Eat Well Be Well

Such a simple concept. Eat well, be well. Unfortunately a lot of people just don’t quite get it.
Although I will admit, at the moment I am not well. Being a nanny of a family that gets sick a lot I am in constant contact with new and unpleasant viruses all the time. Considering this i’m happy to say I hardly every get sick. However this time the bug got the better of me. I also didn’t take good care of myself when I felt it coming on, alcohol and a late night gig may have been involved…and no amounts of vitamin c, garlic or horseradish can combat the immune sucking effects of alcohol. (no offence alcohol, I still like you, see you next weekend when I’m healthy again).

I just want to touch on the eat well be well thing once more and then I will tell you about a couple wicked and rad comfort recipes that you should make when you’re feeling icky…
Once again, being a nanny I am at the grocery store quite frequently and often around after school time and I get SO ANNOYED, like seriously lose it when I see the SHIT people are putting in their shopping carts and are intending to feed to their children. These people who would probably do anything for their children. Give them a limb, an organ, their life; but yet they fuel these little innocent beings with poison. Processed lunch meat with fifty ingredients including flavours, binders and preservatives (shouldn’t it just be the one obvious ingredient?!?) processed Kraft cheese, good GOD don’t even get me started on the ingredient list, but did you realise that every. Fucking. Piece. Is individually wrapped in plastic!!!! Oh hey, so there’s this thing, you may have heard about it, it’s called our environment, and it’s kinda about to combust so maybe you’d like to, I don’t know, reduce your use of plastic!!!!!
The ‘fruit’ roll ups, the ‘fruit’ gummy things, the ‘fruit’ sticks…what happened to just good old fashion delicious FRUIT?!?! Oh nooo, my baby much prefers the added sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and artificial colour in the fruit roll up, and it comes in this nice convenient packaging that will end up in a landfill.
The frozen meals, the soda, the packaged cookies, the white bread, white rice and white pasta, the pies and pastries, the hot chips and deep fried crap.
Why? Why why…
I want to do something about it but I don’t know where to start, besides here…I want to go up and shake these people and ask them if they are just completely ignorant to what’s in the so called food they are consuming or if the health of their small child doesn’t really mean that much to them.
I read an article recently about a new study that found that for the first time in two centuries children growing up today have a shorter life expectancy then their parents because of the increased crap in the “food” people are
Consuming. That’s just insane when we are so blessed to have at our fingertips the freshest most beautiful food; not to mention an abundance of clean free water, yet people still go for the sugar laden packaged juices and soda. We have the information and resources to be healthier than ever before and people just waste it.
It’s a vicious cycle, you eat crap, you get sick, you continue to eat crap and you don’t get better, go to the doc, get some antibiotics, TOO easy right?!? Who needs to eat healthy when you can just get some antibiotics that make you all better?!
We’ll save my rant on unnecessary antibiotic use for another day.

Anyways, enough about that for now, on to a couple of ultimate comfort food recipes; pumpkin soup and mac n “cheese”

On thursday night I was feeling really really run down and sick. Lucky for me I have a lovely sister who made me amazing warm soothing pumpkin soup as I sat on the couch blowing my nose and drinking white tea

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This pic was actually taken the next day; I had it for lunch Friday as well, hence the sunlight. It’s not the best pic ever but it is the best soup ever!! And really simple…

1/2 pumpkin + 1/2 a sweet potat + a couple of regular potats (or just whatever you’ve got in the way of root veggies hanging around) baked

1 onion, 3 garlic chopped and sautéed in coconut oil with a generous amount of curry powder, paprika, tumeric, chilli powder and ginger

1 can of coconut milk
2 cups of water with a few teaspoons of natural veggie stalk.

Add the baked veggies and the liquids to the onion and spices. Bring to a boil. Simmer. Add to a blender and process till smoothish with a big handful of spinach. Add himalayan rock salt and pepper to taste. I also added dulse flakes (sea vegetable) for extra nutrients.

This soup is so creamy and delicious!!

After resting at home all day Friday drinking green smoothies and soup and heaps of green tea and apple cider vinegar I was finally starting to come around Friday night and all I felt like was mac n cheese! This used to be my fav back in the day. Funny that I should get a craving for mac n cheese today because I realised I have been vegan for one month now!! Yay!! Sosososo happy. My skin is better, stomach flatter, digestion better and conscience at peace.

This isn’t the most nutrient packed recipe but I also had a salad with lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, celery, crunchy sprouts, carrot and purple cabbage with miso peanut garlic dressing before hand. Practicing what I preach here people, eat well, be well.

I wasn’t confident this recipe was going to be very good so only after digging in did I realise that it was definitely bloggable!! So don’t mind the pic…

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Now,I did throw in some vegan cheese that I got at the Cruelty Free Shop in Glebe. Unfortunately vegan cheese isn’t mainstream yet and not easy to acquire, especially good vegan cheese. If you don’t have any you’ll want to up the ante on the salt and maybe add some miso??

One more thing…nutritional yeast!! I caught up with a friend from NZ last weekend and he was saying that he loved the blog but there is some ingredients that he’s got no idea what they are, particularity this one that I use all the time…nutritional yeast?! Yep that’s the one!!

**Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast which is sold commercially as a food product. It’s sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder similar in texture to cornmeal, and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores.

It is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and is free of sugar, dairy, and gluten.

Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes

So there ya are!! Sorry I should have mentioned this sooner as I really do use it a lot!!! Grab some at your local health food shop, it’s pretty cheap and really good! Love the extra vitamin B too.

Alright without further adieu…the best vegan mac n “cheese”/potentially just the best regular mac n real cheese!?!

1 1/2 TBS vegan margarine
1 cup soy milk or other alternative
1/4 c brown rice flour
1 TBS corn starch
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 TBS lemon juice
3 TBS nutritional yeast
Paprika, pepper, Himalayan rock salt (don’t be shy on the salt front for this one!)
A couple tablespoons good vegan cheese if you can get your grabby little paws on some! ( I’m going to give this recipe a whirl sans vegan cheese this week so I’ll let y’all know if it’s still as amazing/worth making!)

All you do is add all your ingredients to a pot, pan, whatever and whisk it till its smooth thick and creamy. Oohhh yeahhhhh.

I then poured it on my prepared brown rice pasta with broccoli bits and THEN I put it all in a shallow dish and grilled it till it was golden and BUBBLING!! Ohhh gawwwwd. Serve with tomato sauce. Check out my recipe here for home made tomato sauce/ketchup.

For anyone who read this entire stupidly long post, thank you for listening. And please remember, eat well, be well. Love yourself, love your babies, love your dog, love your neighbours and spread the word, let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

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Tofu pear salad

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I had zero inspiration of what to make for dinner tonight, not a normal situation for me as I usually plan out what I’m going to make for dinner while I’m eating breakfast! Yes, I’m food obsessed. Anyways, I asked the four year old I nanny what she thought Ali and I should have and she said salad, (is she trying to tell me something?) and I immediately thought of our beloved pear and tofu salad that we haven’t made in ages!

It’s super easy and quick when you’re not feeling like cooking or a big clean up, and of course, rather nutritious.

Gather up some:

Rocket (arugula), spinach
Cucumber
Baby tomats
Pears
Green onion
Purple onion
sweet and salty tofu

Chop up everything and arrange prettily on a nice plate. Sauté the purple onion with the tofu. Add that to your plate of beautiful veggies and use what ever dressing tickles your cucumber…I whisked up a mixture of Dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, miso, garlic paprika and pepper.

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Gettin Greek

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Last night I concocted a full Greek feast complete with pumpkin falafel, vegan tzatziki, creamy humus, salad and flat bread.

I got the inspiration for the pumpkin falafel from Week day vegetarians butternut pumpkin falafel recipe . I had never thought to add anything to falafel before. Who woulda thought? Anyhoo here’s my recipe for pumpkin falafel:

1 cup chickpeas
1 cup roasted pumpkin
1 cup cooked barley (we just started eating this and it’s so good, don’t know why we didn’t eat it before?!)
1/2 small onion chopped
1-2 garlic cloves minced
1 TBS fresh parsley
1/2 TBS coriander
Salt, pepper and a dash of cinnamon

Mash the chickpeas and the pumpkin. You can do it in a food processor just be sure not to over process it into mush. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Form into patties and either bake or fry. I fried as I was hungry and needed food NOW but next time I think I’ll bake, I think it will cook them more evenly.

Served on a bed of spinach with chopped tomatoes, green capsicum/pepper, hummus, vegan tzatziki and crispy warm flat bread

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Well hello there nice little morsel of food, would you like to come into my belly??

Vegan Tzatziki:

1 package organic silken tofu
1TBS apple cider vinegar
1 garlic minced

Process till creamy and then add:

1 grated cucumber
Chopped parsley
Dill
Coriander
Salt and pepper

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Mix ‘er up

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T’daaa!! Vegan tzatziki!

Everyone’s got there own humus recipe and I never measure when making this dip; But basically if you add tahini, olive oil, Lemon juice, and garlic to chickpeas you’ll end up with something resembling hummus. My special trick for making it extra smooooth though is to slowly stream water in (a fair amount) while blending!

Was a really delicious meal! And today with the leftover roasted pumpkin and barley I made a real tasty salad

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Yummmmy right??

I just sautéed some purple onion in coconut oil, added the pumpkin and barley and let that warm up while I whisked up a legit dressing of: a big tablespoon light miso, olive oil, Lemon juice, garlic and some water.

Chucked the heated up barley mixture onto some Spinach and chopped tomats, tossed with the dressing. Bam. So good!

Best freakin chocolate pudding you will ever put in your mouth

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Holy man. This is a good situation right here. You can either make the pudding and just eat it like that, and you won’t be sorry, trust me. Or, if you are feeling tarty, you could make the tart crust. I ‘accidentally’ made too much pudding so once I had filled all the tarts I had no option but to eat the remaining heavenly leftovers…

Tart crust:

1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1/3 cup toasted almonds
4 big dates (or 6-8 little dudes)
3 TBS shredded coconut
Sprinkle of hot water

Blend till forms into a ball
Press into tart tin. Helps if you wrap your finger in plastic wrap as it’s a bit sticky.

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Heavenly chocolate pudding:

2 ripe avocados (yes, you read that right, just trust me mkay?)
1 tsp vanillaaaa
6 TBS cacao
4 TBS honey, agave or brown rice syrup
2 tsp coconut oil
Dash of cinnamon
3 tsp carob powder (this really does add to the flava flav so I wouldn’t omit)

Blend until smooth. Taste. May need to add more sweetener to your liking. I added a few dashes of stevia. Taste again. Die and go to heaven.

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Best eaten chilled!! So do try and leave it in the fridge for at least an hour!

Pizza Pie

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This isn’t a recipe so much, I just wanted to throw it out there that pizza is way better in pie form!! You can get super saucy, there’s more room for extra toppings and you get a nice thick crust. So next time you’re making pizza try it in a pie shell, you won’t regret it!

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Also, if you haven’t tried cannellini beans on pizza, you should. It adds a serious creamy texture and of course extra protein.

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We also chucked some pumpkin, broccoli, zucchini and vegan mozzarella on there…

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…and once it was cooked topped it with fresh baby tomats and green onion.

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Check the thickness on that thing!!!

I think next time I make pizza pie i’m going to make vegan cheese sauce and pour it on top before it goes into the oven. Get seriously saucy. Mmmmmm

Bon appetite!

Peanut butter cups

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Another Sunday morning found me in the kitchen creating yet another mouth watering healthy raw dessert. I think this is going to be my new Sunday morning tradition, especially since there are less hungover Sundays now that I’m limiting nights out to friday if at all. And it means we have a healthy treat to take to work for the rest of the week. Well, not this week as the peanut butter cups were for our vegan dinner party so they all got destroyed pretty quickly!

Recipe:

1 cup natural peanut butter (Not that hydrogenated sugary salty Crap)
1/3 cup almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup raw agave syrup
Rice/almond/soy milk to facilitate blending

Blend all ingredients until combined. Set aside and make your raw chocolate .
Mine turned out way less liquidy then normal which was weird…maybe I measured something wrong, but anyways it still tasted amazing, I just had to spoon and press the chocolate into the muffin tins rather then pour it in as I was expecting. Anyways, either way, do a layer of choc and set in the freezer, then and layer of the PB mixture, set in freezer, then a final layer.

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First layer

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Second and third layers

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Yum!!! Take out of the freezer ten minutes or so before you intend on stuffing your face. 🙂

It only made six, I will definitely be doubling the batch next time!!

Enjoy!

Vegan dinner party

We had our vegetarian friends over for a vegan dinner party last night and ate a lot of delicious ‘kind’ food (kind to your body, kind to the planet, kind to animals…that’s how we roll!)

We started with two different chickpea tarts. For the tarts I used my chick pea flour pizza crust recipe and divided the batter into mini muffin tins (the crescent shape kind)

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The first variety had herbed vegan cream cheese and cucumber. Delish!! The cream cheese has an amazing consistency and the herb flavour really shined through.

Herbed vegan cream cheese:

1 packet organic silken tofu
2 garlic cloves
1 dash stevia (or other sweetener)
Tsp or so of dill and parsley
Himalayan rock salt
1 TBS apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

Blend until smooth and chill until use.

The second variety was a pizza inspired creation with pizza sauce, green capsicum and vegan mozzarella

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This imitation mozzarella is really legit!! I picked it up at The Cruelty Free Shop in Glebe over the weekend, as well as a bunch of other stuff including this sticker

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Haha, sorry to any meat eaters reading this blog!! The baby duck said it, not me!!

Anyways, so the cheese actually does melt and has a great flavour, this picture doesn’t do it justice as we were impatient and didn’t leave them in the oven long enough for the cheese to get properly melty…

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They were still really good tho!!

Two of our lovely friends were kind enough to bring a rockin salad to go with our main…

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The recipe they used is from here

It was really good and accompanied the main really nicely!
I was originally going to make a traditional raw lasagne but I was in a Mexican mood…so it ended up being a bit of a Mexican layer dip meets raw lasagne…
I pre made it earlier in the day to let the flavours develop in the fridge. So here’s the final product…

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And here’s the lowdown on the layers incase you want to recreate this bad boy on your own!!

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First a layer of sliced zucchini followed by a layer of walnut ‘minced meat’

Walnut ‘minced meat’:

2 cups walnuts
1 TBS water
1 TBS Tamari or soy sauce
1 TBS dark miso
Chilli powder, paprika, cumin

Process very lightly! You want it crumbly.

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Next a layer of refried beans or beans of choice blended with garlic, salt and pepper and nutritional yeast. I did two cans of those brown Italian beans… Can’t remember what they’re called!

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Another layer of zuch strips followed by three large tomatoes blended with Himalayan rock salt and pepper. If i made this again I would add minced purple onion and coriander.

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Next up is guacamole!! I used three ripe Avos blended with heaps of lime, some garlic and some cayenne, salt and pep. Followed by a final layer of zucchini.

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Last but not least a layer of cashew cream.

1.5 cups soaked cashews blended with 2 TBS Apple cider vinegar, 3 TBS nutritional yeast and about 1 cup of water added gradually until desired consistency.

And of course, topped with green onion and sliced black olives to seal the deal!

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We were all stuffed afterwords but luckily there is ALWAYS room for dessert!

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Chocolate peanut butter cups!!

I’ll post the recipe for this later as I wrote it down while making it but don’t have the notebook with me at the moment!

Enjoy. Be KIND.

Quinoa salad with honey mustard, miso dressing and Sweet and salty tofu

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After eleven years of cooking tofu i feel like I only really mastered it this year. Perfect tofu!! Crispy on the outside, soft in the middle. Sweet and salty. Here are the tricks for perfect tofu:

1. I don’t know why, but it seems to just taste better in triangles then in little cubes as I used to do…

2. Coat a fry pan in about 1/2 TBS coconut oil and once hot lay your tofu down

3. Coat in a very generous amount of pepper and don’t flip until it is fully browned on the underneath, (important!!)

4. Once all the bottoms are golden/browned flip over and coat with a bit more pepper and Himalayan rock salt.

5. Again, leave them until golden on the bottom. Once golden drizzle with about a TBS of maple syrup.

6. Now grab the pan and shake your tofu all around coating it all in the syrup.

7. Cook for a few more minutes, flipping and rotating tofu freely now.

8. Finnish with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

Super quick and easy, don’t be daunted by the 8 steps!!

Great in curry dishes, on it’s own for a snack or with salad…

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We had ours with a simple quinoa salad with a really yummy Honey mustard miso dressing…

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Ingredients:

1 TBS light miso
1 TBS raw honey
1 TBS Dijon mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp Tamari
2 garlic cloves
Pepper, paprika and cayenne

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Mmm Miso miso miso, can’t get enough!!!

Vegan nanaimo bars

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These are out of this world crazy good!!! Ohhh my goodness. I sort of created them by mistake and what a wonderful mistake it turned out to be!! I was originally just going to make a chocolate slice but then after sampling a bite of the base I was suddenly reminded of Nanaimo bars!
Nanaimo bars are a decadent chocolate slice named after Nanaimo, a town on the west coast of British Columbia. Oh B.C…land of mountains, oceans, bears and nanaimo bars; how I miss thee sometimes. These took me right back to Christmas at home munching on mums home made nanaimo bars. Traditionally they are made with a shit load of butter and sugar…like literally the entire middle section is basically all butter. So obviously my version includes none of that nasty stuff but all the flavour if not more!!!!
Seriously. Make these.

Base:

2 cups oats, ground into flour
1/2 c toasted almonds
1/3 c toasted walnuts

Process above until quite fine texture. Add the remaining ingredients and process till combined…

3 TBS cacao
Dash of Himalayan rock salt and cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Four pinches of stevia (or about 4 tsp of honey)
4 TBS rice milk or almond, soy etc
3 TBS maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut flakes
About two big squares of dark chocolate crushed

Once combined press into a tin lined with parchment paper.

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Put these in the freezer while you whip up your creamy filling.

2 cups cashews
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/3 cup rice,soy,almond milk
1 TBS coconut oil
3 pinches stevia or 3 tsp or so other sweetener (sweeten to your liking)
1 tsp vanilla

Blend until creamy. Try not to eat it all before it goes on the slice!’ ( I actually only did half this amount but we didn’t think it was quite thick enough…and being In my opinion the best layer, The above amounts will make it Perfect. Cashews are expensive tho so of you want to halve the amounts above it still works and it’s still delicious)

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Good lord this stuff is good

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Go ahead and spread it on there, licking your fingers as you go. (mmmm I’m such a hygienic cook)

Now you’re ready for the chocolate layer!! Put your slice back in the freezer while you mix together

3/4 cup cacao
2/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Dash Himalayan rock salt.

Far out this stuff is pretty lick worthy too.

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Mmmhmmmmmm

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Pour that deliciousness on there and tilt the pan around to make sure it’s nice and even.

Then you can decorate it with shaved almonds if you want…I tried to make a Canadian maple leaf…

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Oh Canada!!!

Alright. Now put it back in the freezer for a while to set. Slice and enjoy. Share some with your friends. Sharing is caring.

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It’s just silly how good this is.

Mock tuna salad, buckwheat pancakes and tempeh beet loaf

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This high protein mock tuna salad gets its tuna-ish texture from the mashed chick peas and fishy flavour from the seaweed and soy sauce. Complete with celery and pickles as all good tuna salads should have, this is a pretty darn good fake.

1 can chick peas mashed
1/4 home-made mayo (to insure free range organic eggs are used)
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup minced celery
1-4 cup shredded carrot
3 TBS chopped pickles
1/2 TBS nutritional yeast
2 green onions chopped
1 TBS Tamari
1-2 crumbled nori sheets or about 1 TBS dulse flakes
Pepper, Himalayan rock salt, paprika

Combine all ingredients and Serve as you wish. I had it for dinner on spelt toast and leftovers the next day on zucchini and carrot spirals…

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Yummmmmy. I really enjoyed the leftovers the next day!!

We went to our favourite cafe in manly, Pure, for breakfast today and I had some amazing buckwheat pancakes..

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Sooooooo goood!! The edges were a bit crispy and the middle was nice and fluffy 🙂

Good start to the day it was; unfortunately the day ended on a bad note when I burnt the f%*# out of my hand making dinner.

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It is seriously so painful, it happened four hours ago now and it’s still throbbing!! I’ve taken four pain killers and have to run it under cold water like every ten minutes!!! Never had a burn so bad before and it’s really a pretty minor one, I can’t even imagine the pain of a really serious burn…shudddder.

Anyways, at least the dinner turned out pretty good…

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Another faker meal it was; getting its texture from crumbled tempeh and colour from beets, this fake meat loaf was a perfect meal on this cold windy night.

1 cup lentils, cooked in veggie stock
4 medium potatoes boiled and mashes with a bit of olive oil, rice milk, salt and pep
1 package tempeh crumbled
1 onion diced and sautéed till translucent
4 garlic chopped and sautéed
1/2 cup raw beets blended in a food processor
1 celery stalk chopped
1 carrot chopped
2 free range organic eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 cup oats
2 TBS miso paste
Cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and press into a loaf pan. Spread mashed potats ontop. Bake 200 degrees for about half an hour ish, till the tops a bit browned. Serve with fresh spinach, tomatoes and green onions

Chickpeas, buckwheat, lentils, tempeh oh my!!! Protein party!!