How can food be so powerful?

“It’s never too late to start eating well. A good diet can reverse many health conditions. In short: change the way you eat and you can transform your health for the better.”
― T. Colin Campbell, Whole: Rethinking the Science of NutritionIntroduction (7) (Small)

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 …

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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Not your average lentil stew

To be fair, no lentil soup/stew is average. They’re usually beyond comforting and tasty.

And convenient.

But don’t you have to soak the lentils?

People often ask this and the answer is “you can, but you don’t have to.” It’s about improving digestibility. The bigger the bean the greater the need for soaking. Chick peas yes. Kidney beans absolutely. Lentils, not so much.

I don’t soak mine. But I do wash them well.

A favourite fast lentil soup is washed red lentils cooked in stock 1:4 ratio with chunks of potato and sliced leeks. Simmer all together until cooked. Season with tamari soy sauce and top with handfuls of fresh coriander, rocket or whatever greens are in the garden.

I could eat it everyday.

But when I’ve got a little more time in the kitchen this is the recipe I dig out. It’s especially good for filling up blokes!

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Lentils + quinoa = protein & iron

1 C organic brown lentils
5 C vegetable stock/water

½ C stock or water
2 C onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
¼ tsp cayenne
2 bay leaves
½ C red quinoa

¼ C chopped parsley
2 C tomatoes, chopped
¼ C tomato paste
1 Tbl fresh rosemary, minced (½ tsp dry)

1. Rinse the lentils. Bring them to boil in salted stock or water. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 40 minutes or until cooked.
2. Steam sauté onions until translucent in ½ cup of water/stock. Add garlic, cayenne, bay leaves and quinoa. Stir the mixture until the onions and quinoa give up their liquid.
3. Add parsley and tomatoes. Bring to simmer and stir in tomato paste.
4. Mix in the lentils and their liquid. Simmer 15 mins.
5. Add rosemary, salt and pepper to taste.
6. Stir in more stock/tomato juice/water as needed.

Serve with a dollop of cashew cream and garnish with fresh parsley.
Variations: Swap the quinoa with bulghur wheat and wilt in baby spinach leaves before serving.

For another tasty mid winter stew try this spicy cabbage and kumara hotpot 

 

A warming winter stew

Eek cooked cabbage!

Not the nicest of thoughts for some of us. But paired up with golden kumara, peanuts, ginger and cayenne all your memories of soggy cooked cabbage will be forgotten.

During the winter months this dish is a weekly staple in my kitchen. It’s a throw-it-all-in-the-pot type meal and goes well over couscous or quinoa topped with fresh coriander. Adjust the hotness to your liking.SAM_2081 (Small)

West African Peanut Stew

1 large onion, chopped
¼ cup vegetable broth
½ tsp cayenne
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 large golden kumara (sweet potato), cubed
1 large can tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
1 Tbl fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbl fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 Tbl peanut butter

1. Steam saute onion for about 5 minutes until soft, add more stock as needed.
2. Stir in the chilli, garlic and saute for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the cabbage, sweet potato, tomatoes, stock, salt, ginger and coriander.
4. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until sweet potato is tender.
5. Stir in the peanut butter and simmer gently.

Serve topped with fresh coriander.

Gluten free cookies for kids on the go (& adults)

Confession.

There are a couple of occasions when my oil free mantra goes out the window – garlicky oil drizzled on homemade pizza – or worse the temptation of a hot chip.

Yes I’m imperfectly perfect.

So these cookies are one of the few recipes in these pages that contain coconut oil.

1 Tbl chia soaked in 3 Tbl waterSAM_2060 (Small)
1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
2 Tbl shredded coconut
1 tsp baking powder
Dash of salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
2-3 Tbl molasses sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Prepare your chia ‘egg’ by soaking the chia in water, stir and sit for 10 minutes.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt & coconut in a large bowl.

3 Soften the oil and mix in the sugar. Add the vanilla essence & chia egg.

4. Mix well.

5. Work the mixture with your hands if necessary. Make balls & flatten with a fork.

6. Bake for 9-12 minutes at 180.

PS those brown bits in the photograph are imperfectly stirred lumps of molasses sugar which come out all gooey + delicious + perfect :)

For more baking without egg ideas check out this post: How to substitute eggs

A classic dish made healthier

In the last throes of summer there are still aubergines about and plenty of beans to try this oil free version of ratatouille.

That’s right I did say oil free.

Many a pan has been overheated with great gulps of olive oil added to fry off the aubergine – ending in a rich and I won’t say not-delicious stew.

But we’re not going to do that to ourselves or our pans and I personally like this lighter version.

SAM_1939 (Small)This ‘tui’ is my template for a quick summer dish. Serve over your favourite grain, new season potatoes, or polenta.

Like Nigella I do not salt my aubergine and can’t tell the difference – there the similarity ends!

Serve with a walnut Parmesan to take this simple dish to the next level and check out the many variations below.

1 large onion, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
Handful of basil leaves
1 cup vegetable stock/water
2 sticks celery, cut 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large aubergine, quartered lengthways and sliced
2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 1 large can
1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbl lemon juice
2 Tbl capers, optional
1 Tbl tomato paste, optional

1. Heat 1/2 cup of vegetable stock and steam saute onions, peppers, celery and garlic slowly, adding more stock as needed to prevent them sticking.
2. Add beans, bay leaves, tomatoes, basil, aubergine and rest of the stock, adding enough to just cover the vegetables. Cover and simmer. After about 20 minutes mix the stew adding a little more liquid if necessary.
3. Add seasonings, tomato paste, lemon and capers.
4. Top with walnut Parmesan.

Variations: Add white beans, capsicum, zucchinis, olives, mushrooms, red wine. Vary the herbs using marjoram, rosemary.

 

Gluten-free fast food that's healthy

Time stealers.

They have a habit of turning up at the end of the week. And they steal more than time.

They steal energy, motivation, and that I’m-never-eating-crap-food-again intention from earlier in the week.

It’s in these moments that something quick and delicious can divert your longing for a fast food fix.

We’re a bit of a noodle family. Our noodles of choice are buckwheat, rice, quinoa and occasionally standard wheat pasta.

Usually combined with something equally as quick. Gingery carrots with chilli; spring onions + greens; peppers and tomatoes ….

SAM_1940 (Small)Quick cooking is good. Gluten-free, quick cooking is even better. But noodles made from only beans + water, GENIUS!

Nothing else. Not even salt. Bless them.

What a simple way to add more plant-rich protein to your meal.

There’s fettuccine made from mung beans, noodles made from aduki beans, spaghetti made from black beans, and others.

For a quick dinner rough mash steamed broccoli + garlic + avocado. Mix through mung bean fettuccine and top with fresh basil and seasonings.

Check out your local health food store for the Explore Asian range of noodles and pastas. I’ll be dashing off to Putiputi Ra in Whangarei this week to beat the rush!

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Gluten free zucchini fritters

 

How to make egg-free gluten-free fritters

I have to confess. Egg-based dishes like fritters and omelettes were a favourite fall back for impromptu brunches and quick Sunday night dinners.SAM_1874 (Small)

Convenient. Tasty. Adaptable.

But fritters without eggs?

Thankfully there’s an alternative that boasts protein without the cholesterol.

Chickpea flour.

Other cultures have been on to this, like, forever. And the super big bonus is that chickpea flour is gluten free.

Zucchini Fritters

With a little preparation this gluten-free dinner will come together in a synch. 

I mix the chickpea batter in the morning, cover it and let it rest over the day. Standing the batter allows the flour to absorb the fluid.

You can let it stand it for as little as 1/2 an hour if you’re on the fly.

For a low-fat version use only water in the batter and bake the fritters on baking paper.

Close to dinnertime soak the chia seeds. Next grate the zucchini and let it drain in a sieve (not essential but works well with high-water content veges – squeeze out the water before adding to the batter).

Ingredients

1 cup chickpea flour

1/2 cup coconut cream

1/2 cup water

1 Tbl chia seeds, soaked in 3 Tbl water

1 large zucchini, grated

2 cloves garlic, pressed

Handful parsley

1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

Salt and pepper

1. Mix chickpea flour, coconut cream, and water together (I use my blender). Stand.

2. Soak chia seeds in water for about 15 mins, stir occasionally.

3. Grate zucchini, drain, squeeze.

4. Mix the chia, zucchini, garlic, parsley, chilli flakes, salt and pepper into the batter.

5. Drop spoonfuls into a hot, well oiled pan. Rice bran oil works well at this heat and the better your pan the less you need to use. Cook both sides until nicely browned, about 2-3 mins.

Serve with your favourite chutney or guacamole.

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