Fruity Noodles

Today’s recipe is brought to you by the fruit “mango”. I’ve been eating so many of them lately that in the [thankfully untrue] words of any adult to a child, I’m “going to turn into one”! I’ve used a Honey Gold mango in this recipe – they’re man-sized mangoes. If for some reason you can’t find these, use 3-4 smaller mangoes.

I’m normally one of those freakishly organised people that makes meal plans for the week – then I write out my shopping list according to what store & aisle I need to visit to buy the ingredients I need. I’m not kidding. Yes, it’s a bit over the top for most people, but it works for me. This routine has fallen by the wayside over the past few months, as I’ve lacked time and energy and decided to let loose in the kitchen with whatever I can find. At first, this was pretty scary – it still is sometimes. But for the most part it’s liberating and my diet it seeing a lot more variety than before. My bank account, on the other hand, is not quite so impressed.

These “fruity noodles” were a high risk experiment that went right. Really right. Mr. AA ate seconds. If that’s not a seal of approval, then I don’t know what is!

Fruity Noodles 2
Serves 3

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Honey Gold Mango & Nectarine Salsa-Salad

This recipe is a favourite in our house. When served on some sweet coconut rice, it’s a perfectly refreshing, tropical dinner on a hot summer night. Best of all, it’s quick & easy to make!

Honey gold mangoes are in season at the moment; not only does this mean they’re abundant – they’re also cheap! These giant beauties were 2 for $4 last week and I may or may not have picked up an entire box of them.

Mango Nectarine Salad 2
Serves 4 as a side dish

1 Honey Gold Mango
2 Firm Yellow Nectarines*
1 Haas Avocado
1 Tomato
Juice from 1 Lime
1/4 C Fresh Coriander, roughly chopped
1 Small Red Chili, finely diced (optional)
1 t Sesame Seeds
1 T Pine Nuts
S+P to taste (optional)

  • Roughly dice the mango, nectarines, avocado & tomato. Place in a bowl and toss with the lime juice & coriander (& chili, salt & pepper if that’s how you dig it).
  • In a dry skillet on high heat, lightly toast the sesame seeds & pine nuts. I recommend putting the sesame seeds in first and the pine nuts 10-20 seconds later. Toss constantly until lightly browned and serve on top of the salad. Watch these carefully – you don’t want them to burn.

That’s seriously all there is to it! YOU’RE WELCOME.

*The crunch of particularly hard nectarines will work in your favour in this recipe, lending a crisp and varied texture to the salad along with the toasted sesame seeds & pine nuts. It’s much more exciting than a sloppy ol’ standard mango salsa, believe me!

Mango Nectarine Salad 1

For a raw version, simply skip toasting the sesame seeds & pine nuts.

I realise that the salt & pepper might be a little too weird for some of you, but for those of you that are adventurous, I strongly recommend it!

Disclosure statement: Piñata Farms supplied me with some free mangoes for recipe development.

Minted Pea, Fennel & Granny Smith Soup [Raw]

You may have guessed by my absence that it’s been a tough couple of weeks for me. Wolvie was euthanized and less than a week later, Mr. AA suffered an injury that required emergency surgery. Thankfully all his fingers are still attached, but he’ll be off work for a while and will be starting hand therapy soon.

Bunny Toys

Striving to see the glass-half-full so as not to induce self-pity and misery, I’m happy to report that there has been a silver lining.

1. We’re bonding strongly with our other bunny at the moment which has cheered us both up – she really is quite a sweetheart. We’ve showered her with new toys, heat packs and lots of extra play/cuddle time so she doesn’t get too depressed or lonely.
2. It’s really nice to come home and have a hug waiting and a cup of tea made for me.
3. While my grief somewhat steered me into some terrible eating habits, I’m starting to get back into my normal routine. I know this will take time; I just need to be forgiving and patient with myself.

I’ve never been a big fan of fennel, but I’ve been fennel-curious lately. Despite loving fennel seeds in spice mixes, adoring liquorice and enjoying the occasional liquorice tea, the pungent smell of fresh fennel makes me instantly feel like a pregnant lady – my stomach turns. I feel the same way when I smell absinthe, aniseed or star anise which is strange because I know all of those smells are fairly similar. Anyway – I’m pleased to say that if you feel the same way I do about the smell/taste, don’t fret. You don’t really notice the fennel in this soup because it’s overpowered by the sweet peas and sour lime & granny smith apple.

Minted Pea, Fennel & Granny Smith Soup
Serves 2 / Yields approx. 800ml

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Lemon & Thyme Infused Polenta With Monster Vegan Brunches!

Polenta has been foreign to me for most of my life. The first few times I tried making it I was young, living out of home and my attempts failed horribly. Feeling highly scarred and discouraged, I didn’t try again for a few years. I’ve now mastered these humble corn grits and while they look pretty with stripy grill marks on them, I like them even better when baked as chips/fries!

Lemon & Thyme Infused Polenta
Serves 4

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“Baked” Beans

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for your patience over the past couple of weeks – Wolvie is hanging in there and has been having more good days than bad, so that’s certainly helping keep my spirits up. I bought a kids’ play tent and new tunnel for the bunnies’ room yesterday (yes, they have a room) and both buns seem to be impressed with the new arrangement!

Bunny Room

I’ve certainly been diving into comfort food these past couple of weeks – an easy baked beans recipe (that isn’t really baked) is something I’ve been meaning to get around to for a while. The other week I asked on Facebook whether people preferred them home made or from a tin – the opinions were strong and divided. Personally, I’ve never eaten baked beans from a tin. True story. I have, however, eaten plenty of baked beans from cafés, so I generally know what I like: herbs, tang & not too much sugar. I also really like lots of texture, so I’ve used both diced & pureed tomato. If you’re not a fan of onion or garlic, feel free to skip them. I’ve also included some quantity ranges so you can make this to suit your palate.

Baked Beans
Serves 4

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Green Satay Salad

Bunnies

We received devastating news this week; in addition to suffering arthritis, our bunny Wolverine (“Wolvie”, front/right bunny) has a malignant tumour. The vet has advised against major surgery, as he’s 9 years old and there’s a very high chance the tumour will grow back in a matter of weeks – so at the moment, we’re in palliative care mode, administering daily anti-inflammatories with extra love & attention. We don’t know how long he has left, but while this is happening, I’ll be scaling back the time I spend on Appetite Affliction.

Because this little guy has made such a big impact on my life and he happens to love coriander, broccoli & celery, I’m dedicating today’s recipe to him! Feel free to change up the base veggies if you have something different in your fridge or just prefer something else – but stick to the dressing because it’s seriously tasty.

Green Satay Salad 1
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side.

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Caprese Salad With Macadamia “Mozzarella”

I’d been thinking about caprese salad all week, so I decided to roll up my sleeves and have a go at making a macadamia based “mozzarella”. The flavour is mild and the texture is creamy and delicate – possibly a little too delicate – but I’m happy with the result nevertheless! I didn’t add any probiotics to this but if you’d like to, blending in 1/2 a teaspoon of dairy-free probiotic powder will be plenty.

Caprese Salad 1
Caprese Salad for 1

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Semi-Raw Noodle Salad with Sweet Soy-Lime Dressing

This recipe is fairly flexible in terms of ingredients – the only thing I suggest sticking to is the dressing, because the dressing makes it. I chose to mix cooked noodles with raw zucchini noodles because sometimes a cooked meal is too heavy and a raw meal is too light – but you could go with either extreme, depending on your preference.

If you’re going all raw, you’ll only need half the dressing. If you’re going cooked, make the full amount of dressing because you’ll need extra to stop the cooked noodles from sticking together and to fry the tofu.

Noodle Salad with Sweet Soy Dressing
Serves 1

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Easy Raw Crackers

I really wanted to replicate Ace’s raw crackers from Mozartbar Café because they were pretty tasty & memorable. Now that I’ve actually made them and I’m blogging about them, I feel like I’m cheating you all out of a “real” recipe this week because they’re so easy that anyone could have come up with them!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Makes 2 dehydrator trays of crackers.

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Vegan Baking 101: Chia “Eggs” & Date Paste [and other substitutes]

For those of you that are baking pros, bear with me for a moment. This is a necessary precursor to a recipe that’s on its way to you!

Chia Egg & Date Paste

So here’s the thing: sometimes, substituting things in vegan baking is common sense. We all know that you can substitute non-dairy milks for regular milk when it comes to baking (right?). My top choice for this is rice milk because of its neutral flavour, but I’ll use almond milk if the recipe looks like it needs something creamier/fattier. I don’t use soy – especially not in chocolate flavoured things, because you can taste it. It doesn’t necessarily taste like soy, but it definitely reminds me of cheap, nasty easter eggs.

As far as egg replacers go, you have a lot of choices. You should consider what’ll suit your recipe best – not all vegan egg substitutes are as flexible as using actual eggs. I’ve made some notes below for your reference; all of these are for using egg substitutes as a binding agent, not a rising agent (I’ll talk about this in another post). Continue reading