“Recently, in an attempt to have less meat in our diet, I’ve been trying to create vegetarian and vegan recipes that still satisfy me and pack a punch of flavour and texture. My favourite would have to be mushroom parmigiana. Right up there with the chicken version! One dish we eat heaps of is Bolognese or Chilli con carne and I’ve started using half beef, half lentils to great effect. I still wanted to do a vegan version, so started experimenting with this recipe. My aim was to get a dish that felt like you were eating the original and still had heaps of complex flavours. The fact that my carnivorous husband loves it means it must be a success. This is a good recipe for doing in bulk and freezing for later. Enjoy!”
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1 stick of celery, diced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1 tsp star anise powder
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp sweet paprika
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups red wine
1 x 400g can of tomatoes
1 x 400g can of lentils
1 x 400g can of chick peas
1 x 400g can of black or red beans
4 tbsp Kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup Barbecue sauce (optional)
100g pecans, finely diced
Cook the carrot, onion, celery and garlic in a large frypan until soft.
Add the tomato paste, star anise, cumin and paprika and cook off for a few minutes.
Add the red wine and tomatoes then let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Put the mushrooms in a food processor until diced. You want to keep a bit of texture. Do the same with the chick peas.
Put mushrooms, lentils, beans and chickpeas in a large stockpot or slow cooker. Pour in the tomato and red wine mixture and combine. Allow this to sit on low heat for at least an hour. If the mixture gets too dry, add more red wine or vegetable stock.
Add the kecap manis (or dark soy sauce) and balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you want a smokey flavour add the barbecue sauce.
Stir in the pecans just before you serve for added texture.
Serve with the pasta of your choice and parmesan cheese.
“Once a month we have “Cake-day” at the QLD Symphony Orchestra. It’s an opportunity for us all to gather for morning tea and try a lavish selection of baked delicacies by our industrious members. I’ve taken on the role to provide cakes for the vegan members of the orchestra, so I’m always looking for new recipes that taste just as good as their non-vegan versions. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the recipe up to the standard I want but some are so delicious on the first attempt that I don’t need to change anything. For this recipe I found a basic vegan cupcake recipe and changed it into this zingy little number with the addition of carrots, currents and walnuts. Enjoy!”
1 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup soy or almond milk
Juice and rind from 2 lemons
1 carrot, grated
1 cup currents
3 cups self raising flour
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
For the glaze
1 cup icing sugar
Juice and rind from 1 lemon
Place coconut oil, soy or almond milk, bananas and lemon juice and rind in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Mix together the grated carrot, currents, flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and mixed spice.
Add the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
Line 2 cupcake tins (makes about 20) with cupcake papers and fill 2/3 full with the mixture. Sprinkle the walnuts on top.
Bake in a 180 degree celsius oven for 20 minutes.
While the cupcakes cool, mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice and rind until smooth. Top each cupcake with a small wedge of lemon, then using a teaspoon drizzle with the glaze.
“I’ve got an increasing number of friends that are either vegetarian or vegan. so I decided I’d better perfect a vegetarian “Sausage” roll. As I plan to open a cafe in the future I thought it would be a good addition to the menu. I’ve found that other veggie rolls I’ve had have been a bit bland and lacking in texture so I’ve added pumpkin seeds and a few other ingredients to give them a culinary kick. The filling contains no animal products so vegans can make them simply by substituting vegan pastry for the puff pastry I’ve used. I’ve also used the filling as a veggie burger patty by rolling in bread crumbs and shallow frying. Enjoy!”
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
150g mushrooms, diced
2 tbsp fennel seeds
1 carrot, grated
1 zucchini, grated
75g sun-dried tomatoes
100g bread crumbs
400g can of chick peas, drained and lightly smashed
400g sweet potato, roasted or grated
100g pumpkin seeds
Salt and pepper
4 sheets of puff pastry or vegan pastry
Egg-wash or almond milk to brush on pastry
Place the whole unpeeled sweet potato on a tray and bake at 180 degrees C for 40 minutes or until it is soft all the way through. Let it cool then blitz in a food processor until smooth. (You can also just grate the sweet potato and add to the mixture, but I prefer the baked version)
Fry the diced onion, garlic, mushroom and fennel seeds until onion is translucent. Set aside to cool.
In a food processor, blitz the sun-dried tomatoes and olives.
Combine the grated carrot, zucchini, bread crumbs, smashed chick peas and pumpkin seeds. Add in the tomatoes and olives, the garlic and onion mixture and the pureed sweet potato. Stir the mixture well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then refrigerate for at least an hour.
Lay out 4 sheets of puff pastry or vegan pastry and distribute a log of the cooled filling down the middle of each.
Wrap the pastry around the filling and place seam side down on a baking tray.
Brush with egg-wash or almond milk and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
Bake at 180 degrees C for 30-45 minutes or until the pastry has cooked and browned.
Let the rolls cool slightly before slicing into segments and serve with a sauce or chutney.
Hello, my name is Craig.
Craig Allister Young is a cellist, orchestrator, arranger, singer and song-writer who works with the QLD Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane.
Over the past 20 years he has orchestrated music for most of the major orchestras in Australia, composed music for the Sydney 2000 Olympics,
toured a cabaret ensemble around QLD and for the past three years has been a musical director and cellist for the QLD ballet. His passion for cooking
saw him embark on his latest adventure as a top 24 contestant in the hugely popular TV sensation Australian Masterchef 2011. It is from this that the idea of
"Musical Menus" materialised as a way of combining his love for music with his passion for creating imaginative culinary dishes. Bon Appetite!