Vegan fried ‘eggs’ {soy-free, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free}

I dream about eggs. There are a few variations of the dream, but the key elements are always the same: I’m frying up some eggs, and I’m happy – truly happy.

To remedy this, I’ve come up with something that comes a little close. It has stopped the egg dreams, which is both good and bad depending on which way you look at it. It sure as hell isn’t a fried egg, but it sure as hell is better than no egg. I reckon you should give it a go, this one might surprise you.

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Vegan fried ‘eggs’ {soy-free, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free}
Makes 2 ‘eggs’

For the egg white
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup filtered water
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt

For the egg yolk
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp olive oil
4 tsp filtered water
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of salt

Whisk water and chickpea flour together to ensure no lumps then add olive oil and salt.

In a separate small bowl, add the yolk ingredients and mix to combine.

Pour half of the egg white ingredients onto a hot non-stick pan with a small amount of melted coconut oil. Let cook for 1 minute, then carefully spoon half of the yolk mixture into the centre of the batter that is cooking.

Let cook for 1 minute longer, then carefully transfer it to a plate.

Repeat with remaining batter and yolk, and serve with some toasted gluten-free and vegan bread.

Chickpea and kale soup {gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, dairy-free}

So, it turns out I needed a holiday more than I realised. The good news is that I’m back.

One of my not-new-year resolutions (I don’t set new year’s resolutions) is to slow things down. Part of that means setting more realistic goals for myself. That means, I’m going to blog on my own terms rather than religiously every Sunday. I want to make sure I don’t lose the love, because for a while there, I did lose the love.

In the spirit of new beginnings, this chickpea and kale soup is the perfect way to kick start the year (AKA January, the Monday of the year). It has a surprising ingredient of rooibos tea, which has anti-inflammatory properties, has anti-aging powers, and is rich in calcium. I’ve used the tea as a face toner (true story!) and I immediately noticed a reduction in inflammation around spots and patches. I highly recommend rooibos tea for anyone suffering from inflammation in the body.

Speaking of things I love… I have discovered soy-free miso paste made from chickpeas and it has changed my life. I have been adding it to everything, like this soup. It can be very easy to consume a lot of soy products when you are living as a vegan, and I think it’s important to watch your consumption, and enjoy it in moderation.

Chickpea and kale soup

Chickpea and kale soup {gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, dairy-free}
Serves 4

1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tbsp white miso powder (I use Meru Miso)
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups rooibos tea
1 bay leaf
6 tuscan kale leaves, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp olive oil, to serve
1 tsp nutritional yeast flakes, to serve

Heat some oil in a saucepan and add brown onion. Cook 3-4 minutes until starting to brown. Add garlic and cook a further 2 minutes before adding the chopped celery.

Once celery softens and becomes fragrant, add cumin, paprika and white miso, and stir to combine.

Add chickpeas, stock, tea and bay leaf. Bring to the boil then simmer for around 10-15 minutes.

Next, add the kale, salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve in bowls and drizzle with a light olive oil and some nutritional yeast flakes.

Allergy-friendly ice cream sandwiches {GF, vegan}

I had the house to myself this weekend and what did I do with my time? Cleaned the house from top to bottom. Here I am at the end of yet another weekend having only scratched the surface of my to-do list. I’m doing far less of what I want to do in my spare time and far more of what I need to do, which has me wondering if I even have spare time at all. Finding time to cook is about all I have time for but I shouldn’t complain – there are far worse things in life!

Let’s talk about nice cream (ice cream made from bananas). Every second person I follow is on that bandwagon but I’m not 100% sold because, well, bananas. My 2-ingredient raspberry sorbet is just as easy and doesn’t have a banana in sight. I was thinking about using it as the filling for ice cream sandwiches a few months ago but time got the best of me, as it usually does.

These almond meal cookies are my go-to… in fact, as I type this, I realise I need to flesh out my cookie repertoire – this is the only cookie recipe I know! Leave that with me, and in the meantime, give these ones a go. These cookies have just 7 ingredients and sorbet has just 2… gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar-free ice cream sandwiches with less than 10 ingredients!

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Ice cream sandwiches
Makes 3

For the cookies
1 1/2 cup almond meal
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C, and combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Roll out the cookie dough onto a lined baking tray and use a cookie cutter to evenly cut out the cookie shapes. (A cookie cutter helps keep each cookie uniform… an important tool for ice cream sandwiches!)

Cook in the oven for 10 minutes. When the cookies come out of the oven, they will be soft to touch so it’s best to leave them for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

For the sorbet
2 cups frozen raspberries
3/4 cup rice milk (stored in the freezer for 4 hours)

Add ingredients into a bowl and use a hand blender to combine the raspberries with the semi-frozen rice milk.

Evenly spread into a shallow baking dish and place in the freezer for approx. 2 hours, to freeze into shape.

Once set, use the same cookie cutter you used for the cookies to cut out rounds of the sorbet.

Add cookie on either side of the sorbet slices and enjoy.

Vegan quiche

I’ve been using chickpea flour ever since I discovered socca – a crispy flatbread. It gets crispy on the edges and retains moisture inside – with it sometimes having a scrambled egg-like consistency. I knew it would soon become the base of my quiche recipe.

Growing up, my mum’s quiche was the only one I would eat. It had flaky pastry but the vegetables were the real hero. Oh, and those little bits of bacon. Bacon has always been my achilles’ heel. I toyed with the idea of adding coconut bacon but things were starting to get complicated. I had to let the vegetables shine, just like mum’s.

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Vegan quiche
Serves 6-8

1 leek, cut down the middle then sliced
1 zucchini, cut down the middle then sliced
1 head broccoli, broken down into pieces
3 spring onions, cut into 2cm pieces
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 cups chickpea flour
2 1/4 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.

Gently cook the leek, zucchini, broccoli and spring onions until soft. While cooking, whisk chickpea flour with water, olive oil and salt and pepper.

Add the vegetables to the tart dish and add the cherry tomatoes. Evenly pour the chickpea flour mix over the top and then place the sliced roma tomatoes on top.

Cook in the oven for 25-30 mins. Let cool 10 mins before slicing. Serve.

Quick vegan Thai coconut soup (tom kha)

Do you ever feel as though you give your best to your 9-5 job and after that, you have nothing left to give? It’s one of the reasons I’ve taken three years to revisit this recipe. My weeknights are a write-off and life admin patiently awaits for me on the weekend. Once my life admin and house chores have been taken care of, there’s hardly any weekend left apart from a small amount of time to recharge (to make it through until the next weekend). The cycle just keeps cycling on.

As I write this on day three of a four-day weekend, I’m feeling disorientated. I don’t know how to spend this time. To me, life sometimes feels like a to-do list you can’t get through.

So, I’m not a soup girl, but here I am again with another soup. I don’t know why. Maybe you can chalk it up to this state of limbo (or maybe because my recipe for hot cross buns didn’t quite pan out in time for Easter and this was the next thing that popped into my head). My vegan tom yum quickly turned into tom kha (Thai coconut soup) with the addition of a little more coconut milk and a tablespoon of tahini. You read that correctly, I swapped out miso for tahini. I try to avoid eating soy products more than 2-3 times a week and when I do, I try to restrict it to only what’s essential (like tofu or gluten-free soy sauce, for example).

Back to the recipe – if you have everything on hand, you can knock this one out of the park in less than 30 mins. It’s almost too easy.

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Thai coconut soup
Serves 2

2 garlic cloves, grated
2 stalks of lemongrass, mashed in a mortar and pestle
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
1 small chilli, sliced
1/2 cup sliced and dried shiitake mushrooms
2 cups vegetable stock
270g coconut milk
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
150g fresh enoki mushrooms
1 lime, juiced
Large handful coriander, finely chopped
200g rice noodles, cooked
1 sheet of nori, cut into small pieces (optional)
Cooked tofu squares (optional)

Add garlic, lemongrass, ginger and chilli to a saucepan on a medium heat. Cook until fragrant and starting to catch on the bottom of the pan. Add the dried shiitake mushrooms and the vegetable stock and gently simmer for five minutes.

Whisk in the coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes before whisking in the tahini, maple syrup and gluten-free soy sauce, and simmer another five minutes.

Remove from the heat and add enoki mushrooms, lime juice and coriander. Add cooked rice noodles into a bowl, and top with the soup and mushrooms. Add some of the nori pieces and tofu (if using) and some lime slices.

Gluten-free vegan dumplings | Lemon ‘paneer’ parcels

If you know me, you’ll know that I love dumplings. I’ve been known to throw in the towel from time to time just for a tasty reminder of what dumplings are like (not recommended if you are GF). My partner’s sister fondly remembers the time she asked me where to get dumplings in Sydney and my response was a long and detailed paragraph with a variety of options depending on the type of dumplings she was in the mood for.

I’ve tried making gluten-free vegan dumplings many times before but they never really did it for me, especially after the long prep. One day I realised my mistake, I had been over-complicating the entire process, there was no need to make dumpling dough from scratch. The solution was right under my nose in the form of rice paper wrappers.

I spent about three months working on this recipe mentally – I wanted to keep it simple so each ingredient would shine. When it came down to trialling this one IRL, it worked first go, I didn’t want to change a thing.

This dish might be a little daring and unusual but promise me you’ll give it a go. It’s crazy addictive. The strong lemon flavour is balanced out by the nutritional yeast and accompanying slaw. You’ll definitely be wanting more.

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Lemon ‘paneer’ parcels
Serves 4

1 packet of organic, non-GMO tofu, cut into rectangles
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp garlic powder
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup water, room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
Small rice paper rounds, as many as you have tofu slices
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp vegan fish sauce
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 head green cabbage, finely chopped
1/4 head red cabbage, finely chopped

Mix nutritional yeast, garlic powder, lemon juice, water and salt in a shallow bowl. Add tofu and ensure it is smothered in the ingredients. Put in the fridge to marinate until you’re ready for it (the longer, the better).

Pop the marinated tofu pieces on a lined baking dish and bake at 180 degrees C for 10-15 minutes.

While the tofu is marinating, add the rice wine vinegar, vegan fish sauce, coconut sugar, sesame oil and juice of half a lemon to a bowl and whisk until combined. Then add green and red cabbage and toss until evenly coated in the dressing.

Let your tofu cool slightly and set up your wrapping station, pop a damp tea towel on your bench and fill a shallow dish with room temperature water. Put the rice paper round in this dish for a 5 seconds then lay it out on the damp tea towel. Lay a piece of the baked tofu in the middle of the round and fold the rice paper around it. Repeat with remaining pieces of tofu and rounds.

Steam the parcels for 5 minutes. Delicately remove them and serve atop the dressed cabbage.

Raw lemon and raspberry cheesecake

Changing your diet to be one that is gluten-free, vegan and mostly refined sugar free when you have one helluva sweet tooth is one crazy thing to do. I didn’t know how to reward myself for what felt like the longest time (OK, turns out it wasn’t that long).

But one day, I discovered raw desserts and boy, am I glad I did.

Yes, it’s a raw cheesecake as in uncooked, but stay with me ’cause this is not like the cheesecake you know, it’s SO much better (as well as being SO much better for you than regular cheesecake). I usually turn up to family gatherings with this bad boy in tow and let me tell you, this gluten-free vegan raw raspberry cheesecake is a crowd pleaser.

If you’re familiar with raw desserts and cringe at the thought of the long list of ingredients that usually accompanies them, don’t fret, I have you covered. This one won’t have you traipsing all over town to find a long list of unfamiliar ingredients. In fact, you’ll be able to get everything from your local supermarket. I’m good like that.

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Raw lemon and raspberry cheesecake
Serves 12

1 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
5 medjool dates, soaked for 5 mins
2 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 4-8 hours
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut water or 1/2 cup filtered water with 1 tbsp coconut water powder
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen raspberries
Grated dark chocolate (optional)
Grated lemon zest (optional)
Shredded fresh mint (optional)

To start, blend walnuts and hazelnuts with the dates in a food processor until nuts are small pieces and binded together by the dates.

Press the mixture into the base of a cake tin or mould that you would like the cake to set in. Try to make it as even as possible, then pop it in the freezer while you make the filling.

Add cashews, water, coconut water, maple syrup, lemon juice, coconut oil and vanilla to a high-powered blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour into a bowl and gently fold in the raspberries.

Remove base from freezer and pour cashew filling on top, spreading it out evenly.

Pop the cheesecake in the freezer for 4-6 hours. Refrigerate for one hour before garnishing with chocolate, lemon zest and mint, then serve.