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Vegan Thai Red Curry with Veggies

Cosy up in front of a movie with this over some aromatic brown jasmine rice for a real treat! You can experiment with the veggies, but eggplant, red capsicum and pak choy is our favourite combination. I like to toss in some pre-marinaded tofu or tempeh at the end of cooking for a protein kick.

Ingredients

1 very large eggplant

2 Tbsp coconut oil (refined is fine, or other oil of choice)

1 medium onion, sliced

1 batch of Thai Red Curry Paste

1 Tbsp light brown sugar (or palm sugar)

1 x 400mL tin coconut milk (at least 65% coconut)

Tamari to taste

1 very large red capsicum, sliced

6 bunches pak choi or bok choy or whatever you wanna call it, stems sliced and leaves just chopped in half

300g bean sprouts

Method

Preheat oven to 180C.

Chop the eggplant into cubes, leave the skin on it’s good for you ūüôā Pop them on an oven tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle them with salt. Roast them for about 15- 20 minutes.

Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan then add the onion and saute on a medium heat for a few minutes. Add the curry paste and and continue a few more minutes, then add the sugar and let it caramelise.

Add the coconut milk and bring it to the boil. Stir in the tamari and sliced capsicum, cover and simmer about 5 mins. Mix in the stems of the pak choy and simmer a further 10 minutes. Finally, add the roasted eggplant, pak choi leaves and bean sprouts and simmer a further 3 minutes before adding the fresh basil and coriander leaves.

Remove from heat and serve over brown rice, garnished with extra coriander and basil leaves.

 

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Vegan Thai Red Curry Paste

Fresh, homemade curry paste is super easy to make – why buy the overpriced stuff in jars that contains all those hidden toxic ingredients described as numbers rather than real food? You won’t find flavour 621 on this ingredient list!

Ingredients   

4 garlic cloves

1 small white onion, peeled

20g peeled galangal

20g peeled ginger

4 long red chillies, deseeded

3 kaffir lime leaves

1/2 bunch fresh coriander stems (keep leaves for curry itself)

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 Tbsp ground coriander

1 Tbsp paprika

juice from 2 limes

50mL rice bran oil

Method

Put everything except the oil in a food processor a blitz to form a smooth paste.

Scrape down the sides, add the oil, then blend at a slower speed until it’s all combined and a little creamy.

The paste can be stored in the fridge for a week if you’re not using it immediately (See recipe for Vegan Red Thai Curry Veggies).

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Jivamukti Yoga Autumn Equinox Mini Retreat

When day and night are equal in both hemispheres we too can experience balance and integration when we connect to our inner selves. This equinox is a prime time to rebalance after the intensive work and activities of the Summer.
 
Autumn is a time when nature starts to pull its energy inwards. In this retreat we will honour this inward turning transition by practicing Yoga in a way that activates the energy of groundedness and inner awareness. Through specific asana and contemplation you will celebrate what you have intensively worked on over the Summer, in the warm growing months (your own personal harvest).
 
Autumn in particular is also associated with physical, emotional and spiritual transformation and is a time for letting go of the things that are not serving you. In celebrating your own personal harvest, it’s also worth considering what seeds haven’t grown or developed. This gives you an opportunity to release the past and move forward with clarity. Again using specific asana to encourage introspection, in this day retreat you will be able to reflect on fresh new ideas, concepts, proposals – new seeds you can sow over winters incubation.
 
The day will also include two Yoga practices ‚Äď beginning with a dynamic Jivamukti Yoga class and ending with a Restorative Moon Days Yoga class – the latter allowing you to celebrate the Summer that has passed and reflect on new seeds of intentions for the winter. There will also be discussion of daily Ayurvedic rituals and practices to ease into the colder months.
 
The early bird cost of this full day mini-retreat is $120 if paid prior to Monday March 20th 2017. Price increases after this date to $140. Freshly ground coffee and tea, yummy nearly naughty snacks and a delicious warming vegan buffet lunch is included (as always) in the price!
Just message Go Yoga or Jacqueline Teusner for registration details to secure your place.
*Money will be fully refunded if cancellation is made prior to Monday March 20th 2017, absolutely no refunds after this date.
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Vanilla Bean Pannacotta – Regular recipe and Thermomix adaptation

Vanilla Bean Pannacotta

Vanilla Bean Pannacotta

For when you’re just craving something¬†small and sweet to finish your meal!

Ingredients

600mL unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup cold water

2 sachets Queen brand Jel-It-In

400mL can 100% coconut cream

Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (not essence!).

4 Tbsp castor sugar

3 cups sliced strawberries (or other fruit of choice e.g. cubed mango, peach, blueberries etc.)

Instructions

Pour the almond milk and water in to a pot, or your thermomix, and sprinkle in the Jel-It-In. Stir well to combine or pop the thermomix to speed 2 for 60 seconds.

Add coconut cream, sugar and vanilla bean.

Stovetop cook over a low flame, gradually increasing to boil over the course of 5 mins, stirring constantly. Reduce to simmer for one minute then remove from heat. If using the thermomix, set temp to 100C, speed 2, for 10mins. As soon as you notice the temperature reaches 100C, let it proceed for one more minute and then press stop.

Pour into 8 ramekins/oiled moulds/teacups. Refrigerate 2 hours to overnight.

If using a mould you’ll need a knife to break the seal between the mould and the pannacotta and turn it onto a serving plate, otherwise just leave the pannacotta in the ramekin or tea cup. Garnish each with 3/4 cup berries (or other fruit of choice).

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Sweet Potato and Quinoa Patties

You can bake these babies in the oven at 180C for about 20 minutes, but we like them fried each side in a little olive oil on the BBQ or a frypan so they’re crispy – the women at last January’s mini-retreat did too!

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato (350-400g)

250g quinoa

Juice from 1 lemon

1/4 cup tahini (or any nut butter if you’d prefer, I’ve made it with cashew butter – delicious!)

1/4 tomato puree/passata (not tomato sauce or tinned tomatoes!)

1/2 cup gluten free flour (I generally go for tapioca)

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Peel the sweet potato and chop it into small cubes. Steam (preferable) or boil until very soft, about 20-25 mins.

Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa then steam it in a rice cooker/thermomix for 15-20 mins or add it to 2 cups of boiling water in a saucepan and simmer with the lid on until all the liquid has evaporated (15-20 mins).

Blend the cooked sweet potato in a food processor with the lemon juice, then add the tahini, tomato passata, flour, spices and continue to process until smooth. Season to taste.

Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and add the sweet potato mix. Stir it up until it’s all blended together, the mixture should still be a little sticky, but add extra flour if too sticky.

Make each patty by scooping about 2 tbsp of the mixture, rolling it into a ball with your hands then pressing it to make a circle. Yes the mixture will want to stick to your hands so just keep a bowl of water handy to wet your hands at regular intervals Рthis will keep the mixture from sticking to your fingers. Pop each patty on a tray/large plate, cover and pop in the fridge for at least an hour to harden up.

Keep them cold until you’re¬†ready to cook them…As mentioned above, heat them in the oven or fry on the grill and serve warm with a salad, steamed or sauteed veggies and sweet chilli or your favourite dipping sauce.

 

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Pine nut, Tomato and Basil Stuffed Mushrooms

For¬†my January 2017¬†Yoga mini-retreat I bought a box of massive “button” mushrooms, almost the size of portobellos, at first deliberating how I could use them and how we could possibly eat¬†them all before they were no good.¬†This stuffing ensured I needn’t have worried – there were no left overs for dinner that night!

Ingredients

18 very large button mushrooms (not portobellos, they go soggy and watery)

300g cherry tomatoes (our are usually homegrown red and yellow tommies, but equal to 1-2 punnets)

175g pine nuts (half a regular bag)

1 bunch / 2 handfuls fresh basil leaves

3 Tbs Tahini or soy sauce

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

lemon juice to taste (usually enough from half a lemon)

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Pop the oven on to 180C or 160C with fan. Tip: For the mini-retreat my husband actually cooked these on our outdoor BBQ grill with the hood down Рeasier and more flavoursome!

Remove the stalks of the mushrooms and put the caps on a baking tray or two. Put half the stalks aside for the stuffing and put the rest in a paper bag for another meal another night. Don’t throw them out as waste, they’re perfectly as healthy and tasty as the cap of the mushroom and can be chopped into so many dishes like pasta sauces, curries, stir fries etc. They just absorb any flavour, but you already know that ūüėČ

Either finely chop the mushroom stalks or blend them in a food processor like I did. Chop the cherry tomatoes in half and roughly chop the basil leaves.

Heat the EVOO in a fry pan and when hot reduce heat to medium and add¬†the mushroom stalks. Fry for about a minute then add the tomatoes, pine nuts and tahini and fry about 5 mins or until it’s all reduced down. Stir in the basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Stuff the tomato “pesto” mix into the mushrooms caps nice and tight and bake for about 15- 20 mins until the mushrooms are soft.¬†Or pass them off to your resident BBQ master to grill ūüėČ

 

 

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ANZAC Brownies

Anzac Brownies 2

I made these by accident last week for ANZAC Day – my husband loves the normal cookies but to cut corners and save time I decided to make a slice. I had a big bag of chocolate chips left over from the girls birthday cake (made the week before) so I thought it might be extra yummy to stir those through the mix…unfortunately the mix hadn’t cooled enough and the chips all melted – but as fortune had it, into a delicious fudgy, chewy, sticky slab that turned into these ANZAC brownies.

IngredientsBrownies 3

1 cup plain flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

125g nuttelex or other vegan butter

1/4 cup rice palm syrup

1/2 tsp bicarb soda

200g vegan dark chocolate chips

Method

Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan.

Combine the flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a bowl.

Combine the butter, sugar and rice palm syrup in a saucepan and gently heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth (I just did this in the thermomix on speed 2 at 60C for about 5 mins).

Stir in the bicarbonate soda, add to the flour mixture and stir to combine.

Stir through the choc chips until mostly melted. Press into the base of a baking-paper lined 28cm x 18cm slice pan (ensure paper extends 5cm above the top of the pan).

Bake 25-30 minutes or until still soft to touch on top but set (slice will harden upon cooling). Leave to cool 10 minutes in the pan then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 24 squares and store in an airtight container.

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Vegan Gluten-free Wild Rice Salad

Wild rice salad close

My family and friends always request I bring this¬†salad to BBQs¬†– it’s a winner as¬†almost¬†everyone can (and will) eat it. It’s as delicious as it is colourful!

Ingredients

1 cup steamed red rice

1 cup steamed black rice

2 cups steamed brown rice

1 large red onion, diced

2 large red capsicums, diced

2 cups steamed green beans or raw snow peas

1 cup steamed corn kernels

300-400g dry roasted cashews

2/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Dressing

1/4 cup lemon juice

2/3 cup low sodium tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)

4 large garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup sesame oil

salt and pepper to taste

IMG_1330
Method

Combine all ingredients (except the dressing ingredients) in a large bowl. Add all dressing ingredients to a jar and shake vigorously to combine. Pour dressing over the salad and stir through. Allow to marinade an hour in the fridge before serving. Enjoy with some vegan sausages (such as Tofurkey Beer Brats) cooked on the BBQ!

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Soul Power Part II – Why I’m Vegan

Border collie and piglets
“Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures”. – His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I practice and teach Yoga because it makes me happy. Not fleeting, momentary happiness, but happiness that is lasting. Since quitting my “real job” to be both¬†a Yoga teacher and lifelong Yoga student, I experience a happiness that isn’t as disrupted as it used to be by life’s challenges.¬†There’s no doubt that Yoga practice helps create a strong and healthy body and mind, but with this¬†refinement comes a deeper reward – freedom from suffering. Suffering may manifest as physical, mental or emotional but it’s all suffering within our small self, bound to our ego. We have the choice whether or not to attach to this suffering, to let it define us, or to look to something more. Yoga practice frees us¬†from the limits of our small ego-self and we awaken to our greater Self, whose¬†nature is limitless potential, unconditional love and pure joy. With practice we see life as how it truly is and we gain power in the realisation that we have a choice to live our lives aligned with this happiness – in doing so we also have the potential to ease suffering and create more happiness in the lives of those around us.

In the Yoga Sutras, author Patanjali gives us five guidelines, or Yamas, for¬†treating others that result in attaining lasting happiness. The first is¬†AhiŠĻÉsńĀ, which means non-harming.

Ahimsapratisthayam tat sannidhau vaira tyagah, PYS 11.35

When you stop harming others, others will cease to harm you.

Simple enough – when we stop harming others, we end our own suffering and increase our happiness.

Compassion is an essential part of ahimsa. Through compassion you feel another’s suffering yourself¬†which¬†helps you refrain from causing more harm to them. That is, you begin to see yourself in other beings. Compassion¬†trains the mind to see past outer differences of form so you start to get glimpses¬†of the inner essence of other beings, their soul, which is happiness. You begin to see that every single living creature has a soul that desires happiness and love, just like yours.

One of the most obvious reasons for adopting a vegan diet is that you make others happy if you don’t eat them. But furthermore, when you see that cows, pigs, lambs, chickens, ducks, fish, horses and all animals want happiness and love, you recognize kindred souls. A vegan lifestyle is an informed, intelligent and conscious way to act peacefully. Importantly however, ahimsa applies to a vegan that is critical of a non-vegan, just as much as it applies to a non-vegan about to tuck in to a steak dinner or buy some new leather shoes. No one listens to a holier-than-thou, self-righteous vegan. Patanjali give ahimsa as a practice, as a universal ethic that applies in all situations, meaning we strive as Yogis to do the least amount of harm possible. To be critical and judgmental ultimately creates more harm.

Many people choose to adopt a vegetarian diet for health reasons, of which there are countless studies of support. For me personally, the more I learned about the treatment of animals reared specifically¬†for food, clothing or entertainment in our own country, together with the very real statistic that animal agriculture is the leading cause of global warming, deforestation and species extinction, the more I realised that my choices didn’t just affect me. The way we choose to spend our money¬†may cause harm or lack in another region of the¬†globe, or further degradation of the planet for future generations. What we choose to eat has¬†the same effect.¬†My wish¬†to see a thriving, happy¬†world caused me to adopt the more peaceful vegan diet. I understand¬†that this may not make¬†sense to¬†everyone. Animals will most likely continue to be killed for food, fashion and entertainment¬†and the environment may¬†continue to be degraded…but not because of me.

Consciousness is a process and it begins with education. I’ve never seen myself as an activist, but I am educated and continue to be so. Educating people (when asked) on the real issues behind ingesting or enslaving animals better arms them with the knowledge to make the right decisions for themselves and for the wellbeing of our planet. Ultimately, everything comes down to respecting every¬†life on the planet, be them non-vegan, vegan or animal.

And¬†there’s¬†good news if you do want¬†to stop climate change, get healthy, or cease animal cruelty – it is¬†actually in your hands. You¬†don‚Äôt have to wait for governmental organisations. All it takes is a shift in consciousness to cause a shift in habits. The revolution has already begun in my family, what about yours?

 

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Raw cacao pecan fudge bars

Raw cacao pecan fudge bars

I must acknowledge the beautiful young woman, Em, from this Rawsome Vegan life. Her recipes are amazing and she is a beacon of light for all of us. This is an adaptation of one of her recipes, made to delight my non-vegan girlfriends at an upcoming school quiz night! Gooey, sticky tempting treats that are also very good for you!

Ingredients
Processed baseBase

1.5 cups of pecans

1.5 cups of raisins

1 tsp of Tahitian vanilla bean paste

 

Fudge

18-20 medjool dates

¬ľ cup raw cacao powder

¬ľ cup melted coconut oil

¬ľ cup 100% nut butter of choice

¬Ĺ cup purified water

Instructions

Pecan basePulse grind the pecans in a food processor until finely ground, then add the raisins and vanilla bean paste and process until it clumps together. Press into a baking tray lined with non-stick paper and allow to harden in the fridge.

Fudge layer

Meanwhile, pulse process the medjool dates with the cacao powder. When it begins to clump, add the remaining fudge ingredients until smooth and thick. You may need to add a little more water, but try not to so that it thickens when set.

Spread the fudge onto the pecan base layer, then place in the fridge (or even the freezer if you like them harder) to set for at least 3 hours.

Raw cacao pecan fudge bars 2Remove from the baking tray to slice and allow to soften a little before serving so as not to miss their sticky fudgey goodness!

I cut them into 24 squares, but you could make bigger bars and just slice into about 16 rectangles…mmmm!

Raw cacao fudge bars 3

 Nutritional information (per square)
Calories 172
Fat 8.4g
Sat fat 3.7g
Carbs 23.1 g
Fibre 2.2g
Sugars 17.5g
Protein 2.6g
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