Spinach and Basil Orzo Stew

A 20-minute easy meal with a side of sweet roasted tomatoes; you’ll be glad you made this when you see how little washing-up there is. It serves 2-3.


250g cherry tomatoes on the vine
1 yellow pepper, medium dice
2 tsp Italian herbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, fine dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
250g orzo
3 cups vegetable stock
1 x 400g can tomatoes
100g baby spinach
½ tsp suitable-for-vegans sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
15 g basil leaves, torn


1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Line a baking tray with a silicone sheet. Toss 125g of the tomatoes and yellow pepper in 1 tbsp vegetable broth, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1 tsp of Italian herbs. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove the yellow peppers after 15 minutes, and roast the tomatoes for 5 minutes more.
2. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion over a medium-low heat for 2 minutes until just softened. Add the garlic for 30 seconds more, and deglaze the pot with about 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth. Add the orzo, the rest of the broth, the remaining de-vined tomatoes, the canned tomatoes, the sugar, and the balsamic vinegar, and simmer 8-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until cooked.
3. Stir in the spinach, yellow pepper, and basil until the spinach is wilted. Serve with the roasted tomatoes.

Mushroom, sun-dried tomato and cauliflower orzo salad with red leaf lettuce

A mostly raw side salad for four. Add lentils and/or replace the red leaf lettuce with kale or even red chard
for a light lunch.


For the cauliflower
4 cups cauliflower finely chopped
1/2 cup pickling vinegar
1T coarse sea salt
1 spring kombu
1T olive oil
1/2t dried ground turmeric
2T sesame seed butter
1T apple cider vinegar
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 cups packed torn red lettuce leaves
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes
2T cooking oil
1/4t coarse sea salt
4 scallions, minced (reserve about 6″ green for garnish)
1t dried oregano, rubbed
1/2t dried thyme, rubbed
1T fresh garlic, minced
8 cremini mushrooms (about 1/4 pound) stemmed and thinly sliced (1/8″)
1T lemon juice
1/2T tamari
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes minced (dehydrated, not the kind packed in oil)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1T black sesame seeds


Make the cauliflower first, then the mushrooms.
Trim and mince the cauliflower in pieces that are roughly 1/4″ x 1/2″ (like orzo), but don’t mince.
If you like, save a thin slice of cauliflower floret for additional garnish.
Combine the sea salt, kombu and vinegar.
Toss the cauliflower, cover and let stand at least 2 hours to pickle stirring here and there, longer if you can.
Drain the cauliflower and remove the kombu.
Whisk the oil and turmeric together first, then the cider vinegar, garlic, and sesame seed butter.
Dress the cauliflower, and toss in the nutritional yeast until well-combined.
Let stand at least 30 minutes, and then start the mushrooms.
In a frying pan with a lid, bring the oil and coarse seasalt to heat on medium high.
Add the scallion and green herbs and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
Add the mushrooms and saute for 5-7 minutes until the pan starts to brown.
Add the lemon juice and tamari.
Deglaze the pan.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the mushrooms are a rich brown and the
sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated.
Season to taste.
Toss the lettuce with the cauliflower.
Season to taste.
Turn the cauliflower out into a bowl for serving.
Top with the mushrooms and sun-dried tomato mixture.
Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds and serve.