Plant Based Mum Blog

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An Apple A Day - Easy Apple Muffin Recipe

This 19 June (2019) is ‘Red Apple Day’. In support of Red Apple Day, Australian’s are encouraged to purchase a Bowel Cancer Awareness Ribbon, or to join in the fun and raise funds for Bowel Cancer Australia. You can get your school or workplace involved by hosting a “bake-off” to raise much needed funds for cancer research - fundraising events can be held at any time of year too!

Apples are a delicious source of fibre. They can easily be incorporated into your diet whether you like to snack on them whole, dip pieces of apple into hummus as a snack or enjoy them in baked goods such as muffins, cake and/or pie!

In our household we always try to eat one apple day, and usually incorporate more apple goodness in the form of delicious muffins when we have the time!

Apple, Cinnamon and Oat Muffins

These Apple, Cinnamon and Oat Muffins are simple to make, and are a perfect way to incorporate more apples into your diet!

Combine a cup of oat flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, half a teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 cup milk of your choice (you could use water instead), 2 tablespoons apple sauce (or your chosen egg replacer), and 2 tablespoons maple syrup.

Once a smooth batter is formed, add a finely chopped whole apple, and two heaped teaspoons of cinnamon. Mix all ingredients until they are well combined.

Add mixture to a lined muffin tray (makes 6). Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180°C (until golden on top and you can pop a knife in one and pull it out clean). Let cool, then enjoy!!

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Immune Boosting Vegan Winter Stew

With winter on our doorstep, it’s time to bring out the nourishing and hearty stews and soups to keep us full and warm. One of our go-to’s during winter is this immune boosting vegan winter stew - it is easy to make, with leftovers for the next day too!

In the pantry you’ll need:

  • Vegetable Stock (1/2 cup)

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 3 Garlic cloves (crushed)

  • 1 large brown Onion (roughly chopped)

  • 1/2 cup Passata Ristica Crushed Tomato Sauce

  • 1 Can Organic Brown Lentils (rinsed well and drained)

  • 1 Can Organic Cannellini Beans (rinsed well and drained)

  • 1 Cauliflower (divided into smaller florets)

  • 4 large Carrots (peeled and roughly chopped into smaller pieces)

  • 2 large zucchinis (roughly diced)

  • 1 cup cooked Peas

  • 1 small Sweet Potato (peeled and diced)

  • 2 Dutch Cream Potatoes (peeled and diced)

  • 2 large sticks of Celery (roughly chopped)

  • 1 generous handful of washed Baby Spinach (to serve)

  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Now, to cook your delicious stew…

  1. Make up your half a cup of your vegetable stock according to packet directions.

  2. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius, peel and dice your sweet potato, dutch potatoes and your carrots. On a large lined baking tray place your diced sweet potato, diced carrot, diced dutch cream potatoes and cauliflower florets. Place in the oven to roast for around 30 minutes (or until slightly soft).

  3. In a large saucepan, brown up your roughly chopped onion. Add three crushed garlic gloves, chopped celery, cooked peas, passata tomato sauce, beans and lentils. Stir until warmed, then add to the saucepan your vegetable stock, tumeric and your roasted veg from the oven. Bring to a low simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until sauce thickens, stiring to combine ingredients well with sauce.

  4. Place portions of your stew in large serving bowls along with some brown rice, topping with washed baby spinach and season with salt and pepper if desired. If you have leftovers, they do very well paired with some pasta the next day!

Bon Appétit!

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Food Allergy Week (2019)

Next week (26 May - 1 June) is Food Allergy Week. With the tag line, Be Aware, Show You Care we thought it was a great time to spread awareness about food allergy - including potentially deadly food allergies.

Did you know that one in 10 babies born in Australia today will develop some sort of food allergy?  

If you suspect your little one may have an allergy it is important to see a qualified professional (such as a GP, Pediatrician or Specialist Allergist), who can make the diagnosis. 

Would you know what to do if your loved one had an allergic reaction? This video from Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia helps to understand the signs and symptoms, and how to best respond. 

Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia also share some great tips on managing food allergies:

  • Avoiding the food trigger(s) is key - if you know there is a particular allergy stay away from this food.

  • Always read the label: recipes can change without warning and seemingly harmful products can contain allergens (we learnt this one the hard way...)

  • Be mindful of hidden ingredients (for example: mayonnaise, gelato and homemade ice cream = egg, rissoles = tree nuts, curries such as massaman curry = peanuts, some chocolate sauces = hazelnuts, etc).

  • Be aware of cross-contamination: don’t share utensils, cooking areas or come in contact with children (or adults!) if you’ve been eating their allergen...in this case a kiss from Grandma could have dire consequences!

  • Disclose allergies when eating out and check the menu carefully - if unsure, ask!

Some of our favourite allergy-friendly and kid-friendly recipes and cafes are below.

Our Favourite Allergy-Friendly Recipes: 

Best 10 Allergy-Friendly Cafes in Melbourne (and surrounds):

Visit Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia for more information on allergies and allergy management. Enjoy your allergy-friendly food!! Bon Appétit!

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Easter Bunny’s Basket - Vegan Apricot Danish Recipe

With Easter coming up fast it’s time to plan treats for the little ones! This allergy-friendly, vegan apricot danish recipe is super easy to make, very tasty and the perfect sweet treat for Easter.  

You will need: 

  • Puff pastry (1-2 sheets)

  • 20g Dairy-free Butter (melted)

  • 50g caster sugar

  • 50g icing sugar

  • 2-4 tablespoons water

  • 4 Large Apricots (peeled and halved)

Method: 

Take your puff pastry sheet, and cut it into even squares (note: you will need the squares big enough to accomodate the ‘borders’ surrounding your apricot, as well as the apricot itself). Fold in the sides slightly to make your ‘borders’, leaving enough room in the middle for your apricot. Pre-heat oven to 180C.

Place half an apricot into the middle of your pastry square. Brush your pastry with your melted vegan butter and sprinkle apricot and surrounding area with a little caster sugar. Place your pastries in the oven for around 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Once cooked, set your pastries aside to cool. Mix icing sugar in a small bowl with two tablespoons of water, adding more tablespoons of water until you reach a smooth icing. Drizzle your icing on top of your cooled danishes and enjoy your Easter bunny’s prized “egg” sitting proudly in it’s basket!

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Vegan Valentines Day Recipe - His and Her's Brownies

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching! While I don’t really buy into the hype that comes along with this day - we shouldn’t need a reminder to tell our loved ones we love them, we should do this everyday! - I do love an excuse to eat dessert! These His and Her’s Brownies will be sure to win you brownie points with your loved one this V-day. 

Ingredients:  

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • 1 cup cocoa powder

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1.5 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon egg replacer

  • 2 tablespoons water (for egg replacer)

  • 1 teaspoon himalayan salt

  • Generous handful Vegan Choc Chips

  • Handful of Walnuts

Method: 

  • Pre-heat oven to 180C.

  • In a small bowl, make up ‘eggs’ using egg replacer, ground flaxseed and 2 tablespoons water.

  • In a large bowl, stir melted vegan butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, ‘egg’ replacer and vanilla extract until well-combined.

  • Now, using the same bowl, sift in your almond flower and cocoa powder. Add your water and salt, then stir until roughly mixed.

  • Fold in your chocolate chips (being careful not to overmix!)

  • Spoon out mixture/batter into a lined baking tray, smoothing it out with a spoon.

  • Pop some walnuts on top of your brownie batter before placing in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

  • Let cool, serve and enjoy!

Allergen note: This recipe contains nuts and gluten. Feel free to omit nuts and use gluten free flour if required!

Bon Appétit and Happy Valentines Day! Xx

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Back to School Recipes

With school summer holidays coming to an end in Australia, it’s time to start planning for the school year ahead! Whilst my little ones aren’t yet in “big school” (primary) we still like to have easy choices for snacks and lunches during the week.

I love to meal plan for the week ahead so that I won’t be stuck for ideas when it’s been a long and busy day. Some of our favourite snacks and meals are quick, super easy, allergy-friendly. Full of delicious organic fruits and vegetables to keep us healthy and full of energy for active days of play and learning.  

If you’re looking for some new lunch ideas or new snack inspiration, below are some of our go-to food choices: 

Sweet Potato, Zucchini and Black Bean Tortilla Wraps 

This can be a messy one but they are so delicious it is worth the risk! To make, simply fill a tortilla with pre-roasted sweet potato, zucchini and carrot cubes, some diced red capsicum (or ‘red bell peppers’), diced tomato, cooked black beans and diced avocado. Squeeze the juice of a fresh lime over the tortilla ingredients as your ‘dressing’. Add oragano on top, fold your tortilla ‘soft burrito style’, wrap a section of the tortilla around the bottom to hold it all in place and you’re in business!  

Vegetable Mini Pizzas  

We love homemade pizzas in our household. They are simple to make, the kids can help and it is a great way to get your little ones to enjoy their vegetables.

For the crust: Boil and mash up two large sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Now add to your bowl half a cup of oat flour (you can use almond flour instead if there are no nut allergies in your household), a good pinch of himalayan salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons egg replacer and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix all ingredients throughly until a ‘doughy’ ball of sweet potato goodness is formed. Divide sweet potato ‘dough’ into four smaller balls.

Roll out your sweet potato pizza ‘crusts’ to about 1/2 inch in thickness. Top them with organic tomato paste and vegetables of your choice - we change ours up often but usually favour a combination of thinly sliced asparagus, some kale, chopped red bell peppers (capsicum), diced tomato, some baby spinach leaves and thinly sliced zucchini - the best bit is getting to be creative! Bake at 200°C for 10 minutes (or until crust starts to brown). Serve your mini pizzas warm or cool. 

Apple, Carrot, Chia and Oat Muffins

These Apple, Carrot, Chia and Oat Muffins make for an easy snack, and they are a great way to get more vegetables into your little ones.

Combine a cup of oat flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, half a teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons apple sauce (or your chosen egg replacer), and 2 tablespoons maple syrup.

Once a smooth batter is formed, add to your mixture some finely chopped grated carrot, finely chopped apple, and two teaspoons of black chia seeds (or you could use white chia seeds if your little one is fussy). Mix until all ingredients are well combined.

Add mixture to a lined muffin tray (makes 6). Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180°C (until golden on top and you can pop a knife in one and pull it out clean). Let cool, then serve. 

Chickpea Burgers with Green Bean and Sweet Potato ‘Fries’ 

Who doesn’t love a good burger?! I usually purchase ready-made burger patties, and there are plenty of good healthy options out there  - such as these organic veggie patties from Bite Me Foods. Paired with sides, a good veggie burger is delicious, provides a good source of protein and is a quick and easy choice.

Cook your veggie burger patties according to packet directions. To make your ‘fries’, peel and cut a large sweet potato into batons and chop up some green beans until they are a good size for little hands. Par-boil your sweet potato batons for 3-4 minutes. Then, pop them in the oven at 190°C for around 5-10 minutes on one side (until browned ever so slightly), then flip them to crisp up the remaining side for around 5 minutes. Once out of the oven, sprinkle on some rosemary and/or a pinch of himalayan salt. Boil your green beans for 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry.

Your ‘fries’ are now all ready! Serve your veggie burgers on burger buns of your choice, with your green bean and sweet potato ‘fries’ as a side, and enjoy!

Homemade Sushi Rolls 

With some vegetables, brown rice and this handy sushi kit you can enjoy homemade sushi rolls for a healthy snack! There’s plenty of options for the filling too - from batons of carrot, cucumber and zucchini, to strips of eggplant, capsicum, tofu and avocado. Fun to make - and even better to eat! 

Animal Pasta Salad 

A pasta salad is one of our favourite lunch options as it is quick and easy. Prepare pasta of your choice according to packet directions (there are some great ‘animal’ shaped pasta options out there!), and let cool. Once pasta is cooled combine with vegetables of your choice (this is your chance to load in as many vegetables as you want! We like to make it as colourful as we can - with diced zucchini, diced carrot, diced yellow capsicum, green capsicum, red capsicum, lentils, chickpeas, quartered grape tomatoes, broccoli - the list could go on). To finish, add pesto or dressing of choice. This is an easy one to make the night before too - just store in an airtight container in the fridge and you are ready to go the following day.

Zucchini, Green Pea and Sweet Potato Fritters 

Fritters are a great addition to the lunch box, or a nice after school snack option. These fritters are so easy to prepare, which makes them prefect for back to school (or kindy!) time.

Combine in a large bowl 3 cups grated zucchini (ensuring all water content is squeezed out beforehand), 1 cup grated sweet potato, a generous handful of green peas and 1/2 a cup of chickpea flour (almond or coconut flour would also work well here).

Now add 1 clove minced garlic, 1 teaspoon egg replacer, 2 tablespoons water, 1/2 a teaspoon himalayan salt, a sprinkle of black pepper, juice from 1 lemon and a small handful of finely chopped parsley. Stir to roughly combine all ingredients.

Grab a large plate and using a teaspoon spoon out your mixture into balls, slightly flattening them on the plate. You will end up with 8-10 ‘fritter balls’, depending on how big you want to make them. Now heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large frypan over a medium heat. Add your fritter balls, cooking well on each side until they are nice and golden. Let cool and serve! 

Avocado, Banana and Kale Icy Treats 

These icy treats are a cool after school (or kindy!) treat on a hot summers day. The night before school (or kindy), simply blend up a small handful of kale until smooth, then add to your blender a whole avocado and two frozen bananas. Blend these additions until smooth and well combined with the kale. Place blended mixture in ice lolly molds, and pop them into your freezer. The ice lollies will be all ready to enjoy after school! 

Bon Appétit!  

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Recipe of the Quarter - Fully Loaded Summer Salad

There’s nothing better than a super nourishing bowl of goodness for lunch. This fully loaded salad* is nutrient dense and packed with good fats to keep you satisfied and full of energy. 

You will need:  

  • 1 tbs avocado or coconut oil

  • 1 whole avocado

  • 1 large sweet potato (diced)

  • 1 cup brown rice

  • 1 red capsicum (diced)

  • 2 generous handfuls spinach

  • 2 bunches of broccolini

  • Handful cherry tomatoes (halved)

  • Handful walnuts

  • Handful pumpkin seeds

  • 1 lemon (for dressing)

  • Pink Himalayan salt (for dressing)

To make:  

  • Pre-heat oven to 180.

  • Peel and dice sweet potato into small(ish) cubes and place on baking tray.

  • Splash a small amount of avocado oil over sweet potato and place tray into the oven to roast for around 20 minutes.

  • In the meantime, cook up your brown rice (rinse well, add to a large saucepan with 2 cups water, cover pan and let simmer for around 25 minutes - then turn off heat and let stand. Fluff rice up with a fork before serving).

  • Steam broccolini until softened slightly. Chop into smaller pieces before serving.

  • Grab a large bowl and add to it your cooked brown rice, broccolini and sweet potato.

  • Now add your diced red capsicum, cherry tomatoes, handful of spinach and your avocado.

  • Finish with walnuts and pumpkin seeds for crunch and texture, plus a generous squeeze of lemon and a pinch of pink himalayan salt for dressing.

* serves one, simply double your ingredients to make two salad servings. 

Bon Appétit! 

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Recipe of the Quarter - Pumpkin, Lentil and Spinach Lasange

We are well into Winter here in Australia, and my family has been favouring hearty meals to keep us full and warm. For our ‘recipe of the quarter’ we share a Pumpkin, Lentil and Spinach recipe that is sure to keep you nourished. 

Ingredients 

  • Gluten-free lasange sheets (375g packet)

  • 500g Tofutti (or other vegan ricotta cheese substitute)

  • 690g Tomato Passata

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 900g pumpkin, peeled, cut into small cubes

  • 2 x 400g Cans Brown Lentils, rinsed well and drained

  • 120g Baby Spinach, washed well and shredded

  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock

  • Good pinch nutmeg

  • Salt and pepper, to season

Time: 2hrs and 20 minutes

(Note: This recipe makes enough for our family for two nights, plus a little for Mummy Green’s  lunch too!)

Method: 

  • Preheat your oven to 190C and grab out your baking dish, a large bowl and a small bowl to be set aside.

  • In a large fry pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and cook onion until golden brown.

  • Add garlic to fry pan and lightly fry, before adding lentils, pumpkin and stock.

  • Stir in the majority of a jar of passata (setting aside about a cup worth for use later).

  • Cover frypan and bring to a boil. Once boiling lower the heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, until the mixture is thick.

  • Once cooked, pour mixture into a large bowl and set aside to cool. Once the mixture has cooled down transfer the bowl to the fridge.

  • Mash the Tofutti (or your chosen vegan ricotta cheese substitute) in a small bowl, add nutmeg and season to your liking.

  • Grease your baking tray and add your bottom layer of lasange sheets.

  • Add pumpkin mixture and top with ricotta and more layers of lasange. Repeat until baking tray is full, ensuring your last layer is lasange sheets.

  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until cooked through.

  • Serve and enjoy!

Bon Appètit!  

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