Spiced Cauliflower Soup

This recipe came from one of our visits to India. 
Ingredients
4 Tbsps coconut oil
1 cauliflower, cut into florets 
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
10 curry leaves
3 onions, chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
750 ml vegetable stock
1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
3 tsp garam masala
Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
Toasted cumin seeds, to serve
Torn coriander leaves, to serve
Method
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Pour 2 Tbsps of coconut oil onto an oven tray. Toss the cauliflower florets, garam masala and garlic on the tray, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes until the cauliflower is golden.
Allow to cool.
Heat the remaining coconut oil in a large saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and cook for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes until softened. Add garam masala, cayenne and two-thirds of the cauliflower and garlic mix. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Blend until smooth. Stir in the cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4 people.
Ladle the soup into four bowls and top with the remainder of the cauliflower florets. sprinkle with the toasted cumin and the coriander leaves.

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Lime Ice Sweet

This lime ice makes a delicious accompaniment to most fruit desserts. Choose your favourite fruit or fruit in season.
Ingredients
7 limes
220g caster sugar
1/2 sweet pineapple, peeled cored and cut into 2 cm chunks
2 mangoes, peeled stoned and cut into 2 cm chunks
1 punnet strawberries, sliced
Method
Put 650ml of water in a pan over medium heat and stir in the caster sugar. Bring to simmering stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Finely grate 2 tsp lime rind (approx 2 limes). Add to the syrup.
Set aside to cool.
Squeeze 200 ml of lime juice and add to the syrup.
Strain lime mixture through a sieve into a square baking dish.
Cover and freeze for 30 minutes.
Use a fork to break up frozen edges of lime mixture. Freeze. Every 30 minutes continue to break up flaky frozen edges. Continue until flaky crystals have formed.
Meanwhile grate rind from 2 limes into a bowl. Add the pineapple chunks, mango chunks and strawberry slices and gently fold together to combine.
Divide the fruit mixture between 8 dessert bowls or glasses and serve topped with the lime ice.

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Sweetcorn, Snow Peas and Asparagus Salad

A colourful crisp salad for this hot weather.
Ingredients
half a Chinese cabbage thinly sliced
1 tin sweetcorn, drained
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and sliced longwise
200g snow peas, string removed and sliced longwise
1 carrot sliced into matchsticks
1 large cucumber, cut in half, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
bunch of parsley or coriander leaves
bunch of mint leaves
100g unsalted peanuts, roasted and chopped
Shallot dressing
60ml soy sauce
75g caster sugar
6 limes, finely grate off the skin and squeeze out the juice
50g shallots finely chopped
Method
Make the dressing first. Whisk the soy sauce, caster sugar, lime rind and 150 ml lime juice until the sugar has dissolved. Add the shallots and salt if required. Set aside to develope the flavours.
In a large salad serving bowl combine the cabbage, sweetcorn, sliced asparagus, sliced snow peas, cucumber, tomatoes and three quarters of the parsley, mint and peanuts. Mix well.
Pour over the dressing and mix, or place the dressing in a jug and be sure it passes around with the salad for those who like to dress their own salad.
Before serving garnish with the remaining parsley, mint and peanuts.
Serves 8 people.

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Charred Capsicum Dip

A tasty colourful dip with a drink before the meal.
Ingredients
4 red pcapsicums
2 tsp olive oil
8 small pitta breads divided into 4 to make pockets
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp salt
60ml lemon juice
250ml olive oil
parsley chopped to serve
walnuts chopped to serve
Method
Cut the capsicum in thirds and deseed. Place parchment paper on a baking tray and put the capsicum, inside down, flat on the tray. Brush with the 2 tsp olive oil. Grill  in the oven until the skin is charred and blistered. Heat the pitta bread in the oven until warm and slightly charred.
Toast half the walnuts.
Set capsicum aside to cool.
In a food processor put the garlic, cayenne pepper, cumin and salt and 4 pieces of charred pitta bread and process until fine. Add the capsicum, the untoasted half of walnuts, lemon juice and 250 mls of olive oil. Process until the mixture is well combined but still textured.
Place in a serving bowl and drizzle over any remaining olive oil and garnish with the parsley and toasted walnuts.
Serve with the warm, grilled pitta bread, placing the capsicum dip inside the pitta bread pockets or tear the pitta bread and dip it.
Serves 8 people.

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Granola with Fruit and Soy Yoghurt

We ate this delicious and very attractive breakfast at Cairns Art Centre.
Ingredients
1 packet toasted granola chunks
1 tub soy yoghurt
4 oranges
2 bananas
4 kiwi fruit
8 strawberries
1 punnet raspberries
1 punnet Blueberries
50g almonds
method
These ingredients serve 4 people.
Squeeze the oranges and wash or peel the fruit and crush the almonds
In the cereal bowl place a serving of granola. In the centre place several spoonfuls of yoghurt.
Slice the bananas on the slant and arrange upright round the edge of the bowl.
Slice the strawberries and arrange them against the bananas.
Slice the kiwi fruit in circles and place on the granola between the yoghurt and the strawberries.
Sprinkle the raspberries and the blueberries over the yoghurt and top with the crushed almonds.
Pour the orange juice around the edge of the bowl.
Enjoy.
Vary the fruit to your taste and what is in season.

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Hummus with Turmeric, Nuts and accompaniments

We were in Forli, Italy at a Vegan Restaurant and this was my main meal. It was both filling and tasty.
Ingredients
1 small tub of hummus
1 tsp turmeric elixir
25mg walnuts, toasted and crushed
vinaigrette dressing, served in a small jug
25mg croutons
50 mg potato, diced and roasted
small garden salad
Method
Place the hummus in the centre of a deep plate.
Pour the turmeric elixir around the hummus.
Pile the crushed walnuts on top of the hummus.
Place the roasted potatoes and warmed croutons in a small dish.
Serve with a small garden salad.
Dip the potatoes or croutons in the vinaigrette and then into the hummus or drizzle the vinaigrette over the hummus and salad as required.
Serves one person.
Can be enlarged to serve several people fondue style as a starter with individual small salads and a plate each of potatoes and croutons.

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Sweetcorn and Apple Salad

Adds colour and flavour as a side salad.
Ingredients
1 small sweetcorn, steamed
1 Granny Smith apple
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
3 Tbsp virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 dash of Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Method
Cut the corn kernels off the ears. Peel, core and dice the apple very small, like the kernels.
Toss all the ingredients together.
Allow to sit for 2 hours before serving to allow the flavours to blend together.

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Orange Sauce

Another recipe from our host Leni in Umbria, Italy.
This sauce can be used as a savoury sauce or a sweet sauce. It is nice instead of a pesto over pasta with chopped mushrooms and parsley or as a sauce over sliced strawberries or sliced figs.
Ingredients
2 oranges
1 Tbsp cornflour
3 tsp white wine
1 tsp lemon juice
20g vegan margarine
salt and pepper to taste
Method
Squeeze the oranges, to get about 250 mls of juice, into a small saucepan.. Add the cornflour, white wine and lemon juice. Cook over a medium heat until it thickens, about 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add small pieces of the margarine stirring continuously, until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
Season to taste and serve warm.
Multiply all the ingredients to increase the volume of sauce.

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