Tag Archive for beans and lentils

a vegan meatloaf sandwich

I have been hankering for some “meatloaf” recently. It is partly a nostalgia thing, but I suspect it could be because I am travelling to Germany in May and I’ve been doing some research on vegan restaurants there. I have one vegan place I want to check out in Dresden that does the full vegan treatment of the German meatloaf, cabbage and potatoes thing.

My mum used to make meatloaf for dinner and we’d have the leftovers on sandwiches for our school lunch. I wanted to recreate that sandwich experience. So I went looking for vegan meatloaf recipes on the web and settled on this one at Chow Vegan. It is based on a chickpea cutlet recipe from Veganomicon. I thought it sounded promising because it included gluten flour which I thought would give it a decent springiness and chew. Most vegan burgers and loaves fail for me because they lack texture, ending up tasty, but disappointingly soft. Texture is one area where seitan really excels. Sorry dear coeliac friends, but this one isn’t for you.

It is quick and easy to make, slices well and has a little bit of pleasing chew to it.


The loaf turned out a pretty successful replica of a traditional Mum-style recipe and I can see it becoming a regular part of my repertoire.

Naturally, I tinkered with the recipe a little, doubling the onion, and adding some Sriracha to the ketchup glaze and varying the spicing. I’ve been eating it on sandwiches for the last couple of days.

My sandwich today was on some home-made multigrain bread, with hummus, roasted pumpkin, leeks and capsicum.  Delicious.





blogging mojo, sourdough flatbread and dhal tadka

dhal tadka

I lost my blogging mojo a little over the last few weeks. Like everyone, I was stupidly busy in the run up to Christmas. On top of the normal end of year craziness I was helping a friend move house. This meant my time was a bit squeezed and I honestly couldn’t be bothered cooking. I’ve been eating a lot of fruit from the garden and while that’s delicious, it doesn’t make for a very exciting blog post.

The mojo is back however, sparked by inspiration from two bloggers. The first was Johanna over at Green Gourmet Giraffe who dropped by last week with some sourdough starter for me.  I’ve been making great bread with it, using a slightly modified version of the no-knead recipe.



The second was Vaishali over at Holy Cow! She’d written a post early in December for Dhal Tadka that caught my eye, so I bookmarked it for future reference.

One led to the other. I had some leftover dough from bread making so I decided to make some flatbread. I just rolled the dough thinly and slapped it onto a frying pan to cook for a couple of minutes on each side. I then held the bread in tongs over the gas flame to puff it up and char it slightly. The flatbread obviously needed something to go with it…dhal seemed like an excellent choice.

Of course I tinkered, partly out of necessity because I didn’t have the ingredients, partly because I am an inveterate tinkerer with recipes, and partly to add more punch to the dhal. I didn’t have some of the types of dhal Vaishali used so I went with what I had, channa, split urad and mung. I also made more of the tadka spice mix, upping the quantities by half because I love garlic and chilli. I left out the sugar.

If you have a pressure cooker the dhal can be ready in 20 minutes.

Good, simple, comforting and delicious food.


dhal tadka
prep time
cook time
total time
recipe type: vegan
cuisine: indian
serves: 4
  • ½ cup channa dhal
  • ½ cup mung dhal
  • ½ cup split urad dhal
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • enough water to cover by 2 cm.
  • 1.5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1.5 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 3 dried chillies (I removed the seeds)
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander
  1. Wash the dhal, cover with water, add the turmeric and cook until tender.
  2. Heat the coconut oil and fry the mustard seeds with the chillies
  3. When the seeds start to pop, add the garlic and fry until fragrant and golden, but NOT burnt.
  4. Add the chopped tomato and cook down slightly.
  5. Stir the oil spice mix into the dhal mix and season with salt and lemon juice to taste.
  6. Garnish with fresh coriander.



cabbage rolls

cabbage rolls

I’ve had great success in the garden this season with a bounty of beautiful, round firm cabbages that I nurtured from seed. Normally they’d be ravaged by various insects, but I planted them earlier this year to get ahead of the aphids and caterpillars, which don’t arrive until the warmer weather.

cabbage in the garden

I find it a wonder that such a beautiful thing can grow from a tiny seed.

I’ve been eating sautéed cabbage, coleslaw and experimenting with making sauerkraut. Now I have turned to cabbage rolls.

Normally cabbage rolls would be a winter dish for me, made using bought cabbages. But with an abundance of home grown late spring cabbages, a spate of strange cold weather and a potluck birthday dinner to cater for, they seemed just destined to be made.

They are stuffed with small french lentils and rice cooked with lots of onions, porcini mushrooms and stock and then baked in a tomato sauce. I like the small french green puy type lentils because they retain their shape when cooked and the filling ends up with good texture rather than just mush.

The rolls were good on the day they were made, and even more flavourful on the next day.

I love cooking from the garden and this dish used both the cabbages and some tomatoes I bottled from last season.

Simple food, but good.


cabbage rolls
prep time
cook time
total time
recipe type: main
cuisine: vegan, eastern european
serves: 4
For the rolls
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 3 medium onions
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice
  • 1 cup small french puy style green lentils
  • 1 tsp dried porcini mushroom pieces
  • 2 cups of stock
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 12 cabbage leaves
  • salt to taste
For the tomato sauce
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 400g cans tomatoes
  • salt and sugar to taste
Make the filling.
  1. Heat the oil in a large deep pan
  2. Fry the sliced onions in oil until they soften and begin to brown
  3. Add the raw rice and lentils to the pan, crumble the porcini mushrooms, stir and add enough stock to cover by 1 cm.
  4. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to the lowest setting, cover and cook until the rice and lentils are just tender and the liquid is absorbed. You may need to add more stock or water. Don't overcook, they will cook a bit more in the tomato sauce later.
  5. Stir through the lemon zest and parsley.
Make the tomato sauce
  1. Heat the oil in a pan and briefly fry the garlic
  2. Add the tomatoes, crush and cook until reduced slightly.
  3. Season with salt to taste, and if needed add a small amount of sugar if the tomatoes are a bit too acidic.
Assemble the cabbage rolls
  1. Take the leaves and submerge them in boiling water until they are limp.
  2. Remove them and drain.
  3. Remove the hard stems.
  4. Lay the leaves flat and add filling to the leaf closer to the stem end.
  5. Roll the leaf tightly, folding in the sides as you go and folding over again.
  6. Place the rolls seam side down into a baking dish.
  7. Don't worry if the are a bit messy or the filling is spilling out.
  8. When they are packed together and baked they will stay intact.
  9. Pour the tomato sauce over the rolls, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 180 dec C.
  10. Check them once or twice during cooking and if they look dry pour in a little stock to keep moist.


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