Vegan Chocolate Coconut Ice-cream

I love love love Nice Blocks, in particular, the chocolate/coconut flavour. I recreated it last night with this combination:

  • 1 240 mL tin coconut cream*
  • 2 heaped tbsp dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 lg tbsp honey

Whisk ingredients together in a freezer-safe container. You want to almost whip some air through it so it will freeze into nice fluffy ice cream. Put it in the freezer for about 3 hours.

If you have an ice cream maker, I’m jealous – use that.

The mixture will freeze more quickly in a wide shallow container – i.e, if the liquid is spread over a greater area.

*I used homebrand coconut cream, which is more like coconut milk than cream, it’s thinner. The more expensive brands of coconut cream tend to have a thicker creamier consistency but this doesn’t really matter.

Spiced roast veges

For Alex.

Tasty variation on the standard roast vege fare. Substitute whatever you have – pumpkin, sweet potato, potatoes, garlic, shallots, spices etc. This is what I used in a dish for girlfriends here for Friday night potluck… Would be nice with pumpkin/sunflower seeds too.


  • 2 large smooth golden kumara (sweet potato), peeled and cubed to roughly 1in pieces (this makes it faster to cook)
  • ¼ small golden pumpkin seeded, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tin chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 medium brown onion, peeled and wedged
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp paprica
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam marsala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Canola oil


Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Combine the spices in a small bowl or cup.

Oil a large roasting dish, add the kumara, pumpkin, onion, and chickpeas, stir to coat lightly in oil.

Sprinkle ½ the spice mix over the veges, stir and then add the remaining spices. Stir to coat the vegetables in spices.

Bake in the oven, stirring every ten minutes and testing the kumara until it’s cooked – soft when tested with a skewer. I’d say at least 30-40 min.

Sugar free Raspberry/Chocolate vegan Smoothie

Fiona had the most amazing raw, gluten/vegan raspberry and chocolate cake for her birthday last weekend. So good.

I’ve taken to slicing and freezing overripe/surplus bananas for smoothies. I find they make them super creamy even without any kind of milk, more so with milk. A thicker “smoothie” negates any ice cream craving, this recipe is better than ice cream. And the banana flavour is not very pronounced. Okay, getting on with it:

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 frozen banana (ideally, sliced)
  • 1.5 tsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ to ½ cup soy (or other) milk

Chuck everything together and blend thoroughly. I like to use less milk so everything blends but is very thick, then eat it with a spoon.

It’s not hugely sweet, but the sweetness of the banana keeps the cocoa from being to bitter and the raspberries lend a tart deliciousness.

Roasted Portobello Mushrooms on Spinach/Kumara Salad
For Lauren <3

This tasty recipe sounds harder than it is. I wrote it for the mushrooms and salad to be prepped together. I think it would serve two but as quite a light meal.

The dish would also work well with Pumpkin in place of Kumara (though pumpkin would cook a little faster). The mushrooms have a strong balsamic flavour, I think next time I’ll reduce the balsamic and increase the olive oil. Do what feels right to you.

Remove the feta or use soy feta (is that a thing?), and this recipe is vegan friendly. I used walnuts but pine nuts or pumpkin/sunflower seeds would be good too.

You’ll need a dish to roast the Kumara (sweet potato) and a brownie pan or other oven proof dish which will fit the mushrooms laid flat while in a little depth of marinade.

Check your oven racks are in a position capable of holding your mushroom dish and vegetable roasting dish at the same time, and preheat the oven to 200ºC.


  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine/cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps, average/medium size 

Combine everything except the mushrooms to form the marinade.

After removing the stems, place the mushrooms in the marinade gill side up, and spoon the marinade over them. Cover with a sheet of tinfoil to prevent the liquids from evaporating in the oven and let stand for 10 min while you prep the Kumara.


  • 2-3 handfuls washed baby spinach leaves
  • 2 medium sized golden kumara
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • Rind and 1 tbsp juice of an orange
  • Salt to season
  • Optional – roughly 20g of chopped or crumbled feta cheese of any variety

While the mushrooms marinade, peel the kumara and dice it into 1" cubes. Lightly oil your roasting dish and toss in the kumara and the chopped nuts. Season with salt and place in the preheated oven with the mushrooms.

Leave for 20 minutes, then test your kumara with a skewer. They are ready when they are cooked (not crisp/crunchy) but still quite firm and holding their shape.

Your kumara may need a few more minutes depending on how large your cubes are etc.

When the mushrooms have been in the oven for 30 min, remove them and carefully take off the foil. Use tongs to turn the mushrooms over (gill side down) and put them back in the oven for ten more minutes. The kumara should be left to cool in this time (transferring them to a cold plate or bowl will help them to cool faster).

While the mushrooms finish cooking and the kumara and nuts cool, wash, dry and put the spinach leaves in their serving bowl. Prep the orange zest and juice.

Remove the mushrooms from the oven, add the cooled kumara to the spinach and top with feta (if using) and the orange rind. Drizzle the orange juice over the salad.

Plate up!

I chose to make the salad directly onto plates, then put the mushrooms on top prior to adding the orange zest. Any remaining liquid from the mushroom dish can also be drizzled over the salad, and a dash more olive oil would be fine if you like well dressed salad.

Coconut & Chia Spiced Oats

I’ve been eating oats for breakfast for a long time now, and am starting to play a bit more with what goes in them. This morning I was feeling like coconut, and this first try recipe is a hit!

  • Oats
  • Oat Milk
  • Vanilla Essence (1 tsp)
  • White Chia Seeds (1 tbsp)
  • Cardamom (1tsp)
  • Desiccated Coconut (1 tbsp)
  • Coconut Oil (1tbsp)

I always use a rough amount of oats so just use what feels right (a cup? Probably less…).

Add everything to your bowl, microwave on high for 2 minutes. I usually add a bit more milk or water after cooking to cool things back down. It will smell and taste delicious!

I think it’s pretty sweet as it is, but you could add a tsp of honey too if you’re craving something sweet.