Vegan Coffee and Walnut Cake

By April 18, 2014 Almond Milk, Cakes, Coffee, Walnuts

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Vegan Coffee and Walnut Cake

When I was a little girl, my grandma had a house not far away from ours, upon which her flock of grandkids would descend on Saturdays while their parents went shopping, playing cricket or running errands. On Saturdays we watched Grandstand, put bets on the horses and ordered dinner from the chip shop (chips and two battered sausages, if you must know). There were people in and out all day, and someone was always falling over, getting hurt or hitting another cousin in the face. It was hectic, but it was fun.

However, the best days where when I was sick from school – or at least when I had convinced my mum that I was ill enough to stay home. “Staying home” actually involved going to Gromma’s house, where instead of the cascade of faces, there would just be me and Gromma. We would watch old videos of Dad’s Army, Rising Damp and Open All Hours before building a fort with the dining room chairs and a blanket. Gromma would also get in the fort, which was a lot of fun – but the best part would be when she made her classic coffee cake, as she seemed to do every single day (she did have a lot of kids and grandkids, after all).

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Peanut Butter Chai Smoothie

By April 14, 2014 Almond Milk, Banana, Coconut milk, GF Breakfasts, Gluten-free, Peanut butter, Smoothies

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Vegan Peanut Butter Chai Smoothie

As a perpetually lazy morning person who can’t manage anything more than a basic yoga pose or two before eating, smoothies have always been a bit of a lifesaver for me. Not only are they good for you without tasting like it, they’re varied and allow you to have a different sensory experience every morning even if all you can do is rifle through your fridge and throw everything into a blender.

This smoothie is great after some morning yoga, a swim, a workout, a bike to work or whatever exercise you do before breakfast. There’s protein in the PB to help rebuild your muscles, and the saturated fat in the coconut cream is good for your brain, your cells and your energy levels! The spices help keep your immune system sassy, and the banana will help settle your morning stomach. Ergo: It is brilliant.

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Herbed Sweet Potato Lunch Bowl

By April 11, 2014 Beans, Peas & Lentils, Big Salads, Broccoli, Chick peas (garbanzo beans), Hummus, Nutritional yeast, Peppers, Quinoa, Quinoa & Other Grains, Red cabbage

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Herbed Sweet Potato Lunch Bowl

Lately, I’m really into bowls. Not the food container – I’ve always been a bit obsessed with those (lame, I know) – but rather the concept of serving ingredients together in a bowl as a sort of non-traditional food dish.

For me, these kind of dishes are perfect, as they allow me to add ingredients that are nutritionally great for vegans (like pesto with nooch, and sweet potatoes) and to play around with the flavours , textures and ingredients therein. It also lets you get rid of anything that’s leftover in the fridge, cutting down on waste – and I HATE waste.

This lunch bowl recipe, in fact, is absolutely perfect for a packed lunch for you or your child. It’s very nutritionally dense, but is fun and delicious too, and can be made the night before and served cold for a next-day lunch without losing any of the taste or texture at all. BANG. DONE.

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Vegan Basil Pesto

By April 8, 2014 Garlic, GF Sides, Gluten-free, Nutritional yeast, Sauces & Salsas, Sauces, Marinades & Pastes, Walnuts

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Vegan Basil Pesto

You’d think that the main barrier to a good vegan pesto would be cheese, given that pesto is basically a cheese, herb and nut sauce/spread (originating from Genoa in Northern Italy, don’t you know). In fact, it’s not; vegan cheese is very easy to make these days, and as I showed with my Easy Vegan Parmesan recipe last week, vegan parmesan is a walk in the park.

No, the main hurdle for a good vegan pesto these days, and especially if you live in Latin America as I do, is pine nuts–or the skyrocketing cost thereof.

Here in Panama City, a small package of pine nuts costs $10. TEN DOLLARS. That’s about 50 cents for every pine nut! If I went around making pine nut pesto, it would end up costing me more per month than my cat costs me, and I like my cat a lot more than I like pesto.

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Carrot Cake Breakfast Muffins

By April 7, 2014 Almond Milk, Breakfast Muffins, Crumbles & Cakes, Carrot, Oats, Walnuts

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Vegan Carrot Cake Breakfast Muffins

Everyone loves a breakfast muffin. The crusty top, the squishy middle, the hearty feel: they all set you up for a wonderful morning with some goodness inside of you.

Unfortunately, most store-bought muffins are packed full with white sugar and processed oil and lots of other things that aren’t all that great for you. Thankfully, it’s super easy to make your own muffins that are stuffed with nutritious ingredients, light on sweetener, and taste just like a vegan carrot cake!

These are lovely and dense, as all good breakfast muffins should be, goes beautifully with your morning coffee!

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Vegan Mocha Pudding Pots

By April 4, 2014 GF Breakfasts, GF Desserts & Treats, Parfaits & Pilafs, Puddings & Sundaes, Quick Desserts, Quick Treats

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Vegan Mocha Pudding Pots

When we’re adults, we sometimes feel like our treats should be grown up too; heavy cheesecakes, thick, murderous chocolate cake and subtle sorbets say “I’m a real person! Respect me!” a lot more than little pots of pudding. No one serves pudding after a $300 meal.

However, there’s a little kid inside all of us that used to lick pots of chocolate pudding clean – or, for us Brits, that used to complain about waiting 5 minutes for the chocolate Angel Delight to set before we gorged on a full bowl of it. When you grow up, that kid doesn’t go away; it just goes quiet.

This is a treat that will satiate that child inside of you, and will satisfy the adult in you too. This healthy chocolate pudding has a great heap of chocolate and a good kick of caffeine, but is still incredibly healthy. Avocado and coconut fats bring the creaminess and a whole heap of goodness, leaving the finished product tasting like a steaming hot mocha on a cold, rainy night: Perfect.

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Zesty Orange and Nut Salad

By April 1, 2014 Almonds, Big Salads, Carrot, Cashews, GF Mains, GF Sides, Oranges, Rocket (arugula), Salads

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Zesty Orange and Nut Vegan Salad

With spring most definitely on its way in North America, and the wet season creeping up slowly on Panama, I thought it was about time that I posted up a fresh new zesty salad recipe that would bring a little sunshine to everyone’s plate!

This dish is ready in 10 minutes flat, and is a beautifully subtle and tangy plate full that will make even little mouths happy.

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Easy Vegan Parmesan

By March 31, 2014 Almonds, Garlic, GF Sides, Vegan Cheese

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Easy Vegan Parmesan

There isn’t much about cheese that I miss. Cheese and I have had a rocky relationship since my mum sent me to school with cheese sandwiches for about 3 years in a row and I woke up one day deciding that I’d had enough. I didn’t eat cheese for years after that. In my late teens and early twenties, cheese and I had a bit of a resurgence, but I never felt an affinity for it like a lot of people do.

However, I do sometimes miss a sprinkling of parmesan on top of a dish. I miss the texture and the way it combines with delicious foods. When eating pasta, there’s a parmesan-shaped whole in the entire experience. So what better to come up with than an easy vegan parmesan recipe that you can make in less than 5 minutes?

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Healthy Apple Crumble

By March 24, 2014 Apple, Breakfast Muffins, Crumbles & Cakes, Crumbles & Cobblers, GF Breakfasts, GF Desserts & Treats, Oats, Walnuts

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Healthy Apple Crumble

Apple crumble was the first thing I ever learned to make as a kid – or, at least, it’s the first thing that I remember learning how to make. Apple crumble has always been my favourite dessert, and as the apple trees in our garden would furnish us with enough fruit to keep us swimming in apples for the entire year, I would set to making one every Sunday to follow the Sunday roast. A lot of my childhood memories involve sitting waiting for apple crumble while my dad inevitably burned the milk for the custard, having to employ outstanding self-restraint not to eat my portion while the rest of the family argued about whose fault the burning was.

The only problem with apple crumble (well, from a nutritional perspective; obviously from a taste perspective there is NOTHING wrong with apple crumble) is that it’s loaded with sugar, flour and butter / oil. Thankfully, there is a way to make it crunchy, sweet and perfectly textured while making it a little bit healthier: Nuts. Well, nuts and dates.

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Apple, Avocado and Walnut Salad

By March 18, 2014 Apple, Avocado, Big Salads, Onion, Rocket (arugula), Salads, Walnuts

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Apple, Walnut and Avocado Salad

This salad was inspired by an apple, walnut, and goat’s cheese salad I tasted in France a few years ago. I was at a complete loss for finding a vegan meal so decided to come off the wagon for the weekend I was there. But my slip-up is now your gain, as I immediately came up with a vegan alternative! The avocado certainly holds its own as a substitute for goat’s cheese, although I’d understand if you wanted to use a vegan cheese alternative.

I like using Braeburn apples in this recipe, as they’re a good balance of both fresh and sweet, but feel free to substitute other apples depending on your tastes.

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