A Little Bit About Us

Our goal is to make affordable, delicious, healthy food that nourishes our souls as well as our bodies. We love new flavors as well as old favorites. It's important, for us, not to place too many restrictions and be as free and simple as we can when it comes to our food. We have no fancy equipment or expensive gadgets (although when we're wrestling with our dinosaur blender/smoothie maker we have both thought how nice it'd be to have a functioning one.. lol). We love each other more than anything and making food together is rewarding on every level.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Vegan Peanut and Sweet Potato Thai-style Curry


Back at home with my parents, and away from the yummy curries of Sydney, I've decided that's exactly what I wanted to eat for dinner :)  Instead of the typical Indian inspired curries we've done before, this one is Thai inspired, and so so satisfying.  It's getting colder here in southern Indiana and it really hits the spot.  My parents do not eat anything remotely spicy so I omitted any chili, but I imagine this would be beautiful with your favorite chilies minced and thrown in as well :)

BTW, I miss you and love you Kasey!

Vegan Peanut and Sweet Potato Curry

1 Sweet Potato, medium sized, diced (bigger chunks should be okay, but adjust the cooking time accordingly)
1 Onion, chopped, I used a sweet onion
2-3 Tablespoons of chunky Peanut Butter
3/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons of Tomato Puree
Zest and juice of 1 Lime
Handful of Coriander, chopped fine
3-4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon, Ginger, minced
1/4 of a Red Pepper, chopped fine
1 tin of Coconut Milk
2 tablespoons of oil (I used olive oil, since it was all I had on hand, but I bet coconut oil would be nice if you had it!)

Chilies, minced (Optional)

First, bring a pot of water to the boil and add the sweet potato.  You don't want to completely cook the sweet potato just yet, I only did this because I was concerned about cooking the sweet potato through.  Remove it from the heat after 5 minutes or so.  Then, in a separate bowl, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, tomato puree, lime juice and zest, with the hot water.  Stir to combine.


I chopped up the ginger, garlic, pepper, and coriander and put them aside in a separate bowl.


Next, heat the oil and onions in a large skillet.  Let the onions cook until they soften, then add the sweet potato.  Saute for a couple of minutes, then add the coriander, garlic, ginger, and red pepper.  Stir for about a minute.


Finally, stir in the coconut milk.  I turned down the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  Serve with quinoa or rice, add a sprig of coriander and enjoy!!  I hope you love it as much as I did <3

Monday, 29 July 2013

Vegan Summer Stew

We had family fun night and one of our activities was to make a dinner together.  We added some serious love to this stew.  It was definitely a meaningful and loving meal we all shared.  My mom, dad and I enjoyed this stew one evening last week and it was one of the best ever.  YUM!

First cut up 2 cups of broccoli and 1 large thinly sliced sweet potato.  Boil for a few minutes in about 5 cups of purified water (we used reverse osmosis) in a large pot and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 25 minutes.

In another large pot, combine cut up garlic, onions, and olive oil in high heat.  Add in carrots after garlic and onions have browned.  Let cook for a few minutes.  After carrots are browning, add in vegan stock.  Mix in 1 cup of quinoa.  Cook for twenty minutes.  Then drain pot of broccoli and sweet potatoes.  Combine into the same large pot.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes and add one can of organic diced tomatoes.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups of fresh organic broccoli cut up smallish
1 large organic sweet potato sliced thinly
as many bulbs of garlic as you want lol (i think we used 4)
1 medium organic onion
3 large organic carrots sliced thinly
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of organic quinoa
1 can organic diced tomatoes (you could easily replace this with fresh)
2 cups of organic vegan stock
Sea salt
Fresh herbs (you could use thyme, rosemary or cilantro, etc)

Notice the tea rose and the Kangaroo?


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Raw Vegan Chocolate Crunch mmmm!


The chia seed adds a nice crunch!!



This chocolate is SO delicious and easy to make.  There is just one minor problem.  I no longer measure ingredients when I make my chocolate.  I eyeball it, mix it together, try it and add whatever my taste buds tell me to add lol.  So I am challenging you to experiment with your own creativity!  You can make this chocolate in about 3 minutes.

(Approximate)
1/2 cup raw cacao or cocoa
3 tablespoons of raw agave nectar
3 tablespoons of cold pressed coconut oil
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
sea salt to taste

Put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes and it is ready to serve!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Simple Vegan Carrot and Sweet Potato Stew

This is a dish to make when you want something healthy, filling and easy to prepare.



I am back to having no fancy kitchen equipment, lol.  I don't have a food processor, vitamix or any blender for that matter.  So its just a basic kitchen knife :)  I like this though...it is showing me how I can eat healthy without needing any fancy equipment.  I also am learning how to efficiently and deliciously use all the ingredients I have on hand, and combine them in ways that enhance flavors effectively!  Take risks and see what evolves.  Eating vegan can be so YUMMY and no one has to go hungry!

I had an extra big bag of organic carrots, some local organic garlic and a sweet potato that were calling my name all week.  So without Bethany here, I have been wondering how to make a yummy stew.  I finally just did it.  I didn't use a recipe...I just winged it LOL.  It turned out pretty nicely.  I wasn't even planning on using it for the blog until I tried it and was like WOW.  This is good, and it was surprising how simple it was to make.

First.  Wash off carrots and cut the long ones in half.  Throw them in a medium sized pot with four cloves of garlic.  Fill up the pot 2/3 the way with spring or filtered water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cook for 20 minutes and then add in cubed sweet potato.  I scrubbed the potato before adding it in.  I allowed the veggies to cook for one more hour over medium heat.  Adding extra veggies at this point would be a fun and creative idea, (but I didn't have too much on hand right now).  Next, drain water and remove garlic.  lol I ate a piece of garlic just for fun.

In a large bowl, combine vegan stock with cooked veggies, sea salt and dried herbs.  You could also use fresh herbs.  I found a blend of Italian Seasoning at Big Lots.  YAAAAAY.  Have you checked out your local Big Lots, Marshalls or TJ Maxx recently for discount health foods?  I find great deals on things like organic coconut oil, flax seed powder, raw vegan kale chips, salsa, herbs, and sea salt.  At Big Lots I checked the ingredient list of the herb blend and there were no nasties so I was happy.  Straight up dried herbs with nothing else added.  Side note:  there are reasons to double check all ingredient lists...I used garlic salt on some popcorn last night to find out later that TCP was added.  I googled it and it comes from cow's milk.  FYI.



As I stirred it together, the carrots and sweet potato naturally broke apart and mixed together quite nicely :)

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb regular carrots
1 large sweet potato cut up into squares
4 cloves of fresh garlic
1 tsp each of dried marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano and basil (or get creative with your own favorites!!)
Sea salt to taste

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Sunrise Health Slaw



Our friends over at Sunrise Living have been experimenting with yummy vegan dishes and here is one of our favorites.  Their healthy summer slaw is delicious and can be served as a side dish and promises to be a hit at any family barbecue this summer!!  http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/categories/senior-eats.aspx


Serves 4 to 6

The heat of summer calls for light, refreshing dishes. At Sunrise Senior Living, many of our seniors love coleslaw, an old-fashioned American favorite. While the traditional recipe is heavy on the mayonnaise , we’ve opted for a lighter, more healthful version that’s perfect to serve at this summer’s outdoor barbeques and picnics!

Tangy, and with just a touch of sweetness, our Sunrise Health Slaw is sure to be a hit at your next gathering. Using mustard as the flavor base instead of high-fat mayonnaise keeps it more waistline-friendly, too!

Ingredients:

-          shredded coleslaw mix – 4 cups
-          medium red bell pepper, seeded and small diced – ½ each
-          green onions, sliced thin – ½ bunch
-          red wine vinegar – 2 tbsp
-          vegetable oil or coconut oil – 1 ½ tbsp
-          vegan cane sugar or maple syrup – 1 tbsp
-          Dijon mustard – 1 tsp
-          celery seed – ¼ tsp

Method:

-          Toss together the coleslaw mix, bell pepper, and green onions in a medium bowl.
-          In a separate bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, vegetable oil, sugar, mustard, and celery seed.
-          Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss gently to coat. 
-          Cover the coleslaw and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving to soften the cabbage and develop the flavors. Serve chilled.

 http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/surprising-health-benefits-coconut-oil

 http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/categories/senior-eats.aspx

Monday, 10 June 2013

Dreamy Vegan Chocolate Cake with Creamy Chocolate Frosting

This cake is a win win.  Healthy AND delicious!  I could eat the frosting by the spoonful haha.  I made some mistakes when attempting to make this cake, as it was a total experiment.  Because of the mistakes though it ended up being even more delicious and unique (i love how there are whole raisins, sunflowers and dates mixed in...yum.  and I like the texture of the frosting and cake)!  I sometimes sweeten desserts a little more when I make them for other people.  In my experience I have found that my taste buds have adjusted to a lower level of sweetness.  On this blog I have been experimenting with healthy whole foods to create yummy dishes.  This cake is one of the results of experimentation...kinda like a chocolate fruitcake.  A BRIDGE between healthy and sweet.  A yummy bridge, that will surprise you when you see the ingredients.  Have your cake and eat it too! 


 YUMMY!
HEALTHY!   http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed and http://www.forbes.com/sites/juliewilcox/2012/06/26/7-benefits-of-quinoa-the-supergrain-of-the-future/

Ingredients for filling:
3/4 cup flax meal
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped up dates (yummy option...any of your favorite dried fruit)
1/2 cup chopped up dried figs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce  
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1.5 cups almond milk (or any nut milk)
3/4- 1 cup raw cacao OR cocoa
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (or Himalayan sea salt...my cousin has been telling me how awesome it is and I've been meaning to do some research on it!)




Instructions:
Rinse off quinoa, boil in 1 cup of purified water and turn down heat to low.  Allow to soak up extra water.  This should take about 20 minutes.  Otherwise, just follow instructions on individual box :)  I had never made quinoa before (my sister always did that part lol) and it was really easy.

While you are making the quinoa do not snack on the enticing ingredients you are to assemble.  lol i did this ;)  Instead use your time more wisely by getting a long rectangle pan out and putting non stick baking paper along the edges inside, or anything that will allow the cake not to stick such as this fancy foil such as the one I used.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients except quinoa in high power blender.  (Check on your quinoa.  Make sure quinoa has absorbed all water.)  Blend on high.  OR.  PLAN B: 
haha

Remember how I said I made some mistakes?  Well, the biggest mistake I made was to start making the cake and not checking first to see if my mom had a blender.  Nope.  No blender.  Just a hand mixer.  So how to blend the ingredients?  I am used to making raw vegan cakes and a vita mix blender is usually all you need.  I don't think I have used a hand mixer since I was maybe five or six.  I was wondering, do these things ninja chop or just stir?  I gave it a whirl and was disappointed at first, realizing that nothing was chopped up.  I was thinking well I can either throw in the towel and give up or I can just pour the cake batter into the pan with whole sunflower seeds, dates and raisins.  What the heck why not?  But first I added quinoa to the large mixing bowl and the cake batter was nice and dense.

I spooned in the cake batter into the rectangle pan with non stick foil (or non stick baking paper).  making sure to evenly spread out the mixture the best that I could.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour until the middle is soft and still a little moist.  I had to keep checking mine.  I stirred it all up occasionally too because I noticed the sides and top were getting hotter and baking faster than the middle.  I am not an expert at baking so I figured it was best to stir it up so nothing would burn.

(meanwhile...while your cake is in the oven...)
FROSTING!!!!!  Time to make some delicious frosting that you are going to want to make some extra so you can freeze it so you have some extra to snack on when it is a commercial break or movie night.  Hey, it is a healthy treat right?
No guilt :)


The picture doesn't do this scrumptious treat justice.  Simply heavenly.  Here is the site that inspired me:  http://fooddoodles.com/2013/06/04/raw-vegan-chocolate-frosted-brownies/
 also, check out how great eating avocado is for your hair and skin!  http://www.tandurust.com/hair-care/avocado-benefits-hair-skin.html

Ingredients:
3 ripe avocados
1/3 cup maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey*
1/2 cup raw cacao or cocoa
sea salt to taste
3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Optional:  nutmeg and cinnamon

Blend or hand mix until a creamy and light texture.
Put frosting in fridge or freezer to keep cool.  Allow cake to cool in fridge without putting the frosting on.  Once cake has cooled you can put the frosting on.


These measurements are flexible (according to your taste).  You may like more or less sweetness, etc.
I had lots of left over frosting.  It keeps great in the freezer!  you don't even need to thaw it.  I am keeping my cake in the freezer and letting it thaw for a bit before eating.

Enjoy!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Vegan Summer Berry and Date Parfait

This is the perfect summer treat!  I really love berry season and this is one of the yummiest ways I can think of to enjoy fresh, local berries.  They are simple, quick and beautiful too :)



Ingredients:

(Serves 2)
*2 beautiful glasses (hey, this is important! :))
*1.5 cups of your favorite berry.  I used blueberries and raspberries.  Another delicious choice would have been mulberries.
*16 ounces of vegan yogurt, (you are going to divide into fourths)
*about 25 dates chopped up
*about 1/4 cup of flax, coconut or almond meal

First, add a thin layer of flax, coconut or almond meal to your first glass.  Next, pour in half of the yogurt.  The next layer is a thin layer of dates followed by a thin layer of berries.  Next add a layer of flax, coconut or almond meal.  Finish off with the rest of the yogurt (you should still have half reserved for the other dessert) for this parfait.  Add a thin layer of dates, berries and a dusting of flax meal.  

Copy directions for second dessert!  ENJOY :)

Friday, 31 May 2013

Garden Pita with Creamy Avocado & Kale and Cilantro

I wanted to make a healthy lunch for my parents.  I ended up creating something that I will no doubt regularly implement into my own quick and easy meals :)  These garden pitas are delicious, quick and simple to make.  If you want to make a strictly raw vegan meal, skip the pita and enjoy the rest as a fresh yummy salad!! :)

To begin:  I visited my local health food/grocery store and bought Ezekial sprouted grain pitas.  They were frozen at the store, and still a little cold by the time I got home so I put them in the oven for a few minutes.

Next, I threw two handfuls of chopped kale in a big bowl.  Make sure to remove any large stems.  I added:

(serves 2)  INGREDIENTS:
2 pitas (I used Ezekial sprouted grain)
1/2 avocado
1/8 cup olive oil
sea salt to taste
1 handful of cilantro
2 handfuls of kale (chopped and stems removed)
Juice of 1 lemon
any additional herbs or seasoning of your choice...get creative!

I took the pita bread and smoothed 1/4 avocado on the inside, inside each pita, using a total of 1/2 avocado.  I used the avocado as a replacement for mayonnaise.  Next I mixed together the kale, cilantro, salt, olive oil and lemon in a big bowl, breaking down the crunchiness of the kale until it was a bit softer.  I took that and used it to stuff the pitas.  It is a little creamy and tangy with a nice zing as you bite into it :)  Perfect!  My parents were a little hesitant at first, but ended up liking it.

 You can also add things like tomatoes, corn, shredded carrots & beets, onions, etc!!  YUM

 

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Simple Raw Vegan Chocolate Desserts (chocolate almond butter cup & chocolate with walnuts and sea salt)

My mom and I (Kc) made these today for my cousin's birthday gift and for a way for my mom to healthfully enjoy chocolate while also incorporating coconut oil into her diet.


These are seriously YUMMY and seriously easy to make.  
What you will need:

 Chocolate:
1 cup of raw cacao powder  (you can also use cocoa!)
6-7 tablespoons of coconut oil...you want it gooey
3 tablespoons of liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey*)
cinnamon to taste
sea salt to taste 
Mix together and add cinnamon and sea salt to your liking; I use 5-6 shakes each

Filling:
Dessert #1.  2 tablespoons of almond butter
Dessert #2.  1/4 cup chopped up walnuts

Find two small storage containers (ours holds about 6 oz) and fill up both with a layer of chocolate.   You could also use cupcake liners, but then you will probably end up with 4 desserts.  Which is just fine :)

For the first dessert, scoop 2 tablespoons of almond butter inside, and use a spoon to spread chocolate on top to cover.  For your other dessert, sprinkle chopped walnuts inside and stir together.  Once evenly mixed together, sprinkle more walnuts on top.  

Garnish each dessert with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Place in Freezer for 20 minutes, cut into small pieces, and then place in fridge for storage or eat right awayENJOY!! :)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Fresh Dandelion Green Salad with Almond and Sunflower Seeds

My sister and I just walked to the grocery store to get some rocket or spinach for the salad I was planning on making for lunch.  Well, the store was closed because it is a national holiday--Anzac Day!  What to do?  What else, but our favorite...urban herbin'!  I was brainstorming ideas for lunch and then I remembered all the beautiful dandelion greens growing nearby*.  They are a bitter green, so be prepared for that, but taste lovely to me with the right seasoning.  Also, they are packed with nutrition:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2441/2

"This food is a good source of Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Manganese."  Who knew...that free 'weed' growing outside our homes is so good for us?  It also has amazing benefits for your liver and kidneys :))

*It is very important that you know for sure the dandelion greens are not sprayed with harsh insecticides or pesticides.   I know the spot that I get mine is free from pollutants and safe to eat. Also, some grocery stores are starting to sell them, such as Whole Foods Market in the USA.



Ingredients:
2 cups of washed dandelion greens, at least chopped in half lengthwise
a small handful of finely chopped up almonds
about 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Chopped up veggies (I used what we had on hand--carrots, corn, purple cabbabe)
Your favorite seasoning (I liked a small amount of sea salt, ground peppercorns, cayenne, garlic)
Lastly, I sprinkled ground up flax and sunflower seeds on top

Mix together and adjust seasoning to your liking! 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Raw Vegan Anzac Day Biscuits





First, I just wanna say THANKS everyone who is trying out our recipes on this blog!  My sister and I are very excited to share what we learn in the kitchen and connect with others who are also passionate about food, holistic health & creativity :)

Happy Anzac Day!!  Okay, well, Happy Inner Peace, LOVE and Acceptance Day too!  In the spirit of celebrating, my sister and I got creative and made some raw vegan Anzac Day Biscuits (cookies for all our mates in America)!  Seriously, these are perfect and I am told they taste very traditional :-)

Ingredients

3/4 cup of rolled oats
1/3 cup of shredded coconut
1/3 cup of sesame seeds
1/2 cup of almond meal
1/3 cup of vegan liquid sweetener--maple syrup or agave syrup or honey*
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
sea salt to taste



In a food processor, combine almond meal, coconut, sesame seeds, and oats until chopped finely.  Add in the salt, liquid sweetener and vanilla extract.  When the texture starts to clump up you are done processing.  The 'dough' mixture was difficult for us to roll into cookies by hand so we placed it firmly into a storage container.  We lined the bottom of the container with baking paper.  We placed the mixture inside and pressed down firmly until it was level in height.  We used baking paper on top as well since the doughy mixture was so sticky and hard to work with.  After that we cut the dough into bite size squares.  Place in the fridge for an hour and enjoy!

*some people agree that honey is vegan while others say it is not

Raw Vegan Apple Pie with Apricot and Cinnamon



We found some beautiful pink lady apples at the market yesterday.  I love apples, we always have them on hand, but there's something about pink ladies that make me happy; they're crisp and sweet and have such pretty coloring.  We bought a big bag of them and initially just planned on putting them in a bowl and sharing them over the next few days, but we decided to experiment :P

We haven't had apple pie in so long.  I honestly can't remember when I had a piece of apple pie.  Kasey had a book from the library called Gorilla Food, written by Aaron Ash.  He has a recipe, but alas we didn't have the ingredients so we used his as a model and instead created our own, and WOW did it pay off :)  This pie is so good, I wish we had made double.

Raw Vegan Apple Pie (No baking necessary! :)

Crust

2 cups almond meal
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup Dates soaked for about 10 minutes
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Dash of cinnamon
9 inch pie pan


Combine all the ingredients in the food processor.  Ours was dense and still a bit sticky but easily manageable.  We pressed it into a glass pie pan and put it into the fridge to chill while we made the filling.

Filling

3-4 Pink Lady Apples, cored and sliced, don't peel them (lots of nutrients in there!)
6 dried Apricots, sliced as thinly as you can manage
1 Banana
1 tablespoon Coconut Oil, warmed to a liquid
Few shakes of Cinnamon
Few shakes of Nutmeg

Once the apples are sliced (we were lazy and used our food processor for this as well, but you can always do this part by hand) and cored, put them in a big bowl.  Add the apricots and the spices.  Combine.  Then, put the banana and the coconut oil in the processor and mix until blended.  Add this to the apples and just stir to combine everything.  (This smells so yum doesn't it?!)

Pull the crust out of the fridge and fill it with the apple mixture.  We had a bit more than we needed when we used 4 apples, you could pile it all on top, but we decided to reserve the extra to add to salads.  Keep the pie in the fridge.  We hope you loved this as much as we did <3

Enjoy!

Vegan Tomato and Pepper Oat Crackers

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius
Ingredients
1 stalk of celery
1/4 of green bell pepper (any color is fine)
3 roma tomatoes
1 cup of orange juice
1/2 lemon juiced
1/4 yellow onion
1 handful of fresh parsely
1 handful of fresh rosemary
1-2 teaspoons of dried oregano
6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
Sea salt and pepper to taste
4-6 cups of rolled oats

These are the rolled oats we used :-)  We bought these organic whole grain oats at the health food store in Bondi.  They were very cheap!  We got a big bag and these yummy crackers are the end product! 







Combine all ingredients except oats in a food processor, or high power blender.






Add oats to the food processor, but be warned, that oats are sometimes used as an egg substitute because they are a binder!  They start getting sticky and thick very quickly.  Work quickly when adding the oats.  We ended up using about 5 cups of oats.

Spread gloopy mixture on baking sheets.  We used three pans and put them into the oven.  Half way through the baking process we flipped them over and rotated them from outside to the inside. 

Enjoy!  We eat our crackers with salsa.  We also use them as croutons.




Friday, 19 April 2013

Quinoa and Vegetable Vegan Stew!



I'm freezing.  Winter is coming.  Kasey and I hosted a dinner party last weekend and we puzzled over what we could make.  No vegans were attending BUT we can't resist preparing a beautiful vegan menu.  It's such a nice feeling when people that expect vegan food to be bland and tasteless and boring are proven wrong :P We decided on a stew because what's better when you're cold and want something warm and hearty.  This stew was so fun to make, and simple.  The chopping took a while but if you have a good knife or a food processor that would help a lot.

We started with making the stock.  I think making a stock can seem a bit intimidating if you've never done it before.  It creates the base of the stew and that's where your base flavor starts.  I'll break this recipe into two parts to simplify.  Keep in mind, that if you are low on time it is perfectly okay to buy a pre-made vegan stock at the store, but we found it fun and delicious to make our own.



Vegetable Stock

1 Brown Onion, cut into quarters
2 Stalks of Celery, chopped in half
4 Carrots, medium size, cut in half
8 cloves of Garlic, cut in half
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Cumin
Handful of fresh Parsley
Handful of fresh Rosemary
Salt and Whole Peppercorns, we didn't really measure, just added as we went
6 Cups Spring Water

*We included mushrooms in our stock, but removed them after about 10 minutes when we realized they could be overpowering.  

Throw all of it in a big pot with a lid.  Heat on high until boiling.  Then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about 2.5-3 hours.  We ended up letting it cool over night just for extra flavor development.  Strain completely (you might be able to find another use for the leftover vegetable, Kasey happily ate the carrots on their own they were so good :D).  You'll need about 2 cups of stock liquid for your stew.

Quinoa and Vegetable Vegan Stew

1 Brown Onion, chopped 
2 Carrot, chopped
1.5 cups Quinoa
2 tablespoons of Macadamia Oil
1 tablespoon Cumin
2-4 cloves Garlic, finely minced
Salt and Ground Pepper to taste
Handful of Rosemary
Handful of Basil
5 Medium Tomatoes, chopped
2-3 cups of red and green cabbage, shredded
2 Cups Kale
1 Sweet Potato/Kumera, chopped
2 Cups of the above prepared stock
2-3 Cups Spring Water

Add the chopped carrot and onion and garlic to your pot, with the macadamia oil.  Cook it off just a bit then add the quinoa.  



 Now add the stock, water, and the tomatoes.  Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Finally, add in the cabbage and the kale and the sweet potato.  Put in the spices, the cumin, the rosemary, the basil, and your salt and pepper.  We taste as we cook and season accordingly, so our measurements might not be exact, but remember that you can always add more if you think it needs it.


Turn the heat down and continue to cook for 15-20 more minutes.  We checked on it constantly just to make sure the flavors were right.  It smelled so nice :)  Basically it's done when the sweet potato is cooked.  Enjoy!

We hope you love it as much as we did!  We had about 12 servings but everyone wanted seconds so it was hard to tell.  It was perfect for our chilly evening dinner party.  It was a big hit, for vegans and non-vegans alike :P




Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Vegan Veggie Burgers with Raw Vegan Ketchup and Sweet Potato Fries



This is a vegan version of the veggies burgers they showed on My Kitchen Rules the other night.  My sister and I LOVE this TV show.  As a combiner, Kerrie and Craig used an egg.  To make mine vegan, I used raw oats instead of an egg.  I didn't wait to fry mine so I chose to bake them.  I love raw sprouted chickpeas/garbanzo beans, but I find that I get a tummy ache when I eat too many of them.  I had some left over ones in the fridge marinating today so I decided to bake some veggie burgers!  It literally took me only a few minutes to throw the veggies into our *delightful* new food processor and get them in the oven :)

The raw vegan ketchup is divine.  My sister said she likes it better than regular ketchup!  My sister loved it so much she said she wished we had made a bigger quantity and stored it in the fridge.  I don't know how long it would last, but the raw lemon and salt would help preserve it for a little while.

Sweet potatoes are yummy and loaded with vitamin A.  The sweet potato fries/chips could easily be made raw, if you have a dehydrator.  We don't, so we put them in the oven.  I've done some research and it seems that any time a person combines a starch with oil at high heat it can become unhealthy so I have always eaten mine plain and started to like them better that way.  I personally LOVE them plain!  Yes, the spices and oil do add a nice flavor too :) So my point is, you have options :^) 

As for a bun.....lol....I got lazy and didn't feel like it needed one anyways.  Who knows, maybe I'll try one out next time and update this post. 




Raw Vegan Ketchup

1 cup chopped roma tomatoes (any tomato will do, but we like roma best)
1/3 cup pitted dates (soak for a bit first and drain...this water is yummy--drink some!)
1 cup sundried tomatoes (soak for a bit first and drain)
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1-3 cloves of garlic (man I am loving garlic lately so I always add extra.  Start with one and see how you like it :))
Sea salt to taste

Process or blend all ingredients until smooth.  Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve!

Vegan Chickpea Veggie Burgers

If you want to go a step above and beyond, you can marinate your chickpeas beforehand.  For a marinade I like a pinch of sea salt, tablespoon of macademia nut oil, a squeeze of lemon or vinegar, few shakes of garlic, lots of cumin, and a pinch of ground chili.   

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Ingredients:
2 cups of soaked chickpeas/garbanzo beans.  I soak mine over night, and then sometimes marinate them.
1/4 of a bell pepper/mild capsicum.  Any color!
4 cloves of garlic
5 sprigs of fresh coriander
1/3 cup of raw oats
1 tablespoon of macadamia nut oil.  (It would be interesting to see how coconut oil would taste!  From my research mac oil and coconut oil seem to be the safest to cook with)
1/2 medium jalapeno pepper. Your choice whether to remove the seeds!!  I took out half
1/2 large yellow onion
Throw in some of your favorite spices.  I used cumin, sea salt, chilli flakes and ground coriander.

Put everything in your food processor or high speed blender.   Process until slightly still chunky.  Shape into patties (I had 7) and bake for 30 minutes.  Flip over and rotate if needed.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes or so, checking to see your patties are a nice golden color.




Sweet Potato Fries

These are so simple to make.  The only challenge in my opinion is cutting up the sweet potato.   Rinse, dry and chop up one large sweet potato in half first, then into fry size pieces.  I leave the skin because it is nutritious, tastes nice, and why take the time to peel it away lol?

Now it is time for those options I was explaining above.  I seriously just love the natural sweet potato flavor.  I put them in the oven and bake at 400 degrees on a baking sheet, checking them after 20 minutes.  I keep checking until they are nice and crispy.

A yummy raw vegan version can be followed here:  http://www.rawmazing.com/raw-sweet-potato-fries-w-chipotle-mayo/#more-750

If you like seasoned fries baked with oil:  http://www.instructables.com/id/Perfect-Oven-Sweet-Potato-Fries/

My sister (and everyone at the dinner party we made these for) wanted some flavoring so we set some plain ones aside for me and put the rest in a plastic bag with olive oil, yummy spices like fresh rosemary, sea salt, and pepper.  Shake until evenly coated.

Enjoy!!!!!












Saturday, 13 April 2013

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with a Hint of Apple


 You are going to love this!!
 Bethany and I served this raw vegan carrot cake at our dinner party yesterday.  Oh my gosh is it yummy!   I had some for breakfast this morning too haha :)  We made this carrot cake with a dinosaur blender that barely works, so if you have a food processor or high speed blender it will be much easier for you.  Regardless, it was still simple and fun to make!  This makes about 15 -20 servings. 

INGREDIENTS-Base
2 Cups of shredded carrots (we used a mandolin slicer)  Set the carrots aside for later!
1 medium sized apple peeled and shredded (we used the mandolin for this too)
2-2.5 Cups of Almond meal (you want the dough to be dense, moist, but not sticky)
1.5 cups of raw pitted dates soaked and drained
1 cup raw shredded coconut
3 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoon of nutmeg 
1 teaspoon of sea salt




Put all ingredients except carrots in a food processor or high speed blender.  Plan B:  you can also mash it up quite nicely and easily by hand if you don't have any fancy equipment :) We attempted to put the ingredients in our blender, at first, but it just growled at us.  haha.














Next, add in shredded carrot.

Next we used a 8inch by 10 inch plastic storage container...we wanted a pan but didn't have the right size.  But actually the plastic storage container had a lid on it so it ended up being the perfect choice since the base is going to go into the freezer anyways :)  We lined the plastic container with foil so it would be easy to lift out.  We spread the base inside, about one inch thick.  Put in freezer to set.





 While your base is in the freezer it is time to whip up some frosting :)  there is our fancy blender, using a fancy plate as our lid.












 



INGREDIENTS
 1.5 cups of raw almond meal
1/2 cup of water 
2/3 cup of raw coconut oil
 4 Tablespoons of liquid sweetener (agave syrup, maple syrup or honey*)
 2 Teaspoons of vanilla extract
Juice of a half lemon
1 teaspoon of sea salt

Blend all ingredients well!  We really wanted a creamy texture, so it was important to blend it for a long time!!  We let it blend for about 4 minutes.  We didn't want it to get hot though, so you might want to give it a minute or two break in the middle of the blending.  Keep checking it though, because all blenders are different.

Grab your base out of the freezer, smooth the cream on top of it, and marvel for a few minutes at the delicious dessert you have just created :))  Freeze for at least 1 hour, preferably 2.  Allow 30 minutes for it to thaw before eating.  ~ENJOY!~



*some people agree that honey is vegan while others say it is not

The wonders of coconut oil and lavender in hair!

I decided to try something new yesterday.  I was a bit skeptical (when I say skeptical I really mean concerned about oil in hair in general, my hair gets oily if I don't wash it at least every two days.  I thought it wouldn't be good for me to be ADDING oil in any capacity.. lol)  but Kasey insisted, she was really keen to see how it turned out for me.  She has been a fan of putting coconut oil in her hair for a while now, and she even made a youtube video about it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlh52ujMO6w

In our previous post, we talked about foraging and we were lucky to find some beautiful, aromatic lavender and we had no real idea what we were going to do with it.  We had about 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil left in the jar so it clicked, why not try adding the lavender?!  We heated the coconut oil until it was in liquid form and added about 2 teaspoons of lavender flowers.  It smelled amazing and I wasn't so skeptical about putting it in my hair then :)   I just focused on the ends and ran a brush through.  Then I put my hair in a loose bun and went about my day.  Simple as that!



I loved it, absolutely loved it.  Every step I took I could smell the soothing lavender and the yummy coconut, it was divine.

I ended up leaving it in for about 8 hours.  I imagine if you wanted, you could leave it for 1-2 hours just to try it.  I'm thinking since we mixed in the calming lavender, you could put this on your hair before bedtime for sweet dreams :)

We plan on trying to mix the oil with essential oils.  We have some peppermint oil and neroli oil.  Both of which I'm excited about trying!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Urban Herbin’ near Sydney :)

We were out and about and decided to do some urban foraging!  I (Kasey) go running a few times a day, and I always see wild edibles :)   Today we found mulberries, aloe, rosemary, lavender, oranges, lemons, limes, dandelion greens, and aloe.  The mulberries are going into a dessert.  The fresh rosemary is going to flavor some raw vegan crackers perhaps.  We already ate the orange lol.  The lime will be used in our tabouli.  We use lemon in our water and as flavoring in our dishes.  The aloe and dandelion greens can be transformed into a medicinal green smoothie!!  The lavender can be made into a tea or used in a bubble bath.




http://www.care2.com/greenliving/safe-foraging-11-tips-precautions.html#comment-4966456