Plant based Munchies

A journey towards whole food, plant based, healthy eating….

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Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns It’s Good Friday! Thank you to my brilliant husband, Dave, for having hot, gluten free vegan hot cross buns waiting for me on my arrival home from church on this Good Friday! Wooo! And I can attest to the winning combination these tasty treats are.

Firstly, it’s probably important to understand a little about how flours work when cooking with gluten free combinations. These buns have 50% medium flours, 25% light and 25% heavy. If you don’t have the exact flours, you can look here for more suggestions on how this works and use your own combinations. I think it is always safe to use more tapioca flour rather than less so feel free to use more light flour and less medium/heavy if you want to play with it.

Or…you can just follow this recipe. De-licious!

Dry ingredients: 

Medium:                   1 cup  red sorghum flour and ½ cup brown rice flour

Light:                        ½ cup tapioca flour and ¼ cup potato starch

Heavy:                       ½ cup buckwheat flour and ¼ cup almond meal flour

2 tsp xanthan gum

½ tsp salt

1/2 tsp all spice

1 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients:

4 dates blended in ¼ cup hot water

2 Tablespoons coconut palm sugar

2 teaspoons melted coconut oil

1 ½ cup warm water

¾ cup sultanas

Combine flour mix, xanthan gum, salt, sugar and dry yeast and mix together in a bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil, warm water and pureed dates. Add in dry ingredients and mix on high with hand beaters until well mixed. Add sultanas and mix through.

Shape into a long thick roll and chop into sections ofHot cross buns pre-cooked
roughly equal size to form into rolls.

Place rolls on a greased & floured tray, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

For the crosses, mix some brown rice flour and water together to form a paste and squeeze onto rolls in a cross formation. (You can do this by putting the paste in a snap lock bag and cutting one corner off to squeeze through)

Hot cross buns c







Bake in 200 deg Celsius oven for 40 minutes.

Brush the tops of buns with a light coating of melted coconut oil after they come out for a gloss.

Our buns were brown and crunchy (which we enjoyed) but if you prefer them softer and less crunchy, put foil over the tray after 15 minutes of cooking.

Hot cross buns


Happy Easter everyone!

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Cauliflower pakoras

Cauliflower pakoras

Cauliflower pakoras


Once upon a time I had dinner at a lovely woman’s house who made an incredible vegan spread. With minimal fuss it seemed! And on the table were some incredible little cauliflower morsels. I’m not sure if this is true to what she did but I’ve played with it and tried to recreate it and oh my, we love these. I’ve discovered they actually work beautifully to make and take on a picnic too because they are great cold.

What I will note is that I make these by intuition and that’s difficult when it comes to a recipe. But basically, if you want the cauliflower chunkier or smoother, do what works; if you like more/less spice, do what works; if you can’t have chick peas (the besan flour), do what works…you know how it goes. The possibilities, as always, are endless. Use it and go with your instincts. And try not to overcook the base like I did in this pic :)


1/2 cauliflower

1 small onion

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup besan flour

1 1/2 cups water

2 Tblspn chia seeds (soaked in 1/3 cup water)

For the spices, I have used either a combination of garam masala/cumin/ginger/tumeric

OR  a basic Indian curry powder, plus a bit more turmeric for colour.

You can also add in onion powder for a bit more taste, and chilli.

Be sure to salt the mix well.

*NB the last time I made this I added in fresh coriander and it was beautiful! You could also add in fresh mint for something different too.


Either chop the cauliflower finely, or put cauliflower, onion and garlic into food processor and loosely process until it’s finely chopped. Stir in besan flour, chia and water and add spices.

Drop spoonfuls into hot oil (best in a non-stick pan) and fry on both sides.




Alfredo penne pasta with salted tomatoes

Alfredo pasta with salted tomatoes

Alfredo pasta with salted tomatoes

I don’t often eat gluten free pasta-type products but some days, I just crave that old pasta fix that holds something homely and comforting (comfort eating, isn’t it!). There are gluten free pastas and there are gluten free pastas! All I can suggest, if you are gluten free, is to read the labels and check that you are getting that which you are happy eating. Some are corn based, some are potato based and some are rice based. And they are all different, for sure.

Anyway onto this simple, gorgeous recipe. It’s the sort of meal that suits after an exhausting day when you can flop down on the couch in front of the TV with a bowl of pasta. (And for those of you who have small kids like I do, it’s not that straight forward, I know!).


Alfredo sauce: See here for an alternate cashew-based alfredo sauce…or below for my cauliflower one. I really love everything about cauliflower and its diversity at the moment, and it makes for a lovely, light, creamy, garlic-y sauce too!    (This is worth double or tripling if you are feeding a whole family).

2 cups cauliflower florets

2 garlic cloves, diced

1/2 leek, diced

1/3 cup non dairy milk

1/4 tsp onion powder

salt and pepper


Steam the cauliflower florets until well cooked. In a separate saucepan, saute the garlic and leek for a couple of minutes. Add cooked cauliflower florets, followed by seasoning and milk. Simmer for 10 minutes, and blend thoroughly into a creamy sauce.

*This is great to make in big batches (using  a whole cauliflower and freezing in portions so you can sneak it out for pasta, potato bakes or anything like that).


Pasta dish

Gluten free pasta

1/2 cup chopped fresh baby spinach

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

3/4 cup cherry tomatoes


Alfredo sauce


Toss 3/4 cup of cherry tomatoes in a hot, dry saucepan with a generous sprinkling of rock salt until they begin to blister or show signs of cooking. (I like mine quite well cooked and soft, you may prefer yours less so).

Cook the gluten free pasta, drain, and toss in the pan with the tomatoes, fresh basil and spinach and stir through your alfredo sauce. Delicious and simple! :)



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Cucumber “sushi” rolls

Cucumber 'sushi' rolls

Cucumber ‘sushi’ rolls

Ok so there’s nothing really sushi about this except it’s bits of stuff rolled up in more stuff. But hey. I’m not even really sharing a recipe today per se but more so an idea. You can make it in whatever way works best for you.

I made these little cucumber rolls for a dinner party as an appetiser. They were so lovely and I like the idea and how fresh and adaptable they are.

Get a long cucumber (in Australia, they are called Continental cucumbers) and finely slice it length ways (or use a peeler if that works for you). The idea then is to spread a filling along the length and then roll it up. Simple!

I used two fillings. You can see the cashew cheese which is an absolute favourite of mine, although it is orange because I have taken to adding 1/4 cup of sun dried tomatoes into the mix as well. Divine!

The second filling was a simple caper guacamole. Capers are not something I am used to but I quite enjoyed it! A salty little zing in a creamy avocado with lemon. Our dinner party differed in favourites of the two. Although I liked the caper guacamole, I preferred the texture of the cashew cheese (less slimy!) but others preferred that. So go with what you love, I say.

I think it would be great to do a beetroot dip and get that beautiful pink colour. Maybe next time.

Enjoy, and let me know what great ideas you come up with for this!

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Savoury vege pancake

Savoury Vege pancake

Savoury Vege pancake

Kudos to my lovely friend Kirsty who introduced me to lunch at LOVE ON in Adelaide recently. I perused the menu and saw not much by way of vegan gluten-free eating, but was delighted to find savoury pancakes on the specials board. I had no idea what this was but the cook is Indian, the pancakes are gluten free and vegan and all up, whatever it is in those bounds is great by me!

It turned out to be such awesomeness that I had to give it a go myself.



1/2 carrot, peeled and grated

1/2 brown onion, finely diced

1/2 zucchini, grated

2 small spring onions, finely diced

1/2 cup besan (chick pea) flour

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp tumeric (gives yellow colour, but optional)

1/2 tsp garam masala (also optional)

1/4 tsp garlic powder

sprinkle paprika

salt and pepper


Whisk batter of began flour and water, adding in all other ingredients and mix.

Heat a non stick pan, give a splash or spray of oil, and when medium-hot, ladle a spoonful into the middle of the pan, and using the base of the ladle, spread the mix in a circular motion from the inside to the outer (thus, creating a thin spread of pancake in a large circle).

When browned, flip over and brown the other side. Serve topped with any fresh salad and hummus.


This has become a quick, delicious staple for us.


Basil, potato and pumpkin salad

Basil, potato and pumpkin salad

Basil, potato and pumpkin salad

There are just some things that never change, I find, and one of them is the comforting nature of potato salad. I used to love it as a kid, and still do. I also happen to love basil aioli, so here is a vegan mash of the two. It is moorish so beware.


3 large white potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 cups pumpkin, peeled and cubed

1/2 spanish onion, sliced finely

1/4 cup fresh  basil leaves

1 serve of tofu mayonnaise with 2 cups basil leaves processed into it.


This is creamy, potatoey goodness. Beautiful to add fresh spinach and pine nuts for an added freshness and texture.




Zucchini, corn and rice patties


Zucchini, corn and rice patties

Zucchini, corn and rice patties


I have not been posting regularly because I keep taking food photos with my iPhone and the end up looking like the above! It’s not exactly what I would like to be presenting on this blog…however, today the desire to get back into sharing recipes took over my concerns around photo presentation. Sometimes I find we are in such a hurry to EAT that I don’t take proper time to photograph. But that’s life, isn’t it!


I really, really enjoy these rice balls (or “patties”). The variations are , of course, endless. But I’ll share with you what I did, and you can work from there.



2 cups cooked brown rice

1/2 cup corn kernels

1 zucchini, grated

1 leek, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 T tapioca flour (or besan) to bind

1/2 tsp spices and herbs – I used thyme, onion powder and sweet paprika.

Salt and pepper for seasoning


Saute the leek, adding in the garlic and vegetables until soft. Stir in cooked brown rice, spices and flour to bind.

You may find use in adding 1/2 -1 Tblspn of water to assist with binding, however, I found that the zucchini provided enough moisture. You can play around with how much flour/water ratio you need to bind yours effectively.

Squeeze into balls of your desired choice and fry them on a reasonably hot heat until brown.


These are lovely just simply served with a fresh green salad xx



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