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Best ever gluten free sugar free vegan carob slice nom nom nom

Photos to come!

I made up this recipe yesterday and it received rave reviews. I tried some and have to admit, it was one of the better gluten free sweets I’ve ever made. The best thing about it is that it only takes about 15 mins in the oven max, and about 3 mins to throw together! Oh, and did I mention it tastes amazing?

Because I was in a hurry I didn’t measure the ingredients as I went, I just went on consistency to check that it was ok. Read the method for texture details, and let me know how yours go!


5 cups soaked cashews (this is the volume AFTER they are soaked)

2 cups dates, soaked in boiling water

1 cup tapioca starch

50ml coconut cream

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup dessicated coconut


3 cups Soaked cashews:

1 cup coconut cream

1/2 cup carob powder

1 cup dates soaked in boiling water

stevia leaf powder – 2 small pinches

1/2 tsp chocolate essence

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

dessicated coconut, to top.


You could be organised and soak your cashews overnight, or you could do what I do and gently simmer them for 10 mins. Depends on how raw you like to be 😉 Either way, you’ll be baking this slice a little bit!

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C

Drain the cashews and the dates. Put in food processor. Process until smooth. Then add rest of base ingredients. You should be able to easily mould it, and it shouldn’t be too sticky. It almost looks like you could eat it already. Press it into a lightly greased pan and bake for about  10 mins.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Drain cashews and dates. Process it all together in food processor. It should have a pudding like thickness- you should easily be able to smooth it over the base. If its too wet, add some more cashews. If its too dry, add some of the date water.

Spread it over the partially cooked base, and return to the oven for a few mins, about 5, until its hardened up a bit.

Sprinkle with coconut and serve!


Buckwheaty pumpkin mash bake

This is a bit like a nut loaf in texture. It makes a fantastic main, and freezes well, so its easy to make a tray and freeze it for lunches and dinners. Gluten free, dairy free, vegan and super simple. Also, once you have the buckwheat bake technique down you can make millions of variations on a theme- eg, put tofu in with the buckwheat, potato mash top instead of pumpkin.. etc etc etc.

It has lots of steps, but is actually quick to make, and you can do most of the steps while waiting for buckwheat to cook.

Buckwheat pumpkin bake


3 cups buckwheat

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbspn apple cider vinegar

1 tbspn tamari

1/2 a small pumpkin or squash

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbspn paprika

heaps of fresh coriander leaves (or parsley), coarsely chopped

1 red capsicum, finely diced

3 ribs of celery, finely diced

1 Tspn hing

1/2 cup black olives

1.5 cup suflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds, or almonds (almonds are the nicest!)

2 carrots, finely diced

1/2 Tbspn olive oil.


Toast the buckwheat in a saucepan on a moderate heat for about 5-10 mins until its nice and brown. Then add twice as much water as buckwheat, and boil until its nice and soft. If there is any excess water at the end, drain it off. Meanwhile..

toast the seeds or nuts (I use a cast iron fry pan) until they are brown. Then soak in enough water to completely cover them for about 10 mins. Then add the nutritional yeast, spices, salt and blend it with a hand mixer so its a sort of pesto consistnecy.

dice the veges (except the pumpkin) and heat the oil in the frypan. Add the hing to the hot oil, and saute for a few seconds. Then add the veges and tamari and saute, stirring often for a few mins until the carrots are softish.

Put the buckwheat, buckwheat flour, veges, coriander, sauteed veg and olives together in a bowl. Mix well, then transfer to a baking dish and bake for about 20mins until firm

Meanwhile, roughly chop the pumpkin/ squash into cubes, and boil until soft. (about 15mins.) Then drain off the water, add 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/2 tspn salt, 1/2 tspn pepper and the apple cider vinegar. Puree it all together with either a masher or a mixer.

Take the bake out of the oven and spread the pumpkin mixture over the top. Now, set the oven on grill and put the bake back in the oven for 10-15 mins until the pumpkin is browned.

Top with fresh herbs and serve! Its nice to serve this with a tahini sauce, or a spicey chutney of some kind.


Pumpkin brownie with avocado frosting- the healthiest cake in the entire world perhaps?

Pumpkin and avo sugar free cake anyone?



A good friend of my, Guy turns 21 today. Happy 21st Guy! Like me, he is also gluten free, sugar free including sweet fruits and mainly dairy free. However, I was still determined to celebrate his birthday with cake! I made the icing (frosting) out of avocado, an idea which I can’t take credit for- the inspiration came from the lovely Nicola who I was cooking with yesterday. It proved to be an inspired choice!

This is my pumpkin brownie from a couple of weeks ago, modified.



2.5 cups pumpkin puree

100 drops liquid stevia

1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or other mild tasting oil)

3 eggs worth of no egg (egg replacer)

1 cup buckwheat flour

1.5 cups all purpose gluten free flour

3 tspn baking powder

pinch salt

1 tspn vanilla essence

3 tspn cinnamon

1/2 a whole nutmeg

handful of cashews, chopped

3 tbspn thick coconut milk or runny coconut cream

3/4 cup water


Icing (frosting)

3 ripe avocados, mashed

40 drops liquid stevia

little bit lemon juice

2 tspn vanilla essence

1/2-3/4 cup maize corn starch (depending on how thick you want it)

vegan food colouring of your choice (optional)

Variation: Add carob or cacao powder for choc icing!



Preheat oven to 180 degrees celicus. Grease a round cake tin.

Cook and mash the pumpkin. Add all the wet ingredients except water, then dry ingredients, then water. (You can check the consistency this way) It should be just in between runny and thick, and you should be able to easily pour it into your prepared tin.

Place in preheated oven for around 45- 50mins.

Meanwhile, using a stick mixer, whip your avocado so its lovely and creamy, and then add corn starch a little at a time until it reaches your desired consisteny. Then add vanilla, optional food colouring (or carob if you wanted!) and lemon juice (the lemon juice stops the avos from going brown- I didn’t do this, and my icing went from being bright pink to maroon, whoops!)

Let cake cool, then ice, top with some dessicated coconut or carob powder and serve!

Easy pumpkin soup, quinoa, pesto and potatoes for lunch

You just can’t beat pumpkin soup.. velvety, smooth, super healthy, sweet without any sweetener..  I could go on.

Pumpkin soup: 

Serves 3-4 as a side dish

1/4 of a large pumpkin, cubed

2 tbspn curry powder

2 bunches coriander leaves, chopped

1/2 tspn hing

1 tspn salt

1/2 tspn black pepper.

1 tbspn sunflower oil (or other mild tasting oil), for chaunce.


Put the pumpkin into a pot and completely cover it with water. Bring the pumpkin to the boil, and simmer for about 20mins until a knife easily cuts through the pumpkin chunks.

Drain the pumpkin into a sieve.Reserve about 3/4 cup of the water. Put the pumpkin back into the pot, and using a stick mixer (or blender if you don’t have one, or masher,) puree it until it is really smooth. Using a stick mixer makes it ridiculously smooth and creamy in literally seconds.. add back about 1/2- 3/4 cup of the water that you poured off, depending on how thick or thin you like your soup. I like thick. Seriously, thick soup is amazing.

Add the oil to a fry pan and heat it up. When its nice and hot, add the curry powder, pepper and hing to the pan and stir it around. After a few seconds (it should bubble a bit) add this spice mixture to the soup. This is called a chaunce.

Add the salt and chopped coriander and hey pesto, I mean presto, soup. Which brings me to..

Quick and very easy coriander pesto. 

Fresh basil is expensive right now, and I prefer coriander or parsley pesto anyway. You can substitute coriander for parsley, or just use parsley if you prefer.

Roasted and then ground sesame seeds give a sort of parmesan flavour to everything. I know it sounds crazy, but seriously, try it! With the nutritional yeast, this makes a very “cheesy” pesto.


4 bunches coriander, stalks and all, well washed

3 tbspn nutritional yeast

1 cup mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds, toasted

2 tbspn sesame seeds, toasted and then ground

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup water or soy milk

juice of 1 lemon

1 tspn paprika

1 tspn salt

1/2 tspn pepper.


Put everything into a blender and whizz until well combined. 😀


The secret to nice quinoa is dry roasting it first in a pan over a low heat for about 10 mins until the little seeds go almost brown, then add the water (twice as much as quinoa) , salt and cook for about 20mins until each little quinoa unfurls into a little spiral shape. Some people say you have to soak quinoa, but I don’t because I’m going to toast it, and I’ve never had any problem digesting it, or with taste either 🙂

I didn’t make the potatoes, my friend Madhu did, and they were delicious. I know she roasted them with oil, hing, salt pepper and thyme. Simple and very tasty.

From start to finish this took me 30mins to make, and it served 4 people 🙂


Carob banana cake (GF, Vegan)


Today is my friend Radha Prasad’s birthday, and we’re staying out at muriwai beach for a few days, so it was definitely a cake occasion. There was only one small glitch in my plan: Today happens to be ekadasi, a day that happens twice a month, during which practitioners of some yoga paths choose to refrain from eating grains and beans. “A cake without grains?” I hear you say. Well, lucky for us, buckwheat technically doesn’t count as a grain, and neither does quinoa.

Buckwheat flour is great. I love it so much. The only thing is that it has quite a drying quality- it tends to yield baked goods that have very little moisture. However.. bananas balance out the drying effect of the buckwheat, so buckwheat banana cakes are sure to be a winner!


1.5 cups buckwheat flour

3/4tspn baking soda

1/2 cup carob powder

1 tspn cinnamon powder

1 cup sugar

3 bananas (brown bananas are great!)+ 1 for slicing over the top

1 cup oil (I used sunflower)

1/4 cup water

1 tbspn apple cider vinegar


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then, using a stick mixer, a fork or your hands (I used the latter) mush the bananas into a nice gooey liquid. Add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Grease a cake pan (mine was 10 inches/ 25 cms diameter) and pour in the cake mixture which should be pourable but not too liquidy. Bake for 35-40mins until a knife comes out clean. Dust top with carob powder and slice a banana over the top. So easy! That’s all there is to it. 🙂


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