Traditional Irish Potato Cakes

These traditional Irish potato cakes are extremely easy to make: two ingredients, very little fuss, and extremely inexpensive. This quantity makes 6 potato cakes, and these are delicious served as a side with a bowl meal, dipped in a sauce, or spread with your favourite suitable-for-vegans topping.

Ingredients

300g leftover mashed potato, cooled
20-30g flour of your choice (for a gluten-free option, try buckwheat)

Directions

1. Preheat a frying pan over a medium heat.
2. Mix the flour into the mashed potato, adding enough to make the potato mix come together into a ball.
3. Dust the countertop with flour.
4. Roll out the potato mixture until it’s about 1cm thick. Cut with a cookie cutter or with an inverted mug or glass. Alternatively, take sections, roll into balls, and flatten out.
5. Heat about 1 tsp oil in the frying pan, or use spray oil. Fry the cakes 2-3 minutes each side, until golden.

Speedy Turmeric Crumbled Tofu

Crumbling tofu and cooking it with vegetables makes for a very quick meal and an economical way of using up leftover vegetable. This recipe takes under 10 minutes, and it serves 4. Any leftovers can be stored in a lidded container in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Feel free to substitute any of the vegetables according to your own leftovers and personal preference.

Ingredients

1 onion, smallish dice
1 each red and yellow pepper, medium dice
350g firm tofu, drained and crumbled
200g asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp soy sauce
Pinch chilli powder
100g baby spinach leaves

Method

1. Spray a frying pan with a little spray oil, or wipe around with a piece of kitchen towel dipped in oil. Sauté the onion and peppers over a medium low heat for about 2 minutes, until fragrant.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, apart from the spinach, and cook until any water expelled by the tofu is evaporated (4-5 minutes).
3. Add the spinach and stir through until wilted.
4. Serve on toast, in a pitta bread, or with a large salad.

Raspberry-Apple Overnight Oats

Overnight oats make for a healthy and quick breakfast on busy mornings. This recipe serves 1.

Ingredients

1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick cook) + 1 tbsp (optional; keep separate)
1/2 cup plant milk (e.g. unsweetened soya)
1 apple
1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 tbsp chopped nuts of choice (e.g. pecans or almonds)
Maple syrup, if desired

Method

1. Soak 1/2 cup oats in the plant milk overnight (or for at least 20 minutes).
2. Toast 1 tbsp oats in a sauté pan over a low heat until golden.
3. Just before you’re ready to assemble and eat the dish, dice the unpeeled, but washed, apple. Mix half of the apple into the oat mix.
4. You can create layers of oats, raspberries (reserving a few for topping), apples, repeating until all of the oat mixture is used up. Alternatively, you can place all ingredients into a bowl and mix. Top with the toasted oats, raspberries and nuts. If desired, pour some maple syrup over the top.

Besan Dosa

This is Besan Dosa–a gram flour pancake–with a difference: sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. Multiply the quantities of the dry mix and store in a lidded container in the fridge for easy and quick breakfasts. This takes about 10 minutes to prepare from start to finish, and serves 2.

Ingredients

For the dry mix

1/2 cup gram flour or besan
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds or linseeds
1/2 tsp onion granules
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
Pinch turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch black pepper
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp nutritional yeast

For cooking

Small handful of spinach, shredded
1 green onion, finely sliced (1 tbsp reserved for garnish)
3-4 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped with a kitchen scissors (1 tbsp reserved for garnish)

Method

1. Preheat a lidded frying pan over a medium heat (we don’t have a lid for our frying pan, so we use the lid of our soup pot, which fits just inside the rim of the pan).
2. Mix all dry ingredients.
3. Stir the spinach, green onion, and sun-dried tomatoes into the dry ingredients.
4. Add 1/2 cup water to the mix and stir well to combine. Now, a little at a time add more water until the mix becomes a pouring consistency.
5. Spray the frying pan with a little oil (if it is not a nonstick pan), or wipe over with a piece of kitchen towel dipped in oil.
6. Pour half of the mix into the frying pan and tilt the pan to allow the mix to form a circle.
7. Cover the pan and allow the dosa to cook for 2-3 minutes until little bubbles appear on the surface and the underside is slightly browned. Turn, and cook on the other side 1-2 minutes more. It must be fully cooked, because raw gram flour doesn’t taste good at all.
8. Keep warm in an oven on a low heat until the other dosa is cooked. Serve, if desired, on some of your favourite toasted bread with more spinach, and garnished with the reserved tomatoes and green onions. We spread our toast with a little of the cream from the top of a can of coconut milk for the interesting flavour.

Peanut butter, chocolate breakfast bar with dates and figs

Simple, nutrient dense, no baking, no gluten, no added sugar, no added oil, and covered in chocolate.

Ingredients

1/4 cup whole grain teff
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
1T cocoa powder (I use a Dutch-processed, fair trade brand)
A pinch coarse sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter (I use crunchy)
1/4 dried, soft figs, stemmed and finely chopped (I use calimyrna)
1/4 dried, soft dates, pitted and finely chopped (I use medjool)
2T boiling water
1T tapioca flour dissolved in 2T  water
80g dark chocolate (I use a fair trade, organic bar)

Optional: Add a little chili to the chocolate. Double the chocolate for more of a dessert. Use cashew or macadamia nut butter or even sesame seed butter as an alternative to peanuts. Add a tablespoon or two of coconut sugar for a sweeter tooth.

Method

In a small, heavy-bottomed pan with a lid, toast the teff on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the water and bring the pan to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and and simmer for about 20 minutes (until the teff is pulling away from the sides of the pan), stirring more frequently at the end).

Add the plant milk and cocoa powder. Stir to combine. Increase heat to medium low. Simmer another 5 minutes. While the teff finishes, add the boiling water to the figs and dates and rehydrate a little. Add the tapioca mixture to the teff slowly, stirring continuously until it thickens. Remove from heat.

Mix the peanut butter in with the dates and figs but leave it marbled rather than fully combined. Pour into a 3″ x 9″ loaf pan and let cool 1 hour to setup.

When the bar has setup, turn out of the pan onto plastic wrap top down. Let stand about 15 minutes. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler, two doubled up pans, etc. When the chocolate has melted, turn the bar over. Spoon the melted chocolate over the bar and spread evenly.

Let stand about 30 minutes at room temperature for the chocolate to firm up. Chill uncovered about an hour. Wrap with plastic and chill until ready to serve (at least a few hours, or overnight).

Whole grain, flax waffles with raspberry, fig compote and cashew topping

Simple waffles with lovely colours and flavours.

Ingredients

For the waffles
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2t baking powder
A pinch baking soda
1T milled flax seed
Coconut sugar to taste (I use 1T)
1 1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
1/2T balsamic vinegar
1/2T avocado oil (or similar)
Additional plant milk as necessary
A pinch sea salt

For the compote
1 1/2 cups raspberries
3 dried, soft fig, stems trimmed and sliced,1/8″ (more for a sweet tooth)
A pinch sea salt
Sweeten to taste (I don’t use additional sweetener)

For the cashew topping
1T cashew butter
12t lemon juice
1 – 3t sweet white miso (or to taste)
1T cold water

Optional: The miso is what adds the fermented flavour to the cashews. Use sodium reduced if you have the choice. If you’re new to miso (or want to keep your sodium intake low) add 1t at a time to start. You may need to increase or decrease the amount of batter in ratio to suit the size and cut of your maker. You may also need additional plant milk to suit your flour.

Method

Start the cashew butter, then the berries, and then the waffles. Whisk together the ingredients for the cashews in order until emulsified. You’ll know when this happens. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

Warm a large pan on medium heat. Add 3/4 cup raspberries and the sea salt. Saute for 2 – 3 minutes until they are berries are starting to lose the juice. Add the figs. Saute another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the remaining raspberries and stir fry until heated through. If you use frozen berries, you may need to increase the cooking time. Remove from heat.

While the berries cook, whisk together the ingredients for waffles. Mix the dry ingredients for the waffles. Mix the wet ingredients. Mix the wet with the dry and let stand a few minutes while the berries finish. Turn off the stove, but leave them in the pan to keep them warm.

Heat up your waffle maker (or your waffle pans if that’s what you have) as per its instructions. When ready, add half of the batter. Cook as appropriate and repeat. Spoon the compote over the waffles, add the cashew butter mixture, and enjoy.

Fluffy whole wheat pancakes with raspberry compote

These are a fluffy style of pancakes with warm, sour raspberries. The recipes makes about 8 small to medium sized pancakes.

Ingredients

For the pancakes
2 cups of flour
2 1/4 cups of vanilla plant milk*
1/4 cup of sugar**
2 tablespoons of baking powder
Vanilla extract to taste (1/4 teaspoon or so)
1/4t of sea salt inch of sea salt
Plant-only margarine as necessary (not more than 1/4 cup).

For the raspberries

2 cups of raspberries (reserve half)
2T of agave nectar
2t of lemon juice
1T of corn starch dissolved in 1T of water
Additional agave nectar to taste

Make the compote first.
Heat half the raspberries in the pan on medium with the lemon juice, agave and sea salt.
Cook until the berries are soft and have produced a syrup (about 10-15 minutes).
Add the remaining berries and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Whisk the corn starch with the water, and add to the raspberries slowly and stirring continuously until thickened.
Let stand to cool and spoon over the pancakes when they’re done.

To make the pancakes, combine the dry ingredients, the wet ingredients (except for the margarine), and then the dry and the wet ingredients together.
Whisk thoroughly to combine into a smooth batter.
Heat 2T of the margarine in the pan on medium high until a small drop of water sizzles.
Ladle 1/2 cup of batter into the pan and lightly smooth out to the volume of the pancake..
Fry on one side until lightly browned (the pancake will start to bubble through — usually 2-3 minutes).
Carefully flip and fry until lightly browned on the other side.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
Repeat until the batter is used up, adding 2t of margarine to the pan between pancakes.

The pan temperature for pancakes is very important. You may need to adjust the temperature to suit your pan for the best results. You can keep your pancakes warm in a very low oven in an oven proof dish.

*Soy milk will provide a denser chew, while rice milk, a fluffier pancake.

**The compote will be lightly sour with raspberries. With a sweeter berry, you may want less sugar in the pancake. Many white table sugars are still refined using animal bone charcoal. Organic sugar, beet sugar, agave nectar and other sweeteners make good alternatives.

Kiwi, blueberry frozen dessert

A simple, high carbohydrate, low fat dessert or breakfast with lovely shades of green and blue.

Ingredients

2 green kiwis
1 large frozen banana (about 1 cup)
1T lemon juice
2T agave nectar
2T frozen blueberries for garnish

Optional: 1t powdered maca

Directions

You can peel both kiwis or leave the skin on if you prefer kiwi this way, noting that it will change the finished
colour.
Slice one kiwi in 1/8″ slices for the garnish.
Puree the other kiwi with the banana, lemon juice and agave, as well as the maca if you use it.
Season to taste (with extra agave if necessary).
Return to the freezer for 10 minutes to setup.
Remove the mixture from the freezer and spoon into a martini glass or similar.
Garnish with the sliced kiwi and blueberries.

Single-serve, vanilla frozen dessert with salted chai, date caramel and walnuts

A very simple dessert or breakfast. Much of the flavour comes from the tea in this dish. Choose one with a good flavor that you like.

Ingredients

1/3 cup boiling water
1 chai tea bag
3-4 large soft dates, pitted and chopped
2 large frozen bananas (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4t vanilla extract
1/4t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
1T walnuts, chopped

Optional: 1t powdered maca

Directions

Bring the water to a boil and steep the tea for 5 minutes.
Press and discard the tea bag.
Add the dates to the tea and puree until smooth.
If the mixture is too thick, add a little water; if too thin, add the fourth date.
Puree the banana with the vanilla until smooth.
If using the maca, puree it with the banana.
Add 1t of the pureed banana and the sea salt to the caramel, and stir to combine.
Spoon out the banana to a dish, garnish with caramel and walnuts and serve.

Vanilla frozen dessert with warm salted chocolate fudge and walnuts

A simple dessert or a luxurious breakfast.

Ingredients

1/4 cup warm water
2-3 large soft dates, pitted and chopped
1T cocoa powder (I used a fair trade, Dutch-process brand)
4t chopped walnuts, divided
1/4t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
2 large frozen bananas (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4t vanilla extract

Optional: 1t maca powder

Directions

Mix the chopped dates with the cocoa, sea salt and warm water thoroughly.
Let stand about 5 minutes, add 2t walnuts, and puree until smooth.
If the mixture is too thick, add a little water; if too thin, add another date.
Puree the banana with the vanilla until smooth.
If using the maca, puree it with the banana.
Spoon out the banana to a dish garnish with the fudge and remaining 2t walnuts and serve.