Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chocolate Puffed Nut Slice

Did you love rice crispy treats when you were a child? I did, but we all outgrow our favourites (and realise just how much sugar is involved in making them!) So today I'm sharing a delicious, quick and easy grown up puffed rice treat.

This slice is incredibly rich. It's one of the few sweets that you really only do want a small slice of. The texture is a variety of the soft puffed grain with crunchy nuts and seeds covered in smooth chocolate without being too fatty- the chocolate binds and gives a punch of flavour but there's just the right amount to coat, combine and bind all the goodness together. You can add anything you want, I kept this one simple as it was my contribution to a party spread but it tastes divine with dried fruit, coconut or a pinch on cinnamon in the mix. Give it a go!

Chocolate Puffed Nut Slice
Makes 12 Serves
3 cups puffed quinoa (or any grain you desire)
300g good quality dark chocolate
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 cup assorted seeds and nuts (Walnuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
Tiny pinch of salt
Optional additions
Dried fruit
Coconut (flakes, shreds, dessicated)
  • Chop nuts and seeds into small pieces
  • Chop chocolate into small even pieces, combine with salt
  • Melt over a bainmarie (bowl over pot with hot water)
  • Combine chocolate with all other ingredients, plus desired optional extras
  • Spread into a lined tray
  • Refrigerate to firm
  • Cut into slices
  • Enjoy!
  • (Keep in the fridge to avoid meltdown)
This was loved so much the host asked for the recipe- you know you've got to give it a go- and let me know if you come up with any other yummy additions!

Love and Smiles,

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Special 'fried rice' and Cinnamon 'rice' pudding

Remember how I was lucky enough to review Slim Me Noodles a while ago? Well they've just introduced a rice version. Just the same as the noodles the rice are made from Konjac Glucomanna (KGM), a water soluble fiber from the (low cal, low carb) root of the Konjac plant (devils tongue yam/elephant yam). I think the new packets are a great improvement!
 I tried out the 'rice' in these recipes...

Special Fried Slim Me Rice (vegan) 
Makes 2 serves
Block of firm tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 bunch asparagus
1 large carrot
1 packet slim me rice
1/2 avocado
1 small eggplant

CURRY POWDER (MILD) - even if you don't make the recipe give this spice mix a try!!!
4 tsp Tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
Pinch of garam masala
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch fennel seed

Pinch of mustard seed
Pinch of cardamon
  • Grind spice mixture in mortar and pestle
  • Slice eggplant into 1.5 cm slices and dry fry until golden and tender
  • Crumble tofu with a fork and dry fry until it has shrunk significantly and begins to turn golden
  • Add spice mixture to tofu and fry off until fragrant
  • Take off the heat and add nutritional yeast
  • Chop asparagus, carrot and eggplant into bite sized pieces
  • Rinse slim me rice well and heat in hot water for 2 mins
  • Combine all ingredients and garnish with avocado
  • Enjoy!

Cinnamon Slim Me Rice Pudding
Makes 2 serves
1 packet slim me rice
1 cup rice milk (or almond/soy/oat milk etc)
2 tbsp flour (wholemeal/besan/rice etc.)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract
Stevia to taste
1 punnet strawberries
1 banana
  • Combine milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and stevia
  • Over a low heat rain in flour while stirring
  • Increase temperature to thicken
  • Rinse Slim Me Rice well
  • Add to sauce and leave for 2 mins to heat through
  • Chop fruit
  • Top with fruit
  • Enjoy!

Things I liked:
Low calorie
No gluten
No carb
Quick cooking
Free Shipping
BPA free packing
Hold together well while cooking

Things I didn't like: 
I wouldn't eat them alone like you can with rice- I really think they do need some flavour and taste best when cooked with others things to give it some texture (but that's how I like to cook rice too)

It's hard to make fragrant rice dishes that require cooking the rice because you can't overcook it or it goes crunchy. So things like saffron rice or coconut rice are a tad tricky- granted it can be fixed by making the meal's sauce flavour packed and having it with it.

Smell of the liquid they're stored in- but you just rinse it well and they're fine.
Processed- not a whole food. I try to keep my diet whole and use ingredients like these in moderation.

I'm more of a noodle person than a rice person but that's the same with the original too so I still prefer the Slim Me Noodles.

I know for most people this will be redundant but I had some tummy troubles after eating too much of this (4 meals in a row) but I'm insanely sensitive and can't eat a million things (gluten, apples, onions, garlic, cabbage, raw apples, dried dates etc etc etc.)
How do you like to eat your rice? Would you have tried some other recipes?

Love and Smiles,

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tomato Sauce (sugar + salt free), Cinnamon + Lemon infused Apple Cider Vinegar, Rosemary, Sage + Pepper infused White Wine Vinegar

Condiments can be sugar and salt traps so more often than not we omit them when trying to make healthy food choices. You needn't go without though! Just give making them a go. 

This tomato sauce along with my dijon mustard is a staple in our fridge, we never have anything else so when we have friends over there isn't really much choice- needless to say many guests have tried this tomato sauce (and loved it!). I was sure one of my husband's friends would turn his nose up at it but after giving it a good eyeing and sniff, dug in and proclaimed he actually preferred it to the original! Give this one a go, you'll save yourself calories, salt, sugar and preservatives.

Tomato Sauce (sugar + salt free)
Cinnamon and Lemon infused Apple Cider Vinegar
Tomato Sauce (sugar free)
Makes 12 serves
1 cup Tomato paste (organic salt reduced preferably)
3/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
Stevia to taste - approximately 20 drops
Optional extras
Freshly ground black pepper
Onion powder
  • Combine ingredients in a jar
  • Shake extremely well to combine
  • Enjoy!
  • Keeps for weeks in the fridge
Cinnamon and Lemon infused Apple Cider Vinegar
Makes 1 cup
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cinnamon quill
1 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • Combine ingredients in a jar/bottle
  • Store for 1 week before use- the longer you leave it the stronger it gets
  • Enjoy!
  • Keeps indefinitely
Rosemary, Sage and Pepper infused White Wine Vinegar
Makes 500mls
1 x 500ml bottle White wine vinegar (some can use non-vegan filtration so make sure you choose a vegan one!)
2 sprigs of rosemary
handful of fresh sage leaves
1 tbsp whole black pepper corns
  • Combine ingredients in bottle
  • Store for 1 week before use- the longer you leave it the stronger it gets
  • Enjoy!
  • Keeps indefinitely
I think it's clear I love my vinegar. We have a huge variety- obviously the un-pictured regular white, apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, malt vinegar, balsamic vinegar but here are some of my more unusual (and completely delicious) vinegars!
(Disclaimer: I was not compensated by anyone to write this post, all opinions are my own, I just pulled what we had in the cupboard out to photograph)
From left to right you've got the insanely salty plumb vinegar, that you really only need a tiny weeny bit of, next is the dark Chinese vinegar which is sweet, salty, vinegary and just divine in stir fries and Asian soups. Next is my delicious infused vinegar above, then the sweet orange balsamic and pomegranate balsamic which are amazing in desserts as well as salad dressings and as a fresh finish to cooked dishes. 

Then we have the hot horseradish vinegar with tumeric and garlic, if you like the kick of wasabi/horseradish then this is for you! I love it and will happily eat it until there is a thin film of sweat over my face in the same way my husband will enjoy tabasco sauce until his eyes water! I often use it as a salad dressing or sauce on cooked veggies. I was enjoying it over a salad for lunch at uni one day as my friends looked on confused 'How can you just eat salad? it's so boring! It doesn't taste of anything!' I simply passed it around so they could all give it taste and watched their faces light up and eyes widen in surprise. Trust me, I never eat anything that tastes of nothing.
Some of my fave flavoured vinegars are the raspberry, tarragon and spiced vinegars pictured above. The raspberry is sweet but not too sweet so works well in desserts as well as in yummy salad dressings. The mixed spice and tarragon vinegars go well with almost anything savory  I've used them in, seriously a splash of vinegar makes everything better!

I know I'm a bit of a vinegar enthusiast but they're really delicious, If you're trying to reduce your fat intake but need flavour in your sauces/dressings they're a really good option. 

Love and Smiles,

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vegan Delish App Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to the lucky winners of the Vegan Delish App Giveaway!
Nicole B
Crissy D

I know you'll love it too! Enjoy xxx
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

'Creamy' Noodle Kale Salad {Two Ways}

We all know the best salads have awesome dressings and these two will not disappoint! They're rich, creamy and full of flavour and nutrients. Combined with kale (or any greens you desire) and noodles the 'creamy' tahini dressings bring the dishes to life.

If cold noodle salads aren't your thing then you can easily make this into a warm noodle salad or a stir fry. 

'Creamy' Harissa Noodle Kale Salad
Makes 1 serve
3 large Kale leaves
1/2 packet Slim Me Noodles (or Rice noodles/Bean noodles etc)
Handful fresh coriander
1 tsp harissa spice mix + 0.5 tsp to garnish
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup+ warm water (adjust to desired consistency)
  • Cook desired noodles according to packet instructions
  • Combine sauce ingredients in a jar and shake well until smooth
  • Add sauce to noodles and leave to cool
  • Remove stalks from kale and chop finely
  • Massage kale (like dough) until you feel it soften and lose some volume
  • Combine kale and noodles, tossing well for even sauce coverage
  • Chop coriander and garnish
  • Enjoy!
  • Keeps well in the fridge overnight

This version is mighty similar but with a slightly different flavour profile (and less spicy!) 

'Creamy' Asian Noodle Kale Salad
Makes 1 serve
3 large Kale leaves
1/2 packet Slim Me Noodles (or Rice noodles/Bean noodles etc)
Handful fresh coriander
1 tbsp pickled ginger
1 tbsp sesame seeds + 1 tsp to garnish
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1tsp chinese dark vinegar
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup+ warm water (adjust to desired consistency)
  • Cook desired noodles according to packet instructions
  • Chop ginger finely
  • Combine sauce ingredients in a jar and shake well until smooth
  • Add sauce to noodles and leave to cool
  • Remove stalks from kale and chop finely
  • Massage kale (like dough) until you feel it soften and lose some volume
  • Combine kale and noodles, tossing well for even sauce coverage
  • Chop coriander and garnish
  • Enjoy!
  • Keeps well in the fridge overnight
As with most things the longer you leave the dressing in the fridge or the noodles in the dressing the stronger (and better) it will get so feel free to make double quantities and keep them around to have with veggies/salads later!

Love and Smiles,

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

'Creamy' Mushroom and Dill Sauce

Mushrooms are one of my favourite veggies, they're so versatile and come in such a wide variety and range of flavours and textures that there's always something for the dish you have in mind. They can taste so 'meaty' that when you're trying to cut down on your salt intake (or transitioning to a vegetarian diet) they're perfect to give that punch of flavour to complete a satisfying meal. 

This 'creamy' mushroom sauce is thick and full of intense earthy mushroom flavour with a kick of dill to freshen it up. It makes the perfect addition to almost any vegetable, grain, bean dish. Plus it's packed with protein so it makes a substantial, filling portion of the meal.

'Creamy' Mushroom and Dill Sauce
Makes 4-6 serves
1 x 300g packet silken tofu (organic Japanese style)
4 cups chopped mushrooms
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup broad beans
1/2 cup water (or to your desired consistency)

  • Saute mushrooms with a little water until completely softened
  • Boil peas and beans in another pot
  • Double shell broad beans
  • Combine all ingredients (except dill)
  • Chop dill finely- including stalks
  • Blend well
  • Enjoy with veggies/grains/pasta anything!
  • Keep well in the fridge for up to a week
If you're not a veggie lover then blending vegetables into sauces is a great way to get started! If you like the flavour but aren't keen on the texture of mushrooms then this one is for you.

Love and Smiles,

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Vegan Delish App Review & GIVEAWAY!!!

I've got some super exciting news! Vegan Delish is now available world-wide and with a metric option! I know there are at least some of you who share my excitement over this- it means no more google-ing measurement conversions mid recipe or taking stabs in the dark and crossing your fingers it turns out right... (I know that can't just be me?)
The gorgeous Carrie from Carrie on Vegan has made this wonderful app- absolutely jam packed with delicious recipes from her blog and is generously offering 5 lucky winners a copy!

I was so excited to take this chance to grab it that I didn't let the fact that I don't own any mac products get in my way (I may or may not have snuck my husbands work ipad) and there is an android in the works once this one is financially viable so don't despair!
This app has gorgeous quality photos and everything is arranged in a clean, clear, easy to use format. Loving it. I has lots of great categories to make it super user friendly. 

I love the Shopping list option (way to make my life easier- thanks Carrie!) and the how to use section for ipad novices like me- but the highlight for me is the metric setting. I know you may not be as thrilled as me about that one but everyone will use the favourites (mark your favourite recipes and make your own special list) and categories sections- I'm especially thankful for the raw, no sugar and oil free categories but I can foresee the quick and easy and dressings becoming go-to's! Another bonus is you can share the recipes via social media or print them to make your life easier.

I can see only one down side to this wonderful app- it makes me hungry! Everything looks so yummy I want to try it all but you know what, there are bigger problems in life... All the recipes are the tried and tested delights from her blog and are wonderfully healthy! how can that not be a winner? 

If you're new to the vegan lifestyle, need some great meal ideas or just want to make your life easier this app is an awesome option- and If you're one of those people who stand in front of the fridge/cupboard staring at random ingredients attempting to concoct a beautiful meal (I know I'm guilty of that one) then this is for you!
I've got my eye on the peanut butter cup smoothie, tahini cherry gelato, dilled cream sauce, raspberry zinger dressing and green juice crackers! mmm can't wait to get cooking.
So this is what you're looking for in the app store:
Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Just leave me a comment on this post telling me why you'd love a copy of Vegan Delish or which recipes/ingredients you'd like to cook!

I'll pick the 5 winners on march 16th (my birthday!- because we all know giving is better than getting). Good Luck!

Love and Smiles,

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Slim Me Noodle Winners

Congratulations to

The winners of the Slim Me Noodle Giveaway!

Please could you email me your delivery details:

Thanks x
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