Vegan Mac & Cheese Bake

Happy Election Day! With a stain on my thumb, I decided to cook up a comforting dish on this cloudy & grey Cape Town day. This vegan Mac & Cheese Bake is an ultimate favourite – so I thought I’d share it with you too. Traditional Mac & Cheese is not one of the healthiest dishes around, but this recipe is actually pretty good for your heart – and your waistline. No cream, no oil, and no cheese… but just as flavoursome as the real deal. I adapted it from the Green Monday version: I use Fry’s Thick Cut Chunky Strips instead of seitan, whole-wheat macaroni instead of elbow macaroni and fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. I’m actually not a big fan of the breadcrumbs either. I did add it today, but decided to omit it in the future. Hope you enjoy this hearty dish as much as I do!

Vegan Mac & Cheese Bake

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 250g whole-wheat macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (just to add to your water so the macaroni doesn’t stick)
  • 1 box Fry’s Thick Cut Chunky Strips, defrosted
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup firm tofu, drained
  • 1½ cups Almond Breeze, unsweetened
  • 1 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (optional)

Directions

  1. Cut the Fry’s chunky strips in small blocks & let it marinate in the soy sauce.
  2. Boil a pot of water, add a dash of olive oil and cook the macaroni until it al dente.
  3. While your macaroni is cooking, add all the other ingredients (except the breadcrumbs) to your blender and blend until frothy. Set aside.
  4. Transfer your marinated Fry’s to a pan and cook over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190° C. Spray a baking dish with Cook & Spray and set aside.
  6. Drain the cooked macaroni, rinse with water, and return it to the pot.
  7. Add the Fry’s blocks and sauce mixture to the pot, and heat it up over low heat. Mix the ingredients well. (Don’t keep it on the heat for long, just heat it up slightly).
  8. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, and bake until the crumbs are nicely browned (about 25 minutes).
  9. Serve hot.

TIP: You can also use 4x Fry’s Spicy Asian Burger instead of the box of Chunky Strips and you can swap the tofu with a small can of coconut cream.

Adapted from Green Monday SA

Vegan Dining in Durban – Part 2

It feels like only yesterday when I blogged about my trip to Durban – and here I am at it again. This time around, Don & I skipped the bunny chows and opted for wholesome meals. We are both following Dr. Greger’s daily dozen program and so nutrition was our primary focus when dining together. That said, I did want to revisit a few of my favourite foodie hangouts in Durbs, and managed to add one more to the list:

Chilliplum:
This gastronomical gourmet vegan restaurant turned 1 on Friday, 8 July, and so Don, Mandy (Fry’s social media manager) and I met up with two Miss Earth finalists for celebratory snacks. Mireesha Narsai and Melissa Schreiber are both so lovely and inspirational – two humble, beautiful girls that wish to make a difference in the world. Please give them and their Mss Earth SA campaigns some support on Twitter and Instagram! Since we were on our way to a trampoline session, we just opted for a light snack – Don & I shared a portion of vegan sushi and mini soft tortillas with black bean chilli and slaw, topped with guacamole, vegan cream cheese, and fresh salsa.

Chilliplum vegan restaurant

Mugg & Bean:
Have you tried Mugg & Bean’s new coconut, carrot & ginger soup? Every vegan in town has been raving about this new green addition on their menu, but I’ve been reluctant to try it. I’m honestly just not a fan of ordering soups in restaurants, my dad makes killer veggie soups and so I see them as a waste of money (funny enough, I used to feel the same about steak…sis). As the Pavillion Shopping Centre was my office this time around, I decided to give this soup a go. Man, has Mugg&Bean done well! This sweet and spicy soup has super salivating status. The sourdough slices soak up its creamy comfort with each dunk. I take back what I proclaimed about soups – this one was every penny’s worth!

Falafel Fundi:
We couldn’t resist the deep fried crunchiness of Falafel Fundi, and so after an hour of jumping around, Don and I treated ourselves to a little cheat meal. We were such fatties – we swapped the eggplant side in the Mediterranean platter for extra falafel balls AND ordered four more after finishing our platter. I’d love to know how they get their falafels fluffy on the inside. Guess we’ll just have to return for more until we solve this mouth-watering mystery.

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Earthmother:
Every time a new health cafe opens up around the corner, the world smiles a little brighter. Apparently, Earthmother isn’t that new, but when they moved to the busy Musgrave area, they became an instant it-spot. The restaurant shares their premise with a beautiful little boutique and a chiropractor. It also boasts a deli with farm-fresh veggies, super powders, and eco-friendly household products. We only popped in for a quick snack before our half-day spa session (thanks again babe) and so our 39-minute meal consisted of two smoothies and a shared falafel wrap. It was yummy, but they should do with Falafel Fundi’s balls.

Palki Restaurant:
For Green Monday, and my final night in Durban, Don and I popped into Palki for a hot date. Literally! We shared the most amazing starter I have ever had at an Indian eatery: Vegetarian Manchurian – an Indian Chinese recipe of deep fried cauliflower balls in a sweet, spicy & sticky sauce. For mains, we shared a chilli mushroom curry as well as a chickpea curry with a big bowl of basmati rice on the side.  Take a quick squiz at their menu over here.

Palki

I’ll be visiting Durban again mid-August. If you have any recommendations of where else to go, please do let me know!

Leo xx

{Demo} 10 Steps to everyday cruelty-free makeup

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  Wow, what a week it was! Not only am I down with the flippen flu but our little Staffie pup, Zeus, got hit by a car on Wednesday evening. Our neighborhood is still traumatized by my mortifying bawling in … Continue reading

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Mousse

It’s been merely a week since my indulgent trip to Durban, and even though I can still taste the flavoursome falafels and abundantly stuffed roti’s, I’ve managed to shake off the two killer kg’s they caused.  A bit of exercise and a healthy vegan meal plan truly works miracles around your waistline! Since last Monday, I opted for whole foods: rolled oats with fresh fruit, homemade pesto on pasta or corn crackers, steamed veggies, fluffy buckwheat, starchy soups and superfood smoothies. Fine, I admit I also had a burger and two glasses of Chardonnay at a friend’s birthday braai😛

Luckily for me, I really don’t have a sweet tooth – but every oh-so-often the sugar bug bites. Yesterday, after a big Sunday lunch with the family, I craved decadence. The vegan-friendly biscuits in our sweetie drawer called my name, but as I really didn’t want to mess up a week’s worth of hard work, I choose a healthier option instead. Avo-chocolate mousse may sound revolting, but I promise you it’s ridiculously delicious.  I’ve made it for fussy friends before and they truly loved it. Even a small serving will satisfy your desire for sweetness, but no-one will judge you for eating it all😉 Made from 100% whole foods, this dessert is enjoyed guilt-free!

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Mousse

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe avocados
  • 2 tablespoons Soaring Free Superfood Raw Cacoa Powder
  • ½ cup Almond Breeze Original
  • 2 tablespoons Health Connection Organic Agave Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract / essence

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in your blender/food processor and purée until smooth (I prefer using the hand blender instead of my Omni Blend for this recipe, it just blends easier).


Add more Agave to make this mousse a tad bit sweeter

Vegan Omega-3 Blueberry Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup tofu
  • 2 cups frozen berries
  • 2 cups Almond Breeze original almond drink
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add flax seeds and walnuts to a blender. Blend together until they form a VERY FINE powder.
  2. Add the tofu, berries, agave and Almond Breeze to the blender and blend until all of the ingredients are combined.
  3. Top with frozen berries and serve immediately.