Stews, Chillis & Curries

Chana Masala

If you ever get stuck for dinner and have a can of chickpeas, can of tomatoes and rice then hit this bad boy up. It is the perfect basic curry for a night when you don’t want too much spice or chilli and only have a few ingredients. Plus it only takes about 30 minutes to cook.

To give you an idea of the bones of the recipe, you fry up cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel seeds, cardamon, cinnamon, cayenne and ground cloves in an onion, garlic and ginger mix. Then once fragrant, add chickpeas and tomatoes. After cooking for a while for the flavours to develop and the sauce to reduce, throw in a bit of lime juice and garnish with fresh coriander.  I also added plain coconut yoghurt to compliment the lime, which I would highly recommend.

I am a firm believer in any curry tasting better the day after and this one is no exception. Perfect for lunch. To make it extra healthy use brown rice instead of jasmine.



Marbled Banana Bread

Wow this was good!! If you haven’t bought/borrowed/stolen a copy of Isa Does It then do it for this recipe alone because everyone needs a good vegan banana bread recipe.

I think it is safe to say that banana bread is a regular visitor to vegan kitchens, especially if you are like me and buy too many bananas than you can eat, with some getting too ripe in the fruit bowl.

Now, the answer to this is to throw them in the freezer skin and all to cook with them another day. When you feel like a baked banana snack just defrost three of them, cut off the end and squeeze them out like toothpaste into the bowl. They also look like a sad version of something else ha ha but they taste amazing so it doesn’t matter.

Anyway…. this bread is super easy to make, if you can’t be bothered having the batter in 2 separate bowls to create the 2 colours then just throw in the cacao powder and you’ll have chocolate banana bread which isn’t as spectacular but is equally as tasty.

It lasts really well for a few days in the fridge so, in theory, you’ll have a whole week of snacks.

A side note ~ I put in 4 bananas even though the recipe calls for 3 and I think it made it denser and moister which I actually really liked. And as usual I subbed in wholemeal flour instead of the plain flour in the recipe.




Island Black Bean Burgers

Finally I’ve got my life under control enough and motivation happening to get back into blogging.

And this recipe has been one from the book that I have been keen to try for a while. With its super filling beany base along with the sweet, tropical and tangy salsa it is a sure fire winner. It is also quite quick to prepare with most of the time being taken up by finely chopping all the ingredients.


Nutritionally it is well balanced too. There is capsicum in the patties that is high in vitamin C and helps your body absorb the iron form the beans. The only thing to make it even more healthy would be to use wholemeal buns and add some greens on the side.

Definitely a dish I’ll cook again.



Roasty Soba Bowl with Miso Tahini Dressing

I sort of have mixed feelings about this dish. It just didn’t really feel balanced, but I did replace the white miso with red miso because it was all I had and that made it very salty. I tried to compensate by adding lemon juice into the dressing and it helped but didn’t fix the problem.

Also even though I like cauliflower, I wasn’t prepared how strong it would taste due to the roasting. It’s not really a negative, just a comment.

I would probably make it again though with some alterations.



Chocolate-Zucchini Bundt Cake

More cakes!!! This one is another winner, but I’d say slightly less fancy than the Pineapple cake.

Delicious, moist and just chocolately enough to satisfy both your chocolate cravings and desire to stay relatively healthy. Even though it has two cups of zucchini in it I couldn’t notice any zucchini taste.

Go on and be adventurous by putting veggies in your sweet things!

chocolate-zucchini-cake-2 chocolate-zucchini-cake-1


Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Who would have thought that an upside down cake would be easy to make?! Well it is, and looks pretty swish at the end of it.

The cake is very light and moist but quite sweet, well a lot sweeter than most of the other desserts in the book.

I think the only thing that didn’t turn out how I expected was that it didn’t really caramelise like the photo in the book, but that could have been fixed by a little more time in the oven.

Apart from that, it is a great cake to make for an afternoon tea or just because you feel like something super sweet.

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Jumbo Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Tasty basic cookies that are just chewy and moreish…

(Mine weren’t jumbo but they were just as tasty I’m sure)

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Sunday Night Suppers

Chandra Malai Kofta

I’d never made Kofta before and I don’t know why, this is my favourite recipe so far from the book. Ridiculously flavourful dumplings in a rich creamy sauce, served over quinoa or rice is the perfect comfort meal. The kofta are delicately spiced and combined with the silky coconutty sauce will surely impress your friends or “special someone”.

Anyway if you are going to make one recipe from Isa Does It, I’d recommend this one.

Chandra Malai Kofta


Kale Salad with Butternut Squash and Lentils

After a long hiatus, I’m back cooking from the book. I’ve realised that you have to be in the right frame of mind to try new things that actually take a bit of effort. I mean I’ve still been cooking, but mainly just simple meals that I know off by heart or can make whilst on autopilot.

Anyway here it is – Kale Salad with Butternut Squash and Lentils.

Normally a salad suggests summer, however this one is perfect for autumn with its more robust/earthy ingredients. And over the past week the season has definitely arrived in Melbourne.

The flavours and textures are really quite balanced and apart from having to roast the pumpkin it is a simple and fast recipe to make. If you are living by yourself, or the only person in your house that eats kale then hang on to the leftovers for lunch the next day, it will easily keep and probably taste even better the day after it is made.

Kale Pumpkin and Lentil Salad

Basic Proteins

Steamed Chicky Seitan

So this is pretty much my new favourite base to a meal.

It takes a little prep, and the steaming takes a while, but it is worth making a big batch and freezing it so you have a super tasty protein base ready to go anytime.

I couldn’t find the recipe on Post Punk Kitchen but I did find it here >
However I would really recommend buying the book, the more recipes I make from it, the more I think it is a great investment.

The recipes says to mash the chickpeas with a potato masher but I used a stick blender and it cut them up to the perfect consistency. But if you are into a rougher texture for your chickpeas then totally mash them.


Anyway, I grilled up the seitan and put it on a salad with iceberg lettuce, tomato, capsicum, snow peas, red onion and hemp seeds with a lemon tahini dressing and it was incredible. I ate it before training and for the whole session I was super full of energy.


Stews, Chillis & Curries

Bhindi Masala with Black Eyed Peas

So I have a confession, before this recipe I had never eaten Okra. I knew all about it, in theory… well I knew it was the main ingredient in gumbo. I also knew it was slimy when cooked. And it is weird because I’m usually ok with strange textures in food. I love mochi, I love those pearls in asian drinks and I really dig sago, but the idea of okra put me off for some reason.

Anyway, I started this recipe with a bit of trepidation. But I didn’t need to freak out because it was awesome! I even cheated and used frozen okra from the local health food store and it didn’t wreck it.

The black eyed peas really bulked it up and complemented the okra.



Just Chocolate Cake

I’d tried a vegan jaffa cake recipe earlier in the week from trusted Google and it turned out lovely, but crumbly as hell. So when I read this recipe for chocolate cake and it didn’t have any binding ingredients, I freaked out slightly and caved by adding some.

The original recipe is here >

The few alterations that I tried were:
Add 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 2 tablespoons of apple sauce to the wet ingredients, and substitute the plain flour for wholemeal flour.

And it was great, moist, together and really flavourful. I’d definitely recommend this recipe with the alterations.



Alphabet Soup

Yay – the first recipe in the book – Alphabet Soup!

Another “I can’t believe I’ve never made it before” moment. It’s such a basic thing yet I’ve never made alphabet soup, maybe because I’ve never seen alphabet pasta in the store ha ha!

Anyway I’m glad Isa put this in her book because that is exactly what her book is about – solid basic recipes that can become part of your regular cooking repertoire. This is the sort of thing you have to have up your sleeve for when you are feeling rundown and on the verge of a cold, it will make everything ok..

I’m sort of sad I couldn’t track down the Alphabet pasta but I made the thing anyway and it looked pretty regardless.


Here is the original Alphabet Soup recipe from Post Punk Kitchen >


Chicky Tuna Salad Sandwiches

For some reason I have never done the whole chickpea / tuna thing, which is weird because I basically lived on those little tuna cans when I was a kid. And… I’m glad I tried it finally.

If you have a can of chickpeas (and a few other staples) you can make these. It’s a real tasty lunch and a change from the reliable but sometimes boring option of hummus and salad. And to make these extra sea flavoured Isa suggests adding seaweed, which I did and it worked!

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My verdict: It tastes great but even with the seaweed in doesn’t really resemble tuna, however it is just as satisfying.

The original recipe (minus the sunflower seeds) is here >


Banana-Nut Muffins

Another one from the breakfast section…

From a not so exciting recipe (Eggplant Fettucine) to an absolute winner! These Banana Nut Muffins are such a tasty breakfast time or anytime food, and super good for you too.

If you ever have problems with your baked goods coming out dry or crumbly then you have to try these because they are the absolute opposite. So moist yet fluffy, and they don’t dry out and go stale the day after, or even the day after that. The secret is a triple threat of apple sauce, bananas and ground flaxseeds.

If you have time on a Sunday but race to get out the door on weekdays I’d totally recommend making a batch on the weekend and having them ready for weekday mornings.

The recipe calls for pecans or walnuts but I didn’t have any so I used almonds instead. Other changes I did were that I added about a cup of puffed amaranth and 1/4 cup of pepitas, and reduced the sugar a bit because the bananas were really ripe.

This is another recipe that will make it into my regular baking rotation for sure.

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Eggplant & Breadcrumb Fettucine

In theory I thought I’d really like this recipe. It has a lot of my favourite ingredients: eggplant, pasta, crunchy breadcrumbs and a tomato based sauce.

However I wasn’t really that blown away by it. And considering it takes more pots and pans than I am used to using (because I like to be lazy sometimes) I was expecting it to be awesome. Don’t get me wrong, it was fine and the breadcrumbs were a great contrast to the silky eggplant, but the effort to outcome ratio wasn’t great.

I did really like how the breadcrumbs also thickened up the sauce. I think I’ll use nugget of information that in future cooking adventures.

The recipe did look the part though… see below:

PS – I didn’t have any fettucine so used shells (oh no!)

eggplant-fettucine-1 eggplant-fettucine-2


Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl

Recipe number 8 – week 3

I had a craving for satay on Saturday so searched the book for a relevant recipe. And my oh my this on fit the bill well.

The combination of clean tasting, barely steamed kale together with crunchy tofu and creamy peanutty sauce is amazing. Each element complement each other so well. It also doesn’t take that long to cook, and I had all the spices etc in the cupboard already, definitely making it a weeknight recipe.

Also if you want it to be super, super healthy then use grains such as quinoa or brown rice or a mix. Complex carbohydrates really are the best.




Kitchen Sink Cookies

Despite the really unappealing name these cookies have only a few ingredients and really are the business.

Super chocolately, super nutty, super chewy, they are basically a home made snickers bar which is pretty damn awesome.

I couldn’t find the recipe online so it’s going to be another on that you have to get your hands on the book – Isa Does It, to make them. To be honest it is worth getting the book just for this recipe, they are THAT addictive.

Also, the key to making them perfectly is to not cook them too long.




Coconut French Toast

Recipe no. 6

So all my friends have found themselves in the same boat lately in that for one reason or another we don’t have much cash. So in a bid to save the said monies whilst being able to hang out we are trying to meet up at each other’s houses instead of cafes and bars (which drain all of our precious cash).

I decided that it’d be great to have breakfast on Sunday and this Coconut French Toast recipe was perfect for such an occasion. I had all eight ingredients and was ready to go.

The ingredients are simple:

  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of cornflour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of almond milk (I used almond/coconut So Good)
  • 1 teas Vanilla
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 6 slices of bread
  • coconut oil (for frying


These really are the best so fancy but so not fancy breakfast to make on a weekend. Super simple to make, they look and taste amazing once cooked. I took Isa’s advice and did chopped mango (and raspberries and cinnamon sugar) as a topping.

And no they aren’t super healthy, but I swapped in wholemeal toast and the batter doesn’t have any sugar so you can control how much sweetness you add or don’t add via the toppings.

Oh no I couldn’t find the recipe online! You will just have to beg/borrow/steal a real life copy of Isa Does It


Mediterranean Overnight Scramble

These wraps looked so good in the book! I have been meaning to make them for ages but never had the capsicum. It was one lucky day last week that the stars aligned and all the ingredients materialised in the fridge.


Because I am impatient, I ate this as soon as I made it instead of letting it sit overnight as the recipe suggested.

It turned out pretty well, the only thing I would recommend is make up the wrap with mayo or chutney as the mix cooks up pretty dry. The flavour is definitely there and so is the texture but it was a bit dry. That could have been the tofu I used though so if I make it again I might add some fresh tomato when cooking.

Having said that, I still ate two wraps so they can’t have been that bad!



Olive-Lentil Burgers

These are so damn tasty, so tasty that my cat tried to eat them. That is all.

Here is a link to Isa’s original recipe.



Pesto-Cauliflower Pasta

No. 3

So much green! This recipe is great for nights when you have a bit of extra time and are cooking for a few people. It looks impressive, is filling and tastes fresh due to all the herbs. Plus I like cooking a non tomato based pasta for a change.

I decided to cook it for my friends (who aren’t vegan) and they were pretty stoked about it, especially the breaded tofu pieces, which could be used as part of heaps of different recipes.

The original recipe can be found here.



The key to cooking the tofu perfectly is cook it on a relatively low-medium heat and keep and eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Also remember to use a thin metal spatula when flipping the pieces as the crumbs will stick to the pan and not the tofu.


Seriously you can’t argue that it doesn’t look good too (my friend’s table adds to the final shot looking nice too 🙂 ).


Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe number 2…

I knew these guys would be right near the top of the list to try next because I had made a batch the week before for my aunt and they turned our so well they were gone in a sitting. The original recipe says to use all purpose flour but I used wholemeal for the first batch and it really complemented the rustic nature of the rosemary. Texture wise the first batch turned out really close to anzacs once cooked, a little bit chewy and soft.

This time I tried them with another slight variation, replacing some of the wholemeal flour with coconut flour (about a third). Coconut flour is definitely a bit of an alternative ingredient, but I guess that because everything coconut is in these days it is pretty easy to find. I bought mine at Woolies, so it is not too obscure.


This is how they are meant to look…

And mine looked like this:


They looked ok, but tasted really good. The coconut flour basically turned them into shortbread. I was also a really hot day and the coconut oil had melted so maybe that effected it. Not what I was expecting but still super tasty.

This is my new go to biscuit. I tested them on my friends and they really enjoyed them too.

Also on a side note: the recipe doesn’t really make 24 unless you make quite small biscuits.


Sunflower Mac and Cheese

Recipe number 1 – woo!

So firstly I have to preface this post with the fact that I made it whilst semi-hungover and spending the afternoon watching Twin Peaks. Probably not the most perfect start to this project but I did it non-the-less.

I chose Isa’s Sunflower Mac as the first recipe to tackle because I had a massive craving for pasta and cheese and it looked like I probably had most of the ingredients.


You can read the original recipe at Post Punk Kitchen.

The recipe is straight forward but required soaking the sunflower seeds as well as pureeing the sauce in a food processor, two things I couldn’t be bothered doing when I was starving.

Also I added finely chopped cauliflower into the sautéed veggies and added some frozen peas into the pasta at the very end of cooking.

For the sunflower seeds, I instead blended the dry seeds in my spice grinder then poured them into sauce at the same time as the cornflour but before adding the vege stock.

Any way below is the end product. It tasted so good – really moreish and sticky and tangy. The sauce worked perfectly and I liked the chunkiness of the veggies too.

I’m glad it worked because now I’m motivated to tackle the other 138 recipes in the book! Bring on 2015 😛