Avocado Pasta Salad – the Plant based version

A pasta salad, packed with flavour and one that actually can be had as a meal in itself.

Now that the weather is warming up and Spring is well and truly on its way, I find myself craving a big ol’ bowl of salad for lunch. I have been working on building up a repository of salad recipes that actually work well for lunch. Very often, salads work great as a side on an accompaniment to a meal. But if eaten as a meal itself, I find myself hungry soon after. 

Today’s recipe for my Avocado Pasta salad is a hearty one. It leaves you filling satiated and full of energy for a while. I love salads  because they are so versatile and you can use whatever ingredients you have access to, and still end up with a really good salad. This salad is perfect for a work lunch or even to take to a potluck, a BBQ or a picnic. Whatever the occasion, even though this salad is plant-based, it is sure to please vegans and meat-eaters alike. I have shared the omni version of this salad before and it was a popular recipe then, so I figured it was time that I tried a plant-based version. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. 

So, if like me, you can’t wait for summer to roll around, try this salad out. 

Avocado Pasta Salad

Recipe by Trisha Vaz


Prep time


Cooking timeminutes

A pasta salad, packed with flavour and one that actually can be had as a meal in itself.


  • 1/2 cup of broccoli florets

  • 1/2 cup corn kernels

  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

  • 1/4 red capsicum

  • 1/4 yellow capsicum

  • 2 spring onions

  • 1 can of red kidney beans

  • A little coconut bacon (optional)

  • For the dressing –
  • 1 ripe avocado

  • 1/2 cup plant coconut yogurt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

  • Juice of 1/2 a lime

  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves and stalks, roughly chopped

  • A pinch of hot cayenne pepper powder (or to taste)


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, add some salt. Add the broccoli florets and cook for 30 seconds to a minute, or till its done to your liking. Drain the broccoli and reserve the cooking liquid.
  • To the same pot, add the corn kernels and let it cook till done. When it has cooked, scoop the corn out of the water and set aside.
  • Top off the pot of cooking liquid, add some more boiling water and when the water reaches a rolling boil, add the pasta. Cook till the pasta is done. Make sure the pasta is a little al dente and not overcooked. 
  • Drain the pasta and set aside. 
  • While the pasta is cooking, cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Dice the capsicum and thinly slice the spring onions.
  • Blitz all the dressing ingredients till it reaches a creamy consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
  • In a large mixing bowl, place the cooked pasta, broccoli, corn, drained kidney beans and all the veggies. Add the dressing and gently toss to combine. If you’re using coconut bacon, add a little coconut bacon to the salad and mix through. 
  • Serve up and garnish with a little sprinkling of some more coconut bacon. 


Recipe Video

Zucchini Curry with Rice and Crumb-fried Oyster Mushrooms

A creamy, mildly spiced, coconut-based Zucchini Curry served with rice and crumb-fried Oyster mushrooms. This makes the perfect Goan-inspired vegan meal.

Today’s post is a tribute to the humble Goan ‘Xit-Kodi’ (rice and curry). Typically this would mean either a Fish or Prawn curry served with some crumb-fried prawns or fish. My vegan take on this is a slightly different, mildly spiced curry with some Zucchini. If you had access to some white-pumpkin (also known as doodhi, long-melon or New Guinea Bean), that would work really well with this curry too. Zucchini doesn’t need much cooking, which is why I add it almost at the very end of the cooking process and thats what makes this curry a quick and easy recipe. However, if you’re using doodi or long melon, I would recommend adding it after the spice mix and letting it simmer till the vegetable has cooked.

This meal is a simple and quick one to put together. Today, I’m going to make it even simpler by using spice powders for the curry instead of a ground masala.

Onto the crumb-fried oyster mushrooms. In my opinion, the crumb fried oysters complete the meal. Don’t leave it out. It adds crunch and variety to the meal, not to mention, it is absolutely delicious. It is really easy to make and you can work on it while the curry is simmering away, which means you can get the meal on the table much sooner. My husband and I really enjoy these mushrooms with the little dipping sauce (I’ll add that recipe below) even by itself.

So if you’re entertaining or looking for vegan party food ideas, this is a must-try. Just remember to make a big batch, because these will disappear. The size of these little bites is totally upto you. I like to size these to be bite-sized which makes them perfect finger-food. I leave the little mushrooms whole and tear the bigger ones into two or three pieces depending on size. This also helps them all cook through uniformly.

There are a few elements to this meal and if you multi-task efficiently, you can have it all prepped in no time at all. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Here’s what works for me –

  • Start by washing and soaking your rice
  • Cut the onion, chilli, zucchini and tear the mushrooms
  • Prep the spice powder blend
  • Soak the tamarind
  • Prep the batter for the mushrooms
  • Pre-heat oil for deep frying
  • Start on your curry
  • When the curry is simmering, cook the rice and fry the mushrooms

    Hope this helps.

Zucchini Curry with Rice and Crumb-fried Oyster Mushrooms

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: Mains, SidesCuisine: GoanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



A creamy, mildly spiced, coconut-based Zucchini Curry served with rice and crumb-fried Oyster mushrooms. This makes the perfect Goan-inspired vegan meal.


  • For the Zucchini Curry –
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 birdseye chilli, slit vertically

  • 2 zucchini, cut into thick slices

  • 1 heaped teaspoon Kashmiri chilly powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • A walnut sized ball of tamarind

  • A piece of dried mango (optional – see note)

  • 2-3 pieces of dried kokum (optional – see note)

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • Salt, to taste

  • For the Crumb-fried Oyster Mushrooms
  • A small punnet of oyster mushrooms (about 150 gms)

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon cornflour

  • Salt, to taste

  • Black pepper powder, to taste

  • A pinch of extra-hot cayenne pepper

  • Bread crumbs, to coat the mushrooms

  • Oil, for deep frying

  • For the Dipping Sauce –
  • 1-2 tablespoons of vegan mayonnaise

  • 1 teaspoon of tomato ketchup, or to taste

  • A few drops of Tabasco sauce, to taste


  • For the Zucchini curry –
  • Start by soaking the tamarind in 1/4 cup of warm water and set this aside.
  • In a vessel, heat the coconut oil on medium heat. Add the red chilly and let it warm through. Next add the chopped onion. Saute till the onions have softened and start browning on the edges.
  • Add the spice powders and fry off for a minute or two. At this stage add the dried mango and kokum, if you’re using any. (Please see note below for substitutions.)
  • Add 1 tablespoon of water to prevent the spices from burning. Let this cook off till most of the water is absorbed. You may need another tablespoon of water at this stage. Please see recipe video below. Let this cook off till most of the water is absorbed.
  • Now add a can of coconut milk and stir through. Let it come to a boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the curry simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it and add water to adjust the consistency as required.
  • When there’s a couple of minutes left in the cooking process, add salt and tamarind paste to taste and the zucchini slices.
  • Cook for another 2 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  • Take the curry off the heat and serve piping hot with some rice.
  • For the crumb-fried oyster mushrooms –
  • Heat the oil for deep frying.
  • Prep the mushrooms into similar sizes. I leave the small ones whole and tear the bigger ones into 2-3 pieces depending on the size.
  • Add the all-purpose flour, cornflour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to a bowl and mix through. Using a little water, whisk to form a lump-free batter. Add the water gradually till you get a consistency that is thinner than pancake batter. (Make sure to not leave it either too thick or too thin. It should be thick enough to coat the mushrooms. Please see video for example.)
  • Place the breadcrumbs on a plate.
  • Once the oil has heated, dip the mushrooms into the batter and let any excess batter drip off. Place this into the breadcrumbs and make sure the mushrooms are well coated with the breadcrumbs. Carefully place in the oil and let it fry on medium heat till golden brown and crisp.
  • Drain on some kitchen paper while you cook off the rest of the mushrooms and serve hot.
  • For the Dipping Sauce –
  • Place the mayonnaise, ketchup and Tabasco sauce in a little bowl and stir well. Check for seasoning and adjust the quantities as required to suit your taste.
    Serve alongside the crumb-fried mushrooms

Recipe Video


  • I’ve used some dried raw mango pieces and dried kokum along with tamarind. If you don’t have the dried mango and kokum, adjust the amount of tamarind pulp till you get the desired tartness in your curry.
  • Zucchini doesn’t need much cooking, which is why I add it almost at the very end of the cooking process and thats what makes this curry a quick and easy recipe. However, if you’re using doodi or long melon, I would recommend adding it after the spice mix and letting it simmer till the vegetable has cooked. 

How to make a Vegan Moussaka

This vegan Moussaka made with layers of eggplant, potato and a flavour-packed mushroom filling, topped with a luscious white sauce, is definitely a must-try.

Moussaka is a classic Greek baked dish thats typically made up of eggplant and lamb mince. Its a dish that I’ve made for years and every time I make it, I wonder why I don’t make it more often. It’s been ages since I last made it, so I decided it was time. The weather was perfect. With autumn rolling in, the days are a tiny bit cooler. And that means it’s finally ok to crank up the oven.

With the weather in my favour, now there was just one little hurdle. We no longer eat meat. I had to turn this into a really delicious Vegan Moussaka. It’s easy enough to simply sub in the lamb with TVP (textured vegetable protein) or a fake meat option from the supermarket, but we don’t really enjoy that stuff. I have used it in recipes a few times, but I much prefer using vegetables instead. So today, that’s the version I’m going to share with you.

Vegan Moussaka - Mushroom Filling

Let’s talk about the cheese. While I do use plant based cheese in my diet, I try and keep that to a minimum. This sauce is ideally made with some cheese and I have added it to the recipe. However, the sauce is just as good even without the cheese. The flavours and textures of all the elements of the casserole work really well together and the sauce brings everything together brilliantly. So if you’re trying to restrict your intake of processed food, feel free to leave the cheese out, like I’ve done in the recipe video.

Vegan Moussaka - Before baking

To make this recipe a little healthier and to reduce the hands on cooking time, I’ve roasted the potatoes and eggplant instead of pan frying it. This way you use less oil in the cooking process and I find that the flavours are much better.

Vegan Moussaka - Roasted Veggies

Overall, this is a relatively easy dish to make. There are a few elements that have to be prepped and then its just a matter of layering everything and baking it off. Just allow yourself a little extra time.

Vegan Moussaka - After Baking

Vegan Moussaka recipe

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: Mains


Prep time


Cooking time


Baking Time


Total time





This vegan Moussaka made with layers of eggplant, potato and a flavour-packed mushroom filling and finally topped with a luscious white sauce.


  • 2-3 eggplants

  • 2 potatoes

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Salt, to taste

  • For the Mushroom filling
  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 stick of celery, diced

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 8-10 cup mushrooms

  • 5 portabello mushrooms

  • 3 large cloves of garlic

  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree

  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

  • Red chilli flakes, to taste

  • For the white sauce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups soy milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard

  • 1/4 cup grated cheese

  • Salt, to taste

  • A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. (You can also use nutmeg powder instead)


  • Preheat your oven to 200ºC.
  • Peel and cut the potatoes into slices. Keep the slices on the thicker side.
  • Drizzle a little olive oil over the potato slices and sprinkle some salt, to taste. Toss them well and place them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet.
  • Slice the eggplant, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some salt over the slices. Toss them well and place them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the potato and the eggplant slices for 15-20 minutes or till done. Do not overcook the vegetables.
  • For the Mushroom Filling –
  • Chop the mushrooms into a chunky dice.
  • Dice the onion, celery and carrots and mince the garlic.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium heat.
  • Add the onion and saute for a couple of minutes till it starts softening.
  • Add the celery and carrots and let these cook off on a medium heat for about 5-8 minutes or till they have softened a bit.
  • Add the minced garlic and stir through.
  • Add some red chilli flakes, to taste, the oregano and black pepper powder. Stir through.
  • Add the chopped mushrooms and stir through. Let it cook off for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes.
  • Season with some salt and continue cooking for a couple of minutes.
  • Take the pan off the heat and set aside.
  • For the White Sauce –
  • Add the oil and butter to a pan on medium heat.
  • Once the butter has melted, add the flour. Stir it through and let the flour cook off for a minute or two till it develops a nutty aroma. This means that the flour has cooked off. Do not let the colour change.
  • Add a splash of the soy milk and stir thoroughly and then add the rest of the milk. You can use a whisk to help get rid of any lumps in the sauce.
  • Add some salt, to taste.
  • Add mustard and stir through till the mustard dissolves.
  • Add a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Stir well.
  • Cook till the sauce thickens, stirring constantly.
  • Lastly, add the cheese (if using), stir through and take the pan off the heat.
  • To assemble the Moussaka –
  • In an 8×8 inch square baking dish, place the roasted potatoes in a layer at the bottom. Try and keep the layer even without too many gaps.
  • Next, layer the roasted eggplant slices over it.
  • Spoon the mushroom filling in an even layer over the eggplant.
  • Pour the sauce over the filling evenly.
  • Bake at 200ºC for 15-20 minutes or till the sauce is all hot and bubbly.
  • Take the moussaka out of the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve with a fresh garden salad and some garlic bread.

Recipe Video

Vegan Chilli – A recipe that’s easy and hearty

Made using Kidney beans and corn, this recipe for a wholesome, vegan Chilli is always a flavour-packed, crowd-pleaser.

Easy & Hearty Vegan Chilli

To me, very few things are as comforting as a big bowl of this vegan chilli on a cold, wet day. If I’m being honest, I can devour a bowlful of this any time of the year.

If you’re someone like me, who enjoys a good chilli, you really should try this recipe. For a recipe that is as simple as this one is, it is packed with flavour the recipe makes a fairly big batch. That’s always a win in my book, because that means leftovers.

Let’s talk about the beans, shall we?

I’ve made this vegan chilli quite a few times and I’ve even tried it with a bunch of different beans. Today, I’ve kept it simple and used kidney beans, but in the past I have made this with black beans and even a mix of both. Every single time, this recipe turns out delicious. There is a slight change in the overall flavour when you use a different variety of beans, but the chilli still turns out really well.

I prefer cooking my beans from scratch. I use dried beans, soak it overnight and pressure cook it the next day. But you can just as easily use the tinned variety. I find that the flavour of dry beans cooking from scratch a lot better.

How “hot” is hot?

When you look at today’s recipe, you’ll see that I’ve used a bunch of different chilly options. That being said, this still doesn’t turn out too spicy. Each chilly element lends a different type of heat to the dish and it balances the flavours really well.

Obviously, you can adjust the amount of each of them to suit your taste and make it as hot as you’d like it, or not. ?

With all those details dealt with, this recipe is a super simple one. Even if you’ve never cooked before, you’ll easily pull off this recipe. You end up with a big batch of chilli that is packed with flavour and it’s so much better than anything you can find in the stores. Go ahead! Try it.

I served up my chilli with some homemade Jalapeño cornbread (recipe coming soon), coconut yogurt, some avocado, some freshly sliced jalapeño and some fresh coriander. And to taste, I sprinkle some red chilly flakes, salt and lemon juice. These toppings take this already amazing chilli up a notch. This is the kind of stuff I love with my chilli. What sort of toppings do you like? Leave me a comment and let me know.

If you’re looking for more recipe inspiration using beans, check out these recipes –
Black Bean and Corn Tacos
Black Bean Burgers

Easy & Hearty Vegan Chilli

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: MainCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Made using Kidney beans and corn, this recipe for a wholesome, vegan Chilli is always a flavour-packed, crowd-pleaser.


  • 2 cups cooked Kidney beans (make sure they’re cooked till just about done)

  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped

  • 1/2 green capsicum, finely chopped

  • 1 carrot, finely chopped

  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp oil

  • 1 tsp garlic paste

  • 1 tsp chilly powder (a mild variety)

  • 1/8 tsp extra hot Cayenne pepper powder

  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 1 cup passata or 1 can diced tomatoes

  • 1 tsp Vegetable stock powder (or 1 litre of vegetable stock)

  • 1 tsp Vegemite

  • Salt, to taste

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 litre hot water (leave this out, if you’re using liquid stock)

  • 1 cup corn kernels

  • Chopped coriander, to garnish

  • Toppings –
  • Coconut yogurt

  • Sliced jalapeño

  • Sliced avocado

  • Jalapeño cornbread

  • Red chilly flakes, to taste

  • Salt, to season the avocado

  • Lemon juice, to taste

  • Fresh coriander, chopped


  • Heat a large pot on medium heat. To the pot add oil and onions and sauté till the onions have just started to soften.
  • Add the chopped capsicum, carrot and celery and stir well. Let the veggies cook on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes till they sweat and start to soften.
  • Add garlic paste and stir well. Fry it off for about 30 seconds.
  • Now, add the chilly powder, cayenne pepper powder, smoked paprika, cumin powder and oregano and stir to coat all the vegetables with the spices.
  • Add the passata and let it cook off for about another minute.
  • To this, add the vegetable stock powder, Vegemite and salt. Stir well. Add 1 litre of hot water from a recently boiled kettle. Stir through.
  • Now add the cooked beans and bring this to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times in between.
  • Add the corn and sugar. Check for seasoning and add more salt, if needed. Stir well. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes or till the corn has cooked through.
  • Garnish with some chopped fresh coriander (leaves and stalks).

    Serve hot!
  • Serving suggestion –
  • Ladle some chilli into a bowl.
  • Dollop 1-2 tbsp coconut yogurt (You can also use vegan sour cream).
  • Sprinkle some red chilly flakes, to taste.
  • Top with some thinly sliced jalapeño, to taste.
  • Place some avocado slices on top.
  • Sprinkle some chopped fresh coriander.
  • Season the avocado with a little salt.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice over the avocado and the chilli.
    Serve up.

.Recipe Video

Black Bean and Corn Tacos

Black Bean and Sweet Corn kernels come together to make amazing flavor-packed tacos, using a taco-seasoning made from scratch.

Black Bean and Corn Tacos
Black Bean and Corn Tacos

Today I’m sharing with you a recipe that is so simple and easy to put together, and results in such an extremely flavorful dish, you are going to be blown away.

That was a bold statement to start off with, right? Well, that’s because it’s the truth. Everybody needs a few recipes like this in their arsenal, because let’s face it, life can get hectic and recipes like this make it easy to get dinner on the table in a hurry. I know a lot of folks do ‘Taco Tuesday’. We personally don’t, but that’s just because we enjoy Tacos whenever we feel like it.

Tacos are usually associated with meat fillings, usually chicken, beef, pork and sometimes even fish or shrimp. But this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a really good taco if you follow a plant-based diet. And today’s recipe is going to show you just that.

We’ll be making a quick black bean and corn taco mix and a chunky guacamole to fill our tacos with. For the black bean mix, I use half a cup of dried black beans. These beans are soaked overnight and then pressure cooked the next day. I have a stovetop pressure cooker that gets the job done in under ten minutes. This works out so much better than buying canned beans because there is less waste, it works out to be more economical and I feel the beans are so much tastier. Try it out, if you have a pressure cooker or an instant pot. If not, you can simply use a can of black beans.

Black bean and Corn Tacos - taco mix

My chunky guacamole is also a very basic and simple recipe. It combines the richness of the avocado with the punchy flavors of a pico de gallo or a salsa. And like me, if you just need to serve 1 or 2 people, save the half of the avocado that has the pit still in it, squeeze some lime juice all over the cut surface, pop it into an avocado saver if you have one, or simply cover it with some cling film and pop it into the fridge for the next meal or the next day. This reduces the browning of the avocado. Do you have any tips for storing half an avocado? Leave me a comment and let me know. I’d love to be able to store it without having to use any single use plastic.

Black bean and Corn Tacos - guacamole

Assembling your tacos is one of the most fun parts of this recipe. You can add whatever your heart desires to your taco. Here’s what I use to make up my tacos –

  • Hard corn taco shells
  • Black bean and corn mix
  • Chunky guacamole
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Plant based sour cream
  • Finely shredded lettuce

If you love a good taco, you simply have to try it out and I hope you love it as much as we do. This recipe makes enough of the bean mix for 12-15 tacos. If you’re serving 12-15 tacos in one sitting, double the guacamole recipe.

Black Bean and Corn Tacos

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: MainCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Soaking time



Black Bean and Sweet Corn kernels come together to make amazing flavor-packed tacos, using a taco-seasoning made from scratch.


  • For the Black Bean and Corn Taco Mix –
  • 1/2 cup dried black beans OR 1 can black beans

  • 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels

  • 1/2 onion, sliced

  • 1/2 capsicum, sliced (See note)

  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp oil

  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • A pinch of extra hot cayenne pepper powder (optional)

  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano

  • 2 tbsp Chipotle Sauce

  • 1-2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves and stalks

  • For the guacamole –
  • 1/2 large avocado

  • 2 tbsp of chopped onion

  • 1/2 large tomato, diced

  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves and stalks, chopped

  • Salt, to taste

  • Lime juice, to taste

  • For the Tacos –
  • Hard corn taco shells

  • Pickled jalapenos

  • Sour cream

  • Shredded lettuce


  • To make the black bean and corn mix –
  • Wash and soak the black beans for 6-8 hours or overnight. Drain the water, rinse through and cook till beans are done. (I cooked the beans in a stovetop pressure cooker and they get ready in under 10 minutes.)
  • Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions till they’ve slightly softened.
  • Next, add the capsicum and let them saute for about a minute.
  • Add in the garlic and stir fry well till the garlic is nice and fragrant. Be careful and make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • When the garlic turns fragrant add the paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper powders and the dried oregano. Stir well.
  • Add in the chipotle sauce and stir thoroughly.
  • Add the black beans (that have been previously cooked) and the corn (I use frozen corn) to the pan and stir well.
  • Let this cook off for a couple of minutes or until the beans and corn has heated through.
  • Check for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  • Once most of the liquid from the pan has been absorbed, take the pan off the heat.
  • Top it off with the chopped coriander.
  • To make the guacamole –
  • Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
  • To make the tacos –
  • Heat the taco shells according to the packet instructions.
  • Layer the black bean and corn mix, the guacamole, pickled jalapenos, sour cream and shredded lettuce and serve up.


Recipe Video


  • The 2 servings mentioned at the start of the recipe is for 2 servings of 4 tacos each (Roughly about 8 tacos). This recipe makes enough of the black bean mix for 12-15 tacos. If you are serving 12-15 tacos in one sitting, you may want to double the guacamole recipe.
  • The black bean and corn mix works really well in burritos and quesadillas too.
  • You can use 1/2 a capsicum of your choice or you can use smaller sweet peppers instead. In all you’ll need about 1/2 a large capsicums worth of peppers. You can adjust this amount to suit your liking.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Soft and delicious Homemade Flour Tortillas made using just a few simple pantry ingredients. These are easy to make and great for meal prep.

Homemade Flour Tortillas
Homemade Flour Tortillas

So, I have a confession. Although I love a good wrap, I cannot stand the taste of store-bought tortillas. Maybe, its just me, but I can actually smell and taste the plastic on the store bought ones. Does anyone else feel that way? I’ve tried a bunch of different brands from both Coles and Woolworths and it’s always the same. And for me, personally, it spoils the whole wrap experience. And that’s one of the main reasons I haven’t shared many recipes for wraps here on the site. But all that’s about to change, now that I can make tortillas at home.

These flour tortillas are everything you’d want in a tortilla and then some. They are soft, so tasty and are made using simple ingredients like flour, salt, oil and water. That’s it. Knead these basic ingredients to a dough, roll out and cook them up. You can make these ahead of time and re-heat when you’re ready to serve. I made these tortillas using all-purpose flour, but you can also make them using whole-wheat flour, if you’d like.

This recipe is a great one for meal prep. You can cook up these tortillas ahead of time. Once they have cooled down, you can pop them in a zip lock back and refrigerate them and then use them through the week. Or you can even use them to make burritos and freeze them for use later. I’ve used these homemade flour tortillas to make quesadillas too. So this is one really versatile recipe that’s great to have on hand.

If this is your first time attempting to make tortillas from scratch, go check out my YouTube video, which takes you through the entire process and I share all my little tips and tricks as well.

This time around, I will be using these tortillas to make some amazing Tandoori Spiced Cauliflower Wraps. Stay tuned for that recipe, coming up next.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Recipe by Trisha VazCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp oil

  • Warm water, to knead to a dough (around 3/4 cup)


  • Add the flour, salt and oil into a large mixing bowl. Rub the oil into the flour to mix well and break down any clumps.
  • Knead this to a dough using luke-warm water. Add water gradually to knead to a smooth pliable dough. I used about 3/4 cup.
  • Roll to a ball, cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
  • After the dough has rested, divide dough into portions. I got 7 wrap sized portions. Roll these portions into balls, cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for another 15-20 minutes.
  • After resting the dough, roll out tortillas on a floured surface to a thin disc about 1/8″ thin.
  • Heat a pan on medium high heat. When the pan is hot, place tortilla on pan and let it cook for about a minute or till you see little bubbles appear and the side touching the pan has a few light brown spots.
  • Gently press the air pockets to help them expand a bit.
  • Flip over and let it cook till you get a few light golden spots on the tortilla. Don’t overcook the tortillas as they tend to get hard.

Recipe Video


  • You may need to use a little less or a little more water depending on your batch of flour. Add the water gradually.

Vegan Thai Chilli Basil Fried Rice

This Thai Chilli Basil Fried Rice is packed with vegetables. It uses all plant-based ingredients but still has all the flavors found in Thai cuisine.

Vegan Thai Chilli Basil Fried Rice

A good fried rice is a must have in every aspiring home cook’s arsenal. I enjoy fried rice a lot. Sometimes, I think, maybe a little too much. But in my defense, what’s not to love about it? While I love a good Chinese style fried rice, this Thai Chilli Basil Fried Rice has become a new favorite.

Its a simple meal in itself that is super versatile. You can use a lot of different vegetables, whatever you have on hand. It requires just a little advance planning in the form of cooking the rice ahead of time. Combine that with a clever use of some sauces that I always keep on hand and I can sit down to a nice, hot, home cooked meal in a jiffy.

In the past, I’ve always relied on a Chinese style fried rice. But a couple of years ago, when I tried a Spicy Thai Chilly Basil Fried Rice at a local Thai restaurant, I was smitten. All this flavor and spice – this fried rice blew my socks off. I ordered it every time we went out for Thai food. After a few such instances, I knew that I simply had to learn to make this at home and so with some experimentation, I ended up with a recipe that was really close to my favorite version.

Fast forward to December 2019. Just a few weeks before Christmas, my husband and I decided to switch to a more plant-based diet. And I’m happy to report that we’re loving every bit of this new plant based diet. The last couple of months have involved a lot of experimentation and researching substitutes to make my favorite recipes vegan-friendly. And I have finally found the ever elusive ‘mushroom oyster sauce’ that always seems to be sold out at my local Asian grocery store. Obviously, the next step was to try a vegan version of my Thai Chilli Basil Fried Rice.

It took a little tweaking, but OMG, this fried rice is phenomenal. I think I may like it a little more than the original recipe. So if you like Thai food, whether or not you follow a plant based diet, you must try this recipe out. Its a simple recipe, but is so flavorful and packed with veggies, that I promise you won’t even miss the meat.

So let’s talk about the recipe. There are a few steps involved but they are all really easy to follow. The fried rice is ready in minutes and its best to have all the components prepped and ready to go.

Step 1 – Making the rice

I used some Basmati rice as that’s what I had on hand. Wash the rice out a couple of times and soak it in some water for about 30 minutes. Drain the water, rinse with some fresh water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt, add the rice and cook it till is done about 80%. The rice should still have a little bite and shouldn’t be too soft. Let it cool completely.

Spicy Thai Chilli Basil Fried Rice - Boil the rice

It’s best to cook the rice atleast a few hours before you need to make the fried rice. You can even make the rice the previous day. Let it cool completely and refrigerate till you need to use it.

Step 2 – The spice paste

This couldn’t be simpler. Its a combination of some Thai birdseye chillies and garlic. We like our food spicy and this recipe is no exception. If you like Thai food but want to cut down on the spice, you can use a combination of birdseye chillies and some cayenne peppers or any other milder chilly. Grind this to a coarse paste.

Spicy Thai Chilli Basil Fried Rice - Chilli garlic paste

Step 3 – The sauce

This sauce makes this fried rice what it is. I have had to make a few substitutions to make this recipe vegan friendly but I believe this combination of sauces comes really close.

Simply stir together all the ingredients for the sauce – the miso paste, soy sauce, mushroom sauce, white pepper powder and sugar. Set this aside to use once we start cooking.

Step 4 – Prepping the veggies

Clean and cut all the vegetables and keep them ready. I use onions, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms and broccoli.

Pick the Thai basil leaves and keep them in a separate bowl.

Prepping the Vegetables

Step 5 – Making the fried rice

This is by far the easiest part of the recipe. Now that all our prep work is done, the rest is just a matter of stir frying our ingredients in stages. Make sure you use a large wok or a large enough pan. At this stage, all the cooking is done on a high heat.

Now that you’re familiar with the process, let move on to the recipe.

Vegan Thai Chilli Basil Fried Rice

Recipe by Trisha VazCuisine: ThaiDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time


Soaking time



This Vegan Thai Chilli Basil Fried Rice is packed with vegetables. It uses all plant-based ingredients but still has all the flavors found in Thai cuisine.


  • 2/3 cup basmati rice

  • 3 Thai birdseye chillies

  • 4 large cloves of garlic

  • A small handful of Thai basil leaves

  • A small wedge of lime

  • 2-3 tsp. peanut oil

  • For the sauce –
  • 1 tsp red Miso paste

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Mushroom Oyster Sauce

  • 1/2 tsp White pepper powder

  • 1 scant tbsp raw cane sugar

  • Vegetables –
  • 1 onion

  • 1 zucchini

  • 1 carrot

  • 5 cup mushrooms

  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets


  • Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse with some fresh water and drain again. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt. Add the drained rice and boil till the rice is cooked about 80% of the way. Drain and rice and cool completely.

    **See Note 1.
  • Prep the spice paste. Grind the chillies and garlic to a coarse paste and set aside.
  • Make the sauce. Place all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir together till well combined.
  • Prep the vegetables. Peel and cut the onion into thick slices and separate the onion layers.

    Cut the zucchini and carrot in half lengthwise and cut into thick slices.

    Slice the mushrooms. Cut the broccoli into small florets to help it cook faster.
  • To make the fried rice –
  • Heat a large wok on high heat. Add 1 tsp peanut oil and fry the mushrooms till they develop a little color.
  • Add another spoon of oil and add the onion. Stir fry till the edges of the onion slices start caramelizing.
  • Add the broccoli and stir fry till it has cooked about half the way.
  • Add the carrots and saute.
  • Then add the zucchini and saute till the veggies cook through to your liking.

    ** See note 3.
  • When the vegetables are cooked, add the chilli garlic paste and stir through well.
  • Stir the sauce and add to the wok. Stir through to distribute well.
  • Immediately add the rice and gently stir through to coat the rice with the sauce.
  • At this stage, let the rice cook through for about 20-30 seconds or till the sauce has been absorbed by the rice and the rice has heated through well. Gently stir fry the rice while it is heating through.
  • Take off the heat and add the Thai basil leaves and stir through.
  • Serve hot with some cucumber and a wedge of lime.


Recipe Video


  • 1. Boil the rice atleast a few hours before you need to make the fried rice. You can boil the rice the previous day. Cool it completely and refrigerate till you need to make the fried rice the next day.
  • 2. You can use regular white sugar to replace the raw cane sugar. If using white sugar, reduce the amount of sugar used.
  • 3. I prefer my veggies a little on the crunchy side. You can choose to cook the vegetables a little more till they are done to your liking.

Vanilla Overnight Oats

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We’ve all heard that. However, very often, its one of the most rushed through or even ignored meal of the day. A lot of times, this happens because of our crazy busy schedules or we fall into a rut and breakfast gets boring. I mean, as much as I like toast, I really can’t eat it every single day. Moreover, I don’t think toast by itself is doing me any good.

In our house, we tend to eat oats for breakfast very often. Sometimes, this can prove difficult, because we’re running late or its summertime and I can’t bear the thought of turning the gas on to make us porridge. Not to mention, eating hot porridge on a hot day, only makes things hotter. So once I tried refrigerated overnight oats, I was really happy. If you’ve never tried overnight oats, you really should. Oats are healthy and when combined with some chia seeds, fresh fruit and nuts, it is a really healthy breakfast. The best part is, this is a make ahead recipe and requires no cooking. Which can be a blessing during hot summers. This is a versatile recipe and you can add your favorite fruit and nuts to top it off. So I hope you try this out as a breakfast option and let me know what you think.

Vanilla Overnight Oats
(Makes 1 portion)

1/3 cup rolled oats
1 tsp chia seeds
1/4 – 1/2 vanilla extract
Maple syrup, to taste
2/3 cup almond milk (you can use soy milk or any other milk of your choice)
Fresh fruit and nuts of your choice (I used some strawberries, grapes and slivered almonds)

In a mason jar, add all the ingredients except the fresh fruit and nuts that you’re using to top off the oatmeal with.

Cover the jar and refrigerate overnight. (You can make a larger batch and use it through the week)

In the morning, add the fresh fruit and nuts of your choice. Serve up.


Chana Masala

Chickpeas! If you’ve been around this space a bit, you’ll know that I love my beans and lentils. Chickpeas happen to be right on top of that list. The best part is, they are so easy to work with. And No! I’m definitely not talking about using the canned stuff. While you can use canned chickpeas in most recipes that call for chickpeas, and I have too (when I didn’t have access to my pressure cooker), there is nothing like cooking your chickpeas or any other beans for that matter, from scratch. I haven’t bought the canned stuff for years now. I buy dry beans and lentils by the kilo.

To cook the beans, simply wash and soak them for 6-8 hours, drain and refresh the water. I use a pressure cooker to cook my beans in my stovetop pressure cooker with water, salt and a couple of whole Kashmiri chillies. It takes me just 5 minutes of cooking time after the pressure has built up to cook my beans through. However, each pressure cooker is different. Please refer to the user guide for your cooker, to see how long you need to cook the beans.  If you done have a pressure cooker, cook it in a pot with sufficient water till tender. 
Once, you’ve boiled your chickpeas, you can use them in so many different ways. I have shared a recipe for Chole on the website previously. That is still a great recipe but I have since tweaked it a little and I’m going to share that new version of the recipe today. I will call it Chana Masala to avoid any confusion. You can also use the boiled chickpeas in a simple chickpea salad, make some Hummus or use the kala chana (a darker version of the chickpeas) to make this amazing stir fry called Black Chana Fugad. They are all delicious. 

Chana Masala 

1 cup dry chickpeas (Wash, soak for 6-8 hours and cook till tender. Reserve the boiling liquid.)
1 bay leaf
2 inches of cinnamon
5-6 cloves
8-10 peppercorns
2 green cardamom pods
1 black cardamom pods
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 green/red chillies, split lengthways
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilly powder
1 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 cup tomato puree / passata
1 tbsp oil
Salt, to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
Fresh coriander leaves and stalks, finely chopped, to garnish
Heat the oil in a large vessel.
Add the bayleaf, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and cardamom pods. 
When the spices turn aromatic, add the cumin seeds and stir. 
Immediately add the chillies and onion. Saute till the onions have softened and have starting getting a little brown around the edges. 
Add the ginger and garlic paste and stir through. Saute for another minute.
Add the turmeric powder, chilly powder and garam masala powder and stir well.
Add a couple of tablespoons of the stock from cooking the chickpeas to deglaze the pan and prevent the spices from burning. Stir through thoroughly.
Now add the tomato puree and cook for 3-4 minutes stirring every once in a while. 
Add some more stock to bring the curry to the desired consistency. Please note, the curry will thicken a little as it cooks. 
Bring it to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. 
After 5 minutes, stir and check for seasoning. Add more stock if needed. Add more salt, if needed. Add 1/2 tsp of sugar. (Depending on the tomatoes you’re using, you may need to add a little more sugar. Add to taste.) Stir through. Cover and simmer for another 5-7 minutes. 
At this stage your curry should be cooked. Lastly add in the boiled chickpeas. Cook for another couple of minutes till the chickpeas have heated through. 
Garnish with chopped, fresh coriander and serve hot. 

Tava Style Aloo Bhindi – Indian Potato and Okra Stir Fry

This recipe takes me way back to when I’d first enjoyed some Tava vegetables. It was at a party that had a huge buffet offering, both non-vegetarian and vegetarian. While the non-vegetarian spread was really impressive, I was intrigued by a live stall happening over on the veggie side of the table. There was a massive tava (cast iron griddle) and it had a variety of vegetables on it. The aroma was deliciously intoxicating and I knew I had to try some. I helped myself to a small assortment, some salads and took some naan bread to go along with it. Little did I know that this dish would have me hooked for a long time to come. This was about 7 years ago, I think. To this day, the thought of those tava vegetables has me yearning for some.

After a lot of searching, high and low, I found a recipe, that I tweaked to try and replicate the flavors I so vividly remember. Since I cook for just my husband and I, this recipe is scaled down. I also just use my favorite veggies from that day – okra (bhindi) and potatoes (aloo). I found that these are also some of the easy ones to work with. I don’t make this recipe very often, because the veggies start off by getting deep fried and are then tossed with a spice mix (tava masala), and the deep frying tips this to the slightly indulgent side.

The spice mix, or my version of the tava masala is hot a very hot mix. The spices used are warm and flavorful. The chaat masala is an integral part of this recipe. If you haven’t tried it before, it is a blend of a few spices like cumin, pepper and a few others with some powdered mango. So it has a unique flavor profile, you get a slight hit of salt, tang from the mango and delicious flavor from the blend of other spices. You can easily find this at any Indian grocery store. (This chaat masala also works well with other chaat recipes you find on my blog.)

So try this easy stir fry recipe. This is best enjoyed served hot with some chapatis, rotis, naan or other flatbread of your choice. It would also work well as a side dish to some hearty Dal & Rice.

Tava Style Aloo Bhindi

3 medium potatoes
20-25 okra
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 – 1 tsp Kashmiri chilly powder (or any other mild chilly powder)
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp chaat masala
Salt, to taste
1 1/2 – 2 tbsp oil, plus oil for deep frying

Place a pan with the oil for deep frying on medium high heat.

Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into evenly sized fries / chips.

Wash the okra and pat dry. Chop the stalks off the okra and discard. Try and use okra that is similar in size, if not, cut them down to about the same size as the potato pieces.

By now, the oil should be hot. Carefully, and in batches, add the potatoes to the oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan or the oil will froth over and spill.

Deep fry the potatoes on medium heat till they’ve cooked through. Drain using a slotted spoon and set aside on some kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil.

Deep fry the okra on medium heat till they have start getting a little darker in color and have started crisping up.

Drain using a slotted spoon and set aside on some kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil, like you did the potatoes.

Take the oil for deep frying off the heat.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan on medium heat. When the oil is warm, NOT hot, add in the turmeric powder first and then add the rest of the spice powders.

Stir that through for about 20-30 seconds or  till the spices get aromatic.

Add the okra to the pan and toss well. Lastly add the potatoes and toss to coat the veggies with the spices evenly.

Check for seasoning and add salt, to taste. Toss well.

Serve hot.

You can watch the video recipe here –