Granola Bites (No Oil)


When rushing around to get my Christmas errands done, I always get an uh-oh moment when I get the hunger pangs. What am I going to eat that is whole food plant based no oil without spending more time foraging for food (or succumbing to that vegan donut calling out to me)? These granola bites are my answer. They make a super handy snack, full of whole grains, dates, seeds and nuts to give you that energy to power through; without any of the stuff to cause inflammation to your insides and slow you down. We all know we need all the energy we have this time of year!

Ingredients:

2 cups dates (soaked for at least an hour and drained)
3 cups oats
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup water
1/2 cups nuts (I use pecans and pumpkin seeds)

Method:

  1. Put all ingredients except for nuts in a food processor. Process until it is a sticky consistency.
  2. Add nuts and pulse the food processor several times. You want your nuts still chunky.
  3. Mould the dough into little chunks, about teaspoon size, and place on a baking sheet. Chunks should not touch each other.
  4. Bake at 180C/350F for 15 minutes. Flip each granola bite over and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes until browned.
  5. Allow granola bites to cool.

Meatless Loaf


The weather took a turn for the colder the last few days and I thought it the perfect time to cook up another holiday recipe for you. I have made my own whole food plant based glaze here which means there is no processed sugar. If this is too much effort for you, you can also use a ready made BBQ sauce but know that commercially made BBQ sauces frequently contains a large amount of sugar.

Ingredients

Loaf

1 onion, chopped
1 mushroom, chopped
2 garlic, minced
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
2 stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 2/3 cups oats
1/2 cup plant milk
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 handful parsley
1 tablespoon rosemary
Salt and pepper
2 carrots, grated

Glaze

1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons apple sauce
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Method

  1. Sautee onion, mushroom and garlic.
  2. Add sauteed ingredients and remaining ingredients for loaf except for carrot into food processor. Pulse until all ingredients chopped and well combined.
  3. Stir through grated carrots.
  4. Put ingredients in a lined loaf tin and bake at 190C/375F for 30 minutes.
  5. Mix all the ingredients for the glaze in a separate bowl. After loaf has been cooking for 30 minutes, add glaze to the top of the loaf and bake for another 20-25 minutes.

Coconut mango chia pudding

I have just discovered chia. The look of it used to make me shudder until I tried this chia pudding. It’s amazing! This is coconut mango version that reminds of sipping pina coladas by the beach. Chia puddings are best started overnight and assembled the next day. Once assembled, they can be left in the fridge for a few hours until they are ready to serve. These can also assembled in small containers for a picnic or lunch treat.

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk
3-4 soaked dates
2 tablespoons chia seed
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup mangoes

Method

  1. Put the vanilla essence, cinnamon, soaked dates and coconut milk through a processor to pulp the dates.
  2. Add chia seeds and leave overnight.
  3. Spoon chia seeds into glasses and layer with mangoes. Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Lentil soup


My friend’s Italian mama occasionally makes this soup and sends it to me through my friend via take out containers. I have never met her, but imagine her making this heart warming and nutritious broth with a lot of love in her kitchen. This is my whole food plant based no oil version of Italian mama’s soup. Happy Vegan Day everyone!

Ingredients

1 cup lentils (soaked overnight and drained)
6 cups stock
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1-2 carrots chopped or grated
1 stalk celery chopped or grated
1 teaspoon oregano
1 handful fresh parsley or dill chopped
Salt and pepper (optional)

Method

  1. Sautee onion in pot with 2 tablespoons of water until onion is soft.
  2. Add garlic and sautee for another minute.
  3. Add remaining ingredients except for oregano and parsley.
  4. Bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. Add herbs and seasoning, simmer for another 30 minutes. You can simmer for longer.

Orange chilli tofu

Many of you know that buddha bowls are my favourite. Β It’s a great way to add a wide diversity of nutrients in one meal, and the ability to choose your own toppings makes it a great party option to cater to individuals with different food intolerances.

Today’s buddha bowl topping is orange chilli tofu, inspired by a friend who introduced me to Korean chilli paste.

Ingredients:

1 block of firm tofu
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1orange, juiced and zested
1 tablespoon Korean chilli paste (you can use another type of chilli if you like)
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup or sweetener of choice

Method:

  1. Wrap the tofu in clean towels and rest something heavy (e.g., chopping board, pot) on top of it for 15 minutes. This will drain the tofu of some of its water.
  2. In a bowl, mix the orange juice, chilli, tomato sauce and sweetener.
  3. Sautee onion in 2 tablespoons of water in a non-stick pan until it has softened.
  4. Add garlic and tofu and sautee for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the orange chilli mix you have prepared and cook the tofu some more until the sauce has reduced to a consistency you like.

Overnight Oats

I often get asked for whole food plant based no oil breakfast ideas that is a grab-and-go option in the mornings. My response is always, overnight oats! This is a basic overnight oats recipe using my homemade muesli as a base. One you have that down pat, you can create variety with any fruit that you serve it up with.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup muesli
1/2 cup plant milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon flaxseed
1 cup of mixed fruit (e.g., berries, banana, citrus)

Method:

  1. Place muesli, plant milk and cinnamon in a jar and leave in fridge overnight.
  2. In the morning serve overnight oats with fruit. If you are really rushed for time, you can top the jar with fruit and just grab and go.

Homemade Muesli


On a recent interstate trip, I had to pick up some store bought muesli, which I have not done in a very long time. I was surprised to read the ingredients list and find things I did not expect to be in muesli. Added sugar, oil and other preservatives. This recipe gives you the ratio of what you can toss together to make a muesli mix. There is no science to it. If you like a sweeter muesli, increase the amount of dried fruit. If you like it nutty, increase the nuts and seeds. I make my muesli with oats, but you can use any type of grain you like, or mix several types together for variety! Homemade muesli is affordable, without extra ingredients that you don’t need, and is a great base for an overnight oats recipe.

Ingredients:
5 cups grains (e.g., oats, spelt, quinoa flakes)
1 cup dried fruit (e.g., apricots, cranberries, raisins, pineapple)
1 cup seeds/nuts (e.g., pumpkin, pecan pieces, almond, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds)

Method:

  1. Toss all ingredients in a giant bowl, or in a very large jar and shake it up.

Spinach tofu ricotta lagsana with homemade tomato sauce

I got quite excited by this delicious spinach tofu ricotta lagsana that makes me squeal when I take a bite. There are quite a few ingredients but it is totally worth it as a weekend meal comfort meal. It freezes well and I love bringing individual slices to work for lunch where it causes a bit of lunch envy.

Tofu ricotta ingredients:

1 block of very firm tofu, wrapped in a towel with heavy weights (like a pan) placed on top to squeeze out excess water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon miso
1/2 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
4 handfuls of spinach
1 small bunch of basil

Tofu ricotta method:

  1. Sautee onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons of water until softened.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until there are no lumps

Tomato sauce ingredients:

1 jar passata or 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
1/2 onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano

Tomato sauce method:

  1. Sautee onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons of water until softened.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer at a gentle heat for about 15-20 minutes.

Other ingredients:
Wholewheat lagsana sheet
1/4 cups cashews finely chopped
1 tomato finely sliced

Method:

  1. Spoon a layer of sauce at the bottom of a lagsana tray.
  2. Followed by a lagsana pasta sheet then a layer of the tofu ricotta.
  3. Repeat this until the final layer is a layer of sauce, then place thin slices of tomatoes over the top.
  4. Cook in 180C oven for 25 minutes.
  5. Take lagsana out from the oven, sprinkle the cashews over the lagsana and cook for another 20 minutes or until cashews are browned.

Garlic hummus (no oil)

Yes, this is an open sandwich. But it’s the garlicky no-oil hummus spread I’m bragging about. Excellent in a sandwich for a quick post workout snack. Or with carrot sticks, or cucumber sticks…you get the idea.

Ingredients:
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 clove garlic (or 1 small clove)
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
Small dash of cayenne pepper if you like the heat
5 tablespoons water

Method:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth

Chocolate Fudge

Even though more than half a year into this whole food plant based eating business, I continue to sometimes be skeptical when I hear of things like Black Bean Chocolate Fudge. But when I took this baby out of the oven and took a bite of a slice, holy moly, it works!

Pound for pound, black beans has a third more protein, almost eight times more iron and 30 times less saturated fat than beef. Plus there are properties in beans that feeds your lovely gut microbiome. Good for your mouth and great for your body!

Ingredients:

1 cup dates, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes then drained and checked for pips
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup oats put through food processor to make it floury
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons chopped apricots
Rind of 1 orange

Method:

  1. Process dates, black beans and apple sauce until you don’t see any individual beans and into a paste. You may have to scrape down the sides of your food processor a few times.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except for apricots and process until fully combined.
  3. Stir through apricots.
  4. Bake 350F/180C for 30 minutes or until a skewer when poked through the fudge comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting.