Friday, June 29, 2012

Chocolate coated, Almond butter Stuffed Dates

Remember how I had my friend over for dinner the other night? Well these were my favourite dessert (by far) I could eat these every day, possibly at every meal. Seriously yummy. I would take these over ANY processed junk effortlessly. You've got to try them! 

They're super quick and easy to make and another bonus is they're perfect portion control. The sweet dates are so sticky they're almost akin to toffee/fudge and combined with the punch of roast almonds that coat your mouth and the bitter salty kick of delicious dark chocolate these are the perfect combination. 

Chocolate coated, Almond butter Stuffed Dates
Ingredients per date
1 large Medjool date (big moist squishy dates with pips)
1 tsp Roasted Almond butter (or any nut butter)
1 tsp 70% Good Dark Chocolate
Tiny pinch of Salt (optional)

  • Chop chocolate
  • Melt over bain marie
  • Softly slice the date along the longest side- only half way through!
  • Remove pip
  • Gently press date open along seam
  • Spoon almond butter into the centre
  • Gently press the edges of the date closer together (so your stuffed date resembles a hot dog bun)
  • Add a tiny pinch of salt to the dark chocolate
  • Drizzle over stuffed date
  • Refrigerate/leave out to set
  • Enjoy! 
I have no idea how long they keep because they taste so good they've never lasted more than 2 days. I assume they would keep well If you can restrain yourself though.

I've also made a raw version before by subbing raw almond butter and raw cacao for the chocolate- they were still completely awesome. So however you choose to eat them, please try them! This is the selection of desserts I made for the chocolate course.. recipes to come (of course).
I really hope you give this one a try.. you know if I could pick my last meal I think I might choose these and fruit 'ice cream' for dessert. What would you choose?

All the best, 




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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Food Stories Award!

I got nominated for a food stories award! :) Thanks Theresa! Theresa blogs over at The Tropical Vegan you should all go check her out, she shares gorgeous homey food, her life, gardening, tips for budgeting (not just recipes) and she uses Aussie ingredients that I don't see on many blogs. All in all her blog is a great read and she's a lovely person who shines through it.
Ok so I'm supposed to share a random fact about me. What can I tell you...
In addition to completing my masters degree I am working on multiple research projects. Who says you have to take holidays? At the moment I'm working on an epic research project aiming to enhance visual observation skills in subject areas other than art- so with doctors, dentists and historians at the moment, I believe the neuroscientists are next! The project also includes a focus on empathy. Yes that's right people, I am teaching empathy! To be honest I thought they were kidding at first, I mean- empathy is a basic human emotion right? everyone has empathy! Apparently not... I find it depressing to the point of hilarity that I am teaching empathy. Is it just me? or do you guys think that's odd too?

And now for the nominees:
In random order...
1. Lou from Fridge Scrapings
2. Emily von Euw from This Rawsome Vegan Life
3. Glutenfreehappytummy from Glutenfreehappytummy
4. Joey from Flicking the V's
5. Sarah from This is what I eat

These are all great blogs, I can't suggest enough that you give them a read!
Sharing random facts is kind of fun, perhaps I should do it more often..If you ever have any questions feel free to ask in comments, email, whatever- there's a pretty good chance you'll get an answer.
I hope you're all well!
All the best,







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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vegan Feast Menu

On Friday night we had a vegan feast! I had one of my dear friends over for dinner. There was a clear agenda (she knew too- I don't want you thinking I was hijacking her), I wanted to show her it was more than possible to make yummy, healthy vegan food. I want so much to help her make good choices and live a long healthy life. It kills me to see her so unhealthy but hey, you can lead a horse to water right? so...

My mission:

1. To get my darling friend to eat healthy vegan food.
2. For her to like at least something!
3. To satisfy her (so she wouldn't get junk food on the way home)
4. To show that it is easy to cook yummy healthy food.
5. To convince her to start exercising (aiming for a 30 min daily walk)

I'll post some of the recipes soon but here's a sneak peak at my kitchen table after I finished making the chocolate course.. yummm (please excuse my pink curly straw cup)
From left to right you've got 1. Chocolate, nut, apricot truffles, 2. Chocolate coated dried apricots, 3. Chocolate coated grapes, 4. Chocolate coated dates stuffed with almond butter and 5. Chocolate mousse tarts. Now I know it looks like a lot but I was working on the assumption that she would be taking a bite of each and finding maybe one she liked... and of course making extras for my darling husband's bottomless stomach!
Vegan Feast Menu
Drinks
Watermelon Juice, Orange & Grapefruit Juice, Apple Juice 
Coke Zevia, Organic Natural Coke

Appetisers
Hummus
Pea, chili & corriander hummus
Moroccan pumpkin dip
Moroccan lentil dip
Rice cakes

Entrée
Butternut Pumpkin Soup with roast pumpkin seeds
Apple, celery, walnut, spinach, lettuce salad with Apple Cider Vinegar dressing

Main
Smoked Tofu steak burgers
Roast corn on the cob
Broccoli & peas cooked in stock
Oven roast fries

Dessert
Raspberry & Apple crumble with coyo (coconut yoghurt)

Chocolate Course
Dates stuffed with almond butter coated in chocolate
Chocolate dipped dried apricots
Chocolate coated grapes
Almond, walnut, apricot vanilla truffles coated in chocolate
Chocolate mousse tarts 
(tart shell same mixture as truffles filled with choc tofu mousse & coated in chocolate)

Afters (just in case)
Popcorn
Apple leather bar
Emma & Toms bar (nut and fruit)
So- did I achieve my mission goals?
1. To get my darling friend to eat healthy vegan food.
She was so good! She tried everything. Even if she didn't like them she tried them, that's all I could have hoped for. I was so happy.
2. For her to like at least something!
Pea & Coriander Hummus Dip, Pumpkin Soup, Oven fries, Broccoli, Chocolate covered apricot, almond & walnut truffles, Chocolate covered grapes & apricots all went down well!
3. To satisfy her (so she wouldn't get junk food on the way home!)
As she left she was so full that junk food wasn't even an option. We didn't even get to 'afters' because we'd all had enough but talked about them as snacks to have incase the urge for junk is too much. 
4. To show that it is easy to cook yummy healthy food.
I think I managed to show her that these meal options were quick, easy and yum. I know the pumpkin soup was a winner and will get made. 
5. To convince her to start exercising (aiming for a 30 min daily walk)
I got her to agree that it was a good idea and has amazing health benefits.. so I'm calling that a win- now we just have to see if it actually happens... *fingers crossed*

I had a lovely time and really enjoyed cooking for the people I love. I know some people find it hard to put themselves in that situation (both cooks and guests) but it worked out wonderfully. After the disastrous christmas endeavour it was really quite refreshing to have a good experience cooking for omnivores. I will never stop trying to share my food with others & I hope you do too! food crosses all boundaries and unites people, it shouldn't become a source of friction rather spread love- make it about what you DO eat not what you don't and enjoy yourselves :)
I hope you're all well, happy and enjoying some yummy food!
All the best,







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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Greens & Mushroom Miso Soup

This is one of my staples, I've got a couple of versions of it up but here's another! It's satisfying, fresh, salty, yum and so quick and easy. It uses cupboard ingredients plus it's HUGE and fills you right up for very few calories and is completely nutritious! This soup always makes me feel better when I'm feeling under the weather, most people would say chicken noodle soup but for me, it's miso and greens all the way.

Greens and Mushroom Miso Soup
Makes 1 large or 2 small serves
1 tbsp miso paste
1 bunch choy sum (or any other Asian greens)
2 cups chopped oyster mushrooms
1 cup dried mixed mushrooms ( I like shitake & black fungus)
4 cups water
1 cup coriander (or however much you desire, I like a lot!)
Optional Additions
Chilli
Dark Chinese Vinegar
Soy Sauce
Bean shoots, spinach, bok choy (or any other veggies you like)
Rice or bean noodles (cooked)
  • Chop veggies
  • boil water - with vinegar and soy if you like them
  • add mushrooms
  • cook until tender (5 mins?)
  • add choy sum
  • cook until it turns a vibrant green and the stalks are still crunchy (2 mins?)
  • add miso and coriander (and chilli if you like it hot)
  • stir well to combine miso evenly
  • enjoy!
Thanks so much for your comments and advice on my last post- I really appreciate it (and so did my friend). I've decided to cook her a yummy dinner on Friday to help convince her that healthy food tastes good too... well that's the plan at least. I was thinking of making multiple smaller dishes to give a good variety to taste- and it wouldn't be the end of the world if she doesn't like one... 
Any ideas on what I should make?

Hope you're all well and happy! :)
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pumpkin Miso Soup

Long time no see! I've missed blogging!
I would apologise but you know, I was busy living my lovely life and prioritising the important stuff (family, work, study, health). So I've missed you and missed blogging but I'm pretty sure I was doing the right thing.

Life update: It's been crazy busy, for the most part I've been away for work or buried under a pile of assignments. Teaching in the high country was a challenge but great fun.. I can't wait to go back in a few months. I summited a couple of beautiful mountains and took some great photos... that will hopefully soon be up on my red bubble. You know, when the last essay and research project are done. Would you like me to post a couple of my favourites here? I've been thinking about it for a while but don't want to bombard you with images or confuse the blog. But I do have some stunning beach shots from the other weekend too... let me know?

I owe you some yummy food. Actually, I owe ME some yummy food. I've got to be honest, I've been on and off with my food choices recently and have gained weight. I need to get back into the swing of things. Ok so to help me to get back into the swing of things I'm going to try and get into a blogging schedule. I'm going to try and blog at least weekly. I used to have the time and energy to blog daily but when life gets uber busy my food choices are repetitive and boring- no one wants to see my can of baked beans, fruit, green soups or salads again and again. How does that sound to you? Weekly blogging of a (hopefully) great recipe instead of multiple boring ones? And then in the holidays when I actually have time to relax I might have time for more! *fingers crossed*

This soup is delish! It's thick, creamy, filling, sweet and salty while being satisfying and super easy. This was actually round 2, the first time I over did the miso and it was wayyy too salty- so be warned, go easy on the miso and adjust to taste. 

Pumpkin Miso Soup
Makes 5 serves (165 cals per serve)
8 cups chopped pumpkin
6 cups water
1/4 cup miso (I used yellow young soy miso but I'm sure others will taste great too)
2 tbsp dried chives
1/4 tsp aesofatida
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 tbsp dried rosemary
pepper to taste

  • chop pumpkin- leave the skin on!
  • cook in water until tender (or in the pressure cooker)
  • blend well
  • add other ingredients to taste
  • blend again and adjust consistency by adding water as desired
  • enjoy!
  • keeps well in the fridge for a few days & freezes perfectly
I have a gorgeous friend who I'm trying to entice into healthy food... she needs to for health reasons and I don't know what to do... she's anti-veg-salad-tofu etc and pro diet coke... any ideas? 

I want to help her so much but she said she'd never make anything from my blog because it just doesn't appeal. I get that its a big step but there must be a way to win her over! I'm just stuck because everything I think tastes divine she doesn't... I'm SO open to any opinions or tips! please help?!
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