I like sweets, that’s no secret. Sweet treats are my favourite things to create (and eat) in the kitchen. Sugar, however doesn’t sit well with me – once I start eating sugar, I can’t stop, and the crash that follows a sugar-fest is not pretty at all. Not to mention skin problems, mood swings – the list goes on. Natural sugars like fruit, and less refined forms of the white stuff are OK – just not in massive amounts.
I’m actually a huge fan of stevia and alternative sweeteners that are derived from natural sources. Stevia is one of my all-time favourites – I use it daily and do not experience any sugar-crash-like symptoms from including it in my diet. It doesn’t taste exactly like sugar though, and that’s something you have to be aware of. If you go into tasting an alternative sweetener imaging sugar – then you may be confused/disappointed at your findings. It took me a few goes to get used to stevia (plant extract) erythriotl (plant extract) xylitol (plant fibre)- and stevia is definitely my favourite of the three.
Different brands taste different – a lot of people try stevia and declare it “fake tasting,” and “bitter” – and a lot of stevia-based products DO taste like this. I have found that shopping around, and trying different brands has helped me discover the best tasting products. I have been lucky enough to receive a few products from the Natvia range recently (I received these products for free, in exchange for my thoughts) I had already tried this alternative sweetener which is a blend of stevia and erythritol (we even use it at the cafe I work at). I do like this product – it’s not quite as strong as straight stevia, so I find I have to use a little more than I would if I were using a product that was 100% stevia. The first few tastes took a little getting used to, but as I said – don’t think of it as SUGAR, and don’t expect it to taste exactly the same. It’s a really good product to use in baking that calls for a granulated sweetener, not to mention in hot drinks, sauces etc.
If you need to cut down/out sugar for any health reasons, then I think alternative sweeteners can really help lessen the SUGAR cravings….. a sugar-crutch if you will.
Warm Spiced Pumpkin Slice
(Vegan: gluten/wheat/nut/refined sugar/grain free)
This is a very simple slice – it is best served warm, more like a pudding (or breakfast!) – it will dry out after a few days. I serve this with a rich carob-cashew cream that really gives this healthy slice a bit of decadence, minus the sugar and refined ingredients!
- 2C roasted pumpkin pieces (slow roast your pumpkin in the oven for the ultimate sweet flavour)
- 1C buckwheat flour (ground from raw buckwheat groats – I use a small spice/coffee grinder, but a food processor or high speed blender will work too)
- 3T ground flax seed
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1t vanilla extract
- 2t ground cinnamon
- 1/4t ground ginger
- Pinch of nutmeg, pinch of ground cloves
- 1/2C Natvia
- 1/2C full fat coconut milk
- 2T coconut oil
- 1t baking powder
- 1/4t baking soda
*Optional: Throw in 1/2C “add-ins” – think raisins/chocolate chips/cranberries.
- Pre heat oven to 170 degrees C on fan bake setting.
- Throw everything into the food processer – except baking agents – (make your buckwheat flour FIRST!) and pulse/blend until very smooth.
- Add baking powder/soda and mix through the batter.
- Either using a spring form cake-tin or a baking tray lined with baking paper (depends on what shape you want) – scoop mix in. The slice should end up at about 2-3cm high (it doesn’t rise at all, really). I used a 20cm/10cm baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, and the slice is golden brown.
- Cool a littler before removing from the pan. I cut mine into small “cake” rounds using a large cookie cutter (trying to tempt the toddler to eat).
- Serve warm with the following cream.
Carob Cashew Cream
(Vegan: gluten/wheat/grain/refined sugar free)
- 1/2C soaked cashews, rinsed and drained (soak for at least 4 hours – better still, overnight)*
- 2T Natvia
- 2T carob powder (or cocoa/cacao)
- 1t vanilla extract
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1t lemon juice
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and whizz until smooth and creamy (scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Store extra in the fridge.
This cream will firm up in the fridge.
*If you happen to be nut sensitive, this would be a delicious alternative topping
This slice is so good served warm with the cashew cream….. definitely best eaten on the day it was made (it tends to dry out after 2 or more days). I have, however eaten it a few days after baking, and it just needs a very generous slathering of cashew cream to combat the dryness. Not complaining about that.
So my thoughts on Natvia are pretty positive – it’s a great option for an alternative sweetener that is easily accessible (sold at most local supermarkets like Woolworths or Coles). It works really well in baking, and to my taste buds, doesn’t have that weird bitter taste that is prevalent in a lot of similar products. My advice is to let yourself get used to the taste of alternative sweeteners – don’t expect them to taste like sugar/honey/maple syrup etc – they take a little to adjust too.
Everything in moderation, right? I like to change it up in regards to sweeteners – my favourites would be medjool dates, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, coconut sugar and stevia – how about you?
I’ve been a bit lazy this week, not much enthusiasm for blogging/being on the internet in general. Lack of mojo, I guess. Sometimes the internet/Face Book/blogging really annoys me (read: I get angry at the amount of mindless crap out there – in saying that perhaps I am contributing to said mindless crap right now). I hate advertising at the best of times, but some days it just feels as if social media/internet platforms are just huge webs of soul-less crap-mongering, feasting on the naivety of the confused and direction-less.
Talking with other creative souls, I realised a few things:
- The internet is a place where it is very easy to start comparing yourself to others.
- Comparing yourself to others is a FABULOUS way to lose motivation, creative flow and confidence.
- Not much is truly original these days.
- Don’t let your mission/creative process become confused with the influence of what others are doing.
- Sometimes tunnel-vision can be a really great thing.
Anyway, one of my favourite ways to lift mood/motivation is music. I have been thinking long and hard this week over what album to introduce you all to, and nothing really jumped out at me (that I wanted to write about). It wasn’t until yesterday afternoon, when I was embarking on the momentous kitchen scrub-down at my place of work (much motivational energy required) that I remembered an artist/album that I felt like listening to. The mark of good music for me, is a physical reaction. If I get an all-over-body-tingle from any kind of music, I know it’s a good thing – and this lady (the gorgeous creature pictured above)delivers.
It seems like the majority of my readers are women (if you are a man reading, I apologize, next week I’ll write about ZZ Top or Kyuss) and so this musical-interlude is definitely for the female soul. Maybe it’s because I’m excited about heading home next week as well - Bic Runga hails from my home town of Christchurch, and is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated female singer/song writers. I am just highlighting Bic as an artist, as ALL of her albums are stellar – she encompasses a variety of genres from folk-pop-country to soul/blues and then some.
One of her oldest tunes, from way back in ’97 is my all time favourite - Bursting Through.
Then again, classics likeDrive, Sway and Good Morning Baby never fail to go down a treat. I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting this (tiny) talented lady as a star-struck young teen – she was so down to earth and genuinely lovely which is refreshing in a small world crammed with large egos.
Makes me so proud – so much good music from my tiny little country of birth – makes for many more posts spot-lighting talented Kiwis, I’m sure of it. Definitely looking forward to getting back over there (however cold) in a few days.
Listening to a female singer-songwriter is sort of like a guilty indulgence for me (Viper snorts and mutters under his breath as I monopolise the stereo with featured music – men just don’t seem to ‘get it’) – it’s like a chocolate & red wine session when you are pre menstrual – a sensory experience that helps you “let go,” and in turn regain a little balance/motivation back into your life. Red wine, chocolate and good tunes – sounds like just the ticket to me.
Another from the collection – I thought I would contrast last weeks electro/modern contribution with a little old school Paul Simon. * Check out the tweed blazer on the cover of the album – now that’s some 80s shoulder pad styling if ever I saw some.* His Album “Graceland” is a wonderful fusion of catchy pop hooks, African tribal music, and beautiful lyrics – not to mention Paul has one of the sweetest song-bird-esque voices ever (in my opinion).
If you are wanting a fun, uplifting and thought provoking all in one “feast for your ears” – then definitely get yourself a copy of this album.
I have really neglected my music-posts over the last little while – I miss them. I thought I would keep this short & sweet with a video – click the link below.
Cut Copy – Zonoscope
” an album of euphoric, starry-eyed dance-rock”
“Compared to the last two albums, Zonoscope has precious little guitar crunch, which makes it hard to even call Cut Copy a dance-rock band anymore. And that’s for the best– not just because that combination seems like a less thrilling prospect in 2011 than perhaps it once did, but also because Cut Copy have the architecture of dance music down perfectly and the confidence to execute the genre’s moves with absolute precision.” Source: Pitchfork
Remember you have THREE days to enter the give away for a copy of Stephen Hunt’s first EP – “Listen” – there are 3 copies to be won, and this is open to EVERYONE! Get into it. Check here for details.
This post is going to be an absolute mish-mash. Maybe this will give you an indication of the way my mind works (a million miles a minute) – and my inability to focus/stick to any sort of structure. Yeah, I’m pretty susceptible to a tangent… even while in the act of cooking. Things started with popcorn, visited a sugar-free sweetener, and ended up with cream cake, Confused? Yeah, me too.
It makes sense to start at the beginning. I wanted to make something using popcorn: Misty is obsessed with it, and after the success of my Popcorn Balls, I knew I had to experiment. I thought I would just make snack- bars, but then I decided that I could use these as an “add-in” to baking – like a fruity chocolate chunk? It’s always good to have a nut free option on hand, right?
Nut Free Fruity Choc-Chunks:
(Vegan, nut/gluten/wheat/soy/refined sugar free)
- 4C (popped) popcorn
- 1C dark raisins
- 1/4t sea salt
- 3T cacao powder (or carob/cocoa)
- 2T coconut oil*
- 1T water
- In a food processor, pulse together popcorn and raisins until they are all ground up. Add other ingredients, adding coconut oil and water last – it will seem like it’s not going to come together, but it will!
- Press out to your desired thickness – the mix is very sticky and soft (rolling out between 2 sheets of baking paper works well) and place in the freezer overnight. This gives the popcorn time to soak in the oil, and it forms more or a solid bar.
- Cut into small chunks and store in the freezer (fridge if you use cacao butter as suggested below)
* If you want a more solid chunk that holds it’s shape out of the fridge for longer, use cacao butter in place of the coconut oil.
You can use these as a snack bar (cut into larger pieces) or as a alternative to plain dried fruit or chocolate chips in baking/desserts – I know, I know, they are nothing like a chocolate chip – just something yummy to have on hand when you don’t have chocolate. I hardly ever use/buy chocolate chips due to the fact I can’t find a decent vegan option – I usually just chop up a good quality dark chocolate, or make my own raw chocolate. This recipe makes about 1 & 1/4 C worth of chunks.
I recently received a nice little package from the people at Natvia/Vitarium **- a company that makes a stevia/erythritol blend. As you can see from the picture, they produce a range of sugar-free sweeteners for use in both drinks and baking. From my experience this blend is an easily accessible (from the supermarket) option for those who want to cut down sugar. Most products that boast being “sugar-free” are usually flashing red warning signs for me (toxic! chemicals! crap!) but not this stuff – it’s natural – hooray. My personal preference will always be NuNaturals Vanilla stevia (which I get from the US) but many people find straight stevia has a bitter after taste that is unpalatable. Natvia doesn’t have that bitter after taste thanks to the inclusion of erythritol, which really does mellow out the flavour, and makes it a fabulous ingredient for wherever you would usually add sugar.
I decided to combine an experiment using both Natvia’s Baking Blend AND the Mocha flavoured Drinking Chocolate – as well as including my latest Fruit Choc-Chunk creation.
Vanilla Cream and Chocolate Brownie Cake
(Vegan, gluten, wheat, nut, refined sugar free)
Brownie Cake Base:
- 1 & 1/2C cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2C brown rice flour
- 3T natvia baking blend*
- 2T mocha natvia drinking chocolate powder*
- 2T cacao
- 1/4t salt
- 1/2C coconut milk
- 1/2t vanilla extract
* If you do not have access to Natvia, simply use 1/4C granulated sweetener, plus 3T cacao powder and 2t ground espresso)
- Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor until well combined.
- Spoon mix into a lined loaf tin (make sure the baking paper has some decent over-hang to make getting the cake out of the pan easier) and bake at 160 degrees C for 25 minutes – it will appear cracked on top, and seem super dense – perfect!
- Keep cake IN the pan, chill in the fridge.
- 300g silken tofu
- 3T coconut butter
- 3T cacao butter (or additional coconut butter if you do not have cacao butter)
- 2t lemon juice
- 3T Nativa baking blend (or your choice of sweetener – 2T agave – 15 drops liquid stevia etc)
- 1t vanilla extract
- 1/8t sea salt
- 2/3C Fruity Choc-Chunks (recipe above)**
**You can sub in regular chocolate chunks or any sort of dried fruit if you don’t want to bother making the Fruit Choc-Chunks – cherries and pistachios would make a very festive looking dessert.
- Blend all ingredients except Fruity Choc-Chunks together until very smooth.
- Fold the chunks into the mix.
- Pour on top of brownie base, and place in the freezer for at least an hour – until “set” but not frozen.
- Cut into slices/squares.
- Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
Yeah, I know, beans and tofu in one dessert? AND no sugar? Trust me – it’s an interesting process, yes – but the end result is delicious. Super high protein and without the sugar-induced coma.
Do you go off on tangents while involved in the cooking-process as I do? Tofu AND beans in a dessert – game to try? Or has the silly season gone to my head?
**Disclaimer – I received some samples of Natvia, but was under no obligation to post/review the products. I also received one of the Vitarium Banana-flavoured powders to add to milk (targeted at children) which contains cochinel (colour 120) which I obviously am not a fan of – and will not give to Misty.
I’m really slack when it comes to taking part in nominated blog-awards/questionnaires and the likes. Sara, Kari, Claire, Kristin and probably some other lovely bloggers that I have forgotten have tagged/nominated me for a variety of these things.
We all know I’m not one to follow the rules, so I thought I would answer a few questions from everyone – and then add in some randomness.
If you had to limit yourself to 10 foods for one week, what would they be? Carrots, apples, buckwheat groats, raisins, almond butter, coconut oil, dark chocolate, coffee and red wine.
If you could meet anyone alive today, who would you meet? Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones). Just the fact that he IS still alive after his career and substance abuse is amazing enough – but he would be an absolute fascinating person to meet.
Do you shop at op shops/charity shops? why or why not? YES. Pretty much my whole house and wardrobe is from junk stores/jumble sales/op shops. You get groovy, quirky stuff for an absolute bargain – what’s not to love about that? Viper and I bonded over our shared love of thrifting – we go on family adventures to junk stores on the weekends.
What was the last gift you gave that made you smile? A little bouncy rubber ball for Misty – he got SO much joy out of it. Seriously, heart melting material, he was so happy. Bless.
What do you think of cosmetic enhancements like botox and dermal fillers? A sign of the worship of youth, or simple maintenance? Wrong – So.Wrong. The thing is, botox & dermal fillers make you look totally plastic, way too shiny and just plain weird. It doesn’t look natural at all – you can tell the person has been “altered” in some way, which really defeats the purpose of the whole exercise – yes?
Something on my Christmas list this year? Well, we aren’t really doing the whole present thing this year…. so I should probably say something like world peace, right? World peace and a nice glass of bubbles, that will do me.
Random Lou Facts:
- I am obsessed with talking about/watching videos/reading stories about giving birth. I get all excited – and even start crying. Giving birth was seriously the coolest thing I have ever done (painful, yes – but awesome) Viper thinks I’m nuts.
- I hate sharing pillows. Viper always tries to put his head on mine and it drives me nuts. I need my own pillow-space; get away from me.
- The Young Ones is my favourite show of all time.
- I love dingy old pubs. The dingier the better…. somewhere I can go wearing thongs (flip flops) and a flannelette shirt, have a cider and shoot the breeze. Not a big fan of fancy schmancy bars and hipsters – or having to preen myself.
- I love a good dress-up-party…. and I haven’t been to one in far too long.
Thanks to anyone and everyone who included me in their blog-award-nominations. Sorry for not following the rules, that’s just how I roll.
Join in and tell me something random about YOU.
A recipe book encouraging carnivores to eat veggies? Not the kind of thing you’d expect to see on Fridge Scrapings, right? It’s not like I need much encouragement to get my fill of greens.
MY vegetable intake aside, when approached to do a review of this book, I was pretty interested in getting my hands on a copy. Convincing Viper to chomp through a huge bowl of steamed greens is not really the easiest thing to do, and I am always up for new ideas to make veggies exciting for the un-enthusiastic.
Anyway, Lora Krulak’s notion of “moving vegetables to the centre of the plate,” is one I really try and push at home – meat is fine (if you are that way inclined) but try to make the veggie component of your meal the main attraction.
I really loved this book – Lora has a really engaging “voice” throughout – the book is filled with interesting stories, fascinating facts and the whole tone of the book is kind of like a friendly chat, if that makes sense? I’m all about the whole experience when it comes to reading a recipe book – I don’t just want the recipe, I want to know where the inspiration for the dish came from, I want to know a little about the different ingredients that go into it – the whole shebang. Lora caters for my tastes perfectly – the information she provides is succinct and extensive without being overwhelming “wordy” or “health-food-preachy.”
The book goes through “The Basics,” (equipment and preparation work) ”Dips & Spreads,” “Sauces & Dressings,” “Soups & Salads,” “Small Plates,” and “Smoothies/Tonics,” – it covers the majority of veggie-based bases for sure. A girl who loves to travel, the flavour profiles in Lorna’s recipes cover a multitude of countries and cultures, so boredom is not even an option.
I think the main attraction of this book, as Lora gives you not only recipes, but the creative inspiration and “building blocks” to help you design countless dishes – it’s the like gift that keeps on giving.
I suppose I am greedy to want there to be more of a sweet-treat section, considering this is a veggie-based book, but Lora DOES cover a variety of smoothies to get in a little sweetie- fix. I made her Chocolate Peanut Butter Milk (above) for myself and Misty, and it was delicious, although I did need to add some sweetness to the final product. There is a natural sweetener guide in the front of the book, and Lora considers her top 5 – Yacon Syrup, Maple Syrup, Raw Honey, Molasses and Coconut sugar.
My only criticism of this book would be the lack of visual appeal – the layout and photographs lack pizazz, and you’d think with such stellar content, you would want the book to LOOK as fantastic as possible? Anyway, that aside, this is a fabulous book if you are lacking a bit of creativity in the vegetable department, OR you want to convince friends/family of their amazing appeal.
You can go HERE to download a free sample of the book if it’s the sort of thing that tickles your fancy.
I also made the Aloo Gobi Dip, which is an Indian spiced cauliflower spread…. although I did run out of olive oil, so it ended up on the thick side (just how I like it) – absolutely delicious. I am looking forward to creating more of the recipes – Viper has requested the Cauliflower Steaks with Harissa Sauce, and I have my eye on the Middle Eastern Squash Puree, which sounds like it would be right up Misty’s alley (or it would make for some lovely coloured finger paint).
**I received a copy of Veggies for Carnivores at not cost, however the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own – I was not paid to write this…. I just like to share.
Do you really know what’s in your food? I mean, really? If you read Fridge Scrapings, then you probably have a bit of an interest in including healthful whole foods in your diet, but do you scrutinise every single ingredient list of every single packet that you purchase on your weekly shop?
I know I don’t. Yes, I am aware of most preservative/additive free products…. so I admit, I have grown a tad relaxed about examining labels. Plus of course, I’m a bit of a cheap-skate, and can easily be lured into a purchase on the premise of saving a few bucks. Is saving a few bucks really worth the potential detriment of your/your families health though?
Let me explain. Last night I went to a talk by the passionate (extremely knowledgeable) Tanya Winfield, (above) the go-to girl for anything additive related. This woman knows her stuff. Mother of 3, she began cutting out additives from her pantry after her middle son was diagnosed with asthma….. and her youngest was having a few behavioral outbursts after eating certain foods. A few years down the track (and a LOT of research!) Tanya and her family are fully additive free, and enjoying the benefits of eating purely unadulterated foods. She founded the Additive-Free Pantry, and is now a Mama on a mission to spread the word on all the hidden nasties in our food, cleaning products and cosmetics.
“Additive-Free Pantry is dedicated in helping families, canteens and childcare centres rid their pantries of all harmful food additives. Additive Free Pantry, Inspiring change……..because our children are worth it!” – Tanya Winfield.
Honestly, the talk was scary – the way food products are marketed to us, and the sneaky tricks producers use to hide away what is REALLY in the food – if you are not aware, then you are easy prey for sure. Basically, chemicals are added to a product to make it look/taste better/last longer, which means the product is crap to begin with, right? This is just a handful of the goodies that may be sculking around in your packaged foods….
- Anti-caking agents – stop ingredients from becoming lumpy.
- Antioxidants – prevent foods from oxidising, or going rancid.
- Artificial sweeteners – increase the sweetness.
- Emulsifiers – stop fats from clotting together.
- Food acids – maintain the right acid level.
- Colours – enhance or add colour.
- Humectants – keep foods moist.
- Flavours – add flavour.
- Flavour enhancers – increase the power of a flavour.
- Foaming agents – maintain uniform aeration of gases in foods.
- Mineral salts – enhance texture and flavour.
- Preservatives – stop microbes from multiplying and spoiling the food.
- Thickeners and vegetable gums – enhance texture and consistency.
- Stabilisers and firming agents – maintain even food dispersion.
- Flour treatment – improves baking quality.
- Glazing agent – improves appearance and can protect food.
- Gelling agents – alter the texture of foods through gel formation.
- Propellants – help propel food from a container.
- Raising agents – increase the volume of food through the use of gases.
- Bulking agents – increase the volume of food without major changes to its available energy.
Just a few of the symptoms that can occur as a reaction to food additives (scary):
Hyper-activity, digestive issues, asthma, eczema, itchy rash, poor behaviour, irritability, fatigue, depression, mood swings, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, acne, flu-like symptoms, excessive sweating, flushing, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, joint aches, weakness, numbness, palpitations…. the list goes ON and ON.
Anyway, I was so stoked to have been present for Tanya’s chat – I have clearly been inspired, and now I have a copy of her Additive-Free Shopping Guide (goes through all the additive-free products available at Coles, Woolworths and Aldi - over 800 of them – for all my Aussie readers who might be interested) in my hot little hands I am armed and ready to rid my household of any nasties I was unaware of.
On the subject of good, wholesome, additive free fare – here comes today’s recipe. Now this isn’t Anti-Candida friendly due to the sweetener, but I’m sure stevia (especially vanilla stevia liquid) would be a delicious substitution. There have been whispers that cashews aren’t the best for those trying to rid themselves of a Candida overgrowth either (cashews have a tendency to contain more mould than other nuts). The reason I made this was for a little “swapsie” – delicious vegan treats for a yoga book – good deal, good deal. Anyway, Viper was my taste tester, and he very much approved. This is not quite a nut-butter….not quite fudge – somewhere in between. A spreadable fudge shall we say.
Coconut Carob Cashew Fudge Spread
(Vegan, gluten/wheat/refined sugar/grain/soy free – HIGH RAW)
- 1 + 1/2C raw cashews (make sure you know your source and they are pesticide free)
- 2T carob powder (or cacao)
- 1/2t pure vanilla extract
- 2T coconut syrup (you can use any liquid sweetener here…. agave, rice syrup, maple….. feel free to increase the sweetness if you like)
- 1/2t sea salt
- 1/4C coconut oil
- Using a food processor, whizz cashews until they become a “butter” – this will take about 10-15 minutes of whizzing, depending on the power of your machine. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
- Once the cashews have made butter, then add all other ingredients and whizz to combine.
- Scoop into an air tight jar…. store in the cupboard so it remains nice and fudgey.
Spread on bread, crackers, fruit slices, use as a “frosting” – or just eat straight out of the jar. If you want a runnier texture (for topping some sort of delicious vegan ice cream, maybe?) simply warm up a little. Add a scoop to a smoothie for some rich, creamy, good-for-you decadence.
REAL food tastes good without the nasty additives, am I right?
Where are YOU at with knowing what is in your food?
**(All the opinions and thoughts in this post are mine, and mine alone. I was in no way compensated for writing this post, and I paid my own merry way to hearing Tanya’s talk. I just think she’s pretty awesome, and want to spread the additive-free love).
Home. Back to the Gold Coast and all it’s WARM, humid, sunshine-y glory.
This may be the weirdest most hideous thing I have ever made/eaten. Sometimes you just gotta have fuel, no matter how ugly. This was about 1/2 the size of a sheet of A4 paper, and weighed about 10 kgs. Gluten free density in all it’s glory. Made from buckwheat flakes, red lentils, coconut…. filled with a strange spirilina-spiked coconut oil filling… which turned out looking like a cross between squid ink and solid boogers. Or perhaps a snot sandwich? No, not attractive. It wasn’t bad tasting though – AND got me through 6 hours of wrangling the Misty in and around planes and airports…. because the likelihood of me finding something both vegan AND Anti Candida friendly in the vicinity would have been pretty much zero. A win for the ugly baked good, for sure.
From weird foods to Weezer. Nice transition, huh? Back to some Vegan MoFo Musicians. Brian Bell, the guitarist from Weezer is a dedicated vegan ….when you combine the love of animals, with an ability to create “user-friendly-easily-digestible-grunge-pop-tunes,” it’s got to be a good thing, right? We like Weezer a lot in our household, especially Viper, as the early 90s were his “hey-day” of youth, freedom and skating to the sounds of grunge/pop rock. Nirvana, Green Day, Sound Garden, The Pixies, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, the Beastie Boys, Jane’s Addiction, Rage Against the Machine, Cyprus Hill and Weezer made up his “thrash-list” as he navigated the streets on 4 tiny wheels, always attached by the head to a Sony Sports (walkman) or, as the decade progressed, a Discman.
Anyway, reminiscing in the musical sense aside, Weezer’s debut album – self titled, but known as the “Blue Album” due to the hue of it’s cover – is a fun listen. It appeals to the masses due to the abundance of catchy hooks and simply-structured pop rock tunes. ”Say it Ain’t so” is one of my favourite tracks, as it takes me right back to learning to play the guitar, and feeling so COOL that I could (sort of) play a popular song. I was cool by association of the song…. and the guitar….. and pretending to be in a rock band. Ah, sweet dumb teenagers. Viper likes the less “poppy” “The World has turned and Left me Here” – it’s a longer track, with a nice groove – and isn’t so predictable as the other tunes on the album. It’s a good song to check out in the vegan-celebratory sense, as the guitar hook and solos by Brian Bell are shredding.
I think I must have a thing for enjoying baked goods that resemble small window-less buildings. Home for less than a few hours, and I am already making more monstrosities. They ARE born out of necessity though, these ugly-eats… using up what’s on hand as there is not much food in the house. This was a kind of-sort of “brownie” made from black beans, buckwheat, brown rice protein, chia seeds and peanut butter. Only appropriate for my own taste buds/belly (actually, Misty LOVED this, and kept sneaking big bites from me – strange child). This one came complete with Boosty-hair garnish (can you spot it?) Good thing she’s cute – beastly hair shedding dog of mine.
Grey, horrible, wet, windy day.
Take out Mama Fridge for a birthday lunch at The Herb Centre. I used to come here years ago…. they always did a mean veggie soup which hit the spot on a bone-chilling cold Christchurch day. The scene looks a bit different these days, the Earthquakes sealed the fate of my old favourite foodie Hippie-store Pikos that used to reside next door.
Lunch outing are always a challenge with the crazy Misty wanting to run about and destroy anything within reach.
Thanks Goodness for Aunty Sez’s glorious (and distracting) tropical smoothie joy.
A pile ‘o Salads for me (and Misty) from the daily digs – really great selection and variety. Marinated radish… beetroot/carrot slaw…. quinoa, herbs & beans….steamed broccoli with sesame seeds…mixed greens. Delicious herby-olive-oily dressing for a bit of zing. Misty ate the brown rice, pomegranate seed, apple, raisin and ginger salad (a Sad Lou can’t have the fruit) and I hoovered the rest.
Mama Fridge enjoyed her Indian Spiced Lentil Patty with Raita and salads like mine…. the pattie was thick, hearty and sweet from the roast pumpkin it contained. A little zing from the strained yoghurt/lemon raita was relished.
Lovely, friendly staff who didn’t think I was a crazy woman for wanting to take photos. Although we did NOT sample the desserts, they definitely looked GOOD. Daily soups, pies, frittatas, wraps and the likes adorned the cabinet – all looking vibrant, healthy and appealing (which always helps, no?) Good portion sizes, filling meals, good value for money – approve? Yes, yes I do.
Stoked with my new utensil for dry-skin-brushing… purchased from the attached herbal dispensary that was loaded with all sorts of natural health type goodies. This brush was about half the price of what I have seen them advertised for anywhere else (in Australia). Win.