First taste of Coles Nature’s Kitchen Range

I remember the days when finding vegan foods at cafes was almost as difficult as finding a decent date and the only way to have a veganised version of your old favourite foods is to make it yourself.  As much as I like cooking and experimenting in my kitchen, there are days when I don’t have the time to cook anything more than tofu and two veg for dinner.

I’m having more and more of those days now, being a new mum of a fussy 3 months old. Some days I don’t even get a chance to sleep, let alone cook.  Which is why I’m super excited when Coles announced the launch of its plant-based products range called Nature’s Kitchen. That’s right, Coles has come up with its range of plant-based products, 20 of them to be exact. Veggie patties, pasta, curry, sausages, you name it.

Being locally produced and Coles a native brand, the prices are quite competitive and sometimes more affordable than similar products which are mostly imported from the US. There are so many to choose from but here are the ones I especially loved:

  • Nature’s Kitchen Chicken Style Tenders
  • Nature’s Kitchen Smokey Grill Meat-Free Burgers
  • Nature’s Kitchen Original Meat-Free Sausage
  • Nature’s Kitchen Vegetable Tikka Masala (Pilau Rice)  and
  • Nature’s Kitchen Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese

The range is divided into two categories, one is ready-to-eat meals which you can just heat up in the microwaves and the second is premade munchies like sausages and veggie patties which you have to cook on the stove or in the oven.

Coles Natures Kitchen

I used these as my ‘emergency meals’ – for the odd times when I don’t have time to cook or ingredients to cook with. My husband and I had the Vegetable Tikka Masala and Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese one Sunday for lunch after we just got home from shopping for baby clothes (I was planning to cook until the baby started fussing and screaming for my attention).  There was no way I would be able to make anything decent before we both pass out from starvation. I popped these two in the microwave for a few minutes each and lunch was sorted.

Natures Kitchen spaghetti bolognese

At first glance, both of the ready-to-eat meals look a bit on the small side but once you’ve tucked in, they are actually quite substantial. Flavour-full and filling. I added some steamed vegetables (broccoli this time) as I often do to meals to boost their nutritional content and it was perfect! They tasted fresh, not too greasy and not too ‘healthy’, if you know what I mean. I actually like them both as they are quite delicious but given that I’m more of a ‘rice’ person, the Vegetable Tikka Masala (Pilau Rice) was my favourite of the two. My husband likes the pasta more so he’s happy to have the Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese all to himself.

Natures Kitchen Vegetable Tikka Masala

A few days later I found myself in a similar situation – it was 7pm and I haven’t had a chance to cook. The little one was screaming her head off while dear husband was trying to settle her. And so, I popped the Chicken Tenders in my air fryer and the Smokey Grill Meat-Free Burgers on the pan and made a decent dinner for two out of them.

Coles Natures Kitchen Meat-free Tenders

Meat-free Tenders served with vegan aioli

The tenders remind me of chicken nuggets! It has great texture and slight chewiness and a crunchy ‘skin’.

Coles Natures Kitchen Meat-free Tenders

Coles Natures Kitchen - Smokey Grill Meat-Free Burgers

The Smokey Grill Meat-Free Burgers is really good! I think this is my new favourite vegan burger patties, second to my home-made vegan burger. It has great BBQ flavour, seriously smokey, slightly sweet, chewy, and it doesn’t fall apart on the stove like I’ve found with most veggie patties.

Coles Natures Kitchen - Smokey Grill Meat-Free Burgers

And just a few of days ago, I made a big breakfast of scrambled tofu and sausages with the Original Meat-Free Sausages.

Coles Natures Kitchen - Original Meat-Free Sausages

How good do they look?! Very realistic looking sausages, has a good bite to it, mildly spiced and yum! I wouldn’t be surprised if people can’t pick up the fact that it’s vegan. I think this is going to be a game changer for a lot of people and one of Nature’s Kitchen popular products.

Coles Natures Kitchen - Original Meat-Free Sausages

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the Nature’s Kitchen products I’ve tasted so far and looking forward to trying the rest of their range. Well done Coles for making these delicious product range and making plant-based food more accessible to everyone. Times is definitely changing and there’s never a better time to eat vegan than now!

If you haven’t had a chance to try Coles Nature’s Kitchen range of products, check them out at your nearest store now and let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: This post is made in collaboration with Coles. All views and opinions shared are (and will always be) my own.

Skillet Choc Chip Sweet Potato Cookie Brownies and Solidteknics NÖNI™ pan review


This Christmas I had the pleasure of trying out the NÖNI™ skillet by Solidteknics. I thought, what could be a better first use than to make something festive, like spiced sweet potato cookie brownies! But first, let me tell you about my new pan.


Having learnt about the potential dangers of nonstick cookware (see here and here) I am slowly transitioning my conventional nonstick pans (I’ve got 1 left now ) to safer and more environmentally friendly alternatives. I was excited to discover Solidteknics and their new cookware innovations: a range of beautifully crafted, sustainable pans with quality and durability to last many years to come. What I like about the nöni™ pan is that it is a seamless one-piece stainless steel pan. Being wrought from one solid piece means that it has no rivets, no welds or screws, no joints and therefore no more wobbly handles. It also works on a number of heat sources including induction, gas, ceramic, halogen, electric, oven, even fire if you wish to use it when camping in the bush.

Since I received my nöni™pan it has rarely seen the inside of my drawer. Due to its small size (I got the 17cm skillet, which is perfect for cooking or heating up small items) it gets used almost daily. The only issues I have with the pan is that occasionally, I get oil marks on the pan – they can be hard to remove using normal detergent. However, I’ve recently found out you can get a cleaning product called Barkeeper’s Friend, which will work wonders on those hard to clean oil marks, so hopefully this will no longer be an issue.

Anyway, if you’re looking for new pans for the new year, definitely consider this range.  Now that I have experienced their seamless stainless steels pan, I’m looking forward to trying their seamless wrought iron (AUS-ION™) pans next year, which perform just like normal cast iron pans but with half the weight and in a seamless one-piecer. I’ve never used bare cast iron before (most of my iron pots are enamelled) so it would be quite interesting going through the seasoning process (Note: all bare cast iron pans will need to be seasoned to make them non-stick). So that’s the plan for next year. For now, let’s make these super easy skillet cookie brownies.

This cookie brownie has the chewy fudgy brownie texture and crispy cookie top combined into one decadent dessert. It is also quite easy to make. I used my left over roasted sweet potatoes, but you can cook it however you like.  Just make sure they are cooked well or it will make mashing them difficult. The sweet potato adds moistness to the cake while boosting its nutritional content, and you won’t even notice it. The key to making this cookie brownie is not to over-bake it. Take it out as soon as a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Also, if you don’t have an equivalent size skillet that is oven-friendly, feel free to use an equivalent size baking pan.

Skillet Choc Chip Sweet Potato Cookie Brownies

Wet Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup cooked (mashed sweet potato)
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil (melted)
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar (or plain sugar)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarb soda
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • ⅓ cup non-dairy chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Mix to combine.
  3. Stir in the wet ingredient into the dry ingredients and mix just enough to moisten the mixture.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips, set aside a few tablespoons to dot the top.
  5. Pour mixture into the skillet and smooth the top with the back of the spoon or spatula. Dot with remaining chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the inside is cooked –  check by inserting a toothpick into the centre: if it comes out mostly clean then it’s done (a few moist bits are ok). If it’s still a bit wet, bake for another 2-4 minutes. The key is not to overbake the cookie brownie. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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

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Funky Fields Minced Burger With Stuffed Cheese - Passionately Keren

Funky Fields Plantbased Mince Review + Burger recipe

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a huge increase in the popularity of veganism and plantbased foods. As a vegan, this is a super exciting time for me as new products continue to emerge, filling the gaps in the vegan market, making veganism more accessible, more interesting and more delicious. And today, I want to introduce you to one of the most innovative plantbased products in the market to date – Funky Fields’ “Minced” 100% plantbased mince that looks and tastes like, you guessed it, mince meat.

Funky Fields Plantbased Mince - Passionately Keren

The folks at Funky Fields did an absolutely brilliant job in presenting Minced. I’m super impressed by how ‘real’ it looks: from the packaging (not pictured here, but looks like the normal mince pack with plastic windows) to the squiggly strands and the iron red colour.

Funky Fields Minced - Passionately Keren

What’s is Funky Fields Minced made of?

This is the first question I asked myself. What is it actually made of? Here’s what it says on the package as well as on their website.


I’m actually quite pleased with the ingredients list, it’s quite a short as far as processed foods go and has no numbers or ingredients that I can’t pronounce:

Rehydrated soy protein/isolate (58 %), water, coconut oil, soy flour, wheat gluten, almond, porcini mushrooms, tomato, fermented dextrose, tapioca starch, salt, malt extract (barley), colour (beetroot), natural aroma, maltodextrin, stabiliser (methylcellulose).

How does it tastes?

The second (and most important) question was, how does it measure up against real beef mince? Though I haven’t had the real thing for over 5 years, it used to be one of my favourites so I’m quite confident I’d be able to make a pretty accurate comparison between the two. But as a safety measure, I’m including my husband Nat in this test – he eats vegan at home but still eats meat from time to time, mostly when he eats with his parents.

Funky Fields Minced Burger With Stuffed Cheese - Passionately Keren

It tastes surprisingly very close to real mince. If I’m going to quantify it, I’d say it’s 85% similiar to normal beef mince. It can never completely be a hundred percent because it’s not actually beef, but it’s damn close! I love the texture, how it browns when cooked, how it sizzles and gives off that smoky aroma when it hits the hot oil on the frying pan. I tasted it when cooked, though I think next time I will brave myself to taste it uncooked, just to see what it tastes like without the effects of cooking. I think might struggle though, because it just looks so real!

Funky Fields Minced Burger With Stuffed Cheese - Passionately Keren

Funky Fields Vegan Burger (with stuffed cheese)

This will be the best vegan burger you’ve ever made. Delicious and juicy vegan burger patties made with Funky Fields Minced, stuffed with vegan cheese for next level vegan burger experience.

Vegan patties

  • 200 g Funky Fields Minced (half a packet)
  • 1 brown onion (finely diced)
  • Dairy-free cheese slices
  • 1 drop of liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

To make the burger

  • 4 burger buns
  • 1 red onion (sliced)
  • 1 continental cucumbers (sliced)
  • 1 Baby cos lettuce (leaves torn and rinsed)
  • 2 tomatoes (thinly sliced)
  • Vegan mayo
  • BBQ or Tomato Sauce

To make the patties

  1. Heat the oil on a frying pan, fry the diced onion until translucent.

  2. Place 200g of the mince into a bowl. Add in cooked onion, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined (I used my hands).
  3. Divide the mince into 8 equal portions, roll each into balls and then flatten into discs – around 1 cm thickness.

  4. Place 1 stack of vegan cheese in the centre of one of the patties. Put the second patty on top and pinch the edges to form a seal. Repeat with the remaining patties.

  5. Place the patty on a cold frying pan greased with a bit of vegan spread (I use Funky Fields spreadable) and cook one side for a few minutes on medium high temperature until brown, flip using a spatula, and cook the other side.

Assemble your burger.

  1. Layer your bun bottom with vegan mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and cucumber, burger patty, sliced red onion and BBQ/tomato sauce. Cover with a bun top. Serve immediately.

If you like crusty burger buns (I do). You can heat the buns on the pan as you cook the patties for a few minutes until light brown. The buns will soak up any left over drippings making them taste even better.

The patties held together nicely, much better than other vegan burger patties I’ve made previously. However, you still need to cook it gently, and not flip it too much, so you won’t risk it disintegrating. Trust me, your patience will be rewarded with the juiciest, most delicious vegan burger you’ve made!

So, what do you think? Would you try Funky Fields Minced?

Funky Fields Minced is currently available in Woolworths.

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

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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.


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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The Happy Vegan at San Churros - Passionately Keren

A Sweet Affair – San Churros New Vegan Menu

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

Vegan Brunch at Allegra Dining

A couple of weeks before going away for Christmas I had the great pleasure of being invited to check out Allegra Dining, which is a new restaurant on the ground floor of a chic residential & commercial complex on Danks St, in the heart of Waterloo.

Allegra Dining

It was a nice and sunny Sunday morning so we decided to sit outside at the back for some fresh air. I think they were the best seats in the house! It was quiet, away from everybody else, plus you had the best view of the shallow pool, the palm trees and the surrounding apartments. It almost felt like you were holidaying in a tropical resort somewhere.

Allegra Dining

Allegra doesn’t promote itself as being vegan friendly, though they should. I ordered a few dishes straight from their menu which they were happy to ‘veganise’. And they were good. Really good!

Whipped avocado, broadbeans, peas, soft-boiled egg & bottarga on toast (veganised by removing the egg and the fish).

This toast was exploding with flavours and textures – the crunchy bread, the creamy whipped avocado (which is ingenious in itself), the fresh, sweet, bright-green peas (shelled by hands, mind you), the mildly earthy broadbeans, and those bright purple microgreens, all sang their beautiful tune in perfect culinary harmony. It was decidedly the most delicious toast I had in 2017.

 Allegra Dining

Spaghetti, burrata, tomato, basil, pangrattato (veganised by removing the cheese, and they also added some nice herb leaves).

This dish was such a delight to eat. The spinach pasta is perfectly al dente, the flavour is distinctly simple with just enough heat to excite the tongue. It’s not too oily and not too dry. Bellísima.

Allegra Dining

Allegra Dining - Roasted Kipfler Potatoes

Kifler crispy kipflers, rosemary, burnt butter aioli (veganised with vegan aioli)

Having had hundreds of roast potato dishes (outside and inside of my own kitchen), I consider myself as somewhat of a connoisseur of roast potatoes. It is quite a fine art making crispy and wonderfully fluffy potato and it looks like the good folks at Allegra have mastered it. It’s definitely on my ‘must order’ list for Allegra Dining.

Passionfruit sorbet with fresh mango, coconut cream and mango pearls

Now this is something that they made especially for me on the spot, because the mango pancake is not vegan. I really think they should put this alternative on the permanent menu. The creamy coconut, the soft fresh mango flesh, the silky smooth passionfruit sorbet, and the bursts of mango juice as the pearls dance around and pop in your mouth… now that’s a party I’d invite myself to! It was a delicious dessert to cap off the year before we went overseas.

Allegra Dining

Allegra’s décor

My husband Nat was especially complimentary of Allegra’s décor. He thought that the restaurant’s interior was a very artistic mixture of different materials (from the wood-board planks snaking through the polished concrete floor, to the wood-panelled walls, the wine bottles decorating the walls, and the tasteful spotlights creating a moody atmosphere) that all came together to create a very pretty warehouse-conversion-style establishment that made you feel at home from the moment you arrived.

The interior designer definitely earned their keep with this venue because even though there are a dozen different materials and styles all jostling together inside the restaurant they all ‘click’ together and the venue never feels tacky or dated. I personally thought the place, and not just the food, looked great.

Allegra Dining

Allegra Dining
Address: 8/18 Danks St, Waterloo NSW 2017


All day brunch: Sunday 9am to 3pm

Dinner: Tuesday- Saturday 5pm to 10:30pm (kitchen opens at 6pm)

Contact: (02) 9698 1699,

Love Life & Gluten-free: Activated Buckwheat Brownie Mix

Review of Love Life & Gluten-free: Activated Buckwheat Brownie Mix

Hello friend!

Only a few more days until Christmas! Are you excited? I am.

But I’m one of those people who’d spend the entire year looking forward to Christmas and New Year and then find myself completely unprepared for it. So every year I always end up in a mad rush trying to get things organised before everything sold out for Christmas.

Thankfully this year things are a lot simpler. Because I’m going away to celebrate Christmas in New York, yay!

That said, I’ve had five Christmas events already, most of them are catered for (thank goodness) but last week I had a team lunch where I had to bring a plate. It was on a weekday which means I didn’t have much time to prepare. But luckily, I have a packet of Love Life & Gluten-free: Activated Buckwheat Brownie Mix that’s been sitting in my pantry, just waiting for me to try it.

Love Life & Gluten-free: Activated Buckwheat Brownie Mix

I love cake mixes. I use to love making Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownie for special occasions until I realised how unhealthy it is!

Since then I’ve been making my own cakes from scratch which have been great, when I have the time.

But I do love my mixes for the days when I don’t feel like messing around in the kitchen, or when I simply don’t have time.

And so I have high hopes for this brownie mix.

And boy did it rise up to my expectation.

Love Life & Gluten-free: Activated Buckwheat Brownie Mix

This Activated Buckwheat Brownie Mix doesn’t taste ‘activated’ or ‘buckwheat’ or ‘healthy’. It tastes perfectly normal, which is pretty incredible. Like a real chocolate brownie! You know, not the kind that you’d eat because it’s ‘healthy’ but the kind that you’d bring to the dinner party to impress the in-laws. It’s that good.

But there’s more!

Here are a few other reasons why I love this brownie mix:

  • It’s made with stoneground activated buckwheat flour.
  • It comes with a reusable wooden peg from rescued pallets.
  • The packet is made Earth Bags and will fully compost in the compost bin, green waste bin or even just in regular rubbish.
  • 50c from every packet sold will go directly to OzHarvest making one meal available to one vulnerable Australian.
  • It’s gluten free, grain free, and dairy free.

What’s not to love?

Love Life & Gluten-free: Activated Buckwheat Brownie Mix

The mix is also easily veganised. The packet instruction actually calls for eggs but you can replace it using 2 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tablespoons of water (or store bought egg replacer like [amazon_textlink asin=’B00SWW911M’ text=’Orgran egg replacer’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’passionatelyk-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=”].

I also added 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder for extra lift and 1/3 cup of chopped walnut for that extra texture.

The result is a delicious, decadent chocolate brownie that smells and tastes divine!

Love Life & Gluten-free: Activated Buckwheat Brownie Mix

I have to say, I haven’t been impressed with a gluten-free, vegan, cake mix until now! I’m a total convert and will definitely be including this on my shopping list – because you just never know when someone might call a last-minute get-together!

This post is created in collaboration with Gino’s Gourmet Groceries, a cool new online store that source artisan products that are free of artificial ingredients and nasty. You can find Love Life & Gluten-free: Activated Buckwheat Brownie Mix there as well as other great products. You can get 25% discount on our next purchase by using the code “PASSIONATELY25” during checkout. 

Happy holiday everyone!


September Goodness Me Box + Healthfood Project Vegan Cookies

I’ve been wanting to create an unboxing video for a while. Although I did a stop motion unboxing video a while ago for Goodness Me Box. it wasn’t quite my style. I think I much prefer a longer form video vs all the short and snappy ones floating around the social media realm today.

If you’re unfamiliar with Goodness Me Box, it’s a subscription box that gives you a selection of wholefood items to sample. They’ve progressed quite significantly since they’ve started. Now we can specify our dietary requirements to get a personalised box – so those who are gluten free, dairy free, vegan (i.e., Me) or low sugar, don’t need to worry about getting things they can’t actually eat.

Click below to watch the video.


I tested one of the product in the box – the Health Food Project Vegan Cookie mix (Choc Chunk and Cranberries).

The cookies were so easy to make, requiring only three ingredients to make – coconut oil, water and rice malt syrup (which I substituted with maple syrup), and are extremely delicious! Crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle, just like home made cookies.


Note: If you watched the video, I said that they’re Gluten-free and Organic, I realised now that it is not completely accurate. Although the ingredient list does not mention wheat or any gluten-containing items, there is no mention of it being gluten-free so perhaps the oats might contain traces of gluten. And even though the main ingredient is organic (oat), it turns out that they have a few ingredients that are not organic such as almond meal, chocolate, chunks, cinnamon powder etc. I’m quite happy with ‘mostly organic’ ingredients but some may not be.

Did I tell you they were delicious?

Anyway, I’m very excited to see the impact veganism has on the health food space! Who would’ve thought we’d have a vegan cookie mix and monthly vegan-friendly wholefood food subscription box five years ago (let alone a food subscription anything)? It really is a great time to be a vegan!

Keren x

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by GoodnessMe Box or the Health Food Project. I’m sharing this because I genuinely like their products.

Nasu Dengaku | Japanese Eggplant

Harajuku Gyoza and Nasu Dengaku Recipe

A week ago I was invited to Harajuku Gyoza in Potts Point to try their vegan dishes. It was quite a pleasant surprise, as I visited them only a month ago for a quick lunch, and I thought to myself, ‘this restaurant is actually vegan friendly’. And indeed it is, and very much so. I went with my vegan friend, Jo, and we both had a great time tasting all their vegan dishes, from dumplings, to tacos, and finally a lovely dessert, for which we had no idea what it was made made of, but which looked and tasted delicious.

My lovely friend Jo


Japanese Plum Wine – delish!

Vegetable Gyoza. Great with some vinegar and chilli oil.

Open Tofu Taco, Tempura Eggplant, and Agedashi Tofu (veganised) – triple yum!

Raindrop Cake – delicate melt in your mouth jelly served with peanut powder and I’m not sure about the rest! Tastes good though :)


It’s not every day that I can eat more than just salad and vegetable tempura at a Japanese restaurant, and so I was very cheerful (the plum wine and sake might have contributed to the elevated mood as well).

What a spread! All vegan :)

I got home feeling motivated to create a Japanese-inspired video recipe. Nasu Dengaku, or miso glazed eggplant, is one of my favourite Japanese dishes to make at home because it’s so simple, healthy and most importantly tasty. It’s also especially useful for this time of the year when the weather is getting colder and I’m craving things that are more comforting. And this dish is just that, comforting, especially when eaten with a steaming bowl of rice… heaven-sent.

Here’s the video and the recipe. I posted it on Instagram a few days ago and a few people have tried the recipe and told me how delicious it is. If you don’t have sake, you can omit it, the recipe will still taste good.


Harajuku Gyoza and Nasu Dengaku Recipe

Simple, delicious, and comforting. Recipe adapted from

  • 1 large eggplant or 2 small ones
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons shiro miso
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds (for garnish)
  1. Cut eggplants lengthwise and score.
  2. Mix all the sauce ingredients.
  3. Brush the cut sides of the eggplants with the sauce and cook for 20 mins at 180C (or about 10 mins for smaller eggplants)
  4. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with boiled rice.

If you make this, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @passionatelykeren so I won’t miss your post.


Keren x

Stuffed Capsicum With Quinoa

Review: Aussie Farmers Direct WW Freshbox

Shopping for groceries can be a bit time consuming. As for me, I often go without any plan and would end up buying things I don’t need in spur of the moment! Fortunately, a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to try the new Aussie Farmers Direct WW Freshbox – a delivery box of fresh produce and all the ingredients you need to prepare a healthy meal according to the Weight Watchers-friendly recipes included with the box. It has helped me see the benefit of meal planning and realise how much time I actually spend shopping for groceries every week. A lot!

They currently don’t have a vegan subscription box :( so I tried their vegetarian box. Since my boyfriend Nat is mostly vegetarian, the vegetarian box worked well for both of us. Nat is probably 80% vegan, 10% vegetarian, 9% pescatarian and 1% flexitarian (generally when under duress at certain family dinner events). I think he’s doing very well all things considered. So far we’ve kept our kitchen meat-free and I’m very pleased with that.

My Experience

When the box came I was pleasantly surprised by how much fresh produce it contained. Fresh vegetables, herbs, spices and grains took up about 80% of the box’s contents. The remainder was half a dozen of eggs, a small packet of Parmesan cheese and a few mini-cartons of long life dairy cream. I picked up the box from the front of the apartment around 9 am. They dropped the box very early in the morning, around 3 am or so, But everything was still cool and fresh thanks to the well-insulated box and cool-packs inside.

The box came with three recipe cards. I honestly didn’t think I’d actually use them. I hardly use recipes when cooking and I often like to wing it as I go. I was even thinking that it could be a fun mystery box challenge. However, as soon as I looked at some of the recipes, I just had to try them. They looked so sumptuous and simple and since I had got all the ingredients already, it was a no brainer. They also are easily veganised, which was a huge plus.

Stuffed Capsicums with Rocket and Fennel Salad (recipe at the bottom of this post)

Sweet potato dahl

YUM! They were absolutely delicious and easy to make. I really liked the stuffed capsicum – the top layer of quinoa stuffing becomes crunchy after baking which adds a nice texture to the overall dish. I got a bit excited that I made the sweet potato dahl while waiting for the capsicum to cook. It was a feast!


I never really got into the whole food subscription trend but now that I’ve tried it myself, I can definitely see the benefits. The problem with home cooking is that even if you enjoy cooking, sometimes you don’t have time to do grocery shopping or meal planning. Services like the Aussie Farmers Direct WW Freshbox help alleviate the stress of finding something new to cook and the hassle of grocery shopping. It’s also quite affordable. For the box I tried (three meals for two people each), it cost $64 per box, so it works out to $10.67 per plate. Not bad, considering the amount of time you save not having to think about what’s for dinner, or going grocery shopping. It’s also considerable cheaper than eating out (not to mention healthier).

There are a few inherent risks associated any food subscription service:

  1. You need your house/unit secure enough to allow your subscription box to be left attended outside your door for a few hours. I had no problem with the first deliveries but this is definitely something that you’d need to consider. In saying that, because the delivery time is ridiculously early (around 3 am), the chance of it being stolen between 3 am and, say, 7 am, is fairly low if you’re in a secure building.
  2. Product deterioration due to heat. There’s a risk of having the fresh produce deteriorating due to the heat, especially in the hot summer days we’re having nowadays. The coolpacks and the well-built cardboard box can keep the produce cool for a few hours but no more than that. To avoid deteroriation you will need to remember to take your box inside and move the fresh ingredients into the fridge as soon as you can.
  3. Product damage from shipping and handling. A small risk but a risk nonetheless. The box is very well built and ingredients are packed securely inside. However, there’s a chance that one of the eggs might break (in fact, one did in my first box) during delivery – in which case, the cost would be refunded to the customer. It wasn’t a biggie for me since I don’t eat eggs. More reason to have vegan box, perhaps?

Final words

Overall, my experience with the WW Freshbox and their support team has been pleasant! I was surprised how much time I’ve saved – enough for a couple of yoga sessions (or perhaps a few extra episodes of Breaking Bad!).


Here are a couple of recipes adapted from the WW Freshbox Vegetarian Recipes. Check out Aussie Farmers Direct for more info on their WW Freshbox. They also have other products such as the Fruit & Veg Box – pre-packaged fresh fruits and vegetables which are also available in an organic range. All of their products are ethically and sustainably sourced from local Australian growers so you know that your money goes toward supporting your fellow Australians.

Stuffed capsicums with rocket & fennel salad

A healthy hearty meal perfect for any day of the week. Adapted from WW Freshbox Recipe. The quinoa filling yield a crunchy top after baking making it even more delightful to eat.

Stuffed Capsicum

  • ½ cup 100g quinoa
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 green shallots (sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme (plus extra to garnish)
  • 400 g can four bean mix (rinsed and drained)
  • 40 g raw almonds (chopped)
  • 4 800g red capsicums


  • 1 fennel bulb (thinly sliced)
  • 60 g baby rocket
  • 30 g vegan parmesan (optional)
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup slivered almond
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Rinse and drain quinoa. Cook in a large saucepan of boiling water for 12 minutes or until tender. Drain under cold water then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a medium non-stick frying pan on medium. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until softened. Add to quinoa with thyme, four bean mix and almonds. Season and toss to combine.
  4. Cut capsicum in half lengthways and remove seeds and membrane. Fill with quinoa mixture. Place on the lined baking tray and cover loosely with foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until capsicum is tender. Uncover and cook for another 10 minutes or until golden.
  5. To make the salad: Combine fennel, rocket and parmesan in a bowl. Drizzle with vinegar and remaining oil.

Sweet Potato Dahl
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A warm and comforting meal that is simple to make, yet hearty and delicious. The best thing is, you only need one pot to make it. Adapted from [url href=””]WW Freshbox Vegetarian Recipe[/url].
  • 1 cup (200g) dried red lentils, rinsed, drained
  • 300g sweet potato, cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves, plus extra to garnish
  1. Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion. Stir for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, chilli, cumin and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  2. Place lentils, sweet potato, tomato and water. Bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender and mixture is thick.
  4. Stir in chopped coriander. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve with extra coriander.

Have you used any food subscription services before? What do you think?