Saturday, 15 December 2012

summer means salads

I love this time of year, the weather is warmer, the days are longer and holidays are imminent.  Also, it's stone fruit season!  Nothing beats a fresh and crunchy nectarine whilst basking in the sunny glow of beautiful days :)
They also taste great in salads, perfect!

White nectarine and tofu salad
Serves 2 as a side or 1 as a light meal

Ingredients

1 white nectarine sliced into wedges
2 handfuls of rocket
1/8 cup red onion thinly sliced
1/2 lemon juiced
100 g firm tofu sliced into 0.5 cm thickness
sea salt and freshly crushed pepper to taste

Method

Heat up a small frying pan and place nectarine wedges, flesh side down.  (I used a non-stick frying pan so didn't need to add oil)
Cook for about 3 minutes each side, they should be a little bit caramelised.
Remove from heat and now cook tofu on each side.  Again I didn't use any oil but feel free to if you prefer.
In a medium sized bowl, combine your vegetables, nectarine and tofu. Pour in the lemon juice and seasoning and get your hands in there and give it a gentle but thorough mix so that everything is coated evenly.
Serve and enjoy.

I'm really loving adding fruit to my salads lately, the flavours of sweet and savoury really work well together, and they also add a different texture depending on what you do with them.  I specially love apples in salads and here are two recipes that uses them in two different ways.

Apple Slaw
Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 red apple thinly sliced (I used pink lady because of their tart flavour)
1 cup red cabbage shredded
1 TBS slivered almonds
1 cup of spinach shredded 
1 TBS dried cranberries
1/2 lemon juiced
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Combine all ingredients in a bowl serve.

Baked apple and pumpkin salad
Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

2 granny smith apples
4 cups of pumpkin chunks
4 handfuls of rocket
3/4 cup bertoli beans
1/4 cup walnut halves chopped
2 TBS dried cranberries
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degress celcius.  Line a tray with baking paper.
Peel and core apples, cut them into thick wedges and place on tray, along with pumpkin pieces.
Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until pumpkin is cooked.
Once cooked, remove from oven and leave to cool for about 20 minutes.  
In a screw top jar, add balsamic vinegar, olive oil and seasoning.  Shake to emulsify.
In a medium sized bowl, place rocket, beans, walnuts and cranberries. Add the pumpkin and apples and toss gently. 
Serve and enjoy.

And did I mention that I also LOVE figs!  If they weren't so pricey, I'd eat them everyday!!

Fig and spinach salad
Serves 1

Ingredients

1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 fig sliced into thin wedges
1/4 cup yellow capsicum strips
1/4 cup corn kernels
1 TBS goji berries
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Method

Place spinach, capsicum and corn kernels in a bowl, add vinegar and mix gently.  Add figs and give it another gentle toss.  Sprinkle with goji berries and serve.

And now to some warm yumminess.....

Baked eggplant with spicy tomato quinoa stuffing
Serves 2

Ingredients

1 large eggplant
1 1/2 cups tomato pasta sauce
1/2 cup quinoa
1 clove of garlic crushed
1/2 brown onion chopped
1 TBS tomato paste
1 tsp harissa paste
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 TBS parsley chopped
6 kalamata olives sliced
1/2 vegan stock cube
3/4 cup water

Dressing

Eggplant flesh (from the baked eggplant)
1/8 cup parsley
1 clove of garlic
1/2 lemon juiced
1/2 tsp sea salt

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Cut eggplant in half lengthways.
In a baking dish, add tomato pasta sauce  and place eggplant, skin side down.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until eggplant is brown and golden on the top.
In a medium saucepan, add garlic, onion, spices, and both tomato and harissa paste.  Add a little bit of water and mix it all together.  Place over medium heat and cover with lid.  Cook for approximately 4 minutes, until onion is soft.  Whilst it's cooking, rinse quinoa thoroughly and add to saucepan.  Add water, olives and stock cube.  Cover and cook on low-medium heat for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked.  If it looks too dry and the quinoa is still not cooked, add a little bit more water.  Once cooked, remove from heat and stir in parsley.
When eggplant is ready, remove from oven and scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1.5 cm edge.  Keep the scooped out flesh for the dressing.  
Place quinoa into eggplant cavity.  To serve, place some of the pasta sauce on the bottom of the plate in a circular pattern and place stuffed quinoa on top.
For the dressing, blend together all ingredients and pipe on to top of quinoa.
Serve on it's own, or with a side of rocket salad with lemon juice dressing.

I've been working on some cakes, so I will post those next.  Look out for berry vanilla cake, upside down pineapple cake and a marble cake.  YUM!!

Not sure if I'll get to post before Christmas so if I don't, I just want to wish you all a great Christmas and a wonderful new year.  I hope that you spend it with your loved ones, enjoying their presence and being present in the moment.  I know for me, I will be reflecting on the year that was, and taking the time to be extra thankful to mother earth for the wonderful blessings she has bestowed on me.  Couldn't be luckier really.  So blessed.

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

Saturday, 1 December 2012

thank goodness for december

Now that November is over, I can get busy in the kitchen again.
Going sugar-free made me realise that I just love making desserts.  Is that bad?  Maybe, but as the kids say these days, YOLO!

To welcome fruit in my life, I made the following pillows of goodness.

Oat and banana pancakes
Serves 13x10 cm pancakes (i know, weird number)

Ingredients


1 1/4 cup wholegrain oats
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas + 1 to serve
coconut oil spray
Maple syrup to serve

Method

Place all ingredients, except bananas, in a large bowl and use a hand held blender to blend until smooth.
Add 2 bananas and blend until incorporated in to the batter.
Spray a large frying pan with coconut oil and heat on medium heat until hot.
Add batter and cook in two.  About 1/4 of a cup per pancake.
Repeat process until all batter is used up, spraying pan as required.
Serve pancakes with extra banana and maple syrup.
Or do as I do, eat them on their own or covered in almond butter.
YUM.

But it's not just the sweet life I love, I also love making new food discoveries.  I've recently discovered a little something called Slim Pasta.  I'd been looking at it for a while but wasn't too sure, but decided to try it out and it has proved quiet tasty and easy to use.  I just use it in place of noodles and pasta in meals and it's also easy and quick to prepare.
Here's a couple of recipes I've been making of late.

Spicy Curry Noodles with Spinach and Mushrooms
Serves 2

Ingredients

1 packet of slim pasta organic fettucini
2 cups of baby spinach
1 cup red capsicum strips
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup enoki mushrooms, cut in half
1/2 cup zucchini julienne
1/4 cup coriander chopped
2 TBS unhulled tahini
2 TBS tamari
4 TBS water (or more depending on preferred consistency)
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1 TBS curry powder
sprouts and sesame seeds to garnish

Method

Prepare pasta to packet instructions.
Combine tahini, tamari, water, curry powder and chilli flakes in a bowl, and whisk to combine.  Should reach a smooth consistency. Add more water at this stage if required.
In a large bowl, combine all your vegetables and pasta, add dressing, and mix throughly.  I use my hands as I like to get every single strand of pasta and vegetable covered in the goodness.
Divide into serving plate and decorate with sprouts and seeds.

 I like to eat this at room temperature or cold, it's refreshing and really filling.  It also travels well and is a favourite work lunch/dinner.

Roasted vegetable Pasta
Serves 2

Ingredients

1 packet of Slim pasta organic fettucini
2 garlic cloves unpeeled
3 grey zucchini
1/2 large eggplant
2 large flat mushrooms
2 cups spinach shredded
1/4 cup basil shredded
1 cup tomato pasta sauce
2 tsp nutritional yeast
4 kalamata olives sliced
2 semi-dried tomatoes sliced

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
Cut your zucchinis in half lengthways and cut into 1 cm slices.
Cut your eggplant into 1 cm slices and cut each slice into quarters.
Slice your mushrooms and combine them with your other vegetables and garlic.
Lay flat on baking tray and dry bake them for apporoximately 20 minutes or until soft and slightly golden.
Cook pasta to packet instructions and place in a large bowl.
Add your cooked vegetables, shredded spinach, basil, and sauce to the pasta and mix thoroughly until sauce is incorporated and everything is coated.
Serve and decorate with olives, tomatoes and nutritional yeast.
Eat straight away!
You can have this cold or warm.  Up to you.
The beauty of this dish is that you can add any vegetable you want.  Baked capsicum would go really nicely too, with a bit of chilli flakes in the sauce.

As you can see, I didn't use any oil in the cooking, so this is perfect for those watching their fat intake.  The pasta itself only has 11.8 calories per serve, so when you combine it with dry baked vegetables and a tomato sauce, you've got a really good, low-fat, low-calorie, nutrient dense meal.  You are getting some B group vitamins from the mushrooms and nutritional yeast, some iron from the spinach, and the vitamin c in the tomato sauce is helping with it's absorption.  Winner of a dish.  Really satisfying and won't leave you filling bloated and needing a nap like starchy pasta.

I've also been experimenting with some burger recipes I've found on the net.  The one I tried was from fatfreevegan and it was delicious.  I love this blog as most of her recipes are made using no added fats and they are really delicious.




















I served them with a side of sweet potato chips which I dried baked and a lovely salad of spinach, carrots, sunflower seeds and capsicum with a simple lemon vinaigrette.


Inside my burger bun, i had avocado, baby spinach, and sprouts.  I also made some coriander cashew mayonnaise and pickled red onions.



Coriander Cashew Mayonnaise
Makes 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (4 hours minimum)
1/2 lemon juiced
1 cup coriander chopped
1/2 cup water
1 tsp sea salt
8 drops of tabasco (optional)
1/2 small clove garlic


Method

Place ingredients in a blender and blend on high until completely smooth. 
Season to taste. 
Store leftovers in a sealed glass container.  Keeps for up to 3 days.



Pickled onions

Makes approx. 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

1 large red onion thinly sliced
3/4 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 dried bay leaf
4 whole cloves


Method

Place your ingredients, except onion, into a medium saucepan, and bring to a gentle boil until all the sugar has dissolved.
Add the onion, and stir for a couple of minutes.  Take it off the heat, place it in a glass container, and put in the fridge to cool down.  Or you can let them cool down at room temperature but I couldn't wait that long!!
And whilst we're on the topic of add-ons, I have to say that hummus is one of my favourites.  It's full of fibre, and it's super tasty and nutritious.  I always wonder why people buy it when it's so simple to make.  You can add it to just about everything, and it's such a great protein rich snack to keep those munchies away.  Here' my fail proof recipe.

The best Hummus
Makes approx. 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

1 400g can of organic chickpeas
1/2 lemon juiced
1 small clove of garlic
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup unhulled tahini
6 drops of tabasco (optional)
1/4 cup water (or more depending on preferred consistency)

Method

Place all ingredients in a food processor or powerful blender and whiz until smooth.
Enjoy with EVERYTHING!!

I don't know what it is but whenever I'm feeling a little out of sorts, I always turn to soup. It's also perfect for when I'm feeling cerebrally challenged after a long day at work as it requires minimal preparation or fussing over.  Chopping and blending is as hard as it gets.  Thank goodness for soup.

Green power cream soup
Serves 2

Ingredients

2 cups fresh spinach chopped
1 cup zucchini chopped
1 cup broccoli chopped
1/2 brown onion chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
1/4 cup celery chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 litre of water
1/4 raw cashews
1 vegan stock cube
2 TBS creamed corn (optional)
alfalfa sprouts (optional)

Method


Place water, cashews, stock cube and garlic in a saucepan and bring to the boil on med-high heat.  Lower heat add zucchini, broccoli, celery and onion and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add spinach and cook for a further 2 minutes.  Turn heat off and add parsley.  
Using a hand held blender, blend until smooth.
Check seasoning once blended and adjust as desired.
Serve with a TBS of creamed corn and some alfalfa sprouts.
Again, I didn't add any oil, and you will get some good fats
from the cashews, as well as a bunch of other good stuff.

But a meal is not complete without a sweet little treat!  Now that No-sugar-vember is over, I have been able to indulge in some fruit and indulge I have!
With the temperatures reaching crazy high 30's, here's a treat to keep you cool.

Cookies and Cream Gelato
serves 2.....or 1 :)

Ingredients

For the cookies

1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw brazil nuts
6 medjool dates
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 TBS coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla essence

For the gelato

2 frozen bananas


Method for Cookies

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until you get a crumb that holds together when pressed into a ball.
Take about 3 TBS of the crumbs for your gelato.
Line a shallow tray with baking paper and press the rest of the crumb into it to make a slab.  Cover and place in the freezer for indulging at a later date.  Or you can get cookie cutters and cut out shapes, store shapes in a container lined with baking paper and keep in the freezer.  Take them out only as you are about to eat them otherwise you risk eating them all in the one go, and they will also return to their crumbly beginnings.  Don't say I didn't warn you!

Method for Gelato

Place frozen bananas in food processor and blend until it reaches a smooth, gelato like consistency.  Add your crumbs and pulse until it's incorporated into the gelato but not blended threw.

Serve and enjoy. 
A chocolaty hit without the refined sugars.  That's what I like the most.

With the festive season creeping upon us, I'm looking forward to trying out some christmas inspired recipes. I'm going to perfect a pumpkin pie, and also make some quinoa stuffed mini pumpkins for christmas dinner.  And you can't have christmas without vegan christmas pudding with lashings of vanilla custard can you?  No, that would be wrong!

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

it's been a while....

Wow, I have actually lost track of how long it's been......that's how long it's been.
To say that life has been busy is an understatement, however, being busy is good, and I think I rather be busy than standing still.  My boy always tell me I don't know how to relax, maybe that's true, but I like to think that I don't like to let an opportunity pass :)

I have a few little recipes, some raw, some cooked, mostly with no sugar as I am doing No-sugar-Vember at the moment.
Let me tell you, it's a struggle.  It's true, I love sugar, and although I don't actually eat much refined sugar, I do LOVE LOVE LOVE fruit.  
I did read somewhere, to my disappointment, that fruit is just sugar with fibre.  Agh, I hate that!!  It's like someone calling my bestie a mean name!  But, you can't go through life forgoing all the things you love.  That would be hell, and not really life at all.  Life is meant to be enjoyed, cherished, learned from, laughed at, and best of all, captured and stored as little snippets of your own movie, in photos, scents, tastes and memories.  
So here are a few of the 'treats' I came up with to get me through this sugar-free challenge.

Raw Vegan Tacos
Serves 4 

Ingredients

Walnut Meat

2 cups raw walnuts
2 Tbsp tamari
1/8 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse just to mix. You want the mixture to resemble mince.  Don't over mix or you'll end up with mash.  I'm sure it'll still taste good though so no drama if you do.

Sour 'Cream'

Ingredients

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or at least 2 hours
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 TBS unhulled tahini
5 Tbsp water (or up to you depending on how runny/thick you want it)

Method

Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender.  If I had a vitamix or other high speed blender I'd definitely use that as it gives the smoothest consistency.  But I don't so I use my food processor.  Still tastes good :)

Raw Tomato Salsa

Ingredients

1 cup tomatoes cubed
1/2 cup red capsicum diced
1/2 cup yellow capsicum diced
1/2 cup cucumber diced
1/2 red onion diced
1/4 cup fresh coriander chopped 
1/2 lemon juiced
Rainbow chard stems chopped
sea salt and pepper to taste

Method

Place all ingredients in a bowl, and toss gently with lemon juice and seasoning. 

Guacamole

Ingredients

1 large avocado
1/2 lemon juiced
2 TBS fresh coriander chopped
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
sea salt to taste

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender (I only have a handheld so that's what I use), and blend until smooth.
You can mash it up if you prefer it chunky but I like mine smooth.

Wraps

Ingredients

8 rainbow chard or spinach leaves
Washed and ends trimmed 

To eat, you simply lay it all out and assemble tacos to your liking.


If you don't already know that I love tacos, then consider yourself informed.  I love tacos. 
I you don't have walnuts at hand, you can make the following variation.  However, it's not raw, but if you don't care about that, then go get em'!

Mushroom Tacos
Serves 4

1 Guacamole Mix
1 Salsa Mix
1 Cabbage salad Mix
6 large field mushrooms
1 taco seasoning mix sachet
8 kale leaves (I used Tuscan Cabbage)


Mushroom Meat

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Line a baking tray with baking paper and put aside.
Chop cleaned mushrooms into strips, place them in a bag with the contents
of the taco mix sachet (make sure you check ingredients so that you agree with what's in it).
Shake the hell out of it until it's all mixed in and mushroom pieces are coated.
Place coated mushroom strips on prepared baking tray and cook in oven for about 20 minutes, or until cooked and a little brown.


Cabbage salad

Ingredients

2 cups red cabbage
1 lemon juiced
sea salt 

Method

Finely shred cabbage and mix with lemon juice and salt.

Now assemble, wrap and enjoy.

Sometimes you don't get a lot of time to whip up meals, that's why I like to be prepare and always have some cooked grains, or baked sweet potato or pumpkin in the fridge.  When times get busy, I pull out whatever is in the fridge, throw it all together and call it:

Leftovers Salad
Serves 1

Ingredients

1 cup red rice
1/2 cup baked/steamed sweet potato
1/3 cup avocado cubes
1/4 cup lentils
2 TBS coriander (or whatever herb you like)
1 TBS sunflower seeds
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/2 TBS white wine vinegar
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

Method

Place mustard, oil, vinegar and seasoning in a screw top jar, shake it until it emulsifies.
Place all other ingredients in a bowl, pour over dressing and gently mix to combine.
YUM!

Here's one with an Asian flavour.  

Enoki, tofu and Carrot salad 
serves 2

Ingredients

Enoki mushrooms (about a handful)
1 large carrot julienne
200g marinated tofu
1/3 cup fresh coriander chopped
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 TBS tamari
1/2 TBS sesame oil
Fresh chilli chopped(optional)

Method

Slice your tofu into thin slices and add it to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
Toss gently to combine.


I served it with some grilled baby eggplant and mushrooms which I brushed with some tamari.
You can serve this with steamed fish if your family is not vegan.

Easy peasy!

And whilst we're on eggplant territory, I have to say that it is one tasty vegetable which is really simple to prepare.  Here's a little recipe I whipped up in less than 30 minutes.  Give it a go next time you're hungry and just can't wait! 

Eggplant, pumpkin and spinach stack
Serves 1 as a light meal

Ingredients

4 eggplant slices (1.5 cm thick)
handful of spinach, shredded
1/4 cup of pumpkin slices (0.5 cm thick)
1/2 TBS pine nuts
1/4 cup tomato pasta sauce

Method

Heat up a non-stick frying pan.  Add your pumpkin slices and cover so that the heat and steam will cook them faster.
In another non-stick frying pan, add your eggplant slices and cook until brown on both sides (approx. 4 minutes each side).
Once you have some room in your pan, add the spinach leaves and cook until just wilted.
Heat up your pasta sauce.
Now assemble the stack.
Here's my order:
Eggplant, pumpkin, spinach. Repeat.
Top the whole lot with the pasta sauce and sprinkle the pine nuts on top.  You could add some nutritional yeast to give it a 'cheesy' taste if you like.
Super easy, fast, no oil added and good for you. 
If you don't have pumpkin, you can substitute with any other vegetable you have in your fridge.  Here's one I made with mushroom as the filling.  It felt like I was eating a burger.  I added a kale and sprout salad and some baked sweet potato and I had one very satisfying, low fat meal.

And I'll finish off with a soup.  Like tacos, I love soup too.  It's such a good way to pack as much vegetables as possible into your meal, it's comforting, and best of all, filling!!

Zucchini cream soup
Serves 2

Ingredients

1 cup spinach leaves
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley + 2 TBS 
2 cups zucchini chopped
1/4 cup brown onion
1/4 cup celery chopped
4 cups water
1 garlic clove
1/2 vegan stock cube
1 TBS nutritional yeast (optional)
2 TBS red capsicum diced
1 TBS pepitas
1 japanese pumpkin 

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
Wash your pumpkin thoroughly and cut in half.  Place them on prepared baking tray, skin side down, and place in oven. Approximately 30-40 minutes depending on oven. 
Meanwhile, Place zucchini, onion, garlic, stock cube, water and celery in a medium saucepan and cook gently until mixure begins to boil.  Reduce heat and cook at a simmer for another 10 minutes or until zucchini is soft.  Add spinach leaves and parsley and cook for a further 3 minutes.  If you need more water, add it.  I like my soup thick.
Blend soup until smooth.  I use a stick blender and just do it in the pot.
Once your pumpkin is cooked, remove from oven and scoop out seeds.  Keep scooping out the flesh until you get a hollow big enough to cradle some of your soup.
Ladle soup into your pumpkin bowl and sprinkle with some nutritional yeast, capsicum, parsley and pepitas.

NB Keep the scraped out flesh to make into pumpkin hummus or to add as butter to your sandwiches, or scoop into smoothies, or add to brozen bananas with some spices to make pumpkin ice cream!!
                     WASTE NOT WANT NOT

peas, love and mungbeans

xxb







Wednesday, 31 October 2012

done and dusted! now on to the next thing......

It's been a while, way more than 12 weeks......so it has.
The 12 week plant based/vegan diet challenge has come to a close.  A couple of weeks ago in fact.  But it's been a busy, busy time so I apologise for my tardiness, and I will also add that now that the challenge is over, I probably won't be posting as often.

So what have I made of this challenge?  First and foremost I have to say that it has made me more aware of what I put into my mouth.  I always thought I had a pretty good diet, and mostly I did.  But eliminating animal products and having to make most of your meals means that you become a little more knowledgeable of all the stuff that's added to our foods.  Some ingredients I can't even pronounce, yet I was eating them on a daily basis!!
If anything, this way of eating has taught me to be mindful, to be patient, to eat slowly, to eat cleanly and to be present.
All that from food, really?

It's also made me experiment with foods, try different approaches to eating and preparing them, and it has made me realise that saying you're going to do something can only go as far as you want it to go. 

Like my gluten free October challenge.  I wasn't very strict in the first two weeks, in fact, I sucked really bad at it.  Once I put my mind and made a wholehearted promise to myself that I would stick to it, I did.  However, it wasn't easy at first, and I had to disguise it in the way of making it a Raw Vegan Challenge rather than calling it what it was.  Sometimes life is just like that I guess.  But whatever gets you through and gets you to that goal is what matters, as long as you don't sacrifice yourself or others for it though!!

So Gluten-Free October, disguised as Raw Vegan has gone really well.  I've been gluten-free for 14 days now and I feel great!  No bloating, no excessive amounts of wind (*cringe), and generally feeling pretty awesome.  Maybe it coincides with the raw food, although I will admit, I find raw vegan living pretty tough.  And I'll be 100% honest with you, I have slipped at times.  There have been times, when I was feeling rather emotional, that I reached out for my frying pan and made myself some vegan chilli.  I just needed a little bit of Mexican to cheer me up.  A little fiesta never hurt anyone right?


This dish is super quick, no joke, 20 minutes tops.  This is what I make when I'm feeling tired, or time poor and I need something feeling and super tasty.  My family can it it too so that's a bonus.

Burritos
Serves 2

Chilli


Ingredients

1 400g can red kidney beans
1 400g can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup brown onion diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoky paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 TBS coconut oil
1/2 cup zucchini diced
1/2 cup capsicum diced
1/4 cup celery diced
1/2 cup carrot diced
1 TBS fresh coriander chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Method

In a large frying pan, heat your coconut oil and add your onion, garlic and spices.  Cook until translucent.  Add your tomatoes and vegetables, cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Putting the lid on will speed up the process and prevent it from drying out.
Once veges are cooked, add your beans and cook uncovered for 3 minutes, or until the beans are heated through.  Turn of your heat and stir in coriander and seasoning if needed.
Whilst you wait for your veges to cook, make your......

Guacamole

Ingredients

2 avocados
1/8 cup red onion diced
1/8 cup red capsicum diced
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Method

Use a stick blender and process your avocado with lemon juice and seasoning.  Tasting as you go.  Alternatively, you can mash the avocado.  Whatever tickles your fancy :)
Add the rest of the ingredients to the avocado mixture and voila!

Salsa

Ingredients

1 tomato diced
1 cup cucumber cubes
juice of half a lemon 
salt and pepper to taste

Method

Mix all your ingredients together

Cos lettuce leaves to serve.

Now place your chilli mix into your lettuce and top with guacamole and salsa.
Enjoy!!

What I love the most about doing the raw thing, is the desserts. Now it's no secret that I'm a big sweet tooth, it's my crux.  That's why I'm doing No-sugar-Vember.  OMG, so scary!! Today is my last day of being able to eat sugar so I'm treating myself by doing the raw vegan workshop because I know that there will be some delicious raw vegan treats to try.  Although raw vegans don't use refined sugars, they do still use plenty of dried fruit which in all intents and purposes, is just sugar.  Sorry to say.
But let's not get down about it, we still have a few hours left until November hits, so with that in mind, let me introduce you to some pretty tasty little snacks that you can keep in your freezer and sneak out any time the sweet fairy pops in. 


Teenie tiny choc berry tarts



















This recipe is a mixture of recipes put together to make these delicious little treats.

As you can see, they are still a little bit frozen as I just couldn't wait to dig in.


You can make as many as you like but I got about 8 using the same quantities for the chocolate mousse and coco berry gelato from a previous post.

Fruit and Nut Crust

Ingredients

1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw brazil nuts
6 medjool dates
6 dried apricots
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 TBS coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

Place all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until desired consistency is reached.  Should be crumbly and hold together when pressed.  If you need too add more dates/apricots if too dry, or some more nuts/coconut if too wet.

Now you just have to assemble them.

I used a muffin tray and pressed in the crust, filled it with chocolate mousse and topped it with the gelato.  Throw it in the freezer for a couple of hours.  This will make them easy to pop out of the tray.  Once frozen, I pop them all out and placed them in an airtight container back in the freezer.  I take mine out of the freezer about 30 minutes before I want to eat them.

If you have left over crust, roll them up into little balls and roll them in some dried coconut, or sesame seeds, or raw cacao powder and make some Protein Power Balls.


I store mine in the freezer also, and just take out a few to have on hand when I'm out and about.
They're also good as a pre-workout snack and the kids love them too.
You can experiment by adding some almond butter instead of coconut oil.
You may want to try adding chia seeds to them also.
The only boundary is your imagination really :)



One other dessert I'd like to share with you is a pudding I absolutely love and could eat everyday, no joke.

Chocolate Chia Pudding
Serves 1

Ingredients

1 banana
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup coconut water
1/8 cup coconut cream
1 TBS chia seeds
1 TBS raw cacao powder
1 tsp raw cacao nibs
1 tsp fruit and nut crust (optional)

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender except for cacao nibs and crust.  Blend until thick and creamy.
Pour into a cup or bowl of your choice, and top with cacao nibs and fruit and nut crust.
Place in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes to thicken.
Enjoy!

If I'm feeling extra crazy, I substitute the coconut water for coconut milk and 1 TBS of coconut cream.  It makes it super thick and creamy.  YUMMINESS on another level!

People who can't comprehend vegan/plant based diets always ask me what I eat.
Here's a snapshot of some of my meals whilst I've been on the raw tip.






So there you have it kids, a month in the raw.  It hasn't been easy, a few slip ups here and there but all in all, I think it was awesome.  The above and middle picture is actually a cauliflower 'rice'.  So good, just throw some raw cauliflower in your food processor with a tsp of salt and 1 tsp of garlic powder and pulse until you get the rice consistency.  So easy and  you can use it like rice.  LOVES IT!
And I just can't live without my nori rolls.  The best thing ever, and you can add whatever fillings you love the most.

And now one final thing.  Throughout the whole raw thing, I have been getting a lot of compliments on my skin.  Not sure if it's the raw thing, or the fact that I've now been vegan for over 3 months.  I always give a new thing the 3 month check so I'm thinking it could be a combo of the two.

Lesson learnt:  Keep it simple and clean, eat raw mostly, be gentle with yourself, don't sweat the small stuff. 

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb