Plant based Munchies

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

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Apple, rhubarb and date tart

Apple, rhubarb and date tart

Apple, rhubarb and date tart

My profuse apologies for being MIA lately. We have had our youngest in and out of hospital lately with a mystery stomach illness. Well…probably not so much a mystery anymore (mesenteric adenitis). FYI: don’t ever get that. It’s horrendous.

I’m going to be posting a couple of apple tart/pie recipes coming up. They are different from each other but both yummy and very healthy. This one is super rich and sweet from the date content.

Firstly let me say, I SO love Gluten Free Vegan Girl. And this is mostly her recipe. Well, it’s based on it anyway.

She has a cashew base but I used almonds because that’s what I had. She uses oats but I don’t think I digest them well so I swapped it for buckwheat/tapioca flour. She has an apple and date filling but I had rhubarb from mum’s garden so I threw that in there too.

But hey. I love the site AND the recipe/s.


2 cups almonds (or cashews)

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

20 pitted fresh dates

1/3 cup water

1 tsp vanilla

pinch salt

Blend ingredients together in food processor (blend the nuts into a fine flour first) and press into a lined tin. It is possible to roll it flat and lay it in the dish first if you prefer. Prick the crust with a fork and bake at 180 degrees C for 15 minutes.

(Gluten free vegan girl splits the dough in half and uses half for a base and half for a top to make it a pie. I used some for decorations on top but did not do this, although it looks like it works beautifully).

For the filling,

you can do a mix of whatever fruits you prefer. Gluten free Vegan girl uses 4 apples and the date mix (to follow). I used some pureed steamed apple and rhubarb, 1 chopped apple and the date mix. I would be really keen to do a blueberry one too at some stage.

Whatever you do, toss your fruit through a date mix which makes a gorgeous caramel texture and sweetness to the pie/tart:

2 cups dates (pitted and fresh)

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp vanilla

cloves/cinnamon/allspice etc if you wish

Fill the pie base with your fruit mix and either pop on your pie lid or top with decorations/strips of the dough. Or as you can see I also laid apple wedges around the top of mine. Anything is possible.

Pop the pie/tart back in the oven. If you have a pie lid, bake for at least 30-45 minutes until the lid is cooked.

If not, you will only need to bake it for about 20-30 minutes.



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Bean bolognese

Bean bolognese

Bean bolognese

This is not so different to many versions of bean sauces I have made but often a slight twist (like cumin) makes all the difference for turning it into a more Mexican Taco sauce, as oppose to basil and oregano which send it the bolognese way.

Regardless, this is yummy. Dave preferred to serve his up on top of a salad and I tried it out on some organic rice and corn tortellini. I used to love “normal” gluten spaghetti and I have to say, this would be delicious on spaghetti. Gluten free it is though and though the pasta doesn’t rock my world, the sauce does!


1 onion, finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

1/2 zucchini, grated

1/2 red capsicum, finely diced

1 tin red kidney beans

1 tin borlotti beans

600 ml passata (tomato puree, or use 2 x tinned tomato cans)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 handful fresh basil

1 handful fresh oregano              (or use dried)

1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

1-2 T balsamic vinegar

1 T tomato paste

Saute the onion and garlic and add in vegetables and saute further for a few minutes with salt and pepper seasoning.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. If more liquid is required, add 1/4 cup water.

(Red wine is a nice addition too. You can add 1/4 cup after the vegetables and use a high heat to cook the alcohol off).

Serve on your favourite pasta or salad!


Sri Lankan tamarind tomato curry

Tamarind tomato curry

Tamarind tomato curry

Once upon a time we lived in a little country town that happened to have awesome Sri Lankan chefs in the local town pub! They cooked up a mean tamarind curry (meat of course). Since we moved geographically as well as food-wise into plant based eating, I forgot about that brilliant curry. And when the memory struck, I decided it was a must-have on the curry list.

It works. Truly. It is so different to my other (Non butter-chicken, Korma and Tikka Masala). They are all favourites and this one is very distinct and unique in flavour but well worthy of being on the curry list!

I’ll give you the sauce/curry recipe but truly, you can put anything with this curry. I used a mixed veg and lentil (cauliflower, carrot, potato, pumpkin with some broccoli tossed in at the end). But do what you will. Even a tamarind tomato spinach curry would be beautiful I think.



2 tomatoes

1 cup of tomato puree (not paste, but passata/puree sauce – or use crushed tomatoes in a tin)

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp chilli flakes

3 cm fresh ginger piece

sprinkle of salt

—> Blend these together to form the base tomato curry sauce.

Then heat, and stir in:

1 tin coconut cream

1 T tamarind puree

1/2 cup water

15 curry leaves

1 cinnamon stick

And allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until your vegetables are cooked. Deelllissshhh 🙂

(Note, if you put potato in a curry, it’s best to precook it because it will take a lot longer than 15 minutes simmering in a sauce to cook!


The photo is once again, ordinary! One day I will make a special effort in daylight and take a gorgeous picture of a curry! But for now you will just have to trust me that this is a unique and yummy recipe~ 🙂


Chocolate fudge brownies

Chocolate fudge brownie

Chocolate fudge brownie

Good news! Tomorrow (Sunday) is World Chocolate day! Oh, so many ways to celebrate!

Today’s gem is a chocolate fudge brownie recipe- gluten free, vegan, sugar free goodness. I put almonds in it but honestly, if I had pistachios or hazelnuts on hand I probably would have used that! This is delicious! And guilt free. It is best cold – and goes slightly mousse-y if left out of the fridge or if not baked long enough in the first place. Either way, it wins. Enjoy!

(This recipe is adapted slightly from Femfusionfitness)


15 Medjool dates (pitted)
3/4 cup hot water
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp finely ground coffee or espresso
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup  almond flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp  salt

Plus 1/4 cup roughly chopped nuts (add at end)

Soak the dates in hot water, coconut oil and coffee mixture. Blend the dry ingredients together and add all into a food processor and process. Stir in roughly chopped nuts of choice and press into a lined 8/8inch baking tray/dish and bake at 180 deg C for 15 minutes.

Let cool, refrigerate and enjoy for World Chocolate day! Woo!

Chocolate fudge brownies


Spiced lentil burgers

Lentil burgers

Lentil burgers

Once upon a time I would have baulked at the idea of lentil burgers! But these are amazingly tasty and nutritious. I made a huge batch of mixture and we had burgers on gluten free bread (pictured) and froze the rest of the mixture. Some days later we made  batch of burgers in rolls for the kids (plus an extra we were looking after) which they ate (woohoo!) and Dave and I had ours on top of green salads. Yum.

And we STILL have more in the freezer. SO this is a good mix for feeding a lot of people or having ready made meals in the freezer. They could be easily done as little lunch box lentil balls too.



2 cups red lentils, rinsed and cooked and drained (or tinned)

1 cup spinach

1 carrot

1 leek

1/2 cup broccoli

1 zucchini

1/4 cup corn kernels

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 T mustard

2 T chia seeds

season with cumin/paprika/oregano/chilli/garlic/salt/pepper -choose your favourites

fresh coriander

fresh spring onion

Optional: 1 cup breadcrumbs (I used gluten free rice crumbs)


Finely dice/grate/chop everything to your preferred size.

Saute the leek first then add the spinach, leek and lentils in the food processor to blend and add the chia seeds, tomato paste, mustard and spices.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix together.

The texture really is up to you. You can blend the whole lot in the food processor if you want it unrecognisable and blended 🙂

I grated the carrot and zucchini and added them with the corn later to give a little texture.

The lentil burgers will work without the added bread/rice crumbs but they will be more moist. Dave prefers them without and I prefer them with so we had some of each going. Again, it is doable either way and is up to your preference!

(I recommend the rice crumbs! I think they give it more texture and they hold together much better).