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

Healthy Chocolate Mousse

IMG_6273

Juliet Sulejmani | December, 29 2015

I don’t always feel like breakfast when I wake up, but when I do, I usually opt for the thing that requires the least amount of thought or effort: toast coffee.

Toast is delicious, sometimes when I’m feeling fancy, I make it into a jaffle. However I know that there are other yummy, easy things you can make yourself.

I found this delicious and healthy recipe online from I Quit Sugar for an Avocado Chocolate Mousse and I have adjusted it slightly to my own taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1 biggish avocado
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Tbspn raw cacao powder
  • 1 tspn stevia
  • 1 Tbspn chia seeds
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tspn cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Blend them all in a blender, pour into your bowl and add any topping that you’ve got in your house. I usually always love granola on mine and today I had kiwi fruit and mango. I would have loved banana, but they were brown eww. In the original recipe they used Coconut Cream instead of milk.

HERE is the I Quit Sugar original recipe.

Hot Tip: I’ve created a folder in my Notes on my iPhone called Recipe, and I create a new list in there with all the recipes I make often, but not often enough to remember the recipe. It makes it easier than having to search for the recipe online, which is what I used to do!

Let me know if you try it or if you have a different variation, or if you have any other great breakfast recipes.

Jx

[Credits: Words and Photography by me]

Turmeric

2015.09.27_turmeric

Tamie Cleaver | September 28, 2015

Turmeric, turmeric, turmeric, I’m pretty sure my friends are sick of hearing about turmeric. All they have to do is mention they feel a little under the weather and I’ll prescribe them a teaspoon of turmeric.  Stomach ache, stiff joints, lost a limb, turmeric will sort that. They’re going to be so pleased for this opportunity to now read about my obsession. They’ll have to read it too, in full, as there will be a test!

I first came across turmeric when I started looking into how food is linked to health.

‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’ Hippocrates said, and the more I read about the food to health link, the more this made sense.

If you put anything into your body that it doesn’t recognise as food, it sees it as a toxin and reacts aggressively against it. This reaction becomes a battle within your body, and it will take drastic action to win this battle and keep you alive. If it has to create its own toxins to kill of the ones harming you it will, if it has to damage cells to keep the rest of the body moving it will. Your body isn’t thinking about your comfort, how you look or how you feel, it’s trying to keep you alive at all costs. The by product of your body fighting harmful toxins leads to fatigue, inflammations, infections, gut problems and ultimately deceases, including cancer.

These are things I reasonably decided needed to be avoided, so I started eating fresh and clean, meaning lots of veg, plenty of fruit and if something had a number in the ingredients, or a word I didn’t recognise, then I didn’t eat it.

The next step up from this is food your body thrives on, herbs spices, nuts and seeds for instance. These innocuous little foods which we use as decoration, to add colour to our plates, these are really an under used source of vitamins and minerals.

This is where turmeric comes in.

Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, gut healthy, disease fighting, cholesterol reducing, anti-carcinogenic, beautiful turmeric. This is just part of the list of the benefits turmeric brings to the body. Notice how this is the anti list to the symptoms above caused by fighting toxins in the body.

I get turmeric into my diet in everything from soup to roast chicken. But my two favourite and almost daily uses are in a juice and in my scrambled eggs

Scrambled eggs

¼ cup of pine nuts

1 dessert spoon of cold pressed organic coconut oil

2 free range organic eggs

Small handful of organic baby spinach, chopped.

1 piece of smoked salmon cut into strips

½ tea spoon of turmeric powder

Salt & pepper

Put a small frying pan on a low heat and add the pine nuts. Dry fry the pine nuts until they start to turn brown, remove from the heat and leave aside. Add the coconut oil to the pan to heat up. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk in the turmeric, salt and pepper. The turmeric tries to clump up so whisk it well. When the coconut oil is hot, pour in the eggs and start stirring with a wooden spoon immediately. As the eggs start to form, add back in the pine nuts, the salmon and the spinach.  Pour the eggs on to a plate, sprinkle with a little dukkah and eat.

Juice

1 juicer

2 celery sticks

½ piece of cucumber

¼ piece of fennel

½ thumb sized piece of ginger

½ thumb sized piece of turmeric root

Hand full of coriander

Hand full of parsley

Cayenne pepper

Juice all together then pour into a glass; sprinkle some cayenne pepper on the top of the juice for that extra kick. Drink straight away.

[ Credits: Words by Tamie Cleaver, Illustration by me. ]    

How to make a delicious plunger coffee and some okay, perhaps interesting cookies.

2015.08.17_coffeeplungerMel Howard | August 18, 2015

Soon I am going away, and I’m not particularly sure if I willbe back.
This is exciting for a lot of reasons, but it also takes more planing than I expected.
I have lived here now for eight and half years and in that time have accumulated a collection of items that I now need to shed. Amongst my many beloved books and trinkets, there is the issue of my eternally stocked pantry.

My mother and hers before her are firm believers in having everything on hand. Up until now, this trait has served to mostly amaze my friends when they find themselves sponateously in my home around a meal time or inbetween a meal times, because I am absolutely always hungry, and despite minimal warning I am able to whip up almost anything they desire. Until now, it has been a fabulous habit. Until now, when I am leaving in seven weeks and I have more buckwheat flour and dried black beans then anyone could think to purpose.

I set myself a challenge to use only that which is left in my pantry, minus fresh produce of course, until I leave.

I made these cookies solely because they used Besan flour, which isn’t a particularly pleasant tasting flour and I bought a whole lot of it on an organic food binge a couple of months ago.

Lemon Ginger Coconut Cookies

125g icing sugar
150ml of grapeseed oil (maybe 10ml extra)
250g besan (chickpea) flour
1/2 tsp cardamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
A pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
The juice and rind of 1 lemon
1/4 cup of coconut
1/3 cup loosely ground almonds

Mix all the ingredients except the almonds until the mixture forms a sticky dough and knead in the bowl for a good five minutes. Add a little extra flour or oil as needed. On a sheet of cling wrap spread the almonds and coconut and roll the mixture on top and into a log. Let it set in the fridge overnight, or just until it’s cold, it’s hard to cuts when warm. Line a baking tray with baking paper and cut the log into 1cm discs, squash the cookies down a little and bake in a medium oven (170-190 degrees) for 10-15 minutes or until dark brown. Let them cool on the tray otherwise they will break to pieces!
Coffee is one of my favourite things. That is all I feel the need to say about coffee.

1. Boil kettle.
2. Place heaped tablespoon of ground coffee in a one cup plunger.
3. Add a dash of ground cinnamon.
4. Pour boiling water over coffee and let that baby sit for five minutes while you soak up the smells of coffee and lemon and the strangely moreish, or if you are in my family, nawish (which I’ve just discovered is not actually a real word) combination of besan and grapeseed.
5. Sit in the winter sunshine with a gorgeous new release book and bask in the fabulous world.

My pantry, now a little lighter, gives me hope that I will in fact be able to repurpose the ridiculous collection of lovely things I own in search of possibly even lovelier things.

x

[ Credits: Words by Mel Howard, Illustrations by me. ]

Morning Smoothie

2015.07.22_morning smoothie with text

Here is an easy, delicious, fresh and cleansing smoothie recipe my friend Kristin shared with me the other day.


Ingredients:

  1. 1/4 cup cucumber
  2. 1/4 cup spinach
  3. 1/2 a green apple
  4. 1/2 cup pineapple
  5. 1/2 lemon squeezed
  6. 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  7. 1 cup coconut water

Add all the ingredients into your blender and voila! Smoothie time!

Jx

banana oat smoothie

2014.07.01_banana oat smoothie recipe

 

I realised I hadn’t made a smoothie in forever so I googled some recipes and I made the one above.

It is super smoothie-a-licious. Which means it is a bloody great smoothie recipe and you should also make it.

You are more than welcome.

 

Jx

 

Links:

It’s a Martha Stewart Recipe

The song I am currently listening to while typing this post