Monthly Archives: September 2012

Roasted Vegetable Salad & Pumpkin Cookies

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fresh rosemary

Rosemary for coughing? I recently read somewhere that rosemary is a good herb to eat if you have a cough and had just been talking with a good friend about her beautifully fast growing rosemary plant. Zaedyn started coughing a bit yesterday. I was hoping it would not come to anything, but I thought I would get some rosemary to give him just in case.

Zaedyn tasted a fresh rosemary leaf, but ended up falling asleep before dinner was ready as he was too tired from a busy day. At least I ended up with this yummy roast vegetable salad with fresh rosemary for dinner. Lucky enough, there was heaps leftover which we were able to enjoy for lunch today. Zaedyn doesn’t seem to be coughing today, but I don’t think that I can put it down to the rosemary. At least I know what to use next time any of us have a cough. Has anyone else ever eaten rosemary as a natural remedy for coughing or tried rosemary oil?

I prefer to eat most vegetables raw and know that they are better for us that way, but there were a couple reasons that I decided to make this salad. When we were in Rarotonga in January, one of the restaurants made me a special meal one night which was a variety of roasted vegetables and hummus. It was so yummy, and I would have gone back again if we weren’t at the end of our trip. A few months ago, I decided to make my own creation with courgettes, pumpkin, onion, capsicum, kumara, and cashews over mixed greens with capsicum hummus. It was delicious! Zaedyn was pretty excited as well, however, he was only eating the hummus by the spoonful which he often likes to do. Also, I did not give him any cashews.

When thinking of how to use rosemary last night, I thought that this salad would be perfect. This time I made kumara with fresh rosemary, pumpkin, capsicum, and onion on top of spinach leaves. I could not decide which nuts to use so I ended up with a combination of cashews, walnuts, and pine nuts. Again, this was absolutely delicious.

Rosemary

About a week ago, I saw a photo of some pumpkin cookies from the Lunchbox Bunch. I really wanted to try them and actually ended up making my own version which is super yummy. Zaedyn and I made them today for David’s birthday with the extra pumpkin we cooked alongside our veggies last night. Our own pumpkin puree with yummy and healthy ingredients. I would definitely make these again.

chia seeds

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies

Dry Ingredients:
~1 1/4 cups organic rolled oats
~3/4 cup rice flour
~1/2 cup LSA (linseed, sunflower, almond)
~1/2 cup raw sugar *optional
~1 tsp cinnamon
~1 TBSP baking powder

Wet Ingredients:
~1/3 c water + 2 tsp chia seeds
~1/2 tsp vanilla extract
~1 cup homemade pumpkin puree
~1 tsp raw organic apple cider vinegar
~2 TBSP melted coconut oil

Mix wet into dry ingredients and add in:
~3/4 cup chopped walnuts
~1 cup chocolate

Dough can be chilled or cooked straight away for 12 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius.

*Thank you to Healthy Happy Life for the idea to make pumpkin cookies and the basic recipe which I adjusted. Check out their site for some yummy looking recipes.

Rā whānau ki a koe, rā whānau ki a koe, rā whānau ki a David, rā whānau ki a koe!

Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear David, happy birthday to you!

Happy Birthday, David! Lots of love xxx

Tahini, a Nutritional Powerhouse

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organic

Tahini is a nutritional powerhouse that is being eaten by many, but often unknowingly. If you have ever made hummus, you will know that tahini is one of the main ingredients. So if you have eaten hummus and thought that you had never tried tahini, you probably have!

I have often been asked what tahini is, and well, it is actually just ground sesame seeds that becomes a spreadable paste, or seed butter. There is a bit of confusion when it comes to whether or not to buy hulled or unhulled sesame seeds, but it seems as if the unhulled provides additional nutrients. Makes sense to me. Being vegan you often get asked, “Well, where do you get your calcium?” Tahini is an excellent source of calcium.

Why not buy some raw sesame seeds and try making your own tahini? Besides making hummus, you can use it in dips like my Edamame Dip Sprinkled with Chia Seeds, spread it on Mountain Bread or gluten-free bread, fruit, add to smoothies, use it to make dressings, make tahini milks, or spread on falafel. What is your favourite way to eat tahini?

Regrowing Mint: Water or Soil?

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Ever wonder if this actually works? I have never tried to regrow mint as it does seem to grow in abundance on its own, but I wanted to regrow some cuttings for the tamariki at the centre. With summer coming, the teachers are sorting out the garden with intentions of building a sensory area including herbs.

Mint is a hardy plant that can be easily grown by children. It makes a great addition and aromatic aspect to playdough or clay by adding hot water to fresh mint leaves and using as an essence. Add mint to water in ice cube trays and freeze. This adds a twist of a natural sensory aspect to the understanding of the physical properties of water leading to curiosity, contribution, and exploration. I am sure that the tamariki will love picking mint from their garden and knowing that they helped it to grow. This also adds to their sense of responsibility and sustainability as they develop an appreciation for the environment. There are even more learning opportunities through science concepts, collaboration, patience, and observation. The list goes on.

Gardening provides children with a real sense of purpose and a meaningful way to explore nature.

I may have cut the mint a bit longer than I should have, but I was very surprised and excited as I walked past and saw the roots. I did not know if the cuttings would regrow and was uncertain as to whether or not they should be in water or soil, but it looks like this was a success. We will continue to watch the roots grow before planting them.

Anyone else need mint? Would love to hear if anyone else has tried this, or can share successful or unsuccessful experiences regrowing plants from cuttings.

***tamariki means children

Edamame Dip Sprinkled with Chia Seeds

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Fresh parsley we picked from our garden ~1/4 cup for our dip & the rest for our rāpeti, Kai

soybean

Bag of already shelled edamame soybeans cooked (Mama San in NZ is 454g) & don’t forget to save the liquid to help blend everything together

edamame dip

1 TBLS Organic Miso, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, clove of garlic

Freshly Squeezed Lemon

2 TBLS freshly squeezed lemon

Edamame Dip

Add above ingredients to blender with 3/4 cup cooking liquid, small avocado, 2 TBLS avocado oil, 1tsp Organic Tahini, Himalayan Crystal Salt, & dash of pepper (chili *optional)

Edamame

Edamame

Edamame Dip on rice crackers & sprinkled with black chia seeds

Edamame

Definitely recommend this dip. With a few modifications to the Pinterest Edamame dip, ours was a success. Zaedyn approved as you can see! Crackers or raw veggies hardly make it into his mouth when there is hummus or dip. He prefers to eat it with his hands or by the spoonful. He could not get enough of this yummy dip. Lucky the recipe makes quite a bit, otherwise there would not have been enough for me. After scooping out the rest from the blender, there is still heaps more for tomorrow. It is a lovely warm dip fresh out of the blender, but it tastes just as yummy when cold as well.

Modifications to original recipe:

~Our avocado was small so we used a whole one

~Avocado oil instead of olive oil

~1tsp Organic Tahini

~Himalayan Crystal Salt

~Chili spice instead of paste

~A bit more water

~Chia seeds instead of sesame

As we did not have any red chili paste, off to the store we went with our stylish organic hemp bag. Unfortunately we did not find any chili paste or chillies, but we managed to find a few other yummy things at the store. We decided to use both avocado and tahini as tahini would add a natural source of calcium. We did not have any black sesame seeds, but I figured that I already incorporated sesame seeds with the tahini so why not boost this yummy dip with more nutrition by sprinkling with chia seeds.

Chia seeds are nature’s complete superfood containing Omega 3 ALA, essential “good fat”, and dietary fibre.

Let me know if you make this yummy edamame dip. It is a great alternative to hummus and packed with natural superfoods. This recipe also allows for many changes of ingredients from what you can find in your garden or pantry. Enjoy!

Edamame

*Original Recipe from Scaling Back. Thanks for the idea to make this dip 🙂

Homeopathy for Your Garden?

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arnica

Homeopathy for your garden? Has this left you in confusion or curiosity? I will admit to being a bit uncertain when first reading about homeopathy for plants, but it supposedly works! I am a strong believer in homeopathy and of course I am keen to see if it works. Why wouldn’t it?

We were busy enjoying the sunshine today and sorting out our garden. We were so excited about all of our plants, but most of them have been growing in our kitchen as we could not decide where to plant them. Our backyard is amazing, full of natural elements and a decent size, but the designated garden area has remained a bit of a mess. There are wooden boxes there, but the ivy and weeds from previous neighbours just seemed to be embedded in the soil when we first moved in. Every year, we start to tidy things up, but we only get so far. Last year, I ended up using tires with my parsley in a pot and my strawberries in one of the veggie boxes. Actually, my strawberries have been there for a few years now. I was not very good at pulling weeds out this year, and many of my strawberry plants have disappeared. I think it might be time to move the few left into a new area.

Anyways, the other day when we were out playing in the garden, I thought it would be awesome to incorporate some of the plants alongside what will hopefully become an inviting play area for Zaedyn. The entire backyard is exciting to Zaedyn, but I can see this area further developing, especially with a bean teepee. I did not want to block Zaedyn’s climbing area as he was resourceful in using these logs as a natural climbing frame.
Nature

Logs

Zaedyn needs to be just a little bit taller, but he knows his limits. I observed as he was busy making his own fun and being adventurous. He is willing to give everything a go. I love how the aspect of nature brings out some amazing dispositions that are reflected though his play and cheeky personality.

Garden

Some plants would look beautiful here…

Nature

I will come back to a few more natural play ideas, but let’s get back to the garden. I put my kale outside yesterday and noticed a huge change today already from the wind. I have had great success growing plants in my kitchen only to put them outside not to thrive as they were previously. I remembered receiving a homeopathic newsletter talking about Arnica for transplanting plants. I quickly tracked it down and had a quick read. All you need to do is add a couple pillules or drops of Arnica to the water in your watering can and water your plants. As you would take Arnica for shock, plants benefit as well from the shock of transplanting them. Isn’t that amazing? It makes a lot of sense to me and is so easy as well.

I do not have any background with homeopathy and plants, but would love to read this recommended book Homoeopathy for Farm & Gar­den by Vaikunthanath Das Kaviraj. You can even use homeopathic remedies as natural herbicides. Anyone else interested? Check out Homeoplant.

Now added to Zaedyn’s play area is kale, some nasturtium, and blueberry BlueMagic. I hope that it will manage the shock of being outside and continue to thrive. Our parsley is always in abundance! Having bought miso from the Herbal Dispensary yesterday, I almost have all of the ingredients I need along with fresh parsley from the garden to make Edamame Dip. Thanks for pinning it for me, Mum. I am very curious as to how this will taste. Will definitely share my thoughts once I have made this dip.

I was going to continue the post with Zaedyn’s exploration in the garden with natural resources and the happiness that comes with sunshine, but I have been sidetracked and it is far too late for me to still be awake right now. I will still post about this soon though and will leave you with a photo from today in case you have not seen it already on Facebook. Zaedyn is rehydrating with a fresh young coconut after running around heaps with Kai, our rāpeti/rabbit.

Young Coconut

As you make your way out into the garden, remember that you can use homeopathy for your plants as well as yourself for things such as hayfever or even bee stings (hopefully not something you will come across). Hope everyone continues to enjoy the sunshine.

Watching the Waves

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Manu Bay

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Zaedyn loves to show off his puku

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Continue to Grow & Evolve

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Inspirational

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Eco-friendly with Style

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“Embrace your inner nomad with colorful ethnic prints reminiscent of exploring bazaars and spice markets.”    Envirosax ~ the original designer reusable bag

eco-friendly

Envirosax Nomad Graphic Series reusable bags

reusable bags

Amongst my numerous purchases from NZSale in the past month, I was so excited to purchase these Envirosax bags. I have looked at them a few times at Huckleberry Farms and always debated whether or not I needed them. I have a variety of reusable bags so I always figured that I should save my money. Plus, I could never decide amongst all of the colours and patterns! I am so happy that I made my mind up to buy some and even managed to use them at the grocery store tonight.

In California, it seemed so common to bring your bags to the supermarket. In fact, it was almost essential. You would even be in to win by bringing your own bags. Although there are a few stores in New Zealand that now charge 10 cents per bag, it isn’t necessarily normal to bring your own bags, or at least where I have lived. However, having stylish bags made me really excited to use them tonight. Actually, they are such a good size and hold the weight that I only ended up needing to use one.

I love how I was able to buy them as a set of 5 including a pouch. They each roll up and fit into the bag which I can keep in my handbag. No excuse for not using them now.

Envirosax

Envirosax Organic Series hemp reusable bag

I couldn’t pass up buying one from the organic series as well. This bag is very eco-friendly and strong as it is made from hemp. I love the pattern, and the texture of the bag is so soft. Moving toward sustainability, this organic bag is even printed with vegetable based ink and also comes with a pouch for storage. This hemp bag probably has to be my favourite.

Envirosax

Envirosax Slingsax Series reusable bag

In case you thought I had enough bags now, I still wanted to buy a Slingsax as well. With adjustable straps, this bag will suit as a messenger style bag making it easy when I carry Zaedyn. There is even a pocket to store my keys and phone. I can see this being a good bag for when we go to the beach!

reusable bags

Zaedyn telling me all about them

Zaedyn loved the tag and was busy telling me all about the bags and Envirosax. He let me know about things like how they are fully washable without fading, convenient and water resistant, tested for strength and safety, fashionable and fun, solution to plastic bags, 100% guaranteed certified RPET, carbon offset by planting rainforest trees, and that they are ethically made.

reusable bags

Zaedyn was pretty excited about our new reusable bags

There is a lot of meaning behind the Envirosax logo. Here is how the company expresses their meaning behind it:
“The three bags signify the environmental alternative to plastic bags. The leaf represents flora and the eco-friendly nature of the bags; the fragile butterfly represents fauna whose habitat is coserved through the eradication of plastic bags. The classic “recycle” logo is captured with a brush stroke which also recognises the artistic nature of the bags.”

You can read about the dangers of plastic bags and their huge threat to the environment on their website. Check out Envirosax to find some reusable bags that suit your needs and style.

reusable bag

groceries

Zaedyn helping to unload the groceries

bloglovin’

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Kia ora,

Thanks to everyone who has been reading and following my blog and liked Arohanui Vegan Love on Facebook.

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Lindsay x