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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Gluten free vegan crackers and cheese from scratch!

gluten, dairy, soy and sugar free cheese and crackers

I made this  “cheese” recipe the other day from Somer’s blog. Somer has a wonderful vegan blog, and you should all read it if you don’t already! Anyway, cheese made out of coconut cream? Well, why not? I left out the vegemite/ marmite in mine as they contain onions and garlic, and we didn’t have any vegan worcester sauce, but it was still sufficiently cheesy. I also used guar gum in place of xantham gum, and it seemed to do the trick!

roasted capsicum and olive cheez cracker perfection

I made this last Friday, and we’ve been eating it since. Today’s lunch features this cheese on buckwheat crackers (the ones I make all the time, here:  with roasted capsicum, toasted seeds, diced black olives and a salad of baby spinach, roasted pumpkin, more roasted capsicum, sundried tomatoes and asparagus. NOM!

This cheese grates! Hallelujah!



carrot and poppy savoury muffins

These babies went so fast I hardly had time to take a photo! (sorry about the bad photos :P)

Anyway, they didn’t rise quite as much as I’d hoped, but that really didn’t change the taste, which was pretty good if I do say so myself!

Carrot and poppy muffins.. gluten free, vegan, tasty!


3 cups buckwheat flour

1 cup quinoa flour

3.5 tspn baking powder

1 tspn baking soda

1/3 cup linseed, ground

3 Tbspn egg replacer, mixed with 5 tbspn water and then whisked to form a paste

1 tspn mustard powder

1/2 tspn himalayan salt

1/2 tspn paprika

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

4 medium carrots, finely grated

1/2 tbspn poppy seeds.

1/2 cup vegetable oil of your preferance

lots of water (see method)

nom nom!


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease and line 12 big muffin pans, or 24 small.

Mix flour, spices, seeds, yeast, baking powder and soda, salt and linseeds in a big bowl.

Mix carrots, oil, egg replacer and 2 cups of water in another bowl.

Pour carrot bowl into flour bowl, and fold through until just mixed.

Now, from this point I didn’t measure the water… Because buckwheat flour is quite absorbent, you’ll probably have to add a bit more water. You want it to be at the point where the batter is nice and runny, and there is just a little water sitting on the surface of the mixture  which is difficult to make form part of the batter- aka. perfect normal muffin batter thickness.

Put in oven for about 20- 25 mins, until a knife inserted into one comes out clean.

Let me know how they go! 🙂 X


Chewy carob coconut cookies.. sugar free, oil free!

Today we all moved out of the flat I’ve called home for months, and for the occasion I decided to make some cookies. Sugar free ones of course! Somehow, a sweet treat or two takes the edge off a day like this. Anyway, this move is the reason I haven’t posted in a few days… it’s been a full on week.

Date cookies- in nz we call them biscuits.. sugar free, oil free, gluten free, vegan but not taste free.

Carob, date & coconut chews

3 cups dates

1 cup carob powder

3/4 cup buckwheat flour

3/4 cup rice flour

1.5 tspn baking powder

1/2 cup soy milk

1 Tbspn vanilla essence

pinch of cinnamon

1/3 cup dessicated coconut




Soak dates in enough boiling water to cover them. Pour off water (you can use it in something else if you like) and mash dates to a smooth paste. You can use your hands for this, but a food processor/ stick blender is the easiest way and yields the best date paste.  Now add all dry ingredients, and then the soy milk!

The batter for these was quite moist- like really sticky. I had to drop spoonfulls of it onto the baking tray, I couldn’t roll it into balls. If your mixture is too solid, you should add some water. The moist batter yields chewy  cookies, otherwise they’d be like little rock cakes..!

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 mins. They’ll firm up a little more when you take them out.

Oh, and these last for ages without going off! Yay! Last time I made them I made a huge batch and we ate them for about a week, and they were still great after 7 days. Then they ran out, so I couldn’t continue the experiment!

Enjoy these healthy “treats!”

Simple and tasty red kidney bean curry

Like many people I’ve met, including many vegans, I don’t really like kidney beans- and I’ve never met anyone who loves them to pieces. I’m not sure what it is- the taste? The texture? However, these protein packed little beans really come into their element in a red bean curry like this- and if the sauce is well spiced enough, you won’t even notice the taste of the kidney beans! Serve it with a splash of tofu “yoghurt” and either basmati rice or a fresh indian bread and you’ve got a full meal!


vegan kidney bean curry with tofu yoghurt

Serves 10!


1/3 cup oil of your choice

1 large knob ( about 8cm x 8cm) ginger, peeled and finely grated

2 large green chillis, seeded and minced

3/4 tspn hing

1 1/2 tspn ground turmeric

2 tspn ground cumin

2 tspn ground coriander

1 tspn cumin seeds

1/2- 1 tspn cayenne pepper (you decide, do you like hot food?)

600 gram can chopped tomatoes

8 drops liquid stevia

1/2 tspn cinnamon powder

1/2 cup coconut cream (or milk)

2 cups water

5 cups cooked kidney beans

1 cup coarsley chopped coriander, plus a bit extra, to garnish.

1 brocolli, washed, florets chopped into bite sized pieces

1/4 large crown pumpkin, chopped into bite sized pieces

1/2 a bunch of silverbeet,  washed and coarsely chopped

1 lemon worth of lemon juice


Heat the oil in a sauce pan. Add the cumin seeds and fry until golden  brown. Then add ginger and chillis and fry for a little bit. Then add coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper and fry for a minute. Add tomatoes, cinnamon, stevia and let cook for another couple of minutes. Add water and then veges, and let it simmer for about 15 mins until the veges are cooked. Then add kidney beans and coconut cream, and simmer for another 5 mins. Take off heat and add lemon juice, coriander and salt. That’s it!

Tofu and coriander “yoghurt”:

In nz you can’t get unsweetened soy yoghurt in the shops. I do make my own soy yoghurt from a starter culture, but if I haven’t planned ahead and made any, this is what I do:

350grams silken tofu

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 tspn apple cider vinegar

1/4 tspn mustard powder

3 tbspns flavourless oil

1/3 cup chopped coriander leaves.

Blend all together and serve a dollop on top of each plate of curry!

Sautéed capsicum and sunflower seed pâté.. nom nom nom

I served this with buckwheat crackers, the recipe for which is here. It received rave reviews from Jamie and Gopi, my wonderful taste testers/ friends 🙂

red pepper and sunflower pate


3 cups chopped red capsicum (bell pepper), finely chopped

Juice of 1 large lemon

1.5 cups suflower seeds

1/2 Tablespoon oil of your choice

1/2 bunch coriander, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped

1/4-1/2 tspn himalayan salt

1/8 tspn hing

1 tspn paprika

1/4 tspn ground black pepper

1/2 cup water (optional)



Toast the sunflower seeds in a frypan over medium heat until they go brown.  Saute the capsicum in the oil for about ten mins.  Stir it frequently. You want to saute it until its starting to burn/ go black in some places. Stir the capsicum frequently. Then, mix the seeds and capsicum with all other ingredients  and process in a food processer or with a stick mixer until it is a smooth but firm paste. If you want it thinner, more like a dip, add the water (I added the water to serve this on crackers.)


So much to cook.. no time to post (aka kitchen bootcamp weekend)

I’ve had a super busy weekend centered around the kitchen.. in the last 48 hours I’ve cooked:

  • 80 vegan burgers from scratch- black bean patties, wholewheat buns filled with guacamole and roast capsicum, and tangy tofu mayo
  • strawberry sorbet- 4L of it!
  • coconut pie
  • millet and dahl
  • kittcheri (lentil, rice and vegetable soup)
  • red capsicum, sunflower seed and coriander pate with buckwheat crackers
  • poppy seed polenta
  • millet porridge with homemade soy yoghurt and fresh coconut
  • a huge coleslaw with fat free tofu mayo
  • a red bean curry
  • a banana and strawberry soy shake

As you can see, we definitely eat well around here! I was cooking for a huge crowd last night- we were expecting 50 people, and 90 turned up. Kitchen mayhem! Anyway, I am planning to post much of what I cooked this weekend on here later today 🙂

Have a wonderful Monday morning, and watch this space!

Homemade vegan naan bread

Vegan Naan bread sounded like a bit of a challenge to me, because all conventional recipes I saw called for yoghurt and eggs, and usweetened vegan yoghurt is hard to get round here (NZ). Anyway, I gave it a go and very loosely based it on this recipe on the bbc website and was shocked at how simple and effective it was!

Vegan naan bread- super easy and effective!


150ml warmed soy Milk
1 tspn raw sugar
2 tsp dried active Yeast
450g plain white flour
1/2 tspn Salt
1 tspn Baking powder

1/4 tspn hing

2 tbspn vegetable oil, plus a little extra
150ml silken tofu, mixed with the juice of 2 lemons

2 Tbspn egg replacer, whipped up with 4 Tbspn water

Warm the soy milk and then add the sugar and yeast. Set aside for about ten mins until it froths up nicely.

Meanwhile, whizz up the tofu so it becomes super creamy and looks like yoghurt. Then add the lemon juice, and put aside for a couple of minutes. Now mix flour, salt and baking powder, and then all the wet ingredients including the yeast. Mix well with your hands and then knead it all for ten mins

Leave somewhere warm for an hour covered with a teatowel in a lightly oiled bowl.

After an hour, punch down dough and roll into 6-8 balls. 6 makes big naans and 8 makes medium ones. Roll them out into circular shapes ( roll them quite thin, about 2mm)

Heat the remainder of the oil in a heavy bottomed (I used cast iron) fry pan.  Keep the temperature of the pan on high, and add the naans. Add the rolled out dough. Cook until brown blisters appear on the surface of the dough, then flip over and repeat on the other side. I had a big fry pan and could do 3 breads simultaneously.

And that’s all that’s required! No tandoor necessary!

I served mine with kidney bean subji (curry) and a dollop of tofu and coriander “yoghurt” 🙂


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