I’ve been making this salad for a few years now and it never fails to please. Its filling, nourishing, colorful and delicious!

You can have it as a side or a main and your friends will be mighty impressed when you turn up for the pot luck with this.

Using seasonal veggies, you can mix it up every time. You can also change the dressing depending on the veggies you use.

This recipe is based on the veggies I last used, so feel free to use what you like and what’s in season wherever you are

This recipe makes 5 portions for a main meal. It will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days.

Its great the next day for lunch with a salad or in a wrap.

GF, Vegan, Plant Based, Oil free, dairy free

Ingredients:

For the salad

2 cups quinoa, washed and drained

1 large orange kumera (sweet potato), peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces

7 medium roasting potatoes skin on, chopped into bite sized pieces

2 tsp braggs liquid seasoning or soy sauce, separated

2 zucchini, chopped

2 handfuls of green beans, chopped in half

1 white onion, chopped

2 cups mushrooms, chopped (I used portobello)

2 carrots, sliced into batons

1 tin black beans, rinsed and drained

For the dressing:

1 avocado

1 tsp dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/3 cup water

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200°

Line 2 baking trays with a silicone mat or baking paper

After washing the quinoa and removing any stones (they’ll be a different color), place it into a large saucepan with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, in a bowl spray the potatoes and carrots with a teaspoon of braggs liquid seasoning or soy sauce. Place onto one of the baking trays and cook for 20-25 minutes until brown and crispy

Put the kumera onto the other baking tray, place into the oven 10 minutes after the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes until brown

While the quinoa, potatoes, carrots and kumera are cooking, chop the onion and mushrooms. Heat 2 tbsp of water or veggie broth in a frying pan and cook the onions and mushrooms on low, add the green beans. You may need to add a tablespoon of water or stock every so often to ensure it doesn’t stick.

Chop or grate the raw zucchini into a large mixing bowl

Once the mushrooms and onions are cooked, remove from the heat

When your potatoes, carrots and kumera are cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays

Add all the dressing ingredients to a nutribullet or blender. Pulse until smooth and creamy

Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. If you like it thinner, add a little water

Add all of the salad ingredients into the bowl with the zucchinni

Pour over the dressing and gently mix until it’s evenly coating the quinoa and veggies

Serve immediately

Notes:

* Technically quinoa is gluten free based on the definition of gluten created for those with celiac disease. However; quinoa does have “gluten like” storage proteins that can mimic proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye (Gluten Free Society)

* Quinoa can be subbed for wild rice for a different texture

* Millet is a cheaper alternative to quinoa, although it doesn’t contain as much protein

* The black beans can be subbed for any other beans you have

* Pure maple syrup can be subbed for any sweetener you prefer. If you don’t use a liquid, you’ll need to add a little more water to the dressing

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Let me know how you liked it, here or on Facebook

Simone x

I’ll keep this brief as I know you just want the recipe!

A few things to remember.

* it is plant based so there is no added oil, no dairy, no refined sugar and no refined flours

* it won’t taste exactly like the one filled with the above ingredients; it’s better!

The recipe makes around 20 smallish slices, depending on how big you cut them.

Store them in the fridge for as long as they’ll last…around 4 days in our house.

Ingredients:

2.5 cups dates, soaked for at least 2 hours in boiling water (the longer you soak the dates, the easier it’ll be to process them)

3 tbsp of the date water

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

3 tbsp organic smooth peanut butter (use one which is made with only peanuts and no added salt or sugar)

3 cups organic rolled oats

200g quality dark chocolate (I use Whittakers 70% cocoa dark Ghana)

3tbsp plant milk

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180°

Line a large rectangular baking tray with baking paper. The tray needs to be at least 4cm deep

Drain the dates reserving 1/4 cup of the water

Transfer the dates to a food processor and blend to a paste. Add a tablespoon or 2 of water if required. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times

Add the peanut butter and pure maple syrup, blend until mixed

Add the oats 1 cup at a time. Blending until mixed, in between adding each cup. Scrape the sides of the bowl if needed. If your food processor bowl is too small, transfer the mixture to a regular mixing bowl and mix by hand

Pour the mixture into your lined tray, pressing it down evenly with a metal spoon

Cook for 20 minutes

Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool

Break up the chocolate and place into a microwave safe bowl with the plant milk

Heat on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between until the chocolate is melted

Pour the chocolate onto the oat base and spread evenly

Place the tray in the fridge for at least 45 minutes (this part is torture but well worth it!)

Remove the slice from the tray by lifting the sides of the baking paper

Place onto a chopping board and slice into desired sizes

Store in an air tight container in the fridge.

* For a smoother base, blend the oats into flour before adding to the date mixture

* For a crumbly base, sub 1.5 cups of oats for almond flour

Enjoy and don’t forget to let me know if you make it x

We had spent the morning at the farmers market and museum with all the kids. We’d had a big breakfast, so didn’t need any morning tea but on the drive home I was dreaming of samosas.

I just love the mix of spicy potatoes and peas, but I don’t love the deep fried pastry. By the time we got home, I’d decided on my ingredients and how they would come together.

I’m so happy about these that I’m posting the recipe now, so you guys can also experience the yummy potato goodness. Feel free to play with the spices to suit your taste.

We loved the cardamom as it added a sweet element which balanced well with the spice. I don’t add salt in our cooking, but feel free to add some if you wish. You could use some miso paste for that salty taste, but the nutritional yeast is enough for us.

We ate half of the batch pretty much as soon as they were cool enough! They would be better once cooled just so the potato mixture doesn’t ooze out so much, but that part was fun!

I’ve put these rolls into hubby’s and the kids’ lunchboxes. I wouldn’t freeze them after cooking though, as the pastry will go soggy when it’s defrosted. You could however freeze the potato mixture to use later.

Recipe makes 4 rolls with some mixture left over, which I just ate!

Ingredients:

7 medium mashing potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used the agria variety)

3/4 cup plant milk, plus extra for brushing

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 cup frozen peas

1 pack vegan puff pastry sheets (I used a brand called New Way from Countdown)

2 tbsp curry powder

2 tsp cardamom

1 tsp garam masala

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Pinch of black pepper

Sesame seeds for garnish

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180°

Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or baking paper

Boil the potatoes until cooked

Remove the pastry sheets from the packet and defrost them

Meanwhile fry the onions, garlic and spices in a frying pan with 1/4 cup water on a medium/high heat until the onions are nearly cooked. As the mixture cooks and the water evaporates, you will need to add a tablespoon of water every so often so the mixture doesn’t stick

Add half a cup of water and the peas to the onion mixture. Cook for 5 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Take the pan off the heat

Mash the potatoes with the milk and nutritional yeast, leaving a few small lumps of potato

Add the onion and pea mixture to the potatoes and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required

Lay a pastry sheet on a chopping board

Spoon 1/4 of the potato mixture onto the shortest side the pastry sheet, leaving 1cm from the edge.

Using the 1cm edge of pastry, roll the pastry over the mixture carefully tucking it underneath the potato

When you reach the end of the sheet, brush the edge with plant milk to help it to stick

Place the roll onto a lined baking tray and continue with the rest of the pastry and mixture

Brush each roll with plant milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry has risen and is brown and crispy

Remove from the oven and cool in the tray until cool enough to eat!

Cool completely before storing them in an air tight container in the fridge for a week

Enjoy x

I have so many lemons, I thought it would be nice to use them in a bliss ball. I’ve tried a lemon cheesecake version from a packet and I didn’t really like it.

I like a very lemony flavour so I used the zest as well as the juice. I used sunflower seeds as they have a delicate flavour which doesn’t overpower the lemon.

They’re so easy to make and extremely moreish. I found it really hard not to keep eating them after I’d made them.

It’s lovely to have a sweet treat now and then. These are perfect because they’re full of the good stuff and just sweet enough to satisfy your sweet tooth in just 1 bite; or maybe 3 or 4!

This recipe made 21 pieces. They’re perfect for a quick snack and for the lunchboxes. They store best in the fridge but can be frozen.

Ingredients:

1.5 cup dates, soaked in boiling water for at least 30 minutes

Zest and juice of 2 lemons

1/4 cup organic chia seeds

1/4 cup organic sunflower seeds

1/4 cup dessicated coconut for rolling

Method:

Soak the dates in boiling water

Blitz the sunflower seeds in a food processor until they’re nearly ground. You want a coarse mixture to give some bite. Transfer the seeds to a bowl.

Grate the zest of the lemons. Be careful not to get the pith (the soft white bit just covering the fruit). Juice the lemons and remove the pips

Pour the coconut onto a plate or bowl

Drain the dates, reserving a few tablespoons of water

Blend them in the food processor until smooth. You might need to add a little of the reserved water as you blend them

Add the sunflower seeds, chia seeds, lemon juice and zest to the dates. Blend until just mixed and starts to form a ball

Wet your hands and scoop out small amounts of mixture. Roll into balls and coat with coconut

Place them into an airtight container and store in the fridge for a week.

Or just eat them!!

Enjoy x

This soup is so tasty and comforting, you’ll be making it every week like I do.

You must know by now that I love 1 pot meals which require minimal effort. This is one of those meals. You can add whatever veggies you have on hand or that are in season.

We always have leftovers so I divide it up into small containers for the freezer.

This recipe was inspired by a jar of passata I had in the pantry and my husband’s love of tomato soup. A month or so ago, he was sick and only wanted tomato soup. I had a think and just grabbed the ingredients I thought would fill him up, provide essential nutrients and taste great.

This recipe makes 5 servings with lots of leftovers.

Ingredients:

1 700g jar passata

1 tin crushed tomatoes or whole and just roughly chop them

3 tsp crushed garlic

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

1 tsp onion powder

1 tbsp miso paste

1 small red onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 large celery stick, chopped

1 cup organic dried lentil, split peas & barley mix (not the packet soup mix as it has lots of salt and other things added to it)

1 tbsp tomato paste

1.5 litre homemade vegetable stock

2 cups quinoa penne pasta or whatever pasta you like

Method:

• Reserving the pasta and half of the stock, add all your ingredients into a large saucepan

• Bring to the boil, then turn down to a low heat

• Cover the saucepan with the lid and cook for 20 minutes

• Remove the lid, add the remaining vegetable stock, stir and cook uncovered for a further 20 minutes or until the dried pulses are cooked

• With 10 minutes cooking time left, add the pasta. You’ll need to stir the soup occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick

• Taste the soup and add seasonings to your taste

• Add more stock if you prefer a thinner consistency

Serve with fresh basil & crusty bread or toast and enjoy x

These pancakes are so quick and easy to make, my 11 yr old can make his own in no time!

Buckwheat flour is a great alternative if you’re gluten free or if you just want something different. The flour soaks up a lot of liquid and binds really well, so there is no need to use a flax egg. They also cook much quicker than when you use regular flour. I don’t add any sweetener to the batter, but feel free to add any sweetener that works for you.

I have added grated apple to the mixture and that worked really well. You could also make them savoury, by adding peas and sweet corn.

I have frozen these pancakes and used them for lunchbox fillers. They are also great for little hands.

This recipe makes about 11 medium pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup almond milk (or any other plant milk)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:

  •  Pre heat a non stick frying pan to a medium heat
  • Mash the banana in a large bowl
  • Add the vanilla essence and mix
  • Add the flour, baking powder and milk. Mix well
  • Add more milk if you want a thinner consistency
  • Spoon the batter into the hot pan, ensuring there is space between each one
  • Cook for around 2 minutes or until bubbles start forming
  • Flip and cook the other side until brown
  • Continue until you’ve used all the batter

Serve with pure maple syrup, coconut yoghurt,  fruit or all 3!

 

I had been dreaming of rice crispy cakes for a few days before I finally made these. They’re so simple and fun to eat; perfect for a snack, party food or dessert for all ages!

I made a slice rather than cakes, but you can make cakes if you like.

These are an occasional treat in our house, but one I don’t mind my baby eating. They will keep in the fridge in an air tight container. Mine lasted 2 days before we ate them all!

Ingredients:

1. 125g Whittakers 70% dark Ghana chocolate (or any dairy free dark chocolate with a high cocoa content)

3. 2 tbsp of plant milk

2. 4 cups of rice crispies (puffed rice)

3. 2 tbsp chia seeds

Method:

1. Line a tray with baking paper. It needs to be at least 2 inches deep

2. Break up the chocolate roughly and place in a large non metallic bowl with the milk

3. Microwave in increments of 30 seconds, stirring until chocolate is melted

4. Add the rice crispies and chia seeds to the chocolate and mix well until all the rice crispies are coated

5. Press mixture into the lined tray and place in the fridge or freezer to chill (I put them in the freezer so they chill quicker, around 20 minutes)

6. Remove slice from the tray, cut into pieces and eat!

Enjoy xx

Before we went plant based, we loved mayonnaise. I used to make my own, but it’s still not really a healthy food because of the amount of oil in it.

We are now in love with this recipe. Whether you want to call it mayo or cashew cream is up to you. Some people will say it’s a mayo because of the aquafaba, but it really doesn’t matter!

Aquafaba is the liquid that chick peas are cooked in. It doesn’t matter if you use dried chick peas or canned; just keep the liquid. It works as an emulsifier, but you can also use it in place of egg whites and make meringues and mousses!

The list of how you can use cashew cream is endless, but these are our favourite.

* on wraps or sandwiches

* on nachos, burritos, chilli

* on top of soups

* to dip polenta or potato chips in

* eating it straight from the jar!!

You’ll need a really powerful blender or nutri bullet to make this and to ensure the nuts are ground until they’re smooth. If you don’t have either of these, you could try a food processor and scrape down the sides after every pulse.

It’ll keep in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks, but it’s so good it won’t last that long!

Ingredients:

* 1 cup of raw cashew nuts or pieces, soaked in water for at least 2 hours

* 3/4 – 1 cup of aquafaba

* 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

* 1 tsp onion powder

* 2 cloves garlic (or 2 tsp of crushed garlic)

* lemon juice to taste (I like 2 tbsp)

* 1/4 tsp of miso paste

Method:

* Add all the ingredients and half of the water to your blender

* Pulse a few times, adding a little more aquqfaba as needed to get a smooth texture and a consistency that you’re happy with

* Taste the cream and add more of the above ingredients to suit your taste

Store in a glass jar in the fridge.

If you make this recipe, let me know how it goes.

Enjoy x

I’m not at Nutritionist or a Dietitian. I’m just a mum who wants the best for my family. I’ve spent the last 6 months of this journey to a plant based lifestyle doing lots of research. As a plant based or vegan mum, you face extra scrutiny about the health and development of your children. This comes not only from friends, family and strangers; but from health professionals such as GP’s, Midwives and Plunket Nurses who don’t understand the lifestyle and who’s practice and values are often steeped in the food myths that protein must come from animal products and cow’s milk is good for your bones! I’m not saying that you shouldn’t listen to these professionals, but do your own research so you can make informed decisions.

If you’re going to make any significant changes to yours and your family’s diet and you have an existing medical condition, are pregnant, breastfeeding or have children; you should always consult with a health professional. I would definitely suggest seeing an Integrated Health Professional (fancy name for a GP who has also studied alternative medicine).

So after months of research here is what i now know about protein and the plant based lifestyle.

The daily protein requirement for an adult human is about 0.8 grams per 2.2 lbs of body weight. It can be higher in growing children and pregnant women.  If you’re eating a balanced diet, it’s unlikely you will be protein deficient. Unless of course that is your medical condition! Excess protein intake (over 200 g/day) may lead to kidney damage over time. Are you cringing about that huge piece of steak you had last night?

When some people say vegans/plant based eaters don’t get enough protein or ask “where do you get your protein?”  They are often speaking about the specific amino acids that vegans/plant based eaters may have a harder time getting. Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins which help carry out body functions. There are 9 amino acids that our body CANNOT create; meaning we need to get them from a food source.

Meat and dairy are considered “complete proteins” because they have all 9 of these amino acids.  However, eating a variety of foods will give us the 9 essential amino acids that we need. There are however vegan/plant based foods that are complete proteins. Foods such as quinoa, buckwheat, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and spirulina are just a few. It is a common misconception that vegans/plant based eaters don’t get enough protein and this is where it all stems from.

The foods listed below are considered complete proteins, meaning they contain all 9 of the essential amino acids:

-Nuts
-Soy foods, such as tofu, tempeh, miso, and soy milk
-Sprouted seeds — each type of sprout has differing proportions of nutrients, so it’s best to eat a variety of them
-Grains, especially amaranth and quinoa
-Beans and legumes
-Spirulina and chorella (blue-green algae), which are over 60 percent protein

These are the 9 Essential Amino Acids and the foods which contain them. We should eat a variety each day, even if your an omnivore.

Histidine: Apple, pomogranates, alfalfa, beets, carrots, celery, cucumber, dandelion, endive, garlic, radish, spinach, turnip greens.

Arginine: Alfalfa, beets, carrots, celery, cucumbers, green vegetables, leeks, lettuce, potatoes, radishes, parsnips, nutritional yeast.

Valine: Apples, almonds, pomegranates, beets, carrots, celery, dandelion greens, lettuce, okra, parsley, parsnips, squash, tomatoes, turnips, nutritional yeast.

Tryptophan: Alfalfa, brussel sprouts, carrots, celery, chives, dandelion greens, endive, fennel, snap beans, spinach, turnips, nutritional yeast.

Threnoine: Papayas, alfalfa sprouts, carrots, green leafy vegetables such as celery, collards, kale, and lettuce (especially iceberg), lima beans, laver (Nori – a sea vegetable and its wrapped around your sushi!).

Phenylalanine: Apples, pineapples, beets, carrots, parsley, spinach, tomatoes, nutritional yeast.

Methionine: Apples, pineapples, Brazil nuts, filberts, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chives, dock (sorrel), garlic, horseradish, kale, watercress.

Lysine: Apples, apricots, grapes, papayas, pears, alfalfa, beets, carrots, celery, cucumber, dandelion greens, parsley, spinach, turnip greens.

Leucine: Avocados, papayas, olives, coconut, sunflower seeds.

Isoleucine: Avocados, papayas, olives, coconut, sunflower seeds.

As I’ve said before, I’m not a health professional but I have done lots of research. If you look at my children, you will see that they are healthy, full of beans (pardon the pun) and thriving on the plant based diet. As for me, I’m feeling better than ever. We are still on this journey and we have days where we eat vegan junk food; such as chips and shop bought bread. We don’t beat ourselves up about it.

I really believe that it’s what we do everyday, not what we do sometimes which will make the biggest difference to our health.

Happy eating! xx

As you probably know by now, I bake all the lunchbox items and we love muffins! These ones are pretty simple, a bit decadent and very yummy.

I’ve used Whittakers 72% cocoa dark Ghana instead of chocolate chips. Only because I actually bought it to eat a few weeks ago and I forgot about it. Just goes to show that I’m not addicted to sugar and chocolate as I once was!!

So, these muffins will freeze really well if they last that long. They’ll keep for a week in an air tight container in the fridge.

This recipe made 12 small muffins and 2 large ones.

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana, mashed

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tbsp pure maple syrup (I didn’t use it, but if you want some extra sweetness put it in)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 flax egg

3/4 cup of chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips

2 cups wholemeal flour

2 cups plant milk (I used rice milk)

Method:

1. Pre heat the oven to 180°c

2. Prepare the flax egg and leave it in the fridge (1 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 tbsp water)

3. Mash the banana

4. Add vanilla, cinnamon, flax egg and maple syrup if using and mix

5. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder

6. Add flour mix and milk to the banana and mix well

7. Stir in the chocolate

8. Spoon into muffin cases and cook for 15 minutes until golden and well risen

Let me know what you think if you make these xx

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