Almond Cacao Pear Delish – Meatless Monday

Which is better for you: Cacao or cocoa powder?

Cocoa powder is roasted which changes the molecular structure and reduces the enzyme content.

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Almond Cacao Pear Delish

GF. DF. EG. Vegan and Vegetarian


Beet and Lemon Layer

  • 2 cups plant milk
  • 2 Tablespoons agar agar flakes( 1 T. = ½ t powder)
  • few tablespoons of beet juice for colour*
  • 1/4 cup kudzu powder or chia
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or coconut syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • grated zest of ½ lemon
  • chopped toasted almonds or coconut for garnish
  • Mint leaves (optional)

Pear Chia Seed Layer

  • 2 cups juice
  • 2 tablespoons agar agar flakes
  • 1 cup chopped pears
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons maple, rice or coconut syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pomegranate (optional)

Chocolate Topping (optional)

  • ¼ cup raw, creamy almond or sesame butter
  • 1/3- ½  cup organic medjool dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 ripe banana or 1/2 avocado
1 tablespoon pure coconut oil (can be solid)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch pink Himalayan sea salt or miso
  • 1/8 cup water (add in stages to get desired consistency)

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Beet and Lemon Layer

1. Place the milk in a saucepan. Add the agar agar flakes and bring to the boil. Lower heat and cook till the agar dissolves.

2. Chop up a beetroot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain and reserve beets for another dish.

3. In a small bowl add a few tablespoons of milk. Then mix the kudzu or chia seeds in. Add the sweetener, vanilla beetroot juice and lemon zest.

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4. Stir the agar mixture into the chia seed and keep stirring so that the seeds don’t clump.

5. If using kudzu instead of the chia seeds, stir into agar mixture and bring to the boil.  Remove from heat and set into a mould.

Pear Chia Seed Layer

1. Chop fruit.

2. Combine juice and agar agar in saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook till agar dissolves.

3. Add the pears and simmer for a few minutes. Turn off and add the sweetener and the vanilla (if using chia seeds for this layer add here).

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4. Set on top of the first mixture when the first mixture has ALMOST set at room temperature or refrigerate for a quicker set.

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5.  Cut and decorate with coconut, pomegranate, almonds, etc. *  Spoon beetroot juice around on the plate for decoration.

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Chocolate Topping (optional)

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1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or suribachi and process until smooth adding more liquid till desired consistency is reached.

2. Serve under or with dessert.


Photography ©Paula Kimberley

Vegan Rice and Quinoa Pilaf – Meatless Monday

Move over, Kale. Take a backseat, Brussels sprouts. Enter Quinoa!

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Above: Rice and Quinoa Pilaf with Shiitake, Bean, Kale and Snow Pea dish.

Vegan Rice and Quinoa Pilaf

GF. DF, EF , Vegan, Vegetarian


    • ½ cup brown rice
    • ½ cup white or red quinoa
    • 1-2 teaspoon olive or coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • pepper to taste
    • 2 ¼-1/2 cups boiling stock or bone broth
    • ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt to taste or miso
    • ½ cup re-activated almonds, coarsely chopped
    • ½ cup goji berries (soaked)
    • 2 Tablespoon coriander, finely chopped
    • 2 shallots finely chopped

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1. Roast Rice.

2. Heat oil add the spices and cook 1-2 minutes, then add the boiling stock or broth, grains, salt.  Stir and bring to the boil.

3. Lower heat, cover and cook 30 minutes or bake in a preheated 175C oven until fluffy and all broth has bee absorbed.  Mix together.  

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4. Prepare the almonds, coriander, Goji berries and shallots.  Stir into pilaf just before serving.  Serve with Last weeks recipe Shiitake, Kale, bean and snow pea dish.

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Photography ©Paula Kimberley

Shiitake, Kale, Bean and Snow Peas – Meatless Monday

Which vegan food aids weight loss, supports cardiovascular health, fights cancer cells, improves energy levels and brain function, reduces inflammation, and supports the immune system?


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Shiitake, Kale, Bean and Snow Peas

GF, DF, EF, Vegetarian, Vegan


    • 6 tablespoons olive or unroasted sesame oil
    • 225 gr. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps thinly sliced
    • 2 shallots, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 250 gr. snow peas
    • ½ can white beans (drain liquid and save for soup )
    • 2 cups chopped kale or seasonal vegetable
    • 1/2 cup vegetable  stock
    • tamari to taste
    • pepper to taste
    • almonds to garnish

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1. Heat skillet, add 2 tablespoons oil. Add shiitake mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to medium bowl.

2. Add another 2 tablespoons oil in same skillet. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes.

3. Add snow peas and toss to coat.  Pour broth over mixture. Cover and simmer until liquid evaporates and snow peas are crisp-tender, about 4- 5 minutes.

4. Add remaining 2 Tablespoons oil, and sauté the kale for a few minutes.

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5. Then combine with the snow peas and shiitake mushrooms

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6. Season to taste with tamari and pepper. Transfer to platter and serve warm.

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Photography ©Paula Kimberley

Tony’s Vegan Shepherd’s Pie – Meatless Monday

Our latest Meatless Monday recipe is a Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with a beautiful, crisp mash potato topping.

High in vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B6 and niacin (vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid) potatoes are also rich in minerals, including iron, copper, manganese and tryptophan. In fact, potatoes contain all twenty-one amino acids, which are the building blocks of a complete protein.

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Tony’s Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

GF, DF, EF, Vegan and Vegetarian


3 cups chopped white or sweet potato (skin on)

¼ cup ginger

2 Tablespoons garlic

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped beetroot

2- 3 cups chopped cauliflower

1 cup chopped carrots

Sea or Himalayan salt to taste

miso or tamari to taste

2 cups plant milk (almond, rice, etc.)

3 tablespoon arrowroot, rice or tapioca flour

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1. Preheat the oven to 175 C/ 350°F.

2. Place the potatoes in a large pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove the pot from the heat and drain off all but 2⁄3 cup of the cooking water. Use a masher to mash the potatoes well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover and set aside.

3. Heat skillet, add the oil and sauté the vegetables. Lower heat cover and cook till tender, stirring occasionally.

4. Add1-2 tablespoons water or stock at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Cook until almost tender.

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5. Meanwhile, combine the arrowroot, rice* or tapioca flour with the plant milk in a medium bowl, and whisk until well blended. Add the mixture to the vegetables and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with tamari and pepper to taste. 

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6. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a baking dish or casserole dish. Spoon the mashed potatoes over the top.

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7. Bake until lightly browned and set, about 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with the chopped shallots, if desired, and serve hot.

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* To increase the flavour of rice flour, toast it in a dry skillet moving it around till it smells nutty. Then add the plant milk and whisk quickly. Season with tamari, salt and pepper to taste and mix into vegetables.

Spicy Ginger Coconut Rice – Meatless Monday

The recipe I’m sharing with you this week is for my delicious Spicy Ginger Coconut Rice with Spinach, Lime and Tofu Sauce. Most frequently used to aid digestion, ginger is believed to increase saliva and other digestive fluids.

Reserve any extra sauce for pasta or use as a topping for a baked dish.

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Spicy Ginger Coconut Rice

GF, DF, vegan, vegetarian

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon sea or Himalayan salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced or gratedn ginger
  • Juice and zest from 1 lime
  • Pomegranate seeds

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Spinach Lime and Tofu Sauce

GF, DF, vegan, vegetarian

  • 1 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 65 grams fresh spinach leaves
  • 85 grams silken tofu
  • 3-4 Tablespoons olive or coconut oil
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons lime or lemon juice (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons tamari soy sauce
  • pepper to taste

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1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the rice, water, salt, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil over high heat.

2. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or until fluffy and all the liquid is absorbed.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and sauté onions until translucent and tender; do not burn. Remove from heat.

4. When rice is finished cooking, add ginger, sautéed onions lemon or lime zest, and lemon or  lime juice, stir to combine.

To Make Sauce

1. Drop tofu into boiling water and simmer 5 minutes. Drain and press out excess water.

2. Put the spinach in a saucepan and cook till wilted. Drain and squeeze out excess water.

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3. Blend tofu, spinach, and shallots. Add lemon juice, tamari and drip in oil till creamy and smooth. Add pepper and taste.

4 Fold a few tablespoons of the sauce into the rice and mould to serve. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

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Japanese Alka-Seltzer! Quick Pickles – Meatless Monday

Umeboshi are sometimes called the “Japanese Alka-Seltzer” because they are used in treating digestive upsets like constipation, diarrhoea, bad breath, motion sickness, morning sickness and lack of appetite. They’re also excellent at treating hangovers due to their ability to relieve symptoms of dizziness, nausea and fatigue, and because they’re so highly alkalising.

Umeboshi are a salty and sour plum from Japan that have been used for centuries to treat a wide variety of health complaints and are highly alkaline and antibiotic. In fact, in the 1950s, Dr Kyo Sato, a Japanese doctor, isolated a highly antibiotic extract from the humble plum, which could destroy dysentery (staphylococcus) germs. They are useful in inflammatory stomach conditions like ulcers too, but aren’t aggravating. Umeboshi contain high amounts of citric acid, making them beneficial in fatigue as the sour plums help to break down and excrete excess lactic acid, which may build up from eating too many acidic foods like sugar, refined dairy, refined wheat and other grains, alcohol, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Talking about how to make Umeboshi Pickles at our Plant Based workshop.

Above: Talking about how to make Umeboshi Pickles at our Plant Based workshop.

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Quick Pickles

Plant based, Vegan, Vegetarian


½ cup umeboshi vinegar
1-tablespoon mirin
¼ cup water
Red, white cabbage
½ cup sliced onion
2.5 cm. pieces thinly sliced ginger
½ cup toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

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1. Mix ingredients for the pickling brine together.

2. Cut the vegetables and mix with the brine in a bowl or pickle press.

3. Cover with a flat plate that fits inside the bowl and put a heavy weight on top or use a Japanese pickle press. (See photo)

4. Can be kept for 7-10 days in the fridge or a cool room. Ready in a few hours. Serve a small amount (about 1 tablespoon) with each meal to alkaline your blood, boost your immune system and seed your gut!

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Blue Mountains Autumn Tofu And Vegetable Balls – Meatless Mondays

This past weekend I had the delightful experience of teaching a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) food energetic cooking workshop in the Blue Mountains on a beautiful dry, warm sunny day. As we looked at the beautiful colours and setting sun. we ate lots of vegetarian and vegan dishes together.

One of the dishes that we enjoyed was Autumn Steamed Tofu and Vegetable Balls, an excellent vegetarian protein dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner, which can moisten our lungs.

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Plant Based Pizza with a Difference! – Meatless Monday

By the end of the week I sometimes find my vegetable bins sightly too full of sad looking vegetables and although they look a bit wilted I don’t want to throw them away. I thought I would share with you one of the ways I recycle them into something pleasing and delicious: my plant based pizza with a difference!

This week’s leftovers included: 1 beetroot, ¼ of a pumpkin, 2 sweet potatoes, ½ of the broccoli, some garlic, an opened jar of my Italian go to Tapenade, ½ of a tomato some leftover cashew nuts and of course my staples of miso, salt and pepper.

Note: I cooked all the vegetables the night before while I was cooking dinner. Then put them in the fridge overnight.

Plant Based Pizza

Plant Based Pizza with a difference!

Vegan, Vegetarian, EF, DF


Pizza base

2-3 cups thinly sliced pumpkin and or sweet potato mix

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 cups sliced broccoli

1 cup thinly sliced beetroot

2-3 cups thinly sliced cabbage

Few tablespoons Tapenade (Italian vegetables and olive oil mix)

½ tomato

2 cups raw cashews

8 cups boiling water

¼ cup hot water (as needed)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Lemon juice to taste

Miso to taste

Plant Based Pizza


1. Soak cashews with 5-6 cups boiling water in large bowl. Cover with clean kitchen towel, and let stand 2-3 hours or longer.

2. Cut up all the vegetables Steam the broccoli for 4-5 minutes or until bright green.

3. Sauté the beetroot, cover and cook till tender.

4. Sauté the garlic for a few minutes to flavour the oil. Then add the pumpkin and/ or sweet potato a little water, cover and cook till tender.

5. Sauté the cabbage till slightly tender. Season with salt and pepper

6. Meanwhile drain cashews, then blend or process with 1/3 to 1/2 cup hot water until smooth and thick, like sour cream.

7. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again till almost creamy or until desired consistency is reached. This can be prepared 3-4 days in advance. Delicious as a dip or spread on bread, cover for baked vegetables or salad dressing.

Putting it all together

I used a prepared Organic pizza base that is made with spelt flour. I found gluten free options too, at the local Saturday market, courtesy of Matty’s Healthy Pizza Bases.

1. Pre heat the oven to 230 C.

2. Lay the pizza base on a pizza brick or metal pie base without sides.

3. Spread the pumpkin/sweet potato and garlic layer on.

4. Then top with cabbage and beetroot, broccoli and sprinkle some Tapenade around the whole pizza

Plant Based Pizza

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5. Spread the cashew cream over the whole pizza, chop up some tomatoes if you have one and sprinkle with Olive oil.

Plant Based Pizza

6. Bake 7-10 minutes. Serve hot.

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Almond Crusted Sweet Potato and Apple Pie – Meatless Monday

Want to know the secret to a long life? Eat plenty of carotenoids! Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are filled with these healthy organic pigments.

Get started with this recipe for a sweet potato treat.

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Almond Crusted Sweet Potato and Apple Pie





  • 3 cups fresh cooked sweet potato or pumpkin
  • 1 cup cooked apple
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 2 -3 tablespoons rice syrup
  • 2 eggs (700 gr.)
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger or cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • pinch of sea or Himalayan salt or miso


  • 1 ¾-2 cups almond meal (ground from activated almonds with skin on)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup rice syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Coconut Whipped Cream
  • 11 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • toasted coconut
  • Goji berries

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1. Measure out the nuts and blend them to a fine powder.(almost a nut butter)

2. Add the oil, rice syrup, vanilla and slowly add the coconut flour until it forms into a more solid consistency.

3. If it is too soft add a little more coconut flour 1 teaspoon at a time until it becomes solid enough to press into a pie pan.

4. Oil pie dish, and press the dough down with your fingers.

5. Heat over to 175 C (350 F) and pre bake pie crust for 10 minutes.

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1. Peel and steam sweet potato or pumpkin and apple together. (save peels of sweet potato, toss with olive oil and salt and bake).

2. In a food processor puree the sweet potato and apple, coconut cream, rice syrup, eggs, spices and salt or miso.  Taste and adjust if necessary.

3. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake another 30-40 minutes or until slightly firm.

*If the crust is getting too dark cover the pie with a piece of foil or other oven safe method and continue to bake until it is set.

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1. Put a mixing bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill.

2. Turn the can of coconut milk upside down and open it from the bottom. Scoop the top layer of white, fatty goodness into a mixing bowl (save the coconut water for a hot day).

3. Blend the chunks of coconut milk with a hand mixer on high speed for 15-20 seconds, just until the mixture turns softer. Add the sweetener (amount depends on how sweet you like it) and mix until combined. Add the vanilla extract and blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes, until light and creamy.

4. Spoon the coconut cream on top of the pie, sprinkle with the toasted coconut and Goji Berries. I had some beetroot juice which I sprinkle on top to add more colour and intrigue to the pie.

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Fermented Summer Vegetables – Meatless Monday

One of the best things you can do to enhance and improve gut flora is to regularly eat foods that contain a lot of friendly probiotic bacteria; fermented foods are particularly good. With winter just around the corner it’s the perfect time to grab those organic, late summer vegetables and ferment them before they disappear!

My Tomato, Onion and Corn Salsa is pantry staple that works as a perfect side dish for your winter burgers. You can also use it as a flavour enhancer for soup, a condiment for sandwiches, a great topping for cooked salad and more!

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Tomato, Onion and Corn Salsa





4 medium organic tomatoes, diced

1 ear organic corn

2 small organic onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped organic chilli pepper, hot or mild

6-8 cloves organic garlic, peeled and finely chopped 

1 bunch organic coriander, chopped

1 teaspoon organic dried oregano or cumin

2 organic lemons, juiced

1-2 tablespoons sea or Himalayan salt

1/4 cup filtered water if necessary



1. Mix all ingredients together and place in a liter-sized  jar. Press down lightly with your hands or a wooden pounder; adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. The top of the vegetables should be at least 2.5 cm  below the top of the jar and covered with fluid.

2. Cover with a lid, but don’t screw it on too tightly. Keep at room temperature for about 2-3 days. When it starts to bubble, remove the lid and taste. If it is sour enough for your taste, put the lid back on and refrigerate. Keeps for months !

3. One of the ways I like to serve this ferment is to mix a small amount with black beans, potatoes and corn chips. It not only tastes delicious but helps to digest the food.

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