Plant based Munchies

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

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Crispy vegetable dumplings


These dumplings were an accident that went amazingly well! I wanted to create a dumpling filling of walnuts and mushroom base, but, lacking the right ingredients and not being well at the moment (and unable to venture to the shops), I did what I could with what I had. And ooooohhhh my goodness, they are yummy!

The dumplings in this picture is not gluten free, but uses dumpling wonton wrappers (because…not well at the moment). If you would like to make your own dumpling case gluten free, see here.


1 cup finely shredded wombok cabbage

1 large carrot, peeled and grated

3 spring onions, finely diced

2 mushrooms, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 Tablespoon tamari

1 Tablespoon mushroom “oyster” sauce

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes


Combine all ingredients and mix the flavours through. Place a spoonful of mixture on to dumpling wrapper and fold together in desired shape. Perfect for frying or steaming. * Served with Asian greens.

*We did have both steamed and deep fried to try. The steamed ones were just as tasty but stuck to my steamer so they were not in good shape when I peeled them off! The picture dumplings were deep fried in rice bran oil.



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Pesto primavera pasta

Try saying that 5 times quickly! 😛 I sooo love this dish. It is homely and nutritious and comforting and above all, very tasty! It amounts to some delicious, finely chopped green veggies, homemade pesto and pasta. Mmmm.


1 cup basil leaves

2 Tablespoons semi dried tomatoes

3 garlic cloves

2 Tablespoons oil

juice of 1 small lemon

salt and pepper



1/2 zucchini

3 mushrooms

1 leek or onion

1/2 cup broccoli (chopped)

2 celery stalks

1/2 cup snow peas


Plus 2 cups gluten free pasta


For the pesto:

Blend all ingredients together in a mini food processor (or the like) to form a paste.

For the pasta
Cook gluten free pasta as per instructions.

For the primevera:

Roughly chop vegetables and sauté them together, beginning with the onion/leek and keeping the broccoli to last because it will overcook quickly. Add in pesto mix and stir through drained, cooked pasta.


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Vegetable tomato gratin

Tomato vegetable gratin

Tomato vegetable gratin

Ok, so I can’t be sure that this qualifies as a gratin. Perhaps you have another suggestion? But it is a casserole-y vegetable bake-y thing that goes a little bit crunchy? So that’s probably a gratin, right? It’s so simple and easy and delicious. I served this with a green/avocado/olive/dill salad. Perfection.


1 zucchini

1 potato

1 sweet potato

5-6 squash

handful of baby spinach leaves

Use the appropriate blade on the food processor to finely slice all vegetables.

Create a tomato sauce – and you can do as I did and simplify it. I just used mushrooms, capsicum, onion and grated carrot with garlic and passata. Simple, delicious. With a bit of balsamic and seasoning thrown in.

Use some dried or fresh basil. Add some tomato sauce to the base of a casserole dish and layer the sliced vegetables around the base.

Gratin base

Gratin base

Continue until full, and spread tomato sauce on the top.

Gratin base

Gratin base

Bake for 45 mins at 200 deg C. Yum!

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Mexican bean soup

Mexican bean soup

Mexican bean soup

For those of you followers who are entering cooler weather I thought it would be good to include this hearty soup to suit your mood, despite the fact that Australia is entering the land of sun and salads 🙂

I stumbled upon this idea whilst we were away on holidays and wow, is it yummy.

1 fresh organic corn cob (cut the corn off)

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery sticks, peeled and diced

1 leek, diced

1/2 brown onion, diced

1 zucchini, diced

1 tin red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (and/or other beans)

1 tin crushed tomatoes, rinsed and drained

3-4 cups vegetable stock

1 tsp cumin seeds (or sub cumin powder if that is what you have)

1 garlic clove

1 T tamari sauce

salt, pepper

sprinkle of oregano flakes

Saute leek, garlic and cumin seeds, then add fresh veggies and saute until starting to soften. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until vegetables are cooked.

It’s that easy! And delicious 🙂


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~ 🙂


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).



Vegetable (Butter Chicken) curry

Butterless Chickenless Butter Chicken

Butterless Chickenless Butter Chicken

What do you call butter chicken when it has no butter and no chicken? I guess that makes it a vegetable curry. But really, it’s more exciting than that. There are two other curries on this blog: tikka masala and korma. I make those often because they are favourites but some sort of light bulb moment occured the other day when I realised I used to like butter chicken curries! It has a unique flavour (if you’re a discerning curry eater) and is rich. Yum.

I am slowing down my blog posts…1 a day has been fun but as we have grown, I’ve got some great projects on the go (which you’ll hear about soon) and I need to slow the pace down a little. But I can’t not share this one with you. It’s awesome.

So here tis.

1 spanish (purple) onion, finely diced

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp ground ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp Indian curry powder

1/2 tsp chili flakes

2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 cup tomato puree

200g crushed tomatoes (tinned)

1/2 cup plain coconut yogurt or coconut cream

1/2 tsp salt

Saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add in the spice mix and stir briefly until spices become fragrant. Add in tomato paste, tomatoes and 1/4 cup water and lemon juice. Stir on heat for 2 minutes, then set aside. This is your curry paste.

Saute whatever vegetables you like (pumpkin/carrot/sweet potato/onion/ spinach added at the end) and add in your curry paste. Add in coconut cream and 1/2 cup water or vegetable stock and simmer until veggies are cooked. So simple, and so, insanely delicious.