Blog Archives

Chocolate Zucchini Mud Cake

Here’s a recipe from Triumph of the Lentil that I recently shared with the readers of the Portland Farmers Market Blog.  It was zucchini season here around 6 months ago and I’d found my kitchen full of zucchinis from our garden, so I invented this recipe and found that it’s especially great for using up the giant zucchinis that aren’t really good in anything else.

Don’t be fooled by the zucchini in the title, this is actually a decadent tasting mud cake.  Made in a bundt pan it is thin and crispy on the outside, and moist and dense on the inside, so much that it doesn’t need any icing or accompaniments, but to make it a bit fancier-looking you could drizzle it with melted vegan chocolate or icing.  This mixture also makes delicious muffins, making 24 medium sized ones.

Kitchen time 10-15 minutes. Baking time 60 minutes.

Gluten-free option, low fat option, nightshade-free, onion- and garlic-free, under 45 minute option


2 cups flour (barley, wholemeal spelt, wholewheat pastry or gluten-free)
1 3/4 cups raw sugar or rapadura
3/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup oil (olive, sunflower or melted coconut) or apple purée
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 – 2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 175c (375f).

Grease and flour a large bundt pan, or some muffin tins.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, chickpea flour, bicarb soda, baking powder and salt. Break up any lumps and mix until evenly combined.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the oil, water, zucchini and vanilla. Add this to the dry ingredients, stirring until no traces of flour remain.

Pour into the bundt tin and bake for around an hour, until the top is firm and the knife comes out with a couple of moist crumbs (not batter!) when put through the middle of it, around 60 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the outside and invert onto a plate. Leave the bundt tin on top while it cools. Best served after it has cooled down.

For 24 muffins: bake for 20-25 minutes.


Chickpea ‘Fish’ and Chips

A recipe from Triumph of the Lentil: Soy-Free Vegan Wholefoods for all Appetites

In the days when I cooked with tofu I would often marinate it in wakame and vinegar, and serve it with chips.  Using the same flavours I created these chickpea-based patties that taste even better.  Best served with fresh lemon juice.

I use wakame for this recipe, because I have a good local source for it.  If you can’t find wakame, you could use any other leafy sea vegetable, ripped into small-ish pieces such as sushi nori, dulse or kelp.  These taste the best when they’ve been shallow fried, but baking them is a bit easier.

Serves 2.  Kitchen time 10 minutes.  Cooking time 30-40 minutes.

Gluten-free option.  Low fat option.  Nightshade-free.  Onion- & garlic-free.  Under 45 minutes.


For the chips:

2 large potatoes, 3 medium or 4 smaller ones

2-3 teaspoons olive oil

4-7 pinches of salt

For the ‘fish’:

1/3 cup wakame (if you don’t have wakame, you could substitute with ripped up sushi nori, or another sea vegetable)

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1-2 teaspoons barley malt syrup (optional)

1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup water

2 1/4 cups cooked chickpeas (1 1/2 400g (14oz) tins)

1/2 cup flour (barley, wholemeal spelt, wholewheat or gluten free)

2/3 cup barley flour, for flouring,

or the crumbing ingredients for seitan schnitzel (page 54)


Preheat the oven to 175c (375f).

Prepare the chips by cutting the potatoes into slices as thick or thin as you would like, then slice into chip shapes.  Place on a baking sheet with the oil, and flip them around in it, making sure they’re all coated.  Move them around so that none are touching, then sprinkle with the salt.  Put them in the oven once it’s heated up.

In a mixing bowl, combine the wakame, vinegar, barley malt syrup, salt and water.  Leave for at least 5 minutes, for the wakame to soak.

Use a fork or food processor to mash the chickpeas as finely as possible, use some of the wakame/vinegar mixture to help with this.

Add the rest of the wakame/vinegar mixture, along with the flour and combine until evenly mixed.

Take tablespoons of the mixture and shape into patties or ‘fingers’ and coat in flour, or crumb with the same mixtures for seitan schnitzel, page 54.  Place on an oiled baking tray, and brush the tops with oil if you wish.

Once the potatoes have 20 minutes to go, (when they move around freely when shaken and are all golden on one side), put the patties in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, flipping over once towards the end of the cooking.

Alternatively, shallow fry for 5 minutes on each side, until golden.

Gluten-free option: Omit the barley malt syrup and use a gluten-free flour blend

Lentil and Mushroom Pie

I’d like to share some recipes from Triumph of the Lentil on here, and thought I would start with what we had for dinner tonight.  This pie is really delicious, the filling is a simple combination of savoury ingredients with a  hearty wholegrain crust.

Depending on what you serve it with, it can either be an impressive dish for guests or a simple and comforting family meal.  I generally make this as four individual pot pies, we have one each on the first night, and there is enough filling and crust mixture left to bake another two later in the week.

Makes 4 serves.  Kitchen time 20 minutes.  Total time 40-70 minutes

Gluten-free option, no specialty ingredients, low fat option, nightshade-free, under 45 minute option

It can be made in under 45 minutes, if the crust is blind-baked and then topped with the hot filling.

2 cups dry brown lentils
water, for cooking

For the pastry:
1 1/2 cups wholemeal wheat or gluten free flour
1 cup barley, wholemeal spelt, wholemeal wheat or gluten free flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil (melted coconut, olive or sunflower)
1/4-1/2 cup cold water, as needed

2 medium onions, cut into half moons
250g (8.8oz) mushrooms, sliced (1 heaped dinner plate, after slicing)
1/2 cup vegan red wine (or lentil cooking water plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar)
salt, to taste
optional pinch of kelp
cracked pepper, to taste
4-5 medium leaves kale or silverbeet (chard), ripped into small pieces
optional 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)

Bring the lentils and water to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the lentils are tender.

Preheat the oven to 160-200c (320-390f).

Prepare the pastry by mixing the flours and the salt together.  Stir through the oil and then crumble with your fingers until it is evenly mixed in.  Add the water, a little at a time, until the dough sticks together without easily crumbling apart.  Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the recipe.  If you wish to make this as an under 45 minute meal, bake the pastry now by pressing it into a pie plate or springform pan and baking it for 10-20 minutes, until golden.  Keep it warm in the oven while you prepare the filling.

When the lentils have cooked, sauté the onion over medium heat until tender and fragrant.  Add the mushrooms and sauté for a few more minutes, until they start to break down and change the colour of the onions.  Add the red wine or water, salt, kelp, pepper, lentils and kale and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes or more.  You may have to add a little more water.

Place the filling in individual bowls or a lasagne dish and top with the pastry and bake for 20 minutes, until the pastry is cooked.

Serve with a red wine reduction and some truffle oil, if you want to impress guests, or some tomato sauce for an Aussie chip shop taste.

Low fat option: Cook and mash potatoes according to the directions for shepherds pie (page 63) and use this to top the pies with.