Author Archives: mrlrt

Adzuki Bean Burger

One of my all time favourite lunches is a burger.  It combines all my favourite things, salad, bread & whatever tasty fried or baked treat going with it. You must have a good hummus, or chutney or pesto to go with it to make it complete.
This is my latest burger with the adzuki bean patties and boy are they good. They keep for 4-5 days easy, so they are great to make at the beginning of the week to enjoy for your lunches.
Chinese herbal medicine considers adzuki’s to be the most “yang” or warming, of all beans, and consequently, good for imparting strength. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, adzuki’s are said to support kidney, bladder and reproductive function.
Like many other beans, adzuki’s are a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and B vitamins. Also of note is  adzuki beans are known to be ‘the weight loss’ bean, since they are so low in calories and fat, yet high in nutrition. They are relatively easy to digest, so they are not as gassy as some beans!

For a nutritious lunch you can’t go wrong!

Makes = 8x 130gms
2 cups adzuki beans, cooked (approximately 1 cup soaked over night)
1 cup sweet potato, chopped, then roast or boil
½ cup fresh parsley or coriander, finely shredded
1 tbs coriander powder
½ medium purple onion, finely diced
4 tb sesame seeds
4 tbs tamari (wheat free soya sauce)
1 tbs good salt
2 tbs olive oil
Rinse adzuki beans and cook the beans in fresh filtered water until soft. This takes approximately 25 -30 minutes.
Strain and cool under running water and set aside.
While adzuki beans are cooking, roast or gently boil sweet potato. Place aside to cool.
Saute diced onion until soft, add coriander powder, sesame seeds and sauté for 1 minute. Then add half the chopped parsley and sauté for a further 30 seconds or so.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

Form into patties and place in a warm to hot frying pan.
Cook until golden brown on both sides.
Assemble with your favourite salad ingredients and a bread roll. In this I used grated beetroot, sunflower sprouts, lettuce & coriander pesto.

Rawsome Caramel Salted Fudge

When I was a kid and was given some money to go and buy some lollies or had ‘earned’ 20c (wow!) for doing some chores, I would very often reach for anything caramel.
Caramel swirls, the golden yellowy buttons which cost 2c each were always my favorites as a little girl. I would often spend my whole 20c on those and would suck away on them, one at a time, making them last and smiling away contentedly to myself.
I also had a soft spot for Caramelo Bears in those days too. Those little koala’s filled with soft stringy caramel that dripped down onto your chin and were coated in chocolate!
As my taste matured I then fell in love with those chewy jaw aching Chocolate Ecclairs filled with soft caramel. The other favs of the day were those Caramel Chews, in the pink & blue shiny wrappers, again chewy work out on your jaw!
It’s hard to describe what it is about caramel that is so alluring. Whether it’s the buttery vanilla flavor, the soft textures or just the fact that it’s not as intense as chocolate in that rich, sweet but bitter chocolate way?
I’ve always had a soft spot for caramel.
Caramel fudge was the most special treat for me, with its soft buttery texture and vanilla caramel flavor that just melted in your mouth….little did I know what was in it!
Here I have tried to recreate it but as something healthy and vegan (so without the usual sugar and butter). This caramel salted fudge hits the spot when it comes to texture and flavor and knowing they’re made of organic raw nuts (with superfoods too) I feel good about eating it and so does my body, as there is no intense sugar rush.
I wonder, for all you caramel freaks out there, if you’ll agree with me, that it hits the spot and satisfies the taste buds and childhood memories?
So this one is for all you vegan caramel lovers; enjoy!
Makes = 24 pieces
1 cup macadamia nuts (or cashews)
1 cup dates
½ cup coconut nectar (agave syrup will do)
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder/paste (or 1x vanilla bean scrapped)
1 tbs lucuma (superfood)
2 tbs mesquite (super food)
50gm cacao butter
¼ cup coconut oil
3 cups desiccated coconut
½ tsp good salt
Pink Himalayan salt (or other good quality salt)
Process the desiccated coconut in a food processor for 5-8 minutes or until the coconut begins to turn into butter. 
Add the macadamia nuts and process for 20-30 seconds or until it have been fully ground into a fine meal (no lumps). 
Add all the dates and process until they have all been broken down and combined with the nut & coconut mixture.
Add remaining ingredients and blend until it forms a ball.
Place filling in a lined slice tin (approximately 15cm x 25cm) and smooth over the top of the fudge with a crank spatula or using a sheet of baking paper over the top then smooth over with your hands. Try to get the top, especially the corners as even as possible. Leave baking paper on the slice over night.
Peel back baking paper and garnish the slice with a scattering good quality salt.

Roast sweet potato & snow pea salad

 Getting stuck in a food rut is just an opportunity to discover something new! We all need inspiration and fresh ideas from time to time. Food doesn’t have to be complex or fancy for it to be good, especially our day to day dinners and lunches. Just something different than our usual dishes we have come to prepare out of habit and ease.
Changing combination and following the seasons can really help to expand our repertoire. We’ve been getting huge sweet potatoes lately and fresh snow peas & green beans so this salad is perfect for this autumn time of the year. Fresh dill can make such a wonderful addition to any salad or soup. It’s strong so use a small amount until you fall in love with the complex grassy flavours.
This can be served as a salad in it’s own right or with baked tempeh, other salads, or your favorite risotto.
 Makes =  approximately 4 serves
4x medium sweet potatoes, roughly chopped into chunks
250gm green beans, topped
250gm snow peas, topped
½ bunch fresh dill, roughly chopped
½ cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp good salt or to taste
cracked pepper to taste
a splash balsamic vinegar
 Place the chopped sweet potato on a flat baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown at 190C.
Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.
This salad can be served warm or cold.
Blanch the snow peas and green beans in boiling water for 30 seconds or until bright green and still crunchy.
Cool in cold water to retain the colour and stop the cooking process or tossed with sweet potato and fresh dill and dressing and serve immediately.

Shake all the ingredients in a jar and dress the salad when ready to serve and eat!

Rawsome Perfect dates

Begged borrowed and stolen! This is where most of our recipes come from. It’s hard to be truly original and not be inspired by something you’ve seen or tasted sometime before in the memory bank of our mind and taste buds.
The inspiration for this little treat came from Lani, someone I worked with for many years in a little juice bar in Mullumbimby, Australia. This was her answer during the single years of a girl’s life! Snuggling up on a comfy couch, with a romantic comedy on your laptop and a
hot cup of herbal tea or hot chocolate with a small plate of perfect dates! This was the answer to those lonely nights!
There are no drama’s with one of these perfect dates, nothing to worry about before your date. No hours of dressing up and getting ready – your perfect date is happy for you to be comfortable in whatever you feel like wearing. No build up of nerves and worry to freak you out in the days leading up to a date, the perfect date is happy for you to simply be yourself.  No listening to boring conversations about what he does for a living, your perfect date is fine with no talking at all and he just exists for you alone!  No need to worry if he likes you or not because this little date likes you for who you are. And definitely do not worry about if he’s ‘the one’ because the perfect date just is, and you can rest in that fact that this date is here for you and is perfect in his own right. Take your time, savour each moment with your perfect date for he lives just in the moment and will carry you away into dreamland and pure bliss, existing for you and you alone…
The original ones where made with 70% dark organic chocolate but I like these with this raw chocolate as it makes the whole thing good for you, I promise!

To make:
10x fresh Californian dates (1x per person, maybe two…)
½ cups raw macadamia nuts
Raw chocolate
½ cup cacao powder
¼ cup cacao butter, shaved
¼ cup raw agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder or scrap the seeds of a pod
½ tsp salt
Optional: 1 tsp of any or all of the following: lucuma powder, macca powder, or mesquite powder for a healthier nutritious super food treat.
To garnish
Cacao nibs & strawberries
To make raw chocolate
Melt the shaved cacao butter in a stainless steal over hot water. Do not place bowl directly on the hot water as it may destroy all the raw nutrients in the cacao butter, if heated directly.
Hand whisk or place in a food processor the rest of the ingredients (including the melted cacao butter) and whisk or blend until smooth and velvety.
To assemble
Split dates down the middle (but not totally in half) and remove the pitt. Then place 2-3 macadamia nuts in the body of the date.

Drizzle the chocolate over the top and garnish with cacao nibs.
Place in fridge to set. Allow an hour. Garnish with fresh strawberries if you wish! Sit down to a passionate romantic comedy and enjoy eat date, one mouthful at a time!

***Photo’s by Caspar Brace, my beloved…

Tomato and parsley soup shots

The world of raw soups has been a relatively recent discovery for me in my journey of creating wonderful food. Although this tomato and basil soup could vaguely be compared to the famous gaspacho soup; it was this cold classic Spanish soup that I first tried about 12 years ago. Caspar’s mum Maggie, served it to me, and because I trusted her cooking abilities, I gave it a try. She didn’t put bread in it, as it often says to in the traditional Spanish recipes so it really was a raw soup! I think it was this early introduction that allowed raw soups to slip under my suspiciousradar rather
smoothly. In those early days I’ve given every ‘cold’ (often raw) soup I’ve come across a try. About 8 years ago I began to experiment with raw soups and discovered I really liked them!

The vitality and freshness that you feel after a raw soup is a revelation. They are quick to make – throw everything into a blender and whizz until smooth, taste, and season to your liking!
Try a couple of ice cubes in the warmer months. For the cooler months, use boiling water to warm the soup, this keeps it raw and vital but warming for the tummy and your insides. 

Makes = approximately 4 small bowls or 30 shots 
4-5x medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley leaves,  (try any of the fresh herbs)
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 spring onion finely sliced or 1/2 small salad onion
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp good salt or to taste
cracked pepper to taste
1 tsp mixed italian herbs
2 cups water (warm or cold)
1x small clove garlic, finely minced
a splash balsamic vinegar
Garnish : flat leaf parsley leaves.
Optional * 1 tsp savory yeast flakes.
Option: For a special party, add a shot or two of vodka and a dash of tabasco sauce to spice it up!
Throw everything into the blender and wiz until smooth. Taste and season as you see fit. Depending on the flavor of the tomatoes as well as volume, you may like to adjust seasoning.
Serve with fresh bread, raw crackers or follow with a salad of your choice for a complete lunch meal.

Chocolate, rosewater & berry trifle

“The word “trifle” comes from the old French term “trufle,” and literally means something whimsical or of little consequence”. Isn’t that so French! How could a trifle be of little consequence? Try telling that to your dessert hungry friends as you serve the last spoonful of trifle!
If you’re a sweet tooth like me, dessert is everything. It’s the perfect end to a meal, the icing on the cake if you will indulge me in a little pun! Not every night but
occasionally a little something sweet is needed and definitely when I have guests for dinner or lunch!
 I’m always exploring and creating new desserts to add to my repetoire and I have a thing about re-creating old classics into vegan friendly dishes. I guess I’m still trying to prove to the non-trusting folk that vegan food isn’t boring if you know how to cook and have a bit of imagination!
Classic trifles consist of a fruity component, some sort of custard, cream and jelly and a drizzle of alcohol (where I came from anyway!) and some sort of sponge cake. So I love twisting it and turning these ol’ classics into something a little different, something unusual. Trifle has endless variations to play with. You can alter the flavor of the sponge, the custard, the fruits of course and the different alcohols if you so desire.
I went out on a limb with the recipe – quite different from the old classic. But I think it all works, it all comes together with a rich chocolaty, berry rosewatery kind of a way and with the softness of the coconut custard to tone it all down.
This recipe is in the local Byron Bay – A food journey through the region by Nelly le Comte & Remy Tancred. We are on page 108!
It’s a great Summer dessert but of course can be eaten all year round. You can interchange the Summer fruits for whatever combination is in season, and whatever you think will work with the chocolate sponge.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the length of this recipes, you just make a small sponge cake, make a custard in 5 minutes and add some fruits & shaved chocolate. Keep it simple in the mind and you won’t be sorry!
I hope you enjoy…

Makes 6 tumbler glasses
Gluten free, vegan chocolate sponge cake
1 cups almond meal
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 cups G/F self raising flour
1.5 cups coconut sugar
150ml macadamia oil
400ml ½ water and ½ soya milk – or milk of your choice
6 tsp gluten free baking powder
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla paste
1 tsp salt
Mixed together all the dry ingredients.
Make a well in the centre and place in it the vanilla paste, macadamia oil & balsamic
vinegar. Hand mix these ingredients into the flour.
Then add the milk/water combination slowly as you gently beat the liquids
into a batter.
Pour into a lined flat tray about an inch or so deep. Be careful not to over fill, leave some room for the sponge cake to rise!
Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes or until the chocolate sponge has risen and you can stick a skewer into the centre and it comes out clean. Only do this if you know the cake is pretty much cooked. I often test the side first because if they are not cooked, neither will the centre be either.
Remove and cool on a cake wire rack

Chocolate Rosewater sauce
½ cup agave
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup H2O
2 tsp vanilla
2-4 tbs rosewater (as much as you like the taste)
Whisk the above ingredients into a thin-ish paste. As it sits, it will thicken.
For best results make the night before whenever possible and chill.
Coconut lime custard
1 litre Coconut cream
2x Lime zest & juice of one
¼ cup light agave syrup
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp Good salt
2 tbs Arrow root powder (thickener)
1tsp Agar agar (setting agent)
Bring the coconut cream to a gentle boil (just under boiling) then add lime zest & juice, agave, vanilla, salt and stir.
Then mix agar agar & arrow root powder together in a mug, add a little water and mix into a running paste.
Stir in the agar agar mix slowly so it dissipates evenly.  Continue to stir and dissolve the agar agar (it’s a white seaweed) for about 3 minutes.
Place in the fridge to cool and set.
Fruit layers
1 punnet (100gm) blueberries
1 punnet (150gm) strawberries, sliced into quarters
Add a few berries per layer and lots on the top!
½ cup macadamia nut, roughly chopped
70% organic dark chocolate, shaved
I like to put a little sprinkle of each of these between each layer as well as lots on the top!
Assembling the trifle
Place a little drizzle of chocolate rosewater sauce on the bottom of the glass, then a little coconut custard.
Break off some cake and place that in the glass then more custard and chocolate and some of the berries.
Repeat until you reach the final layer. I like to finish with lots of berries, chocolate shavings and macadamia nuts on the top.

Can be made the day before but I like to eat them on the day I ha

Buckwheat, herb & chargrilled cauliflower

 Wandering through the streets & little laneways’ of South Melbourne we came to one of my sister’s  favourite hidden away cafes. My sister recommended the buckwheat salad, I’m not the biggest fan of buckwheat in a salad, so I hesitated and scanned the menu. It was the only thing vegan on the menu so Caspar and I had to have to have it. Wow, was it worth it. I was so inspired by
the concept of a buckwheat & fresh herbs salad – it really worked!
Buckwheat is one of those grains that has had a bad rap over the years, that has been done so badly that no-one wants to give it a go. I know I’ve never really had a good solid savory buckwheat dish up my sleave that I’m proud of and enjoy eating (other than my savory buckwheat pancake – see previous buckwheat pancake post). 
So I altered a few things to suit my tastes and added a couple ingredients that I thought would work well, and took a few things out! So thanks to the inspiration of this wonderful little cafe here is my new favourite buckwheat recipe.
I just love to be inspired when I eat out and I must say it doesn’t happen that often but when it does, it’s like it lights something up inside of me. Sometimes it inspires a new creation like this salad, which I am thrilled about. I’m really happy to get more buckwheat into my diet in a simple no fuss kind of way. It’s so fabulous for you.
Despite its name, buckwheat is not a type of wheat — nor is it related to wheat. Buckwheat isn’t even a grain; it’s the fruit of a plant that’s related to rhubarb! It’s a great Aniti oxidant, has more protein than any grain, excellent source of fiber and thus great for weight loss and wonderfully high in magnesium, which is great for your blood, brain & nervous system. Does that make you wanna try this dish? Go on it’s easy!
To make the salad
1 cup Buckwheat, lightly toasted until golden (see below)
½ large cauliflower, cut into flat florets
2 medium Lebanese cucumbers, peeled, de-seeded & cut on a long slant
Fresh herb/s of your choice:
1 cup whole coriander leaves
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp good salt
pepper to taste
Cooking the buckwheat
Toast the buckwheat grain in a dry frying pan (no oil) until golden.
Then place in a saucepan with filtered water (2:1 ratio). So in this recipe: one cup buckwheat to 2 cups of water.
Bring to boil and reduce heat to a simmer for approximately 12-15 mins or until grain has doubled and absorbed the water.
Turn heat off and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes. Run under cold water to cool the buckwheat ready to toss with the rest of the salad.
While cooking the buckwheat prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Toss the cauliflower florets in good olive oil, black pepper & salt. Shake off excess oil and char-grilled the cauliflower florets on a hot griddle pan until blackened.
Put aside to cool.
Toasted the pepita’s seeds (pumpkins seeds) on a dry frying pan until popping and golden. Place aside to cool.
Toss all the components of the salad together.
To make a great dressing to go with this salad, try this one…
Tahini lemon dressing
½ cup Tahini
½ cup Lemon juice
1 tsp raw agave or maple syrup
Good salt
¼ cup filtered water
Shake all the ingredients in a jar until you get a thick-ish pour-able dressing. Served dressing on the side. 

Rawsome Choc-berry fudge

Anti-ox, died and gone to heaven! This is special…it’s got that coconut chocolate thing going on with the tartness of the berries. With macqui powder, dried blueberries, cranberries & cherries it’s rich is vitamin C and super high in anti-oxidants.
This raw superfood fudge is worth searching for the all organic dried berries, investing in the maqui powder (great in smoothies too) and stocking up on raw cacao powder too. It’s got a great fudge-like texture, and a flavor that
reminds you of something you ate when you were little but can’t put your finger on. That’s what it does for me, anyway!
If you think of food as medicine, as a way to nourish your body but like me, you also like to indulge in a few treats from time to time, then you’ll love this.
I feel no guilt when I eat something like this, I look at the ingredients list and think to myself, “well that’s all food with nutrients, vitamins & minerals, it’s good for me to have it from time to time!”
This keeps well in the fridge too. So you can make up a batch and take out a square when you feel like a sweet treat.
Makes = 24 pieces (4×6 in a 25cm x 15cm x 1inch high slice tin)
1 cup almonds (or whatever nut you like!)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
¼ cup dried blueberries
¼ cup dried cherries
¼ cup coconut nectar
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder (or 1x vanilla bean scraped)
½ cup raw cacao powder
40gm cacao butter, shaved & melted gently
2-3 tbs macqui berry powder (superfood)
¼ cup coconut oil
3 cups desiccated coconut
Some of each of the dried fruits
Cacao nibs
Process the desiccated coconut in a food processor for 5-8 minutes or until the coconut begins to turn into butter. 
Add the nuts of your choice and process for 20-30 seconds or until it have been fully ground into a nut-butter like consistency (no lumps if you can help it). 
Add all the dried fruits and process until they have all been broken down and combined with the nut & coconut mixture.
Add remaining ingredients and blend until it forms a ball in your food processor.
Place filling in a lined slice tin (approximately 15cm x 25cm) and smooth over the top of the fudge using a sheet of baking paper. Try to get the top smooth and even, especially in the corners.
Remove baking paper and garnish the slice with a scattering of dried fruits & cacao nibs, pushing them into the fudge. Refrigerate until set (approximate 4-5 hours, overnight is always best!)

Maca & Mesquite fudge with goji & cranberries

Gifts of food can be so special at this time of year especially when it is something as sweet and pretty as this Maca & Mesquite fudge. When everyone is ALWAYS so busy at the best of times, this time of year can get cranked up a knotch and quite easily turn into madness! Not everyone gets time to create sweet treats such as
this so why not gift our friends or family with such goodness and healthy sweetness?

This is such a lovely Xmas treat for you and your family. It’s simple for you to make (we love that) and you can wrap it up by sitting the slab of sticky gooiness on a piece of card board (with a little baking paper underneath) and gather up  clear cellophane around it & tie some nice raffia or re-usable ribbon around it and voila! Present complete! 
Makes = 28x little squares
using a 26cm long by 16 cm wide – 1 ½ inch high tray
1 cup cacao butter
3/4 cup coconut butter* (not coconut oil)
1/2-3/4 cup light agave
1/2 cup macadamia nuts (or cashews)
1 tsp vanilla bean powder
2-3 tbs maca powder
1 tbs mequite powder (or more as you get used to the flavour!) 
3 tbs lucuma powder
*A few pistachio, goji, cranberries & sesame seeds to garnish with
Process macadamia nuts until it forms a paste (or as smooth as you can get it).
Add remaining ingredients except cacao butter and blend until smooth.
Then add cacao butter and blend until it has emulsified and forms a smooth like fudge like texture.

Scape the sticky fudge into a lined shallow baking dish (26cm long by 16 cm wide – 1 ½ inch high) and smooth over with a good spatula or palette knife.
Sprinkle with chosen garnish treat and gently push them into the fudge.
Chill over night and cut with a sharp knife. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve as it melts quickly in the Aussie summer heat.
To make coconut butter
2 cups make approximately ¾ cup of coconut butter.
Blend desiccated coconut into a butter in a food processor or a high-speed blender. This takes about 10 minutes in a domestic food processor or 6 minutes in a good high speed blender. You will need to stop several times and scrap it down. Just get it as smooth as you can before add to this or other wonderful rawsome recipes!

Whole red lentil salad with char-grilled tempeh & citrus avocado mayo

Lentils make a great meal. They are filling and satisfying but light especially when you add lots of spring veggies with them. I regularly make salads with lentils. The rule as far as I’m concerned is two thirds of vegetables to one third of lentils. I like crunch in a meal, especially if it’s a salad. The snow peas & green beans are just blanched until they turn bright green but retain their crisp texture and nutrition. Add in the tempeh and you get a smokey balsamic
vinegar flavor which goes so well with all the Mediterranean flavours like the flat leaf parsley, the olives, the purple onions & the cherry tomatoes. Full of citrusy tastes, a variety of textures & good quality fresh ingredients, this salad is a must try for your spring lunches or dinners for you or your guests…
Makes = 4-6 people
1 cup puy or whole red lentils
375gm pkt tempeh, cut into lengths about 2-3mm thick
1 cup green beans, remove tips
1 cup snow peas, remove tips
½ cup pitted black olive, roughly chopped
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, tear leave off (approx. cup)
1x medium purple onion, finely sliced
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp good salt
Cracked pepper to taste
¼ cup lemon, juice
Cooking the lentils
Cook lentil in two cups of filtered water until al dente (approximately 15-20 minutes). Make sure lentils are cooked (try a few) there is nothing worse than under cooked lentils.
Once cooked, cool under running water and place in the fridge.
Char-grill the tempeh
Brush the tempeh with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & black pepper.
Place on a ready hot char-grill pan. Allow the tempeh to sizzle and blacken before turning.
To blanch seasonal vegetables
Bring water to boil & add teaspoon salt. Plunge green beans into water for 20-30 seconds or until bright green and still crunchy. Then remove and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process and retain the colour. Do the same with the snow peas. Be sure not to over cook them, we want a crunchy vibrant salad!
Toss the salad
Combine all the ingredients (except tempeh) in a large bowl and dress with the lemon, olive oil, salt & pepper. Arrange tempeh on top of the salad and serve with citrus avocado mayo.
Citrus avocado mayo
1 lime, juiced 
1 lemon, juiced
1 medium avocado
1tsp good salt
2 tbs olive oil
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Place in a jug and chill until ready to eat. This is best made fresh as possible.