Monthly Archives: January 2013

Raw Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake

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Yum! These were delicious. Raw, gluten-free, and of course vegan! I have lots left in my freezer to take out and thaw when I feel like raw carrot cake. This was a Pinterest find if you want to check out the recipe. The Sweet Life’s Raw Carrot Bites look a lot harder and smoothly cut compared to mine, but that is because I was too impatient to let them freeze long enough and was a bit quick to try them. Didn’t matter though seeing as they tasted good!

Very happy that I tried the recipe, and hope you will, too. I have not had carrot cake in a long time, but this seemed so different to anything else I had made that I was quite curious. I always tend to go for the chocolate recipes ;). I am used to raw desserts which can be a bit different sometimes and would really love to know what others think. I debated about using half the cashew icing although it really doesn’t seem like too much. Please let me know if you make these or have already made them.

Do you have a favourite raw dessert recipe of your own or someone else’s that you often make?

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Plus, a HUGE thank you to everyone who has voted for Arohanui Vegan Love in the Top 25 Vegan and Vegetarian Moms, especially if you have been committed to voting every day. We really do appreciate it. We were at #7 not long ago and are down by 2 again. Every vote counts as this is such a long competition. Hope I am not bothering anyone too much by continuing to mention it, but I would love to stay toward the top and have had a lot of people ask to be reminded every day. If you feel like sharing or tweeting as well that would be awesome, too. Thank you. We made some more yummy cookies and a silverbeet green smoothie if you want to check out our photos on Facebook.

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Vegan Social Media

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With so many sites and ways to share information, is your blog or website your main source of information? Do you use other social media platforms?

I have found that when I am really busy, it is easier for me to post on Facebook, and now sometimes Twitter. I also quickly share photos or other information that I do not always post on my blog. Plus, I will randomly go on Pinterest and pin when I find awesome things to share, although I feel like I have not been on it lately. We have been so busy, I really feel like I have missed sharing so much about our holidays and start of the year!

Besides my own page, I have liked a few others on Facebook which I also find easier to like or comment on sometimes. Others also post some useful and interesting information or share links that you would otherwise miss. So basically, I want to know what other social media you use, or how you prefer to follow. I know at times some information may overlap, but there is a lot of new and different things within each as well so I will leave my links below and hope that you will like and follow us in other ways. Please comment below with your own links as well if you would like to share with everyone other ways to follow you 🙂

Facebook Arohanui Vegan Love

Twitter @arohanuivegan

Pinterest Arohanui Vegan Love

Oh, and a huge thank you to everyone voting for us for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan and Vegetarian Moms. Remember that you can vote every 24 hours from your last vote until February 7th. I would love to keep moving up and stay in the Top 25. We really appreciate your support. Ally from Made of Stars and Lou from Fridge Scrapings have blogs I regularly follow that are involved as well, plus heaps of new ones that I look forward to following. I didn’t actually realise how many other vegan blogs are out there!

Green Smoothie & Vegan Sushi

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Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms - 2013 - Vote for me! Thank you to everyone who has been voting for us. Definitely harder coming in late and trying to catch up, but I really appreciate all of you voting for us. Great to see that we are sitting at #6 with 61 votes now. Don’t forget that you can continue to vote every 24 hours since your last vote until February 7th 🙂 By making the Top 25, we will be a part of this resource for other Vegan & Vegetarian Mums, or those who are curious. As you can tell, I would love to be a part of this.

Also, I am looking at putting together a link on my site with a favourite post from your blog if anyone is interested. Through this Top 25, I have found so many other blogs that I like, but even keeping up with all the awesome posts from all of our readers seems to be quite difficult. It always amazes me how many awesome and inspiring articles and information is out there, but even some of the best cannot always be quickly found on a Google Search.

Fruit & Greens

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Ever need more space in your kitchen? A cupcake plate stand is the perfect solution, and it even makes it more appealing to choose what you want to eat. We have been living off mostly what we can find in our kitchen or out in the garden. Unfortunately, we do not have a backyard full of fruit trees. We made a trip to the store and filled our trolley with fresh fruit as you can see. Yum! As some of the produce can be limited, we bought as much organic fruit as possible. We even found mangoes for under $3. With a much higher price tag, I could not resist buying at least 3 passionfruit. If you have been following me from the start or know me well, they are one of my favourite fruits. I was quite surprised to see them already coming into season, but at $39.99kg! Since our lovely lamb ate our other vine and our new one is still growing, I am uncertain if ours will even produce fruit this year. I hope that someone near me will kindly donate lots of passionfruit to us because I definitely cannot afford to keep buying this yummy fruit.

You might be wondering what the cauliflower photos are all about. It might seem a bit silly and really simple, but have you ever cut cauliflower in small pieces or tossed some in the food processor and mixed in hummus? If not, you should definitely try it. We love raw cauliflower and hummus, but this is just something a little bit different. Depending on the flavour hummus, there is a slight resemblance to Mac ‘n Cheese. Well, that might just be me. It has been a very long time since I had that, and I do not remember having it all that much, but I always seem to think of it when eating this. I usually use a spicy or capsicum hummus, but feel free to use any kind. Yum! Zaedyn likes to dip big pieces of raw cauliflower in hummus, but this is also a great alternative. If you have little ones and are worried about choking, you can process this a lot more than I did and then mix with hummus.

Another beautiful day in the sunshine! I heard Zaedyn and the lawnmower making their way down the steps as I grabbed our smoothie, and off he went. Lawnmowers seem to be one of the most important things in his life at the moment. He just loves them, and he will be the first to hear and tell you about them when a neighbour is mowing their lawn. Last weekend we bought a handmower which seems to be working really well and is much more eco-friendly than our other lawnmower. If only we could cover our entire yard with fruits and veggies! Even with the amount we eat, I am pretty sure I would have a lot to share seeing as we have a pretty big yard.

This is our third day of somewhat following the 40 Days of Smoothies e-book. As I have mentioned before, I never seem to follow recipes; not even my own. Why? Often I use what I have or prefer to use, and by the end I realise that I have actually changed or substituted a lot. However, I still am inspired by looking at a recipe. Anyways, if you have the e-book, my changes were cacao instead of cocoa powder, a mix of kale and spinach as we are running low on kale, LSA (linseed, sunflower, and almond) instead of flax meal, and some frozen banana instead of maple syrup. There was an extra addition of green today with avocado in our smoothie. Oh, and the photo on the right is just another little snack: avocado on organic sesame corn thins sprinkled with chia seeds for an extra boost.

Thank you to everyone voting for Arohanui Vegan Love for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms. If you haven’t already, please vote for us. I am pleased to hear that some of you are voting every day. Up until the 7th February, you can vote every 24 hours since your last vote. There are some other blogs listed well worth checking out, too!
Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms - 2013 - Vote for me!

Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms 2013

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Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms ~ 2013

I would love to be in the Top 25 as a Vegan Mum ;). It would really mean heaps if all of you following could share your support by voting for Arohanui Vegan Love. You can actually vote every 24 hours from the last time you voted if you want to, and voting ends on February 7th. All you have to do is click the Circle of Moms badge and then the orange thumbs up by Arohanui Vegan Love if you want to see us make the list. As we have been under pending approval, it looks like we have a bit of catching up to do.

It is a great way for others interested or following a similar lifestyle to connect, and looking through the other blogs involved, it is also a huge inspiration as we all have something to learn from one another. I am really excited to have found some other Vegan Mums out there. So many new recipes that I am sure we would love! Some of the blogs we already follow are on the list, too, so I have had some fun voting as well.

To read more about the Top 25 and to vote for us, please click on the Circle of Moms image above or on the right sidebar. We really appreciate your support and would love to see our blog make the list.

I will keep the Circle of Moms Top 25 Vote for Me badge on the right sidebar so you can also click there to easily vote until February 7th. A huge thank you to all of you…

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40 Days of Green Smoothies

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A HUGE thank you to Ally, from Made with Stars, for sending me my very own e-book copy of 40 days of Green Smoothies by Becky Striepe! I have been needing more green smoothie inspiration so this was perfect timing, and I am looking forward to experimenting with more greens. I will try to do my best going straight through 40 days unless we happen to be away somewhere that I cannot bring my mini blender, or I may always make minor adjustments to the recipes.

Quickly looking through, they are pretty simple smoothies which require ingredients that I already use or seem to have in my garden or pantry. I like the way that the weeks are set up requiring similar ingredients so if you do not have a garden, you do not have to stock up on a huge range of ingredients every week. Mangoes are going to be the hard one for me! I love mangoes, but we just cannot seem to get them cheap here. If anyone in New Zealand comes across some, let me know. I have never seen frozen mangoes here, and I don’t think I can afford to buy many at $5+ each. You might find me searching the shops for them :). I also don’t seem to find collard greens. I was thinking I might need to grow some as they make the perfect wrap!

Anyways, Zaedyn and I decided to make our first green smoothie from the book this afternoon. I just love how Zaedyn says, “Smoothie,” especially with so much excitement. We just used our mini blender which is why you see so many little bits of green kale, but you really do not notice when you are drinking it. We possibly could have added some more greens as the recipe called for 1-2 leaves, but since mine were small, I used about 4. I also didn’t have any ice in the freezer so I just added some more frozen raspberries. Zaedyn’s first response to raspberries is always, “Strawberry!” One day he will learn the difference. I still think that he is pretty clever. Green Smoothie #1: Banana, almond milk, chia seeds, frozen raspberries, and kale (ice if you have some). Blend and enjoy!

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Green Smoothie #1 from 40 Days of Green Smoothies

Looking ahead through the book, I noticed that I will be needing lots of kale. Good thing I bought some more to grow today. I noticed that I have been picking leaves off from what is already out in the garden, and new leaves keep appearing. I am just loving my garden this year. I also still have more kale seeds, but I couldn’t resist 3 for $10 plants. I could buy everything in the shop, but I decided to mix it up and buy one lot of kale, cauliflower, and a gourmet lettuce combo. Although seeds can be cheaper, it can be a good head start buying them already started. Our garden is going so well this year, that we really have worked out how to save money and time away from shopping. I would absolutely love to be fully sustainable or close to it all year round, so I can see our garden continuing to grow all of the time.

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Oh, and what I actually went there for was a compost container that we debated about buying the other day. I think it is the cutest little compost bin for under our sink. Yes, we are trying to save money, but this is something that we need. We have had our big compost bins for quite a few years now, and I cannot say that we have always had success. We even spent a bit more to buy an Earthmaker which does most of the work for you, but we were never in the right mindset to use it properly. I don’t like to pile leftovers into a plastic bag, but I have also been looking for a different alternative than just a plastic white bucket. I know you might think that we really didn’t need this, but I know it is going to make such a difference being easier to carry our scraps out to the compost, and I think it really is a great alternative to a plastic container. Zaedyn thinks it makes a pretty good drum, too! Our banana and de-stemmed kale from our smoothie were the first scraps into our new little compost container. What do you think?

Vegan Compost

Vegan Compost

In case you were wondering what the center photo is, this is what underneath the lid looks like. When we were going to buy it the other day, I questioned whether it would get smelly as there were holes in the top although it would help air it out. We are good at emptying it though so I figured that it possibly wouldn’t matter. Then today I realised that there is something sitting in the inside which I am assuming is a way to help circulate, yet not leave the compost container completely open. Aha, please let me know if I am wrong though! It would be quite funny to think that it was just part of the packaging, although I am pretty sure that this is not the case.

Vegan Compost

I know that I have mentioned this a few times, but if you have not looked at Ally’s blog Made of Stars, make sure you do. She shares awesome recipes every Monday and is currently working on an A-Z of Veganism series (up to G right now) which points out very interesting topics that you will want to read whether you are not vegan or not. Plus of course, topics on vegan parenting and vegan children. Thanks again, Ally. Zaedyn and I look forward to our green smoothies!

Gluten-Free & Vegan Chickpea Burger with Tahini Sauce

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Yum! This was sooooo delicious that we ended up making it again a few days later. I know it is taking me a long time to update my recipes page, but I just can’t seem to keep up. In case you wondered, I do not always make up new recipes, or I may just change them to be gluten-free so make sure to click and search the Kai tab on the right. I have definitely tried to be a bit more creative since having Zaedyn as well as trying to find food that David will enjoy. If it was just me, I would usually stick to quick food such as fruit, raw veggies and hummus, nuts, etc. Although I enjoy making food, I am usually too hungry to wait, or busy snacking all day to bother with “typical” meals, but the boys have changed things a bit!

Anyways as I mentioned on Facebook, Natasha over at BeBops posts some delicious recipes she finds across the web. Check out her page for some amazing cloth nappies as well as some yummy vegan food inspiration. Not many pre-made vegan burgers are gluten-free. After Natasha posted a link to this chickpea burger recipe, I quickly realised that all I would need to change was the bread crumbs and make a quick vegan tahini sauce. Yum! Zaedyn ate them in pieces or crumbles even after deciding to break it apart, David ate his on a bun, and well, I think that mine was by far the best. I went and picked some fresh kale from the garden and lightly cooked it in some avocado oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Even the kale as a side or made into a salad would be delicious.

{Gluten-Free & Vegan} Chickpea Burgers with Tahini Sauce
Follow this recipe, however, replace with gluten-free bread crumbs and use fresh herbs from your garden. The first time I made them, we only used fresh parsley from our garden because I love coriander/cilantro so much that we didn’t have any more! I definitely made sure to add some the next time. I even played around with different size burgers, and the bigger one still held together.
*tip: Adjust the amount of bread crumbs to suit your mix, or make sure you add a bit of water if you realise that your chickpeas seem a bit dry once processed. You can easily play around with the mix. As usual with my cooking, I made this twice and they came out different, but equally as yummy! We even ate our first cucumber from our garden. I love eating fresh veggies that we have grown.

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Tahini Sauce:
-1/4 cup tahini

-3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

-1/4 cup water

-fresh garlic or garlic powder & Himalayan Crystal Salt

*Can easily adjust to taste, or change it up by adding cayenne pepper or other spices and herbs. Adjust the amount of water to make the sauce runny or thick.

Let me know if you try the tahini sauce from Colleen. Am curious to see what it tastes like, but I was also quite happy with my simple sauce.

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Oh, and just wondering if anyone else has tried corn couscous? Made with gluten-free cornflour, it is another gluten-free and wheat free option. Reminds me of cornbread 🙂

gluten-free couscous

Animal Love

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We love our animal friends/family, and I have almost as many photos of them as I do of Zaedyn 🙂 They are a huge part of our lives. We have had Kai, our bunny, since October 2008. Ziggy, at the top right, came to us in 2009, but unfortunately needed to move onto bigger land. I miss him! This year we saved Bubbles, known to us as Lamby, on the very right in the bottom right photo. The other two lambs are currently living at our place to enjoy some more space. Zaedyn cares about them just as much as we do, and he is always telling me about Kai and Lamby along with every other animal in the world…

Anyone else want to share photos or tell us about the animals in your lives? To share a photo, you can click on the very first photo (above), or go to my Facebook Page. Please share your animal love via Facebook or Twitter @arohanuivegan #animallove.

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Kai

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Ziggy

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Lamby

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I will leave you with these, otherwise I could carry on posting heaps and heaps of photos! Don’t forget to share yours with us.

From Garden to Plate: Growing Sustainable Vegan Food

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From garden to plate, or straight to mouth, here is a quick look at some of the food we have been growing in our garden. With lots of learning along the way, we are enjoying the experience in learning to live a more sustainable life through this process as well as eating delicious healthy vegan meals made with lots of aroha (love).

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Growing Garden in December

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Zaedyn picks kale & nasturtium to share with Lamby (who will NEVER end up on a plate)

zucchini

courgettes/zucchini

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Raw Vegan

vegan chocolate

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Raw Gluten-Free Vegan Walnut Taco Wraps

Raw Gluten-Free Vegan Walnut Taco Wraps with fresh salsa, avocado, cashew “sour cream”, & coriander (cilantro)

What are you growing in your garden, or what do you hope to plant? How do you live a more sustainable life?

Check out my growing Sustainability board on Pinterest for a few ideas!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

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Happy New Year! We had a lovely holiday and were busy enjoying the sunshine and beach. I have been mixing it up between posts, Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest. Not everything overlaps, so make sure to follow along with these as well. Will continue to fill you in on a few exciting things you have missed, but first I want to thank Miss Marzipan for nominating me for Very Inspiring Blogger Award. This was a fantastic way to end the year, and I look forward to all of the exciting things to come this year. Thank you so much to everyone who followed me last year, and I hope that I will continue to inspire you. I know that all of you have inspired me!

Below are the rules for the Very Inspiring Blog Award:

***Whether you choose to rewrite about the award or not, I don’t mind. I still want to acknowledge & give a shout out to the blogs that I think are very inspiring. Hope that all of you reading will take time to visit these blogs. Although I am a bit better at visiting blogs, it is really hard for me to always read or comment on lots of blogs. If you leave me a comment on my blog though, I always go and check yours out :). What I have decided to do for this award is include about half of the blogs that are part of a business, but they make such a difference to the environment and have inspired me so I wanted to include them as well.

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements

Nominated by: Miss Marzipan … Make sure to check out her blog, & look through her categories as she posts about a variety of interesting topics!

7 things about me:

1.  I eat too much hummus even though I never wanted to try it.

2. I could live in a teepee.

3. People thought I was a bit crazy surfing, skateboarding, and balancing on my Indo Board when I was pregnant.

4. I get to stand on a yoga mat all day long in my Sanuk jandals 🙂

5. I take far too many photos and can never decide which one I like best even if there is very little difference between them.

6. I am excited and have great intentions to take on a new journey this year writing vegan books for children.

7. I dream of creating an eco friendly vegan natural play space for children.

My 15 nominations:

  1. Made of Stars
  2. Fridge Scrapings
  3. Coexisting with Nonhuman Animals
  4. Tahini Sauce
  5. Raw on $10 a Day or Less
  6. my darling lemon thyme
  7. moderngirlnutrition
  8. va-va-vegan
  9. Solscape
  10. ecostore blog NZ
  11. Native Foods Cafe
  12. let the children play
  13. New Zealand Nappy Lady
  14. In The Tea Garden
  15. Let’s Face It

I really appreciate being recognised for the Liebster Award and Very Inspiring Blogger Award in the past few months. Thanks again for taking the time to follow me along this journey where we continue to learn from one another. Oh, and you can also find me listed on Kiwi Mummy Blogs now along with heaps of others you may want to read.