Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Mum's Easy Spaghetti

This simple recipe is one my mum always made when we were growing up. It's far less tomatoey than the other recipes I've used and uses staples you usually already have so it's great for last minute dinners! In the USA spaghetti means Spaghetti with Bolognese sauce which is in Australia is often called "Spag Bol" so here it is...

Mum's Easy Spag Bol


2 Onions, finely chopped
1 Tbls tomato paste
Mixed herbs to taste
430g can of Tomato Puree (Aus)/sauce (USA)
1-2lbs vegan beef crumbles (I used Trader Joe's but Gardein, Beyond Meat or TVP would be fine)
1 Tbls oil


Fry onions on a medium heat until clear, add faux meat and cook until onion has browned slightly.
Add tomato paste, herbs and pepper.
Add tomato purée, heat through and simmer for around 10 minutes.
Watch the consistency as it does reduce a bit as it simmers.
If you want more sauce to feed more people, add more puree.
Keep stirring regularly as it simmers so it does not stick or burn on the bottom of the saucepan.
Serve over pasta.

Whole Foods Cleanse

I am a week into a wholefoods cleanse and I've taken most of my guidelines from The Daniel Fast. There are different sites that all give conflicting information but the basic idea is only wholefoods and no processed food or animal products (which we've obviously already got covered!).
So far I've lost 4lbs so I'm pretty happy! Oil and salt are allowed in small quantities. Juice is allowed as long as it's 100% juice with no sugar added. Some sites say tofu and canned vegetables are ok, and some don't so I'm allowing them in moderation. I'm trying to use tempeh as a substitute for tofu. And no coffee (caffeine), in fact you're only supposed to drink water :(

Here are some of the foods I've been eating;

Jambalaya from The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester

Roast Vegetables  with olive oil, salt and rosemary (potato, garlic, rutabaga & beets)

Bowl with Tempeh, Spinach & Brown Rice, with a sauce made from Tamari, sesame oil, coconut aminos & sesame seeds.

Mash potatoes (using just almond milk, salt, pepper & garlic) and mustard greens

Red curry with vegetables and brown rice. The red curry comes from a Fresh Jax mix of spices and is mixed with some homemade stock and coconut milk.

Entering the third and final week now! I've lost 5lbs already which I'm pretty happy about! I think I'll definitely try to keep eating this way at least 80% of the time. I'm not sure I'd be completely happy NEVER having any processed food, but cutting them down to occasional is definitely a better option!

Here's some foods I ate last week...

Had homemade hummus and guacamole with raw vegetables when a friend came over.

Had a salad with leftovers vegetables from the kids taco night plus I added marinaded tempeh and a tahini sauce (sweetened with prune juice instead of agave).

 Roast vegetables again...sweet potato, potato, mushrooms and asparagus

Tempeh, spinach and millet with soy sauce, sesame oil and liquid smoke marinade.

Bruschetta with Avocado in Romaine leaves.

Ok so after 21 days I ended up losing 3lbs which is something at least. I certainly think that eating more wholefoods and saving the processed stuff for occasional use is the best move forward!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Tropical Creamsicles

These are an easy & healthy option for dessert, I was inspired by Smooze ice-blocks I had in Australia.

Tropical Icy Poles


1 can coconut milk or cream
8-10oz fruit (mango is what I used but guava and pineapple are the other flavors of Smooze)
1 Tbls Agave for sweetness (optional)


Blend all items items in a good blender until smooth.
Add agave if needed.
Pour into individual ice block holders.
Freeze for at least 6 hours.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Vegan Products - May 2017

Here's some vegan items I've found recently...

I had never seen this flavour of La Croix water before: Blackberry Cucumber - very refreshing!

Califia Almond Creamer I found, I think at Publix.

Winn-Dixie does their own brand of nut milks!

Found these Whoopie Pies at Native Sun, so delicious! I ate them straight from the freezer.

Field Day Organic Pasta Sauce was on speicial at Native Sun, was pretty deceent.

Victoria Vegan Alfreddo Sauce was on sale for half price at Winn-Dixie . It has a sour flavor to it but was quite nice when you add mushrooms or other vegan cheese.

Finally got around to trying the two new Ben & Jerry's flavors. The Cherry Garcia I think was the only one that was totally gluten free but it was the best anyway! They were both really good though. Sadly just found out that Ben & Jerry's is now owned by Unilever though so no more for me :(

Cannot recommend this Little Northern Bakehouse bread highly enough. I bought it from Fresh Jax and even though it was frozen, once reheated in the microwave it tastes like real fresh bread. It was so amazing. I had to stop myself eating the entire loaf in one day.

Bought these curry spices from Fresh Jax. You add 1/4 cup of spices to a can of coconut milk and heat through for 15 minutes and then add your veggies. It was decent for an instant curry.

Bought this Daiya Caesar Dressing from a discount store just to try and it was pretty good.
Made a proper vegan caesar salad to got with it ;)

Got these Enjoy Life chocolate cookie bars from the discount store too. They tasted nice but are dry and crumbly.

Found these Sweetie Pie dried fuit & vegetable snacks for toddlers ar the discount store. They are a French company and all natural, no added ingredients.

I can't remember where I bought this Theo Salted Almond Dark Chocolate but it was pretty good.

Found these Yves snacks at Walmart. They are both GF and vegan. I was really impressed with them, especially the falafel bites. I felt like they were better than homemade!

Saw this range of Pixie*Mood vegan leather bags in a Edge City at Five Points in Riverside

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Vegan Pad Thai

This is a veganized version of this traditional street Pad Thai from RinS Cookbook on YouTube. There is a little note about the ingredients list at the end. This is worth the hassle especially when you can freeze your extra sauce (it doesn't freeze completely so make sure you have a well sealed container). This really tastes amazing, completely authentic, well as authentic as you can get once you've veganized it ;)

Pad Thai
Serves 4


Pad Thai rice noodles (dried)
Vegan scrambled eggs (optional)
1/2 cup Pad Thai sauce (recipe below)
1 block extra firm or pressed tofu
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 Tbls sweet pickles radish
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 Tbls crushed roasted peanuts
1/2 cup garlic chives or green onion
2 cups bean sprouts
1 shallot, chopped finely
Cilantro for serving
Lime wedges for serving


Soak rice noodles in cold water for 45 minutes.
Chop shallots and garlic finely.
Dice or slice tofu. I baked mine first to give them a rubbery texture but you could also fry them or just add them straight in.
Remove the bottom of the garlic chives, you only want the green part.
Slice the green parts into 1 inch pieces.
Have all ingredients ready to go before starting.
Add oil on a medium heat to a wok or a large flat frying pan.
Add shallots and garlic.
Add tofu and pickled radish.
Drain your noodles and add them with a couple of tablespoons of water.
Add half of the Pad Thai Sauce and mix through then add the rest of the sauce.
Taste the noodles to make sure they are cooked if not add some more water.
Add your vegan egg if you're using it. You can scramble it before hand or you can add it to a side of the pan to cook and place the noodles over the top.
Add chilli flakes and 1 Tbls peanuts.
Add chives and bean sprouts.
Serve with cilantro, peanuts and lime wedges.

Pad Thai Sauce
(this makes around 2 cups, I freeze the extra)


1 cup tamarind pulp*
1.5 cup palm sugar (about 3 half spheres)
1 cup vegan sugar
1 cup vegan fish sauce


Add all ingredients to pan on a medium- high heat bring to a boil.
Reduce to a low heat and simmer for 10 minutes then allow to cool.

Note About Ingredients

Tamarind Pulp - You can buy this in a can but the homemade version is better and cheaper. I buy a package of tamarind paste like below and using about half the package for the above Pad Thai Sauce recipe I soak it in hot water for around 30 minutes. The ratio is around 6oz tamarind paste to 6fl oz hot water. Once the water has cooled and the paste has softened I manipulate the paste with my fingers to mix with the water.
Then I press it through a colander to remove the seeds and then again through a sieve to get just the paste. This is time consuming but worth the wait!

Vegan Fish Sauce - There are many recipes online for vegan fish sauce so if you can't buy one you can make it yourself. I was fortunate enough to still have some of this vegan fish sauce that I bought in Australia, very sadly the place I got it stopped making it :(
 I added a little bit of Ume Plum Vinegar which tastes like fishy salty water but not exactly fish sauce.

Palm sugar you can buy from an Asian store, it's from a different palm tree to palm oil so no endangering animals habitats :)

Sweet Pickled Radish - I had a hard time finding any recipes online that I thought were authentic because I wanted to make it myself. I bought this from an Asian store but I wasn't sure about whether or not the sugar component was vegan. I couldn't find much on whether Thailand's sugar is vegan or not. You can alternatively leave it out.

Vegan scrambled eggs - I left this part out but you could add tofu scrambled "eggs" or use Follow Your Heart Vegan Eggs.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Vegan Caesar Salad

Vegan Caesar Salad


Vegan hard boiled eggs
1 head romaine lettuce
Vegan Parmesan cheese
Vegan bacon bits
2 slices bread
Caesar dressing - Daiya makes one or you can make your own below.


1 teaspoon vegan fish sauce or japanese umeboshi vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Whisk together all dressing ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cut bread into small cubes and place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for around 10mins shaking loose half way.
Slice romaine lettuce and add to a large mixing bowl.
Add half the dressing and coat leaves well.
Add one serving of coated leaves to each serving bowl.
Top each bowl with sliced vegan eggs, vegan Parmesan cheese, vegan bacon bits and croutons.
Drizzle remaining dressing over the top.

Vegan Egg Salad Sandwich

Using the vegan hard boiled egg recipe from Mouthwatering Vegan. You don't even need to use the molds as you are cutting them up anyway and you could even get away with just using the yolk recipe as it is the part with the egg flavor.

Vegan Egg Salad Sandwich


1/2 batch of vegan hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 Tbls favorite mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
3 green onions, sliced
squeeze of lemon juice
Bread slices for serving


Mix salad items together except the egg.
Fold in the eggs.
Serve between two slices of bread.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Chinese Cabbage, Shitake & Tofu Salad

This recipe comes from Karen Martini's cookbook "Salads & Vegetables". The salad was really good but it was time consuming, the ingredients are a bit pricey and it's really only good same day so a perfect salad to impress guests but not a staple ;)

Chinese Cabbage, Shitake & Tofu Salad


100 ml virgin olive oil
60 ml light tamaro soy sauce
10 cm ginger, peeled and finely julienned (I grated mine)
2 teaspoons vegan sugar
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 clove garlic, finely grated
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ lime, juiced
salt flakes
15 fresh shiitake mushrooms, cut in quarters
1 green chilli, finely sliced
½ napa/Chinese cabbage, leaves trimmed
15 cm piece daikon, sliced into ribbons
100 grams pressed (dry, firm) tofu, diced (I fried mine up a bit to give them texture)
1 bunch Thai basil, picked
6 sprigs dill, picked
6 sprigs mint, picked
2 tablespoons sesame seeds


Make the dressing by combining the oil, soy, ginger, sugar, pepper, garlic, sesame oil, lime juice and a little salt.
Then add the mushrooms and the chilli to the dressing, toss to coat and let sit for 5 minutes or so.
Remove around half of the wombok leaves and lay on your serving platter. Shred the remaining cabbage and add to the mushroom mixture along with the daikon, tofu and half the herbs.
Toss through to coat well.
Pile the salad onto the whole wombok leaves, top with the remaining herbs, sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top and serve straightaway – it is much better fresh and crunchy.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Paradise Cake

Similar to Hummingbird Cake but with coconut! This was pretty delicious although I think everyone thought the frosting was too sweet. Would make a great loaf like banana bread style with no frosting. Original recipe from Wildflour's Cottage Kitchen.

Paradise Cake


3 cups GF baking flour (I used Red Mill's 1:1 baking flour)
2 cups vegan sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 vegan eggs or egg replacer (I used Follow Your Heart Vegan Eggs)
1½ cups vegetable oil
¼ cup applesauce
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
⅔ cup finely chopped pecans
⅓ cup sweetened flaked coconut, lightly packed

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 (8 oz.) packages vegsn cream cheese, softened (I used Tofutti)
1 cup vegan butter, softened (I used Earth Balance)
2 (16 oz.) package vegan powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Garnish with pecans and coconut.


Preheat oven to 350° F.
Whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl.
Then add egg replacer, oil, and applesauce, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.
Stir in vanilla, pineapple, bananas, pecans and coconut well, until nicely mixed and batter consistency.
Spoon batter into 2 well-greased 8-inch round cake pans.
Bake at 350° for 30 - 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool cakes in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium-low speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
Gradually add sugar, beating at low speed until blended.
Stir in vanilla.
Increase speed to medium-high,and beat 1 to 2 minutes or until fluffy.
Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter.
Spread 1 cup Cream Cheese Frosting over cake layer.
Top with second layer, and spread 1 cup frosting over cake layer. Top with third cake layer, and spread top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.
Sprinkle top of cake with toasted pecans and coconut.

Vegan Quiche Florentine

This recipe came with a pack of Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg and was pretty good! I thought it seemed to soft after baking so I baked for longer but it didn't seem to change the density. Once it cooled down it was fine though. Really lovely with a side of leafy salad!

Vegan Quiche Florentine


Pastry for a 10" pie tin (I used this recipe)
1 Tbls Vegan butter
1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced (I used onion and it was delicious)
3 x Vegan Eggs (6 Tbls VeganEgg + 1.5 cups ice cold water)
3/4 cup coconut milk/creamer
pinch nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup vegan Paremesan cheese (I used Follow Your Heart)
294g frozen spinach, defrosted and drained of all water


If making pastry this needs to be done in advance as it needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour.
Heat butter in a small pan over a medium-low heat.
Preheat oven to 160
Cook onion/shallots until soft and clear, around 10 minutes, set aside.
In a medium bowl add your VeganEgg and water and whisk until thick. Add in nutmeg, salt and cayenne and whisk through.
Place pastry on greased pastry tin (I used a springform cake tin) and place on a baking tray (in case of leakage).
Evenly spread out the onion, cheese and spinach over the bottom of the pastry and then pour egg mixture over the top.
Back at 325F/170C for around 1 hour until the egg mixture is set, it willl wobble like custard.
Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.