Vegan waffles that won't make you fat

We were firmly a pancake family on Sundays. That was until our lovely American neighbours moved in across the street and we learnt about waffles.

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We’ve been cranking them out ever since.

This recipe is slightly adapted from Heather Crosby’s of Yum Universe. It’s a lot lower in fat than your standard waffle recipe so make sure you cook them well to avoid sticking.

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1 cup water/almond milk
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup chick pea flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
Pinch ground cinnamon

1. Have the waffle iron heating while you prepare the batter.
2. Blend the wet ingredients.
3. Combine the dry ingredients and mix in the wet mixture
4. Using a pastry brush, coat your waffle iron with coconut oil.
6. Top warm waffles with warm berry or apple compote, sliced bananas and other seasonal fruit.

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Kaleslaw with cashew mustard mayo

I grew up eating coleslaw. It was simple yet utterly delicious because of one particular ingredient. And because Mum always used it. I’ve followed suit.20150624_212758 (Small)

Among a tangle of fresh herbs there must always be thyme. Preferably English. But any variety will do. Aromatic lemon thyme is especially spectacular.

Keeping the slaw simple we’re using the basics (cabbage, mixed greens, carrot, fresh herbs) adding finely sliced cavelo nero (black) kale for an extra nutritional boost.

While we do our best to keep salads lively, the dressing can make or break the experience. Your lovingly prepared coleslaw can easily convert to a fat-laden-cream-dressing-lathered throw back from the 70s.

Here’s an oil-free alternative I think you’ll love.

Cashew mustard mayo

½ cup cashews
2 Tbl apple cider vinegar
2 Tbl dijon mustard
½ lemon, juiced
1 tsp maple syrup
¼ water
Pinch of salt

Blend. Splash in a little more water if it’s too thick. This dressing will take you may places. Try a dollop on steamed asparagus, baked potatoes and salady sandwiches.

1 life hack you don't want to miss

If there was a way you could boost your energy, enhance your creativity and level out your emotions would you be interested?

This is an activity that strikes a cord with me. You see – I’ve been resisting it for years.20150624_090903 (1)

With the depths of winter well and truly on us, now is a good time to be talking about rest. Or more specifically napping.

Throughout history many of our greatest minds were nappers. Leonardo, Salvador, Einstein … Winston Churchill believed all you needed was “20 minutes of blessed oblivion to renew all your vital sources.”

Doesn’t that sound divine?

Resisting that after lunch urge to close your eyes and head for oblivion is yet another way we don’t listen to our bodies. It’s another way we override what we really need.

Some cultures have got this sorted. They retire. They rest. Organisations are also getting in on it, providing workers with places to lie down. They know the benefit of listening to those primal circadian rhythms.

In her TED talk neurobiologist Sarah McKay says our desire to close our eyes is programmed into our biological clocks. And when we do, the science is there to back up the benefits. We’re more productive and creative after a nap. We’re nicer.

Let’s take it one step further

And surrender. That’s not giving in or anything weak. In fact it’s one of the strongest things you’ll ever do. It cultivates a passive energy that has it’s own kind of strength.

Think of it as melting into the love that you are. Consciously connecting with your light as you slide towards that blessed oblivion. It doesn’t take a course, or hours of meditating. You don’t need a book to show you how. Just relax. Love. And feel the calm space around you.

Now that’s a power nap.

Before you snuggle up I want to leave you with the words from Nap Queen herself – Sark.

“All at once you sail away into a nap, where tangled nerves are untied, and where time stops. Guilt and expectations are not welcome in napland. You can always find a reason. Find more reasons to let naps take you.”

Wishing you that certain kind of quiet

Sweet dreams

Kate xx

 

Quick lentil curry

For fast winter food that’s sustaining, easy and oh-so-delicious I can’t go past lentils in some form or other. From red, yellow, fancy French to plain brown, lentils are versatile, cheap and fit perfectly into my take-to-work thermos.

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This quick curry is oil free. Why? Because it works just fine without the added oil and reduces your intake of heated oils.

Dry toasting the spices is another way of releasing their aromas and makes life exciting, if not a bit dangerous!

As with many dishes the clincher is how you serve them. This curry goes beautifully with a spicy kasundi (chutney) and loads of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves.

Or take it to the next level with a dollop of coconut yoghurt or cilantro cashew cream.

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbl fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
6 cups water/stock
2 cups yellow lentils
1 potato, halved & sliced
½ cauliflower, chopped
Tamari
Fresh coriander/cilantro

  • In a heavy bottomed pot, dry toast curry powder and cumin, coriander and mustard seeds for a minute or until they release their aroma. Keep stirring and stay close!
  • Stir in garlic & ginger adding a splash of water to deglaze the pan. 
  • Add onion and a little more water to form a paste. Simmer gently adding the rest of stock/water after several minutes. Bring to the boil.
  • Rinse lentils under running water until the water comes clean.
  • Add lentils and simmer for 20 minutes. Add more water as needed.
  • Add potatoes & cauliflower and simmer for 15 minutes until potatoes are cooked.
  • Season with salt, pepper and/or a splash of tamari.
  • Serve with fresh coriander and coriander cream.

 

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Protein-rich lentil stew

Stuffed chick pea flour frittata

Weekends sometime call for a savoury breakfast. Especially when we’re braving wintery mornings to watch the nine-year-old-ninja play soccer.chick pea flour fritatta (Small)

The savoury option of old was an egg frittata.

I used to like the ease of throwing it together and topping with a good kasundi or other delicious home made chutney.

Luckily there are a couple of plant-based equivalents made with tofu OR a chick pea flour batter.

Today’s recipe is the latter.

You can change up the spices & fillings to suit your tastes, eg, Indian, Italian, Indonesian. Or make it plain like a crepe and serve with hot saucy veges.

Chick pea flour is a great source of protein. And an excellent gluten free option.

Once mixed it likes to sit for a while – I mix the batter before chopping veges.

If you’re super organised you can make the batter the night before.

For a richer option (and obviously higher in fat) mix the flour with a coconut cream/water combo.

Today we’re just using water and whatever I happened to have in the fridge.

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Whisk together & rest:
1 cup chick pea flour
1 cup water
1 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of salt

Saute:
1 red onion, chopped finely
Capsicum, chopped finely
Cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 Tbl capers
Handful fresh herbs, parsley, thyme, rosemary
Chilli (optional)

In a heavy pan, saute onions and vegetables until soft. Add capers, chilli & fresh herbs.
Pour in the batter, cover and cook over a low heat.
Cook until the top is firming up, watching that it’s not burning underneath – it’s a delicate dance.
Brown it off under the grill.

You could sprinkle a little dairy-free mozzarella or nutritional yeast on top before grilling.

For other recipes check out the gluten free category in the side bar.

Oh and try these chick pea flour fritters.

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A Thai pumpkin soup recipe I want you to have

Why? Because there is no one, not ever who has hasn’t swooned over this velvety bowl-licking soup.thai pumpkin soup (Small)

It makes the rounds of our small seaside community. It pops up at pot luck dinners, women’s circles, birthdays and is delivered in jars to sick friends. The recipe is passed on from mother to daughter to friends and neighbours.

Promise me you’ll make a big pot and invite your friends over. This one is for sharing.

{Special thanks to Carolyn and Gillian ~ the originators of much pumpkiny pleasure}

Most curry pastes are not vegan. The yellow curry paste I use is but I suggest you read the label carefully depending on the brand.

The secret ingredient here are the kaffir lime leaves. Hunt them out. They take the soup to the next level.

In a big pot add roughly chopped:
2 med onions
2 large carrots
1-2 large kumera (sweet potato)
1/2 a pumpkin, ~1.5 kg
2-3 tsp yellow curry paste
2-3 slivered kaffir lime leaves
5-6 cups vege stock

Cook for about 15 mins until everything is tender.

Blend and return to the pot. Take care not to burn yourself.

Stir in:SAM_2017 (Small)
1 can coconut cream
2 Tbl coconut liquid amino or tamari

Season and adjust flavours to suit, ie, adding more curry paste, tamari, chilli flakes, stock if too thick.

Reheat gently. The coconut cream may separate if boiled.
Garnish with coriander or basil.

More soup recipes you may like:

Rib sticking lentil soup
Italian kale & white bean
West African peanut & ginger
Quick & easy miso

And don’t forget how easy it is to make your own vegetable stock

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Smokey Almonds

There are some foods that smell better than they taste. Agree?

And there are some smells and tastes that are, … well, so ingrained that to reconnect with them on any level is kinda cool.IMG_20150304_162327194 (Small)

{Can you seeing me skirting around the word bacon here? I just don’t want to have to think about how it ends up on so many plates and overwhelms most cafes on a Saturday morning}

Anyway. Liquid smoke imparts that smokey hickory taste without all the bits I don’t want to think about.

Almonds are a great vehicle for this tasty marinade … and tofu, tempeh … or almost any savoury dish my beloved thinks needs pepping up!

This recipe is inspired by those crazy cats at Thug Kitchen who can handle alot more smoke than me!

If you’re new to using liquid smoke I say proceed with caution until you get the hang of it. It’s potent.

Mix up:

1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp water

Coat almonds in the marinade. Bake for 10-15 minutes stirring mid way through. Keep a close eye.

Chop the almonds into salads, spreads for a smokey blast!

Pst Chopped into mashed avocado is outrageous.IMG_20150326_134903682 (Small)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you setting yourself up?

Tell me.

Is there something that makes you feel good that you’re just not doing?

I’m talking about that thing that recalibrates you, centers you.stepping into new territory (Small)

Maybe it’s an early morning walk, 10 minutes meditation or a practice of gratitude.

Perhaps it’s as simple as drinking lots of water.

I could list a few things that come and go for me. They so easily drop off the end of the endless list. Or just plain get forgotten as life speeds past.

But lately I’ve started to do yoga again.

{Shoulders soften}

It makes me stand still.

{Deep breath}

I feel grounded and connected to my body.

It’s easy not to have the time. But the price of not doing it is really too high.

Without it there’s no pause for me. No loosening up energy and joints.

And here’s the thing. It’s part of a set up. One act of self care begets another.

I eat cleaner. Stand straighter. I face the world stronger.

It’s in these moments of mindfullness that inspirations pop in. Problems are solved. Our next step is revealed.

No matter how simple, our small but important practices help our energy spiral upwards.

They make space for self care aka self love.

Is there something you’re not doing?

Do that. SAM_2296 (Small)

Go Go Goji Berry Bar

We eat a lot of bliss balls in our house. Like these ones and these ones.

But when time is short and the lunchbox calls. I ‘press’ instead of roll.2015-03-12_154504

1 C dried coconut
1 C oats
2 cups dates, chopped (soak if hard)
½ C goji berries, chopped
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 Tbl maple syrup
1Tbl water

Process all ingredients until sticky. Press into a container and freeze for a few hours. Cut into bars and store in the fridge.

6 Quick & Healthy Desserts Kids will Love

Dessert for kids is not always the icing on the, ahem, cake. Sometimes it is pure strategy.IMG_0249 (Small)

By that I mean a vehicle for extra nutrition that’s delicious and won’t have them climbing the walls at bedtime.

Think chocolate and spinach smoothie, or raspberry chia pudding.

When it comes to new foods kids can be cautious. But throw in dates, banana and thicken with chia seeds and they’re proud to share their special pud with their friends.

Keeping dessert natural cuts down on unwanted sugars, dairy products, colours and other unpronounceable ingredients. Heaven knows bedtimes can be challenging enough without extra stimulants!

Here are a couple of family favourites for busy mums who want to give their kids a healthy alternative to what the supermarket has to offer.

Be sure to serve your new treats in fabulous dessert glasses. Secondhand shops are full of them.

TREAT TIP NUMBER ONE

Turn an after school smoothie into dessert.20150227_093419

Blend non dairy milk, a banana or two, a few leafy greens and a dessertspoon of cocoa/cacoa powder.

Serve with homework.

Pour the leftover into a dessert glass. Mix in 1 tsp chia seeds. Chill.

Serve with chopped fresh fruit, coconut, freeze dried fruit sprinkles.

TREAT TIP NUMBER TWO

When bananas are cheap, buy lots and freeze them. A frozen banana blended makes a great icecream and base for other flavours.1796609_818417114851343_2104498000_n

Peach & banana blended with almond milk, 1 tsp ground flaxseed and a few cashews.

Mix n’ match fruit that’s in season and have fun with presentation.

TREAT TIP NUMBER THREE

Chocolate Avocado Mousse
File this one away for Christmas day. Grandma will have fun picking the ingredients!SAM_1771 (Small)

1-2 large, ripe bananas
1 avocado
¼ cup raw cacao powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbl maple syrup
1 Tbl water
Pinch of cardamom (optional)
Pinch of chilli (optional)
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Serve in a pretty glass and top with berries.

TREAT TIP NUMBER FOUR
Don’t for a minute think these wee tarts are complicated. I’ve happily whipped them up around dinner time. They’ll be even better after a night in the fridge.SAM_2387 (Small)

Makes about eight shells
1 cup oats
1 cup prunes (you can use dates but you’ll have to soak them)
¼ cup cranberries

Process oats. Add prunes and cranberries. Process until the mixture sticks together.
Press into lined tart tins or similar shape. The lining helps you get them out in one piece. Chill until you need them. Carefully peel back the lining.

Fill with blueberry cream, any of the above creams or simply blend frozen berries and banana. Have fun decorating!

Blueberry cream
1/2 cup chopped raw cashews
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup of coconut water or water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cardamom

TREAT TIP NUMBER FIVE

Peach Raspberry Crisp
5-6 peaches, sliced
Drizzle of maple syrup (apple syrup)
1 cup raspberries

1 cup rolled oats
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 Tbl maple syrup (apple syrup)
1 Tbl waterraspberry peach crisp (Small)

Preheat oven to 180 C.
Bring the peaches & a little water to boil and simmer until tender ~10 minutes. Remove from heat and drizzle with a little maple/apple syrup to taste. Transfer to a ovenproof dish. Mix in the raspberries.

Combine oats, cinnamon, maple syrup & water together. Sprinkle on top of fruit and bake for 20 minutes. Serve with coconut yoghurt.

TREAT TIP NUMBER SIX
This comes into the category of parental self care!
Reserve for special occasions. The blueberry sauce however can go on anything.1230018_721444621215260_2628154_n

11/4 cups coconut meat
½ cup macadamia nuts
1½ Tbl coconut sugar/agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend until smooth.

Blueberry topping
1 cup blueberries
¼ cup maple syrup,
pinch cardamom,
lemon zest

In a small pot heat all the ingredients just until the berries are hot enough to start bursting. Allow to cool before spooning on top of coconut cream. Garnish with a few fresh berries and mint.

 

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