BREAKING NEWS: PLANTS HAVE PROTEIN!

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If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me “but, where do you get your protein”, I would be writing this blog post whilst gently swinging in a hammock, sipping an ice cold non-alcoholic Sangria on a beautiful and secluded island! Oh no, I’ve just reminded myself of the equally frustrating “if you were on a desert island” question! Ha ha!

island

Let’s not bore ourselves with the science, vegan or non-vegan, I think we can all agree that protein is an essential nutrient and, is extremely important to our health.

What I’d like to share with you, is that I have been vegan for a little over three years now and I am thriving on plant based proteins.

When I became vegan, I kept asking myself “why did I ever think it was okay to eat animals” and, after much internal debate, I realised that almost as soon as we’re born we become victims of inherited thinking.

As a result of inherited thinking, the majority of us are led to believe that consuming animals and their by-products is our only option when it comes to dietary protein. This is misinformation and, more importantly, this lie is literally killing us because, whilst meat is a source of protein, it’s laced and laden with nasties.

DID YOU KNOW: the two main nutrients derived from meat are protein and fat? The human body needs vitamins and minerals to digest protein and, their scarcity in meat is what causes most people feel sluggish after a meat based/loaded meal. I can recall always having to pop the top bottom on my pants after eating a steak!

Also, meat is acidic and this is weakening our immune defences. I don’t want to jinx myself but, I haven’t suffered from a common cold, or caught any of the “bugs” that have wiped out my work colleagues, since committing to veganism a little over three years ago. This, I’m sure, is as a result of my body becoming plant powered.

Furthermore, as mentioned above, the factory farmed meat that humans consume today is laced and laden with nasties such as antibiotics, hormones, mercury (in fish), pesticides and synthetic preservatives. It is also extremely high in artery clogging saturated fat.

Contrary to common belief, not all vegans are pale, sickly and thin, in fact, none of the vegans I am connected with fit this stereotype, least of all me (damn you vegan cupcakes)! Ha ha!

If you still need convincing, there’s an abundance of well-known athletes who are thriving on plant based protein, David Carter (NFL footballer), Nate Diaz (UFC fighter), Torre Washington (bodybuilder), Patrik Baboumian (strongman), Venus Williams (tennis player), Tia Blanco (surfer), Peter Siddle (cricketer) and Tim Shieff (free runner) are just a handful.

It’s also worth mentioning that some of the strongest animals in the world are plant powered, elephants, gorillas, hippos and rhinoceros all derive their protein from plants.

If you’re unsure how much dietary protein you should be consuming on a daily basis, this protein calculator, by The Healthy Chef, will provide you with an estimate based on your gender, weight and exercise regime.

So, without further ado, my answer to this often asked question is, I get my protein from eating a variety of delicious and healthy plant-based protein sources including, but certainly not limited to:

Food Source Protein Per 100g Daily Value %
Almonds 21g 42%
Black Beans 21g 42%
Brazil Nut 14g 28%
Broccoli 2.8g 5%
Buckwheat (cooked) 6g 12%
Cacao 20g 40%
Chia Seeds 17g 34%
Chickpeas 19g 38%
Edamame (cooked) 11g 22%
Flax Seeds 18g 36%
Green Peas 5g 10%
Kale 4.3g 8%
Lentils (cooked) 18g 36%
Millet (cooked) 6g 12%
Nutritional Yeast 40g 80%
Oats 17g 34%
Peanut Butter 25g 50%
Pistachios 20g 40%
Pumpkin Seeds 19g 38%
Quinoa (cooked) 8g 16%
Spinach 2.9g 5%
Spirulina 57g 114%
Tahini 17g 34%
Tofu 8g 16%
Tempeh 19g 38%

Finally, whilst I am not a medical or nutritional expert, I am thriving on plant based protein, I am living proof that meat is not oxygen!

I have included some sources, however, what I’d really like to encourage, is for people to do some of their own research … leave no stone unturned … I think you’ll be surprised by what you discover.

http://livablefutureblog.com/2010/12/new-fda-numbers-reveal-food-animals-consume-lion%E2%80%99s-share-of-antibiotics

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/08/08/know-10-additives-commonly-found-meat/

http://preventdisease.com/news/12/031112_Decayed-Meat-Is-Treated-With-Carbon-Monoxide-To-Make-It-Look-Fresh-At-The-Grocery.shtml

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/insight/carbon-monoxide

http://nsrl.illinois.edu/content/benefits-soy

 

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CHOCOLATE CHIA PUDDING WITH BANANA AND DATE CARAMEL SAUCE

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OH MY GOSH! My chocolate chia pudding with banana and date caramel sauce is sooooo scrumptious. Personally, I love to serve this as a dessert but, it could easily be devoured at breakfast time, especially if you like to satisfy your sweet tooth first thing in the morning but, ultimately, it’s delicious any time of the day!

Ingredients:

Chocolate Chia Pudding:

1 and 1/2 cups of oat milk
1/4 cup of cacao powder
1/3 cup of chia seeds
2 tbsp. of maple syrup
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon

Date Caramel Sauce:

1/2 cup of dates (soaked – note: I recommend 15-30 minutes in hot water)
2-4 tbsp. of date soak water
1/4 cup of cashews (soaked – note: I recommend a minimum of 2 hours)
2 tbsp. of maple syrup
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. of Himalayan pink salt

Decorations/Toppings:

1-2 bananas (sliced)
a handful of pecans (roughly chopped)
a handful of cacao nibs

Directions:

Step 1: combine all of the chocolate chia pudding ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, whisk to combine then transfer to the fridge and let rest for 6-8 hours (note: I usually prepare my chocolate chia pudding in the morning so it has plenty of time to rest for dessert)

Step 2: place all of the date caramel sauce in a blender (note: I use a Nutri Bullet) and “whizz” together until a smooth consistency is achieved, transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until required

Step 3: I recommend layering as follows, 4 tbsp. of chocolate chia pudding, a layer of sliced bananas, 2 tbsp. of date caramel sauce, repeat, top with pecans and cacao nibs then serve immediately

 

MY TOP 15 INSPIRATIONAL INSTAGRAM PROFILES

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Firstly, if  you love vegan food, rescue bunnies, rescue cats, rescue chooks and cruelty-free crochet, make sure you “follow” @veggieyumyums on Instagram!

I’ve created this blog post in order to share my top 15 inspirational Instagram profiles with you. I hope you love them as much as I do.

Finally, please be encouraged to comment with your own Instagram recommendations as I’m always looking for exciting new profiles to follow.

No.1

@barefoot_vegan_sanctuary

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Emma, Christian and Hatchi are beautiful tree-hugging vegans on the most exciting adventure to turn their 14 acres (6 hectares) in the South-West of France, hidden away in the Pyrenees mountains, into a sanctuary for rescued animals whilst living off delicious veganic (vegan + organic = veganic) produce. Via Instagram you can “follow” them on their journey and, keep your eyes peeled for exciting volunteering opportunities.

Also, if you’d like to support their vision, you can subscribe to Barefoot Vegan Magazine which is the official publication of the sanctuary, promoting all aspects of veganism. ALL profits go towards the sanctuary.

http://www.barefootvegan.com/

No.2

@tamarakenneallyphotography

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Tamara is an animal photographer and, whilst I know she’ll blush and roll her eyes when I say this, one of my heroes. Tamara photographs farmed animals in an attempt to get the viewer to connect and feel something for them. Tamara also runs Lefty’s Place, a small animal refuge in Victoria, Australia. ALL funds from Tamara’s work go towards the care of the animals at Lefty’s Place and, also, to the ongoing rescue and rehabilitation of other farmed animals.

www.tamarakenneallyphotography.com

No.3

@bobbybobbobhen

BBB

Bobby Bob Bob (aka BBB) is a resident of Lefty’s Place, a small animal refuge in Victoria, Australia. BBB was rescued from a battery cage and, it quickly became apparent that she had a multitude of injuries, including a crushed vertebrae. BBB’S human, Tamara (see above) often refers to BBB as her shadow. BBB is an absolute character. Via Instagram you can “follow” her antics and her hilarious thoughts on the other animals!

No.4

@saltsandandsmoothies

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Amelia of Salt Sand and Smoothies resides in O’ahu, Hawaii, and has an infectious zest for life. I feel the Aloha spirit, of friendly acceptance and love, in all her posts.

www.saltsandandsmoothies.com

No.5

@reganthevegan

REGAN

I discovered this very punny guy when his YouTube video “WHY I WENT VEGAN” went viral. I really like how he uses humour to promote veganism.

Regan was, up until recently, living the van life but, currently, he doesn’t avocado! Ha ha!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH “WHY I WENT VEGAN” – A VERY PUNNY VIDEO

No.6

@foodbeveridge

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At Food and Beveridge (also known as FAB), Penelope (an Integrated Holistic Health Coach) and her husband Sean (a Natural Foods Chef) share FAB recipes, FAB nutritional advice and FAB inspiration and, some super cute pics of their furbaby Jacques.

www.foodandbeveridge.com

No.7

@elephantasticvegan

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Bianca of Elephantastic Vegan is one of my favourite vegan food bloggers so, naturally, I had to include her Instagram profile.

www.elephantasticvegan.com

No.8

@trinityskitchen

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Trinity of Trinity’s Conscious Kitchen has over 20 years of veganism under her belt and her passion really shines through into the food she creates. I also love the gardening tips Trinity shares.

www.trinityskitchen.com

No.9

@sixvegansisters

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As the name suggests, these six sister, Molly, Emily, Carrie, Mary-Kate, Hannah and Shannon, inspired by their mother, all love to create vegan deliciousness and the food they share via Instagram is droolworthy.

www.sixvegansisters.com

No.10

@wolfgang2242

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Following the death of his beloved miniature pinscher, Wolfgang, Steve felt like he’d reached an important crossroads, Ultimately, he decided to pay tribute to Wolfgang by dedicating his life to rescuing senior animals. He’s currently caring for 8 dogs, 2 cats, 2 ducks, a miniature pot-bellied pig, a rabbit and chickens!

No.11

@createandeat

create

WOW, I am bedazzled every time a new creation appears in my Instagram feed.

No.12

@treeselovehappiness

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I couldn’t go past mentioning Theresa’s beautiful profile, not only is it crammed full of vegan deliciousness but, her food photography is AMAZING!

www.treeselovehappiness.com

No.13

@itdoesnttastelikechicken

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I love how Sam’s bubbly personality shines through into her vegan creations. I can’t wait for the release of her first cookbook in 2017.

www.itdoesnttastelikechicken.com

No.14

@lazycatkitchen

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Ania resides on the Greek Island of Paros (the lucky little thing) and her vegan food is as equally as paradisiacal.

www.lazycatkitchen.com

No.15

@_wasteandrebel_

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I’m learning to live by the 5 R’s, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot thanks to Shia who is a zero waste blogger.

www.wasteandrebel.com

SAMOSA INSPIRED VEGGIE BURGERS/PATTIES

samosa

I love creating veggies burgers/patties. I especially love experimenting with different flavour combinations. My samosa inspired veggie burgers/patties were a MASSIVE hit with hubs and I’m super excited to share the recipe with you all.

Ingredients:

Spice Mix:

2-4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 inch piece of ginger (minced)
1 tbsp. vegetable stock powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. Kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. garam masala
Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper (for seasoning)

Burgers/Patties:

2 x large white potatoes (peeled and roughly chopped)
2 x medium sweet potatoes (peeled and roughly chopped)
1 large brown/yellow onion (finely diced)
1 large carrot (finely diced)
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup of frozen peas
1 cup of breadcrumbs
2-4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon zest
Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper (for seasoning)

Directions:

Step 1: boil, or steam, the potatoes and sweet potatoes until just tender then transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool slightly

Step 2: heat 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat then add all of the spice mix ingredients and cook, stirring frequently, for a few minutes or until fragrant

Step 3: add the onion and the carrot and continue to cook for a further few minutes

Step 4: add the frozen corn kernels and the frozen peas, season with Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper, and cook for a further few minutes then remove the pan from the heat and set aside

Step 5: roughly mash the potatoes and sweet potatoes (important note: I say “roughly” because you want your burgers/patties to have some texture) then add the samosa spiced veggies, the lemon zest and the breadcrumbs and stir to combine

Step 6: divide the mixture into 12 and form your burgers/patties (important note: feel free to add more breadcrumbs if you feel its necessary)

Step 7: in batches, heat the remainder of the extra virgin olive oil and cook your burgers/patties for a few minutes each side, or until they start to crisp up and turn golden brown

Step 8: serve immediately or, alternatively, allow to cool then freeze for consumption at a later date

IMPORTANT NOTE: personally, when cooking these burgers/patties from frozen, I prefer to bake them in the oven (180°C for 10-15 minutes)

CHICKPEA “TUNA”

ChickpeaTuna1

My chickpea “tuna” is so simple to create but packed full of flavour. I’m always discovering new ways to enjoy chickpea “tuna”, it’s delicious on crackers, scrumptious as a sandwich filler and, I’m currently loving it in sushi.

ChickpeaTuna2

Ingredients:

2 x 400g cans of chickpeas
1 red capsicum/bell pepper (finely chopped)
1 red onion (finely chopped)
4 gherkins/pickles (finely chopped)
2 nori sheets (finely crumbled)
1 tbsp. capers (finely chopped)
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. wholegrain mustard
1 red chilli (de-seeded and finely chopped)
the freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
1-2 cloves of garlic (minced)
Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper (for seasoning)

Directions:

Step 1: in a medium mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas (note: a few half mashed chickpeas will give the mixture a nice texture)

Step 2: add all of the remaining ingredients to the mashed chickpeas, stir until well combined then refrigerate for 1-2 hours to allow all the flavours to infuse

JACKFRUIT MORNAY

Jackfruit Mornay

I love veganising dishes and, recently, some Veggie Yum Yum-ers asked me to create a vegan version of tuna mornay. So, here’s my de-lickyalips-licious jackfruit mornay recipe.

Ingredients:

1 x 400g can of jackfruit (note: in brine not syrup)
6 large potatoes (peeled and roughly chopped)
1 large brown/yellow onion (diced)
1 large carrot (diced)
1 cup of corn kernels
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
1 cup of almond milk
2 nori sheets (roughly crumbled)
the freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2-4 garlic cloves (minced)
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried dill
Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper (for seasoning)

Directions:

Step 1: pre heat the oven to 200°C

Step 2: cook the jackfruit in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 10 minutes, or until tender then drain and transfer to a mixing bowl

Step 3: use a fork, or your fingers, to shred the jackfruit then set aside until required

Step 3: heat the extra virgin olive oil in a pan, add the onion and cook for a few minutes, until it’s just softened

Step 4: add the shredded jackfruit, the carrot, the garlic, the lemon juice, the nori sheets, the dill and 1 tbsp. of the Dijon mustard, stir to combine and cook for a further few minutes, until fragrant (note: you should start to notice the mornay scent coming through)

Step 5: add the corn kernels, season with Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper, stir to combine and cook for a further few minutes

Step 6: add the almond milk, half of the nutritional yeast and the remaining 1 tbsp. of the Dijon mustard, stir to combine and simmer for 10-15 minutes

Step 7: whilst the mornay mixture is simmering, cook the potatoes in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 10-15 minutes, or until tender then drain and return to the pan, add the remaining nutritional yeast, a splash of almond milk and mash until smooth and creamy

Step 8: divide the mornay mixture between 4 x 1 cup capacity ovenproof dishes, top with mashed potato and sprinkle with breadcrumbs then place the dishes on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown then serve simply with a fresh side salad

NOTE: if you desire a cheesier mornay then feel free to top your jackfruit mornays with your choice of vegan cheese

Tomato Soup with Garlic Cashew Cream

TomatoSoup

I love slurping my way through a BIG bowl of homemade soup and tomato is my absolute favourite.

Ingredients:

Tomato Soup:

1 leek (roughly chopped)
2 brown/yellow onions (roughly chopped)
500g tomatoes (roughly chopped)
a handful of cherry tomatoes (sliced) (note: optional – for serving)
2 x 400g cans of diced tomatoes
4 cups of vegetable stock or, water
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4-6 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tsp. oregano
Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper (for seasoning)

Garlic Cashew Cream:

1 cup of cashews (soaked for 1-2 hours or, preferably, overnight)
1/4 cup of water (note: add gradually and only as required)
2-4 garlic cloves
the freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper (for seasoning)

Directions:

Step 1: place all of the garlic cashew cream ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy then set aside

Step 2: pre heat the oven to 180°C then spread the tomatoes on a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, season with Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper, roast for 15 minutes then set aside

Step 3: heat the remaining 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil in a stock pot, add the leek, onion, garlic and oregano and cook for 5 minutes

Step 4: add the roasted tomatoes and the diced tomatoes, stir to combine and cook for a further five minutes

Step 5: season with Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper then add the stock/water, stir to combine, bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes

Step 6: once cooked, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before blending in batches then, reheat and, just before serving, stir in the garlic cashew cream (note: reserve a small amount for serving)

Step 7: serve drizzled with the reserved garlic cashew cream, cherry tomatoes (if using) and lots of cracked black pepper

Creamy Gar-Lickyalips-Licious Spaghetti

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Mmm, a BIG bowl of pasta is the perfect comfort food and my creamy gar-lickyalips-licious spaghetti makes a regular appearance in my household.

Ingredients:

Garlic Cashew Cream:

1 cup of cashews (soaked for 1-2 hours or, preferably, overnight)
1/4 cup of water (note: add gradually and only as required)
2-4 garlic cloves
the freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper (for seasoning)

Pasta and Pasta Sauce:

500g spaghetti (note: check the ingredients to ensure its vegan)
1 brown/yellow onion (halved and thinly sliced)
250g mushrooms (thinly sliced)
250g cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes (in oil)
1/4 cup of kalamata olives
1 red chilli (finely chopped)
2/4 garlic cloves (minced)
Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper (for seasoning)

Directions:

Step 1: place all of the garlic cashew cream ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy then set aside

Step 2: heat 1 tbsp of the oil from the sundried tomato strips in a pan, add the garlic, the red chilli and the onion and cook for a few minutes

Step 3: add the mushrooms, stir to combine and continue cooking for a further few minutes

Step 4: add the cherry tomatoes, the sundried tomato strips, season with Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper, stir to combine, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes (note: add more chilli/garlic/Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper as desired)

Step 5: cook the spaghetti as per the packet instructions, strain then add to the simmering pasta sauce

Step 6: add the garlic cashew cream and the kalamata olives, toss to combine then serve with a side of garlic bread

SCRUMPTIOUS VEGAN SAUSAGE ROLLS

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I love veganising omni food and sausage rolls were one of the first things I mastered when I made my connection and committed to veganism.

I hope you’ll enjoy my de-lickyalips-licious recipe.

Ingredients:

4 sheets of puff pastry

(important note: if using store bought puff pastry, check the ingredients to ensure its vegan)

300g extra firm/firm organic tofu
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1 cup of walnut
1/2 cup of pecan
1/4 cup of any non dairy milk (for brushing the pastry)
2 brown/yellow onions
1 red chilli
2-4 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. tomato ketchup
1-2 tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper (for seasoning)

Directions:

Step 1: blitz the walnuts and the pecans in a food processor and once the mixture resembles crumbs transfer to a large mixing bowl

Step 2: blitz the onions, the red chilli and the garlic then transfer to the mixing bowl and stir to combine

Step 3: blitz the tofu (important note: be careful not to over process the tofu) then transfer to the mixing bowl and stir to combine

Step 4: add the breadcrumbs to the mixing bowl and stir to combine

Step 5: add the soy sauce, the tomato ketchup/sauce and the smoked paprika to the mixing bowl, season with the Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper and stir to combine (important note: add a little water if the mixture is too dry)

Step 6: distribute the mixture evenly across 4 sheets of puff pastry, roll and cut into quarters

Step 7: place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, brush with a non-dairy milk of your choice, sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) and bake for 20-25 minutes (or until puffed and golden brown

 

IT IS BETTER TO HAVE LOVED AND LOST THEN TO HAVE NEVER LOVED AT ALL

DollyMyDolly “IT IS BETTER TO HAVE LOVED AND LOST THEN TO HAVE NEVER LOVED AT ALL”

I know we shouldn’t really have favourites but, inevitably, we do and I’m not ashamed to admit that Dolly was mine.

Dolly Morris, the first chook I ever loved and, heartbreakingly, the first chook I ever lost.

Dolly chose to leave us overnight and, right now, I feel like my heart has been broken into a million little pieces but, I really want to pay tribute to my special little lady.

At around 18 months of age Dolly was considered worthless by the profit-driven egg industry but, luckily for Dolly, Ally of Battery Angels intervened and Dolly was liberated from the hell hole that exploited her, and saved from slaughter, on 4 December 2015.

Dolly, and 7 of her sisters, joined our family on 5 December 2015 and she was a firecracker from day one, brave enough to lead her sisters, full to the brim with character, chatty and so inquisitive.

I shared a little under 4 months with Dolly. It will never feel like enough but I’m so glad she had the opportunity to live a little of her life as a chicken, to feel the sunshine on her feathers, to scratch around in the sand and soil, to experience the joy of a dust bath.

I will always remember the day I watched her unearth a witchetty grub, you’d have thought she’d won lotto, her sisters were onto her straight away, they chased her around and around but Dolly wasn’t giving her delicacy up for anyone!

Whilst this isn’t about me, I’m an emotional wreck today, I keep thinking about the heartbreaking reality that Dolly, and so many of her sisters, are born to die. There’s so many beautiful girls that live their whole lives in darkness, valued as nothing more than an egg laying machine and, when their little bodies slow down, and they’re of no value to the revolting egg industry, they’re chucked on a truck, literally chucked, and sent to slaughter.

I just hope that Dolly went to sleep knowing that she was so much more to me that an egg laying machine.

I miss you already Dols. I’m so lost without my little sidekick. I thank you for all that you taught me in the short time we spent together. I’ll love you always.