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Kids In The Kitchen

Kids In The Kitchen

Last week we decided to make some sweet treats; peanut butter & chocolate cups. They’re absolutely delicious and very moreish. I’m sure the kids ate more peanut butter & chocolate while they were making them!

This is something the kids can pretty much do by themselves, apart from melting the chocolate as they can’t reach the microwave.
They love the feeling of responsibility and accomplishment of doing it by themselves. As long as you’re prepared for lots of chocolatey mess, spoon licking, double dipping and a messy finished product; you’ll enjoy it as much as they do.

Here’s the recipe:

Makes 22 cups

You’ll need:

* A million spoons
* Several cloths to wash with
* Lots of patience
* Self restraint so as not to interfere

Ingredients:

* 3 cups dairy free dark chocolate chips melted (I use 70% Ghana gallets from vetro)
* 3/4 cup peanut butter (I use smooth. You might not use this much, but the kids will eat it as they go!)

Method:

* Line 2 muffin trays with silicone muffin cups
* Spoon 2-3 teaspoons of melted chocolate into each muffin cup. Try to spread it out as evenly as possible
* Place the trays in the fridge or freezer until solid (this will only take 10 minutes max)
* Spoon a teaspoon or as much as they like of peanut butter onto the solid chocolate (spread it out a little)
* Cover the peanut butter with the rest of the melted chocolate (try to cover all the peanut butter, but it really doesn’t matter)
* Place the trays into the fridge or freezer until set (again this will only take 10 minutes max. Enough time to wash hands, legs, faces, chairs, table 😂)

Then pop them out of the muffin cups and eat!

Store them in an airtight container either in the fridge or freezer for as long as they last. I suggest stashing some at the back of the fridge for yourself 😂

* If you can’t do peanut butter, use a chia jam instead *

 

Christmas Sale – summer eBook

Christmas Sale – summer eBook

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 🎄

Are you all set? Got all your gifts? 🎁

If you’re buying for someone who needs some plant based deliciousness in their lives, or you need some; I’m giving you the chance to buy my new summer eBook ‘Get Set for Summer’ for only $25 👏 Just use the code ‘Christmas’ at the checkout.

It’s a meal plan and cookbook all in one! 👏

It’s packed with 40 quick, delicious and vibrant plant based recipes, which will ease you into plant based cooking and get you set for summer! 😋🏖🌞

Treat your family and friends to a feast this Christmas and summer season with my BBQ Jack fruit burgers which everyone loves. Or be the talk of the table with my fresh freekah salad & pea felafel!

Get it here ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Hurry this offer is available for 1 week only!

https://simonesplantbased.kitchen/product/get-set-for-summer-meal-plan-cook-book/

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

These peanut butter, date & oat cookies are so delicious and ‘oat’ so easy to make. We love desserts, but there’s something special about a cookie with only 3 ingredients!

I don’t use any packet mixes for any of my baking; only organic whole food ingredients.

You can whip these up in 20 minutes, including cooking time. I use a thermomix, but if you don’t have one just use a food processor. Use the blade attachment to blend the dates, then change it to the plastic blade attachment to gently mix in the oats. You want the oats to be relatively whole, rather than being all chopped up.

If you don’t have a very powerful food processor, I would recommend you soak the dates for at least 15 minutes in hot water. Once you’ve drained them, save 1/4 cup of the water to smooth out the dates and peanut butter mixture.

If you like a bit more sweetness, add some pure maple syrup or rice syrup. Otherwise the dates give the cookies a nice natural sweetness.

Ingredients:

2 cups organic dates

1/2 cup organic peanut butter (no added salt, sugar or oil)

3 cups organic jumbo oats

1/4 cup water (saved from the dates if you soaked them)

Method:

Pre heat your oven to 190° degrees

Line 2 baking trays with baking paper

Blend the dates, peanut butter & water until fairly smooth. A few small lumps of dates are great for texture

Add the oats and pulse until they’re just mixed with the date mixture. It will be quite sticky.

Using damp hands roll tbsp sizes of the mixture, place onto the tray and press to flatten into a cookie shape. Try to keep them 1cm thick

Continue with the rest of the mixture

Place the trays into the oven; 1 on the top shelf and the other on the middle shelf. Cook for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies on the top tray are brown and slightly crispy at the edges

Remove the top tray and move the middle tray to the top shelf for 5-6 minutes

Cool the cookies on the trays for 5 minutes, before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely

Store the cookies in an airtight container for a week

Breakfast with the opposition

Breakfast with the opposition

I was honored to provide the catering for Paula Bennett’s visit to Inglewood yesterday. If you don’t know who she is, she’s the deputy leader of the NZ National Party. They’re currently the opposition to our Labour/coalition government.

It was a wonderful experience, not least because the event was hosted in a shop/event venue called Farmsource. As you can imagine it’s a place where farmers come to buy stock, conduct training and do business. All types of farmers, but the majority are dairy and dry stock farmers. The irony was not lost on me!

There were some looks of anxiety on their faces when they saw there was no meat or dairy for their breakfast, but after the initial shock they tried the food and really enjoyed it.

The breakfast consisted of:

* Chia pots with blueberries and granola. This was made with soy milk rather than coconut milk and sweetened with rice syrup.

* Breakfast burritos with avocado, black beans, green capsicum, tomato, cajun spices and sunflower mayo

* Seedy rye Sourdough bread with apple & onion chutney and blueberry & chia seed jam

I answered lots of questions about the ingredients and the merits of a plant based diet. They were especially interested in why we use minimal oil and reduced sugar. I really enjoyed educating the group and they enjoyed listening. While I got lots of compliments and the sound of ‘mmm’s’ was echoed through the building while they were eating, I know these farmers will not choose a plant based diet. The point is that they tried something new and were surprised that they enjoyed it.

That is all I ask for.

I’m so proud to be the local plant based caterer and voice of change here in Taranaki. I know that many people have tried my food with apprehension and become lovers of plant based foods because of me and for that I am humbled and proud.

If you’d like to order catering or book me to speak at your next event, contact me for a quote. I’d love to help you.

Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast Cookies

Some say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If that’s true for you, then you want to be eating something delicious and nutritious right?! These cookies are absolutely delicious and easy to eat on the go. So many people eat on the run, which isn’t ideal, but sometimes can’t be helped.

I’ve called them breakfast cookies because I made them late at night and I forgot to prep some oats for breakfast. In the morning, my eldest asked if the cookies were what we were having and I thought, why not! Of course you an eat them at anytime of the day and they’re great in the lunchboxes.

The recipe is very adaptable, so you can add any type of nut or seeds that you have. If you don’t have nuts or seeds, just use extra oats! As usual, these cookies are oil free, dairy free and egg free. I made these cookies fairly large, but you can make them smaller to make the ingredients go further.

If you’re not used to cooking without eggs, oil and butter; the cookies won’t be like the traditional cookie you’re used to. They’re not crunchy and light, they are soft, deliciously chewy and satiating. The dates give them natural sweetness, so there’s no need for any extra sugar. If you’re introducing children to these cookies for the first time and you’re worried they won’t find them sweet enough, add half a cup of dairy free chocolate chips.

Recipe:

Makes 10 large cookies

  • 1/4 cup organic nuts or seeds (I used almonds & hazelnuts)
  • 2 cups organic dates (soaked in hot water for at least 15 minutes)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 cups jumbo oats (not quick oats)

Method:

  • Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray
  • Boil the kettle and soak your dates in a bowl
  • In a food processor or thermomix, blitz your nuts or seeds (not the flaxseed) until they’re small, but not ground and set aside
  • Add the dates to the mixing bowl along with the cinnamon and vanilla. Blend until nearly smooth. You might need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times
  • Add the oats and nuts/seeds to the dates. Blend until the oats are just mixed in, but still whole
  • With damp hands shape the mixture into tablespoon size balls and flatten slightly on the tray.
  • Cook on the top shelf for 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown and still soft.
  • Remove from the oven and cook on the tray for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing. Otherwise dig in!

Tips:

  • Use any seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin seeds in place of nuts
  • If not using any seeds, ad an extra 1/2 cup of oats
  • Add 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips for a sweeter cookie
  • You can leave out the flaxseed if you don’t have it
  • Make the cookies extra large and top them with ice cream, fresh fruit or chia jam for an extra boost of colour and nutrients
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or the freezer for up to 3 months
Crispy Hashbrowns

Crispy Hashbrowns

Potatoes are one of my favourite vegetables. They so versatile, but also very filling and contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, fibre, potassium, magnesium and folate (vitamin B9].

We love hashbrowns, especially the crunchy bits on the outside. They go with anything and you can eat them anytime!

In my quest to cook them without oil, I discovered that using my sandwich maker or grill produced a crispy result while still being fluffy inside.

Depending on how many people you’re feeding, you’ll need to either cook 2 batches or like me, use both the sandwhich maker and the George foreman grill. This recipe makes enough to feed 2 adults and 3 children. I use 2 potatoes per person, so you can adjust that number as you need to. You can also sub some potatoes for zucchini, kumera, onion and carrot.

I top ours with pan fried vegetables cooked in liquid seasoning and fresh garlic. You can add anything you like!

Ingredients:

10 medium potatoes (any variety)

1/4 cup chopped parsley (or any fresh herbs)

2 chopped garlic cloves

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp mustard powder

Method:

Pre heat your sandwich maker and/or grill to toast or medium setting

Scrub the potatoes and grate them into a clean tea towel

Squeeze the water from the potatoes

Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix everything together, making sure the potatoes are well coated

Spread half of the mixture onto the grill, making sure it is even. Repeat with the other grill if using

Close the grill or sandwich maker ensuring the lid is flat. Cook for approximately 15 minutes (each machine is different so adjust cooking time as needed). Be careful not to lift the lid too early. If the hashbrowns haven’t crisped up enough you’ll pull it apart.

Carefully remove your hashbrowns and enjoy on its own with a dipping sauce or top with your favourite vegetables.

The best bit is that you only need to gently wipe you machine, as no oil is required!

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