Watch. Read. Eat. Vegan

Emma Noack | April, 18 2016

Watch. Read. Eat. Vegan

Veganism is more that just what you eat. It becomes a way of life. To me it is about making conscious choices and knowing what I am spending those dollars on and what the ethical, environmental and health impacts those choices are having. Over the next few months I will write some posts about things that interest me as a vegan. These posts don’t have an agenda to convert everyone into vegans, but rather I’m just interested in putting some ideas out there about the choices we all make and creating a discussion about what impact they have and why we make the choices we do. I guess I just want to give you, quite literally, some food for thought.

Watch: Step one: watch Bag It! This documentary explains not only the environmental effect plastic has on the planet, but also the health risks (both mental and physical) that plastic has on us as individuals.

Read: After watching Bag It! you may need to visit Trash Is For Tossers to put into practice everything you have just learned. I recommend taking small steps so you don’t feel overwhelmed. By making small changes in your life to create less waste and use less plastic you can minimise the waste you contribute to our oceans and minimise your own exposure to plastic. My top three tips to creating less waste are:

  1. Carry a spare tote bag with you everywhere. It comes in handy so often and prevents you needing to get yet another plastic bag.
  2. Carrying your own plastic free water bottle, like this Klean Kanteen one around with you to stay hydrated. This choice means less plastic bottle waste, and it also may encourage you to drink more water, and possibly chose water over other less healthy options.
  3. Visiting grocery stores that have bulk foods available (such as Friends of the Earth, Source Bulk Foods and Terra Madre in Melbourne) and bring your own bags and jars to put the foods in. This is an efficient way to decrease packaging waste (and it’s actually a cheaper way to shop and the foods tend to be healthier options). Buy your pasta, grains, nuts, tea and more this way and save on plastic and money.

Eat: Just one meal a week OR day that is vegetarian or vegan is a way of having an effect. Voting with your dollar and spending money on less animal based products is a way to tell companies and the planet that more ethical and less wasteful commodities are in demand and important to you as a consumer. Either pop into Smith and Deli for a delicious ‘Foghorn Legless’ sandwich and a delicious desert or make this pasta (adapted from Minimalist Baker) below:

Creamy Vegan Garlic Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 250g quinoa or spelt pasta (or any pasta you prefer)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, diced
  • 8 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 3-4 Tbsp spelt flour
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk (Pure Harvest and Nutty Bruce are tow of the better ones available)
  • A large handful of spinach
  • ¼ cup of Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200C and toss tomatoes in a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Place cut side up on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish. Then set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta. When done, drain, cover and set aside.
  3. In the meantime, prepare the sauce. In a large pan over medium-low heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and the garlic and shallot. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper and stir frequently, cooking for 3-4 minutes until softened and fragrant.
  4. Stir in 3-4 Tbsp flour and mix with a whisk. Once combined, slowly whisk in the almond milk a little at a time so clumps don’t form. Add another healthy pinch of salt and black pepper, bring to a simmer and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes to thicken. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. (Optional: You can also add a few shakes of vegan parmesan for extra flavor at this time if you wish.)
  5. Once the sauce is to your desired thickness add spinach and olives then add pasta and roasted tomatoes and stir.
  6. Serve immediately and garnish with extra black pepper, fresh basil and/or vegan parmesan cheese.

Natural Banana Protein Bars

Juliet Sulejmani | April, 15 2016

Cooking is something I actually really enjoy doing. I really love being to be able to create something delicious from a bunch of random ingredients, and then be able to share that delicious food with my friends and family. I have noticed that when I share food that I have made, it makes the people I share it with really happy and in turn it makes me  really happy.

The latest recipe I have tried and shared was from Jessica Sepel’s first book The Healthy Life (which was also the first book I illustrated). I made the ‘Natural Banana Protein Bars’.

I loved making these because like most of the recipes in this book, preparation time is minimal, all the ingredients are quite good for you, and they are really delicious.

These were great to wrap individually in baking paper and pop in my bag on days I didn’t have time for breakfast, or as a snack after exercising.

I will totally be making these again.

Jx


Jessica Sepel’s Natural Banana Protein Bars

INGREDIENTS
DRY
1/2 cup rolled organic oats (gluten-free option: quinoa flakes)
1/2 cup LSA or protein powder
1/4 cup mixed seeds
3 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts and/or almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup psyllium husk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla powder
WET
1 banana, mashed
2 tbsp nut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup or rice malt syrup
1 tbsp milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 180.C (160.C fan-forced). Line a standard loaf tin (approximately 21cm x 11cm) with baking paper (you can grease with olive oil as well).
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine well with a wooden spoon.
  5. Pour the batter into the tin and press down firmly. Bake 20-25 minutes or until cooked through and the top is golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool in the tin then slice into bars.These can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

    Makes about 10 slices.
    PREP Time: 35 minutes, including cooking.

Nutribullet – ‘The world’s most powerful nutrient extractor’

Mel Howard | February, 22 2016

Little Things That Make My Life Easier-Part 4

 

NUTRIBULLET– ‘The world’s most powerful nutrient extractor’,

as opposed to a humble, significantly inferior blender.

For about three months in 2013 an ex-partner of mine spent a considerable deal of time weighing up the pros and cons of the ‘nutrient extraction system’ that is known as the Nutribullet. Whenever the TV was switched on it seemed to be there, extracting away its fine strainable liquid, boasting a ‘hassle free clean-up’. Much to my (playful) ridicule and surprise he purchased one, and on the fateful day the rather large box appeared in our house we promptly went to the supermarket and bought all the ingredients he’d been dreaming of blending and consuming in liquid form.

From that day on he had a smug grin on his face whenever breakfast time came round. Or desert time, or pesto time, or paste/mousse/granita/margarita/mid-morning or afternoon snack time. He was grinning, is grinning, because he was bloody well right. The Nutribullet has revolutionised my life, and no that word is not quoted off the websites marketing material, I am actually saying it transformed my life. I’ve had blenders before but this one is just so damn convenient.

 

Here is the smoothie I enjoy most mornings.

  1. Half a frozen banana
  2. ¼ cup frozen blueberries
  3. 1 cup of greens (spinach, baby kale, rocket or beetroot leaves if you like spicy, celery leaves, anything really)
  4. A tablespoon of organic vanilla pea protein
  5. A dash of cinnamon
  6. 2 tablespoons of full fat natural greek yoghurt
  7. Fill to the line with water or coconut water, or whatever milk you have on hand.
  8. Screw the blade lid on and blend for about 20 seconds.
  9. Sprinkle with cacao nibs and coconut flakes.

Voila.

Happiness in a cup.

 

I adjust this base with powders and seasonal foods to suit budget, lady cycles and everything else that life brings with it. When we decided to go our separate ways I was three months off heading to Europe, I had only patience enough to wait for Myer to have a sale. My yearning for smoothies was far too great.

There are umpteen recipes online for smoothies and everything in the blended genre, but my favourite site is Green Kitchen Stories. Also, during the course of this post I have downloaded the (Free!) Nutribullet recipe app. Stay tuned.

NUTRIBULLET

GREEN KITCHEN STORIES

Upon completion of this post I have realised that all these randomly chosen ‘things that make my life easier’ are rather focused on appearance. Just to clarify, I mean them to be more about trying to feel comfortable in a new place and my new humidified/frizzy/clammy/sun-drenched self.

Lovelove

mgirling

Jam-Doughnut Muffins

IMG_6407Juliet Sulejmani | December, 30 2015

Balance in life is important right? So to balance up yesterdays healthy recipe, I have an un-healthy but easy, super delicious recipe for y’all.

I made these and they were melt in your mouth incredible and they took no time at all.

Just a note by the way, I’m not really good at cooking I’m just really good at following recipes and I enjoy making new things for fun and sometimes to eat.

I’ve been trying out a few of Nigella Lawson’s recipes from her book ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess.’ So far everything I’ve made has been delicious, easy and it’s super great because she mostly uses ingredients that you would already have in your cupboard.

Here’s how to make these Jam-Doughnut Muffins:

Ingredients

  • 125ml milk
  • 85ml corn or other vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 12 teaspoons strawberry jam
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 1 incredibly well-greased or silicon 12-bun mini-muffin tin.

Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5.

With a fork, beat together the milk, oil, egg and vanilla extract. Stir this into the flour and caster sugar to combine (just): the lumps don’t matter and if you overbeat the muffins will be tough. Spoon the mixture into each muffin cup so that it’s just under a third full. Then with a teaspoon add a dollop of strawberry jam – about the size of a fat broad bean – then top with more muffin mix so that the cases are just about full.

Put them in the preheated oven and cook for about 20 minutes or until the tops feel springy and resistant and the muffins have puffed up into little toadstools.

Meanwhile, melt the butter slowly in a thick-bottomed pan, and lay the sugar out in a wide, shallow bowl. As soon as the muffins are ready, remove them from their moulds, dip them in the butter and roll them in the granulated sugar. Eat warm.

Makes 12.

My Notes:

  • I used butter to grease the pans instead of oil, just because I didn’t read that part, and I know I said I follow recipes really well, but I just naturally used butter because all other recipes use butter. Does anyone know what the difference? Maybe a health benefit?
  • And I used raspberry jam, just because that’s what I had in the fridge.
  • Also this was so QUICK!! Which I love, they also tasted amazing two days after I baked them. And they’re a good one to make fresh when peeps turn up unexpectedly and you can all be happy and enjoy fresh donut goodness in no time.

Jx