Vegan Mango Ice Cream

Welcome to summer! It’s hot, it’s humid, and you know want some tropical ice-cream. Well, how about a delicious vegan mango ice cream recipe that won’t break your new year’s resolution? This recipe uses no refined sugar, no egg, and no dairy but it tastes just like normal ice cream.

vegan mango ice cream

The reason I made this vegan mango ice cream was simply for economical reason. When I saw how expensive dairy-free ice creams are at the shop I was motivated to make my own. Yes it does take some time to make your own ice cream but the result is totally worth it.

Making ice cream is a 2 step process with a lot of cooling time in between so it’s best to make it the day before you want to eat the ice cream, unless you don’t mind eating mango cream… which is actually pretty nice and tasty too. The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of vodka which keeps the ice cream from freezing completely, giving it a smooth texture and making it easier to scoop. Don’t worry, you won’t be able to taste the vodka.

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Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Lately, Buzz and I have been going to my local library on Saturdays. It’s the perfect place to do some work on Saturdays, especially since the weather has heated up for summer and I don’t have air conditioning at home. On these days we go to the local café (Victoria Park Cafe) for lunch and we end up getting falafel rolls each time, every time, without fail. I surprised myself with the fact that I could actually have the same food… again, and again, and again. I used to be more adventurous and would refuse to order the same thing from a restaurant as it seems like ‘wasted calories’ but it seems that as I am getting older, I’m less fussed about these things.

But one thing hasn’t changed. The foods I eat when I’m eating out still inspire me, and I still like re-creating them at home.

When we order our falafel wrap, we always ask for ‘extra tabbouleh’ (also called tabouleh or tabbouli). We both love our tabbouleh! One day, the café owner was so generous that he gave us much more ‘extras’ than anticipated and couldn’t finish our wrap. Guess there’s only so much falafels and tabbouleh one can eat in a single sitting. By the way, for those who are unfamiliar with tabbouleh, it is a traditional (and very popular) lebanese salad served as part of a mezze plate or use to fill a wrap.

Like our giant falafel wraps.

One day, back at home, I felt like some tabbouleh and decided to make my own customised version. I used quinoa to increase its protein content and I ended up accidentally making it gluten-free and wheat-free. And since there’re no falafels in the house, I added beans to the salad to make it more substantial and satisfying.

Not sure if you can get addicted to salad but it was hard to put the fork down once I started eating this.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of quinoa
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 large cucumber, finely diced
  • 4 cups of finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to season

Method:

  1. Cook quinoa in 1 cup of vegetable stock until tender but not too soft. Check out this post for the complete instruction on how to cook quinoa. Set aside to cool.
  2. Transfer parsley, quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber and red kidney beans into a big bowl.
  3. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Toss gently.
  4. Season with  freshly ground sea salt and cracked pepper and serve

Though we love our falafel roll, we like to eat our quinoa tabbouleh salad with some Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages :)

So, have you had tabbouleh before? Do you like it?

How To Cook Quinoa

quinoa (1 of 1) Quinoa is one of my favourite superfoods. It’s slightly chewy (when you don’t overcook it) and it has a delicate nutty flavour. It is also easy to cook compared to rice and it’s also much more nutritious.

5 facts you should know about quinoa:

  1. It’s pronounced ‘keen-wah’
  2. It’s technically a seed not a grain
  3. It’s high in protein and a good source of iron and fibre
  4. It’s gluten free and has Low GI
  5. It comes in a different varieties, there’s white, red and black quinoa. I think they all taste pretty much the same.

So how to cook quinoa? If you never made quinoa before, it can be a little daunting so here’s a simple and easy recipe to make perfectly cooked quinoa everytime.

Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth (use 1 ½ of liquid if you like it slightly chewier)
    Note: Vegetable broth gives quinoa a nice flavour but you can also use plain water with a pinch of salt to cook and add flavour to the quinoa.

Method:

  1. Rinse quinoa under cold water in a fine mesh strainer and gently rub the seeds together with your hands to ensure that any residual dust and saponins have been removed. Saponins are just chemicals produced by the plant to protect themselves against microbes and fungi. They are bitter-tasting so they might make your quinoa slightly bitter if not removed properly.
  2. Add quinoa and vegetable broth into a pot.
  3. Cook over medium heat uncovered and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to simmer. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until all the water has absorbed and the quinoa seeds have become translucent.
  4. Rest for 5 minutes and fluff it up with a fork before serving.

Quinoa is so versatile. You can serve it so many different ways: You can make quinoa salad with roasted vegetables; you can add it to a soup or use it to replace rice. You can also cook quinoa with almond milk and serve it as a ‘power’ porridge with some chopped nuts and fruits. The choices are endless.

My favourite Quinoa and Tabouleh Salad. You can check out the recipe here.

Quinoa Tabouleh

Eat Me Skinny Kohlrabi Soup

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This is diet-changing stuff. I’ve asked myself how something so creamy and yummy can also be so healthy and light. Oh, but it can. It’s called Kohlrabi.

Kohlrabi

Like most vegetables, kohlrabi is healthy and nutritious. This one is particularly rich in Vitamin C, though. Just a hundred-gram serving gives you all your daily Vitamin C requirement. And, my goodness, it is so low in calories it is almost criminal. It has the creaminess of potatoes but it has just one third of the calories.

One kilogram of raw kohlrabi has only 270 calories. To put this into perspective, that’s less than a calorie count of 100 grams of bread. Amazing, isn’t it?

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Geeky science fact: Kohlrabi is actually man-made. Along with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts, it was created by artificial selection from the wild mustard plant (brassica oleracea).  Artificial selection of a plant means the intentional selection of certain traits you like from the plant, so for example:

  1. Brocolli resulted from the suppression of flower development.
  2. Kale was the outcome from the enlargement of leaves
  3. Cauliflower came from sterile flowers
  4. Cabbage arose from suppression of the internode’s length (the bit of the plant stem between the nodes); and
  5. Kohlrabi was the result of enhancement of the lateral meristem (part of the plant cells involved in lateral/sideways growth)

Thankfully, contrary to artificial selection and cultivation, cooking Kohlrabi is not a complicated undertaking. Here’s as perfectly basic, easy-to-make soup with a great clean flavour which you can tweak to your heart’s content – wants spice, add cayenne; dreaming of Italy, add bay leaves and rosemary; or like it exotic, add cumin powder, you get the gist.

Eat Me Skinny Kohlrabi Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A creamy, comforting soup, without the calories. Great to have warm or chilled.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 1/2 cups almond milk
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Vegan parmesan (I use
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut oil in a large pan. Add onions and cook gently until soft, about 10 minutes. Add kohlrabi and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Add vegetable stock, and almond milk to pan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes or until kohlrabi is tender. Let cool for a few minutes.
  3. Using an immersion blender, bench top blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in heated bowls with freshly cracked pepper and a generous sprinkle of vegan parmesan.
Notes
Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free

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Steel-Cut Oat Power Porridge With Goji and Cranberries

Happy New Year Everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful New Year celebration.

For my first post I thought I’d cover something I’m very passionate about — Breakfast. Up until about 5 to 6 years ago I used to skip breakfast. I felt like I had no time for breakfast and I’d rather sleep in for a few more minutes rather than getting up to get myself some breakfast. My breakfast was usually a cup of coffee at work and I did this for probably about 7 years on and off until one morning, I woke up with a really sharp pain in my stomach. It was so bad I really thought I was going to die. I went to visit the doctor as soon as the pain dissipated and later was diagnosed with chronic gastritis and prescribed with some medication. I was also told to not skip a breakfast in the morning as it can result in an excessive burden on the gastrointestinal tract and cause gastritis, indigestion and other gastric diseases. Best advice I have ever received. Since then, I always make sure I have breakfast, no matter how busy I am in the morning.

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Did you know that 65% of Australian adults skip breakfast, with 41% skipping at least twice a week? At least that was the result of a recent study, which also revealed that almost one million Australian adults skip breakfast because they are dieting or watching their weight. And that’s not the end of the bad news: As many as a third of Australians would rather start their day tweeting or facebooking instead of eating breakfast.[1]

Seriously?

I don’t know when it became trendy to skip breakfast. I personally think that having breakfast is a really important part of my health and so I started to do some research into this topic. I’m very pleased with what I have found thought none of them were a surprise to me: Those who consumed breakfast had a healthier lifestyle, generally speaking, than others who don’t. Having regular breakfasts also helps people lose weight – and keep it off.[2] [3]

So I want to share a really good wholesome and healthy breakfast which I hope will make you want to invest the time making and eating it. Like a bowl of creamy steel cut oats porridge.

Steelcut oats power porridge

Yes! I can have this everyday.

Warm, creamy and comforting. It is also nutritious and full of antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals. You will love this.

Steel-cut oat is the second most unprocessed form of oats. They are whole oat groats which have been chopped into pieces.  Steel-cut oats take longer to cook than instant, ground, or rolled oats, but I think they have more flavour than rolled oats. They’re nuttier and they are chewier. They take about 20–30 minutes to cook but you can pre-cook and then soak them the night before to make an almost instant porridge the next morning (check out Step 7 in the recipe instruction).

Steel Cut Oat Power Porridge With Goji and Cranberries
Recipe Type: Gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Thick and creamy bowl of nutrients, antioxidant and happiness
Ingredients
  • Power Porridge
  • 1 cup of gluten-free steel cut oats
  • 3 cup of water
  • 1 cup of your favourite nut milk (I use a mixture of almond and macadamia milk)
  • 2 Medjool dates, pit removed, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon of goji berries
  • 2 tablespoon of cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • ½ tsp of ground cinnamon
  • Topping Mix (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon of goji berries (soaked in water for 5 minutes if they are hard)
  • 2 tablespoon of desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoon of nut and seed mix
Instructions
  1. Pour water and nut milk into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add oats into the pan. Add a pinch of salt, and stir.
  3. Return the water to a boil. This should only take a few seconds. Keep an eye on the pan as it can sometimes foam up and spill out. Take the pan out of the heat when you notice that the water is about to boil over.
  4. Reduce heat to lowest setting and bring the oats to a gentle simmer. You should see steam coming off with a bubble or two every few seconds.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients (dates, goji berries, cinnamon and chia seeds)
  6. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (every 5-10 minutes or so) and scraping the bottom of the pan.
  7. Cook until the oats are tender and creamy. Longer cooking makes thicker oatmeal. Option: If you want to soak your oats, this is the time to do it. Take of the heat, cover the pot and let it sit overnight, 8-12 hours. To serve soaked oats, just stir the oatmeal to recombine the oats with any residual liquid and heat over medium for 1-2 minute until the oatmeal is heated through.
  8. Serve immediately with a few tablespoon of the topping mix.
Notes
Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free, grain-free

You can also let the oats cool and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. The oats will thicken in the fridge but you can just stir some nut milk or water into them to loosen them when reheating.

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Cheers to the New Year and a good wholesome breakfast!

Keren

References:

[1] ABCMF Study, 2013, Galaxy Research. A representative sample of 1001 Australians aged 18-64 years. Conducted October 2013.

[2] International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 1998, Vol. 49, No. 5 : Pages 397-40 – Breakfast and mental health Andrew P. Smith

[3] 2002 North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) – Long-Term Weight Loss and Breakfast in Subjects in the National Weight Control Registry.