Thursday, March 29, 2012

The best vegan banana bread in the world. Yep, I said it.

For 1.5 years I have held the key to the best banana bread in the WORLD, but have had to keep it a sneakret! (sneaky secret, of course)


This recipe belongs to Carla, vegan chef extraordinaire over at

I looked back, and I received this recipe in Sept of 2009 - Woah!

It would be a lie to say that I haven't made this approx 15 times.. tis possibly my most often baked good!

Basically you can go from staring at a pile of bananas (that's weird, why are you doing that?) to an entire loaf in 1 hour. ONE HOUR, GUYS.

And really only 5 mins of that involves doing any work. 

Nice butt!

you need mooshy bananas
, so chuck em in the freezer for an hour or so and they will brown up and soften. I rest mine on top of the oven whilst it is preheating, to defrost them. 

This recipe is perfect. The only thing I change is that I normally just use regular AP flour, and I don't add nuts (as I never have them on hand). If I use AP flour, I usually also use only 1 teaspoon of baking soda and powder.

Oh Oh, I also add 3 bananas instead of 2, I know Carla doesn't like nana's too much, but I like the extra nana taste :)

it looks dry in this photo, but it is actually super duper moist

The only rule with this... which actually ruins the vegan-ness of it all (terribly sorry, Carla), is to 

slap on butter and honey when it's still warm and drink it with a cup of tea.

OR, NUTTELEX AND AGAVE! eh eh? See what I did there?

Enough chit chat. GET YOUR BAKE ON, PEOPLE.
Carla's recipe:

gluten free banana bread

2 cups of gluten free flour*
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup of vegetable oil*
2/3 cup of maple syrup*
2/3 cup of rice milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 frozen bananas, defrosted in their skins
1 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Lightly grease a standard loaf pan or a small cake pan.

2. Toast the walnuts on a baking tray in the oven until they just start to brown, cool them while you make the batter. 

3. In a medium sized bowl mix together all the dry ingredients (minus the walnuts). 

4. In another medium sized bowl mix together all of the wet ingredients. Chop off the tops of the defrosted bananas and squeeze them out of their skins into the wet ingredients like toothpaste out of a tube. Weird huh! Mix the bananas into the wet ingredients then add to the dry ingredients until well combined. Gently fold the walnuts into the cake batter.

5. Pour the batter into your loaf pan till just above half way. Bake for 45 minutes. A cake is cooked when you lightly poke it, it springs back and a skewer or a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. If you cake is browning on the top too much but not cooked in the middle lower the heat a little and place a piece of baking paper on top of the cake.

*notes: I find Orgran wheat free products to be the best. I use olive oil in mainly everything, if you find the taste too overpowering use canola oil or a blended vegetable oil. If you cant afford to use pure maple syrup in baking all the time use maple flavoured syrup or the equivalent sweetener of your choice, try and keep it liquid though.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Slug birthday cake and my extremely fun birthday day!

Around about once a year I force my poor boyfriend to bake for me.

Specifically a cake. I always want a cake. Who doesn't want cake?

You know who? ... my boyfriend is who... he doesn't even really like cake.

*i'm not actually married

You may very well remember last years birthday cake. Quite possibly because it was the greatest thing I have ever seen.

Six layers of rainbow goodness - AND EVERY LAYER WAS A DIFFERENT FLAVOUR.

He is a chef by trade. And like most chefs, he absolutely despises baking. (we're a good yin/yang!)

From the sounds and profanities and general vibe I was getting from the kitchen.. he must really love me. Because he really, REALLY, hates baking!

First of all, a little background birthday story..

presents! presents! all the way from oz :) 

breakfast hand made by a chef... don't mind if I do! 

coffee, bagel, berries, banana bread. YES. 

the breakfast of birthday champions. 

it snowed just a little for my birthday...


organised chef with his organised recipe all organised and stuck on the fridge.

why does he do this to the butter? This brings me pain. 

cake cake cake cake! 

 ooooooh! ahhhhhhhh!

heyyyyyy! where'd it go? Haha, the swirls kinda disappeared.


(See that plate of rice? sometimes he'll just eat rice. Just rice. Do you see what I'm saying? A bowl of rice with some soy sauce... as a meal. Who is this crazy man in my life?)


YEP. My boyfriend calls me slug. But I guess I call him Muffin, so we're pretty even.

He used basic sponge cake and buttercream recipes and added extra strawberries because he knows I am obsessed.

A delicious cake.
A fabulous day.
A lovely family.
A cute boyfriend.

Yeah. I think I'll keep him.

Friday, March 9, 2012

home made too-many-toppings pizza!

Sometimes I make pizza.
When you decide to make pizza... you'd better do it right.

You'd better go all out!
You must make everything from scratch!

Make sure you get far far far too excited and put every vegetable you currently own on top.

It'll probably fall apart when you try to eat it....

but it's pizza... AND YOU MADE IT FROM SCRATCH! 
(does anyone else type scrathc every time too?)

Living in a 2 person household means I don't make pizza too too often.

Muffin and I disagree about almost everything about pizza:

He likes thick
I like thin

He likes meat
I like vegies

He likes less ingredients

He hates crust
I absolutely freaking adore crust - and anything bready in life ever ever ever.

He likes his as is, from the oven
I like mine covered in rocket! (arugula to you foreigners!) and also with creamy spicy dill dipping sauce!


Oh come onnnnnnn.

The only thing we really both like is
easy cheese. No pools of oily cheese for me (or him). 

Come to think of it... my pizza is a very very greedy meal. I just can't stop adding things. I get so excited.

Even when I try to go easy on the toppings.... I end up with a shit tonne of toppings! It's a problem. 

1 batch pizza dough
veggies for topping
tomato sauce for base
great hunger

Go on, be like me... go pizza crazy!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dumpling noodle soup... your own version!

I used to hate the stuff. 

Maybe hate is too strong a word... 
I just thought it was a fake meal. 
All liquidy & no substance! What a waste!

Thanks to Muffin, North America, South East Asia and my palate.. I am now a soup lover!

(I've always been a curly straw lover)

Sometimes when you're home alone, you make dumpling soup whilst listening to Lady Gaga and Beyonce really loud.. then later you eat 2 chocolate bars in a row and instantly feel really sick...
SOME people do that... I mean.... So I've heard..
so they say..

This soup is good for*: 
fussy people
stick insects

(*some of these are untrue)

The base soup is simple and then you add your own special flavours in the bowl.

That's right - RIGHT IN THE BOWL, I SAID.

This idea works for many reasons. 

One example could be that you personally LOVE the taste of sesame oil,
heck, you would wear it as a perfume if you could... 

but unfortunately your boyfriend is all sesamed out from the past 4 years of forced consumption.. he has now become bitter towards you and your relationship with sesame. 

~ So he passes you the sesame oil (and seeds!) and he goes without (such a shame)
Again... so I've heard. 

This is more about ratios than recipes, really.

It's about your own taste buds.. Mine goes something like this:                 

1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 Tablespoon black vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chilli sauce/hot sauce/sriracha
1/2 teaspoon vegetarian oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon black bean sauce
1/2 teaspoon pickled ginger liquid & 2 pieces sliced ginger
few drops sesame oil
sprinkle toasted sesame seeds
1 birdseye chilli, sliced, seeds removed

But hey... I'm a complicated bug.

 plain broth, before seasonings
delicious broth, after added seasonings

Noodle & Dumpling Soup.

1 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked chinese noodles (or 2 min noodles)
1/2 teaspoon stock powder
2 chunks ginger

Bring water, stock and ginger to the boil. When your vegetables are almost cooked through, add noodles until cooked.

Vegetables (1 cup ANY mixed vegies. I used...)
1 Tablespoon oil
1 Tablespoon sliced onion
5 broccoli florets
1/4 cup diced eggplant
2 big handfuls chopped chinese greens
1/4 cup frozen soy beans
3 frozen vegetable dumplings

Heat a frying pan and throw in oil, onion, broccoli and eggplant. Season with salt and pepper.
After 5 minutes, add in 1/4 cup broth and chinese greens, soy beans and frozen dumplings. 
Place lid on top until dumplings & soy beans are entirely cooked through, shaking pan throughout, about 5 mins.

Discard ginger from broth.
Transfer broth and noodles to a big bowl.
Top with vegetables and dumplings and season to your liking with sauces, chilies etc! 

Eat it with someone special, feeling glee, joy and pure happiness.

Friday, March 2, 2012

More than just a flatbread recipe!

Sometimes you find that perfect cafe.
Sometimes you find the perfect dish on that cafe's menu.
Sometimes you go there on a weekly basis with one of your best friends and joke that you don't know what you're going to order this time.....

"x2 flatbreads with a berry smoothie and a chocolate milkshake....
Extra ice cream, please.
Extra aioli, please."

Sometimes you meet a boy and fall in love.
Sometimes that boy lives on the other side of the globe.
Sometimes you move there with him.
Sometimes you dream of that flatbread and cry yourself to sleep at night.


Because one day your mum will email you a recipe*.

You will test said recipe...
and just to make sure you will eat 5 flatbreads in 3 days. 

And you will feel bloated.

(actually what my kitchen generally looks like)
But you will know that it was the right thing to do.

For reals, guys, I know this all sounds crazy, but if there's ONE recipe you make on my entire blog.... make it this bread.

You can use it as a sammidge like I have, or you can just use it as a side.. like naan bread! Or as a snack! Heck, even breakfast!

 lettuce, tomato, zucchini, capers, pickled ginger, hoi sin, mayo, dijon mustard, hot sauce.

So simple. So soft. So full of love.

An excellent vessel for anything your little heart desires.


Makes 8 flatbread.

1 pkt dried yeast (7 gm or 1.7 teaspoons)
1 tbsp sugar 
150ml lukewarm water, add as needed
600 gm plain flour
 (2.5 cups)
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil
200gm Greek-style yoghurt 

Oil for cooking
Put yeast, sugar and 50mL of the warm water in to a small bowl and stir lightly.
Leave to activate in a warm place for 10 minutes or until frothy.
Place flour in a mixer and create a well in the centre.
Add salt, yeast mixture, olive oil and yoghurt and combine until mixture comes together and there is no flour left.
Add in the extra water if it needs it - the mixture shouldn't be sticky. 
Mix on medium speed (or knead by hand) for 5 minutes, the dough should be soft and spring back when ready.
Leave to rest for 15 minutes - THIS IS IMPORTANT, do not skip this step.
Heat a frying pan and add oil of your choice.
Roll out dough in to thin discs (it will puff up) and fry in pan for 4 minutes on each side, until brown and bubbly.
Serve with whatever your soul desires! The combinations are endless!
*I have no idea where it is from
zucchini, tomato, wilted greens, mayo, dijon mustard, hot sauce, fresh chili, sesame seeds. 


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