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Recipes for Litha

Sun’s Up Cobbler


3 and 1/2 cups of halved peaches in syrup
3 slices slightly dry or lightly toasted bread
1 tbs. cornstarch
1/4 cup melted vegan butter or margarine.
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup vegan butter or margarine 
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 


Drain the peaches, reserving 1 cup of syrup.
In a pan, combine cornstarch and salt and slowly blend in reserved syrup.
Over medium high heat, cook and stir until the mixture comes to a boil.
Reduce heat and cook and stir for 2minutes.
Add lemon juice, vegan butter or margarine and peaches.
Heat until it looks like it’s about to to bubble.
Pour into a  medium size baking dish. 

Cut bread lengthwise into 2 /3 cm strips.Dip the pieces into 1/4 cup melted vegan butter or margerine, then into mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Arrange over peaches. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until toasty. Serve with whipped coconut cream. Makes about 6 servings. 

Lavender Lemonade Recipe


1 pint water
28g lavender flowers 
225g sugar
Juice of 4 lemons


Pour boiling water over the lavender flowers and allow to infuse for about 20 minutes. Then add sugar and lemon juice, and chill. Store in the fridge.To make up, mix about 1 part of the syrup to 4 parts water, serve with ice

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Braided Pesto Bread


500 g white bread flour
300 g lukewarm water
¾ cup pesto of your choice – I use Pesto Princess Vegan Basil Pesto – Yum!
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp grated vegan parmesan cheese – I use violife
1½ tsp dried yeast
1 tsp salt



Add the yeast to the water, stir and leave for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl add the salt to the flour and mix well. Make a well in the centre, add the yeast water and the oil. Mix to a soft dough.
Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to allow the dough to double in size.
Turn the dough out, knock back and gather into a ball.
Flour the surface and roll the dough out into a rectangle 60 cm x 23 cm.
Spread the pesto onto the dough leaving a gap of about 1 cm all the way around.
Roll the dough up along its long side. Trim the ends and cut the dough in half along its length.
Turn the halves so thst the centres are facing upwards. Twist the two halves together in a loose braid.
Form the braid into a circle and press the ends together. Carefully slide onto a lightly-greased baking tray.
Sprinkle with the parmesan and place in a large plastic bag. Leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
Bake at 200°C in a fan oven or 220°C in a normal oven for about 20 minutes.
Place on a wire rack to cool.


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Heat waves call for coolness – Basic Recipe for 3 Bean Salad

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

3 Bean Salad may sound like an old recipe for braais but for me, it’s a great staple to have in the fridge and you can dress it up just before you eat it with micro-greens growing on the kitchen window sill, lettuce leaves in the garden and anything else that you have growing or in the pantry. Be creative and use what is in season. You could add almost anything savoury to it. Some examples: Rocket, steamed spinach, nuts, tomatoes, fruit, carrots, cucumber, herbs (you get the picture!)

I have to admit that the recent heat wave in the Cape inspired me to include a cool dish. I do tend to find that when I eat a green salad, I am only satiated for 20 minutes and then ravenous again. Beans are hardcore. They are packed with protein and are nutritionally dense. By building a salad around a basic 3 bean salad, I know it will keep the proverbial monkey off my back for a long stretch and I will be getting enough nutrition.

I have made this recipe as basic as I can because it gives you the freedom to choose and experiment with flavours that you like and also supplement your nutritional needs. I like to cook my beans from scratch so I can double rinse them and I am not exposed to bisphenol A (BPA) lined cans. You can use canned beans from the grocer if you like.

1 cup each of various pulses of your choice. (Cannelloni beans, black beans, kidney beans, sugar beans, chickpeas, lentils, string beans…….)
3 bay leaves
1 large onion
2 tablespoons of a vinegar of your choice (White/brown/balsamic/wine/apple cider/coconut/rice….)
2 tablespoons of any sugar or sweeten as you like (Stevia/xylitol/Agave syrup….)
1 tablespoon of healthy oil (Olive/avocado/macadamia/walnut….)

Soak beans overnight or during the day.
Cook in water and bay leaves until soft.
Rinse until the water runs clear and remove the bay leaves.
Mince or grate the onion and mix with vinegar, sugar and oil.
Mix the dressing with the beans and season to taste.

Enjoy on it’s own or spruce it up with garden greens and pantry products.

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PASTA PRIMAVERA By Toni V Brockhoven

Certainly, pasta primavera is a spring meal, but it’s good anytime.

Here, my version is made using slivers of onion, mixed peppers and carrot. They are sautéed together until the onions are soft and translucent.
Then I add fresh garlic and coconut cream and then Unicorn Cafe’s excellent smoked V-Salmon pieces
Cook gently for a couple of minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
Add to spaghetti with lots of freshly ground black pepper, and top with a little Mediterranean Delicacies caviart for colour and oomph.


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Vegan Quiche

This recipe has been adapted from ‘An Ode to Mung Beans’ by Sammy’s Food

Makes: 1 8″ springform pan – enough for 4 people



1¾ cups cooked brown rice
1 egg-replacer (you can use flax, I used Orgran egg replacer)
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 an onion, chopped
4 spring onions/scallions, chopped with the white and green parts separate
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
3 large mushrooms, chopped
100g chopped kale
100g baby spinach
A large handful fresh basil leaves
1 package firm tofu
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoons turmeric
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari if gluten-free)
5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2/3 cup soy or almond milk
2 teaspoons arrowroot
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil




For the crust, pre-heat your oven to 190 degrees celsius and lightly grease your springform pan. Mix the egg replacer with the cooked rice and then press the rice into the bottom of the pan. Brush the top with a little oil and place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Take out and leave to the side. Turn the oven down to 180 degrees celcius.

After this, add in the spinach, kale, basil and green parts of the scallions. You may have to do this a little at a time as they will have to wilt down a bit to fit in the pan.

As they wilt, turn the heat down to its lowest setting and start with the tofu mixture. For this you will add to a food processor or blender the tofu, mustard, turmeric, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, milk, arrowroot and oil. Blend until you have a smooth consistency.

Pour the tofu mixture into the greens and stir until everything is combined. Now pour this onto the brown rice crust and bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 -50 minutes, depending on how deep or shallow your dish is. Just check it after 35 minutes to make sure it’s not too brown.

Leave it sitting for about an hour before taking off the sides of the pan. Once you do, allow it to cool before slicing as this will make it set further.

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Green Vegetable Curry

This Green Curry is amazing because…

it is so easy to make! Once all the chopping is done, it’s ready in no time.  What is also lovely about this recipe is that you can substitute the green vegetables with other green vegetables. So if you don’t like brocolli, no problem! Just replace the brocolli with a green (ish) vegetable you do like. Other greens you can use are cabbage, baby butternuts, patty pans, brussel sprouts, asparagus, chard, kale, and peppers. Get all your healthy greens in an enjoy this quick curry.


2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 large onion chopped

300g – 400g baby marrows chopped

2 tbsp of grated root ginger

2 cloves of garlic crushed

1 – 2 chillies chopped

2 tsp ground cumin seeds

1/2 tsp of ground coriander seeds

300g – 400g fresh brocolli roughly chopped

150g – 200g of frozen or fresh peas

150g – 200g of frozen or fresh green beans

1 tin of coconut milk (300 – 400ml)

1 heaped teaspoon of Ina Paarman’s vegetable stock

1 cup of boiling water

250g of spinach leaves

fresh coriander leaves



Heat the oil either in a large saucepan or pot and add the onion. Cook until the onions go translucent but not brown. Add the garlic, ginger, chillies, spices, salt and cook for one minute. Mix the stock powder in the boiling water and add to the saucepan or pot. Add the baby marrows, brocolli, peas, beans, spinach and coconut milk. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to low and let it simmer until the vegetables are cooked.


Serve with fresh coriander leaves on a bed of basmati or long grain rice.

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Vegan Lasagna Recipe

Vegan comfort food

Why Vegan Lasagna?

Read on for a delicious vegan lasagna recipe. It is cold, in fact, there are times that I feel as though my bones are about to freeze and snap. With the rain slapping against the window panes and the garden turning into a dam and drowning the trees, one needs a double helping of comfort food. When I think of comfort food, I think of stew, bean curry or lasagna.
Lasagna for July it is! Credit goes to Melissa from Cilantro and Citronella where there are many other lovely vegan recipes. This recipe has been slightly adapted.


6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
600 grams button mushrooms, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 zucchini, diced
400 grams spinach
2 teaspoons salt, divided
Pepper, to taste
2 cups (480 ml) unsweetened plant milk (I used soy)
1 cup (240 ml) vegetable stock
½ cup (75 grams) flour
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 cups (700 ml / about a jar and a half) marinara sauce
Lasagna (egg free) sheets



Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil, the onion and garlic and fry until soft.
Add the mushrooms and fry until browned (work in batches if they don’t all fit in your pan at once).
Add the carrot and zucchini and fry a couple more minutes until soft.
Finally add the spinach and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 200° C.
Combine the plant milk and stock in a bowl.
Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil to a pan over medium heat and sift in the flour.
Stir well.
Cook for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the flour begins to brown and gives off a nutty smell.
Add one ladle of the plant milk-stock mixture and whisk really well until evaporated.
Continue adding the liquid one ladle at a time and always stirring until you get a creamy sauce.
If you’re unlucky and get some lumps, pass the sauce through a fine mesh strainer.
Finally, stir in the nutritional yeast and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.
In a 28 x 18 x 5 cm (11 x 7 x 2 inch) baking pan, place a layer of marinara sauce, followed by a layer of the béchamel, followed by a layer of lasagna noodles (I put the pasta sheets in uncooked) . Then another layer of marinara, half of your veggie filling, the béchamel and more noodles.
Continue with more layers.
Finish the top with a layer of marinara and a layer of béchamel.
Mix them together a bit so that the colour looks more like cheese.
Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Then uncover and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until the top begins to brown in places and looks like cheese.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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Tomato Soup

As a Greenpeace volunteer, I arranged for us to have our meeting on Yacht Boaz. One of the volunteers brought an amazing tomato soup for us to share and on a cold, grey day, it warmed us from the inside out in the most magical way.
Photo credit goes to Dennis Klein from

Serves 3 – 4

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped
1 stick celery
4 fresh tomatoes chopped
2 400g tins of tomatoes
2 carrots chopped
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 litre Ina Paarman vegan chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Nutritional Yeast

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion and garlic and fry till translucent.

Add the celery, fresh tomato, carrots and fry for 5 minutes longer while taking care not to burn the onion.

Add the tinned tomatoes, stock, sugar, salt and pepper.

Simmer for 15 minutes and then blend, either with a stick blender or food

Garnish with nutritional yeast and basil leaves.

Serve with your favourite bread or croutons.

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The Perfect Camping Potjie

Perfect camping potjie
The Perfect Camping Potjie
With thanks to Bernie James – Cohen for her magical ingedients
This is something that even the burley men, who hammer rebar into rock, will enjoy! What I love about this recipe is that it contains dry ingredients which are great for camping trips i.e. dried mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. Feel free to substitue cut corn for a tin of corn and you can play with the vegetable ingredients as you like. Add more variety or add your favourite vegetables. The base flavours of this potjie are the sundried tomatoes and mushrooms.

Serves 6 – 8

3 tbsp vegetable oil
5 large onions chopped
3 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
2 tbsp Chinese 5 spice
2 tsp of chilli powder
4 bay leaves
1,5 litres vegetable stock
2 bags of dried mushrooms soaking in hot water (I used one pack of large, frilly, dried chinese mushrooms and 1 pack of unknown dried mushrooms brought back from a relative’s holiday in Thailand – (You can use any edible dried mushroom here.) Ensure these mushrooms have been cleaned)
1.5 cups of sundried tomatoes soaking in hot water
2 bags of tomato paste
Corn cut from 4 cobs
4 Gem squashes or any other vegetable that camp mates  want to contribute to the magical potjie you are making
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and chopped tomato and cook until the onion is soft but not brown ensuring to stir regularly to avoid burning. This may take a while but the perfect flavour comes from a slow cook.
Add the spices and cook for 1 minute.
Add the stock and all the other ingredients and let the pot simmer on a low heat for an hour or two. Check on the pot to ensure nothing burns or sticks to the bottom. If you added gem squash, be sure to turn them in the liquid so that they cook from all sides.

Serve in an enamel camping bowl and enjoy.

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Chilli and Beans Recipe

Chilli and Beans
Adapted from the amazing recipe book: 500 Vegan Dishes by Deborah Gray
Comfort food for those passing through

Serves 6 – 8

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions chopped
4 carrots chopped
2 green peppers seeded and chopped
4 cloves of garlic crushed
4 tbsp of chilli powder
1.5 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
1 1/2 cups kidney beans precooked
1 1/2 cups black beans precooked
2 400g tins of tomatoes chopped
3 – 8 chillies depending on the heat you want and the strength of the chillies
100g of tomatoe puree
1 pannet of mushrooms, quatered
1 tin of sweetcorn
1 tbsp of dried oreganum
2 1/12 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
750 ml of vegetable stock
2 tsp of sugar
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until the onion is soft but not brown.

Add the carrots, peppers, and garlic and cook for 4 minutes.
Add the chilli powder, smoked paprika and cumin and cook for another minute.

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

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