Oil-Free Maple Banana Bread Muffins and Tofu Jerky, What Oil-Free Really Means, and Vegan Food Gifts!

We went for a playdate at Sarah's place and there was some lovely vegan food on-the-go.


Oil-free Maple Banana Bread Muffins - from The Everyday Vegan - recipe on Dreena Burton's website.

I think it's worth pointing out - while I'm feeling pedantic! - that there's oil in most shop-bought plant-based milks. Certainly shop-bought plant-based milks are healthier than the (cruelty-based) animal-alternatives, but it's something to keep in mind if you're trying to lower your cholesterol: oil is one of the only things than will raise your cholesterol on a vegan plant-based diet, particularly the tropic oils: coconut and palm - these don't contain cholesterol but your body will make cholesterol after you consume them. If you make soy milk or nut milk at home, you can leave the oil out. If you have low cholesterol - like most long-term vegans - a tiny bit of oil here and there won't have much effect, so it's not a concern. It's

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Choc Green Power Smoothie

One of my favourite breakfasts, guys. It doesn't look super-pretty because I can't be stuffed chucking a garnish on top, but hey: tasty and healthy and BIG! Excellent breakfasting... But I can be stuffed chucking it through a filter on my smartphone in an attempt to pretty it up for this blog... Sorry about that. HEARTS.

Choc Green Power Smoothie

4 cups water
6 bananas
handful pitted dates
tablespoon flaxseed
3 tablespoons soaked/sprouted buckwheat
dash vanilla (extract or liquid stevia)
stalk off a bunch of broccoli
2 big handfuls of kale
4-6 tablespoons carob or cacao (or a mix of the two)
2 tsp maca powder
half tsp ground cinnamon

Blend, adding more water or ice as necessary. If you don't have a high-speed blender, blend the water, dates, flaxseed, buckwheat, broccoli, and kale before adding the other ingredients. Makes 1-2 large servings.

You might want to use frozen bananas to keep it cool, or toss in a handful

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Baked Broc Mac & Cheese: Macaroni Monday!

You know what's awesome about vegan mac and cheese, besides it being vegan as well as tasty mac and cheese? It's cholesterol-free! Bam. A significant improvement on the original. This one also only has less than 8g of fat per serve. Bam bam. And don't cashews make just the greatest cheesy taste of all time? Bam bam bam.

I'm on a casserole jag at the moment. Spying a bag of gluten-free macaroni (at a certain German-owned stupormarket) while Vegan MoFo is doing Macaroni Mondays was rather timely... This is a lighter, lemony-fresh recipe compared to traditional or fast-foodie mac & cheeses. A generous amount of lemon juice combined with nooch and miso is halfway between a cheese tang and citrus tang - I love that. If you're in the mood for saucier food, increase the sauce by half... or double it!

Baked Broc Mac & Cheese

Serves 8

1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cups dry macaroni or penne/ziti

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Veganising French food en Australie, trying new vegan cheeses

All this talk of croissants has me thinking about French food. Additionally I picked up a teeny tiny 200g block of Vegusto (piquant) from a health food shop to try, with a massive $14 pricetag. Whaaaat. Admittedly I'm not used to forking enormous amounts of cash for vegan cheese, as I'm currently hosting a Notzarella maker and I make my own nut cheese - both of which are very fresh compared to something imported from Switzerland... But! I finally tried it. Piquant cheese that smells of sweaty gym socks was never my thing, but it's ok. It's a little bit like smokey gruyère cheese, something for putting on platters and crackers.

But what to use it for besides the obvious? I thought I'd find a recipe that used stinky cheese, and I found one for vegan parmesan - a courgette (zucchini), mushroom, brown rice tian from A Vegan Taste of France - so I added double what the recipe called

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Strawberry & Papaya Spring Smoothie

End-of-season strawberries are on-sale here, and the papayas on our trees are beginning to ripen, so I give you our...

Strawberry & Papaya Spring Smoothie

1 medium-large ripe papaya, deseeded & peeled 500g/1lb strawberries 1-2 big ole handfuls of pitted dates (several medjool or a dozen dried Iranian) 4 frozen bananas (or more), chopped generous dash of vanilla (extract or liquid stevia drops) lime juice (optional) 2+ cups of water

Blend dates and papaya and strawberries in water. Add chopped frozen banana, blend until smooth, adding more water as necessary. If your papaya isn't very flavourful (early season) or if you like extra zing, add some lime juice. If you want a thickshake, add more frozen bananas!

Makes 1 mega-serving or 2 large servings, includes approx. 405mg Vitamin C (540%), Calcium 150mg (15-25%), Iron 3mg (17%), Copper 0.5mg (53%), Manganese 1.8mg (98%), Potassium 2168mg (46%), B6 1.1mg (87%), Folate 252mcg (63%), and plenty of other stuff. Macros: 146g

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Lunch at From Earth And Water

I've been eating out a little more frequently the last couple of weeks. We used to eat out quite a lot before we had kids... Those were the spendy vegan days! Anywho, since those relatively quiet, non-busy, carefree days have passed into lively, exciting familydom, the first raw food restaurants in Australia opened - among them fRom eArth and Water - and it's one of our favourite vegan places to eat out now. Pretty darn impressive! Our friend Angela took us out for lunch and I took a few photos of the fancy noms...


In the middle: a green smoothie and strawberry ginger smoothie.


From left, clockwise: soft corn tortillas with almond feta & salsa & lime aioli,
courgette/zucchini and aged cashew cheese ravioli,
shaved fennel & almond cheese & leek & lentil salad,
mini tacos with avo salsa & mango salsa & cashew sour cream


From top, clockwise: Raw snickers, Banana cream pie, Lime cream mango tart

The

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