Archive for June, 2010


Guest Post by Maurizio

For my first Guest Post there was no doubt in my mind that I would ask my boyfriend, Maurizio – being half Italian, his Pasta creations are always out of this world! So here he is, to share one of my favourite recipes from his family:

I remember the first time Rebecca and I had this together was when my sister cooked for us. Rebecca wasn’t too excited about the combination of Broccoli & Pasta, and pulled a face when we told her what was for dinner. But since she tried this we have been having it nearly every month! The good thing about this dish is that it doesn’t take alot of effort or time to cook, but tastes really creamy & delicious. Enjoy 🙂
Ingredients: (4 Servings)
2-3 cloves of Garlic
1/2 Onion (Red or White), diced
handful of Pinenuts
2 heads of Broccoli, florets separated
500ml Soya Cream (for sauces, not Whipping)
1 packet Spelt Tagliatelle (or any other you prefer)
Olive Oil
dash of dried Basil
Salt & crushed Black Pepper
1 tsp. Mustard (Dijon or English)
grated Soy Cheese (optional)


– Cook Pasta accoding to directions (remember to add salt and olive oil to water). Additionally, boil water in a seperate saucepan for Broccoli. If you are feeling very lazy you can boil the Broccoli in the water for 3-4 minutes, or you can steam it for about 5-6 minutes in a colander over the pan, until bright green & very soft. Drain and set aside.

– Heat oil in a sauce pan add Garlic, Onions and Pine nuts, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until ingredients start to brown. Add Basil and give it a quick stir.

-Add Brocolli and try to crush with a fork or wooden spoon until mushy with some pieces intact, then add Cream and let it simmer for 2 minutes. (Alternatively, you can blitz half the mixture at the end)
– Stir in Mustard and let it simmer(don’t boil) for another two minutes. At this point you can add some grated soy cheese if you want, but it doesn’t really improve the flavour. Season with Salt, and a good helping of fresh Black Pepper.
– Combine Pasta and Sauce, serve immediately and dig in!


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Curried Red Lentil Soup…

This is one of my favourite staples, and I’ve fed it to many a non-veggie who have all enjoyed it. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, it’s mainly spices – and if you’re a compulsive grocery shopper like me, you’ll probably have them all in your rack! If not, just stick with whatever you have (most important are the Curry Spice, Cinnamon, Cumin & Tumeric) but no matter how tempting, don’t leave out the Tamari & Maple Syrup at the end – this soup isn’t the same without them…

Adapted from recipe in You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan!: 200 Recipes for Simple and Delicious Animal-Free Cuisine

Ingredients: (4 servings)


1 medium Red Onion, diced

1 clove of Garlic, minced

2-3 stalks Celery, medium dice

1 medium Carrot, medium dice

1/2 Sweet Potato, small dice (1/4 Butternut works well too…)

1 tsp. Mustard Seeds

1/2 Tblsp. Curry Powder

1/4 tsp. Cinnamon, ground

1/2 tsp. ground Cumin

1 tsp. ground Ginger

1/4 tsp. ground Coriander

1/2 Tblsp. fresh Ginger, minced

1 small, Red Chile, minced (take half seeds out)

1/4 tsp. Tumeric

1 cup dry, Red Lentils

5 cups Water

handful Swiss Chard/Spinach, chopped

2 Tblsp. Maple Syrup

3-4 Tblsp. Tamari/Soy Sauce



Fresh Parlsely, minced

Fresh Coriander, minced



– In a medium sized pot, over medium heat, sauté Onions, Garlic, Celery, Carrots, and Sweet Potato in Oil of choice for 3 minutes. Add the spices & sauté with the vegetables.

– Add the Lentils and stir to mix, then add Water and cook uncovered, for about 30 mins over medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent sticking, and cook until Lentils are soft. Add Swiss Chard and cook a few more minutes, until wilted.

– Season the soup with Maple Syrup, Tamari, Salt & Pepper, and sprinkle with fresh Parsley & Coriander to serve.

*Can also be pureed smooth if you prefer…You may want to double this recipe if making for 4 people, as you will definately be wanting seconds!

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This creation was brought to the BBQ (along with the skewers in the previous post), and we ended up eating it out of paper cups due to the wind which really didn’t do it any justice – but it was still delicious…In case you’re wondering, those are little Apricot slices peeking out from underneath and they turn this Salad from great to amazing! The candied Walnuts are really easy to make, they literally take 5 minutes – but to keep this dish completely raw you can pop the nuts into a dehydrator instead, or just add them au naturel. This summery combination will delight your ‘buds…


handful raw Walnut pieces

1-2 Tblsp. Maple Syrup

4 cups Rocket, washed & dried

1 fresh Apricot, stoned & thinly sliced

1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced

1 ripe Avocado, thinly sliced


2 Tblsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tblsp. Maple Syrup

2 Tblsp. Olive Oil



– For the Walnuts: Turn oven to 400F/200C, and line a baking tray. Pour Maple Syrup over Nuts & mix with hands to cover. Lay out the Nuts on baking tray and toast in Oven about 5 min. or until beginning to brown (do not take your eyes off them – they burn very quickly!). Remove, and let cool.

– Place Rocket in a large Salad bowl, and cover with Apricots, Red Onion & Avocado. Combine Dressing ingredients in a jar & shake to mix. Sprinkle Nuts over Salad, and pour Dressing over just before serving.


*Tastes just as good out of a paper cup…

**FYI I’ve made a second version of this Salad, adding chopped Mint which takes it to a whole ‘nother level! I also substituted Pumpkin Seeds for the Walnuts (keeping them raw), Lime Juice for the Maple Syrup in the dressing & added Cherry Tomatoes = Heavenly

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It’s BBQ Time! I’ve never been very keen on cooking food over a flame, mainly because in South Africa it usually entails eating about 4 hours later and getting burnt food (especially if the ‘Braai Master’ looses track of time while enjoying his many beers..). Here in Hong Kong the process is a bit faster, as we either barbeque on a gas grill or over charcoal – as opposed to fire wood in SA. I also find the idea of succulent vegetables & fruit on a skewer more enticing than burnt meat, which is why I no longer mind going to BBQ’s that much…The marinade is so tasty you are going to want to make a double batch, so be sure to let the Veggies soak in it for a sufficient amount of time to get the most flavour. Don’t leave out the Pineapple – it’s amazing once grilled!


Wooden Skewers, soaked for atleast 1 hour

Assorted Veggies, chopped roughly eg:


Red Pepper

Yellow Pepper

Orange Pepper

Courgettes, Green & Yellow

Red Onion


Cherry Tomatoes


Mint Marinade:

handful Fresh Mint (about 4-5 Sprigs)

3-4 Tblsp. Tamari/Soy Sauce

2-3 Tblsp. Agave

2 Tblsp. Red Wine Vinegar

2 Tblsp. Lemon Juice

1/2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

1 clove of Garlic, minced





– Combine Marinade ingredients in a food processor/blender and blend until smooth.

– Alternatively thread Vegetables on Skewers and place in a shallow dish, cover with marinade and let soak for atleast a few hours.

– Once ready to barbeque, hand them over to a man so he can grill them for you…;) Make sure to rotate frequently, so Veggies grill evenly.

*Tofu would also make a great addition!


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I cannot hold onto this recipe any longer – it must be shared! This is the BEST Ice Cream I have EVER had in my LIFE, Vegan or otherwise!! If you have an Ice Cream maker, go and make this immediately…If you don’t have one, go and buy one now, you will never want to have Ice Cream from a store ever again! I’m quite pleased with myself for coming up with this combo because it truly is a match made in heaven. For some reason I used to avoid eating anything flavoured with Passionfruit when I was younger (Granadilla to South Africans…), now I can’t imagine why! The original recipe from Lick It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love is for Lemon Cheesecake Ice Cream (which is also amazing, but still has nothing on my version!), so if for some reason you can’t get hold of Passionfruit then just substitute with the zest & juice of 1 Lemon…Apparently there is a way to make Ice Cream manually by freezing & blending every hour, over a 4 hour period – so if you’re desperate, you can give it a try & let me know how that turns out!


3/4 tsp. Agar Agar powder

1/3 cup Water

fruit of 4 Passionfruits, scooped out (and extra for serving)

1 asceptic box Silken Tofu, soft

1 (80z) tub of non-dairy Cream Cheese (I use Tofutti)

2/3 cup Agave Syrup (or 1/3 cup Agave + 1/4tsp. Stevia)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 Tblsp. Soymilk



In a saucepan, let Agar Agar soak in Water for a few minutes. Then bring to a boil and allow to cook until dissolved, about 3 mins.

– Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, blend Passionfruit, Tofu, Cream Cheese, Agave, Vanilla Extract and Soy Milk until smooth. Add Agar Agar Water, blend again until combine.

– Cover and chill in the refrigerator for atleast 6 hours, or overnight. Then freeze in an Ice Cream maker according to directions. Freeze for a further hour or 2 if you would like a firmer texture.

Serve with some fresh Passionfruit on top.

*Welcome to Vegan Bliss….

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Banana Bread is always a hit – this is my tried & tested recipe that I have shared with many, and it never fails! It’s just the way Banana Bread should be: moist, crunchy & not too sweet, with a delicate crust. I decided to jazz it up a bit by adding some Cocoa (so good!), but if you want to leave it out then add an extra 1/4 cup of Sugar. I didn’t want to overpower the Banans in this loaf, so if you want a stronger Chocolate flavour increase the Cocoa to 1/2 cup…And for extra chocolatey goodness, add Chocolate Chips instead of Nuts! Buy yourself some Bananas today, and let them sit for a few days until they are nice and spotty, before making this Banana Loaf.


(adapted from You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan!: 200 Recipes for Simple and Delicious Animal-Free Cuisine)

2 1/4 cups Barley Flour (or 2 cups All-Purpose Flour if you don’t want it Wheat-free)

1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 cup Canola Oil

1/2 cup Brown Sugar or 1/2 tsp. Stevia (increase to 3/4 cups Sugar or 3/4 tsp. Stevia if making plain Banana Bread)

1/4 cup – 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 cup Soy Milk (may need a little more if using 1/2 cup Cocoa)

1/4 cup Maple Syrup

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

4 mashed, ripe Bananas (add extra 1/2 Banana if using Stevia instead of Sugar)

1/2 cup chopped Walnuts, or Chocolate Chips


Preheat oven to 180C/350F, and lightly oil 9X3 inch Loaf pan and set aside.

– In a large bowl, sift Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Cocoa.

– In another bowl, mix together Oil, Sugar/Stevia, and Salt. Stir in Soy Milk, Maple Syrup, and Vanilla. Add the Bananas to the mixture and mix well.

– Add the Banana mixture and the Nuts to the dry ingredients and stir in thoroughly.

– Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 – 50 mins., or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

– Allow to cool in pan 10 mins. and then turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

*Makes 1 delicious Loaf…


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Raw foodism is very popular these days, and it’s not surprising: how can eating uncooked, unprocessed foods not be good for you?! Food eaten in its natural state becomes much more easily available to your body in terms of nutrients, and can be digested alot faster than cooked foods – hence, instant energy! But sometimes Raw food recipes can seem a bit daunting, with all the soaking, sprouting & special equipment needed…These crackers, however, are pretty simple – no fancy processor needed (a simple blender should do the trick), no soaking or sprouting, and they can even be made in your oven if you don’t own a dehydrator! Please note, though, that for the crackers to still be considered Raw they need to be cooked in 46°C (115°F) or less – my oven only goes as low as 80°C, but I still did a batch in there anyway and they turned out delicious (took about 3 1/2 hrs), and tasted almost exactly the same as the batch I put in my dehydrator. The Hummus recipe is not Raw, it’s just something I made to go with the crackers – I’m still unsure as to whether I would make it again, but I have included the recipe at the end just in case you want to give it a try. This recipe comes from You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan!: 200 Recipes for Simple and Delicious Animal-Free Cuisine, and I’m so glad I decided to page through this book again because I’ve realised there is a whole chapter on Raw Food recipes! I plan to try the Apple Pie recipe very soon…

Ingredients: (makes 2 trays)

1/2 cup Ground Flaxseeds

1/2 cup Buckwheat Groats or chopped Almonds

1/2 cup raw Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 cup raw Sunflower Seeds

1/2 cup grated Carrot

1 cup finely chopped Sundried Tomatoes

1/4 cup raw Sesame Seeds (I used Black)

3/4 tsp. dried Thyme

3/4 tsp. dried Basil

3/4 tsp. Garlic powder

3/4 tsp. Onion powder

1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast (optional)

1 1/2 cups Water

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt



Combine all the cracker ingredients in a bowl, cover with water and allow to absorb for 15 minutes or so.

– Put mixture into a processor or blender and run until mostly smooth with some texture.

– Spread mixture thinly onto a Teflex deydrator sheet (or a lined baking tray), and score crackers into 2 inch squares. Place in deydrator for 8 hrs (or oven at lowest temperature for about 3 -5 hrs). Flip over and continue to deydrate for an additional 4 hrs or until crackers are crunchy.

* PS: These are seriously tasty by the way! They were brought along as snacks in the cinema, as well as for lunch with some veggies and dip…Very addictive!


Beetroot Hummus


1/2 Onion, diced

1 Tblsp. Cumin, ground

2 medium cooked Beetroots, chopped

1 tin of Chickpeas, drained

1 Tblsp. Tahini

2-3 Tblsp. plain Soy Yoghurt

2 cloves of Garlic, minced

2 Tblsp. Lemon Juice

3-4 Tblsp. Olive Oil

Water, as needed



Heat a little Oil in a frying pan and cook Onion for 2 -3 mins. until soft. Add Cumin and cook for a further 1 minute, until fragrant.

In a processor, or blender, process Beetroot, Onion, Chickpeas, Tahini, Yoghurt, Lemon Juice and Garlic until smooth. With the motor running add Oil in a steady stream. Process until combined, adding Water if needed.

(from Vegie Food (Chunky Food))

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