leaves This reheats well, so cook in advance if you fancy.

*Any variety of kumara can be used, or whole scrubbed yams are a great option for this dish.

** Chickpeas – soak overnight in a bowl with 5 cups of water. Rinse and place in a pot with plenty of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook till tender, 1.5 – 2 hours.

Ideas to make more of the dish

This reheats well, so cook in advance if you fancy.

The possibilities for leftovers are many

  • Use as a filling for a pie
  • Add several lightly beaten eggs to the cold mix and fry off dollops as fritters, excellent with a bit of spiced yoghurt.

 


 

 

Kelly’s Curried Vege Fritters

Vegetarian friendly
Prep and cook time: 45 minutes
Serves 4

These irresistible, tasty fritters are one of my favourite suppers.  The warm spices and hearty salad have the bright flavours that I love on a cold winter’s night.

Fritters

¾ cup Alison’s Pantry rice & grains medley*
3 large leaves kale, stems removed
3 free range eggs
1 carrot medium, grated
1 cup pumpkin, grated
1 spring onion, green part finely sliced
¾ cup flour (can use regular flour, spelt flour or GF flour)
¾ cup Alison’s Pantry roast unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
Cracked black pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Winter Slaw

½ medium green cabbage
1 carrot medium, grated
¼ cup Alison’s Pantry sultanas or raisins
½ cup Alison’s Pantry walnuts, roughly chopped
¼ cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon
Handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

 

Use a sharp knife or a mandolin to thinly shred the cabbage. Combine in a bowl with the other winter slaw ingredients and stir well. Taste and season generously. Place in the fridge if not eating within an hour (otherwise fine to leave on the bench).

Place the rice & grains medley in a medium saucepan along with ¾ cup of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and place a lid on tightly. Leave to sit for 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and allow to cool for 30 minutes (the rice can be cooked the night before to make assembly quicker).

Chop the kale finely. Combine with the cooked rice and all the remaining ingredients. Mix well and season generously.

Heat a generous glug of oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat. Cook ¼ cups of batter for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Keep fritters warm in an oven heated to 80 degrees. Repeat the process until all the batter is used.

Leftover fritters and salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days.

*Alternative grain

Quinoa works very well in this recipe also. Simply replace the rice (and rice prep) with 1 ½ cups of cooked quinoa. You can cook the quinoa up to 24 hours in advance to make the fritter prep easier.

Idea’s to make more of the dish

  • Leftover fritters are delicious as a vegetarian burger patty. Wrap in a lettuce leaf or sandwich between your favourite bun. Pair with some spicy chutney, some hummus and fresh salad greens
  • Ditch your usual toast and use these fritters as a base for scrambled or poached eggs. This is a fabulous brunch dish!
  • Break reheated fritters up into chunks and scatter over a big green salad for a yummy lunch.

 

Lemon Mousse ‘Cheesecake’

Vegetarian and Vegan friendly
Prep time: 45 minutes
Serves 12

You won’t believe this gorgeous creamy and decadent cheesecake is plant-based and it’s rather nutritious for a dessert! The base is a decadent blend of natural nuts and coconut and the filling gives you lusciously creamy cashews and coconut yoghurt bursting with the tart zing of fresh lemons (this one is good and lemony). It takes a little prep to soak the cashews, but I promise it’s well worth it – this is a very special dessert that everyone will enjoy whether they eat dairy or not.

Cheesecake Base

1 ½ cups Alison’s Pantry deluxe natural nuts
1 cup Alison’s Pantry shredded coconut
¾ cup Alison’s Pantry wholegrain oats
1/3 cup Alison’s Pantry sultanas
Zest of 1 lemon, plus 2 tsp juice
1 tbsp coconut oil
¼ tsp salt

Cheesecake Filling

2 cups Alison’s Pantry natural cashews (pre-soaked, in water for at least 4 hours – or overnight in the fridge, then drained and well rinsed)
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup caster sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¾ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups thick (Greek-style) coconut yoghurt
Zest of 4 lemons
1 x 400g can chickpeas

Cheesecake Topping

Berries of your choice

Line the base and sides of a 23cm tin with baking paper.

Add the base ingredients to a food processor and whizz until you have a nice fine crumb – tilting the processor sometimes helps it blend better. It will probably need a good couple of minutes, process until the mixture gums a bit when you press it between your fingers. Tip out into the prepared tin and flatten into an even layer.

Add to the food processor prepared cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, sugar, vanilla and salt. Whizz on high for a few minutes (scrape down the sides once or twice) until the mixture silky smooth – it may take a while. Scrape the mixture into a large mixing bowl.

Add the coconut yoghurt and lemon zest to the bowl, and fold to combine.

Drain the tin of chickpeas so the liquid (aquafaba) goes straight into another medium mixing bowl (keep the chickpeas to use in another recipe). Using an electric beater, beat on high for a good few minutes, until the mixture is super thick and voluminous, white and fluffy, and forms very stiff peaks. Add ¼ cup of the aquafaba fluff to the cashew mixture and fold with a spatula to aerate it. Then add about three-quarters of the remaining fluff and fold in to evenly combine (if you add the whole lot that’s fine, it will just be a very light cheesecake texture).

Scrape the lemon mixture into the tin on top of the base and smooth out. Cover tightly and freeze for 4-5 hours, or overnight.

To serve, remove from the freezer about half an hour beforehand. (If you need to wait longer than that you can put it in the fridge it will keep its shape perfectly). Pull off the paper and adorn the top with berries of your choice. Dust with icing sugar. Use a hot sharp knife to cut into slices.

Chelsea’s helpful tips

You can freeze the cheesecake (unadorned) for up to a month – just make sure it’s tightly sealed so it doesn’t taste like the freezer.

If you have a bullet/high speed blender, you can use this for the cashew mixture as it will give a silkier texture. You may need to do the mixture in two lots, though.

Once it’s been frozen, it will keep covered in the fridge for a few days. You don’t have to store it in the freezer.

If you can’t find fresh berries, some half-defrosted blueberries will work fine.

 

Veggie Burgers

Vegetarian & Vegan friendly
Prep & cook time: 60 minutes
Makes 6 patties

 

Burger Patties

⅓ cup brown rice
¾ cup Alison’s Pantry brown lentils
1 brown onion, finely chopped
250g Portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
¾ cup grated beetroot
½ cup Alison’s Pantry wholegrain oats
¼ cup flour
1 tbsp Alison’s Pantry chia seeds
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 ½ tsp vegetable stock powder
¾ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste

Burger Fillings

6 burger buns
Mayonnaise (store-bought or make your own vegan friendly mayo, see below)
Crunchy cos or iceberg lettuce leaves
Thinly sliced red onion
Sliced gherkins or pickle
Mustard & ketchup
Cheese or Vegan cheese (optional)

 

In a large pot add the rice and 4 cups of lightly salted water (big enough to let the lentils double or triple in). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the lentils, cover and simmer for a further 25-30 minutes or so, or until the lentils are tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring every now and then, for 7-10 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms, beetroot and a big pinch of salt and cook for another 10 minutes or, stirring frequently, or until the mixture is mushy and reduced. Set aside.

Whizz the oats, flour, chia seed, paprika, stock powder, pepper and salt in a processor until fine. Add to a large mixing bowl along with drained lentils and rice, the onion mixture, garlic and tomato paste. Mix vigorously to combine so you mush the lentils and rice up a bit and get it the mixture nice and sticky. It might look too wet right now but that’s OK. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour (or until needed).

Preheat the oven to 180c on fan bake.

Shape the mixture into 6 patties (using clean damp hands so the mixture doesn’t stick). Arrange on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes – or cover and leave as long as you need.

When ready to serve, fry the patties in a little oil over medium-high heat for about minute each side, until browned and crispy – they won’t need long.

Serve on lightly grilled buns halves (you can spread them with dairy-free spread or butter first if you like) topped generously with your choice of condiments and fillings (see mayo recipe).

Lovely served with oven baked chips and tomato sauce.

 

 


 

 

Sam’s Persian Love Cake

Vegetarian friendly
Prep & cook time: 45 minutes
Serves 6-8

This is one of my favourite treats, which coming from a sweet tooth is saying something. It’s similar to a cheesecake, but so at the same time much better than a cheesecake! Flavoured delicately with nutmeg and lemon. Using yoghurt instead of cream cheese means that you have a much lighter, fresher end result. Give it time to set in the fridge before serving; this will also make it much easier to cut. Chop and change with the dried fruit and nuts as you see fit – anything will do according to your taste.

 

Persian Cake

360g Alison’s Pantry ground almonds (approximately 3 cups)
320g brown sugar
50g Alison’s Pantry select dates, chopped
50g Alison’s Pantry figs, chopped
120g soft butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
250g Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp grated nutmeg
Zest of 2 lemons
½ tsp vanilla paste
1 tsp vanilla essence
50g Alison’s Pantry shelled pistachios, chopped roughly

 

 

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Grease a 23cm springform tin with a little butter and line with baking paper.

Soak the dates in some boiling water for five minutes or so, then drain well and chop roughly.

In a food processor, blend the chopped dates and figs to get them relatively fine, then add the ground almonds,  brown sugar, butter and a pinch of salt and blend until everything is properly combined.

Press half of this mixture evenly around the bottom of the lined tin. I find a flat bottomed water glass is a useful thing for this.

To the remaining mixture, add the eggs, yoghurt, nutmeg, lemon zest and vanilla paste and process until it is nice and smooth. Pour this mixture over the top of the base, smooth off, and scatter the pistachios over the top.

Bake for about 30 minutes until the top is lovely and golden. Allow to cool in the tin before removing and serving.

 

 

Kelly’s Herby Quinoa Salad

Vegetarian & Vegan friendly
Prep & cook time: 35 minutes
Serves 4 (main)
Serves 6 (side dish)

Everyone needs a salad like this in their repertoire. This hardworking dish is great for dinner, lovely as a packed lunch and if stored properly in the fridge, will last a couple of days.

The dish is vegan as I’ve written, and I love it just on its own, but it’s also delicious with a little feta or goat cheese crumbled through it, served with marinated tofu or tempeh on top or with some pan-fried fish as part of a shared meal with friends.

Use this recipe as inspiration and add your own favourite ingredients.

Salad

2 cups Alison’s Pantry quinoa
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup frozen edamame beans (buy the ones already podded)
½ cup Alison’s Pantry natural pistachios, roughly chopped
½ cup Alison’s Pantry unsalted roasted cashews, roughly chopped
½ cup roughly chopped sundried tomatoes
½ cup pitted kalamata olives – roughly chopped
3 stems kale – spine removed and finely chopped

Dressing

½ cup Alison’s Pantry pine nuts
150ml olive oil
60ml lemon or lime juice
1 small garlic clove – finely chopped
1 packed cup parley or basil (or a combo of both is nice)
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Place the barley and stock into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook with a lid slightly ajar for 20 minutes. Place the lid on tightly and leave to sit for 10 minutes while the remaining stock is absorbed.

Leave the barley to come to room temperature or chill in the fridge. You can speed this up by spreading on a couple of plates.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over a medium heat until lightly golden.

Add to a small food processor or use a hand blender to blitz together with all the dressing ingredients until fairly smooth. Taste and season well.

Cover the edamame beans in boiling water and leave for 5 minutes. Drain well.

Combine the cooled barley, nuts, edamame beans, sundried tomatoes, olives and kale. Stir well. Drizzle over the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Taste salad and season again if necessary.

 

Note

It’s important that the barley is properly cooled when mixed with the other ingredients or the dressing will be absorbed into the grain and leave the salad dry.

**To replace the barley with quinoa.

Place 1 ½ cups of Alison’s Pantry quinoa that has been rinsed well, into a medium saucepan with 3 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, with a lid slightly ajar for 15 minutes, until tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, place the lid on tight and leave to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and then cool as per the recipe.

 


 

 

Egg-free Mayo

Vegan & vegetarian friendly

1 cup Alison’s Pantry natural cashews, (soaked in water for at least 6 hours or overnight, drained and well rinsed)
2 tbsp grapeseed, sunflower or rice bran oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup water
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black or white pepper

 

Add prepared cashews to a high-speed processor/bullet along with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Season to taste.

Store in a jar or airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

 

 


 

 

Kelly’s Roasted Portobello’s & Herby Quinoa Balls

Vegetarian friendly
Prep and cook time: 45 minutes
Serves 4 (makes 16-20 balls)

This tasty vegetarian roast dinner is a fun, modern way to approach a traditional concept. The quinoa and walnut balls are a hearty, nutritious (and really delicious) mix of ingredients. It’s way too easy to just keep eating them!

Herby Quinoa & Walnut Balls

1 ½ cups cooked Alison’s Pantry quinoa
¾ cup Alison’s Pantry walnuts, finely chopped
½ cup Alison’s Pantry ground almonds
Large handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
3 free range eggs, lightly whisked
Olive oil to drizzle over balls

Roasted Mushrooms

8 large Portobello mushrooms
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

To serve

Sautéed spinach
Hummus

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

Combine all herby quinoa & walnut ball ingredients in a large bowl and use a fork to mash together. Season well with salt and pepper. Shape heaped teaspoons of mixture into rough balls.

Place onto an oven-proof tray lined with baking paper. Brush lightly with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes.

 

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and rosemary.

Place mushrooms stalk-side down on the tray and drizzle or brush the top with the marinade. Turn over so that they are stalk side up and drizzle with the remaining marinade. Bake for 15 minutes.

 

Place some of the quinoa balls and 2 mushrooms on each plate. Pair with a dollop of creamy hummus and some sautéed spinach.

 

Leftover quinoa and walnut balls can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days

Idea’s to make more of the dish

  • Uncooked quinoa and walnut balls can be cooked in boiling vegetable stock for 5 minutes to create a simple, comforting soup. Add baby spinach, any other vegetables you fancy and some fresh herbs.
  • Use the cooked quinoa balls in a wrap with lots of fresh salad to make a speedy and tasty lunch or dinner.

 

Kelly’s Pea & Barley Falafels

Vegetarian friendly
Prep & Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves 4 (makes 22-25 falafels)

My version of falafels is not traditional at all but I think you’ll absolutely love them. The barley has a lovely firm bite and the herbs give this a punchy freshness.

Falafels

1 ½ cups cooked (and cooled) Alison’s Pantry quick-cook pearl barley*
¾ cup Alison’s Pantry roast unsalted supreme nuts, roughly chopped
1 cup peas (thawed)
1 free range egg
¾ cup flour (can use regular flour, spelt flour or GF flour)
Handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
Handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
Cracked black pepper to season
Olive oil for sautéing

Tahini Sauce

½ cup Greek yoghurt
1 heaped tsp tahini
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Toasted Seeds

½ cup Alison’s Pantry sunflower seeds
½ cup Alison’s Pantry pumpkin seeds
¼ cup Alison’s Pantry sesame seeds
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

To serve

Flatbreads or wraps
Shredded red cabbage
Diced cucumber
Fresh herbs for garnishing

 

Place all the falafel ingredients into a food processor and blitz until the peas have broken up and the mixture has a uniform consistency, this should only take a couple of minutes. Scrap the sides of the mixer if necessary.

Heat a generous glug of olive in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook tablespoons (the mixture will be quite sticky) for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Place cooked falafels on a plate lined with a paper towel while you finish cooking the remaining mixture.

Combine all the tahini sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Season generously.

Place all the seeds in a dry sauté pan over medium heat. Cook, moving regularly for 3-5 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the heat. Splash the tamari over the seeds and stir quickly to coat evenly. Tip seeds onto a plate and spread out in a layer. Once completely cool, store in an airtight jar.

To assemble

Heat flatbreads and spread with a spoonful of tahini sauce. Top with the falafels, shredded red cabbage and cucumber. Garnish with toasted seeds and fresh herbs as desired.

*This recipe could also be made successfully with Alison’s Pantry rice & grains medley or cooked brown rice.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days

Ideas to make more of the dish

  • Wrap the falafels in a cos lettuce leaf instead of a wrap for a lighter, more vegie-full option.
  • Play around with condiments to serve with this. A beetroot hummus works really well as does a smoky sundried tomato pesto.
  • Use the mixture to make smaller ‘meatball’ sized balls and pair with a simple tomato sauce and spaghetti once you’ve cooked them. Top with some dried chilli flakes and a handful of finely grated parmesan.

 

 


 

 


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