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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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

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

Little lentil burger balls

Vegan party food – some may think that’s an oxymoron, but they’d be wrong. It’s the best party food around!

Take these little lentil burger balls for example, crispy, tasty little flavour parties in your mouth. 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

Charred broccoli with white bean mash and grilled vegetable skewers

This looks so fancy but it is oh, SO, simple. I’ll let you in on a sercret – searing lemon halves is an easy trick to make any plate look gourmet. Do it.

One of our favourite dinners used to be from the Stonesoup – tuna, broccoli and white bean mash. Fast, delicious, healthy and cheap. This is an adaption that subtracts the tuna and adds some grilled vegetable skewers. Call me biased, but I think it’s even better. If you’d like to try the tuna variation, you can find it here. Continue reading

Two cold days, two warming soups

Summer is properly over. These last two days have been freezing (by Sydney standards). Today I wore a jumper and a scarf – all day – even inside the office! What a happy coincidence that this week we’re doing soups.

The first one we had last night, and Ash summed it up in one word, “restorative”. It’s a deep red, richly flavoured, chunky soup, and it had us each going back for seconds. Continue reading

A Friday night feed – spicy chickpeas with thyme and peanuts

As bizarre as that sounds… it was delicious!

The flavour profile was inspired by a recipe for blackbean fritters from of my favourite recipe books, Vegan Soul Kitchen. This book is full of interesting African-American dishes, a cuisine I had never before explored. We discovered it when Ash made this recipe for ‘Jamacian veggie patties’, posted on 101cookbooks (see Blogroll). And for the record, those patties are mindblowing! Continue reading