Sunday, 31 January 2016

'Frank'-ly Gardening

My life as 'frank' is as much about gardening as it is about cooking, sometimes moreso.....
I have loved gardening and the great outdoors since my parents, my sister and I made the move from Adelaide to country SA when I was only 7 years young.

Not long after the move, I fell ridiculously in love with nature, and I spent every waking moment either outside with my beloved horse, or immersed in any outdoor activity that was going, including watching my elderly grandfather tend his extensive veggie patch.

Mum and Dad were also avid gardeners, so my love of gardening was a given as I saw them grow, harvest and then cook beautiful fresh produce to provide us with healthy nutritious meals.

I cannot remember a time that I haven't had a backyard veggie patch, and I certainly can't imagine my life in the future without one.

A huge part of the 'just frank' journey and the vegan food that I share with the community, is the sourcing of fresh organic produce, most of which comes from my veggie patch.

I am a great believer in the fact that food is our medicine, and I cannot think of a better way to nourish ourselves than by sourcing produce that we can track the origin of, and certainly by growing it yourself, its freshness is guaranteed.

Through my interactions with folks who are clearly interested in good quality food, I have the opportunity to discuss these very topics, in particular, backyard veggie growing.

One of the most spoken of obstacles to achieving this, is the fact that folks think they need a massive backyard in which to start their 'patch,' which is simply not true with so many backyard gardeners having nothing more to work with than a standard sized suburban backyard.

In an attempt to encourage those of you wanting to establish a veggie patch, I, together with my awesome videographer/editor partner have made a new video clip to help dispel the 'small space' myth.



I hope you enjoy it and I hope it inspires some of you to take the plunge and turn a little piece of your backyard (or frontyard for that matter) into a little slice of organic food producing heaven.

If you have any questions or need any help in the setting up of your 'patch,' please do not hesitate to contact me.

Go green and happy gardening folks!

Love and light,
Leah x


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

What Day Is It?


With Australia Day falling on a Tuesday this year, we had the interesting situation of a public holiday pretty much in the middle of the week which leaves me now not really knowing what day it is!

I noticed that many businesses had closed their doors on Monday to allow for a 4 day weekend which made perfect sense if you were an owner/operator or had minimal staff.

As we all return to work again today, most of us will spend the remainder of the week confused and will be questioning our place in the working week. 

In more ways than one, the weekend can't come around fast enough for me so I can re-set my body calendar, participate in a normal weekend.


**Just a quick reminder that orders from this week's Serene Cuisine menu will close @ 6pm today, Wednesday 27/1/16**

Deliciously, Delicious mangoes


With Mango season nearing its end, this delicious tropical fruit is at its best right now, in my opinion, and as I have been indulging in at least one per day, I would say I'm an expert at being the judge right now.
They are definitely my favourite fruit and with the season being a relatively short one, I certainly make the most of it!

Today I am sharing a refreshing and very simple smoothie recipe for you to try if mangoes are your thing. If you've never actually tried fresh mango, and I really urge you too, this smoothie is the perfect way to enjoy one, but can also be made using frozen mango in the 'off season.'

I hope you enjoy it!

Mango and Peach Smoothie

1 Mango peeled and cubed
1 Peach de-stoned and chopped
1/2 cup Almond Milk or other plant based milk
1/2 cup orange juice

Place all ingredients into blender until smooth.
Serve chilled and enjoy!





***Please note that if you are placing your order on your mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog page, click on 'View Web Version' and wait for the new page to load before ordering.***

How To Order

To order your Friday Meal, please fill in the order form on the right-hand side of this blog page, selecting whatever takes your fancy, as well as delivery and payment preferences and any special instructions, and then click submit.


***Please note that if you are placing your order on your mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog page, click on 'View Web Version' and wait for the new page to load before ordering.***

Please contact me if you have any special requests re: items that perhaps aren't currently on the menu or menu items in larger quantities.

I welcome any suggestions, comments or feedback, any of which may be submitted via email @ serenityleah13@gmail.com.


Subscribe


If you wish to receive notification of any new blog entries, including new menus or news from the 'serene cuisine' kitchen, enter your email address in the 'Follow By Email' box on the right hand side of this page below the order form, and click submit. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription, and once confirmed, you will receive notification emails of any new blog posts.

Your email address will not be shared and will only be used for the express purpose of sharing news from 'just frank.'

Well, that's all from me for now.
I look forward to hearing from you and to seeing those of you who will be on my delivery list this week.

Love and light,

Leah <3

Monday, 25 January 2016

'Serene Cuisine' Menu 29/1/16


***Please note that if you are placing your order on your mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog page, click on 'View Web Version' and wait for the new page to load before ordering.***



Hello From The Kitchen


It's 5am on Monday the 25th of January and I'm sitting in my office with a very sore body after having spent the entire day yesterday tending my veggie patches. 


I truly love spending time outdoors in Mother Nature, and find nothing more rewarding than harvesting the 'fruits' of my labour, but I take it oh so seriously, and never seem to be able to tackle it in moderation, hence the sore body.

On Saturday, Rob and I shot another video which will be up on the blog in a week or two, but instead of being in the kitchen, this time, we took to the garden to film a clip which will hopefully help those of you wanting to grow your own veggie patch. 

A misconception that I know a lot of folks have is that you need a lot of ground to grow your own produce, and I am hopeful that the video will help to dispel this myth.

More on this soon.....

On The Menu This Week


This week I have two very different main meals on the menu for you and with the weather not quite knowing which way to go, I've decided to play it safe and offer options to cater for the uncertainty.

Curried Red lentil Dahl will be back this week for those of you who love this creamy authentically Indian lentil dish.  

Served on a bed of brown rice, this lentil dish is extremely nutrient dense, mild in flavour and curry intensity and is perfect enjoyed with a wholemeal flatbread as a dipper, which is also on the menu.

This week's second option is Frank's Kale and Chickpea Buddha Roll. 
This consists of  a wholegrain bread roll topped with a Kale and Chickpea burger and fresh garden salad, including lettuce, baby spinach leaves, tomato, red onion and sprouts, finished off with a creamy avocado and tahini dressing.

Over the weekend, I was blessed by a phone call from a very dear friend who's apricot tree needed relieving of it's very heavy bounty of fruit. Of course, I was more than happy to be of assistance. 
The result was approximately 3 kilos of deliciously juicy apricots which I will be putting to good use this week in the form of an Apricot Shortcake. 

The regular bliss ball menu will be available again this week,  as well as two varieties of granola and veggie burgers.


How To Order


To order your Friday Meal, please fill in the order form on the right-hand side of this blog page, selecting whatever takes your fancy, as well as delivery and payment preferences and any special instructions, and then click submit.


***Please note that if you are placing your order on your mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog page, click on 'View Web Version' and wait for the new page to load before ordering.***

Please contact me if you have any special requests re: items that perhaps aren't currently on the menu or menu items in larger quantities.

I welcome any suggestions, comments or feedback, any of which may be submitted via email @ serenityleah13@gmail.com.


Subscribe



If you wish to receive notification of any new blog entries, including new menus or news from the 'serene cuisine' kitchen, enter your email address in the 'Follow By Email' box on the right hand side of this page below the order form, and click submit. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription, and once confirmed, you will receive notification emails of any new blog posts.

Your email address will not be shared and will only be used for the express purpose of sharing news from 'just frank.'

Well, that's all from me for now.
I look forward to hearing from you and to seeing those of you who will be on my delivery list this week.

Love and light,

Leah <3

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Zucchini Anyone?

If, like me, you are an avid veggie gardener, you will be feeling the 'zucchini love' as they ripen in abundance at this time of the year.
One zucchini plant is enough to feed a family of 6 in the height of the growing season, but that wasn't enough for me! I had to grow 6 plants didn't I!!!

With that being said, I can't pick them fast enough, and by the time I get to some of them, well, the picture tells the story!!

Zucchini soup, zucchini relish, zucchini slice and anything else that I can use zucchini in has been on the menu both at my house and that of my friend's and family.
Growing seasonal veggies is the greatest way to ensure freshness and the highest vitamin content in your cooking....from the backyard, straight to the plate.

Check out this week's menu for recipes containing home grown goodies from 'frank's veggie patch.'

Monday, 18 January 2016

'Serene Cuisine' Menu 22/1/16

***Please note that if you are placing your order on your mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog page, click on 'View Web Version' and wait for the new page to load before ordering.***


Welcome Back To the Kitchen


Halfway through January, and I cannot remember a start to the year that has been so consistently hot.

I am by nature, a winter person, preferring layers of winter woolies to days upon days of trying to find ways to keep cool, even after shedding as many layers of clothing as is legally allowed in public!
I am also by nature, a lover of winter foods.....deliciously thick veggie soups, casseroles, lentil dahls and anything involving gravy, foods which I often also eat in the summer months.

With no rain on the radar in the foreseeable future, not only am I feeling it, but my treasured veggie patch is suffering from the effects of heat stress.

As the heat wave continues, I have elected to stop watering my lawns and certain parts of my 'non-food producing' garden and am instead using all available rainwater and allocated water supplies to keep my veggie garden in the best condition possible, at least until everything in it has reached maturity.

Praying for rain....


On The Menu This Week


It's going to be another huge week in the 'just frank' kitchen this week with a menu full of assorted vegan goodies to tempt your taste buds. 

This week I will again be sourcing ingredients from 'frank's' veggie patch, which naturally gives the maximum nutritional value to my menu items, and ensures that you are receiving foods that are as fresh as they can possibly be.  

With zucchini still in abundance, I will certainly be using these in both a slice, and a soup, along with my home grown carrots, beans, spinach, broccoli and parsley.

This week's I will feature a deliciously moist Apple Cake with a Walnut and Cinnamon Glaze on the dessert menu, with this menu also seeing the return of Frank's Friday Meal Deals for those of you looking to select a combination of goodies for either lunch or tea.


And Finally.....


Thank you all for checking out the first in my new series of cooking videos and for the wonderful feedback you have provided. 
I certainly found it very encouraging. I appreciate your support and look forward to sharing many more recipes and cooking and gardening tips with you in the near future.

**A huge shout out to my partner and cameraman extraordinaire Rob for his filming prowess and his fantastic editing skills.....There is a blooper reel that will never see the light of day! :)** 



How To Order


To order your Friday Meal, please fill in the order form on the right-hand side of this blog page, selecting whatever takes your fancy, as well as delivery and payment preferences and any special instructions, and then click submit.


***Please note that if you are placing your order on your mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog page, click on 'View Web Version' and wait for the new page to load before ordering.***

Please contact me if you have any special requests re: items that perhaps aren't currently on the menu or menu items in larger quantities.

I welcome any suggestions, comments or feedback, any of which may be submitted via email @ serenityleah13@gmail.com.


Subscribe



If you wish to receive notification of any new blog entries, including new menus or news from the 'serene cuisine' kitchen, enter your email address in the 'Follow By Email' box on the right hand side of this page below the order form, and click submit. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription, and once confirmed, you will receive notification emails of any new blog posts.

Your email address will not be shared and will only be used for the express purpose of sharing news from 'just frank.'

Well, that's all from me for now.
I look forward to hearing from you and to seeing those of you who will be on my delivery list this week.

Love and light,

Leah <3

'Frank' Goes Live!

Over the past 12 months, just frank has grown beyond anything I could have imagined, and some, and it's only through the support of folks like yourselves that I have been able to continue to pursue my passion and in turn, continue to share it with you. 

Ongoing improvement and growth is an integral part of what I am striving to achieve and I am continuously seeking new ways to personalise the way I deliver my message.


Today I am super excited to present to you the first in a series of video clips that I will be using to open the door of my kitchen to you, where I will share my favourite vegan recipes, cooking tips and answer some of your most frequently asked questions. 
Being an avid veggie gardener, I will also be taking you into my garden to help those of you who are interested with establishing and maintaining your own veggie patch.

I encourage questions and requests for anything that you may like included in future videos, so please don't hesitate to contact me with anything of interest.

In today's clip, I am sharing with you a simple and delicious Chickpea and Spinach Burger recipe to show how easy vegan cooking really is. 

I hope you enjoy this new way of getting to know me and the 'just frank' journey.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Cooking From Scratch.....Join The Revolution


If you are an avid food label reader like me, you have probably been as frustrated as I get at times at the number of store purchased products that are loaded with a whole stack of numbers in the ingredients list that you know don't translate into 'health and wellness.' (or maybe they do if we actually knew what they were!)

Living as an ethical vegan means having to be even more vigilant when it comes to decoding ingredients lists as you look for 'cheese powder' and similarly described dairy and egg products in random grocery items.

Sometimes it's just bizarre where you find these ingredients, and this is why I quite simply love cooking from scratch!
I'm not going to tell you that I never eat refined sugars or that I don't love an indulgent treat from time to time, (it's all about balance) but the art of creating my own vegan meals and treats, is so that I know exactly what
I am fuelling my body with at all times.

I grow most of my own fresh produce so I know it is as fresh as I will ever be able to get it, something I feel fantastic about, and as far as everything else goes, I buy organic where I can.

Making your grocery shopping a conscious activity rather than just going through the motions will end in a far healthier shopping trolley and certainly a healthier and happier you. Certainly, it will take more time initially, but once you familiarise yourself with the healthier, more ethical options that are available to you, it just becomes second nature.

Feel free to contact me for more information on anything I have discussed here.

I will be sharing more about setting up your own veggie patch in the near future.
No matter how small your backyard, 'homegrown' food is available to everyone.

Today I am sharing a deliciously wholesome recipe with you that is super easy to make, requires no baking and will be a hit with all members of your household.
I hope you enjoy it!

Love and light folks,
Leah. <3



No-Bake Oaty Bars


Ingredients


1½ cup rolled oats
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup raisins
pinch of sea salt

Instructions


1. Line an 8x8 baking pan with baking paper and set aside.
2. Pulse oats in a food processor a few times to make a course flour and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan over low heat add peanut butter, coconut oil, brown rice syrup, sea salt, vanilla and cinnamon.
Stir until melted and well combined.
Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl.
Stir in oats and raisins.
4. Press mixture into the lined baking pan. Use fingers to pack dough down well. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours to set. (or place in freezer to speed up the process!)
5. Remove from parchment paper and cut into 12 bars.
6. Keeps well in the fridge for approx 5 days.

*Recipe adapted from an original recipe from BeginWithinNutrition*

Monday, 11 January 2016

'Serene Cuisine' Menu 15/1/16

***Please note that if you are placing your order on your mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog page, click on 'View Web Version' and wait for the new page to load before ordering.


Another Exciting Week In The 'just frank' Kitchen


And here we are again as another week rolls around, and I prepare to launch yet another 'Serene Cuisine' menu out into cyberspace.

It's an odd concept isn't it?

I create a menu, you order from it and as if by magic, it appears at your place of residence or work a few days later. 

It's rather staggering to me how quickly the 'just frank' family has grown, and continues to grow each week and it is because of this that I have made quite significant changes to my time schedule in other areas of my life in order to accommodate the growth. 

Yesterday, Sunday the 10th of January saw the Mount Gambier Library Market get underway once again. 
The sun shone brightly (and very warmly might I add!) and a large crowd was in attendance to support the gathering of artists, craftspeople and food vendors that came from near and far to display their wares.

Thank you to those of you who so generously supported 'just frank' yesterday. 

My market days are the highlight of my week and are the perfect opportunity to personally connect with folks who appreciate real food made with real ingredients. 


I can pick a true foodie a mile off when their eyes glaze over and they begin to drool as I read off the lists of ingredients upon request of a range of my vegan fare.....it certainly makes my day!

On The Menu This Week


With an abundance of organically grown produce spilling from my veggie patch this week, I couldn't think of a better way to use it than in a colourul and nutritious Rainbow Power Bowl, similar to a Buddha Bowl but with slightly different ingredients. 


I love the freedom of creating menus based on the locally grown, seasonal produce available, which also ensures that you receive your goodies as fresh as is physically possible.

I also have a Veggie and Chickpea Soup on the menu along with a range of healthy sweet options, all vegan of course.

If you missed the post on Saturday, I have just released a new granola variety, Cranberry, Raisin and Walnut, which will accompany the Date and Almond Granola on this week's menu. 

Full of natures superfoods including linseed, cranberry and coconut oil, this new variety is already proving to be as popular as its predesessor.

Check out this week's full menu to the right of this page.

How To Order


To order your Friday Meal, please fill in the order form on the right-hand side of this blog page, selecting whatever takes your fancy, as well as delivery and payment preferences and any special instructions, and then click submit.


***Please note that if you are placing your order on your mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog page, click on 'View Web Version' and wait for the new page to load before ordering.

Please contact me if you have any special requests re: items that perhaps aren't currently on the menu or menu items in larger quantities.

I welcome any suggestions, comments or feedback, any of which may be submitted via email @ serenityleah13@gmail.com.


Subscribe



If you wish to receive notification of any new blog entries, including new menus or news from the 'serene cuisine' kitchen, enter your email address in the 'Follow By Email' box on the right hand side of this page below the order form, and click submit. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription, and once confirmed, you will receive notification emails of any new blog posts.

Your email address will not be shared and will only be used for the express purpose of sharing news from 'just frank.'

Well, that's all from me for now.
I look forward to hearing from you and to seeing those of you who will be on my delivery list this week.

Love and light,

Leah <3

Friday, 8 January 2016

Sunday Market Pre-Order Menu 10/1/16


January @ The Mount Gambier Library market



As the New Year gets underway, the Mount Gambier Library Market will be on again this Sunday the 10th of January, between 10am and 2pm.

It's a busy week for me leading up to each market as I spend long days and nights in the kitchen preparing and packaging goodies in readiness for the big day.
This month, I will be featuring my popular veggie burgers in both varieties, Frank's Veggie Burgers and Frank's Gluten Free Veggie Burgers. These will be available in both 6 and 12 packs.

3 varieties of protein balls will be available as well as a deliciously healthy brekky option in Frank's Oat and Chia Bowl with almond milk, topped with banana and mixed berries.

 To assist me in quantity estimations, and to spare you the disappointment of missing out on your favourite just frank goodies, I have created a pre-ordering system which is to the right-hand side of this page and from which you can select products that will be available for collection at the market.

I encourage you to take advantage of this service, particularly if gluten free products are your preference. These goodies sell out early every time no matter how much I increase the quantities.



As with the regular order forms, please fill in your details, make your selections and choose your payment method, and then click submit. You should then receive an email confirming your order.

Direct deposit info is available on the order form, but please note that if do you choose to pay on collection, you will need to collect your goodies from me at the market prior to 1pm.


It's going to be a hot one, with a sunny 34 degrees forecast, so I'm looking forward to a huge crowd on Sunday and to seeing you all there.

Love and light,
Leah. <3

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Breakfast Is Served!

Happy Tuesday folks and as we begin another day, I would love to share another deliciously nutritious smoothie with you which is super easy to prepare and which will sustain you right through until lunch time.

The dates in this smoothie give it a real caramel flavour and as you will see by clicking on the highlighted link, are a powerhouse of nutrients to help kick start your day.

I like to use frozen bananas as they literally whip up like ice cream in the blender, but fresh ones will work as well if you haven't prepared frozen ones ahead of time.

I tend to slice and freeze my bananas in advance and then seal them in portion sized zip lock bags so that I always have them at the ready for my smoothie prep. This saves so much time on days where I'm time poor and am preparing my breakfast as I am running out the door.

I hope you enjoy this easy smoothie recipe as much as I do and that it finds it's way into your regular breakfast repitoire.


Caramel and Banana Oat Smoothie

Ingredients


1 cup of almond milk (or other plant-based milk of your choice)
1 large banana, sliced and frozen
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
A handful of pitted dates

 Method


1. Soak the oats and dates in a bowl with the almond milk at least one hour in advance with the vanilla extract. (I usually soak mine overnight.)

2. In a blender, mix the milk, frozen banana slices, rolled oats and pitted dates for a few minutes. If the smoothie is too thick for your liking, add some extra almond milk or water to thin it down. I personally like mine nice and thick so it sustains me well up until lunchtime.

And there you have it, it's that easy.
Enjoy!

Monday, 4 January 2016

'Serene Cuisine' Menu 8/1/16


Hello 2016 From The 'just frank' Kitchen


Welcome back to the kitchen for the first of the 2016 menus that I am super excited to share with you, and that I know you will love!
I have lots of new goodies coming up in the next few weeks, including some new delicious and super healthy bliss ball flavours, a new granola as well as some other surprises that I can't wait to share.

I trust that you have all had a relaxing break and that your batteries are sufficiently recharged enough to resume your regular commitments for another year.

I am returning to work today in my freelance gardening business, and I know I'm not alone in saying that my enthusiasm isn't at its peak, but it is certainly fuelled somewhat by the tasks that I was able to cross off of my Xmas holiday 'to-do' list. (More about this in the next few days.)

The Mount Gambier Library Market is on again this coming Sunday the 10th of January, so I will be deeply immersed in prepping for that later in the week. 
The weather forecast looks promising and I hope to see you there.

On The Menu This Week


With a return to work for most of us this week, so too comes a return to normal eating, sleeping and exercise routines, along with taking on goals that we may have set for the new year.

On the menu this week, I have some very wholesome goodies, both sweet and savoury to boost your energy levels and to get the year started off in the most nutritious way possible.

A new Roast Vegetable and Brown Rice Salad features as well as a deliciously creamy (creamy in consistency, no dairy) Zucchini and Red Lentil Soup, both of which are gluten free.

Frank's ever popular Orange and Oatbran Muffins are this week's sweet treat, with bliss balls, granola and 2 cookie flavours also on offer.

How To Order


To order your Friday Meal, please fill in the order form on the right-hand side of this blog page, selecting whatever takes your fancy, as well as delivery and payment preferences and any special instructions, and then click submit.


***Please note that if you are placing your order on your mobile device, scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog page, click on 'View Web Version' and wait for the new page to load before ordering.

Please contact me if you have any special requests re: items that perhaps aren't currently on the menu or menu items in larger quantities.

I welcome any suggestions, comments or feedback, any of which may be submitted via email @ serenityleah13@gmail.com.



Subscribe



If you wish to receive notification of any new blog entries, including new menus or news from the 'serene cuisine' kitchen, enter your email address in the 'Follow By Email' box on the right hand side of this page below the order form, and click submit. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription, and once confirmed, you will receive notification emails of any new blog posts.

Your email address will not be shared and will only be used for the express purpose of sharing news from 'just frank.'

Well, that's all from me for now.
I look forward to hearing from you and to seeing those of you who will be on my delivery list this week.

Love and light,

Leah <3