Plant based Munchies

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


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Sweet potato, zucchini and cream cheese fritters

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1 sweet potato

1 zucchini

1 leek, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup soy cream cheese

1 T nutritional yeast flakes (not essential, just for nutrition’s sake)

1/2 cup brown rice flour (or your preferred flour)

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

sprinkle of salt, pepper and chilli flakes

Mix the brown rice flour through the grated/chopped veggies and spices until spread evenly. Then mix the cream cheese through until evenly coated. Shallow fry little balls/patties for 4ish minutes on each side until sweet potato is cooked through.

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Orange and date scones

 

Orange and date scones

Orange and date scones

Scones are one of those things that I remember as a key thing in childhood. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but remember those tennis club afternoon teas and church morning teas?  Nothing like a good creamy scone lathered in butter or jam and cream at one of those gatherings! I was uber-impressed when I went to a church gathering for a friend last year and the food spread was more in line with fresh, zesty cold rice paper rolls! Unreal! He is a chef, mind you, so I’m not sure if that was my friend’s input or if that church is just exceptionally up with the eating culture of the day. Lol!

In any case, there still is nothing like a good scone – and more so when it is plant based and not going to add to one’s cholesterol rising. I find it dififuclt to take a photo that is anywhere near as good as what these taste so you’ll have to take my word for it: these are the most delicious little things ever. And I like them more than muffins.

Scones…

Now I did think these relied on butter and egg but it turns out, that’s just not the case. You could safely leave out the orange if that doesn’t appeal to you or swap the dates for cranberries or sultanas or something. Do whatever suits! But this recipe is AWESOME.

I didn’t make them gluten free (:( to the GFites) but I will attempt that in the future and see how it holds up. I’m pretty confident that my general GF mix that I like would stand up well with these scones. I’ll let you know! In the mean time…these are fantastic lunch box treats for the kids, or simple to whip up when someone springs a surprise visit and you need something with your cup of tea 🙂 You do, however, need cold coconut cream so perhaps keep some in the fridge incase of emergency unexpected visitors!

Orange and date scones

Orange and date scones

Ingredients:

2 cups wholemeal Atta flour
1 T coconut palm sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest from 1 orange
1 1/4 cups cold coconut cream
8 chopped fresh dates

makes 8-12 scones

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Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Toss the date pieces through the flour mix and then pour in coconut milk. Gently mix just until everything’s combined, don’t over mix. Dough will be thick.

Transfer dough onto a floured surface and shape into a disc. Either press out shapes or using a sharp knife, cut disc into 8 or 12 wedges. Place onto prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately or store them in an airtight container after they have completely cooled. Enjoy!

Thanks to Transplanted (who I have just discovered) for the beautiful coconut recipe idea!


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Fluffiest wheat pancakes ever

Fluffy wheat pancakes

Before we get to the pancakes, how about that gorgeous plate :). Made with love by my 5yo for Mothers Day. So cute – hearts, sun, rain clouds, rain, a flower and our names. Gorgeous plate to serve pancakes on 🙂 We were in a bit of a rush with this one so the photo is blurry~ Argh. But I’ll update it next time I make some.

This is a gluten alert for the non-gluten followers.

But oh my, they are the most delicious fluffiest pancakes ever. I’ve played around with a lot of pancake recipes on here and although the hazelnut pancakes are my favourite, the kids don’t like variations: they just want plain pancakes. Even if you eat animal products, if you’re one to send pikelets in a lunch box with children on any given day, many places are creating no-egg rules these days. And certainly no nuts.
So traditional pikelets are out, and the nut variations are too.

These just got the big ‘thumbs up’ from mr 3, and despite limiting gluten these days, I managed to eat THREE before even offering any. haha! (And now I’m still in recovery…) The original recipe comes from The Healthy Family and Home.

3/4 cups homemade non dairy milk
2 T white vinegar
1 cup wholemeal Atta flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon quality salt
1 T chia seeds soaked in 1/4 cup water
2 T coconut oil (melted)
1-2 T agave nectar or rice syrup

Mix the vinegar in with the non dairy milk and set aside for 5 minutes to sour.

Mix the dry ingredients together and stir well.

Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.

Scoop 1/4 cup measurements on a lightly greased pan.

Cook for 2 – 4 minutes on each side – until golden brown.

Enjoy!


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Spiced coconut cauliflower

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I used to love those cheesy creamy cauliflower bakes as a kid. Mine have never seen it so I didn’t anticipate they would be impressed by this but this is a really yummy, creamy way to do a plant based cauliflower bake. Actually, I threw in some broccoli too because I need to have green…but let’s face it…you can’t beat baked cauliflower!

Ingredients

1/2 cauliflower, cut into florets (plus broccoli if desired)

1 400gm tin coconut cream

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp cumin or garam masala

salt and pepper

cayenne pepper or paprika as per taste.

Whisk together the garlic, coconut cream, cumin/garam massala and salt/pepper. Pour the mixture over cauliflower florets in a casserole dish and sprinkle your choice of paprika or cayenne pepper on top. It gives a nice redish colour to the top – we used cayenne but it is super spicy like this so it’s best to use your judgement on what you like!

You could also top with flaked almonds and coriander.

Bake in an oven 180 degrees C for 45 minutes. Delicious!
Thanks to skinnyms for the idea.


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Sunday Soup // Red Lentil Coconut-Curry with Spinach

This looks so simple and delicious. Reblogging from Season simply 🙂

Season Simply

One of my favorite things to do every weekend is cook up a big batch of something delicious to eat for dinner throughout the week. Sometimes it’s tomato sauce, sometimes a pasta or rice bake, but there’s something special about that recipe being soup. Whether it’s French lentil, meaty chili, or something curry-based (like this one!), having my little yellow Dutch oven on the stove top with soup bubbling away makes me feel so cozy.

Red Lentil Coconut-Curry Soup

The best part about soup, though, is its versatility. I never measure — always estimate, and adjust the amounts of spices based on taste (or just what happens to accidentally fall out of the container…).

I got the idea for this coconut red lentil curry soup from this recipe at Sweet Potato Chronicles. For my version, I doubled the ginger and garlic, added a bit more curry, and decided to puree the soup before adding the spinach…

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Plant based non ‘sausage’ rolls

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My boys really seem to adore anything that is wrapped in pastry! Before we made the plant-based move, my eldest would have had homemade sausage rolls that were preservative and MSG free. I doubt either of them have ever had a bought one, and they certainly haven’t even had a homemade one in a long time.

So I was interested to stumble across this recipe. It actually does work! I discarded it at first because who would want a tofu-nut roll with oats? But the more I thought about it, the more potential I could see. This is a great option for kids’ parties I think where children are ‘used’ to eating sausage rolls and you can provide them with a much healthier, plant based option and they probably won’t know the difference. I am totally blown away by how good these little rolls (we’re calling them “little rolls”) taste! Despite the fact that we are not into faux-meats, these seriously pass for meat…with the added bonus of the fact that you actually know what you’re eating :). Bring on a kiddy party! Or just make them as a move to healthier eating for quick lunches etc. Whatever your goal, these are seriously delicious and they don’t taste like tofu, nuts OR oats. I promise!

I got this recipe straight from Where’s the Beef? No changes, I know, it’s amazing! I thought I better learn how to do it before changing the recipe at all. Already though I am thinking next time I would like to add in some more nutritional value: brown lentils or chickpeas and grated carrot and nutritional yeast flakes too. You’ll hear about it when I do!

For those who are gluten free, this recipe is not. But I’ll write the substitutes there to help along your way if you’re going to give it a go! Enjoy!

125g pecans
1/2 cup breadcrumbs           (or for gluten free, use crispy corn crumbs, I think Orgrans produce them.)
1 onion
300g pkt silken tofu               (try where possible to get non GMO)
1 cup rolled oats                       (for gluten free, sub 1 cup cooked quinoa)
1 stock cube                                (I forgot this, and they are still delicious)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons soy sauce (you can use less – the end result will be less salty and brown, and therefore less resemble a ‘real’ sausage roll)
ground pepper, to taste
3-4 frozen puff pastry sheets
water or non dairy milk for brushing pastry
sesame seeds

My preferred way of prepping this filling makes maximum use of my food processor. If you don’t have one, chopping and mashing will do the job just fine. Start by processing the pecans until they’re thoroughly chopped, but not all gone to powder. Tip them into a large mixing bowl, then toss in the bread crumbs. Chop the onion into 8 chunks and process them briefly until they’ve a ‘finely chopped’ kinda texture. Add them to the mixing bowl, and finally whizz up the tofu until it’s a smooth mush. Add it to the mixing bowl, as well as the rest of the filling ingredients: rolled oats, a crumbled-up stock cube, garlic powder, soy sauce and pepper. Stir everything together well.

Now preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and lightly grease a baking tray. Thaw out your puff pastry, and slice each sheet in half so that it makes two rectangles. Spoon the filling down the centre third of each pastry rectangle; lightly brush another third with water or milk and then roll the pastry, starting from the empty third and tucking it into the brushed third. Slice the roll into halves, thirds or quarters as you wish and place them on the baking tray. Make a couple more diagonal cuts in the top of the roll, brush the top with more water/milk and sprinkle over some sesame seeds. Repeat with the remaining filling and pastry. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, until they’re golden brown and flaky.


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Teaching your kids about food will not cause eating disorders

Today I am promo-ing an excellent article.

I read an article (referenced in todays) going around linking food education to eating disorders a couple of weeks ago and was challenged by it (in a good way). It reminded me to not be fastidious with the kids. Not that I am. By any means. But I took a positive out of it.

Now Spoonfed has written a response and it is brilliant. It is about how to be balanced and educative in your approach to food as a parent. She does not advocate blanket “no sweets” etc but more so teaching children how to eat things that are as close to their original food source as possible – and why. She helps her children see that real food tastes BETTER and helps them feel GOOD.

We had evidence of this recently when, after a long spell of not buying any hot chips, we bought hot chips. My 5 yo says “Mum, these are no where near as good as yours”.

YAY! 🙂 This is our experience. Our kids over time have changed their tastes. Since they are eating real food, they know what real food tastes like. At first they craved sugar and salt (because it’s in everything), and now…not so much. Our 5 yo is now rejecting things because he thinks they are ‘too’ sweet, which is very odd given he has been the biggest imaginable sweet tooth.

They now eat cereal in the morning that has ZERO sugar and they are happy just to put non dairy milk on top or sometimes soy yoghurt (I’m making my own). This story is not about boasting but about how much hard work Dave put in to get them to that point. He persisted, and he modelled. And he persisted. Some days he threw rice bubbles on top to help them get used to a mostly sugar free breakfast and eventually they didn’t look for it anymore. And this is now their preference.

Changing eating habits can and does work. It takes patience, trying over and over again and belief that tastes do change – and reasonably quickly.

And as the kids grow, my hope is that they will have a firm understanding of what is food and what is not. And making healthy choices is not about exciting or boring, but making a choice that helps us feel GOOD so we can enjoy the things we want to do. As we say, “Your body is thanking you for that choice”.

Have a great weekend 😉