Vegan Nail Extensions by Bio Sculpture

Price: From $50.00 AUD Where to Get It: www.biosculpture.com.au I'ma be straight up and say that my nails usually look ratchet and that's mainly because I don't treat 'em right. Years of biting my nails and cuticles have left them hella weak, brittle and short AF. When they're short I don't feel like painting them but painting them is the only way I can grow them, it's a vicious cycle. Don't believe me? Check out what my nails usually look like...

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Banana Choc Chip Cashew Ice Cream

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 If you managed to wrap your head around that bitch of a recipe title, wait til you wrap your mouth around what the recipe makes! The cashew base makes it soy free and when you throw in that banana and choc chip combo, Craig David wouldn't be able to handle all that flavour. Now, I've been trying to chill a little on the sugar lately (dw fam, I'm not gonna go all IQS on your asses) so I sweetened this guy with stevia which you can tastea little bit, but feel free to use agave or maple syrup if it's more your jam. Hint: Make sure you leave plenty of time to cool the cashews! Ingredients 2 cups raw cashews 1 1/3 cups nut...

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Apple Pie Granola

Difficulty: Easy Makes 4 cups Crunchy granola is just about the only cereal-type thing you'll get me near. When you add all the bits and pieces to make the damned thing taste like apple pie, well dayaaamn you've got me hooked! Easy enough to quickly whip up on Sunday for the week ahead but let's be honest, it ain't going to last beyond Tuesday (if that). If you had signed up to my newsletter you could have been making this for months now, don't make the same mistake again by signing up here. Ingredients 1 cup rolled oats 1/2 cup raw almonds 1/2 cup raw cashews 1/2 cup raw macadamias 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 green apple 1/3 cup coconut oil 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/2 cup sultanas Method Preheat the oven to...

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Treat Yo’self to Kester Black’s Summer Shades

Price: $20 AUD Where to Buy: www.kesterblack.com It may not seem like it with this frosty air but summer will be here before we know it and if you're like me, winter can be a time where you kinda shrug off some of the fun beauty stuff for more important regimes like making sure your skin doesn't dry out to some scaly, lizard-like thing. Nothing kicks you back into gear more quickly than a bright new set of nail colours so when Kester Black sent me their new summer range to review I felt inspired to stop biting my fingers for a little minute and prep them for a makeover. You'll have a bunch to choose from too, with 4 new shades ripe and...

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Like a Vegan is Six!

Awww my little blog is growing up! Six years ago this month I started Like a Vegan as a virtual cookbook to share recipes with my friends. Nowadays I still share my recipes but a whole bunch of other things too, with tens of thousands of pals from my real life and the WWW. Hey, it ain't the biggest following in the world by any means but it still means a hell of a lot to me that y'all give a damn about what I'm doing and I appreciate every last one of you. To celebrate this milestone, I've got a couple of surprises lined up but the biggest one by far is my 6th Birthday ExtraVeganza! Thanks to a bunch of my fave...

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Cherry Banana Smoothie

Difficulty: Easy Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 small smoothies So smooth that Rob Thomas and Santana wrote a song about it. If you pay attention to my Instagram, you'll know that recently I made the best smoothie of my life. It seems like a pretty big call, and it is, especially for someone who ain't too fussed on smoothies in the first place. The best thing about it? It takes a few minutes to throw together and all of the ingredients are things you should already have lying around. Ingredients 1 large banana 10 fresh cherries 1/2 cup crushed ice 1 1/2 cups soy milk 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1/4 cup coconut yoghurt (I used Nudie Vanilla Coconut 'cos it's vegan now!) Method Rip up the banana and chuck it into...

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Treat Yo’Self to Apple & Cinnamon Poptarts

Difficulty: Medium Makes 12 Growing up there were 3 ultimate breakfast scenarios; going out for breakfast, being allowed sugary cereal out of one of those tiny boxes, and Poptarts. You know, those little pastry things that were filled with delicious unhealthy stuff and covered in the most delicious frosting known to man-kind? Now you can make your very own vegan version that tastes like tiny little apple pies. Now that's an ultimate breakfast scenario. Ingredients Pastry 2 1/2 cups plain flour 1/2 cup caster sugar 2 teaspoons salt 1 1/2 cups vegan margarine 1/3 cup chilled water Filling 2 tablespoons vegan margarine 4 green apples, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes 1/2 cup brown sugar 4 teaspoons cinnamon 2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 cup almond milk Frosting 1 cup icing sugar 1/2 tablespoon cornflour 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/2 tablespoons...

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The BEST Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle

Method: Easy-Medium Serves 4 Sometimes (AKA all the time) you've gotta give your body what it asks for and this weekend my body was begging me for pasta. Not just any kind of pasta, oh no, creamy mushroom tagliatelle; packed with flavour thanks to the roasted garlic and porcini powder, plus with the cashews and soy milk you've got maximum creamth (there I go with that word again). I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this is probs the best pasta sauce I've ever had. Note: Use GF pasta and you've got yourself one helluva gluten free pasta dish, my friends! Ingredients Creamy Sauce 2 cups raw cashews 3 cups button mushrooms, thinly sliced 5 large garlic cloves Spray olive oil 1/4 cup nutritional yeast 1 teaspoon garlic...

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Jam Filled Donuts

Difficulty: Medium Makes 12 If you ask me what my fave sweet treats are you're going to hear two things: ice cream and donuts. I don't have much of a sweet tooth but put either one of those in front of me and I'll polish it off quick smart. Making badass doughies is one of my fave things to do, espesh because vegan donuts are bloody hard to come by in Newcastle, and I decided to stuff 'em full of sweet sweet raspberry jam. Ingredients 6 tablespoons warm water 1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast 1/2 cup soy milk 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons vegan margarine, melted 2 cups plain flour (plus extra for dusting) 1 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons caster sugar Oil for frying 1 jar raspberry jam for filling Method Chuck...

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Loaded Chickpea Pita Pockets

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 I really dig a pita pocket every once in a while but I effing hate making felafel and the store-bought ones ain't usually my jive. I decided to solve this problemo by filling the pockets with something else; chickpeas! Pan-fried and spiced to perfection with salad, homemade quick pickles* (quickles?!) and hummus make these guys a healthy, satisfying and bloody easy meal to whip up in no time. These guys make the perfect addition to a BBQ and how convenient that I've chucked them out into the bloggersphere just before the 4th of July?! * If you have time to pickle the cabbage properly please do, or feel free to use store-bought! Ingredients Quick Pickles 1/4 red cabbage, shredded 1 cup white vinegar 1/4 cup...

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Raspberry & White Chocolate Fudge

Difficulty: Easy Makes about 21 pieces Fudge is one thing that I had never really bothered with because replicating the condensed milk thing was so damned hard and the vegan ones on the market were so freaking difficult to get a hold of. Now that condensed coconut milk is pretty easy to pick up at your local supermarket (I get mine from Woolworths), both of those problems are solved and I can now make shitloads of fudge on the regular. This time around I went for a less intense but no less delicious combo of white chocolate and raspberry because the fruit cancels out the chocolate #fact. Ingredients 1 320ml can sweetened condensed coconut milk 1 tablespoon vegan margarine 2/3 cup caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 250g...

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Tofish Fingers – An Easy Weeknight Meal!

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 Fish fingers are really a part of growing up for most kids but when you realise fish are cute as hell, they're very quickly taken off the menu! There are a few frozen fish finger substitutes out there and they're all fantastic but I wanted to try things a little differently with my homemade version. Simply using tofu and seaweed as a base, these guys can be whipped up super quickly and easily made gluten free with GF breadcrumbs. Ingredients 750g hi-protein firm tofu 4 sheets seaweed 1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk (I used soy) 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 2 cups dry breadcrumbs (make sure they're vegan) 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon mixed herbs 1/4 cup nutritional yeast 2 teaspoons garlic powder Olive oil spray Vegan tartare sauce and lemon...

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Review: Smith & Deli

Address: 111 Moor Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Website: www.smithanddaughters.com It's actually a freaking travesty that I hadn't been able to visit Smith & Deli until just before their one year anniversary (when they opened I had just returned from Europe so couldn't swing it) but I sure made up for lost time with a record three visits within a 24 hour period. Just a short walk from the epic Smith & Daughters on Brunswick Street, Smith & Deli is set up in a dope, old brick building with the now iconic S&D Eat Vegan sign out the front. Walk through the doors and you're greeted with a visual feast of amazing food, adorably dressed staff and badass signage. Shelves, fridges and freezers are not only stocked with...

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Mr. Smith Hair

Price: From $29.95 Where to Buy: www.mr-smith.com.au Have you ever had your hairdresser run out of the salon as you're walking past and shove a bag of new products in your face, telling you that you HAVE to try them? No? Well, neither had I until very recently when my hairdresser did just that. The products she gave me were from Mr. Smith and I cannot wait to tell you more about them! Mr. Smith products are Australian made and crafted from Australian botanicals and essential oils, designed to retain the hair's natural fluidity and shine. You won't find any parabens or sulphates in their stuff, nor will you find any animal products because they're certified vegan (schaaa-wing!) My hair is thin, which is...

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Review: Matcha Mylkbar

Address: 72a Acland Street, St Kilda, VIC 3182 Website: www.matchamylkbar.com If you've moved house recently and still waiting for your internet to be reconnected, you may have missed the fact that Matcha Mylkbar is now open for business. Located on St Kilda's bustling Acland Street, this place is perfectly styled with plenty of white walls, wooden tables and greenery setting the scene for your next epic brunch date. The menu is weird but in a good way, with plenty of flavour and food combinations you've never even thought of trying but somehow make total sense. There's a good balance of savoury and sweet items and of course matcha features quite often however don't fret if you're not a fan, there are many matcha-free items too. I kicked...

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Lemon Thyme Potatoes

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 We all know that potatoes are dope AF so there's no real need to convince you to get on board with this recipe other than the face it also combines the freshness of lemon with the perfect wintery flavour of thyme. Chuck this winter warmer in the oven and serve it alongside your favourite veggie roast. Ingredients 10 baby potatoes, washed 1/4 cup olive oil Juice of 1/2 lemon 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 sprig of thyme Salt and pepper Method Preheat your oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut the potatoes into quarters and set aside in a large bowl. In a small jug, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Mix well. Pour the oil...

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Over The Moo Ice Cream

Price: From $10.95 Where to Buy: www.overthemoo.com.au You know what's super tough about blogging? Getting asked to try a whole friggin' bunch of vegan ice cream and having to write about it. LOL JK, it's actually dope AF and the legends at Over The Moo wanted me to tell you all about some of the bitchin' new flavours in their range of coconut ice cream. Over The Moo is Australian owned company churning out nine, yes NINE, amazing vegan flavours like mmmmMangoo, The Espresso Lane and Choc! Choc! Who's There? but today I am going to hit you with a classic and a bunch of newbies that are going to be in your reg rotation in no time. TBH I thought I was going to hate...

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Review: Bonta Vera

Address: 40 Church Street, Minmi, NSW 2287 Website: www.bontavera.com.au I can finally utter the words "we have a vegan restaurant in Newcastle" and damn, it feels good. Sure, it is a 30 minute drive from the CBD but when you're used to travelling to Sydney for a completely vegan menu, the trip to Bonta Vera ain't so bad at all. Located in the old courthouse on Church Street, Bonta Vera's exterior is hella gorgeous and green AF. When it comes to dining you can choose from the airy space indoors, the wraparound verandah or if you're feeling super chill, grab a picnic blanket and find a patch of grass on the lawn. The menu is quite varied, ranging from burgers and sandwiches to lighter salads and...

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Coconut Choc Chunk Cookies

Difficulty: Easy Makes: 18 When you've got nothing to do, a rainy day is the perfect excuse to chill hard, bake hard and just generally max relax in the comfort of your own home and/or PJs. Keep the ingredients for my coconut choc chip cookies on hand so next time it starts raining cats and dogs (I wish), you're ready to bake up a storm. Ingredients 3/4 cup vegan margarine 1/2 cup caster sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon cornflour 3/4 cup desiccated coconut 1 1/4 cups plain flour 1 1/4 cups chocolate chunks Method Preheat your oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with grease-proof paper. In a large bowl, cream the vegan margarine, caster sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in the...

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Review: The Landing Bar & Kitchen

Address: 1 Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle, NSW 2300 Website: www.thelanding.com.au Being the fun-lovin', food lovers that we are, Jane and I continue to get invited to try restaurants in The Hunter - an offer which we gladly accept because a) we get to eat food and; b) because we get to hang out and talk about really important issues like why Jane still doesn't have Snapchat (mine is Like A Vegan btw). The Landing Bar & Kitchen recently invited us to try offerings from the new menu, created by their newly appointed chef, Jamie Thomas. Located on Honeysuckle Drive, a strip of bars and restaurants overlooking Newcastle's foreshore, The Landing Bar & Kitchen makes a dope ass spot for not only showing off this great...

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Pure Hair Food Styling Products

Price: Starting at $28.90 Where to Buy: www.purehairfood.com.au There's a lotta hair stuff on the market these days and I'm on a mission to try as much of it as I can. Pure Hair Food recently sent me a few of their styling products recently, which not only assisted me with my mission but made my hair look dope AF. Pure Hair Food was born from a need to inject more natural, salon quality hair products into the market and focuses on three key things: No nasty stuff like parabens, sulfates, sodium chloride while being colour safe. Keeping it local by sourcing as many ingredients as possible here in Australia and being 100% Australian made. Saying no to animal testing by being a 100% cruelty free...

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Spinach & Chickpea Cannelloni

Difficulty: Easy-Medium Serves 4-6 I'm not a huge pasta person (I know, sue me) but sometimes I'm just fully down with it. This weekend I thought I'd have a crack at some cannelloni because apparently just pasta with sauce isn't good enough for me. This can get a little messy but if you take your time and do it carefully, you'll end up with delicious creamy tubes of goodness. Ingredients 4 cups chopped fresh spinach 1 large clove garlic, chopped 1 spring onion, chopped 1 227g tub of vegan cream cheese 1 can chickpeas, drained 2 tablespoons corn flour 1/2 cup non-dairy milk Salt and pepper to taste 21 instant cannelloni tubes 3/4 cup vegan cheese Sauce 1 tablespoon oil 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped 1 small red onion, finely chopped 2 cans crushed tomatoes 1 tablespoon brown...

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Dusty Girls Cosmetics

Price: Starting from $18.50 Where to Buy: www.dustygirls.com.au If you took one look at my make up collection you wouldn't be blamed for thinking that I bathe in cosmetics on the daily. Truth is, day-to-day I don't wear a lot of make up but it's hard to resist buying and trying new things when there are so many amazing vegan cosmetics to choose from! Dusty Girls Makeup is just one of those brands and they sent me a trio of their hottest products to take for a spin. Dusty Girls was inspired by how good skin looks and feels after a day in the country and combines the natural clays and minerals of the earth to bottle up that goodness. The entire range...

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Kester Black Hand & Body Fondant

Price: $50 Where to Buy: www.kesterblack.com It looks like some hella exciting things are going on in the land of Kester Black this year and by gosh am I happy to hear it. You may remember a li'l review I did of their Liquid Hand & Body Wash last year (which by the way, with regular use IS STILL NOT EMPTY) and now they've got new besties, Hand & Body Fondant! The packaging ties in seamlessly with the theme of body products KB have going on right now which is simple, sleek and fun with bright typography. You can choose from two scents that pair up perfectly with the Hand & Body Wash too; Lucky, with a velvety smooth caramel and vanilla scent...

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Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 Summer is trying to sneak its unwelcome ass back into my Autumn (NNNNNO!) so I'm willing it away with a recipe for a side dish made for cooler weather. You've obviously continued reading after the title of this post, so I'm already assuming that you're somewhat down with the Brussels sprout. If you're not, maybe you just like looking at stuff you don't really like very much and I guess that's cool too, you do you. It's time to flip the script on what the sprout hatin' mofos in your life think about the B-sprout and dress 'em up with the help of Canada's gift to us all; maple syrup. Maybe you'll succeed, maybe you won't but if it's...

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The Red Balloon Vegan Lollies

Price: From $5.50 Where to Buy: www.theredballoon.com.au No need to pinch yourselves, folks! This week's Gotta Have It is dedicated to The Red Balloon and their mother-effin' vegan lollies, yay! I stopped eating gelatine not long into my vegetarian years, so it's been quite a long time since I've sunk my teeth into a bloody good lolly. Sure, there are some great ones out there but they're few and far between and they're usually lacking in the flavour and/or texture department. The good news is that not only do Melbourne-based The Red Balloon make two types of vegan lolly but there are seriously so many freakin' flavours to choose from you'll be like a kid in a...

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Creamy Kale Pasta Bake

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 Oh yes, did you feel that Autumn breeze a-blowin' over the weekend? Cooler weather is on its way and I couldn't be happier, winter is my jam! Nothing says comfort food like a creamy pasta bake; it's packed with carbs but with the creamth (made that up) coming from tofu and cashews plus the addition of kale, you don't need to feel too guilty about this quick and easy meal. Ingredients 500g spiral pasta 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped 1/4 + 1 tablespoon olive oil Juice of one lemon 300g silken tofu 1 cup raw cashews 3/4 cup non-dairy milk 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon mixed herbs Salt and pepper 1 small brown onion, finely chopped (discard the stalks) 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs Method Preheat oven to 200°C...

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Greenroof

Address: 71 Tudor Street, Hamilton, NSW 2303 Website: www.thegreenroof.com.au The Greenroof Hotel is one of Newy's newest drinkin' holes and you better believe that when I hear there's a vegan option on the menu, I get in there to try it ASAP. Having been recently restored and reopened, a whole lot of work has gone into updating the space for 2016. A more traditional pub area inside with bar and stools is complimented by an indoor dining area with booths as well as an outdoor beer garden. The decor is pretty awesome too, lots of brick, greenery and dark wood feature throughout the space. Memorabilia is littered throughout as well as interesting signage and nods to classic rock and roll artists. The menu has also...

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Luna Bronze

Price: $26.00 Where To Buy: www.lunabronze.com.au I've never been a huge fan of tanners (unless we're talking about Full House or ALF) but lately I decided that I wasn't entirely chill with the fact that my arms are a good 10 shades darker than my near-translucent legs. It was convenient that the good folks at Luna Bronze got in touch to see if I wanted to try their Gradual Self Tanning Moisturiser and I was like "hell yeah!" Luna Bronze was born after one of their co-founders was diagnosed with BCC skin cancer at a young age; a wake-up call that made her realise that sunless tanning was the only way to go. In conjunction with tanning experts, a gradual tanner that slowly...

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Raw Cross Buns

Difficulty: Easy Makes 10 If you're not really down with religion, Easter is pretty much an excuse to have a mega long weekend and stuff your face full of delicious things that you've probs been eating since they hit stores in January (admit it). I decided to flip the script on one of those delicious things, the hot cross bun, by harnessing the delicious spiced flavours and bundling them up in a bliss ball type situation. Because they're raw, gluten free and refined sugar free, it's the perfect excuse to eat even more of 'em! Ingredients 10 medjool dates (pitted) 1/4 cup raw almonds 1/4 cup raw cashews 1/4 cup Brazil nuts 1/2 cup almond meal 1/2 cup desiccated coconut 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon all spice 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 cup sultanas...

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Kinn Thai

Address: 89 Park Avenue, Kotara 2285 Website: www.kinnrestaurant.com.au I'm not a huge shopping centre dweller, so when I found out Westfield Kotara was set to open their new Rooftop, I wasn't overwhelmed with excitement however I was interested to see what vegan options may be on offer. When planning to visit the Gold Class Lounge at the new Event Cinemas for my recent birthday, dining on the Rooftop seemed like a practical choice so I got to lookin' at some menus online. Kinn Thai's menu not only has a few good vegan options but we can now add another restaurant to the list of those that actually have a little vegan symbol, yay! My first visit on my birthday was great so I headed back...

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The Vegan Box – February Vegan Beauty Box

Price: $49.95 + Shipping Where to Buy: www.theveganbox.com.au It's no secret that I'm a mammoth fan of The Vegan Box but did y'all know these legends also make a Beauty Box?! That's right, a collection of some of the best vegan beauty products available delivered to your door! The gang sent me their February Vegan Beauty Box to try and I'll tell you what, I couldn't be more into it. Sent bi-monthly, the Vegan Beauty Box contains a selection of skincare and cosmetics in full, travel and sample sizes to give you a glimpse at some of the best vegan beauty products out in the big bad world. Not only is this a bloody convenient way of keeping on the ball when it comes...

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Basil Seed, Rose & Elderflower Cooler

Difficulty: Easy Serves 2 I've had basil seed drinks at vegan restaurants but traditionally these bevvies usually contain honey, so the pre-packaged ones at Asian groceries are usually a no-go for vegans. Bummer. The good news is that these little seeds are easy to pick up from your local Asian grocer too and since they only take about 10 minutes to make, you can use your stash to make one of these drinks quicker than it would take to go and buy one! Because basil seeds are so subtle in flavour, you can really combine them with any syrup you like but this time I've gone for rose and elderflower to send off summer in style (good riddance!) Ingredients 1 tablespoon basil seeds 1/2 cup warm...

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M.R.K.T. Agnes Shoulder Bag

Price: $150 AUD Where to Buy: www.mrktaustralia.com.au Gotta Have It is all about finding some of the best badass vegan products in the universe and putting them on the screen of your computer or smartphone for you to feast your eyes upon. In the 5+ years I've been writing Like A Vegan, I haven't covered a lot of fashion but that's about to change my friends because I need you to know that being vegan does not mean compromising on style. About 6 months ago I discovered M.R.K.T. (short for Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger) on Instagram and was immediately stoked on the stuff that was appearing on my feed; structured totes, backpacks and wallets in great colours, textures and fabrics. So when I contacted M.R.K.T. to...

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Cranberry & Cacao Squares

Difficulty: Easy Makes 12 You might have noticed that I'm not the biggest sweet breakfast fan however I do tend to start my days during the week with packaged raw bars and a piece of fruit because it's damned easy. This week I thought I would try my hand at making my own breakfast bars and the best thing about doing it is that I could add exactly what I wanted, using ingredients I just had lying around. Ingredients Cacao Base 1 cup chopped medjool dates 1/4 cup raw hazelnuts 1/4 cup raw almonds 1/2 cup vanilla protein power 1/4 cup cacao powder 3/4 cup desiccated coconut 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil Cranberry Top 2/3 cup dried cranberries (try to get unsweetened) 1/2 cup raw cashews 1 teaspoon beetroot powder (optional but provides great colour) 2/3...

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Nagisa Japanese

Address: 1 Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle NSW 2300 Website: www.nagisa.com.au It may still be a few months til I hit Japan for a second time but when the feeling hits I don't have to travel far to get my fix of Japanese cuisine right here in Newy. Sure, we've got quite a few sushi places and a couple of other Japanese joints but none beat the taste, view and variety of Nagisa. The Honeysuckle precinct is jam packed with awesome restaurants and bars overlooking Newcastle's foreshore. There aren't a great deal of options on the strip however you can usually find something and Nagisa has a few somethings you simply have to try next time you're in the area. Lunch is the premo time to visit...

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Crispy Bean Stuffed Potato Skins

Difficulty: Easy Makes 12 If you tell me a potato skin is going to be crispy, you'd better damn deliver me a crispy potato skin. I don't take that responsibility lightly so believe me when I say these mofos are goddamned crispy. You really can fill them with whatever you want but this time around I added some beans to make them extra hearty. Ingredients 6 washed potatoes, go smaller on the size Olive oil spray Salt & pepper 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon paprika 1/2 cup mixed beans 1/2 cup vegan cheese (I used Daiya) 1 spring onion Method Preheat your oven to 200°C. Stab the potatoes all over with a fork before carefully placing in the oven (directly on the racks or a pan with a roasting rack). Cook...

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Kester Black Cuticle Remover

Price: $20 Where to Buy: www.kesterblack.com As much as I love to paint my nails with Kester Black's awesome range of colours there's only so much a fresh coat can give you when you've got little bits of skin peeling off your cuticles. Does this sound like you? Kester Black's new Cuticle Remover may just be your solution! The guys got in touch to see if I'd like to take their new product for a spin and who am I to turn down a chance to get my nails looking fly, huh? Application is simple: apply to the contour of the nail, wait about a minute and gently roll back the cuticle with a dry cuticle stick before removing any residue. This water-based gel with...

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Rosewater Marshmallow Hearts

Difficulty: Easy-Medium Makes 12-18 The way to any vegan's heart is through their stomach and there's nothin' better than a homemade Valentine's Day gift, especially if it's edible. These bad boys will make babe swoon with their light marshmallowy centre dipped in dark chocolate. Really tho, where's my Valentine at? Ingredients 1/3 cup corn flour 3/4 cup water 1 tablespoon agar agar powder 1/2 cup glucose syrup 1 cup caster sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon rosewater 2-3 drops pink food colouring (make sure it's vegan) 300g dark chocolate Method In a medium sized saucepan, gently whisk together the water and agar agar powder over low heat until the powder dissolves. Crank the heat up to medium-high before adding the glucose syrup and caster sugar while continuing to stir constantly. Once the mixture starts to boil, immediately and...

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Atom Natural Beauty Pack

Price: $55.00 AUD Where To Buy: www.atomboutique.com When Atom Boutique recently sent me their Natural Beauty Pack to try I knew that it would have to be the next product featured in Gotta Have It! Australian brand run out of Sydney, Atom Boutique was inspired by a trip to Morocco and the discovery of pure Argan oil. This signature ingredient features throughout the entire Atom range and is 100% pure, naturally organic and like the rest of their vegan and natural ingredients, sustainably harvested by fair trade. Atom's product selection ranges from pure Argan oil through to skincare essentials and gift packs. The best way to get a real taste of these products is through one of their gift packs, like the Natural Beauty...

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cake Donuts

Difficulty: Easy Makes 6 large donuts It's bloody fun experimenting with different ways to make stuff and donuts are absolutely no exception. I've made them all kinds of ways like baked dough based and fried batter based but by far the easiest kind to make are baked batter donuts using a donut pan. You can pick these pans up super cheap on eBay and other online stores plus most good kitchen stores will have them; I'm going to buy a mini donut pan soon for extra cuteness. For my first attempt I went with chocolate flavour because really who doesn't like chocolate? Plus, I wasn't really in the mood for plain vanilla. You can glaze or ice these babies but to avoid things getting...

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Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Difficulty: Easy-Medium Makes 12 For a long time I had doubted the existence of fresh jalapeños because I sure as hell hadn't seen any. Last weekend I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted a basket of glossy, green chilies in the distance at the supermarket so naturally I grabbed as many as I could and got to thinkin' about a recipe. Here is that recipe. Feel free to go ahead and fry these bad boys if you want to, I won't judge you. I may even try it one day myself when I can be bothered dealing with a deep-fryer situation. Today is not that day. Ingredients 12 fresh jalapeños 2/3 cup vegan cream cheese Handful of chives, finely chopped 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder Pinch of...

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Margan Restaurant

Address: 1238 Milbrodale Rd, Broke NSW 2330 Wesbite: www.margan.com.au With birthdays mere days apart, Jane form What Jane Did and I were bound to have several things in common. Two of those things just happen to be food, writing and road trips so when Jane told me Margan Restaurant had invited us to do a review I was like "hell yeah, let's do it!" Jane offered to drive provided I curate (yes, curate) a playlist and for the first time since about 2009 I burned a CD of 90s and 00s hits to provide the soundtrack to our epic journey into the Hunter Valley. After walking through the rammed earth entryway which was fit for a king/Leonardo DiCaprio (same thing, really IMHO), we were...

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Roast “Chicken” Rolls – Made with Jackfruit

Difficulty: Easy Makes 6 Is it just me or am I really harping back to my childhood and growing up in Newcastle lately? That may be why I had the sudden urge to recreate and veganise the chicken and mayo rolls from Henny Penny, a chain of fast food chicken restaurants in the Hunter. I hadn't really thought about roasting jackfruit until now but it really does have a different vibe when it's cooked/stewed on a stovetop. A few crunchy bits around the edges and a much deeper flavour mean that this does recreate chicken quite well and is a great alternative because we should be looking after our feathered friends, not eating 'em! Ingredients 2 560gm cans young jackfruit in brine 2 tablespoons olive oil Juice of...

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memobottle

Price: From $22.00 USD Where to Buy: www.memobottle.com You guys should know by now that I'm a sucker for good design and thoughtful packaging, so it's no surprise I fell in love with the memobottle as soon as I saw it! Naturally I was thrilled when memobottle sent me a couple to review (and if you read on, you'll have the chance to win one of your own). These dope water bottles were born when fellow Aussies (another tick) Jesse and Jonathan were frustrated at the amount of single-use drink bottles washing ashore in a country where clean drinking water is so easily accessible, not to mention the fact that traditional drinking bottles didn't fit easily in back packs and laptop bags. You may...

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The Persian Place

Address: 43 Bolton Street, Newcastle NSW 2300 Website: www.thepersianplace.com.au I miss the golden age of Newcastle's CBD. No, I'm not talking about the 50's when David Jones was but one of many thriving department stores along Hunter Street and The Store wasn't a place to go for weird seafood/leather goods. I'm talking about the 90's; a time when you had to decide between Big Al's (an Al Capone themed diner) or all you can eat Pizza Hut, going to see the latest Power Rangers movie at the Showcase cinema and patting Camilla the dog before taking your seat. "Town" has had a bit of a rough trot over the years but she's comin' back! Some nice little retail stores, cool bars and a...

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6 Tips to Make a Tops Stir Fry

I only realised recently that people have a bloody tough time of making a stir fry and often make a total mess of it altogether. For some reason, I was #blessed with being the best stir fryer I know and while I don't think I'll ever make one as good as my local Thai restaurant, I do a pretty bitchin' job for someone who has literally no culinary training whatsoever. Are you constantly effing up your stir fry? It has been a bit of trial and error but here some of my hella easy tips you can try at home to wow your friends. Let's be real though, it's mainly impress yourself because the most important tastebuds around here are yours. #1 The Right Pan First off...

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Birthday Cake Cupcakes

Difficulty: Easy Makes 12 It may be hard to believe from my teen-like behaviour and overwhelmingly youthful appearance but today is in fact my 28th birthday and I thought as a special gift to myself I would bake cupcakes. I've been baking cupcakes for as long as I remember, sometimes with a recipe, more often just chucking a bunch of ingredients into the oven and hoping for the best but this time I decided to pay attention and write it down. I guess this is growing up. Ingredients 1 1/4 cups almond milk 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 cup caster sugar 1 1/2 cups plain flour 1 tablespoon arrowroot (tapioca) flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder Pinch of...

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Soul Burger

Address: 49 Perouse Road, Randwick NSW 2031 Website: www.soulburger.com.au IMHO there's nothin' better than a good burg, so when I heard that Soul Burger in Randwick had gone completely vegan (I know, right?!) I decided to get my ass into gear and plan myself a lil road trip to the big smoke. When you walk in, you'd be nuts to not be instantly stoked on the decor; plenty of hanging lights, white painted wood, exposed brick and "Plant-based Burgers" scrawled across the wall. Totally "Grammable" for those of you love to post food pics (guilty, sue me!) Plus the early noughties RnB soundtrack had me in the zone. The menu is even more impressive! Choose from 8 (E-I-G-H-T!) different vegan burger options, with mock meat...

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The Basil-Granate

Difficulty: Easy Serves 2 Have y'all recovered from the Christmas chaos? I hope so, because it's time to get preppin' for New Year's Eve! I rarely ever find myself doing anything particularly exciting on December 31st but it's always fun to have a few drinks so I've invented a cocktail just for the occasion. The Basil-Granate is fruity, fresh and fun plus it's easy to throw together. Don't do alcohol? Just leave it out and you'll still have a tasty mocktail in your hand all night long. Here's to 2016, I've got so many exciting things to share with you all in the New Year! Ingredients 1/4 pomegranate 1 lime 1/3 cup pomegranate juice 2 shots vodka 2 shots Cointreau Fresh Basil 2 cups crushed ice Soda water Method Start by cutting your pomegranate into...

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Candy Cane Sugar Scrub

Difficulty: Easy Makes 1 jar I can hear you saying "WTF dude, you can't eat this?!" and you're right but with Christmas just 3 sleeps away I thought I would share with you a little recipe I've been making for my good self lately! This sugar scrub costs practically nothing to make and you've probably already got the ingredients lying around the house, so whip up a few jars and keep 'em handy for unexpected guests over the Christmas period and to show of your creative prowess! Ingredients 1/4 cup pink Himalayan crystal salt 1 cup raw sugar 5-10 drops rose hip oil 5-8 drops peppermint oil 1/4 cup coconut oil Method Grind up the salt so that you've got small, but not powdery granules. Add to a bowl with the...

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Little Christmas Pavlovas

Difficulty: Medium Serves 8-10 (depending on size) 2015 will forever be remembered as the year of aquafaba in the vegan community. Still haven't heard of it? Get the hell out from under that rock and grab yourself a can of chickpeas, cos that's what you're gonna need to make these bad boys. "Chickpeas?! Are you effing nuts?!" I hear your screaming at your laptop or smart phone and while it may be hard to believe, the juice from canned chickpeas act as egg whites to make this classic Aussie dessert (soz NZ, it's ours. We own it now). Knock the unwanted gifted socks off the family this Christmas with a plate of red, white and green courtesy of the meringue base, coconut cream and...

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Vegan BBQ: Tofu, Black Bean & Mushroom Patties

Difficulty: Easy Makes:  10 Leave the gazpacho at home, Lisa! My Tofu, Black Bean & Mushroom Patties are here to get you through your next BBQ. With the weather really heating up and the holiday season upon us, it's that time of year where BBQ invites are coming in thick and fast. Your typical Aussie grill-a-thon doesn't cater much to us old vegans, so the guys at Ziegler & Brown asked me to change that by devising an awesome animal-free recipe that vegans and non-vegans alike and can enjoy this BBQ season. These tasty guys can be made a couple of days in advance and whipped out just before cooking so you've got a juicy, flavoursome plate ready to take along to your next occasion. Ingredients 1/2 small...

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Vegan Eggnog

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 Are you ready to nog?! Also, are you ready for all of the times I'm going to use 'nog' in this post? Ah well, too bad because I'm nog going to stop anytime soon. I'm going to be straight up and let you know that not once in my life have I tasted real eggnog but I get the gist and eggs are gross so it's better for all of us if we just straight up ditch them from this recipe. Who really needs eggs when you're making what is essentially a frothy, Christmassy, alcoholic milkshake?! Nobody, that's who. Let's celebrate our new arrangement with the adding of alcohol to milk. Ingredients 1 400mL can full fat coconut cream (placed upside down...

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Candy Cane Ice Cream & Chocolate Shell Topping

Difficulty: Easy Makes about 1 litre It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and I've teamed up with the epic team at Your Home Depot to create another recipe using my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker with Compressor. I've been shopping with these guys for years because they have great prices, an awesome range of products and a super easy checkout process. These guys even hooked me up with a bitchin' Global Ikasu Knife Set for helping out with this recipe, it doesn't get much sweeter than that! Candy canes are the official sweet of the festive season so I thought why not combine them with the guaranteed deliciousness of ice cream?! So I did and I know I say this all the...

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Raw Zucchini & Pomegranate Salad

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 I'm not the official Christmas cook in my household but if there's one thing I know about cooking a feast, it's that you need a combo of things you can prepare well in advance and stuff that you can throw together quickly on the day; this salad is the latter. With a glorious mix of Christmas coloured produce, this raw and simple salad is going to cancel out all that other crazy junk you're surely going to be eating on the big day, that's how it works, right? Ingredients 4 big-ass zucchinis 1 large pomegranate 1 bunch of red radishes 1/3 cup hazelnuts Salt and pepper to taste Dressing 1/2 cup tahini 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil Juice of half lemon 1 teaspoon agave Method Use your spiraliser to create long, thin...

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2015 Vegan Christmas Gift Guide

Full disclosure: I bloody love Christmas and everything that comes along with it. The decorations, buying gifts, wrapping gifts (yep), baking and driving around for hours looking at Christmas lights. It's usually my aim to have my Christmas shopping completed by the end of November, so that I can spend my December baking, decorating and just being heaps festive. Oh and executing my thoroughly thought out wrapping theme (yeah, I do that too). I understand that many don't share my love of gift buying and sometimes through veganism into the mix can add an extra layer of "ohmygodwhatdoIdoChristmasisaweekawayI'mgoingtocry" I would love to act as your personal shopper and gift wrapper over the Christmas season but until I can teleport, my 2015 Vegan...

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Rum & Raisin Fudge

Difficulty: Easy Makes about 20 pieces  When sweetened condensed coconut milk came on the scene recently, I knew my life would be changed forever. Why? Because fudge was back in my life and in a huge way. I've been playing around with a few fudge recipes this month and in a massive win for everyone involved, the easiest one turned out the best. Christmas is the perfect time for fudge because it's indulgent yet easy to make plus it's the perfect homemade gift! And what's a festive recipe without a little fruit and alcohol huh? Nothin', that's what! Ingredients 1 320mL can sweetened condensed coconut milk 1 tablespoon vegan margarine 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 shot of rum (a teaspoon of rum essence will...

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Kester Black x Beauty EDU – New Shades!

Price: $20.00 Where to Buy: www.kesterblack.com It's no secret that I'm always picking up what Kester Black is putting down, so when they let me in on a little secret collabo they were working on I was down to ride. In yet another epic team up, they've joined forces with leading beauty therapy school, Beauty EDU to release 3 new nail polish shades. So why is this happening, you ask. Well, it conveniently involves another sweet pairing between Beauty EDU and David Jones, who in a world first have created a state of the art campus in the middle of their Eastland store. With the opportunity to assist in expanding the use of cruelty-free cosmetics, KB got themselves all up in that and...

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Gingerbread Folk Vegan Gingerbread House Kit

Price: $39.95 Where to Buy: www.gingerbreadfolk.com.au Nothing says Christmas like food and craft and what better way to combine the two than by making a gingerbread house! The guys at Gingerbread Folk have just released a Vegan Gingerbread House Kit and sent one to me to try PLUS we're giving one reader of Like a Vegan to win one of their own (see more about that below). 4 walls, roof pieces and a chimney are all included in the kit plus instructions, baseboard, icing bag and vegan royal icing mix. The royal icing is incredibly easy to mix however I did need to add a little more water than the instructions suggested, I would recommend adding it very slowly until you get the desired...

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Passionfruit Coconut Ice Cream

Difficulty: Easy Makes about 1 litre You may have noticed that I've been pumping out a fair bit of ice cream lately. That's because a while back I bought a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker from Your Home Depot and have been working on perfecting my recipe. This machine is wild, you guys! It creates ice cream in an hour thanks to its built in compressor, so you don't have to freeze any bowls beforehand. The guys at Your Home Depot cottoned on to how stoked I was with my new toy and asked if I would be keen to create some recipes using their products. Considering I've been shopping with them for a couple of years now, I said "hell yeah, let's...

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Kester Black Soap-Free Liquid Hand & Body Wash

Price: $32  Where to Buy: http://www.kesterblack.com/stockists Kester Black is my go-to nail polish for plenty of reasons but now these guys are adding even more wonderful items to their collection. First it was the adorably packaged Body Soaps and now Kester Black have done it again with new Liquid Hand & Body Wash in two scents! I've gotta admit, I've always been more of a liquid wash kinda gal, so when KB offered me a sneaky peek and chance to try the new gear before it hit shelves, I jumped at the chance. When the package arrived in the mail, the first thing I noticed was the packaging; simple and clean with adorable coloured typography. I also love the adorable names; Pardon! is a refreshing scent...

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Watermelon, Lime & Mint Popsicles

Difficulty: Easy Makes about 10  Summer has been sprung on us a little early this year so I've gone into overdrive coming up with treats to bring a little coolness into your lives. These popsicles can be in your freezer within minutes and once set, you'll be thanking your past self for their forward thinking! Plus, turn these into a wicked cocktail popsicle by adding a shot of white rum or vodka (I may or may not have done that too). Ingredients 700g seedless watermelon Juice from one lime Handful of mint leaves 1/2 cup white rum or vodka (optional) Method Cut up the watermelon into reasonable sized chunks and throw into the blender. Add the lime juice and alcohol (if you're using it) and whizz together until blended. Pop a...

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Speculoos Ice Cream

Difficulty: Easy Makes 1L Speculoos cookies are little Dutch spiced caramel biscuits and more often than not, they're vegan but did you know you can also buy speculoos cookie spread? GASP! I picked mine up at ALDI a few months back but because I don't really do sweet toast spreads, I put them aside for something special - ICE CREAM! You can find speculoos cookies pretty easily (I got mine at Coles, they're Lotus brand) but you may have to look to the internet to find the spread. Ingredients 2 270mL cans full fat coconut cream 1 320g can condensed coconut milk 1 cup non-dairy milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup speculoos cookie spread 1/2 cup crushed speculoos cookies Method Chuck all of the ingredients, minus the cookies into a...

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Eggy Breakfast Muffin

Difficulty: Easy - Medium Serves 4 How long has it been since you've had a breakfast muffin, huh? If your answer was "AGES!" you'll be super pumped for this recipe; if your answer was "I had one yesterday!" you'll probably still really enjoy this recipe. My Breakfast muffin has tempeh bacon and tomato plus a super fun eggy tofu element which I think you'll dig. Serve it up with a couple of hash browns and you've got yourself a winning start to the day. Ingredients Tempeh Bacon 150g tempeh 1/4 soy sauce 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon liquid smoke 2 tablespoons maple syrup Eggy Tofu 1 350g block of high protein, firm tofu 1/3 cup nutritional yeast 1-2 teaspoons black salt (get this from your local Indian grocer) 1 teaspoon garlic powder The...

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Rosewater Ice Cream

Difficulty: Easy-Medium Serves 6-8 If you didn't know already, ice cream is my number one dessert. If you share my passionate love for ice cream, then it's imperative that you get yourself a good ice cream maker (one with a built in compressor is best) so that you can create your own badass concoctions in the privacy of your own home and in no time at all. I recently discovered Pandaroo Sweet Condensed Coconut Milk at Woolworths and the warmer weather meant that ice cream was inevitable. The subtlety of rosewater seemed to be the perfect flavour this time around but trust me, there are plenty more to come. Let me know if there's a flavour you'd love for me to make...

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Goma-ae

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 (as a side dish)   Goma-ae is one of my absolute fave Japanese dishes, probs because it involves sesame paste and I absolutely LOVE sesame. Not to be confused with tahini, white sesame paste can be picked up from any good Asian grocer and has an intensely nutty sesame flavour. I made goma-ae quite a while ago but have given the recipe a little revamp so now is the perfect time to get stuck in. Note: That other stuff on the plate is for another recipe I'm working on, stay tuned for that one! Ingredients 350g green beans, ends removed 350g baby spinach leaves 1/2 cup white sesame paste 1/3 cup soy sauce 1 teaspoon mirin (or rice wine vinegar) 2 tablespoons brown sugar 3 tablespoons sesame seeds Method Wash...

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Vegan Iced VoVos

Difficulty: Medium Makes about 40 cookies I hear you non-Aussie folk asking "what the eff is an Iced VoVo and why do I want a vegan one?" and I'ma give you an answer! The Iced VoVo is a classic Australian biscuit; a vanilla cookie topped with marshmallowy fondant, jam and coconut. Obviously there are a couple of components of the Iced VoVo that means they're were no longer on the shopping list once I went vegan, so for my niece's 5th birthday tea party I whipped up a batch of vegan ones! I know it looks a little complicated and making your own marshmallow seems daunting but trust me, you got this, I believe in you. Ingredients Biscuit 1/2 cup vegan margarine (I used Nuttelex) 1...

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Mega Breakfast Burrito

Difficulty: Easy-Medium Serves 4 I say this is a breakfast burrito but it's not like the breakfast police are going to come a knockin' if you eat it for any other meal (TBH I actually made this for dinner the other night). Smokey tempeh bacon, paprika potatoes, wilted spinach and a hectic scrambled tofu all come together in a homemade tortilla to make this one heck of a meal. And hey, if you can't be effed making your own burritos, make your own or chuck all this stuff on a big ol' plate with some toast and you've got yourself one hell of a big brekkie. Ingredients Tortillas 3 cups plain flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/3 cup canola oil 3/4 cup warm water Smokey...

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Kester Black – Summer Colours are Here!

Price: $20AUD each Where to Buy: www.kesterblack.com 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...

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Kinda Maple Coconut Bacon

Where to Buy: www.kindabacon.com for stockists Price: $12.75 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...

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Lemon Custard Filled Donuts

Difficulty: Easy-Medium Makes 16 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...

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Sweet William Chocolate & Triple Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches

Where to Buy: www.sweetwilliam.com.au for stockists. Price: From $2.85 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...

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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...

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Jackfruit + Potato Curry

Difficulty: Easy Serves: 4-6 (depending on serving size) 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...

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Kester Black x Trophy Wife 2015 Collabo

Price: $20.00AUD Where to Buy: www.kesterblack.com for online store and stockists 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...

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July Vegan Box

Price: From $26.95  Where to Buy: www.theveganbox.com 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...

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Cheesy Popcorn

Difficulty: Easy Serves 4 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 Make the cheese sprinkle by combining all ingredients in a blender or food processor until a fine powder is formed. Set aside. Using an air popper, pop your kernels (you can also pop in a pan if you...

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Oh Lordy! Lord of the Fries Hits Sydney Central

Address: 10A Henry Deane Plaza, 18 Lee St, Haymarket, NSW Website: www.lordofthefries.com.au If you know me IRL or follow me on Twitter, you would know that a good portion of the time I am whinging about not having immediate access to Lord of the Fries. When LOTF hit Sydney you probably noticed that whinging decrease, well now it's about to decrease a little more because Lord of the Fries have opened another Sydney location. Just inside Henry Deane Plaza, on the Haymarket side of Central, you will find this little slice of fast food heaven. It has all of your LOTFF (Lord of the Fries Favourites) like burgers, munch boxes and fries (duh) plus now they're offering breakfast and shakes, yay! The Lord invited me to...

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S’mores Tart

Difficulty: Medium Serves 8-10 It has taken me a little while to recover from my trip and get back into the kitchen but you guys know that when I take a break, I come back with something hella sweet for you, right? Now that it's winter, I wanted to make a dessert that suits the climate and nothing says winter like s'mores! I added a little sophistication to this classic treat by turning it into a tart that looks so good you can take it along to any winter function. Making your own marshmallow sounds extremely daunting but trust me, it's easy as pie...

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BBQ Jackfruit Buns

Difficulty: Medium Makes 12 large buns If you've ever hit up a yum cha restaurant, you would know that the BBQ pork bun is a menu staple. As a seasoned yum cha eater, I've sampled a few vegan versions in my time but thought it was about time to make my own. I've always been a fan of using jackfruit as a pulled pork substitute and thought I would use it as an ingredient in this dish. These buns are quite large but you could always adapt depending on the occasion. Ingredients Dough 1 tablespoon caster sugar 1 1/4 cups warm water 1 1/2 teaspoons dry instant yeast 1 teaspoon baking powder 3 cups plain flour 1/2 teaspoon salt Filling 2 x 550 gram cans young jackfruit in brine (do not get...

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Inika Face in a Box

Price: $99.00 Where to Buy: www.inika.com.au You guuuuys, Mother's Day is just around the corner (May 10th) and if you haven't sorted out a gift for the main lady in your life then I may just have you sorted. The guys at Inika sent me through their Face in a Box recently and due to my success with Inika products in the past, I was stoked to give some more products a try. The Face in a Box contains the essentials you'll need to create the perfect skin base for any make up look. At $99.00 it's the perfect introduction to Inika's range of cosmetics without buying the full size, individual products but if you or your mum are already an Inika lover, this...

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Choc Mint Macarons

Difficulty: Medium Makes 12 You thought your macaron days were over, right? WRONG! Call in sick to work, cancel your lunch date and turn your phone off. It is mandatory that you drop everything right now and make some of these bitchin' choc mint macarons. Thanks to the magic of the humble chickpea, you add these little French treats to your all-vegan baking repertoire. BRB eating them all. Ingredients Macarons 1 cup almond meal (use the one without brown flecks) 1 cup icing sugar 1/3 cup liquid from canned chickpeas 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum 1/3 cup caster sugar 1/2 - 1 teaspoon peppermint essence 2-3 drops green food colouring Chocolate Ganache Filling 300 grams vegan dark chocolate 1/4 cup coconut cream Method In a medium bowl, sift together the almond meal and icing sugar. Set aside. Whisk...

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Oh My Chai – Chai Cake w/ Maple Walnut Glaze

Price: From $4.95 Where to Buy: www.ohmychai.com.au I don't drink a lot of hot drinks but this recent cool snap has me downing several cups a day. When the guys from Oh My Chai offered to chuck a bag of their organic masala chai my way, it was simply an offer I could not refuse. Oh My Chai Masala is a hand blended loose mix of 9 spices like cinnamon, fennel and ginger and is lightly sweetened thanks to our old friend dark agave. It's smooth, subtle and can be made on your favourite non-dairy milk in no time. This blend is available in 1kg or 250g bags but if you're not quite sure that Oh My Chai is the right tea for you,...

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AWE Cosmeceuticals

Price: From $39.00 Where to Buy: www.awecosmeceuticals.com.au I love hearing about wicked new vegan products on the market, so when I AWE Cosmeceuticals asked if I wanted to try some of their stuff I naturally jumped at the chance. Here's the 411 on AWE: Australian made Australian owned No nasty stuff like sodium lauryl sulphate, parabens, harsh chemicals or known irritants No artificial fragrance or colours Biodegradable formulations Minimal, recyclable packaging All but one product is vegan (the Hydrating Mask contains honey so avoid that one!) A focus on Ayurveda The first product I tried was the Skin Polish ($29), a combination of light exfoliants, antioxidants and micro jojoba beads and fragranced with rose and jasmine. I tend to go a little OTT with exfoliating and end up with super dry skin but...

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Vegan Pavlova

Difficulty: Medium Serves 8 Meringue is one of those things that vegans through the ages have been trying to nail. The current craze to hit the vegan community is the use of canned chickpea juice instead of egg white. While this may seem like a strange concept, I am here to tell you that it freaking works and it's bloody amazing and you should all give it a try RIGHT NOW! Naturally my first instinct was to make an epic pav but stay tuned because I'm nowhere near finished with this bean juice jive. Ingredients 2x 270mL cans of coconut cream (placed upside down in the fridge for at least 2 days) 2/3 cup canned chickpea liquid (less salt is best) 2/3 cup caster sugar 1 teaspoon...

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Vegan Creme Eggs

Difficulty: Easy Makes 8 If you're like me, your childhood Easters were filled with all kinds of chocolate treats but none ever compared to the creme egg. That's something I thought I had left behind when I went vegan until recently when I saw a creme egg recipe online. With a few alterations, making this recipe vegan turned out to be bloody easy and now creme eggs are back in my life for good! Egg moulds are pretty easy to track down this time of year and can be found at most good baking stores. Ingredients 200 grams vegan chocolate 1/2 cup glucose syrup 1/4 cup vegan margarine 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 2 cups icing sugar 1-2 drops yellow food colouring Method In a microwave proof jug, melt the chocolate in...

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Kester Black 2015 Colours & Water Based Nail Polish Remover

Price: From $20.00 Where to Buy: www.kesterblack.com Finally! Kester Black have dropped the first of their annual colour collection for 2015. In perfect autumn/winter hues, there's got to be at least one of the four new colours to suit everyone. The legends at KB sent me some of the new colours to try along with their new Water Based Nail Polish Remover. I haven't seen a nail colour like Quartz before; a greyed purple polish that goes with just about any warm outfit. The colour itself reminds me of a super comfy jumper or blanket that you just want to snuggle up in.  If you're looking for a new pink shade, Petra is a sandy pale pink that takes your standard pink polish...

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February Vegan Box

Price: From $26.95  Where to Buy: www.theveganbox.com It's no secret that I absolutely love The Vegan Box. For even the most savvy vegans out there, the box introduces you to new products each month that you've never heard of and presents a whole new world of vegan options. The legends over at The Vegan Box chucked me their February Vegan Box to try, so safe to say I was very excited! The February Box contained: Iris Practice One Bath Wonder Herbal Soak (Value $9.95) - A delightful smelling little pouch for the bath handcrafted in Victoria from local and imported ingredients. Mine came in Detox. Manuko Superfood Truffles (Value $7.90) - Tasty little organic superfood cubes, much like a bliss ball and made in Melbourne. My flavour...

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