Live Below The Line: Diary – Day 1

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Live Below the Line is a Oaktree initiative over the years has become the largest youth lead anti-poverty campaign in Australia. Live Below the Line is a 5 day fundraising challenge where you eat on $2 a day or less and get sponsored from all your mates and family to do so.

The $2 a day represents the 1.1 billion people around the world that are living on less than less than $2 AUD per day – which is the equivalent of the extreme poverty line. Many of these people are born into circumstances with limited choices and huge barriers permit them from opportunities.

The money raised goes to the Asia-Pacific as Oaktree believes that it is where they can make their greatest impact, in relation to proximity and need.

Meal 1
150g uncooked oats
2 tbsp coconut milk
1/2 banana

Meal 2
100g uncooked rice
245 g frozen vegetables
2 tbsp coconut milk

Meal 3
100g uncooked rice
250g of bean mix (1x can mixed beans/1x can diced tomatoes/3x potatoes)

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Day 1
I woke up PUMPED and ready to begin my Live Below the Line Journey!! On Sunday night I had cooked my two staple meals; complex gastronomic marvels which comprised of frozen vegetable cubes and a bean/tomato/potato mix.

So, early on Monday morning I got up to cook my porridge. Now don’t let anyone ever tell you 150g of oats isn’t that much!! I certainly had to think that but realised quickly after having to transfer the mixture into a larger pot. SO MUCH PORRIDGE! But on the upside, it meant that I had enough for breakfast and then extra to take for afternoon tea. NOTE: Always, always, always heat up oats. Solidified, cold, stodgy porridge is rank. It looks and tastes like glue. Don’t do it.

Despite having all of this porridge in the morning though, by 10:30 I was hungry. I held out until 12 when I was able to consume my gourmet lunch which went down a treat.
So day one went well, my favorite meal being the beans and rice. And whilst I was so full from all the carbohydrates (which were also making me rediculously sleepy!), I was still ‘hungry’ for other foods. Notably coffee and dark chocolate.

Transcript of Speech on Adaptation

This speech comes from an assignment that I recently did which was based around the world ‘adaptation’ and my interpretation of it. The speech is aimed at a varied audience with intent to shed light a different light on veganism, so grab yourself a cuppa and have a look…

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Our future is like a plane leaving Melbourne airport heading north, a slight change in direction by the pilot can be the difference in you arriving in Heathrow or Madrid. A slight change in what we do now might end up in a very different outcome.


We are living amongst a dynamic, ever changing planet. The population is grown exponentially at a rate…times faster than ever before. We have enough food for 14 billion people yet many people are living famished. The changing climate is disrupting our ecosystems. Something has to change. But, what? And more importantly, why?

Without using any oil, gas, fuel from this day forward still exceed maximum green house gas emission by year 2030 simply by eating and raising livestock. Over this “safe level” things begin to deteriorate and become damaged.

So we have special bins for special things and buy hybrid cars and look for ‘sustainable energy sources’, that would do it yep?

Well, no.

You simply need to make peace with your plate and adapt.
That’s right, your plate.

Every meal you have is affecting the planet. Every meal you have is contributing to climate change.
Eating a plant-based diet reduces your carbon footprint by 50%.
The meat and dairy industry use 1/3 of the planet’s fresh water – leaving only 2/3 remaining. Whilst this seems like enough, there are copious amounts of people living without fresh water and thus experiencing the effects of water borne disease. To put it into perspective that one Macca’s burger requires an average of 3000L of water to raise, which is the equivalent to 2 months of 4 minute showers.

Do you know where the food on your plate has come from? How far it’s travelled to graciously sit atop your grandma’s crockery. How far the little chicken who didn’t want to be a pie has come to your local Coles to accompany your mashed potato and beans? Why do we need to know?

Because your food mileage is contributing to poverty. You can reverse this – make peace with your plate and adapt.

The carbon emissions that are a result of the thousands and thousands of miles that the ingredients for a meal have to travel and are worsening the situation of our changing climate. Al Gore one said that climate change was ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and it is. People tip-toe around the fact that is happening, attempting to avoid the necessity that they have to change and adapt too. Climate change is detrimental to the poorer people on the planet – they cannot simply turn up their air conditioning or heater.

Like Apa the Nepalese Sherpa who was son to a family of yak-herders. Apa began mountaineering at the age of 7 and in 2008 broke the world record for the most Mt Everest climbs undertaken. Apa is a WWF climate change witness. Apa tells the story of the mountains, the story of the drastic change in weather patterns. The increasing number of hot days. The mosquitos and flies that are appearing at Everest Base Camp for the first time threatening to bring disease. The story of the adaptations the Sherpa’s have had to make because of the melting snow. Your meal choices don’t only affect you.
Now is the time to adapt yourself, so that others are not forced to.
We simply need to make peace with our plate.

And the easiest way to do this; eat a plant based diet.

Now I know that the whole world isn’t going to revert to a plant based diet over night because HOW COULD YOU GIVE UP CHEESE?!?

The world doesn’t work like that. But you can make a difference. That one vegan meal you have saves 1136 L of water, 7 kg of grain that could have been used to feed malnourished children, it’ll also save your money and your health. Adaptation; that’s what a change in diet is. You aren’t giving anything up – you can still have coffee/cake/sausages/burgers/etc – it just doesn’t have such a negative impact on the world. YOU can start with your next meal. Swap that cheese in your sandwich for dip, that dairy milk in your coffee to soy. Go to Wholefoods and pick yourself up a $3 meal.
We live in a phenomenal city for plant based eaters. Get out there and experience the revolution. Open your eyes and your hearts to new food experiences. Be willing to try new things and look for opportunities to adapt.

Use the resources at your fingertips – my blog for instance 😉
When you generally hear the word vegan – you think of a henna wearing, dreadlocked, pot smoking hippie. But if you care about the future of the planet, and the people on then you should go vegan.

For the animals, for me, for the planet – make peace with your plate.

Coconut and Jam Cake

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Time to prepare 20-30 mins
Ingredients
CAKE
2 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cup lite coconut cream
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cup shredded coconut

ICING
1/4 cup Nuttelex
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp plant based milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups icing sugar

EXTRAS
1/3 cup good quality raspberry jam
Fresh strawberries/blueberries
¼ cup shredded coconut

Instructions
CAKE
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Grease cake tin. Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. In another bowl combine the oil, coconut milk, sugar and vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until smooth. Fold in the cup of shredded coconut. Pour mixture into cake tin and bake for 30-40mins.

ICING Add the Nuttelex and icing sugar to a bowl then gradually add the liquids until a smooth, slightly runny consistency (add more soy/lemon juice if necessary)

ASSEMBLY To assemble the cake, cut the two cakes in half and ensure that 3 of 4 layers are flat. Place the base layer on the serving plate by putting two blobs of icing to secure the cake. Add half of the jam to the cake. Add second layer and put icing and a layer of strawberries. Add third layer with remaining jam then top with final layer of cake. Spread with remaining icing and top with berries and shredded coconut.

Keeps 3 days in a airtight container. Serves 8.

A Trip To…Madame K’s Vegetarian

After attempting to snag a seat at Yong’s a couple of Saturdays back, we arrived at Madame K’s where, despite being extremely busy we managed to get a table right at the front at the window to relish in the last of those glorious warm summer nights. I had never been before and was pleasantly surprised about its Asian fusion menu allowing you to sample dishes inspired by a variety of cuisines.

A friend and I ordered a serve of the chive dumplings, Penang curry, the miso eggplant and a pad Thai to share. The food took a while, especially considering it was peak time on a Saturday night but we were happy to wait and when the food did come, it was hot and fresh.


Starting with the chive dumplings (perfect for 2 people!) were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with the filling not being too oniony. Next up was eggplant was perfectly cooked – not too firm or soft – and with just enough salty, sweet miso sauce to keep you coming back for more. Then we had the curry (which was accompanied with brown rice) and the pad Thai. The curry had massive cubes of silken tofu (my fav!) and was hot and flavourful. The noodles, like any good pad Thai had crushed peanuts and lemon wedges to lift the dish from good to great.

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The vibe in Madame K’s was buzzing from the street in and when it began to rain and we started getting wet, the staff rushed over to help us out and make sure that we were enjoying our meal.

Can’t wait to go back and try some of their mock meat dishes, which have made them popular on the infamous strip of Brunswick street.

367 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
(03) 9415 6099
Open for lunch and dinner daily
Website

Chocolate Nutty Flapjacks

Ingredients
50g walnuts
4 dried figs
30g sour cherries
30g cranberries
30g pumpkin seeds/pepitas
1 tbsp ground almonds
50g Nuttlex
100g golden caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
100g porridge oats
100g rolled oats
100g dark chocolate (I use Whittakers 70% dark)

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Preparation method
Turn the oven on to 180C

Roughly chop the walnuts and figs then add to a food processor along with the sour cherries, the cranberries and half the pumpkin seeds. Add a spoonful of ground almonds and blitz together – but not for long – leaving nice sizable chunks of the nuts and fruit. Tip into a large mixing bowl along with the rest of the whole pumpkin seeds.

In a pan melt the Nuttelex with the sugar and golden syrup, trying not to stir it too much and allowing it to melt together gradually.
Once melted mix in the oats and the fruit and nuts and create tablespoons of mixture into around 16 even biscuits and place oven tray then bake for 25 minutes.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water or in the microwave. When the flapjacks are baked, cut them into small rectangles and dip them as far as you dare into the melted chocolate.

Allow to chill for 20 minutes in the fridge and then serve.

Buddy Scrub

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I have always wanted a friend with benefits and my lover, my friend, my glorious Buddy Scrub certainly made up for lost time. I am ashamed to admit I have never used a salt scrub. I didn’t get on the bandwagon when it first came by but this time when it came past I made sure that I hopped on before it was too late again!

When I first opened the pack of Melbourne-made deliciousness I honestly had to fight back the urge to pile handfuls of the stuff into my mouth it smelt so good! The chocolately-orange goodness though is purely meant to make your skin soft and silky so I had to control myself. I used the scrub 3 times in the week and slathered the scrub made up of brown sugar, sea salt, cacao and oil (grape seed, almond and coconut) all over my body including my face. Never was I concerned about it reacting with my sometimes combination skin thanks to its gentle and all natural ingredients. I have always used coconut oil religiously but the addition of the other goodies in the Buddy Scrub made a world of difference to my skin – scrubbing off the dirt and exfoliating all in one!

If you are a freak for salt scrubs or want to get down and dirty for the first time – try Buddy Scrub and support a local and vegan brand that is so deliciously good it may even become your friend with benefits too!

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http://www.buddyscrub.com.au
INSTAGRAM: @buddy_scrub

A Trip To…Sister of Soul

I was blessed to have 2 of my favourite interstate friends come visit and throughout their time in Melbourne we experienced some very unseasonal (yet typical Melbourne!!) weather and so we decided to get rugged up and walk from Brighton to St Kilda for a lunch in Acland Street.

St Kilda is a bit of a ‘hub’ for veggies like myself and there are quite a few places (see Bible, but my favorite is definitely Sister of Soul. This day happened to be the day after I had a major car accident and wrote off my car completely, so I was much in need for a bit of ‘Soul Food.’ And boy, did Sister of Soul Deliver 🙂

I got the Bangers and Beans after seeing in on their insta page (see link below) a couple of weeks prior. The sausages (aka bangers) had such a ‘hearty’ texture and were so filling whilst the chutney/relish cut through the richness perfectly. Hit the spot immediately. My friends has the two other dishes and I had a sneaky mouthful (or 3!) of both to have a ‘try’ despite already having them on previous occasions. Mushrooms are my favourite vegetable and the Pad Kha Phao are full of them!
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The mantra of Sister of Soul is «step into the lightness » and that’s exactly how you fell when you enter the airy, naturally lit and spacious place. A true gem of our Melbourne.

Dishes ordered;
Pad Kha Phao
Bangers and Beans
Mixed up Sista

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Details;
@sisterofsoul
OPEN 7 DAYS – 7:30am till late
73 Acland Street
St Kilda, VIC 3182
03 9593 8550
sisterofsoul.com.au

Cookies & Cream Cake

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Batter
2 3/4 cups self-rasing flour
3/4 cup cacao powder
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup canola oil (non-GM)
1 1/2 cups cane sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups vegan buttermilk (2 cups dairy free milk + 1tbsp acv)
1 sleeve of crushed Oreos (approx. 7)

Frosting
1 cup Nuttelex
2 tbsp non-dairy milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 sleeve of crushed Oreos (approx. 7)

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line two 20cm spring form pans with parchment paper; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cacao powder, salt, and baking soda; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, sugar, and extracts; mix just until combined. Alternate between mixing the flour and buttermilk into the sugar mixture in halves. Add the flour first, then the buttermilk. Once all of the flour has been added (but you’re still left with 1/2 of the buttermilk) whisk hard until all lumps gone. Whisk in the remaining buttermilk.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for about 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Once the layers have cooled, cover with GladWrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble (cold cake layers are easier to ice). Will keep refrigerated for up to two days.

To make icing – blend all ingredients except the cacao and the Oreos and once you have achieved desired consistency, separate the two mixes and then add the cacao powder to one and the Oreos to the other.

Dab a touch of icing onto the plate which you want to assemble your cake on just to ensure it stays. Then put some of the chocolate icing in the middle and spread so that it’s even. place second layer on top and lightly ice the entire cake with the remaining chocolate icing.

Return to fridge for 30 minutes so that icing can set.

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With the Oreo icing, cover the cake again so that it is evenly iced.

Serve at room temperature

Cover cake with plastic or store in an air tight container for up to three days. Cake is best within the first 24 hours.

Makes; 12 large slices