Not Another Thanksgiving Feast: Chickpea-Stuffed Choko

If you, like me, aren’t American and therefore don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, you might also find that the decadent holiday recipes abounding online can get a bit distracting. While I appreciate the sentiment of Thanksgiving, it can be difficult to plan healthy meals when there are all manner of indulgent dessert recipes and pies bombarding your eyes. But never fear, I am here! While today’s post is still a delicious recipe, it’s also very, very good for you. Perhaps if you did celebrate Thanksgiving you might want to make this to balance out some of that pumpkin pie.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m on a mission to try new fruits and vegetables. Sometimes it’s an item that I’ve never seen or heard of, sometimes it’s an item that I love but have never been game enough to cook, and sometimes it’s an item that has a bad rap. I like giving veggies a second chance. I find that usually it’s just a matter of doing it right. Case in point, chokos.

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For the love all things grilled and good for you: My Grandmother’s Aubergine

In the late 1960’s, counter-top microwave ovens began to appear in the kitchens of trendy, modern families. They became the new, revolutionary and very fashionable cooking appliance. Cookbooks published at the time will tell you how to cook a ‘roast’ dinner in the microwave, a souffle, and even ice-cream! Don’t believe me? Check it out. My mum’s microwave cookbook would have you believe that anything can be made in one (it also fails to mention the high risk of lumpy custards and gravies, and porridge volcanos). Basically, the world went a little batty over the invention of the microwave oven.

The sandwich press is my microwave oven. Continue reading

The return of the food processor: Pesto Pasta Salad, Bean’n’Basil Besto, and breakfast in a wine glass

Ash’s version: traditional pasta

Hello again world! Yes, I’m alive. Apologies for the delay in posting.

Rather than attempt to post recipes twice each week, I am taking a quality-over-quantity approach. After all, these recipes must be worth repeating, and if I’m draining my creative juices and giving you less-than-amazing dishes, not only will you be disappointed, but I won’t be living up to my own standards. While blogging is important to me, if it is to reach a high standard, it has to be sustainable along with other big time-consuming priorities: working, studying and fitness. So please bear with me, and when you visit Cat’s Kitchen, expect to see a high quality weekly post. I will be only sharing the best of each week with you, which often will mean that each post will include multiple recipes.

Such as today’s. In celebration of the return of my food processor and blender, I succeeded in using each and every part of it – the blender, the big-bowl processor and the small-bowl processor. For breakfast, I made a apple, berry and coconut smoothie – satisfying and delicious. Lunch was a pesto pasta salad, two ways. Creamy, fresh and believe it or not, oil and nut free. The final recipe is a bit of a fusion between a bean dip or hummus, and basil pesto. Bean’n’basil pesto? Let’s call it a besto. Continue reading

Waste not want not: Little Lentil Pies

(again, Mr Camera is on holidays – he’ll be back this weekend – bear with me and my iPhone until then)

The other night Ash was part of a volunteer team cooking up a feast of quiches and pies (450~?) for the homeless people in Sydney. Oz Harvest is a charity that collects leftover food and ingredients from shops and restaurants, and feeds it to the people on the street. Such a wonderful way to a) improve the quality of life for people who are suffering disadvantage, and b) reducing the ‘waste’ food we so thoughtlessly discard. Continue reading

BBQ Chickpeas with Mushrooms and Onion

My camera is on holiday, so here’s a photo taken by a friend of mine while holidaying in France. It makes me happy just seeing all the colours.

Do you remember how I had been cooking to a ‘theme’ each week? I still sort of do, I just haven’t mentioned it in a while. This week’s theme is recipes from a book called ‘Tasty Chicken’. On a vegan blog you ask? Yes, I’m not exactly following the recipes. Continue reading

Escaping to the Blue Mountains: two soups and a spicy curry

For the past few days we have been staying in an adorable cottage in the Blue Mountains. We’ll staying the entire week.

Reading a lot, writing a lot. And taking photos.

Today it’s about zero degrees (or so it feels to us, softies that we are), and drizzling rain.

We’ve been pottering around the house in flannelette shirts, red wine in hand, nibbling rum’n’raisin chocolate and playing rummy in front of the fireplace.

While confined to the house, I’ve had the luxury of simmering soup for hours, slow-cooking a curry, and generally appreciating all that is warm and comforting.

Today I’ll share with you the hot and sour soup I whipped up yesterday, a more traditional vegetable and bean soup that sat on the stove for a good two hours before making it’s way into our tummies at lunchtime, and a spicy, creamy, slow-cooked mushroom and eggplant vindaloo. Continue reading

Heat up that belly: an Indian dinner. And a giveaway!

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me whether Sydney winter gets much colder than what it was at that time, and I confidently reassured her that it didn’t. Never was I so wrong. This past week has been icy! And today has been ever so slightly rainy, so I walked home through chilling winds and tiny darts of freezing rain. Yuck. Curry time I say.

I had a difficult time coming to terms with the idea of a ‘dry curry’ when I started cooking. Maybe it’s the Aussie in me that expects everything Indian to look and taste like butter chicken, but I just thought curry should be swimming in a rich sauce. Not so, as it turns out. Paired with a saucier side of greens, this dry curry of sweet potato, cauliflower and edamame is spot on. Continue reading

Roasted red capsicum risotto

This risotto may seem sort of labour intensive. I’m not going to lie, there are two main steps here, and you’ll have to give each your full attention. But as with many things, more attention reaps a higher reward. Here your reward is a smoky, nutty, herbed risotto, which not only looks beautiful, but tastes incredible. An added bonus is the subtle crunch of pine nuts and walnuts. All in all, it’s not too time-consuming either. And if you buy your grilled capsicum, easy peasy. Continue reading

There’s a man in my kitchen!

As I was drawing names out of a hat for the chocolate giveaway (speaking of which, Fiona Andrews, please Facebook or email me to claim your prize, or I will have to redraw a new winner on Wednesday), Ash was proving once again that he is a capable and creative cook in his own right. Boys aren’t only good for doing the dishes you know. Continue reading

Fresh and flavoursome ratatouille

There are very few things that Ash and I disagree on (nawww), but ratatouille is one of them.

love eggplant, zucchini and olives. Ash is only very slowly being convinced that any of those three vegetables are edible at all. So ratatouille, that features all three, is a bit adventurous for him as yet. Continue reading