Monday, April 14, 2014

Walnut Blondies

Brownies - turned blonde.... and healthy ;-)

You'll need:
2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup walnuts

1 Tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 Tablespoons boiling water
1 banana
1 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
100g dairy free white chocolate (I used Sweet William)
1/4 cup boiling water

Smash the walnuts into crumbly pieces. I do this by putting them in a zip-lock bag & hitting with a 'meat' mallet. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined and walnuts are evenly distributed.

Prepare the flax seeds - combine them with the water and whisk well. Leave aside for 5 minutes until thickened.
Mash the banana.
Melt the chocolate. I do this in a microwave on 50% power, checking every minute and stirring til nearly melted. The residual heat will do the rest. I find it best not to wait until it's completely melted or some parts tend to be hard and overdone.

Pour all the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir until folded through.
Pour mixture into a lined 18cm square baking tray and spread until evenly distributed.
Place in a preheated 180C oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Cool before slicing.

School Tip:
For nut-free schools make this with sunflower seeds instead.  

Submitted to Meatless Monday A-Z:
Unbleached Flour

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Banana Choc Pudding

Just because sometimes we all need a little sweet treat in our lives....

Banana-Choc Pudding
You'll need:
400g loaf of wholemeal bread (I used half an unsliced 800g loaf)
400ml lite coconut cream
1 1/2 cups soymilk
2 Tablespoons egg replacer
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 overripe bananas
100g dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%)

In a large bowl, mix together the coconut cream, soymilk, egg replacer, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
Tear the bread into bite-size pieces and place in the bowl of the cream/milk mixture. Press down gently to encourage the bread to soak up the liquid. 

Mash the bananas in another bowl. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe dish on 50% power. Once completely melted stir chocolate through the mashed bananas. 
Using a lined 20cm round cake tin, pour half the saoked bread into the bottom of the tin and press down gently.

Pour the banana/chocolate mixture over the top and then pour the remainder of the bread mixture on top and make sure it completely covers the banana/chocolate.

Place in a preheated 180C oven for 40 minutes.
Allow to cool before turning out onto a plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Slice and serve.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Healthy Carbonara

Childhood memories of carbonara are not my most favourite to be honest. Thick cream & egg heavy pasta topped with fat dripping bacon and smelly parmesan cheese. 
Not my idea of tasty food.....

But then again, that didn't turn me off experimenting with this dish to turn it into something healthy, light and totally delicious :-)

Healthy Vegan Pasta Carbonara
(Makes 3 Serves)
You'll need:
250g dried pasta of choice

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1-1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms

1/4 head cauliflower
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup motherless milk of choice
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon ground sage

Lentil "bacon" bits:
1/2 cup lentils (already cooked, either home made or from a can)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Extra nutritional yeast to serve

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the pasta per packet directions.
Slice the onion and crush the garlic. Dry fry with the mushrooms until browned well.
Place the lentils in a fry pay with the soy sauce, maple syrup and liquid smoke. Dry fry until the lentils begin to pop open. You can chop them into smaller pieces if you wish to make them more similar to 'bacon bit.

Place all the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend til smooth. 
When the pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pot. Pour the cauliflower cream sauce over the pasta and stir til pasta is evenly coated.

Serve with the mushroom/onion mix and lentil 'bacon' bits. Top with nutritional yeast.

Submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Add your healthy vegan recipe on these blogs:

Herbivore Triathlete 
Hello Veggy 
Rock My Vegan Socks

Monday, March 24, 2014

Kids Lunchbox Club - Nut Bars

A wonderful sugar free treat for your kids (or your own) lunchbox. 
These bars are super easy to make and they are really tasty.
If your school is nut free then just substitute seeds as needed.

VEGAN SUPER BARS (as named by my daughter)
You'll need:
1 1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
2 Tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 Tablespoons pepitas
150g soft silken tofu
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Blend the tofu, maple syrup and apple sauce together until smooth and creamy.
Smash the nuts. I find it easiest to do this in a sandwich bag, using a 'meat' mallet.
Combine the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut and tofu mixture together in a bowl and stir until well combined.
Pour into a lined 20cm x 30cm lamington tin.
Bake in a preheated 160C oven for 40-45 minutes until browned and mixture holds together.
Cool before slicing.
 Makes 14 pieces (depending on the size you cut them too). 

Wrap in foil and decorative paper for added lunchbox appeal! ;-)

Best served with 'dolphin fruit' ;-)

Submitted to Meatless Monday - Tofu cooking.

Why I WON'T be posting a naked selfie

I don't know about where you live, but currently in Australia, the latest 'fad' to show up in your facebook news feed is the "naked selfie".
Now, no I don't mean naked as in no clothes, naked as in no make-up!

This is supposed to raise "awareness" for breast cancer and the idea behind it was that if you posted a naked selfie then you would donate a dollar for each 'like' you received.

I wanted to express my feelings about this on my blog and people can choose to read this or not read it as they desire!

There are several reasons why I won't be taking part in this selfie movement:

1/ It seems to me that our society is perfectly 'aware' of breast cancer already! Is awareness about this illness really what is needed???
Perhaps what is truly needed is an 'awareness' that this illness is not only preventable but in most cases also reversible through a whole food plant-based diet!
Why aren't people hearing this???
Is it because they don't want to truly know? Is it because people hope for a magic 'pill' because it's not convenient for them to consume health bringing food?
I don't know all the answers - all I know is that it saddens me that this message isn't getting through to society. 
I wonder how many women have lost their lives too early, when had they received the proper information they could have spend many more family Christmas' together. They could have removed this illness from their life and bought health & healing to other's in their family too.
Why are our doctors not knowing there are options that are far more effective than the medical treatments that are still used knowing that they do not really help these diseases at all?

I can't imagine the heart break that it would be to loose someone to an illness like this. I wonder how many would be willing to change the way they ate if they knew it could give them hope!
They should at least be given the correct information to have the right to choose!
I feel so SAD that this women aren't told what can help them. Many of them won't know of their own accord and they are left in the hands of doctors who aren't at all trained in nutrition and it's powerful affect on illness.

In my own plant-based journey I have had the wonderful privilege of knowing two woman who have actually chosen to NOT go through with traditional medical procedures and chosen to use a plant-based diet to treat their cancer. Both of them are still alive and completely cancer free after 7-9 years. 
NO MEDICAL TREATMENT! Purely treated with the power of a plant-based diet!

2/ I doubt there are too many people who are truly posting with the intention of donating money. And I don't intend to donate money for each 'like' that I may receive. It seems to have become more about getting positive comments about looking beautiful even without make-up or the people who post about how nervous they are due to acne or scars then receive bountiful comments on being 'brave' etc.
I personally don't believe that too many of these cancer organisations spend their funds wisely either. They are no closer to offering a 'cure' than they were twenty/thirty years ago. I am someone who finds it both disappointing and frustrating when to give a one-off donation I then find myself constantly on the 'mailing list' and get so many follow up letters with pages and pages of colorfully printed 'advertisements'. Surely the funds that have been donated could be put to better use! But that is my opinion and I appreciate that others may feel differently about those mail outs and these organisations.

3/ As a Christian, I don't believe it is helpful to fear illness!
Yes, there will always be sickness on this earth. We live in a fallen world and it won't be right until Jesus returns.
So far the death rate is 100% ;-)
And yet many of us still fear death. Yet as Christians we have a hope that is beyond the grave. 

Romans 8:38-39 
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, a life that comes into contact with illness does not have to be a life that is not valued or won't be wonderful! We aren't left alone in any of our struggles through life when we have Jesus on our side.

If you would like to find out more about a plant-based diet specifically relating to breast cancer you may find the following links helpful:

Nutrition Facts

The China Study

Dr McDougall 

Disease Proof 

Want to see some youtube videos: 

Please note:
I have not written this with an intent to offend anybody. I understand that this can be a 'touchy' subject for many people. I have people very dear to me who have been affected by breast cancer. This is a devastating illness and it hurts families so much. Please understand that I have not written this to criticise those who have lost dear ones to cancer (or any other illness), nor to be 'blaming' those struggling with the illness. I have written this with the genuine HOPE that it could help someone! That the links above may bring some new insight that they have not otherwise heard about! 

So start clicking my friends, and share this information with others ;-)
Women NEED to hear the truth & be given the option to help themselves!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Meatless Monday: Tofu -- Gnocchi with Basil & Broccoli

Today's Meatless Monday ingredient is Tofu.
Tofu is often an ingredient that people look upon with frowns! I have to admit that I their have been times when I'm had tofu dishes that are just not that tasty! It's important to remember that tofu will take on flavours from what it is cooked with and by itself it quite bland.
Here's a great way to use tofu and make it really tasty!

Gnocchi with Basil & Broccoli

500g gnocchi (either store bought or home-made)
1/2 head broccoli
3 cups fresh basil leaves
300g soft silken tofu
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the gnocchi and the broccoli cut into small florets.
While the gnocchi is cooking prepare the sauce. Place the basil, drained tofu, nutritional yeast & garlic in a blender or food processor and blend til smooth.
You will be able to see when the gnocchi is cooked because it will start to float. When it is cooked, drain. 
Return gnocchi and broccoli to the pot and stir the sauce through til evenly distributed. Heat for 2 minutes until warmed through.
Serve with freshly cracker black pepper.
Serves 3-4

Question of the day:
Do you enjoy eating tofu? 
If so, what is your favourite flavour to combine with it?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Agave Mustard Baked Veggies

I love the simplicity of these veggies! They can be prepared in advance and they aren't hard work - a little bit of chopping and coating and then the oven will do the rest of the work for you.

The idea comes from the much loved flavour of honey & mustard, yet obviously excluding the honey.
They make a great side dish with roasts, or BBQ's, or simply to add veggies to your regular meals. 

Agave Mustard Baked Veggies

One large of each of these:

Chop all the veggies into desired size.
Place them in a veggie bag along with 2 teaspoons dijon mustard & 2 teaspoons agave nectar. Toss until all veggies are lightly coated. (I save the bags that I buy our produce in to use for occasions such as this.)
Pour into a big roasting dish.

Pour veggie stock over the veggies until 1cm deep in the dish.
Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves.
Cover with foil.
Bake at 200C for 45-50 minutes til softened. (Time will vary depending on size of chopped veggies).

Do you enjoy the flavour of sweet & sour together?