Monday, 29 February 2016

'Serene Cuisine' Menu 4/3/16

***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.***


As I begin another week, another blog post, and yet another menu, I can feel a definite shift here as I witness a genuine and united community coming together. 
As blog visitor numbers swell, and people come forward to share stories, experiences and to express concerns about where our world is heading, it's exciting for me to witness so many people motivated to embrace positive lifestyle changes.

For those of you that don't know me, and in case you haven't picked it up by now, I'm a 'heart' person and find myself attracted to people who have a story to tell. 
At my very core, I feel connected in some way to every other living person on the planet, and I know in my heart of hearts, that we all feel the same pain, experience similar difficulties and concerns in whatever form they might take.

What started here as a recipe sharing/vegan cooking/judgement free/gardening blog, is now growing into a wonderful family of like-minded 'seekers' who are open, sharing and loving.

I'm a happy girl and welcome you all with an open heart. x

This Week In The Kitchen


Yesterday, (Saturday) I was lucky enough to have some quality time in the 'just frank' test kitchen and a brand new Zesty Orange Cake is the result, which is featuring on this week's 'Sweet Treat" menu.
There are 3 savoury offerings this week, the first of which is my vegan take on the traditional roast, featuring a delicious Lentil and Veggie Roast complete with green veggies, roast potatoes and pumpkin and a slathering of rich gravy.

By request, there will also be the ever-popular Brown Fried Rice with veggies and as always, a deliciously thick and creamy (dairy-free) soup. 
This week it's Zucchini Soup, as I prepare to use the last of this season's zucchinis from my garden. 

Veggie Burgers


Due to a short week for me here in the kitchen next week owing to a buying trip, and a huge week of preparation in the time that is left for the March 13th Library Market, there will be no veggie burgers on the menu next week, so please stock up this week if you will be needing supplies prior to the market. 
These are on the menu under the 'Frank's Burger Bar' heading.

'Super Healthy Eating and Cooking from Scratch...The Vegan Way' Workshop


Thank you to those of you who attended the vegan cooking workshop at the Mount gambier Library last Sunday. 
I trust you all enjoyed the session and I can't wait to do it all again in the near future.
Last week, I shared the Brown Fried Rice recipe here on the blog page, so if you haven't had the chance to copy it down and get busy in the kitchen as yet, make sure you check it out and pop it on your 'to-do' list this week.
Keep your eye on the blog during the coming week also, as I share the second recipe, which is for Veggie Fritters and please be sure to subscribe to the blog so that new blog entries go straight to your inbox and you don't miss a thing.

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, 26 February 2016

Fried Rice 'With The Lot!'

As I begin writing this morning's blog post, the clock has just ticked over....4:49 am, and just in case you are wondering, I'm not begrudgingly sitting here writing, I'm a seriously keen morning person who loves this time of the day.
Apart from the sound of my fingers tapping on the keyboard, translating what my mind is thinking into the written word, it's so peacefully quiet and it is without question, my favourite time of the day.



Super Healthy Eating And Cooking From Scratch....The Vegan Way


If you were one of the attendees of my Super healthy eating and Cooking workshop at the Mount gambier Library last Sunday, you will have been witness to me demonstrating my favourite fried rice recipe and as promised on the day, here it is.
If you weren't there, I hope you enjoy cooking this hearty rice dish as I put my vegan slant on it using some delicious ingredients which you can interchange to suit your own personal taste.
The veggies I have used in this version are my own personal preference but feel free to add or subtract at your will.
This recipe makes between 5-6 cups of cooked fried rice depending on how many veggies you add to it.
As I suggested at the workshop, it's always best to pre-boil your rice a day or two before to allow it to chill properly before adding it to your fried rice dish.
I think this is the single most common mistake people make and often stops them from trying to cook fried rice again. Using freshly boiled, still warm rice results in gluggy fried rice which isn't very appetising at all.

I also like to add some cubes of marinated tofu sometimes as well. If this is something you think you may enjoy, cube and marinate half a block of extra firm tofu for 3-4 hrs or overnight. Drain the liquid off and heat a small amount of sesame oil in the wok until hot, then fry tofu until slightly golden on the outside, tossing as you go. Drain on some paper towel and set aside. Re-add to the wok after the veggies have been cooked and just before you add the cooked rice.

A Quick Word On The Subject Of Frozen Veggies


Some people will dismiss frozen veggies as inferior, and as you would imagine, fresh is always best, particularly organically grown ones if you have access to them, but I honestly believe that frozen veggies are a great 'go-to' option.
I have a close friend who works in the frozen food industry and his extensive tours of veggie farms and production facilities have armed him with the knowledge that most veggies are 'snap frozen' only hours after having been picked, which would make them a whole lot fresher than some of the veggies that you would find on the supermarket shelves, particularly the imported ones.
I'm a staunch advocate for helping you to get more veggies on your plate, however I can, so until these habits are firmly entrenched and you feel as though you want to get more adventurous, I'm all for keeping your freezer stocked with a selection of veggies such as peas, beans, corn and a few stir fry mixes for a quick addition to the fresh veggies that you have.


Good luck and happy cooking my friends.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Frank's Fried Rice

1 cup of uncooked brown rice
3-4 tspns sesame oil
4 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 red capsicum diced
4-5 button mushrooms diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup sweetcorn
1 small zucchini grated
1 small carrot grated
1 cup of beans sliced (frozen ones are fine)
1 tspn Massel Veggie Stock Powder
1-2 tblspns sweet soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice according to directions on the pack a day or two prior, rinse and drain well before chilling in the fridge until required.
Heat wok on medium to high and add sesame oil. Once oil is hot, add onion, garlic and capsicum and fry until fragrant.
Whilst maintaining high heat, add all other veggies and toss until slightly tender, add all seasonings and continue to toss.
When cooked to your liking, add rice and toss until blended well.
Heat through and adjust seasonings to taste.
Enjoy!!



Monday, 22 February 2016

'Serene Cuisine' Menu 26/2/16

***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.***


As I begin writing this blog post this morning, it is still dark outside and a few drops of rain have fallen on the roof (perhaps) signalling some much-needed rain is on the way.

If like me, you have a veggie patch or any other garden for that matter, this sound will be music to your ears, but we certainly need more than a few drops.
I will wait....


A Sunday Gathering Of Like-Minded Souls


Yesterday I was in great company as I presented a vegan cooking workshop at the Mount Gambier Library. 55 enthusiastic people attended the council-organised event to hear me share experiences from my 21 year vegan journey and to take part in some delicious food sampling after a vegan cooking demonstration.

Although nervous, (as this was my very first public speaking experience,) my passion for what I was to speak about certainly overrode the fear and with such a captive audience to share with, it seemed effortless.
So many of the attendees were hungry for information and I feel have walked away armed with enough information to initiate some change in their own lives regarding their health and wellbeing. 
This is something that had my heart singing as I packed up after the event and had time to reflect on the feedback I had received.

The event was totally booked out only days after it was announced by the library and there is now a long waiting list of people eager for the next event, which tells me without any doubt whatsoever that there is a definite shift in people's consciousness surrounding how we are living our lives, how we are treating other sentient beings, as well as how we are treating our planet.



If you were one of yesterday's workshop attendees, I thank you for taking the time to come along and I hope you have walked away feeling better equipped to make any of the changes that you desire. 

Please remember that my desire to help you didn't end yesterday when you left the session and that I am always available should you need any help instigating changes or for any advice. 
If you missed the event and are interested in attending the next session, please flick me an email and I will pop you on the waiting list.


This Week On The Menu


This week's feature dish will take on a Moroccan flavour as I present a delicious couscous dish overflowing with veggies, chick peas and a selection of dried fruits and spices. I absolutely love Moroccan flavours, with my favourite element being the addition of dried fruits that give a lot of these North African dishes that tender bite of sweetness among the savoury spiciness. My mouth is watering just writing this description!
As always, I will also feature a soup on the menu with this week's being a Zucchini and Red Bean Soup as the Zucchini's just keep on coming from my extensive veggie patch. 
There are 2 varieties of bread on the menu to accompany each of the main meals if bread is your thing.

I believe in balance so I always endeavour to offer super healthy whole food options, while I don't mind throwing just a hint of decadence in to satisfy the chocolate lovers among you. 
This week on the dessert menu, with an abundance of deliciously juicy fresh pears available, I will be creating a wholesome Apple and Pear Crumble, while on the decadent side, an Oreo topped Chocolate Muffin.
The usual varieties of cookies and bliss balls will feature on the menu as well as my two regular granola varieties.
There's a lot of exciting things coming up here in the 'just frank' kitchen and I am so glad to have you along for the ride.
I look forward to seeing you all on delivery day this week.

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, 17 February 2016

I Have A Confession To Make.....

My life as a freelance gardener has taken quite a turn of late, as I continue to scale my workload down to allow for the growth of my vegan catering business 'just frank' and to give me the time I need to spend in my own garden, particularly the veggie patch.

Gardening has always been a passion of mine, I grew up in a 'green-thumbed' family, and I have certainly dabbled in all elements of gardening over the years, none bringing me more joy though that tending a well-prepared veggie garden.

What some would see as hard work, I see as an art, a creative process which yields a harvest of such high quality nutritionally, that I can't resist immersing myself in it.

I have a confession to make....I'm a hippie. I was born in the 60's so what can you expect!

Upon waking in the morning, I love nothing more than taking a stroll through the garden to see what has sprung forth overnight and to admire Mother Nature's handy work, and I simply love getting my hands dirty as I prepare for planting at the beginning of each growing season. I prefer gardening clothes to pretty girly dresses, and sometimes, I'm a total recluse, preferring the solitude of my garden with only the birds and my fur babies as companions.

I would be lying if I said it wasn't hard work, but this also depends on the size and intensity of your gardening project.
My veggie garden is huge and I have removed a lot of my 'regular' garden and lawn to make way for plants that provide me with food, leaving me with a relatively small fresh food bill.

Last night after work, I picked the box of produce pictured here which is only a small selection of what I have maturing at the moment. It's hard to resist picking it all at once, (it's all so pretty!) but it's important to understand that unless it's overripe and must be picked, most veggies keep best left on the vine/plant until required, as once they are picked, their nutritional content begins to decline.

*This is an important point to note when thinking about imported supermarket produce which is often weeks, if not months old by the time it makes it way inti your shopping trolley.*

As I wandered through my two large 'patches' last night, I couldn't help but feel in awe of what nature can bring forth in a little patch of earth, with some forward planning and manual labour, and let's not forget it's therapeutic value.

If I am feeling a bit flat, even half an hour tending the 'patch' can lift my spirits and reconnect me to my purpose again.
I highly recommend setting up even a small veggie garden whether that be in an existing patch of ground in your garden, a freshly dug patch in a corner somewhere or even in some large tubs if space is an issue for you.

I am so passionate about this most rewarding of gardening projects, (as you have most likely picked up by now!) that I just want to help everyone set one up.

If this is something that may be of interest to you, please contact me and I would be more than happy to help you to get started.








Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Tuesday Is The New Monday

***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.***


 This short post is for subscribers of my blog who may not have received a notification that the new menu was up yesterday.

Due to the lateness of my blog post, an email may not have come through so hopefully this post will reach you.
Check out this week's menu over to the right of the page for a selection of goodies and scroll down to read the accompanying post.
Happy Tuesday folks and I look forward to seeing you on Friday.

Love and light,
Leah. x

Monday, 15 February 2016

'Serene Cuisine' Menu 19/2/16

***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.***

Yesterday saw me attending the Mount Gambier Library Market again with a huge number of 'just frank' supporters coming by to say hi and purchase their favourite Serene Cuisine goodies.

Thank you all!


I pride myself on my planning and preparation and I spend an enormous amount of time on presenting quality, wholesome, vegan food for those of you who have been joining the whole food, plant-based food (or as I like to call it, real food) journey.

What I can't seem to prepare for are the increasing quantities that I am selling both at the markets and from my weekly menus here on the blog.

It doesn't seem to matter how many goodies I take to each market day, I continuously sell out of burgers, muffins and hommus to name just a few.

It's been quite a year already, and we are only half way through February, and with so many new and interesting things happening in the very near future, I am super excited as to where 'just frank' might be heading.

Thank you all for your ongoing support, your friendship and your incredible feedback.
I feel so blessed. x

This Week In The Kitchen


As another huge week unfolds here in the 'just frank' kitchen, I am also planning the menu for a workshop that I will be presenting at the Mount Gambier Library this coming Sunday, where I will be sharing some vegan cooking tips whilst showing the attendees how I put a few of my favourite dishes together.


I am looking forward to sharing my years of vegan cooking experience and to encouraging folks to 'cook from scratch' using as few packaged ingredients as possible.

This week's menu is now up to the right of this page with a host of goodies available for delivery or pick up on Friday of this week.

I am again taking advantage of the fact that I still have an abundance of fresh zucchini in the veggie garden, and will be using them in a Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fritter which will be served with my Carrot and Brown Rice Salad.

Also on the menu is a Spaghetti and Brown Lentil Bolognaise dish for the pasta lovers among you, which will be topped with my delicious Cashew Nut Parmesan.

I have recently been gifted some beautiful fresh, locally grown organic apples (you seriously couldn't find a better description for awesome food like this!!) which will form the basis of a deliciously moist apple cake which is on the 'Sweet Treat' menu.


Topped with a cinnamon frosting and sprinkled with walnuts, this will satisfy anyone with a penchant for apple cake.

The menu also includes all the usual extras including bliss balls, granola and cookies as well as two combinations of goodies as meal deals.


Footnote: Due to outside catering commitments this week, I will not have veggie burgers on the menu.
I apologise for any inconvenience.


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


Sunday, 7 February 2016

'Serene Cuisine' Menu 12/2/16

***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.***

What a week it's been for me not only here in the kitchen, but with just about every other aspect of my life as well.

Do you ever feel like your chasing your tail, like you're never going to get through the endless 'to-do' lists that you keep tacking things on the end of? 

Unlike the many other times that I have felt totally snowed under, most of the things on my list this week excite me as they all form part of a bigger plan that is being mastered in incremental stages.

I often write about 'busyness,' and more often than not, I write about it in a negative way when I am speaking of how as a society these days, we tend to glorify it and wear it as a badge of honour. I have a particularly negative view of busyness if it takes us away from, or at the very least, distracts us from things that ignite the fire in our souls. 


As women, a lot of us have 'busy' personalities and it's literally all we know as we tend to the needs of those around us, often leaving our own needs until last.

I know I have many readers who are my age, and with 'empty nesting' becoming a reality for us all, you'd think we would have all this spare time on our hands to do with what we please, but we always seem to fill it up don't we? 

More on this in a future post but in the meantime, give some thought to what you are filling your time up with.....I hope for your sake and for the sake of those around you that it's soul igniting stuff. 

Welcome Back To The Kitchen



It's market week again with the Library Market gearing up for a huge turn out with its February edition falling on Valentine's Day this year. 

Sunday looks like being a great day to head on down to the Cave Gardens and check out the stalls and perhaps pick up a unique and love filled gift for your beloved.

I will have a selection of my Serene Cuisine goodies there including some hand made chocolates and other suitably crafted deliciousness for this annual day of love as well as my usual fare.

I will be popping up the regular pre-market order form in the next few days so please make sure you get your orders in to avoid disappointment on the day.

On The Menu This Week


This week sees the return of the most popular lunch item that has ever appeared on the 'just frank' menu...Frank's Buddha Bowl.

This delicious and nutritious salad bowl consists of roasted sweet potato and Moroccan spiced chick peas, along with a host of other veggies, most of which will be picked fresh from my garden.
Topped with a selection of fresh bean sprouts and an Avocado and Lemon Tahini Dressing, this 'clean,' raw and amazingly nutritious power bowl will energise you for the whole day.

Creamy Zucchini Soup (dairy and gluten free) is on the menu as well for those of you who prefer something warm. With the weather chopping and changing every day, I have catered for all four seasons in advance.

A wholemeal flatbread or wholegrain garlic roll is available as a side order.

I have spent some time in the test kitchen over the weekend putting the finishing touches on a recipe for some scrumptious Peach Crumble Muffins which make their debut on this weeks menu under the 'Sweet Treat' heading. 

Made with freshly picked, locally grown, organic peaches, these muffins are moist, scattered with chunks of juicy peaches with just a hint of cinnamon. Yummy!


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, 1 February 2016

'Serene Cuisine' Menu 5/2/16

***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 'just frank' Kitchen


Planning options for the weekly 'Serene Cuisine' menu is a very enjoyable time of the week for me but the ever changing weather conditions does confuse the matter slightly. 
I spend quite a bit of time selecting recipes taking care to match them with the weather forecasts from my trusty iphone app,  but this doesn't always go to plan with the weather often changing by the time we get to the end of the week.
Today, as I sit in my office planning this week's menu, you could be forgiven for thinking we are in the middle of winter as the rain taps gently on my window and the wind howls through the trees outside.

In The Veggie Patch


I have spent quite a bit of time in the veggie patch this week harvesting produce, as well as removing plants that have finished producing for their season including butter beans, green beans and a few zucchini plants that have curled up their leaves as their signal to me that they are done. With several still 'fruiting' really well, I have planned this week's menu with them in mind.
This now makes way in 'the patch' for soil preparation as I ready myself for the next round of plantings to get underway.

What's on Offer This Week


With an abundance of delicious summer veggies now harvesting in the 'patch,' it's the perfect time to utilise as many as possible in a pasta dish that is sure to delight your senses with its textures and flavours. 
Red capsicum, zucchini and sundried tomatoes are just a few of the veggies that will share a place in a thick and rich tomato sauce, along with an array of carefully selected fresh herbs, which will be served over a bed of fettuccine pasta, topped with my Raw Cashew Parmesan Cheese.
For the soup lovers among you, there is a thick and hearty Zucchini and Red Lentil Soup on the menu also.
Frank's Meal Deals are also on the menu if you are looking to put together an entire meal, and this week there are 2 to choose from.

Introducing......




New to the menu this week is a Raw Granola Bite full of raw seeds, nuts and dried fruits. Almonds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), flax seeds, dates and oats make up these extremely nutrient dense bars which are perfect for an instant protein hit or as a decadent, yet healthy sweet treat. Available in packs of 3, they are also available as a single bar by request.


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