Baked Panzarotti with Mushrooms, Sun-dried tomatoes & Pine nuts

Tonight’s Panzarotti were the best vegan version I have made thus far. In the past I have made them with fakin ‘bacon’, vegan cheese & tomato; onion, cavolo nero & tomato; or potato, vegan cheese & tomato. But they were never as good as Marco’s tuna & potato or ham, cheese & tomato. But I think tonight’s filling  topped his  (so long as you like mushrooms of course).

If you haven’t seen my early post and wondering what Panzarotti is, it is like a miniature calzone pizza, which can be fried or baked. If you are in the USA or Italy you probably heard of it, but I discovered it in Milan, Italy. It is one of my favorite dishes and is a great crowd pleaser. We use to fry them, but now we bake them. Baked they are way more healthier.  They can be made with gluten free or whole wheat pizza dough.

Marco made the pizza dough this afternoon and he used this Taste recipe. Considering the yeast is not activated separately in warm water before being added to the flour, the dough rose very well and baked perfectly. He made his with tomato (passata sauce) ham/salami and mozzarella cheese. But for mine I used the filling below. I really love this Redwood Co ‘mozzarella’ style cheese. It taste really good uncooked and melts really well. But if you don’t have any vegan cheese, you can go without with this filling.

Baked Panzarotti with Mushrooms, Sun-dried tomatoes & Pine nuts (vegan, soy free)


Pizza dough (recipe made 13 Panzarotti)



sun-dried tomato

fresh basil

pine nuts

sea salt

tomato passata sauce

vegan ‘mozzarella’ cheese


1. After making dough, letting it rise,  separate the dough into 13 small balls and preheat oven to 200 degrees. 

2. Cut the garlic, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, basil.

3. Take a pan and heat the olive oil, then add the ingredients you just chopped and the pine nuts. Saute till the mushrooms are browned then set to the side.

4. On a floury board, roll out you dough balls into a flat circle shape. Then add 1 tbsp of passata sauce and then add the cooked ingredients and seasalt. Top with vegan cheese and fold the dough over like a half moon shape. Close the ends with your fingers or with a fork.

5. Cook in the oven for 15 mins or until the dough is cooked.

Simple Broccoli Soup with Fresh Corn & Sage Flat Bread

Tonight’s dinner was inspired by the broccoli and corn in the fridge that needed to be used. I wanted to add broccoli to last night curry, but Marco thought it ruin the flavors. He was very adamant, so I agreed to use it the next day. He wasn’t too keen on broccoli soup tonight either, but he ended up liking it and is going to take the leftovers to work. Unfortunately he loved the corn bread so much that he ate 4 tonight and is taking all the rest tommorow. He doesn’t want to leave me any, even though I spent so much time cooking it haha. At least he is eating a healthier alternative, so I don’t mind.

For the soup I used the whole broccoli, leaves, stem and all. As for the Flat Bread, I got the idea from an Indian bread. But I thought sage was more appropriate to go with the soup and used wholemeal flour and olive oil, so that it would be healthier. I tried using vegan butter for the first couple but it burned to quickly.

Simple Broccoli Soup (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

2 heads of broccoli, chopped, includes stem & leaves

750ml vegan chicken liquid stock

500ml fresh water

1 tablespoon arrowroot flour (or tapioca flour), mixed with 2 tablespoons of water

4 tablespoons nutritional yeast

sea salt & black pepper to taste

serve with dollop of natural coconut yoghurt or vegan sour cream (optional)


1. Heat a pot and add olive oil, then add onion and garlic. Cook for 3 mins or until soft.

2. Add broccoli and saute for 3 mins (stir continuously).

3. Add liquid stock and water then bring to the boil and place on simmer. Cook till soft.

4. Take of the heat and use a bar mix to blend the soup.

5. Place back on the heat and add flour, nutritional yeast and adjust seasoning. Stir thorough and once heated serve with some ‘yogurt’ or sour ‘cream’

*Serves 4

Fresh Corn & Sage Flat Bread (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)


375g fresh corn kernels (3 small cobs of corn)

215g wholemeal or gluten free flour (plus more for rolling)

1-2 tablespoons fresh sage

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

olive oil for frying


1. Place corn kernels and salt in the processor and blend into a paste. 

2. Take a mixing bowl and add corn and mix in sage.

3. Slowly add the flour, so that it becomes a dough (it will still be sticky).

4. Separate into 18 small balls. Take a ball roll it in flour and use your hands or rolling pin to flatten it out. Add more flour so that it becomes dry.

5. Heat a fry pan with olive oil (about 2 tbsp) and cook the bread on both sides (about 2 mins, only enough that it is a bit golden brown)

6. Soak oil from bread with paper towel and place into some foil to stay warm while you cook the rest.

* Makes 18

Indian inspired feast

I am overwhelmed by all the positive comments I have received today. I never thought people would read my blog, let alone  nominated me for so many awards. I initially started this blog to help me change to a vegan lifestyle diet. So far I have been doing really well, which has a lot to do with the inspiration from other bloggers and their nice comments about my food. I am use to my friends and family thinking my dairy free food was strange enough, let alone removing the animal products entirely. But I think my cooking has improve a lot for both myself and others, who now think that this vegan food doesn’t look that bad. All I know is I feel great and eating a healthy diet is becoming more effortless.

I admit I do struggle with entirely eliminating fish, eggs and honey out of my diet. But these are not an every day thing or a complete substitute to meat. Its still a process for me and I have cut back a lot. I don’t really eat eggs anymore, since my chickens have been re-homed. Only the occasional crepe that Marco begs me to make. I was struggling with the decision to re-home them, but my mother was relentless about me getting rid of them. I only agreed to it when I found out Marco’s boss and his wife were paying extra council rates to keep their baby roosters, because their kids had grown too attached to them and wanted some lady hens to keep them company. Apparently they are really happy and now my dogs regained the grass in my yard, so they are happy too. I am especially happy now they they have stopped using my veggie patch as a toilet. Sushi is my biggest weakness still. Usually I can find vegan substitute, but sometimes they don’t have them or they just don’t look that good. I am only human, so I am not going to be too hard on myself. For the most part I want to avoid the bpa in canned fish and mercury in fresh seafood. So since I am not substituting it on a daily basis, for now its an occasional food.

Dark Sweet Eggplant, Spring Onion & Broccoli Noodle Stir-fry

Lunches and dinners are very easy now I have accepted that I don’t need some kind of major protein in every meal. Lots of vegetables have protein that I never realized. On the menu today was Dark Sweet Eggplant, Spring onion & Broccoli Noodle Stir-fry for lunch and for dinner was a Vegetable Korma Curry, Red Dhal curry, Rice and Coconut Poori. I also made a banana curry, but it wasn’t a success. I tried to make this recipe a few years back and miss read it, thinking I needed green bananas. They were so taut that I ended up trying to fry them to make them edible. I didn’t make the same mistake tonight, but I think I may have burnt the spices, plus the soy yoguart and lemon juice did not help the flavor. No one was a fan of this curry. So I think its time to give up on banana curry and leave it up to the experts.

The recipes of Red dhal dish and Coconut Poori are from from the book INDIAN FOOD – INTERNATIONAL SERIES. I have had this book for years. It has great recipes for Indian breads and spice pastes and snacks. The Red Dhal dish is an appetizers  but I think it can be enjoyed for a main meal. It is very easy to make and takes very little effort. The recipe doesn’t ask for salt, but for me I used plenty of it to bring out the taste of the dhal and I also used coconut oil instead of ghee. It is gluten free and is a very hearty dish. The Coconut Poori were really different, but really delicious. I made the first couple too big and flat, so they didn’t puff up. So for the rest I made them thicker and smaller and they came out perfect. They are really good with a curry or can be enjoyed after dinner with some chocolate spread. These are not gluten free, but the recipe calls for wholemeal flour or Indian atta flour. It also calls for plain flour, but I forgot about it and it was fine without it. The Vegetable Korma was just whatever vegetables I could find to add. I didn’t make the spice paste, since I had some left over in a jar. I was going to add soy yogurt, but decided to change it to coconut cream in the end, since it was tangy enough.

Red Dhal (gf, sf, nf)


200 g red dhal/lentils (washed)

4 cups water

1 tsp ground turmeric 

1 crushed garlic clove

30 g vegan butter/coconut oil

1 large onion (chopped)

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

sea salt to taste


1. Take a medium size pot and add the lentils, water, turmeric and garlic. Bring to the boil then place on a simmer for 30 mins (or until dhal is soft)

2. Just before dhal is finished, take a pan and melt coconut oil. Then add onion and the remaining spices. Cook for 5 mins, or until onions are soft.

3. Add onions to dhal, stir through and serve.

*Serves 6

Vegetable Korma (gf)


2 tbsp coconut oil

1 onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

4 potatoes (chopped)

1 red capsicum (chopped)

1/2-1 eggplant (chopped)

2 tbsp korma spice paste (or more)

300 ml chicken stock

250 ml coconut cream (1 tetra pak)


1. Take a large pot and melt coconut oil. Then add onions, garlic and korma spice paste. Cook for 3 mins, add water if becomes dry.

2. Then add rest of the vegetables and coat in the spice paste.

3. Add chicken stock and cook for 30mins or until potato is soft.

4. Lastly before serving, add coconut cream and heat through, then serve.

*Serves 4

Coconut Poori (sf, nf)


200 g wholemeal flour/Indian atta flour

100 g plain flour (optional)

1/2 tsp sea salt,

100 g desiccated coconut

1 tsp chili powder (I used cayenne pepper)

1/2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp ghee/coconut oil/vegan butter

150 ml water

oil for frying (sunflower oil)


1. Take a mixing bowl and combine wholemeal flour, salt, coconut, cayenne, and sugar. 

2. Then add melted coconut oil and stir so that it becomes like bread crumbs.

3. Then add water so it becomes like a dough and set aside for 10 mins.

4. Divide into 14 balls and flatten into a small disk shape.

5. Heat wok with oil then place the disks into the oil and hold under the oil. They are ready when they puff up and are golden brown.

*Serves 14

New Awards

Recently, I have been nominated by 6 more awards from Sugar and Spice BakingMiss MarzipanMade of Stars and The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic. I am so grateful to these three bloggers. They have all been big supporters of mine and I am big fans of theirs. Even though these aren’t vegan blogs they all inspire me to make healthy hearty foods and also tempt my sweet spot.

 blog has mouthwatering recipes and beautiful photos of his food. I became a instant follower  after seeing his blog. His recipes are healthy  with  influence European,  that can be appreciate by all.

Sugar and Spice Baking has lovely baking recipes for any sweet tooth. She makes a variety of traditional European sweets that use simple ingredients, but turn out looking really delicious.

Miss Marzipan blog has lots of great ideas for the kitchen and diy projects. I love her recipes, particularly her sweets, that’s not to say she doesn’t have some great savories recipes as well.

The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic blog has beautiful photos of Philippines, healthy traditional recipes and participates in creative writing and photo challenges.  It is all round inspirational and an interesting read.

REALITY Blog Award

Below are the rules for the REALITY blog award:

1. Answer the  5 questions

2. Nominate 8 other bloggers


1. If you could change one thing, what would you change? Stop the dairy industry spreading lies about the cows milk being ‘healthy’, so that more people would understand its bad for their health, it is breast milk from a cow that is meant to nourishing a baby cow to grow, not to feed a humans; and that cows don’t need to be milked, they can only produce milk when they are pregnant.

2. If you could repeat an age, what would it be? 21 young enough to not be serious, but old enough that people take me seriously

3. What one thing really scares you? Heights, no matter how many times I try to over come this it doesn’t seem to go away.

4. What is one dream you have not completed, and do you think you’ll be able to complete it? I want to teach english overseas. I’m not sure how I can do this at this point in my life. Perhaps when I’m older and my future kids don’t need me so much.

5. If you could be someone else for one day, who would it be?




The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic

Vina’s delicious recipes

Travel Culture Food

Cook to love

Modern girl nutrition

Veg Hot Pot

Beautiful Blogger Award

Here come the rules for this award:

1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post

2. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog

3. Tell 7 things about yourself

4. Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award and comment on their blogs to let them know


The bear and the blackberry

Miss Marzipan

Not all who wander are lost


Nourishing Chow

Eat breathe yogini

Playful and Hungry

Liebster Award

1. Add the award icon to your blog! 

2. Link to your nominator to say thank you

3. Each blogger should post 11 facts about themselves.

4. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you (in this case I have 2 sets), and create 11 questions for your nominations to answer.

5. Choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers, go to their blog and tell them about the award.

11 Facts about myself:

1. I still live at home

2. My father owns a fresh gluten free pasta business

3. My mother, brother and father are all chefs

4. I am the kitchen nazi, I can’t stand a dirty kitchen

5. I love drawing and I good, but out of practice

6. I still can’t tell my left and right, lucky I have freckle on my left hand

7. I still don’t drive, but I will one day

8. I have one more semester at uni, which is scary to know the end is near

9. I am a bit freaked out about 21/12

10. I always thought I would move city or country, but now that doesn’t seem possible

11. I use to play wow 😮 I was one of the best healing priests on my server lol

Questions from Miss Marzipan:

  1. Colour or monochrome? colour
  2. Winter or summer? winter
  3. Ready-made or homemade? home-made
  4. Chocolate or vanilla? vanilla
  5. Glass half empty or half full? half-full
  6. Work or play? play
  7. Casual or formal? formal
  8. Ski lodge or tropical island? tropical island
  9. Breakfast or dinner? dinner
  10. TV or film? TV
  11. City or country? city

Questions to my nominees: 

  1. Cookies or Cake?
  2. Dogs or Cats
  3. Latte or Frappe?
  4. Beach holiday or Sight seeing holiday?
  5. Fiction or True story?
  6. Fantasy film or Action movie?
  7. Chicken, Fish or Tofu?
  8. Ipad or Laptop?
  9. Cooking or Cleaning?
  10. Playing sport or Watching sport?
  11. Roasted potato or Fries?


Keep Calm and Eat On


The Trim Body

Earthgiven Kitchen

Kicking Back the Pebbles

More then Greens

Made of Stars

The Healthy Epicurean

Rabbit Can Cook


Avocado and Ales

What’s on my plate today

The Sunshine Award

If you are nominated you must include the link in a blog, linking to the person/blog that nominated you. You must answer some questions and nominate 10 fellow bloggers and link their blogs in your post. Let the people you have nominated know that you have nominated them!

3 fast facts about me:

1) I don’t move when I sleep, my chest barely moves.
2) I spent the first 20 years of my life hating cheese, milk, icing and cream. Then when I discovered them I had to give them up for health reasons.
3) I can’t watch tv without my computer or reading something else at the same time.


Art and Kitchen

Relaxing Cooking

Vini Cooks Veg

The Misfit Baker

Triathlon obsession

Sugar and spice baking

Blissful Britt


Inspiring Blog Award

1. Display the award image on your blog (the one I have above)
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and link to their sites.
5. Notify the bloggers that they have been nominated and link to the post.

7 Things about Me:

1. I am still scared of the dark.
2. I hate that every year people give me chocolates for christmas, even though they know I have a milk allergy.
3. I would never travel to the moon, I am too scared I wouldn’t come back.
4. I am a moody, sensitive cancerian.
5. I don’t understand why sports news exists, its not news!
6. I use to have an imaginary friend called Rebella… never knew why I called her that.
7. My voice is so high, that most people think I am a kid on the phone.


Manningtree Archives

The Veggie Nook

My little italian kitchen

love licks pensiveness

Small Potatoes

Turning Veganese

Cant stay out of the kitchen

From Motherhood to Enlightenment

Peri’s spice ladle

Emmy Cooks

Liv Lives Life

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Below are the rules for the Very Inspiring Blog Award so please follow carefully:

1.  Display the award logo on your blog.
2.  Link back to the person who nominated you.
3.  State 7 things about yourself.
4.  Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5.  Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.


Pumpkin, Sage, Walnut and ‘Ricotta’ Lasagna

I had half of the Tofutti ‘ricotta’ left over  from the other day and I didn’t know what to do with it. I haven’t eaten ricotta in 3 years, so I haven’t been missing it much. I have tried out vegan ricotta before and for me its been a great substitute, except when you want to make something sweet. I came across this Taste recipe today, Pumpkin, sage and ricotta lasagne, and decided this was something I would like to try.

I adapted the recipe, so that the ricotta was more of a cheesy sauce with walnuts. Since it was more runny it helped to cook the past sheets a lot better. The only thing I didn’t do was put some of this sauce down the bottom, so the bottom pasta sheet was a bit hard. Other then that it was decadent and delicious. On the side I made some Spicy tomato vegetables to complement the sweet lasagna. As for the pumpkin seeds, I baked them with maple, cinnamon and sea salt.

I’m stuff now and jealous that Marco is taking the left overs to work. My boyfriend isn’t vegan or vegetarian, but as he says, he likes to sample the best of both worlds. I have completely stopped cooking meat at home now, so he only has it out or when someone else cooks for him. But even he has noticed the difference he is feeling, so he doesn’t mind living in a meat free house anymore. By the way sorry I don’t have better pictures. Marco and my mum couldn’t wait to eat tonight.

Pumpkin, Sage, Walnut and ‘Ricotta’ Lasagna (vegan, gluten free option)


1 x packet instant lasagna sheets (use gluten free if you prefer)

1.2 kg butternut pumpkin

2 tablespoons olive oil,

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

sea salt & black pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg,

1 tablespoon chopped sage

12 whole sage leaves

100 g vegan butter (I used Nutlex)

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts.

Ingredients for ‘Ricotta’ Cheesy Sauce:

215g vegan ricotta (I used Tofutti Better Than Cheese Ricotta)

4 tablespoons vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 cup soy milk

sea salt & black pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees and chop the pumpkin.

2. Place pumpkin in a baking tray. Add olive oil, chili flakes, salt & pepper and cook for 25 mins (or until softened)

3. In the meantime prepare the ‘ricotta’ cheesy sauce. In a processor add all the ingredients for the sauce and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Once pumpkin is cooked, leave to cool. Then place in a processor and add nutmeg, chopped sage, salt & pepper. Blend till it is pureed.

Butternut pumpkin mash

5. Take a 8×8-inch square baking dish (or around this size) and first add a layer of the cheese sauce. Next add the lasagna sheets (2 1/2 for my dish) and then add the mashed pumpkin. Continue layering till all the pasta sheets have been used and top with both pumpkin and ricotta cheese sauce. Bake lasagna in the oven for 35 mins.

6. A few minutes before serving, take a small pot/pan and heat butter whole sage leaves and chopped walnuts for 2 mins.

7. Serve lasagna with a drizzle of the butter sage sauce on top.

*Serves 4

Spicy Tomato Vegetables (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 small red onion, chopped

2 tablespoon tomato paste

8 black olives

1 large zucchini, chopped

1/2 large broccoli, chopped

pinch of sugar

salt & pepper to taste


1. Take a pan and heat olive oil, then add garlic, red onion and tomato paste and cook for 2 mins. Add sugar if the tomato paste is very bitter. 

2. Add a bit of water if dry then add the black olives zucchini,  and broccoli and cook till the vegetables are tender and season then serve.

Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Seeds (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)


Butternut pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons maple syrup (or more to coat)

sprinkle of cinnamon and sea salt


1. Wash pumpkin seeds, then place on a tray and add the rest of the ingredients to the seeds.

2. Roast for 3 mins or until crispy.

Spinach & ‘Ricotta’ Ravioli with Cherry tomato Sauce

I finally made fresh pasta without eggs tonight. It was pretty much just like making the egg pasta, like I’ve made before  (Oh Eggs), except using semolina, instead of just flour. I also used wholemeal wheat flour instead of combining the semolina with white flour, since I didn’t have enough. The dough turned out really good, but I still need some more practice to get the shape of my ravioli down pat. They are jumbo ravioli, but they look more like wontons. To make the pasta, I bought Sostanza Semolina today. I was a bit worried that it wasn’t semolina flour since its quite coarse, like polenta, but I think its meant to be like that.

For the filling I used Tofutti Ricotta that I got from Green Edge the other day. I know that I can make my own vegan ‘ricotta’ with tofu, but when I saw it I had to try it. Its actually really good and doesn’t taste like soy at all. Its not as salty or watery as dairy ricotta, but it is an excellent alternative. I also used a bit of Tofutti Cream Cheese, which made the filling so much more creamier and melted in the mouth. I added lots of salt and some nutritional yeast, so the filling tasted more cheesy.

For the sauce I made a simple cherry tomatoes sauce. I bought the tomatoes today at the Davies Park Market West End. I got 3 punnets of the most ripest, delicious cherry tomatoes for only $1.50. It was my first time going to this market. I can’t believe I have never been there before.  They have food stalls from all over the world and including Hungarian langos, German sausages, Spanish paellas and French macaroons. We tried the famous Ykillamoocow vegetarian pies, langos and bought a selection of flavored nuts. Definitely a market worth visiting in Brisbane.

Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli (vegan, nut free)

Ingredients for Pasta dough:

1 cup semolina

1 cup wholemeal flour or unbleached plain flour

pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup warm water

Ingredients for Pasta filling:

120g baby spinach, chopped

1 tablespoon vegan butter (I used Nutlex)

250g vegan ricotta (I used Tofutti Better Than Cheese Ricotta)

2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons fresh basil

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

sea salt & black pepper to taste


1.Take a large bowl and combine semolina, wholemeal flour and sea salt.

2. Then add olive oil and slowly add warm water. Combine so that it becomes like a dough.

3. On a floury board knead the dough for 10mins, so that the dough is smooth and elastic. Set aside.

4. In a sauce pan melt vegan butter, then add baby spinach and cook on low heat, until spinach has wilted. Then place in a mixing bowl.

5. Split the dough into 6 parts and prepare the pasta machine.

6. Make pasta sheets with the pasta machine and place them on damp tea towls. Trim them and put the excess dough through the machine again, so that all the dough gets used.

7. Take the bowl with the spinach and add the rest of the ingredients for the filling and mix it well. (Preheat a pot of boiling water to cook pasta).

8.  To make ravioli place a teaspoon of the filling in the center of the pasta sheets. Remember to leave a space between each bit of filling and at both ends of the pasta sheets. Once you have placed the filling on the pasta sheet, wet the edge of the pasta sheet, with your fingers (so that it will stick) and fold over the pasta sheet. Slice between each bump of the filling to separate the ravioli and then close the edges with a fork. Then place on tray with baking paper and some flour (so it doesn’t stick).

9. In boiling water, add a pinch of table salt and then add the ravioli to cook. They only take 2-3 mins till they begin to float to the top, then they are ready. Remove from water and add straight to hot sauce, to coat, then serve, or place in a strainer till sauce is ready.

‘ricotta’ filling

Marco helps me make the pasta sheets

fresh pasta sheets

adding the filling

forming the ravioli

ravioli ready to cook

boiling ravioli

eating ravioli

Cherry Tomato Sauce (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)


2 tablespoon olive oil

2 small red onions, diced

2-3 garlic cloves, diced,

750g cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)

3 tablespoons fresh basil

sea salt & black pepper to taste


1. Take a large pan or sauce pan and heat olive oil.

2. Add red onion and garlic and cook on medium heat for 4-5 mins.

3. Add cherry tomatoes and cook for 10 mins or until the tomatoes become soft and mushy.

4. Add tomato paste to thicken and a bit of water if it becomes dry.

5. Add basil and salt and pepper to taste then add pasta to coat and serve.

adding tomatoes to pan

finished Cherry tomato Sauce

Vanilla Maple Breakfast Polenta

Good morning everyone! I am addicted to PInterest at the moment. I’m a bit of a late adopter. While I was going through all my long lost recipe book marks I came across this recipe, Vanilla Brown Sugar Breakfast Polenta, from Joy the Baker. I adapted it, to make it vegan and a bit healthier.

It is really warm, sweet (but not to sweet) breakfast that makes you feel all fuzzy inside. Since there was only two of us for breakfast this morning, I took the tip from Joy and put the rest of the polenta in a loaf dish with plastic wrap. This way I can store it in the fridge and later when it has set I can slice it and fry it for dessert. Hope you like it 🙂

Vanilla Maple Breakfast Polenta (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)


1 cup polenta (instant)

3 cups cold water

2 cups plant milk (coconut or oat; almond or soy if you can tolerate)

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/2 vanilla bean)

sprinkle of cinnamon

fresh berries and extra plant milk  to serve


1. Take a small bowl and combine 1 cup of cold water and 1 cup of polenta.

2. Take a pot  and add 2 cups of cold water and 2 cups of soy milk. Put on medium heat and bring to a light boil.

3. Add salt and stir through.

4. Add polenta slowly and stir through. Then cook for about 10mins or until the polenta has thickened. Stir often.

5. Take of the heat and stir through maple syrup and vanilla essence.

6. Serve in  bowls add garnish with a touch of cold soy milk, sprinkle of cinnamon and fresh berries (I used blueberries).

* Serves 4

Chia & Pepitas Banana Bread

I have been trying to incorporate more seeds and nuts into my diet lately, since they are so healthy. They also taste really great in baked goods. Tonight’s dessert was a bit experimental, but it turned out really well. The chia seeds have a slight crunch on the inside and the pepitas seeds taste really great roasted on the outside. I wanted to also put some dates inside, but I forgot, so that gives me an excuse to make something else baked and sweet this week.

Chia & Pepitas Banana Bread (vegan, soy free)

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached self raising flour

2/3 cup evavorated cane sugar or raw sugar

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 handfuls pepitas seeds

Wet Ingredients: 3 large ripe bananas

1/2 cup plant milk (coconut, rice or oat; almond or soy if you can tolerate)

1 teaspoon almond essence

1/4 cup filtered water


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Take a large bowl and mix in all the dry ingredients (except pepitas seeds).

3. Take a smaller bowl and mash the bananas.

4. Add almond milk & vanilla essence to the bananas.

5. Add the bananas to the large bowl with the flour and stir it all through.

6. Add water to make the mixture more wet.

7. Place in a bread tin (with baking paper or greased with butter) and sprinkle pepitas seeds on top.

8. Cook in the oven for 45-50 mins (until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean). Leave to cool for 10 mins then slice and serve with vegan butter.

Pasta al Cavolfiore

Tonight I used the rest of the cauliflower from last night to make a Sicilian classic. I’ve never made this dish before, so I consulted a few different recipes online. I also found a veganised recipe for this in my Forks Over Knives book. I tweaked it a bit so the cauliflower was made into a creamy sauce. Usually the cauliflower florets are kept whole.

Typically this dish needs six main ingredients: pasta, cauliflower, raisins, saffron, pine nuts and anchovies. Sicily was occupied by the Arabs in the 10th & 11th century, so that’s where the influence of the raisins, saffron, pine nuts come from. The raisins give a sweet taste every so often and the pine nuts, well they are just delicious as they are. Since I couldn’t use anchovies I used white miso paste. I didn’t have any saffron. It’s really expensive here, so we don’t keep it, but I don’t think it really needed it for flavour.

I pureed the cauliflower, and added cannellini beans and almond milk, to make the sauce more creamy. I wanted to be like a bechamel, to satisfy my creamly pasta cravings. It didn’t turn out as creamy as Marco would of liked, but there was enough sauce coated the pasta. Real Italian pasta dishes are usually not as saucy as we eat them in Australia. So for me it was more similar to the food I enjoyed over there. The sauce is gluten free and a great alternative to make use of cauliflower, even if you usually (like me) don’t like it.

Pasta al Cavolfiore (vegan, gluten free option, soy free)


small cauliflower (about 3 cups)

500g spaghetti or other long pasta (use gluten free pasta if you prefer)

1/2 tin cannellini beans

3/4 unsweetned plant milk (I used almond, but you can also use oat or soy milk)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small red onions, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, finely diced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoons white miso paste, mixed with 3 tablespoons of hot water

1/2 cup raisins

6 tablespoons nutritional yeast

sea salt & black pepper to taste

4 tablespoons pine nuts, pan toasted

2 tablespoons minced parsley


1. Take a large put and boil the cauliflower for 10 mins or till tender.

2. Remove the cauliflower and place to the side. Then cook the pasta according to packet instructions in the large pot (add salt to water). When its cooked place to the side.

3. In the meantime, place cauilflower in the processor and add 1/2 cup of almond milk and pureed. Then add cannellini beans and add 1/4 cup of almond milk.

4. In a large pan heat olive oil on medium heat, then add red onion and garlic. Cook for 10mins or until soft.

5. Add the tomato paste and cook for further 2 to 3 mins (add water if too dry).

6. Add miso and raisins and cook for 2 more minutes.

7. Add pureed cauliflower and cannellini beans to the pan and stir through.

8. Add nutritional yeast, salt & pepper and cook for 2 mins.

9. Add pasta and heat through.

10. Serve pasta with pine nuts & parsley on top.

Roasted Cauliflower Steak & Leaves

Today was my officially last day of uni! I met my lecturer and make last changes to my thesis and submitted. What was meant to be 5000w was nearly double, luckily he didn’t mind. However, it was really rewarding, learning about Australian Aboriginal culture and the imperialist ideologies that came with the British when they colonized Australia.

During the semester we had an Aboriginal guest lecture that told us about a native Australian grain, called Mitchel grass. According to him it is one of the healthiest grains, but it is not widely eaten, because people prefer to cultivate foreign grains and spend a fortune in maintaining them, even though our climate doesn’t support them. I don’t know if this is true, but he did tell us about some other native vegetables that are really healthy that I might try and grown. I was so envious when I went to Italy and even  Melbourne and saw my families veggie patches. There are just some things I can’t grow. Strawberries are one of the hardest. My blueberry tree was also not successful, but maybe that was because I thought putting ‘lime’ in the soil before planting, actually meant the fruit. My mother thought that was very funny, when she watched me squeezing the juice into the ground, but they didn’t specify on the instructions which type of lime.

Anyway tonight I was making dinner for everyone. I roasted potato, orange & purple sweet potatoes, lotus root and garlic with rosemary. I also had to roast chicken breast for them, which I did with olive oil, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, sea salt & rosemary. I was feeling a bit jealous of their chicken, it smelt really good. By luckily I found a substitute. I remember reading a while ago, Alicia Silverstone boasting about a cauliflower steak she had a restaurant. So I though I would try this, but roasted. I just used the same seasonings as the chicken and it turned out amazing. I usually hate cauliflower, so this is a much better way to eat it. Also after I was packing all the stuff away I thought all these cauliflower leaves what a waste. So I quickly jumped online and found out that they are edible. I found this lovely recipe to prepare them, but since I didn’t have much time, I just quickly prepared them in oil, garlic powder and salt. They came out really nice too. So move over kale chips, cauliflower chips are my new craze. I will have to grow my own, since the store bought ones aren’t very leafy, but its good incentive. I bought heaps of soil today, so I will get my garden up and running again soon.

Btw if you haven’t tried Lotus Root, you must! I  buy it frozen from the Asian supermarket. I first read about it in Alicia’s Kind Diet. I usually make her recipe, Maple-roasted Lotus Root, Sunchokes and Leeks. The maple syrup makes them sweet and crispy. It’s much better then just roasted with oil.

Roasted Cauliflower Steak (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)



olive oil

garlic powder

ground cayenne pepper

dried rosemary

sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees

2. Slice cauliflower in the middle to get a 2-3 cm slice.

3. Place on a tray with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and flavor with rest of ingredients.

4. Cook for 20mins, then turn over and cook for a further 5mins, then serve. Cook longer if not golden brown.

Roasted Cauliflower Leaves (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)



olive oil

garlic powder

sea salt


1. Wash and cut leaves into bite size pieces

2. Place on a tray with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and flavor with garlic powder, sea salt.

3. Cook for 20 mins, or until crispy