Chouchou Potato Cake

I love okonomiyaki. And gamja-jeon. This is a vegan white chick fusion of those two things with a silly Frenglish name to please my toddler (pronounced shoo-shoo, meaning cabbage cabbage*). It’s perfect for NZ winter, it’s also chewy, crispy, super quick, and it feels like junk food – which I tend to crave in winter.

I highly recommend using Agria potatoes or another starchy potato and it looks extra pretty if you throw in some purple potatoes too.

*Also a cute name for a kid or baby, or a word for favourite or ‘teacher’s pet’.

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Chouchou Potato Cake

1 cup finely grated potato (don’t squeeze the liquid out)
1/2 small onion (or around 1 tablespoon) grated brown onion
2/3 cup finely chopped cabbage
1/2 spring onion, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black or white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons white flour
2 tablespoon potato starch (or cornflour)

Sauce

2 tablespoons vegan mayo
1-2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon lemon or lime juice (opt)

Garnish with any or all of the following:

  • sliced green chillies
  • finely sliced spring onion
  • finely cut nori sheets
  • Korean red pepper flakes
  • fresh coriander leaves
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • grated daikon

Mix all pancake ingredients in a large bowl, get your hands in there so it gets well combined, you don’t want any sneaky floury bits. The liquid from the grated potato and the soy sauce should be enough liquid to wet the mix but it won’t be a batter, more like a sticky mess of grated vegetables. Don’t worry – it’ll stick together once cooked!

Heat a decent amount of oil in a fry pan on medium heat. Unfortunately you will need to use a non-stick pan for this. Once hot, pour your pancake mix in, wet the back of a metal spoon and use it to spread the mixture into an even pancake. Cook for 4-7 minutes until golden underneath and starting to hold together.

In the meantime mix sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and chop garnishes.

Loosen gently and flip. You can do this in one confident gesture (usually followed by a scramble to pick up the ensuing carnage and put it back together in the pan) or flip it onto a dinner plate and slide it back into the pan, uncooked side down. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes until both sides are golden brown.

Slide onto a large dinner plate, drizzle with sauce, cover with garnishes and chop into pizza slices. You can also provide a dipping sauce of soy, vinegar and fresh chillies for an extra chilli hit. This is best enjoyed after a few minutes as it gets chewier once out of the pan.

Bon ap!

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Chouchou Potato Cake

Lemon Pepper ‘Chickn’ Nuggets

Filed under: delicious fried food and sneaky way to feed kids healthy stuff by disguising it as junk food.

This is rather heavy on ingredients but could be simplified by omiting the jackfruit and simplifying the spice mix.  You can also switch out the jackfruit and chickpeas for tofu to get a softer, less ‘meaty’ texture.

I use tinned jackfruit in brine, available at Asian supermarkets.

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Lemon Pepper Chickn Nuggets

Nuggets:
1/2 tin + 2 Tablespoons cooked chickpeas
2 Tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from chickpea tin)
1/4 tin jackfruit in brine (approx 5 Tablespoons when shredded)
1/4 Cup + 4 Tablespoons vegetarian chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 t sweet paprika
1/4 t smoked paprika
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 white pepper
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 onion powder
4 heaped Tablespoons gluten flour
1 heaped Tablespoon white flour
1 t lemon juice

Coating:
fine breadcrumbs
plant milk
white flour
tumeric
salt and pepper

Put 1/2 tin of chickpeas into a large bowl and mash into a rough, chunky paste.

Drain and rinse jackfruit. Pull jackfruit pieces into shreds (toddlers/kids love to help with this part as they have an amazing texture) and finely chop the hard parts at the core. Place shredded fruit into a fry pan with 1/4 Cup vegetarian chicken stock on a medium heat until the stock is more or less gone. Put half of the cooked jackfruit into a blender and add half of the jackfruit to the mashed chickpeas.

Spoon 2 Tablespoons of aquafaba into the blender along with 2 Tablespoons of chickpeas. Pulse until smooth and set aside.

To the large bowl, add spices and flours, lemon juice and smooth mixture from blender. Mix into a wet dough – adding ‘chicken’ stock if needed. Knead for several minutes and put into the fridge to rest for an hour.

Heat 2cms of coconut or vegetable oil in a frying pan.

Prepare 1 plate with white flour and a pinch of salt, 1 bowl with plant milk and 1 bowl with fine breadcrumbs, tumeric and a good grind of black pepper.

Tear pieces of dough about the size of a nugget (you could also make large flat ‘schnitzels’), coat in flour, then milk, then crumbs and set aside. Shallow fry in small batches, turning when golden on each side. Rest on absorbent cloth.

Eat warm or cold (these are even better the next day) with lemon wedges and a sprinkle of lemon juice over them.

Bon Ap!

 

Lemon Pepper ‘Chickn’ Nuggets

Bento Du Jour – Autumn/Winter

Lunchbox Bits and Pieces:

  • I sneak extra green leaves into the toddler by blending them into pestos, sauces and smoothies or chopping them super fine and adding to savoury muffins, fried rice, stews and curries. Thankfully she’s still too young to figure it out that she’s eating spinach if it doesn’t look like a leaf (18 months).
  • Don’t limit green leaves to kale, spinach and chard – use herbs and the tops of root vegetables like carrot tops, turnip tops and beet tops.
  • Add seeds to everything. They’re delicious, add instant nutrition and good fats, and bonus – they won’t kill any nut-allergic kids at school.
  • My kid is salt-obsessed. It’s not ideal but kind of inevitable considering my tastes. I use miso paste a lot so she gets the saltiness with the added probiotics. And nutritional yeast – it makes everything taste salty and slightly yeasty like vegemite.
  • Generally the main part of her lunchbox is leftovers from dinner the night before or I’ll quickly cook some cous cous or pasta and add a pesto or sauce from the fridge.
  • I use a Meals In Steel box and Kai Carrier bags. The teachers at creche often heat the young one’s food but if you have school-aged children there are some great thermal containers available these days. Like here and here.
  • Chia pudding takes 1 minute to make and 5 minutes to thicken. I just combine chia seeds, frozen berries and coconut yogurt (or you can use coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk). The above links also have leak-proof containers for lunches that go in school bags
  • I always keep pickles, yoghurts and fermented foods in the fridge, and fruit in the fruit bowl as quick snacks and lunchbox fillers. If you spend a little time making your own fermented foods it’s a great way of preserving produce and is WAY cheaper than buying it. We get our fruit from a local vege co op, forage in parks and the Chch red zone and swap food with friends who have fruit trees – if you stick to what’s in season it’s cheap/free and yum.
  • Usually once a week I’ll make one of the following and keep in the freezer for easy snacks throughout the month: savoury muffins, empanadas, filo parcels, samosas, raw balls. It’s worth the 1/2 hour every week (or 1.5 hours if I have the time and  patience to have the toddler “help”).
  • Every time I make rice I make extra and fry it the next day with finely chopped veg.
  • Every time I make lentils I make extra and put it into a pie or lasagne or something another day that week.

 

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Garlic & Thyme Borlotti Beans; Wholemeal Penne with Carrot & Olive Oil; Carrot top & Pumpkin Seed Muffin; Avocado; Kalamata Olives; Radish; Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding with Frozen Half Grapes; Fairtrade Banana

 

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Kim Chi Fried Brown Rice; Cucumber; Fairtrade Banana; Green Kiwifruit; Spinach Flatbread; Dried Dates

 

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Red Cabbage Creamy Quinoa Fusilli; Linda McCartney Vegan Sausage Rolls; White Carrot & Kale Savoury Mini Muffin; Apple Slices; White Carrot Sticks; Cucumber; Orange Slices; Frozen Blueberries

 

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Miso Sesame Roasted Pumpkin; Agria Potato & Purple Cabbage Poêlée; Avocado; Vietnamese Spring Rolls; Lentil Mini Empanadas; Radish; Ciabatta with Tahini; Fejoa; Apple-Sweetened Dried Cranberries.

 

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Pumpkin & Pea Risotto; Spiced Black Beans; Purple Potato & Golden Beet Chips; Carrot & Carrot top Savoury Mini Muffin; Kalamata Olives; Smoked Coconut Cheese; Sauerkraut; Fejoa; Apple-Sweetened Cranberries; Frozen Blueberries; Coconut Yoghurt

 

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Lentil & Chard Spaghetti Bolognese; Kalamata Olives; Smashed Pumpkin; Sauerkraut; Radish; Japanese Turnip; Brown Rice Cake; Dried Apple Slices; Dried Cranberries; Spirulina & Blueberry Chia Pudding

 

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Spicy Autumn Tagine; Moghrabieh with Parsley & Preserved Lemon; Pitted Olives; Lebanese Bread; Hummus with Sumac; Chopped Dates with Toasted Seeds

 

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Chickpea & Spinach Curry; Brown Basmati; Steamed Broccoli; Bellbird Organic Sourdough with Mushroom Paté; Sauerkraut; Tumeric Pickled Courgette; Kiwifruit; Pumpkin Seed Raw Ball; Blueberry Coconut Chia Pudding

 

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Potato, Cauliflower & Leek Purée; Linda McCartney Vegan Sausage; Sauerkraut; Peas; Pickled Golden Beets; Cucumber; Kiwifruit; Blueberries; Pumpkin Seed, Coconut, Chia Seed & Date Muesli.

 

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Purple Cabbage, Mushroom & ‘Chicken’ Green Curry; White Basmati Rice; Cucumber; Nigella Seed Bread with Pumpkin Hummus; Sauerkraut; Gerkins; Sundried Tomatoes; Nut-free Scroggin

 

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Puy Lentils with Garlic & Purple Cabbage; Cubed Agria with Porcini Salt; Ciabatta with Vegemite & Tahini; Mushroom Paté; Sauerkraut; Pitted Olives; Cucumber; Carrot; Fejoa; Apple; Cranberries; Sunflower Seeds

 

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Fried Noodles with Tempeh, Red Cabbage and Daikon; Rice Crackers; Olives; Vegan Blue Cheese; Chickpeas; Mandarin; Coconut Yoghurt; Kiwifruit

 

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Leek & Vegan Cheese Farinata; Pumpkin Hummus; Garlic-Braised Brussel Sprouts; Roasted Potato & Jerusalem Artichoke; Gerkins; Vegan Pepperoni; Kiwifruit; Chia Coconut Pudding

 

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Green Mac’n’Cheese; Pickled Golden Beets; Stewed Purple Cabbage; Mini Lentil Empanadas with Nan’s Tomato Relish; Radishes; Papa’s No-Knead Ciabatta; Cucumber; Raspberry & Coconut Chia Pudding.

 

Bento Du Jour – Autumn/Winter

Veganniversary/ Mushroom & Hazelnut Pâté Recipe

It is 20 years since I became vegan! That means two things: I must be old, and everyone who thought it was ‘just a phase’ can suck it.

So of course I threw a wee dinner party. I was planning a big party thing but, y’know, working mum… winter nights… Anyway I’ve decided that I can keep celebrating throughout the year so stay tuned for some celebration/fundraiser gigs around the place.

Between the bad lighting, the many wines we blind-tasted and the frantic plating (how the hell do you keep the food warm without lamps?!), there is a distinct lack of good pictures of the evening but here is the menu: (Recipe Below.)

Veganniversary Menu:

Mushroom & Hazelnut Pâté , Baguette, Pickled Slippery Jack Mushrooms

Tongue in Groove 2015 Little Stomper orange wine

White Bean & Garlic Soup with Garlic Oil

The Bone Line Barebone 2016 Chardonnay

Roasted Pumpkin, Fried Kale, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Sundried Tomatoes, Wild Parsley, Micro Coriander, Tahini & Pomegranate Dressing, Sumac

Campo De Gules 2013 Crianza

Whole Roasted Green Cauliflower, Purple Cauliflower Chips, White Cauliflower Puree, Roasted White Carrot, Carrot-Top Pesto, Fried Onion

Barbera – can’t remember which

Dessert & Cheese Platter: Lupo Black Pepper Almond Cheese, Fresh Figs, Dark Chocolate, Frozen Grapes, Apple Jelly, Pineapple Sage Flower Mini Cheesecakes (adapted from The Minimalist Baker

Coffee, Pineapple sage tea, Pegasus Bay 1997 Finale dessert wine

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Mushroom & Hazelnut Pâté

 

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1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons vegan margarine
1/2 large onion
2 cloves garlic
500-700g mixed mushrooms
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon good quality salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
150ml vegetarian chicken or mushroom stock
1/2 teaspoon agar agar

If you’re using whole hazelnuts, crack open in a mortar and pestle and discard shells. You want about 1/3-1/2 cup of shelled nuts. Spread on a tray and roast in an oven for 10 mins at 200 degrees celsius until dark brown. Cover in a clean tea towel and rub to remove skins. Set aside.

Peel and roughly chop onions and garlic. Cut mushrooms into cubes.
Heat margarine in a large frying pan, add onion. Fry for a few minutes until starting to soften, then add mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook down until mushrooms are soft and liquid has evaporated. Take out of the pan and leave to cool.

Blend toasted nuts while pouring olive oil in slowly. Blend until a smooth paste. Add cooled mushrooms and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Blend again.

(You can use this as it is – just transfer into a clean jar and spread on toast.)

Heat stock in a small pan until almost boiling. Add agar agar and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes to dissolve. Pour the liquid over your pate and mix until well incorporated.

Crush some whole peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until half-crushed – you want some chunks rather than smooth powder. Spoon pepper into molds and shake gently to coat the bottom. Gently spoon your pate into the molds, pressing and tapping to fill the space. Put into the fridge to set. Agar sets really quickly but the flavours develop with time so ideally prepare it 1-2 days before serving.

*(I used a blend of wild mushrooms – porcini, puffball and birch boletes. Wild mushroom will always give a stronger, more complex flavour but you can use button, shiitake – whatever edible mushrooms you can get your hands on).

Veganniversary/ Mushroom & Hazelnut Pâté Recipe

Vegan Blueberry Mini Muffins

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These are toddler friendly, with no refined sugar. You could use all wholemeal flour but I prefer half white, half wholemeal.

1/2 C white flour
1/2 C wholemeal flour
1t baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon ground linseed + 3 Tablespoons water
2 heaped Tablespoons coconut yoghurt
1/3 C blueberries

Combine linseed and water in small bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 180 degree celcius.
Mix flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon together. Add maple syrup, coconut yoghurt and linseed paste. Mix gently. Fold in blueberries. If the mixture is too dry, add a dash of water or coconut milk.

Spoon into muffin tray and bake for 25-30 mins. Makes around 12 mini muffins.

*You could defrost blueberries (if using frozen) but I find it doesn’t make much difference to the finished product.

**Disclaimer: I don’t own measuring instruments so I use Crown Lynn coffee cups. You may have to use your own judgement to adjust measurements.

Vegan Blueberry Mini Muffins

Bento Du Jour – Autumn

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Kim Chi Fried Rice – Nori-wrapped Tofu ‘Fillet’ – Edamame & Petits Pois – Pak Choy & Coriander Stalk Gyoza – Sugar-free Blueberry Coconut Mini Muffin – Grandma’s Cucumber, Tomatoes and Table Grapes – Mandarin

 

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Red Lentil & Chard Dhal with Steamed Basmati Rice & Paratha – Coconut & Raspberry Chia Pudding – Brown Rice & Quinoa Crackers – Vegetarian ‘Ham’ – Home-pickled Gerkin – Sauerkraut

 

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Green & Yellow Courgette Fritters – Red Bean and Kale Cassoulet – Tomato ‘Escargots’ – Roasted Beet Cubes – Fermented Gerkins – Pitted Dates – Crackers – Fairtrade Banana

 

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Spicy Black Beans with Baby Leeks and Spinach – White Quinoa with Capsicum – Avocado – Tomato & Cucumber Salsa – Corn on the Cob – Herb Wrap – Black Boy Peaches – Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

 

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Quinoa & Rice Fusilli with Wild Mushroom Ragu – Raw Capsicum – Avocado – Petits Pois – Vegetarian Sausage – Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin & Nigella Seeds – Courgette, Basil & Spinach Mini Muffins – Kalamata Olives – Kiwifruit – Pear Compote

 

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Maple & Miso-Glazed Aubergine with Sushi Rice and Edamame – Roasted Nori – Pak Choy & Coriander Stalk Gyoza – Quinoa Crackers – Nut-free Tahini & Linseed Raw Balls – Avocado – Wild Apple Compote

 

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Ratatouille with Wholemeal Cous Cous – Garlic & Herb Fried Spaghetti Squash – Pickled Lebanese Cucumber – Beetroot Leaf Fataya – Wholemeal Pita Bread – Hummus – Kalamata Olives – Fairtrade Banana

 

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Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Agria Potatoes and Nutritional Yeast – Golden Beets – Petits Pois – Courgette, Basil & Spinach Mini Muffin – Avocado – Cucumber & Capsicum Sticks – Fejoa – Coconut Yoghurt  – Pear

 

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Miso Fried Rice – Nori-wrapped Tofu ‘fillets’ – Garlic & Sesame Broad Beans – Crackers – Tahini & Vegemite Mini ‘Escargots’ – Fairtrade Banana – Sugar-free Coconut & Raspberry Cake

 

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Penne with Roasted Vegetable Ragu – Fresh Tomato – Crumbled Broad Bean and Chickpea Falafel – Brown Rice & Quinoa Crackers – Wholemeal Ciabatta – Nut-free Tahini & Linseed Raw Balls – Roasted Nori – Homemade Cornichons – Fairtrade Banana

 

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Red Rice Noodles with Japanese Turnip, Pak Choy & Spring Onion – Baked Sesame Tofu Fingers – Courgette, Basil & Spinach Mini Muffins – Mandarin – Tahini, Cucumber & Vegemite Petits Escargots – Spray-free Grape Halves – Coconut Yoghurt

 

Bento Du Jour – Autumn

Early Autumn Savoury Muffins

I never want to see another courgette. Ever. Or at least until next Summer after several months of limp-dick supermarket zucchs at a million dollars per kilo. This year we had a glut. It’s been great but I have pickled, preserved, frittered, fried, gratin-ed and made a freezer-load of rattatouille and I’m officially over them. Here is my last-ditch effort to use up the final few while sneaking green stuff into my toddler’s lunchbox.

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 Courgette, Spinach and Basil Mini Muffins

1 Cup grated zucchini
a few spinach leaves
1/4 small red onion or 1 spring onion
2-3 sundried tomatoes
a handful fresh basil leaves

3/4 Cup soy or almond milk (preferably unsweetened)
5 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

2 Cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon mixed dried herbs or fresh chopped parsley (optional)

Finely grate courgette (if you squeeze liquid out of the courgette you’ll need to add slightly more milk later on.) Finely chop onion, dried tomatoes, basil leaves and spinach, mix with courgette and set aside.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Combine milk, vinegar and oil in a small bowl.

Mix flour, yeast flakes, pepper, salt, baking powder, baking soda and dried herbs in a larger bowl then add liquids and veggies. Stir to combine but don’t over-mix. Add a little extra liquid if the mixture is too thick. Spoon into mini muffin tray and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Makes roughly 20 mini muffins.

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Early Autumn Savoury Muffins