Nut, choc chip and coconut cookies save the world


When my husband decided to cut out the cigarettes, it was a welcomed relief.  We’ve been encouraging him to do so for as long as I can remember and finally the day arrived, out of the blue, of his own accord, with much rejoicing from me.

Despite smoking for close to 20 years, he decided to kick the habit cold turkey, no nicotine substitutes………or so I thought, until I walked into the car and counted various different chocolate  and doritos packets all rolled up and jammed into the driver side seat pocket.  So it seems that sugar was going to be the substitute!  Oh well, I guess it’s only short term and the lesser of two evils, maybe?

So I embarked on making him some healthier treats so that I didn’t feel so bad about him eating all that junk.

The problem for me is that my husband is a very harsh critic when it comes to ‘healthy’ food, and more so if it happens to be ‘vegan’.

But I was convinced that I could create something he would love so began the great cookie experiment, and I’m happy to share with you the outcome of that experiment, which I might add was a success.


Nut, Choc Chip, Coconut Cookie

Makes 10 medium sized cookies and 2 giant ones.

½ cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar
¼ cup unsweeetened almond milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 cup choc chips
1/4 mixed nuts
1/4 cup coconut flakes

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
Mix together the coconut oil and coconut sugar, I use a stand mixer with the whipping attachment and this works really well.  Add the almond milk and vanilla and mix.  Once it’s all incorporated, remove the whipping attachment and add the beating attachment.
In a separate bowl add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, and mix together with a fork, then add to the wet ingredients and beat until it all comes together.  It will look a bit like dough and will bunch up like a ball.

Roll the mixture into 1 TBS sized balls & place them on a cookie tray lined with baking paper.   Use the palm of your hand to flatten them.
Bake for 7-10 minutes depending on whether you like them chewy or crunchy.  I like them crunchy with a little chewy centre so I did it for close to 10 minutes.

These keep well stored in an airtight container after they have cooled completely.



Peas, love and mungbeans


Time Savers


I get so many questions regarding how I maintain a plant based diet.  It seems a lot of people get deterred because they think it’s too time consuming or expensive but I’m here to tell you that it’s surprisingly not, which is great news :)

All you need to do is just set out some time once or twice a week to do some basic food prep and then  you’re done.  This probably isn’t as essential in the summer months when it’s nice and warm and eating fresh salads is something most of our bodies crave anyway and you know how easy it is to whip up a delicious salad right?  It only takes a few minutes if your fridge is stocked with natural plant foods and if you have some pantry staples to whip up a great and tasty dressing.

So, here are my top 2 tips for staying on top of your food game whilst maximising your time and still pumping out delicious, healthy food.



Keep things in your fridge and pantry that you know you like and could eat every day.  Here are the vegetables that I buy every week:

  • mixed baby greens
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • capsicum
  • zucchini
  • cauliflower
  • carrots
  • red onion
  • brown onion
  • mushrooms
  • pumpkin
  • sweet potato
  • eggplant
  • baby spinach
  • avocado
  • celery

These veggies make the bulk of my meals, and I may buy some extra ones that are in season.

My other staples are:

  • hummus
  • tahini
  • vegan cheeze
  • tofu
  • vegan sausages
  • olives
  • oats
  • wholegrain wraps
  • sourdough bread
  • nut butter
  • vegan ice cream
  • cinnamon
  • curry powder
  • olive oil
  • himalayan pink salt and celtic sea salt


If anything, planning some of your meals ahead saves you time!  The best advice I was ever given by a nutritionist was to imagine my perfect day food wise and replicate that day in day out when you know you’re going to be under the pump with work/family/life.

So set out a couple of days a week and just prep your favourite things and store them in containers so that you can organise a meal in minutes.

Now I’m going to share with you what I do, this is not to say that you have to do it this way obviously, but just to give you an idea.

So because my week starts on a Sunday, I do my meal prep on the Saturday.  This meal prep usually lasts me 3-4 days.

Here’s a typical menu:

Breakfast:  Apple and cinnamon oats with pumpkin butter

Morning snack:  Decaf almond flat white or matcha soy latte (I buy these and only on work days)

Lunch:  Wholegrain wrap with hummus, baby spinach, grilled tofu slices, vegan cheeze, tomato.  I normally put this under the sandwich press because it’s cold at the moment and I’m craving warm foods.

Afternoon snack: 2 TBS nut butter, 1 cup of celery sticks, 10 strawberries.

Dinner:  1 cup of grilled vegetables, 100 g of grilled tofu cubes, 1 1/2 cups of mixed baby greens with cucumber, capsicum and red onion, 2 tbs of hummus as a dressing, 1/2 cup of grains (I go between quinoa and brown rice)

Snack:  2 scoops of vegan ice cream (sometimes it’s home made, sometimes I buy the So Good brand, what can I say, I have a sweet tooth!)

This is how the prep for this goes down:

First I cook 5 days worth of oats in the slow cooker.  Each serving is 1/3 cup of oats, 2/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/3 cup of water, 1/2 grated apple, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.  So I add all of this into the slow cooker, enough for 5 servings.  Once it’s cooked to my liking (not too runny, not super thick), I portion out 5 days worth of oats, put 2 in the freezer, and keep the other 3 in the fridge.  The pumpkin butter I make once a week so I just scoop that into the oats just before I eat it.

Whilst that’s cooking, I turn on the oven, chop up all of my veggies (mushrooms, capsicum, carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, sweet potato, eggplant), drizzle them with some olive oil, salt, pepper and some dried oregano, mix it all up and then bake them for about 40-45 or until the root veggies are done.

Now that the veggies and breakfast are cooking, I get the grains on.  I like to use the boil method because when I cook grains for myself I don’t like to season them so the boil method is fine for this.  Once they’re cooked, I just drain them in a colander and rinse under cold water to get rid of the starch.  I leave in the colander to drain again until every part of the prep is done and then I store.  I only make enough for 3 days because grains tend to go off pretty quickly.

Then I prepare the tofu.  I cut 60g serves lengthways and pan fry those on a non-stick pan without any oil until they are nice and golden.  These get stored when done and will be used in the wraps.  I normally make enough for 5 days.

I chop the rest of the tofu into cubes and repeat the above process.  These will be used to accompany dinner and normally last for 3-4 days, at 100 g serves for each meal.

That is all and it probably takes about 1 hour, including chopping and cooking time, but you’re probably in the kitchen for about 1 1/2-2 hours if you factor in washing and cleaning up afterwards.  I clean as I go so this cuts down the time too.

The night before work, I just have to put everything for dinner in containers, 1 for the hot food to be reheated, and 1 tub for the salad.  I make the wrap, and I pop the strawberries, celery and nut butter into a little container and off I go.

Here’s what lunch normally looks like:


I only ever food prep for my working days or if I know my days off are going to be busy.  If I have nothing pressing to do on my off days, I don’t prep anything as I do love catching up with friends over a meal, or visiting our favourite cafe with my daughters.

I do like to change things up to prevent getting bored so for breakfast I like to alternate between cooked oats and overnight oats which can also be made ahead of time, I normally make up to 4 and just keep them in the fridge.  My daughter loves them too so they don’t last long.


For dinner instead of tofu, sometimes I’ll have a vegan sausage instead or legumes, and a peanut butter and banana smoothie instead of the veggie sticks, nut butter and fruit for snack.  Here’s what my work meals usually look like (lunch, afternoon snack and dinner):


The great thing with making the veggies in bulk is that you can use them for anything, you just need a little bit of imagination.  Here are some other ways I use them:

  • stirred through tomato sauce and on top of pasta
  • stuffed into a wholemeal roll with avocado and pesto
  • made into a vegan quiche using tofu as a binder
  • on top of pizzas
  • with chickpeas, cous cous and pine nuts
  • mixed with brown rice and black beans and stuffed into a burrito

There you have it, hope you got some ideas out of this post and that it makes your life easier and gives you more time to do the fun stuff!

Peas, love and mungbeans



Carrot & Ginger Soup


Whenever I feel under the weather, or even just a little bit down, I always crave soup.  It’s like medicine to me.  Something grounding and  nourishing to give my insides some much needed TLC.

This soup is really easy to make, just like all of the dishes I put up if you haven’t already noticed!

My aim when I’m cooking, is to make the tastiest of meals, in as little time as possible.  The actual preparing of the ingredients is what I like the most, the cooking is just a necessity some times.

You can find the purple sweet potato noodles used in this recipe in any good Asian grocery store, or you can also use kelp noodles.  If you don’t have anything against eating grains, rice noodles would work really nicely here too.  I love grains, but I know some people are sensitive to them.

Carrot & Ginger Soup

Serves 1 as a main or 2 as entrees


2 large carrots chopped

2 cups of cubed pumpkin

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 cm piece of fresh ginger

Celtic sea salt to taste





Finely sliced red onion


Purple sweet potato noodles

Cashew créme fráiche



Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan, and add enough water to just cover the vegetables.  Turn heat on to med-high and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer with lid on, until pumpkin is soft and carrot gives a little.

Ladle vegetables and liquid into a blender, and blend until smooth.  Start on lowest setting first and be mindful that hot liquid can sputter and burn you so have the lid on properly.  If you like your soup runny, you may need to add a little more hot water.  I prefer mine thick and creamy so this amount of liquid suits me fine.

To cook the noodles, just add the amount you want to a pan of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes or until soft.  Drain, rinse and add to your soup.  I find sweet potato noodles quiet starchy so even if you leave them in the water after you have turned of the heat, they won’t go gluggy.  This is a bonus, as I sometimes get caught up doing other stuff!  If you have left overs, they’re also great through stirfrys.

I had this soup for lunch and it definitely made me feel so much better.  Because of the toppings, it makes for a filling meal.

Peas, love and mungbeans




BBQ pulled jackfruit fajitas with all the trimmings!


Not long ago, I shared my recipe for Smoky BBQ pulled jackfruit and if you haven’t yet tried it, I highly recommend that you do.

Today, I want to share how you can take that recipe to create this wonderful dish.

Mexican cuisine comes an equal third with Vietnamese as my favourite top three cuisines of the world (Peruvian and Middle Eastern food take the top 2 spots respectively).  I love the freshness and simplicity of most of the dishes and they are truly a party in your mouth.  In my household, we normally make all the accompaniments and put them in the middle of the table, and then everyone makes their own bespoke dish with what’s available.  It’s fun, and the kids love it.

Here’s the recipes for the accompaniments that go with our smoky BBQ pulled jackfruit fajitas.

Cabbage Salad 

1/4 purple cabbage

1/4 white cabbage

2 TBS evoo

juice from 1 lemon

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves

Freshly ground pepper and Celtic or Himalayan pink salt to taste


Use a mandolin to finely shred the cabbage and place in a medium bowl with the finely chopped coriander.  Add the lemon, olive oil and seasoning and use hands to mix it thoroughly.  Taste and adjust seasoning if required.

Chunky Guacamole

2 ripe avocados

2 TBS finely diced red onion

Juice of 1/2-1 lemon/lime

Freshly ground pepper and Celtic or Himalayan pink salt to taste.


Mash the avocado but leave a few lumps, stir in the onion, lemon juice and seasoning.  Taste and adjust seasoning if required.

Chipotle cashew sauce/mayo is also a staple that goes with this dish and you can find the recipe for it here.

The other accompaniments are chopped tomatoes, cos lettuce leaves, which I also use as wraps if I’m not feeling the corn tortillas, cucumber and red capsicum salsa, and steamed corn.


I use gluten free corn tortillas which are easy to find, and have tried making them myself but I really need to get one of those amazing little tortilla machines next time I’m in the states, which will hopefully be next year for 4th of July, woot!!!

In the meantime, I’ll settle for the store bought tortillas.  I have to say, I do prefer making our own Mexican food as Australia really lacks any amazing Mexican eateries IMO.  But I would love to be proved wrong.

Anywho, I hope you love the recipe and if you do, let me know!  If you don’t love it, let me know too so that I can improve on what I’m doing.

Peas, love and mungbeans




Chickpea Banana Bread


The next few posts will be dedicated to the humble chickpea.  Maybe the most versatile legume in existence, and definitely one of my favourites because of that.

I’m sure you’re no stranger to using chickpea flour, and if you’re gluten intolerant, you’ve probably come across it more often than not.  It’s found a lot in gf flour substitutes, and in this instance, i’m going to use it solely for that purpose.

So, before you go scrunching up your nose, I dare you to try this recipe out.  You won’t regret it!


Banana Bread

Makes 1 loaf


1 1/2 cups of fine chickpea (besan) flour

1 TBS baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp celtic sea salt

1 1/2 cup very ripe mashed bananas (approx. 3 large)

1/3 cup firmly packed coconut sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp of vanilla extract

1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted

1 banana, sliced for topping

2 TBS maple syrup for glaze (optional)


Pre heat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Line a loaf tin with baking paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix bananas, oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.  In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, spices and salt.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently with a whisk to combine all the ingredients well.

Pour into prepared loaf tin, arrange the extra banana in which ever way you like on top, and bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Once out of the oven, use a pastry brush to glaze the top with maple syrup.  This is an optional step but highly recommended.

Leave in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and leave on wire rack to cool.

Because all ovens vary, start checking at the 45 minute mark to avoid burning.

Stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days, on the counter for up to 3, and frozen in slices for up to 3 months.



Peas, love and mungbeans