Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

A veggie version of a comfort food staple on theveggiemama.com

I  know the time for winter food is coming to an end (although we’re right at that moment in Melbourne where you think it will never be warm again HOLY SHIT FFS), but the nights are still plenty chilly enough for comfort carbs.

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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!

How to Use Evernote at a Conference

The best way to get the most out of Evernote when you're at a conference. Note-taking, contacts, and more!

Along with 699 of my fellow blogging buddies, I’m off today to the ProBlogger Training Event on the Gold Coast. For the second year in a row, I’m on the PBEVENT team, which is a hell of a lot of fun.

I’ve had a few people ask me what they can do to prepare to get the most out of the conference, and overwhelm seems to be one of the biggest issues. How do you network, take in all of the information, remember to eat, and have a fabulous Shine party outfit all at once?

Well I suck at fashion and I never forget to eat, so I can’t help you there. What I can help you with is nerding out over information and how to note-take effectively. You’re welcome!

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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!

Around Here

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So much drawing. Always with the drawing.

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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!

Speedy Kale, Egg and Quinoa Breakfast

A protein-packed breakfast whipped up in a flash.

If you’ve got leftover quinoa in your fridge (like I do) and are a bit over quinoa salad (like I am), then grab a couple of eggs and a bit of kale and get started on this savoury little number.

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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!

About that one time I got attacked by monkeys in the Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali

About that one time I got attacked by monkeys in the Monkey Forest, Ubud, BaliThe day started out like any other during our time in Bali. We awoke with the roosters at our  beautiful villa, ate our gorgeous breakfast poolside, and probably read a book in the sun.

Our villa manager was taking us to Ubud that day, to show us the places her guests usually like to be taken. We bought silver jewellery at the market, wandered around the temples, that sort of thing. We were having a cold beer and iced coffee (not together, gross) at Cafe Lotus, overlooking the Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati and the large lotus pond, when we asked our villa manager where our next stop on today’s trip would be. She told us the Monkey Forest before heading up to see the Mt Batur volcano, and while neither of us are keen monkey-lovers, it seemed the thing people did when they went to Ubud. We’d had dinner with some Australian friends a few days earlier and they said it was lovely – the monkeys even sat on your shoulder and ate bananas. To the monkey forest we went.

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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!

A Cup of Tea with Me

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What a quiet week it’s been. Hunkering down from the cold (the cold the cold THE COLD) and getting our arts and crafts on (or arse crahts, if you remember our Facebook conversation from a while ago. Four year olds are rad!). We have enough watercolour paintings to walllpaper the entire upstairs level so you could say its been productive.

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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!

Spicy Crock Pot Kitchari

Kitchari - the ultimate winter dish!

 

Like dhal? Yeah, me too. It was one of the first lentil dished I ever ate that didn’t immediately make me cry. Sure, I ate it on bread like a sandwich, but whatever. It tasted good!

My mum was vegetarian for a long time, and as she made her way into vegetarian cooking when I was in my late teens and early 20s, this dhal she made quickly became something I asked for every time I visited. It started my love of pulses, Hare Krishna food, Ayurvedic food, and anything that required spices and simple ingredients. Living in Murwillumbah will also do that to you. Gosh, that really was the birthplace of my tie-dye years.

As I’ve made my way through vegetarian cooking for the last 10 years, I’m the first person to forget that these amazing food combinations exist. But when I look at my pantry full of very type of bean, split pea, and lentil there is, it’s ayurvedic and Hare Krishna recipes I turn to. They are warming, nourishing, and are far more creative than I can come up with on my own!

A little while ago I was looking for some good slow-cooker meals similar to this smoky split pea soup I made a while ago, and I remembered kitchari, the “chicken soup” of the ayurvedic world. It’s what you eat for everything – you’re sick, you’ve been travelling, you’ve been gorging yourself on everything else, or you just need comfort food, that sort of thing. I wanted to make a huge batch of something healthy, spicy and delicious that I could freeze in portions for lunches and this kitchari hit the spot. It’s kind of like dhal, but made with mung beans instead of lentils. As a fun extra, you can sprout the mung beans you don’t use and make the mung bean sprouts we all know and love! Then you know you’ve really hit hippie territory. Remember that time I sprouted lentils? They were fucking delicious.

I’ve adapted from this recipe, and I ate it with a hell of a lot of sriracha. Just perfect for gloomy winter days like this! Eight degrees they say. The middle of the day they say. I’m wondering if I’ll ever thaw out.

Now I did make this in the crock pot, but you can definitely make it in a large pot on the stove as per usual. I’ve done it both ways and it’s just as good either way!

Spicy Crock Pot Kitchari

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup dry green mung beans
  • 3 Cm ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • 1 handful coriander leaves and stems, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 3 Large bay leaves
  • 1 Large stick cinnamon (about 5cm long)
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic (or pinch of asafoetida if you're doing it legit!)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock (you can make with water but I like a bit more oomph to the taste)
  • 1 cup diced seasonal vegetables (I used carrot, celery and potato)
  • fresh lime or lemon juice

Directions

Step 1
You can do this two ways: the first takes advantage of the slow-cooking bit of the crock pot and add everything together and simmer on low for 8 hours, stirring occasionally. This works well.
Step 2
The other way, if you'd like a bit more colour and flavour but is extra work, is to saute the seasonal vegetables and garlic over a medium heat in some ghee, coconut oil, or olive oil until soft and browned. Add a little more ghee or oil and stir fry the spices until they release their scent, about a minute. Add to the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients, and simmer on low for 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
Step 3
This also works well in a dutch oven in the oven, or on the stove top in the biggest pot you have!
Step 4
I like to serve this soupier, rather than a thick dhal, so I add extra water at the end, and also to each serve when reheating. Excellent with extra coriander on top. Yum!
Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!