All Posts By:

PlantHealthMan

Dinner

PRODUCT REVIEW – MORNING STAR FARMS HICKORY SMOKED BBQ RIBLETS

I picked up a box of Morning Star Farms Hickory BBQ Riblets from the Cruelty Free Shop on the recommendation of a friend, Gareth, who posted a short but glowing comment on Facebook the other day.

I’m not a massive eater of these type of processed fake meat products these days but Gareth’s recommendation prompted me to give it a try anyway.


How hard is it to prepare/cook?

It couldn’t be any easier. Just remove one of the two rows of riblets from the box (four riblets), pierce the top of the bag in two places, place in the microwave for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes and you are done.


Taste?

Soft and tender with that sweet and smokey flavour it promises on the front of the box. It is certainly one of the better tasting processed fake meats to cook at home I have tried over the years. I served them up on a bed of Cajun seasoned low GI mashed potato, a piece of fresh BBQ’d corn, steamed green beans and starred-out carrot pieces in recognition of Texas, the Lone ‘Star’ State, where hickory smoked is the flavour of choice.

 

Key base ingredient?

Soy. It also contains wheat gluten so no good for coeliacs.

 

Cost?

I didn’t keep the receipt but for memory they were about $15 a box which is pretty standard for this type of product imported from the USA.


The verdict?

Absolutely delicious. I could see myself buying these again in the future.

These are so new here in Australia that at the time of this post they aren’t even up on the Cruelty Free Shop website yet so head into one of their four stores if you can’t wait to try them out.

If you try them let me know what you think in the comments section below. I would love to hear your feedback.

Dinner

POTATOLICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS – LOADED UP BLACK GARLIC ROASTED POTATO

If you talk to or read the words of Andrew Thompson (The Spud Fit guy) you would understand how good potatoes are for you.

Andrew ate nothing but potatoes for a year in 2016.

The reason he chose potatoes is because of their overall nutritional value. Yes they even have protein!

What better way to have potatoes than with even more nutrition and flavour added. No oil or fat added.

Check out my recipe below for this delicious, nutritious and filling meal.

LOADED UP BLACK GARLIC ROASTED POTATO

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 Cooking Time: 30M

Ingredients

  • 1 large unwashed potato
  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • 2 large mushrooms roughly sliced
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1 cup of red kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup of sweet corn kernels
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of granulised black garlic
  • 1/2 cup of shredded purple and white cabbage

Instructions

1

Take the large potato and wash of excess dirt but do not peel.

2

Steam for 15 minutes on the stove.

3

Remove potato from the pot, place on a square piece of foil, cute it into quarters then grind black garlic granules all over.

4

Wrap the potato and place in an air fryer for 10-12 minutes on 190 degrees.

5

While the potato cooks, in a non-stick frypan, sweat off the diced onion until caramelised, cook the mushrooms with thyme. Also steam the spinach for a few minutes.

6

Once the potato is ready, place in on a plate and load up the ingredients on top in any order you wish.

7

I garnished with some spring onions but the idea only to me after I took the photos and by then I was hanging to tuck in.

Notes

If you don't have an air fryer, you could bake in the oven but it will take longer.

Dinner/ Lunch/ Salads

SALAD EXPLOSION – FLAVOURS OF THE WORLD VEGETABLE SALAD WITH SASSY DRESSING

A lot of salads can be fairly one dimensional when it comes to flavour.

Green leafy stuff and the main ingredient along with a dressing.

I decided to try to think outside the box with this one.

Roast a whole lot of different vegetables but add different herbs and spices to them.

The result…….an explosion of different flavours with every bite.

Add to that a fresh home made and oil free chilli, basil and cucumber dressing to take up to another level again.

Try it out by following my recipe below or substitute with your own fave flavours. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

FLAVOURS OF THE WORLD VEGETABLE SALAD WITH SASSY DRESSING

Print Recipe
Serves: 6-8 Cooking Time: 45M

Ingredients

  • SALAD
  • Potatoes cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • 4 carrots (washed but not peeled)
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1 large red capsicum cut into medium sized chunks
  • 1 large green capsicum cut into medium sized chunks
  • 1 bunch of asparagus sliced into one inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon of Southern American spicy seasoning
  • 1 large zucchini cut in half then sliced into chunky pieces
  • 1 teaspoon of Middle Eastern spice mix
  • 1 small piece of pumpkin cut into small pieces with the skin on
  • 1 teaspoon of dry oregano
  • 1 small punnet of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper
  • 1 large bag of pre-washed leafy greens lettuce mix
  • CHILLI BASIL CUCUMBER DRESSING
  • Leaves from 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 long red chilli
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 pinch of salt

Instructions

1

Prepare all of the vegetables as outlined above ready to cook.

2

Steam the potatoes, carrots and pumpkin pieces for 10 minutes.

3

Cover the following vegetables with the chosen herbs and spices.

4

Potato - rosemary

5

Carrot - cumin and orange juice

6

Pumpkin - oregano

7

Asparagus - Southern American spice mix

8

Zucchini - Middle Eastern spice mix

9

Cherry tomatoes - Cracked black pepper

10

Air fry each vegetable at 180 degrees until cooked. Potatoes take 10-12 minutes while tomatoes and asparagus only need 3-4 minutes.

11

Once all cooked layer on top of a bed of leafy greens lettuce mix. Can be served hot, warm or cold.

12

FOR THE DRESSING

13

Place the basil leaves, cucumber, chilli, salt and lemon juice into a blend.

14

Blend at a high speed for a few minutes until well combined adding a tablespoon of water twice during the process.

15

Pour into a serving dish and place on the table with the salad.

Notes

* The vegetables could alternatively be baked in the oven. * If the dressing is too wet place in a piece of paper towel and squeeze the excess liquid out before pouring out into a serving dish.

New product

PLANT HEALTH MAN VIDEO REVIEW – THE NEW ‘LIMITED EDITION’ VEGEMITE BLEND 17

Vegemite has been a staple of the Australian diet for 95 years. On toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch or even a late night snack.

It was originally called ‘Pure Vegetable Extract’ until some marketing genius ahead of their time came up with the name we all know it by today.

There has been a few different versions over the years too. Cheesybite, the ill fated 2.0 and more recently a salt reduced version.

Now that the Aussie favourite is back in local hands, The Bega Food Group, the company has released a limited edition bolder flavoured version called Vegemite Blend 17.

How limited edition? Only 45,000 units produced apparently, which would describe why I found it so hard to track down.

Anyway here is my video review / live taste test.

Have you tried it? Let me know what you think in comments below?

Dinner

SMOKEY CAULIFLOWER STEAK FOR DINNER – MIDDLE EASTERN CHICKPEA TOMATO SAUCE, ROAST VEGGIES, SPINACH AND KALE

What started out as a Smokey Cauliflower Steak for dinner turned into an epic wholefoods plant based feast.

Even better that the spinach and kale came from my own garden.

The chickpea tomato sauce was delicious and will now be a regular addition to my meals. I could eat it by itself.

Check out my recipe below.

CAULIFLOWER STEAK WITH MIDDLE EASTERN CHICKPEA TOMATO SAUCE, ROAST VEGGIES, SPINACH AND KALE

Print Recipe
Serves: 2 Cooking Time: 25M

Ingredients

  • 2 x cauliflower steaks (one inch thickness)
  • 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 cup of small button mushrooms
  • 6 stems of kale
  • 6 large steams of spinach
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of Savannah's Middle Eastern Spice mix
  • 1 tin of peeled or diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Half a tin of chickpeas
  • Dry chilli flakes
  • Cracked black pepper

Instructions

1

CAULIFLOWER STEAKS

2

Rub the smoked paprika into both sides of the cauliflower steaks then drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside for as long as you can spare. Overnight and throughout the day if possible.

3

Cook on a hot non-stick griddle pan until the surface starts to soften. 7-10 minutes on each side.

4

ROAST VEGGIES

5

Place the cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and large chunky slices of zucchini in a bowl and sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of the Middle Eastern spice mix. Add some fresh thyme. Toss the mixture together so all the veggies are well coated with the spice mix and thyme.

6

Cook in an air fryer on 180 degrees celsius for 5 minutes.

7

SPINACH

8

Dice the garlic and place in a non-stick frypan and cook until the aroma is released. add in the rough chopped spinach. Add the other tablespoon of Middle Eastern spice mix and a dash of water. Stir regularly until the spinach has reduced by half.

9

KALE

10

Rinse kale under cold water then shake dry. Sprinkle lightly with cumin and chilli flakes. Place in the air fryer for just 3 minutes on 180 degrees celsius.

11

SAUCE

12

Place garlic and diced onion into the same non stick frypan you cooked the spinach in. Brown off then add the tin of tomatoes and chickpeas.

13

Add in the cumin and cinnamon then stir in well. Reduce to simmer until excess liquid has evaporated while continuing to stir regularly.

14

Plate up and enjoy.

Notes

* You can choose to cook the cauliflower steaks only briefly on each side if you prefer things on the raw side.

Snacks

AFTERNOON TEA – ORGANIC GREEN TEA WITH ALMOND, SPELT AND CHIA SEED BISCUITS 

I went to the local Southside Markets where I live this morning and picked up some yummy things from Lily’s Vegan Kitchen.

One of them was a few Almond, Spelt and Chia Seed Biscuits.

The perfect balance between savoury and sweet without all the nasties you find in similar products, many available from nearby stalls.

Find out more about Lily’s vegan Kitchen including her catering and meal planning/delivery service.

You can also follow Lily’s Vegan Kitchen on Instagram and Facebook.

Eating out - Canberra

HAN JUNG SIK – KOREAN VEGAN BANQUET DELIVERS GREATNESS, AGAIN

Lazy Su is a bit of a hipster Korean eatery in downtown Braddon, in the city of Canberra, AUSTRALIA.

Glancing at their regular menu you would fail to find many plant based options.

That is except when they toss all that out once a month in favour of a Vegan Han Jung Sik, which according the menu is a full-course Korean meal with an array of savoury side dishes.

Legend has it that the Han Jung Sik originated as a lavish banquet served in ancient royal palaces and the homes of aristocrats.

I’m sure back in the day, the Kings/Queens/Emperors etc and society’s elites where suitably impressed as I was tonight, again.

This is the second banquet Lazy Su’s has put on for us vegans in as many months.

Check out the full menu below but I would have to say my favourites this time were the Eggplant Skewers, Mushroom Bulgogi and the Stuffed Korean Chilli Poppers. That said there were no disappointments.

This Plant Health Man strongly recommends giving the Lazy Su Vegan Banquet a try when you get the choice. You won’t regret it and all for under $50 a head. Drinks extra.

Follow them on social media to ensure you get an early heads up for the next one. Tickets sell very fast.

Desserts/ Eating out - Canberra

DOUGHNUTS OR DONUTS? – THERE’S A NEW MAKER OF HEAVEN IN TOWN

A new donut place has opened up in my hood.

Well actually it’s 25 minutes drive away but they make several ‘plant based’ or ‘vegan’ varieties each day so of course I had to go and check them out.

My followers would expect nothing less from Plant Health Man…..ha ha!

When I visited Doughnut Dept earlier today they had four vegan varieties to choose from:

  • Rhubarb and Strawberry;
  • Blood Orange;
  • Lemon Glaze; and
  • Mini cinnamon balls.

My verdict – Doughnut Delicious!!! The large ones were all light and fluffy with just the right amount of icing/glaze on top. The mini cinnamon balls were more dense but still a mouthful of sweet doughy heaven.

Doughnut Dept is at 2 Alinga Street in Civic. It’s on the ground floor of the new Mayfair Apartment Complex, keep walking towards ANU past Smith’s Alternative and the Irish Pub on the corner across the crossing and down a bit then you are there.

Salads

SALAD SEASON IS HERE – YES YOU CAN MAKE FRIENDS WITH THIS SALAD

Spring and summer means we all start to eat more salads right?

Can’t face the prospects of another salad full of tasteless greens unless you slather it with heaps of fatty dressing?

Well it’s time to think again.

Here I have taken a basic classic salad base, spinach leaves and rocket with cucumber and celery. OK time to pimp this salad up.

Add juicy blueberries and super sweet watermelon which provide a great contrast to the earthy green flavours.

Also some raw broccoli florets lightly dusted with chilli flakes for a bit of bite and again more contrast.

I added some Oliana plant based feta then dressed the salad with the light and tasty Dr Fuhrman’s Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar.

Delicious!

WATERMELON, BLUEBERRY AND GREENS SALAD

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 Cooking Time: 3M

Ingredients

  • Spinach leaves
  • Rocket
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Broccoli florets
  • Dried chilli flakes
  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon
  • Oliana feta
  • Pomegranate balsamic vinegar

Instructions

1

In a dish or plate, layer with salad leaves, cucumber and celery.

2

Add the broccoli, watermelon and blueberries.

3

Diced the plant based feta and sprinkle over the salad.

4

Garnish with the pomegranate balsamic vinegar.

Dinner

GREAT BALLS OF FLAVOUR – ZUCCHINI SPAGHETTI WITH BLACK GARLIC MASHED POTATO BALLS

The idea for this dish came to me when I was eating mashed potatoes recently.

Take the traditional spaghetti and meatballs, which I ate my fair share of before going plant based and create a more nutritious version.

Replace the pasta with zucchini, add a homemade pasta sauce packed with red lentils and replace the meat with a mashed potato ball.

It’s not a quick and easy weeknight dish but well worth the effort.

So here it is….and yes it tasted magnificent even if I do say so myself.

Zucchini spaghetti with red lentil sauce topped with a black garlic mashed potato ball

Print Recipe
Serves: 2 Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • SPAGHETTI
  • 1 large zucchini
  • MASHED POTATO BALLS
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of ground black garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of plant based butter
  • 2 fresh basil leaves finely chopped
  • 2 small cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  • RED LENTIL SAUCE
  • 1 brown onion diced
  • 1 clove of garlic diced
  • 2 tins of tomatoes, diced or peeled
  • 2 large handfuls of red lentils, pre soaked or 1 standard sized tin from the supermarket
  • 2 cups of roughly chopped spinach
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian herb mix
  • GARNISH
  • 1 handful of grated plant based cheese

Instructions

1

Start by washing the potato and cutting up into small pieces. I leave the skins on for the extra nutrition.

2

Steam them until soft.

3

Place a non stick frypan on the stove and dry cook the diced onions and garlic, move around regularly. Once they start to brown add some water to the pan. This will combine the caramelised bits from the bottom of the pan with mix.

4

Place the tomatoes, red lentils, spinach and Italian herb mix into the pan. Cook until bubbling then turn heat down low to simmer for 30 minutes. Add a splash of water after 15 minutes.

5

Once the potatoes are cooked, place them in a bowl and add the black garlic, plant based butter and chopped basil. Season with lite salt and pepper. Mash with a fork until you have a smooth mixture.

6

Put the mashed potato in the freezer for 20 minutes to cool right down.

7

Remove from the freezer and with wet hands mould by hand into two large balls. Poke a cherry tomato into the centre of each ball then reshape.

8

Roll the balls in the breadcrumbs until fully coated. You can cover the balls in a plant based spread or plant based egg wash if you wish. I just chose not to.

9

Place on a plate and cover with cling wrap then put back into the freezer for at least 20-30 minutes.

10

While the sauce is simmering, take the mashed potato balls out of the freezer and place in the air fryer at 180 degrees for 10-12 minutes turning a few times.

11

Spiralise your zucchini into long spaghetti style strands. If you want to cook them place into a not stick frypan with two tablespoons of water and cook for two minutes. Season with lite salt and pepper.

12

Plate up. Garnish with your favourite grated plant based cheese.

13

Enjoy.

Notes

The red lentil tomato sauce can be made ahead of time and frozen in batches. Just grab it out when you need a red sauce.