Lemon Coconut Bundt Cake

This recipe is from ‘Veganomicon’, and one I’ve made many times – always a big hit. It helps to have a good quality bundt pan, but I expect it would work equally well in a normal cake pan – or even spread over two, and then sandwiched together with your favourite filling. I serve it with nothing but a dusting of icing sugar, it is that good just on its own.

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup oil (I use grapeseed, you can use canola or something else)
1 x 400g can of coconut milk
1/4 cup rice or soy milk (I use Bonsoy, the queen of soy milk)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
icing sugar for sprinkling on before serving

Preheat the over to 170 degrees C, and grease (or spray with oil) an 8-10″ bundt pan.

In a large mixing owl combine the sugar, oil, coconut milk, rice/soy milk, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla. Stir well to combine.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the wet ingredients in batches, mixing well after each addition. Fold in the coconut.

Pour the batter into the oiled bundt pan, and bake for 50-60 minutes until a knife inserted through the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, then place chopping board or plate over the cake pan and gently flip it over and release the cake from the pan.

Once cool, sift over some icing sugar and serve.

Sitting in my handy cake transporter!

Sitting in my handy cake transporter!

Avocado, tempeh and tomato salad

This is a great salad to eat as a light meal or lunch. If you want a really fast meal you could buy tempeh that is already in a marinade and skip that step, and use a spicy pre-made salad dressing.

400g plain tempeh cut into bite sized cubes

Marinade for tempeh:
3 tablespoons Tamari
2 teaspoons chilli flakes, or else chilli paste or sauce
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (I use sweet rather than hot)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 finely sliced red onion
3 cups lettuce leaves (can use variety of leaves, including rocket)
3 cups baby spinach leaves
small red capsicum, finely sliced
1/2 cup stoned kalamata olives
2 sliced plum tomatoes
2 small or 1 large avocado, peeled and sliced
optional: you can add some toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds

4 tablespoons good quality olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chilli paste or sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Marinade the chopped tempeh for a couple of hours preferably, or even overnight. Fry in the oil until brown and crispy. Put aside.

Mix all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Make the dressing by whisking together the dressing ingredients.

Sprinkle tempeh over salad, then drizzle the dressing over the top. Serve.


Carrot, Beetroot, Fig and Grain salad

This recipe is also from The French Market Cookbook.  Very simple – don’t be put off by the list of ingredients.

2 cups cooked bulgur wheat (or couscous, brown rice, quinoa etc – whatever you have to hand)

3 medium carrots peeled and grated (~380g)

2 medium beetroots peeled and grated (~340g)

3 dried figs chopped finely (I use sliced fresh figs if I have them)

1/2 cup roast cashew nuts, unsalted and chopped

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

ground black pepper to taste

hot sauce to taste


Combine grain, carrots, beetroot, figs, cashews and parsley in a large bowl.

Make dressing and pour over: whisk lemon juice, vinegar and salt together.

Sprinkle salad with black pepper and hot sauce to taste, then stir to combine.  Serve.


Green bean, rice and almond salad

This recipe is from The French Market Cookbook by Clotilde Dusoulier – she has a great blog chocolateandzucchine.com

900g green beans

3 tablespoons almond butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups cooked rice, or a mix of brown rice, quinoa, etc (I use the pre cooked sachets you can get in the supermarket if I am short of time)

2/3 cups toasted almonds – I use flaked

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Ground black pepper to taste


Steam the green beans (a fast alternative is to wash them, top and tail them then cut in half, and then put into a microwave safe dish, cover with plastic film and cook on high for a couple of minutes – then rinse under cold water).

Make dressing in a salad bowl: whisk together almond butter, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt.

Add the green beans and coat in the dressing.  Add rice, parsley and seasoning.  Serve.


I topped with some sliced fresh figs because I like them

I topped with some sliced fresh figs because I like them

Dal with Tomatoes

This recipe is from a wonderful book called ‘Cooking at home with Pedatha’ – highly recommended if you love Indian food.

1 cup red lentils

3-4 tomatoes, chopped

10 fenugreek seeds

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

3-4 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped

1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional – depending on heat of your fresh chillies)

1 teaspoon coriander powder

fresh chillies – 3-4 green chillies, or 1 really hot chilli (I use a Naga Dorset or Ghost/Bhut Jolokia if I have one)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves

1 tablespoon oil

salt to taste


For tempering:

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

8 fresh curry leaves

1 teaspoon asafoetida powder


First put the lentils on to cook, and then prepare and measure out all the other ingredients before you start cooking the tempering.

Cook red lentils with fenugreek seeds and turmeric in ~3 cups of water until very soft creamy consistency – add more water if needed.  Make sure it is not too dry, it should be kind of like pouring custard in consistency.

Prepare tempering – heat oil in a wok or large deep frying pan, pop the mustard and then add the fenugreek seeds.  Lower the heat and once the fenugreek is brown (won’t take long) then add the curry leaves and asafoetida.

Add the tomatoes and garlic, and stir and simmer of a few minutes.

Add chilli powder if using, coriander powder, fresh chillies and salt and cook until the tomatoes are cooked down into a paste.

Add the cooked lentils and simmer for at least a few minutes until you are happy with the consistency, then stir in the fresh coriander.

I usually eat a bowl of Dal with a heated roti, and a spoonful of mango chutney.  You can buy good quality roti in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets, and I toast them in a sandwich press to heat them through.  Alternatively serve with rice.