We’ve mastered meat-free Mondays. Now let’s take it a step further.
EMBRACING A PLANT-BASED LIFESTYLE
The daughter of a goat farmer, Tammy Fry saw how, day after day, the goats were sold for slaughter. But she realised that if she named the individual goats, they crossed the line from being ‘units of currency’ to pets. So she started naming as many of them as possible.
The same goat farmer, many years later, swore off meat forever, and in the early 1990s, he and his wife started The Fry Family Food Company, known internationally for its range of plant-based food products.
Tammy, recently named as one of the top eight women changing the world through food, and founder of Meat-Free Mondays here and in Australia, knows all too well the challenges of choosing a plant-based lifestyle … and discusses them, and the solutions, in her first book Made with Love and Plants. More than a recipe book, it’s full of really useful, thoughtful information … from why you should choose a plant-based diet to transitioning (don’t go cold turkey!), answering questions – where do you get your iron (beans and legumes and broccoli and dates), and giving essential tips (navigating the supermarket and decoding labels).
There are nearly six dozen really great recipes, that quickly dispel the idea that this diet is boring or restrictive.
There’s a breakfast carrot cake (Carrot cake. Breakfast. Swoon) and glazed, grilled fruit skewers with chocolate sauce to get your day off to a sweet start, the prettiest, tastiest Vietnamese rice paper rolls with hoisin-peanut dipping sauce or loaded homemade nachos for midday Summer snacking, and a West African coconut curry that’ll have you dishing up seconds in no time.
Tammy suggests you milk coconuts, not cows, and so there are recipes for rice, coconut, almond and cashew nut milk, and a whole section on treats and lunch box ideas.
If you’re thinking of going the plant-based route, we bet this book will sway you; if not, it’s worth a buy for recipes for you to keep meat-free Mondays interesting. Simple. Delicious. Healthy. All you want, really. For more from Tammy, visit seed-blog.com.
VANILLA NICE CREAM WITH COOKIE CRUMBLE
This one makes the nice list. Nice to eat, nice to make, nice ’n’ healthy too.
You’ll need: 3 frozen bananas; 1 Tbsp maple syrup; a few drops natural vanilla extract; 1 Tbsp cocoa powder (optional for making chocolate ice cream); quarter cup coconut milk (if necessary); crunchy oat and choc cookies (recipe in the book, or use any other vegan cookie, crumbled)
To make: Add the bananas, maple syrup, vanilla extract and cocoa powder (if using) to a powerful blender and blitz until smooth. Add small amounts of the coconut milk, if required for a smoother texture.
Serve in a bowl or a cone, topped with crumbled cookies.
BREAKFAST CARROT CAKE
Not all puddings are equal. Take this one for example, technically a cake, eaten at breakfast, no refined sugar, no dairy and nutrition in every spoonful. Breakfast doesn’t get better than this. This makes enough for two.
You’ll need: 1 cup each of coconut milk, water and rolled oats; 2 cups peeled and grated carrots; 2 bananas, mashed; 4 Tbsp raisins or dried goji berries; 2 Tbsp maple syrup; 1 tsp each of ground cinnamon and vanilla spice/essence; half a tsp each of ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves; and half a cup coconut cream For the toppings, you’ll need: shaved coconut; maple syrup (to taste); and pineapple pieces
To make: In a small pot over a medium heat, bring the milk and water to a simmer. Add the oats and bring to a slow boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 3 minutes. Add the grated carrots, bananas and raisins or berries, as well as the maple syrup, vanilla essence and spices. Cook for another three to five minutes. Pour in the coconut cream and stir well, allowing to simmer for approximately five minutes until the liquid is absorbed and a thick consistency is reached. Add the toppings and decorate as desired. Enjoy the ‘cake‘ warm.
Cinnamon not only tastes amazing when added to desserts, smoothies and savoury dishes, but it’s one of nature’s superfoods. This spice has powerful medicinal benefits as a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Just a quarter teaspoon a day can lower the risk of some chronic diseases.
Tammy admits she might be trying too hard here to make muffins look like health food. But who could blame her? These cinnamon and walnut muffins take less than half an hour from start to finish … you’re meant to leave them to cool on a rack before eating. We didn’t.
CINNAMON AND WALNUT MUFFINS
(Makes 12 muffins)
Cinnamon streusel; ¼ cup rolled oats; 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts; 2 Tbsp coconut flakes; ¼ tsp ground cinnamon ; ¼ tsp ground nutmeg; 1 Tbsp coconut sugar; 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil; ¾ cup whole-wheat spelt flour; ¾ cup all-purpose flour; ½ cup coconut sugar; 2 tsp ground cinnamon; 2 tsp baking powder; ½ tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda); ¼ tsp fine salt; 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flaxseed, stirred into ¼ cup water and set aside for 5 minutes); ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk; 1/3 cup melted coconut oil; 1 tsp vanilla essence; ½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup raisins or dried cranberries or vegan chocolate (if you’re feeling cheeky)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. For the streusel, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. For a finer streusel, blitz in a food processor. For the muffins, add both flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a medium-sized bowl. Make a well in the centre.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flax eggs, almond milk, coconut oil, vanilla essence and lemon juice until well combined. Pour into the well in the dry ingredients. Add optional ingredients. Stir the mixture just enough to moisten all the flour, but do not overmix. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and top with the streusel. Bake for 16–18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack before serving.
Text: Kym Argo