Is it possible to renew your health eating a plant-based diet?

I believe it is.

But changing the way you eat can be harder than it sounds.

Which is why I’ve created Vegan Cuisine. A gathering place for the curious, the converted and those of you ready to dive into a plant-powered lifestyle.

Welcome. I’m Kate Broughton. Lifestyle coach + plant-based educator.IMG_0635 (Small)

If you’re ready to make changes to your life, big or small I’m here to guide you.

So you can be confident taking on new habits, new ways of eating and living.

Even if it feels impossible.

I help you put your desires into action.

 

Click here to find out more …

Why Connecting Children With Nature Matters

Pause for a minute and think of your favourite memories of childhood play.

Were you hurtling down a hill on cardboard?

Digging a hole to China?

Or making a hut at the end of the garden?

Whatever your version, Iʼm guessing you were outside.SAM_1926 (Small)

Mine was under an old totara tree. The branches came all the way to the ground. We made a path of stones to lead you in.

It was secret.

And quiet.

And smelt of earth.

Inside were imaginary rooms and the creek was right outside. Iʼm guessing Mum knew where we were. But I canʼt be sure.

It sounds like a typical kiwi childhood. Lots of mud, risk and freedom.

But childhood experiences are shifting

Todayʼs youngsters are spending far less time outdoors than any previous generation. Their schedules are busier, activities more organised and any free time competes with the ever present lure of indoor entertainment.

Then thereʼs the fear.

Parents go through more emotional gymnastics letting kids out beyond the garden gate than it seems their parents did.

Modern day parents have been described as ʻmarinated in fearʼ.

Stranger danger, faster cars and the perils of the natural world itself are keeping our kids safely indoors.

And itʼs rubbing off.

A Massey University study found that children are picking up on their parents’ fears and are reluctant to be alone or venture out. When asked about their adventures the children in the study talked about video games.

More than just childhood memories are at stake

Richard Louv bestselling author of The Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle coined the phrase nature-deficit disorder sparking an international movement and national debate across North America.

Louv suggests the disconnection of children with nature correlates with increasing social, mental and physical health problems.

Thereʼs growing evidence linking a lack of time outdoors to childhood obesity, vitamin D deficiency and rising rates of depression.

Kids who do play outside are more adaptable, less likely to get sick and get along with each other better.

Itʼs no surprise ʻnature prescriptionsʼ are being written by paediatricians to help children cope with a range of issues from difficulty concentrating to autism.

The simple act of mucking around outside was a hot topic at last yearʼs NZ Nature Education Network conference The Natural Phenomena.

Unstructured. Creative. Social. Mucking around comes with an inbuilt need to assess risk and adapt to changing circumstances.

Keynote speaker Griffin Longley, CEO of Nature Play, Western Australia, reported in one generation our parks are empty and our kids are more likely to be ‘playing’ on technology, blurring the lines of entertainment and play.

Take note how many kids you see meandering home from school. Or at the local park engaged in make-it-up-as-you-go type play.

“Every child needs to feel safe,” says Griffin, “and brave to thrive.” That may seem like a dichotomy but it comes back to our view of risk.

Distinguishing a hazard from a risk is important. Remove the hazard and tackling something risky builds bravery, discernment and a sense of accomplishment at any age.

Nature has a system that already works. And kids learn through trial and error.

So with more people on the planet living in urbanised environments how do we reconnect children with the outdoors?

It begins at our doorstep underneath the bare feet of our youngest tamariki.

Getting kids outside is a conscious action led by parents and educators.

A bug under a log provides wonder and excitement that canʼt be felt elsewhere.

Encourage children to feel part of nature at a young age. Help them watch clouds, feel grass under their feet, dig a hole in the back yard.

It neednʼt take a lot of resources. Itʼs a way of thinking about life.

For conference details and resources see www.natureeducationnetwork.co.n20140913-Natural Phenomena-157-90 (Small)

 

Fragrant chick pea, potato and cucumber salad

Combining the tastes of buttery chick peas with toasted seeds creates an interesting spectrum of flavour. Whether you use cumin, caraway, fennel or all three seeds combined doesn’t really matter.

It will bring your salad alive.

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New potatoes, thick sliced
Cucumber, chunks
Red onion, sliced
Several gherkins, optional
Fresh herbs
Salad greens

1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp caraway seed
2 cloves garlic, crushed

¼ cup tahini
¼ cup water
¼ cup parsley
½ lemon, zest & juice
Drizzle maple syrup, optional
Salt to taste

1. Steam potatoes until cooked ~10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile in a dry pan toast fennel, cumin & caraway seeds until fragrant, stirring continuously. Add in garlic, drained chickpeas and a splash of wine or water to prevent sticking.
3. Coat chickpeas in seeds and garlic. Take off heat after a couple of minutes.
4. Whisk or blend all the dressing ingredients together.

In a large bowl toss the potatoes with other salad ingredients. Dress and top with chickpeas.

You may also like:

Two ways with quinoa

Late summer salad

Click here for recipes, news and events

Cranberry coconut truffles

Truffles are an excellent way of getting all manner of great ingredients into children. And importantly because they look pretty kids are usually keen to try them. Again. And again.IMG_0110 (Small)

Made with whole ingredients these balls are good filler uppers.

Thanks to Petite Kitchen for the inspiration.

2 cups desiccated coconut
1 cup ground almonds
¼ cup cranberries
¼ cup maple syrup
1 lemon, zested, juiced
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt

1. Process all the ingredients. The mixture should be moist and stick together.

2. Roll into balls.

3. Coat in extra coconut if you like and pop them in the
fridge before serving.

PS They’re not just for kids!

You may also like:

Energy balls that power pack your kids lunchbox

Sweet potato brownie

Click here for recipes, tips and events

Egg & dairy-free fruity loaf

As a child I remember bowls of dried fruit soaked in tea overnight ready for baking the next day. This recipe harks back to a rhythm and comfort of my mother’s kitchen.IMG_0099 (Small)

It’s hard to beat a thick slice of moist spicy fruit loaf. Of course in those days it was covered in butter. But it tastes just fine without.

Trust me. It’s delicious.

This loaf is based on the traditional Welsh Barabrith. Meaning a rich fruit loaf or yeasted bread made with tea.

Here we use health enhancing rooibos (red bush) tea for it’s antioxidants, minerals and flavour. It’s caffeine free and with less than half the tannins of normal tea it doesn’t impede the absorption of iron. Good news for vegans and women in general.

What no eggs? No milk?

Baking is often the new vegan’s Archilles heel. Don’t be discouraged.

Instead of egg we use soaked chia seed (chia gel). See here for a list of other alternatives.

You will need:

2 cups dried fruit (dates, raisins, prunes)
2½ Tbl molasses sugar
½ lemon, zested
400 mls hot rooibos tea

2½ cups wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
1 chia egg (1 Tbl chia seed mixed with 1/3 cup water. Let it sit for 10 mins)

Soak the fruit, sugar and lemon overnight in a big bowl. Cover.
Heat your oven to 190°C (375°F).
Mix in the chia egg.
Sift the dry ingredients into the fruit.
Mix well.
Pour into a greased and/or lined loaf tin.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, until a knife comes cleanly out.
Cool on a wire rack.

Stuff into lunchboxes!

You might also like:

Sugar-free sweet potato brownie

Energy balls

Rhubarb cake

Click here to receive recipes and updates.

Sugar-free sweet potato brownie

Hail to Deliciously Ella for the idea of putting kumara (sweet potato) into a brownie recipe.

The satisfying starch works beautifully to fill up hungry children.IMG_0084 (Small)

The original recipe uses almond meal so can easily be gluten free.

I’ve changed it according to what I had in the pantry and it worked just fine. I’ve also added raisins instead of extra chocolate.

Importantly, how ever I make them I have queues of small boys lining up outside my fridge after school.

But first soak your dates.

You will need:

2 cups pitted dates, soaked several hours to overnight
1 large orange kumara (sweet potato), peeled, cubed
1 cup wholemeal flour (or 1 cup ground almonds)
½ cup buckwheat flour
1 Tbl oil (rice bran or coconut)
2 Tbl dark chocolate cocoa (or raw cacao)
Handful of raisins (chocolate chips or hazelnuts)
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbl nondairy milk of choice
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F.
2. Bring kumara (sweet potato) to boil and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat until cooked. Drain well and set aside to cool.
3. In your food processor add sweet potato, soaked dates and oil. Mix until pureed.
4. Add flours, cocoa powder, vegan milk, vanilla essence, salt and baking powder. Process until smooth.
5. Mix in the raisins or nuts by hand.
6. Pour the mixture into a lined baking dish and cook for 25 minutes.
7. Test the middle with a knife to ensure it’s cooked. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
8. Cut into squares when cool. Keep in the fridge.

If you’re looking for another great lunchbox filler check out these energy balls.IMG_0088 (Small)

Click here to receive new recipes and updates.

 

How to make buckwheat crackers

Make ‘em small and call them crackers.

Make ‘em bigger and call them a pizza base.SAM_2067 (Small)

Either way your gluten free & raw friends will love you for making them and Mark Reinfeld’s Idiots Guide to Eating Raw for the recipe.

You can even crumble them into a salad for an extra source of protein and crunchiness.

You will need:

1 cup buckwheat groats, soaked for at least several hours to overnight

1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked as above

3 TB flax seeds, ground

Handful of fresh herbs

1 Tb lemon juice

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 TB tamari

Drain buckwheat and rinse several times. do the same for the sunflower seeds.

Process all ingredients until a thick, slightly chunky batter is formed.

Scoop in dessertspoonful shapes onto a teflex-lined dehydrator tray. Flatten with your hands. Make them bigger as you need.

Dehydrate at 115 F for about 15 hours, flipping halfway through.

Serve with your favourite sauces, dips and toppings.

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You may also like this post about dehydrating.

Click here to receive new recipes and updates.

Two ways with quinoa

This should read 202 ways with quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) such is the versatility of this seed.

Seed??2014-09-28 13.19.00 (Small)

Yes! It’s commonly referred to as a grain but is technically a seed – which is great if you’re looking for a non-grain grain.

Use it instead of rice, eat it hot or cold, sprout it, you can even replace your porridge with it.

Quinoa consists of 20% protein, is high in lysine and is a good source of iron.

I particularly like the black and red varieties but it also comes in white. Mix them up for an attractive salad base.

Cook it like rice at a 1:2 quinoa to water ratio. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 20 mins. Fluff with a fork.

Some say to rinse your quinoa before cooking to ensure the bitter-tasting saponins are removed (I’m told most will have been removed before it got to the shop).

And some say to dry toast the grains for a few moments in a hot pan to enhance the flavour. I do either depending on which I remember first!

Important: Always cook more than you need so you can throw together a quick nutritious lunch. Cook 1 cup quinoa:2 cups water and you’ll have enough for the following two dishes. Double as needed.

BLACK BEAN & QUINOA

2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup vegetable stock
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
Zest of one lemon
1 can black beans
1 cup cooked quinoa
Lettuce cups lined with mint
Toppings – sliced avocado, red pepper, fresh coriander & cashew cream

1. Dry toast 1-2 tsps ground cumin
2. Add splash of vegetable stock and steam saute several cloves of minced garlic & lemon zest
3. Add 1 can of black beans and toss over heat for several minutes
4. Mix in cooked quinoa
5. Season with salt, pepper & extra chilli flakes to taste. Cool.

EVERYDAY QUINOA SALAD

I love salads that make a meal requiring as much or as little as your creativity, time and pantry allow. The plainest version of this is still delicious and packed with good sources of plant protein. Top with the vinaigrette below or your favourite oil-free dressing.

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
Handfuls of fresh mesculin and herbs
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
Grated carrot/zucchini
Favourite salad items, eg, olives, cherry tomatoes, blanched beans, roasted garlic, piles of sprouts, toasted seeds …

Mix ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Top with THIS dressing.

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BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

The mayo-like quality of this dressing takes it many places.

1/4 cup cashews (soak for an hour if you can)
1/2 cup water
1/4 balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tsp agave nectar (or sweetener of choice)
Salt & pepper

Be sure to blend/process this dressing until smooth.

Please share with your friends. You never know they may make it for you!

You may also like Late Summer Quinoa Salad

Click here to receive new recipes and updates

Warning: It will stain your blender and is totally worth it

Two ways with tumeric that don’t involve curry

You know when you hear of something new and then it’s everywhere?

I went to a yellow party. Most people wore fluffy yellow wigs + rugby shirts. My friend rubbed herself with fresh tumeric root and glowed all evening.

Next a runaway monk handed me this. SAM_2153 (Small)

You can check out his beautiful new website here. But first read on.

Today I find fresh tumeric root in my local health food store.

I may be late to this party but tumeric is gaining cred as an effective medicinal herb.

It’s primary active ingredient curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Heart, mood, cellular health, brain, inflammatory processes have all been found to benefit from tumeric extract.

I’m not one for supplements but if I was suffering from arthritis or the like I’d be looking for professional guidance on how to take it.

In the meantime. Try a cup of soothing tumeric tea before bed or a shot of radiant tumeric juice in the morning.

Tumeric TeaSAM_2099 (Small)

In a small pot add:

1 cup almond or coconut milk

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced

2 peppercorns

1/4 tsp ground cardomon

1/4 inch cinnamon stick

Sweeten with honey or maple syrup Warm for 3-5 minutes. strain. Sip slowly.

Tumeric Juice

You can throw a couple of roots into your morning juice. Or boil for about 20 minutes and blend with cooking water, a tsp of tamarind puree, juice of 1 lemon and/or orange and sweeten with maple syrup. Adding black pepper to your tumeric drinking enhances its absorption.

 

How to make collard wraps

Collard greens are the lost vegetable of my twenties.

How does one lose a vegetable?

Way before the fame of it’s trendy cousin kale, this leafy cruciferous was a staple green of the northern hemisphere. Where I was living.

Now before you ask I can’t for the life of me remember what I did with them in those days. It was the vegetarian-work-hard-play-hard-not-so-good-at-cooking era. I’m guessing they were thrown into endless stir-frys and beany stews.

Now thanks to a local grower we are reunited.

I’m excited for several reasons.

First they’re generous. Big broad leaves are perfect for wraps.

With a nice dip or spread in the fridge, grated carrot, steamed sweet potato and fresh herbs I’m good to for lunch.

They make a great alternative to bread.SAM_2174 (Small)

Second, collards are known for their antiinflammatory, cholesterol-lowering properties. They are high in fibre and are an excellent source of vit C, A, K, calcium and iron. And have good levels of protein, magnesium and omega-3 fats.

Next time you see them a the farmer’s market – grab them.

For easy rolling trim the lower portion of the spine off. Fill with your favourite fixings. And roll like a burrito.SAM_2176 (Small)

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