Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan

Big bowls of spice roasted vegetables paired with winter herb scented quinoa makes for a hearty, healthy and comforting winter dinner. This is my kind of two pan dinner for easy, healthy, winter dinners.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | VeganI’m not about winter. I’m not about the cold, the chapped lips, the running from my car to the gym and to my house just to be warm. I’m not about the drippy noses and pantyhose. I’m a born and raised Queenslander. Give me hot, humid, hairstyle-destroying days, long hours of bestial sunshine, and skies that turn black and crack with lightening, flooding rains that turn streets into rivers. But, given that I have yet to become a billionaire who can winter somewhere more appropriate (Hawaii? Southern California? South Coast of France?) I am learning to do winter.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeYes, I’m 28 years old and still learning how to do winter. To coax myself into ‘the cosy months’ I am layering my clothes; taking long walks in cheek-slapping winds under brilliant blue skies; snuggling in bed with a good book (or two) and my new leopard print pyjama pants (embrace that 80s tackiness); spending time finding the perfect skinny chai latte; and roasting all the vegetables.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWe’ve spoken before about my love for roasting vegetables at high temperatures until they surrender their starchiness to sweetness and become nature’s candy. That’s what roasted vegetables are folks, nature’s sweet candy. This recipe features sweet winter carrots, red capsicum, and onions roasted with warming spices until the spicy-sweet-savoury reaches the perfect tipping point – and you only need one sheet pan and one medium saucepan to create this hearty, healthy, winter meal.

This two-pan supper was inspired by my Dad who has a knack for creating delicious, savoury suppers in just one pot. He call’s them ‘The Bob Specials’. You never quite know what’s going to be in the pot, but once it has stewed and simmered for a while the results are always delicious. My recipe is filled with veggies, and chickpeas and my favourite winter spices and pairs perfectly with some fluffy rosemary and thyme flecked quinoa. This makes enough for two, but is easily doubled or tripled to feed your family, or provide leftovers for delicious healthy meals all week long.

Together, we are going to do winter right.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 2-3 (easily multiplied) | Time: 40-45 minutes | Leftovers keep well for up to three days refrigerated in an airtight container

Make it for your meat lover: this bowl would go well with some roasted chicken breast, or even a crispy-skinned fillet of salmon.


  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 medium red capsicum
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 fat cloves garlic (or 4 skinny ones), crushed
  • 1 cup chickpeas (400 gram tin, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves


  1. Before starting the quinoa, preheat your oven to 200C (400F).
  2. Place quinoa and vegetable stock in a medium sized saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Place on stove over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Once the stock is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, and put the lid on the saucepan. Cook, without stirring, for 20 minutes. Then, remove from the heat and leave for 5 minutes before fluffing the grains with a fork.
  3. While your quinoa is cooking, line a baking sheet with aluminium foil.
  4. Top and tail carrots and dice into small chunks. Core and dice capsicum, and peel and dice onion. Place all vegetables on baking sheet. Drain and rinse chickpeas and place on baking sheet with vegetables.
  5. Drizzle over olive oil and sprinkle on crushed garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and use clean hands to thoroughly toss the vegetables to ensure they are covered in the oil and herbs.
  6. Roast vegetables and chickpeas in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until your carrots are soft all the way through.
  7. When the vegetables are done roasting, stir the chopped thyme and rosemary through the cooked quinoa.
  8. To serve: divide quinoa between serving bowls and top with roasted vegetables.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free

Filling, healthy comfort food perfect for autumn evenings. Chunks of sweet pumpkin roasted in cumin pair with a pilaf of brown rice studded with plump dried apricots and toasted cashews highlighted with fresh, peppery rocket and a spicy lime and coriander dressing. This is a simple, easy to make meal made with high flavour ingredients to satisfy your tastebuds and quell comfort food cravings.

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOn Saturday night I rescued a dog. I was out for a second walk in the afternoon (after some major cupcake testing) when I came across a very friendly, very lost looking, little white dog. There were no open gates nearby, no owners calling out for the puppy to come back, so I approached and gently picked the little puppy up. She obviously belonged to someone because she was plump and well-cared for and very friendly. After knocking on doors in the street for 20 minutes, and encountering some helpful neighbours, I still had a little puppy with no home.

Luckily we have a 24 hour vet close by, so with the help of one of the neighbours and his rope-tying skills (it’s a good thing to live near a marina in these times) the little pup and I walked the 3km to the vet in the growing dark. Though we were complete strangers to each other, our companionship was thick and fast. When we reached a road I would carry the little pup across and in turn she would snuggle into my chest and keep me warm from the wind. On arrival the vet scanned the pup and luckily found a microchip with all the owner’s details. I knew that in an hour or so my little walking companion would be safe and sound in her parent’s arms. Lesson learned: when the universe leads you to go on a second walk in the afternoon you should listen. It feels good to do good sometimes.

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAfter my walk back home through the chilly night I was cold and wishing for a bowl of something hearty to soothe a hungry belly. I needed spice and whole grains and sweet roasted winter vegetables. This salad was exactly what I was craving.

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeIt all starts with a pot of brown rice boiled with spices and chunks of golden butternut pumpkin rolled in cumin and olive oil and roasted until they are soft and golden. These two are joined by fresh peppery rocket, sweet dried apricots and crunchy roasted cashews. The dressing is easy to whisk together, lime juice, fresh coriander, and more spices. Every layer of this salad echoes a mix of spices. The result is a simple, easily-made salad with layers of flavour and texture. This is healthy, nourishing, autumn comfort food at its best. Being kind and nourishing to your body gives you the reserves to be kind and nourishing to others.

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeCumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 4 as a light meal | Leftovers will keep in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days


  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
  • 3 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 small butternut pumpkin (500-600 grams)
  • 1/4 cup cashew halves
  • 4 cups baby rocket leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander


  1. Gather all your spices so that you know you have everything you need.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  3. Place brown rice in the bottom of a heavy-based saucepan along with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Place over a medium heat and toast until spices become fragrant. Turn the heat to low and add the water. Be careful as it may sputter a little. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Once boiling,  and reduce to a simmer. Cook, without stirring for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, drain the excess liquid and allow to cool.
  4. While rice is cooking prepare the pumpkin. Peel butternut pumpkin and dice into large-ish cubes (about 2.5cm/1 inch cubed). Place on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then sprinkle on 2 teaspoons ground cumin. Roll the pumpkin around so that everything is coated in oil and spice. Roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender all the way to the centre. Add the cashews in the last 5 minutes of cooking to roast them.
  5. Once your pumpkin, cashews, and rice are cooked you are ready to assemble the salad.
  6. Place rocket leaves and apricots into a large bowl. Add pumpkin, cashews and rice.
  7. Whisk together lime juice, remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, remaining spices, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over the salad and toss gently but thoroughly. Sprinkle chopped coriander on top and serve.

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Thai Red Curry Roasted Capsicum Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan

Rich Thai flavours bright enough for a summer’s evening pair beautifully with sweet roasted capsicum and coconut milk. I want to swan-dive into a vast sea of this soup and have to slurp my way out. It’s that good. Be prepared for big, bold bowls of thick, luscious, soup, so desirable you will hope your spoon never hits the bottom.

Thai Red Curry Roasted Capsicum Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI have been lusting after some deep, rich, Thai flavours after reminiscing with Chris about a Thai place that we went to early in our dating days. As well as making a killer chocolate thickshake (I know, weird, but it’s become our yardstick for thickshakes now), they made a rich red Thai curry. Plates heaped with fragrant sauce and colourful vegetables passed by our table multiple times while we were sipping on Chris’s thickshake and waiting for our dinner; unfortunately it wasn’t gluten free but out of curiosity (and lusty taste buds) I needed to experience red curry for myself. I instantly fell in love with the complex nature of red curry, and over the past few months it has been my comfort food of choice. During the long hot days of summer red curry is welcome for its bright, sharp relief and richness, without the cloying creaminess of other classic comfort foods.

Thai Red Curry Roasted Capsicum Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNow, I know turning the oven on in the middle of summer isn’t very attractive, and standing over a pot of simmering soup even less so. I am one of those people who doesn’t mind turning her oven on even on the hottest of days, and I am forever grateful we have a super air-conditioner. If you are not thus inclined (or blessed), you can take a short cut and use roasted capsicum from the delicatessen, and the soup only needs to simmer for about thirty minutes before you can take a break from the heat and let the soup, and your body, cool down. In those thirty minutes you can stand underneath the air-conditioning and become an icicle once more. When the scent of ginger, lemongrass, and chilli starts wafting from your kitchen, all you need to do is pour a glass of crisp white wine, and open the kitchen window a little wider to let the summer night breeze in.

Thai Red Curry Roasted Capsicum Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Thai Red Curry Roasted Capsicum Soup

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 2-3 and is easily doubled

Note: to make this super quick you can use pre-cooked capsicum from the deli. You will need about 8 large pieces for this recipe.



  • 2 medium red capsicums (see note)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 small washed potatoes
  • 1 long red chilli
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste (I use Ayam)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups salt-reduced vegetable stock
  • 2/3 cup light coconut milk
  • Coriander leaves for serving


  1. Preheat your oven to 200C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Cut out the core of the capsicums, chop into four slices, and lay each piece skin-side up on the lined baking sheet. Cook until skin starts to blister and pull away from the flesh, this should take about 20 minutes. Place capsicum in a plastic container and loosely cover with the lid and a tea towel. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Once the capsicum is cooled, peel the skin off the capsicum pieces and chop roughly.
  3. While the capsicum is cooking, peel and dice the onion, carrots, garlic and potatoes. Finely dice the red chilli and discard the seeds.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and add onion, carrots, garlic and potatoes. Cook, while stirring, until the onion is translucent. Add chopped capsicum, red curry paste and black pepper. Stir until coated and cook for a further five minutes.
  5. Add vegetable stock and bring soup to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and allow to bubble away for thirty minutes, or until potato and carrot are quite soft.
  6. Remove soup from the heat and allow to cool completely before blending in batches, or using a stick blender to purée until smooth.
  7. Place soup back over a low heat and add coconut milk. Reheat until gently bubbling. Serve with extra coconut milk and a sprinkling of coriander leaves.

Thai Red Curry Roasted Capsicum Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeTell me, dear reader, are you a fan of Thai food? Do you have any Thai dishes you like to make at home, or are your take-out menu favourites?

Roasted Carrot and Lentil Salad with Orange Maple Dressing

A girl needs two things she can rely on when the seasons start to change. One – a good cardigan because the weather can turn on its heel between winter and spring (or winter and summer as it happens here). Two – a good cross-seasonal salad. Something that can be made no matter what looks good at the farmers market, or if you happen to be relying on your grocery store because going to the gym with your sister seems so much more appealing than getting out of bed super early after a challenging week at work. It happens.

Roasted Carrot and Lentil Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Now, I can’t help you on the cardigan choices (although these people here certainly know a thing or two) but I can certainly help you with a salad that crosses seasons and can transform refrigerator and store cupboard staples into a meal (or side dish) that satisfies hunger and delights tastebuds. No matter what the season it’s easy to find a bag of carrots, some fresh baby spinach, and a packet of dried lentils. Even in the dead of winter, this salad will bring a little sunshine to your life, or on a blustery, humid summer night a little comfort without weighing you down.

Roasted Carrot and Lentil Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

The natural sweetness of the carrots is brought out by some time in the oven with a coating of olive oil and maple syrup. The lentils are cooked with bay leaves and cinnamon; flavours that both reach down into the earthiness of the lentils and give them real flavour and presence in this salad, rather than just being the good, solid backbone of a hearty salad. The dressing pulls everything together and unites each separate, stunning part into bite after delicious bite. The dressing is a combination of olive oil, maple syrup, orange juice and zest, rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper, and just a touch of cinnamon.

Roasted Carrot and Lentil Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeIf you are searching for a salad that does double duty as a healthy lunchtime meal and a side dish for a family gathering (think of my USA friends preparing for Thanksgiving) then this is the salad for you. For my Thanksgiving friends with tricky to feed guests this salad is vegan and gluten free, which that no matter their dietary constraints, your guests will be pleased. If you are preparing for summer beach season then this salad is perfect for filling your lunchbox. Protein from lentils, healthy fats from walnuts, and the green power of baby spinach will keep you satisfied and help you work towards your summer glow.

Roasted Carrot and Lentil Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeRoasted Carrot and Lentil Salad with Orange Maple Dressing

Serves 3-4 | Gluten Free | Vegan


  • 1 cup dried Puy lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

For the dressing

  • Juice and zest 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place lentils, water, bay leaves and cinnamon stick into a medium saucepan, cover with a lid and bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked, but still firm to the bite. Once cooked, drain lentils and allow to cool to room temperature. Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick.
  2. While lentils are cooking heat oven to 200C (400F). Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil.
  3. Top and tail carrots and cut into 1cm (1/2 inch) thick rounds. Place in a small bowl with maple syrup and olive oil. Toss to coat and then spread across baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until carrots are easily pierced with a fork.
  4. To toast walnuts add to carrots in the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Allow to cool and chop roughly into large pieces.
  5. To make dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk vigorously with a fork.
  6. Combine lentils, walnuts, carrots, cranberries and spinach in a large mixing bowl. Pour over dressing and gently toss until everything is well coated.

Roasted Carrot and Lentil Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Black Bean and Millet Stuffed Peppers

Sometimes I distract myself from what I am doing in the moment by remembering meals from long ago. I recall the taste of stracciatella gelato from a holiday in Italy, or the stuffed cabbage rolls my grandmother used to make, or perhaps that cookie I nibbled in a cafe high up in a New York skyscraper a few years ago. Just last week I was recalling the exact heat of the sunshine and the lap of the water against the piers when I sat in a restaurant in Sausalito with a German girl I met at the bed and breakfast I was staying in. Two strangers in one of the best cities in the world we had banded together for two days of wandering. A short ferry ride from San Francisco we ended up in the dreamy town of Sausalito. After admiring the little shops and sidewalk flowerbeds spilling over with spring blooms we ended up at one of the many great restaurants that crowd along the seashore.

Black Bean and Millet Stuffed Peppers | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Not only were we treated to views of the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and the skyline of San Francisco, the food was also stunning. My eyes were immediately drawn to a couscous stuffed capsicum and when it arrived at the table, pearls of giant couscous spilling from the scarlet casement, I knew I had ordered right. Perhaps that is where my capsicum/pepper stuffing obsession began.

This is my early summer ode to that long ago spring day. Sweet long peppers (I think these were either banana peppers or Sonora chili peppers) are opened and stuffed with a millet, black bean, tomato and spice filling and then baked in the oven to soften the flesh and bring out the natural sweetness of the pepper. If you are looking for a make ahead dish to impress dinner party guests, this is your answer. The filling can be made up to a day in advance, and on the day you only need to assemble the peppers, leave them to soften and blister in the oven and then serve them with a fresh green salad to the delight of your guests. And this recipe will delight your guests, so chic, so colourful, and gluten free and vegan so it pleases many palates. If you are serving this to omnivores, some roast chicken would be a great accompaniment.

Black Bean and Millet Stuffed Peppers | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Millet has an unfortunate reputation as food for the birds, and I for one would love to see this small ancient seed have its time in the sun. The yellow grains are easy to cook and provide decent amounts of important minerals such as copper and magnesium. Millet is so versatile, and in this dish the millet is combined with tomatoes, black beans, onions, herbs and spices for a hearty stuffing that contrasts well with the sweet roasted pepper. You could even serve the filling by itself with a crispy green salad if you do not have time to roast the peppers.

I can’t wait to make these again for a dinner party and share them with friends and family. Add some wine and some travel stories and you have the makings of  a great summer evening.

Black Bean and Millet Stuffed Peppers | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Black Bean and Millet Stuffed Peppers

Gluten Free | Vegan | Serves 4 | Leftovers will keep well wrapped in the refrigerator for up to two days. To reheat: place on a microwave safe plate and cover with paper towel. Heat on high for two minutes.


  • 4 large banana peppers (or medium red capsicums instead)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup uncooked millet
  • 400 gram tin crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 400 gram tin black beans


  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
  2. Wash and dry peppers well. Cut peppers from stem to tip and carefully remove seeds and white ribs from the insides. Leave the stem intact. Lay peppers on a lined baking sheet until required.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy based sauce pan, over medium heat. Fry diced onion, crushed garlic, paprika, herbs, salt and pepper until onions are translucent.
  4. Add millet to pan along with crushed tomatoes and water. Bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and cover with lid. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until millet is firm but not crunchy.
  5. Rinse black beans well and add to the millet mixture. Stir well.
  6. Remove millet mixture from heat. Spoon stuffing into prepared peppers.
  7. Place peppers into the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the peppers are soft and wrinkled.
  8. Remove from oven and serve with a large green salad.

Black Bean and Millet Stuffed Peppers | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Mushroom and Broccoli Stir Fry

Recently I met a new friend at the wedding of two other new friends. This last weekend we all gathered in our newly-married mutual friend’s house sharing some wine and talking late into the night, really early into the next morning. This new friend is a busy professional woman and she often doesn’t get home until 8 o’clock at night! That doesn’t leave much time for making and eating dinner before falling into bed. Her dilemma got me thinking, after all, dinner is one of my three favourite meals of the day…

Spicy Mushroom and Broccoli Stir Fry | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I am lucky in my job that I get home after the gym most days with plenty of time to potter about the kitchen and make dinner for Chris and myself, but there are nights when I get caught up in something and don’t make it home until late. I feel like they become more common in autumn and winter as the days grow shorter and the night gathers her arms around us more quickly. I come home in the dark and still want the comfort of a home-cooked meal but I also want to be curled up on the couch with a book or watching television with Chris. Rather than pulling out the takeaway menu, or settling for beans on toast (which are a totally acceptable comfort food sometimes) I like to have some quick, healthy recipes on hand that I can throw together with barely a thought while I am catching up with Chris and trying to transition my brain from work mode to home mode.

This stir-fry is a recipe for one of those nights.

Anna, this one is also for you. (Thanks for reading my blog)

The chunky-cut mushrooms will provide B vitamins and minerals and fill you up without weighing you down. Easy-to-prepare rice noodles are my favourite way to imitate comforting takeaway without all the mystery ingredients and the sauce coats everything in a spicy sweet splendour. You can make this even easier by using pre-sliced mushrooms and broccoli, or even a stir-fry mix. From start to finish this meal takes about 20 minutes. I served Chris’s with some grilled lamb and mine in its original vegan state.

Spicy Mushroom and Broccoli Stir Fry | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Mushroom and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Serves 2 with leftovers | Gluten free | Vegan

If you do not have Gourmet Garden Thai Stir-In Seasoning simply leave it out.


  • 250 gram packet dried rice noodles
  • 500 grams mushrooms (button, Swiss Brown or Cups are perfect)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red capsicum
  • ½ head broccoli
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Thai Stir-In Seasoning
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander


  1. Prepare rice noodles as per instructions on packet.
  2. Chop mushrooms into quarters. Peel and thinly slice onion. Chop broccoli into florets. Slice capsicum into strips.
  3. Whisk together sriracha, brown sugar, soy sauce, Thai seasoning, and 2 tablespoons water.
  4. Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan over medium heat.
  5. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic and capsicum and cook stirring until onion just starts to turn opaque and mushrooms soften.
  6. Add broccoli and sauce and continue cooking until broccoli florets are al dente. This should take about 2 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat. Toss through fresh coriander. Serve with rice noodles.

Spicy Mushroom and Broccoli Stir Fry | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Vegan Black Bean Chilli

Chris and I ate so much of this chilli the other night that we gave ourselves stomach aches. On Sunday after Mother’s Day breakfast, a quick run, two hours spent cleaning the oven, and a smoothie for lunch, I needed to set something bubbling away on the stove while I got down to some dissertation writing business (some of the aforementioned activities may have been procrastination tactics…). This is the second time in as many weeks that I have made a big pot of this vegan black bean chilli. The first time I greedily kept it all to myself. When Chris finally managed to scavenge a bite out of the last bowl he said ‘mmm good chilli.’

Vegan Black Bean Chilli | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Now, when your meat-loving, bacon-snuggling, chicken-chomping darling boyfriend expresses interest in your vegetarian – nay, vegan – dinner, lady, you better pay attention and make another pot of chilli – stat!

This is one of those best dishes layered with spices and filled with vegetables that makes your house smell like a home. As you ladle the thick, chunky stew into bowls and sprinkle it with coriander and spring onions you can feel a blanket of cosiness wrapping around you and your loved ones. Add some toasted bread, or some crackers, even some avocado chopped on top would go well. Then take yourself to the comfiest spot in the house, curl up beside the one you love, and nourish body and soul with a bowl of this vegan chilli.

(In the spirit of full disclosure, the boyfriend did end up having some roasted chicken breast stirred through his, which was enough to fill the ‘meat category’ for dinner.)

Vegan Black Bean Chilli | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Vegan Black Bean Chilli

Adapted from Cookie + Kate’s Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chilli. Thanks Kate for letting me feature my adaptation here.

Serves 6 | Vegan | Gluten Free |

I used dried black beans that needed soaking overnight. If you want to use canned black beans or even kidney beans, just skip the soaking step. If you wish for a milder chilli you could leave out the chilli flakes and decrease the chilli powder to 1 teaspoon. 

You could serve the chilli with these scones, or this cornbread if you feel like doing some baking while your chilli bubbles away. 


  • 1 cup dried black beans
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • ½ medium red capsicum
  • 2 stems celery
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • Sprinkle of chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 800 gram tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Chopped coriander, spring onion, avocado and other toppings to serve


  1. Place beans in a medium size bowl, cover with water, add baking soda and stir. Allow to soak for 8 hours, or overnight.
  2. Dice red onion, carrot, capsicum, and celery. Peel sweet potato and chop into small chunks.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or small stock pot over medium heat.
  4. Add vegetables to sauce pan. Sauté vegetables for a few minutes or until onions start to go clear and carrots begin to soften.
  5. Crush garlic and add to pot along with spices, tomatoes, and vegetable stock.
  6. Drain beans and rinse very well. Add to pot.
  7. Give everything a big stir and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for up to two hours. Stir every so often so that the chilli does not stick to the bottom of the pot. The liquid will reduce to a gravy-like consistency and the vegetables will soften during cooking time.
  8. Ladle into bowls, top with garnishes of choice and enjoy.
  9. Chilli will keep in the fridge for 3 days in an airtight container, or in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Vegan Black Bean Chilli | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Despite our Sunday night stuffed-with-chilli tummy aches, we will definitely be making several more batches of this during the next few chilly months (oh, a pun at the end!).