So I’m finally home from overseas and I can’t even begin to express to you all how lovely it is to be able to cook for myself after eating out at restaurants for the past 4 months. The first thing I did when I landed home in Sydney was to make myself breakfast, a big acai bowl with granola and coconut – YUM! Since then I’ve been experimenting with lots of new vegan recipes, both a combination of ‘throw it together in 5 mins’ and ‘actually sit down and follow a recipe’. 
 
What I love most about cooking for myself, especially cooking vegan food, is that I’m finding so many ways to make traditional favourites with alternative ingredients, that not only mostly taste better but are so much better for your body, for the environment, and for the beautiful animals of our planet. You’ll see below in these two recipes that I’m replacing chicken with cauliflower, mayonnaise with avocado, creme cheese with blended up cashews, and highly processed white sugar with berries! I know this might sound crazy but it makes me very excited, and I’m very much looking forward to learning more about cooking, plant based diets and all that jazz. 
 
I’ve had two stand outs in the past week and I thought that I would share them with you all. Both recipes are relatively simple and relatively quick to prepare and cook. When I first looked at them I was a little overwhelmed, but once I started, it was super easy, and a lot of fun!
 
The first recipe was a savoury dinner meal – cauliflower tacos. What I loved about this meal was the colours and the flavours! My mum has always told me to eat the rainbow and you’ll be fine… and she is right. Filling your plate with a beautiful range of colours is not only visually satisfying, but by doing this, you’re more than likely fuelling your body with all the nutrients and minerals that you need! 
 
Prep time: 30 Minutes 
Cook time: 30 Minutes 
INGREDIENTS:
For the Crispy Cauliflower
  • 1 small head of cauliflower or ½ a large head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1¼ cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
  • ¾ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
For the Cabbage Slaw
  • 2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
  • ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
For the Avocado Cream
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
For Serving
  • 12 small soft corn tortillas
  • lime wedges
  • cilantro leaves
METHOD:
To Make the Crispy Cauliflower
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add the rolled oats to a food processor. Pulse 75-80 times or until a coarse meal forms. You don’t want the oats to be a fine flour, but rather a texture similar to panko bread crumbs. Transfer the oats to a large, shallow bowl or dish. Add in the cilantro, chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and sea salt. Gently mix to incorporate spices.
  3. Add the almond milk, brown rice flour, and lime juice to a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
  4. Place about a handful of cauliflower florets into the almond milk batter, toss to coat, shake off excess batter, and transfer to the oat and spice mixture. Toss the pieces until coated and transfer to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remainder of the cauliflower.
  5. Bake the cauliflower for 25-30 minutes or until crispy and golden, tossing halfway through baking.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
To Make the Cabbage Slaw
  1. While the cauliflower is baking, make the cabbage slaw by adding the purple cabbage, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, and salt to a small bowl. Toss to coat and let rest, stirring occasionally.
To Make the Avocado Cream
  1. Add the flesh of the avocado, lime juice, cilantro leaves, and salt to a food processor. Process for 3-4 minutes or until smooth and resembling a texture similar to mayo. You can either dollop the tacos with the cream or transfer it to a ziploc bag, snip off a corner, and pipe the cream across the tacos.
To Assemble the Tacos
  1. Heat each corn tortilla in a small skillet over medium heat for 20-30 seconds on each side. Fill with 3-4 pieces of the cauliflower, top with a small handful of cabbage slaw, and drizzle with avocado cream. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with lime wedges.*
  2. Refrigerate leftovers.
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The second recipe I tackled was a raw vegan coconut and raspberry cheesecake. I was having some good family friends over for dinner and wanted to make something yummy yet fresh for desert. Vegan deserts are always such a win and cafes and restaurants but I wasn’t sure if my cooking skills were going to be up to scratch. My only comment is that I put a little too much salt in the base, so I’d make sure to pull back on that next time.
 
INGREDIENTS:
Base
2 cups of any preferred nuts (I used macadamia nuts, walnuts & almonds)
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Pinch of good quality salt
Filling
3 cups raw cashews (soaked in water overnight or for a minimum of 3 hours)
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup maple syrup
½ cup coconut sugar
3/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
Topping
2 cups frozen raspberries
1/2 cup pitted dates
METHOD: 

Base
Line base and sides of your cake tin with baking paper. Place all ingredients for the crust except for the dates in a food processor until you get the texture of crumbs. Add dates and pulse until well combined.
Press into the base of the spring form tin and pop into the freezer while you prepare the other components of the cheesecake

Filling
In a blender, blend the soaked and drained cashews along with all the other ingredients for the filling at high speed until a smooth and creamy texture. If you want the raspberries in the middle of the cake like I did then pour half of the filling onto the base layer, spread out some raspberries and then add on the rest of the filling. and return to the freezer until set enough to pour raspberry mixture on top.

Topping
Add the raspberries and dates on high speed until smooth. Pour on top of the cheesecake layer and return to the freezer for 4 hours or overnight. I also added some shredded coconut on top that I had spare.
To serve, sit at room temp for 10-15 minutes. Carefully remove the springform tin and peel away baking paper from base and sides. Keep cheesecake frozen when not being served.

cheesecakewithtext
I’d love you guys to try these recipes yourself and let me know how they go! Take photos and share them with me on twitter or instagram! Watch out for more “In The Kitchen” blog posts where i will be posting my favourite recipes! 
 
Love Tiger xxx 
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