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The Ultimate Vegan Shortbread

Ultimate Vegan Almond Shortbread - Passionately Keren

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Lunch at Gathered Kitchen

There is comfort in the familiar.

I love being a vegan, but sometimes I just want to feel normal. And I don’t mean that there is anything abnormal about being a vegan. In fact, it is very normal to not want to harm other beings. What I mean is that when I go out for lunch or dinner, I want to feel like the rest of the population, being able to choose everything on the menu and not have to ask if this and that have eggs or dairy in them. To not have to worry about whether or not there’s food for me to eat and just enjoy the presence of the company whom I’m with.

That is one of the reasons why I love going to a vegan restaurant. Why I would recommend then, whenever I’m asked to go out for lunch. They make me feel normal. And therefore I love supporting their businesses. These guys play a huge role in the vegan movement. Firstly, they’re normalising the plantbased diet in our society – they’re showing vegan food is just food, and they can taste good, or even better than the non-vegan counterparts. Secondly, they’re making it easier for people to eat more plantbased, especially those who are transitioning or just experimenting. Thirdly, and most importantly, they’re giving vegans like me, the freedom to choose anything from the menu, something that we don’t get to do 99% of the time.

And Gathered Kitchen is such restaurant. Friendly, cosy, non-threatening, all vegan restaurant. And a great one at that. From flaky croissants to vacon (vegan bacon) bagel – their menu list is as exciting as it is vast.

Located in the one of the vegan hubs of Sydney, Glebe – I like to come here during weekday or Sunday lunch time. I always try to get a table at the back in their the outdoor area. It is airy and filled with pretty flowers and small pot plants. It’s feels like you’re at the back of your cool grandmother’s house.

Gathered Kitchen Sesame Ginger Crispy Legume - Passionately Keren

Sesame Ginger Crispy Legume $17 – Marinated tofu, fresh ginger, unhulled sesame seed, sauteed garlic kale, red sauerkraut, served with organic brown rice, furikake seasoning

One thing I like about Gathered Kitchen is how neutral they are in the spectrum of healthy vs. not so healthy vegan foods. They’ve got both, leaving you to make the decision on what you feel like that day. And that is refreshing. Because just like many things in life, it is often not an either/or situation. Sometimes you want both. Sometimes you need both. And in here, you can delight in the yin and yang of vegan foods.

Gathered Kitchen Sesame Mushroom Bruschetta - Passionately Keren

Mushroom Bruschetta $16 – Pesto tamari mushroom, almond feta crumble, cracked native pepperberry, tahini toast, green garnish, citrus wedge, roasted sweet potato turmeric puree and wholegrain toast.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a croffin before. It was fabulous and carb-licious – a bit of indulgent never hurts.

Gathered Kitchen Sesame Croffin - Passionately Keren

Croffin $6 – Croissant muffin

Yes it is little pricey. A croissant can set you back 2-3 dollars more than a regular non-vegan croissant. But the food is good, the service is accomodating and you can walk out feeling great, knowing that no animals were harmed in the making of your food. Would I pay a bit extra for that? Heck yes.

xKeren 

P.S. If you’ve been here or have any vegan restaurant recommendation this, leave a comment below or find me on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to hear from you.

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How to Make Kitchari – and a Quinoa Kitchari recipe

Quinoa Kitchari - Passionately Keren

If you’ve never heard kitchari before, then you’re in for a treat. This beautiful recipe is a request from my equally beautiful friend Jess who wanted me to create a kitchari recipe, and I’m so glad she did. Because, this recipe goes straight to my number 1 favourite for winter! A protein pack grain-free quinoa kitchari that will warm your body and nourish your soul. Enjoy it friend, this is comfort in a bowl.

What is Kitchari

Kitchari /ˈkɪtʃ(ə)riː/

If you’ve never heard of kitchari before, it’s an Indian-vegan-equivalent of a chicken soup. ou eat it when you have a cold, or a digestive issue, or a stomach ache, or a hangover. It’s considered to be very soothing to the body and easily digestible. At its simplest and most traditional, kitchari is made with a mixture yellow moong dal, ghee (clarified butter) and Indian spices. It is minimally seasoned and is often used by mothers to feed their young children (or infant, when pureed).

Kitchari is also popular Ayurvedic medicine and is believed to have detoxifying, restorative properties as a cleanse. As for me, I think it a perfect dish for winter, or whenever you feel like some tasty and comforting, but also good for you.

Quinoa Kitchari - Passionately Keren

How to make kitchari

Making kitchari is fairly straight forward. You just need these key ingredients:

  1. A mixture of grains and legumes – such as yellow mungbeans or moong dal, split peas, rice (either white or brown)
  2. Coconut oil – coconut oil makes the perfect plantbased replacement for ghee (and tastes better too!).
  3. Spices – the key spices are cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ginger, and turmeric, however I highly recommend adding fenugreek if you can source it, the rest is optional.

Adding quinoa to kichari

This is my little twist to the traditional kitchari recipe. Technically a seed, I think adding quinoa to the bean mixture makes the dish a little more wholesome. You can add it to your rice and legumes mixture or use it to replace the rice. It adds a lovely nutty taste to the kitchari and is pack full of protein.

P.S. If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram or Facebook. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

Quinoa Kitchari

A comforting and delicious grain-free kitchari that you will absolutely love

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword ayurvedic, kitchari, quinoa, turmeric
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 massel stock cube
  • 1/2 cup yellow mungbeans
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup split red lentils
  • 6 cups water

Spices

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 knob of ginger minced
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Vegetables

  • 2 cups of chopped vegetables. I use carrots and cauliflower

Instructions

  1. 1. The night before - rinse mungbean, quinoa, and lentils and soak them. Make sure you use a large bowl filled with with water.


    2. The following day - drain the soaked beans and seeds and rinse under running water. Set aside.


    3. Heat coconut oil over medium heat, in a cast iron pot (or any heavy-bottomed pot). Add onion, garlic, cumin, turmeric, fenugreek and ground coriander. Cook for a few minutes until seeds begin to pop.  Add the rinsed beans, and stir to coat. 

    4. Add stock cube and water. then bring to boiling over medium heat. 

    5. Cover and reduce to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the chopped veggies and cook until they become soft, about 20 minutes. 
Stir the pot every now and then to prevent it sticking on to the bottom.

    6. Season with salt and pepper.

    7. Adjust the consistency to your liking by add more water for a soupier consistency, and increasing the cooking time for a thicker, creamier soup.

    8. Serve with fresh coriander.


Recipe Notes

If you like your spices like I do, you can add some freshly sautéed spices for bolder flavours. In a separate saucepan, sauté 1 tsp of mustard seeds in a bit of coconut oil until they pop. Then add 1/2 tsp of cumin seed. Stir together to release the flavours. Stir the sautéed spices into the cooked kitchari mixture just before serving.

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Flourless Vegan Sweet Potato Brownie

 

Have you ever craved something you have not had before? I get that all the time. Case in point is this flourless vegan sweet potato brownie. I was craving sweet potato brownie one day, even though I’ve never had it before. It was one of those moment when you go “you know what, I really feel like sweet potato brownies today”.

Inception much?! I don’t know it works but it is likely that I saw the recipe either on Instagram, or Youtube, or somewhere in the blogosphere and that planted a seed in my head that kept growing and growing, until it suddenly become a craving.

When I experiment with a new recipe my success rate is usually 70% – which means that three out of ten times I fail. The good thing is, this is not one of those times.

If you like dense, filling brownie that tastes even better the next day, then you will love these brownies. They’re so decadent, filling but won’t make you feel heavy after eating in. They also taste good cold, strangely enough. The mashed sweet potato makes it moist and not too hard when chilled. Just perfect. I hope you give them ago!

 

P.S. If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram and share your creation. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

Sweet potato brownie

A dense and decadent chocolate brownie with a healthy twist that no one will notice.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword chocolate, sweet potato
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8
Author Keren Natalia

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato

Dry Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or seed butter of choice
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk I use soy
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 26cm rectangular baking pan (brownie pan) with baking paper and set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix your dry ingredients.

  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, add all your wet ingredient. Add in your sweet potato and mix until smooth.

  4. Pour your wet mixture into the dry and mix until until a thick, yet smooth batter remains.

  5. Pour batter into lined baking pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre. Depending on how much liquid you added, you may need to cook it longer.

  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan completely before frosting and slicing into pieces.
 For firmer texture, leave in the oven (power off) for an hour while the oven is cooling down.

Recipe Notes

You can add 1/4 cup of dairy-free choc chip for a more chocolatey experience. 

I also like to add some spices like a pinch or cayenne pepper of a tablespoon of spicy latte powder to add a spicy hint.

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A Sweet Affair – San Churros New Vegan Menu

The Happy Vegan at San Churros - Passionately Keren

Churros and chocolate. How can you resist.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to visit San Churros to try their new vegan menu. I’ve been a long time fan of their tasty churros and their delicious dark hot chocolate and so I was really excited to try all the new vegan deliciousness that is now on the menu.

If you have not had Churros before, they are fried-dough pastry snack dusted with sugar originated in Spain and Portugal. Apparently back in their home country they are normally eaten for breakfast – dipped in hot chocolate or dulce de leche (caramel sauce). I don’t think I’ve ever had these for breakfast but I guess, why not… maybe one day.

Anyway, I went, I saw, I ate, and I went to churros heaven and back. I don’t think I ever had quite a sugar-loaded night since the Good Food Month Sweet Festival back in 2008! I’ve never had so much option for dessert since I went vegan almost 5 years ago so it felt really great to be able to indulge in a delicious sweet (or five)…

So without further a do. Here are some of the things that I’ve tried, thank of the lovely team at San Churros.

The Happy Vegan – Handmade churro bowl, rolled in cinnamon sugar, filled with vegan Salted Caramel & Honeycomb gelato, drizzled in dark chocolate, topped with fresh strawberries and smashed Oreo cookies.

 

Vegan menu at San Churros - Passionately Keren

For the dunking duo – 6 churros and two dip-cups, plus extra strawberries and banana! I had both dark chocolate dip or vegan cookie butter. The cookie butter sauce is silly good!

 

Vegan Mocha at San Churros - Passionately Keren

Vegan mocha REAL chocolate with fresh espresso – using Dark Chocolate and Bonsoy Milk.

 

Vegan churros at San Churros - Passionately Keren

Mini churros drizzled with dark chocolate and cookie butter and sliced strawberries and bananas. Game over.

Are you drooling yet? I am… all over again.

It makes me feel so hopeful seeing mainstream food places offering vegan options. It shows that there is a shift, no matter how small, and that a plantbased lifestyle is becoming more and more accessible (and normalised) in today society.

Thank you San Churros

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Fresh Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup - Passionately Keren

Tomatoes… or not tomatoes. That is the question.

Truth is, I was looking for a lovely poem on tomatoes on the internet. But I couldn’t find any. At least not one that would emotively describe how beautiful,  and divine vine-ripened tomatoes can be, and and how their scent could make one daydream of slurping a creamy tomato soup on a cold winter day.

The near freezing weather doesn’t feel so bad anymore.

Tomato Soup - Passionately Keren

If you love tomatoes like I do, you’re going to love this soup. Traditionally sour-cream is used to give tomato soup that rich and creamy flavour but since I don’t have vegan sour cream laying around I just used soy milk, and it worked beautifully. If you don’t have any fresh tomatoes, you can also use canned tomatoes. You’d need about 2 x 400g tomatoes for this recipe. However, if you can, do use fresh vine-ripened tomatoes for a fuller, richer tomato flavour.

Tomato Soup - Passionately Keren

 

Fresh Tomato Soup

A delicious, aromatic and creamy fresh tomatoes soup that will nourish your body and make everything just a little bit better.
Course Entree, Main
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Keren Natalia

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large brown onions diced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 7 medium size vine-ripened tomatoes chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 vegetable stock cube I use Massel
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup soy milk

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onions over a medium heat until soft but not brown.
  2. Add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme and then stir so that the spices soak up the olive oil. Add the stock cube, salt, pepper and sugar and stir.
  3. Add the tomatoes. Break them up slightly with a wooden spoon and stir. Add water and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Take the soup off the stove and allow to cool slightly then remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
  5. Puree soup with a blender (or a hand blender). Transfer back into a pan (if using blender) and heat gently. Add the milk, and season to taste.

Recipe Notes

Safety tip: For blending hot soups using a normal blender, fill less than halfway, remove your blender lid's centre insert, and then hold a kitchen towel to cover the top while blending.

Tomato Soup - Passionately Keren

P.S. If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or find me on Instagram and share your creation. Don’t forget to tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.

Keren x

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Living your unremarkable life

A couple days ago I learned about a incredible woman. A woman who was once dubbed ‘the most beautiful woman in the world”. A woman who did not only conquered the big screen, but whose intelligence saw her inventing a technology to help combat the Nazis in World War II, which later on formed the basis of WiFi we have today. A woman whose patriotism saw her giving her invention to the U.S Navy for free, only to be told that it would be better if she supports the war effort by selling kisses instead. Which she did by the way, $7million worth of kisses, all in just one night.

When I learned about actress and one the 20th century’s most notable inventors, Hedy Lamarr, I couldn’t help but feel so inspired and fascinated, but also a tad sad. Her glamourous day job as a starlet and her past time hobby studying weaponry and pattern of frequencies, make my life seems so…unremarkable.

But the more I studied this gorgeous, intelligent and amazing woman, who from the outset looked like she has had it all, I realised that being amazing doesn’t always translate to feeling amazing. Despite of all her notable accomplishments, she didn’t seem happy, especially in her later years. She had 6 marriages and 6 divorces. She was estranged from her own son, had a disastrous plastic surgery in an attempt to preserve her beauty, and became more and more recluse towards the end of her life.

Learning about this and at the same time being shocked by the news of suicide carried out by people who led a similarly remarkable lives, people like Anthony Bourdain, the great culinary vigilante whom I used to love watching on TV back in the ol’ days, or the uber-talented Kate Spade, whose playful yet sophisticated line of handbags had taken the world by storm, made me wonder about the significance of it all.

Maybe being remarkable isn’t all its hyped up to be.

Maybe the question shouldn’t be whether or not you lead an extraordinary life according to world’s view, but rather…

Do you like your life?

Are you pursuing things that interest you?

Are you surrounded by people you love?

Are you happy?

And if the answer is yes, then maybe your life is not so bad afterall…

Because at the end of the day… aren’t they the things that matter most?

 

With love,

Keren x

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How to use Himalayan Salt Block

Himalayan Salt Block

Have you cooked on a salt block before? It’s the coolest thing ever. Mine is small square Himalayan Salt Block from The Salt Box who, aside from stocking a range of salt blocks, also sells an incredible variety of salt.

Cooking with salt block not only make it looks impressive, but also makes the food deliciously salty and flavoursome.

Grilled Tempe on Himalayan Salt Block

What is a salt block?

Salt block is essentially a slab of pure salt. In my case, I use the Himalayan salt block which has the prettiest pink hue. Himalayan salt thought to have first formed around 250 million years ago, when the sun dried up a prehistoric ocean, leaving a dense salt deposit, colored by a common pink microorganism that had lived in it.

Now let that sink in a little bit. 250 million years! So next time you use Himalayan salt, know that you are in fact eating something that comes from the ancient time.

Cooking with salt block can be intimidating at first but once you give it a go, it is actually really simple.

Here are some of my tips if you’re new to cooking with salt block.

1. Acclimatise your salt block

This is important to ensure that they won’t crack under high heat, especially if they are new. Just bring them up to temperature slowly, in stages. So heat the block using a low heat (under 100 degrees C) for about 15 minutes, then increase it to a medium heat (about 150 degrees C) for another 15 minutes, and then on high (around 200 degrees C) until it reaches temperature. This applies to gas stove top and grill. Note: you’re using electric, use a diffusing ring (or anything metal like a tart pan with a pop out bottom or a pastry ring) to create a small air gap between the heating element and the salt block and then follow the same process.

It is quite a slow process so give yourself enough time. Each time you want to cook with the salt block it will take 45 minutes in the oven to reach the ideal cooking temperature. I do this whilst I do my food preparation so I don’t have to wait for too long for the block to heat up.

The salt block or plate will change its appearance to a more opaque colour when heated and it may also crackle a bit. Don’t worry too much about it as the salt block will return to its original look once it cools down.

Grilled Tempe on Himalayan Salt Block

2. Keep the salt block hot

Because otherwise, your food will absorb too much salt. You need to salt block to be hot enough to evaporate the moisture in the food. To test this, I would just add a drop of water onto the salt block. If it sizzles violently and evaporates quickly, it’s hot enough. Don’t worry, you get the hang of this.

3. Designate a ‘top’ and ‘bottom’

In other words, use the same side of the salt block for searing food. This is to maintain the integrity of the salt block as it can start to break down faster if both sides are used as the cooking surface.

4. Treat it with a bit of TLC

First of all, do not wash your salt block under running water. Do not use soap, ever (unless you want soap flavoured salt)! If hot, allow your block to cool completely first and use a scrub or a soft brush to remove any stuck matter and wipe with damp cloth. The less water the better. I normally scrape any sticky bits with a knife and then just wipe them clean. It may seem a bit unsanitary but keep in mind is that salt block has powerful antimicrobial properties so you don’t need to worry about things growing on them.  You can keep your salt block in a sealed plastic when it’s not in use.

I use my salt block mostly to grill tempe. The salt block imparts a lovely sea flavour and it’s so simple to make. Here’s a quick recipe/direction on how I do it.

Grilled Tempe on Himalayan Salt Block

Grilled Tempe on Himalayan Salt Block

Ingredients

  • 250g organic tempe
  • Himalayan salt block

Method

  • Heat up the salt block to high (200 degrees C)
  • Slice tempe into 1 cm slices.
  • Add a drizzle of olive oil and place tempe slices on the hot salt block
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side and then turn and cook the other side.
  • You can use the remaining heat to sear other veggies like asparagus or mushroom

Have you used salt block before? If not, would you try it? And if yes, what’s your favourite way to use salt block.

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Interview with Jacqueline Köster from Plantastybites

Back in my Uni days, I used to live on McDonalds Sausage and Bacon McMuffins, two-minute noodles, and chocolate. Nowadays, things are very different. I see students becoming more informed and more empowered, with choosing food that are not only good for them, but also for the environment. Such is Jacqueline Köster, the talent behind one of my favourite Instagram account, Plantastybites. She shared my passion for food photography and love for healthy plant-based foods that nourish the mind, body and soul.

In this interview, we talk about Jackie’s personal stories, and her amazing Instagram journey.

Hi Jackie, what did you have for breakfast this morning?

Cannot live without a bowl of oats in the morning, can I? So that’s what I had for breakfast: a bowl of my all-time favourite salted caramel oats!.

[Jackie’s breakfast bowl is always droolworthy by the way] ⇩⇩⇩

 

Oh my peelings! 🍊 Recipe below 👇🏼 As you might’ve seen on my stories, I got my wisdom teeth (all three that I own) removed today and I survived. He kinda did a quick job and removed them all in 15 minutes 😅 After all, im feeling alright until now, still a numb lip though. So glad I’ve had these ORANGE VANILLA OATS just yesterday and was surprised by how good they came out! Slightly sweet and fruity but welcomed warmly by the hint of vanilla – it’s been a dream all along! Recipe; 40g Oats 50ml freshly squeezed orange juice 150ml oat milk 1 tsp flax seeds 1/2 tsp vanilla powder Zest of 1/4 orange Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized pot and simmer until creamy and smooth! I topped my bowl with orange granola, sliced oranges, raisins and dark chocolate! 🍫🍊 Would love to share this bowl with my friend Jane @milkesbeforebreakfast for her #milesbeforebreakfast15k party! 🎉 Did you have your teeth removed already? I’m gladly up for any tips and tricks on how you recovered or what you ate after the removal? Please hit me up! I’ll be off to be somewhat lazy and recover for now, happy Tuesday ☺🧡 . . . . #vegan #veganism #veganfoodshare #whatveganseat #veganlifestyle #instafood #plantbased #foodporn #feedfeed #feedfeedvegan @thefeedfeed #thrivemags #govegan #veganinspo #vegansofig #letscookvegan #bestofvegan #veganbreakfast #whatveganseat #oatmeal #porridge #oats #veganbowls #orange #granola #veganrecipes #chocolate #veganchocolate #vegandeutschland

A post shared by Jacky | GER (@plantastybites) on

 

Now, tell us something about you that most people might not know?

I have a slight addiction with nail polish. I own about two racks, though I am not that creative as I used to be. I actually had an Instagram account doing nail art a while back.

If you had a superpower, what would that be, and why?

Does eating tons and tons of chocolate and not gaining weight & damaging my body count as a superpower? If it does, I’d definitely go with this one. If not, I guess I’d love to be able to fly. Seeing the world from another perspective sounds quite appealing to me.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

Oh, that is a hard one. I don’t think I can remember which memory has to be the earliest.

What was your favourite subject in School?

My favourite subject in school used to be sports or biology. I liked being active but also found the insights on how our body and our environment functions incredibly interesting.

What does a typical day in your world look like?

As a Uni student, I don’t think my day in my life is that interesting. I usually get up around 8 and stretch a little to wake up my body. After that, I’m getting started with whatever is written on my to-do list.

Mostly, it consists of going to classes, getting more work done for Uni, my job and also running the usual errands.

I tend to have breakfast around 12 and if I have enough free time that day, I try to arrange my breakfast nicely in order to take pictures for Instagram. In the afternoon, I continue with what is still left on my list & on my schedule for the day but also love to hit the gym twice a week, only going for an hour long cardio session. After dinner, I love to take some time for myself and relax, whether it is watching a movie, scrolling through Instagram or talking to friends.

 

Oh my peelings! 🍊 Recipe below 👇🏼 As you might’ve seen on my stories, I got my wisdom teeth (all three that I own) removed today and I survived. He kinda did a quick job and removed them all in 15 minutes 😅 After all, im feeling alright until now, still a numb lip though. So glad I’ve had these ORANGE VANILLA OATS just yesterday and was surprised by how good they came out! Slightly sweet and fruity but welcomed warmly by the hint of vanilla – it’s been a dream all along! Recipe; 40g Oats 50ml freshly squeezed orange juice 150ml oat milk 1 tsp flax seeds 1/2 tsp vanilla powder Zest of 1/4 orange Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized pot and simmer until creamy and smooth! I topped my bowl with orange granola, sliced oranges, raisins and dark chocolate! 🍫🍊 Would love to share this bowl with my friend Jane @milkesbeforebreakfast for her #milesbeforebreakfast15k party! 🎉 Did you have your teeth removed already? I’m gladly up for any tips and tricks on how you recovered or what you ate after the removal? Please hit me up! I’ll be off to be somewhat lazy and recover for now, happy Tuesday ☺🧡 . . . . #vegan #veganism #veganfoodshare #whatveganseat #veganlifestyle #instafood #plantbased #foodporn #feedfeed #feedfeedvegan @thefeedfeed #thrivemags #govegan #veganinspo #vegansofig #letscookvegan #bestofvegan #veganbreakfast #whatveganseat #oatmeal #porridge #oats #veganbowls #orange #granola #veganrecipes #chocolate #veganchocolate #vegandeutschland

A post shared by Jacky | GER (@plantastybites) on

Tell us about your journey with Plantastybites

My journey with Plantastybites started in early January 2017, so about a year ago and a lot has happened since then. Not only has it grown a wonderful community, but I also got to know so many lovely people and even made friends in real life. All through this platform.

The continuous support is unbelievable and I love sharing my passion with every single one who is interested to become a part. Starting Plantastybites has been one of the best decision I made in 2017 and I am so incredibly grateful for the path it is leading me. I am excited to see what this year holds for Plantastybites.

What are some of your goals and vision with Plantastybites?

That is always kind of a funny question. I mean we all have goals and would love to take this somewhere, but I also try to not set my goals too high and keep them realistic.

Surely, we need something we can strive to reach, but I also know that this year is packed with getting my degree so I might need to take a little step back.

What I would really love to do is start a blog and share my recipes on there, so it’ll be easier for people to read. Other than that, I am kind of just going with the flow, excited to see where it is going to take me!

 

Oh my peelings! 🍊 Recipe below 👇🏼 As you might’ve seen on my stories, I got my wisdom teeth (all three that I own) removed today and I survived. He kinda did a quick job and removed them all in 15 minutes 😅 After all, im feeling alright until now, still a numb lip though. So glad I’ve had these ORANGE VANILLA OATS just yesterday and was surprised by how good they came out! Slightly sweet and fruity but welcomed warmly by the hint of vanilla – it’s been a dream all along! Recipe; 40g Oats 50ml freshly squeezed orange juice 150ml oat milk 1 tsp flax seeds 1/2 tsp vanilla powder Zest of 1/4 orange Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized pot and simmer until creamy and smooth! I topped my bowl with orange granola, sliced oranges, raisins and dark chocolate! 🍫🍊 Would love to share this bowl with my friend Jane @milkesbeforebreakfast for her #milesbeforebreakfast15k party! 🎉 Did you have your teeth removed already? I’m gladly up for any tips and tricks on how you recovered or what you ate after the removal? Please hit me up! I’ll be off to be somewhat lazy and recover for now, happy Tuesday ☺🧡 . . . . #vegan #veganism #veganfoodshare #whatveganseat #veganlifestyle #instafood #plantbased #foodporn #feedfeed #feedfeedvegan @thefeedfeed #thrivemags #govegan #veganinspo #vegansofig #letscookvegan #bestofvegan #veganbreakfast #whatveganseat #oatmeal #porridge #oats #veganbowls #orange #granola #veganrecipes #chocolate #veganchocolate #vegandeutschland

A post shared by Jacky | GER (@plantastybites) on

Can I say that you’re killing it on Instagram! You’ve grown your audience rapidly in such a short time. What are your top 5 tips for people who want to reach more people on Insta and grow their audience?

To be honest, I am still learning myself every single day. But what I have found to be really important is:

  1. Be yourself. This Instagram account is your account and don’t try to be someone you’re not. People like authenticity and get to know who you really are.
  2. Find your style. And don’t just copy what everybody else is doing. Find what works best for you and what you can truly connect with.
  3. Connect. I think this is definitely one of the best ways to grow your audience, by connecting. Comment on pictures if it’s something you like, read the captions because some people pour their heart and soul into them.
  4. Community. Maybe point 3 and 4 kind of belong together, but building a community and making friends is where it’s at. Not only can you support each other but being part of the community is what makes Instagram so worth it for me! I wouldn’t have met some of the people I talk to on a daily basis if it wasn’t for the Instagram community.
  5. Be active but also take some time off. For myself, I don’t like to follow people who only post once per week or even less but that might also just be my personal opinion. So being active and connecting with people throughout the week is important. On the other hand, you don’t need to stress about posting daily. We all have to handle our everyday life and taking some time off the social media sides is important to focus on what’s most important in life. And life happens outside the virtual world.   

 

What is your favourite food to make?

That’s easy – oatmeal. I don’t know what it is that I love so much about them, but I have them for breakfast almost every single day and I don’t get tired of them.

If you could invite 3 people (historical or current) to a dinner party who would they be?

I am addicted to music so I would love to meet a few of my all-time favorites.

  • Ed Sheeran
  • Harry Styles
  • P!nk

And what would you serve? 

I think in that case I would make an exception of my go to lazy vegan dinner meals and think of a nice three course vegan meal, serving up ‘cheesy’ vegetable sticks as a starter, a Buddha bowl buffet with tahini dressing and some chocolate covered cinnamon buns for dessert.

Where is your favourite place to travel, and why?

I haven’t travelled a lot in my life and have never been out of Europe. So, I wish I had something more exciting to say than London or Berlin, but somehow, these cities have stolen my heart. It’s that feeling that you can be whoever you want to be, do whatever you want to do and find yourself amongst creative people that make the vibes in these two cities so incredibly captivating.

You are going to be stranded on an island and could only bring three things with you, what would they be?

A knife. A hat. My Yoga mat.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Dates with any kind of nut butter. But also, banana and nut butters are too good to be true. And dates or banana with chocolate and nut butter? The ultimate experience!

What’s the best thing about being you right now?

The best thing about being myself right now is being myself. I think it is so important to find out who you are so you can shine from within and enjoy life to the fullest. I don’t think there is anything rarer, or more beautiful, than you being unapologetically yourself, comfortable in all your perfect imperfections.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Getting my degree and finding out what I am going to do afterward. It is not going to be an easy year and I am sure it will come with its up and downs, but I am ready to see what will happen and to end it on a positive note, I believe I can do anything, as long as I set my mind to it, so fingers crossed for 2018 to be a good one!

Millenials – the new generation of dreamers, disruptors, authentic and brave souls who are going to change the world. Case in point, Jackie!

If you’d like to stay up-to-date with Jackie and get inspired to make delicious vegan food,  follow her along at www.instagram.com/plantastybites

Yours,

Keren

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GoodnessMe Box Review + Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

Hi everyone,

Hope you are well. I honestly can’t believe that March is here. I’ve taken some time off from social media as some of you may have noticed and it felt really good. Sometimes you have to stop, re-focus, re-centre, and remember why you do what you do.

Anyhow, a week ago I did an unboxing video of the February edition of GoodnessMe Box, perhaps one of my favourite boxes of all time. It was loaded with a lot of pink deliciousness and boy do I love pink.

I also made Cashew and Almond Energy Bars inspired by Lorna Jane’s Energy Bars recipe that came with the box. They were delish! Mildly sweet, nutty, and oh so satisfying.

Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

These bars are so easy to make and perfect for an afternoon pick me up or as emergency snacks. I’ve been making them in double batches to freeze. So so good! Check out the video and the recipe below and I do hope you will give them a try.

  Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

Cashew and Almond Energy Bars

A delicious wholefood snack for whenever you need a boost of energy
Course Snack
Cuisine Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword cashew
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 20 -30
Author Keren Natalia

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashew
  • 1 cup raw almond
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter I used Pic's Peanut Butter
  • 2/3 cup soaked dried dates or 10 medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 4-8 tbsp boiling water

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients, except the boiling water in a food processor until crumbed.
  2. Slowly add boiling water until the mixture forms a ball.
  3. Firmly press the mixture into a mold (I use heart-shaped mold) or into a lined slice tin.
  4. Allow to set in the fridge for about 1 hour before eating.
  5. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer for 4 weeks.

Cashew and Almond Energy Bars