pancakes will make it better

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Pancakes.  Whether you like them thick and fluffy, or thin and delicate, there’s something to be said about the moorish nature of these lovely little pillows (or sheets) of yum.

I put them in the same category as oats: versatile, quick and with the ability to morph into any flavour combination that you can conjure up.

Yep, they’re a fave for a reason and now I’m going to share a really simple recipe which I adapted from this one that’s gluten and grain free and can be made either plant based or if you like eggs, you can use those instead.

Lemony Pancakes

Serves 2 (or 1) depending on how hungry you are

Ingredients

1 cup of almond meal

1 cup of milk of choice

2 tsp of baking powder

1 TBS of flaxmeal (or use 1 egg if you like eggs)

2 TBS of lemon juice

zest of half a lemon

pinch of salt

Method

In a small mixing bowl, add the milk and lemon juice and set aside to curdle.  In a large bowl, add the flax and almond meal, baking powder and salt.  Stir well to combine, then whisk in the curdled milk/lemon mixture.  Whisk until you have a smooth batter.  If it’s too thick, add some water or more milk to get a better consistency.  Add the lemon zest and stir it well to make sure it gets incorporated into the batter.

OPTION: if you like eggs, add it with the milk/lemon mixture.  You can also add 1 TBS of a liquid sweetener of choice, like maple syrup or coconut nectar but I didn’t add any.

Heat a small frying pan or skillet with coconut oil and use about 1/4 cup to make one pancake (or make smaller ones, up to you).

When it starts to bubble, turn over carefully and cook for a further 2 minutes.  Repeat until all the batter is gone.

Easy does it.

Now for the topping!  I made a simple Rose Berry Chia compote that went really well with the pancakes.  All you need is some frozen berries which you add to a pan, heat on low-med until the berries melt.  It will become syrupy and runny.  Add 1 tsp of rose water (or more depending on taste) and cook a little bit more.  Then take off heat and stir in 1 TBS of chia seeds.   Keep stirring until they swell and thicken the sauce up.  Done.  Again, you can sweeten it up or leave it as is.

Stack your pancakes, pop a big dollop of coconut yoghurt or cream on top and spoon over your compote.  SWOON.

For those of you who are wondering why I’m talking about eggs on a plant based blog, the truth is that I’ve been having an internal struggle for the past 6-10 months about whether to become more flexible with the way I eat.  You see, when I first started this journey, I had no expectations of what that journey was going to look like, or where it was going to lead.  All I knew was that I wanted it to give it a go.

Along the way, I have read so many ‘health’ books, so many different theories on what ‘clean eating’ is meant to look like, or which way to eat that will give the most health benefits.  Some are conflicting, some are similar, some share the same principles and ideas but have one stark difference that sets them apart.  All over social media and the internet I have come across individuals that swear by one way, others that shun that way and advocate a different  way, all with amazing stories, and some with good scientific data to back each of their arguments/theories/reasons.

To say I was confused for a long time is an understatement.  I was so overwhelmed, to the point that it started to cause me anxiety.  But one book really helped to put things into perspective and I highly recommend that if there is anyone out there who is going through the same confusion that I was, that you read it.  It’s call Nourishing Wisdom by Marc David.  Anywho, it literally blew my mind.

I’m of the believe that things happen for a reason, and I know that this book came to me at a time when I was feeling so lost.  It didn’t stop me from being lost, but it gave me a starting point as to how to find the way back to myself.  My inner wisdom.  Which it seems I had unfortunately lost somewhere a long the way.  You see, somehow I allowed my blog/IG to become bigger than me.  And whilst my journey was continuing, the nature of feeling pigeon holed into a box (of my own doing), had stopped me from continuing to grow.

I have had many discussions with one of my nearest and dearest about this, ironically, someone I met on social media, and her advice at the time, when I told her how I was feeling, was to stay true to myself and just continue my journey, where ever that may lead.  It seems my plant based journey has taken an unexpected turn, one which I was not quiet ready for as I was sure that I knew the path that was in front of me.

In reflecting on how I am feeling, I can see points a long my journey which have led to where I stand now.  The first mistake I made was delving too deep into the plant based subcultures and perhaps staying too long in some, not enough in others.  When you’re in the moment, of course it’s hard to tell.  After all, you feel great for the first few weeks,than after a while, you start to notice changes that are not so great, and you dismiss the alarm bells going off in your head because you let yourself be influenced by well meaning advocates talking about the wonders of the (insert eating philosophy here).  You go against your better judgement and continue along, all the time knowing it’s not working but really hoping it does because look at those healthy individuals who are thriving on this lifestyle. You still look healthy on the outside, but on the inside, your body and your brain are fighting a battle.  Your body is craving nourishment specific to you but your brain is trying to enforce the many rules that go with said eating philosophy.  Your body starts to rebel, it gains weight, it makes you feel low, worse, you start bingeing, something that you’ve never had an issue with in the past.  You start to wonder what the hell is going on?  All you can think about is food.  You have become food obsessed.  Like the rest of society.

When did things get like this?  You, a well informed, ‘health’ oriented, well adjusted 30 something mother, when did this happen to you?

I tell you when it happened to me.  When I stopped listening to my body and allowed the outside noise to take over my intuition.

I don’t know where this journey will take me, but I do know that I no longer want to pigeon hole myself into any type of restrictive eating patterns.  They are damaging to me, in mind and body and go against my own advice of finding a way of eating that sustains every part of your being,  and which you can sustain.

This doesn’t mean that I am going to go out and eat every type of food under the sun, it simply means that I will no longer be wearing a label.

I feel so relieved to be able to share this with you, and you can continue to expect lots of recipes that contain real food ingredients, most of them will probably still be plant based, it’s not like I’m doing a complete switch, I’m just choosing to eat instinctively.

I understand that for my vegan friends this will be hard to take and I completely get it, and I would like to take this opportunity to say I truly appreciate your commitment to animal welfare and if you decide to stop supporting me due to this, I totally understand and I just want to thank you for your support thus far.

I also want to point out that trying a plant based diet did not make me sick, I am not saying that they are bad, or inadequate.  I have reaped many health benefits, but I am simply not able to maintain it exclusively.  I feel like our bodies move from stage to stage and so what you eat will be according to that stage.  I think being 100% plant based allowed my body to detox and heal, but then it needed to rebuild and what I was giving it wasn’t enough.  That’s when I started to experience the side effects I’ve mentioned above.  This made me realise that for me, the way I eat will be in a constant state of change.  For whatever reason, I am becoming drawn to other foods outside the plant based realm and I want to feel like I can eat whatever that is without judgement or shame.

I want to be flexible in my eating, I want to be able to sit down with my family and have a traditional Peruvian meal that will probably include some type of animal protein at some stage.  I don’t want to lose that cultural connection that I have to my land and my family.  I don’t want to worry about what I can or can’t eat, it feels wrong for me now, specially when there are people in society and all over the world who are starving.  I no longer want to take part in the obsession with ‘health’ foods, that cost more than some people have to live off for an entire week.  Seriously, a cold pressed juice is $9 in Sydney! It’s just juice people.  Besides not all companies are ethical or even nice individuals, they are just grabbing on to a trend and exploiting it until the next one comes along.  Yes, it’s nice that they make ‘healthy’ options available, but the only people who are benefiting from it are those that have money.  I believe that health should be for everyone, not an exclusive membership based on your income.  Teaching healthy options within people’s means and within their cultural structure is more important because then it becomes doable.  Preaching to Inuits about the dangers of fat is useless as they don’t have a tropical forest with an endless supply of bananas.  They eat what is native to them and what they know to keep them healthy and alive.  I am not comfortable telling them that a plant based fruit rich diet is the only diet.  Nor would I be comfortable telling them that they are terrible humans for eating animals.  I know that it’s different here as all food is readily available, but the point I’m trying to make is that there is no one perfect diet.  EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.

My beliefs haven’t changed, I still believe that we should be aware of where our food comes from and eat in a way that is ethical and sustainable, favouring local producers where possible.  I still believe that we should eat real food, not food like substances.  I still believe that together we can make positive change and above all, I still believe that we must look after Mother Earth for being able to provide us with food and water and an amazing place to experience it.  Which ever way you choose to do that is fine with me.

And whilst I won’t be rushing to buy another ‘health’ book any time soon, I do like the advice that Michael Pollan gives:

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

Coconut Paper Rolls

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Here’s a raw vegan version of a favourite.  You will need to get your hands on some raw coconut paper.  I use one by Sunfoods brand, not sure if there’s any other brand doing them.

You will also need to get some kelp noodles, but if not, you can use zuchinni or any other vegetable noodle that tickles your fancy.

You could also use either vermicelli or sweet potato noodles, but it won’t be raw, but still yummy!

Coconut Paper Rolls

Serves 1

Ingredients

2 coconut wraps

1/2 packet of kelp noodles (I use Sea Tangle Noodle Company)

Coconut meat from 1 young coconut (about 100g)

1/4 cup of coconut water

2 TBS of raw almond butter (or natural peanut butter)

Himalayan pink salt to taste

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 – 1 tsp Coconut Aminos

Red cabbage 45 g

Cucumber thinly julienne 50 g

Capsicum thinly julienne 35 g

Method

In a powerful blender, add the coconut meat, water, salt, lime juice, coconut aminos and nut butter of choice and blend until smooth and creamy.  Set aside.

Drain and rinse the kelp noodles and squeeze as much of the water out as possible.  Place them in a large mixing bowl along with the cucumber, capsicum and red cabbage.  Add half of the dressing and use your hands to mix it thoroughly through all of the ingredients until every little bit is covered.  You may need to add a little bit more.   Place the left over dressing in a ramekin for dipping.

Get your coconut wraps and place one of them on a clean, dry chopping board so that it’s in a diamond shape in front of you.

Add half of the noodle mixture on to the middle of the coconut wrap.  Fold the left and right corners of the diamond in to the middle, holding the filling in place with your fingers as you fold the bottom point and then roll away from you to reach the top corner.  Making sure you keep the filling in and rolling it as tight as possible.  Make sure contents are secure before cutting it down the middle on the diagonal.

Repeat with the second wrapper and the rest of the noodle mixture.  I served it with a side salad and it was great and really filling too.

Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

 

 

 

Tomato Quinoa + White Bean, Pumpkin and Kale Casserole

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There’s something to be said about staples.

They become like best friends, somewhere you can go to when times get crazy.  A dependable, and welcoming hug, a comfy shoulder, nourishing for the soul as well as the body and mind.

That’s how I feel about these next two dishes.  I can just see myself making them over and over again.  The variations may change, but the formula will stay the same.  Why?  Because it’s easy, flavourful, nourishing and done in a flash.

Tomato Quinoa with Green Beans

Makes 3 x 120 g serves

Ingredients

quinoa 1/2 cup (soaked and rinsed well)

tomato 65 g (about 1 medium tomato)

capsicum 65 g (1/2 cup chopped)

1 garlic clove

1 cup of water

frozen green beans 100 g

Method

Place the tomato, capsicum, garlic and 1 cup of water in a blender and blend until smooth.

In a small saucepan, add the rinsed quinoa and add the tomato/capsicum blend.  Season to taste.

On medium-high heat, bring it to the boil.  Then reduce heat to low, cover and leave to cook.  About 15-20 minutes.  When quinoa is cooked, turn heat off and add the frozen green beans. Leave lid on for another 5 minutes before you fluff the quinoa to warm through the beans.  You don’t want to over cook them.  Stir and adjust seasoning if required.

Pumpkin, White Bean and Kale Casserole

Makes 3 x 120 g serves
Ingredients

1/3 cup of water

Pumpkin 120 g

1 can of cannellini beans

Tuscan kale 40 g

1 garlic clove

1 vegan stock cube

Method

Add water, garlic and pumpkin to a medium saucepan, cover and cook on medium heat until pumpkin starts to get soft.  Add more water if needed to keep it from drying out.  Once the pumpkin is soft, add the kale, stock cube, beans, and another 1/3 of a cup of water.  Cook for another 5 minutes, until beans are warmed through and kale has softened.  I like to squash some of the beans and the pumpkin a little bit and mix it with the water to make a little bit of a sauce.  Season to taste.

 

As you can see from the methods, both dishes are really simple to prepare and shouldn’t take long at all.  I’m constantly rushing, so I always make sure I can cook in minimal time.  I know that there’s lots of you out there like me, time poor, which is why I share all these recipes.

Whilst they are simple, they are still tasty and best of all nourishing.

Would love to hear how you go with them if you try them out.

Also, I’m happy to change measurements to cups if people prefer that rather than grams.  Whatever works.

 

Peas, love and mungbeans

 

xxb

 

 

 

Lentil and Eggplant Stew

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I’ve been really loving my legumes of late as you may have noticed.   I had stopped eating them for a while, mainly because at the time I was experiencing, or thought I was experiencing,  digestive issues as a result of eating them, however in hindsight, and if I’m honest with myself, it was just me being influenced by the books I was reading at the time.  There’s a lot to be said for the mind in situations like these, where we believe something and it actually manifests in physical symptoms.  Hmmm, but let’s not get to deep into the psyche, after all, we’re here to talk about food and my new found love affair with the humble legume.

This recipe, like the previous recipe, is simple, which you may have noticed by now, is the crux of what One Hungry Mami is about.

So, without further delay, here’s the recipe.

Lentil and Eggplant Stew

Makes 3  x 1 cup servings

Ingredients

1/3 cup of water

1 tsp of dried oregano

onion diced 35 g

garlic 1 clove crushed

capsicum diced 80 g

eggplant cubed 125 g

tuscan kale finely sliced 30 g

nutritional yeast 3 TBS

lentils (425 g can)

diced tomatoes (400 g can)

Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Finely chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

 

Method

In a large non stick saucepan, add the water, onion, garlic and oregano and cook on medium-low heat until onion is tender, about 3 minutes.  Add capsicum and eggplant and stir to combine, add a little bit of water if it has started to dry out.  Place lid on and let the eggplant soften, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Add the canned tomatoes, rinsing out the can with another 1/3 cup of water and adding that to the pan too.  Stir and cover with the lid.  Leave to simmer for another 5 minutes.  Add the lentils and kale and cook uncovered for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Turn of the heat and add the nutritional yeast.  Stir to combine and serve.

 

Now you can eat this straight up as is or you can serve it as a side as I have in the above picture, with some red rice and a dollop of cashew mayo.

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You can also use it as a filling to baked spuds or sweet potato, add some salsa on top and a squeeze of lemon juice.  If you wanted to, you could also add some chipotle pepper to the lentils to give it a Mexican vibe.  Totally up to you how you party.

Like most stews, this tastes even better the next day when the flavours have had more time to develop, so enjoy the leftovers!

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

 

 

Silverbeet and Cauliflower Curry

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I have to admit, a lot of the meals I make are purely out of necessity, using what ever veggies I have left over and adding lots of herbs and spices.

This one was no different.  Basically I wanted to make a curry that was low fat, low calorie but tasty and filling and would go well with whatever I threw at it as sides.

I don’t normally cook with oil so that’s nothing new, but I kept this low fat by using unsweetened coconut milk instead of the coconut milk that you buy in a can.  Vitasoy make a good one, and no, I’m not payed to say that!

Whilst I’d always recommend making your own milks, I like to have this on hand because I’m busy, it’s low fat, it’s versatile and it keeps well.

Back to the curry.  It’s actually really simple, no fancy steps and it’s fast to make.

Silverbeet and Cauliflower Curry

Makes approx. 5 cups

Ingredients

1/2 medium head of cauliflower, chopped (about 700g)

1 medium carrot, chopped

3/4 cup of pumpkin, cubed

1/2 cup of frozen green beans

3 cups of chopped silverbeet (or spinach)

3 cloves of garlic crushed

1 TBS grated ginger

1 vegan stock cube

1/2 tsp of ground cumin

1 tsp of curry powder (or more depending on taste)

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp of fennel seeds

Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup of water

1/3 cup of unsweetened coconut milk

 

Method

Pour 1/3 of the water into a large saucepan and turn heat onto  medium.  Add garlic, ginger and spices and cook until it becomes fragrant.  Add the carrot, pumpkin and cauliflower and mix until it all becomes coated in the spices.  Turn heat down to med-low and cover, stirring occasionally.

Whilst the vegetables soften, place the silverbeet in a blender with the rest of the water, and stock cube.  Blend until smooth.   Pour this mixture into the cooking vegetables, and stir to combine.  Put lid on and let it simmer until vegetables become soft.

When vegetables are ready, add the frozen beans and stir in the coconut milk.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Continue to cook with the lid off so some of the liquid evaporates off and it becomes a little bit thick, about 5 minutes.

Done.

Serve with a side of basmati rice and a sprinkle of fresh coriander.

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Because it tastes better the next day, I’ve been using it for my lunches and dinners that I take to work.  Today I made another batch but here’s the first batch I made.  It was good for 5 meals.  So cost effective!

If you wanted to up the protein, you could stir in a can of chickpeas, or some cubed tempeh.

I just bought some soy free tempeh (made from chickpeas or fava beans) so I might try that with the next batch.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I am right now, literally been eating it for lunch and dinner A LOT!

And, if you follow me on instagram, you would’ve seen that I wrote it up as spinach but as I found out today, silverbeet (which I thought was a type of spinach) is actually a chard.  So there you go, learn something new every day!

Peas, love and mungbeans

 

xxb