Category Archives: Hand Held & Street Food

Holy Grail Mushroom Burgers

Holy Grail Charred Mushroom Burgers


Holy Grail Mushroom Burgers-2

Makes around 10 burgers, depending on size

Special equipment: food processor and cast iron pan/grill plate

I know this is my second mushroom and walnut recipe in a row, but I couldn’t hold off posting these. These are the tits.

I originally made these for our New Years Day BBQ lunch. Unfortunately the BBQ itself was a spectacular failure, much to my disappointment. I got myself a shiny new coal Weber for Christmas, and I was so excited to use it having not had a BBQ for five years. But then the coal wouldn’t light, and when we finally did get it going the heat was gone in five minutes. So much for that. Luckily these burgers, which I cooked on the stove instead, more than made up for all of it. My house mate said these are better than any mock-beef patty he has ever tried, and that these while not trying to be a meat replica fill that role perfectly. Maybe even better than my beetroot burgers.

And so, I made them again today, some kind of record for me as I usually don’t like to eat the same thing more than once in a month. I just couldn’t stop thinking about them, and how good they would be with tomato relish and my Swiss melt. Sorry, that recipe isn’t ready to share yet, but the combination was perfect. Seriously, these are freakin’ delicious.

Oh, and did I mention they’re gluten free? You heard me.


Approx 500g Swiss Brown mushrooms, thickly sliced

1 heaped cup walnuts

1 1/2 cups packed cooked short grain brown rice

1 large brown onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp porcini powder (or you can use dried porcini mushrooms soaked, drained, squeezed, chopped, a small handful)

2-3tbsp tamari,  or to taste

1 really heaped tbsp shiro miso

A couple pinches dried rosemary

1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup chickpea flour

Salt and olive oil as needed


1. Place the walnuts on a tray and roast at 200C for 5 minutes or until just golden and toasted. Set aside.

2. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a pan over low heat (cast iron is best, as always). Add the onion and stir well. Cook slowly until sticky, soft and mostly brown. Add the garlic and a splash more oil and cook another minute or so. Crank the heat up high and add the mushrooms, a pinch of salt and the porcini. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown and delicious smelling but still fairly firm, around 5 minutes. You don’t want them to release their liquid.

3. Place half the walnuts into the bowl of your food processor. Process until you have a rough nut butter. This takes just over a minute in mine. Add the rest of the nuts and pulse until fine. Add the mushrooms and rice and pulse until chopped small. Do not puree.

4. Place the mix into a large bowl. Add the paprika, miso, tamari, rosemary and pepper and adjust to taste. Make it stronger than you think is perfect, because the flavour will be ‘watered down’ when you add the chickpea flour. Add salt if necessary and mix in the chickpea flour. Leave to stand 10 minutes (or longer). You are going to have a sticky mess, but don’t worry, they firm up A LOT as they cook.

5. Heat a little oil in a cast iron pan over med-low heat. It really needs to be cast iron because the char on these is half the flavour. Seriously do not skip  this. Scoop 1/3 cups mixture into your hands and form into patties. It’s worth doing them all at once and putting them on a baking paper lined tray, because your hands are going to be messy. Fry a few at a time on a fairly low flame, not turning until the underside is a nice dark, golden brown with a bit of char in it, as shown in the photos. You’ll need at least 5 minutes on each side. Don’t be tempted to turn the flame up, you need to cook them slowly or they’ll taste like raw chickpea flour (yuk!) and be all sloppy. Nobody wants that.

6. Stick them in a toasted bun with your favourite condiments. I used tomato relish, vegan Swiss melt made from cashews and secrets, lettuce and tomato. They’re bangin’ with mayo and mustard too. Or ketchup. Whatever floats your boat.

Tacos de Papas

Boss Tacos de Papas

Makes eight 6inch damned delicious tacos 

Today was Fabio’s birthday. Naturally, I had a four course dinner planned, and we had all been looking forward to it all week (and you can look forward to reading about it soon). Unfortunately, the guest of honour has come down with a really nasty cold, and since he can’t taste anything, requested we postpone the dinner. Fair enough, but we still needed to eat, and a birthday is no time for a slouch meal, tastebuds or not.

I decided that I needed to make something still a little bit special, an occasional type of meal, very delicious for me, with lots of great textures for Fabio (because texture is something at least), but using only the few ingredients I had on hand not set aside for the four course meal.  I opened the fridge hoping for inspiration, and was dismayed to find only cabbage and kale. Hmm…perhaps a trip to the shop was required after all. Then I remembered the purple sweet potato, and suddenly inspiration was born.

This potato was always destined for greatness. I saw it at the supermarket a few days ago, all by itself with no purple friends in a sea of orange. How nobody else had spotted this special variety of potato and snatched it up I don’t know, but after making these tacos, I know it must have been fate. It called out to me to take it home and make it into something delicious, and that I did. I realised this evening that a purple sweet potato, with it’s firm, starchy flesh would make the best tacos de papas I had ever eaten. And thus, dinner was made and happiness was, until there was sadness, because all were gone.

The only thing that could have made these better would have been some thinly sliced radish, but I didn’t have any. They’re amazing without it, but radish always takes potato tacos to the next level.


450g purple skinned sweet potato (the kind with white flesh on the inside), peeled and diced into large pieces

1/4 tsp ground cumin

Sea Salt

8 x 6 inch soft white corn tortillas (preferably freshly home-made)

1 1/2 cups finely sliced red cabbage

1 1/2 cup finely sliced white cabbage

1 cup finely sliced curly kale

2 large spring onions, julienned

1/4 cup thinly sliced radish (optional but recommended)

1 batch bangin’ chipotle dressing

Canola oil for frying


1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes and boil until cooked through, around 8-15 minutes (you are correct, I didn’t time this at all).

2. Meanwhile, toss the cabbage, kale and spring onions together. Spread the salad out onto the serving plates, reserving a handful to top the tacos. Drizzle with 1/3 of the chipotle dressing.

3. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Add the cumin and a large pinch of salt and mash. Add salt to taste if required.

4. Scoop out a couple of tablespoons of the mashed potato and drop into the middle of each tortilla. If you aren’t using freshly made tortillas, make sure you soften them first. Press the tortillas closed and smoosh the filling out towards the edges a little. Secure the tops of each taco with a toothpick.

5. Put canola oil into a heavy frying pan 1cm deep. Heat the oil over medium heat to sizzle point. Fry the tacos in batches until crispy and golden, around 2-3 minutes on each side. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.

6. Remove the toothpicks from the tacos and arrange on the serving plate over the salad. Sprinkle the remaining salad over the top, along with the radishes if using. Drizzle with the remaining sauce and serve immediately.

tuna salad-3

Vegan ‘Tuna’ Salad

Total time: 20 minutes, plus 4 hours soaking

Special Equipment: Food processor with large bowl

I first made vegan ‘tuna’ salad to help Fabio with his transition to veganism, as tuna was one of his favourites. Now, I have never had real tuna, but I have a fair inkling that this doesn’t actually taste like the real thing. Never the less, Fabio is now tuna free, and this salad is a regular feature in our lunch boxes. It is darn tasty, full of good fats, protein and omega 3s, free from animal suffering, and as an extra bonus doesn’t stink like tuna. This is my current favourite sandwich filling and cracker topping.

I’ve seen quite a lot of vegan tuna recipes out there, using all manner of combinations of nuts, seeds, beans and chickpeas. I have kept my version raw optional, using sunflower seeds and walnuts. I say optional, because this recipe calls for regular non-raw vegan mayo because it’s way cheaper and tastes better. You can of course substitute raw mayo if you prefer.

This ‘tuna’ salad makes an excellent filling for a one handed sandwich on its own (I don’t know about you, but multitasking on my lunch break is a regular occurrence for me), but when I have two hands to eat with I often throw in some thinly sliced radish, grated carrot, lettuce and some extra mayo for a full sized meal, or skip the bread all together and have it as a salad. It’s also great rolled up in a lettuce leaf with sweet chilli sauce, or eaten out of the container with a spoon when I get home from work. This keeps well in the fridge for at least a week, not that it ever lasts that long at the rate we eat it.


1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked at least 4 hours

2 cups walnuts, soaked at least 4 hours

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil (or flaxseed oil if you want those extra omega 3s and don’t mind the taste)

1 handful each of fresh parsley and dill

2 sheets nori, thinly sliced

2 large sticks celery, roughly chopped

2 large scallions, sliced (optional)

1 small red capsicum, or a combination of red, yellow and green capsicum, roughly diced

1/2 cup fluffy, creamy vegan mayonnaise, or more if you feel like it :)

Salt and black pepper to taste


1. Rinse and drain the sunflower seeds and walnuts. Try to remove as much of the moisture as possible. I put them in my salad spinner and pat dry with paper towel

2. Place the walnuts, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, dill and nori into the large bowl of your food processor. Process until you have a fine, thick paste (around 3 minutes in my food processor). You will need to scrape the sides down a few times throughout.

tuna salad-1

3. Add the celery and pulse until very finely chopped and evenly combined. Add the scallions and capsicum and pulse until finely chopped, but not pureed into the mixture.

tuna salad-2

4. Remove the blade from the food processor and pour in the mayonnaise. Mix well with a spatula and season to taste. Easy peasy!

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.