Vegan goodness


So our latest culinary challenge, sorry, adventure has been delving into the world of veganism as our youngest has decided that he is now Vegan.  He has always been a bit of a picky eater around meat and is constantly worried about animal welfare so it really didn’t come as a huge shock when he announced a month ago that he was vegetarian and then followed up a week later with ‘ I think I’ll give being a vegan a try.’


The last few pieces of our vegan shortbread.

It actually hasn’t been that bad and if anything it has been awesome not having him tempted by all the rubbishy chocolate treats that abound in every shop.  There are 2 main stumbling blocks I have hit so far though; 1) Eating out and 2) Baking.  Eating out is a bit of a mine field as it seems every thing is out on the children’s menu … have you noticed how every kid’s menu is deep fried meat of some description … and most things suitable on the adult menu are either too spicy or so expensive it makes us think twice. Thankfully we don’t eat out that much, the thought it takes is beyond my mental powers at the moment, and when we do venture out at least he is having a fairly healthy meal unlike before.

Which brings us to the second point ….. soooo many recipes rely on eggs (well the ones I currently make anyway) and even though we are pretty good at replacing the dairy it is taking me a while to get my head around using egg replacements (chia seeds and water is the main one I’m using at the moment).  I have been doing the research though to ensure that we get all the good bits into him and thanks to some great Vegan recipe books from the local library  I have found some great savoury and sweet baking ideas to keep everyone (well half of us to be honest) happy.  The one recipe that has been made the most so far is courtesy of Jennifer Katzinger’s Flying Apron Gluten Free and Vegan Baking Book.  This delicious ‘Vegan Shortbread’ (my name for it as I have returned the book and forgot the name sorry) is so easy and so delicious that I’m sure you’ll be whipping it up numerous times too.

flying apron

What I’m putting below is a half recipe of what is printed in the book as I found that was more than enough.  I also cut it into more squares than the recipe in the book indicates as we found it very rich and a little square of it was enough.  If you enjoy this recipe though I would recommend checking out the whole recipe book as has so many more delicious things to make. 😉

Vegan shortbread

  • 2 & 1/4 cups Rice Flour
  • a grind of salt
  • 1 Cup of coconut oil
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

– Preheat the oven to 190C (375F)

– Melt the coconut oil and then add the maple syrup

– Blend all the ingredients together.

– Pour and flatten the mixture into a baking paper lined baking dish

– Bake for 15 min or until the edges are slightly brown

– Remove from the oven and cut into squares while it is still warm in the tin

– Slide onto a cooling rack and break into separate peices when it is fully cooled.

– Enjoy!

Well that is it from me on a cold and snow predicted evening. I hope this finds you all warm, healthy and enjoying life at whatever temperature you have it at. 😉




So much for being organized!


‘The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry’…. and so it seems of women and families shifting 😉  It has to be said though that we are in our new ‘old’ home (we have returned to the same house we left 2.5 years ago) and though there is still a bit of unpacking, sorting, re-arranging and general life to be dealt to, everything is all good.

Checking out the views in Kaikoura.

Checking out the views in Kaikoura before catching the Ferry to our new ‘old’ home.

The plans that have gone awry?  Well, after spending my entire Sunday in the old house sorting everything so that ‘like would be with like’ the packers then just packed whatever wherever!! I was imagining that I would be able to unpack a kitchen box and know its contents (having ensured that only kitchen things were in the kitchen) however this was not to be.  On unpacking over the last weekend we discovered sheets in with books,  pencils, taken out of a jar, in with kitchen items while the jar (which the pencils came from) was in another box. Another jar of utensils was ‘cleverly’ spread between 4 different boxes and cords for printers and stereos were packed in different boxes from the said items! This is just a small example.

Yum! Kids have been feasting on our backyard oranges while I unpack.

Yum! Kids have been feasting on our backyard oranges while I unpack.

Maybe they thought I needed a challenge at the other end or maybe they just thought I needed a laugh.  Who knows??!!  In the end I did both – mixed with a bit of teeth grinding in frustration 😉  OMG!!!!  Please let this be the last shift for a very, very, very long time……

Hope this finds you in more order than myself