Pesto Pizza

Take a pizza base, spread pesto sauce over the surface, sprinkle with veges (such as steamed courgette slices, sautéed onion and/or mushrooms, capsicum etc), and top with slices of tofu or soya cheese and sliced tomato. Sprinkle your favorite herbs or seasoning on top, lightly drizzle with olive oil and bake 15 minutes at 180C.

NB try spreading half a can of creamed corn on top of the veges if you miss that yellow creamy topping.


Croustade of Mushroom


  • 125gm soft breadcrumbs
  • 125gm ground nuts
  • 50gm margarine
  • 125gm flaked almonds/pine kernals/hazelnuts
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ tsp mixed herbs


  • 500gm mushrooms, sliced
  • 50gm margarine
  • 2 heaped TB flour
  • 400ml (more or less) soy milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated nutmeg
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 TB chopped parsley

Make the base by mixing together the breadcrumbs and ground nuts. Rub in the margarine as for pastry. Add flaked almonds and mix. Then add garlic and herbs. Mix well, then firmly press down in a flat ovenproof dish or Swiss roll tin. Bake in a hot oven 230C for 15-17 minutes until crisp and golden. For the topping, saute the mushrooms in margarine until tender, add flour, stir and remove from the heat. Stir in the soy milk, return to the heat and stir as it thickens. Simmer for 10 mins on low. Season. Spoon mix on top of the base, top with tomatoes. Bake for 10-15 minus to heat through. Top with parsley. NB. if you don’t like mushrooms, make the topping by replacing the mushrooms with 2 cups of finely sliced leeks and corn kernals. Add 2 tsp of vegetable stock powder.

Tofu Burgers

This recipe won Gaynor Asquith the 2005 Christchurch Vegetarian Centre best burger taste test competition. Scoring 35.63 out of 40, it appealed on all levels. It looked great, is fast to prepare and is the perfect all round burger. It could be put in a sandwich, burger bun, BBQ or dinner plate. Because it is baked, it also provides a low fat option. It makes approximately 10 large patties.

  • 300gm firm tofu
  • 1/3 cup sago (soaked in warm water for 15 minutes)
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 4 TB peanut butter (you can use tahini)
  • 4 TB toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 TB tamari (or soy sauce)
  • ½  cup fresh parsley leaves or coriander
  • extra sesame seeds for coating patties (approx ½ cup)

Strain the sago in a sieve, making sure you push out the excess water. Place all ingredients in a food processor.  Blend on high for 2-3 minutes until well combined. Form into patties and coat them with sesame seeds. Place patties onto a lightly floured oven tray and bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes. Change spices and herbs to suit taste.

Deep Dish Pizza

This recipe is from VegNews magazine

  • 2 tsp active dry yeast (or 4 tsp surebake yeast)
  • 4¼ cups white flour
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 tsp salt
  •  1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 cup raw cashews
  • ¼ c lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp vinegar (rice or cider)
  • Toppings – your fav pizza sauce and other toppings such as sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion (coated in olive oil to prevent burning), chopped olives, peppers, mushrooms, corn, pineapple, artichoke hearts, etc

In a small bowl dissolve yeast in warm water and let it stand 10 minutes. In a large bowl combine 2 cups of the flour, ¼ cup oil, 2 tsp salt, syrup and yeast mixture. Stir in the rest of the flour, half a cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Continue to mix well until dough comes together completely and stir for ten mins to knead the dough (the dough will be quite soft, unlike bread dough). Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm area for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 260C. In a blender, process cashews, 2 tsps salt, lemon juice, 1 cup water and vinegar til smooth. In a 30cm cake tin, spread 2 tbs olive oil evenly over the bottom and sides. Press dough along the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides so that the thickness is consistent throughout the pan. Spread another 2 tbs of oil onto dough. Add pizza sauce and toppings, and then pour cheese sauce over the top. Bake for 18 minutes.

Eggplant Sambal

This recipe is from Flip Grater’s The Cookbook Tour.

  • 2 medium-sized eggplants
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • ½ bunch fresh coriander, finely sliced
  • knob fresh ginger
  • 1TB tamarind paste
  • 1 chilli
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 TB dark soy sauce
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • oil

Soak tamarind in about 200mls boiling water. While the tamarind is soaking, prick the eggplant and score the tomatoes so they don’t explode. Place in a roasting dish with a slug of oil and the unpeeled garlic cloves and roast at 180C, turning occasionally, until squidgy, about (20-30 minutes).

Vegetable Bake

This recipe is from Pam Bidwell’s New Zealand book Living a Good Life.

  • A range of vegetables (eg, potato, kumara, pumpkin, carrots, parsnips, swede, mushrooms)
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • olive oil
  • sesame seeds
  • yeast flakes
  • salt
  • garlic

Cut the vegetables up into cubes. Drain the chickpeas. Put them into the hot olive oil in a roasting dish in the oven. Add in yeast flakes, sesame seeds, salt and garlic cloves. Slowly roast.

Lentil Dahl (GF)

This recipe is from Pam Bidwell’s New Zealand book Living a Good Life.

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 TB margarine
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 TB lemon juice

Wash the lentils and soak the lentils in the morning (in the stated 3 cups of water) – although this is not necessary, it has the benefit of boosting the lentils vitamin and mineral content plus reducing cooking time. Soak the lentils in the morning (in the stated 3 cups of water). Although this is not necessary, it has the benefit of boosting the lentils vitamin and mineral content plus reducing cooking time. Melt the margarine in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and saute over a gentle heat until the onion is soft. Add all the spices and salt and saute for 1 or 2 minutes. Now add the lentils (including any residual water) and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Stir regularly and add extra water if necessary. Can be served on rice or with chapatis.

Cashew Nut Roast with Herb Dressing

  • 50gm margarine
  • 1 large onion
  • 225gm unroasted cashews
  • 100gm white bread
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 200ml water or stock
  • salt and pepper
  • grated nutmeg
  • 1TB lemon juice
  • Preheat the oven to 200C

Line a 450gm/1lb loaf tin with paper and grease with some of the margarine. Fry the onion in the margarine for 10 minutes at a low heat until soft but not browned. Grind the cashews in a food processor, then remove and process the bread until it is in crumbs. Place all other ingredients in the food processor and mix.


  • 100gm white breadcrumbs
  • 50gm margarine
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp marjoram
  • 25gm parsley, chopped

Process the bread in the food processor until it is crumbed. Add other stuffing ingredients and mix well. Put half of the cashew mix into the tin, top with the stuffing, then put the rest on top. Stand the loaf tin in a baking tray to catch any oozing oil, and bake for about 20 minutes until firm and browned. Remove from the oven, let stand for a few minutes, then slip a knife around the sides of the tin and turn out.

Vegetable Lasagne

  • 1 packet wide lasagna
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 2 cups chopped lightly steamed veges (courgettes, broccoli, capsicum, etc)
  • 3 tomatoes, sliced


  • 600gm tofu
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano.

Boil the pasta until just cooked. In a casserole dish, layer the pasta sauce, pasta, veges and tofu filling. Top with sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle herbs over the tomatoes, then drizzle over with olive oil. Bake 35-40 minutes at 180C. Serve with a freshly tossed green salad.

Spinach fritters

Demonstrated by Saci Reading at the 2013 Vegetarian Expo in Christchurch.

One bunch of spinach, washed and chopped coarsely.
1 cup chickpea flour
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon hing
2 tablespoons fresh coriander or parsley chopped finely
1/4 cup of water
salt for sprinkling
black salt (optional)
oil for cooking

In a bowl mix chickpea flour, chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder and cumin seed, add hing, fresh herbs and water until batter is formed. Add spinach and mix until the batter coats spinach evenly. In a non-stick pan fry tablespoons of mixture on medium-low heat flattened with a back of a spoon in a little oil. When both sides are golden and crisp remove from the pan and sprinkle with a mixture of salt and black salt and taste. (Note, salt is only added after frying.) Makes 10 – 15 small fritters. Serve with relish or chutney.

The Lotus-Heart Curry

Demonstrated by Granantan at the 2013 Vegetarian Expo in Christchurch.

In a stock pot boil until tender
5 cups Diced Kumara
6 cups Water
1 tsp Salt.
Remove the kumara with a sieve or slotted spoon, add to the stock pot
5 cups Cauliflower Florets
Cook cauliflower for 5 minutes or until tender.
In another pot
¼ cup oil or coconut oil, Warm gently then add
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
When starting to pop add
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
½ tsp Fennel Seeds
Continue popping, then blend the following to a paste with ½ – ¾ cup water:
30g Ginger
4 cloves Garlic
Heat through – fry for 2-3 minutes. Then add:
¾ cup Toasted Shredded Coconut
¼ cup Toasted Cashews
3 cups diced Tomatoes – can be canned tomatoes
Simmer and add:
1 ½ tsp each of ground Cumin, ground Coriander and ground Turmeric
2 tsp Salt
½ tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Cardamom
¼ tsp Black Pepper
¼ tsp Hot Chilli Powder
Add the kumara and cauliflower to the curry pot along with
1½ – 2 cups of stock (that the vegetables were cooked in) and
1 cup Coconut Cream.
Stir through ½ cup roughly chopped coriander

Coconut Rice
2 cups Basmati Rice
1 cup Coconut Cream
3 cups Water
3cm Sliced Ginger
Fry basmati rice and the ginger.
Add the water and coconut cream. Bring to the boil.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes – until the liquid is absorbed.


Cauliflower Manchuria

As demonstrated by Ravi Kandula at the 2013 Vegetarian Expo in Christchurch.

Serves 6-8 people as a snack food.   Gluten free flour can be substituted for plain flour


1x medium cauliflower
3T cornflour
4T plain flour
2/3 Cup cold water
1 tsp iodised salt
½ tsp pepper
500ml vegetable oil

1. Cut the cauliflower into 1” sized florets and set aside
2. Mix the cornflour, plain flour, salt, pepper and water
3. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy pan for deep frying
4. Dip the florets in the batter and fry in 3 or 4 batches
5. Fry on medium heat until the batter is golden brown
6. Allow to drain well and set aside; do not cover these


1 T margarine
1” piece ginger
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup tomato sauce
Handful coriander

1. Gently peel the ginger with a spoon and grate finely
2. Heat butter in a small pan and fry ginger until crispy
3. Add soy sauce and tomato sauce to the fried ginger
4. Cook through until mixture has thickened to a sauce
5. Stir the fried cauliflower florets through the mixture
6. Roughly chop the coriander and mix prior to serving

Tasty Burritos

As demonstrated by Angela Hurley at the Christchurch Vegetarian Expo 2013.

6 large wholemeal wraps
1 tin chopped tomato
1 recipe Refried Beans
1c White Sauce
Pour about ¾ of the tin of tomato into a baking dish 23cm by 33cm. Spread the surface of each tortilla with the refried beans mixture and roll up. Place in the baking dish. Continue to do this until the dish is packed full of burritos. Pour the white sauce over the rolled up burritos and the rest of the tin of tomato. Bake at 180°C for about 30 mins and serve.
Optional: Sprinkle freshly chopped herbs like coriander or basil on the top for extra flavour.

Refried Beans
2 large onions, diced
1 T oil
1 t oregano
2 t ground cumin
2 T lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large red capsicums
pinch cayenne pepper
1 t paprika
1 t basil
1 t parsley
140g can tomato paste
1 t salt
3 c pinto beans,
cooked liquid from pinto beans
Sauté onions and garlic. Add capsicum and seasonings. Stir frequently. Once soft, reduce heat and add beans and tomato paste. Heat through. Blend in the food processor and add the liquid from the beans if needed to blend until desired consistency is achieved, it needs to be very thick.

White Sauce
1 c raw sunflower seeds
2 c water
1½ t salt
2 t onion powder
2 T savoury yeast flakes (opt.)
½ t garlic powder
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Bring to the boil, stir until thick. Use for burritos, pizza, lasagna etc.
• Add ½ red capsicum to give it colour and extra flavour.
• Replace the sunflower seeds with cashew nuts.