Wednesday, September 27, 2017

No Junk Muesli Bars

When it comes to muesli bars, the ones in the shops are usually so full of junk! But sadly even many homemade recipes use oils or sweeteners in excessive amounts too. Here's a great recipe that has no junk and is still quick & easy to make! You'll wonder why you ever bothered to buy them when they're so easy to make yourself!


                   You'll need:
                   1/2 cup dried dates
                   3 overripe bananas
                   3 cups rolled oats
                   1/4 cup ground flax seeds
                   1 teaspoons vanilla essence
                   1 teaspoon cinnamon

                   Optional: 2 Tablespoons extra dried fruit, any other flavour you like:         
                   raisins, craisins, inca berries.

Place the dates in a food processor and pulse a few times until broken into small pieces.
Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the mixture comes together and the oats are slightly broken down but not completely turned into mooch! ;-)
Press the mixture evenly into a 20cm square baking tin, either lined or silicone base.
Bake in a preheated 180°C oven for 25 mins until golden brown. 

Once cooled, remove from the baking tin & slice into 8 pieces.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Kids Lunchbox Club: Chocolatey Spread

Apparently lots of kids still take nutella sandwiches to school even when their school is nut free! 
But it's not the nuts in nutella that bothers me (and hey let's face it, the nut content is truly quite pitiful)..... It's the milk and sugar and fat.
So here's a much more healthful version, and one that can be taken to nut-free schools guilt free!


       You'll need:
             1 cup dried pitted dates

             1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
             2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
             1 teaspoon vanilla essense

Soak the dried dates in boiling water for about 10-15 mins until softened. Drain the dates and combine them in a food processor with the other ingredients. Blend until smooth, or until desired consistency. 
Transfer to a air-tight container and store in the fridge for up to a week.
Spread & enjoy :-)


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Easy Pancakes

There's endless ways to make pancakes! Here's a quick & easy recipe that uses basic ingredients and doesn't require flour.

                          EASY BLUEBERRY PANCAKES
                                  To serve ONE - 4 small pancakes

          1/3 cup rolled oats
          1 generously heaped Tablespoon ground flax seeds
          1 small overripe banana

          1/3 cup soymilk
          1/8 teaspoon each vanilla essence, ground cinnamon

          2 Tablespoons blueberries (optional)

In a food processor combine the oats, flax, banana, soymilk, vanilla and cinnamon. Pulse several times until the mixture comes together but is not completely broken down.
Stir through the blueberries if you're using them.
Heat a non-stick frying pan, then reduce to medium heat. Pour the batter into the frying pan in quarter lots to make 4 small pancakes. As the pancakes begins to bubble around the sides, flip and allow the other side to cook until golden brown.

Serve with toppings of choice - shown with soy yogurt & raspberries.

NOTE: For pancakes that have a lower calorie density you can replace the soymilk with water.

What's your favourite topping for pancakes?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Flourless Sweet Potato Waffles

My potato waffles have been a huge hit amongst the plant based community. They make a great bread replacement for burgers!
But today I bring you a sweet potato waffle that works fantastic as a sweet breakfast treat!
And honestly who wouldn't want a breakfast like this?!?!?

(To serve 1)
               1 small sweet potato
               1 heaped tablespoon ground flax seeds
               1/4 cup boiling water
               small drop of vanilla essence
               1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat your waffle iron.
Place the sweet potato in a microwave and cook for approx 5-6 mins until inside is tender. Note that time will vary in different microwaves. If you don't have a microwave you can cook the sweet potato in the oven. But I don't recommend boiling the sweet potato over a stove top as the consistency will end up different.
Whilst the sweet potato is cooking, prepare the flax mixture. Pour the boiling water over the ground flax seeds and whisk with a fork til thickens. Allow to sit for a few mins.
Remove the sweet potato flesh from the skin, discard the skin & mash the flesh into the flax mixture. Add vanilla & cinnamon, stir until completed combined. The mixture will be quite sticky.
Pour the mixture into the waffle iron & cook on medium for 8-10 mins. You can cook on a higher heat if you'd rather, but the waffle will come out darker. Don't lift the lid while it's cooking or this will pull the waffle apart. It needs to be fully cooked before the lid is lifted. You can wait longer, up to about 15mins on a lower setting and it will be fine. If you are in doubt, they are better to be left a little longer, not shorter!

When your waffle is done, remove & serve with desired toppings!
Shown here with homemade soy yogurt, banana, raspberries & walnuts:

Have you experimented with other types of waffles in your waffle iron instead of just flour-based mixtures?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Chocolate Caramel Date Tart

Now I'm not going to pretend that this is everyday kind of food...... But if you're looking for a special occasion treat then I highly recommend giving this tart a try. It's deliciously sweet without added sugar. It's filling is so smooth and it will give you a great chocolate hit. We served this in place of birthday cake and it was a huge hit!  
(Serves 10-12)

                You'll need:
                1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
                2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
                1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
                4 pitted medjool dates
                2 Tablespoon motherless milk of choice

                1 1/2 cups pitted medjool dates 

                1/4 cup motherless milk of choice
                1 teaspoon vanilla essence

                100g bar of dairy-free dark chocolate (I use Lindt 70-85%)
                100ml motherless milk of choice
                1 teaspoon vanilla essence 

Soak the dates for the filling in a bowl of boiling water for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the base.
Put all the ingredients for the base into a food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together. It will be a bit sticky - that's ok! Press the mixture into a glass 20cm pie dish. You can use another pie dish if you'd like, but I find that the mixture doesn't stick to the glass ones and therefore I don't need to use oil or line it. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
Strain the dates and place all the filling ingredients in a food processor and blend til completely smooth and creamy.
Pour the filling mixture onto the base & return to the freezer.
In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients for the topping. Stir continually on low heat until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth and shiny.
Pour the topping over the filling mixture.
Place the pie in the fridge and allow the topping to cool.
Once cooled, you can slice and serve (as many pieces as you like hahahahaaaa!)! ;-)

Question of the day:
Do you make yourself treats like this 'just because', or do you save them for special occasions?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Mung Bean Curry

I love a curry, and I also love mung beans. So why not put the 2 together!
This meal takes a bit of time to prep with all the chopping, and also to cook the beans, but it's not difficult so don't let that deter you!
If you want to shorten the cooking time, you can pre-soak the mung beans for a minimum of 6 hours & reduce the cooking time by about half. You will only need about 1 litre of stock then too.
I love that mung beans don't NEED to be presoaked, and I don't mind the cooking time because this curry has the most enticing aroma as it simmers away on the stove! 

(Serves 4)
               You'll need:
               250g dried mung beans - rinsed
               1 large brown onion
               1 zucchini
               2 celery stalks
               1 large carrot
               1/2 head cauliflower
               200g green beans
               2 garlic cloves, crushed
               1 inch ginger, peeled and grated

               1 Tablespoon turmeric powder
               1 heaped teaspoon each: cumin, coriander
               1/2 teaspoon cardamon
               1 long green chili

               100g baby spinach leaves
               1.5 litres salt free veggie stock

In a large saucepan or pot that has a lid, put the mung beans. Add 1 litre of the stock, cover, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. While the mung beans are cooking, chop all the veggies into bite sized pieces.
Add the veggies (except for the spinach) to the pot, along with all the spices and the remainder of the stock. Return the lid to the pot and again bring to the boil then simmer. Allow to simmer for approx 15 mins or until the stock is absorbed and the veggies are tender.
Stir through the spinach leaves until lightly wilted, then serve. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Easy Tofu & Capsicum Bake

I know it's much cheaper to buy capsicum's by the kilo than it is to buy the traffic light set...... but sometimes I just can't resist the pretty colours all together in a little baggie! I find that each colour capsicum also had a slightly different taste. My favourite is red! 

Here's a recipe that's super easy. It would make an easy dinner if you just add some brown rice or other grain, or you can always add it on the side of something fancy too.

(Serves 4)

         You'll need:
               400g packet of firm/hard tofu
               1 red capsicum

               1 green capsicum
               1 yellow capsicum
               1 large brown onion
               1 large garlic clove
               1/4 cup tomato paste
               1 teaspoon paprika
               1 teaspoon oregano 

Chop the tofu into bite size cubes. Chop the onions into half rings, and slice the capsicum into chunky pieces. Combine in a large baking dish. Add a few tablespoons of water to the bottom of the baking pan, this helps it not to stick. Grate the garlic over the top. Add the tomato paste, paprika, and oregano. Stir until well combined and the tomato paste has lightly covered the veggies and tofu. Add a 1/4 cup to the bottom of the baking pan. 
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25-30 mins until the veggies are tender and the tofu is firm and nearly crispy.

Which colour capsicum do you prefer the taste of?

Monday, July 31, 2017

Easy Banana Granola - SOS Free

I know I'm been MIA for quite some time.
Truth is that I've lost a lot of motivation to blog when there are soooooooo many blogs out there these days & I'm not sure that I offer anything extra special above others!
I started writing a cookbook, which I have dreamed of doing for about 9 years now.... but I fear my food photography skills are rather lacking. I haven't given up yet.... I am just doing it quite sloooooowly! 

Also we've been eating so simple lately that I kinda feel like our food is "boring"!
Not that it's boring to us because we have honestly found that our taste buds change, so that when we eat simple unrefined foods in their whole form, they are just delicious like that.

But recently I've had quite a few people ask me for various recipes, or asked me to get back into it.....
I shall attempt to find some motivation to get blogging again!

Some recipes may be quite simple - but hey - sometimes we just need simple ideas to motivate us to make a meal!

Today I bring you a simple breakfast recipe that I've been making for a few years.So many store bought varieties of cereal these days have so much junk added to them! My version is completely junk free! It's also very versatile. You can add any dried fruit or nuts to it if you wish. It can be a granola or muesli base, or just used as a cereal - which is what I do mostly. Just add motherless milk and fresh fruit for a delicious brekkie that's quick and easy to serve, and isn't too much effort to make either.

You'll need:
2 large overripe bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
3 cups rolled oats

Mash the bananas well. Add the vanilla, cinnamon and flax and stir til evenly distributed.
Stir through the oats until they are reasonably well coated by the wet banana mixture. 

Spread evenly onto a large lined baking tray.
Bake in a preheated oven at 160°C for 30 mins, stirring half way through. 

Allow to cool completely before transferring to a container.
This will keep for about 2 weeks in an air-proof container.  

To my other blogging friends.... have you ever lost your blogging mojo?
To my readers who follow along for the recipes.... What do you reckon- Does this look boring, or do you like the idea of simple recipes that don't include junk?