Monthly Archives: February 2013



Vegan Lamb

Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.
– Albert Einstein

Gluten-Free Vegan Pizza


vegan pizza
Inspired by me thinking about my first vegan pizza ever from Z Pizza when we were in California. The first time I went was with my twin, and I decided to build my own pizza as I am not a huge fan of tomato sauce or vegan “meat substitutes”. However, I have been back since with the rest of my family and enjoyed the Berkeley Vegan. Everyone in my family isn’t vegan, but they still enjoyed it as well. Actually, we have been a few times now as my sister lives by one and my parents live not too far from another one. Funny to think I grew up not liking pizza so I suppose it isn’t a usual in our house, but vegan pizza is nice to have on ocassion. If you ever have a chance to go to the States and come across Z Pizza, there are lots of vegan options using Daiya vegan cheese and a gluten-free base. Looking at the website now, the veggie crumbles currently contain wheat although you may wish to double check with the store.
vegan pizza base
I didn’t make my own crust, however if you like thin and crispy pizza, you won’t be disappointed with Venerdi’s Thin & Crispy Pizza Bases. Venerdi has some great gluten-free vegan options. When we come across their Full Flavoured Six Seeds bread, we buy it. I even used the leftover Cheezly to make Zaedyn Cheezly on toast. I am trying to think of all sorts to use this gluten-free base for as David just loved it. I have been looking at making my own crust, but since we have only occasionally made pizza, these have worked for us. I have always been quite curious about making a *cauliflower crust though. We made these over the weekend, but it seems as if everything I am seeing at the moment is pizza. Everyone must be in the mood for vegan pizza :).
Hummus PizzaTopped with Hummus (I am not a huge fan of tomato sauce, and this is a yummy alternative)

vegan cheese

Mozzarella Cheezly from Angel Food
Gluten-Free Pizza

Layers of yellow courgette slice (zucchini) and green capsicum (peppers) from our garden and onion between shredded mozzarella cheezly

vegan pizza

You can adjust the amount of Cheezly you use. We used quite a lot and it was yummy, but you could easily load up more veggies and use less Cheezly. Although it only lasts 7 days once opened, you can shred and freeze the Cheezly if you want to make it last.

This is a super quick recipe Fan Bake 250 C for 8-10 minutes.
vegan pizza
Zaedyn was a bit curious and was busy examining the pizza the first night although still eating his share, but we made it again late the next afternoon and David and I were lucky to get any pizza. We kept hearing “More.” This was after he ate his Cheezly on toast! He must be growing with the amount he is eating. He is just getting so big and is even cutting both bottom 2 year molars. Only 2 more baby teeth to go.

It has been an extremely long time since we made pizza before this weekend. When Zaedyn was just over a year, we made this gluten-free vegan pizza with a kale, hummus, and chopped tomato base topped with onion, broccoli, cauliflower, falafel, tomato, and Cheezly (although I think it may have been Cheddar Cheezly). This was packed pretty high, but super yummy. This was Zaedyn’s first pizza!
Vegan Pizza
Since then, I made another gluten-free vegan pizza inspired by Hell’s Pizza, although not super spicy. We tried Sinister, their vegan pizza, not long before I was due with Zaedyn, and I remember it being pretty hot. This is a pizza without cheese using refried beans on the base, avocado, onions, salsa, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and capsicum. Zaedyn loved my version of this as well! Can you believe that I didn’t take a photo of it for some reason?! Guess you will just have to use your imagination and know that this is a yummy vegan pizza where you don’t need vegan cheese.

*Cauliflower Pizza Crust: Just today, Angel Food shared a pizza recipe using a cauliflower base, and I just received a new post email for a cauliflower crust pizza from a new favourite blog Modern Hippie Cooks.

Plus, on the topic of vegan pizza, Jordan from Coexisting with Nonhuman Animals and the Invercargill Vegan Society posted a link to housewarming food including all sorts of vegan pizza toppings. Although most pita bread isn’t gluten-free, it does make a quick easy base which I remember using for David in the past. You may come across some gluten-free pitas which you can try, too.

See, who said vegans can’t eat pizza! There are heaps of yummy options available to make or even eat out. What is your favourite vegan topping for pizza? Any recipe links to share?

{Gluten-Free & Vegan} Chocolate Peanut Butter Nut & Seed Bars


vegan bars

{Gluten-Free & Vegan} Chocolate Peanut Butter Nut & Seed Bars

adapted from 86 Lemons which was previously adapted from Vegan Heartland

1 1/2 cups organic rolled oats (gluten-free)

1/4 cup LSA (Linseed, Sunflower, Almond)

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup organic quinoa puffs

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup cashews

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

1/2 cup almonds

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 cup organic peanut butter

1/2 cup chopped vegan chocolate

This is a super easy recipe with no cooking involved, and raw if you use the right ingredients. You literally just stir everything together using any ingredients you wish or happen to have on hand, flatten in a container lined with baking paper to make it easy to lift out, refrigerate over night or freeze for an hour or so until firm (I did a combination of both as I tried the fridge and became a bit impatient), and then cut them into bars. This makes heaps so best to keep in freezer or make a smaller batch depending on how many you think you can eat.

My little helper enjoyed eating the nuts and seeds from the plate and reaching in to taste test the bars on the plate even though the one he ate before was obviously pretty yummy! I think Zaedyn likes these bars 😉 If you wanted to make them for your little ones and are worried about choking, you could always chop the nuts finer by hand or even quickly in the food processor. Zaedyn has been eating nuts for a long time and chews them very well on their own as a snack so he manages these fine.

*I love nut bars and have been wanting to make these for a long time. They are so yummy, but I think I would make them without the chocolate next time as I had planned. Of course chocolate and peanut butter is yummy together together though, but I would like to make them without the chocolate and peanut butter as well or even the possibility of changing the flavour with dried fruit. We don’t usually have any dried fruit although this would be a perfect way to increase iron with some chopped dried apricots.

Vegan Bar
vegan nut bars
vegan nut bar

Enjoy! I would love to hear if you decide to make these, or any variation you think you might like to try. You really can just use up a mix of all sorts from your pantry.

Wonderful Team Member Readership Award


blog award
Thank you so much to Athina from Kicking Back the Pebbles for nominating me for The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. If you do not already follow Athina, she lives in Athens, Greece and has been sharing some photography of some of the beautiful scenery there.

Rather than make 12 nominations, I wish to nominate and give a HUGE shout out to all my readers and followers on my blog as well as Facebook. Besides all of the comments and likes, your support really showed in helping me make the Top 25 Circle of Vegan and Vegetarian Moms. Thanks again for reading!

{Gluten-Free & Vegan} Mini Chocolate Banana Cupcakes


vegan cupcakes

vegan chocolate{Gluten-Free & Vegan} Mini Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Vegan Sprinkles
vegan cpcakes
We had a very special 1st birthday party this past weekend. One of my best friend’s little girl turned 1. Amazing how fast the year has gone!

We have been talking about the party for awhile now, and as usual, they are so considerate of what we eat. I was not too worried as it sounded like there were lots of yummy options, especially Zaedyn’s favourite: Avocado sushi!

I knew that I would probably make some cupcakes or something that wouldn’t interest Zaedyn, but he sometimes surprises me and thought it would be a nice option or alternative for others, too. We were in a bit of a rush, and I was using a different gluten-free flour, but I thought I would make some chocolate banana cupcakes that I have previously made. However, I usually make them bigger with walnuts and chocolate chunks! I had some vegan sprinkles that we have never used though so I was excited to use them for our special cupcakes.

Again, a Pinterest find from Love and Olive Oil, except of course a few adjustments :). I used almond milk instead of coconut milk, coconut oil instead of canola oil, gluten-free flour, and less vegan sugar. The icing seemed to set a bit better after being in the fridge than when we used it straight away. Topped with vegan sprinkles, these were beautiful little cupcakes. The banana is a huge flavour in these though so if you don’t care for banana, then this might not be the recipe for you. Some little vegan fingers seemed to enjoy poking at the icing. Personally, the icing is a bit much for me just because I am not used to it, but I was told that they were yummy.
vegan birthday cupcakes
Oh, and I am pretty sure the birthday girl had a lovely day with all of her friends and family around, full of smiles, and a beautiful set up thanks to her Mummy and Daddy.

Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms 2013


I am so overwhelmed and grateful with the amount of support and interest in Arohanui Vegan Love. Thank you so much to all of you for dedicating your time as well to vote for us each day, many of you even sharing with others as well. I am so appreciative. With only one vote behind, I am thrilled to be #5 in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegetarian and Vegan Moms 2013. A huge congratulations to all of the other bloggers as well!

Being vegan isn’t always something that is easily accepted, never mind raising a vegan child. Through a vegan pregnancy, natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and a happy, healthy boy, we are pleased with how we have chosen to raise our child and the health and happiness in all our lives. I remember when I was pregnant and looking online for information about vegan pregnancy to not find much if any information. Now, just looking at all of the blogs entered, I am amazed at how many others are raising their children vegan. I am so happy to have found some awesome new blogs to follow and be inspired by others who follow a similar lifestyle.

I am also happy to see so many people following that are not vegan, but are gaining information, ideas, or recipes that are helpful to them. Being vegan is a lifestyle which involves every aspect of our life, and through Arohanui Vegan Love you get to see a small insight into what our life is like.

Thanks again for all your support, and I hope you continue to enjoy our posts and future things to come.

Vegan Puppy Chow for Humans?


vegan chocolate
Melted chocolate, peanut butter, dairy-free butter, and vanilla tossed with vegan “Chex” type cereal then tossed with vegan icing sugar to be put in the freezer. Does this sound like puppy chow to you?

I remember growing up and eating this mix. My twin and I had best friends that were twins as well. We always seemed to make it at their house. Something that might sound like an odd combination, especially with the name, but super yummy. Possibly not the healthiest of all snacks, I will admit, but not something that we often make. The last time I made it was when I was looking for ideas for Zaedyn’s birthday. As we had a Very Hungry Caterpillar Party, we renamed this Caterpillar Food. Even chocolate peanut butter crunch or something might sound nice, but then again, puppy chow is a well-known snack by many.

Cereal can be one of those foods that contain misleading ingredients that are not vegan, but you would not notice at first glance, or without prior knowledge. Vitamin D3 is a common ingredient that you would think would be good, but it is not as it usually comes from animal origin! We always buy safe brands or organic products that do not seem to add extra unnecessary ingredients. I already check every box of anything that we buy, but I do not buy products that have lots of numbers which may include animal derived additives.

Nature’s Path Oaty Bites are the only cereal we have found here that would be useful for this recipe. You need a cereal that has openings where the chocolate can get inside. They are wheat free, however not gluten-free as it contains barley malt extract. We would love to find a gluten-free alternative if anyone knows of any since we would not usually eat any gluten. We only made a small batch which is already gone because Zaedyn was hungry and decided to eat lots of the oaty bites before we even made anything. He loved telling me, “Oaty Bites! Oaty Bites!” New words for the day. I cannot keep up with the amount that he knows. He is just too clever. I cannot believe he will be 2 in April.

Have you heard of it before? Do you eat puppy chow? I wonder what other yummy foods have interesting names that do not taste at all like they sound.

There are plenty of recipes out there, but Peta has one that can be found here.
vegan chocolate
After Zaedyn knew where it was, I kept hearing pitter patter feet into the kitchen and little hands rummaging in a bowl. I wonder what Zaedyn was doing? At least he would come over to David and I to give us some. I think he just liked the idea that they were there, and he was more than happy to share.

Last chance to vote! I hope you haven’t been too overwhelmed with all of our reminders, but we are loving your support and being in the Top 5. We would love to stay in the Top 5 if possible, and would appreciate all the votes we can get. I kept thinking the voting would be over today as it is the 7th in New Zealand, but voting ends tomorrow at 4pm PST. You can vote for other blogs, too. Ally, from Made of Stars is at #1 now, and further down the list is Lou from Fridge Scrapings. These are two blogs that I have followed before the competition, but I really look forward to following some new ones out there I have come across.
Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms - 2013 - Vote for me!

Eco-friendly Driftwood Photo Display


eco-friendly photo

eco-friendly pegs

What an awesome Pinterest find! I spotted this through Sanuk, some of our favourite footwear. Since I prefer to be barefoot or in jandals, Sanuk’s, “It’s not a shoe, it’s a sandal” is perfect if I need to wear shoes. Plus, they’re vegan! I love their motto, “Smile, pass it on!” When we were down in Kaikoura, I found another pair on sale. I do not usually worry about a bag, but the lady found the ones they come in which are a biodegradable corn bag. Another reason to love Sanuk!

Anyways, I have been looking at making this driftwood display for awhile now and have finally managed to make it. If you are looking for a new way to display photos, this is super easy, cheap, and eco-friendly. I will admit ours is a bit rough due to the twine we used, but we figured it added to the rugged beachy look. You can easily put new photos up whenever you feel like it. We found the driftwood at the beach and ordered Go Bamboo pegs from Cheeky Cherubs. These are environmentally friendly pegs that are only $4 for 20 pegs. Especially a great buy considering they are biodegradable and sustainable bamboo.


Although our photo display above is not as eco-friendly as our driftwood one, we love these photos as well so I just wanted to share with you another cool way to arrange your photos. Now to find a special place for our driftwood photo display.


We were super excited to be able to go and pick up free bamboo. We made a trip on Sunday to cut and pick some up as much as we could fit in the car, and we were back again for more tonight with a good range of thin and thick bamboo. We have so many ideas to use the bamboo after drying it out. We are thinking teepees, gardening, and a xylophone at the moment. If you have any tips, or want to let us know your ideas on what you would do with bamboo, we would love to hear them.

Oh, and speaking of bamboo…I still have not shared our day out at Kiritehere so I will quickly leave you with a few photos of our bamboodies from eco peko. We love them! Remember the awesome organic tops we ordered and one we gave away? If not, check out our eco peko post. Well, their online shop has now re-opened after their move, and there is a HUGE opening sale tomorrow 8am to 5pm with everything half price. Plus, by sharing their Facebook status, you will receive a code that gives you free shipping. Go and check out their website for some awesome deals and natural organic clothing.
bamboo clothing
bamboo clothing

Another HUGE thank you to those of you voting every day or sharing. Arohanui Vegan Love is now at #5 and not far from possibly moving up with a bit of help, or at least staying in the Top 5. Every vote counts, and I would really appreciate your votes if you have a second. No signing up or registering required, and you can vote every 24 hours from your last vote. You will only hear this message a couple more days! Although I will continue to appreciate all the love and support from everyone.
Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms - 2013 - Vote for me!

{Gluten-Free & Vegan} Tempeh Hot Wings


Vegan Hot Wings

Experimenting with tempeh and another variation of gluten-free wings from my Buffalo Cauliflower Wings. I am pretty sure you could use this recipe for the cauliflower which would be super yummy, too. I love cauliflower! This was the closest we came to anything to do with the Super Bowl. Think I have only ever worried about the food anyways!

{Gluten-Free & Vegan} Tempeh Hot Wings
inspired by Buffalo Tempeh “Wings”

-250g package of tempeh
-1/3 c almond milk (I am sure any dairy free milk will work, but we seem to always have almond)
-1/3 c gluten-free flour
-1/2 tsp Himalayan Crystal Salt
-3/4 tsp Basil (or other dried herb)
-1 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp garlic powder (I didn’t have any and forgot to use fresh garlic)
-fresh ground pepper
-1 c gluten-free bread crumbs

Hot Wing Sauce
***Warning: This is a very hot sauce which you may wish to adjust for a milder version
-1/2 c Nando’s HOT Peri-Peri Sauce (labelled vegan, but you may be able to find or make your own vegan hot sauce)
-2 TBSP vegan butter
-1 TBSP tomato sauce (or ketchup)

Vegan Wings

I boiled 4 cups of water in the kettle, and then transferred to the stove for another quick boil before adding my tempeh. You can slice in whatever shape or thickness you prefer, but I just cut quartered mine and continued to cut which left me with 12 pieces. After the water was boiled, I turned it down between medium and high, added my tempeh, and set the timer to 15 minutes.

While waiting for the tempeh, I set out my 3 bowls. The first one with almond milk, the second one with the gluten-free flour and seasonings, and the third one with gluten-free bread crumbs. Oh, and somewhere along the line depending on how fast your oven heats up, preheat to just above 200 C or 400 F. When the tempeh has been in the boiling water for 15 minutes, drain and rinse with cold filtered water.

I used tongs and placed each strip one by one from almond milk to flour mixture, back to almond milk, and into the bread crumbs. I set them on top of a baking sheet and placed them into the oven for 10 minutes, flipped them over, and cooked for another 10 minutes.

While the “wings” were cooking, I made my hot sauce. The original recipe talks about heating the sauce in a microwave. We do not use a microwave in our house so I personally recommend putting your ingredients into a pot and heating.

Does anyone else choose not use a microwave?

Once the timer goes off again and the tempeh wings are ready, toss with your hot sauce, serve with celery, and enjoy! I have never been a huge fan of dressings, but you could definitely serve with a vegan dressing as well.

Vegan Wings

Another HUGE thank you to those of you voting every day or sharing. Arohanui Vegan Love is now at #6 and not far from getting into the Top 5. Every vote counts. I would honestly love to be in the Top 5, and I would really appreciate your votes if you have a second. No signing up or registering required, and you can vote every 24 hours from your last vote. You will only hear this message a few more days! Although I will continue to appreciate all the love and support from everyone 🙂

Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan & Vegetarian Moms - 2013 - Vote for me!

Sesame Kale with Hempseed Oil


vegan kale

As you know, I am not the best person to ask for recipes. I really do find it easy to just throw everything together. Plus, we use up bits and pieces, and most fruit and veggies are never going to be the same size. The night before I made up some veggies and cashews with rice. Oh, and we actually added in some “chicken-type” nuggets as well. Even a photo can sometimes be a bit of inspiration though.

How do you eat kale?

I seem to think that kale is mostly eaten as kale chips as well as in green smoothies or salads. When we were in California, I would eat kale as a gluten-free option under tempeh or as a side at The Veggie Grill.

Often people seem to either really like or dislike kale. I have to admit, I was a bit uncertain when I had tried it a few years ago. Everyone seemed to love it, and I suppose I was a bit mixed and still making my mind up. This was before I really knew much about kale chips and enjoyed it at The Veggie Grill, but I never seemed to make it at home. Now all that has changed. I suppose you tend to like it more and more as you try it in various ways.

This was a super simple meal. I only had a few veggies and cashews from the night before, and I loved the sesame kale I had made for the chickpea burgers so I decided to combine the two. I tossed the kale with a bit of raw hempseed oil and sesame seeds. Super simple, and another great way to get some greens. Not my typical way to eat kale, but it was yummy. I could definitely eat this again and even change up the veggies or nuts and seeds.

Kale really is super versatile 🙂

As I continue to post, another HUGE thank you to those of you voting and especially voting every day or sharing. Arohanui Vegan Love is at #7 and not far from getting into the Top 5. I would honestly love to be in the Top 5, and I would really appreciate your votes if you have a second. No signing up or registering required, and you can vote every 24 hours from your last vote. Only a few more days xx

Yes, that is vegan “cheese”. Not something we often have, but we thought we might make some gluten-free vegan pizzas. We are currently sprouting chickpeas for raw hummus, and we were back to experimenting with our juicer yesterday using pineapple, celery, kale, and juicing beets. I wasn’t really sure what Zaedyn would think of it, but of course he loved it!

Juicing or Smoothies?