Green chickpea vegetable curry

I’m sure many of you who work full-time understand this already but after a busy day at work it’s difficult to find the motivation to cook a healthy meal.

Since starting my internship in Melbourne last week, I’ve realised the way to tackle this problem is to be organised. The more prepared I am at the start of the week, the easier it is to eat healthily during the week. As there are no excuses not to eat healthy when I have all the ingredients in the fridge!

Green curry paste

I bought this curry paste from Coles in the Asian section. It’s a healthy yet convenient way to add instant flavour to your meal.

Cooking away…

I understand traditional curries require hours of cooking however this is an easy recipe that requires limited cooking time and is full of flavour!

Full of greens

What is great about this curry is that you can use whatever vegetables you have – feel free to add some chicken if you want too!

Quick, healthy curry

This curry can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for two days – or great for lunch the next day!

Green chickpea vegetable curry

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP green curry paste
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1 TBSP ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 bunch shallots, washed and sliced
  • 1x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch pak choy, washed and sliced
  • 1 cup green beans, washed and sliced
  • 1x 400g can coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa

Method:

  1. In a large frypan over medium heat melt coconut oil.
  2. Add green curry paste, garlic, ginger and shallots and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.
  3. Add chickpeas and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add pak choy, green beans and coconut milk, then simmer for a further 5-7 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with cooked quinoa. Enjoy!

How do you add flavour to your meals?

Quinoa chickpea vegetable salad with hummus

Since Sunday I have been down in Melbourne as I am completing an internship for three weeks as part of my university studies! As I’m a self-confessed foodie I have already been sampling the delicious food Melbourne has to offer. So, I thought I’d share some meals with you..

Vegan shepherd’s pie with salad and chutney!

I enjoyed this gluten free vegan shepherd’s pie from The Organic Food and Wine Deli in Degraves St Melbourne CBD, for lunch on my first day. It was absolutely delicious and really reasonably priced!

Delicious dinner at Mamasita’s!

I caught up with a good friend at Mamasita’s, Collins St Melbourne CBD, last night for dinner. Although there was about a 30 minute wait to be seated, I believe it was well worth it. We enjoyed their signature corn, a taco each (I chose the fish) and their chickpea fritters – these were my favourite of the night! The entire restaurant is gluten free, yet the most surprising part was the bill. All of this only cost us $20 each – such great value! I highly recommend eating here, but do be prepared to queue!

So now onto the recipe…

As I’m working 9-5 days I’m experiencing what it really is like having to cook after a busy day at work. I believe the words ‘simpler is better’ are very appropriate to use here!

Chopped vegetables

This salad is very simple and you can basically use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge.

Cooking away

The quinoa and chickpeas add an element of protein to this filling salad.

A little tip – cook a lot of quinoa on Sunday and store it in a sealed container so you can add it to dishes throughout the first part of the week!

Simple, healthy dinner

This salad will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two days – perfect to take for lunch the next day!

Quinoa chickpea vegetable salad with hummus

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1/2 zucchini, washed and finely sliced
  • 1/2 eggplant, washed and finely diced
  • 1/2 red capsicum, washed and finely diced
  • 1/2 head broccoli, washed and cut into florets
  • 3 mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup rocket, washed
  • 3 TBSP hummus
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Place a large frypan over medium heat and add coconut oil.
  2. Add in carrot, zucchini, eggplant, capsicum, broccoli and mushrooms, and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add cooked quinoa, cumin and chickpeas to vegetables. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Stir through rocket, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with hummus.
  5. Enjoy!

Note: goat cheese would work really well with this salad!

As I’m down in Melbourne for three weeks, I welcome any suggestions from you for healthy cafes/restaurants for me to try!

Chocolate dip

When asked to bring dessert to a friends place you want something that’s easy to make, delicious and more often than not, chocolate.

This dip is a great alternative to a raw cake, brownies and/or cake pops as it requires less time to make and still tastes amazing.

All ready for processing

You’re probably looking at the above photo and thinking, “Why are there chickpeas if it’s meant to be sweet?” Well, maybe you weren’t thinking exactly that, but I’m sure you are now!

The chickpeas create the creamy texture of this dip. The cacao and dates disguise the flavour of the chickpeas with a sweet chocolate flavour. So, no need to worry!

Smooth consistency

This dip tastes amazing with fruit, spread on toast, with oats in the morning or eaten by the spoonful!

Ready for dipping

It will keep in the fridge for up to four days in a sealed container.

Chocolate dip

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 TBSP almond butter
  • 3 TBSP cacao powder
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 TBSP almond milk
  • 1 punnet of fresh strawberries, washed
  • 2 apples, washed and sliced
  • Or fresh fruit of your choice!

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process for 3-4 minutes, or until smooth.
  2. Serve with fresh strawberries and apple slices. Enjoy!

What do you like to bring for dessert?

Vegan chickpea patties

When I have a busy week ahead I always make sure my food is prepared in advance. This is to prevent me from reaching for anything in sight when hunger strikes.

These chickpea patties are great to have on hand to add into salads, used as a filling in a wrap or top with hummus or pesto for a delicious snack.

Main ingredients

The main ingredients in the patties are chickpeas and pumpkin seeds. They are both full of protein and fibre which will keep you fuller for longer.

Adding some colour

The carrot and parsley not only add colour but extra nutrients to the patties.

‘Flax egg’ as a binding agent

As I’ve mentioned before here, flax eggs are a vegan replacement for eggs. They act as a binding agent and help keep the patties together.

All set for baking

These chickpea patties can be cooked in a frypan however I prefer to bake them as it means no extra oil is required.

Dinner is served

These patties will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to four days.

If you want to freeze them, do so before baking and layer between baking paper to prevent them from sticking together. Defrost the patties before baking and do so as per the instructions below.

Chickpea patties

Makes 11 medium-sized patties

Ingredients:

  • 2 x 250g cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, washed
  • 1 TBSP macadamia oil
  • 3 TBSP flaxseed meal
  • 1 TBSP water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix flaxseed meal and water together in a bowl to make the flax egg. Set aside for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Place chickpeas and pumpkin seeds in a food processor. Process for 2 minutes or until smooth.
  4. Add carrot, garlic, parsley and macadamia oil. Process for a further 2 minutes or until combined.
  5. Add flax egg and process for a final 2 minutes or until all combined.
  6. Roll into balls, place on prepared baking tray and press down gently to flatten.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes then flip and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  8. Serve with salad and enjoy!

Colourful dinner

I always try to eat a rainbow everyday!

How do you plan ahead with your food for a busy week? I’d love to hear any hints you might have!

Lentil chickpea soup with quinoa, pumpkin and spinach

I am a sucker for a hearty soup and with winter fast approaching it definitely makes me want to start cooking them! I find them comforting, very filling and full of essential nutrients. My favourites are pumpkin soup and chicken and vegetable soup, but I think I now have a new favourite!

Pumpkin coated in spices

The spices provide this soup with a rich earthy flavour and when served with the guacamole, the lime really makes the flavours pop.

Full of vegetables

This soup is a great way to use up extra cooked quinoa. Quinoa is full of protein and has a low-GI which is beneficial in keeping blood sugar levels stable.

Winter warming soup

Lentil chickpea soup with quinoa, pumpkin and spinach

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 brown onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 TBSP fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 TBSP macadamia oil
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP turmeric
  • 1 TBSP dried coriander leaves
  • 700g pumpkin, washed and diced
  • 6 tomatoes, washed and diced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and washed
  • 1 can green lentils, drained and washed
  • 2 cups spinach leaves, washed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Serve with guacamole

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add cumin, turmeric and coriander and cook until fragrant, around 2 minutes.
  3. Add the pumpkin and stir to coat in spices.
  4. Stir in the vegetable stock and tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add chickpeas and lentils and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until pumpkin is soft.
  6. Take off the heat and stir in the spinach leaves and quinoa.
  7. Serve with guacamole and enjoy!

Do you have a favourite winter soup flavour?