a haiku-like salad I made for midweek dinner

a half a cucumber and half an apple: cut into matchsticks,
a spring onion: sliced thinly on the diagonal,
two sprigs of parsley and one of mint: chopped;
dressed with salt and pepper, cider vinegar and olive oil,
tossed with spinach leaves

served with falafels, and sumac-dressed hommus and some harissa


Eating as the French do.

kofta, vegan style

I found and adapted a recipe for vegetarian kofta from here, substituting the mung beans with yellow split peas and tofu.

I have to say that I have always found vegan versions of non-vegan recipes bizarre, to say the least. But when one's love is committed to harming no living thing for the sake of their own appetite or comfort it's worth going a bit Linda McCartney on the kofta. I'm going to try making nut-roast next.

This is what I did:

to make the kofta you will need

0.75 cup dried yellow split peas; soaked and then cooked until soft
0.75 finely crumbled firm tofu
1 onion, diced
about half a teaspoon each ground cumin and ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
half a teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
salt and pepper
2 carrots, grated and squeezed dry
1 tablespoon of flour

I cooked the split peas until they were soft and then mashed them up a bit. I cooked the onion until transparent in a little oil, then added the spices, waited for the aroma to rise before mixing the onion/spice mixture with the split peas, crumbled tofu, flour, salt and pepper, and carrots. It's important to squeeze the carrots dry once you have grated them otherwise the mixture will be too wet.

Then I made a 'ginger and coriander gravy'.

an onion, diced
a tomato, diced
fried gently in a little oil, with salt and pepper, 1/2 tsp Turmeric & a fresh green chili, finely chopped

to which I added, when nicely soft:
3 Brown cardamom pods
2 Cloves
1/4 tsp Black Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
dry roasted and finely ground in a mortar

and then: 5-6 Inch Fresh Ginger and 2 Garlic Cloves (chopped finely)

...and, when it's all smelling nice, adding water to cover and about half a tin of coconut milk.

This was left to gently simmer while I rolled the kofta mix into ping-pong sized balls and placed them on trays lined with greaseproof paper. They were baked in a moderate oven (note: my oven tends toward hot) for about 20 minutes, and were turned once during cooking (you could, of course, fry them, which is the usual way).

The kofta was then added to the gravy and simmered for a further 20 minutes. I added fresh peas about 10 minutes in and fresh coriander leaves just before serving. Enough for four people, or two people twice, or for six people who aren't that hungry.

In retrospect, I would use silken tofu for the kofta next time, and try thickening the sauce with a paste of cashew nuts, omitting the coconut milk.

museli - it's poppin'

this is my museli. I've been working on the combination for a few weeks and it just gets better and better.

2 x handfuls almonds
2 x handfuls hazelnuts
1 cup mixed hulled sunflower, pumpkin & sesame seeds
1/3 cup flaked dried coconut
pinch of salt
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup cooking oil
3 x cups mixed rolled oats, rye, barley, triticale

put nuts into a food processor in small batches and process briefly to break them up a bit. Combine with seeds, coconut & salt in a large bowl, add honey and oil, stir to combine well. Gradually add rolled oats etc and stir well to coat everything in the oil and honey mixture.

Spread the mixture to a depth of about 2 cm on trays lined with baking paper and place in a preheated 140 - 160 C oven. Cook for about 20 minutes until very lightly browned, stirring every ten minutes or so. When you take it out of the oven it will be soft and sticky, but as it cools it becomes crispily good.

Mixed in chopped dried apricots, or nectarines or apples to taste, if you like.

that's about enough for about 2 weeks of breakfasts


Sautee mushrooms in olive oil with salt, pepper and thyme. Turn off heat, but whilst pan is still warm add crumbled fetta, diced tomato, grated beetroot, radiccio cut into ribbons and lots of lemon juice.

Polenta made with a pinch of chilli flakes to make it less, sort of... pudgy. Then piled with mushrooms and onions sauteed with thyme and sage, poached eggs and a truckload of parsley.

Two meals

Cooking with Saskia in Flinders - roasted fennel, roasted pumpkin with onions, rosemary and garlic cloves, and steamed aspragus with avocado and lemon. Some earthiness and some freshness for the transition into Summer.

One of those, I don't feel like cooking on my own for just myself, so I will make the fastest fresh meal possible, dinners. Garlic and green beans fried gently in olive oil, then mushrooms added, then loads of chopped parsley and chives, quinoa, salt, pepper and the juice of a whole lemon. Goodness.

anarchist organic

Inspired by the Foodmaiden I've started fetching a $10 vegie box from the food co-op at Jura Anarchist Bookshop. So close to home, and marks a big shift in my cooking habits - needing to use what's there rather than trooping out to buy what i feel like. This first box smelt sweet as the springshine...