Sweet Potato, Red Lentil & Sesame Patties with Asian-style Cabbage Slaw

Sweet Potato, Red Lentil & Sesame Patties

It’s seemed as if I haven’t had much time on my hands lately and it makes me sad that I haven’t been creating nice things to share with you all! This weekend, today was a dedicated work day, leaving yesterday free for me to spend as I pleased. Clearly I took the chance to indulge in a little kitchen play-time!

I didn’t have any clear-cut ideas of what I wanted to make other than that sweet potatoes were to be involved, but a little experimenting actually produced a rather yummy result. Another lesson learnt from cooking: sometimes it’s better to go with the flow, forget the plans and trust your instincts Smile

Fortunately, I’m also getting better at this cooking note-taking thing so I can actually pass this recipe on to you and remind myself of how to make this meal again too.


I had also picked up a couple of rather lovely looking cabbages at the market yesterday morning, again with no plans for them, so decided to crack into them straight away and made a simple Asian-style slaw. You can’t go wrong with a crunchy, flavourful salad, whatever the season or occasion. Not in my opinion anyway.

Asian Cabbage Slaw:

1/2 Red Cabbage, shredded
1/2 White Cabbage, shredded (Approx 6-8C Shredded Vegetables)
2 Spring Onions, julienned
Pinch of Chili Flakes (optional)
Juice of 1 Lime (Approx 2T)
1” Fresh Ginger, Minced
3T Brown Rice Vinegar
1T Tamari
1/2t Coconut Sugar (or other sweetener)
1t Sesame Oil
1T Neutral Oil
1/2C Chopped Toasted Cashews (optional)

Combine the shredded cabbage and green onions in a large bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. This salad benefits from sitting at room temperature for a while to allow the flavours to mingle and the cabbage to slightly soften. I added some toasted cashews to the leftovers and would recommend it!

Sweet Potato, Red Lentil & Sesame Patties

Back to the main kitchen experiment, or Sweet Potato, Red Lentil & Sesame Patties as I’m naming the result. These are very straightforward but a little fancier and prettier than your average baked sweet potato. Some extra protein and sturdiness comes in the form of red lentils and chickpea flour and a generous sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onions adds more flavour. Served alongside a little lime spiked non-dairy yogurt you’ve got a fun appetizer, or with the cabbage slaw too, a full meal.

Sweet Potato, Red Lentil & Sesame Patties

Sweet Potato, Red Lentil & Sesame Patties:

2 Medium Sweet Potatoes, Baked in their Skins (to yield 1 1/2C Mashed)
1/2C Red Lentils
1/2C Chickpea Flour
2T Sesame Seeds, Toasted
3-4 Green Onions, Chopped
Salt & Pepper

Bake Sweet potatoes if you haven’t done so already. Simply prick them with a fork, place on a baking tray to catch any drips and cook in a preheated oven at 200C/400F for approx 45 minutes, or until soft. Set aside to cool.

Rinse the red lentils well then add to a pan with 1C water. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until water is all absorbed. Set aside to cool.

Remove sweet potatoes from their skins and mash well in a bowl with the red lentils. Add the chickpea flour, toasted sesame seeds, green onions and seasoning and stir well to combine.

Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up a little as the mixture will likely be very soft.

Preheat oven to 180C/350F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a large cookie scoop or 1/4C measuring cup scoop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking sheet. Using damp fingers flatten into patties and smooth the tops if necessary.

Bake for approx 25 minutes until the surfaces are dry. Leave to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheets as they are a little fragile straight out of the oven. They firm up further once cooled.

Serve with non-dairy yogurt with a squeeze of lime, or your favourite dip.

Makes 10-12

Wishing you all a happy December!

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K is for…

Kidney Beans!

Since I’ve been featuring some less common ingredients recently I thought I’d take it back to basics and highlight a vegan staple- beans! At least they’re a staple for me and if they’re not for you, why not?!

Packed with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals and low in fat, they’re a highly nutritious, not to mention versatile, ingredient.

Kidney beans are not the most used variety in my kitchen but as this A-Z series is all about challenging me (and you!) to explore different options they seemed a good choice for “K”.

It’s so easy to get into a rut of using the same chickpeas and brown rice, or whatever your favourites are, over and over, and forget that there’s a whole world of food possibilities out there. As healthy as chickpeas and brown rice are, a varied diet is also important.

Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato + Quinoa Patties

Until recently I’m sure the only recipes I’d used kidney beans in were for chili! Kidney beans at their finest but not very original. I’ve since tried a couple of other things, namely Vegan Richa’s Dal Makhani - Black Gram and Kidney Beans in Creamy Buttery Gravy and Dreena Burton’s Mediterranean Kidney Bean Burgers from Let Them Eat Vegan, both very good.

Since I’m going through a phase of making everything into patties, that’s what I did with my kidney beans.

Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato + Quinoa Patties

I combined my beans with mashed sweet potato and quinoa for the basic patty mixture, added in sautéed kale, carrots and onions for a veggie boost, and rounded everything out with a little curry flavour.


Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato + Quinoa Patties:

These have a lovely texture, soft but not mushy, with a nice crisp exterior. They hold together well too so if you wanted I imagine you could pan-fry them instead of baking for a darker crust. Feel free to use whatever spices or herbs you like.

1/2T Coconut or Olive oil
1 Onion, diced
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1/4t Chili flakes (optional)
2t Mild curry powder
1/2t Salt
1/2C Coarsely grated carrot,
1C Kale, chopped
1/2C Mashed sweet potato
1C Cooked Kidney Beans
1 1/2C Cooked quinoa
1T Lemon juice
2T Chickpea flour

In a large bowl mash kidney beans with a strong fork or potato masher (you could pulse in a food processor too but make sure not to over-process). You want some chunks for texture. Add sweet potato and mix well. Set aside.

Warm oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add garlic, spices and salt and continue to cook for another minute so that the spices toast and become fragrant. Add kale and carrots and cook for a further 2-4 minutes until greens are wilted. Stir in lemon juice.

Add the vegetable mixture to the bowl along with the cooked quinoa and mix well. Stir through chickpea flour.

Preheat oven to 190C/375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone mat.

Shape into patties with damp hands to stop them sticking. Mine were about 1/3C each. If you make them larger or smaller adjust cooking time accordingly.

Bake patties for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway.

Serve hot with marinara sauce.

Makes 8

Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato + Quinoa Patties

Other kidney bean recipes I plan to try are a bean salad, along the lines of this simple one, this Chickpea + Kidney Bean Gumbo, and a dip of some sort…

Any other ideas to share?

What do you think of beans?

Hope you all had a great weekend. After a 2-day break from posting I’m raring to go for week 3 of Vegan MoFo!


Baked Beetroot Falafel

Entertaining. It used to be something I’d avoid doing. Far too much anxiety involved. Planning the perfect spread to try and please everyone I’d constantly be worrying: what if my guests didn’t like the food? What if I was bad company? What if.. ? Fortunately I’ve mellowed a little recently and entertaining nowadays is a different matter. I get excited about having people over and love the planning and preparations that go into cooking up a big feast. All the same, sometimes it’s nice to have friends round more spontaneously and not spend weeks poring over recipes for an elaborate menu, simply embracing the company as what’s important (alongside a few light bites…).
I’m moving into my own place mid September, a cosy little flat, and am very much looking forward to playing hostess!

Baked Beetroot Falafel

Today’s recipe is the ideal party appetizer and takes hardly any time to put together so you can whip it up quickly if you decide last minute to have friends over. Falafel is familiar to almost everyone so it’s not intimidating “vegan” food, and the shocking pink of these ones are sure to impress. I baked them too which is obviously a much healthier choice than frying, without any compromise in taste in my opinion. During the half an hour that they’re doing their thing in the oven you can mix up a little tahini dipping sauce for a little extra yum with time to spare to spruce up your place too!

Baked Beetroot Falafel

Baked Beetroot Falafel:
(Loosely adapted from Appetite for Reduction)

I’d suggest making a double batch as these things are addictive, and if you’ve got leftovers they’re great for lunch over a big salad, drizzled with extra sauce.

1C Shredded beetroot
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Small onion
1t Ground cumin
1t Ground coriander
1/2t Salt
Black pepper
1 1/2C Cooked chickpeas/1 can
3/4C Roughly chopped fresh parsley and coriander (I used equal quantities of each)
2t Olive oil
3T Chickpea flour

Preheat oven to 180C/350F

I used the grater attachment on my food processor for the beetroot to speed things along even further but you can grate by hand if you don’t have such a thing. Remove beetroot from the food processor into a bowl.

Pulse minced garlic, onion, spices and salt in the food processor until coarsely chopped. Add in chickpeas and herbs and pulse again, being careful not to process too much, as you want a little texture. Add shredded beetroot and pulse just once or twice to combine. Finally stir in the olive oil and chickpea flour. If your mixture is still a little wet then add another tablespoon of chickpea flour.

Shape into golf-ball size balls, lay on a lined baking tray and flatten slightly. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping half-way, or until lightly brown and crispy. Serve warm or at room temperature with tahini dipping sauce.

Tahini-Lemon Sauce:

This is one of my favourite sauces, on anything and everything- green salads, grain and bean bowls, roasted vegetables etc.

4T Tahini
3T Lemon juice
1T Apple cider vinegar
1/4t Salt
1T Agave nectar
1-2 Water

Whisk all ingredients, up to and excluding water, until you have a smooth, thick paste, then gradually add water until it reaches your desired consistency- I like it a little thicker for a dip, a little thinner for a salad dressing. Season with lots of black pepper and chopped fresh parsley.

Do you like entertaining? What do you like to serve when you don’t have time to plan far ahead?

Pesto-Ricotta Tofu Omelettes with Cherry Tomatoes

I wasn’t an egg eater in my omnivore days (except in baked goods of course!) but appreciate that omelettes are a practical dish to make when you don’t want to be in the kitchen too long as they are super quick. This vegan variation is almost as speedy, just a matter of whizzing a few ingredients in a blender, spreading in a pan and cooking as you would an egg omelette.  I’ve made tofu omelettes before, using the basic recipe from Vegan Brunch, mixing up the fillings- garlicky mushrooms and spinach is a favourite, as is a slightly more unconventional “leftovers” omelette, usually involving some kind of beany vegetable stew or curry.

I came across this variation on the Vegan Cookbook Aficionado recently and thought it sounded perfect for right now. The obvious result  of bountiful basil growing in the garden is pesto! I made a big batch and froze some so I can enjoy that summer taste over the winter months, as well as giving me plenty to use in different dishes now. Mix it in pasta, with new potatoes, beans, slather it on crusty bread, crackers or as a dip for crudités…and now use it as an omelette filing! I had conveniently just made my Swiss Chard Lasagna too, and planned ahead, reserving a few tablespoons of the ricotta filling for these. Pan-blistered cherry tomatoes sealed the deal.

Pesto-Ricotta Tofu Omelettes with Chery Tomatoes

I’ve mentioned I don’t really do savoury breakfasts before so I made mine for an easy dinner alongside some fresh sourdough bread and a green salad. The omelette mix made enough for 2 and I was cooking for one so I simply covered it over in the fridge and made another the following day. Knowing it keeps fine, if you are into savoury in the mornings then you could use a full packet of tofu (double the listed quantities) and make a fresh omelette for breakfast for a few days!


Pesto-Ricotta Tofu Omelettes with Cherry Tomatoes:

(Adapted from Vegan Cookbook Aficionado)

1/2 400g/12oz pkg Silken tofu
1T Nutritional Yeast
1/2T Olive oil
3T Non-dairy milk
1/8t Turmeric
1/4-1/2t Black salt (This is what really gives these the “eggy” taste but if you can’t find it just add a little more regular salt. I bought some years back at Whole Foods and it’s lasted me since then)
1/4C Chickpea Flour
1/2T Arrowroot/Cornstarch
Salt + Pepper
6-8 Cherry tomatoes, halved
A few T Lemony tofu ricotta
A few T Basil Pesto ( I used homemade but if you don’t have any to hand I recommend these UK brands: Zest and Meridian)

Blend tofu through to black salt in a food processor or blender (I use a Tribest Personal Blender) until smooth. Add chickpea flour, arrowroot and seasoning and blend again briefly, scraping down the sides to ensure everything is fully incorporated.

Warm a little olive oil over med-high in a non-stick pan and add the tomatoes. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, until just beginning to collapse. Set aside in a small dish.

Wipe out pan and lightly grease with oil. Turn the heat down to medium. Pour 1/2 omelette mixture into the hot pan and spread it out into a thin layer with a spatula. Leave to cook for 3-5 minutes before flipping. Gently lift the sides with a large spatula, the underside should be matte and flecked with little brown spots if ready to flip. If not, leave a little longer. Flip omelette (I slide it onto a plate to make it easier) and spread on one half with pesto, add a couple of dollops of ricotta and finally a few halved cherry tomatoes. Gently fold the opposite half over the fillings and leave to cook for 1 more minute. Keep warm, covered, in the oven on very low heat while you make the second omelette.

Makes 2


Stay tuned for some more recipes incorporating pesto! What do you like to do with it?

Have you made tofu omelettes before? If not, that needs to change pronto!