Plant based Munchies

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


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Raw chocolate raspberry pots

Chocolate raspberry pots

Chocolate raspberry pots

Hello lovelies!

Sorry I have been MIA lately – and will continue to be for another couple of weeks. We are off on a camping adventure! So I’ve decided to release this most magnificent of magnificent recipes to keep your inspiration flowing 😉

It has a macadamia base: macadamias are absolutely gorgeous and probably my favourite nut. I don’t know why I don’t use them more often….oh yes I do…they’re quite expensive!

Anyhow these “pots” are little treasures. Chocolate and raspberries are made to go together. Like…I can’t think of a single analogy? What goes together? Salt and pepper? Or are they opposites?

I better stick with recipes.

Try these. That’s all I have to say. They are gorgeous 😛

This recipe made 12 mini muffin tray  size “pots” and 2 large muffin size ones. You could easily make 6 muffin sized pots. Or make one large one and slice it into wedges with a knife like a cheesecake.

Base

1 cup raw unsalted macadamias

7 pitted medjool dates

1 dessertspoon raw cacao

1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

1 cup rasberries

1 dessertspoon rice syrup

Ganache

1/4 cup cacao

1/4 cup coconut cream (not the water, just the top creamy part)

1/4 cup rice syrup

6 pitted medjool dates

Blend the macadamias in a food processor until fine and add remaining base ingredients. It should be quite soft and fudgey. Spoon into mini muffin trays or your pot of choice and press down firmly. Place indentation in the base to allow the filling to sit in a crevasse. Refrigerate.

Blend the raspberries and rice syrup together and add a spoonful onto each base. Freeze (the ganache will cover the filling much more easily if cold/frozen)

Blend all ganache ingredients together to form a rich mousse consistency. Add to the top of your rasperry pots and refrigerate until ready to eat! You can also serve straight away if desired.

Absolutely heavenly. And quite rich! Beware!

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Lemon, chilli and thyme sweet potato gnocchi

Lemon, chilli and thyme sweet potato gnocchi (GF)

Lemon, chilli and thyme sweet potato gnocchi (GF)L

In my student days I used to enjoy a big bowl of comforting gnocchi. I don’t think I’ve eaten it since then to be honest because my husband has never been that keen on it, and hey, there’s not much going for you in a bowl of processed potato and white flour.

This is a really beautiful recipe. It’s not something that I would down as a whole bowl of sweet potato either, but matched with some fresh rocket, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli straight from our garden it’s a win-win. 🙂 Fresh lemon, chilli and thyme give it an extra zing of flavour and freshness too. We love this!

Might I just say, I have seen many recipes floating around for gluten free gnocchi where people choose “health” by using sweet potato and then throw in gluten free all purpose flour. Noooooooo. These recipes are swapping white potatoes for white potatoes. And maize. If you want to make the whole food swap, make it all the way by using a brown rice or buckwheat flour. You can also sub almond flour. Whatever you do, get into the gluten free whole food flours that don’t involve potato flour and maize as their bulk.

Ingredients:

3 sweet potatoes

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup arrowroot flour (or tapioca)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

Bake the sweet potatoes until soft, cool, remove skin and mash the potato flesh well.

Mash in garlic, nutritional yeast, salt and onion powder.

Mix the flours together and add in 1/4 cup at a time (you don’t want more flour than required. You only need enough to make the dough workable, too much will make the gnocchi tough).

Roll the gnocchi out into into “ropes” and cut into 1″, or bite sized, sections. Flatten slightly with a fork, or score each gnocchi 3 times with a knife (this helps flavours sink in).

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and place handfuls of gnocchi in at a time. When they surface to the top they are done (usually a few minutes). Pull the cooked ones out and place them aside until all the gnocchi are cooked.

It is up to you now what you do with the gnocchi: whether you toss it in a sauce base or otherwise.
I heated some oil and added in some minced garlic, chilli and thyme, then tossed the gnocchi and cherry tomatoes through with the juice of 1 lemon.

I then served it on a bed of fresh rocket with broccolini. Let me know how you go with it!


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Almond ginger cookies (GF)

Almond ginger cookies

Almond ginger cookies

It’s been a long time since I made biscuits. We are off the sugar bandwagon with our kids but I do miss cooking with them. And last night my 3 yo was dreaming talking about ginger biscuits. He woke up asking for them! So I thought today we really need to master how to do them well without butter, eggs and sugar.

It turns out it’s possible. Oh my, we absolutely gobbled these biscuits and felt no guilt about it at all! hehe! Well, no concern about negative health impacts at least. These are full of goodness and if you were to sub in fresh ginger I’m sure the benefits would be even more so. The one thing I would say, is that we ate so much of the mixture (far out, totally moorish!) that there weren’t too many biscuits that actually got made in the end. Nevermind!

I think I might use this cookie dough in coconut ice cream at some point!

Sadly, mr 3 has asked for them in his lunch box tomorrow and of course, the school and child care centre don’t allow nuts so these will be a home based treat for us. Yay you if you’re allowed nuts in lunch boxes though, this is a winner!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups almond meal

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1 tsp bicarb soda

6 dates

1 T chia seeds soaked in 1/4 cup water

1/3 cup brown rice syrup

2 T melted coconut oil

1/4 cup almond milk with 1 T apple cider vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

pinch salt

Process the almond meal, buckwheat flour, bicarb and dates in a food processor until crumbly. Add in remaining ingredients and stir into a moist dough*.

Drop balls onto a lined baking tray and bake at 180 deg C for 20 minutes or until brown and reasonably firm (how long you bake them for will determine whether they hold a moist, soft biscuit texture or a firmer one).

I was tempted to make up a chocolate mix and drizzle them with chocolate syrup but hey, they didn’t hang around long enough. Next time…

*NB IF you like a more dry biscuit, lessen the milk content. It is important though to keep the vinegar to offset the bicarb.


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Spicy black beans in a chickpea wrap

Spicy black beans in a chick pea wrap

Spicy black beans in a chick pea wrap

Could this get any easier?

I’ve known I like black beans but cannot seem to find them in any supermarkets around here. I know there are dried ones in the Central Markets but to be honest, I don’t think that far ahead to soak them the night before…that, and I haven’t been to the Central Markets in almost a year!

Anyhoww…. I struck gold recently with a little health food/lolly shop of sorts (don’t ask me how those two things go together?) in Brighton which sells tinned black beans. Yay!

Basically, make the Frijole Refritos recipe but do it with black beans. And chilli! AWESOME. LOVE black beans.

Frijoles refritos black beans

Frijoles refritos black beans

Now, onto the wrap. We have dug ourselves in a kind of hole lately. Gluten free is one thing. I really dislike gluten free wraps. They are made from useless things and they taste horrible. So we’ve been erring on the corn side of life. The trouble with corn is that unless it’s organic, it’s going to likely give us cancer or as the rats discovered, they were made infertile within two generations :(. I don’t want to leave that legacy with my kids so we eat organic where possible and where can you find corn tortillas that are organic and not filled with the likes of maize and fillers?

Hmm.

So I’m pretty excited to say the least that this TWO MINUTE recipe for chick pea based wraps actually works. And it actually wraps. Unfortunately I filled mine so full that I couldn’t wrap it all the way around but hey, it still held it all together and didn’t fall to pieces! That’s a serious win!

Recipe you ask?

1 cup besan flour (that’s chick pea flour)

1 cup water

And that’s it. Now. I added 1 tsp onion powder, 1 T nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp garam masala and a shake of salt. But that’s up to you. It’s SO EASY.

Whisk the batter and then spray a hot pan and drop 1/2 cup full and spread it around into a thin layer. Leave it for 30 seconds, then flip over and let it brown on the other side.

Done.

Black beans in chick pea wrap

Black beans in chick pea wrap

So insanely easy.

I topped the wrap with black beans in a Frijoles Refritos style, added guacamole, yellow capsicum, lettuce, spanish onion, tomato, grated carrot and fresh coriander.

Life is good!


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Double choc muffins (GF)

Double choc muffins (GF)

Double choc muffins (GF)

This recipe is YUM. There I said it. I have so much trouble getting sweetness balance right on muffins but when it is chocolate, there’s no problem because I can fill it up with date fudginess and it just works. These have the added bonus of cacao nibs which are not only good for you but give a chocolatey crunch to the muffin which is divine!

Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup tapioca/arrowroot flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarb soda

1 cup non dairy milk (plus 2 T apple cider vinegar)

2 T chia seeds (soaked in 1/2 cup water)

10 medjool dates, pitted and soaked

1/3 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut cream (take the thick cream off the top of a tin, and leave the water)

2 T melted coconut oil

2 T brown rice oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup cacao nibs

Put dates and coconut cream in a food processor and blend into a paste.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and stir in all wet ingredients, then add nibs.

Spoon into muffin trays and bake at 180 deg C for 20 minutes or until cooked through.


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Alfredo zucchini pasta with dill and cherry tomatoes

Alfredo zucchini pasta with dill and cherry tomatoes

Alfredo zucchini pasta with dill and cherry tomatoes

Today we hit 140 blog posts and 20,000 visitors to the site. Thanks for your support everyone, I’m glad many of you enjoy the recipes…I surely am enjoying this journey too!

This is a cracker of a fresh, healthy ‘pasta’ fix. Zucchinis are not Dave’s favourite veggie but they are incredibly versatile (like cauliflower!) and to turn it into pasta – whether by spiralizing it or making “ribbons” with a peeler – is a gorgeous idea.

The cashew cream is equally gorgeous – creamy and garlicky and very easy to make.

I used leek, cherry tomatoes and broccolini for some veggies with fresh dill as a flavouring – of course, with the basics of zuchinni pasta and cashew cream you can do whatever you like.

Sun dried tomatoes and basil?

Mushroom and thyme?

Hope you enjoy this one, we did.

For the pasta:

3 spiralised zucchinis (alternatively, you can use a peeler and peel them finely. This works well too.)

1 tsp salt

For the sauce:

1 cup soaked raw cashews (best soaked overnight, but alternatively a couple of hours)

1 cup water

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 T fresh dill, chopped

salt and pepper

For the veggies:

1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes

1 cup broccolini

1/4 cup yellow capsicum (for colour effect!)

2 spring onions, chopped

1 leek, chopped

Pasta:

Spiralize/peel the zucchini into slithers and toss in salt. Leave to sit whilst preparing other ingredients to draw the water out. When ready to use, squeeze the excess water out and drain.

Sauce:

After soaking cashews, drain, and process in a food processor until smooth (but not cashew butter). Add in remaining sauce ingredients until a thick, smooth sauce has formed.

Dinner:

Saute the leek for a couple of minutes. Add in cherry tomatoes and capsicum, toss the zucchini pasta through and add the appropriate amount of cashew sauce for your preference. Serve with fresh broccolini and spring onions.

Toasted pine nuts would be superb too!