Friday, 12 July 2013

A winning combination

Like promised, here's a more timely post that contains the recipes to the last few dishes I created.
I hope this way works better for everyone, but your feedback would be greatly appreciated as I'm in the process of making a new website so all posts will be on that once it's up and running.  Yikes! Exciting and scary times ahead, specially for someone with little computer skills. Luckily for me, I've got a few smarty friends who are lending a hand, all in the name of goodwill of course, and some vegan chocolate cake!

But let's not waste time on housekeeping, here's a recipe I think you will love.
This came about after I was craving some foods from my past life.  I'm not normally a chocolate girl but seeing an advertisement for snickers, I had a desire for some.
So, I got my thinking cap on and this is what happened.

Snickers Fingers
Makes 10 fingers


For Chocolate

3/4 cup coconut oil (liquid)
1/4 cup maple syrup/coconut nectar (which ever you have)
1/2 cup raw cacao powder

For Caramel

10 medjool dates (seeds removed)
3 TBS maple syrup/coconut nectar
2 TBS natural peanut butter
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts


Line a loaf pan with baking paper and set aside. You could also make these in individuals patty cases.

For Chocolate
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined and smooth. Pour a layer on your prepared pan and place in freezer.

For Caramel
Place all ingredients, except peanuts, in the food processor and process until smooth.
Place this mixture on top of chocolate layer, using a spatula to create an even surface. It will be sticky!

Pour your peanuts on top and push them into the caramel. Then pour the rest of the chocolate on top. I had to melt mine again because it had started to solidify.

Place in freezer for a couple of hours or overnight prior to cutting.
They keep in the freezer & can melt at room temperature.

WARNING:  These are very rich so I cut them up into additional squares.  Highly addictive!

This next dessert was totally different in my head, however, it died when it came time to taking it out of the mould so I had to improvise.  I will remake it to the picture I have in my head again, but for the time being, this wasn't such a bad result.  

Strawberry Mousse with Rose Water Jelly & Pistachio Crumbs
Makes 2


For Mousse

2 cups of strawberries
1/4 cup of raw cashews, soaked and rinsed
2 pitted medjool dates, soaked and rinsed
2 TBS of chia seeds
1/4 cup non-dairy milk of choice
1/2 tsp stevia powder

For Jelly

1/2 tsp agar
1 tsp rose water 
1 cup of boiling water
4 drops of beet juice 
2 tsp stevia powder
2 tsp maple syrup (or more stevia if you prefer)

4 TBS of shelled pistachios, cut into crumbs
2 strawberries


For Mousse

Make a chia gel by soaking the chia seeds in the non-dairy milk overnight or for at least 30 minutes.
You can soak the cashews and dates together, for the same time as the chia.
Once ready, rinse the cashews/dates and place in a high speed blender with the rest of the ingredients.
Blend until really smooth and adjust sweetness if desired.
Divide mixture in serving cups, arrange some chopped up strawberries on top and place covered in the fridge.

For Jelly

Place boiling water in a small saucepan and sprinkle in the agar.  Mix until dissolved on low heat.  Increase heat if needed to keep it at a gentle boil, and add the rest of the ingredients.  You may need to play around with the beet juice until you get the desired colour.  Add 1 drop at a time.  Once it has reduced a bit, about 5 minutes, take it off the heat.  Get a shallow dish and line it with glad wrap, pour in the mixture and swirl it around until it cools somewhat.  I had to blow a bit on mine. You want it tepid before you pour it on the mousse.
Once it has cooled a bit, divide it in half and pour onto the mousse pots.  Return to the fridge until jelly has set (won't take too long).
Serve with the pistachio crumbs on top.
As you can see from the above picture, my jelly is not covering the whole thing.  This is because I initially popped it in a different serving glass, lined with glad wrap, so that I could remove it and it would be a lovely little round shaped mousse tower.  However! The mousse had not set (didn't freeze it) and it went everywhere, destroying my lovely jelly top :(
I still think it came out pretty good though, and it didn't affect the flavours.  

The next recipe is my second attempt at making a cauliflower pizza crust.
It's not the type of crust we are used to eating with pizza, as in, you can't just slice it up and hold it, it will crumble.  It's more of a knife and fork type dish.  
If you love pizza, I urge you to try it.  It's definitely a healthier alternative and it has some added protein from the almond meal.
The beauty of this dish, and pizza, is that the flavour combinations are endless.
Warning:  It takes a while to cook!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Makes 1 25x10cm rectangular crust


1 small head of cauliflower
1/2 cup of almond meal
2 TBS nutritional yeast
1 small clove of garlic
1 tsp of dried oregano
3 TBS flax meal
9 TBS boiling water
Himalayan pink salt and pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Line 2 trays with baking paper and set aside.  1 needs to be larger than the one you are using to bake the crust.
Mix the flax meal and water together and set aside to thicken.
Place the cauliflower and garlic in a food processor and process until it forms fine crumbs.
In the middle a clean dish towel, place the cauliflower mixture and wrap up.  You need to squeeze out as much moisture as possible otherwise it won't cook properly, it'll fall apart and it'll just be plain annoying (yes, this has happened to me).
Once all the moisture is out, place in a large mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and get your hands in there to mix it all up good and proper!
Pour mixture into the smaller prepared pan, distribute evenly and flatten out mixture, making it as uniform in thickness as possible.
Place in oven and check every 30 minutes.
It will turn a golden colour.  Once you're happy with it, mine took about an hour, take it out of the oven, place the larger tray on top, and flip it gently.
Place in the oven again for another 15-20 minutes so that the other side can get golden.
(I did warn you)
Once ready, top with your favourite sauce and toppings.  You can put it in the oven again if you want to cook your toppings but I was over it by then, and besides, I prefer my toppings raw.

Now go forth and eat stuff!

Peas, love and mungbeans


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

New Beginnings

It feels like such a long time, even though it's only been just over a month.  I have to say, i've been feeling a little bit less motivated to do the blog, not because I don't enjoy it, it just takes forever to write up all the recipes.  For this reason, I've decided to change the structure a bit.  After this post, I will be posting recipes on a more regular basis.  
This will mean shorter posts but you will get the recipes sooner rather than waiting for me to get my ass into gear.

So much has happened since I last posted.  We sold our little home, we're in the process of moving to another (temporary) little home, which I've nicknamed the smurf house because it's tinie tiny, has blue windows and doors and a little picket fence.  Really reminds me of something out of the smurf village.  If you grew up in the 80's or were are raver at some stage in your life (i am/was both), you will know what I'm talking about.  
I always did want to live in those little mushrooms.....but I digress.  
Ok, so June was full on, but not full on enough to stop making delicious meals!

Here are some recipes that I hope you like.  Some are raw, some are cooked, some are a mixture.  Try what you like, experiment, and let me know how you go.  Been loving everyone's creations of the meals on IG, so awesome.  There's so many recipes so I will post some of the ones that I think people will like.  If you see a recipe on IG that isn't here and you want the recipe, let me know and I'll post it.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Serves 1


2 frozen bananas
1 cup cooked pumpkin 
1/8 tsp ground cloves, nutmeg, ginger 
1/2 tsp cinnamon 


Blend in high powered blender until ice cream consistency.

I had this for breakfast with some fresh fruit and activated buckinis.

Pumpkin Pie Granola with Goji
Makes 2 cups


1 cup GF oats (or regular if you're eating gluten)
1 TBS pumpkin puree
1 TBS rice malt syrup
1 TBS maple syrup
1 TBS water
2 TBS goji berries
2 TBS pumpkin seeds
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon


Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius.  Place the syrups, coconut oil, water, pumpkin puree and cinnamon in a small saucepan and heat until combined and coconut oil is melted.
Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.
Place mixture on a tray lined with baking paper and place in over for about 10 minutes.  Turn oven off and let it cool in the oven.
Serve with your favourite milk or on top of ice cream.

Cherry Ripe Ice Cream
Serves 1


3 frozen bananas
1/4 cup of frozen cherries + a couple extra
1 TBS shredded coconut + 1 tsp
Raw chocolate(recipe here)


Blend the bananas in a blender until it forms ice cream consistency.  Add some of the cherries and pulse.  Do this until you get the desired mixture.  I like to leave a few chunky and be able to see a swirl of colour.
Once done, stir through the coconut.
Top with extra cherries, melted raw chocolate (it will harden like ice magic!) and coconut.

Banana & Strawberry Ice Cream Parfait
Serves 1


2 frozen bananas + 1 extra
1/2 punnet of strawberries + 2 extra 
1/4 cup activated buckinis
cashew cream (recipe here)
goji (optional)


Place bananas and strawberries in blender and process until it looks like ice cream. 
Layer with fresh banana, strawberries and activated buckinis. 
Add some cashew cream on top and a sprinkle of goji or any other little deliciousness you want.

The following recipe calls for horchata.  I fell in love with horchata on my trip to the states last year.  As I love everything cinnamon, this was totally up my alley.
Basically, it's a drink made from almonds and rice, and flavoured with cinnamon.  It's deliciously served cold and is very refreshing.  It originated in Spain but is very popular in Mexico, to the point that it's basically recognised as one of their national drinks.  Apart from tequila that is!
I made my version using brown rice but you can use white rice if that's all you have.  I don't recommend using basmati rice as this is quite strong in flavour.

Makes 1 L


2/3 cup brown rice
1 1/4 cup blanched almonds
1 cinnamon stick
4 1/2 cups of water
4 medjool dates, seeds removed


Place all ingredients in a jar and leave in the fridge over night for the flavours to develop.
The next day, place all the contents of the jar in a powerful blender and blend until it's as smooth as it's going to get (there will still be some grit).  Adjust sweetness by adding some more dates if required, or sweetener of choice.
Strain through a milk bag (or clean stocking) and place contents into a container.  Keeps in the fridge with a tight fitting lid for about 3 days.  Serve cold.

Horchata Chia Pudding Parfait with Papaya, Caramel Pears & Cinnamon Buckinis
Serves 1


1 cup of horchata
3 TBS chia seeds
1/2 cup pear cubes
1/2 cup papaya cubes
1 tsp of mesquite powder
2 TBS activated buckinis
3/4tsp ground cinnamon


Make your chia pudding by mixing the chia seeds and horchata in a jar with a tight fitting lid and placing it in the fridge.  Leave for 30 minutes or overnight if possible.
Place the pear in a bowl, sprinkle wit mesquite powder and stir until all the cubes are coated.  Set aside.
Mix the buckinis and 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon and set aside.
One your pudding is set, you can build your parfait.
I put the papaya on the bottom, added 1 TBS of the buckinis, added the chia on top, pears, chia, papaya, more buckinis and the left over cinnamon.
Vanilla Pudding with Spiced Quince
Serves 2 (pudding) 2 cups (quince)


1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
3 TBS of maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Spiced Quince
2 medium sized quinces
2 cups of water
1 stick of cinnamon
10 whole cloves
1 star anise
5 pepper corns
1 piece of lemon peel
2 TBS of sweetener of choice (i used coconut sugar)


Place all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid, shake it well to combine and leave to set in fridge over night or for at least 30 minutes.
Once ready, blend until smooth and fluffy, adjust sweetness if required.

Spiced Quince
Place spices, lemon and water in a heavy based saucepan.  Bring to a gentle boil.
Add the quince as soon as you peel and cut them into wedges, to prevent from discolouring.  Don't worry about removing the seeds, this is what gives it the red colour you see.
Cook on a soft boil with lid off until they are soft and the liquid has reduced to make a bit of a syrup.  It won't be as syrupy as if you used sugar, but you can take the lid off and reduce it that way.
Stir in the sweetener and adjust to taste.  Place in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.  Should keep for about a week or a little bit more.

To make the dessert, just spoon pudding into desire glasses and top with quince wedges and a little bit of the syrup.

Banana Peanut Butter Loaf with Choc Chips
Makes 1 loaf (about 8 slices)


2 1/2 cup gluten free oats ground to flour
3 small ripe bananas + 1 extra
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tsp gf baking powder
1/2 cup dairy free choc chips + 1 TBS extra


Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a loaf tin with baking paper.  Set aside.
Blend bananas, peanut butter, sugar & baking powder together, than add flour and mix until smooth (or throw it in the blender). Add some water if too thick, I added about 1/2 cup. It was still very thick but it produces a beautiful dense loaf. 
Stir in 1/2 cup of vegan/dairy free choc chips to the batter and put in baking tin. Top with the extra banana and choc chips. 
Bake in moderate oven for 45-50 minutes. I started checking it after 40 mins, remember all ovens are different.

I served mine with some blueberry and chia jam.

Matcha Ice Cream Cookies
Makes 2


Ice Cream
4 frozen bananas
1 tsp matcha green tea powder*(or more to taste)

6 dried figs
6 medjool dates
1/3 cup shredded coconut


Process cookie ingredients until it resembles fine crumbs and mixture can hold together. Spread on to a flat surface covered with baking paper. You want it about 1 cm in thickness. If you don't have enough, just make some more.
Place in freezer to harden whilst you make the ice cream.

Place bananas into the blender and process until resembles soft serve. Add powder, adjust to suit taste. Place in a bowl and stick it in the freezer.

Get your cookie base out, cut it into circles using cookie cutters. Top with ice cream, and then another cookie.

Roll them in whatever you want or leave them as is. I rolled them in buckinis for some added crunch.

Ok, enough of the sweetness!! NO never enough!  But seriously, let's get our savoury ON.

Spanish Cauliflower Rice
Serves 2


500g cauliflower florets
1/3 cup red capsicum diced
1/4 cup coriander chopped
1/3 cup celery diced
1/3 cup zucchini diced
1 tomato diced
4 olives, pitted and sliced

Flesh of 1 medium avocado
1 lime juiced
1 TBS fresh basil
1 TBS paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 garlic clove


Place cauliflower in food processor and pulse until it resembles rice grains.  Place in large bowl and toss through the rest of the ingredients.

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Add to cauliflower mixture, stir through to mix and serve.

I've also been making lots of simple but delicious meals so here are some that take little to no time to prepare.  Just using fresh ingredients and minimal fuss.  No extensive recipes required.
Just grate/chop your fave veggies and serve with quinoa and a tahini/lemon dressing

Cos lettuce wraps filled with mango, kiwi, capsicum and celery

Vietnamese noodle salad:  sliced cucumber, mushrooms, bean sprouts, herbs and other veggies with rice noodles, almonds and a lime/tamari dressing.

simple lunch: rocket with strawbs, capsicum, avocado, zucchini & sundried tomatoes.  Drizzled with coconut vinegar and dates for dessert!

Kale, broccoli & raspberry salad with coconut vinegar and a side of beet, parsnip and sweet potato chips

Lettuce sushi:  iceberg lettuce filled with my mango, enoki, tomato and avocado

Radicchio boats filled with mango, strawbs, spinach, avocado and macadamia nuts

Snake beans with roast pumpkin, kale, crunchy asian slaw and topped with homemade cucumber pickles

There you have it friends, hope you like and please, if you want any more detail regarding how to make any of the above dishes, please contact me.

Now with July here, I'm putting myself through a fitness challenge.  My aim is to build some lean muscle, get strong and increase my stamina.  Have  you set any goals?  If you have, good luck achieving them and remember, where the mind goes, the body will follow.  So, think positive and go out and kick some ass (in the nicest possible way)!

Peas, love and mungbeans