Marfigs' Munchies

Adventures in vegan eats and feats


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Mediterranean carob shepherdd’s pie

That’s right, carob! I was musing aloud on twitter the other day (ye gods, might be more than a week now!) about whether one could add carob to a savoury dish when Megan came to the rescue with a recipe. Admittedly, it is 100% meaty, BUT it is based on a Mesopotamian tablet, so I figured the principle was awesome enough to veganize on my own terms. For a while now I’ve been dying to make a shepherd’s pie because I have tons of cauliflower waiting impatiently in the fridge waiting to become magnificent in my mouth. In my omni days there would be nothing better than the delightfully thick and buttery potato mash topping, but my tastes have different slightly since then, and the idea of pseudo cauliflower mash has been so prevalent across the internet that I figured it was time to put it all together for an ultimate treat.

Carob trees apparently litter the Mediterranean, or are at least comfortable with the climate, and so for this shepherd’s pie I decided to add a sneaky inner layer of figs, olives, and beetroot (never mind if it’s geographically confused, I love beet!) betwixt the hearty stew and the self-controlled and glamorous spread of sweet-potato/cauliflower mash. Let’s forget my description and dive straight into the photographs!

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The winner takes it all! Beet latkes + sticky-fried broccoli + beans

I actually won the Bunny Kitchen’s NuNatural’s giveaway AND a giveaway from KeepinItKind, hot on the heels of my win of another NuNaturals’ fest hosted by the generous and talented Ann over @ The Unrefined Vegan!! SO much glee! 😀 I’ve decided to pay it forward this time round and add some local vegan-friendly goodies into the packet and then host some sort of raffle or what not to share my bounty across the lands! (or until my bank account starts clearing its throat rather urgently in distress of its own poverty). Basically I’m willing to add extra goodies to the box and see how far I can send it out into the far distance. This way I can combine my love of shopping with sharing, which is always fun 🙂

SQUEE! To celebrate this madness I’ve decided to start compiling a little ebook of easy weekday vegan dinners. Since it’ll take me some time to make and do some research, I’ve decided to share what I made today, and which might feature in said ebook.

MOAR SQUEE!

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Cauliflower soup with crispy beetroot chips

Sometimes one ends up making something that is so dreamy, so utterly tasty that you end up speaking aloud to yourself. That’s what this cauliflower soup did to me. As I finished up blending it all I could do was mutter “so good” over and over, rolling my eyes and ‘testing’ far more than was needed, because wow. I guess you’re scoffing, thinking, pah! Soup! Well, yes. Soup. Glorious, creamy, rich and oh.so.good.

topbeetrootpetals-1res Continue reading


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Holiday! Carrot-beetballs and rainbow dal

A while back I arranged through my super kind FIL to book us a little holiday near the Sudwala Caves for this long weekend, and since day one my mind has been reeling, making menus and trying to be creative with little success. Unfortunately eating out is impractical since there usually isn’t much on the menu to modify outside of dry toast or cheese-less pizza, neither of which is healthiest of choices! So to be prepared for all things, I wrote it all down. What you see below is the “final cut” condensed list. I purposely threw away the other notes, because I ended up with 10 (!!) A4 pages filled top to bottom, along with countless other little scraps of paper and some scribblings in my work diary.

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An amazing green mango-strawberry smoothie – I have to survive til Monday without one!! 😦

Obsessed? Yes. I can’t help it when an opportunity presents itself to think of food in transit, in situations and in memories. We plan to go spelunking in the caves (well, exploring), visiting a dinosaur park, and taking long walks around the estate. All in all such moments require sustenance. Nothing better than some wraps, hummus, carrot-beetballs and dal to tide one over so far from home! Continue reading


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beetroot and bean lasagna (noodle-free)

Last night Man-thing and I went over to my dad’s with the hope of swimming with my little sister – alas the rain foiled our plans, but it was overall a good excuse to test out some recipes. Usually I am very hesitant to make food for my family because they are very fussy about what exactly constitutes a “full meal” when there isn’t meat in it. I decided to shore up some bravery and linked my dad to a wonderful looking sweet potato lasagna by the Mouth Watering Vegan (very appropriately named!) – something I’ve had on my mental to-do list for a long while now. I got the go ahead (with much shock) so it simply had to happen.

As always I made some changes. After reading up on what constitutes soy mince I’m a bit more hesitant to make that my first pit-stop when I can instead replace it with beans or a less “refined” form of protein. I won’t say no to a delicious spaghetti bolognese with soy mince, but if I can replace it I will, especially when I can use delicious beans and get a healthy dose of legumes, which I have to make a conscious effort to include in my diet.

Whilst I did make the “noodles” from sweet potatoes and zucchini as specified in the recipes for last night, as well as the cheeze sauce, I was left with a lot of leftovers (because I used a smaller round dish). I decided to make a sweet potato-free version for today’s lunch with the same filling, cheeze sauce, and some thinly sliced beetroot to top it off. Yum!

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Nutty beet and bean sprout cauliflower risotto

When I was living in Italy many moons ago it was a given that any meal contain carbs in it. Glorious, supremely excessive carbs. These days I try to control myself, but it’s still with wistful sighs everywhere that I think of pastas and risotto dishes cooked to perfection at a time when I could barely master the sandwich. Risotto is a notoriously difficult dish to pull off, so that combined with the idea of cutting down on unnecessary carbs (seriously, I don’t run marathons or anything!) led me down some strange paths on the internet. I usually chow my starchy items in the morning alongside my smoothie because that’s when I’m most ravenous and need fuel to kick-start my day, and also because heavy carbo-loading in the afternoon just makes me want to nap, and we usually aim to take a 40 minute walk at 17h00. Ergo, my delight was supreme when I discovered this rice-free risotto over at Vegangela. I’ve noticed that on my vegan journey I’ve come to regard dishes like this as perfectly normal, but I realize that for the majority of the people that I know in ‘real life’ there will be lots of face pulling. I would also have pulled my face a few years back, but now I just see possibility everywhere, which is pretty awesome.

Cauliflower is such a fantastic and versatile ingredient. One can easily make cake or brownies or even a pizza base (which tastes 100% “normal”!). Even with all this experimentation I realize my brain hasn’t even begun to awaken to all the tastes and combinations one can dive into. For example I’m sure tomatoes would somehow play a glorious role as a wet ingredient in cake, but that’s a trip on its own.

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Spicy fruit and beet chutney stuffed pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Today my FIL jazzed over to our place to help saw down a ficus tree. The tree was planted too close to the low wall separating our garden from that of the neighbour, and it has slowly grown into it, pushing the bricks apart and basically ruining its structural integrity. I’m not a fan of chopping down trees but alas this was one of those situations where there aren’t any alternatives. To feed the troops I decided to go wild and make some cinnamon rolls with a twist.

For the holidays I got a jar of awesome homemade chutney from my SIL which just blew my socks off, so ever since I’ve been keen to try my own chutney, because it really is very, very straight-forward. I’ve modified the recipe to include less fruit, since the pepper and beetroot can be replaced with a can of tinned apples if you choose. Green peppers and beetroot are rather sweet to my taste so it didn’t bother me much. You can also add mangoes or anything, really! I also decided that it simply must find its hope snuggled betwixt the warm folds of a cinnamon roll. How can such a combination be wrong?

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It can’t! 😀 Continue reading