Sunday, 24 August 2014

Zest Kitchen & Bar

I only went to Zest Kitchen & Bar recently when my brother and sister in law were in town. I've always wanted to try it but you know as a vegan you tend to stick to the places you already know are good. I'm sorry I had not tried this place sooner! The food was amazing and the service was great. We sat outside because there was a band playing and it was a little bit loud inside, the weather was very pleasant though and the atmosphere in that part of SLC is very social with a bar straight across the road. I liked that they had the option of raw as well as cooked vegan food. I also liked that you could choose between processed vegan cheese or homemade nut cheeses.

Zest is a Vegetarian restaurant EVERYTHING is gluten free but almost everything can be made vegan. They also had Green's vegan gluten free beer which I haven't seen anywhere else in SLC. I definitely will be going back!

Vegan Lipstick

I've always loved Manic Panic's vegan lipstick because it's cheap and really lasts but their colour range isn't amazing.

A couple new brands I've discovered that I'm enjoying are Tarte Amazonian range and Etherealle from Etsy.

Etherealle - "Empress"

Etherealle - "Hibiscus"

Tarte Amazonian Clay - Foxy Hot Pink

Friday, 15 August 2014

DIY Laundry Detergent

So environmentally friendly vegan laundry powder does not come cheap! Well it does if you make it yourself! This recipe comes from the guru of DIY, DIY Natural. I quadrupled this recipe to make a larger amount. Borax I just found at the supermarket but the washing soda I got online from Walmart.

DIY Laundry Detergent


1 bar (or 4.5 ounces) of vegan bar soap (I used my own homemade soap but any vegan plain soap will do)
1 cup of borax
1 cup of washing soda


Grate the soap and mix into borax and washing soda well.
If you like a cold wash, add the mix in batches to a food processor and pulse until the mix is finely ground.
Store in an air tight container with a small scoop.
Use around 1 Tbls per wash, or 2-3 Tbls for a large or heavily soiled wash.

GF Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from Sarah's Bakes and she uses her own flour mix which I have included at the bottom. I'm not sure how different they would turn out but I used High Protein Flour Blend and they were a little bit floury and crumbly but still delicious! They are good if you are into the more soft/chewy cookie rather than hard dunkable cookie :)

GF Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 1/3 cups Sarah's gluten free flour blend
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk, room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 
In medium bowl, sift together flour blend, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 
In large mixing bowl, cream together the brown sugar, sugar and coconut oil, 1-2 minutes. 
Add coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. 
Mix until blended. 
Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips. 
Stir until just combined. 
Roll 2-tablespoon size scoops of cookie dough into balls and place onto prepared baking sheet. Slightly flatten with fingers. 
Bake for 8-9 minutes. Do not over-bake (cookies will be soft to the touch). 
Place cookies on cooling rack to cool completely. 
Store in air-tight container.


*Sarah's gluten free flour blend
makes about 9 cups


4 cups brown rice flour
2 cups sweet white sorghum flour or white rice flour^
2 cups potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup corn starch**
5 teaspoons xanthan gum


Mix all the ingredients in either a large ziploc bag or bowl.  Sift together using a large wire whisk to really incorporate all of the flours.  Store in an airtight container.

^Use 2 cups white rice flour for a lighter blend.

**With a corn allergy, feel free to simply use an additional 1/2 cup tapioca starch.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Vegan Ratatouille Quiche (Soy Free)

I used a recipe I already had for the base, some ratatouille I had in the fridge and the filling recipe from The Vegan Household...his full recipe here.
This is a great vegan quiche recipe for those who do not want to use tofu/soy. Just make sure your vegan butter is soy free.

Vegan Ratatouille Quiche


1/2 recipe of ratatouille

For the quiche mixture;
1 cup ( 105 g ) chickpea flour
2.5 cups ( 600 ml ) water
1 vegetable stock cube ( A cube that makes 500 ml stock ~ I used Kallo )
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons ( 10 g ) nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon black salt ( Kala Namak ), this is optional but it will give more of a taste of egg if used or 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

Melted vegan margarine for brushing.


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius ( 400 F ) Gas Mark 6.
Line an oiled quiche dish with the pastry (I used a spring form pan for easy removal!), prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and put to one side as you prepare the filling.
Now prepare the quiche filling.
In a bowl add the chickpea flour and one of the cups of water.
Whisk this together well and put this to one side.
In a wide bottomed saucepan, add the final 1.5 cups of water and the stock cube, nutritional yeast, turmeric, sage and black salt (or the sea salt).
Bring to the boil.
When the water comes to the boil, slowly pour in the chickpea mixture and stir continuously.
Once all the mixture has been combined, lower the heat and continue to stir continuously for 2-3 minutes until the mixture becomes quite thick and glossy.
Add in the cauliflower and the vegetables and combine everything well. This will be a very solid mixture.
Pour into the prepared pastry case, leveling with a spatula, and top with the sliced tomatoes.
Put into the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and brush the top with some melted vegan margarine and place back into the oven for a further 5 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool completely before serving.
Can be served warm or cold. If you are serving warm, then allow to cool and reheat in the oven for 5 minutes.


I used the recipe in A Vegan Taste of France by Linda Majzlik but the recipe is pretty much the same in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and any recipe you find online...and this French classic was always vegan :)

Serves 8


1lb eggplant, sliced in thin rounds (3/8 Inch thick)
1lb zucchini, scrubbed and sliced thinly (3/8 inch think)
1tsp salt
6 Tbls olive oil, dived into 4 and 2
1/1lb thinly sliced yellow onions (I used red)
2 green peppers/capsicum (I used red)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1lb tomatoes, peeled seeded, juiced (reserved) and sliced (I skipped this step and just chopped)
3 Tbls chopped parsley
2 Tbls chopped basil (not used in Julia Child's recipe)
2 bay leaves


Place eggplant and zucchini in a bowl and toss salt, let stand for 30 mins and then drain and dry each slice with a tea towel. I often completely skip this step with eggplants but it's up to  you, I'm lazy :)
Add 4 Tbls olive oil to a large skillet and  on a medium heat layer the zucchini and eggplant rounds and cook for a minute on each side. And repeat until all have been done and set aside.
In the same skillet  add remaining 2 Tbls olive oil and sauté onions and green peppers for 10 mins on a low heat do that they are soft, not brown.
Stir in garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
Add in sliced tomato , season with salt and pepper.
Cover the skillet and cook for another 5 mins on low.
Uncover and being to boil until liquid is evaporated.
At this point I just add back the zucchini and eggplant and add the bay leave, simmer for another 10mins, covered then 15 mins uncovered (or until all vegetables are soft) and then mix through basil and parsley before serving.
If you want the proper French  Julia Child version read on...
Place 1/3 of tomato mixture in a casserole dish covering the bottom around 2".
Sprinkle  1tbls  parsley over tomatoes.
Arrange half the eggplant and zucchini on top.
Add remain half if tomato mixture and parsley.
Add remaining half of  zucchini  and eggplant on top.
Cover and simmer on a low hear for 10mins.
Uncover and pour over rendered tomato juice.
Add more salt and pepper as needed.
Raise the hear to low-medium and cook uncovered for 15 minutes  adding more tomato juice as it evaporates. You want to avoid burning the vegetables on the bottom.
Serve as a side or a main with rice.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Kale, Zucchini & Sweet Potato Croquettes with Tropical Salsa Verde

I made this using what I had left in the vegetable crisper :)
I had never tried tomatillos before and did not have the ingredients for a traditional Salsa Verde,,,so I was winging it a little...
Hubby just had the croquettes with some sweet chilli sauce and thought they were the best thing ever!

Kale, Zucchini & Sweet Potato Croquettes with Tropical Salsa Verde
Makes around 20 croquettes


3 large zucchinis
1 large sweet potato, peeled
1 bunch kale
4 Tbls GF flour
GF breadcrumbs

oil for frying (I used canola)

for the Tropical Salsa Verde;
(makes about a cup)
6 tomatillos
2 large sweet green chilli peppers
200g pineapple chunks
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 Tbls onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
4 drops liquid smoke
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mexican chilli powder (or taco seasoning)


In a food processor grate the zucchinis, sweet potato and kale.
Place in a large bowl.Squeeze out excess liquid.
Add flour and mix well. Add milk or an egg replacer if you think it need binding. I didn't use this.
In a large frying pan add frying oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan and heat on medium.
I tried to shallow fry them first and they fell apart :(
Once pan is ready, grab some croquette mix and make a ball.
Coat in bread crumbs and add to frying pan.
Press down with a spatula to make into a pattie.
Fry for approximately 3-4 mins per side or until golden.
Place on a tray lines with paper towel.
Continue making batches until mix is finished.
Serve with Tropical Salsa Verde.

For the Tropical Salsa Verde;
Add all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until chopped and well combined.
Drain if desired.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Creamy Turnip Soup

I bought some lovely turnips from the framers market and I found this recipe on Eating Well.
The soup kind of taste like potato and leek - but healthier!

Creamy Turnip Soup
Serves 3 for main and 6 for starter
Per serving: 110 calories


4 medium turnips (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt plus a pinch, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper plus a pinch, divided
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth


Heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the turnips, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper; stir to combine.
Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, for 10 minutes.
Add broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the turnips are tender, 10 to 12 minutes more.
Puree the soup in the pan using an immersion blender or transfer to a regular blender and blend until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
Serve with crusty bread.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Kale & Brown Rice Salad with Cherry Jam Dressing

Kale & Brown Rice Salad with Cherry Jam Dressing
Serves 2 as a main
Calories per serve:


2 cups chopped kale
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 cup bean sprouts
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup alfalfa bean sprouts (optional)

2 Tbls Vegan fish sauce
1 tsp Tamari soy sauce
1 Tbls Cherry jam (Red Current Jelly works well too)
1 Tbls Agave
1 Tbls Rice vinegar
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
2 Tbls chopped chives or green onions
1 tsp Sesame oil


Assemble all the salad on your plates.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients until jam is completely mixed in.
Pour over salad and serve...yum!

Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam


3lbs cherries (pitted and chopped)*
6 1/2 cups vegan sugar
2x 3fl oz packets of fruit pectin
1 Tbls Agar powder


In a large pot add cherries and sugar on a medium heat until sugar has melted.
Bring to boil and add pectin.
Let boil for 5 minutes then turn heat down to medium.
Whisk in agar powder and wait till it becomes more jelly like.
Put a small amount of jam on a ceramic or glass plate and put it in the freezer for a couple of minutes, if it solidifies then the jam is ready to can!
Pour into sterilized jars and put the lids on not too tight.
Once cooled down then tighten lids.

*This is what happens when you pit cherries and don't pay attention...