August 26, 2015 0

Kester Black Part 2 – Summer Colours are Here!

Price: $20AUD each

Where to Buy: www.kesterblack.com

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If you’re a Kester Black fanatic like me, you’ll be stoked to know that part 2 of their annual colour collection has dropped! Bursting with vibrant colours for summer, the latest shades will have you looking like the tropical babe that you are.

Celebrate your inner Tobias Fünke and get the aptly titled royal blue shade Monarch onto your fingertips. Perfect for those of you who want to step out of the classic nail shades and try something a little different.

If pink is your thing, you’re going to love the intensity of Sorbet, which is sure to be a hit for the warmer weather. I know I’ll be slapping it on with a white top and jeans for a bitchin’ summer look.

Love colour but looking for something deeper? Get your nails did with Sugarplum, a purple shade that looks good enough to eat (but don’t eat it, okay?)

My absolute fave of this highly competitive bunch is Coral, a tangerine dream that will have you lookin’ like you belong in the Great Barrier Reef, girl! I’ve found my signature shade and I’m going to make this the summer of coral and gold!

Obvs Kester Black polishes are vegan and cruelty-free but they’re also five free meaning they don’t contain nasty stuff like Toluene, DBP, Camphor and Formaldehyde (ew). Plus Kester Black is Australian made, score!

Oh and while you’re at it, check out the amazing images for the latest range stylised by Sonia Rentsch and shot by Jason Pietra over on the Kester Black blog.

Want to win 3 Kester Black shades and The Handbook: A Guide to Nail Art plus nail art tool as well as a stack of other awesome prizes worth over $750?! Sure you do, head on over to Instagram now and see how you can win.

August 17, 2015 1

Kinda Maple Coconut Bacon

Where to Buy: www.kindabacon.com for stockists

Price: $12.75

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The good folks at Kinda Bacon are now stocking shelves and pantries all over Australia with their new flavour; Kinda Maple and were kind enough to send a few bags my way (read more about that below). Kinda like the original, Kinda Maple has that intense crunch and awesome taste but also the additional sweetness of maple syrup, strawberries and cinnamon.

Gluten free, soy free and of course vegan friendly, Kinda Maple is the perfect addition to sweet stuff like cereal, cakes, donuts and ice cream but if you’re chasing that sweet and salty combo I reckon it would go a bit of alright on a salad or sanga too. If I’m being totally honest with you (we’re pals, right?) you probably aren’t going to make it that far anyway because eating it straight out of the bag is like snacking on little crunchy pieces of heaven.

Want to try Kinda Maple for yourself? Don’t forget to head on over to my Instagram page and enter Like a Vegan’s 5th Birthday ExtraVeganza Giveaway for your chance to win a bag of Kinda Bacon and a bag of Kinda Maple, plus a bunch of other cool junk!

August 10, 2015 2

Lemon Custard Filled Donuts

Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Makes 16

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Donuts have been popping up on my Instagram feed all day, erryday for some time now and I thought it was about time I got back into making them. This recipe is epic because it’s yeast free, which means it needs no time to rise and you don’t need to roll out the dough. Fill these little balls of happiness with homemade lemon custard and you’ve got yourself quite the treat. Time to make the people in your feed jealous and make some of this bad boys.

Ingredients

Donuts

  • 1L vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Lemon Custard Filling

  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 500mL soy milk
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  1. Fill a small saucepan with vegetable oil and allow to heat up on medium-high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda before adding the salt and 1/4 cup caster sugar.
  3. Slowly add the soy milk and oil. Mix well until a dough is formed.
  4. Knead for a couple of minutes, just until you have a nice ball of dough to work with.
  5. Separate the dough and roll into balls a little bigger than a golf ball.
  6. Drop a few balls at a time into the oil and allow to cook until golden brown on the outside. Drain and roll in the remaining caster sugar.
  7. While the donuts are cooling, make the custard by adding the caster sugar to a small saucepan before sifting in the flour and cornflour.
  8. Add the soy milk, lemon juice and vanilla and whisk continually over a high heat until the mixture thickens.
  9. Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes before using a piping bag with filling nozzle to inject the donuts with lemon custard filling.
August 5, 2015 1

Like a Vegan’s 5th Birthday ExtraVeganza Giveaway

Wellity, wellity, wellity… This month marks the 5 year anniversary of Like a Vegan. What started out as a way for me to catalogue my recipes and share them with friends, turned into an epic way for me to experiment and connect with legends from all around the world.

In no small part thanks to you guys, I have been given countless opportunities to be involved in some amazing projects, meet effing awesome people and try some of the best vegan junk on offer, all while being able to cook food I love and share it with you.

As always, this year I am hosting Like a Vegan’s 5th Birthday ExtraVeganza; a giveaway of some of my favourite vegan stuff to thank you all for the support you’ve given me over the past 5 years. This year’s giveaway is worth over a whopping $750 and the prize includes:

  • 50 vegan gingerbread men from Gingerbread Folk worth $50.00
  • Year’s supply of cleanser (8 bottles) from AWE Cosmeceuticals worth $312
  • Copy of The Lush Scoop Magazine from The Lush Scoop worth $25
  • August Vegan Box from The Vegan Box worth $26.95 (or more)
  • 3 nail polishes, a nail art tool and The Handbook: A Guide to Nail Art from Kester Black worth $80
  • The Night Crawler pack consisting of organic Beard Oil, Beard Balm and Hair Wax from D+T worth $50
  • Skincare pack and lipstick from Innoxa worth $149.85
  • Chocolate pack from Sweet William worth $13.82
  • 2 flavours of coconut bacon from Kinda Bacon worth $25.50
  • Like a Vegan baseball tee from ME worth $28

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Now as if that’s not an epic haul! Wanna win? Sure you do! All you need to do is head over to my Instagram page, follow a few simple instructions and you’re on your way.

Two runners up will also receive a Like a Vegan Baseball Tee and an AWE Cosmeceuticals worth $67.

You have until 5pm (Sydney time) on the 31st of August to enter so hop to it!

July 31, 2015 0

Sweet William Chocolate & Triple Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches

Where to Buy: www.sweetwilliam.com.au for stockists.

Price: From $2.85

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Since I went vegan, I’ve always had Sweet William products as a staple in my pantry so when they asked me to write a little something about them and create a recipe, I was stoked to do so. The best thing about Sweet William products is that they’re easily accessible, which means you can pick it up at most supermarkets (like Coles, IGA, Woolworths and Big W) at any time of day or night and don’t have to wait for your local specialty store to open when you need your chocolate fix. They also have an unbelievable selection of products to suit so many dietary requirements because they’re:

  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free
  • Nut free
  • GMO free
  • Free from artificial flavours, colours and preservatives
  • Vegan
  • Low GI
  • Kosher
  • Halal

They even have a whole range with no added sugar, suitable for diabetics and those watching their calorie intake. Just because you don’t party with sugar doesn’t mean you can’t party with variety, the Sweet As 100g blocks start from $3.99 and come in an assortment of flavours like the crispy Rice Crackle, standard Original, Dark Chocolate with Orange and my personal favourite White Strawberry. Plus you can get 50g bars in the I’m Sweet Enough range in Dark Velvet, Original and Dark Chocolate with Orange to stuff into your face on the go from around $3.00.

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For those of us who are all about the sugar life, the standard range of Sweet William chocolates are where it’s at. The 100g blocks start at around $3.30 and come in two flavours: Original, which in my opinion is best for cooking, and White Delight, which in my opinion is the best for eating all day everyday and putting in everything you ever cook (see below recipe for proof). Having such a readily available white vegan chocolate available is pretty rare and I’m so stoked that we have this available to us in Australia. 50g bars start at $2.85 and come in Original and Rice Crackle too, plus if you’re just after a little chocolate fix, the Multi Pack is full of 15 mini bars to make that afternoon at work just that little bit more bearable.

Even though all of the above can be used for cooking, it’s nice to have Sweet William Choc Chips in the cupboard when those midnight cookie baking sessions get going (surely that can’t just be me that does that!) Plus if you’re missing chocolate spread on your sandwiches, Sweet William even make a Chocolate Spread with 60% less sugar so you can eat it by the spoonful and not feel anywhere near as guilty.

When it comes to special occasions, the Easter Bunny Multipack (there’s a sugar free version too) and Rice Crackle Bunny are great options for Easter hunts and the Santa Multipack will come in handy for stocking fillers!

Now that you’ve filled your shopping trolley with oodles of Sweet William stuff, I suppose I should tell you what to do with it, huh? My Triple Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches are the ultimate use of your chocolate haul and this recipe should get you around 12 sandwiches.

Difficulty: Easy

Makes 12

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Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup vegan margarine
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Sweet William Choc Chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped Sweet William White Delight

Filling

  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Sweet William Chocolate Spread

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Beat the margarine, sugars and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  3. Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda and continue to mix until a dough is formed.
  4. Fold through the Sweet William Choc Chips and chopped White Delight until they’re evenly distributed.
  5. Using a tablespoon as your measure, scoop out dough and roll into balls before spacing out 12 cookies on each tray.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes until little cracks start to form and then remove from the oven to cool on the tray for half an hour before transferring to a cooling rack.
  7. While the cookies are cooling, make the filling by whisking together the vegan cream cheese and the Sweet William Chocolate Spread.
  8. Spoon out the filling and place on the flat side of one of the cookies before sandwiching with another. For an extra chocolate hit, dip half of the cookie in more Choc Chips.

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July 28, 2015 0

Peach, Basil & Custard Tart

Difficulty: Medium

Serves 6-8

Even though it may not be evident on the blog, it’s no secret that I favour the savoury over the sweet. In saying that, I am always trying super duper hard to come up with desserts that I actually want to eat myself, rather than just taking a bit to confirm it’s good and then pushing it to the side.

This is where my Peach, Basil & Custard Tart comes in. Peach and basil have long been a favourite in pies but I wanted to introduce them to my dear friend, custard. These three flavours work together like Destiny’s Child in their glory years, each bringing something powerful to the table. Which one is the Beyoncé? You’ll just have to make it and find out…

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Ingredients

Pastry

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/3 cup chilled water

Custard

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon agar agar powder
  • 1 litre soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Topping

  • 2 yellow peaches, cut into wedges
  • Handful of basil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 100°C and grease a quiche tin.
  2. In a food processor, process the flour, sugar, salt and vegan margarine until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the chilled water and process until a dough comes together.
  4. Tip out onto a lightly floured bench and knead for a minute or two before wrapping in clingwrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  5. Roll the pastry out to a .5cm disc and gently place into the tin. Gently press the pastry into the grooves of the tin and tap on the bench to get the pastry in place.
  6. Slice the excess pastry off the edges of the tin with a sharp knife.
  7. Cut out a circular piece of baking paper and sit on top of the pastry before filling with baking weights.
  8. Blind bake the crust for 15 minutes then remove from the oven to cool. Turn the oven up to 220°C.
  9. Make the custard filling by chucking the sugar and agar agar in a saucepan, then sifting in the flour.
  10. Add the soy milk and vanilla before whisking constantly over medium-high heat until thick.
  11. Pour the custard into the crust and allow to cool for 10 minutes before adding peach pieces and basil.
  12. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the peach starts to cook on top. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a little while before serving warm.
July 23, 2015 0

Jackfruit & Potato Curry

Difficulty: Easy

Serves: 4-6 (depending on serving size)

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If you didn’t already know it, jackfruit is the ultimate plant-based mock meat. In it’s young/green form, it becomes tender and meaty when cooked and takes on flavours incredibly well which makes it perfect for substitute for pulled meats like beef and pork. You can pick it up from most good Asian grocers for less than $2.50 a can, which makes it a thrifty choice too!

This curry sweet and tender curry, with a bit of tang, is served best with basmati rice and papadums for a weeknight Indian feast.

Ingredients

  • 2 x 565 gram cans green/young jackfruit in brine (DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT get jackfruit in syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large potatoes, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Method

  1. Drain the jackfruit before tearing it into stringy pieces and setting aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan before adding the onion, garlic, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, garam masala and chilli powder.
  3. When the onion begins to brown, add the jackfruit and cook for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes, stock and brown sugar.
  4. Stir well and bring to the boil. Once boiling, bring down to a simmer and cook for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. The potatoes should be tender and the liquid should have been most absorbed.
  5. Serve immediately with a dollop of coconut yoghurt or vegan sour cream.
July 16, 2015 0

They’re Back: Kester Black x Trophy Wife 2015 Collabo

Price: $20.00AUD

Where to Buy: www.kesterblack.com for online store and stockists

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It’s no secret that I think Kester Black are purveyors of some of the best nail polish in the biz and their collabs give Ja Rule and Ashanti a run for their money. KB love a collaboration so much that they even have a space dedicated to them on their website, with peeps like Beci Orpin, Architecture in Helsinki and O&M all climbing aboard the KB train. No stranger to such collaborations are legendary nail experts Trophy Wife, who collaborate with Kester Black once a year to bring fresh new shades to their ever expanding range of colours.

Kester Black sent me through the new shades to check out and they each bring their own attitude to the table. I’ve been looking at getting a Barbie pink nail polish in my kit for quite awhile so I was super stoked when Arm Candy rocked up in the mail. Bright, bold and fabulous, this shade adds a pop of colour to your paws without looking tacky or OTT.

Narcissist is a deep, dark wine colour that combines goth with glam to create an ultra sophisticated look. A great choice for those who want a more gothic look without the full on black, you’ll look hella fancy clutching a glass of wine with this on your nails.

As always, Kester Black nail polishes are 5 free which means they are free from toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin. I hardly know what the hell some of that stuff is, so I’d rather it not be in my nail polish thankyouverymuch. KB stuff is also Australian made so you know that it’s made by Aussie legends, for Aussie legends.

A little birdie tells me that the summer range is coming our way soon, so I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as that shiz drops!

July 15, 2015 0

July Vegan Box

Price: From $26.95 

Where to Buy: www.theveganbox.com

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When the legends at The Vegan Box asked if I would like to get a load of the July box, I obviously accepted the offer and waited by the mailbox like Michelle Tanner waiting for her Action Rigby. Unlike the classic episode of Full House though, the July Vegan Box is far from disappointing.

The first thing I love about this box is the pretty big (160g) bag of Tao Nutrition protein powder worth $14.95. This stuff has 23g of plant protein per serve and also contains stuff like maca, acai berry, cacao, chia, chlorella and rosehip. I’m not a huge protein shake lover so I’m really looking forward to sprinkling some of this stuff on my morning cereal.

If you’ve been paying attention to my Instagram (if not, WTF?!) you would have seen my recent giveaway from Gingerbread Folk. I was super stoked to see a chocolate gingerbread man worth $2.95 in this month’s box because I gobbled up my supply pretty darn quickly.

The next treat I encountered in my bounty was a cute little Raw Chocolate, Goji Berry and Orange bar from The Raw Chocolate Co worth $4.90. I’m really looking forward to trying this little combo of flavours.

I’ve never heard of curry flavoured coconut chips but that’s exactly what I found in the box thanks to Oz Coconuts worth $4.95. With a flavourful blend of lemongrass, garlic, shallot, galangal, chilli and a bunch of other stuff, I’m looking forward to finding some great dishes to chuck these in.

Another protein hit in this month’s Vegan Box comes thanks to Purpose Bar. This little snack is worth $3.70 and is packed full of rice protein, raw coconut chocolate, cacao, chia and more. Future me is going to be praising present me when I whip this one out of my bag at afternoon tea tomorrow.

Last, but certainly not least, I found a vindaloo and mustard seed blend in the box from Love My Earth, valued at $2.96. This little blend includes a recipe zucchini & chickpea vindaloo, not sure if that’s what I’ll use it for or if I’ll get creative on my own but I am certainly looking forward to trying it!

As always, the July Vegan Box is palm oil free and has a gluten free option (just let them know when you’re ordering). The Vegan Box is the perfect gift for the new vegan to introduce them to the range of awesome products out there or the expert vegan who likes to keep up to date with new and exciting treats. Or, if you’re like me and love getting mail, it’s the perfect gift for yourself!

If you’ve never ordered The Vegan Box or if you’ve got the craving for another delivery of vegan goodies, now is the time! Until Thursday, The Vegan Box are donating $5 from every box sold to Big Sky Sanctuary so you’re doing something good for you AND something good for the animals.

July 6, 2015 0

Cheesy Popcorn

Difficulty: Easy

Serves 4

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Popcorn is one of my favourite foods and while I usually enjoy the simpler things when it comes to popcorn, sometimes I want to kick it up a notch and get a little crazy on the kernels. This time around I opted for a delightful savoury concoction made from cashews and nutritional yeast, sprinkled over those little white clouds of heaven, you’ve got yourself a mad snack.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • Spray oil

Cheesy Sprinkle

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Method

  1. Make the cheese sprinkle by combining all ingredients in a blender or food processor until a fine powder is formed. Set aside.
  2. Using an air popper, pop your kernels (you can also pop in a pan if you like).
  3. While still hot, spray generously with olive oil spray and gradually add the cheesy sprinkle while shaking gently until the kernels are nicely covered.
  4. Serve immediately.