Saturday, 24 June 2017

DIY Deodorant

My BFF gave me this recipe and the original is from Wellness Mama. I changed the oil to Shea butter as the coconut oil was two liquidy, but use that if that is the consistency you're after! I think Tea Tree and Lavender are a great essential oil combination for deodorant but you don't want more than 10 drops total or it will be too harsh on the skin. You can use an old deodorant stick container or just use a glass jar.
If you leave it in the refrigerator it will act like regular stick deodorant, if you have it at room temperature it crumbles a bit and you have to put it on my hand. I found this easiest anyway; take an amount around 1/4 tsp and hold on armpit until the Shea butter melts a little then you can rub it clear into the skin. I found this deodorant worked really well. I couldn't really smell the essential oils but it definitely kept me stink free all day!


DIY Deodorant

Ingredients

6 Tbls Shea Butter
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
Essential oils (optional)


Method

Melt the Shea butter in a small sauce pan or stainless steel bowl over a low heat until completely melted.
Whisk in the other ingredients and pour immediately into desired container and place in refrigerator for an hour to set.



Tuesday, 30 May 2017

DIY Beach Hair Spray

Recently got the chop and needed something to aid my natural curl. My first attempt is this spray based on a recipe from Wellness Mama. I found the Himalayan salt didn't melt into the mixture so next time I'll use kosher salt or leave it out completely. It doe make your hair a bit dry and slightly crunchy so I also used a little bit of Pureology Smooth Perfection serum to define the waves and lose the frizz.I'll try a different recipe next when I run out to see the difference.You'll need a spray bottle that holds around 10oz. Bottle from SKS Bottle Packaging Inc.



DIY Beach Hair Spray

Ingredients 

1 cup of distilled water
2 tablespoons epsom salts
1/2 tsp Himalayan or Sea Salt (optional but adds stiffness)
1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
2 drops of jojoba or almond oil (or conditioner)
5 drops essential oil (I used tea tree essential oil)


Method

Heat the distilled water and add the epsom salts & sea salt (optional), until salts have dissolved completely.
Add in aloe vera gel and oils and mix well.
Allow mixture to cool before adding it to your spray bottle.
Shake before each use.
Should last up to 4 months.









Friday, 26 May 2017

DIY Vegan Children's Paint

I wanted to make baby some finger paint because the bought variety comes from countries with suspicious quality control. And I know he's going to try to eat it ;)
I found a few recipes online and they all seem about the same. For the dye you can use natural powders (such as beet and tumeric) or you can use a vegan food dye. Great blog here on making your own natural dyes!



DIY Vegan Children's Paint

Ingredients

1 cup plain flour
1 cup kosher salt
Hot water
Dyes


Method

Add salt to about 1 cup hot water and stir till melted. I didn't do this and the paint was granulated.
Once salt has melted add the salt water to the flour and whisk til there are no lumps.
To get your desired consistency add more water.
Divide flour mix into different bowls (one for each colour).
Add dyes to each bowl and stir, adding more dye if needed, until the desired colour is reached.
Store in air tight containers.

NB: some people also add 1 tbls oil for shine but I didn't do this.



Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Mum's Easy Spaghetti

This simple recipe is one my mum always made when we were growing up. It's far less tomatoey than the other recipes I've used and uses staples you usually already have so it's great for last minute dinners! In the USA spaghetti means Spaghetti with Bolognese sauce which is in Australia is often called "Spag Bol" so here it is...





Mum's Easy Spag Bol

Ingredients

2 Onions, finely chopped
1 Tbls tomato paste
Mixed herbs to taste
430g can of Tomato Puree (Aus)/sauce (USA)
1-2lbs vegan beef crumbles (I used Trader Joe's but Gardein, Beyond Meat or TVP would be fine)
1 Tbls oil

Method

Fry onions on a medium heat until clear, add faux meat and cook until onion has browned slightly.
Add tomato paste, herbs and pepper.
Add tomato purée, heat through and simmer for around 10 minutes.
Watch the consistency as it does reduce a bit as it simmers.
If you want more sauce to feed more people, add more puree.
Keep stirring regularly as it simmers so it does not stick or burn on the bottom of the saucepan.
Serve over pasta.

Whole Foods Cleanse

I am a week into a wholefoods cleanse and I've taken most of my guidelines from The Daniel Fast. There are different sites that all give conflicting information but the basic idea is only wholefoods and no processed food or animal products (which we've obviously already got covered!).
So far I've lost 4lbs so I'm pretty happy! Oil and salt are allowed in small quantities. Juice is allowed as long as it's 100% juice with no sugar added. Some sites say tofu and canned vegetables are ok, and some don't so I'm allowing them in moderation. I'm trying to use tempeh as a substitute for tofu. And no coffee (caffeine), in fact you're only supposed to drink water :(

Here are some of the foods I've been eating;



Jambalaya from The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester


Roast Vegetables  with olive oil, salt and rosemary (potato, garlic, rutabaga & beets)


Bowl with Tempeh, Spinach & Brown Rice, with a sauce made from Tamari, sesame oil, coconut aminos & sesame seeds.




Mash potatoes (using just almond milk, salt, pepper & garlic) and mustard greens


Red curry with vegetables and brown rice. The red curry comes from a Fresh Jax mix of spices and is mixed with some homemade stock and coconut milk.



Entering the third and final week now! I've lost 5lbs already which I'm pretty happy about! I think I'll definitely try to keep eating this way at least 80% of the time. I'm not sure I'd be completely happy NEVER having any processed food, but cutting them down to occasional is definitely a better option!

Here's some foods I ate last week...

Had homemade hummus and guacamole with raw vegetables when a friend came over.



Had a salad with leftovers vegetables from the kids taco night plus I added marinaded tempeh and a tahini sauce (sweetened with prune juice instead of agave).


 Roast vegetables again...sweet potato, potato, mushrooms and asparagus


Tempeh, spinach and millet with soy sauce, sesame oil and liquid smoke marinade.


Bruschetta with Avocado in Romaine leaves.


Ok so after 21 days I ended up losing 3lbs which is something at least. I certainly think that eating more wholefoods and saving the processed stuff for occasional use is the best move forward!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Tropical Creamsicles

These are an easy & healthy option for dessert, I was inspired by Smooze ice-blocks I had in Australia.


Tropical Icy Poles

Ingredients

1 can coconut milk or cream
8-10oz fruit (mango is what I used but guava and pineapple are the other flavors of Smooze)
1 Tbls Agave for sweetness (optional)


Method

Blend all items items in a good blender until smooth.
Add agave if needed.
Pour into individual ice block holders.
Freeze for at least 6 hours.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Vegan Products - May 2017

Here's some vegan items I've found recently...

I had never seen this flavour of La Croix water before: Blackberry Cucumber - very refreshing!


Califia Almond Creamer I found, I think at Publix.


Winn-Dixie does their own brand of nut milks!


Found these Whoopie Pies at Native Sun, so delicious! I ate them straight from the freezer.


Field Day Organic Pasta Sauce was on speicial at Native Sun, was pretty deceent.


Victoria Vegan Alfreddo Sauce was on sale for half price at Winn-Dixie . It has a sour flavor to it but was quite nice when you add mushrooms or other vegan cheese.


Finally got around to trying the two new Ben & Jerry's flavors. The Cherry Garcia I think was the only one that was totally gluten free but it was the best anyway! They were both really good though. Sadly just found out that Ben & Jerry's is now owned by Unilever though so no more for me :(



Cannot recommend this Little Northern Bakehouse bread highly enough. I bought it from Fresh Jax and even though it was frozen, once reheated in the microwave it tastes like real fresh bread. It was so amazing. I had to stop myself eating the entire loaf in one day.


Bought these curry spices from Fresh Jax. You add 1/4 cup of spices to a can of coconut milk and heat through for 15 minutes and then add your veggies. It was decent for an instant curry.


Bought this Daiya Caesar Dressing from a discount store just to try and it was pretty good.
Made a proper vegan caesar salad to got with it ;)



Got these Enjoy Life chocolate cookie bars from the discount store too. They tasted nice but are dry and crumbly.

Found these Sweetie Pie dried fuit & vegetable snacks for toddlers ar the discount store. They are a French company and all natural, no added ingredients.


I can't remember where I bought this Theo Salted Almond Dark Chocolate but it was pretty good.


Found these Yves snacks at Walmart. They are both GF and vegan. I was really impressed with them, especially the falafel bites. I felt like they were better than homemade!



Saw this range of Pixie*Mood vegan leather bags in a Edge City at Five Points in Riverside



Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Vegan Pad Thai

This is a veganized version of this traditional street Pad Thai from RinS Cookbook on YouTube. There is a little note about the ingredients list at the end. This is worth the hassle especially when you can freeze your extra sauce (it doesn't freeze completely so make sure you have a well sealed container). This really tastes amazing, completely authentic, well as authentic as you can get once you've veganized it ;)


Pad Thai
Serves 4

Ingredients

Pad Thai rice noodles (dried)
Vegan scrambled eggs (optional)
1/2 cup Pad Thai sauce (recipe below)
1 block extra firm or pressed tofu
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Water
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 Tbls sweet pickles radish
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 Tbls crushed roasted peanuts
1/2 cup garlic chives or green onion
2 cups bean sprouts
1 shallot, chopped finely
Cilantro for serving
Lime wedges for serving


Method

Soak rice noodles in cold water for 45 minutes.
Chop shallots and garlic finely.
Dice or slice tofu. I baked mine first to give them a rubbery texture but you could also fry them or just add them straight in.
Remove the bottom of the garlic chives, you only want the green part.
Slice the green parts into 1 inch pieces.
Have all ingredients ready to go before starting.
Add oil on a medium heat to a wok or a large flat frying pan.
Add shallots and garlic.
Add tofu and pickled radish.
Drain your noodles and add them with a couple of tablespoons of water.
Add half of the Pad Thai Sauce and mix through then add the rest of the sauce.
Taste the noodles to make sure they are cooked if not add some more water.
Add your vegan egg if you're using it. You can scramble it before hand or you can add it to a side of the pan to cook and place the noodles over the top.
Add chilli flakes and 1 Tbls peanuts.
Add chives and bean sprouts.
Serve with cilantro, peanuts and lime wedges.



Pad Thai Sauce
(this makes around 2 cups, I freeze the extra)

Ingredients

1 cup tamarind pulp*
1.5 cup palm sugar (about 3 half spheres)
1 cup vegan sugar
1 cup vegan fish sauce


Method

Add all ingredients to pan on a medium- high heat bring to a boil.
Reduce to a low heat and simmer for 10 minutes then allow to cool.




Note About Ingredients

Tamarind Pulp - You can buy this in a can but the homemade version is better and cheaper. I buy a package of tamarind paste like below and using about half the package for the above Pad Thai Sauce recipe I soak it in hot water for around 30 minutes. The ratio is around 6oz tamarind paste to 6fl oz hot water. Once the water has cooled and the paste has softened I manipulate the paste with my fingers to mix with the water.
Then I press it through a colander to remove the seeds and then again through a sieve to get just the paste. This is time consuming but worth the wait!




Vegan Fish Sauce - There are many recipes online for vegan fish sauce so if you can't buy one you can make it yourself. I was fortunate enough to still have some of this vegan fish sauce that I bought in Australia, very sadly the place I got it stopped making it :(
 I added a little bit of Ume Plum Vinegar which tastes like fishy salty water but not exactly fish sauce.


Palm sugar you can buy from an Asian store, it's from a different palm tree to palm oil so no endangering animals habitats :)


Sweet Pickled Radish - I had a hard time finding any recipes online that I thought were authentic because I wanted to make it myself. I bought this from an Asian store but I wasn't sure about whether or not the sugar component was vegan. I couldn't find much on whether Thailand's sugar is vegan or not. You can alternatively leave it out.


Vegan scrambled eggs - I left this part out but you could add tofu scrambled "eggs" or use Follow Your Heart Vegan Eggs.