How do you vegan?

Often I watch a lecture in my IIN study & afterwards, wish I could sit down everyone I know in front of it. Tonight was one of those moments, watching a passionate Mark Bittman sing about policies very close to my heart:

He commenced a form of veganism 6 years ago. Before you non-vegans start rolling your eyes, just read on a little further. Mark is entirely plant based (fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds) from when he wakes until 6pm, every day. From 6pm, he gives himself carte blanche – whether that is a steak, cocktail, wine or a cheeky dessert.

Here are some of his beliefs:
1. Make it hard to sell junk food to children
2. Make it illegal to sell ‘soda’ to children
3. Stop dispensing junk, including soda, in schools
4. Subsidise production & sales of real foods, including fruit, vegetables, nuts & seeds.
5. Lead by example – encourage your friend
6. De-incentivize companies whose products have been shown to make people ill.

All of us have an opportunity to make a change to the earth, in the form of food consumption. Yours could be:
1. supporting small to medium farmers by purchasing at farmers markets, instead of purchasing processed foods built on mono-crops like corn & soy which are ineffective & have negative benefits on the soil.
2. Decrease global warming by having one less meal containing meat every week (or cut down more if you choose)
3. Decrease the amount of processed junk you eat each week & replace that with a plant-heavy meal.
4. A form of veganism – perhaps it is plant-based foods only Monday to Friday; or daily til 6pm; or you could decide to have lunch only containing meat.
5. Work on the above points regularly. Encourage your friends to do the same. Do you think if all consumers stopped buying GMO products or poor quality meat, it would continue to be produced? Supply & demand my friends. Help me on this journey to making the world a better place for our children, their children & for many more generations to come.

What am I doing?
1. 7 months ago I ditched dairy & despite having a bit of cheese on holidays in Scotland over Christmas, I am back to being dairy-free.
2. I read labels on everything I buy & make conscious choices to buy organic where possible.
3. I shop at Farmers Markets every weekend, & have done so for nearly 5 years.
4. I haven’t eaten meat in nearly 18 years
5. I give my children meat, which is 90% of the time organic & grass-fed. I also explain to them where the meat comes from, as I feel education is part of the issue that needs to be discussed.

I’ve attached images of vegan meals & foods I enjoy to show you that veganism is far from boring or unsatisfying. If you would like tips on replacing meals with vegan options, come say hi over on Facebook at 6cleaningredients & I would love to help you out x

 

 

Quiche with GF crust

Let me preface this post by saying Georgeats aka Georgia McDermott aka that chick who makes abso-f*cking-lutely everything she photographs & creates look amazing was my inspiration for this dish. I was up for a challenge & thought I could make her Rainbow Pie with buttery hazelnut crust.

A few minor obstacles in the first thirty seconds: no hazelnuts or hazelnut meal. Next was no pumpkin. Third is I am on a specialised food plan currently which means no dairy. No feta for me. Next is no chilli. I am also intolerant to onions. Sh*t, is anything going to be the same? Not really….unless you count that mine has eggs & a crust. Georgia your dish is the inspiration for mine, but mine looks pathetic in comparison to the vibrant colours of your rainbow chard (mine looked like a rainbow before I put them in the oven, then melted down to a murky pinky/brown by the time I excitedly pulled them out of the oven)

INGREDIENTS // CRUST
1 1/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup buckwheat flour (I just whizz up buckwheat groats in a spice blender)
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 organic egg. Read the label peeps, free-range means nothing.
100g organic salted butter, melted
1 tbspn fresh rosemary

INGREDIENTS // FILLING
6 organic eggs
2 tbspns broccoli
1/4 cup rainbow chard, sliced
Handful spinach leaves
1/2 cup sweet potato, roasted in Rosemary

METHOD
1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Slice sweet potato, throw in the oven with a glug of olive oil, set the timer for 20 minutes.
2. While the sweet potato is in the oven, mix together the crust ingredients, then press into the tin/s. Of course I actually don’t have a pie tin either so I used two oversized ramekins, lined with baking paper.
3. Pull the sweet potato out of the oven, drop the temperature to 180 degrees celsius & throw in the pie crust. Set the timer for 10 minutes.
4. While the crust is in the oven, whisk up the eggs. Chop the chard & parsley. Try not to eat all the roast sweet potato.
5. Take out the crust, leave the oven on, throw in the egg filling with parsley & sweet potato, chard on top. Unlike me, put on a timer for 25 mins. Check it is cooked in the middle.

Pumpkin, silverbeet & feta parcel | V

for me, this is comfort food at its’ best: pastry, cheese & enough veggies to ward off any potential guilt. 

1. Roast pumpkin for half hour with a teaspoon of olive oil at about 200 degrees Celsius 

2. Take one sheet of pastry out of the freezer onto baking paper. 

3. Chop some silverbeet, put it on the Middle of the pastry, throw the roast pumpkin on top, then chop some Danish feta & scatter over the top, sprinkle herbs & chilli to your taste. 

4. Throw in the oven at 200 degree Celsius for about 20 minutes, or until brown on top & crisp

Green smoothie

If you haven’t already tried a green smoothie, do it today! It’s such an easy way of getting your raw greens intake for adults & kids alike.

INGREDIENTS
1 banana (peel, cut into quarters then freeze in glad wrap/cling film or a snap lock bag)
1/4 cup coconut water
2 cups baby kale
1 cup baby spinach

METHOD
1. Put greens then banana in the blender. Begin blending
2. slowly add coconut water & blend until your desired consistency. Mine is usually bordering on being eaten with a spoon!

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pumpkin, beetroot, haloumi

I seem to repeat this sentence a lot when ive created a meal: I threw this together with what ingredients I could find. The sweetness of the pumpkin, earthiness of beetroot & saltiness of haloumi work really well together. It’s not often I eat a savoury meal without green – the baby kale just adds a bit of freshness.

Cheese is such a fabulous ingredient to bring a different flavour to a dish or balance out flavours – ive used Haloumi in this one but Grana Padano, Persian feta & goats cheese are normally present in my fridge most of the time.

1 beetroot

½ block haloumi

2 cups pumpkin, sliced

1 handful pine nuts, raw or roasted

2 cups baby kale

½ cup button mushrooms

olive oil – no more than 1/3 cup

METHOD

1. heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (I do not have a fancy-pants oven; it’s a standard Fisher & Paykel so this is what I base my temperatures on).

2. while the oven is heating, cut up the pumpkin (I prefer skin on but skin off is fine) & cut the beetroot into quarters, removing any yukky bits (so descriptive, aren’t i?!)

3. in one small oven tray, place the pumpkin on baking paper & throw in the oven

4. in another small oven tray, line with foil, then a layer of baking paper. Put the beetroot in the middle, pour over 2 tspns olive oil then fold up & put in the oven

5. set the timer for 45 minutes-1 hour. While it’s in the oven, slice the button mushrooms into thirds, slice the haloumi & measure out the baby kale.

6. with 10 minutes left on your timer: pan-fry the haloumi with 1-2 tspns olive oil. Flip once, then put on paper towel to drain any excess oil.

7. no need to wash out the pan, throw in the mushrooms with 2 tspns olive oil, flash frying for about 20 seconds, then add the kale & stir until it starts to wilt

8. take the pumpkin & beetroot out of the oven, slice the beetroot into smaller pieces. Arrange everything in a bowl & eat! I had it cold but it would be delicious warm too.

**if you have raw pine nuts, you can dry roast them in the frying pan once you’ve removed the kale & mushrooms. Just throw them in & stir A LOT or they will burn. It only needs 30-90 seconds depending on the heat of your stove.

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Rainbow bowls

When I first saw pictures of salad bowls full of colour, I knew it was something I would be trying.

It sounds clichéd & I’m not going to pretend to be the first to say it but preparing a meal full of nature’s colours – green, red, orange, yellow, purple, really does leave you feeling more satisfied than a monomeal, or even a meal w 2 main elements. Maybe it’s the different textures & tastes that help, as well as the aesthetics.

I’m not going to tell you how to combine your veggies but I would recommend in each bowl a combination of textures & flavours (or sweet, savoury, spicy).

A tip on cooking veg: steaming is better than boiling, so nutrients don’t get lost in the water. If you are boiling, when you turn off the stove, drain the water immediately. This stops the veg cooking & no more nutrients escape into the water.

Here are some winning combinations –

SYDNEY AUTUMN
Dutch (purple) carrots
Pumpkin (roasted)
Peppers/Capsicum
Parsley
Kale
Goats Cheese
Chilli

SYDNEY WINTER
radicchio
Radish
Cauliflower, steamed 2 minutes
Broccoli, steamed 2 minutes
Kale
Squash, steamed 1 minute
Carrot

SYDNEY SPRING
Capsicum
Broccoli
Sweet potato
Red cabbage
Carrot w coriander
Cos lettuce

LONDON SUMMER
Carrot
Peppers / Capsicum
Parsley
Parmesan
Watercress & Rocket
Radish

LONDON END OF SUMMER
Peppers
Sweet Potato, roasted in ginger
Carrot & basil
Radish
Mushroom & parsley
Broccoli, steamed 2 minutes
Purple cabbage
Hummus as a dressing

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rainbow bowl 5 alicegruzman.jpg

rainbow bowl 5 @alicegruzman

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baby spinach radicchio sweet potato @alicegruzman

 

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