Discover how to renew your health with plant-based food

Changing the way you eat could seem harder than it actually is in practice.

That’s 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.


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.

I help you put your desires into action.

Click here to find out more …

A Gift of Words

This year, rather than choosing one word to be my guiding light for the year ahead, I’m choosing four.

Or rather they’ve chosen me.

They’ve taken up residence in my heart. And true to their metaphor they’re shining bright.IMG_20150127_074838030 (Small)

I’m going to take you on a journey.

A Christmas journey.

Down country roads lined with summer grasses. Through winding valleys where the sun beats down making the whole world smell like summers when you were a kid.

Past the two-classroom school, past where the old shop used to be, there’s a church.

The Church of the Good Shepherd. A stained glass window tells it’s story. Farming families live here. The coast is close by.

Christmas brings me back every couple of years to sing shoulder-to-shoulder with folk I grew up with. To say “Hi” to my childhood mate buried outside.

This Christmas day we learnt about four candles. Four words.

These candles are lit in the month leading up to Christmas. They are the candles of Advent.

The first candle is the candle of hope. This candle is lit in the darkest corner of the church. There is always hope. We must never lose this! Express your longing for peace, wellbeing and healing, and keep this candle burning in your darkest places.

Have hope.

The second candle is the candle of peace. Take a moment and feel your shoulders soften in the presence of peace. It can seem elusive in a world gone mad. Even when disharmony reigns there is always a way to peace.

Seek peace.

With hope and peace in our hearts we can make joy. So often joy is stifled under the weight of obligation. The ‘shoulds’ the ‘have tos’. A measure of success is how joyful you feel. Not how clean your house is, or how rich you are. Joy is all around us in the laughter of children, the colours of sunset, music and togetherness. Sometimes it comes easily like a wellspring from deep within us. But it’s also a choice. An attitude. One that needs exercising.

Make joy.

The fourth candle is that of love. When in doubt. Love more. When in pain. Love more. By practising love we can make our lives more fulfilling, peaceful and loving.

Learn from love.IMG_20150127_075801829 (Small)

With all of mine to you. Have the best year yet.

Love Kate

PS Sprinkle these words on your day … your year.

Raw Zucchini Noodles with Alfreda Sauce

The simplicity of this dish suits the relaxed nature of picking your summer vegetables from the garden and throwing together something easy for lunch or dinner.

Just be sure to soak your cashews in the morning.zucchini noodles in alfreda sauce (Small)

Adjust the combo of vegetables to suit your taste. You can pretty much go anywhere with this dish.

I like to add strips of steamed kale. Thin sliced red capsicum or steamed/raw broccoli make nice additions also. zucc noodles (Small)

2 large zucchinis
Bunch cavelo nero or other kale
Cherry tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves

1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
1 Tbl lemon juice
2 tsp tamari
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbl nutritional yeast
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
1-1½ cups filtered water
Pinch cayenne
Salt & pepper

  • Finely slice zucchinis into long strips using a serrated peeler, mandolin, spiraliser or knife.
  • Slice long strips of kale and steam over boiling water for a few minutes.
  • Rinse cashews well. Add to blender with other ingredients.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Assemble noodles, kale and sauce together with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and cracked pepper.

And for all those extra zucchinis in the garden, you may also like this gluten free zucchini fritter recipe.




The best three ingredients you'll ever combine


The best three ingredients for a sweet you’ll ever combine.

This Walnut Sauce has truly got the award for the savoury version.

choc balls


You will also like these:

Chocolate coated cookie dough truffles

oh and probably this brownie

Sugar-free sweet potato brownie




Vegan Christmas Cake

This cake is a good mix of ‘easy’ + ‘Xmas-spice-fruity combo’.

And with molasses and not too much sugar I call it health food. Actually I’ve been known to call it breakfast!IMG_0199 (Small)

It’s not a long lasting cake but never needs to be!

675 g mixed fruit
450 ml water
150 ml oil (rice bran)
350 g wholemeal self-raising flour
1 Tbl molasses
1 lemon, zested
2 tsp ground mixed spice
75 g raw brown sugar
3 Tbl sherry or rum

  • Heat the oven 150. 
  • Grease and line a round cake tin. 
  • Mix all the ingredients, except the sherry and beat well until evenly mixed. 
  • Bake for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until risen and firm to touch. 
  • Allow to cool slightly in the tin, then spoon the sherry over the top and leave in the tin until completely cold. 

You may also like:

Fruit loaf

Rhubarb cake

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The best kale soup. Ever.

At the mere hint of rain I go running for my soup pot. And if I have a bunch of cavelo nero (the long dark kale) this sagey, garlicky, beany soup from my old battered Sundays At Moosewood’s Restaurant cookbook is my number one choice. IMG_0196 (Small)

This is a rustic, hearty meal-in-one kinda soup. Thickened with cornmeal, full of beans and kale, it has all your nutrient groups covered.

Plus it’s got a really cool name that goes well with wild weather and red wine!

IncavolataIMG_0195 (Small)

1 bunch of de-stemed, rough chopped kale
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cans of white beans (butter or cannellini), rinsed & drained
6 cups vegetable stock or water
3 Tbl tomato paste
6 large sage leaves (½ tsp dried)
1 tsp salt
½ cup fine cornmeal (polenta)

  • Soak the leaves of the prepared kale in a bowl of cold water while you preare the soup.
  • Steam saute the garlic in ½ cup of stock
  • Blend about half the beans and stock with tomato paste and sage.
  • Stir into garlic adding the rest of the beans and stock.
  • Drain the kale and mix into soup. Simmer for ½ hour.
  • Mix the cornmeal with 2 Tbl stock from the pot or water. 
  • Pour slowly into the soup stirring. 
  • Simmer for another 10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Adjust seasonings.
  • Serve topped with vegan parmesan. The recipe is here.

IMG_0198 (Small)You may also like:

Summer soup

How to make miso soup

PS: You want to know how to make the fastest vege stock? Bring to the boil a pot of celery leaves, leeks leaves and water. Simmer for a couple of minutes. Done.


Seven Steps To A Frazzle-Free Xmas

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Is your calender a mass of end-of-year parties, pot lucks and prize-givings? And your to-do list looks like it’s on steroids!

Itʼs a hard time of year to keep your tinsel on straight.

But with a bit of planning and good self care, you can side step the mayhem and sail smoothly and happily towards the end of the year.

Here are 7 things that will save you crying into your expensive cacao chocolate as you coat your truffles.


Say no. You donʼt have to go to everything youʼre invited to.

Be mindful of your energy. Itʼs not as limitless as your second glass of Pinot Gris will have you think.

Endless parties and out-of-the-ordinary amounts of food, wine and late nights can deplete your energy and add to your physical and emotional stress. This in turn compromises your immune system and by the time you roll out your beach towel youʼre fighting a cold or another inopportune infection.

If an invitation doesnʼt invoke a “hell yes!” then donʼt go.

Trust your intuition on this one.


Master a BIG salad and take it everywhere. Many casual summer events require you to take food. Keep it simple and perfect one recipe that you love. If thereʼs no other plant-based dishes on the table your salad will save you and keep you far away from the sausage rolls.

Try this one with new potatoes, cucumber and spicy chickpeas

Or these striking quinoa lettuce cups


Keep it green. Starting the day with alkalising green juices and smoothies is the perfect antidote to the seasonʼs over indulgences. It gets you off to a healthy start and lays a good foundation for the rest of the day.

Make double so you can keep your energy humming through the three oʼclock energy lag.


Shop locally. I love this option. Supporting the small businesses and artisans around you creates the goodwill Xmas is all about. And youʼre bound to come away with more interesting gifts. The frenetic energy of towns and cities at this time of year affects us all. Thereʼs a collective overload happening everywhere and it’s possible youʼre picking up on more than your own stress.

Avoid the crowds, corporations and bad Christmas music. Shop close to home.9FGrYgOMQOetXBZZs3uA__MG_0328 (Small)


Keep meals light and plant-based. In all honesty the meals of old used to leave me feeling like a cement mixer. No offence to the pavlova Mum but the lashings of cream + sugar were the final kicker.

A beautiful pig or not so beautiful turkey does not have to forgo itʼs life for a yearly ritual that is all about love.

Woo your friends and family with the best the season has to offer: new potatoes, asaragus, avocados, vine-ripened tomatoes, baby zucchini. You get the picture.

And when in doubt make these chocolate truffles.


If you are frazzled you can bet your kids are more so. Let’s face it they’re already tired. It’s the end of a big long year for them whatever age.

Add parties, more sugar than usual, late nights, long car trips, high excitement and people they’re not used to and well, it’s hard for them to cope.

Factor in time just for them and fill up their emotional tank. Stuff in some early nights and keep food as real as you can.

And if they do melt down stay connected and stick to your parenting values. This is not the time for outdated advice from Aunt Margaret. Do it your way.


Be grateful. Most of us get to celebrate with those we love. Weʼre lucky. So incredibly lucky. We have food, shelter and more than we need. We can freely sing praises and rejoice. We can be generous, help others and make memories.

Most of all. Be grateful for who you are. Because youʼre amazing.

Christmas blessings

Love Kate  xx

Cookie dough truffles

Prepare to swoon. These truffles have been grabbing all the attention at school, after school, at talks and events.IMG_0068 (Small)

For parties I coat them in chocolate. More commonly they’re in the freezer nude for a quick high protein snack.

Play the secret-ingredient game. Few people will pick they’re made of chickpeas.

You need:

1 can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut sugar/molasses sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons tahini/almond/nut butter
1½ Tbl coconut flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pinch of salt
¾ cup dark chocolate

1. Combine chickpeas, maple syrup, sugar, baking soda, tahini, vanilla, coconut flour and a pinch of salt in a food processor and process until smooth.
2. Transfer to a bowl and sit for 10 minutes. It helps the coconut flour absorb the moistness and will help with rolling.
3. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid.
4. In a double boiler, melt chocolate. Dip the balls into the chocolate until covered, then place back on parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Freeze.

For more truffly delights go here + here.

Click here for tips, recipes + events

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 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.

IMG_0098 (Small)

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

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