4 Ideas for Leftover Rice

In collaboration with SunRice.

Got leftover rice? I've got 4 ideas to turn that pot of boring into deliciousness!You know how there is that one thing you just fail at in the kitchen? Like poaching an egg is harder to master than peace in the Middle East, and the thought of creating a croissant makes you break out in a cold sweat?

For years I was thwarted by rice. One of the cheapest, most versatile basics you could ever have in your repertoire and I avoided it like a toddler avoiding bedtime because I just could.not.get.it.right. It either sat in a huddled gluggy mass in my saucepan like even it was disappointed in me, or I burned every last grain at the bottom while unhelpfully leaving the top layer uncooked.

Every time I tried, I failed.

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Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Vegetarian/Vegan Thai Coconut Soup for One

thai-soup-for-one I’m back! And you know I’m back from my super-sunny Queensland trip when pretty much the first thing I do is put a second jumper on.

I loved how awed everyone was when they wandered around Noosa beach on the first day of winter with the sun shining and them regretting their choice of jeans. But it was also pretty fun to come home to a brisk breeze and the sound of trams. And soup. There will be SO MUCH SOUP this winter – especially now that I’ve cracked the thai soup code after many years of sub-standard effort.

For this Thai-style soup, I’ve been using the Five Tastes Thai Red Curry Paste, and this vegan fish sauce, a splash of Massel Chicken Stock (which is vegan), and whatever coconut milk and veggies I have lying around. Occasionally I boil some noodles in a separate pot and make a laksa. It’s quite the combination, and so quick to whip up. Seriously, less than ten minutes.

I’m a fan of cubes of tofu, bok choy, mushrooms, spring onions, cherry tomatoes, a little bit of kale or spinach, and thin slices of carrot. But I’ll put just about anything in!

Is it getting chilly where you are? I’ve finally cracked and put the heating on at night ;-)


Vegetarian/Vegan Thai Coconut Soup for One


  • 1 tablespoon Red curry paste
  • 1/2 cup Massel chicken stock, or veggie stock
  • 3/4 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegan fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 Small squeeze lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cubed tofu
  • 1 cup chopped mixed vegetables (carrots, spring onion, spinach, capicum, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms)


Step 1
Heat the curry paste in a small saucepan over medium heat for one minute.
Step 2
Add the stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil.
Step 3
Return to a simmer, add the vegan fish sauce, palm sugar, and lime juice, and all of the veggies.
Step 4
Leave on a bare simmer for five minutes or until veggies have softened but are still crisp. I often even take it off the heat.
Step 5
Taste for seasoning and make sure it has a balance of salty, sour, and sweet.
Step 6
Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Meatless Monday – Lemony sprouted lentil salad

sprouted-lentil-saladWhen I saw Aldi were selling little sprouters for $5, I thought it was high time I delved into the world of sprouting. I think I grew sprouts as a kid with a jar and some cheesecloth, but I’ve never tried sprouting anything else. I wasn’t entirely convinced it was necessary, and it looked a bit too fiddly.

Well I still mostly feel that way, but this sprouter contraption thingy is pretty easy to use! Soak a bunch of lentils in water overnight, pop them in the top of this thing and pour water over them 2-3 times a day. After three days or so, you’ve got crunchy sprouty lentils! And they taste pretty awesome. I remember texting my friend and telling her they weren’t going to even make it to the salad at the rate I was going.

Do you sprout? Do you have a sprouter? Do you prefer cooked lentils? Do you like salads? Who are you? What’s your name? Too many questions…

Anyway, this is my final Meatless Monday link up instalment! I will probably still post from time to time, but you’ll find the new linkup over at Lila’s blog from mid-January. I’m so excited to see it in its new home! I will see you there :)

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Meatless Monday: Vegan split pea soup

vegan split pea soup in the crockpot

I don’t have very good memories of split pea soup (or pea and ham soup) from when I was a kid, for I was quite the food phobe. Plus, the version I had tried contained barley and barley was weird, man.

I do, however, have great memories of singing the pease porridge nursery rhyme, and this is sort of the same!

I needn’t have worried, because I eventually grew into it, and when I had the idea to veganise it for the crock pot, I realised how delicious it really is. I’m trying to think up lots of crock pot recipes this year, and I remember pea and ham soup being a bit of a staple in it growing up. I thought about how I would replace the smoky ham flavour, and then realised I didn’t really want a hammy-tasting soup. The smoke I like, the ham… not so much. I would normally use a liquid smoke for the same effect, but I’m all out, so I turned to my backup – smoked paprika.

Then I saw Veggieful had posted a split pea soup recipe and figured I must have been on the right track! Do you read their blog? It’s irresistably gorgeous.

Anywho, if you’re up for a creamy soup full of flavour, then this one’s for you. Winter warmer at its best.

Vegan split pea soup

Serves 4-6
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 6 hours
Total time 6 hours, 30 minutes
Dietary Vegan
Meal type Main Dish, Soup


  • 1 Large onion, diced small
  • 1 Large stalk celery, diced small
  • 1 Medium carrot, diced small
  • 2 Large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup green split peas
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 5 cups homemade vegetable stock
  • 1 Large bay leaf
  • salt and pepper


Step 1
Sweat the onion, celery, carrot and garlic over low heat for 20 minutes, until it caramelises and the flavour deepens. Add paprika for the last few minutes. This can be a bit of a drag if you're just looking to throw everything in the crock pot and go, but is much nicer. By all means, throw and go, though!
Step 2
Put the sweated veggies into the crock pot with the split peas, the thyme, stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper, and cook on low for 6 hours. You don't want any bite in the split peas at all, they should have simmered into a thick mush (add extra stock or water if too thick). Check for seasoning and don't be afraid to be liberal with the salt if you have used a homemade stock.

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Show your mum you love her with a Pana Chocolate giveaway {raw, organic and handmade!}

This competition has now ended. Congrats to Lizzie B and her whimsical, fun-loving, imaginative mum! 
mothersdayboxYou know you want to.

Pana has caused a bit of a stir recently with its little packs of cacao goodness, and found devoted, life-long fans among us.

Made only from cacao solids, virgin cacao butter, dark agave nectar, raw cacao powder, virgin coconut oil, wild carob, cinnamon and pure himalayan crystal salt, it’s a guilt-free way to indulge.

chocolatemaking_processAnd they’re open and accountable for the production process, from cacao grown in an organic environment, to being mixed and packaged by hand into boxes straight to you.

They want to make excellent chocolate that is good for you and good for the Earth’s sustainability. it is low-GI, vegan, and gluten free with no dairy or soy. They also eschew preservatives and artificial sweeteners. What’s not to love?


If you’re into that sort of thing, then do please enter the giveaway to win a box of delicious chocs for your mama (and one for yourself!). The I Love You Mum gift box contains a pack each of the Mint, Rose, Raw Cacao, and Coconut and Goji flavours, and is valued at $28.95.

All you need to do is leave a comment answering this question: What is a lovely little thing your mum used to do for you when you were a kid?

Answers are based on creativity, and the competition will end on June 25 at 5pm EST. The winner will be notified by email and announced in this post.

Go ahead – make mum’s day!

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Black bean and sweet potato tacos

I am obsessed with Thug Kitchen.

For the uninitiated, it is a vegan tumblr that talks about not eating overly-processed crap and gives recipes and tips for eating healthy, veggie-packed food. Only it is doing it with a bucketload of attitude and extreme swears. I cannot get enough.

It has only been around since late last year, but it has already won the Saveur Award’s Best New Food Blog. And with calls like “it’s taco time, bitches”, it not only cracks my shit up, but a bunch of others too.


I made the Sweet Potato and Pinto Bean Tacos, only I didn’t have no pinto beans so I used black beans. I soaked them all day and then cooked them for two hours, before following Thug’s directions. They were magical. We ate ours with avocado, onion, tomato and coriander.

You need these tacos in your life. I made corn tortillas to go with ours because I’d never made them before. I knew they had to be better than store-bought, because everything is! They were pretty fiddly and you have to do one at a time, so I can’t imagine I’d be doing them constantly! But the recipe (here) made heaps so I have a ton left over. They got easier, so who knows I might be a tortilla ninja more often.


It’s taco time, bitches.

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Wholemeal banana and peach muffins: egg-free and refined-sugar-free!


Oh yeah, and vegan.

Lately I’ve been going back through all my old favourites and my mind has been boggling at what refined crap I used to eat like it ain’t no thang. Well, ever since I had babies and they started to eat the food I made, I wanted to do better by them. I was afraid of baking with wholemeal flour because I thought it tasted weird, except I was wrong. I also started to think twice about adding sugar, I really just don’t think a kid that’s not even two needs sugary things. Each to their own and all, and I don’t mind the occasional treat or whatever, but… yeah.

I remember thinking my banana chia muffins weren’t so bad, even though I know recipes like that are pretty much just cake. In muffin form. So I decided to change it so I could feel good giving it to my kids, and also eating it myself. Nobody gets fueled properly with white sugar and white flour, and boy I need all the proper energy I can get!

I removed the egg and replaced it with flax meal and water. I don’t even know why. You can either use the flax meal option or add an egg. Whatever you like!

I also freeze these and pop into lunchboxes.


Wholemeal banana and peach muffins: egg-free (vegan) and refined-sugar-free

Serves 24
Allergy Egg
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Lunch, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold


  • 1.5 cups wholemeal self-raising flour (or wholemeal plain flour and 1.5 teaspoons baking powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Large bananas, mashed
  • 2 Large peaches, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal (mixed with two tablespoons water)
  • 1/3 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds


Step 1
Preheat your oven to 200C.
Step 2
Mix all ingredients until combined but lumpy. Spoon into muffin tins and bake 20-30 minutes until cooked all the way through.
Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Meatless Monday: Guest post – Indian Spiced Cauliflower

Ok now you’ll just have to excuse Christie from Fig and Cherry for being better than me at Meatless Mondays – it’s not her fault she’s so awesome! And if you haven’t checked out her blog, DO IT. She puts most food bloggers to shame with her incredible photography and fresh, seasonal cooking. I might have a little blog crush…


Since I’ve moved to the country I’ve barely ordered any takeaway food. There’s less choice, which is one of the reasons, but the other is that I am still very excited about exploring new farmers markets. Like, every weekend.
And you know what that means? Mountains of fresh fruit and veg! (Because I get carried away).

I’m very frugal when it comes to the environment and I refuse to let anything go to waste. I even boil pineapple skins to make a delish pineapple flavoured water, just so I didn’t have to throw them out without using them for something. Try it, it’s great chilled. 

So all that fruit and veg from the farmers markets has been cooked up, preserved, baked and frozen. There has been no shortage of food, and no need for takeaway.

Last week though, I was tired after a long week of work, play and toddler-dom and looked longingly at hubby to ‘make dinner’. As in, dial it up! 10 minutes later we had dinner on its way from the newest takeaway in town: an Indian restaurant. 

I asked hubby how much it came to so that I could get the money ready at the door. “$53″, he said.

“What!!!???”, I exclaimed! “That can’t be right? What did you order?”. (In the least accusatory tone I could muster).

“Two meat dishes, one rice, 1 naan”.

I was appalled. 

I don’t mind paying good money for good food, but seriously, why does Indian takeaway have to cost so much? With $53 I could have fed half the town! OK, that’s probably exaggerating, but I did make hubby feel better by assuring him that we would be eating more Indian food… however, it will be homemade from now on.

And voila! I present you with Indian spiced cauliflower. Enjoy it. On the cheap ;)

Christie x


Indian Spiced Cauliflower

serves 4
based on a recipe by Rachel Lane from her cookbook, Wok.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3cm chunk fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh coriander leaves, loosely packed
steamed rice and natural yoghurt, to serve
1. Heat a wok or large, deep frying pan over high heat until smoking. Add the vegetable oil and cumin seeds and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant.
2. Add the onion, chilli flakes, garlic, ginger, ground coriander and turmeric and stir fry for 2 minutes until the onion has softened.
3. Add the cauliflower and stir to thoroughly coat in the spice mixture. Stir fry for 5 minutes until golden brown, stirring constantly to stop it sticking.
4. Add the chopped tomato, salt and 1/2 cup (125ml) of cold tap water and turn the heat down to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes until the cauliflower is fork tender. Stir through the fresh coriander leaves and serve with rice and yoghurt.



Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!
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