I don’t know who first came up with the idea of “chia pudding”—my guess is that it stems from some ancient food tradition in Central America (since chia seeds originate in Mexico). Either way, I’m grateful! Chia seeds have a beautiful way of soaking up the liquid they’re mixed into and getting a jelly-like texture, making for a perfect little treat, with berries and some liquid sweetener. Plus, they’re a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fibre.
I’m going to share a secret with you. The best way to create great vegan recipes is to take your favourite non-vegan ones, the ones that were handed down from your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents… and swap out the animal-based ingredients for vegan alternatives. Most of the time you can get away with straightforward swaps (e.g. cow’s milk can pretty much …
When it comes to weeknight dinners, it doesn’t get much easier than this: just pop a sweet potato in the oven (or microwave), sauté some beans with onion and spices, and load up those spuds. You can pretty much use whatever you have on hand, but beans are great (for protein and iron), some spice for flavour, guac and vegan cheese for richness, and a sauce or condiment for freshness.
Oh, eggs. The baking ingredient with the most complex and interesting properties: no wonder pastry chefs everywhere rely on them for their beautiful creations. But fear not, vegan culinary geniuses have cracked the secrets*. The trick is to understand why chicken’s eggs play such a big role in baking, and then to find egg substitutes that best mimic the most important …
I love a fudgy brownie. It’s brownie, not chocolate cake. I even like it slightly undercooked to up the fudge-factor. The great thing about a vegan recipe is that there’s zero risk of food poisoning from uncooked eggs!
If you’re the type who loves (or used to love) meat for its rich flavour and texture, this is for you. That’s the thing: usually, when people switch over to plant-based foods, the foods they miss the most have strong flavours and textures. So the challenge is to reintroduce those elements to your plant-based cooking.
If there’s one legume I could eat every single day, it’s chickpeas. They’re incredibly versatile: sprout them to eat in a salad; grind them into a flour to make savoury pancakes, cook them to make hummus, or soak them to make falafel. Amazing little things, and true superfoods (they’re high in protein, fibre, iron and other minerals).
I had a couple of butternut squash that I’d bought pre-lockdown and almost forgot about them: a couple of months later and they were still sitting there, waiting to be turned into something tasty. I can’t believe how long those things last! Talk about pandemic survival foods, squash is where it’s at.
No more overpriced store-bought gluten-free flour blends for me! This blend is super easy to make at home if you can get hold of the ingredients. I got mine from Atlas Trading Co. in Cape Town, but do a little online research to see where you can get the ingredients in your area.
One of the most exciting DIY foodie discoveries I’ve made in the last year. I can’t believe it took me this long to try it out. It’s tasty. Creamy. Great with coffee. Quick and easy. Cheap. Zero waste.
If there was ever an excuse to make oat milk, this is it. These cookies are pretty amazing: I’ve had four or five since I made them yesterday. #noselfcontrol
I’m so into soups right now. Butternut soup, mixed veg soup, lentil soup, tomato soup… They’re easy, pretty quick, and they warm your soul.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve mentioned nooch or miso only to be met with blank stares. While they’re by no means staples, and I can definitely live without them, here are some magical foodie discoveries that make plant-based cooking so much more interesting and flavourful (I’ll assume that you already have the staples: whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruit, nuts/seeds): Nutritional yeastAka nooch. Of course, the first …
A lot of people think that plant-based eating is expensive. Makes sense, with companies (big and small) doing their very best to market their products to a fast-growing target audience. So you’ll see all kinds of vegan products advertised, from vegan cheeses and burgers to imported superfoods and nutritional supplements. What’s less visible, though, is the simple whole foods that …
When it comes to crackers and other carriers for avo or hummus, there are options in the supermarkets, but they’re often either not vegan-friendly, or very processed, or very expensive. So in that context, these seed crackers are a blessing: they’re really (really!) easy to make, very nutritious (high protein, good fats—but go easy on them), and easily adaptable to use different seeds and spices.
Smoothies have become a regular feature in my daily meals when the weather’s warmer, I like making one in the late morning (I’m a coffee-no-breakfast kind of person). I always keep frozen banana chunks in my freezer, and often other fruit, too. When pineapples are in season, I’ll buy a couple, chop one up and freeze it for smoothies. The rest are all easily available pantry items that keep for months.
I had some beautifully ripe avocados on hand, some Swiss chard sitting in the fridge from a week ago (but still fresh because I had the foresight to de-stem, clean and pack them into airtight bags!) and some limes. Obviously, the answer was creamy avocado spinach pasta!
One of the most common questions I get asked is on the topic of gas and bloating, especially from people who’ve changed their diet overnight, from eating more processed and animal-based foods, to eating more high-fibre vegetables and legumes. So my first questions would be: What’s changed in your diet recently? Are you eating foods that you didn’t eat before? …