April 13, 2015

Chris' Dips New Down 2 Earth Range

There are three things we love in life… receiving new vegan products, eating vegan deliciousness and sharing exciting new vegan items. So, this post is very exciting for us. What a life we have! We are very happy veggie beans when our bellies are filled with Chris’ Dips new Down 2 Earth range. Yum yum!

Now, we don’t do too many product-related posts or reviews, as there aren’t many items we are overly thrilled about. However, we could not say no to Chris’ Dips after our taste-test… OH MY GOSH! These are seriously amazing. They don’t taste like your average dip or hommus... plus, they have beautiful rich flavours without the whole bag-load of sugar and saturated fat.

So, here are the amazing varieties:
  • Mexican Style Bean & Corn Salsa (my favourite… get in my mouth!)
  • Spiced Roasted Carrot & Turmeric
  • Sweet Potato & Harissa Hommus
  • Japanese Style Eggplant & Miso

Now, I know the classic and best way to devour a stack of dips is to use a box of crackers, toasted tortillas etc… But I really want to show you a few other ways to incorporate healthy dips in to your life. These are ideas Jerome and I use regularly at home (see photo at top of page):
  • Spreading dips on wraps. I love this idea. It makes your salad wrap even more delicious and exciting and it is really easy to change up the flavours. This is great for school or work lunches or just when you need a quick meal at home. We used the Spiced Roasted Carrot & Turmeric dip for this.
  • Nachos. Ok, this is so crazily delicious and easy. The Mexican Style Bean & Corn Salsa dip is my absolutely most favourite dip I have EVER tasted. It seriously tastes like a Mexican restaurant in a beautifully packaged container. When Jerome and I cook dinner for Mexican Monday, we love to pour this dip over a bowl of natural corn chips, top it with sautéed veggies, olives, guacamole and coriander and voila! The easiest Mexican dish ever!
  • The Sweet Potato & Harissa Hommus goes amazingly well with falafel. This is one of my ultimate snacks. I love to dip falafel in slightly spicy dips. Such a filling, healthy and decadent snack. Another amazing idea for your lunchbox!
  • The good old crudités. You can’t have dip without a fresh tray of chopped veggies. The Japanese Style Eggplant & Miso has a very interesting flavour which is complimented well with the fresh crisp veggie sticks. Yum yum!

Already love Chris’ dips? Keep up to date with the deliciousness on their website, Facebook and Instagram page.

February 2, 2015

Is Being Vegan Expensive?

I am frequently asked, "Is being vegan expensive?". Short answer, "No way!". Vegans eat a relatively affordable lifestyle consisting of lots of fruit and veggies, beans, seeds, nuts, grains, wholefoods etc... You can purchase all of these staples at your local supermarket. Think about how expensive meat is! Now replace this with tofu and beans for example... it will be much cheaper! Just think, most people will buy a range of vegan food. I am sure that you will see the average non-vegan person throwing some rice, pasta, fruit and veggies in their trolley. What is the difference? You just won't be adding meat, dairy or eggs to your trolley... some of the most expensive products ever! Also, the great thing about our eating habits is that it is so nourishing, satisfying and amazing for your body so one grocery visit should last you quite a while! Oh and don't forget, just because you are vegan doesn't mean you now have to eat your weight in organic, sun-dried, picked at sunset by a virgin, bag of activated, spirulina covered chia seeds. Have a look below for some tips on keeping your vegan grocery list to a minimum:

  • Shop at your local supermarket as prices will be a lot more affordable compared to a specialised healthfood store... especially for your organic groceries!
  • Check out any local fruit and veggie markets or stores that may sell cheaper fresh produce.
  • Buy in bulk!
  • One bag of beans, lentils etc... will yield a few meals! Cheap as!
  • Check out your discount grocery stores such as Aldi. They sell really cheap nuts and seeds!
  • Don't go crazy on the mock-meats and faux-cheeses... they are so expensive and aren't too healthy. But by all means, have them as a treat once in a while if you feel like it!
  • Try making your own veggie burgers and marinating your own tofu. This will save you loads of money!
  • Grow your own herbs! I cannot stress this enough. I hate buying those tiny bunches of herbs from the supermarket which only have about 5 usable leaves. Grow your own and go crazy with the herbs!
  • Check out our vegan grocery lists. There are so many things you wouldn't know are vegan... and cheap too!
  • I find that Indian and Mexican are the cheapest cuisines to make... and the yummiest!
  • You don't have to splurge on recipes that use a billion raw organic cashews and your weight in unrefined, pressed at sunset, jar of coconut oil if you cannot afford it.
  • There are so many websites for vegan recipes on a budget! 
  • Plan your recipes for the week out. This way you can cook on a budget.
  • Plan your recipes out and use recipes that call for similar ingredients.
  • Check out your grocery shop brochures to see which fruit and veggies are cheap this week... then stock up, make a big pot of soup and freeze it!

Just think, eating well is the best thing for your health and will save you on lots of medical costs later on in life! 

Feel free to share your tips below :)

January 29, 2015

Vegan Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cheesecake Slice Recipe

This is my favourite cheesecake ever. I know that I am on a vegan no-bake cheesecake binge at the moment but this one is the BEST!

This recipe is a trustworthy medical cure for the following:
  • break-ups
  • I-want-to-stay-in-my-pjs-all-day type of days
  • sweet cravings
  • midnight munchies
  • those days where you just need to stuff your face with chocolate

When I create a recipe, I already have an idea in mind of how I want it to taste, how easy I want it to be, what I want others reactions to be when they eat it, what I want it to look like and how easily it can be stored/saved. I really wanted to ensure that this chocolate cheesecake slice would tick a few boxes... and oh my gosh it did! I wanted it to be:
  1. Be amazingly delicious. tick!
  2. Be incredibly easy to make. tick!
  3. Have lots of crazily mouth-watering layers. tick!
  4. Look impressive. tick!
  5. Taste incredibly decadent. tick!
  6. No-bake. tick!
  7. Melt in your mouth chocolatey goodness. tick!
  8. Creamy, dreamy cheesecakey layer. tick!
  9. Be devoured in one sitting by my family. tick!
  10. Store in the freezer for a few weeks. tick!

If I could post you a piece in the mail, I would. Enjoy!

serves 20

Base Layer:
   3/4 cup dried dates
   2 tablespoons peanut butter
   1 cup oats
   2 tablespoons cocoa
   1 tablespoon maple syrup
   1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake Layer:
   3 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
   3/4 cup maple syrup
   1 cup refined coconut oil
   3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
   2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate Layer:
   1/4 cup refined coconut oil
   1/4 cup cocoa
   1/4 cup maple syrup

Peanut Drizzle Layer:
   2 tablespoons peanut butter, melted

  1. Make the base layer: Add all base ingredients to a processor and blend until combined. Push evenly into a 20cm diameter square cake tin. Place in the freezer.
  2. Make the cheesecake layer: Add all cheesecake layer ingredients to a processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour over the base in the cake tin. Place back in the freezer for 3 hours or so until hardened.
  3. Make the chocolate layer: In the meantime, whisk all chocolate layer ingredients together until smooth. If there are lumps, heat the mixture and stir until the lumps have dissolved. Pour the chocolate layer evenly over the cheesecake layer and place back in the freezer.
  4. Make the peanut drizzle layer: Melt the peanut butter. Pour into a piping bag or just use a spoon to drizzle over the chocolate layer. Place back in the freezer until set.
  5. When you are ready to devour the deliciousness, remove from the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour until it has softened. I wish I could I come over and eat some! Enjoy.

The nutrition information above is an approximate guideline.

January 25, 2015

Vegan Birthday Sponge Cake Recipe


I really didn't know what to call it. I was so excited that I made a list with a few options:
  1. Vegan Birthday Sponge Cake
  2. Vegan TRIFLE Cake (It seriously tastes like a trifle)
  3. Vegan Victorian Sponge Cake
  4. Vegan Strawberries and Custard Cream Cake
  5. The Best Damn Cake In The Whole World
If you follow us regularly, you would know that I always guarantee that you will love our recipe and urge you to make it. However, I really really really mean this now. This cake is the epitome of delicious cakey amazing goodness. It is:
  • fluffy? tick!
  • decadent? tick!
  • sponge-cakey? tick!
  • creamy? tick!
  • sweet but not too sweet? tick!
  • easy? tick!

This recipe truly ticks every box. I think it is perfect for a birthday cake. Try it and thank me later!

serves 12

   1 cup caster sugar
   1/2 cup margarine
   1 teaspoon vanilla extract
   2 cups self-raising flour
   1 cup plant milk (such as Soy Milky Lite)
   1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Custard cream:
   2 cups plant milk (such as Soy Milky Lite)
   4 tablespoons corn flour
   6 tablespoons caster sugar
   2 teaspoons vanilla extract
   2 tablespoons margarine

   icing sugar, to dust
   fresh strawberries, sliced
   strawberry jam

These are Australian measurements, so 1 cup = 250ml and 1 tablespoon = 20ml.

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and spray a 20cm diameter spring form tin with oil (I use spray coconut oil).
  2. Make the cake: In a large bowl, beat the caster sugar, margarine and vanilla until creamy. Add all other 'cake' ingredients and beat until smooth.
  3. Pour the cake mixture into the tin and place in the oven.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or so until lightly brown on top, risen and a skewer comes out clean when poked in the centre. If you have a hot-ass oven like mine, you may need to lower the temperature half way through to avoid the top burning.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool. Remove from the tin.
  6. In the meantime, make the custard cream. Mix the corn flour with a dash of plant milk first until the lumps have dissolved. Add this and the rest of the 'custard cream' ingredients to a pot on medium heat and whisk until combined. Bring to the boil and then take off the heat and allow to cool. Set aside.
  7. Once the cake has cooled, carefully cut it in half.
  8. Lightly spread some strawberry jam on the bottom half.
  9. Pour the custard over the strawberry jam and spread evenly.
  10. Cover the custard with sliced fresh strawberries.
  11. Place the top of the cake back on.
  12. Dust with icing sugar.
  13. DEVOUR!