Rice paper rolls

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I made these ages ago and they were great; I totally forgot about them though, and was only reminded when I saw them on oh she glows, one of my long time fav blogs.

We followed her recipe pretty exactly except we cooked the tofu in coconut oil and paprika and as well as her delicious peanut lime dipping sauce, made a lemon cilantro sauce. I didn’t keep track of measurements as I was chucking everything into the blender in a hurry…basically it was a big handful of cilantro and spinach, avocado oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper, and nutritional yeast.

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All our Fillings ready to go

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The dipping sauces and a crunchy cashew and black sesame seed mixture.

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Yum yum fresh crispy veggies

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Crispy paprika and coconut tofu

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Wrapping FAIL on the first one, still tastes good tho!!

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Ali won the wrapping battle for sure

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I had my second one wrapped in a romain lettuce leaf as well as the rice paper wrap…double wrapped if you will, which added a nice crunch. We also found that the sauces were better actually in the rolls. We had leftovers so are having them again tonight before yoga!!

Enjoy!

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“got milk, got veal”

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Today is the day I am officially no longer indulging in dairy products. Since I was ten I have been a very righteous and content vegetarian, happily consuming milk, cheese, yogurt and ice-cream while whole-heartily accusing meat-eaters of causing animals to suffer.

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to come to this conclusion; I guess because eating dairy is not as obviously horrifying as eating a piece of flesh. It’s creamy and delicious and is in no way meaty or bloody; and I guess because nothing had to die. As I’m typing this though I can’t help but feel like a hypocrite, dairy cows suffer, they get slaughtered and dairy farming is contributing to global warming in a large way, just as raising animals for their meat is.

A lot of people have the idyllic image of dairy cows roaming green pastures and coming into the farm once a day to be milked by a friendly farmer. I wish this was the case, but it’s simply not. On the brightside, a lot of Australian dairy cows do see green grass and blue sky from time to time (unlike US or UK dairy cows, for example). However, in order for farmers to keep up with the modern demands for dairy products, cows are hooked up to milking machines which in many cows cause mastitis (a horribly painful nipple infection) and are kept constantly pregnant in order to produce more milk than nature ever intended them to. When they are about four years old and not able to keep up with their expected production of 18, 000 pounds of milk per year they are sent to be slaughtered. All though still young, most are so weak by this point they can’t even stand on their own.

And this isn’t even the icing on the cake (so to speak)! Today, I stumbled across an article about the connection of veal and dairy farming that was a serious revelation for me. What happens to all the baby cows that are a result of their mama’s being kept in a constant state of pregnancy? I never even thought about it until today…about three quarters of the female babies are kept to replace their mothers and the other quarter as well as the boys become veal, leather or by products of the pharmaceutical industry. The RSPCA recommends that calves must be at least ten days old, fed twice a day and travel a maximum of ten hours to the abattoir, sounds great right?! Well even these less than stellar guidelines are rarely met; with calves being as young as five days old, fed once a day and forced to face huge days of travelling with not enough room to lie down, when they aren’t even developed enough to walk properly or deal with the stress of these horrific situations. This is the fate of 800,000 calves in Australia every year. That’s a whole LOT of suffering and death.

Luckily in Australia we are a little kinder to our veal cows and they are generally reared in group sheds and fed milk and grain for their short life. In most countries; however, calves are forced into wooden crates too small to turn around or express natural behaviours, this system is designed to deny the calf access to any iron thus creating the classic white meat.

I am so saddened by this and annoyed with myself that it took me so long to come to this conclusion. I guess better late than never. I know this won’t be a big challenge for me as I haven’t drunk milk for ages anyways and only eat other dairy products on occasion. Equipped with this information it will be much easier to abstain.

Sorry cows, I should have known better.

Sources:

Www.rspca.org.au
Www.about.animalrights.com
Kris Carr, Crazy sexy diet

On a happier note, we made effin amazing rice paper rolls tonight that I’ll be posting about tomorrow, 100% cruelty free and oh so satisfying

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Who needs dairy when you’ve got food like this!!!

Peace

Cleanse ‘n Mexican binge

I’ve been wanting to do a juice cleanse for a while now and since Yesterday was my day off and our evening plans were 5:00 yoga and dinner at home I decided it would be a perfect time to give it a go! The best laid plans…

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I started off the day juicing all the leftover veg we had laying around. It was pretty yummy, and it was purple which was exciting! It contained cucumber, kale, apple, purple cabbage and lime

Then I went for a walk and got groceries on the way home to make my next juice which was made of sweet potato, carrot, orange, celery and bok Chou

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Later on in the afternoon I decided I needed something a bit more substantial so I drained and cracked open a coconut

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This is the fist time I’ve ever bought, cracked and ate a real coconut!! ’twas pretty interesting! First I pierced the eye and drained all the juice then I wrapped it in a tea towel and whacked the crap out of it on the floor. It made a very large noise and I was a tad worried I had cracked the floor and not the coconut! Luckily the floor was still intact as was the coconut. So I put it in the oven for about fifteen minutes and it cracked right open! Too easy! And it was still cold on the inside which was good as I didn’t want to cook the meat just crack that crazy hard shell!! Anyways, so after all that I made a delish smoothie with the coconut water, some of the meat, a frozen banana, 1/4 of an avocado and a piece of the raw chocolate I made the other day. It was Yummmmmmy

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So with those three beverages and a whole lot of water with lemon and herbal tea I was feeling so good!! And not hungry or anything which I was worried would be the case with a juice cleanse. When I get hungry it ain’t pretty!

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I was planning on making miso soup or a big green salad for after yoga but then…

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At least it’s still liquid !! I was pretty dumb though and had a beer when Ali got home which resulted in crazy bad tummy cramps!!! Probs not the best idea to drink liquid nutritional all day and then drink alcohol!! So I made a piece of toast with coconut oil and cinnamon stat and lay down for a bit and that helped. Once I was feeling all better we headed to manly to meet a friend at a wicked new Mexican restaurant called chicabonita. Side note, I’ve been reading up a lot about all the chemicals in make up, not nice, so I decided to try beetroot as a natural lip stain and it worked SO well!!!

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<;;a

Just slice a bit off your beet and swipe it on your lips and..

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Berry stained lips!! (Use some coconut oil for some extra shine 🙂 )

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Pretty exciting considering the cover girl lipstain I usually use costs about $25 in this country!!! Only downside is I might have to start bringing a Tupperware full of beetroot around with me which may get a little weeeeird . It stayed on for quite a long time tho which was good. Probably started to come off somewhere around this point…

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…or this point…

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Or maybe this!!!

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It was all soooo good!! And good portions for sharing which is fun. It was a lot richer then anything I’ve been eating lately tho and I had an allergic reaction to something resulting in a gnarly rash on my chest and forehead. Sorry, no pics of that!!! Luckily it went away pretty quickly and we proceeded to party till 5 am.

So it was a cleanse turned binge. Fail or success?? Not really sure…At least I try…??

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Healthy day, fun night. I’m gonna call it a success

Raw chocolate

Man, this stuff is the bomb!!! A large thank you to Em at this Rawsome vegan life for the amazing recipe

It is painfully easy including only three amazing ingredients:

1/2 cup sweetener(I used half raw honey, half raw agave)
3/4 cup raw cacao
2/3 cup melted coconut oil

Mix the ingredients. Spread on a tray lined with baking paper, put in the fridge till firm. Slice. Eat. Omg it’s amazing.

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Totally just melts in your mouth.  And get this…it’s GOOD for you!! Read on if you don’t beleive me…

Cacao

Organic cacao is the pure healthy cousin of plain old overused cocoa.  It is raw and unaltered…pure.  It is like the potato before it becomes the deep fried hydrogenated salt laden crispy potato chip.

Cacao is a super food.

Super foods are foods containing very high concentrations of antioxidants.

Antioxidants help repair the damage caused by free radicals.

Free radicals are molecules that have lost one of their electrons and so latch onto other healthy electrons, turning that electron into a free radical (vampire style!) thus creating a whole army of disease forming free radical molecules.

Factors including an unhealthy acidic diet, stress, carcinogens, and pollution all help free radicals live and thrive.

Factors including eating a plant based alkaline diet, being happy and calm, trying to reduce your exposure to pollution (easier said than done these days :S) and eating lots of antioxidant rich foods help fend off these little electron sucking A-holes.

SO, Let them eat cake!!  Well, raw organic cacao cake rich in the big A, NOT chocolate bars and chocolate cake or regular cocoa.  Also having too much can overstimulate your nervous system, so keep it to 4-6 heaped tsp a day max!! Everything in moderation as they say…

Cacao has lots of other fun health benefits such as increasing serotonin in the brain (mood booster) and is one of the highest sources of magnesium which creates healthy nails, hair, skin and bones.  This is just to name a few!! There are more, but this is getting long!

Coconut oil

Ah coconut oil, what did I do before I discovered you!?  Really, It was love at first feel, (as ACDC circa 1976 so poignantly stated).

It is moisturizer extraordinaire people!! I use it all over my body and as my face moisturiser and my skin has never been nicer.

Expensive moisturiser companies promising you youthful radiant skin are completely and totally full of shit (lots of it). They are stealing your hard earned money, can’t you see??!! What you need to do is chuck that $100 tube of chemicals into the bin and buy a big old jar of cold pressed organic coconut oil and you will notice a huge improvement in your skin.  Why would you want to put chemicals on your face anyways when you could put beautiful natural silky smooth coconut oil?? I told you I was in love ok.

Now obviously, being a youthful elastic-y 22 year old I don’t have any wrinkles, but I would be willing to bet that there will be no premature aging on this skin.  The stuff is full of anti-aging properties and it’s even a natural sunscreen!! (not enough to combat the Australian sun I warn you,  but in the winter I find that as well as my mineral make up with natural sunscreen, it’s perfect).

So to sum up, it’s amazing for your skin and it ALSO has a whole stock of health benefits including my fav, for no particular reason…protecting the liver against damage caused by alcohol… and other toxins.   It also speeds up the metabolism by removing stress on the pancreas, helps fight harmful bacteria as it has many antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Some people FREAK out when they hear that coconut oil is about 90% saturated fats but please, CALM down.  It is saturated fat in its NATURAL state which is healthy for you and your heart!! Not all saturated fats are created equal.  This is very important.  It is the man made saturated fats you find in pre-packaged foods that has been heated, tampered with and thus made rancid, hydrogenated and quite simply, deadly that you need to avoid.

The natural saturated fat in coconut oil protects your heart and other organs, increases metabolism and energy  and controls cholesterol and blood pressure.

One last note on coconut oil, it is the perfect cooking oil.  It has a high smoking point, so doesn’t become rancid like olive oil when heated.

Raw honey

Again, you really can’t get past food in its raw unaltered state.  Raw honey is never strained, filtered or heated retaining all of its nutritional value. It contains anti-cancer properties, aids digestion, and assists your immune system.   I also use honey everyday on my face, I put it on before I make my green juice and then wash it off with cold water about half an hour later.  It smooths skin, fights wrinkles and blemishes, calms redness and improves skin tone.

Chick pea flour pizza crust

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This pizza crust is: crazy easy, gluten free, nutritious, quick, delicious, overall GOOD times.

All you have to do is mix equal parts chickpea flour and water and some oil. For one individual pizza I did 1/2 cup of each and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Pour it into a greased cake pan. Bake for about twenty minutes. Take it out and flip it, cook for an additional 5 or ten minutes. Add your toppings and put back in the oven until the toppings are cooked to your liking. That’s it!!

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The crust after removing it from the cake tin, ready for toppings

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Blended up a white bean, sundried tomato, parsley spread for the base.

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Before cooking

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I just cooked mine for an additional few minutes to warm the veggies up a bit. Sprinkled nutritional yeast and black sesame seeds on top for good measure. Yum!!

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For a more conventional pizza, like this one Ali and Jen shared, add cheese on the bottom feta on top and cook for longer 🙂

Whichever way you do it, the crust is definitely a winner. Everyone loved it!!

Quick, healthy banana muffins

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Made these happy healthy little muffins at work today with Zahra. They are super quick and easy and real tasty. Approved by a very picky sugar obsessed four year old.

Recipe:

3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
Tsp vanilla
1/8 cup veg oil or melted coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 cup brown rice flour or whole wheat flour
1/2 cup finely grounded coconut
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup berries

Mash the bananas well, add the eggs and combine well with a fork or whisk. Add everything else and mix it up. Spoon into muffin tin or a loaf pan if you want it bread style.

Too easy!!

Miso soup! (soup of LIFE)

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Love love miso soup and discovered not to long ago that it is ridiculously simple to make. All you need to buy is miso paste (from the Asian section of your grocery store or a health food store) some sea vegetables (same as with the miso but more selection from a health food store) and what ever else you want to chuck in there! Usually for a quick snack I keep mine simple but today I had it for lunch so I kicked it up several notches…

Here’s what you do:

1.

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Spread a tablespoon of miso around your bowl and put some water in the kettle to boil

2.

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Cut up your veggies. I used red capsicum, zucchini, green onion, nori( sushi paper), spiral sea vegetables, and left over black bean noodles ( if you can find these buy them!! They are made from 100% black beans and are really good in Asian type dishes)

3.

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Once the water has boiled let it sit for a few minutes to cool down a bit. You don’t want it to scald all the enzymes away. Once it’s cooled off a touch add it to your bowl and stir around to dissolve the miso

4.

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Throw all you veggies in. I added dulse flakes (another sea veggie) and black sesame seeds (so obsessed with these bad boys right now!!)

5. Eat it up and enjoy all the amazing health benefits such as….

Miso, which is made from soybeans, sea salt and koji, is rich in living enzymes as it is fermented for up to three years. The binding agent, zybicolin is naturally detoxifying, ridding your body of heavy metals that build up due to the copious amounts of gross pollution and chemicals we are unfortunately constantly in contact with.

As if that weren’t enough miso also stimulates digestion and energises the body, it contains all the essential amino acids thus being a complete protein ( take that bloody, dead, stinking, artery clogging steak…) ahem, it restores probiotics (these bad boys are essential for intestinal health, and many of us have sad withering intestines from too much crappy food), exceptionally high in vit B, especially B 12 ( If you’re vegan this is very important as you can’t really get this essential energy supplying vitamin from anything other then animal products), strengthens the quality of you blood and your lymph fluid, reduces the risk of breast, prostate, colon an lung cancer, lowers LDL cholesterol, boosts immune function AND it’s super duper high in antioxidants!!!!!

Ready to welcome miso into your daily routine yet?!?!

And just for good measure…

Sea vegetables are very high in iron (again, moooovvve over meat) and also vitamin c, which is just a happy little coincidence because vitamin c increases the absorption of iron! Yay.
It’s also high in a bunch of vitamins and performs a whole bunch of lovely tasks in our bodies such as combating obesity, improving skin tone and teeth strength as well as lowering cholesterol and ridding the bod of those nasty heavy metals. Sea veggies are super duper packed with minerals, most importantly iodine which is key to thyroid health. You may not be getting enough iodine as apart from fish, iodised table salt is the biggest source, and due to awareness of how bad this stuff is for you, people aren’t using it as much, which is a food thing.

Side note on salt: Himalayan rock salt is the most healthful salt you can get. Those hunza people know what’s up.

Lastly!!!!! Black sesame seeds are chocka block FULL of antioxidants and vitamin EEEEE. This vitamin is a little beauty for its anti ageing properties and lifespan increasing abilities!! And I think they are really pretty 🙂

I think I’m going to start referring to miso soup as the soup of LIFE!!!!

“creamy” avocado “pasta”

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I use the words “creamy” and “pasta” loosely here because I can not lie to you, there is no cream and it’s not actually pasta but it’s damn tasty and contains a whole bunch of servings of veg that you wouldn’t be getting if you actually just made pasta with creamy sauce…you see? So make this instead, you won’t be sorry.

“pasta”

1 large sweet potato spiral sliced
3 small zucchinis spiral sliced
1 red capsicum sliced in thin strips
1 green onion chopped finely

(if you don’t have a spiral slicer you should think about getting one, they make beautiful tasty spaghetti like pasta. Obviously you could sub with actual pasta if you want, or just use a peeler to peel long strips of veg)

“creamy” avo sauce

1 1/2 Avos
2 TBS avocado oil (or olive)
3 garlic minced
1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime juiced (or just one or the other)
3 TBS nutritional yeast
1/8 cup cashews
Paprika, sea salt, water to thin

Blend until smooth and “creamy”. Add to prepared pasta and combine. It helps soften the vegetable noodles if you get in there and massage the sauce into the noodles, This is optional as it’s kinda unpleasant (I made Ali do it).

“enjoy” 😉

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Lentil olive bread

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This bread is soooo friggen good!!! I discovered the idea for lentil bread awhile back on a blog I unfortunately can’t remember the name of. I have made it tons and have tweaked it quite a bit. No more tweaking needed now, it’s perfect!
We usually make it as a side to go with soup or salad for dinner.

Recipe:

2/3 cup uncooked red lentils
2 TBS flax

In a food processor grind until quite fine.

Add: 1 egg, 1 cup water, decent amount of sea salt, paprika, 1/8 cup nutritional yeast.

Stir all ingredients until combined. Put 2 TBS of coconut oil (or veg oil) in a shallow slice pan and place in the oven (about 180 temp) for a couple minutes to heat the oil. Remove and add lentil mixture, sprinkle chopped up green olives on top. Return to oven to bake for about twenty minutes.

I feel like those instructions were confusing? But I’m too tired to do anything about it…It really is simple to make though I promise!

Tofu lettuce tacos

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If you eat fish, these would also be great with white fish cooked the same way. Also if you want something more substantial it would be good in a tortilla. I went the vegan gluten free route and I’m glad i did because it was delish, refreshing, and I felt good the rest of the night; not overly full or yucky or anything.

Recipe:

About three strips of tofu per taco
Lime juice, pepper, paprika, sea salt

Cove the tofu in lime juice and cover one side with paprika, pepper and a bit of sea salt (and some chilli flakes if you like it hot)

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Like that. While it’s marinating make the cashew cream and salsa.

Cashew cream ( I friggen love this stuff):

1 cup cashews
Juice of one lemon
2-3 garlic cloves
Sea salt and pepper
Chilli flakes
Water to thin

Blend until smooth.

Salsa:

1 paw paw ( or mango/papaya ) diced
1 1/2 avo diced
2 tomats diced
1 green onion chopped
Fresh Parsley and coriander to taste
Sea salt and pepper

Toss and set aside

Heat coconut oil in a fry pan and cook tofu, paprika and pepper side down, until crispy. Add a bit more pepper and paprika to the other side before flipping and an extra squirt of lime to the pan for good measure.

Arrange tofu, cashew cream and salsa in desired “taco shell” and put in your mouth. Make sure you have some napkins close by, it gets messy.

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